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Edmund Randolph to Virginia Delegates, 27 March 1787

Edmund Randolph to Virginia Delegates

Richmond March 27. 1787

Gentlemen

I do myself the honor of enclosing to you a copy of Mr. Martin’s letter our late Indian agent, promised in my former letter.1

When I wrote the other day; I urged Mr. Fox’s return. It was then supposed, that the business must stagnate in his absence. But a further inspection of the public acts has satisfied us of the contrary. I hope that the opportunity reserved for revision in the inclosed advice will be satisfactory on the ground of candor.2

The Cherokees and the Shawanese have killed three persons in a Settlement on Clinch river, on the 9th. instant. They were few in number and retired in haste. This intelligence is affirmed to me by Colo. Arthur Campbell, and leaves no hope, that the Cherokees, should they abandon their homes as Colo. Martin supposes, will pass Virginia inoffensively.3 I have the honor to be gentlemen with great respect Yr. mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

RC and enclosures (PCC).

1Randolph’s missing “former letter” was most likely an official one to the delegation of 22 Mar. 1787. He also wrote a private letter to JM of the same date. Joseph Martin’s services as the Indian agent of Virginia had been discontinued after Congress appointed a superintendent of Indian affairs for the Southern Department (JCSV description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (4 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , IV, 36; Randolph to Martin, 31 Jan. 1787 [Executive Letter Book description begins Executive Letter Book, 1786–1788, manuscript in Virginia State Library. description ends , p. 50]). Martin did not learn of his dismissal until 16 June 1787 (Martin to Randolph, 28 Dec. 1787, Cal. of Va. State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , IV, 374). The enclosure was a copy of his letter to Randolph of 10 Feb. 1787 (see printed extract in Cal. of Va. State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , IV, 235), reporting the probable move of the Cherokee from their present settlement because of pressure from white settlers in the unrecognized state of Franklin.

2Randolph was again referring to his missing official letter of 22 Mar., but see Randolph to JM, 22 Mar. 1787 and n. 5. The “inclosed advice” was a copy of the proceedings of the council of 24 Mar respecting the commissioners for settling the Illinois account (JCSV description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (4 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , IV, 67). It was forwarded by the delegates to the Board of Treasury, who on 9 Apr. suggested that Congress appoint another commissioner to replace Fox (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXXII, 165–66).

3See Arthur Campbell to Randolph, 17 Mar. 1787, Cal. of Va. State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , IV, 257. Campbell believed the attack to have been committed by Shawnee only.

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