George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 30 January 1793

From Edmund Randolph

Wednesday [Philadelphia, 30 January 1793]1

Mr Randolph presents his respectful compliments to the President; and incloses a memorandum of some intelligence, which he yesterday procured from Mr Campbell, the district-attorney, on the state of Virginia affairs.2 Mr R. thought, that it might not be unacceptable to the President; as it comes from a gentleman of Character, just from the theatre of the discontents.

AL, DLC:GW. Randolph wrote “Private” on the cover.

1GW’s docket indicates that this letter was written “about the 30th Jan. 1793,” which was a Wednesday.

2The enclosed memorandum from Alexander Campbell was copied by Randolph and reads: “The assembly of Virginia have been exceedingly irritated at their last session. The Indiana company served a process upon the governor [Henry Lee] and attorney general [James Innes]. Upon which it was resolved, that No state was amenable to the jurisdiction of the Supreme court of the United States. In discoursing on this topic, several members, and more particularly [Francis] Corbin, went back into all the fœderal acts, which were known to be most obnoxious. But I cannot learn, that the idea of disunion fell from any mouth but his, even in private; and in public he himself alluded but distantly to it—The excise-law, which was so much tortured at its first appearance, was absolutely protected by a grand jury in Augusta [County], who presented several persons, associated to defeat it: but the presentment defeated them—Governor Lee has rendered himself Very unpopular, by advocating Mr [John] Adams, and his book, in a public conversation with Mr [Patrick] Henry; who after abusing both, acknowledged, that he had never read a page in the book—Henry is not over-vehement, being devoted to the acquisition of money; and having lately declared, that notwithstanding his objections to the constitution, he would endeavour to support it; coupling with this endeavour every legal and fair attempt to amend it—In the meeting of the electors a violent calumny of an hour in length was uttered by Stephen Thomson Mason, and seconded by John Dawson, against Mr Adams—The districts are so laid off, as to pave the way for an inauspicious representation—The courts of the United States in Virginia are growing very disagreeable; from an opinion, that some of the judges, in whose country a court of equity is unknown, are unacquainted with the principles of the chancery. This has induced an application to the State chancellor [George Wythe], for an injunction to one of the judgments of the fœderal court; and he is now holding that subject under consideration. It will be an abominable clash of jurisdictions, if he grants it” (DLC:GW).

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