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The question is, whether any punishment can be inflicted on persons, treating with the Indian tribes, within the limits of the United States, for lands, lying within those limits; the preemption of which is vested in the United States? Extract from Edmund Randolph to George Washington, 12 Sep. 1791 ( DLC : Washington Papers). The provenance of this document is necessarily a matter of...
In the opinion, given by Mr. Bradford and Mr. Ingersoll, I find the case of Mr. Robert Buchanan to be accurately stated; but after paying a respectful attention to the sentiments of those gentlemen, I am compelled to say, that I differ in the conclusion drawn from that statement: for I cannot agree, that any interest is to be received upon ⟨the⟩ certificate for the year 1791. I acknowledge...
If the Foederal laws were ever so precise in censuring the conduct, to which you alluded in your communication to me on Saturday last, I should doubt, whether the source of your information is not too delicate to become the groundwork of a public act. Courts would be very reluctant in extracting testimony from the mouth of an associate, and perhaps the character of government demands, that...
I have done myself the honor of calling at your house and office, with a view to say a word to you, on the claim, which the holders of a certain description of certificates have set up. But being disappointed in meeting you, I beg leave to give you the result of my reflections on that subject. What degree of obligation lies upon the United States to gratify them, is at this time immaterial,...
Letter not found: from Edmund Randolph, 1 Oct. 1791. On 10 Oct. GW informed Randolph : “I received your communications of the 1st instant.”
The attorney-general of the United States does himself the honor of replying to the questions, propounded by the secretary of the Treasury of the United States, in his letter of the 12th of October 1791, as follows. 1st.   The Commissioners, appointed in pursuance of the act, incorporating the bank of the United States, have no power, as such, to superintend the election of directors, or to...
I took the liberty of mentioning to you the other day the application, which Mr. Telles’s friends had made, for his appointment to the office of consul in Lisbon, and which they wished me to assist. On recollecting, what passed between us, I suspect that I was not clearly understood in my statement of Mr. Telles’s situation. He can never sue the court or any individual of Lisbon. His suit is...
I do myself the honor of answering your letter of the 2d. instant upon the subject of the North Carolina certificates. The 13th. section of the funding act admits, that subscriptions may be made to the loan payable in the principal and interest of the certificates or notes which, prior to a certain day, were issued by the respective states as acknowledgments or evidences of debts, by them...
I have perused the abstract of the case of Thomas Pagan, which I received from you this morning. Altho’ I cannot entertain a momentary doubt of the facts, therein asserted; yet am I compelled by the rules of official responsibility, to request a copy of the record, from which those facts are derived, before I give an opinion on the subject. In procuring this record no time ought to be lost....
1. I cannot discover any existing authority, to make the deed to Pennsylvania . Congress must be resorted to . It is probable, that the landoffice is the true channel. 2. Metcalfe has undoubtedly committed murder on the high seas: and altho’ other nations might lay hold of him, and perhaps punish him; it seems to be the peculiar duty of the U.S., whose citizen he is, to disclaim the act, and...
By the papers, which I have now the honor of returning to you, a wish seems to be expressed, that the President should recommend to congress a digest of federal law, the appointment of one person only to such a service, and the selection of the author of those papers for that work. Whether at a future day, when congress shall appear to have neglected or slumbered over, the subject, it may be...
The abstract, which I had the honor of putting into your hands this morning, was formed by a minute examination of the papers, relative to the case of Mr. Thomas Pagan. I am, as yet, unable to give a mature opinion. But it is easily discovered, that the refusal of an appeal to the supreme court of the United States constitutes a capital article of his complaints. If this course were ever open...
Letter not found: from Edmund Randolph, 1 Feb. 1792. In a letter of 2 Feb. to Randolph, Tobias Lear mentioned “the Atty Genls note of last evening” to the president. Tobias Lear informed Edmund Randolph: “the President thinks it proper that the Atty Genl should proceed in Cottrell’s case in the manner mentioned in the Atty Genls note of last evening as the result of the conference between him...
Philadelphia, 22 Feb. 1792. “The visit of respect, which is due to-day, it was my most earnest intention to have paid. For I connect with it a personal attachment, not dependent on any official relation. But I am unfortunately deprived of this gratification by the continuance of the disorder, which I mentioned to you in my note of yesterday. Permit me, therefore, to request you to communicate...
I suspect from the communication of the British Minister, dated on the 18th. of february 1792, that the reasons for delaying a definitive answer to his first memorial on the subject of Mr. Pagan, are not rightly understood. The principal allegations of Mr. Pagan are, that the true construction of the preliminary articles justified the seizure: that the pendency of the appeal in England ought...
Letter not found: from Edmund Randolph, 28 Feb. 1792. On 2 Mar. Tobias Lear wrote Randolph “that the President received the Attorney General’s letter of the 28th of february.” By the president’s command Tobias Lear wrote Edmund Randolph that GW was “of opinion that it would be inexpedient for a pardon to issue for a person against whom an indictment is depending for false swearing. The...
The existence of the bill is, I believe, unquestionable. I remember to have heard my uncle speak of Mr. Montagu ’s communication . But I possess no copy, nor can I direct you to any place, where you can obtain it. Mr. Remsen some time ago sent a box, which for months past has been supposed to contain my papers. When I opened it, starch, instead of papers, was found to be the contents. I shall...
The attorney general of the U.S. has the honor of reporting to the President of the U.S., on the representation-bill, as follows: The points, which involve the question of constitutionality, are three: The bill does not announce in terms the principle of proceeding, either in the establishment of the total number of 120, or its apportionment among the states. Some principle, however, it must...
Both Mr Blair and Mr Wilson are now at Trenton. I have never heard Mr Blair say a syllable upon the subject of the representation bill. Some days ago I met Mr Wilson in Sixth Street, and he stopped to ask me, whether Mr Blair had communicated to me an idea, which both of them entertained on a late law of the present session, requiring the judges of the circuit courts to hear applications of...
A cursory reading suggests for consideration the following hints. The above observations are too much hurried, to have any thing deserving reliance. MS ( DLC : TJ Papers, 98: 16775); in Randolph’s hand, with check marks and page references added by TJ; undated; endorsed by TJ: “E. Randolph’s notes.” This document, consisting of the Attorney General’s comments on TJ’s draft of his 29 May 1792...
I yesterday received a letter from my mother, painting an embarrassment in one of my father’s pecuniary affairs. The seriousness of its aspect has led me to asert myself for her relief. But until the first of July, I absolutely shall be unable; and her situation admits no delay. Excuse me then for begging your aid, until that day, as far as seven hundred dollars. I am to remit three hundred...
In our conversation Yesterday we reduced the substance of your favor of the 7 Instant to this question: Whether you ought, under any modification, to suspend the payment of Interest to a State, which is intitled under the 17th. section of the act “making provision for the debt of the United states,” to receive interest to the amount of the nonsubscribed deficiency; In trust for the...
I understand from your communication of the 2d instant, that you do not wish my opinion upon any other point, than that which seems to have produced a schism between the Gentlemen of the NewYork and Virginia bar. The former are interpreted to declare, that sixty Cents and no more are demandable by the Collectors for every entry of an inward Cargo directed to be made in conformity with the...
In answer to your communication of yesterday, on the case of Col. Heth the Collector of Bermuda Hundred, I have the honor to inform you, that his enquiries demand different solutions. The contract, made before the passing of the law, to which he alludes, may be consummated on the 2nd day of January next without impropriety. For the restriction on Collectors, on the disposal of public...
This morning I had the honor of receiving the letter of Mr. Van Berckel , with its inclosures addressed to you, complaining of the arrest of one of his servants. The law of nations, tho’ not specially adapted by the constitution, or any municipal act, is essentially a part of the law of the land. Its obligation commences and runs with the existence of a nation, subject to modifications on some...
Judge Wilson, to whom application was made for a citation in the writ of error, desired in Pagan’s case , has taken the subject into consideration again, at my instance. Not more than one half of the record was laid before him; and the portion, which he did not see, was the most important; as alone containing the matter, upon which a writ of error could be pressed. I cannot say, what may be...
Does not Marius on bills of exchange (p. 29) give satisfaction as to your bill; which I understand to have been drawn, payable to you or order, and similarly indorsed by you? Until my papers arrive from New-York, I cannot be more decisive in Leigh vs. West , than I have been. However, if Mr. John Brown, the clerk of the general court, will look into the order books during May’s and Pendleton’s...
The answer of the attorney general of the United States to the question propounded to him by the Secretary of State on the following case. By the constitution, the President shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint Ambassadors, &c, and all other officers of the United States whose appointments are not therein otherwise provided, and which shall be...
The inclosed letter has been delayed, longer than I intended. But whenever I have sat down to finish it, I have been unexpectedly interrupted. I trust, however, that it will reach you, before you shall have taken your definitive resolution. I have seen Fraunces thrice at the house; and he has informed me each time, that every thing was right. Parties run high here in the choice of electors and...
I have persuaded myself, that this letter, tho’ unconnected with any official relation, and upon a subject, to the decision of which you alone are competent, will be received in the spirit, with which it is written. The Union, for the sake of which I have encountered various embarrassments, not wholly unknown to you, and sacrificed some opinions, which, but for its jeopardy, I should never...
I was engaged during the whole of the last week in the supreme court of the U. S. Our business was rather preparatory to some great discussions at the succeeding term, than decisive of any question. The amenability of a state is fixed for debate on the first monday in february. The state of Georgia applied for an injunction to stop in the marshal’s hands a sum of money, which had been...
Letter not found: from Edmund Randolph, 13 Aug. 1792. On 26 Aug., GW wrote Randolph “to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 5th & 13th instt.”
Mr Bordley, who wrote the inclosed pamphlet, thought it too unimportant to present it to you with form. He therefore requested me, if an opportunity offered, to send it to Mount Vernon. Since I had the honor of writing to you last, nothing has occurred, worthy of a special mention. The arrivals from Europe have brought nothing; and no incidents in the political line attract any notice, except...
Mr. Wilson, after a consultation with his brethren, has allowed Pagan’s writ of error . No security is required, as he is in custody. His counsel and attorney are informed of this, and will, I presume, proceed without delay. I wrote to Mr. Madison , on the subject of the attack in Fenno’s paper, signed an American; expecting, that he would communicate the part of my letter at least to you. On...
Persuaded as I am, that the last effort for the happiness of the United States must perish with the loss of the present Government, and that to be unable to execute laws because a few individuals are resolved to obstruct their operation is nothing less, than a surrender of it, I went into the consideration of the carolina and pittsburg papers with a determination to spare no pains to ascertain...
When I had the honor of receiving your favor of the third instant, I was too much indisposed by a fever to answer it by the return of the mail. The movements, said to be meditated at the next session of the Virginia assembly, are the disfranchisement of the excise-officers, by taking from them the right of suffrage, and also the establishment of a state-bank, in opposition to the Branch Bank....
On my return home, I found your letter of the 6th. instant. My answer is short; being no more, than this, that there is not a single fee or emolument incident to my office; that I have paid the expences without taking any account, as I expected no retribution; and that my salary is 1900 dollars per annum. I have the honor, sir, to be   with respect   Yr. mo. ob. serv. ALS , RG 46, Second...
On revolving the subjects, with which I am officially connected, I discover none, deserving the notice of congress, except those, which are comprehended in the necessity of reforming our judicial system. The detail of them would be almost infinite; and certainly too minute for a communication from the executive: Nor can the congress forget the admonitions, which they have already received on...
The attorney-general of the United States has the honor of replying to the communication of the Secretary of State, on the 28th. Ultimo, concerning the proceedings of Captain Hickman, in bringing away from Martinique certain slaves, the property of residents there. Judging from the documents, which have been forwarded to him, the Attorney-general would not hesitate to pronounce, that a theft...
Presuming, that No law, subsequent to my departure from Virginia, has changed the modes of practice, which prevailed during my familiarity with them, I proceed to answer the queries. 1. If A’s judgment stands, and B. goes to a new trial, A cannot repeat any offset or plea, which was used in his, (A’s) suit on the former occasion. Errors of the jury or omissions of the party will not be...
The letter and proclamation of the governor of North Carolina seem to afford a proper ground for the belief, that future intrusions on the lands of the U.S. need not be apprehended. Concerning these therefore nothing is necessary on my part. I do not find any difficulty in saying, that as to those, which have already taken place, the right of the U.S. is complete, to institute prosecutions....
Memoranda Neither of the two cases is cognizable in the U.S. criminaliter ; because they arose within the local jurisdictions of Florida and St. Domingo. Generally speaking; Incendiaries, poisoners, and other very high offenders may be demanded by the sovereign, from whose territory they fled; and ought to be delivered up; according to the law of nations. But no power exists in the U.S.; by...
When I first read your letter, inclosing the cession of Montok-point, I suspected, that it would be necessary to travel into a wide constitutional field. I was apprehensive, that I should be obliged to inquire, whether congress, even if they were so disposed, could accept a cession, with a reservation of state-jurisdiction. But when I adverted to the act, which directs a light-house to be...
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. 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...
I have revolved with great attention the matter of the letter, which you yesterday did me the honor of confiding to my perusal. Convulsed as we are, I cannot but believe, that there is scarcely a man in the government, whom party will not sooner or later destine for an attack. A communication therefore, which seems even to be tinctured with particular objects, will naturally excite caution. I...
I have made the inquiries, which you suggested this morning, from men, well-acquainted with the three characters. Mr Cook appears to possess integrity, industry, punctuality, and the qualities, suited to a collecting lawyer. Upon the scale of eminence, he has no just pretensions; altho’ his vanity occasions him frequently to discover, that he conceives himself inferior to none of any bar. Mr...
I do myself the honor of presenting to you some of those views, which the very delicate affair of the removal affords, and the result of a provisional inquiry, which I set on foot. 1. The charges have come in an ambiguous form; half-private, half-public; and it must be uncertain, until the arrival of the new-minister from France, to what extent those charges are to be pressed. To seize so...
Feb. 25. 1793. The President desires the opinions of the heads of the three departments and of the Attorney General on the following question, to wit. Mr. Ternant having applied for money equivalent to three millions of livres to be furnished on account of our debt to France at the request of the Executive of that country, which sum is to be laid out in provisions within the US. to be sent to...
The President having required the attendance of the heads of the three departments and of the Attorney general at his house on Monday the 25th. of Feb. 1793. the following questions were proposed and answers given. 1. The Governor of Canada having refused to let us obtain provisions from that province or to pass them along the water communication to the place of treaty with the Indians, and...
In pursuance of a resolution of the House of Representatives, bearing date of the 19th of this instant, we lay before them a copy of the journal of our Board, and a statement of the purchases made since our last report to Congress. We have the honor, sir, to be, your most obedient servants, ASP American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States...