George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 5 August 1795

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia August 5. 1795.
9 o’clock a.m.

Private
Sir

Neither the mail of Saturday or yesterday is arrived from the Southward.1 So that I have no letter from Mount Vernon before me.

Our consul at Bristol confirms the existence of the British order for seizing provisions, destined to France, by a letter on the 17th of June last; and many of our vessels have fallen victims to it.2

Very little is said here about the treaty; and I should not be surprized, if some considerable revulsion should appear in its favor.

No answer has been received from Mr Rutledge; but the reports of his attachment to his bottle, his puerility, and extravagances, together with a variety of indecorums and imprudencies multiply daily.3 I am assured by a gentleman, lately from Charleston, that the public mind there is rather turning. But I doubt it. General Pinckney refused to attend the meeting from a delicacy towards his brother, who was supposed to participate in the negotiation. He is said to have assigned reasons for his nonattendence on the committee of fifteen in writing; but I do not learn, that they were of a nature, which indicated the smallest partiality for the treaty.4 Mr Edward Rutledge spoke warmly on the second meeting against it. I have the honor to be sir with the most respectful and affectionate attachment yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

ALS, DLC:GW.

1The previous Saturday was 1 August.

2Randolph referred to the British order in council of 25 April (see GW to Alexander Hamilton, 7 July, n.3). On 23 May, Elias Vanderhorst wrote from Bristol, England, that “it is confidently reported & pretty generally believed, that Administration here has issued orders for bringing into the British Ports all Vessels their Cruizers may meet bound to France with provisions.” He had, however, received no official information. In his letter to Randolph of 17 June, Vanderhorst informed the secretary that the reports were, indeed, “too true” and briefly listed several American ships taken into Plymouth, England (all in DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Bristol, 1792–1906).

3For the nomination of John Rutledge as chief justice of the Supreme Court, see GW’s letter to him of 1 July.

4Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, brother of Thomas Pinckney, the minister to Great Britain, was one of the fifteen men elected in accordance with resolutions of the Charleston meeting of 16 July to present a report on the Jay Treaty to a second meeting on 22 July (see Charleston, S.C., Citizens to GW, 22 July, and notes 2 and 3 to that document).

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