George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 29 January 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Wednesday morning [29 Jan. 1794]

E. Randolph has the honor of informing the President, that he saw Judge Wilson yesterday, and Mr Madison last evening. The former, to whom E.R. took an occasion of bringing up the subject of the resolution of the senate in a general Shape, said, that what they might have, he thought, ought to be sent; and what they ought not to have, ought not to be sent.1

The latter expressed himself thus: “I told Colo. Monroe,2 as far as delicacy would permit, that there must be many things, which the President cannot communicate with propriety: that if he was to select such as he thought proper, and transmit them; and the senate were to make an opposition, the people would go with the President against the Senate”. Mr M[a]d[iso]n—then dilated upon the other view of the case; the witholding of papers altogether. This he conceived to be utterly inadmissible; whether the principle, or the particular suspicion, which some persons entertain of the diplomatic character, be considered. The consequence, he did suppose would be, as has been already suggested to the President, that instead of a dispute with the Senate, the house of representatives would make common cause.3

AL, DLC:GW. GW’s docket reads “29th Jan. 1794,” which was a Wednesday.

1The Senate resolution, which Randolph discussed with Supreme Court justice James Wilson and congressman James Madison, requested copies of Gouverneur Morris’s official correspondence as U.S. minister plenipotentiary to France (U.S. Senate to GW, 24 Jan. 1794).

2James Monroe currently was one of the senators from Virginia.

3For Randolph’s own opinion on the Senate resolution, see his letters to GW of 26 Jan. (second letter) and 2 February.

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