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To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 2 March 1795

From Edmund Randolph

Monday [2 March 1795]1

E. Randolph has the honor of enclosing to the President a calculation of the time for convening the senate.2

E. Randolph has seen Mr Hammond, who thinks, that one of the three modes, would be perfectly official or formal. But as he has agreed to convey the necessary intelligence to England, E. Randolph will submit to the President a letter to Mr Hammond in the morning, and will also write to Mr Pinckney’s secretary.3

Mr Wolcott is pushing the vessel for Colo. Humphreys, as fast as he can.4

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1The AL is docketed “2d March ’95.”

2The enclosed calculation settled on Monday, 11 May, as “the day, which will be inserted, unless the President directs the contrary” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

3At issue was the arrival of the Jay Treaty. Ultimately the British Minister George Hammond wrote Randolph on 3 March that he had informed Lord Grenville that although reports of the treaty were circulating, no copy had been received by the government, and that if it did not arrive before the adjournment of Congress, the Senate could not be reconvened to consider it for ninety days (DNA: RG 59, Notes from the British Legation). Randolph replied on 7 March that indeed no copy had been received, which made it “impossible” to consult the Senate. Moreover, the seats of one third of that body were “constitutionally vacated” on 4 March. GW would summon the Senate to convene on 8 June, “the most convenient, if not the earliest day for bringing hither the members from the extremities of the union” (DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters).

Randolph’s letter of 7 March addressed to John Jay—or in his absence to Thomas Pinckney, or in his absence to William Allen Deas, Pinckney’s secretary—enclosed Hammond’s letter and his reply and suggested that a representation be made to the British secretary of state “in order that under the existing circumstances he should, by some declaration, save the time, which will inevitably have run out before the ratifications could be exchanged.” Randolph cautioned Deas, however, “that in nothing, which may be said to the British Secretary, he be permitted to infer, that the mind of the Government can in any degree be prepared to decide in favor of, or against the ratification” (DNA: RG 59, Diplomatic and Consular Instructions, 1791–1801). William Allen Deas (b. 1764) was an attorney who represented St. James Goose Creek Parish in the South Carolina legislature both before and after his service as Pinckney’s secretary.

4David Humphreys sailed aboard the U.S. brig Sophia in early April (Humphreys to GW, 8 April, DLC:GW).

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