To Thomas Mann Randolph
Washington Dec. 15. 1802.
Genl. Sumpter has arrived here and I have this morning had a conversaton with him on the subject of the law of S. Carolina against the transportation of slaves across that state. he says there would be no doubt of the success of an application to the legislature while in session for a special permission, & that he met large emigrations of slaves going on upon that assurance but the legislature will rise on the 20th. inst. however he says also there is no doubt they will revise & modify the law so as to permit the transportation: that this will be done before they rise, and that himself is to recieve immediate information of it, which he thinks he may expect before the last day of this month. I shall take care to keep you advised of whatever I may learn on this subject.
The two houses formed yesterday and the message is at this moment delivering to them (noon.) should it be printed before the departure of the post I will inclose you a copy. all are well here. accept assurances of my affectionate attachment.
|P. S. the new legislature of S. Carolina is|
|in the H. of Representatives||27||to||97||=||124|
|in the Senate||14||to||23||=||37|
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “T M Randolph”; endorsed by Randolph.
For an earlier communication from Thomas Sumter, Sr., on South Carolina’s ban on the transportation of slaves, see Vol. 38:607. In a letter of 5 Jan. 1803 to John Milledge, Randolph wrote of his continuing desire to settle his slaves on a plantation in Georgia but that TJ was “unwilling I should violate the South Carolina laws by attempting a passage tho’ I understand it is done daily allmost, without notice.” He waited “anxiously to hear” of any modifications of South Carolina’s law (RC in NcD: Milledge Family Papers).