From Edmund Randolph
Richmond March 1: 1787.
My dear sir.
I acknowledge with great pleasure your two favors of the 15th. & 18th. ulto., received this evening.
The documents to be forwarded to you as stated in my public letter will prove the truth of your suspicion, that the occlusion of the Missi. to Virginia, would throw the western settlers into an immediate state of hostility with Spain.1 If the subject be canvassed, it will not be sufficient to negative it merely; but a negative with some emphasis can alone secure Mr. H——y to the objects of the convention at Phila.
I have assayed every means to prevail on him to go thither. But he is peremptory in refusing, as being distressed in his private circumstances. Genl. Washington will be pressed again and again; but I fear ineffectually.
My present office is replete with employment. The naval offices, militia and other important topics will engross us day by day for the next five weeks. And yet we cannot obtain a shilling for our support. I am happy, however, to find, that our New-York fellow labourers in public service will certainly be in better plight, than ourselves.2
Old Mr. Cary has quitted the field of life, and thus leaves the chair undisputed to Mr. Jones.3
Paper-money has a daily resurrection from the blow, which it lately received.4 The next month will enable me to judge its fate from the elections; several candidates in more than one county founding their pretensions on their determination to emit it, if possible. If the treaty shd. press close, who can say, that an asylum will not be opened in the temple, dedicated to fraud?
The mail may be closed before this letter is admitted. Therefore I can only add that I always am yrs afftely
Pray send me, if you can, witht. inconvenience, as soon as possible, Copies of the public treaties with foreign nations and congress, France excepted: and of the treaties with the Indians.
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.
1. The documents forwarded by Governor Randolph were letters, depositions, and the order of the Council of State, relating to George Rogers Clark’s unauthorized seizure of Spanish property at Vincennes (JM to Randolph, 18 Feb. 1787 and n. 7). They were enclosed in Randolph’s missing “public letter” of 4 Mar. (Virginia Delegates to Randolph. 19 Mar. 1787) and laid before Congress on 28 Mar. (Notes on Debates, 28 Mar. 1787). They were subsequently referred to the secretary for foreign affairs, who made a report on 13 Apr. (Notes on Debates, 29 and 30 Mar. 1787). The report and documents are in JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXXII, 189–204.
2. Despite numerous complaints by the council of “the want of money,” the legislature had refused to appropriate more money to the contingent fund (JCSV description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (4 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , IV, 38). On the other hand, seeing that the funds appropriated to defray the expenses of the delegates in Congress would not “be sufficiently productive in less than eight or nine months,” the legislature on 11 Jan. 1787 had authorized the treasurer to borrow enough money to pay the delegation (JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond, In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828 and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1786, pp. 154–55).
3. Archibald Cary, Speaker of the Senate, died 27 Feb. 1787, in his sixty-sixth year (Brock, Archibald Cary, p. 134). His successor, John Jones of Brunswick County, had been in the Senate since 1776. He resigned in 1789 to become clerk of Brunswick County (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 27, 32, 393; George Wesley Rogers, Officers of the Senate of Virginia, 1776–1956 [Richmond. 1959], pp. 13–14, 16; Va. Gazette and Weekly Advertiser description begins Virginia Gazette, and General Advertiser (Richmond: Augustine Davis, 1790–1809). Formerly Virginia Independent Chronicle. description ends , 1 Mar. 1787).
4. On 1 Nov. 1786 the House of Delegates had rejected petitions calling for an emission of paper money by a vote of 85 to 17 (JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond, In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828 and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1786, pp. 15–16).