George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Beverley Randolph, 31 May 1790

From Beverley Randolph

Richmond [Va.] May 31st 1790.


The inclosed copy of a letter from the Spanish Governor of New Orleans to a respectable Gentleman in Kentucky was handed to me by mr Banks of this City. As the subject of this paper appears interesting to the United States I have taken the liberty to forward it to you.1 I am with the highest respect your most obt Servt

Beverley Randolph

LS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, Vi: Executive Letter Books.

1The enclosure was a copy of letter from Esteban Miró to Benjamin Sebastian, dated New Orleans, 16 Sept. 1789: “General Wilkinson having represented it to me that you had it in contemplation to settle in this province, and that your example would have considerable influence on many good Families of your country; I think it my duty in order to forward the intentions of my royal master, to inform you, that I shall receive you and your followers, with great pleasure, and that you have liberty to settle in any part of Louisiana, or any where on the east side of the Mississippi below the Yazou river. In order to populate the province his majesty has been graciously pleased to authorize me to grant to the Emigrants free of all expence, tracts from 240 to 800 Acres, in proportion to their property, and in particular Cases of men of influence, who may aid these Views, I shall extend the grant as far as 3000 Acres To all persons, who actually become settlers, liberty is granted to bring down their property in the produce of your Country duty free but the King does not agree to take your Tobacco and of Consequence you must depend on the Common Market of this City, as the province makes more than the quantity which the King allows me to take. I mention this particular to prevent disappointment. You will be exempt from taxation, and will be allowed the private exercise of your religion, without molestation from any person whatever, and will enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities of his majesty’s other subjects.

“In order to cultivate an amicable connection with the settlers of the Ohio, his majesty has been graciously pleased at the same time to give liberty to the inhabitants of that Country to bring down their produce to this City for sale, subject to a duty of 15 per Cent: on the value here, but to prevent imposition and to distinguish between the real Settler and the Trader, the former on entering their produce at the Custom hou⟨se⟩ will be obliged to subscribe to the Conditions mention⟨e⟩d in the proclamation, of which General Wilkinson can [make] a copy for your information.

“Though unknown to you General Wilkinson has taught me to respect your character, it is ther⟨e⟩fore I subscribe myself with great esteem . . .” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

On 14 June GW replied, thanking Randolph for the information in his 31 May letter (copy, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters), to which Randolph replied on 22 June, assuring GW that he would “regularly communicate to you all such Information as I may receive, which will in any manner effect the Interest of the United States” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

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