George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Edmund Randolph, 31 January 1792

Tobias Lear to Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia January 31st 1792

Dear Sir,

I have been honored with your letter of this date ⟨requesting to⟩ be informed whether you understood the President rightly upon the following points respecting ⟨the demoliti⟩on of Mr Carroll’s House.1

Questn 1: Whether payment could be ordered to Carroll for ⟨more⟩ of his House than was run up, when he executed his ⟨agreement?⟩

Answr upon this point the Attorney General’s opinion is desired.

Questn 2 Can a written opposition to a greater payment being made, be seen by the ⟨Attorney⟩ Genl?

Answr—Said opposition is enclos’d in a letter from the Commissioners of the 21st of Decr—& herewith transmitted.2

Questn 3. Is not the President willing now to pay for the whole of the destruction, if he can use the means?

Answr—The President’s alternative to Mr Carroll, before he knew this dest[r]uction was commenced shews his ideas on this point, and he observes that he still adheres to it, unless a legal opposition arises to it ⟨from an⟩ agreement with Mr Carroll.3

You will ⟨illegible⟩ Maj. LEnfant’s of the ⟨illegible⟩ of Novr 4 to the Commissioners 27 Decr ⟨illegible⟩ Mr Carroll ⟨illegible⟩ the President’s ⟨illegible⟩ With ⟨illegible

Tobias Lear

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. Words in angle brackets have been provided from the letter-book copy, which is missing the final paragraph.

For the background to this letter, see Pierre L’Enfant to GW, 21 Nov. 1791, editorial note.

1GW had referred the statement of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia on the demolition of Daniel Carroll of Duddington’s house to the attorney general on 14 or 15 Jan. 1792 (see GW to Thomas Jefferson, 15 January). For Edmund Randolph’s further inquiries into the matter, see Tobias Lear to Randolph, 10 February.

2Lear enclosed a copy of the memorial in support of L’Enfant signed by several proprietors of land in the Federal City that the commissioners had enclosed in their letter to GW of 21 Dec. 1791.

3For GW’s proposal to compensate Daniel Carroll of Duddington, see GW to Carroll of Duddington, 28 Nov. 1791.

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