George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 28 February 1793

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia Feby 28 1793


I did not receive the letter, with which you honored me this morning, until my return from the Statehouse at 4 O’clock this afternoon.1 I determined last night, not to communicate with Mr H——s;2 because I suspected his own opinion to have a wrong tendency; and I have not been always satisfied, that his conduct has not savoured of management or perhaps cunning. Mr Madison, who knows the other gentleman well, describes him, as of moderate parts, questionable character liable to be caught by an address to his vanity, and easily moved to extreme measures by a passionateness of temper.3 Nor can I by any inquiry discover him to possess those qualities which attract public confidence.

Mr Brown, of Kentucky, means to go to Sandusky; and expressed a wish, that General Wilkinson and General Wood might be commissioned.4 I made no reply; as I remembered the principle, which would operate to the exclusion of the former, and doubted, whether you would nominate the latter, or he would accept the appointment, and vacate his seat in the Virginia council. Brown added, that a commissioner from Kentucky would be very pleasing to the people there, and that Colo. Benja. Logan would undoubtedly serve.5 I have the honor, sir, to be, with the highest respect Yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph


1This letter, which has not been found, apparently dealt with the choice of commissioners for the upcoming Indian treaty at Lower Sandusky in the Northwest Territory.

2North Carolina senator Benjamin Hawkins, who had negotiated treaties with the Creek and Cherokee Indians in 1785, had recently recommended Congressman John Steele as a peace commissioner (Hawkins to GW, 20 Feb. 1793, and note 2).

3The “other gentleman” about whom Randolph conferred with James Madison was probably Steele (see note 2, and Randolph to GW, 5 Mar. 1793).

4GW did not appoint Senator John Brown, James Wilkinson, or Virginia lieutenant governor James Wood as commissioners (GW to U.S. Senate, 1 Mar. [second letter], and note 1).

5Benjamin Logan (1743–1802), a veteran of Indian campaigns and the Revolutionary War, held several state and county offices in Virginia in the 1770s and 1780s, and in 1793 he represented Lincoln County in the Kentucky assembly. Neither Henry Knox nor Alexander Hamilton recommended anyone from Kentucky to attend the treaty at Lower Sandusky, and Randolph continued to be concerned about the increasing unpopularity in Kentucky of GW’s western policies (Knox to GW, 29 Jan. 1793, n.1, and Randolph to GW, 11 June 1793).

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