George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 24 July 1793

From Edmund Randolph

[Philadelphia] Wednesday [24 July 1793]1

Mr Randolph has the honor of returning to the President Colo. Smith’s letter.2 Mr R. begs leave to suggest, whether it may not be proper to add to the instruction, to be given to Mr Jefferson concerning Mr Genet’s conduct, that he should state the verbal conversations with him, which respected the granting of commissions within the U.S., and the order, that the privateers, so commissioned, should quit the ports of the U.S.3

ALS, DLC:GW.

1GW docketed this letter as “24th July 1793,” which was a Wednesday.

2On 31 May, GW gave Randolph a letter that Baltimore merchant and congressman Col. Samuel Smith wrote to Alexander Hamilton in late May. This letter has not been identified, but according to GW’s executive journal it expressed the “apprehensions of the people of Maryland on acct. of the captures made by the french Privateers which had been fitted out from the U.S.” (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 156; see also GW to Thomas Jefferson, 25 July). For Randolph’s subsequent conversation with Smith about these concerns, see Cabinet Opinion on French Privateers, 1 June, and Randolph to GW, 11 June. For Smith’s reaction to this conversation and to the administration’s neutrality policy, see Smith to Hamilton, 16 June 1793, Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 15:1–2.

3During a cabinet meeting on 23 July, Randolph received Edmond Genet’s letter to Jefferson of 22 June, in which Genet enclosed protests from French consuls about U.S. policies on French privateers, and Genet’s third letter to Jefferson of 9 July, which complained about the British treatment of French passengers and property aboard American ships at sea (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 206; Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 26:339–42, 458–60; translations, ASP, Foreign Relations, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:153–56, 164–65). On these letters, see also Jefferson’s memorandum to GW of 11–13 July, and notes 3, 9.

Randolph also received Jefferson’s proposed reply to Genet of 16 July 1793 (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 206; Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 26:510–14). On GW’s receipt of this draft and his decision to delay its posting until the cabinet had reviewed it, see Jefferson to GW, 16 July, and note 1. Jefferson’s draft was never sent, and the cabinet asked for Genet’s recall in August (Notes on a Cabinet Meeting, 1 Aug., ibid., 26:598; Cabinet Opinion, 23 Aug. 1793). For Jefferson’s conversations with Genet, see Jefferson’s Notes of 10 July, enclosed in Jefferson’s first memorandum to GW of 11 July, and Jefferson’s Memorandum to GW of 26 July 1793.

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