George Washington Papers

IX, 28 November 1793


Edmund Randolph’s Outline for GW’s Annual Address to Congress

[c.28 November 1793]1

Heads of matter, to be communicated to congress, either in the speech, or by message, as collected from the notes of the President, and the other gentlemen.

advised speech— I. The acknowledgment to the people, which the reelection of the President would naturally excite
add—speech II. The proclamation
do   1. Referring to the time, when it issued.
do   2. Assigning the motives of it to be
do     1. to quiet the suspicions of foreign powers;
do     2. and to prevent the citizens of the U.S. from hostile conduct.
    3. Accomplishing these ends
do     1. by indicating the existing legal state of things:
do     2. by admonishing the citizens of the U.S. against the consequences of contraband, and engaging on either side of the war:
      3. but not interfering with the treaty between the U.S. and France.
  III. The measures flowing from, or suggested by, the war.
    1. The French have brought their prizes into our ports in pursuance of the treaty and sold them without prohibition; this being thought a fitter subject for the legislature, than the executive.
advd speech.   2. In other respects, the President has formed principles involving the belligerent powers, into a system of rules;
To be under the
head of Genet
  3. And he has been also compelled to undertake the the compensation for vessels, captured under certain illegal circumstances.
    4. to recommend auxiliary provisions to the legal code and the constitution of our courts concerning war and foreign nations, in the following cases:
      1. To add to the legal code
advd. speech.       1. by a more explicit penalty on individuals under the jurisdiction of the U.S., taking part in the war:
do       2. by a like penalty on and suppression of all unauthorized preparations within the U.S. for expeditions and enterprizes upon any belligerent party.
do       3. by saying, whether the civil or military power shall liberate the property of American citizens, or that of peaceable nations, unjustly taken, and brought into our ports:

To be referred to the head of Genet.
      4. by saying, whether the civil or military power shall interpose, in case of the violation of the protection of the U.S. on the rivers or sea; submitting it at the same time to congress, whether it be better to rest the jurisdictional claim of the U.S. into the sea, as it stands, or to assert by law a particular distance into the sea.
advd speech.       5. by a particular penalty against the consuls of foreign nations, opening courts in the U.S.
advd speech.       6. and in general, by fixing penalties, and establishing internal coercion, against such violations of the law of nations, as circumstances may from time to time produce.
advd speech     2. To add to the constitution of the courts, by vesting them with power to aid the executive in cases of capture
    5. to provide means of defence, and of enforcing our national rights, against foreign nations,
advd speech.     1. by furnishing arsenals with arms, &c. in addition to those already in the public stores:
advd speech.     2. by providing means for maintaining the jurisdiction of the U.S. on its waters
advd speech.     3. by establishing corps of efficient militia: and
To be examined by the constitution
and touched in a general way
    4. by the creation of a military academy.
  IV. To represent the situation of the U.S. with respect to foreign powers
General allusion in the speech—To go by message.2
    1. To France3
advd     1. The claim whatever it is of the guarantee.
advd—two messages one to Senate the other to house of reps     2. The propositions concerning trade; and
advd     3. Mr Genet’s conduct, including the notification of a reimbursement out of the French debt, for the compensation, stipulated on certain captures.
    2. To Great-Britain4
advd     1. The inexecution of the treaty as to the Western posts.
advd     2. The interception of our provisions, under the additional instructions of the King, and vexations of commerce
    3. To Spain5
advd     1. The negotiation as to territory, and the Mississippi
advd     2. The protection of the Southern Indi⟨ans⟩
qu: convention for giving up fugitives.
    4. To the Barbary States.6
Suspended till the close of the year   { 1. The state of the treaty with them.
  2. The impediments in ransoming the year American prisoners at Algiers.
  V. To lay before congress the following fiscal matters:
advd speech   1. The completion of the accounts between the U.S. and individual states.
advd speech.   2. The prolongation of the Dutch instalment by way of loan; and the terms.
    3. The pecuniary arrangement, which are necessary; to wit:
advd speech     1. a moderate addition to the revenues.
do     2. a supply to the sinking fund.
do     3. a provision for a second instalment, due to the bank of the U.S.
que:     4. a provision for the interest on the unsubscribed debt, during the present year.
do     5. The expence attending the military repairs made, and the purchase of warlike stores—
do     6. The expediency of taking off the tax on News-papers.
  VI. To communicate Indian affairs.
advd speech.   1. The failure of the treaty with the Western Indians
advd speech   2. The progress of the expedition under General Wayne.
advd speech   3. The situation of the Southern Indians, as connected with the frontiers of Georgia, and the South Western territory, so far as it may not have been detailed under the head of Spain.
advd speech.   4. The expediency of carrying on trade with the Indians on public ground.
  VII. Miscellanea, not reducible under any of the preceding heads.8
advd message.7 { 1. State of the cessions of light-houses.
2. The propriety of having a commissary, who may receive, issue, and account for, all public stores.
3. The act of the legislature of the SouthWestern territory.

AD, DLC:GW. The docket for this document, in GW’s writing, reads: “Attorney-General Mr Randolph—Drawn in to heads from the Materials enclosed—for the Speech to Congress. in December 1793.”

1The date “Dec. 1793” on this document is not in Randolph’s writing. According to Thomas Jefferson’s notes of cabinet meetings, it was agreed on 23 Nov. that Randolph would draft GW’s speech, and on 28 Nov. he submitted a draft, to which “No material alterations were proposed or made” (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 , 27:428, 453–56). As at least one phrase in this outline, “maintaining the jurisdiction of the U.S.,” arose from an amendment agreed to on 23 Nov., this outline was surely crafted between 23 and 28 November.

2A bracket is drawn on the page to indicate that this marginalia refers to all entries under section IV.

3GW discussed U.S. relations with France in his message to Congress of 5 December.

4GW addressed these topics in his message to Congress of 5 December.

5Relations with Spain were communicated in GW’s first message to Congress of 16 December.

6U.S. relations with the Barbary States was the subject of GW’s second message to Congress of 16 December.

7A bracket is drawn on the page to indicate that this marginalia refers to all entries under section VII.

8The topics in this section do not appear in the annual message. For the first two, see Alexander Hamilton’s Outline, November 1793, and notes 6 and 7; for the third, see GW’s Notes, November 1793, and note 8.

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