George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 19 February 1794

From Edmund Randolph

[Philadelphia] Wednesday morning Feby 19. 1794.

E. Randolph has the honor of inclosing to the President the draught of a message upon the Representation of the judges—Two copies are sent by the judges.1

He also forwards a letter from Mr Pinckney, received last night. The cyphered part will be solved this morning; and it is hoped, that it will explain something, which at present is unaccountable—E.R. has a duplicate.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1The letter composed by Randolph was GW’s letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives of 19 Feb. (see n.1 of Supreme Court Justices to GW, 18 Feb.). For the “Representation” of the Supreme Court justices, see their letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, c.18 Feb., which was enclosed in their letter to GW of 18 February.

2The letter from Thomas Pinckney to the secretary of state of 25 Nov. 1793 reported on his meeting with Lord Grenville, the British foreign secretary, in which Pinckney outlined the “circumstances which were now particularly calamitous to the United States”: Indian unrest in the Northwest Territory, “which I attributed to the detention of the posts”; “letting loose the Algerines upon us” by promoting a truce between Algiers and Portugal; and the “interruption to our commerce & neutral rights.” The cipher of particular interest to Randolph probably concerned the British retention of military posts on American soil, contrary to the 1783 Treaty of Paris. When Pinckney asked if Great Britain would relinquish the posts if “we should comply with what they conceived to be the full execution of the treaty on our part,” Grenville replied that after nine years of non-compliance by one party, “neither reason nor the law of nations would expect a strict compliance from the other party” (DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Great Britain; an extract of this letter and the explication of the ciphers are in 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 , 1:327–28).

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