George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 4 March 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia March 4th 1794.

The Secretary of State, having reviewed the Consular Appointments under the United States, has the honor of reporting to the President, as follows.

1. The Consul at Falmouth in Great Britain, has been commissioned in the name of Edward Fox; but he writes that his true name, is Robert Weare Fox. He was promised by the Secretary of State on the 12th of Septr 1793, that the error should be corrected.1

2. A letter has been received thro’ Mr Pinckney, from a very respectable man in England; recommending a Mr Carpzaw,2 as a proper person to be appointed a Consul at Bremen, one of the Hanseatic towns. It is certain, that some trade is carried on from the United States with Bremen. But Hamburgh where Mr John Parish is already fixed, as Consul seems to occupy the principal part of our trade in that quarter; and until more accurate information can be obtained, whether the connection requires a Consul, the multiplication of useless Offices is of itself an objection. This Idea is confirmed by the opinion of an intelligent Mercantile Man in the City of Philadelphia, who doubts the extension, if not the continuance of our trade with Bremen.3

3. In the Consular establishments the following vacancies have occurred.

1. In Nantz by the resignation of Burral Carnes.4

2. In Rouen by the settlement of Nathaniel Barrett at New York.5

3. In Dublin, by the resignation of William Knox.6

4. In St Domingo by the resignation of Sylvanus Bourne.7

5. In Santa Cruz, by the resignation of James Yard;8 and

6. In Surinam by the abandonment of Ebenezer Brush.9

It is submitted to the President, whether he will fill up the whole, or which of these vacancies.10 An inquiry has been made into the necessity of increasing our Consulates in France. But under the present circumstances, and when it is probable, that new arrangements will be expedient, if the treaty of Commerce with that nation should be remodelled;11 it is perhaps sufficient to do no more, than to supply the existing deficiencies.

Edm: Randolph.

LS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, Reports of the Secretary of State to the President and Congress; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1For the error in Fox’s appointment, see GW to U.S. Senate, 19 Feb. 1793. GW corrected this error in his letter to the U.S. Senate of 29 May 1794. In a letter to Fox of 12 Sept. 1793, former secretary of state Thomas Jefferson promised that the error in Fox’s “Christian name shall be duly attended to for correction at the next session of Congress” (source note, Circular to Certain Councils and Vice-Consuls, 12 Sept. 1793, 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 , 27:95–96).

2The letter recommending Bremen merchant Christian William Carpzov that Thomas Pinckney, the U.S. minister to Great Britain, forwarded to Randolph has not been identified. The respectable writer may have been William Temple Franklin (see Franklin to Robert Morris, 1 Feb. 1795, DLC:GW).

3Bremen, a port city located on the Weser River in northwestern Germany, was at one time an independent city and a member of the Hanseatic League, a union of merchant associations from northern Germany and other nations along the North and Baltic Seas that flourished for over three centuries, beginning in the thirteenth. Contrary to Randolph’s advice, GW appointed merchant Christoph Diedrich Arnold Delius (1742–1819), a native of Bremen, as the first U.S. consul at that port. After an unsuccessful business venture in the United States from 1783 to 1785, as an agent for the Bremen firm of Heymann & Talla, Delius returned to Bremen for a brief period and then went back to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1794 before returning to Bremen to fulfill his duties as consul (Delius to Benjamin Franklin, 7 Feb. 1783, Franklin Papers description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. 40 vols. to date. New Haven, 1959—. description ends , 39:145–48; Sam A. Mustafa, “Arnold Delius and the Hanseatic ‘Discovery of America,’” German History (2000), 18:40–59; GW to U.S. Senate, 28 May 1794). After Bremen officials declined to grant an exeqatur to Delius, Carpzov renewed his application to become consul at Bremen (see his file in DLC:GW), but he was not appointed.

4On the resignation of Burrell Carnes, a native of Massachusetts, see Joseph Fenwick to Jefferson, 16 July 1792, (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 , 24:233). In 1793, Carnes was a merchant and paper manufacturer at 71 South Second Street in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Directory 1793 description begins James Hardie. The Philadelphia Directory and Register . . .. Philadelphia, 1793. description ends , 21).

5In Memorandum on Consuls and Consular Appointments of 15 Feb. 1793, Jefferson noted that Barrett had “abandoned” his consulate at Rouen, France, and had “settled at New York” (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 , 25:202–3).

6On William Knox’s resignation as consul at the port of Dublin, Ireland, see n.2 of Jefferson to GW, 19 Aug. 1792.

7For the resignation of Sylvanus Bourne as consul at Saint Domingue, see Bourne to GW, 28 Dec. 1791. GW appointed Bourne vice-consul at Amsterdam, Netherlands, later this year (GW to U.S. Senate, 28 May 1794).

8According to Thomas Jefferson’s Draft Memorandum on Consular Vacancies of 21 Feb. 1791, Philadelphia resident James Yard was a native of New Jersey, “wealthy, and connected by marriage” to the governor of St. Croix (Santa Cruz) in the Dutch West Indies, now the Virgin Islands. After receiving his consular appointment in February 1791, Yard offered his resignation in a letter to Thomas Jefferson of 30 Oct. 1792 (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 , 19:313–14, 24:545). Shortly afterwards, he advertised “PIMENTO and St. Croix SUGAR” for sale at 79 Arch Street, Philadelphia (General Advertiser [Philadelphia], 5 Nov. 1792). After Yard’s resignation, GW appointed Henry Cooper of Pennsylvania as the consul at St. Croix, and as of November 1793, Cooper was on that island fulfilling his consular obligations (GW to U.S. Senate, 19 Feb. 1793; Cooper to Jefferson, 12 Nov. 1793, 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 , 27:351).

9On Ebenezer Brush’s apparent abandonment of his consulate, see Jefferson’s Circular to Consuls and Vice-Consuls of 31 May 1792 (source note, 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 , 23:619).

10The vacant positions at Rouen, Saint Domingue, and Surinam remained unfilled. For the appointment of Pierre Frédéric Dobrée and Joseph Wilson, respectively, to the vacant positions at Nantes and Dublin, see GW to U.S. Senate, 28 May 1794.

11For the 1778 Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France, see Miller, Treaties description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends , 2:3–34.

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