George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 13 March 1794

From Edmund Randolph

[Philadelphia] March 13th 1794.

The President of the United States.

E. Randolph has the honor of transmitting to the President, a Letter on the subject of Mr Fauchet’s demand, with three opinions1—The President will be pleased to say, whether the papers shall or shall not be prepared for Congress.2

LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters.

1On the request of Fauchet, the French minister to the United States, for an advance payment of the U.S. debt to France, see Cabinet Opinion, 11 March, and notes 1–3. In an attempt to resolve this issue, Randolph met with Fauchet on 12 March. The enclosed letter may have been Randolph’s letter to William Bradford, Alexander Hamilton, and Henry Knox of 13 March, in which Randolph reported on the failure of this meeting to resolve the matter to Fauchet’s satisfaction. Randolph then wrote: “Permit me therefore to submit to your consideration my opinion, to be laid, with yours, before the President. I am of the opinion, that Mr Fauchet’s application for money, ought to be transmitted to Congress. 1. Because the executive, as it is represented by the Secretary of the Treasury, cannot expect to modify the French debt by an further loans at present, altho’ Congress have given the President special power to do so, and have expressed a desire, that it should be done. 2. Because Congress are the true Judges, whether the situation of the United States permits Mr Faucet’s request to be complied with from other resources, besides loans. 3. Because the French debt is intitled to every exertion in our power, to relieve the embarrassments of the French government. 4. And because I do not discern any objection to submit to Congress a subject, so peculiarly within their province, as the raising of money” (DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters). Opinions from any other individual cabinet member have not been identified.

2GW enclosed the documents relevant to this issue in his letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives of 18 March.

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