George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 31 March 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia March 31. 1794


The laying of Mr Fauchet’s letters before congress came into my mind.1 But I did not observe upon it; because he has given no answer, whether a passport for the dispatches on board may not be sufficient, or how he would wish the business to be modified. When that comes, it will probably be time enough to consider, how far the President ought to be sending every application for relaxing the embargo to congress; and whether there is not something too strong in excepting by a new resolution a vessel, notoriously loaded with flour for France, from the operation of the embargo.2 I thought, that the liberal construction of the resolution would permit her to proceed. But as you have determined otherwise, I cannot see the propriety of making a special rule for her, or of the President being the vehicle to congress of such a proposition.3 Possibly Mr Fauchet may place the subject upon other ground. I speak only upon the case, as it now exists. I have the honor, sir, to be with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

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

1For the letters from French minister Fauchet to Randolph of 28 March, see n.1 of Randolph’s letter to GW of that date. For Randolph’s suggestion that these letters might be laid before Congress, see Randolph’s second letter to GW of 29 March.

2On the embargo recently imposed by Congress, see Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends . 1:400.

3GW may have expressed this opinion at his 8 A.M. meeting with Randolph on this day (GW to Randolph, 30 March).

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