George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 1 April 1794

From Edmund Randolph

[Philadelphia] April 1. 1794.

E. Randolph would ⟨have⟩ done himself the honor of waiting on the President with the inclosed, to know his pleasure as to sending the two letters to the Senate and house of representatives, if he was not under a very severe pain of the head.1 Besides the letters, now sent, he has received by the mail of to-day from Colo. Humphreys, seven others, but containing no recent or important intelligence; and therefore they will not be sent, unless the President should think proper to call for them.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State. The text in angle brackets is from the letter-book copy.

1According to GW’s executive journal, the enclosed letters from David Humphreys to Randolph were those written at Madrid, Spain, on 25 Dec. 1793, and at Lisbon, Portugal, on 30 Jan. 1794. Both letters pertain to Humphreys’ efforts to relieve the immediate suffering of Americans held captive by Algiers and to obtain their eventual release (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 296). These letters and their enclosures are in DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Lisbon; see also 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 , 1:418–23.

2David Humphreys’ letter to Randolph of 7 Dec. 1793 reported on his inability to leave Alicante, Spain, because of the “uncommonly heavy rains which have fallen.” The enclosures were copies of his letters of 29 Nov. 1793 to: Mathias Skjöldebrand, consul general of Sweden; Pierre Eric Skjöldebrand; Capt. Richard O’Bryen, marked “Secret & Confidential”; “Captn Obrien, Captn Stevens [Isaac Stephens], & the other Captains & Officers, Citizens of the U.S. of America, now Prisoners at Algiers”; and a letter of 30 Nov. 1793 to “the Mariners, Citizens of the U.S. of America, Prisoners at Algiers.” These letters were numbered, respectively, from one to five. The letter of 7 Dec. and its enclosures are in DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Portugal; see also Humphreys, Life and Times of David Humphreys description begins Francis Landon Humphreys. Life and Times of David Humphreys: Soldier—Statesman—Poet, “Belov’d of Washington”. 2 vols. New York and London, 1917. description ends , 2:191–95. Apparently GW did call for this letter and its enclosures, because he returned these six items to Randolph on 2 April (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 296).

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