George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 19 April 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia Saturday afternoon [19 April 1794]

The secretary of state has the honor of informing the President of the U.S., that the commission for Mr Jay is preparing, and he is notified by letter, that it is preparing; no time being to be lost.1

Perhaps the President will find it necessary to have a ship, taken for the voyage and to fix the salary at once. E.R. will therefore talk with Mr Jay.2

An express is sent off to Mr Patterson, with a letter from Mr Wilson, to stop his journey hither, as being more convenient to the other plan.3

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State. The docket on the AL reads, “19 April 1794.”

1The commission for John Jay reads: “Reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your Integrity Prudence and ability, I have nominated, and by and with the advice and Consent of the Senate do appoint you the said John Jay, Envoy extraordinary from the United States of America to the Court of his Britannic Majesty, authorizing you hereby, to do and perform all such matters and Things, as to the said Place or Office doth appertain, or as may de duly given you in Charge hereafter. And the said office to hold and exercise during the Pleasure of the President of the United States for the Time being.

“In Testimony whereof I have caused the Seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

“Given under my Hand at the City of Philadelphia, the nineteenth Day of april in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the Eighteenth” (copy, DLC:GW).

2For Alexander Hamilton’s role in arranging passage for John Jay, see Hamilton to William Seton, 22 April, 2 May, and 21 June, and Hamilton to Jay, 28 April (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:312, 350–51, 371, 510). On 12 May, Jay departed from New York City for Great Britain on the Ohio, Capt. John Kemp (Daily Advertiser [New York], 13 May; New-York Directory, 1794 description begins William Duncan. The New-York Directory, and Register, for the year 1794 . . . . New York, 1794. description ends , 100).

3In a letter of 16 April to William Paterson of New Jersey, Randolph notified the Supreme Court justice of Jay’s nomination and its expected approval by the U.S. Senate. “In that event, Mr. Jay will be immediately occupied with preparations for a hasty departure” and cannot continue serving on the circuit court for the District of Pennsylvania, which was currently in session. “The President has therefore determined to submit this intelligence to you, that you may judge, how far it may be convenient and necessary for you to go thro’ the remaining Courts, and what remains of the Pennsylvania term. He instructs me to add, without presuming, however, to exercise any right on this occasion, that your presence here immediately will be very agreeable to him, and that he hopes, that you will, when you arrive here, be able to make such arrangements for prosecuting Mr Jay’s tour, as will be acceptable to yourself.” The letter from Supreme Court justice James Wilson of Pennsylvania to Paterson of 19 April, which has not been identified, probably stated that Wilson would finish Jay’s current assignment, because Wilson took Jay’s seat on the circuit court on Monday, 21 April, and the court continued its session until adjourning on 26 April. For the plan adopted for covering the other circuit court sessions, see Wilson to William Cushing, 27 April (Documentary History of the Supreme Court description begins Maeva Marcus et al., eds. The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789–1800. 8 vols. New York, 1985-2007. description ends , 2:445–47, 450).

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