From Edmund Randolph
Philadelphia April 28. 1794.
I do myself the honor of submitting to your consideration the draught of a letter, intended as an answer to Mr Hammond’s reply to Mr Pinckney’s memorial on the instructions of the 6th of November 1793.1
The inclosed letter from Colo. Hamilton shews, that he has perused the draught; and upon the three first remarks contained in that letter I will either satisfy him, or abandon my own idea.2
The fourth observation speaks of a tartness of language; which, if it be more than the subject dictates, is more than I wished; and therefore I shall not hesitate to remove any improper asperity.
But the 5th observation requires me to know your pleasure, whether a general or particular answer shall be given. Before I began to write, I asked Mr Jay, whether he would prefer, that the subject should be left, as it is, or taken up by me in the way of refutation: He thought, that it was better to enter upon a refutation of Mr Hammond’s memorial. Mr Jay will otherwise be obliged to do the same thing himself. And I cannot conceive, that a foreign minister ought to press upon the secretary of state doctrines, of great prejudice to the U.S.; and that the secretary should remain silent, as if he were afraid, or could not answer them.
However, I beg leave to assure you, that the sending of a general or particular letter is of no importance to any sensation of my own—I only wish for your directions; and let these be, what they may, they will be perfectly satisfactory to me.3 I have the honor, sir, to be with the greatest respect yr. mo. ob. serv.
ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB, DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters.
1. The draft of Randolph’s letter to George Hammond, the British minister to the United States, of 1 May has not been identified. For the British order-in-council of 6 Nov. 1793, see n.1 of Randolph to GW, 3 April. Hammond’s letter to Randolph of 11 April also refers to the order-in-council of 8 June 1793, which restricted the shipment of U.S. corn, flour, or meal to France or French colonies (DNA: RG 59, Notes from the British Legation). Pinckney’s copy of his undated memorial to Lord Grenville, which objected to the British order-in-council of 8 June 1793, was enclosed in his letter to Randolph of 28 Jan. 1794 (both, DNA: Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Great Britain). The 8 June 1793 order-in-council, Pinckney’s memorial, and Hammond’s letter are in 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 , 1:240, 449–50.
2. For Alexander Hamilton’s letter to Randolph of 27 April, which offers several suggestions for changes to Randolph’s draft, see Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:346–49.
3. For GW’s reply, see his letter to Randolph of 29 April. For the final version of Randolph’s letter to Hammond of 1 May, which was submitted to Congress with a cover letter of 12 May, see DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters; 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 , 1:450–54.