George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 14 May 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia May 14. 1794.

The secretary of state has the honor of returning to the President the letters from Mr Morris and Mr Livingston1 A memorandum is taken for an inquiry to be made into the subject of the former; and it seems very plain, that Mr L——n has left an opening to be asked again. If the President thinks proper to repeat his application, perhaps a good mode of introduction would be, to say to him, that it appears to be a principal objection with him, that he has not time enough to arrange his affairs; but that you would accommodate this, as far as the nature of the service will permit; and to request him to say, how mu<ch> time would be sufficient.2

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

1Randolph may have been referring to Gouverneur Morris’s letter to GW of 5 Feb., which complained about poor communications with the State Department and suggested the use of monthly packets. The other letter was Robert R. Livingston to GW, 10 May.

2GW wrote Livingston on this date: "Your letter of the 10th instt, which came to hand yesterday, appears to place your reluctance to accept the Appointment to France, upon the difficulty of making immediate arrangements for a permanent residence abroad.

"I have already communicated to you my wish that you should enter upon the Mission: and am desirous of accomodating you in point of time, as far as the public service will permit.

"If therefore such an accomadation will remove your objections; I shall be glad to be informed on the return of the Mail, what will be the shortest possible time necessary for your preparation. Your answer will immediately decide me" (ALS, NHi: Robert R. Livingston Papers).

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