George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 5 June 1794

From Edmund Randolph

[5 June 1794]

The Secretary of State has the honor of reporting to the President of the United States upon the Laws of the present session of Congress, That the following are memoranda of all the Laws yet printed.1

1. The alteration of the flag.

2. The relief of the Inhabitants of St Domingo—what remains to be executed is to obtain a credit with the French Republic; with which Mr Monroe will be charged.2

3. Relief of Thomas Jenkins.3

4. Alteration of the Mint Law.

5. Remission of Duties of French Vessels.

6. Appropriation-Law.

7. Foreign intercourse—The President has called upon the Secretary of the Treasury to arrange this.4

8. Loan of a Million of Dollars—The President has given powers for this purpose.5

9. The defence of the Ports and Harbors. This is understood to have been provided for by the President.

10. Appropriations for the War Department.

11. Prohibiting the slave trade.

12. Providing a naval armament. This is understood to have been settled by the President.

13. Payment to Major General La Fayette—The Secretary of the Treasury has been requested to forward the money to Mr Pinckney.6

14. Erecting arsenals. In war Department.

15. Relief of Stephen Paranque.7

16. Jurisdiction of the fœderal courts.

17. Change of place for holding Congress—Eventual power in the President.

18. Placing Buoys.

19. Relief of Leffert Lefferts.8

20. Authorizing Ephraim Kimberly to locate a Land Warrant—At a future day, the President may grant a patent.9

21. Destroyed Certificates.

22. Colonel Tousard.10

23. Post-Office—The appointment of a Post-Master on the first of June.

24. Prohibiting exportation of Arms.

25. Lighthouses on Cape Hatteras &c. The President is to approve certain contracts of the Secretary of the Treasury.

26. Remission of Duties to Elliott &c.11

27. Anapolis Harbor to be fortified. The President to direct this to be done.

28. Detachments of the Militia. This Law is to be executed by the President.

29. Corps of Artillerists. The President is to direct the execution of this

30. Lighthouse in Maine. The like steps to be taken by the President as in No. 25.

31. Adjournment of Courts.

32. Fulwar Skipwith. The President to cause payment.12

33. Relief of Reuben Smith &c.13

So that the attention of the President is not called to any of the preceding laws, except

No. 3—Destined for Colo. Monroe14

7—Already settled, as far as it can be.

8. Already executed by the President.

9. For the War-Department.

12. For the War-Department.

14. For the War-Department.

17. Eventual for the President; but not yet required.

20. Eventual for the President; but not yet required.

23. To appoint a Post-Master.

25. For the Secretary of the Treasury.

27. For the War-Department.

28. For the War-Department.

29. For the War-Department.

30. For the Treasury Department

32. For the Department of State.

D, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB, DNA: RG 59, Reports of the Secretary of State to the President and Congress. The D is docketed, "Report of the Secy of State 5 June 1794."

At half past two o’clock on this date, Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., wrote James Greenleaf: "The President has had a number of bills submitted for his consideration in the course of today, which he will be obliged to read this afternoon—if therefore it be as agreeable to Mr G.—instead of this Evening, the President will thank him to call tomorrow morning at 8 o’Clock & take breakfast" (ViMtvL).

1For the following laws as published, 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 . 6:13-15 for numbers 2, 3, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 26, 32, and 33, and 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 . 1:341-70 for the others.

2This act provided that the moneys expended for relief "shall be provisionally charged to the debit of the French Republic, subject to such future arrangements as shall be made thereon," and that if arrangements were not made within six months, "further supplies" would be "discontinued." In Randolph’s instructions to James Monroe of 10 June he wrote, "You know the extreme distress in which the inhabitants of St. Domingo came hither, after the disasters of the Cape. . . . The Congress at length advanced fifteen thousand dollars, with a view of reimbursement from France. This subject has been broken to Mr. Fauchet here, and he appears to have been roused at the idea of supporting, by French money, French aristocrats and democrats indiscriminately. Both he and his nation ought to be satisfied that, in the cause of humanity, oppressed by poverty, political opinions have nothing to do. Add to this, that none but the really indigent receive a farthing. It was the duty of the French republic to relieve their colonists laboring under a penury so produced; and, as it would have been too late to wait for their approbation before the payments were decreed, it will not be deemed an offensive disposal of French money that we now make a claim for repayment. If Mr. Fauchet has power upon the subject, an attempt will be made for a settlement with him here; but that being very doubtful, it will forward the retribution by discussing it in Europe" (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 , 1:669).

3Thomas Jenkins (c.1741-1808) was one of the founders and for many years the mayor of Hudson, N.Y., where at this time he was a partner in the mercantile firm Thomas Jenkins and Sons. The act authorized the collector of New York to remit to that firm the duties and imposts "incurred in consequence of the incompetent or invalid register" of the ship American Hero.

4See GW to Alexander Hamilton, 24 and 29 May (first letter).

6For the arrangements to pay Lafayette, see Hamilton to Randolph, 31 May (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:444-45).

7Stephen Paranque was captain of a French ship unloading at the port of New York. This act granted him an extension on the payment of duties, by calculating from the time of unloading instead of the time of importation.

8Leffert Lefferts was a New York City merchant. The act authorized the collector of New York to remit to Lefferts and three co-owners the duties and imposts "incurred in consequence of the incompetent or invalid register" of the brigantine Susan and Polly.

9Ephraim Kimberly (1738-1795) served during the Revolutionary War as an officer of the 8th Connecticut Regiment. The act authorized Kimberly, now resident on the west bank of the Ohio River in the Northwest Territory, to use his military land warrant "so as to include the land where he now resides, or as convenient as may be thereto." For more on the act, see James Gamble to GW, 20 September.

10Anne-Louis de Tousard (1749-1817) of France was commissioned as an officer in the Continental army and served for a time as aide-de-camp for Lafayette before losing an arm in consequence of wounds sustained in August 1778. On 27 Oct. 1778 Congress voted him a lifetime pension of $30 per month (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 12:1068). The 1794 act allowed Tousard to receive $3,600 in discharge of the pension.

11The firm of Elliott & Purviance of Norfolk, Va., was responsible for duties on a cargo imported at Norfolk but destroyed at Baltimore before sale. "An Act for the remission of the duties on eleven hogsheads of Coffee which have been destroyed by fire," 9 May, relieved them of that responsibility.

12This act directed payment "of all just and reasonable expenses incurred by Fulwar Skipwith, in relieving the wants, and facilitating the return of the seamen" belonging to U.S. vessels seized in the British West Indies. For Skipwith’s involvement, see the enclosures sent with GW to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 25 March.

13Reuben Smith was a New York City merchant, located at this time at Crane Wharf. The act authorized the collector of New York to remit to Smith and a co-owner, Nathan Strong, the duties and imposts "incurred, in consequence of the incompetent or invalid register" of the ship James.

14Randolph meant number 2.

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