George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 27 June 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia June 27. 1794

E. Randolph has the honor of informing the President, that he has disposed of all the private letters, which he put into his hands to be answered, except the inclosed to Allen.1 The reason for omitting this is endorsed on the cover.2


1Randolph enclosed John Allen’s letter to GW of 16 May 1793. The other private letters included a letter from John Hanstein to GW of uncertain date (not found); a letter from Heinrich Matthias Marcard to GW of 5 Aug. 1793; and a letter from John Wilcocks, Jr., to GW of 29 June 1793. On 26 June, Randolph forwarded Hanstein’s letter to Hanstein’s mother-in-law, the widow of Stephen Wilkinson, in New York; asked Benjamin Rush to reply to Marcard; and wrote a letter to Wilcocks (DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters). On that date Randolph also wrote Alexander Hamilton: "The President left in my hands the inclosed letter from A. G. Fraunces of the 28th ultimo, to examine, what was best to be done. My opinion being that nothing ought to be done upon it, and that silence is the proper answer, I shall observe this course, unless you can suggest something more eligible" (DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters).

2The endorsement reads: "Allen’s letter to the President, not answered; he being an adventurer, full of vanity, and wishing to come over, under a promise of provision for himself and family. He professes to be moved by public good only; to be able to do what no geometrician has yet done; and to censure Euclid. His expectations will not be small, as he is to resign a living in England." Despite the lack of response, Allen (c.1762-1830) came to the United States, where in 1813 he was appointed a professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland.

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