George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 23 September 1794

From Edmund Randolph

Tuesday. [23 Sept. 1794]

E. Randolph has the honor of informing the President, that the word, which he has observed to be omitted, was not omitted designedly, but in the hurry of copying; and would have struck E.R. upon a reperusal of the draft. It is certainly a word, which is very direct, and as probably as direct as can be with propriety, under the circumstances, to which the President has alluded. In this view, a doubt is entertained as to the insertion of the word "legal" before "bodies."1

E. Randolph has the honor of inclosing a rough sketch of the substance of the instructions.2 But finding from a conversation with Mr Bradford yesterday, that he wishes the formation of them to be postponed, until Mr Ross shall come, and being himself impressed with the same idea in the progress of the paper now inclosed, E.R. takes the liberty of suggesting to the President, that it may be better to let the subject rest, until the day after to morrow.

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, GW’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State. The AL is docketed, in part, "Sep: 4, 1794," and the letter-book copy is placed between letters of 26 Aug. and 6 September. However, the letter could not have been written at any time during that period, because William Bradford was then in western Pennsylvania. The document must be dated between Bradford’s arrival at Philadelphia (after 8 Sept.) and before James Ross’s return to the city (by 24 Sept.). Since Ross’s return evidently was expected by "the day after to morrow," 23 Sept. (which fell on a Tuesday) is the most likely date.

1Randolph may have been referring to a draft for GW’s proclamation of 25 September.

2The enclosure has not been identified.

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