George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 21 July 1795

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia July 21st 1795.
5 o’clock p.m.


I do myself the honor of transmitting to you translations of the letters from Mr Jaudenes and Mr Adet;1 a letter from Colo. Hamilton, opened by his desire, as the note, covering it, will shew;2 and a proclamation, dated on the 10th instant, being the day, when the amnesty of the insurgents was to commence.3

I retained Colo. Monroe’s letter, now also inclosed, with a view to examine it a little more leisurely, than the hurry of office-hours would permit.4

We had the honor of receiving and considering this morning your letter of the 18th instant from Baltimore. Radically, no difference of opinion existed. The mode of answering our wishes did not immediately strike all alike; and we trust, that it will not be disagreeable to you, that we take time for reflection until the next mail.5

I am attentive to the objections, disclosed at the different meetings; in order to avail myself of such of them, as may with propriety be worked into the instructions. This is the reason, why the memorial &c. are not forwarded;6 especially, as I suspect, that in a day or two, a meeting will be held here also. I have the honor to be sir with the highest respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

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

1These letters have not been identified. The letter from José de Jaudenes, Spanish commissioner to the United States, likely was his reply to Randolph’s letter to him of 10 July (see GW to Randolph, 22 July, n.9).

2This letter has not been identified, but most likely concerned the Jay Treaty. Randolph replied to Alexander Hamilton on this day and expressed gratitude for his “explanatory letter” as well as “permission for my inspection of the two addressed to your Southern correspondent.” Randolph had intended to write “upon the depending subject,” but since Hamilton planned to attend the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court sessions, he desired a personal interview (DLC: Alexander Hamilton Papers).

3Randolph referred to a proclamation of amnesty for the insurgents of western Pennsylvania. It did not extend to John Mitchell and Philip Vigol, convicted of treason. A draft reads: “Whereas the Commissioners appointed by the President of the U.S. to confer with the Citizens in the Western Counties of Pennsylvania during the late Insurrection which prevailed therein by their Act & Agreement bearing date the 2d day of September last, in pursuance of the Powers in them vested did promise & engage that if Assurances of Submission to the laws of the United States should be bona fide given by the citizens resident in the fourth Survey of Pennsa in the manner and within the time in their said Act & Agreement specified, a general Pardon should be granted on the tenth day of July then next ensuing, of all Treasons & other indictable offences against the United States committed with in the said Survey, before the 22d day of August last, excluding therefrom nevertheless every person who should refuse or neglect to subscribe such assurance & engagement in manner aforesaid or should after such subscription violate the same or wilfully obstruct or attempt to obstruct the execution of the acts for raising a revenue on distilled spirits & stills or be aiding or abetting therein. And whereas I have since thought proper to extend the said pardon to all persons guilty of the said Treasons or misprisions of Treason or otherwise concerned in the late insurrection, who have not been since indicted or convicted thereof or of any other offence—Therefore be it hereby known, That I George Washington President of the said United States, have granted & by these presents do hereby grant a full free & entire pardon to all persons (excepting as is herein after excepted) of all Treasons misprisions of Treasons and other indictable offences against the United States committed within the fourth Survey of Pennsylvania before the said 22d day of August last past, excepting and excluding therefrom nevertheless every person who refused or neglected to subscribe the said assurance in manner aforesaid, (or having subscribed hath violated the same) and now stands indicted or convicted of any Treason mispris[i]on of Treason or other offence against the said United States; hereby remising & releasing unto all persons except as before excepted, all penalties incurred or supposed to be incurred for or on account of the premises, & willing that no prosecution for the said offences or any of them be had or commenced against any of the said persons except as before excepted in any court of the said United States” (Df [incomplete], PHi: Wallace Papers). The proclamation, bearing the date 10 July, was printed in The Philadelphia Gazette & Universal Daily Advertiser and the Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia) on 6 August.

4Randolph likely enclosed a copy of James Monroe’s letter to him of 14 April (DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to France; see also Papers of James Monroe, description begins Daniel Preston et al., eds. The Papers of James Monroe. 5 vols. to date. Westport, Conn., and Santa Barbara, Calif., 2003–. description ends 3:290–96).

5Randolph referred to GW’s request for a cabinet opinion about whether he should respond to the petition from the Boston citizens and, if so, in what form (see Randolph to GW, 25 June, n.3).

6For the memorial to British minister George Hammond, see Randolph to GW, 20 July, n.4.

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