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Letter signed twice ("Edm. Randolph, late Secretary of State"), attesting to the translation skills and integrity of Mr. George Taylor, Jr., chief clerk in the State Department under Randolph
Philadelphia october 3 1795 Philadelphia, october 3, 1795. 4to. One page on first page of single bifolium; two paragraphs, each signed, (the second simply "Edm. Randolph"). Fine. Docketed on verso of conjugate "Certificate from Mr. Randolph to Geo. Taylor" . Edmund Randolph of Virginia succeeded Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State in Washington's cabinet, and was serving in that office during the delicate negotiations with the French over the terms of what was eventually to become the Jay Treaty. When a compromising dispatch from the French Minister was discovered and suspicions of double-dealing (and possible bribery) fell on Randolph, Washington exposed Randolph before the Cabinet, and Randolph immediately resigned in August, 1795 under a cloud. During his term of service, his chief French and Spanish translator was George Taylor, Jr., who also prepared a translation of the Fauchet letter for Randolph's apologia, A VINDICATION OF MR. RANDOLPH'S RESIGNATION, in 1795. In this letter of attestation from Randolph, written shortly after his resignation, the former Secretary of State writes: " ... I do moreover certify, that I have never been able to procure any translator of the French language so accurate, as Mr. Taylor: that I considered this circumstance as fortunate, BECAUSE MOST OF THE FRENCH PAPERS ARE CONFIDENTIAL [emphasis ours] ... " In fact, in a letter to Alexander Hamilton (of December 12, 1795), Timothy Pickering (who first discovered the damning letter) was worried about the accuracy of Taylor's forthcoming translation (v. THE PAPERS OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Columbia University Press, 1973):"The translation of Fauchet's letter will be in it. This translation was made by Mr. Taylor at Randolph's request; but Mr. Taylor, who desired the use of mine, told me that he had made but few variations ... now it seems to me that the first translation of Fauchet's letter should convey its true meaning ... " A REVEALING DOCUMENT CASTING LIGHT ON ONE OF THE EARLIEST SCANDALS OF THE YOUNG NATION
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Last Found On: 2013-01-28           Check availability:      ABAA    

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