1793 President George Washington's First United States Attorney General Edmund Randolph ALS to John Nicholson
EDMUND JENNINGS RANDOLPH (1753-1813). Aide to General George Washington, American Attorney, 7th Governor of Virginia, 2nd U.S. Secretary of State, Appointed the First United States Attorney General by President George Washington.
June 4, 1793-Dated Federal Period, Autograph Letter Signed, "Edm: Randolph" as U.S. Secretary of State, with Integral Transmittal Cover, measuring 7.5" x 9.25", Philadelphia, Choice Very Fine. This finacial related Letter is fully written in Randolph's own hand in deep rich brown on clean laid period paper to financier John Nicholson, then acting Comptroller General of Pennsylvania (1782-1794). It reads, in full:
"Philadelphia - June 4, 1793 -- Dear sir -- I sent my letter to the committee by the brother of Mr. Evans, who spoke to me in their behalf. It was concluded, as I told you, that it should be, with a declaration, that I meant to undertake your side. I feel myself extremely thankful to you for your late aid; and shall take care to see the papers replaced immediately on my return. I have this afternoon received a letter from S. Greenhow. My matter has been arranged; and the moment I get to Fredericksburg, I will remit to you a bill on this place at sight to pay Henderson's money. I shall take your papers with me, and when I return, I shall be able to give you some adequate ideas upon this interesting subject. That it shall receive my cordial and decided support, you may be assured." Also, fully addressed on the Integral leaf in Randolph's own hand, his signature clearly executed at the letter's conclusion. Scarce, having nice eye appeal and a pleasing appearance.
JOHN NICHOLSON (1757-1800), was a Pennsylvania Industrialist and Financier, was a Clerk of the Board of Treasury of the Continental Congress (1778-1781), resigning that post to become Comptroller General of Pennsylvania (1782-1794).
Nicholson was Impeached in 1793, accused of financial mismanagement and corruption, but escaped removal from office when the vote in the Pennsylvania Senate fail short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. He resigned, however, shortly thereafter.
In 1795, he entered into a series of speculative land ventures with Robert Morris, the chief financier of the American Revolution. In 1796, the year he signed this promissory note, the partners formed the North American Land Company. The venture went bankrupt, landing both Morris and Nicholson in debtors' prison in 1799. Morris had many friends, including President Washington and a grateful Congress, who helped secured his release. Nicholson was less fortunate. He died in 1800, leaving a wife, eight children, and $4 million in debts.