Description

    Edmund Randolph Autograph Letter Signed "Edm. Randolph". One page, 7.25" x 9", "In Council," December 23, 1786, a highly important letter regarding the pardoning of prisoners addressed to The Honorable Speaker of the House of Delegates, with the integral leaf docketed in another hand, neatly inlaid. In part: "...the general assembly will collect his distress for money, and the dreadful consequence to his unfortunate prisoners, if that distress be not immediately removed. In the contingent fund, to which resort is regularly to be had on these occasions, not a shilling can be found: and the executive cannot approve the expedient of borrowing from other funds during the session of the legislature. I therefore beg leave to consign the wretched condition of the prisoners to your immediate attention, and to request, that some certain provisions be made for them in [the] future. The act authorizing the executive to grant conditional pardons being about to expire on the last day of this month; I am advised to inform the assembly that it is probable in the eye of the law, that in case of a motion to the general court to award execution de novo on a criminal already conditionally pardoned, who may have escaped and may be retaken after that day - the court could not proceed against him. It is therefore submitted, how far it may be fit, to declare that this law, notwithstanding its expiration shall justify anew award of execution for any breach of the condition committed, while it was in force. It will perhaps be proper too to remind the assembly that from the peculiar phraseology of that act it may be necessary to continue the power of outlawing, in order to give affect to the other parts of it..." A member of the Constitutional Convention, Randolph was the first Attorney General and Washington's second Secretary of State, but resigned after being falsely charged with bribery. He later represented Aaron Burr in his treason trial. Fine.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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