Much to their embarrassment, the president thought the commissioners shared in the blame for the debacle. He authorized a $1,600 a year salary for the commissioners on the condition that they would live in the city and keep a close eye on the work. However, the new commissioners lived in or near Georgetown. Secretary of State Edmund Randolph reminded them of that and implied that the bad work at the Capitol could have been prevented if they had been paying attention. The commissioners fired back implying that the workers were too rude to be supervised by gentlemen. “Those not acquainted with the motley set we found here, and can form no adequate idea of the irksome scenes we are too frequently compelled to engage in.”
One might describe slaves each with a different shade of dark skin as “motley,” but the commissioners singled out Collen Williamson as especially irksome for always boasting about his “building castles” in Scotland.