From Thomas Bulkeley, 2 February 1802
Lisbon the 2nd. Febry. 1802
Herewith I transmit a parcell containg the state of trade with this Kingdom for the Ports of Lisbon, St. Uber & Figueira. The one for Porto is not yet come to hand. As soon as it does will forward it.
I am sorry to mention our citizens have lately suffered extreemly in their speculations to Portugal owing to the sudden peace & the very large importations from the Mediterranean & Baltic.
I must beg leave to observe that during the war when owners and masters considered it prudent to be furnished with certificates of property, the statement of the trade was furnished without difficulty and with exactnesss, as through this office exact manifests of their outward cargoes were always presented for that purpose; but since a general suspension of hostilities has taken place, they have not considered that document of any further utility to them & consequently have it now only in my power to request their furnishing me with the list of their outward cargoes which is often promised, but as often neglected to be brought. I have with great difficulty obtained them from the Consignees here who not in the least interested in Our trade, or the information necessary to be given to our Government, of it, have reluctantly supplied them. The mode adopted here by several nation⟨s⟩ is to oblige the masters to present a true manifest of their cargoes and attest the same under oath, taking two copies, one to retain for their entry, and the other to be given to a revenue cutter if board⟨ed⟩ on their coasts, with a view to prevent smuggling, & to enable their Governments to be informed of the exact state of the trade by their Consuls here.
I beg leave to submit this information to your consideration & a⟨t⟩ same time to observe without some steps are taken whereby a Law will oblige a delivery of a manifest with our Consuls in Portugal s⟨hip⟩ lists in future will be very incorrect. I have the honor to be wi⟨th⟩ the greatest respect Sir Your most obedt. Servant