James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 23 April 1802

From William Jarvis, 23 April 1802

Boston 23 April 1802


I had the honor to address you on the 8th. Inst with a postscript of the 9th. inclosing the Bond required. Two or three days after, a Gentleman acquainted me that he thought it probable he should send a Vessel to Bordeaux, in which case I could have a passage. This he has finally concluded to do & I expect she will sail in ten days. It has induced me to relinquish my design of going to New York for a passage, as there was no certainty of my being able to obtain one, after I got there, & had it been certain, I am inclined to think Sir the route by Bordeaux will be full as expeditious as even to go direct from New York, as by this way the quarantine will be avoided, which it is probable will be more rigorously enforced as the summer approaches. As Vessels are pretty constantly running between Bordeaux & Lisbon in a time of Peace, I think the chance is much in favour of my getting a passage shortly after my arrival; if I cannot, I shall leave my baggage to be forwarded by Water & proceed on by land. I hope Sir this will meet your approbation. By a Vessel that left Lisbon the 13th. March I learn generally that the Portugueze Court seem to have no fixed principle relative to the Quarantine, some Vessels being admitted to an entry in 12 or 15 days others are obliged to lay 20, 30 & even 40 days, but those with the Spanish Consul’s Certificate to the Bill of Health, or comeing from ports where the Yellow Fever has seldom prevail’d are the most favoured, from which it should seem that they are unacquainted with the History of the disorder in the U.S. as I beleive there are no instances of its makeing its appearance before the month of July. But the idea that the Certificate of a Foreign Agent resideing in our Country, should have more weight with any other Nation beside his own, than is given to Certificates of our Public Officers appears to me somewhat degradeing, & how ⟨far⟩ the prejudices of a people who think, that but little faith can be given to those out of the pale of the Catholic Church, ought to be submitted to for

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