James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 14 August 1802

From William Jarvis, 14 August 1802

Lisbon 14 August 1802


I had the honor to address you on the 10th. & 13th. Instant. The former was sent by the Brig Neptune Captn. Coleman; the latter by the Schr. four Brothers Captn. Rich both for Alexandria. Each incloseing Copies of letters from the several Consuls in the streights & a dispatch from Mr Simpson.

I learn by letter from Cadiz ⟨o⟩f the 11th. Inst that the 22 gun ship from Larach had sail’d, but head winds had obliged her to put back again; & that the Americans in Cadiz had sent an express to Gibraltar to our Commodore for Convoy, but that the express had not then returned. I suppose it must have been for a Convoy up the streights but the Letter does not mention.

By my last I acquainted you with the departure of Genl. Lannes from here without takeing leave of the Court ⟨&⟩ the Reports concerning the cause, which from what I can learn since are not without foundation. The Public paper has in consequence fallen from ten perCent to fourteen perCent discount. It excited so much sensation that the reasons were published yesterday in a Supplement to the Official Gazette, of which the original & translation are inclosed. Since the Generals departure the French Citizens assign as the causes beside what was beforementioned, that the Portuguese Government has refused to comply with the Commercial part of the treaty in the sense the Genl. received it; for instead of admitting all sorts of goods the grow⟨th⟩ & Manufacture of France, the Portugueze Govm⟨t⟩. wanted to prohibit such articles as were not allo⟨wed⟩ by Law to be imported; particularly French Wine & some articles of Manufacture such as Cotton goods &ca. All Foreign Wines & Cotton goods being prohibited in this Country, except the latter in their own bottoms direct from India. In fine they wished to put the French on the same footing with other nations. It is also said that the Genl. had reason to suspect that some new Commercial arrangements were makeing between this Govmt. & the English Minister. The Portugueze on their part say that all differen⟨ces⟩ of whatever nature have been amicably adjusted between the two Governments, which was communicated to the Genl. by his Government, & which he would not communicate to the Court & refused to acknowledge he had received. That two days before his departure the Prince sent him a polite invitation to ⟨remain here⟩ & wished the Genl. to wait on him, which the Genl. refused; & when the Genl. demanded his passports he was again requested not to leave here, but he positively refused to st⟨ay⟩.

I have been thus particular supposing even the reports of such an extraordinary affair would ⟨not b⟩e uninteresting, the consequences of which the Wisdom of Government is so fully competent to judge, that ⟨I s⟩hall not even venture any speculations on the subject. Not any Vessels haveing arrived from New York, I cannot say what will be done relative to the quarantine, those from other ports have been freely admitted. With the highest Consideration I have the honor to be Sir Yr. most Humble Servt.

William Jarvis

PS. By the ⟨Bg.⟩ Ruth & Mary Captn. Russell, that sail’d yesterday for Philada. I forward’d a Letter sent from Mr. Willis of Barcelona.

W. J.

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