James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 18 September 1806

Lisbon 18th: Sepr 1806


When important events are ⟨lo⟩oked for, every thing which has the ⟨sm⟩allest relation to them becomes ⟨int⟩eresting. I have therefore been as minute regarding Lord St. Vincents as the information, a dysent⟨ery⟩ followed by an intermitting fever for about Six weeks past, would allow me to obtain. I find however tha⟨t⟩ I have communicated pretty mu⟨ch⟩ all the interesting circumstance⟨s⟩ except His Lord Ships reception at Court. At His first Audience wi⟨th⟩ the Earl Rosslyn, he was receive⟨d⟩ with great attention by the Prin⟨ce⟩ who after the Audience wa⟨s⟩ over introduced him to the Pri⟨n⟩cess & their children; by whom ⟨he⟩ was also very graciously receiv⟨ed⟩ & conversed with them about ⟨an⟩ hour. His Lordship has given several dinners on board Hibernia to the Portugueze No⟨bi⟩lity, & I beleive makes it a po⟨int⟩ to accept all their invitation⟨s.⟩ The day before yesterday their Excellencies Mr d’Araujo & the conde Anadia were to dine with his Lordship. The former went. The latter was called to ⟨Masia⟩. There was also a half dozen noble ladies & eight or nine noblemen. No other persons whatever. His Lordship from His extreme attention to the Portugueze, as well as all his officers, has become very popular. He has been very circumspect not to admit more than six line of battle ships at one time. There are now four or five outside. When one comes in another goes out. I have some reason to suppose that he is to remain here for some time. It has been intimated to me that His object is to take off the Royal Family to the Brazils, with such Portugueze as choose to accompany them, the fleet of course, & all the wealth that can be embarked, should any attempts be made by France & Spain upon this Kingdom. ⟨H⟩is Lordship is to remain here ⟨so⟩ long as this Kingdom is supposed to be in a state of danger. ⟨If⟩ it is supposed an embarkation will be necessary, a few thousand troops will be sent here to ren⟨der⟩ it more Secure. This in some shape corresponds with the repor⟨t⟩ I gave you in a former letter No additional Vessels of War ha⟨ve⟩ yet been put under repair; but ⟨for⟩ a few days past constant impr⟨ove⟩ments have been made to compleat the Marine Corps.

The refusal of the Emperor of Russia to ratify the trea⟨ty⟩ signed by Mr D’Obril, & some ⟨mi⟩litary preparations of Russia, ⟨have⟩ caused a beleif here that anot⟨her⟩ Coalition is likely to take pl⟨ace.⟩ A report was yesterday in Cir⟨cu⟩lation that the Negotiations ⟨were⟩ actually broken off & that Lor⟨d⟩ Lauderdale had actually lef⟨t⟩ Paris. It was said to be brought by the Santa Margarita frigate, which arrived here yesterday with dispatches for Lord St. Vincent; but I cannot learn, that any such news was brought by her: on the reverse, papers to the 10th: by her state, that Lord Lauderdale was at Paris when the last advices left there. Paper (Public) is still at 19 %P% discount here.

The Constitution has had her rigging stripped; that which was bought in Cadiz for the fore & main masts is almost ready to go over head. The Mizen mast rigging which I have purchased here will be ready in a day or two. It appears that all her upper works wants caulking. Captain Campbell thinks several news Sails will be necessary, least she should be called out on winter Service. The fore-mast is also fou⟨nd⟩ to be considerably rotten. I ho⟨pe⟩ a new one will not be required as it will be attende⟨d⟩ with an enormous expense. Her repairs will probably be compleated in three to four week⟨s⟩ My last went by the Scho⟨o⟩ner Eleanor, Captn William⟨s⟩ via Boston. With the highest Considera⟨tion⟩ I have the honor to b⟨e⟩ Sir Yr: Mo: Ob: Serv⟨t⟩

William Jarvis

DNA: RG 59--CD--Consular Despatches, Lisbon.

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