James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 1 March 1808

Lisbon 1st: March 1808


Inclosed are copies of the two letters which I had the honor to address to you under date of 18th: & 25th: Ultimo, the former of which went by the Ship Sally & Hetty Captn. Fleming & the latter by the Brig Fame, Captn. Howe for Philadelphia & Providence. In consequence of the impressment of several Seamen out of a Kniphausen vessel, which Sailed ten days or a fortnight ago, by the Squadron blockading the port, & her consequent return, our vessels were again stopped in port. I applied to the General in Chief, Junot, on the Subject, & after some conversation, His Excellency promised to let them proceed, but their passports being delayed for several days, although my Vice Consul applied several times for the⟨m,⟩ I again called on him the 2⟨   ⟩ & after a little conversation he took me into his cabine⟨t &⟩ called for the passports, wrot⟨e⟩ some little additional in⟨struc⟩tions at the foot, to the Na⟨val⟩ Commandant, he signed ⟨   ⟩ four, being for all the vessel⟨s in⟩ the port & presented them to ⟨me.⟩ He was very polite & talked ⟨   ⟩ of the prospect of a rupture b⟨etween⟩ the United States & Gt. Britain The vessels of the Hans Towns ⟨have⟩ not yet got leave to Sail, & s⟨ome⟩ doubts are entertained, whet⟨her⟩ they will or not. I was ave⟨rse⟩ to the sailing of these four ⟨ves⟩sels before I got permission from General Junot, to send a flag of Truce, to know of ⟨the⟩ Blockading Admiral, wheth⟨er⟩ they would be allowed to p⟨roceed⟩ but the Captains & Supercarg⟨oes⟩ conceiving that there was ⟨no⟩ danger, & seeming unwilli⟨ng⟩ to subject themselves to the ⟨   ⟩ I relinquished the idea. Al⟨l of⟩ them entered after the Bloc⟨kade⟩ took place, but without ⟨the⟩ least Knowledge of it.

The Marquis ⟨   ⟩ better known by the name of General Solano, the Spanish Commander South of the Tagus, two days ago came to take his leave of General Junot, as by some new arrangement, the Spanish troops remove to Algarva, and French troops under the command of General Kellerman, the Younger, are to take possession of all the Country between the Tagus & Algarva.

It is currently reported, generally beleived, and I imagine it to be a fact, that the heads of all the branches of the Bragança family who Still remain here, accompanied by several other nobility, are to go on a deputation to the Emperor, whom they are to meet at Bayonne the 15th: of April, and it is said by the desire of the Emperor himself. The object of the deputation is not known; but it is generally beleived that it relates to the future arrangement of the Kingdom. Some say that the deputation will pray the Emperor to nominate a King; but I beleive that nothing certain is known as to its object, although I ⟨   ⟩ there is no question that s⟨uch⟩ a deputation is going. Perh⟨aps⟩ it is only on a mere vis⟨it⟩ of compliment.

I shall probab⟨ly⟩ be able to leave here for St Lucar the day after to-mor⟨row.⟩ If possible to avoid it I sha⟨ll⟩ not extend my stay beyo⟨nd⟩ the last of this month. With perfect Respect I have the honor⟨,⟩ Sir Yr Mo: Ob: Ser⟨v⟩

William Jarvi⟨s⟩

P. S. I have this moment from the b⟨est⟩ authority, that the French troops are to ⟨take⟩ possession of the whole of Portugal, ⟨   ⟩ as well as the Country surrounding Porto, ⟨while⟩ all the Spanish troops are to retire in⟨to⟩ Spain.

I hope Govmt. will not think ⟨me⟩ importunate in mentioning ag⟨ain⟩ my wish to exchange my present Station for the Consulate of Bah⟨ia⟩ de St. Salvador.

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

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