James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 28 June 1808

Lisbon 28th. June 1808


The foregoing is a copy of ⟨my⟩ last, which I hope will reach ⟨yo⟩u by a vessel going from Spain. ⟨Th⟩is I forward by a Gentleman going to the south of Spain who may ⟨have⟩ some opportunity of sending it. Here ⟨the⟩ situation daily grows more critical. ⟨The⟩ french Govmt. themselves seem to be ⟨   ⟩ alarmed. Within four days part of ⟨the⟩ troops have been taken from the for⟨ts to⟩ increase the guards in the City & da⟨y &⟩ night the Streets are patroled with a g⟨reat⟩ number of strong patroles of troops both horse & foot in addition to the ⟨ordi⟩nary police guards, which were doubled ⟨on⟩ the French coming here. Many Coffee ⟨houses⟩ where politicks were talked are shut up⟨. The⟩ Castle of St. George situated on a comma⟨nding⟩ eminence nearly in the middle of the City which has been neglected for nearly a Cen⟨tury⟩ past, is now repairing & fortifying with ⟨the⟩ utmost rapidity. All the cannon & arm⟨s⟩ from the foundery have been sent ther⟨e as⟩ a place of safer deposit. Yesterday a con⟨sider⟩able quantity of provisions. Many report⟨s are⟩ in circulation tending to encourage & to ⟨   ⟩ the minds of the people; such as, that a body ⟨of⟩ Spanish troops have entered the norther⟨n⟩ provinces, which have revolted again⟨st the⟩ French, that a body of English have been ⟨landed⟩ & joined by a body of Spaniard in Algarv⟨a,⟩ which has also revolted; but I doubt whe⟨ther⟩ any English or Spanish troops have entere⟨d⟩ although no post having arrived from P⟨   ⟩ Algarva for a week past, seems to cou⟨ntenance⟩ the beleif that there is some disturban⟨ce⟩ as well as the inclosed proclamation. ⟨   ⟩ however, & all Estremadura, is as to acts perfectly ⟨quiet⟩ although there is apparently much unease among the people & general well wishes ⟨to⟩ the Spanish cause; and I apprehend if ⟨the⟩ Armies do not strike some a⟨   ⟩ stroke in Spain before a month, that the ⟨French⟩ here will find their situation very ⟨seri⟩ous. I beleive there is no doubt, that ⟨   ⟩ian regiment which was sent in purs⟨uit of⟩ Genl. Gomez Treva, who revolted with two ⟨   ⟩ Regiments, & joined a body of Spanish troop⟨s, have⟩ been beat & partly cut to pieces. It was co⟨mmanded⟩ by Genl. L’A⟨   ⟩son, who has been wounded; but as all communication has, for upwards of a month, been cut ⟨o⟩ff from Spain, none from the North, ⟨n⟩one from Algarva & none from the ⟨   ⟩n side, there is but little which is in ⟨ge⟩neral circulation to be relied on; one ⟨s⟩ide asserting & the other denying. With entire Respect I have the honor to be Sir Yr Mo: Ob: servt.

Wm Jarvis

P. S.

I should not be surprised if the French troops were soon to quit this Country.

As I see but little alternative but that of spending what my industry has enabled me to earn for several years past, by remaining here, I should feel much gratified with the exchange of this Consulate for that of Bahia de San. Salvador, if the President shall think fit to confer this farther mark of favour on me. But as an indifferent prospect is better than none at all, if agreeable to Government I shall prefer remaining where I am than not to have another appointment

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

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