James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Elias Vanderhorst, 11 October 1808

Bristol Octr. 11th. 1808.


I had the Honor of addressing you on the 2d. of Augt. P the Brig Fortune Capt. Hare with duplicate ⟨P⟩ the Brig Joseph, Capt: Hoadley, both bound from this Port to New-York, since which period I have not been honored with ⟨a⟩ny of your favors. The Grain Harvest in this Country has turned ⟨ou⟩t nearly as I expected it would when I wrote you last, considerably less than the preceding year’s, nor is the quality so good ⟨a⟩s it then was. There is however no appearance at Present ⟨of⟩ any scarcity but I am fully Persuaded we shall at best have ⟨no⟩ne to spare, though it is said there is a considerable surplus ⟨of⟩ the old Crop yet on hand. The Crop of Potatoes is large ⟨an⟩d will of course tend to lessen, in a degree, the consumption ⟨of⟩ Wheat. The Grain Crops in Spain this Season are said ⟨to⟩ be much better than usual, so that the demand for Wheat ⟨&⟩ flour in that quarter, as well as in Portugal, will probably be ⟨les⟩s than was a short time since expected. In the other parts ⟨of⟩ the Continent there appears to be no apprehension of a want ⟨of⟩ Grain especially under present circumstances, which must ⟨re⟩nder the exportation of any extremely difficult if not wholly ⟨i⟩mpracticable.

A Vast ⟨s⟩truggle appears to be on the eve of taking place ⟨be⟩tween the French, Spaniards & Portguese the result of which is yet hidden in the womb of time, but I must confess I am much less sanguine than many here seem to be, th⟨at⟩ the views of the former will be defeated, for although I wel⟨l⟩ know that the Spaniards, in particular, have a great Nation⟨al⟩ hatred to the French, yet I am Persuaded it is not quit⟨e⟩ so universal as to preclude all the Intrigues of that activ⟨e⟩ artful & politick people, who will, I doubt not, leave no mea⟨sure⟩ untried to effect such dissensions among them as will in all probability lead to their subjugation, more especially, if the two great Northern powers should give her no interruption and of which, I cannot at present discover the smallest appearance, notwithstanding all that has been lately said to the contrary.

Enclosed be pleased to receive a few of our latest News-Papers with the last London Price Current to which I beg leave to refer you for what is passing in this quarter at Present of a Public nature. I have the Honor to be with the highest consideration, Sir, Your most Obedt. & most ⟨   ⟩ Servt.

Elias Vanderhorst

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Bristol.

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