James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from George W. Erving, 20 October 1810

From George W. Erving

Amboy Oct: 20t 1810

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure to receive in Boston your letter of Septr 25, acknowledging rect of that which I took the liberty of addressing to you from Philadelphia: the views of the english government as to the matter therein referred to stand now confessed in the most unequivocal form; & the hardiesse of its policy in relation to the Spanish colonies generally, seems rather to surpass all that we have before witnessed of a similar character; it woud appear by a late decree of the government at Carraccas (dated Sep. 3d) that independance of the mother country is to be encouraged, in places where it can be converted into a commercial dependance on G. B.!!1 Combining this however with some late articles of intelligence from Europe, I am persuaded that the cause of the peninsula is despaired of, & that the contest there, will be continued only ’till the means are fully prepared of carrying into execution the contemplated operations elsewhere: it may be that this abandonement is motived by a beleif that the Emperor will restore Ferdinand, a measure which I have long thought to be most politick, & even necessary; whatever the patriotick spaniards here may say to the contrary, the terms of such restoration will not defeat its object. As to Portugal, the sudden fall of Almeida & Badajos seems to have decided the fate of the english army; & Lord Wellington will be too fortunate if he can reach his ships.2

I am now from Boston in my way to Washington, where I hope to pay my respects to you very early in the Ensuing month. Dear Sir with the truest respect & attachment Your very obliged & obt St

George W Erving

RC (MHi: Erving Papers). Docketed by JM.

2Erving referred to reports reaching New York by 17 Oct. that French forces had taken Almeida on 25 Aug. and had also occupied Badajoz. The information with respect to Badajoz proved to be incorrect, but the reports assumed that the duke of Wellington would have to withdraw from Portugal (National Intelligencer, 5, 19, 22 Oct. 1810).

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