James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 19 March 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William Jarvis

19 March 1804, Lisbon. “I have the honor to inclose the semi-annual List, a list of Protections granted, an account of the monies received and disbursed for Seamen and an Account Current, in which is included the money paid for the Postage of Official Letters & diplomatique presents to the couriers & servants of Office, of the several secretaries of State; but as formerly observed, not knowing whether there is any appropriation for charges of the nature of the two last, I must leave it entirely to your discretion Sir to allow them or not. Likewise goes inclosed an Account of the Light money paid in this Port & as the Tonnage money was so connected with it I thought it best to bring them into one view; the charge in the List under the head of anchorage is the only money paid expressly to keep the River clear, unless the expense of boats taking out and delivering ballast & the attendance of the Guard (the charges for which are specified in the complete accounts of Port Charges) are deemed such. The quarantine expenses are entire. I have made out those particular charges agreeable to the direction in the Circular Letter to the Consuls of April the 9th 1803,1 as I saw the subject again mentioned in the Circular of the 1st of October,2 & least the Accounts of Port Charges I forwarded with the semi-annual List ending Dec. 31st 18023 should not correspond entirely with th⟨e⟩ intention of Government; also a Copy of those with one or two additions which were then omitted. Inclos⟨e⟩d is the Copy of a letter I wrote the 24th. Ulto. regarding the quarantine,4 to which I have not received an answe⟨r⟩ the Visconde Balsemão yet continuing so unwell that about ten days or a fortnight since he could not se⟨e⟩ the French Minister on some business of importan⟨ce⟩ but was obliged to let Mr. Pinto, his relation, transa⟨ct⟩ it.” Learned when two ships arrived from Norfolk “about a week ago” and were detained for three days that the quarantine has not been removed. Will write about it again when other vessels arrive.

“Inclosed is also a Copy of the Affidavit of Francis Lomax.”5 Has been informed by Captain Bunce that Lomax had abused Captain Wilson “and several times threatened his life, both which he did in his presence & that fearing the loss of wind and tide was the reason he did not come on shore to make a complaint.” “I am inclined to think this information is correct as Captain Wilson appeared to be a prudent temperate man: but how far he was justified in taking the Law into his own hands Government will determine.”

Nothing interesting has occurred except General Moreau’s confinement. “Copies of an extremely caustic Letter have been handed about addressed to the Visconde Balsemão by the British Minister, complain[in]g that the first instance which has come to his knowledge of the liberty of the press being allowed in this Kingdom should be to publish a libel against the Nation who was the oldest and firmest friend of Portugal, alluding to a translation which appeared in the Court Gazette at the desire of General Lannes of an Official Paper published in the Moniteur reflecting on Gt. Britain, upon General Moreaus being arrested.”6 Last wrote on 16 and 24 Feb. 1804. Sent one copy of his 16 Feb. letter by the Mercury, Captain Crosby, via Norfolk with three letters from Pinckney, five letters from The Straits, a copy of his letter to Balsemão, and copies of letters announcing the blockade of Tripoli. The duplicate sent by the Golden Age via Philadelphia enclosed a letter from Pinckney and three from The Straits. Sent the letter of 24 Feb. by the Hare of New York with a letter from Pinckney.7

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