James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 25 April 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William Jarvis

25 April 1804, Lisbon. “By the Brig Star Captain Simmons I had the honor to forward an enclosure of the 26th. March a packet from Mr. Pinckney handed me by Mr. Graham & duplicate of my letter of the 19th.1 a packet received by Post from Mr. Pinckney and a letter from Mr. Graham. I have now the honor to inclose duplicates of the Recapitulation of the semi-annual List,2 a list of the protections granted,3 an Account of Monies received & disbursed, accounts of the Port Charges &ca. and an Account Current;4 the originals of which were forwarded by the Hindostan; also a Copy of my letter of the 7th. & 12th Instant to the Visconde’s Balsemaõ5 & Anadei.”6 The former covers an extract of a letter from Lear that he doubts the government will attend to, “as the conditions imposed imply an almost impossibility of being complied with.” Understands that the complaints of the Algerine officers arise “from their being confined to the Arsenal, they being permitted to walk about the City on their first arrival,” and he believes “they will not sign a Certificate of good treatment without being allowed the same priviledge.” The second letter relates to the quarantine, which was lifted on 16 Apr. “The Visconde Balsemaõ expired the 14th: and was interred the next day. It is not yet known who will succeed to either of the Offices he held for foreign Affairs”—perhaps Aranjo, who was sent to France during the Revolution “to Negotiate a treaty & I believe confined in the Temple & who for some time past has been Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Russia.” Expresses congratulations on the burning of the Philadelphia. Adds in a postscript that he found “an error of 10$000 against the United States in the casting up the Account of Monies received for Sailors discharged.”

RC, two copies, and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, CD, Lisbon, vol. 2). First RC 3 pp.; written above Jarvis to JM, 30 Apr. 1803; docketed by Wagner as received 30 June. Second RC docketed by Wagner as received 23 July. For enclosures, see nn. 2–6.

1PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 6:606–7.

2The 31 Dec. 1803 recapitulation (1 p.; docketed by Wagner; filed at 31 Dec. 1803) lists the total value of imports and exports, including port charges, carried by U.S. ships in Portuguese ports during the last six months of 1803.

3The 31 Dec. 1803 list (2 pp.; docketed by Wagner; filed at 31 Dec. 1803; two copies) of protections granted by Jarvis to U.S. seamen from 10 July to 27 Dec. 1803 gives the name, age, height, physical description, place of origin, and proof of citizenship of each of forty-five seamen.

4Jarvis enclosed copies (all filed at 31 Dec. 1803) of (1) his account with the U.S. as of 31 Dec. 1803 (1 p.); (2) a list of his expenditures for postage from 3 Sept. to 23 Dec. 1803, with the names of his correspondents (1 p.); (3) a list dated 31 Dec. 1803 of four ships, with the names of the seamen discharged and the amounts received for them (1 p.); and (4) a list dated 31 Dec. 1803 of funds advanced for American seamen’s passage to the U.S. (1 p.), including the date of each seaman’s protection and the place where it was granted, the ship in which he arrived in Europe, and the ship in which he was sent home.

5The enclosure is a copy of Jarvis to Balsemão, 7 Apr. 1804 (2 pp.; docketed by Wagner), covering an extract of Lear to Jarvis, 16 Mar. 1804 (2 pp.), and requesting alleviation of the conditions under which some captured Algerine officers were being held in Lisbon. The extract describes the dey’s imposition of severe conditions on the Portuguese officers held at Algiers and his later decision to release them. For Lear’s description of the incident, see the entries for 24 Feb. and 16 Mar. in Lear’s diary (Lear to JM, 7 May 1804, first enclosure). For Lear to Jarvis, 16 Mar. 1804, see ibid., n. 12.

6The enclosure is a copy of Jarvis to Anadia, 12 Apr. 1804 (3 pp.; docketed by Wagner), stating that Jarvis had hoped not to have to write again on the subject of the quarantine, having previously sent a public notice announcing that the disorder prevalent in three U.S. ports had subsided, together with certificates to that effect from public officers attested by the Spanish and Portuguese consuls. He had hoped that these had convinced the Portuguese government that it was safe to admit ships from the U.S., but he had learned that they were still subject to a short general quarantine, which he asked Anadia to remove as Balsemão was ill. He noted that the advent of cold weather ended the disease, as the situation at Málaga showed, and added that such admissions would increase the supply of badly needed bread.

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