James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis (Abstract), 13 April 1805

§ From William Jarvis

13 April 1805, Lisbon. “Since the foregoing1 nothing has occured here of any interest. The only news We have is the capture of Dominica by the Rochfort Squadron,2 a very unimportant acquisition, it appears to me compared with what they might have effected and which probably will weaken their force too much now to accomplish. No doubt the news will have reached you by this. General Junot and suite reached here yesterday. Mr. Jerome Bonaparte the day before set away for Paris, escorted by Ten of the Prince’s Guards well mounted, to go as far as Badajos. Mrs. Bonaparte sailed for Amsterdam yesterday.3 Inclosed I have the pleasure to hand you an extract of a letter from Mogadore [not found] which gives the particularsi<z>e Gun carriage<s> that the Emperor has demanded. The same day I received a letter from Mr. Simpson mentioning the fact but without the particulars.

“It contained nothing else interesting.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Lisbon, vol. 2). 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand; enclosed with Jarvis to JM, 20 Apr. 1805, which is docketed by Wagner as received 11 June.

2On 22 Feb. 1805 the French squadron under Adm. Edouard Missiessy, carrying several thousand troops under the command of Gen. Joseph Lagrange, appeared off Roseau, Dominica, and soon overcame the much smaller British force. The fleet departed on 27 Feb. after extracting a large cash contribution from the inhabitants (James, Naval History of Great Britain, 4:79–83).

3Jerome Bonaparte traveled not to Paris but to Turin and Milan where he had been ordered to meet Napoleon. Because of her advanced pregnancy Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte went to Amsterdam by ship to await her husband, Jerome, but since Napoleon had forbidden her to land in Holland or France, she remained aboard her ship off the Texel for several days before sailing to England (Dorothy M. Quynn and Frank F. White Jr., “Jerome and Betsy Cross the Atlantic: Account of the Passage by the Captain of the Erin,Maryland Historical Magazine 48 [1953]: 208, 209 and nn. 23 and 25, 210–12).

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