James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Bulkeley, 5 July 1801

From Thomas Bulkeley, 5 July 1801

Lisbon 5 July 1801


Since the last I had the honor of writing you nothing has transpired here on which dependance can be placed. Every ⟨o⟩ne appears in the most anxious suspence for the fate of this Country and its expected a very few days will determine. ’Tis said the First Consul has positively refused to ratify the treaty with Portugal which carries with it some probability of truth as french troops are daily arriving in Spain & by the best accounts its calculated there are no less than 30000 men ⟨i⟩n that Country.

⟨O⟩thers will have it that Peace is actually concluded but extreemly disadvantageous to this Country. A great dinner is to be given ⟨o⟩n Tuesday next at Abrantes by the Portuguese Comr. in chief the Duke of Alafoens to great personages expected from Spain. ⟨S⟩ome suppose these to be the Prince of Peace Lucien Buonaparte & the Duke of ⟨Foies⟩ the late Ambassador at this Court, others that th⟨ey⟩ are the King & Queen of Spain who are to a certainty arrived at Olivença their new acquired possession, & the Roads orderd to be repaired & are repairing with the greatest expedition thr⟨o⟩ Alentejo to Abrantes & Lisbon.

It is also said that the Sec’s of State disagree. Mr. Almada & Dn. Rod⟨rigo⟩ are for a continuation of the War the Recalling the Duke of Alafoe⟨ns⟩ & giving the chief Command to Genl. Goltz as more honble. to the nation to be conquerd into the terms demanded by france than by tacidly acquiesing in them. The prince has answerd his perplexities have already been great. The council might determine He woud act as he pleased. This I heard a perso⟨n⟩ say who is in some confidence here.

A new Coalition is much talkd of on the Continent.

Quietness does not seem actually restored in Italy & Germany & that the secret articles of the Treaty of Luneville have been discov⟨ered⟩ by the British Government.

The first Consul is at Brest said to be with the intention of seeing the fleet to sea. Some suppose his going there has been a political movement.

⟨A⟩ British fleet under the Command of Adml: Sir James Saumarez arrived off Cadiz. It appears as if a constant communication ⟨is⟩ kept open between persons here & him as express by land ⟨a⟩re very frequently sent from hence to the Bh. Consul at ⟨faroe⟩

⟨G⟩reat ⟨preparati⟩ons continue to be made for the defence of Abrantes & very strong forts are made about that town for its defence.

The whole province of Alentejo seems at the mercy of the Spaniards as the whole of the southern army is collected ⟨a⟩t and near Abrantes.

Yesterday morning the Princess of Portugal was safely deliverd of a Prince. I have the honor to be most ⟨r⟩espectfully Sir your humble & Obed Servt.

Thomas Bulkeley

The Spaniards are busy strengthening the fortification of Campo Mayor which they lately captured. Their advanced post continues near to Gaviao.

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