James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 11 April 1806

Lisbon 11th: April 1806


The holidays intervening the last week prevented my calling on His Excellency relative to the discharge by Bica; which innovation I had the honor to mention in mine of the 28th. Ulto. by the Ship Ann, Captn. Bradford, for Alexandria. Fearing that this might be a prelude to other embarrassing arrangements, I waited on His Excellency Mr. de Araujo yesterday. After breaking the Subject to His Excellency, he observed that he had Spoken to the Marquis of Pombal: and His Excellency had observed to him, that it was a measure of precaution necessary to obviate the danger of any woolen or Cotton being under the grain. I observed that no danger of this kind could exist from the United States, as our Cargoes were entirely composed of uninfectious articles. He said it was just, beside which, he had the most Satisfactory advice from Mr. Rademaker of the good health of the Country, and advised me to apply to the Marquis on the business. This I set down as an easy way of getting rid of the tr⟨ou⟩ble, or as proof that he thought ⟨the⟩ measure would be continued, or ⟨   ⟩ probably a piece of polite attentio⟨n⟩ toward the Marquis, to whose p⟨ar⟩ticular department the affair b⟨e⟩longs. I however, on my return, w⟨ait⟩ed on His Excellency & found he h⟨ad⟩ gone to the Pallace. Tomorrow I shall write to him concerning it, ⟨&⟩ have my letter translated.

The Spectres of armies marching from France to take posession of this Country have lately been conjured up, after having be⟨en⟩ several times laid this War: or witho⟨ut⟩ there being an army ⟨nearer⟩ than Ita⟨ly⟩ or the borders of Germany. These rep⟨orts⟩ appear to be sheer fabrications, which gain credit for a few days & then ar⟨e⟩ succeeded by others equally preposter⟨ous.⟩ A Report also has for Several days bee⟨n⟩ circulated that Several Neutral Vessels were turn⟨ed⟩ away from the Ports of Vigo, Coruna, & St. Andero. An intelligent American Captai⟨n⟩ that arrived yesterday in 6 day⟨s⟩ from the latter, says there is no trut⟨h⟩ in it as regards this place, & he hear⟨d⟩ nothing of the Kind taking place at the two former. A report however i⟨s⟩ in circulation on the authority ⟨of⟩ private letters, that on the 22nd. of March the Emperor Napoleon made a Speech to the Senate, stating that he found it would be necessary once more to leave them for the purpose of heading his Armies, to meet his enemies in Germany. This is pretty generally beleived & has caused much Speculation as to the object. Some will have it that it is for the restoration of Poland: others, who pretend to be the best informed, insist that it is owing to some recent misunderstanding with Prussia; among the latter number is Lord R. Fitzgerald, the British Minister, who said to me last night at the assembly room, that he had no doubt of it: some are of opinion that a division of Turkey in Europe is the Emperor’s intention. Whether such a Speech has been made, or which of those surmises is just, if it has, a few days will determine.

I was happy to learn that a general order was given for the release of our Seamen in England, and that our differences with that power relative to Neutral rights was in a train of amicable adjustment. It will leave Government at liberty to pursue such measures toward Spain as its wisdom shall dictate is the most for the advantage of our Country. I was much incensed at the two replies of the Marquis de Yrujo to your letter communicating the desire of the President that he departed from Washington. Hope Government will take such steps regarding that Man as the hono⟨r⟩ & dignity of our Country demand which has been insulted in the ⟨per⟩son of its beloved first Magistra⟨te.⟩ With the greatest Respe⟨ct⟩ I have the honor to ⟨be⟩ Sir yr. Mo: Obt: & Mo: Hble ⟨Servt.⟩

William Jarvis

P.S. I mentioned to His Excy. Mr. de Arauj⟨o⟩ that I had written to Government on the subject of a Coalition against the Ba⟨r⟩bary powers; he seemed pleased with it & said with some warmth, that he was satisfied it would prove highly a⟨d⟩vantageous to the lesser power⟨s⟩ & that it was the greatest Shame their piracies or a tribute should be Submitted to. He also observed that orders were given to the Portugueze Agent not to make any prop⟨o⟩sitions for a Treaty with Algeirs, or to Su⟨s⟩pend treating if he had already mad⟨e⟩ any; appearing to be satisfied that Since the last captures no terms could be had that ⟨this⟩ Government could agree to.

DNA: RG 59--CD--Consular Despatches, Lisbon.

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