James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 4 September 1806

Lisbon 4th Septr. 1806


The foregoing is a Copy of my ⟨la⟩st which went by the Brig Betsey ⟨C⟩aptn Copeland via Boston: Since ⟨w⟩hen nothing new has transpired re⟨la⟩tive to the object of Lord St: Vincents. ⟨In⟩ addition to His Lordships com⟨ma⟩nd as Admiral, he has a Co⟨mm⟩ission of Ambassador Extraordi⟨na⟩ry to this Court in which is join⟨ed⟩ the Earl of Rossilyn, on a Special ⟨mi⟩ssion to the Prince Regent. The ⟨Ear⟩l Rossilyn has also a Separate ⟨Co⟩mmission of Envoye Extraordi⟨nar⟩y & Minister Plenipotentiary Resident at this Court in room of Lord Robert Fitzgerald, who I understand is appointed Post Master General for Ireland. To judge from the best information I can obtain I i⟨ma⟩gine what I stated in the preceding as from "those who pretend to be the best informed" is not very far from the truth: and it seems to be beleived that serious apprehension is entertained by the British Cabinet for the Safety of this Country, in case peace is not concluded. Such a step appears to me so contrary to the Comm⟨er⟩cial interest of France, that ⟨un⟩less there is some paramount interest which I do not see, ⟨I⟩ must still be allowed to rem⟨ain⟩ a little Sceptical. As to the inf⟨lu⟩ence which France has or can hav⟨e⟩ in the Councils of this Cour⟨t,⟩ it is or can be made nearly as gre⟨at⟩ as in Spain or Holland; so ⟨that⟩ this cannot be a Source of ⟨dif⟩ficulty. As to Commercial ⟨ad⟩vantages she at least share⟨s⟩ them with England, & the Subsidies she enjoys exclusively; both of which She must totally lose was the Prince to go to the Brazils or if he did not, could the English take possession of them or prevent the richis of those Colonies reaching the Mother Country: the latter of which could easily be effected & the trade possibly be made to flow into British Channels. It is singular however that in all this Solicitude & ferment of the public mind that the public paper has only depreciated two Pr Cent & is not now lower than it was two months ago, 18 1/2 to 19 Pr Cent discount. No steps are yet taken to fit out or prepare the Navy & the impressments for Soldier⟨s⟩ ceased the next day after they began. The Earl of Rossily (who is Genl. Sinclair alias Genl. Sir [  ] Erskine his name of Sinclair being derived from an estate left him by an Uncle & his titl⟨e⟩ of Earl from another Wedderburne) ha⟨s⟩ brought in his Suite Col⟨o⟩ Stewart, a Major of Drago⟨ons⟩ & two Captains in the Cav⟨alry⟩ Service beside Genl. Simcoe. Wheth⟨er⟩ all this is not opposing thre⟨at⟩ to threat, political fines⟨se⟩ to political finesse, a sho⟨rt⟩ time will determine.

Accompanying this you will receive four letters from Mr Erving, duplicates he informed me to the last. With the highest Estimation I have the honor to be Sir Yr Mo: Ob: Servt.

William Jarvis

After the most minute enquiry, I am Satisfied there is not nor has not been a Single transport in the offing as has been reported a dozen times & but three line of battle Ships.

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

Index Entries