James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Jarvis, 20 December 1806

Lisbon 20th. Decr. 1806


The foregoing of the 26 Ulto. went by the Ship Janus, Captn. McConnell via Baltimore Nothing of moment has since occurred that has any particular relation to this Country. Confidence is as compleatly restored as at any period since the war, if public paper is allowed here, as in all other Countries, to be any criterion. Public paper has for three or four weeks past been growing better & Exchanges on the several parts of Europe are getting more in favour of Portugal. The last Official news which reached here from Prussia, was that an Armistice had been signed; in which it was stipulated that all the Strong Towns of Prussian poland were to be put in possession of France, tha⟨t⟩ the Russian troops were ⟨to⟩ withdraw from the Prussian dom⟨in⟩ions & not to re-enter them, & that ten days Notice was to be given by ei⟨ther⟩ party before the re-commencement ⟨of⟩ Hostilities. It is wonderful to see wi⟨th⟩ what perfect indifference the dest⟨ruc⟩tion of the Prussian Armies & the over running the Prussian dominio⟨ns⟩ has been received here. It seems ⟨to⟩ have been considered as a matter of cou⟨rse⟩ & consequently excited little surpr⟨ise.⟩ The Americans certainly discover m⟨uch⟩ more Sensibility about the chang⟨es⟩ in Europe, or is it, that in proport⟨ion⟩ as we draw near the Scene of Action our astonishment & interest ⟨decrea⟩ses. The re-establishment of Pola⟨nd⟩ as a Monarchy is said to be det⟨er⟩mined on. Mr Jerome Bonapa⟨rte⟩ it is said will be made King. ⟨Nobo⟩dy seems to doubt that this wil⟨l⟩ be effected with ease; in fact s⟨o cer⟩tain does every one appear to be ⟨that⟩ the Emperor Napoleon can eff⟨ect⟩ all that he undertakes, that I v⟨erily⟩ beleive, was it reported to-mor⟨row⟩ that it was his determination to possess himself of St. Petersburg, from thence march to Constantinople & plant the imperial eagle upon the Towers of that City, cross the Dardanelles, seize upon Persia, & finish with the conquest of China, that few would doubt his success.

Inclosed I have the pleasure to hand you two communications from His Excy. Mr d’Araujo of the 10th. Inst; one acquainting me that the application for the remission of the duties on the Cargo of the Schr. Hope Captn. Hooper, which I made the 30th Septr & forwarded a copy to you the 8th. Octr. was complied with by His Royal Highness; the other a second reply to my communication of the 27 June last relative to the seizure of the 244 barrels flour out of the Brig Acteon Captn Dryburg at Fayal, detailing the reasons for so doing, with my answer of the ⟨17⟩ Instant. As I consider the seizure as an infringement on the rights of Nations, but conceived that a contest with this Govmt. would be attend⟨ed⟩ with no good effect & at the same ti⟨me⟩ viewed the price offered as a very fair one, more than could hav⟨e⟩ been obtained here & two dollars pr barr⟨el⟩ m⟨ore⟩ than the flour would have comm⟨and⟩ed in Cadiz, I imagined objecting to the former & advising the Captn to accept the latter would be t⟨he⟩ most judicious step to take with which I hope Govmt. wi⟨ll⟩ be Satisfied. The $11 Pr barrel aw⟨ard⟩ed, I understand from another quarter, was deposited for the Captain in the public deposit.

The 28th. April 1805 I entered into ⟨an⟩ agreement with the Inspector ⟨Ge⟩neral of the Hospital Sn. Jose ⟨to pay⟩ twelve Mil. eight hundred reis for each Seaman bel⟨ong⟩ing to a Vessel, & six Mil four ⟨hundred⟩ Reis for those who were destitute which agreement I had the ho⟨nor⟩ to forward the 4th. May followi⟨ng.⟩ I have several times since req⟨ues⟩ted that the account might ⟨be⟩ sent in without its being done, & a few ⟨d⟩ays Since was obliged to insist on ⟨i⟩t & inclosed is the account with the receipt.

I am very sorry to learn that our Negotiation regarding our differences with Spain is likely to terminate unsuccessfully, the more so as the circumstances of the times are unfavourable to our doing ourselves right. I acknowledge that it is humiliating to submit to injustice, but it is wisdom to suffer a lesser to avoid a greater evil.

The Constitution Sailed from here the 8th. She is now in a perfect State of repair for a year & with a very little additional expense for two years. Her repairs with advances to Officers, Seamen & & & amounted to the very large sum of twenty four thousand, Seventy three Mil, four hund. & twenty two reis as will also appear by the A/c sent to the department of the Navy.

Captain Campbell having recd. mu⟨ch⟩ attention from my friends, from some persons to whom he broug⟨ht⟩ letters, & one or two others whom ⟨he⟩ was formerly acquainted with ⟨was⟩ desirous of repaying those civili⟨ties.⟩ He therefore concluded to give a Ball. As the invitations would be too extensive to be considered ⟨a⟩ private party, I thoug⟨ht⟩ it would be paying a handsom⟨e⟩ compliment to the Portuguese M⟨i⟩nistry & the Corps Diplomatick ⟨to⟩ invite them. This I requested h⟨im⟩ to do, which with his usual dispo⟨sition⟩ to oblige he complied with. T⟨he⟩ Minister of Marine & the Marqu⟨es⟩ of Pombal & his family & several ⟨of the No⟩bility came. His Excy. Mr de Ara⟨ujo⟩ wrote me a very polite apolog⟨y⟩ desiring that I would excuse ⟨him⟩ to Captn. Campbell, owing to a fluxion in the eyes, which I ⟨know⟩ to be the case; the Minister ⟨of⟩ Finance also wrote a very ⟨po⟩lite excuse to Captn Campbell. Of the Corps Diplomatic the Popes Nuncio ⟨&⟩ family attended, the Spanish Le⟨g⟩ation, the French Legation, the Russian Legation, except the Minister who was Sick but sent me ⟨a⟩ polite billet requesting that I ⟨w⟩ould excuse him to Captn. Campbell. The rest sent very polite ex⟨c⟩uses to the Captain. There was besides about Sixty ladies & eighty ⟨g⟩entlemen, foreign & Native, generally the most respectable families in the City. The quarter deck was co⟨ve⟩red in a handsome manner with ⟨th⟩e flags of every European Nation. The supper Table was laid on the ⟨   ⟩ deck & very well arranged. ⟨A⟩ll the ladies & the principal Men ⟨sa⟩t down at the first Table.

After supper Captn. Campbell gave the Prince Regent as a toast. I was to have given the President; but the Marquis Pombal directly after the Prince was drank rose & gave him. The night was remarkably fine, even for this cl⟨i⟩mate, & most of the company remained till 3 oClock in the mo⟨rn⟩ing. It was certainly a very han⟨d⟩some entertainment, every body appeared highly gratified & hav⟨e⟩ since spoken of it as the best ⟨thing⟩ of the kind that was ever given in this port on board a Vessel ⟨of⟩ War. The conduct of Captn. Cam⟨p⟩bell was attentive & Gentlema⟨nly⟩ as was that of the Officers; & th⟨e⟩ general deportment while ⟨at⟩ Lisbon has certainly done Credit to the Service.

Inclosed will ⟨be⟩ a duplicate of the disbursem⟨ents⟩ on Acct. of the U. S. belonging ⟨to⟩ your department to 31 Decr. la⟨st⟩ & the original of those to the ⟨30th⟩ June. With the most entire R⟨espect⟩ I have the honor to ⟨be⟩ Sir Yr Mo: Ob: Se⟨rvt⟩

William Jar⟨vis⟩

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

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