James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to Congress, 26 September 1814

To Congress

September 26th 1814

I transmit to Congress for their information copies of a letter from Admiral Cockrane, commanding His Britannic Majesty’s Naval forces on the American station to the Secretary of State with his answer and of a reply from Admiral Cockrane.1

James Madison

RC and enclosures, two copies (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 13A–E1; and DNA: RG 46, Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages, 13A–E2). Each RC in Edward Coles’s hand, signed by JM. For enclosures (printed in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:693–94), see n. 1.

1For the contents of the enclosed copy of a letter to James Monroe from Vice Adm. Sir Alexander Cochrane, 18 Aug. 1814 (2 pp.), see JM’s Presidential Proclamation, 1 Sept. 1814, and n. 1. Monroe replied on 6 Sept. 1814 (6 pp.), listing various British violations of “the usage of Civilized warfare,” including the burning of Washington; reminding Cochrane that the U.S. government had disavowed the burning of Newark and tried or sanctioned the officers responsible for two other instances of destruction carried out by U.S. troops in Canada; and stating that the United States would consider paying reparations only if Great Britain did likewise. On 19 Sept. 1814 (1 p.) Cochrane informed Monroe that he would send a copy of Monroe’s letter to the British government and await instructions, and that in the meantime his retaliatory orders would stand.

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