Montpelier Mar 29. 1815
I have just recd. yours of the 26. and return the projected answer to Adml. Cochrane, with a few pencilled alterations, which you will perceive the scope of; and adopt, or remodify as you may think best. The last one is intended to obviate the apparent inconsistency occurring to you. The only ground on which the B. Govt. could properly, or prudently call the attention of this to the affair in question, would be an admission of the facts stated by it, with a request of its aid in bringing the offenders to punishment; The ground assumed, as I recollect in Cochrane’s letter, controverts the fact, and appeals to investigation. The alteration proposed to your last paragraph has a view to this distinction. What wd. the B. Govt. say, if we were to call on it for proof of all its allegations agst. us during the war? with a view to exculpate the U. S. or their officers? It is on that side certainly & not on ours, that a renewal of the war of discussion, ought to be courted.
As you say nothing of Mrs. Monroe’s indisposition I hope it has ceased. Mrs. Madison has been for several days, & is Still, much indisposed, tho’ I hope a favorable turn has taken place.
DLC: Papers of James Madison.