September 3, 1814
British Admiral Cochrane and his observations of why Americans “should be treated like spaniels.” In this letter he lays out his plans for Baltimore, parts of New England, and south to New Orleans.
VICE ADMIRAL SIR ALEXANDER F. I. COCHRANE, R.N., TO FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY VISCOUNT ROBERT SAUNDERS DUNDAS MELVILLE
Tonnant, Patuxent River 3rd Septr. 1814
My dear Lord,
……. Let me now congratulate your Lordship upon the destruction of all the Public property at Washington. The previous defeat of their Army at Bladensburgh & the conflagration of their flotilla fleet at the head of this River it will take some millions Sterling to replace the injury they have sustained. The short space of 8 days has accomplished all those objects & so much has been done with such a limited force I trust H. Majesty's Ministers will place a further reliance on my recommendation & at least double our force so as we may be able to act with vigor the moment the sickly season is over, say the 5th of November. The reinforcements should come out direct to the Chesapeake if Soldiers are not to be had pray send Marines but let them be selected as many of the Battalion here are slight lads unfit for the fatigues of the Field.
I beg leave to recommend that a few troops of dismounted Cavalry be sent out with spare accoutrements also a Rifle Corps with spare Rifles. We must be upon a par to meet the Enemy with their own weapons, hitherto what I promised has been effected & if Peace makers will only stay their proceedings until Jonathan (slang for The Americans) is brought to the feet of Gt. Britain, future Wars will be prevented. As September is a fatal month even for the Inhabitants of Virginia & more so for Strangers As soon as the Army is all reembarked I mean to proceed to the Northward & if possible try to surprise Rhode Island where we will quarter upon the Enemy & the Troops as well as the Ships meet with every refreshment. About the close of October we will move to the Southward…
… I propose an attack upon Baltimore the most democratic town & I believe the richest in the Country. As this Town ought to be laid in Ashes, if the same opinion holds with H. Majesty's Ministers some hint ought to be given to Genl. Ross as he does not seem inclined to visit the Sins committed upon H. Majesty's Canadian Subjects upon the Inhabitants of this state. … when he is better acquainted with the American Character he will possibly see as I do that like Spaniels they must be treated with great severity before you ever make them tractable.
… if you suffer their Troops to ruin your subjects in the Canadas & do not bring home your vengeance upon those the nearest to the seat of Govt. the Enemy will continue their conduct until Your North American Settlements are no longer worth holding. As the Season advances I propose going to the Carolinas, Georgia etc. & ending at New Orleans which I have not a doubt of being able to Subdue & thereby hold the Key of the Mississippi. … (The) Indians are coming forward in force. I have supplied them with 4,000 stands of arms, & 2000 more are going with the Vessel having Presents on board…
I will now conclude & trust etc.
(Signed) A. Cochrane