Exchange of letters between Basel, Bern and Zurich regarding the refugees

Basel to Zurich 7 September 1698
We cannot take in any more refugees; the price of wheat has gone up so much that we can hardly
feed our own people and the refugees already here; in no way can we obtain wheat from France or
elsewhere. What is more trade is bad.
Bern to Basel 8 September 1698
We invite you, as befits good confederates, to take on immediately the quota that falls to you and to
follow in this the admirable example given by the Vorort of Zurich [presiding over the Protestant
Cantons]; should this not be the case, we do wash our hands before God and all good people of all
the misery that may result; though this would be for us a matter of great sorrow if, after all that has
already been done and with the prospect of relief in sight, a relaxation should appear to occur in the
practice of kindly compassion.
Basel to Bern 9 September 1698
Given the wheat shortage we stand by our earlier decision. Our own people are already forced to
feed on barley bread. If we showed compassion ,France would seize the opportunity to punish those
among the refugees who fought under the Duke of Savoy’s colours against the king of France, their
natural sovereign and would withhold the crops from the Sundgau [region neighbouring Basel]
whereby our own people would know utmost destitution and our pastors and teachers would be
deprived of their salaries partly covered by these crops. We therefore beg you to find an alternative,
and are more than happy to contribute in ready cash.