James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Christopher Gore, 20 October 1802

From Christopher Gore

London Oct 20. 1802


Every thing here announces that in the minds of the administration the peace cannot be of long duration. This Government, probably alarmed at what it considered a new evidence of the disposition of France to assume the command of all the Nations of Europe, and apprehensive of her succeeding in another important step towards the attainment of this end, has, it is believed, resolved to resist the interference of the first Consul in the affairs of Switzerland, according to his avowed determination.1 The extent and manner of this resistance must, however, depend on the concert and alliance of the Great Powers on the Continent. To determine how far these, or either of them, can be depended on for co-operation, to promote and cherish a pre-existing disposition in Austria to resist the Mandates of France, and to induce a combination of efforts with England to attain for Switzerland and the Nations of Europe an independence consistent with their former rank and self-Government, and to convey assurances of support to the Swiss who contend for this right, is believed to be the object of Mr. Moores mission. He is the same Gentleman, who was with Lord Cornwallis at Amiens, and went from this Country about the 11th. instant.2

The Emperor of Germany having hitherto, and without support from any other Nation, refused to accede to the plan of Indemnities as dictated by France, and Russia, may be expected to accord with the views of England.3 A total change in the administration of the Emperor of all the Russias has lately taken place, and the Men, who are now entrusted to direct and guide the affairs of that Kingdom, are expected to pursue a conduct, the reverse of that which has lately been manifested in their Relations to France.4

If, therefore, the Diet of Schwitz shall not have submitted on receiving the Proclamation of Bonoparte, and before the disposition of this Cabinet is known there; and it is believed here that it will not—such I think to be the expectation of this Government, although not directly and explicitly declared; or, if the first Consul shall not recede in some degree from his threats against Switzerland, appearances seem to indicate a renewal of the War.

Mr. King is in paris, and will be here within three weeks. The present state of things, however, appeared to me to be such as to require a communication to our Government: for, although nothing certain can be deduced as to the issue of what is now doing or attempting to be done, yet whatever may be the effect, there seems to be a change in the Resolutions of this administration as to the measures necessary on the part of these Kingdoms to secure their own safety and prosperity against the increasing Power of their Rival. And in the present supposed dispositions of the Ministry there appears a general concurrence among People of all ranks, and Parties. Manifestations of such a Temper you will discover in the various news Papers, which are sent by this Conveyance. The True Briton is considered the Government paper: the Morning Chronicle, you well know, has long Spoken the sentiments of opposition, and in the best and most powerful manner. With great Consideration and respect, I have the honour to be, Sir Your most obed & huml

C. Gore

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