|Letter Reference||Olive Schreiner 924/2
|Archive||War Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein
After Start: 1899
; Before End: 1902
|Address From||Hanover, Northern Cape
The manuscript of this letter by Olive Schreiner belongs to the Archive referenced above; its ownership of the original should be acknowledged by referencing the letter as indicated: Copyright transcription: © Olive Schreiner Letters Project. This transcription can be freely used as long as copyright is acknowledged and it is referenced using the following citation: ‘Olive Schreiner to Unknown, 1899, War Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the War Museum of the Boer Republics for allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its leters collections. Dating has been provided by the content of the letter. The name of the addressee remains unknown and the exact provenance of the letter is not know by the War Museum.
4: Dear Madam
6: I am by this post sending you a paper I have written You will probably
7: find it too long to be read at your meeting, so have placed a cross at
8: two points where it may be conveniently broken. But please if you read
9: any part of it read it exactly as written. It is possible you may
10: think I put the case against England a little too strongly, & in that
11: case you need not read it at all at the meeting, but simply state that
12: I sent a letter of sympathy. Will you kindly do me great favour of
13: returning the MS to me registered, by Fridays post after the meeting
14: as I am anxious to send it to Cape Town to the Editors of Ons Land &
15: the African news to have it printed in their papers as soon as
16: possible. I should be greatly obliged if you will do this, so that I
17: can have it back by m Saturday. I am very sorry I cannot be with you
18: in person.
20: Yours sincerely
21: Olive Schreiner
23: Kindly be sure to send the MS back in a registered envelope closed.
The 'paper' Schreiner refers to is a written letter of address from her to one of the peace congresses held in South Africa in 1899 and 1900 to protest against the South African War. This has not been archived with the letter, but it is known that she sent written addresses to some of the Volkskongres and peace congresses and spoke at others, as follows: Graaff-Reinet Volkskongres, April 1900 (spoke); Cape Town women's meeting, June 1900 (spoke); Somerset East peace congress, October 1900 (a letter of address); Paarl, November 1900 peace congress (a letter of address); Worcester Volkskongres, December 1900 (spoke). Given Schreiner's comments about the length of her address and that she had written something perhaps 'too strong' even for the protestors, it is likely that the letter concerns her long address to the Somerset East congress, which among other things features a rhetorical refrain of variants on 'Now England is dead to me', widely viewed as seditious when it appeared in newspapers at the time. For a shortened version, see Appendix C, 'Speech on the Boer War, Somerset East, 12th October, 1900' in (ed) S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner (1924) The Letters of Olive Schreiner
London: T. Fisher Unwin. For Schreiner's Somerset East open letter of address, see A119 Renier / A119-133