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|Letter Reference||A119 Renier / A119-133
|Archive||Free State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
|Letter Date||12 October 1900
|Who To||Somerset East Women’s Congress
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 Somerset East Women’s Congress, 12 October 1900, Free State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the Free State Archives Repository for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of their collections.
1: Uittreksel van ‘n Toespraak gelewer deur live Schreiner aan ‘n
2: Vroue-Kongres te Somerset-Oos, op 12 Oktober 1900.
4: “The time is coming when England will realise that in losing for ever
5: the friendship and alliance of those free republicans, she has lost
6: what all the gold of the Transvaal can never repay to her.
8: With her own guns she has blown away one of the bulwarks of her Empire.
9: There is not a beardless Boer boy, or an old man of 70 who has
10: stained with his blood the kopje or dongas of his native land but
11: England would have found it cheap to buy his life as a cost of
12: millions of pounds.
14: When that day comes, and will come, when foreign troops – Russian,
15: French or German – are upon the soil of England, when Englishmen
16: gather to defend Richmond Hill and Hampstead Heath, as we have
17: gathered to defend the hills and asses of our native land – when the
18: tramp of foreign soldiers is heard in the streets of London, and the
19: ground is wet at the Marble Hall, and the Hyde Park corner
21: With the blood of Englishmen; when the cup she now presses to our lips
22: is pressed to hers; and England stands where we stand today; then let
23: her remember South Africa.”
This open letter for the Somerset East Women’s Congress, held on 12 October 1900, exists as a proof copy in the Renier collection. Schreiner sent written addresses to some of the Volkskongresses and peace congresses and she 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).