"Dream for federation of South Africa, one day we shall need love & devotion of black & coloured man" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceFindlay Family A1199/1254
ArchiveWilliam Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date28 April 1875
Address FromGanna Hoek, Halesowen, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToCatherine ('Katie') Findlay nee Schreiner
Other VersionsRive 1987: 16-17
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the William Cullen Library, University of Johannesburg, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Historical Papers.
1 Ganna Hoek
2 April 28th 1875
3
4 My dearest Katie!
5
6 Your kind letter has just reached me & I must thank you for it at once.
7 It is really too good of you to say that I must keep the money I
8borrowed from you, my dear sister. If it had not been for your sending
9it, I don't know how I should ever have got here, or what would have
10become of me. I can not thank you enough for all your kindness to me.
11As I sit here I have on the nice old waterproof you gave me & which
12has been such a good friend to me & will be though the coming winter
13which promises to be bitterly cold.
14
15 You must indeed miss your dear little daughter & I hope she will get
16on well & be very happy in Cape Town. She will feel a little lonely
17just at first I fancy & I hope she will be able to see Will often. He
18is such a dear warm hearted fellow, & will, I am sure be fond of her.
19The little ones must her too. She was always so good & kind to them,
20such a model little elder sister I used to think. Please when you next
21write be sure to give me her address, as I want to write to the dear
22little woman sometimes.
23
24 I am feeling very anxious about the dear folks up at the Diamond
25Fields; things up there seem in a very critical state. They write me
26that the niggers enrolled by the government are every where to be seen
27swaggering about & saying how they don't mean to fight with the
28diggers but to have it out on their wives & children. If once a blow
29is struck up there, on either side, there will be terrible mad work, I
30fear, as the diggers have been quite maddened by injustice & taxation
31to which all have been more or less subjected & would fight to the
32death even though their case is utterly hopeless & they know it to be
33so. Theo & all my other friends up there have armed them selves & even
34Ettie has her revolver with which to protect herself in case of the
35worst.
36
37 I am getting on very quietly & pleasantly in my work & if it were not
38for my chest would be in splendid health, but the almost continuous
39rains we have been getting have troubled me a great deal. My pupils
40are advancing wonderfully & though I shall never be fond of teaching I
41like it better than I ever thought I could.
42
43 Do you still think of paying Mamma a visit? I would be a great joy to
44the old folks to see you & your little ones. Mr. Fouche say that at
45the end of the year which I have promised to remain here he will take
46me to see them, if I wish, & will then bring me back again. He is
47terribly afraid if I go away by myself that I will never come back any
48more.
49
50 Give my love to the dear little ones & also to John whose kind offer
51to assist me in going to America I shall always feel grateful for,
52though I was unable to avail myself of it.
53
54 With much warm love for yourself, dearest Sister, believe me always to
55remain,
56 Yours very affecty
57 Olive Schreiner
58
Notation
Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.