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Letter Reference Steyn Papers: Emily Hobhouse (Olive Schreiner) 156/3/12/1
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date7 July 1903
Address FromUitkyk, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEmily Hobhouse
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. This letter exists in the form of a handwritten copy made by Emily Hobhouse; the original cannot be traced. Either this letter or that dated 29 September 1903 is misdated, as content indicates that Hobhouse's visit to Schreiner, referred to in this letter, had not taken place when the other letter was written.
1 From Olive Schreiner
2Copy
3
4P.O. Uitkyk
5July 7, 1903
6
7Dear Miss Hobhouse,
8
9I have been waiting to write to you till I could tell you the
10washing-machine was safely bought and enclose a note of thanks from
11Mrs N.- herself.
12
13But matters are not quite arranged yet as the other woman won't sell
14us her machine, and we have to order one from England as the kind Mrs
15N.- has set her heart upon is not to be got here.
16
17It was a great pleasure to me to meet you: not only as one who has
18done so much for our women, but in yourself even more. It seemed like
19a bit of my old past coming back to me. I hope that it has not tired
20you very much to travel about. I never forget how pale you got
21suddenly that evening as you were sitting by the window; but I know
22you will have met with loving friends everywhere. I hope I will see
23you again some time.
24
25Yours ever,
26Olive Schreiner
27

Letter Reference Steyn Papers: Emily Hobhouse (Olive Schreiner) 156/3/12/2
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: August 1902 ; Before End: September 1902
Address FromJohannesburg, Transvaal
Address To
Who ToEmily Hobhouse
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The letter exists in the form of a handwritten copy made by Emily Hobhouse; the original cannot be traced. The letter has been dated by reference to content and a note from Emily Hobhouse added to it.
1From Olive Schreiner
2Private
3
4Dear Miss Hobhouse,
5
6From your letter it appears you never got the long letter I wrote to
7you while you were in Kimberley, & in which I told you how I had spent
8the sum of £10 in detail.
9
10£3.10 I spent for Mrs Nienaber & her six children in groceries &c: Mrs
11Neinaber ^Nienaber^ is the wife of one of the men you mention. She had a
12little baby born just 3 months to a day after its father's death. The
13little thing called Sarelleina ^Sarellina^ after its father ^(Sarel, i.e.
14?Charl)^ seems delicate & not so strong as the five boys, I suppose
15owing to the strain the mother passed through before its birth.
16
17The rest of the £10 I spent in supplying the needs of destitute
18families whose husbands and fathers were suddenly imprisoned, leaving
19the families quite unprovided for.
20
21The other two men who died the same day, one Nienaber and one
22Nieuwhoudt, were not married but the poor old father of the
23Nieuwhoudts has been left with one very delicate daughter, and has to
24work hard for bread.
25
26If it were possible for you to collect a little money for Mrs Nienaber
27and her children the best plan would be to put the money in the hands
28of the Dutch Minister of the place and Mrs Jan Cilliers one of the
29Churchwardens who would see how it could best be spent for their good.
30
31If you could collect a little money for the two Nieuwhoudts
32^(Nieuwoudts)^ who we hope to have out (of prison) soon it would be a
33great thing.
34
35The poor woman, Mrs Nienaber works very hard taking in washing &
36ironing to support her children.
37
38If you could also collect a little money for the putting up of a
39monument to the memory of the three men, it would deeply touch and
40comfort our people.
41
42This matter has been eating into my heart for 18 months and I can
43hardly write of it.
44
45I hope you will get this letter as I am writing in Johannesburg where
46martial law and the destroying of letters is not so strict as with us.
47
48My husband wrote you a long letter last week which I hope you got.
49Yours
50Olive Schreiner
51
52Undated – received Sept 15 02.
53
Notation
Hobhouse has written at the top of this letter, ‘August – after War 1902’ and ‘Rec’d Sept 15 1902’ and also ‘copied original letter sent as Receipt to the Committee. E.H.’.

Letter Reference Steyn Papers: Emily Hobhouse (Olive Schreiner) 156/3/12/3
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date29 September 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEmily Hobhouse
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The letter exists in the form of a handwritten copy made by Emily Hobhouse; the original cannot be traced. Either this letter or that dated 7 July 1903 is misdated, as content indicates that Hobhouse's visit to Schreiner, referred to in the July letter, had not taken place when this letter was written.
1Copy
2From Olive Schreiner
3
4Hanover
5Sept: 29, 1903 (or 7)
6
7
8Dear Miss Hobhouse,
9
10I am writing at once in reply to your letter which has just come.
11
12It would be delightful if you could come but the 15th is such an
13unfortunate time. The Dutch Minister & his dear little wife will be
14away for 6 weeks at the Synod in Cape Town, & Mrs du Toit mys friend
15who has a beautiful house and everything very nice is expecting a baby
16& not able to have anyone to stay with her.
17
18I have only a tiny three roomed cottage & we are only this week
19leaving off taking our meals at the hotel as I have no cook. So there
20is nothing but the hotel left - and you know what an upcountry hotel
21it is! If you would like to come & stay at the hotel, I would fetch
22you from the station, and introduce you to whatever of interest our
23sad little town has and it would be a great joy to me. I have never
24seen such a place, its impossible to get private boarding & lodging,
25and none of our people seem to have a spare room to be able to take
26anyone in. If we hadn't ?turn up this little house I should have had
27to leave Hanover. About ten houses are in building now, so we shall
28soon be housed.
29
30If you feel you would care to come and stay at the hotel, please write
31and let me know in good time, because there are some of our country
32people who would like to come and see you if they could know in time.
33Your trip seems to me to have been productive of much good.
34
35Yours ever,
36Olive Schreiner
37

Letter Reference Steyn Papers: Emily Hobhouse (Olive Schreiner) 156/3/12/4
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 October 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEmily Hobhouse
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The letter exists in the form of a handwritten copy made by Emily Hobhouse; the original cannot be traced.
1From Olive Schreiner
2Copy
3
4Hanover
5Oct 8th 1903
6
7
8Dear Miss Hobhouse,
9
10I am afraid you must be very tired. No one who does not know the
11country can realize all the simple hard labour you have gone through.
12I sympathized greatly with your letter in the South African News about
13the difficulty and complexity of distributing to the needy wisely and
14rightly and justly. Even with my washing machine I have found a
15difficulty. I found the machine cost £12 not £10 as I had thought. A
16friend in Cape Town contributed this extra money and I, out of my own
17pocket, paid the carriage from Cape Town to this which came to £2.16.0,
18 the machine thus costing £14.16.0 when it got here.
19
20I felt sure Mrs Nienaber was now provided for. When I got here I found
21she had developed kidney disease of a most troublesome form (floating
22kidney) and the doctor had strictly forbidden her to wash. So I am
23landed with it on my hands. I shall try to put it up for auction at
24the next Bazaar for orphans & widows.
25
26What I want to ask you is this. There is a much harder case in the
27town than Mrs Nienhaber's even. There is a man called David Cilliers,
28who was imprisoned for 6 months because the Boers came to his farm,
29while he was in Hanover not on the farm at all. He developed terrible
30heart disease as the result of the fever he got in prison. When he was
31nearly dead he was allowed to come out, in what we thought a dying
32state. His farm had been ravaged, his crops, furniture and stock
33destroyed. He lost about £1200 & was left quite penniless with a wife
34and six little children, the eldest of whom is 8 years old! The doctor
35says he is in such a state that manual labour must kill him, and yet
36he is obliged to do hard physical labour here to keep his wife &
37children. His father is a very poor but good and respectable man & her
38old father is equally poor.
39
40What I want to know is, if I am able to sell the machine might I give
41part of the money to him. We are all trying to help Mrs Nienhaber now,
42because she is ill. No one is trying to help him, and he is too
43independent to ask help. Let me know. It is wonderful how to give the
44least little bit of effective and wise help takes time and thought. I
45don't know how you have got through all you have done. I do wish so I
46could see you if only for one day before you go.
47
48Yours with deepest good wishes
49Olive Schreiner
50
Notation
Emily Hobhouse sent lists detailing those who had given donations to the post-war relief fund she organised and distributed to newspapers for publication; these appeared in many papers including the South African News in September and October 1903. The closest thing to an actual 'article' which appeared is a lengthy letter: Emily Hobhouse 'The Distress in the North' South African News 3 October 1903 (p.8); this concerns the ill-effects of dolling out small amounts that will do no long-term good.

Letter Reference Steyn Papers: Emily Hobhouse (Olive Schreiner) 156/3/12/5
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 November 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEmily Hobhouse
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The letter exists in the form of a handwritten copy made by Emily Hobhouse; the original cannot be traced.
1From Olive Schreiner. Copy.
2
3Hanover
4Novbr 5, 1903
5
6Dear Miss Hobhouse,
7
8How must I wish I could have had just one long talk with you. I don't
9know what becomes of my letters, they are often weeks in reaching
10their destinations or never reach them at all.
11
12With regard to Mrs Nienaber and the machine, we thought of the very
13thing you suggest, sending it to Bethulie if she could not use it. But
14the poor woman cried so and seemed so cut up at the thought of not
15having it, that I have let her have it on the condition that, if she
16breaks down utterly, and can do nothing more, then I send it to
17Bethulie or some other orphanage. She did some washing with it, but
18was in bed again all last week. This week she is up and at work.
19
20Your plan about sending groceries from a shop is good. It's what I
21always do with her. To some people it is best to give your money (such
22people as the Cilliers) as you know they will spend it exactly where
23most needed, but Mrs Nienaber has a miserable sister in law who
24sponges on her, does nothing and gets what we give her (Mrs N.). So we
25none of us in the village ever give her money, we send her food in
26small quantities, (see enclosed a/c of things I have just sent her)
27and clothes, pay her doctor's bill &c: we could do so much more for
28her & the children & the old father if it was not for this sister in
29law who will live with her, yet will not touch the washing or ironing
30or do anything to help her. But you know enough of these little
31difficulties. I shall keep the £10 to send her small supplies of
32groceries.
33
34Friday. I saw Mrs Nienaber last night. It is arranged she goes away to
35the sea-side with the two youngest children. The Doctor thinks that
36may help to cure her. Your money will be of immense help.
37
38With regard to the Cilliers. The money comes in most opportunely.
39David Cilliers has bought a cart & mules on credit. We have got him
40the contract for riding in the sand for the new school building, which
41will give him work for some months. But the first instalment of
42payment for the cart and mules comes due on the 14th of this month and
43he has not the money to pay for it & would have had to borrow again.
44
45I went down to their cottage at half past six this morning. I found
46Mrs Cilliers in the kitchen kneading the bread. I told her first about
47the £2.10.0 which you had sent her. She stood with her two hands full
48of dough & the tears started into her eyes, (the first I have seen
49after all the terrible things she has gone through) she said "This is
50too much, too much kindness."
51
52Then I took out the £20 cheque for David and said you had sent this
53to him because you had heard how terribly he had suffered & how
54bravely he had stood. The poor thing turned deadly white, and said,
55"Oh! its too much that this good should come to us! Aren't there
56others whose need is even greater than ours? I can't understand that
57this has come to us".
58
59She seemed quite overpowered & she is such a strong calm woman - the
60bravest strongest Boer woman with two exceptions that I know. What
61that woman has gone through would make a wonderful chapter in the
62history of the War - all because a train was taken near her farm! And
63she has never uttered a complaint, always been brave and smiling &
64working hard. I am sure the money could not be better spent, that none
65of the money you have given away has gone better. It is these people
66who are battling to keep their heads up who really ought to be helped.
67The other £5 I am going to spend as you suggested in sending them
68meal &c.
69
70I am writing you this long letter because I thought perhaps you would
71like to know. There are some people it is so unsatisfactory to try and
72help, the more you give the more they demand, and you never seem able
73to help them on to their ^own^ feet! With the Cilliers it's so different.
74
75Mrs Cilliers is going to write you a note, but you know letterwriting
76is quite an undertaking with them, so the letter will not be ready
77till tomorrow.
78
79I wish I could come down to see you before you go, but fear I can't.
80
81Yours ever
82Olive Schreiner
83
84I think the work you have done in the Colony has been almost more
85useful than the first time you came, because it is important that
86England should know that she is not doing the wonders for the unhappy
87people in this Country which she is told she is doing.
88

Letter Reference Steyn Papers: Emily Hobhouse (Olive Schreiner) 156/3/12/6
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date9 November 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEmily Hobhouse
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The letter exists in the form of a handwritten copy made by Emily Hobhouse; the original cannot be traced.
1From Olive Schreiner
2Copy
3
4Hanover C.C.
5Novbr 9. 1903
6
7Dear Miss Hobhouse
8
9Mrs Cilliers has just been in and says David her husband has not yet
10returned from the country and she writes such a bad hand that she
11wants me to write and tell you of her gratitude. She says I must say
12that every penny will be used with the greatest care: and that she
13knows that she will never have the opportunity of doing anything for
14you to show how grateful she feels; she thinks you must know there are
15hearts always praying for you, in South Africa.
16
17------------
18
19So for Mrs Cilliers' message.
20
21I do hope when you have had a good rest in England you will feel
22really stronger. I know and understand so well, so well, how you must
23be feeling!
24
25Yours ever,
26Olive Schreiner
27
28The eagle-eyed watch which they still keep over my letters is
29something remarkable. Poor fools! I never refer to public matters in
30my letters so it is all time thrown away.
31

Letter Reference CC de Villiers A64/93
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date17 October 1915
Address FromLondon
Address To
Who ToMrs CC de Villiers
Other Versions
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1c/o Standard Bank
210 Clements Lane Lombard Street
3London
4England
5Oct 17th 1915
6
7My dear Mrs de Villiers
8
9I am longing so much for news from South Africa. We get none in the
10English papers, the few words are all lies & all one on one side.
11
12I would feel so glad if you could write & tell me a little how you
13think things are going. I suppose the election is soon in full spring.
14& I suppose Botha & Smuts are sure to win. So at least the papers here
15say, & it seems to me likely. I have always been utterly opposed to
16South Africa attacking German West, I believe we shall in years to
17come pay a heavy price for it: but of course I am always for peace &
18passive resistance, not war.
19
20I am writing & doing what work I can in the cause of peace; I hope all
21goes well with you all.
22
23Has Boeinzuer started that new paper I heard was to be started? If so
24could you tell me its name & the address of the office. I suppose if
25Botha & Smuts wish to remain in power they will have to join entirely
26with the Unionists? The expectation of ?forsee cut me to the heart.
27
28I was so much better after I left Nauheim; but the war & the
29conditions of life in England have made my heart worse than it was
30when I left Africa. It is so hard to be so long parted from my dear
31husband: & I long for a sight of the blue sky in this fog & dark.
32England doesnot seem like old England at all. You can have no idea how
33all the life here is changed since the war.
34
35Yours ever
36Olive Schreiner
37
38Emily Hobhouse has been in Holland for some time doing peace work but
39is I think returning to England next week.
40
41How is President Steyn’s health now?
42
Notation
The addressee of this letter appears as a protagonist in both the Cape Town and also the Bloemfontein Women's Enfranchisement League contexts, and she is the mother of Winifred de Villiers and may have been called Winifred herself. Beyond this and the existence of two archive collections with her married name attached to them, nothing can be traced about her. Schreiner’s ‘I am writing’ comment most likely concerns the never completed ‘The Dawn of Civilization’, which she was trying to write at this time. The newspaper that Boonzaier was involved in starting cannot be established.

Letter Reference A119 Renier / A119-133
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date12 October 1900
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToSomerset East Women’s Congress
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
1Uittreksel van ‘n Toespraak gelewer deur live Schreiner aan ‘n
2Vroue-Kongres te Somerset-Oos, op 12 Oktober 1900.
3
4“The time is coming when England will realise that in losing for ever
5the friendship and alliance of those free republicans, she has lost
6what all the gold of the Transvaal can never repay to her.
7
8With 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
10stained with his blood the kopje or dongas of his native land but
11England would have found it cheap to buy his life as a cost of
12millions of pounds.
13
14When that day comes, and will come, when foreign troops – Russian,
15French or German – are upon the soil of England, when Englishmen
16gather to defend Richmond Hill and Hampstead Heath, as we have
17gathered to defend the hills and asses of our native land – when the
18tramp of foreign soldiers is heard in the streets of London, and the
19ground is wet at the Marble Hall, and the Hyde Park corner
20
21With the blood of Englishmen; when the cup she now presses to our lips
22is pressed to hers; and England stands where we stand today; then let
23her remember South Africa.”
24
Notation
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).

Letter Reference Wessels A.96.13-16 (A7434)
ArchiveFree State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 September 1900
Address FromLyndall, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToP.P. Wessels
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
1Private
2
3Address, Olive Schreiner
4c/o Hon W P Schreiner
5Lyndall
6Newlands
7Cape Town
8South Africa
9
10Sep 13 / 00
11
12Dear Sir,
13
14I have been unable to answer your letter sooner because I have been
15ill. Had I had the means & the health I should long ago have been in
16America trying to explain the true position of the Republics to the
17American people. But I have not the coming over paying my own
18expenses, & under no other condition would I consent to come. My
19health also is now in such an in a condition that I might not be able
20to do much when I got there.
21
22I have written some articles on the Boer. I have sent them home to my
23friends Dr John Brown of Burnley ^Lancashire^ in England. If he cannot
24make suitable arrangements for their publication in Englan America &
25should write to ask your advice perhaps you might be able to help him
26– in publishing them in America I think they might be wise useful in
27throwing light on the true nature of the much misunderstood Boer. I
28always believe still that right will in the end prevail & the
29republics regain their freedom.
30
31^This letter is strictly private^
32
33^I am, dear ^^Sir^^, with sincere sympathy^
34Yours faithfully
35Olive Schreiner
36
Notation
The name of the addressee is provided by another letter archived in the same collection, written by Cronwright-Schreiner to P.P. Wessels, as follows:

Private

c/o Mrs SCCronwright
Mowbray
Cape Colony
22. Aug. 00

Dear Mr. Wessels,

Your note to my wife & myself came yesterday (dated 19. July.) We are anxious to assist in any way towards relieving the distress caused by this war. We have done our best, she here & I in England, & are still doing what we can.

When in England, Montagu White wanted us to go to America, but I refused because I do not wish to be financially assisted by the Republics. But I am willing to go to America if it can be managed ^otherwise^. I cannot go as I should like to, - that is because I cannot afford the expense. But if, while over there, I can by my own exertions fin earn sufficient money, I will go. The only plan that occurs to me is to give a series of public lectures, & I think the best way would be if some man of standing & repute & financially sound to pay me a sum to deliver the lectures. He would in such a case (if money can be made this way) reap financial benefit himself, but it would save me no end of bother, & I should be in a position to help towards relieving the distress caused by the war. You will know, or can easily hear, of a man who takes such matters in hand. Get a good one, see him, and ask him to make me an offer for the a Lecturing Tour. If the offer is good enough my wife might come across with me. It will have to be a good offer, or I cannot go across. It is no use undertaking such a journey unless the result is substantial.

Give such a man my address, & then I can deal with him direct.

Yours very truly,
SCCronwrightSchreiner