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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold3/1900/31
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 8 June 1900
Address FromWagenaars Kraal, Three Sisters, Northern Cape
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno and Alice Greene
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The names of the addressees and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope, from which the stamp and postmark have been removed.
1 Wagenaar’s Kraal.
2 Wednesday
4 Dear Friends
6 I had to hire a cart at the station as there was none here to fetch me.
7 I am already feeling better & slept last night. Wish I knew you were
8comfortable & quiet somewhere, & Miss Greene writing her account of
9what happened at Middelburg.
11 A lady from Kimberley whom I met in the train says the volunteers were
12sent out purposely to wreck my house in Kimberley, & that they came
13back & boasted openly of what they had done - it was the common talk
14of the town, but she said I must not mention my her name as De Beers
15would ruin her husband. She says what those people suffered who were
16openly opposed to de Beers passes words. Her husband is in with de
17Beers so they personally did not suffer. unreadable If only only I had
18the money to pay the lawyers I would take the matter up because if
19this can be done to me, what of the poor helpless Boers on their farms!!!
21 Send this to your brother Charley & tell him it is ^private &^
22confidential. What we really have to fight is Rhodes Sievewright & the
23League far more than the military. Almost all really cruel things are
24done by the irregulars not the real British army.
26 I enclose you Cron’s last letter to me which I found at the station
27please return it.
29 If I could hire a little cottage here at Wagenaar’s Kraal for a
30month would you & Miss Greene care to come here. We could share the
31house keeping ^work^ so it would not fall heavy on any of us. They are
32very kind & friendly to me since I came back, have said nothing to
33pain me about my going to the congress. But of course if you or Miss
feel you must talk politics with them you couldn’t stay here.
35You need see nothing of them if we had our own cottage. But we should
36only get post once a week. In that way it would be much better at
37Beaufort. At Middleberg it seems to me we should be too far from the
40 In Beaufort we should be in touch with everything. I feel in a way I
41ought to stay here, as I can work here & probably shan’t anywhere
44 I am just finishing off my book.
46 Olive
48 ^Return Cron’s letter & the enclosed^
Regarding her 'going to the congress' comment, 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). The book referred to is likely to be 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa', which was to have been composed by the essays originally published pseudonymously as by 'A Returned South African'. Although prepared for book publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the South African War prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa.