"Women's Enfranchisement League leadership - Mrs MacFadyen cannot be WEL & Loyal Labour League at same time" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold2/1909/15
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date26 February 1909
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
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 name of the addressee of this letter is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Matjesfontein
2 26 February 1909
4 Beloved Friend
6 I have your long letter on the native question to-day. Why do you not
7rather come & try to help educate in the deepest sense the Kaffir
8women? If you & Alice perhaps aided by Helen Greene could come. I have
9an old idea that a splendid opening for Kaffir women would be as
10nurses, as mass. There's bodies are so strong, & the idea of curing
11disease by rubbing is an old, old M Kaffir idea. They might be
12mentally educated & trained physically at the same time.
14 I do not think the Matjesfontein plan would do, because the more I see
15of Logan the more I see it would be impossible for you to live near
16him. The way in which the natives are treated here is too abominable.
17I told you in my last that Lady Constance Lytton had cabled me that
18she had made satisfactory arrangements for the publication of my paper
19on Closer Union in book form. If you write to her Knebworth Herts. she
20will tell you the name of the publisher which I don’t yet know. My
21dear old brother Will is giving himself up heart & soul to work for
22the natives. When Dinuzulus trial is over he is going to Queenstown to
23visit his electorate & he wants me to go with him. I think I shall. I
24send you with this a copy of my paper.
26 Olive
28 Address always now to Matjesfontein. ^I shall live here most of the year.^
Schreiner's Closer Union originated as a lengthy article published in the Transvaal Leader on 21 December 1908 and the Cape Times on 22 December 1908 (p.9); it appeared as a short book in 1909.

There is a final insertion on this letter, not in Schreiner's handwriting and most likely by Betty Molteno, whose writing is generally almost unreadable: '^You will ?know ?the comfort of this letter for the joy it will give to you. How ?ideal ?if ?she ?can ?go with W.P. Schreiner on his tour among his constituents. How thankful I am she is living now at Matjes ? again I say How wonderful a Life-^.'