"In losing the friendship of the Republics, England has blown away one of the bulwarks of Empire, when England stands where we stand today let her remember Soouth Africa" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold1/Dated/18
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 August 1908
Address FromCape Town, Western
Address To
Who ToJulia Solly nee Muspratt
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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 and month have been written on this letter in an unknown hand, while the year is indicated by content. Schreiner stayed in Cape Town from mid June to mid August 1908.
1 Dear Mrs Solly
2
3 I hope you have the letter I sent through Mrs Macfadyen.
4
5 I enclose another 1/-. Please send receipt & card of membership to
6 Miss Elsie Martin
7 2 Glebe Terrace
8 Rondebosch.
9
10 I hope to send you a few more names in a few days.
11
12 We have decided to have just a quiet, private, little meeting at Mrs
13WP Schreiners
on Friday afternoon next at 3 o’clock. We have invited
14about 40 women. I wish you could be there. ^Can’t you?^ It will be
15quite informal. Mrs Brown will set the ball rolling by reading her
16little paper, & then over our tea & cake ^we^ will discuss woman’s
17questions & I hope get one or two more names for our society. I hope
18we shall have six wives of members of Parliament there. If every
19member of our society could get up one such little ^private^ meeting
20each month I believe in a year we should number hundreds here ^in the
21Peninsula^ alone; say two hundred at the least!
22
23 Before we can hope to get the Dutch women up country to join us (& on
24them entirely depends our getting the suffrage) we must have our
25little circular printed in Dutch & we must have on ^it^ the name of some
26Dutch woman or some one known to be strong on the South side. Every
27one in Cape Town of course knows you are not a jingo; but upcountry
28people don’t know it. They will only see the Loyal Lady Leagurer
29names ^& one who is English^! I wish we could have had a talk when you
30were in town, but it
31
32^was with great difficulty I got in to the meeting in the afternoon. ^
33
34 Yours ever
35 Olive Schreiner
36
Notation
Mary Brown’s ‘little paper’ cannot be traced. Julia Solly also developed a direct line of contact with Cronwright-Schreiner during the period he was a Cape MP; his letter to her of 25 May 1908 indicates his support for women’s enfranchisement:

De Aar C.C.
25.5.08
(Evening)

Dear Mrs Solly,

Thank you for your letter of the 21st.

I will undertake the matter. Send the promised information along. Please mark the chief facts; I am sorry to put you to this trouble, but the way I am worked in my private business must be my excuse.

Wishing you well, & with kind regards
Yours sincerely
S.C. Cronwright Schreiner

Female suffrage ought to be incorporated in the Federal Constitution. This must be rammed into the heads of the belated “Old Guard”! Malan, Botha, Smuts, Sauer & perhaps others are for it.

My wife arrives here from Matjesfontein on Thursday.