"Colossal evil threatening South Africa, Boer society hidebound" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceT120 (M722): W.T. Stead Papers/11- pages 74-5 & 249-250
ArchiveNational Archives Depot, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date4 January 1896
Address FromKowie River (Port Alfred), Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Thomas Stead
Other VersionsRive 1987: 260
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the National Archives Repository, Pretoria, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Micofilm Collections. Schreiner has mistakenly dated this letter as January 1895, a slip of the pen as the Jameson Raid took place in late December 1895 and early January 1896.
1^Address to Kimberley^
2
3The Kowie
4Jan 4 / 95
5
6Dear Friend
7
8Your likeness is splendid. You as I like to remember you as you sat
9one day in your arm chair in my room in London.
10
11// What do you say to this state of things out out here – this
12murderous attack on the Transvall by the Chartered forces?? I enclose
13you a letter from a clergyman & one of the most influential &
14important men in South Africa, which will show you, not only that two
15^weeks^ ago, I rightly saw, with many others behind the s-cenes, the
16part Rhodes was playing in the Transvaal; but which will also show you
17what the feeling of earnest unreadable humane men in this country is
18with regard to Rhodes & the m his policy. If such reckless in justice
19& wrong as has been going on here in the last three years
20
21^Private^
22
23were to go unpunished one would lose all faith, not in the production
24in of human actions of natural fruit. He has believed that with the
25same merciless injustice with which he has handled the natives he may
26handle the well armed Boers: the results at this moment it is
27difficult to foretell. For the moment all hope seemss to rest with the
28English government; & if it if this difficulty results in breaking
29forever the power of Rhodes & the Chartered Company, it will be an
30unmixed benefit to the Native, & European population of this country.
31
32Perhaps no man has ever thrown away such chances of writing his name
33in “good” across the face of a great country as Rhodes has thrown away
34here in the last four years. We have just this moment, since I sat
35down to write, got the glorious news of Jameson’s
36
37^defeat.^
38
39Yours ever
40Olive Schreiner
41
Notation
The letter ‘from a clergyman’ referred to is no longer attached. Rive’s (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also incorrect in minor ways.