"Mingling races, my articles, not my husband" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceJohn X. Merriman MSC 15/1910:507
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 December 1910
Address FromPortlock, Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToJohn X. Merriman
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
1 c/o Haldane Murray
2 Portlock
3 nr Graaff Reinet
4 Dec 22nd 1910
5
6 Dear Mr Merriman
7
8 I am writing partly to send you & Mrs Merriman Xmas greetings; & yet
9more to express to you my great appreciation of your action on so many
10occasions during the last months; especially when you have spoken on
11the native question. It is sad - but not strange - that almost every
12attempt at legislation during the last session has in the direction of
13retrogression. The attempt to make legal marriage impossible between
14coloured & white, is but a small indication of the tide that has set
15in. The wagon of South Africa is beginning to make a long slide
16back-wards on the muddy road of time; & I am thankful that if you are
17not on the wagon chest as driver, that at least you are still walking
18along side to put a stone under the wheels now & then, & give a call
19to those oxen that are still struggling to hold things up. May you
20long be left to us as a country; & to the many men & women who
21recognize you as the ideal of outspoken rectitude in our public life.
22
23 I was very glad you put that little note in the paper explaining your
24pairing with J M Brown.
25
26 I am spending the hot summer months up here on this lovely solitary
27farm among the mountain tops, as the heat of de Aar was completely
28breaking me down. I have been able to do the first writing I have done
29for a year since I came here. The one life which South Africa has to
30offer which is worth living is the life on a farm, & I still cherish
31the dream that the day may come when my husband & I will be able to
32buy a little farm somewhere up among the mountains.
33
34 Hearty Xmas & New Year greetings to you both.
35
36 Yours very sincerely
37 Olive Schreiner
38
39