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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.132
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 1903
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
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. The letter has been dated by reference to its position in the archive sequence and also when the post-war women’s association referred to was set up.
1 Sunday
2
3 Dear Mary
4
5 I shall leave this on Saturday afternoon getting to Cape Town Sunday
6morning, & shall leave again by Monday night's train for this.
7
8 As to the woman's association there are two points that seem to me
9important. First - that in addition to the three very good objects you
10mention there should be a fourth - "To labour for the substitution of
11the principle of arbitration to that for physical force in the
12settlement of all international & interstatial differences," or words
13to that effect. We should make arbitration our great plank.
14
15 (I quite agree with you that the thing should first be started quietly.)
16
17 The second thing is with regard to the nature of the society.
18
19 My great hope is that ^as^ the Bond developes into the new South African
20party it will admit women ^both^ as members, making simply no
21distinction of sex; it would be a great move in advance: would lead to
22the ultimate enfranchisement of women (for the most old fashioned men
23would soon find out how useful the women were) & the enfranchisement
24of women would immensely strengthen the Born-South African
as there
25are three South African women at least to one Uitlander in the country.
26 By the enfranchisement of women the South African part would gain
27immensely in every direction. (But we'll talk this over when I come).
28
29 It's rather interesting that after the people's congress meeting two
30old fashioned Africanders, Doppers!! came to me, & asked whether I
31wasn't going to the Bond congress. I said no, I wasn't a Bond's man, &
32no women were admitted. They said solemnly, that it didn't matter,
33that I ought to go to parliament!!!! This was to me very interesting
34as showing how even the hardshell old Dopper can modify his view, the
35moment he sees a practical reason for it!!
36
37 The great object is to get men & women, not merely to work side by
38side, but together for the in public matters. I would not like this
39woman's organization to prevent that in any way. I think it ought to
40be absolutely distinct from the National Africander Party
, which
41should contain both men & women. This organization should be
42absolutely independent, representing the standpoint of women as women,
43but not prevent us from joining the larger party. Again, we as women
44may go much further & take a much firmer stand than the could ever Bond
45^or any man's organization^ could ever do: we ought not to limit or bind
46ourselves. ^in any way.^ One of the first propositions as soon as we are
47organised should be that without full equalities ?fights in the great
48Africander party for one woman be
women should work side by side with
49men in the Africander party.
50
51 Let us meet once a year &c, but not when the Bond meets, ^as an ?annex.^
52There are a great number of farming details, scab acts &c, which those
53women who join this organization need not necessarily concern
54themselves ^with^ while those who entered the ^African^ Bond would concern
55themselves with all ^subjects.^
56
57 The freedom of the Republics & the ?artbitration substitution orga of
58arbitration for war, is quite plank enough for us to start on. Let us
59concentrate on this for the present. I believe the new Africander
60party will be glad to admit women; if it does not, then we may take up
61other matters.
62
63 All the propositions ^you sent^ as to membership, constitution of the
64party &c seem very good. I am so glad Mrs Solly is throwing herself
65into the matter she will be a great help.
66
67 Miss Molteno & Miss Greene have not come yet. I can't understand it, I
68am expecting them every day. Have sent a wire to them let me know when
69they are coming.
70
71 As to the proposa the meeting on Monday. Thinking it over it seems to
72me it would be best for a Dutch South-African, to move the vote of
73thanks to English women. You will at once see why.
74
75 I would like to second either the resol your resolution re- the rebils
76or the resolution demanding the Independence of the Republics. Let me
77know which by wire at once. If you wire "first resolution" I shall
78know you mean I am to second resolution with regard to independence.
79^of the Republics.^ If you wire "second resolution" I shall know it
80means I am to speak on the amnesty for the "rebels".
81
82 I should prefer if it can be arranged to speak on the Independence of
83the Republics. I shall not be able to make a long speech, that is why
84I didn't want to take such an important resolution. Let me know which
85you decide at once dear, that I can write out a
86
87 ^little paper to be read in case I should not be able to speak.
88
89 Olive^
90
91
Notation
No 'little paper' of the kind Schreiner was envisaging can be traced.