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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/72
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateJanuary 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address ToThe Highlands, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Who ToHenrietta (‘Ettie’) Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
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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 date of this postcard is provided by the postmark on an attached envelope, although this is not fully legible; ‘Urgent’ has been written by Schreiner on the envelope and the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 My darling
3 Theo tells me you are writing on the native question. Do take care
4what you write, my darling. Remember it is not always ink one dips
5one’s pen in; it may be blood in a country like South Africa. The
6majority of the people English & Dutch in this country want Closer
7Union because it will enable them to crush (to wipe out as an English
8Eastern Province farmer said to me) the natives. Every thing one says
9or does which rouses them into action injures the native, & may help
10to bring nearer that day when seas of blood will flow. A Johannesburg
11man wrote to me the other day that we must hasten on the Closer Union,
12because native is growing more educated & intelligent every day, & if
13we do not crush him now, we may not be able to do it at all, &c. These
14things must never be written of publically; but we must all work to
15promote federation instead of Unification. That is the only hope of a
16putting off the evil-day for the native. What there is a great opening
17for now, is private work, getting individuals of influence to try &
18see things in a generous & pure spirit. You know the great saying "No
19cause was ever yet ruined, except by its own defenders." I don’t
20mean don’t write beloved, but be care-ful.
22 Your,
23 Olive