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Harriet (or Harriette) Emily Colenso (1847 - 1932) was the eldest daughter of John William Colenso and his wife Frances Sarah Colenso nee Bunyan, well-known Church of England missionaries in Natal and advocates for the Zulu people. John Colenso eventually became Bishop of Natal. On her father's death Harriet Colenso continued her father's advocacy of the Zulu people against the colonial authorities, and she was instrumental in supporting Dinuzulu in 1888-89 and during his later trial between 1908 and 1909. Schreiner admired Colenso's political work and commented in a 1908 letter to Bob Muirhead about Dinuzulu's trial 'my dear friend Miss Colenso is straining every nerve to see justice done'. It is likely that some letters were exchanged between Schreiner and Harriet Colenso, although none have been traced. Harriet Colenso was the co-founder with Martin Luthuli (uncle of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Luthuli), of the Natal Native Congress in 1900.
For further information see:
Jeff Guy (2002) The View Across the River: Harriet Colenso and the Zulu Struggle against Imperialism Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press and Oxford: James Currey
Jeff Guy (1983) The Heretic: A Study of the Life of John William Colenso 1814-1883 Johannesburg: Ravan Press
Shula Marks (1963) 'Harriette Colenso and the Zulus, 1874 - 1913' Journal of African History IV, 3, pp.403 - 11
Alfred Leslie Rowse (1989) The Controversial Colensos Redruth: Dyllansow Truran
- University of Cape Town, Historical Manuscripts: Manuscripts & Archives at the University of Cape Town is a leading location for accessing archival papers across many per... Show/Hide Collection Letters
- Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/64:de Aar, Nov 21st 1908 , My dear old Laddie, I got the paper today sent me by Miss Colenso with your photo, & Dinizulus; &...
- Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/65:Darling old sister, The enclosed from Miss Colenso to me may interest you. I am so glad she thought Will looking better. I am...
- Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/66:de Aar, Dec 1st 1908, I got the photograph signed by Dinuzulu yesterday, dear. I suppose you sent it. I like it greatly. Your...
- Olive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold3/ToBe/6:De Aar, Tuesday 24th Nov, Dear old Sister, Please send me back Miss Colenso’s letter, as I haven’t answered it. H...