Charles John Abraham to Frederick Chesson, 4 November 1880

Charles John Abraham to Frederick Chesson, 4 November 1880

Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C123 – 25

Author(s): Charles John Abraham

Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson

Sent from: England

Date: 4 November 1880

The Close, Lichfield

4 Nov 1880


F.W. Chesson, Esq

Secy A.P.S.


My dear Sir,


Much as I lament the conduct of Sir Bartle Frere & the Cape Town Government towards the natives, my experience in New Zealand has been so decidedly in favour of the colonists and the natives together governing themselves – and so strong an advocate am I for ‘home rule’ in the colonies, that I cannot join with you in asking the Secretary for the Colonies to suspend the constitution of Cape Town, though they have [certainly?] abused the trust, nothing could be worse than the mismanagement of the Maori by the Crown after Sir G. Grey’s first government in New Zealand.


What I asked for during the war there, & what was granted in due time by the N.Z. colonial government was the recognition of the native right to be represented in the colonial legislature. Since then wars have ceased, & only occasional difficulties arisen.


There is a letter of mine to the Duke of Newcastle publishing in a N.W. Blue Book about the year 1869 which claimed for the natives the rights of British subjects.


The colonial legislature had asked the Secy for the Colonies to let the colony deal with them as outsiders and foreigners.


It was Sir F. Weld (now Govr of Singapore) and T.E. Fitzgerald who first … N.W. by recognizing the Maoris as British subject. I regret the misconduct of the English in the Cape but cannot ask to have the government transferred to Downing St.


Yours faithfully

C.J. Abraham, Esq