John William Akerman to Frederick Chesson, 22 March 1877

John William Akerman to Frederick Chesson, 22 March 1877

Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C123 – 83

Author(s): John William Akerman

Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson

Sent from: S.S. Balmoral Castle

Date: 22 March 1877

S.S. Balmoral Castle

Sat 10.15 5

March 22/77


Dear Mr Chesson,


As we are nearing St Helena I seize the opportunity of letting you know that I have had more than one conversation with Sir B Frere, my fellow passenger, around the native law …if appearances are not deceptive he is favourable impressed with my views. He is particularly anxious to see the papers when printed that I left in your hands, so please post one to him. I hope that the little concentration of force now from all sides may do something. With my paper printed, questions in the ‘House’ from Mr McArthur (or other M.P. should he decline)… I do trust something may be done.  Urge upon L.W. Winter whose address I gave you that he reprint the Hlabah case, of which he has a copy with him, with his observations thereon as well as on the native government generally he well understands. He agreed with me that he would do this. Especially point out to him that he must candidly express with respect to the forced marriages of native women Shepstone’s device since 1870 to silence rebuke by the use of an ‘official witness’ to … to the woman’s consent but at the same time explain that their witness is but a kaffir having all his sympathies in the system and therefore a mere sham.


I mentioned [Mayor?] Malam’s book to Sir Bartle and he expressed a very strong desire to see it. Hope to hear what progress you are making. Very hot passage. Have suffered much both from sea sickness and heat.


With kind regards

Yours very truly

J.W. Akerman