Eugene Casalis to Frederick Chesson, 7 April 1870
Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C128 – 58
Author(s): Eugene Casalis
Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson
Sent from: France
Date: 7 April 1870
Societe des Missions Evangeliques
Chez les Peuples non Chretiens
Etablie a Paris
Paris, le 7 April 1870
My dear Mr Chesson,
It is rather long since I last wrote you and considering all the trouble and fatigue you have taken and still take on our behalf and that of the Basutos, my silence might be easily construed into ungratefulness. Say rather despondency. Oh! I have had a dream to which my soul has clung during nearly forty years! True, I had no right to have such dreams in a world like this and in those iron days of cold, short-sighted, selfish utilitarianism. My dreams was to bestow, in the name of god and through the means of the gospel, the blessings of the present life as well as those of the life which is to come, on a poor people who had thrown itself, as it were, in my arms and those of my brethren, when it was yet unknown not only to Europe, but even to the Cape Colony. I thought, and am still persuaded, it would have been a boon not only to the natives, but also to the colonists. I have toiled, remonstrated, tried, by every possible means, to enlighten the only power that could profitably acknowledge the rights of that people, encourage its efforts to attain civilization. It was but a dream! Disappointment has followed disappointment, ruin has come upon ruin; memorials, petitions, explanations, entreaties, all have been of no avail; hope has now departed from my heart. A few years more, if so much, I as easily as the white settler has, under the eye of powerful and clear sighted England, lately secured to himself the half of the Basuto country, as easily will he take the rest. The last of the Basutos will have sunk disconsolate in his grave and his people will be numbered among the things that were and which are no more. Thus will be accomplished the saying of Roebuck: ‘the black man is destined to disappear before the white, as dew under the rays of the sun.’
It shall not be your fault, dear and esteemed friend, you have done, you still do all you can and may god direct and bless your plans for further efforts.
My dear colleague, Mr Daumas preposes to return to South Africa. What awaits him there among scoffers and adversaries may be foreseen, but he will have the reward of a good conscience and god is his shield.
Once more, many many thanks to you and the noble friends who have stood and still stand on the …
I have been of late tried by bodily indisposition and pressure of work.
Believe me yours gratefully and affectionately