Francois Daumas to Frederick Chesson, 5 November 1869
Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C132 – 79
Author(s): Francois Daumas
Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson
Sent from: France
Date: 5 November 1869
Paris 5th November 1869
My dear Mr Chesson,
Many thanks for your last kind note to Mr Casalis. I know you would be [glad?] with it and that Lord Granville will appreciate to its value such a document, … by one who knows so well the question which … us so much. It is evident that Sir Philip having written his dispatch of 30th of April last must have felt in a awkward position and must have feared our coming to Europe. If he was in the right and had no doubts about his line of conduct in the Basuto question and the French missionary stations, he ought to have been calm and give reason instead of abuses, and your upon us [calomnies?]. I consider him as having …, in writing such a dispatch, as his and was to cause [question?] against me in the heart of Lord Granville who fortunately is not to be led, by such assertions, having to much greatness of soul and generosity to be influenced in his judgement of the case which has been led before him for his consideration.
I am not aware that he was so fierce against Mr C de Villier and the Rev [van de Wall?] when they went to England on behalf of the Free State. As regards to me and the members of my family I know he had some consideration, knowing us personally, and till I took the resolution to come to England. Sir Philip, in his dispatch of the 30th of April last says:
‘They are known beyond doubt to have been earnest partisans of the Basuto.’
One of the accusations of the Boers was that the sympathised with the Basutos. I never thought that he would even stronger in his expression of blame, than those who have … so much. If he knew that we were … in the bad sons of the word, he has done wrong to take our part till quite lately, but he knows better and he could have remembered that, we have spent the best years of our lives devoting ourselves to do good to the natives. On that respect, we could gather many testimony even in the Blue Book, and letters from … British Resident magistrate, even from Mr … We have taken the parts of the natives in what we though they were in the right, and never opposed what was wrong, in their doings. It would be easy for us to prove it.
The second charge is:
‘I am speaking on good authorities when I say that they could scarcely bring themselves to receive with ordinary civility Englishmen residing in the Free State, with whom they had been previously acquainted , even if they abstained from taking any part in the strife.’
This is so false and infamous that I can not conceive how a governor could write it. On the station during the war, we have received Englishmen who came often to our house. After our expulsion and during our stay in the Free State, Englishmen visited us even those who had been compelled to go to war. When we passed near Bloomfontain going to Natal, friends of us Englishmen visited us at our encampment, and had a farewell service for us. In Natal we saw very few but received them with politeness, except one who had been in the war and whom I suspect to have seen Sir Philip on his return to England and to have spoken against, whom he met us in Natal and spoke in such a rude and unbecoming maners, in our … to take some thing with us, that my wife and daughter were filled with indignation. In Maritzburg not withstanding his conduct he came to see us, and I received him but my wife would not see him as he had never made any apology. It is the only case that I can remember because many even Englishmen were ashamed to see us on account of causing us so much harm and sorrow, in burning our station, surrounding our house, searching it, etc etc. I know three that we had loaded with kindnesses, and were so wicked, that caused us to be massacred through their falsehood and instigations of the Boers against us.
‘It is generally believed that the manifesto with which Moshesh opened the war was composed entirely if not altogether by one of these young ladies.’
By reading this people would be motioned to believe that Moshesh had begun the war, but everyone knows that it is the Free State, and, manifesto was only an answer to the Proclamation of Mr Brand. This two document were compared in English in the …, the editor said that Moshesh proclamation was of a gentleman and the one of Brand was the production of a cannibal. My daughter did not make it but translated it as many other documents of the chiefs under me were …. What faults had the chief to justify …. A telegram has been sent to you, please do all you can to assist us. As to Mr Casalis
All the use you can. … to show it to Lord Granville to contrast the last paper sent by Sir Philips. It is necessary that Lord Granville should see it before it is to late.
Please if you see Mr Buchanon tell him to write. I have written four letters and he does not answer. Would he be perhaps unwell.
We are very anxious to know if the … or not.
Believe me, Mr chesson, yours very truly