Richard Murray to Frederick Chesson, 28 May 1878
Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C143 – 146
Author(s): Richard Murray
Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson
Sent from: Griqualand West
Date: 28 May 1878
Kimberley, May 28th 1878
F. Chesson Esq
Secty to Aborigines Protection Society
My dear Sir,
I send you by today’s mail a copy of the Independent newspaper containing an account of the fight with the natives near Griquatown. This is what comes of harassing native tribes. It is to my mind precisely what might have been expected as the outcomes of such treatment as the natives have been subjected to since the British flag was planted in this Province.
The [Resident?], Mr Barry, is a speech made here on the arrival of the news from Griquatown spoke of ‘the victory’ as it is called as an evidence of the ‘military gains’ of Lieut Colonel Lanyon. To my mind it was a piece of [bullbery?]. However you can judge of that as well as I can having the account before you. They killed 40 natives who had no more ammunition left but 25 of those natives whilst they had ammunition kept 25 volunteers as … all the day. I don’t know what you will think of shooting men in their knees for mercy as you will see from the volunteer accounts was done and one native who held his gun in the air and prayed for quarter had his brains blown out. You may tell what sort of war spirit is abroad here.
The natives have good reason to curse the day that the British flag was hoisted in Griqualand West and I think it quite a matter of regret that you have not an agent here who could occupy the whole of his time in keeping you informed upon such matters and bring your society’s influence to bear upon native policy in South Africa.
The problem of civilizing the colored races is not to be worked out in this way.
Mr Arnott who was to have assisted me in getting up the case of Waterboer for you has moved into the country … the war but if he does not come in next week I shall attend to that matter myself without his assistance.
I am Sir,
Your obdt Servant
You will see in this morning’s Independent which I send you that it is hinted that the London Missionary Society has had something to do with the outbreak. This is [monstrous?]. Moses Mroo who was killed is said to have been a most exemplary man.