Elizabeth Whitfield to Frederick Chesson, 21 August 1884, C149/197

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Whitfield, Elizabeth









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C149-197


97 Fellows Road
South Hampstead
August 21st 1884

Dear Mr Chesson,

I feel ashamed that your most kind letter should be so long unanswered, for it came like oil on troubled waters to me. My brother is away from home, and I thought you would not care for only a woman’s idea on the subject you mention. I got no answer to my letter until Tuesday and then I waited making sure I should hear again from Africa this week, according to promise. But I have neither letter or newspaper and begin to fear that they may have been stopped, as they were before, and I only got letters when sent by hand to a fresh port town. My brother thinks with me it might be well to let Brand see that England is still taking notice of his doings. Miss Foxwell in a former letter speaks of Brand as ‘a very just man in other things and universally beloved except among the darkies who are suffering from his unequal decision.’ Both she and a clergyman out there have said they would not have believed he could have acted so falsely until I had sent them copies of his statements to Sir W Lawson. I suppose Sir Hercules un-officially could not write to Brand. Mr Watson suggested ‘could we telegraph to secure counsel to plead before the tribunal .’ I don’t know what standing Mr de Villiers has among his profession out there; but Gabriel Samuel and Sekue hold him a good man, and the African paper with telegram of surrender speaks of him as ‘Attorney-General De Villiers’ and I suppose he advised the surrender as 25 men against 500 was too absurd odds. The paper also said Brand ordered Samuel to leave the territory at once and give up Sepinare’s son, both which he refused to do, and then Brand annexed it. I will let you know directly I hear anything fresh and I feel sure you will think of anything that can be done to help my poor unfortunate friend. I was told Brand was very wrath at his coming to England, and said he ought to have made him his friend!

Believe me
Yours gratefully
Elizabeth Whitfield