Elizabeth Whitfield to Frederick Chesson, 8 November 1884, C149/204

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Whitfield, Elizabeth









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C149-204


97 Fellows Road
Nov 8th 1884

Dear Mr Chesson,

I do not at all know who Mr Boudillon is, but I think his letter is meant to shut your mouth, and in a quiet way prevent any interference from England. This is evidently a very prejudiced opinion; the African papers speak of Sepinare in very different terms, tho they allow he was a very clever man, and of imposing appearance. One witness in the trial alluded to having seen Samuel drunk, but this is the only time I have ever heard a hint of such a thing, and certainly he was always most moderate here and Mr Green spoke of abstemiousness with surprise, and he saw so much of him. It seems to me Mr Bourdillon says all he can against him to silence England, he knows he has not been justly dealt by, but from his point of view, he got as much as he was worth; and it would upset many arrangements if a stir was made to get justice dealt him now! Mr Bourdillon evidently thinks he can have it all his own way because you only get your information from Samuel. It would do him good to know that the main information about all the proceedings come from residents in those parts. My brother declines to write the letter for The Times, he has not the spare time, he is a man of no name and a prejudiced party. I cannot help feeling Mr Anderson is a far more suitable person to confront Mr Bourdillon, he has also been out there 14 years living among them, and can speak from what he knows and has far more facts of the whole matter than we have. Also he has influential friends I believe to turn to, such as Sir M Hicks Beach. I don’t believe a very mild statement would be of any use. If Brand is shown up as behaving unjustly he will not like it, as he wishes to … well off, and it may make him careful what he does. I only wish Capt Hauld (I don’t know him to spell his name) or someone who was out there had the courage to write half he said to me brother. Remembering the terrible untruths in Brand’s statements to Sir Wilfred Lawson I am not surprised at any amount of falsehood that comes from people writing to stand well with him. The African newspaper said there could be no doubt about Samuel’s being a true son, his peculiar colur testified to that, in striking contrast to all the others. This was a Free State paper.

Believe me
Yours sincerely
E Whitfield