Eugene Casalis to Frederick Chesson, 23 June 1876, C128/60

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Casalis, Eugene









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C128-60


Societe des Missions Evangeliques
Chez les Peuples non Chretiens
Etablie a Paris

Paris, le 23 June 1876

My dear Sir,

My son in law, the Rev A. Mabille of Moriah, Basutoland, has written to me on the 9th May, as follows:

‘The periodicals of the Colony contain news which cause us much uneasiness. It is rumoured that the country of the Basutos will be given to the Free State as a compensation for the loss entailed on that state by the Colony having claimed the diamond fields as its property. Rev Thomson writes to us from the Cape to advise us to consider what we have to do in opposition to that probability. Our conference think it is only an alarm created by ill disposed persons and have contented themselves with writing to Mr Griffith (the chief magistrate of Basutoland) who has written about it to the governor. It seems to me that things should not rest there and that you should send from Paris to London my uncle Dyke, or some other person to make enquiries. The colonial journals refer frequently to the matter; it is said that president Brand positively intends claiming Basutoland as a compensation. … no time, the thing is very serious. An enquiry made at the diamond fields has proved that Waterboer had no right to cede that territory to the Colony. The colonial minister, Carnarvon, has promised to the Free State government to arrange matters. Besides that, he wants absolutely to establish a confederation in South Africa under the flag of England. Both republics of the Boers refuse to enter in that confederation; but it is thought that if Basutoland and 100,000 pounds st. are granted to the Free State, it will yield and induce the Transvaal to yield also. It is Saul Solomon (member of parliament) of the Cape who has advised the Rev Thomson to write to us.’

You see my dear Mr Chesson, that the shadow about which you sent me a forewarning seems to take a body. I still cling to the hope that even now there is no real danger; but the necessity of being on the look out is evident. I suppose you have seen an extract of Mr Griffith’s letter to the governor in the … of the Cape Argus of the 25th May. Rev Dyke has no doubt given you his address in Scotland. No one can better than he assist in defending the cause of justice in the present case.

Believe me
Yours sincerely
E. Casalis