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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C128-57
Societe des Missions Evangeliques
Chez les Peuples non Chretiens
Etablie a Paris
Paris, le 7th Feby 1870
Mr F.W. Chesson,
My dear Sir,
I have unfortunately no circumstantiated information from the stations on the state of affairs. Our missionaries believe that the decisions of Sir P Wodehouse have been confirmed; at least two of them write that it appears, that they hear the convention has been ratified. One of the missionaries wrote on the 20th October: ‘the government of the Free State endeavour to carry into execution the terms of the convention, nevertheless a good many (une bonne partie) Basutos remain still in the so called conquered territory and other who had already left return there to cultivate their fields, which gives great offence to the Boers.’
On the other hand, the last papers of the Free State represent the Boers as purchasing farms and say that a party of men with artillery had been sent to lay the foundation of Lady Brand, a village very near Thaba Bossiou, but on the other side of Caledon, the establishment of which would certainly secure to the Free State the possession of all the province on that bank of the river.
But how is it that Mr [Morrell?] with whom you have had a conversation does not know the fate of the treaty. I very much fear it been ratified and if so, you alone, over the Channel, with your knowledge of English laws and rules of government, can say whether there is any thing further to do done. Our is indeed a very hard case and I feel much depressed.
I must add in confidence that a second application for an audience of the Emperor has failed. Our sovereign has his hands more than full with the great changes which at this moment take place in his government.
I have read with much pleasure the noble protest of Dr Duff.
Believe me, my dear Sir,
Yours sincerely and gratefully