|Download original image
MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C132-80
Paris 17 November 1869
My dear Mr Chesson,
Your kind letter of the 15th reached us yesterday. Mr Casalis has requested me to send you a few words of reply. I am myself glad to seize this opportunity to express my thankfulness for your words of sympathy in the great loss we have sustained by the death of our beloved daughter. As you says yourself it has been a heavy blow to me. I can not express what I have felt to be so far away from one whom I loved so much, in the supreme moment to comfort her, hear her last words, and also to help my dear wife and my dear children to bear the burden of [affliction?]. I know that god has not forgotten them in such great trial and that he will have imparted to them the true consolations which no one on earth can give. The dear one was a great admirer of your society, because you took such a … interest in the African races which she cared so much and directed with a Christian enthusiasm her short but useful life to their welfare.
I cannot tell you how my heart has been filled with apprehension, when you said that you are afraid the convention will have been ratified. I hope it will not have been the case. Poor [TLekelo?] has been horrified at the idea that such a thing could take place. I think by what you say that the admirable answer to the subterfuge written by Sir Philip will have been read by Earl Granville and that he will have taken it into consideration. It will be certainly a great shame if nothing is done in favor of the Basutos. As regard to what you say, ‘that if you find that the convention has been ratified………..we may possibly diminish the force of the blow, by urging the government certain claims to lands the Basutos have in other quarters.’ Afford me, by dear sir, to say, that if we loose the case which we have pleaded so long and which is so clear and so just, to please Sir Philip and pacify the Boers, we shall not have much change in nomanland. There is a district which was ceded to Moshesh by the chief Faku for one of his son Nehemiah. He settled there for several years before the arrival of Adam Kok, with whom Nehemiah had difficulties, and was obliged to return to Basutoland. Sir Philip who had fixed his limits, has never settled any thing for the chief, and has just, without consulting any one, … the Basutos and their chiefs under Adam Kok against their will and to their disgust. The people are so displeased, that if they can help they will not remain on account of the annoyance of the Griquas. One of the Basuto chiefs [Lobenya?] was [despoiled?] by the caffers seven men were killed. The case was brought before Sir Philip in his last visit there but no redress was obtained and I hear, that chief was preparing to go back to Basutoland, having no confidence in the future. [Maknaai?] the principal chief there, is trying to find a place of refuge elsewhere and was talking with [Tlekelo?] about [nomanland?] and asked him, if there would be room to locate the surplus of population in Basutoland, he said if we do as the Boers and drive away the inhabitants and take their place, we can have room. You can understand this as the tribes of British Caffraria have been driven back, there must be very little room for a large population. I pray you do not [trust?] that country. I do not think it will do for the Basutos, the Griquas under Adam Kok having the unoccupied territory. I can not believe that different tribes can live near one an other at peace on account of old feuds which do not forget easily. If Sir Philip had really at heart to benefit the Basutos, he ought to have had a commission, to settle land matters before and prevent complications. Our committee have written an official letter to Earl Granville. Please let me know as soon as you can if all hope must be given up as I feel very anxious.
Please if you see Mr Buchanan tell him to write we wish to hear from him.
Believe me, my dear sir,
My kind regards to Mrs Chesson