James Edward Carlyle to Frederick Chesson, 20 December 1884, C128/105

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Carlyle, James Edward









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C128-105


Oxford 55 Holywell St
20 Dec 84

Dear Sir,

I am much obliged to you for your letter … for the printed matter you send. I have read almost all of it and found most of the ideas excellent, and the information valuable. The paper of Mr [Molte?] although old is valuable and suggestive. Could not something of the kind be again brought before the public on this African crisis. There are so many able jurists [as for H Turp?] and other and the question is so …, quite as much so as Anti Slavery action.

I will frankly confess that I did not formerly appreciate the actions of the Aborigines Society. Perhaps I looked at the subject a little from the missionary side. They are apt to fancy I think wrongly now that you [adhere?] to a laissez faire system, perhaps some of your friends err on the other side in supposing that missionaries are in favour of a tutelage system for the natives. To that I also demur. The native is entitled to all the rights of our humanity and of Christianity sees no difference as regards the highest things as [‘barbarism scythism bond and free’?] much less should it be so in temporal and … things. I don’t know that I express well my view but I am in gavour of an entire equality of rights between black and white and if any missionaries repudiate this, I quite disagree with them.

There are still some questions on which if you can give me any information I shall be obliged.

What is the state of the native population in the Angola … Mozambique … apart from slavery? Have they any civil rights? What is the real condition legally as regards the aboriginies which they occupy on the European factories on the Congo and Niger. Can really free labour be obtained from [Kroomen?] and others to work the proposed German plantations on the Congo?

What is the condition of the natives in the military department of Algeria. Is the civil authority really free? On these subjects I have gathered your views generally. Can any evidence be obtained I … in truth, extremely obliged for your kindness.

Yours very truly
JE Carlyle