John Sanderson to Frederick Chesson, 27 May 1877, C146/105

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Sanderson, John









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C146-105


Durban, Natal, 27 May 1877

F.W. Chesson Esq
Sec Abor Prot Society
17 King William St Strand

My dear Sir,

You some time ago were kind enough to say you would be glad if I would write to you and keep you advised of what was going on. This I have endeavoured to do by sending you from time to time the Colonist, when it contained anything which I thought would be of special interest or use to you. Now writing I have but little time beyond what my duties as editor impose. The state of the Zulu country and other matters connected therewith and the opportunity of sending you, for private and confidential use, copies of letters and other documents, the originals of which are in my hands…

In making use of these documents I must impress upon you a caution which is constantly being impressed upon me – not in any way to involve the missionaries, whose lives and those of their families may be endangered if it should transpire that they have furnished the information.

The state of things discussed in the papers now sent shows our whole native system is to be thoroughly broken. Our locations were a device of Mr (now Sir T) Shepstone for conserving barbarism. In the reports of the location commissioners he was to some extent overruled by his colleagues, but in the carrying out of the scheme, he not merely set their recommendations at naught as to the number, extent and interspersing the locations with room for white settlers between, but as he stated in reply to a question I put to him in the Leg Council in 1862, he pledged the Queen’s faith to the permanence of these locations in direct defiance of the express injunctions received by him. The locations were to have been six or eight of 6000 to 10000 acres each: as a matter of fact they include over 3000000 (three millions) of acres, and we have an uninterrupted chain of them reaching from within a few miles (6 or 8) of Durban up to the Tugela and thence on to within 20 miles of Ladysmith, or say roughly 150 miles long (I write without maps or figures before me). His timidity and temporizing brought on the Langalibalele and Putini troubles; his whole policy it was solemnly announced was to be reversed; yet to all appearance he now guides Ld Carnarvon, not in native but in all matters. He is left to make or mar the promised reforms, and the new Native Administration Law shows that it is marring not making. He is … upon, he is promoted to greater honours and positions of trust. His brother, ‘Mr John’, severely condemned with him, in one of Lord Carnarvon’s despatches as having lowered English rule in the eyes of the natives by maneuvers opposed to the morality of a civilized administration and who should if such a censure were worth the paper it was written on have been dismissed from service, is make (practically) the sole arbiter of the lives and fortunes of our 400000 natives, in whose eyes his falsehood and treachery are rewarded by the best possible rewards. Mahonza, the proud perjerer and braggart who figured so contemptusly as a chief witness against Langalibalele, has been promoted to be an assessor in the native high court, and our sole representative in the Zulu king’s dominions is paid 300 points a year

… begins complaining about John Dunn