John William Akerman to Frederick Chesson, 5 October 1876, C123/78

Additional information


Akerman, John William









Download original image


Bodleian Libraries

Call number

MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C123-78



18 Holles St
Cavendish Square

Dear Mr Chesson,

I dare say you have seen the Carlyle letter in the Time of today. This is he of whom I told you that he had written a pamphlet for Shepstone and Pine against Colenso and your Society. Pine was a member of his congregation.

I have sent him a private letter by this post. Copy enclosed. You are welcome to let your clerk take a copy and return me mine. If you take sufficient interest in the matter to have it copied, ask him to do so with copying ink and strike off an extra copy for me, my press not being here just now.

Carlyle is known with us as the ‘Toady’. Just look how every official name is paraded today. Does he want a ball?

Yours truly
J.W. Akerman

Carlyle has only been 3 years in Natal or scarcely that. All this time his cause has been one of … cervility to officials especially Shepstones.

… he writes much for the Times of Natal but his influence is very small.


I hear that Pine is sore about an article (letter) in the Scotsman he attributes to me. In the reply you named to me his composition, do you think? I have not seen the reply. The letter itself only mentions Pine to illustrate the principle contended for throughout the whole letter.

Vide the Time this morning on Natal. Shepstone said nothing to me about Sir Garnet going out. I cannot understand it. I hear that Shepstone had telegraphed to Herinka S. to come back from Barbados and on to Natal as he wants him there. Oh poor Africa, if this Shepstone network of family power is to be extended!! It bodes no good to any one but themselves. Can nothing be done to stop it? Of course if Transvaal is annexed the son will be either be Secy Native Affairs for Natal or there.

T. over –

Can you vouchsafe me any advice on how I can obtain the ear of an influential editor? All the articles on S Africa betray so much ignorance or partisanship that they ought to be corrected. To write letters for the press which they very often do not publish at all is too wearisome a task. The introductions I rbough to colonel [Richards?] of the [Adventisa?], Grant Duff and Sir C Dilke especially the two former were intended to give me an opening, but the one is deceased and the other two absert.

I don’t like at present to append any name to any political documents.

In your paper for Liverpool, you might try and show that if England … to govern another million of natives, it should be to make them progress, not to preserve them in their customs and usages.