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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C139-56
John J. Irvine and Co.
King Williams Town and East London
Cape of Good Hope
10 Austin Friars, London, E.C.
28 Jany 1880
F.W. Chesson, Esq
17 King William Street Charing Cross, W.C.
I have re-read your papers which I herewith return with thanks. My brother in law and I discussed the subject. He agreed with the main points stated viz
That Mapasa men did go to Cape Town of their own will and were satisfied as a rule i.e. the few hundred that went.
That the women and children were acting as commissariats to the Gaikas with whom we were then fighting. That they were taken as prisoners and with some men, sent to Cape Town where they were fairly well treated. The wages they contracted for is of course absurdly small considering that most of them were located in Cape Town where labour is worth more than double what it is in kafir land. They are now deserting their places and returning to their homes where possible but the Vagrancy Act prevents their doing so with ease, as many of them have been taken up, tried, and punished by compulsory service more than twice en route through the various districts in their journey from Cape to Kafirland.
Though no doubt well treated on arrival in Cape, the prisoners, particularly the women and children, suffered greatly from neglect and exposure at East London before embarkation and en route to East London from Kafirland. They reached the port many of them starving, and many died, principally children. Many were brought down by an armed escort and were forced to go. When on board … they were well fed and cared for and kafir-like many regained spirit and were satisfied for the time being.
On the whole, considering the circumstances and time of war they were treated as well as it was perhaps possible. No doubt a main reason why they were starving was, that their cattle were captured from them, and the ‘lungsickness’ reported as broken out did not shew itself till they were in the possession of their captors.
There was harshness and great cruelty no doubt, to many in forcing them away and in illtreating them without food and shelter, and the bad effects of such, was demoralizing to Europeans as well as natives, but it was all part and parcel of a most sad war, about which you already know so much.
I hope I have made my few remarks clear and regret I have no more valuable opinions to offer.
Believe me, dear Sir,
Julius [W?] Jameson
Have not heard further of the deputation. Would you grant an interview to a lady missionary (English Church) from [Newlands?] Kaffraria who insists to lay before the Society the bad effects resulting from the un-restrained sale of brandy to the natives. Personally I am not specially interested in the ladies mission, but always do what I can to further the cause of preventing grog from ruining the natives.