Marie de Smidt to Frederick Chesson, 6 September 1881, C147/104

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de Smidt, Marie






Cape Town


Cape Colony

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Bodleian Libraries

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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C147-104



Cape Town
Sept 6th 1881

Dear Sir,

I beg very much that you will excuse me for thus introducing myself, the occasion of my letter must please my excuse and its subject leads me to hope you may do so. I will briefly explain that I am the daughter of the late … de Smidt. My relatives here being an uncle, the hon. W de Smidt MLC, and a cousin the surveyor genl of the same name. I write to enclose you an account of my recent visit (on the 31st August) to the king of Zululand now at the farm at ‘Oude Molen’ on the Cape Downs. Please use my account as you may think best. I have written it in the form of a letter and have strictly adhered to plain facts setting aside, in writing the account, my own sad feelings, in order to give an unbiased description of his state, and otherwise trusting you will forgive me for troubling you.

I beg to remain Sir
Yrs very truly
Marie de Smidt

Miss de Smidt

Public Works Dept
Caledon Square
Cape Town

If not indulging in too great a liberty, might I ask you, should you think my enclosure worthy of publication, to send me the paper the letter appears in?

Mr Samuelson told me the state of the king is now such that nothing would surprise him less than to find he had committed suicide. The interpreter seems a most kind gentlemanly young man. My letter may appear a little too warm but I have written plain truths and a lady may sometimes tread where a gentleman would fear forbidden ground on such subjects.