Reginald Statham to Frederick Chesson, 5 Dec 1881, C148/3

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Statham, Reginald









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C148-3


Martizburg, Natal
5 Dec 1881

Mr Chesson,

I was very glad to get your letter, but fail to see why you should sweep over me as a reprobate or …, or something of the kind. I certainly don’t altogether trust Bishop Colenso’s judgement; he is blinded, partially, by his millenarianism that doubtless does him credit, but which is liable to mislead other people. I have no great prejudice against Cetywayo’s return. What I want is this: that the questions shall really be dealt with on its own merits. And I may tell you, of course you won’t believe me, but I must tell you all the same. That what prevents people here (colonists) dealing with such questions on their merits is the onesided manner in which your people deal with them in England. Colonists are deeply interested in matters of this kind, more interested in them than anyone for it is they who have to suffer if a mistake is made. If you people were someday to show some faint indication of considering colonial feeling things would be very much better. I have expressed this view in a leader I have cut from the Witness for your edification. I also enclose another cutting which considers you dearly, as I am told Welborne corresponds with you with regard to this Pondo matter, you can find out, if you go to the Colonial Institute and refer to the Witness from 1878, that I have been from the first the Pondo chief’s advocate.

I am glad the Biship was glad that I was coming back. But the fact remains that, though he was frequently in his office before I came, he has never ever been near me, even though a whole month elapsed after my arrival before a word was said in the Witness on the Cetywayo question. This is certainly puzzling.