Robert Lester to Frederick Chesson, 14 August 1884, C140/98

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Lester, Robert








Cape Colony

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Bodleian Libraries

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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C140-98


Cradock, Cape Colony
Aug 14 1884

F.W. Chesson Esq
Aborigines Protection Society
17 King Wms Town Charing Cross
London, W.C.

Dear Sir,

Since I wrote you my last dreadful things have taken place. See enclosed cuttings. If these acts of the Boers are to be passed over unpunished, god help us all here. I would suggest that your Society cause these accounts quite reliable to be republishing in the London papers as a first step and then interview Mr Gladstone or Lord Derby etc. etc. by deputation. Surely the blood even of a Gladstone or Derby must boil under these insults cruelties and injuries. Do your best for us all particularly the poor natives … or it will be too late. Shall I put your Society down as subscribers to say, one or two of our Colonist papers so that you may get the news from time to time sooner than I send it. I would only cost a few shillings a year. I have communicated the facts to Lord R. Churchill your Society might influence his lordship’s fearless advocacy ofour cause, but keeping my name out of the papers or I shall be murdered by these wretches who being liars themselves cannot fear to hear the truth spoken or written of them and their secret society ‘the Africander Bond’ would soon tell all … Boers to do me to death. Have the English Govt can have confidence in the delegates or make terms with them is hard to understand as these delegates are all Boers, and quite as bad as those who send them to England. You seldom if ever hear of an English Colonist ill treating a native, it is always the Boers who do so and that with the most brutal manner.

I am Dear Sir
Robert Lester
Barrister at Law


As to the Cape helping the natives the Cape Colony is far too weak even to protect themselves from the Boers, who know it. So if any help is to come it must be from England.