Thomas William Garland to Frederick Chesson, 22 July 1887, C135/8

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Garland, Thomas William









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C135-8



Verulam July 22 1887

F.W. Chesson Esq
AB P Society

My Dear Sir,

I am compelled to address a line to you calling your attention to the lamentable position into which the Zulu nation is thrown by the action of the Colonial Office in Downing St. Sir A Havelock being only their agent to carry out their instructions.

It must be logical for the Zulus to say England refused to take over our country – refused to govern it, [unless?] we were never asked a question on the subject. How then can England now give away our lands to any claimant without reference to us or our judgement or wish? If it was not the property of England, how can England give it away – Zulus are saying the most bitter things and with good cause. We … who are powerless to help the Zulus without recourse to arms which no Christian man will resort only in self defence, or to punish for wrongs inflicted on the helpless.

You may rest assured this notion, the Zulus will rather have to come into Natal or be overridden and enslaved by the people who have taken their country with the help of England as only this they could have ever done.

No one can imagine without seeing or hearing from the Zulus the wretchedness of their condition. The question is what will they not be driven too in their desperation. They are now seeking to get to England to represent their case and beg of the Queen to see them righted.

Mr John Robinson, editor of the Mercury left Natal to represent Natal in the Colonial Conference if you wish to know more of the facts of the case he can give it you.

You can hear of him at Mr [Peace’s?] office, Finsbury Square. May the lord god of heaven the friend of the oppressed have the … of these people and send deliverance to them.

With very kind regards
I am dear sir
Yours truly
T.W. Garland

[Enclosed newspaper clipping]


The Zulu betrayal is ended now, and the Natal betrayal likewise. The policy of coercion, which we have had lately from time to time to report, has gain its end, and hence the Government communique we publish elsewhere. The Zulus have doubtless submitted to the threat of being left to the Boer rifles, but consent open and free it may be safely asserted is lacking. The Zulus would not consent, and for a very good and unanswerable reason. They say:

‘Why should we consent to be annexed to England before the Boer land grabbers are dealt with? If we consent now it will be accepting the betrayal boundary and leaving us cramped within the small unhealthy stony area. Is it this patch the Queen seeks to protect? Is it this strip England wishes to annex? No, we want our country; we never gave it to the Boers, and we will not consent to be robbed till we have exhausted every means we have.’

However, for the moment coercion of the basest kind puts the gloss of completion on the double betrayal. Natal has been betrayed; for annexation to the Empire is but annexation to Natal, Natal being the imperial outpost in these parts. Natal has been betrayed because the Zulu people have been coerced and annexed to her without the Zulu country. Natal is to have the population, and the Boer adventurers practically the whole of habitable Zululand. Official platitudes about Eastern Zululand are but a grim legend to those who know that the Eastern Zululand referred to is nothing more than pestilential low lying parts where the Zulu kings used to send their political foes. What Cayenne is to France so is Eastern Zululand to Zululand proper. The Zulus are dumb because coerced; they are dumb having done their best. It remains for Natal to end the dismal dishonouring of the English
and the blighting of our future which are now associated with the name of Havelock. Is Natal to receive the Zulu population in her midst? Silence at present will constitute our affirmative to the proposition. Or is Natal to insist, as she can and may insist, that the whole question from the date of Administrator Mitchell’s warning shall be placed in the hands of a Royal Commission?



His Excellency’s Private Secretary telegraphed on Saturday afternoon as follows:- His Excellency authorises me to inform you that the Queen’s supreme authority has, with the approval of Her Majesty’s Government, and with the acquiescence of the chiefs and people of Zululand, been extended over Eastern Zululand.


We learn that Mr. John Robinson, M.L.C., leaves the colony this week to attend the London Colonial Conference as Natal’s representative. We wish Mr. Robinson a safe and pleasant voyage and an agreeable sojourn in the mother country.