South African Republic
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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C142-108
6 May 1869
Private and confidential
F.W. Chesson Esq
My dear Sir,
Presuming from the tenor of your note that you are still going on with the Transvaal slavery question, in spite of the denial of an educated, intelligent, and principled Englishman like [‘Bamangwato’?] who professed his anxiety for the truth on the question in his … pamphlet had you adopted my suggestion of getting the colonial secretary to write to the Natal Govt to take the depositions of native servants in the colony, then have published these facts in England so as to have got a real bona fide commission enquiry on the spot by such men as E L Layard and mixed commission [Cape … (brother to the commissioner of works)?] and Honble Theophilius Shepstone Esq [companion of … Michael …?] and one of your own friends from England the matter might have been set at rest ere this.
It is useless to trust any longer an unmanly, cowardly, do nothing (the latter word objected to by the Cape Press) High Commissioner who betrays the true feeling (at least it is hoped so) of England and surely when the right honble John Bright was so warm on the side of the Federals in America he will not shrink from his duty by any consideration of grefense which would be a … in comparison with the results which ruined ….
You will be perhaps surprised to hear I am unvelling with her Southern gentlemen who consider [forgiven is all sins of the past?] but their servant told me his father was killed by a Boer and that he was stolen by his master and yet forsooth there is no murder or slavery in this act. The boy ran away, has embraced Christianity and I consider him a thousand fold better man in every way than bastard Englishmen of the type of Bamangwato.
I write this fact (not for publication) to … you the [… forward in the?] good work. Altho the time of my return to Natal is uncertain … as usual send over papers reports etc. kind regards to friend to … if he is still in England also to Mr Evelin of … Mr Buchanan if he is there. I hope the Queen won’t ratify the Basuto Convention and a new commissioner will be appointed as I consider Sir Philip Wodehouse a humbug. Mr Shepstone should be chosen special commissioner for the natives.