Letter to [Harry Smith]

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Copy of a Letter of Field Cornet
And. Botha to Sir H. Smith /

Brixton June 23rd 1850

    letter book
                fol 18


Sir, hoping that your Excellency will not take
it amiss my addressing this Letter immediately
to yours in behalf of myself and part of the
people belonging to my Field cornetcy -

Your Excellency knows me I am an old
servant of Govt and I hope a faithfull one
I served under Govt         in the war of 1835 -
Your Excellency knows I never flinced from duty
I never feared to face the enemy - and that
with the very Men who have now been so shame[-]
expelled from the Settlement - I do not
think it was by your Excellencys order for your
heart is too generous - and too good to be unkind -
As I have fought with you in the war of 1835
as I fought again with the same Men in
the last war - Col. Hare borrowed me from
Sir A Strockenstrom - and sent me into the
Ammatola were we had to fight against
a large body of Caffers from morning untill
night but we drove out the Caffers from the
Bush into the plains of the Pits in one day
I have always endeavoured to make myself
worthy the confidence placed in me and
allways untill now had the appobation of
my superiors – Now I must tell your Excellency of the
trouble that has come over me but your Excellency
must permit me to tell my whole story. – Your
Excellency well knows that when this Settlement
was commenced in 1829 many of my friends for the
most part of my family are Gonas were in Caffer[-]
and wishing to come to the Colony – to dwell among
thier friends they applied to Sir A Stockenstrom who
recieved them into the Settlement so they came 𔄆
some were at Balfour - some at Philipton and
some with me at Brixton - Most of those at
Balfor got Erfs immediately from Sir A Stockenstrom
and Mr Hertzog - Those located at Philipton subse
recieved Erfs at Lower Blinkwater some
few are still at Philipton - where Col. Hare promised
they should have Erfs - of those who came here only a
few got Erfs measured out to them - many who were
Boys are now Men - they have allways been expecting
to get Erfs according to promise - but it was not done
and as they were among thier friends and no complaints
we did not urge thier leaving thus they have remained
among thier friends untill now - They were ready
for evry duty paid regularly the Taxes as long as we
paid went on Patroles against the Caffers and fought
two wars –

In 1837 some few more came out of Caffreland
to their friends – they also fought with us in the war
Some time ago a petty chief chief named Dando came
from Caffreland with a pass from Mr Bromilie he reques
permission to graze his cattle for a time which was
allowed – but other Caffers soon came and our people
applied to our Magestrate to have them removed which he
promised to do and he more than once asked me if thier
corn was ripe - and said to me that when it was he would
come saying at the same time he had nothing to do
with the Gonas and others who had been who had
long with us or taken part in the wars,         and
conducted themselves well thus we were at rest –

On Saturday week I heard that Mr Bowker was at
Wilberforce with a strong party of Caffre Police
and was burning all before him, and only the houses
of Dindo and his followers but all who had been so
long with us and living amongst us by permission of
Erf holder according to article 5th of the printed regu[-]
for the division of the Settlement of Kat River
it is provided that the right of grazing may be let out
to any person by evry x women of Land who does not require
it for his own use - either part of it on the whole for
any period of time not exceeding one year &c and Mr
has allowed several people in the Settlement
to let out their grazing grassing to Fingo's - Being Field
Cornet of the place - and Mr Bowker not having told
me what he was going to do - I went to him and tried to
explain the case of the various people to him but he
drove me away - Mr Bowker was busy burning the whole
of the Sunday - and only gave the people time to take
out their things - while a Policeman was standing
ready with a fire brand in his hand to set fire to the
house - poor woman and children were thus turned out
into the open air - Fryday - Saterday Sunday - being the
severest we have had this season - The burning of
Wilberforce being ended by Monday night - The party
came to Brixton on Thusday morning when burning
commenced immediately and no entreaties of Erf holders
Tears of Mothers and children availed me after another
old and young were turned out and the house burnt - some
women with Infants - but lately out of child bed – and all
driven away before the Caffre Police - Among those driven
away there were upwards of 30 families who have been with
us 20 years have conducted themselves well - and nothing was
laid to their charge - if previous warning had been given
they might quietly have withdrawn from the Settlement
but not a moments warning was given the way in which
these people have been burnt out has created some sensation
in the Settlement as even thier servants have been
driven away - They have to enclose a list of the names of
the Gonas and Fingos above alluded to as also a List
of the names of the Erf holders who made a declaration
that they did not ask for the removal of those people
It was not my intention to have troubled your
Excellency painfull as the case is but as Mr Bowker has dismissed
me without giving any reason I have thought it my
duty to give your Excellency a plain statement of facts
and beg humbly and respectfully to repeat my request and
to the Honorable Secy to Govt. that I may have an
impartial investigation of my case I am not a perfect
Man - I have my faults and hable to err like any
other Man but have allways tried to serve Government
faithfully both in war and in peace

                                    I have

                                        Signed Andries Botha senr
                                                            Field Cornet

This letter to
Sir Harry Smith
is to be inserted
after the Extract
from the Gazette
& before the
[         ]
[         ]

It had [      ]
sent in [      ]

Item Details

Author(s) & contributor(s): Andries Botha; Anonymous

Date(s): 23 June 1850

Place(s) of creation: Brixton

Form & transmission history: Handwritten copy of original manuscript letter.

Object description: Beige four-page/one-sheet letter; one hand in brown ink plus notes (two hands brown ink, two gray).

Repository: University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies (London, United Kingdom)

Shelfmark / Identifier: CWM/LMSCWM/LMS/South Africa/Incoming Correspondence/Box 25/File 4/Jacket B

Digital edition & date: One More Voice, 2020

Critical editing & encoding: Heather F. Ball, Mary Borgo Ton, Adrian S. Wisnicki

Cite this digital edition (MLA): Botha, Andries; Anonymous. β€œLetter to [Harry Smith]” (23 June 1850). Heather F. Ball, Mary Borgo Ton, Adrian S. Wisnicki, eds. One More Voice, site launch edition, 2020, https://onemorevoice.org/html/transcriptions/liv_020011_TEI.html.

Rights: Critically-edited text copyright One More Voice. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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Production note: The editors produced this edition through a rigorous process that involved transcribing and encoding the text directly from images of the original document using the One More Voice coding guidelines (PDF). Users, however, are encouraged to consult the original document if possible.