Document 76: The rebels’ view of a post-rebellion society
Translation of a communication received by the Governor from certain Rebel Hottentots, now without the Colony, addressed jointly to the Governor and to the Parliament.
17 January 1855
The object of Memorialists is to give Your Excellency a short sketch of the causes of the later War.
These subjects of the British Government, placed under and governed by Laws carried out by Commissioners, or Functionaries, appointed by Government and regarded as faithful and upright persons in the execution of their several duties and offices connected therewith,—they were expected to be upright and impartial in the exercise of such duties, according to law; but have at last greatly to regret that prejudices against colour and condition existed, so that the poor and ignorant mostly became the sufferers where justice and lawfulness were to be exercised.
As a proof of the aforesaid, and to corroborate that injustice is more minded than praised, when it concerns the coloured classes, Memorialists will give a circumstance which occurred between Sir A. Stockenström and the white colonists relative to his administration as Lieut.-Governor of the Eastern Province: he was forcibly opposed, and the greatest discontent was shown, as if they could, or would, not agree with him. We do not know the reasons they had, for we had not opportunity of ascertaining it, and also took no part, and had no vote of approval or disapproval of his retaining the situation of Governor here.
Memorialists can judge, partly, as he is a person whom they love as far as they have witnessed his character, for under his orders they have done much service for the government, and he placed rich and poor under the law (as judges and rulers ought to do) on the same footing; and, partly, because there is no respect of colour or condition with him, who, in as far as we have studied his character, cared only (to the extent that God gave him knowledge and ability) to preserve peace and prosperity among Her Majesty's subjects in general, and who exerted himself, to the utmost of his power, to become acquainted with the circumstances and wants of Her Majesty's poor coloured subjects, and to apply remedies where possible.