London, South Kensington
30 November 2001
[MOFFAT, Robert (1795-1883)]. Autograph letter signed by Sir Andrew SMITH (1797-1872) to Moffat ('My dear Friend'), Fort Pitt, [Chatham], 31 January 1843, 7 pages, 8vo, on bifolia.
Writing on the eve of Moffat's departure for South Africa, Smith regrets that he will not have a chance to see him, but encourages him in his renewed missionary endeavours: 'I can easily understand that you must be jaded but you must understand that your journey home was important for the cause of missions'; Smith refers to one of his publications on Africa, and to 'schemes in my head' which may take him back to South Africa. He expresses dismay at the direction of affairs in South Africa, and at the appointment of a 'Tyro' to the Commission to enquire into the Cape Colony, urges Moffat to send him news from Lattakoo, of himself and of 'the fortunes of the natives and the projects of the Boors [sic], and promises to send news of 'a new scheme of civilizing Africa ... I doubt not equally practicable as the defunct one. When are absurdities to cease!'.
Andrew Smith encountered Robert Moffat at Kuruman on 30 January 1836 whilst leading an exploratory expedition under the auspices of the Cape of Good Hope Association. At the time of the present letter he had returned to England and employment as principal medical at Fort Pitt. Robert Moffat was ending a 2½ year interruption of his missionary activities, during which period he had overseen the printing in London of his translation of the New Testament and Psalms into Sechwana.
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