South Africa - London Missionary Society
A collection of letters addressed to Dr Thomas Haweis and the Directors of the London Missionary Society, comprising:
Autograph letter signed by James Read, 'Waggon maker's valley [Wellington], Cape', 24 February 1801, referring to applications to establish a mission in Xhosa territory under the prospect of the establishment of British government there, discussing his cooperation with Dutch missionaries, including Dr J.T. Van der Kemp, his preparations for departure with 'nothing...more than a Knapsack, a Bible, & spelling books', a meeting with William Anderson 'now going to the Great River', and describing a crowded prayer meeting and the success of missionary activity among the Xhosa, ending 'I'll thank you in your address to me not to write Missionary as the letters are both opened and kept back', 4 pages, 4to, on 3 leaves extracted from a binding (traces of stitching and adhesive, some wear to inner margin);
Autograph letter signed by William Anderson, 'Klaar Water over the Great River, Africa', 28 July 1808, describing efforts to establish his mission - 'we are still persevering to make the lives of our people comfortable by fixed habitations and cultivating the ground'- in particular the difficulties in persuading the Khoikhoi to take to an agricultural existence, 'I find that a Missionary must be everything, Carpenter, Smith Shoemaker, ploughman, Gardener Doctor, schoolmaster preacher &c' and referring to the role of missionaries in controlling the indiscriminate aggression of Boer farmers towards the 'Boschesmans', 7 pages, 4to, on bifolia (small loss to inner margin of first leaf touching two words, and to third leaf not affecting text, remnants of guards, seal tear repaired).
Autograph letter signed by Reverend John Eyre forwarding a letter (also present) to Eyre from Joseph Hardcastle (Treasurer of the London Missionary Society), n.p., 14 February 1799, urging Haweis to write to Sir Joseph Banks ('our most serviceable Friend with Governmt') to alleviate the difficulties of the Van der Kemp and his associates in the Cape caused by their lack of a governmental licence, 2 pages, 4to (some wear and short tears to outer margin, traces of guards, seal tear repaired);
Autograph letter signed by B. Ledeboerg (Secretary of the Moravian Mission), Rotterdam, 5 September 1799, discussing the prospects of cooperation between the Moravian Mission and the London Missionary Society in southern Africa, 2 pages, 4to, (traces of guards, seal tear repaired);
Letter from the 'Directors of the S.A. Society for the propagation of the Kingdom of Christ at Cape the good Hope' signed by H. Maanenberg (President) and G.E. Overbeek (Secretary), 13 October 1801, a resum of their activity, noting the lack of news from William Anderson and the expedition of Van der Kemp with James Read into 'Cafferland' to establish a mission, 3 pages, 4to (leaves trimmed at inner margin, with loss of ends of words on second page);
Letter from M.C. Vos (probably translated from dictation), 'Rodesand', 21 September 1801, requesting 'two Missionaries more in my Circuit...who understand the Dutch Language', replying to questions as to the extent and inhabitants of the Cape Colony, and describing several successful conversions and his prospective journeys, 17 pages, 4to, on bifolia (traces of guards).
The Reverend Thomas Haweis, M.D. (1734-1820), a clergyman of marked evangelical leanings, was a key figure in the establishment of the inter-denominational London Missionary Society in 1795, whose initial efforts concentrated on the South Seas. Van der Kemp, referred to several times in these letters, was their pioneer in southern Africa; William Anderson and James Read were amongst the first British missionaries in the Cape Colony. (6)