A Collection of 50 letters from a variety of influential persons, written predominantly from Rhodesia and South Africa, the majority to Hugh Marshall Hole, Civil Commissioner of Bulawayo, 8 and 4, approximately 136 pp. together, a few typed, between 24 October 1890 and 28 May 1937 (some discoloured and stained). Including:
LOBENGULA, KING OF THE MATABELE (D. JANUARY 1894)
Autograph letter written and signed on behalf of Lobengula in John Jacob's hand (Lobengula's confidential secretary. Lobengula was unable to read or write) to Dr Jameson, 4, 1 p., n.d. n.y. [but 1893], (severely faded, 2 adhesive tape stains to upper left and right edges).
According to Marshall Hole, this is thought to be the last letter of communication written before his death. The British South Africa Company occupied Bulawayo, under Dr Jameson. The discovery of gold made Lobengula's Matabeleland territory desirable and unnecessary bloodshed had already taken place with Lobengula on the run. On hearing that he was not too far away, and knowing John Jacobs would be able to translate, Jameson wrote him a letter on 7 November offering him safe conduct if he would return to Bulawayo and surrender. Jameson gave him 2 days to reply. The volunteers who had taken the letter to Lobengula were unfortunately detained and did not return to Bulawayo until 11 November when they delivered Lobengula's reply: "Sir, I have the honour to inform you that I have received your letter and have hard all what you has said. So I will come: but allowed me to ask you were are all my men which I have sent to the Cape, such as Moffet and Joney [J.S. Moffat, British Resident] and James1 and after that again Goebogubo and Mantose. Goebo these are names of men which I have sent, and if I do come were will I get a house for me as all my houses is burn down, and also as soon as my men come which I have sent then I will come and you must please be so kind and sent me ink and pens and paper. I am yours etc. King Lobengula".2
Autograph letter sigend by Frank Rhodes with pseudonymous initials ("J.S.") to Dr Jameson, 8pp., 8, from Pretoria Gaol, 16 May 1896.
Rhodes, Lionel Phillips, J.H. Hammond and George Farrer had been involved in the disastrous attempt by Jameson and his followers to overturn Kruger's rule in Johannesburg known as the "Jameson Raid". The four had been in Pretoria jail for 18 days after their trial on 27/8 April. Dr Jameson still awaited trial in London scheduled for 15th June. The letter suggests that evidence used at their trial may be forwarded to the U.K. for Jameson's case. Rhodes uses false names and veiled expressions throughout the text. He writes: "Coster [Koster, legal adviser in Transvaal government] is afraid to use Harry's [Col. Hon. H. White] supposed pocket book as he does not think he has originals, the detectives are in here everyday to see Brooks. Are trying to get the original, my idea is that Coster has got the original but doctered by Brooks". He mentions also that the "Marine Patrol" [column under Col. Beal, sent from Salisbury to help Matabeleland at the outbreak of the Rhodesian rebellion] has commenced "accompanied by Sir Charles Metcalf".
He continues mentioning Dr Wolfe [Wolff, practitioner in Johannesburg who was involved with Jameson's plot] and stressing: "We hear you and the other 'heroes' are all very thick with Dr Wolfe, I can't understand it if anyone sold you he did. He solemnly swore to me he had no notion what 'distant cutting' meant that you did not expect him to meet you on road...We feel that if he is employed looking after the Uitlanders [British immigrants in Transvaal] grievances, we are all right."
Mentioning his adversity to pleading guilty he continues: "I hear the general opinion...in Cape Town is that the 'Upright One' sent you in as he could not carry his big bear any longer" [a reference to Dr Rutherford Harris and the rumour that he had made plans to profit by the Raid by buying shares at depreciated value]
"Bobby's diary" refers to Hon. Robert White's diary which fell into the hands of the Boers after the surrender of Jameson's force at Doornkop. White recorded everything Cecil John Rhodes said in conversation including "all [Rhodes's] opinions about Duchess of Abercorn [and] Lady Buckley" which could prove a touch embarrassing if printed.
One-page autograph letter signed ("W. Bodle") (Commander British South Africa Police), to Marshall Hole, 8, on Matabeleland British South Africa Police headed paper, 1 June 1902 informing Rhodesia of the end of the Boer War.
By April 1902, the Boer representatives Botha, Smuts, De La Rey, De Wet and President Steyn had been involved in peace talks in Pretoria for several weeks. After a meeting in Vereeniging, the treaty was signed in Pretoria on 31 May 1902.
Reading: "A Wire has just been recieved from Pretoria to say that peace was signed last night." and requesting that Hole "wire Salisbury" explaining that "the wire was from Chief to Col. Wright. So it must be true."
Together with various other letters including Henry Birchenough (Director of British South Africa Company) to Marshall Hole on the issue of Rhodesia's Referendum on joining the Union or not (7 September 1921), Charles Metcalf (Consulting Engineer for the Construction of the whole of the Northward railway extension from Kimberley to the Congo border and from Rhodesia to the east coast at Beira) on preliminary negotiations between Rhodesia and the Government of the Cape Colony for the initial stage of the railway extension in 1888 (31 May 1921 and 1 June 1921), Rochfort Maguire on Lobengula, Francis Newton on the Union issue, and many other important figureheads including Starr Jameson, A.R. Colquhoun, Dr Carl Peters, Lady Sarah Wilson (sister of Lord Randolph Churchill), Thomas Scanlen, Lewanika King of the Barotse. (50)