GSSAThe 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Selected Settler Correspondence 1820 - 1837

Whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46 at the National Archives), whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape, here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed. There are many other letters in later files, thought not to be written by eventual settlers. However, if an ancestor is known to have emigrated after the 1820 settlers then it might be worth looking through the rest of the correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically. The relevant files for letters written in 1820 are CO48/52 (A-L) and CO48/53 (M-Y). Later files are labelled "Original Correspondence" followed by the year, and can be found from CO48/56 (1821) to CO48/186 (1837).

Unless otherwise stated letters were written to either the Secretary of State for the Colonies or his deputy. The original correspondence is filed in order of receipt. Here it has been placed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the writer, with letters by the same writer in chronological order, for ease of reading. Original spelling has been maintained. Reference numbers, where given, refer to printed page numbers stamped on the letters and will enable visitors to the National Archives to locate the letter more easily.

PIGOT, Richard (brother of George PIGOT), 1823

National Archives, Kew, CO48/61, 407

11 Percy Street

Bedford Sq

March 22nd 1823

Sir,

I beg leave to solicit your intercession on the behalf of my brother Mr. George PIGOT, a settler in the District of Albany, Cape of Good Hope, whose unwearied labours in the settlement Sir R. DONKIN late Governor and Mr. Charles ELLIS late Deputy Colonial Secretary can testify, both these gentlemen being in this country.

At his earnest request I did myself the honor of applying to you on Wednesday last for another Party to be sent to him at the expence of Govern't, but as you gave me to understand there was no hopes of success it is my intention to send him some apprentices and beg you will be pleased to point out to me how such indentures are to be drawn up, sufficiently binding to both parties, so as to enable me to obviate the difficulty that arises in his absence; in which case whether the Gov't will grant land in the same proportion as to the settlers that went out in 1820, but with the advantage of paying the same quit rent the Dutch farmers do for such grants?

My brother is very desirous of [acquiring?] a house in Graham's Town as his [obscured] avocations oblige him to be there frequently, being one of the Hemraaden, and should there be no objection to his having a small spot [granted] to him for that purpose I beg you will be pleased to use your interest with the Colonial Gov't.

Mr. PIGOT states in Sept. 1822 the disadvantages which he and the other settlers labour under, by the Dutch that have grants of land in the District of Albany employing slaves; and specifies the Landrost, his Secretary and his Clerk among others; this enables them to undersell the settlers in produce, they being prohibited from employing slaves. The period of servitude agreed upon by the settlers with their parties will expire in May next [obscured] this hardship will be more severely felt by them as the price of labour from 4s 6d to 5 shillings per diem.

Mr. PIGOT refers in his letters to traffic that is established by the late Gov't with the Caffers (upon the Fish River at Mr. MAHONY's location amidst the settlers and seven miles from my brother's house) in the sale of raddle to paint themselves with, in lieu of which they had brought an elephant's tooth; this keeps them in constant alarm for their lives and property. Two servants of Mr. MAHONY's were murdered by them, and they have driven away all the cattle in the neighbourhood. Mr. PIGOT mentions having lost but six - in his letter of the 13th Oct last he says a third man has been murdered. I must now intreat Sir that these statements may not be construed into complaints, for I do assure you my brother speaks of the assistance rendered him and all the settlers by Gov't with gratitude and respect, nor would these apparent trifling difficulties be intruded on your time if it was not from the magnitude they now are arrived at.

The servitude of the parties having nearly terminated, each individual will hire himself in that district where he can obtain the best pay, which will leave the settlers on the Frontier in a more defenceless state.

Having commanded the 21st Rgt. Lt. Dragoons at the Cape of Good Hope, I am well acquainted with the habits of these Barbarians and the precautions necessary to adopt for the protection of the Frontier.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obed't servant

Rich'd PIGOT

Major General

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