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

1820 Settler Correspondence before emigration

ALL the 1819 correspondence from CO48/41 through CO48/46 has been transcribed whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape. Those written by people who did become settlers, as listed in "The Settler Handbook" by M.D. Nash (Chameleon Press 1987), are labelled 1820 Settler and the names of actual settlers in the text appear in red.

PONTON, Archibald

National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 157

London

24th Augt 1819

My Lord

I take the liberty of intruding myself on your Lordships notice, for the purpose of obtaining permission to convey twelve persons with their families to the intended settlement at the Cape of Good Hope.

By the printed circular I am aware of what is necessary to meet the views of Government, but as these persons reside in and about Glasgow, it would be requisite to know whether transports sailed from Greenock or not.

Being totally unacquainted with the forms necessary for applications of this sort, I beg your Lordship will excuse this attempt. My address is at Messrs [BRALLS] & LAM, Lombard Street.

I am My Lord

Your obt hble st

Archibald S. PONTON

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 197

London

4th Sept 1819

My Lord

I again take the liberty of submitting to your Lordships consideration, a detailed statement received this morning from Glasgow, of the families, with a certificate of their consent to become settlers at the Cape of Good Hope.

The number with myself (heads of families) is fourteen and the total forty six. In compliance with your Lordships desire, I beg leave to say I am perfectly ready to conform to all the conditions of His Majesty's Government. And should security be necessary I have the consent of Messrs [BRALLS] & LAM, India Merchants, to name them as such.

Allow me to remain

Your Lordships Most Obt Hble St

Archibald S PONTON

Name and Description of the Person taking out the Settlers:

Archibald S PONTON, Fair Complexion, 5 ft 8 1/2 ins, 25 years of age

Names of the Settlers

Profession or Trade

Age

Names of the Women

Age

Male Children

Age

Female Children

Age

Fergus McLEMONT

Wright

45

Jean OGILVIE

34

Fergus

13

Catherine

10

         

John

6

Harriet

4

         

William

3

Isobel

1

John GALBRAITH

Labourer

48

Mary GORDON

48

John

17

Mary

17

         

James

13

Lillie

14

             

Margret

9

William GALBRAITH

Labourer

22

           

Peter DAVIE

Baker

30

Isobel GRAHAM

29

John

9

Mary

5

         

William

3

Isobel

1

James BURNS

Smith

30

Janet [STIRRET]

31

James

1

Agnes

5

             

Margret

3

Daniel MCPHERSON

Ploughman

28

           

John CUMMING

Ploughman

37

Jean [NIBB]

28

William

1

Jean

4

             

Margret

2

Benjamin BAIRD

Ploughman

23

Anna MURDOCH

22

       

Daniel MCFARLANE

Ploughman

40

Mary CAMPBELL

30

Duncan

9

Margret

1

         

John

6

   

Hugh GUTHRIE

Ploughman

26

           

Donald CAMPBELL

Labourer

32

           

James [McMUTRIE]

Labourer

21

           

William ADAMS

Labourer

22

Maria MCDONALD

20

       

We do hereby put ourselves under the care and direction of Mr Archibald S. PONTON for the purpose of cultivating the lands that may be assigned him at the Cape of Good Hope and that none of us are infirm or incapable of work.

Signed this first day of September one thousand eight hundred and nineteen years before

David MACBRAYNE, Manufacturer, Glasgow

William ADAM, merchant, Glasgow

The above have all signed except Donald CAMPBELL who has given his full consent but is working nine miles out in the country and has not come in time to sign this but I pledge my honour that he will go - he is uncommonly fond of it.

William ADAM, 1st Sept 1819

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 224

London

[received September 15, 1819]

Sir

Unwilling as I feel to engage the attention of one whose thoughts are devoted as yours must be to the service of the State and especially to engage them to a stranger will I am afraid argue presumption on my part. But to one entering on an enterprise that decides his future life, no small share of anxiety must be his lot. Acting then under this impression, I earnestly solicit an excuse for the following lines.

Should my proposals of emigration as tendered to his Excellency Earl BATHURST be so fortunate as to succeed. The month of November being named for the sailing of the Transports, and my settlers living in a distant part of the country, the time alloted for making the necessary arrangements in this country for our comfort in the colony will be very limited - besides the expence of living here in expectation, is I daresay you are well aware far from being trifling. These considerations are strong enough without bringing others forward to exhaust your patience.

And I should ardently hope they will interest you so far, as to urge the proceedings to a speedy conclusion. In doing which, I shall consider myself

Your Obedt Hble St

Archibald S. PONTON

 

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National Archives, Kew CO48/45, 320

London

16th Oct 1819

My Lord

Whatever may be the cause of delay by Government in the choice of individuals to conduct an emigrating party to Southern Africa, it is at once cruel and highly impolitic that to an application of nearly two months standing an answer setting the matter at rest has not been given, it is not for me to dictate to those who ought, and I presume do know but about those matters; but certainly a plan might have been adopted, that when capital and experience were united a speedy decision should have taken place.

It is allowed by all, that those persons who emigrate have generally a greater portion of enterprise in their characters than their neighbours. Now to such of that disposition, what can be more torturing than delays, or tantalising than suspense.

I have already been in the country, but not far into the interior of it, the Caffres I must confess are not pleasant neighbours, nor will they ever be until a more strict, and better system of justice is established in the colony, more particularly the inland provinces. The un-offending slave driven to extremity by the barbarous cruelties of the boor, endeavours to escape, when that is accomplished to a human being sunk in ignorance, what is more delightful than revenge, they direct the [obscured] of the predatory Caffre alike stimulated by recent atrocities, as a thirst for plunder, and thus not only the wretches who are the [owner] but others are involved in the common ruin.

But again the Caffres are neither possessed of superior cunning, bravery, or intrepidity, to other nations in a barbarous state. Now My Lord it is my opinion that when land is granted, that well repays the labour bestowed on it, and when the parties are engaged as in the present instance, on the most liberal terms, put arms into their hands, and they will fight with much more bravery and determination, than some of the troops stationed in Cape Town at the time of my visit, not that I mean to impeach their valour, but they seem tired of the service and anxious for any change.

These my Lord are not subjects that I have heard or read of, but what have come under my own observation, and although my language by some people might be thought strong or even offensive, yet I should humbly hope your Lordships usual candour and determination will protect me from any idea of that in your own mind.

I should also beg your Lordships consideration to the following, that this delay prevents me from entering on other pursuits, although possessed of a little property yet I have very few friends, and may well say dependent on my own exertions to get on in this world. My case is not harder than that of my workmen, who have families to maintain, some of whom have no work, & others are prevented from engaging through their previous engagements with me.

Begging your Lordships excuse for thus trespassing on your patience.

Allow me to remain

Your Devot'd Hble Srt

Archibald S. PONTON

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