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

Correspondence 1821 to 1837.

Here only letters by known settlers or their families, or letters of great relevance to the 1820 settlers, have been transcribed, whereas ALL the 1819 correspondence was transcribed (see CO48/41 through CO48/46) whether or not the writers emigrated to the Cape.

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.

PLASKET, Sir Richard, 1824

National Archives, Kew, CO48/67, 249

Colonial Office

Cape of Good Hope

8th December 1824


With reference to Earl BATHURST's letter to His Excellency the Governor under date 20th July 1823 and the inclosed instructions to the Treasury detailing the conditions under which Mr. INGRAM and his party were to be assisted by Government in coming out to this colony, I have to request that you will be good enough to forward to me for His Excellency's information and guidance a legalised copy of the Bond entered into with the Treasury by Mr. INGRAM as alluded to in Earl BATHURST's instructions before mentioned, as that document has not as yet been transmitted to this Government.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient servant


Sec'y to Govt.




National Archives, Kew, CO48/67, 241


Graham's Town

February 25th 1825


I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to transmit to you the inclosed depositions (taken on oath before His Excellency the Governor while at Kaffers Drift and returned to & signed by the Parties at this place) of Sergeant Cupido COBUS and Corporal Younker BOX of the Cape Corps of Infantry relative to the seizure of a Hottentot in the service of Mr. MAHONEY, a quantity of cattle & a horse with saddle bags full of beads &c in the Neutral Territory.

By these depositions you will perceive that the son of Mr. MAHONEY was identified as one of the persons engaged in illicit traffick with the Kaffers & that the elder Mr. MAHONEY was also in the neutral territory under the plea of reporting to the Military the loss of some cattle stolen from him by the Kaffers.

I also enclose the voluntary deposition of the Hottentot prisoner Peter KETTLEDORSE.

His Excellency desires that the Board of Landdrost & Heemraden may be called together without delay to investigate into these proceedings. The Hottentot prisoner & witnesses are all on the spot together with the articles seized & will be produced before the Court of Heemraden on application to the Commandant of the Frontier.

Should the Court of Landdrost & Heemraden, in the investigation of this case, find that it is one which cannot be decided upon by them & will require to be referred to the Court of Justice, His Excellency desires that the whole of the persons who may have been concerned in this illicit traffick, together with the evidence & other necessary proof, be forwarded to cape Town without delay, as His Excellency conceives that it is very important for the public tranquillity of the Frontier that the case should be decided upon as early as possible.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your obedient servant


Sec'y to Govt.

Depositions taken before His Excellency the Governor

Statement of Sergeant Cubida COBUS No.3 Company of the Cape Infantry

That on the 19th January he went to Trompetters Drift and while patroling there he met with Mr. MAHONY who told him that the Kaffers had taken from him his cattle – MAHONY then said that the cattle had gone over the same drift that the former cattle went over. The Sergeant then said no. I will go over here I shot a Kaffir yesterday and I want to see where the body is. He said I will go with all my heart. He then left the corporal and three men who afterwards joined him at the under drift – with the horse now burdened proceeded, the saddle bags and forty five head of cattle all of which (besides the Hottentot prisoner and MAHONEY's son, who galopped off) the Sergeant brought to Kaffer Drift fort.

Corporal Yonker BOND No.3 Company Cape Infantry – on the 19 January he was at Trompetters Drift with a patrole under charge of Sergeant COBUS, on arrival at the Drift they met old MAHONY, who said that the Kaffers had stolen his cattle and all BROWN's cattle also. Sergeant Cubido COBUS said Corporal BOND go with MAHONY and I will go at break of day, after the Kaffers I saw yesterday – MAHONY disliked this and said he wanted the Sergeant and party to come with him. The Sergeant said I will go with you and leave my Corporal behind, the Corporal then retired with his men to the Waggon Drift where he observed a fresh trace of a horse. He followed this up with all speed to the Blind River where he observed that the horse's spoor went up the mountain – he then came back into the Blind River, where he observed the cattle moving from the top of the hill above the river. When he came on the cattle there were three Kaffers, one Hottentot servant and one Englishman. He immediately pursued them and secured all but young MAHONY, who being mounted gallopped away. He brought the whole to Sergeant COBUS – the Kaffers fled into the Bush.

The Corporal further stated that the previous evening the Hottentot prisoner was in company with MAHONY but MAHONY would not let the Hottentot speak to them or come to the fire to light his pipe. To his surprise the next morning he found the Hottentot with the cattle and he made him prisoner. MAHONY's son saw the Patrole first, he then gave notice of it to the other people when the whole began to drive the cattle into the kloof. MAHONY's son gave the Hottentot the white horse and jumped on the Hottentot's horse and gallopped off.

Evidence further states that he will make oath that the Hottentot he took with the cattle is the same Hottentot he saw the previous evening with MAHONY.

The saddle bag being opened in the presence of His Excellency the Governor and the Commandant it was found to contain:

3 bags of beads, one blue, one black and one red

1 bag of Kaffer corn

4 empty bags and some ??

Sworn before me eighteenth day of February 1825

(Signed) Lord Charles Henry SOMERSET

Kaffer Drift Post

Statement of Peter KETTLEDORSE, Hottentot prisoner detained by the Patrole

Peter KETTLEDORSE states that on Friday 14 Jan'y he with his young master Daniel MAHONY went from the location into Kafferland by the drift before CONGO's Kraal to barter for cattle. They remained there until Wednesday morning the 19th and then returned with 46 head of cattle. One ox went sick and their number was therefore only 45. Three Kaffers came out with them, also the Kaffer captain [MANI?] who carried young MAHONY's double barrelled gun. The cattle were purchased from DARLAINE who lives some distance from Cobus CONGO's Kraal. They came out with the Kaffers and cattle close to Trompetters Drift, when young MAHONY sent evidence to the house of MAHONY at Clay Pits to give notice of their arrival. On his return with MAHONY Senior he found the Patrole from Kaffers Drift. On this MAHONY went up to the Sergeant and reported he had lost his cattle. The Sergeant went with MAHONY not suspecting something. Left a Corporal and some men behind who captured the cattle and evidence. MAHONY's son, being mounted, gallopped off.

They also purchased a horse from the Kaffers. The cows were purchased for 23 strings of beads and the oxen for 30 strings. [Manis?], Cobus CONGO's brother, built a hut for MAHONY at the drift at the Keikamma and also a kraal. Old JOHNSON the Irishman beyond [Waarplaats?] was also in Kafferland and returned on Sunday the 16th with cattle.

The day that the Patrole captured the first drove of cattle from MAHONY, Mr. BROWN of the Clay Pits came out of Kafferland with 60 head of cattle and eleven Kaffers. These Kaffers then received beads for their trouble and returned home. Evidence states that he was three times in Kafferland with MAHONY Senior and twice with MAHONY Junior, but previously they had always remained at the drift at the Keiskamma without crossing, MAHONY being afraid to trust the Kaffers.

The first cattle MAHONY Senior purchased were 34 head, the second 72 head, the third time 16 head. The first time with MAHONY Junior he came out with 10 head, 6 [rams?], 8 [sea cow teeth?]. The second time 46 head and one horse.

Evidence is not aware of what MAHONY's intentions are about the cattle but he parted with 18 to an old soldier called DAVID, late African Corps, 4 oxen and a cow to old JOHNSON, five he killed and four calves, one was drowned in a water hole and one the wolf killed.

John PRINCE a Hottentot is aware of all these transactions. He ran away from MAHONY and is now with Mr. HUNT.

Some months ago MAHONY lodged five Kaffers who had 60 assegays. They were hid away one night and a day. The patroles came by but MAHONY kept the Kaffers concealed and gave them provisions. He also sent one of his English servants to get them clay. Evidence's wife was present and also John PRINCE's wife. MAHONY gave them ginger beer with sugar in it and pointed out a place for them where they were to deposit the elephant's teeth &c

[illegible signature]

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