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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.

INGRAM, John, 1827

National Archives, Kew, CO48/114, 312


5th Oct 1827


In making a special report agreeable to your desire of the Emigrants who accompanied me to the Cape of Good Hope in 1823, I feel a task imperatively imposed upon me which I could rather had devolved on another, because it obliges me to speak of myself, and in doing so I trust it will be borne in mind I shall do so as little as the nature of the subject will admit of, and shall make the report of the Com. of Inquiry my principal guide to satisfy you and the Public of the advantages derived by those poor creatures who accompanied me, all of who are now in comparative opulence to the state they were in when they left Ireland.

1st part for the report aludes to those persons who accompanied me in 1820 and would not call at present for notice were it not that I have a heart felt pleasure in stating the greater part of them are now good Houskeepers and keeping their servants and in every way perfectly independent.

2nd part aludes to numbers mustered by the Agent for Transports, that those people were not only mustered faithfully, but I greatly feared that there had been a greater number on board and absolutely refused several though I had ample provisions for them, and were it not for the interferance of the Roman Catholic Church I should have taken out the full complement. On a Sunday morning 283 persons were turned out of the Ship by two priests (notwithstanding I had been feeding them for three weeks and upwards before) who came on board and Dr. COPPINGER R.C. Bishop of Cloyne preached at Cove against them going with me. The interference of the R.C. Clergy has been proved by two of my men of that persuasion before HM Com.of Inquiry subsequent to this report.

3rd part. This in a great measure must be attributed to the unabated zeal of Dr. DAVY who had charge and my unremitting exertions to preserve cleanliness every morning at 8 o'clock I ordered every person with their beding on the deck except such as were on the Doctors list and proceeded below myself with fourteen able fellows and washed the ship out fore and aft and issued 20 lb Soap every week to wash during the voyage. I employed some tailors and the Women in making up Two Hundred suits of Cloathes to enable them to disembark as they could not have [done] so unless I had provided them, which I did gratuitously. As well has having provided every person with a new blanket, mattress and pillows.

4th part speaks for itself and is corroborated by the 7th part that I had to do with as [studious?] a set of fellows as need be but who were urged to it by those interested in Slavery who well knew that frequent repetitions of the introduction of free labour would ultimately reduce slavery at altogether.

5th By my indentures I covenanted with each and every person to allow them the first month after arrival and maintained them at my expense during that period to look out for masters for themselves and on compensating me for their services were at liberty to better themselves of which a number as stated in the 6th part did so, and those who remained and were sent back to me were of the very worst character, with very few exceptions all of whom I employed in repairing my Premises which I found in the most dreadful state of delapidation and in building a wine store as well as two dwelling houses. The store is allowed to be the best and most substantial building in the Colony, the whole being built of excellent stone and lime mortar and not subject to those delapidations which took place in 1822 from using clay, and capable of holding 2000 pipes of wine. The two houses let for £50 per annum each. Of those persons who remained with me 16 then died from the immoderate use of spirituous liquor which I doubt not would have been the case had they remained in Ireland and had the same facilities of procuring it for they were habitual drunkards.

7th part I have only to remark I had selected as fine a body of people of good character (but were deprived of them by the influence of priests) as ever left Ireland.

8th part I regret to say I am obliged to desist from altogether for the number of 246 having got Employment in so short a time speaks for itself. Had I acted otherwise I would not have a servant left to improve my estate.

9th part I was fully aware of before my departure from Ireland and made application to the Governor of the Foundling Hospital at Cork to give me 100 Boys and Girls (which I mentioned to Mr. BIGGE) and on their consulting the Act of Parliament they found they could not apprentice them to persons going foreign though each and every one of them could have got trades and this would have enabled them to provide for a similar number of orphans claiming admittance at the time, which the Governors regreted very much.

10th part the number of European labourers that have been introduced into the Colony is the very reason that more are wanting, because the great Body of those who went out with [me] as well as a considerable number of those who accompanied me in 1823 are now in a condition to employ numbers themselves and I do not hesitate to say from Two or Three Thousand annualy would be absorbed and at wages sufficient to make a poor Irishman feel he was removed from Poverty to Affluence.

11th part In corroboration I have only to state that having some right good tradesmen under me I put as apprentices some young labourers in number as follows.

9 to masons, 5 to sawyers, 10 to miners and 3 to thatchers all of whom in three years became masters of their trades and are now enjoying Mechanics wages or did the several trades men object to teach them for a little gratuity which I paid though in Ireland they would not dare work with them unless they had served seven years and that to one of their own body but used to say there is room enough for us all here to live.

12th part speaks volumes in itself of the necesity of sending out labourers and mechanics of all kinds to the Cape and partly corroborates any assertion of those interested in slavery creating a discontent amongst my people.

13 and 14 part That the supply of labour is deficient in every part of the Colony but still more so in Albany and as to Prize Apprentices they have universaly reverted into their former masters service with the exception of about 150 or 200 who went to live with persons whose slave women they cohabited with before and on the contrary of having any effect on European labour, those who lost their services must now look to European labourers to supply their place and it was increditable the number of applications I had in consequence.

15th and 16th part require no remark from me

17 part I feel myself bound to say would be attended with the worst of consequences for this reason. Those persons who entered with me knew the worst they had to contend with and argued that if I could afford to give them a shilling per day and their Diet and Lodging, surely they could get more when done with me and I regret very much the Commissioners of Inquiry should have altogether overlooked over the last article of my agreement which enabled them to seek the highest wages of the market on compensating me which ran as follows.

“10 article of agreement. That the first month after landing of the said AB being for the sole advantage of the said AB for the purpose of the said AB's procuring a master for himself in order to better himself which is authorised to do and on the said AB paying to the said John INGRAM the sum (as specified by Comm'rs) he have his freedom from this Indenture as if the same had never been and the whole of the foregoing articles of agreement to be null and void between the parties, but in case the said AB shall not have paid the sum of ___ within the said month aforesaid then the said AB shall immediately apply himself to the work of the said John INGRAM and conform to the articles of this agreement.”

18th part Allowing one pound per man as a compensation for the trouble of superintending them. I doubt not I could procure seven or eight persons in London who were at the Cape and who were well acquainted with what I went through to say they would not undertake the situation for Ten Pounds per man.

19th part I am firmly of opinion the apperance of Government in any case at all with respect to the Cape of Good Hope would be the cause of much [obscured] and extra expence for the same reason as expressed in the letter I had the honor of addressing you in 1823 on the same subject.

21st 22nd and 23rd I most sincerely couinside in as it will be of the greatest importance that a great number of labourers be introduced into Albany but by no means do I agree or couinside with finding men for Five years and at so low wages as the applicants for them have stated as the gradual Introduction of Labourers every year would cause a great decline in the exorbitantly high wages which have been paid but be assured in case of absolute necessity only and not of regular work.

With reference to the letter which accompanies this.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your obedient humble s't





National Archives, Kew, CO48/114, 318

5 Oct 1827

18 Civil Street



In reference to the conversation I had with you on the 25th ultimo respecting a further Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope, I trust you will not deem it intruding on your kindness and precious time in my laying before you the nature of a Project I have at present to obtain the aid of HM Government for.

As the present season would be the most advantageous time for the poor Irish to leave the Country, more particularly for the Cape of Good Hope, as by avoiding the winter which is time of their greatest distress and the advantage of fine potatoes just at this season as well as arriving in summer at the Cape, I doubt not it will receive at the hands of the Fathers of Emigration (if I may presume to use the expression) that serious consideration which the nature of the subject deserves.

I propose to take out One Thousand persons to the Cape every year for the next four years for and in consideration of receiving the sum of Twelve Thousand Pounds Stg. to enable me to purchase a ship or ships for the purpose. The [people] to be indented to me for a stated period of time, viz

Men and Women for 3 years

Children over 14 years for 5 years

Do under 14 years for 7 years

I holding myself bound they do not become a burthen on the Colony, for their second terms the amount to be repaid back to HM Government without Interest, say 1/6 in two years and 1/6 every subsequent year till the whole be repaid, subject however to deductions for remuneration as may please HM Government to make the men. Such services may be deemed by them [obscured].

Each person to receive a mattress and blanket on going on board. Every mess of twenty persons to receive daily:

20 lb potatoes

10 lb bread

10 lb beef or pork alternately

2 lb rice

2 lb oatmeal

2 lb sugar

15 gallons water

I propose that each and every person shall have the first month after landing to look out for a situation for himself in order to better himself, he being fed and lodged by me gratis during that period, as was the case with my last people, and that none of them shall have to repay more than £15 for their services (which will create a fund for the bringing out of others) and that at not more than £5 per annum.

I am the more embolden in making this pressing application having rec'd a letter from my mother in law in Cork stating that notwithstanding it's well known I am in England she is obliged to leave town, She has been so harrassed by the applications of people to go out with me, arising from 173 letters I brought to Ireland from the Cape advising their friends to join them in the land where they can live right well in.

To you who so lately visited Ireland it must be superfluous to describe the wretchedness of those poor creatures compaired with those of the slaves of the cape.

It has occurred to me that my views may be forwarded by a recommendation from your Department to the Lord Lieutenant, who has the power of advancing money for the employment of the poor of Ireland.

I hope you will excuse my thus troubling you after the explicit manner you informed me your department had no funds to command for the purpose, but realy the time and season is of so great importance I doubt not you will entertain the subject, and if not able to forward it at present you will take an early opportunity of doing so.

I have the Honor to be Sir, with the greatest respect,

Your obedient humble serv't





National Archives, Kew, CO48/114, 321

18 Civil Street

13 Oct 1827


In reference to the letter I had the honor of addressing you on the 5th., I omitted to state as the opinion of that highly respected gentleman Mr. BIGGS in case of my taking out any future body of settlers it would be advisable to take a Roman Catholic Clergyman who would have such a assendency over them, that much more good may be expected from them; for on an arrival, the sudden departure of their

only Priest left them without spiritual guide or any restriction on their vicious habits, and added he had no doubt that Government would entertain the subject and make provision for him. So satisfied am I of the advantage to be derived from it I should gladly afford him a free table with myself.

It having been suggested to me in the City by some friends, that my views be forwarded immediately; which would be so very desirable for the reasons expressed in said letter; that, if your good self would say the money would be forthcoming three or four months after my departure from Cork; they would make the necessary arrangements to enable me to carry my intentions into execution without further loss of time. I by no means presume to ask such a favour but as the suggestion has been made to me I submit it to your consideration.

If however you may not feel yourself warranted to forward my view for the present. I have a suggestion to make from myself, having left my family at the Cape and my sole purpose in England has been to procure another body of Irish emigrants and to lay the foundation of receiving a great number every year at the Cape where I shall consequently be enabled to employ from Three to Four hundred daily in Building &c and it may be desirable for you to gather every information on the subject of Emigration. I offer my humble services in returning to Ireland (where I lately had innumerable applications) that more particularly to the Counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford

where I am universally known and where the letters I brought home have been read. I doubt not in being able to ascertain what number of persons seek in Cork City to take advantage of so great a Boon and of attaining any further information you may deem necessary being acquainted with the great majority

of the Magistrates of those counties.

Submitting myself at all times to your orders and instructions, I have the Honor to be, Sir

Your Ob. Humble St.





National Archives, Kew, CO48/114, 323

14th Nov 1827

18 Civil Street

Dear Sir

On reflection it has occurred to me that it might be desirable that His Majesties Government might instantly see and approve the exact articles of agreement I intend to enter into with the people I propose to take out to the Cape of Good Hope. I take the liberty of handing it you herewith. With this remark that I shall be most happy to make any alteration in it which may be considered necessary by them at the same time allows one to mention it's my determination to take out with me a School Master and Mistress for the Education of the younger children at my own expence, as I did on the two former occasions which I doubt

not will meet the approbation of His Majesties Government.

With much respect

I am your Ob.St'





National Archives, Kew, CO48/114, 325

This Indenture Witnesseth that John INGRAM late of the City of Cork but now of the Cape of Good Hope and AB of the Cork that's entered into the following Articles of Agreement, that is to say:

1st' That AB hath entered into the service of the said JI – of his own free will and accord and with the concurance of his Father or as the case maybe who is a subscribing party hereto, to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope there to serve the said JI as a mason or at such other work as the said JI or those

empowered by him, may require to be done in said Colony for and during the space of 3.5. or 7 years from and after the date of one month after the landing of the said AB in the Colony aforesaid

2nd' That said JI engaged to take said AB free of all expenses whatsoever to said Colony and there find him or her Work, Diet, Lodgings and Medical attendance for said term of 3.5. or 7 years for and at the rate of 6 or 12 pence British Sg.. per Day Wages for every day he or she shall work (the working hours to be twelve hours per day) and in case he the said AB shall refuse to work it shall be lawful for him the said JI – or such person as he may appoint to stop from him the said AB Wages and Provisions (which Provisions shall be opened at seven o Clock in the evening of each day.) in case he the said AB shall not have worked a full days work or refuse to do so sickness only excepted for Provisions but not wages paid when sick

3rd' That the Provisions to be granted of the said JI – or those he may appoint shall be the same Quantity and Quality as those issued to the Soldiers their Wives and children by His Majesties Government.

4th That it is agreed upon between the parties That no wages shall become payable from Three months from the date of this Apprenticeship and then only two months wages to be paid and so to be paid every two months thereby. leaving one months wages at all times due, which months wages shall be paid up in full on completing said apprenticeship

5th' That in case the said AB Shall be found Guilty of any breach of the Laws of the Colony. By which he forfeits his Liberty he shall forfeit all claims to wages and all services performed prior to that date to be null and void and said apprenticeship to commence and be completed from the day on which he shall return to his Masters work and so serve the term before mentioned.

6th' That the said AB agreed and Binds himself to obey, conform and strictly Observe all such rules and regulations as Shall be made by said John INGRAM and sanctioned by His Excellency The Governor

of said Colony for the better observance of morality and good order amongst his and said JI's apprentices

7th' That in the case of Death of the said JI before the time of completing of this Agreement the said AB engages to serve the Heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns of the said JI under the same Articles of Association

8th'That the first month after the landing of said AB being for the sole advantage of the said AB for the

purpose of the said AB proving a master for himself which he is hereby authorized to do, and on the said AB paying to the said JI - the sum of Fifteen Pounds shall have his Freedom from this Indenture if the same had never been and the whole of the foregoing Articles of Agreement to be null and void and be of no affect between the parties (notwithstanding the said JI is bound to provide him the said AB with Diet, Lodgings and Medical Attendance for the said month Gratis) but in case he the said AB shall not have paid the sum of Fifteen Pounds within the said month aforesaid he the said AB shall immediately apply himself to the work of the said JI and conform to these Articles of Association.

9th' That the said AB will conform to all orders and regulations made for the better regulation of the comforts of the parties on board ship and submit himself to all orders to preserve morality, cleanliness and good fellowship whilst on board.

In witness whereof both parties have subscribed their names to these presents in Triplicate

Dated in the City of Cork

This_____ day of _____ 1827

Notes from the Colonial Office for reply: The Supply of labour to the Colony is much wanted and the introduction this may make cannot but be beneficial in the end - I cannot however recommend, as far as the Cape Governor is concerned, any advances of money to Mr. INGRAM for the purchase of utensils per man even if the necessary security were produced (which is not the case so far as I can learn from a perusal of Mr. INGRAM's paper) for the due fulfillment of the contemplated supply of Labourers – or

for the repayment of the advance

Additional note top, left: INGRAM's proposal for supplying the Cape of Good Hope with Labourers on condition of receiving a sum of money in advance, for purchasing

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