Josephine Butler to Mrs Fawcett

Scope and Content

No address. 'Thursday. Spring 1901'

Thanking her for the 'Siecle' [presumably referring to an article written by Mrs Fawcett refuting the slanders against the camps set up for Boer women and children] Thinks they should have it in English to circulate among Mr Stead's disciples. She has just had a visit from a soldier of the 9th Lancers just home from South Africa. He left the Army in order to become a missionary among the troops at the front. He assured her that far from there being such scandalous things done [see queries in letter of 18 Jul 1901] the moral tone was very high.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Many thanks for the 'Siecle'. It is a strong and good reply - we ought to have it in English to circulate among Mr Stead's disciples' The 'Siecle' was run by Yves Guyot

This refers to the scandals circulating about the camps into which the Boer women and children were put for their own safety during the 4th and last phase of the War (covering a period Jan 1901 to Feb 1902). When the task of clearing the country of the guerrillas with chains of block houses first along the railways and then across the country. Disease ravaged these camps (as it did our military hospitals) and the death rate was high. To allay the 'falsehoods' a commission was sent out with Mrs Fawcett to make the report on the concentration camps (see letter of 18 Jul 1901)

Mr Stead is mentioned in this context because his attitude was anti-Boer War from the beginning and he threw himself, with his usual vigour, into a campaign of slander and abuse of the British army. (For details see note letter of 2 Mar 1901)

'He was in the siege of Ladysmith' See note letter of 2 Mar 1900

Biog: Mrs Fawcett, Lord Roberts, Sir George Whyte, WT Stead