Sir,—Great as we, the "people of Sandridge", have always shown ourselves to be when the improvement of our locality, or the education and relief of our poorer fellow-citizens, demanded our attention; great as we proved ourselves to be when we allowed our present honourable representative in the Legislature, the Chief Secretary, to expend not more than £300 in securing his election against one whom the electors of another district considered it an insult to listen to, and refused to hearken to; great as we showed ourselves to be when, after a two years' yabber, amidst intrigue, the machinations of false friends and open foes, we at last obtained our separation; and great as we have proved ourselves at making ballot-boxes, fishing for chairmanships, town clerkships, and so on-undoing the next day what our councillors did the day previous; great as we were not at forming a rifle brigade;—although, by the way, we excel greatly in the deputation to head-quarters line of business-great as we have shown ourselves to be in getting up a naval brigade, and really drilling for the good of the country, and a suit of clothes, I say, great as we have shown ourselves to be in all these matters, do you not think, Sir, that we have greater reason still to be proud of ourselves, and of our local magistrate, who refused to swear into the ranks of our naval brigade a man, every inch of him-honest, sober, industrious, a native of bonnie Scotland, parents British subjects; but, here it is, his skin is black?

Ought we not to be proud, Sir, of that magistrate, and those almost, if not quite, self-elected committeemen who approved of this act of his, and tried to make (the black having been sworn in by another magistrate) a bone of contention in our brigade? Ought we not, Sir, to despise those British men-of-war within whose wooden walls dwell, and on whose stately docks tread, with the freedom of the fairest - alike respectable and respected - the darkey?

Sir, am I right or wrong in feeling warmly on this point? Pray give me your opinion. Whatever it may be I shall respect it; if contrary to mine. I shall receive it with sorrow; but pray enlighten us poor


The Argus, 6 November 1860

NOTE: No offence is intended by the use of the term Darkeys. The word is used simply because it was used by the Non-European who wrote the letter above complaining of racial discrimination.