NATAL MERCURY 19 MAY 1880
The URMS 'African' arrived at the outer anchorage from England early on Thursday morning, after a very good voyage. She had on board 60 immigrants - 20 men and 10 women and children. The men are carpenters, blacksmiths, farm labourers, engineers, gardeners and joiners, and the women, housekeepers and domestic servants. This is one of the largest numbers of immigrants that has as yet reached Natal in one ship and we have little doubt that we have to thank Mr Walter Peace, the acting immigration agent in London, for such a large and respectable class of immigrants as landed at the Point yesterday. Mr Peace has this year been instrumental in sending out a total we believe of 200 immigrants. Early yesterday Mr. Reid of the Immigration Depot went out in the 'Union' and boarded the 'African' for the purpose of looking after those who were arriving here under the Immigration Act and in a short time the 'Union' landed them safely on to the wharf. Some friends of the immigrants were present, but there were some more who found themselves on a foreign land without those who required their services being there to receive them. For such parties Mr. Reid had made preparations by having tents erected on the Market Square for their reception, and it speaks well for the friendship formed by this large body when we mention that in no instance was a poor stranger allowed to enter the tents; those who had found friends kindly looked after their less fortunate fellow passengers, and in a short time they were all distributed throughout the town in boarding-houses. They spoke highly of the treatment they received while coming out. An infant, aged a little over a year, died on the 18th of April. Mr. Reid performed his task admirably and was careful to see all the immigrants provided for before he retired from his work. The names of the passengers will be found in our shipping column."
E. BAYNTON, Agent
* 'AFRICAN' (1) 1873 built by Key, Kinghorn, 2019 tons, was employed as a mail steamer between England and the Cape until 1881 when she was transferred to the South African coasting service. Four years later she was purchased by F. Stumore and Company of London, who retained the original name of the vessel. On February 15th 1887 when bound with a cargo of coals from Cardiff to Jeddah, she ran ashore in the Red Sea at Abu Madaff, 40 miles from Suakim, and became a total wreck.[ Source: 'Ships And South Africa" by Marischal Murray (OUP 1933) ]
See "Maritime Adventures of the Anglo-Zulu War" for another mention of the 'African'.
In the same edition of the Natal Mercury May 19 1880:
E. BAYNTON, agent.