This letter was written to Cecil Rhodes after Churchill returned home from the Second Boer War.

Churchill's letter to Cecil Rhodes

My dear Mr Rhodes,

Abe Bailey has spoken to me about a plan to send a small private expedition from Capetown to Cairo, and has suggested my coming with him. Of course I must think first of all of getting into the House of Commons, but I daresay the general election will be over before the expedition would start and were that the case I daresay I could get away.

I should personally like very much indeed to take part in such an interesting venture, and as I have to make my own living it would be a great advantage to me to do so, for what with a series of letters to a London newspaper and a good sized book to be published later, I should be able to earn a good deal of money.

Now it seems to me that this writing would help to attract public attention to the Cape to Cairo route and stimulate the interest taken in your railway scheme: so that perhaps you will think that our roads lie for some small distance in the same direction. If this be so and you would like me to go with this small expedition as Bailey's companion, will you write me - or have me written for I know you have many things to occupy you - a letter on the subject. This should reach me in about two months time, and I will then give you a definite answer without delay, for by then I shall know what prospect there is of my being able to play at `the cup and ball trick' (to quote your expression) in the House of Commons.

I lunched and dined with Frankie at Groote Schuur and much admired your beautiful house. I am sorry not to have seen you in South Africa, but the Boers interfered with most peoples' arrangements.

Yours sincerely,
Winston S. Churchill.
12th July 1900

“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill