Errol Lincoln Uys All materials are from my personal
archives, unless indicated otherwise. No items may be reproduced
site illustrations added to material.
is the beautifully worked-out plot that Errol Uys had in his
possession when we first met to discuss whether or not he could
find it congenial to work with me, and I with him. It should
be studied carefully to see the points at which he had anticipated
some of my own ideas, where he paralleled some, and where he
introduced lines that I found quite extraneous.
of the latter are the Iranians in whom I could show no interest
whatever, (Green); the American line (Black) although after
having composed my last chapter with an Australian I diverted
to an American as more fruitful; most of the English line (Green
also) which seemed too melodramatic for me; and much of the
Bantu (Blue and Brown) which again seemed too dramatic. There
were, of course, elements in all the lines which had no attraction.
of the first, in which Uys anticipated me beautifully, were
the background materials on the creation of the diamond ( that
is the geology, which has always been a preoccupation with me
and not specifically the diamond itself); the man-apes; Australopithecus,
although I could express no interest in Pithecanthropus for
the good reason that I know nothing whatever about him; the
Bushmen; the fleeting allusion to Zimbabwe, which had always
been of major importance to me. Indeed, it was Uys's interest
in these pre-historical materials which attracted me to him,
for without an understanding of how my mind works on such themes
he would have been unable to keep pace.
of the middle group, the rough parallels, are numerous: Boer
War, the shebeen, the good feeling for the Afrikaner, the elephant
hunter (which I did not use but whose characteristics so closely
paralleled my Mal Adriaan.) and the solid glimpses of the English
at work and play.
let's look at the lines of actual plot development that he liked
but which I found it better to avoid: The Portuguese, the heavy
emphasis on Kimberley, the witchdoctor's ownership of the diamond;
indeed the entire diamond theme; the Americans at Kimberley;
the New York diamond merchants etc. I'm sure Uys would have
discarded an equal amount of the ideas I'd developed, so the
rejection was neither excessive nor important.
let's look at the large themes which I had generated prior to
meeting Uys: the concept of 1647 as the beginning of the novel;
the heavy emphasis on Java rather than Holland; the strong emphasis
on the Huguenots, especially their religious background; the
very heavy emphasis on the English; the long detail to be given
to early Cape Town, a wine farm and the Trekboers; the confrontation
with the Xhosa; the strong focus on the Voortrekkers; an equally
strong focus on the Boer War and especially the concentration
camps; the long sympathetic look at how a real Afrikaner was
educated; and the sharp comment on apartheid. And in place of
Uys's dramatics, I had from the start preferred emphasis on
setting, slow development and the establishment of a site to
which I could return again and again.
lets look at the specifics which Uys introduced into our long
chat sessions when the big ides were thrown onto the table.
He showed such a mastery and predilection for plotting that
again and again he came up with dazzling ideas that again and
again attracted my attention. I am no good at plotting, hold
it to be almost an excrescence, and pay far to little attention
to it, so that Uys's bold suggestions were often appreciated.
It was he who suggested most of the coincidences, most of the
confrontations, most of the wild occurrences and it was I who
rejected a vast majority of them but I was deeply indebted to
him for certain plot lines. As one can see, I accepted almost
none from his own outline, but when we talked he was so quick
to catch ideas that we bounced large concepts about with ease.
He really was a remarkable man in his ability to visualize instantly
and I rarely had to waste a moment explaining anything. Also,
he had the capacity and willingness to catch an idea and run
with it in his own direction, often proposing something so far
from my intention that I was bedazzled. I judge he could plot
six novels a year with intricate beauties; he should have been
in G-2 in some complicated war situation.
once did I say, "So now we have this Englishman at the Mission
Station in 1819. How does he get to the Orange River?" without
his having nine or eleven possibilities, all good, all logical,
all beautifully coordinated. Often I would say, "too complicated
for our boy", or "I doubt that our boy would go so far," but
just as often I would say, "That might be just what he'd do."
we broke away from his conception of a super-dramatic novel,
at which he would have been excellent, he grasped immediately
and totally my concept of a novel which would unfold the qualities
of the Afrikaner heritage, and although he sometimes took a
dim view of that heritage, he was brilliant in bringing to my
attention aspects which I could not have thought of by myself,
even though I had done and was doing considerable work in the
field. RETURN TO PLOTTING
item is from the James A. Michener special collection at the
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.
Tony Oursler and Errol Uys,
an hour ago Mari brought me the mail and I had the pleasure
of reading Uys's notes about a proposed book on South Africa.
I was impressed by his organizing ability, his thoroughness,
and his keen insights into the problems of arranging a mass
of material so as to be usable, especially in fictional form.
became immediately apparent that he is prepared to start talks
with me right away, because we have both done a great deal of
thinking on this matter, along our separate lines, and we have
come up with striking parallelisms, as I suppose any two reasonably
intelligent persons would, faced with identical data.
therefore think it prudent that Uys and I meet as soon as possible,
down here in Maryland, to spend seven or eight days together
wrestling with big ideas.
is important, I think, for me to react to Uys's outline before
we meet. I saw it for the first time an hour ago and responded
most favorably to a great deal of it. But you must understand
that I have been thinking casually about such a project for
several years, and specifically for the past month. I have,
as you saw from my notebook in New York, my own strong ideas
as to what might be accomplished, and past experience has taught
me to cling fairly, strongly, but not stubbornly, to my first
solid impressions. This I will have to do in the case of a possible
South African book.
the only difference between Uys's outline and mine is that as
always I want to take things slowly, avoid the big central occurrences,
avoid the big cities that others can write about better than
I, avoid the super-dramatic confrontations, lay emphasis upon
the physical settings which enclose all of us wherever we might
be, and allow the story to unfold with its symbolism implied
rather than stated, and its high moral instinct in the yarn
rather than spelled out in chapter headings. These are devices
and principles which I have worked out over several decades,
and they fit my personality and skills, and to abandon them
now would be perilous. (Also, they work!)
think you can see where I'm heading. I found Uys's material
one degree too dramatized for me, one degree too novelistic.
But I'm mightily impressed with his keen instinct for weaving
strands together, and I am sure I could learn something from
him. In fact, I would like nothing better than to sit quietly
with him and Oursler and kick these strands=ideas about for
some days to see which are fruitful for my slower, less dramatic
be specific, so that you can be thinking along the same lines
I am, I have already sketched the material dealing with the
creation of the diamond and have everything under control except
the facts! Can't find a good account anywhere at all! Conclude
that I already know more than any of the writers, and that ain't
one-fiftieth of what I need to know. For some years I've had
a fine short chapter on Australopithecus and have come to consider
it a focal point of this book. This time I have all the material
I need, some from studies done years ago, many from recent reviews
of new materials, but even so I would want to check each sentence
with South African experts, because they discovered him and
know far more about him than I do.
advises me that I ought to leapfrog immediately to Zimbabwe
at about 1410, and I am fairly well prepared to do this, having
seen the area on two previous trips. But I am impressed by Uys's
belief that there out to be two interpositions between
Australopithecus and Zimbabwe; the Bushmen and the putative
Phoenicians, Arabians and Ophirites. I have done no work on
the Bushmen and had planned to play them down in comparison
with the Hottentots, whom I want to make a strong feature as
those present when the Dutch arrived. I have done much work
on the Indian littoral, but not in relation to this book. I
visited all the ports, all the rivers and made copious mental
notes against the day I might want to use either Sofala or Mozambique
Island. But frankly I have not cranked this dormant material
into my plans and do not, right now, see how best to do so.
I would appreciate your thinking about this.
have no interest in Uys's Portuguese explorers down the Atlantic
side, although I did a heavy amount of work on them when I spent
some time in Luanda. (The concept of those stelae looking out
upon the ocean is alluring, but I am not strongly attached to
them as literary devices.) But as the preceding paragraph indicates,
I have done much work on the Indian Ocean side, either with
the Portuguese or the Arabs, and am somewhat taken with this.
Certainly, in the Zimbabwe chapter I would want to use Sofola;
and I have always thought that one of the mournful tragedies
of South African history, from the local point of view, which
I am able to feel instantly, was that they never acquired control
of Lorenço Marques, whose loss seems even now incalculable.
I would not want to attempt this important and difficult book
if I did not do ample justice to the great black tribes,
and I have always had this in mind from the time years ago when
I studied the Zulus intensely, visiting their new lands, their
old battlefields, their university and their present-day homes.
But I'm damned if I see clearly how best to handle this. I had
thought I would focus on the Xhosa as the people who were forced
south and west by Shaka, and this still appeals. But I belatedly
see that the story is only half told if full emphasis is not
given to Shaka, his antecedents and his followers in addition
to Dingaan. But every instinct tells me to wait on this till
after the Dutch have been established. It makes for a better
book, I am convinced. I am, however, open for suggestions as
how best to introduce the material.
have great interest in the shipwrecked Haerlem of
about 1648 because I want to stress Java and Batavia as counterweights
to Cape Town, and it occurs to me it would e fruitful to use
the Haerlem incident as the one way to introduce my
continuing Dutch family. In my plan of some years ago, this
would form Chapter IV and would get the story launched,
insofar as the Europeans are concerned. But I find absolutely
nothing about the Haerlem !
Uys I want to stress the Huguenot strain, but as of now I have
no clear plan for accomplishing this. I deem the French influence
to be rather stronger than the average writer indicates; many
of the profound strains of the Dutch-Boer-Afrikaans character
show a clear Huguenot component. But this can be easily worked
out as the characters move across the pages.
Chapter V, assuming that the French do not merit a chapter to
themselves but an ancillary treatment, would leap directly to
the Xhosa Wars and the coming of the English as a kind of afterthought.
This could be a very solid and focal chapter, stressing the
confrontation of Xhosa-Dutch and Dutch-English. But I have never
done much work on the Xhosa, except as they were caught in Zulu
history, and would need a lot of specific work to make myself
competent. I much prefer the Zulus and the Matabele, but the
more I think about Afrikaner history, the more significant the
Xhosa become, a fact I did not appreciate some years ago.
the trek, on which I am fairly well informed. I have always
thought it ought to be done as the South African version of
the American trek to the west, and the Russian trek to the east,
and I want to place it in its proper physical setting, comparing
it with those other great treks which were so much more significant
in terms of numbers of people involved and miles covered, and
so much less important psychologically. I had always intended,
as you know from what I told you, to bypass Natal, which meant
also bypassing Dingaan, because I have always been much more
interested in the trekkers who did just that. I felt that I
could get all the values I wanted from the Xhosa, but what Uys
said at our meeting made a deep impression on me and I have
restudied this issue. Blood River is too important to be ignored,
even though all my antecedents as a writer warn me to do so,
and I am beginning to see how I can digress to that
tragic scene and then get back on what is for me my main line.
In fact, this can be done with certain advantages and should
be, primarily for two reasons: Blood River is too deeply ingrained
in Afrikaner memory to be ignored and is too good a phrase to
be wasted; and I now think that the blacks I want to follow
in the powerful later chapters ought to be Zulus.
there my specific planning comes to a halt. (In my earlier notes
I leapfrogged almost directly to the workings of the pass laws,
which is too enormous a leap for a book of the kind I now visualize.)
I want of course to establish the diamond theme, but not too
heavily. I do not want to make much if anything of the Rhodes-Kruger
confrontation, for others have done this commendably. Nor am
I concerned about the Uitlanders or the fracases between the
I decide upon this lacuna must lead to the Boer War, which I
have fairly well structured. But I am not making any firm decisions
because I want to see what happens to our characters in the
preceding episodes: Boer heroes; English actors: Black majority.
they move into the Twentieth Century their obligations become
clearer, and I have always had this fairly well in mind: much
emphasis on 1938-1945; great stress on the intellectual conflicts
of the 1948-1960 period; and in the final chapter a focus on
perhaps only three central figures, each of which grows out
of the preceding periods.
have already given some thought to Oursler's idea that an American
enter the final scenes, and now I see that Uys had the same
idea. There may be some value in this: a fresh figure, a new
view, a premonition of the 1990s. I don't want to use the diamond
melodramatically, but if it is well handled in the opening chapter,
and then again prior to the Boer War, there could be a way of
utilizing it within the limitations I set myself. At any rate,
I'm think about this and have so far come up with nothing. But
the idea does persist, so maybe it's a good one.
you know all I know and the next move is yours. RETURN TO PLOTTING
to The Plotting
to The Plotting
"Scribbling Block" Rough
to The Plotting
"Scribbling Block" Rough - Apartheid 1
"Scribbling Block" Rough - Apartheid 2
"Scribbling Block" Rough - Apartheid 3
to The Plotting
Yellow Draft Outline
Yellow Draft Outline
Doorn Family Tree
to The Plotting
Outline, pages 7 and 8
Outline Page 7 Second Draft
Outline Page 8
Outline Page 8 - Second Draft
Outline Page 8b - Second Draft
to The Plotting
Revised Outline for Saltwoods
- Original pages can be seen here)
Second draft, pages
In first outline, covered the Van Doorns:
Adriaan's life from
1743-1788. His son, Lodevicus , b. 1750 and grandson,
Johannes, b. 1777. We have Adriaan dying with his tremendous
vision of Africa, a call to the future from the depth of his
We saw Lodevicus, in 1774,
trek into the heart of the Frontier settling at De Kraal
and building his reputation as 'The Hammer' in the clashes with
the Xhosa. And the birth of Tjaart van Doorn in 1800
— after the death of Johannes in the Third Kaffir War.
Only thereafter do we have the arrival of the Stanworths —
Also saw the Xhosa though
the wars and reference to the Nongquase vision.
to start Chapter Seven with Saltwood background, need
a way to work in the above. (Also detail of Van Plettenberg's
1778 'grand apartheid' plan... The latter remains important
for it brings an important historical perspective that underlines,
boldly, the fact that the black-white confrontation in South
Africa is centuries-in-the-making, with all today's fears, doubts,
prejudices deeply ingrained in the volks -memory.)
Xhosa story can, profitably, be introduced through the Saltwood
missionary connection and the wars. More can come out in his
clashes with the Van Doorns who'll undoubtedly reflect on his
'ignorance' of the real blacks ...Old Lodevicus can assert,
for example, that you only get to know them when you've shed
blood in battle against them.
one accepts that the Xhosa tribes are really the 'overflow'
of the great Zulu empire to the north, the black angle can be
dealt with in depth in the next chapter on The Rise of the
Zulu. That might be the answer - to live with this peripheral,
almost narrow, view and then to bring - with the tremendous
roar of a mighty Zulu impi, the story of the blacks crashing
upon the reader's mind. All the time, through the Van Doorns,
the Saltwoods and others, through the Xhosa wars, the reader
suspects that there is much, much more "beyond" -
also 'tailed down' through the pre-history sections - but cannot
perceive just how immense the black presence is until he finds
himself amid Shaka's empire.
for the Van Doorns: See Adriaan and Hester - as per my last
updated notes - leaving the Cape, presaging the breakpoint between
the Cape Afrikaner-to-be and the North. Now, one picks up with
Lodevicus and Tjaart. Saltwood can be valuable here: In his
first confrontation with the Van Doorns, they as 2nd and 4th
generation of trekkers can make clear their resentment of this
'intruder' in their midst. By reference to Adriaan, the visionary
and Johannes, the victim, they can provide a flashback
to earlier period. Removed need for interim settlement of family
at Swellendam, allowing immediate move from Trianon to
De Kraal .
Eastern Cape Frontier... The Conflict between the English missionaries
and the trekkers. The arrival of the 1820 British
Settlers. The Xhosa Wars.Events leading to The Great Trek.
Saltwoods of Old Sarum:
they're encountered (in England?), family structure might look
something like this:
(Name to come?) Saltwood.
born 1764: Michael Saltwood:
under the influence of the elder Saltwood and clearly
heir to the Saltwood estates at Old Sarum, near Salisbury.
Michael will go into politics.
before birth of next child, a riding accident claims the
life of the first Mrs. Saltwood: to allow for re-marriage
and later births of three sons, John, Matthew and Richard.)
born 1780 : John
delicate, quiet child, closer to his mother than father;
at first it might have been difficult to see him in the
role of an African missionary. Had his life followed a
"normal" course, he'd more than
have ended up as the vicar of an English country parsonage,
tending his roses and gently flailing his flock when the
need arose. A role he'd probably have filled far better
than throwing himself
the van Doorns of the world etc. The Reverend John Saltwood
will join the London Missionary Society.
born 1784: Matthew Saltwood:
USA as a remittance man. or just plain runaway scoundrel.
As the in-between child, Matthew has never been able to
find roots at Old Sarum. Perhaps his fleeing could be
the result of a scandal he plunges family into.. e.g.
At 19, he
sleeps with the gate-keeper's wife who becomes 'with child'
but miscarries and dies. Off to America, he moves out
of the U.K.-S.A. Saltwood orbit. (But in 1970's
one of his descendents
-- The American -- will return to Africa...)
born 1784: Richard Saltwood:
bred, courageous, "an officer and a gentleman"...
finer son of England! His army career (regiment?) takes
ham to India and thence, in 1820,
to Africa. He
combines some of the characteristics of the older Michael
and the single-mindedness of the rebel Matthew -it's the
latter that signals his choosing the challenge of Africa
above England, which to his dying day he'll continue to
In a way, Richard exhibits some of the ideals of a Rhodes
for he believes in Empire, Expansion, conscious of what
the Napoleonic Wars have cost England, the future - to
him - lies through the wealth of England's colonies and
it is there that he must do his bit for the old country.
He could've played a larger role than he does but he is
in the wrong era - 50 years later (as will, in fact, happen
with his grandson) he would've been at the forefront of
the Rhodes team.
Nevertheless, he makes a positive and enduring contribution
to the Frontier and the establishment of the South African
Saltwood at School in Salisbury (Godolphin, Bishop Wordsworth's
or the Cathedral School?). Saltwood intro: As discussed, scene-setting
to establish Old Sarum, Salisbury, Stonehenge. The meeting
by the tree. The Saltwood prospect etc. Close look at the
elder Saltwood, the brother Michael being groomed to follow
in his father's political/landlording footsteps, the rotten
borough of Old Sarum etc.
John Saltwood attends Oxford ...College? ...Theology.
formation of London Missionary Society (LMS), Anti-Slave Committee
etc. and see possible connections to Oxford or Salisbury.)
commitment to the "innocent, noble savage" could develop
at Oxford. Perhaps his tutor is active in LMS home-based work.
Takes him to meetings, lectures etc. His calling to Africa intensifies
after the Second British Occupation of the Cape in 1806. There
could be special value to his ideas about Africa being shaped
in England through these LMS contacts etc. He'll carry with
him pre-conceptions that will, step by step, face grave erosion
though he is unlikely to admit that. Despite the realities of
the veldt the trekker lifestyle, the Frontier, he will long
cling to his homeside prejudices seeing the trekkers as "boorish,
uncivilized Africans." He accepts the LMS dictums against
them, sides with the Hottentots and Blacks and frowns upon what
he sees as unwelcome "intruders" upon the African
he is genuine in his vocation and concern, there's room for
comic relief here: I've this picture of John Saltwood, circa
1809, serious, studious, aesthetic (perhaps not unlike Phil
Bateman:) gathered with the Saltwood relations in the manicured
garden of the ancestral home. It is as fine and gentle a spring
day as you could hope for. To his perplexed but properly polite
family, he is trying to explain the 'savage' prospect that this
Godly son of England faces in Africa. For the trekkers, especially,
he has dark words ....He'd often have occasion to recall this
Saltwood is 45... Age raises possibility that he could be an
elder statesman at the time of the abolition of slavery - if
link-back to England's Saltwood's needed. or, at 56, a major
supporter of the 1820 Settlers movement. Which could explain
Richard Saltwood's connection with that group. (Though no real
problem since it would be logical for soldiers going out to
the Frontier to sail with such a ship etc.)
no doubt, is pleased to see his brother carrying the family
banner to the colonies- a welcome contrast to the behavior of
the irresponsible Matthew.
vignette: I'm not sure whether timing is correct but, on occasion
blacks were taken from Africa to England for 'exhibition'...
It may be profitable to see the Rev. John's reactions to meeting
with such a group in London. His first "experience"
with the real thing!)
1809 Since voyage description
saved for Richard Saltwood and the 1820 Settlers, we see John
Saltwood taking up his appointment with LMS in the Cape Colony.
value in cross-reference to American slavers, perhaps have high
seas meeting between ships carrying John Saltwood and American
slaver out of West Africa. Renegade Matthew Saltwood could be
aboard the slaver - a traumatic finding that could offer an
added dimension to John Saltwood's mission to Africa - a guilty
secret locked away in his mind and perhaps later contributing
toward his marriage to a black.
arrives in 1809 after Read's "African peasants" atrocity
letter published in Transactions of the LMS. This will
contribute to the chill reception he receives and never forgets.
Could crystallize in scene during stopover at Boer home on the
fringe of Karoo on his journey from Cape Town to Bethelsdorp.
Just how deeply one wants to get involved with the Reads/Van
der Kemps etc. is debatable: Perhaps, just make point of their
existence, motives, work etc., have Saltwood 'check' in with
them briefly and then move on to do his own thing. Occasional,
necessary contacts follow. (Facts of LMS operations may suggest
otherwise, once researched in detail.)
First Hottentot Ordinance
Circuit Courts Established: These tried trekboers for, among
other allegations, mistreatment of their slaves and Hottentot
have gone all but smoothly for John Saltwood in the first two
years of his missionary experience. His station - within a day's
journey of the Van Doorn farm, De Kraal? - has attracted
a number of Hottentots and blacks, many of them indolent hangers-on.
He has proved to be a poor organizer and the station has the
semblance of a squatters' camp etc. Some of the n'er-do-wells
he has attracted pay lip service to his sermonizing etc., but
rudely laugh behind his back but most are honest, God-fearing
naturally agrees with the views of Read/Van der Kemp etc. but
falters when it comes to taking as strong a stand as they do.
He will indeed
raise his voice in protest against the "boors" and
their mistreatment of the Hottentots etc but takes care to avoid
direct confrontation on these issues. Pusillanimous, faint-hearted,
Saltwood is, however, forced into a situation where he clashes
with the Van Doorns.
possibilities here, perhaps the sole proviso being that one
should avoid closely paralleling the case of Frederick Bezuidenhout
which has been used several times before.
could give refuge to a Hottentot implicated in the theft of
cattle from De Kraal. Lodevicus now aged 61, and his "boss
boys" ride over to the mission to demand that the Hottentot
be turned over to them. Saltwood refuses to do so: In fact,
he couldn't if he'd wanted to for the Hottentot is away from
they ride off, Lodevicus and his party encounter the Hottentot.
Now convinced that he'll not be brought to justice, The Hammer
deals with him in his own way - a whipping and beating etc.
first Saltwood only commiserates with the Hottentot, but the
story of The Hammer's justice does the rounds and he is forced
to take up the case bringing an assault charge against Lodevicus
who appears before the landdrost at Graaff Reinet, found guilty
and fined. Unlike Bezuidenhout and others, Lodevicus goes through
the affair with solemn dignity. Only when Saltwood tries to
broaden the case against him with further accusations about
the Van Doorn's treatment of their slaves etc. - only then does
he lose his calm, blasting away at Saltwood in the courtroom
and airing his feelings on all the grievances felt by the trekkers
against the "meddlesome" missionaries.
could see Saltwood accepting largely false accusations brought
to him by the Hottentot and directing the man to bring charges
against Lodevicus. Perhaps too clear cut and fails to take into
account fact that some of the missionaries charges were certainly
either case, with the exception of a possible 'thaw' in relations
between Richard Saltwood and Tjaart van Doorn (below), this
sets the scene for future between the two families.
Xhosa War: January to March.
which the "Saltwood" mission station is razed. Although
mainly Hottentot inhabited, there are some blacks, including
a 12-year-old Xhosa girl (check specific tribe?) who survives
with her mother, Saltwood's servant. The two of them move off
with him. (In 1821, he will marry the daughter.)
original notes, Van Doorn farm is devastated. Suggest leave
till pre-trek era. But this is Saltwood's "baptism by fire'°.
When he flees with black woman and her daughter, there could
be this picture of them passing close by the Van Doorn farm
- maybe even on hill overlooking the De Kraal farmhouse -but
unable to find or seek refuge there.
Perhaps, after abandonment of mission, Saltwood makes trip
back to England. This could aid in rekindling his stuffy relationship
with the girl back home. However, he cannot escape the destiny
he feels lies back in South Africa and will return there.
should be, in his own mind, some difficulty about his exact
interpretation of that destiny. The young black girl. soon reaching
toward womanhood... would've aroused something within him he
doesn't fully understand. But, whatever, it adds to his continuing
hesitancy to marry Vera Lambton(?). There's always this need
to settle his affairs in Africa.
background ops. will clarify, but hopefully he could return
to the Colony, still under their auspices. He gets a new mission
outpost in close proximity to army station (or fort?) where
soldiers who will take part in Slagtersnek executions are billeted
and is responsible for their ministry.
Lodevicus and young Tjaart van Doorn, aged 16, witness Slagtersnek:
Five trekkers who had rebelled against British were hung.
In four cases, the noose broke. The men were strung up again
in front of their friends and relatives - an atrocious event
imprinted in infamy.
confrontation between van Doorns and Saltwood, leaving Tjaart
with indelible resentment etc, Perhaps Van Doorns and
other trekkers could chase away Saltwood when he wants to 'comfort'
them when the bodies are removed from the gallows. Unstated
symbolism to the scene among those gathered at the foot of Christ's
Slagtersnek Saltwood faces the most serious spiritual/moral
challenge of his life. Greatly appalled by the burgher uprising,
he nevertheless felt that they should not be executed. His appeals
for mercy throw him into conflict with some of his own LMS people,
and fail to impress Governor Somerset and other authorities.
Nor does his stand, at this late hour, move the Van Dooms who
continue to see him as the embodiment of the cause of many of
here on, Saltwood begins to retreat from an original vision
of Christ's messenger among the "black heathene".
So great is his disappointment and confusion at this failure
that for 40 days and nights he will wander into the frontier
as fever grips him. Found in delirium by a group of blacks,
he is taken back to his people at the mission station.
Lodevicus van Doorn dies, leaving young Tjaart, b. 1800 in
control of De Kraal. After Johannes van Doorn's death in 1799
- a few months before the birth of Tjaart - Lodevicus "The
Hammer" had taken the child under his care, instilling
in him not only the spirit of old Mal Adriaan, his great-grandfather,
but the treklus. ("trek-lust")
Tjaart journeys briefly back to the Cape, affording a look
at Trianon and the progress of the Van Doorns there. The Cape
only deepen his conviction that life under the English flag
cannot be for him. Someday, in the future, he will turn his
back on all this to seek a new freedom.
The Rev. Dr. Philip appears on the scene. Through some contact
with him, Saltwood enjoys a brief re-charging of enthusiasm.
At last, he also decides to send for Vera Lambton.
Arrival of the 1820 British Settlers, 4000-plus immigrants
brought out from Britain to reinforce the "buffer"
zone between white and Xhosa.
Saltwood (rank?) travels on the Alice Grace, a settler
ship with Vera Lambton, wife-to-be of brother John. Fine description
of actual voyage needed. (Also showing hopes, fears etc. of
the settlers.) Since we have scrapped idea of using Huguenot
voyage as "example, this seems good point for showing what
was endured in making passage to Africa those days. Would see
Alice Grace(?) in mighty seas off the Cape of Storms,
grippingly capturing all the terrors men and women faced since
they first began to sail beyond what pre-Prince Henry navigators
regarded as "the end of the world". Making for Simonstown,
they're blown south for two days, a period of fear and dread
that will sharpen the passionate need Vera Lambton feels for
the man she met and fell in love with aboard the good vessel
Alice Grace. (named for the daughters of the owner?)
had happened a few days out of Southampton (?). For the first
time in her life, the 29-year-old woman knew true love with
a 23-year-old, possibly junior officer of Saltwood. Aware of
what this will mean to his brother, Richard tries to end the
romance. He has the man put off at Simonstown but (arrange without
having him disobey officer's order?) the lover will dash to
Algoa Bar and be waiting for Vera when the Alice Grace
Despite his dislike for the English, Tjaart van Doorn, in
the good spirit shown by other frontier trekkers, welcomes
the settlers, seeing hope in their strengthening of the community
and the thin "white" line along the border. lie
also sees good money in riding transport with his wagons for
the incoming settlers.
When the Rev. Saltwood - after a devastating scene on the
beach at Algoa Bay - finally accepts that Vera Lambton has
rejected him, he withdraws to his mission station and the
young black girl he'd known, since she was a child. Suddenly,
amid his great despair, all became clear: Had not Dr Philip
and he, himself, preached that the coloured races were in
every respect the equals of the white man? Here, with this
black girl, would he not find the true communion with Mother
Africa? The fulfillment of his mission? A spiritual closeness
with those he sought to reach? A joyful salvation?
The Rev. John Saltwood and the girl are married: A tragic
and fore-doomed union in the eyes of others.
we had Tjaart van Doorn marrying a Scot for 1820's group, but
after the Van Doorn-Saltwood experience probably be less likely.
Suggest he meets trekker girl at Graaff Reinet when he goes
to Nachtmaal, courts and marries her at the same time as the
Saltwood union is consummated. (Tjaart's wife will be massacred
Richard Saltwood leaves army, aged 39, marries 1820 settler,
Virginia Comstock from Grahamstown. These Saltwoods settle
on a farm in the same district as Tjaart van Doorn. Anthony
Saltwood is born in 1825.
50th Ordinance passed: Affecting relationships between settlers
aid Hottentots, Bushman and
other free people of color. Latter relieved from the operation
of pass laws, the apprenticeship of children etc. Placed them
politically on a level with the whites.
Slavery ends at the Cape. Rev. John Saltwood emerges briefly
at this time. In the 11 years
that have passed since his marriage, he has fathered six children
The Sixth Xhosa War. Richard Saltwood rides with the trekkers
and other settlers and we see brief conciliation between Tjaart
van Doorn and this Saltwood together in the field against
the Xhosa. Van Doorn farm is destroyed, his wife and children
seeking refuge with the Saltwood family.
John Saltwood is slain at his mission station. His family will
trek to another settlement where, slowly, they will sink into
poverty and distress. This line of the Saltwoods will die out
tragic and foredoomed. Could use this breakdown as a link to
Nongquase, for just as John Saltwood's vision of Africa withered,
so did Nongqause's vision of the invincibility of her people
come to grief: In 1856, a 16 year old girl Nongquase said that
the Xhosa people should destroy all their cattle and fields
and on a certain day the nation would rise, immune to the settlers'
bullets, and drive the white man into the sea. As a result,
thousands of Xhosas perished in the ensuing famine and the nation's
strength was ruined.
to The Great Trek: While on commando, Tjaart gives his reasons
for leaving to Saltwood. Amicable but not true friends, when they
return from the war, Tjaart will commence preparations for The
Trek. Saltwood will buy his 1ands.
to The Plotting