James A. Michener's COVENANT
The Secret History of a Best Seller
Errol Lincoln Uys
online literary archive
materials are from my personal archives, unless indicated
otherwise. No items may be reproduced without permission.
Web site illustrations added to material.
Michener on Africa and the major continents
all the major continents, Africa is the one that hugs closest
to the equator, the only one that does not have a substantial
area in the temperate zone where farming can flourish, or industry
thrive, or great cities be established. Look at a map of Africa,
and compare it with South America which shares the same oceans,
and see how truncated the former is! South America reaches south
to the fifty-sixth parallel of latitude; Africa cuts short at
the thirty-fifth, which means that the former extends some 1,400
miles farther into temperate climates than the latter.
discrepancy becomes more meaningful when one compares the brevity
of South Africa with the expansiveness of Asia, Europe and North
America, for then the real disadvantages under which the Cape
Dutch suffered become apparent. If these continents had been
cut off at the thirty-fifth parallel north, Asia would have
lost Kyoto, Tokyo, Peking, Tientsin, Tehran and Ankara. All
Europe would be lost with its cities, its factories, its farms
and its ennobling institutions. In North America there would
be no Canada and all of the United States would be cut off down
to a line running south of Chattanooga, Memphis, Oklahoma City,
Amarillo and Albuquerque. Those cities and all places to the
north like San Francisco, St. Louis, Detroit, Washington and
Boston would be eliminated.
the northern continents were as truncated as South Africa, their
civilization would be limited to what Canton, Delhi, Jerusalem,
Dallas, Mexico City and Los Angeles could provide. The great
farming areas of China, Russia, France and Canada would be lost,
as would the industrial centers like Tokyo-Yokohama, Peking,
Moscow-Leningrad, Pittsburgh and Detroit. World civilization
would be immeasurably poorer: cathedrals would not have been
built, plays not written and poems not composed.
this means is that the Dutch who occupied the Cape found themselves
in possession of one of the world's deprived areas ; the lush
farmlands which ought to have stood to the south did not exist;
rivers comparable to the Yangtze, the Rhine and the Mississippi
did not flow; and the wealth which had been created in the vast
temperate zones of the other continents could not be duplicated
in South Africa, no matter how diligently the Dutchmen worked.
was therefore doubly to their credit that they accomplished
what they did. Working always with a limited natural endowment
they achieved miracles; they did not surrender to adversity
and limitation but did transform these deficiencies into assets
is. It is not admissible to contrast what the Dutch accomplished
economically in South Africa with what English settlers achieved
in more propitious North America; the latter had all the advantages;
the former had few because their continent had treated them
to The Research
Promised Land - Limited or Horizonless?
Research Report, November 21, 1978
numerous sources; illustrations added to web site)
of overgrazing were recorded as far back as 1751 by the scientist
Sparrman, who noticed the spread of rhinoceros bush over impoverished
grazing lands. In 1895, the principal veterinary officer of the
Cape, D. Hutcheon, pointed out that the Colony was very much over-stocked.
But it was only in 1923 when the Drought Investigation Commission
issued its famous report that South Africa realized how disgracefully
it was wasting its grass heritage."
is great treasure house of pasture plants, but we have wasted too
many. The very best are the most sought after by stock, and with
continuous grazing and overgrazing their expectation of life is
poor. An all too familiar indication is our recurring meat shortages.
Veld fires, too: Dr. T.D. Hall, a grasslands expert, estimated that
each year the equivalent of 10,000,000 tons of veld hay goes up
in flames. This tremendous crop could provide enough to carry 7
million head of cattle through the worst four months of winter."
search for timber started soon after Van Riebeeck landed. The European
settlers, ignoring the fundamental axiom of good forestry, sought
out the richest sectors, felled and extracted the best trees, and,
paying no heed to the regeneration of the forest, left it ruined
and weakened. "They struck at the very heart of the forests, rendering
them vulnerable to complete destruction by forest fires. It
is recorded that Van Riebeeck found extensive forests behind Table
Mountain, the areas of Rondebosch, Newlands and Bosheuwel, and extensively
beyond Kirstenbosch. Later he discovered the large forests at Hout
Bay and Orange Kloof behind the mountain and described them as 'the
finest in the world.' Little accessible timber remained on the Eastern
side of the mountain however, when Simon van der Stel arrived in
1679, so he had the road extended from Bosheuwel to Hout Bay.
were placed under a system of management which attempted to lessen timber
waste, but these efforts were in vain for when in 1772 the Swedish botanist
Thunberg visited the Cape he wrote: 'There are no forests in the vicinity
of the town, except a few small ones high in the mountain.'
indigenous forests of today are confined to the high rainfall strip
commencing near Cape Town and extending east and north-east into the
Northern Transvaal. Small isolated patches of forest, precious remnants
of a bygone glory, found on all our mountains. Where there is comparatively
heavy rain and mists from south-east winds, the forest trees are found
on Cape Mountains. In the Orange Kloof on Table Mountain, there are
fair sized yellowwoods, stinkwoods, ironwoods and red
els. These same trees are found in the Knysna-Tzitzikama forests, which
are very impressive and it is indeed a a privilege to gaze upon these
survivors. The poignant thoughts of their erstwhile grandeur, now forever
lost, are deeply disturbing."
1903, the Conservator of Forests in the Cape, Sir David Hutchins
inspected the Woodbrush forest in the Northern Transvaal: "I also
understood that when the Transvaal was first settled, all the old
farmstead as in the Cape Colony were built of yellowwood. The wagon
wood used was stinkwood, hard pear and ironwood. In the old days
there would be more wagon wood used than wood for buildings, and
these wagons traveled all over the country up to Equatorial Africa.
Then followed the opening of Johannesburg and a period of great
activity in the forests. Every piece of wood was taken to the mines,
or for wagons and houses required in abundance when the goldfields
H.G. Fourcadé, one-time Conservator of Natal wrote, in 1889,
an outstanding report on the forests of the colony. Of the Karkloof
forest he said," Little remains of what must have been a noble forest."
Robert Moffat has described the forests of giant camelthorn that
he found between Kimberley and Kuruman. There was also an enormous
wild fig in the branches of which several native families had built
their huts to be safe from the lions at night. Today this country,
except for patches of scrubby soetdoring is treeless. "The destruction
of this vegetation was due to the discovery of diamonds, the coming
of the railway line and the need for fuel to stoke the steam engines
of the mines. Many of the pioneer Afrikaners made a living as woodcutters
but the wagonloads of thorn trees that they brought in to sell was
not enough to meet the demand."
in his Travels in Europe, Africa and Asia Performed between
the years 1770 and 1779 gave a list of the main tree species
and the uses the various woods were put to: ironwood for axles and
wagon poles; yellowwood for construction of buildings in the town
and on the farm; cammassie for delicate tools and furniture for
which this smooth,
lovely wood is suitable; red els for wagon wheels, naves and chairs;
the costly, magnificent stinkwood for furniture; and assegai for
wagon wheels, spokes and spear shafts.
Eastern Cape was looked upon, 150 years ago, as a Garden of Eden.
Its rich grassland, tall forests and picturesque valleys crowded
with nutritious bushes and trees for game and elephants were wonderfully
green compared with the vast arid expanses to the west. The biggest
reason for the ten Kaffir Wars that were fought for possession of
the Eastern Cape was its rich grassland for cattle.
the frontier Boers and the 1820 Settler did not know that this paradise
could be destroyed. This was partly due to the exceptionally long droughts
that from time to time ravaged the Eastern Cape, and partly due to highly
erodible soils. Their stock could not trek away nearly so easily in
time of drought as the herds of zebra, eland and bontebok had done so
that the veld was heavily overgrazed in time of drought.
grass was not given periodic rests so that it could set seed and build
up root reserves of plant food. Then nature threw in her last device
for saving the denuded soil from being washed away altogether: weeds.
Of the 10 million morgen of the Eastern Cape, two million are now (1954)
riddled with weeds. Thorn trees have gradually turned former sweetveld
into spiny thickets. In moister areas poisonous ragwort has gained such
a hold that people motor many miles to see its blaze of yellow blossoms
where there used to be grass or forest. Other moist parts which were
once green with grass and wild flowers are now silvery-white with silver-leafed
everlastings which no animal will eat. In bush districts, too, weeds
from the New World launched their offensive. Prickly pear which farmers
first planted as a living fence for cattle kraals, spread till thousands
of morgen were useless to man and beast.
150 years ago, no Merino, Persian, Dorper, Karakul grazed the Karoo.
Great tracts of what is now Karoo then carried a rich cover of sweet
grass-perennials- with Karoo bushes scattered among them. The Graaff
Reinet region was actually the old Cape Colony's main source of cattle
because it had so much grass.
1830 and 1840, Merino sheep from Albany were introduced into the eastern
Karoo. To make room for them, great herds of springbok, quaggas, bontebok
and many other creatures which used to roam the Karoo were shot out.
It did not take the Merino twenty to thirty year to destroy the perennial
grasses in places where they were most numerous. In the end an enormous
stretch of grassveld from Somerset East and Victoria West in the south
to Kimberley and Bloemfontein in the north lost
most or all of its grasses. Te Karoo bushes which took their place were
still mostly good for sheep, but they grew too sparsely to stop the
soil from washing and blowing away. Enormous quantities of rich soil
were removed from the Karoo, Scientists now found it impossible to get
the old grasses to grow again and stop these losses. Perhaps the climate
itself has become more scorching through the destruction of grass over
a vast area.
Africans have always been most reluctant to blame the works of modern
man for the increasing desiccation of the country. It might be due to
human nature or human ago (or quite as likely to Calvinistic concepts
of determinism) but we have always been inclined to blame nature alone
for our problems. All conservationists deplore the disappearance of
indigenous trees and forests from the slopes of Table Bay to the Limpopo.
Near Pretoria, for example, there was as late as 1864, the magnificent
Zwartkops Forest of about 4,000 morgen. I do not think that anything
more than shrub bush is left today. Camelthorn studded the plains around
Kimberley-the beginning of what was called the Bechuanaland Forest.
the trekkers traveled north from the Border, they crossed a great sward
of sweet grass veld that covered almost the whole of the inland plateau,
the Highveld - the country fashioned by the partnership of game and
grass in the absence of man. In spite of the huge population of wild
animals - it must have been larger than the domestic livestock of the
farmers in later years - the veld did not deteriorate. The game was
free to roam and they had the habit of coming together and trekking.
Springbok from the Kalahari used to sweep across the veld in tens of
thousands - a gigantic wave of living animals that broke against the
mountains of the Eastern Cape and even spilled down to the sea. While
the veld was heavily grazed, this did not happen all year round and
every year. The different species did not have the same grazing habits
not did they all like to eat the same kind of game. With a few exceptions,
their grazing grounds had to be near the rivers, springs, pans and water-holes.
When these dried up they had to move elsewhere or die, so that the veld
was not grazed over and over again as they searched for the last overlooked
Through the ages rain, wind and snow eroded the rocks of the Drakensberg
to form deep, fertile soil at the foot of the mountain s. In the kloofs
huge yellowwoods towered above the smaller trees of the forest. Clear
streams flowed down to wind their way through the glory of the grassland.
was Natal as the trekkers first saw it. Prof. H.B. Thom has described
the delight of Gerrit Maritz and the people of his trek as they looked
down from the top of the Drakensberg at De Beer's Pass - a little to
the north-east of Van Reenen's Pass. When he first saw the land, one
of Maritz's men exclaimed, "This lovely land! This land of beautiful
rivers and flowing fountains!"
in less than four generations man, with his herds and ploughs, changed
this land of milk and honey into a world that was sick and dying. The
fountains and the vleis dried up; gaping dongas were eroding into the
rivers and streams and the soil was slipping down the slopes to be carried
to the sea in the muddy torrents of the thunderstorms. The peaks of
the mountains still reared in their eternal glory into the clouds. But
now the mountains had sore feet, scarred by the hand of man.
damage was so bad that this was one of the first places where South
Africa had to begin anti- soil erosion works in January 1934. Hundreds
of men who'd lost their farms in the great drought three years before
were put to work to tray and heal the scar with pick and shovel and
plough. As the Drakensberg Reclamation Scheme progressed, contour banks
began to wind their way down to rivers where Voortrekker wagons had
stood - soil that had been drenched with blood when the Zulus attacked
on the pitch-black night
of Friday, the 16th February 1838. Man was now fighting a new enemy-the
erosion of his country's topsoil. Hundreds of miles of barbed wire fencing
were used to build camps on bare soil where the oxen of the Great Trek
had grazed up to their bellies in grass. The lost glory of the landscape
had to be brought back. But the battle has not yet been won. (1966)
When the rains pour down from the berg, the rivers of Natal still wash
torrents of red soil and silt into the blue waters of the Indian Ocean."
The grassland plateau of South Africa has been called the hunter's Paradise
Lost. Before the farmers trekked in with their livestock and ploughs,
there must have been an untold abundance of animals both in numbers
and species. This veld was the heartland of the large vegetarian mammals
of Africa. Ever since their evolution they had been delicately adjusted
to their environment and required a constant and abundant supply of
grass and water under a limited range of conditions. The permanent water
points were a key factor in the distribution of game on the vlaktes.
Where conditions were suitable, the herds were enormous, but they trekked
about and could not stay in any area longer than the water supply lasted.
Even if they trampled out the grass around the waterhole, they could
graze quite a distance away.
will never be possible to quantify this lost ecosystem of sweet grassveld
in a rainfall area that faded from 30 inches in the east to semi-desert
in the west. But the hunters tales and relict patches of its natural
state indicate what it must have been like.
was an amazing African climax community that was the ultimate biotic
expression of the potential of climate and soil. Nature was showing
how she could "farm" when man was not the manager turning up the grasses
with his plough and tractors, but armed only with bone and stone tools,
then with bow and assegai, digging pits at the waterholes to trap the
animals for food. What is more, the symbiosis of soil, grass and animals
life was such that it could have lasted forever unless there was a change
a new kind of man - armed with barbed wire as well as bullets - came
to take over this Eden, this going concern that had been built up by
nature ever since evolution produced its most wondrous plant, grass,
early in the Miocene about 20 million years ago. And then, in less than
a century, European man with his advancing technology almost destroyed
this wonderful creation of biological evolution."
is difficult to say with certainty how much game there was.
Soil is Life, T.C. Robertson attempted a calculation based
on the fact that in the Orange Free State, an area slightly smaller
than the sweet grassveld where the game roamed, there grazed eight million
sheep and two million cattle. In terms of stock units this is equal
to peak game population of two million wildebeest, half a million each
of eland and quaggas, and a total of six million blesbok, springbok
and hartebeest. (The proportions of game were based on observations
by Dr. Andrew Smith in his diary.)
One unforgettable day in 1849 the people of the little Karoo village
of Beaufort West heard a roar in the red dawn as if a strong wind was
blowing before a thunderstorm. Then, according to J.G. Fraser who recorded
the event, they could hardly believe their ears when the sound of the
wind changed into the trampling of tens of thousands of hooves on the
red earth. But they saw right before their eyes in the dusty streets
the flow of a horned flood of all kinds of game. wildebeest, blesbok,
quaggas, eland and springbok, mostly springbok, tens of thousands of
Gordon Cumming, one of the most reckless hunters who ever fired a shot
in the veld, gives an equally vivid description of the trekbokke he
saw on the move between Cradock and Colesberg. In his book, The
Lion Hunter of South Africa, 1858, he tells how he stood on the
voorkis of his wagon watching the springbok pass 'like the
flood of some great river,' and then the vast legions continued streaming
through a neck of the hills in one unbroken compact phalanx.
saddled his horse, rode into the midst of them and shot until he cried
out: "Enough!" A few days later a much bigger trek passed and the landscape
became alive with this amorphous mass of living creatures. JE could
give no estimate on the number of antelopes he saw that day, but he
had no hesitation in saying that "some hundreds of thousands were within
the compass of my vision." An old Boer who was with him observed that
it was a "fair trek," but in his days he had seen treks that covered
many valleys "as thick as sheep in a fold."
The Hunters - For forty years after the Trek, there came the hunters
who, first with muzzle loading guns and lead bullets and then with accurate
rapid firing rifles, slaughtered the game - not in a spirit of cruelty
and wanton destruction, but because the tusks, the hides and the meat
were wealth. They were living off the veld like the Bushmen (San) but
more efficiently with rifles. They saw such an abundance of game that
they never believed it could be destroyed; that the quaggas, easy to
hunt and favorite meat of Hottentot servants, would become extinct;
that the mountain zebra and bontebok would only survive in small herds
- that a farmer on the plains of the Free State would someday prize
and protect a few black wildebeest and springbok that grazed like pets
in his garden.
The hunters also tamed the veld by shooting the carnivore, the lions
and leopards - all except the jackal. Slowly there followed in their
footsteps the shepherd and the herdsman. But the veld was not yet tame
enough and at night the sheep and cattle had to be protected in stone-walled
kraals. The kraal and the jackal have become the symbol of the beginning
of erosion on the veld. Every night and every morning the sheep trampled
footpaths from their grazing ground to the kraal, and when the thunderstorms
came, million of tons of raindrops hurled onto bare earth where there
were no grass blades to break the fall. They rushed off in torrents
and washed the first footpaths into gaping dongas.
The Karoo was not always bare soil dotted with bushes "each in its own
little desert." It was once covered with perennial grasses, the remnants
of which are still found by botanists. Unless conservation measures
are planned, in one hundred years desert will encircle Bloemfontein,
the Karoo will have crossed the lower reaches of the Vaal and its advance
guard will be pushing past Vereeniging toward the headwaters. Only a
small patch of sweet grassveld will be left on the black turf soils
of Standerton and Bethal.
some of those early travelers saw the land:
VAN RIEBEECK found eland on the slopes of Table Mountain;
hartebeest, too, was plentiful in the vicinity of Cape Town.
Just beyond the Cape Flats in 1702, an elephant was shot. As
late as 1798 herds of 500 elephant were found at Knysna. (yet,
by 1772, Thunberg already complained about the scarcity of wild
life on a journey from Hex River Valley to Graaff Reinet.) A
few hippo lingered for many years near the mouth of the Berg
River, less than 70 miles from Cape Town - the last is said
to have disappeared about 1784. Van Riebeeck and his party found
a hippo wallowing in swampy ground about where Church Square,
Cape Town is today.)
English hunter WILLIAM FINAUGHTY, on the Free
State plains in 1864: "I would not have believed that so many
wild animals could be together in one place. As far as the eye
could see was a teeming mass of animals including black wildebeest,
blesbok, springbok, ostriches, quaggas and blue wildebeest."
JACOBUS HATTINGH, who fought in the Battle
of Blood River, was a 17-year-old boy when the wagons of the
Trek rolled through Basuto country. Further north, beyond the
Modder River, the Trekkers found the game glossy and round from
the good grazing and so they called it the Vet River
"A deserted wilderness," wrote Hattingh, "of lions, leopard,
wild dogs and jackals pursuing the buffalo, wildebeest, blesbok
and other herds."
Coming down toward the Trekkers from the north was Captain CORNWALLIS
HARRIS. When he crossed the Vaal, he saw the grassland
plains to the south "boundless meads covered with luxuriant herbage
and enameled with rich parterres of brilliant flowers. These were
animated by drives of portly elands, moving in slow procession
across the silent landscape, and treeless.: He sketched and described
the same scene that had met the wondering eyes of the Voortrekkers:
the galloping herds of hartebeest and quaggas, the swishing white-tailed
black wildebeest, the elegant blesbok and springbok leaping in
curved back display, the long strong of morose buffalo and, again,
the enormous eland "grazing in herds like tame cattle." (summer
SELOUS estimated that if a census could have
been taken early in the 18th century of all the animals south
of the Zambesi, buffaloes would have proved to be most numerous.
Herds of them were still being hunted around Cape Town in 1705
When a party of Trekkers came to settle in the valleys
of the Witwatersrand there were hippo in abundance in that swampy
vlei at Natal Spruit near Alberton (1840)
must have been thousands of hippo in the Vaal and Orange Rivers
and their tributaries. According to Lawrence Green, the last hippo
was shot in a deep pool near to the mouth of the Orange River
in 1925 by Hendrik Louw "who loved rifle music."
OF THE HERDS 1837-1886
When the Portuguese traveler De Santa Rita visited the Soutspansberg
in 1855, he estimated that 200,000 pound of ivory was exported every
1863, ivory worth £40,736 was exported through Port Natal, most
of it from the Transvaal. In 1864, £26,254; 1865,£19,154.
In 1864, calculations show that 1000 elephant had to be shot to provide
the ivory exported.
1872, the value of hides exported was £92,344.250,000 animals
had to be killed to provide that. While organized farming began to replace
hunting there was until July 1885 "no man who had a rifle and a horse,
who did not spend at least three months of the year hunting."
indication of the extent of the hunt: When GORDON CUMMING left Grahamstown
for Kuruman in 1847 he had 300 pounds of lead, 50 pounds of pewter for
hardening the balls to be used in the shooting of larger animals, 10,000
prepared leaden bullets, bags of shot of all sizes, 100 pounds of fine
sporting powder, 300 pounds of coarse sporting powder, about 50,000
best percussion caps, and 2,000 gun flints with grease patches and cloth.
course, to all the above - the visible Eden - must be added the natural
endowment of a treasure unequalled in any other part of the world: the
wealth of gold, diamonds and other precious assets awaiting the descendents
of the Dutchmen who settled South Africa.
to The Research
V: The Trekboers
numerous sources; illustrations added to web site)
in Simon van der Stel's time, there were farmers who farmed
exclusively in cattle and sheep, and grazing licenses had been
issued to people without fixed property, Van der Stel discouraged
it by legislation, but his placaaten were ineffective
in times of drought. Willem Adriaan van der Stel (son) encouraged
rather than opposed cattle farmers - in areas too far from the
Cape market to be of practical agricultural use. (No doubt also
a good thing considering his attempts to grab monopoly on grain
and wine for himself and his cronies.)
of the farmers who obtained grazing licenses also possessed
farms, but the further east they left the settled areas behind,
the more often they possessed nothing but loan land. Often the
grazing rights on a farm were extended for a number of years.
On such farms they built houses known as the opstal.
Not being the owner of the land, when they left they sold the
opstal to the next person who obtained the grazing
rights. This was to be known as the loan place system; in July
1714, Governor de Chavonnes and the Council of Policy setting
12 rix dollars as rent. Boundaries of the colony continued to
be extended - 1745 to Great Brak River - but farmers continued
to move further east with their cattle. In the north, too,where
no boundaries had been determined, the trek into the interior
began to swing east because water was scarce.
a memorial to his son in 1699, Simon van der Stel observed that
some farmers were pleading 'soil exhaustion' as an excuse to
move to new lands where they only sowed enough for themselves
and made a living by stock barter. 'Should you be weak enough
to give way to such sinister tricks, the whole of Africa would
not be sufficient to accommodate and satisfy that class.' Although
throughout the century many stock-owners lived permanently in
the agricultural areas, and used distant land for pasture only,
more and more became trekboeren, graziers who lived
permanently on grazing farms, migrating seasonally for pasture,
or moving on altogether as 'land became exhausted'.
led such nomadic lives that they never settled down anywhere
and lived in ox wagons. Stock-farming also needed fewer laborers
than agriculture, and both the Khoikhoi and San made excellent
herdsmen, who were employed for little more than their upkeep.
The adventurous frontier life, free from the petty exactions
of Cape Town officials, attracted colonial born children, who
mostly could not afford to become traders or lodging house keepers
in Cape Town or vegetable, wine or grain farmers in western
Cape, and were too ill-educated to enter the limited ranks of
the Civil Service or the professions and too proud to become
farmhands or artisans.
It was possible to make a living as a grazier since there was
a constant demand for mutton, trek-oxen for transport and ploughing,
and pastoral by-products like soap, butter and tallow. After
the beginning of the 18th century the government no longer resisted
the development of full-time sheep and cattle farmers because
it realized that "the spreading out of the inhabitants with
their cattle is the principal reason that meat can be delivered
so cheaply to the Compagnie and private individuals.
History of SA: "Though loan places could not be bequeathed they
were actually held in families for generation." Spilhaus: "If
the trekboer succeeded he counted his wealth in stock, and had
not one grazing place but several. If he failed he became at
best a bywoner - a squatter on another man's land
In exchange for being able to squat, he acted as foreman or
something of the kind. If even this modicum of discipline irked
him, the family became gypsies, living in their tented wagons
and in temporary shelters. From these people came in time a
thriftless, spineless type known as Poor Whites, men who met
poverty with idleness, translated the privilege of a white skin
into even more idleness, retreated in the face of competition
and described inertia as independence." Cronje and Venter (Die
Patriargale Familie) add: "Cattle and sheep farming required
little capital; from a century before to a quarter after the
Great Trek a team of oxen, a small herd and a rifle were enough
for a young man to live independently in the interior."
calculated that it took 2,200 rix dollars to set up like this.
In practice though every son was from birth a cattle farmer
(or sheep) through the practice of setting aside for every child
certain animals, so that he had a small herd by the time he
was ready for marriage. And if he wasn't so lucky, it was not
difficult to get stock from someone else and run it on basis
of 50 per cent of offspring. Daughters also had stock set aside
so that herd was doubled at marriage. Barter, hunting and the
ivory trade added to income. The grazing population soon came
to include men whose livelihood demanded constant movement from
place to place.
several, such movement would be a familiar process. In southern
Germany, Switzerland and north Wales, the seasonal migration
of shepherds and herdsmen between plain and mountain was of
considerable antiquity. In the SA interior the severity of the
climate, with intense winter cold in regions such as the Roggeveld
and the Sneeubergen, and the prevalence of drought, forced a
high percentage of farmers into category of trekboeren (See
further notes in Hattersley.) Bad as the nomadic life might
be socially and culturally, trekking to well-watered areas to
avoid grievous stock losses in times of drought could not be
additional points: Meat was staple food, bread a rare luxury,
some grew a little fruit and wheat. Some families made annual
journey to Cape, others ever 3 to 4 years, a few only once in
a lifetime. Trip needed to buy gunpowder, cloth, coffee, a few
implements, some brandy etc. They spoke Cape Dutch or The
Taal, later to be called Afrikaans.
emphasis (in chapter) should be on the herds, on trekking periodically,
on nomadic pastoralism rather than abusive agriculture. The
herds and flocks raises question of contact with Cape Town.
No reference to this beyond one trader in four years: cannot
see that unless they lived as outcasts from society, they could
survive without some form of trading. Rooi Valck (a character
in The Covenant) comes much closer to trekboer image
than any of the Van Doorns.
next problem closely aligned to the above comes from various
references to slaves in the first instance and the absence of
references to Hottentots/Bush (Khoikhoi/San) in the second.
The trekboers were low on slaves, high on Hottentot labor, the
latter being especially adept at cattle tending etc. Laws forbade
the enslavement of Hottentots, but it is accepted that the distinction
between slavery and freedom hardly connoted any practical advantage
to the 'free' Hottentots. Still, can't call them slaves in the
sense a U.S. reader would understand.
is a gap in the total absence from 1702 till late in the
manuscript of any reference to the Khoikhoi captaincies. We
know that there were at least 10 of these units between Cape
Town and the Xhosa lands, and that there was extensive cattle
barter between them and the Boers - and that their power broke
down till the enfeebled constituents took up as laborers with
we come into contact with the Xhosa it should be remembered
that there was a well developed relationship between Xhosa-Khoikhoi
and San over centuries, resulting in inter-marriage, Khoi-Xhosa
chiefdoms, trade, etc. so that it's impossible that Xhosa men
would know so little about the Hottentots.
has to compensate for the fact that, with rare unbiased exception,
the popular white South African view favors the "smallpox eradication
of Khoikhoi" and "deserted wilderness" theory/ euphemism. Even
Muller, whom I respect, is able in one paragraph to say, a)
"in the first half of the eighteenth century the cattle farmer
who had become a trek farmer encountered virtually no resistance
on his advance into the interior" and b) "In 1734 the company's
furthest outpost was erected in the Riet Valley on the Buffelsjagte
River. Its purpose was to protect the cattle farmer and Hottentots
against the rapacious Bushman."
the first meeting between white/black may consider personalizing
it further to Van Doorn family because of historic evidence
of prior contact. On general statements about Dutch being ignorant
of fact that to the east lay a major society we know from Van
Riebeeck's diary, way back in the 1650's, that even he was aware
of the Xhosa i.e. 'Chobona'.
(a character in The Covenant) creates problems in
places with his lineage and one wonders whether he should not
simply be a Hottentot, second generation in contact with the
Boers, his simplified background affording a chance to deal
with the problem of the disappearing Hottentots.
Xhosa section runs into difficulties because various customs
of other tribes are attributed to the Xhosa. And situations
exist which, while maybe okay in fiction, would be an anathema
to any Xhosa tribesman.
example, tribal structure: All Xhosa tribes owe allegiance to
chief of senior tribe as paramount, agreed. This does not mean
that paramount can interfere in internal affairs of constituent
tribe, nor is their appeal to his court from those of various
chiefs. His advice is sought on matters pertaining to the royal
family; his paramountcy determines first celebration of First
Fruits ceremony etc. The basic political unit is tribe, a group
of people occupying territory under an independent chief. Failure
to recognize that a paramount chief of Xhosa had no effective
power over the minor tribes led white colonists to criticize
a chief like Hintsa for not controlling his Xhosa. It was only
his tribe, Gaeleka, over which
he had authority.
Grandmother as real power is nice story-telling, and there could
always be exceptions to the rule but this is totally against
tribal tradition. For her to bring up question of boys` circumcision
is just unheard of.
that the southward movement was aligned in the main to a reassignment
of land upon death of headman is a reference to a rare occurrence.
Headship of the ibandla (homestead) was inherited;
the diffusive nature of groups stemmed from several factors.
circumcision ceremony appears to follow the more rigid Sotho/Tswana
form. Nguni were less dramatic, and organizer was not 'induna'
i.e. witchdoctor. Mangope's (the name is Sotho-Tswana
not Xhosa) dismissal of the whole rite (p48) is out of line.
To this day, even in the cities, a young Xhosa man - like a
young Jew - would consider it unthinkable that this ceremony
be avoided. Pauw has excellent notes on current methods,
Adriaan and Dikkop take off north, it would be impossible to
"encounter not a single human being in the first 11 months".
The land was inhabited - from 300 AD as we have seen in Zimbabwe
chapter - and now extensively by Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Pedi
etc. "In the 12th month they come across a pathetic group
fleeing some enemy to the south" - A confusing situation
since this presages the Mfecane.
first clashes between Boer and Xhosa need discussion (p114.)
There may be some danger in oversimplification. First provocations
came from both sides. The attack here is placed at hands of
Xhosa. Spilhaus and Muller offer a different story with reference
to unauthorized commandos smashing into Xhosa lands. Overall
picture of struggle over pasture lends is correct, but need
to consider some of published material on this first 'Kaffir
remarking on no predikant and not knowing what to
do etc. raises, again, earlier comment about total lack of contact,
trade or otherwise, with the Cape or the drosdies
of Swellendam, Graaff Reinet (1786) etc. Rooi Valck may be in
that renegade category, Buys-type but Lodevicus, with all that's
like "No one had ever heard of the American Revolution" are
stretching it a bit: The revolts of Graaff Reinet and Swellendam
were mainly attributed to its influence. Spilhaus gives, for
instance, detailed descriptions of the rights of man, the resistance
to compagnie 'taxation' the Voice of the People -
as reflected in the Patriot Movement by men from the Eastern
conclusions need careful analysis. There need be no deduction
from the potential strength of the statements and I won't detail
my comments on the text here but areas give problems.
for example: Several sources indicate that the Lords XVII's
"reluctance" was not that deep: In 1716 the XVII submitted searching
questions to the Cape Government as to whether more white immigrants
could be absorbed. The answers of the Cape Government were discouraging.
See Oxford History, p 201: "These strong opinions against white
immigration decided the Directors to allow the Cape to continue
importing slaves. In this sense, 1717 was a turning point in
South African history." Scholtz, p 25: "In 1750 the
Cape government asked local boards to consider white immigrants.
All agreed it was "absolutely impossible' - limited markets,
capital and skills inadequate, slow transport, wide dispersal
of population constricted trade.
Indirectly, the restricted trade contributed to problem but
there seems to be local anti-immigration policy - because they
did not want their share cut down? When the British took over,
the same land was suddenly able to take 5000 immigrants, and
20 years later, 2000 and so on.
and culture: The Kerkeraad (Church council) had direction
in first instance of education. Problems here with "predikants
were afraid that Cape Town schools might arise with alien ideas."
Refer to my detailed reports on the problems especially the
fact that the 16,000 settlers in 1795 were spread out over 136000
square miles. Finally, the debate on make-up of the population
should be resolved: In specific, the majority contribution of
the German immigrants as indicated by so many sources.
Suid Afrika - Scholtz.
History of South Africa - Wilson/Thompson.
Africa - Monica
Years of SA History - CF
Cape of Good Hope - Pearse
Xhosa - Alice Mertens
Africa Official Yearbook 1974
Europeans - Delagoa Bay - Punt
Second Generation - Pauw
Afrikaanse Volkskultuur - Abel
in Southern Africa - Lichenstein
Speaking Tribes - Schapera
Peoples - Schapera
of the British Colonies - Lucas
Social History - Hattersley
Afrikaner as viewed by the English - Streek
of the Castle - Picard
of Southern Africa - Tyrell
Guide to Southern Africa - Reader's Digest
Right to the Land - Davenport
in SA - Malherbe
History of Graaff Reinet - Wyndham
and Malay-Portuguese - Valkhoff
Encyclopedia of South Africa
Societies in SA - Thompson
in the Making - M.
Photocopies. Gordon/ Hunting/ Graaff Reinet etc.
to The Research
VIII, The Voortrekkers
numerous sources; illustrations added to web site)
from ELU research report)
1.1. The first figure is the page number/second is comment
C - comment only/ not indicative of an inaccuracy)
the house now had an
seems to hark back to Trianon-type? 'Any number lived in single
roomed cottages, divided in two by rush screens, sod-walled
and thatched with reeds and grass. House of the more comfortable
was like a big oblong barn, thatched and whitewashed with two
or three rooms.
in which Jakoba and
Minna could do their cooking
'A black slave woman and a Hottentot girl assisted in domestic
duties while the more laborious work was performed by a man
slave and a few Hottentots.' - This
would be typical of the more
prosperous type like Van Doorn/Retief etc.
the nineteen slaves
in previous chapter, emphasis/differences/laws regarding a)
slaves b) Hottentots/'Coloureds'/freed blacks and c) Xhosa is
confused. Since the turn of the 19th century, the three
groups had become the subject of separate legislation. A second
dominant issue - available labor - stems directly from
these groups and the laws passed either to control or 'emancipate'
them. The major developments for a) b) and c) were:
Historical word considered pejorative, now called Khoi or Khoikhoi)
By now Hottentot laborers had to be registered with Veld Kornet.(Spilhaus:"Proclamations
long before the advent of the British had declared it to be
the law of the land that the Hottentot, his life and his property
should be protected on an equality with the colonists."
When the Dutch Government - the Batavian Republic - after the
peace of Amiens came to take over the government, it was the
same thing again. However, the colonists had never reconciled
themselves to such an idea.)
1797 Barrow noted that Graaff Reinet had 10,000 Khoikhoi and
Coloured servants, and there were over 15,000 in the Colony.
Caledon's Nov 1,1809 proclamation owed much to work of Stockenström,
sr. and Maynier in Graaff Reinet after the Khoikhoi rebellion
of 1799 and to the Batavian legislation: Every Hottentot had
to choose a fixed domicile. The regulation entailed that a Hottentot
was no longer able to move to other places without a permit
issued by the magistrate where his domicile was registered i.e.
a 'pass' law. Employment of Hottentots for any period exceeding
a month could only be effected by written contract and was subject
to provisions which protected the employee against exploitation.
By the same proclamation wandering Hottentots were thus required
to carry passes
Hottentots thus became full members of the colonial community,
falling under the jurisdiction of the courts, liable to taxation
and the performance of public services.
census: White/Hottentot + Free Black: 1806 W 26,768
H/FB 50,000; 1821 W 47,280 H/FB 75,000; 1831 W 60,000
Consider, for example the approach to Maynier earlier (1801).
The Graaff Reinet 'rebels' wished:
- to be
assured that Hottentots should never again be permitted
attend services in the church. They had built the church
with their own money. It was theirs. It was not right, they
declared, that Hottentots should be taught reading, writing
and religion which put them on an equality with the Christians.
(Maynier and van der Kemp agreed that services should be
held elsewhere, 'for peace sake'.)
demanded that affairs between masters and Hottentots be
settled by district burgher commandants - their registration
as servants, and the settlement of differences. They refused
to pay for registering Hottentots at the opgaaf
they presented once more the perennial demand: permission
to attack the Kaffirs. And to be provided with ammunition
for that purpose. (Spilhaus)
(p303) details provisions of Caledon's prod: 0n 23 April 1812,further
proclamation empowered any farmer, with permission of the landrost,
to apprentice children reared on his farm for ten ears from
the age of eight . (To tie the children in such a way was
to tie parents, whatever the terms of the contracts to which
they had agreed.)
50 of 1828 : It prohibited
contracts of more than one year's duration, and forbade the
apprenticeship of children without their parents' consent.
It deprived the magistrates of power to administer corporal
punishment. It abolished the obligation to carry passes. In
a legal sense, it made Hottentots/Bushmen and Free Blacks equal
manumission of individual slaves who had worked for 30 years,
learnt Dutch, and been converted to Christianity was a standing
tradition at the Cape. So effective had the ban on the sale
of Christian slaves been, as a deterrent to slave baptism that
it was withdrawn by Cradock in 1812
The Slave Ordinance entitled slaves to give evidence against
their masters in criminal cases and to buy their freedom by
offering to pay their assessed value. It also provided an additional
protection against ill-treatment with owners risking
of their property in slaves.
April Somerset had instituted a slave registry - the purpose
of which was to check the importation of new slaves (forbidden
in 1807) or the enslavement of free blacks.
Proclamation designed to facilitate the admission of slaves
to the Christian church and their marriage by Christian rites,
to validate the oath of a Christian slave in a court of law,
to ensure proper food and clothing, to limit working hours etc.
(Oxford p 306) This was embodied in 1826 proclamation (above.)
From 1826 -1831 there were protests throughout the Cape to these
provisions, some were modified, a constitutional difficulty
arose over actions taken, and in 1830, the Imperial Government
issued an Order-in-Council passing the law. In June 1831 a minor
outbreak of violence occurred in Stellenbosch. (In 1820, the
British settlers were forbidden slaves.)
Guardian of Slaves appointed - "Protector" in 1830.
Nov All previous regulations tightened up - particularly Sunday
work, diet and authority of Protector. Gatherings banned, threat
of deportation for protestors. Some relaxation of measures but
matter of a year before.
May House of Commons votes for abolition in British Empire all
slaves to be set free l December 1834 but apprenticed thereafter
to owners for four to six years.
no point were Afrikaners like Van Doorn able to enslave the
'Kaffirs'. At a later stage in text it also appears
strange that Van Doorn should be so surprised by the news that
they're to be eman-cipated.
And, finally, it's important to bear in mind that of the 39,000
slaves in the Cape at the time of emancipation, only 2175
were in the Graaff Reinet District.
1833, a man like Van Doorn would have been as
unhappy as possible with the situation:
1830 the Dutch farmers were excluded from the ceded territory
taken after the 1819 war and only for English and Hottentot.
Somerset's reprisal system has been reversed. Ordinance 49 of
1828 brought some relief: It provided for Xhosa seeking
work to enter colony.
"A few Bantu already working in colony, but in keeping
with traditional policy of segregation regarded as interlopers."
the 1828 Ordinance it was general illegal to employ Xhosa.
However, such employment was minimal. By 1853, there
were 768 Africans employed in the Graaff Reinet district - the
main influx coming after the cattle-killing of 1857 which
caused over 30,000 Xhosa to enter the colony.
a people with a slave-owning mentality, long accustomed to the
lekker lewe (easy life) the situation was serious.
census figures for Graaff Reinet district 1806-1824 show that
the number of Hottentot men was roughly equal to the number
of Boer men, and that the inclusion of nearly all the Hottentot
males below the age of 16 gave less than a ratio of two to one.
The statement of CH Olivier in 1826 that most of the Boers of
Graaff Reinet tended their cattle themselves may well contain
a measure of truth. Barend Vorster asked to be relieved of his
duties as veld cornet as he had no servants, and had to care
for his livestock himself.
Such accounts of Boers without servants are more numerous in
the period after 1828. Cloete personally vouched for the fact
that he had known farms which had been completely abandoned,
by the last remaining Hottentots having given up service, or
retired to the missionary schools.
Herholdt, who was born in the field cornetcy of Voor Sneeuberg
said that as a boy 'het oppaschen der schapen werd tussen
de broeders verdeelt, en wel zoo dat ik de eene week ter school
ging en het ander week het herders ambt moest verrigen.'
Steedman's party met a Boer family in the vicinity of the Sneeuberg
who were without servants.' The Hottentots whom they had
brought up from childhood had lately left them and they were
at this time almost destitute of aid, having no means of engaging
others.' (GRH 190.)
get into all this below, but important thing is not
to overstate the hatred of the English as a cause of
the trek. There were other more and most certainly equally important
factors. Land Shortage/ Labor Shortage/ Insecurity of Frontier
Life/ Fluctuations of British Policy.
the farm... 9000 plus
16000 = 25000 acres
unlikely by this stage unless he was in the remote northern
regions but we know that he is 90 miles south of Graaff Reinet.
Moreover, by 1833, the whole land ownership situation in Graaff
Reinet/ Uitenhage area not in
one vague capacity or other
a man of considerable
wealth and could look forward to a prosperous and placid old
view of what's said above, unless he was strongly in the camp
of a man like Andries Stockenström jr. or Landrost Cuyler,
strongly committed to the British, this would be unlikely. Retief,
Maritz, Uys all lay somewhere between the border 'trash' like
Bezuidenhouts etc. and the colonists who would not move away.
By 1833 they were sorely troubled by all that had happened,
and much encouraged by all reports filtering in from beyond
the Xhosa 'barrier'.
money cast the first
addition to the shadows cast by land needs/labor (above), there
were a host of others that would've made an impression:
of Justice 1827 English
magisterial system replacing landrosts and heemraden
River settlement of Khoikhoi and similar
maybe thousands of 'vagrants'
usage in courts, government
trade preferences slowly withdrawn
ref land: "In 1809 Col. Collins found the land occupied to the
northernmost point of the border. Almost everywhere in the colony
he found people wanting farms, and people without farms, some
living with relatives, some wandering from place to place. Stockenström
who knew his district, in 1826, maintained that "There is not
even a stagnant pool that keeps rainwater for any length of
time which is not regularly occupied, so that of course no spring
remains vacant, and for many of them there are three or four
occupants, the whole population consisting of persons who have
not another place in the world." (GRH 43)
the new port
in 1819/20, Port Elizabeth by 1833 had a population of 1,200
where the Atlantic and
Indian Oceans meet
Cape Agulhas, not Algoa Bay
the new English sterling
currency which had replaced the Dutch rix dollar
you've got to turn the
old money in.
the bright shillings
the new laws the English
were quietly introducing.
conversion was in 1825
Batavians left the rix dollar at its par value of 4/- when they
departed in 1806. Serious inflation began. The British, however,
issued another one million rix dollars in 1810-1815. In 1825,
the Imperial Government decided to convert the foreign currencies
of all annexed colonies to sterling. When this was done the
rix dollar had fallen to 1/6d. The outcry among colonial creditors
was great, and the government was obliged to leave it as legal
tender till 1841.
1825 it introduced British silver, 5s 2/6d 1s and 6d and copper.
In 1832 issues of paper money in sterling denominations were
made for the first time. The change to sterling currency was
finally completed in 1881
above, the laws were introduced far from quietly apropos the
Coloureds/ rule of law/English etc.
chipped and beaten coinage
the Dutch had provided
rix dollars introduced in 1780's - by 1795 over million paper
rix dollars in circulation.
their new prosperity
1833/34 aside from the war, discussed below, the frontier was
ravaged by drought.
alker: 'The frontiers were cracking
under combined pressure of drought, teeming families, threatened
auction of crown lands and knowledge that there was better land
Van Doorn and de Groot would be rare exception. When one considers
that all this is on the eve of the trek, easy to realize that
it was really the end of the line for those who had put so many
hopes in the new frontier.
most Boers now accepted
the English presence without complaint
not - unless they were part
of the Establishment in the Western Cape. They were complaining
louder than ever but it shouldn't be thought, either, that their
distaste for authority was confined to the 'English': Even in
the days of the Dutch, as shown again
and again, the government had been in their eyes something alien
says, of 1825 onwards: 'All these changes were baffling and
to a suspicious people deeply imbedded in old ways —
but worse was the policy of land security and labor: the establishment
of the Hottentot settlements, the 1832 decision on the auctioning
of crown lands - before these could be taken up simply as 'loan
places' - the 1828 Ordinance 50.
effect of all this was that it appeared to a) tax the freeborn
Afrikaner when it gave little in return b) it tried to stop
them trekking beyond colonial borders c) tried to prevent them
shooting game d) forbade them to deal with the natives.
cause was the steady advance of forces of regular government
paving way for the coming of new social and economic forces."
with Walker and others, dangers of taking a caricature line.
A marvelous unanswered query
the new settlers
there is scope for a harmony of interests between the Boer farmers
and the 1820 Settler farmers - but this would extend
to joint grievances against the English authority. An authority
which, worth noting, was largely exercised by Dutchmen
of the Stockenström/Cuyler/Cloete mold.)
on four recent occasions
-- to help the English defend the little town
was attacked 1819. Next invasion of colony - 1834. Certainly
intermittent cattle raids etc by Xhosa and, perhaps more so,
by 'banditti' in shape of Hottenot-Coloured-Bush gangs. But
no Xhosa 'besiegers' or protracted wars. 1819 was the
5th Xhosa War; 1835, the Sixth. 1850 the seventh
as a hunting party at
ivory suggested... much further afield by this time
no-nonsense governor who understands the frontier.
kaffirs far back from the Fish, establish a strip where neither
white nor Black can settle and encourage everybody to tend his
(NOTE: Usage of the word kaffir in a modern South
African context is a pejorative, as unacceptable today
as its American counterpart. )
are a number of problems with this remark.
move the kaffirs far
also abandoned finally the fiction of a neutral territory
permitting the settlement of colonists beyond the Fish"
was to expel them from territories west of the Kei River.
The Boers had been infuriated when they were excluded from the
ceded territory in 1830
encourage everybody to tend his own farm? Don't understand this?
Groot's gossip is fiction. - Of course, d'Urban's later actions
would suggest that there was some validity but the facts were
somewhat different: The previous governor Sir Lowry Cole
had won the support of most of the colonists. - He reinstated
Somerset's reprisal raids; he infuriated Dr Philip and LMS by
expelling the troublesome Makoma from the Kat River settlement;
he instituted a revised commando
law entitling civil commissioners, local judges and field cornets
to mobilize burghers for defense, imposing penalties on those
who disobeyed the call; he ruled that slave owners living at
a distance of more than 20 miles from Cape Town and Grahamstown
could do away with the hated punishment book.
of Sir Lowry Cole's independent approach to the colony's problems,
the British government furnished d'Urban with specific instructions:
a) reduction of administration with drastic salary cuts b) introduction
of a legislative council to replace the advisory council of
1826 c) pacification of Xhosa by alliances instead of military
action, and emancipation of the slaves.
was to spend first year in Gape Town . 'At the time he
was on excellent terms with Dr Philip . Asked Philip
to convey his greetings to his black friends and tell them that
his plans for them were of the best. The year 1834 passed without
the government - d'Urban directly dealing with the tribes which,
partly through internal quarrels, partly through the lack of
a firm white hand to restrain them (!) were in an explosive
kaffir slave woman
would get drunk on the
weak beer that was provided
they would make their own potent brew
a sack tied about the
dress had a turn-over collar, fairly wide sleeves fastened at
the wrists, and flounces round the lower part of the skirt
dangling blond pigtails
women never wore their hair loose, not even little girls, but
parted it in the middle, smoothed it back and fastened it in
a bun behind with a tortoiseshell comb
'worked like an adult'/ 'knew how to handle farm materials '/
This does not accord with suggestion that Van Doorn is a prosperous
farmer with 19 'slaves' and, one assumes, at least the same
number of Hottentots
Confusion about the type of Boer Van Doorn is: with 19 'slaves'
and God knows how many Hottentots etc., he would be in Pretorius/Gerrit
adept at spinning Tjaart's
wool into strong thread and thick cloth
No record whatever of this: For one thing, the Boer sheep were
not yet raised for wool. In 1836, the entire Graaff Reinet district
exported 116,000 lbs
Spelled "Nachtmaal" at this stage but other is correct Afrikaans.
strode over to her bed
Still live in one room?
male slaves were coached
Makes it sound more lake US plantation. Long absence? 2 weeks?
farm of Piet Retief
Retief's farm was in the Winterberg north-east of Graaff Reinet
time the Boers had ridden to the defense of the English
without ever a hesitation
Yet Cole, with consent of veld cornets, had to pass law compelling
expected the Boer commandos
to come thundering in to Grahamstown
a harmony of interests
The war of 1833 was
a brief, harsh affair
The Xhosa wars, brief or otherwise are well documented. This
picture of Boer commandos riding to the relief of the Grahamstown
settlers is too simple - It did not happen.
this very time, governor Cole was forced to revise commando
laws - imposing penalties for those who did not turn up
- Again and again, we see reluctance to report for duty. Maybe
this crowd are exceptions...
A harmony of interests may have developed
with individual settlers like Saltwood and Charleton but certainly
not with the English authority.(see above.)
The war of 1833?
Oxford: "Wars with Xhosa broke out 14 years after arrival
of the 1820 settlers and three times in 30 years their
homesteads were burnt etc.
four of his Hottentots to join him.
noted in last chapter the term Hottentot can be misleading.
In 1800's Coloured people of the colony comprised besides a
handful of Bushmen (San), a widely scattered population of freemen
loosely known as Hottentots and roughly equal in number to the
slaves of foreign origin.
Zulu = headman
a formal war was in
Fiction. It may be important to use 1834/1835 war, the biggest
disaster ever. And if that's line to take, then shift beginning
of chapter to immediately post-1828 law.
few guns they had been able to beg or capture.
would've come from traders/illegal runners. A far better option
for this section would be to have them contest a band of vagabond
raiders of mixed make-up i.e. Coloured/ Hottentot/ Bush/ Griqua,
a direct outcome of the 1828 Ordinance.
battles ??? a Boer lance ??? The Grahamstown Irregulars
that there were no regular British troops available?
research report excerpt)
to The Research