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Title: South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899
Author: Creswicke, Louis
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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An Incident at the Battle of Isandlwana.

Painting by C. E. Fripp.]

                             SOUTH AFRICA
                               AND THE
                            TRANSVAAL WAR

                           LOUIS CRESWICKE
                       AUTHOR OF "ROXANE," ETC.


                           IN SIX VOLUMES

                  THE BOER ULTIMATUM OF 9TH OCT. 1899

                    EDINBURGH: T. C. & E. C. JACK


In writing this volume my aim has been to present an unvarnished
tale of the circumstances--extending over nearly half a
century--which have brought about the present crisis in South
Africa. Consequently, it has been necessary to collate the opinions
of the best authorities on the subject. My acknowledgments are due
to the distinguished authors herein quoted for much valuable
information, throwing light on the complications that have been
accumulating so long, and that owe their origin to political
blundering and cosmopolitan scheming rather than to the racial
antagonism between Briton and Boer.

                                                      L. C.

            CONTENTS--VOL. I.

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE                       ix

INTRODUCTION                               1

               CHAPTER I



THE BOER CHARACTER                        15

SOME DOMESTIC TRAITS                      18

               CHAPTER II


THE ORANGE FREE STATE                     24

THE GRONDWET                              26

TRANSVAAL DISSENSIONS                     29

ZULU DISTURBANCES                         30

THE POLITICAL WEB                         33

THE WEB THICKENING                        36

THE ZULU WAR                              38

ISANDLWANA                                40

AFFAIRS AT HOME                           43

TOWARDS ULUNDI                            49

THE VICTORY                               57

               CHAPTER III





THE FATE OF CAPTAIN ELLIOT                73

LAING'S NEK                               77

INGOGO                                    84

MAJUBA                                    86

THE SIEGE OF PRETORIA                     95

RETROCESSION                              99

THE BETRAYED LOYALISTS                   101

               CHAPTER IV


THE CONVENTIONS                          106

MR. KRUGER                               110

GERMANS AND UITLANDERS                   114

               CHAPTER V


MR. RHODES                               118

RHODESIA--UNCIVILISED                    120

RHODESIA--CIVILISED                      124

GOLD                                     127

DIAMONDS                                 131

               CHAPTER VI


THE TRANSVAAL OF TO-DAY                  136


MONOPOLIES AND ABUSES                    143

THE FRANCHISE                            146

THE REFORM MOVEMENT                      149

THE CRITICAL MOMENT                      153

THE RAID                                 156

AFTER DOORNKOP                           172

THE FATE OF THE MISCREANTS               177

THE ULTIMATUM                            178

APPENDIX--CONVENTIONS OF 1881 AND 1884   191, 197




COLOURS. An Incident of the Battle
of Isandlwana. By C. E. Fripp       _Frontispiece_

(H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES)              16


OFFICER OF THE 16TH LANCERS               64

GUARDS                                    80

THE SCOTS GUARDS                         104





FROM TABLE BAY                            10



By Alphonse de Neuville                   42

Woodville                                 58

PONT                                      74

R. Caton Woodville                        90

of Stones on Majuba Hill                  92

A LAAGER. By R. Caton Woodville          118

The Last Stand of Major Wilson on
The Shangani River, 1893. By Allan
Stewart                                  124

By W. Small                              128

ROCK SHAFT                               132

PRETORIA, FROM THE EAST.                 138

FOR THE GOLDFIELDS                       148

OF DOORNKOP, 2nd January 1896.
By R. Caton Woodville                    160




SIR HENRY BARTLE FRERE, Bart              48

V.C.                                      96

TRANSVAAL REPUBLIC                       112

P.C.                                     144

DR. LEANDER STARR JAMESON                152

M.P., Secretary for the Colonies         176

Commissioner for South Africa            184

VISCOUNT WOLSELEY, Commander-in-chief
of the British Army                      188

4. _MAPS_



MAP OF THE BOER REPUBLICS                  "

PORTIONS OF NATAL                         41

NEK AND MAJUBA HILL                       81

ON TOP OF MAJUBA HILL                     89

MAP OF MATABELELAND                      121

RAID                                     163


#1851.#--First Basuto war.

#1852.#--Sand River Convention, granting independence to Transvaal

#1853.#--Province of British Kaffraria created.

Introduction of representative government in Cape Colony.

#1854.#--Convention of Bloemfontein and Treaty of Aliwal, granting
independence to Orange Free State.

Free State abandoned to Dutch.

#1855.#--Establishment of a Constitution for South African Republic;
not completed till 1858.

#1856.#--Natal created a separate Colony. 2000 German legion and
2000 German labourers arrived.

#1858.#--War between Orange Free State and Basutos.

#1859.#--First railway constructed.

#1865.#--British Kaffraria incorporated with Cape Colony.

War between Free State and Basutos.

#1867.#--First discovery of diamonds near Orange River.

First discovery of gold in Transvaal.

#1868.#--Annexation of Basutoland.

#1869.#--Discovery of diamonds near Lower Vaal River, where
Kimberley now stands.

Commercial Treaty concluded between Portuguese Government and the
South African Republic, which led to British claims to Delagoa Bay.

#1871.#--Annexation of Griqualand West (Diamond Fields). Basutoland
added to Cape.

#1872.#--Responsible Government granted to Cape Colony.

Cetchwayo succeeds his father, Panda, as king in Zululand.

#1872-75.#--Delagoa Bay arbitration.

#1874.#--Ichaboe and Penguin Islands annexed.

#1875.#--Delagoa Bay award.

#1875-80.#--Lord Carnarvon's scheme for making the different
colonies and states of South Africa into a confederation with common
administration and common legislation in national matters.

#1876.#--Fingoland, Idutywa Reserve, and No-Man's-Land annexed.

Acceptance by Free State of £90,000 for Griqualand West.

Khama, Chief of Bamangwato, seeks British protection against Boer

#1877.#--Annexation of Transvaal by Sir T. Shepstone, after the
country had been reduced to a state of anarchy by misgovernment.

#1877-78.#--Gaika and Gealika rebellion.

#1878.#--Walfish Bay proclaimed a British possession.

#1879.#--Zulu war. Transvaal declared a Crown Colony.

#1880.#--Basuto war. Sekukuni campaign.

Boer protest against British rule at a mass meeting held in December
at Paardekraal (now Krugersdorp).

They seize Heidelberg.

South African Republic established.

December 16.--Kruger, Joubert, and Pretorius proclaimed South
African Republic by hoisting flag on Dingaan's Day. Kruger made
President on December 17. British treacherously surrounded at
Bronkhurst Spruit, December 20, when about 250 of 94th Regiment,
after losing nearly all their men, surrendered. Colonel Bellairs
besieged in Potchefstroom, but Boers retire when shelled. December

--Captain Elliot treacherously murdered while fording the Vaal.

#1880-81.#--Reinforcements sent out December and January.

Griqualand West incorporated with the Cape.

#1881.#--Transvaal rebellion. Pretoria Convention, creating
"Transvaal State" under British suzerainty.

Sir George Colley takes command of our troops, January. His attack
on Laing's Nek repulsed with heavy loss. Colonel Deane and Majors
Poole and Hingiston killed.

#1881.#--Severe engagement near Ingogo River, Feb. 8. British
repulsed after 12 hours under fire. Sir E. Wood joined Colley with
reinforcements. Orange Free State neutrality declared. Colley and
Majuba Hill, Feb. 27; Colley killed with 3 officers and 82 men; 122
men taken prisoners.

Sir F. (now Lord) Roberts sent out, Feb. 28.

Armistice proposed by Boers, March 5; accepted March 23.

Peace proclaimed, March 21.

Potchefstroom surrendered with honours of war in ignorance of
armistice, April.

Commission appointed to carry out Treaty of Peace, April 5.

Convention agreed to, ceding all territory to Transvaal, with the
Queen as suzerain, and a British resident at Pretoria, Aug. 8.

Convention ratified, Oct. 25.

Evacuation of Transvaal by British troops began on Nov. 18.

#1884.#--London Convention restoring to the Transvaal the title of
"South African Republic."

Annexation of Damaraland by Germany.

Boer Republics of Stellaland and Goshen set up in Bechuanaland.

Boers seize and annex Montsioaland; sanctioned by proclamation;
withdrawn on remonstrance.

Ultimatum by Sir H. Robinson, requiring protection of frontiers.

British annexation of Southern, and protectorate of Northern

Basutoland made independent.

Port St. John annexed.

British flag hoisted in Lucia Bay, Zululand (ceded to England in
1843, by Panda).

#1884-85.#--Sir Charles Warren's expedition.

#1885.#--Annexation of Bechuanaland to Cape Colony.

#1885.#--British protectorate over Khama's country proclaimed as far
as Matabeleland.

Discovery of great goldfields in Witwatersrandt, Transvaal.

#1886.#--Opening of principal goldfields in Transvaal.

British Government put a stop to Boer raids into Zululand, and
confined them to a territory of nearly 3000 square miles; to be
known as the "New Republic."

#1887.#--British annexation of the rest of Zululand.

British treaty with Tonga chiefs, in which they undertook not to
make treaties with any other power.

#1888.#--"New Republic" annexed to South African Republic.

Treaty concluded between British and Lo Bengula, the Matabele king,
in which he undertook not to cede territory to, or treat with, any
foreign power without British consent.

#1889.#--Charter granted to British South Africa Company.

#1890.#--First Swaziland Convention, giving Boers certain rights to
a railway to the coast.

British and German "spheres of influence" defined by formal

#1891.#--Southern boundary of Portuguese territory fixed by treaty
with Great Britain.

#1893.#--Responsible government granted to Natal.

Matabele war.

#1894.#--Malaboch war.

Question of "commandeering" British subjects raised in South African

Second Swaziland Convention, placing Swaziland under Boer control.

Annexation of Amatongaland.

Annexation of Pondoland.

British subjects exempted from military service by Transvaal
Government, June 24.

Protest by British Government against closing the Vaal Drifts, as
contrary to Convention; Nov. 3. Agreed to Nov. 8.

#1895.#--Crown Colony of Bechuanaland annexed to Cape Colony.

Proclamation of Reform movement by Uitlanders in Johannesburg
(National Union), Dec. 26.

Jameson Raid--he crossed the frontier with a force from Pitsani
Pitlogo, Dec. 29.

Sir H. Robinson telegraphed to Jameson to retire, Dec. 30.

Mr. Chamberlain and Sir H. Robinson sent order to stop hostilities,
Dec. 31.

#1896.#--Dr. Jameson's party, outnumbered and without resources,
defeated by Boers near Krugersdorp, Jan. 1.

Fight at Vlakfontein, and surrender of Jameson, Jan. 2.

Johannesburg surrendered unconditionally by advice of British
Government, Jan. 2.

Dr. Jameson and other prisoners handed over to Sir H. Robinson, Jan.

#1897.#--Judicial Crisis in South African Republic.

Annexation of Zululand to Natal.

#1899.#--Petition of Uitlanders to the Queen, May 24.

Conference, at Bloemfontein, between Sir A. Milner and Kruger, May
30. Terminated without result, June 6.

British Despatch to Transvaal, setting forth demands for immediate
acceptance, Sept. 8.

Unsatisfactory reply, Sept. 16.

Troops despatched to Natal, Sept. and Oct.

Insulting Boer Ultimatum, making war inevitable, Oct. 9.

Orange Free State joins with the Transvaal.





The Transvaal War--like a gigantic picture--cannot be considered at
close quarters. To fully appreciate the situation, and all that it
embraces, the critic must stand at a suitable distance. He must gaze
not merely with the eye of to-day, or even of the whole nineteenth
century, but with his mind educated to the strange conditions of
earlier civilisation. For in these conditions will be found the root
of the widespread mischief--the answer to many a riddle which
superficial observers have been unable to comprehend. The racial
hatred between Boer and Briton is not a thing of new growth; it has
expanded with the expansion of the Boer settlers themselves. In
fact, on the Boer side, it is the only thing independent of British
enterprise which has grown and expanded since the Dutch first set
foot in the Cape. This took place in 1652. Then, Jan Van Riebeck, of
the Dutch East India Company, first established an European
settlement, and a few years later the burghers began life as
cattle-breeders, agriculturists, and itinerant traders. These
original Cape Colonists were descendants of Dutchmen of the lower
classes, men of peasant stamp, who were joined in 1689 by a
contingent of Huguenot refugees. The Boers, or peasants, of that day
were men of fine type, a blend between the gipsy and the evangelist.
They were nomadic in their taste, lawless, and impatient of
restrictions, bigoted though devout, and inspired in all and through
all by an unconquerable love of independence. With manners they had
nothing to do, with progress still less. Isolation from the
civilised world, and contact with Bushmen, Hottentots, and Kaffirs,
kept them from advancing with the times. Their slaves outnumbered
themselves, and their treatment of these makes anything but
enlivening reading. From all accounts the Boer went about with the
Bible in one hand and the _sjambok_ in the other, instructing
himself assiduously with the Word, while asserting himself liberally
with the deed. Yet he was a first-rate sporting man, a shrewd
trafficker, and at times an energetic tiller of the soil. The early
settlements were Rondebosch, Stellenbosch, and Drakenstein, in the
valley of the Berg River. Here the Dutch community laboured, and
smoked, and married, multiplying itself with amazing rapidity, and
expanding well beyond the original limits.

Dutch domination at the Cape lasted for 143 years after the landing
of Van Riebeck, but gradually internal dissensions among the
settlers resulted in absolute revolt. Meanwhile the Dutch in Europe
had lost their political prestige, and the country was overrun by a
Prussian army commissioned to support the House of Orange. In 1793,
in a war against allied England and Holland, France gained the day,
and a Republic was set up under French protection, thereby rendering
Holland and her colonies of necessity antagonistic to Great Britain.
After this the fortunes of the Cape were fluctuating. In 1795
Admiral Elphinstone and General Craig brought about the surrender of
the colony to Great Britain. Later on it was returned to the
Batavian Republic at the Peace of Amiens, only to be afterwards
recaptured by Sir David Baird in 1806. Finally, in 1814, our claim
to the Cape and other Dutch colonies was recognised on payment of
the sum of £6,000,000 sterling.

Now for the first time began the real emigration of the British.
They settled at Bathurst, near Algoa Bay, but though their numbers
gradually swelled, they never equalled the number of the inhabitants
of Dutch origin.

At this time South Africa was an ideal place for the pioneer. The
scenery was magnificent. There were mountain gorges or kloofs,
roaring cataracts, vast plains, and verdant tracts of succulent
grasses. There was big game enough to delight the heart of a race of
Nimrods. Lions, elephants, hippopotami, rhinoceroses, antelopes, and
birds of all kinds, offered horns, hides, tusks, and feathers to the
adventurous sportsman. All these things the nomadic Boer had
hitherto freely enjoyed, plying now his rifle, now his plough, and
taking little thought for the morrow or for the moving world outside
the narrow circle of his family experiences. With the appearance of
British paramountcy at the Cape came a hint of law and order, of
progress and its accompaniment--taxation. The bare whisper of
discipline of any kind was sufficient to send the truculent Boer
trekking away to the far freedom of the veldt. Quantities of them
took to their lumbering tented waggons, drawn by long teams of oxen,
and put a safe distance between themselves and the new-comers. All
they wanted was a free home, conducted in their own gipsy
fashion--their kraals by the river, their camp fires, their flocks
and herds, and immunity from the vexation of monopolies and taxes.
And here at once will be seen how the seeds sprang up of a rooted
antagonism between Boer and Briton that nothing can ever remove, and
no diplomacy can smooth away. The Boer nature naturally inclines to
a sluggish content, while the British one invariably pants for
advance. The temperamental tug of war, therefore, has been one that
has grown stronger and stronger with the progress of years. The
principles of give and take have been tried, but they have failed.
Reciprocity is not in the nature of the Boer, and without
reciprocity society and States are at a standstill. The Boer is
accredited with the primitive virtues, innocence, sturdiness,
contentment. If he has these, he has also the defects of his
qualities. He is crafty, stubborn, and narrow, and intolerant of
everything beyond the limits of his native comprehension.
Innovations of any kind are sufficient to fill him with suspicion,
and those started by the British in their first efforts at Cape
government were as gall and wormwood to his untrammelled taste.
These efforts, it must be owned, were not altogether happy. There
was first a rearrangement of local governments and of the Law
Courts; then, in 1827, followed a decree that English should be the
official language. As at that time not more than one colonist in
seven was British, the new arrangement was calculated to make
confusion worse confounded! The disgust of the Cape Dutch may be
imagined! The finishing touch came in 1834. By the abolition of
slavery--humane though its object was--the Cape colonists were
exceedingly hard hit; and though the owners of slaves were
compensated to the tune of a million and a quarter (the slaves were
valued at three millions sterling), they continued to maintain a
simmering resentment. Added to this came the intervention of the
missionaries, who attempted to instil into the Boer mind a sense of
the equality, in the sight of Heaven, of the black and the white

At this time 12,000 Kaffirs had crossed over the border and invaded
the settlements, dealing death and destruction wherever they went.
They were finally repulsed by the British, and Sir Benjamin D'Urban,
the Governor at the Cape, proclaimed the annexation of the country
beyond the Keiskamma, on the eastern boundary of the Colony, as far
as the Kei. But no sooner had he accomplished this diplomatic move
in his wise discretion, than orders came from the British Government
to the effect that the land was to be restored to the Kaffirs and
the frontier boundary moved back to its original place--Keiskamma.
Sir Benjamin D'Urban carried out these orders much to his disgust,
for he deemed the annexation of the province to be necessary to the
peace of all the surrounding districts. But this was neither the
first nor the last occasion in the history of Cape government on
which men of practical experience have had to give way before wise
heads in Downing Street arm-chairs.

This action on the part of the Government was as the last straw to
the overladen camel. The patience of the Dutch Boers broke down. The
introduction of a foreign and incomprehensible tongue, the abolition
of slavery, and finally the restoration to the despised Kaffirs of a
conquered province, were indignities past bearing. There was a
general exodus. Off to the neighbourhood of the Orange and the Vaal
Rivers lumbered the long waggon trains drawn by innumerable oxen,
bearing, to pastures new and undefiled by the British, the irate
Boers and their household gods. It was a pathetic departure, this
voluntary exile into strange and unknown regions. The first
pioneers, after a long and wearisome journey to Delagoa Bay, fell
sick and retraced their steps to Natal only to die. The next great
company started forth in the winter of 1836. Some went to the
districts between the Orange and the Vaal Rivers--the district now
known as the Orange Free State; others went into the country north
of the Vaal River--the district now called the Transvaal; while
others again went beyond the mountains to the district now named
Natal. Here the Boer hoped to lead a new and a peaceful life, to
encamp himself by some river course with his kraal for his sheep and
his goats, the wide veldt for his carpet, and the blue dome of
heaven or the canvas of his waggon for his untaxed roof. But his
hopes were of short duration. The poor trekker--to use the vulgar
phrase--had fallen out of the frying-pan into the fire. He had fled
from the "British tyrant" only to encounter the Matabele Zulu
savage. A terrible feud between the Bantu tribes was then causing
much violence and blood-spilling, and the Zulu chief Moselekalse,
having driven the Bechuanas beyond the Limpopo, had established the
kingdom of the Matabele. With this chief, the Boer Potgieter and a
party of burghers, on exploration intent, came suddenly into
collision. Some of the Boers fled, the rest were promptly massacred.
Those who remained alive made plans for self-defence. They lashed
their waggons together to form a laager, and within it placed their
women and children in partial safety. They then gave the warriors of
Moselekalse a warm reception. The fight was maintained with great
energy, the Zulus raining assegais over the waggons, while the Boers
returned the compliment with their firearms. For these they had
plenty of ammunition, and relays of guns were loaded and handed out
gallantly by their women from within the laager. The Boers were
victorious. Their aim was true, their pluck enormous, and after a
sharp engagement the enemy were forced to retire. The savages were
not vanquished, however, till terrible damage had been inflicted on
the laager. Not content with the loss of many of their number, their
sheep and their cattle, the plucky Boers started forth to punish the
Matabele. Though few in number the burghers had the advantage of
rifles, and succeeded in triumphing over the enemy and establishing
themselves at Winburg, on the Vet River, to west of Harrismith.
Later on the Boer farmers prepared to trek into Natal. They had
prospected the place and found it entirely suited to their
agricultural needs. Water and game were plentiful, and the whole
country was fertile as a garden. Here they proposed to settle down.
At Port Natal--now known by the name of Durban--was a party of
Englishmen with whom the Boer explorers got on friendly terms. Both
Englishmen and Boers were aware that the district was under Zulu
sway, and it was decided that the chief, Dingaan, should be
interviewed as to the approaching settlement of the Boers. The wily
Zulu received his late enemies with every show of amity. He offered
them refreshments, he made entertainments for their amusement. He
finally agreed to cede such territory as was demanded by the Boers,
provided they would secure to him certain cattle that had been
stolen from him by a chief named Sikonyela. This the Boers agreed to
do. They promptly travelled to see Sikonyela, and by threats,
persuasions, or other mysterious means, extracted from him his
ill-gotten gains. With the restored cattle the whole party of Boers
then passed on their way from Drakensberg to Natal, full of the hope
of finally making a settlement in a region so well suited to their
pastoral instincts.

On again visiting the chief Dingaan, they were again received with
honour. More festivities were arranged, and the date of the signing
of the treaty was fixed for the 4th of February 1838.

The day came. The burghers arrived in the customary picturesqueness
of woollen shirts, round hats, rough coats, and leathern
veldt-broeks. Dingaan, amiable to excess, insisted that they should
accompany him to his kraal, and there make a formal leave-taking.
They were requested to leave their arms outside as an earnest of
good faith, and, with some suspicion, they acceded. Their reception
was splendid. Their health was drunk, the calabash passed round, and
then--then, at a given signal from the chief, the Zulu hordes rushed
in, fully armed and raging. In less time than it takes to describe
the deed, the defenceless company of Boer farmers were slaughtered
in cold blood--slaughtered before they could lift even a fist in
self-defence! This horrible act of treachery served to do away at
one fell swoop with the whole Boer party. Their bones, piled in a
heap without the kraal, alone remained to tell to their kindred the
tale of their undoing. The Zulus then proceeded in their tens of
thousands to attack the nearest encampment, and cut down all who
came in their way. Men--women--children--they spared none. The
tidings being carried to the outer encampments of the Boers, they
prepared themselves for the worst. They and their gallant _vrows_,
who fought with as cool and obstinate a courage as their husbands,
resisted the onslaught staunchly and successfully; but they paid
dearly for their boldness. Their cattle were demolished, and their
numbers were miserably thinned. Some thought of retiring from Natal;
some contemplated revenge.

The pathetic state of the Boers attracted the sympathy of the
Englishmen then in Natal, and they joined hands. Potgieter and Uys
then commanded a force, and marched out on the enemy, but
unfortunately fell into an ambush and were slain. Among the dead
were the commandant Uys and his son.

Then the Englishmen, not to be behindhand in the fray, came to the
rescue. Though there were but seventeen of them, they went out
accompanied by 1500 Hottentots to meet the enemy. They followed the
retreating savages beyond the Tugela, when suddenly they found
themselves face to face with a fierce multitude of 70,000 Zulus. A
conflict of the most terrible kind ensued: a conflict the more
terrible because at the same time so heroic and so hopeless. From
this appalling fight only four Englishmen escaped. These had
succeeded in cutting their way through the enemy; the rest had been
surrounded, and died fighting valiantly, and were almost buried
among the dead bodies of their antagonists.

But this was not to be the finale of the Boer resistance to the wild
Zulu. The above tragic engagement between the Englishmen and Zulus
took place in April 1838. By December of the same year they had
gathered themselves under the banner of their fine leader Andries
Pretorius, a farmer from the district of Graff Reinet, and started
forth again to meet the treacherous Dingaan, and pay him the debt
they owed him.

A word or two of this Pretorius, after whom the now notable town of
Pretoria was named. He was a born leader of men: he was a Cromwell
in his way. At that date he was forty years of age, in the prime of
strength and manhood. He was tall, and vigorous in mind as well as
in body, calm and deliberating in counsel, but prompt and fiery in
action. His descent is traced from one Johannes Pretorius, son of a
clergyman at Goeree in South Holland, one of the very early
settlers--a pious and worthy man, whose piety and worth had been
inherited by several generations. Like the rest of his countrymen,
Pretorius would brook no control. Though he was indubitably brave
and immensely capable, he had the conservative instincts of his
race. He shrunk from all innovations, he disliked everything
connected with civilisation that might in the smallest degree
interfere with the personal liberty of the individual. Freedom was
as the very breath of his nostrils, and here was the great link
between this really exceptional man and the body of his pastoral

Pretorius, bent on the punishment of the treachery of Dingaan, set
out, as has been said, with his expedition in the winter of 1838.
This expedition has been named by the Boers the Win Commando. He had
but three small pieces of cannon and a force composed of about four
hundred white men and some native auxiliaries, yet the admirable
tactics of Pretorius, the stout hearts and fine shooting of his
followers, combined to bring about a victory over the Zulus. These
were totally routed, and lost one third of their number.

The bravery and splendid persistence of the Boers filled all hearts
with admiration, particularly when, after several well-directed
attacks, they eventually succeeded in utterly breaking the Zulu
power. Dingaan was dethroned and driven into exile, and his kraal
and property burnt. A Christian burial service was read over the
place where lay the bones of the assassinated Retief and his
companions. The date, the 16th December 1838, on which the Zulu
power met its first check from white men, is one ever remembered in
Boer history. It goes by the name of Dingaan's Day, and is annually
celebrated with great rejoicings throughout the Transvaal.

The Boers had now succeeded in inspiring wholesome awe in the heart
of Panda, the new chieftain who occupied the place once held by his
brother, the exiled Dingaan. He was not a person of bellicose
disposition, and thinking discretion the better part of valour, was
ready enough to swear to keep peace with his late enemies. In these
circumstances the Boers with prayer and thanksgiving were able to
pursue the promptings of their long-checked ambition. Soon several
hundreds of waggons drawn by long teams of oxen came lumbering into
Natal, for the purpose of establishing there the Republic, which had
so often been planned out in imagination and never yet found any but
an abortive existence. This ideal State was eventually formed and
called the Republic of Natalia, and it enjoyed for several years an
independent existence.

As Natal became the first cause of armed conflict between the
British and the Boers, its then position in regard to the
authorities at the Cape may as well be reviewed. Though the new
Republic maintained its perfectly independent existence, its
inhabitants were still mentioned by the Governor of Cape Colony as
British subjects. It must be remembered that prior to the
occupation of Natal by the Boers, and the formation of their
cherished Republic, the Governor of Cape Colony had issued a
proclamation announcing his intention of occupying Natal later on,
and stating that the emigrants--who were then making active
preparations for the attack of Dingaan--- were British subjects. In
Great Britain, however, the authorities had not yet decided to
follow the advice so often given by their representatives at the
Cape. They were still declaring it inexpedient to extend their
territory, and likewise their responsibilities, in South Africa. But
the incursion of the Boers in the neighbourhood of Port Natal put a
new complexion on affairs. The British Government began to open its
eyes to the value of a seaport, with two good harbours on the South
African coast, as a colonial possession. It could not fail to
recognise also that the members of the new State were already bitter
foes to the British and their ways; and that it would be dangerous
to allow them to establish themselves as an independent power on the
coast, and entirely throw off their duty of allegiance. Accordingly
Sir George Napier, the then Governor of the Cape, sent troops to
occupy Natal. He remained undecided as to the mode of dealing with
the emigrant Boers, however, for, while declaring them British
subjects, he yet was not prepared to afford them protection from
attacks of the natives. It is scarcely surprising that this
half-and-half paternity of the Government failed to satisfy the men
whose kith and kin had fallen in their numbers at Weenen and the
Hill of Blood, and the consequent disaffection of the Boers grew
deeper as signs of British authority increased.

But at first, in the rest of their territory outside Natal the Boer
Government remained unmolested. Their district was bounded by the
sea and the Drakenberg mountains, the Tugela and Umzimubu Rivers,
and there for a time things went well. Pretorius was Commandant
General in Natal, Potgieter Chief Commandant in the allied Western
Districts. The legislative power was in the hands of a Volksraad of
twenty-four members, whose ways were more vacillating and erratic
than advantageous. "Every man for himself and God for all" seemed to
be the convenient motto of this assembly, except perhaps on urgent
occasions, when Pretorius and Potgieter were called upon as joint
dictators to settle some knotty problem relating to external

At the close of 1840 this Volksraad commenced negotiations with the
Cape Government with a view to getting their independence formally
recognised. The Governor at the Cape was again in the old quandary.
While he personally desired to put an end to troubles from within
and without by establishing a strong government over the whole
country, he was crippled by the Ministry at home, which was
consistent in maintaining its policy of inconsistency, and tried to
maintain its hold on the Cape, while steadily refusing to increase
Great Britain's responsibility in South Africa.

The demands of the Volksraad (presented in January 1841) were
scarcely acceptable at headquarters. The nature of them is
interesting, and shows the then attitude of people who described
themselves as "willing and desirous to enter into a perpetual
alliance with the Government of Her Majesty."

They bargained that the Republic of Natalia was to be acknowledged
as a free and independent State, in close alliance with the British
Government. If attacked by sea by any other power, Great Britain
might interpose either by negotiation or arms. If Great Britain were
at war, however, the Republic was to remain neutral. Wine, strong
liquors, and articles "prejudicial to this Republic," were to be
taxed more highly than other things, which would be taxed as for a
British Colony. British subjects residing in the Republic would have
equal protection, and the same taxes as burghers, while in case of
war every assistance would be given to a British or Colonial force
marching through the territory. The slave trade would not be
permitted, and every facility for the propagation of the Gospel
among the neighbouring tribes would be afforded. The Republic
guaranteed to make no hostile movements against natives in the
direction of the Colony without permission of the Governor, unless
circumstances of violence, or the inroad of tribes, rendered
immediate action obligatory.

There were other clauses of less importance which need not be
specified. Suffice it to say, that while these terms were being
considered, a cattle and slave-stealing Boer raid, headed by
Pretorius, took place. The excuse for the proceeding was the lifting
of certain of their own cattle, but the action served as an object
lesson for those in power at the Cape. The Volksraad was politely
informed that the Boers were still British subjects, and a letter
from the Home Government to Sir George Napier was received, stating
that Her Majesty "could not acknowledge a portion of her own
subjects as an independent Republic, but that on their receiving a
military force from the Colony, their trade would be placed on the
footing of the trade of a British possession." But the Boers flouted
authority--they refused to accept the situation. They put forth a
proclamation appealing against the oppression of man and to the
justice of God, with all the fervour of the Old Testament Christians
they were.

The arrogance of Pretorius and his crew had now so seriously
increased that Sir George Napier, seeing danger ahead, decided to
establish a camp near the border of the State, and Durban was
occupied. Captain Smith, in command of some three hundred men, made
a rapid march across country to Natal, merely to be informed that
the Boers had placed themselves under the protection of Holland.

It may be noted that when this statement reached the ears of the
King of Holland, he emphatically repudiated it. He addressed the
British Government, saying "that the disloyal communication of the
emigrant farmers had been repelled with indignation, and that the
King of Holland had taken every possible step to mark his
disapproval of the unjustifiable use made of his name by the
individuals referred to." Captain Smith, who fortunately had not
been imposed upon by what the Boers considered their neat ruse, made
preparations to attack them. But he overestimated his own or
underrated his adversary's strength. He fell into ambush and lost
heavily. He was then driven to entrench himself in Durban. One of
his men managed to escape, however, and by riding to Grahamstown
through dangerous country, contrived to convey the intelligence of
Captain Smith's misfortune, and to bring reinforcements to his aid.
These reinforcements arrived in Durban harbour on the 25th of June
1842. At sight of the British frigate and the goodly display of
redcoats, the Boers, who had been besieging Captain Smith for a
month with three guns and six hundred men, made good their escape,
leaving Pretorius no alternative but to make terms. Thus Natal
became a British possession.

In 1844 the place was declared to be a dependency of Cape Colony.
Many of the emigrants admitted themselves to be British subjects and
remained there, but the great majority took to their waggons and
lumbered back across the Drakenberg to their old settling-place.

There the original Voortrekkers had scattered themselves on both
sides of the Vaal River, and helped to found the Transvaal and the
Orange Free State. As may be imagined at this juncture, the natural
hostility to the British, which has now become part of the Boer
character, was growing apace. The voluntary exiles from Natal, on
moving to the north of the Orange River, determined to evade the
British, and proclaim the whole of that locality an independent
Republic. The authorities at the Cape, however, frustrated the new
struggle for independence. They laid claim for Great Britain to the
whole territory east of E. long. 22° and south of S. lat. 25°, with
the exception of the land already owned by Portugal or by friendly
native chiefs.


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen]

It may be remembered that one of the causes of the great Trek was
the restoration of their province to Kaffirs, thereby according
to the blacks an independence that was not enjoyed by the Boers.
No astonishment, therefore, will be felt at the exasperation of the
Boers when they found that the Cape Government had entered into
treaties with the Griquas--treaties which seemed to them to promise
more freedom to the savage than was accorded to themselves.
Grievances of many kinds--some real and some ridiculous--continued
daily to occur. Things serious and things trivial were liable to
cause them equal indignation. According to Livingstone, the ignorant
followers of Potgieter--who were posted at Magaliesberg, a thousand
miles from the Cape--were moved to wrath merely by the arrival of
Herschel's great telescope at the Cape Observatory! What right, said
they, had the Government to erect that huge instrument at the Cape
for the purpose of seeing what they were doing behind the Kashan

But of just grievances they had several, and these Pretorius, as
spokesman of his people, wished to lay before the Governor at the
Cape. Sir Henry Pottinger, who occupied that post in 1847,
unfortunately declined the interview; consequently affairs went from
bad to worse. In the end of the year Sir Henry Smith arrived as
Governor of the colony, and great things were expected of him. He
knew the native races, he knew the Boers, and they both knew him.
Pretorius, who was arranging a final emigration from Natal, was
summoned to confer with the new Governor. Sir Henry wished to gauge
the feelings of the farmers prior to issuing a proclamation (dated
February 3, 1848), declaring the Queen's sovereignty over the whole
country between the Orange and Vaal Rivers to eastward of the
Quathlamba Mountains. According to Pretorius, the conference was an
unsatisfactory one. He assured the Governor that his people would
never consent to it. Sir Henry Smith nevertheless considered himself
justified in taking the step, and the Home Government, whose policy
it had been to consolidate the peaceful native States along the
border, eventually coincided with his view.

No sooner was the proclamation generally known than the horde of
Pretorius' followers flew to arms. They swept southward, driving
every British official beyond the Orange River. Major Warden, the
Resident at Bloemfontein, where a British fort and garrison had been
placed some two years before, was forced to capitulate.

Sir Harry Smith, on becoming acquainted with the news, at once
offered a thousand pounds for the arrest of Pretorius. He also began
a march to the front. The Governor thought that he had but to come,
see, and conquer; but he was mistaken. He had tough work before him.
The Boers, about a thousand strong, had entrenched themselves in a
formidable position. They were superior in point of numbers, horses,
and guns to Sir Harry's forces; but he pursued his way, nothing
daunted. He stormed the position, and, after a hard fight, scattered
the enemy. They fled from Boomplaats, where the engagement had taken
place, and hastened back across the Vaal to their native haunts. The
date of the battle was the 29th of August 1848, and the father of
President Kruger is said to have been the first man to fire a shot
at the British on that occasion!

After this period various dissensions arose in the Boer camp between
Pretorius, who styled himself "Chief of the whole united emigrant
force," and Potgieter, who looked upon himself somewhat in the light
of a rival. While these worthies fell out Sir Harry Smith saw the
annexation carried through, and the territory of the modern Free
State was united to Cape Colony, under the title of the Orange River
Sovereignty. The contumacious Boers took themselves off with their
leader across the Vaal, and fresh European settlers came in and
established themselves in the fertile plains that were deserted. For
some time after this things prospered, and Sir Harry saw before him
the prospect of a new self-governing Dutch colony, which would
resemble and equal those of Natal and the Cape. But he reckoned
without his host, and all that he had taken the trouble to do was
ultimately undone. In 1852 the Government at home declared its
policy to be the ultimate abandonment of the Orange River
Sovereignty. For this pusillanimous policy there were several
reasons, the greatest being a fear of a Basuto rising and the
trouble it would entail. The British Government therefore decided to
maintain its rights over the Transvaal no further, and by the Sand
River Convention, signed on the 17th of January 1852, the emigrant
farmers beyond the Vaal River were given the right to manage their
own affairs, subject only to the condition that they should neither
permit nor encourage slavery.

About this time commenced the threatened rise of the Basutos in the
neighbourhood of the Orange River territory. The Basutos are a
branch of the Bechuana race, who had been formed by their chiefs
Motlume and Moshesh into a powerful nation, which could hold its own
against Boer or Zulu. With this race the Home Government desired to
have nothing to do, and the Colonial Office, viewing the political
game as not worth the candle, definitely withdrew from the Orange
River Sovereignty, leaving the Free State to come into being, and
devise its own plans for overawing its enemies on the other side of
the border. Accordingly, in 1854, Sir Harry Smith's programme of
annexation was entirely wiped out, British sovereignty renounced,
and the Orange Free State left to become a Republic and take care of



Fifty years ago there was no Transvaal. To-day its area is rather
larger than Great Britain. It extends over some 75,000,000 acres.

Originally, at the time of the great Trek, a small portion of land
was seized from natives who fled before the pioneers, and settled in
what is now known as Matabeleland. Other Boers soon joined their
comrades, and, by applying the steady policy of "grab and hold" (a
policy that, unfortunately, has not been imitated by ourselves),
they gained strip on strip and acre on acre of land till the
Transvaal became the vast province it now is. It expanded first into
a portion of Zululand; later on, lapped over into Swaziland. By
degrees it encroached on the British boundaries, and most probably
would have gone on encroaching had not active steps been taken to
save the north from the invaders.

The original _Voertrekkers_, or pioneers, came in three detachments.
British-born subjects, but discontented with British civilisation,
they moved on from Natal, whence they were chased by the Union Jack,
and settled themselves first in land captured from King Umziligatze,
secondly in Lydenburg and Dekaap, and thirdly in the Zulu country.
The history of this Zululand expansion remains to be told. At
present it is interesting to follow the geographical growth of the
state which has become so troublesome, and whose self-assertion has
increased according to its size.

Originally each Boer was entitled to a farm with a minimum of 6000
acres of the "Transvaal," and this custom of apportioning 6000-acre
farms lasted as long as the Kaffir lands lasted. The Boers, always
working on the principle that "God helps those who help themselves,"
helped themselves freely, sometimes with bloodshed and sometimes
without, until they became owners of vast tracts of country, whose
boundaries had never been discussed, far less fixed.

Land was apparently cheap at that time, for trustworthy authorities
declare that it was purchasable at from a farthing to a penny per

The area of the Transvaal before the Boers began to migrate there
has been eloquently described as the hunter's Arcadia. Mr. Gordon
Cumming gives a graphic account of the scene:--

"It was truly a fair and boundless prospect. Beautifully wooded
plains and mountains stretched away on every side to an amazing
distance, until the vision was lost among the faint blue outlines of
the distant mountain ranges. Throughout all this country, and vast
tracts beyond, I had the satisfaction to reflect that a never-ending
succession of herds of every species of noble game which the hunter
need desire pastured there in undisturbed security; and as I gazed I
felt that it was all my own, and that I at length possessed the
undisputed sway over a forest, in comparison with which the tame and
herded narrow bounds of the wealthiest European sportsman sink into
utter insignificance."

The number of elephants and lesser game bagged by Mr. Gordon Cumming
after this touching meditation fully bore out his hopes.

But the most interesting account of the Transvaal, before the
invasion of white men, is to be found in Captain William Cornwallis
Harris's account of his expedition into the interior of South Africa
in the years 1836 and 1837. He paints the new country in colours
lively and alluring:--

"Instead of the dreary waste over which we had lately passed, we
might now imagine ourselves in an extensive park. A lawn, level as a
billiard-table, was everywhere spread with a soft carpet of
luxuriant green grass, spangled with flowers, and shaded by
spreading _mokaalas_--a large species of acacia which forms the
favourite food of the giraffe. The gaudy yellow blossoms with which
these remarkable trees were covered yielded an aromatic and
overpowering perfume--while small troops of striped quaggas, or wild
asses, and of brindled gnoos ... enlivened the scene.

"I turned off the road," he continues, "in pursuit of a troop of
brindled gnoos, and presently came upon another, which was followed
by a third still larger--then by a vast herd of zebras, and again by
more gnoos, with sassaybys and hartebeests pouring down from every
quarter, until the landscape literally presented the appearance of a
moving mass of game."

Further on he describes the extensive and romantic valley of the
Limpopo, "which strongly contrasts with its own solitude, and with
the arid lands which must be traversed to arrive within its limits;
Dame Nature has doubtless been unusually lavish of her gifts. A bold
mountain landscape is chequered by innumerable rivulets abounding in
fish, and watering a soil rich in luxurious vegetation. Forests,
producing timber of the finest growth, are tenanted by a multitude
of birds, which, if not generally musical, are all gorgeously
attired; and the meadows throughout are decked with blossoming
geraniums, and with an endless profusion of the gayest flowers,
fancifully distributed in almost artificial _parterres_. Let the
foreground of this picture, which is by no means extravagantly
drawn, be filled in by the animal creation roaming in a state of
undisturbed freedom, such as I have attempted to describe, and this
hunter's paradise will surely not require to be coloured by the
feelings of an enthusiastic sportsman to stand out in striking
relief from amongst the loveliest spots in the universe."

A recent traveller discourses pathetically over the changes that
have come over the country, which at that time was described as "the
Zoological Gardens turned out to graze." He says the lawyer and
financier thrive where in recent years the lion and the leopard
fought for food, and townships have sprung up on spots where living
Boers have formerly shot big game.

As an instance of the truth of this lament, one may make some
quotations from Mr. Campbell's valuable article, "The Transvaal, Old
and New." He says, "The advent of British folk and British gold and
brains led to a change, and land, by reason of British purchases,
became more valuable, and beacons and boundaries became necessary."
Here we may see the thin end of the wedge. We may picture the first
lawyer and the first financier advancing with Arcadia parchment and
bank-note in hand.

The Boers steadily sold their best and surplus lands, and these the
British as steadily bought, till the value rose from their original
price of one penny an acre to half-a-crown, and then five shillings.
Subsequently, in many cases, as much as ten, and even twenty
shillings an acre was offered for ordinary raw arable land. But of
that time too much has to be said to be recounted here.


In discussing the events of the past with a view to obtaining light
on the development of the present, it is needful, and indeed just,
to inquire into the character of the Boers as a race. It is a
complex character, with multitudinous lights and shades, so subtle
and yet so marked, that they are difficult to define accurately. It
is therefore necessary that the opinions of many writers on the
subject of the Boer temperament should be taken--of writers who have
made it their business to look upon the subject with the eye of the
historian rather than the eye of the advocate, and who may be
trusted to have given their verdict without passion or favour.

But regarding one fact connected with the case, all writers of
practical experience are inclined to agree. They declare that the
Boer of the past was a very much finer fellow than the Boer of the
present--finer morally and physically; and that in his obstinate
determination to resist the march of progress he has allowed himself
to suffer deterioration. The reason for this deterioration is not
difficult to comprehend. In the first place, as we all know, nothing
in creation stands still. We must advance, or we go back. Both in
moral and in mental qualities we must maintain our vitality, or
practically ossify!

The Boer, from having been essentially a sporting man and a free and
a robust tiller of the soil, has come under the influence of
schemers, who have played upon his natural avarice, and polished his
inherent cunning, till these qualities have expanded to the
detriment of those earlier qualities for which the Boer of to-day
still gets credit, but which are fast dying out of the national

In one respect there has been little change. In the matter of his
native piety he remains as he was. The Boer, if one may use a phrase
recently coined by Lord Rosebery, is an "Old Testament Christian."
No one can describe his race better than the writer who says of the
original settlers in 1652, that "they are a mixture in religion of
the old Israelite and the Scotch Covenanter." There is some question
about Boer hypocrisy, and Dr. Theal says on the subject, "Where side
by side with expressions of gratitude to the Creator are found
schemes for robbing and enslaving natives, the genuineness of their
religion may be doubted." But it must be remembered that in bygone
centuries the world's morality differed much from that of the
present day, and therefore the Boer, who has not progressed in
proportion to the world at large, can scarcely be judged by the
ethics of the world at large. To be just, we must look at him as a
being apart, and place him always in the frame of the seventeenth
century. Some historians declare that the Boer borrowed from the
French refugees much religious sentiment. Other authorities--and
these, considering the Boer disinclination to expansion, seem to be
right--declare that under the French influence he deteriorated.

[Illustration: COLONEL of the 10th HUSSARS.


Photo by Gregory & Co., London.]

He was by nature bloodthirsty and cruel, but these qualities always
found for themselves a comfortable apology in the Old Testament. The
Boer prided himself on his likeness to the Israelite of old, and his
enemies to the Canaanite, whom it was doing God a service to
destroy. He kept all the rites of the Church with rigid punctuality.
He partook of the Communion (the Nachtmaal) once every three months,
and the whole community gathered together from great distances to
share it. The observances were made the occasion for rejoicing and
merrymaking, for the holding of fairs, the transfer of cattle,
the driving of bargains in hide or ivory, or other goods necessary
to traders. He has been described by a friend of his people "as,
according to his own lights, a citizen pioneer, a rough,
God-fearing, honest, homely, uneducated Philistine."

The opinion of his ancient enemy, Cetchwayo, differs, however, from
this estimate. Sir Frederick Godson has told us that this potentate
informed his brother, who was his captor, that the Boers were "a
mean, treacherous people, people who trusted no one, not even each
other, and their word was not to be trusted." He had had ample
opportunities of forming a judgment by experience. And there are
many of us nowadays who are inclined to agree with him. Cetchwayo
further asserted that "the British were making the greatest mistake
they ever made in befriending them; for if they had not rescued the
Boers from him, he would very soon have eaten them all up."

As regards the military organisation of the Boers, it may be
described as similar to that of the Republic of Greece or that of
mediæval England. Every man, from the age of sixteen to sixty,
considered himself a soldier. Every man, when the country demanded
his services, was ready to get under arms--to protect his hearth and
home in the face of a common enemy.

The country was divided into districts, and these districts were
subdivided into wards. To each of these wards was appointed a
field-cornet, who had military duties when a commando was called
out. The officer who took the chief command of the field-cornets was
styled the commandant. This arrangement first originated in the
early days of their emigration to the Cape, when the natives,
lawless and inimical, were perpetually bursting out without rhyme or
reason. Naturally prompt defence became necessary. To many people
the Boer appears to be a "first-class fighting man." Certainly he is
determined, obstinate, and, in his peculiar fashion, brave. But
there are others who can recall events in the battle with Dingaan,
in the tragedy of Majuba Hill, which scarcely add to the honour of
the Boer as a soldier. It has been said that the Boer prefers to do
his fighting without risking his skin, but this may be somewhat
unjust. He is ready enough to risk his skin, but he is equally ready
that some one shall pay for the risk, and he makes him pay by fair
means if he can--if not, by foul.

However, Livingstone knew his man, and thus it was that he wrote of
him: "The Boers have generally manifested a marked antipathy to
anything but 'long shot' warfare, and sidling away in their
emigrations towards the more effeminate Bechuanas, have left their
quarrels with the Kaffirs to be settled by the English, and their
wars to be paid for by English gold." Obviously their methods of
warfare were, to say the least of it, curious. Sometimes they would
drive a battalion of friendly natives or slaves in front of them,
and shoot down their enemies from behind the shelter of these
advanced guards. Occasionally they employed a method similar to that
used against the Zulus of Dingaan. According to Livingstone's essay,
written in 1853, and not published till after his death, "the Boers
approach the Zulus to within 300 or 400 yards, then fire, and retire
to a considerable distance and reload their guns. The Zulus pursuing
have by this time come sufficiently near to receive another
discharge from the Boers, who again retire as before. This process
soon tires out the fleetest warriors, and except through an
accident, or the stumbling of a horse or its rider's drunkenness, no
Boer ever stands a chance of falling into their hands. The Boers
report of themselves that they behaved with great bravery on the
occasion." In fact they said that they had killed from 3000 to 5000
Zulus, with the loss to themselves of only six men. Mr. Fisher, in
his book on "The Transvaal and the Boers," avers that in the
subsequent war with the Griquas--who, being the bastard children of
the Boers, possess many of their peculiarities--the two opposing
parties kept at such ludicrous distances that the springboks quietly
grazing on the plains between were frequently shot instead of the


For the domestic character of the Boer we will consult the
Scandinavian traveller Sparrmann, who gives us one of the earliest
sketches of the Boer "at home." Though the illusion that the
industrious and cleanly Hollander was merely transplanted from one
soil to another is somewhat dispelled, the picture is generally
acknowledged to be a true one.

"It is hardly to be conceived," he wrote in 1776, "with what little
trouble the Boer gets into order a field of a moderate size ... so
that ... he may be almost said to make the cultivation of it, for
the bread he stands in need of for himself and his family, a mere
matter of amusement.... With pleasure, but without the least trouble
to himself, he sees the herds and flocks which constitute his riches
daily and considerably increasing. These are driven to pasture and
home again by a few Hottentots or slaves, who likewise make the
butter; so that it is almost only with the milking that the farmer,
together with his wife and children, concern themselves at all. To
do this business, however, he has no occasion to rise before seven
or eight o'clock in the morning.... That they (the Boers) might not
put their arms and bodies out of the easy and commodious posture in
which they had laid them on the couch when they were taking their
afternoon _siesta_, they have been known to receive travellers lying
quite still and motionless, excepting that they have very civilly
pointed out the road by moving their foot to the right or left....
Among a set of beings so devoted to their ease, one might naturally
expect to meet with a variety of the most commodious easy-chairs and
sofas; but the truth is, that they find it much more commodious to
avoid the trouble of inventing and making them.... Nor did the
inhabitants exhibit much less simplicity and moderation; or, to
speak more properly, slovenliness and penury in their dress than in
their furniture.... The distance at which they are from the Cape
may, indeed, be some excuse for their having no other earthenware or
china in their houses but what was cracked or broken; but this,
methinks, should not prevent them being in possession of more than
one or two old pewter pots, and some few plates of the same metal;
so that two people are frequently obliged to eat out of one dish,
besides using it for every different article of food that comes upon
the table. Each guest must bring his knife with him, and for forks
they frequently make use of their fingers. The most wealthy farmer
here is considered as being well dressed in a jacket of home-made
cloth, or something of the kind made of any other coarse cloth,
breeches of undressed leather, woollen stockings, a striped
waistcoat, a cotton handkerchief about his neck, a coarse calico
shirt, Hottentot field-shoes, or else leathern shoes with brass
buckles, and a coarse hat. Indeed, it is not in dress, but in the
number and thriving condition of their cattle, and chiefly in the
stoutness of their draught oxen, that these peasants vie with each
other. It is likewise by activity and manly actions, and by other
qualities that render a man fit for the married state, and the
rearing of a family, that the youth chiefly obtain the esteem of the
fair sex.... A plain close cap and a coarse cotton gown, virtue and
good housewifery, are looked upon by the fair sex as sufficient
ornaments for their persons; a flirting disposition, coquetry and
paint would have very little effect in making conquests of young men
brought up in so hardy a manner, and who have had so homely and
artless an education as the youth in this place. In short, here, if
anywhere in the world, one may lead an innocent, virtuous, and happy

When viewing this study of rustic indolence, we must remember also
the conditions under which it was found. The natural fertility of
the country, the demoralising influence of slave-owning, the great
heat of the climate, were responsible for the change that so soon
came over the primitive Dutch character. Dr. Theal's account of the
Boer adds colour to the picture given by the Swede, and shows us
that a certain sense of refinement was lurking in the stolid and
not too picturesque disposition:--

"The amusements of the people were few.... Those who possessed
numerous slaves usually had three or four of them trained to the use
of the violin, the blacks being peculiarly gifted with an ear for
music, and easily learning to play by sound. They had thus the means
at hand of amusing themselves with dancing, and of entertaining
visitors with music. The branches of widely extended families were
constantly exchanging visits with each other. A farmer would make
his waggon ready regularly every year, when half the household or
more would leave home, and spend a week or two with each relative,
often being absent a couple of months. Birthday anniversaries of
aged people were celebrated by the assembling of their descendants,
frequently to the number of eighty or a hundred, at the residence of
the patriarch, when a feast was prepared for their entertainment.
These different reunions were naturally productive of great
pleasure, and tended to cement the friendship and love of those who
otherwise might seldom see each other. The life led by the people
when at home was exceedingly tame. The mistress of the house, who
moved about but little, issued orders to slaves or Hottentot females
concerning the work of the household. If the weather was chilly or
damp, she rested her feet on a little box filled with live coals,
while beside her stood a coffee-kettle never empty. The head of the
family usually inspected his flocks morning and evening, and passed
the remainder of the day, like his helpmate, in the enjoyment of
ease. When repose itself became wearisome, he mounted his horse,
and, with an attendant to carry his gun, set off in pursuit of some
of the wild animals with which the country then abounded. The
children had few games, and, though strong and healthy, were far
from sprightly."


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]

A dislike for the English seems to have been felt by the Cape Dutch
very early. This dislike later hostilities must have heightened; but
as far back as 1816 we learn that even shrewd and sensible farmers
were heard to declaim against our methods of scientific agriculture,
and resist all efforts at its introduction into their work. One of
them, when informed of the saving of time and labour that certain
implements would effect, answered with characteristic conservatism.
"What," said he, "would you have us do? Our only concern is to fill
our bellies, to get good clothes and houses, to say to one slave,
'Do this,' and to another, 'Do that,' and to sit idle ourselves and
be waited upon. As to our tillage, or building, or planting, our
forefathers did so and so and were satisfied, and why should not we
do the same? The English want us to use their ploughs instead of our
heavy wooden ones, and recommend other implements of husbandry
than those we have been used to; but we like our old things best."

This preference for the old instead of the new has been the rock on
which friendship between Briton and Boer has split. All ideas of
reform have been met with suspicion--a kind of suspicion that,
though now confined to the Boers, was very prevalent in Europe a
hundred years ago. The present writer in extreme youth met here, in
advanced England, a grandam of ninety (the mother of a very
distinguished politician), who stated that she could "never make a
friend of a man who took a bath." It will be seen by this how
prejudice may become a matter of habit all the world over.

Mr. Nixon tells a story of an equally conservative Boer. This worthy
went to a store at Kimberley with bundles of tobacco for sale. The
Boer carefully weighed them out with some scales of his own that
were evidently an heirloom. The storekeeper reweighed the bundles,
remarking on the antiquity of the scales, and observing that they
gave short weight. He suggested the use of the store scales as the
standard for computing the price, which was to be fixed at so much a
pound. But the Boer would not hear of it. "No," said he, "these were
my father's scales, and he was a wise man and was never cheated, and
I won't use anybody else's." The storekeeper dryly remarked that he
did not desire to press the matter, since he found himself a gainer
by £12 in consequence of the Boer's conservative instincts!

Many writers urge that the Boer is naturally uncivil, that he lacks
the true feeling of hospitality. The original Boer, before he was
seized with a hatred for the British, was more justly speaking
lacking in civility than what we term uncivil. He knew nothing of
the art of being obliging to his fellow-creatures, merely because
they were his fellow-creatures. He would entertain a stranger, and
ask nothing in return, but he would do so without courtesy, and
would put himself out of the way for no one. The traveller might
take him or leave him, conform to his hours and habits entirely,
and, to use the vulgar phrase, "like them or lump them" as his
temperament might decide. "Africanus," who, in his book on "The
Transvaal Boers," writes of them with judgment and without
prejudice, gives a very true sketch, which exactly describes the
strange blend of piety, indolence, ignorance, and ferocity which we
are endeavouring to study. He says--

"The Dutch farmer is in some respects very unlike his supposed
counterpart in England. His pursuits are pastoral, not agricultural,
for in most parts of South Africa the want of irrigation renders the
cultivation of cereals impossible. His idea of a 'farm' is a tract
of at least 6000 acres, over which his flocks and herds can move
from one pasture to another. His labourers are all natives, and
though, before the advent of storekeepers, he used often to make his
own clothes, boots (veld-schoen), and harness, he looks on actual
farm-work as a menial pursuit. He was, and is, wont to pass whole
days in the saddle, but, to an English eye, his horses seem unkempt
and often ill-used. The magnificent herds of game which wandered
over South Africa sixty years ago tempted him to become a keen
sportsman, but he has never shown much 'sporting instinct,' and the
Boer is responsible for the wanton destruction of the African fauna.
The unsophisticated Boer is a curious blend of hospitality and
avarice; he would welcome the passing stranger, and entertain him to
the best of his ability, but he seized any opportunity of making
money, and the discovery that hides and skins were marketable
induced him to slaughter antelopes without the slightest
forethought. That the Boer is no longer hospitable is very largely
due to the way in which his hospitality has been abused by stray
pedlars and ne'er-do-wells of various kinds. He still retains a
sincere and primitive piety, but his belief that he is a member of
the chosen people has sometimes tended to antinomianism rather than
to strict morality. His contempt and dislike for the Kaffir has
preserved the Dutch stock from taint of black blood, and although
there is a large Eur-African population, it has sprung partly from
the old days of domestic slavery, partly from the laxity induced by
the recent influx of low-class Europeans. The Boer has a strong
national feeling, and although not exactly daring as a rule, he is
perfectly ready to risk his life in what he believes to be a good
cause. He fights better behind cover than in the open, and has a
profound contempt for soldiers who expose themselves unnecessarily.
At the same time, he is capable at times of embarking on a forlorn
hope. As regards his private character, his notions of honesty and
of truth are lax. But then, from bitter experience, he assumes that
the stranger will try to cheat him, and it is not surprising that he
should consider a certain amount of _finesse_ justifiable. He is
comparatively free from that drunkenness which is the besetting vice
of the low-class Englishman in Africa.

"Although he is incredibly ignorant, and very self-satisfied, it is
somewhat irritating to notice the way in which the town-bred
Englishman is apt to depreciate him. It is not so certain as the
latter thinks that an ignorant peasant is necessarily a lower type
of man than a 'smart' and vicious shop-boy.

"The most unpleasing trait in the Boer character is his callousness,
amounting to brutality, in the case of natives and of animals."

It must always be remembered that in discussing the early Boer we
are discussing the peasant, and that neither his ignorance nor other
shortcomings must be viewed in comparison with the failings of
persons of a higher social grade. When the Boers left the Cape
Colony they had no knowledge of what the word education meant. The
state of public education in 1837 was deplorable. There were
missionary schools and a few desultory teachers, who had in very few
cases the mental or the moral qualities to fit them for the task of
instruction. The most they did was to teach the young idea how to
read or scribble its name. For this they received trifling fees, but
doubtless these fees were no more trifling than the services
rendered. Such free schools as existed, and were nominally supported
by Government, were so indifferently managed that they were treated
with contempt, even by the farmers. So long as they could thumb out
their favourite passages of the Psalms, and sign what few documents
they required, they were content. Of their ignorance they were even
inclined to be proud. Their own notions of geography and history
seemed to them infinitely preferable to any that might be offered,
and in this state of blissful ignorance they trekked away from Cape
Colony to learn no more. When they started forth, some, it is
averred, imagined by steadily working north they would reach
Jerusalem; others, covered with faith, and armed with gospel and
sjambok, sincerely believed that eventually they would reach the
Promised Land.



The young State, almost before it was fledged, found itself engaged
in military operations with the Basutos, and an arbitrator nominated
by the British Government was appointed. But the good offices of the
commissioner were to no purpose; despite the defining of boundaries
and the laying down of landmarks, the natives broke out afresh. An
engagement followed, and the Basutos were defeated. As a
consequence, a large tract of land (the conquered territory) was
annexed by the Free State, yet even this was insufficient to quell
the fury of the farmer's inveterate foes, and later on they broke
out afresh, only to be again overthrown. In the year 1861 they
appealed for help to the Governor of the Cape and were declared
British subjects. It was then that a definite boundary line between
Basutoland and the Orange Free State was laid down. The population
of Basutoland is estimated at about 130,000. The people are by
nature warlike and energetic. Some authorities declare them to be
the most intelligent of the Kaffir tribes. They are a branch of the
Bechuana race who were formed by their chiefs, Motlune and Moshesh,
and held their country--the Switzerland of South Africa--against
both Zulu and Boer. This aggressive and ferocious tribe was devoted
to plunder, and remained well-nigh exempt from punishment in
consequence of its mountain fastnesses, which were almost
impregnable. The Basutos formed a continual menace to the Boers of
the Free State until Great Britain assumed their direct control in
1884. It is now governed by a Resident Commissioner under the High
Commissioner for South Africa. It is divided into seven districts,
and subdivided into wards, presided over by hereditary chiefs allied
to the Moshesh family. Laws are made by proclamation of the High
Commissioner, and administered by native chiefs. Europeans are not
allowed to settle there.

But to return to 1854. The relations between the two Boer States
soon became strained. Jealousy commenced and continued to simmer.
Then the Boers, alarmed lest the Government would again follow them
up, and lest their treatment of the natives should be investigated
and stopped, began to discourage the presence of visitors across the
Vaal. Of course missionaries were the most unwelcome of all.

With the terms of the Sand River Convention they had soon become
impatient, and to help to an understanding of this impatience some
of the Articles of the Convention may be quoted:--

_Article 1._--"The Assistant-Commissioners guarantee in the fullest
manner on the part of the British Government to the emigrant farmers
beyond the Vaal River the right to manage their own affairs, and to
govern themselves according to their own laws, without any
interference on the part of the British Government, and that no
encroachment shall be made by the said Government on the territory
beyond, to the north of the Vaal River; with the further assurance
that the warmest wish of the British Government is to promote peace,
free trade, and friendly intercourse with the emigrant farmers now
inhabiting, or who hereafter may inhabit that country, it being
understood that this system of non-interference is binding upon both

_Article 2_ arranges, in case of misunderstanding, for a subsequent
delimitation of boundaries.

_Article 3._--"Her Majesty's Assistant-Commissioners hereby disclaim
all alliances whatever, and with whomsoever of the coloured nations,
to the north of the Vaal River."

_Article 4._--"It is agreed that no slavery is or shall be permitted
or practised in the country to the north of the Vaal River by the
emigrant farmers."

_Article 5_ provides for mutual facilities and liberty to traders
and travellers on both sides of the Vaal River.

_Article 6_ allows the "emigrant Boers" to obtain ammunition in
British colonies and possessions, "it being mutually understood that
all trade in ammunition with the native tribes is prohibited both by
the British Government and the emigrant farmers on both sides of the
Vaal River."

_Article 7_ stipulates for the mutual extradition, "as far as
possible," of criminals, and mutual access to courts of justice.

_Article 8_ validates, for purposes of inheritance in British
possessions, certificates of marriage issued by the proper
authorities of the emigrant farmers.

_Article 9_ allows free movement of all persons, except criminals
and absconding debtors, between the British and the Boer

As we see, the Convention had declared that slavery would not be
practised in the Transvaal, but though the original declaration may
have been made in all good faith, the Boer by degrees, and after the
lapse of years, found it expedient to acquire native "apprentices,"
who could not change master nor task without permission. They began
to fear that these natives could not be dealt with, as they were in
the habit of dealing with them, without fear of comment from such
British visitors as came across them; and they therefore attempted
to block up the path of travellers, refusing them a passage through
the Republic, and in some instances ordering the expulsion of
visitors across the Vaal. About this time one of the most gruesome
of all the many massacres in which the Boers were concerned took
place. One Potgieter (not the Potgieter who was the rival of
Pretorius), in charge of a small party of thirty men, women, and
children, went forth to barter ivory unlawfully with Makapau, a
Kaffir chief. The Kaffirs, owing the Boers a grudge for many a day,
pounced on the whole party, leaving not one behind to give an
account of the awful tragedy. The chief Potgieter was flayed alive,
and his skin made into a kaross or cloak. The Boers were swift to
revenge. President Pretorius, with an army of some four hundred, set
himself to track down the assassins. The Kaffirs fled at the
approach of the enemy, enclosing themselves in a huge cave, where
they hoped to escape detection. This cave was blockaded by the
Boers. Here the unhappy blacks went through all the horrors of
famine and thirst, and when their agony became unbearable, and they
sallied forth in desperation in search of water, they were
remorselessly shot down one by one. Nine hundred in all were killed
outside the cave. Within was more than double that number who had
perished in the frightful agonies of starvation. President Kruger
himself was a witness of the terrible scene, and took an active
share in his countrymen's revenge. And this was not the first nor
the last time in which he figured conspicuously in the bloody
records of his country's history. It was only on the occasion of the
Jameson Raid that Oom Paul awakened to sentimental qualms regarding
the spilling of blood.


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]


To thoroughly grasp the methods of the New South African Republic,
it may be interesting to study some of "the Articles" of a Grondwet
or Constitution, which superseded those originally adopted by the
Potchefstroom Raad. The Grondwet was started in 1857, and was framed
entirely to suit the then condition of the Boer community. The
ordinary idea of a written constitution was at that time unknown,
and the meaning of such words as "rigid" or "elastic" was, of
course, beyond their comprehension. These only developed a
significance when the judicial crisis of 1897 put a fresh face on
Republican affairs.

_Article 4_ states that "the people desire no extension of
territory, except only on principles of justice, whenever the
interests of the Republic render it advisable."

_Article 6._--"Its territory is open to every stranger who submits
himself to the laws of the Republic; all persons who happen to be
within the territory of this Republic have equal claim to protection
of person and property."

_Article 8._--"The people claim as much social freedom as possible
(_de meest mogelyke maatschappelyke vryheid_), and expect to attain
it by upholding their religion, fulfilling their obligations,
submitting to law, order, and justice, and maintaining the same. The
people permit the spread of the Gospel among the heathen, subject to
prescribed provisions against the practice of fraud and deception."

_Article 9._--"The people will not allow of any equality between
coloured and white inhabitants, either in Church or in State."

_Article 10._--"The people will not brook any dealing in slaves or
slavery in this Republic (_will geen slavenhandel, noch slaverny in
deze Republick dulden_)."

Before passing on to other sections, Article 10 calls for attention.
In spite of its terms, the Boers of that period had a practice which
might be described as sailing very near the wind. The "apprenticeship"
of children taken prisoners in the native wars was uncommonly like
slave-owning. They were called "orphans"--sometimes they had been made
orphans by the conquerors--and they were then "apprenticed" to the
Boer farmers till grown up. Though opinions differ on this point, it
has been asserted by those who know that there was a curious system of
"transfer" connected with these so-called apprentices, and that even
when grown they seldom gained their liberty save by escape.

Further articles entrust legislation to a Volksraad chosen by vote
of the burghers, providing at the same time that the people shall be
allowed three months' grace for intimating to the Raad their views
on any prospective law, "those laws, however, which admit of no
delay excepted." Others constitute an Executive Council, "which
shall also recommend to the Raad all officers for the public
service"; others refer to the liberty of the press; restrict
membership of the Volksraad to members of the Dutch Reformed
Congregations; state that "the people do not desire to allow amongst
them any Roman Catholic Churches, nor any other Protestant Churches
except those in which such tenets of the Christian belief are taught
as are prescribed in the Heidelberg Catechism"; and give the
Volksraad the power of making treaties, save in time of war or of
imminent danger.

The members of the Raad were to be twelve in number at least, and
were to be between the ages of thirty and sixty. They must be
burghers of the Dutch Reformed Church, residents, and owners of
landed property in the Republic; no native nor bastard was to be
admitted to the Raad. At the age of twenty-one every burgher,
provided he belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church, was entitled to
the franchise. The election of the President to a five years' term
of office was in the hands of the burghers, and in this office he
was to be supported by an Executive Council consisting of the
Commandant-General, two burghers qualified to vote, and a Secretary.
All the able-bodied men of the Republic, and if necessary natives,
were liable to military service.

No sooner was the Grondwet arranged than Marthinus Wessels
Pretorius, the son of the chief Andries Pretorius,--who died in
1853--was elected President of the South African Republic. The next
few years were spent in internal dissension, consequent on the
ambition of the President and the jealousy of his political rivals.
Finally Lydenburg, which had struggled to proclaim itself an
independent Republic, yielded, and affairs relating to the
government of the country seemed to be mending. Still there were
always Messrs. Kruger and Schoeman, two adventurous politicians, who
kept things lively in the councils of the State. On the retirement
of Pretorius from the Free State Presidency in 1864, and his
re-election to that of the South African Republic, Mr. Kruger was
appointed Commandant-General, and for the time being his ambitious
longings were appeased.

At that period the white population consisted of merely about thirty
thousand all told. The native community almost trebled the Dutch.
Mr. Bryce, in his "Impressions on South Africa," describes the then
state of the affairs of the Republic as anything but satisfactory:
"There were hundreds of thousands of natives, a few of whom were
living as servants under a system of enforced labour which was
sometimes hardly distinguishable from slavery, while the vast
majority were ruled by their own chiefs, some as tributaries of the
Republic, some practically independent of it. With the latter wars
were frequently raging--wars in which shocking cruelties were
perpetrated on both sides, the Kaffirs massacring the white families
whom they surprised, the Boer commandos taking a savage vengeance
upon the tribes when they captured a kraal or mountain stronghold.
It was the sight of these wars which drove Dr. Livingstone to begin
his famous explorations to the north. The farmers were too few to
reduce the natives to submission, though always able to defeat them
in the field, and, while they relished an expedition, they had an
invincible dislike to any protracted operations which cost money.
Taxes they would not pay. They lived in a sort of rude plenty among
their sheep and cattle, but they had hardly any coined money,
conducting their transactions by barter, and they were too rude to
value the benefits which government secures to a civilised people."


Among other things an attempt was made on the part of the Boers to
annex the Orange Free State. President Pretorius crossed the Vaal in
1857, at the head of a large commando, with the intention of seizing
on the neighbouring territory. He was doomed to disappointment,
however, for his intended raid was stopped by the timely resistance
of the forewarned President of the Orange Free State. An encounter
was happily avoided through the intervention of Mr. Kruger, and
finally the two Republics decided to mutually recognise each other's
independent States.

But the ambitions of Pretorius merely smouldered. He still kept a
greedy eye on the Orange Free State, and machinated for the union of
the two States into a gigantic whole. He therefore refused the
Presidency of the Transvaal for that of the Free State, in the hope
of gathering into his own hands the reins of both governments. He
was again disappointed, however, and in 1864 he returned and was
re-elected President of the Transvaal.

The return of Pretorius was the signal for temporary peace. During
his second Presidency, however, the little rift within the lute--the
rift of insolvency, which eventually wrecked South African
independence--began to be observable.

Mr. Nixon, who took great pains to acquaint himself with the true
state of the country, says "that the intestine disturbances and the
incessant Kaffir wars had well-nigh exhausted the finances of the
Republic. The exchequer was only tardily replenished under a loose
system of taxation. The Boers have never been good taxpayers, and no
Government has been able to enforce the proper payment of taxes due
to the State. A decade after its establishment the Republic was
practically insolvent. Even as early as 1857 the Government was
compelled to issue _mandaten_, or bills, wherewith to raise money to
buy ammunition, and to pay its servants. In 1866 a regular issue of
paper money was sanctioned by the Volksraad. This was followed by
further issues, until, in 1867, a Finance Commission found that
there were more notes in circulation than had been authorised by the
Volksraad. Nevertheless, the financial requirements of the State
became so pressing that still more issues had to be made, and in
1870 there were over £73,000 worth of notes in circulation. The
notes were declared a legal tender, but the Government were unable
to keep up their value by artificial methods. They fell to a low
ebb, and passed from hand to hand at a discount of about 75 per
cent, from their nominal value."

In 1867 occurred two events which served to change the whole
political and financial outlook of the Transvaal. Diamonds were
discovered in the district of Kimberley. Gold was unearthed in
Lydenburg. From that hour a procession of European miners began
slowly to march north from the Cape. A highway was opened up between
the two promising districts, and diggers of every race, pioneers
bent on the propagation of modern ideas, teachers, missionaries, and
traders of all kinds, attracted by the promise of wealth, flocked to
the scene and settled themselves among the trekkers.


After this period, when, as stated before, small but promising
quantities of gold had been unearthed, it was no longer possible to
prevent parties of miners and speculators from trickling into the
Transvaal, to the annoyance of its inhabitants. Outside, too, there
were troubles, disputes, and skirmishes with the Zulus, and further
north was waged a fierce fight between the Boers and the chief of
the Bapedi, one Sekukuni, whose father had signed away his
independence to the Boers, and who refused in his turn to abide by
the conditions of the compact. In this fight Sekukuni was
successful, and the Boers, worsted and discontented, and believing
that the Almighty was displeased with them and with their President,
Mr. Burgers, retired from the campaign. At the same time, in the
south, Cetchwayo was itching to be on the warpath, and the general
state of affairs suggested a possible annihilation of the Transvaal
by an uncontrollable horde of natives. Things went from bad to
worse, and in October 1876 Lord Carnarvon remonstrated with the
President of the South African Republic regarding the unprovoked
barbarity of the Sekukuni war, which had again been renewed. The
reason for the interference of Lord Carnarvon is to be found in the
following despatch, forwarded by Sir Henry Barkly, the then Governor
of the Cape:--

"As Von Schlickman has since fallen fighting bravely, it is not
without reluctance that I join in affixing this dark stain on his
memory, but truth compels me to add the following extract from a
letter which I have since received from one whose name (which I
communicate to your lordship privately) forbids disbelief:--

"'There is no longer the slightest doubt as to the murder of the two
women and the child at Steelpoort by the direct order of Schlickman,
and in the attack on the kraal near which these women were captured
(or some attack about that period) he ordered his men to cut the
throats of all the wounded! This is no mere report; it is
positively true." And in a subsequent letter the same writer informs
me that the statements are based on the evidence, not alone of
Kaffirs, but of whites who were present.

"'As regards the even more serious accusations brought against Abel
Erasmus' (the Kruger's Post field-cornet), 'as specially alluded to
in my letter to President Burgers, on the 28th ult.' (viz. of
treacherously killing forty or fifty friendly natives, men and
women, and carrying off the children), I beg to invite your
lordship's attention to an account derived, I am assured, from a
respectable Boer who accompanied the expedition, and protested
against the slaughter and robbery of friendly Kaffirs, committed by
order of the above-named field-cornet.

"'Should I not shortly receive such a reply from the President to my
letters of last month, as to convince me that his Honour has taken
effectual steps to check such outrages and punish the perpetrators,
I will enter another protest, if only for form's sake.

"'Seeing, however, that Aylward, who is said to boast, whether truly
or not, that he took part with his brother Fenians in the murder of
the police constable at Manchester, as well as in the attempt to
blow up the Clerkenwell prison, had succeeded Schlickman in the
command of the Steelpoort Volunteers, I question whether the
Government of the South African Republic has the power, even
supposing it to have the will, to put a stop to further atrocities
on the part of this band of "Filibusters," as they are commonly
styled in the newspapers.

"'In my opinion it will be requisite to call in the aid of British
troops before this can be done, and I am not without hope that one
of the results of the mission on which Sir T. Shepstone is about to
start, will be a petition from persons of education and property
throughout the country for such an intervention on the part of her
Majesty's Government as will terminate this wanton and useless
bloodshed, and prevent the recurrence of the scenes of injustice,
cruelty, and rapine, which abundant evidence is every day
forthcoming to prove, have rarely ceased to disgrace the Republics
beyond the Vaal ever since they first sprang into existence.'"

Von Schlickman was an ex-Russian officer, commanding a force of
filibusters which had been engaged by the Transvaal Government, and
his men being unpaid, were allowed to reimburse themselves by cattle
or land seized from the natives.

As a natural consequence, the war assumed a character of
unrestrained ferocity. On receiving this information Lord Carnarvon
wrote that his Government "could not view passively, and with
indifference, the engagement of the Republic in foreign military
operations the object or the necessity of which had not been made

The quarrel with the chief had originated, as stated, in a Boer
claim to his land, and the Boer President in replying urged the
natural right of the Boers to all the land of the Transvaal. The
chief magistrate at that time was President Burgers, a man who, if
report may be believed, was far superior to those with whom he
associated. This man, a Cape Dutchman, and sometime minister of the
Reformed Church, had been called to the onerous post of President of
the South African Republic in 1872. He was bent on the advancement
of his nation, and his intelligence was remarkable. He was a man of
sterling character, fanciful, enthusiastic, an idealist even, with a
horror of slaveholding, and a hankering for the pure life of the
humanist. In a measure he was too much in advance of the people with
whom he was connected. To them he was something of a Freethinker, a
man too ready to judge for himself while the Gospel was at hand to
judge for him. Such liberal views were not in accord with peasant
limitations. His desire to raise his country to the level of other
nations, to bring commerce and railways within touch of his people,
savoured of heresy. The appreciation for civilisation was so strong
within him that he is even said to have carried it to extremes, to
have favoured the prompt and regular payment of taxes, and to have
executed an elaborate design for an international coat-of-arms! Now
this reformer, like most reformers, was not appreciated among his
own people. He had no police to support him, no means of putting
pressure on those who should have served his cause. The Conservative
party, with Mr. Kruger at their head, did their best to circumvent
every innovation and to save themselves and the country from what
they believed to be the dangerous inorthodoxy of their President.
Mr. Burgers in his posthumous "Vindication" outlines some strange
hints regarding the character of his compatriots, which outlines may
now be readily filled in by personal experience. He therein asserts
that had he chosen to publish to the world a faithful description of
the Transvaal Boers, they would have forfeited the appreciation
gained from the Liberal party in Europe. Mr. Burgers' reserve is
much to be regretted, as a few sidelights thrown on the Boer
character at that period might have helped to educate the Liberal
party of whom he spoke, and thereby saved much of the vacillation of
policy for which the country now has to suffer.

[Illustration: SERGEANT-MAJOR of the 2nd DRAGOONS.


Photo by Gregory & Co., London.]


Before going further, we must examine the situation between the
Governor of the Cape, the President of the South African Republic,
and the Home Government.

When we look back at Boer history, we find the details of annexation
and restoration repeating themselves with the consistency of the
chorus of a nursery rhyme. What the Government of the Cape
accomplished the Government at home proceeded promptly to undo, till
the problems connected with Boer liberty and British rights became
so tangled and so intricate that they could only be solved by the

It may be remembered that in 1854 Sir George Grey, the then Governor
of the Cape, applied himself to the puzzle. He started with the best
hopes. He saw before him a vista of labour, of argument, of
contradiction, but the tangles, he believed, could eventually be
smoothed out. In the anxiety to avoid trouble and responsibility,
and possibly in an amiable desire to conciliate the parties at home,
the Imperial Government had conceded territories and alienated
subjects without having made an effort to discover the wishes of the
people, or to try a free form of government suited to South Africa.
He was in favour of a Federal Union wherein the separate Colonies
and States, each with its local government and legislature, should
be combined under one general representative legislature, led by a
responsible Ministry, specially charged with the duty of providing
for common defence. This plan of Federal Union seemed to appeal to
the Burghers of the Orange Free State, for the Volksraad decided
that "a union of alliance with the Cape Colony, either on the plan
of federation or otherwise, is desirable." Sir George Grey was not
permitted to pursue his policy, for the British Government decided
against the resumption of British sovereignty over the Orange Free
State. The same forward and backward movement, the same sort of
political _chasé et croisé_, was again carried on from 1876 and 1877
to 1881. It was decided that a Federal Union should be created
between such African Colonies as were willing to join. To further
this scheme Sir Bartle Frere, after a long and arduous career in
India, was appointed Governor and High Commissioner by Lord
Carnarvon, the then Colonial Secretary. But Sir Bartle was too late.
Sir Theophilus Shepstone, who had been sent out to the Transvaal on
Special Commission to confer with the President on the question of
Confederation, had already annexed the Transvaal. The reasons for
the annexation were many and excellent. Firstly, the Transvaal
Republic, vulgarly speaking, was out at elbows. It was bankrupt,
helpless, languishing. The sorry sum of 12s. 6d. represented the
entire wealth of the Treasury. The Zulu chief Cetchwayo was waiting
to "eat up" the Boers, and the Boers were unceasing in their efforts
to encroach on Zulu territory. But the deplorable state of affairs
is better described by quoting Sir T. Shepstone's letter on the

"It was patent to every observer," writes Sir T. Shepstone, "that
the Government (of the Transvaal) was powerless to control either
its white citizens or its native subjects; that it was incapable of
enforcing its laws or of collecting its taxes; that the Treasury was
empty; that the salaries of officials had been and are months in
arrear; that sums payable for the ordinary and necessary expenditure
of government cannot be had, and that such services as postal
contracts were long and hopelessly overdue; that the white
inhabitants had become split into factions; that the large native
populations within the boundaries of the State ignore its authority
and laws; and that the powerful Zulu king, Cetchwayo, is anxious to
seize upon the first opportunity of attacking a country the conduct
of whose warriors has convinced him that it can be easily conquered
by his clamouring regiments." He again writes: "I think it necessary
to explain, more at length than I was able to do in my last
despatch, the circumstances which seem to me to forbid all hope that
the Transvaal Republic is capable of maintaining the show even of
independent existence any longer, which induced me to consider it my
duty to assume this position in my communications with the President
and Executive Council, and which have convinced me that, if I were
to leave the country in its present condition, I should but expose
the inhabitants to anarchy among themselves, and to attack from the
natives, that would prove not only fatal to the Republic, but in the
highest degree dangerous to her Majesty's possessions and subjects
in South Africa."

The proclamation of the annexation of the Transvaal was issued on
the 12th of April 1876, and on the previous day Sir T. Shepstone
wrote: "There will be a protest against my act of annexation issued
by the Government, but they will at the same time call upon the
people to submit quietly, pending the issue. You need not be
disquieted by such action, because it is taken merely to save
appearances, and the members of the Government from the violence of
a faction that seems for years to have held Pretoria in terror when
any act of the Government displeased it. You will better understand
this when I tell you privately that the President has from the first
fully acquiesced in the necessity for the change, and that most of
the members of the Government have expressed themselves anxious for
it--but none of them have had the courage openly to express their
opinions, so I have had to act apparently against them, and this I
felt bound to do, knowing the state and danger of the country, and
that three-fourths of the people will be thankful for the change
when once it is made."

As a matter of fact the annexation was received with rejoicing all
over the country. "God save the Queen" was sung, and special
thanksgiving services were held in many of the churches. The Union
Jack was run up, the Republican flag hauled down without a
dissentient voice. The arrival of British troops--the first
battalion of the 13th Regiment--was hailed with curiosity and
pleasure, the Boers with their women and children turning out to
meet it and hear the band play. The financial effects of the new
departure were magical. Credit and commerce were at once restored.
Valueless railway bonds rose to par, and the price of landed
property was nearly doubled. On the Queen's birthday, the first
after the annexation, the 24th of May 1877, the native chiefs were
invited to attend, and the Union Jack was formally hoisted to the
strains of the National Anthem. This same flag was within a few
years ignobly hauled down during the signing of the Convention at
Pretoria, and formally buried by a party of Englishmen and loyal
natives. But for the time being all seemed pleased with the new
state of affairs. As Mr. Haggard says, it is difficult to reconcile
the enthusiasm of a great number of the inhabitants of the Transvaal
for English rule and the quiet acquiescence of the remainder at this
time, with the decidedly antagonistic attitude subsequently assumed.
His description of the situation in "The Last Boer War" seems to be
more near the truth than any forthcoming: "The Transvaal, when we
annexed it, was in the position of a man with a knife at his throat,
who is suddenly rescued by some one stronger than he, on certain
conditions which at the time he gladly accepts, but afterwards, when
the danger is passed, wishes to repudiate. In the same way the
inhabitants of the South African Republic were in the time of need
very thankful for our aid, but after a while, when the recollection
of their difficulties had grown faint, when their debts had been
paid and their enemies had been defeated, they began to think that
they would like to get rid of us again, and start fresh on their own
account with a clean sheet."

In the management of affairs it appears that Mr. Burgers began to
set an example of the policy which Mr. Kruger has since followed:
the policy of trying to sit on either side of the fence. Mr. Kruger
has struggled more and more violently to accomplish this feat as the
years advance and he advances in years. He has tried to grab the
advantages attendant upon the possession of gold mines and schemed
to acquire a great financial status, and yet at the same time to
keep up his affectation of piety and to maintain his pristine
condition of bucolic irresponsibility. Brought face to face with Sir
T. Shepstone's scheme for annexation, Mr. Burger privately
encouraged the proposed action of the Government--he and his
colleagues even stipulating for pension and office--while publicly
he lifted up his protest against the innovation.

The Boer, with his usual craft, had decided that the British
Government should set him financially on his feet, which feet he
meant promptly to use for running away from his responsibilities.
Some declare that the policy of Sir T. Shepstone was premature, that
he should have waited until the Boer had soaked further in the
slough of insolvency into which he was fast sinking. But Sekukuni
was threatening, and on the south-eastern frontier Cetchwayo, with a
force some thirty thousand strong, was waiting his opportunity. The
promise of the future was a general holocaust, in which Boer men,
women, and children, farms and flocks would be annihilated. Sir T.
Shepstone, had he been other than a Briton, might have stayed his
hand and waited till the Boers were effectually swept away, but
being a Briton he acted as such, doubtless arguing that,

    "As we under Heaven are supreme head,
    So, under him, that great supremacy,
    Where we do reign, we will alone uphold."


It must be remembered that between the Zulus and the Boers no
boundary line had ever been fixed, and that for over a dozen years
the Zulu chiefs had repeatedly implored the British Governor in
Natal for advice and help in their dealings with these aggressors.
It had been part of the Dutch policy--if policy it may be called--to
force the Zulu gradually to edge further and further from the rich
pasture lands sloping eastward of the Drakensberg Mountains, and
spreading to right and left into the north and west of Zululand.
Little notice had been taken of their petitions, and the Zulus had
determined to take the law into their own hands. Cetchwayo,
therefore, when the news of our annexation of the Transvaal reached
him, was like a wild beast baulked of its prey. He was anxious for
an occasion for his young warriors "to wash their spears" in the
gore of his enemies, and was naturally disappointed to find them
under the protection of the white man. The Natal Government
attempted to soothe him--to promote peace. He remained sullen and
simmered. He vented his spleen by putting several young women to
death for having refused to marry his soldiers. On being
remonstrated with by the Natal Government, he expressed himself with
engaging candour. His own words, without comment, describe the
character with which we had to deal.

"Did I ever tell Mr. Shepstone," his Majesty cried, "that I would
not kill? Did Mr. Shepstone tell the white people I made such an
arrangement? Because if he did he deceived them. I do kill; but I do
not consider that I have done anything yet in the way of killing.
Why do the white people start at nothing? I have not yet begun. I
have yet to kill. It is the custom of our nation, and I will not
depart from it. Why does the Governor of Natal speak to me about my
laws? I shall not agree to any laws or rules from Natal, and by so
doing throw the large kraal which I govern into the water. My people
will not listen unless they are killed, and while wishing to be
friends with the English I do not agree to give my people over to be
governed by laws sent to me by them. Have I not asked the English to
allow me to wash my spears since the death of my father, Upandi, and
they have kept playing with me all the time, treating me as a
child?" ... A good deal more followed in this strain. Since his
accession the gallant Cetchwayo had decided to "wash his spears" in
the blood of his neighbours, and whatever the British might have to
say in the matter, wash them he would. It was obvious, therefore,
that a ruffian of this kind, backed by a bloodthirsty following, was
a permanent danger to our Colony of Natal and to its white
inhabitants. Something must be done to remove the disquiet caused by
the utterances of the savage. Sir Henry Bulwer (the Governor of
Natal)--to conciliate the king and to allay his fears lest his
territory, like that of the Boers, should be annexed--proposed that
a commission should investigate the rival claims of Boers and Zulus
on border questions, and settle them by arbitration. But what Sir H.
Bulwer proposed Sir Bartle Frere, High Commissioner in South Africa,
disapproved. He felt that Cetchwayo and his host would be a standing
menace to the borders of Natal. Nevertheless he agreed to a
discussion of the vexed boundary question between Boer and Zulu, in
which the commissioners declared unanimously against the claims of
the former. Certain land only to west of the Blood River, held by
the Boers and unchallenged by the Zulus, was confirmed to the Dutch
settlers in their occupation of the same. But to this decision Sir
Bartle Frere considered it expedient to add some saving clauses.
These demanded, first, that Cetchwayo should adhere to the
guarantees he had given and not permit indiscriminate shedding of
blood; second, that he should institute from his existing military
system the form of tribal quotas; third, that he should accept the
presence of a British Resident; fourth, that he should protect the
missionaries and their converts; and lastly, that he should
surrender certain criminals and pay certain fines. His Zulu Majesty
was given thirty days to consider the subject. Instead of
considering he flouted it. The result was war.


According to the opinion of Sir Bartle Frere there was, and for a
long time had been, a growing desire on the part of the great chiefs
to make this war into a simultaneous rising of Kaffirdom against
white civilisation. A spirit of mutiny had been in the air since the
terrible events in India in 1857, and there was a general conviction
among the native tribes that the authority of Great Britain would
eventually be overthrown. Now the most powerful of all the native
tribes in South Africa were the Zulus, whose military organisation
had long been celebrated, and who had earned a great reputation
since the days of Gaika, and more especially in the time that
followed when Chaka, who was a born warrior, brought the gigantic
army into a state of marvellous efficiency.

A few words regarding the career of this great chieftain may be
found interesting, for to him is accorded the credit of the
indubitably warlike and brave disposition of his countrymen. This
man, who has been at times called the Attila and the Napoleon of
South Africa, was born in 1783. He became chief officer to
Dingiswayo, a man of remarkable ability, who studied European
military systems and modelled on their principle a highly efficient
army. Chaka, heir to a chieftainship of the Amazulu tribe (the Zulus
proper), took the fancy of Dingiswayo, who elevated him first to a
post of high command, and eventually to the vacant Zulu
chieftainship. On the death in battle of Dingiswayo, Chaka assumed
the command of both tribes, to which he gave his name. The already
excellent army he proceeded to improve till it became one of the
most efficient military organisations ever originated in an
uncivilised country. The whole kingdom was ordered on a military
footing, and expanded so wondrously that the original two tribes at
first commanded by Chaka became an hundred, each tribe having been
defeated in warfare and incorporated in the Zulu nationality. His
policy, unlike that of Cetchwayo later on, was not to destroy but to
subdue, and thus he soon ruled with undisputed sway over a complete
empire covering the desolated regions of Natal, Zululand, and the
modern Boer States. His methods of military training were entirely
Spartan; his discipline was a discipline of iron. Disobedience was
met with the penalty of death. To tread out a roaring bush-fire, or
capture alive a wild beast, were some of the tasks imposed as daily
training for his would-be warriors. An order was an order, and this,
however dangerous or seemingly impossible, had to be obeyed by
individual or regiment on pain of the most horrible forms of death.
It may easily be imagined that this stern regime was calculated to
create a military following of the most brave and adventurous order.
Naturally enough, all the other Kaffir tribes looked to the Zulus as
their leaders and champions in the contest. Captain Hamilton Parr
tells a tale of an old Galeka warrior who said to a native
magistrate, "Yes, you have beaten us--you have beaten us well; but
there," pointing eastward, "there are the Amazulu warriors. Can you
beat them? They say not. Go and try. Don't trouble any more about
us, but go and beat _them_ and we shall be quiet enough." This
anecdote serves to describe the general sentiment of disdain for
British authority which Sir Bartle Frere detected almost immediately
after his arrival among the natives, and to account in a measure for
what has been declared to be his high-handed policy. He was
convinced that we could never expect peace among the chiefs until we
had satisfied them who was master. A lesson was necessary to show
that the British Government could govern and meant to govern, and
that lesson he felt must be taught sooner or later. For a long time
Cetchwayo had been instigating rebellion and preparing for war. As
may be seen from Lord Carnarvon's letter of the 24th of January 1878
to Sir Bartle Frere, the Government was fully conscious of the
existing necessity to protect the Transvaal and to maintain British
prestige in South Africa. The despatch runs: "It seems certain that
the Zulu king has derived from his messengers the unfortunate idea
that the Kaffirs are able to cope with the Colony on more than equal
terms, and this belief has, as was inevitable, produced a very
threatening change in his language and conduct towards the Transvaal
Government. It is only too probable that a savage chief such as
Cetchwayo, supported by a powerful army already excited by the
recent successes of a neighbouring tribe over the late Government of
the Transvaal, may now become fired with the idea of victory over
her Majesty's forces, and that a deliberate attempt upon her
Majesty's territories may ensue. Should this unfortunately happen,
you must understand that at whatever sacrifice it is imperatively
necessary that her Majesty's forces in Natal and the Transvaal must
be reinforced by the immediate despatch of the military and naval
contingents now operating in the Cape, or such portion of them as
may be required. This is necessary not only for the safety of the
Transvaal, for the defence of which her Majesty's Government are
immediately concerned, but also in the interest of the Cape, since
a defeat of the Zulu king would act more powerfully than any other
means in disheartening the native races of South Africa."

On this subject Sir H. Bulwer wrote: "There has been for the last
eight or nine months a danger of collision with the Zulus at any
moment." And in November 1878 he said: "The system of government in
the Zulu country is so bad that any improvement seems hopeless. We
should, if necessary, be justified in deposing Cetchwayo."

Consequently, Sir Bartle Frere was not surprised when all efforts to
reduce Cetchwayo to yield to British demand failed. As time went by
it became clear that enforcement of these demands must be placed in
the hands of Lord Chelmsford and the military authorities, and
accordingly, on the 10th of January 1879, the Commander-in-Chief of
the forces of South Africa crossed the frontier.

As the frontier extended for some two hundred miles, to assume a
purely defensive attitude would have been impossible. Our forces so
placed would not have been sufficiently strong to resist an attack
made at their own time and place by a horde of some ten to twenty
thousand Zulus. Lord Chelmsford had no alternative, therefore, but
to invade Zululand.


The force under Lord Chelmsford's command was divided into four columns.
These were composed partly of British soldiers, partly of Colonists, and
partly of blacks. The first column, under Colonel Pearson, crossed the
Lower Tugela; the second, under Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, R.E.,
consisting of native troops and Natal Volunteers, was to act in concert
with column three; the third, under Colonel Glyn--but directed by the
General, who assumed all responsibility--crossed the Buffalo River; and
the fourth, under Colonel Evelyn Wood, entered Zululand from near
Newcastle on the north-west. The plan was for the four columns to
converge upon Ulundi, in the neighbourhood of the king's kraal, where
fighting might be expected to begin.


The crossing of the Buffalo River was effected without difficulty or
resistance, and ten days after the central column formed a camp at
the foot of the hill Isandlwana (the Little Hand). On the morning of
the 22nd the Commander-in-Chief advanced at daybreak, for the
purpose of attacking a kraal some miles distant. The camp at
Isandlwana was left in charge of a force of some eight hundred mixed
troops--regulars, volunteers, and natives. Strict orders to defend
and not to leave the camp were given, but in spite of these orders
portions of the force became detached. Suddenly, unobserved by them,
there appeared a dense impi of some twenty thousand Zulus. The
savage horde rushed shouting upon the small British detachments,
rushed with the swiftness of cavalry, attacked them before they
could unite, and swooping down with tremendous velocity, seized the
camp and separated the British troops from their reserves of
ammunition. In face of this warrior multitude our troops were
defenceless. A few moments of wild despairing energy, a hand-to-hand
struggle for life between the white man and the bloodthirsty savage,
groans of wounded and yells of victory, and all was over. Of the six
companies of the 24th, consisting of more than half the infantry
engaged, but six souls escaped. The rest died where they fell, with
no kindly hand to give them succour, no British voice to breathe a
burial prayer. But some before they dropped managed to cut their way
through the ring of Zulu spears. Two gallant fellows, Lieutenants
Melvill and Coghill, almost succeeded in saving the colours of the
first battalion of the 24th Regiment. They made a bold rush, but
merely reached the Natal bank of the Buffalo to be struck down. The
colours, wrapped round Melvill's body, were discovered in the river
some days afterwards.

The Zulu plan of fighting, in this case so successful, is curious.
The formation of their attacks represents the figure of a beast with
horns, chest, and loins. While making a feint with one horn, the
other, unperceived in long grass or bush, swoops round and closes in
on the enemy. The chest then advances to attack. The loins are kept
at a distance, and simply join in pursuit.

The news of the disaster spread fast. Sir Bartle Frere, on the
morning of the 24th, was awakened by the arrival of two almost
distraught and wholly unintelligible messengers. Their report, when
it could be at last comprehended, seemed too horrible for belief.
That they had escaped some terrible ordeal was evident; that they
were members of the company of naval volunteers that formed part of
the General's army, their uniform proclaimed. But of the General
they could say nothing--he might be dead, he might be missing--all
they knew was of their own miraculous escape from a scene of
slaughter. Colonel Pulleine they declared was dead, but further news
had to be awaited with anxious hearts.

Meanwhile Lord Chelmsford had heard the horrible news. The camp had
been seen in the possession of the Zulus. Worn and weary with heavy
marching in a baking sun, he and his troops began to retreat. At
nightfall, thoroughly jaded, they returned to a grim scene. All
around lay the still silent dead--the corpses of the comrades they
had parted with but a few hours before. There, amid the pathetic
wreckage, were they forced to lay them down to rest!

Fortunately the Zulus, having plundered the camp, had made off, and
the British force was able the next day to proceed to the relief of
Rorke's Drift. At Rorke's Drift the now world-celebrated defence of
Lieutenant Bromhead, of the 24th, and Lieutenant Chard, R.E., took
place. These young officers had been left with one hundred and four
soldiers to take charge of a small depôt of provisions and an
hospital, and to keep open the communication with Natal. Some hours
after the disaster of Isandlwana their post was attacked by
Dabulamanzi (brother of Cetchwayo) and over three thousand of his
finest warriors. The little garrison had made for themselves a
laager of sacks of maize and biscuit-boxes, and behind these they
defended themselves so stubbornly and so heroically throughout the
night of the 23rd, that the Zulu chieftain, discomfited and
harassed, eventually retired. For their magnificent pluck the two
young officers received the Victoria Cross. Their action had saved
Natal from invasion by the enemy. Of the little garrison seventeen
fell and ten were wounded. The loss of the Zulus was about three

[Illustration: THE DEFENCE OF RORKE'S DRIFT, 22nd to 23rd JANUARY

Painted by Alphonse de Neuville, Etched by L. Flameng.

Reproduced by special arrangement with the Fine Art Society,

Colonel Pearson's column, as we said, crossed the Lower Tugela near
the sea, with the intention of joining the other columns at Ulundi.
On the way thither he was attacked by a Zulu force at Inyesani. This
force, though it more than doubled the strength of his own, he drove
back with heavy loss, and marched to the Norwegian Mission station,
Eshowe. On his arrival there on the 23rd of January, he learnt the
awful news of the disaster, and instantly sent his cavalry back to
Natal, fortified his station, and waited there the arrival of

The third column, commanded by Colonel Evelyn Wood (consisting of
1700 British soldiers, 50 farmers under Commandant Pieter Uys, and
some 300 blacks), reached Kambula in safety, and fortified a post
there. Colonel Wood harassed the enemy by frequent sallies, however,
and on one occasion the attack on the Zlobane Mountain lost about
ninety-six of his men. Among these were Colonel Weatherley, his
young son, and Commandant Uys. The following day the British laager
was attacked by a horde of Zulus, who were routed. In this
engagement Colonel Wood, Colonel Buller, and Captain Woodgate
especially distinguished themselves.

Lord Chelmsford, with a force of soldiers and sailors, marched in
April from Natal to the relief of Colonel Pearson at Eshowe. He
arrived there in safety, after having encountered and beaten back
the Zulus at Ginginlova: yet it was not until the 4th of July that
the troops eventually reached Ulundi, where the final battle and
victory took place. But of this later.


Two days after the arrival of the news of the disaster at
Isandlwana, Parliament met. The reverse in Zululand naturally
engrossed all thoughts. Questions innumerable were addressed to
Government, as to the strength of reinforcements to be sent out--as
to the further necessity for war at all--as to the so-called
high-handed action of Sir Bartle Frere, and the so-called blunders
of Lord Chelmsford. Scapegoats were wanted, and, as a natural
consequence, the two most energetic and hard-worked of the Queen's
servants were attacked.

A political pitched battle was imminent. The Ministers declined to
withdraw their confidence from the Lord High Commissioner, though
they passed on him censure for his hasty and independent
proceedings. That the members of Government had a high appreciation
of his great experience, ability, and energy was apparent, for they
declared they had "no desire to withdraw in the present crisis of
affairs the confidence hitherto reposed in him, the continuance of
which was now more than ever needed to conduct our difficulties in
South Africa to a successful termination." On the 19th of March 1879
the Secretary of the Colonies wrote to Sir Bartle Frere, to the
effect that Ministers were unable to find, on the documents placed
before them, "that evidence of urgent necessity for immediate action
which alone would justify him in taking, without their full
knowledge and sanction, a course almost certain to result in a war."

The day for discussion of South African affairs in the Upper House

Lord Lansdowne moved, on the 11th of March, "That this House, while
willing to support her Majesty's Government in all necessary
measures for defending the possessions of her Majesty in South
Africa, regrets that the _ultimatum_, which was calculated to
produce immediate war, should have been presented to the Zulu king
without authority from the responsible advisers of the Crown, and
that an offensive war should have been commenced without imperative
and pressing necessity or adequate preparation; and the House
regrets that, after the censure passed upon the High Commissioner by
her Majesty's Government, in the despatch of March 19, 1879, the
conduct of affairs in South Africa should be retained in his hands."

A keen debate ensued. The Opposition clamoured for the recall of Sir
Bartle Frere, as the example of independent action set by him might
be followed by other and more distant representatives of the Crown.
The war was ascribed to Lord Carnarvon's impatience for South
African confederation and his "incurable greed" for extending the
limits of the Colonies, and the annexation of the Transvaal was
declared to be a mistake, unless the Government was prepared to send
out a large military force to South Africa.

The Government combated these arguments. They denied they had
censured Sir Bartle Frere, and stated that they had passed no
opinion on his policy, but merely asserted as a principle that "Her
Majesty's advisers, and they only, must decide the grave issues of
peace and war."

It was argued that war with Cetchwayo was inevitable sooner or
later, and that the Lord High Commissioner had thought it advisable
to be prompt in the matter. His conduct, it was true, had not the
entire approval of the Ministry, but every one knew it was unwise to
change horses in crossing a stream, and his action had not been such
as to outweigh the many considerations which required the
continuance of his service in South Africa.

Lord Beaconsfield, addressing the House, defended Sir Bartle Frere,
and expressed opinions on the policy of confederation as opposed to
that of annexation, opinions which afford so much instruction in
regard to our relations with the Transvaal that they are best
repeated in their entirety.

"I generally find," he said, "there is one advantage at the end of a
debate, besides the relief which is afforded by its termination, and
that is that both sides of the House seem pretty well agreed as to
the particular point that really is at issue; but the rich humour of
the noble duke (Duke of Somerset) has again diverted us from the
consideration of the motion really before the House. If the noble
duke and his friends were desirous of knowing what was the policy
which her Majesty's Government were prepared generally to pursue in
South Africa, if they were prepared to challenge the policy of Sir
Bartle Frere in all its details, I should have thought they would
have produced a very different motion from that which is now lying
on your lordships' table; for that is a motion of a most limited
character, and, according to the strict rules of parliamentary
discussion, precludes you from most of the subjects which have
lately been introduced to our consideration, and which principally
have emanated from noble lords opposite. We have not been summoned
here to-day to consider the policy of the acquisition of the
Transvaal. These are subjects on which I am sure the Government
would be prepared to address your lordships, if their conduct were
clearly and fairly impugned. And with regard to the annexation of
the province, which has certainly very much filled the mouths of men
of late, I can easily conceive that that would have been a subject
for fair discussion in this House, and we should have heard, as we
have heard to-night, though in a manner somewhat unexpected, from
the nature of the resolution before us, from the noble lord who was
recently the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the principal
reasons which induced the Government to sanction that policy--a
policy which I believe can be defended, but which has not been
impugned to-night in any formal manner.

"What has been impugned to-night is the conduct of the Government in
sanctioning, not the policy of Sir Bartle Frere, but his taking a
most important step without consulting them, which on such subjects
is the usual practice with all Governments. But the noble lord
opposite who introduced the subject does not even impugn the policy
of the Lord High Commissioner; and it was left to the noble duke who
has just addressed us, and who ought to have brought forward this
question if his views are so strongly entertained by him on the
matter, not in supporting a resolution such as now lies on your
lordships' table, but one which would have involved a discussion of
the policy of the Government and that of the high officer who is
particularly interested in it.

"My noble friend, the noble marquis (Lord Salisbury), who very
recently addressed the House, touched the real question which is
before us, and it is a very important question, although it is not
of the expansive character of the one which would have been
justified by the comments of the noble lords opposite. What we have
to decide to-night is this--whether her Majesty's Government shall
have the power of recommending to the sovereign the employment of a
high officer to fulfil duties of the utmost importance, or whether
that exercise of the prerogative, on their advice, shall be
successfully impugned, and that appointment superseded by noble
lords opposite. That course is perfectly constitutional, if they are
prepared to take the consequences. But let it be understood what the
issue is. It is this--that a censure upon the Government is called
for, because they have selected the individual who, on the whole,
they think is the best qualified successfully to fulfil the duties
of High Commissioner. The noble lords opposite made that
proposition, and if they succeed they will succeed in that which has
hitherto been considered one of the most difficult tasks of the
executive Government; that is to say, they will supersede the
individual whom the sovereign, in the exercise of her prerogative,
under the advice of her Ministers, has selected for an important
post. I cannot agree in the general remark made by the noble duke,
that because an individual has committed an error, and even a
considerable error, for that reason, without any reference either to
his past services or his present qualifications, immediately a
change should be recommended, and he should be recalled from the
scene of his duties.

"I remember myself a case not altogether different from the present
one," continued Lord Beaconsfield, alluding to Sir James Hudson, who,
when Minister at Turin, had been charged with having expressed himself
unguardedly upon the subject of Italian nationality. "It happened some
years ago, when I was in the other House. Then a very high official--a
diplomatist of great eminence, a member of the Liberal party--had
committed what was deemed a great indiscretion by several members of his
own party; and the Government were asked in a formal manner, by a
Liberal member, whether that distinguished diplomatist had been in
consequence recalled. But the person who was then responsible for the
conduct of public affairs in that House--the humble individual who is
now addressing your lordships, made this answer, with the full
concurrence of his colleagues--denied that that distinguished
diplomatist was recalled, and said that _great services are not
cancelled by one act or one single error however it may be regretted at
the moment_. That is what I said then, with regard to Sir James Hudson,
and what I say now with regard to Sir Bartle Frere. But I do not wish
to rest on that. I confess that, so keen is my sense of responsibility,
and that of my colleagues, and I am sure also that of noble lords
opposite, that we would not allow our decisions in such matters to be
unduly influenced by personal considerations of any kind. What we had to
determine is this, Was it wise that such an act on the part of Sir
Bartle Frere as, in fact, commencing war without consulting the
Government at home, and without their sanction, should be passed
unnoticed? Ought it not to be noticed in a manner which should convey to
that eminent person a clear conviction of the feelings of her Majesty's
Government; and at the same time was it not their duty to consider, were
he superseded, whether they could place in his position an individual
equally qualified to fulfil the great duties and responsibilities
resting on him? That is what we had to consider. We considered it
entirely with reference to the public interest, and the public interest
alone; and we arrived at the conviction that on the whole the retention
of Sir Bartle Frere in that position was our duty, notwithstanding the
inconvenient observations and criticisms to which we were, of course,
conscious it might subject us. And, that being our conviction, we have
acted upon it. It is a very easy thing for a Government to make a
scapegoat; but that is conduct which I hope no gentleman on this side,
and I believe no gentleman sitting opposite, would easily adopt. If Sir
Bartle Frere had been recalled--if he had been recalled in deference to
the panic, the thoughtless panic of the hour, in deference to those who
have no responsibility in the matter, and who have not weighed well and
deeply investigated all the circumstances and all the arguments which
can be brought forward, and which must be appealed to to influence our
opinions on such questions--no doubt a certain degree of odium might
have been diverted from the heads of her Majesty's Ministers, and the
world would have been delighted, as it always is, to find a victim. That
was not the course which we pursued, and it is one which I trust no
British Government ever will pursue. We had but one object in view, and
that was to take care that at this most critical period the affairs of
her Majesty in South Africa should be directed by one not only qualified
to direct them, but who was superior to any other individual whom we
could have selected for that purpose. The sole question that we really
have to decide to-night is, Was it the duty of her Majesty's Government
to recall Sir Bartle Frere in consequence of his having declared war
without our consent? We did not think it our duty to take that course,
and we do not think it our duty to take that course now. Whether we are
right in the determination at which we have arrived is the sole question
which the House has to determine upon the motion before it.

"The noble duke opposite (the Duke of Somerset) has told us that he
should not be contented without being made acquainted with the whole
policy which her Majesty's Government are prepared to pursue in
South Africa. If the noble duke will introduce that subject we shall
be happy to discuss it with him. No one could introduce it in a more
interesting, and, indeed, in a more entertaining manner than the
noble duke, who possesses that sarcastic faculty that so well
qualifies him to express his opinion on such a matter. I think,
however, that we ought to have had rather longer notice before we
were called upon to discuss so large a theme, which has now been
brought suddenly before us. If the noble marquis who introduced this
subject had given us notice of a motion of this character, we should
not have hesitated for a moment to meet it. I have, however, no
desire to avoid discussing the subject of our future policy in South
Africa, even on so general a notice as we have in reference to it
from the noble duke. Sir Bartle Frere was selected by the noble lord
(Lord Carnarvon), who formerly occupied the position of Secretary to
the Colonies, chiefly to secure one great end--namely, to carry out
that policy of confederation in South Africa which the noble lord
had successfully carried out on a previous occasion with regard to
the North American Colonies.

"If there is any policy which, in my mind, is opposed to the policy
of annexation, it is that of confederation. By pursuing the policy
of confederation we bind States together, we consolidate their
resources, and we enable them to establish a strong frontier; and
where we have a strong frontier, that is the best security against
annexation. I myself regard a policy of annexation with great
distrust. I believe that the reasons of State which induced us to
annex the Transvaal were not, on the whole, perfectly sound. But
what were the circumstances under which that annexation was
effected? The Transvaal was a territory which was no longer defended
by its occupiers. The noble lord opposite (Lord Kimberley), who
formerly had the Colonies under his management, spoke of the conduct
of Sir Theophilus Shepstone as though he had not taken due
precautions to effect the annexation of that province, and said that
he was not justified in concealing that he had not successfully
consummated his object. The noble lord said he had not assembled
troops enough in the province to carry out properly the policy of
annexation. But Sir Theophilus Shepstone particularly refers to the
very fact to show, that so unanimous and so united was the sentiment
in the province in favour of annexation, that it was unnecessary to
send any large force there to bring it about. _The annexation of
that province was a necessity--a geographical necessity._"

[Illustration: Sir HENRY BARTLE FRERE, Bart.

Photo by Maull & Fox. London.]


It may be remembered that Lord Chelmsford's original idea had been
for Colonel Pearson's column to march from Eshowe to the chief's
kraal at Ulundi. In consequence of the disaster, however, Colonel
Pearson decided to remain where he was. He constructed a fort for
the protection of the garrison against an army of some 20,000 Zulus
lying in wait between Eshowe and Tugela. On the 30th of January all
the troops came within this embryo fort, and as tents were
forbidden, officers and men had to make the best of what shelter the
waggons afforded. The troops spent the time in completing the fort
and cutting roads, and early in February excellent defences were
completed. Though in hourly expectation of attack they seem to have
kept up their spirits, for an officer in Eshowe wrote:--

"The troops inside consisted of three companies of the 99th
Regiment, five companies of the second battalion of the 3rd Buffs,
one company of Royal Engineers, one company of the Pioneers, the
Naval Brigade, a body of Artillery, and nineteen of the Native
Contingent, amongst them being several non-commissioned officers,
whom we found exceedingly useful, two of them being at once selected
as butchers, whilst two were 'promoted' to the rank of 'bakers to
the troops.' Others attended to the sanitary arrangements of the
garrison, and altogether they were found to be also exceedingly
useful. As a portion of the column, the company of Pioneers under
the command of Captain Beddoes did a great deal of very important
work. This company was composed of ninety-eight natives, one
captain, and three lieutenants, and their proceedings in connection
with the making of the new road were watched with much interest.
They worked with the Naval Brigade, about three companies of
soldiers, and several men of the Royal Artillery. This road was
found useless, in consequence of the numerous swampy places at the
foot of each of the numerous hills which occurred along the route.
Very thick bush had to be cut through, and at first but slow
progress was made. The road, as is generally known, took a direction
towards the Inyezane. Whilst out on one occasion, the road party saw
a torpedo explosion which took place about three miles from where
the party was working. It had been accidentally fired by Kaffirs,
who were unaware of the clangers connected with the implement, and
it is believed that several of them were killed. The road was
altogether a bad one. The relief column used it on their way up, but
only the Pioneers and the mounted men went by that route on the way
back. In fact, it would have been useless to have attempted to use
it for the passage of waggons. Whenever the road party went out they
were fired on by Kaffirs, but of course shots were returned, and
many a Zulu warrior was knocked over whilst the work was being
proceeded with. Everything in camp was conducted in a most orderly
manner. We were roused at half-past five sharp, and at eight
o'clock, sharp, lights were out. For one month we existed very
comfortably on full rations, but at the end of that time we were put
on short rations, made up as follows:--One pound and a quarter of
trek-oxen beef, six ounces of meal, one ounce and a quarter of
sugar, third of an ounce of coffee, one sixth of an ounce of tea,
one ninth of an ounce of pepper, and a quarter of an ounce of salt.

"Life of course was very monotonous. The bands of the two regiments
played on alternate afternoons, and every morning they were to be
heard practising outside the entrenchment. The most pleasant part of
the day was just after six o'clock, when we used to be enlivened in
the cool of the evening by the fife and drum band playing the
'Retreat.' The water with which we were supplied was indeed
excellent, and the bathing places, I need not say, were very
extensively patronised. The grazing was not nearly sufficient for
the cattle, and from the first they must have suffered very much
from want of nourishment. You will have heard of the fate of the
eleven hundred head of oxen and the span of donkeys which we sent
away from the camp in expectation of their reaching the Lower
Tugela. They left us in charge of nineteen Kaffirs, but at the
Inyezane they were attacked by a large body of Kaffirs. The natives
in charge of the cattle decamped and reached the fort in safety, and
the enemy got possession of the whole of the cattle, which they
drove off. The donkeys were all killed with the exception of one,
and this sagacious animal surprised everybody in camp by returning
soon after the Kaffirs had come back."

The prices of food at this time were scarcely in keeping with those
of the London market. A bottle of pickles fetched 25s., and a ham
£7, 10s.! Milk was purchasable for 23s. a tin, and sardines for 12s.

As may be imagined, the arrival of Lord Chelmsford at Eshowe was a
matter for general thanksgiving. One who was present records in
_Blackwood's Magazine_ the joy on the arrival of the first
outsiders: "On the afternoon of the 3rd of April, the column
detailed on the 31st of March (about 500 whites and 50 blacks, and
the mounted infantry, with one gun) left the fort under General
Pearson, to meet the relief column.... A solitary horseman was seen
towards 5 P.M. galloping up the new road to the fort. He had an
officer's coat on, and we could see a sword dangling from his side.
Who is he?... He proved to be the correspondent of the _Standard_.
'First in Eshowe,' he said, 'proud to shake hands with an Eshowian.'
A second horseman appeared approaching the fort, his horse
apparently much blown, Who is he?... The correspondent of the
_Argus_ (Cape Town). They had a race who would be first at Eshowe,
the _Standard_ winning by five minutes!" Thus ended happily the
crushing anxiety under which Colonel Pearson and his party had
lived, and the foretaste of the future triumph seemed already to
remove the memory of many weeks of bitterness.

Serious differences of opinion soon arose between Lord Chelmsford
and Sir Henry Bulwer, the Governor of Natal, but on the intricacies
of these it is unnecessary to dwell; suffice it to say, that they
were in a measure the cause of Sir Garnet Wolseley's arrival on the
scene somewhat later, as Sir Garnet united in his own person both
supreme civil and supreme military power.

A complete account of the movements of the various columns during
the dreary months that elapsed before the final victory at Ulundi on
the 4th of July cannot be attempted here. The history of skirmishes
and raids, of daring sorties, of captures of cattle, and gallantry
of troops, of hopes and disappointments, of successes and scares, of
hardships and horrors, would fill many pages that must be otherwise

Yet one tragic and memorable event of the war cannot be passed over,
for we lost a gallant volunteer whose young life was full of promise
and distinction. At the beginning of June the Prince Imperial of
France, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, having studied at the Military
College at Woolwich, and desiring to see war in all its reality, was
attached to the Quartermaster-General's department at General
Newdigate's camp. He set out with a reconnoitring party consisting
of Lieutenant Carey of the 98th Regiment, six men of Bellington's
Horse, and a Kaffir. The place they intended to reach was situated
between the camps of Lord Chelmsford and General Wood. Having gained
a picturesque spot near a brook which forms a tributary to the
Tlyotyozi River, the Prince decided to sketch. He was a clever
draughtsman, and had some ability in recognising the capabilities of
positions. The party afterwards moved on, examining various empty
kraals by the way. At one of these they halted, and the Prince gave
orders to "off-saddle" for an hour. The place seemed deserted; there
were remains of a recent cooking fire, and a stray dog or two
sniffed suspiciously at the strangers. Round this spot near the
river tambookie grass about six feet in height formed a screen. The
officers made coffee, turned out their horses to graze, and lay for
a short rest in the peaceful security of a complete, or seemingly
complete, desolation.

But unknown to them, fifty Zulus, tiger-like, had crawled from
ambush and were preparing to spring. It was from the cover of the
river vegetation that they eventually burst forth. A hurried order
to remount, and the crash of rifles at a distance of twenty yards
followed. The tragic scene is well described by Mr. A. Wilmot in his
"History of the Zulu War":--

"At this time the party were standing in a line close to their
horses, with their backs to the kraal and their faces turned
eastward, the Prince being in front and nearest to the Zulus. Then
with a tremendous cry, 'Usutu!' and 'Lo, the English cowards!' the
savages rushed on. The horses immediately swerved, and some broke
away. An undoubted panic seized the party; every one who could
spring on his horse mounted and galloped for his life. There was no
thought, no idea of standing fast and resisting this sudden attack.
The Prince was unwounded, but unable to mount his charger, which was
sixteen hands high and always difficult to mount. On this occasion
the horse became so frightened by the firing and sudden stampeding
as to rear and prance in such a manner as to make it impossible for
the Prince to gain the saddle. Many of the others saw the
difficulty, but none waited or tried to give the least assistance.
One by one they rushed their horses past, Private le Tocq exclaiming
as he went by, lying across his saddle, 'Dépêchez-vous, s'il vous
plaît, monsieur!' The Prince, making no reply, strained every nerve,
but, alas! in vain, to gain the back of his horse, holding his
stirrup-leather with his left hand and the saddle with his right.
With the help of the holster he made one desperate effort, but the
holster partially gave way, and it must have been then that the
horse trod upon him and galloped off, leaving his master prostrate
on the ground. The Prince then regained his feet and ran after his
friends, who were far in advance. Twelve or thirteen Zulus were at
this time only a few feet behind him. The Prince then turned round,
and, sword in hand, faced his pursuers. From the first he had never
called for help, and now died bravely with his face to the foes,
fighting courageously to the last.

"It is thought that the Zulus hurled their assegais at him, and that
he quickly fell dead, pierced through the eye by a mortal wound."

There is a certain sad satisfaction in remembering that this noble
youth, the hope of France, the worthy descendant of a great name,
should have died as a soldier and without more than a moment's

The rest of the party had galloped off at full speed, thinking each
was engaged in the business of getting away. Lieutenant Carey, who
has been blamed for not having stood by the Prince in his perilous
position, shouted orders and imagined they were followed, and in his
hasty retreat had not time to do more than believe the whole party
thus surprised were galloping away together.

Arguments regarding this deplorable affair have been so many that it
is best to quote the evidence taken at the court-martial and the
statement of Lieutenant Carey:--

"The Court is of opinion that Lieutenant Carey did not understand
the position in which he stood towards the Prince, and, as a
consequence, failed to estimate aright the responsibility which fell
to his lot. Colonel Harrison states that the senior combatant
officer, Lieutenant Carey, D.A.Q.M.G., was, as a matter of course,
in charge of the party, whilst, on the other hand, Carey says, when
alluding to the escort, 'I did not consider I had any authority over
it after the precise and careful instructions of Lord Chelmsford as
to the position the Prince held.' As to his being invariably
accompanied by an escort in charge of an officer, the Court
considers that the possibility of such a difference of opinion
should not have existed between two officers of the same department.
The Court is of opinion that Carey is much to blame for having
proceeded on the duty in question with a portion only of the escort
detailed by Colonel Harrison. The Court cannot admit the
irresponsibility for this on the part of Carey, inasmuch as he took
steps to obtain the escort and failed in so doing. Moreover, the
fact that Harrison was present upon the Itelezi range gave him the
opportunity of consulting him on the matter, of which he failed to
avail himself. The Court, having examined the ground, is of opinion
that the selection of the kraal, where a halt was made and the
horses off-saddled, surrounded as it was by cover for the enemy, and
adjacent to difficult ground, showed a lamentable want of military
prudence. The Court deeply regrets that no effort was made after the
attack to rally the escort, and to show a front to the enemy,
whereby the possibility of aiding those who had failed to make good
their retreat might have been ascertained.--Signed by General
MARSHALL; Colonel MALTHUS, 94th Regiment; Major LE GRICE, R.A."

On this report a court-martial was summoned by Lord Chelmsford for
the trial of Lieutenant Carey for having misbehaved before the enemy
on the 1st June 1879, when in command of an escort in attendance on
the Prince, who was making reconnaissances in Zululand; in having,
when the Prince and escort were attacked by the enemy, galloped
away, and in not having attempted to rally them or otherwise defend
the Prince. The Court, under the presidency of Colonel Glyn,
consisted of Colonels Whitehead, Courtney, Harness, Major Bouverie,
and Major Anstruther.

Judge-Advocate Brander prosecuted, and Captain Crookenden, R.A., was
for the defence.

When the Court opened the plan of the ground was proved.

Corporal Grubb said the Prince gave the order "Off saddle" at the
kraal, and "Prepare to mount." The Prince mounted. After the volley
he saw Carey putting spurs to his horse, and he did the same. He saw
Abel fall, and Rogers trying to get a shot at the Zulus. Le Tocq
passed him and said, "Put spurs to your horse, boy; the Prince is
down!" He looked round and saw the Prince under his horse. A short
time after the Prince's horse came up, and he (Grubb) caught it. No
orders were given to rally.

Le Tocq was called and said: The Prince told the natives to search
the kraals, and finding no one there they off saddled. At the volley
he mounted, but, dropping his carbine, stopped to pick it up. In
remounting he could not get his leg over the saddle. He passed the
Prince, and said in French, "Hasten to mount your horse." The Prince
did not answer. He saw the Prince's horse treading on his leg. The
Prince was in command of the party. He believed Carey and the Prince
would have passed on different sides of a hut in fast flight, and it
was possible that Carey might have failed to see that the Prince was
in difficulties. It was 250 yards from where he saw the Prince down
to the spot where he died.

Trooper Cochrane was called and said: The Prince was not in the
saddle at the time of mounting. He saw about fifty yards off the
Prince running down the donga with fourteen Zulus in close pursuit.
Nothing was done to help him. He heard no orders given, and did not
tell Carey what he had seen until some time after. He was an old
soldier. He did not think any rally could have been made.

The Court then adjourned to the next day. On reassembling, the first
witness called was

Sergeant Willis, who stated that he had seen Trooper Rogers lying on
the ground by the side of his horse, close to the kraal, as he left
the spot. He thought he saw the Prince wounded at the same time that
Trooper Abel threw up his arms. He thought the Prince might have
been dragged to the place where he was found after death, and that a
rally might have been made twenty yards beyond the donga.

Colonel Harrison being called, stated that Carey was senior
combatant officer, and must therefore have been in command of the
party. Carey volunteered to go on the reconnaissance to verify
certain points of his sketch. The Prince was ordered to go to
report more fully on the ground. He had given the Prince into
Carey's charge.

Examined by the Court, Colonel Harrison stated that when the Prince
was attached to his department he was not told to treat him as a
royal personage in the matter of escort, but as any other officer,
taking due precaution against any possible danger.

Dr. Scott (the Prince's medical attendant) was then called, and
stated that the Prince was killed by eighteen assegai wounds, any
five of which would have been fatal. There were no bullet wounds.
The Prince died where the body was found.

This closed the case for the prosecution.

The defence called again Colonel Harrison, who testified to Carey's
abilities as a staff officer, and said he had every confidence in

Colonel Bellairs was also called, and stated that it was in
consequence of the occurrence of the 1st June that Carey had been
deposed from his staff appointment the day previous to his trial.

Lieutenant Carey here submitted that his case had been pre-judged,
and that he had been punished before his trial.

The following is Lieutenant Carey's statement:--

"On the 31st May I was informed by Colonel Harrison, A.Q.M.G., that
the Prince Imperial was to start on the 1st June to ride over the
road selected by me for the advance of the column, for the purpose
of selecting a camping-ground for the 2nd June. I suggested at once
that I should be allowed to go with him, as I knew the road and
wanted to go over it again for the purpose of verifying certain
points. To this Colonel Harrison consented, reminding me that the
Prince was going at his own request to do this work, and that I was
not to interfere with him in any way. For our escort, six Europeans
of Bettington's Horse and six Basutos were ordered. Bettington's men
were paraded at 9 A.M., but owing to some misunderstanding the
Basutos did not turn up, and, the Prince being desirous of
proceeding at once, we went without them. On arriving at the ridge
between Itelezi and Incenci, I suggested waiting for them, but the
Prince replied, 'Oh no; we are quite strong enough,' or words to
that effect. We proceeded on our reconnaissance from there, halting
about half-an-hour on a high hill overlooking the Ityotyozi for the
Prince to sketch. From here the country was visible for miles, and
no sign of the enemy could be discovered. We then descended into the
valley, and, entering a kraal, off saddled, knee-haltering our
horses. We had seen the deserted appearance of the country, and,
though the kraal was to the right, surrounded by mealies, we thought
there was no danger in encamping. If any blame is attributable to
any one for this, it is to me, as I agreed with the Prince that we
were perfectly safe. I had been over this ground twice before and
seen no one, and the brigade-major of the cavalry brigade had ridden
over it with only two or three men, and laughed at me for taking so
large an escort. We had with us a friendly Zulu, who, in answer to
my inquiries, said no Zulus were about. I trusted him, but still
kept a sharp look-out, telescope in hand. In about an hour--that is,
3.40 P.M.--the Prince ordered us to saddle up. We went into the
mealies to catch our horses, but took at least ten minutes saddling.
While doing so, the Zulu guide informed us he had seen a Zulu in the
distance, but as he did not appear concerned, I saw no danger. The
Prince was saddled up first, and, seeing him ready, I mounted, the
men not being quite ready. The Prince then asked if they were all
ready; they answered in the affirmative, and he gave the word,
'Prepare to mount.' At this moment I turned round, and saw the
Prince with his foot in the stirrup, looking at the men. Presently I
heard him say, 'Mount,' and turning to the men saw them vault into
their saddles. At this moment my eyes fell on about twenty black
faces in the mealies, twenty to thirty yards off, and I saw puffs of
smoke and heard a rattling volley, followed by a rush, with shouts
of 'Usutu!' There was at once a stampede. Two men rushed past me,
and as every one appeared to be mounted, I dug the spurs into my
horse, which had already started of his own accord. I felt sure no
one was wounded by the volley, as I heard no cry, and I shouted out,
'Keep to the left, and cross the donga, and rally behind it!' At the
same time I saw more Zulus in the mealies on our left flank, cutting
off our retreat. I crossed the donga behind two or three men, but
could only get beyond one man, the others having ridden off. Riding
a few hundred yards on to the rise, I stopped and looked round. I
could see the Zulus after us, and saw that the men were escaping to
the right, and that no one appeared on the other side of the donga.
The man beside me then drew my attention to the Prince's horse,
which was galloping away on the other side of the donga, saying, 'I
fear the Prince is killed, sir!' I immediately said, 'Do you think
it is any use going back?' The trooper pointed to the mealies on our
left, which appeared full of Kaffirs, and said, 'He is dead long
ago, sir; they assegai wounded men at once.' I considered he had
fallen near the kraal, as his horse was going from that direction,
and it was useless to sacrifice more lives. I had but one man near
me, the others being some 200 yards down the valley. I accordingly
shouted to them to close to the left, and rode on to gain a drift
over the Tombokala River, saying to the man at my side, 'We will
keep back towards General Wood's camp, not returning the same way
we came, and then come back with some dragoons to get the bodies.'
We reached camp about 6.30 P.M. When we were attacked our carbines
were unloaded, and, to the best of my belief, no shots were fired. I
did not see the Prince after I saw him mounting, but he was mounted
on a swift horse, and I thought he was close to me. Besides the
Prince, we lost two troopers, as well as the friendly Zulu. Two
troopers have been found between the donga and the kraal, covered
with assegai wounds. They must have fallen in the retreat and been
assegaied at once, as I saw no fighting when I looked round."

The court-martial condemned Lieutenant Carey, and he was sent home
under arrest. But eventually, owing to the intervention of the
bereaved Empress, and many sympathetic friends, the unfortunate
officer was released. The news of the calamity was received with
profound grief throughout the country. Some mourned the death of a
Prince, some sighed over the extinction of Napoleonic hopes,
officers regretted the loss of a promising comrade, and mothers
spent tears of sympathy for the great lady, Empress and mother, who
had thus been bereft of her only child.


To return to the progress of the war. On the 26th of June the
long-expected junction of the columns was on the eve of being
effected. Cetchwayo was pretending to make overtures for peace,
though at the same time his people were endeavouring to enter into
alliance with rebellious Boers. He even sent the sword of the Prince
Imperial as a peace-offering. On the envelope, however, his
amanuensis, one Cornelius Vjin (a Dutchman), pencilled the fact that
the king had 20,000 men with him. The reply of Lord Chelmsford was
as follows:----

"If the Induna, Mundula, brings with him the 1000 rifles taken at
Isandlwana, I will not insist on 1000 men coming in to lay down
their arms, if the Zulus are afraid to come. He must bring the two
guns and the remainder of the cattle. I will then be willing to
negotiate. As he has caused me to advance by the great delay he has
made, I must now go to the Umvolosi to enable my men to drink. I
will consent, pending negotiations, to halt on the further bank of
the river, and will not burn any kraals until the 3rd of July,
provided no opposition is made to my advance to the position on the
Umvolosi, by which day, the 3rd of July, at noon, the conditions
must be complied with. If my force is fired on, I shall consider
negotiations are at an end, and to avoid any chance of this, it is
best that Mundula come to my camp at daybreak or to-night, and that
the Zulus should withdraw from the neighbourhood of the river to
Ulundi. I cannot stop the general in command of the coast army until
these conditions are complied with."

Of course nothing was seen of Mundula, and preparations were made
for the reception of the enemy. Newdigate and Wood laagered their
waggons and prepared for the arrival of an impi of some 20,000 Zulus
advancing from Ulundi. On the following day a large force under
Colonel Buller advanced to Nodwengu kraal, and some stragglers were
killed. One of these was struck by Lord William Beresford, who, in
the sporting manner characteristic of him, cried, "First spear, by

On the morning of the memorable 4th of July the army, crossing
Umvolosi River, marched to a higher plateau--where once the Zulus
had vanquished the Boers--there to prepare for battle. The Zulus,
some 20,000 strong, after many war dances and cries, were marshalled
forth by their king to an open plain between the Nodwengu and Ulundi
kraals. Our troops were formed up in a hollow parallelogram, in the
centre being the native contingent with ammunition waggons. The four
sides of this parallelogram were formed of eight companies of the
13th Regiment, five of the 80th Regiment, the 90th, 58th, and 34th
Regiments, together with the 17th Lancers and the mounted
irregulars. At the corners and centre artillery was placed.

The Zulus advanced steadily, in horn fashion, with their
characteristic coolness and courage. The deadly fusillade from our
guns had no perceptible effect. On and on they came, surging in a
dense brown crescent, till within twenty yards of the British lines,
when, with the hail and storm of bullets crashing and blinding them,
they hesitated! That moment's hesitation was fatal--their one chance
slipped! A few warriors rushed onwards, many wavered, and gradually
the powerful horns were broken and disorganised. Then our Lancers
with a gallant charge dashed into the fray, plunging into the black
swarm that still met fury with fury. Captain Edgell was killed, and
many other officers had miraculous escapes. Once the enemy strove to
rally, but the effort was hopeless, and the magnificent Zulu
warriors were forced at last to turn and flee. Their defeat was
signal. Though the enemy numbered 20,000 to 5000 of our troops, the
Lancers with the Irregular Horse did splendid work, and ere all was
over 1000 Zulus bit the dust.

Then came the final march to Ulundi. This place, wholly deserted,
was fired, and while the sky glowed with red and gold reflections of
the conflagration, the victorious forces, worn out yet triumphant,
returned to the laagered camp they had left at daybreak.


Drawing by R. Caton Woodville.]

The first news of the victory was carried to the Colony by Mr.
Archibald Forbes, the war correspondent of the _Daily News_, who was
himself wounded in the struggle. Starting instantly after the
decisive battle, in fourteen hours he rode a distance of 110 miles
to the nearest telegraph station at Landman's Drift, on the Buffalo
River. In thus exposing his life in the interests not only of his
journal but his country, he for ever associated himself with one of
the most interesting and thrilling campaigns of the century.

Lord Chelmsford's despatch gives a concise description of the day's

"Cetchwayo, not having complied with my demands by noon yesterday,
July 3, and having fired heavily on the troops at the water, I
returned the 114 cattle he had sent in and ordered a reconnaissance
to be made by the mounted force under Colonel Buller. This was
effectually made, and caused the Zulu army to advance and show

"This morning a force under my command, consisting of the second
division, under Major-General Newdigate, numbering 1870 Europeans,
530 natives, and eight guns, and the flying columns under
Brigadier-General Wood, numbering 2192 Europeans, 573 natives, four
guns, and two Gatlings, crossed the Umvolosi River at 6.15, and
marching in a hollow square, with the ammunition and entrenching
tool carts and bearer company in its centre, reached an excellent
position between Nodwengu and Ulundi, about half-past 8 A.M. This
had been observed by Colonel Buller the day before.

"Our fortified camp on the right bank of the Umvolosi River was left
with a garrison of about 900 Europeans, 250 natives, and one Gatling
gun, under Colonel Bellairs. Soon after half-past seven the Zulu
army was seen leaving its bivouacs and advancing on every side."

"The engagement was shortly afterwards commenced by the mounted men.
By nine o'clock the attack was fully developed. At half-past nine
the enemy wavered; the 17th Lancers, followed by the remainder of
the mounted men, attacked them, and a general rout ensued.

"The prisoners state that Cetchwayo was personally commanding and
had made all the arrangements himself, and that he witnessed the
fight from Gikarzi kraal, and that twelve regiments took part in it.
If so, 20,000 men attacked us.

"It is impossible to estimate with any correctness the loss of the
enemy, owing to the extent of country over which they attacked and
retreated, but it could not have been less, I consider, than 1000
killed. By noon Ulundi was in flames, and during the day all
military kraals of the Zulu army and in the valley of the Umvolosi
were destroyed. At 2 P.M. the return march to the camp of the
column commenced. The behaviour of the troops under my command was
extremely satisfactory; their steadiness under a complete belt of
fire was remarkable. The dash and enterprise of the mounted branches
was all that could be wished, and the fire of the artillery very
good. A portion of the Zulu force approached our fortified camp, and
at one time threatened to attack it. The native contingent, forming
a part of the garrison, were sent out after the action, and assisted
in the pursuit.

"As I have fully accomplished the object for which I advanced, I
consider I shall now be best carrying out Sir Garnet Wolseley's
instructions by moving at once to Entonganini, and thence to
Kmamagaza. I shall send back a portion of this force with empty
waggons for supplies, which are now ready at Fort Marshall."

All were rejoiced that Lord Chelmsford should have been able to gain
this victory before the arrival on the scene of Sir Garnet Wolseley,
and there were many among his friends who regretted when he

The following quotation from the _London Gazette_ explains the most
conspicuous of the brave deeds that were done during this campaign,
though there were many more which came near to rivalling them, so
many, indeed, that it would have been impossible to have given
honours to all who deserved them:--

                                            "WAR OFFICE, _June 17_.

"The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify her intention to
confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned
officers and soldier of her Majesty's army, whose claims have been
submitted for her Majesty's approval for their gallant conduct
during the recent operations in South Africa, as recorded against
their names, viz.:--

"Captain and Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers H. Buller, C.B., 60th
Rifles, for his gallant conduct at the retreat at Zlobane on the
28th of March 1879, in having assisted, while hotly pursued, by
Zulus, in rescuing Captain C. D'Arcy, of the Frontier Light Horse,
who was retiring on foot, and carrying him on his horse until he
overtook the rear-guard; also for having on the same date and under
the same circumstances conveyed Lieutenant C. Everitt of the
Frontier Light Horse, whose horse had been killed under him, to a
place of safety. Later on Colonel Buller, in the same manner, saved
a trooper of the Frontier Light Horse, whose horse was completely
exhausted, and who otherwise would have been killed by the Zulus,
who were within eighty yards of him.

"Major William K. Leet, first battalion 13th Regiment, for his
gallant conduct on the 28th of March 1879, in rescuing from the
Zulus Lieutenant A. M. Smith of the Frontier Light Horse, during the
retreat from Zlobane. Lieutenant Smith while on foot, his horse
having been shot, was closely pursued by the Zulus, and would have
been killed had not Major Leet taken him upon his horse and rode
with him, under the fire of the enemy, to a place of safety.

"Surgeon-Major James Henry Reynolds, Army Medical Department, for
the conspicuous bravery during the attack at Rorke's Drift on the
22nd and 23rd of January 1879, which he exhibited in his attention
to the wounded under fire, and in his voluntarily conveying
ammunition from the store to the defenders of the hospital, whereby
he exposed himself to a cross fire from the enemy both in going and

"Lieutenant Edward S. Browne, first battalion 24th Regiment, for his
gallant conduct on the 29th March 1879, when the Mounted Infantry
were being driven in by the enemy at Zlobane, in galloping back and
twice assisting on his horse, under heavy fire and within a few
yards of the enemy, one of the mounted men, who must otherwise have
fallen into the enemy's hands.

"Private Wassell, 80th Regiment, for his gallant conduct in having,
at the imminent risk of his own life, saved that of Private Westwood
of the same regiment. On the 22nd of January 1879, when the camp at
Isandlwana was taken by the enemy, Private Wassell retreated towards
the Buffalo River, in which he saw a comrade struggling and
apparently drowning. He rode to the bank, dismounted, leaving his
horse on the Zulu side, rescued the man from the stream, and again
mounted his horse, dragging Private Westwood across the river, under
a heavy shower of bullets."



Our disaster at Isandlwana caused enormous excitement in Pretoria.
Great and unconcealed rejoicing among the Boers took place; work was
suspended, all heads were put together to make capital out of Great
Britain's misfortunes. Notices were sent out on the 18th of March,
summoning the burghers to a mass meeting to be held some thirty
miles from the town. These meetings, it must here be noted, were
scarcely attended by invitation. A large number of the people
appeared on compulsion, brought "to the scratch" by threats. One of
the menaces, a favourite one according to Mr. Rider Haggard, was
that those who did not attend should be made "biltong" of when the
country was given back. Biltong is meat cut into strips and hung in
the sun to dry. The result of the notices, backed by threats, was a
meeting of some three thousand armed Boers, who evidently meant

The threatening aspect of the Boers caused the corps known as the
Pretoria Horse, a corps raised for the purpose of acting as cavalry
on the Zulu border, to be retained for service in and around the
capital. While matters stood thus, and the general discontent seemed
to portend even further hostilities, Sir Bartle Frere went to
Pretoria for the purpose of discussing affairs with the Boer
leaders. These all clamoured for their independence. They had gone
as far as to assert it by stopping posts, carts, and persons, and
sending armed patrols about the country.

Nothing definite resulted from this attitude, however, for before
very long the conclusion--the successful conclusion--of the Zulu war
appeared imminent, and those in revolt against British authority saw
plainly that there would shortly be troops in plenty at hand to
restore law and order. Consequently for the time being they
subsided. The loyal inhabitants of the Transvaal entertained Sir
Bartle Frere prior to his departure, and at the public dinner given
on that occasion at Potchefstrom, he took the opportunity to assure
them that the Transvaal would never be given back! It may be
interesting to some to know, that at a public meeting on the 24th
of April in Pretoria, within a week of the breaking up of the camp
which had been threatening its safety, the following resolution was

"This meeting reprobates most strongly the action of a certain
section of the English and Colonial press for censuring, without
sufficient knowledge of local affairs, the policy and conduct of Sir
Bartle Frere, and it desires not only to express its sympathy with
Sir Bartle Frere, and its confidence in his policy, but also to go
so far as to congratulate most heartily her Majesty the Queen, the
Home Government, and ourselves, on possessing such a true,
considerate, and faithful servant as his Excellency the High

Having made allusion to Sir Bartle Frere's departure, it may be as
well to explain that before the battle of Ulundi it was arranged
that Sir Garnet Wolseley should be sent out from home to supersede
Lord Chelmsford in the command of the army, Sir H. Bulwer as
Governor of Natal, and Sir Bartle Frere as High Commissioner of the
Transvaal, Natal, and all the eastern portion of South Africa. Sir
Garnet reached Cape Town on the 28th of June, and proceeded without
delay to Natal. But, as we know, before he could reach the seat of
war the battle of Ulundi was won.

The fighting was now at an end; the Zulus expressed themselves
beaten, and Cetchwayo, after an exciting chase, which space does not
permit us to describe, was taken prisoner on the 28th of August. He
was afterwards removed to Cape Town, and rooms were given him in the
castle. Hostilities having happily terminated in Zululand, Sir
Garnet Wolseley then started for Pretoria. He there finally set up
the government of a Crown Colony with a nominative Executive Council
and Legislative Assembly.

One of his first acts on reaching Pretoria was to issue a notable
proclamation. It ran thus:----

"Whereas it appears, that notwithstanding repeated assurances of
contrary effect given by her Majesty's representatives in this
territory, uncertainty or misapprehension exists among some of her
Majesty's subjects as to the intention of her Majesty's Government
regarding the maintenance of British rule and sovereignty over the
territory of the Transvaal: and whereas it is expedient that all
grounds for such uncertainty or misapprehension should be removed
once and for all beyond doubt or question: now therefore I do hereby
proclaim and make known, in the name and on behalf of her Majesty
the Queen, that it is the will and determination of her Majesty's
Government that this Transvaal territory shall be, and shall
continue to be for ever, an integral portion of her Majesty's
dominions in South Africa."

On the same subject Sir Bartle Frere, writing to England, said that
he was very certain "that to give up the Transvaal is as little to
be thought of as surrendering Ireland or India." In his opinion the
Boer malcontents were few and inconsequential, most of the leaders
and instigators being foreigners, who were personally interested in
making themselves prominent, owing to the prevailing notion that the
country would be given up. As to the effect of the abandonment of
the Transvaal on the prospects of confederation he said: "To every
colony concerned such a step would appear as a confession of
weakness, of infirmity of purpose, and of disregard for solemn
pledges and obligations, which would destroy all respect, all wish
to belong to a Government which could so behave."

In writing to Sir M. Hicks Beach, in December 1879, Sir Bartle gave
his personal impression of the feeling in Pretoria at the time of
the annexation:--

     "When our power of enforcing the law and upholding the authority of
     Government were at the lowest, in April last, ... experienced men
     at Pretoria gave me, through Colonel Lanyon, the following estimate
     of the strength of parties in the malcontent camp. The educated and
     intelligent men of influence, who advocated the most extreme
     measures, or were prepared to acquiesce in them, were reckoned at
     not more than eight. Three, or perhaps four, were men of property
     in the Transvaal; the rest foreign adventurers, with no property
     and little weight beyond that due to their skill as political
     agitators. Their unflinching and uncompromising followers in the
     Boer camp were not reckoned at more than eighty. The disaffected
     waverers who, according to circumstances, would follow the majority
     either to acts of overt resistance to Government and lawless
     violence, or to grumble and disperse, 'accepting the inevitable,'
     were reckoned at about eight hundred at the outside. The rest of
     the camp, variously estimated as containing from sixteen hundred to
     four thousand in all, but probably never exceeding two thousand
     five hundred present at one time, were men brought to the camp by
     intimidation, compulsion, or curiosity, who would not willingly
     resist the authority of Government, and would, if assured of
     protection, prefer to side with it."

Viewed in the light of later events, these opinions are extremely
interesting and cannot be disregarded.

[Illustration: OFFICER of the 16th LANCERS.

Photo by Gregory and Co., London.]

Before passing on, it is necessary to state that during the period
from 1878 to 1879, the native chief Sekukuni--Cetchwayo's dog, as
the blacks called him--had become obstreperous. He had been engaged
in raids into the Transvaal--raids of the same character as those
which, as has been already mentioned, had helped to bring about the
collapse of the Republic. Colonel Rowland's expedition, which
started in November 1878 for the suppression of this ruffian, was
baffled by fever and horse sickness. Colonel Lanyon in the following
June returned to the attack, and was on the eve of success, when Sir
Garnet Wolseley (who arrived late in that month) sent orders to
cease operations. These orders he found, on reaching the
Transvaal, to be a mistake. Sekukuni was not a person to be trifled
with nor ignored, so the campaign began again in November, with the
result that within a period of eight days the chief's stronghold was
taken and himself made prisoner. About fifty Europeans and some five
hundred Swazi allies were killed or wounded.

Here we see, within one year, how much was done for the protection
of the Transvaal at the cost of British money and British blood.
Looking back, it is easy to perceive that, but for our intervention,
the South African Republic would have been slowly but effectually
swallowed up. Cetchwayo and Sekukuni between them would have made a
meal of the Transvaal.

The brilliant and complete success of Sir Garnet Wolseley was highly
praised, and the names of Colonel Lanyon, Captain Clark, R.A., and
Captain Carrington especially mentioned as deserving a share of the
credit for the accurate information they had collected during the
previous months.

So much having been done for the security of the Boers and for the
maintenance of British prestige, it is no marvel that Sir Garnet
Wolseley thought himself justified in expressing the trend of
British policy in plain terms. At the dinner given at Pretoria on
the 17th of December 1879 he took the opportunity of making the
British programme well understood. He declared with emphasis that
there could be no question of resigning the sovereignty of the
country. "There is no Government," he said, "Whig or Tory, Liberal,
Conservative, or Radical, who would dare under any circumstances to
give back this country. They would not dare, because the English
people would not allow them!" At that time it was evident that Sir
Garnet had never heard the story of the philanthropic Belarmine, an
individual who gave himself to the she-bear to save her and her
young ones from starvation. Or, if the tale was known to him, he
probably took it for what it was worth, and never foresaw that the
British Government would emulate the action of the self-sacrificing
lunatic, and spend precious blood for the sole purpose of nourishing
and resuscitating the powers of a languishing enemy.


But British speeches and proclamations had ceased to impress the
Boers. They had had too many of them, and they began to think the
British Government a somewhat knock-kneed institution whose joints
had ceased to hold together. Sir Garnet Wolseley, however, with
characteristic energy and determination, dealt with the malcontents
one by one, converting them, and causing them to sensibly consider
on which side their bread was buttered. Indeed, so diplomatically
did he conduct his work, that a sop was given to the aggressive
Pretorius, who, instead of being put in prison as he deserved, was
offered a seat on the Executive Council, with a salary attached.
This he was inclined to jump at, but, at the time, public feeling
ran too high to allow of his making a decision. The fact was that
the political speeches delivered by Mr. Gladstone in the south of
Scotland, during the months of November and December 1879, were
putting a new complexion on affairs. They were reprinted all the
world over, and they were profusely circulated among the Boers. The
Boer leaders and obstructionists at once saw in this British
statesman their saviour, and were convinced that, on the return of
Mr. Gladstone to power, their independence would be assured. They
therefore sent Messrs. Kruger and Joubert as a deputation to the
Cape, and these two gentlemen persuaded the Cape Parliament to
reject the Confederation Scheme then being proposed by Sir Bartle
Frere. Selections from the attacks on the Government, from which the
Boers then derived their encouragement and support, are here
reprinted in order that the sincerity of Mr. Gladstone's attitude
may be examined.

Speaking in Edinburgh, he said of the Government:--

"They have annexed in Africa the Transvaal territory, inhabited by a
free European, Christian, Republican community, which they have
thought proper to bring within the limits of a Monarchy, although
out of 8000 persons in that Republic qualified to vote upon the
subject, we are told--and I have never seen the statement officially
contradicted--that 6500 protested against it. These are the
circumstances under which we undertake to transform Republicans into
subjects of a Monarchy."

Now, Sir T. Shepstone's despatches show that the ground on which the
Transvaal was annexed was because the State was drifting into
anarchy, was bankrupt, and was about to be destroyed by native
tribes. He said "that most thinking men in the country saw no other
way out of the difficulty," and Carlyle has taught us what is the
proportion between thinking men and the general public. He also
said, in the fifteenth paragraph of his despatch to Lord Carnarvon
of the 6th of March 1877, that petitions signed by 2500 people,
representing every class of the community, out of a total adult male
population of 8000, had been presented to the Government of the
Republic, setting forth its difficulties and dangers, and praying it
"to treat with me for their amelioration or removal." He likewise
stated, and with perfect truth, that many more would have signed had
it not been for the terrorism that was exercised, and that all the
towns and villages in the country desired the change.

Mr. Gladstone went on to say:--

"We have made war on the Zulus. We have thereby become responsible
for their territory; and not only this, but we are now, as it
appears from the latest advices, about to make war upon a chief
lying to the northward of the Zulus; and Sir Bartle Frere, who was
the great authority for the proceedings of the Government in
Afghanistan, has announced in South Africa that it will be necessary
for us to extend our dominions until we reach the Portuguese
frontier to the north. So much for Africa."

At Dalkeith he remarked:--

"If we cast our eyes to South Africa, what do we behold? That a
nation whom we term savages have, in defence of their own land,
offered their naked bodies to the terribly improved artillery and
arms of modern European science, and have been mowed down by
hundreds and by thousands, having committed no offence, but having,
with rude and ignorant courage, done what were for them, and done
faithfully and bravely what were for them the duties of patriotism.
You may talk of glory, you may offer rewards,--and you are right to
give rewards to the gallantry of your soldiers, who I think are
entitled not only to our admiration for courage, but to our
compassion for the nature of the duties they have been called to
perform--but the grief and pain none the less remain."

At Glasgow he continued in the same strain:--

"In Africa you have before you the memory of bloodshed, of military
disaster, the record of 10,000 Zulus--such is the computation of
Bishop Colenso--slain for no other offence than their attempt to
defend against your artillery, with their naked bodies, their
hearths and homes, their wives and families. You have the invasion
of a free people in the Transvaal, and you have, I fear, in one
quarter or another--I will not enter into details, which might be
injurious to the public interest--prospects of further disturbance
and shedding of blood."

These speeches, as may be imagined, did an incalculable amount of
mischief. Besides fanning the smouldering sparks of discontent, they
served up catchwords wholesale for that section of the British
public whose political machinery is largely fed by catchwords. But,
as has been decided by axiom, "any stick will serve to beat a dog
with," and the Transvaal difficulty was a convenient weapon for the
attack on the Government. The real feeling of the Boer community was
an outside matter, and, as we shall presently see, had nothing to do
with the case, though in March 1880 Mr. Gladstone had the
satisfaction of receiving a letter from a committee of Boer
malcontents, wherein "he was thanked for the great sympathy shown in
their fate." The thanks were a little premature. In April 1880 the
elections took place, and Mr. Gladstone came into power with a
large majority. Then he was asked the great question: Would he
maintain his oft-repeated pledge to retain the Transvaal, or would
he continue to take up the tone of his Midlothian denunciations?

The riddle was shortly to be solved. In the debate on the Queen's
Speech the Prime Minister thus expressed himself: "I do not know
whether there is an absolute union of opinion on this side of the
House as to the policy in which the assumption of the Transvaal
originated. Undoubtedly, as far as I am myself concerned, I did not
approve of that assumption. I took no part in questioning it nor in
the attempt to condemn it, because, in my opinion, whether the
assumption was wise or unwise, it having been done, no good but only
mischief was to be done by the intervention of this House. But
whatever our original opinions were on that policy--and the opinions
of the majority of those who sit on this side of the House were
decidedly adverse to it--we had to confront a state of facts; and
the main fact which met us was the existence of the large native
population in the Transvaal, to whom, by the establishment of the
Queen's supremacy, we hold ourselves to have given a pledge. That is
the acceptance of facts, and that is the sense in which my right
honourable friend, and all those who sit with him, may, if they
think fit, say we accept the principles on which the late Government
proceeded. It is quite possible to accept the consequences of a
policy, and yet to retain the original difference of opinion with
regard to the character of that policy as long as it was a matter of

And shortly after he wrote to Messrs. Kruger and Joubert:--

"It is undoubtedly matter for much regret that it should, since the
annexation, have appeared that so large a number of the population
of Dutch origin in the Transvaal are opposed to the annexation of
that territory, but it is impossible to consider that question as if
it were presented for the first time. We have to deal with a state
of things which has existed for a considerable period, during which
obligations have been contracted, especially, though not
exclusively, towards the native population, which cannot be set

"Looking to all the circumstances, both of the Transvaal and the
rest of South Africa, and to the necessity of preventing a renewal
of disorders, which might lead to disastrous consequences, not only
to the Transvaal, but to the whole of South Africa, our judgment is,
that the Queen cannot be advised to relinquish her sovereignty over
the Transvaal, but, consistently with the maintenance of that
sovereignty, we desire that the white inhabitants of the Transvaal
should, without prejudice to the rest of the population, enjoy the
fullest liberty to manage their local affairs. We believe that this
liberty may be most easily and promptly conceded to the Transvaal as
a member of a South African Confederation."


When the Liberal Ministry came into power, it will be observed, Mr.
Gladstone's attitude changed, and that he was compelled to abandon
the sympathetic tone of his Midlothian speeches. How far he really
meant to be bound by the promise made that "the Queen cannot be
advised to relinquish her sovereignty over the Transvaal" is not
known, for later on, in June 1881, in a letter to the Transvaal
loyalists, he explains that there was "no mention of the terms or
date of this promise. If the reference be to my letter of the 8th of
June 1880 to Messrs. Kruger and Joubert, I do not think the language
of that letter justifies the description given. Nor am I sure in
what manner, or to what degree, the fullest liberty to manage their
local affairs, which I then said her Majesty's Government desired to
confer on the white population of the Transvaal, differs from the
settlement now about being made in its bearing on the interests of
those whom your committee represents."

This letter was a masterpiece of one whose talent for ambiguity was
becoming world famous, and a stone in shape of a loaf was thus
hurled at the heads of the expectant loyalists.

But to return to the events of 1880. Finding that the Premier was no
longer to be the mainstay of their hopes, the Boers began to renew their
agitations. These agitations, it will be remembered, during the end of
the Zulu war and Sir Garnet Wolseley's arrival in the Transvaal, were
merely suppressed, because at that time British ascendency throughout
the country seemed to be established. An excellent opportunity for
rebellion now suggested itself. The Cape Government was engaged with the
Basuto war. Sir Owen Lanyon, who succeeded Sir T. Shepstone in March
1879, had supplied a body of 300 or more volunteers--mostly
loyalists--to assist in the military operations, while the only regiment
of cavalry had been sent elsewhere by Sir Garnet Wolseley. Big things
have often small beginnings, and the Boer rebellion, that has brought so
many complications in its train, commenced with a very small incident. A
certain Bezeidenhout, having refused to pay his taxes, had, by order,
some of his goods seized and put up to auction. This was the signal for
the malcontents to attack the auctioneer and rescue the goods. So great
became the uproar and confusion, the women aiding and abetting the men
in their disobedience of the law, that military assistance was summoned.
Major Thornhill, with a few companies of the 21st Regiment, was sent to
support the Landrost in arresting the rioters, and special constables
were enrolled to assist him in restoring order. But these united
exertions were unavailing. All attempts to carry out the arrests were
openly set at defiance. This scene occurred on the 11th of November
1880. On the 26th Sir George Colley--who had relieved Sir Garnet
Wolseley as Commander-in-Chief--was applied to for more troops. Sir
George, who was daily expecting an outbreak of Pondos, and a possible
appeal for help from Cape Colony, merely suggested that the "authorities
should be assisted by the loyal inhabitants." This, it must be owned,
was hard on the royalists, who from that time to this have had to pay
dearly for their allegiance to the Crown. A mass meeting was held at
Paade kraal, where Krugersdorp now stands, and the rioters unanimously
decided to commit their cause to the Almighty, and to live or die in the
struggle for independence. Thereupon Messrs. Kruger, Pretorius, and
Joubert were elected a triumvirate to conduct the Government, and on the
16th of December 1880 (Dingaan's Day) the Republic was formally
proclaimed, and its flag again hoisted. The proclamation, dealing with
the events of the preceding years, and offering terms to her Majesty's
Government, was forwarded to Sir Owen Lanyon. The Boer leaders therein
expressed their willingness to enter into confederation and to guide
their native policy by general rules adopted in concurrence "with the
Colonies and States of South Africa," and at the same time declared that
they had no desire for war or the spilling of blood. "It lies," they
said, "in your hands to force us to appeal to arms in self-defence."

On the very day of the proclamation, however, blood was shed.
Commandant Cronjé, with a party of burghers, marched into
Potchefstroom for the purpose of printing the proclamation. They
promptly seized the printing-office, and Major Clarke, who thought
it advisable to interfere, was refused admittance. Soon after a Boer
patrol fired on our mounted infantry, who returned the compliment.
That was the signal for the opening of hostilities. On this matter
it may be urged that Boer reports differ from ours, but Boer
veracity may be defined by the algebraic quantity _x_, and cannot be
accepted. Lieutenant-Colonel Winsloe, of the 21st Regiment, who was
commanding at a fort outside the village, signalled orders to Major
Clarke to begin firing. This officer was fortified in the Landrost's
office with a small force of some twenty soldiers and twenty
civilians, while the Boers occupied positions in the surrounding
houses. The siege lasted two days (during the 17th and the morning
of the 18th), and then when one officer (Captain Falls) and five men
had been killed and the thatched roof fired, Major Clarke deemed it
best to surrender. Colonel Winsloe held the camp throughout the war,
surrendering only after an armistice was declared.

A still more terrible disaster was in store. Mr Rider Haggard, who is
perhaps the best authority on the subject, describes it as a "most cruel
and carefully planned massacre." Other writers, however, hold that the
outrage could scarcely be called a massacre, since Colonel Anstruther
had been fully warned of the risks he ran of Boer treachery and Boer
artifice. It appears that Colonel Anstruther had received orders from
Sir Owen Lanyon to concentrate his forces in Pretoria. Accordingly, he
marched from Lydenburg--situated about 180 miles from Pretoria--with
such troops as he had at his disposal. These were two companies of the
94th Regiment. They were accompanied by three women, two children, and a
ponderous train of luggage-waggons. Their progress was necessarily slow,
but the Colonel, in spite of having been warned of Boer ways and Boer
tactics, evinced no anxiety. Indeed, from all accounts it appears that
he followed the good old British habit of under-estimating the enemy's
physical, while over-estimating his moral, qualities. For this reason he
probably disregarded the precautions necessary after the warnings he had
received on starting. Be this as it may, on the 20th of December he and
his long waggon-train were nearing a point called Bronker's Spruit,
about thirty-eight miles from Pretoria, when suddenly there appeared a
huge crowd of some five hundred mounted Boers. From this crowd a man was
seen approaching with a white flag. The column, about half a mile in
length, halted; the band ceased; Colonel Anstruther advanced to the
parley. The messenger then handed a letter. It was an intimation of the
establishment of the South African Republic, and declared that till Sir
Owen Lanyon's reply to the proclamation was received, and they were
aware whether war was or was not declared, they could not allow the
progress of troops. The Colonel's reply was plain. He was ordered to
proceed to Pretoria, and proceed he would.

Then, before Colonel Anstruther had rejoined his column, a volley
was poured in on them by the farmers, who, emerging from the cover
of rocks and trees, had gradually closed round the troops. A
vigorous but short resistance followed. The Boers, skilled by long
practice in marking their most cherished enemies, picked off the
officers one by one. Seven out of nine dropped to their guns, while
a perpetual hailstorm of bullets beat over men, women, and waggons.
In a few minutes so many were disabled that the Colonel, himself
mortally wounded, had to surrender. Out of the party 56 were killed
and 101 wounded. One of these was a woman.

A great deal was said at the time by British sympathisers of the
kindness of the Boers to the prisoners and wounded of their
antagonists; but the opinions of Mr. Rider Haggard and Sir Owen
Lanyon are worth considering. The former, in writing of this
engagement, says that "after the fight Conductor Egerton, with a
sergeant, was allowed to walk into Pretoria to obtain medical
assistance, the Boers refusing to give him a horse, or even allow
him to use his own.... I may mention that a Zulu driver, who was
with the rear-guard, and escaped into Natal, stated that the Boers
shot all the wounded men who formed that body. His statement was to
a certain extent borne out by the evidence of one of the survivors,
who stated that all the bodies found in that part of the field,
nearly three-quarters of a mile away from the head of the column,
had a bullet-hole through the head or breast, in addition to their
other wounds." The Administrator of the Transvaal in Council thus
comments on the occurrence in an official minute: "The surrounding
and gradual hemming in under a flag of truce of a force, and the
selection of spots from which to direct their fire, as in the case
of the unprovoked attack of the rebels upon Colonel Anstruther's
force, is a proceeding of which very few like incidents can be
mentioned in the annals of civilised warfare."

Sir Owen Lanyon, writing from the scene of action in Pretoria,
says--"The Boers were very clever in being kind to our wounded
soldiers, for they well knew that such action would obtain sympathy
at home. But where it was impossible for their deeds to become known
their conduct was far from creditable to them. Poor Clarke and Raaf
were kept for two months in a dark room, and were only allowed out
twice for exercise. Barlow was robbed of everything, and only left
the clothes he stood in. A Hollander, who is secretary to Cronjé at
Potchefstrom, is still wearing the rings of poor Captain Falls, who
was shot. Englishmen have been murdered, flogged, and robbed of
everything. The Boers at Potchefstrom forced the prisoners of war to
dig their trenches, and some were shot from the Fort while so
employed. Woite and Van der Linden were shot as spies, because they
had been in the Boer camp and left it some days before they
proclaimed the Republic. Carolus, a Cape boy, was shot by Boer
court-martial because he left the Fort when food became scarce. A
white man and nine natives were similarly shot without any trial.
Explosive bullets were used, notwithstanding that Colonel Winsloe
pointed out to the Boer leader in a letter that such was against the
rules of war."

There is ample evidence that acts of treachery and barbarity similar
to and worse than those mentioned by Colonel Lanyon were perpetrated
by the insurgents.


The sole officer who escaped from the massacre at Bronker's Spruit
was Captain Elliot, who was subsequently treacherously murdered
while crossing the Vaal. The account of this tragedy was given by
Major Lambart in a report to Sir George Colley, and should be read
by all who wish to get a fair view of the events of that period,
particularly by those who insist on our brother-relationship to the

"SIR,--I have the honour to report, for the information of his
Excellency, that as I was returning from the Orange Free State on
December 18 (where I had been on duty buying horses to mount
Commandant Ferreira's men for the Basuto war, and also remounts for
my troop of Mounted Infantry and the Royal Artillery), when about
thirty miles from Pretoria, on the road from Heidelberg, I was
suddenly taken prisoner by a party of twenty or thirty Boers, who
galloped down on me (all around), and, capturing the horses, was
taken back to Heidelberg. After being there some six or eight days,
I was joined by Captain and Paymaster Elliot, 94th Regiment (the
only officer not wounded in the attack on the detachment of the 94th
Regiment), who arrived with some forty prisoners of war of the 94th
Regiment. On the following day (the 24th of December) we received a
written communication from the Secretary of the Republican
Government, to the effect 'that the members of the said Government
would call on us at 3.30 that day,' which they did. The purport of
their interview being 'That at a meeting of Council they had decided
to give us one of two alternatives. (1) To remain prisoners of war
during hostilities in the Transvaal. (2) To be released on _parole,
d'honneur_, that we would leave the Transvaal at once, cross into
the Free State under escort, and not bear arms against the
Republican Government during the war.' Time being given us for
deliberation, Captain Elliot and myself decided to accept No. 2
alternative, and communicated the same to the Secretary of the South
African Republic, who informed us, in the presence of the
Commandant-General, P. Joubert, that we could leave next day, taking
with us all our private property. The following days being
respectively Christmas Day and Sunday, we were informed we could not
start till Monday, on which day, having signed our _parole
d'honneur_, my horses were harnessed, and we were provided with a
duplicate of our parole or free pass, signed by Commandant-General,
and escort of two men to show us the road to the nearest drift over
the Vaal River, distant twenty-five miles, and by which P. Joubert
personally told us both we should cross, as there was a punt there.
We started about 1 P.M. from the Boer camp, passing through the town
of Heidelberg. After going about six or eight miles I noticed we
were not going the right road, and mentioned the fact to the escort,
who said it was all right. Having been 'look-out' officer in the
Transvaal, I knew the district well. I was certain we were going
wrong, but we had to obey orders. At nightfall we found ourselves
nowhere near the river drift; and were ordered to outspan for the
night, and next morning the escort told us they would look for the
drift. In spanning at daybreak we again started, but after driving
about for some hours across country, I told the escort we would stop
where we were while they went to search for the drift. Shortly after
they returned and said they had found it, and we must come, which we
did, eventually arriving at the junction of two rivers (Vaal and
Klip), where we found the river Vaal impassable, but which they said
we must cross. I pointed out that it was impossible to get my
carriage or horses over by it, and that it was not the punt the
General said we were to cross. The escort replied it was to
Pretorius' Punt that the General told them to take us, and we must
cross; that we must leave the carriage behind and swim the horses,
which we refused to do, as we should then have had no means of
getting on. I asked them to show me their written instructions,
which they did (written in Dutch), and I pointed out that the name
of Pretorius was not in it. I then told them they must either take
us back to the Boer camp again or on to the proper drift. We turned
back, and after going a few miles the escort disappeared. Not
knowing where we were, I proposed to Captain Elliot we should go to
the banks of the Vaal and follow the river till we came to the
proper punt. After travelling all Monday, Tuesday, and up till
Wednesday about 1 P.M., when we found ourselves four hours, or
twenty-five miles, from Spencer's Punt, we were suddenly stopped by
two armed Boers who handed us an official letter, which was opened
and found to be from the Secretary to the Republican Government,
stating that the members were surprised that as officers and
gentlemen we had broken our _parole d'honneur_ and refused to leave
the Transvaal; that if we did not do so immediately by the nearest
drift, which the bearers would show us, we must return as prisoners
of war; that as through our ignorance of the language of the country
there might be some misunderstanding, they were loth to think we had
willingly broken our promise. We explained that we should reply to
the letter, and request them to take it to their Government, and
were prepared to go with them at once. They took us back to a
farmhouse, where we were told to wait till they fetched their
Commandant, who arrived about 6 P.M., and repeated to us the same
that was complained of in our letter of that day. We told him we
were ready to explain matters, and requested him to take our answer
back to camp. He then ordered us to start at once for the drift. I
asked him, as it was then getting dark, if we could start early next
morning, but he refused. So we started, he having said we should
cross at Spencer's, being closest. As we left the farmhouse, I
pointed out to him that we were going in the wrong direction, but he
said, 'Never mind, come on across a drift close at hand.' When we
got opposite it, he kept straight on; I called to him, and said this
was where we were to cross. His reply was, 'Come on.' I then said to
Captain Elliot, 'They intend taking us back to Pretorius,' a
distance of some forty miles. Suddenly the escort (which had all at
once increased from two to eight men, which Captain Elliot pointed
out to me, and I replied, 'I suppose they are determined we shall
not escape, which they need not be afraid of, as we are too keen to
get over the border') wheeled sharp down to the river, stopped, and
pointing to the banks, said, 'There is the drift; cross.' Being
pitch dark, with vivid lightning, the river roaring past, and as I
knew impassable, I asked, 'Had we not better wait till morning, as
we do not know the drift?' They replied, 'No; cross at once.' I
drove my horses into the river, when they immediately fell; lifted
them, and drove on about five or six yards, when we fell into a
hole. Got them out with difficulty, and advanced another yard, when
we got stuck against a rock. The current was now so strong, and
drift deep, my cart was turned over on to its side, and water rushed
over the seat. I called out to the Commandant on the bank that we
were stuck, and to send assistance, or might we return? to which he
replied, 'If you do we will shoot you.' I then tried, but failed to
get the horses to move. Turning to Captain Elliot, who was sitting
beside me, I said, 'We must swim for it,' and asked could he swim?
to which he replied, 'Yes.' I said, 'If you can't, I will stick to
you, for I can.' While we were holding this conversation, a volley
from the bank, ten or fifteen yards off, was fired into us, the
bullets passing through the tent of my cart, one of which must have
mortally wounded poor Elliot, who only uttered the single word 'Oh!'
and fell headlong into the river from the carriage. I immediately
sprang in after him, but was swept down the river under the current
some yards. On gaining the surface of the water, I could see nothing
of Elliot; I called out his name twice, but received no reply.
Immediately another volley was fired at me, making the water hiss
around where the bullets struck. I now struck out for the opposite
bank, which I reached with difficulty in about ten minutes; but as
it was deep, black mud, on landing I stuck fast, but eventually
reached the top of the bank, and ran for about two thousand yards
under a heavy fire the whole while. The night being pitch dark, but
lit up every minute by vivid flashes of lightning, showed the enemy
my whereabouts. I found myself now in the Free State, but where I
could not tell, but knew my direction was south, while, though it
was raining, hailing, and blowing hard, and bitterly cold, an
occasional glimpse of the stars showed me I was going right. I
walked all that night and next day till one o'clock, when I
eventually crawled into a store kept by an Englishman called Mr.
Groom, who did all in his power to help me. I had tasted no food
since the previous morning at sunrise, and all the Dutch farmers
refused me water, so without hat or coat (which I had left on banks
of Vaal), and shoes worn through, I arrived exhausted at the above
gentleman's place, who kindly drove me to Heilbron, where I took the
post-cart to Maritzburg. I fear that Captain Elliot must have been
killed instantly, as he never spoke, neither did I see him again. I
have to mention that both Captain Elliot and myself, on being told
by South African Republican Government that the soldiers who had
been taken prisoners were to be released on the same conditions as
ourselves, expressed a wish to be allowed to keep charge of them,
which was refused, but we were told that waggons, food, and money
should be supplied to take them down country. But when they reached
Spencer's Punt over the Vaal were turned loose, without any of the
above necessaries, to find their way down country. They met an
English transport rider named Mr. F. Wheeler, who was going to
Pietermaritzburg with his waggon, which had been looted by the
Boers, and who kindly gave them transport, provided them with food,
and is bringing them to the city, which, as I passed them at the
Drakensburg on Tuesday, they should reach on Sunday next--consisting
of one sergeant and sixty-one men, all that remain of our Leydenburg
detachment and headquarters of the 94th Regiment.--I have the honour
to remain, Sir, your obedient servant,

                                         "R. H. LAMBART,
                                  _Captain Royal Scots Fusiliers_."

Major Lambart's report speaks more eloquently than many descriptions
as to the character of the "simple-minded Boer." We discovered to
our cost during the Indian Mutiny that the "gentle native" was not
all our fancy painted him, and it may be as well to realise that our
simple-minded and pious brother in the Transvaal is scarcely so
righteous as we have been led to suppose.


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]


Since we have been tracing the causes of the Boer rebellion, it may
be advisable to refer to a letter written on the 28th of December
1880 by Sir Bartle Frere to Mr. F. Greenwood, editor of the _St.
James's Gazette_. He therein throws a most important light on the
political position. He wrote: "In 1879, when I was among the Boers
in the Transvaal, I found that the real wire-pullers of their
Committee were foreigners of various nationalities, notably some
Hollanders (not Africanders), imbued with German Socialist
Republicanism, and an Irishman of the name of Aylward. I was told he
was a man of great natural ability, educated as a solicitor, an
ex-Fenian pardoned under another name (Murphy, I think), for turning
Queen's evidence against others who had murdered the policeman at
Manchester. Emigrating to the Diamond Fields, he was tried,
convicted, and suffered imprisonment there for homicide. When he
came out of prison he betook himself to the Transvaal and had a
command of foreign free lances under Mr. Burgers, then President of
the Transvaal Republic, in his unsuccessful attempt to take
Secocoeni's stronghold. After the annexation of the Transvaal he
came to England and published one of the few readable books on the
Transvaal, and went out to Natal during the darkest hours of our
Zulu troubles, seeking employment; but he was an impossible man, and
was urging the Boers to rise at the same time that he was offering
his services to me and Lord Chelmsford. Finally he settled at
Pietermaritzburg, where he was, when I last heard of him, as editor
of the _Witness_, writing anti-English republicanism and sedition
with much ability, especially when opposing the Cape Government and
its governor, whom he never forgave for warning the Boers against
following Fenian advice. When I was in the Transvaal and afterwards
I found him always connected with any opposition to the English
Government. He knew all the leaders of the simple-minded but very
suspicious Boers, and had gained their ear, so that he had no
difficulty in persuading them to reject any good advice I offered
them--'Wait-a-bit' being always the most acceptable suggestion you
can offer to a Boer.

"Directly I heard of the attack on our troops in the Transvaal, I
felt assured that my old acquaintance was pulling the wires with a
view to create a diversion in favour of his old colleagues in

"The attack took place apparently near the farm of Solomon Prinsloo,
one of the most bitter malcontent Boers, who was always a firebrand,
and who, when I visited the Boer camp in 1879, was with difficulty
held back by Pretorius and Kruger from directing an attack upon us
in Pretoria. I very much doubt whether, without some such external
instigation, the Boers would have broken out....

"The facts I have mentioned and many more about Aylward are on
record in Scotland Yard, and in the Colonial Office, and I am
anxious you should know the truth and not attribute too much of the
blame in this sad business to the unfortunate, misguided Boers, the
victims of his bad advice, still less to any fault of Colonel
Lanyon's administration."

Sir Bartle was right in his conjecture, for Aylward had joined the
insurgents and was one of the acknowledged leaders of Joubert's

Major-General Hope Crealock, in a letter to Sir Bartle, wrote
(January 7, 1881): "A young Irishman named S----, who knew Aylward
in Natal, and who was under my command in the Natal Pioneers, called
on me to-night and told me Aylward formerly used to boast of being a
Fenian, and vowed he would pay the English Government off for what
he had got, by raising the Boers whenever Ireland was rising; and
within the last few days has written to him saying he gloried in
being one of the instigators of the present Boer revolt, &c., &c. He
wrote from Utrecht...."

It will be seen from these quotations that our relations with the
Transvaal, hostile as they may have been, were scarcely true
relations--that the real enmity and rancour, the blood-spilling and
wretchedness that commenced at this period, and are at the moment of
writing still continuing, were due, firstly, to party spirit in
Great Britain, and secondly, to the machinations of adventurers,
who, having no status elsewhere, put the ignorance of a race of
farmers to their own vile uses.

To return to the events of the last chapter. When Sir Owen Lanyon
heard of the misfortune that had befallen Colonel Anstruther's
troops, he issued a proclamation placing the country under martial
law, and Sir George Colley, dreading the results of bad blood raised
between Boers and British soldiers by the affair at Bronker's
Spruit, caused the following general order to be published:--

                                "HEADQUARTERS, PIETERMARITZBURG,
                                      _December 28th, 1880_.

"The Major-General Commanding regrets to inform the troops of his
command, that a detachment of 250 men of the 94th Regiment, on its
march from Leydenburg to Pretoria, was surprised and overwhelmed by
the Boers--120 being killed and wounded, and the rest taken
prisoners. The attack seems to have been made while the troops were
crossing a spruit, and extended to guard a long convoy. The
Major-General trusts to the courage, spirit, and discipline of the
troops of his command, to enable him promptly to retrieve this
misfortune, and to vindicate the authority of her Majesty and the
honour of the British arms. It is scarcely necessary to remind
soldiers of the incalculable advantage which discipline,
organisation, and trained skill give them over numerous but
undisciplined forces. These advantages have been repeatedly proved,
and have never failed to command success in the end against greater
odds, and greater difficulties, than we are now called on to contend
with. To all true soldiers the loss we have suffered will serve as
an incentive and stimulus to greater exertions; and the
Major-General knows well he can rely on the troops he has to
command, to show that endurance and courage which are the proud
inheritance of the British army. The stain cast on our arms must be
quickly effaced, and rebellion must be put down; but the
Major-General trusts that officers and men will not allow the
soldierly spirit which prompts to gallant action to degenerate into
a feeling of revenge. The task now forced on us by the unprovoked
action of the Boers is a painful one under any circumstances, and
the General calls on all ranks to assist him in his endeavours to
mitigate the suffering it must entail. We must be careful to avoid
punishing the innocent for the guilty, and must remember, that
though misled and deluded, the Boers are in the main a brave and
high-spirited people, and actuated by feelings that are entitled to
our respect. In the operations now about to be undertaken, the
General confidently trusts that the good behaviour of the men will
give him as much cause for pride and satisfaction as their conduct
and gallantry before the enemy, and that the result of their efforts
will be a speedy and successful termination to the war."
The proclamation had a good effect, particularly among the Dutch,
who, though loyal to the Crown, were much in sympathy with their
kinsmen in the Transvaal. On the 23rd of January 1881, General
Colley sent an ultimatum ordering the insurgents to disperse. Of
this no notice was taken until General Joubert, from Laing's Nek on
January the 29th, sent the following reply:----

                      "_To_ SIR GEORGE P. COLLEY.

     "We beg to acknowledge receipt of yours of the 23rd. In reply, we
     beg to state that, in terms of the letter, we are unable to comply
     with your request, as long as your Excellency addresses us as
     insurgents, and insinuates that we, the leaders, are wickedly
     misleading a lot of ignorant men. It is nearly hopeless for us to
     attempt to find the proper words for reply; but before the Lord we
     would not be justified if we did not avail ourselves of this,
     perhaps the last, opportunity of speaking to you as the
     representative of her Majesty the Queen and people of England, for
     whom we feel deep respect. We must emphatically repeat, we are
     willing to comply with any wishes of the Imperial Government
     tending to the consolidation and confederation of South Africa;
     and, in order to make this offer from our side as clear and
     unequivocal as possible,--although we have explained this point
     fully in all our documents, and especially in paragraphs 36 to 38
     of our first proclamation,--we declare that we would be satisfied
     with a rescinding of the annexation and restoration of the South
     African Republic under a protectorate of her Majesty the Queen, so
     that once a year the British Flag shall be hoisted, all in strict
     accordance with the above-mentioned clauses of our first
     proclamation. If your Excellency resolves to reject this, we have
     only to submit to our fate; but the Lord will provide."

Sir George Colley started on the 24th of January from Newcastle for
the border. The road from Newcastle to Laing's Nek runs up a
precipitous hill for three miles, and thence leads down the steep
mountain of Skheyns Hoogte. The movement of the column was slow and
laborious, the roads, if roads they could be called, were almost
impassable owing to great ruts, mud-holes deep enough to bury a
waggon up to the bed-planks, with boulders and other impediments
thrown in.

Here, as Laing's Nek is so prominent a feature in our history, it
may be well to give Mr. Carter's concise description of the
geographical nature of the position:--

"Laing's Nek is the lowest point in an unbroken ridge which connects
the Majuba Mountain with hills running right up to the banks of the
Buffalo River. A slight cutting, not more than four or five feet
deep, forms the waggon road over this ridge; from the waggon road on
either side the ground runs up somewhat abruptly, and is stony and
irregular. How gentle the rise is to the Nek from the level ground
in front of it towards Newcastle (and along which the approach is by
the main road), may be judged from the fact that a horse can canter
easily up the slope, or for the matter of that, over the two miles
of ground which lead to the foot of the slope. From the top of the
ridge to the level ground at the base is not more than five hundred
yards. The chain of hills, in the centre of which is the Nek, is
semicircular, the horns of the crescent pointing towards Newcastle,
and offering strong positions for any force intent on defending the
only practicable approach to the Nek; but to occupy these flank
positions a large body of men would be necessary, as the area from
point to point is great. On the reverse, or Coldstream side of the
Nek, the ground at the foot of the incline is broken and marshy, a
regular drain for all the water running from the surrounding hills."


Photo by Gregory and Co., London.]

To return to the troops. While this column was advancing, the Boers
were also advancing in a parallel line to the Nek. The following
day, 25th, the British column reached the high ground overlooking
the Ingogo River, where they encamped (here the engagement of the
8th of February took place). At dawn on the 26th the column again
laboriously mounted the terrible steeps leading to Mount Prospect,
and fixed their camp about four miles from the Nek. Owing to the
abominable state of the weather the nearing of the Nek was not
attempted, and attack was postponed till the following day. The
night was passed at Mount Prospect, and a laager made.


At six o'clock on the morning of the 28th the advance was sounded,
and at 9.55 A.M. the guns began shelling the Nek. The Boers were not
yet ready. Some took shelter behind the walls of Laing's Farmhouse,
while others kept on the heights above, covered by the ridge from
shells. Those in Laing's kraals had a warm time when the Naval
Brigade began to play on them with their guns, and they soon
evacuated the place.

Those on the Nek, after being for twenty minutes under a hot fire,
were beginning to think they had had enough of it, when our lines
ceased firing, and the mounted squadron advanced to take a
hillock--the most advanced spur of the Boer left flank position. The
58th also prepared to charge. The officers commanding the mounted
squadron were Major Brownlow and Captain Hornby, while Colonel
Deane, Major Essex (an officer with a charmed life, who survived
Isandlwana and the engagement at the Ingogo heights), Major Poole,
Lieutenant Elwes, and Lieutenant Inman were in front of the 58th.
The leading companies of the 58th having got half-way up the rise--a
heavy business considering the slipperiness of the slopes--the first
troop of the mounted squadron charged the kopje, going to right and
left of the lines taken by the 58th. No sooner were they within
sight of the Boers than they were greeted by a heavy fire that
emptied half their saddles. Still, those who were left mounted,
reformed in a pouring shower of bullets, and again charged.

But gallantry was of no avail, for there was no reserve to back up
the charge of mounted troops. Seventeen men were killed and wounded,
and thirty-two horses killed.

The repulse of this charge took place just as the 58th gained sight
of the foe, who, flushed with triumph, could now turn their
attention from the mounted troops to the right flank of the 58th.
The men, worn out with their sufficiently arduous task of climbing,
crushed together, in consequence of their not having been ordered to
deploy before making the ascent, dropped like nine-pins under the
heavy fire of the Boers. Before the order to deploy could be carried
out, volley after volley was delivered into their ranks, and an
enfilading fire was opened by the Boers on their right flank with
disastrous results. Meanwhile the Boers were well under cover behind
their sheltered trenches, and it was impossible, while the 58th were
coming to closer quarters with them, to fire from the plains below
without risk to the assailants. As a natural consequence, therefore,
the Boers, skilled as they are in marksmanship, were able at their
leisure to pick off each man as he approached.

Seeing that the Boers were more than a match for him, Colonel Deane
resorted to the bayonet. But, just as the order was being obeyed his
horse was shot under him. Rising again on the instant, and crying "I
am all right," to encourage his men, he rushed on, heading his
regiment, and again fell, this time mortally wounded. Major
Hingeston, who then took command, fell also, and his gallant brother
officers, Major Poole and Lieutenant Dolphin, shared the same fate.
They were at that time within some thirty yards of the enemy. So
great was our loss that the charge could not be sustained, and many
officers, who still persisted in emptying their revolvers on the
enemy, were severely wounded. At last there was nothing for it but
to fall back. The Boers, intoxicated with victory, now boldly came
out from cover, and poured volley after volley on the retiring men.
But for the guns at the base of the hill, which were now able to
play on the enemy, these must have been entirely swept away. So
small was the margin between our men and the victors, that but for
the nicety of this artillery practice many of the men of the 58th
must have been accidentally killed. During the retreat Lieutenant
Baillie, carrying the regimental colours, was mortally wounded. Such
magnificent deeds of heroism took place on this occasion that of
themselves they would form an inspiriting volume. Lieutenant Hill of
the 58th earned the Victoria Cross by his repeated deeds of valour
in saving soldiers under heavy fire.

The whole force fell back towards the camp, the casualties amongst
the 58th being seventy-three killed and one hundred wounded. A flag
of truce was sent forward to the enemy, and both parties engaged in
the sad work of burying their dead and removing the wounded.

Report says that on this occasion Kaffirs or Hottentots were seen to
be fighting among the Boer ranks.

Very pathetic and very manly was the speech addressed by Sir George
Colley to the camp on the evening after the fight:--"Officers,
non-commissioned officers, and men,--I have called you together this
evening, being desirous of saying a few words to you. I wish every
one present to understand that the entire blame of to-day's repulse
rests entirely upon me, and not on any of you. I congratulate the
58th Regiment for the brave and noble manner in which they fought
to-day. We have lost many gallant men, and amongst them my intimate
friend, Colonel Deane. (Emotion.) I might say, however, that
notwithstanding the loss of many troops to-day, we have not lost one
atom of the prestige of England. It is my duty to congratulate Major
Brownlow on the gallant charge he made this day. Owing to the loss
we have suffered, I am compelled to await the arrival of
reinforcements, but certainly we shall take possession of that hill
eventually, and I sincerely hope that all those men who have so
nobly done their duty to-day will be with me then. Good-night."

Of the mistakes that marked this attack it is unnecessary to write,
for they have been freely discussed, and those who were responsible
have laid down their lives in payment of whatever errors in judgment
they may have committed.


Life in camp continued as usual until the 7th of February, when an
escort proceeding with the post from Newcastle to the General's
camp, having encountered the enemy, been fired at, and forced to
return, Sir George Colley thought a demonstration in force would be
sufficient to deter the Boers from further interference with the
line of communication. Consequently the next morning, the 8th of
February, he marched with five companies of the second battalion of
the 60th Regiment, four guns and thirty-eight men of the Mounted
Squadron. The force crossed the river Ingogo, then only knee-deep,
and gained a plateau in shape like an inverted L, the base being the
side nearest Newcastle. On arrival here an orderly suddenly reported
that the enemy, concealed among boulders and large blocks of
granite, was waiting in great force. Almost immediately afterwards
about a hundred mounted Boers became visible on the right. The order
was given to prepare for action, and, just as the guns were on the
point of firing, the Boers wheeled round and went off. They galloped
away to the bottom of the ravine, followed by a shell which,
unfortunately, burst beyond them. The Rifles were also firing, but
unsuccessfully, at the retreating riders. Soon it became apparent,
however, that the British party was surrounded on all sides by the
enemy, who were comfortably screened by the tall tambookie grass and
the immense boulders that were to be found in clumps all round the
position. Our men were also hiding behind rocks and boulders, and
firing whenever a Boer head became visible. Soon after, the
engagement opened in earnest. A hot fire was kept up by the
9-pounder in charge of Lieutenant Parsons, R.A., to which the enemy
replied, directly the gun was discharged, by a hail of bullets aimed
at the gunners while they reloaded.

In order to rout the Boers from their cover, an order was given to
the mounted men to charge. At that moment the Boers fired a heavy
volley, which incapacitated most of the horses and forced Major
Brownlow to retire to the plateau. Fortunately only one of the men
was wounded. The artillerymen now suffered considerably, having no
shelter but the doubtful shelter of their guns, which afforded a
convenient mark for the Boers. As soon as the General, who was going
from point to point with his usual coolness, saw the state of
affairs--ammunition and even gunners having run short--he sent to
Mount Prospect camp for reinforcements. Still the fight continued.
The Boers now steadily and surely crept to close quarters, while the
British columns became momentarily thinner and thinner. Yet every
man continued to hold his ground till hopelessly struck down.
Hopelessly is a word used advisedly, for many who were struck down
rose several times and continued to fire till mortally wounded.

Of the splendid gallantry of the force it is impossible to say
enough. The fighting continued for six terrible hours through rain
that fell literally in torrents, in an arena where wounded and dying
lay thick, their despairing cries mingling with the continued growl
of thunder interspersed with the roar of artillery. Then a white
flag was displayed by the Boers. But, when the Rev. Mr. Ritchie in
return displayed the British white flag, he was instantly fired
upon. The object of the use of the white flag on the part of the
Boers was to enable them to take advantage of the temporary inaction
to make rushes to cover nearer to the British lines than that they
had previously occupied! The fighting began, and, for the small body
of British troops, continued disastrously. At last, when darkness
came on, both sides were forced to cease firing. Now and then, only
when a flash of lightning lit up the terrible scene, the firing of
bullets demonstrated that the Boers were still thoroughly on the

The darkness descended, and in the middle of the pouring rain and
the murky obscurity the noble British dead were counted. The wounded
were also tended as well as it was possible to tend them when water
and restoratives were wanting, and the only relieving moisture had
to be sucked from the storm-drenched grass. Finally, the General,
viewing the deplorable state of the men, decided to withdraw the
force from the field. It was plain that any renewal of attack on the
morrow by the reinforced Boers could but mean annihilation or
surrender. So the remnants of the force started on their return
journey. This was now a terrible task, the Ingogo, which had been
crossed at knee-depth, had swollen dangerously; the gentle stream
had become a torrent. The bed of the river being full of holes, it
was in some places some ten to twelve feet deep.

Of the perils by field and flood it would be impossible to speak at
length. Mr. Carter, who was present at the melancholy fight and a
witness of all connected with the reverse, gives in his wonderful
narrative of the Boer war an interesting description of the misery
of that return march:--

"Knowing that moments were precious in the then state of the river,
I went ahead with the advance guard and crossed the stream; it was
then nearly up to my armpits, and running very swiftly. By holding
my rifle aloft, I managed to keep it dry, but every cartridge in my
pockets was under water. Only with the greatest care, and thanks to
a knowledge of the whereabouts of the treacherous hole in the
drift, did I manage to keep on my legs. On gaining the opposite
bank, I scooped up and drained off a helmetful of the precious
fluid, and then urging on through the next ford--an insignificant
one compared to the first--gained admission at Fermistone's hotel,
after being duly cross-questioned through the keyhole of the door.
Some hot tea and whisky was recommended by the host, and palatable
it was. In a short time the other "Correspondent" arrived, _minus_
his rifle. He had been carried down the stream like a cork, and only
saved from drowning by being washed against some reeds at a bend of
the river. He decided that he had had enough of the march for that
night, and elected to go to bed. Next came in the General, and a
gentleman who claimed to be a surgeon (a Transvaal surgeon) escaped
from the Boer lines. He had been allowed free access to the camp at
Mount Prospect, and had accompanied the Ingogo expedition, but not
as a surgeon. From the General I learnt that there had been some men
washed down the stream in spite of the precaution adopted of joining

The return to camp was still more trying. The roads were slippery as
glass, and men and horses, thoroughly worn out, dropped exhausted by
the way. But it is needless to dwell on this melancholy event--an
event rendered so much more melancholy by regret for sublime effort
wasted in the support of a Government that was at that very moment
entertaining the proposals for craven surrender.


On Sunday, the 27th of February, Sir George Colley made his last
move. During the afternoon of the previous day the General, who was
a great theorist, had been cogitating some scheme which he only
communicated to Colonel Stewart, and to one or two others. No sooner
had "lights out" been sounded, than an order was passed round for
detachments of the 58th, third battalion of the 60th Rifles, Naval
Brigade, and Highlanders, to parade with three days' rations. Then
the order came that the force was to form up by the redoubt nearest
the main road on their left. At ten a start was made, the General
and staff riding in front, with the 58th leading, followed by the
60th, and the Naval Brigade in the rear. The direction taken was
straight up the Inguela Mountain. Arrived on a plateau about
half-way up, the troops proceeded by a path, narrow almost as a
sheep path, which winds across the steepest part of the mountain.
Great boulders edged the hillside, and masses of rock hung
perpendicularly above the surface of the ground. One false step and
the climber would have been hurled down some thirty feet, to be
dashed to pieces against the stones, or entangled in the bush. This
march was conducted in strict silence, no voice being raised, and
indeed not a breath more than was required for climbing expended.
Men and officers, all were bent on the one great feat of mounting
and gaining the summit. The march continued over loose stones, and
boulders and obstacles multifarious--sometimes round wrong tracks,
owing to mistakes of the guide, and sometimes over grass and glassy
slopes, where a man could make progress merely by means of hands and
knees. Thus the force stealthily ascended, creeping up in ones and
twos, the General and staff leading the way in ever-increasing
darkness and silence.

So heavy was the work of ascent that, when at last they reached the
top, the troops almost dropped from exhaustion. It was this
exhaustion that is said by some to have influenced the General's
plans, but others declare that he was not likely so to be
influenced. Instead of attempting at once to throw up a rough
entrenchment, he refused to permit it, declaring that the men were
already over fatigued. A slight entrenchment might have made all the
difference in the sad history of Majuba, but the General gave no
orders to entrench, and thus the troops were left open to the enemy.

At early dawn, on looking towards the Nek, it was obvious that a
large Boer force was there congregated, while at the base of the
mountain was the right flank of the Dutch camp. Gazing down from the
great height which had been so perseveringly gained, all hearts
warmed with a glow of triumph and of anticipation. The rocket tubes
and Gatlings would soon arrive, and then those below would be
awakened to the tune of the guns! From their point of vantage it
seemed as though the British had the Boers at their mercy.

The hilltop of Majuba was hollowed out basinwise, and there seemed
only a necessity to line the rim of it in the event of a rush from
the enemy. But the suspicion that the Boers would creep from ridge
to ridge, and mount the crest, never dawned on any one. In the dense
darkness it was impossible to become acquainted with the nature of
all sides of the hill, and the troops imagined them all to be
equally impregnable.

Mr. Carter, who was there, says that at this time some twenty
Highlanders stood on the ridge watching the lights of the enemy, and
pointing to the camp below them, and laughingly repeating their
challenge, "Come up here, you beggars." They never imagined it would
be possible for them indeed to come! He further states his belief
that the reason why no entrenchments were attempted was that every
staff officer on Majuba felt certain "that the Boers would never
face the hill--entrenchments or no entrenchments on the summit--as
long as the British soldier was there." For this almost fatuous
belief in their own security these gallant soldiers were destined to
pay heavily.

So soon as daylight served to show our troops standing against the
sky-line, the enemy began to advance at the base of the mountain.
The first shot on that eventful day was fired at a Boer scout by
Lieutenant Lucy of the 58th, but the General, hearing it, sent word
to "stop that firing." Silence again reigned. But in the meantime
the Boers were crawling cautiously up the hill after leaving their
horses safely under cover. About 6 A.M. they opened a steady fire,
to which the British troops responded cordially. The Boer bullets,
though doubling those of the British, did little damage, as the
troops were partially sheltered within the basin of the hilltop.
Thus the fight continued till nine, none of the officers at that
time even suspecting that the enemy would venture to "rush" their
stronghold. No one was wounded, and nothing was to be seen on any
side of the hill, as the Boers kept closely under cover. At this
juncture many men, worn out and fatigued, laid themselves down to
sleep. Suddenly Lieutenant Lucy appeared asking for reinforcements,
and saying that the fire was "warming up" in his direction. Some
minutes later the General, who was perpetually moving round the
line, cool, collected, and calculating as ever, flashed a message to
Mount Prospect camp, ordering the 60th Rifles to be sent from
Newcastle to his support.

Later the General espied two Boers within 600 yards or so of him
mounting the ravine, and pointed them out. He had scarcely done this
when Commander Romilly fell. This gallant sailor was deservedly
popular, and gloom suddenly spread over the hitherto cheerful force.
Still, no one dreamed that the Boers would really get to close
quarters. The first awakening came when the firing, which had been
till then in single shots, poured upwards in volleys. From the sound
it was evident that the enemy was much nearer than had been
supposed. The Highlanders, who were facing this unexpected
fusillade, were soon reinforced by the reserves which had been
ordered to their assistance.

[Illustration: TOP OF MAJUBA]

The 58th, 92nd, and Naval Brigade disappeared over the ridge to meet
the enemy, and vigorously returned their fire. For one moment that
of the Boers appeared to slacken; then suddenly there came a
precipitate retreat of our men, the officers shouting, "Rally on the
right! rally on the right!" This order was obeyed, the troops
describing a semicircle and coming back to the ridge to a point at
left of that from which they had been so suddenly driven. But the
momentary retreat had been demoralising. At this standpoint the men
had become hopelessly mixed up--sailors, Highlanders, and 58th men
all in a wild melee. Over this heterogeneous mass the officers had
lost their personal influence. While order was being restored the
Boer firing ceased. The pause was just sufficient to allow breathing
time, for they almost instantaneously reopened with redoubled
vigour. Their shooting was scarcely successful, but a hail of lead
from the upturned muzzles of rifles continued to traverse the thirty
yards which now separated the foes. The enemy numbered only about
200, but they hoped by rapidity of fire to hold the British in check
till their comrades should come to the rescue. Mr. Carter thus
graphically describes what was really the last despairing effort of
our men:--

"The order was given in our lines, 'Fix bayonets,' and immediately
the steel rang from the scabbard of every man, and flashed in the
bright sunlight the next second on the muzzle of every rifle.
'That's right!' cheerily called Major Fraser. 'Now, men of the 92nd,
don't forget your bayonets!' he added, with marked emphasis on the
word bayonets. It was the bayonet or nothing now, and the officer's
words sent quite a pleasant thrill through all. Colonel Stewart
immediately added, 'And the men of the 58th!' 'And the Naval
Brigade!' sang out another officer, Captain MacGregor, I think.
'Show them the cold steel, men! that will check them,' continued
Fraser, whilst volley after volley came pouring in, and volley after
volley went in the direction of the enemy. But why this delay? The
time we were at this point I cannot judge, except by personally
recalling incidents in succession. When the bayonets rang into the
rifle-sockets simultaneously with the reopening of the Boers'
volleys, I felt convinced that in two minutes that murderous fire
would be silenced, and our men driving the foe helter-skelter down
hill. After the bayonets had been drawn and fixed, and remained
fixed, our men still firing for at least four or five minutes, and
no order came to 'charge,' I changed my opinion suddenly."

Here we may imagine the agony--hope, doubt, suspense--that passed
like a lightning flash through the minds of all who were present.

The uproar at this time grew appalling. Commands of the officers,
the crash of shot, the shrieks of the wounded, all helped to
aggravate the din. Boers were fast climbing the mountain sides, and
the troops, worn out and almost expended, were beginning to lose the
spirit of discipline that hitherto had sustained them. The officers
stepped forward boldly, sword in one hand and revolver in the other,
but to no purpose. Only an insignificant number of men now responded
to the command.


Drawn by R. Caton Woodville, from Notes supplied by Officers

The officer to the left, with the glass in his hand, is General
Colley, who, to facilitate his ascent of the hill, took off his
boots, and, during the engagement, wore only socks and slippers. He,
with others, is urging the soldiers to maintain their position. The
Highlander with the bandage on his face was wounded, but bravely
continued to fight. The Highlander on the right, apparently asleep,
was shot dead while taking aim. The officer in the immediate
foreground towards the right, to whom the doctor is offering a
flask, is Major L. C. Singleton, of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, who
died of his wounds. The figure pressing forward on the extreme left
of the picture is the Special Correspondent of the _Standard_

Mr. Carter declares that when Lieutenant Hamilton of the 92nd asked
Sir George Colley's permission to charge with the bayonet, he
replied, "Wait a while." Such humanity was almost inhumanity, for
waiting placed at stake many lives that might have been saved. The
correspondent says:--

"Evidently Sir George Colley allowed his feelings of humanity to
stand in the way of the request of the young officer. We were forty
yards at the farthest from the enemy's main attacking party. In
traversing these forty yards our men would have been terribly
mauled, no doubt, by the first volley, but the ground sloped gently
to the edge of the terrace along which the enemy were lying, and the
intervening space would be covered in twenty seconds--at all events,
so rapidly by the survivors of the first volley, that the Boers,
mostly armed with the Westley-Richards cap rifle, would not have had
time to reload before our men were on them. I am not sure that the
first rush of the infantry would not have demoralised the enemy,
and that their volley would have been less destructive than some
imagined. If only a score of our men had thrust home, the enemy must
have been routed. At a close-quarter conflict, what use would their
empty rifles have been against the bayonets of our men, who would
have had the additional advantage of the higher ground? If the
bayonet charge was impracticable at that moment, then, as an
offensive weapon, the bayonet is a useless one, and the sooner it is
discarded as unnecessary lumber to a soldier's equipment the better.
It was our last chance now, though a desperate one, because these
withering volleys were laying our men prostrate; slowly in
comparison with the number of shots fired, but surely, despite our
shelter. Some out of the hail of bullets found exposed victims. In a
few seconds our left flank, now practically undefended, and
perfectly open to the Boers scaling the side of the mountain in that
direction, would be attacked with the same fury as our front.

"Looking to the spot Cameron had indicated as the one where the
General stood, I saw his Excellency standing within ten paces
directing some men to extend to the right. It was the last time I
saw him alive."

It is unnecessary to dwell further on the tragic events of that
unlucky battle. After midday our troops retreated, and the retreat
soon became a rout. At this time Sir George Colley was shot. Dismay
seized all hearts, followed by panic. The British soldiers rushed
helter-skelter down the precipitous steeps they had so cheerfully
climbed the night before, many of them losing their lives in their
efforts to escape from the ceaseless fire of the now triumphant

[Illustration: WHERE COLLEY FELL.


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]

Before leaving this sad subject, it may be interesting to note a
Boer account of the day's doings which is related by Mr. Rider
Haggard in his useful book on "The Last Boer War":--

"A couple of months after the storming of Majuba, I, together with a
friend, had a conversation with a Boer, a volunteer from the Free
State in the late war, and one of the detachment that stormed
Majuba, who gave us a circumstantial account of the attack with the
greatest willingness. He said that when it was discovered that the
English had possession of the mountain, he thought that the game was
up, but after a while bolder counsels prevailed, and volunteers were
called for to storm the hill. Only seventy men could be found to
perform the duty, of whom he was one. They started up the mountain
in fear and trembling, but soon found that every shot passed over
their heads, and went on with greater boldness. Only three men, he
declared, were hit on the Boer side; one was killed, one was hit in
the arm, and he himself was the third, getting his face grazed by a
bullet, of which he showed us the scar. He stated that the first to
reach the top ridge was a boy of twelve, and that as soon as the
troops saw them they fled, when, he said, he paid them out for
having nearly killed him, knocking them over one after another 'like
bucks' as they ran down the hill, adding that it was 'alter lecker'
(very nice)."

A complete and reliable narrative of affairs on that fateful day in
the ridge below Majuba was given in the _Army and Navy Gazette_. It
is here reproduced, as it shows the finale from the point of view of
an eye-witness of one of the most lamentable fights known in British
history. The correspondent says:--

     "As our mysterious march on the night of the 26th February began,
     two companies of the 60th Rifles, under the command of Captains C.
     H. Smith and R. Henley, were detached from General Colley's small
     column, and left on the Imquela Mountain. These companies received
     _no orders_, beyond that they were to remain there. The rest of the
     column then marched into the dark night on their unknown mission,
     our destination being guessed at, but not announced. The road was
     rough, and at some places little better than a beaten track, and
     the men found it hard to pick their steps among the loose stones
     and earth mounds. But all were cheerful and ready for their work.
     The ridge at the foot of the heights was reached at about midnight,
     and here the column made a brief halt, to allow of one company of
     the 92nd (which had lost its touch) coming up. Here one company of
     the 92nd Highlanders, under Captain P. F. Robertson, was detailed
     to proceed with Major Fraser, R.E., to a spot about one hundred
     yards distant, General Colley himself giving the order that they
     were to remain there, 'to dig as good a trench as time would permit
     of,' and further to select a good position to afford cover for the
     horses and ammunition, &c., that were to be left in charge of the
     detachment. They were also desired to throw out sentries in the
     direction of the camp, also a patrol of four men, with a
     non-commissioned officer, to watch the beaten track along which we
     had just come, and to act as guides for a company of the 60th
     Rifles expected from camp to reinforce the Highlanders on the
     ridge. These orders having been given, the column again moved off,
     leaving the Highlanders to make their arrangements.

     "The men had a brief rest after their walk, and then, assisted by
     their officers--Captain P. F. Robertson and Lieutenant G.
     Staunton--began the work of making their entrenchments. At about 5
     A.M. the expected company of the 60th Rifles arrived, under the
     command of Captain E. Thurlow and Second Lieutenants C. B. Pigott
     and H. G. L. Howard. Surgeon-Major Cornish also accompanied this
     detachment, with some mules laden with hospital requirements.
     Captain Thurlow, who had received _no orders_, and who had brought
     out his men without either their greatcoats or their rations,
     joined the Highlanders in their entrenchments. They had to work
     hard, so as to complete their work rapidly, and consequently the
     men had little or no rest that night. At about 6 A.M. we were
     visited by Commissariat-General J. W. Elmes, who was returning to
     the camp, and promised to send out the 60th their rations. Shortly
     afterwards a conductor named Field arrived with a led mule, laden
     with stores, &c., for the staff. He was hurrying on to try and
     reach the summit of the hill before day. Doubts were expressed as
     to the advisability of his going on alone; but he had his orders,
     he said (about the only man who had that day!), and so he went on
     his way. About an hour afterwards a shot was heard, and we
     afterwards learnt that the conductor had been wounded, and he and
     his mule taken prisoners! By this time the day had quite broken,
     the heavy curtain of the night had rolled away, and disclosed
     before us the rugged and precipitous ascent to the Majuba Mountain,
     which stood directly in front of us, about 1400 yards distant. It
     stood out in bold relief against a blue-grey sky, and on the
     summit, and against the sky, the figures of men could be distinctly
     seen passing to and fro. These were only discernible with the aid
     of field-glasses, and at that time no great certainty was felt as
     to their being our own men.

     "Away to the south of us, in the direction of the camp, sloped the
     Imquela Mountain. The glasses were brought to bear on this spot
     also, where a man was detected signalling with a flag. The officer
     commanding our party (Captain Robertson, 92nd) then signalled the
     question, 'Who are you?' and the answer returned was, 'We are two
     companies of the 60th Rifles, who have been left here all night.' A
     second message was then sent, asking what their orders were, and
     the reply returned was, 'None.' Their position was consequently
     much the same as ours. All the morning our sentries heard
     occasional shots, and from time to time were seen small bodies of
     mounted Boers galloping to and fro near our entrenchments,
     seemingly to reconnoitre our position. At about eleven o'clock we
     were joined by a troop of the 15th Hussars, who had just come from
     the camp, bringing with them the rations for the 60th Rifles. This
     troop was commanded by Captain G. D. F. Sulivan, and accompanied by
     Second Lieutenant Pocklington and Lieutenant H. C. Hopkins, 9th
     Lancers, attached. Captain Sulivan, having received no orders,
     remained with our party, dismounting his men, and placing them
     under cover on the slope, just in rear of our entrenchment. For an
     hour or two afterwards all remained perfectly quiet. The distant
     figures on the summit of the Majuba Hill could still be seen
     passing and repassing against the grey sky. We had come to the
     definite conclusion that they were our own men, entrenching
     themselves on the top of the mountain. They had gained by strategy
     a strong position; but could they hold it? Even then the question
     was mooted. All at once, while we were quietly waiting, a
     continuous and heavy firing broke out on the mountain. We saw the
     blue smoke rolling across the still sky; we saw an evident stir and
     excitement among the party on the hill. What was it? Were they
     attacked, or attacking? Volley after volley rolled forth; it was a
     heavy and continuous fire, never ceasing for a moment. All glasses
     were brought to bear on the mountain, and every eye was strained to
     catch a sight of what was going on. After a few minutes the figure
     of a man hurrying down towards us was visible--a wounded man, no
     doubt--and a mounted Hussar was sent out to bring him in. He proved
     to be a wounded man of the 58th, and from him we learnt something
     of the disaster which had befallen our column. The General was
     dead, lying on his back, with a bullet through his head. Our men
     were nearly all either wounded or taken prisoners. The hilltop was
     covered with the bodies of the brave fellows, who had fought to the
     last. Even while he spoke we could see the desperate retreat had
     begun, and a few desperate figures were seen struggling down among
     the stones and boulders. Our men were flying, there was no doubt
     about that now. In a few minutes the enemy would be upon us, but we
     were prepared for them. I never saw men steadier or more prepared
     to fight, although, as I glanced round, I felt how hopeless such a
     fight would be. My fear, however, did not seem to be participated
     in by either officers or men, for Captain Robertson (the officer in
     command) at once began his preparation for a determined resistance.
     The ammunition boxes were opened, and placed at equal convenient
     distances all round the entrenchment. Half the entrenchment was
     manned by the Highlanders, and the other half by Rifles. These
     preparations were quietly and promptly made. The men were silent,
     but steady. Looking round, every face was set with a grave
     determination 'to do,' and there was not a word audible as the
     orders were spoken and the commands obeyed. The low (and to an
     experienced eye) fragile turf walls that were to offer shelter
     seemed but poor defences, now that they were to be tried. They were
     only about four feet high by two feet thick, with one exit at the
     rear, and could never have stood before a fire such as was even now
     pouring down the slope of Majuba. The wounded were now being
     brought in rapidly by our mounted Hussars, who did their work
     steadily. Some of the poor fellows were terribly wounded, and
     though Surgeon-Major Cornish did his best for them unassisted, many
     had to lie unattended to in their suffering. All brought the same
     bitter news of defeat and annihilation, not very reassuring to our
     little force, which was now about to take its part in the day's
     engagement. As suddenly as it began, the firing as suddenly ceased;
     and we knew that the dreadful task of clearing the heights was
     done, and our resistance about to begin. We could see the Boers
     clustering like a swarm of bees at the edge of our ridge. Every
     moment we expected a rush and an attack. But they hesitated. They
     were waiting--waiting for the party of some 600 or 700 mounted
     Boers, who presently appeared upon our left flank. Our entrenchment
     was now almost surrounded. The mounted Boers were the first to
     attack us on our left flank, and their fire was spiritedly replied
     to by the Rifles. At this moment, and while we were actually
     engaging our enemy, the order came from the camp desiring Captain
     Robertson to retreat his force without delay. No such easy matter
     now, for the order came almost too late; the Boers were within easy
     range of us, and determined to attack. Nevertheless, in the same
     orderly and steady manner in which the preparations for defence had
     been made, the preparations for retreat were begun. Much credit is
     due to Captains Robertson and Thurlow for the energetic manner in
     which they helped to load the mules, securing a safe retreat for
     the ammunition and stores, and then assisting Surgeon-Major Cornish
     to get off the wounded. All this time we were under fire, and it
     was while retreating that poor Cornish was killed. When our little
     entrenchment had been cleared of its stores, the real retreat
     began, made under a murderous fire, which followed us as we hurried
     down the steep slope into the ravine below. Captain Sulivan, with
     his troop of Hussars, was placed on the right flank to try and
     cover the retreat in that direction. By this time the Boers had
     partially occupied our entrenchment, having broken down its
     defences easily enough. And we had scarcely retreated down the
     steep slope and into the ravine before they occupied the ridge
     above us in hundreds, sending volley after volley after our
     retreating men. It was a case now of _sauve qui peut_, and to me
     the only marvel is how we lost so few under the circumstances. Our
     casualties were four killed (including Surgeon-Major Cornish),
     eleven wounded, and twenty-two prisoners. The Highlanders suffered
     the most. The officers were the last to leave the ridge. I saw
     Captain Robertson standing on the crest of the slope giving some
     final directions just a moment before the ridge was entirely
     covered by the Boers, and his escape consequently was almost a
     miraculous one. I was in the ravine before I heard our artillery
     open fire upon the Boers. Second-Lieutenant Staunton, 92nd
     Highlanders, was taken prisoner. We were never joined by the two
     companies of the Rifles who were left on the Imquela Mountain the
     night before, nor did I see them under fire at any part of the day.
     Thus ended our brief battle, and only those who took part in it can
     tell the bitterness of having to retreat, utterly routed and
     defeated as we were."


As may be remembered, Sir Owen Lanyon's proclamation announcing
martial law was read, and the town handed over to the military
government. Colonel Gildea (introduced by Colonel Bellairs) acted as
Commandant of the Garrison, Major F. Mesurier, R.E., was in charge
of the Infantry Volunteers, and Captain Campbell, 94th Regiment,
filled the post of Provost-Marshal. Sympathisers with the Boers were
ordered to leave the place on pain of being handed over to the
Provost-Marshal to be dealt with by military law.

It was decided to evacuate the town, and form two laagers, one at
the camp, and one between the Roman Catholic church and the jail. In
the camp the women and children were to be placed, while the
Infantry Volunteers garrisoned the convent laager. Within the
convent, women and children were packed tightly as sardines, while
the nuns turned out on errands of mercy. All night and all day,
scarcely stopping to eat a mouthful, men worked, sandbagging windows
and doors--building barricades and defences of various kinds.
Waggons were sent round to gather all families within the shelter of
the camp. Rich and poor, good and bad, some 4000 souls, were herded
together in tents for their protection. Here they remained for three
months, enduring hardships of the most variegated and worrying kind,
and loyally waiting for the relieving column that never came.

Descriptions of the rations served out to each man daily are not
appetising: Bread, 1-1/4 lb., or biscuit, 1 lb.; coffee, 2/3 oz.;
sugar, 2-1/2 oz.; meat, 1-1/4 lb.; tea, 1/6 oz.; and salt, 1/2 oz.
These were reduced as the siege proceeded. The meat was _trek_ beef,
a leathery substitute for steak, and the biscuits were veterans,
having "served" in the Zulu and Sekukuni campaigns, and now being
nothing better than a swarm of weevils. Life in Pretoria was
enlivened by occasional sorties against the Boer laagers, where the
enemy was supposed to number some 800 strong. The laagers were
distributed at distances of four and eight miles from the town, and
were connected by a system of patrolling, which rendered
communication from within or without almost impossible. A few
messengers (natives) occasionally came into the town, but these
were mostly charged with the delivery of delusive messages invented
for special purposes by the Boers. There was an ever-present
difficulty--that of keeping the natives in check. Many examples of
Boer cruelty to these poor blacks are recorded, and they naturally
shuddered at the prospect of once more being delivered over to the
rule of the sjambok.

Mr. H. Shepstone, the Secretary for native affairs, took immense
pains to keep things quiet among the various chiefs. He said he had
but to lift his little finger, and the Boers would not hold the
field for a couple of days. Almost every native he knew would be in
arms, and by sheer weight of numbers would overpower the Boers.
Several of the chiefs sheltered refugees, and Montsiwe gathered his
force in the hope that he would be allowed to come to the relief of
Potchefstroom. Government reports regarding the loyalty of the
natives were numerous, and the natives' longing to come to the
assistance of the British in fighting their ancient oppressors was
obvious. The subsequent desertion of these people whom Great Britain
had taken under her wing, is one of the most grievous of the many
grievous things that accrued from the exercise of British
"magnanimity." Sir Morrison Barlow and Sir Evelyn Wood both agreed
that the natives were "British to a man!" They were thoroughly sick
of Boer cruelty, and the Kaffirs and Basutos had learnt to look to
Great Britain for a reign of peace. Rather than again be ruled by
the Boer despots, they were ready to spill the last drop of their
blood, and only the high principled, almost quixotic action of the
British officials prevented the utilisation in extremity of this
massive and effective weapon of defence. Besides the garrison in
Pretoria there were other forts defended by soldiers and loyalists,
forts which were none of them taken by the enemy. These were
Potchefstroom, Rustenburg, Sydenburg, Marabastad, and Wakkerstroom.
The fort of Potchefstroom was surrendered during the armistice by
fraudulent representations on the part of the Boers.

The absorbing topic of the time was naturally the future of the
Transvaal. Hope warmed all hearts and helped every one to keep up a
fictitious air of cheerfulness. All thought that the rebellion would
serve to strengthen the British in their determination to establish
an effectual Government in the country and promote an enduring
peace. The suspicion that the territory would be given back would
have come on these hoping, waiting, and longing sufferers like a
blast from the pole. Fortunately it was not given to them to foresee
the humiliating end of their staunch endurance. Anathemas long and
deep were sounded at the mention of Dr. Jorissen, who was looked
upon as the fuse which set alight the rebellious temper of the

[Illustration: General Sir EVELYN WOOD, G.C.B., V.C.

Photo by Maull & Fox, London.]

The enemy, however, never directly attacked the town. They contented
themselves with attempting to steal cattle and skirmishing, and
generally harassing those within. Such fights as these were mainly due
to British initiative, and these were not fraught with success to us. Of
this period it is pitiful to write. British valour and endurance were
exhibited to the uttermost, and many gallant actions at different
sorties might be recorded. So also might be given, did space allow, many
instances of Boer cunning and Boer treachery--notably the acts of firing
on the flag of truce, and on ambulance waggons. There can be no doubt
that the firing on the flag of truce by the Boers was intentional. Their
own explanation of the cause of this uncivilised proceeding may be taken
for what it is worth. It appears that their troops were divided in
opinion--that one party wished to continue fighting while another wished
to surrender. Hence the exhibition of double-dealing which had so
confounding an effect on their enemies, and so convenient a one for
themselves. The Boers on the Majuba Hill fired on a flag of truce, the
attack at Bronker's Spruit was made under cover of the white flag, and
delay at Ingogo, to cover their movement from shelter, was gained by
means of the same vile expedient.

When the news of the British reverses at Laing's Nek and Majuba
reached Pretoria there was general consternation. But, as yet, none
knew of the crushing blow that was still in store. On the 28th, 102
days after the hoisting of the Republican flag at Heidelberg, there
came the almost incredible news that a peace had been concluded
involving the surrender of the Transvaal to the Boers. At first it
seemed impossible that the British Government could have consented
to leave its loyal supporters in the terrible position in which they
now found themselves. All who had sat patiently through trouble and
trial, working with might and main, suffering from endless ills, in
peril of their lives, and deprived of property and home, now joined
in one heartrending wail of woe and disappointment. The
consternation that followed the announcement of the ignoble
surrender is thus described by Mr. Nixon, who was an eye-witness and
sharer of the general grief and humiliation:--

"The scene which ensued baffles description. The men hoisted the
colours half-mast high. The Union Jack was pulled down and dragged
through the mud. The distinctive ribbons worn round the hats of the
men as badges were pulled off and trampled underfoot. I saw men
crying like children with shame and despair. Some went raving up and
down that they were Englishmen no longer; others, with flushed and
indignant faces, sat contemplating their impending ruin, 'refusing
to be comforted.' It was a painful, distressing, and humiliating
scene, and such as I hope never to witness again. While I write,
the remembrance of it comes vividly before me; and as I recall to
mind the weeping men and women, the infuriated volunteers, and the
despairing farmers and storekeepers, half crazy with the sense of
wounded national honour, and the prospect of loss and ruin before
them, my blood boils within me, and I cannot trust myself to commit
to paper what I think. The lapse of two years has but deepened the
feeling which I then experienced. The subject may perhaps be only
unpleasant to people at home, but to me personally, who have seen
the ruin and dismay brought upon the too credulous loyalists, the
recollections it stirs up are more bitterly mortifying than words
can describe."

Mr. Rider Haggard, who at this time was at Newcastle, has also
recorded his experiences on the unhappy occasion. He says:--"Every
hotel and bar was crowded with refugees who were trying to relieve
their feelings by cursing the name of Gladstone with a vigour,
originality, and earnestness that I have never heard equalled; and
declaring in ironical terms how proud they were to be citizens of
England--a country that always kept its word. Then they set to work
with many demonstrations of contempt to burn the effigy of the right
honourable gentleman at the head of her Majesty's Government, an
example, by the way, that was followed throughout South Africa."
Talking of the loyal inhabitants in the Transvaal on whom the news
burst 'like a thunderbolt,' he explains that they did not say
much--because there was nothing to be said! They simply packed up
their portable goods and chattels, and made haste to leave the
country, "which they well knew would henceforth be utterly untenable
for Englishmen and English sympathisers." Here was another great
trek--a pathetic exodus of British loyalists whom Great Britain had
betrayed. Away they went, these poor believing and deceived people,
to try and make new homes and new fortunes, for as soon as the
Queen's sovereignty was withdrawn houses and land were not worth a
song, and their chances of earning a living were now entirely over,
on account of their mistaken loyalty.

The condition of the town is thus described in a journal of the

"The streets grown over with rank vegetation; the water-furrows
unclean and unattended, emitting offensive and unhealthy stenches;
the houses showing evident signs of dilapidation and decay; the side
paths, in many places, dangerous to pedestrians--in fact, everything
the eye can rest upon indicates the downfall which has overtaken
this once prosperous city. The visitor can, if he be so minded,
betake himself to the outskirts and suburbs, where he will perceive
the same sad evidences of neglect, public grounds unattended, roads
uncared for, mills and other public works crumbling into ruin.
These palpable signs of decay most strongly impress him. A blight
seems to have come over this lately fair and prosperous town.
Rapidly it is becoming a 'deserted village,' a 'city of the dead.'"


The Government, through the medium of the Queen's Speech, had
announced its intention of vindicating her Majesty's authority in
the Transvaal. This was in January 1881. About that time President
Brand, of the Orange Free State, formed himself into a species of
Board of Arbitration between the contending parties--Boers and
British. The reason for this intervention was threefold--first, he
genuinely desired to avoid further bloodshed; second, he as
genuinely hoped, under a mask of neutrality, to advance the Dutch
cause throughout South Africa; and third, he amicably wished to put
himself in the good graces of the British Government. Prior to
General Colley's death Mr. Brand had urged him to allow peace to be
made, and to guarantee the Boers not being treated as rebels if they
submitted. General Colley was no quibbler with words. He would give
no such assurance. He proposed, in a telegram to the Colonial
Secretary, to publish an amnesty on entering the Transvaal to all
peaceable persons--excepting one or two prominent rebels. On the 8th
of February (the day of the battle of the Ingogo), a telegram was
received from home, promising a settlement upon the Boers ceasing
from armed opposition. This showed that the Government had early
begun to put their foot on the first rung of the ladder of
disgrace--it can be called by no other term--and that the
"climb-down" policy was already coming into practice. An unfortunate
game at cross-purposes seems to have been going on, for Mr. Brand
was proposing to Lord Kimberley that Sir H. de Villiers--the
Chief-Justice of the Cape, should be appointed as Commissioner to go
to the Transvaal to arrange matters, while at the same time Sir
George Colley was telegraphing a plan to be adopted on entering the
Transvaal, a plan which should grant a complete amnesty only to
Boers who would sign a declaration of loyalty.

Lord Kimberley welcomed the suggestion of Mr. Brand, and agreed, if
only the Boers would disperse, to appoint a Commission with power to
"develop the permanent friendly scheme"; and "that, if this proposal
is accepted, you now are authorised to agree to suspension of
hostilities on our part." At the same time the War Office informed
General Colley that the Government did not bind his discretion, but
was anxious to avoid effusion of blood. Lord Kimberley's telegram
was forwarded to Colley and to Joubert. Colley was dumfounded. He
telegraphed back: "There can be no hostilities if no resistance is
made; but am I to leave Laing's Nek in Natal territory in Boer
occupation, and our garrisons isolated and short of provisions--or
occupy former and relieve latter?"

Lord Kimberley's reply was characteristically ambiguous. The
garrisons were to be left free to provision themselves, but Sir
George was not to march to the relief of garrisons or occupy Laing's
Nek if an arrangement were proceeding.

Meanwhile President Brand and Lord Kimberley held an unctuous
telegraphic palaver, which may diplomatically be viewed as the
beginning of the end. This humiliating end was hastened by the
fiasco of Majuba on the 27th of February, though before it came to
pass Sir Frederick Roberts was despatched with reinforcements to
Natal. Sir Evelyn Wood assumed temporary command of the forces after
Colley's death. Colonel Wood was asked by Lord Kimberley to obtain
from Kruger a reply to a letter General Colley had forwarded before
Majuba, requesting a reply in forty-eight hours. The reply, an
ingenuous one, came on the 7th of March. Kruger was glad to hear
that her Majesty's Government were inclined to cease hostilities,
and suggested a meeting on both sides. On the 12th of March Lord
Kimberley telegraphed to Sir Evelyn Wood, saying that if the Boers
would desist from armed opposition, a Commission would be appointed
to give the Transvaal complete internal self-government under
British suzerainty, with a British Resident to look after the

The Boers at the same time made a communication. They refused to
negotiate on the basis of Lord Kimberley's telegram of the 8th, as
it would be tantamount to an admission that they were in the wrong.
They would accept nothing short of the restoration of the Republic
with a British protectorate. This the Home Government accepted, and
thus the "climb down" was complete.

On the 23rd of March 1881, Sir Evelyn Wood, under orders from the
Ministry, signed a treaty on behalf of the British, while the Boer
leaders did the same on behalf of their constituents. By it, the
Boers engaged to accept her Majesty as Suzerain "of the Transvaal,
with a British Resident in the capital, but to allow the Republic
complete self-government, to operate in six months' time. The
Suzerain was to have control over the foreign relations of the
Transvaal, and a Royal Commission for the protection of the natives
and the decision of the boundary of the Republic would be appointed.
Persons guilty of acts contrary to laws of civilised warfare were to
be punished; and property captured by either party was to be
returned." In conclusion, it was arranged that all arms taken by
the British Government when they annexed the country were to be
handed back.

The Commission appointed by her Majesty's Government consisted of
Sir Hercules Robinson, who replaced Sir Bartle Frere at the Cape;
Sir Henry de Villiers, now Chief-Justice of Cape Colony; and Sir
Evelyn Wood; President Brand was present in a neutral capacity.
Though nominally under the control of the British Government, its
actions were pro-Boer. In justice to Sir Evelyn Wood, it is
necessary to state that he did no more than obey orders laid down by
his Government. Indeed it is said that when he was required to make
the disgraceful peace, he called his officers around him, and asked
them to witness that he was merely obeying orders, so that in days
to come he might not submit a tarnished name to posterity.

Sir Frederick Roberts, on his arrival at Cape Town, was therefore
informed that his services were no longer needed. Sir Evelyn Wood
retained a force of 12,000 men in Natal, but the Government had
decided on peace at any price, and peace was therefore restored.


Of the sufferings of the loyalists we must say little. Suffice it to
picture the breaking up of homes gathered together with much
patience after years of steady labour; the insults daily endured
from a people who now held Great Britain in contempt; the
disappointment and indignation, the wretchedness and despair caused
to all who had faithfully adhered to the Crown.

A petition was drafted to the House of Commons, but signatures were
comparatively few. Many had no hope of redress from Great Britain,
others naturally feared further Boer oppression. Some passages of
the petition ran thus:--

"That your petitioners believe that the annexation was acquiesced in
by a majority of the inhabitants, and was looked upon as an act
calculated to create confidence and credit to the country, a belief
which is borne out by the fact that almost all the old officials
appointed by the former Government, or elected by the people,
remained in office under the new Government; and your petitioners
further believe, that if the promises expressed and implied in the
annexation proclamation had been carried out fully in the spirit of
the proclamation, the whole of the inhabitants would, in time, have
become loyal subjects of her Majesty.

"That the annexation was followed by an immediate accession of
confidence, and it marked the commencement of an era of progress
and advancement, which has steadily increased up to the present
time, despite the numerous drawbacks and disadvantages to which the
country has been subjected, and some of which have been the result
of Imperial action.

"That, notwithstanding the promises expressed and implied in the
annexation proclamation, the country has been governed as a Crown
Colony, and no opportunity has been afforded to the inhabitants of
controlling the policy which has regulated its administration, and
your petitioners are in no way responsible for the late lamentable
war, or for the disgraceful peace which has concluded it.

       *       *       *       *       *

"That the value of property increased at least threefold during the
English occupation, and that the increase progressed in a ratio
corresponding with the reliance placed on the promises of English
officials. Indeed, some of your petitioners are prepared to state,
on oath if required, that they invested money immediately after or
in direct consequence of a statement by a Governor of the Transvaal
or a Minister of the British Crown.

"That the towns are almost exclusively inhabited by loyal subjects,
and English farmers and traders are scattered all over the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

"That most of the loyal inhabitants intend to realise their
property, even at a sacrifice, and to leave the country, but that
those who are compelled by force of circumstances to remain in it
will be deprived of the protection and security afforded by English
rule, and they respectfully submit they have a right to ask that the
fullest and most substantial pledges be exacted from the
contemplated Boer Government for their safety, and for the exercise
of their privileges as British subjects."

In reference to the unfortunate natives, and the humiliating peace,
Mr. Rider Haggard, who had been Shepstone's private secretary, wrote
pathetically to Sir Bartle Frere from Newcastle, Natal:--

                                                    "_June 6, 1881._

"I do not believe that more than half of those engaged in the late
rebellion were free agents, though, once forced into committing
themselves, they fought as hard as the real malcontents.... The
natives are the real heirs to the soil, and should surely have some
protection and consideration, some voice in the settlement of their
fate. They outnumbered the Boers by twenty-five to one, taking their
numbers at a million and those of the Boers at forty thousand, a
fair estimate, I believe.... As the lash and the bullet have been
the lot of the wretched Transvaal Kaffir in the past, so they will
be his lot in the future.... After leading those hundreds of
thousands of men and women to believe that they were once and for
ever the subjects of her Majesty, safe from all violence, cruelty,
and oppression, we have handed them over without a word of warning
to the tender mercies of one, where natives are concerned, of the
cruellest white races in the world.

"Then comes the case of the loyal Boers, men who believed us and
fought for us, and are now, as a reward for their loyalty, left to
the vengeance of their countrymen--a vengeance that will most
certainly be wreaked, let the Royal Commission try to temper it as
they will.

"Lastly, there are the unfortunate English inhabitants, three
thousand of whom were gathered during the siege in Pretoria alone,
losing their lives in a forsaken cause. I can assure you, sir, that
you must see these people to learn how complete is their ruin. They
have been pouring through here, many of those who were well-to-do a
few months since, hardly knowing how to find food for their

On this subject Colonel Lanyon, who since the first outbreak had
been shut up in Pretoria, also wrote tragically:--

                                                  "_March 29, 1881._

"Last night the saddest news I ever received in my life came in the
shape of a letter from Wood.... After three Secretaries of State,
three High Commissioners, and two Houses of Commons had said that
the country should not be given back, it seems a terrible want of
good faith to the loyals that this decision should have been arrived
at. The scene this morning was a heart-breaking one; the women, who
have behaved splendidly all through the siege, were crying and
wringing their hands in their great grief; the children were hushed
as if in a chamber of death; and the men were completely bowed down
in their sorrow. Well they might, for the news brought home ruin to
many, and great loss to all. I am ashamed to walk about, for I hear
nothing but reproaches and utterances from heretofore loyal men
which cut one to the very quick.... How I am to tell the natives I
know not, for they have trusted so implicitly to our promises and
assurances.... One man who has been most loyal to us (an Englishman)
told me to-day, 'Thank God my children are Afrikanders, and need not
be ashamed of their country!'"

The feelings described by Sir Owen were openly echoed by all
sensible men who knew anything of the country: they were certain
that it was not within the power of Boer comprehension to understand
"magnanimity" in an opponent. To the Boer, as to many an Englishman,
this long-sounding word seemed more neatly to be interpreted by the
more ugly but concise term "funk."

Sir Bartle Frere, writing of Sir George Colley in a letter to a
friend, expressed his opinion roundly:--

                                                  "_March 31, 1881._

"Let no one ever say that England lost prestige through Sir George
Colley. I do not like the word so much as 'character' or 'conduct'
which create it. But no country ever lost real prestige through
defeat. Nelson, wounded and repulsed at Teneriffe; Grenvil,
overpowered and dying on the deck of the _Revenge_, did as much for
England's prestige as Marlborough at Blenheim or Wellington at
Waterloo. Sir George Colley miscalculated his own and his enemy's
strength, but he had nothing to do with disgraceful surrender, and I
am sure had rather be where he now rests than sign a disgraceful
peace, which is the only thing that can injure England's prestige."

Mr. R. W. Murray, of the _Cape Times_, writing to Sir Bartle Frere,
thought bitterly indeed.

"Ask your English statesmen," he wrote, "if, in the history of the
world, there was ever such a cruel desertion of a dependency by the
parent State. How can England hope for loyalty from South Africans?
The moral of the Gladstone lesson is, that you may be anything in
South Africa but loyal Englishmen."

These letters, taken haphazard from volumes of correspondence on the
melancholy event of the time, serve better than the words of an
outsider to show the terrible position in which the "magnanimity" of
the British Ministers had placed their countrymen. One more extract
and we must pass on.


Photo by Gregory & Co. London.]

Colonel Lanyon, writing again to Sir Bartle Frere, said:--

                                                  "_April 26, 1881._

"The Boers are practically dictators, and have been ruling the
country in a manner which is simply humiliating to Englishmen.
Active persecution is going on everywhere, and consequently all that
can are leaving the country. Thirty families have left Pretoria
alone; B---- and M---- have left, having been frequently threatened
because of their having been members of the Executive, and those two
poor fellows J---- and H---- are completely ostracised for the
same reason. They are both ruined men, practically speaking, and all
because they trusted to England's assurances and good faith....

"But hard as these cases are, I feel that the natives have had the
cruellest measure meted out to them, and they feel it acutely. The
most touching and heart-breaking appeals have come from some of the
chiefs who live near enough to have heard the news. They ask why
they have been thrown over after showing their loyalty by paying
their taxes and resisting the demands made upon them by the Boers
during hostilities. They point out that we stopped them from helping
us, and that, had we not done so, the Boers would have been easily
put down. They say that, as we so hindered their action, it is a
cruel wrong for us now to hand them back to the care of a race which
is more embittered against them than ever, and who have already
begun to harass them because of their loyalty. These points are
unanswerable, and I do not see how we can reply to them."



As may be remembered, Sir Evelyn Wood was ordered to conclude an
armistice, whereby the troops that had garrisoned the Transvaal
might evacuate it. In the case of Potchefstrom, the execution of
this design was treacherously prevented by Commandant Cronjé. This
officer, after the armistice had been arranged, withheld the news
from the garrison, and prevented supplies from reaching the fort. As
a natural consequence, he became a national hero, and led the
burghers against Dr. Jameson in 1895 and the forces on the Western
frontier in 1899.

The armistice was concluded in March 1881, and in August the
Convention of Pretoria was signed. Some form of inquiry was held
into the conduct of persons who had been guilty of acts contrary to
the rules of civilised warfare, but the whole thing proved to be a
mere farce; and, as a matter of fact, not one of the perpetrators of
murder and other crimes during the course of the war was brought to
justice. The Commission insisted on a definite agreement for the
purpose of securing British persons from oppressive legislation,
but, as we know, Boer promises were as completely pie-crust as Boer
contracts were mere waste paper.

At the beginning of June Mr. Gladstone wrote a letter in answer to
that received from the loyal inhabitants. In this he said:--

"Her Majesty's Government willingly and thankfully acknowledge the
loyal co-operation which her Majesty's forces received at Pretoria
and elsewhere by the inhabitants, and we sympathise with the
privations and sufferings which they endured. I must, however,
observe that so great was the preponderance of the Boers who rose in
arms against the Queen's authority that the whole country, except
the posts occupied by the British troops, fell at once practically
into their hands. Again, the memorialists themselves only estimate
the proportion of settlers not Transvaal Boers at one-seventh.
Nearly, though not quite, the whole of the Boers have appeared to be
united in sentiment, and her Majesty's Government could not deem it
their duty to set aside the will of so large a majority by the only
possible means, namely, the permanent maintenance of a powerful
military force in the country. Such a course would have been
inconsistent alike with the spirit of the Treaty of 1852, with the
grounds on which the annexation was sanctioned, and with the general
interests of South Africa, which especially require that harmony
should prevail between the white races.

"On the other hand, in the settlement which is now in progress,
every care will be taken to secure to the settlers, of whatever
origin, the full enjoyment of their property, and of all civil

The pledges conveyed in the last sentence received such fulfilment
as they were to have by the insertion in the Convention of the
following clauses:--

"Article XII.--All persons holding property in the said State, on
the 8th day of August 1881, will continue to enjoy the rights of
property which they have enjoyed since the annexation. No person who
has remained loyal to her Majesty during the recent hostilities
shall suffer any molestation by reason of his loyalty, or be liable
to any criminal prosecution or civil action for any part taken in
connection with such hostilities, and all such persons will have
full liberty to reside in the country, with enjoyment of all civil
rights, and protection for their persons and property.

"Article XXVI.--All persons, other than natives, conforming
themselves to the laws of the Transvaal State (_a_) will have full
liberty, with their families, to enter, travel, or reside in any
part of the Transvaal State; (_b_) they will be entitled to hire or
possess houses, manufactories, warehouses, shops, and premises;
(_c_) they may carry on their commerce either in person or by any
agents whom they may think fit to employ; (_d_) they will not be
subject, in respect of their persons and property, or in respect of
their commerce or industry, to any taxes, whether general or local,
other than those which are or may be imposed upon Transvaal

The Convention itself is now well known, but brief allusion to it
may not be out of place. The preamble is important, and runs as

"Her Majesty's Commissioners for the settlement of the Transvaal
territory, duly appointed as such by a Commission passed under the
Royal Sign Manual and Signet, bearing date the 5th April 1881, do
hereby undertake and guarantee, on behalf of her Majesty, that from
and after the 8th day of August 1881 complete self-government,
subject to the suzerainty of her Majesty, her heirs and successors,
will be accorded to the inhabitants of the Transvaal territory, upon
the following terms and conditions, and subject to the following
reservations and limitations...."

The new State was to be styled "The Transvaal State." A British
Resident was appointed, and the right to move British troops
through the State guaranteed. External relations were to be under
British control, and intercourse with foreign Powers to be carried
on through her Majesty's diplomatic and consular officers. The
independence of Swaziland was guaranteed. Article 4 of the Sand
River Convention, forbidding slavery, was re-affirmed in Article 16.
Natives were to be allowed to acquire land, and to move about the
country "as freely as may be consistent with the requirements of
public order." Complete freedom of religion was established.
Protection to loyalists was guaranteed by the Triumvirate. The
British Resident was given wide authority in native affairs; was, in
fact, constituted as an official protector of natives. The
boundaries of the State were defined, and it engaged not to
transgress them.

The government of the country was handed over to the Triumvirate,
who engaged to summon a Volksraad as soon as possible. The Volksraad
when it assembled, however, was disinclined to ratify the Pretoria
Convention. The burghers wanted the Old Republic of the Sand River
Convention, and fretted at the idea that they should have agreed to
acknowledge British suzerainty. This acknowledgment was made a
condition of the grant of autonomy, and the British Resident in
Pretoria was to have large powers in the direction of native
affairs. The position of the post of British Resident was to be
similar to that held by a British Resident in one of the Native
States of India. "Africanus," in his useful book on "The Transvaal
Boers," thus describes the practical difference between the status
of the two officials: "A Resident in an Indian State, though
sometimes exposed to the risk of assassination, or of a general
mutiny, is known by the inhabitants to have behind him the enormous
military force of the Indian Empire, whereas the unhappy Resident at
Pretoria was given no means of enforcing any protests which he might
be called upon to make. His only course was to report disobedience
to the High Commissioner; and if the disobedience was not of such a
character as to force the Imperial Government to undertake military
measures, it was sure to be overlooked. Thus the Resident, so far
from controlling the policy of the Transvaal, was reduced to the
position of counsel holding 'a watching brief.'"

As will be seen, the interests of the Uitlanders were protected, but
no provision was made by the Convention for future immigrants. Mr.
Kruger, whose assurances at the time were believed to be sound, had
promised to place them on equal footing with the burghers as regards
freedom of trade. His words were: "We make no difference as far as
burgher rights are concerned. There may, perhaps, be some slight
difference in the case of a young person who has come into the
country," but the term "young person," it was afterwards explained,
had no reference to age, but to time of residence in the country.

Mr. Kruger, as leader of the reactionary section of the Boers,
finally became the President. The rival of Mr. Kruger was Mr.
Joubert, otherwise known as "Slim Piet," on account of his wily
ways, and between them from that day up to the present time
considerable jealousy existed. They were always of one accord,
however, in struggling to slip or squeeze out of any Conventions
with the British. The first contravention of treaty engagements was
the return of the State to the old title of South African Republic.
The Home Government feebly remonstrated--it was too sunk in the
slough of "magnanimity" to do more. As a natural result the Boers
snapped their fingers at such remonstrances. After taking an inch
they helped themselves to an ell! They had engaged to respect
boundaries, but soon they began to lap over into Zululand and

The Boer process of expansion is simple and time-honoured. A case of
spirits is exchanged for the right to graze on land belonging to an
independent chief. The cattle graze, the master locates himself. If
the intrusion is resented, a campaign follows, and the stronger
ousts the weaker. Sometimes the Boer lends his services in warfare
to a petty chief, and those services are rewarded with a grant of

When the British annexed the Transvaal and conquered Sekukuni, the
other chiefs submitted to the British Government. On the resumption
of Boer rule, however, the chiefs were inclined to defy their
authority. The territories of the Mapoch, Malaboch, and Mpefu were
assigned to the Boers by the Convention of 1881, and consequently
quarrels began. In 1883 Mapoch broke out against authority, and
there was a campaign to subdue him. Malaboch became obstreperous in
1894, and Mpefu followed his example in 1898. Most of the campaigns
arose over the refusal to pay the hut tax. Before the Mapoch
campaign in 1883 the Volksraad made a change in the terms of the
franchise. It may be remembered that for burgher rights a residence
of one year in the country and an oath of allegiance were necessary
conditions. It was arranged that in future all candidates for
citizenship must have resided and been registered in the Field
Cornet's lists for five years, and must pay the sum of £25.

About this time Messrs. Kruger, Du Toit, and Smith travelled to
England to agitate for a new Convention. The Transvaal Government
had "broken the spirit, and even the letter," of the old Convention,
and Lord Derby in the House of Lords expressed his opinion that "it
would be an easy thing to find a _casus belli_ in what had taken
place." In spite of all this, Mr. Gladstone in 1884 obligingly
agreed to a new Convention. By examination of its terms, it will be
seen how far and how ignobly the Government went on the road to
concession. By this Convention the British Resident was replaced by
a diplomatic agent; the old title of South African Republic was
restored; the Republic was allowed to negotiate on its own account
with foreign Powers, limitations on treaty-making alone being
imposed. Complete freedom of religion was promised, and the Republic
agreed to "do its utmost" to prevent any of its inhabitants from
making any encroachments upon lands beyond the boundaries laid down.
Article 14 will be seen to be verbally similar to Article 26 of the
Pretoria Convention of 1881, only the words _South African Republic_
being substituted for _Transvaal State_. Nothing was said about the
preamble to the Pretoria Convention or the question of British
"suzerainty." The word was omitted from the new text; but it was
supposed to be operative as before. Over this matter there has been
so much argument that, unless we can devote a volume to solving the
Convention riddle, it is best left alone. We must allow that the
ambiguity of an already ambiguous Ministry had here reached its
climax! Certain it is that the Transvaal representatives returned to
inform the Raad that the suzerainty had been abolished, and that
statement they were allowed to maintain without contradiction! As a
natural consequence of this indecision and weakness on the part of
the then Government, subsequent Governments have been placed in an
unenviable quandary. The Boers contend that the omission of the word
"suzerainty" in 1884 was intentional, and designed to permit the
State to style itself an independent Republic, while all
level-headed persons are fully aware that no Republic could have
been granted complete independence while under a weight of debt for
money and blood spent for years and years to save it from collapse
and annihilation. Moreover, the guarantee of independence of the
Transvaal was so unmistakably a result of suzerainty that the
repetition of the word was unnecessary.


Of the man who now began to play so prominent a part on the
political stage, the world at that time knew but little. Even now
opinions regarding him are many and varied, and it may be
interesting to read, in close juxtaposition, sketches of his
character and ways which have from time to time been drawn by those
who have come in contact with him.

Perhaps no more impartial sketch can be presented than that of Mr.
Distant, a naturalist, who visited the Transvaal about eight years
ago. He said:--"President Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger was born
on the 10th October 1825, in the district of Colesburg in the Cape
Colony, and is without doubt the greatest and most representative
man that the Boers have yet produced. Uneducated, or self-educated,
he possesses a very large amount of that natural wisdom so often
denied to men of great learning and of literary cultivation. With
many prejudices, he is fearless, stubborn, and resolute, and he
really understands Englishmen little better than they understand
him. In his earlier days he has been a somewhat ardent sportsman and
a good shot. He has been engaged and honourably mentioned in most of
the Kaffir fights of his time.... Socially, he has always lived in a
somewhat humble position, and it is to the credit of his nature as a
man that he bears not the slightest trace of the _parvenu_. Plain
and undistinguished in appearance, he combines the advantages of a
prodigious memory with a remarkable aptitude for reading his
fellow-man, and this last quality would be more valuable were it not
leavened by a weakness in resisting flattery and adulation. He is
very pious and self-reliant, which is provocative of bigotry and hot
temper; and surrounded and approached on all sides by clever and
often unscrupulous financiers and speculators, his scutcheon has
worn wonderfully well, and his character and reputation passed
through many fiery ordeals. He is also a rough diplomatist of no
mean rank."

The picture is distinctly interesting, but it does Mr. Kruger an
injustice. Mr. Distant says that "he understands Englishmen little
better than they understand him." Surely this remark is an insult to
Mr. Kruger's great sagacity. He long ago "took the measure" of the
Englishman, and he has enjoyed himself immensely in seeing how far
it was possible--vulgarly speaking--to "try it on" with the British
nation. If Mr. Kruger could be induced to write a book entitled "My
Life and Games with the British Government for the last Twenty
Years," he might afford our politicians some useful and instructive

To Mr. Distant's portrait of the President of the South African
Republic another and a later one may be appended. It is drawn by the
able pen of Mr. Fitzpatrick, the author of "The Transvaal from
Within." "In the history of South Africa the figure of the grim old
President will loom large and striking--picturesque, as the figure
of one who, by his character and will, made and held his people;
magnificent, as one who, in the face of the blackest fortune, never
wavered from his aim or faltered in his effort; who, with a courage
that seemed and still seems fatuous, but which may well be called
heroic, stood up against the might of the greatest empire in the
world. And, it may be, pathetic too, as one whose limitations were
great, one whose training and associations, whose very successes,
had narrowed and embittered and hardened him; as one who, when the
greatness of success was his to take and hold, turned his back on
the supreme opportunity and used his strength and qualities to fight
against the spirit of progress and all that the enlightenment of the
age pronounces to be fitting and necessary to good government and a
healthy State.

"To an English nobleman who, in the course of an interview, remarked,
'My father was a Minister of England and twice Viceroy of Ireland,' the
old Dutchman answered, 'And my father was a shepherd!' It was not pride
rebuking pride; it was the ever-present fact which would not have been
worth mentioning but for the suggestion of the antithesis. He, too, was
a shepherd, and is--a peasant. It may be that he knows what would be
right and good for his people, and it may be not; but it is sure that he
realises that to educate would be to emancipate; to broaden their views
would be to break down the defences of their prejudices; to let in the
new leaven would be to spoil the old bread; to give unto all men the
rights of men would be to swamp for ever the party which is to him
greater than the State. When one thinks of the one-century history of
this people, much is seen that accounts for their extraordinary love of
isolation, and their ingrained and passionate aversion to control; much,
too, that draws to them a world of sympathy. And when one realises the
old Dopper President hemmed in once more by the hurrying tide of
civilisation, from which his people have fled for generations--trying to
fight both Fate and Nature, standing up to stem a tide as resistless as
the eternal sea--one sees the pathos of the picture. But this is as
another generation may see it. To-day we are too close, so close that
the meaner details, the blots and flaws, are all most plainly visible:
the corruption, the insincerity, the injustice, the barbarity--all the
unlovely touches that will by-and-by be forgotten, sponged away by the
gentle hand of Time, when only the picturesque will remain."

[Illustration: PAUL KRUGER,

President of the Transvaal Republic.

Photo by Elliott & Fry, London.]

Mr. Fitzpatrick speaks somewhat more plainly in another place:--

"Outside the Transvaal Mr. Kruger has the reputation of being free
from taint of corruption from which so many of his colleagues
suffer. Yet within the Republic and among his own people one of the
gravest of the charges levelled against him is, that by his example
and connivance he has made himself responsible for much of the
plundering that goes on. There are numbers of cases in which the
President's nearest relations have been proved to be concerned in
the most flagrant jobs, only to be screened by his influence;
such cases, for instance, as that of the Vaal River Water Supply
Concession, in which Mr. Kruger's son-in-law 'hawked' about for the
highest bid the vote of the Executive Council on a matter which had
not yet come before it, and, moreover, sold and duly delivered the
aforesaid vote. There is the famous libel case in which Mr. Eugene
Marais, the editor of the Dutch paper _Land en Volk_, successfully
sustained his allegation that the President had defrauded the State
by charging heavy travelling expenses for a certain trip on which he
was actually the guest of the Cape Colonial Government."

The light thus thrown on the dealings of Mr. Kruger is not a
solitary gleam. It may be remembered that during the period of
British rule in the Transvaal he had an appointment under
Government. The terms of his letter of dismissal can be found on
page 135 of Blue-Book, c. 144, and involving as they do a serious
charge of misrepresentation in money matters, are useful when viewed
in line with the above quotation.

Mrs. Lionel Phillips imagines that every one must by this time have
gauged the nature of the President, as she herself has done. She

"Paul Kruger is so well known from the many portraits and
caricatures that have appeared in recent years, as well as
descriptions of him, that one from me seems superfluous. His clumsy
features, and small cunning eyes, set high in his face, with great
puffy rings beneath them, his lank straight locks, worn longer than
is usual, the fringe of beard framing his face, even his greasy
frock-coat and antiquated tall hat have been pourtrayed times
without number. He is a man of quite 75 years of age now, and his
big massive frame is bent, but in his youth he possessed enormous
strength, and many extraordinary feats are told of him. Once seen he
is not easily forgotten. He has a certain natural dignity of
bearing, and I think his character is clearly to be read in his
face--strength of will and cunning, with the dulness of expression
one sees in peasants' faces. 'Manners none, and customs beastly,'
might have been a life-like description of Kruger. The habit of
constantly expectorating, which so many Boers have, he has never
lost. He is quite ignorant of conversation in the ordinary
acceptation of the word; he is an autocrat in all his ways, and has
a habit of almost throwing short, jerky sentences at you generally
allegorical in form, or partaking largely of scriptural
quotations--or misquotations quite as often. Like most of the Boers,
the Bible is his only literature--that book he certainly studies a
good deal, and his religion is a very large part of his being, but
somehow he misses the true spirit of Christianity, in that he leaves
out the rudimentary qualities of charity and truth."


It appears that a German traveller, Herr Ernest Von Weber, as long
ago as 1875, had cast a loving eye on the Transvaal. He
wrote:--"What would not such a country, full of such inexhaustible
natural treasures, become, if in course of time it was filled with
German immigrants? A constant mass of German immigrants would
gradually bring about a decided numerical preponderance of Germans
over the Dutch population, and of itself would by degrees affect the
Germanisation of the country in a peaceful manner. Besides all its
own natural and subterraneous treasures, the Transvaal offers to the
European power which possesses it an easy access to the immensely
rich tracts of country which lie between the Limpopo, the Central
African lakes and the Congo (the territory saved for England by Mr.
Rhodes and the Chartered Company). It was this free unlimited room
for annexation in the North, this open access to the heart of
Africa, which principally impressed me with the idea, not more than
four years ago, that Germany should try, by the acquisition of
Delagoa Bay, and the subsequent continual influx of German
immigrants to the Transvaal, to secure the future dominion over this
country, and so pave the way for a German African Empire of the
future. There is, at the same time, the most assured prospect that
the European power, who would bring these territories under its
rule, would found one of the largest and most valuable empires of
the globe; and it is, therefore, on this account truly to be
regretted that Germany should have quietly, and without protest,
allowed the annexation of the Transvaal Republic to England, because
the splendid country, taken possession of and cultivated by a German
race, ought to be entirely won for Germany; and would, moreover,
have been easily acquired, and thereby the beginning made and
foundation laid of a mighty and ultimately rich Germany in the
southern hemisphere. Germany ought at any price to get possession of
some points on the East as well as the West Coast of Africa." Part
of Mr. Von Weber's ambition was subsequently realised.

In 1884 the introduction of Germany upon the political scene was
successfully accomplished. The hoisting of the German flag at Angra
Peguena was due to the unscrupulous and clever machinations of
Prince Bismarck. The new German Colony comprised Damaraland and
Great Namaqualand, and between it and the Boer Republic lay the
Kalari Desert and Bechuanaland.

Now, the Bechuana chiefs were old enemies of the Boers. A good deal
of border fighting took place, and at last the Boers established
their authority over a district which they christened "The New
Republic," and which was annexed to the Transvaal in 1888. They
endeavoured to capture in the same way Stellaland and Vryburg, but
on this subject the British Government had something to say, and for
once they said it definitely. Sir Charles Warren with a military
force took these districts under British protection. This expedition
was resented by the Cape Dutch and their English friends, Messrs.
Spriggs and Upington, who hastened to Bechuanaland to effect a
settlement before the arrival of Sir Charles Warren's force. Owing
to the firmness and decision of Sir Charles Warren and his
supporters, Sir Charles Dilke, Mr. Chamberlain, and Mr. Mackenzie,
their anti-Imperialistic efforts fortunately failed!

It must be remembered that in Cape Colony the Dutch sympathies had,
for the most part, been given to the Boers. Racial ties in Africa
are strong, and at the time of the war many people, not thoroughly
disloyal, felt that there had been aggression on the freedom of the
Republicans, and were inclined to admire the efforts of the Boers to
repel that aggression. There were others, too, who believed that,
owing to fear of rebellion on the part of the Cape subjects, Great
Britain had been forced into chicken-hearted surrender, and this
belief naturally encouraged the Cape Dutch to assume that, on
emergency, the policy of the Empire might be directed by threats of

Much of the bad feeling was due merely to political agitation. The
association known as the Africander Bond was started as a species of
political nursery wherein to expand the ideas of the budding Boer,
and "coach" him in his duties as a free-born subject. "A little
knowledge is a dangerous thing," as we all are aware, and it seems
to have been the object of this organisation to implant just
sufficient knowledge in the mind of the ignorant farmer to foster
his hostility to Great Britain, without encouraging him to progress
sufficiently to gauge the advantages to himself of peace and
goodwill with a sovereign power. Before the existence of this
organisation he was contented to choose as his Parliamentary
representative some sound and respectable citizen, a British
subject, or some colonist who, well versed in the British tongue,
could understand the laws at first hand. But machinating politicians
conceived the notion that the dissatisfied Boer might be made to
dance marionette-wise while they pulled the strings, and they
promptly went to work to pretend he could think for himself, and
proceeded to inflate his mind with so vast an idea of his own
political importance that he even began to conjure up dreams of an
entirely Dutch South Africa on an Africander basis, with the
Vierkleur in place of the Union Jack floating bravely over his head!

For his benefit the Cape _patois_ was promoted to the rank of a
language. Parliament expressed itself both in English and so-called
Dutch, while Blue-Books and official papers were printed in
bi-lingual fashion, for the convenience of farmer members, who, for
the most part, could neither read, write, nor speak the language of
the Netherlands!

The battle-cry of the Bond was "Africa for the Africander" and the
"Elimination of the Imperial factor." The Colonists naturally grew
to imagine that, as Great Britain was powerless to govern,
government on their own behalf would be advantageous. In justice it
must be said that the Eastern Province and Natal adhered to the
Crown, though the Western Province was led by the nose by the Bond.

From this time Mr. Hofmeyr--a man of great ability, and generally
devoted to the Africander cause--became an important factor in the
political caucus. Mr. Rhodes also was conspicuous. At that date he
was inclined to lean toward Africander principles, but, like all
great men on seeing the error of their judgments, he readjusted his
theories--with the results we all know.

The expedition of Sir Charles Warren was entirely successful. As has
been said, a Protectorate was established over Bechuanaland.

The country south of the Moloppo River, whose chief towns are
Mafeking and Vryburg, became a Crown Colony. It was afterwards
transferred to the Cape. The territories of Khama, Sebele, and
Bathoen still form an Imperial Protectorate.

When gold was first discovered, the fable of "the dog in the manger"
began to be enacted in the Transvaal. The Boers were quite
incompetent to start mining operations on their own account, and yet
were intolerant of the presence of outsiders who were willing to
expend their energies in the business. Gradually, however, they
agreed to admit foreigners on terms which on the surface were fairly
liberal, and became indirectly almost extortionate.

These foreigners--British, Americans, Germans, and Poles--were the
antithesis of all that Boer traditions held dear. To begin with,
they were progressive; they were also energetic and commercial, and
their motto, instead of being "God will provide," was the practical
one of "_Carpe diem_." The dawn of the "golden age" has been
described, and there is no reason, therefore, to dwell on the
attractions which converted the Transvaal, for many, from a
fortune-hunter's goal to a permanent home. Unfortunately these
Uitlanders were not bound up in Transvaal politics. The ways of the
stolid and the ignorant, the narrow and the bigoted, were not their
ways; they had no sympathy for "masterly inaction," and this the
Boers knew.

In 1887, to protect themselves from the outsider, the Republicans
arranged that invaders could not be admitted to burgher rights under
fifteen years. The Uitlanders agitated for increased privileges, and
in 1890 a "Second Raad" was created. For this Chamber it was
necessary to take the oath of allegiance, to reside two years in the
State before being entitled to vote, and another two before becoming
eligible for election.

Upon the scene now came Dr. Leyds, a Hollander of certain ability, a
cosmopolitan schemer, and as such naturally opposed to the prestige
of Great Britain. He had his ideal of a great Africander
Confederation! On the other hand, there was Mr. Rhodes, who had also
his ideal--that of a Confederated South Africa stretching to the
Zambesi. Fortunately, with Mr. Rhodes went the Cape Dutch. And here
we may break off to consider the Colossus, as he has been called.
His enemies were many. By some it was asserted that Mr. Rhodes was
at heart no Imperialist; by others he was declared to be merely an
unscrupulous adventurer. But, as the proof of the pudding is in the
eating, so must any criticism of this marvellous man be confined to



Of the chief personage in the political and financial history of
South Africa it is desirable we should know something definite,
though space does not allow of any long appreciation of all he has
accomplished for the advancement of the empire. The Right Hon. Cecil
John Rhodes was born in 1853. He was the fourth son of the late Rev.
Francis W. Rhodes, Rector of Bishop Stortford. In 1871 he went to
South Africa, there to join his brother Herbert, who was engaged in
cotton-growing in Natal. His constitution was delicate, and it was
believed that a journey to the Cape would be beneficial to him. In
1872 he returned in much better health to England, and entered Oriel
College, Oxford. While there he contracted a chill, and found
himself again under orders to return to South Africa. At that time
Herbert Rhodes had forsaken cotton-growing, and had become
fascinated by the prospect of wealth offered by the diamond fields
in the locality now known as Kimberley. The two youths joined hands,
and in 1873 we find the elder brother leaving his claim in charge of
the younger, the hard-working, astute, and masterful Cecil, whose
name has become almost a household word. The young man, who took his
degree at Oxford in the interval of his work, brought to every task
he attempted an educated mind and a certain dogged obstinacy, which
caused him to surmount all difficulties. He prospered amazingly. But
money, instead of numbing his activities, only sharpened them, and
he soon began to formulate his ideal--the Utopian dream of an
entirely British Africa from the Cape to the Zambesi!


Drawing by R. Caton Woodville.]

His most conspicuous financial work was the De Beers Company, of
which we have treated elsewhere. From one big venture he went to
others more gigantic still. The famous Chartered Company and the
splendid province of Rhodesia came virtually into existence as the
result of his magnificent foresight. In 1881, in Basutoland, Mr.
Rhodes, the newly-elected member for Barkly West, had the good
fortune to meet General Gordon, who was struck at once by the
immense ability of the young man. In character, it seems, they were
the extremes that meet! These two men, of equally strong
personality, had an antagonism of character which, clashing, gave
forth a resonance that was vastly inspiriting.

Gordon and Rhodes would take long walks together, and discuss the
affairs of nations. The General, who was as dictatorial as his
associate, on several occasions severely criticised the opinions of
young Rhodes. "You always contradict me," he declared. "I never met
such a man for his own opinion. You think your views are always
right, and every one else's wrong. You are," he went on to say, "the
sort of man who never approves of anything unless you have had the
organising of it yourself."

It was a new edition of the pot calling the kettle black, and
afforded much amusement to onlookers.

On another occasion Gordon begged him to remain in Basutoland and
work with him, but Rhodes refused. He demonstrated that his work lay
in Kimberley, and there he would remain. "There are very few men in
the world," argued Gordon, "to whom I would make such an offer. Very
few men, I can tell you; but, of course, you _will_ have your own

Once, when they were together, Gordon related to Rhodes the story of
an offer of a room full of gold which had been made to him by the
Chinese Government, after the suppression of the Tai-Ping revolt.
"What did you do?" asked Rhodes. "Refused it, of course. What would
you have done?" said Gordon. "I would have taken it," answered
Rhodes, "and as many more roomfuls as they would give me. It is no
use for us to have big ideas if we have not got the money to carry
them out."

When Gordon went to Khartoum he invited Rhodes to accompany him, but
Rhodes refused. He accepted the offer made by the same post of the
Treasurer-Generalship in the Scanlin Ministry. In 1884 he became
Deputy-Commissioner for Bechuanaland, which, as the key to South
Africa, he determined to keep under his watchful eye. He was at the
same time Treasurer-General of Cape Colony. In 1889 he became
Director of the British South Africa Company and Chairman till the
fiasco of 1896, at which time he was Premier of Cape Colony. In
addition to holding these posts, his activities have been unending.
He has been the moving spirit in every enterprise for the expansion
and development of South Africa. He has gained the esteem of the
loyal Dutch, and has succeeded in making himself feared if not
beloved by the disloyal. His great work of attempting to weld
together the two races into one united people is for the nonce
suspended, but should life be spared him he will doubtless see the
realisation of his dream. In addition to his other labours Mr.
Rhodes was Commissioner of the Crown Lands in 1890-94, Minister of
Native Affairs 1894-95, and served in Matabeleland in 1896.


In sketching the history of Rhodesia it is necessary to go at least
as far back as our friend Chaka, the great chieftain of the Zulus,
whose military prowess has been described. In the days of this
warlike personage, Matshobane, who governed the Matabele tribe on
the north-west of Zululand, preferred to submit to Chaka rather than
to be "eaten up." Matshobane was the grandfather of Lobengula, who
is intimately associated with the infant history of this promising
country. His son Mosilikatze, however, was not so amenable to Zulu
discipline. He broke out, annihilated all men, women, and children
who happened to come in his way, and betook himself finally to
remote regions where he had no masters save the lions. Later on, in
1837, he conceived the ingenious notion of exterminating all the
white men north of the Orange River; but the white men were too much
for him, and so he promptly retired to fresh fields and pastures
new--in fact, to the country now known as Matabeleland. Its
inhabitants were then settled between the Limpopo and the Zambesi.
Here he again carried on his fell work of extermination. Of the
horrors of his triumphant progress nothing need be said. They are
best left to the imagination. It is enough to explain that the
tribes of the Makalas, Mashonas, and others that happened to be in
the way, were speedily wiped out. The Matabele, reigning in this
vast now almost desolate region, soon became the terror of other
tribes. The ravagers continued their fiendish operations, and
finally set up military kraals and installed their chief in the
principal of these at Buluwayo.

How long this state of things would have endured it is difficult to
say. Fortunately there appeared on the scene a man--The Man--who
conceived in his mighty brain a way to clear this Augean stable and
transform it into a comparative fairyland. Mr. Cecil Rhodes came--he
saw--and he conquered in all senses of the word. He decided that
British civilisation must be extended to this "hinter-land"--as the
Boers called it--and, being a keen man of the world and no
sentimentalist, he argued, moreover, that British civilisation might
be made to pay its way! The idea that Mr. Rhodes is "the walking
embodiment of an ideal," without personal ambition in his schemes,
is as absolutely absurd as are the reverse pictures that have been
painted of him. He is no angel and no ogre, Mr. Rhodes is one of
Nature's sovereigns, who, conscious of his power and the limitations
of human life, uses every minute at his disposal to write his name
large in the records of his country. And, since his name is large,
he wants as a natural consequence a large and clear area to write it
in, and that area he means to have!

[Illustration: MATABELELAND.]

Now, Mr. Rhodes had decided that the British were the best
administrators of South Africa, and that if the British shirked the task
it would be undertaken by some other nation. He saw the key to South
Africa in his hands--he saw the Boer overspreading his borders, he saw
Germans and Portuguese intriguing for footholds--there was but one
course open, and he followed it. On the 30th of November 1888,
Lobengula, the chief of the Matabele, signed a document giving the
British the right to search for and extract minerals in his territory.
Upon that the British South Africa Company was started. In 1889 a
charter was granted by the Imperial Government. The Company was created
with a capital of one million sterling. There were eight directors,
three appointed by the Crown, and five elected by the shareholders. Mr.
Cecil Rhodes occupied the position of managing director. In a brief
space of time the wildernesses and the forests were traversed, roads
were made, and a strong protective force installed in the country. Dr.
Jameson was appointed administrator at Salisbury. A railroad was planned
and forts were built. These were occupied by the Company's police.

While the pioneers were at work prospecting for gold, and improving
the country in all manner of ways, Lobengula became cantankerous. It
must be remembered that he suffered from gout, for which he was
treated by Dr. Jameson. Now, Lobengula without gout was sufficiently
savage to cause much apprehension; with it, it is impossible to
describe the nature of the alarm he must have occasioned. He fell
out first with the Mashonas for trivial reasons, and murders were
committed. Dr. Jameson then came to the conclusion that, if the
place was to be held at all, Lobengula must be crushed. More
commotions followed. The Matabeles and Mashona tribes between them
contrived to render the country uninhabitable. The peaceable
Europeans would stand it no longer. The Matabele war ensued.

The High Commissioner gave Dr. Jameson permission to protect the
country, and the forces advanced in two columns upon Buluwayo. Major
Patrick Forbes acted as commander-in-chief, with Major Alan Wilson
as next in command. This column, with guns, baggage, and attendant
blacks (who assisted as camp-followers), kept as much as possible to
open country to avoid surprise. They marched from the Iron-mine
Hill, at the source of the Tokwe River.

The second column, commanded by Colonel Goold Adams, was composed in
equal numbers of Bechuanaland police and South Africa Company's
mounted men. In all they numbered about 450. It was accompanied by
some 1500 Bemangwats under their chief.

With Major Forbes's column were Dr. Jameson, Sir John Willoughby,
and Bishop Knight Bruce. The advance was carefully managed. The
column destroyed all military kraals in its line of march,
skirmishing at times, but cautiously providing against attacks of
the enemy. One of these attacks took place while the force was in
laager, on the 25th of October. A Matabele army, 5000 strong, made
three savage onslaughts, but were driven back on each occasion with
heavy loss.

The column still continued to advance, and Lobengula, hearing of its
victory and approach, sent forth to meet it a company of pure Zulus,
the flower of his army.

The Imbezu and Ingubo in front of the Matabele army then approached
the laager that was being formed near the source of the Imbembesi
River. They advanced with all their accustomed dash, and a warlike
intrepidity worthy of Chaka, their renowned ancestor.

But they could make no stand against the Maxim and machine guns, and
in a few hours all was over. Lobengula's day was practically done!

On hearing of the victory he set fire to his kraal himself, and fled
towards the Zambesi, leaving his magazine, whenever the flames
should reach it, to explode with ferocious uproar.

In November 1893 the Chartered Company's force came into possession
of the smoking, deserted region. Messengers were sent in search of
the chief. Lobengula was courteously advised to surrender. His
personal safety was assured to him by Dr. Jameson, but he refused to
listen. Efforts were then made to capture him. After a long and
fatiguing march, news was brought in that Lobengula's waggons had
been seen on the road the day before.

Major Wilson, with a well-mounted party, went off to follow the
spoor, being advised to return before dark. This he did not do. He
remained for the night beyond the Shangani River, and by daylight
reached the waggons of the chief.

Lobengula's followers immediately attacked the small company of
thirty-four Europeans, which was speedily annihilated. Some of these
might have escaped, but they preferred, though largely outnumbered,
to fight side by side with their comrades till the last!

Very little remains to be told. Lobengula endeavoured to arrange
terms with the British force, but his messengers and money never
reached their destination. Babyane and four other indunas--followed
after a few days by others--came to inquire what terms of peace
would be granted. They were required to surrender their arms before
returning to their kraals, which they did with alacrity. Most of the
natives followed their example, being well satisfied with British
rule. The death of Lobengula, of fever and gout, in January 1894 put
an end to further complications.


So far we have seen the establishment of the British in a hitherto
absolutely savage arena. It may be interesting to hear what
travellers have had to say regarding the region that has recently
become our own. Its present aspect, and its prospects for the
future, are best learnt from authorities who have personally
inspected the place. Mr. Charles Boyd discourses thus on the

"When you have got out of the train before the corrugated iron
building which stands on the edge of the illimitable grey, green
veldt, to mark where the great station of the future is to arise,
there is one feature of Buluwayo which is making ready to seize hold
upon you. It is not, perhaps, the most important feature, but it is
conspicuous enough to entitle it to a first place in any jotting of
local impressions. It is what a logician might call the
_differentia_ of Buluwayo. Put it bluntly it comes to this, that you
have arrived in a community of gentlemen. A stranger making his way
about the brown streets, neat brick and corrugated iron buildings
set down on red earth, and divided into alternate avenues and
streets--'little New York,' said a policeman complacently--a
stranger pauses to ask himself if he dreams, or if the Household
Brigade, the Bachelors' Club, and the Foreign Office have depleted
themselves of their members, and sent them, disguised in
broad-brimmed hats and riding-breeches, to hold the capital of
Matabeleland. Young men of the most eligible sort are everywhere.
Some of them are manifestly youthful, others are well on in the
thirties, there is even a sprinkling of men of years; but the mass
of the population presents the same aspect of physical fitness, that
indefinable something besides, which is perhaps not to be expressed
save under the single head of 'race.'" In fact, our authority
asserts that nowhere can be found a healthier, shrewder, or
friendlier set of men. He believes in them, and in the discipline
that has toughened them to meet the real needs of life, and kept
them alive to a sense of their political and social importance. He

"Buluwayo now possesses a population of 5000, a mayor and
corporation, daily and weekly papers, and several public buildings,
including banks, clubs, and an hospital built as a memorial to Major

"The rapid increase in the value of land at Buluwayo is shown by the
fact that whilst in 1894 the average price of a town stand was £103,
in 1897 it had advanced to £345. By the opening of the railway, in
November 1897, it is placed in direct communication with Cape
Town, and a still greater increase in value may be anticipated."

[Illustration: "TO THE MEMORY OF BRAVE MEN."


Painting by Allan Stewart.

Reproduced by special arrangement with the Fine Art Society,

Things in Rhodesia are as yet expensive, but Mr. Boyd thinks that
railroads will have a cheapening influence. He quotes some present
prices, which would make the hair of a Londoner stand on end!
Imagine the feelings of the comfortable cockney who found himself
face to face with a breakfast bill for nine shillings! For this
modest sum Mr. Boyd was supplied with tea, ham, eggs, marmalade, and
toast, in fact, the little commonplace things that we have come to
consider as the natural fixtures of the metropolitan table!

Of the library, whose foundation-stone was laid by Sir Alfred
Milner, he speaks in highly favourable terms. He says that in laying
the foundation-stone no one seemed more keenly impressed than the
High Commissioner himself. He prophesied the foundation of a rich
university at Buluwayo to replace that other and easy one which a
library is avowed to supply. At this some one smiled. But Sir Alfred
rebuked him for the frivolity. He had seen enough, Sir Alfred
declared, of the temper of this place, to believe a university at
Buluwayo to be a consummation neither fanciful nor impossible. In
regard to the agrestic qualities of this new district, Mr. H.
Marshall Hole has spoken at some length in an article which appeared
in an issue of _Colonia_, a magazine published by the Colonial
College, Hollesley Bay, Suffolk. He declares that "the great
advantage of Rhodesia as an agricultural country is the facility
with which irrigation can be carried on; the conformation of the
land is undulating, and even the so-called 'flats' are intersected
in all directions by valleys, each of which possesses its
watercourse, so that by the simple expedient of throwing a dam
across these valleys, water may be stored and led on to the adjacent
fields as required. The soil is in all parts naturally fertile, but
the farmer sometimes has great difficulty in reducing it to a proper
state for cultivation, owing to the roots and growth which must be
exterminated before the seed is sown. The strongest ploughs and the
most careful harrowing are required for this work, otherwise the
settler will have to face the annoyance and delay of broken
ploughshares, and the disaster of a crop choked by tangle-grass and
weeds. The crops to which farmers have hitherto most devoted
themselves in Rhodesia are mealies (maize) and forage (oat hay).
These find a ready market at all times, as they form the staple food
of horses. The next most popular crop is potatoes, which do well,
are not liable to disease, and are in so great request that they
sometimes fetch 1s. 6d., and seldom fall below 3d. per pound in the
market. All kinds of English vegetables prosper with very little
trouble, beyond careful watering in dry weather, and weeding during
the rains; but, for some unexplained reason, vegetable culture is
left almost entirely to the coolies or Indians, who, despite their
very primitive methods of irrigation and tillage, make immense
profits thereby."

Further on he says that farms of about 3000 acres may be bought at
from £250 to £2000, according to their situation as regards
neighbouring towns, or the extent of cultivation done on them; and
while the farmer will not derive much more than a bare subsistence
for the first year or two, he may, by combining dairy-farming and
timber-cutting with his more extensive operations, make both ends
meet at any rate, and enhance the value of his land without being
out of pocket. One with a small capital has, of course, a better
chance of immediate profit, and such an one would do well to join
some established and experienced man in partnership, or as a pupil,
in order to learn something of the business before entering it
finally. His advice to adventurous youth is, "By all means go, if
you can manage to put together enough money to pay your passage and
to keep yourself for two or three months after your arrival."

Of the towns he speaks appreciatively. "We have buildings of a very
substantial type, built for the most part of brick. There are blocks
of rooms which form bachelor 'diggings' for single men, and small
but comfortable suburban houses for families, while the railways on
the east and west afford facilities for the importation of excellent
furniture. Eight years ago it was so difficult to obtain furniture
that every little packing case was carefully treasured, its nails
drawn out and straightened, and its boards converted into tables,
stools, and shelves. To-day it is no uncommon thing to find pianos
and billiard tables in private houses in Buluwayo, and even in
Salisbury, which has not yet been reached by the railway, while the
club-houses at both places are models of comfort and luxury."

A writer, who signs himself "W. E. L.," in _British Africa_ says of
Rhodesia, "That the soil is mostly very fertile; in Matabeleland
alone 6000 square miles are suitable for cultivation without any
artificial irrigation, or other extensive preliminary work. In 1891,
a commission of Cape Colony farmers visited the country, and
reported favourably on the land from an agricultural standpoint. Mr.
Lionel Decle said, 'I am the first traveller who has crossed Africa
from the Cape to Uganda, and I must say the British South Africa
Company may certainly boast of possessing the pick of Central Africa
on both sides of the Zambesi.'

"Teak forests cover 2000 square miles in North-West Matabeleland;
and Mashonaland is very well timbered, mostly with trees of the
acacia family.

"The native crops are rice, tobacco, cotton, and india-rubber. All
European vegetables can be grown to perfection, especially
cabbages, lettuces, beetroot, turnips, carrots, and onions. There
were in 1897 over eighty market gardens in the neighbourhood of
Buluwayo, and for the half-year ending September 1897, the value of
the produce sold was £9630.

"Fruit orchards are being planted, and nearly all fruit appears to
flourish, especially grapes, figs, oranges, peaches, almonds,
walnuts, lemons, bananas, quinces, apricots, pomegranates, and
apples. All kinds of European cereals can be grown, and maize does

"The average rainfall is 30 to 35 inches, 90 per cent. of which
falls during the wet season--November to March.

"The temperature rarely touches freezing point, except on the
highlands round Salisbury and Fort Charter, and owing to the great
elevation (4000 to 5000 feet) of most of the country, rarely exceeds
90° in the shade. In the low-lying Zambesi valley, however, it is
very hot from December to March."

Of the mineral wealth, it seems as yet dangerous to prognosticate.
Prophecies are many, and there is every reason to believe that the
mines will be prolific as those of the Transvaal. In regard to this
matter, however, time alone can show.


It may be remembered that in and after 1854, the Boers commenced to
block up the path of travellers, and in some cases to cause
expulsion of visitors across the Vaal. Doubtless this policy of
expulsion originated in the nefarious traffic in "apprentices,"
which they wished to carry on uninterruptedly, but there was also
another reason for their precautions. Stray discoveries of gold had
been made from time to time, and gold prospectors began to take an
uncomfortable interest in the district. Now the Boers had no desire
to open up their country to the mining population, or to run any
risks which might interfere with their hardly won independence.
After the discoveries of the German explorer Manch, however, they
were unable entirely to resist invasion. The ears of the public were
tickled. The hint of nuggets in the Transvaal naturally drew thither
a horde of adventurous Europeans who would not be denied. The first
immigrants betook themselves to Barberton, and some three or four
years later to the Witwatersrandt. These appear mostly to have been
Scotsmen, for President Burgers christened the earliest goldfields
Mac Mac, in consequence of the names of the invaders. Miners and
speculators of all kinds commenced to pour into those districts,
some to make a fortune as quickly as possible, and rush off to
spend it elsewhere, others to settle themselves in the country and
develop schemes for financial outlay, profitable alike to themselves
and to the land of their adoption. Now these permanent visitors were
scarcely appreciated by the Boers. They foresaw the alien
transformed into the citizen, and objected to him. The power which
they had acquired, both by long years of hardship and long hours of
scheming, they wished to keep entirely in their own hands. With the
arrival of further settlers they feared this independence would be
materially weakened. In order that further possible citizens might
not be attracted to the Transvaal, the Volksraad passed a law
calculated to damp their ardour. This law imposed on all candidates
for the franchise a residence of five years, to be accompanied by
register on the Field Cornet's books, and a payment of £25 on
admission to the rights of citizenship.

The first discoverers of the great goldfield are reported to be the
Brothers Struben, owing to whose perseverance and patience the
Witwatersrandt became the Eldorado of speculators' dreams. In 1886
this locality was declared a public goldfield by formal
proclamation, and the South African golden age began.

In a little while the regions north of the Limpopo began to be
investigated, and each in their turn to yield up their treasures. In
1888 a concession to work mineral upon his territory was obtained
from Lobengula, the Matabele king. A year later the British South
Africa Company was founded. The Company having obtained its charter,
no time was lost. In 1890, we find the now noted pioneer expedition
plying its activities in Mashonaland.

Mr. Basil Worsfold, in a most instructive article in the
_Fortnightly Review_, affords an excellent insight into the energy
that characterised the Company's proceedings:--"In the space of
three months, a road 400 miles in length was cut through jungle and
swamp, and a series of forts was erected and garrisoned by the
Company's forces. After the Matabele war, which occupied the closing
months of 1893, the prospecting and mining for gold was commenced in
Matabele, as well as in Mashonaland, and at the present time
Buluwayo, Lobengula's kraal, has become the chief centre of the
industry. These operations were checked by the revolt of the
Matabele and Mashona in 1896, but since that period gold mining has
been steadily progressing. The Buluwayo yield for December 1898
amounted to 6258 oz.: while that of the four last months--September
to December--of the same year was 18,084 oz., of the value of about


Drawn by W. Small, from Sketches by A. R. Colquhoun, First
Administrator of Mashonaland.]

The other fields which yield gold are the Transvaal, Lydenberg, and
De Kaap fields, and the Klerksdorp and Potchefstrom fields. The
output of these fields continues to grow apace, but how much
longer the growth will be maintained is uncertain. The opinion of
Mr. Hamilton Smith, who wrote to the _Times_ on the subject in 1895,
is worth consideration. He says, "In 1894 the value of the Randt
gold bullion was £7,000,000, and this without any increase from the
new deep-level mines; these latter will become fairly productive in
1897, so for that year a produce of fully £10,000,000 can be fairly
expected. Judging from present appearances, the maximum product of
the Randt will be reached about the end of the present century, when
it will probably exceed £12,500,000 per annum."

It is interesting to find that Mr. Smith's maximum figure was
already exceeded in the year 1898, when the total yield of gold was
4,295,602 oz., valued at £15,250,000!

The following table, based on Mr. H. Smith's and Dr. Soetbeer's
estimates, affords us an opportunity for comparing the South African
output with that of other countries, and the world's present supply
with that of former years:--

GOLD OUTPUT FOR 1894.         |           WORLD'S OUTPUT.
                              |                   Average annual
                   Value      |   From                value.
United States    £9,000,000   | 1700 to 1859         £ 2,000,000
Australasia       8,000,000   | 1850 to 1875          25,000,000
South Africa      7,000,000   | 1875 to 1890          20,000,000
Russia (1892)     4,000,000   | 1894 (one year only)  36,000,000

Of the stimulus given to railway construction by the establishment
of the gold industry Mr. Worsfold speaks with authority. He says,
"To-day, Johannesburg--built on land which in 1886 was part of an
absolutely barren waste--is approached by three distinct lines,
which connect it directly with the four chief ports of South
Africa--Delagoa Bay, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town. Of these
lines the earliest, which traverses the Free State from end to end,
and links the Randt with the Cape Colony, was not opened until July
1892. The Pretoria-Delagoa Bay line was completed in the autumn of
1894; and the extension of the Randt railway to Charlestown, the
connecting-point with the Natal line, was not effected until the
following year. These, together with some subsidiary lines,
represent a total of 1000 miles of railway constructed mainly under
the stimulus of the gold industry in the Transvaal. To this total
two considerable pieces of railway construction, accomplished in the
interest of the gold industry in the Chartered Company's
territories, must be added. Of these, the first extended the main
trunk line of Africa from Kimberley successively to Vryburg and
Mafeking, in 1890 and 1894, and then finally to Buluwayo in 1897,
and the second, the Beira line, by securing a rapid passage through
the 'fly country,' brought Salisbury into easy communication with
the East Coast of Africa at the port so named. Taken together, they
measure 930 miles. It should be added also that arrangements are
already in progress for the extension of the trunk line from
Buluwayo to Tanganyika--a distance of about 750 miles. This will
form a new and important link in Mr. Rhodes' great scheme of
connecting Cape Town with Cairo."

The telegraph advanced more speedily even than railroads, and the
population has kept pace with wire and rail. Johannesburg has a
population of 120,800 souls, and Buluwayo, a savage desert not long
ago, has now an European society of over 5000 persons. It is
therefore somewhat questionable if Mr. Froude is justified in his
opinion that diamonds and gold are not the stuff of which nations
are made. Nations, if they are to expand, must be fed, and while
diamond and gold mines give up of their wealth, we are assured of
sufficient food to foster expansion. That done, it remains merely
with the Government of the flourishing nation to decide whether its
work shall be little or large.

It is curious to note that in spite of the disturbance in the
Transvaal the mines continued to maintain their position, with the
result that the gold output from the Randt for July shows a
considerable increase upon previous months. According to the
official figures received from the Chamber of Mines, the returns
were as follows:--

       456,474 ozs. for the Witwatersrandt district
        22,019 ozs. for the outside district
       478,493 ozs.

The production in June 1899 was:--

       445,763 ozs. for the Witwatersrandt district
        21,508 ozs. for the outside district
In all 467,271 ozs.

And in July 1898:--

       359,343 ozs. for the Witwatersrandt district
        22,663 ozs. for the outside district
In all 382,006 ozs.

This table shows that during the twelve months since July 1898 the
production of gold on the Randt has increased by 100,000 ozs. a
month--equivalent to 1,200,000 ozs. a year. It will be found that,
if these returns are compared with the estimates made by competent
authorities, the actual output is far in excess of all estimates,
following is the gold output table, Transvaal, to July 1899:--

| MONTH.   |  1895.  |  1896.  |  1897.  |  1898.  |  1899.  | TOTAL TO DATE. |
|          |  Ozs.   |   Ozs.  |   Ozs.  |   Ozs.  |   Ozs.  |     Ozs.       |
|January   | 177,463 | 148,178 | 209,832 | 336,577 | 431,010 | 369,557--1889  |
|February  | 169,296 | 167,019 | 211,000 | 321,238 | 425,166 | 42,000--'87-8-9|
|March     | 184,945 | 173,952 | 232,067 | 347,643 | 464,036 | 494,817--1890  |
|April     | 186,323 | 176,003 | 235,698 | 353,243 | 460,349 | 729,238--1891  |
|May       | 194,580 | 195,009 | 248,305 | 365,016 | 466,452 | 1,210,867--1892|
|June      | 200,942 | 193,640 | 251,529 | 365,091 | 467,271 | 1,478,473--1893|
|July      | 199,453 | 203,874 | 242,479 | 382,006 | 478,493 | 2,024,163--1894|
|August    | 203,573 | 213,418 | 259,603 | 398,285 |   ...   | 2,277,640--1895|
|September | 194,765 | 202,562 | 262,150 | 408,502 |   ...   | 2,281,175--1896|
|October   | 192,652 | 199,890 | 274,175 | 423,217 |   ...   | 3,034,674--1897|
|November  | 195,219 | 201,113 | 297,124 | 413,517 |   ...   | 4,555,009--1898|
|December  | 178,429 | 206,517 | 310,712 | 440,674 |   ...   | 3,193,777--1899|
|Total     |2,277,640|2,281,175|3,034,674|4,555,009|3,193,777|21,899,562 ozs. |
Government Returns; some additions to be made for Rhodesia.


The discovery of diamonds in South Africa was made by a curious
accident. One day a trader travelling along in the neighbourhood
north of Cape Colony happened to stop at a farm. While there, he was
interested in a small child who was toying with a bright and
singularly lustrous pebble. His curiosity was aroused, and he
suggested that the thing might be rare enough to be of some value.
Thereupon the stone was sent to an expert in Grahamstown, who
declared it to be a diamond. The stone weighed twenty-one carats and
was valued at £500. From that date search was made in and around the
locality, and more diamonds, smaller and of inferior quality, were
found. During the years 1867-68 nothing very active was done, though
now and again these precious stones were discovered near the Vaal

In the month of March, 1869, the world was startled and began to
open its eyes. The diamond known as "the Star of Africa," weighing
some eighty-three carats in its raw state, was obtained from a
Hottentot. This individual had been in possession of the valuable
property for some time, and had kept it solely on account of its
rarity as a charm. The stone was eventually sold for the sum of

The north bank of the Vaal where the discoveries were made was, at
that time, a species of "No-Man's-Land." The southern bank belonged
to the Free State, but for the other side there were many claimants,
none of whom could prove a title to it. The community of miners
which there gathered was consequently lawless and ruffianly, and its
mode of government was distinctly primitive.

The various claimants, notably the Griqua Captain, Nicholas
Waterboer, commenced disputes regarding the valuable portion of the
Free State territory, and finally it was decided to submit to
British arbitration. President Brand refused the offer, but
President M. W. Pretorius of the South African Republic, who had
grievances against the Barolong, Batlapin, and Griqua tribes,
agreed. A Court was appointed, the Governor of Natal acting as
umpire. The interests involved were many, and on the subject of
their rights the various claimants seemed somewhat hazy. The Free
State was not represented, and the umpire, acting on the evidence of
Mr. Arnot (the agent of Nicholas Waterboer) gave judgment against
the South African Republic, and allowed the claim of the Griqua
Captain, including in the award the tract claimed by him in the Free
State. The complicated situation is thus described by Mr. Bryce in
his "Impressions of South Africa":--

"As Waterboer had before the award offered his territory to the
British Government, the country was forthwith erected into a Crown
Colony, under the name of Griqualand West. This was in 1871. The
Free State, whose case had not been stated, much less argued, before
the umpire, protested, and was after a time able to appeal to a
judgment delivered by a British Court, which found that Waterboer
had never enjoyed any right to the territory. However, the new
Colony had by this time been set up, and the British flag displayed.
The British Government, without either admitting or denying the Free
State title, declared that a district in which it was difficult to
keep order amid a turbulent and shifting population ought to be
under the control of a strong power, and offered the Free State a
sum of £90,000 in settlement of whatever claim it might possess. The
acceptance by the Free State, in 1876, of this sum closed the
controversy, though a sense of injustice continued to rankle in the
breasts of some of the citizens of the Republic. Amicable relations
have subsisted ever since between it and Cape Colony, and the
control of the British Government over the Basutos has secured for
it peace in the quarter which was formerly most disturbed.

"These two cases show how various are the causes, and how mixed the
motives, which press a great power forward even against the wishes
of its statesmen. The Basutos were declared British subjects, partly
out of a sympathetic wish to rescue and protect them, partly because
policy required the acquisition of a country naturally strong,
and holding an important strategical position. Griqualand West,
taken in the belief that Waterboer had a good title to it, was
retained after this belief had been dispelled, partly perhaps
because a population had crowded into it which consisted mainly of
British subjects, and was not easily controllable by a small State,
but mainly because Colonial feeling refused to part with a region of
such exceptional mineral wealth. And the retention of Griqualand
West caused, before long, the acquisition of Bechuanaland, which in
its turn naturally led to that northward extension of British
influence which has carried the Union Jack to the shores of Lake


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]

Griqualand West, whose capital is the salubrious Kimberley, was
settled in 1833 by the Griquas or Baastards, a tribe of Dutch
Hottentot half-breeds. As we have seen, the territory was claimed by
the chief, Waterboer, and his claim was allowed by the Governor of
Natal. When he subsequently ceded his rights, the province was
annexed to Cape Colony, but with independent jurisdiction. In 1881
it became an integral part of Cape Colony. Griqualand East comprises
No-Man's-Land, the Gatberg and St. John's River territory, under
eight subordinate magistrates.

A word, before passing on, of Kimberley. This town, hitherto known
as the City of Diamonds, has now the distinction of being the casket
where Mr. Rhodes, with the price of £5000 on his head, was
incarcerated. Its real birth dates from 1869-70, when all the world
rushed out to win fortune from its soil. Happily at that time Mr.
Cecil Rhodes happened to be in the neighbourhood. With his usual
gift of foresight, he recognised that some process of amalgamating
the various conflicting claims and interests, and merging them in
one huge whole, would be necessary if the value of diamonds was to
be kept up. He invented a scheme, and succeeded--the great
corporation, the De Beers Consolidated Mining Company, limited the
output of diamonds to an annual amount such as Europe and the United
States were able to take at a price high enough to leave an adequate
profit. This arrangement has, in a measure, had the effect of
depopulating the place. At least it has thinned it of the crowd of
adventurers who previously infested the region and struggled to
maintain an independent existence there. In the absence of these
loafers the town is civilised, and comparatively refined. There are
groves of gum-trees to promote shade, and thickets of prickly pear,
which have ever a rural, though touch-me-not aspect. The
low-storeyed houses, built bungalow-wise, have an air of
capaciousness and ease; and further out, in Kenilworth, there are
comfortable dwellings, surrounded with trees, and suggestive of a
certain suburban picturesqueness. This region owes its cheerful and
well-ordered aspect entirely to Mr. Rhodes, who is at the same time
the parent and the apostle of all progress in South Africa.

The diamonds have their home in beds of clay, which are usually
covered with calcareous rock. These beds are the remains of mud
pits, due to volcanic action. Mr. Bryce, in his "Impressions of
South Africa, says:--

"Some of the mines are worked to the depth of 1200 feet by shafts
and subterranean galleries. Some are open, and these, particularly
that called the Wesselton Mine, are an interesting sight. This deep
hollow, one-third of a mile in circumference and 100 feet deep,
enclosed by a strong fence of barbed wire, is filled by a swarm of
active Kaffir workmen, cleaving the 'hard blue' with pickaxes,
piling it up on barrows, and carrying it off to the wide fields,
where it is left exposed to the sun, and, during three months, to
the rain. Having been thus subjected to a natural decomposition, it
is the more readily brought by the pickaxe into smaller fragments
before being sent to the mills, where it is crushed, pulverised, and
finally washed to get at the stones. Nowhere in the world does the
hidden wealth of the soil and the element of chance in its discovery
strike one so forcibly as here, where you are shown a piece of
ground a few acres in extent, and are told, 'Out of this pit
diamonds of the value of £12,000,000 have been taken.' Twenty-six
years ago the ground might have been bought for £50."

To encourage honesty in the miner good wages are given, and ten per
cent. is allowed to finders of valuable stones who voluntarily
deliver these to the overseer. Apropos of this subject, Mr. Bryce
relates an amusing tale, which, if not true, is certainly _ben
trovato_: "I heard from a missionary an anecdote of a Basuto who,
after his return from Kimberley, was describing how, on one
occasion, his eye fell on a valuable diamond in the clay he was
breaking into fragments. While he was endeavouring to pick it up he
perceived the overseer approaching, and, having it by this time in
his hand, was for a moment terribly frightened, the punishment for
theft being very severe. The overseer, however, passed on. 'And
then,' said the Basuto, 'I knew that there was indeed a God, for He
had preserved me.'"

Before leaving the subject of diamonds, it may be interesting to
note the material increase of the products of the mines year by
year. The following is a table of statistics of the De Beers
Consolidated Mines, Limited, since its formation, 1st April 1888:--


[Transcriber's Note: In order to fit into the limits required by
Doctrine Publishing Corporation, this table has been split into three parts.]

|          |Year Ending     | Number  | Number  |  Number of  |Amount Realised|
|          |                |of Loads |of Loads |  Carats of  |    by Sale    |
|          |                |of Blue  |of Blue  |  Diamonds   |  of Diamonds. |
|          |                |Hoisted. | Washed. |    Found    |               |
|         {|March 31, 1889, |         |         |             |    £     s. d.|
|         {|prior to        |  944,706|  712,263|  914,121    |  901,818  0  5|
|         {|consolidation   |         |         |             |               |
|De Beers {|March 31, 1890  |2,192,226|1,251,245|1,450,605    |2,330,179 16  3|
|and      {|March 31, 1891  |1,978,153|2,029,588|2,020,515    |2,974,670  9  0|
|Kimberley{|[A]June 30, 1892|3,338,553|3,239,134|3,035,481    |3,931,542 11  1|
|Mines    {|June 30, 1893   |3,090,183|2,108,626|2,229,805    |3,239,389  8  6|
|         {|June 30, 1894   |2,999,431|2,577,460|2,308,463-1/2|2,820,172  3  9|
|         {|June 30, 1895   |2,525,717|2,854,817|2,435,541-1/2|3,105,957 15  8|
|         {|June 30, 1896   |2,698,109|2,597,026|2,363,437-3/4|3,165,382  1  4|
|         {|June 30, 1897   |2,515,889|3,011,288|2,769,422-3/4|3,722,099  3  3|
|          |                |         |         |             |               |
|Premier   |                |         |         |             |               |
|Mine      |June 30, 1897   |  271,777|   ...   |    ...      |    ...        |
|          |                |         |         |             |               |
|De Beers  |                |         |         |             |               |
|and       |                |         |         |             |               |
|Kimberley |                |         |         |             |               |
|Mines     |June 30, 1898   |3,332,688|3,259,692|2,603,250    |3,451,214 15  3|
|          |                |         |         |             |               |
|Premier   |                |         |         |             |               |
|Mine      |June 30, 1898   |1,146,984|  691,722|  189,356-1/4|  196,659 18  8|

|          |Year Ending     | Number  |  Amount   |   Amount  |Cost of   |
|          |                |of Carats| Realised  | Realised  |Production|
|          |                |per Load | per Carat | per Load. |per Load  |
|          |                | of Blue.|   Sold.   |           |          |
|         {|March 31, 1889, |         |           |           |          |
|         {|prior to        |         | s.   d.   |  s.   d.  | s.   d.  |
|         {|consolidation   |  1.283  | 19  8-3/4 | 25  3-3/4 | 9 10-1/2 |
|De Beers {|March 31, 1890  |  1.15   | 32  6-3/4 | 37  2-3/4 | 8 10-1/2 |
|and      {|March 31, 1891  |   .99   | 29  6     | 29  3-3/4 | 8  8     |
|Kimberley{|[A]June 30, 1892|   .92   | 25  6     | 23  5     | 7  4.3   |
|Mines    {|June 30, 1893   |  1.05   | 29  0.6   | 30  6     | 6 11.6   |
|         {|June 30, 1894   |   .89   | 24  5.2   | 21 10.6   | 6  6.8   |
|         {|June 30, 1895   |   .85   | 25  6     | 21  8     | 6 10.8   |
|         {|June 30, 1896   |   .91   | 26  9.4   | 24  4.5   | 7  0.1   |
|         {|June 30, 1897   |   .92   | 26 10.6   | 24  8.6   | 7  4.3   |
|          |                |         |           |           |          |
|Premier   |                |         |           |           |          |
|Mine      |June 30, 1897   |   ...   |   ...     |    ...    |   ...    |
|          |                |         |           |           |          |
|De Beers  |                |         |           |           |          |
|and       |                |         |           |           |          |
|Kimberley |                |         |           |           |          |
|Mines     |June 30, 1898   |   .80   | 26  6.2   | 21  2.1   | 6  7.4   |
|          |                |         |           |           |          |
|Premier   |                |         |           |           |          |
|Mine      |June 30, 1898   |   .27   | 20  9.3   |  5  8.2   | 2  7.1   |

|          |Year Ending     | Number of|                                 |
|          |                |  Loads   |      DIVIDENDS PAID.            |
|          |                |of Blue on|                                 |
|          |                | Floors at+------------------+--------------+
|          |                | Close of |                  |              |
|          |                |   Year,  |    Amount.       |   Equal to   |
|          |                | exclusive|                  |              |
|          |                | of Lumps |                  |              |
|         {|March 31, 1889, |          |                  |              |
|         {|prior to        |          |       £     s. d.|              |
|         {|consolidation   |  476,403 |    188,329  10  0|  5 per cent. |
|De Beers {|March 31, 1890  |1,576,821 |    789,682   0  0| 20    "      |
|and      {|March 31, 1891  |1,525,386 |    789,791   0  0| 20    "      |
|Kimberley{|[A]June 30, 1892|1,624,805 |  1,382,134   5  0| 35    "      |
|Mines    {|June 30, 1893   |2,606,362 |    987,238  15  0| 25    "      |
|         {|June 30, 1894   |3,028,333 |    987,238  15  0| 25    "      |
|         {|June 30, 1895   |2,699,233 |    987,238  15  0| 25    "      |
|         {|June 30, 1896   |2,800,316 |  1,579,582   0  0| 40    "      |
|         {|June 30, 1897   |2,304,917 |  1,579,582   0  0| 40    "      |
|          |                |          |                  |              |
|Premier   |                |          |                  |              |
|Mine      |June 30, 1897   |  271,777 |    ...           |    ...       |
|          |                |          |                  |              |
|De Beers  |                |          |                  |              |
|and       |                |          |                  |              |
|Kimberley |                |          |                  |              |
|Mines     |June 30, 1898   |2,377,913 |}                 |              |
|          |                |          |}                 |              |
|Premier   |                |          |} 1,579,582   0  0| 40 per cent. |
|Mine      |June 30, 1898   |  727,039 |}                 |              |

[A] These figures are for a period of fifteen months. Add
10 per cent. for other products.



We have dealt with the exodus of the trekkers, and with the land
that subsequently became the Transvaal. It behoves us now to discuss
the difference between that primitive pastoral region of the early
century and the busy country that may, for distinction sake, be
styled the Transvaal of to-day.

Modern geographers apply the name of the Transvaal to the tract of
country between the Limpopo River on the north, and the Vaal River
on the south. It is bounded on the east by the Lobombo, and the
Drakenberg Mountains, which run parallel to the Natal coast, and on
the west by British Bechuanaland. On the east lie Portuguese
Territory and British Zululand, on the north Rhodesia, on the west
British Bechuanaland, and on the south the Orange Free State and
Natal. The important rivers are the Limpopo or Crocodile River, so
named in compliment to its reptile inhabitants, and the Vaal, a
tributary of the Orange River. This rises among the Drakenberg
Mountains, and, curving, flows west as a boundary between the Orange
Free State and the Transvaal. The Limpopo rises between Johannesburg
and Pretoria, and sprays out north-east, north-west, east, and
south-east, reaching the sea in the neighbourhood of Delagoa Bay.
After leaving the Transvaal, owing to the presence of a cataract, it
is however unsuitable for purposes of navigation. The district of
the Transvaal varies in height from 2000 to 8000 feet above the
level of the sea. The Hooge Veld, the uplands of the Drakenberg
Mountains, rises from 4000 to 8000 feet above the sea, and between
them and the outer slopes of the Lobombo range is a vast tract of
some 20,000 square miles of arable land, called the Banken Veld. It
furnishes a splendid grazing ground, and corn grows in profusion.
The Bosch Veld or Bush Country comprises the centre of the country,
and runs west into Bechuanaland. This district is largely infested
with the tsetse fly, an insect whose sting means death to almost all
domestic animals. Besides this, it is the home of malaria and other
fevers. The Hooge Veld, which has a drier, colder, and more healthy
climate, is largely used for breeding cattle, and as a grazing
ground for sheep and oxen. It is here that, in later days, the
gold-mining activity proceeds, as almost everywhere there are
believed to be rich auriferous deposits. Its mineral deposits have
been the attraction of the Transvaal, for the coal-fields invited
the attention of some of the first speculators. In fact, the first
railway line of the district ran between Johannesburg and a

Besides coal may be found silver, copper, and lead. But the great
attraction, GOLD, has for the last ten years lured all the money
from the pockets of the enterprising. Other metals, such as
cinnabar, iron, and tin are, for the nonce, like Gray's violet,
"born to blush unseen," until some ingenious person discovers in
them a subtle attraction.

To show the financial changes which have come over the country
within the last ten years, Mr. Campbell, late Vice-President of the
Chamber of Mines, Johannesburg, has written a valuable article. In
it he gives us the following agrarian position in the Transvaal of
the present by areas and by values:--


                                               Per cent.
          Boers' own land                          65
          British                                  35

But land is valuable not by area merely, but by intrinsic value, and
the Boers have sold much of their best land, and taken British gold
for it, and when we come to the figures in the Government Dues
Office at Pretoria, we have--


                                               Per cent.
          Boers'                                   33
          British                                  67

The net deductions in the Dues Offices are, that the whole of the
farms and private lands in the Transvaal, under the mere Boer
occupancy, are valued by the outside world at £933,200, whereas
to-day, by the addition of the British buyer and holder, they are
now valued by the world at ten millions sterling! In figures given
above, all land occupied for mining or town sites is excluded.

The current yield of gold is computed at the rate of seventeen and a
half millions sterling per annum. This is the vitalising source of
African trade and African progress. It pays the interest on nearly
all South African Railways, is responsible for a large portion of
the costs of Government in the Cape Colony, Orange States, Natal as
well as Pretoria. And yet the working bees--the white British
community of Johannesburg--who have helped to enrich the hive
containing the whole of South African interests, have been
neglected, if not betrayed, by the Mother Country. They have been
deprived of arms, of liberties,--they have suffered insult and
disdain, and Great Britain, until forced to do so, has moved not a
finger in their defence. The Transvaal, one of the richest districts
of the world, merely wants good and sustained government--a
government that will grant to all respectable white men free and
equal rights. When this shall come to pass, its splendid resources
will be developed. The Indian Ocean trade will be supplied with
steam coal. The country will sustain itself, and will also export
food stuffs, and trade in iron, hide, wool, tin, and quantities of
other things, whose value has hitherto been ignored. All that is
needed is a dignified acceptance of British responsibilities. South
Africa was bought by the paramount Power nearly an hundred years
ago, and has since then been administered--if not entirely wisely
and well--at least administered, by that Power. British sweat has
rained on the country, British muscle has toiled in the country,
British blood has flowed in streams over its face, and British bones
are mixed with the shifting grains of its sand. It now remains for
British sovereignty to wield its sceptre and make its presence felt.


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]


Since it is impossible to enter into all the intricacies of foreign
political relations with the Transvaal, we will return to the
Uitlanders. They became more and more unwelcome as their numbers
increased. Many Acts were passed, each serving to render more
impossible their chances of obtaining the franchise. The fact was
that Mr. Kruger, having brought his State to a condition of
bankruptcy almost identical with that which existed when Sir T.
Shepstone annexed the Transvaal, was struggling to carry on a
divided scheme, that of grabbing with both hands from the Uitlander
financialists, while endeavouring to maintain with close-fisted
obstinacy the exclusiveness, irresponsibility, and bigotry of the
primitive trekker. He knew that if he granted full political rights
to the outsiders he would no longer be master of his own misguided
house. He said as much, and pointed out that were he to do so there
would be no alternative but to haul down his flag. This being the
case, there was no resource but to transform the so-called free
Republic into an absolute oligarchy. Much has been said of the
"Russian despot," but this century can present no more complete
spectacle of despotism than that of Mr. Kruger. The Emperor of
Russia, autocrat as he is, is guided by the traditions of his empire
and the machinations of his ministers, but Mr. Kruger has allowed
himself to be reasoned with and influenced by none, and his word has
been in reality the only form of law or justice on which the
Uitlanders have had to rely. Such system of government as there was
was corrupt. Smuggling flourished under the very eye of the
officials, and the Field Cornets, whose business it was to act as
petty justices, collect taxes, and register arrivals of new-comers,
kept their books in a manner more in accord with their personal
convenience than with accuracy. Hence, when it came to the question
of the naturalisation of the Uitlanders, the books which should have
recorded their registration were either withheld or missing.
Settlers in the Transvaal between the years 1882 and 1890, owing to
this irregularity, were debarred from proving their registration as
the law required. Speaking of this period, Mr. Fitzpatrick, in "The
Transvaal from Within," says:--

"In the country districts justice was not a commodity intended for
the Britisher. Many cases of gross abuse, and several of actual
murder occurred, and in 1885 the case of Mr. Jas. Donaldson, then
residing on a farm in Lydenburg--lately one of the Reform
prisoners--was mentioned in the House of Commons, and became the
subject of a demand by the Imperial Government for reparation and
punishment. He had been ordered by two Boers (one of whom was in the
habit of boasting that he had shot an unarmed Englishman in
Lydenburg since the war, and would shoot others) to abstain from
collecting hut taxes on his own farm; and on refusing had been
attacked by them. After beating them off single-handed, he was later
on again attacked by his former assailants, reinforced by three
others. They bound him with reims (thongs), kicked and beat him with
sjamboks (raw-hide whips) and clubs, stoned him, and left him
unconscious and so disfigured that he was thought to be dead when
found some hours later. On receipt of the Imperial Government's
representations, the men were arrested, tried, and fined. The fines
were stated to have been remitted at once by Government, but in the
civil action which followed Mr. Donaldson received £500 damages. The
incident had a distinctly beneficial effect, and nothing more was
heard of the maltreatment of defenceless men simply because they
were Britishers."

Nevertheless the hostility between the two races was growing apace,
and every ambition of the Uitlanders was promptly nipped in the

Reforms were at first mildly suggested. Bridges and roads were
required, also a remission of certain taxes, but suggestions, even
agitations, were in vain. In regard to the franchise question--the
crying question of the decade--Mr. Kruger turned an ear more and
more deaf. There are none so deaf as those whose ears are stopped up
with the cotton-wool of their own bigotry. This bigotry it is almost
impossible for enlightened persons to understand. As an instance of
the almost fanatical ignorance and prejudice with which the
Uitlanders had to contend, we may quote the letter of Mr. Kruger
when requested to allow his name to be used as a patron of a ball to
be given in honour of her Majesty's birthday. He replied:--

     "SIR,--In reply to your favour of the 12th inst., requesting me to
     ask his Honour the State President to consent to his name being
     used as a patron of a ball to be given at Johannesburg on the 26th
     inst., I have been instructed to inform you that his Honour
     considers a ball as Baal's service, for which reason the Lord
     ordered Moses to kill all offenders; and as it is therefore
     contrary to his Honour's principles, his Honour cannot consent to
     the misuse of his name in such connection.--I have, &c.,

                                                       "F. ELOFF,
                                                  _Private Secretary_."

On another occasion, when the question of locust extermination came
before the first Raad, the worthies to whom the conduct of the State
was confided showed a condition of benighted simplicity that can
scarcely be credited.

"_July 21._--Mr. Roos said locusts were a plague, as in the days of
King Pharaoh, sent by God, and the country would assuredly be loaded
with shame and obloquy if it tried to raise its hand against the
mighty hand of the Almighty.

"Messrs. Declerq and Steenkamp spoke in the same strain, quoting
largely from the Scriptures.

"The Chairman related a true story of a man whose farm was always
spared by the locusts, until one day he caused some to be killed.
His farm was then devastated.

"Mr. Stoop conjured the members not to constitute themselves
terrestrial gods, and oppose the Almighty.

"Mr. Lucas Meyer raised a storm by ridiculing the arguments of the
former speakers, and comparing the locusts to beasts of prey, which
they destroyed.

"Mr. Labuschagne was violent. He said the locusts were different
from beasts of prey. They were a special plague sent by God for
their sinfulness."


Photo by Gregory & Co., London.]

Their deliberate unenlightenment, had it not been so tragic for
those who suffered in consequence of it, must have been almost
comical. On one occasion the question of firing at the clouds to
bring down rain was discussed, and declared to be impious.

"_August 5._--A memorial was read from Krugersdorp, praying that the
Raad would pass a law to prohibit the sending up of bombs into the
clouds to bring down rain, as it was a defiance of God, and would
most likely bring down a visitation from the Almighty.

"The Memorial Committee reported that they disapproved of such a
thing, but at the same time they did not consider that they could
make a law on the subject.

"Mr. A. D. Wolmarans said he was astonished at the advice, and he
expected better from the Commission. If one of their children fired
towards the clouds with a revolver they would thrash him. Why should
they permit people to mock at the Almighty in this manner? It was
terrible to contemplate. He hoped that the Raad would take steps to
prevent such things happening.

"The Chairman (who is also a member of the Memorial Commission) said
the Commission thought that such things were only done for a wager.

"Mr. Erasmus said they were not done for a wager, but in real
earnest. People at Johannesburg actually thought that they could
bring down the rain from the clouds by firing cannons at them."

These quotations are not offered in the spirit of ridicule. The
Uitlander question is too serious for joking. They are reproduced to
enable those who have no knowledge of the Boer--his petty tyrannies
and annoying and irritating habits, and the vexatious regulations
from which the Uitlander continually suffered--to form an idea of
the terrible mental gulf which existed between oppressor and
oppressed. As the constant dropping of water will wear away stone,
so the constant fret of Boer treatment wore out the patience of
their victims!

It soon became very difficult for even sons of Uitlanders born in
the country to obtain the franchise. The naturalised subject
resigned his own nationality, and acquired the duties of the citizen
and the liability to be called on for military service, only to find
out that he could not even then enjoy the rights of the citizen. He
felt much as the dog in the fable, which let drop his piece of meat
for the sake of a reflection in the water. New laws and regulations
continually came into force for the ostensible purpose of improving
the state of the Uitlander--laws which in reality were created to
bamboozle him still further. What chicanery failed to accomplish the
remissness of officials successfully brought about, and the
discomfort of the foreign inhabitants was complete. Beside domestic
there were economic grievances. The position in a nutshell is given
by one of the unfortunates:--

"The one thing which we must have--not for its own sake, but for the
security it offers for obtaining and retaining other reforms--_is_
the franchise. No promise of reform, no reform itself will be worth
an hour's purchase unless we have the status of voters to make our
influence felt. But, if you want the chief economic grievances, they
are--the Netherland Railway concession, the dynamite monopoly, the
liquor traffic, and native labour, which, together, constitute an
unwarrantable burden of indirect taxation on the industry of _over
two and a half millions sterling annually_. We petitioned until we
were jeered at; we agitated until we--well--came here (Pretoria
Gaol); and we know that we shall get no remedy until we have the
vote to enforce it. We are not a political but a working community,
and if we were honestly and capably governed, the majority of us
would be content to wait for the franchise for a considerable time
yet in recognition of the peculiar circumstances and of the feelings
of the older inhabitants."

Mrs. Lionel Phillips, as the wife of an Uitlander, has also written
her plaint. She says:--

"To show that the grievances of the Uitlanders are indeed real, let
me call your attention to a few facts. What would women residing in
peaceful England say to the fact that one cannot take a walk out of
sight of one's own house in the suburbs of Johannesburg with safety?
The Kaffirs, who in other parts of South Africa treat a white woman
with almost servile respect, there make it a most unpleasant ordeal
to pass them, and in a lonely part absolutely dangerous.

"Even little girls of the tenderest age are not safe from these
monsters. This is, of course, owing to the utterly inadequate police
protection afforded by the Government, the ridiculously lenient
sentences passed on horrible crimes, and to the adulterated drink
sold by licensed publicans to the Kaffirs on all sides. What would
be said if, when insulted by a cab-driver, it was found that the
nearest policeman was the owner of the cab in question, and refused
to render any assistance or listen to any complaint?

"The educational grievance has been so widely circulated that it is
needless to mention it now; but what is to be expected of a
Government composed of men barely able to write their own names?

"Of course I, as a woman, do not wish to enter into the larger
questions of franchise, monopolies, taxation, &c., but being myself
an Africander, and well able to recognise the many good qualities of
the Boers, you will quite understand that I do not take a
prejudiced view of the situation, and I am in a position better
than that of most people to understand the grave reality of the
Uitlanders' grievances."


Of the scandals leading out of the Netherlands Railway concession
and the dynamite monopoly it is needless to speak. These monopolies
were little more than schemes having for object the diversion of
money from the pockets of the British into those either of the Boers
or their trusty satellites in the Hollander-German clique. As an
instance of the _modus operandi_, an article relative to the railway
monopoly in the _Johannesburg Mining Journal_ may be quoted:


     "This is another carefully designed burden upon the mines and
     country. The issued capital and loans of the Netherlands Company
     now total about £7,000,000, upon which an average interest of about
     5-1/3 per cent.--guaranteed by the State--is paid, equal to
     £370,000 per annum. Naturally the bonds are at a high premium. The
     company and its liabilities can be taken over by the State at a
     year's notice, and the necessary funds for this purpose can be
     raised at three per cent. An offer was recently made to the
     Government to consolidate this and other liabilities, but the
     National Bank, which is another concession, has the monopoly of all
     State loan business, and this circumstance effectually disposed of
     the proposal. At three per cent. a saving of £160,000 per annum
     would be made in this monopoly in interest alone. The value
     represented by the custom dues on the Portuguese border we are not
     in a position to estimate, but roughly these collections and the
     fifteen per cent. of the profits paid to the management and
     shareholders must, with other leakages, represent at least another
     £100,000 per annum which should be saved the country. As the
     revenue of the corporation now exceeds £2,000,000 a year, of which
     only half is expended in working costs, the estimate we have taken
     does not err upon the side of extravagance. By its neglect of its
     duties towards the commercial and mining community enormous losses
     are involved. Thus in the coal traffic the rate, which is now to be
     somewhat reduced, has been 3d. per ton per mile. According to the
     returns of the Chamber of Mines, the coal production of the
     Transvaal for 1895 was 1,045,121 tons. This is carried an average
     distance of nearly thirty miles, but taking the distance at
     twenty-four miles the charges are 6s. per ton. At 1-1/2d. per ton
     per mile--three times as much as the Cape railways charge--a saving
     upon the coal rates of 3s. per ton would follow, equal to £150,000
     per annum. Again, by the 'bagging' system an additional cost of 2s.
     3d. per ton is incurred--details of this item have been recently
     published in this paper--and if this monopoly were run upon
     ordinary business lines, a further saving of £110,000 would be made
     by carrying coal in bulk. The interest upon the amount required to
     construct the necessary sidings for handling the coal, and the
     tram-lines required to transport it to the mines, would be a mere
     fraction upon the amount; and as the coal trade in the course of a
     short time is likely to see a fifty per cent. increase, the
     estimate may be allowed to stand at this figure without deduction.
     No data are available to fix the amount of the tax laid upon the
     people generally by the vexatious delays and losses following upon
     inefficient railway administration, but the monthly meetings of the
     local Chamber of Commerce throw some light upon these phases of a
     monopolistic management. The savings to be made in dealing with the
     coal traffic must not be taken as exhausting all possible reforms:
     the particulars given as to this traffic only indicate and suggest
     the wide area covered by this monopoly, which hitherto has made but
     halting and feeble efforts to keep pace with the requirements of
     the public. Dealing as it does with the imports of the whole
     country, which now amount in value to £10,000,000, the figures we
     have given must serve merely to illustrate its invertebrate methods
     of handling traffic, as well as its grasping greed in enforcing the
     rates fixed by the terms of its concession. Its forty miles of Rand
     steam tram-line and thirty-five miles of railway from the Vaal
     River, with some little assistance from the Delagoa line and
     customs, brought in a revenue of about £1,250,000 in 1895. Now that
     the Natal line is opened the receipts will probably amount to
     nearly £3,000,000 per annum, all of which should swell the ordinary
     revenue of the country instead of remaining in the hands of
     foreigners as a reservoir of wealth for indigent Hollanders to
     exploit. The total railway earnings at the Cape and Natal together
     over all their lines amounted to £3,916,566 in 1895, and the
     capital expenditure on railways by these colonies amounts to
     £26,000,000. The greater portion of these receipts come from the
     Rand trade, which is compelled to pay an additional £2,500,000
     carrying charges to the Netherlands Company, which has £7,000,000
     of capital. Thus, railway receipts in South Africa amount now to
     £7,000,000 per annum, of which the Rand contributes at least

     "The revenue of the company is now considerably over £3,000,000 per
     annum. The management claim that their expenses amount to but forty
     per cent. of revenue, and this is regarded by them as a matter for
     general congratulation. The Uitlanders contend that the concern is
     grossly mismanaged, and that the low cost of working is a fiction.
     It only appears low by contrast with a revenue swollen by
     preposterously heavy rates and protected by a monopoly. The tariff
     could be reduced by one-half, that is to say, a remission of
     taxation to the tune of one and a half million annually could be
     effected without depriving the company of a legitimate and indeed
     very handsome profit."

[Illustration: Rt. Hon. CECIL JOHN RHODES, P.C.

Photo by Elliott & Fry, London.]

Perhaps the dynamite monopoly was even more aggravating than the
railway one. Mr. Fitzpatrick says it has always been "a very burning
question with the Uitlanders. This concession was granted soon after
the Barberton Fields were discovered, when the prospects of an
industry in the manufacture of explosives were not really very
great. The concessionaire himself has admitted that, had he foreseen
to what proportions this monopoly would eventually grow, he would
not have had the audacity to apply for it. Of course, this is merely
a personal question. The fact which concerned the industry was that
the right was granted to one man to manufacture explosives, and to
sell them at a price nearly 200 per cent. over that at which they
could be imported. It was found, upon investigation after some years
of agitation, that the factory at which this 'manufacture' took
place was in reality merely a depôt in which the already
manufactured article was manipulated to a moderate extent, so as to
lend colour to the President's statement that a local industry was
being fostered. An investigation, held by order of the Volksraad,
exposed the imposition. The President himself stated that he found
he had been deceived, and that the terms of the concession had been
broken, and he urged the Raad to cancel it, which the Raad did. The
triumph was considerable for the mining industry, and it was the
more appreciated in that it was the solitary success to which the
Uitlanders could point in their long series of agitations for
reform. But the triumph was not destined to be a lasting one. Within
a few months the monopoly was revived in an infinitely more
obnoxious form. It was now called a Government monopoly, but 'the
agency' was bestowed upon a partner of the gentleman who had
formerly owned the concession, the President himself vigorously
defending this course, and ignoring his own judgment on the case
uttered a few months previously. _Land en Volk_, the Pretoria Dutch
newspaper, exposed the whole of this transaction, including the
system of bribery by which the concessionaires secured their
renewal, and among other things made the charge which it has
continued to repeat ever since, that Mr. J. M. A. Wolmarans, member
of the Executive, received a commission of one shilling per case on
every case sold during the continuance of the agency as a
consideration for his support in the Executive Council, and that he
continues to enjoy this remuneration, which is estimated now to be
not far short of £10,000 a year. Mr. Wolmarans, for reasons of pride
or discretion, has declined to take any notice of the charge,
although frequently pressed to take action in the matter. It is
calculated that the burden imposed upon the Witwatersrandt mines
alone amounts to £600,000 per annum, and is, of course, daily

Between the years 1890 and 1895 there were many negotiations over
Swaziland. The South African Republic, ever anxious to extend its
borders, longed to advance eastward to the sea. Negotiations were
started in regard to this arrangement. The Transvaal had recognised
the British occupation of Rhodesia, and the British in return agreed
to allow the Transvaal to make a railway through Amatongaland to
Kosi Bay, and acquire a seaport, if, within three years, it joined
the South African Customs Union.

But Mr. Kruger, luckily for Imperial interests, would not entertain
the idea. He did not want to come into confederation with the Cape.
The Orange Free State, however, joined the Cape system, and the
South African Customs Union was started. The advantages to the Free
State of this arrangement, though unforeseen, were many; the
principal being the privilege of importing, unmolested, arms and
ammunition over the Cape Government railway lines. Finally, in 1895,
the administration of Swaziland was transferred to the South African
Republic on certain conditions. It was not to be incorporated with
the Republic, European settlers were to have full burgher rights,
monopolies were forbidden, English and Dutch languages were to be on
an equal footing, and no duties higher than the maximum tariff rates
imposed by the South African Republic or by the Customs Union were
to be allowed. The territory of Amatongaland was annexed by the
British in 1895, and the Transvaal thus lost its one chance of an
outlet towards the sea.


The much-vexed question of the Franchise continued to rankle in the
hearts of the Uitlanders. Its ramifications had grown so complicated
that even lawyers in discussing the matter continually found
themselves in error. We may therefore be excused from attempting to
examine its niceties, or rather its--well--the reverse. In 1893 a
petition, signed by upwards of 13,000 aliens in favour of granting
the extension of the Franchise, was received by the Raad with
derision. In 1895 a monster petition was got up by the National
Union, an organisation formed for the purpose of righting the wrongs
of the Uitlanders. During the great Franchise debate in August 1895,
Mr. R. K. Loveday, one of the Loyalists in the war, in the course of
an address dealing with the subject, expressed himself very
definitely and concisely, and in a manner which could not be
refuted. He said--

"The President uses the argument that they should naturalise, and
thus give evidence of their desire to become citizens. I have used
the same argument, but what becomes of such arguments when met with
the objections that the law requires such persons to undergo a
probationary period extending from fourteen to twenty-four years
before they are admitted to full rights of citizenship, and even
after one has undergone that probationary period he can only be
admitted to full rights by the resolution of the First Raad? Law IV.
of 1890, being the Act of the two Volksraads, lays down clearly and
distinctly that those who have been eligible for ten years for the
Second Raad can be admitted to full citizenship. So that, in any
case, the naturalised citizen cannot obtain full rights until he
reaches the age of forty years, he not being eligible for the
Second Raad until he is thirty years. The child born of
non-naturalised parents must therefore wait until he is forty years
of age, although at the age of sixteen he may be called upon to do
military service, and may fall in the defence of the land of his
birth. When such arguments are hurled at me by our own flesh and
blood--our kinsmen from all parts of South Africa--I must confess I
am not surprised that these persons indignantly refuse to accept
citizenship upon such unreasonable terms. The element I have just
referred to--namely, the Africander element--is very considerable,
and numbers thousands, hundreds of whom, at the time this country
was struggling for its independence, accorded it moral and financial
support, and yet these very persons are subjected to a term of
probation extending from fourteen to twenty-four years. It is
useless for me to ask you whether such a policy is just and
reasonable or Republican, for there can be but one answer, and that
is 'No!' Is there one man in this Raad who would accept the
Franchise on the same terms? Let me impress upon you the grave
nature of this question, and the absolute necessity of going to the
burghers without a moment's delay and consulting and advising them.
Let us keep nothing from them regarding the true position, and I am
sure we shall have their hearty co-operation in any reasonable
scheme we may suggest. This is a duty we owe them, for we must not
leave them under the impression that the Uitlanders are satisfied to
remain aliens, as stated by some of the journals. I move amongst
these people, and learn to know their true feelings, and when public
journals tell you that these people are satisfied with their lot
they tell you that which they know to be false. Such journals are
amongst the greatest sources of danger that the country has. We are
informed by certain members that a proposition for the extension of
the Franchise must come from the burghers, but, according to the
Franchise Law, the proposition must come from the Raad, and the
public must consent. The member for Rustenberg says that there are
9338 burghers who have declared that they are opposed to the
extension of the Franchise. Upon reference to the Report he will
find that there are only 1564 opposed to the extension. Members
appear afraid to touch upon the real question at issue, but try to
discredit the memorials by vague statements that some of the
signatures are not genuine, and the former member for Johannesburg,
Mr. J. Meyer, seems just as anxious to discredit the people of
Johannesburg as formerly he was to defend them."

In spite of all that was said and done, however, no progress was
made. The debate was closed on the third day, the request of the
memorialists was refused, and they were referred for satisfaction to
the existing laws.

About this time the Transvaal came very near to war with Great
Britain. As before stated, Mr. Kruger was much bound up with the
affairs of the Netherlands Railway Company and its Hollander-German
promoters. He attempted to divert the stream of Johannesburg traffic
to Delagoa Bay, for the purpose of keeping profit from the pockets
of the British. The freights, however, were evaded by unloading the
goods at the frontier, and taking them across the Vaal in waggons.
It was easy thus to forward goods--between Johannesburg and Viljoens
Drift--direct by the Cape Railway.

But Mr. Kruger was not to be defeated. In October 1895, he closed
the drifts or fords of the Vaal to all waggon loads of goods from
Cape Colony. Unfortunately the President had over-reached himself.
The people of Cape Colony and those of the Free State were
indignant, and the High Commissioner, Sir Hercules Robinson, and the
Cape Premier, Mr. Rhodes, both brought their influence to bear on
the President. He was obdurate. Mr. Chamberlain, the new Colonial
Secretary, came to the rescue. He put his foot down, and a
determined foot it was. He sent an ultimatum to Mr. Kruger
announcing that closure of the drifts after the 15th of November
would be considered an act of war.

The drifts were reopened. But the Netherlands Railway Company still
stuck to their tariffs and their aim of depriving the British
Colonies of the custom dues and railway rates on the traffic of
Johannesburg. Consequently this thorn in the side of the British
Colonists was left to fester.


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]

Day by day the discontent grew, and the cry of "No taxation without
representation" became the Uitlanders' motto. They perceived that
they were deprived of rights, yet expected to serve as milch cows
for the fattening of a State that was arming itself at all points
against them, and they came to the conclusion that some strong
measures must now be taken for their protection. The Chamber of
Mines and the Transvaal National Union had spent some time in
advocating purely constitutional methods, the Chamber of Mines
exploiting the grievances of the Gold Mining industry, while the
National Union struggled for general reforms which should make the
conditions of Uitlander life less intolerable than they were. The
Reformers, whose chairman was Mr. Charles Leonard, a solicitor of
good practice in Johannesburg, were mostly men of the middle and
professional classes. The capitalists, being anxious to keep in with
the Transvaal Government, were somewhat shy of the National
Unionists; while the working men on their side were suspicious of
the motives of the Reformers, and were chary of lending themselves
to any scheme which might conduce to the profit of the millionaires.
The National Union clearly expressed its aims in a manifesto which
ended with the exposition of the Charter which its members hoped to
obtain. It said:

"We want--

1. The establishment of this Republic as a true Republic.

2. A Grondwet, or Constitution, which shall be framed by competent
persons selected by representatives of the whole people, and framed
on lines laid down by them.

3. An equitable Franchise Law and fair representation.

4. Equality of the Dutch and English languages.

5. Responsibility to the Legislature of the heads of the great

6. Removal of religious disabilities.

7. Independence of the Courts of Justice with adequate and secured
remuneration of the Judges.

8. Liberal and comprehensive Education.

9. Efficient Civil Service, with adequate provision for pay and

10. Free Trade in South African products."

The Manifesto wound up with the pertinent question, "How shall we
get it?"

The "how" was to have been decided at a public meeting fixed for the
27th of December 1895, and subsequently postponed till January 8th,
1896. But what the National Union proposed the Jameson Raid
disposed. The meeting was destined never to take place!


Before 1895 the wealthier members of the community refused to
entertain the suggestion of coercive measures, but after the
Volksraad in session revealed the real policy of the Government,
even they began to perceive that revolutionary action might become
obligatory. Though the capitalists were advised by those who knew to
avoid spending money on hopeless efforts at reform, and to steer
clear, if possible, of the political imbroglio, they eventually
joined hands with the Reformers. How the egg of the Jameson
conspiracy came to be laid no one exactly knew. Certain it was that
those who looked for the hatching of a swan, were confronted with a
very ugly duckling indeed! Arms and ammunition were purchased, and
these, concealed as gold-mining impedimenta, were smuggled into the
country. Messrs. Leonard and Phillips, two prominent Reformers,
consulted Mr. Rhodes as to future affairs, but Mr. Rhodes was in the
awkward position of acting at one and the same time as Managing
Director of the Consolidated Gold Fields in the Transvaal, Prime
Minister of the Colony, and Managing Director of the Chartered
Company, and consequently was a little vague in his propositions.
After some conversation, he decided that he would, at his own
expense, keep Dr. Jameson and his troops on the frontier "as a moral

Later on in September Dr. Jameson visited Johannesburg, and made his
arrangements in person. It was agreed that he should maintain a
force of 1500 mounted men, fully equipped, and that besides, having
with him 1500 spare rifles, and some spare ammunition, there should
be about 5000 rifles, three Maxims, and 1,000,000 rounds of
ammunition smuggled into Johannesburg. The idea was, that the
Uitlanders would prepare their revolt, and that should Dr. Jameson's
services be needed, Johannesburg, with 9000 armed men and a fair
equipment of machine guns and cannon, would be prepared to
co-operate: at that time it seemed no difficult matter to seize the
fort and magazines at Pretoria for the time being. It was in course
of repair, and in charge merely of a hundred men, most of whom could
be relied on to be asleep or off duty after nine o'clock at night.
The plan of seizing the fort, capturing the ammunition, and clearing
it off so as to enforce their views without bloodshed seemed
perfectly feasible, and Dr. Jameson readily agreed to lend himself
to the scheme for giving such "moral support" as was required by the
Uitlander Reformers. Of their part in the affair it is difficult to
speak impartially. It appears on the surface that they induced this
man, for no personal motive either of financial gain or political
power, to lend himself willingly to be the tool of the aggrieved
Uitlanders, who, when the time came, were too vacillating between
their fear of the Republic and the desire for their own individual
good, to support the person whom they had chosen for their champion,
and who so disinterestedly was prepared to risk both life and
position in their service! It was decided, however, that the
Reformers should arrange a revolution, which would have the effect
of forcing the hands of the Transvaal Government. The High
Commissioner, as they imagined, would come on the scene as a final
arbitrator. Dr. Jameson's troops, who had acted so effectively in
the Matabele campaign, were to be kept at Pitsani on the Bechuana
border, in order if necessary to come at a given signal to the
rescue of the Uitlanders. The idea was not without precedent. Sir
Henry Loch, two years before, in dread of a Johannesburg rising, had
considered the advisability of placing troops on the border.

So as to justify his action to the directors of the Chartered
Company and the Imperial authorities, the following undated letter
was sent to Dr. Jameson, Mafeking:--

"DEAR SIR,--The position of matters in this State has become so
critical, that we are assured that at no distant period there will be a
conflict between the Government and the Uitlander population. It is
scarcely necessary for us to recapitulate what is now matter of history;
suffice it to say, that the position of thousands of Englishmen, and
others, is rapidly becoming intolerable. Not satisfied with making the
Uitlander population pay virtually the whole of the revenue of the
country while denying them representation, the policy of the Government
has been steadily to encroach upon the liberty of the subject, and to
undermine the security for property to such an extent as to cause a very
deep-seated sense of discontent and danger. A foreign corporation of
Hollanders is to a considerable extent controlling our destinies, and in
conjunction with the Boer leaders endeavouring to cast them in a mould
which is wholly foreign to the genius of the people. Every public act
betrays the most positive hostility, not only to everything English, but
to the neighbouring States.

"Well, in short, the internal policy of the Government is such as to
have roused into antagonism to it not only practically the whole
body of Uitlanders, but a large number of the Boers; while its
external policy has exasperated the neighbouring States, causing the
possibility of great danger to the peace and independence of this
Republic. Public feeling is in a condition of smouldering
discontent. All the petitions of the people have been refused with a
greater or less degree of contempt; and in the debate on the
Franchise petition, signed by nearly 40,000 people, one member
challenged the Uitlanders to fight for the rights they asked for,
and not a single member spoke against him. Not to go into details,
we may say that the Government has called into existence all the
elements necessary for armed conflict. The one desire of the people
here is for fair play, the maintenance of their independence, and
the preservation of those public liberties without which life is not
worth living. The Government denies these things, and violates the
national sense of Englishmen at every turn.

"What we have to consider is, what will be the condition of things
here in the event of a conflict? Thousands of unarmed men, women,
and children of our race will be at the mercy of well-armed Boers,
while property of enormous value will be in the greatest peril. We
cannot contemplate the future without the gravest apprehensions. All
feel that we are justified in taking any steps to prevent the
shedding of blood, and to ensure the protection of our rights.

"It is under these circumstances that we feel constrained to call
upon you to come to our aid should a disturbance arise here. The
circumstances are so extreme that we cannot but believe that you and
the men under you will not fail to come to the rescue of people who
will be so situated. We guarantee any expense that may reasonably be
incurred by you in helping us, and ask you to believe that nothing
but the sternest necessity has prompted this appeal.

                                               "CHARLES LEONARD.
                                                LIONEL PHILLIPS.
                                                FRANCIS RHODES.
                                                JOHN HAYS HAMMOND.
                                                GEORGE FARRAR."

It was arranged that Dr. Jameson should start from camp on the night
of the outbreak at Johannesburg--either on the 28th of December or
on the 4th of January--according to notice which would subsequently
be given. From this moment, however, doubts began to fill the minds
of the Reformers. They were dissatisfied with the quantity of arms
they had been able to smuggle into the town; there was a want of
cohesion among the different sections, of those interested; they
went so far as to disagree as to what flag they were going to revolt
under. The Reformers were evidently not all of Dr. Jameson's
opinion, that the Union Jack was the one and only flag under which
they could hope for justice--they were, as we know, only comrades in
suffering but not compatriots, and besides this, many declared that
reform and not annexation was what they were anxious to secure.

[Illustration: Dr Leander Starr Jameson.

Photo by Elliott & Fry, London.]

Here we have before us what made the complicated riddle of the Raid.
Since it has defied all the Oedipuses of the century, we will not
endeavour to unravel it. Did the Reformers set all their grievances
aside before the paramount question, "Under which flag, Jameson?" or
did they make use of the flag argument to cover a series of
vacillations which prevented them from acting up to the rules of the
conspiracy they themselves had set on foot? Did Mr. Rhodes engage in
the plot for the sake of financial gain? Did he do so out of
sympathy for the "cause," or did he attempt a magnificent political
_coup_? And lastly--Did that unhappy scapegoat, the gallant Jameson,
launch himself on the wild mistaken escapade to rescue his
fellow-countrymen from oppression, to serve his private ends
financial or political, or from the sheer spirit of adventure which,
in some degree, animates every British heart? Who shall say?


It was arranged, as has been mentioned, that the rising at
Johannesburg should take place on the night of the 4th of January.
The arsenal at Pretoria was to be seized, and Dr. Jameson with his
troops was to make his appearance, assist the Reformers in urging
their claims, and, if necessary, save the women and children from
possible violence.

"According to the original plan," says Mrs. Lionel Phillips in her
"South African Recollections," "what with the smuggled rifles, those
in private hands, the spare weapons to be brought by Jameson's men,
and those men (the Reformers) themselves, Johannesburg must have
mustered a little army of not less than 5000 men, to say nothing of
the guns which might possibly be captured in the arsenal. It was
believed that with this force the town could be held against any
attack that might be made by the Transvaal forces, and that, upon a
failure in the first assault, the Boers would have adopted their
well-known tactics of cutting off supplies, with a view to starving
the town into submission. To meet this contingency the town was
provisioned for two months, and it was supposed that the British
Government would never sit still and allow the Uitlanders to be
forced into capitulation in the face of the wrongs which they had
suffered. In November, when Jameson came to Johannesburg, the
supporting force had dwindled to 800. The telegrams apprising the
Reformers of his advance spoke of 700, and in reality he started
with less than 500 men."

But by the time the plot should have neared completion, the
conspirators, as has been shown, had ceased to be of one accord on
the subject. On Christmas Day Mr. Leonard interviewed Mr. Rhodes in
Cape Town, and represented to him the divided state of affairs.
Meanwhile the Reformers in Johannesburg desired to make known to Dr.
Jameson their change of front, and, to prevent him starting on the
expedition, despatched two messengers to Pitsani Camp by different
routes. These messages were received on December the 28th, and with
them other telegraphic ones from Mr. Leonard and Mr. Rhodes
explicitly directing the expedition not to start.

The news that Dr. Jameson had started, in spite of these messages,
came on the Reformers like a thunderclap. They were not ready--they
had not sufficient arms to fight with, and they were not of one
mind. The doing had been easy enough, and they had fancied the
undoing would be as simple. They had laid their gunpowder train
without thinking of the number of firebrands that surrounded it!
Amazement gave way to indignation, and the Reformers were not slow
to hint that Mr. Rhodes or Dr. Jameson had disregarded the messages
in order to further their personal ends. The most charitable decided
that the Doctor's starting was due merely to misunderstanding. Many
rumours of discontent and disturbance were floating about, and it
was believed that some of these might have reached the Doctor's ears
and influenced his actions. Anyway the Reformers were at sea. All
they could do was to arm as many men as possible with a view to
defence--to holding the town against any attack that might be made
by the Transvaal forces, and to decide to take no initiative against
the Boers. No uneasiness was felt regarding Jameson, for it was
believed that he was well supported by not less than 800 men, and
that the Boers would stand a poor chance against a body so well
equipped and trained as his was supposed to be. The position taken
up is explained in a notice of the Reform Committee in the
_Johannesburg Star_:--"Notice is hereby given, that this Committee
adheres to the National Union Manifesto, and reiterates its desire
to maintain the independence of the Republic. The fact that rumours
are in course of circulation to the effect that a force has crossed
the Bechuanaland border, renders it necessary to take active steps
for the defence of Johannesburg and the preservation of order. The
Committee earnestly desires that the inhabitants should refrain from
taking any action which can be considered as an overt act of
hostility against the Government."

The High Commissioner and the Premier of Cape Colony were
communicated with and informed that Dr. Jameson, having started with
an armed force, Johannesburg was in peril which there was no means
to avert. The High Commissioner was further invited to come to
Johannesburg to effect a settlement and prevent civil war.
Arrangements were then made for the arming of some 2000 men. These
preparations and others speedily became known to the Government in
Pretoria. No steps, it appears, had been taken to preserve secrecy,
as the Committee did not hold themselves responsible for Dr.
Jameson's action. The result was the publication of the following
Proclamation by the President:--


"Whereas, it has appeared to the Government of the South African
Republic that there are rumours in circulation to the effect that
earnest endeavours are being made to endanger the public safety of
Johannesburg; and whereas the Government is convinced that, in case
such rumours may contain any truth, such endeavours can only emanate
from a small portion of the inhabitants, and that the greater
portion of the Johannesburg inhabitants are peaceful, and are
prepared to support the Government in its endeavours to maintain law
and order.

"Now, know you that I, Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, State President
of the South African Republic, with the advice and consent of the
Executive Council, according to Article 913 of its minutes, dated the
30th of December 1895, do hereby warn those evil-intentioned persons (as
I do hereby urge all such persons to do) to remain within the pale of
the law, and all such persons not heeding this warning shall do so on
their own responsibility; and I do further make known that life and
property shall be protected against which attempts may be made, and that
every peaceful inhabitant of Johannesburg, of whatsoever nationality he
may be, is called upon to support me herein, and to assist the officials
charged therewith; and further be it known, that the Government is still
prepared to take into consideration all grievances that may be laid
before it in a proper manner, and to submit the same to the people of
the land without delay for treatment."

The High Commissioner also issued a Proclamation calling on Dr.
Jameson to return to British territory at once, and this was
forwarded to him at different points in order that there might be no
mistake and that the invasion might yet be arrested. Meanwhile Mr.
Marais (the editor of the leading Dutch paper) and Mr. Malan (the
son-in-law of Joubert) were proceeding with a commando for the
purpose of fighting for their Government should Dr. Jameson disobey
the Proclamation. They excused themselves under the plea "that if
from unreasonable action of Johannesburg, fighting should take place
between the Government forces and a revolutionary force from
Johannesburg, they were in duty bound to fight, and that among their
ranks would be found many who had been active workers in the ranks
of the Reformers."

It was subsequently decided that a deputation of Reformers should
negotiate with the Government for a peaceful settlement on the
basis of the Manifesto. Their programme was somewhat broad. They
were to approach the Government pacifically and at the same time
insist on their rights and the redress of their grievances--"to avow
the association of Dr. Jameson's forces so far as it had existed,
and to include him in any settlement that might be made."

They also, in answer to a telegram from the British Agent, refused
to repudiate Dr. Jameson, and said, "in order to avert bloodshed on
grounds of Dr. Jameson's action, if Government will allow Dr.
Jameson to come in unmolested, the Committee will guarantee with
their persons if necessary that he will leave again peacefully with
as little delay as possible."

Meanwhile the committee remained in the most horrible doubt and
suspense. No word came from Jameson. That he had started they knew,
and that was the extent of their knowledge. They still trusted that,
on ascertaining that there was no necessity for intervention on
behalf of the Uitlanders, he and his troops would obey the orders of
the High Commissioner, and retire peacefully from the Transvaal.


From all accounts it appears that Dr. Jameson and his party gathered
together at Pitsani early in December. He drilled his troops and
general preparations were made, without sufficient secrecy however,
for the projected invasion. It was unfortunate for the scheme that
these plans were publicly spoken of in society in England at the
same time as they were merely being discussed in whispers in
Johannesburg! On Sunday the 29th of December 1895, Dr. Jameson read
aloud to his troops the letter which has been printed, and which,
simultaneously with his departure, was sent by Dr. Rutherfoord
Harris to the _Times_, to justify the action which in a few hours
would become world famous. This letter the Reformers subsequently
declared was treacherously made use of, as they had not had occasion
to send the appeal therein mentioned. It is evident that at that
time Dr. Jameson believed that his plans were so well arranged that
there would be no bloodshed, that, indeed, he would appear in the
nick of time to afford the "moral support" he had originally engaged
to provide. The troops were to go straight to Johannesburg before
the Boers had time to assemble their forces or to take any measures
to stop him. The Doctor explained that they were marching to the
rescue of the oppressed, and implied that they were going under the
auspices of the British flag. On hearing the latter statement a
considerable number of the troops refused to take part in the
enterprise, and this may account for the fact that while the
Reformers believed Dr. Jameson to be supported by some 800 men or
more, he was in reality accompanied by only 480. Here, in order to
give the crude facts of the Raid as known to the public, we may copy
the report of the affair made by Sir John Willoughby to the War


"_Official Report of the Expedition that left the Protectorate at
the urgent request of the leading citizens of Johannesburg, with the
object of standing by them and maintaining law and order whilst they
were demanding justice from the Transvaal authorities. By Sir John
C. Willoughby, Bart., Lieutenant-Colonel commanding Dr. Jameson's

"On Saturday, December 28, 1895, Dr. Jameson received a Reuter's
telegram, showing that the situation at Johannesburg had become
acute. At the same time reliable information was received that the
Boers in the Zeerust and Lichtenburg districts were assembling, and
had been summoned to march on Johannesburg.

"Preparations were at once made to act on the terms of the letter
dated December 20, and already published, and also in accordance
with verbal arrangements with the signatories of that letter--viz.,
that should Dr. Jameson hear that the Boers were collecting, and
that the intentions of the Johannesburg people had become generally
known, he was at once to come to the aid of the latter with whatever
force he had available, and without further reference to them, the
object being that such force should reach Johannesburg without any

"At 3 P.M. on Sunday afternoon, December 29, everything was in
readiness at Pitsani Camp. The troops were paraded, and Dr. Jameson
read the letter of invitation from Johannesburg.

"He then explained to the force--(_a_) that no hostilities were
intended; (_b_) that we should only fight if forced to do so in self
defence; (_c_) that neither the persons nor property of inhabitants
of the Transvaal were to be molested; (_d_) that our sole object was
to help our fellow-men in their extremity, and to ensure their
obtaining attention to their just demands.

"Dr. Jameson's speech was received with the greatest enthusiasm by
the men, who cheered most heartily.

"The above programme was strictly adhered to until the column was
fired upon on the night of the 31st.

"Many Boers, singly and in small parties, were encountered on the
line of march; to one and all of these the pacific nature of the
expedition was carefully explained.

"The force left Pitsani Camp at 6.30 P.M., December 29, and marched
through the night. At 5.15 A.M., on the morning of the 30th, the
column reached the village of Malmani (thirty-nine miles distant
from Pitsani). Presently, at the same moment, the advanced guard of
the Mafeking Column (under Colonel Grey) reached the village, and
the junction was effected between the two bodies....

"From Malmani I pushed on as rapidly as possible in order to cross
in daylight the very dangerous defile at Lead Mines. This place,
distant seventy-one miles from Pitsani, was passed at 5.30 P.M.,
December 30.

"I was subsequently informed that a force of several hundred Boers,
sent from Lichtenburg to intercept the force at this point, missed
doing so by three hours only.

"At our next 'off-saddle' Dr. Jameson received a letter from the
Commandant-General of the Transvaal demanding to know the reason of
our advance, and ordering us to return immediately. A reply was sent
to this, explaining Dr. Jameson's reasons in the same terms as those
used to the force at Pitsani.

"At Doomport (ninety-one miles from Pitsani), during an 'off-saddle'
early on Tuesday morning, December 31, a mounted messenger overtook
us, and presented a letter from the High Commissioner, which
contained an order to Dr. Jameson and myself to return at once to
Mafeking and Pitsani.

"A retreat by now was out of the question, and to comply with these
instructions an impossibility. In the first place, there was
absolutely no food for men or horses along the road which we had
recently followed; secondly, three days at least would be necessary
for our horses, jaded with forced marching, to return; on the road
ahead we were sure of finding, at all events, some food for man and
beast. Furthermore, we had by now traversed almost two-thirds of the
total distance; a large force of Boers was known to be intercepting
our retreat, and we were convinced that any retrograde movement
would bring on an attack of Boers from all sides.

"It was felt, therefore, that to ensure the safety of our little
force, no alternative remained but to push on to Krugersdorp to our
friends, who, we were confident, would be awaiting our arrival

"Apart from the above considerations, even had it been possible to
effect a retreat from Doomport, we knew that Johannesburg had
risen, and felt that by turning back we should be shamefully
deserting those coming to meet us.

"Finally, it appeared to us impossible to turn back, in view of the
fact that we had been urgently called in to avert a massacre, which
we had been assured would be imminent in the event of a crisis such
as had now occurred.

"Near Boon's store, on the evening of the 31st, an advanced patrol
fell in with Lieutenant Eloff, of the Krugersdorp Volunteers. This
officer, in charge of a party of fifteen scouts, had come out to
gain intelligence of our movements. He was detained whilst our
intentions were fully explained to him, and then released at Dr.
Jameson's request.

"At midnight (New Year's Eve), while the advanced scouts were
crossing a rocky, wooded ridge at right angles to and barring the
line of advance, they were fired on by a party of forty Boers, who
had posted themselves in this position. The scouts, reinforced by
the advanced guard, under Inspector Straker, drove off their
assailants after a short skirmish, during which one trooper of the
M.M.P. was wounded.

"At Van Oudtshoorn's, early on the following morning (Jan. 1), Dr.
Jameson received a second letter from the High Commissioner, to
which he replied in writing. At 9.30 A.M. the march was resumed in
the usual day formation. After marching two miles the column got
clear of the hills, and emerged into open country.

"About this time Inspector Drury, in command of the rear guard, sent
word that a force of about one hundred Boers was following him about
one mile in rear. I thereupon reinforced the rear guard, hitherto
consisting of a troop and one Maxim, by an additional half troop and
another Maxim.

"About five miles beyond Van Oudtshoorn's store the column was met
by two cyclists bearing letters from several leaders of the
Johannesburg Reform Committee. These letters expressed the liveliest
approval and delight at our speedy approach, and finally contained a
renewal of their promise to meet the column with a force at
Krugersdorp. The messengers also reported that only 300 armed Boers
were in the town.

"This news was communicated to the troops, who received it with loud
cheers. When about two miles from Hind's store the column was
delayed by extensive wire fencing, which ran for one and a half
miles on either side of the road, and practically constituted a

"While the column was halted and the wire being cut, the country for
some distance on both sides was carefully scouted.

"By this means it was ascertained that there was a considerable
force of Boers (1) on the left front, (2) in the immediate front
(retreating hastily on Krugersdorp), (3) a third party on the right

"The force which had been following the column from Van Oudtshoorn's
continued to hover in the rear.

"Lieutenant-Colonel White, in command of the advanced guard, sent
back a request for guns to be pushed forward as a precaution in case
of an attack from the Boers in front. By the time these guns reached
the advanced guard, the Boers were still retreating some two miles
off. A few rounds were then fired in their direction. Had Colonel
White, in the first instance, opened fire with his Maxims on the
Boers, whom he surprised watering their horses close to Hind's
store, considerable loss would have been inflicted, but this was not
our object, for with the exception of the small skirmish on the
previous night, the Boers had not as yet molested the column, whose
sole aim was to reach Johannesburg if possible without fighting.

"At this hour Hind's store was reached. Here the troops rested for
one and a half hours. Unfortunately, hardly any provisions for men
and horses were available. An officer's patrol, consisting of Major
Villiers (Royal Horse Guards), and Lieutenant Grenfell (1st Life
Guards), and six men, moved off for the purpose of reconnoitring the
left flank of the Boer position, while Captain Lindsell, with his
permanent force of advanced scouts, pushed on as usual to
reconnoitre the approach by the main road. At the same time I
forwarded a note to the Commandant of the forces in Krugersdorp to
the effect that, in the event of my friendly force meeting with
opposition on its approach, I should be forced to shell the town,
and that therefore I gave him this warning in order that the women
and children might be moved out of danger.

"To this note, which was despatched by a Boer who had been detained
at Van Oudtshoorn, I received no reply.

"At Hind's store we were informed that the force in our front had
increased during the forenoon to about 800 men, of whom a large
number were entrenched on the hillside.

"Four miles beyond Hind's store the column following the scouts,
which met with no opposition, ascended a steep rise of some 400
feet, and came full in view of the Boer position on the opposite
side of a deep valley, traversed by a broad 'sluit' or muddy

"Standing on the plateau or spur, on which our force was forming up
for action, the view to our front was as follows:--

"Passing through our position to the west ran Hind's
store--Krugersdorp Road traversing the valley and the Boer position
almost at right angles to both lines.


Painting by R. Caton Woodville.

Reproduced by special arrangement with Henry Graves & Co., London.]

"Immediately to the north of this road, at the point where it
disappeared over the sky-line on the opposite slope, lay the Queen's
Battery House and earthworks, completely commanding the valley on
all sides, and distant 1900 yards from our standpoint.

"Some 1000 yards down the valley to the north stood a farmhouse,
surrounded by a dense plantation, which flanked the valley.

"Half-way up the opposite slope, and adjacent to the road, stood an
iron house which commanded the drift where the road crossed the
above-mentioned watercourse.

"On the south side of the road, and immediately opposite the
last-named house, an extensive rectangular stone wall enclosure with
high trees formed an excellent advanced central defensive position.
Further up the slope, some 500 yards to the south of this enclosure,
stretched a line of rifle-pits, which were again flanked to the
south by 'prospecting' trenches. On the sky-line numbers of Boers
were apparent to our front and right front.

"Before reaching the plateau we had observed small parties of Boers
hurrying towards Krugersdorp, and immediately on reaching the high
ground the rear-guard was attacked by the Boer force which had
followed the column during the whole morning.

"I therefore had no further hesitation in opening fire on the
Krugersdorp position.

"The two 7-pounders and the 12-1/2-pounder opened on the Boer line,
making good practice under Captain Kincaid-Smith and Captain Gosling
at 1900 yards.

"This fire was kept up till 5 P.M. The Boers made practically no
reply, but lay quiet in the trenches and battery.

"Scouts having reported that most of the trenches were evacuated,
the first line, consisting of the advanced guard (a troop of 100
men), under Colonel White, advanced. Two Maxims accompanied this
force; a strong troop with a Maxim formed the right and left support
on either flank.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Grey, with one troop B.B.P. and one Maxim, had
been previously detailed to move round and attack the Boers' left.

"The remaining two troops, with three Maxims, formed the reserve and

"The first line advance continued unopposed to within 200 yards of
the watercourse, when it was checked by an exceedingly heavy
cross-fire from all points of the defence.

"Colonel White then pushed his skirmishers forward into and beyond
the watercourse.

"The left support, under Inspector Dykes, then advanced to prolong
the first line to the left; but, diverging too much to his left,
this officer experienced a very hot flanking fire from the farmhouse
and plantation, and was driven back with some loss.

"Colonel Grey meanwhile had pushed round on the extreme right and
come into action.

"About this time Major Villiers' patrol returned and reported that
the country to our right was open, and that we could easily move
round in that direction.

"It was now evident that the Boers were in great force, and intended
holding their position.

"Without the arrival of the Johannesburg force in rear of the
Boers--an event which I had been momentarily expecting--I did not
feel justified in pushing a general attack, which would have
certainly entailed heavy losses on my small force.

"I accordingly left Inspector Drury with one troop and one Maxim to
keep in check the Boers who were now lining the edge of the plateau
to our left, and placed Colonel Grey with two troops B.B.P., one
12-1/2-pounder, and one Maxim, to cover our left flank and continue
firing on the battery and trenches south of the road.

"I then made a general flank movement to the right with the
remaining troops.

"Colonel Grey succeeded in shelling the Boers out of their advanced
position during the next half-hour, and blew up the Battery House.

"Under this cover the column moved off as far as the first houses of
the Randfontein group of mines, the Boers making no attempt to
intercept the movement.

"Night was now fast approaching, and still there were no signs of
the promised help from Johannesburg. I determined, therefore, to
push on with all speed in the direction of that town, trusting in
the darkness to slip through any intervening opposition.

"Two guides were obtained, the column followed in the prescribed
night order of march, and we started off along a road leading direct
to Johannesburg.

"At this moment heavy rifle and Maxim fire was suddenly heard from
the direction of Krugersdorp, which lay one and a half miles to the
left rear.

"We at once concluded that this could only be the arrival of the
long-awaited reinforcements, for we knew that Johannesburg had
Maxims, and that the Staats-Artillerie were not expected to arrive
until the following morning. To leave our supposed friends in the
lurch was out of the question. I determined at once to move to their

"Leaving the carts escorted by one troop on the road, I advanced
rapidly across the plateau towards Krugersdorp in the direction of
the firing, in the formation shown in the accompanying sketch.

"After advancing thus for nearly a mile the firing ceased, and we
perceived the Boers moving in great force to meet the column. The
flankers on the right reported another force threatening that flank.

"Fearing that an attempt would be made to cut us off from the
ammunition carts, I ordered a retreat on them.

"It was now clear that the firing, whatever might have been the
cause thereof, was not occasioned by the arrival of any force from

[Illustration: Plan of JAMIESON'S MARCH]

"Precious moments had been lost in the attempt to stand by our
friends at all costs, under the mistaken supposition that they could
not fail to carry out their repeated promises, renewed to us by
letter so lately as 11 A.M. this same day. It was now very nearly
dark. In the dusk the Boers could be seen closing in on three sides,
viz., north, east, and south. The road to Johannesburg appeared
completely barred, and the last opportunity of slipping through,
which had presented itself an hour ago when the renewed firing was
heard, was gone not to return.

"Nothing remained but to bivouac in the best position available.

"But for the unfortunate circumstance of the firing, which we
afterwards heard was due to the exultation of the Boers at the
arrival of large reinforcements from Potchefstroom, the column would
have been by this time (7 P.M.), at least four or five miles further
on the road to Johannesburg, with an excellent chance of reaching
that town without further opposition.

"I moved the column to the edge of a wide valley to the right of the
road, and formed the horses in quarter column under cover of the
slope. The carts were formed up in the rear and on both flanks, and
five Maxims were placed along the front so as to sweep the plateau.

"The other three Maxims and the heavy guns were posted on the rear
and flank faces.

"The men were then directed to lie down between the guns and on the
side; sentries and Cossack posts were posted on each face.

"Meantime the Boers had occupied the numerous prospecting trenches
and cuttings on the plateau at distances from 400 to 800 yards.

"At 9 P.M. a heavy fire was opened on the bivouac, and a storm of
bullets swept over and around us, apparently directed from all sides
except the south-west.

"The troops were protected by their position on the slope below the
level of the plateau, so that the total loss from this fire, which
lasted about twenty minutes, was very inconsiderable.

"The men behaved with admirable coolness, and were as cheery as
possible, although very tired and hungry and without water.

"We were then left unmolested for two or three hours.

"About midnight another shower of bullets was poured into the camp,
but the firing was not kept up for long.

"Somewhat later a Maxim gun opened on the bivouac, but failed to get
our range.

"At 3.30 A.M. patrols were pushed out on all sides, while the force
as silently and rapidly as possible was got ready to move off.

"At 4 A.M. a heavy fire was opened by the Boers on the column, and
the patrols driven in from the north and east sides.

"Under the direction of Major R. White (assisted by Lieutenant
Jesser-Coope) the column was formed under cover of the slope.

"Soon after this the patrols which had been sent out to the south
returned, and reported that the ground was clear of the Boers in
that direction.

"The growing light enabled us to ascertain that the Boers in force
were occupying pits to our left and lining the railway embankment
for a distance of one and a half miles right across the direct road
to Johannesburg.

"I covered the movements of the main body with the B.B.P. and two
Maxims under Colonel Grey along the original left front of the
bivouac, and two troops M.M.P., under Major R. White, on the right

"During all this time the firing was excessively heavy; however, the
main body was partially sheltered by the slope.

"Colonel White then led the advance for a mile across the vley
without casualty, but on reaching the opposite rise near the Oceanic
Mine, was subjected to a very heavy long-range fire. Colonel White
hereupon very judiciously threw out one troop to the left to cover
the further advance of the main body.

"This was somewhat delayed, after crossing the rise, by the
disappearance of our volunteer guide of the previous night.

"Some little time elapsed before another guide could be obtained.

"In the meantime Lieutenant-Colonel Grey withdrew his force and the
covering Maxims out of action under the protection of the M.M.P.
covering troops, and rejoined the main body.

"At this juncture Colonel Grey was shot in the foot, but most
gallantly insisted on carrying on his duties until the close of the

"Sub-Inspector Cazalet was also wounded here, but continued in
action until he was shot again in the chest at Doornkop.

"While crossing the ridge the column was subjected to a very heavy
fire, and several men and horses were lost here.

"I detailed a rear-guard of one troop and two Maxims, under Major R.
White, to cover our rear and left flank, and moved the remainder of
the troops in the ordinary day formation as rapidly forward as

"In this formation a running rear and flank guard fight was kept up
for ten miles. Wherever the features of the ground admitted, a stand
was made by various small detachments of the rear and flank guard.
In this manner the Boers were successfully kept at a distance of 500
yards, and repulsed in all their efforts to reach the rear and flank
of the main body.

"In passing through the various mines and the village of
Randfontein, we met with hearty expressions of goodwill from the
mining population, who professed a desire to help if only they had

"Ten miles from the start I received intelligence from Colonel Grey,
at the head of the column, that Doornkop, a hill near the
Speitfontein Mine, was held by 400 Boers, directly barring our line
of advance.

"I repaired immediately to the front, Colonel White remaining with
the rear-guard.

"On arriving at the head of the column, I found the guns shelling a
ridge which our guide stated was Doornkop.

"The excellent dispositions for the attack made by Colonel Grey were
then carried out.

"The B.B.P., under Major Coventry, who, I regret to say, was
severely wounded and lost several of his men, attacked and cleared
the ridge in most gallant style, and pushed on beyond it.

"About this time Inspector Barry received the wound which, we have
learnt with grief, has subsequently proved fatal.

"Chief-Inspector Bodle at the same time, with two troops M.M.P.,
charged and drove off the field a large force of Boers threatening
our left flank.

"The guide had informed us that the road to the right of the hill
was impassable, and that there was open and easy country to the

"This information was misleading. I afterwards ascertained that
without storming the Boer position there was no road open to
Johannesburg, except by a wide detour of many miles to the right.

"At this moment Dr. Jameson received a letter from the High
Commissioner again ordering us to desist in our advance. Dr. Jameson
informed me at the same time of the most disheartening news, viz.
that he had received a message stating that Johannesburg would not,
or could not, come to our assistance, and that we must fight our way
through unaided.

"Thinking that the first ridge now in our hands was Doornkop, we
again pushed rapidly on, only to find that in rear of the ridge
another steep and stony kopje, some 400 feet in height, was held by
hundreds of Boers completely covered from our fire.

"This kopje effectually flanked the road over which the column must
advance at a distance of 400 yards. Scouting showed that there was
no way of getting round this hill.

"Surrounded on all sides by the Boers, men and horses wearied out,
outnumbered by at least six to one, our friends having failed to
keep their promises to meet us, and my force reduced numerically by
one-fourth, I no longer considered that I was justified in
sacrificing any more of the lives of the men under me.

"As previously explained, our object in coming had been to render
assistance, without bloodshed if possible, to the inhabitants of
Johannesburg. This object would in no way be furthered by a hopeless
attempt to cut our way through overwhelming numbers, an attempt,
moreover, which must without any doubt have entailed heavy and
useless slaughter.

"With Dr. Jameson's permission, I therefore sent word to the
Commandant that we would surrender provided that he would give a
guarantee of safe conduct out of the country to every member of the

"To this Commandant Cronjé replied by a guarantee of the lives of
all, provided that we would lay down our arms and pay all expenses.

"In spite of this guarantee of the lives of all, Commandant Malan
subsequently repudiated the guarantee in so far as to say that he
would not answer for the lives of the leaders, but this was not
until our arms had been given up and the force at the mercy of the


Photo by Wilson, Aberdeen.]

"I attribute our failure to reach Johannesburg in a great measure to
loss of time from the following causes:--

"1. The delay occasioned by the demonstration in front of
Krugersdorp, which had been assigned as the place of junction with
the Johannesburg force.

"2. The non-arrival of that force at Krugersdorp, or of the guides
to the Krugersdorp-Johannesburg section of the road, as previously
promised by Johannesburg.

"3. The delay consequent on moving to the firing of the supposed
Johannesburg column just before dark on Wednesday evening.

"I append (1) a sketch-map of the route from Pitsani to Krugersdorp
marked A. This distance (154 miles) was covered in just under
seventy hours, the horses having been off-saddled ten times. The 169
miles between Pitsani and Doornkop occupied eighty-six hours, during
seventeen of which the men were engaged with the Boers, and were
practically without food or water, having had their last meal at 8
A.M. on the morning of the 1st January at Van Oudtshoorn's,
seventeen miles from Krugersdorp."

(The report concludes with a list of officers engaged in the

It will be noted that Sir John Willoughby does not attribute his
failure to the bungling of his employés that is said to have taken
place. The man that was despatched to cut the telegraph wires failed
to do so, with the result that the Boers were provided with the news
of the invasion eight hours before the Reform leaders were aware of
it; while another man, whose business it was to wrench away the
rails between Johannesburg and Krugersdorp, and thus interrupt
communication from Pretoria, was reposing in a clubhouse hopelessly
drunk, while the train he should have intercepted carried ammunition
for use against the invaders.

In order to present a fair picture of the situation, it must be
admitted that many of the statements in this report were
emphatically contradicted by the Reformers, notably the opening
paragraphs, which scarcely tally with the fact that on the 28th (the
day referred to) Dr. Jameson received the letters from the Reformers
telling him not to start.

The following statement of the four Reform leaders, which was read
at their trial, will present the case from their point of view, and
those interested may judge for themselves of a question over which
many differences of opinion exist:--

"For a number of years endeavours have been made to obtain by
constitutional means the redress of the grievances under which the
Uitlander population labours. The new-comer asked for no more than
is conceded to emigrants by all the other Governments in South
Africa, under which every man may, on reasonable conditions, become
a citizen of the State; whilst here alone a policy is pursued by
which the first settlers retain the exclusive right of government.

"Petitions supported by the signatures of some forty thousand men
were ignored, and when it was found that we could not get a fair and
reasonable hearing, that provisions already deemed obnoxious and
unfair were being made more stringent, and that we were being
debarred for ever from obtaining the rights which in other countries
are freely granted, it was realised that we would never get redress
until we should make a demonstration of force to support our claims.

"Certain provision was made regarding arms and ammunition, and a
letter was written to Dr. Jameson, in which he was asked to come to
our aid under certain circumstances.

"On December 26 the Uitlanders' Manifesto was published, and it was
then our intention to make a final appeal for redress at the public
meeting which was to have been held on January 6. In consequence of
matters that came to our knowledge, we sent on December 26 Major
Heany (by train _via_ Kimberley), and Captain Holden across country,
to forbid any movement on Dr. Jameson's part.

"On the afternoon of Monday, December 30, we learnt from Government
sources that Dr. Jameson had crossed the border. We assumed that he
had come in good faith to help us, probably misled by some of the
exaggerated rumours which were then in circulation. We were
convinced, however, that the Government and the burghers would not
in the excitement of the moment believe that we had not invited Dr.
Jameson in, and there was no course open to us but to prepare to
defend ourselves if we were attacked, and at the same time to spare
no effort to effect a peaceful settlement.

"It became necessary to form some organisation for the protection of
the town and the maintenance of order, since, in the excitement
caused by the news of Dr. Jameson's coming, serious disturbances
would be likely to occur, and it was evident that the Government
organisation could not deal with the people without serious risks of

"The Reform Committee was formed on Monday night, December 30, and
it was intended to include such men of influence as cared to
associate themselves with the movement. The object with which it was
formed is best shown by its first notice, namely:--

"'Notice is hereby given, that this Committee adheres to the
National Union Manifesto, and reiterates its desire to maintain the
independence of the Republic. The fact that rumours are in course
of circulation to the effect that a force has crossed the
Bechuanaland border renders it necessary to take active steps for
the defence of Johannesburg and preservation of order. The Committee
earnestly desire that the inhabitants should refrain from taking any
action which can be construed as an overt act of hostility against
the Government. By order of the Committee, J. PERCY FITZPATRICK,

"The evidence taken at the preliminary examination will show that
order was maintained by this Committee during a time of intense
excitement, and through the action of the Committee no aggressive
steps whatever were taken against the Government, but on the
contrary, the property of the Government was protected, and its
officials were not interfered with.

"It is our firm belief that had no such Committee been formed, the
intense excitement caused by Dr. Jameson's entry would have brought
about utter chaos in Johannesburg.

"It has been alleged that we armed natives. This is absolutely
untrue, and is disposed of by the fact that during the crisis
upwards of 20,000 white men applied to us for arms and were unable
to get them.

"On Tuesday morning, December 31, we hoisted the flag of the Z. A.
R., and every man bound himself to maintain the independence of the
Republic. On the same day the Government withdrew its police
voluntarily from the town, and we preserved perfect order.

"During the evening of that day, Messrs. Marais and Malan presented
themselves as delegates from the Executive Council. They came (to
use their own words) to 'offer us the olive branch,' and they told
us that if we would send a deputation to Pretoria to meet a
Commission appointed by the Government, we should probably obtain
'practically all that we asked for in the Manifesto.'

"Our deputation met the Government Commission, consisting of
Chief-Justice Kotze, Judge Ameshof, and Mr. Kook, member of the

"On our behalf our deputation frankly avowed knowledge of Jameson's
presence on the border, and of his intention, by written arrangement
with us, to assist us in case of extremity.

"With the full knowledge of this arrangement, with the knowledge
that we were in arms and agitating for our rights, the Government
Commission handed to us a resolution by the Executive Council, of
which the following is the purport:--

"'The High Commissioner has offered his services with a view to a
peaceful settlement. The Government of the South African Republic
has accepted his offer. Pending his arrival, no hostile step will be
taken against Johannesburg, provided Johannesburg takes no hostile
action against the Government. In terms of a certain proclamation
recently issued by the President, the grievances will be earnestly

"We acted in perfect good faith with the Government, believing it to
be their desire, as it was ours, to avert bloodshed, and believing
it to be their intention to give us the redress which was implied in
the 'earnest consideration of grievances.'

"There can be no better evidence of our earnest endeavour to repair
what we regarded as a mistake on the part of Dr. Jameson than the
following offer which our deputation, authorised by resolution of
the Committee, laid before the Government Commission:--

"'If the Government will permit Dr. Jameson to come into
Johannesburg unmolested the Committee will guarantee, with their
persons if necessary, that he will leave again peacefully as soon as

"We faithfully carried out the agreement that we should commit no
act of hostility against the Government; we ceased all active
operations for the defence of the town against any attack, and we
did everything in our power to prevent any collision with the
burghers, an attempt in which our efforts were happily successful.

"On the telegraphic advice of the result of the interview of the
deputation with the Government Commission, we despatched Mr. Lace, a
member of our Committee, as an escort to the courier carrying the
High Commissioner's despatch to Dr. Jameson, in order to assure
ourselves that the despatch would reach its destination.

"On the following Saturday, January 4, the High Commissioner arrived
at Pretoria. On Monday, the 6th, the following telegram was sent to

      _From_ H.M.'S AGENT _to_ REFORM COMMITTEE, Johannesburg.

                                      "'PRETORIA, _January 6, 1896_.

"'_January 6._--I am directed to inform you that the High
Commissioner met the President, the Executive, and the Judges
to-day. The President announced the decision of the Government to be
that Johannesburg must lay down its arms unconditionally as a
(condition) precedent to a discussion and consideration of
grievances. The High Commissioner endeavoured to obtain some
indication of the steps which would be taken in the event of
disarmament, but without success, it being intimated that the
Government had nothing more to say on the subject than had already
been embodied in the President's proclamation. The High Commissioner
inquired whether any decision had been come to as regards the
disposal of the prisoners, and received a reply in the negative.
The President said that as his burghers, to the number of 8000, had
been collected and could not be asked to remain indefinitely, he
must request a reply, "Yes" or "No," to this ultimatum within
twenty-four hours.'

"On the following day, Sir Jacobus de Wet, her Majesty's Agent, met
us in committee, and handed to us the following wire from his
Excellency the High Commissioner:--

   HIGH COMMISSIONER, Pretoria, _to_ Sir J. DE WET, Johannesburg.

         (Received Johannesburg 7.30 A.M., _Jan. 7, 1896_.)

"'Urgent. You should inform the Johannesburg people that I consider,
that if they lay down their arms, they will be acting loyally and
honourably, and that if they do not comply with my request, they
forfeit all claim to sympathy from her Majesty's Government, and
from British subjects throughout the world, as the lives of Jameson
and prisoners are practically in their hands.'

"On this, and the assurance given in the Executive Council
resolution, we laid down our arms on January 6th, 7th and 8th; on
the 9th we were arrested, and have since been under arrest at
Pretoria, a period of three and a half months.

"We admit responsibility for the action taken by us. We frankly
avowed it at the time of the negotiations with the Government, when
we were informed that the services of the High Commissioner had been
accepted with a view to a peaceful settlement.

"We submit that we kept faith in every detail in the arrangement
with the Government; that we did all that was humanly possible to
protect both the State and Dr. Jameson from the consequences of his
action; that we have committed no breach of the law which was not
known to the Government at the time that the earnest consideration
of our grievances was promised.

"We can only now lay the bare facts before the Court, and submit to
the judgment that may be passed upon us.

                                     (Signed)    LIONEL PHILLIPS.
                                                 FRANCIS RHODES.
                                                 GEORGE FARRAR.

   "PRETORIA, _April 24, 1896_."

   "I entirely concur with the above statement.

                                 (Signed)    JOHN HAYS HAMMOND.

   "PRETORIA, _April 27, 1896_."


The account given by Sir John Willoughby serves to explain the
doings of the Jameson troops. We all know how the raiders were
surrounded by the Boers, who had ample time to lay an excellent trap
for them, and how, after a plucky charge, they were forced to
surrender. Before surrendering, however, Dr. Jameson obtained from
Commandant Cronjé, of Potchefstroom notoriety, a guarantee that the
lives of the force would be spared.

During this exciting period, when the failure of Jameson became
known, the consternation that prevailed in Johannesburg was
terrible. Panic-stricken women and children fled to the railway
stations, and the Cornish miners scrambled with them for places in
the departing trains. In the heat of January the poor refugees
started off provisionless, leaving all their worldly goods behind
them, their one care to be far away from the horrors that might take
place in a besieged town. In the train they were packed like
herrings in carriages or in cattle trucks, that would barely
accommodate them.

In addition to these miseries an awful accident took place on the
Natal line, when a train loaded with refugees ran off the rails.
Thirty-eight women and children were killed.

In Johannesburg the Reformers had a harassing time. Their offices
were besieged by people clamouring for arms. They had no rest night
nor day, and their anxiety for the safety of Jameson and his party
was intense. For themselves they were unconcerned, believing that
their share in the matter was unknown, and that the Government was
without a particle of evidence against them. And here we find that
another blunder was made. Major Robert White, one of the raiders,
had brought with him a despatch-box containing the key to a cypher,
which had been used during the whole of the negotiations, and with
it the names of the principal persons engaged in the conspiracy. Of
course, this fell into the hands of the enemy, who were not slow to
take advantage of their good luck.


Photo by Gregory & Co., London.]

On the evening of Jameson's surrender (Thursday), Sir Hercules
Robinson (Lord Rosmead), left the Cape for the scene of the
disturbance. The train he travelled by met with an accident; he was
infirm--his nerves were shaken. The President refused to be
interviewed on the Sabbath, and the result of his journey was a
single meeting with Mr. Kruger, but the British Resident, Sir
Jacobus de Wet, and Sir Sidney Shippard, were deputed to address and
pacify the perturbed multitude in Johannesburg. The Uitlanders,
they promised, should get their just rights--that her Majesty's
Government would ensure--but they must first give up their arms: the
fate of Jameson depended on it! The Reform leaders at this time knew
nothing of the terms of the surrender, and the guarantee given by
Commandant Cronjé, or, perhaps, they knew too well what Cronjé's
guarantees were likely to be worth; and much against their better
judgment, believing that their rights would be secured and the
safety of Jameson effected, they eventually consented to

As we know, the conspirators had been short of arms--they had about
2500 guns in all. When these were given up the Boers were
dissatisfied. They had reason to believe that some 20,000 guns were
to be supplied as part of the scheme, and suspected that the
Reformers were concealing the existence of many weapons. The word of
honour of the leaders produced no effect, and energetic search
through floors and in the mines was carried on for some months

Of course, this disarmament immediately threw the Reformers into the
clutches of the Pretoria Government. The authorities made haste to
issue warrants for the arrest of sixty-four of the most prominent
men of the movement; this in spite of the assurance made to the
British agent that "not a hair of their heads should be touched"!
Mrs. Phillips has reason to speak very bitterly of the mismanagement
of the High Commissioner on this occasion. Having done his gruesome
work, she says, "he returned to Cape Town, leaving Johannesburg
absolutely at the mercy of the Boers. He actually effected the
disarmament of this large town without making one single condition
for its safety, and from that day the most signal acts of tyranny
and injustice were committed over and over again by the Boer
Oligarchy, and there was no one to say them nay. This was a critical
event for English supremacy in South Africa, this final act of
supreme weakness and folly! Many of her most loyal subjects from
that moment have wavered on the brink, and some have gone over to
the side of the Africander Bond. It is such actions as these which
estrange the Colonists, and which give a little reality to the
bondsman's dream of a United South Africa under a Republican flag."

For the benefit of those who may not be acquainted with the
negotiations which brought about this unfortunate disarmament, it
may be as well to repeat some of the correspondence that passed
between Sir Hercules Robinson and Mr. Chamberlain at this critical

      Sir HERCULES ROBINSON, Pretoria, _to_ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN.

      (Telegraphic. Received 1.8 A.M., _6th January 1896_.)

"5th January, No. 3. Arrived here last night. Position of affairs
very critical. On side of Government of South African Republic and
of Orange Free State there is a desire to show moderation, but Boers
show tendency to get out of hand and to demand execution of Jameson.
I am told that Government of South African Republic will demand
disarmament of Johannesburg as a condition precedent to
negotiations. Their military preparations are now practically
complete, and Johannesburg, if besieged, could not hold out, as they
are short of water and coal. On side of Johannesburg leaders desire
to be moderate, but men make safety of Jameson and concession of
items in manifesto issued conditions precedent to disarmament. If
these are refused, they assert they will elect their own leaders and
fight it out in their own way. As the matter now stands, I see great
difficulty in avoiding civil war, but I will do my best, and
telegraph result of my official interview to-morrow. It is said that
President of South African Republic intends to make some demands
with respect to Article No. 4 of the London Convention of 1884."

              (Telegraphic. _6th January 1896._)

"6th January. No. 3. It is reported in the press telegrams the
President of the South African Republic on December 30 held out
definite hopes that concessions would be proposed in regard to
education and the franchise. No overt act of hostility appears to
have been committed by the Johannesburg people since the overthrow
of Jameson. The statement that arms and ammunition are stored in
that town in large quantities may be only one of many boasts without
foundation. Under these circumstances, active measures against the
town do not seem to be urgently required at the present moment, and
I hope no step will be taken by the President of the South African
Republic liable to cause more bloodshed and excite civil war in the

These are followed by further correspondence.

      Sir HERCULES ROBINSON, Pretoria, _to_ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN.
            (Telegraphic. Received _7th January 1896_.)

"6th January. No. 2. Met President South African Republic and Executive
Council to-day. Before opening proceedings, I expressed on behalf of
her Majesty's Government my sincere regret at the unwarrantable raid
made by Jameson; also thanked Government of South African Republic for
the moderation shown under trying circumstances. With regard to
Johannesburg, President of South African Republic announced decision of
Government to be that Johannesburg must lay down its arms
unconditionally as a precedent to any discussion and consideration of
grievances. I endeavoured to obtain some indication of the steps that
would be taken in the event of disarmament, but without success, it
being intimated that Government of South African Republic had nothing
more to say on this subject than had been already embodied in
proclamation of President of South African Republic. I inquired as to
whether any decision had been come to as regards disposal of prisoners,
and received a reply in the negative. President of South African
Republic said that as his burghers, to number of 8000, had been
collected and could not be asked to remain indefinitely, he must request
a reply, 'Yes' or 'No,' to this ultimatum within twenty-four hours. I
have communicated decision of South African Republic to Reform Committee
at Johannesburg through British Agent in South African Republic.

"The burgher levies are in such an excited state over the invasion
of their country, that I believe President of South African Republic
could not control them except in the event of unconditional
surrender. I have privately recommended them to accept ultimatum.
Proclamation of President of South African Republic refers to
promise to consider all grievances which are properly submitted, and
to lay the same before the Legislature without delay."

On January 7, Mr. Chamberlain replied:--

"No. 1. I approve of your advice to Johannesburg. Kruger will be
wise not to proceed to extremities at Johannesburg or elsewhere:
otherwise the evil animosities already aroused may be dangerously

And on the same day Sir Hercules Robinson telegraphed:--

"No. 1. Your telegram of January 6, No. 2. It would be most
inexpedient to send troops to Mafeking at this moment, and there is
not the slightest necessity for such a step, as there is no danger
from Kimberley Volunteer Corps or from Mafeking. I have sent De Wet
with ultimatum this morning to Johannesburg, and believe arms will
be laid down unconditionally. I understand in such case Jameson and
all prisoners will be handed over to me. Prospect now very hopeful
if no injudicious steps are taken. Please leave matter in my hands."

It is unnecessarily humiliating to dwell further on the astute
manner in which Mr. Kruger played with the British Government while
he kept Jameson and his party in durance vile, and in the agonies of
mental suspense--or to dilate upon the treacherous means he employed
to induce the Reformers and the town to lay down their arms. The
British Agent distinctly promised that "not one among you shall lose
his personal liberty for a single hour," and further declared "that
the British Government could not possibly allow such a thing."

Yet the British Government calmly looked on while the Reform leaders
were arrested and kept in Pretoria Gaol, at the mercy of a fiend in
human shape named Du Plessis, whose atrocious conduct and character
eventually caused him to be reported to the High Commissioner.

As an example of the way prisoners were treated, Mrs. Lionel
Phillips may again be quoted:--

"It is well known," she writes, "that one of Jameson's troopers on
the way down, falling ill, was taken prisoner by some Boers, and
kept at their farmhouse some days. He was tied up, and forced to
submit to all sorts of ill-treatment, being given dirty water to
drink, for instance, when half-dying of thirst. But his captor's
wife had compassion on him, and at the end of several days, to his
surprise, he was told that he was to be allowed to go free. The
Boers gave him his horse, mounted him, and informed him the one
condition they made was that he was to ride away as fast as he
could. He naturally obeyed, and as he galloped off had several
bullets put into him, poor fellow. That is a very favourite and
well-known method of Transvaal Boer assassination. It gives them the
pretext that a prisoner had been trying to escape."

Mrs. Phillips relates also the horrible experiences of her husband,
who was one of the Uitlanders conspicuous in the Reform movement.

"Lionel (her husband), George Farrar, Colonel Rhodes, and J. H.
Hammond were put into one cell, twelve feet square, without windows,
and were locked up there the first three nights for thirteen hours.
Then the prison doctor insisted on more space being allotted to
them, and the door, which communicated with a courtyard twenty feet
square, was left open at night. This was the space in which they
were permitted to take exercise. They were not allowed to associate
with their fellows at first. In January, in Pretoria, the heat is
intense, quite semi-tropical indeed, the temperature varying from 90
to 105 degrees in the shade. As the weather happened to be at its
hottest, the sufferings of these men were awful. The cells, hitherto
devoted to the use of Kaffirs, swarmed with vermin and smelt
horribly; while to increase their miseries, if that were possible,
one of their number was suffering from dysentery, and no
conveniences of any kind were supplied. With these facts in mind,
any attempt to describe what the prisoners underwent would be
superfluous. Add to all these hardships their mental sufferings, and
then judge of their state."

[Illustration: Rt. Hon. JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN, M.P.,

Secretary for the Colonies.

Photo by Russell & Sons, London.]

Can anything be more pathetic than the description of the state of
these men given by the wife of one of them--men who had been driven
to hatred and revolt by an inefficient, exclusive, and unscrupulous
Government, which was endeavouring to reduce the subjects of a
suzerain power to the level--to the, to them, despicable level--of
the Kaffirs? Of the fate of these unhappy sufferers we have yet to


Dr. Jameson, as we all know, was sent with his comrades to England
to be dealt with by the laws of his country. He and his officers
were tried and convicted under the Foreign Enlistment Act. Much
sympathy was shown him by the vast British public, and little for
the Reformers, who, whatever their part in the affair, had to suffer
most. They endured mental torture, and bodily discomfort of all
kinds--discomfort so acute that it brought on some active illness,
and caused one to commit suicide. A Judge from the Orange Free
State--Judge Gregorowski--who took an unctious joy in the
proceedings, was imported to try them, and he revived or unearthed
an old Roman Dutch law of treason for the purpose of sentencing them
to death. This sentence was fortunately not carried out, but it
served to keep the Reformers and all connected with them in a state
of agonised suspense. Besides these sufferers from the effects of
the Raid, there were others. Mr. Rhodes is said to have exclaimed,
"I have been the friend of Jameson for twenty years and now he has
ruined me!" The statement was somewhat exaggerated, but there is no
doubt that Mr. Rhodes, besides having to resign the posts he
occupied, lost much of the sympathy of the Cape Dutch. The
Uitlanders, also, who had previously enjoyed this sympathy now
forfeited it, all the Dutch being inclined to quote the impulsive
act of Dr. Jameson as an example of British treachery, and to look
upon Mr. Kruger in the light of a hero. Indeed, many of the British,
who took merely an outsider's interest in the state of affairs,
laboured under the impression that Mr. Kruger was a simple-minded,
long-suffering, and magnanimous person. They did not trouble
themselves to go deeply into the incessant annoyances and
injustices that for many years had harried the lot of the Uitlanders
and caused them at last to lose patience and revolt against
oppression. Even now there are people who lean to the belief that
the coarse nut of Boer character may possess a sound kernel, people
who prefer to hug that belief rather than inform themselves by
reading what Mr. Rider Haggard, Mr. Fitzpatrick, and other
well-informed men have to say on the subject.

When all efforts to work upon Mr. Kruger failed, the wives of the
unhappy men applied to "Tante Sanne," as the President's wife is
called, and begged her intervention. She said, "Yes, I will do all I
can for you; I am very sorry for you all, although I know that none
of you thought of me that night when we heard Jameson had crossed
the border, and we were afraid the President would have to go out
and fight, and when they went and caught his white horse that he has
not ridden for eight years. But all the same I am sorry for you

The wives of the Boers are very powerful, and it is possible that
Mrs. Kruger may have prevailed in some way over her husband, for at
last, after five weary months of imprisonment, after delays,
suspenses, and alarms too numerous to be here recounted, the
prisoners, on the 11th of June 1896, were released. They were
required to pay a fine of £2000, and to sign a pledge not to
interfere with politics for three years. It was owing to this pledge
that the valuable book, "The Transvaal from Within," which has here
been quoted, was not published till affairs therein set forth had
come in 1899 to the painful climax of war! Mr. Lionel Phillips,
however, was not so wise as Mr. Fitzpatrick. When Sir John
Willoughby in 1897 attacked the Reform Leaders of Johannesburg in
the _Nineteenth Century_, Mr. Phillips replied to it in the same
Review, August 1897, defending himself and his comrades from the
charges made. In consequence of this action Mr. Phillips was
considered to have broken his pledge and was condemned by the
Transvaal Government to banishment. Doubtless it was without much
regret that he shook the dust of that ill-conditioned State from off
his shoes.


After the turmoil of 1896 affairs declined from bad to worse. The
state of tension between the oppressed Uitlanders and the now
suspicious Boers became from day to day and year to year more acute,
till at last it was almost unbearable. The incompetence of the
police showed that robbery, and even murder, might at any moment be
perpetrated and go unpunished, and alarm on this score was not
allayed by the action of a constable in shooting dead a Uitlander
named Edgar for having met his insults with a blow.

To thoroughly appreciate the misery and insecurity of the
Uitlanders, the atrocity of the Government, and the uncloaked
hostility to Great Britain that has existed till now, we may quote a
description of the situation given last year by Professor James
Liebmann. He wrote:--

"In the Transvaal a state of things reigns supreme which cannot be
surpassed by the most corrupt of South American Republics. There the
Boer shows his character in its most unpleasant features. Low,
sordid, corrupt, his chief magistrate as well as his lowest official
readily listens to 'reasons that jingle,' and, like the gentleman in
the 'Mikado,' is not averse to 'insults.' He calls his country a
republic--it is so in name only. The majority of the population,
representing the wealth and intelligence of the country--the
Uitlanders--are refused almost every civil right, except the
privilege of paying exorbitant taxes to swell an already overgorged
treasury. Under this ideal(?) government, which is really a
sixteenth-century oligarchy flourishing at the end of the
nineteenth, and is, certainly not a land where

    'A man may speak the thing he will,'

you have a press censorship as tyrannical as in Russia, a State
supervision of telegrams, a veto on the right of public meeting, a
most unjust education law, and an Executive browbeating the
Justiciary; and, in order to accomplish so much, the Transvaal has
closed its doors to its kinsmen in Cape Colony--for you must not
forget that the oldest Transvaalers, from President Kruger
downwards, are ex-Cape Colonists, and quondam British subjects--and
imported a bureaucracy of Hollanders to plait a whip wherewith to
castigate her children.

"On the Rand, at present, the Uitlanders are voiceless, voteless,
and leaderless, whilst, on the other hand, large quantities of arms
have been introduced into the country, and the burghers, every one
of them, trained in the use of these weapons. Fortifications have
been raised at Johannesburg and Pretoria, to cowe those who are
putting money into the State's purse, and for this purpose the
President has acquired the services of German military officers who
will find congenial employment in thus dragooning defenceless

"This is the state of affairs in the South African so-called
Republic in this year of grace (1898), which, according to the
Convention, granted equal rights to Briton and to Boer."

This being no exaggerated picture of the situation, it is small
wonder that at last the Uitlanders determined to bear the burden no
longer, but set their grievances before the Queen. Early in the new
year the following petition was forwarded to her Majesty:--

"_Humble Petition of British Subjects resident on the Witwatersrandt
      Gold Fields to her Britannic Majesty Queen Victoria._

"1. Your loyal subjects on these fields are by law denied the free
right of possessing such arms as may be necessary to protect their
lives and property, and such obstacles are placed in their way as to
render the obtaining of the necessary official permit almost
impossible. Consequently the Uitlander population of this State is
to all intents and purposes an unarmed community.

"2. On the other hand, the whole of the burgher section of the
community, irrespective of age, are permitted to possess and carry
arms without let or hindrance, and are, in fact, on application,
supplied with them by the Government free of charge.

"3. The police force of this State is exclusively recruited from the
burgher element, many of the police being youths fresh from rural
districts, without experience or tact, and in many instances without
general education or a knowledge of the English language; therefore,
as a whole, entirely out of sympathy with the British section of the
community, which forms the majority of the population.

"4. The foot police of Johannesburg, in whose appointment and
control we have no voice, is not a military force; yet its members
not only carry batons, but are also armed with six-chambered
military revolvers, invariably carried loaded.

"5. Under these circumstances, given an unarmed community policed by
a body of inexperienced rustics carrying weapons of precision and
utterly out of sympathy with the community they are supposed to
protect, it is not surprising that the power placed in the hands of
this police force should be constantly abused.

"6. For years past your subjects have in consequence had constantly
to complain of innumerable acts of petty tyranny at the hands of the

"7. During the last few months, however, this antagonistic attitude
of the police has assumed a much more serious and aggressive aspect.
Without warrant they have invaded private houses and taken the
occupants into custody on frivolous and unfounded charges never
proceeded with; violently arrested British subjects in the streets
on unintelligible charges: and generally display towards your
Majesty's subjects a temper which undoubtedly tends to endanger the
peace of the community. In adopting this demeanour the police are
supported, with but a few honourable exceptions, by the higher
officials, as instanced by the continual persecution in the Courts
of many of your Majesty's coloured subjects at the very time when
negotiations are proceeding between your Majesty's Representative
and the Transvaal Government with regard to their status. This
feeling is also strongly evidenced in the particular case which we
now bring to your Majesty's notice.

"8. The lamentable tragedy which has been the immediate cause of
this our humble Petition cannot, therefore, be regarded as
incidental, but symptomatic.

"9. This case is that of the shooting of Tom Jackson Edgar, a
British subject, by Police-Constable Barend Stephanus Jones, a
member of the Johannesburg Constabulary.

"10. From the accompanying affidavits, already published and sworn
by eye-witnesses of the tragedy, it would appear that the deceased,
while in the occupation of his own house, was shot dead by
Police-Constable Barend Stephanus Jones as the latter was in the act
of unlawfully breaking into the house of deceased without a warrant.

"11. Police-Constable Barend Stephanus Jones, though in the first
instance placed in custody on a charge of murder, was almost
immediately afterwards let out on bail by the Public Prosecutor,
who, without waiting for any Magisterial inquiry, reduced the
charge, on his own initiative, to that of culpable homicide.

"12. The bail on which the prisoner was released was the same in
amount--namely, £200--as that required a few days previously from an
Uitlander charged with a common assault on a Member of the
Government Secret Service, and the penalty for which was a fine of

"13. The widow and orphan of the late Tom Jackson Edgar have been
left absolutely destitute through the death of their natural

"14. To sum up: We humbly represent to your Majesty that we, your
loyal subjects resident here, are entirely defenceless since--(1)
The police are appointed by the Government, not by the Municipality;
(2) We have no voice in the Government of the country; (3) There is
no longer an independent Judiciary to which we can appeal; (4) There
is, therefore, no power within this State to which we can appeal
with the least hope of success; and as we are not allowed to arm and
protect ourselves, our last resource is to fall back on our status
as British subjects.

"We therefore humbly pray: That your Majesty will instruct your
Representative to take such steps as will ensure (_a_) a full and
impartial trial, on a proper indictment, of prisoner Police-Constable
Barend Stephanus Jones, and adequate punishment for his offence, if
found guilty; (_b_) proper provision by the Transvaal Government for the
needs of the widow and orphan of the deceased Tom Jackson Edgar, killed
by their agent; (_c_) the extension of your Majesty's protection to the
lives, liberty, and property of your loyal subjects resident here, and
such other steps as may be necessary to terminate the existing
intolerable state of affairs.

"And your petitioners will ever pray, &c."

Of course, this move enraged the authorities of the Transvaal, who
tried to prove the existence of a plot against the Republic, and
even to represent that British military officers were implicated in
it. But Sir Alfred Milner exposed the little machinations of the
"secret service" people, so that their duplicit efforts were not
crowned with the hoped-for success. Mr. Steyn then succeeded Mr.
Reitz as President of the Orange Free State, and his appearance on
the political scene was the signal for an offensive and defensive
alliance between the two Republics. Following the example set by
President Brand, Mr. Steyn--in the character of umpire or
peacemaker--assisted to promote a meeting at Bloemfontein between
Sir Alfred Milner and President Kruger. The Uitlander Council drew
up the following declaration:--

"The proposals submitted at the Bloemfontein Conference by his
Excellency the High Commissioner were briefly:

"1. That the Uitlanders possessing a certain property or wages
qualification, on proving that they had resided five years in the
country and on taking an oath of allegiance, be given full burgher

"2. That there should be such a distribution of seats as would give
to the new-comers a substantial representation in the First
Volksraad, but not such as would enable them to swamp the old

"All must admit that this scheme is most conservative, because--

"(_a_). It does not restore to the Uitlanders all the rights of
which they have been unjustly deprived since the retrocession.

"(_b_). Nearly the whole revenue of the country is derived from the
taxation of the Uitlanders.

"(_c_). The Uitlanders form at least two-thirds of the total white
population. (This was practically admitted by President Kruger at
the Conference.)

"(_d_). In most new countries one or two years' residence ensures
full voting power. There is no reason why there should be more
stringent conditions in operation in this State than in Natal or
Cape Colony, or than those which existed until quite recently in
the Orange Free State, and which were only changed from one to
three years on account of the unhealthy political conditions in the
South African Republic.

"Notwithstanding, however, the conservative character of the scheme,
the Uitlander Council consider that the proposals of his Excellency
the High Commissioner are calculated in no small degree to bring
about a practical and permanent settlement. But in the opinion of
the Uitlander Council, it is essential at the outset to fix
definitely the conditions under which:

"1. All duly qualified persons can get the franchise without any
unnecessary expense, trouble, or delay, and without being subjected
to any kind of intimidation.

"2. Those who have got the franchise shall be able to use it

"3. Redistribution of seats shall take place periodically by
automatic arrangement, and representation shall bear some definite
relation to the number of electors.

"Having regard to the recent history of the Government of this
country, and the facility with which even fundamental laws are and
may be changed, the Uitlander Council are convinced that no
settlement will be of any value unless its permanency is guaranteed
by an understanding between the Imperial Government and the
Government of the South African Republic.

"Further, knowing by past experience that every effort will be made
by means of the existing Government machinery to obstruct and
pervert even the smallest measure of reform, and bearing in mind the
immense discretionary power accorded by the laws to all Government
officials, the Uitlander Council are strongly of opinion that the
understanding between the two Governments should provide for such
immediate changes in the present laws of the country as would make
it possible to carry out Sir A. Milner's scheme, not only in the
letter, but also in the spirit.

"The outcome of the understanding between the two Governments should
be the inclusion among the permanent and fundamental laws of the
South African Republic of a Reform Act embracing, in addition to the
clauses providing for naturalisation and redistribution on the lines
already indicated, the following among other provisions:

"1. No burgher or alien shall be granted privileges or immunities
which on the same terms shall not be granted to all burghers.

"2. No person shall, on account of creed or religious belief, be
under any disability whatever.

"3. The majority of the inhabitants being English-speaking, English
shall be recognised equally with Dutch as an official language of
the State.

"4. The independence of the High Court shall be established and duly

"5. Legislation by simple resolution (_besluit_) of the Volksraad
shall be abolished.

"6. The free right of public meeting and of forming electoral
committees shall be recognised and established.

"7. The freedom of speech and of the press shall be assured.

"8. All persons shall be secured in their houses, persons, papers,
and effects against violation or illegal seizure.

"9. The existence of forts and the adoption of other measures
intended for the intimidation of the white inhabitants of the
country, being a menace to the exercise of the undoubted rights of a
free people, shall be declared unconstitutional.

"10. Existing monopolies shall be cancelled or expropriated on
equitable conditions.

"11. Raad members must be fully enfranchised burghers and over
twenty-one years of age. Any candidate for the Presidency must be a
fully enfranchised burgher over thirty years of age, and have been
resident in the country for ten years.

"12. All elections shall be by ballot and shall be adequately
safeguarded by stringent provisions against bribery and

"13. All towns with a population of 1000 persons and upwards shall
have the right to manage their own local affairs under a general
Municipal Act. The registration of voters and the conduct of all
elections shall be regulated by local bodies.

"14. A full and comprehensive system of State Education shall be
established under the control of Local Boards.

"15. The Civil Service shall be completely reorganised, and all
corrupt officials shall be dismissed from office, and be ineligible
for office in the future.

"16. Payments from the public Treasury shall only be made in
accordance with the Budget proposals approved by the Raad, with full
and open publication of the accounts periodically.

"17. No person shall become a burgher, and no fresh constituency
shall be created except in accordance with the lines herein laid
down, and officials shall have no discretionary power in this or any
other matter affecting the civil rights of the inhabitants of the

The Conference was a complete failure. Mr. Kruger obstinately
refused to make the proposed concessions, and Sir Alfred Milner
would be contented with nothing less.

[Illustration: Sir ALFRED MILNER, K.C.B.,

High Commissioner for South Africa.

Photo by Elliott & Fry, London.]

The President afterwards agreed to grant a "seven years'
Franchise" on terms that were scarcely practicable, while the
Secretary of State for the Colonies held out for the five years'
Franchise at first demanded. The bargaining was pursued for some
weeks with considerable animation, and in the end Mr. Kruger offered
to allow the five years' franchise on what he knew to be the
impossible condition, that the question of suzerainty should be
entirely dropped.

The mobilisation of the burghers, which had been secretly on foot
for some time, was forthwith carried on apace, and later--much too
tardily--British patience gave way, and troops were despatched to
South Africa. Then followed, on the 9th of October, an insulting
ultimatum from President Kruger, demanding the immediate withdrawal
of British troops from the Transvaal border, and an assurance that
no more should be landed. In default of this assurance, he declared
that at 5 P.M. on the 11th of October a state of war would exist. To
such an ultimatum only one answer was possible. British troops at
once started for the Cape.

Naturally the whole of Great Britain was in a state of turmoil, and
the vast multitude of people--"the men in the street," so to
say--were inclined to express surprise that the question of two
years' difference in the terms of obtaining the franchise should
have been made into a _casus belli_. To all thinking men it was
patent, however, that the quibble about the franchise was merely a
Boer _ruse_ to obtain time for the carrying out of a long-concerted
scheme for the elimination of the British from the Cape to the
Zambezi. These were aware that the military methods of the Transvaal
were under process of reorganisation, and indeed had been readjusted
gradually ever since 1896, and that the simple methods of 1881 had
been superseded by newer and more modern principles of warfare. It
was known that great additions had been made to the warlike
resources of the Republic, and that the President of the Free State
was, if anything, more bitter than Mr. Kruger in his hatred of Great
Britain and all things British, and that the two Republics would
make common cause with each other against a mutual enemy. It was
also known that foreign experts were imported, and foreign stocks of
war material--material of the newest and most expensive kind--were
prepared in anticipation of war, and that even such a thing as
tactical instruction--a thing hitherto ignored among the
Transvaalers--had been acquired from accomplished German sources,
and all this for one sole purpose--war with Great Britain. In order
that there may be no doubt that the Boers were completely prepared
and determined to fight long before the insolent Ultimatum was
published, it is desirable to read a letter which appeared in the
_Times_ of the 14th of October 1899. This epistle, which was
appropriately headed "Boer Ignorance," emanated from a Dutch
writer, whose address was in a well-known part of Cape Colony. It

"SIR,--In your paper you have often commented on what you are
pleased to call the ignorance of my countrymen, the Boers. We are
not so ignorant as the British statesmen and newspaper writers, nor
are we such fools as you British are. We know our policy, and we do
not change it. We have no opposition party to fear nor to truckle
to. Your boasted Conservative majority has been the obedient tool of
the Radical minority, and the Radical minority has been the blind
tool of our far-seeing and intelligent President. We have desired
delay, and we have had it, and we are now practically masters of
Africa from the Zambezi to the Cape. All the Afrikanders in Cape
Colony have been working for years for this end, for they and we
know the facts.

"1. The actual value of gold in the Transvaal is at least 200,000
millions of pounds, and this fact is as well known to the Emperors
of Germany and Russia as it is to us. You estimate the value of gold
at only 700 millions of pounds, or at least that is what you pretend
to estimate it at. But Germany, Russia, and France do not desire you
to get possession of this vast mass of gold, and so, after
encouraging you to believe that they will not interfere in South
Africa, they will certainly do so, and very easily find a _casus
belli_, and they will assist us, directly and indirectly, to drive
you out of Africa.

"2. We know that you dare not take any precautions in advance to
prevent the onslaught of the Great Powers, as the Opposition, the
great peace party, will raise the question of expense, and this will
win over your lazy, dirty, drunken working classes, who will never
again permit themselves to be taxed to support your Empire, or even
to preserve your existence as a nation.

"3. We know from all the military authorities of the European and
American continents that you exist as an independent Power merely on
sufferance, and that at any moment the great Emperor William can
arrange with France or Russia to wipe you off the face of the earth.
They can at any time starve you into surrender. You must yield in
all things to the United States also, or your supply of corn will be
so reduced by the Americans that your working classes would be
compelled to pay high prices for their food, and rather than do that
they would have civil war, and invite any foreign Power to assist
them by invasion, for there is no patriotism in the working classes
of England, Wales, or Ireland.

"4. We know that your country has been more prosperous than any
other country during the last fifty years (you have had no civil war
like the Americans and French to tone up your nerves and strengthen
your manliness), and consequently your able-bodied men will not
enlist in your so-called voluntary army. Therefore you have to hire
the dregs of your population to do your fighting, and they are
deficient in physique, in moral and mental ability, and in all the
qualities that make good fighting men.

"5. Your military officers we know to be merely pedantic scholars or
frivolous society men, without any capacity for practical warfare
with white men. The Afridis were more than a match for you, and your
victory over the Soudanese was achieved because those poor people
had not a rifle amongst them.

"6. We know that your men, being the dregs of your people, are
naturally feeble, and that they are also saturated with the most
horrible sexual diseases, as all your Government returns plainly
show, and that they cannot endure the hardships of war.

"7. We know that the entire British race is rapidly decaying, your
birth-rate is rapidly falling, your children are born weak,
diseased, and deformed, and that the major part of your population
consists of females, cripples, epileptics, consumptives, cancerous
people, invalids, and lunatics of all kinds whom you carefully
nourish and preserve.

"8. We know that nine-tenths of your statesmen and higher officials,
military and naval, are suffering from kidney diseases, which weaken
their courage and will-power, and make them shirk all responsibility
as far as possible.

"9. We know that your Navy is big, but we know that it is not
powerful, and that it is honeycombed with disloyalty--as witness the
theft of the signal-books, the assaults on officers, the desertions,
and the wilful injury of the boilers and machinery, which all the
vigilance of the officers is powerless to prevent.

"10. We know that the Conservative Government is a mere sham, and
that it largely reduced the strength of the British artillery in
1888-89. And we know that it does not dare now to call out the
Militia for training, nor to mobilise the Fleet, nor to give
sufficient grants to the Line and Volunteers for ammunition to
enable them to become good marksmen and efficient soldiers. We know
that British soldiers and sailors are immensely inferior as
marksmen, not only to Germans, French, and Americans, but also to
Japanese, Afridis, Chilians, Peruvians, Belgians, and Russians.

"11. We know that no British Government dares to propose any form of
compulsory military or naval training, for the British people would
rather be invaded, conquered, and governed by Germans, Russians, or
Frenchmen, than be compelled to serve their own Government.

"12. We Boers know that we will not be governed by a set of British
curs, but that we will drive you out of Africa altogether, and the
other manly nations which have compulsory military service--the
armed manhood of Europe--will very quickly divide all your other
possessions between them.

"Talk no more of the ignorance of the Boers or Cape Dutch; a few
days more will prove your ignorance of the British position, and in
a short space of time you and your Queen will be imploring the good
offices of the great German Emperor to deliver you from your
disasters, for your humiliations are not yet complete.

"For thirty years the Cape Dutch have been waiting their chance, and
now their day has come; they will throw off their mask and your yoke
at the same instant, and 300,000 Dutch heroes will trample you

"We can afford to tell you the truth now, and in this letter you
have got it.--Yours, &c.,

                                                             P. S.

     "_October 12._"

This letter, though false in many particulars, certainly pointed out
some "home truths," which it was desirable for the British public to
read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. It also served to cast aside
the thin veil which had covered our political relations with
President Kruger and his party, and to show the firm foundations on
which the hatred of the Boer for the Briton had been built for
years. The question of the franchise was a bagatelle: a soap-bubble
would have been pretext enough for war when the right hour and
moment arrived. As allowed by this candid writer, whose valuable
avowals cannot afford to be ignored, for many years treachery and
disloyalty had existed, and the Boers had only bided their time.
They "desired delay, and had it," playing their cards so skilfully
as to deceive even the British Government, and imply to them and the
world that the franchise question and the discontent of the
Uitlanders was the main cause of the disagreement.

Before passing on to the terrible drama that, owing to the defiance
of Mr. Kruger, was afterwards enacted, we must assure ourselves that
the sad climax was bound to have come sooner or later. If the future
of South Africa is to be saved, the prestige of Great Britain must
be maintained; her citizens must be protected, and the betrayals of
Downing Street of 1881 and 1896 must be atoned for. Though darkness
reigns at the time of writing, the future of the Transvaal is a
bright one. Reactionaries of the Hofmeyer and Kruger stamp will pass
away, and we may look to the twentieth century for a happy
settlement of the terrible difficulties which stare us in the face.
But the settlement can never be effected by the policy of
compromise. It can never be lasting while Conventions are allowed to
become the pawns of parties; it can never be noble nor dignified
until the petty ambitions of political strife are subdued and the
grand whole, Great Britain--not the infinitesimal island, but the
immense and populous Empire--is ordered and laboured for with the
courage and strength that comes of undoubted unanimity! It remains,
therefore, with each individual man and woman among us so to work
that the grand result is not unnecessarily delayed.


Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.

Photo by London Stereoscopic Co.]




PREAMBLE. Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Settlement of the
Transvaal territory, duly appointed as such by a Commission passed
under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet, bearing date the 5th of
April 1881, do hereby undertake and guarantee on behalf of her
Majesty, that, from and after the 8th day of August 1881, complete
self-government, subject to the suzerainty of her Majesty, her heirs
and successors, will be accorded to the inhabitants of the Transvaal
territory, upon the following terms and conditions, and subject to
the following reservations and limitations:--

ARTICLE 1. The said territory, to be herein-after called the
Transvaal State, will embrace the land lying between the following
boundaries, to wit: [Here follow three pages in print defining

ARTICLE 2. Her Majesty reserves to herself, her heirs and
successors, (_a_) the right from time to time to appoint a British
Resident in and for the said State, with such duties and functions
as are herein-after defined; (_b_) the right to move troops through
the said State in time of war, or in case of the apprehension of
immediate war between the Suzerain Power and any Foreign State or
Native tribe in South Africa; and (_c_) the control of the external
relations of the said State, including the conclusion of treaties
and the conduct of diplomatic intercourse with Foreign Powers, such
intercourse to be carried on through her Majesty's diplomatic and
consular officers abroad.

ARTICLE 3. Until altered by the Volksraad, or other competent
authority, all laws, whether passed before or after the annexation
of the Transvaal territory to her Majesty's dominions, shall, except
in so far as they are inconsistent with or repugnant to the
provisions of this Convention, be and remain in force in the said
State in so far as they shall be applicable thereto, provided that
no future enactment especially affecting the interests of natives
shall have any force or effect in the said State, without the
consent of her Majesty, her heirs and successors, first had and
obtained and signified to the Government of the said State through
the British Resident, provided further that in no case will the
repeal or amendment of any laws enacted since the annexation have a
retrospective effect, so as to invalidate any acts done or
liabilities incurred by virtue of such laws.

ARTICLE 4. On the 8th of August 1881, the Government of the said
State, together with all rights and obligations thereto
appertaining, and all State property taken over at the time of
annexation, save and except munitions of war, will be handed over to
Messrs. Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, Martinus Wessel Pretorius,
and Petrus Jacobus Joubert, or the survivor or survivors of them,
who will forthwith cause a Volksraad to be elected and convened, and
the Volksraad, thus elected and convened, will decide as to the
further administration of the Government of the said State.

ARTICLE 5. All sentences passed upon persons who may be convicted of
offences contrary to the rules of civilised warfare committed during
the recent hostilities will be duly carried out, and no alteration
or mitigation of such sentences will be made or allowed by the
Government of the Transvaal State without her Majesty's consent
conveyed through the British Resident. In case there shall be any
prisoners in any of the gaols of the Transvaal State whose
respective sentences of imprisonment have been remitted in part by
her Majesty's Administrator or other officer administering the
Government, such remission will be recognised and acted upon by the
future Government of the said State.

ARTICLE 6. Her Majesty's Government will make due compensation for
all losses or damage sustained by reason of such acts as are in the
8th Article herein-after specified, which may have been committed by
her Majesty's forces during the recent hostilities, except for such
losses or damage as may already have been compensated for, and the
Government of the Transvaal State will make due compensation for all
losses or damage sustained by reason of such acts as are in the 8th
Article herein-after specified which may have been committed by the
people who were in arms against her Majesty during the recent
hostilities, except for such losses or damages as may already have
been compensated for.

ARTICLE 7. The decision of all claims for compensation, as in the last
preceding Article mentioned, will be referred to a Sub-Committee,
consisting of the Honourable George Hudson, the Honourable Jacobus
Petrus de Wet, and the Honourable John Gilbert Kotze. In case one or
more of such Sub-Commissioners shall be unable or unwilling to act the
remaining Sub-Commissioner or Sub-Commissioners will, after consultation
with the Government of the Transvaal State, submit for the approval of
her Majesty's High Commissioners the names of one or more persons to be
appointed by them to fill the place or places thus vacated. The decision
of the said Sub-Commissioners, or of a majority of them, will be final.
The said Sub-Commissioners will enter upon and perform their duties with
all convenient speed. They will, before taking evidence or ordering
evidence to be taken in respect of any claim, decide whether such claim
can be entertained at all under the rules laid down in the next
succeeding Article. In regard to claims which can be so entertained, the
Sub-Commissioners will, in the first instance, afford every facility for
an amicable arrangement as to the amount payable in respect of any
claim, and only in cases in which there is no reasonable ground for
believing that an immediate amicable arrangement can be arrived at will
they take evidence or order evidence to be taken. For the purpose of
taking evidence and reporting thereon, the Sub-Commissioners may appoint
Deputies, who will, without delay, submit records of the evidence and
their reports to the Sub-Commissioners. The Sub-Commissioners will
arrange their sittings and the sittings of their Deputies in such a
manner as to afford the earliest convenience to the parties concerned
and their witnesses. In no case will costs be allowed to either side,
other than the actual and reasonable expenses of witnesses whose
evidence is certified by the Sub-Commissioners to have been necessary.
Interest will not run on the amount of any claim, except as is
herein-after provided for. The said Sub-Commissioners will forthwith,
after deciding upon any claim, announce their decision to the Government
against which the award is made and to the claimant. The amount of
remuneration payable to the Sub-Commissioners and their Deputies will be
determined by the High Commissioners. After all the claims have been
decided upon, the British Government and the Government of the Transvaal
State will pay proportionate shares of the said remuneration and of the
expenses of the Sub-Commissioners and their Deputies, according to the
amount awarded against them respectively.

ARTICLE 8. For the purpose of distinguishing claims to be accepted
from those to be rejected, the Sub-Commissioners will be guided by the
following rules, viz.: Compensation will be allowed for losses or
damage sustained by reason of the following acts committed during the
recent hostilities, viz., (_a_) commandeering, seizure, confiscation,
or destruction of property, or damage done to property; (_b_) violence
done or threats used by persons in arms. In regard to acts under
(_a_), compensation will be allowed for direct losses only. In regard
to acts falling under (_b_), compensation will be allowed for actual
losses of property, or actual injury to the same proved to have been
caused by its enforced abandonment. No claims for indirect losses,
except such as are in this Article specially provided for, will be
entertained. No claims which have been handed in to the Secretary of
the Royal Commission after the 1st day of July 1881 will be
entertained, unless the Sub-Commissioners shall be satisfied that the
delay was reasonable. When claims for loss of property are considered,
the Sub-Commissioners will require distinct proof of the existence of
the property, and that it neither has reverted nor will revert to the

ARTICLE 9. The Government of the Transvaal State will pay and
satisfy the amount of every claim awarded against it within one
month after the Sub-Commissioners shall have notified their decision
to the said Government, and in default of such payment the said
Government will pay interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum
from the date of such default; but her Majesty's Government may at
any time before such payment pay the amount, with interest, if any,
to the claimant in satisfaction of his claim, and may add the sum
thus paid to any debt which may be due by the Transvaal State to her
Majesty's Government, as herein-after provided for.

ARTICLE 10. The Transvaal State will be liable for the balance of
the debts for which the South African Republic was liable at the
date of annexation, to wit, the sum of £48,000 in respect of the
Cape Commercial Bank Loan, and £85,667 in respect to the Railway
Loan, together with the amount due on 8th August 1881 on account of
the Orphan Chamber Debt, which now stands at £22,200, which debts
will be a first charge upon the revenues of the State. The Transvaal
State will, moreover, be liable for the lawful expenditure lawfully
incurred for the necessary expenses of the Province since the
annexation, to wit, the sum of £265,000, which debt, together with
such debts as may be incurred by virtue of the 9th Article, will be
second charge upon the revenues of the State.

ARTICLE 11. The debts due as aforesaid by the Transvaal State to her
Majesty's Government will bear interest at the rate of three and a
half per cent., and any portion of such debt as may remain unpaid at
the expiration of twelve months from the 8th August 1881 shall be
repayable by a payment for interest and sinking fund of six pounds
and ninepence per cent. per annum, which will extinguish the debt in
twenty-five years. The said payment of six pounds and ninepence per
£100 shall be payable half yearly in British currency on the 8th
February and 8th August in each year. Provided always that the
Transvaal State shall pay in reduction of the said debt the sum of
£100,000 within twelve months of the 8th August 1881, and shall be
at liberty at the close of any half year to pay off the whole or any
portion of the outstanding debt.

ARTICLE 12. All persons holding property in the said State on the
8th day of August 1881 will continue after the said date to enjoy
the rights of property which they have enjoyed since the annexation.
No person who has remained loyal to her Majesty during the recent
hostilities shall suffer any molestation by reason of his loyalty,
or be liable to any criminal prosecution or civil action for any
part taken in connection with such hostilities, and all such persons
will have full liberty to reside in the country, with enjoyment of
all civil rights, and protection for their persons and property.

ARTICLE 13. Natives will be allowed to acquire land, but the grant
or transfer of such land will, in every case, be made to and
registered in the name of the Native Location Commission,
herein-after mentioned, in trust for such natives.

ARTICLE 14. Natives will be allowed to move as freely within the
country as may be consistent with the requirements of public order,
and to leave it for the purpose of seeking employment elsewhere or
for other lawful purposes, subject always to the pass laws of the
said State, as amended by the Legislature of the Province, or as may
hereafter be enacted under the provisions of the 3rd Article of this

ARTICLE 15. There will continue to be complete freedom of religion
and protection from molestation for all denominations, provided the
same be not inconsistent with morality and good order, and no
disability shall attach to any person in regard to rights of
property by reason of the religious opinions which he holds.

ARTICLE 16. The provisions of the 4th Article of the Sand River
Convention are hereby re-affirmed, and no slavery or apprenticeship
partaking of slavery will be tolerated by the Government of the said

ARTICLE 17. The British Resident will receive from the Government of
the Transvaal State such assistance and support as can by law be
given to him for the due discharge of his functions, he will also
receive every assistance for the proper care and preservation of the
graves of such of her Majesty's forces as have died in the
Transvaal, and if need be for the expropriation of land for the

ARTICLE 18. The following will be the duties and functions of the
British Resident:--Sub-section 1. He will perform duties and
functions analogous to those discharged by a Chargé d'Affaires and

Sub-section 2. In regard to natives within the Transvaal State he
will (_a_) report to the High Commissioner, as representative of the
Suzerain, as to the working and observance of the provisions of this
Convention; (_b_) report to the Transvaal authorities any cases of
ill-treatment of natives or attempts to incite natives to rebellion
that may come to his knowledge; (_c_) use his influence with the
natives in favour of law and order; and (_d_) generally perform such
other duties as are by this Convention entrusted to him, and take
such steps for the protection of the person and property of natives
as are consistent with the laws of the land.

Sub-section 3. In regard to natives not residing in the Transvaal
(_a_) he will report to the High Commissioner and the Transvaal
Government any encroachments reported to him as having been made by
Transvaal residents upon the land of such natives, and in case of
disagreement between the Transvaal Government and the British
Resident as to whether an encroachment has been made, the decision
of the Suzerain will be final; (_b_) the British Resident will be
the medium of communication with native chiefs outside the
Transvaal, and subject to the approval of the High Commissioner, as
representing the Suzerain, he will control the conclusion of
treaties with them; and (_c_) he will arbitrate upon every dispute
between Transvaal residents and natives outside the Transvaal (as to
acts committed beyond the boundaries of the Transvaal) which may be
referred to him by the parties interested.

Sub-section 4. In regard to communications with foreign powers, the
Transvaal Government will correspond with her Majesty's Government
through the British Resident and the High Commissioner.

ARTICLE 19. The Government of the Transvaal State will strictly
adhere to the boundaries defined in the 1st Article of this
Convention, and will do its utmost to prevent any of its inhabitants
from making any encroachment upon lands beyond the said State. The
Royal Commission will forthwith appoint a person who will beacon off
the boundary line between Ramatlabama and the point where such line
first touches Griqualand West boundary, midway between the Vaal and
Hart Rivers; the person so appointed will be instructed to make an
arrangement between the owners of the farms Grootfontein and
Valleifontein on the one hand, and the Barolong authorities on the
other, by which a fair share of the water supply of the said farms
shall be allowed to flow undisturbed to the said Barolongs.

ARTICLE 20. All grants or titles issued at any time by the Transvaal
Government in respect of land outside the boundary of Transvaal
State, as defined, Article 1, shall be considered invalid and of no
effect, except in so far as any such grant or title relates to land
that falls within the boundary of the Transvaal State, and all
persons holding any such grant so considered invalid and of no
effect will receive from the Government of the Transvaal State such
compensation either in land or in money as the Volksraad shall
determine. In all cases in which any native chiefs or other
authorities outside the said boundaries have received any adequate
consideration from the Government of the former South African
Republic for land excluded from the Transvaal by the 1st Article of
this Convention, or where permanent improvements have been made on
the land, the British Resident will, subject to the approval of the
High Commissioner, use his influence to recover from the native
authorities fair compensation for the loss of the land thus
excluded, and of the permanent improvement thereon.

ARTICLE 21. Forthwith, after the taking effect of this Convention, a
Native Location Commission will be constituted, consisting of the
President, or in his absence the Vice-President of the State, or
some one deputed by him, the Resident, or some one deputed by him,
and a third person to be agreed upon by the President or the
Vice-President, as the case may be, and the Resident, and such
Commission will be a standing body for the performance of the duties
herein-after mentioned.

ARTICLE 22. The Native Location Commission will reserve to the
native tribes of the State such locations as they may be fairly and
equitably entitled to, due regard being had to the actual occupation
of such tribes. The Native Location Commission will clearly define
the boundaries of such locations, and for that purpose will, in
every instance, first of all ascertain the wishes of the parties
interested in such land. In case land already granted in individual
titles shall be required for the purpose of any location, the owners
will receive such compensation either in other land or in money as
the Volksraad shall determine. After the boundaries of any location
have been fixed, no fresh grant of land within such location will be
made, nor will the boundaries be altered without the consent of the
Location Commission. No fresh grants of land will be made in the
districts of Waterbergh, Zoutspansberg, and Lydenburg until the
locations in the said districts respectively shall have been defined
by the said Commission.

ARTICLE 23. If not released before the taking effect of this
Convention, Sikukuni, and those of his followers who have been
imprisoned with him, will be forthwith released, and the boundaries
of his location will be defined by the Native Location Commission in
the manner indicated in the last preceding Article.

ARTICLE 24. The independence of the Swazies within the boundary line
of Swaziland, as indicated in the 1st Article of this Convention,
will be fully recognised.

ARTICLE 25. No other or higher duties will be imposed on the
importation into the Transvaal State of any article the produce or
manufacture of the dominions and possessions of her Majesty, from
whatever place arriving, than are or may be payable on the like
article the produce or manufacture of any other country, nor will
any prohibition be maintained or imposed on the importation of any
article the produce or manufacture of the dominions and possessions
of her Majesty, which shall not equally extend to the importation of
the like articles being the produce or manufacture of any other

ARTICLE 26. All persons other than natives conforming themselves to
the laws of the Transvaal State (_a_) will have full liberty with
their families to enter, travel, or reside in any part of the
Transvaal State; (_b_) they will be entitled to hire or possess
houses, manufactures, warehouses, shops, and premises; (_c_) they
may carry on their commerce either in person or by any agents whom
they may think fit to employ; (_d_) they will not be subject in
respect of their persons or property, or in respect of their
commerce or industry, to any taxes, whether general or local, other
than those which are or may be imposed upon Transvaal citizens.

ARTICLE 27. All inhabitants of the Transvaal shall have free access
to the Courts of Justice for the protection and defence of their

ARTICLE 28. All persons other than natives who established their
domicile in the Transvaal between the 12th day of April 1877 and the
date when this Convention comes into effect, and who shall within
twelve months after such last-mentioned date have their names
registered by the British Resident, shall be exempt from all
compulsory military service whatever. The Resident shall notify such
registration to the Government of the Transvaal State.

ARTICLE 29. Provision shall hereafter be made by a separate
instrument for the mutual extradition of criminals, and also for the
surrender of deserters from her Majesty's forces.

ARTICLE 30. All debts contracted since the annexation will be
payable in the same currency in which they may have been contracted;
all uncancelled postage and other revenue stamps issued by the
Government since the annexation will remain valid, and will be
accepted at their present value by the future Government of the
State; all licences duly issued since the annexation will remain in
force during the period for which they may have been issued.

ARTICLE 31. No grants of land which may have been made, and no
transfer of mortgage which may have been passed since the
annexation, will be invalidated by reason merely of their having
been made or passed since that date. All transfers to the British
Secretary for Native Affairs in trust for natives will remain in
force, the Native Location Commission taking the place of such
Secretary for Native Affairs.

ARTICLE 32. This Convention will be ratified by a newly-elected
Volksraad within the period of three months after its execution, and
in default of such ratification this Convention shall be null and

ARTICLE 33. Forthwith, after the ratification of this Convention, as
in the last preceding Article mentioned, all British troops in
Transvaal territory will leave the same, and the mutual delivery of
munitions of war will be carried out. Articles end. Here will follow
signatures of Royal Commissioners, then the following to precede
signatures of triumvirate.

We, the undersigned, Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, Martinus
Wessel Pretorius, and Petrus Jacobus Joubert, as representatives of
the Transvaal Burghers, do hereby agree to all the above conditions,
reservations, and limitations under which self-government has been
restored to the inhabitants of the Transvaal territory, subject to
the suzerainty of her Majesty, her heirs and successors, and we
agree to accept the Government of the said territory, with all
rights and obligations thereto appertaining on the 8th day of
August; and we promise and undertake that this Convention shall be
ratified by a newly-elected Volksraad of the Transvaal State within
three months from this date.



Whereas, the Government of the Transvaal State, through its
Delegates, consisting of Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, President
of the said State, Stephanus Jacobus Du Toit, Superintendent of
Education, and Nicholas Jacobus Smit, a member of the Volksraad,
have represented that the Convention signed at Pretoria on the 3rd
day of August 1881, and ratified by the Volksraad of the said State
on the 25th October 1881, contains certain provisions which are
inconvenient, and imposes burdens and obligations from which the
said State is desirous to be relieved, and that the south-western
boundaries fixed by the said Convention should be amended, with a
view to promote the peace and good order of the said State, and of
the countries adjacent thereto; and whereas her Majesty the Queen of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, has been pleased to
take the said representations into consideration: Now, therefore,
her Majesty has been pleased to direct, and it is hereby declared,
that the following articles of a new Convention, signed on behalf of
her Majesty by her Majesty's High Commissioner in South Africa, the
Right Honourable Sir Hercules George Robert Robinson, Knight Grand
Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint
George, Governor of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, and on
behalf of the Transvaal State (which shall herein-after be called
the South African Republic) by the above-named Delegates, Stephanus
Johannes Paulus Kruger, Stephanus Jacobus Du Toit, and Nicholas
Jacobus Smit, shall, when ratified by the Volksraad of the South
African Republic, be substituted for the articles embodied in the
Convention of 3rd August 1881; which latter, pending such
ratification, shall continue in full force and effect.


ARTICLE 1. The Territory of the South African Republic will embrace
the land lying between the following boundaries, to wit: (Here
follows a long description of boundaries).

ARTICLE 2. The Government of the South African Republic will
strictly adhere to the boundaries defined in the 1st Article of this
Convention, and will do its utmost to prevent any of its inhabitants
from making any encroachments upon lands beyond the said boundaries.
The Government of the South African Republic will appoint
Commissioners upon the eastern and western borders whose duty it
will be strictly to guard against irregularities and all trespassing
over the boundaries. Her Majesty's Government will, if necessary,
appoint Commissioners in the native territories outside the eastern
and western borders of the South African Republic to maintain order
and prevent encroachments.

Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the South African
Republic will each appoint a person to proceed together to beacon
off the amended south-west boundary as described in Article 1 of
this Convention; and the President of the Orange Free State shall be
requested to appoint a referee to whom the said persons shall refer
any questions on which they may disagree respecting the
interpretation of the said Article, and the decision of such referee
thereon shall be final. The arrangement already made, under the
terms of Article 19 of the Convention of Pretoria of the 3rd August
1881, between the owners of the farms Grootfontein and Valleifontein
on the one hand, and the Barolong authorities on the other, by which
a fair share of the water supply of the said farms shall be allowed
to flow undisturbed to the said Barolongs, shall continue in force.

ARTICLE 3. If a British officer is appointed to reside at Pretoria
or elsewhere within the South African Republic to discharge
functions analogous to those of a Consular officer he will receive
the protection and assistance of the Republic.

ARTICLE 4. The South African Republic will conclude no treaty or
engagement with any State or nation other than the Orange Free
State, nor with any native tribe to the eastward or westward of the
Republic, until the same has been approved by her Majesty the Queen.

Such approval shall be considered to have been granted if her
Majesty's Government shall not, within six months after receiving a
copy of such treaty (which shall be delivered to them immediately
upon its completion), have notified that the conclusion of such
treaty is in conflict with the interests of Great Britain or of any
of her Majesty's possessions in South Africa.

ARTICLE 5. The South African Republic will be liable for any balance
which may still remain due of the debts for which it was liable at
the date of Annexation, to wit, the Cape Commercial Bank Loan, the
Railway Loan, and the Orphan Chamber Debt, which debts will be a
first charge upon the revenues of the Republic. The South African
Republic will moreover be liable to her Majesty's Government for
£250,000, which will be a second charge upon the revenues of the

ARTICLE 6. The debt due as aforesaid by the South African Republic
to her Majesty's Government will bear interest at the rate of three
and a half per cent. from the date of the ratification of this
Convention, and shall be repayable by a payment for interest and
Sinking Fund of six pounds and ninepence per £100 per annum, which
will extinguish the debt in twenty-five years. The said payment or
six pounds and ninepence per £100 shall be payable half-yearly, in
British currency, at the close of each half year from the date of
such ratification: Provided always that the South African Republic
shall be at liberty at the close of any half year to pay off the
whole or any portion of the outstanding debt.

Interest at the rate of three and a half per cent. on the debt as
standing under the Convention of Pretoria shall as heretofore be
paid to the date of the ratification of this Convention.

ARTICLE 7. All persons who held property in the Transvaal on the 8th
day of August 1881, and still hold the same, will continue to enjoy
the rights of property which they have enjoyed since the 12th April
1877. No person who has remained loyal to her Majesty during the
late hostilities shall suffer any molestation by reason of his
loyalty; or be liable to any criminal prosecution or civil action
for any part taken in connection with such hostilities; and all such
persons will have full liberty to reside in the country, with
enjoyment of all civil rights, and protection for their persons and

ARTICLE 8. The South African Republic renews the declaration made in
the Sand River Convention, and in the Convention of Pretoria, that
no slavery or apprenticeship partaking of slavery will be tolerated
by the Government of the said Republic.

ARTICLE 9. There will continue to be complete freedom of religion
and protection from molestation for all denominations, provided the
same be not inconsistent with morality and good order; and no
disability shall attach to any person in regard to rights of
property by reason of the religious opinions which he holds.

ARTICLE 10. The British officer appointed to reside in the South
African Republic will receive every assistance from the Government
of the said Republic in making due provision for the proper care
and preservation of the graves of such of her Majesty's forces as
have died in the Transvaal; and if need be, for the appropriation of
land for the purpose.

ARTICLE 11. All grants or titles issued at any time by the Transvaal
Government in respect of land outside the boundary of the South
African Republic, as defined in Article 1, shall be considered
invalid and of no effect, except in so far as any such grant or
title relates to land that falls within the boundary of the South
African Republic; and all persons holding any such grant so
considered invalid and of no effect will receive from the Government
of the South African Republic such compensation, either in land or
in money, as the Volksraad shall determine. In all cases in which
any Native Chiefs or other authorities outside the said boundaries
have received any adequate consideration from the Government of the
South African Republic for land excluded from the Transvaal by the
1st Article of this Convention, or where permanent improvements have
been made on the land, the High Commissioner will recover from the
native authorities fair compensation for the loss of the land thus
excluded, or of the permanent improvements thereon.

ARTICLE 12. The independence of the Swazis, within the boundary line
of Swaziland, as indicated in the 1st Article of this Convention,
will be fully recognised.

ARTICLE 13. Except in pursuance of any treaty or engagement made as
provided in Article 4 of this Convention, no other or higher duties
shall be imposed on the importation into the South African Republic
of any article coming from any part of her Majesty's dominions than
are or may be imposed on the like article coming from any other
place or country; nor will any prohibition be maintained or imposed
on the importation into the South African Republic of any article
coming from any part of her Majesty's dominions which shall not
equally extend to the like article coming from any other place or
country. And in like manner the same treatment shall be given to any
article coming to Great Britain from the South African Republic as
to the like article coming from any other place or country.

These provisions do not preclude the consideration of special
arrangements as to import duties and commercial relations between
the South African Republic and any of her Majesty's colonies or

ARTICLE 14. All persons, other than natives, conforming themselves
to the laws of the South African Republic (_a_) will have full
liberty, with their families, to enter, travel, or reside in any
part of the South African Republic; (_b_) they will be entitled to
hire or possess houses, manufactories, warehouses, shops, and
premises; (_c_) they may carry on their commerce either in person or
by any agents whom they may think fit to employ; (_d_) they will not
be subject, in respect of their persons or property, or in respect
of their commerce or industry, to any taxes, whether general or
local, other than those which are or may be imposed upon citizens of
the said Republic.

ARTICLE 15. All persons, other than natives, who established their
domicile in the Transvaal between the 12th day of April 1877 and the
8th of August 1881, and who within twelve months after such
last-mentioned date have had their names registered by the British
Resident, shall be exempt from all compulsory military service

ARTICLE 16. Provision shall hereafter be made by a separate
instrument for the mutual extradition of criminals, and also for the
surrender of deserters from her Majesty's forces.

ARTICLE 17. All debts contracted between the 12th April 1887 and the
8th August 1881 will be payable in the same currency in which they
may have been contracted.

ARTICLE 18. No grants of land which may have been made, and no
transfers or mortgages which may have been passed between the 12th
April 1877 and the 8th August 1881, will be invalidated by reason
merely of their having been made or passed between such dates.

All transfers to the British Secretary for Native Affairs in trust
for natives will remain in force, an officer of the South African
Republic taking the place of such Secretary for Native Affairs.

ARTICLE 19. The Government of the South African Republic will engage
faithfully to fulfil the assurances given, in accordance with the
laws of the South African Republic, to the natives at the Pretoria
Pitso by the Royal Commission in the presence of the Triumvirate and
with their entire assent, (1) as to the freedom of the natives to
buy or otherwise acquire land under certain conditions, (2) as to
the appointment of a commission to mark out native locations, (3) as
to the access of the natives to the courts of law, and (4) as to
their being allowed to move freely within the country, or to leave
it for any legal purpose, under a pass system.

ARTICLE 20. This Convention will be ratified by a Volksraad of the
South African Republic within the period of six months after its
execution, and in default of such ratification this Convention shall
be null and void.

Signed in duplicate in London this 27th day of February 1884.

                                   (Signed)       HERCULES ROBINSON.
                                      "           S. J. P. KRUGER.
                                      "           S. J. DU TOIT.
                                      "           M. J. SMIT.

                          END OF VOLUME I.

                  Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co.

                         Edinburgh & London


General  : Both Potchefstrom and Potchefstroom have been used several
           times. Spellings have been preserved as written.

Page viii: Drummer replaced with drummers to agree with caption of

         : Removal of additional closing parenthesis after Gloucester

Page x   : Hyphen removed from gold-fields (2 occurrences) to ensure
           consistency with other uses

Page 15  : Spelling of attemped revised to attempted

Page 43  : Added closing parenthesis after ...blacks

Page 57  : As written. Vjin should probably read Vijn

Page 68  : Comma after pledge replaced with full stop (period)

Page 75  : Hyphen removed from farm-house to ensure consistency with
           other uses

Page 76  : Closing quote added after fusiliers.

Page 78  : Hyphen added to bloodspilling to ensure consistency with
           other use

Page 84  : Spelling of tambookee standardised to tambookie

Page 108 : Hyphen added to reaffirmed to ensure consistency with other

Page 113 : Spelling of pourtrayed and dulness left as taken from original

Page 139 : As written. Reims should probably read riems

Page 179 : Spelling of cowe left as taken from original quotation.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899" ***

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