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Title: Oom Paul's People - A Narrative of the British-Boer Troubles in South Africa, with a History of the Boers, the Country, and its Institutions
Author: Hillegas, Howard C.
Language: English
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[Illustration: Cover]

[Illustration: President Kruger on the piazza of the Executive Mansion,

                           OOM PAUL’S PEOPLE

                    IN SOUTH AFRICA, WITH A HISTORY
                       OF THE BOERS, THE COUNTRY,
                          AND ITS INSTITUTIONS

                         BY HOWARD C. HILLEGAS

                       AND A MAP OF SOUTH AFRICA

                                NEW YORK
                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

                            COPYRIGHT, 1899,
                      BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.


American enterprises in South Africa, and especially in the Transvaal,
have assumed such large proportions in the last five years that the
affairs of the country and the people are steadily gaining in interest
the land over.  As almost all the interest is centred in the Transvaal
and the Boers, an unprejudiced opinion of the country and its people may
serve to correct some of the many popular misconceptions concerning
them. The Boers constitute a nation, and are deserving of the
consideration which many writings concerning them fail to display.  They
have their failings, as many a more powerful nation has, but they also
have noble traits.  In these pages an effort has been made to describe
the Boers as they impressed themselves upon my mind while I associated
with them in the farmhouses on the veldt, in the drawing-rooms in the
cities, in the chambers of the Government House, and in the mansion of
the Executive.

The alleged grievances of the Uitlanders are so complex and
multitudinous that a mere enumeration of them would necessitate a
separate volume, and consequently they are not touched upon except
collectively.  As a layman, it is not within my province to discuss the
diplomatic features of South African affairs, and I have shown only the
moral aspect as it was unfolded to an American whose pride in the
Anglo-Saxon race causes him to wish that there were more justice and
less venom in the grievances.

To the many South Africans with whose hospitable treatment I was
favoured I am deeply and sincerely grateful.  Englishmen, Afrikanders,
Dutchmen, Boers, and Uitlanders were exceptionally gracious in many
ways, and, however they may have differed on local topics, were
unanimously courteous in their entertainment of a citizen of the country
for which they frequently expressed such great admiration.  I am
especially indebted to Sir Alfred Milner, the Queen’s High Commissioner
to South Africa and Governor of Cape Colony, and Sir James Sivewright,
the Acting Premier of Cape Colony, for many courtesies and much
information; to President S. J. P. Kruger for many kindnesses and a
greatly treasured Transvaal flag; to Postmaster-General Van Alphen, Mr.
Peter Dillingham, Commissioner of War Smidt, and many other Government
officials, for valuable assistance given to me in Pretoria.  To those
stanch Americans, Mr. Gardner F. Williams, of Kimberley, and Dr. J.
Perrott Prince, of Durban, I am indebted for many pleasant excursions
and experiences, and finally to my friend Mr. W. M. B. Tuttle, of New
York city, for valuable assistance in this work.

NEW YORK CITY, _September 4, 1899_.




Its physical and political divisions--Relations of the races--Progress
of the natives--Transvaal’s relative position.


Early settlement of the Cape--Troubles of the immigrants with the East
India Company and the English--The Great Trek--Battles with the natives
and the English--Founding of the republic.


Discovery of gold--Early days of the field and the influx of
foreigners--The origin of the enmity between the Boers and the
newcomers--The Jameson raid and its results.


His habits and modes of living--His love of family--His religion and


Personal description--His long and active career--His public
services--Anecdotes of his life--His home life.


His democracy--Hatred of Mr. Rhodes--Discussion of the Transvaal’s
position--His opinion of Americans--Why he hates the English--A message
to America.


The ambition of the man--Story of his youth--His many
enterprises--Political career--Personality--Anecdotes and incidents of
his life--Groote Schuur--His home.


The executive and legislative branches of the Government--The Raads in
session--The state military organization--Mobilizing the
army--Commandant-General P. J. Joubert--His services to the republic.


British contempt of the Boers--The suzerainty dispute--The question of
the franchise--Campaign of slander.


Boers’ strong defences--Attitude of the races--The Afrikander
Bond--Armed strength of races--England’s preparation--Importance of
Delagoa Bay.


American influence--Exports and imports--Leaders of the American
colony--American machinery--Prominent part Americans have taken in the
development of the country.


Approach to the city--Description of the city--Its characteristics--Its

[Illustration: Map of South Africa]

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

President Kruger on the piazza of the Executive Mansion, Pretoria . . .
. _Frontispiece_

A band of Zulu warriors in war costume

Majuba Hill, where one hundred and fifty Boer volunteers defeated six
hundred British soldiers

Kirk Street, Pretoria, with the State Church in the distance

The Rt. Hon. Cecil J. Rhodes on the piazza of his residence, Groote
Schuur, at Rondebosch, near Cape Town

Cape Colony Government House, at Cape Town

Cape Town and Table Mountain

Zulu maidens shaking hands

Map of South Africa

                           OOM PAUL’S PEOPLE

                               CHAPTER I


The population of South Africa may be divided into three great classes
of individuals: First, those who are only waiting for the time when they
will be able to leave the country--the Uitlanders; second, those who
hope that that time may speedily come--the native-born whites; and,
third, those who have no hope at all--the negroes.

The white population, south of the Zambezi River, is almost as large as
the population of the city of Philadelphia.  Half of the population is
Boer, or of Dutch extraction, while the remainder consists of the other
Afrikanders and the Uitlanders.  The Afrikander class comprises those
persons who were born in the country but of European descent, while the
Uitlanders are the foreigners who are, for the most part, only temporary
residents.  The negro population is estimated at five millions, divided
into many tribes and scattered over many thousand miles of territory,
but united in the common cause of subdued hostility toward the whites.

The discovery and first settlement of South Africa were made about the
same time that America was being won from the Indians; but, instead of
having a people that united in the one object of making a great and
influential nation, South Africa is rent asunder by political intrigue,
racial antagonism, and internal jealousies and strife.  The Dutch and
Boers have their mutual enemies, the Uitlanders; the Cape Colonists are
unfriendly with the Natalians, yet unite to a great extent in opposing
the Dutch and Boers; while all are the common enemy of the black race.

Strife is incessant in the country, and a unification of interests is
impossible so long as the enmity continues.  Meanwhile the natural
growth and development of the country are retarded, and all classes
suffer like consequences. A man who is capable of healing all the
differences and uniting all the classes in a common bond of patriotism
will be the saviour of the country, and far greater than Kruger or
Rhodes. A fugitive bit of verse that is heard in all parts of South
Africa affords a clearer idea of the country than can be given in pages
of detailed description.  With a few expurgations, the verse is:

    "The rivers of South Africa have no waters,
      The birds no song, the flowers no scent;
    The child you see has no father,
      The whites go free, while the negroes pay the rent."

A person who has derived his impressions of the physical features of the
continent of Africa from books generally concludes that it is either a
desert or a tropical wilderness throughout. South Africa combines these
two features in such a way that the impression need not be entirely
shattered, and yet it is not a truthful one.

South Africa is at once a tropical garden, a waterless desert, a fertile
plain, and a mountainous wilderness.  It has all the distinctions of
soil, climate, and physical features that are to be found anywhere in
the world, and yet in three hundred years less than half a million
persons have found its variety agreeable enough to become permanent
residents.  Along the coast country, for one hundred miles inland, the
territory is as fertile as any in the world, the climate salubrious, and
the conditions for settlement most agreeable.  Beyond that line is
another area of several hundred miles which consists chiefly of lofty
tablelike plateaus and forest-covered mountains.

Farther inland is the Great Karroo, a desert of sombre renown, and
beyond that the great rolling plains of the Kimberley region, the Orange
Free State, and the Transvaal.  Here, during the dry season, the earth
is covered with brown, lifeless grass, the rays of the sun beat down
perpendicularly, and great clouds of yellow dust obscure the horizon.
No trees or bushes are seen in a half-thousand-mile journey, the great
broad rivers are waterless, and the only live objects are the lone Boer
herders and their thirsty flocks.

A month later the rainy season may commence, and then the landscape
becomes more animated.  Rains, compared with which the heaviest
precipitations of the north temperate zone are mere drizzles, continue
almost incessantly for weeks; the plain becomes a tropical garden, and
the traveller sees some reasons for that part of the earth’s creation.

In the midst of these plains, and a thousand miles from the Cape of Good
Hope, are the gold mines of the Randt, richer than California and more
valuable than the Klondike.  The wonder is that they were ever
discovered, and almost as marvellous is it that any one should remain
there sufficiently long to dig a thousand feet below the surface to
secure the hidden wealth.  Farther north are the undeveloped countries,
Mashonaland and Matabeleland, the great lakes, and the relics of the
civilization that is a thousand years older than ours.

According to the American standard, the most uninhabitable part of South
Africa is the Transvaal, that inland territory of sun and plain, which
has its only redeeming feature in its underground wealth.  Had Nature
placed her golden treasure in the worthless Kalahari Desert, it would
have been of easier access than in the Transvaal, and worthy of a
plausible excuse.  But, excluding the question of gold, no one except
the oppressed Boers ever had the weakest reason for settling in
countries so unnatural, unattractive, and generally unproductive as the
Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

Cape Colony and Natal, the two British colonies on the coast, are the
direct opposites of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State in physical
and climatic conditions.  The colonies are comfortably settled, the soil
is marvellously productive, negro labour is cheap, and everything
combines to form the foundation for a great nation.

Cape Town, the city where every one is continually awaiting the arrival
of the next mail steamer from England, and the capital of Cape Colony,
is a modern city of fifty thousand inhabitants, mostly English.  It was
the metropolis of the country until Johannesburg was born in a day, and
caused it to become a mere point in transit.  The city has electric
lights, electric street railways, fine docks, excellent railways into
the interior, and all the other attributes of an English city, with the
possible exception that it requires a four-weeks’ passage to reach

It is a city of which Englishmen are proud, for its statue of Queen
Victoria is beautiful, the Government society is exclusive, "Tommy
Atkins" is there in regiments, and the British flag floats on every
staff.  Cape Town, too, is the home of the politicians who manage the
Colonial Office, which in turn has charge of the South African colonial
affairs.  Two cable lines lead from South Africa to London, and both
dive into the ocean at Cape Town, where live Cecil J. Rhodes, Sir Alfred
Milner, and the other politicians who furnish the cablegrams and receive
the replies.  Farther north on the east coast, about three days’ sail
around the Cape, is the colony of Natal, peaceful, paradisaical, and
proud.  Taken by conquest from the Zulus a half century ago, it has
already distanced its four-times-older competitor, Cape Colony, in
almost all things that pertain to the development of a country.  Being
fifteen hundred miles farther from London than Cape Town, it has escaped
the political swash of that city, and has been able to plough its own
path in the sea of colonial settlement.

Almost all of Natal is included in the fertile coast territory, and
consequently has been able to offer excellent inducements to intending
settlers.  The majority of these have been Scotchmen of sturdy stock,
and these have established a diminutive Scotland in South Africa, and
one that is a model for the entire continent.  Within the last year the
colony has annexed the adjoining country of the Zulus, which, even if it
accomplishes nothing more practical, increases the size of the colony.
Durban, the entry port of the colony, is the Newport of South Africa, as
well as its Colorado Springs.  Its wide, palm-and-flower-fringed
streets, its ’ricksha Zulus, its magnificent suburbs, and its healthful
climate combine to make Durban the finest residence city on the Dark
Continent.  Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the colony, on the other
hand, has nothing but its age to commend it.  The colony produces vast
quantities of coffee, tea, sugar, and fruits, almost all of which is
marketed in Johannesburg, in the Transvaal, which is productive of
nothing but gold and strife.

The Orange Free State, which, with the Transvaal, form the only
non-English states in South Africa, also lies in the plain or veldt
district, and is of hardly any commercial importance.  Three decades ago
it found itself in almost the same situation with England as the
Transvaal is to-day, but, unlike the South African republic, feared to
demand its rights from the British Government.  At that time the
Kimberley diamond mines were discovered on acknowledged Free State soil.
England purchased an old native chief’s claims, which had been
disallowed by a court of arbitration, and pushed them as its own.  The
Free State was weak, and agreed to forfeit its claim in return for a sum
of four hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  The mines, now owned by a
syndicate, of which Cecil J. Rhodes is the head, have yielded more than
four hundred million dollars’ worth of diamonds since the Free State
ceded them to England for less than half a million dollars.

The natives, who less than one hundred years ago ruled the whole of
South Africa with the exception of a small fraction of Cape Colony and
several square miles on the east coast, have been relegated by the
advances of civilization, until now they hold only small territories, or
reservations, in the different colonies and republics.  They are making
slow progress in the arts of civilization, except in Cape Colony, where,
under certain conditions, they are allowed to exercise the franchise,
and on the whole have profited but little by the advent of the whites,
notwithstanding the efforts of missionaries and governments.  They smart
under the treatment of the whites, who, having forcibly taken their
country from them, now compel them to pay rental for the worst parts of
the country, to which they are circumscribed, and to wear brass tags,
with numbers, like so many cattle.

Comparatively few natives work longer than three months of the year, and
would not do that except for the fear of punishment for non-payment of
hut taxes.  With the exception of those who are employed in the towns
and cities, the negroes wear the same scanty costumes of their
forefathers, and follow the same customs and practices.  Witchcraft and
superstition still rule the minds of the majority, and the former is
practised in all its cruel hideousness in many parts of the country,
although prohibited by law.

The sale of rum, the great American "civilizer" of the Indians, is also
prohibited in all the states and colonies, but it frequently is the
cause of rebellious and intertribal wars. Notwithstanding the generous
use of "dum-dum" bullets in the recent campaigns against the negroes,
and the score of other agents of civilization which carry death to the
natives, the black population has increased greatly since the control of
the country has been taken from them.  In Natal, particularly, the
increase in the Zulu population has been most threatening to the
continued safety of that energetic colony.  The Colonial Office, through
generous and humanitarian motives, has fostered the development of the
native by every means possible.  No rabbit warren or pheasant hatchery
was ever conducted on a more modern basis.

Everything that the most enthusiastic founder of a new colony could do
to increase the population of his dominion is in practice in Natal.
Polygamy is not prohibited, and is indulged in to the full extent of the
natives’ purchasing ability.  Innumerable magistrates and police are
scattered throughout the country to prevent internecine warfare and
petty quarrels. The Government protects the Zulu from external war,
pestilence, and famine.  King Tshaka’s drastic method of recurring to
war in order to keep down the surplus population has been succeeded by
the Natal incubation scheme, which has proved so successful that the
colony’s native population is fourfold greater than it was when Tshaka
ruled the country.  The situation is a grave one for the colony, whose
fifty thousand whites would be like so many reeds in a storm if the half
million Zulus should break the bonds in which they have been held since
the destruction of Cetewayo’s army in the recent Zulu war.

The only tribe of natives that has made any progress as a body is that
which is under the leadership of King Khama, the most intelligent negro
in South Africa.  Before his conversion to Christianity, Khama was at
the head of one of the most bloodthirsty, polygamous, and ignorant
tribes in the country.  Since that event he has been the means of
converting his entire tribe of wild and treacherous negroes to
Christianity, has abandoned polygamy and tribal warfare, and has
established a government, schools, churches, and commercial enterprises.
In addition to all his other good works, he has assisted Great Britain
in pacifying many belligerent tribes, and has become England’s greatest
friend in South Africa.

Khama is the paramount chief of the Bawangwato tribe, whose territory is
included in the British Bechuanaland protectorate, situated about one
thousand miles due north from Cape Town.  There are about fifteen
thousand men, women, and children in the kingdom, and every one of that
number tries to emulate the noble examples set by their king, whom all
adore. The country and climate of Khama’s Kingdom, as it is officially
called, are magnificent, and so harmless and inoffensive are the people
that the traveller is less exposed to attacks by marauders than he is in
the streets along New York’s water front.

Many Europeans have settled in Khama’s Kingdom for the purpose of mining
and trading, and these have assisted in placing the Bawangwatos on a
plane of civilization far above and beyond that attained by any other
negro nation or tribe in the country.  A form of government has been
adopted, and is carried out with excellent results.  The laws, which
must be sanctioned by the British Government before they can be put in
force, are transgressed with an infrequency that puts to shame many a
country of boasted ancient civilization.  Theft is unknown and murders
are unheard of, while drunkenness is to be seen only when a white man
smuggles liquor into the country.  A public-school system has been
introduced, and has resulted in giving a fairly good education to all
the youth.  Even music is taught, and several of the brass bands that
have been organized compare favourably with such as are found in many
rural communities in America.

Well-regulated farms and cattle ranches are located in all parts of the
territory, and in most instances are profitably and wisely conducted.
The negroes have abandoned the use of beads and skins almost entirely,
and now pattern after Europeans in the matter of clothing.  Witchcraft
and kindred vices have not been practised for fifty years, and only the
older members of the tribe know that such practices existed.  The
remarkable man to whom is due the honour of having civilized an entire
nation of heathen is now about eighty years old.  He speaks the English
language fluently, and writes it much more legibly than his
distinguished friend Cecil Rhodes.

Khama is about six feet in height, well proportioned, and remarkably
strong despite his great age.  His skin is not black, but of that dark
copper colour borne by negro chiefs of the royal line.  He has the
bearing of a nobleman, and is extremely polite and affable in his
treatment of visitors.  He is well informed on all current topics, and
his knowledge of South African men and affairs is wonderful.  In his
residence, which is constructed of stone and on English lines, Khama has
all the accessories necessary for a civilized man’s comfort. He has a
library of no small size, a piano for his grandchildren, a folding bed
for himself, and, not least of all, an American carriage of state.

It is a strange anomaly that the Boers, a pastoral people exclusively,
should have settled in a section of the earth where Nature has two of
her richest storehouses.  Both the Kimberley diamond mines and the
Witwatersrandt gold mines, each the richest deposit of its kind
discovered thus far, were found where the Boers were accustomed to graze
their herds and flocks. It would seem as if Nature had influenced the
Boers to settle above her treasures, and protect them from the attacks
of nations and men who are not satisfied with the products of the
earth’s surface, but must delve below.

This circumstance has been both fortunate and unfortunate for the Boer
people.  It has laid them open to the attacks of covetous nations, which
have not been conducive to a restful existence, but it has made their
country what it is to-day--the source from which all the other South
African states draw their means of support.  The Transvaal is the main
wheel in the South African machinery.  Whenever the Transvaal is
disturbed, Cape Colony, Natal, and the Orange Free State are similarly
affected, because they are dependent upon the Boer country for almost
their breath of life. When the Transvaal flourishes, South Africa
flourishes, and when the Transvaal suffers, then the rest of the country
is in dire straits.

Before the diamond and gold mines were discovered, South Africa was
practically a cipher in the commercial world.  The country exported
nothing, because it produced no more than was needed for home
consumption, and it could import nothing because it was too poor to pay
for imported goods.  The discovery of the diamond mines twenty-five
years ago caused the country to be in a flourishing condition for
several years, but the formation of the De Beers syndicate ended it by
monopolizing the industry, and consequently starving the individual
miners.  The country was about to relapse into its former condition when
the Transvaal mines were unearthed.  No syndicate having been strong
enough to consolidate all the mines and monopolize the industry, as was
done at Kimberley, and the Boers having resisted all efforts to defraud
them out of the valuable part of their country, as had happened to the
Orange Free State Boers, the Transvaal soon attained the paramount
position in the country, and has retained it since.

Until Lobengula, the mighty native chief of the regions west of the
Transvaal, was subdued and his country taken from him, the British
empire builders were limited in their field of endeavour, because the
Transvaal was the only pass through which an entry could be made into
the vast Central African region. When Lobengula’s power yielded to
British arms, the Transvaal became useless as the key to Central Africa,
but, by means of its great mineral wealth, became of so much greater and
more practical importance that it really was the entire South Africa.

The Witwatersrandt,[#] the narrow strip of gold-bearing soil which
extends for almost one hundred miles east and west through the
Transvaal, is the lever which moves the entire country.  In the twelve
years since its discovery it has been transformed from a grass-covered
plain into a territory that is filled with cities, towns, and villages.
Where the Boer farmer was accustomed to graze his cattle are hundreds of
shafts that lead to the golden caverns below, and the trail of the
ox-team is now the track of the locomotive and the electric cars.

[#] Witwatersrandt is the name given to the high ridge in the southern
part of the Transvaal, which is the watershed between the Atlantic and
Indian Oceans.  The word means "whitewater ridge," and is commonly
abridged to "The Randt."

The farmer’s cottage has developed into the city of Johannesburg, the
home of more than one hundred thousand persons and the metropolis of a
continent.  All the roads in South Africa lead to Johannesburg, and over
them travels every one who enters the country either for pleasure or
business.  The Transvaal is the only great producer of money, as well as
the only great consumer, and consequently all other communities in the
country are dependent upon it for whatever money it chooses to yield to
them.  The natural conditions are such, however, that, while the
Transvaal has almost all the money in South Africa, it is compelled to
support Cape Colony, Natal, and the Orange Free State like so many poor

The Transvaal, being an inland state, is the feeding ground of those
states which are located between it and the sea.  Every ton of foreign
freight that enters the Transvaal through Cape Colony is subject to high
customs duties and abnormal freight rates.  The railway and the customs
house being under the same jurisdiction, it will readily be seen to what
extent Cape Colony derives its revenues from the Transvaal commerce.
The Orange Free State again taxes the freight before allowing it to pass
through its territory.  The third tax, which makes the total far greater
than the original cost of the freight, is added by the Transvaal
Government.  Certain classes of freight shipped from Europe are taxed by
the steamship line, the Cape Colony Railroad, the Transvaal Railroad,
and with Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and Transvaal customs duties.

This vast expenditure is borne by the consumers in the Transvaal, who
are compelled to pay from three to five times as much for rent and food
as is paid in England or America. Cape Colony, in particular, has been
fattening upon the Transvaal.  The Government railroads in one year
showed a profit of more than eight per cent. upon the capital invested,
after accounting for the great losses incurred with unprofitable branch
lines, showing that the main line to the Transvaal must have produced a
profit of from fifteen to twenty per cent.  The customs duties collected
by Cape Colony on almost all freight in transit is five per cent. of its
value.  The inhabitants of the Transvaal are obliged to pay these large
amounts, and are so much poorer while the Cape Colony Government preys
upon them.  The Transvaal Government receives none of this revenue
except that from its customs, which is insufficient for its expenses.

After having grown wealthy in this manner, the colony of Natal has
recently become conscience-smitten, and allows freight to pass in
transit without taxing it with customs duties. The Government owns the
railroad, and is content with the revenue it secures from the Transvaal
freight without twice preying upon the republic.

Not only have the colonial governments profited by the existence of the
gold mines in the Transvaal, but the cities, towns, and individuals of
Cape Colony, Natal, and the Orange Free State have also had a period of
unparalleled prosperity.  Although the natural resources of the
Transvaal are very great, they have not been developed, and the other
colonies which have been developed along those lines are supplying the
deficit.  Almost every ounce of food consumed in the Transvaal arrives
from over the border.  Natal and Cape Colony supply the corn, wheat,
cattle, and sugar, and, having a monopoly of the supply close at hand,
can command any price for their commodities.

Industries have grown up in Natal and Cape Colony that are entirely
dependent upon the Transvaal for their existence, and their
establishment has been responsible for much of the recent growth of the
population of the colonies.  The large sugar factories and fruit farms
in Natal have the only market for their products in the Transvaal, and
the large farms and vineyards in Cape Colony supply the same demand.
The ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth, and East London, as well as Cape
Town, are important only as forwarding stations for goods going or
coming from the Transvaal, and but for that Godsend they would still be
the listless cities that they were before the discovery of gold on the
Randt.  Owing to the lack of raw material, the cities have no large
factories and industries such as are found even in small American towns,
and consequently the inhabitants are obliged to depend upon the traffic
with the interior.  Notwithstanding this condition of affairs, which
causes Natal and Cape Colony to be commercial weaklings, swayed by the
Transvaal tide, the colonists are continually harassing the Government
of the republic by laws and suggestions.  The republic’s mote is always
bigger than the colonies’ own, and the strife is never-ending.

The Transvaal is a country of such enormous value that it has attracted,
and will continue to attract, investors from all parts of the earth.
The gold production, in the opinion of the first experts on the Randt,
will rapidly reach one hundred and twenty-five million dollars a year.
It already yields one hundred million a year, or more than a third of
the world’s production, of which the United States is credited with less
than seventy-five million. The very fact of that production, and the
world being enriched to that extent, will provide the money for further
enterprises.  So long as the gold supply continues to appear
inexhaustible, and mines continue to pay dividends ranging from one to
one hundred and fifty per cent., so long will the Transvaal remain
supreme in the commerce and finance of South Africa.

                               CHAPTER II


The early history of the Boers is contemporaneous with that of the
progress of white man’s civilization at the Cape of Good Hope. The two
are interwoven to such an extent and for so long a time that it is
well-nigh impossible to separate them.  In order to give an unwearisome
history of the modern Boer’s ancestors, a general outline of the
settlement of the Cape will suffice.

The history of the Boers of South Africa has its parallel in that of the
early Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock and their descendants.  The
comparison favours the latter, it is true, but the conditions which
confronted the early Boers were so much less favourable that their lack
of realization may easily be accounted for.  In the early part of the
seventeenth century the progenitors of the Boers and the Pilgrims left
their continental homes to seek freedom from religious tyranny on
foreign shores.

The boat load of Pilgrims left England to come to America and found the
freedom they sought.  About the same time a small number of Dutch and
Huguenot refugees from France departed from Holland for similar reasons,
and decided to seek their fortunes and religious freedom at the Cape of
Good Hope. There they found the liberty they desired, and, like the
Pilgrims, assiduously set to work to clear the land and institute the
works of a civilized community.

The experiences of the two widely separated colonists appear painfully
similar, although to them they were undoubtedly preferable to the
persecutions inflicted upon them in their native countries.  The
Pilgrims were constantly harassed by the savage Indians; the Dutch and
Huguenots at the Cape had treacherous Hottentots and Bushmen to contend
against.  Although probably ignorant of each other’s existence, the two
parties conducted their affairs on similar lines and reached a common
result--a good local government and a reasonable state of material

The little South African settlement became of recognised importance in
the later years of the century, when it was made the halfway station of
all ships going to and returning from the East Indies.  The necessity
for such a station was the foundation of the growth of the settlement at
Table Bay, which is only a short distance from the southernmost
extremity of the continent, and the increase in population came as a
natural sequence.

The Dutch East India Settlement, as it was officially called, attracted
hundreds of immigrants.  The reports of a salubrious climate, good soil,
and, more than all, the promised religious toleration, were the
allurements that brought more immigrants from Holland, Germany, and
France.  Cape Town even then was one of the most important ports in the
world, owing to its great strategic value and to the fact that it was
about the only port where vessels making the long trip to the East
Indies could secure even the scantiest supplies. The provisioning of
ships was responsible, in no small degree, for the growth of Cape Town
and the coincident increase in immigration.

When all the available land between Table Mountain and Table Bay was
settled, the new arrivals naturally took up the land to the northward,
and drove the bellicose natives before them.  Like their Pilgrim
prototypes, they instituted military organizations to cope with the
natives, and they were not infrequently called upon for active duty
against them. It was owing to this savage disposition of the natives
that the settlers confined their endeavours to the vicinity of Table

When immigrants became more numerous and land increased in value, the
pilgrims of more daring disposition proceeded inland, and soon carried
the northeastern boundary of the settlement close to the Orange River.
The soil around Table Bay was extremely rich, but farther inland it
became barren and, by reason of the many lofty table-lands, almost
uninhabitable.  The Bushmen, too, were constantly attacking the
encroaching settlers, whose lives were filled with anything but thoughts
of safety, and high in the northern side of Table Mountain is to be seen
to-day an old-time fort that was erected by the settlers to ward off
natives’ attacks upon Cape Town.

The Dutch East India Company, which controlled the settlement, looked
with disfavour upon the enlargement of the original boundary of the
colony, and attempted to enforce laws preventing such action.  The
settlers in the outlying district felt that they owed no allegiance to
the laws of the colony in which they did not live, and refused to obey
the company’s mandates.  Then followed a long-drawn-out controversy
between the settlers and the East India Company, which resembled in many
respects the differences between England and her American colony.

It was during this period of oppression that the settlers of the Cape of
Good Hope first exhibited the betokening signs of a nation. The
communities of Hollanders, Germans, and French were constantly in such
close communication with one another that each lost its distinguishing
marks and adopted the new manners and customs which were their
collective coinage.  They suffered the same indignities at the hands of
the East India Company, and naturally their sympathies drew them into a
closer bond of fellowship, so that almost all national and racial
differences were wiped out.

Never in the history of South Africa were all things so favourable for
the establishment of a truly Afrikander nation and government. A leader
was all that was necessary to throw off the yoke of continental control,
but none was forthcoming.

At this propitious time the Napoleonic wars in Europe resulted so
disastrously for France that she was compelled to cede to England the
South African settlement, which had been acquired with the annexation of
Holland, and the settlers believed their hour of deliverance from
tyranny had arrived.  They hailed the coming of the British forces with
hopes for the improvement of their conditions, fondly believing that the
British could treat them with no greater severity than that which they
had suffered under the rule of the Dutch Company.

But their hopes were short-lived after the British garrison occupied
Cape Town, and they soon learned that they had escaped from one kind of
torment and oppression only to be burdened with another more harassing.
The British administrators found a friendly people, eager to become
British subjects, and, by exercise of undue authority, quickly
transformed them into desperate enemies of British rule. The American
colonies had but a short time before taught British colonial statesmen a
dire lesson, but it was not applied to the South African colony, and the
mistake has never been remedied.

Had the lesson learned in America been applied at that time, British
rule would now be supreme in South Africa, and the two republics which
are the eyesore of every Englishman in the country would probably never
have come into existence.  The British administrators ruled the colony
as they had been taught in London, and allowed no local impediments to
swerve them.  The result of this method of government was that the Boer
settlers, who had opinions of their own, became bitterly opposed to the
British rule.  The administrators attempted to coerce the Boers, and
formulated laws which were meat to the newly arrived English immigrants
and poison to the old settlers.

One of the indirect causes of the first Boer uprising against the
British Government at the Cape was the slavery question.  In the
Transvaal there is a national holiday--March 6th--to commemorate the
uprising of 1816, and it is known throughout the country as "Slagter’s
Nek Day."  To the Boers it is a day of sad memory, and the recurrence of
it does not soften their enmity of the English nation.

In October, 1815, a Boer farmer named Frederick Bezuidenhout was
summoned to appear in a local court to answer a charge of maltreating a
native.  The Boer refused to obey the summons, and, with a sturdy
native, awaited the arrival of the Government authorities in a cave near
his home.  A lieutenant named Rousseau and twenty soldiers found the
Boer and the native in the cave, and demanded their surrender.
Bezuidenhout refused to surrender, and he was almost instantly killed.

When the news of his death reached his friends they became greatly
aroused, and, arming themselves, vowed to expel the English "tyrants"
from the country.  The English soldiers captured five of the leaders,
and on March 6, 1816, hanged them on the same scaffold at Slagter’s Nek,
a name afterward given to the locality because of the bungling work of
the hangmen and the ghastly scenes presented when the scaffold fell to
the ground, bearing with it the half-dead prisoners.

The story of this event in the Boer history is as familiar to the Dutch
schoolboy as that of the Boston Tea-Party is to the American lad, and
its repetition never fails to arouse a Boer audience to the highest
degree of anger.

The primal cause of the departure of the Boers from Cape Colony, or the
"Great Trek,"[#] as it is popularly known, was the ill treatment which
they received from the British administration in connection with the
emancipation of their slaves and the depredations of hordes of thieving
native tribes.  The Boers had agreed about 1830 to emancipate all their
slaves, and they had received from the British Government promises of
ample compensation.

[#] To trek is to travel from place to place in ox-wagons. A trek
generally refers to an organized migration of settlers to another part
of the country.

After the slaves had been freed, and the majority of the Boer farmers
had become bankrupt by the proceeding, the Government offered less than
half the promised compensation. The Boers naturally and indignantly
refused to accept less than the amounts England had promised of her own
free will.  The Boers felt sorely aggrieved, but, being in the minority
in the colony, could secure no redress. Several years after the slaves
had been freed great hordes of thieving natives swept across the
frontiers, and in several months inflicted these losses upon the
farmers: 706 farmhouses partially or totally destroyed by fire; 60 farm
wagons destroyed; 5,713 horses, 112,000 head of cattle, and 162,000
sheep stolen.

The value of the property destroyed and stolen by the blacks amounted to
almost two million dollars.  Much of the live stock was recovered by the
Boer farmers, who had the boldness to pursue the robbers into their
mountain fastnesses, but the Government did not allow them to hold even
such cattle as they identified as having been driven away by the
natives, but compelled them to yield all to the Government.  When they
asked for compensation for restoring the property to the Government, the
Boers received such a promise from the governor, D’Urban; but Lord
Glenelg, the British colonial secretary, vetoed the suggestion, and
informed the Boers that their conduct in recovering the stolen property
was outrageous and unworthy of English subjects.

Even Boer disposition, inured as it was to all kinds of unrighteousness,
could not fail to take notice of this crowning insult.  They consulted
among themselves, and it was decided to leave the colony where they had
suffered so many wrongs.  Accordingly, in the spring of 1835 they
sacrificed their farms at whatever prices they could secure for them,
and announced to Lieutenant-Governor Stockenstrom their intention of
departing to another section of the country.

To be certain that they would be free from British interference, the
Boer leaders applied to the lieutenant-governor for his opinion on the
subject, and he informed them that they were free to leave the colony,
and that as soon as they stepped across the border England ceased to be
their master.  Later, Englishmen have sagely declared that the Boers
having once been British subjects always remained such, whether they
lived on British or Transvaal soil.  The objects of the expedition where
set forth in a document published in 1837 by Piet Retief, its leader.
It reads, in part, as follows:

"We despair of saving the colony from those evils which threaten it by
the turbulent and dishonest conduct of native vagrants who are allowed
to infest the country in every part; nor do we see any prospect of peace
or happiness for our children in a country thus distracted by internal

"We complain of the continual system of plunder which we have for years
endured from the Kaffirs and other coloured classes, and particularly by
the last invasion of the colony, which has desolated the frontier
districts and ruined most of the inhabitants.

"We complain of the unjustifiable odium which has been cast upon us by
interested and dishonest persons under the name of religion, whose
testimony is believed in England, to the exclusion of all evidence in
our favour, and we can foresee as a result of this prejudice nothing but
the total ruin of the country.

"We are now leaving the fruitful land of our birth, in which we have
suffered enormous losses and continual vexations, and are about to enter
a strange and dangerous territory; but we go with a firm reliance on an
all-seeing, just, and merciful God, whom we shall always fear and humbly
endeavour to obey."

The first "trekking" party, or the "Voor-trekkers," consisted of about
two hundred persons under the leadership of Andries Hendrik Potgieter.
These crossed the Orange River and settled in that part of the country
now known as the Orange Free State.  This party had many battles with
the natives, but succeeded in securing a level although not particularly
arable stretch of land near Thaba’ntshu for settlement.

In August, 1836, after remaining a short time in the neighbourhood of
Thaba’ntshu, a number of the settlers became dissatisfied with their
location and "trekked" farther north toward the Vaal River, which is the
present northern boundary of the Orange Free State.  Before they had
proceeded a great distance they were attacked by the Matabele natives
under Chief Moselekatse, and fifty of their number were slain.

When the news of the slaughter reached the main body of the settlers a
"laager," or improvised fort, was formed by locking together the fifty
big transport wagons that had been brought from Cape Colony.  Behind
these the men, women, and children fought side by side against the
innumerable Matabeles, and after a desperate battle succeeded in
defeating them.  The natives captured and drove away about ten thousand
head of cattle and sheep--almost the entire wealth of the settlers.

The settlement, however, increased rapidly in population, and, several
years after the first Boers arrived there, application was made for
English protection.  It was granted to them, but was withdrawn again in
1854, when the British colonial secretary decided that England had more
African land than was desirable. The Boers begged to be retained as an
English colony, but in vain, and the fifteen thousand inhabitants were
compelled to establish a government of their own, which is to-day
embodied in that of the Orange Free State.

Since that memorable day in 1854, when the British flag was hauled down
from the flagstaff at the Bloemfontein fort, both the British and the
Boers have had revulsions of feeling.  The British regret that their
flag is absent from the fort, and the Boers will yield their lives
before they ever allow it to be raised again.

The second expedition, and the one which comprised the founders of the
South African Republic, departed from Cape Colony in the fall of 1835,
with no fixed destination in view, but with a general idea to settle
somewhere outside the realm of British influence.  The "trekkers" were
under the leadership of Piet Retief, a man of considerable wealth and
executive ability, who determined to lead them across the untravelled
Dragon Mountain, in the east of the colony.

In this party were three families of Krugers, and among them the present
President of the South African Republic, then a boy of ten years.  After
many skirmishes with the natives, Retief and his followers reached Port
Natal, the site of the present beautiful city of Durban, where they were
welcomed by the members of the English settlement who had established
themselves on the edge of Zululand as an independent organization.  The
handful of British immigrants were overjoyed to have this addition to
the forces which were necessary to hold the natives in subjection, and
they induced the majority of the Boers to settle in the vicinity of Port

Retief and his leaders were pleased with the location and the richness
of the soil, and finally determined to remain there if the native chiefs
could be induced to enter into treaties transferring all rights to the
soil. Dingaan, a warlike native, was the chief of the tribes surrounding
Port Natal, and to him Retief applied for the grant of territory which
was to be the future home of the several thousand "trekkers" who had by
that time journeyed over Dragon Mountain.  Retief and his party of
seventy, and thirty native servants, reached Dingaan’s capital in
January, 1838, and took with them as a peace-offering several hundred
head of cattle which had been stolen from Dingaan by another tribe and
recovered by Retief.

Dingaan treated the Boers with great courtesy, and profusely thanked
them for recovering his stolen cattle.  After several interviews he
ceded to the Boers the large territory from the Tugela to the Umzimvubu
River, from the Dragon Mountain to the sea.  This territory included
almost the entire colony of Natal, as now constituted, and was one of
the richest parts of South Africa.

On February 4, 1838, when the treaty had been signed and the Boer
leaders were being entertained by the chief in his hut, a typical
massacre by the natives was enacted.  At a signal from Dingaan, which is
recorded as having been "Bulala abatagati" ("Slay the white devils!"),
the Zulus sprang upon the unarmed Boers and massacred the seventy men
with assegais and clubs before they could make the slightest resistance.

Frenzied by the sight of the white men’s blood, the Zulu chieftain
gathered his hordes in warlike preparation, and determined to drive all
the white settlers out of the country.  A large "impi," or war party,
was despatched to attack and exterminate the remaining whites in their
camps on the Tugela and Bushmans Rivers.  These latter, while anxiously
awaiting Retief’s return, were in no fear of hostilities, and the men
for the most part were absent from their camps on hunting trips.

The "impi" swept down upon the camps by night, and murder of the foulest
description prevailed.  The Zulus spared none; men, women, and children,
cattle, goats, sheep, and dogs--all fell under the ruthless assegais in
the hands of the treacherous savages.  In the confusion and darkness a
few of the Boers escaped, among them having been the Pretorius and
Rensburg families, which have since been high in the councils of the
Boer nation.  Fourteen men and boys took refuge on a hill now called
Rensburg Kop, and held their assailants at bay while they improvised a

[Illustration: A band of Zulu warriors in war costume.]

When their ammunition was almost expended and their spirit exhausted, a
white man on horseback was observed in the rear of the Zulu warriors.
The hard-pressed emigrants signalled to him, and his ready mind,
strained to the utmost tension, grasped the situation at a glance.  He
fearlessly turned his horse and rode to the abandoned wagons, almost a
mile away, to secure some of the ammunition that had been left behind by
the Boers when they were attacked by the Zulus. He loaded himself and
his horse with powder and ball from the wagons, and with a courage that
has never been surpassed rode headlong through the Zulu battle lines and
bore to the beleaguered Boers the means of their subsequent salvation.
That night the fearless rider assisted the fourteen Boers in routing the
Zulus, and when morning dawned not a single living Zulu was to be seen.

The hero of that ride was Marthinus Oosthuyse, and his fame in South
Africa rivals that of Paul Revere in American history. With the coming
of the day the scattered emigrants congregated in a large "laager," and
for several days were engaged in beating off the attacks of the
unsatiated Zulus.  Wives, daughters, and sweethearts served the
ammunition to the men, and with hatchets and clubs aided them in the
uneven struggle.

After the Zulus’ spirit had been broken and they commenced to retreat,
the gallant pioneers, their strength now increased by the addition of
many stragglers, pursued their late assailants and killed hundreds of
them.  The town of Weenen, in Natal, takes its name from the weeping of
the Boers for their dead. Rightly was it named, for no less than six
hundred of the emigrants were massacred by the Zulus in the
neighbourhood of the present site of the town.

While this massacre was in progress Dingaan and another part of his vast
and well-trained army set out to wreak destruction upon the main body of
the Boers which was still encamped upon the Dragon Mountain waiting for
the return of Retief and his party. When the news of the massacre
reached the main body, Pieter Uys and Potgieter hastened to re-enforce
their distressed countrymen.  They were not molested on the way, and had
ample time to marshal all the Boer forces in the country and make
preparations for vengeance upon the savages.

A force of three hundred and fifty men was raised, and this set out in
the month of April, 1838, to attack Dingaan in his stronghold.  The Zulu
army was encountered near the King’s "Great Place."  The small army of
Boers rode to within twenty yards of the van of the Zulus and then
opened a steady and deadly fire.  The savage weapons were no match for
the poor yet superior firearms of the Boers, and in a short time
Dingaan’s army was in full retreat.  In pursuing them the Boers became
separated and had great difficulty in fighting their way back to the
main camp.

The story of how Pieter Uys was wounded by an assegai, and how his son,
in endeavouring to save him, was pierced by a spear, is one of the
noblest examples of heroism in the annals of South Africa.  There were
several more skirmishes with the Zulus, but the battle that broke the
strength of the tribe was fought on December 16, 1838.  There were but
four hundred and sixty Boers in the army that attacked Dingaan’s army of
twelve thousand, but the attack was so minutely planned and so admirably
executed that the smaller force overwhelmed the greater and won the
victory, which is annually observed on "Dingaan’s Day."

The Boers lay fortified in a "laager," and with unusual fortitude
withstood the terrific onslaughts of the thousands of Zulus.  Finally a
cavalry charge of two hundred Boers created a panic in the Zulu army,
and they retreated precipitously toward the Blood River, which was so
named because its waters literally ran red with the life fluid of four
hundred warriors who were shot on its banks or while attempting to ford
it.  On that day three thousand Zulus perished, and Dingaan made his
ruin still more complete by burning his capital and hiding with his
straggling army in the wilderness beyond the Tugela River.

After these grave experiences the Boer settlers believed themselves to
be the rightful owners of the country which they had first sought to
obtain by peaceful methods and afterward been compelled to take by
sterner ones.  But when they reached Port Natal they found that the
British Government had taken possession of the country, and had issued a
manifesto that the immigrant Boers were to be treated as a conquered
race, and that their arms and ammunition should be confiscated.

To the Boers, who had just made the country valuable by clearing it of
the Zulus, this high-handed action of the British Government had the
appearance of persecution, and they naturally resented it, although they
were almost powerless to oppose it by force of arms.

The Boer leader, Commandant-General Pretorius, who had been chosen by
the first "Volksraad"--a governing body elected while the journey from
Cape Colony to Natal was being made--led a number of his countrymen to
the outskirts of Durban and formed a camp near that of the British
garrison.  He sent a message to Captain Smith, the commander of the
British force of several hundred soldiers, and demanded the surrender of
his position. In reply Smith led one hundred and fifty of his soldiers
in a moonlight attack on the Boer forces and was completely routed.

The Boers then besieged Durban for twenty-six days and killed many of
the English soldiers, but on the twenty-seventh day a schooner load of
soldiers from Cape Colony augmented the forces of Captain Smith, and
Pretorius was compelled to relinquish his efforts to secure control of
the territory that his countrymen had a short time previously won from
the Zulus.

Disheartened by their successive failures to secure a desirable part of
the country wherein they might settle, the Boers again "trekked"
northward over the Dragon Mountain.  There they occupied the territory
south of the Vaal River which had a short time previously been deserted
by Potgieter and his party, who had journeyed northward with the
intention of joining the Portuguese colony at Delagoa Bay, on the Indian

These pilgrims were attacked by the deadly fever of the Portuguese
country, and after remaining a short time in that region moved again and
settled in different localities in the northern part of the territory
now included in the South African Republic.  Moselekatse and his
Matabele warriors having been driven out of the country by the other
"trekking" parties, the extensive region north of the Vaal River was
then in undisputed possession of the Boers.

The farmers who left Cape Colony in 1835 and 1836 in different parties
and after various vicissitudes settled across the Vaal were less than
sixteen thousand in number, and were scattered over a large area of
territory.  The nature of the country and the enmity of the leaders of
the parties prevented a close union among them, although a legislative
assembly, called a "Volksraad," was established after much disorder.
The four principal "trekking" parties had sought four of the most
fertile spots in the newly discovered territory, and established the
villages of Utrecht, Lydenburg, Potchefstrom, and Zoutpansberg.

When the Volksraad was found to be inadequate to meet the requirements
of the situation these villages were transformed into republics, each
with a government independent of the others.  The government of the
limited areas of land occupied by the four republics was fairly
successful, but the surrounding territory became a practical
no-man’s-land, where roamed the worst criminals of the country and
hundreds of detached bands of marauding natives.

The Boers imposed a labour tax upon all the natives who lived in the
territory claimed by the four republics, and for a period of ten years
the taxes were paid without a murmur. About that time, however, the
native tribes had recovered from the great losses inflicted upon them by
the emigrant farmers, and they were numerous enough to make an armed
resistance to the demands of the governments. White women and children
were massacred and property was destroyed at every opportunity.

For purposes of self-preservation the four republics decided to unite
the governments under one head, and, after many disputes and disorders,
succeeded, in May, 1864, in forming a single republic, with Marthinus
Wessel Pretorius as President, and Paul Kruger as commandant-general of
the army.

Ten months after the organization of the republic the Barampula tribe
and a number of lawless Europeans rebelled against the authority of the
Government, and Kruger was obliged to attempt their subjugation.  Owing
to a lack of ammunition and funds, he failed to end the rebellion, and
as a result the Boers were compelled to withdraw from a large part of
the territory they had occupied. Up to this time the Boers had not been
interfered with by the Government of Cape Colony, but another tribal
rebellion that followed the Barampula disturbance led to the
establishment of a court of arbitration, in which the English governor
of Natal figured as umpire.

The result of the arbitration was that the rebellious tribes were
awarded their independence, and that a large part of the Boers’
territory was taken from them.  The emigrant farmers who had settled the
country maintained that President Pretorius was responsible for the loss
of territory and compelled him to resign, after which the Rev. Thomas
François Burgers, a shrewd but just clergyman-lawyer, was elected head
of the republic. Burgers believed that the republic was destined to
become a power of world-wide magnitude, and instantly used his position
to attain that object.  He went to Holland to secure money, immigrants,
and teachers for the state schools. He secured half a million dollars
with which to build a railroad from his seat of government to Delagoa
Bay, and sent the railway material to Lourenzo Marques, where the rust
is eating it to-day.

When Burgers returned to Pretoria, the capital of the republic, he found
that Chief Secoceni, of the big Bapedi tribe, had defied the power of
his Government, and was murdering the white immigrants in cold blood.
Burgers led his army in person to punish Secoceni, and captured one of
the native strongholds, but was so badly defeated afterward that his
soldiers became disheartened and decided to return to their homes.

Heavy war taxes were levied, and when the farmers were unable to pay
them the Government was impotent to conduct its ordinary affairs, much
less quell the rebellion of the natives.  The Boers were divided among
themselves on the subject of further procedure, and a civil war was
imminent.  The British Government, hearing of the condition of the
republic’s affairs, sent Sir Theophilus Shepstone, who had held a minor
office at Natal, to Pretoria with almost limitless powers.  He called
upon President Burgers and stated to him that his mission was to annex
the country to England, and gave as his reasons for such a proceeding
the excuse that the unsettled condition of the native races demanded it.

Burgers pointed out to Shepstone that the native races had not harmed
the English colonies, and that a new constitution, modelled after that
of America, with a standing police force of two hundred mounted men,
would put an end to all the republic’s troubles with the natives.
Shepstone, however, had the moral support of a small party of Boers who
were dissatisfied with Burgers’ administration, and on April 12, 1877,
declared the republic a possession of the British Empire.  Burgers
retired from the presidency under protest, and Shepstone established a
form of government that for a short time proved acceptable to many of
the Boers.  He renamed the country Transvaal, and added a considerable
military force.

But the Boers were not accustomed to foreign interference in their
affairs, and twice sent deputations to England to have the government of
the country returned to their own hands.  Paul Kruger was a member of
both deputations, which showed ample proof that the annexation was made
without the consent of the majority of the Boers, but the English
Colonial Office refused to withdraw the British flag from the Transvaal.

Sir Owen Lanyon, a man of no tact and an inordinate hater of the Boers,
succeeded Shepstone as administrator of the Transvaal in 1879, and in a
short time aroused the anger of his subjects to such an extent that an
armed resistance to the British Government was decided upon.  The open
rebellion was delayed a short time by the election of Mr. Gladstone as
Prime Minister of England, and, as he had publicly declared the
righteousness of the Boer cause, the people of the Transvaal looked to
him for their independence.  When Mr. Gladstone refused to interfere in
the Transvaal affairs the Boers held a meeting on the present site of
Krugersdorp, and elected Paul Kruger, M. W. Pretorius, and Pieter J.
Joubert a triumvirate to conduct the government.

At this meeting each Boer, holding a stone in his hand, took an oath
before the Almighty that he would shed the last drop of blood, if need
were, for his beloved country.  The stones were cast into one great
heap, over which a tall monument was erected several years afterward.
The monument is annually made the rendezvous of large numbers of Boers,
who there renew the solemn pledges to protect their country from

On the national holiday, Dingaan’s Day, December 16, 1880, the
four-colour flag of the republic was again raised at the temporary
capital at Heidelberg.  The triumvirate sent a manifesto to Sir Owen
Lanyon explaining the causes of discontent, and ending with this
significant sentence, which has ever remained a motto of the individual

"We declare before God, who knows the heart, and before the world, that
the people of the South African Republic have never been subjects of Her
Majesty, and never will be."

Lanyon cursed the men who brought the manifesto to him, and straightway
proceeded to execute the authority he possessed.  His soldiers fired on
a party of Boers proceeding toward Potchefstrom, where they intended to
have the proclamation of independence printed. The Boers defeated the
soldiers the same day the Transvaal flag was hoisted at Heidelberg, and
the war, which had been impending for several months, was suddenly
precipitated before either of the contestants was prepared.

Lanyon ordered the garrison of two hundred and sixty-four men at
Leydenburg, under Colonel Anstruther, to proceed to Pretoria, the
English capital.  At Bronkhorst Spruit, Colonel Anstruther’s force was
met by an equal number of Boers, who immediately attacked him.  The
engagement was brief but terrible, and the English forces were compelled
to surrender.

Lanyon then sent to Natal for assistance, and Sir George Colley and a
body of more than a thousand trained soldiers and volunteers set out to
assist the English in the Transvaal, who for the most part were besieged
in the different towns.  Commandant-General Pieter Joubert, with a force
of about fifteen hundred Boers, went forward into Natal for the purpose
of meeting Colley, and occupied a narrow passage in the mountains known
as Laing’s Nek.  Colley attempted to force the pass on January 28, 1881,
but the Boers inflicted such a heavy loss upon his forces that he was
compelled to retreat to Mount Prospect and await the arrival of fresh
troops from England.

Eleven days after the battle of Laing’s Nek, General Colley and three
hundred men, while patrolling the road near the Ingogo River, were
attacked by a body of Boers under Commandant Nicholaas Smit.  The Boers
killed and wounded two thirds of the English force engaged, and
compelled the others to retreat in disorder.  Up to this time the Boers
had lost seventeen men killed and twenty-eight wounded, while the
British loss was two hundred and fifty killed and three hundred and
fifty wounded.

During the night of February 26th General Colley made a move which was
responsible for one of the greatest displays of bravery the world has
ever seen.  The fight at Majuba Hill was won by the Boers against
greater odds than have been encountered by any volunteer force in modern
times, and is an example of the courage, bravery, and absolute
confidence of the Boers when they believe they are divinely guided.

Between the camps of General Colley and Commandant-General Joubert lay
Majuba Hill, a plateau with precipitous sides and a perfectly level top
about twenty-five hundred feet above the camps.  In point of resemblance
the hill was a huge inverted tub whose summit could only be reached by a
narrow path. General Colley and six hundred men, almost all of whom were
trained soldiers fresh from England, ascended the narrow path by
moonlight, and when the sun rose in the morning were able to look from
the summit of the hill and see the Boer camp in the valley.

[Illustration: Majuba Hill, where one hundred and fifty Boer volunteers
defeated six hundred British soldiers.]

The plan of campaign was that the regiments that had been left behind in
camp should attempt to force the pass through Laing’s Nek, and that the
force on Majuba Hill should make a new attack on the Boers and in that
manner crush the enemy in the pass.  So positive were the soldiers of
the success that awaited their plans that they looked down from their
lofty position into the enemy’s lines and speculated on the number of
Boers that would live to tell the story of the battle.

It was Sunday morning, and had the distance between the two armies been
less, the soldiers on the hill might have heard the sound of many voices
singing hymns of praise and the prayers that were being offered by the
Boers kneeling in the valley.  The English held their enemies in the
palm of their hand, it seemed, and with a few heavy guns they could have
killed them by the score. The sides of the hill were so steep that it
did not enter the minds of the English that the Boers would attempt to
ascend except by the same path which they had traversed, and that was
impossible, because the path leading from the base was occupied by the
remaining English forces.

The idea that the Boers would climb from terrace to terrace, from one
bush to another, and gain the summit in that manner, occurred to no one.
Before there was any stir in the Boers’ camp the English soldiers stood
on the edge of the summit and, shaking their fists in exultation,
challenged the enemy: "Come up here, you beggars!"

The Boers soon discovered the presence of the English on the hill, and
the camp presented such an animated scene that the English soldiers were
led to imagine that consternation had seized the Boers, and that they
were preparing for a retreat.

A short time afterward, when the Boers marched toward the base of the
hill, the illusion was dispelled; and still later, when one hundred and
fifty volunteers from the Boer army commenced to ascend the sides of the
hill, the former spirit of braggadocio which characterized the British
soldier resolved itself into a feeling of nervousness.  During the
forenoon the British soldiers fired at such of the climbing Boers as
they could see, but the Boers succeeded in dodging from one stone to
another, so that only one of their number was killed in the ascent.

When the one hundred and fifty Boers reached the summit of the hill,
after an arduous climb of more than five hours, they lay behind rocks at
the edge and commenced a hot fire at the English soldiers, who had
retreated into the centre of the plateau, thirty yards distant.  The
English soldiers had been ordered to fix their bayonets and were
prepared to charge, but the order was never given.  A fresh party of
Boers had reached the summit and threatened to flank the English, who,
having lost many of their officers and scores of men, became wildly

Several minutes after General Colley was killed, the British soldiers
who had escaped from the storm of bullets broke for the edge of the
summit and allowed themselves to drop and roll down the sides of the
hill.  When the list of casualties was completed it was found that the
Boers had killed ninety-two, wounded one hundred and thirty-four, and
taken prisoners fifty-nine soldiers of the six hundred who ascended the
hill.  The loss on the Boers’ side was one killed and five wounded.

A short time after the fight at Majuba Hill an armistice was arranged
between Sir Evelyn Wood, the successor of General Colley, and the
Triumvirate, and this led to the partial restoration of the independence
of the South African Republic.  By the terms of peace concluded between
the two Governments, the suzerainty of Great Britain was imposed as one
of the conditions, but this was afterward modified so that the Transvaal
became absolutely independent in everything relating to its internal
affairs. Great Britain, however, retained the right to veto treaties
which the Transvaal Government might make with foreign countries.

                              CHAPTER III

                      THE JOHANNESBURG GOLD FIELDS

South Africa has many stories concerning the early history of the
Witwatersrandt gold district, so that it is well-nigh impossible to
discriminate between the fiction and the truth. One of the most probable
stories has it that the former owner of the Randt region died recently
in an almshouse in Surrey, England. He had a marvellous war record,
having fought with the British army in the Crimea, at Sebastopol, in the
Indian Mutiny, Zululand, and at Majuba Hill.  With his savings of four
thousand dollars he is said to have purchased fifteen thousand acres of
land in the southern part of the Transvaal.  He was obliged to forfeit
his property to the Boer Government in 1882, because he had taken up
arms against the Boers when they were fighting for their independence.

The actual discovery of gold in the Transvaal territory is credited to a
German named Mauch, who travelled through that part of the country early
in the century.  He returned to Berlin with wonderful reports of the
gold he had found, and attempted to enlist capital to work the mines.
Whether his reports were not credited, or whether the Germans feared the
natives, is not recorded, but Mauch is not heard of again in connection
with the later history of the country.  In 1854 a Dutchman named Jan
Marais, who had a short time before returned from the Australian gold
fields, prospected in the Transvaal, and found many evidences of gold.
The Boers, fearing that their land would be overrun with gold-seekers,
paid five hundred pounds to Marais, and sent him home after extracting a
promise that he would not reveal his secret to any one.

It was not until 1884 that England heard of the presence of gold in
South Africa.  A man named Fred Stuben, who had spent several years in
the country, spread such marvellous reports of the underground wealth of
the Transvaal that only a short time elapsed before hundreds of
prospectors and miners left England for South Africa.  When the first
prospectors discovered auriferous veins of wonderful quality on a farm
called Sterkfontein, the gold boom had its birth.  It required the lapse
of only a short time for the news to reach Europe, America, and
Australia, and immediately thereafter that vast and widely scattered
army of men and women which constantly awaits the announcement of new
discoveries of gold was set in motion toward the Randt.

The Indian, Russian, American, and Australian gold fields were deserted,
and the steamships and sailing vessels to South Africa were overladen
with men and women of all degrees and nationalities.  The journey to the
Randt was expensive, dangerous, and comfortless, but before a year had
passed almost twenty thousand persons had crossed the deserts and the
plains and had settled on claims purchased from the Boers.  In December,
1885, the first stamp mill was erected for the purpose of crushing the
gneiss rock in which the gold lay hidden. This enterprise marks the real
beginning of the gold fields of the Randt, which now yield one third of
the world’s total product of the precious metal.  The advent of
thousands of foreigners was a boon to the Boers, who owned the large
farms on which the auriferous veins were located.  Options on farms that
were of little value a short time before were sold at incredible
figures, and the prices paid for small claims would have purchased farms
of thousands of acres two years before.

In July, 1886, the Government opened nine farms to the miners, and all
have since become the best properties on the Randt.  The names by which
the farms were known were retained by the mines which were located upon
them afterward, and, as they give an idea of the nomenclature of the
country, are worth repetition: Langlaagte, Dreifontein, Rantjeslaagte,
Doornfontein, Vogelstruitsfontein, Paardeplaats, Turffontein,
Elandsfontein, and Roodepoort.

The railroad from Cape Town extended only as far north as the diamond
mines at Kimberley, and the remainder of the distance, about five
hundred miles, had to be traversed with ox-teams or on foot; but the
gold-seekers yielded to no impediments, and marched in bodies of
hundreds to the new fields.  The machinery necessary to operate the
mines and extract the gold from the rocks, as well as every ounce of
food and every inch of lumber, was dragged overland by ox-teams, and the
vast plains that had seen naught but the herds of Boer farmers and the
wandering tribes of natives were quickly transformed into scenes of
unparalleled activity.

On the Randt the California scenes of ’49 were being re-enacted.  Tents
and houses of sheet iron were erected with picturesque lack of beauty
and uniformity, and during the latter part of 1886 the community had
reached such proportions that the Government marked off a township and
called it Johannesburg.  The Government, which owned the greater part of
the land, held three sales of building lots, or "stands," as they are
called in the Transvaal, and realized more than three hundred thousand
dollars from the sales.  The prices of stands measuring fifty by one
hundred feet ranged from one dollar to one thousand dollars. Millions
were secured in England and Europe for the development of the mines, and
the individual miner sold his claims to companies with unlimited
capital.  The incredibly large dividends that were realized by some of
the investors led to too heavy investments in the Stock Exchange in
1889, and a panic resulted.  Investors lost thousands of pounds, and for
several months the future of the gold fields appeared to be most gloomy.
The opening of the railway to Johannesburg and the re-establishment of
stock values caused a renewal of confidence, and the growth and
development of the Randt was imbued with renewed vigour.

Owing to the Boers’ lack of training and consequent inability to share
in the development of the gold fields, the new industry remained almost
entirely in the hands of the newcomers, the Uitlanders, and two totally
different communities were created in the republic. The Uitlanders, who,
in 1890, numbered about one hundred thousand, lived almost exclusively
in Johannesburg and the suburbs along the Randt.  The Boers, having
disposed of their farms and lands on the Randt, were obliged to occupy
the other parts of the republic, where they could follow their pastoral
and agricultural pursuits.

The natural contempt which the Englishmen, who composed the majority of
the Uitlander population, always have for persons and races not their
intellectual or social equals, soon created a gulf between the Boers and
the newcomers.  This line of cleavage was extended when the newcomers
attempted to obtain a foothold in the politics of the country. The
Boers, who had been suddenly outnumbered three to one, naturally
resented the interference, especially as it came from persons who had no
desire to become permanent residents of the country, and who wanted a
voice in the conduct of the national affairs only as a means to attain
their own ends, without caring about the welfare of the entire republic.

The Uitlanders had many good and honest men among them, but the majority
consisted of speculators, cutthroats, "I.D.B.,"[#] and such others as
were exiled from their native lands by reason of crimes they had
committed. Their cry was "Gold!" and honour and justice were cast to the
winds.  The Boer Government was blamed for famine, drought, and the
locusts, and everything was done to embarrass those who were trying to
administer justice to Boer and Uitlander alike.

[#] Illicit Diamond Buyers.  Every diamond mined in the country must be
registered with the Government, and may not be sold except by a licensed
broker.  Transgression of this law is called illicit diamond buying or
selling, and is punishable with long imprisonment on the Breakwater at
Cape Town.

One example is sufficient to show the conduct of the Uitlanders toward
the Boers, but thousands could be given.  President Kruger journeyed to
Johannesburg in order to learn from the newcomers what his government
might do to improve the industry.  A crowd met Mr. Kruger, and, after
rude remarks on his personal appearance, sang "God save the Queen."
Later the Transvaal flag was torn down from a staff in front of the
house in which the President was conferring with leading residents of
the city.  The Transvaal Government. on the other hand, sought by all
means in its power to secure the good-will of the newcomers, and
frequent conferences between leading men of the Randt and the officials
of the Government were held with that object in view.  The Second
Volksraad was created, so that the Uitlanders might have a voice in the
Government, and many reforms, which at the time were warmly approved by
the Johannesburg Chamber of Mines, representing the mining population,
were instituted, and would have been completed, satisfactory to all, had
the Uitlanders waited, instead of plotting for the overthrow of the

When the disturbing element of the Uitlander population found that their
efforts to govern the Randt according to their own desires were
fruitless, Cecil J. Rhodes, then Premier of Cape Colony and at the
height of his influence, began his campaign for the control of the Boer
territory.  He brought to bear all the power at his command to harass
the Pretorian Government, and tried in a score of ways to induce the
colonial secretary to interfere in behalf of the Uitlanders, even going
to the extent of offering to Secretary for the Colonies Chamberlain the
payment of an equal share in the cost of a war with the Transvaal.

Whether Mr. Rhodes’s real object in attempting to secure possession of
the Transvaal was that he and other capitalists might consolidate the
mines and limit the output, as he had done at Kimberley, or whether his
earth-hunger impelled him, is known only to himself.  Whatever the
reason, he planned like a professional South American revolutionist, and
by his boldness caused the amateur revolutionists of the Randt to gasp.

The opening prelude of the Jameson raid was a mass meeting held in
November, 1895, by the Johannesburg Chamber of Mines, which had always
shown marked friendliness to the Pretorian Government.  The president of
the organization, Lionel Phillips, created a sensation by reading a mass
of alleged grievances against the Government, as formulated by an
organization called the "Transvaal National Union," and threatening
that, unless the Government gave immediate remedy, revolutionary methods
would be adopted in order to obtain redress.  The plot had begun its
evolution, and its success was to be attained in a certain well-defined

The speech of Mr. Phillips was to serve as Johannesburg’s ultimatum to
the Boers.  If the Government gave no heed, the revolutionary party was
to seize Johannesburg by force of arms, declare a provisional government
of the country, and march against Pretoria. Once in possession of the
seat of government, it was planned to lay their grievances before the
world, and ask that the future government of the country be placed in
the hands of the majority of the white population.  It was believed that
if the plans were thoroughly perfected the plot could be carried to a
successful conclusion without the firing of a single shot.  In order to
be amply prepared in case the Boers should make an unexpected resistance
to the revolutionists, it had been arranged with Dr. Leander Starr
Jameson, who was then in charge of the troops of Mr. Rhodes’s British
South Africa Company, to ride across the border to Johannesburg, a
journey of several days, and assist in the engagement.  The revolution
was perfectly planned, and it would have required only half an effort on
the part of a Haytien revolutionist to carry it out successfully; but
Mr. Rhodes, the brains of the movement, was in Cape Town, and unable to
do anything more practical than imagine that his plans were being
followed.  By common agreement among the revolutionists, Dr. Jameson and
Mr. Rhodes, it was decided to have the uprising in Johannesburg about
the 28th of December, and everything had been planned accordingly.  From
Kimberley Mr. Rhodes’s De Beers Company had sent two thousand
rifles--the Boers say twenty thousand--one hundred and twenty-five cases
of ammunition, and three Maxims in oil casks across the border into
Johannesburg, where the Uitlanders were secretly organizing and drilling
military companies.  In the British territory Dr. Jameson and his six
hundred troopers were polishing their rifles and Maxims, and waiting for
the day when they should march toward Johannesburg.

Under pretence that they were to be used in connection with a new stage
line to be opened, "canteens," or feeding places, had been established
several miles apart on the road over which the troopers were supposed to
enter Johannesburg, and all had been bountifully stocked with provisions
for soldier and horse.  The Government at Pretoria had been led to
believe that Johannesburg was armed to the teeth, and that nothing could
prevent the dissolution of the republic.

When the 28th day of December arrived, the well-advertised revolution
had not materialized, and nothing more martial was to be seen than
several regiments of civilians drilling in the streets.  Thousands of
men, women, and children, fearing that the Boers might attack the city
at any moment, besieged the railway station, and fought like so many
uncivilized beings to board the trains leaving for Natal and Cape
Colony.  Among those who displayed the greatest eagerness to escape from
the city were many wealthy Englishmen, who several days before had been
the most rabid sympathizers of the revolutionary movement. The city was
in the hands of the Uitlanders, because the handful of Transvaal police,
commonly called "Zarps," had been withdrawn by the Boer authorities, who
depended on the power of the guns in the fort on the outskirts of the
town to quell any disturbance that might be made.  There was no actual
revolution, because the Uitlanders were divided among themselves as to
the course to be pursued.  The Englishmen, as soon as the success of the
movement seemed so close at hand, aroused the enmity of the other
Uitlanders by asking them to consent to the raising of the British flag
as soon as the Boer Republic had been obliterated.  This campaign placed
the revolution in an entirely different light to those of the Uitlanders
who had no particular liking for England, and the result was that the
revolutionary party was divided into two camps.  On the side of the
Englishmen were the Uitlanders from British colonies--Scotchmen,
Irishmen, Welshmen, Canadians, Australians, and all the Americans who
were employed by British mines. In the other camp were the Germans,
Frenchmen, Scandinavians, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, and Finlanders.

The majority of the Americans felt that a revolution was unjustifiable,
although some of the grievances complained of were undoubtedly just, and
ranged themselves on the anti-English side.  Another reason for the
Americans’ attitude at that time was President Cleveland’s warlike
message to England on the Venezuelan boundary dispute.  The real
American patriot is found ten thousand miles from home, and those in
America who were excited when they heard of England’s attempt to grasp a
swamp in far-away Venezuela can readily imagine the spirit of the
Americans in the Transvaal who saw England attempting to steal a
valuable country without the shadow of an excuse.

The following day, the 29th of December, Dr. Jameson and his troopers,
believing that the revolutionists at Johannesburg had seized the city,
as it had been planned they should do, crossed the border into the
Transvaal. Messages had been sent to Mr. Rhodes and others of the
leaders, stating the time of the departure from British territory and
the time set for their arrival in Johannesburg.  Several troopers were
sent ahead to cut the telegraph wires, so that no news of the expedition
should reach the outside world; but the anticipated joy of reaching
Johannesburg and assisting in raising the "Union Jack" intoxicated the
men, and they succeeded in cutting only the wire which led to Cape Town.
The wire to Pretoria remained untouched, and before the troopers had
proceeded fifty miles into Transvaal territory the Pretorian Government
was aware of their approach, and made preparations to meet them.

The Uitlanders in Johannesburg had been led to believe by their
_dilettante_ leaders that Dr. Jameson’s incursion had been postponed,
and they were ignorant of his whereabouts until the following day, when
a member of the Pretorian Government kind-heartedly gave the information
to several of the Uitlander leaders, who had journeyed to Pretoria with
rifles in one hand and demands in the other.  When the news of the
invasion reached Johannesburg the excitement became intensified.  A
reform committee of about one hundred persons was quickly formed, and
into their hands was given the conduct of the revolution.  Speeches were
made from the balcony of the Stock Exchange, until some practical
speaker suggested that it would be proper to unpack the rifles and
ammunition from the oil casks if the revolution was to be undertaken.

The suggestion was acted upon, and late that night five hundred of the
rifles to be used in the overthrow of a republic were being carried to
and fro in the streets of Johannesburg on the shoulders of men who were
willing to do the work for ten dollars a night.  The following day,
while Dr. Jameson and his troopers were marching over the veldt toward
Johannesburg, the leaders of the movement made more speeches to the
crowd at the Stock Exchange, and waited for news from Pretoria instead
of making news for Pretoria.

The first part of the plot--the capture of Johannesburg--had been
successful without the discharge of a rifle, because the Boers had
withdrawn their police, and there remained no one at which the
_opéra-bouffe_ revolutionists might fire.

The next step was the capture of Pretoria, and for this purpose a small
expedition started for the capital city; but returned hastily and
without their rifles and ammunition when they saw a thousand Boers, each
with the usual accompaniment of a rifle, attending the annual
"Nachtmaal," or communion, in the city.

The last day of the year saw the Uitlanders undecided as to what action
to take.  On the one hand was Dr. Jameson coming to their relief, while
on the other was the Pretorian Government preparing to quell an
insurrection which had not even started.  The Reform Committee, whose
members a few weeks before had made arrangements for Dr. Jameson’s
coming, denied that they had any connection with the invasion.  Dr.
Jameson having been repudiated, the committee debated for many hours on
the subject of which flag should be hoisted in the event that the
revolution was successful, and finally sent John Hays Hammond, an
American member of the committee, to secure the four-colour of the

Then and there the most ludicrous incident of the Uitlander rising took
place.  With uplifted hands the members of the committee, who were the
leaders of the revolution, swore allegiance to the red, white, green,
and blue flag of the Transvaal, which for days and months before they
had reviled and insulted. After having vowed loyalty to the Transvaal
flag, the committee continued the preparations for the defence of the
city and the drilling of the volunteers who were enrolled at a score of
different shops in the city.  A rumour that Dr. Jameson had been
attacked by the Boer forces, but had repulsed them, gave additional zest
to the military preparations, and the advisability of sending some of
the mounted troops to meet him was discussed but not acted upon.  The
reported victory of Dr. Jameson’s troopers, coupled with a request from
the Pretorian Government for a conference to discuss methods of ending
the troubles, caused the Reform Committee to repent their hasty action
in swearing allegiance to the Transvaal flag, and they were on the point
of breaking their obligation, and sending aid to the invading troopers,
when, during the last hour of the year, they learned that the secretary
for the colonies, Mr. Chamberlain, had repudiated and recalled Dr.

The first day of the new year the spirit of the Uitlanders was dampened
by the information that the Boers were massing troops on the outskirts
of the town; and, fearing that the town might be attacked at any moment,
the Reform Committee, which had been spending much energy in informing
the Pretorian Government of the city’s great military preparation,
telegraphed pathetic appeals for assistance to the British High
Commissioner at Cape Town. Couriers arrived from the outskirts of the
city and reported that Dr. Jameson and his troopers were within fifteen
miles of Johannesburg, and plans were made to receive him.  One small
regiment left the city to meet the troopers and escort them into the
city, while the remainder of the revolutionary forces held jubilation
festivities in honour of Dr. Jameson’s anticipated arrival.

While Johannesburg, which had promised to do the fighting, was in the
midst of its festival joys, Dr. Jameson and those of his six hundred
troopers who were not dead on the fields of battle were waving a
Hottentot woman’s white apron in token of their surrender to the Boer
forces at Doornkop, eighteen miles away. The Johannesburg revolt,
initiated by magnificent promises, ended with an inglorious display of
that quality which the British have been wont to attribute to
Boers--"funk."  The British have their Balaclava and Sebastopol, but
they also have their Majuba Hill and the Johannesburg revolt.

The final scenes of the Jameson raid, which might more fittingly be
called "the Johannesburg funk," were enacted in Pretoria, where Dr.
Jameson and the other prisoners were taken, and in London, where the
officers of the expedition were tried and virtually acquitted.  The
revolutionists in Johannesburg yielded all their arms and ammunition to
the Boer Government, which in turn made every possible effort to effect
an amicable settlement of the grievances of the Uitlanders.  But the
raid left a deeper impress upon Johannesburg and its interests than any
of its organizers or supporters had ever dreamed of.  Almost one fifth
of the inhabitants of the city left the country for more peaceable
localities in the three months following the disturbance, and business
became stagnant.  Capitalists declined to invest more money in the gold
mines while the unsettled condition of the political affairs continued,
and scores of mines were compelled to abandon operations.  Stocks fell
in value, and thousands of pounds were lost by innocent shareholders in
Europe, who were ignorant of the political affairs of the country.  For
two years the depression continued, and so acute were its results that
hundreds of respectable miners and business men, who had been accustomed
to live in luxury, became bankrupt, and were obliged to beg for their
food.  Those who were able to do so sold their interests in the city and
left the country, while hundreds of others would have been happy to
leave had they been able to secure passage to their native countries.

During the last year the effects of the raid have been disappearing and
the commercial interests of the Randt have been improving, but the
political atmosphere has been kept vibrating at a continuous loss to the
industries that are represented in the country.  All South Africa was
similarly affected by the depression, which naturally cut off the
revenue from the gold fields and that derived from passengers and
freight coming into the country from foreign shores.  To add to the
general dismay, the entire country was scourged with the rinderpest, a
disease which killed more than a million and a half cattle; clouds of
locusts, that destroyed all vegetation and made life miserable; and a
long drought.

After the scourges had passed, and the political atmosphere had become
somewhat clarified, the industries of Johannesburg and the Randt
returned to their normal condition, and the development of the natural
resources of the territory was resumed.  Many of those persons who
deserted the city during its period of depression returned with renewed
energy, and those who had successfully combated the storm joined with
the newcomers in welcoming the return of prosperous times. Confidence
was restored among the European capitalists, and money was again freely
invested and trade relations firmly re-established.

Johannesburg after the Jameson raid was a distressing scene; the
Johannesburg of to-day is a wondrous testimonial to the energy and
progress of mankind.

If there were no other remarkable features to mark the last decade of
the twentieth century, the marvellous city which has been built near the
heart of the Dark Continent would alone be a fitting monument to the
enterprise and achievements of the white race during that period of

                               CHAPTER IV

                           THE BOER OF TO-DAY

The wholesale slander and misrepresentation with which the Boers of
South Africa have been pursued can not be outlived by them in a hundred
years.  It originated when the British forces took possession of the
Cape of Good Hope, and it has continued with unabated vigour ever since.
Recently the chief writers of fiction have been prominent Englishmen,
who, on hunting expeditions or rapid tours through the country, saw the
object of their venom from car windows or in the less favourable
environments of a trackless veldt.

In earlier days the outside world gleaned its knowledge of the Boers
from certain British statesmen, who, by grace of Downing Street,
controlled the country’s colonial policy, and consequently felt obliged
to conjure up weird descriptions of their far-distant subjects in order
to make the application of certain harsh policies appear more applicable
and necessary. Missionaries to South Africa, traders, and, not least of
all, speculators, all found it convenient to traduce the Boers to the
people in England, and the object in almost every case was the
attainment of some personal end.  Had there been any variety in the
complaints, there might have been reason to suppose they were
justifiable, but the similarity of the reports led to the conclusion
that the British in South Africa were conducting the campaign of
misrepresentation for the single purpose of arousing the enmity of the
home people against the Boers. The unbiased reports were generally of
such a nature that they were drowned by the roar of the malicious ones,
and, instead of creating a better popular opinion of the race, only
assisted in stirring the opposition to greater flights of fancy.

American interests in South Africa having been so infinitesimal until
the last decade, our own knowledge of the country and its people
naturally was of the same proportions.  When Americans learned anything
concerning South Africa or the Boers it came by way of London, which had
vaster interests in the country, and should have been able to give exact
information.  But, like other colonial information, it was discoloured
with London additions, and the result was that American views of the
Boers tallied with those of the Englishman.

Among the more prominent Englishmen who have recently studied the Boers
from a car window, and have given the world the benefit of their
opinions, is a man who has declared that the Boer blocked the way in
South Africa, and must go.  Among other declarations with which this
usually well-informed writer has taken up the cudgel in behalf of his
friend Mr. Rhodes, he has called the Boers "utterly detestable," "guilty
of indecencies and family immorality," and even so "benighted and
uncivilized" as to preclude the possibility of writing about them.  All
this he is reported to have said about a race that has been lauded
beyond measure by the editors of every country in the world except those
under the English flag. The real cause of it all is found in the Boers’
disposition to carry their own burdens, and their disinclination to
allow England to be their keeper.  Their opinions of justice and right
were formed years ago in Cape Colony, and so long as their fighting
ability has not been proved in a negative manner, so long will the Boers
be reviled by the covetous Englishmen of South Africa and their friends.

The Boer of to-day is a man who loves solitude above all things.  He and
his ancestors have enjoyed that chief product of South Africa for so
many generations that it is his greatest delight to be alone.  The
nomadic spirit of the early settler courses in his veins, and will not
be eradicated though cities be built up all around him and railroads hem
him in on all sides.

He loves to be out on the veldt, where nothing but the tall grass
obstructs his view of the horizon, and his happiness is complete when,
gun in hand, he can stalk the buck or raise the covey on soil never
upturned by the share of a plough.  The real Boer is a real son of the
soil.  It is his natural environment, and he chafes when he is compelled
to go where there are more than a dozen dwellings in the same square
mile of area.

The pastoral life he and his ancestors have been leading has endowed him
with a happy-go-lucky disposition.  Some call him lazy and sluggish
because he has plenty of time at his disposal and "counts ten" before
acting. Others might call that disposition a realization of his
necessities, and his chosen method of providing for them.

The watching of herds of cattle and flocks of sheep has since biblical
times been considered an easier business than the digging of minerals or
the manufacture of iron, and the Boer has realized that many years ago.
He has also realized the utter uselessness of digging for minerals and
the manufacture of iron when the products of either were valueless at a
distance of a thousand miles from the nearest market.  Taking these
facts in consideration, the Boer has done what other less nomadic people
have done.  He has improved the opportunities which lay before him, and
has allowed the others to pass untouched.

The Boers are not an agricultural people, because the nature of the
country affords no encouragement for the following of that pursuit.  The
great heat of the summer removes rivers in a week and leaves rivulets
hardly big enough to quench the thirst of the cattle. Irrigation is out
of the question, as the great rivers are too far distant and the country
too level to warrant the building of artificial waterways. Taking all
things into consideration, there is nothing for a Boer to do but raise
cattle and sheep, and he may regard himself particularly fortunate at
the end of each year if drought and disease have not carried away one
half of this wealth.

The Boer’s habits and mode of life are similar to those of the American
ranchman, and in reality there is not much difference between the two
except that the latter is not so far removed from civilization.  The
Boer likes to be out of the sight of the smoke of his neighbour’s house,
and to live fifteen or twenty miles from another dwelling is a matter of
satisfaction rather than regret to him.  The patriarchal custom of the
people provides against the lack of companionship which naturally would
follow this custom.

When a Boer’s children marry they settle within a short distance of the
original family homestead; generally several hundred yards distant.  In
this way, in a few years, a small village is formed on the family
estates, which may consist of from five hundred to ten thousand acres of
uninclosed grazing ground.  Every son when he marries is entitled to a
share of the estate, which he is supposed to use for the support of
himself and his family, and in that way the various estates grow smaller
each generation.  When an estate grows too small to support the owner,
he "treks" to another part of the country, and receives from the state
such an amount of territory as he may require.

Boer houses, as a rule, are situated a long distance away from the
tracks of the transport wagons, in order that passing infected animals
may not introduce disease into the flocks and herds of the farmer.
Strangers are seldom seen as a result of this isolation, and news from
the outer world does not reach the Boers unless they travel to the towns
to make the annual purchases of necessaries.

Their chief recreation is the shooting of game, which abounds in almost
all parts of the country.  Besides being their recreation, it is also
their duty, for it is much cheaper to kill a buck and use it to supply
the family larder than to kill an ox or a sheep for the same purpose.
It is seldom that a Boer misses his aim, be the target a deer or an
Englishman, and he has ample time to become proficient in the use of the
rifle.  His gun is his constant companion on the veldt and at his home,
and the long alliance has resulted in earning for him the distinction of
being the best marksman and the best irregular soldier in the world. The
Boer is not a sportsman in the American sense of the word.  He is a
hunter, pure and simple, and finds no delight in following the
Englishman’s example of spending many weeks in the Zambezi forests or
the dangerous Kalahari Desert, and returning with a giraffe tail and a
few horns and feathers as trophies of the chase.  He hunts because he
needs meat for his family and leather for sjam-bok whips with which to
drive his cattle, and not because it gives him personal gratification to
be able to demonstrate his supreme skill in the tracking of game.

The dress of the Boer is of the roughest description and material, and
suited to his occupation.  Corduroy and flannel for the body, a
wide-brimmed felt hat for the head, and soft leather-soled boots fitted
for walking on the grass, complete the regulation Boer costume, which is
picturesque as well as serviceable. The clothing, which is generally
made by the Boer’s vrouw, or wife, makes no pretension of fit or style,
and is quite satisfactory to the wearer if it clings to the body.  In
most instances it is built on plans made and approved by the
Voortrekkers of 1835, and quite satisfactory to the present Boers, their
sons, and grandsons.

Physically, the Boers are the equals, if not the superiors, of their
old-time enemy, the Zulus.  It would be difficult to find anywhere an
entire race of such physical giants as the Boers of the Transvaal and
the Orange Free State.  The roving existence, the life in the open air,
and the freedom from disturbing cares have combined to make of the Boers
a race that is almost physically perfect.  If an average height of all
the full-grown males in the country were taken, it would be found to be
not less than six feet two inches, and probably more.  Their physique,
notwithstanding their comparatively idle mode of living, is
magnificently developed.

The action of the almost abnormally developed muscles of the legs and
arms, discernible through their closely fitting garments, gives an idea
of the remarkable powers of endurance which the Boers have displayed on
many occasions when engaged in native and other campaigns.  They can
withstand almost any amount of physical pain and discomfort, and can
live for a remarkably long time on the smallest quantity of food.  It is
a matter of common knowledge that a Boer can subsist on a five-pound
slice of "biltong"--beef that has been dried in the sun until it is
almost as hard as stone--for from ten to fifteen days without suffering
any pangs of hunger.  In times of war, "biltong" is the principal item
in the army rations, and in peace, when he is following his flocks, it
also is the Boer shepherd’s chief article of diet.

The religion of the Boers is one of their greatest characteristics, and
one that can hardly be understood when it is taken into consideration
that they have been separated for almost two hundred years from the
refining influences of a higher civilization.  The simple faith in a
Supreme Being, which the original emigrants from Europe carried to South
Africa, has been handed down from one generation to another, and in two
centuries of fighting, trekking, and ranching has lost none of its
pristine depth and fervour.

With the Boer his religion is his first and uppermost thought.  The Old
Testament is the pattern which he strives to follow.  The father of the
family reads from its pages every day, and from it he formulates his
ideas of right and wrong as they are to be applied to the work of the
day.  Whether he wishes to exchange cattle with his neighbour or give
his daughter in marriage to a neighbour’s son, he consults the
Testament, and finds therein the advice that is applicable to the
situation.  He reads nothing but the Bible, and consequently his belief
in its teachings is indestructible and supreme.

[Illustration: Kirk Street, Pretoria, with the State Church in the

His religious temperament is portrayed in almost every sentence he
utters, and his repetition of biblical parables and sayings is a custom
which so impresses itself upon the mind of the stranger that it is but
natural that those who are unacquainted with the Boer should declare it
a sure sign of his hypocrisy.  He does not quote Scripture merely to
impress upon the mind of his hearer the fact that he is a devout
Christian, but does it for the same reasons that a sailor speaks the
language of the sea-farer.

The Boer is a low churchman among low churchmen.  He abhors anything
that has the slightest tendency toward show or outward signs of display
in religious worship.  He is simple in his other habits, and in his
religious observances he is almost primitively simple. To him the
wearing of gorgeous raiment, special attitudes, musical accompaniment to
hymns, and special demonstrations are the rankest sacrilege.  Of the
nine legal holidays in the Transvaal, five--Good Friday, Easter Monday,
Ascension Day, Whit Monday, and Christmas--are Church festival days, and
are strictly observed by every Boer in the country.

The Dutch Reformed Church has been the state Church since 1835, when the
Boers commenced emigrating from Cape Colony.  The "trekkers" had no
regularly ordained ministers, but depended upon the elders for their
religious training, as well as for leadership in all temporal affairs.
One of the first clergymen to preach to the Boers was an American, the
Rev. Daniel Lindley, who was one of the earliest missionaries ever sent
to South Africa. The state controls the Church, and, conversely, the
Church controls the state, for it is necessary for a man to become a
factor in religious affairs before he can become of any political
importance.  As a result of this custom, the politicians are necessarily
the most active church members.

The Hervormde Dopper branch of the Dutch Reformed Church is the result
of a disagreement in 1883 with the Gereformeerde branch over the singing
of hymns during a religious service.  The Doppers, led by Paul Kruger,
peaceably withdrew, and started a congregation of their own when the
more progressive faction insisted on singing hymns, which the Doppers
declared was extremely worldly.

Since then the two chief political parties are practically based on the
differences in religion.  The Progressive party is composed of those who
sing hymns, and the members of the Conservative party are those who are
more Calvinistic in their tendencies.  As the Conservatives have been in
power for the last decade, it follows that the majority of the Boers are
opposed to the singing of hymns in church. The greatest festival in the
Boer calendar is that of Nachtmaal, or Communion, which is generally
held in Pretoria the latter part of the year.

The majority of the Boers living in remote parts of the country, where
established congregations or churches are an impossibility, it behooves
every Boer to journey to the capital once a year to partake of
communion.  Pretoria then becomes the Mecca of all Boers, and the pretty
little town is filled to overflowing with pilgrims and their "trekking"
wagons and cattle.  Those who live in remote parts of the country are
obliged to start several weeks before the Nachtmaal in order to be there
at the appointed time, and the whole journey to and fro in many
instances requires six weeks’ time.  When they reach Pretoria they
bivouac in the open square surrounding the old brick church in the
centre of the town, and spend almost all their time in the church.  It
is one of the grandest scenes in South Africa to observe the pilgrims
camping in the open square under the shade of the patriarchal church,
which to them is the most sacred edifice in the world.

The home life of the Boers is as distinctive a feature of these rough,
simple peoples as is their deep religious enthusiasm.  If there is
anything that his falsifiers have attacked, it is the Boer’s home life,
and those who have had the opportunity to study it will vouch that none
more admirable exists anywhere.  The Boer heart is filled with an
intense feeling of family affection.  He loves his wife and children
above all things, and he is never too busy to eulogize them.  He will
allow his flocks to wander a mile away while he relates a trifling
incident of family life, and he would rather miss an hour’s sleep than
not take advantage of an opportunity to talk on domestic topics.

He does not gossip, because he sees his neighbours too rarely for that,
but he will lay before you the detailed history and distinctive features
of every one of his ancestors, relations, and descendants.  He is
hospitable to a degree that is astonishing, and he will give to a
stranger the best room in the house, the use of his best horse, and his
finest food. Naturally he will not give an effusive welcome to an
Englishman, because he is the natural enemy of the Boer, but to
strangers of other nationalities he opens his heart and house.

The programme of the Boer’s day is hardly ever marred by any changes.
He rises with the sun, and works among the sheep and cattle until
breakfast.  There at the table he meets his family and conducts the
family worship. If the parents of the married couple are present, they
receive the best seats at the table, and are treated with great

After breakfast he makes his plans for the day’s work, which may consist
of a forward "trek" or a hunting trip.  He attends to the little plot of
cultivated ground, which provides all the vegetables and grain for the
table, and spends the remainder of the day in attending to the cattle
and sheep.  Toward night he gathers his family around him, and reads to
them selected chapters from the Bible.  From the same book he teaches
his children to read until twilight is ended, whereupon the Boer’s day
is ended, and he seeks his bed.

During the dry season the programme varies only as far as his place of
abode is concerned.  With the arrival of that season the Boer closes his
house and becomes a wanderer in pursuit of water.  The sheep and cattle
are driven to the rivers, and the family follows in big transport
wagons, not unlike the American prairie-schooner, propelled by eight
spans of oxen.  The family moves from place to place as the necessity
for new pasturage arises.  With the approach of the wet season the
nomads prepare for the return to the deserted homestead, and, as soon as
the first rain has fallen and the grass has changed the colour of the
landscape, the Boer and his vast herds are homeward bound.

The Boer homestead is as unpretentious as its owner.  Generally it is a
low, one-story stone structure, with a steep tile roof and a small annex
in the rear, which is used as a kitchen.  The door is on a level with
the ground, and four windows afford all the light that is required in
the four square rooms in the interior.  A dining room and three bedrooms
suffice for a family, however large.  The floors are of hardened clay,
liberally coated with manure, which is designed to ward off the
pestiferous insects that swarm over the plains.

The house is usually situated in a valley and close to a stream, and, in
rare instances, is sheltered by a few trees that have been brought from
the coast country.  Native trees are such a rarity that the traveller
may go five hundred miles without seeing a single specimen.  The Boer
vrouw feels no need of firewood, however, for her ancestors taught her
to cook her meals over a fire of the dry product of the cattle-decked

Personal uncleanliness is one of the great failings that has been
attributed to the Boer, but when it is taken into consideration that
water is a priceless possession on the plains of South Africa, no
further explanation is needed. The canard that the Boers go to bed
without undressing is as absurd as the one of like origin that an entire
family sleeps in one bed. Yet these fictions constantly appear, and
frequently over the names of persons who have penetrated into South
Africa no farther than Cape Town.

The Boer here depicted is the representative Boer--the one who shoulders
his rifle and fights for his country; the one who watches his cattle on
the plains and pays his taxes; the one who tries to improve his
condition, and takes advantage of every opportunity for advancement that
is offered.  There is a worthless Boer, as there is a worthless
Englishman, a worthless German, and a worthless American, but he is so
far in the minority that he need not be analyzed.

There is, however, a Boer who lives in the towns and cities, and he
compares favourably with other men of South African birth.  He has had
the advantage of better schools, and can speak one or more languages
besides his own.  He is not so nomadic in his tendencies as his rural
countryman, and he has absorbed more of the modernisms.  He can conduct
a philosophic argument, and his wife and daughters can play the piano.
If he is wealthy, his son is a student at a European university and his
daughter flirting on the beach at Durban or attending a ladies’ seminary
at Bloemfontein or Grahamstown.

He is as progressive as any white man cares to be under that generous
South African sun, and when it comes to driving a bargain he is a match
for any of the money sharks of Johannesburg.  For the youthful Boer who
reaches the city directly from the country, without any trade or
profession, the prospects are gloomy. He is at a great disadvantage when
put into competition with almost any class of residents. The occupations
to which he can turn are few, and these have been still further
restricted in late years by the destruction of cattle by the rinderpest
and the substitution of railways for road transport.  His lack of
education unfits him for most of the openings provided in such a city as
Johannesburg, even when business is at its highest tide, and a small
increase in the tension of business brings him to absolute want.

The Boer of to-day is a creature of circumstance. He is outstripped
because he has had no opportunities for development.  Driven from Cape
Colony, where he was rapidly developing a national character, he was
compelled to wander into lands that offered no opportunities of any
description.  He has been cut off for almost a hundred years from an
older and more energetic civilization, and even from his neighbours; it
is no wonder that he is a century behind the van.  No other civilized
race on earth has been handicapped in such a manner, and if there had
been one it is a matter for conjecture whether it would have held its
own, as the Boer has done, or whether it would have fallen to the level
of the savage.

Had the Boer Voortrekkers been fortunate enough to settle in a fertile
country bordering on the sea, where they might have had communication
with the outer world, their descendants would undoubtedly to-day be
growing cane and wheat instead of herding cattle and driving transport
wagons.  Their love of freedom could not have been greater under those
circumstances, but they might have averted the conditions which now
threaten to erase their nation from the face of the earth.

                               CHAPTER V

                            PRESIDENT KRUGER

Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, or Uncle Paul, the Lion of Rustenberg,
is a man of most remarkable characteristics.  A man of absolutely no
education, as we understand the word, he has, during the long years of a
notable career, so applied his inherent abilities, his natural
astuteness, the cunning acquired by constant battling with the wiles of
native enemies, as to be able to acquit himself of his high office in a
manner to be envied by many who have enjoyed a hundred times as many
advantages.  Although he is almost seventy-five years old, the
President’s mind has not become dimmed, but, if anything, has grown
keener of perception and wider in its scope during the last ten years.

Since his youth Mr. Kruger has been a leader among his countrymen.  When
a boy he had pronounced ability as a deer-stalker, and it is related of
him that before he had reached manhood he had killed more lions than any
other man in the colony.  He was absolutely fearless, and could endure
any amount of bodily pain and discomfort.  As an example of this, I
repeat his explanation of the accident that caused him to lose his left

"We were shooting rhinoceros one day," said he, "when an old gun
exploded in my hands.  It cut my thumb so badly that I saw it could not
be saved.  I borrowed a dull knife and cut the thumb off, because it
prevented me from holding the gun properly."

President Kruger’s personality is most unique.  He impresses one as
being a king in the garb of a farmer, a genius in a dunce’s cap. At
first sight he would be mistaken for an awkward countryman, with "store
clothes" and a silk hat intended for some one else.  His frock coat is
far too small to reach around his corpulent body, and his trousers seem
to have a natural antipathy for his shoes.

He wears no cuffs, and the presence of a collar and tie may be
determined only by drawing aside the natural curtain formed by his
whiskers.  He is uncouth in his manner, but he has great natural
attractiveness gained by a long life among hunters in the wilds.  He is
suspicious of everything and every one, but that quality is easily
accounted for by his early dealings with negro chiefs, whose treacherous
habits caused him to become wary in all his transactions with them.  In
later days this has stood him in good stead.  He is slow to make
friends, but once he trusts a person voluminous proof is necessary
before he alters his opinion of the man.  He never forgets a good deed,
and never pardons the man who does a bad one.

President Kruger is short in stature, measuring less than five feet
seven inches.  His head and body are large and fat, but his legs are
thin and short.  His head is just a trifle longer than broad, and almost
fits the English definition of "square head."  The small eyes are
surmounted by bushy, white eyebrows, which extend half an inch beyond
his forehead.

When he is not sitting for a photograph his hair is not so neatly
arranged as it appears in the well-known pictures, but hangs loosely
down over his wide forehead, except when, with a hasty swish of the
hand, he brushes it aside. The hair is nearly white, and hangs over the
sides of his head in long tresses, which cover both his ears.

When he smiles the big fat circles above his cheeks are pushed upward,
and shut his small gray eyes from view.  But when pleased the President
generally laughs hilariously, and then his eyes remain closed for the
greater part of a minute.  Mr. Kruger’s nose and mouth are the chief
features of his face.  Both are more extensive than his large face
demands, but they are such marvels in their own peculiar way as to be
distinguishing marks.  The bridge of the nose grows wide as it goes
outward from the point between the eyes, and before it reaches the tip
it has a gentle upheaval.  Then it spreads out on either side, and
covers fully two inches of area above his upper lip.  It is not
attractive, but in that it follows the general condition of his facial

The mouth is wide and ungainly.  The constant use of a heavy pipe has
caused a deep depression on the left side of his lower lip, and this
gives the whole mouth the appearance of being unbalanced.  His chin is
large and prominent, and his ears correspond relatively in size and
symmetry with his face.  When in repose his features are not pleasant to
look upon, but when lighted up by a smile they become rather attractive,
and generally cause his laughter to become contagious among his hearers.

The thin line of beard which runs from ear to ear combines with the hair
on his head in forming what is not unlike a white halo around the
President’s face.  The lines in the man’s face are deep, irregular, and
very numerous.  They indicate more than anything the ceaseless worry and
troubles to which the President has been subjected while directing the
affairs of his countrymen of the Transvaal.

The physical description of the Kruger of to-day is one that suggests
sluggishness and idleness rather than alertness and ceaseless activity.
The appearance of the man certainly does not conform with his record of
marvellous performances, unflagging endeavour, and superior mental
attainments.  The well-preserved Kruger at seventy-five years bears no
deep marks of the busy and eventful life he has led, nor are there any
visible indications that the end of his usefulness to his people is
close at hand.

The fragmentary history of Mr. Kruger’s life, as related by himself,
gives an insight into his remarkably varied experiences.  He modestly
refrains from allowing any one, even those who know him best, to obtain
from him enough of his own history to incorporate in a biography, and it
is likely, unless in his later years he changes his mind, that no
detailed narrative can ever be written.

Although the majority of his countrymen are of Dutch or Huguenot
ancestry, Mr. Kruger is of German descent.  Jacob Kruger, his paternal
ancestor, emigrated to South Africa, in 1713, from the Potsdam district
of Germany, and married a young woman who was born in Cape Colony.  He
was born October 10, 1825, in Colesburg, Cape Colony, whither his
parents had "trekked" from Cape Town a quarter of a century before.  The
first Krugers whose names appear in the Dutch East India Company’s
records arrived in the settlement at the Cape in 1712, and thereafter
became leaders in enterprise among the settlers.  While Mr. Kruger was
yet in his infancy the Boers’ troubles with the Colonial Government
began, and when he was ten years old he migrated with the "Voortrekkers"
to the unknown regions in the interior.

The life in the open and the tropical temperature served to develop him
early, and at the age of fifteen we find him shooting his first lion, as
well as serving in the capacity of "field cornet," a minor official
position.  As such he took part in the wars with the Zulu Dingaan and
the Matabele Moselekatse, and served with distinction.  In 1842 he was
confirmed by the Rev. Daniel Lindley, the American missionary, and had
implanted more firmly in his heart the religious feeling which in later
years has proved to be his greatest solace in his troubles.

Next we hear of him standing by the side of his father while he fires
the first shot at the English soldiers in the battle of Boomplaats, in
1848.  After doing valiant service in that battle, he became one of the
leaders of the "trekkers" who settled in the Transvaal country.

In 1856 young Kruger, then barely thirty-one years old, is elected
sub-commandant of the Transvaal army, a most responsible position in a
country where natives are as treacherous as they are innumerable.  Five
years later he becomes commandant of the army, and leads a force of one
hundred and fifty men against Chief Sechele.  He retains that office
until 1877, when England annexes the country to her domain.  During the
war for independence which then ensues, Mr. Kruger is Vice-President of
the Triumvirate, which executes the government of the country, and after
peace is declared in 1883 he is elected to the presidency. He is thrice
re-elected, and is now serving his fourth term as head of the South
African Republic.

Into this skeleton of his life’s story might be fitted innumerable
incidents and anecdotes that are related by his countrymen, who treasure
them greatly and repeat them at every opportunity.  Many of these are
probably imaginary, while others have undoubtedly been retold so
frequently that they have lost all resemblance of the original form.
The majority of the stories refer to Mr. Kruger’s prowess in dealing
with lions, tigers, and elephants, and many of these are probably true.
Several of those that he himself verifies are given merely to illustrate
the experiences that the Boers encountered in the early days of the

When fifteen years old Kruger and one of his sisters, being left alone
on the veldt by their parents, were approached by a South African
panther, small but of ample enough proportions to frighten the two
children.  Kruger, with only a knife for a weapon, boldly attacked the
panther, and after a severe struggle, during which he was sorely
injured, slew the beast.  Another story, illustrative of his physical
strength, is that he contested with a native in a foot-race of twelve
hours’ duration, and won by such a large margin that he was enabled to
stalk a buck on the veldt and carry it to his father’s house before his
competitor reached the goal.

During the "trekking" trip from Cape Colony to the final settlement in
the Transvaal the Boer settlers shot no less than six thousand lions,
and of that number Kruger is credited with shooting more than two
hundred and fifty.

His personal bravery was never shown to better advantage than in 1857,
when he was sub-commandant of the Transvaal army.  He had ordered
several of his burghers to go into the Orange Free State, with which
country there was a serious misunderstanding, and there they were
arrested.  As soon as Mr. Kruger heard of the men’s arrest he hastened
into the camp of the Free State forces and asked for the release of the
prisoners on the ground that they were innocent, and that if any one
were guilty he was that man, because he had ordered them to enter the
country.  The commandant of the Free State forces was so greatly amazed
by Mr. Kruger’s bravery that he allowed all the Boers to return to their
own camp.

Mr. Kruger’s remarkable vitality and capacity for hard mental labour are
the results of the great care which he bestows upon himself and the
regular habits which he has followed for almost twenty years.  He rises
at half past five o’clock every morning, and follows a daily programme,
from which he never deviates unless he is absent from home.  After he
leaves his bedroom he proceeds to his library and drinks several cups of
intensely black coffee, and smokes several pipefuls of strong Boer
tobacco.  Then he spends the greater part of an hour in family devotions
and the perusal of the Bible.  After breakfast, at half past seven
o’clock, he receives the members of the Volksraad, and then transacts
the heaviest business of the day.  After all the Volksraad members have
departed, he steps out on the piazza of his little whitewashed cottage
and joins the burghers, or citizens, who every morning congregate there
and discuss state affairs while they sip the coffee and smoke the
tobacco which the President furnishes to all visitors.

At ten o’clock the state carriage and its escort of eight gaudily
apparelled troopers await him at the gate, and he is conveyed to the
Government House, several blocks distant.  As soon as he arrives there
he is to be found either in one legislative chamber or the other,
directing the affairs of the two bodies, making addresses or quietly
watching the progress of legislative matters.  At noon he returns to his
home for luncheon, but is back at his duties in the Government House at
two o’clock, and remains there three hours in the afternoon. Thereafter
he receives burghers at his home until seven o’clock, and retires every
evening at precisely eight o’clock.

The power which Mr. Kruger has over the majority of his countrymen is
due in no small measure to his fondness for conversing with them and his
treatment of them when they visit his cottage.  As soon as the sun has
risen, a small stream of Boers wends its way toward the President’s
cottage and awaits his appearance on the piazza.  When Mr. Kruger comes
among them he loses his identity as President, and merges his
personality into that of an ordinary burgher.  This custom has endeared
him in the affections of his people, and, as a result, whenever he makes
a stand on any question it may be taken for granted that he has
thoroughly discussed the subject beforehand with his burghers, and that
he can depend upon the majority of them for their support.

Mr. Kruger is a speech-maker of no mean ability.  His addresses in the
Volksraad are filled with good reasoning, homely similes, biblical
quotations, and convincing argument. He speaks without preparation,
indulges in no flights of oratory, but uses the simple, plain language
that is easily understood by the burgher as well as the statesman.  All
his speeches are delivered in the Boer "taal," a dialect which bears the
same relation to the Dutch language as "low" German does to "high"
German.  Generally the dialect is used by the Boers in speaking only,
the pure Dutch being used in correspondence and official state papers.

The President may be able to speak the English language, but if such is
the case he succeeds admirably in allowing no one except his most
trusted friends to hear him.  Much investigation has failed to reveal
any one in Pretoria who has ever heard him speak the English language,
although reports have it that he speaks it fluently.  He understands the
language well, and any one who has ever held a conversation with him
through an interpreter will recall that he occasionally forgets his
assumed inability to understand English, and replies to a question
before the interpreter has commenced to translate it.

Mr. Kruger has been twice married.  His first wife, a Miss Du Plessis,
was the daughter of one of the early voortrekkers, and with the other
women took part in many of the Boer wars against the natives.  She died
shortly after the founding of the republic, and left one son, who lived
only a short time.  Mr. Kruger several years afterward married his first
wife’s niece, who is now the first lady of the land. Like almost all
Boer women, she has a retiring disposition, and very rarely appears in
public except at religious gatherings.  The President rarely introduces
her to his visitors, probably in obedience to her own desires, but she
constantly entertains the wives and daughters of burghers who call on
her husband.

President and Madame Kruger have had sixteen children, seven of whom
still live.  One of his sons is the President’s private secretary, and a
youth of decidedly modern ideas and tendencies.  Another son is a
private in the Pretoria police, a state military organization in which
he takes great pride.  A third occupies his father’s farm near
Rustenberg.  The other children are daughters, who are married to Boer
farmers and business men.  One of Kruger’s sons-in-law is Captain F. C.
Eloff, who was taken prisoner by the Uitlanders during the raid, and who
has since aroused the enmity of the English residents by freely
expressing his opinion of them in public speeches.  Captain Eloff is
several times a millionaire, and lives in a
two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand-dollar mansion.

Popular report in Pretoria has it that the President’s wealth amounts to
a million dollars, but his mode of living certainly does not betray it.
His salary as President is thirty-five thousand dollars, in addition to
which he is annually allowed fifteen hundred dollars for house-rent, or
"huishuur."  He has long since purchased the house in which he lives,
but, as the allowance of fifteen hundred dollars is annually paid to
him, the English residents aver that the amount is intended as a slight
reimbursement to him for the money he spends for the coffee and tobacco
used by the burgher callers at his cottage.  During the later years of
his life Barney Barnato, the wizard of South African finance, supplied
to the President all the tobacco he used, and consequently Mr. Kruger
was able to save the Government tobacco allowance.  Barnato also
presented to Mr. Kruger two handsome marble statues of lions which now
adorn the lawn of the presidential residence.  A photograph which is
greatly admired by the patriotic Boers represents Mr. Kruger
appropriately resting his hand on the head of one of the recumbent lions
in a manner which to them suggests the physical superiority of the Boers
over the British.

Mr. Kruger has always been a man of deep and earnest religious
convictions.  In his youth he was taught the virtues of a Christian
life, and it is not recorded that he ever did anything which was
inconsistent with his training. An old Zulu headman who lives near the
Vaal River, in the Orange Free State, relates that Mr. Kruger yoked him
beside an ox in a transport wagon when the trekkers departed from Natal
in the early ’40s, and compelled him to do the work of a beast; but he
has no good reason for declaring that his bondsman was Mr. Kruger rather
than any one of the other Boers in the party.

When Mr. Kruger was about thirty-five years old his religious enthusiasm
led him into an experience which almost resulted in his death.  He had
met with some reverses, which caused him to doubt the genuineness of
religious assistance.  He endeavoured to find comfort and consolation in
his Bible, but failed, and he became sorely troubled.  One night, after
bidding farewell to his wife, he disappeared into the wilderness of the
Magalies Hills, a short distance west of Pretoria.  After he had been
absent from his home for several days, a number of men went to the hills
to search for him, and found him on his knees engaged in singing and
praying.  He had been so many days without food and water that he was
too weak to rise from the ground, and it was necessary for the men to
carry him to his home. Since that experience he has believed himself to
be a special instrument of a divine power, and by his deeds has given
the impression that he is a leader chosen to defend the liberties and
homes of his people.

He never speaks of his experience in the hills, but those who have been
his friends for many years say that it marked an epoch in his life.  The
Boers, who have none of the modern cynicism and scepticism, regard him
as the wielder of divine power, while those who admire nothing which he
is capable of doing scoff and jeer at him as a religious fanatic, and
even call him a hypocrite.  Any one who has observed Mr. Kruger in his
daily habits, or has heard him in the pulpit of the church opposite the
cottage where he lives, will bear witness to the intensity and
earnestness of his genuine religious feeling.  The lessons of life which
he draws from his own personal experiences, and expounds to his
congregation with no little degree of earnestness, are of such a
character as to remove all doubts which the mind may have concerning his
purity of purpose.

Mr. Kruger’s style of writing is unique, but thoroughly characteristic
of himself.  The many references to the Deity, the oftentimes pompous
style, the words which breathe of the intense interest in and loyalty to
his countrymen, all combine to make his state communications and
proclamations most interesting reading. The following proclamation, made
to the citizens of Johannesburg several days after the Jameson raid, is

                "_To all the Residents of Johannesburg_.

"I, S. J. P. Kruger, State President of the South African Republic, with
the advice and consent of the Executive Council, by virtue of Article VI
of the Minutes of the Council, dated January 10, 1896, do hereby make
known to all the residents of Johannesburg and neighbourhood that I am
inexpressibly thankful to God that the despicable and treacherous
incursion into my country has been prevented, and the independence of
the republic saved, through the courage and bravery of my burghers.

"The persons who have been guilty of this crime must naturally be
punished according to law--that is to say, they must stand their trial
before the high court and a jury--but there are thousands who have been
misled and deceived, and it has clearly appeared to me that even among
the so-called leaders of the movement there are many who have been

"A small number of intriguers in and outside of the country ingeniously
incited a number of the residents of Johannesburg and surroundings to
struggle, under the guise of standing up for political rights, and day
by day, as it were, urged them on; and when in their stupidity they
thought that the moment had arrived, they (the intriguers) caused one
Dr. Jameson to cross the boundary of the republic.

"Did they ever ask themselves to what they were exposing you?

"I shudder when I think what bloodshed could have resulted had a
merciful Providence not saved you and my burghers.

"I will not refer to the financial damage.

"Now I approach you with full confidence. Work together with the
Government of this republic, and strengthen their hands to make this
country a land wherein people of all nationalities may reside in common

"For months and months I have planned what changes and reforms could
have been considered desirable in the Government and the state, but the
loathsome agitation, especially of the press, has restrained me.

"The same men who have publicly come forward as leaders have demanded
reforms from me, and in a tone and a manner which they would not have
ventured to have done in their own country, owing to fear for the
criminal law.  For that cause it was made impossible for me and my
burghers, the founders of this republic, to take their preposterous
proposals in consideration.

"It is my intention to submit a draft law at the first ordinary session
of the Raad, whereby a municipality, with a mayor at the head, would be
granted to Johannesburg, to whom the control of the city will be
intrusted. According to all constitutional principles, the Municipal
Board will be elected by the people of the town.

"I earnestly request you, laying your hands on your hearts, to answer me
this question: After what has happened, can and may I submit this to the
representatives of the people? My reply is, I know there are thousands
in Johannesburg and the suburbs to whom I can intrust such elective
powers.  Inhabitants of Johannesburg, render it possible for the
Government to go before the Volksraad with the motto, ’Forgotten and

Mr. Kruger’s political platform is based on one of the paragraphs of a
manifesto which he, as Vice-President of the Triumvirate, sent to Sir
Owen Lanyon, the British Resident Commissioner, on Dingaan’s Day, 1880,
when the Boers were engaged in their second struggle for independence.
The paragraph, which was apparently written by Mr. Kruger, reads:

"We declare before God, who knows the heart, and before the world: Any
one speaking of us as rebels is a slanderer!  The people of the South
African Republic have never been subjects of Her Majesty, and never will

The President’s hatred of the English was bred in the bone, and it will
never be eradicated. To see his country free from every English tie is
the aim of his existence, and every act of his political career has been
born with that thought.  His own political aggrandizement has always
been a secondary thought.  He himself has declared that there is no one
in the republic who is able or willing to complete the independence of
the republic with such little friction as he, and that, such being the
case, he would be a traitor to desert the cause in the hours of its
gravest peril.  He considers personal victories at the polls of his own
country as mere stepping-stones toward that greater victory which he
hopes to secure over the English colonial secretary, and the day that
England renounces all claim to suzerainty over the Transvaal Mr. Kruger
will consider his duty done, and will go into the retirement which his
great work and the fulness of his years owe him.

For a man whose education has been of the scantiest, and whose people
were practically unheard of until he brought them into prominence, Paul
Kruger has received from foreign sources many remarkable tributes to the
wisdom with which he has conducted the affairs of the country under
circumstances of more than ordinary difficulty.

That which he received from Emperor William, of Germany, several days
after the repulse of the Jameson raiders, was perhaps the finest tribute
that Mr. Kruger has ever received, and one that created a greater
sensation throughout the world than any peaceful message that ever
passed between the heads of two governments.  The cablegram, of which
the text follows, is one of the most priceless treasures in Mr. Kruger’s

"_Received January 3d, 1896_.
    "_From Wilhelm I. R., Berlin_.
  "_To_ PRESIDENT KRUGER, _Pretoria_.

"I tender you my sincere congratulations that, without appealing to the
help of friendly powers, you and your people have been successful in
opposing with your own forces the armed bands that have broken into your
country to disturb the peace, in restoring order, and in maintaining the
independence of your country against attacks from without.


Prince Bismarck declared that Kruger was the greatest natural-born
statesman of the time. William E. Gladstone, who had many opportunities
to gauge Kruger’s skill in diplomacy, referred to him as the shrewdest
politician on the continent of Africa, and not a mean competitor of
those of Europe.  Among the titles which have been bestowed upon him by
European rulers are Knight of the First Class of the Red Eagle of
Prussia, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, Grand Knight of the
Leopold Order of Belgium, Grand Knight of the Netherland Lion, and Grand
Knight of the Portuguese Order of Distinguished Foreigners.

If a detailed history of Mr. Kruger’s life could be obtained from his
own lips, it would compare favourably with those of the notable
characters of modern times.  The victories he has gained in the field of
diplomacy may not have affected as many people as those of Bismarck; the
defeats administered in battle may not have been as crushing as those of
Napoleon, but to his weakling country they were equally as decisive and

The great pyramid in the valley of the Nile is seen to best advantage as
far away as Cairo. Observed close at hand, it serves only to disturb the
spectator’s mind with an indefinable sense of vastness, crudity, and
weight; from a distance the relative proportions of all things are
clearly discerned.  So it is with the career of Mr. Kruger.  Historic
perspective is necessary to determine the value of the man to the
country.  Fifty or a hundred years hence, when the Transvaal has safely
emerged from its period of danger, there will be a true sense of
proportion, so that his labours in behalf of his country may be judged

At this time the critical faculty is lacking because his life work is
not ended, and its entire success is not assured.  He has earned for
himself, however, the distinction of being the greatest diplomatist that
South Africa has ever produced.  Whether the fruits of his diplomacy
will avail to keep his country intact is a question that will find its
answer in the results of future years.  He has succeeded in doing that
which no man has ever done.  As the head of the earth’s weakest nation
he has for more than a decade defied its strongest power to take his
country from him.  That should be sufficient honour for any man.

                               CHAPTER VI


As is the rule with them everywhere, Englishmen in South Africa speak of
Mr. Kruger with contempt and derision.  Unprejudiced Americans and other
foreigners in South Africa admire him for his patriotism, his courage in
opposing the dictatorial policy of England’s Colonial Office, and his
efforts to establish a republic as nearly like that of the United States
of America as possible.  My desire to see Mr. Kruger was almost
obliterated a week after my arrival in the country by the words of
condemnation which were heaped upon him by Englishmen whenever his name
was mentioned.  In nearly every Englishman’s mind the name of "Oom Paul"
was a synonym for all that was corrupt and vile; few gave him a word of

When I came into the pretty little town of Pretoria, the capital of the
Transvaal, where the President lives and where he mingles daily with the
populace with as much freedom and informality as a country squire, there
was a rapid transformation in my opinion of the man.  The Boers worship
their leader; to them he is a second George Washington, and even a few
Englishmen there speak with admiration of him.

The day before my arrival in the town John McCann, of Johannesburg, who
is a former New-Yorker and a friend of the President, informed Mr.
Kruger of my intention to visit Pretoria.  The President had refused
interviews to three representatives of influential London newspapers who
had been in the town three months waiting for the opportunity, but he
expressed a desire to see an American.

"The Americans won’t lie about me," he said to Mr. McCann.  "I want
America to learn our side of the story from me.  They have had only the
English point of view."  I had scarcely reached my hotel when an
emissary from the President called and made an appointment for me to
meet him in the afternoon.  The emissary conducted me to the Government
Building, where the Volksraad was in session, and it required only a
short time for it to become known that a representative from the great
sister republic across the Atlantic desired to learn the truth about the

I was overwhelmed with information.  Cabinet members, Raad members, the
Commissioner of War, the Postmaster General, the most honoured and
influential men of the republic--men who had more than once risked their
lives in fighting for their country’s preservation--gathered around me
and were so eager to have me tell America of the wrongs they had
suffered at the hands of the British that the scene was highly pathetic.

One after another spoke of the severe trials through which their young
republic had passed, the efforts that had been made to disrupt it, and
the constant harassment to which they had been subjected by enemies
working under the cloak of friendship.  The majority spoke English, but
such as knew only the Boer taal were given an opportunity by their more
fortunate friends to add to the testimony, and spoke through an
interpreter.  Such earnest, such honest conversation it had never been
my lot to hear before.  It was a memorable hour that I spent listening
to the plaints of those plain, good-hearted Boers in the heart of South
Africa.  It was the voice of the downtrodden, the weak crying out
against the strong.

When the hour of my appointment with the President arrived there was a
unanimous desire among the Boers gathered around to accompany me.  It
was finally decided by them that six would be a sufficient number, and
among those chosen were Postmaster-General Van Alpen, who was a
representative at the Postal Congress in Washington several years ago;
Commissioner of Mines P. Kroebler, Commissioner of War J. J. Smidt,
Justice of the Peace Dillingham, and former Commandant-General Stephanne

When our party reached the little white-washed cottage in which the
President lives a score or more of tall and soil-stained farmers were
standing in a circular group on the low piazza.  They were laughing
hilariously at something that had been said by a shorter, fat man who
was nearly hidden from view by the surrounding circle of patriarchs.  A
breach in the circle disclosed the President of the republic with his
left arm on the shoulder of a long-whiskered Boer, and his right hand
swinging lightly in the hand of another of his countrymen.  It was
democracy in its highest exemplification.

Catching a glimpse of us as we were entering on the lawn, the President
hastily withdrew into the cottage.  The Boers he deserted seated
themselves on benches and chairs on the piazza, relighted their pipes,
and puffed contentedly, without paying more attention to us than to nod
to several of my companions as we passed them.

The front door of the cottage, or "White House," as they call it, was
wide open.  There was no flunkey in livery to take our cards, no
white-aproned servant girls to tra-la-la our names.  The executive
mansion of the President was as free and open to visitors as the
farmhouse of the humblest burgher of the republic.  In their efforts to
display their qualities of politeness my companions urged me into the
President’s private reception room, while they lingered for a short time
at the threshold.  The President rose from his chair in the opposite
end, met me in the centre of the room, and had grasped my hand before my
companions had an opportunity of going through the process of an

There was less formality and red tape in meeting "Oom Paul" than would
be required to have a word with Queen Victoria’s butcher or President
McKinley’s office-boy.

While Mr. Kruger’s small fat hand was holding mine in its grasp and
shaking it vehemently, he spoke something in Boer, to which I replied,
"Heel goed, danke," meaning "Very well, I thank you."  Some one had told
me that he would first ask concerning my health, and also gave me the
formula for an answer. The President laughed heartily at my reply, and
made a remark in Boer "taal."  The interpreter came up in the meantime
and straightened out the tangle by telling me that the President’s first
question had been "Have you any English blood in your veins?"

The President, still laughing at my reply, seated himself in a big
armchair at the head of a table on which was a heavy pipe and a large
tobacco box.  He filled the pipe, lighted the tobacco, and blew great
clouds of smoke toward the ceiling.  My companions took turns in filling
their pipes from the President’s tobacco box, and in a few minutes the
smoke was so dense as nearly to obscure my view of the persons in front
of me.

The President crossed his short, thin legs and blew quick, spirited
puffs of smoke while an interpreter translated to him my expression of
the admiration which the American people had for him, and how well known
the title "Oom Paul" was in America.  This delighted the old man
immeasurably.  His big, fat body seemed to resolve itself into waves
which started in his shoes and gradually worked upward until the fat
rings under his eyes hid the little black orbits from view.  Then he
slapped his knees with his hands, opened his large mouth, and roared
with laughter.

It was almost a minute before he regained his composure sufficiently to
take another puff at the pipe which is his constant companion. During
the old man’s fit of laughter one of my companions nudged me and advised
me: "Now ask him anything you wish.  He is in better humour than I have
ever seen him before."  The President checked a second outburst of
laughter rather suddenly and asked, "Are you a friend of Cecil Rhodes?"
If there is any one whom "Oom Paul" detests it is the great colonizer.
The President invariably asks this question of strangers, and if the
answer is an affirmative one he refuses to continue the conversation.

Being assured that such was not the case, Mr. Kruger’s mind appeared to
be greatly relieved--as he is very suspicious of all strangers--and he
asked another question which is indicative of the religious side of his
nature: "To what Church do you belong?"  A speaking acquaintanceship was
claimed with the Dutch Reformed Church, of which the President is a most
devout member, and this served to dissipate all suspicions he might have
had concerning me.

The interpreter was repeating a question to him when the President
suddenly interrupted, as is frequently his custom during a conversation,
and asked: "Do the American people know the history of our people?  I
will tell you truthfully and briefly.  You have heard the English
version always; now I will give you ours."

The President proceeded slowly and, between puffs at his great pipe,
spoke determinedly: "When I was a child we were so maltreated by the
English in Cape Colony that we could no longer bear the abuses to which
we were subjected.  In 1835 we migrated northward with our cattle and
possessions and settled in Natal, just south of Zululand, where by
unavoidable fighting we acquired territory from the Zulus.  We had
hardly settled that country and established ourselves and a local form
of government when our old enemies followed, and by various high-handed
methods made life so unendurable that we were again compelled to move
our families and possessions.  This time we travelled five hundred miles
inland over the trackless veldt and across the Vaal River, and after
many hardships and trials settled in the Transvaal.  The country was so
poor, so uninviting, that the English colonists did not think it worth
their while to settle in the land which we had chosen for our

"Our people increased in number, and, as the years passed, established a
form of government such as yours in America.  The British thought they
were better able to govern us than we were ourselves, and once took our
country from us.  Their defeats at Laing’s Nek and Majuba Hill taught
them that we were fighters, and they gave us our independence and
allowed us to live peaceably for a number of years.  They did not think
the country valuable enough to warrant the repetition of the fighting
for it.  When it became known all over the world twelve years ago that
the most extensive gold fields on the globe had been discovered in our
apparently worthless country, England became envious and laid plans to
annex such a valuable prize. Thousands of people were attracted hither
by our wonderful gold mines at Johannesburg, and the English statesmen
renewed their attacks on us.  They made all sorts of pretexts to rob us
of our country, and when they could not do it in a way that was honest
and would be commended by other nations, they planned the Jameson raid,
which was merely a bold attempt to steal our country."

At this point Kruger paused for a moment and then added, "You Americans
know how well they succeeded."  This sally amused him and my companions
hugely, and they all joined in hearty laughter.

The President declared that England’s attitude toward them had changed
completely since the discovery of the gold fields.  "Up to that time we
had been living in harmony with every one.  We always tried to be
peaceable and to prevent strife between our neighbours, but we have been
continually harassed since the natural wealth of our land has been

Here he relighted his pipe, which had grown cold while he was detailing
the history of the Transvaal Boers, and then drew a parable, which is
one of his distinguishing traits: "The gold fields may be compared to a
pretty girl who is young and wealthy.  You all admire her and want her
to be yours, but when she rejects you your anger rises and you want to
destroy her."  By implication England is the rejected suitor, and the
Transvaal the rich young girl.

Comparing the Boers’ conduct in South Africa with that of the English,
the President said: "Ever since we left Cape Colony in 1835 we have not
taken any territory from the natives by conquest except that of one
chief whose murderous maraudings compelled us to drive him away from his
country.  We bartered and bought every inch of land we now have, England
has taken all the land she has in South Africa at the muzzles of
repeating rifles and machine guns.  That is the civilized method of
extending the bounds of the empire they talk about so much."

The Englishmen’s plaint is that the republic will tax them, but allow
them no representation in the affairs of government.  The President
explained his side in this manner: "Every man, be he Englishman,
Chinaman, or Eskimo, can become a naturalized citizen of our country and
have all the privileges of a burgher in nine years.  If we should have a
war, a foreigner can become a citizen in a minute if he will fight with
our army.  The difficulty with the Englishmen here is that they want to
be burghers and at the same time retain their English citizenship.

"A man can not serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love
the other, or hold to the one and despise the other.  We have a law for
bigamy in our country, and it is necessary to dispose of an old love
before it is possible to marry a new."

"Oom Paul" is very bitter in his feeling against the English, whom he
calls his natural enemies, but it is seldom that he says anything
against them except in private to his most intimate friends.  The
present great distress in the Johannesburg gold fields is attributed by
the English residents to the high protective duties imposed by the
Government and the high freight charges for the transmission of
machinery and coal.  Mr. Kruger explained that those taxes were less
than in the other colonies in the country.

"We are high protectionists because ours is a young country.  These new
mines have cost the Government great amounts of money, and it is
necessary for us to raise as much as we expend.  They want us to give
them everything gratuitously, so that we may become bankrupt and they
can take our country for the debt.  If they don’t like our laws, why
don’t they stay away?"

Nowhere in the world is the American Republic admired as much outside of
its own territory as in South Africa.  Both the Transvaal and the Orange
Free State Constitutions are patterned after that of the United States,
and there is a desire lurking in the breasts of thousands of South
Africans to convert the whole of the country south of the Zambezi into
one grand United States of South Africa.

Sir Alfred Milner, the Queen’s Commissioner to South Africa, said to me
several days before I saw Mr. Kruger that such a thing might come to
pass within the next twenty years.  The President hesitated when I asked
him if he favoured such a proposition to unite all the colonies and
republics in the country.  "If I should say ’Yes,’ the English would
declare war on us to-morrow."  He appeared to be very cautious on this
subject for a few minutes, but after a consultation with my companions
he spoke more freely.

"We admire your Government very much," he said, "and think there is none
better in the world.  At the present time there are so many conflicting
affairs in this country as to make the discussion of an amalgamation
inadvisable.  A republic formed on the principle of the United States
would be most advantageous to all concerned, but South Africa is not yet
ripe for such a government.  I shall not live to see it."

According to those around him, the President had not been in such a
talkative mood for a long time, and, acting upon that information, I
asked him to tell me concerning the Boers’ ability to defend themselves
in case of war with England.  Many successes against British arms have
caused the Boers to regard their prowess very highly, and they generally
speak of themselves as well able to protect their country.  The two
countries have been on the very verge of war several times during the
last three years, and it was only through the greatest diplomacy that
the thousands of English soldiers were not sent over the border of the
Transvaal, near which they have been stationed ever since the memorable
raid of Jameson’s troopers.

The President’s reply was guarded: "The English say they can starve us
out of our country by placing barriers of soldiers along the borders.
Starve us they can, if it is the will of God that such should be our
fate.  If God is on our side they can build a big wall around us and we
can still live and flourish. We don’t want war.  My wish is to live in
peace with everybody."

It was evident that the subject was not pleasant to him, and he
requested me to ask Commissioner of War Smidt, a war-scarred hero of
Majuba Hill, to speak to me on the ability of the Boers to take care of
themselves in case of a conflict.

Commissioner Smidt became very enthusiastic as he progressed with the
expression of his opinion, and the President frequently nodded assent to
what the head of the War Department said.

"It is contrary to our national feeling to engage in war," said Mr.
Smidt, "and we will do all in our power to avert strife.  If, however,
we are forced into fighting, we must defend ourselves as best we are
able.  There is not one Boer in the Transvaal who will not fight until
death for his country.  We have demonstrated our ability several times,
and we shall try to retain our reputation.  The English must fight us in
our own country, where we know every rock, every valley, and every hill.
They fight at a disadvantage in a country which they do not know and in
a climate to which they are strangers.

"The Boers are born sharpshooters, and from infancy are taught to put a
bullet in a buzzard’s skull at a hundred yards.  One Boer is equal in a
war in our own country to five Englishmen, and that has been proved a
number of times.  We have rugged constitutions, are accustomed to an
outdoor life, and can live on a piece of biltong for days, while the
Queen’s soldiers have none of these advantages. They can not starve us
out in fifty years, for we have sources of provender of which they can
not deprive us.  We have fortifications around Pretoria that make it an
impossibility for any army of less than fifty thousand men to take, and
the ammunition we have on hand is sufficient for a three years’ war. We
are not afraid of the English in Africa, and not until every Boer in the
Transvaal is killed will we stop fighting if they ever begin. Should war
come, and I pray that it will not, the Boers will march through English
territory to the Cape of Good Hope, or be erased from the face of the

Never was a man more sincere in his statements than the commissioner,
and his companions supported his every sentence by look and gesture.
Even the President gave silent approval to the sentiments expressed.

"Have you ever had any intention of securing Delagoa Bay from the
Portuguese, in order that you might have a seacoast, as has been
rumoured many times?" I asked the President.  Delagoa Bay, the finest
harbour in Africa, is within a few miles of the Transvaal, and might be
of great service to it in the event of war.

"’Cursed be he who removes the landmarks of his neighbour,’" quoted he.
"I never want to do anything that would bring the vengeance of God on
me.  We want our country, nothing more, nothing less."

Asked to give an explanation of the causes of the troubles between
England and the Transvaal, he said:

"Mr. Rhodes is the cause of all the troubles between our country and
England.  He desires to form all the country south of the Zambezi River
into a United States of South Africa, and before he can do this he must
have possession of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.  His aim in
life is to be President of the United States of South Africa. He
initiated the Jameson raid, and he has stirred up the spirit of
discontent which is being shown by the Englishmen in the Transvaal.  Our
Government endeavours to treat every one with like favour, but these
Englishmen are never satisfied with anything we do. They want the
English flag to wave over the Transvaal territory, and nothing less.
Rhodes spent millions of pounds in efforts to steal our country, and
will probably spend millions more.  But we will never leave this land,
which we found, settled, and protected."

Then, rising from his chair and raising his voice, he continued slowly
and deliberately:

"We will fight until not one Boer remains to defend our flag and
country; our women and children will fight for their liberties; and even
I, an old man, will take the gun which I have used against them twice
before and use it again to defend the country I love.  But I hope there
will be no war.  I want none and the Boers want none.  If war comes, we
shall not be to blame.  I have done all in my power for peace, and have
taken many insults from Englishmen merely that my people might not be
plunged into war.  I want no war.  I hope that I may spend the rest of
my days in peace."

The President’s carriage had arrived in front of the cottage to convey
him to the Government Building, and the time had arrived for him to
appear before one of the Volksraads.  He displayed no eagerness to end
the interview, and continued it by asking me to describe the personality
and ability of President McKinley.  He expressed his admiration of
former President Cleveland, with whose Department of State he had some
dealings while John Hays Hammond was confined in the Pretoria prison for
complicity in the Jameson raid.

His opinion of the Americans in South Africa was characteristic of the
man.  "I like and trust true Americans.  They are a magnificent people,
because they favour justice. When those in our country are untainted
with English ideas I trust them implicitly, but there were a number of
them here in Jameson’s time who were Americans in name only."

He hesitated to send any message to the sister republic in America, lest
his English enemies might construe it to mean that he curried America’s
favour.  His friends finally persuaded him to make a statement, and he
dictated this expression of good fellowship and respect:

"So long as the different sections of the United States live in peace
and harmony, so long will they be happy and prosperous.  My wish is that
the great republic in America may become the greatest nation on earth,
and that she may continue to act as the great peace nation.  I wish that
prosperity may be hers and her people’s, and in my daily prayers I ask
that God may protect her and bless her bounteously."

It being far past the time for his appearance at the Government
Building, the President ended the interview abruptly.  He refilled his
pipe, bade farewell to us, and bustled from the room with all the vigour
of a young man.  On the piazza, he met his little, silver-haired wife,
who, with a half-knit stocking pendant from her fingers, was conversing
with the countrymen sitting on the benches.  The President bent down and
kissed her affectionately, then jumped into the carriage and was rapidly
conveyed to the Government Building.  When the dust obscured the
carriage and the cavalrymen attending it, one of my companions turned to
me and remarked:

"Ah! there goes a great man!"

                              CHAPTER VII

                           CECIL JOHN RHODES

Sixteen years ago Cecil J. Rhodes, then a man of small means and no
political record, stood in a small Kimberley shop and looked for a long
time at a map of Africa which hung on the wall.  An acquaintance who had
watched him for several minutes stepped up to Rhodes and asked whether
he was attempting to find the location of Kimberley.  Mr. Rhodes made no
reply for several seconds, then placed his right hand over the map, and
covered a large part of South and Central Africa from the Atlantic to
the Indian Ocean.  "All that British!" he said.  "That is my dream."

[Illustration: The Rt. Hon. Cecil J. Rhodes on the piazza of his
residence, Groote Schuur, at Rondebosch, near Cape Town.]

"I will give you ten years to realize it," replied the friend.

"Give me ten more," said Rhodes, "and then we’ll have a new map."

Three fourths of the required time has elapsed, and the full realization
of Rhodes’s dream must take place within the next four years.  There
remain only two small spaces on that part of the map which was covered
by Rhodes’s hand that are not British, and those are the Orange Free
State and the South African Republic.  Mr. Rhodes’s success will come
hand-in-hand with the death of the two republics.  The life of the
republics hinges on his failure, and good fortune has rarely deserted

Twenty-seven years ago Cecil Rhodes, then a tall, thin college lad, was
directed by his physician to go to South Africa if he wished to live
more than three years.  He and his brother Herbert, the sons of the poor
rector of Bishop Stortford, sailed for Durban, Natal, and reached that
port while the diamond fever was at its height at Kimberley.  The two
boys, each less than nineteen years old, joined a party of adventurers
and prospectors, and, after many vicissitudes, reached the Kimberley
fields safely, but with little or no money.  The boys were energetic,
and found opportunities for making money where others could see none.

The camp was composed of the roughest characters in South Africa, all of
whom had flocked thither when the discovery of diamonds was first
announced.  Illicit diamond buying was the easiest path to wealth, and
was travelled by almost every millionaire whose name has been connected
with recent South African affairs.  Mr. Rhodes is one of the few
exceptions, and even his enemies corroborate the statement.

"You don’t steal diamonds," said Barney Barnato to Mr. Rhodes fifteen
years ago, "but you must prove it when accused.  I steal them, but my
enemies must prove it.  That’s the difference between us."

The youthful Rhodes engaged in many legitimate schemes for making money,
and saved almost all that he secured.  For a short time he pumped water
out of mines, using an abandoned engine for the purpose, and then
embarked in commercial enterprises.  After spending two or three years
in the fields, he returned to England and resumed his course at Oxford.
In connection with this visit to England, Mr. Rhodes relates the story
of the meeting with the physician who several years before had placed
the limit of his existence at three years.

"You the same Rhodes?" asked the discomfited doctor when he saw the
healthy young man.  "According to my books, you have been in your grave
some time.  Here is the entry: ’Tuberculosis; recovery impossible.’  You
can’t be the same Rhodes, sir.  Impossible!"

At the end of each term at Oxford Mr. Rhodes returned to Kimberley, and,
by judiciously investing his savings in mining claims, soon became a
power in the affairs of the diamond fields.  When the diamond fever was
followed by the usual reaction, and evil days fell upon the industry,
Mr. Rhodes secured all the shares, claims, and lands that his thousands
would buy.  Then he conceived the idea of making a monopoly of the
diamond industry by consolidating all the mines and limiting the output.

Lacking the money wherewith to buy the valuable properties necessary for
his plans, he went to the Rothschilds and asked for financial
assistance.  The scheme was extraordinary, and required such a large
amount of money that the request, coming from such a young man as Mr.
Rhodes was then, staggered the Rothschilds, and they asked him to call
several days later for an answer.

"My time is valuable," remarked Mr. Rhodes, rather haughtily.  "I will
come again in an hour for your answer.  If you have not decided by that
time, I shall seek assistance elsewhere."

The Rothschilds sent Mr. Rhodes back to Africa with the necessary amount
of money to purchase the other claims and property in the Kimberley
district, and, after he had formed the great De Beers Company, appointed
him managing director for life at a salary of one hundred and fifty
thousand dollars a year. Under Mr. Rhodes’s management the De Beers
consolidated mines have been earning annual dividends of almost fifty
per cent., and more than four hundred million dollars’ worth of diamonds
have been placed on the market. With the exception of the Suez Canal,
the mines are the best paying property in the world, and much of their
success is due to the personal efforts of Mr. Rhodes.

It was while he was engineering the consolidation of the diamond mines
that Mr. Rhodes began his political career.  He realized that his
political success was founded on personal popularity, and more firmly so
in a new country, where the political elements were of such a
diversified character as are usually present in a mining community.  In
the early days of the Kimberley fields the extent of a man’s popularity
depended upon the amount of money he spent in wining those around him.
Mr. Rhodes was astute enough to appreciate the secret of popularity,
and, having gained it, allowed himself to be named as candidate for the
Cape Colony Parliament from the Kimberley district.

By carefully currying the favour of the Dutch inhabitants, who were not
on the friendliest political terms with the English colonists, he was
elected.  Thereafter Mr. Rhodes’s political star was in the ascendant,
and he was elected successively to the highest office in the colony’s

At the age of twenty-eight he was Treasurer-General of Cape Colony, and
it was while he filled that office that Chinese Gordon appeared at the
Cape and appealed to Mr. Rhodes to join the expedition to Khartoum.  Mr.
Rhodes was undecided whether to resign the treasurer-generalship and
accompany Gordon or to remain in South Africa, but finally determined to
stay in the colony.  Gordon, who had taken a great fancy to the young
and energetic colonist, was sorely disappointed, and went to Khartoum,
where he was killed.

During the years he held minor Government offices Mr. Rhodes formed the
alliances which were the foundation of his later political success.  He
was a friend at the same time of the Englishman, the Afrikander, the
Dutchman, and the Boer, and he was always in a position where he could
reciprocate the favours of one class without incurring the enmity of
another.  He worked with the Dutchmen when protection was the political
cry, and with the Englishmen when subjects dear to them were in the
foreground.  He never abused his opponents in political arguments, as
the majority of Cape politicians do, but he pleaded with them on the
veldt and at their firesides.

When he was unable to swerve a man’s opinions by words, he has
frequently been charged with having applied the more seductive method of
using money.  Mr. Rhodes is said to be a firm believer in money as a
force superior to all others, and he does not hesitate to acknowledge
his belief that every man’s opinions can be shaped by the application of
a necessary amount of money.  This belief he formed in the early days of
the diamond fields, and it has remained with him ever since.

"Find the man’s price" was Mr. Rhodes’s formula for success before he
reached the age of thirty, and his political enemies declare it has
given him the power he desired.  In a country which had such a large
roving and reckless population as South Africa it was not difficult for
a politician with a motto similar to that of Mr. Rhodes’s to become
influential at election periods, nor did it require many years to
establish a party that would support him on whatever grounds he chose to

It was with such a following that Mr. Rhodes commenced his higher
political career in Cape Colony.  When, in 1884, he became Commissioner
of Bechuanaland, the vast and then undeveloped country adjoining the
colony on the north, and made his first plans for the annexation of that
territory to the British Empire, he received the support of the majority
of the voters of the colony.  His first plan of securing control of the
territory was not favourably received by the Colonial Office in London,
and no sooner was it pronounced visionary than he suggested another more

Bechuanaland was then ruled by a mighty native chief, Lobengula, whose
vast armies roved over the country and prevented white travellers and
prospectors from crossing the bounds of his territory.  In the minds of
the white people of South Africa, Bechuanaland figured as a veritable
Golconda--a land where precious stones and minerals could be secured
without any attendant labour, where the soil was so rich as to yield
four bounteous harvests every year.

Mr. Rhodes determined to break the barriers which excluded white men
from the native chief’s domain, and sent three agents to treat with
Lobengula.  The agents made many valuable presents to the old chief, and
in 1888, after much engineering, secured from him an exclusive
concession to search for and extract minerals in Bechuanaland.  The
payment for the concession included five hundred dollars a month, a
thousand rifles and ammunition, and a small gunboat on the Zambezi.

After Mr. Rhodes discovered the real value of the concession, he and a
number of his friends formed the British South Africa Company, popularly
known as the Chartered Company, and received a charter from the British
Government, which gave to them the exclusive right of governing,
developing, and trading in Lobengula’s country.  Several years afterward
the white man’s government became irksome to Lobengula and his tribes,
as well as to the Mashonas, who occupied the immense territory adjoining
Bechuanaland on the east, and all rebelled.  The result was not unlike
those of native rebellions in other countries. The natives were shot
down by trained English soldiers, their country was taken from them, and
those who escaped death or captivity were compelled to fly for safety to
the new countries of the north.

The British South Africa Company in 1895 practically became the sole
owner of Rhodesia, the great territory taken from Lobengula and the
Mashonas; and Mr. Rhodes, having realized part of his dream, began
casting about for other opportunities whereby he might extend the

Mr. Rhodes was then in the zenith of his glory.  He was many times a
millionaire, the head of one of the greatest capitalistic enterprises in
the world, the director of the affairs of a dominion occupying one tenth
of a continent, and the Premier of Cape Colony.  His power was almost
absolute over a territory that stretches from the Cape of Good Hope into
Central Africa, and then eastward to within a few miles of the Indian
Ocean.  He had armies under his command, and two governments were at his
beck and call.

But Mr. Rhodes was not satisfied.  He looked again at the map of Africa,
already greatly changed since he placed his hand over it in the
Kimberley shop, but the dream was not realized.  He saw the Transvaal
and the Orange Free State flags still occupying the positions he had
marked for the British emblem, and he plotted for their acquisition.

The strife between the Boers and the Uitlanders in the Transvaal was
then at its height, and Mr. Rhodes recognised the opportunity for the
intervention of England that it afforded. Mr. Rhodes did not consider it
of sufficient importance to inquire concerning the justice of the
Uitlanders’ claims, nor did he express any sympathy for their cause.  In
fact, if anything, he felt that if the Uitlanders were unjustly treated
by the Boers their remedy was simple. Once he blandly told a complaining
Uitlander that no Chinese wall surrounded the Transvaal, and that to
escape from the alleged injustice was comparatively easy.

To Mr. Rhodes the end was sufficient excuse for the means, and, if the
acquisition of the two republics carried with it the loss of his Boer
friends, he was willing to accept the situation.  The fall of the
Transvaal Republic carried with it the subsequent fall of the Orange
Free State, and, in order that he might strike at the head, he
determined to commence his campaign of exterminating republics by first
attacking the Transvaal.

Whether he had the promise of assistance from the Colonial Office in
London is a subject upon which even the principals differ. Mr. Rhodes
felt that his power in the country was great enough to make the attack
upon the Transvaal without assistance from the home Government, and the
plot of the Jameson raid was formed.

He retired to Groote Schuur, his home at Cape Town, and awaited the
fruition of the plans he had so carefully made and explained. His
lieutenants might have been overhasty, or perhaps the Uitlanders in
Johannesburg might have feared the Boer guns too much; whatever the
reason, the plans miscarried, and Mr. Rhodes experienced the first and
greatest reverse in his brilliant public career.

The dream which appeared so near realization one day was dissolved the
next, and with it the reputation of the dreamer.  He was obliged to
resign the premiership of Cape Colony, many of his best and oldest
supporters in England deserted him, and he lost the respect and esteem
of the Dutch inhabitants of South Africa, who had always been among his
stanchest allies.  The heroic Rhodes, the idol of Cape Colony, found
himself the object of attack and ridicule of the majority of the voters
of the colony.  The parliamentary inquiry acquitted him of all
complicity in the Jameson raid, it is true, but the Dutch people of
South Africa never have and never will.

The Jameson raid was a mere incident in Mr. Rhodes’s career; he would
probably call it an accident.  Having failed to overthrow the Transvaal
Republic by means of an armed revolution, he attempted to accomplish the
same object by means of a commercial revolution.  Rhodesia, the new
country which had a short time previously been taken from the Matabeles
and the Mashonas, was proclaimed by Mr. Rhodes to be a paradise for
settlers and an Ophir for prospectors.  He personally conducted the
campaign to rob the Transvaal of its inhabitants and its commerce; but
the golden promises, the magnificent farms, the Solomon’s mines, the new
railways, and the new telegraph lines all failed to attract the coveted
prizes to the land which, after all, was found to be void of real merit
except as a hunting ground where the so-called British poor-house, the
army, might pot negroes.

Mr. Rhodes spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing the
country which bears his name, and the British South Africa Company added
thousands more, but the hand which was wont to turn into gold all that
it touched had lost its cunning.  To add to Mr. Rhodes’s perplexities,
the natives who had been conquered by Dr. Jameson learned that their
conqueror had been taken prisoner by the Boers, and rose in another
rebellion against English authority.  Mr. Rhodes and one of his sisters
journeyed alone into the enemy’s stronghold and made terms with
Lobengula, whereby the revolution was practically ended.

After the Rhodesian country had been pacified, and he had placed the
routine work of the campaign to secure settlers for the country in the
hands of his lieutenants, Mr. Rhodes bent all his energies toward the
completion of the transcontinental railway and telegraph lines which had
been started under his auspices several years before, but had been
allowed to lag on account of the pressure of weightier matters.  The
Cape Town to Cairo railroad and telegraph are undertakings of such vast
proportions and importance that Mr. Rhodes’s fame might easily have been
secured through them alone had he never been heard of in connection with
other great enterprises.

He himself originated the plans by which the Mediterranean and Table Bay
will eventually be united by bands of steel and strands of copper, and
it is through his own personal efforts that the English financiers are
being induced to subscribe the money with which his plans are being
carried out.  The marvellous faith which the English people have in Mr.
Rhodes has been illustrated on several occasions when he was called to
London to meet storms of protests from shareholders, who feared that the
two great enterprises were gigantic fiascos.  He has invariably returned
to South Africa with the renewed confidence of the timid ones and many
millions of additional capital.

Mr. Rhodes has tasted of the power which is absolute, and he will brook
no earthly interference with his plans.  The natives may destroy
hundreds of miles of the telegraph lines, as they have done on several
occasions.  He teaches them a lesson by means of the quick-firing gun,
and rebuilds the line.  White men may fear the deadly fever of Central
Africa, but princely salaries and life-insurance policies for a host of
relatives will always attract men to take the risk.  Shareholders may
rebel at the expenditures, but Mr. Rhodes will indicate to them that
their other properties will be ruined if they withdraw their support
from the railway and telegraph.

A strip of territory belonging to another nation may be an impediment to
the line, but an interview with the Emperor of Germany or the King of
Portugal will be all-sufficient for the accomplishment of Mr. Rhodes’s
purpose. Providence may swerve him in his purpose many times, but
nations and individuals rarely.

All South Africans agree that Mr. Rhodes is the most remarkable
Englishman that ever figured in the history of the African continent.
Some will go further and declare that he has done more for the British
Empire than any one man in history.  No two South Africans will agree on
the methods by which Mr. Rhodes attained his position in the affairs of
the country.  Some say that he owes his success to his great wealth;
others declare that his personal magnetism is responsible for all that
he ever attained.  His enemies intimate that political chicanery is the
foundation of his progress, while his friends resent the intimation and
laud his sterling honesty as the basis of his successful career.

No one has ever accused him of being the fortunate victim of
circumstances which carried him to the pre-eminent rank he occupies
among Englishmen, although such an opinion might readily be formed from
a personal study of the man.  South Africa is the indolent man’s
paradise, and of that garden of physical inactivity Mr. Rhodes, by
virtue of his pre-eminent qualifications, is king.  "Almost as lazy as
Rhodes" is a South Africanism that has caused lifelong enmities and
rivers of blood.

He takes pride in his indolence, and declares that the man who performs
more labour than his physical needs demand is a fool.  He says he never
makes a long speech because he is too lazy to expend the energy
necessary for its delivery.  He declines to walk more than an eighth of
a mile unless it is impossible to secure a vehicle or native
hammock-bearers to convey him, and then he proceeds so slowly that his
progress is almost imperceptible.  His indolence may be the result of
the same line of reasoning as that indulged in by the cautious man who
carries an umbrella when the sun shines, in which case every one who has
travelled in the tropics will agree that Mr. Rhodes is a modern Solomon.
The only exercise he indulges in is an hour’s canter on horseback in the
early morning, before the generous rays of the African sun appear.

Notwithstanding his antipathy to physical exertion, Mr. Rhodes is a
great traveller, and is constantly moving from one place to another.
One week may find him at Groote Schuur, his Cape Town residence, while
the following week he may be planning a new farm in far-away
Mashonaland.  The third week may have him in the Portuguese possessions
on the east coast, and at the end of the month he may be back in Cape
Town, prepared for a voyage to England and a fortnight’s stay in Paris.
He will charter a bullock team or a steamship with like disregard of
expense in order that he may reach his destination at a specified time,
and in like manner he will be watchful of his comfort by causing houses
to be built in unfrequented territory which he may wish to investigate.

So wealthy that he could almost double his fortune in the time it would
require to count it, Mr. Rhodes is a firm believer in the doctrine that
money was created for the purpose of being spent, and never hesitates to
put it into practice.  He does not assist beggars, nor does he squander
sixpence in a year, but he will pay the expenses of a trip to Europe for
a man whom he wishes to reconcile, and will donate the value of a
thousand-acre farm to a tribe of natives which has pleased him by its

His generosity is best illustrated by a story told by one of his most
intimate friends in Kimberley.  Several years before Barney Barnato’s
death, that not-too-honest speculator induced almost all of the
employees of the diamond mines to invest their savings in the stock of
the Pleiades gold mine in Johannesburg, which Barnato and his friends
were attempting to manipulate.  The attempt was unsuccessful, and the
diamond miners lost all the money they had invested.  Mr. Rhodes heard
of Barnato’s deceit, and asked him to refund the money, but was laughed
at.  Mr. Rhodes learned the total amount of the losses--about
twenty-five thousand dollars--and paid the money out of his own pocket.

Although he has more financial patronage at his command than almost any
banking house in existence, Mr. Rhodes rarely has sufficient money in
his purse to buy lunch.  His valet, a half-breed Malay named Tony, is
his banker, and from him he is continually borrowing money.  It is
related that on a voyage to England he offered to make a wager of money,
but found that he had nothing less valuable than a handful of loose
rough diamonds in his trousers pocket.

Mr. Rhodes is an eloquently silent man. He talks little, but his paucity
of words is no criterion of their weight.  He can condense a chapter
into a word, and a book into a sentence.  The man whose hobby is to run
an empire is almost as silent as the Sphinx in the land toward which
that empire is being elongated.  His sentences are short and curt.  "I
want a railroad here," or "We want this mine," or "We must have this
strip of land," are common examples of his style of speech and the
expression of his dominant spirit.

He has the faculty of leading people to believe that they want the exact
opposite of what they really want, and he does it in such a polished
manner that they give their consent before they realize what he has
asked them.  His personal charm, which in itself is almost irresistible,
is fortified with a straight-forward, breezy heartiness, that carries
with it respect, admiration, confidence, and, finally, conviction.  He
has argued and treated with persons ranging in intelligence and station
from a native chief to the most learned diplomats and rulers in the
world, and his experience has taught him that argument will win any

Lobengula called him "the brother who eats a whole country for his
dinner."  To this title might be added "the debater who swallows up the
opposition in one breath."  Mr. Rhodes never asks exactly what he wants.
He will ask the shareholders of a company for ten million, when he
really needs only five million, but in that manner he is almost certain
of satisfying his needs.  In the same way when he pleads with an
opponent he makes the demands so great that he can afford to yield half
and still attain his object.  Twelve years ago Mr. Rhodes demanded the
appointment of Prime Minister of the Colony, but he was satisfied with
the Commissionership of Crown Lands and Works, the real object of his

If Mr. Rhodes had cast his lines in America instead of South Africa, he
would be called a political boss.  He would be the dominant factor of
one of the parties, and he would be able to secure delegates with as
much ease as he does in Cape Colony, where the population is less mixed
than in our country.  His political lieutenants act with the same vigour
and on the same general lines as those in our country, and if a close
examination of their work could be made, many political tricks that the
American campaigner never heard of would probably be disclosed.

One of the mildest accusations against him is that he paid fifty
thousand dollars for the support that first secured for him a seat in
the Cape Colony Parliament, but he has never considered it worth the
time to deny the report. His political success depends in no little
measure upon his personal acquaintanceship with the small men of his
party, and his method of treating them with as much consideration and
respect as those who have greater influence.  He is in constant
communication with the leaders of the rural communities, and misses no
opportunity to show his appreciation of their support.  Mr. Rhodes may
be kingly when he is among kings, but he is also a farmer among farmers,
and among the Cape Dutch and Boers such a metamorphosis is the necessary
stepping-stone to the hearts and votes of that numerous people.  It is
not uncommon to find Mr. Rhodes among a party of farmers or transport
riders each one of whom has better clothing than the multimillionaire.

When he was in the Cape Parliament Mr. Rhodes wore a hat which was so
shabby that it became the subject of newspaper importance. When he is in
Rhodesia he dons the oldest suit of clothing in his wardrobe, and
follows the habits of the pioneers who are settling the country.  He
sleeps in a native kraal when he is not near a town, and eats of the
same canned beef and crackers that his Chartered Company serves to its
mounted police.  When he is in that primeval country he despises
ostentation and displays in his honour, and will travel fifty miles on
horseback in an opposite direction in order to avoid a formal proceeding
of any nature.  Two years ago, when the railroad to Buluwayo, the
capital of Rhodesia, was formally opened, Mr. Rhodes telegraphed his
regrets, and intimated that he was ill.  As a matter of fact he
travelled night and day in order to escape to a place where telegrams
and messages could not reach him.  When his host suggested that he was
missing many entertainments and the society of the most distinguished
men of South Africa, Mr. Rhodes smiled and said: "For that reason I

Formality bores him, and he would rather live a month coatless and
collarless in a native kraal with an old colony story-teller than spend
half an hour at a state dinner in the governor’s mansion.  It is related
in this connection that Mr. Rhodes was one of a distinguished party who
attended the opening of a railroad extension near Cape Town.  While the
speeches were being made, and the chairman was trying to find him, Mr.
Rhodes slipped quietly away, and was discovered discarding his clothing
preparatory to enjoying a bath in a near-by creek.

Mr. Rhodes is unmarried, and throughout the country has the reputation
of being an avowed hater of women.  He believes that a woman is an
impediment to a man’s existence until he has attained the object and aim
of his life, and has become deserving of luxuries.  He not only believes
in that himself, but takes advantage of every opportunity to impress the
belief upon the minds of those around him. In the summer of 1897 a
captain in the volunteer army, and one of his most faithful lieutenants
in Mashonaland, asked Mr. Rhodes for a three months’ leave of absence to
go to Cape Colony.  The captain had been through many native campaigns,
and richly deserved a vacation, although that was not the real object of
his request for leave.  The man wanted to go to Cape Colony to marry,
and by severe cross-examination Mr. Rhodes learned that such was the

"I can not let you go to Cape Colony; I want you to start for London
to-morrow.  I’ll cable instructions when you arrive there," said Mr.
Rhodes, and the wedding was postponed. When the captain reached London,
a cablegram from Mr. Rhodes said simply, "Study London for three

Nowhere in South Africa is there anything more interesting than Groote
Schuur, the country residence of Mr. Rhodes, at Rondebosch, a suburb of
Cape Town.  He has found time amid his momentous public duties to make
his estate the most magnificent on the continent of Africa.  Besides a
mansion which is a relic of the first settlers of the peninsula, and now
a palace worthy of a king’s occupancy, there is an estate which consists
of hundreds of acres of land overlooking both the Atlantic and Indian
Oceans, and under the walls of Table Mountain, the curio of a country.
In addition to this, there are a zoölogical collection, which comprises
almost every specimen of African fauna that will thrive in captivity,
and hundreds of flowering trees and plants brought from great distances
to enrich the beauty of the landscape.

The estate, which comprises almost twelve hundred acres, is situated
about five miles to the north of Cape Town, on the narrowest part of the
peninsula, through which the waters of the two oceans seem ever anxious
to rush and clasp hands.  It lies along the northwestern base of Table
Mountain, and stretches down toward the waters of Table Bay and
northward toward the death-dealing desert known as the Great Karroo.
From one of the shady streets winding toward Cape Town there stretches a
fine avenue of lofty pines and oaks to the mansion of Groote Schuur,
which, as its name indicates, was originally a granary, where two
hundred years ago the Dutch colonizers hoarded their stores of grain and
guarded them against the attacks of thieving natives.

Although many changes have been made in the structure since it was
secured by Mr. Rhodes, it still preserves the quaint architectural
characteristics of Holland.  The scrolled gables, moulded chimney pots,
and wide verandas, or "stoeps," are none the less indicative of the
tendencies of the old settlers than the Dutch cabinets, bureaus, and
other household furniture that still remains in the mansion from those
early days.

The entire estate breathes of the old Dutch era.  Everything has the
ancient setting, although not at the expense of modern convenience.
While the buildings and grounds are arranged in the picturesque style of
Holland, the furnishings and comforts are the most modern that the
countries of Europe afford.  The library contains, besides such classics
as a graduate of Oxford would have, one of the largest collections of
books and manuscripts bearing on Africa in existence.  In the same room
is a museum of souvenirs connected with Mr. Rhodes’s work of extending
English empire toward the heart of the continent.  There are flags
captured in wars with the Portuguese, Union Jacks riddled with shot and
cut by assegai, and hundreds of curiosities gathered in Rhodesia after
the conquest of the natives.  In this building have gathered for
conference the men who laid the foundations for all the great
enterprises of South Africa.  There the Jameson raid was planned, it is
said, and there, the Boers say, the directors of the British South
Africa Chartered Company were drinking champagne while the forces of Dr.
Jameson were engaged in mortal combat with those of Kruger near

Surrounding the mansion are most beautiful gardens, such as can be found
only in semi-tropical climates.  In the foreground of the view from the
back part of the house is a Dutch garden, rising in three terraces from
the marble-paved courtyard to a grassy knoll, fringed with tall pines,
and dotted here and there with graves of former dwellers at Groote
Schuur. Behind the pine fringe, but only at intervals obscured by it, is
the background of the picture--the bush-clad slopes of Table Mountain
and the Devil’s Peak, near enough for every detail of their strange
formations and innumerable attractions to be observed.  Art and Nature
have joined hands everywhere to make lovely landscapes, in which the
colour effects are produced by hydrangeas, azaleas, and scores of other
flowers, growing in the utmost profusion.  Besides the mimosa, palms,
firs, and other tropical trees that add beauty to the grounds, there is
a low tree which is found nowhere else on earth.  Its leaves are like
the purest silver, and form a charming contrast to the deep green of the
firs and the vivid brightness of the flowers that are everywhere around.
Undoubtedly, however, the most interesting feature of the estate is the
natural zoölogical garden.  It is quite unique to have in this immense
park, with drives six miles in length and ornamentations brought
thousands of miles, wild animals of every variety wandering about with
as much freedom as if they were in their native haunts.  In this
collection are represented every kind of African deer and antelope.
Zebra, kangaroo, giraffe, emu, pheasant, and ostrich seem to be
perfectly contented with their adopted home, and have become so tame
that the presence of human beings has no terrors for them.

This vast estate, which cost Mr. Rhodes several million dollars to bring
to its present condition, sees but little of the former Premier of Cape
Colony.  His vast enterprises in the diamond fields of Kimberley and in
the new country which bears his name require so much of his time that he
but seldom visits it.  But his inability to enjoy the product of his
brain and labour does not cause the estate to be unappreciated, for he
has thrown this unique and charming pleasure resort open to the public,
and by them it is regarded as a national possession.

                              CHAPTER VIII


The Constitution, or Grondwet, of the South African Republic is a
modified counterpart of that of the United States.  It differs in some
salient features, but in its entirety it has the same general foundation
and the same objects.  The executive head of the Government is the
President, who is elected for a term of five years.  He directs the
policy of the Government, suggests the trend of the laws, and oversees
the conduct of the Executive Council, which constitutes the real
Government.  The Executive Council consists of three heads of
departments and six unofficial members of the First Raad.  These nine
officials are the authors of all laws, treaties, and policies that are
proposed to the Volksraads, which constitute the third part of the
Government.  There are two Volksraads, one similar in purpose to our
Senate, and the other, the second Volksraad, not unlike our House of
Representatives, but with far less power.

The first Volksraad consists of twenty-seven members elected from and by
the burghers, or voters, who were born in the country. A naturalized
burgher is ineligible to the upper House.  The twenty-seven members of
the Second Raad are naturalized burghers, and are voted for only by men
who have received the franchise.  The second House has control of the
management of the Government works, telephones, mails, and mines, and
has but little voice in the real government of the country. Its members
are undoubtedly more progressive and have more modern ideas than those
of the First Raad, and introduce many bills which would be of undoubted
benefit to the country, but the upper House invariably vetoes all bills
that reach them from that Raad.  The First Raad receives bills and
suggestions from the Executive Council or from the President himself,
but refers them to a commission for investigation before any action is
taken upon them.  The evidence in support of proposed measures does not
reach the Raad, which only concerns itself with the report of the
commission.  The Raad can, by motion, make a suggestion to the Executive
Council that a certain measure should be formulated, but the Executive
Council and the President have the authority to ignore the suggestion,
leaving the First Raad without a vestige of authority. The upper House
concerns itself chiefly with the questions of finance, changes in the
Constitution, and the care of the natives.  As the question of finance
is so closely connected with almost every subject that comes before the
Government, it follows that the First Raad concerns itself with
practically the entire business of the Government.  The popular
conception is that the Second Raad, being composed of naturalized
citizens, takes less interest in the affairs of the country, and can
therefore be less safely trusted with their conduct than the old
burghers and Voortrekkers of the upper House, who would rather declare
war against a foreign power than pass a law in the least unfavourable to
their own country’s interests.  In consequence of the Second Raad’s
infinitesimal powers, almost the entire law-making power of the
Government is vested in the Executive Council and the First Raad. The
First Raad of the Transvaal Republic is the direct successor of the
democratic form of government that was established by the Voortrekkers
of 1835 when they were journeying from Cape Colony to the northern
lands. The Second Raad was established in 1890, in order that the
Uitlanders might have representation in the government of the country.
It was believed that the newly arrived population would take advantage
of the opportunities thus offered to take part in the legislation of the
republic, and in that way bridge over the gulf which had been formed
between the two races.  The Uitlanders cared little for the privilege
offered to them, and so far in the history of the Second Raad less than
half a score of its members have been elected by the new population.

The annual sessions of the Volksraads commence on the first Monday in
May, and continue until all the business of the republic has been
transacted.  The members of the two Houses receive fifteen dollars a
day, and seventy-five cents an hour for services extending over more
than the five hours a day required by the law.  The chairmen, or
voorzitters, of the Raads receive seventeen dollars and fifty cents a
day, and one dollar an hour for extra time.

The sessions of the Raad are held in the new million-dollar Government
House in the central part of the town of Pretoria, and are open to the
public except when executive business is being transacted.  The Raad
chambers are exquisitely fitted out with rich furniture and tapestries,
the windows are of costly stained glass, and the walls lavishly
decorated with carved wood and fine paintings of the country’s notable
men.  On a lofty elevation facing the entrance to the First Raad chamber
is a heavily carved mahogany desk, behind which is seated the chairman.
On his right is a seat for the President, while on the right side of
that are the nine chairs for the Executive Council.  Directly in front
and beneath the chairman’s desk are the desks of the three official
secretaries, and in front of these, in semicircular form, the two rows
of seats and desks of the Raad members.  In the rear of the chamber on
either side of the entrance are chairs for visitors, while high in the
left side of the lofty chamber is a small balcony for the newspaper men.

All the members of the Raad are obliged by law to wear black clothing
and white neckties.  This law was framed to prevent some of the rural
members from appearing in their burgher costumes, and has had the effect
of making of the Boer Raads a most sombre-looking body of lawmakers.
Almost all members wear long frock-coats, silk hats, and heavy black
boots, and when, during the recesses, they appear on the piazza of the
Government Building with huge pipes in their mouths, the wisdom of the
black-clothing law is not apparent.  There is little formality in the
proceedings of the Raads.  Certain rules are necessarily followed, but
the members attack a bill in much the same vehement manner as they would
a lion or a panther.  There is little eloquence in the taal, or dialect,
that is spoken in the Raads, and the similes and metaphors bespeak the
open veldt and the transport path rather than the council chamber of a

The black-garbed legislators make no pretensions to dignified procedure,
and when a playful member trips another so that he falls to the floor,
or pelts him with paper balls, the whole Raad joins in laughter.  The
gaudily dressed pages--one of them is sixty-five years old and wears a
long beard--are on terms of great familiarity with the members, and have
become mildly famous throughout the country on account of some practical
jokes they have perpetrated upon the members.  It is only justice to say
that these light proceedings take place only when the President is not
present.  When he arrives in the chamber every one rises and remains
standing until the President has seated himself.  He generally takes a
deep interest in the subjects before the House, and not infrequently
speaks at length upon measures for which he desires a certain line of
action.  Many of President Kruger’s most important speeches have been
delivered to the Raads, and so great is his influence over the members
that his wishes are rarely disregarded.  When he meets with opposition
to his views he quickly loses his temper, and upon one occasion called a
certain member who opposed him a traitor, and angrily left the chamber.
A short time afterward he returned and apologized to the member and to
the Raad for having in his anger used unseemly language.

One of the most disappointing scenes to be observed in Pretoria is the
horde of Uitlander politicians and speculators who are constantly
besieging the Raad members and the Government officials.  At probably no
other national capital are the legislators tempted to such a great
extent as are the Boers, who, for the most part, are ignorant of the
ways of the world and unfamiliar with great amounts of money.  Every
train from Johannesburg, the Uitlander capital, takes to Pretoria scores
of lobbyists, who use all their powers, both of persuasion and finance,
to influence the minds of the legislators, either in the way of granting
valuable concessions for small considerations or of securing the passage
of bills favourable to the lobbyists.  It is no wonder that the
Uitlanders declare that less than one fourth of the Raad members are
unassailably honest and that all the others can be bribed.  The Boer
alone is not blameworthy who, having never possessed more than one
hundred dollars at one time, yields to the constant importunities of the
lobbyist and sells his vote for several thousand dollars.

Beset by such influences, the Raad members are naturally suspicious of
every bill that is brought before them for consideration.  Their
deliberations are marked by a feeling of insecurity akin to that
displayed by the inhabitants of a sheep-pen surrounded by a pack of
hungry wolves.  They fear to make a move in any direction lest their
motives be misunderstood, or they play into the hands of the Uitlanders.
As a consequence of this external pressure, progress in the improvement
of the methods of governing the country has been slow.  One of the
results of the Volksraad’s fearfulness is the absence of local
governments throughout the republic.  There are no municipalities,
counties, or townships which can formulate and execute local laws.  Even
Johannesburg, a city of one hundred thousand population, has no
municipal government, although several attempts have been made to
establish one.

The Raads are burdened with the necessity of attending to all the
details which govern the administration of every city, village, hamlet,
and district in the entire country, and the time consumed in doing all
this leaves little for the weightier affairs of state.  If a five-dollar
road bridge is required in an out-of-the-way place in the northern part
of the republic, the Raad is obliged to discuss the matter.  If an
application for a liquor license comes from a distant point in the
interior, the Raad is compelled to investigate its character before it
can be voted upon.  The disadvantages of this system are so evident that
it is hardly conceivable that no remedy has been applied long ago, but
the fear of local mismanagement has prevented the Raad from ridding
itself of this encumbrance upon its time and patience.

Every legislature of whatever country has its idiosyncracies, and the
Raad is no exception.  Laws are upon the statute books of some of the
American States that are quite as remarkable as some of those made by
the Boer legislators.  Bills quite as marvellous have been introduced
and defeated in the legislatures of all countries.  The Boer Volksraad
has no monopoly of men with quaint ideas. The examples of Raad
workmanship here given are rare, but true nevertheless:

A man named Dums, whose big farm on the border became British territory
through a treaty, sued the Transvaal Government for damages, whereupon
the Raad passed a law that Dums could never sue the Government for
anything.  The High Court sustained the law, and Dums is now a poor
cab-driver in Pretoria.  Another man sued the Government for damages for
injuries resulting from a fall in the street.  He was successful in his
suit, but the Raad immediately thereafter passed a law making it
impossible for any person to sue the Government for injuries received on
public property.

During a severe drought in the Transvaal an American professional
rain-maker asked the Raad for a concession allowing him the exclusive
privilege to precipitate rain by means of explosives in the air.  The
Raad had a long and animated discussion on the subject, owing to the
opposition of several of the less enlightened members, who declared that
the project was sacrilegious.  "It is a sin," they declared, "to poke
your fingers in the Lord’s eye to make him weep."  The abiding faith
which some of the Raad members have in divine guidance is illustrated by
a discussion that took place in the body shortly after the Jameson raid.
One member declared that "the Lord will assist us in this matter if we
will only bide our time," whereupon another member rose and said, "If we
do not soon get down to business and do something without the Lord’s
assistance, the Lord will take a holiday and let the Transvaal go to
hell." A law which was in effect for almost two years made it a
misdemeanour for any one to sing "God save the Queen" or "Rule
Britannia" in the country.  Mass meetings are prohibited in the
Transvaal, but Germany and other countries with less political foment
have equally stringent regulations on the same subject, so the
Uitlanders’ grievance on that account is nullified.

Second to that of the Volksraad, the highest power in the Government of
the country is the High Court, which is composed of some of the ablest
jurists in South Africa.  From a constitutional standpoint the High
Court has no right or power to review the acts of the Volksraad.  The
Constitution of the country gives supreme power to the Volksraad in all
legislative matters, and when a chief justice of the High Court recently
attempted to extend his jurisdiction over the acts of the Volksraad that
body unceremoniously dismissed him.  The purpose of that part of the
Constitution which relates to the subjugation of the High Court is to
prevent some influential enemy of the republic from debauching the High
Court and in that way defying the authority of the Volksraad.  In a
country which has so many peculiar conditions and circumstances to
contend with, the safety of its institutions depends upon the
centralization of its legislative and administrative branches, and the
wisdom of the early burghers who framed the Constitution so that the
entire governing power lay in the hands of the country’s real patriots
has been amply demonstrated upon several occasions.

The civil and criminal laws of the country are administered throughout
the different political divisions by local magistrates, called
land-drosts, who also collect the revenues of the district and inform
the Volksraad of the needs of the people under their jurisdiction. The
land-drost is the prototype of the old-time American country squire, in
that he settles disputes, awards damages, and conducts official business
generally.  In the majority of cases the land-drosts are aged persons
who have the respect and esteem of the members of the community in which
they dwell and to whom they bear the relation of fatherly advisers in
all things.  In Johannesburg and Pretoria the land-drosts are men of
eminent station in the legal profession of South Africa, and are drawn
from all parts of the country, regardless of their political or racial
qualifications. All the court proceedings are conducted in the Dutch
language, and none but Dutch-speaking lawyers are admitted to practise
before the bar.  The law of the land is Holland-Roman.

The military branch of the Government is undoubtedly the best and most
effective because it is the simplest.  It is almost primitive in its
simplicity, yet for effectiveness its superior is not easily found.  The
Transvaal glories in its army, and, as every man between the ages of
sixteen and sixty is a nominal member of the army, nothing is left
undone to make it worthy of its glory.  The standing army of the
republic numbers less than two hundred men, and these are not always
actively engaged. A detachment of about twenty soldiers is generally on
duty in the vicinity of the Government House at Pretoria, and the others
are stationed at the different forts throughout the republic.  The real
army of the Transvaal, however, is composed of the volunteer soldiers,
who can be mobilized with remarkable facility.

The head of the army is the commandant-general, who has his headquarters
in Pretoria. He is under the immediate jurisdiction of the Volksraad and
the President, who have the power to declare war and direct its conduct.
Second in authority to the commandant-general are the commandants,
permanent officials who have charge of the military affairs of the
seventeen districts of the republic.  Under the old South African
burgher law each commandant in any emergency "commandeers" a certain
portion of men from his district.

The various districts are subdivided into divisions in charge of
field-cornets and assistant field-cornets.  As soon as the
commandant-general issues an order for the mobilization of the volunteer
army the commandants and their assistants, the field-cornets, speedily
go from one house to another in their districts and summon the burghers
from their homes.  When the burgher receives the call, he provides his
own gun, horse, and forage, and hastens to the district rendezvous,
where he places himself under the orders of the field-cornet.  After all
the burghers of the district have gathered together, the body proceeds
into an adjoining district, where it joins the forces that have been
similarly mobilized there.  As a certain number of districts are obliged
to join their forces at a defined locality, the forces of the republic
are consequently divided into different army divisions under the
supervisions of the commandants.

In the event that Pretoria were threatened with attack, the order would
be given to move all the forces to that city.  The districts on the
border would gather their men and march toward Pretoria, carrying with
them all the forces of the districts through which they were obliged to
pass.  So simple and perfect is the system that within forty-eight hours
after the call is issued by the commandant-general four army divisions,
representing the districts in the four quarters of the republic and
consisting of all the able-bodied men in the country, can be mobilized
on the outskirts of Pretoria. It is doubtful whether there is another
nation on earth that can gather its entire fighting strength at its seat
of government in such a brief time.

The Transvaal Boer is constantly prepared for the call to arms.  He has
his own rifle and ammunition at his home, and when the call comes he
need only bridle his horse--if he is so fortunate as to possess an
animal so rare in the Transvaal--stuff several pounds of biltong, or
dried beef, in his pockets, and commence the march over the veldt to the
district rendezvous.  He can depend upon his wife and children to care
for the flocks and herds; but if the impending danger appears to be
great, the cattle are deserted and the women and children are taken to a
rendezvous specially planned for such an emergency.  If there is a need,
the Boer woman will stand side by side with her husband or her brother
or her sweetheart, and will allow no one to surpass her in repelling the
attacks of the enemy. Joan of Arcs have been as numerous in the Boer
armies as they have been unheralded.

The head of the military branch of the Transvaal Government for many
years has been Commandant-General P. J. Joubert, who, following
President Kruger, is the ablest as well as the most popular Boer in
South Africa. General Joubert is the best type of the Boer fighter in
the country, and as he represents the army, he has always been a
favourite with the class which would rather decide a disputed point by
means of the rifle than by diplomacy, as practised by President Kruger.
General Joubert, although the head of the army, is not of a quarrelsome
disposition, and he too believes in the peaceful arbitration of
differences rather than a resort to arms.  By the Uitlanders he is
considered to be the most liberal Boer in the republic, and he has upon
numerous occasions shown that he would treat the newcomers in the
country with more leniency than the Kruger Government if he were in

In his capacity of Vice-President of the republic he has been as
impotent as the Vice-President is in the United States, but his
influence has always been wielded with a view of harmonizing the
differences of the native and alien populations.  Twice the more liberal
and progressive party of the Boers has put him forward as a candidate
for the presidency in opposition to Mr. Kruger, and each time he has
been defeated by only a small majority. The younger Boers who have come
in touch with the more modern civilization have steadfastly supported
General Joubert, while the older Boers, who are ever fearful that any
one but Mr. Kruger would grant too many concessions to the Uitlanders,
have wielded their influence against him.  Concerning the franchise for
Uitlanders, General Joubert is more liberal than President Kruger, who
holds that the stability of the Government depends upon the
exclusiveness of the franchise privilege. General Joubert believes that
there are many persons among the Uitlanders who have a real desire to
become citizens of the republic and to take part in the government.  He
believes that an intending burgher should take an oath of fidelity, and
afterward be prepared to do what he can for the country, either in peace
or war.  If after three or four years the applicant for the franchise
has shown that he worked in the interests of the country and obeyed its
laws, General Joubert believes that the Uitlander should enjoy all the
privileges that a native burgher enjoys--namely, voting for the
candidates for the presidency and the First Volksraad.

General Joubert’s name has been connected with Transvaal history almost
as long and as prominently as that of President Kruger.  The two men are
virtually the fathers of the Boer republic.  General Joubert has always
been the man who fought the battles with armies, while Mr. Kruger
conducted the diplomatic battles, and both were equally successful in
their parts.  General Joubert, as a youth among the early trekkers from
Natal, was reared amid warfare.  During the Transvaal’s early battles
with the natives he was a volunteer soldier under the then
Commandant-General Kruger, and later, when the war of independence was
fought, he became General Joubert.  He commanded the forces which fought
the battles of Laing’s Nek, Bronkhorst Spruit, and Majuba Hill, and he
was one of the triumvirate that conducted the affairs of the Government
during that crucial time.  He has been Vice-President of the republic
since the independence of the country has been re-established, and
conducted the affairs of the army during the time when Jameson’s
troopers threatened the safety of the country.  He has had a notable
career in the service of his country, and as a reward for his services
he is deserving of nothing less than the presidency of the republic
after Mr. Kruger’s life-work is ended.

General Joubert is no less distinguished as a diplomatist among his
countrymen than President Kruger, and many stories are current in
Pretoria showing that he has been able to accomplish many things wherein
Mr. Kruger failed.  An incident which occurred immediately after the
Jameson raid, and which is repeated here exactly as related by one of
the participants of the affair, is illustrative of General Joubert and
his methods of dealing with his own people.  The story is given in
almost the exact language of the narrator who was the eyewitness:

"Shortly after Jameson and his officers were brought to Pretoria,
President Kruger called about twenty of the Boer commanders to his house
for a consultation.  The townspeople were highly excited, and the
presence of the men who had tried to destroy the republic aggravated
their condition so that there were few calm minds in the capital.
President Kruger was deeply affected by the seriousness of the events of
the days before, but counselled all those present to be calm.  There
were some in the gathering who advised that Jameson and his men should
be shot immediately, while one man jocosely remarked that they should
not be treated so leniently, and suggested that a way to make them
suffer would be to cut off their ears.

"One of the men who was obliged to leave the meeting gave this account
to the waiting throngs in the street, and a few hours afterward the
cable had carried the news to Europe and America, with the result that
the Boers were called brutal and inhuman. President Kruger used all his
influence and eloquence to save the lives of the prisoners, and for a
long time he was unsuccessful in securing the smallest amount of
sympathy for Jameson and his men.  It was dawn when General Joubert was
won to the President’s way of thinking, and he continued the argument in
behalf of the prisoners.

"’My friends, I will ask you to listen patiently to me for several
minutes,’ he commenced.  ’I will tell you the story of the farmer and
the neighbour’s dog.  Suppose that near your farm lives a man whose
valuable dogs attack your sheep and kill many.  Will you shoot the dogs
as soon as you see them, and in that way make yourself liable for
damages greater than the value of the sheep that were destroyed?  Or
will you catch the dogs when you are able to do so and, carrying them to
your neighbour, say to him: "I have caught your dogs; now pay me for the
damage they have done me, and they shall be returned to you."’

"After a moment’s silence General Joubert’s face lighted up joyfully,
and he exclaimed:

"’We have the neighbour’s dogs in the jail. What shall we do with them?’

"The parable was effective, and the council of war decided almost
instantly to deliver the prisoners to the British Government."

                               CHAPTER IX


The politicians and the speculators have been the bane of South Africa.
Ill-informed secretaries of the British Colonial Office might augment
the list, but their stupidity in treating with colonial grievances is so
proverbial as to admit them to the rank of natural or providential
causes of dissension.  Until the Boer Government came into the
foreground, the politicians and speculators used South Africa as a huge
chessboard, whereon they could manipulate the political and commercial
affairs of hundreds of thousands of persons to suit their own fancies
and convenience.

It was a dilettante politician who operated in South Africa and could
not make a cat’s-paw of the colonial secretary in Downing Street, and it
was a stupid speculator who was unable to be the power behind the
enthroned politician.  And South Africa has been the victim. Hundreds of
men have gone to South Africa and have become millionaires, but
thousands remain in the country praying for money wherewith to return
home.  The former are the politicians and the speculators; the latter
are the miners, the workingmen, and the tradespeople.

It is a country where the man with a million becomes a multimillionaire,
and the man with hundreds becomes penniless.  It is the wealthy man’s
footstool and the poor man’s cemetery.  Men go there to acquire riches;
few go there to assist in making it tenable for white men.  Thousands go
there with the avowed intention of making their fortunes and then to
return.  Those who go there as came the immigrants to America--to settle
and develop the new country--can be counted only by the score.  Of the
million white people south of the Zambezi, probably one half are mere
fortune-seekers, who would leave the country the very instant they
secured a moderate fortune.

These have the welfare of the country at heart only in so far as it
interferes or assists them in attaining their desired goal.  They would
ask that Portugal be allowed to rule all of South Africa if they
received the assurance that the much-sought-after fortune could be
secured six months sooner.  They have no conscience other than that
which prevents them from stabbing a man to relieve him of his money.
They go to the gold and diamond fields to secure wealth, and not to
assist in developing law and order, good government, or good

The other half of the white population is composed of men and women who
were born in the country--Afrikanders, Dutch, Boers, and other racial
representatives, and others who have emigrated thither from the densely
populated countries of Europe, with the intention of remaining in the
country and taking part in its government and institutions.  These
classes comprise the South Africans, who love their country and take a
real interest in its development and progress.  They know its needs and
prospects, and are abundantly able to conduct its government so that it
will benefit Boer, Englishman, Dutchman, Natalian, and native.

The defects in the Government of Cape Colony and Natal are the natural
results of the handicaps that have been placed on the local legislation
by the Colonial Office in London, who are as ignorant of the real
conditions of their colonies as a Zulu chieftain is of the political
situation in England.  The colonial papers teem with letters from
residents who express their indignation at the methods employed by the
Colonial Office in dealing with colonial affairs.  Especially is this
the case in Natal, the Eden of South Africa, where the dealings of the
Colonial Office with regard to the Zulus have been stupidly carried on.
South African men of affairs who are not bigoted do not hesitate to
express their opinion that Cape Colony and Natal have been retarded a
quarter of a century in their natural growth by the handicap of the
Colonial Office.  Their opinion is based upon the fact that every war,
with the exception of several native outbreaks, has been caused by
blundering in the Colonial Office, and that all the wars have retarded
the natural growth and development of the colonies to an aggregate of
twenty-five years.  In this estimate is not included the great harm to
industries that has been caused by the score or more of heavy war clouds
with which the country has been darkened during the last half century.
These being some of the difficulties with which the two British colonies
in South Africa are beset, it can be readily inferred to what extent the
Boers of the Transvaal have had cause for grievance.  In their dealings
with the Boers the British have invariably assumed the role of
aristocrats, and have looked upon and treated the "trekkers" as

[Illustration: Cape Colony Government House, at Cape Town.]

This natural antipathy of one race for another has given glorious
opportunities for strife, and neither one nor the other has ever failed
to take quick advantage.  The struggle between the Boers and the British
began in Cape Colony almost one hundred years ago, and it has continued,
with varying degrees of bitterness, until the present day.  The recent
disturbances in the Transvaal affairs date from the conclusion of the
war of independence in 1881.  When the Peace Commissioners met there was
inserted in the treaty one small clause which gave to England her only
right to interfere in the political affairs of the Transvaal.

The Boer country at that time was considered of such little worth that
Gladstone declared it was not of sufficient value to be honoured with a
place under the British flag.  To the vast majority of the British
people it was a matter of indifference whether the Transvaal was an
independent country or a dependency of their own Government.  The clause
which was allowed to enter the treaty unnoticed, and which during recent
years has figured so prominently in the discussions of South African
affairs, reads:

"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 the 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 the treaty is in conflict with the interests of Great
Britain, or of any of her Majesty’s possessions in South Africa."

When the contents of the treaty were published to the Boer people, many
of them objected strongly to this clause, and insisted that it gave the
British too great power in the affairs of the republic, and a strenuous
effort was made to have the offending clause eliminated. In the year
1883 a deputation, which included Paul Kruger, was sent to London, with
a view of obtaining the abolition of the suzerainty. This deputation
negotiated a new convention the following year, from which the word
"suzerainty" and the stipulations in regard thereto were removed.  In
their report to the Volksraad, made in 1884, the deputation stated that
the new convention put an end to the British suzerainty.

February 4, 1884, in a letter to Lord Derby, then in charge of British
affairs, the deputation announced to him that they expected an agreement
to be contained in the treaty relative to the abolition of the
suzerainty.  In his reply of a week later, Lord Derby made a statement
upon which the Boers base their strongest claim that the suzerainty was
abolished.  He said:

"By the omission of those articles of the convention of Pretoria which
assigned to her Majesty and to the British resident certain specific
powers and functions connected with the internal government and the
foreign relations of the Transvaal state, your Government will be left
free to govern the country without interference, and to conduct its
diplomatic intercourse and shape its foreign policy, subject only to the
requirement embodied in the fourth article of the new draft, that any
treaty with a foreign state shall not have effect without the approval
of the Queen."

For a period of almost ten years the suzerainty of England over the
Transvaal was an unknown quantity.  With the exception of several
Government officials, there were hardly any Englishmen in the country,
and no one had the slightest interest in the affairs of the Transvaal
Government.  When gold was discovered in the Randt in quantities that
equalled those of the early days of the California gold fields, an
unparalleled influx of Englishmen and foreigners followed, and in
several years the city of Johannesburg had sprung up in the veldt.

The opening of hundreds of mines, and the consequent increase in
expenditures, made it necessary for the Transvaal Government to increase
its revenues.  Mining laws had to be formulated, new offices had to be
created, hundreds of new officials had to be appointed, and all this
required the expenditure of more money in one year than the Government
had spent in a decade before the opening of the mines. The Government
found itself in a quandary, and it solved the problem of finances as
many a stronger and wealthier government has done.

Concessions were granted to dynamite, railway, electric light, electric
railway, water, and many other companies, and these furnished to the
Government the nucleus upon which depended its financial existence.  Few
of the concessions were obtained by British subjects, and when the
monopolies took advantage of their opportunities, and raised the price
of dynamite and the rates for carrying freight, the Englishmen, who
owned all the mines, naturally objected.  The Boer Government, having
bound itself hand and foot when hard pressed for money, was unable to
compel the concessionaries to reduce their rates.

At that period of the Randt’s existence the speculators appeared, and
soon thereafter the London Stock Exchange became a factor in the affairs
of the Randt.  Where the Stock Exchange leads, the politicians follow,
and they too soon became interested in South African affairs.  Then the
treaty of 1883 was found in the Colonial Office archives, and next
appears a demand to the Boer Government that all British residents of
the Transvaal be allowed to vote.  The Boers refused to give the
franchise to any applicant unless he first renounced his allegiance to
other countries, and, as the British subjects declined to accede to the
request, the politicians became busily engaged in formulating other
plans whereby England might obtain control of the country.

At that inopportune time Jameson’s troopers entered the Transvaal
territory and attempted to take forcible possession of the country; but
they were unsuccessful, and only succeeded in directing the world’s
sympathy to the Boers.  The Jameson raid was practically Cecil J.
Rhodes’s first important attempt to add the Transvaal to the list of
South African additions he has made to the British Empire.  The result
was especially galling to him, as it was the first time his great
political schemes failed of success.

But Rhodes is not the man to weep over disasters.  Before the excitement
over the raid had subsided, Rhodes had concocted a plan to inflict a
commercial death upon the Transvaal, and in that manner force it to beg
for the protection of the English flag.  He opened Rhodesia, an
adjoining country, for settlement, and by glorifying the country, its
mineral and agricultural wealth, and by offering golden inducements to
Transvaal tradespeople, miners, and even Transvaal subjects, he hoped to
cause such an efflux from the Transvaal that the Government would be
embarrassed in less than two years.  The country which bears his name
was found to be amazingly free from mountains of gold and rivers of
honey, and the several thousand persons who had faith in his alluring
promises remained in Rhodesia less than a year, and then returned to the

The reports of the Rhodesian country that were brought back by the
disappointed miners and settlers were not flattering to the condition of
the country or the justice of the Government. Of two evils, they chose
the lesser, and again placed themselves under the Kruger Government.
When revolution and enticement failed to bring the Transvaal under the
British flag, Rhodes inaugurated a political propaganda.  His last
resort was the Colonial Office in London, and in that alone lay the only
course by which he could attain his object.

Again the franchise question was resorted to as the ground of the
contention, the dynamite and railway subjects having been so thoroughly
debated as to be as void of ground for further contention as they had
always been foreign to British control or interference.  The question of
granting the right of voting to the Uitlanders in the Transvaal is one
which so vitally affects the future life of the Government that the
Boers’ concession of that right would be tantamount to presenting the
country to the British Government.

Ninety-nine per cent. of the Uitlanders of the Transvaal are no more
than transient citizens.  They were attracted thither by the gold mines
and the attendant industries, and they have no thought of staying in the
Transvaal a minute after they have amassed a fortune or a competency.
Under no consideration would they remain in the country for the rest of
their lives, because the climate and nature of the country are not
conducive to a desire for long residence.  It has been demonstrated that
less than one per cent. of the Uitlanders had sufficient interest in the
country to pass through the formality of securing naturalization papers
preparatory to becoming eligible for the franchise.

The Boer Government has offered that all Uitlanders of nine years’
residence, having certain unimportant qualifications, should be
enfranchised in two years, and that others should be enfranchised in
seven years--two years for naturalization and five more years’
resident--before acquiring the right to vote.

There is a provision for a property qualification, which makes it
necessary for the naturalized citizen to own a house of no less value
than two hundred and fifty dollars in renting value, or an income of one
thousand dollars. The residence clause in the Transvaal qualifications
compares favourably with those of London, where an Englishman from any
part of the country and settling in the municipality is obliged to live
two years and have certain property qualifications before acquiring the
right of franchise.

In full knowledge of these conditions the Uitlanders insist upon having
an unconditional franchise--one that will require nothing more than a
two-years’ residence in the country. The Boers are well aware of the
results that would follow the granting of the concessions demanded, but
not better so than the Uitlanders who make the demands.  The latest
Transvaal statistics place the number of Boer burghers in the country at
less than thirty thousand. At the lowest estimate there are in the
Transvaal fifty thousand Uitlanders having the required qualifications,
and all of these would become voters in two years.  At the first
election held after the two years had elapsed the Uitlanders would be
victorious, and those whom they elected would control the machinery of
the Government.  The Uitlanders’ plan is as transparent as air, yet it
has the approval and sanction of the English politicians, press, and

The propaganda which Rhodes and other politicians and stock brokers
interested in the Transvaal gold mines inaugurated a short time after
the Jameson raid has been successful in arousing the people in England
to what they have been led to believe is a situation unequalled in the
history of the empire-building.  But there is a parallel case.  At the
same time the British Parliament was discussing the subject of the
alleged injustice under which the English residents of the Transvaal
were suffering, the colonial secretary was engaged in disposing of
grievances which reached him from the Dutch residents of British Guiana,
in South America, and which recited conditions parallel to those
complained of by the Uitlanders.  The grievances were made by foreign
residents of English territory, instead of by English subjects in a
foreign country, and consequently demanded less serious attention, but
their justice was none the less patent.  The three thousand native Dutch
voters in British Guiana have no voice in the legislative or
administrative branches of the colonial government, owing to the
peculiar laws which give to the three thousand British-born citizens the
complete control of the franchise.  The population of the colony is
three hundred thousand, yet the three thousand British subjects make and
administer the laws for the other two hundred and ninety-seven thousand
inhabitants, who compose the mining and agricultural communities and are
treated with the same British contempt as the Boers.  The Dutch
residents have made many appeals for a fuller representation in the
Government, but no reforms have been inaugurated or promised.

The few grievances which the Uitlanders had before the Jameson raid have
been multiplied a hundredfold and no epithet is too venomous for them to
apply to the Boers.  The letters in the home newspapers have allied the
name of the Boers with every vilifying adjective in the English
dictionary, and returning politicians have never failed to supply the
others that do not appear in the book.

Petitions with thousands of names, some real, but many non-existent,
have been forwarded to the Colonial Office and to every other office in
London where they would be received, and these have recited grievances
that even the patient Boer Volksraad had never heard about. It has been
a propaganda of petitions and letters the like of which has no parallel
in the history of politics.  It has been successful in arousing
sentiment favourable to the Uitlanders, and at this time there is hardly
a handful of persons in England who are not willing to testify to the
utter degradation of the Boers.

Another branch of the propaganda operated through the Stock Exchange,
and its results were probably more practical than those of the literary
branch.  It is easier to reach the English masses through the Stock
Exchange than by any other means.  Whenever one of the "Kaffir" or
Transvaal companies failed to make both ends meet in a manner which
pleased the stockholders, it was only necessary to blame the Boer
Government for having impeded the digging of gold, and the stockholders
promptly outlined to the Colonial Office the policy it should pursue
toward the Boers.

The impressions that are formed in watching the tide of events in the
Transvaal are that the Boer Government is not greatly inferior to the
Government of Lord Salisbury and Secretary Chamberlain.  The only
appreciable difference between the two is that the Boers are fighting
the cause of the masses against the classes, while the English are
fighting that of the classes against the masses.  In England, where the
rich have the power, the poor pay the taxes, while in the Transvaal the
poor have the power and compel the rich to pay the taxes. If the
Transvaal taxes were of such serious proportions as to be almost
unbearable, there might be a cause for interference by the Uitlander
capitalists who own the mines, but there no injustice is shown to any
one.  The only taxes that the Uitlanders are compelled to pay are the
annual poll tax of less than four dollars and a half, mining taxes of a
dollar and a quarter a month for each claim for prospecting licenses,
and five dollars a claim for diggers’ licenses.  Boer and Uitlander are
compelled to pay these taxes without distinction.

The Boers, in this contention, must win or die.  In earlier days, before
every inch of African soil was under the flag of one country or another,
they were able to escape from English injustice by loading their few
possessions on wagons and "trekking" into new and unexplored lands.  If
they yield their country to the English without a struggle, they will be
forced to live under a future Stock Exchange Government, which has been
described by a member of the British Parliament as likely to be "the
vilest, the most corrupt, and the most pernicious known to man."[#]

[#] The Hon. Henry Labouchere, in London Truth.

The Boers have no better argument to advance in support of their claim
than that which is contained in the Transvaal national hymn. It at once
gives a history of their country, its many struggles and
disappointments, and its hopes.  It is written in the "taal" of the
country, and when sung by the patriotic, deep-voiced Boers is one of the
most impressive hymns that ever inspired a nation.


    The four-colours of our dear old land
      Again float o’er Transvaal,
    And woe the God-forgetting hand
      That down our flag would haul!
    Wave higher now in clearer sky
      Our Transvaal freedom’s stay!
        (Lit., freedom’s flag.)
    Our enemies with fright did fly;
      Now dawns a glorious day.

    Through many a storm ye bravely stood,
      And we stood likewise true;
    Now, that the storm is o’er, we would
      Leave nevermore from you
    Bestormed by Kaffir, Lion, Brit,
      Wave ever o’er their head;
    And then to spite we hoist thee yet
      Up to the topmost stead!

    Four long years did we beg--aye, pray--
      To keep our lands clear, free,
    We asked you, Brit, we loath the fray:
      "Go hence, and let us be!
    We’ve waited, Brit, we love you not,
      To arms we call the Boer;"
        (Lit., Now take we to our guns.)
    "You’ve teased us long enough, we troth,
      Now wait we nevermore."

    And with God’s help we cast the yoke
      Of England from our knee;
    Our country safe--behold and look--
      Once more our flag waves free!
    Though many a hero’s blood it cost,
      May all the nations see
        (Lit., Though England ever so much more.)
    That God the Lord redeemed our hosts;
      The glory his shall be.

    Wave high now o’er our dear old land,
      Wave four-colours of Transvaal!
    And woe the God-forgetting hand
      That dares you down to haul!
    Wave higher now in clearer sky
      Our Transvaal freedom’s stay!
    Our enemies with fright did fly;
      Now dawns a glorious day.

                               CHAPTER X

                        PREPARATIONS FOR DEFENCE

Ever since the Jameson raid both the Boers and the Uitlanders have
realized that a peaceful solution of the differences between the two is
possible but highly improbable. The Uitlanders refused to concede
anything to the Boer, and asked for concessions that implied a virtual
abandonment of their country to the English, whom they have always
detested.  The Boers themselves have not been unmindful of the
inevitable war with their powerful antagonist, and, not unlike the tiny
ant of the African desert, which fortifies its abode against the
anticipated attack of wild beasts, have made of their country a
veritable arsenal.

Probably no inland country in the world is half so well prepared for war
at any time as that little Government, which can boast of having less
than thirty thousand voters.  The military preparation has been so
enormous that Great Britain has been compelled, according to the
colonial secretary’s statement to the British Parliament, to expend two
and a half million dollars annually in South Africa in order to keep
pace with the Boers.  Four years ago, when the Transvaal Government
learned that the Uitlanders of Johannesburg were planning a revolution,
it commenced the military preparations which have ever since continued
with unabating vigour.  German experts were employed to formulate plans
for the defence of the country, and European artillerists were secured
to teach the arts of modern warfare to the men at the head of the Boer
army.  Several Americans of military training became the instructors in
the national military school at Pretoria; and even the women and
children became imbued with the necessity of warlike preparation, and
learned the use of arms.  Several million pounds were annually spent in
Europe in the purchase of the armament required by the plans formulated
by the experts, and the whole country was placed on a war footing.
Every important strategic position was made as impregnable as modern
skill and arms could make it, and every farmer’s cottage was supplied
with arms and ammunition, so that the volunteer army might be mobilized
in a day.

In order to demonstrate the extent to which the military preparation has
been carried, it is only necessary to give an account of the defences of
Pretoria and Johannesburg, the two principal cities of the country.
Pretoria, being the capital, and naturally the chief point of attack by
the enemy, has been prepared to resist the onslaught of any number of
men, and is in a condition to withstand a siege of three years.  The
city lies in the centre of a square, at each corner of which is a lofty
hill surmounted by a strong fort, which commands the valleys and the
surrounding country.  Each of the four forts has four heavy cannon, four
French guns of fifteen miles range, and thirty heavy Gatling guns.
Besides this extraordinary protection, the city has fifty light Gatling
guns which can be drawn by mules to any point on the hills where an
attack may be made.  Three large warehouses are filled with ammunition,
and the large armory is packed to the eaves with Mauser, Martini-Henry,
and Wesley-Richards rifles.  Two extensive refrigerators, with a
capacity of two thousand oxen each, are ample provision against a siege
of many months.  It is difficult to compute the total expenditures for
war material by the Boer Government during the last four years, but the
following official announcement of expenses for one year will serve to
give an idea of the vastness of the preparations that the Government has
been compelled to make in order to guard the safety of the country:

    War−Office salaries  . . . . . . . . .   $262,310
    War purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4,717,550
    Johannesburg revolt  . . . . . . . . .    800,000
    Public works . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3,650,000

Johannesburg has extensive fortifications around it, but the Boers will
use them for other purposes than those of self-protection. The forts at
the Golden City were erected for the purpose of quelling any revolution
of the Uitlanders, who constitute almost entirely the population of the

One of the forts is situated on a small eminence about half a mile north
of the business part, and commands the entire city with its guns.  Two
years were consumed in building the fortification and in placing the
armament in position.  Its guns can rake not only every street of the
city, but ten of the principal mine works as well, and the damage that
their fire could cause is incalculable.  Another fort, almost as strong
as the one in Johannesburg, is situated a mile east of the city, and
overshadows the railway and the principal highway to Johannesburg.  The
residents of the city are greatly in fear of underground works, which
they have been led to believe were constructed since the raid.  Vast
quantities of earth were taken out of the Johannesburg fort, and for
such a length of time did the work continue that the Uitlanders decided
that the Boers were undermining the city, and protested to the
Government against such a course.  As soon as war is declared and the
women and children have been removed from the city, Johannesburg will be
rent with shot and shell.  The Boers have announced their intention of
doing this, and the Uitlanders, anticipating it, seek safety in flight
whenever there are rumours of war, as thousands did immediately before
and after the Jameson affair.

The approaches to the mountain passes on the border have been fortified
with vast quantities of German and French ordnance, and equipped with
garrisons of men born or trained in Europe.  The approaches to Laing’s
Nek, near the Natal border, which have several times been the battle
ground of the English and Boer forces, have been prepared to resist an
invading army from Natal.  Much attention has been directed to the
preparations in that part of the republic, because the British
commanders will find it easier to transfer forces from the port of
Durban, which is three hundred and six miles from the Transvaal border,
while Cape Town is almost a thousand miles distant.

But the Pretorian Government has made many provisions for war other than
those enumerated.  It has made alliances and friends that will be of
equal worth in the event of an attack by England.  The Orange Free
State, whose existence is as gravely imperilled as that of the
Transvaal, will fight hand-in-hand with its neighbour, just as it was
prepared to do at the time of the Jameson raid, when almost every Free
State burgher lay armed on the south bank of the Vaal River, awaiting
the summons for assistance from the Kruger Government.  In the event of
war the two Governments will be as one, and, in anticipation of the
struggle of the Boers against the British, the Free State Government has
been expending vast sums of money every year in strengthening the
country’s defences.  At the same time that the Free State is being
prepared for war, its Government officials are striving hard to prevent
a conflict, and are attempting to conciliate the two principals in the
strife by suggesting that concessions be made by both.  The Free State
is not so populous as the Transvaal, and consequently can not place as
many men in the field, but the ten thousand burghers who will answer the
call to arms will be an acceptable addition to the Boer forces.

The element of doubt enters into the question of what the Boers and
their co-religionists of Cape Colony and Natal will do in the event of
war.  The Dutch of Cape Colony are the majority of the population, and,
although loyal British subjects under ordinary circumstances, are
opposed to English interference in the Transvaal’s affairs.  Those of
Natal, while not so great in numbers, are equally friendly with the
Transvaal Boers, and would undoubtedly recall some of their old
grievances against the British Government as sufficient reason to join
the Boers in war.

In Cape Colony there is an organization called the Afrikander Bond which
recently has gained control of the politics of the colony, and which
will undoubtedly be supreme for many years to come.  The motto of the
organization is "South Africa for South Africans," and its doctrine is
that South Africa shall be served first and Great Britain afterward.
Its members, who are chiefly Dutch, believe their first duty is to
assist the development of the resources of their own country by proper
protective tariffs and stringent legislation in native affairs, and they
regard legislation with a view to British interests as of secondary
importance.  The Bond has been very amicably inclined toward its
Afrikander kinsmen in the Transvaal, especially since the Jameson raid,
and every sign of impending trouble between England and the Boers widens
the chasm between the English and Afrikanders of South Africa.  The
Dutch approve of President Kruger’s course in dealing with the franchise
problems, and if hostilities break out it would be not the least
incompatible with their natures to assist their Transvaal and Free State
kinsmen even at the risk of plunging the whole of South Africa into a
civil war.  W. P. Schreiner, the Premier of Cape Colony, is the leading
member of the Bond, and with him he has associated the majority of the
leading men in the colony.  Under ordinary conditions their loyalty to
Great Britain is undoubted, but whether they could resist the influence
of their friends in the Bond if it should decide to cast its fortunes
with the Boers in case of war is another matter.

Of such vast importance is the continued loyalty of the Dutch of the two
colonies that upon it depends practically the future control of the Cape
by the British Government. Being in the majority as three to two, and
almost in supreme control of the local government, the Dutch of Cape
Colony are in an excellent position to secede from the empire, as they
have already threatened to do, in which event England would be obliged
to fight almost the united population of the whites if she desired to
retain control of the country. With this in mind, it is no wonder that
Mr. Chamberlain declared that England had reached a critical turning
point in the history of the empire.

The uncertainty of the situation is increased by the doubtful stand
which the native races are taking in the dispute.  Neither England nor
the Boers has the positive assurance of support from any of the tribes,
which outnumber the whites as ten to one; but it will not be an
unwarranted opinion to place the majority of the native tribes on the
side of the Boers.  The native races are always eager to be the friends
of the paramount power, and England’s many defeats in South Africa
during recent years have not assisted in gaining for it that prestige.
When England enters upon a war with the Transvaal the natives will
probably follow the example of the Matabele natives, who rebelled
against the English immediately after Jameson and his men were defeated
by the Boers, because they believed a conquered nation could offer no
resistance. The Boers, having won the last battle, are considered by the
natives to be the paramount power, and it is always an easy matter to
induce a subjected people to ally itself with a supposedly powerful one.

The Zulus, still stinging under the defeat which they received from the
British less than twenty years ago, might gather their war parties and,
with the thousands of guns they have been allowed to buy, attempt to
secure revenge.  The Basutos, east of the Orange Free State, now the
most powerful and the only undefeated nation in the country, would
hardly allow a war to be fought unless they participated in it, even if
only to demonstrate to the white man that they still retain their
old-time courage and ability.  The million and a half natives in Cape
Colony, and the equal number in the Transvaal, have complained of so
many alleged grievances at the hands of their respective governments
that they might be presumed to rise against them, though it is never
possible to determine the trend of the African negro’s mind.  What the
various tribes would do in such an emergency can be answered only by the
chiefs themselves, and they will not speak until the time for action is
at hand.  Perhaps when that time does arrive there may be a realization
of the natives’ dream--that a great leader will come from the north who
will organize all the various tribes into one grand army and with it
drive the hated white men into the sea.

It is impossible to secure accurate statistics in regard to the military
strength of the various colonies, states, and tribes in the country, but
the following table gives a fair idea of the number of men who are
liable to military duty:

                              Dutch.      English.        Native.

    Cape Colony               20,000        10,000        177,000
    Natal                      7,000         5,000        100,000
    Orange Free State         10,000        ......         30,000
    Transvaal                 30,000        20,000        140,000
    Rhodesia                  ......         2,000         25,000
    Swaziland and Basutoland  ......        ......         30,000
                              −−−−−−        −−−−−−        −−−−−−−
    Total                     67,000        37,000        570,000

To him who delights in forming possible coalitions and war situations
this table offers vast opportunities.  Probably no other country can
offer such a vast number of possibilities for compacts between nations,
races, and tribes as is presented in South Africa.  There all the
natives may unite against the whites, or a part of them against a part
of the whites, while whites and natives may unite against a similar
combination.  The possibilities are boundless; the probabilities are

The Pretorian Government has had an extensive secret service for several
years, and this has been of inestimable value in securing the support of
the natives as well as the friendship of many whites, both in South
Africa and abroad.  The several thousand Irishmen in South Africa have
been organized into a secret compact, and have been and will continue to
be of great value to the Boers.  The head of the organization is a man
who is one of President Kruger’s best friends, and his lieutenants are
working even as far away as America.  The sympathy of the majority of
the Americans in the Transvaal is with the Boer cause, and, although the
American consul-general at Cape Town has cautioned them to remain
neutral, they will not stand idly by and watch the defeat of a cause
which they believe to be as just as that for which their forefathers
fought at Bunker Hill and Lexington.

But the Boers do not rely upon external assistance to win their battles
for them.  When it becomes necessary to defend their liberty and their
country they reverently place their trust in Providence and their
rifles.  Their forefathers’ battles were won with such confidence, and
the later generations have been similarly successful under like
conditions.  The rifle is the young Boer’s primer and the grandfather’s
testament.  It is the Boers’ avenger of wrong and the upholder of right.
That their confidence in their rifles has not been misapplied has been
demonstrated at Laing’s Nek, Majuba Hill, Doornkop, and in battles with

The natural opportunities provided by Nature which in former years were
responsible for the confidence which the Boers reposed in their rifles
may have disappeared with the approach of advancing civilization, but
the Boer of to-day is as dangerous an adversary with a gun as his father
was in the wars with the Zulus and the Matabeles half a century ago. The
buck, rhinoceros, elephant, and hippopotamus are not as numerous now as
then, but the Boer has devised other means by which he may perfect
himself in marksmanship. Shooting is one of the main diversions of the
Boer, and prizes are offered for the best results in contests.  It is
customary to mark out a ring, about two hundred and fifty feet in
diameter, in the centre of which a small stuffed figure resembling a
bird is attached to a pole.  The marksmen stand on the outside of the
circle and fire in turn at the target.  A more curious target, and one
that taxes the ability of the marksman, is in more general use
throughout the country.  A hole sufficiently deep to retain a
turkey-cock is dug in a level plot of ground, and over this is placed a
piece of canvas which contains a small hole through which the bird can
extend and withdraw its head.  At a distance of three hundred feet the
bird’s head is a target by no means easily hit.

Military men are accustomed to sneer at the lack of generalship of the
Boer forces, but in only one of the battles in which they have engaged
the British forces have the trained military men and leaders been able
to cope with them.  In the battle of Boomplaats, fought in 1848, the
English officers can claim their only victory over the Boers, who were
armed with flintlocks, while the British forces had heavy artillery.  In
almost all the encounters that have taken place the Boer forces were not
as large as those of the enemy, yet the records show that many more
casualties were inflicted than received by them.  In the chief
engagements the appended statistics show that the Boers had only a small
percentage of their men in the casualty list, while the British losses
were much greater.

                           MEN ENGAGED.            CASUALTIES.
    BATTLES.            British.     Boer.      British.     Boer.

    Laing's Nek           400        550          190         24
    Ingogo                300        250          142         17
    Majuba Hill           600        150          280          5
    Bronkhorst            250        300          120          1
    Jameson raid          600        400          100          5

It is hardly fair to assume that the Boers’ advantages in these battles
were gained without the assistance of capable generals when it is taken
into consideration that there is a military axiom which places the value
of an army relatively with the ability of its commanders.  The Boers may
exaggerate when they assert that one of their soldiers is the equal in
fighting ability of five British soldiers, but the results of the
various battles show that they have some slight foundation for their

The regular British force in South Africa is comparatively small, but it
would require less than a month to transport one hundred thousand
trained soldiers from India and England and place them on the scene of
action. Several regiments of trained soldiers are always stationed in
different parts of the country near the Transvaal border, and at brief
notice they could be placed on Boer territory. Charlestown, Ladysmith,
and Pietermaritzburg, in Natal, have been British military headquarters
for many years, and during the last three years they have been
strengthened by the addition of several regular regiments.  The British
Colonial Office has been making preparations for several years for a
conflict.  Every point in the country has been strengthened, and all the
foreign powers whose interests in the country might lead them to
interfere in behalf of the Boers have been placated. Germany has been
taken from the British zone of danger by favourable treaties; France is
fearful to try interference alone; and Portugal, the only other nation
interested, is too weak and too deeply in England’s debt to raise her
voice against anything that may be done.

By leasing the town of Lorenzo Marques from the Portuguese Government,
Great Britain has acquired one of the best strategic points in South
Africa.  The lease, the terms of which are unannounced, was the
culmination of much diplomatic dickering, in which the interests of
Germany and the South African Republic were arrayed against those of
England and Portugal.  There is no doubt that England made the lease
only in order to gain an advantage over President Kruger, and to prevent
him from further fortifying his country with munitions of war imported
by way of Lorenzo Marques and Delagoa Bay. England gains a commercial
advantage too, but it is hardly likely that she would care to add the
worst fever-hole in Africa to her territory simply to please the few of
her merchants who have business interests in the town. Since the Jameson
raid the Boers have been purchasing vast quantities of guns and
ammunition in Europe for the purpose of preparing themselves for any
similar emergency. Delagoa Bay alone was an open port to the Transvaal,
every other port in South Africa being under English dominion and
consequently closed to the importation of war material.  Lorenzo
Marques, the natural port of the Transvaal, is only a short distance
from the eastern border of that country, and is connected with Pretoria
and Johannesburg by a railway.  It was over this railway that the Boers
were able to carry the guns and ammunition with which to fortify their
country, and England could not raise a finger to prevent the little
republic from doing as it pleased. Hardly a month has passed since the
raid that the Transvaal authorities did not receive a large consignment
of guns and powder from Germany and France by way of Lorenzo Marques.
England could do nothing more than have several detectives at the docks
to take an inventory of the munitions as they passed in transit.

The transfer of Lorenzo Marques to the British will put an effectual bar
to any further importation of guns into the Transvaal, and will
practically prevent any foreign assistance from reaching the Boers in
the event of another war.  Both Germany and England tried for many years
to induce Portugal to sell Delagoa Bay, but being the debtor of both to
a great extent, the sale could not be made to one without arousing the
enmity of the other.  Eighteen or twenty years ago Portugal would have
sold her sovereign right over the port to Mr. Gladstone’s Government for
sixty thousand dollars, but that was before Delagoa Bay had any
commercial or political importance.  Since then Germany became the
political champion of the Transvaal, and blocked all the schemes of
England to isolate the inland country by cutting off its only neutral
connection with the sea. Recently, however, Germany has been
disappointed by the Transvaal Republic, and one of the results is the
present cordial relations between the Teutons and the Anglo-Saxons in
South African affairs.

The English press and people in South Africa have always asserted that
by isolating the Transvaal from the sea the Boers could be starved into
submission in case of a war. As soon as the lease becomes effective, Mr.
Kruger’s country will be completely surrounded by English territory, at
least in such a way that nothing can be taken into the Transvaal without
first passing through an English port, and no foreign power will be able
to send forces to the aid of the Boers unless they are first landed on
British soil.  It is doubtful whether any nation would incur such a
grave responsibility for the sake of securing Boer favour.

Both the Transvaal and England are fully prepared for war, and diplomacy
only can postpone its coming.  The Uitlanders’ present demands may be
conceded, but others that will follow may not fare so well.  A coveted
country will always be the object of attacks by a stronger power, and
the aggressor generally succeeds in securing from the weaker victim
whatever he desires.  Whether British soldiers will be obliged to fight
the Boers alone in order to gratify the wishes of their Government, or
whether the enemy will be almost the entire white and black population
of South Africa, will not be definitely known until the British troop
ships start for Cape Town and Durban.

[Illustration: Cape Town and Table Mountain.]

Whichever enemy it will be, the British Government will attack, and will
pursue in no half-hearted or half-prepared manner, as it has done in
previous campaigns in the country. The Boers will be able to resist and
to prolong the campaign to perhaps eight months or a year, but they will
finally be obliterated from among the nations of the earth.  It will
cost the British Empire much treasure and many lives, but it will
satisfy those who caused it--the politicians and speculators.

                               CHAPTER XI


An idea of the nature and extent of American enterprise in South Africa
might be deduced from the one example of a Boston book agent, who made a
competency by selling albums of United States scenery to the negroes
along the shores of the Umkomaas River, near Zululand.  The book agent
is not an incongruity of the activity of Americans in that part of the
continent, but an example rather of the diversified nature of the
influences which owe their origin to the nation of Yankees ten thousand
miles distant.  The United States of America have had a deeper influence
upon South Africa than that which pertains to commerce and trade.  The
progress, growth, and prosperity of the American States have instilled
in the minds of the majority of South Africans a desire to be free from
European control, and to be united under a single banner, which is to
bear the insignia of the United States of South Africa.

In public, editors and speechmakers in Cape Colony, Natal, and the
Transvaal spend hours in deploring the progress of Americanisms in South
Africa, but in their clubs and libraries they study and discuss the
causes which led to America’s progress and pre-eminence, and form plans
by which they may be able to attain the same desirable ends.  The
influence and example of the United States are not theoretical; they are
political factors which are felt in the discussion of every public
question and in the results of every election.  The practical results of
American influence in South Africa may now be observed only in the
increasing exports to that country, but perhaps in another generation a
greater and better demonstration will be found in a constitution which
unites all the South African states under one independent government.
If any corroboration of this sentiment were necessary, a statement made
by the man who is leader of the ruling party in Cape Colony would be

"If we want an example of the highest type of freedom," said W. P.
Schreiner, the present Premier of Cape Colony, "we must look to the
United States of America."[#]

[#] Americans’ Fourth of July Banquet, Cape Town, 1897.

American influences are felt in all phases of South African life, be
they social, commercial, religious, political, or retrogressive.
Whether it be the American book agent on the banks of the Umkomaas, or
the American consul-general in the governor’s mansion at Cape Town, his
indomitable energy, his breezy indifference to apparently insurmountable
difficulties, and his boundless resources will always secure for him
those material benefits for which men of other nationalities can do no
more than hope. Some of his rivals call it perverseness, callousness,
trickery, treachery, and what not; his admirers might ascribe his
success to energy, pluck, modern methods, or to that quality best
described by that Americanism--"hustling."

American commercial interests in South Africa are of such recent growth,
and already of such great proportions, that the other nations who have
been interested in the trade for many years are not only astounded, but
are fearful that the United States will soon be the controlling spirit
in the country’s commercial affairs.  The enterprise of American
business firms, and their ability to undersell almost all the other
firms represented in the country, have given an enormous impetus to the
export trade with South African countries.  Systematic efforts have been
made by American firms to work the South African markets on an extensive
scale, and so successful have the efforts been that the value of exports
to that country has several times been more than doubled in a single

Five years ago America’s share of the business of South Africa was
practically infinitesimal; to-day the United States hold second place in
the list of nations which have trade relations with that country, having
outranked Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, and Italy. In several
branches of trade America surpasses even England, which has always had
all the trade advantages owing to the supremacy of her flag over the
greater part of the country. That the British merchants are keenly alive
to the situation which threatens to transfer the trade supremacy into
American hands has been amply demonstrated by the efforts which they
have made to check the inroads the Americans are making on their field,
and by the appointment of committees to investigate the causes of the
decline of British commerce.

American enterprise shows itself by the scores of representatives of
American business houses who are constantly travelling through the
country, either to secure orders or to investigate the field with a view
of entering into competition with the firms of other nations. Fifteen
American commercial travellers, representing as many different firms,
were registered at the Grand Hotel, Cape Town, at one time a year ago,
and that all had secured exceptionally heavy orders indicated that the
innovation in the method of working trade was successful.

The laws of the country are unfavourable in no slight degree to the
foreign commercial travellers, who are obliged to pay heavy licenses
before they are permitted to enter upon any business negotiations.  The
tax in the Transvaal and Natal is $48.66, and in the Orange Free State
and Cape Colony it amounts to $121.66.  If an American agent wishes to
make a tour of all the states and colonies of the country, he is obliged
to pay almost three hundred and fifty dollars in license fees.

The great superiority of certain American manufactured products is such
that other nations are unable to compete in those lines after the
American products have been introduced. Especially is this true of
American machinery, which can not be equalled by that of any other
country.  Almost every one of the hundreds of extensive gold mines on
the Randt is fitted out wholly or in part with American machinery, and,
at the present rate of increase in the use of it, it will be less than
ten years when none other than United States machinery will be sent to
that district.  In visiting the great mines the uninitiated American is
astonished to find that engines, crushing machinery, and even the
electric lights which illuminate them, bear the name plates of New York,
Philadelphia, and Chicago firms.

The Kimberley diamond mines, which are among the most extensive and most
elaborate underground works in the world, use American-made machinery
almost exclusively, not only because it is much less costly, but because
no other country can furnish apparatus that will give as good results.
Almost every pound of electrical machinery in use in the country was
made in America and was instituted by American workmen.

Instances of successful American electrical enterprises are afforded by
the Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria street railways, almost
every rail, wire, and car of which bears the marks of American
manufacture.  It is a marvellous revelation to find Philadelphia-made
electric cars in the streets of Cape Town, condensing engines from New
York State in Port Elizabeth, and Pittsburg generators and switchboards
in the capital of the Transvaal, which less than fifty years ago was
under the dominion of savages.  Not only did Americans install the
street railways, but they also secured the desirable concessions for
operating the lines for a stated period.  American electricians operate
the plants, and in not a few instances have financially embarrassed
Americans received a new financial impetus by acting in the capacities
of motormen and conductors.

One street car in Cape Town was for a long time distinguished because of
its many American features.  The Philadelphia-made car was propelled
over Pittsburg tracks by means of the power passing through Wilkesbarre
wires, and the human agencies that controlled it were a Boston motorman
and a San Francisco conductor.  It might not be pursuing the subject too
far to add that of the twelve passengers in the car on a certain journey
ten were Americans, representing eight different States.

One of the first railroads in South Africa--that which leads from
Lorenzo Marques to the Transvaal border--was built by an American, a Mr.
Murdock, while American material entered largely into the construction
of the more extensive roads from the coast to the interior. American
rails are more quickly and more cheaply[#] obtainable in South Africa
than those of English make, but the influence which is exerted against
the use of other than British rails prevents their universal adoption.
Notwithstanding the efforts of the influential Englishmen to secure
British manufactures wherever and whenever possible, American firms have
recently secured the contracts for forty thousand tons of steel rails
for the Cape Colony Railway system, and the prospects are that more
orders of a similar nature will be forthcoming.

[#] "But the other day we gave an order for two hundred and fifty miles
of rails.  We had a large number of tenders, and the lowest tender, you
may be sorry to hear, was sent by an American, Mr. Carnegie.
Fortunately, however, the tender was not in order, and we were therefore
able to give the work to our own people.  It may be said that this
American tender was a question of workmen and strikes."--Cecil J.
Rhodes, at a meeting of the stockholders of the Cape-Cairo Railway,
London, May 2, 1899.

It is not in the sale of steel rails alone that the American
manufacturer is forging ahead of his competitors in South Africa.
American manufactured wares of all kinds are in demand, and in many
instances they are leaders in the market.  Especially true is this of
American agricultural implements, which are so much more adaptable to
the soil and much cheaper than any other make.  Small stores in the
farming communities of Natal and Cape Colony sell American ploughshares,
spades, forks, rakes, and hoes almost exclusively, and it amazes the
traveller to find that almost every plough and reaper used by the more
progressive agriculturists bears the imprint "Made in the United

It is a strange fact that, although South Africa has vast areas covered
with heavy timber, almost all the lumber used in the mining districts is
transported thither from Puget Sound.  The native timber being unsuited
for underground purposes and difficult of access, all the mine owners
are obliged to import every foot of wood used in constructing surface
and underground works of their mines, and at great expense, for to the
original cost of the timber is added the charges arising from the sea
and land transportation, import duties, and handling.  The docks at Cape
Town almost all the year round contain one or more lumber vessels from
Puget Sound, and upon several occasions five such vessels were being
unloaded at the same time.

American coal, too, has secured a foothold in South Africa, a sample
cargo of three thousand tons having been despatched thither at the
beginning of the year.  Coal of good quality is found in several parts
of the Transvaal and Natal, but progress in the development of the mines
has been so slow that almost the total demand is supplied by Wales.
Cape Colony has an extensive petroleum field, but it is in the hands of
concessionaires, who, for reasons of their own, refuse to develop it.
American and Russian petroleums are used exclusively, but the former is
preferred, and is rapidly crowding the other out of the market.

Among the many other articles of export to South Africa are flour, corn,
butter, potatoes, canned meats, and vegetables--all of which might be
produced in the country if South Africans took advantage of the
opportunities offered by soil and Nature.  American live stock has been
introduced into the country since the rinderpest disease destroyed
almost all of the native cattle, and with such successful results that
several Western firms have established branches in Cape Town, and are
sending thither large cargoes of mules, horses, cattle, and sheep.
Cecil J. Rhodes has recently stocked his immense Rhodesian farm with
American live stock, and, as his example is generally followed
throughout the country, a decided increase in the live-stock export
trade is anticipated.

Statistics only can give an adequate idea of American trade with South
Africa; but even these are not reliable, for the reason that a large
percentage of the exports sent to the country are ordered through London
firms, and consequently do not appear in the official figures.  As a
criterion of what the trade amounts to, it will only be necessary to
quote a few statistics, which, however, do not represent the true totals
for the reason given.  The estimated value of the exports and the
percentage increase of each year’s business over that of the preceding
year is given, in order that a true idea of the growth of American trade
with South Africa may be formed:

    YEAR.                   Value.       Per cent

    1895                  $5,000,000
    1896                  12,000,000        140
    1897                  16,000,000         33 1/8
    1898 (estimated)      20,000,000         25

A fact that is deplored by Americans who are eager to see their country
in the van in all things pertaining to trade is that almost every
dollar’s worth of this vast amount of material is carried to South
Africa in ships sailing under foreign colours.  Three lines of
steamships, having weekly sailings, ply between the two countries, and
are always laden to the rails with American goods, but the American flag
is carried by none of them.  A fourth line of steamships, to ply between
Philadelphia and Cape Town, is about to be established under American
auspices, and is to carry the American flag. A number of small American
sailing vessels trade between the two countries, but their total
capacity is so small as to be almost insignificant when compared with
the great volume carried in foreign bottoms.

The American imports from South Africa are of far less value than the
exports, for the reason that the country produces only a few articles
that are not consumed where they originate.  America is the best market
in the world for diamonds, and about one fourth of the annual output of
the Kimberley mines reaches the United States.  Hides and tallow
constitute the leading exportations to America, while aloes and ostrich
feathers are chief among the few other products sent here. Owing to this
lack of exports, ships going to South Africa are obliged to proceed to
India or Australia for return cargoes in order to reduce the expenses of
the voyage.

However great the commercial interests of the United States in South
Africa, they are small in comparison with the work of individual
Americans, who have been active in the development of that country
during the last quarter of a century.  Wherever great enterprises have
been inaugurated, Americans have been prominently identified with their
growth and development, and in not a few instances has the success of
the ventures been wholly due to American leadership.  European capital
is the foundation of all the great South African institutions, but it is
to American skill that almost all of them owe the success which they
have attained.

British and continental capitalists have recognised the superiority of
American methods by intrusting the management of almost every large mine
and industry to men who were born and received their training in the
United States. It is an expression not infrequently heard when the
success of a South African enterprise is being discussed, "Who is the
Yankee?"  The reason of this is involved in the fact that almost all the
Americans who went to South Africa after the discovery of gold had been
well fitted by their experiences in the California and Colorado mining
fields for the work which they were called upon to do on the Randt, and,
owing to their ability, were able to compete successfully with the men
from other countries who were not so skilled.

Unfortunately, not all the Americans in South Africa have been a credit
to their native country, and there is a considerable class which has
created for itself an unenviable reputation.  The component parts of
this class are men who, by reason of criminal acts, were obliged to
leave America for new fields of endeavour, and non-professional men who
follow gold booms in all parts of the world and trust to circumstances
for a livelihood.  In the early days of the Johannesburg gold fields
these men oftentimes resorted to desperate means, with the result that
almost every criminal act of an unusually daring description is now
credited against them by the orderly inhabitants. Highwaymen,
pickpockets, illicit gold buyers, confidence men, and even train-robbers
were active, and for several years served to discredit the entire
American colony.  Since the first gold excitement has subsided, this
class of Americans, in which was also included by the residents all the
other criminal characters of whatever nationality, has been compelled to
leave the country, and to-day the American colony in Johannesburg
numbers about three thousand of the most respected citizens of the city.

The American who has been most prominent in South African affairs, and
the stanchest supporter of American interests in that country, is
Gardner F. Williams, the general manager and one of the alternate life
governors of the De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines at Kimberley.  A
native of Michigan, Mr. Williams gained his mining experience in the
mining districts of California and other Western States, and went to
South Africa in 1887 to take charge of the Kimberley mines, which were
then in an almost chaotic condition.  By the application of American
ideas, Mr. Williams succeeded in making of the mines a property which
yields an annual profit of about ten million dollars on a nominal
capital of twice that amount.  He has introduced American machinery into
the mines, and has been instrumental in many other ways in advancing the
interests of his native country. Although Mr. Williams receives a salary
twice as great as that of the President of the United States, he is
proud to be the American consular agent at Kimberley--an office which
does not carry with it sufficient revenue to provide the star-spangled
banner which constantly floats from a staff in front of his residence.

Dr. J. Perrott Prince is another American who has assisted materially in
extending American interests in South Africa, and it is due to his own
unselfish efforts that the commerce of the United States with the port
of Durban has risen from insignificant volume to its present size.  Dr.
Prince was a surgeon in the Union army during the civil war, and
afterward was one of the first Americans to go to the Kimberley diamond
fields.  He it was who later induced Dr. Leander Starr Jameson to
accompany him to Kimberley in the capacity of assistant surgeon--a
service which he performed with great distinction until Mr. Rhodes sent
him into Matabeleland to take charge of the military forces, which later
he led into the Transvaal.

Dr. Prince’s renown as a physician was responsible for a call to
Madagascar, whither he was summoned by Queen Ranavalo.  He remained in
Madagascar as the queen’s physician until the French took forcible
possession of the island and sent the queen into exile on the Reunion
Islands.  Dr. Prince has lived in Durban, Natal, for several years, and
during the greater part of that time conducted the office of American
consular agent at a financial loss to himself.  Unfortunately, Dr.
Prince was obliged to end his connection with the consular service, and
the United States are now represented in Durban by a foreigner, who on
the last Fourth of July inquired why all the Americans in the city were
making such elaborate displays of bunting and the Stars and Stripes.

The consular agent at Johannesburg is John C. Manion, of Herkimer, N.Y.,
who represents a large American machinery company.  Mr. Manion, in 1896,
carried on the negotiations with the Transvaal Government by which John
Hays Hammond, an American mining engineer, was released from the
Pretoria prison, where he had been confined for complicity in the
uprising at Johannesburg.  American machinery valued at several million
dollars has been sent to South Africa as the result of Mr. Manion’s

In the gold industry on the Randt, Americans have been specially active,
and it is due to one of them, J. S. Curtis, that the deep-level mines
were discovered.  In South Africa a mining claim extends only a
specified distance below the surface of the earth, and the Governments
do not allow claim-owners to dig beyond that depth.  Mr. Curtis found
that paying reefs existed below the specified depth, and the result was
that the Government sold the underground or deep-level claims with great
profit to itself and the mining community.

The consulting engineers of almost all the mines of any importance in
the country are Americans, and their salaries range from ten thousand to
one hundred thousand dollars a year.  John Hays Hammond, who was one of
the first American engineers to reach the gold fields, was official
mining engineer for the Transvaal Government, and received a yearly
salary of twenty-five thousand dollars for formulating the mining laws
of the country. He resigned that office, and is now the consulting
engineer for the British South Africa Company in Rhodesia and several
gold mines on the Randt, at salaries which aggregate almost one hundred
thousand dollars a year. Among the scores of other American engineers on
the Randt are L. I. Seymour, who has control of the thirty-six shafts of
the Randt Mines; Captain Malan, of the Robinson mines; and H. S. Watson,
of the Simmer en Jack mines, in developing which more than ten million
dollars have been spent.

Another American introduced the system of treating the abandoned
tailings of the mines by the cyanide process, whereby thousands of
ounces of gold have been abstracted from the offal of the mills, which
had formerly been considered valueless.  Others have revolutionized
different parts of the management of the mines, and in many instances
have taken abandoned properties and placed them on a paying basis. It
would not be fair to claim that American ingenuity and skill are
responsible for the entire success of the Randt gold mines, but it is
indisputable that Americans have done more toward it than the combined
representatives of all other nations.

Every line of business on the Randt has its American representatives,
and almost without exception the firms who sent them thither chose able
men.  W. E. Parks, of Chicago, represents Frazer & Chalmers, whose
machinery is in scores of the mines.  His assistant is W. H. Haig, of
New York city.

The American Trading and Importing Company, with its headquarters in
Johannesburg, and branches in every city and town in the country, deals
exclusively in American manufactured products, and annually sells
immense quantities of bicycles, stoves, beer, carriages, and other
goods, ranging from pins to pianos.

Americans do not confine their endeavours to commercial enterprises, and
they may be found conducting missionary work among the Matabeles and
Mashonas, as well as building dams in Rhodesia.  American missionaries
are very active in all parts of South Africa, and because of the
practical methods by which they endeavour to civilize and Christianize
the natives they have the reputation throughout the country of being
more successful than those who go there from any other country.  In the
Rhodesian country Mr. Rhodes has given many contributions of land and
money to the American missionaries, and has on several occasions
complimented them by pronouncing their achievements unparalleled.

A practical illustration will demonstrate the causes of the success of
the American missionary.  An English missionary spent the first two
years after his arrival in the country in studying the natives’ language
and in building a house for himself.  In that time he had made no
converts.  An American missionary arrived at almost the same time,
rented a hut, and hired interpreters.  At the end of two years he had
one hundred and fifty converts, many more natives who were learning
useful occupations and trades, and had sent home a request for more
missionaries with which to extend his field.

It is rather remarkable that the scouts who assisted in subduing the
American Indians should later be found on the African continent to
assist in the extermination of the blacks. In the Matabele and Mashona
campaigns of three years ago, Americans who scouted for Custer and Miles
on the Western plains were invaluable adjuncts to the British forces,
and in many instances did heroic work in finding the location of the
enemy and in making way for the American Maxim guns that were used in
the campaigns.

The Americans in South Africa, although only about ten thousand in
number, have been of invaluable service to the land.  They have taught
the farmers to farm, the miners to dig gold, and the statesmen to
govern. Their work has been a credit to the country which they continue
to revere, and whose flag they raise upon every proper occasion.  They
have taken little part in the political disturbances of the Transvaal,
because they believe that the citizens of a republic should be allowed
to conduct its government according to their own idea of right and
justice, independently of the demands of those who are not citizens.

                              CHAPTER XII

                         JOHANNESBURG OF TO-DAY

The palms and bamboos of Durban, the Zulu policemen and ’ricksha boys,
and the hospitable citizens have been left behind, and the little train
of English compartment cars, each with its destination "Johannesburg"
labelled conspicuously on its sides, is winding away through cane fields
and banana groves, past groups of open-eyed natives and solemn,
thin-faced Indian coolies.

Pretty little farmers’ cottages in settings of palms, mimosas, and
tropical plants are dotted in the green valleys winding around the
innumerable small hills that look for all the world like so many
inverted moss-covered china cups.  Lumbering transport wagons behind a
score of sleek oxen, wincing under the fire of the far-reaching rawhide
in the hands of a sparsely clad Zulu driver, are met and passed in a
twinkling.  Neatly thatched huts with natives lazily lolling in the sun
become more frequent as the train rolls on toward the interior, and the
greenness of the landscape is changing into the brown of dead verdure,
for it is the dry season--the South African winter.  The hills become
more frequent, and the little locomotive goes more slowly, while the
train twists and writhes along its path like a huge python.

Now it is on the hilltop from which the distant sea and its coast fringe
of green are visible on the one side, and nothing but treeless brown
mountain tops on the other.  A minute later it plunges down the
hillside, along rocky precipices, over deep chasms, and then wearily
plods up the zigzag course of another hillside.  For five hours or more
the monotony of miniature mountains continues, relieved by nothing more
interesting than the noise of the train and the hilarious laughter and
weird songs of a car load of Zulus bound for the gold fields.  After
this comes an undulating plain and towns with far less interest in their
appearance than in their names.  The traveller surfeited with Natal
scenery finds amusement and diversion in the conductor’s call of Umbilo,
Umkomaas, Umgeni, Amanzimtoti, Isipingo, Mooi River, Zwartkop, or
Pietermaritzburg, but will not attempt to learn the proper pronunciation
of the names unless he has weeks at his command.

[Illustration: Zulu maidens shaking hands.]

Farther on in the journey an ostrich, escaped from a farm, stalks over
the plain, and, approaching to within several yards of the train, jogs
along for many miles, and perchance wheedles the engineer into impromptu
races. Hardly has the bird disappeared when on the wide veldt a herd of
buck galloping with their long heads down, or a large number of
wildebeest, plunging and jumping like animated hobby-horses, raise
clouds of dust as they dash away from the monster of iron and steam.
Shortly afterward the train passes a waterfall almost thrice as lofty as
Niagara, but located in the middle of the plain, into whose surface the
water has riven a deep and narrow chasm.

Since the balmy Indian Ocean has been left behind, the train has been
rising steadily, sometimes an inch in a mile but oftener a hundred feet,
and the air has grown cooler. The thousands of British soldiers at
Ladysmith are wearing heavy clothing; their horses, tethered in the open
air, are shivering, and far to the westward is the cause of it all--the
lofty, snow-covered peaks of the Dragon Mountain.  Night comes on and
clothes the craggy mountains and broken valleys with varying shades of
sombreness.  The moon outlines the snow far above, and with its rays
marks the lofty line where sky and mountain crest seem to join.  Morning
light greets the train as it dashes down the mountain side, through the
passes that connect Natal with the Transvaal and out upon the withered
grass of the flat, uninteresting veldt of the Boer country.

The South African veldt in all its winter hideousness lies before you.
It stretches out in all directions--to the north and south, to the east
and west--and seems to have no boundaries.  Its yellowish brownness eats
into the brain, and the eyes grow weary from the monotony of the scene.
Hour after hour the train bears onward in a straight line, but the
landscape remains the same.  But for noises and motions of the cars you
would imagine that the train was stationary, so far as change of scenery
is concerned.  Occasionally a colony of huge ant-heaps or a few buck or
deer may be passed, but for hours it is veldt, veldt, veldt!  An entire
day’s journey, unrelieved except toward the end by a few straggling
towns of Boer farmhouses or the sheet-iron cabins of prospectors, bring
it to Heidelberg, once the metropolis as well as the capital of the
republic, but now pining because the former distinguishing mark has been
yielded to its neighbour, Johannesburg.

As the shades of another night commence to fall, the veldt suddenly
assumes a new countenance.  Lights begin to sparkle, buildings close
together appear, and scores of tall smokestacks tower against the
background of the sky.  The presence of the smoke-stacks denote the
arrival at the Randt, and for twenty miles the train rushes along this
well-defined gold-yielding strip of land.  Buildings, lights, stacks,
and people become more numerous as the train progresses into the city
limits of Johannesburg, and the traveller soon finds himself in the
middle of a crowd of enthusiastic welcoming and welcomed persons on the
platform of the station of the Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche
Spoorweg-Maatschappij, and in the Golden City.

The sudden change from the dreary lifelessness of the veldt to the
exciting crush and bustle of the station platform crowd is almost
bewildering, because it is so different from what is expected in
interior Africa.  The station, a magnificent structure of stone and
iron, presents more animated scenes whenever trains arrive than the
Grand Central in New York or the Victoria in London, because every
passenger is invariably met at the train by all his friends and as many
of their friends as the station platform will accommodate. The crowd
which surges around this centre of the city’s life is of a more
cosmopolitan character than that which can be found in any other city in
the world with the exceptions of Zanzibar and Port Said.  Almost every
race is represented in the gathering, which is suggestive of a mass
meeting of the villagers of the Midway Plaisance at the Columbian
Exposition.  In the crowd are stolid Anglo-Saxons shaking hands
effusively; enthusiastic Latins embracing each other; negroes rubbing
noses and cheeks; smiling Japanese; cold, stern Chinese; Cingalese,
Russians, Malays, and Egyptians--all in their national costumes, and all
welcoming friends in their native manner and language.  Meandering
through the crowd are several keen-eyed Boer policemen, commonly called
"Zarps," politely directing the attention of innocent-looking newcomers
to placards bearing the inscription "Pas op Zakkenrollers," which is the
Boer warning of pickpockets.

After the traveller has forced a way through the crowd he is attacked by
a horde of cabmen who can teach tricks of the trade to the London and
New York night-hawks. Their equipages range from dilapidated broughams
to antique ’rickshas, but their charges are the same--"a quid," or five
dollars, either for a mile or a minute’s ride.  After the insults which
follow a refusal to enter one of their conveyances have subsided, the
agents of the hotels commence a vociferous campaign against the
newcomers, and very clever it is in its way.  They are able to
distinguish a foreigner at one glance, and will change the name of the
hotel which they represent a score of times in as many seconds in order
to bag their quarry.  For the patriotic American they have the New York
Hotel, the Denver House, the Hotel California, and many other hostelries
named after American cities. "Hey, Yank!" they will salute an American,
"Come up to the New York Hotel and patronize American enterprise."  If
the traveller will accompany one of these agents he will find that all
the names apply to one hotel, which has an American name but is
conducted and patronized by a low class of foreigners.  The victim of
misrepresentation will seek another hotel, and will be fortunate if he
finds comfortable quarters for less than ten dollars a day, or three
times the amount he would be called upon to pay at a far better hotel in
any American city of equal size.  The privilege of fasting, or of
awakening in the morning with a layer of dust an eighth of an inch deep
on the counterpane and on the face may be ample return for the
extraordinary charges, but the stranger in the city is not apt to adopt
that view of the situation until he is acclimated.

The person who has spent several days in crossing the veldt and enters
Johannesburg by night has a strange revelation before him when he is
awakened the following morning. He has been led to believe that the city
is a motley collection of corrugated-iron hovels, hastily constructed
cabins, and cheap public buildings.  Instead he finds a beautiful city,
with well-paved streets, magnificent buildings of stone and brick,
expensive public buildings, and scores of palatial residences.  Many
American cities of the same size and many times older can not show as
costly buildings or as fine public works.  Hotels of five and six
stories, and occupying, in several instances, almost entire blocks, are
numerous; of office buildings costing a quarter of a million dollars
each there are half a score; banks, shops, and newspapers have three-
and four-story buildings of brick and stone, while there are hundreds of
other buildings that would be creditable to any large city in America or
Europe.  The Government Building in the centre of the city is a
five-story granite structure of no mean architectural beauty.  In the
suburbs are many magnificent private residences of mine owners and
managers who, although not permanent residents of the city, have
invested large amounts of money, so that the short time they spend in
the country may be amid luxurious and comfortable surroundings.

One of the disagreeable features of living in Johannesburg is the dust
which is present everywhere during the dry season.  It rises in great,
thick clouds on the surrounding veldt, and, obscuring the sun, wholly
envelops the city in semi-darkness.  One minute the air is clear and
there is not a breath of wind; several minutes later a hurricane is
blowing and blankets of dust are falling.  The dust clouds generally
rise west of the city, and almost totally eclipse the sun during their
progress over the plain.  Sometimes the dust storms continue only a few
minutes, but very frequently the citizens are made uncomfortable by them
for days at a time.  Whenever they arrive, the doors and windows of
buildings are tightly closed, business is practically at a standstill,
and every one is miserable.  There is no escape from it.  It penetrates
every building, however well protected, and it lodges in the food as
well as in the drink.  Pedestrians on the street are unable to see ten
feet ahead, and are compelled to walk with head bowed and with
handkerchief over the mouth and nostrils.  Umbrellas and parasols are
but slight protection against it.  Only the miners, a thousand feet
below the surface, escape it. When the storm has subsided the entire
city is covered with a blanket of dust ranging in thickness from an inch
on the sidewalks to an eighth of an inch on the store counters,
furniture, and in pantries.  It has never been computed how great a
quantity of the dust enters a man’s lungs, but the feeling that it
engenders is one of colossal magnitude.

Second to the dust, the main characteristic of Johannesburg is the
inhabitants’ great struggle for sudden wealth.  It is doubtful whether
there is one person in the city whose ambition is less than to become
wealthy in five years at least, and then to return to his native
country.  It is not a chase after affluence; it is a stampede in which
every soul in the city endeavours to be in the van.  In the city and in
the mines there are hundreds of honourable ways of becoming rich, but
there are thousands of dishonourable ones; and the morals of a mining
city are not always on the highest plane.  There are business men of the
strictest probity and honesty, and men whose word is as good as their
bond, but there are many more who will allow their conscience to lie
dormant so long as they remain in the country.  With them the passion is
to secure money, and whether they secure it by overcharging a regular
customer, selling illicit gold, or gambling at the stock exchanges is a
matter of small moment.  Tradesmen and shopkeepers will charge according
to the apparel of the patron, and will brazenly acknowledge doing so if
reminded by the one who has paid two prices for like articles the same
day. Hotels charge according to the quantity of luggage the traveller
carries, and boarding-houses compute your wealth before presenting their
bills.  Street-car fares and postage stamps alone do not fluctuate in
value, but the wise man counts his change.

The experiences of an American with one large business house in the city
will serve as an example of the methods of some of those who are eager
to realize their ambitions.  The American spent many weeks and much
patience and money in securing photographs throughout the country, and
took the plates to a large firm in Johannesburg for development and
printing.  When he returned two weeks later he was informed that the
plates and prints had been delivered a week before, and neither prayers
nor threats secured a different answer.  Justice in the courts is slow
and costly, and the American was obliged to leave the country without
his property.  Shortly after his departure the firm of photographers
commenced selling a choice collection of new South African photographs
which, curiously, were of the same scenes and persons photographed by
the American.

Gambling may be more general in some other cities, but it can not be
more public. The more refined gamblers patronize the two stock
exchanges, and there are but few too poor to indulge in that form of
dissipation. Probably nine tenths of the inhabitants of the city travel
the stock-exchange bypath to wealth or poverty.  Women and boys are as
much infected by the fever as mine owners and managers, and it would not
be slandering the citizens to say that one fourth of the conversation
heard on the streets refers to the rise and fall of stocks.

The popular gathering place in the city is the street in front of one of
the stock exchanges known as "The Chains."  During the session of the
exchange the street is crowded with an excited throng of men, boys, and
even women, all flushed with the excitement of betting on the rise and
fall of mining stocks in the building.  Clerks, office boys, and miners
spend the lunch hour at "The Chains," either to invest their wages or to
watch the market if their money is already invested.  A fall in the
value of stocks is of far greater moment to them than war, famine, or

The passion for gambling is also satisfied by a giant lottery scheme
known as "Sweepstakes," which has the sanction of the Government.
Thousands of pounds are offered as prizes at the periodical drawings,
and no true Johannesburger ever fails to secure at least one ticket for
the drawing.  When there are no sessions of the stock exchanges, no
sweepstakes, horse races, ball games, or other usual opportunities for
gambling, they will bet on the arrival of the Cape train, the length of
a sermon, or the number of lashes a negro criminal can endure before

Drinking is a second diversion which occupies much of the time of the
average citizen, because of the great heat and the lack of amusement.
The liquor that is drunk in Johannesburg in one year would make a stream
of larger proportions and far more healthier contents than the Vaal
River in the dry season.  It is a rare occurrence to see a man drink
water unless it is concealed in brandy, and at night it is even rarer
that one is seen who is not drinking.  Cape Smoke, the name given to a
liquor made in Cape Colony, is credited with the ability to kill a man
before he has taken the glass from his lips, but the popular Uitlander
beverage, brandy and soda, is even more fatal in its effects.  Pure
liquor is almost unobtainable, and death-dealing counterfeits from
Delagoa Bay are the substitutes. Twenty-five cents for a glass of beer
and fifty cents for brandy and soda are not deterrent prices where
ordinary mine workers receive ten dollars a day and mine managers fifty
thousand dollars a year.

Of social life there is little except such as is afforded by the clubs,
of which there are several of high standing.  The majority of the men
left their families in their native countries on account of the severe
climate, and that fact, combined with the prevalent idea that the
weather is too torrid to do anything unnecessary, is responsible for
Johannesburg’s lack of social amenity.  There are occasional dances and
receptions, but they are participated in only by newcomers who have not
yet fallen under the spell of the South African sun.  The Sunday night’s
musical entertainments at the Wanderer’s Club are practically the only
affairs to which the average Uitlander cares to go, because he can
clothe himself for comfort and be as dignified or as undignified as he

The true Johannesburger is the most independent man in the world.  When
he meets a native on the sidewalk he promptly kicks him into the street,
and if the action is resented, bullies a Boer policeman into arresting
the offender.  The policeman may demur and call the Johannesburger a
"Verdomde rooinek," but he will make the arrest or receive a drubbing.
He may be arrested in turn, but he is ever willing and anxious to pay a
fine for the privilege of beating a "dumb Dutchman," as he calls him.
He pays little attention to the laws of the country, because he has not
had the patience to learn what they consist of, and he rests content in
knowing that his home government will rescue him through diplomatic
channels if he should run counter to the laws.  He cares nothing
concerning the government of the city except as it interferes with or
assists his own private interests, but he will take advantage of every
opportunity to defy the authority of the administrators of the laws. He
despises the Boers, and continually and maliciously ridicules them on
the slightest pretexts.  Specially true is this of those newspapers
which are the representatives of the Uitlander population.  Venomous
editorials against the Boer Government and people appear almost daily,
and serve to widen the breach between the two classes of inhabitants.
The Boer newspapers for a long time ignored the assaults of the
Uitlander press, but recently they have commenced to retaliate, and the
editorial war is a bitter one.  An extract from the Randt Post will show
the nature and depth of bitterness displayed by the two classes of

"Though Dr. Leyds may be right, and the Johannesburg population safe in
case of war, we advise that, at the first act of war on the English
side, the women and children, and well-disposed persons of this town, be
given twenty-four hours to leave, and then the whole place be shot down;
in the event, we repeat--which God forbid!--of war coming.

"If, indeed, there must be shooting, then it will be on account of
seditious words and deeds of Johannesburg agitators and the
co-shareholders in Cape Town and London, and the struggle will be
promoted for no other object than the possession of the gold.  Well,
then, let such action be taken that the perpetrators of these turbulent
proceedings shall, if caught, be thrown into the deep shafts of their
mines, with the debris of the batteries for a costly shroud, and that
the whole of Johannesburg, with the exception of the Afrikander wards,
be converted into a gigantic rubbish heap to serve as a mighty tombstone
for the shot-down authors of a monstrous deed.

"If it be known that these valuable buildings and the lives of the
wire-pullers are the price of the mines, then people will take good heed
before the torch of war is set alight.  Friendly talks and protests are
no use with England. Let force and rough violence be opposed to the
intrigues and plots of Old England, and only then will the Boer remain

It is on Saturday nights that the bitterness of the Uitlander population
is most noticeable, since then the workers from the mines along the
Randt gather in the city and discuss their grievances, which then become
magnified with every additional glass of liquor.  It is then that the
city streets and places of amusement and entertainment are crowded with
a throng that finds relaxation by abusing the Boers. The theatre
audiences laugh loudest at the coarsest jests made at the expense of the
Boers, and the bar-room crowds talk loudest when the Boers are the
subject of discussion. The abuse continues even when the not-too-sober
Uitlander, wheeled homeward at day-break by his faithful Zulu ’ricksha
boy, casts imprecations upon the Boer policeman who is guarding his

Johannesburg is one of the most expensive places of residence in the
world.  Situated in the interior of the continent, thousands of miles
distant from the sources of food and supplies, it is natural that
commodities should be high in price.  Almost all food stuffs are carried
thither from America, Europe, and Australia, and consequently the
original cost is trebled by the addition of carriage and customs duties.
The most common articles of food are twice as costly as in America,
while such commodities as eggs, imported from Madeira, frequently are
scarce at a dollar a dozen.  Butter from America is fifty cents a pound,
and fruits and vegetables from Cape Colony and Natal are equally high in
price and frequently unobtainable.  Good board can not be obtained
anywhere for less than five dollars a day, while the best hotels and
clubs charge thrice that amount.  Rentals are exceptionally high owing
to the extraordinary land values and the cost of erecting buildings.  A
small, brick-lined, corrugated-iron cottage of four rooms, such as a
married mine-employee occupies, costs from fifty to seventy-five dollars
a month, while a two-story brick house in a respectable quarter of the
city rents for one hundred dollars a month.

Every object in the city is mutely expressive of a vast expenditure of
money.  The idea that everything--the buildings, food, horses, clothing,
machinery, and all that is to be seen--has been carried across oceans
and continents unconsciously associates itself with the cost that it has
entailed.  Four-story buildings that in New York or London would be
passed without remark cause mental speculation concerning their cost,
merely because it is so patent that every brick, nail, and board in them
has been conveyed thousands of miles from foreign shores.  Electric
lights and street cars, so common in American towns, appear abnormal in
the city in the veldt, and instantly suggest an outlay of great amounts
of money even to the minds which are not accustomed to reducing
everything to dollars and pounds. Leaving the densely settled centre of
the city, where land is worth as much as choice plots on Broadway, and
wandering into the suburbs where the great mines are, the idea of cost
is more firmly implanted into the mind. The huge buildings, covering
acres of ground and thousands of tons of the most costly machinery, seem
to be of natural origin rather than of human handiwork.  It is almost
beyond belief that men should be daring enough to convey hundreds of
steamer loads of lumber and machinery halfway around the world at
inestimable cost merely for the yellow metal that Nature has hidden so
far distant from the great centres of population.

The cosmopolitanism of the city is a feature which impresses itself most
indelibly upon the mind.  In a half-day’s stroll in the city
representatives of all the peoples of the earth, with the possible
exception of the American Indian, Eskimos, and South Sea islanders, will
be seen variously engaged in the struggle for gold. On the floors of the
stock exchanges are money barons or their agents, as energetic and sharp
as their prototypes of Wall and Throckmorton Streets.  These are chiefly
British, French, and German.  Outside, between "The Chains," are readily
discernible the distinguishing features of the Americans, Afrikanders,
Portuguese, Russians, Spaniards, and Italians.  A few steps distant is
Commissioner Street, the principal thoroughfare, where the surging
throng is composed of so many different racial representatives that an
analysis of it is not an easy undertaking.  He is considered an expert
who can name the native country of every man on the street, and if he
can distinguish between an American and a Canadian he is credited with
being a wise man.

In the throng is the tall, well-clothed Briton, with silk hat and frock
coat, closely followed by a sparsely clad Matabele, bearing his master’s
account books or golf-sticks.  Near them a Chinaman, in circular
red-topped hat and flowing silk robes, is having a heated argument in
broken English with an Irish hansom-driver.  Crossing the street are two
stately Arabs, in turbans and white robes, jostling easy-going Indian
coolies with their canes. Bare-headed Cingalese, their long, shiny hair
tied in knots and fastened down with circular combs, noiselessly gliding
along, or stopping suddenly to trade Oriental jewelry for Christian’s
money; Malays, Turks, Egyptians, Persians, and New-Zealanders, each with
his distinctive costume; Hottentots, Matabeles, Zulus, Mashonas,
Basutos, and the representatives of hundreds of the other native races
south of the Zambezi pass by in picturesque lack of bodily adornment.

It is an imposing array, too, for the majority of the throng is composed
of moderately wealthy persons, and even in the centre of Africa wealth
carries with it opportunities for display.  John Chinaman will ride in a
’ricksha to his joss-house with as much conscious pride as the European
or American will sit in his brougham or automobile.  Money is as easily
spent as made in Johannesburg, and it is a cosmopolitan habit to spend
it in a manner so that everybody will know it is being spent. To make a
display of some sort is necessary to the citizen’s happiness.  If he is
not of sufficient importance to have his name in the subsidized
newspapers daily he will seek notoriety by wearing a thousand pounds’
worth of diamonds on the street or making astonishing bets at the
race-track.  In that little universe on the veldt every man tries to be
superior to his neighbour in some manner that may be patent to all the
city.  When it is taken into consideration that almost all the
contestants were among the cleverest and shrewdest men in the countries
whence they came to Johannesburg, and not among the riffraff and
failures, then the intensity of the race for superiority can be

Johannesburg might be named the City of Surprises.  Its youthful
existence has been fraught with astonishing works.  It was born in a
day, and one day’s revolution almost ended its existence.  It grew from
the desert veldt into a garden of gold.  Its granite residences, brick
buildings, and iron and steel mills sprang from blades of grass and
sprigs of weeds.  It has transformed the beggar into a millionaire, and
it has seen starving men in its streets.  It harbours men from every
nation and climate, but it is a home for few.  It is far from the centre
of the earth’s civilization, but it has often attracted the whole
world’s attention.  It supports its children, but by them it is cursed.
Its god is in the earth upon which it rests, and its hope of future life
in that which it brings forth.  And all this because a man upturned the
soil and called it gold.

                                THE END

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Oom Paul's People - A Narrative of the British-Boer Troubles in South Africa, with a History of the Boers, the Country, and its Institutions" ***

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