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nal rule of a certain Captain Gardiner, and dragged out to a spot called a missionary, who had formerly been “ Aceldama," or the hill of death. an officer of the royal navy, and who Then Dingaan sent out ten regiments was much favoured by Dingaan, the to complete the work he had begun. ruling sovereign of the Zulus.
They fell on the helpless women and Dingaan had granted to Captain children who were waiting in the Gardiner, as the chief of the white neighbourhood of the Blue Kraus men in Natal, all the land from the River for the return of their relatives, Drakensberg to the sea, a grant far and massacred them with relentless in excess of the wants of the few fury, so that within the week of inhabitants. Pieter Retief, in order Retief's murder, 600 more victims to avoid disputes, determined to pro- went down beneath the Zulu assegai. ceed to Umgungundlhloon (the place All that portion of Natal has ever of elephants), Dingaan's chief military since been known by the name of kraal, and obtain from him a grant “Weenen,” or “the place of weeping." of some portion of this territory. An impartial judge must admit from Dingaan received him graciously, and this and many similar instances that promised to meet his wishes, provided the Boers have grand cause for disthe Dutch would recover certain cattle like and distrust of the native races : for him taken by a hostile chief. This seeing that they are associated in their Retief and his party did, and returned minds with bloodshed and murder in shortly to Umgungundlhloon with the their most fearful forms, and there are cattle, and an escort of some sixty fol- but few Boer families who cannot lowers. A treaty was drawn up and count several of its members dead by signed by both parties, according their fierce hands. It is natural that to which Dingaan gave the whole of minds thus prejudiced should be little Natal to the emigrant farmers for ever.1 inclined to admit the justice of any
Everything had thus far gone claims advanced by the natives, or the smoothly, far too smoothly; and the necessity of their treating them with farmers entered the king's kraal in that candour and truth with which high spirits to bid him farewell. At they would approach dealings with his request they left their arms out- white men. But looking at the matter side, in deference to a law of the from a judicial point of view, it must country, which makes death the pen- also be admitted that if the Boer has alty of passing through the king's a strong case against the native, the fence armed. Here they found two native has a still stronger one against or three favourite regiments drawn the Boer. The only thing that can exup in their war dress, but with nothing cuse the annexation of lands, belonging but short sticks in their hands. The by nature and by right to savage races, stirrup-cup had been drunk, and the is the introduction of a just and merfarmers were preparing to depart, when ciful policy towards the original owners, Dingaan, rising from his seat, called the prevention of unnecessary bloodaloud, “Bulala matagati,” “Slay the shed, and the assurance, in return for wizards.” In a moment, raising their their birthright, of safety from foreign fearful war-cry, some four thousand aggression, and of peace and security Zulu warriors precipitated themselves at home. The warmest defender of the on the little knot of white men. Boers cannot assert that they have During half an hour the hideous strug even approached the fulfilment of these gle lasted. The Dutch, armed only conditions. They have not pursued a with clasp knives, fought as strong merciful policy, they have shed unmen driven to despair do fight; but necessary blood; and not only have one by one they were beaten down, they not shielded others from aggres1 This treaty was afterwards found in a
sion, but they have themselves pursued
Sion, but they ha leathern bag attached to Retief's skeleton. a most aggressive course. This feeling of mutual contempt, hatred, and de- It is melancholy to read this elofiance does therefore exist, and has, in quent advice, and to think in what the minds of either party, excellent a very opposite manner it has been reasons for existence.
carried out. After such an address After the Weenen massacre, the from the officer commanding her Boers engaged in a long and retribu Majesty's troops on the occasion of tive war with the Zulus, and finally their withdrawal, and judging from succeeded in breaking that nation's the general tenor and bearing of other power, forcing the despot Dingaan to communications and events, as well as fee, and establishing his brother from the well-known aversion of the Umpanda, a man of more peaceful British Government to take upon temperament, as king in his stead. itself any fresh responsibilities in South During the continuance of this war, Africa, the emigrant Boers naturally Sir G. Napier, the Governor of the supposed that they would be left to Cape, had sent a detachment of High- follow their own way of life, and to landers to occupy Port Natal, in order form their own government, undisto “put an end to the unwarranted turbed by any British interference. occupation of ports of the territories They accordingly elected a species of belonging to natives, by certain emi- representative legislative assembly, grants from the Cape Colony, being called the Volksraad, in which was subjects of her Majesty.”
vested all powers—legislative, execuCaptain Jarvis, of the 72nd Regi tive, and judicial ; and appointed ment, who was left in command of the magistrates or field-cornets in the expedition, received very vague and various districts; and in the beginning ill-defined instructions as to the seizure of 1840 they addressed a letter to Sir of arms and ammunition, a proceeding George Napier, in which they asked to be which, if carried out to the letter, formally recognised as an independent would probably have excited an out state by her Majesty's Government. break of hostilities, but which his To this letter a temporising answer good sense taught him to avoid. This was returned. detachment appears to have remained There existed, doubtless, at this in the country for more than a year, time very considerable vacillation in and then to have been recalled. On the minds of the members of her the occasion of his departure Captain Majesty's Government, both at home Jarvis directed a farewell letter to and at the Cape, as to the course to Landdroot Boos at Durban, in which be pursued with reference to Natal. he wishes him and the community The Colonial authorities, for the most generally “every happiness, sincerely part, foresaw the evil results of leaving hoping, that aware of your strength, it in the hands of the emigrants, and peace may be the object of your coun- represented the desirability of its ancils; justice, prudence, and moderation nexation to the Colonial office. But be the law of your actions; that your the Home Government looked at the proceedings may be actuated by motives matter in a different light. South worthy of you as men and Christians, Africa had, in their opinion, already that hereafter your arrival may be cost quite as much money as it was hailed as a benefit; having enlightened worth, in the way of expensive and ignorance, dispelled superstition, and unproductive Kafir wars. Besides, caused crime, bloodshed, and oppres- there was at that time a strong feeling sion to cease, and that you may in England against further additions cultivate these beautiful regions in being made to our new Colonial dominquiet and prosperity, ever regardful ions. Under these circumstances, it of the rights of the inhabitants, whose is very possible that the Boers might country you have adopted, and whose have been left for some considerable home you have made your own!” time to the enjoyment or to the misfortune of their own government, had the year 1851, or three or four years it not been that a Commando, sent before its final abandonment, whereas towards the end of the year against a sort of undefined authority had the Amaballa tribe, under the leader been exercised over this territory, ship of Pretorius, did its work with under 6 and 7 William IV., cap. 57, great barbarity, killing many men ever since about 1830. On the and women, and taking children into 2nd February, 1848, Sir H. Smith captivity. When this story reached issued a proclamation, declaring all the Cape, the result was a burst of this country subject to her Majesty, public indignation ; in compliance and the result was that the Dutch with which Sir George Napier issued, again attempted to match themselves on 2nd December, 1841, a proclama- against the English, and, under the tion announcing his intention, in the command of A. W.J. Pretorius, fought name of the British Government, “ of the battle of Boom Plaats, in which resuming military occupation of Port they were signally defeated. Natal, by sending thither without Such is a brief outline of the hisdelay a detachment of her Majesty's tory of the emigrant farmers from forces."
the time of their first exodus to that In accordance with this proclama- of the annexation of the Orange River tion Captain Smith arrived at Port district, an outline which, if not very Natal six months later in command of interesting, is necessary in order to a force of two hundred men and two explain the existence of the Transvaal guns. So small a body of men was Republic. speedily repulsed with heavy loss by In 1851 Major Hogge and Mr. Owen the Boers, and closely blockaded. The were appointed a commission to inquire English residents were taken prisoners, into and report upon all matters conand marched sixty miles in chains to nected with the sovereignty, and the Maritzburg, the newly-founded capital result of their inquiry was a recomof the country. But reinforcements mendation that the Boers should be arriving, the Boers were forced to sub- allowed to establish a separate and mit, and hostilities came to an end. independent government to the north In May, 1843, Commissioner Cloete of the Vaal River, a recommendation was sent by the Cape Government to which accorded well with the wishes arrange matters, which task he per- of the Home Government, and, seemed formed so well, that in August of the to be an easy solution of a troublesame year Natal was declared a British some question. Accordingly, early colony, with the Drakensberg Moun- in 1852, a convention was concluded tains for a border line. Many of the between the commissioners and the more turbulent and dissatisfied Boers farmers, by which full liberty of selfwho bore, however, too deep-rooted an government was granted to the latter, aversion to the English rule to consent and from that time to this the histo live under its wing, treked away to tory of the Republic has been nothing join their friends and relations across but an oft-told tale of disputed boundthe Vaal River and in the Orange aries and petty aggressions. It seems River district, there to live in un- curious at the first sight that a few tutored freedom.
thousand people, occupying a terriSoon, however, the complaints of tory which must equal France in misrule, anarchy, and oppression from size, should desire to add to their posthe Orange River country became so sessions, but the fact is that these loud and so frequent, that the Home aggressions spring from several perauthorities determined on making it fectly explicable causes. The first of “into a separate and distinct govern- these is the old nomadic spirit of the ment," under the name of the Orange people, which seems to have as strong River Sovereignty. This was not till a mastery over them now as ever. As civilization draws near, they retire, and dox manner. This method is at once occupy new tracts, which of course simple and effective. belong to some one or other of the Another reason for this continual native tribes. This land they in stretching of boundary lines is that the time claim as their own, and, it is government, though ruling over vast reported, establish a right to it in the extents of country, has few reserves, following convenient if peculiar man- and is constantly in want of land to ner. The Boer sees a fine tract of sell, or pledge, or grant to new comers, country belonging to some native tribe, and finds it in many ways more conand his heart yearns towards it to venient to take it than to buy it. The possess it. He accordingly cultivates limits of the Republic never having the friendly acquaintance of the nearest been accurately defined, it can do this headman of the tribe, and requests with comparative impunity, and it is permission to graze a few cattle on it, curious in each successive map that is as it is a pity it should lie so useless. published to observe the rapid and The unsuspicious headman gives his vigorous growth of the infant state. assent, and all goes smoothly for a year It is from these peculiar territorial or two, till he finds the Boer has relations towards the native chiefs that settled himself there to watch his the present war with Secocoeni has cattle graze. He remonstrates with arisen. Secocoeni is, after Cetywayo, out effect, and, afraid of reporting the the king of the Zulus, perhaps the most matter to his chief lest he should get powerful chief on the eastern border himself into trouble, lets things go on of the Transvaal Republic, and is able, for a year or two longer, till at length it is said, to place 20,000 fighting men it comes to the ears of the chief, who in the field. The real rights of the appoints a day to have the question border question between the two conexplained to him. The Boer then tending parties are most complicated collects a few of his fellow Boers, and difficult to arrive at. One thing including a representative of the is however certain, that the claim of government, in the shape of a land- the Transvaal government is enveloped drost, or a deputy-landdrost, ora in mystery, whereas Secocoeni has held deputy-deputy-landdrost, and proceeds this land since his accession, and his to the kraal of the chief, with a few father Sekwati before him, and his head of cattle, and a deed in his pocket fathers before him for 200 years; and making the land over to him and his it is not likely that either of them heirs for ever. The point in dispute is would have willingly and knowingly amicably discussed, and the chief de- ceded it to the Boers. cides that the Boer has no right what. The war arose, however, more imsoever to the land, and civilly but mediately from the refusal of a brother firmly requests him to evacuate it, and of Secocoeni, named Johannes, to quit hints that it is desirable some rent a stronghold he occupied within the should be paid for the pasturage his Transvaal Republic, near to the borcattle have already had. The Boer ders of Secocoeni's territory. What acquiesces in so just a decision, presents political connection existed between him with ten or twenty head of cattle, them is not at all clear, or why the in acknowledgment of which he Republic in declaring war against requests him to put his mark to this Johannes included Secocoeni; but the bit of paper. This he does, and soon fact remains, that about the month of discovers that in return for a few June, 1876, a Commando was called out oxen he has signed away many square which proceeded to attack both these miles of his territory. He remon- chieftains. Now if one of the South strates, he storms, but, individually, African communities engage in a conhe is not strong enough to resist, and test with the native tribes, it is a matter the thing is done in a perfectly ortho- of much greater concern to all the others than would be at first supposed. aggression on the natives is popular The native mind is so peculiarly consti- in the Transvaal,—the men were easily tuted that the news of war with the raised, and an alliance having been white man sensibly and perniciously made with the Amaswazis, the expediagitates it, and as it happens they have tion set out under the command of a special and additional interest in President Burgers—to conquer or to this contest. About forty miles from die. But the Dutch farmers have Secocoeni's city is situated the town now to deal with a very different of Pilgrim's Rest, the inhabitants enemy to that they fought and conof which are nearly all English- quered thirty years ago. Then the men, amounting in number to some natives were at the outset half dis400 souls. These poor people have pirited by their superstitious dread found themselves in a most unfortu- of the white man and his terrible nate position between the hammer weapons. Now familiarity has bred in the shape of the Republic, and the contempt, and fire-arms are the anvil in the shape of Secocoeni. It is common property of both parties. true that President Burgers has ex- The Boers find that they can no pressed his willingness to protect them, longer sally forth, sure of slaying but the old antipathy to anything and thousands of their antagonists, whilst anybody British has revived to such they, on their swift horses and with an alarming extent, that if the truth their far-reaching guns, remain in were known the Boers would much almost absolute safety; such a disrather expel or destroy English resi- covery has naturally affected their dents than protect them. Unable to willingness to engage, for no man sets quit the country, since such a pro- a higher value on his personal safety ceeding would involve the loss of than a Boer. In fact, white man and their means of sustenance, these un- native now meet on more equal fortunate people, subjected to heavy grounds, and consequently the latter, taxation and all the losses of a war with the advantages of fire-arms and with which they had no connection, knowledge added to his own reckless have formed a Defence Committee, bravery and numerical superiority, through which they have transmitted stands a far better chance of success. numerous and piteous applications for The conduct of the main Commando protection to the governments of the in their attack on Secocoeni's city on Cape and Natal. Secocoeni has also the 7th August amply fulfilled the found means to assure them that he is promise of their fellows. They proved their friend, and has no wish to make themselves to be arrant cowards. As war on the English, whom he loves. usual, the native allies, were allowed But unfortunately he is not able to re- to advance; but the greater part of strain the passions of his young men, the Boers refused to stir, except in and their bloodthirsty spirit once a retrogressive fashion. Finally the aroused, the Kafir Impis or regiments whole Commando was seized with a are not very discriminating as to the panic and took to its heels as fast as nation of the white man they attack, their slow waggons would let them, Already several Englishmen have been leaving Secocoeni master of the situabarbarously murdered, though in fair tion. Since this signal defeat the ness to the chief it must be owned, affairs of the Transvaal country have contrary to his strict orders.
gone from bad to worse. The state When the war, the first regular war itself is completely bankrupt, and is the Republic has been engaged in, even unable to pay the salaries of its broke out, the old Commando system officials or the interest of the borrowed was brought to bear, and some five or money. Dissatisfaction is rampant, and six hundred men raised to prosecute it. it is only the old antipathy of the Dutch The war being a popular one,-any to the English rule that prevents the