Infomotions, Inc.The Transvaal from Within A Private Record of Public Affairs / Fitzpatrick, J. P. (James Percy), 1862-1931

Author: Fitzpatrick, J. P. (James Percy), 1862-1931
Title: The Transvaal from Within A Private Record of Public Affairs
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): johannesburg; transvaal; jameson; volksraad; pretoria; boers; government; president; african republic; south african; committee; president kruger; republic; reform committee; high commissioner; transvaal government
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Title: The Transvaal from Within
       A Private Record of Public Affairs

Author: J. P. Fitzpatrick

Release Date: August 9, 2005 [EBook #16494]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


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A Private Record of Public Affairs



_Written August, 1896.
Privately circulated June, 1899.
Supplemented and published September 1899._


It was originally designed to compile a statement of the
occurrences of 1895-6 in the Transvaal and of the conditions
which led up to them, in the hope of removing the very grave
misunderstandings which existed. Everybody else had been heard and
judged, the Uitlander had only been judged. It therefore seemed
proper that somebody should attempt to present the case for the
Uitlander. The writer, as a South African by birth, as a resident
in the Transvaal since 1884, and lastly as Secretary of the Reform
Committee, felt impelled to do this, but suffered under the
disability of President Kruger's three years' ban; and although it
might possibly have been urged that a plain statement of facts and
explanations of past actions could not be fairly regarded as a
deliberate interference in politics, the facts themselves when set
out appeared to constitute an indictment so strong as to make it
worth while considering whether the Government of the Transvaal would
not regard it as sufficient excuse to put in force the sentence of
banishment. The postponement of publication which was then decided
upon for a period of three years appeared to be tantamount to the
abandonment of the original purpose, and the work was continued with
the intention of making it a private record to be printed at the
expiry of the term of silence, and to be privately circulated among
those who were personally concerned or interested; a record which
might perhaps be of service some day in filling in a page of South
African history.

The private circulation of that work during June of the present
year led to suggestions from many quarters that it should be
supplemented by a chapter or two dealing with later events and
published; and the present volume is the outcome of these

It is realized that much of what might properly appear in a private
record will be considered rather superfluous in a book designed for
wider circulation. For instance, a good deal of space is given to
details of the trial and the prison life of the Reformers, which are
of no interest whatever to the public, although they form a record
which the men themselves may like to preserve. These might have been
omitted but that the writer desired to make no alterations in the
original text except in the nature of literary revision.

The writer may be charged by the "peace" party with deliberately
selecting a critical and anxious time as opportune to contribute a
new factor to those already militating against a peaceful settlement.
Two replies could be made to this: one an excuse and one an answer.
It would be an excuse that the writer did not deliberately select
the time of publication, but that the Transvaal Government in its
wisdom chose to impose silence for three years, and that the project
with which their action had interfered was resumed at the earliest
possible moment. The coincidence of another crisis with the date of
emancipation may be an unlucky coincidence, or it may be a result.
But there is neither necessity nor intention to offer excuses. The
responsibility is accepted and the answer is that a case so sound
needs only to be understood, that a recital of the facts must help
to dispel the mists of race prejudice and misunderstanding which are
obscuring the judgment of many; and that a firm but strictly just
and dignified handling of the question by the Imperial Government
is the only possible way to avert a catastrophe in South Africa. It
is essential therefore that first of all the conditions as they are
should be understood; and this record is offered as a contribution
to that end. Let the measure of its truth be the measure of its

The reader is not invited to believe that the case is presented in
such form as it might have been presented by an impartial historian.
It is the Transvaal _from within_, by one who feels all the
injustice and indignity of the position. With the knowledge, however,
that a good case is spoiled by overstatement and with the desire to
avoid injustice to others an earnest attempt has been made to state
the facts fairly. In how far that attempt has been successful the
reader must decide for himself.

  _July, 1899._


It has been impossible to avoid in this volume more or less pointed
reference to certain nationalities in certain connections; for
instance such expressions as "the Boers," "the Cape Dutch," "the
Hollanders," "the Germans," are used. The writer desires to say once
and for all that unless the contrary is obviously and deliberately
indicated, the distinctions between nationalities are intended in the
political sense only and not in the racial sense, and if by mischance
there should be found something in these pages which seems offensive,
he begs the more indulgent interpretation on the ground of a very
earnest desire to remove and not to accentuate race distinctions.

General references are also made to classes--"the civil service,"
"the officials," &c. There are officials in the Transvaal service
who would earn the confidence and esteem of the public in any
administration in the world. It is hardly necessary to say that there
is no intention to disparage them.


  CHAPTER I. EARLIER DAYS                                            1
  CHAPTER II. AFTER THE WAR                                         44
  CHAPTER III. THE ORIGIN OF THE MOVEMENT                          117
  CHAPTER IV. THE REFORM COMMITTEE                                 137
  CHAPTER V. THE COMMITTEE'S DILEMMA                               151
  CHAPTER VI. THE INVASION                                         173
  CHAPTER VII. AFTER DOORNKOP                                      200
  CHAPTER IX. LIFE IN GAOL                                         251

  CHAPTER X. THREE YEARS' GRACE                                    285
  CHAPTER XI. THE BEGINNING OF THE END                             333

  APPENDIX A. Pretoria Convention.                                 369
  APPENDIX B. London Convention.                                   377
  APPENDIX C. President Kruger's Affairs in the Raads.             385
  APPENDIX D. Volksraad Debates.                                   387
  APPENDIX E. Malaboch.                                            395
  APPENDIX F. The Great Franchise Debate.                          396
  APPENDIX G. Terms of Dr. Jameson's Surrender.                    404
  APPENDIX H. Sir John Willoughby's Report to the War Office.      411
  APPENDIX I. Manifesto.                                           422
  APPENDIX K. The Case of the Chieftainess Toeremetsjani.          432
  APPENDIX L. Report on the Letter written on a Torn Telegram Form
        signed "F.R.," by Mr. T.H. Gurrin, Expert in Handwriting.  438




When, before resorting to extreme measures to obtain what the
Uitlanders deemed to be their bare rights, the final appeal or
declaration was made on Boxing Day, 1895, in the form of the
manifesto published by the Chairman of the National Union, President
Kruger, after an attentive consideration of the document as
translated to him, remarked grimly: 'Their rights. Yes, they'll get
them--over my dead body!' And volumes of explanation could not better
illustrate the Boer attitude and policy towards the English-speaking

'L'Etat c'est moi' is almost as true of the old Dopper President as
it was of its originator; for in matters of external policy and in
matters which concern the Boer as a party the President has his way
as surely and as completely as any anointed autocrat. To anyone who
has studied the Boers and their ways and policy--who has given more
than passing consideration to the incidents and negotiations of the
present year{01}--it must be clear that President Kruger does
something more than represent the opinion of the people and execute
their policy: he moulds them in the form he wills. By the force of
his own strong convictions and prejudices, and of his indomitable
will, he has made the Boers a people whom he regards as the germ of
the Africander nation; a people chastened, selected, welded, and
strong enough to attract and assimilate all their kindred in South
Africa, and then to realize the dream of a Dutch Republic from the
Zambesi to Capetown.

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

To an English nobleman, who, in the course of an interview, remarked,
'My father was a Minister of England, and twice Viceroy of Ireland,'
the old Dutchman answered, 'And my father was a shepherd!' It was not
pride rebuking pride; it was the ever-present fact which would not
have been worth mentioning but for the suggestion of the antithesis.
He too was a shepherd, and is--a peasant. It may be that he knows
what would be right and good for his people, and it may be not; but
it is sure that he realizes that to educate would be to emancipate,
to broaden their views would be to break down the defences of their
prejudices, to let in the new leaven would be to spoil the old bread,
to give unto all men the rights of men would be to swamp for ever the
party which is to him greater than the State. When one thinks on the
one-century history of the people, much is seen that accounts for
their extraordinary love of isolation, and their ingrained and
passionate aversion to control; much too that draws to them a world
of sympathy. And when one realizes the old Dopper President hemmed in
once more by the hurrying tide of civilization, from which his people
have fled for generations--trying to fight both fate and
Nature--standing up to stem a tide as resistless as the eternal
sea--one sees the pathos of the picture. But this is as another
generation may see it.

To-day we are too close--so close that the meaner details, the
insincerity, the injustice, the barbarity--all the unlovely touches
that will by-and-by be forgotten--sponged away by the gentle hand of
time, when only the picturesque will remain.

In order to understand the deep, ineradicable aversion to English
rule which is in the heart and the blood and the bones of every Boer,
and of a great many of their kindred who are themselves British
subjects, one must recall the conditions under which the Dutch came
under British rule. When, in 1814, the Cape was finally ceded to
England, it had been twice acquired and held by conquest. The
colonists were practically all Dutch, or Huguenots who had adopted
Dutch as their language, and South Africa as their home. In any case
they were people who, by tradition, teaching and experience, must
have regarded the English as their enemies; people in whom there must
have been roused bitter resentment against being handed over with the
land to their traditional enemies. Were they serfs or subjects? has
been asked on their behalf. Had Holland the right, the power, over
freemen born, to say to them, 'You are our subjects, on our soil, and
we have transferred the soil and with it your allegiance to England,
whose sovereignty you will not be free to repudiate.' The Dutch
colonist said 'No.' The English Government and the laws of the day
said 'Yes.'

Early in the century the Boers began to trek away from the sphere of
British rule. They were trekkers before that, indeed. Even in the
days of Van Riebeck (1650) they had trekked away from the crowded
parts, and opened up with the rifle and the plough new reaches of
country; pioneering in a rough but most effective way, driving back
the savage races, and clearing the way for civilization. There is,
however, a great difference to be noted between the early treks of
the emigrants and the treks 'from British rule.' In the former (with
few exceptions) they went, knowing that their Government would follow
them, and even anxious to have its support and its representatives;
and the people who formed their migrating parties were those who had
no or insufficient land in the settled parts, those who were starting
life on their own account, or those whose families could not be
located and provided for in the cramped circumstances of the more
occupied parts. In the other case, rich and poor, old and young,
went off as in the days and in the fashion of Moses or Abraham. They
went without leave or help of the Government; secretly or openly
they went, and they asked nothing but to be left alone. They left
their homes, their people, the protection of an established
Government and a rough civilization, and went out into the unknown.
And they had, as it appeared to them, and as it will appear to many
others, good reasons for taking so grave a step. For, although the
colonists of South Africa enjoyed better government, and infinitely
more liberty, under British rule, than they had under the tyrannical
_regime_ of the Dutch East India Company twenty years before
(against which the Boers had twice risen in rebellion) there were
many things which were not as they should have been. A generation
had grown up which knew nothing of the arbitrary and oppressive rule
of the old Dutch Company. Simple folks have long memories, and all
the world over injuries make a deeper and more lasting impression
than benefits; and the older generation of Boers, which could recall
a condition of things contrasting unpleasantly with British rule,
also remembered the executions of Slagters Nek--a vindication of the
law which, when all allowance has been made for disturbed times, and
the need of strong measures to stop rebellion in a newly-acquired
country, seems to us to-day to have been harsh, unnecessary, and
unwise in policy, and truly terrible in the manner of fulfilment.

The Boers have produced from their own ranks no literary champion to
plead or defend their cause, and their earlier history is therefore
little known, and often misunderstood; but to their aid has come Mr.
George McCall Theal, the South African historian, whose years of
laborious research have rescued for South Africa much that would
otherwise have been lost. In his 'History of the Boers' Mr. Theal
records the causes of the great emigration, and shows how the Boers
stood up for fair treatment, and fought the cause, not of Boers
alone, but of all colonists. Boers and British were alike harshly and
ignorantly treated by high-handed Governors, and an ill-informed and
prejudiced Colonial Office, who made no distinction on the grounds
of nationality between the two; for we read that Englishmen had been
expelled the country, thrown in gaol, had their property
confiscated, and their newspapers suppressed for asserting their
independence, and for trifling breaches of harsh laws. The following
extract gives the best possible synopsis of the causes, and should
whet an appetite which can be gratified by the purchase of Mr.
Theal's book:

Why, then, did these men abandon their homes, sacrifice whatever
property could not be carried away, and flee from English rule as
from the most hateful tyranny? The causes are stated in a great mass
of correspondence addressed by them to the Colonial Government, and
now preserved, with other colonial records, in declarations published
by some of them before leaving, in letters to their relatives and to
newspapers, and in hundreds of pages of printed matter, prepared by
friendly and hostile hands. The declaration of one of the ablest men
among them assigns the following as the motives of himself and the
party that went with him:

  '_January 22, 1837_

'1. We despair of saving the colony from those evils which threaten
it by the turbulent and dishonest conduct of 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 commotions.

'2. We complain of the severe losses which we have been forced to
sustain by the emancipation of our slaves, and the vexatious laws
which have been enacted respecting them.

'3. 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.

'4. 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 the result of this
prejudice, nothing but the total ruin of the country.

'5. We are resolved, wherever we go, that we will uphold the just
principles of liberty; but, whilst we will take care that no one is
brought by us into a condition of slavery, we will establish such
regulations as may suppress crime, and preserve proper relations
between master and servant.

'6. We solemnly declare that we leave this colony with a desire to
enjoy a quieter life than we have hitherto had. We will not molest
any people, nor deprive them of the smallest property; but, if
attacked, we shall consider ourselves fully justified in defending
our persons and effects, to the utmost of our ability, against every

'7. We make known that when we shall have framed a code of laws for
our guidance, copies shall be forwarded to this colony for general
information; but we take the opportunity of stating that it is our
firm resolve to make provision for the summary punishment, even with
death, of all traitors, without exception, who may be found amongst

'8. We purpose, in the course of our journey, and on arrival at the
country in which we shall permanently reside, to make known to the
native tribes our intentions, and our desire to live in peace and
friendly intercourse with them.

'9. We quit this colony under the full assurance that the English
Government has nothing more to require of us, and will allow us to
govern ourselves without its interference in future.

'10. We are now leaving the fruitful land of our birth, in which we
have suffered enormous losses and continual vexation, 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.

'In the name of all who leave the colony with me,

  'P. RETIEF.'

But formal declarations such as the above are not in all instances to
be trusted. It is much safer to compare numerous documents written at
different times, by different persons, and under different
circumstances. For our subject this means of information is as
complete as can be desired. The correspondence of the emigrants with
the Cape Government was the work of many individuals, and extended
over many years. The letters are usually of great length, badly
constructed, and badly spelt--the productions, in short, of
uneducated men; but so uniform is the vein of thought running through
them all, that there is not the slightest difficulty in condensing
them into a dozen pages. When analyzed, the statements contained in
them are found to consist of two charges, one against the Imperial
Government, the other against the agents in South Africa of the
London Missionary Society.

The Imperial Government was charged with exposing the white
inhabitants of the colony, without protection, to robbery and murder
by the blacks; with giving credence in every dispute to statements
made by interested persons in favour of savages, while refusing to
credit the testimony, no matter how reliable, of colonists of
European extraction; with liberating the slaves in an unjust manner;
and generally with such undue partiality for persons with black skins
and savage habits, as to make it preferable to seek a new home in the
wilderness than remain under the English flag.

The missionaries of the London Society were charged with usurping
authority that should properly belong to the civil magistrate; with
misrepresenting facts; and with advocating schemes directly hostile
to the progress of civilization, and to the observance of order. And
it was asserted that the influence of these missionaries was all
powerful at the Colonial Office in London, by which the colony,
without a voice in the management of its affairs, was then ruled

In support of the charges against the Imperial Government, the
emigrants dwelt largely upon the devastation of the eastern districts
by the Kaffirs' inroad of December, 1834, which was certainly
unprovoked by the colonists. Yet Lord Glenelg, who was then Secretary
of State for the Colonies, justified the Kaffirs, and not only
refused to punish them, but actually gave them a large slip of land,
including the dense jungles along the Fish River, that had long
been part of the colony; and made no other provision against the
recurrence of a destructive invasion than a series of treaties with a
number of barbarous chiefs, who had no regard for their engagements.
This event is the most prominent feature in the correspondence of
the emigrants; it is fairly recorded, and the language used is in
general much more moderate than that employed by the English
frontier colonists when relating the same circumstance.

Next stands the removal of all restraint from the coloured population
of the colony, without the protection to the whites of even a Vagrant
Act. Several of the colonial divisions had been for ten or twelve
years overrun by fugitives from the Basuto and Betshuana countries,
who had been driven from their own homes by the troubles already
recorded. These people were usually termed Mantatees or Makatees,
from the supposition that they were all subjects of Ma Ntatisi.
Towards the eastern frontiers Kaffirs, and after the war Fingos,
wandered about practically wherever they chose. In the remainder of
the colony Hottentots, free blacks, and mixed breeds came and went as
they pleased. How is it possible, said the farmers, for us to
cultivate the ground, or breed cattle, with all these savages and
semi-savages constantly watching for opportunities to plunder
us--with no police, and no law under which suspicious characters can
be arrested and made to account for their manner of living?

Much is said of the reproofs of Sir Benjamin D'Urban by the Secretary
of State, and, after 1838, of the dismissal of that Governor, (1) The
emigrants asserted that he was the best Governor the colony had had
since it became subject to England; they dwelt upon his benevolence,
his ability, his strict justice, his impartiality to white and black,
his efforts to promote civilization; and then they complained, in
words more bitter than are to be found when they referred to any
other subject, that the good Governor had been reproved, and finally
deprived of his office, because he had told the plain truth,
regardless of the London Missionary Society; and had endeavoured to
mete out to black criminals the same justice that he would have meted
out had they been white. There is now no one in South Africa who does
not agree with the emigrants in this matter. Nearly half a century
has passed away since Sir Benjamin D'Urban was forced into retirement
by Lord Glenelg; and during that period the principal measures which
he proposed have been approved of and adopted, while the successors
of those missionaries who were his bitter opponents are at present
among the strongest advocates of his system of dealing with the

Sir Benjamin D'Urban remained in South Africa, after being deprived
of office, until the reversal of his policy towards the natives was
admitted by most people even in England to have been a mistake. He
did not leave the Cape until April, 1846, just after the commencement
of the War of the Axe.

Concerning the liberation of the slaves, there is less in this
correspondence than one might reasonably expect to find. Many scores
of pages can be examined without any allusion whatever to it. Nowhere
is there a single word to be found in favour of slavery as an
institution; the view of the emigrants, with hardly an exception,
being fairly represented in the following sentence, taken from a
letter of the Volksraad at Natal to Sir George Napier: 'A long and
sad experience has sufficiently convinced us of the injury, loss, and
dearness of slave labour, so that neither slavery nor the slave trade
will ever be permitted among us.'

[The allusions to the emancipation of slaves, and to slavery as an
institution, will be considered by many to need some modification or
explanation. The Dutch even to-day speak of the emancipation as the
real cause of the great exodus; and the system of indenture, and
the treatment of natives generally by the Boers, cannot fairly be
regarded as warranting the view expressed by Mr. Theal in connection
with this letter to Sir George Napier.]

It is alleged, however, that the emancipation, as it was carried out,
was an act of confiscation. It is stated that most of the slaves were
brought to the colony in English ships, and sold by English subjects;
that when, in 1795, the colony was invited by English officers of
high rank to place itself under the protection of England, one of the
inducements held out was security in slave property; at the same time
those officers warning the colonists that if France obtained
possession she would liberate the slaves, as she had done in
Martinique, thereby ruining this colony as she had ruined that
island; that the English Government had recently and suddenly changed
its policy, and required them to conform to the change with equal
alacrity, whereas they were convinced that gradual emancipation, with
securities against vagrancy, was the only safe course. The
emancipation had been sudden, and the slaves had been placed upon a
perfect political equality with their former proprietors. The
missionaries applauded this as a noble and generous act of the
Imperial Government, and they were told that by everyone in England
it was so regarded. But at whose expense was this noble and generous
act carried out? Agents of the Imperial Government had appraised the
slaves, generally at less than their market value. Two-fifths of this
appraisement, being the share apportioned to the Cape out of the
twenty million pounds sterling voted by the Imperial Parliament, had
then been offered to the proprietors as compensation, if they chose
to go to London for it, otherwise they could only dispose of their
claims at a heavy discount. Thus, in point of fact, only about
one-third of the appraised amount had been received. To all
slave-holders this had meant a great reduction of wealth, while to
many of those who were in debt it was equivalent to the utter
deprivation of all property.

As regards the missionaries, a crusade was organized by some of these
worthies, who had themselves married Kaffir women, and who spared no
effort and showed no scruple in blackening the name of colonist.

The views and interests of the colonists and of these men were so
different that concord was hardly possible. The missionaries desired
that the blacks should be collected together in villages: the
colonists were unwilling that they should be thus withdrawn from
service. 'Teach them the first step in civilization, to labour
honestly for their maintenance, and add to that oral instruction in
the doctrines of Christianity,' said the colonists. 'Why should they
be debarred from learning to read and write? And as there can only be
schools if they are brought together in villages, why should they not
be collected together?' replied the missionaries.

Then came another and a larger question. By whom should the waste
places of the land, the vast areas which were without other occupants
than a few roving Bushmen, be peopled? 'By the white man,' said the
colonists; 'it is to the advantage of the world in all time to come
that the higher race should expand and be dominant here; it would be
treason to humanity to prevent its growth where it can grow without
wrong to others, or to plant an inferior stock where the superior can
take root and flourish.' 'By Africans,' said the missionaries; 'this
is African soil; and if mission stations are established on its
desolate tracts, people will be drawn to them from the far interior,
the community will grow rapidly, those enlightened by Christianity
here will desire in their turn to enlighten their friends beyond, and
thus the Gospel teaching will spread until all Africa stretches out
its hands to God.' Coupled with such arguments, which were constantly
used by missionaries in the early part of this century, before their
enthusiasm was cooled by experience, were calculations that appealed
strongly to the commercial instincts of people in England. A dozen
colonial farmers required something like a hundred square miles of
land for their cattle runs; on this same ground, under missionary
supervision, three or four hundred families of blacks could exist;
these blacks would shortly need large quantities of manufactured
goods; and thus it would be to the interest of trade to encourage
them rather than the colonists. 'Already,' said they, 'after only a
few years' training, many blacks can read as well or better than the
ordinary colonists, and are exhibiting a decided taste for

There was thus a broad line of demarcation between the colonists and
such of the missionaries as held these views, and the tendency on
each side was to make it still broader. It was deepened into positive
antipathy towards those missionaries who, following Dr. Vanderkemp's
example, united themselves in marriage with black women, and
proclaimed themselves the champions of the black population against
the white. Everyone acquainted with South African natives knows how
ready they are to please their friends by bringing forward charges
against anyone whom those friends dislike. Unfortunately the
missionaries Vanderkemp and Read were deceived into believing a great
number of charges of cruelty made against various colonists, which a
little observation would have shown in most instances to be
groundless; and thereupon they lodged accusations before the High
Court of Justice. In 1811 between seventy and eighty such cases came
before the Circuit Court for trial. There was hardly a family on the
frontier of which some relative was not brought as a criminal before
the judges to answer to a charge of murder or violent assault.
Several months were occupied in the trials, and more than a thousand
witnesses were examined, but in every instance the most serious
charges were proved to be without foundation. Only a few convictions,
and those of no very outrageous crimes, resulted from these
prosecutions, which kept the entire colony in a ferment until long
after the circuit was closed.

Thus far everyone will approve of the sentiments of one party or the
other according to his sympathy, but in what follows no unprejudiced
person who will take the trouble to study the matter thoroughly can
acquit the anti-colonial missionaries of something more faulty than
mere error of judgment. For years their writings teemed with charges
against the colonists similar to those they had brought before the
High Court of Justice. These writings were circulated widely in
Europe, where the voice of the colonists was never heard, and they
created impressions there which no refutation made in South Africa
could ever counteract. The acts, the language, even the written
petitions of the colonists, were so distorted in accounts sent home,
that these accounts cannot now be read by those who have made
themselves acquainted with the truth, without the liveliest feelings
of indignation being excited.

The colonists learned that in England they were regarded as cruel
barbarians because they refused to permit Hottentot herds, swarming
with vermin, to be seated in their front rooms at the time of family
prayer. They found themselves pictured as the harshest of
taskmasters, as unfeeling violators of native rights. And of late
years it had become plain to them that the views of their opponents
were being acted upon at the Colonial Office, while their complaints
were wholly disregarded.

Several causes of dissatisfaction, besides those above mentioned,
contributed to the impulse of emigration, but all in a very slight
degree. Judge Cloete, in his 'Five Lectures,' mentions the severe
punishment inflicted upon the frontier insurgents of 1815 as one of
them; and there is no doubt that it was so with some families, though
no trace of it can be found in the correspondence of the emigrants.
The substitution in 1827 of the English for the Dutch language in the
colonial courts of law was certainly generally felt as a grievance.
The alteration in 1813 of the system of land tenure, the redemption
in 1825 of the paper currency at only thirty-six hundredths of its
nominal value, and the abolition in 1827 of the courts of landdrost
and heemraden, unquestionably caused much dissatisfaction, though all
of these measures are now admitted by everyone to have been
beneficial. The long delay in issuing titles to farms, the cost of
which has been paid to Government years before, is mentioned as a
grievance in some of the declarations.

Two parties--men, women, and children--numbering ninety-eight in all,
pioneered the great trek; of these twenty-six survived fever and
fighting, loss of provisions, waggons, and cattle, and a long weary
tramp from Zoutpansberg to Delagoa Bay, and were rescued and taken
thence to Natal, and two children were carried off by the natives.
The survivors were three women with their twelve children--seven
orphan children and four youths. Not a single grown man escaped.

During the winter of 1836 preparations for emigration were being made
over the eastern and midland districts. The Governor was perfectly
helpless in the matter. The Attorney-General, Mr. A. Oliphant, was
consulted by the Governor, and gave his opinion that 'it seemed next
to an impossibility to prevent persons passing out of the colony by
laws in force, or by any which could be framed.' On August 19 Sir
Benjamin D'Urban wrote to the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Andries
Stockenstrom, that 'he could see no means of stopping the emigration,
except by persuasion, and attention to the wants and necessities of
the farmers.' In that direction the Governor had done all that was in
his power, but he could not act in opposition to the instructions of
the Secretary of State. Sir Andries Stockenstrom himself, in replying
to an address from the inhabitants of Uitenhage, stated that 'he
was not aware of any law which prevented any of his Majesty's
subjects from leaving his dominions and settling in another country;
and such a law, if it did exist, would be tyrannical and

The story of the trekkers is one of surpassing interest, and must
enlist for them the sympathy and unbounded admiration of all.

By the middle of the year 1837 there were over one thousand waggons
between the Caledon and Vaal rivers--truly a notable and alarming
exodus; and the Boers then began the work of carving out new
countries for themselves. Their history surpasses all fiction in its
vicissitudes, successes, and tragedies. They fought and worked and
trekked, onward, always onward--never returning--on beyond the
furthermost outposts of civilization.

And so the story rolls on, gaining pathos, but losing no whit of
interest from its eternal sameness. They fought, and worked, and
starved, and died for their land of promise, where they might hope to
be alone, like the simple people of their one Book; where they might
never know the hated British rule; where they might never experience
the forms and trammels, the restlessness and changes, the worries,
the necessities or benefits, of progressing civilization. Their
quarrel had been with the abuses and blunders of one Government; but
a narrow experience moved them to mistrust all but their own pastoral
patriarchal way, moulded on the records of the Bible, and to regard
the evidences of progress as warnings of coming oppression and
curtailment of liberty, and a departure from the simple and ideal
way. The abuses from which they suffered are no more; the methods
which were unjust have been abandoned; the ignorance of the ruler has
been dispelled; in place of despotism there is autonomy; justice
rules where ignorance and bias sat; liberty where there was
interference; protection for oppression; progress and civilization
have increased as in no other epoch; and the nation and Government
from which they severed themselves have taken their place in the very
forefront of all. But the Boer sees with the eyes of sixty years ago!

The ideal was impossible, the struggle hopeless, the end certain.
They trekked, and trekked and trekked again; but the flag of
England--emblem of all they hated--was close by; behind, beside,
in front, or over them; and the something which they could not
fight--the ever-advancing tide of civilization--lapped at their
feet, and slowly, silently, and for ever blotted out the line where
they had written, 'Thus far and no further.'

The South African Republic had been in existence as an independent
State for twelve years when it reached that condition of insolvency
which appeared to invite, or at least justify, annexation, as the
only alternative to complete ruin and chaos. And there are very few,
even among the most uncompromising supporters of the Boers, who
seriously attempt to show that the Transvaal had any prospect of
prolonging its existence as an independent State for more than a few
months when Sir Theophilus Shepstone annexed it in 1877. The
following picture is from a book published by the late Alfred
Aylward, the Fenian, more anti-British than the Boer himself, who was
present at the time, and wrote his book in order to enlist sympathy
for the movement then (1878) organized to obtain a cancellation of
the annexation. The value of Aylward's testimony would not be fairly
appreciated without some explanation.

Sir Bartle Frere describes him (and quotes Scotland Yard authorities
who knew him well) as one of the party who murdered the policeman at
Manchester, and one of the worst and most active of the dynamiting
Irishmen--a professional agitator, who boasted of his purpose to
promote the Transvaal rebellion. Major Le Caron, too, stated on oath
before the Parnell Commission that money was sent by the Irish Rebel
Societies, through Aylward, to stir up the Transvaal rebellion. This
is what Aylward says:

All South Africa was for the moment at rest, with the exception of
the district of Utrecht, where an old-standing grievance with
Cetewayo was the cause of some little alarm and excitement (_i.e._,
Cetewayo's threatened invasion). Still, the Transvaal was disturbed
throughout its whole extent by the expectation of some pending
change--a change coming from the outside, which had been invited by
an active, discontented party, chiefly foreigners, dwellers in towns,
non-producers, place-hunters, deserters, refugees, land-speculators,
'development-men,' and pests of Transvaal society generally, who
openly preached resistance to the law, refusal to pay taxes, and
contempt of the natural and guaranteed owners of the country in
which they lived, in the distinctly expressed hope that foreign
intervention would fill the country with British gold, and conduce
to their own material prosperity. The Boers, spread over a country
larger than France, were stunned into stupor by the demonstrative
loudness of the party of discontent. In some districts they (the
Boers) were poor, and could not readily pay the taxes imposed upon
them by the wars and railway projects of the Government. Their
Volksraad was in Session, but its every action was paralyzed by the
gloom of impending dissolution.

The Republic owed L215,000, which it had no immediate means of
paying. Its creditors were clamorous; whilst the Executive, turn to
which side it would, found itself confronted by threats, reproaches,
accusations of slavery and cruelty based upon hearsay, and which,
like the annexation that steadily approached, could not be met,
because neither of them had yet assumed the evidenced consistency of
actual fact. There was no public opinion to support the Government or
to save the Republic. The Boers lived far apart from each other,
whilst the annexationists and the party of disorder dwelt, in compact
communities, in towns and mining villages. Into the midst of this
confusion--into the capital of this bewildered State--entered Sir
Theophilus Shepstone and his staff. He had not come to seize the
country--he had come as 'an adviser, as a helper, and as a friend';
but his advent was a blight--an incubus which rendered additionally
powerless the unfortunate President and his Council. The coming of
Sir Theophilus Shepstone was, to the minds of nearly all, but too
clearly the forerunner of change. In the face of this additional
whet to the anticipations of the party of disturbance, something
that has been described as anarchy prevailed. Everyone waited; all
fell into a state of expectation; no one attempted to save the State,
or repel the danger. At the same time, there was no anarchy in the
proper sense of the word. Justice sat on her seat; criminals were
arrested and brought to trial; actions at law were heard and
determined; and in no one place, save the goldfields, was authority,
even for a moment, defied. There the law vindicated itself without
having used violence or shed one drop of blood. Not one single
public outrage, not one unpunished crime, marked this period of
suspense, which is described by partizan writers as a time of
chaos and anarchy.

Peace was granted to Secocoeni, and the quietness and gloom of the
country became even more profound.

Now, had a commission, royal or joint, been opened in Pretoria to
inquire into the truth of the allegations made against the
Government, history might perhaps be able to record that judgment,
followed by justice, had overtaken the Transvaal. No commission was
opened. There was a banquet and a ball. The suspense increased in
intensity. Understrappers, and agents of the discontented faction,
filled the country with rumours of impending annexation, and
sometimes of impending conquest. The Boers, the inhabitants of the
country, asked day after day what was the mission of the English
Commissioner. They visited him in hundreds; but he knew the wonderful
advantage to be gathered from the heightening of the mystery, and the
intensifying of the excitement. He listened to everyone; but he
maintained a gloomy and impassive silence, neither checking the
aspirations of the annexationists, nor dissipating the forebodings of
the farmers.

News arrived that troops were marching towards, and massing on,
Theophilus sought not to alleviate the anxieties of the Government,
nor to quell the now rising alarm amongst the people; he simply sat
still and listened, watching the writhings and stragglings of the
doomed Volksraad, and awaiting a favourable moment to end its

At length someone determined to ask: 'Was it not possible to avert
this annexation which loomed before every mind, brooding like a
shadow upon the country?' He went to Sir Theophilus; he asked his
question; and at length the oracle spoke. Without moving a muscle of
his wonderfully impassive countenance, without even raising his eyes
to look at the interlocutor, Sir Theophilus calmly murmured: 'It is
too late!--too late!' And so, without the authorization of the home
Government, without the consent of her Majesty's High Commissioner,
without the concurrence of the Volksraad, against the will of
thirty-nine-fortieths of the people, and in defiance of the protest
of their Executive, as Mr. Anthony Trollope puts it, Sir Theophilus
said: 'Then and from thenceforth the Transvaal shall be British
property!' So he put up the Queen's flag.

Now, it is impossible to conceive anything more admirable for its
discretion, more wisely calculated as to the moment of its
occurrence, or more suavely and yet firmly done than this act. There
was not a blow struck, not a shot fired; and the first impulse of
nearly every person in the country, whether in principle opposed to
annexation or not, was to congratulate Sir Theophilus Shepstone on
the skill, tact, and good fortune with which he had put an end to the
excessive anxiety, the mental strain, the fears, hopes, and
expectations by which the whole country was paralyzed. Whether the
annexation be now held to be right or wrong, its execution, so far as
regards the act itself, was an unparalleled triumph of tact, modesty,
and firmness.

It was not discovered at the moment, and it never entered into any
man's mind to consider, that it was the presence in Pretoria of Sir
Theophilus himself that had created the anxiety, and caused the
paralysis; and that it was his arts and presence that had tightened
and strung up into quivering intensity the mind of the country. He
had broken the spell; he had introduced certainty in place of
uncertainty; and he was congratulated, and very properly so, for the
manner in which he had brought to a conclusion his hazardous mission.

Sir Theophilus Shepstone's despatches record his negotiations with
President Burgers, and the arrangement which allowed him to make a
formal protest against the annexation, so as to satisfy his
Irreconcilables, whilst he in reality not only assented to the
measure, but even assisted the completion of it, and discussed the
details with Shepstone, who in turn had revised President Burgers'

On April 3, 1877, Shepstone had written to Frere:

Mr. Burgers, who had been all along, as far as his conversation and
professions to me went, in full accord with me, had suddenly taken
alarm; he made impossible proposals, all of which involved infinite
delay, and, of course, dangerous agitation. As far as I am concerned,
leave the country, civil war would at once take place, as the natives
would consider it the sunshine in which they could make hay in the
Transvaal; the goldfields are in a state of rebellion against the
Transvaal Government, and they are kept from overt acts only by my
warnings and entreaties.

And eight days later he wrote to Mr. Robert Herbert enclosing his
letter under 'flying seal' to Frere:

There will be a protest against my act of annexation issued by the
Government, but they will at the same time call upon the people to
submit quietly, pending the issue; you need not be disquieted by such
action, because it is taken merely to save appearances, and the
members of the Government from the violence of a faction that seems
for years to have held Pretoria in terror when any act of the
Government displeased it.

You will better understand this when I tell you privately that the
President has from the first fully acquiesced in the necessity for
the change, and that most of the members of the Government have
expressed themselves anxious for it; but none of them have had the
courage openly to express their opinions, so I have had to act
apparently against them; and this I have felt bound to do, knowing
the state and danger of the country, and that three-fourths of the
people will be thankful for the change when once it is made.

Yesterday morning Mr. Burgers came to me to arrange how the matter
should be done. I read to him the draft of my Proclamation, and he
proposed the alteration of two words only, to which I agreed. He
brought to me a number of conditions which he wished me to insert,
which I have accepted, and have embodied in my Proclamation. He told
me that he could not help issuing a protest, to keep the noisy
portion of the people quiet--and you will see grounds for this
precaution when I tell you that there are only half a dozen native
constables to represent the power of the State in Pretoria, and a
considerable number of the Boers in the neighbourhood are of the
lowest and most ignorant class. Mr. Burgers read me, too, the draft
of his protest, and asked me if I saw any objection to it, or thought
it too strong. I said that it appeared to me to pledge the people to
resist by-and-by; to which he replied that it was to tide over the
difficulty of the moment, seeing that my support, the troops, were a
fortnight's march distant, and that by the time the answer to the
protest came, all desire of opposition would have died out. I
therefore did not persuade him from his protest.

You will see, when the proclamation reaches you, that I have taken
high ground. Nothing but annexation will or can save the State, and
nothing else can save South Africa from the direst consequences. All
the thinking and intelligent people know this, and will be thankful
to be delivered from the thraldom of petty factions, by which they
are perpetually kept in a state of excitement and unrest, because the
Government, and everything connected with it, is a thorough sham.

This arrangement with President Burgers was a most improper
compromise on both sides. Moreover, Shepstone received the protests
of the Executive Council and of the Volksraad before he issued his
proclamation. He had plenty of evidence to show that even if his
action was approved by the majority, the Boers were sufficiently
divided to demand some delay. He knew that the members of the
Government and of the Raad would not face the responsibility of
relinquishing the State's independence, although he received
private assurances and entreaties encouraging him to act. He had
representations and deputations from the Boers themselves,
sufficient in weight and number to warrant his belief that a large
proportion of the people desired annexation. He should not have
allowed the 'hedging' that was practised at his expense. The Boer
leaders were 'between the devil and the deep sea.' There can be no
doubt whatever that they dearly loved and prized their independence,
and would have fought even then for it had they been in a position
to preserve and profit by it; but they were not. They dared neither
ask for relief at the price of annexation, nor reject the proffered
relief at the price of continuing the hopeless struggle. So they
compromised. They took the relief, they accepted pay of the new
Government, and entered a protest, so as to put themselves right
with the records and stand well with untamed ones of the party.

The Act of Annexation is so generally condemned by the friends and
sympathizers of the Boers, and is so persistently quoted by them as
the cause of the Boer War, that it is only right to show clearly what
the opinion was at that time; and if it be deemed that overmuch space
is given to this matter, the answer is, that it is quoted now as the
crime which gave rise to the present hatred and mistrust of England,
and it is all-important that the truth should be clear.

This is what Mr. J.F. Celliers, the patriotic editor of the Boer
newspaper, _De Volksstem_, wrote in reviewing the work of the special
session of the Volksraad, convened to deal with the questions of Lord
Carnarvon's Federation Bill, and the rescuing of the country from
ruin and chaos:--'During the session we have repeatedly had occasion
to comment on the doings of the Raad. These comments have not been
favourable, and we regret to say that we have found in the closing
scenes of our Legislature no reason to alter our opinions.' Then
follows a scathing account of the 'work done,' in which occur such
references as:--'With the exception of a couple of members,
no one had the sense or manliness to go into the question of
confederation'; and 'The most surprising feature of the whole
affair was this--that most of the speakers seemed not to have the
faintest conception of the desperate condition in which the country
stood....' And again, under date of March 28: 'About three months
ago we said we would prefer confederation under the British flag if
the state of anarchy then threatening were to continue. We know that
a good and stable Government is better than anarchy any day.'

It is noteworthy that the writer of the above is the same Mr.
Celliers who, two years later, was put in gaol by Colonel Lanyon on a
charge of sedition, because he attacked the Administration for its
failure to keep the promises made at the time of annexation.

Three thousand out of eight thousand voters actually signed petitions
in favour of annexation. In the Raad, President Burgers openly
reproached members for proclaiming in public, and for improper
reasons, views diametrically opposed to those privately expressed on
the confederation and annexation questions; and refused to consult
with three out of four members appointed as a deputation to confer
with him on these subjects, because they had not paid their taxes,
and had so helped by example, not less than by the actual offence, to
cause the ruin of the country and the loss of independence. And on
March 3 President Burgers read an address to the Raad, in which the
following words occur:

'I would rather be a policeman under a strong Government than the
President of such a State. It is you--you members of the Raad and the
Boers--who have lost the country, who have sold your independence for
a _soupe_ (a drink). You have ill-treated the natives, you have shot
them down, you have sold them into slavery, and now you have to pay
the penalty.'

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

'We should delude ourselves by entertaining the hope that matters
would mend by-and-by. It would only be self-deceit. I tell you
openly, matters are as bad as they ever can be; they cannot be worse.
These are bitter truths, and people may perhaps turn their backs on
me; but then I shall have the consolation of having done my duty.'

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

'It is said here this or that man must be released from taxes,
because the Kaffirs have driven them off their farms, and occupy the
latter. By this you proclaim to the world that the strongest man is
master here, that the right of the strongest obtains here.' [Mr.
Mare: 'This is not true.'] 'Then it is not true what the honourable
member, Mr. Breytenbach, has told us about the state of the Lydenburg
district; then it is not true either what another member has said
about the farms in Zoutpansberg, which are occupied by Kaffirs.
Neither is it true, then, what I saw with my own eyes at Lydenburg,
where the burghers had been driven off their farms by the Kaffirs,
and where Johannes was ploughing and sowing on the land of a burgher.
These are facts, and they show that the strongest man is the master
here. The fourth point which we have to take into account affects our
relations with our English neighbours. It is asked, What have they
got to do with our position? I tell you, as much as we have to do
with that of our Kaffir neighbours. As little as we can allow
barbarities among the Kaffirs on our borders, as little can they
allow that in a state on their borders anarchy and rebellion should

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

'Do you know what has recently happened in Turkey? Because no
civilized government was carried on there, the Great Powers
interfered and said, "Thus far, and no further." And if this is done
to an empire, will a little republic be excused when it misbehaves?

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

'Complain to other Powers, and seek justice there? Yes, thank God!
justice is still to be found, even for the most insignificant; but it
is precisely the justice which will convict us. If we want justice,
we must be in a position to ask it with unsullied hands.'

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

'Whence has arisen that urgency to make an appeal for interference
elsewhere? Has that appeal been made only by enemies of the State? Oh
no, gentlemen; it has arisen from real grievances. Our people have
degenerated from their former position; they have become demoralised;
 they are not what they ought to be.'

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

'To-day a bill for L1,100 was laid before me for signature; but I
would sooner have cut off my right hand than sign that paper, for I
have not the slightest ground to expect that when that bill becomes
due there will be a penny to pay it with.'

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

The President added, and his statements remained uncontradicted:

The principal thing which had brought them to their present position
was that to which they would not give attention. It was not this or
that thing which impeded their way, but they themselves stopped the
way; and if they asked him what prevented the people from remaining
obstruction, owing to the inherent incapacity and weakness of the
people. But whence this weakness? Was it because they were deformed?
because they were worse than other people? because they were too few
and too insignificant to occupy the country? Those arguments did not
weigh with him. They were not true; he did not consider them of any
importance. The people were as good as any other people, but they
were completely demoralized; they had lost faith in God, reliance
upon themselves, or trust in each other. Hence he believed they were
inherently weak.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

He did not believe that a new constitution would save them; for as
little as the old constitution had brought them to ruin, so little
would a new constitution bring them salvation.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

The Great Powers, with all their greatness, all their thousands of
soldiers, would fall as quickly as this State had fallen, and even
more quickly, if their citizens were to do what the citizens of this
State had done; if the citizens of England had behaved towards the
Crown as the burghers of this State had behaved to their Government,
England would never have stood as long as she had, not even as long
as this State had stood. This State owed obligations to other
countries; they knew that the fire which had nearly consumed this
State would, if felt by them, very soon consume them also.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

In several of the cities of Holland there were people who had
subscribed for only one debenture, because they thought men of their
own blood were living in South Africa. What was the consequence? The
interest up to July last had been paid; in January of this year
L2,250 was due for interest, and there was not a penny to meet it.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

To take up arms and fight was nonsense; to draw the sword would be to
draw the sword against God, for it was God's judgment that the State
was in the condition it was to-day; and it was their duty to inquire
whether they should immerse in blood the thousands of innocent
inhabitants of this country, and if so, what for? For an idea--for
something they had in their heads, but not in their hearts; for an
independence which was not prized. Let them make the best of the
situation, and get the best terms they possibly could; let them agree
to join their hands to those of their brethren in the south, and then
from the Cape to the Zambesi there would be one great people. Yes,
there was something grand in that--grander even than their idea of a
Republic--something which ministered to their national feeling. And
would this be so miserable? Yes; this would be miserable for those
who would not be under the law, for the rebel and revolutionist, but
welfare and prosperity for the men of law and order.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

They must not underrate their real and many difficulties. He could
point to the south-western border, the Zulu, the goldfields, and
other questions, and show them that it was their duty to come to an
arrangement with the British Government, and to do so in a bold and
manly manner. An hon. member on Saturday last had spoken with a
fervent patriotism; but he had failed to appreciate the reference,
because it amounted to this--that they must shut their eyes to
everything, so as to keep their independence.

President Burgers, who left the Transvaal broken-hearted, more by the
cruel and mean intriguing and dissensions among, and disloyalty of,
his own people, which made the annexation possible, than by the Act
itself, when dying left a statement of the case. It is too long to
reproduce in its entirety. He shows how the English faction worked
for annexation, and how the Dopper party, headed by Kruger, allied
themselves with the former in intrigue against the Government,
thwarting all effort at reform and organization, and encouraging the
refusal to pay taxes. He states plainly that this course was pursued
by Kruger in order to oust him from power, and secure the Presidency
for himself. He shows how he opposed 'that other element which had
formerly worked in secret, viz., British interference, which got a
strong support from the Boers themselves, and one of their chief
leaders, P. Kruger, who had betrayed me, after promising me his and
his party's support.' He gives the final scene as follows:

The Volksraad had gone away, having done nothing but harm. The
members of the Executive had gone home, as if all were safe, and I
sat with a half-new Cabinet and part of an old one, half discharged.
Yet I made one attempt more, and drafted a letter to Shepstone,
intimating that I would oppose the annexation by force of arms, etc.;
and showed this to two members of the Executive. The response to my
appeal, however, was so weak (one of them being in league with the
English) that I had to abandon the project, and try to prepare for
the worst. When, therefore, Shepstone's announcement came--that he
could wait no longer, that he had given us time enough to reform, and
that he must issue his proclamation--I could do no more than advise a
protest, and an appeal to foreign powers. This having been agreed to
by my Government, I met Shepstone in presence of the Executive, and
what could be saved for the country, such as its language, its
legislature, the position of its officials, etc., was arranged.
Before issuing his proclamation, Shepstone desired to see copies of
both mine and the Government protest. This I promised, on condition
he showed me his proclamation before publication: to which he agreed.
To one clause I greatly objected, and protested--namely, the threat
of confiscation of property for disobeying the proclamation. I
pointed out that this was barbarous, and would be punishing a man's
innocent family for his actions. The clause was omitted. This is
the origin of the lie that I helped Shepstone in drawing up this
proclamation. In justice to Shepstone, I must say that I would not
consider an officer of my Government to have acted faithfully if he
had not done what Shepstone did; and if the act was wrong (which
undoubtedly it was), not he, but his Government, is to blame for it.

Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen left within a month to protest in England
against the annexation.

Sir T. Shepstone wrote (May 9): 'Mr. Paul Kruger and his colleague,
Dr. Jorissen, D.D., the Commission to Europe, leave to-day. I do not
think that either of them wishes the Act of Annexation to be
cancelled; Dr. Jorissen certainly does not.' And Mr. J.D. Barry,
Recorder of Kimberley, wrote to Frere (May 15): 'The delegates, Paul
Kruger and Dr. Jorissen, left Pretoria on the 8th, and even they do
not seem to have much faith in their mission. Dr. Jorissen thinks
that the reversal of Sir Theophilus's Act would not only be
impossible, but a great injury to the country.'

It is not necessary to seek hostile testimony to establish the fact
that the Boers as a whole acquiesced in the annexation; the
foregoing quotation from Aylward's book supplies all that is
needed--unintentionally, perhaps. The Zulu menace, which Aylward so
lightly dismisses, was a very serious matter; the danger a very real
one. It has frequently been asserted by the Boers and their friends
that the Zulu trouble was fomented by a section of the Natal people,
and that Sir Theophilus Shepstone himself, if he did not openly
encourage the Zulu King in his threats and encroachments on the
Transvaal, at any rate refrained from using his unique influence and
power with the Zulus in the direction of peace, and that he made a
none too scrupulous use of the Zulu question when he forced the
annexation of the Transvaal. It is stated that, in the first place,
there was no real danger, and in the next place, if there were, such
was Sir Theophilus's power with the Zulus that he could have averted
it; and in support of the first point, and in demolition of Sir T.
Shepstone's pro-annexation arguments, the following extract from the
latter's despatches is quoted by Aylward and others:


_Sir T. Shepstone to Sir H. Bulwer_.

Par. 12. 'Although this question has existed for many years, and the
settlement of it has been long postponed, yet on no former occasion
has it assumed so serious an aspect, or included so wide an area of
territory; never before has there existed any bar to the farmers
occupying their farms after an absence more or less temporary, caused
by a temporary and local scare. Practically, the line of occupied
farms has not been heretofore affected by the dispute about the
beaconed boundary, but now the prohibition to these has become
absolute by Zulu claims and action. Ruin is staring the farmers in
the face, and their position is, _for the time, worse under Her
Majesty's Government than ever it was under the Republic_.'

Had Sir T. Shepstone's power been as great as represented, it is fair
to suppose that it would have been exerted, and would have prevailed
in support of his own administration; but it seems clear that he
could do nothing; and as to the reality of the danger, nothing could
better establish that than the unpleasant admissions in the foregoing
extract and the initial disasters in the Zulu War a year later. The
Boers' protective power was not lessened by the annexation--quite
otherwise. It was supplemented by British money, arms, and soldiers,
and the prestige of the British flag, and yet things happened as
above described. What would they have been under the old conditions?

The day before he issued the proclamation Sir T. Shepstone sent a
messenger to Cetewayo, telling him that the Transvaal would be under
British sovereignty, and warning him against aggression in that
direction. Cetewayo replied: 'I thank my father Somtseu (Shepstone)
for his message. I am glad that he has sent it, because the Dutch
have tired me out, and I intended to fight with them once, only once,
and to drive them over the Vaal. Kabana, you see my impis are
gathered. It was to fight the Dutch I called them together. Now I
will send them back to their houses.' (C. 1883, p. 19.)

Colonel A.W. Durnford; R.E., in a memorandum of July 5, 1877, wrote:

About this time (April 10) Cetewayo had massed his forces in three
corps on the borders, and would undoubtedly have swept the Transvaal,
country not been taken over by the English. In my opinion, he would
have cleared the country to Pretoria.

'I am convinced,' wrote Sir A. Cunynghame, June 12, from Pretoria,
'that had this country not been annexed, it would have been ravaged
by the native tribes. Forty square miles of country had been overrun
by natives, and every house burned, just before the annexation.' And
he wrote again, July 6: 'Every day convinces me that unless this
country had been annexed it would have been a prey to plunder and
rapine from the natives on its border, joined by Secocoeni, Mapok,
and other tribes in the Transvaal. Feeling the influence of the
British Government, they are now tranquil.'

So much for the reality of the danger. As to the causes of it and the
alleged responsibility of Natal, Sir Bartle Frere, in a letter to
General Ponsonby, made the following remarks:

The fact is, that while the Boer Republic was a rival and
semi-hostile power, it was a Natal weakness rather to pet the Zulus
as one might a tame wolf, who only devoured one's neighbour's sheep.
We always remonstrated, but rather feebly; and now that both flocks
belong to us, we are rather embarrassed in stopping the wolf's

Sir B. Frere realized fully the dangers, and gave his testimony as to
Boer opinion. On December 15, 1877, he wrote, concerning his policy
towards the Zulus:

My great anxiety is, of course, to avoid collision, and I am
satisfied that the only chance I have of keeping clear of it is to
show that I do not fear it. The Boers are, of course, in a state of
great apprehension, and I have ordered those of the two frontier
districts of Utrecht and Wakkerstroom to hold themselves in
readiness, should I find it necessary to call upon them for active

Sir T. Shepstone also wrote, concerning the reality of the danger,
under date December 25:

The Boers are still flying, and I think by this time there must be a
belt of more than a hundred miles long and thirty broad, in which,
with three insignificant exceptions, there is nothing but absolute
desolation. This will give your Excellency some idea of the mischief
which Cetewayo's conduct has caused.

And again (April 30, 1878):

I find that Secocoeni acts as a kind of lieutenant to Cetewayo. He
received directions from the Zulu King, and these directions are by
Secocoeni issued to the various Basuto tribes in the Transvaal.

Sir T. Shepstone rushed the annexation. He plucked the fruit that
would have fallen. He himself has said that he might have waited
until the Zulus actually made their threatened murderous raid. That
might have been Macchiavelian statecraft, but it would not have been
humanity; and there was nothing in the attitude of the Boer leaders
at the time of the annexation which foreshadowed the fierce and
determined opposition which afterwards developed. The fact seems to
be that the people of the Transvaal were either in favour of the
annexation, or were overpowered and dazed by the hopelessness of the
Republic's outlook; and they passively assented to the action of Sir
Theophilus Shepstone and his twenty-five policemen. The Boers were
quite unable to pay the taxes necessary to self-government and the
prosecution of the Kaffir wars. The Treasury was empty--save for the
much-quoted 12s. 6d. The Government L1 bluebacks were selling at 1s.
Civil servants' salaries were months in arrear. The President
himself--the excitable, unstable, visionary, but truly enlightened
and patriotic Burgers--had not only drawn no salary, but had expended
his private fortune, and incurred a very heavy liability, in the
prosecution of the unsuccessful Secocoeni war. No amount of _ex post
facto_ evidence as to the supposed feelings and opinions of the Boers
can alter a single one of the very serious facts which, taken
together, seemed to Sir Theophilus to justify the annexation. But it
all comes down to this: If the passive acquiescence in the annexation
coincided strangely with the Republic's failure to defeat its enemies
and pay its debts, it is no whit less odd that Lord Carnarvon's
anxiety for the Republic's safety synchronized with his attempt to
confederate South Africa.

The real mistakes of the British Government began _after_ the
annexation. The failure to fulfil promises; the deviation from old
ways of government; the appointment of unsuitable officials, who did
not understand the people or their language; the neglect to convene
the Volksraad or to hold fresh elections, as definitely promised;
the establishment of personal rule by military men, who treated the
Boers with harshness and contempt, and would make no allowance for
their simple, old-fashioned ways, their deep-seated prejudices, and,
if you like, their stupid opposition to modern ideas: these things
and others caused great dissatisfaction, and gave ample material for
the nucleus of irreconcilables to work with.

During the occupation period Mr. Kruger took office under the British
Government, as also did Dr. Jorissen and Chief Justice (then Judge)
Kotze, and indeed all the officials who had protested against the
annexation, except Mr. Piet Joubert, who declined to do so, and who,
if actions be the test and not words, was the only honest protestant.
Mr. Kruger retained his office for some time after he had concerned
himself in the Repeal agitation, but finally resigned his post on
being refused an increased remuneration, for which he had repeatedly
applied. There can be but little doubt that had this inducement been
forthcoming, he would have remained a loyal British subject.

The effect of the annexation was to start the wells of plenty
bubbling--with British gold. The country's debts were paid. Secocoeni
and Cetewayo would be dealt with, and the responsibility for all
things was on other and broader shoulders. With the revival of trade,
and the removal of responsibilities and burdens, came time to think
and to talk. The wave of the magician's wand looked so very simple
that the price began to seem heavy. The eaten bread was forgotten.
The dangers and difficulties that were past were of small account now
that they _were_ past; and so the men who had remained passive, and
recorded formal protests when they should have resisted, and taken
steps to show that they were in earnest, began their Repeal
agitation. All the benefits which the Boers hoped from the annexation
had now been reaped. Their pressing needs were relieved. Their debts
had been paid; their trade and credit restored; their enemies were
being dealt with. Repeal would rob them of none of these; they would,
in fact, eat their cake and still have it. The Zulu question had been
taken up, and could not now be left by the Imperial Government to
settle itself. The debts discharged for them and the outlays incurred
might, it is true, be charged to them. They could not be repaid, of
course, for the same reason that you cannot get blood from stone;
and the amount would, therefore, be a National Debt, which was
exactly what they had been trying for years to incur, and the
condition of their credit had made it impossible to do.

The causes of discontent before given were serious, but the failure
to fulfil promises was not deliberate. Circumstances combined to
prevent Sir Bartle Frere from visiting the Transvaal, as intended and
promised. Native wars (Gaika and Galeka), disagreements between the
Colonial and Imperial authorities, the obstructions and eventual
dismissal of the Molteno-Merriman Ministry--the first under
Responsible Government--Natal and Diamond-fields affairs, and, above
all, the Zulu War, all combined to prevent Sir Bartle Frere from
fulfilling his obligations to settle Transvaal matters.

In the meantime two deputations had been sent to England,
representing the Boers' case against annexation. The active party
among the Boers, _i.e._, the Voortrekker party, the most anti-British
and Republican, though small in itself, had now succeeded in
completely dominating the rest of the Boers, and galvanizing them
into something like national life and cohesion again--a result
achieved partly by earnest persuasion, but largely also by a kind of

Sir Bartle Frere, who managed at last to visit the Transvaal, in
April, 1879, had evidence of this on his journey up, and in a
despatch to Sir M. Hicks Beach from Standerton on the 6th of that
month he wrote:

I was particularly impressed by the replies of a very fine specimen
of a Boer of the old school. He had been six weeks in an English
prison, daily expecting execution as a rebel, and had been wounded by
all the enemies against whom his countrymen had fought--English,
Zulus, Basutos, Griquas, and Bushmen.

'But,' he said, 'that was in the days of my youth and inexperience.
Had I known then what I know now, I would never have fought against
the English, and I will never fight them again. Old as I am, I would
now gladly turn out against the Zulus, and take fifty friends of my
own, who would follow me anywhere; but I dare not leave my home till
assured it will not be destroyed and my property carried off in my
absence, by the men who call me "rebel" because I will not join them
against the Government. My wife, brought up like a civilized woman in
the Cape Colony, has had five times in her life to run from the house
and sleep in the veld when attacked by Zulus and Basutos. One of our
twelve sons was assegaied in sight of our house, within the last ten
it was surrounded by Basutos, my wife had to fly in the night by
herself, leading one child and carrying another on her back. She
walked nearly fifty miles through the Lion Veld, seeing three lions
on the way, before she reached a place of safety. It is not likely
that we should forget such things, nor wish them to recur; but how
can I leave her on my farm and go to Zululand, when the malcontent
leaders threaten me that if I go they will burn my house and drive
off all my stock? Assure me that we are not to be deserted by the
English Government, and left to the mercy of these malcontent
adventurers, and I and my people will gladly turn out to assist
Colonel Wood.'

_I find that this idea that the English Government will give up the
Transvaal, as it formerly did the Orange Free State, has been
industriously propagated, and has taken a great hold on the minds of
the well-disposed Boers, and is, I believe, one main cause of
reluctance to support the Government actively_.

_They argue that what has been done before may be done again, and
they have no feeling of assurance that if they stand by the English
Government to-day they will not be left to bear the brunt of the
malcontents' vengeance when a Republic is established_.

And again on the 9th, from Heidelberg:

_The idea that we should somehow be compelled or induced to abandon
the country had taken great hold on the minds of some of the more
intelligent men that I met_. It has been seduously written up by a
portion of the South African press, English as well as Dutch. I
marked its effect particularly on men who said they had come from the
old Colony since the annexation, but would never have done so had
they believed that English rule would be withdrawn, and the country
left to its former state of anarchy....

_But there is great practical difficulty in conveying to the mass of
the people any idea of the real power of Government_.

It is not possible to pen a more severe and pregnant comment on the
after-policy of England than that suggested by the italicized lines,
written as they were by England's Plenipotentiary--an idea reported
to headquarters, not as a feeler, but as a suggestion so absurd that
it called for no expression of opinion. But he lived to find that it
was not too absurd to be realized; and perhaps, after all, it was
written as a warning, and the wise and cool-headed old statesman in
his inmost soul had a premonition of what eventually occurred.

Sir Bartle Frere met the Boers in their camp, and discussed with them
their grievances. He informed them that he had no power to revoke the
annexation, nor would he recommend it, as, in his judgment, such a
course would be a reversion to chaos and ruin. The Boers pressed
steadily for nothing less than repeal. Sir Bartle Frere reported
the historical meeting at Erasmus Farm to Sir M. Hicks Beach:

  _April 14, 1879._

They were evidently much disappointed.... Our meeting separated with
no more definite decision than that they must report to the 'people,'
and be guided by their decision as to what was to be done.

If I may judge from the gentlemen composing the deputation, and
others of their class, whom I have had the honour of meeting since
coming to the Transvaal, the leaders are, with few exceptions, men
who deserve respect and regard for many valuable and amiable
qualities as citizens and subjects....

Of the results of our meeting it is impossible at present to say more
than that it must have cleared away misconceptions on all sides If
they have learnt anything as to the finality of the act of
annexation--that I have no power to undo it, and do not believe that
it will ever be undone, in the only sense in which they will ask
it--I have, on the other hand, been shown the stubbornness of a
determination to be content with nothing else, for which I was not
prepared by the general testimony of officials who had been longer in
the country, and who professed to believe that the opposition of the
Boers was mere bluster, and that they had not the courage of their
professed opinions.... I feel assured that the majority of the
Committee felt very deeply what they believed to be a great national
wrong.... But my conviction is that the real malcontents are far from
being a majority of the whole white population, or even of their own
class of Boer farmers.

I have no doubt whatever that if the Executive were in a position to
assert the supremacy of the law, to put an effectual stop to the
reign of terrorism which exists at present, the discontented minority
would cease to agitate, and would soon cease to feel grievances which
a very brief discussion shows to be in the main sentimental; not the
less keenly felt on that account, but not likely to survive
the prosperity and good government, with a fair measure of
self-government in its train, which are within their reach under
British rule.

And, again, he wrote to Lady Frere:

  PRETORIA, _April 20, 1879._

My last letter had not been gone many hours by the mail express when
Lanyon ran into my room, to tell me that the Boer camp was actually
broken up and the Boers dispersing.

I need not tell you how thankful I was. The one thing I dreaded was
civil war and bloodshed, and had a single malcontent been shot, I
should have considered it a greater misfortune than the death of a
dozen Piet Retiefs, or Uys, dying like heroes in the field of battle
for their country and brethren. So you may imagine how thankful I
felt to the Giver of all good, who has guided and protected us
through life.

I am to see a deputation from the Boers' Committee again to-morrow,
and then I hope we shall have done with meetings and grievances--for
the present a phrase which they carefully put into all references to
their breaking up, and which they evidently mean. _It was clear to me
that it was not the annexation, so much as the neglect to fulfil the
promises and the expectations held out by Shepstone when he took
over the Government, that has stirred up the great mass of the
Boers, and given a handle to agitators._{02}

There it is in a single sentence! It was not the annexation which
caused the war; for nine men in every ten admitted that it was
welcomed and justified by considerations of general South African
policy, or else simply inevitable. No! It was the failure to fulfil
the conditions of annexation!

In 'A Narrative of the Boer War,' Mr. Thomas Fortescue Carter has
given with admirable skill and impartiality a full account of the
causes which led to the outbreak. His history is, indeed, so
determinedly just as to have met with considerable disapproval in
quarters where feelings are hot on either side, and where plain
truths are not palatable. Mr. Carter resided in the country for years
before the annexation, and went through the war as correspondent of a
well-known London daily, and this is his opinion:

Anyone who knows the acquaintance Sir T. Shepstone had with the Boers
of the Transvaal, years prior to the annexation, cannot doubt that,
regarded as a friend and almost as one of themselves, no one better
than he could have been selected for the task of ascertaining the
desires of the people; and no one who knows Sir T. Shepstone will
believe that he did not take sufficient evidence to prove to any man
that the Boers were anxious to be extricated from the dilemma they
were in, and really willing at that time that their country should be
annexed. Men who during the late war were our foes were at the time
of the annexation clamouring for it, welcoming Sir Theophilus
Shepstone as the deliverer and saviour of the country. I mention
Swart Dirk Uys, an eminent Boer, who fought against the English in
1880-81, as one amongst the hundreds and thousands who went out to
meet Sir Theophilus Shepstone with palm branches in their hands.

The natural aversion of the people to English rule was overcome for
the moment by their greater aversion to being wiped off the face of
the Transvaal by the blacks; that was a contingency staring them in
the face, and yet not even that imminent common danger availed to
secure unity amongst them, or would rouse men individually to take
upon their shoulders the responsibility which rests upon every member
of a State.

The Boer Volksraad, after promising to appeal to their constituents
on the subject of the new constitution proposed, almost immediately
passed a measure, which was familiarly styled by the people the 'Hou
jou smoel law.' The literal translation of this term is 'Hold your
to discuss the question of either confederation or annexation.

I come to the conclusion, then, that the cause of the annexation was
England's historical greed of territory, especially rich territory;
and that, however unworthy the motive on the part of the visiting
power, the Boers did not at that time receive the visitor with other
feelings than those of satisfaction, and practically surrendered
their country voluntarily and gladly to the ruler of a greater power,
under the impression that Sir Theophilus Shepstone would be permitted
to carry out, and that he therefore would carry out, the promises he
made them. As the programme was open before them, they had everything
to gain and nothing to lose, except the loss entailed by nominal
government by the British. No man, whether Boer or Britisher, who was
living in the Transvaal, or knew the feelings of the Boers at the
time of annexation, would in 1877 have given any other account of the
feeling of the nation; and if I have formed too low an opinion of the
motives of English statesmen at that time, and am not justified in
attributing the annexation to greed instead of to the purer and
nobler desire to protect England's colonies, or even the Transvaal
itself, from the inroads of savages, then my excuse must be that the
failure of England to send out at that time a force equal to the task
of restraining those savages and maintaining peace, has helped
materially to lead me to the unwarrantable conclusion.{03}

And so came the war. The history of it is written that all may read;
and it is not necessary here to refer at length to the details of it.
The utterly unjust treatment of Bezuidenhout at Potchefstroom was the
immediate cause of the outbreak. The armed interference of the
Potchefstroom burghers with the Imperial officials followed on
December 16, to be in turn succeeded by the battle of Bronkhorst
Spruit on the 20th.

The following account of the affair is taken from Mr. Carter's book:

All went well on this day till about 2.30 p.m., when the following
was about the order of march: One mounted infantryman in advance of
the main body next the band; of F company, forty men; of A company,
forty men; then followed the quarter-guard, thirteen men; and
provost-escort and prisoners, twenty-three men. The remainder of the
force was posted along the string of waggons, with the exception of
the rear-guard of about twenty men, which were some distance behind.
Colonel Anstruther, Captains Nairne and Elliott, Lieutenant Hume,
and Adjutant Harrison were riding just in front of the band, when
suddenly Boers appeared all round. The locality that the regiment had
reached at the time was one where stood several farms, and the trees
surrounding these homesteads afforded cover under which a hostile
force could assemble without being perceived from a distance. On the
right was a ravine with wood in it, and amongst that the Boers were
lying in ambush. How unexpected was the appearance of a force of
Boers to the English may be judged from the fact that the band
of the regiment was playing at the time. Colonel Anstruther,
immediately he caught sight of the enemy on the crest of a slight
rise to the front, called a halt, and the order was passed to the
rear for the waggons to close up. Before this could be done a
messenger from the enemy, carrying a white flag, came forward and
handed the Colonel a note signed by Piet Joubert, and countersigned
by other Boer leaders, desiring him to halt where he was until a
reply had been received from Sir Owen Lanyon to the ultimatum the
Boers had addressed to him. The message also contained the warning
that if the soldiers advanced beyond a small stream in front of
them, it would be taken as a declaration of war. Colonel Anstruther,
with Conductor Egerton, had ridden out in front of the advanced
guard to meet this flag of truce; after he had read the message, the
bearer of it informed him verbally that two minutes were allowed for
his decision. Colonel Anstruther verbally replied that he should
march on to Pretoria, and, to use his own words, as published in his
despatch written just before he died, the Boer messenger 'said that
he would take my message to the Commandant-General; and I asked him
to let me know the result, to which he nodded assent. Almost
immediately, however, the enemy's line advanced.'

Whilst this short parley was going on, every effort was being made in
the rear to get the waggons up, but without much good result, because
when the Boers opened fire the rear-guard would be at least half a
mile behind the head of the column. Even those who were guarding the
waggons had not time to join the main body. When Colonel Anstruther
saw the Boers advancing, he gave the order to his men to extend in
skirmishing order, but before they could open out to more than loose
files they were met with a murderous volley, and at the same time
Boers on the right and left flank and in the rear, who had previously
measured and marked off the distances, picked off every man within
sight. Our men returned the fire as best they could, but in less than
ten minutes 120 were either killed or wounded, besides a large
proportion of the oxen in the waggons shot. The officers who exposed
themselves were picked off almost immediately by the Boer marksmen.
Captain Nairne, Lieutenant M'Sweeney, Lieutenant and Adjutant
Harrison, Lieutenant Hume, Deputy-Assistant Commissary-General
Barter, Conductor Egerton, Surgeon Ward, were all wounded, besides
Colonel Anstruther himself, who was shot in two or three places.

It was useless to contend against such odds, and the 'cease fire' was
sounded, and handkerchiefs waved to denote submission. During this
unequal struggle, Mrs. Smith, the widow of the bandmaster of the
regiment, who, with the wife of Sergeant-Major Fox and some children,
were riding in one of the foremost waggons, came fearlessly up to
where the wounded lay, and, tearing strips from her clothing, helped
the surgeon to bandage the wounds. The sergeant-major's wife was
severely wounded, as was also Fox himself. There was no lack of
heroism during those awful ten minutes, whilst men were being shot
down like dogs. Lieutenant Harrison was shot through the head while
cheering on his men; Lieutenant Hume was equally conspicuous
for his coolness. An orderly-room clerk named Maistre and the
Sergeant-Master-Tailor Pears quietly concealed the regimental colours
in a waggon-box when they saw the danger of them falling into the
hands of the enemy; and their work was not in vain, as Conductor
Egerton managed subsequently to wrap them round his body under his
tunic, and having obtained permission after the fight was over to walk
to Pretoria for medical assistance, he carried them safely to the
capital, as well as the disastrous news of the engagement. Forty-two
miles traversed by a wounded man on foot in eleven hours is in itself
a feat worth mentioning, and one the value of which can only be
really estimated by those who know what South African roads are in
the rainy seasons.

As soon as our force surrendered, Franz Joubert, who had been in
command of the Boers, and who, it is said, fired the first shot, with
the exclamation, 'What is the use of waiting?' came forward with some
of his men, and on finding poor Colonel Anstruther severely wounded
expressed sorrow.

Whether the affair of Bronkhorst Spruit can be called an act of
treachery on the part of the Boers is rather a nice question. Colonel
Anstruther's words--the words of a dying man--rather go to prove that
he was unfairly treated, though he does not say so directly. He was
given to understand by the messenger who came with the flag of truce
that another communication would be made to him as soon as his reply
to the request to halt had been reported to the Boer Commandant. The
only reply given him was 'a murderous volley.' The Boers cannot lay
claim to much bravery or superiority (except in numbers) over our
soldiers in this fight. Theirs was a deliberately-planned ambush to
entrap men who had no idea that they were marching in an enemy's
country. Bronkhorst Spruit engagement is the one during the whole of
the war which does not redound to the credit of the Dutch, even if it
does not reflect great discredit upon them. If a reasonable time had
been allowed Colonel Anstruther to give his reply, the 94th could not
then say, as they do say and will say, that they were treacherously
surprised. 'Two minutes' looks, under the circumstances, very much
like an idle pretence of fair dealing to cover an intentional act of
cowardice which subsequent conduct could hardly palliate. The Boers
say that they had not more men than were marching with the 94th on
that occasion; that statement is worth very little, considering the
evidence of our officers, and, above all, the harsh evidence of the
facts that the 94th was from advance-guard to rear-guard practically
surrounded and outnumbered in every direction.

The preparedness of the Boers and the precision of their fire may be
gathered from the testimony of Dr. Crow, of Pretoria, who attended
the wounded, and vouched for an average of five wounds per man. Dr.
Crow also wrote:

But as disastrous as the late war in the Transvaal had been to
British prestige, thank God those at Bronkhorst Spruit did their duty
and died like men, a noble example to any army. If any stain has been
cast on the British flag in the Transvaal, the gallant 94th did all
that was possible by their deeds at Bronkhorst Spruit to obliterate

The news of this affair was received with horror, and the feelings
roused by the details of it have never been allayed. Race-hatred may
have its origin in a hundred little incidents, but in the Transvaal
there were two which undoubtedly, whether justly or otherwise, gave
a character to the Boers that has embittered feeling against them
more than any which had occurred in generations previous. The
second affair followed very closely on the Bronkhorst Spruit
engagement--_i.e.,_ the infamous murder of Captain Elliott, the only
surviving unwounded officer from Bronkhorst Spruit. Captains Elliott
and Lambert were taken prisoners, and were offered the choice of
two alternatives--either to remain prisoners of war during the
hostilities in the Transvaal, or to be released on _parole
d'honneur_ on condition that they should leave the Transvaal at
once, cross into the Free State under escort, and not bear arms
against the Republican Government during the war. The second
alternative was chosen. They received an escort and free pass from
Commandant-General Piet Joubert. The following is extracted from
Captain Lambert's Report to Sir George Colley on January 5:

We started about 1 p.m. from the Boer camp, passing through the town
of Heidelberg. After going about six to eight miles, I noticed we
were not going the right road, and mentioned the fact to the escort,
who said it was all right. Having been 'look-out' officer in the
Transvaal, I knew the district well. I was certain we were going
wrong, but we had to obey orders. At nightfall we found ourselves
nowhere near the river drift, and were ordered to outspan for the
night, and next morning the escort told us they would look for the
drift. Inspanning at daybreak, we again started, but after driving
about for some hours across country, I told the escort we would stop
where we were while they went to search for the drift. Shortly after
they returned and said they had found it, and we must come, which we
did, eventually arriving at the junction of two rivers (Vaal and
Klip), where we found the Vaal impassable, but a small punt, capable
of holding only two passengers at most, by which they said we must
cross. I pointed out that it was impossible to get my carriage or
horses over by it, and that it was not the punt the General said we
were to cross. The escort replied it was Pretorius's punt that the
General told them to take us, and we must cross; that we must leave
the carriage behind and swim the horses, which we refused to do, as
we then should have had no means of getting on. I asked them to show
me their written instructions, which they did (written in Dutch), and
I pointed out that the name of Pretorius was not in it. I then told
them they must either take us back to the Boer camp again or on to
the proper drift. We turned back, and after going a few miles the
escort disappeared. Not knowing where we were, I proposed to Captain
Elliott we should go to the banks of the Vaal, and follow the river
till we came to the proper punt. After travelling all Monday,
Tuesday, and up till Wednesday about 1 p.m., when we found ourselves
four hours, or twenty-five miles, from Spencer's punt, we were
suddenly stopped by two armed Boers, who handed us an official
letter, which was opened, and found to be from the Secretary to the
Republican Government, stating that the members were surprised that,
as officers and gentlemen, we had broken our _parole d'honneur_, and
refused to leave the Transvaal; that if we did not do so immediately
by the nearest drift, which the bearers would show us, we must
return as prisoners of war; that as through our ignorance of the
language of the country there might be some misunderstanding, they
were loth to think we had willingly broken our promise. We explained
that we should reply to the letter, and request them to take it to
their Government, and were prepared to go with them at once. They
took us back to a farmhouse, where we were told to wait until they
fetched their commandant, who arrived about 6 p.m., and repeated to
us the same that was contained in our letter of that day. We told
him we were ready to explain matters, and requested him to take our
answer back to camp. He then ordered us to start at once for the
drift. I asked him, as it was then getting dark, if we could start
early next morning, but he refused. So we started, he having said we
should cross at Spencer's, being closest. As we left the farmhouse,
I pointed out to him that we were going in the wrong direction; but
he said, 'Never mind; come on across a drift close at hand.' When we
got opposite it, he kept straight on; I called to him, and said that
this was where we were to cross. His reply was, 'Come on!' I then
said to Captain Elliott, 'They intend taking us back to Pretoria,'
distant some forty miles. Suddenly the escort (which had all at once
increased from two to eight men, which Captain Elliott pointed out
to me; and I replied, 'I suppose they are determined we shall not
escape, which they need not be afraid of, as we are too keen to get
over the border') wheeled sharp down to the river, stopped, and,
pointing to the banks, said, 'There is the drift--cross!' I drove my
horses into the river, when they immediately fell; lifted them, and
drove on about five or six yards, when we fell into a hole. Got them
out with difficulty, and advanced another yard, when we got stuck
against a rock. The current was now so strong and drift deep, my
cart was turned over on to its side, and water rushed over the seat.
I called out to the commandant on the bank that we were stuck and to
send assistance, or might we return, to which he replied, 'If you
do, we will shoot you.' I then tried, but failed, to get the horses
to move. Turning to Captain Elliott, who was sitting beside me, I
said, 'We must swim for it'; and asked could he swim, to which he
replied, 'Yes.' I said, 'If you can't, I will stick to you, for I
can.' While we were holding this conversation, a volley from the
bank, ten or fifteen yards off, was fired into us, the bullets
passing through the tent of my cart, one of which must have mortally
wounded poor Elliott, who only uttered the single word 'Oh!' and
fell headlong into the river from the carriage. I immediately sprang
in after him, but was swept down the river under the current some
yards. On gaining the surface of the water, I could see nothing of
Elliott, but I called out his name twice, but received no reply.
Immediately another volley was fired at me, making the water hiss
around where the bullets struck. I now struck out for the opposite
bank, which I reached with difficulty in about ten minutes; but as
it was deep, black mud, on landing I stuck fast, but eventually
reached the top of the bank, and ran for about two hundred yards
under a heavy fire the whole while.

The Boers then invaded Natal and took up a position on Laing's Nek,
four miles inside the Natal border, from which, on January 28, Sir
George Colley endeavoured to oust them with a mounted force of 70 men
and some 500 men of the 58th Regiment. The position is one difficult
enough to climb unencumbered by military accoutrements, but the
disposition of the little mounted force covered the approach. By some
unexplained mistake, however, half of the mounted infantry charged
and carried the Boer position before the 58th had climbed the hill,
but were too weak to hold it and retired, leaving the 58th uncovered
in a terrible ascent. But few of the exhausted men reached the top of
the hill, and those, led by Colonel Deane, only to be shot down. Of
the mounted men, 17 were killed and wounded; of the 58th, 73 were
killed and 100 wounded. The result was absolute defeat of the British
forces. The number of Boers engaged is not known, but the force
behind the Nek consisted of several thousands, and no doubt a fair
proportion engaged in the fight.

On February 8 General Colley made a demonstration in force on the
Ingogo Heights. The force consisted of under 300 men, with 4 guns and
38 mounted men. On the Boer side there were about 1,000 men, and the
fight lasted from morning until after dark. It was a drawn fight, in
which both parties left the battlefield at night. There cannot be any
doubt, however, that the balance of advantage was with the Boers,
since the loss on the British side was very severe: 76 men were
killed and 69 wounded.

On February 27 came Majuba, when Sir George Colley designed to
retrieve his fortunes and strike an effective blow without the aid of
his second-in-command, Sir Evelyn Wood, whom he had sent to hurry up
reinforcements. The scaling of the mountain at night was a fine
performance. The neglect to take the rocket apparatus or mountain
guns, or to fortify the position in any way, or even to acquaint the
members of the force with the nature of the position which they had
taken up in the dark, and the failure to use the bayonets, were the
principal causes of disaster. The Boers attacked in force a position
which should have been absolutely impregnable, held as it was by a
force of 554 soldiers. The Boer force is not known, but probably
consisted of upwards of 1,000 men, since Christian Joubert after the
fight offered to take a portion of the men, numbering, as he said,
some 500, to attack a small British laager on one of the spurs of
the mountain. The splendid feat of taking the hill-top, however, was
accomplished by a small storming party of less than 200 men, the
balance of the Boer forces covering the approach of their comrades
by an accurate and incessant long-range fire. The result, as is
known, was terrible disaster: 92 killed and 134 wounded, and a
number taken prisoners, represented the British loss, whilst the
Boers lost 1 killed and 5 wounded. No attempt had been made to
occupy positions below the crown of the hill which commanded the
approaches, and the Boers were able to creep up under good cover
from place to place by the exercise of their admirable tactics. It
is impossible to detract from the performance of the Boers, and a
glance at the position leaves one more astonished than ever that a
successful attack could ever have been made upon it. The Boers
displayed on this day the finest fighting qualities. The generalship
of their fighting Commandant, Nikolas Smit, was of the highest
order. The cleverness of the attack, and the personal bravery and
audacity of the storming party are beyond praise.

By the time Sir Evelyn Wood had ranged his forces for an effective
and extended attack on the Boers, and by the time Sir Frederick
Roberts with the command of about 10,000 men had reached South
Africa, the administration of Mr. Gladstone had awakened to the fact
that the war was an unjust--not to say costly--one. An armistice was
arranged and peace made without another blow.

The terms of the settlement proposed by the Liberal Government fitly
illustrate the generosity of their motives. They proposed doing
'simple justice' to the Boers, but at the same time retaining the
districts of Lydenburg, Middelburg, Wakkerstroom, and Utrecht, not to
mention handing back Zoutpansberg to the original native occupants.
So anxious were the Boer leaders to effect a peaceful settlement, so
fearful were they of the actions of their followers, that when they
arranged the long armistice they did not announce to their party the
intentions of the British Government regarding the above districts.
General Joubert did not communicate to his army the terms of peace,
but simply stated that a Royal Commission was to settle everything.
A month later, when some inkling of the terms reached the Boers, a
solemn protest and warning was issued, and when the Royal Commission
actually sat, the British representatives were informed that any
such curtailment of the territories would be followed by a
resumption of hostilities. Needless to say the proposals were
abandoned and the Boers got their way. So ended the war.

Ingogo has been called a drawn battle. Bronkhorst Spruit was--such as
it was. At Laing's Nek and Majuba the Boers beat us, as Mr. Carter
fairly puts it, 'when they were on the top of the hill and we were at
the bottom, and when we were on the top of the hill and they were at
the bottom.' The narrative of these events is about as humiliating a
one as an Englishman can read. Here and there it is redeemed by the
heroic conduct of individuals in the midst of general disaster. In
the smaller affairs, such as the particularly gallant defences of
Standerton, Potchefstroom, and Rustenberg, where little garrisons
held their own with conspicuous ability and courage, there is
something to cheer the disheartened reader. The defence of
Potchefstroom by Colonel Winslow should be read in full for several
reasons. The siege of Standerton witnessed several acts of valour,
but, above all, that of Hall the volunteer, who single handed
deliberately engaged a force of over 300 Boers, drawing their fire on
himself in order to warn his comrades of the danger of being cut off
and to give them a chance of escape--a noble act in which the gallant
fellow achieved his object but lost his life. It was in Rustenberg
where Captain Auchinleck, with about seventy men armed only with
rifles, held his laager against hundreds of the enemy, fighting day
and night for weeks; and eventually drove off the Boers who were
trenching towards his position by charging at night with from nine to
fourteen of his men and clearing the enemy out of the trenches with
the bayonet. This performance he repeated three times, himself badly
wounded on each occasion. The impression created on the enemy by
these tactics was such that they overcame their desire to get at
close quarters with him, and left him severely alone.

It is not necessary to refer in great detail to the settlement In
effect it was that the Boers gained nearly all that they required,
but not until the haggling and threatening had robbed concessions of
all appearance of grace and justice. The natives were referred to in
the conventional spirit. The unfortunate loyalists were left to take
care of themselves. The men who had entered the Transvaal, and
invested their capital and expended their energies there upon the
most positive and sacred assurances of the British Government that
the Queen's authority would never be withdrawn,--assurances given in
public by the Conservative Government and confirmed by Mr.
Gladstone's Government, assurances published by Sir Bartle Frere and
Sir Garnet Wolseley, who said that 'as long as the sun would shine
the British flag would fly over the Transvaal,'--were heartlessly
abandoned, their protests were unheeded, the compensation allotted to
them, namely, L1,400,000, was amended by the elimination of the
million, their representations to Mr. Gladstone's Government were
finally left unanswered--unless it be that the sneering reference
made by that right honourable gentleman in the House of Commons to
'interested contractors and landjobbers' may be considered an
adequate answer to a protest as moderate, as able, as truthful, and
as necessary as Mr. Gladstone's remark was the reverse. In very
truth, the position in which the British Premier had placed himself
through his intemperate speeches in the Midlothian campaign, and his
subsequent 'explaining away,' was an extremely unpleasant one. In
Opposition Mr. Gladstone had denounced the annexation and demanded a
repeal. On accession to power he adopted the policy of his
predecessors, and affirmed that the annexation could never be
revoked. On June 8, 1880, he had written to this effect to Messrs.
Kruger and Joubert, the Transvaal deputation. Later on, in answer to
an appeal that he should allay the apprehensions of the loyalists,
who feared the results of the Boer agitation, he referred them to
this very letter as a final expression of opinion, and authorized the
publication of this message. When, however, peace had been concluded,
and the loyalists, amazed and heartbroken at their threatened
desertion, reminded him of his pledges and implored him to respect
them, he answered them in a letter which is surely without parallel
in the record of self-respecting Governments. The wriggling, the
equivocation, the distortion of phrases, the shameless 'explaining
away,' are of a character that would again justify the remark of
Lord Salisbury (then Lord Robert Cecil) in another matter many years
before, that they were 'tactics worthy of a pettifogging attorney,'
and even the subsequent apology--to the attorney. But what answer
could be made to a protest which reminded the right honourable
gentlemen of the following deliberate and official expression of his
Government's policy?--

In your letter to me (wrote Mr. White for the loyalists) you claim
that the language of your letter does not justify the description
given. With the greatest respect I submit that it does, and I will
quote the words on which I and also my colleagues base the opinion
that it does unequivocally pledge the Government to the
non-relinquishment of the Transvaal.

The actual words of your letter are:

'Looking at all the circumstances, both of the Transvaal and the rest
of South Africa, and to the necessity of preventing a renewal of the
disorders, which might lead to disastrous consequences, not only to
the Transvaal, but to the whole of South Africa, _our judgment is
that the Queen cannot be advised to relinquish the Transvaal_; but,
consistently with the maintenance of that sovereignty, we desire that
the white inhabitants of the Transvaal should, without prejudice to
the rest of the population, enjoy the fullest liberty to manage their
local affairs.'

But your letter of the 8th of June not only contained this final and
absolute announcement of the policy of England, but it gave the
reasons for arriving at it in words which so aptly express the case
of the loyalists that I quote them _in extenso_. They are as follows:

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

In your speech in the House of Commons, on the debate on Mr. Peter
Rylands' motion condemning the annexation of the country and the
enforcement of British supremacy in it, which was defeated by a
majority of ninety-six, on the 21st of January in the current year,
you used words of similar import. You are reported in the _Times_ of
the 22nd of January as saying:

'To disapprove the annexation of a country is one thing; to abandon
that annexation is another. Whatever we do, we must not blind
ourselves to the legitimate consequences of facts. By the annexation
obligations entailed by the annexation, and if in my opinion, and in
the opinion of many on this side of the House, wrong was done by the
annexation itself, _that would not warrant us in doing fresh,
distinct, and separate wrong by a disregard of the obligation which
that annexation entailed_. These obligations have been referred to in
this debate, and have been mentioned in the compass of a single
sentence. First, there was the obligation entailed towards the
English and other settlers in the Transvaal, perhaps including a
minority, though a very small minority, of the Dutch Boers
themselves; secondly, there was the obligation to the native races;
and thirdly, there was the obligation we entailed upon ourselves in
respect of the responsibility which was already incumbent upon us,
and which we, by the annexation, largely extended, for the future
peace and tranquillity of South Africa.'

Nor was this all. The loyalists proceeded to remind him that Lord
Kimberley, his Secretary of State for the Colonies, had telegraphed
in May, 1880, 'Under no circumstances can the Queen's authority in
the Transvaal be relinquished,' and had confirmed the telegram in a
despatch following; and that his lordship had also stated in the
House of Lords on May 24 that '... after a careful consideration of
the position, we have come to the conclusion that we could not
relinquish the Transvaal. Nothing could be more unfortunate than
uncertainty in respect to such a matter.' (Hansard, cclii., p. 208.)

The effects of the settlement, and the exposures in connection with
it, and the attitude of the Imperial Government were most deplorable.
No credit was given by the Boers to a Government which was clearly
moved by the meanest considerations. No feeling but contempt,
disgust, and even hatred, could be entertained by the loyalists for
the Government which had so shamelessly deserted them. The settlement
has left its indelible mark upon the sentiment of South Africa. The
war, it will generally be admitted, was a most unfortunate
occurrence. Only one thing could have been more unfortunate, and that
was such a settlement as actually was effected--a settlement which
satisfied no one, which outraged all, which threw South Africa into a
state of boiling discontent. In some quarters the defeats of Majuba
and Laing's Nek rankled deeply; yet they were fair fights, and Time
can be trusted to allay the feelings of those who are worsted in a
fair fight; but there were other matters which roused a spirit in
the English-speaking people of South Africa that had never been
known before.

The former records of the Boers, favourable and unfavourable, are
consistent with the records established in the War of Independence.
None dare belittle the spirit which moved them to take up arms
against the greatest Power in the world. Their ignorance may have
been great, but not so great as to blind them to the fact that they
were undertaking an unequal contest. It is not possible to say, with
due regard to their records, that they are not a courageous people.
Individual bravery, of the kind which takes no heed of personal risk,
reckless heroic dash, they have not, nor do they pretend to have.
Their system is entirely otherwise. They do not seek fighting for
fighting's sake. They do not like exposing themselves to risk and
danger. Their caution and their care for personal safety are such
that, judged by the standard of other people's conduct in similar
positions, they are frequently considered to be wanting in personal
courage. It seems a hard thing to say of a people who have produced
men like the first Bezuidenhout, who fought and died single-handed
against the British troops; men like Piet Retief, as gallant a man as
ever walked; men like Piet Uys, an example to all men for all time,
and only one of many generations in one family of equally gallant
Dutchmen; but it would truly seem that such examples do not occur
with such frequency among the Boers as among nations with whom they
have been compared. Where they have been able to choose their own
positions, or where they have been stimulated by previous successes,
they have done all that could possibly be asked of them; but their
particular military system does not conduce to success under
circumstances where men are suddenly and unexpectedly called upon to
exhibit the virtues of discipline, to make what to the individual may
appear a useless sacrifice of life, or, in cold blood and in the face
of previous defeat, to attempt to retrieve a lost position.

The Boer military power has been called the biggest unpricked bubble
in the world. Whether this be so or not--whether the early conflicts
between the British troops and the Boers in the Cape Colony and Natal
justify the view that the Boers cannot take a beating and come up
again--is a matter for those to decide who will give their impartial
attention to the records.

Whilst conspicuous personal daring among the Boers may not be
proverbial, it must be remembered to their everlasting credit that
they, as did the Southerners in the American Civil War, robbed the
cradle and the grave to defend their country. Boys who were mere
children bore rifles very nearly as long as themselves; old men, who
had surely earned by a life of hardship and exposure an immunity from
such calls, jumped on their horses and rode without hesitation and
without provision to fight for their independence.

There were, however, unfortunately, matters connected with the war
which gave birth to a bitter and aching desire for revenge.
Bronkhorst Spruit and the murder of Captain Elliott were among the
earliest. Another was the shooting of Dr. Barbour (who was killed
instantly) and Mr. Walter Dyas (wounded) by their escort under
circumstances similar to those of the Elliott murder, with the
exception that in this case the prisoners had been released on foot
and in daylight, and were then shot down.

But there were others too. There was the murder of Green in
Lydenburg, who was called to the Boer camp, where he went unarmed and
in good faith, only to have his brains blown out by the Boer with
whom he was conversing; there was the public flogging of another
Englishman by the notorious Abel Erasmus because he was an Englishman
and had British sympathies; and there were the various white flag
incidents. At Ingogo the Boers raised the white flag, and when in
response to this General Colley ordered the hoisting of a similar
flag to indicate that it was seen, a perfect hail of lead was poured
on the position where the General stood; and it was obvious that the
hoisting of the flag was merely a ruse to ascertain where the General
and his staff were. There was the ambulance affair on Majuba, when
the Boers came upon an unarmed party bearing the wounded with the red
cross flying over them, and after asking who they were and getting a
reply, fired a volley into the group, killing Surgeon-Major Cornish.
under Commandant Cronje were guilty of actions contrary to the usages
of civilized warfare. They are matters of history, and can easily be
verified. Reference is made to them elsewhere in this volume in
connection with Commandant Cronje's action on another occasion.

And so the war left the country, as wars will, divided into two
parties, with feelings towards each other that are deplorable enough
in themselves, and not easily allayed. The curtain was rung down, and
the scene was lost to the view of the world, but the play went on all
the same behind the curtain. And this is what the new Government said
to the world on August 8, 1881, when they took over the
administration of the country:

To all inhabitants, without exception, we promise the protection of
the law, and all the privileges attendant thereon.

To inhabitants who are not burghers, and do not wish to become such,
we notify that they have the right to report themselves to the
Resident as British subjects, according to Article 28 of the now
settled Convention. But be it known to all, that all ordinary rights
of property, trade, and usages will still be accorded to everyone,
burgher or not.

We repeat solemnly that our motto is, 'Unity and reconciliation.'

Footnotes for Chapter I

{01} Written in 1896.

{02} Several of the letters and despatches given in this volume are
quoted from Mr. Martineau's excellent 'Life of Sir Bartle Frere,' a
portion of which book was lately published in cheaper form, under
the title of 'The Transvaal Trouble and How it Arose.'

{03} It is only fair to state that _at that time_ the Home Government
believed the prestige of the Imperial authority to be sufficient for
all purposes.



In 1882 Sir Bartle Frere wrote, 'I have never been able to discover
any principle in our policy in South Africa except that of giving way
whenever any difficulty or opposition is encountered.' The remark is
still as true as when it was penned, and South Africa--the 'Grave of
Reputations,'{04} as it has long been called--must by this time be
regarded with doubtful emotions by successive Colonial Secretaries.
What is it about South Africa, one asks, that has upset so many men
of capacity and experience? Who can say? Often--most often--it is the
neglect to thoroughly study and know what are called the 'local
conditions,' and to pay due heed to local experience. Sometimes it is
the subordination of State policy to party considerations which has
ruined the Proconsul: witness Sir Bartle Frere, whose decisive
action, firm character, and wise and statesmanlike policy are
now--now that he is dead--recognised universally, as they have always
been in South Africa. Perhaps there is something in Africa itself
which makes it a huge exception to the rules of other lands; the
something which is suggested in the 'rivers without water, flowers
without scent, and birds without song'; a contrariness which puts the
alluvial gold on the top of mountain ranges and leaves the valleys
barren; which mocked the experience of the world, and showed the
waterworn gravel deposit to be the biggest, richest, deepest, and
most reliable gold reef ever known; which placed diamonds in such
conditions that the greatest living authority, who had undertaken a
huge journey to report on the occurrence, could only say, in the face
of a successful wash-up, 'Well, there _may_ be diamonds here, but all
I can say is they've no right to be'; the something which many, many
centuries ago prompted the old Roman to write, 'Ex Africa semper
aliquid novi affert,' and which is in the mind of the South African
to-day when he says, 'The impossible is always happening in Africa.'

There is this to be said for the Gladstone Ministry in 1881: that,
having decided on a policy of scuttle and abandonment, they did it
thoroughly, as though they enjoyed it. A feeble vote-catching
provision, with no security attached, was inserted in the Pretoria
Convention relative to the treatment of natives, but no thought or
care was given to the unfortunate British subject who happened to be
a white man, and to have fought for his Queen and country.{05} The
abandonment was complete, without scruple, without shame. It has been
written that 'the care and forethought which would be lavished on a
favourite horse or dog on changing masters were denied to British
subjects by the British Government.' The intensity and bitterness of
the resentment, the wrath and hatred--so much deeper because so
impotent--at the betrayal and desertion have left their traces on
South African feeling; and the opinion of the might and honour of
England, as it may be gleaned in many parts of the Colonies as well
as everywhere in the Republics, would be an unpleasant revelation to
those who live in undisturbed portions of the Empire, comfortable in
the belief that to be a British subject carries the old-time magic of
'Civis Romanus sum.'

The Transvaal State, as it was now to be called, was re-established,
having had its trade restored, its enemies crushed--for Secocoeni and
Cetewayo were both defeated and broken--and its debts paid or
consolidated in the form of a debt to England, repayable when
possible. For some time not even the interest on this debt was paid.

Numbers of British subjects left the country in disgust and despair.
Ruined in pocket and broken in spirit, they took what little they
could realize of their once considerable possessions, and left the
country where they could no longer live and enjoy the rights of free
men. For some years the life of a Britisher among the Boers was far
from happy. It is not surprising--indeed, not unnatural--that people
unsoftened by education and the conditions of civilization, moved by
fierce race prejudice, and intoxicated by unbroken and unexpected
success, should in many cases make the vanquished feel the
conqueror's heel. The position of men of British name or sympathies
in the country districts was very serious, and the injustice done to
those who had settled since the annexation, believing that they were
to live under the laws and protection of their own Government was
grave indeed.

The Government of the country was vested in a Triumvirate with Mr.
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger as Vice-President during the period
immediately following the war; but in 1882 the old form was restored
and Mr. Kruger was elected President, an office which he is now
holding for the third successive term.{06}

Prior to the war the population of the country was reckoned by both
Dutch and English authorities to be about 40,000 souls, the great
majority of whom were Dutch. The memorial addressed to Lord
Carnarvon, dated January 7, 1878, praying for repeal of the
annexation, was 'signed by 6,591 qualified electors out of a possible
8,000,' as is explained in the letter of the Transvaal delegates to
Sir M. Hicks-Beach dated July 10, 1878. The fact, already mentioned,
that 3,000 electors had petitioned for the annexation only means that
some of them changed their minds under pressure or conviction, and
helped to swell the number of those who later on petitioned for
repeal. The signatories to the above memorial would include
practically all the Dutch electors in the country, and the remaining
1,400 or so would probably be the non-Boer party who preferred
British rule, and could not be coerced into signing memorials against
it. These figures are useful as a check upon those now put forward by
the Transvaal Government to combat the assertion that the Uitlanders
outnumber the Boers. Recognizing the fact that the Boers are a
singularly domestic and prolific people, one may allow that
they numbered 35,000 out of the total population, an estimate that
will be seen to be extremely liberal. At the time that the above
figures were quoted by the Transvaal delegates every Boer youth over
the age of twenty-one was a qualified voter, so that it would seem
that the qualified Boer voter had an _average_ of one wife and 4.3
children, a fair enough allowance in all conscience. These figures
should be borne in mind, for the present Boer population consists of
what remains of these 35,000 souls and their natural increase during
eighteen years. There are other Dutch immigrants from the Cape
Colony and Free State: these are aliens, who have the invaluable
qualification of hating England and her sons and her ways and
her works; but, as will be made clear when the Franchise Law is
explained, the present Boer electorate consists-or, without fraud or
favouritism, _should_ consist-of the 'possible 8,000' and their

Many a champion of liberty has lived to earn the stigma of tyrant,
and the Boers who in 1835 had trekked for liberty and freedom from
oppressive rule, and who had fought for it in 1880, began now
themselves to put in force the principles which they had so stoutly
resisted. In the Volksraad Session of 1882 the first of the measures
of exclusion was passed. The Franchise, which until then-in
accordance with Law No. 1 of 1876-had been granted to anyone holding
property or residing in the State, or, failing the property
qualification, to anyone who had qualified by one year's residence,
was now altered, and Law No. 7 of 1882 was passed which provided that
aliens could become naturalized and enfranchised after five years'
residence, thus attaining the status of the oldest Voortrekker. The
feeling was now very strong against the Annexation Party, as they had
been called, that is to say, the men who had had the courage of their
convictions, and had openly advocated annexation; and as usual the
bitterest persecutors and vilifiers were found in the ranks of those
who, having secretly supported them before, had become suspect, and
had now need to prove their loyalty by their zeal. The intention was
avowed to keep the party pure and undiluted, as it was maintained
by many of the Boers that former proselytes had used their
newly-acquired privileges to vote away the independence of the
country. The view was not unnatural under the circumstances, and this
measure, had it not been a violation of pledges, might have found
defenders among impartial persons; but unfortunately it proved to
be not so much a stringently defensive measure which time and
circumstances might induce them to modify, as the first step in a
policy of absolute and perpetual exclusion. It was the first
deliberate violation of the spirit of the settlement, and, although
there is no clause in the Pretoria Convention which it can be said
to contravene, it was, as Mr. Chamberlain has since styled it, 'a
violation of the _status quo_ as it was present to the minds of her
Majesty's Ministers at the time the Convention was negotiated.' But
the Gladstone Ministry, which had paid so heavily to get rid of the
Transvaal question, was certainly not going to re-open it for the
sake of holding the Boers to the spirit of the settlement.

Another precaution was taken to keep all the power in the hands of
the Boers. The various towns which had formerly been entitled to
representation in Parliament were deprived of this right, and have
remained disfranchised ever since. Mr. Kruger feared that the
enlightened thought of the towns would hinder the growth of his
'national policy.'

It was not too late even at this time to have bloodlessly settled the
Transvaal question for ever by a fair but thoroughly firm attitude
towards the restored Republic. No doubt British Ministers, conscious
of an act of supreme self-restraint and magnanimity, believed that
some reciprocal justice would be evoked. At any rate, it is possible
that this was the reason which guided them, and not continued callous
indifference to the fate of British subjects and the future of South
Africa. In such case, however, they must have forgotten 'the fault of
the Dutch'--which Andrew Marvell's couplet has recorded--of 'giving
too little and asking too much.' The Transvaal Boers are very
practical people, and no matter what they may receive or how they get
it, whether by way of diplomacy or barter or the accident of good
luck or deed of gift, they never neglect to press and scheme for
more. It is an unpleasant feature in the Boer character, prominent
alike in personal and general relations, begotten, mayhap, of hard
life, constant struggle, and lack of education and its softening
and elevating influence. It is a feature which is common to all
uneducated peoples who have suffered great hardships, and it will no
doubt disappear in time; but it is one which has to be reckoned with
at the present day, and one which, when recognized at its true value,
sustains the contention that the Boers, in dealing with those whom
they regard as not of them, will recognise no right and do no justice
unless compelled to do so. The considerations of a narrow and selfish
policy are stronger than the sense of right and wrong.

British Ministers and the British people when glowing with a mildly
enthusiastic satisfaction at their tolerant and even generous
attitude towards a weaker opponent may imagine that they have sown
good seed which in time will bear ample fruit; but it is not so.
Nothing but firmness and strict justice will avert a bloody day of
reckoning. Nothing but prompt and effective veto on every attempt to
break or stretch the spirit of past undertakings will bring it home
to the Transvaal Government that all the give cannot be on the one
side and all the take on the other; that they cannot trade for ever
on the embarrassment of a big Power in dealing with a little one; and
that they must comport themselves with due regard to their

Almost the first use made by the Transvaal Government of their
recovered power was one which has wrought much mischief to the State.
The Triumvirate who ruled the country in 1882 granted numbers of
concessions, ostensibly for the purpose of opening up industries or
developing mining areas. The real reasons are generally considered to
have been personal, and the result was the crushing of budding
activities, and the severe discouragement of those who were willing
to expend capital and energies in legitimate work. Favouritism pure
and simple dictated these grants. It is hardly too much to say that
the system and spirit then introduced rule to this day, for although
the Volksraad has taken definite resolution condemning the principle
of monopolies and contracts conferring preferential rights of any
sort, the spirit of this resolution is violated whenever the
President and Executive deem it fit to do so--witness, for instance,
the monopoly granted in December, 1895, for the free importation
of produce, which is disguised as a Government agency with a
'commission' to the agent; but it is really a monopoly and
nothing else!

The Boers were not satisfied with the Convention of 1881. They
desired the removal of the Suzerainty, the cancellation of the
clauses referring to natives, and the restoration of the title of the
South African Republic in lieu of that of the Transvaal State. They
also desired (but did not expect to obtain) complete freedom in
regard to their external relations, and they lost no time in trying
how far they would be allowed to go in the direction of stretching
the spirit of the Convention. Nothing in that ineffectual and
miserable document is clearer than the definition of certain
boundaries, and the provision that no extension shall be allowed.
This hemming of them in--or shutting them up in a kraal, as President
Kruger has expressively put it--was intensely repugnant to them. It
cut into one of the most deeply-rooted habits of the Boer. His method
of trek and expansion has been, to begin by making small hunting
excursions into adjacent native territories, to follow up with
grazing his cattle there until he created in his own mind a right by
prescription, and then to establish it either by force or else by
written agreement, too often imperfectly translated. This was
oftentimes varied or supplemented by helping the weaker of two rival
chiefs, and so demolishing the power of a tribe. The expulsion of the
native followed as a natural result.

In the Transvaal itself there was, and still is, an immense quantity
of unoccupied land, and the Boers were quite unable to properly
control, utilize, and administer their own immense territory, but
'land hunger' is theirs as a birth curse. The individual cannot bear
to see the smoke of his neighbour's chimney; he will not cultivate 50
acres, but wants 50,000; the 'nation' wants Africa--no less. They
coveted Swaziland, Zululand, Bechuanaland, Matabeleland, Mashonaland,
and Tongaland, and set to work by devious methods to establish claims
to these countries.

In Bechuanaland they took sides; that is to say, parties of
freebooters from the Transvaal took up the cause of certain native
chiefs against certain others. The London Convention in 1884
disposed of this quarrel by fixing the south-western boundaries
of the Republic, and placing two of the disputing chiefs under
the Transvaal, and the other two under British protection.
Notwithstanding this, however, the new Convention was no sooner
signed than the scheming was resumed, and before a year had passed a
party of Transvaal Boers, several of them now holding high official
positions under the Republic, raided the territory of the chiefs in
the British Protectorate, and even attacked the chief town Mafeking.
This was followed by a proclamation by President Kruger placing the
territory under the protection of the Republic. Mr. Rhodes, who had
already made himself conspicuous by his advocacy of holding the
highway to the interior open, was instrumental in inducing the
Imperial Government to make a determined stand against this. An
ultimatum moved the Transvaal Government to withdraw the proclamation
and forced the Boers to leave the country--only, however, when and
because the demand was backed by the Warren expedition at a cost of
over a million and a half to the British taxpayer! This expedition
was sent by Mr. Gladstone, the Boer benefactor--notwithstanding all
his anxiety to prove the Transvaal settlement a good one! The action
of the Transvaal, and the most brutal murder of Mr. Bethell by the
individuals above referred to as holding high official positions
under the Republic, gave indications of the bent of the Boer
authorities which people in South Africa did not fail to take note
of. Bethell had been wounded in the invasion of the territory by the
Boers, and as he lay helpless the 'prominent Transvaal official' came
up and, seeing a repeating rifle lying beside him, asked him to show
them how it worked. He did so, and the 'prominent official' taking it
up under pretext of examining it shot Bethell dead with his own

In Zululand similar tactics were resorted to by the Republic.
Transvaal Boers invaded Zululand and (1884) took up the cause of
Dinizulu, a son of the dead Cetewayo, and established him as king,
upsetting Sir Garnet Wolseley's settlement. They then proceeded to
seize the country, but the British Government intervening at this
point, rescued some two-thirds for the Zulus. A glance at the map
will show that the intention of the Boers was to get to the sea, and
also that the unlucky Zulus, who had been broken by the British
Government--and very rightly too--because they were a menace to the
Transvaal, even more than to Natal, were now deprived of the pick of
their country, plundered and harried by the very people who had been
at their mercy until the Imperial Government stepped in. It is very
noteworthy that, with the splendid exception of the lion-hearted Piet
Uys and his sons, who fought and died (father and one son) in the
Zulu war side by side with the Britishers whom he was keenly opposing
on the annexation question, none of the Boers came forward to help in
the Secocoeni or Zulu wars, although these wars were undertaken, the
one entirely, and the other mainly, on their account. But a great
many were ready to raid and annex as soon as the Zulu power was

Swaziland became in turn the object of the Boer Government's
attentions. First, grazing concessions were obtained; and next, other
concessions for the collection of Customs and Revenue dues, for
telegraphs, railways, banking, surveying, and goodness only knows
what. One individual applied for and obtained a concession for the
balance of ungranted concessions, and another applied for a grant of
the Chief Justiceship. What chance the unfortunate native had in such
a condition of things can be imagined. The Transvaal bought up all
the concessions necessary to make government of the country
absolutely impossible, except with their cooperation. The secret
service fund of the Republic provided means for making the
representatives of the Swazi nation see things in a reasonable light,
so that when the time came to investigate the title to concessions
and to arrange for the future administration of the country the
result was a foregone conclusion. The judge appointed by the Imperial
Government on the Special Joint Commission to inquire into the
concessions and matters in general let some light on the manner in
which these concessions were acquired and granted, by pertinent
questions to the concessionaires and interpreters. He asked, for
instance, 'Do you swear that you interpreted this document verbatim
to the king?'--'Yes.' 'Will you kindly tell to the Court what is the
or how you interpreted and explained the significance of the
"survey," "mint," "revenue," and "townships" concessions?'

The picture of the obese and drunken chief surrounded by fawning
harpies was a shameful and disgusting one. One example is sufficient
to show how the thing was done. A concession for gambling was applied
for. The man who interpreted knew a smattering of 'kitchen' Kaffir,
and his rendering of the 'monopoly for billiards, card playing,
lotteries, and games of chance' was that he alone should be allowed
to '_tchia ma-ball_ (hit the balls), _hlala ma-paper_ (play the
papers), and _tata zonki mali_ (and take all the money).' The poor
drunken king nodded sleepily to the first two clauses, but to the
bald proposition of taking all the money, which he _could_
understand, he violently objected. The concession was, however,
subsequently granted on the representations of a more tactful

A very flagrant breach of the spirit of the London Convention, and a
very daring attempt at land-grabbing, was the proposed last will and
testament of the Swazi King Umbandine, which provided that the
governing powers should be assigned to Mr. Kruger as executor of the
King and trustee and administrator of the country. His project was
defeated; but the aim of the Boer Government was ultimately achieved,
nevertheless, and Swaziland has now been handed over to the control
of the Republic in spite of the prayers and protestations of the
Swazis themselves, who had proved in the past with very practical
results to be useful, ready, and loyal allies of the British

While Swaziland was being entoiled the Transvaal Government were not
idle elsewhere. Matabeleland was looked upon as the heritage of the
Boer, because of the 'old friendship' with the Matabele,--whom they
had driven out of their country, now the Transvaal; and Mashonaland
was theirs because it was their ancient hunting-ground. That the
Boers did not abandon their old schemes merely because they had
agreed by treaty to do so is shown by a letter which was found at Lo
Bengula's kraal by Mr. F. Thompson when he went up to negotiate for
Mr. Rhodes. The stealthy grovelling of the Commandant-General before
a savage native chief, the unctuous phraseology, the hypocritical
assurances of an undying friendship between Boer and Matabele so long
as there are living one of each race, throw a lurid light upon the
conduct of Boer diplomacy with native tribes, and explain much of the
ineradicable fear and distrust which are felt on the native side in
all dealings with the aggressive Boer. The letter reads:

  _March 9, 1882._

_To the great ruler the Chief Lo Bengula, the son of Umzilikatse, the
great King of the Matabili nation_.


When this letter reaches you, then you will know that it comes from a
man who very much desires to visit you, but who, being a man of the
people, cannot get loose to make such a long journey. Therefore he
must now be satisfied with writing a letter to carry his regards to
the son of the late King of the Matabele, our old friend Umzilikatse.
When I say that I desire to see you, it is not to ask for anything,
but to talk of something, and to tell Lo Bengula of the affairs and
things of the world, because I know that there are many people who
talk and tell about these matters, whilst there are but few who tell
the truth. Now, when a man hears a thing wrong, it is worse than if
he had never heard it at all. Now, I know that Lo Bengula has heard
some things wrongly, and for this reason would I tell him the real
truth. Now, you must have heard that the English--or as they are
better known the Englishmen--took away our country, the Transvaal,
or, as they say, annexed it. We then talked nicely for four years,
and begged for our country. But no; when an Englishman once has your
property in his hand, then is he like a monkey that has its hands
full of pumpkin-seeds--if you don't beat him to death, he will
never let go--and then all our nice talk for four years did not help
us at all. Then the English commenced to arrest us because we were
dissatisfied, and that caused the shooting and fighting. Then the
English first found that it would be better to give us back our
country. Now they are gone, and our country is free, and we will now
once more live in friendship with Lo Bengula, as we lived in
friendship with Umzilikatse, and such must be our friendship, that so
long as there is one Boer and one Matabele living these two must
remain friends. On this account do I wish to see Lo Bengula, and if I
may live so long, and the country here become altogether settled, and
_the stink which the English brought_ is first blown away altogether,
then I will still ride so far to reach Lo Bengula, and if he still
has this letter then he will hear the words from the mouth of the man
who now must speak with the pen upon paper, and who, therefore,
cannot so easily tell him everything. The man is a brother's child of
the three brothers that formerly--now thirty-two years ago--were at
Umzilikatse's, and then made the peace with him which holds to this
day. He still remembers well when the first Boers, Franz Joubert,
Jann Joubert, and Pieter Joubert, came there, and when they made the
the peace which is so strong that the vile evil-doers were never able
to destroy it, and never shall be able to destroy it as long as there
shall be one Boer that lives and Lo Bengula also lives.

Now I wish to send something to give Lo Bengula a present as a token
of our friendship. I send for Lo Bengula with the gentleman who will
bring him this letter a blanket and a handkerchief for his great
wife, who is the mother of all the Matabele nation. I will one day
come to see their friendship. The gentleman who brings the letter
will tell you about all the work which I have to do here. Some bad
people have incited Kolahing, and so he thought he would make
fortifications and fight with us, but he got frightened, and saw that
he would be killed, therefore I made him break down the
fortifications and pack all the stones in one heap, and he had then
to pay 5,000 cattle and 4,000 sheep and goats for his wickedness. Now
there is another chief, Gatsizibe--he came upon our land and killed
three people and plundered them--he must also pay a fine, or else we
will punish him or shoot him, because we will have peace in our
country. Now greetings, great Chief Lo Bengula, from the
Commandant-General of the South African Republic for the Government
and Administration.


A big trek (the Banjailand trek) was organized in 1890 and 1891 by
General Joubert and his relatives and supporters to occupy a portion
of the territory already proclaimed as under British protection and
the administration of the Chartered Company. The trekkers were turned
back at Rhodes's Drift, stopped by the firmness and courage and tact
of Dr. Jameson, who met them alone and unarmed; and also by the
proclamation of President Kruger, to whom it had been plainly
intimated that the invasion would be forcibly resisted and would
inevitably provoke war. The matter had gone so far that the offices
of the Republic of Banjai had already been allotted. The President's
proclamation instead of being regarded as the barest fulfilment of
his obligations--very grudgingly done under pressure of threats--was
vaunted as an act of supreme magnanimity and generosity, and was used
in the bargaining for the cession of Swaziland.

In Tongaland Boer emissaries were not idle; but they failed, owing to
the fact that the Tonga Queen Regent, Zambili, a really fine specimen
of the savage ruler, would have nothing to do with any power but
England, whose suzerainty she accepted in 1887. Being shut off here,
the Boer Government made another bid for seaward extension, and,
through their emissaries, obtained certain rights from two petty
chiefs, Zambaan and Umbegesa, whom they represented as independent
kings; but Lord Rosebery annexed their territories in 1894, and so
put a final stop to the Transvaal schemes to evade the Convention by
intrigue with neighbouring native tribes.

Nothing can better illustrate the Boers' deliberate evasion of their
treaty obligations than their conduct in these matters. The Pretoria
Convention defined the Transvaal boundaries and acknowledged the
independence of the Swazis, and yet the British Government's delay in
consenting to the annexation of Swaziland by the Republic was
regarded for years as an intolerable grievance, and was proclaimed as
such so insistently that nearly all South Africa came at last to so
regard it.

The Boers' consent to the Chartered Company's occupation of
Mashonaland was looked upon as something calling for a _quid pro
quo_, and the annexation of Zambaan's land is now regarded as an
infamous act of piracy by England, and an infringement of the
Republic's rights, which the Dutch papers denounce most vehemently.
The Boer Government made it clear, not less in their purely internal
policy than in these matters of extensions of territory, that they
intended pursuing a line of their own.

In 1882, the property known as 'Moodies,' consisting of a number of
farms bearing indications of gold, was thrown open to prospectors.
The farms had been allotted to Mr. G. Piggott Moodie when he was
Surveyor-General, in lieu of salary which the Republic was unable to
pay. This was the beginning of the prospecting era which opened up De
Kaap, Witwatersrand, and other fields; but it was a small beginning,
and for some time nothing worth mentioning was discovered. The
Republic was again in a bad way, and drifting backwards after its
first spurt. The greatest uncertainty prevailed amongst prospectors
as to their titles, for in Lydenburg, at Pilgrim's Rest, and on the
Devil's Kantoor, concessions had been granted over the heads of the
miners at work on their claims, and they had been turned off for the
benefit of men who contributed in no way to the welfare and
prosperity of the State. It has been stated in the Volksraad that not
one of those concessionaires has even paid the dues and rents, or
complied with the other conditions stipulated in the contracts.
district was practically locked up for fourteen years owing to the
concession policy, and has only lately been partly released from the
bonds of monopoly.

In 1884 Messrs. Kruger and Smit proceeded to Europe to endeavour to
raise funds, which were badly needed, and also to obtain some
modifications of the Convention. The attempt to raise funds through
the parties in Holland to whom the railway concession had just been
granted failed, but the delegates were more fortunate in their other
negotiations. They negotiated the London Convention which fixed
certain hitherto undefined boundaries; and in that document no
reference was made to the suzerainty of Great Britain. They also
secured the consent of the British Government to the alteration of
the title of the country. Instead of Transvaal State it became once
more the 'South African Republic.'{07} During this visit there
occurred an incident which provides the answer to Mr. Kruger's
oft--_too_ oft--repeated remark that 'the Uitlanders were never asked
to settle in the Transvaal, and are not wanted there.' Messrs. Kruger
and Smit were staying at the Albemarle Hotel, where they found
themselves, after some weeks' delay, in the uncomfortable position of
being unable to pay their hotel bill. In their extremity they applied
to one Baron Grant, at that time a bright particular star in the
Stock Exchange firmament. Baron Grant was largely interested in the
gold concessions of Lydenburg, and he was willing to assist, but on
terms. And the _quid pro quo_ which he asked was some public
assurance of goodwill, protection, and encouragement to British
settlers in the Transvaal. Mr. Kruger responded on behalf of the
Republic by publishing in the London press the cordial invitation
and welcome and the promise of rights and protection to all who
would come, so frequently quoted against him of late.

By this time Moodies had attracted a fair number of people, and the
prospects of the country began, for the first time with some show of
reason, to look brighter. No results were felt, however, and the
condition of the Government officials was deplorable. Smuggling was
carried on systematically; in many cases officials 'stood in' with
smugglers. They were obliged either to do that or to enforce the laws
properly and get what they could by seizing contraband goods. There
were two objections to the latter course, however. One was that the
country was large and detection difficult with men who were both
daring and resourceful; and the other was that the officials were not
sure of receiving their share of the spoil from a Government so hard
pressed as this one was, and whose higher officials also had
difficulties about payment of salaries. In many cases salaries were
six months in arrear; and other cases could be quoted of officials
whose house-rent alone amounted to more than their nominal
remuneration. Yet they continued to live, and it was not difficult to
surmise _how_. Another significant fact was that goods subject to
heavy duties--such as spirits, hams, etc.--could be bought at any
store at a price which was less than original cost plus carriage and
duty. Smuggling was a very palpable fact, and--quoth the public and
the officials--a very convenient and even necessary evil.

The principle on which the Customs officials conducted the business
of their office was observed by other officials of the Republic, and
in one department, at least, the abuses have had a very far-reaching
and serious effect. The Field-cornets--district officials who act as
petty justices, registering, and pass officers, collectors of
personal taxes, captains of the burgher forces, etc., etc.--are the
officers with whom each newcomer has to register. This is an
important matter, because the period of residence for the purpose of
naturalization and enfranchisement is reckoned from the date of
registration in the Field-cornet's books. As these officials were
practically turned loose on the public to make a living the best
way they could, many of them, notwithstanding that they collected the
taxes imposed by law, omitted to enter the names of new arrivals in
their books, thus securing themselves against having to make good
these amounts in event of an inspection of the books. Many of the
Field-cornets were barely able to write; they had no 'offices,' and
would accept taxes and registrations at any time and in any place.
The chances of correct entry were therefore remote. The result of
this is very serious. The records are either 'lost' when they might
prove embarrassing, or so incorrectly or imperfectly kept as to be of
no use whatever; and settlers in the Transvaal from 1882 to 1890 are
in most cases unable to prove their registration as the law requires,
and this through no fault of their own.

In the country districts justice was not a commodity intended for the
Britisher. Many cases of gross abuse, and several of actual murder
occurred; and in 1885 the case of Mr. Jas. Donaldson, then residing
on a farm in Lydenburg--lately one of the Reform prisoners--was
mentioned in the House of Commons, and became the subject of a demand
by the Imperial Government for reparation and punishment. He had been
ordered by two Boers (one of whom was in the habit of boasting that
he had shot an unarmed Englishman in Lydenburg since the war, and
would shoot others) to abstain from collecting hut taxes on his own
farm; and on refusing had been attacked by them. After beating them
off single-handed, he was later on again attacked by his former
assailants, reinforced by three others. They bound him with reims
(thongs), kicked and beat him with sjamboks (raw-hide whips) and
clubs, stoned him, and left him unconscious and so disfigured that he
was thought to be dead when found some hours later. On receipt of the
Imperial Government's representations, the men were arrested, tried
and fined. The fines were stated to have been remitted at once by
Government, but in the civil action which followed Mr. Donaldson
obtained L500 damages. The incident had a distinctly beneficial
effect, and nothing more was heard of the maltreatment of defenceless
men simply because they were Britishers. Moreover, with the
improvement in trade which followed the gold discoveries of 1885
and 1886 at Moodies and Barberton, the relations between the two
races also improved. Frequent intercourse and commercial relations
begot a better knowledge of each other, and the fierce hatred of the
Britisher began to disappear in the neighbourhood of the towns and
the goldfields.

In 1886 the wonderful richness of the Sheba Mine in Barberton
attracted a good deal of attention, and drew a large number of
persons--prospectors, speculators, traders, etc.--to the Transvaal.
Before the end of 1887 ten or twelve thousand must have poured into
the country. The effect was magical. The revenue which had already
increased by 50 per cent. in 1886, doubled itself in 1887, and then
there came unto the Boer Government that which they had least
expected--ample means to pursue their greater ambitions. But unmixed
good comes to few, and with the blessings of plenty came the cares of
Government, the problem of dealing with people whose habits,
thoughts, ambitions, methods, language, and logic differed utterly
from their own. Father Abraham on the London Stock Exchange would not
be much more 'at sea' than the peasant farmers of the Volksraad were
in dealing with the requirements of the new settlers.

Agitations for reforms commenced early in Barberton. At first it was
only roads and bridges that were wanted, or the remission of certain
taxes, or security of title for stands and claims. Later on a
political association named the Transvaal Republican Union was formed
in Barberton, having a constitution and programme much the same as
those of the Transvaal National Union, formed some five years later
in Johannesburg. The work of this body was looked on with much
disfavour by the Government, and it was intimated to some of the
prominent members that if they did not cease to concern themselves
with politics they would suffer in their business relations, and
might even be called upon to leave the country. Many reforms were
specified as desirable, and the franchise question was raised, with
the object of getting the Government to make some reasonable
provision in lieu of the registration clause, which was found in most
cases to be an absolute bar.

The discovery of the Witwatersrand conglomerate formation soon
helped to swell the flowing tide of prosperity. In the middle of
1887 the regular output of gold commenced, and the fields have never
'looked back' since. Johannesburg--named after Mr. Johannes Rissik,
the Surveyor-General of the Transvaal--was soon a far greater problem
than Barberton had been. The shareholders in the mines soon found it
necessary to have some organization to protect their interests and
give unison to their policy, and to preserve the records and collect
information for the industry. The Witwatersrand Chamber of Mines was
then formed, a voluntary business association of unique interest and
efficiency. The organization includes all the representative and
influential men, and every company of any consequence connected with
the mining industry; and it has, through its committee and officials,
for eight years represented to the Volksraad the existence of abuses
and grievances, the remedies that are required, and the measures
which are felt to be necessary or conducive to the progress of the
industry in particular, or the welfare of the State in general. The
President, Executive and Volksraad, by neglect of their obvious
duties, by their ignorance of ordinary public affairs, by their
wilful disregard of the requirements of the Uitlanders, have given
cohesion to a people about as heterogeneous as any community under
the sun, and have trained them to act and to care for themselves. The
refusal year after year to give a charter of incorporation to the
Chamber, on the grounds that it would be creating an _imperium in
imperio_, and the comments of Volksraad members on the petition, have
made it clear that the Government view the Chamber with no friendly
eye. The facts that in order to get a workable pass law at all the
Chamber had to prepare it in every detail, together with plans for
the creation and working of a Government department; and that in
order to diminish the litigation under the gold law, and to make that
fearful and wonderful agglomeration of erratic, experimental, crude,
involved, contradictory and truly incomprehensible enactments at all
understandable, the Chamber had to codify it at its own expense and
on its own initiative, illustrate both the indispensable character of
the organization, and the ignorance and ineptitude of the Government.

The records of the Volksraad for the last ten years may be searched
in vain for any measure calculated constructively to advance the
country, or to better the conditions of the workers in it, with the
few--very few--exceptions of those proposed by the Chamber of Mines.
The country has, in fact, run the Government, and the Government has
been unable to ruin it.

Shortly after the discovery of the Rand conglomerates, it became
clear that a railway would have to be built between the coalfields
and the mines--some forty miles. But it was a fixed principle of the
Boers that no railways (with the exception of the Delagoa Bay line,
which, as the means of diverting trade from British channels, was
regarded as a necessary evil) should be built, since they could
compete successfully with the ox-waggon, and thus deprive the 'poor
burgher' of his legitimate trade spoil; and great difficulty was
experienced in getting the consent of the Raad. As a matter of fact,
the permission to build it was only obtained by subterfuge; for it
was explained to the worthy law-makers that it was not a railway at
all--only a _steam tram_. And the Rand Steam Tram it is called to
this day.

The Delagoa Railway--the darling scheme of Presidents Burgers and
Kruger in turn--was taken seriously in hand as soon as it was
possible to raise money on almost any terms. The concession for all
railways in the State was granted on April 16, 1884, to a group of
Hollander and German capitalists, and confirmed by the Volksraad on
August 23 following. The President's excuse for granting and
preserving this iniquitous bond on the prosperity of the State is,
that when the country was poor and its credit bad, friends in Holland
came forward and generously helped it, and this must not be forgotten
to them. As a matter of fact, friends accepted the concession when
the State was poor and its credit bad, but did nothing until the
State's credit improved to such an extent as to be mortgageable.
_Then_ the friends granted certain favourable terms under their
concession to other friends, who built the first section of the line
at preposterous rates, and repaid themselves out of moneys raised on
the State's credit.

A well-known South African politician, distinguished alike for his
ability and integrity, who visited the Transvaal during the progress
of the reformers' trial, and was anxious in the interests of all
South Africa to find a solution of the differences, put the position
thus to some of the leading men of the Rand: 'You can see for
yourselves that this is no time to ask for the franchise; for the
time being, Jameson's invasion has made such a suggestion impossible.
Now, tell me in a word, Is there any one thing that you require more
than anything else, which we can help you to get?' The answer was:
'The one thing which we must have--not for its own sake, but for the
security it offers for obtaining and retaining other reforms--_is_
the franchise. No promise of reform, no reform itself, will be worth
an hour's purchase unless we have the status of voters to make our
influence felt. But, if you want the chief economic grievances, they
are: the Netherlands Railway Concession, the dynamite monopoly, the
liquor traffic, and native labour, which, together, constitute an
unwarrantable burden of indirect taxation on the industry of _over
two and a half millions sterling annually_. We petitioned until we
were jeered at; we agitated until we--well--came here [Pretoria
Gaol]; and we know that we shall get no remedy until we have the vote
to enforce it. We are not a political but a working community, and if
we were honestly and capably governed the majority of us would be
content to wait for the franchise for a considerable time yet in
recognition of the peculiar circumstances, and of the feelings of the
older inhabitants. That is the position in a nutshell.'

[Netherlands Railway Company.]

The Netherlands Railway Company is then a very important factor. It
is unnecessary to go very fully into its history and the details of
its administration. As the holder of an absolute monopoly, as the
enterprise which has involved the State in its National Debt, and as
the sole channel through which such money has been expended, the
Company has gradually worked itself into the position of being the
financial department of the State; and the functions which are
elsewhere exercised by the heads of the Government belong here, in
practice, entirely to this foreign corporation. Petitions for the
cancellation of this concession were presented in 1888, when the
progressive element in the first Volksraad consisted of one man--Mr.
Loveday, one of the loyalists in the war. The agitation begun and
carried on by him was taken up by others, but without further result
than that of compelling the President to show his hand and step
forward as the champion of the monopoly on every occasion on which it
was assailed. During the years 1893-96 the President stoutly defended
the Company in the Volksraad, and by his influence and the solid vote
of his ignorant Dopper Party completely blocked all legislation
tending to control the Company. Indeed at the end of the Session of
1895, on receiving representations from the business communities of
the Republic as to the desirability of removing this incubus from the
overtaxed people, the President stated plainly that the Netherlands
Railway Concession was a matter of high politics and did not concern
any but the burghers of the State, and that he would receive no
representations from the Uitlanders on the subject nor would he
permit them to discuss it.

Very shortly after the granting of this railway concession came the
appointment of Dr. Leyds as State Attorney for the Republic, he
having been recommended and pushed forward by the gentlemen in
Holland to whom the concession had been granted. It is stated that he
was sent out as the agent of the concessionaires in order to protect
and advance their interests, although at the same time in the service
of the Republic. It is only necessary to add that Mr. Beelaerts van
Blokland, the Consul-General for the Republic in Holland, is the
agent of the concessionaires in that country, and the accord with
which these two gentlemen, as railway commissioners at their
respective ends, have always acted becomes intelligible. Several of
the vital conditions of the concession have been freely violated, the
first being that a certain section of the line (Nelspruit) should be
completed within four years. It was not completed for eight. The
concession really became void several times during the years prior to
1890, but always found a stalwart champion in the President, who
continued to defend the concessionaires for some two years after they
had failed to get their capital subscribed. The Company was
floated on June 21 1887 on the most peculiar terms, the capital of
L166,666 being in 2,000 shares of 1,000 guilders, or L83 6s. 8d.
each. The shares were subscribed for by the following groups:

  German            819 shares, carrying 30 votes.
  Hollander         581    "        "    76   "
  The Republic      600    "        "     6   "

The trust-deed, which limited the Republic to 6 out of 112 votes,
although it subscribed about one-third of the capital, and gave to
the smallest holders, the Hollanders, twice as many votes as all the
others put together, was passed by Dr. Leyds, in his capacity of
legal adviser of the Government, having previously been prepared by
him in his other capacity. The sum of L124,000 appears to have been
expended on construction ten months before any contract was given out
for the same or any work begun, and fifteen months before any
material was shipped.

The contract for the construction of the first sixty miles compels
admiration, if only for its impudence. In the first place the
contractors, Van Hattum and Co., were to build the line at a cost to
be mutually agreed upon by them and the railway company, and they
were to receive as remuneration 11 per cent. upon the amount of the
specification. But should they exceed the contract price then the 11
per cent. was to be proportionately decreased by an arranged sliding
scale, provided, however, that Van Hattum and Co. did not _exceed the
specification by more than 100 per cent._, in which latter case the
Company would have the right to cancel the contract. By this
provision Messrs. Van Hattum and Co. could increase the cost by 100
per cent, provided they were willing to lose the 11 per cent. profit,
leaving them a net gain of 89 per cent. They did not neglect the
opportunity. Whole sections of earthworks cost L23,500 per mile,
which should not have cost L8,000. Close upon a thousand Hollanders
were brought out from Holland to work for a few months in each year
on the line and then be sent back to Holland again at the expense of
the Republic. In a country which abounded in stone the Komati Bridge
was built of dressed stone which had been quarried and worked in
Holland and exported some 7,000 miles by ship and rail.

These are a few instances out of many. The loss to the country
through the financing was of course far greater than any manipulation
of the construction could bring about. In the creating of overdrafts
and the raising of loans very large sums indeed were handled.
Three-quarters of a million in one case and a million in another
offered opportunities which the Hollander-German gentlemen who were
doing business for the country out of love for it (as was frequently
urged on their behalf in the Volksraad) were quick to perceive. The 5
per cent. debentures issued to raise the latter sum were sold at L95
15s.; but the financiers deducted L5 commission from even this, so
that the State has only benefited to the extent of L90 15s. This
transaction was effected at a time when the State loan known as the
Transvaal Fives--raised on exactly the same interest and precisely
the same guarantee--was quoted at over par. What, however, was felt
to be worse than any detail of finance was that this corporation of
foreigners had gradually obtained complete control of the finances of
the State, and through the railway system it practically dictated the
relations with the other Governments in South Africa, by such
measures for instance as the imposition of a charge of 8-1/2d. per
ton per mile on goods travelling over their lines coming from the
Cape Colony, whilst the other lines are favoured by a charge of less
than half that. The burdens placed upon the mining industry by the
excessive charges imposed for political purposes were, in the case of
the poorer mines, ruinous. The right which the Company had to collect
the Customs dues for account of the State, to retain them as security
for the payment of interest on their shares and debentures, and to
impose a charge for collection quite disproportionate to the cost,
was another serious grievance. It was hopeless, however, to deal with
the whole question. The Government had set its face against any
reform in this quarter. It was not possible to obtain even ordinary
working facilities such as any business corporation unprotected by an
absolute monopoly would be bound to concede of its own accord, in
order to catch a measure of trade.

The Government have the right, under the agreement with the
Company, to take over the railway on certain conditions, of which
the following are the most important:

(_a_) The Company shall receive one year's notice of the intention to
take over.

(_b_) The Company shall receive twenty times the amount of the
average of the last three years' dividends.

(_c_) The Company shall receive as a solatium for the unexpired
period of the concession an amount equal to one per cent. of its
nominal capital for each year up to the year of expiring (1915).

The Government can take over the Krugersdorp-Johannesburg-Boksburg
Tramway against payment of the cost of construction.

If the Volksraad should not during this Session{08} decide to
nationalize the railway no change can take place before 1898, so that
the three years 1895 to 1897 would have to be taken as a basis and
therefore the 6 per cent. for 1894, the only low dividend, would not
come into the calculation. This would of course considerably increase
the purchase price--_e.g._,

  1895              9 per cent.
  1896             14      "    (estimate),
  1897             14      "         "
          Total    37      "

That is to say an average distribution of 12.33 per cent. for the
three years. The purchase price would thus be:

                    12.33 X 20 = 246.66 per cent.
  17 years' premium               17       "
                 Total           263.66    "

This has been clearly explained to the Volksraad but without avail,
the President's influence on the other side being too strong. During
the Session of 1895 it was made clear that agitation against the
Company was as futile as beating the air. When the Hollander clique
found that they could no longer convince the Boers as a whole of the
soundness of their business and the genuineness of their aims, and
when they failed to combat the arguments and exposures of their
critics, they resorted to other tactics, and promulgated voluminous
reports and statements of explanations which left the unfortunate
Volksraad members absolutely stupefied where they had formerly only
been confused.{09}

The following is taken from an article in the Johannesburg _Mining
Journal_, dealing with the burdens imposed by the railway company
upon the industry:


This is another carefully designed burden upon the mines and country.
The issued capital and loans of the Netherlands Company now total
about L7,000,000, upon which an average interest of about 5-1/3 per
cent.--guaranteed by the State--is paid, equal to L370,000 per annum.
Naturally the bonds are at a high premium. The Company and its
liabilities can be taken over by the State at a year's notice, and
the necessary funds for this purpose can be raised at 3 per cent. An
offer was recently made to the Government to consolidate this and
other liabilities, but the National Bank, which is another
concession, has the monopoly of all State loan business, and this
circumstance effectually disposed of the proposal. At 3 per cent. a
saving of L160,000 per annum would be made in this monopoly in
interest alone. The value represented by the Custom dues on the
Portuguese border we are not in a position to estimate, but roughly
these collections and the 15 per cent. of the profits paid to the
management and shareholders must, with other leakages, represent at
least another L100,000 per annum, which should be saved the country.
As the revenue of the corporation now exceeds L2,000,000 a year, of
which only half is expended in working costs, the estimate we have
taken does not err upon the side of extravagance. By its neglect of
its duties towards the commercial and mining community enormous
losses are involved. Thus, in the coal traffic, the rate--which is
now to be somewhat reduced--has been 3d. per ton per mile. According
to the returns of the Chamber of Mines, the coal production of the
Transvaal for 1895 was 1,045,121 tons. This is carried an average
distance of nearly thirty miles, but taking the distance at
twenty-four miles the charges are 6s. per ton. At 1-1/2d. per ton per
mile--three times as much as the Cape railways charge--a saving upon
the coal rates of 3s. per ton would follow, equal to L150,000 per
annum. Again, by the 'bagging' system, an additional cost of 2s. 3d.
per ton is incurred--details of this item have been recently
published in this paper--and if this monopoly were run upon ordinary
business lines, a further saving of L110,000 would be made by
carrying coal in bulk. The interest upon the amount required to
construct the necessary sidings for handling the coal, and the
tram-lines required to transport it to the mines, would be a mere
fraction upon this amount; and as the coal trade in the course of a
short time is likely to see a 50 per cent. increase, the estimate may
be allowed to stand at this figure without deduction. No data are
available to fix the amount of the tax laid upon the people generally
by the vexatious delays and losses following upon inefficient railway
administration, but the monthly meetings of the local Chamber of
Commerce throw some light upon these phases of a monopolistic
management. The savings to be made in dealing with the coal traffic
must not be taken as exhausting all possible reforms; the particulars
given as to this traffic only indicate and suggest the wide area
covered by this monopoly, which hitherto has made but halting and
feeble efforts to keep pace with the requirements of the public.
Dealing as it does with the imports of the whole country, which now
amount in value to L10,000,000, the figures we have given must serve
merely to illustrate its invertebrate methods of handling traffic, as
well as its grasping greed in enforcing the rates fixed by the terms
of its concession. Its forty miles of Rand steam tram-line and
thirty-five miles of railway from the Vaal River, with some little
assistance from the Delagoa line and Customs, brought in a revenue
of about L1,250,000 in 1895. Now that the Natal line is opened the
receipts will probably amount to nearly L3,000,000 per annum, all of
which should swell the ordinary revenue of the country, instead of
remaining in the hands of foreigners as a reservoir of wealth for
indigent Hollanders to exploit. The total railway earnings of the
Cape and Natal together over all their lines amounted to L3,916,566
in 1895, and the capital expenditure on railways by these colonies
amounts to L26,000,000. The greater portion of these receipts come
from the Rand trade, which is compelled to pay an additional
L2,500,000, carrying charges to the Netherlands Company, which has
L7,000,000 of capital. Thus, railway receipts in South Africa amount
now to L7,000,000 per annum, of which the Rand contributes at least

The revenue of the company is now considerably over L3,000,000 per
annum. The management claim that their expenses amount to but 40 per
cent. of revenue, and this is regarded by them as a matter for
general congratulation. The Uitlanders contend that the concern is
grossly _mis_managed, and that the low cost of working is a fiction.
It only appears low by contrast with a revenue swollen by
preposterously heavy rates and protected by a monopoly. The tariff
could be reduced by one-half; that is to say, a remission of taxation
to the tune of one and a half million annually could be effected
without depriving the Company of a legitimate and indeed very
handsome profit.

[Selati Railway.]

The Selati Railway Scheme! 'Conceived in iniquity, delivered in
shame, died in disgrace!' might be its history, but for the fact that
it is not quite dead yet. But very nearly! The concession was
obtained during the Session of 1890 by a member of the First
Volksraad, Mr. Barend J. Vorster, jun., who himself took part in and
guided the tone of the debate which decided the granting of the
concession. The Raad resolved to endeavour to obtain the favourable
opinions of their constituents, but before doing so the generous
Mr. Vorster made what he was pleased to call 'presents' to the
members--American spiders, Cape carts, gold watches, shares in the
Company to be floated, and sums in cash--were the trifles by which
Mr. Vorster won his way to favour. He placated the President by
presenting to the Volksraad a portrait of his Honour, executed by the
late Mr. Schroeder, South Africa's one artist. The picture cost L600.
The affair was a notorious and shameless matter of bribery and the
only profit which the country gained from it was a candid confession
of personal principles on the part of Mr. Kruger himself, who when
the exposure took place stated that he saw no harm in members
receiving presents. Debentures to the amount of L500,000 were issued,
bearing Government guarantee of 4 per cent. The Company received L70
for each L100 debenture. Comment is superfluous. A second issue of a
million was made, nominally at L93 10s., but the Company only
received L86--a commission to the brokers or agents of 8-3/4 per
cent., at a time when the Company's previous issue of 4 per cents.
were standing at L97 in the market. The costs of flotation were
charged at upwards of L32,000; the expenses of one gentleman's
travelling, etc., L6,000.

But these are 'trifles light as air.' This Selati Railway Company,
which being guaranteed by Government is really a Government
liability, arranged with a contractor to build the line at the
maximum cost allowed in the concession, L9,600 per mile. Two days
later this contractor sub-let the contract for L7,002 per mile. As
the distance is 200 miles, the Republic was robbed by a stroke of the
pen of L519,600--one of the biggest 'steals' even in the Transvaal.
During the two years for which Dr. Leyds was responsible as the
representative of the Republic for the management of this affair,
none of these peculiar transactions were detected--at any rate none
were reported or exposed; but on the accession to office of an
ignorant old Boer the nest of swindles appears to have been
discovered without any difficulty. And it is generally admitted that
Dr. Leyds is not a fool. This exposure took place at the end of the
Session of 1894, and, inured as the Uitlanders had become to jobs,
this was an eyeopener even for them, and the startled community
tax-payers--who had to bear the brunt of it all.


Turning to the finances of the country, the following tables are as
instructive as anything can be:


           Fiscal period.             Revenue.   Expenditure. Remarks.
                                         L           L
  Aug.  1, 1871 to July 31, 1872 ...   40,988 ...   35,714
    "   1, 1872 "  Jan. 31, 1873 ...   43,239 ...   41,813
  Feb.  1, 1873 "    "  31, 1874 ...   49,318 ...   45,482 Gold discovered
                                                            in Lydenburg.
    "   1, 1874 "    "  31, 1875 ...   58,553 ...   61,785
    "   1, 1875 "    "  31, 1876 ...   64,582 ...   69,394
    "   1, 1876 "    "  31, 1877 ...   62,762 ...   64,505
    "   1, 1877 " April 12, 1877 ...   25,752 ...   17,235
  April 12, 1877 " Dec. 31, 1877 ...   54,127 ...   70,003
  Jan.  1, 1878 "    "  31, 1878 ...   76,774 ...   89,063
    "   1, 1879 "    "  31, 1879 ...   93,409 ...  177,596
    "   1, 1880 "    "  31, 1880 ...  174,069 ...  144,943
    "   1, 1881 "  Oct. 14, 1881 ...   25,326 ...  186,707 British Govt.
  Aug.  8, 1881 "  Dec. 31, 1881 ...   37,908 ...   33,442 Boer Govt.
  Jan.  1, 1882 "    "  31, 1882 ...  177,407 ...  114,476
    "   1, 1883 "    "  31, 1883 ...  143,324 ...  184,344
    "   1, 1884 "  Mar. 31, 1884 ...   44,557 ...   18,922
  April 1, 1884 "    "  31, 1885 ...  161,596 ...  184,820
    "   1, 1885 "    "  31, 1886 ...  177,877 ...  162,709 Sheba floated.
    "   1, 1886 "  Dec. 31, 1886 ...  196,236 ...  154,636 Rand proclaimed
                                                            Sept. 8, 1886.
  Jan.  1, 1887 "    "  31, 1887 ...  637,749 ...  594,834 Shares quoted
                                                            Stock Exchange.
                                                            April 26, 1887.
    "   1, 1888 "    "  31, 1888 ...  884,440 ...  720,492 Boom, Nov. 1888
    "   1, 1889 "    "  31, 1889 ...1,577,445 ...1,201,135  to Jan. 1889.
                                                            Slump, Mar. 1889.
    "   1, 1890 "    "  31, 1890 ...1,229,061 ...1,386,461
    "   1, 1891 "    "  31, 1891 ...  967,192 ...1,350,074 Baring Crisis.
    "   1, 1892 "    "  31, 1892 ...1,255,830 ...1,187,766 Railway reached
                                                            Sept. 15.
    "   1, 1893 "    "  31, 1893 ...1,702,685 ...1,302,054
    "   1, 1894 "    "  31, 1894 ...2,247,728 ...1,734,728
    "   1, 1895 "    "  31, 1895 ...2,923,648 ...1,948,249
    "   1, 1896 "    "  31, 1896 ...3,912,095 ...3,732,492
    "   1, 1897 "    "  31, 1897 ...3,956,402 ...3,898,816
    "   1, 1898 "    "  31, 1898 ...3,329,958 ...3,476,844
    "   1, 1899 "    "  31, 1899 ...4,087,852 ...3,951,234 (Budget).

The figures for the period from 1871 to the end of 1887 are taken
from Jeppe's Transvaal Almanac for 1889. They represent the
ordinary Revenue and Expenditure arrived at after the deduction
of the items 'Special Receipts,' 'Special Deposits,' 'Deposits
Withdrawn,' 'Advance Refunded,' 'Advances made' and 'Fixed Deposits'
from the totals given in the Official Government Returns.

The figures for the years 1888 to 1899 are those of the published
Government Returns after the deduction of--

Fixed deposits from 1888 to 1893 inclusive.

The sale and purchase of explosives from 1895 to 1898 inclusive.

The owner's share of claim licenses from 1895 to 1899 inclusive.

Delagoa Bay Customs Dues paid to the Netherlands Railway for 1898 and

[Dynamite Monopoly.]

The dynamite monopoly has always been a Monopoly very burning
question with the Uitlanders. This concession was granted shortly
after the Barberton Fields were discovered, when the prospects of an
industry in the manufacture of explosives were not really very great.
The concessionaire himself has admitted that had he foreseen to what
proportions this monopoly would eventually grow he would not have had
the audacity to apply for it. This, of course, is merely a personal
question. The fact which concerned the industry was that the right
was granted to one man to manufacture explosives and to sell them at
a price nearly 200 per cent. over that at which they could be
imported. It was found upon investigation after some years of
agitation that the factory at which this 'manufacture' took place was
in reality merely a depot in which the already manufactured article
was manipulated to a moderate extent so as to lend colour to the
President's statement that a local industry was being fostered. An
investigation held by order of the Volksraad exposed the imposition.
The President himself stated that he found he had been deceived and
that the terms of the concession had been broken, and he urged the
Raad to cancel it--which the Raad did. The triumph was considerable
for the mining industry and it was the more appreciated in that it
was the solitary success to which the Uitlanders could point in their
long series of agitations for reform. But the triumph was not
destined to be a lasting one. Within a few months the monopoly was
revived in an infinitely more obnoxious form. It was now called a
Government monopoly, but 'the agency' was bestowed upon a partner of
the gentleman who had formerly owned the concession, the President
himself vigorously defending this course and ignoring his own
judgment on the case uttered a few months previously. _Land en Volk_,
the Pretoria Dutch newspaper, exposed the whole of this transaction,
including the system of bribery by which the concessionaries secured
their renewal, and among other things made the charge which it has
continued to repeat ever since that Mr. J.M.A. Wolmarans, member
of the Executive, received a commission of one shilling per case
on every case sold during the continuance of the agency as a
consideration for his support in the Executive Council, and that he
continues to enjoy this remuneration, which is estimated now to be
not far short of L10,000 a year. Mr. Wolmarans, for reasons of pride
or discretion, has declined to take any notice of the charge,
although frequently pressed to take action in the matter. It is
calculated that the burden imposed upon the Witwatersrand Mines alone
amounts to L600,000 per annum, and is, of course, daily increasing.

[The Franchise Laws.]

The question of the franchise, which has achieved the greatest
prominence in the Uitlander agitation, is one with which few people
even in the Transvaal are familiar, so many and peculiar have been
the changes effected in the law. Lawyers differ as to whether certain
laws revoke or merely supplement previous ones, and the President
himself--to the grim amusement of the Uitlanders--frequently goes
astray when he speaks on franchise. The first law on burgher and
electoral rights is No. 1 of 1876, which remained in force until
1882. By it the possession of landed property or else residence for
one year qualified the settler for full burgher privileges. Law No. 7
of 1882 was the first attempt of the restored Republic to deal with
the question. It was then enacted that an alien could be naturalized
and enfranchised after five years' residence, such residence to be
proved by the Field-cornet's books of registration. It has already
been explained that these records in nine cases out of ten were
either improperly kept or non-existent.

In 1890 Law No. 4 was passed, creating the Second Volksraad and
altering the Grondwet (or constitution) accordingly. By this law the
franchise was indirectly altered without repealing those portions
which may be at variance with or repugnant to the implied
alterations, and this was done by simply defining what class of
electors should vote for members of the First Raad, and what class
for members of the Second. Thus, 'the members of the First Volksraad
shall be elected by those enfranchised burghers who have obtained the
right of voting before this law comes in force, or thereafter by
birth in the State, and on having attained the age of sixteen years.'
Secondly, all those who became naturalized and enfranchised after
this law was passed could not vote for members of the First
Volksraad, but a subsequent article in the law provides that the
higher rights can be obtained by those who shall have been eligible
for ten years for election to the Second Volksraad; and it is then
explained that, in order to be eligible for the Second Volksraad,
it is necessary to be thirty years of age, to be a member of the
Protestant Church, to live and have landed property in the Republic,
and to have been a naturalized subject for two years. Thus the full
electoral privileges were only obtainable after fourteen years'
residence in the State, and the possession of the other
qualifications of religion, property, etc.

Next came Law No. 13 of 1891, which was rather a codification than an
alteration of previous laws. In 1892 another law was passed again
explaining, but not materially altering the franchise. In 1893 Law
No. 14 was passed as an amendment of previous laws: further juggling
the position--further hedging in the sacred preserve. As the law was
superseded in the following year it is unnecessary to go into
details; but note how the measure became law! It was not published in
the _Staats Courant_ for three months as required by law; it was not
published at all; nor was any special resolution taken affirming that
it was a matter of extreme urgency and therefore to be held exempt
from that rule of procedure; so that the High Court ought to be able
to declare it null and void. The circumstances of its introduction
could not be considered to warrant the plea of urgency. On the 29th
and 30th June, 1893, memorials upon the franchise question were laid
before the Raad. From Johannesburg came one memorial bearing 4,507
signatures out of the grand total of 6,665 memorialists. It was in
favour of _extension_ of the franchise. Another memorial from 103
Free State burghers was in favour of _extension_, another from
Barberton from 40 burghers also for _extension_. Seven memorials,
bearing 444 signatures, were _against_ extension. All the others
concerned minor alterations in Law 13 of 1891, and did not affect
the franchise. The Raad appointed a commission and on the 8th of
September received its report, together with a draft law which had
not before seen the light of day. After a discussion lasting part of
one morning the law was passed provisionally; and to be of full force
and effect until confirmed by the Raad in the following year. Thus
again were the fundamental political conditions entirely altered by
the passing of a law which _two hours before_ had not been heard of.

Law No. 3 of 1894 purports to supersede all other laws. Therein it is
laid down that all persons born in the State, or who may have
established their domicile therein before May 29, 1876, are entitled
to full political privileges. Those who have settled in the country
since then can become naturalized after two years' residence dating
from the time at which their names were registered in the
Field-cornet's books. This naturalization confers the privilege of
voting for local officials, Field-cornets, landdrosts,{11} and for
members of the Second Raad. It is however stipulated that children
born in the country shall take the status of their fathers. The
naturalized subject after having been qualified to vote in this
manner for two years becomes eligible for a seat in the Second
Volksraad--_i.e._, four years after the registration of his name in
the Field-cornet's books. After he shall have been qualified to sit
in the Second Volksraad for ten years (one of the conditions for
which is that he must be thirty years of age) he may obtain the full
burgher rights or political privileges, provided the majority of
burghers in his Ward will signify _in writing their desire that he
should obtain them_ and provided the President and Executive shall
see no objection to granting the same. It is thus clear that,
assuming the Field-cornet's records to be honestly and properly
compiled and to be available for reference (which they are not), the
immigrant, after fourteen years' probation during which he shall
have given up his own country and have been politically emasculated,
privilege of obtaining burgher rights should he be willing and able
to induce the majority of a hostile clique to petition in writing on
his behalf and should he then escape the veto of the President and

This was the coping-stone to Mr. Kruger's Chinese wall. The
Uitlanders and their children were disfranchised for ever, and as far
as legislation could make it sure the country was preserved by entail
to the families of the Voortrekkers. The measure was only carried
because of the strenuous support given by the President both within
the Raad and at those private meetings which practically decide the
important business of the country. The President threw off all
disguise when it came to proposing this measure of protection. For
many years he had been posing as the one progressive factor in the
State and had induced the great majority of people to believe that
while he personally was willing and even anxious to accede to the
reasonable requests of the new population his burghers were
restraining him. He had for a time succeeded in quelling all
agitation by representing that demonstrations made by the tax-bearing
section only embarrassed him in his endeavour to relieve them and
aggravated the position by raising the suspicions and opposition of
his Conservative faction.

In 1893 a petition signed by upwards of 13,000 aliens in favour of
granting the extension of the franchise was received by the Raad with
great laughter. But notwithstanding this discouragement, during the
following year a monster petition was got up by the National Union.
It was signed by 35,483 Uitlanders--men of an age and of sufficient
education to qualify them for a vote in any country. The discussion
which took place on this petition was so important, and the decision
so pregnant with results, that copious notes of the Volksraad debate
are published in this volume (Appendix). The only response made to
this appeal was a firmer riveting of the bonds. It is but just to say
that the President encountered determined opposition in his attempt
to force his measure through the Raad. The progressive section
(progressive being a purely relative term which the peculiar
circumstances of the country alone can justify) made a stand,
state that two or three of the intelligent and liberal-minded farmers
belonging to this progressive party, men who were earnestly desirous
of doing justice to all and furthering the interests of the State,
declared at the close of the debate that this meant the loss of
independence. 'Now,' said one old Boer, 'our country is gone. Nothing
can settle this but righting, and there is only one end to the fight.
Kruger and his Hollanders have taken our independence more surely
than ever Shepstone did.' The passing of this measure was a
revelation not only to the Uitlanders, who still believed that
reasonable representations would prevail, but to a section of the
voters of the country who had failed to realize Mr. Kruger's policy,
and who honestly believed that he would carry some conciliatory
measures tending to relieve the strain, and satisfy the large and
ever-increasing industrial population of aliens. The measure was
accepted on all hands as an ultimatum--a declaration of war to the
knife. There was only one redeeming feature about it: from that time
forward there could be no possibility of misunderstanding the
position, and no reason to place any credence in the assurances of
the President. When remonstrated with on this subject of the refusal
of the franchise, and when urged by a prominent man whose sympathies
are wholly with the Boer to consider the advisability of 'opening the
door a little,' the President, who was in his own house, stood up,
and leading his adviser by the arm, walked into the middle of the
street, and pointed to the Transvaal flag flying over the Government
buildings, saying, 'You see that flag. If I grant the franchise I may
as well pull it down.'

It is seldom possible to indicate the precise period at which a
permanent change in the feeling of a people may be considered to have
been effected, but the case of the Uitlanders undoubtedly presents
one instance in which this is possible. Up to the passing of this law
quite a considerable section of the people believed that the
President and the Volksraad would listen to reason, and would even in
the near future make considerable concessions. A larger section, it
is true, believed nothing of the sort, but at the same time were so
far from thinking that it would be necessary to resort to extreme
measures that they were content to remain passive, and allow
their more sanguine comrades to put their convictions to the test. It
is not too much to say that not one person in a hundred seriously
contemplated that an appeal to force would be necessary to obtain the
concessions which were being asked. It might be said that within an
hour the scales dropped from the eyes of the too credulous community,
and the gravity of the position was instantly realized. The passage
of the Bill and the birth of the revolutionary idea were synchronous.

In a brief sketch of events, such as this is, it is not possible with
due regard to simplicity to deal with matters in chronological order,
and for this reason such questions as the franchise, the railway,
dynamite, and others have been explained separately, regardless of
the fact that it has thereby become necessary to allude to incidents
in the general history for which no explanation or context is
supplied at the moment. This is particularly the case in the matter
of the franchise, and for the purpose of throwing light on the policy
of which the franchise enactments and the Netherlands Railway affairs
and other matters formed a portion, some explanation should be given
of President Kruger's own part and history in the period under

Mr. Kruger was elected President in 1882, and re-elected in 1888
without serious opposition, his one rival, General Joubert, receiving
an insignificant number of votes. The period for which he was now
elected proved to be one of unexpected, unexampled prosperity,
furnishing him with the means of completing plans which must have
seemed more or less visionary at their inception; but it was also a
period of considerable trial. The development of the Barberton
Goldfields was a revelation to the peasant mind of what the power of
gold is. The influx of prospectors was very considerable, the
increase of the revenue of the State appeared simply colossal; and no
sooner did the Boer rulers begin to realize the significance of the
Barberton boom than they were confronted with the incomparably
greater discoveries of the Witwatersrand. The President did not like
the Uitlanders. He made no concealment of the fact. He could never be
induced to listen to the petitions of that community, nor to do
anything in the way of roads and bridges in return for the very
heavy contributions which the little community sent to the Republic's
treasury. In those days he used to plead that the distance
was great, and the time required for coach-travelling was too
considerable; but the development of the Witwatersrand and the
growth of Johannesburg within thirty-two miles of the capital, while
disposing of the pretexts which held good in the case of Barberton,
found Mr. Kruger no more inclined to make the acquaintance of the
newcomers than he had been before. Notwithstanding that the law
prescribes that the President shall visit all the districts and towns
of the State at least once during the year, notwithstanding, also,
the proximity of Johannesburg, the President has only visited the
industrial capital of the Republic three times in nine years. The
first occasion was in the early days--a visit now remembered only as
the occasion of the banquet at which Mr. Cecil Rhodes, then one of
the pioneers of the Rand, in proposing the President's health,
appealed to him to make friends with the newcomers, and to extend the
privileges of the older residents to 'his young burghers--like
myself.' That was before Mr. Rhodes had secured his concession, and
long before the Charter was thought of.

There is an unreported incident which occurred a year or two later,
concerning the two strong men of Africa--it was a 'meeting' which
didn't take place, and only Mr. Rhodes can say how it might have
affected the future of South Africa had it come off. The latter
arrived by coach in Pretoria one Saturday morning, and, desiring to
see the President, asked Mr. Ewald Esselen to accompany him and
interpret for him. Mr. Rhodes, knowing the peculiar ways of Mr.
Kruger, waited at the gate a few yards from the house while Mr.
Esselen went in to inquire if the President would see him. Mr.
Kruger's reply was that he would see Mr. Rhodes on Monday. Mr.
Esselen urged that as Mr. Rhodes was obliged to leave on Sunday night
the reply was tantamount to a refusal. The President answered that
this was 'Nachtmaal' time and the town was full of his burghers, and
that he made it a rule, which he would violate for no one, to reserve
the Saturdays of the Nachtmaal week for his burghers so as to hear
what they had to say if any wished to speak to him, as his burghers
were more to him than anyone else in the world. 'I do no business on
Sunday,' he concluded, 'so Rhodes can wait or go!' Mr. Rhodes did not
wait. When he heard the answer he remarked to Mr. Esselen, 'The old
devil! I meant to work with him, but I'm not going on my knees to
him. I've got my concession however and he can do nothing.'

The second visit of Mr. Kruger to Johannesburg was the famous one of
1890, when the collapse of the share market and the apparent failure
of many of the mines left a thriftless and gambling community wholly
ruined and half starving, unable to bear the burden which the State
imposed, almost wholly unappreciative of the possibilities of the
Main Reef, and ignorant of what to do to create an industry and
restore prosperity. This, at least, the community did understand,
that they were horribly overtaxed; that those things which might be
their salvation, and are necessary conditions for industrial
prosperity--railways, cheap living, consistent and fair
government--were not theirs. The President visited Johannesburg with
the object of giving the assurance that railways would be built. He
addressed a crowd of many thousands of people from a platform at the
Wanderers' Club pavilion. He did not conceal his suspicions of the
people, and his attempts to conceal his dislike were transparent and
instantly detected, the result being that there was no harmony
between his Honour and the people of Johannesburg. Later in the
evening the crowd, which had hourly become larger and more and more
excited and dissatisfied, surrounded the house which the President
was occupying, and, without desire to effect any violence, but by
simple pressure of numbers, swept in the railings and pillars which
enclosed the house. Most fortunately the Chief of Police had
withdrawn all the Boer members of the force, and the crowd, to their
surprise, were held back by Colonial, English, and Irish 'bobbies.'
This was probably the only thing that prevented a very serious
culmination. As it was, some excited individuals pulled down the
Transvaal flag from the Government buildings, tore it in shreds and
trampled it under foot. The incident should have been ignored under
the exceptionally trying conditions of the time, but the Government
determined to make much of it. Some arrests were effected, and men
thrown into prison. Bail was refused; in fact, 'martyrs' were made,
and the incident became indelibly stamped on the memory of both Boer
and Uitlander. The President vowed that he would never visit the
place again, and without doubt made use of his experience to
consolidate the feeling of his burghers against the Uitlanders.

At a meeting of burghers several months after this incident, he
referred to the agitation and constant complaining of the Uitlanders,
and stated that they had only themselves to thank for all their
troubles, and yet they would blame the Government. He then proceeded
to entertain his hearers with one of the inevitable illustrations
from life in the lower animal kingdom. 'They remind me,' said his
Honour, 'of the old baboon that is chained up in my yard. When he
burnt his tail in the Kaffir's fire the other day, he jumped round
and bit me, and that just after I had been feeding him.' For five
years Mr. Kruger was as good as his word. He would not even pass
through Johannesburg when convenience suggested his doing so, but
made circuits by road to avoid the place of detestation. It was on
one of these visits to Krugersdorp, a township within the
Witwatersrand Fields, twenty miles from Johannesburg, that the
President, appreciating the fact that besides his beloved burghers
there might, owing to the proximity of the fields, be some
unregenerate aliens present, commenced his address as follows:
'Burghers, friends, thieves, murderers, newcomers, and others.' This
was not ill-judged and laborious humour; it was said in absolute
earnest. The references were repeated at various intervals in the
address and here explained by allusions to the Scriptures and to the
all-merciful God through Whom even the worst might hope to be
redeemed, the inference clearly being that even the Uitlander, by the
grace of God (and, no doubt, Mr. Kruger), might hope in time to
approach the fitness of the burgher.

In the meantime another affair occurred, which revived much of the
old feeling expressed at the time of the flag affair. War was
declared against Malaboch, a native chief with a following of a few
hundreds, who had, it was alleged, refused to pay his taxes. Such
wars are of frequent occurrence in the Transvaal, the reasons
assigned being usually some failure to pay taxes or to submit to the
discipline of the native Commissioners. In this case British subjects
were commandeered--that is, requisitioned to fight or to find in
money or in kind some contribution to the carrying on of the war. It
was felt that the position of the Republic did not warrant at that
time a resort to commandeering, a measure which no doubt was
necessary in the early days when the Republic had no cash; but with a
declared surplus of about L1,000,000 in the Treasury, it was deemed
to be an uncivilized and wholly unnecessary measure, and one capable
of the grossest abuse, to permit men of inferior intelligence and
training, and of no education, such as the Field-cornets are, to
use their discretion in levying contributions upon individuals. The
Uitlanders were especially sensible of the injustice done to them.
They had been definitely refused all voice in the affairs of the
State, and they already contributed nine-tenths of the revenue. They
received in return an infinitesimal portion in the shape of civil
administration and public works, and they were distinctly not in
the humour to be placed at the mercy of Boer officials, who would
undoubtedly mulct them and spare the burghers. Protests were made;
and five of the men commandeered in Pretoria, having point-blank
refused to comply with the orders, were placed under arrest. The High
Commissioner, Sir Henry (now Lord) Loch, was appealed to, and, acting
on instructions from the Imperial Government, immediately proceeded
to Pretoria. The excitement was intense. In Johannesburg a number of
men were prepared to make a dash on Pretoria to effect the forcible
release of the prisoners, and had any steps been taken to enforce the
commandeering law within the Witwatersrand district, without doubt a
collision would have taken place. The supply of arms in the town was,
it is true, wholly inadequate for any resistance to the Boers, but in
the excitement of the time this was not considered.

Sir Henry Loch's visit had the effect of suspending all action; but
the opinion in Pretoria was that should the High Commissioner proceed
to Johannesburg there would be such an outburst of feeling that no
one could foresee the results. Every effort was made to prevent him
from going. Among other steps taken by the President was that of
sending over for the President of the Chamber of Mines, Mr. Lionel
Phillips, and requesting him, if he had the interests of the State
and the welfare of the community at heart, to use his influence to
dissuade the High Commissioner from visiting the town in its then
excited state. Sir Henry Loch, in deference to the opinion expressed
on all sides, agreed not to visit Johannesburg, but to receive
deputations from Johannesburg people at his hotel in Pretoria. The
High Commissioner's visit was successful. The Government agreed to
absolve British subjects from the operation of the Commando Law; but
the men who had been arrested and already sent under guard to the
front were allowed to proceed and receive their discharge at the
scene of war, and were compelled to find their own way back,
receiving no consideration or compensation for the treatment to which
they had been subjected. In this respect it is difficult to say that
Sir Henry Loch achieved all that might have been expected from him.
Possibly, to insist on more than he did would have left President
Kruger no alternative but to refuse at all risks. The Volksraad being
then in session, there may have been some diplomatic reasons for not
pressing matters too hard.

A trivial incident occurred which once more excited bad party
feeling. The High Commissioner was met at the railway-station by the
President in his carriage. The enthusiastic crowd of British subjects
shouldered aside the escorts provided by the Government, took the
horses from the carriage, and drew it down to the hotel. In the
course of the journey an individual mounted the box-seat of the
carriage with the Union Jack fastened on a bamboo, and in the
excitement of the moment allowed the folds of England's flag to
gather round the President. His Honour rose very excitedly and struck
at the flag with his walking-stick; but in blissful ignorance of what
was going on behind him the standard-bearer continued to flip his
Honour with the flag until the hotel was reached. There it was
understood that the President would leave the carriage with the High
Commissioner, and under this misapprehension those who had drawn
the carriage down left their posts and joined the cheering crowd
the carriage with neither horses nor men to move him, and there he
was obliged to wait until a number of burghers were called up,
who drew his Honour off to his own house. The affair was wholly
unpremeditated and almost unobserved at the time, but it was
unfortunately construed by the President as a deliberate insult,
and it increased, if possible, his dislike for the Uitlander.

The difficulty of dealing with a man of Mr. Kruger's nature and
training was further illustrated by another occurrence in these
negotiations. During a meeting between the President and the High
Commissioner in the presence of their respective staffs the former
became very excited and proceeded to speak his mind very openly to
his friends, referring freely to certain matters which it was
undesirable to mention in the presence of the British party. Mr.
Ewald Esselen, the late State Attorney, wrote in Dutch in a very
large round schoolboy hand, 'Be careful! There is an interpreter
present,' and handed the slip of paper to the President. The latter
stopped abruptly, looked at the slip of paper, first one way and then
another, and after a long pause threw it on the table saying, 'Ewald,
what does this mean? What do you _write_ things to me for? Why don't
you _speak_ so that one can understand?'

Early in 1895 efforts were made by the Dutch officials in
Johannesburg and a number of private individuals to induce the
President to visit the place again, when it was thought that a better
reception would be accorded him than that which he had experienced on
his visit in 1890. Mr. Kruger steadily refused for some time, but was
eventually persuaded to open in person the first agricultural show
held on the Witwatersrand. Every precaution was taken to insure him a
good welcome, or, at least, to avoid any of those signs which would
indicate that Johannesburg likes President Kruger no more than he
likes Johannesburg; and even those who were most conscious of the
President's malign influence did all in their power to make the visit
a success, believing themselves to be in duty bound to make any
effort, even at the sacrifice of personal sympathies and opinions, to
turn the current of feeling and to work for a peaceful settlement of
the difficulties which unfortunately seemed to be thickening all
round. The event passed off without a hitch. It would be too much to
say that great enthusiasm prevailed; but, at least, a respectful, and
at times even cordial, greeting was accorded to the President, and
his address in the agricultural show grounds was particularly well
received. The President returned to Pretoria that night and was asked
what he thought of the affair: 'Did he not consider it an _amende_
for what had happened five years before? And was he not convinced
from personal observation that the people of Johannesburg were loyal,
law-abiding, and respectful to the head of the Government under which
they lived?' Mr. Kruger's reply in the vernacular is unprintable; but
the polite equivalent is, 'Ugh! A pack of lick-spittles.' In spite of
a subsequent promulgation it seems clear that there is no 'forget and
forgive' in his Honour's attitude towards Johannesburg. The result of
this interview became known and naturally created a very bad

During his second term of office Mr. Kruger lost much of his personal
popularity and influence with the Boers, and incurred bitter
opposition on account of his policy of favouring members of his own
clique, of granting concessions, and of cultivating the Hollander
faction and allowing it to dominate the State.

Outside the Transvaal Mr. Kruger has the reputation of being free
from the taint of corruption from which so many of his colleagues
suffer. Yet within the Republic and among his own people one of the
gravest of the charges levelled against him is that by his example
and connivance he has made himself responsible for much of the
plundering that goes on. There are numbers of cases in which the
President's nearest relatives have been proved to be concerned in the
most flagrant jobs, only to be screened by his influence; such cases,
for instance, as that of the Vaal River Water Supply Concession, in
which Mr. Kruger's son-in-law 'hawked' about for the highest bid the
vote of the Executive Council on a matter which had not yet come
before it, and, moreover, sold and duly delivered the aforesaid vote.
There is the famous libel case in which Mr. Eugene Marais, the editor
of the Dutch paper _Land en Volk_, successfully sustained his
allegation that the President had defrauded the State by charging
heavy travelling expenses for a certain trip on which he was actually
the guest of the Cape Colonial Government.{12}

The party in opposition to President Kruger, with General Joubert at
its head, might, for purposes of nomenclature, be called the
Progressive Party. It was really led by Mr. Ewald Esselen, a
highly-educated South African, born in the Cape Colony of German
parentage, educated in Edinburgh, and practising as a barrister at
the Pretoria Bar. Mr. Esselen was a medical student at the time of
the Boer War of Independence, and having then as he still has
enthusiastic Boer sympathies, volunteered for medical service during
the war. He subsequently became attached to the President's staff,
and finally, on completing his legal education, was appointed Judge
of the High Court in the Transvaal. Relinquishing his seat on the
Bench after some years of honourable service he returned to the Bar,
and became an active factor in politics. Mr. Esselen, from being the
closest personal adherent of Mr. Kruger, became for a time his most
formidable opponent and his most dreaded critic. A campaign was
organized for the presidential election and feeling ran extremely
high. To such lengths, indeed, did the Boer partisans go that for
some months the possibility of a resort to arms for the settlement of
their differences was freely discussed by both parties. The election
took place in 1893, and at the same time elections of members for the
First Volksraad were in progress. Mr. Kruger made masterly use of his
position in office and of his authority over the officials appointed
during his _regime_, and for the time being he converted the Civil
Service of the country into an election organization. Not even the
enemies of the President will deny that he is both a practised
diplomat and a determined fighter. By his energy, intrigue, personal
influence, and intense determination, he not only compelled his party
to the highest effort, but to a large extent broke the spirit of the
opposition before the real struggle began. There are two stages in
the Presidential election at which a fight can under certain
circumstances be made. There were certainly two stages in this
election. The first is at the polls; the second is in the Volksraad,
when objections have to be lodged against candidates and a
commission of investigation appointed, and the steps necessary for
the installation of the new President have to be discussed. Mr.
Kruger and his party took ample precautions. It has been stated
openly and without contradiction, and is accepted in the Transvaal as
an unquestionable fact, that at least three properly elected members
of the Volksraad were 'jockeyed' out of their seats because they were
known to have leanings towards General Joubert. A number of his
supporters among the prominent officials of the Civil Service were
disfranchised by the action of President Kruger because they had
favoured his rival. In a country where the matters of Government
have been so loosely conducted it is no doubt fairly easy to find
flaws, and the President experienced no difficulty in establishing
sufficient case against General Joubert's supporters to satisfy the
persons appointed by him to investigate matters. On various pretexts
newly-elected members were debarred from taking their seats. In one
case, a strong supporter of General Joubert, who was returned by a
majority of something like six to one, was kept out of his seat
by the mere lodging of an objection by his opponent, the former
representative of the constituency; there being a provision in the
law that objections with regard to elections shall be heard by the
Volksraad, and that, pending the return of a new member, the member
last elected for the constituency shall continue to represent it.
That the objection lodged in this case was ridiculous in the extreme
had no bearing on the immediate result. The President, with admirable
gravity, said, 'The law provides that all objections must be heard by
the Volksraad, and that pending the decision the old member (a
strenuous supporter of his Honour) shall retain his seat; and before
all things we must support the law.' In the case of Mr. Esselen, who
was elected member for Potchefstroom, the most flagrant abuses were
proved to have been committed by the polling officer, the landdrost,
dead and absent men having (according to him) rolled up freely to
vote for the Krugerite candidate. Numbers of Mr. Esselen's supporters
were disqualified on various pretexts, and the voting being conducted
openly the moral suasion and close supervision of the official
(Krugerite) party were very effective. Mr. Esselen was declared to
have lost his seat by seven votes. Scrutinies were demanded and
objections lodged, but without avail. The tactics above indicated
were pursued in every case. The old Volksraad having been filled with
Mr. Kruger's creatures, it was, of course, his interest to support
the return of old members. He was thus enabled by the law above
quoted to retain an old member in the Volksraad pending the decision
in a case of dispute. Mr. Esselen's defeat was a crushing blow to the
Joubert party, as the want of a leader in the House itself completely
demoralized the General's followers. The election for President
proceeded, and General Joubert was, without any doubt whatever,
elected by a very considerable majority. The tactics already
described were again followed, and the result was announced as:
Kruger, 7,881; Joubert, 7,009. Objections were lodged by General
Joubert, but, deprived of the services of Mr. Esselen in the First
Raad, and overawed by the fierce determination of his opponent, the
General, finding himself in for a struggle, lost heart as usual and

The difference between the two men is remarkable. Mr. Kruger, to his
credit be it said, has not the remotest conception of the meaning of
fear, and would not know how to begin to give in. Mr. Joubert, 'Slim
(sly) Piet,' as he is called, possessing a considerable share of the
real Africander cunning, is yet no match for his rival in diplomacy,
and has none of his grit and courage. In later years this has been
proved a score of times, and it is, therefore, the more interesting
to recall that at the time of the annexation General Joubert refused
to compromise his principles by taking office under Shepstone, whilst
Mr. Kruger was not so staunch; and both before and during the war
General Joubert refused to accept less than what he considered to be
his rights, and steadily and frequently proclaimed his readiness to
fight whilst Mr. Kruger was diplomatizing.

The Commission appointed by the Raad to investigate matters was
constituted chiefly of Mr. Kruger's supporters, and the result was a
foregone conclusion. They confirmed the result of the election as
declared; and Mr. Kruger, with the grim humour which upon occasions
distinguishes him, seeing an opportunity for inexpensive magnanimity
which would gratify himself and be approved by everyone--except
the recipients--appointed the most prominent supporters of his rival
in the Volksraad to be the official deputation to welcome the new

The President did not neglect those who had stood by him in his hour
of need. Mr. Kock, landdrost and polling-officer of Potchefstroom,
who had deserved well of his patron, if for nothing more than the
overthrow of Mr. Esselen, was appointed member of the Executive to
fill a position created purposely for him. The membership of the
Executive is expressly defined by the Grondwet; but his Honour is not
trammelled by such considerations. He created the position of Minute
Keeper to the Executive with a handsome salary and a right to vote,
and bestowed this upon his worthy henchman.

The Executive Council thus constituted consisted of six members; and
here again the President contrived to kill two birds with one stone,
the expression of his gratitude being by no means unprofitable. After
so bitter a struggle and the resort to such extreme measures as he
had been obliged to use, he anticipated no little opposition even
within the inner circle, and, in any case, he as usual deemed it wise
to provide against all contingencies. Dr. Leyds' vote he knew he
could count on, the interests of the party which the State Secretary
represents being such that they are obliged to work with Mr. Kruger.
The appointment, therefore, of Mr. Kock gave his Honour one half of
the Executive, and the casting-vote which pertains to his office
turned the scale in his favour. Whatever, therefore, might be his
troubles with the Volksraad when, by process of justice, reform, or
death his adherents should be gradually removed from that Chamber,
his position was, humanly speaking, assured in the Executive Council
for the term of his office.

The opposition to Mr. Kock's appointment was extremely strong,
culminating in the formulation of charges of theft against him by Mr.
Eugene Marais, the spirited editor of the leading Dutch paper, _Land
en Volk_. The charge alleged against Mr. Kock was that during his
term of office as landdrost at Potchefstroom he had appropriated the
telegraph-wires in order to fence his own farm. Feeling ran so high
ordinary courts was not permitted, but a Special Commissioner, one
not qualified by legal experience or official position to preside in
such a case, was selected. By a positively ludicrous exercise of
discretion in the matter of admission of evidence Mr. Kock was
cleared. Mr. Marais, nothing daunted, continued his exposures,
challenging that action should be taken against himself for libel,
and finally producing photographs taken by competent witnesses
showing the _corpus delicti in situ_. The President and Mr. Kock were
not to be drawn, however, and, secure in their newly-acquired
positions, they declined the offer of battle and rested on their

For some time the Opposition, now called the Progressive Party, was
completely demoralized, and it was not until the following year that
individuals again endeavoured to give cohesion to the party. Appeals
were made by them to prominent individuals and firms associated with
the mining industry for financial support in the manner in which it
is contributed in England for electioneering purposes. A determined
and well-sustained effort was made to educate Boer opinion to better
things, and to bring such influence to bear on the electorate as
would result in the return of a better class of men to the Volksraad.
Newspapers conducted with this end in view were circulated throughout
the country, and when the elections for the Volksraad took place,
specially qualified agents were sent to ascertain the feeling of the
districts, and to work up an opposition to the existing methods of
Government. In every case endeavours were made to select a popular
resident within a district of more enlightened views and higher
character than his fellows. A good many thousand pounds were
contributed and expended for this purpose. Absolutely no stipulation
was made by the contributors to this fund, except that the aim should
be for honest and decent government. The funds were placed
unreservedly in the hands of well-known and highly respected men who
were themselves burghers of the State, and the Uitlanders laid
themselves out for one more effort to effect the reforms by peaceful
means and pressure from within the State. The elections came off and
were regarded as a triumph for the Progressive Party, which it was
alleged had secured some sixteen out of twenty-six seats in the First
Volksraad, and a similar majority in the Second. Hope revived and
confidence was restored among the Uitlanders, but old residents in
the country who knew the Boer character warned the alien community
not to expect too much, as it was a question yet to be decided how
many of those who were Progressives at the time of the election would
stand by their professions when brought face to face with the
President and his party in battle array.

The warning was too well warranted. The Volksraad so constituted was
the one which rejected with sullen incivility (to apply no harsher
term) the petition of 40,000 Uitlanders for some measure of franchise
reform. This Progressive Raad was also the one which passed the Bills
curtailing the liberty of the press, and prohibiting the holding of
public meetings and the organization of election committees, and
which distinguished itself by an attempt to wrest from the High Court
the decision of a matter still _sub judice_--the cyanide case.

In this case the mining industry had combined to test the validity of
certain patents.{13} In spite of attempts at reasonable compromise on
behalf of the mines, and these failing, in spite of every effort
made to expedite the hearing of the case, the question continued
to hang for some years, and in the meantime efforts were being
made during two successive sessions of the Volksraad to obtain
the passage of some measure which would practically secure to the
holders of the patents a monopoly for the use of cyanide, or an
indefeasible title to the patents, whether valid in law and properly
acquired or not. These attempts to evade the issue were in themselves
a disgrace to a civilized nation. Failing the obtaining of an
absolute monopoly, an endeavour was made to pass a law that all
patents held without dispute for a certain period should be
unassailable on any grounds. There was a thin attempt at disguising
the purpose of this measure, but so thin, that not even the
originators could keep up the pretence, and the struggle was
acknowledged to be one between the supporters of an independent
court of justice and honest government on the one side, and a party
of would-be concessionaires--one might say 'pirates'--on the
other. The judges made no secret of their intention to tender their
resignations should the measure pass; the President made no secret
of his desire that it should pass. His party voted as one man in
favour of it, and the coffee meetings on the Presidential stoep were
unanimously for it. The Raad was exactly divided on the measure,
and it was eventually lost by the casting-vote of the chairman. No
absolute harm was done, but the revelation of the shameful conditions
of affairs in a Raad of which so much good was expected did as
much as anything could do to destroy all hope. It was a painful
exhibition, and the sordid details which came to light, the
unblushing attempts to levy blackmail on those who were threatened
with pillage by would-be concessionaires, the shameless conduct of
Raad members fighting as hirelings to impose a fresh burden on their
own country, sickened the overburdened community.

The Bewaarplaatsen question also excited much discussion, but was not
a subject of such close interest to the Uitlander community as
others, for the reason that but few companies were directly
concerned. Bewaarplaatsen is a name given to areas granted for the
purpose of conservation of water, for depositing residues of crushed
ore, etc.--in fact, they are grants of the surface rights of certain
areas at a lower rate of license than that paid upon claim or mineral
areas. This variation in the licensed areas was a wholly unnecessary
complication of the gold law, the difference in cost being
inconsiderable, and the difference in title affording untold
possibilities of lawsuits. In some cases companies had taken out
originally the more expensive claim-licenses for ground the surface
only of which it was intended to use. They had been compelled, by
order of the Government, to convert these claims at a later period
into bewaarplaatsen. They were almost invariably situated on the
south side of the Witwatersrand Main Reef, for the reason that, as
the ground sloped to the south, the water was found there, the mills
would naturally be erected there, and the inclination of the ground
offered tempting facilities for the disposal of residues. After some
years of development on the Main Reef it became clear that the
banket beds, which were known to dip towards the south, became
gradually flatter at the lower levels, and, consequently, it was
clear that bodies of reef would be accessible vertically from
areas south of the reef which had formerly been regarded as quite
worthless as gold-bearing claims. The companies which owned these
bewaarplaatsen now contended that they should be allowed to convert
them into claims, as, by their enterprise, they had exploited
the upper levels and revealed the conditions which made the
bewaarplaatsen valuable. The companies had endeavoured to convert
these bewaarplaatsen into claims when they first discovered that
there was a possibility of their becoming valuable, and that at a
time when the areas themselves were of extremely little market
value to any except the holders of the surface rights. They were
unsuccessful in this through some lack of provision in the law,
and year after year the subject was fought out and postponed, the
disputed ground all the time becoming more and more valuable, and
consequently a greater prize for the concessionaire and pirate, and
a greater incentive to bribery on all hands, until it came to be
regarded by the worthy members of the Volksraad as something very
like a special dispensation of Providence, intended to provide
annuities for Volksraad members at the expense of the unfortunate
owners. After a particularly fierce struggle, the Volksraad went so
far as to decide that those companies which had been obliged to
convert their original claim-holdings into bewaarplaatsen should
be allowed to re-convert them to claims and to retain them. Even
this was only gained after the Minister of Mines had, on his own
responsibility, issued the claim licenses, and so forced the
Volksraad to face the issue of confirming or reversing his action!

In this matter the President again fought tooth and nail against the
industry, and most strenuous efforts were made by him and his party
to obtain a reversal of the decision, but without effect. This,
however, only disposed of a small portion of the ground at stake.
With regard to those areas which had never been held as claims, the
issue lay between two parties known respectively as the companies,
who were the surface-owners, and the applicants. The applicants,
according to the polite fiction, were those who, having no claim
superior to that of any other individual member of the public, had
happened to have priority in order of application. As a matter of
fact, they were Government officials, political supporters and
relatives of the President, financed and guided by two or three of
the professional concession-hunters and hangers-on of Mr. Kruger's
Government. Notwithstanding the existence of a law specifically
prohibiting Government servants from concerning themselves in other
business and speculations, the parties to this arrangement entered
into notarial contracts determining the apportionment of the plunder,
and undertaking to use their influence in every way with the
President and his party and with members of the Volksraad to secure
the granting of the rights in dispute to themselves. With them was
associated the originator and holder of another infamous monopoly,
and it was stated by him in the Chamber of Mines, that should they
fail to obtain these rights for themselves they were prepared to
co-operate with another party and force the Government to put them up
for public auction, so that at any rate the mines should not have
them. The object of this threat was to compel the mining companies to
come to terms with him and compromise matters.

One of the notarial contracts referred to has been made public, and
it contains the names of Mr. 'Koos' Smit, the Government Railway
Commissioner, and one of the highest officials in the State;
Landdrost Schutte, Chief Magistrate of Pretoria, and Mr. Hendrik
Schoeman, one of the most prominent commandants in the Transvaal and
a near relation of the President. Needless to say, all are members of
the Kruger family party, and were most prominent supporters of his
Honour at the time of the 1893 election. They claim that they were
definitely promised a concession for the bewaarplaatsen as a reward
for their services in this election. The precedent quoted on
behalf of the companies in support of their claim is that of the
brickmaker's license under the Gold Law. Brickmakers have privileges
under their license similar to those granted with bewaarplaatsen, but
in their case it is provided that should gold be discovered or be
believed to exist in the areas granted under their licenses, the
holder of the license shall have the right to convert his area into
Law. The companies urged that this reveals the intention of the law,
and that such a condition was omitted in connection with
bewaarplaatsen simply and solely through oversight, and because at
that time it never occurred to anyone to suppose that the
gold-bearing deposits would shelve off and be accessible at such
great distances from the outcrop as where the bewaarplaatsen are
located. The companies moreover pointed out that these areas were in
every case located in the middle of property held under mining
licenses, that they themselves owned the surface of the property and
therefore no one else could work on them, that the areas were in
themselves too small and too irregular in shape to be worked
independently of the surrounding ground, and that the granting of
them to others could not be justified by any right on the part of
applicants, and would merely be placing in their hands the means of
imposing on the owners of the surfaces and the adjacent claims an
excessive purchase price or the alternative of being blocked in the
development of their own ground. After the Second Raad had decided in
principle in favour of the surface-holders, action was taken by the
First Raad, and a change of front was effected by a measure
alteration, which hung the question up for another year. Everyone
realized that this was secured by the influence of the President in
the first place and by the pliability of Raad members in the second,
on the ground that the matter was too profitable to them personally
to be disposed of until it became absolutely compulsory.{14}

One of the first concessions granted by the Boer Government after the
restoration of the country to them was the liquor monopoly. Under
this grant a factory established within a few miles of Pretoria has
the sole right to distil spirits. Time and very considerable
experience are in all countries necessary for the manufacture of good
liquor, and the natural conditions are not more favourable to the
industry in the Transvaal than elsewhere, consequently the product is
not regarded with great favour. The enterprise, however, is a very
prosperous one, being dependent almost entirely upon the sale of
liquor to natives. For a number of years representations were made by
the Chamber of Mines on behalf of the industry, by individuals and by
public petitions, with the object of controlling the liquor trade and
properly enforcing the laws which already existed. The following
terse summary of the evils resulting from this sale of liquor is
taken from the report of the Chamber of Mines for 1895. Unfortunately
the remarks apply equally well to-day:

There is, indeed, no doubt that one of the greatest difficulties with
which local employers have to deal is the question of the liquor
trade. In very many cases the liquor supplied to the natives is of
the vilest quality, quickly inflaming those who take it to madness,
and causing the faction fights which sometimes have fatal results,
and always lead to the, at any rate, temporary disablement of some of
the combatants, and the damaging of property. Accidents, too, are
often attributable to the effects of drink, and altogether, as stated
in the resolutions, a large percentage of the deaths among the
natives here is directly due to drink. In its bearing on the labour
question, drink also plays an important part. The shortness in the
supply, as compared with the demand for labour, has been accentuated
by it. Where possible more natives are kept in the compounds than are
actually required for the work to be done, to make allowance for
those who are disabled by drink.

The granting of licenses to liquor houses was carried to such an
extreme that at last the entire community rose against it, and the
expression of opinion was so strong that the Government was compelled
to make a show of deferring to it. Involved in the liquor question
was the matter of police, and arising out of this, again, was the
question of dealing with crime in general, including the gold and
amalgam stealing that was known to be carried on on a considerable
scale at the expense of the companies.

The Attorney-General, or State Attorney, as he is called in the
Transvaal, is the responsible head of the Law Department, and until
lately was the departmental head of the police. The gentleman then
occupying the position of State Attorney was peculiarly unfit--in the
midst of that world of unfitness--for the duties which he was
supposed to perform. He was removed from office, and after
considerable negotiation Mr. Esselen was prevailed upon at a great
monetary sacrifice to accept the position of State Attorney, he
stipulating that he should have a free hand in reorganizing the
detective and police forces. During the months in which Mr. Esselen
continued in office admirable reforms were introduced, and a very
appreciable influence was exercised on the condition of affairs in
Johannesburg. It is inadvisable to state explicitly the nature of the
objections which existed against some of the officials employed under
the former _regime_; it is sufficient that they were proved to be
participators in the offences which they were specially employed to
suppress. Mr. Esselen's first step was to appoint as chief detective
an officer borrowed from the Cape Colonial Government, Mr. Andrew
Trimble, who in a very little while showed that courage and honesty
of purpose could not only effect considerable reforms, but could
provoke the undisguised and fierce hostility of a very large section
of the community. The canteen keepers were up in arms; the illicit
gold buyers left no stone unturned; the hangers-on of the Government
lost no opportunity in their campaign against Mr. Esselen and his
subordinate and their reforms. The liveliest satisfaction however was
expressed by all those whose interest it was to have matters
conducted decently and honestly, and who had no interest in crime
except so far as its suppression was concerned. Representation was
secured for the Chamber of Mines upon one of the licensing bodies,
and here, too, a very appreciable result followed. During Mr.
Esselen's term of office all went well as far as the public were
concerned, but influences were soon at work to undermine the two
reforming officials. It was represented to the President that Mr.
Trimble had once been in the British army; that he was even then a
subject of the Queen, and entitled to a pension from the Cape
Government. The canteen interest on the goldfields, playing upon the
prejudices of the Boers, represented that this was unfitting the
dignity of the Republic. The President, who was too shrewd to be
caught with such chaff, was perfectly ready to support them for the
sake of the liquor interest, which for him constitutes a very useful
electioneering and political agency throughout the country. Mr.
Esselen was sent for, and it was represented to him by the President
that the employment of a British subject in such a responsible office
as that of chief detective was repugnant to the burghers. The reply
was that it was competent for the Executive to naturalize Mr. Trimble
at once and so remove the objection, the Government having power in
special cases to dispense with the conditions of the Naturalization
Law--a power frequently exercised in the case of their Hollander
friends. The President, in reply, stated that it could not be done,
and he appealed to Mr. Esselen to select a man of another
nationality--'a Frenchman, German, or even an American'--this last
being a concession wrung from him by Mr. Esselen's soothing
suggestion that the Chief of Police should be familiar with the
language of the criminal classes. The hitch was maintained for some
months, but finally the influences on the side of the President
became too strong, and when it became clear that the many months
of laborious work and self-sacrifice which had been given in the
interests of reform were to be nullified by the appointment of a
creature who would connive at every breach of the law, Mr. Esselen
decided to stand or fall by his subordinate, the result being a
triumph for the President.

In Mr. Esselen's place there was appointed as State Attorney Dr.
Coster, a Hollander, who however declined to have anything to do with
the organization of the police; and in Mr. Trimble's stead reappeared
the individual whom he had superseded and whose services had been
dispensed with.{15} The triumph of the back-door influences was again
complete and the blow was a very nasty one to the mining industry.

Small wonder that at about this time the Uitlander community stopped
all agitation, and that a mood of sullen opposition and discontent
took its place. Hope was absolutely dead as abuse after abuse and
scandal after scandal were showered upon them during the Session of
1895. Some of the acts of the Volksraad cut at the foundation of all
security. In the early days of the Republic the Volksraad members had
taken it upon themselves to reverse several of the decisions of the
High Court, and in one case where the Government was being sued for
the fulfilment of a contract the Volksraad had passed a resolution
absolving the Government from certain terms of the contract. The
decision of the Court, delivered by Chief Justice Kotze, was to the
effect that if the Volksraad should take a decision in conflict with
an existing law, that law became _ipso facto_ so far modified. In
another case (the Dom's case) a resolution was passed disabling the
aggrieved individual from taking action against the Government; in
another, where the responsibility of the Government for the
maintenance of roads had been indicated by a judgment for L1,000
damages, a law was passed in defiance of the conditions of the
Grondwet, which stipulates for a period of notice and publication for
proposed enactments, absolving the Government from all damages of
this nature.

More than once laws were passed with retroactive effect--truly one of
the grossest abuses possible for a civilized Government. But perhaps
the most startling case of all was that concerning the proclamation
of the farm Witfontein. This farm had been proclaimed a public
digging open for pegging on a certain hour of a certain day. An
unprecedented rush of peggers took place. The Government, fearing a
riot and ignoring their obvious duty in the matter of police
protection and the maintenance of order, issued an illegal notice
withdrawing the proclamation, and decided to give out the claims by
means of lottery. Numbers of prospectors pegged out claims
notwithstanding this, and the prospect of legal difficulties being
imminent the Government submitted a measure to the Volksraad, passed
also in defiance of Grondwet provisions, which was broadly to the
effect that all persons who considered that they had claims for
damages against the Government in regard to the farm Witfontein and
the proclamation thereof, had none, and that the Government was
absolved from all liability in this respect. This enactment was only
passed after several persons had signified their intention to sue the
Government. The Raad was in fact becoming familiar with the process
of tampering with the Grondwet and members appeared ready to act on
the dictates of their own sweet will without regard to consequences
or laws.

On several occasions the President and Executive had treated with
contempt the decisions of the High Court, and had practically and
publicly reversed them. There are many instances which it is not
necessary to quote but among the best-known and most instructive ones
are the two cases known as the 'Rachmann' and 'April' cases. Rachmann
was an Indian and a British subject, well educated, far better
educated indeed than the Boer of the country. In following a strayed
horse he had trespassed on the farm of one of the members of the
First Raad. He was arrested and charged with intent to steal, tried
by the owner's brother, who was a Field-cornet (district justice),
and sentenced to receive twenty-five lashes and to pay a fine, the
same sentence being meted out to his Hottentot servant who
accompanied him. Rachmann protested and noted an appeal, stating
(which was the fact) that it was not within the power of a
Field-cornet to inflict lashes, and at the same time he offered
security to the value of L40 pending the appeal. His protests were
disregarded and he was flogged. Not being a native in the sense in
which the law uses the term--_i.e._, a member of the aboriginal
races--he could plead that he was not within the jurisdiction of a
Field-cornet, and there is no doubt that the punishment was inflicted
with full knowledge of its illegality. Rachmann sued Mr. George
Meyer, the Field-cornet in question, in the Circuit Court and
obtained judgment and a considerable sum in damages, the presiding
judge, Dr. Jorissen, animadverting with severity upon the conduct of
the official. Meyer shortly afterwards obtained from Government the
amount of his pecuniary loss through the affair, the President
stating that he had acted in his official capacity and that they
should protect him.

The 'April' case was one in which an unfortunate native named April,
having worked for a number of years for a farmer on promise of
certain payment in cattle and having completed his term, applied for
payment and a permit to travel through the district. On some trivial
pretext this was refused him, his cattle were seized, and himself and
his wives and children forcibly retained in the service of the Boer.
He appealed to the nearest official, Field-cornet Prinsloo, who acted
in a particularly barbarous and unjustifiable manner, so that the
Chief Justice before whom the case was heard (when April having
enlisted the sympathy of some white people was enabled to make an
appeal) characterized Prinsloo's conduct as brutal in the extreme and
a flagrant abuse of power perpetrated with the aim of establishing
slavery. Judgment was given against Prinsloo with all costs. Within a
few days of this decision being arrived at the President addressing a
meeting of burghers publicly announced that the Government had
reimbursed Prinsloo, adding, 'Notwithstanding the judgment of the
High Court, we consider Prinsloo to have been right.'

Actions of this kind have a distinct and very evil influence upon the
supply of native labour. No attempt is made to supply the industry
with natives, or to protect the natives whilst on their way to and
from the mines. The position became so bad that the Chamber of Mines
instituted a department with a highly-paid official at its head to
organize supply. It would inadequately describe the position to say
that the Government have rendered the Chamber of Mines no assistance.
Indeed, it appears as though the officials in the country had of set
purpose hindered in every way possible the work so necessary to
the working of the industry on profitable lines. Agencies were
established in all the neighbouring territories. Some of the tribes
declined to work in the Transvaal on account of the risks of
highway-robbery and personal violence which they ran _en route_.
In one case an effort was made by certain mine-owners to meet the
difficulty by importing a whole tribe--men, women, and children--from
Basutoland and locating them upon an adjacent farm. There is however
a law known as the Plakkerswet, or Squatters' Law, which, framed
with that peculiar cunning for which the Transvaal Government
have achieved a reputation, has the appearance of aiming at the
improvement of the native labour supply whilst in effect it does the
opposite. It provides that not more than five families may reside
upon one farm, the 'family' being an adult male with or without women
and children. Ostensibly the law purports to prevent the squatting
together of natives in large numbers and in idleness. As a matter of
fact however the law is not applied in the cases of Boer farmers.
From the President downwards the Boers own farms on which hundreds
of families are allowed to remain, paying their hut-taxes and
contributing largely to the prosperity of the land-owner. In the case
of the Uitlander however there seems to be a principle at stake, as
the mine-owners above referred to found to their cost. No sooner had
they located their tribe and provided them with all the conditions
necessary to comfort than an official came down to them, Plakkerswet
in hand, and removed all except the five allowed by law and
distributed them among his friends and relations. The experiment has
not been repeated.

Early in 1894 the Chamber of Mines received assurances from the
Government that if they would prepare a Pass Law which would include
provisions for the protection of natives, for the regulation of
their relations with employers, and for their right to travel within
the country, the Government would give their support to the measure
and would endeavour to have it adopted by the Volksraad. The
Commissioner for Native Affairs, General Joubert, admitted his
inability to deal with so complex an affair, and gratefully accepted
the aid of the Chamber. Such a concession on the part of the
Government was regarded as highly satisfactory; the law was prepared,
everything was explained and agreed to, the support of the Government
was promised to the draft law, and it was anticipated that it would
come into force during the Session of 1894. Such was not the case. It
remained pigeon-holed throughout 1894 and 1895, and in the last days
of the latter Session the law was passed; but an important omission
occurred. The Government forgot to create the department to carry out
the law, so that by the end of 1895 the men were no nearer having a
workable law than ever. But reforms when introduced by the Transvaal
Government, are not usually without an object, although not
necessarily the declared one. An opportunity was here presented to
the President to recognize past services, and he appointed to an
office which required the highest intelligence experience character
and zeal an individual who had been implicated in two disgraceful
charges and who, having failed to clear himself had been dismissed
his office by the Boer Government not two years previously. There was
but one explanation forthcoming. The individual in question was a
political supporter of the President and brother of a member of the
Executive Council. No department has yet been created; but a chief
has been appointed at a good salary, and the Pass Law has been
proclaimed in one district of the Witwatersrand out of several; so
that a measure which was designed to effect an immense saving in
expense and convenience to the mining industry was by the appointment
of an improper man and the neglect to organize a department rendered
quite useless, and by partial promulgation it was made even

It has been aptly said of the Boers--and the present instance
illustrates the truth of the remark--that reform with them seems to
be impossible; because, in the first place, they do not know what to
do; in the second place, if they did, they have not got the men to do
it; and, in the third place, if they had the men, they show no
conception of a duty higher than that of utilizing every opportunity
for personal advantage.{17} To the uninitiated it may well be a
puzzle that President Kruger should encourage a system aiming so
directly at the strangling of an industry which is the mainstay of
the country; but in order to appreciate his motives it is necessary
to see things from his point of view. He and his party are not
desirous of cheapening the cost of production. He does not aim at
enabling the ever-increasing alien population to work lower-grade
mines, and so double or treble the number of immigrants, even though
it should profit the revenue of the country. A proposal was once made
to proclaim as a public field the town lands of Pretoria--that is to
say, to enable the public to prospect, and if results warranted,
to open up mines on the lands--some thousands of acres in
extent--surrounding the town. The President attended the debate in
the Second Raad and violently opposed the measure. The appeal at the
end of his address is perhaps as instructive as anything Mr. Kruger
has said. 'Stop and think what you are doing,' he exclaimed, 'before
you throw fresh fields open. Look at Johannesburg. See what a trouble
and expense it is to us. We have enough gold and enough gold-seekers
in the country already. For all you know there may be another
Witwatersrand at your very feet.'

In January, 1891, the average wage for native labourers was L2 2s.
per head per month. In 1893 it had risen to L2 18s. 10d., in 1895 to
L3 3s. 6d. In other South African States wages rule from 15s. to 30s.
per month, and the failure to facilitate the introduction of natives
from outside and to protect them is largely responsible for the high
figures paid on the Rand. Unquestionably the ill-will of the Boer
Government is to blame for the consistent neglect of this growing
need of the mines. If decent protection and facilities were given,
the wage could be reduced to L1 15s. per month. The Government has it
in its power to give the mines labour at this price, but, as a matter
of fact, there is no desire to see the lower-grade mines working. A
reduction of L1 a month--that is, to L2 3s. 6d.--would mean an
annual saving of L650,000, and the main reason why nothing has been
done to obtain this reduction is that President Kruger holds that the
gold fields are already big enough and that their further extension
would be a calamity.

Early in 1895 considerable suspicion and uneasiness were
aroused by indications of the growth of the German policy. The
commercial section of the community was disturbed by reports of
secret arrangements favouring German importers. Facilities were
given, and 'through rates' quoted from Hamburg to Johannesburg at a
reduction which appeared to be greater than any economies in sea
transport, coupled with the complete elimination of agency charges,
would warrant. The formal opening of the Delagoa Bay Railway by the
President furnished him with an opportunity to express with
significant emphasis his friendliness for all things German. At a
banquet given in honour of the German Emperor's birthday, January 27,
1895, the President, after eulogizing the old Emperor William, the
present Emperor, and the loyalty of the Germans in the Transvaal,

The latter I experienced once again at the time of the Kaffir War.
One day three or four Germans came to me and said: 'We are indeed not
naturalized, and are still subjects of our Emperor in Germany, but we
enjoy the advantages of this country, and are ready to defend it in
accordance with its laws. If your Excellency requires our services,
we are willing to march out.' And they marched. That is the spirit
which I admire. They were under the laws, they worked under the laws,
they obeyed the laws, and they fell in war under the laws. All my
subjects are not so minded. The English, for instance, although they
behave themselves properly and are loyal to the State, always fall
back upon England when it suits their purpose. Therefore I shall ever
promote the interests of Germany, though it be but with the resources
of a child, such as my land is considered. This child is now being
trodden upon by one great Power, and the natural consequence is that
it seeks protection from another. The time has come to knit ties of
the closest friendship between Germany and the South African
Republic--ties such as are natural between father and child.

The very considerable increase in the number of Germans, and the
positive statement that a great many men of military training were
coming out for service in the Transvaal, that officers were being
employed to work up the artillery and to design forts, all tended to
increase the feeling of intense dissatisfaction and uneasiness which
culminated in the outbreak at the close of the year. Dr. Leyds, it
was well known, went on a political mission to Lisbon and to Berlin,
and it was stated that large sums had been withdrawn from the
Treasury and charged to the secret service fund, the handling
of which was entrusted to this gentleman. Dr. Leyds' personal
popularity, never very great, was at the lowest possible ebb. He was
regarded as the incarnation of Hollanderism--the 'head and front' of
that detested influence. It was not credited to him in the Transvaal,
as it has been elsewhere, that he designed or prompted the policy
against the Uitlanders. There it is fully appreciated that there is
but one man in it, and that man President Kruger. Dr. Leyds and
others may be and are clever and willing tools. They may lend acidity
or offensiveness to a hostile despatch, they may add a twist or two
to a tortuous policy, but the policy is President Kruger's own, the
methods are his own, all but the minor details. Much as the
Hollander-German clique may profit by their alliance with Mr. Kruger,
it is not to be believed that he is deceived. He regards them as
handy instruments and ready agents. If they profit by the
association, they do so at the expense of the accursed Uitlander; but
there is no intention on Mr. Kruger's part to allow Germany or
Holland to secure a permanent hold over the Republic, any more than
he would allow England to increase hers. He has played off one
against another with consummate skill.

Early in his official career Dr. Leyds was guilty of an indiscretion
such as few would have suspected him of. Shortly after his
appointment as Attorney-General he wrote to a friend in Holland,
giving his opinion of the Members of the Executive. His judgment was
sound; except of one man. Unfortunately for Dr. Leyds, he quarrelled
with his correspondent; and the letter was of such a nature that,
when published, it made extremely unpleasant reading. Generals
Joubert and Smit, who had been described with admirable truth and
candour, were so enraged that they demanded the instant dismissal of
the 'conceited young popinjay' who had dared to criticise his
masters. The President, however, who had been described as an
ignorant, narrow-minded, pig-headed, and irascible old Boer
whom--with the others thrown in--the writer could play with and twist
round his finger as he chose, was not disturbed by the criticism. In
reply to appeals for forgiveness on the score of youth, and in spite
of the opposition of his colleagues, President Kruger agreed to
retain Dr. Leyds in office, remarking that he was a capable young
fellow and would know better in course of time, and explaining to
him personally that he would keep him there just as long as it suited
his (the President's) convenience. The association has lasted for ten
years, so it is to be presumed that Dr. Leyds has changed his opinion
of President Kruger, and frankly realized his position.

During the early part of 1896, when the question of the release on
bail of the reform prisoners seemed to be of some moment, a
well-known Pretoria man, friendly to the Government, called upon
President Kruger and urged the advisability of allowing the prisoners
out on bail, and with considerable lack of tact explained that it was
well known that the President's humane nature inclined him to be
lenient, but that the malign influence of others was believed to be
swaying him in this matter. The old President jumped up in a huff and
said, 'Ja, ja, ja! You always say it is somebody else! First, it was
Jorissen who did everything; then it was Nellmapius; and then it was
Leyds. Well, Jorissen is done for; Nellmapius is dead; Leyds is in
Europe--who is it now?'

The President's opinion of himself may be commended as food for
reflection to those who think they know everything about the inner
workings of the Transvaal.

Dr. Leyds' reputation, unfavourable as it had been, was not improved
by the Selati Railway exposure. Rightly or wrongly, in this matter,
as in the jobs of the Netherlands Railway and several others of
considerable magnitude, he has been held responsible in the public
mind for the financial loss which the Republic sustained. When he
left, ostensibly on a recruiting trip, few--very few--believed that
the illness was a physical one. It is alleged that a gentleman
on President Faure's staff, on hearing that Dr. Leyds had gone
to Berlin to consult a physician, inquired what the ailment was?
'Mal de gorge,' was the reply. 'Ah,' said the officer, 'mal de
gorge--diplomatique.' And that was the opinion in the Transvaal,
albeit differently expressed.

It is impossible within the limits of this volume nor is it at all
necessary to review all the measures which have been passed by the
Volksraad and pressed by the Government unnecessarily burdening the
Uitlanders and unjustifiably assailing their rights; such for
instance as the Election Law, which made it a crime to form
Committees or do any of those things which are regarded everywhere as
part of the legitimate business of elections--thus leaving Mr. Kruger
the sole master of electioneering machinery, namely, the Government
officials. The Public Meetings Act was another monstrous infringement
of rights. By it a policeman has the right to disperse any gathering
of more than seven persons, if in his opinion it be desirable.
Imagine it! Liberty of Speech against the Discretion of a Transvaal
policeman! But the list would be long, and the tale monotonous. And
as long and equally monotonous would be the list of the measures
proposed or threatened, but fortunately not carried. However, the
review of the period prior to 1896, and the statement of the causes
leading to the outbreak, may fitly be brought to a close by the
recital of some of the measures under both the above headings which
grace the records of the Session of 1895.

As is well known, the Grondwet (the written constitution of the
country) prescribes certain formalities for the introduction of new
laws. In order to evade the law, and so avoid hostile criticism of
proposed measures, in order, in fact, to prevent the public and even
the Volksraad members from knowing and studying or explaining and
digesting the intended legislation, it has become the practice of the
Government to propose and rush through the most radical and important
enactments in the form of amendments or explanations of existing
laws. Prior to 1895 the Transfer Law imposed a tax of 4 per cent.
upon the purchase-price of fixed property; and in the case of sales
for shares a valuation of the property was made by the Government
district officials, and transfer duty was paid on the amount of the
valuation. This was universally done in the case of claims, which
must of necessity in most instances be transferred several times
before they become registered in the name of the company eventually
working them. It was admitted that to pay 4 per cent. of full value
on every transfer, or to pay 4 per cent. on the nominal value of
ground on which years of work would have to be done and large sums of
money expended before shareholders could reap one pennyworth of
profit would be iniquitous. In 1895, however, the Raad thought
otherwise, and amended the law by the insertion of the words 'in cash
or shares' after the words 'purchase-price.' The result is, that
owners who have acquired claims at great cost, who have paid licenses
continuously on their claims, and who have paid full transfer duty on
each nominal change of ownership, necessary to consolidation into
workable blocks or groups, are now required to pay again in cash 4
per cent. on the total capital allotted in respect of these claims in
the company formed to work them. Members of the Raad, in supporting
this measure, did not hesitate to argue that it was a good law,
because the burghers did not sell their farms for shares, but for
cash, and it was right to tax those people who deal in shares.

The sense of insecurity which obtains during the Sessions of the Raad
is due scarcely less to the threats which are not fulfilled and
attempts which do not succeed, than to what is actually compassed. A
direct tax on gold has more than once been threatened; concessions
for cyanide, jam, bread, biscuits, and woollen fabrics were all
attempted. The revival of an obsolete provision by which the
Government can claim a royalty on the gold from 'mynpachts,' or
mining leases, has been promised, and it is almost as much expected
as it is dreaded.

With a monotony which is wearying, but which does not diminish the
unfortunate Uitlanders' interest in the subject, the burden of every
measure falls on the alien. One more instance will suffice. It
illustrates the Hollander-Boer genius for fulfilling the letter and
breaking the spirit of a covenant. It was notified that Government
were about to introduce a war tax, and that this tax was to be one of
L20 per farm, to be levied in event of war if in the opinion of the
Government it should be necessary. Much surprise was felt that
anything so unfavourable to the Boers as a tax on farms should be
proposed. When the measure came on for discussion it was found to
contain provisions exempting the owner who personally resided on his
farm, and especially and definitely taxing those farms which are
owned by companies, associations, corporations, or partnerships. The
Boer, it is well known, takes no shares in companies, joins no
associations, and has partnership with no one. This law was shelved
in 1895, but has since been passed.{18} It is of a piece with the
rest. Having sold his farm to the Uitlander, the Boer now proceeds
to plunder him: and 'plunder' is not too strong a word when it is
realized that the tax falls, not on the really valuable farms of the
high veld, which are nearly all owned by individuals, and are all
occupied, but on the undeveloped outlying farms, the rentable value
of which would not on the average suffice to pay the tax! Indeed, one
very large land-owner stated to the Government at the time, that if
this law were passed and put in force, they might take all his
rentals good and bad in lieu of the tax, as it would pay him better!

These were matters which more immediately concerned persons of
certain means. There is another matter, however, which very directly
concerned every individual who had any intention of remaining in the
country; that is, the matter of education. A dead set had always been
made by the Transvaal Government against any encouragement of liberal
education which would involve the use or even recognition of the
English language. Indeed, some of the legislators have been known to
express the opinion that education was not by any means desirable, as
it taught the rising generation to look with contempt on the hardy
Voortrekkers; and an interesting debate is on record, in which
members pointedly opposed the granting of facilities for the
education of their own women-kind, on the ground that presently the
women would be found reading books and newspapers instead of doing
their work, and would soon get to know more than their fathers,
husbands, and brothers, and would, as a consequence, quickly get out
of hand. It did not seem to occur to these worthy gentlemen that the
proper course would be to educate the men. But it would not be fair
to take this view as the representative one. On the point of the
English language, however, and the refusal to give any facilities for
the education of Uitlander children, the Boer legislature is
practically unanimous. The appalling consequences of allowing the
young population to grow up in absolute ignorance were realized by
the people of Johannesburg, and efforts were constantly made to
induce the Government to recognize the evil that was growing in the
State. The efforts were so entirely unsuccessful that the Uitlanders
found in this as in other cases that nothing would be done unless
they did it for themselves. A fund was opened, to which very liberal
donations were made. The services of a Director-General were secured,
and an Educational Council was elected. A comprehensive scheme of
education--in the first place for the Rand district, but intended to
be extended ultimately for the benefit of the whole of the Uitlander
population in the Transvaal--was devised, and it was calculated that
in the course of a few years a fund of close upon half a million of
money would be required, and would be raised, in order to place
educational facilities within the reach of the people. Needless to
say, this did not at all square with the policy of the Transvaal
Government, and the scheme was looked upon with the utmost disfavour.
In order to defeat it, the Superintendent-General of Education, Dr.
Mansvelt, a Hollander, who for six years had degraded his high office
to the level of a political engine, felt himself called upon to do
something--something to trail the red herring across the too hot
scent; and he intimated that more liberal measures would be
introduced during the Session of 1895, and in his report proposed
certain amendments to the existing law, which would (in appearance,
but, alas! not in fact) improve the condition of the Uitlander. The
following letter appearing in the London _Times_, on October 3, 1896,
although dealing with a period some months later than that under
review, explains the position with authority and clearness--a
position which has not been materially altered, except for the worse,
during Dr. Mansvelt's _regime_. It will be noted that the last-named
gentleman coupled with his 'liberal' provisions the suggestion that
all schools, except those of the State, should be suppressed. Such a
suggestion reveals very clearly the aim of this 'Reform' measure.


I trust you will allow me a little space with a view to enable me to
correct, by the application of a little wholesome fact, the erroneous
impression which has been created in England with reference to the
education of Uitlanders in the Transvaal by recent crude and
ill-considered expressions of opinion, notably by Mr. Reginald
Statham and Mr. Chamberlain.

Mr. ----, in a letter addressed to one of your contemporaries,
informed the British public that in view of a liberal Government
grant of L4 per head per annum, the Transvaal Uitlander had nothing
to complain of in respect to education. As Mr. ---- claims to be
completely informed on Transvaal politics, he can only have been
guilty of a deliberate, if not malicious _suppressio veri_ when he
omitted to say that, like most of the legislation of this country,
which has for its ostensible object the amelioration of the condition
of the Uitlander, this measure, which looks like munificence at first
sight, has been rendered practically inoperative by the conditions
which hedge it round. Take, for example, a school of 100 children.
Strike out ten as being under age, ten as having been too short a
time at school, twenty as suspected of being of Dutch parentage. Out
of the sixty that remain suppose fifty satisfy the inspector in the
Dutch language and history, and you have as your allowance for the
year L200--a sum which is insufficient to pay the Dutch teacher
employed to bring the children up to the required standard in that
language. It is small wonder, then, that most teachers prefer to
dispense with this Will-o'-the-wisp grant altogether, seeing that the
efforts of some to earn it have resulted in pecuniary loss. The
actual sum expended on Uitlander schools last year amounted to L650,
or 1s. 10d. a head out of a total expenditure for education of
L63,000, the expenditure per Dutch child amounting to L8 6s. 1d.

Mr. Chamberlain considers the new educational law for Johannesburg as
a subject for gratulation. I should have thought that his recent
dealings with Pretoria would have suggested to him as a statesman
that felicitations upon the passing of a vague and absolutely
undefined measure might possibly be a little too premature. A
Volksraad, which only rejected the forcible closing of private
schools by a majority of two votes, is hardly likely to give the
Executive _carte blanche_ to deal with Uitlander education without
some understanding, tacit or declared, as to how this power is to be
wielded. Be that as it may, nearly two months have elapsed since the
passing of a measure which was to come into operation at once, and
nothing has been done. In the meantime, we can learn from the
inspired press and other sources that English schools which desire
aid under the new law must be prepared to give instruction in
Standard V. and upwards, and entirely in the Dutch language. So far,
the Superintendent of Education, whether acting under instructions or
on his own initiative, has been absolutely immovable on this point,
and the much-vaunted law promises to be as much a dead letter as the
1s. 10d. grant. The Johannesburg Council of Education has exerted its
influence to secure such an interpretation of the new law as would
lead to the establishment of schools where Dutch and English children
might sit side by side, and so work towards establishing a bond of
sympathy and the eventual blending of the races. The Pretoria
authorities however refuse to entertain the idea of meeting the
Uitlander in a conciliatory spirit on anything like equal terms, but
will only treat with us on the footing of master and servant. A
curious and almost inexplicable feature of the situation is the fact
that hundreds of Boers are clamouring for the better instruction of
their children in English, but which is steadfastly refused them.

I might enlarge on what I have written, and point out the injustice
and the gross system of extortion practised by the Government in
making Johannesburg pay something like L7 per head for the education
of Dutch children, whilst it has to pay from L5 to L15 per annum
for the education of each child of its own, meanwhile leaving
hundreds growing up in the blackest ignorance and crime. Any comment
would, however, lay me open to the charge of bias and partisanship,
and I therefore confine myself to the simple statement of a few
facts, which I challenge anyone to controvert, leaving the reader to
draw his own conclusions.

  I am, sir, yours, etc.,
            JOHN ROBINSON,
             _Director-General Johannesburg
             Educational Council._

Imagine it! L650 used for the children of those who contributed
nine-tenths of the L63,000 spent on education!

The succession of flagrant jobs, the revelation of abuses
unsuspected, the point-blank refusal to effect any reasonable reforms
had filled the Uitlanders' cup perilously full, and during the latter
half of 1895 the prospect of any change for the better, except at the
cost of fighting, was generally realized to be very poor indeed.

Trouble came to South Africa with the end of 1895. It very nearly
came earlier. Mention has been made that the Netherlands Railway
Company practically dictates the relations of the Transvaal with the
other States in South Africa by means of its tariffs. The competition
between the Cape, Natal and Delagoa lines having become very keen,
and the Cape service by superior management and easier gradients
having secured the largest share of the carrying trade, attempts were
made to effect a different division of profits. Negotiations failed
to bring the various parties to terms, and owing to the policy of the
Netherlands Railway Company, the Cape Colony and Free State, whose
interests were common, were in spirit very hostile to the Transvaal,
and bitterly resentful of the policy whereby a foreign corporation
was aided to profit enormously to the detriment of the sister South
African States. After all that the Colonial and Free State Dutch had
done for their Transvaal brethren in days of stress and adversity, it
was felt to be base ingratitude to hinder their trade and tax their

The Cape Colony-Free State line ends at the Vaal River. Thence all
goods are carried over the Netherlands Railway Company's section to
Johannesburg, a distance of about fifty miles. In order to handicap
the southern line, an excessive rate was imposed for carriage on this
section. Even at the present time the tariff is 8-1/2d. per ton per
mile, as against a rate of about 3d. with which the other two lines
are favoured. Notwithstanding this, however, and the obstructions
placed in the way by obnoxious regulations and deliberate blocking
of the line with loaded trucks at Vereeniging, and also the blocking
of Johannesburg stations by non-delivery of goods--measures which
resulted sometimes in a delay of months in delivery, and sometimes in
the destruction or loss of the goods--the Southern line more than
held its own. The block was overcome by off-loading goods at the Vaal
River and transporting them to Johannesburg by mule and ox waggons.

Mr. Kruger and his Hollander friends were almost beaten when the
President played his last card. He intimated his intention to close
the Vaal River drifts against over-sea goods, and, by thus preventing
the use of waggons, to force all traffic on to _his_ railways upon
_his_ terms; and as the threat did not bring the Colony and Free
State to the proper frame of mind, he closed them. This was a
flagrant breach of the London Convention, and as such it was reported
by the High Commissioner to Mr. Chamberlain, and imperial
intervention was asked. Mr. Chamberlain replied that it was a matter
most closely affecting the Colony, and he required, before dealing
with it, to have the assurance of the Colonial Government that, in
the event of war resulting, the cost of the campaign would be borne,
share and share alike, by the Imperial and Colonial Governments, and
that the latter would transport troops over their lines free of
charge. Such was the indignation in the Colony at the treatment
accorded it that the terms were at once agreed to--a truly
significant fact when it is realized that the Ministry undertaking
this responsibility had been put and was maintained in office by the
Dutch party, and included in its members the best and most pronounced
Africander representatives. But Mr. Kruger is not easily 'cornered.'
His unfailing instinct told him that business was meant when he
received Mr. Chamberlain's ultimatum to open the drifts. The
President 'climbed down' and opened them! He has several advantages
which other leaders of men have not, and among them is that of having
little or no pride. He will bluster and bluff and bully when
occasion seems to warrant it; but when his judgment warns him that
he has gone as far as he prudently can, he will alter his tactics as
promptly and dispassionately as one changes one's coat to suit the
varying conditions of the weather. Mr. Kruger climbed down! It did
not worry him, nor did he take shame that he had failed. He climbed
down, as he had done before in the Stellaland affair, the Banjailand
trek, the commandeering incident, and as he no doubt will do in
others; for he may bluff hard, but it will take a great deal to make
him fight. There is one matter upon which Mr. Kruger's judgment is
perfect: he can judge the 'breaking strain' to a nicety. He climbs
down, but he is not beaten; for as surely as the dammed stream will
seek its outlet, so surely will the old Dutchman pursue his settled

War is war, and always bad; but sometimes worse; for the cause is
still a mighty factor, as those may see who contrast the probable
effects upon the people of South Africa of war on the drifts question
with the actual results of the Jameson raid.

Footnotes for Chapter II

{04} Among the first notes which poor Colley--brave, wise, generous,
and unlucky--wrote after taking office, was one containing these
words: 'Whether I ... shall find that South Africa is to me, as it is
said to be in general, "the grave of all good reputations," remains
to be seen.'

{05} See Appendix A for the full text of the Pretoria Convention.

{06} In February, 1898, he was elected for the fourth time.

{07} For full text of London Convention, see Appendix B. (July,
1899). A very extensive correspondence has passed on the subject of
the suzerainty. The Transvaal Government now construe the omission of
the Preamble to the 1881 Convention as the result of an agreement to
abolish the suzerainty. Mr. Chamberlain points out that the London
Convention contains specific and not implied amendments of the
Pretoria Convention; that the direct request for abolition of the
suzerainty was refused by Lord Derby; that the preamble as the
fundamental declaration must be deemed to be in force; and that if
not, the same reason which is adduced against the continued existence
of the suzerainty would hold good against the independence of the
Transvaal, for in the preamble of the 1881 Convention alone is any
mention made of either the grant or the reservation.

{08} Written August, 1896.

{09} To those who are not familiar with the conditions of the
country, it will seem incredible that the legislative body could be
'fooled' on such a subject. The extracts from the newspaper reports
of the Raad's proceedings, printed in Appendix D of this volume, will
help them to understand and believe.

{10} The above has been brought up to date for publication,
July, 1899.

{11} Except on the goldfields, where the appointments are made
by Government.

{12} For Volksraad records on this subject see Appendix C.

{13} The decision of the High Court was given in November, 1896, in
favour of the combined companies on all points, and the patents were
thus declared to be invalid!

{14} During the session of '96 the Volksraad decided to put the
bewaarplaatsen up for public auction, the proceeds of the sale to be
divided equally between the Government and the original owners of the
farms on which the bewaarplaatsen had been granted. The _alleged_
reason for this decision is that the areas in question are immensely
valuable, and the State and the owners should profit by them, whilst
the companies should be afforded an opportunity of acquiring them at
a fair price. The _real_ reason is that the companies had refused
to be blackmailed further; and the 'defence' funds not being
forthcoming, the gentlemen of the back-stairs had introduced the
ingenious arrangement safeguarding the original owners' rights,
having previously 'arranged' with the same owners. The excuse that
the areas are too valuable to be given away to the companies is as
illogical and ridiculous as the excuse that the Uitlanders are too
numerous to justify the granting of the franchise now. When the
questions were first raised there were neither great values nor large
numbers in existence. They were questions of principle and justice;
and the fact that 'values' and 'numbers' have grown during the years
of struggle in no way justifies the course taken, but rather shows
very clearly the magnitude of the injustice done during the years of
unjustifiable denial.

This decision shows with admirable clearness how the Uitlander fares
at the hands of the Government. There were, in the last stage of the
affair, four parties concerned: the Government, who are by law
expressly debarred from selling claims (except in case of overdue
licenses), and are obliged to allot them for the consideration of
specified license fees only; the owners of the farms, who are
similarly debarred and are compensated in other ways for the throwing
open of their farms; the 'applicants,' who have been described
elsewhere; and the surface-owners, the mining companies, who were in
possession. Only one of these parties had the slenderest claim to
compensation--namely, the companies, who must inevitably be disturbed
in the possession of the surface by allowing others to work on or
under it. But they get nothing; whilst the Government and the 'owner'
(both of whom had years before derived the fullest profit allowed by
law from these areas in the form of licenses), and the 'applicants'
(who have allied themselves with the 'owners'), divide as
compensation the proceeds of the auction!

{15} (July, 1899.) This individual has been again removed--this
time by the present State Attorney, Mr. Smuts.

{16} (July, 1899.) Provision was made for the costs of this
department by doubling the pass fee. In the early days of
Johannesburg as soon as it became evident that hospital accommodation
was necessary, application was made to the Government for a site
(which was granted on the hill then outside the town), and for some
monetary assistance. A fund was also publicly subscribed and the
hospital built. For the maintenance of the hospital two plans were
adopted: one, the collection of funds once a year, _i.e._, Hospital
Saturday, a source which has yielded steadily between L2,000 and
L3,000; two, having in view the immense number of native cases which
required treatment and the extent to which a native is responsible
for unsanitary conditions, it was proposed to impose upon them a fee
of 1s. per month for their passes, the proceeds of this to be devoted
entirely to the hospital. For several years this continued to yield
sufficient for the purpose. The Transvaal Government, although
accepting the plan proposed by the Uitlanders and for a considerable
time carrying it out faithfully, did not establish the right
permanently but adopted the formality of voting the proceeds of the
pass-fee year by year. There came a year when the Raad in its wisdom
decided that this source of revenue was too precarious for so worthy
an object as the hospital, and they decided to vote instead an annual
subsidy of L30,000. It was then known that the fees of the past year
had amounted to over L40,000 and there was every prospect of steady
annual increase. This explains why a seemingly generous subsidy by
the Government does not meet with that hearty recognition to which it
is apparently entitled. When a Pass Department was proposed, the
Government inquired how it was suggested to maintain it. The Chamber
of Mines proposed to raise the pass fee from 1s. to 2s. per month,
the extra shilling to be devoted entirely to the administration of
the Pass Law. With the experience of the hospital shilling in mind
particular care was taken to have the agreement minuted and confirmed
in writing. Nevertheless, it transpired in the evidence given at the
Industrial Commission that the department was being run at a cost of
slightly over L12,000 a year, whilst the proceeds of the shilling
reached the respectable total of L150,000 a year. The Government,
therefore, by a breach of agreement, make L138,000 a year out of the
pass fund, and L120,000 a year out of the hospital fund; and the
mining industry suffers in the meantime through maladministration in
the department, and are doubly taxed in the sense that the companies
have been obliged to establish and maintain at their own cost other
hospitals all along the reef. It is not suggested that the companies
should not provide hospitals, the point is that having established a
fund, which although nominally paid by the natives really has to be
made up to them in wages, they were entitled to the benefit of that

{17} The story is told of two up-country Boers who applied to the

President for appointments, and received the reply, 'What _can_ I
do for you? All the important offices are filled, and you are not
educated enough to be clerks!'

{18} (July, 1899.) The law has been declared by the law officers
of the Crown to be a breach of the London Convention.



Having failed in their constitutional attempts to secure a reasonable
voice in the government, or any redress of their grievances, there
came the time when men's thoughts naturally turned to the last
expedient--force. Up to and so late as the Volksraad Session of 1895
a constitutional agitation for rights had been carried on by the
Transvaal National Union, a body representing the unenfranchised
portion of the population. Of its members but few belonged to the
class of wealthy mine and land owners: they had so far abstained from
taking any part in a political organization which was viewed with
dislike and suspicion by the Government and the great majority of the
Boers. It has been asserted by a few Progressive members of the Raad
that many of the Boers were themselves opposed to the policy adopted
towards the newcomers; but, whilst this may be to some extent true,
it is more than questionable whether any of the burghers were willing
to concede a share in the power of government, although it is certain
that great numbers would not have taken active steps against the
Uitlanders but for the invasion by a foreign force. Any extending of
the franchise means to the great majority of the Boers a
proportionate loss of independence.

When the matter of the Independence of the Republic is discussed it
must not be forgotten that independence conveys something to the
Boers which is radically different from what it means to anyone else.
That the State should continue for ever to be independent and
prosperous--a true republic--would be mockery heaped on injury if the
absolute domination by the Boer party should cease; and when the
parrot-like cry of 'The Independence of the State is threatened' is
raised again and again _a propos_ of the most trivial measures and
incidents, this idea is the one that prompts it. Instances
innumerable could be quoted seemingly illustrating the Boer
legislators' inability to distinguish between simple measures of
reform and justice, and measures aimed at undermining the State's
stability and independence. It is not stupidity! It is that the Boer
realizes at least one of the inevitable consequences of reform--that
the ignorant and incapable must go under. Reform is the death-knell
of his oligarchy, and therefore a danger to the independence of the
State--as he sees it. Until the European people who have lately
become so deeply concerned in Transvaal affairs realize how widely
divergent are the two interpretations of 'Independence,' they will
not have begun to understand the Transvaal Question.

The National Union did not represent any particular class in the
Uitlander community. It was formed of men drawn from all classes who
felt that the conditions of life were becoming intolerable, and that
something would have to be done by the community to bring about
reforms which the legislature showed no signs of voluntarily

When it is said that it consisted of men drawn from all classes, the
qualification should be made that the richer classes, that is to say,
the capitalists of the country, were very meagrely if at all
represented. Many efforts had been made to enlist the sympathies of
the capitalists, and to draw them into the movement, but the 'big
firms,' as they were styled, for a very long time refused to take any
part whatever, preferring to abstain entirely rather than associate
themselves with a definite agitation. They pleaded, and no doubt
fairly, that in case of failure they with their vested interests
would be the ones to suffer, while in the event of success they would
not benefit in a greater degree than the individuals who had little
or no material stake. One by one however they were drawn into the
political movement to the extent of supplying funds for carrying on
the reform agitation, or of giving monetary support to those who were
stimulating and organizing the Progressive party among the Boers.
There can be no doubt that prior to 1895 the wealthier men without
exception refused to consider the possibility of violent measures.
It was only when they realized that the Boer party were determinedly
hostile--organizing very large encroachments upon the privileges of
the Uitlanders and designing fresh burdens to be borne by them--and
when it became clear that the dangers threatening as a result of
their own supine attitude were worse than any disfavour with which
they might be viewed on account of political action, that they began
to take an active part with others in the agitation for reform. It
was not until the Volksraad in the Session of 1895 revealed their
real policy and their fixed determination to effect no reform that
men began to talk of the possibility of revolutionary measures
becoming necessary. The subject once mooted was frequently discussed,
and once discussed became familiar; and the thing which a few months
before had been regarded as out of the bounds of possibility came to
be looked upon as a very probable contingency. The extraordinary boom
in shares, land, and all kinds of property, which lasted throughout
the year, no doubt operated against the maturing of this feeling, but
it nevertheless continued to grow. The most dissatisfied section of
the Rand was, naturally enough, that one which included the South
African Uitlander. These men, born in South Africa, or having spent
the best years of their lives there, felt extremely bitter against
the Boer Government, and were moved by feelings which were not in any
way connected with considerations of material gain. With them were
closely associated men of all nationalities who had determined to
make their homes in the Transvaal, and these formed the class which
has been disparagingly referred to as 'the political element,' but
which the experience of every country shows to be the backbone of a
nation. They were in fact the men who meant to have a hand in the
future of South Africa. After them came the much larger class whose
interest in the reforms was based mainly upon the fact that they
suffered from the abuses and over-taxation of the Government.

For several years a very strong feeling against the capitalists had
ruled in Johannesburg. Men who thoroughly knew the Boer had
prophesied and continued throughout to prophesy that absolutely
nothing would be done to improve the conditions, and that the
capitalists might as well throw in their lot with the general public
early in the day as be forced to do so later, after spending their
thousands in fruitless efforts for reform, and after committing
themselves to a policy which would be regarded as selfish,
pusillanimous, and foolish. The moneyed men no doubt occupied a very
prominent and powerful position. They were constantly besought by
the Reform leaders to side with them; they were looked to by the
Progressive Party in the Boer camp to aid reform by peaceful measures
only, to exercise all their influence towards preventing rash or
violent measures being taken by the more excited party, and to trust
to time and patience to achieve those results which they were all
honestly desirous of bringing about; and they were approached, as has
been stated, by the President and his party when moments of danger
arrived, and when it was felt that their influence could be used
towards the preservation of peace,--as witness the Loch incident.

'It is no crime to be a capitalist,' said one commentator on the late
events, and neither is it necessary to attribute to this section of
the community motives of patriotism to justify their association with
the Reform movement. It is not intended to suggest that the men who
did associate themselves eventually with it were not moved by any
higher consideration than that of protecting their interests--in many
cases a far larger view than this was taken; but it may be
asked,--assuming that the capitalists were not moved by higher
considerations,--What is there in their position which should debar
them from endeavouring to introduce the reforms which would benefit
them only equally with every other honest man in the community?

Most of the wealthy houses in the Transvaal are either offshoots of
or have supporting connections with firms in England or on the
Continent. Between them and their principals much correspondence had
taken place on the political situation. As far as these houses were
concerned, it was impossible for them to enter upon any movement
without the consent of their European associates. For this reason the
Reform movement, as it eventually took place, has in some ways
the appearance of and has very frequently been stigmatized as an
organization planned and promoted outside the Transvaal. The fact is
that Mr. Alfred Beit, of the firm of Wernher, Beit and Co., London,
and Mr. Cecil Rhodes, managing director of the Consolidated
Goldfields, may be regarded as the chiefs to whom the ultimate
decision as to whether it was necessary from the capitalistic point
of view to resort to extreme measures was necessarily left. Each of
these gentlemen controls in person and through his business
associates many millions of money invested in the Transvaal; each of
them was, of course, a heavy sufferer under the existing conditions
affecting the mining industry, and each, as a business man, must
have been desirous of reform in the administration. Mr. Beit acted
in concert with Mr. Lionel Phillips, of H. Eckstein and Co., the
Johannesburg representatives of Wernher, Beit and Co. Mr. Rhodes was
represented by his brother, Colonel Francis Rhodes, and Mr. J.H.
Hammond, of the Consolidated Goldfields Company in Johannesburg. Mr.
George Farrar, another very large mine-owner, who joined a little
later than the others, with the gentlemen above named, may be
considered to have represented the capitalist element in the earlier
stages of the Reform movement. The other elements were represented by
Mr. Charles Leonard, the chairman of the National Union, and one or
two other prominent members of that body.

It is impossible to say with whom the idea of the movement, including
the arrangement with Dr. Jameson, originated. Perhaps it germinated
when Dr. Jameson read the life of Clive! Probably it was the result
of discussion, and no one man's idea. At any rate arms and ammunition
were purchased, and arrangements were made by which they should be
smuggled into the country concealed in machinery or gold-mining
appliances. During the month of November Messrs. Leonard and Phillips
went to Capetown to see Mr. Rhodes, in order to assure themselves
finally as to the course which was to be pursued. The position of Mr.
Rhodes in the matter was recognised by them to be a difficult one.
Whilst as the managing director of the Consolidated Goldfields he
had as much right as any other man interested in the Transvaal
would have to concern himself in a movement of this nature, his right
to act in his capacity of managing director of the Chartered Company
would depend entirely on the nature of the part which he professed
to play; but his position as Prime Minister of the Colony made the
already difficult position much more complicated. Realizing this,
Messrs. Leonard and Phillips acting on behalf of the others
determined to have a perfectly clear understanding and to ascertain
from Mr. Rhodes definitely what were his objects in associating
himself with the movement. The matter was discussed at Mr. Rhodes'
house, and the report given by the two deputies to their colleagues
on their return was that Mr. Rhodes frankly admitted that he had two
objects in view: one was to obtain an amelioration of the conditions
such as he was entitled to claim as representing an enormous amount
of capital invested in the Transvaal; the other object is best
described by Mr. Leonard. 'We read to him,' said that gentleman when
reporting to his comrades the result of his visit, 'the draft of our
declaration of rights. He was leaning against the mantelpiece smoking
a cigarette, and when it came to that part of the document in which
we refer to Free Trade in South African products he turned round
suddenly, and said: "That is what I want. That is all I ask of you.
The rest will come in time. We must have a beginning, and that will
be the beginning. If you people get your rights, the Customs Union,
Railway Convention, and other things will all come in time." He then
added that we must take our own time about this movement, and that he
would keep Jameson on the frontier as long as it was necessary as a
moral support, and also to come to our assistance should we get
ourselves into a tight place. We asked him how he hoped to recoup
himself for his share of the expense in keeping Jameson's force on
the border, which should be borne by us jointly. He said that seeing
the extent of his interests in the country, he would be amply repaid
by the improvement in the conditions which it was intended to

It has since been suggested that the object of the movement was to
'steal the country' and to annex it to Rhodesia, in order to
rehabilitate the Chartered Company. The suggestion is too ludicrous
for serious discussion. It must be obvious to anyone that the
persons most concerned in the movement, and whose interests lay in
the Rand, would be the very last to consent to any such scheme. There
appears to be no conceivable basis upon which such an arrangement
could have been entered into, and it is quite clear that no sensible
business man having interests in a rich country in a comparatively
advanced state of development would consent to share that certainty
with a new country such as Rhodesia, the value of which, however
promising, has still to be proved. Notwithstanding the ludicrous
nature of the charge, it is quite certain that the Boers have a
deep-rooted conviction of its truth.

The arrangements with Dr. Jameson were made with him in person.
During the month of September he visited Johannesburg, and it was
then agreed that he should maintain a force of some 1,500 mounted men
fully equipped, a number of Maxims, and some field artillery; that he
was, in addition to this, to have with him 1,500 spare rifles and a
quantity of spare ammunition; and that about 5,000 rifles, three
Maxim guns, and 1,000,000 rounds of ammunition were to be smuggled
into Johannesburg. It was calculated that in the town itself there
would be, perhaps, 1,000 rifles privately owned. Thus, in the event
of a junction of forces being effected, Johannesburg would be able to
command about 9,000 armed men, with a fair equipment of machine-guns
and cannon. Nor was this all, for on the original plan it was
intended to seize the fort and magazines at Pretoria. And
circumstances favoured the plans of the Johannesburg men. The
surrounding wall of the fort, a mere barrack, had been removed on one
side in order to effect some additions; there were only about 100 men
stationed there, and all except half a dozen could be counted on as
being asleep after 9 p.m. There never was a simpler sensational task
in the world than that of seizing the Pretoria fort--fifty men could
have done it. But there was more to be done than the mere taking. In
the fort there were known to be some 10,000 rifles, ten or twelve
field-pieces, and 12,000,000 rounds of small-arm ammunition; and it
was designed to seize the fort and the railway on the night of the
outbreak and, by means of one or two trains, to carry off as much of
the material as possible and destroy the rest.

Association with Dr. Jameson as the leader of an invading force is
the one portion of their programme which the Reform leaders find it
extremely difficult to justify. As long as the movement was confined
to the Uitlanders resident in the Transvaal the sympathy of South
Africa and indeed of the world was with them. It was the alliance
with the foreign invader which forfeited that sympathy. That the
eventual intention of the Reformers was only to call upon Dr. Jameson
in case they found themselves attacked by and unable to cope with the
Boers is a fact, but it is only fair to Dr. Jameson to note that this
was a modification of the original arrangement by which both forces
were to act simultaneously and in concert,--when the signal should be
given from Johannesburg.

On the occasion of Dr. Jameson's second visit to Johannesburg,
towards the end of November, the following letter of invitation was
written and handed to him:

_To Dr. Jameson._



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

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

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

It is under these circumstances that we feel constrained to call upon
you to come to our aid,{20} should a disturbance arise here. The
circumstances are so extreme that we cannot but believe that you and
the men under you will not fail to come to the rescue of people who
will be so situated. We guarantee any expense that may reasonably be
incurred by you in helping us, and ask you to believe that nothing
but the sternest necessity has prompted this appeal.


The letter was drafted by Mr. Charles Leonard, and was signed then by
four out of the five signatories, the fifth signature being added
some weeks later in Cape Town. It was not dated, and was to be used
only privately and in case of necessity for the purpose of excusing
Dr. Jameson to the directors of the Chartered Company and the
Imperial authorities in the course which it was intended to take.

Various plans were discussed, and even dates were provisionally
arranged. The first arrangement agreed to was that Dr. Jameson should
start two days before the intended outbreak in Johannesburg. This
was agreed to for the time being, but subsequent discussion convinced
the leaders that there were the gravest objections to such a course,
and it was therefore decided that Dr. Jameson should be notified
to start from his camp on the same night as the outbreak in
Johannesburg. The dates of December 28 and January 4 were in turn
provisionally decided upon, but the primary condition of these
arrangements was that under no circumstances should Dr. Jameson move
without receiving the word from the Johannesburg party.

With reference to the question of going out to meet Dr. Jameson or
giving him assistance, the only thing that was discussed was that an
officers' patrol should be sent out to meet him, to escort him to his
camp. There was no doubt entertained as to the ability of Dr. Jameson
and the force which it was believed he would command to come in
without assistance or the arrangement would never have been made. The
idea of the association with him was, of course, that he should
assist the Reformers--not they assist him; and the proposal regarding
the officers' patrol was one to which he only consented after
scouting the notion of any co-operation.

During the weeks which followed the conclusion of the arrangement
considerable dissatisfaction was felt at the very slow progress made
in obtaining arms. The number originally agreed to was deemed to be
sufficient but no more; and when it was first found that it would not
be possible to obtain this number but that a few hundreds less would
have to be accepted, doubts were freely expressed as to the wisdom of
proceeding until a sufficient supply had been obtained. When on two
subsequent occasions it was again notified that still a few hundred
less would have to be accepted, some members of the Reform Party were
very emphatic in their objections to proceeding any further until
they should be satisfied that the undertakings upon the strength of
which they had entered upon the arrangement would be faithfully
adhered to. On the occasion of Dr. Jameson's last visit it had been
extracted from him that instead of 1,500 men he would probably start
with from 800 to 1,000. These discrepancies and alterations caused
the liveliest dissatisfaction in the minds of those who realized
that they were entering upon a very serious undertaking; but although
the equipment seemed poor, reliance was always placed on the taking
of Pretoria Fort. That at any rate was a certainty, and it would
settle the whole thing without a blow; for Johannesburg would have
everything, and the Boers would have rifles, but neither ammunition
nor field-guns. Without doubt the Pretoria arsenal was the key of the
position, and it is admitted by Boer and alien alike that it lay
there unguarded, ready to be picked up, and that nothing in the world
could have saved it--except what did!

On or about December 19, Messrs. Woolls-Sampson and A. Bailey, two
Johannesburg men concerned in the movement, who had been in
communication with Mr. Rhodes and others in Cape Town, arrived in
Johannesburg, and indicated clearly that the question as to which
flag was to be raised was either deemed to be a relatively
unimportant one or one concerning which some of the parties had not
clearly and honestly expressed their intentions. In simple truth, it
appeared to be the case that Dr. Jameson either thought that the
Johannesburg reformers were quite indifferent on the subject of the
flag, or assumed that the provisions for the maintenance of the
Transvaal flag were merely talk, and that the Union Jack would be
hoisted at once. Nothing was further from the truth. The Reform Party
in Johannesburg included men to whom the Union Jack is as dear as
their own heart's blood, but it also included many others to whom
that flag does not appeal--men of other nationalities and other
associations and other sympathies. It included--perhaps the strongest
element of all--those men whose sympathies were naturally and most
strongly all for British rule, which they believed to be the best in
the world, but whose judgment showed them that to proclaim that rule
would be to defeat the very objects they honestly had in view, and
who would have regarded the change of flag at the last moment as an
unprincipled deception of those comrades who had been induced to
co-operate for reform and not for annexation. It had been repeatedly
and emphatically stated that the object was not to deprive the Boer
of his independence or the State of its autonomy, but to alter the
system of government in such a way as, first to obtain betterment of
the economic conditions which affect everyone, and afterwards to
induce a policy more in accordance with the general South African
sentiment--in fact to get the Transvaal into line with the other
South African States, in the same way for instance as the Free State
had shown itself disposed to go. It is but poor work explaining
failure, yet it must surely be permissible that something should
be said for those who alone have had no hearing yet. And it is in
the minds of the Reformers that the professions of their 'real
intentions' regarding the flag made by Dr. Jameson and Mr. Rhodes
might appropriately have been made before the raid, instead of
afterwards when all was over. The regard for definite pledges, which
in the Reformers was described as merely an excuse for backing out,
would, if it had been observed by all, have made a sickening fiasco

No sooner had a doubt been raised on the subject of the flag than a
trusted emissary was despatched to inquire from Mr. Rhodes the
meaning of this tampering with one of the fundamental conditions of
the agreement. The messenger returned on Christmas morning, and at a
largely-attended meeting of the ringleaders stated that he had seen
Mr. Rhodes, and had received from him the assurance that it was all
right about the flag: no question or doubt had been raised on the
subject. In returning to Capetown however in company with Dr.
Rutherfoord Harris, he learned from that gentleman that it was by no
means all right, and gathered that it was assumed that the provision
about maintaining the Transvaal flag was so much talk necessary to
secure the adhesion of some doubtful people. The announcement was
received with the gravest dissatisfaction. Several of the leading men
stated emphatically that nothing would induce them to take part in
the movement unless the original arrangement was loyally adhered to.
In consequence of this it was resolved to despatch Messrs. Charles
Leonard and F.H. Hamilton to see Mr. Rhodes and to obtain from him a
definite guarantee that in the event of their availing themselves of
Dr. Jameson's help under any conditions the latter would abide by the
arrangements agreed upon.

It was then thought that a week would be sufficient time in which to
clear up the flag question and complete preparations. It was
decided to call a big public meeting for the night of Monday, January
6, not with the intention of holding the meeting, but as a blind to
cover the simultaneous rising in Johannesburg and seizing of the
arsenal in Pretoria on the night of Saturday, January 4. With this in
mind it was arranged to publish, in the form of a manifesto,{21} the
address which Mr. Charles Leonard had prepared for the meeting.

Among the Reformers there had always been a considerable section who
regarded the alliance or arrangement with Dr. Jameson as a very
doubtful advantage. It was this section which strongly and
successfully opposed the suggestion that he should start before an
actual outbreak. The difference of opinion was not such as to cause
division in the ranks, but yet sufficient to keep alive discussion as
to how the common aim could be achieved without risk of the
complications which external aid in the initial stages would be sure
to cause. To this feeling of doubt was added a sense of distrust when
Dr. Jameson's importunity and impatience became known; and when the
question of the flag was raised there were few, if any, among those
concerned in the movement who did not feel that the tail was trying
to wag the dog. The feeling was so strong that many were prepared to
abandon the whole scheme and start _de novo_ rather than continue an
undertaking in which it looked as though they were being fooled.
Hence the despatch of Messrs. Leonard and Hamilton on Christmas Day.

Confidence in their power to control Dr. Jameson and direct the
movement, as they considered they had the right and ability to do,
had been so shaken in the reformers that as soon as Messrs. Leonard
and Hamilton had been sent they began to discuss a complete change of
plans, and awaited only the reply from Capetown before taking the
first steps in the prosecution of the new programme. The plan most
favoured was that the importation and distribution of arms should be
continued as speedily and as secretly as possible, that, instead of
an invading force, as many armed and trained men as could be obtained
should be brought in, nominally as mechanics or men seeking
employment on the mines, that the public meeting called for
January 6 should be held and made as large and demonstrative as
possible, and a demand made to the Volksraad to grant the redress of
the grievances complained of, and, failing reasonable concessions,
that they should rise in arms and at the same time appeal to England,
as the paramount Power, or to the other South African Governments,
to mediate and so avert civil war. It was believed, and with much
reason, that the Boers, knowing, as they then inevitably would, that
a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition had been smuggled in,
and knowing also that the sentiment of South Africa, including the
Free State, was all in favour of considerable concessions to the
Uitlanders, would have hesitated to take the initiative against
Johannesburg, and would either have yielded to the pressure of the
general South African opinion and have accepted the mediation of the
High Commissioner, or would have offered considerable reforms. The
Kruger party, it was well known, would proceed to any extreme rather
than concede anything to the Uitlanders; but at that time the
majority of the Boers were opposed to the Kruger policy of favouring
the Hollanders and Germans to the exclusion of all other Uitlanders,
and this majority would not have consented to measures calculated to
embroil them with the people who had made their country prosperous,
and even to imperil the very existence of the State, whilst an
alternative course so easy as the one presented lay open to them.

On the day following the despatch of Messrs. Leonard and Hamilton to
Capetown it was decided to send messengers to Dr. Jameson to
emphatically prohibit any movement on his part, also to explain to
him the position of affairs in Johannesburg with reference to the
flag, and above all to impress upon him the condition of
unpreparedness. Major Heany was sent by train via Kimberley, and in
order to facilitate his travelling a telegram was sent to Mr. Rhodes
in Capetown asking him to arrange for a special train, and
acquainting him with the purpose of the trip. Captain Holden was sent
on horseback across country to Pitsani. Both gentlemen carried the
most definite instructions to Dr. Jameson on no account to move. Both
gentlemen have since stated that they delivered the messages in
word and in spirit absolutely as they were given to them in
Johannesburg, and that they carried no private messages whatever from
any individual member of the Committee in any way conflicting with
the purport of the official message with which they were charged.

On the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday telegrams and messages were
received from Dr. Jameson, all revealing impatience and a desire if
not an intention to disregard the wishes of the Johannesburg people.
Replies were sent to him and to the Capetown agents protesting
against the tone adopted, urging him to desist from the endeavour to
rush the Johannesburg people as they were pushing matters on to the
best of their ability and hoped for a successful issue without
recourse to violent measures, and stating emphatically that the
decision must be left entirely in the hands of Johannesburg as
agreed, otherwise there would be certain disaster. Besides what would
be regarded as the official expressions and messages of the
Johannesburg people, several individual members of the party
telegraphed to Dr. Jameson informing him of the position and adding
their personal advice and testimony. The probability of achieving
success without firing a shot was referred to in the sense of a most
satisfactory prospect. It did not occur to any one among the
Johannesburg party that it was this prospect that moved Dr. Jameson
to start. That idea is of later birth.

On Sunday morning, at about ten o'clock, two telegrams of importance
were received. The first was from Messrs. Hamilton and Leonard, to
the following effect: 'We have received perfectly satisfactory
assurance from Cecil Rhodes, but a misunderstanding undoubtedly
exists elsewhere. In our opinion, continue preparations, but
carefully, and without any sort of hurry, as entirely fresh departure
will be necessary. In view of changed condition Jameson has been
advised accordingly.' Portions of this message were in code. It left
Capetown at 2.20 p.m. on Saturday, the 28th, and was received on
Sunday at about ten o'clock. The second telegram was one from Dr.
Jameson to his brother, Mr. S.W. Jameson, and had been despatched at
about the same time. It was in the Bedford-McNeil Code, and was much
mutilated--so much so that it was thought to have been purposely
done in the telegraph office in order to obscure the meaning. One
expression was clear, however, and that was: 'I shall start without
fail to-morrow night.' It concluded with the words: 'Inform Dr.
Wolff--distant cutting. He will understand.'

The words 'distant cutting' did not occur in any code-book. Dr.
Jameson states that they were words privately agreed upon between him
and Dr. Wolff. The telegram was shown to Dr. Wolff as soon as he
could be found, but he declared himself unable to throw any light
whatever upon it. It was however clear from the message that on
Saturday afternoon it had been Dr. Jameson's intention to disregard
the wishes of the Committee, and to start on Sunday night, and the
telegram impressed the recipients more than ever with the wisdom of
their action in sending the messengers to Capetown and to Pitsani to
insist upon no further steps being taken. It is of little consequence
what the words 'distant cutting' really meant, or whether they were,
or should have been, understood by any of the parties. Major Heany
and Captain Holden, it was known, could not have reached Dr. Jameson
at the time the message was despatched, and therefore no more
importance was attached to this than to the other impatient

It was assumed that, on receiving the emphatic messages sent through
Major Heany and Captain Holden, Dr. Jameson would realize the
seriousness of the position, and would, in fact, abide by the
arrangements made with him. Nor was this all. It was also clear that
the telegram of Mr. Rhodes to which it was inferred reference was
made in the concluding words of Messrs. Hamilton's and Leonard's
wire--'Jameson has been advised accordingly'--could not have reached
Dr. Jameson at the time his telegram to his brother was despatched.
It was part of the instructions to Messrs. Hamilton and Leonard that
any communications which they might desire to make to Dr. Jameson
should pass through Mr. Cecil Rhodes in order to ensure due regard
being paid to them. There was therefore no doubt in the minds of the
Johannesburg men that during Saturday afternoon--that is to say, more
than twenty-four hours before he proposed moving--he must have
received a wire forbidding him to move.

The facts here given were sufficient to warrant the belief that all
that was necessary had been done to prevent any movement. But more
reassuring than all precautions was the conviction that Dr. Jameson,
no matter how much he might 'bluff' in order to force immediate
action, would never be guilty of so gross a breach of faith as to
start in defiance of the wishes of the Johannesburg people. Extreme
dissatisfaction of course prevailed in the minds of a good many when
they learned of the efforts made by him to force their hands, and
this feeling was intensified by the report brought in by Dr. Wolff,
who had just returned from seeing Dr. Jameson at Pitsani. Dr. Wolff
had arrived at Pitsani on the previous Tuesday, and was then greeted
by Dr. Jameson with the remark that he had 'as nearly as possible
started for Pretoria last night.' It was felt that this might appear
to be a very fine and dashing thing for a party of men well armed and
trained and able to take care of themselves, but that it betrayed
great indifference to his pledges, as well as to the fate of his
associates, who as he knew perfectly well had not even the arms to
defend themselves from the consequences of any precipitate action on
his part, and who had moreover the responsibility for the control and
protection of unarmed Johannesburg.

The feeling among the Reformers on Sunday, the 29th, was one of
considerable relief at having found out in time the intention of
their reckless colleague, and at having taken the necessary steps to
control him. Secure in the belief that the messages from Capetown had
duly reached Dr. Jameson, and that either Major Heany or Captain
Holden had by that time also reached him, and that in the future the
management of their affairs would be left in their own hands, they
continued during Sunday and Monday, the 29th and 30th, to arrange
plans on the basis before indicated, awaiting in the meantime further
communications from Messrs. Hamilton and Leonard.

In the meanwhile it became generally known in Johannesburg that some
movement was afoot, and suppressed excitement and expectancy became
everywhere manifest. On Saturday, December 28, the President returned
from his annual tour through certain of the outlying districts. On
his journey he was met by a number of burghers at Bronkhorst
Spruit, the scene of the battle in the War of Independence, about
twenty miles from Pretoria. One of the burghers, an old Boer named
Hans Botha, who was the opponent of Mr. Woolls-Sampson in the 'duel'
at the battle of Zwartkoppies, in addressing the President, said that
he had heard that there was some talk of a rising in Johannesburg,
and added that although he had many bullets in him (It is stated that
he still has five!), he could find room for more if it was a question
of tackling the Britishers. The President replied that he had heard
of the threatened rising, and did not believe it: he could not say
what was likely to happen, but they must remember this--if they
wanted to kill a tortoise they must wait until he put his head out of
the shell.

In an interview with a representative of the press immediately after
this the President said that the position was full of gravity and
might lead to disagreeable consequences, especially to the mining
industry and commercial enterprise generally; but he was still
confident that common-sense would prevail in Johannesburg, and
expressed the conviction that the law-abiding portion of the
community, which included the greater part of the English and other
nationalities, would support all measures for the preservation of law
and order. He said that his endeavours hitherto to secure concessions
for the Uitlander population had been frustrated by the public
utterances and actions of irresponsible and unscrupulous agitators
whose methods had often a detrimental effect on the Volksraad and on
the burghers throughout the Republic. The first commotion created was
by the flag incident some years before (1890), which caused a great
shock to confidence; another sinister incident was the refusal of a
portion of the British community to serve their adopted country in
the Malaboch War, when the union of Boer and Briton against the
common enemy was nearly brought about. 'If wiser counsels
unfortunately should not prevail,' the President continued, 'then let
the storm arise, and the wind thereof will separate the chaff from
the grain. The Government will give every opportunity for free speech
and free ventilation of grievances, but it is fully prepared to put a
stop to any movement made for the upsetting of law and order.'

On the same day the President was interviewed by a deputation of
Americans from Johannesburg. They were men of the highest position
and influence in the community and were earnestly desirous of
securing reforms, but they were impressed with the idea that peaceful
means had not yet been exhausted and that the President and his
Executive would listen to reason if they were convinced that serious
consequences would follow the neglect to reform. The President
received them civilly, as he often does when he has a strong hand to
play: it is generally when his cards are poor that he gives way to
the paroxysms of rage and indulges in the personal abuse and violent
behaviour which have earned for him so unenviable a reputation. He
listened to all that had been advanced by the deputation, and then
said that 'it was no time to talk when danger was at hand. That was
the time for action.' The deputation represented to him that there
was no danger at hand unless the President by his own act
precipitated matters and caused the trouble himself, that matters
were completely in his hands, and that if he would deal with the
people in a liberal and statesmanlike way and grant the reforms which
were universally acknowledged to be necessary there would not be
anywhere in the world a more law-abiding and loyal community than
that of Johannesburg. The President answered merely by the question:
'If a crisis should occur, on which side shall I find the Americans?'
The answer was, 'On the side of liberty and good government.' The
President replied, 'You are all alike, tarred with the same brush;
you are British in your hearts.'

In reply to another deputation, representing a section of the
community which was not by any means at one with the reformers, but
the leading members of which still urged the necessity for reforms,
the President said, 'Either you are with me in the last extremity or
you are with the enemy; choose which course you will adopt. Call a
meeting to repudiate the Manifesto in its entirety, or there is final
rupture between us.' The gentlemen addressed declared emphatically
that on the Manifesto there could be no retreat. On that Johannesburg
was absolutely at one. The President replied, 'Then, I shall know how
to deal with Johannesburg,' and left the room.

The various business associations of Johannesburg and Pretoria
approached the President at different hours in these threatening
times, and did all that was possible to induce him to make reasonable
concessions. Although numbers of his followers and counsellors were
strongly in favour of doing something to avert the coming storm, the
President himself seemed inclined to fight until the last ditch was
reached rather than concede anything. In reply to the Mercantile
Association he said that he was quite willing to give the franchise,
but that it would be to those who were really worthy of it--those for
instance who rallied round the Government in this crisis and took
no part in the mischievous agitation and clamouring for so-called
reforms: all malcontents should be excluded. In fact he made it
perfectly plain that the franchise would be treated as a huge bribery
fund; and he himself was introducing the thin end of the wedge in
the suggestion made to the Association with a view to splitting
up the Reform Party in Johannesburg. He however added that the
special duties on food-stuffs would be immediately removed pending
confirmation by the Volksraad, that equal subsidies would be granted
to Dutch and English schools alike, and that the Netherlands Railway
Company would be approached with a view to having the tariffs
reduced. The effect of this was however slightly marred by the
concluding sentence in which he stated that 'as he had kept his
former promises, so he would do his best to keep this.'

In reply to a second deputation of Americans, the President in a
moment of irritation said that it was impossible to grant the
franchise to the Uitlander--American, British, or other; he would
lose his power if he did; the Government would no longer be his. A
member of the deputation said, 'Surely, if we take the oath of
allegiance, you will trust us?' The President hesitated for a moment,
and then said, 'This is no time to talk about these things; I can
promise you nothing.'

Footnotes for Chapter III

{19} The date of 20th December, 1895, was filled in by Dr. Jameson
when he decided to start and to publish the letter.

{20} When this letter was published by Dr. Jameson and cabled to
the London _Times_ the sense of it was very gravely--but doubtless
unintentionally--altered by terminating this sentence with the word
'aid' and carrying the remaining words into the next sentence.

(July, 1899.) At the Westminster inquiry it transpired that on
December 20 Mr. Rhodes instructed Dr. Harris to wire for a copy of
the letter. Dr. Jameson forwarded it after filling in that day's
date. On December 30, Dr. Harris, again acting on Mr. Rhodes'
instructions, telegraphed the letter to the _Times_, having altered
the date to 28th, and prefaced it with the statement that the letter
had been 'sent on Saturday (28) to Dr. Jameson, Mafeking.'

{21} See Appendix I. for the full text of Manifesto.



On Monday morning Mr. S.W. Jameson (a brother of Dr. Jameson, who,
although suffering acutely from rheumatic fever, insisted on taking
his share of the work and worry during the days that followed)
received a telegram addressed to Dr. Wolff, in his care. The latter
being away on Monday Mr. Jameson translated the telegram and showed
it at once to as many of his comrades as he could find. It was from
Dr. Jameson, despatched from Pitsani at 9.5 a.m. on Sunday, and ran
as follows: 'Meet me as arranged before you left on Tuesday night
which will enable us to decide which is best destination. Make
Advocate Leonard speak--make cutting to-night without fail.'

Every effort was made to find Dr. Wolff, but he--in common with
others--believing that there would be no move for a week, was away.
This telegram was, to say the least of it, disquieting. It showed, so
it was thought, that as late as Sunday morning Dr. Jameson could not
have received the countermands by Messrs. Heany and Holden, and it
indicated that it must have been a near thing stopping him before he
actually crossed the border. As a matter of fact Major Heany reached
Dr. Jameson at noon on Sunday; but Capt. Holden had arrived the night

Shortly after noon Mr. Abe Bailey received and showed to others a
telegram purporting to come from 'Godolphin,' Capetown, to the
following effect: 'The veterinary surgeon says the horses are now all
right; he started with them last night; will reach you on Wednesday;
he says he can back himself for seven hundred.' By the light of
subsequent events the telegram is easily interpreted, but as Mr.
Bailey said he could not even guess who 'Godolphin' might be, the
message remained a puzzle. That it had some reference to Dr. Jameson
was at once guessed, indeed Mr. Bailey would not have shown it to
others concerned in the movement did he not himself think so. The
importance and significance of the message entirely depended upon who
'Godolphin' was, and it afterwards transpired that the sender was Dr.
Rutherfoord Harris, who states that he took the first and safest
means of conveying the news that Dr. Jameson had actually started in
spite of all. Mysterious and unintelligible as it was the telegram
caused the greatest uneasiness among the few who saw it, for it
seemed to show that an unknown someone in Capetown was under the
impression that Dr. Jameson had started. The Reformers however still
rejected the idea that he would do anything so mad and preposterous,
and above all they were convinced that had he started they would not
be left to gather the fact from the ambiguous phrases of an unknown

All doubts however were set at rest when between four and half-past
four on Monday afternoon Mr. A.L. Lawley came hurriedly into the room
where several of the leaders were met, saying, 'It is all up, boys.
He has started in spite of everything. Read this!' and at the same
time throwing on the table the following telegram from Mafeking: 'The
contractor has started on the earthworks with seven hundred boys;
hopes to reach terminus on Wednesday.'

The Reformers realized perfectly well the full significance of Dr.
Jameson's action; they realized that even if he succeeded in reaching
Johannesburg, he, by taking the initiative, seriously impaired the
justice of the Uitlanders' cause--indeed, put them hopelessly in the
wrong. Apart from the moral or political aspects of the question
there was the fact that, either through mistake or by fatuous
impulse, Dr. Jameson had plunged them into a crisis for which as he
knew they were insufficiently provided and prepared, and at the same
time destroyed the one chance--the one certainty--on which they had
always counted for arms and ammunition; by starting first he knocked
out the foundation of the whole scheme--he made the taking of the
Pretoria arsenal impossible. For a few minutes it was hoped that
the chance of taking the arsenal still remained; but while discussion
was still proceeding and several of those present were protesting
that the news could not be true (among them Mr. S.W. Jameson, who
stoutly maintained that his brother would never start in defiance of
his pledges), authentic news of the invasion was received from the
Government offices; and this was supplemented a few minutes later by
the information that the Government had known it at an early hour in
the morning, and that Pretoria was then full of armed burghers. The
position then appeared fairly desperate.

It is worth noting that even when Dr. Jameson decided to start in
opposition to the Committee's wishes it was not deemed necessary to
treat them with the candour which they were entitled to expect from a
comrade. It is well known that Dr. Jameson never had 700 men, and
that he started with less than 500, and yet the Reformers were led to
understand from the telegrams above quoted that he was starting with
700, and not 800 as last promised. They were at first under the
impression that the 700 men did not include the Bechuanaland Border
Police who were to join him after starting, so that it was still
thought that he had over 800 men.

Before five o'clock messengers had been sent out in all directions to
call together those who had interested themselves in the movement, or
as many of them as possible, for several prominent men knowing only
of the steps taken to prevent any movement on the part of Dr.
Jameson, were not at hand. As many as possible however gathered
together, and it was decided to take instant steps to put the town in
a state of defence. In order that the subsequent actions and attitude
of the Reform Committee may be properly understood it is necessary to
explain somewhat fully the position of affairs on this Monday

As soon as it was realized that the news was beyond all doubt true
the bitterest censure was expressed upon Dr. Jameson's action, and it
was at first stated by many that either Dr. Jameson or Mr. Rhodes or
both had deliberately and for the furtherance of their personal aims
disregarded in treacherous and heartless fashion all their
agreements. Soon however a calmer view was taken, and a consideration
of all the circumstances induced the Reformers to believe that Dr.
Jameson had started in good faith, but under some misapprehension.
They recalled the various reports that had been in circulation in the
press about conflicts between the Boers and Uitlanders at the Simmer
and Jack and Jumpers mines, the reported arrest of Mr. Lionel
Phillips and the demand of L80,000 bail--rumours which had been
treated by those on the spot as too ridiculous to gain credence
anywhere, but which they nevertheless thought might have reached Dr.
Jameson in such guise as to induce him to take the step which he had
taken. It was assumed that the telegrams sent from Johannesburg and
Capetown to stop him had not reached him, and that Messrs. Heany and
Holden had also failed to catch him before he started. Opinions
however were still divided as to whether he had simply lost patience
and come in regardless of all consequences, or had been really misled
and had dashed in to the assistance of Johannesburg. The position was
at best one of horrible uncertainty, and divided as the Committee
were in their opinions as to his motive they could only give him the
benefit of the doubt and assume that there was behind his action no
personal aim and no deliberate disregard of his undertakings. In
order to realize the perplexity of the position it must be understood
that only the few who happened to meet on Sunday and Monday morning
knew of the telegrams which had passed during the previous
twenty-four hours, many did not know of them until Pretoria prison
gave them time to compare notes; to some they may be news even now.
There was no time to argue then!

Knowing the poorness of the equipment of Johannesburg and the
unpreparedness of the place and its inhabitants the more logical and
cold-blooded course would have been to repudiate Dr. Jameson
instantly and to have left him to his fate; but against this was
firstly, the fact publicly admitted that he had remained on the
border by arrangement with the leaders in order to help them should
the necessity arise; next, that if he gave heed to the reports which
were being circulated he might have thought that the necessity had
arisen; and finally, that the leaders had taken such steps in the
smuggling in of arms and the arming of men as would warrant the
Boers, and indeed anybody else, in associating them with Dr. Jameson,
so that they might confidently expect to be attacked as accomplices
before the true facts could become known. They realized quite well
that they had a big responsibility to the unarmed population of
Johannesburg, and it was with the object of fulfilling that
obligation that they decided to arm as many men as possible and to
fortify and defend the place if attacked, but, in view of the
impossibility of aggressive measures being successful, to take no
initiative against the Boers. It would in any case have been entirely
useless to suggest the repudiation of Dr. Jameson at that moment. The
Johannesburg people would never have listened to such a suggestion,
nor could anyone have been found to make it.

In view of the fact that the Reform Committee have been charged with
the crime of plunging the country into civil war with a miserable
equipment of less than 3,000 rifles, it is only fair to give some
heed to the conditions as they were at the time and to consider
whether any other course would have been practicable, and if
practicable, whether it would have been in the interests of any
considerable section of the community. To the Committee the course to
be taken seemed perfectly clear. They determined to defend and hold
the town. They threw off all disguise, got in all the arms they
possibly could, organized the various military corps, and made
arrangements for the maintenance of order in the town and on the
mines. Throughout Monday night all were engaged in getting in arms
and ammunition and doing all that could be done to enable the town to
hold its own against possible attack.

During Monday night the Reform Committee came into existence. Those
who had so far taken a prominent part in the agitation had been for
convenience utilizing Colonel Rhodes' office in the Consolidated
Goldfields Company's building. Many prominent men came forward
voluntarily to associate themselves with the movement, and as the
numbers increased and work had to be apportioned it became evident
that some organization would be necessary. Those who had already
taken part in the movement formed themselves into a committee, and
many other prominent men joined immediately. The movement being an
entirely public one it was open for anyone to join provided he
could secure the approval of the already elected members. The body so
constituted was then called the Reform Committee.

The following is the first notice of the Reform Committee as
published in the _Johannesburg Star_; and it indicates the position
taken up:

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

Telegrams were sent to the High Commissioner and to the Premier of
Cape Colony informing them that owing to the starting of Dr. Jameson
with an armed force into the Transvaal Johannesburg had been placed
in a position of extreme peril which they were utterly unprepared to
guard against, and urging the High Commissioner to proceed
immediately to Johannesburg in order to settle matters and prevent a
civil war.

Sub-committees were at once appointed, partly chosen from members of
the Reform Committee and partly from others who had interested
themselves in the movement and had come forward to take part but had
not actually joined the controlling body. The matters to be dealt
with were: The policing of the town; the control of the natives
thrown out of employment by the closing of the mines; the
arrangements for the defence of the town; the commissariat for the
men bearing arms and for others who were flocking into the town; the
providing for the women and children who had been brought in from the
mines and had neither food nor shelter. These matters were taken in
hand on Tuesday morning, and before nightfall some 2,000 men had been
supplied with arms; the Maxims had been brought in and placed in
position on the hills surrounding the town; various corps had been
formed; a commencement had been made in the throwing-up of earthworks
around the town; and food-supplies and such field equipment as could
be got together had been provided for the men. As regards the town,
the Government police having disappeared, it was necessary to take
energetic steps to prevent actual chaos reigning. Ex-Chief Detective
Trimble was appointed to organize a police force, and the work was
admirably done. Before nightfall the Reform Committee's police had
taken entire charge of the town, and from this time until the
withdrawal of the Committee's police after the laying down of arms,
perfect order was maintained--indeed, the town has never before or
since been so efficiently controlled as during this period.

Numbers of the mines stopped work. In some cases the miners remained
to protect the companies' property; in other cases the men came in
and volunteered to carry arms in defence of the town. One of the most
serious difficulties with which the Committee had to deal was that of
supplying arms. There were under 3,000 rifles, and during the few
days when the excitement was at its highest no less than 20,000 men
came forward as volunteers and demanded to be armed. Not unnaturally
a great deal of feeling was roused among these men against the
Committee on account of their inability to arm them. It was believed
for a long time that the Committee was wholly responsible for the
incursion by Dr. Jameson; that they had precipitated matters without
regard to the safety of the unarmed population, and had actually
courted civil war with a paltry equipment of some 3,000 rifles. For
several days a huge crowd surrounded the Committee's offices
clamouring for guns. It is difficult to say what the feeling would
have been and what would have been done had it been known then that
there were less than 3,000 rifles. Not more than a dozen men knew the
actual number, and they decided to take the responsibility of
withholding this information, for they realized that panic and riot
might ensue if it were known, whilst the only hope for a successful
issue now lay in Johannesburg presenting a bold, confident, and
united front.

All the well-known medical men in the town came forward at once, and
organized and equipped an ambulance corps which within the day was in
perfect working order.

Perhaps the most arduous task of all was that of the Commissariat
Department, who were called upon to supply at a few hours' notice the
men bearing arms in various positions outside the town and the
various depots within the town which were organized for the relief
of those who had flocked in unprovided for. It would have been
impossible, except in a community where the great majority of men had
been trained by the nature of their own business in the habit of
organization, to cope with the difficulties which here presented
themselves, and it is impossible to pay too high tribute to those who
organized the relief of the women and children from the surrounding
districts. Not less than 2,000 women and children were housed and fed
on Tuesday night; offices were taken possession of in different parts
of the town and converted into barracks, where sleeping accommodation
was provided under excellent sanitary conditions; and abundance of
food, as good as could be expected at an ordinary hotel, was supplied
to these people who had come in expecting to sleep in the streets.

In order to carry into effect the scheme of relief above referred to
it was found necessary to form what was called the Relief Committee.
A fund was opened to provide this Committee with the necessary means,
and members of the Reform Committee subscribed upwards of L80,000
within a few minutes of the opening of the lists.

The native liquor question also called for prompt and determined
handling. A deputation from the Committee called upon the Landdrost,
the official head of the Licensing Board, and requested the
co-operation of the Government in dealing with this matter, and an
order was obtained from him compulsorily closing the canteens until
further notice. Armed with this the officials appointed by the
Committee visited the various liquor-houses along the mines and gave
due notice, with the further warning that if any breach of the new
regulation took place it would be followed by the confiscation of the
entire stock of liquor. The measure generally had a very salutary
effect, but in the lowest quarters it was not sufficient. The
Committee had realized in the very beginning that nothing but the
removal of the liquor would prevent the Kaffir canteen-keepers from
supplying the natives with drink, and patrols were accordingly sent
out to seize the entire stock in those drinking-hells, to pay
compensation at value agreed upon, and to destroy the liquor. The
step was no doubt a high-handed one, and before it was taken notice
was given to the Government officials of the intention. The Committee
were warned that this action could not be authorized by Government,
as it was both high-handed and illegal, but they decided to take the
responsibility upon themselves. It is not too much to say that there
were fewer cases of drunkenness or violence reported during the
period of trouble than during any other fortnight in the history of
the place.

The following proclamation had been issued by the President at a very
late hour on Monday night in Pretoria, and was received in
Johannesburg on Tuesday morning:


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

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

The Government in Pretoria were no doubt perfectly well aware of all
that was going on; the Committee could not possibly observe any
secrecy, nor did it appear desirable, since the position taken up and
maintained by them to the end was that they were not responsible for
Dr. Jameson's incursion and were simply prepared to defend the town
against attack.

During the four or five days preceding this the evidences of
excitement in Johannesburg had been unmistakable, and on Saturday
the 28th, the day before Dr. Jameson started, several prominent
officials and two or three members of the Volksraad visited
Johannesburg from Pretoria and openly discussed the seriousness
of the position. At that time they were strongly of opinion that
the Government had brought the trouble on themselves by their
wrong-headed and corrupt action. The visitors were men who although
officially associated with the Government were not at all in sympathy
with the policy of the Krugerite party, and they were sincerely
anxious for a peaceful settlement and desirous of liberal reforms,
but their influence with the Government was nil. Unfortunately it has
always been the case that intelligent and upright men associated with
the Pretoria Government (and there are some as bright examples as can
be found in any country) never have, and never will have, any weight
with the party now dominating the State. Their services are not used
as they might be, and their counsels are not regarded as they should
be in times when they would be of value; in fact, it would seem that
they are only used when it appears to Mr. Kruger and his party that
they present opportunities for playing upon the credulity of the
Uitlanders with whose progressive notions they are known to be in
sympathy. It is unnecessary to say that these gentlemen do not
consciously take part in the deception which is practised, but it is
nevertheless a fact that whenever the Pretoria clique desire to trail
the red herring they do it by the employment in seeming good faith of
one or other of those gentlemen whose character and sympathies
entitle them to the respect and confidence of the Uitlander.

On Tuesday Mr. Eugene Marais, the editor of the leading Dutch paper
_Land en Volk_, a gentleman who has worked consistently and
honourably both for his people, the Transvaal Dutch, and for the
cause of pure and enlightened government, visited Johannesburg, being
convinced that there was serious trouble in store for the country
unless prompt and decisive steps were taken to remedy the conditions
under which the Rand community were suffering. No one in the country
has fought harder against the abuses which exist in Pretoria nor has
anyone risked more, nor yet is there a more loyal champion of the
Boer; and Mr. Marais, having on his own initiative investigated the
condition of affairs in Johannesburg and reported the result to some
of the leading members of the Government, telegraphed to a member
of the Committee on Tuesday morning beseeching that body to make a
strenuous effort to avert bloodshed, using the words, 'For God's
sake, let us meet and settle things like men!' and further stating
that he and Mr. Malan, son-in-law of General Joubert, were bringing
over a message from the Government, and that he hoped the Committee
would meet them in a reasonable spirit.

A full meeting of the Committee was at once called to receive the two
delegates. The meeting took place at 9 p.m. and lasted until 12 p.m.
on Tuesday night. Mr. Marais's evidence during the course of the
trial detailed the events which led up to this meeting. He stated
that in consequence of what he had observed in Johannesburg on Monday
and Tuesday he returned to Pretoria, convinced that unless something
was done by Government to relieve the position there would most
inevitably be a civil war. He reported the condition of things to
General Joubert, who deemed it of sufficient importance to have the
matter brought before the Executive. Messrs. Marais and Malan were
thereupon received by the Executive and authorized to meet the Reform
Committee on behalf of the Government. With reference to the now
famous 'olive branch' phrase, Mr. Marais states that the expression
was first used by a member of the Committee in Johannesburg on
Tuesday morning. The condition of things was being discussed and this
member commented severely upon the action of the Government. Mr.
Marais urged that things were not so bad as to justify a determined
attempt to provoke civil war, and stated that he believed that the
excitement prevailing would convince the Government that they had now
gone too far and that when they realized the seriousness of the
position they would be willing to make proper concessions, and he
said in conclusion that the people of Johannesburg, if they were as
good as their professions and desired reform and not revolution,
would even at the eleventh hour be willing to meet the Government.
The member of the Reform Committee replied that this was undoubtedly
the attitude of the Johannesburg people, but that it was
absolutely useless to keep on patiently waiting for the fulfilment of
promises which were only made to be broken; that if Johannesburg had
any evidence that the Government meant honestly by them they would of
course treat and endeavour to avert bloodshed; that the Uitlanders
had so far always offered the olive branch and sought to establish
harmony. That however was all over, and let the Government now take
the first steps if they were in earnest.

Mr. Marais reported the whole of this conversation to the Executive
Council and, upon his making use of the expression 'olive branch,'
the President exclaimed excitedly, 'What are they talking about? What
is an olive branch?' When this was explained to him he nodded and
said, 'Yes, that is what we will do,' and Mr. Wolmarans another
member of the Executive exclaimed, 'Go back to the Johannesburg
people and tell them that we have already offered the olive branch by
voluntarily withdrawing our police from the town in order to avoid
conflict, thus leaving them in entire possession. It is for them to
say whether they will accept it.'

The meeting at which Messrs. Marais and Malan were commissioned to
negotiate with the Johannesburg people was, with the exception of
General Smit (then dying and since dead), attended by every member of
the Executive Council, and there is no truth in the suggestion made
on behalf of the Government that it was an informal meeting of a few
men who were not acting on behalf of the State, nor is there any
justification for the statement made by Judge Ameshof in the
witness-box that Messrs. Marais and Malan were not officially
authorized to negotiate with the Reform Committee.

Messrs. Marais and Malan met the Reform Committee in the general
committee-room, and both gentlemen addressed the meeting several
times, going fully into the grievances complained of by the
Uitlanders and explaining very fully the position of the Government
and their attitude during the meeting of the Executive Council which
they had been called upon to attend. They stated that they had been
sent by a full meeting of the Executive to ask the Reform Committee
to send a deputation to Pretoria in order to meet a Commission to
be appointed by Government with a view to effecting a peaceful
settlement and the redress of grievances; that the Commission would
consist of Chief Justice Kotze, Judge Ameshof, and another, probably
a member of the Executive Council; that the Government were willing
to consider and redress the grievances, and were, above all things,
anxious to avoid conflict with their own subjects.

Then came the much-quoted expression: 'We come in fact to offer you
the olive branch; it is for you to say if you will take it; if you
are sincere in your professions, you will.' A great deal of
discussion took place, many members of the Committee maintaining
that, although they placed full confidence in the gentlemen who had
been sent by Government, they were nevertheless convinced that there
was treachery at the bottom of it, and they stated in plain language
what has become more or less an article of faith with the Uitlander:
'Whenever the Government are earnestly intent upon deceiving us they
select emissaries in whose character and good faith we have complete
trust, and by deceiving them ensure that we shall be misled.' Both
gentlemen repeatedly assured the meeting that the Government were
most anxious to remove the causes of discontent, and stated moreover
that Johannesburg would get practically all that was asked for in the
Manifesto. When asked what was meant by 'practically all,' they
explained that there would be some minor points of course on which
Johannesburg would have to give way in order to meet the Government,
as their position was also a very difficult one, and there were in
particular two matters on which there would be some difficulty, but
by no means insurmountable. When asked if the two matters were the
removal of religious disabilities and the franchise, one of the two
gentlemen replied that he had been told that there would be some
difficulty on these two points, but that they were quite open to
discussion as to the details and he was convinced that there would
surely be a means of coming to an understanding by compromise even on
these two. Messrs. Marais and Malan also informed the meeting that
the High Commissioner had issued a proclamation calling upon Dr.
Jameson to desist from the invasion and to return to British
territory at once; that the proclamation had been duly forwarded
to him from several points; and that there was no doubt that he would
turn back. Messrs. Marais and Malan both stated that they were
themselves proceeding with the commando against Dr. Jameson should he
fail to obey the High Commissioner's mandate, and stated also that
although they were making every effort that was humanly possible to
avert conflict it must be clearly understood that if from the
unreasonable action of Johannesburg fighting took place between the
Government forces and a revolutionary force from Johannesburg, they
as in duty bound would fight for their Government, and that in the
Government ranks would be found those men who had been the most
arduous workers in the cause of reform. They were assured that there
was no such feeling as desire for revenge actuating the people who
had taken up arms, that it was simply a desire for fair treatment and
decent government, that the present demand was what had been already
detailed in the Manifesto, and that the Committee stood by that
document, but would nevertheless accept as sufficient for the time
being any reasonable proportion of the redress demanded.

In spite of differences as to the motives of the Government in
holding out the olive branch it was decided unanimously that the
request as conveyed by Messrs. Marais and Malan should be complied
with, and that a deputation should be sent over early on the
following morning to meet the Government Commission. Under the
circumstances it was quite useless to discuss whether the Government
designed these negotiations merely as a ruse in order to gain time,
or whether they were actually dealing with the Committee in good
faith and intending to effect the redress promised. At that time
Johannesburg itself had not been protected by earthworks, and the
unpacking of the Maxims and rifles had only just been completed.
Throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday earthworks were being thrown
up, and every effort was being directed towards placing the town in a
state of defence.



With the best will in the world it would have been quite impossible
to render any assistance to Dr. Jameson's forces, but apart from this
there never was the slightest doubt of his ability to get into
Johannesburg without assistance should he decide to attempt it. In
conversation with the leaders of the movement he had always scouted
the idea of requiring assistance from Johannesburg, nor would anyone
have believed that with a well-equipped and perfectly trained force
of 800 men (as it was believed he had) it was possible for the Boers
to get together a force sufficiently strong to stop him in his dash
on Johannesburg.

In the absence of Mr. Charles Leonard, who had been recognized as the
leader of the movement, Mr. Lionel Phillips was elected Chairman of
the Reform Committee, and he and Messrs. J.G. Auret, A. Bailey, and
M. Langermann were chosen as the Committee's deputation to proceed to
Pretoria and meet the Commission appointed by the Government. They
left at an early hour on Wednesday morning, and were given
practically a free hand to act on behalf of the Reform Committee. The
position having been so thoroughly discussed there was no possibility
of misunderstanding; there was no division in the Committee as to the
attitude to be taken up. The deputation were to negotiate with the
Government for a peaceful settlement on the basis of the Manifesto,
accepting what they might consider to be a reasonable instalment of
the reforms demanded. They were to deal with the Government in a
conciliatory spirit and to avoid all provocation to civil strife, but
at the same time to insist upon the recognition of rights and the
redress of the grievances, to avow the association with Dr. Jameson's
forces so far as it had existed, and to include him in any settlement
that might be made. It was impossible to lay down any definite
lines on which to negotiate on behalf of Dr. Jameson, as the Reform
Committee were still in complete ignorance of his reasons for
starting; but it was considered fairer and more reasonable to assume
that he had started in good faith and that the two messengers who had
been sent to stop him had not reached him, and to act accordingly.
However awkward a predicament he had placed the Johannesburg people
in, they accepted a certain moral responsibility for him and his
actions and decided to make his safety the first consideration.

Late on Tuesday night the Collector of Customs at Johannesburg
informed members of the Reform Committee that he had received a
telegraphic despatch from the Pretoria head office notifying the
suspension of all duties on various articles of food. It will be
remembered that this relief was prayed for by the representative
bodies of mining and commerce on the Rand several weeks before the
outbreak and that the Government had replied that they were unable
during the recess to deal with the matter as the legislative power
and the power of levying and remitting duties had been taken from the
Executive by the Volksraad some time previously. It will also be
remembered that the Government acted on this hint as to the
necessities of the community in a wholly unexpected way by granting a
monopoly for the free importation of grain to a favoured individual
of their party in Pretoria. It is not wonderful therefore that the
notification conveyed by the Collector of Customs was received with
considerable derision, and the opinion was expressed that it would
have redounded more to the credit of the Government's honesty and
intelligence had they remitted the duties when first petitioned
instead of doing so at the last moment hastily and ungracefully--so
to speak, at the point of the bayonet.

On Wednesday morning, whilst the deputation were engaged in
negotiations with the Government Commission, a telegram was received
by the Reform Committee in Johannesburg from Sir Jacobus de Wet,
the British agent, conveying the following proclamation of the High

Whereas it has come to my knowledge that certain British subjects,
said to be under the leadership of Dr. Jameson, have violated
the territory of the South African Republic, and have cut
telegraph-wires, and done various other illegal acts; and whereas the
South African Republic is a friendly State, in amity with Her
Majesty's Government; and whereas it is my desire to respect the
independence of the said State;

Now, therefore, I hereby command the said Dr. Jameson and all persons
accompanying him to immediately retire from the territory of the
South African Republic, on pain of the penalties attached to their
illegal proceedings; and I do further hereby call upon all British
subjects in the South African Republic to abstain from giving the
said Dr. Jameson any countenance or assistance in his armed violation
of the territory of a friendly State.

A reply was immediately sent to the British Agent stating that the
Reform Committee were not aware of the reasons which prompted Dr.
Jameson to start, but that as he was coming to their assistance,
presumably in good faith, they felt morally bound to provide for him,
and they therefore urged the British Agent most strongly to spare no
effort in forwarding the proclamation to Dr. Jameson so that he might
be aware of the action taken by the Imperial Government and might
turn back before any conflict should take place between his and the
Boer forces. The Committee offered to forward the despatch themselves
if facilities of passport were given.

A full meeting of the Committee was immediately convened in order to
consider this new complication of the case, and the following
telegram was approved and sent at 11.15 a.m., addressed to the
Deputation of the Reform Committee, care of Her Majesty's Agent,

Meeting has been held since you started to consider telegram from
British Agent, and it was unanimously resolved to authorize you to
make following offer to Government. Begins: 'In order to avert
bloodshed on grounds of Dr. Jameson's action, if Government will
allow Dr. Jameson to come in unmolested, the Committee will guarantee
with their persons if necessary that he shall leave again peacefully
within as little delay as possible.'{22}

The Committee well realized the fatal results of Dr. Jameson's
invasion under the circumstances, and much as their position had been
injured and complicated by his action, it was felt that it would
still be better to get rid of the foreign element which he
represented and to fight the battle out under such conditions as
might arise without any assistance than to let things go from bad to
worse through further action on Dr. Jameson's part.

No reply had been received from the High Commissioner to the
telegrams urging him to come up in person. Mr. Cecil Rhodes had
telegraphed that he was urgently pressing the High Commissioner to
come, but that he had received no assurances as yet from him. During
Wednesday Messrs. Leonard and Hamilton telegraphed that the former
had seen the High Commissioner, who had declined to move unless
invited by the other side; they were using every effort to induce him
to move but no reliance could be placed upon him. They further
advised that in their strong opinion a reasonable compromise should
be effected, and that it was most vital to avoid offence. Mr. F.H.
Hamilton, who was one of the first associated with the movement,
finding then that nothing more could be done and feeling that his
proper place was with his comrades, refused to remain longer and
returned to Johannesburg, arriving there after Dr. Jameson's

Two and a half days had now elapsed since Dr. Jameson started, and
the Committee were still without word or sign from him as to his
having started or the reason which prompted him to do so. None knew
better than Dr. Jameson himself the difficulties and magnitude of the
task which he had set the Reform Committee when he struck his camp at
Pitsani and marched into the Transvaal. None knew better than he that
with the best luck and all the will and energy in the world it would
hardly be possible to do as much as place the town in a position of
defence. Every hour some explanation or some message was expected
from him, something to throw a little light on his action; but
nothing ever came, and the Committee were left to act in the dark as
their judgment or good fortune might lead them.

The deputation which had been sent to Pretoria met the Government
Commission at noon on Wednesday. The Commission consisted of Chief
Justice Kotze (Chairman), Judge Ameshof, and Executive Member Kock.
There was a Government shorthand clerk present. Before the business
of the meeting was gone into, at the request of the Chief Justice
the deputation consented to minutes of the interview being taken,
remarking that as they were dealing with the Government in good faith
they had nothing to conceal. It may be well to mention that at the
meeting of Messrs. Malan and Marais with the Reform Committee the
question was raised as to the attitude of the Government towards the
deputation which it was suggested should be sent to Pretoria. Someone
remarked that the Government were quite capable of inducing the
deputation to go to Pretoria, having them arrested as soon as they
got there, and holding them as hostages. Messrs. Marais and Malan
both scouted the idea and stated positively that the Executive
Council had formally acknowledged to them that they were negotiating
with the Reform Committee in good faith, and that negotiations would
of course be carried on in a decent manner as between two civilized
parties in arms. These little incidents have a peculiar interest now
in view of the treachery practised by the Government by means of the
negotiations with the deputation.

Mr. Lionel Phillips as spokesman detailed at length the position of
affairs in Johannesburg, citing the grievances and disabilities under
which the Uitlander population existed. He pointed out that year
after year the Uitlanders had been begging and petitioning for
redress of these grievances, for some amelioration of their
condition, for fair and uniform treatment of all the white subjects
of the State, and for some representation in the Legislature of the
country, as they were entitled by their numbers and their work and
their property to have; yet not only had a deaf ear been turned to
all their petitions, but the conditions were actually aggravated year
by year and, instead of obtaining relief, there was a marked increase
in the burdens and disabilities imposed. He informed the Commission
that the Manifesto fairly represented the views of the Reform
Committee and the people of Johannesburg; that, whilst they were
determined to have their rights, they recognised that it might not
be possible to obtain complete redress at once, and they were
prepared to accept what they might consider a reasonable instalment
of redress. He stated that Dr. Jameson had remained on the borders
of the Transvaal with an armed force by a written arrangement with
certain of the leaders, and that he was there to render active
assistance should the community be driven to extremes and require his
assistance; but as to his present action the Committee could throw no
further light upon it, as they were in ignorance of his reason for
starting; they could only assume that he had done so in good faith,
probably misled by rumours of trouble in Johannesburg which he
thought he had sufficient reason to believe. He added that so far
from being invited by the Committee, messengers had actually been
sent to prevent him from moving, but that it was not known to the
Committee if these messengers had reached him or if the telegrams
which had been sent with a like purpose had ever been delivered to
him, and that consequently the Committee preferred to believe that he
had come in in good faith and thinking the community to be in dire
need, and for this reason the people of Johannesburg were resolved to
stand by him.

In the course of the discussion, Executive Member Kock remarked: 'If
you have erected fortifications and have taken up arms, you are
nothing but rebels.' Mr. Phillips replied: 'You can call us rebels if
you like. All we want is justice, decent treatment, and honest
government; that is what we have come to ask of you.' Mr. Kock
thereupon remarked that the deputation spoke as though they
represented Johannesburg, whereas for all the Government knew the
Reform Committee might be but a few individuals of no influence; and
he asked if they could be informed as to who constituted that body.
The deputation gave certain names from memory and offered to
telegraph for a full list. The reply came in time to be handed to the
Government and it constituted the sole piece of evidence ever
obtained as to who were members of the Reform Committee. After
hearing the statement of Mr. Phillips the Chief Justice informed the
deputation that the Commission were not empowered to arrange
terms, but were merely authorized to hear what the deputation had to
say, to ascertain their grievances and the proposed remedies, and to
report this discussion to the Government. Taking up certain points
referred to by Mr. Phillips, the Chief Justice asked whether the
Johannesburg people would consent to lay down their arms if the
Government granted practically all the reforms that were asked.
Mr. Phillips replied in the affirmative, adding that after
enfranchisement the community would naturally be privileged to take
up arms again as burghers of the State. The Chief Justice asked on
what lines it was proposed that the franchise should be granted. The
deputation replied that the community would be quite content if the
Government would accept the principle, leaving the settlement of
details to a Commission of three persons--one to be appointed by
each party, and the third to be mutually agreed upon.

The meeting was adjourned at noon until 5 p.m., and in the meantime
the deputation telegraphed to the Reform Committee in Johannesburg
the substance of what had taken place, stating among other things
that they had explained the arrangements with Dr. Jameson. That such
a message should be sent through the Government telegraph-office at a
time when every telegram was read for the purpose of obtaining
information as to what was on foot is further proof (if proof be
needed) that the 'revelations' as to the connection between Dr.
Jameson and the Reformers, which were brought out with theatrical
effect later on, were not by any means a startling surprise to the
Government, and were in fact well known to them in all essential
details before the first encounter between the Boers and Dr. Jameson
had taken place. The significance of this fact in its bearing upon
Dr. Jameson's surrender and the after-treatment of the Reform
prisoners should not be lost sight of.

The adjourned meeting between the Government Commission and the
Reform Committee deputation took place at 5 p.m., when the Chief
Justice intimated to the deputation that they had reported to a full
meeting of the Executive Council all that had taken place at the
morning meeting, and that the Executive had authorized them to hand
to the deputation in answer a resolution, the substance of which
is given hereunder:

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

It is impossible to give the exact wording of the minute because the
original document was inadvertently destroyed and all applications to
Government for a copy were met at first by evasions and finally by
point-blank refusal. The document was required as evidence in the
trial of the Reform prisoners and every effort was made to secure an
exact copy. As a last resource the above version, as sworn to by a
number of men who had seen the original document, was put in. The
Government were informed that if a true copy of the original
resolution as recorded in the Minute Book of the Executive Council
were not supplied for the purposes of evidence in the trial the
prisoners would hand in the version given above. No reply was
received to this, and the State Attorney acting on behalf of the
Government admitted the version here given in the statement put in by
the prisoners. It is clear therefore that if this version errs in any
respect it cannot at all events be to the disadvantage of the
Government or they would assuredly have objected to it and have
produced the resolution itself.

On receipt of the above resolution the deputation inquired whether
this offer of the Government's was intended to include Dr. Jameson.
The Chief Justice replied that the Government declined to treat about
him as he was a foreign invader and would have to be turned out of
the country. The deputation thereupon handed in the telegram from the
Reform Committee, already quoted, offering their persons as security,
and pointed out that this was the most earnest and substantial
guarantee that it was possible to offer that the Committee had not
invited Dr. Jameson and had no desire to destroy the independence of
the State. The Commission in reply stated that the proclamation of
the High Commissioner was being forwarded to Dr. Jameson from
various quarters, and that he would inevitably be stopped. In reply
to the statement by the deputation that they were not empowered to
accept terms which did not explicitly include Dr. Jameson but would
report to headquarters and reply later on, the Chief Justice stated
that the Government required no answer to the resolution handed to
them. This was in fact _their_ answer, and if the people of
Johannesburg observed the conditions mentioned therein there would
be no further trouble, but if they disregarded them they would be
held responsible for whatever followed. The deputation returned to
Johannesburg fully convinced that the grievances would be redressed
and a peaceful settlement arrived at through the mediation of the
High Commissioner, and that Dr. Jameson would inevitably obey
the latter's proclamation and leave the country peacefully on
ascertaining that there was no necessity for his intervention on
behalf of the Uitlanders.

Not only did the Government supply the deputation with the minute in
writing already quoted, but they also instructed the local officers
of Johannesburg to make public their decision to avail themselves of
Sir Hercules Robinson's services. It will be observed that the
notification published in Johannesburg is not so full as the
Executive minute handed to the deputation in Pretoria, but the spirit
in which it was given and accepted is shown by the following notice
issued by the Reform Committee embodying the official statement:



The Government have handed us a written reply this afternoon (January
1), stating they have agreed to accept the offer of the High
Commissioner to go to Pretoria to assist the Government in preventing
bloodshed, and then the representations of the Committee will be
taken into serious consideration. The communication referred to is as

'The Government of the South African Republic have accepted the offer
of the High Commissioner to come to Pretoria.

  (Signed)    J. L. VAN DER MERWE, _Mining Commissioner._
              J. F. DE BEER, _Judicial Commissioner._
              CARL JEPPE, _Member of the First Volksraad,_
              A. H. BLECKSLEY, _Commandant Volunteers._

Desirous as the Committee has always been to obtain its objects
without the shedding of blood and incurring the horrors of civil war,
the opportunity of achieving its aims by peaceful means is welcome.

The Reform Committee desires that the public will aid them with the
loyalty and enthusiasm which they have shown so far in the
maintenance of its organization, and will stand firm in the cause of
law and order and the establishment of their rights.

By order of the Committee.

This notice was published in the local press, and also distributed as
a leaflet in Johannesburg.

More than this! At one o'clock on Wednesday President Kruger had sent
for Sir Jacobus de Wet and requested him to transmit to the Reform
Committee the following message: 'I desire again to invite your
serious attention to the fact that negotiations are going on between
Mr. Chamberlain and His Honour the President. I am convinced the
Government is prepared to meet any committee or deputation at any
time to discuss matters. In view of this and of negotiations with Mr.
Chamberlain I advise you to follow a constitutional course.' That
telegram was framed at President Kruger's request and approved by him
before being transmitted.

A great deal has been said about the impolicy, and even the bad
faith, of the Johannesburg people in concluding an armistice which
did not include Dr. Jameson. From the above account it is clear in
the first place that every effort was made to provide for his safety,
and in the next place that no armistice was concluded. Certain terms
were offered by the Government which it was open to the Committee to
either accept or reject or ignore, as they might decide later on. In
plain English, the Committee were as free after the negotiations as
they had been before. They gave no undertaking to abstain from
hostile action; they simply received the offer of the Government.
Whether they complied with those conditions as a matter of
cold-blooded selfish policy, whether they simply selected an easy way
out of a difficult position, or whether they complied with the
conditions solely because they were not in a position to do anything
else, it is open to every man to decide for himself; but it does not
seem fair, in face of the fact that they were _not_ able to do
anything else, to impute the worst motives of all for the course
which they eventually took.

On the return of the deputation to Johannesburg a report of what had
taken place was given to a full meeting of the Reform Committee.
Divers opinions were expressed as to what was the right course to
take, but eventually all were agreed that, as the first duty of the
Committee was undoubtedly to protect the town and the unarmed section
of the community, as they could not afford to send a single man out
of the place, as there was no reason to suppose that Dr. Jameson
required or would welcome any assistance, and as it seemed certain
that he would be stopped by the High Commissioner's proclamation and
turned back, it would be nothing short of criminal madness to adopt
any aggressive measures at that stage.

It does not appear to have occurred to many of the hostile critics of
the Reform Committee to consider what might have happened when they
are judging what actually took place. Dr. Jameson had invaded the
country with less than 500 men. It must be clear from this that it
was not his intention to conquer the Transvaal. It must have been and
indeed it was his idea that it would be impossible for the Imperial
Government to stand passively by and witness the struggle between its
own subjects preferring legitimate and moderate claims and a corrupt
and incompetent Boer Government. Intervention of one sort or another
he certainly expected--either material help in the shape of British
troops, or the intervention of the High Commissioner to effect a
peaceful settlement. By the false step which evoked the High
Commissioner's proclamation he had forfeited all claim to the support
on which he reckoned. It was reasonable to suppose therefore that, on
the receipt of the proclamation ordering him to return and calling on
all British subjects to abstain from assisting him, he would realize
the consequences of his mistake. He would also learn from the Reform
Committee's messengers (that is, assuming that he did not know it
already) that the Johannesburg people neither required nor wished for
his intervention, and he would elect to leave the country in
accordance with the High Commissioner's mandate rather than continue
a course which, with the opposition of the British Government added
to that of the Boer Government, must inevitably end in disgrace and
disaster. This was the conclusion arrived at in the Reform
Committee room; and it was then considered what would be the position
of the Johannesburg people if, in defiance of the High Commissioner's
proclamation and in violation of the terms offered by the Transvaal
Government, they should adopt aggressive and wholly futile measures
in aid of Dr. Jameson, only to find that he himself had obeyed the
proclamation and had turned back.

No man in his senses would have anticipated Dr. Jameson's continuing
his march after receipt of the proclamation and full information as
to the wishes and position of the Johannesburg people. But, apart
from this, it was the opinion of military men, such as Colonel
Heyman, who had been sent in by Dr. Jameson, and who were present at
the meetings of the Reform Committee, that it would not be possible
for the Boers to stop him, and that it would require a very large
force indeed to cope with a body of men so well trained, well
equipped, and well led as his were thought to be. It would moreover
need extraordinary luck and management on the Boers' side to get
together any considerable force in time to intercept him before he
should reach Johannesburg. It may be added that the opinion expressed
by these gentlemen is still adhered to. They say that, properly led,
Jameson's force should have got in without firing a shot, and that,
properly handled, they should not have been stopped by a much greater
number of Boers. However this is as it may be.

It has been stated, and the statement has gained considerable
credence, that the very train which brought the deputation back to
Johannesburg after their negotiations with the Government also
brought a detachment of the State artillery with field-pieces and
a plentiful supply of ammunition to reinforce the Boers, who were
then in position to intercept Dr. Jameson, and it has further been
suggested that the obvious course for the Reform Committee to have
taken was to break up the line and to stop trains passing out towards
Krugersdorp, also to seize the telegraph and railway offices. Such
action would have been perfectly futile. As a matter of fact the
artillery and ammunition were sent direct from Pretoria by waggon,
and not through Johannesburg at all.{23} Any such action as the
seizing of the telegraph and railway offices would have been useless
in itself, if intended to aid Jameson's force, and would of course
have been a declaration of war on the part of the Committee against
the Transvaal Government, a declaration which they were not able to
back up by any effective measures. A partially successful attempt
was made to blow up the line between Johannesburg and Krugersdorp by
individuals who thought that they would be rendering a service to the
cause, and who did not stop to calculate the full effects of their

During the afternoon of Wednesday, while the deputation were still
engaged in negotiation with the Government Commission, the messenger
despatched by Sir Jacobus de Wet, British Agent in Pretoria, to
deliver the High Commissioner's proclamation to Dr. Jameson, arrived
in Johannesburg, and applied at the Reform Committee rooms for an
escort through the lines of defence, showing at the same time the
passport given him by the Commandant-General to pass him through the
Boer lines. It was immediately decided to take advantage of the
opportunity in order to bring further pressure to bear upon Dr.
Jameson to induce him to leave the country peacefully, and to make
finally and absolutely sure that he should realize the true position
of affairs. Mr. J. J. Lace, a member of the Reform Committee,
volunteered to accompany the messenger to explain to Dr. Jameson the
state of affairs in Johannesburg and to induce him to return while
there was yet a chance of retrieving the position. On the return of
the deputation this action of the rest of the Committee was cordially
approved and was found to be in entire accord with the attitude taken
up by them in their dealings with the Government.

If any evidence were needed as to the sincerity and singleness of
purpose of the Committee, the action taken by the deputation in
Pretoria and the rest of the Committee in Johannesburg, whilst
acting independently of each other and without any opportunity of
discussing matters and deciding upon a common line, should be
sufficient. If the Committee as a whole had not been following an
honest and clearly-defined policy they would have inevitably come to
grief under such trying circumstances. As a matter of fact, the steps
taken during Wednesday by the two sections acting independently were
wholly in accord.

In the course of the day it became known that Dr. Jameson had caused
to be published the letter of invitation quoted in another chapter,
and from this it was clear to those who knew the circumstances under
which the letter was given that he had deliberately started in
violation of the agreement entered into, that he had thrown
discretion to the winds, and decided to force the hands of the
Johannesburg people. The result of this was that among the leaders it
was realized that Dr. Jameson was playing his own hand with complete
indifference to the consequences for others; but the vast majority of
the Rand community could not possibly realize this, and were firmly
convinced that the invading force had come in in good faith,
believing the community to be in extreme peril.

In sensational matters of this kind it is very often the case that a
single phrase will illustrate the position more aptly than chapters
of description. It is unfortunately also the case that phrases are
used and catch the ear and survive the circumstances of the time,
carrying with them meanings which they were never intended to convey.
In the course of the events which took place in the early part of the
year many such expressions were seized on and continually quoted.
Among them, and belonging to the second description above referred
to, is the phrase 'Stand by Jameson.' It was never used in the sense
of sending out an armed force to the assistance of Dr. Jameson,
because it was recognized from the beginning that such a course was
not within the range of possibility. The phrase was first used in
the Executive Council Chamber when the deputation from the Reform
Committee met the Government Commission and Mr. Lionel Phillips
explained the nature of the connection between the Johannesburg
people and the invading force. After showing that the Rand community
were not responsible for his immediate action, and after
acknowledging that he was on the border with the intention of
rendering assistance if it should be necessary, he said that the
Uitlanders nevertheless believed that, owing to circumstances of
which they were ignorant, Dr. Jameson had started in absolute good
faith to come to their assistance, and for that reason they were
determined to stand by him. For that reason they offered their
persons as security for his peaceful evacuation of the country--a
course which was then, and is still, deemed to be 'standing by him'
in as effective and practical a manner as it was possible for men in
their position to do.

The reproach levelled at the Reform Committee by members of the
Transvaal Government ever since the surrender of Dr. Jameson is
that, whilst professing not to support hostile action against the
State, and whilst avowing loyalty to the Republic, the people of
Johannesburg did not give the logical and practical proof of such
loyalty that the Government were entitled to expect; that is, they
did not take up arms to fight against the invaders. It is scarcely
necessary to say that such a preposterous idea never entered the
minds of any of the Uitlanders. When all is said and done, blood is
thicker than water, alike with the Uitlanders as with the Boers. The
Boers have shown on many occasions that they elect to side with their
kin on the promptings of their heart rather than support those whom
their judgment shows them to be worthy of their assistance. Had the
Uitlanders been sufficiently armed there can be no question that
rightly or wrongly they would have sided with Jameson, and would have
given him effective support had they known that he needed it. Had he
ever reached Johannesburg the enthusiasm would have been wild and
unbounded, and, however much the cooler heads among the community
might realize that such a partial success might have proved a
more serious misfortune than the total failure has been, no such
considerations would have weighed with the community in general; and
the men who were aiming at practical and lasting good results, rather
than cultivating popular enthusiasm, would have been swept aside, and
others, more in accord with the humour of the moment, would have
taken their places.

It is useless to speculate as to what would have happened had Dr.
Jameson reached Johannesburg. The prestige of success might have
enabled him, as it has enabled many others, to achieve the apparently
impossible and compel the acceptance of terms which would have
insured a lasting peace; but as Johannesburg had neither arms
nor ammunition, especially the latter, commensurate with the
requirements of anything like severe fighting, even for a single day,
and as the invading force had not more than enough for its own
requirements, it is difficult to conceive that anything but disaster
could have followed.

Throughout the troubles which followed the invasion it was not the
personal suffering or loss which fell to the lot of the Johannesburg
people that touched them so nearly as the taunts which were unjustly
levelled at them for not rendering assistance to Dr. Jameson. The
terms, 'cowards,' 'poltroons,' and 'traitors,' and the name of
'Judasburg,' absolutely undeserved as they were known to be, rankled
in the hearts of all, and it was only by the exercise of much
self-denial and restraint that it was possible for men to remain
silent during the period preceding Dr. Jameson's trial. Extremely
bitter feeling was roused by the tacit approval given to these
censures by the officers of the invading force, for their continued
silence was naturally construed to be tacit approval. 'Not once,'
said one of the Reformers, 'has a single member of Dr. Jameson's
party come forward and stated that the imputations on the Reformers
were undeserved; yet we gave them the benefit of every doubt, and
tried throughout to screen them, whilst all the time the Doctor and
at least three of his companions knew that they had started to "make
their own flotation." That is not cricket.'

It has been urged on behalf of Dr. Jameson that he could not have
been asked to state prior to his trial that he never expected or
arranged for help from Johannesburg--that his case was already a
sufficiently difficult one without embarrassing it with other
people's affairs. Yet it was noted in Johannesburg that, when a
report was circulated to the effect that he had started the invasion
on the instructions of Mr. Cecil Rhodes, he and another officer of
his force wrote jointly to the English papers to say that there was
no truth whatever in the statement. The consequences of taking upon
himself the responsibility for initiative in this way, while he
had yet to undergo his trial, were far more serious than would have
followed a simple statement to the effect that injustice was being
done to the Rand community in the charges of cowardice laid against
it. It was felt then, and the feeling has not in any way abated,
that Dr. Jameson regarded the fate and interests of the people of
Johannesburg with indifference, looking upon them merely as pawns
in a game that he was playing. It was only Mr. Rhodes who took an
opportunity to say that 'the Johannesburg people are not cowards;
they were rushed.'

The general public did not know the circumstances under which Dr.
Jameson had agreed to remain on the frontier. They did not know that
telegrams and messengers had been despatched to stop him, nor was it
felt advisable to inform them of these steps at a time when matters
had seemingly gone too far to be stopped. It was considered that any
statement of that kind put forth at that particular juncture would
simply tend to create a panic from which no good results could
accrue, and that, as Dr Jameson had cast the die and crossed his
Rubicon, as little as possible should be done needlessly to embarrass
him. Suggestions were continually being made, and have been and are
still being frequently quoted, to the effect that a force should be
sent out to create a diversion among the Boer commandoes in Jameson's
favour. Suggestions were made by men who had not the remotest idea of
the resources at the command of the Committee, or who did not stop to
think of what might have happened had Johannesburg been depleted of
its armed force, and so left at the mercy of a few hundred Boers.
There were always, as there will always be, men prepared for any
reckless gamble, but this course was most earnestly considered time
after time by the Committee when some fresh suggestion or development
seemed to warrant a reconsideration of the decision already arrived
at not to attempt any aggressive measures. Finally the matter was by
common consent left in the hands of Colonel Heyman, an officer who
has rendered distinguished service in South Africa, and whose
reputation and judgment were acknowledged by all. This course was the
more readily agreed to since Colonel Heyman was by none more
highly thought of than by Dr. Jameson himself. The decision given by
him was that the invading force, properly led, drilled and equipped
as it was, was a far stronger body than the entire force enrolled
under the Reform Committee, and that it would require a very large
force indeed of burghers to stop it. If Dr. Jameson had thought that
he would need help there had been ample time for him to send a fast
mounted messenger to Johannesburg. He had not done so; and it was
therefore to be presumed that as he had taken upon himself the
responsibility of invasion he was prepared for all contingencies;
but, apart from this, the force available in Johannesburg, which
would be in a few days a very good one behind earthworks, was at that
moment utterly unfit to march out in the open. It would in its then
condition, and with no equipment of field-pieces, be liable to be
annihilated by a relatively small number of Boers before it should
reach Dr. Jameson. It was decided, however, that, should fighting
take place within such distance from the town that men could be taken
from the defences without endangering the safety of the town, a force
should be taken out at once.

Fault has repeatedly been found with the military organization in
Johannesburg for not having been well served by an Intelligence
Department, and for not knowing from day to day what the whereabouts
and position of Dr. Jameson's forces were.

The reply to this is that the Johannesburg people had only two days
in which to look after themselves and protect themselves in the
crisis in which Dr. Jameson's action had plunged them; that as a
matter of fact strenuous efforts were made to establish communication
with the invading force; that the Intelligence Department--which,
considering how short a time was available for its organization, was
by no means unsatisfactory--was employed in many directions besides
that in which Dr. Jameson was moving; that some success was achieved
in communicating with him, but that the risks to be taken, owing to
the imperative necessity of saving time at almost any cost, were
greater than usual and resulted in the capture of eight or ten of the
men employed in the endeavour to communicate with Dr. Jameson alone;
and finally, that since he had seen fit to violate all the
arrangements entered into and dash into the country in defiance of
the expressed wishes of the people, whom he was bent on rescuing
whether they wished to be rescued or not, the least that could be
expected of him and of his force was that they should acquaint
themselves with the road which they proposed to travel and take the
necessary steps to keep the Johannesburg people posted as to their

It has been urged by a prominent member of the invading force--not
Dr. Jameson--that since the force had been kept on the border for
some weeks with the sole object of assisting Johannesburg people when
they should require assistance, the very least that they were
entitled to expect was that someone should be sent out to show them
the road and not leave them to go astray for want of a guide. To this
it was replied that a force which had been, as they stated, on the
border for several weeks with the sole object of invading the country
by a certain road, had ample time, and might certainly have been
expected to know the road; and as for relieving Johannesburg in its
necessity, the argument might have applied had this 'necessity' ever
arisen; but since the idea was to force the hands of the Reformers,
the latter might fairly regard themselves as absolved from every
undertaking, specific or implied, which might ever have been made in
connection with the business. But at that time the excuse had not
been devised that there had ever been an undertaking to assist
Jameson, on the contrary it was readily admitted that such an idea
was never entertained for a moment; nor can one understand how anyone
cognizant of the telegram from Dr. Jameson to Dr. Rutherfoord
Harris--'We will make our own flotation by the aid of the letter
which I shall publish'--can set up any defence at the expense of

By Wednesday night it was known that Major Heany had passed through
Mafeking in time to join Dr. Jameson's force, and that, bar some
extraordinary accident, Captain Holden must have met Dr. Jameson on
his way, since he had been despatched along the road which Dr.
Jameson would take in marching on Johannesburg; and if all other
reasons did not suffice to assure the Committee that Dr. Jameson
would not be relying on any assistance from Johannesburg the
presence of one or other of the two officers above mentioned would
enable him to know that he should not count upon Johannesburg to give
him active support. Both were thoroughly well acquainted with the
position and were able to inform him, and have since admitted that
they did inform him, that he should not count upon a single man
going out to meet him. Captain Holden--who prior to the trial of
Dr. Jameson and his comrades, prompted by loyalty to his chief,
abstained from making any statement which could possibly embarrass
him--immediately after the trial expressed his regret at the unjust
censure upon the Johannesburg people and the charges of cowardice and
bad faith which had been levelled against them, and stated that he
reached Pitsani the night before Dr. Jameson started, and that he
faithfully and fully delivered the messages which he was charged to
deliver and earnestly impressed upon Dr. Jameson the position in
which the Johannesburg people were placed, and their desire that he
should not embarrass them by any precipitate action.

Before daybreak on Thursday, January 2, Bugler Valle, of Dr.
Jameson's force, arrived in the Reform Committee room and reported
himself as having been sent by the Doctor at about midnight after the
battle at Krugersdorp on Wednesday. He stated that the Doctor had
supplied him with the best horse in the troop and sent him on to
inform Colonel Rhodes where he was. He described the battle at the
Queen's Mine, Krugersdorp, and stated that the force had been obliged
to retreat from the position in which they had fought in order to
take up a better one on higher ground, but that the position in which
they had camped for the night was not a very good one. When
questioned as to the exact message that he had been told to deliver
he replied, 'The Doctor says, "Tell them that I am getting along all
right, but they must send out to meet me."' He was asked what was
meant by 'sending out to meet him.' Did it mean to send a force out?
Did he want help? His reply was, 'No; the Doctor says he is getting
along all right, but you must send out to meet him.' The messenger
was keenly questioned upon this point, but adhered to the statement
that the force was getting along all right and would be in early in
the morning. Colonel Rhodes, who was the first to see the
messenger, was however dissatisfied with the grudging admissions and
the ambiguous message, and expressed the belief that 'the Doctor
wants help, but is ashamed to say so.' Acting promptly on this
conviction, he despatched all the mounted men available (about 100)
under command of Colonel Bettington, with instructions to ascertain
the whereabouts of Dr. Jameson's force, and if possible to join them.

This was done without the authority of the Committee and in direct
opposition to the line already decided upon. It was moreover
considered to be taking a wholly unnecessary risk, in view of the
fact that an attack upon the town was threatened by burgher forces on
the north-west side, and it was immediately decided by a number of
members who heard of Colonel Rhodes' action to despatch a messenger
ordering the troop not to proceed more than ten miles from the town,
but to reconnoitre and ascertain what Dr. Jameson's position was,
with the reservation that, should it be found that he actually needed
help, such assistance as was possible should of course be given him.
As a matter of hard fact it would not have been possible for the
troop to reach Dr. Jameson before his surrender, so that the action
taken upon the only message received from the invading force had no
practical bearing upon the results.

At daybreak on Thursday morning Mr. Lace and the despatch rider sent
by the British Agent to deliver the High Commissioner's proclamation
and the covering despatch were passed through the Dutch lines under
the authority of the Commandant-General, and they delivered the
documents to Dr. Jameson in person. In reply to Sir Jacobus de Wet's
appeal Dr. Jameson said, 'Tell Sir Jacobus de Wet that I have
received his despatch; and that I shall see him in Pretoria
to-morrow.' Mr. Lace briefly informed him of the position, as he had
undertaken to do. The presence of a Boer escort and the shortness of
the time allowed for the delivery of the messages prevented any
lengthy conversation. Dr. Jameson made no comment further than to
say, 'It is too late now,' and then asked the question, 'Where are
the troops?' to which Mr. Lace replied, 'What troops do you mean? We
know nothing about troops.' It did not occur to Mr. Lace or to
anyone else that he could have meant 'troops' from Johannesburg. With
the receipt of Dr. Jameson's verbal reply to the British Agent's
despatch-carrier the business was concluded, and the escort from the
Boer lines insisted on leaving, taking with them Mr. Lace and the
despatch-rider. He offered no further remark.

Footnotes for Chapter V

{22} The telegram originally read 'within twenty-four hours,' but
it was considered impossible to guarantee the time exactly, and the
alteration as above given was made, the word 'within' being
inadvertently left standing instead of 'with.'

{23} Captain Ferreira, at one time in command of the guard over the
Reformers, informed the writer that he had formed one of the cavalry
escort. 'It is a good story,' he said, 'but what fools we would have
been to send our guns shut up in trucks through a hostile camp of
20,000 armed men--as we thought--round two sides of a triangle
instead of going by the shorter and safe road.'



From the evidence on the trial at bar of Dr. Jameson and his
comrades, it appears that about 20th October, 1895, orders were given
to the Matabeleland Border Police to move southward. After this,
further mobilization of other bodies took place and during the first
week in December there collected at Pitsani Potlogo the body of men
from whom Dr. Jameson's invading column was afterwards selected. For
three weeks the men were continuously drilled and practised in all
warlike exercises and thoroughly prepared for the enterprise which
their leaders had in view. On Sunday, December 29, at about three in
the afternoon, the little force was paraded and Dr. Jameson read to
them the letter of invitation quoted in a previous chapter. He is
alleged by certain witnesses to have said that he had just received
this and that they could not refuse to go to the assistance of their
countrymen in distress, and he confidently appealed to the men to
support him. He said that he did not anticipate any bloodshed at all.
They would proceed by forced marching straight through to
Johannesburg, and would reach that town before the Boers were aware
of his movements, and certainly before they could concentrate to stop
him. It has been alleged by some witnesses that the men of the
Bechuanaland Border Police who advanced from Mafeking under the
command of Colonel Grey and Major Coventry were not so fully informed
as to their destination and the reasons for the movement until they
were actually in marching order to start. It would appear however
from the general summary of the evidence and from the reports of
the men who took part in the expedition, that they were informed that
the destination of the force was Johannesburg, that the object was to
render assistance to their countrymen in that town who were being
grossly misruled by the Transvaal Government and were at that time in
grievous straits and peril through having endeavoured to assert their
rights and obtain the reforms for which they had so long been
agitating, and that the immediate reason for marching was the receipt
of an urgent appeal from Johannesburg citizens, which appeal (the
letter of invitation) was duly read to them. In reply to questions as
to whether they were fighting under the Queen's orders, they were
informed that they were going to fight for the supremacy of the
British flag in South Africa. A considerable proportion of the men
declined to take part in the enterprise, and it is probably largely
due to defections at the last moment that the statement was made that
700 men had started with Dr. Jameson, whereas it appears that only
480 ever left the Protectorate.

The following is a portion of the Majority Report of the Select
Committee on the Jameson Raid appointed by the Cape House of

On the 26th December there was a sudden check. On the afternoon of
that day Colonel Rhodes telegraphs to Charter, Capetown, 'It is
absolutely necessary to postpone flotation. Charles Leonard left last
night for Capetown.' Messages to the same effect were sent from Mr.
S.W. Jameson to his brother, and from Dr. Harris for the Chartered
Company to Dr. Jameson, the latter concluding: 'So you must not move
till you hear from us again. Too awful. Very sorry.'

As to the nature of the hitch that occurred, there is some light
thrown on it by the statement from Mr. S.W. Jameson to his brother
that any movement must be postponed 'until we have C.J. Rhodes'
absolute pledge that authority of Imperial Government will not be
insisted on,' a point that is further alluded to in Telegram No.
6,537 of Appendix QQ of the 28th December.

Whatever the exact nature of the obstacle was, there can be no doubt
that some at least of the Johannesburg confederates were much alarmed
and took all possible steps to stay proceedings.

In addition to urgent telegrams special messengers were sent to
impress on Dr. Jameson the necessity for delay. One of these, Captain
Holden, made his way across country.

According to Mr. Hammond's evidence Holden arrived at Mafeking on the
28th December, and went in with the column.

The other messenger was Captain Maurice Heany, who left Johannesburg
on the 26th December, and on the 27th telegraphed from Bloemfontein
to Charter, Capetown, informing them that 'Zebrawood' (Colonel
Rhodes) had asked him to 'stop "Zahlbar" (Dr. Jameson) till Heany
sees him,' and asking that a special train might be arranged for him.
Dr. Harris replied to Kimberley on the 28th informing him that a
special train was arranged, and added, 'lose no time or you will be

It is in evidence that this special train was provided by the
Chartered Company, that Heany left by it, caught up the ordinary
train at Vryburg, and that he reached Mafeking at 4.30 a.m. on
Sunday, the 29th.

The evidence is that he was coming with an urgent message to stop Dr.
Jameson; that on his arrival at Mafeking he waked up Mr. Isaacs, a
local storekeeper, and purchased a pair of field boots and a
kit-bag, and proceeded by special cart to Pitsani; and that he
subsequently on the same evening accompanied Dr. Jameson on his
inroad and was captured at Doornkop.{24}

On the 27th, after receiving the discouraging telegrams mentioned
above from Johannesburg, Dr. Jameson telegraphed to Harris, Charter,
Capetown, 'I am afraid of Bechuanaland Police for cutting wire. They
have now all gone forward, but will endeavour to put a stop to it.
Therefore expect to receive telegram from you nine to-morrow morning
authorizing movements. Surely Col. F.W. Rhodes advisable to come to
terms at once. Give guarantee, or you can telegraph before Charles
Leonard arrived.' This doubtless alludes to the necessity for
guarantee mentioned in the message from S.W. Jameson, and the
alternative suggestion was that authority to proceed should be given
before the arrival of the Johannesburg delegate at Capetown.

Two hours later on the same day he sends another message of the
utmost importance. He informs Harris, Charter, Capetown, as follows:
'If I cannot, as I expect, communicate with Bechuanaland Border
Police cutting, then we must carry into effect original plans. They
have then two days for flotation. If they do not, we will make our
own flotation with help of letter, which I will publish.'

On the same day Dr. Jameson telegraphed to his brother in
Johannesburg as follows: 'Guarantee already given, therefore let J.H.
Hammond telegraph instantly all right.'

To this Mr. Hammond sent a most positive reply absolutely condemning
his proposed action.

As bearing upon the attitude of the force at Pitsani, it may be noted
that on the same day that the foregoing correspondence was taking
place, Mr. A. Bates was despatched from Mafeking into the Transvaal
with instructions from Major Raleigh Grey to collect information and
meet Dr. Jameson _en route._ He was supplied with a horse and money,
and seems to have done his best to carry out instructions.

Early the next day Dr. Jameson telegraphed to Harris, Charter,
Capetown: 'There will be no flotation if left to themselves; first
delay was races, which did not exist; second policies, already
arranged. All mean fear.{25} You had better go as quickly as possible
and report fully, or tell Hon. C.J. Rhodes to allow me.'

The reply to this was: 'It is all right if you will only wait.
Captain Maurice Heany comes to you from Col. F.W. Rhodes by special
train to-day.' And, again, two hours later, Dr. Harris for the
Chartered Company telegraphs: 'Goold Adams arrives Mafeking Monday,
and Heany, I think, arrives to-night; after seeing him, you and we
must judge regarding flotation, but all our foreign friends are now
dead against it and say public will not subscribe one penny towards
even with you as a director--Ichabod.'

Still on the same day two further telegrams to Dr. Jameson were sent
from Capetown, almost together, of a strongly discouraging tenour.
One of them concludes by saying 'we cannot have fiasco,' and the
other informs Dr. Jameson that Lionel Phillips anticipates complete
failure of any premature action.

On the same day Dr. Harris informs Colonel Rhodes at Johannesburg
that, 'Have arranged for Captain Maurice Heany; Dr. Jameson awaiting
Capt. Maurice Heany's arrival. Keep market firm.'

And later:

'Charles Leonard says flotation not popular, and England's bunting
will be resisted by public. Is it true? Consult all our friends and
let me know, as Dr. Jameson is quite ready to move resolution and is
only waiting for Captain Heany's arrival.'

A few hours later Dr. Jameson telegraphs to Harris, Charter,
Capetown: 'Received your telegram Ichabod _re_ Capt. Maurice Heany.
Have no further news. I require to know. Unless I hear definitely to
the contrary, shall leave to-morrow evening and carry into effect my
second telegram (Appendix QQ, No. 06365) of yesterday to you, and it
will be all right.'

On the next morning, Sunday the 29th, Heany arrived at Mafeking, and
after making the purchases detailed above, left by special cart for
the camp at Pitsani, where he probably arrived about eight o'clock
a.m. At five minutes past nine Dr. Jameson telegraphed to Harris,
Charter, Capetown: 'Shall leave to-night for the Transvaal. My reason
is the final arrangement with writers of letter was that, without
further reference to them, in case I should hear at some future time
that suspicions have been aroused as to their intention among the
Transvaal authorities, I was to start immediately to prevent loss of
lives, as letter states. Reuter only just received. Even without my
own information of meeting in the Transvaal, compel immediate move
to fulfil promise made. We are simply going to protect everybody
while they change the present dishonest Government and take vote from
the whole country as to form of Government required by the whole.'

The force took with them provisions for one day only, relying on the
commissariat arrangements made on their behalf by Dr. Wolff _en
route._ They were well mounted and armed with Lee-Metford carbines,
and took with them eight Maxims, two seven-pounders and one
twelve-pounder. In order to facilitate quick movement no heavy
equipment was taken, and but little spare ammunition. The vehicles
attending the column were six Scotch carts and one Cape cart. The
total distance to be covered was about 170 miles to Johannesburg, or
150 miles to Krugersdorp. The start was made from Pitsani shortly
after 5 p.m., and marching was continued throughout the night. The
force consisted of about 350 of the Chartered forces under Colonel
Sir John Willoughby, Major in the Royal Horse Guards; the Hon. H. F.
White, Major 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards; Hon. R. White, Captain
Royal Welsh Fusiliers; Major J. B. Tracey, 2nd Battalion Scots
Guards; Captain C. H. Villiers, Royal Horse Guards; and 120 of the
Bechuanaland Border Police under Major Raleigh Grey, Captain 6th
Inniskillen Dragoons, and the Hon. C. J. Coventry, Captain 3rd
Militia Battalion Worcester Regiment. The two contingents met at
Malmani at about sunrise on Monday morning, December 30. They marched
throughout that day and night and the following day, Tuesday. There
were half-hour rests about every twenty miles for rationing the men
and feeding and watering the horses, the fodder being ready for the
horses at various stores. Provisions for the men consisted of tinned
meats and biscuits. There was no lack of provisions at all; but the
men complained afterwards that they were so overcome with fatigue
from continuous marching that when they reached the resting-places
they generally lay down where they dismounted, and slept, instead of
taking the food which was ready for them. A serious fault in the
conduct of the expedition appears to have been the lack of
opportunity for rest and food afforded the men. It was contended that
the same or a higher average of speed might have been attained by
pressing on faster for spells of a few hours and allowing reasonable
intervals for rest and refreshment. Only about 130 miles had been
covered by the column during the seventy hours that they were on the
march before they were first checked by any serious opposition from
the Boers.

On Monday, December 30, at about 1 p.m., Mr. F.J. Newton, Resident
Commissioner at Mafeking, received the following telegram from the
High Commissioner, Capetown, dated the same day:

It is rumoured here that Dr. Jameson has entered the Transvaal with
an armed force. Is this so? If so, send special messenger on fast
horse directing him to return immediately. A copy of this telegram
should be sent to the officers with him, and they should be told that
this violation of the territory of a friendly State is repudiated by
Her Majesty's Government, and that they are rendering themselves
liable to severe penalties.

Mr. Newton at once addressed to Dr. Jameson and each of the chief
officers with him the following letter:


I have the honour to enclose copy of a telegram which I have received
from His Excellency the High Commissioner, and I have accordingly to
request that you will immediately comply with His Excellency's

Trooper J.T. White was despatched as soon as possible with the five
letters, enclosed in waterproof, with instructions to ride until he
caught up to Dr. Jameson and delivered the letters. He was stopped by
a party of armed Boers and taken before Landdrost Marais at Malmani,
where the despatches were opened and read. He was delayed for four
hours, and then allowed to proceed with an escort. On Tuesday morning
he crossed the Elands River and caught up the column at about 11 a.m.
He had ridden all night, covering about eighty miles. He alleges that
at first the officers would not take the letters, but eventually Sir
John Willoughby accepted and read his and the others followed suit.
He stated that he had been instructed to deliver the letters
personally, and to get a reply. Sir John Willoughby sent a message by
him stating that the despatches would be attended to. Shortly after
this Dr. Jameson also received a protest from the Commandant of the
Marico district against his invasion of the State, to which he
sent the following reply:

  _December 30, 1895._


I am in receipt of your protest of the above date, and have to inform
you that I intend proceeding with my original plans, which have no
hostile intention against the people of the Transvaal; but we are
here in reply to an invitation from the principal residents of the
Rand to assist them in their demand for justice and the ordinary
rights of every citizen of a civilized State.

  Yours faithfully

White states that this was about noon, and 'then the bugle sounded
and the column moved off.' The force continued advancing in much the
same way throughout Tuesday, and at 6 p.m. a skirmisher of the
advanced guard met Lieutenant Eloff of the Krugersdorp District
Police, who had been instructed by his Government to ride to
Mafeking, presumably for the purpose of getting information. He had
come with a guard of nine men, whom he had left some distance off;
advancing alone to meet the column. He states that when released
after two hours' delay he left the forces, and passing along the
Rustenburg road met a commando of some 300 Boers with whom he made a
circuit to avoid the column, and reached Krugersdorp before it did.
From this it is clear that the Boers were collecting in considerable
numbers to meet the invading force, and were moving with much greater
rapidity than their enemies.

On Wednesday morning, at about 5.30, Messrs. Theron and Bouwer
(despatch riders), who had been sent by Sir Jacobus de Wet, British
Agent at Pretoria, at 1.30 p.m. on the previous day with a despatch
for Dr. Jameson, reached the column and delivered their letters, and
stated that they had been instructed to take back a reply as soon as
possible. Dr. Jameson said, 'All right; I'll give you a reply,' and
within a few minutes he handed to them the following letter:

  _January 1._


I am in receipt of the message you sent from His Excellency the High
Commissioner, and beg to reply, for His Excellency's information,
that I should, of course, desire to obey his instructions, but, as I
have a very large force of both men and horses to feed, and having
finished all my supplies in the rear, must perforce proceed to
Krugersdorp or Johannesburg this morning for this purpose. At the
same time I must acknowledge I am anxious to fulfil my promise on the
petition of the principal residents of the Rand, to come to the aid
of my fellow-men in their extremity. I have molested no one, and have
explained to all Dutchmen met that the above is my sole object, and
that I shall desire to return at once to the Protectorate. I am,

  (Signed) L.S. JAMESON.

At about 10.30 a.m. on the same day (January 1) two cyclists, Messrs.
Celliers and Rowland, carrying despatches from members of the Reform
Committee, met the column. The letters were received by Dr. Jameson,
and taken with him as far as Doornkop, where, upon surrender of the
force, they appear to have been torn up. With that good fortune which
seems to have followed the Boers throughout this business, these torn
fragments were picked up on the battle-field by a Boer official four
months later, having remained undisturbed during the severe rain and
wind storms of the wet season. Some portions were missing, but the
others were pieced together and produced in evidence against the
Reform prisoners. The letters are printed hereunder as they were
written, as testified by the writers, and, in the case of the first
one, by others who read it before it was despatched. The italics
represent the fragments of the letters which were never found:{26}


The rumour of massa_cre in_ Johannesburg that started yo_u to_ our
relief was not true. We a_re all_ right, feeling intense. We have
armed a lot of men. Shall be very glad to see you. _We are_ not in
possess_ion of the_ town. _I shall send out some_ men to
_You are a fine_ fellow. Yours ever


We will all drink a glass along _o_' you.


31st, 11.30. Kruger has asked for _some of us to_ go over and treat:
armistice for _24 hours agreed_ to. My view is that they are in a
funk at Pretoria, and they were wrong to agree from here.



[Illustration. Caption: The above are reproductions of photographs of
the documents now in possession of the Transvaal Government. For the
report of the expert, Mr. T.H. Gurrin, as submitted to the Select
Committee of the House of Commons, see Appendix L.]

It may be noted that the tone of this correspondence does not appear
to be in accord with the attitude taken up by the Reform
Committee. The letters however were written on Tuesday the 31st, when
there was a general belief that Dr. Jameson had started in good
faith, misled by some false reports. In the second letter Colonel
Rhodes expresses the opinion that it was wrong to agree to send in
a deputation to meet the Government. This was written before the
deputation had gone to Pretoria, and clearly implies that the moral
effect of treating would be bad. The phrasing also shows that the
so-called armistice was for the purpose of treating, and not the
treating for the purpose of securing an armistice: in other words,
that the armistice would expire, and not commence, with the treating.

From the evidence given by the cyclist Rowland, it appears that he
stated to Dr. Jameson that he could get 2,000{29} armed men to go out
to his assistance; and Rowland in evidence alleged further that there
was some offer of assistance in one of the despatches, and that Dr.
Jameson, in reply, said he did not need any assistance, but that if
2,000 men should come out probably the Boers would draw off. This
witness in his evidence at Bow Street also alleged that one of the
despatches expressed surprise at Dr. Jameson's movement. There is now
a complete record of these despatches. They make no allusions to
giving assistance, and the Johannesburg leaders are very clear on the
point that no promise or offer of assistance was ever made. The reply
which Dr. Jameson caused to be sent was concealed in one of the
bicycles, which were seized by the Boer authorities on the return
ride of the despatch-carriers, and was not brought to light until the
following March, when a mechanic who was repairing the broken bicycle
discovered it.

The much-debated question of whether assistance was ever promised or
expected should be finally disposed of by the publication of two
documents which have not heretofore appeared in print. They are _(a)_
the reply of Dr. Jameson to Colonel Rhodes' letters, and _(b)_ the
report of Mr. Celliers, the cyclist despatch-rider who took the
letter and received the reply, which report was taken down in
shorthand by the clerks in the Reform Committee room as it was
made verbally by him immediately on his return. Both these records
dispose of Mr. Rowland's statement about 2,000 men; and apart from
this it should be observed that Mr. Celliers was the messenger sent
by Colonel Rhodes and not Mr. Rowland; the latter having been later
on picked up 'for company,' was presumably less qualified to speak
about the instructions and messages than Celliers, from whom indeed
he learned all that he knew.

The letter was written by Col. H. F. White in the presence of the
cyclists, and partly at the dictation of Dr. Jameson. It was in the
form of a memorandum from Col. H. F. White to Col. Frank Rhodes, and
bore no signature; but the last line was in Dr. Jameson's
handwriting, and was initialed by him. It ran as follows:

As you may imagine, we are all well pleased by your letter. We have
had some fighting, and hope to reach Johannesburg to-night, but of
course it will depend on the amount of fighting we have. Of course we
shall be pleased to have 200 men meet us at Krugersdorp, as it will
greatly encourage the men, who are in great heart although a bit
tired. Love to Sam, Phillips, and rest,

  L. S. J.

Mr. Celliers' report--after detailing the incidents of the ride

... I reached the column between 9 and 10 o'clock. I saw Dr. Jameson
personally. He received us very well, and was very glad with the news
I brought him. He read the despatch, and asked me for full details. I
told him the strength of the Boers and the dangers he was in. I told
him that they had no guns, and all that I saw and heard that they had
during my travels. I explained to him everything in detail. The
Doctor seemed to be very brave. He told me that he had two
scrimmages, and that no damage had been done. I said to him whether
it would not be well for him to halt until we got through and sent
him some help. The Doctor said he did not think there was anything to
fear, and at the same time he did not want to go to Johannesburg as a
pirate, and it would be well for them to send some men to meet him. I
also made inquiries as to whether I could return by any other road,
but found it was impossible, and that we had to come back the same
way. I got his despatch, shook hands with him, wished us well, and
set on our journey back.

The report, which is given above literally as transcribed from the
shorthand notes, concludes with an account of the return journey.
Mr. Celliers in a subsequent statement confirmed the above,
and added:

The impression which the Doctor gave me most certainly was that he
had never expected help and did not want it.{30}

The march continued on towards Krugersdorp. At one or two places a
few shots were fired by Boer pickets, and on one occasion the Maxims
of the invading force were turned on a party of some fifty Boers
ensconced in a good position. No casualties however occurred until
Krugersdorp was reached at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. A message was sent by
Sir John Willoughby to the authorities at Krugersdorp that if he
encountered any opposition he would shell the town, and he warned
them to have their women and children removed.

Shortly after mid-day positions were taken up on the hills pear
Krugersdorp, and at three o'clock severe fighting took place which
lasted well on into the night. An ambush at the crushing mill and
works of the Queen's Mine was shelled and an attempt was made to
storm it by a small party of the invaders. It was unsuccessful
however, and after nightfall Dr. Jameson's force was obliged to
retreat from its position and seek a more advantageous one on higher

They had suffered a reverse at the hands of a somewhat larger force
of Boers who had selected a very strong position. Firing did not
cease until 11 p.m. Here it is alleged the fatal military mistake of
the expedition was committed. No precautions had been taken to
ascertain the road. Instead of being well acquainted with the
direction to be taken the force was dependent upon a guide picked up
on the spot, a man who was never seen after the events of the
following day and is freely alleged to have been a Boer agent. It is
stated by competent judges that, had Dr. Jameson's force pushed on
during the night on the main road to Johannesburg, they would have
succeeded in reaching that town without difficulty. As it was however
they camped for the night in the direction of Randfontein and in the
early morning struck away south, attempting a big detour to avoid the
road which they had tried to force the previous night. There is but
little doubt that they were shepherded into the position in which
they were called upon to fight at Doornkop. The following description
of the Doornkop fight was written by Captain Frank Younghusband, the
correspondent of the London _Times_, who was an eye-witness:

Galloping over the rolling open grassy downs in search of Dr.
Jameson's force which was expected to arrive at Johannesburg at any
moment, my companion Heygate and myself saw between us two forces,
both stationary. Then one began to move away and from the regularity
of its movement we recognized that this must be Dr. Jameson's trying
to round the opposing Boer forces. We found a Boer guard holding the
only ford across the stream; so going up to the Commander we asked
for news. He, after questioning us, told us all that had occurred.

He was a field-cornet from Potchefstroom, and leader of one division
of the Boers. He said that yesterday, January 1, Dr. Jameson had
attacked the Boer force at the George and May Mine, two miles
north-west of Krugersdorp, a small mining township twenty-one miles
west of Johannesburg. Fighting took place from three in the afternoon
to eleven at night, Dr. Jameson making three principal attacks, and
doing great damage with his artillery, which the Boers, having then
no guns, were unable to reply to.

My informant, the Boer leader, said that both then and to-day Dr.
Jameson's men behaved with great gallantry, and he also said that
admirable arrangements had been made at Krugersdorp for nursing the
wounded on both sides.

This morning the Boers took up a position at Vlakfontein, eight miles
on the Johannesburg side of Krugersdorp, on a circuitous road to the
south by which Dr. Jameson was marching. The Boers in the night had
been reinforced by men and with artillery and Maxims. Their position
was an exceedingly strong one on an open slope, but along a ridge of
rocks cropping out of it. It was a right-angled position and Dr.
Jameson attacked them in the re-entering angle, thus having fire on
his front and flank.

To attack this position his men had to advance over a perfectly open
gently-sloping grassy down, while the Boers lay hid behind rocks and
fired with rifles, Maxims, and artillery upon their assailants. The
Boers numbered from 1,200 to 1,500, Dr. Jameson's force about 500,
and the position was practically unassailable.

Dr. Jameson, after making a desperate effort to get through,
surrendered, and as we stood we saw his brave little band riding
dejectedly back again to Krugersdorp without their arms and
surrounded by a Boer escort.

We were allowed to ride close up, but were refused permission to see
Dr. Jameson. It is therefore impossible to state his full reasons,
but it is known that he was made aware that it was impossible to send
assistance from here, and this may have influenced him in giving
up the contest when he found the enemy's position so strong that
in any case it would have been no disgrace to have been beaten by
superior numbers of such a brave foe as that Boer force which I
saw in the very position they had fought in. It was evident that
probably no one had ever started on a more desperate venture than
had this daring little force, and they gained by their gallantry the
adoration, not only of the Boer burghers who spoke to me, but of the
whole town of Johannesburg.

These Boers--rough, simple men, dressed in ordinary civilian clothes,
with merely a rifle slung over the shoulder to show they were
soldiers--spoke in feeling terms of the splendid bravery shown by
their assailants. They were perfectly calm and spoke without any
boastfulness in a self-reliant way. They said, pointing to the
ground, that the thing was impossible, and hence the present result.

The total loss of Dr. Jameson's force is about twenty. Major Grey
was, they said, the principal military officer, and they thought that
no officer was killed, and that the report that Sir John Willoughby
had been killed was unfounded. He and Dr. Jameson have been taken to

At 9.15 o'clock the white flag was put up. Sir J. Willoughby, the
officer in command of the force, then sent the following note
addressed to the Commandant of the Transvaal Forces:

We surrender, provided that you guarantee us safe conduct out of the
country for every member of the force.


A reply was sent within fifteen minutes, of which the following is a
literal translation:

OFFICER,--Please take note that I shall immediately assemble our
officers to decide upon your communication.


Twenty or thirty minutes later a second note was received by the
surrendering force, addressed 'John C. Willoughby':

I acknowledge your letter. The answer is that, if you will undertake
to pay the expense which you have caused the South African Republic,
and if you will surrender with your arms, then I shall spare the
lives of you and yours. Please send me a reply to this within thirty

  _Commandant, Potchefstroom._

Within fifteen minutes of the receipt of this letter, Sir J.
Willoughby replied, accepting the conditions in the following terms:

I accept the terms on the guarantee that the lives of all will be
spared. I now await your instructions as to how and where we are to
lay down our arms. At the same time I would ask you to remember that
my men have been without food for the last twenty-four hours.

'The flag sent with the first message (to quote the statement made on
behalf of Sir J. Willoughby by his solicitor, Mr. B.F. Hawksley) was
sent perhaps a little earlier than 9.15. Dr. Jameson's force ceased
firing as soon as the flag was hoisted, except on the extreme right.
Messengers were sent to stop that firing, and all firing ceased
within five minutes. The Boers continued to fire for some ten
minutes, and for some time after Jameson's force had ceased. After
Sir J. Willoughby had received the first answer the State Artillery
opened fire and continued firing for at least fifteen minutes. Sir J.
Willoughby sent Colonel the Hon. H. White and Captain Grenfell to the
Commandant with a note requesting to know the reason for firing on a
flag of truce, and requesting that it might cease. Sir J. Willoughby
has no copy of the letter he wrote accepting the conditions offered
by Cronje, but it was to the effect above given. 'Besides Cronje,
Commandant Malan was acquainted with the terms of surrender, for
_after Jameson's force had given up their arms_ Commandant Malan came
up and repudiated part of the terms, saying he would not guarantee
the lives of Jameson and the leaders, and that they would be handed
over to General Joubert, who would decide their fate.'

The decision having been announced to the forces, and many of the men
having stacked their arms and dropped off to sleep where they lay in
the veld, several other commandants joined Cronje, and an altercation
took place in the presence of the surrendered officers, Commandant
Malan of Rustenburg violently proclaiming that Cronje had no
right to spare the lives of the force, and that it lay with the
Commandant-General and Krijgsraad (or War Council) to decide what
should be done with the prisoners. Commandant Cronje replied that
they had surrendered to him upon certain conditions, and those
conditions had been accepted by him. In the course of the discussion,
in which several other prominent Boers joined, disapproval was
generally expressed of Cronje's acceptance of the terms and threats
were used to Dr. Jameson in person. Eye-witnesses on the Boer
side state that Dr. Jameson declined to discuss the matter further;
he merely bowed and walked away. It may be remarked that it is not by
any means unusual for the Boers to seek to stretch to their advantage
terms which they have previously agreed upon. There can now be no
question as to the conditions of the surrender. The officer in
command on the field agreed to spare the lives of the entire force,
and it was not competent for anyone to reverse that decision or to
reopen the question. The incident is instructive, and also important
since the lives of Dr. Jameson and his men were made to play a
considerable part in President Kruger's game of magnanimity later

The Johannesburg _Star_ correspondent, describing the surrender,

There were upwards of 400 altogether, and the poor fellows made a
sorry sight--tired from their long march, their privations, and the
tremendous strain of continuous engagements for nearly twenty-four
hours. Some almost slept in their saddles as they were being
escorted; and when they arrived on Krugersdorp Market Square the
scene will not soon be forgotten.

The Boers freely mixed with them and talked with them. Provisions
were brought, and devoured with ravenous hunger. In many cases the
Boers gave from their own scant stock of provisions to the starving
men, for whom they expressed the utmost admiration for their
pluckiness and determination.

Dr. Jameson and his principal officers, including Sir John
Willoughby, were brought in separately from the main body of the
captured troops. Although the Boers treated most of the prisoners
with consideration, they jeered somewhat when Dr. Jameson was brought
forward; but this was promptly suppressed by the Commandants. Dr.
Jameson and the officers were temporarily housed in the Court-house,
together with the other officers captured previously.

A mule-waggon was brought up, fitted with mattresses. The chief
officers were despatched to Pretoria under a strong escort of Boers.
About half an hour later the rest of the prisoners were also escorted
out of the town to Pretoria, most of them on their own horses. Both
men and horses were extremely emaciated.

The burgher losses were reported to have been 4 killed and 5 wounded.
The losses of Dr. Jameson's force were 18 killed and about 40

There were also taken: 400 magazine and Lee-Metford rifles, 8 Maxims
(one spiked, or with the breach-piece gone), 4 field-pieces, 33,000
rifle cartridges, 10 cases of Maxim cartridges, 10 cases of
projectiles, 2 sacks of projectiles, 300 cartridge-belts, 13
revolvers, 4 mule-waggons, 5 Scotch carts, 742 horses (in which were
included the 250 horses which were captured in charge of two troopers
near Blaaubank), a full-blooded stallion (the property of Dr.
Jameson), 400 saddles, bridles etc., 38 mules with harness, 1
telegraph instrument (probably to tap wires with), harness and other
accoutrements and instruments of war.

The prisoners were treated with every consideration by their captors,
with the exception perhaps of Dr. Jameson himself, who was threatened
by some of the unruly ones and freely hissed and hooted, but was
protected by the officers in charge. It must be said of the Boers
that they acted with admirable self-restraint and dignity in a
position such as very few are called upon to face. However politic
their actions may have been in their fear of provoking conflict with
Johannesburg and the Imperial Government, however the juggling with
Dr. Jameson's life afterwards and the spurious magnanimity so freely
advertized, may detract from what they did and may tend to bring
ridicule and suspicion upon them, one cannot review the broad facts
of the Jameson invasion, and realize a position which, if only for
the moment, gave the aggrieved party unlimited scope for revenge upon
an aggressor who had not the semblance of personal wrong or interest
nor the pretext of duty to justify his action, without allowing to
the Boers that they behaved in such a manner as, for a time, to
silence even that criticism which is logically justifiable and
ultimately imperative. In so far as the invading force are concerned,
the words of Mr. A. J. Balfour aptly sum up the position: 'President
Kruger has shown himself to possess a generosity which is not the
less to be admired because it is coincident with the highest
political wisdom.'

With reference to the surrender of the force, it is reasonable to
believe that the Transvaal Government, knowing how serious the
complications would be if civil war actually took place, and
believing as they undoubtedly did that Johannesburg contained upwards
of 20,000 armed men, were quite willing--indeed anxious--to secure
the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force on any terms, and that the
conditions made by Cronje were quite in accordance with what the
highest Boer authorities would have accepted. It seems to be beyond
question also that the conditions of surrender were purposely
suppressed in order to enable the President to bargain with
Johannesburg; and, as has already been stated, such action
materially detracted from the credit due to the Transvaal Government.
This is their characteristic diplomacy--the fruit of generations of
sharpening wits against savages; and the same is called Kaffir
cunning, and is not understood at first by European people. But when
all such considerations are weighed, there is still a large balance
of credit due to the Boers for the manner in which they treated
Dr. Jameson and his invading force. It is difficult to conceive of
any people behaving better to a foe vanquished under such conditions;
indeed, it would be quite impossible.

The Boers when under control of their leaders have generally behaved
in an admirable manner. It is only when the individuals, unrestrained
by those in authority, are left to exercise their power at the
dictates of their own uncurbed passions, that the horrible scenes
have occurred which have undoubtedly blemished their reputation.

In connection with the Jameson raid there was one such incident--the
shooting of Trooper Black. The unfortunate man fell into the hands of
the Boers while out scouting and was taken as a prisoner to a
farmhouse near Blaaubank. There he was tied up and beaten, and it is
stated by a woman who gave him water when he was half mad with
thirst, that his face had been smashed by a blow from a rifle butt.
When unable to bear the treatment any longer Black stood up and,
tearing his shirt open, cried out, 'Don't shoot me in the back! Shoot
here! My heart's in the right place.' He was then untied and (as
alleged by Dutch witnesses) given an opportunity to escape. He
mounted his horse, but before he had gone far was shot dead. On the
appeal of Sir Jacobus de Wet the Government consented to investigate
the matter; but the Commandant in charge, Piet Grobler, when
questioned on the subject, merely replied, 'Oh, he [Black] was a very
insolent fellow. We could do nothing with him.' The man who fired the
shot despatching Black, a half-caste Boer named Graham, stated on his
return from Pretoria that he was asked no questions at the so-called

A somewhat similar incident took place, but fortunately with less
serious results, on the way from the battle of Krugersdorp. A
well-known resident of Johannesburg had ridden out to ascertain news
of Dr. Jameson, and, arriving as the surrender took place, thrust his
way among the Boers until he reached the Doctor, where he was
arrested by the Boer authorities as a spy. Being a burgher of the
State who had been resident in the Transvaal for some sixteen or
seventeen years, he was recognized and rather harshly treated. He was
attached by a leather thong to the saddle of one of the Boer
Commandants and made to run, keeping pace with the horse. After a
spell of this treatment he was released, and the Commandant in
question offered to make a bet with him that he would not be able to
race him on horseback to the ambulance waggons a few hundred yards
off, the prisoner to take a short cut across a swamp and the
Commandant to ride round by the road. The prisoner thereupon replied,
'No, thank you, Commandant. I was in the Boer War myself and saw
several men shot by that dodge, on the pretence that they were
escaping.' The worthy Commandant thereupon drew his stirrup from the
saddle, and thrashed his prisoner with the stirrup end. After some
ten days' imprisonment under exceptionally hard conditions the
gentleman in question was released without trial.

The complete success of the Boer forces against Dr. Jameson's band
has been accounted for in many ways, but undoubtedly the one reason,
if one can be selected, which enabled them to deal with the invaders,
was their ability to mobilize at short notice. And in this connection
arises the question: Did the Boers know beforehand of the intended
invasion, and were they waiting until Dr. Jameson should walk into
the trap? On behalf of the Boers it is strenuously maintained that
they had not the remotest notion of what was brewing, and that had
such an idea occurred to them they would of course have reported
matters to the High Commissioner. The President's unyielding mood
before he heard of Dr. Jameson's start, and his change afterwards,
the state of demoralization in Pretoria, the unpreparedness of the
State Artillery, and the vacillation of General Joubert, the
condition of alarm in which the President was during that night of
suspense before the surrender, when Chief Justice Kotze sat with him
to aid and cheer, and when the old white horse stood saddled in the
stable in case Johannesburg should attack Pretoria; all point to the
conclusion that it was not all cut and dried. With a singular
unanimity, the Boers and their friends and the majority of the
Uitlanders in the Transvaal support this view; but there are on
record certain facts which are not to be ignored. Apart altogether
from the hearsay evidence of telegraphists and Boer officials in
different parts of the country, who state that they were under
orders from Government to remain at their posts day and night--that
is to say to sleep in their offices--a fortnight before the Jameson
raid took place, a significant piece of evidence is that supplied by
the Transvaal Consul in London, Mr. Montagu White, who in a letter to
the London Press stated that on December 16 he received information
as to the plot against the independence of the Republic, and that he
on that date cabled fully to President Kruger warning him of what was
in contemplation, and that the President took the necessary
precautions. Now, on December 14 it was announced in Pretoria that
the President, being greatly in need of a rest and change, was about
to undertake a tour through the country to visit his faithful
burghers. Perusal of the newspapers of the time shows that among the
Uitlanders no significance was attached to this visit. Indeed, the
Uitlander press agreed that it had become painfully evident that His
Honour required a change in order to restore his nervous system. As
nothing can better represent the opinions of the time than the
current comments of the Press, the following extracts from the
Johannesburg _Star_ are given:

In short, His Honour is developing an ungovernable irritability and a
tendency to choleric obsessions, when the word 'Uitlander' is barely
mentioned in his presence, that are causing the greatest concern to
those around him. Only on some such grounds are explicable the raging
exclamations he is reported to have permitted himself to lately use
towards Johannesburg and the cause of reform upon which it is so
earnestly engaged. That His Honour should have been generally
credited with indulging in unconventional vernacular terms concerning
the pronouncedly loyal and hearty reception accorded to him on his
visit to the Rand Agricultural Show, seems to argue a lapse into the
habits of his youngest days, which has a direct significance in the
case of ordinary individuals, and is known by a very familiar name.
That he should tragically declare that only across his bleeding
corpse will the Uitlander ever come into his own, is merely the
extravagant and regrettable melodrama of an overheated mind. The
general desire is quite averse to encountering any stepping-stones of
that kind, and most of all averse to Mr. Kruger's taking any such
place. Our quarrel is with principles and systems, and never yet has
a note of personal vengeance been sounded whilst we have endeavoured
to compass their destruction. It is quite obvious that a little
relaxation from the cares of State, or reversion to more primitive
conditions, a freer communion with Nature--viewed from an
ox-waggon--are eminently desirable to restore His Honour's shattered
nerves.--_December 14, 1895._


His Honour the President has returned to the seat of Government. The
itinerary appears to have been somewhat prematurely cut short; but no
one is likely to so ridiculously underestimate the sterling qualities
of His Honour as to conceive the possibility of his absence when
difficulty and danger imperatively command his presence at the head
of public affairs. The conclusions which Mr. Kruger has derived from
converse with his faithful burghers are likely to remain buried in
his own breast. The outward and ostensible object of his recent tour
has been fulfilled in much the accustomed manner; that is to say, he
has discussed with apparent interest the necessity for a pont here or
a bridge there; the desirability of Government aid for tree-planting,
the trouble which the farmers experience in getting native labour,
and so forth, and so on; but we must not derive from all this
peripatetic fustian the erroneous impression that His Honour has been
vacuously fiddling on the eve of a conflagration. The real business
which took him to Lydenburg and Middelburg has no doubt been
satisfactorily accomplished. Boer sentiment has been tested in
secret, and the usual professions of fervid patriotism and of
readiness for target practice with the Uitlander as the mark have
been profusely evoked. This sub-official aspect of the itinerary has
been discreetly veiled in all the reports which have been permitted
to transpire, and the censorship thereof has been more than normally
exacting and severe; but we are from private sources left in no
manner of doubt that Mr. Kruger has been canvassing and stimulating
the Boers to be ready for any emergency, and has been metaphorically
planting a war-beacon on every hill. All scrutiny and inquiry fail to
discover that he has uttered one single word which can be described
as an emollient to the present critical situation. He has pandered
rather to the worst racial passions of the Boer, instead of using the
enormous responsibility resting upon him in the direction of
mediation. Old patriarchs--whom we cannot but respect and admire
whilst we deplore their immitigable and hopeless rancour against the
cause of the newcomer--have been permitted, apparently without
rebuke, to show their wounds to the younger and more malleable
generation in His Honour's presence, and to boast of their readiness
to receive as much more lead as they can conveniently find room for.
The tour, indeed, has been a _wapenschouwing_, with oratory of the
most dangerous and pernicious type for its accompaniment. His
Honour's contribution to this interesting display of martial ardour
has been couched, as usual, in the enigmatic form. He has spoken
another parable. A mind so fertile in image and in simile cannot have
lost much of its wonted vigour. The one he has chosen to employ on
this occasion is full of instruction, and is derived, as Mr. Kruger's
images frequently are, from the arena of natural history. When you
want to kill your tortoise, he must be artfully induced to
imprudently protrude his head beyond his thick and impregnable shell,
and then the task becomes a very easy one. This little parable was
considered good for use on more than one occasion, varied by the
addition that, if the tortoise be up to the trick, it is necessary to
sit down and wait until he does make the fatal mistake. The only
drawback to our profound intellectual delight in the parable is the
question, 'Who will be the tortoise?'--_December 27, 1895._

A perusal of the German White Book shows that

On December 24 the German Consul in Pretoria telegraphed to the
Foreign Office that 'news from Johannesburg points to the preparation
of disturbances by the English party there, and the Government is
taking precautionary measures.' Baron von Marschall communicated this
to Sir Frank Lascelles, and, after pointing out the possible
consequence of bloodshed, emphasized once again the necessity for
maintaining the _status quo_. In reply to the German Consul in
Pretoria, the Secretary of State telegraphed a similar statement,
adding: 'Impress energetically upon the Transvaal Government that it
must most scrupulously avoid any provocation if it wishes to retain
German sympathy.'

Another little light on the inside history is that afforded by Mr.
J.C. Bodenstein, Field-cornet of the Krugersdorp district, who in the
course of an interview accorded to the _Standard and Diggers' News_,
the Johannesburg Government organ, stated how he came to know of
Jameson's intended invasion. He heard that a certain young lady who
resided at Luipaardsvlei, near Krugersdorp, whose _fiance_ occupied a
good position in the Bechuanaland Border Police, had received a
letter from him at Mafeking to the effect that he intended paying her
a visit about the New Year, and that he would not be alone, as the
whole force was coming to Johannesburg. The lady proved no exception
to the alleged rule concerning secrets, and Field-cornet Bodenstein
personally assured himself of the authenticity of the report he had

On Friday, December 27, a German gentleman from the Free State also
informed the Field-cornet that Dr. Jameson and his troopers might be
expected at any time. 'On hearing this confirmation of the letter,'
said Mr. Bodenstein, 'I went at once to Pretoria. I arrived there at
eleven o'clock at night, and early the next morning I saw the
President and informed him about the letter and what I had been told.
He remarked quietly: "Yes, I have heard all about it" The General
(Joubert) then said: "All right; I will send you the ammunition you

In the report of the Select Committee of the Cape House of Assembly
(Blue Book A 6 of 1896, page 76) there is the evidence of the Hon.
J.A. Faure, M.L.C., which shows that he and Sir Thomas Upington, the
Attorney-General of Cape Colony, were on a visit to Johannesburg on
December 27, and heard it publicly stated that Dr. Jameson with 800
men was on the border for the purpose of invading the Transvaal.
Mr. Faure testifies that he learned this from a very prominent Free
State Dutchman. Among others, one would suppose that the Transvaal
Government must also have heard something of it.

Dr. Veale, a well-known Pretoria doctor, states that at daybreak on
Thursday, January 2, Commandant Hendrik Schoeman called on him to
secure his professional attendance for a member of his family who was
very ill. The Commandant said that he had been sent out on Monday to
watch the invading force and to ascertain their numbers, and also
stated that he had been following the troop with others for a
considerable time and that he was sure Jameson had not 800 but
between 450 and 500, as he had repeatedly counted them; that the
force was being delayed by small parties drawing it into useless
fighting and so losing time; that he himself had been obliged to come
on ahead, having been recalled on account of his wife's serious
illness, but that it made little difference as there were others to
take his place, and they had arranged not to tackle Jameson until
they had drawn him among the kopjes at Doornkop, where it would be
quite impossible for him ever to get through. This statement it
should be noted was made in Pretoria some hours before the Jameson
force surrendered at Doornkop.

So certain do the Boers appear to have been, and so confident of
their ability to carry out their plans, that they stated to a
reporter of the Government newspaper that they intended to stop
Jameson at Rietspruit (Doornkop), and this statement was published in
a Johannesburg paper on the morning of January 1, but was of course
regarded as mere gossip of a piece with that which flooded the
newspapers at the time. It is only right to add that there were
numbers of other announcements at the same time which by no means
agreed with this one, and it is stated that the editor was as much
surprised as the public to find that he had been right.

In reviewing the whole of the circumstances of the raid, not the most
biased and most interested of persons can withhold a tribute of
admiration to the President's presence of mind, skill, and courage in
dealing with circumstances wholly without precedent; and in quiet
moments, when recalling all that has happened, if human at all, his
Honour must indulge in a chuckle now and then to think how completely
he jockeyed everybody.{32} Not the least amusing recollection must be
that of the 'great trek' (Banjailand Trek), which his burghers
threatened to make into Mashonaland via Rhodes' Drift when Sir John
Willoughby gained his first experience of Oom Paul. The military
commander of Dr. Jameson's force had called on the President to add
weight to the remonstrances which were being made against the action
of the burghers in invading the Chartered territory, and the
President, playing his cards for a favourable settlement of
Swaziland, had replied that he had done all that he could, and events
must take their course. 'Tell him,' said Sir John to Dr. Leyds who
was interpreting, 'that if the trek is not stopped of course the
result will be war!' 'If it must be, let it be,' the old gentleman
answered quietly. 'Then tell him,' Sir John replied, 'that in that
case he will have to reckon with the British Army.' 'And tell _him_',
said the President, pointing placidly at his interviewer with his big
pipe, 'that I have reckoned with the British Army once before.' If
the recollection occurred to both men on January 2, it must have been
with different emotions.

In dealing with President Kruger's personal attitude it is not
perhaps pertinent but, it is interesting, to recall an incident of
his earlier career--a parallel between the prisoner and the
President. Oddly enough President Kruger was a rebel and a filibuster
himself in the days of his hot youth, and one of his earliest
diplomatic successes was in securing the release and pardon of
men who, in 1857, stood in exactly the same position as the
Uitlanders whom he imprisoned.

The story of the Potchefstroom revolt is little known in England, but
it is told in Theal's 'Standard History of South Africa,' and very
instructive reading it is. Dr. Hillier, of Johannesburg, one of the
Reformers, called attention just before the outbreak to the
extraordinary parallel between the revolt of Potchefstroom in 1857
against the dominance of Lydenburg and the condition of Johannesburg
in 1895 under the despotism of Pretoria. Dr. Hillier in his pamphlet

In 1857 the Republic north of the Vaal attained its twentieth year.
It had increased in population, and had taken on, to some extent, the
habits and mode of life of a settled community. Mr. Pretorius and his
followers began to feel that in the altered circumstances of the
State the time had arrived for a remodelling of the Constitution.
Among these followers of Pretorius, these advocates of reform, it is
interesting to find was Mr. Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger.

Mr. Theal says:

'During the months of September and October, 1856, Commandant-General
M. W. Pretorius made a tour through the districts of Rutsenburg,
Pretoria and Potchefstroom, and called public meetings at all the
centres of population. At these meetings there was an expression by a
large majority in favour of immediate adoption of a Constitution
which should provide for an efficient Government and an independent

And again, later on, we have in the words of South Africa's historian
the gist of the complaint against the then existing state of things:

'The community of Lydenburg was accused of attempting to domineer
over the whole country, without any other right to preeminence than
that of being composed of the earliest inhabitants, a right which it
had forfeited by its opposition to the general weal.'

Such was the shocking state of things in this country in 1856. It was
a great deal too bad for such champion reformers as Mr. Pretorius and
his lieutenant, Mr. S.J.P. Kruger, as we shall see later. Shortly
after these meetings were held, a Representative Assembly, consisting
of twenty-four members, one for each field-cornetcy, was elected for
the special purpose of framing a Constitution and installing the
officials whom it should decide to appoint.

On January 5, 1857, the Representative Assembly appointed Mr.
Martinus Wessels Pretorius President, and also appointed members of
an Executive Council. The oaths of office were then taken, the
President and Executive installed, and the flag hoisted. When
intelligence of these proceedings reached Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg,
there was a violent outburst of indignation. At a public meeting at
Zoutpansberg the acts and resolutions of the Representative Assembly
at Potchefstroom were almost unanimously repudiated, and a manifesto
disowning the new Constitution and everything connected with it was
drawn up. Mr. Pretorius then issued a proclamation, deposing
Commandant-General Schoeman from all authority, declaring
Zoutpansberg in a state of blockade, and prohibiting traders from
supplying 'the rebels' with ammunition or anything else. This conduct
on the part of the new Government under Mr. Pretorius appears to me
distinctly adroit. Having taken upon themselves to remodel the entire
Constitution of the country, they turn round on the adherents of the
older Government, whom, by-the-by, they had not thought it worth
while to consult, and promptly call them 'rebels.' And so you have
this striking political phenomenon of a revolutionary party turning
on the adherents of the Government of the State, and denouncing them,
forsooth, as 'rebels.'

The 'Republic of Lydenburg' then declared itself into a sovereign and
independent State. And thus two Republics, two Volksraads, two
Governments, were formed and existed simultaneously in the Transvaal.
And all this without a shot being fired, each party finding
sufficient relief to its feelings by calling the other party
'rebels.' In order to strengthen its position, the party of Pretorius
now determined on a bold stroke. They sent emissaries to endeavour to
arrange for union with the Free State. The Free State Government
rejected their overtures, but Pretorius was led to believe that so
many of the Free State burghers were anxious for this union that all
that was necessary for him to do, in order to effect it, was to march
in with an armed force. He therefore placed himself at the head of a
commando, and crossed the Vaal, where he was joined by a certain
number of Free State burghers.

But Pretorius, with whom was Paul Kruger, found, like Dr. Jameson,
that he had reckoned without his host. When intelligence of this
invasion reached Bloemfontein, President Boshoff issued a
proclamation declaring martial law in force throughout the Free
State, and calling out burghers for the defence of the country. It
soon appeared that the majority of the people were ready to support
the President, and from all quarters men repaired to Kroonstad. At
this stage the Free State President received an offer of assistance
from General Schoeman, of Zoutpansberg, against Pretorius, in which
object he believed Lydenburg would also join.

On May 25 the two commandoes were drawn up facing each other on
opposite banks of the Rhenoster River, and remained in that position
for three hours. Threatened from the north as well as the south
Pretorius felt his chance of success was small, and he therefore sent
out Commandant Paul Kruger with a flag of truce to propose that a
pacific settlement should be made.

Here indeed is a very close parallel, but the climax is still to
come. The treaty arrived at was practically an apology on the part of
the South African Republic. Many citizens of the Free State who had
joined the northern forces moved over the Vaal after this event.
Those who remained and those who had been previously arrested were
brought to trial for high treason. One man was sentenced to death,
but the sentence was mitigated subsequently to a fine; others were
fined. These fines were again still further mitigated at the
solicitation of Messrs. Paul Kruger and Steyn, until it came to
little more than a ten-pound note apiece.

There we have the story of President Kruger and his friends playing
exactly the part Dr. Jameson and the Johannesburg Reformers tried to
do. As Potchefstroom rose under Mr. Kruger against the oligarchical
rule of Lydenburg, so Johannesburg was to rise against Pretoria. The
Potchefstroom Republic under Pretorius and Kruger made a raid _a la_
Jameson into the Orange Free State for political purposes, to
encourage those who were believed to be anxious to effect a
union. And just as Jameson failed against the Government of Pretoria,
so Pretorius failed against the Government of the Orange Free State.
In 1857 it was Paul Kruger not Dr. Jameson who hoisted the white
flag. The Free Staters who had tried to help Kruger's raid were
arrested just as the Johannesburgers were; but although one of them
was condemned to death all of them were released, by the intervention
of Mr. Kruger himself, on paying a slight fine.

History has repeated itself indeed; but the offence of Dr. Jameson is
surely less than that of Mr. Kruger, if we are to pay heed to the
records of the Free State Volksraad, wherein it is written that on a
certain day the President stated in open Raad that proof had been
obtained of a proposed combined attack on the Free State by the
Transvaal Boers, led by Pretorius and Kruger on the one side, and the
Basutos under Moshesh on the other--a horrible and unnatural alliance
which was not effected only because Moshesh could not trust his
professed allies. The Raad thereupon publicly gave thanks to the
Almighty, Who had revealed and frustrated this 'hideous complot.'

Footnotes for Chapter VI

{24} In the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons
the following questions and answers occur, Mr. Blake questioning and
Major Heany replying:

'Having got the message you went off with it and you got in, as we
see by the evidence, as quickly as you could, and you just gave the
message as accurately as you could to Dr. Jameson?--I read the
message from my note-book absolutely accurately to Dr. Jameson.

'And he did not lose much time in making up his mind?--No; he went
outside his tent. He was in a bell-tent when I arrived and he went
outside and walked up and down for about twenty minutes, and then he
came in and announced his determination.'

{25} In the course of the Inquiry at Westminster, Dr. Jameson
himself took occasion to explain this reference, when answering a
question put by Mr. Sidney Buxton.

Knowing what you do now of the position at Johannesburg, do you think
it was within their power to send out 300 mounted men?--I cannot give
an opinion upon that; I think all their actions were perfectly _bona
fide_. There is one telegram here which has been brought up against
me very unpleasantly, which I wish I had never sent, where 'fear' is
imputed in the telegram as it stands here. My explanation is that I
was irritated at the time at the trouble going on, and that I used it
inadvertently, or possibly there is a mistake in deciphering the code
word; as to that I cannot tell, but I am sorry that it should appear
so in the telegram, because I never imputed fear or cowardice to
anyone in connection with anything.

{26} July 1899. The originals have since been photographed and
are here reproduced.

{27} Colonel Francis Rhodes.

{28} Lionel Phillips.

{29} (July, 1899.) Is it not probable that the deleted figures
'2,000' in Colonel Rhodes' letter (see photograph) may account
for some of the talk about 2,000 armed men?

{30} After the arrival in England of the officers of Dr. Jameson's
force, a report dealing with the military aspect of the expedition
was sent by Sir John Willoughby to the War Office. It has been
printed and--to a certain extent--circulated, and cannot therefore
be regarded as private. But apart from this it is a document so
peculiar--so marked by mishandling of notorious facts--that it
deserves no consideration other than it may earn on merits. It is
printed _in extenso_ with notes by a member of the Reform Committee.
See Appendix H.

{31} See Appendix G. It will be noted that in his declarations
Commandant Cronje modifies his terms very considerably. It was
impossible for any reasonable person to accept the explanation
preferred by him, that the promise to spare the lives of the
surrendered force was only to hold good until they could be handed
over to the Commandant-General. In fact, it is well known that
Commandant Cronje only took up this attitude after an extremely
acrimonious discussion had taken place between him and Commandant
Malan--a quarrel in which they went the length of making charges
against each other in the public press of treachery and neglect of
duty whilst in the field. The Commandant Cronje referred to here is
the same gentleman who commanded the Boer forces at Potchefstroom in
the War of Independence, and his record is an extremely unpleasant
one, his conduct of operations having earned for the Potchefstroom
commando the worst reputation of any. Apart from the execution
of several British subjects who were suspected and, on wholly
insufficient grounds, summarily shot as spies, there are the
unpleasant facts that he caused prisoners of war to be placed in the
forefront of the besieging operations and compelled them to work in
the trenches in exposed positions so that they should be--and
actually were--shot by their own comrades. There was also the
incident in which he refused to allow one or two of the ladies who
were among the beleaguered garrison, and who were then in extremely
bad health, to leave the fort to obtain such food and medical
attendance as would enable them to live. One of the ladies died in
consequence. But the incident which has more bearing on Jameson's
surrender than any other is that connected with the armistice, when
Commandant Cronje, in defiance of treaty obligations, withheld from
Colonel Winslow and the besieged garrison the news that an armistice
had been arranged between the Boer and British forces, and continued
the siege until the garrison, in order to save the lives of the
wounded and the women and children refugees, were obliged to
surrender. It will be remembered that this incident was too much even
for Mr. Gladstone, and that on its becoming known after the terms of
peace had been settled, the Transvaal Government were required by Sir
Evelyn Wood to allow a British force to march up from Natal and
re-occupy Potchefstroom as a formal acknowledgment of Cronje's
treachery. Mr. Kruger and his party, who were in the greatest fear
that the settlement would not be effected, and that Sir Evelyn Wood's
action might provoke a renewal of hostilities, agreed to the terms,
but with grave apprehensions as to the results. However, no
_contretemps_ occurred.

{32} Once when out hunting on foot--a young man then--Mr. Kruger,
after climbing to the top of a kopje, found that he had been seen by
a number of hostile natives who were then running towards him, some
to climb the hill, others branching out to surround it. He knew that
those on the flat could cut him off before he could descend and that
his only chance lay in 'bluff.' Stepping on to the outermost ledge in
full view of the enemy he calmly laid down his rifle, drew off first
one and then the other of his velschoens (home-made hide shoes, in
those poorer days worn without socks) and after quietly knocking the
sand out of them drew them on again. By this time the natives had
stopped to observe him. He then picked up his rifle again, and
turning to an imaginary force behind the kopje waved to the right and
then to the left, as though directing them to charge round each end
of the hill. The next instant the Kaffirs were in full retreat.



The news of Dr. Jameson's surrender was received in Johannesburg
towards mid-day, at first with derision, but as report after report
came in, each confirming and supplementing the other, no room for
doubt was left and a scene of the wildest excitement ensued. It is
not too much to say that not one person in a hundred, no matter what
his political leanings were, had doubted for a moment Dr. Jameson's
ability to force his way into Johannesburg. There is not the
slightest indication in the newspapers of the time, which without
doubt reflected every varying mood and repeated every rumour which it
was possible to catch from an excited people, that there was in any
man's mind a suspicion that the Boers would be able to stop the
invader. In the first place no one believed that they could mobilize
sufficiently quickly to oppose him, and in the second place, he was
understood to have a force of 800 men so admirably equipped and
trained that it would not be possible for 5,000 Boers hurriedly
called together to intercept him. All this, however, was forgotten
when it came to accounting for the disaster; or rather, the previous
convictions only added strength to the rage of disappointment. The
public by that time knew of the letter of invitation; it had been
taken on the battle-field and news of it was telegraphed in, and
apart from this the writers had made no secret of it. But what the
public did not know, and what, if they had known it, would not have
appealed with similar force, was the efforts made to stop Jameson and
the practical withdrawal of the letter before he had started. It
was sufficient for them during the few remaining hours of that day to
recall that Jameson had come in, that he had fought against great
odds, and that when almost reaching his goal he had been taken
prisoner for want of assistance. It is perfectly true that in their
rage of grief and disappointment men were willing to march out with
pick-handles to rescue him, if there were not rifles enough to arm
them. While the excitement lasted this was the mood, and the Reform
Committee were the scapegoats. The attitude of the crowd was due to
ignorance of the circumstances and natural emotion which could not be
otherwise vented. The excitement had greatly abated by the following
morning, and it was realized then that the position was practically
but little worse than that which the Reform Committee had offered
to take up when they tendered their persons as security for the
evacuation of the country by the invading force, and had proposed to
continue the struggle without their aid.

The reports received by the Johannesburg people were to the effect
that the surrender had been conditional upon the sparing of the lives
of the force. Indeed the first reports agreed that Jameson upon
receipt of the High Commissioner's proclamation, had laid down his
arms; but upon the return of Mr. Lace (whose mission has been
explained) it was realized that this was not the case. A later
account showed that Jameson had surrendered to Commandant Cronje on
the condition that the lives of all should be spared, and this
version of the surrender was published in the Johannesburg
newspapers. When further accounts were received from Pretoria and
Krugersdorp, stating that the surrender had been unconditional and
that there was grave doubt as to what would be done with Dr. Jameson,
it was surmised as an explanation that he had declined to bargain for
his own life and had merely stipulated that those of his followers
should be spared.

On Friday the news that it was contemplated to shoot Dr. Jameson
caused a frenzy of horror and excitement in the town. Every effort
was made by the Reform Committee and its supporters to maintain
strictly the position which the Government had suggested through
their Commission on Wednesday, lest some untoward incident should
turn the trembling balance against Dr. Jameson and his men; nor were
the Committee alone in the desire to maintain that position. On
Friday and on Saturday communications were received from the local
Government officials, and from Commandant-General Joubert through the
British Agent, drawing the attention of the Committee to alleged
breaches of the arrangement. The allegations were satisfactorily
disproved; but the communications clearly indicated that the
Government were most desirous of maintaining the position in relation
to Johannesburg which they had laid down before the first battle with
Dr. Jameson's forces.

Information was received on Thursday that the High Commissioner would
leave Capetown for Pretoria at 9 p.m. that night. It had been a
matter of surprise that, the arrangement having been entered into
with him early on Wednesday, he had not found it convenient to start
for some thirty-six hours. Considering how seriously he had
interfered with the movement--first by his proclamation, and next by
concerted action with the Government for a peaceful settlement--it
had been naturally assumed that he would not lose a moment in leaving
Capetown for the scene of trouble. Such however was not the case.

It has been alleged that the arrangement made between the Transvaal
Government and the High Commissioner with a view to a peaceful
settlement bore only upon Dr. Jameson's action, and that it was not
contemplated that there should be any interference between the
Government and its own subjects in Johannesburg. In answer to this it
may be noted that the High Commissioner had in the first place
offered his services, and that those services had been declined by
the Transvaal Government; but that the latter, on realizing the
seriousness of the position which they were called upon to face, and
acting, it is stated, upon the advice of Mr. J.H. Hofmeyr, the
recognized leader of the Dutch Africanders in the Cape Colony,
reconsidered this refusal and urgently besought the High Commissioner
to go up to Pretoria and use his influence to effect a peaceful
settlement. This arrangement, together with the promise of the
redress of grievances, had been made known to the deputation of the
Reform Committee by the Government Commission in Pretoria, as has
already been stated--the Government well knowing that Johannesburg
was in arms and a party to the arrangement with Dr. Jameson.

Dr. Jameson surrendered at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday. The High
Commissioner did not leave Capetown until 9 p.m. the same day. There
had therefore been ample time for the Government to intimate to him
their opinion that matters had been satisfactorily settled and that
they did not need his services any longer, had they held such an
opinion. As a matter of fact, that was by no means their opinion.
They considered that they had yet to deal with 20,000 armed men in
Johannesburg, and that they had to do that, if possible, without
provoking a civil war, which would inevitably result in the long-run
to their disadvantage, however great their success might be over the
Johannesburg people in the meantime. They not only allowed the High
Commissioner to proceed to Pretoria on the understanding originally
effected, but they took steps to remind the Reform Committee on
several occasions that they were expected to adhere to the
arrangement entered into. And such was the position when the High
Commissioner arrived on the night of Saturday, the 4th.

Sir Hercules Robinson proceeded direct to Pretoria, but did not
transact any business until Monday, abstaining, in deference to the
feelings of the Boers, from any discussion of business matters on the
Sabbath. On Sunday, however, he received information from the Reform
Committee as to the arrangements entered into with the Government. He
was also informed that threats had been made by persons who without
doubt were speaking the mind of the Government, that if any trouble
should take place with Johannesburg Dr. Jameson and probably many of
his comrades would be shot. It was not stated that the Transvaal
Government or authorities would officially countenance any such act
or would authorize it even as the result of a trial; but the
statement which was made by everyone from the President downward was
that, in the event of any fighting in Johannesburg, the burghers
would be so much enraged and so beyond control that the prisoners who
had caused all the trouble would inevitably be shot. It is a part
of Boer diplomacy to make as much use as possible of every weapon
that comes to hand without too great a regard for the decencies of
government as they occur to the minds of every civilized people, and
it is not at all unusual to find the President proclaiming at one
moment that some course must be taken to prevent disaster, for the
reason that he cannot be answerable for his burghers in their excited
state, and at another moment indignantly repudiating the suggestion
that they would be guilty of any step that could be considered
unworthy of the most civilized of peoples. In fact such exhibitions
were repeatedly given by him at a later stage when dealing with the
Reform prisoners.

Before any communication was received from the High Commissioner on
Monday messages had been received by the members of the Reform
Committee to the effect that the laying down of arms would be
absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of Jameson and his men. The
Reform Committee had then learnt that the two messengers sent to stop
Dr. Jameson--Major Heany and Captain Holden--had reached him, and had
come in with him, and were at that moment prisoners with him in
Pretoria. They had also heard of the reception accorded to Sir
Jacobus de Wet's despatch and the High Commissioner's proclamation,
so that it was abundantly clear that the incursion had been made in
defiance of the wishes of the leaders, whatever other reasons there
might have been to prompt it. But the public who constituted the
movement were still under the impression that Dr. Jameson was a very
fine fellow who had come in in a chivalrous manner to help those whom
he had believed to be in distress. There was however no division of
opinion as to what should be done; even those who felt most sore
about the position in which they had been placed did not hesitate for
a moment. The first and for the time being the only consideration was
the safety of Dr. Jameson and his comrades.

The events and negotiations of the days preceding the arrest of the
Reformers have been the subject of so much discussion and so much
misunderstanding that it will be better as far as possible to compile
the history from original documents or the published and properly
authenticated copies. In Blue Book [C. 7,933] the following is


(_Telegraphic. Received 1.8 a.m., 6th January, 1896._)

_5th January_. No. 3.--Arrived here last night. Position of affairs
very critical. On side of Government of South African Republic and of
Orange Free State there is a desire to show moderation, but Boers
show tendency to get out of hand and to demand execution of Jameson.
I am told that Government of South African Republic will demand
disarmament of Johannesburg as a condition precedent to negotiations.
Their military preparations are now practically complete, and
Johannesburg, if besieged, could not hold out, as they are short of
water and coal. On side of Johannesburg leaders desire to be
moderate, but men make safety of Jameson and concession of items in
manifesto issued conditions precedent to disarmament. If these are
refused, they assert they will elect their own leaders and fight it
out in their own way. As the matter now stands, I see great
difficulty in avoiding civil war; but I will do my best, and
telegraph result of my official interview to-morrow. It is said that
President of South African Republic intends to make some demands with
respect to Article No. 4 of the London Convention of 1884.


(_Telegraphic. January 6, 1896._)

_6th January_. No. 3.--It is reported in the press telegrams the
President of the South African Republic on December 30 held out
definite hopes that concessions would be proposed in regard to
education and the franchise. No overt act of hostility appears to
have been committed by the Johannesburg people since the overthrow of
Jameson. The statement that arms and ammunition are stored in that
town in large quantities may be only one of many boasts without
foundation. Under these circumstances, active measures against the
town do not seem to be urgently required at the present moment, and I
hope no step will be taken by the President of the South African
Republic liable to cause more bloodshed and excite civil war in the

These are followed in the same volume by No. 89:


(_Telegraphic. Received 7th January, 1896._)

_6th January_. No. 2.--Met President South African Republic and
Executive Council to-day. Before opening proceedings, I expressed on
behalf of Her Majesty's Government my sincere regret at the
unwarrantable raid made by Jameson; also thanked Government of South
African Republic for the moderation shown under trying circumstances.
With regard to Johannesburg, President of South African Republic
announced decision of Government to be that Johannesburg must lay
down its arms unconditionally as a precedent to any discussion and
consideration of grievances. I endeavoured to obtain some indication
of the steps that would be taken in the event of disarmament, but
without success, it being intimated that Government of South African
Republic had nothing more to say on this subject than had been
already embodied in proclamation of President of South African
Republic. I inquired as to whether any decision had been come to as
regards disposal of prisoners, and received a reply in the negative.
President of South African Republic said that, as his burghers, to
number of 8,000, had been collected, and could not be asked to remain
indefinitely, he must request a reply, 'Yes' or 'No,' to this
ultimatum within twenty-four hours. I have communicated decision of
South African Republic to Reform Committee at Johannesburg through
British Agent in South African Republic.

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

On January 7 Mr. Chamberlain replied:

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

And on the same day Sir Hercules Robinson telegraphed:

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

On Monday Sir Jacobus de Wet, acting under the instructions of the
High Commissioner, telegraphed from Pretoria to the Reform Committee,
Johannesburg, informing them that the High Commissioner had seen the
President and Executive that morning, that he had been informed that
as a condition precedent to the discussion and consideration of
grievances the Government required that the Johannesburg people
should lay down their arms; and that the Government gave them
twenty-four hours--from 4 p.m. that day--in which to accept or reject
that ultimatum. The Committee replied that it would receive their
earnest consideration.

Notwithstanding the fact that such a condition had been anticipated
the ultimatum was very unfavourably received, a large number of those
present protesting that the Uitlanders were being led little by
little into a trap, that the Boers as was their wont would never keep
faith with them, that in the end they would find themselves
betrayed, and that it would be better at no matter what cost to make
a fight for it and attempt to rescue Dr. Jameson and his party. The
last suggestion was a mad one, and after some consideration, and
hearing the representations of Sir Sidney Shippard and Mr. Seymour
Fort, who had been in communication with the High Commissioner on the
previous day in Pretoria and were used by him as unofficial agents,
the matter was more calmly considered by the Committee. It was very
well realized that a struggle between Johannesburg and the Boer
forces would have been an absolutely hopeless one for those who took
part in it, but there was a determination to secure the objects for
the attainment of which the agitation had been started, and it was
believed that if a firm stand were taken, such was the justice of the
cause of the Uitlanders that the Government would not be able to
refuse definite terms as to what reforms they would introduce,
besides assuring the safety of Dr. Jameson.

While the discussion was proceeding another telegram was received
from the British Agent saying that, under instructions from the High
Commissioner, he was proceeding in person to Johannesburg to meet the
Reform Committee and explain matters to them. The meeting took place
on the morning of Tuesday, and Sir Jacobus de Wet pointed out to the
Committee the perilous position in which Dr. Jameson and his comrades
were placed, owing to the hesitation of the Uitlanders to accept the
ultimatum of the Government. He read again and again the following
telegram from the High Commissioner, which had been despatched from
Pretoria early that morning and received by the British Agent in
Johannesburg when on his way to meet the Reform Committee:

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

In reply to remarks about grievances, Sir Jacobus de Wet stated that
the Uitlanders could not expect under the circumstances anything
more favourable than the discussion and consideration of the
grievances with the High Commissioner, as had been promised, and
added that, if there were any spirit of reason in the community at
all, they would be content to leave their case in the hands of so
experienced a statesman as Sir Hercules Robinson, a man whose
instinct and training were towards fair and decent government.

In the course of a very long discussion, Sir Jacobus de Wet was asked
if he did not consider the Boer Government capable of an act of
treachery such as disarming the community and then proceeding to
wreak their vengeance upon those whom they might consider responsible
for the agitation. According to the evidence of a number of those who
were present, his reply was that 'not a hair of the head of any man
in Johannesburg would be touched.' The discussion was resumed at
various times and in various forms, when different groups of men had
opportunities of questioning the British Agent themselves. When
questioned again more definitely as to whether this immunity would be
extended to the leaders--those who had signed the letter--Sir Jacobus
de Wet replied again in the affirmative. To another member, who had
asked the same question in another form, he said 'Not one among you
will lose his personal liberty for a single hour. John Bull would
never allow it.' In reply to the remark, 'John Bull has had to put up
with a good deal in this country. What do you mean by "John Bull"?'
he answered, 'I mean the British Government could not possibly allow
such a thing.'

It would have been an easy and no doubt a proper and reasonable
precaution had the Reformers insisted upon a statement in writing of
the terms upon which they laid down their arms. There were however
two considerations which weighed against any bargain of this sort.
The first was the overwhelming and paramount consideration of
insuring Dr. Jameson's safety; and the other was the belief (not
seriously shaken by suggestions to the contrary) that the Government
would be obliged to abide by the spirit of the terms arranged on
January 1, because the High Commissioner would insist upon it as the
vital condition under which he was endeavouring to effect the
disarmament of Johannesburg. That Sir Hercules Robinson well
realized his responsibility to the Uitlander, but found it
inconvenient or impossible to accept it at a later stage, is shown by
his own reports. On January 7 he telegraphed to Mr. Chamberlain as

_Your telegram No. 3 of January 6. I need now only say that I have
just received a message from Reform Committee resolving to comply
with demand of South African Republic to lay down their arms; the
people placing themselves (? and) their interests unreservedly in my
hands in the fullest confidence that I will see justice done to them.
I have received also the following from British agent, dated 7th

_Begins:_ I have sent the following telegram to His Honour the

I have met the Reform Committee. Am gratified with the spirit shown
in the discussion of the all-important present position. The
Committee handed me the following resolution--_Begins:_ The Reform
Committee in Johannesburg, having seriously considered the ultimatum
of the Government of the South African Republic communicated to them
through Her Majesty's Agent at Pretoria, in a telegram dated 6th
instant, to the effect that Johannesburg must lay down its arms as a
condition precedent to a discussion and consideration of grievances,
have unanimously decided to comply with this demand, and have given
instructions to the citizens employed by this Committee for
maintaining good order to lay down their arms. In coming to this
determination, the Committee rely upon the Government that it will
maintain law and order, and protect life and property in this town at
this critical juncture. The Committee have been actuated by a
paramount desire to do everything possible to ensure the safety of
Dr. Jameson and his men, _to advance the amicable discussion of terms
of settlement with the Government, and to support the High
Commissioner in his efforts in this respect_. The Committee would
draw the attention of the Government of the Republic to the presence
of armed burgher forces in the immediate vicinity of this town, and
would earnestly desire that these forces be removed in order to avoid
all risk of any disturbance of the public peace. _Resolution ends_. I
wish to add to my above remarks that I feel convinced there will be
no further difficulty in connection with the laying down of their
arms. I would suggest that the Government co-operate with the Reform
Committee for a day or two for the purpose of restoring the town to
its normal state. This will only take a day or two, and those who are
excited among the people will by that time have calmed down, and the
police can resume their ordinary duties. The Committee will
co-operate in this matter. This course will very much facilitate the
task of your Government if it meets with your approval. _Ends_.

The High Commissioner concluded the above telegram with the following
significant sentence:

_I hope now to be able to confer with President of the South African
Republic and Executive Council as to prisoners and the redress of
Johannesburg grievances_.

On the 8th he again telegraphed:

Referring to your telegram of the 7th inst., No. 1, I consider that
so far throughout this matter Kruger has behaved very well. He
suspended hostilities pending my arrival, when Johannesburg was at
his mercy; and in opposition to a very general feeling of the
Executive Council and of the burghers who have been clamouring for
Jameson's life, he has now determined to hand over Jameson and the
other prisoners. If Jameson had been tried here there can be no doubt
that he would have been shot, and perhaps some of his colleagues
also. The excitement of the public is now calmed down.

I shall try to-day to make arrangements with Kruger as to taking over
the prisoners, and _I will confer with him as to redressing the
grievances of the residents of Johannesburg on the basis of your
telegram of the 4th inst. I have given Kruger a copy of that

And later on the same day:

Since my telegram No. 1 of this morning, matters have not been going
so smoothly. When the Executive Council met, I received a message
that only 1,814 rifles and three Maxim guns had been surrendered,
which the Government of the South African Republic did not consider a
fulfilment of the ultimatum, and orders would be immediately issued
to a commando to attack Johannesburg. I at once replied that the
ultimatum required the surrender of guns and ammunition for which no
permit of importation had been obtained, and that onus rested with
Transvaal Government to show that guns and ammunition were concealed
for which no permit had been issued. If before this was done any
hostile step were taken against Johannesburg, I should consider it to
be a violation of the undertaking for which I had made myself
personally responsible to the people of Johannesburg, and I should
leave the issue in hands of Her Majesty's Government. This had a
sobering effect, and the order for the attack on Johannesburg was
countermanded, and it was arranged that the Transvaal officials
should accompany Her Majesty's Agent to Johannesburg and point out to
him if they could where arms were concealed. Her Majesty's Agent left
at 1 p.m. to-day for Johannesburg for this purpose.

The explanation of the change, I take it, is that Kruger has great
difficulties to contend with among his own people. The apparent
object is to prove that people of Johannesburg have not fulfilled the
conditions which were to precede the handing over of the prisoners
and consideration of grievances. I should not be surprised if, before
releasing the prisoners or redressing grievances, an attempt were now
made to extort an alteration of the London Convention of 1884, and
the abrogation of Article No. 4 of that instrument. _I intend, if I
find that the Johannesburg people have substantially complied with
the ultimatum, to insist on the fulfilment of promises as regards
prisoners and consideration of grievances_, and will not allow at
this stage the introduction of any fresh conditions as regards the
London Convention of 1884. Do you approve?

The Reform Committee published the following official notice on
Tuesday afternoon:

The Reform Committee notify hereby that all rifles issued for the
defence of life and property in town and the mines are to be returned
at once to the Central Office in order to enable the Committee to
carry out the agreement with the Government, upon the faithful
observance of which so much is dependent.

The Committee desire to make it known that late last night they
received an intimation from Her Majesty's Agent in Pretoria to the
effect that the decision of the Government was that Johannesburg must
lay down its arms as a condition precedent to the discussion and
consideration of grievances.

The Committee met this morning to consider the position, and it was
unanimously resolved to accept the ultimatum of the Government for
reasons which the following communications sufficiently explain:

Here followed the High Commissioner's telegram to Sir Jacobus de Wet,
urging disarmament, already given, and the following memorandum:

Sir Jacobus de Wet, Her Majesty's Agent at Pretoria, has notified to
the Committee that he has been officially informed by the Government
in Pretoria that upon Johannesburg laying down its arms Dr. Jameson
will be handed over to Her Majesty's High Commissioner.

  By Order.

  Johannesburg, _7th January._
    The above is correct.
     J.A. DE WET,
          H.B.M. Agent.

The Committee can add nothing to the above, and feel that there will
not be one man among the thousands who have joined the Reform
movement who will not find it consistent with honour and humanity to
co-operate loyally in the carrying out of the Committee's decision.

  By order of the Committee.

On Wednesday the investigations effected by the Government, with the
aid of the Reform Committee, established the fact that the ultimatum
had been complied with; but the juggling with Dr. Jameson's life
continued for some days. On Thursday the 9th the High Commissioner
received a communication from the President in which occurred the
following sentence: 'As I had already caused your Excellency to be
informed, it is really my intention to act in this sense (_i.e._,
hand over Dr. Jameson and men), so that Dr. Jameson and the British
subjects who were under his command may then be punished by her
Majesty's Government, and I will make known to your Excellency the
final decision in this matter _as soon as Johannesburg shall have
reverted to a condition of quietness and order_.'

In the face of this and many other significant messages and
expressions which reached Sir Hercules Robinson, it is not to be
wondered at that he considered Dr. Jameson's life to be in peril, and
that he regarded, as he distinctly said he did, disarmament by
Johannesburg as the only means of saving him; but what is less
pardonable is, that he did not pin President Kruger to this, and
demand an explanation when it became known that Jameson and his men
were secured by the conditions of the surrender. The truth is that
the wily old Boer President, by a species of diplomacy which does not
now commend itself to civilized people, managed to jockey everybody
with whom he had any dealings. He is much in the position of a
certain financier who, after a vain effort to justify his
proceedings, turned at last in desperation upon his critics and said:
'Well, I don't care what view you hold of it. You can have the
morality, but I've got the cash.'

Late in the evening of the 9th the following proclamation was

Whereas by resolution of the Government of the South African
Republic, dated Monday, the 6th of January, 1896, whereby to all
persons at Johannesburg and suburbs twenty-four hours were granted to
hand over and to lay down to the Government unconditionally all arms
and ammunition for which no permit could be shown, and

Whereas the said period of twenty-four hours has already expired on
Tuesday, the 7th of January, 1896, and whereas the so-called Reform
Committee and other British subjects have consented and decided to
comply unconditionally with the resolution of the Government, and

Whereas sundry persons already have laid down their arms and
ammunition, and have handed them over to the Government, and

Whereas the laying down and giving over of the said arms and
ammunition is still proceeding, and

Whereas it is desirable and proper that this be done as soon as
possible, and in a proper way, and that a term be fixed thereto,

Now I, Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, State President of the South
African Republic, with the advice and consent of the Executive
Council, by virtue of Article 5 of their minutes, dated 9th January,
1896, proclaim that further time will be given for that purpose until
FRIDAY, the 10th JANUARY, 1896, at 6 p.m.

All persons or corporations with whom, after the expiration of that
period, arms or ammunition will be found, for which no permit granted
by Government can be shown, will be dealt with according to law; and

Whereas the laying down and handing over of the said arms and
ammunition should have been effected unconditionally,

Now I further proclaim that all persons who have already laid down
and given over the said arms and ammunition, or who shall have done
so before Friday, the 10th January, 1896, at 6 p.m., shall be
exempted from all prosecution, and will be forgiven for the misdeeds
that have taken place at Johannesburg and suburbs, _except all
persons and corporations who will appear to be the chief
offenders, ringleaders, leaders, instigators, and those who have
caused the rebellion at Johannesburg and suburbs_.

Such persons and corporations shall have to answer for their deeds
before the legal and competent courts of this Republic.

I further proclaim that I will address the inhabitants of
Johannesburg to-morrow by a separate proclamation.

_God save Land and People._

Given under my hand at the Government Office at Pretoria on this
Ninth Day of January, in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and

     _State President_.
     _Acting State Secretary_.

The grim, cautious method of the President was never better
illustrated than by these proclamations and the concurrent actions.
In no part of his diplomatic career has he better stage-managed the
business than he did here. To the world at large these addresses
commend themselves no doubt as reasonable and moderate, and they
establish a record which will always speak for him when the
chronology of events is lost; but the true worth of it all is only
appreciated when one realizes that the first proclamation extending
the time for disarmament, and promising amnesty to all except the
leaders, was not issued until two days after the Government had
satisfied themselves that the disarmament had been completed, and
that it was deliberately held back until the police and burghers were
in the outskirts of the town ready to pounce upon the men with whom
they had been treating. It is an absolute fact that the Reform
Committee-men, who had offered to effect the peaceful settlement
seemingly desired by all parties, who had used every means in their
power to convince the Government that disarming was being effected in
a _bona fide_ and complete manner, and who had themselves supplied
the Government in good faith with any documents they had showing the
number of guns and the amount of ammunition which had been at the
disposal of the Reform Committee, had not the remotest suspicion that
an act of treachery was in contemplation, nor any hint that the
Government did not regard them as amnestied by virtue of the
negotiations; and it is a fact that when the proclamation of the 9th
was issued the detectives were waiting at the clubs, hotels and
houses to arrest the members of the Reform Committee, and that
the Reformers did not know of the proclamation exempting them from
the 'Forgive and Forget' until after they had been seized.

On the 10th the address promised to the inhabitants of Johannesburg
duly appeared.

After reviewing recent events, it concluded with this appeal:

Now I address you with full confidence! Strengthen the hands of the
Government, and work together with them to make this Republic a
country where all inhabitants, so to say, live fraternally together.
For months and months I have thought which alterations and
emendations would be desirable in the Government of this State, but
the unwarrantable instigations, especially of the Press, have kept me
back. The same men who now appear in public as the leaders have
demanded amendments from me in a time and manner which they should
not have dared to use in their own country out of fear of the penal
law. Through this it was made impossible for me and my burghers, the
founders of this Republic, to take your proposals into consideration.
It is my intention to submit a draft law at the first ordinary
session of the Volksraad, whereby a municipality with a Mayor at its
head will be appointed for Johannesburg, to whom the whole municipal
government of this town will be entrusted. According to all
constitutional principles, such a municipal council should be
appointed by the election of the inhabitants. I ask you earnestly,
with your hand upon your heart, to answer me this question: Dare I,
and should I, after all that has happened, propose such to the
Volksraad? What I myself answer to this question is, I know that
there are thousands in Johannesburg to whom I can with confidence
entrust this right to vote in municipal matters. Inhabitants of
Johannesburg, make it possible for the Government to appear before
the Volksraad with the motto, 'Forget and Forgive.'

  (Signed)   S.J.P. KRUGER,
        _State President_.

One would think that anyone gifted with even a moderate sense of
humour would have been restrained by it from issuing a second
proclamation on top of the elaborate fooling of the first. Is it
possible to imagine any other community or any other Government in
the world in which the ruler could seriously set to work to
promulgate two such proclamations, sandwiching as they did those acts
which may be regarded as the practical expression--diametrically
opposed to the published expression--of his intentions?

In the meantime the negotiations concerning Dr. Jameson were dragging
on. After securing the disarmament of Johannesburg and getting rid of
the troublesome question of the disposal of Jameson, and after
refusing for several days (to quote the gist of the High
Commissioner's telegram, Blue Book No. 125 [C-7933]) to allow the
necessary arrangements for the deportation of the men to be made, Mr.
Kruger suddenly called upon the High Commissioner to have them
removed at once, intimating at the same time that it was the decision
of the Executive that all the prisoners, except the Transvaal and
Free State subjects, whom he would retain, should be sent to England
to be tried according to English law. It was pointed out that it was
only contemplated to send the officers for trial. To this Mr. Kruger
replied: 'In such case the whole question must be reconsidered.'
The High Commissioner at once telegraphed for the decision of Her
Majesty's Government, stating that it was the opinion of Sir Jacobus
de Wet and Sir Graham Bower, who had represented him at the interview
with the Transvaal Government, that, if the whole lot were not sent
home to be dealt with according to English law, they would be tried
in Pretoria, with a result which he feared would be deplorable. To
this Mr. Chamberlain replied:

Astonished that Council should hesitate to fulfil the engagement
which we understood was made by President with you, and confirmed by
the Queen, on the faith of which you secured disarmament of
Johannesburg. Any delay will produce worst impression here, and may
lead to serious consequences. I have already promised that all the
leaders shall be brought to trial immediately; but it would be absurd
to try the rank and file, who only obeyed orders which they could not
refuse. If desired we may however engage to bring to England all who
are not domiciled in South Africa; but we cannot undertake to bring
all the rank and file to trial, for that would make a farce of the
whole proceedings, and is contrary to the practice of all civilized
Governments. As regards a pledge that they shall be punished, the
President will see on consideration that although a Government can
order a prosecution, it cannot in any free country compel a
conviction. You may remind him that the murderers of Major Elliott,
who were tried in the Transvaal in 1881, were acquitted by a jury of
burghers. Compare also the treatment by us of Stellaland and other

The result of this communication was that the President drew in his
horns and agreed that if the prisoners were deported to England he
would be satisfied to let the British Government decide which of them
should be prosecuted.

The success of his diplomatic methods had whetted his appetite, it
would appear. He was not content with the conditional surrender of
Dr. Jameson, nor--having suppressed the fact that it was
conditional--with having used him for the purpose of disarming
Johannesburg; but, having achieved both purposes, Mr. Kruger was
still desirous of keeping him in hand. This however was a length to
which the British Government did not see fit to go; but there is no
evidence in the correspondence which has passed tending to show that
even then Sir Hercules Robinson perceived how he was being made use
of and played with by the President.

On the night of the 9th and the morning of the 10th, the members of
the Reform Committee to the number of about sixty were arrested and
lodged in gaol; and from this moment the High Commissioner appears to
have erased them from the tablets of his memory. On January 14 he
telegraphed to Mr. Chamberlain as follows:

I have received a letter from Government of South African Republic,
stating that, in their opinion, every reason exists for assuming that
the complications at Johannesburg are approaching to an end, and that
there need be no longer any fear of further bloodshed. The President
of the South African Republic and Executive Council tender to me the
warmest thanks of the Government of the South African Republic for
the assistance I have been able to render in preventing further
bloodshed, and their congratulations on the manner in which my object
in coming has been fulfilled. They tender also their cordial
acknowledgment of the services rendered by the British Agent at
Pretoria, which I think is fully deserved. The Volksraad met
yesterday, and adjourned until May, the only business transacted
being a vote of thanks to the Orange Free State and the High
Commissioner for their efforts in promoting a peaceful settlement,
which was carried by acclamation. I now only await settlement of
prisoners' difficulty to leave for Capetown, where my presence is
urgently needed in consequence of change of Ministers. Governor of
Natal and General Cox are here, to whom I will give instructions as
to reception and disposal of prisoners as soon as I hear from you.

To this Mr. Chamberlain telegraphed a most important reply on January

I am left in great perplexity by your telegram No. 3, of the 14th
inst., and fear that some previous telegrams must have miscarried.
(Here follow directions to refer to a number of telegrams in which
Mr. Chamberlain had indicated the settlement which he anticipated,
the nature of the reforms which Sir Hercules Robinson was to secure,
and many inquiries as to the reason for the arrests of the reformers
as reported in the English papers.) I have received no reply to any
of these telegrams, but have assumed that negotiations were in
progress between the President and yourself.

There can be no settlement until the questions raised by these
telegrams are disposed of. The people of Johannesburg laid down their
arms in the belief that reasonable concessions would be arranged by
your intervention; and until these are granted, or are definitely
promised to you by the President, the root-causes of the recent
troubles will remain.

The President has again and again promised reform, and especially on
the 30th December last, when he promised reforms in education and
franchise; and grave dissatisfaction would be excited if you left
Pretoria without a clear understanding on these points. Her Majesty's
Government invite President Kruger, in the interests of the South
African Republic and of peace, to make a full declaration on these
matters. I am also awaiting a reply respecting the alleged wholesale
arrests of English, Americans and other nationalities, made after the
surrender of Johannesburg.

It will be your duty to use firm language, and to tell the President
that neglect to meet the admitted grievances of the Uitlanders by
giving a definite promise to propose reasonable concessions would
have a disastrous effect upon the prospects of a lasting and
satisfactory settlement.

Send me a full report of the steps that you have already taken with
regard to this matter, and of the further action that you propose.

In the meantime Sir Hercules Robinson left Pretoria, satisfied that
he had done all that was necessary, and telegraphed to Mr.
Chamberlain as follows:


_15th January_, 1896. No. 1.--Your telegram 13 January, No. 1, only
reached me last night, after I had left Pretoria. I could if you
consider it desirable, communicate purport to President of South
African Republic by letter, but I myself think such action would be
inopportune at this moment. Nearly all leading Johannesburg men are
now in gaol, charged with treason against the State, and it is
rumoured that Government has written evidence of a long-standing and
widespread conspiracy to seize government of country on the plea of
denial of political privileges, and to incorporate the country with
that of British South Africa Company. The truth of these reports will
be tested in the trials to take place shortly in the High Court, and
meanwhile to urge claim for extended political privileges for the
very men so charged would be ineffectual and impolitic. President of
South African Republic has already promised municipal government to
Johannesburg, and has stated in a proclamation that all grievances
advanced in a constitutional manner will be carefully considered and
brought before the Volksraad without loss of time; but until result
of trials is known nothing of course will now be done.

Mr. Chamberlain replied to the above:

_15th January_. No. 5.--Referring to your telegram, No. 1, of the
15th January, see my telegram No. 1 of to-day, which was sent before
receipt of yours. I recognize that the actual moment is not opportune
for a settlement of the Uitlanders' grievances, and that the position
of the President of the South African Republic may be an embarrassing
one, but I do not consider that the arrest of a few score individuals
out of a population of 70,000 or more, or the supposed existence of a
plot amongst that small minority, is a reason for denying to the
overwhelming majority of innocent persons reforms which are just in
themselves and expedient in the interests of the Republic. Whatever
may be said about the conduct of a few individuals, nothing can be
plainer than that the sober and industrious majority refused to
countenance any resort to violence, and proved their readiness to
obey the law and your authority. I hope, therefore, to hear at an
early date that you propose to resume discussion with President of
South African Republic on lines laid down in my previous telegrams. I
do not see that the matter need wait until the conclusion of the
trial of the supposed plotters. I am anxious to receive the
information asked for in my telegram No. 1 of the 14th January.
Please communicate at once with the President on this matter.

The following is the telegram to which allusion is made above:

_14th January_. No. 1.--Press telegrams state numerous arrests of
leading residents on the Rand, including many Americans, Germans, and
other nationalities. Fear that number of these arrests of active
managers, representatives, may disorganize industry on the Rand. Wish
to know of what accused, when brought to trial, whether bail allowed,
and what penalities prescribed by law. Shall be glad to learn from
President of South African Republic what his intentions are in this
matter, which affects the subjects of so many States. Propose to
communicate President's reply to American and Belgian Governments,
which have already asked us to take charge of interests of their
respective citizens.

Sir Hercules Robinson, replied:

_15th January_. No. 2.--Your telegram of 14th January, No. 1. The
accused are between fifty and sixty in number, and are mostly members
of the Reform Committee. They have been arrested on charge of
treason, and of seeking to subvert the State by inviting the
co-operation and entrance into it of an armed force. The proceedings
are based, I understand, on sworn information, and the trials will
take place before High Court. The accused are being well treated, and
are represented by able counsel. It is alleged that Government has
documentary evidence of a widespread conspiracy to seize upon
Government, and make use of the wealth of the country to rehabilitate
finances of British South Africa Company. On taking leave of
President of South African Republic, I urged on him moderation as
regards the accused, so as not to alienate the sympathy he now enjoys
of all right-minded persons. Bail is a matter entirely in the hands
of Attorney-General. The Government seem acting within their legal
rights, and I do not see how I can interfere. Mines are at work, and
industry does not seem to be disorganized.

While still on his way to Capetown, the High Commissioner telegraphed
to Mr. Chamberlain again in a manner indicating his complete
abandonment of the position taken up by him in relation to
Johannesburg--in fact, his repudiation of what his own words have
recorded against him:

_16th January_. No. i.--Your telegram of 15th January, No. 1,
received. I cannot at this moment follow the complications arising
from supposed missing and crossing telegrams, but can only say that
no telegram which has reached me from you has remained unanswered.

No promise was made to Johannesburg by me as an inducement to disarm,
except that the promises made in the President's previous
proclamation would be adhered to, and that Jameson and the other
prisoners would not be transferred until Johannesburg had
unconditionally laid down its arms and surrendered. I sent your long
telegram of 4th January to President; _but the question of
concessions to Uitlanders has never been discussed between us_.
Pending result of coming trials, and the extent to which Johannesburg
is implicated in the alleged conspiracy to subvert the State is made
clear, the question of political privileges would not be entertained
by Government of the South African Republic.

He justified the change of policy in another communication addressed
to Mr. Chamberlain before he reached Capetown:

_16th January_. No. 3.--Your telegram of the 15th January, No. 5. If
you will leave the matter in my hands, I will _resume_ advocacy of
Uitlanders' claims at the first moment I think it can be done with
advantage; the present moment is most inopportune, as the strongest
feeling of irritation and indignation against the Uitlanders exists
both amongst the Burghers and Members of Volksraad of both Republics.
Any attempt to dictate in regard to the internal affairs of South
African Republic at this moment would be resisted by all parties in
South Africa, and would do great harm.

I have already replied in my telegram of 15th January, No. 2, in
answer to your telegram of 14th January, No. 1, and I do not think it
possible to obtain further information at this stage, the matter
being _sub judice_.

Sir Hercules Robinson left Pretoria on the 14th, having resided
within a few hundred yards of Dr. Jameson and his comrades for a
week, and of the Reform prisoners for four days, without making any
attempt whatever to ascertain their circumstances or story. During
that time his military secretary called upon Dr. Jameson for the
purpose of finding out details of the prisoners and wounded of the
force, but made no further inquiries. Dr. Jameson's solicitor wrote
to the Colonial Office on March 5:


You have probably seen the cable that has come to the _Diggers'
News_, giving the lie direct to Sir John Willoughby's statement
respecting terms of surrender.

I have seen Sir John again, and am authorized by him to state, with
regard to the criticism that it is incredible that nothing should
have been said by the officers when in prison at Pretoria to anybody
about the terms of surrender, that it must be remembered that from
the time of the surrender until they left Africa none of them were
allowed to make any communication. While in gaol they were not
allowed to see newspapers or to receive any news of what was going on
in Pretoria or elsewhere.

Sir J. Willoughby made a statement to the head gaoler and other
officials at the time of his arrival at the gaol when he was searched
and all his papers taken from him. He requested to be allowed to keep
the document signed by Cronje, as it contained the terms of the
surrender, but received as answer that all papers must be taken and
that they would be returned afterwards. They were in fact taken and
only returned when the officers were removed from the gaol to go to

My clients did try to get a note through to Johannesburg concealed in
a matchbox. They paid twenty-five pounds to get it through, and sent
it within thirty-six hours of their arrival in gaol, but they have
never been able to ascertain whether it reached its destination.

The gist of it was that they were all right. It never occurred to the
prisoners that neither the British Resident nor the High Commissioner
would be informed of the terms of the surrender, or that they would
not satisfy themselves on this point.

Sir Hercules Robinson might urge, in so far as Dr. Jameson's affair
is concerned, that he could not be expected to suspect a deception
such as was practised upon him; yet it does seem extraordinary that,
being in Pretoria for the purpose of negotiating for the disposal of
Dr. Jameson and his comrades, he should not have taken steps to
ascertain what there was to be said on their behalf, especially as on
his own showing it was for the greater part of the time a question of
life and death for the leaders of the force. It is even more
difficult to understand why no effort should have been made to
communicate with the Reformers. The High Commissioner was thoroughly
well aware of the negotiations between them and the Government on
January 1. He had received communications by telegraph from the
Reformers before he left Capetown; he came up avowedly to settle
their business; he negotiated on their behalf and induced them to
disarm; he witnessed their arrest and confinement in gaol; yet not
only did he not visit them himself, nor send an accredited member of
his staff to inquire into their case and conditions, but Sir Jacobus
de Wet alleges that he actually, in deference to the wish of the
President, desired the British Agent not to hold any communication
whatever with the prisoners during his (Sir Hercules Robinson's)
stay in Pretoria. Truly we have had many examples of President
Kruger's audacity, and of the success of it; but nothing to equal
this. That he demanded from Sir Hercules Robinson information as to
the objects of the Flying Squadron and the movements of British
troops in British territory, and succeeded in getting it, was a
triumph; but surely not on a par with that of desiring the High
Commissioner not to hold communication with the British subjects whom
he, as the official representative of their sovereign, had travelled
a thousand miles to disarm, and on whose behalf--ostensibly--he was
there to negotiate.



About half of the members of the Reform Committee were arrested and
taken through to Pretoria on the night of the 9th. Others were
arrested at various times during the evening and night, were detained
in the lock-up at Johannesburg as ordinary felons, and escorted to
the Pretoria gaol on the following morning. The scene on their
arrival at Pretoria railway station and during their march to the
gaol was not creditable to the Boers. A howling mob surrounded the
prisoners, hustling them, striking them, and hurling abuse at them
incessantly. The mounted burghers acting as an escort forced their
horses at the unfortunate men on foot, jostling them and threatening
to ride them down. One of the prisoners, a man close on sixty years
of age, was thrown by an excited patriot and kicked and trampled on
before he was rescued by some of his comrades.

Once within the gaol, the men were searched and locked up in the
cells, and treated exactly as black or white felons of the lowest
description. In many cases four or five men were incarcerated in
single cells 9 feet long by 5 feet 6 inches wide, with one small
grating for ventilation. At night they were obliged to lie on the mud
floor, or in some cases on filthy straw mattresses left in the cells
by former occupants. No provision was made by which they could obtain
blankets or other covering--indeed at first it was not necessary, as
the overcrowding and lack of ventilation very nearly resulted in
asphyxiation. With an inhumanity almost incredible, in one instance
one of the prisoners, suffering from fever and dysentery, was locked
up for twelve hours with four others in such a cell without any
sanitary provisions whatever. Friends in Pretoria induced the
authorities, by means not unpopular in that place, to admit a better
class of food than that allowed to the ordinary prisoners; and it is
stated that the first meal enjoyed by the Reformers cost close upon
L100 for introduction. Day by day fresh concessions were obtained in
a similar manner, with the result that before long the prisoners were
allowed to have their own clothing and beds and such food as they
chose to order. Nothing however could alter the indescribable
sanitary conditions, nor compensate for the fact that the cells
occupied by these men were in many cases swarming with vermin.

The climate in Pretoria in January is almost tropical, and the
sufferings of many of the older and less robust men under such
circumstances were very considerable. On the eleventh day of
incarceration the majority of the prisoners were let out on bail of
L2,000 each; in the cases of two or three bail of L4,000 each was
required; but bail was refused to Colonel Rhodes, Messrs. Phillips,
Farrar, Hammond (the signatories to the letter), and J.P.
FitzPatrick, the secretary of the Reform Committee. These five
continued to occupy the undesirable premises for four weeks more, at
the end of which time, owing to the serious effect upon their health
which imprisonment under these conditions had produced, and owing to
the repeated representations within the Transvaal and from the
British Government as well, an alteration was made under somewhat
novel conditions.

It was notified to the public that the Government had graciously
consented to admit the prisoners to bail. The terms, however, were
not at the time publicly announced. First and foremost it was
required of them that they should deposit L10,000 in sovereigns each
as security that they would not break the conditions of their altered
imprisonment. They were to reside in a cottage in Pretoria under
strong guard, and they were to pay the whole of the costs of their
detention, including the salary and living expenses of the officer
and guard placed over them. The cost, including interest upon the
money deposited, was upwards of L1,000 a month.

The preliminary examination into the charges against the Reformers
began on February 3, and lasted about a month. It resulted in the
committal for trial, on the charge of high treason, of all those
arrested. The Imperial Government having decided to send a
representative to watch the trial on behalf of the British, American
and Belgian subjects, Mr. J. Rose Innes, Q.C., the leader of the Bar
in Cape Colony, attended on their behalf. It was intimated to the
Transvaal Government that Mr. Innes would represent the Imperial
Government; but objection was made to this on the grounds that he had
been admitted to the Pretoria Bar during the British administration,
and had failed to comply with a subsequent rule of Court which
required some sort of registration; and permission was refused to him
to address the Court. The objection was maintained, and Mr. Innes was
obliged to limit his participation in the affair to sitting at the
counsels' table and consulting and advising with the Pretoria
barristers employed to defend the prisoners.

The examination was, as Dr. Coster the State Attorney announced, of
the nature of a fishing examination, and he claimed to be permitted
to conduct it in a manner which, he alleged, is popular in Holland,
but which is entirely unknown in the Transvaal, and certainly does
not obtain in any British possession. The chief feature of this
system appears to be a total disregard of the rules applying to
evidence. A few instances will suffice. One of the first witnesses
called was Judge Ameshof, who with Chief-Justice Kotze and Mr. Kock
formed the Government Commission appointed to meet the deputation
from the Reform Committee on January 1. Judge Ameshof was duly sworn,
and was asked to identify a list of the members of the Reform
Committee. He did so. He stated that it was the list supplied to the
Government Commission at the meeting of January 1 by the deputation
of the Reform Committee, and he regarded it therefore as authentic.
The deputation had stated to the Commission that it was so.

This was the first revelation of the tactics about to be pursued by
the Government, in using information which had been given under
privilege and in good faith by the prisoners themselves, when
negotiating with the Government prior to any question of arrest being
raised. Mr. Wessels, counsel for the accused, rose to obtain from
Judge Ameshof the official account of the meeting, desiring to prove
this very important negotiation by means of witnesses on the
Government side. He got no further however than saying to the
witness, 'You said you were a member of the Government Commission?'
when Judge Ameshof replied, 'Yes, but if you are going to ask me
about anything that took place at that meeting, I cannot answer,
because the meeting was a privileged one.' Mr. Wessels did not lose
his opportunity, 'You have stated,' he said, 'that you are a Judge of
the High Court?' The witness signified assent. 'And you mean to tell
me,' Mr. Wessels continued, 'that you feel yourself free to divulge
so much as it suits the Government to reveal, but that as soon as I
wish to prove something to my clients' advantage the interview
becomes privileged?' The witness did not answer, and Mr. Wessels
appealed to the Court. Judicial Commissioner Zeiler, however, upheld
the witness's contention. Mr. Wessels urged in reply that if it was a
privileged interview he objected to any evidence whatever being given
in connection with it, and protested vehemently against the admission
of the list of members just sworn to. The objection was overruled,
and it was thus laid down that the interview was privileged as far as
the Government was concerned, but not in so far as it could benefit
the Reformers.

Another case was that of Mr. Schumacher, a witness who testified,
_inter alia_, that he did not know what the objects of a certain
Development Syndicate were. His evidence showed that he had not been
informed upon this point. He was very hard pressed by the State
Attorney, but he adhered to his first answer. Dr. Coster then altered
his tactics and asked, 'Had you no opinions on the subject? Did you
not guess at all?' The witness replied that he might have thought and
conjectured at various times, but that he had nothing in the nature
of information or knowledge on the point. This did not satisfy Dr.
Coster, who then pressed the question, 'Well, what did you think?
What were your thoughts?' The witness objected to state what his
thoughts were, as they could have no bearing on the fact, and might
be absolutely wide of the mark. He could only repeat that he had no
knowledge. The witness appealed to the Bench for protection. Mr.
Wessels urged that it was an unheard-of proceeding to compel a
witness to state what he thought and to use it as evidence. The
objections were again overruled, and the witness was ordered by
the Court to answer. His reply afforded no satisfaction to the
Government, being to the effect that he could not then remember what
his thoughts were at various times. On the application of the State
Attorney the Judicial Commissioner sent him to gaol for twelve hours
for contempt of court.

Mr. Wessels strenuously objected to the decision and applied to the
Court to stay imprisonment to enable him to appeal to a judge in
chambers, but even this was refused. Mr. Wessels in the course of his
address received a reprimand from the Bench for stating that he now
recognized the force of the State Attorney's contention that the law
of evidence as obtaining in South Africa was not sufficiently wide;
for, he added, he thought it would suit the purpose of the Government
better if they reverted to an older system under which racks and
thumbscrews were popular.

The witness was sent to gaol. Some hours later an appeal was heard by
Judge de Korte in chambers, and the decision of the Judicial
Commissioner was reversed, but the prisoner had already completed
seven hours' imprisonment in a dirty cell. Judge de Korte stated that
he had reversed the decision after consultation with Chief Justice
Kotze, and it was felt that something at least had been achieved by
Mr. Schumacher, and the rights of a witness would be recognized. But
the end is not always in sight in dealing with the Transvaal
Government. The State Attorney in turn appealed from the single
judge's decision to the full Bench. Judge Morice, a Scotchman, many
years a judge of the High Court, supported the decision of Judge de
Korte. The Chief Justice, who had advised Judge de Korte in his
decision however in a most extraordinary judgment now reversed it,
and in this view he was supported by Judge Ameshof--himself a witness
in the case against the Reformers.

Thus the majority judgment of the High Court against the Reformers on
this principle of evidence happened to be formulated by the two
judges who had been appointed to negotiate with the Reformers'
deputation on behalf of the Government.

The impossibility of obtaining justice in the Courts of the Transvaal
under the then conditions was thus brought home to the prisoners. An
appeal from the decision of the Lower Court on Judge Ameshof's
interpretation of privilege, which had been seriously discussed, was
then abandoned as being worse than useless, and calculated only to
provoke more extreme measures against the prisoners by placing the
Bench in a ridiculous position. It could not be expected that the
Chief Justice, who was himself a member of the Government Commission
which Judge Ameshof had claimed to be privileged, would take any
other view than that favouring the policy and convenience of the
Government which he showed himself so ready to befriend.

In the Schumacher appeal case before the full Court, Dr. Coster had
made no secret that he intended to disregard the rules and precedents
governing the treatment of witnesses, and even claimed that he should
receive no opposition from the prisoners' counsel, since he was only
'_fishing_' for evidence and not actually accumulating it against the
prisoners, and had no intention of using the evidence given at this
examination. Mr. Wessels asked him whether he would pledge himself to
this effect, and what, for instance, would be done in case a witness
who had been heard at the preliminary examination should die before
the main trial came off. The reply was, that in such a case of course
the Government would be bound to use some of the evidence, but would
use it with discretion and not unfairly. This undertaking provoked
smiles even in court. The wisdom and fairness of Mr. Wessels'
contention were fully justified when the trial actually did take
place, for the whole of the evidence of the preliminary examination
was handed in for the guidance of the judge in determining his
sentences against the accused. It may be added that each witness was
called upon to sign the notes of his evidence as taken down in Dutch.
When required, the official reporter read a free translation of the
notes to the witness before they were signed.

At the conclusion of the examination all the prisoners were committed
on the same charge--that of high treason--no distinction whatever
being made in the references to them from the Bench. By this time Mr.
Hammond, who had been ill, was released on bail of L20,000 in order
to go to the seaside.

Application was made on behalf of Colonel Rhodes, Messrs. Phillips,
Farrar, and FitzPatrick for release on bail, upon the grounds that no
distinction whatever had been made between them and the other
prisoners who had already been released, but this was refused after
the point had been reserved for consideration by the State Attorney
in consultation with the Chief Justice, and the four men returned to
their former conditions of imprisonment. Mr. Chamberlain continued to
make representations on behalf of these men, and at one time it
appeared as though the restrictions would be removed, Dr. Coster
having pledged himself to accept bail, and having actually drawn out
the bail-bonds and submitted them to the solicitors of the accused
for approval, and every arrangement having been completed--even to
the finding of the additional security. They were however at the last
moment curtly informed that bail would not be allowed. On this being
reported to Mr. Chamberlain, he at once replied to the effect that he
could not believe that a Government would revoke a promise made on
their behalf by the State Attorney. Dr. Leyds, on behalf of his
Government, stated that the matter was in the hands of the State
Attorney alone and did not concern the Executive, and that on inquiry
he found that no such promise had been made and no undertaking given.
The incident is more or less trivial, but again shows the readiness
with which the Boer Government repudiate a promise when it is to
their convenience to do so. Dr. Coster on his side admitted with
expressions of regret that there had been a breach of undertaking,
and stated that it had been done by order of the Executive Council.

Communications between Mr. Chamberlain and the Pretoria Government
were of great frequency during this period. The phantom of Mr.
Kruger's visit to England was chased with great assiduity. The wily
old President seized on Mr. Chamberlain's suggestions as an excellent
pretext for delay to enable him to spread his nets, and he used the
time to great advantage. But this was not the worst! Mr.
Chamberlain's new diplomacy and his stupid or treacherous advisers
led him into blunders; as when, for instance, he tried to bounce
without the intention of making good his implied threats; and when
he sent his 4th of February despatch (publishing it in London before
it reached Pretoria), strongly and ably reviewing the position, but
spoiling all by a proposal which, whilst it had not been suggested to
or discussed by the Rand people, and would not have been acceptable
to them in lieu of what they had demanded, was also an interference
in the internal affairs of the Transvaal. It gave the Pretoria
Government an opportunity, which they did not miss, of severely
snubbing Mr. Chamberlain. When the latter in turn peremptorily
refused their demands, he was informed that the cancellation of the
London Convention would not be pressed '_at present_,' but might
remain in abeyance.

Throughout the period prior to the main trial, President Kruger
continued to use with great effect 'the wishes and intentions of his
burghers.' When bail was first refused to the leaders this course was
justified on the grounds that the burghers were strongly against it,
and that the President could not act against their wishes. When at a
later stage a petition was presented by a number of burghers more or
less in touch with the Uitlander community, who felt that the
treatment of the leaders was having a bad effect, counter petitions
came in within a day or two urging the Government on no account to
extend the privilege of bail to these men. Oddly enough, these
petitions were got up and signed by relatives and near connexions of
the President himself.

During this period another petition was presented which is surely
without parallel in a civilized state; but it illustrates admirably
the Boer idea of right and liberty. Fifty burghers in the district of
Standerton addressed the Government, pointing out the undesirability
of allowing a 'certain Advocate Wessels to defend the Jameson
rebels,' and praying that the Government would put him over the
border, 'which is the slightest punishment that can be inflicted upon
him.' The receipt of this petition was announced in the Government
organ, the _Press_, on March 25.

At about this time another incident occurred which excited
considerable feeling. Commandant Henning Pretorius, one of the most
prominent Boer officials, having paid a visit to his native district
in the Cape Colony shortly after the Jameson raid, purchased from
the owner of a farm at Cookhouse Drift the beam from which the five
Boers had been hanged at Slagter's Nek for rebellion in the year
1816. Reference has already been made in the first chapter to this
deplorable affair. The beam (which had been built into the house) was
brought up by the purchaser to Pretoria. He states, and no doubt
truly, that he obtained the historical relic for the purpose of
adding it to the National Museum; but it must be added that the time
was not well chosen unless the intention was to rouse feeling. The
_Volksstem_, the Hollander-Boer organ, in an extremely violent
article, described in detail the Slagter's Nek executions, and called
upon the burghers to avenge on the persons of the Reformers their
murdered countrymen; and it is a fact vouched for by persons by no
means friendly to the Uitlander that certain Boers approached
President Kruger, intimating to him that the beam had arrived, that
it would not be necessary to bother about a trial, but that the four
men should be hanged out of hand from the same scaffold which had
served for their compatriots. It is but right to say that President
Kruger's reply was a severe reprimand, and a reminder that they were
not a barbarous people, but should comply with the law. The matter
having been brought to the notice of Mr. Chamberlain, strong
representations were made upon the subject, to which the Transvaal
Government replied (forgetful apparently of the fact that the
President had frequently urged his inability to control his burghers)
that the Transvaal was a civilized State, that the burghers were
law-abiding and peaceful people, and that their Government was at all
times able to control them. It was interesting to see the argument of
the burghers getting out of hand, which was used with such effect in
the case of Dr. Jameson and quoted by Sir Hercules Robinson, recoil
upon the head of its originator.

A final effort was made by the people of Johannesburg to obtain the
release on bail of the four prisoners. A petition bearing the
signatures of 20,000 persons was presented; the gentlemen bearing the
petition were informed that it could not be received; that they must
call again. Having called again and again, the petition was at last
accepted and placed before the Government; but no reply was ever
vouchsafed. The treatment of this memorial is in sharp contrast
with that accorded to the one presented by a score or so of the
President's relatives and supporters--objecting to the release.

From the time of the arrests until just before the trial speculation
was rife as to which judge would preside. The Chief Justice and Judge
Ameshof could hardly sit (even allowing for the precedents already
established by them), since they had both acted on the Government
Commission in negotiating with the prisoners, and one of them had
already given evidence against the accused. There remained Justices
Jorissen, De Korte and Morice. Mr. De Korte was then threatened with
suspension owing to pecuniary embarrassments, and would evidently not
be allowed to preside. The fifth judge, Mr. Jorissen, had expressed
himself so violently against the Reformers that he had himself
recognized the impossibility of attaining an impartial attitude, and
had refused to sit. The only judge available was therefore Mr.
Justice Morice, against whom there was no valid objection whatever.
Moreover, in the ordinary routine it so happened that it was his turn
to preside at the forthcoming trial; but he was known to hold Liberal
views and to be strongly in sympathy with internal reform.

At this time Chief-Justice Kotze undertook several journeys to the
Free State and Cape Colony, ostensibly to rid himself of insomnia,
but in reality, as results proved, in order to employ a judge for
this trial. His choice eventually fell upon Mr. Gregorowski, formerly
a judge in the Free State, and at that time State-Attorney to that

Mr. Gregorowski was noted on the Bench for the peculiar severity of
his sentences on all except Boers. He had moreover expressed openly
in Bloemfontein his wish that he might have the trying of 'those
Reformers; he would give them what for.' These things were not known
at the time of the trial; nor had the fact yet come out that before
taking the oath of office he had endeavoured to borrow from at least
one of his colleagues a black cap for the forthcoming trial. His
attitude at the time is sufficiently indicated by what he wrote
shortly after the trial, in defence of his action, '_I came up to put
down rebellion._ I have done so with a strong hand, and I believe
that my judgment will bear good fruit in the future.' The prisoners
could not but contrast the action of the Government in employing and
appointing, on approval, a judge who had no status whatever in the
country, with their action in declining to allow Mr. Rose Innes to
appear at the Bar on the pretext of his previous qualification not
being in order; and it was felt to be ominous that an independent and
upright judge, against whom there could be no objection, should be
passed over, and another specially imported for the occasion.

The trial was at last fixed to take place on April 27, and the
indictments were served upon the accused six days before that date.
The following is the list of those who were committed for trial:

  Lionel Phillips
  Colonel F.W. Rhodes
  George Farrar
  J.H. Hammond
  J.P. FitzPatrick
  S.W. Jameson
  G. Richards
  J.L. Williams
  G. Sandilands
  F. Spencer
  R.A. Bettington
  J.G. Auret
  E.P. Solomon
  J.W. Leonard
  W.H.S. Bell
  W.E. Hudson
  D.F. Gilfillan
  C.H. Mullins
  E.O. Hutchinson
  W. van Hulsteyn
  A. Woolls-Sampson
  H.C. Hull
  Alf. Brown
  C.L. Andersson
  M. Langermann
  W. Hosken
  W. St. John Carr
  H.F. Strange
  C. Garland
  Fred Gray{33}
  A. Mackie Niven
  Dr. W.T.F. Davies
  Dr. R.P. Mitchell
  Dr. Hans Sauer
  Dr. A.P. Hillier
  Dr. D.P. Duirs
  Dr. W. Brodie
  H.J. King
  A. Bailey
  Sir Drummond Dunbar
  H.E. Becher
  F. Mosenthal
  H.A. Rogers
  C. Butters
  Walter D. Davies
  H. Bettelheim
  F.R. Lingham
  A.L. Lawley
  W.B. Head
  V.M. Clement
  W. Goddard
  J.J. Lace
  C.A. Tremeer
  R.G. Fricker
  J.M. Buckland
  J. Donaldson
  F.H. Hamilton
  P. du Bois
  H.B. Marshall
  S.B. Joel
  A.R. Goldring
  J.A. Roger
  Thomas Mein
  J.S. Curtis{34}

The indictment served on all alike was as follows:

H.J. Coster, State Attorney of the South African Republic, who, on
behalf of the State, prosecutes, brings to the notice of the Court:

That they (citing the accused), all and each or one or more of them,
are guilty of the crime of High Treason:

Firstly: In that in or about the months of November and December in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five, the
exact dates being unknown to the State Attorney, they, the said
accused, at Johannesburg, Witwatersrand Goldfields, South African
Republic, being citizens of, or residing in, this Republic, all and
each or one or more of them wrongfully, unlawfully, and with a
hostile intention to disturb, injure, or bring into danger the
independence or safety of this Republic, treated, conspired, agreed
with and urged Leander Starr Jameson, an alien, residing without the
boundaries of this Republic, to come into the territory of this
Republic at the head of and with an armed and hostile troop, and to
make a hostile invasion and to march through to Johannesburg

Secondly: In that they (the said accused), being citizens of, or
residing in, this Republic, all and each or one or more of them,
there and then in conjunction with Charles Leonard and Dr. H. Wolff,
now fugitives, and other persons unknown to the State Attorney,
appearing and acting as a committee, by them named the 'Reform
Committee,' after the above-mentioned Leander Starr Jameson, on or
about December 29, in the year aforesaid, had come from without the
Republic, at the head of and with an armed and hostile troop, in the
neighbourhood of Ottoshoop, district Marico, into the territory of
this Republic, and had made a hostile invasion, and had violently
attempted to penetrate through to Johannesburg aforesaid, wrongfully,
unlawfully, and with a hostile intention to disturb, injure, or bring
into danger the independence or safety of this Republic, gave, or
attempted to give, the aforementioned Leander Starr Jameson during
his hostile invasion aforesaid information about the state of the
defences at Johannesburg, and had armed troops ready to assist, and
sent assistance to him, and subsequently by seditious speeches made,
or caused to be made, in public, with the object to persuade and
induce the people there to stand by the aforementioned Jameson in his
hostile invasion, and further have assisted him, the aforementioned
Jameson, during his hostile invasion above mentioned, by providing
him with provisions, forage, and horses.

Thirdly: That in or about the month of December, in the year
aforesaid, and in the month of January in the year one thousand eight
hundred and ninety-six, exact dates not known to the State Attorney,
at Johannesburg aforesaid, they (the said accused), being inhabitants
of, and residing in, this Republic, all and each or one or more of
them, then and there, in conjunction with Charles Leonard and Dr. H.
Wolff, now fugitives, and other persons unknown to the State
Attorney, appearing and acting as a committee named by them the
'Reform Committee,' wrongfully and unlawfully, and with a hostile
intention to disturb, injure, or bring into danger the independence
or safety of this Republic, have distributed, or caused to be
distributed, amongst the population there, and in the neighbourhood
thereof, Maxim guns, other weapons, arms, and ammunition; further,
have enrolled men, or have caused them to be enrolled, and have
formed them, or have caused them to be formed, into military corps;
have erected there, or caused to be erected, earthworks and other

Fourthly: In that in or about the month of December and the month of
January, the exact dates being unknown to the State Attorney, and at
Johannesburg aforesaid they (the said accused), being citizens of,
and residing in, this Republic, all and each or one or more of them,
then and there, in conjunction with Charles Leonard and Dr. H. Wolff,
now fugitives, and other persons unknown to the State Attorney,
appearing and acting as a committee called by them the 'Reform
Committee,' wrongfully and unlawfully, with hostile intention to
disturb, injure, or bring into danger the independence or safety of
this Republic, have arrogated to themselves, and have exercised and
caused to be exercised, the functions, and powers belonging to the
authorities of this Republic; by violence, or by threats of violence,
have compelled, or caused to be compelled, the police of this
Republic stationed at Johannesburg aforesaid to leave the public
squares and streets; have formed, or caused to be formed, their own
police corps, and have provided that corps, or caused it to be
provided, with guns and other arms; and further have appointed, or
caused to be appointed, as head of that corps, Andrew Trimble, and
have entrusted him with jurisdiction in police cases, in virtue
whereof the aforementioned Andrew Trimble has passed sentence and
caused it to be carried out.

In consequence of all which acts abovementioned the independence of
this country was brought into danger, and its safety disturbed and

Wherefore the State Attorney, after due proof and conviction thereof,
requests the judgment of this Court against said accused, according
to law.

The general opinion based upon the character of the evidence adduced
at the preliminary examination was that it would be impossible to
sustain the charge of high treason; but the disclosure of the
documents in the possession of the State Attorney put a different
complexion upon the case. Then for the first time the members of the
Reform Committee became aware of that factor in their case which has
since become famous as 'de trommel van Bobby White'--Major Robert
White's despatch-box--a veritable conjurer's hat, from which Mr.
Kruger produced to an admiring and astonished world the political
equivalents of eggs and goldfish, pigeons and white mice. In this box
(which was taken with the invading force at Doornkop) it appears
Major White had brought as much of his previous correspondence as he
could conveniently carry, together with diaries, notebooks,
code-books, cipher-keys, etc. Nor was this all. He had brought a copy
of the letter of invitation, certified by himself as magistrate in
the Bechuanaland Protectorate. Revelations at and subsequent to the
trial show that the State Attorney, on discovering this copy and
finding that as a copy it would not be admitted and that he might
experience some difficulty in proving it, prevailed upon Major White
while in the Pretoria gaol to confirm his previous certificate, and
to make an affidavit to the effect that he had compared the letter
with the original, that it was a true copy, and that he had examined
the signatures, and believed them to be the signatures of the persons
indicated. The State Attorney alleges that he bargained with Major
White for this affidavit, and in return surrendered to him certain
private documents which had also been taken in the despatch-box.
Major White on the other hand stated to the writer and to another
member of the Reform Committee--Mr. H.C. Hull--that there is no truth
in the allegation that he received a _quid pro quo_; but has no
excuse to offer for making the affidavit, except that he--_'does not
remember having done it.'_

The Reform prisoners, who, animated by a desire not to give any of
their comrades away, had for a period of close upon four months borne
all the abuse which could be heaped upon them, and had abstained from
making any defence in public, or any of those revelations such as
have since been made through the exertion of the Transvaal
authorities, the Select Committee of the Cape House of Assembly, and
the Bow Street officers, found to their inexpressible disgust that
the efforts which they had made were rendered futile by the capture
of these documents; and they were highly incensed at the action of
one of the very men whose lives they believed they had saved by
surrendering on January 7. The affidavit was looked upon as
unpardonable, and the unnecessary statement regarding the genuineness
of the signatures was interpreted in a very unpleasant sense.

Consultations now took place between Mr. Advocate Wessels and Mr.
Richard Solomon, Q.C., of Kimberley, who had also been retained on
behalf of the accused; and endeavours were made to obtain from the
State Attorney details of the evidence which it was proposed to
bring, but with only partial success. From the facts already known to
them it was clear that the Government were determined to stretch
every point in law to their own advantage and to indulge in few
scruples as to the means to be employed to secure a conviction. The
Judge, it was known, had been specially imported for this trial,
and provisionally appointed to a seat on the Bench. As the
confirmation of his appointment was to take place when the Volksraad
should meet, or at any rate at some period subsequent to the trial,
it was not unnatural to regard his as a case in which a judge was
appointed on approval, the appointment to be either confirmed or
cancelled according to the satisfaction which he should give.

Appeal to the full bench of the High Court had already been proved to
be entirely useless; since the only judges to whom appeal could be
made were those who had in the earlier stages associated themselves
with the Government against the Reform Committee, and later on in
their judicial capacities confirmed the attitude taken up by them as

The options before the prisoners were therefore three in number. One
course would be to enter upon a protracted trial before a Boer jury
and a specially-appointed judge, with the certainty for the majority
of an adverse verdict in any case. In such a trial numberless
occasions would arise for the exercise of discretion in the admission
or rejection of evidence, and any defence of the prisoners must
necessarily partake of the character of an indictment against the
Government and the faction which both judge and jury avowedly
represented, and tend only to aggravate the penalty. They would
moreover have to face that trial as a body of over sixty men, many of
whom could have reasonably set up special defences, many of whom were
not even mentioned in any evidence which the Government had yet
secured (with the exception of course of Judge Ameshof's _privileged_
list), and could therefore reasonably expect to be discharged on
making individual defences. The second alternative was to decline to
plead at all, on the ground that they had negotiated with the
Government in good faith, and that a treacherous arrest and breach of
understandings arrived at would not be recognised in any way by
them--in fact, to refuse to condone treachery or take a hand in a
farce. The third course was to plead guilty, and take a short cut on
the best terms possible to what was realized to be a pre-arranged

The second alternative was rejected, because it was found to be
impossible to secure unanimity of action. In the course of the
discussions upon the other alternatives, certain negotiations took
place between the State Attorney Dr. Coster and Mr. Wessels, the
result of which was that Dr. Coster made the following offer: If the
leaders (the signatories to the letter of invitation) would consent
to plead guilty to count 1 of the indictment, he would agree to
withdraw as against them counts 2, 3, and 4; and in such case he
would agree that the rank and file should plead guilty to counts 3
and 4 only, he withdrawing as against them counts 1 and 2. The matter
was discussed by the prisoners, and objection was taken to that part
of the indictment in which it was stated that the Reform Committee
had acted 'with a hostile intention to disturb, injure or bring into
danger the independence or safety of this Republic.'

Another meeting took place between the State Attorney and Mr.
Wessels, at which Dr. Coster agreed to eliminate from the indictment
against the rank and file the words objected to, provided that the
leaders would plead guilty to count 1. Having arrived at this--to
him--satisfactory conclusion, Dr. Coster remarked that they (_i.e.,_
all except the four) were now charged with a merely nominal offence.
Mr. Wessels endeavoured to obtain the same alteration in the
indictment of the leaders, but this was refused on the ground that it
would make the indictment ridiculous; and, _apropos_ of the
concession to the rank and file, Dr. Coster even expressed doubts as
to whether, if the hostile intention were eliminated, any crime could
be said to remain under the indictment. He however agreed to allow
the four leaders to qualify their plea by a statement in writing
which they were to put in at the same time. He stated that he would
have _pro forma_ to put in some evidence of the offence, but
undertook not to press for exemplary punishment, and moreover
promised that he would not dispute or question the statement to be
put in, provided that it contained no material error in fact.

A discussion then followed as to the law under which the trial would
take place. Mr. Wessels urged that, as there was specific provision
in the statute law for cases of this nature, the statute law would of
course apply in preference to Roman-Dutch law. Dr. Coster said he
presumed that this would be the case, but that he was not quite sure
whether Roman-Dutch law would not apply. He added however that
anything he could say would not be binding upon the judge, who could
alone decide as to the question of law.

Mr. Wessels's report to his clients induced the rank and file to
agree under the altered circumstances to the third alternative,
namely, pleading guilty, and they agreed to this under the
impression, which without doubt had been suggested and deliberately
fostered by the Government, that they were pleading guilty to a
nominal offence, and would incur a monetary penalty in proportion.

In consultation with the leaders, Mr. Wessels reported the
discussions with Dr. Coster as above given. Both he and Mr. Solomon
represented to them the gravity of the plea, and said that there was
the possibility that the judge would invoke Roman-Dutch law and
ignore the laws of the country, in which case it would be in his
power to pass sentence of death. In their opinion, they added, and in
the opinion of Mr. Rose Innes and others, this would be a monstrous
straining of the law, yet they felt bound to indicate the

The course before the prisoners was not indeed an attractive one, but
it was not without its recommendations. It would have been infinitely
preferable to fight it out had there been a chance of a good fight,
if even a losing one; but, apart from a verdict of guilty being an
absolute certainty, the circumstances were against any possibility of
effecting anything like a strong impeachment of the Government.
Moreover, the course now proposed would prevent any 'giving away' of
Dr. Jameson, who had yet to be tried, and of others; and it also
removed the necessity for individual defences by those among the
prisoners who had been involved in a less degree than others. The
matter at that time appeared in one way to concern the leaders only.
If they were willing to take upon themselves the burden of the charge
and secure the acquittal of others by accepting the full
responsibility, it could only be regarded as a chivalrous act. But
there were some among the other the prisoners--'Irreconcilables,'
as they were called--who considered themselves equally responsible
with the leaders, who strongly objected to shifting any portion of
their responsibility upon others, and who desired to stand with those
who were prepared to bear the brunt of the charge. To them the
suggestion to plead guilty was as gall and wormwood, and was regarded
as another humiliation which they were required to endure, another
climbing-down similar to the disarmament, and attended, like it, with
exasperating and baffling complications and involvements that made
refusal an impossibility. The one call to which these men would
respond was the call to stand together and have no divisions--a cause
for which they were still to make many sacrifices. The irony of it
was that in order to 'stand together' they had to agree to

Dr. Coster would accept no further modification or variation of his
terms--there was no option to individuals to plead not guilty and
fight it out, except at the cost of involving all the others, nor was
there any option to them to plead with the leaders. One other factor
in the determination of this policy remains to be noted. The
communications already recorded as having passed between some of the
members of the Reform Committee and Dr. Jameson, after the latter had
actually invaded the country, and some evidence as to the
arrangements made for the reception and camping of his force, were in
the hands of the Government, and these were sufficient to convict
every member of the Reform Committee under count 2 of the indictment
in a trial before a Boer jury and by a special judge. Conviction
under count 1 was assured by the letter of invitation and the
admissions in the 'privileged' meeting with the Government
Commission. Conviction under count 2 would be a distinct aggravation
of the position of the four--or so it seemed then--whilst it would be
a most serious thing for the rank and file; and it was finally
decided to plead in accordance with the suggestion of the State
Attorney. The decision was conveyed to this gentleman and by him to
the President, who expressed his 'satisfaction' at a course which
would enable him to 'deal magnanimously with the prisoners,' no doubt
in pursuance of the policy of 'Forget and Forgive.' When, as a
convincing proof of the wisdom of the decision to plead guilty,
the 'satisfaction' of the President was made known to the
Irreconcilables, they remarked that this was the worst sign that
they had yet detected, but others were more hopeful.

As to the soundness of the advice on which the prisoners pleaded, it
may be observed that Messrs. Gregorowski and Coster have both since
then expressed the opinion that there was sufficient evidence to
convict one and all of high treason, and they should know what would
have been considered 'sufficient.' The latter added that the prime
movers were of course guilty; but they at any rate had tried to stop
Jameson, whilst those who joined the Reform Committee in the later
stages were morally worse, since they had only joined when and
because they knew that he had invaded the country. Mr. Gregorowski,
at a later stage, defended his sentence on the leaders, but feared he
had been 'far too lenient with the others.' It would be unfair
therefore to suggest that the advice on which the prisoners had
decided to act was other than sound wise and proper in the
circumstances. That it should afterwards appear that the other
parties to the arrangement had acted with deliberate duplicity and
bad faith cannot be laid as a charge against the gentlemen who gave
this advice, and whose only fault, if fault it be, was that their
instincts, their principles, and their training precluded the
suspicion of treachery.

The trial commenced on April 24, when the prisoners were arraigned,
after which an adjournment was made until the 27th, in order to allow
three of the prisoners who were then travelling up to take their
trial to arrive. On the latter date, all being present, and pleas of
guilty having been recorded, the State Attorney put in the cipher
telegrams, the minutes of the 'privileged' meeting between the
Government Commission and the deputation of the Reform Committee,
none of which had been produced in evidence, and the record of
evidence taken at the preliminary examination. Mr. Wessels then read
and put in the following statement of the four leaders:

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

Petitions supported by the signatures of some 40,000 men were
ignored; and when it was found that we could not get a fair and
reasonable hearing, that provisions already deemed obnoxious and
unfair were being made more stringent, and that we were being
debarred for ever from obtaining the rights which in other countries
are freely granted, it was realized that we would never get redress
until we should make a demonstration of force to support our claims.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Our deputation met the Government Commission, consisting of Chief
Justice Kotze, Judge Ameshof, and Mr. Kock, member of the Executive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the following Saturday, January 4, the High Commissioner arrived
in Pretoria. On Monday, the sixth, the following telegram was sent to

  'Pretoria, _January 6, 1896._

'_From_ H.M.'s AGENT _to_ REFORM COMMITTEE, _Johannesburg._

'_January 6._--I am directed to inform you that the High Commissioner
met the President, the Executive, and the Judges to-day. The President
announced the decision of the Government to be that Johannesburg must
lay down its arms unconditionally as a [condition] precedent to a
discussion and consideration of grievances. The High Commissioner
endeavoured to obtain some indication of the steps which would be
taken in the event of disarmament, but without success, it being
intimated that the Government had nothing more to say on this subject
than had already been embodied in the President's proclamation. The
High Commissioner inquired whether any decision had been come to as
regards the disposal of the prisoners, and received a reply in the
negative. The President said that as his burghers, to the number of
8,000, had been collected and could not be asked to remain
indefinitely, he must request a reply "Yes" or "No" to this ultimatum
within twenty-four hours.'

On the following day Sir Jacobus de Wet, H.M.'s Agent, met us in
committee, and handed to us the following wire from his Excellency
the High Commissioner:

'HIGH COMMISSIONER, _Pretoria, to_ SIR J. DE WET, _Johannesburg._

'_Received Johannesburg 7.36 a.m., January 7, 1896._

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretoria, April 24, 1896.

I entirely concur with the above statement.

            (Signed)       JOHN HAYS HAMMOND.

Pretoria, April 27, 1896.

An incident which occurred during the reading of this statement
enabled the prisoners to realize how poor would have been their
chance of a fair trial before a Boer jury. On the right hand of the
judge seats had been reserved for higher officials. Several members
of the Executive were present in this quarter, and amongst them in a
very prominent position and facing the quarter reserved for the
burghers sat Mr. Wolmarans, a member of the Executive Council. When
Mr. Wessels came to that portion of the statement referring to the
negotiations with the Executive Council, Mr. Wolmarans at first
smiled superciliously, then turned and addressed a remark to one of
his colleagues, shrugging his shoulder at the same time, and at the
conclusion of the reference looked across the room to where the
jurymen sat, still smiling and shaking his head slowly and
continuously for half a minute. To men accustomed to the decencies of
British Courts of Justice this incident was rather revolting. When it
is remembered that the Government refused to produce the minute
referred to, and that through their representatives they claimed
'privilege' for the interview at which it was given, in order to
absolve themselves from appearing in Court, and that Mr. Wolmarans
himself sent the message to the Rand that the Government by the
withdrawal of its police gave practical evidence of holding out the
olive-branch, his conduct appears the more unprincipled.

The State Attorney in a purely formal address, in consonance with his
promise to Mr. Wessels not to seek exemplary punishment, asked for
punishment according to law. Mr. Wessels in reply made an eloquent
appeal on behalf of the accused and recited the circumstances which
led to their seeking redress in the manner in which they did. He
referred to the negotiations with the Government, to the part played
by the Reform Committee in the maintenance of order, to the fidelity
with which they had fulfilled their undertakings with the Government,
and to their attitude towards Dr. Jameson. His references to the
Government and to the existing abuses were made as judiciously as
possible. He referred candidly to the relationship with Dr. Jameson,
especially alluding to the efforts made to protect him from the
results of his own action and to stand by him even at the cost of
personal sacrifice, and claimed that such action towards their former
colleague within the limits set by them did not necessarily imply
treason against the independence of the State, but should fairly
entitle the prisoners to sympathy for their efforts to save a quondam
colleague, however wrong he might have been. On the point of law, Mr.
Wessels claimed that the Thirty-three Articles formed the basis of
the State's law, that there was specific provision for such cases as
this in those Articles, and that the punishment to be meted out to
the prisoners should be in accordance with these statutes, modified
as the Court in its judgment might deem fit. No sooner had Mr.
Wessels resumed his seat than Dr. Coster, as was then thought,
repenting the fulfilment of his promise and casting off all disguise,
or, as is more probable, carried away by an over-mastering excitement
and strong personal and racial feeling and stimulated by
concentration upon one aspect only of the case, claimed the right to
address the Court again after the advocate for the defence had
spoken. Dr. Coster has the reputation among those who know him of
being a thoroughly honourable and straight-forward gentleman. As a
Hollander no doubt he felt deeply in a matter in which Hollanderism
was the _casus belli_; as public prosecutor it was his duty to
prosecute, not to judge; and one prefers to think that in peculiar
and trying circumstances he forgot the pledge he had given and
remembered only the cause of his party. In a short but very violent
speech he depicted in the blackest terms the actions of the men
against whom he had agreed not to seek exemplary punishment, and
pointing out the provisions of the Roman-Dutch law, claimed that the
Court should apply it in this case in preference to the statutes of
the country, and demanded from the Court the severest possible
penalty which could be imposed under that law and under the
Thirty-three Articles and the Gold Law as well. With reference to the
last-named, Dr. Coster having mentioned the provision regarding the
confiscation of property, said that upon this point he would not
speak but would leave the matter to the judgment of the Court. The
Court was then adjourned until the morning of the 28th, ostensibly in
order to enable the judge to consider the evidence and make up his

The majority of the prisoners, utterly unsuspicious of what lay
before them, made all necessary arrangements to return to their homes
and avocations upon the conclusion of the trial, believing that a
nominal fine would be the penalty imposed. Many of them had taken
return tickets from Johannesburg available for two days. The public
throughout the Transvaal and South Africa anticipated nothing more
than a nominal punishment upon the majority and a fine of a few
thousand pounds upon the signatories to the letter of invitation.

Some of the prisoners however were better informed. News had been
obtained some days before the trial commenced that extra
accommodation was being prepared in the gaol, avowedly to provide for
the Reformers. Two of the accused visited the gaol and verified this.
Others of the accused, few in number, were informed by personal
friends who had special means of getting information in Pretoria that
imprisonment would be the lot of all and that the punishment on the
leaders would be extremely severe; and they provided for this
contingency accordingly. The manager of the Government newspaper in
Pretoria informed two or three of those interested that the sentence
of death would be passed upon the four leaders, as this had been
arranged; and men closely associated with the leaders themselves had
been confidentially informed beforehand that it was the intention of
the Government to pass sentence of death, and that the matter was a
cut-and-dried one. The information was given with a view to preparing
the prisoners for what awaited them.

On approaching the temporary Court-house (the Pretoria Market
Buildings having been altered for this purpose) on the morning of the
sentence, it was perfectly evident that some serious development was
afoot. The town was thronged with mounted burghers, State artillery,
and mounted and foot police. Every approach to the Court was guarded
and the streets were patrolled. Most of the population of Pretoria
were gathered in the Market Square, endeavouring to gain admittance
to the Court. The prisoners were arranged in their former places in a
special quarter of the building railed off for the purpose, with the
exception of Messrs. Phillips, Farrar, Rhodes and Hammond, who
were separated from the rest and placed in a special movable dock,
which had been carried in over the heads of the people after the hour
appointed for the sitting of the Court. The appearance of this dock
was recognized by all to be ominous, but some relief from the feeling
of foreboding was experienced when Judge Gregorowski after taking his
seat was observed to smile several times and to make some jocular
remark to one of the officials of the Court. The faces of the
officials however damped any hopes that were built upon the judge's
genial appearance.

Many of these gentlemen were personal and intimate friends of the
prisoners: some were connected by closer ties; and one of the most
trying experiences for the prisoners was to witness the complete
breakdown of the minor officials employed in the carrying out of this
tragic farce. The judge's first order was for the removal of all
ladies. The wives and relatives of many of the prisoners had been
warned by them beforehand of what was likely to happen and had
accordingly absented themselves, but there were nevertheless a good
number of ladies present. Judge Gregorowski then took the case in
hand, passed in review the circumstances, and dealt with much of the
evidence, including that taken at the preliminary examination and the
documents put in by Government which had not yet been seen by the
prisoners' advisers. He made no reference to the statement of the
principal accused, subject to which their plea of guilty had been
made and accepted. He reviewed the law, and by a method of reasoning
which has not commended itself to others he justified himself for
setting aside special statutes and applying the Roman-Dutch law
instead. In conclusion, he stated that he held the signatories of the
letter to be directly responsible for the shedding of the burghers'
blood at Doornkop, that he would therefore pass upon them the _only
punishment possible_ under Roman-Dutch law--namely death, and that
whatever hope there might be in the merciful hearts of the Executive
Council and in the President's great magnanimity, they should
remember that in no other country would they have the slightest
grounds for hope. The usual question as to whether there were any
reasons why sentence of death should not be passed upon them having
been put and the usual reply in the negative having been received, in
the midst of silence that was only disturbed by the breaking down of
persons in various parts of the hall--officials, burghers, and in the
general public--sentence of death was passed, first on Mr. Lionel
Phillips, next on Colonel Rhodes, then on Mr. George Farrar, and
lastly on Mr. Hammond. The bearing of the four men won for them
universal sympathy and approval, especially under the conditions
immediately following the death sentence, when a most painful scene
took place in Court. Evidences of feeling came from all parts of the
room and from all classes of people: from those who conducted the
defence and from the Boers who were to have constituted the jury. The
interpreter translating the sentence broke down. Many of the minor
officials lost control of themselves, and feelings were further
strained by the incident of one man falling insensible.

Sentence was next passed upon the other prisoners. They were
condemned to suffer two years' imprisonment, to pay a fine of L2,000
each, or as an alternative suffer another year's imprisonment, and
thereafter to be banished from the State for a period of three years.
It was added that the question of confiscation of their property
would be one for the Executive to deal with.

The action of Mr. Gregorowski has been variously described, but at no
time more graphically than at the time of the sentence, when a
sergeant of police who was guarding the prisoners exclaimed in the
peculiar Dutch idiom: 'My God! he is like a dog: he has bitten and
chewed and guzzled!'

After passing the minor sentences the judge gave a short address to
the burghers, in which he thanked them for their attendance and made
allusion with evident signs of satisfaction to the manner in which
the trial had been brought to a conclusion. A long delay followed
during which the judge proceeded to note his judgments. Once his
attention was drawn by a remark of an official to which he replied
promptly, at the same time breaking into a broad smile, but suddenly
recollecting the circumstances and the presence of the men sentenced
to death, placed his hand over his mouth and wiped the smile away.
The incident was of course noticed by many people in Court and helped
to strengthen the impression which a limited but sufficient
experience of Mr. Gregorowski had already created.

If the belief which now obtains, that the Reformers were enticed to
plead guilty and misled as to the probable consequences of that plea,
should outlive personal feelings and leave a permanent mark in South
African history, it will be because it survives a searching test. In
South Africa--as in many other countries--it is the invariable
practice of the Courts to decline to accept the plea of guilty to a
capital charge. The prisoner is informed that as the plea involves
capital punishment it will not be accepted; and a formal trial and
sufficient evidence of the crime are required by the Court. That is
done even in cases where the prisoner knows what the punishment will
be! In the case of the Reformers the State Attorney had, it is true,
informed Mr. Wessels that he would be obliged _pro forma_ to put in
certain evidence, but the reason was not given, and Mr. Wessels
regarded it merely as the _quid pro quo_ for accepting unquestioned
the written statement of the four accused! Mr. Gregorowski in
defending his sentence has stated that under Roman-Dutch law he had
no option but to pass sentence of death. Yet contrary to the custom
with which seventeen years' practice had made him familiar he
accepted the plea of guilty--and accepted it without a word of
explanation or of warning! Is it surprising that people should want
to know why?

The men were removed from Court under very heavy escort, the
condemned men being conveyed in a closed carriage and the rest of the
prisoners being marched through the streets to the gaol, the whole
party moving at a foot pace. A little incident at the start did not
fail to attract attention. The officer commanding a section of the
guard having issued his orders in Dutch and some confusion having
ensued, the orders were repeated _in German_, with a satisfactory

One more incident--trifling perhaps in itself but leaving an
ineffaceable impression--occurred during the march to the gaol. As
the prisoners slowly approached the Government buildings, Dr. Leyds
accompanied by one friend walked out until within a few yards of the
procession of sentenced men (a great proportion of whom were
personally well known to him) and stood there with his hands in his
pockets smiling at them as they went past. The action was so
remarkable, the expression on the State Secretary's face so
unmistakable, that the Dutch guards accompanying the prisoners
expressed their disgust. His triumph no doubt was considerable; but
the enjoyment must have been short-lived if the accounts given by
other members of the Executive of his behaviour a month later are
to be credited. The man who stood in safety and smiled in the faces
of his victims was the same Dr. Leyds who within a month became
seriously ill because some fiery and impetuous friend of the
prisoners sent him an anonymous letter with a death's head and
cross-bones; who as a result obtained from Government a guard over
his private house; and who thereafter proceeded about his duties in
Pretoria under armed escort.

It is stated that the death sentence was commuted the same afternoon,
but no intimation of this was given to the prisoners and no public
announcement was made until twenty-four hours later. In spite of the
vindictive urgings of the Hollander newspaper, the _Volksstem_, few
could believe that the death sentence would be carried out and most
people recognized that the ebullitions of that organ expressed the
feelings of only a few rabid and witless individuals among the
Hollanders themselves and were viewed with disgust by the great
majority of them. At the same time the scene in court had been such
as to show that the Government party--the officials and Boers then
present--had not regarded the death sentence as a mere formality, but
had, on the contrary, viewed it as a deliberate and final judgment.
In such circumstances therefore it can be believed that the prisoners
themselves were not without misgivings.

Footnotes for Chapter VIII

{33} Died in prison.

{34} Unable, owing to illness, to stand trial
with the others. On recovery, Mr. Curtis returned to the Transvaal,
and decided to plead 'not guilty,' whereupon proceedings were



In the Transvaal no distinction is made between ordinary criminals
and those who in other countries are recognized as first-class
misdemeanants. Consequently the Reformers, without regard to the
nature of their offence, their habits, health, age, or condition,
were handed over to the gaoler, Du Plessis, a relative of President
Kruger, to be dealt with at his kind discretion. For two days the
prisoners existed on the ordinary prison fare. The majority being men
in the early prime of life and in excellent health, suffered no ill
effects, preferring to do with little or no food rather than touch
that which was doled out to them; but to the others it was a rather
serious thing. There were several men between fifty and sixty years
of age whose lives had been spent under favourable conditions. There
were some suffering from consumption, one from diabetes, one from
fever, one from dysentery, and several others from less dangerous but
sufficiently serious complaints. All alike were compelled to sleep
upon the floor, with two thin blankets for protection. They were
locked in at 6 p.m., and allowed out at 6 a.m. Sanitary accommodation
was represented by the presence of a couple of buckets in the
sleeping room. The air-space per man worked out at 145 cubic feet as
against 900 feet prescribed by English prison regulations.
Ventilation was afforded on the one side by square holes cut in the
corrugated iron walls of the shed,{35} and on the other (the
buildings being lean-to's against the permanent prison buildings)
by grated windows opening into the native cells. Needless to say,
these grated windows were originally intended to afford ventilation
to the native cells, but the buildings to accommodate the Reformers
had been erected against the side-walls of the Kaffir quarters. The
stench was indescribable. At 6 a.m. the prisoners were allowed out
into the yard, where they had the option of exercising throughout the
day. The lavatories and bathing arrangements consisted of a tap in
the yard and an open furrow through which the town water ran, the
lower end of which was used as a wash-place by prisoners, white and
black alike. Within a foot or two of the furrow where alone washing
of the person or of clothing was allowed stood the gaol urinals.
There was neither adequate provision in this department nor any
attempt at proper supervision, the result being that through
irregularities, neglect, and defective arrangement the ground on both
sides of the water-furrow for six or eight yards was horribly stained
and saturated by leakage. Many of the prisoners could not approach
this quarter without being physically ill. Without further detail it
may be stated that there were at that time over 250 prisoners, about
100 of whom were white. There were three closets and six buckets for
the accommodation of all, and removals took place sometimes once a
day, sometimes once in every four days. Nothing but the horror of
such conditions, and the fact that they prevail still in Pretoria
Gaol, and presumably in other gaols more removed from critical
supervision, could warrant allusions to such a disgusting state of

At 6.15 breakfast was served. A number of tin dishes, containing one
pound of mealie-meal porridge (ground maize) each were placed in a
row on the ground in the yard in the same manner as a dog's food
might be set out. A bucket near by contained some coarse salt in the
condition in which it was collected in the natural salt pans, the
cubes varying from the size of peas to the size of acorns. No sugar,
milk, tea, or coffee, was allowed. In order to utilize the salt the
prisoners were obliged to crush it with rough stones on the cement
steps. Needless to say, but few partook of this food. To those who
had not tasted it before in the course of prospecting or up-country
travelling where conditions are sometimes very hard, it was no
more possible to swallow it than to eat sawdust.

Dinner was at twelve o'clock, and it consisted of coarse meat boiled
to that degree which was calculated to qualify the water in which it
was boiled to be called soup, without depriving the meat of all title
to be considered a separate dish. With this meal was also served half
a pound of bread. Supper, which was provided at five o'clock, was
exactly the same as breakfast.

Two days of this fare told very severely upon those whose physical
condition was not of the best. By the third day several of the older
men and those in ill-health had broken down and were placed on
hospital fare. Matters were sufficiently serious to induce the
authorities to allow gradual amelioration of the conditions, and by
degrees food of a better class was introduced. Mattresses and other
articles of bedding were allowed, but stretchers although provided
for in the prison regulations were denied to the men until a few
hours before their release a month later, when the prisoners were
permitted by the gaoler to purchase them, no doubt with an eye to
reversion to him in the course of a few hours. From time to time the
regulations as to food were varied at the whim of the gaoler. On one
day only cooked food would be allowed in; on another only raw food;
on a third nothing but tinned stuff; on a fourth all was turned back
at the gates with the exception of that obtained by a few individuals
at a heavy premium.

A day or two after the passing of sentence representations were made
to the prisoners, excluding the four death-sentence men, that it
would be advisable to appeal to the clemency of the Government for
some mitigation. In that case, it was stated, there was every reason
to believe that the sentence of imprisonment would be entirely
remitted and that the sentence of banishment would also be commuted.
The individuals from whom this suggestion first came were of the
class which habitually trades between the Government and the
public--the gentlemen of the backstairs. For this reason some of the
prisoners gave considerable credence to the reports, whilst others
for the very same reason would have nothing whatever to do with them.
Hence arose a condition of things very like a deadlock among the
prisoners themselves. It was represented by these agents that it
would be worse than useless for some of the prisoners to petition if
many others refused to do so and stood out. Some of the prisoners did
actually petition--a course of action which was strongly condemned by
others; but it should be borne in mind that there were among the
prisoners many men who were in bad health and poor circumstances, who
had heavy responsibilities in private life, and who were not only
unable to pay their fines, but even unable to make any provision for
their families during incarceration. Such conditions would tend to
shake the nerve of most men.

With this nucleus to work upon the Government through their agents
began a system of terrorism by which they hoped to establish
conditions under which their 'magnanimity by inches' would appear in
the most favourable possible light. The first petition presented for
the signature of the prisoners was one in which they were asked to
admit the justice of their sentences, to express regret for what they
had done and to promise to behave themselves in the future. The
document closed with an obsequious and humiliating appeal to the
'proved magnanimity of the Government.' The reception accorded to
this was distinctly unfavourable, copies of the petitions being in
some instances torn up and flung in the faces of those who presented
them. The great majority of the prisoners refused to have anything to
do with them, and on representing the view that any appeal so couched
was not consistent with their self-respect, they were informed that
the petition had already been shown to the President and members of
the Executive Council and had been approved by them and that it would
not look well to alter it now.

Every effort was made for some days to induce the prisoners to sign
this document, but they refused. A certain number of the men were
opposed to signing anything whatever, even the most formal appeal to
the Executive Council for a revision of sentence. They based their
refusal upon two reasons: 1st, that they had been arrested by an act
of treachery and tried by a packed Court, and if the Executive
recognized the injustice of the sentence they might act
spontaneously without petition from the prisoners; 2nd, that they
believed that any document however moderate which they might sign
would only be the thin end of the wedge by which the Government hoped
to introduce the principle of individual statements and pleas--that
is to say each one to excuse himself at the expense of his neighbour,
and thus enable the authorities to establish by the prisoners' own
confessions the extent of the guilt and complicity which they had
been unable to prove.

Under such conditions an appeal was made to Messrs. Rose Innes, Q.C.,
and Solomon, Q.C. These gentlemen had remained in Pretoria and
devoted their time and energies to obtaining some amelioration of the
conditions of imprisonment and some mitigation of the sentences
imposed upon the Reformers. The petition as presented by the
Government was shown to Mr. Innes, who indignantly rejected the
suggestion of signing any such document. As the strongest reason
adduced in favour of signing petitions was the statement that
according to law and custom it was impossible for the Government to
take cognizance of the prisoners' case even with every desire to
mitigate the punishment unless it was brought before them by direct
appeal, Mr. Innes undertook to see the President and Chief-Justice
Kotze on the subject. By this time further suggestions had been made
on the subject of petitions, and the prisoners were being urged among
other things to name in plain terms the extent and manner in which
they would like their sentences commuted. This proposal was regarded
as a preposterous and ridiculous one; but nothing is too ridiculous
for Pretoria and it was necessary to deal seriously with it.

In these circumstances, Mr. Rose Innes interviewed the Chief Justice,
in order to get the highest authority in the country as a guide. Mr.
Kotze would not at first express an opinion as to whether petitions
should be sent in, but he was evidently inclined to recommend them as
politic, 'But,' said Mr. Innes, 'it is not a question of policy; it
is a matter of law. Is there anything in the law which renders it
necessary for a prisoner to petition before his sentence may be
revised by the Executive--anything which debars the Executive from
dealing with his case if he does not petition?' Mr. Kotze's answer
was clear: 'No, certainly not--nothing whatever!'

In the interview with the President which took place immediately
after this Mr. Innes was brusquely informed that petitions from the
prisoners were of no value, and would receive no consideration; that
the President did not want any of their petitions; and that he was
guided solely by his burghers, who had already petitioned in the
matter. 'I would pay more heed,' said Mr. Kruger, 'to a petition from
fifty of my burghers than to one from the whole of Johannesburg.' At
the conclusion of an unpleasant interview, which called for all the
tact and good temper at the command of the gentleman who was
interesting himself on behalf of the prisoners, the President added
in an offhand manner, 'The petitions can do no harm and might
strengthen my hands in dealing with the rest of the Executive; so
they can send them in if they like.'

With this answer Messrs. Innes and Solomon returned to the gaol, and
after informing the prisoners of what had taken place advised them,
under the circumstances, to make a formal but respectful appeal for a
revision of the sentences. It was their opinion, based upon the
information which they had at great pains gathered, and it was also
the opinion of the Chief Justice, that no petition was necessary, and
that the sentences would be brought under the consideration of the
Executive by the memorials of the burghers; but they considered that
as interested persons or indiscreet friends had already suggested the
idea of petitions, and as a refusal now to sign anything might have a
very unfavourable effect upon persons with the disposition and
character of those with whom they had to deal, it would be advisable
to make an appeal so worded as to formally comply with the
requirements of the extreme party in the Executive; one which would
satisfy those of the prisoners who were in favour of appealing, and
would not be offensive to those who were against petitions at any

The strongest reason for urging this was to preserve unanimity of
action among the prisoners. The course was in fact a compromise
designed to satisfy those who considered a petition of some sort to
be necessary, and those who would not as they expressed it
'sacrifice their self-respect' by asking for anything from the
people who had treated them in what they deemed to be a dishonest
and treacherous manner.

All the prisoners except Messrs. A. Woolls-Sampson and W.D. (Karri)
Davies agreed to this: many did so much against their own wishes
because of the appeal to stand together, and because it was strongly
urged that their obstinacy would affect not only themselves but would
prevent the liberation of others whose circumstances were almost
desperate. They yielded--it is true--but remained unconvinced. To
Messrs. Sampson and Davies the answers of the Chief Justice and the
President are now of considerable importance, since the reason given
for their detention involves the repudiation of the assurances given
by the President and Chief Justice.

Those who had not signed any other form of appeal now made a formal
application to have their sentences brought into review by the
Executive Council. They stated then their belief that it was only the
beginning of the petition business that it would be wholly
ineffective and that it was to be understood that they would sign no
more under any circumstances. This application was deemed by the
emissaries of the Government to be sufficient to comply with the
requirements, and promises were conveyed to the prisoners that the
sentences would be at once taken into consideration and commutations
announced. In the course of a day or two however further demands were
made, and the prisoners were informed that they would be dressed in
prison garb under severer regulations specially passed for them
unless they at once petitioned against this course.

Again Mr. Innes represented their case to the Government at the
dictate of his own feelings of humanity, and not prompted thereto by
the prisoners themselves, most of whom would have been glad to see
the Government wreak their vengeance in petty and vindictive
provisions. The proposed alterations were however abandoned without
protest from the prisoners after the supply of convict garb had been
sent up to the gaol. So matters went on day by day, each day bringing
its fresh instalment of threats promises and cajoleries, each
morning its batch of disappointments. It was at first difficult to
say what object the Government had in view in endeavouring to compel
the Reformers to sign petitions, unless it were the unworthy one of
desiring to humiliate men who were already down, or the perhaps
more contemptible one of forcing them to turn informers by a process
of self-excusing and thus enable them to differentiate in the
commutations. The fact remained that repeated efforts were made and
pressure brought to bear upon the men to induce them to sign. One
pretext after another was used. Finally the naked truth came out: the
Government required each man to state in an individual declaration
the extent of his guilt the extenuating facts and the circumstances
under which he became associated with the Reform movement. This was
exactly what had been foretold by men who understood Boer methods.

The means resorted to by the gaol officials to enforce this
petition-signing were characteristic. The gaoler (Du Plessis) is one
of the most unfavourable specimens of his race. Unscrupulous and
brutal in his methods, untrustworthy as to his undertakings, and
violent and uncertain in his temper, he singled out those among the
prisoners whom he considered to be the leaders of the 'stiff-necked'
party as he termed it, and treated them with as much severity as he
could. These men found themselves unable to obtain those facilities
which were regarded as the right of all the prisoners. Upon occasion
their food was stopped at the gates, and visitors--their wives and
families--were refused admission, although provided with permits from
the proper authorities and complying with the gaol regulations; and
on more than one occasion he informed individual members of this
party that the 'petitions would have to be signed,' that they would
have to 'go down on their knees to the Government,' otherwise they
would 'rot in gaol.' All this undisguised eagerness to obtain the
signatures naturally only strengthened the resolution of the men who
stood out. They had already against their wishes and judgment signed
one application, and more than that they refused to do. When it was
found to be impossible to induce the men to inform against each
other, some modification was made in the demands of the
petition-hunters and some prisoners were asked and induced to make
statements concerning their own part in the late movement, making no
allusion to the part played by others, and, for reasons which it is
impossible to divine unless it was designed to lead to something
more, this was regarded by the Government as a desirable step.

The suspense and disappointment added to the original sentence upon a
man who was never even mentioned in evidence and who took no part in
the Reform movement, beyond associating himself with the
organizations for the protection of property in Johannesburg, told so
severely upon one of the prisoners that his mind became unhinged, and
in the course of the following period he developed marked signs of
homicidal and suicidal mania. His condition was so serious that
strong representations were made to all the officials connected with
the gaol--the gaoler himself, the district surgeon, the commissioner
of police, and the landdrost of Pretoria. The prisoners themselves
organized a system of guards or watches over their comrade, pending
the result of their representations to the officials. On the fourth
day however the unfortunate man, driven out of his mind by the
constant and cruel disappointment of purposely raised hopes, eluding
the watchfulness of his friends took his own life.

The news of this event was received with horror throughout South
Africa, the more so as for some days previously the newspapers had
hinted at some such impending catastrophe. In the course of the
inquiry which was held evidence was given showing that the gaol
surgeon had reported the state of affairs to the proper authorities
some days before, but in a formal and half-hearted way. Evidence
however was forthcoming that four of the prisoners (themselves
medical men) had forcibly represented the extreme seriousness of the
case to the gaoler, the gaol surgeon and the landdrost of Pretoria,
and had induced the assistant-gaoler and warders to support their
representations, but all without avail. The result of the inquiry was
to lay partial blame upon the doctor and to acquit everybody else--a
result which the public have been used to expect in the Transvaal. It
is somewhat difficult to see how the decision was arrived at, seeing
that in the offices there was the record of a special pass granted
to the unfortunate man's wife to visit him and remain with him for a
considerable period on the previous day in order to cheer him up
and avert serious consequences. The incident told severely upon the
nerves of those who were not themselves in the best of health, and
it was found necessary immediately to release or remove others among
the prisoners for fear of similar results.

The Government seemed to realize that it was incumbent upon them to
do something in order to allay the feeling of indignation which was
being roused throughout South Africa at their manner of treating the
prisoners, so a further instalment of magnanimity was decided upon.
On the day of the unfortunate affair the manager of the Government
newspaper, _The Press_, was authorized by President Kruger and other
members of the Executive to inform the prisoners that they would have
to make modified personal statements of the nature previously
indicated, and if these petitions were presented to the Executive
Council by 8 a.m. on the following Monday (the prisoners would then
have been three weeks in gaol) orders for their release would be
issued by Monday night. In order to secure a favourable reception of
this suggestion it was arranged that the clergyman who was to conduct
Divine service on Sunday in the gaol would deliver this message from
the President to the prisoners at the conclusion of the service, and
urge the men for their own sakes and for the sake of their families
and of their friends to abandon the position which they had taken up
and to sign declarations of the nature required, and so secure their
release. Nor was this all. Outside the gaol the wives of those men
who stood out against the petition movement were informed by
Government officials that unless the demands of the Government were
complied with by their husbands they would serve the full period of
their sentence. Pressure was brought to bear upon these ladies and
special facilities were given them to visit the gaol, avowedly in
order to bring about the desired end.

Eleven of the prisoners--apart from the four whose punishment in
substitution for death had not been decided upon, and who were
therefore not concerned in the petitions--declined to reconsider
their decision, and elected rather to serve their term of two years;
and they expressed the conviction at the same time that these
promises of the President would not be kept any more than others
had been. The result justified their judgment. After a postponement
of two days on some flimsy pretext the official intimation of the
commutations was given to the prisoners on Wednesday, May 20. Instead
of the release positively and definitely promised the term of
imprisonment was reduced in the following degree: Ten men were
released, twenty-four men were condemned to three months', eighteen
to five months', and four to one year's imprisonment; and the
clemency of the Government towards the four leaders was indicated by
a sentence of fifteen years each.

Even a short period of imprisonment under the existing conditions
meant certain death to a proportion of the men sentenced, and it is
not to be wondered at that the 'magnanimity' displayed by the
Government after the disappointments and delays seriously affected
the health of a number of the men, following as it did closely upon
the tragic affair already alluded to.

With regard to Messrs. Sampson and Davies no decision was announced,
it being intimated by Dr. Leyds that, as they had made no petition,
their case had not been brought before the Government, and the
Executive had therefore no official knowledge of their existence. But
the extent of the Government's magnanimity was even then not fully
known. On the following day it was announced to the prisoners that
they had been misinformed with regard to the five and twelve months'
commutations--that the intention and resolution of the Executive was
merely to grant these men permission to appeal at the end of the
periods named to the aforesaid magnanimity.

Some prominence has been given to the cases of those prisoners who
were unable for physical or other special reasons to withstand the
strain; and it should therefore be made equally clear that in many
cases the men regarded with contemptuous amusement the cat and mouse
policy and the stage-managed magnanimity displayed towards them. They
were perfectly well able and willing to endure the sentence passed
upon them, and they were not misled by Boer promises in which they
had never had any faith at all. There are good reasons to be assigned
for the willingness of many of the men to make appeals to the
Government: sheer hard necessity and the sufferings of those
dependent upon them were among these reasons; and it is unfair to
consider these appeals to have been due to loss of nerve.

There were among the prisoners twenty-three Englishmen, sixteen South
Africans, nine Scotchmen, six Americans, two Welshmen, one Irishman,
one Australian, one Hollander, one Bavarian, one German, one
Canadian, one Swiss, and one Turk. This variety of nationalities
should receive due consideration when questions such as for instance
that of the flag are considered. In this matter of petitions it was
not to be expected that men whose associations with the country had
been limited to a few years should experience the same depth of
feeling and bitterness of resentment as the South Africans born who
look upon the country as their native land and who view with keen
resentment the attitude of the Boers towards them in the Transvaal,
so much at variance with their attitude towards the Boers in the
neighbouring colonies. Nothing could illustrate this difference in
feeling better than the fact that of the eleven men who throughout
declined to sign petitions eight were South African born, one
Australian, one English, and one Scotch. There is nothing
discreditable to others in these figures; they simply indicate the
difference of feeling which did and indeed naturally must exist. The
South African born men consider themselves to have been robbed of a
portion of their birthright; the others have not the same reason for
thinking this.

With men of so many nationalities the position of the British
Resident would in any case have been one of difficulty, especially
after the part played by the High Commissioner. In the case of Sir
Jacobus de Wet very little satisfaction was given. What caused the
most comment and annoyance among the prisoners was that official
representatives of other countries appeared to have unusual
facilities offered them to visit the subjects of their Government--at
least, they could command the ordinary courtesies--whereas in the
case of the British Agent nothing of this sort existed. Frequently he
was observed standing outside the gaol in the worst of weather
without shelter, patiently waiting until the gaoler would deem fit to
see him. In the meantime that official would stroll through the yard,
making remarks to his subordinates indicative of the satisfaction he
experienced in keeping the representative of Her Majesty outside in
the rain and mud. Upon occasions when he was afforded admission he
was hustled through the yard by a warder and not allowed to hold
private conversation with any of the prisoners. On several occasions
he complained that he was refused admission by order of the gaoler,
and the spectacle of England's representative being turned away by an
ignorant and ill-conditioned official like Du Plessis was not an
edifying one. It is only necessary to say that upon an occasion when
Du Plessis adopted the same tactics towards the Portuguese Consul
that gentleman proceeded at once to the Presidency and demanded as
his right free admission to the gaol whenever he chose to go, and the
right was promptly recognized although there was no subject of his
Government at the time within the precincts. Indeed the Portuguese
Consul stated openly that he called for the purpose of visiting as a
friend one of the Reform prisoners, giving the name of one of the
recalcitrants most objectionable to the Government. The American
Consul too carried matters with a high hand on the occasion of his
visit to Pretoria, and it seemed as though the Paramount Power was
the only one which the Transvaal Government could afford or cared to
treat with contempt.

The period of gaol life afforded the Reformers some opportunity of
studying a department of the Transvaal Administration which they had
not before realized to be so badly in need of reform. The system--if
system it can be called--upon which the gaol was conducted may be
gathered from the gaoler's own words. When one of the prisoners had
inquired of him whether a certain treatment to which a white convict
had been subjected was in accordance with the rules of the gaol and
had received an answer in the affirmative, he remarked that he did
not think many of the Reformers could exist under such conditions. Du
Plessis replied: 'Oh no! Not one of you would be alive a month
if the rules were enforced. No white man could stand them. Indeed,'
he added, 'if the rules were _properly_ enforced, not even a nigger
could stand them!'

Some subsequent experience of gaol-life induced the Reformers to
accept this view as tolerably correct. It is known for instance that
after the Malaboch war sixty-four of the tribe were incarcerated in
Pretoria Gaol. Some twenty were subsequently released, but of the
remainder twenty-six died within the year. Bad food vile sanitary
arrangements and want of clothing and shelter contributed to this
end. Malaboch was a petty chief against whom an expedition was
organized, ostensibly because he had refused to pay his taxes. The
expedition is chiefly notorious on account of the commandeering of
British subjects which led to the visit of Sir Henry Loch already
described. It resulted--as these expeditions inevitably do--in the
worsting of the natives, the capture of the chief and his headmen,
and the parcelling out of his tribe as indentured servants among the

Considerable sympathy was felt with Malaboch among the Uitlanders,
not because of his refusal to pay taxes but because the opinion
prevailed that this refusal was due only to the tyrannical and
improper conduct of the Boer native commissioners; and a number of
Johannesburg men resolved in the interests of the native and also of
the native labour supply on the Rand to have the matter cleared up at
the forthcoming trial of the chief. Funds were provided and counsel
employed, nominally to defend Malaboch, but really to impeach the
native commissioners, who in many cases were and continue to be a
perfect curse to the country. No sooner had this intended course of
action become known than the Government decided to treat their
prisoners under the provisions of martial law--to treat them, in
fact, as prisoners of war, who were liable to be indefinitely
detained without further trial. Under these conditions they were
placed in the Pretoria Gaol, and with the exception of a few
subordinates there they have lived--or died--since. The offences of
these natives, for all anyone knows, may have been similar to those
of Langalibalele, Dinizulu, Secocoeni, Cetewayo, and other native
chiefs whom the British Government have also disposed of without
trial. But it is urged that these men are entitled to a trial,
because it is well known that the provocation under which they
committed their offences against the law--if indeed any were
committed--was such as, in the minds of most people, would justify
their action.{36}

The position of a native in the Pretoria Gaol is indeed an unhappy
one. Sleeping accommodation--that is to say, shed accommodation--is
provided for about one-quarter of the number confined there. During
fine weather it is no hardship upon the natives to sleep in the open
yard provided that they have some covering. The blankets doled out to
them are however in many cases such as one would not allow to remain
in one's kennels; and in wet or cold weather (and the fact is that
during at least one quarter of the year the nights are cold, whilst
during the five months' wet season rain may fall at any time) the
sufferings of these unfortunates many of whom have no blankets at all
are very severe. Of course the stronger fight their way into the
shed, and even fill the little covered passage-way; the others crouch
or lie about in the open yard like wild beasts without a vestige of

On behalf of the native political prisoners representations were made
by the gaol doctor that they were dying in numbers from scurvy and
fever, for want of vegetable food. A special effort on his part
secured for a few days some allowance of this nature, but the matter
having been brought to the notice of General Joubert, the
Superintendent-General of natives, peremptory orders were issued to
discontinue this; and this although the wretched creatures might have
been sufficiently supplied from the gardens attached to the gaol
which are cultivated by the prisoners, and the product of which was
used by the gaoler to feed his pigs. For a little while longer the
doctor continued the vegetable diet at his own expense, but being
unable to afford this it was discontinued and the former death-rate
was resumed.

Floggings are quite common. In many instances white men have been
flogged there. It is not intended to suggest that this should not
have been done, but cases occurred in the Pretoria Gaol which are
surely difficult to justify. Du Plessis stated to the Reform
prisoners that he had with the sanction of the Landdrost inflicted
upon one prisoner named Thompson, who was undoubtedly refractory and
disobedient, _upwards of eighty lashes within three weeks._ He added
that this was as good as a death-sentence, because neither white nor
black could stand two inflictions of twenty-five lashes, as they were
given in Pretoria Gaol, without permanent injury to the constitution.
The effect, he observed, of this severe punishment upon the back was
to cause the blood to rush and settle on the lungs, and in every case
it resulted in fatal lung mischief.

During the period of imprisonment the Reformers witnessed a
considerable number of floggings. These when inflicted by the
assistant-gaoler or warders were usually marked by some kind of
moderation and consideration for the prisoner's physical condition,
and some regard for official decencies. The same cannot be said of
those in which Du Plessis himself took a prominent part. Upon one
occasion when a native had been released from the triangle, after
twenty strokes from the cat had been borne without a murmur, Du
Plessis suddenly became infuriated at the stoicism of his victim, and
stepping towards him knocked the released man down with his fist and
spurned him with his foot. Upon another occasion a boy of ten or
twelve years of age (under what circumstances is not known) was taken
by Du Plessis into the open yard, stretched in mid air by two warders
gripping his wrists and ankles, and flogged with a cane by Du Plessis
himself. The screams of the child were heart-rending and the sight
caused one lady who happened to be visiting in the gaol to faint.
When the wretched urchin was released by the two warders and stood
cowering before Du Plessis the latter repeated his former performance
of knocking his victim down with his closed fist.

Mr. Du Plessis it should be remembered is a sample of a certain class
only of the Boers--not by any means of all. He is a man with a
treacherous and vindictive temper, distinctly unpleasant in
appearance, being coarsely and powerfully built, and enjoying an
expression of countenance which varies between cunning and
insincerity on one hand and undisguised malevolence on the other.
Some idea of the general kindliness of his disposition may be
gathered from his actions. On one occasion, when special
relaxation of the rules was authorized by the Landdrost of Pretoria
in order to enable a number of the Johannesburg friends of the
prisoners to see them, and when about one hundred permits had been
issued by that official to men travelling over from Johannesburg
specially for the purpose, Du Plessis devised means to defeat this
act of consideration, and issued orders to his guards to admit only
three visitors at a time to the gaol. As a consequence, more than
half failed to gain admittance. Nor was he satisfied with this; he
informed the prisoners themselves that he wished the Landdrost had
issued two hundred passes instead of one hundred, so that he might
let those Johannesburg people know who was 'baas' there. Possibly the
fact that on the previous day he had been severely rebuffed in his
petition campaign may have provoked this act of retaliation.

Another instance of Mr. Du Plessis' system was afforded by the case
of an old schoolmaster, an Englishman named Grant. He had been a
teacher upon the farm of a Boer near Pretoria. Through some
difference with his employer he was dismissed; and his own version of
the affair indicates that he suffered considerable injustice. From
the evidence given in the case in which he subsequently figured it
appeared that in order to urge his grievance he returned to the
Boer's farm and even re-entered the house which he had formerly
occupied. He was arrested and charged with trespass, or threatening
to molest his late employer and members of his family, and was bound
over to keep the peace for six months and to find L50 surety for the
same, failing which he should go to gaol for that period. This seemed
to be rather a harsh sentence to pass upon a man who was over fifty
years of age, entirely destitute of means, of very inferior physique,
and who had been charged at the instance of an individual who could
certainly have protected himself against five such men as Grant. No
doubt the accused was an eccentric man, and probably a nuisance,
and it is even possible that his conduct left the magistrate no
alternative but to pass the sentence which he did: it is not intended
to question the justice of this part of the affair. Having been
sent to gaol, however, because he could not deposit L50, Grant was
treated as the commonest malefactor in all respects but one--he was
allowed to retain his own clothing. The unfortunate old man made a
pathetic picture with his seedy clothes, tail coat, tall white hat,
and worn gloves, which he punctiliously wore whenever called upon to
face the authorities--and it happened rather frequently. He objected
to being classed and herded with the thieves and murderers and others
whose crimes were even more repulsive. He protested against the class
of food that was served to him. For these remonstrances he at first
received solitary confinement and even poorer diet; and later with a
brutality which one can surely only find in a Du Plessis the
unfortunate old man was placed in the Kaffir stocks, thrown out in
the middle of the yard that he might be humiliated in the sight of
all, and kept there in the fierce heat of a tropical sun for half a
day. The sole excuse for this was that he had been unruly in
protesting against the treatment which he was receiving. The
spectacle excited the pity of the Reform prisoners to such an extent
that even with the certainty of an insulting rebuff from the gaoler
they endeavoured to represent the man's case so as to have him
released, but without success. It need only be added that the
unfortunate man did not serve his entire term, the first act of the
first released Reformers being to pay up the surety required and
provide him with funds to leave the country. Grant may have been as
guilty and offensive as eccentricity can make a man, but nothing can
justify the manner in which he was treated.

The stocks in the hands of Du Plessis were not the mild corrective
instrument which they are sometimes considered to be. According to
this authority the stocks can be made to inflict various degrees of
punishment. Du Plessis states that when he took over the gaol he
found that the custom was to place men in the stocks within a cell
and to trust to the irksomeness of the position and the solitary
confinement to bring about a better frame of mind; but he soon found
that this system was capable of improvement. His first act was to
place the prisoners white or black in the stocks in the middle of the
yard, so that they should be exposed to the observation and remarks
of all the officials and visitors and their fellow-prisoners. In
explaining the reasons for this change, he said that he found that
in a cool cell a man could be tolerably comfortable and that even the
most hardened of them preferred not to be seen in the stocks by
others; whereas in the yard they were obliged to sit on the uneven
gravel and to endure the heat of the sun as well as being 'the
cynosure of every eye.' But this did not satisfy the ingenious Du
Plessis. The yard of the Pretoria gaol inclines from south to north
about one foot in four, and Du Plessis' observant eye detected that
the prisoners invariably sat facing down the slope--for of course
they were not allowed to lie down while in the stocks, this being too
comfortable a position. Upon studying the question he found that in
this way much more ease was experienced owing to the more obtuse
angle thus formed by the body and the legs. This did not suit him and
he issued further orders that in future all prisoners in the stocks
should be obliged to sit facing uphill, and that they should not be
allowed to hold on to the stocks in order to maintain themselves in
this position but should have to preserve the upright posture of the
body by means of the exertion of the muscles of the back alone.
Needless to say the maintenance of such a position for hours at a
time caused an agony of aches which many prisoners were quite unable
to endure, and frequently the men were seen to throw themselves back
and lie down at the risk of being kicked up by the vigilant Du
Plessis and confined in the stocks for a longer period than was
originally intended. Nor did this complete the list of Mr. Du
Plessis' ingenuities. The stocks had been built to accommodate
several persons at the same time, and he found that by inserting the
legs in the alternate holes, instead of in the pair as designed by
the architect of the stocks, the increased spread of the legs caused
still greater strain upon his victim. This was reserved for special
cases--say one in every four or five.

The incidents here given illustrating the methods of this delectable
individual were all witnessed by the Reformers. The account of Du
Plessis may serve the purpose of showing the methods practised under
a Government whose officials are appointed whenever possible from the
family circle and not because of fitness. It is more especially
designed to show the character of the man in whose hands the
prisoners were placed with almost absolute discretion; the man who
enjoys the privilege of discussing with his relative President
Kruger, at any hour at which he may choose to visit the Presidency,
the treatment to be accorded to his victims; the man who is retained
in his position in spite of repeated exposures by his superiors, and
who is credited with exercising very considerable influence with Mr.
Kruger; but, above all, the man in whose charge remain up to the
present time{37} the two Reformers, Messrs. Sampson and Davies, who
declined to sign any petition, and concerning whom Du Plessis stated
openly: 'Wait until the others have gone, and if the Government leave
them in my hands, I'll make them ready to sign anything.' Sufficient
has been said concerning this individual to warrant the description
publicly given of him by Colonel Rhodes{38}--'A brutal and inhuman
wretch!' Like most bullies the man is also a coward. When he
witnessed the outburst of feeling among the prisoners in consequence
of the death of their comrade, he would not venture into the
precincts of the gaol for two days, until assured that the men had
again become capable of self-control.

So much for the details of gaol life.

In the meantime sympathy with the prisoners began to take practical
form, and the unanimity of feeling on their behalf throughout South
Africa, which was quite unexpected and which greatly embarrassed
the Boer Government, tended to bring matters to a head. Mr. Rose
Innes, who had so generously and constantly exerted himself in
Pretoria in order to obtain some amelioration of the condition of the
prisoners, and who had in his official capacity as watching the case
for the Imperial Government made a very strong report to the Colonial
Office, did not content himself with these exertions. Upon his return
to Capetown he suggested and organized the getting up of a monster
petition to the President and Executive, urging upon them in the
interests of the peace of South Africa to release the imprisoned men.
The petitions were to represent the views of every town and village
in South Africa, and were to be presented by the mayors or municipal
heads of the communities. In this movement Mr. Rose Innes was most
ably seconded by Mr. Edmund Garrett, the editor of the _Cape Times,_
and other prominent men. A movement of this nature naturally excited
considerable attention in Pretoria; but the success of it was wholly
unexpected. The President and his party had played to the South
African gallery, and they had not yet realized that they had in any
way overdone the theatrical part. They had no suspicion of the real
feeling with which the sentences were regarded, nor of the extent to
which they had alienated sympathy by that and the subsequent
'magnanimous' action. 'Magnanimity by inches' had been placarded
throughout South Africa, and the whole game was characterized as one
of cat and mouse, in which the President was playing with his victims
with indifference to the demands of justice and humanity, partly with
a view to wringing concessions from the British Government, and
partly from a mistaken idea that by such a course he would obtain
credit at each step afresh for dealing generously with those who were
at his mercy.

The movement had been well organized. The resolution had been passed
in every town in South Africa, even including the towns of the Free
State. The mayors (over 200 in number) were on their way to Pretoria,
when the President, with his back against the wall, realized for the
first time that he had overshot the mark and that unless he released
the men before the arrival of the deputies he would either have to
do so apparently at their instance, or refuse to do so and risk
rousing a dangerous feeling. He chose the former course; he released
all the imprisoned men with the exception of the four who had been
sentenced to death and the two who had refused to appeal. Pretoria
and Johannesburg were already full of deputies and visitors from Cape
Colony, Natal, and the Free State, all bound on the same errand of
mercy. The feelings of these men, brought many hundreds of miles from
their homes, sacrificing their own business and personal convenience
in order to approach the President and to support a measure which
they felt to be imperatively necessary to the allaying of feeling in
South Africa may be imagined, but were not expressed, when they heard
that they had been allowed to undertake this journey as part of the
President's game, only to receive a slap in the face from His Honour
by the carrying out of the measure before they were permitted to
interview him. This at least was what was felt to be the case upon
the release of the majority. Absolute proof of it was forthcoming
within the week, when the President refused to receive the
deputations and kept them waiting in Pretoria until he had released
the four leaders as well, without allowing the delegates the
satisfaction of a courteous recognition of their mission. He admitted
them it is true to an informal interview, in the course of which he
managed to insult and outrage the feelings of a good many by
lecturing them and giving vent to very candid opinions as to their
personal action and duties; but he would not receive their
representatives officially.

On May 30 the prisoners with the exception of the six already
referred to were released, the terms being that their fines should be
paid at once, and the unexpired term of imprisonment remitted. Each
one as released was required to bind himself for the term of three
years, reckoned from the 30th day of May, 1896, neither directly nor
indirectly to meddle in the internal or external politics of the
South African Republic, and to conduct himself as a law-abiding
citizen of the State.

In some cases the provision was added that if in the opinion of the
Executive Council the terms of this undertaking should be broken,
the sentence of banishment which was held in suspense would come into
force, and the men were required to sign this addendum to the above
undertaking. The resolution of the Executive Council, which deals
with the mitigation of the sentences, states that the imprisonment
portions of the sentences are remitted; that the fines (L2,000 in all
cases) must be paid at once; and that the banishment shall remain in
abeyance subject to the faithful observance of the above undertaking;
but that should any action be taken by any of the prisoners
constituting in the opinion of the Executive Council a breach of the
above undertaking, the sentence of banishment shall come into force.

There is no definition of the phrase 'meddle in politics,' nor is
there any indication of what in the opinion of the Executive Council
constitutes politics. There is of course on record the President's
own statement in public that he would not permit any discussion on
the dynamite and railway questions because they are matters of 'high
politics'; and if haply the Executive should also hold this view, it
is difficult to see how any of the prisoners will be able to follow
their ordinary business and attend to those commercial affairs in
which they are concerned without committing some breach of this
ridiculous provision.

No answer was received to the many representations made on behalf of
the four leaders, except that the Government were busy with the
matter. Upon the release of the other prisoners it was suggested to
them by friends outside that it would be a proper and politic course
to proceed in a body to the Presidency and thank the President for
the action he had taken in their respect, and at the same time to beg
of him to extend a similar clemency to the four leaders who were
still left in gaol. Most of the men were dead against taking any such
action. They held very strongly to the opinion that they had been
arrested by treachery, condemned by arrangement, and played with as
counters in an unscrupulous manner. They recognized no obligation
towards the President. They could see no magnanimity in a policy
which had secured their arrest under the circumstances described
which inveigled them into pleading guilty to a nominal offence,
and which imposed upon them a sentence such as that passed. They
considered the enormous fine which they were then called upon to
pay to say nothing of the imprisonment which they had already
suffered wholly disproportionate to the offence, and their natural
impulse was to avoid the man who was directly responsible for it all,
or at least not to meet him under circumstances so unequal, when they
would be sure to be insulted, and would be obliged to suffer the
insult in silence.

Some of them however yielded to the representations of their friends,
who considered that it should be done for the sake of the men who
were not yet released; whilst there were others who expressed the
view that they would rather go back and do their imprisonment than
suffer the humiliation which it was proposed to inflict; that they
would not do it for themselves, and they could not bring themselves
to do it for anybody else. A considerable number of the prisoners
called upon His Honour; and this was the 'dog' interview. After
hearing the address of the men the President proceeded to pat himself
and his people on the back, saying that he knew he had behaved with
great magnanimity and moderation, and that he hoped that such
generosity would not be entirely thrown away.

'You must know,' he said, 'that I sometimes have to punish my dogs;
and I find that there are dogs of two kinds. Some of them who are
good come back and lick my boots. Others get away at a distance and
snarl at me. I see that some are still snarling. I am glad that you
are not like them.'

Those among his hearers who could understand His Honour's remarks,
although they had been prepared for much, were certainly not prepared
for this. The interpreter stood for a moment without rendering into
English the metaphor chosen by the worthy President, and even His
Honour--slow to perceive where he has transgressed the limits of
etiquette and good breeding--gathered from the expressions upon the
faces that something was wrong, and turning to the interpreter, said:

'Oh, that's only my joke! Don't interpret that to them.'

But those who witnessed it say that there was no joke in his voice or
his eye as he said it. Proceeding then with more circumspection he
walked out his dog in another form, and said that it was very well to
punish the little dogs as he had punished them, but somebody should
also punish the big dog--evidently referring to Mr. Rhodes--and in
the course of a homily he again mixed his parable, sticking all the
time to his dog however, remarking in conclusion that it was very
well to punish the dogs, but what was to happen to the owner of the
dogs, who stood by urging them on and crying 'Tsaa!'?

Throughout the week His Honour continued to make the homely dog work
to good purpose, but the interview with the released Reformers was,
it is believed, the first occasion upon which he made use of it.
Certainly on no other occasion did the President do such ample
justice to his reputation as a finished diplomat.

In the mean time negotiations had been proceeding for obtaining the
release of the leaders. The friends and representatives of the four
prisoners had become subject to all manner of attentions from numbers
of people in Pretoria; near relations of the President himself,
high-placed Government officials, their relatives, hangers-on,
prominent Boers, and persons of all sorts and descriptions, all
offered their services and indicated means by which the thing could
be arranged. All wanted money--personal bribes. The prisoners
themselves were similarly approached, and they who a month previously
had been condemned to death witnessed with disgust a keen competition
among their enemies for the privilege of effecting--at a price--their
release. Day after day they were subjected to the disgusting
importunities of these men--men who a little while before had been
vaunting their patriotism and loudly expressing a desire to prove it
by hanging these same Reformers.

The gaoler Du Plessis, representing himself as having been sent by
the President, suggested to the four men that they should 'make a
petition.' They declined to do so. Du Plessis was then reinforced by
the Chief Commissioner of Police, and the two officials again urged
this course but stated that they did not wish it to be known that
they had been sent by the Executive and therefore could not
consent to their names being used. Upon these terms the prisoners
again declined. They said that if they were to hold any communication
with the Government they required to have it on record that they did
so at the suggestion of the two responsible gaol officials who
represented themselves as expressing the wish of the Executive
Council. After further delay and consultations with the President and
others the two officials above named consented to allow their names
to be used in the manner indicated. Not content with this the
prisoners demanded that they should be allowed to send an independent
messenger to the President to ascertain whether he really required a
written appeal for revision of sentence. Having received confirmation
in this manner the four men addressed a letter to the Executive
Council. In this letter they stated that they had been sentenced to
death; that the death-sentence had been commuted; and that they
understood--but had received no authoritative information on the
subject--that they were to suffer instead a term of fifteen years'
imprisonment. They suggested the imposition of a monetary penalty in
place of the imprisonment; they stated that they held and represented
important interests in the State and that they believed their release
would tend to the restoration of confidence and favourable conditions
in the business community of the Rand; and they concluded by saying
that, if the Executive saw fit to adopt this suggestion, they the
prisoners would return to their business in good faith.

It had frequently been intimated to these men that it would be
impossible for the Government to impose a fine in place of the
death-sentence because money so obtained would be blood-money.
Reference had been made in the Executive Council to Biblical
precedents, notably the case of Judas, and the opinion was held that
if blood-money were taken the Lord would visit His wrath upon the

The Boers are in their way a very religious people. But they are also
essentially practical; and it is difficult to find an instance in
which the religious principle has operated to their commercial
disadvantage. This at any rate was not one. The train of reasoning
which led them to justify the imposition of a fine was somewhat in
this wise: To _impose a fine_ would be to take blood-money, and
would be immoral and iniquitous: to _accept the offer of a present_
on condition that the sentence should be entirely remitted however
would be quite another thing.

So negotiations were set on foot to induce the prisoners to make the
necessary offer; and the prisoners, as has been shown, did so. This
satisfied the religious scruple of the Boer, but the terms of the
offer were not satisfactory to his commercial requirements. It became
necessary to make a definite offer. Further negotiations followed,
and the prisoners gathered that an offer of L10,000 apiece would be
viewed with favour by the President and his advisers; and it was
stated by members of the Volksraad and prominent officials who were
in the confidence of and in communication with the Government that,
in the event of such a contingency arising as the prisoners making an
offer of cash, the Executive would not take the money for the benefit
of the State but would accept it for charitable purposes--an
educational institute or a hospital or some such object.

This was communicated to the prisoners by the personages referred to,
and an offer was accordingly made of L10,000 apiece. The matter was
discussed in the Executive Council, and the Boer, true to his
instinct and record, perceived an opportunity to improve his
position. The religious gentlemen who would not take blood-money now
objected that the amount proposed was altogether too small, and the
President with that readiness so characteristic of him observed that
he thought the prisoners must have made a mistake, and meant L40,000
apiece instead of L40,000 for the lot.

Another delay ensued, and in the meanwhile more and more deputies
flocked to Pretoria, and stronger grew the feeling, and more angry,
disappointed, and disgusted grew the communities of Johannesburg and
Pretoria. The President, however, played his game unmoved by any such

The next announcement from the Executive was a wholly unexpected one.
It was that they felt it necessary to consult Judge Gregorowski as to
the amount of money which ought to be taken as a donation to
charities. The matter of assessing the value of a death-sentence in
cash might perhaps be deemed a perplexing and a difficult one from
lack of precedent, yet nobody supposed the Executive Council to be
unequal to the task. It might also seem unfair to impose this further
burden of responsibility upon a judge; but Mr. Gregorowski had proved
himself superior to precedent and untrammelled by custom; and there
was much to be said in favour of continuing an association which had
worked very satisfactorily so far.

When however the President, with that resolute determination to be
generous which was so well advertised, at last overcame all obstacles
and succeeded in holding a meeting of his advisers to receive Mr.
Gregorowski's report, and when it was found that that gentleman
assessed capital punishment at L25,000 per head, the Executive
Council with one accord avowed themselves to be so utterly taken by
surprise by the announcement that they required time to think the
matter over and decide upon a course of action.

No doubt this opinion of Mr. Gregorowski's took them quite as much by
surprise as did his original sentences. However in the course of a
day or two they had recovered sufficiently to intimate to the
prisoners that, if they would amend their first offer of L40,000 for
the four and make it one of L40,000 apiece, the Executive would
decline to accept so large a sum, as being greater than they
considered equitable and would reply that in the opinion of the
Government L25,000 apiece would be sufficient. It was quite plainly
intimated that this procedure presented certain attractions to the
President, who desired for political purposes to exhibit further
magnanimity. The prisoners who by this time had gained some insight
into Mr. Kruger's methods, who knew from past experience the value of
his promises, and who could find no record in history to encourage
them in participating to this extent in the confidence trick,
point-blank refused to have anything to do with it.

They agreed to make a formal offer of a 'reasonable' fine, leaving
the interpretation of this to the Government, but only on the
distinct understanding that the amount should not exceed L25,000
each. They had learned that Mr. Gregorowski had fixed this amount and
that the Executive had agreed to accept it, and they would not offer
a penny more for magnanimity or anything else. They stated in
plain terms that they looked upon this matter simply as a bargain;
that if they should get out they were paying their way out, and that
in so far as their release from the position was concerned the
transaction was closed upon business terms and there should be no
question afterwards as to gratitude or magnanimity. The fines were
paid,{39} and on July 11 the leaders were released.

Messrs. Phillips, Farrar, and Hammond, who were compelled through
their business ties to continue their association with the Transvaal,
signed the same undertaking concerning politics as that given by the
rest of the prisoners--with the difference that in their case it
operates for a period of fifteen years. Colonel Rhodes however
declined to give the required undertaking and elected to take his
sentence of fifteen years' banishment. On the night of June 11
therefore he was sent across the border under escort, and passing
through the Free State proceeded at once to Matabeleland to render
what assistance he could to his brother in the suppression of the
rebellion. As though the excitement of the past few months had not
been sufficient, it may be added that in the first engagement in
which he took part on his arrival at Buluwayo his horse was shot, and
he narrowly escaped the same fate himself.

From time to time adverse comment has been made on the subject of
this undertaking of the Reformers to abstain from further
participation in politics. The position of the Reformers was this:
They had entered upon the movement to obtain the redress of certain
matters closely affecting their feelings as men and their interests
and business as settlers in the country. They were disarmed and
placed at the mercy of the Boer Government by the action of England's
Representative. To decline to give the pledge required would entail
banishment, which would in many cases mean ruin to them and in all
cases would remove them from the sphere in which they might yet
contribute to the attainment of the ends they had in view. The only
compensating consideration possible in such a course would be that
the redress desired would be effected through the influence of the
Imperial Government; but since the Imperial Government had shown
that under the circumstances they were neither willing nor able to
maintain to a logical conclusion the position which they took up when
they secured disarmament, the Reformers concluded that their obvious
course was to give the required undertaking. It is true that several
among them did decline to give this undertaking, saying that they
would prefer to serve their terms of imprisonment; but they received
the answer that after the term of two years' imprisonment the
Government would still require the undertaking or enforce the
banishment clause, so that it appeared to them there was no way out
of it but to sign what was required and wait patiently.

It is perfectly obvious that one of two alternatives will present
itself. Either the Government will come to regard this provision as a
dead letter, and wholly ignore it; or some of the men, in the course
of their business and in dealing with economic questions such as they
are morally entitled to discuss will fall foul of the 'opinion of the
Executive.' The issue will then be a very clear one, and many of
those who were strongly opposed to the Reformers on the premisses on
which they started will find themselves in cordial agreement with
them in later developments.{40}

The Reform movement closed for the time being with the release of the
leaders. Sixty-four men had been committed for trial. From four of
them the Government had received L100,000, and from fifty-six others
L112,000. One was dead; one had fallen so seriously ill before the
trial that he was unable to present himself with the rest, but on
recovering and announcing his intention to plead 'Not guilty' and
fight it out, the case against him was withdrawn.

There remained two men, Messrs. Sampson and Davies, whose case the
Government had refused to consider because they declined to appeal.
They had been sentenced on April 28 to two years' imprisonment and
L2,000 fine, or failing payment to another year's imprisonment, and
to three years' banishment; and under that sentence do they lie at
the present moment in the Pretoria gaol, at the mercy of the Boer
Government and its very competent representative Mr. Du Plessis.{41}

Much _kudos_ has accrued to Mr. Kruger for his magnanimity and much
profit for his astuteness! Great credit is also given to Mr.
Chamberlain for his prompt impartiality. And surely some day a
tribute of sympathy and admiration will go out from a people who like
pluck and who love fair play to two Englishmen who hold that a solemn
pledge is something which even a Boer should hold to, whilst
self-respect is more than liberty and beyond all price.

Footnotes for Chapter IX

{35} This was done on the second day--after a night without any
ventilation at all.

{36} See Appendix E.

{37} (July, 1899.) They were released in June, 1897.

{38} Du Plessis' threats regarding Messrs. Sampson and Davies were
made so openly and vengefully that Colonel F.W. Rhodes deemed it to
be his duty as soon as he was released to report the matter to the
High Commissioner, with a view to ensuring some measure of protection
for the two gentlemen above referred to. After the release of
the other prisoners, Du Plessis was for a time suspended, owing
to charges laid against him by the Inspector of Prisons. No
investigation appears however to have been made, and the man was
reinstated. During the month of September, after Messrs. Sampson and
Davies had already done five months of their sentence in Pretoria
Gaol, this man, finding himself unable to break their spirit by other
means, made a proposal to the Government to separate the two and to
place them in two small country gaols at wide distances apart and far
removed from the friendly offices and watchful eyes of their friends,
and thus deprive them of such benefit as they may be able _in the
future_ to get from proximity to the official representative of
England. In the past they have certainly derived none.

{39} It seems like reflecting on the reader's intelligence to add
that nothing more has been heard of the 'charities.'

{40} (July, 1899.) A clear indication of the Government's disposition
towards the Reformers was given by the treatment accorded to Mr.
Lionel Phillips. In consequence of a publication by Sir John
Willoughby of an article on the subject of the Raid, which failed to
accurately represent the facts as they were present to the minds of
the Reformers, Mr. Phillips wrote an article in the _Nineteenth
Century_ magazine, which was purely historical, moderate in tone, and
obviously designed only as an answer to the allegations which had
been made. The Executive Council arrived at the conclusion that it
was a breach of his undertaking to abstain from interference in
politics, and they issued a decree of banishment against him. As Mr.
Phillips had taken up his residence permanently in Europe, and as it
was well known that it would be extremely inconvenient for him to
return to South Africa in order to dispute this action it was
generally considered that the object of the move was to establish
a precedent, so to say, on the cheap, and in the same spirit to
intimidate others among the Reformers who were believed not to have
lost their interest in the cause of reform nor to have abandoned
their intention to begin again as soon as they were free to do so. It
is no exaggeration to say that scarcely a week could have passed
during the last two and a half years in which some or all of the half
dozen Uitlanders most prominent in the cause of reform have not been
in receipt of a warning of one kind or another, ranging from
apparently friendly advice not to take too keen an interest in
certain matters, up to the giddy eminence of being black listed in
the Dutch papers as one of those to be dragged out and shot without
trial as a traitor and a rebel. Such are the conditions under which
the unarmed Uitlanders labour for reform.

{41} (July, 1899.) Du Plessis was promoted to be Chief Inspector of
Prisons shortly after the release of Messrs. Sampson and Davies,
and still holds that post!





Very seldom has any community been in a position so unsatisfactory as
that in which the people of Johannesburg found themselves in the year
1896. Judgments passed in the heat of the moment upon matters which
had not been properly explained, and which in many cases were
completely obscured by deliberate misrepresentation, had incurred for
the community dislike contempt and mistrust which were wholly
undeserved. Those who knew the facts and who were able and willing to
speak, the Reformers themselves, were bonded to abstain from politics
for three years under penalty of banishment. Betrayed, deserted,
muzzled, helpless, hopeless, and divided, no community could have
been in a more unsatisfactory condition. It was abundantly clear that
the time had been allowed to pass when the Imperial Government might
have insisted upon reforms and the fulfilment of the President's
promises--not in the spirit in which they had been made, but in the
spirit in which the President himself had intended the world to
construe them. The impact of the revelations was too great to permit
of public judgment quickly recovering its balance. It was realized
that Mr. Kruger's effects had been admirably stage-managed and that
for the time being, and possibly for a very considerable time, the
Uitlanders were completely out of court. There were a few--but how
few!--whose faith was great and whose conviction that the truth must
prevail was abiding, who realized that there was nothing for it but
to begin all over again--to begin and to persevere upon sound lines;
and they took heart of such signs as there were and started afresh.

It has been an article of faith with them that Mr. Kruger missed
his supreme chance at the time of the trial of the Reformers, and
that from the date of the death-sentence his judgment and his luck
have failed him. He abused his good fortune and the luck turned, so
they say; and the events of the last three years go to support that
impression. To his most faithful ally amongst the Uitlanders the
President, in the latter days of 1896, commented adversely upon the
ingratitude of those Reformers who had not called to thank him for
his magnanimity; and this man replied: 'You must stop talking about
that, President, because people are laughing at you. You made a
bargain with them and they paid the price you asked, so now they owe
you nothing.' But his Honour angrily repudiated that construction:
nothing will convert him to that view.

It has been said that Dr. Jameson is the best friend Paul Kruger ever
had, and with equal truth it may be said that, in 1896, President
Kruger proved himself to be the best friend of the Reformers. Not
even the most sanguine of his enemies could have expected to witness
the impolitic and unjust acts by which the President revealed
himself, vindicated the Reformers, and undermined a position of
unparalleled strength in an incredibly short time. The bargaining and
the bad grace which marked the release of the Reformers had prepared
the world to view Mr. Kruger's action and attitude a little more
critically than it had hitherto been disposed to do. The real
conditions of Dr. Jameson's surrender had also become known, and
although the action of the Boer leaders was regarded as far too
trifling a matter to be seriously considered as against the Raid
itself, nevertheless a residuum of impression was left which helped
to form opinion at a later stage. There followed, too, an irritating
correspondence between the Transvaal and Imperial Governments, in the
course of which Dr. Leyds successfully established his skill as a
smart letter writer and his limitations as a statesman. The
Municipal Law, the first product of the 'forget and forgive'
proclamation--which proclamation, by-the-bye, had already begun to
prove itself an awkward weapon placed in the hands of his enemies by
President Kruger himself--had been exposed and denounced as farcical,
and it now required but little to convince the once admiring world of
the President's real character and intentions. That little was
forthcoming in a touch of ridicule more potent than all arguments.

The Transvaal Government formulated their demand for damages for the
Raid in a form which made everyone smile--L677,938 3s. 3d. for actual
outlay, and L1,000,000 for 'Moral and Intellectual Damages.' What
with the fines of the Reformers, and the seizure of the provisions of
all sorts acquired by them for the purposes of the Reform movement,
which latter must have exceeded L50,000 in value, the Boer Government
had already received upwards of a quarter of a million, and had, in
fact, made a profit on the Raid; so that this demand came as a
surprise even to the Uitlanders, as much perhaps due to the
extraordinary phrasing of the demand as to the amount claimed.

It may be wondered why, under provocation so great as that of
complete abandonment by the country whose representative had placed
them in their then hopeless position, no distinct movement took
place--no tendency even developed itself--among the Uitlanders
generally to unite with the Boers in favour of a Republican movement
throughout South Africa, to the exclusion of the Imperial power. In
answer to this it must be said that such an idea undoubtedly did take
strong hold of the non-British portion of the Uitlander population,
as witness the manner in which the Cape Colony Dutchmen, Hollanders,
Germans, and individuals of other European nationalities associated
themselves with the Boer party, almost invariably by open
declaration, and in many cases even by naturalization, thus
forfeiting their own national rights and obtaining nothing but vague
promises and the liability to military service in return. But the
Republican movement made no further headway than this because British
subjects formed the large majority of the Uitlanders. They had, it is
true, a great grievance against the Imperial Government; but against
the Transvaal Government they had one greater still; and it would
take a great deal to kill the passionate loyalty of the British South
African. It would be idle to discuss what might have happened had Mr.
Kruger seized his opportunity and let in a considerable section of
the then unenfranchised to strengthen the ranks of the Republican
party; that can only be a matter of individual conjecture. What is
certain, however, is that he did not do so and never intended to do
so; wherein his lack of statesmanship is again made manifest.

Mr. Kruger has carried out in its fullest (its best or its worst) the
characteristic principle of his people already referred to, that of
giving too little and asking too much. It is doing only bare justice
to the determination with which he adheres to the policy of his life
to say that he gives nothing to anybody. From the most distant to the
nearest he deals alike with all. With the people of Europe, he has
taxed their investments, disregarded their interests, and flouted
their advice; but nevertheless he has for years commanded their moral
support. In his dealings with the British Government, pushed as they
have been some half a dozen times to the very verge of war, he has
invariably come off with something for nothing. In his dealings with
the Uitlanders he has bartered promises and in return--_circumspice_!
In the matter of the events of 1895-6 he came out with a quarter of a
million in cash, a claim for L1,677,938 3s. 3d. odd (including Moral
and Intellectual Damages), and a balance of injured innocence which
may not be expressed in figures. In his dealings with Cape Colony he
has taxed the products of their land and industry, he went to the
verge of war to destroy their trade in the case of the closing of the
Vaal River drifts, he has permitted the Netherlands Railway to so
arrange its tariffs as to divert traffic from them to other parts, he
has refused to their people (his own flesh and blood, among whom he
was born) the most elementary rights when they settle in his country!
And yet in his need he calls upon them, and they come! His treatment
of the Orange Free State has been exactly the same. Their grievance
against him is incomparably worse, because of their liability to
become involved in the consequences of a policy which they are not
allowed to influence. But President Kruger is, above all things,
practical. Everything is gauged by the measure of the advantage which
it can bring to him; and his treatment of the Free State is
determined by their utility to him and his power over them, and is
not influenced by their moral claims upon his good will. Natal and
Portugal have their experience of broken agreements and strained
interpretations, of intrigues with native subjects and neighbours
for the extension of rights or boundaries, all designed to benefit
the Transvaal and to undermine them. All, all with the same result!
Something for nothing! Within the borders of the Transvaal the policy
is the same. Moral rights and the claims of justice are unrecognized.
For services rendered there may be some return; a privilege, a
contract, an appointment. But this cannot be properly regarded as a
neglect of principle upon Mr. Kruger's part, for after all the reward
is at the expense of the Uitlanders. It is usually the least price at
which the service could be secured; and it is generally in such
form as to give the recipient a profit in which the members of the
Government party largely share, but it never confers a power to
which the President himself is not superior; indeed, it is almost
invariably hedged about by such conditions as to make its continuance
dependent upon the President's good will. If any one should
think this description of conditions in the Transvaal and of the
President's policy to be unduly harsh, let him satisfy himself by an
investigation of those matters which appear on merely superficial
examination to support opinions contrary to those expressed by the
writer. Let him examine the terms of the closer union with the Free
State, the circumstances leading to the closing of the Vaal River
drifts, the condition of the Dutch subjects of Cape Colony and of the
Orange Free State in the Transvaal, the Netherlands Railway tariffs
as they operate against Cape Colony and the Free State, the Railway
Agreement with Natal, the disputes with Portugal, the attempts to
acquire native territory on the East Coast, the terms of the
Netherlands Railway Concession, Selati Railway Concession, Dynamite
Concession--in fact, all other concessions, monopolies, contracts,
privileges, appointments, and rights, made, granted, or entered
into by President Kruger to or with his friends. Let him recall the
treatment and the fate of some of those to whom ampler reference
will be made later on; for instance, Chief Justice Kotze and
Judge Ameshof, who in the dealings with the Reformers rendered
valuable--but perhaps injudicious and unjudicial--service, as already
sufficiently described; the treatment of Dr. Coster, the State
Attorney, who also deserved better of the President; the public
repudiation of Mr. J.B. Robinson, whose friendship for President
Kruger had been frequently and amply evidenced to the grave
dissatisfaction of the Uitlander population; the public and insulting
repudiation of Sir Henry de Villiers, the Chief Justice of Cape
Colony, after he had served his purpose! The result of any such
inquiry must confirm the conclusion that 'something for nothing' is
the President's policy and achievement.

A policy or a movement which is to involve the cooperation of
thousands of intelligent men cannot be carried out upon such terms,
and this may be regarded as the main reason why the spirit of
Republicanism did not generally itself develop under circumstances
apparently so favourable to it. The President's policy may be
considered astute or unwise according to the point of view from which
it is regarded. Viewed from the standpoint of the State itself,
undoubtedly it fails lamentably in statesmanship. In the interests of
the Boer party, however, or of the man Paul Kruger, it may well be
doubted whether the policy may not be a token of remarkable sagacity.
He knows his own limitations and the limitations of his people. He
knows that to freely admit to a share in the Government a number of
intelligent people, would make a continuance of himself or his party
in absolute power for any length of time a matter of utter
impossibility. In these circumstances the problem which President
Kruger had set himself was a remarkably difficult one. To
republicanize South Africa, to secure the support of the majority of
the white inhabitants, and yet to yield no whit of power to those by
whose aid he would achieve his object, would indeed be carrying to
sublime heights the policy of 'something for nothing.'

Many years before the Raid Mr. Kruger had a well-defined policy to
republicanize South Africa, and the Uitlanders of the Transvaal were
quite alive to it, as may be gathered by reference to their
newspapers. But the voice was as a voice crying in the wilderness in
those days, and, as has been said, it required the Jameson Raid to
advertize the conditions in the Transvaal and to direct attention to
what had been proclaimed unheeded for many years. Immediately prior
to the Raid Mr. Kruger was floundering in a morass of difficulties.
The policy of 'something for nothing' had been exposed, and it was
seen through by all the Dutchmen in South Africa and was resented by
all save his own little party in the Transvaal; but the Jameson Raid
gave the President a jumping-off place on solid ground, and he was
not slow to take advantage of it.

It is not too much to say that the vast majority of people in Europe
and America are indebted to Dr. Jameson for any knowledge which they
may have acquired of the Transvaal and its Uitlander problem. Theirs
is a disordered knowledge, and perhaps it is not unnatural that they
should in a manner share the illusion of the worthy sailor who, after
attending divine service, assaulted the first Israelite he met
because he had only just heard of the Crucifixion. A number of worthy
people are still disposed to excuse many things in the Transvaal
because of the extreme provocation given by the Jameson Raid. The
restrictions upon English education are considered to be 'not
unnatural when one remembers the violent attempt to swamp the Dutch.'
The excessive armaments are held to be 'entirely justifiable
considering what has happened.' The building of forts is 'an ordinary
precaution.' The prohibiting of public meetings is 'quite wrong, of
course, but can you wonder at it?' Many of these worthy people will,
no doubt, learn with pained surprise that all these things were among
the causes which led to the Reform movement of 1895-6, and are not
the consequences of that movement as they erroneously suppose. The
Press Law and Public Meetings Act had been passed; arms had been
imported and ordered in tens of thousands; machine guns and
quantities of ammunition also; forts were being built;{42} the
suppression of all private schools had been advocated by Dr.
Mansvelt--all long, long before the Jameson Raid. So also had the
republican propaganda been at work, but it had not caught on outside
the two Republics.

Difficult as his task might appear, Mr. Kruger had now command of the
two great persuasive forces--money and sentiment. With the money he
pushed on the forts, and imported immense quantities of big guns,
small arms, and ammunition--far in excess of what could possibly be
used by the whole of the Boer population of the Transvaal after
making every allowance for spare arms in reserve; and such an
extraordinary supply was not unnaturally believed to be designed for
the use of others outside the Transvaal. More than this, an army of
emissaries, agents, and spies in the pay of the Transvaal Government
were spread about the Free State, Cape Colony, and Natal. Newspapers
were supported in different parts of South Africa and a considerable
amount of money was spent upon the Press in France and Germany.

It would be absurd to suggest and it would be unjust to let it be
inferred that all those who were drawn into sympathy with the Boers
supported or were even cognizant of President Kruger's ultimate aim.
It is an everyday experience that the scope of work and ambition
expands as one progresses. Whether the strong man really sees his
ultimate goal and tackles with magnificent courage the innumerable
and seemingly insurmountable obstacles which lie between him and it,
or whether in the wisdom and mercy of Providence there is such an
adjustment of courage and foresight as prevents him from seeing more
than he is able to face, who can say? But what is beyond all doubt is
that, given the one strong man who does know his mind, he will lead
as the Pied Piper led, and there is no thought in his following to
ask the whither and the why.

Given the sympathy and the means, the difficulty of President
Kruger's self-imposed task was not so great as at first appeared. To
some it was advisable to do no more than point to the Jameson Raid
and say: 'We only wish to live in peace and to be left alone.' To
some again that act is construed as a sign that the British people
wish to upset the two Republics, therefore they must strengthen and
be prepared. To others the appeal is made: 'We Dutch are the settlers
and owners of the country, we wish for peace, of course, but we must
dominate--you under your form of government, we under ours.'
To others again it is further advanced: 'Let us negotiate the
elimination of the Imperial power; we do not suggest fight, but if we
present a united front they must retire peacefully and concede our
demands.' And lastly comes the appeal to those who are in sympathy
with the advanced republicans: 'Arm and prepare. Some day we shall
find England in a difficulty, divided by party or hampered by
external complications; it has often happened before and we have
always profited. That will be our time to drive them out.'

It would be very unjust to some of the most prominent men on the
Dutch side in Cape Colony to leave the slenderest grounds for the
inference that they are to be associated with the extreme and
actively disloyal aim. All that it is intended to do is to indicate
the fine gradations in arguments by which a number are drawn
together--under a leadership which they do not realize, and going
they know not where! The strongest of these arguments and appeals are
particularly popular with the younger generation of Dutch South
Africans who entertain a visionary scheme of independence suggested
by the history of the United States. But there is something more
serious in it than this, as may be deduced from the fact that in
December, 1896, the writer was approached by Mr. D.P. Graaff,
formerly a prominent member of the Cape Legislative Council and now
as always a prominent Afrikander Bondsman, with the suggestion that
all the South African born should combine in the effort to create the
United States of South Africa, 'upon friendly terms with England, but
confining the direct Imperial right in South Africa to a naval
base at Simonstown and possibly a position in Natal.' This
concession--from South Africa to England--would not, it was argued,
involve disadvantage to the former, because for a considerable time
it would be necessary to preserve friendly relations with England and
to have the protection of her fleet for the coast.

It is of course quite easy to attach too much importance to the
opinions of individual politicians of this class, who are as a rule
merely shouters with the biggest crowd; but the prominent association
of such an apostle of republicanism with the Bond, and the fact that
he should have gone so far with a Reformer of known strong British
sympathies seem to warrant the attaching of some importance to the
suggestion.{43} A similar suggestion was made to several of the
Reformers at the time of the judicial crisis by one of the judges of
the Transvaal High Court, when it was hoped to enlist the sympathies
of the Uitlanders with a movement to curtail President Kruger's power
and to establish republicanism on a firmer basis in South Africa. In
order to forestall an obvious comment, it may be said that discussion
was in both cases declined on the ground that it would be
participating in politics in the sense forbidden by President
Kruger's three years' ban.

The year 1896 was a very bad one for the whole of South Africa.
Besides the Raid and the suspense and disorganization entailed by the
prolonged trial, the terrible dynamite explosion in Johannesburg,{44}
the still more terrible rebellion and massacre in Rhodesia, and the
crushing visitation of the great cattle scourge, the Rinderpest,
helped to produce a deplorable state of affairs in the Transvaal.

Then there was another thing which rankled badly: Messrs. Sampson and
Davies were still in gaol.{45} The feeling throughout South Africa
was reflected in the monotonous announcement which appeared in the
_Cape Times_ week by week for thirteen months:--'To-day Messrs.
Sampson and Davies complete the--week of their imprisonment in
Pretoria gaol for the crime of not signing a petition.' It seemed
scarcely credible that the President should still harbour any
illusions about his magnanimity; nevertheless, for some weeks before
the celebration of the Queen's Record reign it was rumoured that the
two prisoners were to be released upon that occasion as a mark of his
Honour's sympathy. Opinion had not been unanimous upon the attitude
of either the President or the prisoners; but an ugly incident
silenced most of the President's apologists. Gold stealing and the
purchase of stolen gold were being carried on such a scale and with
such impunity that at last, in desperation, the directors and
officials of one of the big mining companies (the City and Suburban
G.M. Co.), at the risk of being shot by desperadoes, took upon
themselves the functions of the detectives and police. They caught
'red-handed' two notorious characters and delivered them over, with
the gold in their possession, to the authorities. The thieves
actually boasted then that nothing would happen to them as they had
'made it all right;' and a few days later one of them was allowed to
escape out of the Court-house buildings which stand in the middle of
a large square. The other was convicted and sentenced to six months'
imprisonment. He was a criminal of a bad and dangerous type, the head
of a gang known to be concerned in gold stealing and burglary as a
profession. The penalty was regarded by all parties as most
inadequate and the judge himself commented adversely upon the
drafting of the law which tended to screen the prisoner. Not one
mitigating circumstance was forthcoming! And yet, whilst ignoring a
fresh outburst of protest against the detention of Messrs. Sampson
and Davies, and whilst the Industrial Commission was exposing the
gold thefts and denouncing the complicity of the police, Mr. Kruger
decided to remit three-fourths of the sentence and to discharge
the thief unconditionally. Is it to be wondered that such ill-advised
action called to mind the prisoners' boast, and that it was
contrasted prominently with the treatment of the two Reformers?

Three events of importance marked the year 1897 in the history of the
Transvaal. The first was the High Court crisis in February; the
second, the appointment of the Industrial Commission of Inquiry; the
third, the Queen's Record Reign celebration.

The High Court crisis arose out of the case of Brown _v._ The State,
already referred to.{46} Brown had acted within his legal rights
according to the terms of a proclamation. That proclamation had been
illegally withdrawn, and the Government realizing that they would
have to stand the consequences of their action in the courts of the
country, introduced a law which was immediately passed by the
Volksraad, absolving them from all liability, and practically
non-suiting all claimants. Mr. Kotze in his judgment declared this
law to be improper and in conflict with the Constitution, and gave
judgment in favour of Brown, but left the amount of damages to be
determined later after hearing further evidence.{47}

The first Volksraad was then in special session, and the President
promptly introduced a law known as Law 1 of 1897, which empowered him
to exact assurances from the judges that they would respect all
resolutions of the Volksraad as having the force of law and declare
themselves not entitled to test the validity of a law by its
agreement or conflict with the Constitution; and it further empowered
the President in the event of his not being satisfied with the
character of the replies to summarily dismiss the judges. The judges
protested in a body that they would not submit to such treatment. The
High Court was adjourned and all legal business was stopped.
Particularly emphatic was Mr. Justice Gregorowski. He stated that
no honourable man could possibly sit upon the Transvaal Bench as long
as Law 1 of 1897 remained upon the Statute Book. At this juncture Sir
Henry de Villiers, Chief Justice of Cape Colony, came to Pretoria for
the purpose of effecting a compromise and averting a crisis. The
compromise was practically an armistice. The judges promised not to
exercise the testing right pending the speedy introduction of a
measure safeguarding the independence of the courts. Mr. Kruger on
his side promised to refrain from enforcing the provisions of Law 1
of 1897, and undertook to introduce as speedily as possible the
required new law.

The position in which the President found himself was undoubtedly one
of some difficulty, but he chose a very bad way out of it.
High-handed arbitrary methods cannot effect a permanent and
satisfactory solution of a question of that character, but Mr. Kruger
was unwilling to go to the root of the evil and to admit what Mr.
Kotze's judgment had brought home with perhaps too sudden force,
namely, that the laws and system of Government were in a condition of
complete chaos. The sequel can be told in a few words. In February,
1898, Mr. Kotze considered that ample time had been allowed by him
for the fulfilment of President Kruger's promise. Sir Henry de
Villiers thought it proper to allow more time. The point of
difference between Mr. Kotze and Sir Henry de Villiers was the
interpretation to be placed upon the expression 'this session,' which
had been used in the previous February when the President had said
that if he did not introduce the proposed measures this session, the
judges might consider that he had failed to keep his promise. Mr.
Kotze contended that as the Raad was then in session it meant _that
Session_, and that in any case that session and another had passed,
and a third was in progress and there was still no sign of the
promised measures. Sir Henry de Villiers stated that in his opinion
the reasonable construction would be that Mr. Kruger meant the
following _ordinary_ session, and that only ordinary sessions could
be considered (for in each year there are one special and one
ordinary session), so that the President might be entitled to claim
the whole of the year 1898 within which to fulfil his promise, but
that this would be the extreme limit of forbearance, after which
failure could only be regarded as a breach of faith. Sir Henry de
Villiers in fact defended Mr. Kruger. Mr. Kotze, however, held to his
opinion; he wrote to the President reminding him of the undertaking,
charged him with failure to keep his promise and withdrew the pledge
which he had given. The President promptly exercised his right under
Law 1 of 1897, and dismissed Mr. Kotze, who had served the country as
judge and chief justice for over twenty years. Whatever the merits of
the particular case may be it appeared to be a shocking exhibition
of arbitrary power to dismiss without compensation, pension, or
provision of any sort, a man no longer young, whose services had been
given for nearly a quarter of a century, who in the extreme dilemma
of the Raid had stood by the President, and who, from some points of
view, must be admitted to have served him 'not wisely but too well.'

Mr. Kotze was not at that time popular among the Uitlanders on
account of his action in the matter of the Reformers, and especially
because he had acted on behalf of the Government in securing the
services of Mr. Gregorowski for the Reform trial; but the
circumstances of his dismissal and the fact that he was known to be
dependent upon his salary as judge, taken in conjunction with the
courageous stand which he had made against the President's arbitrary
will, enlisted public sympathy on his behalf, and a purse amounting
in all to about L6,000 was presented to him as a mark of appreciation
for his past services. But then followed the 'most unkindest cut of
all.' Mr. Gregorowski, who had resigned a judgeship in order to fill
the post of State Attorney when Dr. Coster, in consequence of an
insulting reference of the President's to his countrymen,
relinquished it,--Mr. Gregorowski, who had been foremost to declare
that no honourable man could possibly accept the position of judge
while Law 1 of 1897 stood on the Statute Book, became Chief Justice
_vice_ Mr. Kotze dismissed. And by way of finally disposing of the
subject, the President when questioned in the Raad as to the
explanation of his apologist, denied that he had ever made any
promise of any sort or description to Sir Henry de Villiers or
anybody else!

Mr. Justice Ameshof, who with Mr. Kotze had made a stand against the
President in this matter, was also obliged to relinquish his
judgeship. Thus it will be seen that at one swoop Mr. Kruger disposed
of three reputable intermediaries whom he had used to great advantage
at one time or another. 'Something for nothing,' for Mr. Kruger!
Whether Mr. Kotze acted in haste or whether Sir Henry de Villiers'
plea for more time was justified are questions which it is no longer
necessary to discuss, not alone because Mr. Kruger denied ever having
made the promise out of which the disagreement arose, but because
even up to the present time no measure safeguarding the High Court
has been introduced or foreshadowed in the legislature. And Law 1 of
1897, which according to Mr. Gregorowski made it impossible for any
honourable man to sit upon the Bench, is still upon the Statute Book
and Mr. Gregorowski sits as Chief Justice subject to its provisions.

No one disputes that the position of the High Court as determined by
Law 1 of 1897 is a very unsatisfactory one, but the apologists for
President Kruger frequently say that there has been no actual case of
hardship, and that the Uitlanders are crying out before they are
hurt. They maintain that it was a measure passed under great
provocation for a particular purpose, and that the power granted
under it, although very undesirable in principle, has never been
used. This is incorrect; the power has been used, and injustice has
been suffered. Two cases of actual hardship are those of Brown _v._
Government, the case out of which the whole matter arose, and the
case of the Pretoria Waterworks Company. But there are other cases
too which have never been brought into court having been either
compromised or abandoned because of the hopelessness of the position,
for it is obvious that there would be great reluctance on the part of
business men to make a fight merely for the purpose of showing that
they suffered under a disability when the result of such a fight
would inevitably be to antagonize the only tribunal to which they
could appeal.

The case of the Pretoria Waterworks Company is rather a bad one. The
Government in 1889 gave a contract for the water supply of Pretoria.
It was a permission, but not an exclusive right, to supply the
town from springs on Government ground. The President, finding that
the contractor was not in a position to undertake the work, requested
certain business houses to form a company to acquire this right and
to supply the town with water. After inquiry into the local
conditions and the probable costs, these people represented that
unless they received the exclusive right they would be unable to
undertake the work, as the cost of importing pipes and machinery
transported from Natal by bullock waggon and the then expensive
conditions of working would make the work so costly that at a later
period, after the introduction of railways, it would be possible for
competitors, such for instance as the projected Municipality of
Pretoria, to establish a system of water supply at probably half the
cost of the first one and thus compete to their disadvantage. For
these reasons the contractor and his friends declined to proceed with
the formation of the company. The President, however, was very
desirous of having a good water supply, and after some months of
negotiations the original contract was supplemented by a grant from
the Executive Council, who then held plenary powers from the
Volksraad, giving the proposed company the exclusive right.
Immediately after the receipt of this grant the company was formed,
the capital subscribed and the machinery and other material
purchased. In 1898, after nine years of work, during which
shareholders had received dividends averaging 2-2/3 per cent. per
annum, some differences occurred between the Company and the
consumers, and the latter combined and subscribed the necessary funds
to take action in the High Court, the object being to challenge the
exclusive right and to enable the town through its Municipality to
provide its own supply. At the same time the Government at the
instance of the townspeople opened negotiations with the Company with
a view to expropriation in accordance with the terms stipulated in
the original contract. While matters were in this position, however,
certain members of the Volksraad prominently concerned in the action
against the Company, introduced a measure in the Volksraad cancelling
the second or exclusive grant made by the Government nine years
before and recommending that the Government should either buy out
the Waterworks Company upon suitable terms or should give the
necessary facilities to the Town Council to introduce another system
of supply. The application of the Company to be allowed to state its
case was ignored, and after a short discussion the resolution was
passed and the measure became law. By the action of the Volksraad the
Company was deprived of that principal asset upon the security of
which the capital had been subscribed, and the Government were
rescued from an awkward position. The Government took no steps to
defend their action in granting the right or to protest against the
action of the Volksraad, and became, therefore, parties to an act of
piracy. The Company were thus placed entirely at the mercy of the
Government, for under the provisions of Law 1 of 1897, the Volksraad
resolution put them out of court both as to upholding their title and
claiming damages. All doubts as to the Government's complicity in
this action were removed when upon negotiations being opened for the
expropriation of the Company the Government refused to follow the
procedure prescribed in the contract on the ground that as the
Company had now lost the exclusive right they must accept a less sum
in compensation, otherwise the Government would authorise the rival
Municipal scheme. Under these circumstances the shareholders having
no other power to appeal to adopted the common-sense course of taking
what they could get. The result can only be expressed in figures. The
shares, which had been purchased at over 40s. at the time of the
Volksraad's action were worth less than 28s. in liquidation. The
inquiry into the Raid by the Select Committee of the House of
Commons, early in 1897, was productive of a result which is not
always traced to its real cause. The greatest dissatisfaction was
expressed in the Transvaal and among all the Boers in South Africa
with one feature of the Westminster inquiry, viz., the investigation
of the causes which made the Raid possible. Mr. Kruger and his
friends had enjoyed such a run of luck and so much indulgence, and
had been so successful in presenting their side of the case only,
that it seemed to them improper that anyone should wish to inquire
into all the circumstances. It would even appear from what
followed that the President had convinced himself that there were no
grievances, that he was an entirely innocent party deeply injured by
the Reformers and the British Government, and that the Westminster
inquiry had been authorized and conducted for the sole purpose of
exposing him and justifying the Reform movement.

As the months dragged on and no improvement in the conditions of the
Uitlanders took place, as indeed the complaints grew louder and the
state of affairs grew worse, the President again began to hear the
voices calling for reform. Timid whispers they were, perhaps, and far
between, for the great bulk of the Uitlanders were in a morose and
sullen mood. Having tried and failed on stronger lines they were
incapable as yet of returning with any heart to the old fruitless and
already rejected constitutional methods. The suggestions for reform,
consequently, came principally from those who were on friendly terms
with the Boer party and believed themselves to carry some weight.
They have by this time learned that nobody carries weight with
President Kruger unless he has power to back his suggestions. Many
years before, the late Mr. W.Y. Campbell as spokesman of a deputation
from Johannesburg, addressing President Kruger, stated in the course
of his remarks that the people of Johannesburg 'protested' against a
certain measure. The President jumped up in one of his characteristic
moods and said: 'Protest! Protest!! what is the good of protesting?
You have not got the guns! I have.' And Mr. Campbell, in reporting
this in Johannesburg, remarked: 'That man is sensible; he knows the
position. I claim to be sensible also, and I know he is right: you
can take my name off any other deputations, for we'll get nothing by

It is stated, and the statement comes from one who claims to have
been the father of the suggestion, that the President was induced to
appoint a commission of inquiry by the argument that if, as he
believed, the wretched state of affairs in Johannesburg was due not
to the action of the Government but to the greed, machinations, and
mismanagement of the capitalists, nothing could suit the latter worse
than to be taken at their word and to have a commission appointed to
take evidence on oath and to publicly inquire into the state of
affairs; in fact to copy the Westminster inquiry. It is
conceivable that the resolute refusal to investigate matters or to
listen to complaints or explanations which the President had
throughout maintained may have been the means of preserving a
blissful faith in the strength of his own case and the rottenness of
the Uitlanders'; at any rate, it seems to be an undoubted fact that
the Industrial Commission of Inquiry, which was appointed by the
Executive at the request of the President, was appointed in the
confident belief that it would shift the burden of responsibility
from his shoulders to those of the capitalists. This construction of
his motives may appear to be severe and perhaps even unfair, but it
is entirely borne out by the manner in which he dealt with the report
of the Industrial Commission, fighting against its acceptance,
ignoring the recommendations of relief, and even imposing fresh
burdens. There is, nevertheless, one thing to be deduced which is in
a manner to Mr. Kruger's credit, and that is that he really must have
believed that the case would--from his point of view--bear inquiring

The members of the Commission with power to vote were Messrs. Schalk
W. Burger, Member of the Executive Council (Chairman); J.S. Smit,
Government Railway Commissioner; Christiaan Joubert, Minister of
Mines; Schmitz-Dumont, Acting State Mining Engineer; and J.F. de
Beer, first special Judicial Commissioner, Johannesburg. Mr. Thos.
Hugo, the General Manager of the National Bank, was appointed
financial adviser, and certain advisory members were arbitrarily
selected by the Government. The complete exclusion of all those who
had had any direct or indirect association with the late Reform
movement or with those in any way connected with it strengthened the
conviction that the Government designed the Commission to be a
whitewashing one; but whatever the design may have been it would be
doing an injustice both to the Government officials and to the
advisory members to have it supposed that they were parties to such
an idea. They were not; they did their work admirably, and no inquiry
could have been conducted in a better spirit. This, however, was not
foreseen, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the Uitlanders
were induced to view the thing seriously and to realize that, no
matter how it had occurred, this was a supreme opportunity for
proving to the world the soundness of their case. The report and
proceedings are published by the Witwatersrand Chamber of Mines in a
volume containing over 700 pages of printed matter and a number of
diagrams. The whole constitutes a damning indictment of the
Government, as the following extracts from the report of the
Commission testify:--

Your Commission are pleased to state that at present there exist all
the indications of an honest administration, and the State, as well
as the Mining Industry, must be congratulated upon the fact that most
of the mines are controlled and directed by financial and practical
men who devote their time, energy, and knowledge to the mining
industry, and who have not only introduced the most up-to-date
machinery and mining appliances, but also the greatest perfection of
method and process known to science. But for these a good many of the
mines now producing gold would not have reached that stage....

To avoid such a calamity (viz., the closing down of the mines) your
Commission are of opinion that it is the duty of the Government to
co-operate with the mining industry, and to devise means in order to
make it possible for lower-grade mines to work at a profit, and
generally to lighten the burdens of the mining industry. This and the
development and equipment of the new mines are a few examples among
others where it is desirable that the Government shall take an active
part, especially when the fact is taken into consideration that up
till now the mining industry must be held as the financial basis,
support, and mainstay of the State.

The question, therefore, becomes one of national economy, and it is
incumbent upon the Government, considering the rapid growth and
progress of the country, to so alter its fiscal laws and systems of
administration as to meet the requirements of its principal

Your Commission entirely disapprove of concessions, through which the
industrial prosperity of the country is hampered. Such might have
been expedient in the past, but the country has now arrived at a
state of development that will only admit of free competition
according to republican principles. This applies more especially to
the gold industry, which has to face its own economical problems
without being further burdened with concessions that are irksome and
injurious to the industry and will always remain a source of
irritation and dissatisfaction.

As to white labour:--

Your Commission are of opinion that wages are not excessive, regard
being had to the high cost of living at the mines. In fact, they are
only sufficient to satisfy daily wants, and, consequently, it cannot
be expected that white labourers will establish their permanent abode
in this Republic unless conditions are made by which their position
will be ameliorated....

Your Commission are of opinion that as long as the cost of living
cannot be considerably reduced it will be almost impossible to reduce
the wages of white labourers, and they would strongly recommend that,
as far as possible, necessaries of life should be imported free of
duty and conveyed to the mines as cheaply as possible.

As to the sale of liquor:--

It has been proved to your Commission that the Liquor Law is not
carried out properly, and that the mining industry has real
grievances in connection therewith, owing to the illicit sale of
strong drink to the natives at the mines, and they wish especially
and strongly to insist that the stipulations of article 16 of the law
shall be strictly enforced. The evidence given on this point proves
that a miserable state of affairs exists, and a much stronger
application of the law is required.

Following this there is a long criticism with recommendations in

As to import duties:--

With reference to this matter, your Commission can only recommend
that, if possible, foodstuffs ought to be entirely free from
taxation, as at the present moment it is impossible to supply the
population of the Republic from the products of local agriculture and
consequently importation is absolutely necessary.

As to explosives:--

Before entering on this subject, we wish to put on record our
disappointment with the evidence tendered on behalf of the South
African Explosives Company, Ltd. We expected, and we think not
unreasonably, that they would be able to give reliable information
for our guidance respecting the cost of importation, as well as of
local manufacture, of the principal explosives used for mining
purposes; but, though persistently questioned on these points, few
facts were elicited and we regret to say that they entirely failed to
satisfy us in this important respect....

That the principal explosives used here can be purchased in Europe,
and delivered here at a price far below the present cost to the
mines, has been proved to us by the evidence of many witnesses
competent to speak on the subject, and when we bear in mind that the
excess charge of 40s. to 45s. per case does not benefit the State,
but serves to enrich individuals for the most part resident in
Europe, the injustice of such a tax on the staple industry becomes
more apparent and demands immediate removal.

After showing that the dynamite monopolists make a profit of 47s. 6d.
per case on No. 1 dynamite, and 55s. on blasting gelatine, over and
above the price at which the mines could buy explosives if there were
no monopoly or protection, the report goes on:--

The Mining Industry has thus to bear a burden which does not enrich
the State or bring any benefit in return, and this fact must always
prove a source of irritation and annoyance to those who, while
willing to contribute to just taxation for the general good, cannot
acquiesce in an impost of the nature complained of....

Your Commission inspected the factory at Modderfontein, and it must
be admitted that the construction of the works and general equipment
are in many respects admirable, and it appears to us greatly to be
regretted that so much money should have been invested in an
undertaking for the manufacture of any article whereof the
ingredients have to be imported at a great cost, four tons of raw
material being required to produce one ton of the manufactured

It has been proved to our satisfaction that none of the raw material
used is found in this country, or only in such small quantities as to
make it practically valueless for the purpose required.... All these
drawbacks, which make it almost impossible to establish a bona-fide
industry, fall on the mines and render their task, especially that of
the low-grade mines, extremely difficult and discouraging. Another
point that has been brought to the notice of your Commission is the
prejudicial effect exercised by this monopoly in practically
excluding from the country all new inventions in connection with
explosives, and, in view of the numerous dynamite accidents that have
taken place from time to time, it is to be regretted that it is not
possible to make satisfactory trials of other and less dangerous
explosives for the working of the mines. These questions have
received the careful consideration of your Commission, who are forced
to the conclusion that the factory has not attained the object for
which it was established, and that there is no reasonable prospect of
it doing so. Further, that there are good grounds for believing that
the contractors have failed to comply with the conditions of their

For the aforesaid reasons, and in view of the opinion expressed by
the Volksraad Dynamite Commission, that the legal position of the
Government against the contractors is undoubtedly strong, your
Commission desire to recommend that the case be placed in the hands
of the legal advisers of the State, with a view to ascertaining
whether the contract cannot be cancelled.

Meanwhile your Commission recommend that the Government avail itself
forthwith of its right under Article 15 of the Regulations, to take
away the agency of trading in gunpowder, dynamite, cartridges, and
other explosives from the above-mentioned persons and at once take
into its own hands the importation of dynamite and other explosives
for the benefit of the mining industry, subject to a duty of not more
than 20s. per case or such other less sum as may be determined from
time to time.

This protective duty, while considerably increasing the revenue of
the State, will at the same time offer ample protection to any
industry of this description in the Republic. In the event of
cancellation being advised to be possible, free trade in explosives
to be at once established, subject to a duty of 20s. per case or such
other less duty as may be determined upon from time to time, and
manufacturing of other explosives in the Republic to be allowed, and
also to be protected by the same import duty....

Your Commission desire further to observe that it is not clear to
them, judging from the published accounts of the South African
Explosives Company for 1895 and 1896, that the Government receives
the proportion of surplus profit secured to it under the contract,
viz., 20 per cent., and would strongly recommend, in accordance
with Article 6 of the contract, an immediate investigation of the
Company's accounts by qualified accountants, in conjunction with the
financial adviser of the Commission, in order to find out what amount
is still due to the Government under this head.

As to railways:--

Your Commission have followed with great attention and interest the
evidence and statistics submitted on this point. From those it
appears that not only are the tariffs charged by the Netherlands
Railway Company such that by the reduction of the same the industry
would be considerably benefited, but that such a reduction would
necessitate that the neighbouring States and Colonies would also have
to reduce their tariffs considerably.

Your Commission have come to the conclusion that, taking into
consideration the evidence submitted to them, and taking the gross
revenue of traffic of goods at about L2,000,000 (as in 1896) it would
be desirable to recommend so to regulate the tariff that the gross
revenue for 1896 would have been reduced by L500,000, equivalent to
an average reduction of 25 per cent. Further, your Commission deem it
desirable that the Government shall make such arrangement as will
secure to them in the future a voice in the fixing of the tariffs of
the N.Z.A.S.M., and express their confidence that as soon as
prosperous times will warrant such a course a further reduction in
tariffs will be effected. Your Commission wish to recommend that the
reduction will be chiefly applied to traffic of coal, timber, mining
machinery, and foodstuffs, according to a scale to be agreed upon
between the Government and the N.Z.A.S.M. Your Commission are of
opinion that in this manner the industry will be met in a very fair
way. Your Commission wish to express the opinion that it is
absolutely necessary that the reduction in all local tariffs will be
brought about as speedily as possible, while they express the hope
that where the co-operation of the neighbouring States and Colonies
is required, negotiations will be initiated and carried out so
speedily that the reductions to be so initiated will come into force
not later than 1st January next. Several witnesses and some of the
Commission have urged the expropriation of the N.Z.A.S.M. by the
Government. Your Commission, however, for several reasons known to
them, and after same have been communicated to those members of the
Commission who wished to urge the expropriation of the N.Z.A.S.M., do
not at the present moment desire to urge expropriation provided by
the other means terms can be secured from the Company so as to obtain
the reduction at present urgently required on the basis as above set
forth. Your Commission have been informed that the Company have
proposed to adopt the dividends of the three years 1895, 1896, and
1897 as a basis for the expropriation price, and your Commission can
agree to such proposal. The expropriation price being thus fixed, the
Company will have all the more reason to co-operate towards the
lowering of the tariffs. Further, it appears from the evidence of the
managing director of the N.Z.A.S.M., that in consideration of the
reduction of tariffs, he wished to have secured to the Company a
certain period of existence. Your Commission cannot recommend this
course, because they do not deem the same to be in the interests of
the State, and it would be contrary to the wishes of the public.

As to gold thefts:--

According to the evidence submitted to your Commission, gold thefts
are on the increase, and although the Volksraad has given the matter
their favourable consideration, and have, at the instance of the
Mining Industry, so amended the Gold Law as to provide for the
punishment of the sale and being in possession of raw gold, still it
has been stated to your Commission in evidence, that the gold thefts
amount to about 10 per cent. of the output, equivalent to an amount
of L750,000 per annum. It follows that the administration of the law
must be faulty, because there are only very few instances where the
crime has been detected and punished. If those figures are not
exaggerated, and your Commission have no reason to suppose so, then
this matter deserves the serious consideration of the Government. The
suppression of this crime can be considered as a real saving to the
industry, and this amount of three-quarters of a million would,
especially in times of depression, exercise a large influence on the
yield and financial position of the mines. The industry ask that the
penal clauses regarding this matter shall be eliminated from the Gold
Law, and that a separate law be passed, more or less on the basis of
the I.D.B. Law of Kimberley, Cape Colony, and that measures shall be
taken by which the injured parties shall be enabled to exercise
control, and have supervision over any department to be established
for the detection and suppression of thefts of new gold. Your
Commission are of opinion that the Government could grant this
request without injuring their dignity, on the basis hereinafter
mentioned. On the contrary, it would remove the blame from the
present administration, viz., that these thefts can be practically
carried on with impunity.

As to the Local Board:--

The evidence which has been laid before your Commission has contained
suggestions to establish a Board on which Government nominees and
representatives of the mining industry and of the commercial
community of the Witwatersrand should sit, so that the Government
representatives should have the benefit of the experience of men
whose daily occupation it is to look closely into all the affairs
appertaining to the mines, &c. Your Commission is of opinion that it
is advisable that these suggestions should be acted upon. The scope
of this Board should consist of the supervision of the administration
of the following laws, viz.:--

The Liquor Law as far as it concerns the proclaimed goldfields, the
Pass Law, and the Law relating to Gold Thefts; and the Board will
further have an advisory voice in the supply of natives to the mines,
which your Commission has recommended your Government to take into
its own hands. The area under the surveillance of the Board should
include the Heidelberg, Witwatersrand, and Klerksdorp districts, and
other goldfields as may be found desirable hereafter. Your Commission
suggests that the Board consists of the following: Five members to be
appointed by the Government, and four delegates to be appointed by
the following bodies, with the consent of the Government, viz., one
delegate of the Chamber of Mines, one of the Association of Mines (or
in case of an amalgamation, two representatives of the new Chamber),
a nominee of the Mine Managers' Association, and a nominee of the
commercial community of Johannesburg. Your Commission would advise
that a separate detective force be placed under the department, whose
duty it should be to detect any infringements of the above-mentioned
laws, and to bring the offenders to justice in the ordinary course of
law. It should also be in the sphere of the Board's work to report to
the proper authorities any laxity on the part of the officials who
have to administer the above-mentioned laws. The Board is to report
to the Executive Council upon the working of the laws referred to,
and to suggest alterations. It must be well understood that the power
of this Board must in no way clash with the sphere of the Minister of
the Mines department and the Licensing Board, but co-operate with the
same. We should adduce as a reason the more for the creation of such
a Board that Government could depute to them the right to receive
deputations, hear their arguments, and report to the Government on
the subject, whereby a great saving of time would be the result. We
would recommend that the Commission be appointed at once, and that
they shall frame their proposals for regulations and submit them at
once to the Government.

The establishment of a local mining board has been strongly urged by
witnesses. From an industrial and financial point of view this
country must be considered as still in its infancy, and, without loss
of dignity or prestige, the Government may accede to the above
request. Experience in these matters can only be attained after the
lapse of long years, and by coming in contact with experts from other
countries the State will reap the benefit of the knowledge obtained
in their country, where these problems have for decades exercised the
minds of their leading citizens.

In conclusion, your Commission fervently hope that they have truly
and faithfully interpreted the object of the inquiry, and that their
suggestions and recommendations, if acted upon, will confer a lasting
benefit on the country and people.

The evidence, as has been stated, was all given on oath, and some
very interesting details came out. In one case Dr. Leyds's system of
misrepresentation was exposed. Whilst the Commission was actually
taking evidence the then State Secretary in an interview with the
Paris _Temps_ strongly supported the dynamite monopoly, and stated
that the price charged, namely, 90s. per case, was the same at which
the Chamber of Mines had offered to enter into a sixteen years'
contract with Nobel's factory. A witness questioned on this point
explained that this was quite true as regards price, but that Dr.
Leyds had suppressed the essential fact that whereas out of the 90s.
paid to the monopolists the Government only receive 5s. by way of
duty, they would out of the 90s. which it was proposed to pay for
Nobel's dynamite receive no less than 38s. per case as duty, and that
if the contract proposed by the Chamber had been made the Government
would have profited during the previous four years to the extent of
L1,200,000 instead of L150,000. Upon another occasion light was
thrown on dark places in a rather disconcerting fashion. Mr.
Christiaan Joubert, Minister of Mines, took one of the witnesses in
hand with the object of showing that the people of Johannesburg had
only themselves to thank for the loss of confidence in this business.
The following questions and answers are from the official report:--

Should not the Chamber of Mines co-operate with the Department of
Mines to get a law protecting European shareholders from being
defrauded by swindlers?--I don't know if such a law could be framed
without interfering with what, in other countries, is considered to
be personal liberty. You have to come to the point whether the man
intended to swindle, and that can only be settled by the Court, as a
matter of personal judgment. If a good law could be devised it would
be beneficial.

Is there no possibility for the Chamber of Mines to work with the
Department for the passing of such a law?--I don't know if laws exist
in France, Germany, England, or America, to that specific effect; but
if so, I would be guided by the wisdom and immense experience of the
law makers of those countries, otherwise we might be rushing in where
angels fear to tread.

Is it then possible? Are you willing to discuss the matter with
us?--Oh, yes; but I do not think that that is exactly what is wanted
in order to restore confidence. Lots of things combine to shake the
confidence of investors. For instance, to deal with some small and
homely matters, I was told by a member of the Sanitary Board
yesterday that an application for the underground rights of the
Market Square, had been made by Mr. Jan Meyer, a leading member of
the Volksraad. That does not help to restore confidence. The Sanitary
Board applied for a portion of the Telephone Tower Park in order to
erect a Town Hall. They were refused. Now, some one has made an
application for the right to erect swimming baths. That does not
restore confidence. I hope the mere publication of these things will
prevent them from succeeding. The Sanitary Board applied for the
Union Ground, also for public purposes, but it was granted to private
applicants on the quiet. They have hawked it about and borrowed money
on it. It was offered to many of the big capitalists here, but they
would not touch it. The Sanitary Board are told that a building is to
be put up, in which fifty rooms will be set aside for them, but they
are not satisfied that the authorities should do good by stealth and
blush to find it fame.

I cannot understand how mere applications can shake
confidence?--Well, they do, because they are only made when there is
a chance of their being granted. But, if you want facts, I will tell
you what shook the investor's confidence as much as anything that has
happened for years--that was the Ferreira claim-jumping raid, which
it was sworn to in Court had been suggested by you yourself, Mr.

Not 'suggested' by me--

The Chairman said the witness was straying away from the original

Witness said that the Minister of Mines had wanted examples of what
shook confidence, so he was obliged to give them.

The report of the Commission created a very favourable impression.
The majority of people believed that although it might not be
entirely acted upon, yet it would be quite impossible for the
President and the Volksraad to disregard suggestions made by so
influential a group of officials as those forming the Commission, and
that at any rate most of the recommendations would be accepted. The
unbelieving few who knew their President Kruger, however, waited for
something to be _done_. Presently ominous rumours went round about
differences in the Executive. Then came the scenes in the Volksraad,
when the President revealed himself and charged Mr. Schalk Burger
with being a traitor to his country for having signed such a report,
followed by the usual fight and the usual victory for the President,
and the usual Committee constituted mainly of extreme Conservatives
appointed to report upon the other Commission's report; and then the
usual result: Something for nothing. The Netherlands Railway made an
inconsiderable reduction in rates, which it appears was designed to
buy off, and did succeed in buying off, further scrutiny of its
affairs. With regard to the two big monopolies, Dynamite and Railway,
it appears that the Volksraad Commission accepted the private
assurances of the monopolists as sufficient warrant for reversing the
conclusions of the Industrial Commission. The proposed Local Board
for the goldfields was promptly ruled out as an unthinkable
proposition, a government within a government, and was so denounced
by the President himself. But the report of the Volksraad
Committee contained one supreme stroke of humour. It adopted the
recommendations of the Industrial Commission to remit the duties upon
certain articles of consumption so as to make living cheaper, but as
a condition it stipulated that in order that the State revenue should
not suffer, the duty upon other articles of consumption should be
increased so as to rather more than counterbalance the loss. That was
one result which the Uitlanders had in the beginning confidently
expected: Something for nothing. But the other result upon which they
had also calculated was a valuable one. They had put their case on
record and for the future the task of justifying the Uitlanders'
cause was to be reduced to the formality of pointing to the
Industrial Commission's report.

The third event of importance, and an event of much greater
importance than has generally been recognised, was the Queen's Record
Reign celebration in Johannesburg. 'Britons, hold up your heads !'
was the watchword with which the late Mr. W. Y. Campbell started to
organize what he eventually carried out as the biggest and most
enthusiastic demonstration ever made in the country. No more
unselfish and loyal subject of her Majesty ever set foot in South
Africa than Mr. Campbell, whose organization and example to 'Rand
Britons,' as he called them, did more to hearten up British subjects
in the Transvaal than has ever been fully realized or properly
acknowledged. The celebration was an immense success in itself, and
besides restoring the hopes and spirits of British subjects it
promoted generally a better feeling and a disposition to forget past

One of the consequences of the Raid and Reform had been a split in
the Chamber of Mines caused by the secession of a minority who held
views strongly opposed to those of the Reform party. It has always
been the policy of the Government to endeavour to divide the Rand
community. This is no vague general charge: many instances can be
given extending over a number of years. The accidental revelations in
a police court showed that in 1891 the Government were supporting
from the Secret Service Funds certain individuals with the object of
arranging labour unions to coerce employers upon various points. The
movement was a hopeless failure because the working men declined to
have anything to do with the so-called leaders. When the split took
place in the Chamber of Mines, it became the business of Dr. Leyds
and the President to keep the rift open. This was done persistently
and in a very open manner--the seceders being informed upon several
occasions that a fusion of the two Chambers would not be welcome to
the Government. Both before and since that time the same policy has
found expression in the misleading statement made on behalf of the
Government upon the compound question (namely, that the companies
were aiming at compounding all the natives and monopolizing all
the trade of the Rand), a statement made to divide the mercantile
from the mining community. The fostering of the liquor industry with
its thousands of disreputable hangers-on is another example; the
anti-capitalist campaign carried on by the Government press another.
And the most flagrant of all of course is the incitement to race
hatred. _Divide et impera_, is a principle which they apply with
unfailing regularity whether in their relations with other countries,
in the government of their own State, or in their dealings with
private individuals. Happily for the Rand community the effort to
settle their internal differences was successful; towards the end of
1897 the fusion of the two mining chambers took place, and the
unanimity thus restored has not since been disturbed.

By this time even the most enthusiastic and sanguine friends of the
Government had to some extent realized the meaning of the 'something
for nothing' policy. They began to take count of all that they had
done to please Mr. Kruger, and were endeavouring to find out what
they had got in return. The result, as they were disposed to admit,
was that for all the good it had done them they might as well have
had the satisfaction of speaking their minds frankly as the others
had done. The Raad's treatment of the Industrial Commission report
had estranged all those who had taken part in the deliberations of
the Commission, and as Mr. Kruger had been careful to select only
those whom he believed to be friendly to him he suffered more in the
recoil than he would otherwise have done. He fell into the pit which
he had himself dug.

Mr. Kruger was fast losing his friends, and another affair which
occurred about this time helped to open the eyes of those who still
wished to view him in a favourable light. Mr. Chamberlain in the
course of some remarks had stated that the President had failed to
fulfil the promises which he had made at the time of the Raid. His
Honour took an early opportunity to denounce Mr. Chamberlain to Mr.
J. B. Robinson and the manager of the then Government newspaper in
Pretoria. 'I would like Mr. Chamberlain to quote,' he said, 'any
instances of my failure to keep my promises, and I will know how to
answer him.' The challenge was published and Mr. Chamberlain
promptly cabled instructions to the British Agent to ask President
Kruger whether he had said this and if so whether he really did
desire a statement by Mr. Chamberlain of the character indicated. Mr.
Kruger took his own peculiar way out of the dilemma; he repudiated
the intermediaries, denounced the statement as untrue, and said
that he was not in the habit of conveying his requests through
irresponsible nobodies. The result was the immediate resignation of
the newspaper man and final rupture between the President and Mr.
Robinson. Thus were two more thick-and-thin supporters cast off at
convenience and without an instant's hesitation, and thus were
provided two more witnesses to the 'something for nothing' policy.
This incident was the immediate cause of the fusion of the Chambers.

It had all along been realized that while Lord Rosmead continued to
act as High Commissioner in South Africa there would be no
possibility of the Uitlanders' grievances being again taken up by her
Majesty's Government. The High Commissioner had committed himself to
the opinion that it would be unsuitable and indeed improper to make
any representations on the subject for a considerable time. Moreover,
his age and ill-health rendered him unfit for so arduous a task. Many
hard things have been said and written about the late High
Commissioner, but it must be admitted that with age and infirmity
weighing him down he was confronted by one of the most desperate
emergencies which have ever arisen to try the nerve of a proconsul.
It is true that the responsibilities of Government are not to be met
by excuses: the supports of the Empire must stand the strain or be
condemned. But it is also true that those who regard themselves as
victims may not lightly assume the functions of independent judges:
and thus it was that in a mood of sympathy and regret, with perhaps
some tinge of remorse, the news of Lord Rosmead's death was accepted
as evidence unanswerable of the burden which in the autumn of his
days he was called upon to bear.

When the name of Sir Alfred Milner was mentioned as the coming High
Commissioner all South Africa stood to attention. Seldom surely has a
representative of the Queen been put through such an ordeal of
examination and inquiry as that to which Sir Alfred Milner's record
was subjected by the people of South Africa. Not one man in a
thousand had heard his name before; it was as some one coming out of
the great unknown. The first feeling was that another experiment was
being made at the expense of South Africa; but almost before the
thought had formed itself came the testimony of one and another and
another, representing all parties and all opinions in England; and
the Uitlanders in the Transvaal began to hope and finally to believe
that at last they were to have a man to deal with who would exhibit
those qualities of intelligence, fairness, and firmness, which they
regarded as the essentials. Every word that was said or written about
the new High Commissioner was read and studied in South Africa. Every
reference made to him by the representatives of the various political
parties was weighed and scrutinized, and the verdict was that it was
good! Fair firm and able. There had not been a discordant note nor a
voice lacking in the chorus which greeted the appointment; and the
judgment was, 'They have given one of England's very best.'

The impression had somehow gained ground in South Africa that the
first act of Sir Alfred Milner would be to visit the Transvaal and
endeavour to arrange matters. The hearts of the Uitlanders sank at
the thought of even the ablest and best-intentioned of men tackling
so complicated a problem without any opportunity of studying the
local conditions and the details. It was therefore with undisguised
satisfaction that they received the new High Commissioner's assurance
that as the representative of her Majesty he had plenty of work
before him in visiting and making himself acquainted with the
conditions and requirements of her Majesty's dominions in South
Africa, the people of which had the first call upon his services. The
statement cleared the political atmosphere and had a distinctly
cooling effect upon the overheated brain of the Boer party, who had
by this time convinced themselves that Pretoria was firmly
established as the hub of the universe and that an expectant world
was waiting breathlessly to know what President Kruger would do next.

Mr. Conyngham Greene, an experienced member of the Diplomatic Corps,
who had been appointed towards the end of 1896 to succeed Sir Jacobus
de Wet as British Agent in Pretoria, had by this time gained some
experience of the ways of Pretoria. Probably few servants of the
Crown have been called upon to perform a service more exacting or
less grateful than that which fell to the British Agent during the
period in which Mr. Conyngham Greene has held the post. Conscious
that his Government was prevented by the acts of others from
vindicating its own position, hampered by the knowledge of immense
superiority of strength, dealing with people who advanced at every
turn and under every circumstance their one grievance as a
justification for all the acts of hostility which had preceded that
grievance or had been deliberately perpetrated since, he was
compelled to suffer snubs and annoyances on behalf of his Government,
with no relief but such as he could find in the office of recording
them. A good deal had been done by Mr. Conyngham Greene to establish
visible and tangible evidence of the desire of her Majesty's
Government to interest themselves in the condition of British
subjects and--as far as the exigencies of a very peculiar case would
for the time permit--to protect them from at least the more
outrageous acts of injustice; but the strength of the chain is the
strength of the weakest link, and it was always felt that until the
link in Cape Town was strengthened there was not much reliance to be
placed upon the chain.

Very frequently surprise has been expressed that, after the fortunate
escape from a very bad position which the Jameson Raid afforded to
President Kruger's party, the Boers should not have learned wisdom
and have voluntarily undertaken the task of putting their house in
order. But having in mind the Boer character is it not more natural
to suppose that, inflated and misled by a misconceived sense of
success and strength, they should rather persist in and exaggerate
the ways which they had formerly affected? So at least the Uitlanders
thought and predicted, and their apprehensions were amply justified.
In each successive year the Raad has been relied upon to better its
previous best, to produce something more glaring and sensational in
the way of improper laws and scandalous measures or revelations
than anything which it had before done. One would imagine that it
would pass the wit of man to devise a means of exploiting the
Uitlanders which had not already been tried, but it would truly
appear that the First Volksraad may be confidently relied upon to
do it.

In the year 1897 some things were exposed which appeared, even to the
Uitlanders, absolutely incredible. What is now known as the 'donkeys
and mealies scandal' was one of them. For the ostensible purpose of
helping burghers who had been ruined by the rinderpest the President
arranged for the purchase of large numbers of donkeys to be used
instead of oxen for draught purposes, and he also arranged for the
importation of quantities of mealies to be distributed among those
who were supposed to be starving. Inquiries instituted by order of
the Volksraad revealed the fact that Volksraad members and Government
officials were interested in these contracts. The notorious Mr.
Barend Vorster, who had bribed Volksraad members with gold watches,
money, and spiders, in order to secure the Selati Railway Concession,
and who although denounced as a thief in the Volksraad itself
declined to take action to clear himself and was defended by the
President, again played a prominent part. This gentleman and his
partners contracted with the Government to supply donkeys at a
certain figure apiece, the Government taking all risk of loss from
the date of purchase. The donkeys were purchased in Ireland and in
South America at one-sixth of the contract price. The contractors
alleged that they had not sufficient means of their own and received
an advance equal to three-quarters of the total amount payable to
them; that is to say for every L100 which they had to expend they
received L450 as an unsecured advance against their profits. It is
believed that not 10 per cent. of the animals were ever delivered to
the farmers for whom they were ostensibly bought. An attempt was made
in the Volksraad to have the matter thoroughly investigated and to
have action taken against the contractors, but the affair was hushed
up and, as far as it is possible to ascertain, every penny payable
under the contract has been paid and lost.

In the matter of the mealies (maize, the ordinary native food),
large quantities were bought in South America. It was alleged in
the Volksraad that the amount was far more than was necessary and
that the quality was inferior, the result being that the Government
were swindled and that the State, being obliged to sell what it
did not require, was entering unfairly into competition with the
merchants and producers in the country. But the real character of
this mealie swindle can only be appreciated when it is known how the
contract originated. The contractors having bargained to deliver
donkeys, approached the President with the explanation that donkeys
being live-stock, would have to be accommodated upon an upper deck
where there was ample ventilation; the result of which, they said,
would be that the ship would be top-heavy and would be obliged to
take in ballast. Surely, it was argued, it would be folly to carry
worthless ballast when good mealies, which were in any case badly
needed in the country, would serve the purpose of ballasting equally
well and would, of course, show a very large profit. A contract for
mealies was therefore entered into. When the inquiry was instituted
in the Volksraad certain awkward facts came to light, and it devolved
upon Mr. Barend Vorster to explain how it happened that the mealie
'ballast' arrived and was paid for before the donkeys were shipped.
That worthy gentleman may still be thinking out the explanation, but
as the money has been paid it cannot be a cause of great anxiety.

In order to preserve a true perspective the reader should realize
that the President defended both these affairs and that the exposures
took place while the recommendations of the Industrial Commission
were being discussed in the Raad and fiercely combated by the
President himself.

The matter of the Selati Railway was again brought into prominence in
1897. It is quite impossible as yet to get at all the facts, but it
is very generally believed that a swindle of unusual dimensions and
audacity remains to be exposed, and that a real exposure would
unpleasantly involve some very prominent people. At any rate the
facts which became public in 1898 would warrant that suspicion. The
Selati Railway Company alleged that they had been unjustly deprived
of their rights, and the Government admitting repudiation of
contract took refuge in the plea that in making the contract they
had acted _ultra vires_. It was, in fact, an exemplary case of
'thieves falling out' and when the case got into the law courts a
point of real interest to the public came out; for the Company's
lawyers filed their pleadings! The following account of the case is
taken from the newspapers of the time. The plea of the Selati Railway
Company states that--

the Government was very desirous that the railways should be built,
and that for the purpose the business should be taken in hand by
influential capitalists, and that, having full knowledge of the sums
asked for by the original concessionaires they insisted upon the said
capitalists coming to an agreement with the concessionaires and
paying them the amounts asked; that it was thus understood between
the said capitalists and the Government of the South African Republic
that the sum named in the concession as the price to be paid to the
concessionaires for the formation of the Company was wholly
insufficient under the altered conditions, and that further sums had
to be expended to cover not only the increased amount demanded by the
original concessionaires, but _also other sums of money which were
asked by and paid to different members of the Executive Council and
Volksraad of the South African Republic and their relatives and
friends as the price for granting the concession._

The matter came before the High Court, and several of the exceptions
put forward on behalf of the Government were sustained. Regarding the
accusation mentioned, Mr. Advocate Esselen, who was counsel for the
State, excepted that names and particulars should be inserted, and
also that the State was not bound by the action of the Government or
Executive. He quoted the Volksraad resolution or _besluit_ upon which
the concession was granted, showing that L10,000 was mentioned as the
sum to be received by the concessionaires, and then proceeded:--

'Now, I say that the Government could not contract with the Company
at a higher figure than is above set forth. The measure of authority
granted to the Government is set forth in the Volksraad _besluit_
which I have read, and the Government could not exceed its authority.
Second, the defendant Company makes allegations which are tantamount
to fraudulent dealing on the part of the agents of the State. But it
will be said that it is the State which sues, and that it cannot be
heard to avail itself of the wrongful acts of its agents. In this
matter, however, it is the State Secretary who sues on behalf of the
State. The State is not bound in any event by the acts of individual
members of the Government. It was the Government which was entrusted
with a power of attorney on behalf of the State.'

This doctrine, so fatal to concessionaires and their methods, led to
the following interesting colloquy:--

Mr. Justice JORISSEN: Do you persist in this exception, Mr. Esselen?

Mr. ESSELEN: Certainly I do.

Mr. Justice JORISSEN: You have been very fortunate in succeeding
on two exceptions. Without pressing you in the least, I am inclined
to suggest that you withdraw this exception.

Mr. ESSELEN: I cannot possibly withdraw it, but I am willing to allow
it to stand as a special plea and to argue it at a later stage.

Mr. Justice JORISSEN: As I said, I don't wish to press you, but it
seems to me that this is a very dangerous question.

Mr. ESSELEN: It is a very important question.

Mr. Justice JORISSEN: It is not only an important but a perilous

In an amended plea filed by the Selati Railway Company they give the
names of persons to whom the Company had to pay certain sums of money
or give presents--in other words, bribes--in order to obtain the
Selati contract. The following are the names filed by Baron Eugene
Oppenheim:--To W.E. Bok, then member and minute keeper of the
Executive Council, on August 12, 1890, in cash L50; the late N.J.
Smit, sen., then Vice-president of the South African Republic, and
member of the Executive Council, on August 12, 1890, in cash, L500;
F.C. Eloff, son-in-law of the President and then Private Secretary to
his Honour, on August 12, L50 in cash. By De Jongh and Stegmann, on
behalf of Baron Oppenheim, to C. van Boeschoten, then Secretary of
the Volksraad, on October 6, 1893, in cash, L100. By B.J. Vorster,
jun., one of the concessionaires, on behalf of Eugene Oppenheim, on
or about August, 1890, the following: To Jan du Plessis de Beer,
member of the Volksraad for Waterberg, L100; Schalk W. Burger, member
of the Volksraad for Lydenburg, now member of the Executive Council,
L100; P.L. Bezuidenhout, member of the Volksraad for Potchefstroom,
L100; J. Van der Merwe, member of the Volksraad for Lydenburg, L100;
A.A. Stoop, member of the Volksraad for Wakkerstroom, L50; F.G.H.
Wolmarans, member of the Volksraad for Rustenburg, L50; J.M. Malan,
member of the Volksraad for Rustenburg, Chairman of the first
Volksraad, L50; N.M.S. Prinsloo, member of the Volksraad for
Potchefstroom, L50; J.J. Spies, member of the Volksraad for Utrecht,
L70; B.H. Klopper, Chairman of the Volksraad, L125; C. van
Boeschoten, Secretary of the Volksraad, L180. By J.N. de Jongh, on
behalf of Baron Eugene Oppenheim, about the end of 1892 or the
beginning of 1893, to the late N.J. Smit, sen., then Vice-President
of the South African Republic, and member of the Executive Council,
shares in the defendant Company to the value of L1,000; F.C. Eloff,
son-in-law of and then Private Secretary to the State President,
shares in the defendant Company to the value of L2,000; P.G. Mare,
then member of the Volksraad for Utrecht, now Landdrost of Boksburg,
shares in the defendant Company to the value of L500. By B.J.
Vorster, jun., on behalf of Baron Eugene Oppenheim, about July or
August, 1890, to C.C. van Heerden, member of the Volksraad for
Wakkerstroom, one spider; A.A. Stoop, member of the Volksraad for
Wakkerstroom, one spider; F.G.H. Wolmarans, member of the Volksraad
for Rustenburg, one spider; B.W.J. Steenkamp, member of the Volksraad
for Piet Relief, one spider; J.P.L. Lombard, member of the Volksraad
for Standerton, one spider; H.F. Grobler, member of the Volksraad
for Middelburg, one spider; W.L. de la Rey, member of the Volksraad
for Bloemhof, one spider; D.W. Taljaard, member of the Volksraad for
Standerton, one spider; J.C. van Zyl, member of the Volksraad for
Heidelburg, one spider; J.P. Botha, member of the Volksraad for
Pretoria, one spider; H.P. Beukes, member of the Volksraad for
Marico, one spider; J.F. van Staden, member of the Volksraad for
Vryheid, one spider; J.M. Malan, member of the Volksraad for
Rustenburg, one spider; N.M.S. Prinsloo, member of the Volksraad for
Potchefstroom, one cart; T.C. Greyling, member of the Volksraad for
Heidelberg, one cart. Total value, L1,440.

Twenty-one members of the First Volksraad out of twenty-five!
The Vice-President! The son-in-law and Private Secretary of the
President! The Secretary of the Volksraad and the Minute Keeper
of the Executive!

The Volksraad, one would think, would be bound to take cognizance of
such a statement and to cause an investigation to be held. They did
take cognizance of it after the manner peculiar to them. But the last
thing in the world to be expected from them was an impartial
investigation: nothing so foolish was ever contemplated. There were
too many in it, and an investigation into the conduct of officials
and Raad members would be establishing a most inconvenient precedent.
Some members contented themselves with a simple denial, others
scorned to take notice of such charges, and others tried to explain
them away. No opinion need be expressed upon the methods of the
concessionaires; nor does it matter whether the company, by its
neglect or default, had justified the act of the Government. The
point which is offered for consideration is that the indisputable
fact of bribes having been taken wholesale was ignored, whilst the
disputed question of liability to cancellation was arbitrarily
settled by the Government in its own favour.

The crop of scandals in 1897 was as the rolling snowball. It is
unnecessary to refer to them all in detail. The Union Ground, one of
the public squares of Johannesburg, was granted to a syndicate of
private individuals upon such terms that they were enabled to sell
the right, or portion of it, at once for L25,000 in cash. The
Minister of Mines, in his official capacity, strongly recommended the
transaction, and was afterwards obliged to admit that he himself had
an interest in it. The Volksraad however refused to confirm it, and
the purchaser of the concession fell back upon the President for
protection. The latter advised him to remain quiet until the
presidential election, which was about to take place, should be over,
and gave the assurance that then he would see that the grant was
confirmed by the Raad. In the session of 1898 his Honour strongly
supported the proposal and it was duly carried.

The Eloff location scandal was another which greatly disturbed even
the Volksraad. Mr. Frickie Eloff is President Kruger's son-in-law and
enjoys the unsavoury reputation of being interested in every swindle
which is worth being in the Transvaal. A piece of ground lying to the
north-west of Johannesburg close up to the town had originally been
proclaimed as a goldfield, but no reefs having been found there and
the ground not having been pegged, it was afterwards withdrawn from
proclamation. The Mining Commissioner of Johannesburg in the course
of his duties discovered some flaw in the second or withdrawing
proclamation. He advised the head office in Pretoria of this
discovery and stated that it might be contended that the
de-proclamation was invalid, and that great loss and inconvenience
would follow if the ground were pegged and the title upheld. Within
twenty-four hours the ground was pegged by Mr. Eloff, but it is not
known whence he derived the inspiration. His claim was strongly
opposed by the local officials. They reported that the ground was
known to be of no value, and advised that as the cost of licenses
would be very considerable the obvious policy of the Government would
be--if the title could not be upset--to wait until Mr. Eloff should
tire of paying licenses on valueless ground. The Government, however,
decided otherwise: they converted Mr. Eloff's claims into residential
stands; that is to say, they made him a present of an immensely
valuable piece of property and gave him title under which he could
cut it up into small plots and readily sell it. This action of the
Government, however, required confirmation by the Raad. The matter
came before the Volksraad in due course and that body deliberately
revoked the decision of the Government and refused Mr. Eloff any
title except what he could claim according to law. But Mr. Kruger is
not so easily beaten. He soon discovered that the piece of ground
acquired by Mr. Eloff was exactly the piece which it was necessary
for the Government to have for a coolie location, and without more
ado the Government bought it from Mr. Eloff for L25,000.

The ingenuity of the Boer mind in getting the last possible
fraction of value out of any transaction, is well exemplified in this
matter. One would naturally conclude that a deal so profitable would
satisfy anybody. But not so! The piece of ground commands the
approach to many valuable private plots and residences, and it was
soon found that apart from intrinsic worth it might have a
blackmailing value; thus towards the end of 1898, after the deal had
been completed, the owners of these residences and estates were
privately approached with the information that the coolie location,
consisting of shelters built of scraps of iron, paraffin tins, and
old pieces of wood, was to be removed to this site (probably to
facilitate the transference of the present location site, which is
also very valuable, to some other favourite), but that if sufficient
inducement were offered by landowners in the neighbourhood, the
decision would be reconsidered!

The grant of a Municipality to Johannesburg has often been quoted as
an example of something done by Mr. Kruger in the interests of the
Uitlanders. The principal conditions of that grant are that all
burghers of the State, whether they have property or not, shall be
entitled to vote for the election of councillors; that each ward
shall be represented by two councillors, one of whom must be a
burgher; and that the chairman, or burgomaster, shall be appointed by
Government and shall have the right of veto. The elections in at
least two of the wards are completely at the mercy of the police and
of the poor Boers who have no interest whatever in the town. The
burghers in Johannesburg--police, Boers, and officials--who may
number a couple of thousand, including the naturalized lot, have
therefore a permanent and considerable majority over the Uitlanders,
who probably number over 40,000 adult white males.

The scope and value of this grant were made manifest when the now
notorious sewerage concession came under discussion. The Municipality
had upon several occasions endeavoured to get the right to introduce
a scheme for the disposal of the sewage of the town, and had applied
for authority to raise the necessary funds, but had been refused.
Suddenly a concession was granted by the Government--they called it a
contract--to Mr. Emmanuel Mendelssohn, the proprietor of the
_Standard and Diggers News_, the Government organ in Johannesburg.
He said that he got it for nothing--possibly a reward for loyal
services; but he also stated that he was not the sole owner. The
value of the grant was estimated by the concessionaire himself to be
about L1,000,000 sterling, and in the lately published proposals
which he made to one of the big firms interested in the Transvaal he
indicated how a profit of L100,000 a year could be made out of it.
The Town Council unanimously and vigorously protested; but the
Government took no notice of their protest. They then decided to
apply to the Court for an order restraining the Government from
making this grant, on the ground that they had no power to alienate a
right which belonged to the town itself. In order to make the
application to Court it was necessary, in terms of the constitution
of the municipality, to obtain the signature of the Burgomaster. That
official as representing the Government refused point blank to
authorize the council to dispute the Government's action in a Court
of Law, and the council were obliged to apply for an Order of Court
compelling the Burgomaster to sign the documents necessary to enable
them to contest in the Courts of the country the validity of an act
of the Government which was deemed to be infringement upon the rights
of the town. In the face of this the President capitulated for the
time being; but neither he nor the concessionaire makes any secret of
the determination to find a _quid pro quo_.

The year 1898 brought in its turn its full share of fresh
encroachments and exactions. The bare enumeration of the concessions,
privileges, and contracts, proposed or agreed to, is sufficient to
indicate what must be the condition of mind of one whose interests
are at stake under such a _regime_. Not all 'concessions,'
'contracts,' and 'protected factories' confer exclusive rights, but
many might easily in effect do so and all are infringements upon the
rights of the public. Here are some from the official list of
1899;--Dynamite, Railways, Spirits, Iron, Sugar, Wool, Bricks,
Earthenware, Paper, Candles, Soap, Calcium Carbide, Oil, Matches,
Cocoa, Bottles, Jam, &c.

A large loan had been constantly talked of throughout the year, but
no one knew for what purpose it could be required. The Government
vouchsafed no information at all but negotiations were carried on
both in Pretoria and in Europe. Month after month went by, but the
millions were not forthcoming, and the Government believed or
affected to believe that their failure was due to a conspiracy among
the capitalists, and in retaliation they directed and subsidised a
fierce anti-capitalist campaign in their press. The explanation of
failure, which did not occur to them, may have been that investors
believed that the course pursued by the Transvaal Government must
inevitably lead to conflict with the paramount power, and they had no
faith and no assurance that in the event of such a conflict taking
place the British Government would take over loans which must have
been contracted only for the purposes of war against England.

The juggling with the dynamite question continued throughout the
year. The President had successfully defeated the aim of the
Volksraad, and the investigation and reports which had been ordered
by that body in 1897 to be made by lawyers and auditors, although
duly handed into the Government, were suppressed by the President and
not permitted to be shown to the Raad. On the contrary, the
astounding proposition was made that in return for a very
inconsiderable reduction in the cost of dynamite (half of which was
to be made up by the Government sacrificing its share of profits) and
a possible further reduction of 5s. per case under certain
conditions, the monopoly should be renewed for a period of fifteen
years, all breaches in the past to be condoned, and cancellation on
the ground of breach of contract in the future to be impossible. This
proposal, it was publicly notified, would be laid before the Raad
during the first session of 1899. The existence of the dynamite
monopoly was at this time costing the industry L600,000 a year, and
on every possible occasion it was represented to the Government that,
if they really did need further revenue, in no way could it be more
easily or more properly raised than by exercising their undoubted
right to cancel the monopoly and by imposing a duty of such amount as
might be deemed necessary upon imported dynamite. It was also pointed
out that the proposed reduction in the cost of dynamite would offer
no relief whatever since it was far more than counterbalanced by the
taxes upon mynpachts and profits which were then being imposed.

During this year the Volksraad instructed the Government to
enforce their right to collect 2-1/2 per cent. of the gross
production from mynpachts (mining leases). All mynpachts titles
granted by the Government contained a clause giving the Government
this power, so that they were acting strictly within their legal
rights; but the right had never before been exercised. For twelve
years investors had been allowed to frame their estimates of profit
upon a certain basis, and suddenly without a day's warning this
tax was sprung upon them. It was indisputably the right of the
Government, but equally indisputably was it most unwise; both because
of the manner in which it was done and because there was no necessity
whatever for the doing of it, as the revenue of the country was
already greatly in excess of the legitimate requirements. Immediately
following this came a resolution to impose a tax of 5 per cent. upon
the profits of all companies working mining ground other than that
covered by mynpacht. The same objections applied to this tax with the
additional one, that no clause existed in the titles indicating that
it could be done and no warning had ever been given that it would be
done. The proposal was introduced one morning and adopted at once;
the first notice to investors was the accomplished fact. These
measures were particularly keenly resented in France and Germany.

The grievance of hasty legislation was in these cases aggravated by
the evidence that the taxes were quite unnecessary. President Kruger
still fought against cancellation of the Dynamite Monopoly, by which
the State revenue would have benefited to the extent of L600,000 a
year, if he had accepted the proposal of the Uitlanders, to allow
importation of dynamite subject to a duty of L2 per case--a tax
which represented the monopolists' profit, and would not therefore
have increased the cost of the article to the mines. He still
persisted in squandering and misapplying the public funds. He
still openly followed the policy of satisfying his burghers at the
Uitlanders' expense; but the burghers have a growing appetite, and
nothing shows the headlong policy of 'squaring'--nothing better
illustrates the Uitlanders' grievance of reckless extravagance in
administration--than the list of fixed salaries as it has grown year
by year since the goldfields became a factor.


                    L        s.     d.
  1886             51,831     3     7
  1887             99,083    12     8
  1888            164,466     4    10
  1889            249,641    10    10
  1890            324,520     8    10
  1891            332,888    13     9
  1892            323,608     0     0
  1893            361,275     6    11
  1894            419,775    13    10
  1895            570,047    12     7
  1896            813,029     7     5
  1897            996,959    19    11
  1898          1,080,382     3     0
  1899 (Budget) 1,216,394     5     0

That is to say, the Salary List is now twenty-four times as great as
it was when the Uitlanders began to come in in numbers. It amounts to
nearly five times as much as the total revenue amounted to then. It
is now sufficient if equally distributed to pay L40 per head per
annum to the total male Boer population.

The liquor curse has grown to such dimensions and the illicit liquor
organization has secured such a firm hold that even the stoutest
champions of law and order doubt at times whether it will ever be
possible to combat the evil. The facts of the case reflect more
unfavourably upon the President than perhaps any other single thing.
These are the facts: The law prohibits the sale of liquor to natives;
yet from a fifth to a third of the natives on the Rand are habitually
drunk. The fault rests with a corrupt and incompetent administration.
That administration is in the hands of the President's relations and
personal following. The remedy urged by the State Secretary, State
Attorney, some members of the Executive, the general public, and the
united petition of all the ministers of religion in the country, is
to entrust the administration to the State Attorney's department and
to maintain the existing law. In the face of this President Kruger
has fought hard to have the total prohibition law abolished and has
successfully maintained his nepotism--to apply no worse construction!
In replying to a deputation of liquor dealers he denounced the
existing law as an 'immoral' one, because by restricting the
sale of liquor it deprived a number of honest people of their
livelihood--and President Kruger is a total abstainer!

The effect of this liquor trade is indescribable; the loss in money
although enormous is a minor consideration compared with the crimes
committed and the accidents in the mines traceable to it; and the
effect upon the native character is simply appalling.

Much could be said about this native question apart from the subject
of drink, for it is one which is very difficult of just appreciation
by any but those who have had considerable experience of and personal
contact with the natives. It is one upon which there is a great
divergence of views between the people of Europe and the people of
South Africa. South Africans believe that they view it from the
rational standpoint, they believe also that Europeans as a rule view
it more from the sentimental. The people who form their opinions from
the writings and reports of missionaries only, or who have in their
mind's eye the picturesque savage in his war apparel as seen at
Earl's Court, or the idealized native of the novelist, cannot
possibly understand the real native. The writer holds South African
views upon the native question, that is to say that the natives are
to all intents and purposes a race of children, and should be treated
as such, with strict justice and absolute fidelity to promise,
whether it be of punishment or reward: a simple consistent policy
which the native mind can grasp and will consequently respect.

With this in mind it will, perhaps, be believed that the recital of
certain instances of injustice is not made with the object of
appealing to sentimentalism, or of obliquely influencing opinions
which might otherwise be unfavourable or indifferent. The cases
quoted in this volume are those which have been decided by the
courts, or the evidence in support of them is given, and they are
presented because they are typical cases, and not, except in the
matter of public exposure, isolated ones. The report of the case of
Toeremetsjani, the native chieftainess,{48} is taken verbatim from
one of the newspapers of the time. The woman is the head of the
Secocoeni tribe, whose successful resistance to the Transvaal
Government was one of the alleged causes of the annexation. A good
deal could be said about the ways of Native Commissioners in such
matters. Much also could be said about the case of the British
Indians and the effect upon the population of India which is produced
by the coming and going of thousands of these annually between India
and the Transvaal, and their recital of the treatment to which
they are subjected, their tales of appeals to the great British
Government, and their account of the latter's inability to protect
them. Much also could be said of the Cape Boy question, but
sufficient prominence has been given to these matters by the
publication of the official documents and the report of the inquiry
into Field-Cornet Lombaard's conduct, which was held at the instance
of the British Government.

It is not suggested that if the Government in the Transvaal were
influenced by the vote of the white British subjects, or if it were
entirely dominated by such vote, any encouragement would be given to
the Indian hawkers and traders, or that there would be any
disposition whatever to give voting rights to coloured people of any
kind, but it _is_ suggested that a more enlightened and a more just
system of treatment would be adopted; and in any case it is to be
presumed that there would be no appeals to the British Government,
involving exhibitions of impotency on the part of the Empire to
protect its subjects, followed by the deliberate repetition of
treatment which might become the subject of remonstrance. The
untutored mind is not given to subtleties and sophistries; direct
cause and effect are as much as it can grasp. These it does grasp and
firmly hold, and the simple inferences are not to be removed by any
amount of argument or explanation, however plausible. There is
scarcely an Uitlander in the Transvaal who would not view with dismay
the raising of the big question upon such grounds as the treatment of
the natives, the Cape boys, or the Indians; and the fact that the
Transvaal Government know this may account for much of the
provocation on these questions. It is nevertheless undeniable that
white British subjects in the Transvaal do suffer fresh humiliation
and are substantially lowered in the eyes of the coloured races,
because appeals are made on their behalf to the British Government,
and those appeals are useless. The condition of affairs should be
that such appeals would be unnecessary, and would therefore
become--in practice--impossible. Such a condition of affairs would
obtain under a friendly and more enlightened government, and the
only security for the voluntary continuance of such conditions is
the enfranchisement of the Uitlander population.

In the midst of all that was gloomy unfavourable and unpromising
there came to the Uitlanders one bright ray of sunshine. Dr. Leyds
who had been re-elected State Secretary on the understanding that he
would resign immediately in order to take up the post of
plenipotentiary in Europe, and whom the Boers with a growing
anti-Hollander and pro-Afrikander feeling would no longer tolerate,
relinquished his office. In his stead was appointed Mr. F.W. Reitz
formerly President of the Free State, a kindly, honourable, and
cultured gentleman, whose individual sympathies were naturally and
strongly progressive but who, unfortunately, has not proved himself
to be sufficiently strong to cope with President Kruger or to rise
above division upon race lines in critical times. Shortly afterwards
Mr. Christiaan Joubert, the Minister of Mines, a man totally unfit
from any point of view to hold any office of responsibility or
dignity, was compelled by resolution of the Second Volksraad to hand
in his resignation. His place was filled by a Hollander official in
the Mining Department who commanded and still commands the confidence
and respect of all parties. The elevation of the Acting State
Attorney to the Bench left yet another highly responsible post open
and the Government choice fell upon Mr. J.C. Smuts, an able and
conscientious young barrister, and an earnest worker for reform. An
Afrikander by birth and educated in the Cape Colony, he had taken his
higher degrees with great distinction at Cambridge and had been
called to the English Bar.

But there came at the same time another appointment which was not so
favourably viewed. There was still another vacancy on the Bench, and
it became known that, in accordance with the recommendation expressed
by the Raad that all appointments should whenever possible be first
offered to sons of the soil, _i.e._, born Transvaalers, it was
intended to appoint to this judgeship a young man of twenty-four
years of age lately called to the bar, the son of the Executive
Member Kock already referred to in this volume. The strongest
objection was made to this proposal by all parties, including the
friends of the Government; the most prominent of all objectors were
some of the leading members of the bar who, it was believed, carried
influence and were in sympathy with the Government. A delay took
place and it was at one time believed that President Kruger had
abandoned his intention, but it is understood that pressure was
brought to bear upon the President by a considerable party of his
followers, and in the course of a few days the appointment was duly

The selection of educated and intelligent Afrikanders, sincerely
desirous of purifying the administration, for such responsible
offices as those of State Secretary and State Attorney, was
gratefully welcomed by the Uitlander community, who believed that
only through the influence of such men consistently and determinedly
exerted could a peaceful solution of many difficult questions be
found. It is but bare justice to these gentlemen to state that never
were they found wanting in good intention or honest endeavour, ready
at all times to inquire into subjects of complaint, anxious at all
times to redress any legitimate grievances. To them and to many other
less prominent but no less worthy officials of the Transvaal Civil
Service, whom it is impossible to name and to whom it might prove to
be no good turn if they were named, is due an expression of regret
that they may perhaps suffer by references which are not directed
against them but which are justified by a rotten system and are
called for by the action of others over whom these men have no
control. Nobody but one intimately concerned in Transvaal affairs can
appreciate the unpleasant and undeserved lot of the honest official
who necessarily, but most unjustly, suffers by association with those
who deserve all that can be said against them.

It is very well known that the gentlemen above referred to would, if
it were in their power, readily accord the terms asked for in the
franchise memorandum recently submitted by the Uitlanders, but they
are unfortunately entirely without influence over the President and
his party. It is true that--although British subjects by
birth--they have chosen to associate themselves with the Transvaal
Government and are now uncompromising republicans; but there is no
fault to be found with that. It may be true also that they aspire to
republicanize the whole of South Africa, and free it of the Imperial
influence; that would be a cause of enmity as between them and those
who desire to preserve the Imperial connection, but it is no ground
for reproach. There is one point, however, upon which they in common
with nearly all the enlightened Afrikanders throughout South Africa
may be adjudged to have fallen short in their duty; it is this, that
whilst nine times out of ten they divide upon sound principles, they
will not follow that policy to a conclusion; for upon the tenth
occasion they will subordinate principle and, at the call of one who
may use it unscrupulously, will rally upon race lines alone. It is
only too true of only too many that they cannot be got to see that if
they would really divide upon principles all danger of conflict would
disappear and the solution would be both speedy and peaceful; for it
is the division upon race lines that alone raises the distracting
prospect of war.

For those who are in this position in the Transvaal it may be allowed
that their difficulties are great. They cannot, it is true, complain
of lack of warning. They did not, it is also true, after trying their
influence and finding it of no avail, cut adrift when they might have
done so, and by their example have so stripped the reactionaries of
all support that there could now be no question of their standing
out; but they may have honestly believed that they would in time
succeed, whilst the Uitlanders, judging from a long and bitter
experience, felt that they would not and could not. They may say that
this is no time to part from those with whom they associated
themselves in times of peace. Such reasoning may provide an excuse in
the Transvaal, but no such plea will avail for those without the
Transvaal who have let the day of opportunity go past, and who cry
out their frightened protest now that the night of disaster is upon

Footnotes for Chapter X

{42} That President Kruger always contemplated controlling the
Uitlander population by arbitrary methods was proved by the choice of
the site for the Johannesburg fort. This site, on a hill commanding
the town, had been reserved by Government from the commencement, and
when the accommodation in the old gaol proved insufficient and a new
gaol was required it was located on this spot, then a favourite
residential quarter of the town. A deputation of officials waited
upon the President to urge the placing of the new gaol in a more
convenient locality elsewhere. His Honour replied, 'that he did not
care about the convenience. He was going to build the gaol there,
because some day the town would be troublesome and he would want to
convert the gaol into a fort and put guns there before that time
came.' That was at least four years before the Raid.

{43} The writer has since learned from Mr.
Alfred Beit that the same proposal was made to him by Mr. Graaff in
January, 1896, immediately after the Raid, and that it was baited
with the promise that if he and Mr. Rhodes would agree to support it
the threatened 'consequences' of their association with the Raid
would be averted. But they preferred the 'consequences.'

{44} About the middle of 1895 a bad explosion of dynamite occurred
in Germany under circumstances very similar to those of the
Johannesburg accident. An inquiry held by the German authorities
resulted in the finding that the explosion must have been due to
some fault in the dynamite, and an order was issued to destroy the
remainder. The officials charged with this duty found, however, that
the owners, anticipating some such result, had removed it. It was
eventually traced as having been shipped from Antwerp to Port
Elizabeth and thence consigned to the Transvaal in November, 1895.
The Johannesburg explosion occurred in February, 1896. No competent
or independent inquiry was held, although about 100 people were
killed and many more injured.

{45} The gaoler--Du Plessis--in the fulfilment of his promise lost
no opportunity to harass them into submission, by depriving them of
one thing after another, knowing that they would ask for nothing
except as a right. As an instance, the spirit-lamp with which
they made their tea was taken from them on the pretext that no
combustibles were allowed under the prison regulations, and upon a
remonstrance being made by Mr. Conyngham Greene to Dr. Leyds the
latter replied that it was necessary on account of the risk of fire.
For about eight months, therefore, water was to be--and of course
was--their only drink. Only once during the thirteen months did Du
Plessis appear to 'get home.' It was when he proposed that the two
should be separated and sent to out-of-the-way gaols, widely apart
and distant from all friends. Without doubt the conditions told
seriously upon their health, but as both men were endowed with
exceptional physique and any amount of grit they were still able to
take it smiling.

{46} It is described as the Witfontein case. See page 100.

{47} When the case came up again in due course a decision was given
by Mr. Gregorowski, the new Chief Justice, which was regarded by the
plaintiff's advisers as a reversal of the first judgment, and the
practical effect of which was to bring the case under the operations
of Law 1 of 1897--that is to say, to put the plaintiff 'out of court.'
Mr. Brown has appealed to the United States Government for redress.

{48} See Appendix K.



So the year dragged on with its one little glimmer of light and its
big black clouds of disappointment, and it was Christmas-time when
the spark came to the waiting tinder. What a bloody bill could the
holidays and holy days of the world tot up! On the Sunday night
before Christmas a British subject named Tom Jackson Edgar was shot
dead in his own house by a Boer policeman. Edgar, who was a man of
singularly fine physique and both able and accustomed to take care of
himself, was returning home at about midnight when one of three men
standing by, who as it afterwards transpired was both ill and
intoxicated, made an offensive remark. Edgar resented it with a blow
which dropped the other insensible to the ground. The man's friends
called for the police and Edgar, meanwhile, entered his own house a
few yards off. There was no attempt at concealment or escape; Edgar
was an old resident and perfectly well known. Four policemen came,
who in any circumstances were surely sufficient to capture him.
Moreover, if that had been considered difficult, other assistance
could have been obtained and the house from which there could have
been no escape might have been watched. In any case Edgar was
admitted by the police to have sat on the bed talking to his wife,
and to have been thus watched by them through the window. It is not
stated that they called upon him to come out or surrender himself,
but they proceeded immediately to burst in his door. Hearing the
noise he came out into the passage. He may or may not have known that
they were police: he may or may not have believed them to be the
three men by one of whom he had been insulted. There is not a word of
truth in the statement since made that Edgar had been drinking. It
was not alleged even in defence of the police, and the post-mortem
examination showed that it was not so. A Boer policeman named
Jones (There are scores of Boers unable to speak a word of
English, who nevertheless own very characteristic English, Scotch,
and Irish names--many of them being children of deserters from the
British army!) revolver in hand burst the door open. It is alleged
by the prisoner and one of the police that as the door was burst
open, Edgar from the passage struck the constable on the head
twice with an iron-shod stick which was afterwards produced
in Court. On the other hand Mrs. Edgar and other independent
witnesses--spectators--testified that Edgar did not strike a blow
at all and could not possibly have done so in the time. The fact,
however, upon which all witnesses agree is that as the police
burst open the door Constable Jones fired at Edgar and dropped him
dead in the arms of his wife, who was standing in the passage a
foot or so behind him. On the following morning, the policeman was
formally arrested on the charge of manslaughter and immediately
released upon his comrades' sureties of L200.

As gunpowder answers to the spark so the indignation of the Uitlander
community broke out. The State Attorney to whom the facts were
represented by the British Agent in Pretoria immediately ordered the
re-arrest of the policeman on the charge of murder. The feeling of
indignation was such among British subjects generally, but more
especially among Edgar's fellow-workmen, that it was decided to
present a petition to her Majesty praying for protection. British
subjects were invited to gather in the Market Square in order to
proceed in a body to the office of the British Vice-Consul and there
present the petition, but in order to avoid any breach of the Public
Meetings Act they were requested to avoid speech making and to
refrain in every way from any provocation to disorder. Some four or
five thousand persons gathered together. They listened to the reading
of the petition and marched in an orderly manner to the office of
the British Vice-Consul where the petition was read and accepted.

This was the first direct appeal to her Majesty made by British
subjects since the protests against the retrocession eighteen years
before. Not very many realized at the time the importance of the
change in procedure. There could be no "As you were" after the direct
appeal: either it would be accepted, in which event the case of the
Uitlanders would be in the hands of an advocate more powerful than
they had ever proved themselves to be, or it would be declined, a
course which would have been regarded as sounding the death-knell of
the Empire in South Africa. The time was one of the most intense
anxiety; for the future of the Uitlanders hung upon the turn of the

It was late one night when those who had been called to Pretoria to
receive the reply of her Majesty's Government returned to the Rand.
The real reply then was known only to three men; it was simply, point
blank refusal to accept the petition. There were no reasons and no
explanations. It was done on the authority of Sir William Butler, the
Commander-in-Chief in South Africa and acting High Commissioner; for
Sir Alfred Milner was at that time in England, as also was Mr.
Conyngham Greene. But the faith was in these men that it could not be
true, that it could not have happened had Sir Alfred Milner not been
absent, and thus came the suggestion to 'explain it away.' On the
following day British subjects on the Rand learned that a breach of
diplomatic etiquette had been committed, that the petition should
never have been published before being formally presented to her
Majesty, and that thus it would be necessary to prepare and present
another in proper form. The petition was redrawn and in the course of
the following weeks upwards of 21,000 signatures were obtained by
that loyal and enthusiastic little band of British subjects who form
the Johannesburg branch of the South African League.

In the meantime other things had been happening. Messrs. Thomas R.
Dodd and Clement Davies Webb had been arrested under the Public
Meetings Act for having organized an illegal meeting in the Market
Square, Johannesburg, for the purpose of presenting the petition to
the British Vice-Consul. They were released upon bail of L1,000
each. Whether this was a fair example of the judicial perspective in
the Transvaal, or whether it was a concession to the feelings of the
Boers it is impossible to say, nor does it much matter. The fact is
that for the crime of killing a British subject the bail was L200;
and for the crime of objecting to it the bail was L1,000. This action
only added fuel to the fire and a public meeting was immediately
convened to be held in a circus building known as the Amphitheatre.
Meetings are permitted under the Act provided they are held in an
enclosed building. The object of the meeting was to record a protest
against the arrest of Messrs. Dodd and Webb. A great many of the more
ardent among the British subjects were of opinion that the time for
protests and petitions was past, and they would not attend the
meeting. A great many others feeling that it was more or less a
formality leading to nothing else, did not trouble to attend. Not one
of those who did attend had the least suspicion of any organized
opposition. The following dispatch from the High Commissioner to the
Secretary of State for the Colonies sufficiently describes the

                _April 5, 1899_.

SIR,--I have the honour to forward herewith the certified and
attested copies of affidavits which form an enclosure to Mr. Wyberg's
letter, transmitted to you in my dispatch of the 28th March, but
which did not reach me in time to catch the last mail steamer.

From these affidavits, the number of which and the manner in which
they confirm one another seem to me to leave no doubt of their
general trustworthiness, it appears:

1. That early on the morning of Saturday, the 14th January, the
foremen in charge of the various camps along the Main Reef Road were
instructed to tell a certain number of their workmen to be at the
Amphitheatre in Johannesburg at 2 p.m., where they would be addressed
by an official of the Public Works Department, Mr. P.J. Malan (Hoofd
van Afdeeling Wegen).

2. That the affair had been planned beforehand, and that Acting Road
Inspector Papenfus and others systematically visited the various
camps on that morning in order to beat up recruits, and that inquiry
was made in some cases to ensure that the persons sent should be
'treu,' _i.e._, Boer or Afrikander workmen who might be expected to
take the side of the Government. The Russian workmen were not asked
to go.

3. That the men were paid two hours earlier than usual, and that
those men who were ordered to go were told, if they could not get
Government carts, they should hire and recover afterwards.

4. That in some cases, as that of the Boksburg section, the men were
conveyed the greater part of the way by Government carts.

5. That when the men arrived at the Amphitheatre, about 2 p.m., a man
who was either Mr. Bosman, Second Landdrost's Clerk, or Mr. Boshof,
Registrar of the Second Criminal Court, and perhaps both of them,
told them to go to the Police Station.

6. That on arriving at the Police Station, they were addressed by Mr.
Broeksma, Third Public Prosecutor, and told they were there to break
up the meeting when he gave them certain signals.

7. That they then went into the Amphitheatre, and that there were
present, besides Mr. Broeksma, Mr. Papenfus, Mr. Jacobs, Special Road
Inspector, Mr. de Villiers, Second Public Prosecutor, and Mr.
Burgers, also an official, as well as several prominent members of
the Town and Special Police in plain clothes.

8. That the different sections of the Road party men were placed in
various parts of the building, under their respective foremen, and
that several Government officials assisted in locating them.

9. That a number of the men did not understand what they were there

10. That the proceedings on the part of the promoters of the meeting,
which, as you are aware, had been sanctioned by the Government, were
perfectly regular.

11. That on the first appearance of the promoters of the meeting
there was a concerted disturbance, which rendered it totally
impossible to go on with the proceedings.

12. That in the riot which followed several people were seriously
injured, the sufferers in every case being _bona fide_ sympathizers
with the object of the meeting, and the aggressors being persons who
had come there with the object of breaking it up.

13. That the Police did not make the smallest effort to check the
disturbances though it would have been easy to do so, and that, when
appealed to, they maintained an attitude of indifference.

14. That Broeksma, Third Public Prosecutor, and Lieutenant Murphy, of
the Morality Police, actually assisted in breaking chairs, and
encouraged the rioters.

    I have, &c.,
         A. MILNER,
  _Governor and High Commissioner._

With affairs of this kind stirring up race hatred and feeling among
the class from whom the juries have to be selected, what chance was
there of securing an impartial trial of the policeman charged with
the murder of Edgar? The Acting British Agent Mr. Edmund Fraser in
his dispatch of December 23 tells what he thought of the prospect
before these affairs took place. 'As to the ultimate charge to be
brought against the policeman, the State Attorney was doubtful
whether the charge had not better be one of culpable homicide, for
the reason that in the presence of a Boer jury his counsel would have
a much easier task in getting him off under a charge of murder than
for culpable homicide. But the chances of a Boer jury convicting
him at all are so small that I said I should not assent to either
charge until I had seen what rebutting evidence the Public Prosecutor

But this was not all. Immediately after the murder of Edgar, Mr. J.S.
Dunn the editor of the _Critic_ newspaper, recited the facts of the
case as they were known to him and passed some severe strictures upon
Dr. Krause, the First Public Prosecutor, who was responsible for
determining the charge against policeman Jones and fixing his bail in
the first instance. The steps now taken by Dr. Krause no doubt were
within his legal rights, but they do not appear to a layman
calculated to ensure justice being done. Before proceeding with the
murder trial Dr. Krause took criminal action against Mr. Dunn for
libel, and in order to prove the libel he, whose duty it was to
prosecute Jones for murder, entered the witness-box and swore that
under the circumstances as known to him he did not consider that
Jones had been guilty of murder, and had therefore faithfully
performed his duty in charging him with the minor offence and
releasing him on bail. Further, he called upon the Second Public
Prosecutor to testify in a similar strain; and finally he directly
and deliberately associated with himself as witness on his side the
man Jones himself who was charged with the murder. All this
ostensibly to prove a paltry libel which could have been dealt with
quite as effectively and infinitely more properly after the trial for
murder had taken place; indeed it is incontestable that the verdict
in the murder trial should properly have been relied upon to a large
extent to determine the gravity of Mr. Dunn's offence. It had
appeared to the British population that the chance of an impartial
trial, with the jury drawn exclusively from the burgher class, was
sufficiently remote without any proceedings so ill considered as
these. The result fulfilled anticipations. In due course the
constable Jones was indicted for culpable homicide and acquitted; and
the presiding judge (Mr. Kock, who as already described had claimed a
judgeship as a 'son of the soil') when discharging the prisoner said,
'With that verdict I concur and I hope that the police under
difficult circumstances will always know how to do their duty.'

After the preliminary examination of Jones the Acting British Agent
had written to the Acting High Commissioner (December 30, 1898): 'I
will only remark that the enclosed report ... seems to show that the
Public Prosecutor (Krause), who has been deeply offended by the slur
cast upon his judgment through the orders from Pretoria to keep the
accused in prison instead of out on bail, was more inclined to defend
than to prosecute and showed an extraordinary desire to incriminate
either the British Vice-Consul or the South African League for what
he termed contempt of court in connection with the publication of
certain affidavits in the _Star_.'

That was indeed the position. In this as in the Cape Boys case (the
Lombaard inquiry) the aim of the prosecution appeared to be to prove
that the British Vice-Consul had investigated and reported cases of
injustice suffered by British subjects; and the establishment of such
proof seemed to be considered a sufficient and triumphant answer to
the original complaint. Such action drew the following spirited
protest from Mr. Emrys Evans to the British Agent: 'He (Krause) seems
generally to suppose that I have no right to do anything in the way
of assisting British subjects, and that my action as Vice-Consul is
nothing more nor less than officious meddling.' That well describes
the position of Great Britain's representative in the Transvaal, and
it has been the same for so many years that among the Uitlanders it
creates no feeling of surprise; but imagine the representative
of--let us say--the United States being so treated!

While these matters were proceeding an opportunity occurred to raise
fresh funds for the Uitlander Education Council. The scheme had been
perilously near collapse on several occasions, but by a little
generous and timely help actual abandonment had been averted. The
possibility of a return of better times had been foreseen by some of
those interested in education, and the appeals which were made in the
months of February and March resulted in raising a fund of over
L100,000. The companies were also applied to for assistance in the
form of annual grants for maintenance; and guarantees were given
amounting in all to about L16,000 a year. A final effort was made by
the Government party and the allies of Dr. Mansvelt, the
Superintendent of Education, to show that the Government had made
ample provision for the education of English-speaking children, and
that the Uitlanders' scheme was unnecessary. Even Mr. Reitz, the
State Secretary, it is to be regretted, undertook a public defence of
the system which he has frequently expressed his disapproval of; but
the more favourable construction which he endeavoured to place upon
the law was immediately removed by a plain statement from the
President to the exact contrary effect.

The Uitlanders consider that, if the intentions of the Government
were as good as they desire them to be thought, firstly, they should
not object to have the conditions permanently established and not
leave them liable to alteration at the sweet will of the
Superintendent, as they are to-day; and secondly, as there has been
nothing to hinder the carrying out of benevolent intentions--had they
existed--there is no reason why there should be five or six thousand
Uitlander children without any facilities for education in their own
language except such as are provided by private enterprise or
charity. And this is so; notwithstanding the expenditure by the State
of nearly a quarter of a million per annum, ostensibly upon
education, nine-tenths of which sum is contributed by the Uitlander

The spirit in which the State aid is given and the aim which the
Government have in view are entirely revealed in the conditions, a
brief reference to which will be sufficient.

The Government capitation grant of L4 per annum may be earned on the

(a) That the child be over six years of age.

(b) That it shall have a sufficient knowledge of the Dutch language
and South African history.

(c) That it be not the child of Dutch or Hollander parents.

(d) That a qualified Dutch teacher must be retained by the school.

The first condition excludes all the children of the kindergarten
schools, and also a class who form a considerable percentage in the
elementary schools. The third condition excludes all those who have
in early years any chance of satisfying the inspectors under the
second condition. Obviously the amount earned by the few who would
satisfy all the conditions could not possibly pay for the salary of
a Dutch teacher. It was an actual experience in several schools that
the acceptance of State aid involved a direct loss; a good example of
the 'something for nothing' policy.

English is permitted to be the medium of instruction in Government
schools on the conditions, among others--

That Dutch be taught for one hour a day during the first year, two
hours a day during the second year, three hours a day during the
third year; and that in the fourth year Dutch shall become the sole
medium of instruction.

The characteristic trickery and cunning which mark so many of the
Boer-Hollander enactments are again apparent here. The proposal is
made to appear reasonable, but it is clearly impossible for a child
to attain within the time named such proficiency in a foreign
language as to be able to receive all instruction in it. The effect
and the design are to place English-speaking children at a grave
disadvantage compared with Dutch-speaking children; either they would
have to devote a great deal more time to the study of Dutch in the
first three years so as to be able to receive all instruction in that
tongue, or they would suffer in the higher standards through their
imperfect knowledge of the medium of instruction. It was not to be
supposed that the Uitlanders, after an experience extending over a
decade and a half of all sorts of promises, not one of which had been
kept in the spirit in which it was intended to be construed, would
consent to abandon their scheme at the behest of Dr. Mansvelt and the
misguided few who judged his proposals by appearances. President
Kruger speaking at Rustenburg as lately as March last laid particular
emphasis upon the stipulation in the Law that in the fourth year
Dutch should be the sole medium of instruction, and explained that
his determination was to make Dutch the dominant language.

In the month of February the Transvaal Government received a dispatch
from her Majesty's Government with reference to the dynamite
concession. It referred to the announcement already recorded, that in
the course of the coming session of the Raad a proposal would be
submitted for the extension of the monopoly for fifteen years.
Mr. Chamberlain pointed out that her Majesty's Government were
advised that the dynamite monopoly in its present form constitutes a
breach of the Convention; he expressed the hope that the Transvaal
Government might see its way voluntarily either to cancel the
monopoly or to so amend it as to make it in the true sense a State
monopoly operating for the benefit of the State; and he suggested
that in any case no attempt should be made to extend the present
concession, as such a proposal would compel her Majesty's Government
to take steps which they had hitherto abstained from taking in the
hope and belief that the Transvaal Government would itself deal
satisfactorily with the matter. It was with this despatch, so to say
in his pocket, that the President introduced and endeavoured to force
through the Raad the proposal to grant a fifteen years' extension of
the monopoly.

That representations had been made by the British Government on the
subject of the dynamite monopoly, had been known for some time before
the Peace Negotiations (as they have been called) between the
Government and the Capitalists were proposed. On February 27{49} Mr.
Edouard Lippert, the original dynamite concessionaire, who it was
known would receive the further sum of L150,000 if the monopoly
remained uncancelled for five years, opened negotiations on behalf of
the Government with certain representatives of the capitalist groups
on the Rand; and it was immediately seen that the main--one might
almost say sole--object of the negotiations was to safeguard the
dynamite monopoly. The Government had, in fact, been placed in a very
awkward position. One of the excuses for not expropriating the
monopoly had been that the State had not been successful in raising a
loan. In order to deal with this objection the Chamber of Mines had,
in the month of February, 1899, made an offer, guaranteed by all the
principal firms on the Rand, to provide the sum of L600,000 to
compensate the monopolists for their actual expenditure up to date
upon buildings, plant, machinery, &c., so that there should be no
semblance of injustice in the treatment meted out to them. The
conditions of the offer were that the dynamite monopoly should be
cancelled and importation of explosives permitted under an import
duty which would give the State a very large revenue at once and
which in the course of a few years would provide a sinking fund
sufficient to extinguish the loan of L600,000. The offer was so
favourable to the State that it placed the Government in a
quandary.{50} The attitude of the Volksraad, too, was distinctly
hostile to the dynamite monopoly; and on top of all came the
representations of the Imperial Government upon the subject. It
became necessary to do something to save the threatened
'cornerstone'; hence the Peace negotiations between the Government
and the capitalists.

This was another and one of the clearest examples of the 'something
for nothing' policy, for it will be observed that of all the things
mentioned dynamite alone was the matter to be definitely settled--and
that to the satisfaction of Mr. Kruger. Long years of experience
had taught the Uitlanders to examine any proposals coming from the
Government with the utmost care; and the representatives of the
mining industry were soon of one mind in regarding these negotiations
as nothing but a trap.

Of the five men who represented the Government, viz., the President,
the State Secretary (Mr. Reitz), the State Attorney (Mr. Smuts), the
Foreign Plenipotentiary (Dr. Leyds), and the 'disinterested
intermediary,' Mr. Lippert, it was easy enough to account for three.
The President had frequently pledged himself to maintain the
monopoly, and always referred to it as the corner-stone of the
independence. Dr. Leyds had chosen to associate himself with the
defence of the concessionaires upon all occasions, and had even gone
so far, as evidence given at the Industrial Commission showed, as to
misrepresent the facts in their defence. The difficulty was how to
explain the association of the State Attorney and State Secretary, in
whose good intentions and integrity there was a general belief. The
solution was to be found in the illusory promises of reform under the
heading of franchise and reorganization of the finances and other
matters. These proposals, it was believed by Mr. Kruger and his
party, would secure the support of the two above-named officials, as
well as entice the capitalists into the trap set for them. But there
were other points of advantage for Mr. Kruger. The whole scheme was
in accordance with the _divide et impera_ policy. The first
impression, if the scheme were accepted, would be that the
capitalists had secured something for themselves by bartering away
the rights of the public; so there would have been a division in
Johannesburg. Another effect to be brought about by the proposed
action regarding the Indians would have been to divide the Uitlanders
from the Imperial Government, and the net result of it all would have
been that neither the public nor the capitalists would have got
anything but illusory promises and Mr. Kruger would have secured his
dynamite; for had he been able to extract from the Industry an
expression of approval or acquiescence, it would have given him his
majority in the Volksraad in favour of the monopoly.

The following is the correspondence which passed:--

      _27th March, 1899._

_To the Honourable the State Secretary, Pretoria._


Before communicating to you and the representatives of the Government
whom we met the expression of our opinion and that of our London
friends on the proposals submitted to us by Mr. Lippert on behalf of
the Government of the S.A.R., we deem it advisable to recite shortly
how we have arrived at the present position.

On the 27th of February Mr. E. Lippert called together Messrs. A.
Brakhan, E. Birkenruth, and G. Rouliot, to whom he submitted a
certain programme concerning the settlement of some pending questions
forming the subject of grave differences between the Government of
the S.A.R., on the one part, and the whole Uitlander population and
the mining industry on the other part, with a view to ascertain
whether these gentlemen were willing to open negotiations on the
basis suggested, in order to try to come to a settlement. Upon the
affirmative answer of these gentlemen, Mr. Lippert obtained an equal
expression of approval from Dr. Leyds, the State Secretary, the State
Attorney, and also of President Kruger. The preliminary programme at
Mr. Lippert's request was then communicated by cable to our London
friends. Upon receipt of a reply to the effect that our London
friends were in favour of any arrangement which would produce harmony
and secure administrative and financial reform, which was
communicated to Mr. E. Lippert, a meeting was arranged with Dr.
Leyds, Messrs. Reitz, Smuts, and Lippert, as representing the
Government, on the 9th of March; but as Messrs. Brakhan, Birkenruth,
and Rouliot had repeatedly mentioned that they did not consider
themselves qualified to discuss matters on behalf of the general body
of Uitlanders, and seeing that the programme submitted was to be
considered as a whole, and either adopted or rejected as such,
therefore it would be necessary to obtain the views, on the franchise
question, of prominent citizens more able to express the wishes of
Uitlanders on this subject; Mr. Lippert, on behalf of the Government,
invited in addition Messrs. Pierce and Pistorious to be present at
the meeting.

At this meeting several points were discussed, but as no definite
proposal regarding franchise could be submitted, no decision was
arrived at, it being made clear, however, that this was only a
preliminary conversation with the object of exchanging views, and
that in any case the opinion of the Uitlander population, and also
that of our friends in Europe, would have to be fully ascertained.

On the 12th instant, at the request of Mr. Lippert, Messrs. Brakhan,
Birkenruth, Rouliot, Pierce, Pistorious and Fitzpatrick met, and Mr.
Lippert communicated to us the definite proposals of the S.A.R.
Government, which were duly cabled the same day to our friends,
requesting a reply before the end of the week, as the Government
would have to submit the whole matter to the Raad, and we were
requested to sign an agreement with the Government, and a declaration
binding on ourselves and our London friends.

Their answer, suggesting a further conference with Dr. Leyds in
London, was duly communicated to his Honour the State President. His
Honour's reply, stating that the exchange of views had better take
place here, was communicated to our European friends.

Now they have cabled us a full _precis_ of the proceedings and
resolutions passed at the meeting held in London on the 16th
instant, and the following is therefore the expression of our opinion
as well as that of our European friends, upon the subjects which have
already been discussed between the representatives of the S.A.R.
Government, and ourselves.

It having been stipulated by the Government that the various matters
herein dealt with shall be taken as parts of one whole plan, we have
bowed to that decision, and we beg now to reply under the various
heads on the understanding that no one portion may be judged as apart
from the whole.


In furtherance of the general settlement, those of us directly
concerned in the mining industry would be prepared to recommend a
modification of the claims of the surface holder and a final
settlement of the question on the lines suggested as preferable to
the continued uncertainty, on the understanding that the basis for
valuation should be arrived at by fixing, after consultation, a
maximum price upon the best situated bewaarplaatsen or water-right,
and that the price of all other mining rights under bewaarplaatsen,
machine stands or water-rights be valued by competent engineers on
the basis and in relation to the above maximum value, taking into
consideration the comparative value of the outcrop claims and the
diminishing value in depth; the surface holder having the preferent
right to acquire the undermining rights at the price thus arrived at.


The appointment of a suitable man with efficient control and assured
status would undoubtedly meet one of the most serious of the
grievances, and would be universally accepted as satisfactory. The
financier, in order to enjoy the confidence of all concerned, and
with a view to avoid as far as possible ulterior discussion of his
recommendations, should be approved of by some person belonging to a
firm of well-known independent standing, such as Lord Rothschild, for
instance. The financier to be a member of the Executive Council, and
to formulate and approve every scheme of taxation should further or
other taxation become necessary.


Any loan offered at reasonable rates and approved by the Finance
Minister for the common good would undoubtedly receive our support;
we understanding, on the other hand, that no new taxation will be
imposed on the general population or the mining industry pending the
appointment of the financier.


There having been, as far as we know, no organized press agitation,
it is impossible for us to deal with this matter, but it is clear
that the criticism which has been provoked by a certain condition of
affairs here would necessarily cease upon the causes of complaint
being removed, and we would be prepared, in case of our coming to a
settlement with the Government, to declare that the solution of the
questions arrived at meets with our approval as a whole, so as to
discourage further agitation in newspapers on these subjects.


We shall at all times be willing to publicly discourage and repudiate
any political organization having for its object the stirring up of
strife or promoting dissension between the different nationalities
inhabiting this State, and we would and will in any case do this
freely and upon principle, and entirely apart from other
considerations connected with this Conference, but it should be
clearly understood that this declaration must not be construed as
repudiating or deprecating any legitimate representations which the
community or any section of them may see fit to make in matters which
concern them as inhabitants of this State.


We well appreciate the dangers of uncontrolled, indiscriminate
immigration of the lower class Indians, Chinese, and other coloured
races, and the necessity for provision for sanitary control, and
shall be most willing to aid the Government in the above objects; but
we consider it impossible for us to intervene in this matter, which
is governed by the London Convention with the British Government. We
suggest that for the purpose of guarding against the dangers above
referred to, this matter be explained to the Imperial Government as
part of the whole scheme for the settlement of differences, and claim
therefore an especially favourable consideration, for, in the success
of this scheme, all who desire peace and prosperity in this country
must be deeply concerned and willing to co-operate on generous lines.
We suggest that this representation be made in such manner as may be
deemed less calculated to provoke unfavourable comment, or offend
susceptibilities in any quarter, and that the suggestion be viewed by
all parties in its true proportions as one part of the whole scheme
of settlement. Unless so viewed we should be unable to put ourselves
forward in a matter at issue between the two Governments, nor of
course could the proposals of the Government be taken to suggest


With the principle of granting a monopoly to individuals, agencies,
or corporations it is impossible for us to agree, and whatever
arrangement be effected, we should have to make it clear that in this
instance we are viewing the question solely as a burden--a tax which
the mines are asked to definitely accept in order that an
amelioration of the general conditions affecting the whole Uitlander
population may be secured.

The difference between the cost at which dynamite could be imported
(exclusive of Transvaal duty) and the price we are now compelled to
pay amounts to over L600,000 per annum on the present rate of
consumption, a sum which will increase steadily and largely in the
immediate future.

Whether the mining industry should voluntarily accept such an immense
burden as a set-off against terms which, whilst they would doubtless
eventually favourably affect the industry, are in their immediate
effects designed to satisfy the Uitlander population in their
personal rights as distinct from the mining industry as a business,
is a matter which would in the first place have to be submitted to
the recognized elected representatives of the mining industry, and
would in the second place depend upon whether the people in whose
interest such sacrifice is required would accept the terms which the
Government would be willing to concede as satisfying their reasonable

It is also a matter of grave and general concern that a sum so
enormous, when compared with the revenue requirements of the State,
should be taken annually from the mines with little, if any, benefit
to the country, when it might be utilized in part or entirely in
supplementing the State revenue, and thus afford relief in other
directions to every taxpayer in the country.

Notwithstanding the above considerations, however, we feel that a
great monetary sacrifice might be made to secure a peaceful and
permanent solution of vexed questions, and that the subject of
dynamite should be submitted to the Chamber of Mines and discussed in
that spirit.

Whilst we are willing, in order to bring about a general settlement
of all pending questions, to recommend such a heavy sacrifice to be
made, and adopt the proposal made by the Government, it would be a
condition that there shall not be any extension of the concession,
and that the terms of the contract shall be rigidly enforced; that
the Dynamite Company shall reduce the price of dynamite to 70s. per
case, giving to the Government the 5s. per case and the share of the
profits to which it is entitled; and that at the end of the present
agency the factory shall be taken over at a valuation which shall not
include compensation for goodwill or for loss of future business.


This is the vital point upon which a permanent and peaceful
settlement must hinge, and if a satisfactory solution can be arrived
at on this point, as well as on the others raised, we shall be
prepared to recommend to the Industry to make the sacrifices involved
in accepting the Government proposals.

We note that--

_(a)_ the proposals do not include a substantial recognition of past

_(b)_ that the period is seven years;

_(c)_ that it is proposed that those who acquire citizenship under
the law, if changed as proposed, shall not have the vote for the
office of President, and that the oath of allegiance would be
required seven years before the acquisition of limited burgher

_(d)_ that the proposed new law would have to be published for a year
and receive the assent of two-thirds of the enfranchised burghers of
the Republic.

Whilst declaring ourselves willing to accept and recommend the
acceptance of any fair scheme on constitutional reforms, we consider
that such a scheme must first be laid before, and approved by, the
unenfranchised community, as the rights, liberties, and privileges of
the community would depend absolutely on the nature of the reform.

We have repeated on many occasions that business houses are not
qualified to discuss this question on behalf of the general body of
Uitlanders, and that we would not presume that we were appointed by
the whole community to discuss it on their behalf. It will therefore
be necessary to find means to bring the whole question before those
directly affected, who are the only ones entitled to finally dispose
of the matter, their acquiescence to the scheme having to be first
obtained before we recommend the sacrifices which we contemplate in
order to ensure a general permanent and peaceful settlement.

For your guidance we enclose an expression of opinion which has been
furnished to us by some of the most prominent Uitlanders, and
places before you the views of a very large and influential section
of the community.

The above subjects are only those which have been discussed between
the Government representatives and ourselves, but, in order to arrive
at a final permanent settlement, we think that we ought to endeavour
to remove all other causes of disagreement, and treat as well several
other important questions left untouched; and we would beg that the
Government will take the necessary steps, as far as lies in their
power, to assist the industry by bringing native labourers to the
goldfields, and to this end will be willing to confer with the
Chamber of Mines as to the best means to be adopted; that the law
relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor at present in force shall
be maintained and strictly enforced. We may further state that we
have every confidence in the probity and honour of the Judges of the
S.A.R., and wish to place on record our desire that the independence
of the Bench should be assured and maintained inviolate in the
highest interests of all the inhabitants of the Republic.

We enclose copy of the cable which we sent, embodying the proposals
of the Government of the S.A.R. as communicated to us by Mr. Lippert,
and copy of the _precis_ and resolution passed at the meeting held in
London, when the above cable was considered.

This letter conveys to you our opinion as well as that of our friends
in Europe, and we should be most happy to arrange a meeting with you
and any other representatives of the Government to consider and
discuss the points contained therein.

We beg to assure you once more that we, as well as our European
friends, are most sincerely desirous to arrive at a satisfactory
settlement, securing a peaceful future and promoting the welfare of
the country and the people, and trust that you will regard the
expression of our opinion in that light.

  We remain, honourable Sir,
         Yours obediently,
              G. ROULIOT.
              H.F.E. PISTORIUS.
              E. BIRKENRUTH.
              JOHN M. PIERCE.
              A. BRAKHAN

The foregoing embodies our views as well as that of our London

  (Signed) J.G. HAMILTON.
           W. DALRYMPLE.

The following memorandum--the one referred to in the above
letter--was prepared by well-known Uitlanders whom the Government,
owing to the refusal of the capitalists to deal with the franchise,
had been obliged to select in order to get some pronouncement upon
that question. The little ironies of life have two properties: the
humour for the winner, and the hurt for the worsted. The Uitlanders
had for three years enjoyed a singularly monotonous experience in
ironies, but a turning came in the long lane when it became necessary
for the President to suspend the operation of his three years' ban
on two of the Reformers in order to get their advice upon the
franchise question.

         _24th March, 1899._


In response to the invitation from the Government of the South
African Republic conveyed to us by Mr. E. Lippert, we beg to submit
the enclosed memorandum upon the franchise question.

  Yours faithfully,
    H.C. HULL.
    W.A. MARTIN.
    R. STORE.

  _To Messrs. G. Rouliot,
             E. Birkenruth,
             A. Brakhan,
             J.M. Pierce,
             H.F.E. Pistorius


After such investigation as the restrictions imposed have permitted,
we are of opinion that it would be quite useless to approach the
Uitlander population with the Government proposal in its present
form, chiefly for the following reasons:--

1. No consideration is given to the term of residence already

2. The alteration of the franchise law according to lately prescribed
procedure, whereby two-thirds of the burghers must signify approval,
is a practical impossibility,--witness the fact that at the last
Presidential election, surpassing in excitement and interest all
other occasions of general voting, with the three recognized leaders
in the field, and every agency at work to stimulate activity, less
than two-thirds of the burghers on the register recorded their votes.

3. The present form of oath would be regarded as humiliating and
unnecessary, in support of which view we instance that quite recently
the Volksraad of the Orange Free State rejected upon the same grounds
the proposed introduction of the same oath of allegiance.

4. The period of disqualification, during which the Uitlander would
have given up his own citizenship by naturalizing and have acquired
nothing in return, would be found most objectionable--especially
with the experience that rights have in the past been legislated away
as they were on the point of maturing.

5. In view of the unique conditions of this country, extension of the
franchise without some approach to equitable redistribution of
representatives would be regarded as no solution of the question and
might even provoke doubts as to the _bona fides_ of the proposal,
which would be a deplorable beginning, yet one easily to be avoided.

Regard being had to the points raised in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4,
we consider that as restrictive franchise legislation, apparently
designed to exclude for ever the great bulk of the Uitlander
population, dates its beginning from the Session of 1890, and as the
various enactments bearing upon this question have been passed by
successive Volksraads exercising their power to alter, add to, or
revoke, previous enactments, and as the same powers are to the full
enjoyed by the present Volksraad, it would be both possible and
proper for the present Volksraad to annul all the legislation upon
this subject from that date, and to restore and confirm the status
prior to 1890, and thus satisfy the indisputable claims of those who
settled in this country under certain conditions from the benefits of
which they could not properly be excluded.

With regard to paragraph 5, a moderate proposal designed to give a
more equitable distribution of representatives in the Volksraad would
be necessary.

The above suggestions are not put forward as the irreducible minimum,
nor are they designed for public use, nor intended as a proposal
acceptable to the eye but impossible in fact, and thus sure of
rejection. They are put forward in good faith as indicating in our
opinion the lines upon which it would be possible to work towards a
settlement with a reasonable prospect of success.

If the difficulties appear great the more reason there is not to put
forward an unalterable proposal foredoomed to failure, but rather to
try and find points of agreement which, however few and small to
begin with, would surely make for eventual and complete settlement.
In any case it is clear that the mere fact of a proposal to extend
the franchise having been made by the Government, thus frankly
recognizing the need to deal with the subject, will be hailed as a
good omen and a good beginning by all fair-minded men.

The determination of the negotiators to have the position clearly
stated in writing, and their fear that the use of intermediaries
would end in the usual unhappy and unpleasant result--namely,
repudiation of the intermediary in part or entirely--were not long
wanting justification. The following is a translation of Mr. F.W.
Reitz's reply:--

  PRETORIA, _8th April, 1899._

_Messrs. G. Rouliot, H.F.E. Pistorius, A. Brakhan, E. Birkenruth,
and John M. Pierce, Johannesburg_.


I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 27th
March last, referring to certain proposals to the Government from
representatives of the mining industry.

In order to understand the natural position it is necessary to state
the facts more extensively than given in your letter.

It is wrong to say, as you do in the first paragraph of your
communication, that Mr. Lippert came to you with certain proposals
from the Government.

It appears also from the second paragraph of the same that Mr.
Lippert came to you _suo motu_ with the object, as he informed me
afterwards, to see 'if it was not possible to obtain a better
understanding between the Government on the one side and the mining
industry on the other.' He acted in no wise as the agent of the
Government, or in the name of the Government, to make any proposals
to you, but only as a friendly mediator to see how far unnecessary
differences and misunderstandings could be removed.

When Mr. Lippert came to Dr. Leyds and myself, and informed us that
you and other gentlemen were agreeable to his mediation, we at once
agreed with his plan, being aware that there was a warm desire and
continued struggle on the part of this Government to remove out of
the way all friction and trouble, and that in this case especially it
was our object to leave no stone unturned to get all differences
settled. We were the more anxious to meet you, because his Honour the
State President had decided to lay before the Volksraad certain
proposals of law, which are of great importance not only for the
people of the Republic, but especially for the mining population and
industry. We gave Mr. Lippert to understand that should the leaders
of the mining industry have no objection to his mediation, we would
not be unwilling to make use of his good services in this matter.

Mr. Lippert then went to Johannesburg, and returned to us with the
assurance that there was no objection to his acting as mediator, and
gave us some of the subjects on which it appeared to him that it was
possible to arrive at a friendly understanding.

In consequence of this, and acting on our own initiative, and not as
representatives of the Government, Dr. Leyds, Mr. Smuts, and myself,
met some of your leading men, as set forth in your letter.

At this meeting we informed you of the intention of the President to
alter certain laws for the general good. Only with reference to the
franchise we gave you no definite proposal, the matter being then
still under consideration. From your side we requested only a more
friendly attitude from the Press, as we were convinced that the
excessive Press campaign carried on by the newspapers, which are
generally considered to be owned by you, or influenced by you,
however much they may forward certain interests, still, in the end,
did infinite harm to the existing interests of all sections of the
population. Through the continual and incessant agitation and
creation of suspicion on the part of the papers, the public mind was
constantly in a state of insecurity, and the fanning of the race
hatred made it impossible for the Government as well as the
legislature to improve the relations between the so-called Uitlanders
and the old population.

We requested your friendly assistance also in the settlement of the
coolie question, not because we wanted to cause friction between you
and other foreign governments, but only because the policy which
refers to the native and coloured questions is of the utmost
importance to South Africa.

Mr. Lippert had in his programme the granting of a promise on your
side that you would support the Government in the obtaining of a loan
which the Government may deem necessary, and that you should bind
yourselves in writing to abstain from all political organizations
inimical to the Government.

These matters we did not discuss, as we considered them unnecessary
and inadvisable. From your side you deemed it necessary, before
answering us, first to receive the instructions of your foreign
principals. Before you could give us the result the President
explained his intentions at Heidelberg, and afterwards at Rustenburg
and Johannesburg.

Your letter, now under consideration, contains practically a definite
answer to our communication to you. I shall now consider the points
of your answer separately.


With reference to this matter, we think that the undermining rights
under bewaarplaatsen, machine stands, and water-rights should be
valued on a reasonable basis, independently by the Government, and by
the owner of the surface rights (should there be a difference which
cannot be settled amicably, then the value can be fixed by
arbitration), and that the surface owner shall have the preferent
right to purchase the affected under-mining right at such a
valuation. From your communication I understand that you suggest a
special method of valuation. That is a detail which can be settled
when the valuation is actually commenced, and which experts are
better able to judge over than I am. Therefore I shall say no more on
this subject.


On this subject our opinion was that the auditor should be
independent of the Government, and alone responsible to the Volksraad
to appoint as financier a man of standing, with a seat in the
Executive Council, to advise on all matters affecting finances.

I am glad to see that you are with us, and that it gives you great
satisfaction. I must express my surprise, however, over your proposal
that previous to the appointment this Government must first get the
approval of Lord Rothschild or any other capitalist. I can only
answer that it is in no wise the intention of the Government to frame
the future financial policy of this State on a capitalistic basis,
and thus your request cannot be agreed to. It is quite possible to
make such an appointment which will carry general approval without
being subjected to such a mutual condition.


With reference to these matters, I have already made it plain to you
that in following the proposals of Mr. Lippert by cabling to your
principals, you acted under a misunderstanding. We requested no
binding declaration from you, only a moral understanding, which would
be easy for you to maintain, if it was in the interests of the
Uitlanders as well as the burghers of the Republic. I regret that the
mistake has arisen, otherwise I cannot see that any objection can
come from your side to approve of the plans of the President.


On this question there is a small difference between the proposed
policy of the President and your answer.

I only wish to add that his Honour goes further than you do, as he
has declared his readiness to expropriate the Dynamite Company, under
agreement with its representatives, as soon as possible. If the
expropriation takes place after the expiration of the present
concession then it will naturally not be on the basis of a going


On this subject I can well understand that you do not wish to take
upon your shoulders the responsibility of speaking and acting for the
whole of the new population. It was more your personal opinions as
men of position that we wished to know. Then again, according to your
assurance at the aforementioned meeting, you do not take any personal
interest in the franchise question, and that you would rather leave
the question to the public; your answer is therefore perfectly fair.
His Honour has therefore already acted in accordance with your idea,
for he has brought the question of the franchise very prominently
before the public, not only at Heidelberg and Rustenburg, but also at

In conclusion, I wish to refer to one matter which has caused me much
pain. It was clearly and distinctly agreed and understood by you all
as well as by us that both sides would treat this matter as
confidential and secret, as discussions of such important matters
cannot be carried on with any results on the tops of houses. What has
happened? On the 28th of March I received your letter, and on the 3rd
of April, whilst I was yet giving it earnest consideration and had
taken all the measures to keep it secret, the contents of the same
appeared in the London _Times_, while some days later your answer
appeared in full in the _Cape Times_, the _Diamond Fields
Advertiser_, and other papers under the influence of the capitalists.
The manner in which these papers favourable to you, or controlled by
you, have dealt with me in this matter has caused me (I admit it with
regret) to doubt for one moment your good faith. Thinking, however,
of the great interest as it were in the balance, and believing,
moreover, that you never for private or party purposes intended to
play with the true and lasting interests of all sections of the
community, I cannot help thinking that the reply has been published
through one of your subordinates, and regret that the publication has
not been immediately repudiated by you publicly as a grave breach of
faith. I would regret it, while there exists so few points of
difference between us, that these things should bar the way through
careless and wrong tactics to a permanent understanding, and trust
that the hand extended to the Industry in absolute good faith will
not be slighted purposely and wilfully. Owing to the publication of
your reply, there exists no further reason for secrecy, and I shall
hand my reply to the press.

  Your obedient servant,
                  F.W. REITZ,
                     _State Secretary_.

The repudiation of Mr. Lippert's "official" character; the contention
that the State Secretary, State Attorney, and Dr. Leyds could divest
themselves of all responsibility in negotiations such as these, and
claim to have been acting in their private capacity only; and the
extraordinary anxiety to keep secret matters which deeply affected
the public, and to the settlement of which the Government designed
that the public should be committed, compelled the negotiators to
produce evidence that the statements and conclusions of the
Government were not warranted by the facts. The following letter,
which was formally acknowledged but never answered, practically
concluded the negotiations:--

  JOHANNESBURG, S.A.R., _April 14, 1899._

_To the Honourable the State Secretary, Pretoria._


We have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication
of the 8th April, 1899.

Certain of our statements being doubted and described as erroneous in
your letter, we deem it advisable to go more fully into the facts
which have preceded and led to this correspondence.

It may be that communications exchanged through an intermediary have
been transmitted in a manner liable to convey a different impression
from what was actually meant, and in order to clear any possible
misunderstanding, we beg to enclose copies of all documents supplied
to us by Mr. Lippert, whom we, at all times, considered as your
authorized agent.

From these it will be apparent that during the negotiations we acted
in perfect good faith, communicating and discussing what we justly
considered were the wishes and proposals of the Government, and it
will also be clear to you that every one of our statements is based
on documents which we had every reason to believe were approved of by
the Government.

On February 27th Mr. Lippert called together Messrs. E. Birkenruth,
A. Brakhan, and G. Rouliot, to whom he stated that a settlement of
certain pending questions could probably be arrived at. He said that
he had ascertained the views of Dr. Leyds, Messrs. Reitz and Smuts,
who had agreed to a certain programme, and he wanted to know whether
we would be willing to open negotiations on that basis, in which case
the three officials mentioned would see the State President and
ascertain whether he would be prepared to adopt their views.

If the State President's approval could be obtained, Mr. Lippert
suggested that a conference should be held to discuss the subjects
mentioned in his memorandum.

This memorandum (Annexure 'A'), as explained to us by Mr. Lippert,
enumerates under Clauses 1 to 5 inclusive the points which the
Government expected us to concede, and the other clauses are what the
Government proposed doing in return.

We were then informed that the programme must be considered as a
whole, and either adopted or rejected as such, no question being
considered separately, and that the matter must be kept absolutely

Upon our statement that we personally would be willing to open
negotiations on the basis suggested, Mr. Lippert went to Pretoria and
informed the high officials above-named.

On March 1st Mr. Lippert informed us that the State President was
viewing the matter favourably, and requested us to acquaint our
friends by cable.

Our replies having been communicated to Mr. Lippert, a meeting was
arranged on March 9th, as recited in our previous letter, at which,
Mr. Lippert informed us, no new subject outside of those mentioned in
his memorandum could be discussed.

Messrs. Pistorius and Pierce, being invited by Mr. Lippert to attend
the meeting, were each supplied by him with a list of the questions
to be discussed, forming part of the proposed settlement (Annexure

On March 12th Mr. Lippert communicated to us what he termed the
definite proposals of the Government of the S.A.R., which were duly
cabled to our friends in Europe (a copy of this cable has already
been sent to you).

He also read to us the declaration, which he suggested we should sign
on behalf of ourselves and our European friends (Annexure 'C').

A speedy reply to our cable was asked for, as Mr. Lippert had
informed us that, if any settlement could be arrived at, the
agreement had to be submitted to the Honourable the First Volksraad
before the closing of the extraordinary session which was drawing

We beg to point out to you that by cabling these proposals to Europe,
we could not possibly conceive that we were acting under a
misconception, as the day on which they were made to us, the 12th of
March, being a Sunday, the Telegraph Office was specially kept
open for the purpose of dispatching the cables, which were duly
received and forwarded upon production of an order from Mr. Lippert.

In our letter of March 17th to his Honour the State President,
conveying the nature of our friends' reply, we mentioned the fact
that the communication made to us by Mr. Lippert on behalf of the
Government had been fully cabled; we stated that our friends no doubt
based their suggestion to further discuss the whole of the proposals
with Dr. Leyds upon the fact that the Government had stipulated that
they should become parties to the proposed settlement.

In your reply of March 18th, no exception is taken to these
statements; you tell us, on behalf of his Honour the State President,
'that the exchange of views can best take place direct with the
Government, and here, within the Republic,' pointing out the fact
'that the session of the Volksraad was close at hand, and that
therefore further delay is undesirable.'

You will thus see that we were perfectly justified in thinking that
the communications made to our European friends, embodied the
proposals of the Government of the South African Republic, were
cabled with the knowledge and approval of the Government, and that
we were requested to sign a declaration on behalf of ourselves and
our friends, which declaration had to be made public.

Our letter of the 27th March conveyed to you our opinion and that of
our friends, upon the subjects comprised in the programme which was
submitted to us, and it is unnecessary to go over them in detail
again. We beg only to offer a few remarks upon certain points raised
in your letter of 8th April:--Bewaarplaatsen: We suggest a basis for
the valuation of bewaarplaatsen, machine stands, and water-rights,
which in our opinion ought to be adopted, in order to have a uniform
and easy method of valuing these places.

Financier: Being fully aware of the complexity of financial problems
and questions of taxation in this State, we are anxious that the
financier appointed should be of such a standing as to command the
confidence of all, so that his recommendations cannot raise any
ulterior discussion. For that reason we expressed the opinion that,
before making the appointment, the Government should be guided in its
choice by someone belonging to a firm of well-known independent
standing. We have no desire to see this Government base its future
financial policy on any particular line, in the interest of, or
directed against, any special section of the people. We only wish to
see the financial policy established on sound recognized economic
principles, with fair and equitable taxation calculated according to
the proper requirements of the State.

Press Agitation--Political Organizations: We have already informed
you, that so far as we know, there has been no organized press
agitation, and that we should be willing at all times to deprecate
the stirring up of strife between nationalities caused by any agency
whatsoever. We consider it desirable to see that feeling more
general, as we are convinced that exaggerated press campaigns
conducted by newspapers generally reported to be influenced by the
Government, and tending to create dissension amongst the various
classes of the community, are calculated to cause an infinite amount
of harm to the vested interests of all sections of the population.

Dynamite: In your letter of the 8th April, you appear to have lost
sight of the fact that the proposed settlement was submitted to us as
a whole. Mr. Lippert made it clear that, in consideration of the
Government granting the measures enumerated in his memorandum, it was
expected that we should abandon our present contentions, and declare
ourselves satisfied with the settlement proposed by the Government.
Under ordinary circumstances this would be far from meeting our
desires, but we intimated to you that we should be willing to
recommend to the mining industry the adoption of the proposals made
to us on this subject, if by so doing we could promote a permanent
satisfactory solution of all pending questions.

In conclusion, we beg to refer to the publication of our previous
letter to you. It took place here on the 6th inst., in the afternoon;
we immediately instituted an inquiry, and on the 8th inst., in the
morning, we wrote that we were in a position to assure you that we
could in no way be held responsible for the publication. We never for
a moment doubted your good faith, nor that of the other gentlemen for
whom the letter was meant, but thought that possibly the
communication could have been made through one of your subordinates.
However, not being certain of the fact, we merely repudiated any
responsibility on our part, and regret that you should have publicly
laid the blame on our side, without having communicated with us,
asking for an explanation, if you had any suspicion.

We beg to assure you that we are as willing as ever to co-operate
with you in arriving at a settlement of all pending differences in
order to secure peace and prosperity in this country, and we shall be
ready at all times to meet and discuss with you, or any other
delegates of the Government, any matter likely to bring about a
speedy and permanent solution of all questions, still bearing in mind
what we mentioned in our previous correspondence, that we are not
qualified to speak on behalf of the whole community.

As you have informed us that you have no objection to it, we shall
give a copy of this letter to the press.

We have the honour to be, honourable Sir,

  Your obedient servants,
                G. ROULIOT,
                JOHN M. PIERCE,
                A. BRAKHAN,
                E. BIRKENRUTH.

(Mr. Pistorius, being absent from town, could not sign this letter.)



1. Cessation of press agitation here and in Europe.

2. Support on the coolie question.

3. Settlement of the dynamite question.

4. Loan (if required).

5. Severance from the S. A. League.

6. Appointment of State Financier and State Auditor, of European
reputation, with a seat and vote on the Executive in all questions of

7. No new taxation of mines until submitted by Minister of

8. Moderate valuation of bewaarplaatsen.

9. Burgher rights--five years--property test.


Cessation of press agitation here and in Europe.

Support to the Government in its treatment of the coolie

Settlement of the dynamite question.

Deprecate the objects of the S.A. League.

Support the placing of a loan if Government wishes it.

Appointment of a financial adviser to the Government, of European
reputation, and of an Auditor, both with seats and votes in the
Executive Council on all financial matters. (This has been amended by
the Government, so far as the Auditor is concerned, to retain the
present Auditor, and to give him, _re_ dismissal, the same status as
a Judge, and to make him directly responsible to the Volksraad.)

No fresh taxation to be levied on the mines until the Financial
Adviser has laid his proposals before the Government.

Sale of the undermining rights to the holders of surface rights
(bewaarplaatsen, &c.), at a moderate valuation.

Extension of the franchise by granting burgher rights after ... years
of registration, coupled with a property test.



... Thereupon the subscribed parties from Johannesburg, for
themselves, and for the parties they represent here and in Europe,

'The passing by the Volksraad of the laws to be submitted by the
Government during this session,--

'For the appointment during the present year of a Financial Adviser
to the Government, of European reputation, who shall have a seat and
a vote in the Executive Council on all financial matters.

'For placing the Auditor-General on the same status _re_ dismissal as
the Judges, and for making him responsible directly to the Volksraad,
it being agreed that until such Financial Adviser has laid his budget
proposals before the Government, no fresh taxation shall be laid upon
the mining industry, nor any other direct taxation.

'For granting the undermining rights under bewaarplaatsen, machine
stands, and water-rights, to the present holders of the licences,
covering such reserved areas at a moderate valuation; such valuation
to be arrived at in the following manner: The Government to appoint a
valuator, with instructions to value these rights at a fair and
moderate valuation, the holder of the surface licence to appoint a
valuator; if they agree, then the surface licence holder shall have
the first right to the undermining rights at such valuation; if the
two valuators cannot agree about a valuation, they shall appoint
together an umpire; if they cannot agree about an umpire, the Chief
justice of the High Court shall be asked to appoint an umpire; the
decision of such umpire shall be final as to the value of the area
under arbitration. If the holder of the surface licence refuses to
purchase at the said valuation, the Government shall be at liberty to
dispose of it elsewhere.

'For a permanent settlement of the dynamite question on one or the
other bases following, namely, that the _status quo_ remain in force
till the end of the contract period, the Government making use of its
right to revise the prices under the terms of the agreement or that
the Dynamite Company reduce the price by 5s. to 70s. for No. 1 and to
90s. for blasting gelatine, the Government undertaking to take over
the works of the Dynamite Company at the end of the agreement at a
valuation as provided by the offer now before the Volksraad.

'For an extension of the franchise to all white aliens in this State,
in the following manner: That naturalization be granted to all
seeking it, who have resided in the State for two years and who are
of good behaviour and who have not suffered any dishonourable
sentence by any Court, upon taking the oath of allegiance as
prescribed by the existing law; upon such naturalization he shall be
entitled to elect a member to the Second Volksraad, and two years
after shall be entitled to be elected as a member of the Second
Volksraad. A period of seven years having elapsed after
naturalization, he shall by virtue of that lapse of time and without
further hindrance obtain full burgher rights, the Government,
however, reserve to themselves the right (in order to secure the
passing of such law through the Volksraad of this and that of the
session of 1900) to extend the period of naturalization for the right
of voting for the election of a President. Children of naturalized
aliens, who attain their majority when their father has obtained full
burgher rights, have _ipso facto_ the same rights as the father. The
Government shall also have the right to attach a moderate property
qualification to the obtaining of these extended franchise rights. It
is understood that by the laws of the State, this extended franchise
can only finally be granted by the Volksraad in session 1900, after
the law has been submitted to the people for twelve months, but that
the period of 9 resp. 7 years shall date from the passing of the
resolution to be passed by the Volksraad now in session.

will be hailed by us with great satisfaction as removing all
obstacles to a friendly and peaceful development of mutual
understanding and co-operation; it is our wish, and in the interest
of those we represent, that the public in Europe and in South Africa
be made fully aware hereof by means of the press, and that hostile
agitation by means of the press here and elsewhere shall be avoided
in future.

'We deprecate all attempts that may be made by political agencies to
stir up strife between the different nationalities inhabiting this
State, and shall not be parties to any such organizations.

'Seeing the many evils springing from indiscriminate immigration of
coloured races, and having been assured that the Government will do
all in its power to facilitate in other ways the supply of labour, we
support the Government in its contention that the regulations
concerning the treatment of "coolies and other coloured races" had
best be left to them as a matter of internal concern.

'We will support the placing of a State loan recommended by the
Financier in the European markets at reasonable rates, if the
Government should desire us to do so in the common interest.

'Seeing the great value the Government evidently sets upon a friendly
and permanent settlement of the dynamite question, which has
contributed so much to disturbing the good relations, we declare
ourselves satisfied with the final settlement arrived at.

'And should, after the passing of the above proposals of law as a
whole by the Volksraad, the Government desire us to give publicity to
this our declaration for the promotion of peace and goodwill, such
publicity as the Government may desire shall be given thereto.'

While the negotiations were actually in progress, and while the
Imperial Government were awaiting a reply to their dispatch, the
President made two determined attempts to rush the confirmation of
the dynamite monopoly through the Raad. The first proposal was for
the fifteen years' extension, and the second provided for condonation
of all breaches of the concession in the past and for compensation
upon the expiry of the concession.

The Uitlanders had not failed to perceive that the pit dug for them
might conceivably serve another purpose. They ignored these two
breaches of faith on the part of the President, and pursued the
negotiations; and Mr. Kruger overreached himself. Having failed with
Johannesburg, and having failed in the Raad, he appealed to his
burghers with the scheme of mock reform. His hope was to get such
support in the country that the Volksraad in its May session would
have to spare the monopoly. He did not realize that he would have to
make good the things which he had offered as shams. His greed had
given the opening: his hand had provided the weapon. It is not good
to be too clever; and the luck had turned.

The publication of the correspondence between the Government and the
capitalists created a profound impression. The series of speeches
delivered by the President in support of his sham reforms only
deepened that impression by providing more and more convincing
evidence as to who the real intriguers and mischief-makers were. To
the Uitlander public one thing became quite clear, and that was that
it was the Government who wished to barter their rights away and the
capitalists--the abused capitalists--who refused to do so. An attempt
was immediately made to hold a large public meeting for the purpose
of endorsing the attitude taken by the negotiators, but the
Government refused permission to hold an open-air meeting. In their
attempt to hold a meeting indoors, the Uitlanders were defeated by
the building being condemned as unsafe. The Government yielded,
however, before the storm of disapproval which followed their
prohibition, and the State Secretary, Mr. Reitz, suggested that the
Uitlanders should hold a series of small indoor meetings in different
localities. The meetings were accordingly held, and they provided
unmistakable evidence of the gravity of the position. By their
numbers, their unanimity, their enthusiasm, and their moderation,
the Uitlanders carried conviction to some and roused the grave
apprehension of others. Among the latter, it is fair to infer, were
President Kruger and his sympathizers in the Free State and Cape

There is one disability the existence of which the advocates of the
Uitlander cause are always painfully conscious of. They know as well
as any of their critics that it is no picture which is all
black--that you get no perspective, no effects, without contrasts!
Yet it has not been believed that they were willing to acknowledge
the good that there was, and that a politic instinct no less than a
sense of justice prompted a diligent effort to discover and make much
of the genuinely hopeful signs. The monotony was none of their
making; it was in the nature of the facts, and not of the recital;
but monotony there was, and it was productive of one very bad result.
The conditions, admittedly bad, came to be regarded by a good many as
being only as bad as they had for a long time been known to be,
leaving little hope except through the long slow influence of time,
but causing no immediate anxiety or alarm. Someday a grubbing
historian may read the back files of South African newspapers and
marvel that such warnings should have passed unheeded, but the fact
is that the Transvaal Government and its sympathizers had become
indifferent to warnings followed by no results and accustomed to
prophecies unfulfilled. To say that they were 'fiddling while Rome
burned' is to a great extent true of those of the South African Dutch
who were sincerely desirous that the Transvaal Government should
reform its ways and who were not consciously aiding in the
republicanizing movement; but even of them it is not an adequate
description,--as the answers given to two questioners by the most
prominent and one of the most prominent Bondsmen indicate. Both of
them had in private conversation on different occasions acknowledged
the soundness of the Uitlander cause. To the suggestion, 'Then why
not say so publicly?' the less important of the two replied, 'People
would only say that I am climbing down and ratting on my party.' And
the more important of the two, answering a similar question, said,
'Yes, the Rev. S.J. Du Toit did that. He was the founder of the
Bond; and to-day he is--nothing! If I did it, I should fall as he
did.' 'Then,' said his British friend, 'what is influence worth if it
cannot be used for good? Can there be said to be influence when it
cannot be used at all?' 'No,' was the reply, 'I have no influence as
against the cry of race: blood is thicker than water; and I have no
influence at all with Kruger.' The answer to this contained the crux
of the question. 'Indeed you have; but you have not the courage to
exercise it. The influence of advice has failed, dare you try the
influence of repudiation?' The answer was a shake of the head and
'Blood is thicker than water.' That is it! The Piper pipes and the
children follow.

It is too much to believe that the conference between the High
Commissioner and President Kruger was a suggestion to which the
latter had to be won over either by President Steyn or Mr. Hofmeyr.
It is, indeed, well-known that the idea of a meeting for the purpose
of discussing matters at issue between the two Governments had been
considered in Pretoria for some months before it actually took

The news that, upon the invitation of President Steyn, the High
Commissioner and President Kruger had agreed to meet at Bloemfontein,
was received by the Uitlanders with relief; not hope, because it was
believed that the President's object was to get something, not to
give something; but sheer relief, because, come what might, the
position could never again be the same as it was before the
conference. Something must change; someone must yield; the unbearable
strain must cease. Sir Alfred Milner--wise and just and
strong--commanded the entire confidence of the Uitlanders. It was not
hoped that he would succeed in effecting a settlement at such a
meeting, because in the circumstances such an achievement was
believed not to be humanly possible; but it was not feared that he
would fail in his duty to his country and to his trust.

It is no part of the object of this volume to deal with the
negotiations which took place at Bloemfontein or with the terms of
settlement at the present moment under discussion; the object is to
recite the circumstances and conditions which made these negotiations
necessary, and which, if they fail, must lead to bloodshed.

With a barrier of insurmountable race feeling before them, the
Uitlanders are hopeless of effecting a peaceful redress of their
grievances except by the aid of the Suzerain power. The President and
his party will not yield one iota except upon the advice of those who
have the will and the power to see that that advice is followed. Such
power rests in two quarters. It rests with the progressive Dutch of
South Africa. They have the power, but unfortunately they have not as
yet the will or they have not the courage to use it. Time after time
have they been stultified by rallying to the cry of race and
defending Mr. Kruger's attitude on certain points, only to find the
President abandoning as untenable the position which they have
proclaimed to be proper. To them have been addressed most earnest and
most solemn appeals to be up and doing whilst there was yet time.
From them have been extracted--in times of peace--the amplest
admissions of the justice of the Uitlander case. But there is a point
beyond which they will not go. They will not say to the President and
his party: 'We cannot extol in you what we would condemn in
ourselves. The claim of kindred cannot for ever be the stalking-horse
for injustice.' That they cannot do; and thus are they bonded to the
one who will raise the race cry without scruple. There is no more
hopeless feature for the peaceful settlement of the Transvaal
question from within than the unanimity which marks the public
utterances of those who are claimed as representing Afrikander
sentiment in the present crisis. Those expressions, ranging from the
most violent denunciations by politicians and ministers of the gospel
down to the most illogical and hysterical appeals of public writers,
all, all are directed against the injured. Not a warning, not a
hint--not a prayer even--addressed to the offender. They have not the
sense of justice to see or they have not the courage to denounce the
perpetrators of evil, but direct all their efforts to hushing the
complaints of the victims. Truly it would almost appear that there
is some guiding principle running through it all; something which
recognizes the real sinner in the victim who complains and not in
the villain who perpetrates; the something which found a concrete
expression when bail was fixed at L200 for the murder of a British
subject and at L1,000 for the crime of objecting to it.

No civilized body of men ever had more just cause for complaint than
the Uitlanders of the Transvaal have, but they carry on their reform
movement under very difficult and discouraging conditions. Those who
have petitioned their Sovereign to secure for them some amelioration
of their lot are branded by the head of the State as rebels for so
doing, and his example is followed by all his party. Those men who
organized or addressed the public meetings which were suggested by
Mr. Reitz, the State Secretary, and held for the purpose of
discussing a proposal publicly made by the Government, are the men
whom Messrs. Dieperink and Viljoen, the members representing
Johannesburg in the First and Second Volksraads, denounced as
traitors who should be summarily dealt with by the Government.
British subjects associated with the Uitlander cause who venture to
call upon the British Agent in Pretoria or the High Commissioner in
Cape Town are regarded as conspirators and are watched by spies and
all their movements are reported to the Transvaal Government.{52} The
recognized leaders among the Uitlanders are black-listed in the Dutch
press, their names, addresses, and occupations given so that they may
be identified,--marked down in the newspapers supported by the
Government--as men to be dragged out and shot without trial.
Uitlander newspapers have been suppressed for mere political reasons,
without even the allegation that there was incitement to violence or
disorder, and it is therefore not unreasonable that the impunity
with which the Dutch newspapers continue this campaign month after
month should be taken as the measure of the Government's complicity.

It is in these circumstances that appeal has been made to England,
the only other quarter in which there rests the power to see that
justice shall be done. It is an appeal which might well be based upon
the broad and acknowledged right of a subject to claim in case of
injustice the good offices of his own Government. But here it is
based upon a special right. It is the _spirit_{53} of the Pretoria
Convention which the Uitlander has invoked for many years, only to be
told that the spirit is as it may be interpreted from the letter. But
it is not so! Will it be suggested that the British Government
contemplated such license when they granted the charter of
self-government to the Transvaal or that they would have granted
it had they foreseen the interpretation? Can it be said that Mr.
Kruger and his colleagues contemplated it or would have dared to avow
the intention if it were ever entertained? No! And he will be a
bolder man than Mr. Kruger who will dispute that answer; for the
President's own defence is, not that he had the intention or has the
right to differentiate between races and between classes; but--that
he does not differentiate. So that the issue is narrowed to this,
that it is merely a question of fact!

But the appeal of British subjects in the Transvaal will claim a
hearing for other reasons too! Only the blindest can fail to realize
how much is at stake, materially and morally, or can fail to see what
is the real issue, and how the Mother Country stands on trial before
all her children, who are the Empire. Only those who do not count
will refuse to face the responsibility in all seriousness, or will
fail to receive in the best spirit the timely reminder of past
neglect. If the reproaching truth be a hard thing to hear, it is, for
those whose every impulse jumps towards championing the great Home
Land, a far, far harder thing to say. Unpleasant it may be, but not
without good, that England's record in South Africa--of subjects
abandoned and of rights ignored, of duty neglected and of pledge
unkept, of lost prestige and slipping Empire--should speak to quicken
a memory and rouse the native sense of right, so that a nation's
conscience will say 'Be just before you are generous! Be just to
all--even to your own!'

Footnotes for Chapter XI

{49} It is stated that President Kruger, ever since the signing of
the London Convention on Majuba Day--February 27--1884, has believed
in certain lucky days, and has a kind of superstitious regard for
anniversaries. If that be so, the incidence of events has given him
something to ponder over during the last three years. Three notable
schemes conceived by himself and carefully designed to strengthen his
position, have by a curious coincidence matured upon dates of certain
interest in Transvaal history. All three have failed disastrously.
The first anniversary of the Reformers' sentence day was the occasion
of the Reformers giving evidence before the Industrial Commission,
which so strongly justified their case. The Peace Negotiations with
the Capitalists were opened by Mr. Lippert upon the anniversary of
Majuba. The Bloemfontein Conference was opened upon the Reformers'
emancipation day, the expiry of the three years' silence. That his
Honour really attaches importance to these things was shown when over
two hundred ministers representing the Dutch Reformed Church in the
Transvaal met in Pretoria to urge upon him the suppression of the
Illicit Liquor trade. In all innocence they had chosen May 24 on
which to present their address. Their astonishment was great when Mr.
Kruger, passing lightly by the liquor question, gave the assembled
pastors a thorough wigging for finding fault with his administration
at all, but chiefly for their unpatriotic conduct in selecting the
Queen's birthday of all days on which to expose internal differences
in their country.

{50} In addressing a meeting of burghers in Heidelburg three months
later the President showed to what lengths he was prepared to go in
defending the monopoly when in reply to a question he denied that any
such offer had been received '_by the Executive.'_ The explanation,
which he did not give, is that the _Government, i.e.,_ the President
and State Secretary, had received it--and withheld it from the

{51} In March the writer made the suggestion to a representative of
the Pretoria Government in the hope of getting rid by a 'square talk'
of the many and ever-increasing differences, and was informed that
the idea had often been discussed and as often abandoned, because it
contained the objectionable feature of establishing a precedent for
England's interference in internal affairs.

{52} When on a visit to Cape Town in April, the writer called
several times upon the High Commissioner, and learning by private
advice that his movements were being reported in detail through the
Secret Service Department, he informed Sir Alfred Milner of the fact.
Sir Alfred admitted that the idea of secret agents in British
territory and spies round or in Government House was not pleasant,
but expressed the hope that such things should not deter those who
wished to call on him, as he was there as the representative of her
Majesty for the benefit of British subjects and very desirous of
ascertaining for himself the facts of the case.

{53} Since this was written, Mr. Chamberlain, speaking in the House
of Commons on July 28, 1899, has thus disposed of the question:--

'It has been broken in the spirit more than it has been broken in the
letter. The whole spirit of the convention is the preservation of
equality as between all the white inhabitants of the Transvaal, and
the whole policy of the Transvaal has been to promote a position of
inferiority on the part of certain classes. There is something even
more striking than that. The conventions were, of course, the result
of a previous conference. At that conference definite promises were
made which made it impossible to doubt with what object the
convention was signed. On May 10, 1881, at a conference between
representatives of her Majesty and representatives of the Transvaal
the President, Sir Hercules Robinson, asked this question:--

'"Before annexation had British subjects complete freedom of trade
throughout the Transvaal? Were they on the same footing as citizens
of the Transvaal?

'"Mr. Kruger replied: They were on the same footing as the burghers.
There was not the slightest difference in accordance with the Sand
River Convention.

'"Sir Hercules Robinson: I presume you will not object to that

'"Mr. Kruger: No. There will be equal protection for everybody.

'"Sir Evelyn Wood: And equal privileges.

'"Mr. Kruger: We make no difference so far as burgher rights are
concerned. There may, perhaps, be some slight difference in the case
of a young person who has just come into the country."

(Cheers.) 'Now, there is a distinct promise given by the man who is
now President of the Transvaal State that, so far as burgher rights
were concerned, they made and would make no difference whatever
between burghers and those who came in. The root of the difficulty
which I have been describing lies in the fact that this promise has
not been kept.'





  _August, 1881._


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


The said territory, to be hereinafter called the Transvaal State,
will embrace the land lying between the following boundaries, to wit:
[here follow three pages in print defining boundaries.]


Her Majesty reserves to herself, her heirs and successors, (_a_) the
right from time to time to appoint a British Resident in and for the
said State, with such duties and functions as are hereinafter
defined; (_b_) the right to move troops through the said State in
time of war, or in case of the apprehension of immediate war between
the Suzerain Power and any Foreign State or Native tribe in South
Africa; and (_c_) the control of the external relations of the said
State, including the conclusion of treaties and the conduct of
diplomatic intercourse with Foreign Powers, such intercourse to be
carried on through Her Majesty's diplomatic and consular officers


Until altered by the Volksraad, or other competent authority, all
laws, whether passed before or after the annexation of the Transvaal
territory to Her Majesty's dominions, shall, except in so far as they
are inconsistent with or repugnant to the provisions of this
Convention, be and remain in force in the said State in so far as
they shall be applicable thereto, provided that no future
enactment especially affecting the interest of natives shall have
any force or effect in the said State, without the consent of Her
Majesty, her heirs and successors, first had and obtained and
signified to the Government of the said State through the British
Resident, provided further that in no case will the repeal or
amendment of any laws enacted since the annexation have a
retrospective effect, so as to invalidate any acts done or
liabilities incurred by virtue of such laws.


On the 8th day of August, 1881, the Government of the said State,
together with all rights and obligations thereto appertaining, and
all State property taken over at the time of annexation, save and
except munitions of war, will be handed over to Messrs. Stephanus
Johannes Paulus Kruger, Martinus Wessel Pretorius, and Petrus Jacobus
Joubert, or the survivor or survivors of them, who will forthwith
cause a Volksraad to be elected and convened, and the Volksraad, thus
elected and convened, will decide as to the further administration of
the Government of the said State.


All sentences passed upon persons who may be convicted of offences
contrary to the rules of civilized warfare committed during the
recent hostilities will be duly carried out, and no alteration or
mitigation of such sentences will be made or allowed by the
Government of the Transvaal State without Her Majesty's consent
conveyed through the British Resident. In case there shall be any
prisoners in any of the gaols of the Transvaal State whose respective
sentences of imprisonment have been remitted in part by Her Majesty's
Administrator or other officer administering the Government, such
remission will be recognized and acted upon by the future Government
of the said State.


Her Majesty's Government will make due compensation for all losses or
damage sustained by reason of such acts as are in the 8th Article
hereinafter specified, which may have been committed by Her Majesty's
forces during the recent hostilities, except for such losses or
damage as may already have been compensated for, and the Government
of the Transvaal State will make due compensation for all losses or
damage sustained by reason of such acts as are in the 8th Article
hereinafter specified which may have been committed by the people who
were in arms against Her Majesty during the recent hostilities,
except for such losses or damages as may already have been
compensated for.


The decision of all claims for compensation, as in the last preceding
Article mentioned, will be referred to a Sub-Commission, consisting
of the Honourable George Hudson, the Honourable Jacobus Petrus de
Wet, and the Honourable John Gilbert Kotze. In case one or more of
such Sub-Commissioners shall be unable or unwilling to act, the
remaining Sub-Commissioner or Sub-Commissioners will, after
consultation with the Government of the Transvaal State, submit for
the approval of Her Majesty's High Commissioners the names of one or
more persons to be appointed by them to fill the place or places thus
vacated. The decision of the said Sub-Commissioners, or of a majority
of them, will be final. The said Sub-Commissioners will enter upon
and perform their duties with all convenient speed. They will, before
taking evidence or ordering evidence to be taken in respect of any
claim, decide whether such claim can be entertained at all under the
rules laid down in the next succeeding Article. In regard to claims
which can be so entertained, the Sub-Commissioners will in the first
instance afford every facility for an amicable arrangement as to the
amount payable in respect of any claim, and only in cases in which
there is no reasonable ground for believing that an immediate
amicable arrangement can be arrived at will they take evidence or
order evidence to be taken. For the purpose of taking evidence and
reporting thereon, the Sub-Commissioners may appoint Deputies, who
will, without delay, submit records of the evidence and their reports
to the Sub-Commissioners. The Sub-Commissioners will arrange their
sittings and the sittings of their Deputies in such a manner as to
afford the earliest convenience to the parties concerned and their
witnesses. In no case will costs be allowed to either side other than
the actual and reasonable expenses of witnesses whose evidence is
certified by the Sub-Commissioners to have been necessary. Interest
will not run on the amount of any claim, except as is hereinafter
provided for. The said Sub-Commissioners will forthwith, after
deciding upon any claim, announce their decision to the Government
against which the award is made and to the claimant. The amount of
remuneration payable to the Sub-Commissioners and their Deputies will
be determined by the High Commissioners. After all the claims have
been decided upon, the British Government and the Government of
the Transvaal State will pay proportionate shares of the said
remuneration and of the expenses of the Sub-Commissioners and their
Deputies, according to the amount awarded against them respectively.


For the purpose of distinguishing claims to be accepted from those to
be rejected, the Sub-Commissioners will be guided by the following
rules, viz.:--Compensation will be allowed for losses or damage
sustained by reason of the following acts committed during the recent
hostilities, viz.: _(a)_ commandeering, seizure, confiscation, or
destruction of property, or damage done to property; _(b)_ violence
done or threats used by persons in arms. In regard to acts under
_(a)_, compensation will be allowed for direct losses only. In regard
to acts falling under _(b)_, compensation will be allowed for actual
losses of property, or actual injury to the same proved to have been
caused by its enforced abandonment. No claims for indirect losses,
except such as are in this Article especially provided for, will be
entertained. No claims which have been handed in to the Secretary of
the Royal Commission after the 1st day of July, 1881, will be
entertained, unless the Sub-Commissioners shall be satisfied that
the delay was reasonable. When claims for loss of property are
considered, the Sub-Commissioners will require distinct proof of the
existence of the property, and that it neither has reverted nor will
revert to the claimant.


The Government of the Transvaal State will pay and satisfy the amount
of every claim awarded against it within one month after the
Sub-Commissioners shall have notified their decision to the said
Government, and in default of such payment the said Government will
pay interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum from the date of
such default; but Her Majesty's Government may at any time before
such payment pay the amount, with interest, if any, to the claimant
in satisfaction of his claim, and may add the sum thus paid to any
debt which may be due by the Transvaal State to Her Majesty's
Government, as hereinafter provided for.


The Transvaal State will be liable for the balance of the debts for
which the South African Republic was liable at the date of
annexation, to wit, the sum of L48,000 in respect of the Cape
Commercial Bank Loan, and L85,667 in respect of the Railway Loan,
together with the amount due on 8th August, 1881, on account of the
Orphan Chamber Debt, which now stands at L22,200, which debts will be
a first charge upon the revenues of the State. The Transvaal State
will, moreover, be liable for the lawful expenditure lawfully
incurred for the necessary expenses of the Province since the
annexation, to wit, the sum of L265,000, which debt, together with
such debts as may be incurred by virtue of the 9th Article, will be a
second charge upon the revenues of the State.


The debts due as aforesaid by the Transvaal State to Her Majesty's
Government will bear interest at the rate of three and a half per
cent., and any portion of such debt which may remain unpaid at the
expiration of twelve months from the 8th August, 1881, shall be
repayable by a payment for interest and sinking fund of six pounds
and nine pence per cent, per annum, which will extinguish the debt in
twenty-live years. The said payment of six pounds and nine pence per
L100 shall be payable half yearly in British currency on the 8th
February and 8th August in each year. Provided always that the
Transvaal State shall pay in reduction of the said debt the sum of
L100,000 within twelve months of the 8th August, 1881, and shall be
at liberty at the close of any half-year to pay off the whole or any
portion of the outstanding debt.


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


Natives will be allowed to acquire land, but the grant or transfer of
such land will, in every case, be made to and registered in the name
of the Native Location Commission, hereinafter mentioned, in trust
for such natives.


Natives will be allowed to move as freely within the country as may
be consistent with the requirements of public order, and to leave it
for the purpose of seeking employment elsewhere or for other lawful
purposes, subject always to the pass laws of the said State, as
amended by the Legislature of the Province, or as may hereafter be
enacted under the provisions of the Third Article of this Convention.


There will continue to be complete freedom of religion and protection
from molestation for all denominations, provided the same be not
inconsistent with morality and good order, and no disability shall
attach to any person in regard to rights of property by reason of the
religious opinions which he holds.


The provisions of the Fourth Article of the Sand River Convention are
hereby reaffirmed, and no slavery or apprenticeship partaking of
slavery will be tolerated by the Government of the said State.


The British Resident will receive from the Government of the
Transvaal State such assistance and support as can by law be given to
him for the due discharge of his functions; he will also receive
every assistance for the proper care and preservation of the graves
of such of Her Majesty's forces as have died in the Transvaal, and if
need be for the expropriation of land for the purpose.


The following will be the duties and functions of the British

_Sub-section_ 1.--He will perform duties and functions analogous to
those discharged by a Charge d'Affaires and Consul-General.

_Sub-section_ 2.--In regard to natives within the Transvaal State, he
will (_a_) report to the High Commissioner, as representative of the
Suzerain, as to the working and observance of the provisions of this
Convention; (_b_) report to the Transvaal authorities any cases of
ill-treatment of natives or attempts to incite natives to rebellion
that may come to his knowledge; (_c_) use his influence with the
natives in favour of law and order; and (_d_) generally perform such
other duties as are by this Convention entrusted to him, and take
such steps for the protection of the person and property of natives
as are consistent with the laws of the land.

_Sub-section_ 3.--In regard to natives not residing in the Transvaal,
 (_a_) he will report to the High Commissioner and the Transvaal
Government any encroachments reported to him as having been made by
Transvaal residents upon the land of such natives, and in case of
disagreement between the Transvaal Government and the British
Resident as to whether an encroachment had been made, the decision of
the Suzerain will be final (_b_) the British Resident will be the
medium of communication with native chiefs outside the Transvaal,
and, subject to the approval of the High Commissioner, as
representing the Suzerain, he will control the conclusion of treaties
with them; and (_c_) he will arbitrate upon every dispute between
Transvaal residents and natives outside the Transvaal (us to acts
committed beyond the boundaries of the Transvaal) which may be
referred to him by the parties interested.

_Sub-section_ 4.--In regard to communications with foreign Powers,
the Transvaal Government will correspond with Her Majesty's
Government through the British Resident and the High Commissioner.


The Government of the Transvaal State will strictly adhere to the
boundaries defined in the First Article of this Convention, and will
do its utmost to prevent any of its inhabitants from making any
encroachment upon lands beyond the said State. The Royal Commission
will forthwith appoint a person who will beacon off the boundary line
between Ramatlabama and the point where such line first touches
Griqualand West boundary, midway between the Vaal and Hart rivers;
the person so appointed will be instructed to make an arrangement
between the owners of the farms Grootfontein and Valleifontein on the
one hand, and the Barolong authorities on the other, by which a fair
share of the water supply of the said farms shall be allowed to flow
undisturbed to the said Barolongs.


All grants or titles issued at any time by the Transvaal Government
in respect of land outside the boundary of Transvaal State, as
defined, Article I., shall be considered invalid and of no effect,
except in so far as any such grant or title relates to land that
falls within the boundary of the Transvaal State, and all persons
holding any such grant so considered invalid and of no effect will
receive from the Government of the Transvaal State such compensation
either in land or in money as the Volksraad shall determine. In all
cases in which any native chiefs or other authorities outside the
said boundaries have received any adequate consideration from the
Government of the former South African Republic for land excluded
from the Transvaal by the First Article of this Convention, or where
permanent improvements have been made on the land, the British
Resident will, subject to the approval of the High Commissioner, use
his influence to recover from the native authorities fair
compensation for the loss of the land thus excluded, and of the
permanent improvement thereon.


Forthwith, after the taking effect of this Convention, a Native
Location Commission will be constituted, consisting of the President,
or in his absence the Vice-President of the State, or some one
deputed by him, the Resident, or some one deputed by him, and a third
person to be agreed upon by the President or the Vice-President, as
the case may be, and the Resident, and such Commission will be a
standing body for the performance of the duties hereinafter


The Native Location Commission will reserve to the native tribes of
the State such locations as they may be fairly and equitably entitled
to, due regard being had to the actual occupation of such tribes. The
Native Location Commission will clearly define the boundaries of such
locations, and for that purpose will, in every instance, first of all
ascertain the wishes of the parties interested in such land. In case
land already granted in individual titles shall be required for the
purpose of any location, the owners will receive such compensation
either in other land or in money as the Volksraad shall determine.
After the boundaries of any location have been fixed, no fresh grant
of land within such location will be made, nor will the boundaries be
altered without the consent of the Location Commission. No fresh
grants of land will be made in the districts of Waterberg,
Zoutpansberg, and Lydenburg until the locations in the said districts
respectively shall have been defined by the said Commission.


If not released before the taking effect of this Convention,
Sikukuni, and those of his followers who have been imprisoned with
him, will be forthwith released, and the boundaries of his location
will be defined by the Native Location Commission in the manner
indicated in the last preceding Article.


The independence of the Swazies within the boundary line of
Swaziland, as indicated in the First Article of this Convention, will
be fully recognized.


No other or higher duties will be imposed on the importation into the
Transvaal State of any article the produce or manufacture of the
dominions and possessions of Her Majesty, from whatever place
arriving, than are or may be payable on the like article the produce
or manufacture of any other country, nor will any prohibition be
maintained or imposed on the importation of any article the produce
or manufacture of the dominions and possessions of Her Majesty, which
shall not equally extend to the importation of the like articles
being the produce or manufacture of any other country.


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


All inhabitants of the Transvaal shall have free access to the Courts
of Justice for the protection and defence of their rights.


All persons other than natives who established their domicile in the
Transvaal between the 12th day of April, 1877, and the date when this
Convention comes into effect, and who shall within twelve months
after such last-mentioned date have their names registered by the
British Resident, shall be exempt from all compulsory military
service whatever. The Resident shall notify such registration to the
Government of the Transvaal State.


Provision shall hereafter be made by a separate instrument for the
mutual extradition of criminals, and also for the surrender of
deserters from Her Majesty's forces.


All debts contracted since the annexation will be payable in the same
currency in which they may have been contracted; all uncancelled
postage and other revenue stamps issued by the Government since the
annexation will remain valid, and will be accepted at their present
value by the future Government of the State; all licenses duly issued
since the annexation will remain in force during the period for which
they may have been issued.


No grants of land which may have been made, and no transfer of
mortgage which may have been passed since the annexation, will be
invalidated by reason merely of their having been made or passed
since that date. All transfers to the British Secretary for Native
Affairs in trust for natives will remain in force, the Native
Location Commission taking the place of such Secretary for Native


This Convention will be ratified by a newly-elected Volksraad within
the period of three months after its execution, and in default of
such ratification this Convention shall be null and void.


Forthwith, after the ratification of this Convention, as in the last
preceding Article mentioned, all British troops in Transvaal
territory will leave the same, and the mutual delivery of munitions
of war will be carried out. Articles end. Here will follow signatures
of Royal Commissioners, then the following to precede signatures of

We, the undersigned, Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, Martinus
Wessel Pretorius, and Petrus Jacobus Joubert, as representatives of
the Transvaal Burghers, do hereby agree to all the above conditions,
reservations, and limitations under which self-government has been
restored to the inhabitants of the Transvaal territory, subject to
the suzerainty of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors, and we agree
to accept the Government of the said territory, with all rights and
obligations thereto appertaining, on the 8th day of August; and we
promise and undertake that this Convention shall be ratified by a
newly-elected Volksraad of the Transvaal State within three months
from this date.




_February, 1884._

Whereas the Government of the Transvaal State, through its Delegates,
consisting of Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, President of the said
State, Stephanus Jacobus Du Toit, Superintendent of Education, and
Nicholas Jacobus Smit, a member of the Volksraad, have represented
that the Convention signed at Pretoria on the 3rd day of August,
1881, and ratified by the Volksraad of the said State on the 25th
October, 1881, contains certain provisions which are inconvenient,
and imposes burdens and obligations from which the said State is
desirous to be relieved, and that the south-western boundaries fixed
by the said Convention should be amended, with a view to promote the
peace and good order of the said State, and of the countries adjacent
thereto; and whereas Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland, has been pleased to take the said
representations into consideration: Now, therefore, Her Majesty has
been pleased to direct, and it is hereby declared, that the following
articles of a new Convention, signed on behalf of Her Majesty by Her
Majesty's High Commissioner in South Africa, the Right Honourable Sir
Hercules George Robert Robinson, Knight Grand Cross of the Most
Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Governor of the
Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, and on behalf of the Transvaal State
(which shall hereinafter be called the South African Republic) by the
above-named Delegates, Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, Stephanus
Jacobus Du Toit, and Nicholas Jacobus Smit, shall, when ratified by
the Volksraad of the South African Republic, be substituted for the
articles embodied in the Convention of 3rd August, 1881; which
latter, pending such ratification, shall continue in full force and



The Territory of the South African Republic will embrace the land
lying between the following boundaries, to wit:

Beginning from the point where the north-eastern boundary line of
Griqualand West meets the Vaal River, up the course of the Vaal River
to the point of junction with it of the Klip River; thence up the
course of the Klip River to the point of junction with it of the
stream called Gansvlei; thence up the Gansvlei stream to its source
in the Drakensberg; thence to a beacon in the boundary of Natal,
situated immediately opposite and close to the source of the Gansvlei
stream; thence in a north-easterly direction along the ridge of the
Drakensberg, dividing the waters flowing into the Gansvlei stream
from the waters flowing into the sources of the Buffalo, to a beacon
on a point where this mountain ceases to be a continuous chain;
thence to a beacon on a plain to the north-east of the last described
beacon; thence to the nearest source of a small stream called
'Division Stream'; thence down this division stream, which forms the
southern boundary of the farm Sandfontein, the property of Messrs.
Meek, to its junction with the Coldstream; thence down the Coldstream
to its junction with the Buffalo or Umzinyati River; thence down the
course of the Buffalo River to the junction with it of the Blood
River; thence up the course of the Blood River to the junction
with it of Lyn Spruit or Dudusi; thence up the Dudusi to its
source; thence 80 yards to Bea. I., situated on a spur of the
N'Qaba-Ka-hawana Mountains; thence 80 yards to the N'Sonto River;
thence down the N'Sonto River to its junction with the White Umvulozi
River; thence up the White Umvulozi River to a white rock where it
rises; thence 800 yards to Kambula Hill (Bea. II.); thence to the
source of the Pemvana River, where the road from Kambula Camp to
Burgers' Lager crosses; thence down the Pemvana River to its junction
with the Bivana River; thence down the Bivana River to its junction
with the Pongolo River; thence down the Pongolo River to where it
passes through the Libombo Range; thence along the summits of the
Libombo Range to the northern point of the N'Yawos Hill in that range
(Bea. XVI); thence to the northern peak of the Inkwakweni Hills
(Bea. XV.); thence to Sefunda, a rocky knoll detached from and to the
north-east end of the White Koppies, and to the south of the Musana
River (Bea. XIX.); thence to a point on the slope near the crest of
Matanjeni, which is the name given to the south-eastern portion
of the Mahamba Hills (Bea. XIII.); thence to the N'gwangwana, a
double-pointed hill (one point is bare, the other wooded, the beacon
being on the former) on the left bank of the Assegai River and
upstream of the Dadusa Spruit (Bea. XII.); thence to the southern
point of Bendita, a rocky knoll in a plain between the Little Hlozane
and Assegai Rivers (Bea. XI.); thence to the highest point of Suluka
Hill, round the eastern slopes of which flows the Little Hlozane,
also called Ludaka or Mudspruit (Bea. X.); thence to the beacon known
as 'Viljoen's,' or N'Duko Hill; thence to a point north-east of Derby
House, known as Magwazidili's Beacon; thence to the Igaba, a small
knoll on the Ungwempisi River, also called 'Joubert's Beacon,' and
known to the natives as 'Piet's Beacon' (Bea. IX.); thence to the
highest point of the N'Dhlovudwalili or Houtbosch, a hill on the
northern bank of the Umqwempisi River (Bea. VIII.); thence to a
beacon on the only flat-topped rock, about 10 feet high and about 30
yards in circumference at its base, situated on the south side of the
Lamsamane range of hills, and overlooking the valley of the great
Usuto River; this rock being 45 yards north of the road from Camden
and Lake Banagher to the forests on the Usuto River (sometimes
called Sandhlanas Beacon) (Bea. VII.); thence to the Gulungwana
or Ibubulundi, four smooth bare hills, the highest in that
neighbourhood, situated to the south of the Umtuli River (Bea. VI.),
thence to a flat-topped rock, 8 feet high, on the crest of the
Busuku, a low rocky range south-west of the Impulazi River (Bea.
V.); thence to a low bare hill on the north-east of, and overlooking
the Impulazi River, to the south of it being a tributary of the
Impulazi, with a considerable waterfall, and the road from the river
passing 200 yards to the north-west of the beacon (Bea. IV.); thence
to the highest point of the Mapumula range, the water-shed of the
Little Usuto River on the north, and the Umpulazi River on the south,
the hill, the top of which is a bare rock, falling abruptly towards
the Little Usuto (Bea. III.); thence to the western point of a
double-pointed rocky hill, precipitous on all sides, called Makwana,
its top being a bare rock (Bea. II.); thence to the top of a rugged
hill of considerable height falling abruptly to the Komati River,
this hill being the northern extremity of the Isilotwani range, and
separated from the highest peak of the range Inkomokazi (a sharp
cone) by a deep neck (Bea. I.). (On a ridge in the straight line
between Beacons I. and II. is an intermediate beacon.) From Beacon I.
the boundary runs to a hill across the Komati River, and thence along
the crest of the range of hills known as the Makongwa, which runs
north-east and south-west, to Kamhlubana Peak; thence in a straight
line to Mananga, a point in the Libombo range, and thence to the
nearest point in the Portuguese frontier on the Libombo range; thence
along the summits of the Libombo range to the middle of the poort
where the Komati River passes through it, called the lowest Komati
Poort; thence in a north by easterly direction to Pokioens Kop,
situated on the north side of the Olifant's River, where it passes
through the ridges; thence about north-north-west to the nearest
point of Serra di Chicundo; and thence to the junction of the Pafori
River with the Limpopo or Crocodile River; thence up the course of
the Limpopo River to the point where the Marique River falls into it.
Thence up the course of the Marique River to 'Derde Poort,' where it
passes through a low range of hills, called Sikwane, a beacon (No.
10) being erected on the spur of said range near to, and westward of,
the banks of the river; thence, in a straight line, through this
beacon to a beacon (No. 9), erected on the top of the same range,
about 1,700 yards distant from beacon No. 10; thence, in a straight
line, to a beacon (No. 8) erected on the highest point of an isolated
hill, called Dikgagong, or 'Wildebeest Kop,' situated south-eastward
of, and about 3-1/3 miles distant from a high hill, called Moripe;
thence, in a straight line, to a beacon (No. 7) erected on the summit
of an isolated hill or 'koppie' forming the eastern extremity of the
range of hills called Moshweu, situated to the northward of, and
about two miles distant from, a large isolated hill called
Chukudu-Chochwa; thence, in a straight line, to a beacon (No. 6)
erected on the summit of a hill forming part of the same range,
Moshweu; thence, in a straight line, to a beacon (No. 5) erected on
the summit of a pointed hill in the same range; thence, in a straight
line, to a beacon (No. 4) erected on the summit of the western
extremity of the same range; thence, in a straight line, to a beacon
(No. 3) erected on the summit of the northern extremity of a low,
bushy hill, or 'koppie,' near to and eastward of the Notwane River;
thence, in a straight line, to the junction of the stream called
Metsi-Mashware with the Notwane River (No. 2); thence up the course
of the Notwane River to Sengoma, being the poort where the river
passes through the Dwarsberg range; thence, as described in the Award
given by Lieutenant-Governor Keate, dated October 17, 1871, by
Pitlanganyane (narrow place), Deboaganka or Schaapkuil, Sibatoul
(bare place), and Maclase, to Ramatlabama, a pool on a spruit north
of the Molopo River. From Ramatlabama the boundary shall run to the
summit of an isolated hill called Leganka; thence, in a straight
line, passing north-east of a Native Station, near 'Buurman's Drift,'
on the Molopo River, to that point on the road from Mosiega to the
old drift, where a road turns out through the Native Station to the
new drift below; thence to 'Buurman's Old Drift'; thence, in a
straight line, to a marked and isolated clump of trees near to and
north-west of the dwelling-house of C. Austin, a tenant on the farm
'Vleifontein,' No. 117; thence, in a straight line, to the
north-western corner beacon of the farm 'Mooimeisjesfontein,' No 30;
thence, along the western line of the said farm 'Mooimeisjesfontein,'
and in prolongation thereof, as far as the road leading from
'Ludik's Drift,' on the Molopo River, past the homestead of
'Mooimeisjesfontein,' towards the Salt Pans near Harts River; thence,
along the said road, crossing the direct road from Polfontein to
Sehuba, and until the direct road from Polfontein to Lotlakane or
Pietfontein is reached; thence, along the southern edge of the
last-named road towards Lotlakane, until the first garden ground of
that station is reached; thence, in a south-westerly direction,
skirting Lotlakane, so as to leave it and all its garden ground in
native territory, until the road from Lotlakane to Kunana is reached;
thence along the east side, and clear of that road towards Kunana,
until the garden grounds of that station are reached; thence,
skirting Kunana, so as to include it and all its garden ground, but
no more, in the Transvaal, until the road from Kunana to Mamusa is
reached; thence, along the eastern side and clear of the road towards
Mamusa, until a road turns out towards Taungs; thence, along the
eastern side and clear of the road towards Taungs, till the line of
the district known as 'Stellaland' is reached, about 11 miles from
Taungs; thence, along the line of the district Stellaland, to the
Harts River, about 24 miles below Mamusa; thence, across Harts River,
to the junction of the roads from Monthe and Phokwane; thence, along
the western side and clear of the nearest road towards 'Koppie
Enkel,' an isolated hill about 36 miles from Mamusa, and about 18
miles north of Christiana, and to the summit of the said hill;
thence, in a straight line, to that point on the north-east boundary
of Griqualand West as beaconed by Mr. Surveyor Ford, where two farms,
registered as Nos. 72 and 75, do meet, about midway between the Vaal
and Harts Rivers, measured along the said boundary of Griqualand
West; thence to the first point where the north-east boundary of
Griqualand West meets the Vaal River.


The Government of the South African Republic will strictly adhere to
the boundaries defined in the first Article of this Convention, and
will do its utmost to prevent any of its inhabitants from making any
encroachments upon lands beyond the said boundaries. The Government
of the South African Republic will appoint Commissioners upon the
eastern and western borders, whose duty it will be strictly to guard
against irregularities and all trespassing over the boundaries. Her
Majesty's Government will if necessary appoint Commissioners in the
native territories outside the eastern and western borders of the
South African Republic to maintain order and prevent encroachments.

Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the South African
Republic will each appoint a person to proceed together to beacon off
the amended south-west boundary as described in Article I of this
Convention; and the President of the Orange Free State shall be
requested to appoint a referee to whom the said persons shall refer
any questions on which they may disagree respecting the
interpretation of the said Article, and the decision of such
referee thereon shall be final. The arrangement already made, under
the terms of Article 19 of the Convention of Pretoria, of the 3rd
August, 1881, between the owners of the farms Grootfontein and
Valleifontein on the one hand, and the Barolong authorities on the
other, by which a fair share of the water supply of the said farms
shall be allowed to flow undisturbed to the said Barolongs, shall
continue in force.


If a British officer is appointed to reside at Pretoria or elsewhere
within the South African Republic to discharge functions analogous to
those of a Consular officer, he will receive the protection and
assistance of the Republic.


The South African Republic will conclude no treaty or engagement with
any State or nation other than the Orange Free State, nor with any
native tribe to the eastward or westward of the Republic, until the
same has been approved by Her Majesty the Queen.

Such approval shall be considered to have been granted if Her
Majesty's Government shall not, within six months after receiving a
copy of such treaty (which shall be delivered to them immediately
upon its completion), have notified that the conclusion of such
treaty is in conflict with the interests of Great Britain or of any
of Her Majesty's possessions in South Africa.


The South African Republic will be liable for any balance which may
still remain due of the debts for which it was liable at the date of
Annexation--to wit, the Cape Commercial Bank Loan, the Railway Loan,
and the Orphan Chamber Debt--which debts will be a first charge upon
the revenues of the Republic. The South African Republic will
moreover be liable to her Majesty's Government for L250,000, which
will be a second charge upon the revenues of the Republic.


The debt due as aforesaid by the South African Republic to Her
Majesty's Government will bear interest at the rate of three and a
half per cent, from the date of the ratification of this Convention,
and shall be repayable by a payment for interest and Sinking Fund of
six pounds and ninepence per L100 per annum, which will extinguish
the debt in twenty-five years. The said payment of six pounds and
ninepence per L100 shall be payable half-yearly in British currency
at the close of each half-year from the date of such ratification:
Provided always that the South African Republic shall be at liberty
at the close of any half-year to pay off the whole or any portion of
the outstanding debt.

Interest at the rate of three and a half per cent, on the debt as
standing under the Convention of Pretoria shall as heretofore be paid
to the date of the ratification of this Convention.


All persons who held property in the Transvaal on the 8th day of
August 1881 and still hold the same, will continue to enjoy the
rights of property which they have enjoyed since the 12th April,
1877. No person who has remained loyal to Her Majesty during the
late hostilities shall suffer any molestation by reason of his
loyalty; or be liable to any criminal prosecution or civil action
for any part taken in connection with such hostilities; and all
such persons will have full liberty to reside in the country, with
enjoyment of all civil rights, and protection for their persons and


The South African Republic renews the declaration made in the Sand
River Convention, and in the Convention of Pretoria, that no slavery
or apprenticeship partaking of slavery will be tolerated by the
Government of the said Republic.


There will continue to be complete freedom of religion and protection
from molestation for all denominations, provided the same be not
inconsistent with morality and good order; and no disability shall
attach to any person in regard to rights of property by reason of the
religious opinions which he holds.


The British Officer appointed to reside in the South African Republic
will receive every assistance from the Government of the said
Republic in making due provision for the proper care and preservation
of the graves of such of Her Majesty's Forces as have died in the
Transvaal; and, if need be, for the appropriation of land for the


All grants or titles issued at any time by the Transvaal Government
in respect of land outside the boundary of the South African
Republic, as defined in Article I, shall be considered invalid and of
no effect, except in so far as any such grant or title relates to
land that falls within the boundary of the South African Republic;
and all persons holding any such grant so considered invalid and of
no effect will receive from the Government of the South African
Republic such compensation, either in land or in money, as the
Volksraad shall determine. In all cases in which any Native Chiefs or
other authorities outside the said boundaries have received any
adequate consideration from the Government of the South African
Republic for land excluded from the Transvaal by the first Article of
this Convention, or where permanent improvements have been made on
the land, the High Commissioner will recover from the native
authorities fair compensation for the loss of the land thus excluded,
or of the permanent improvements thereon.


The independence of the Swazis, within the boundary line of
Swaziland, as indicated in the first Article of this Convention, will
be fully recognized.


Except in pursuance of any treaty or engagement made as provided in
Article 4 of this Convention, no other or higher duties shall be
imposed on the importation into the South African Republic of any
article coming from any part of Her Majesty's dominions than are or
may be imposed on the like article coming from any other place or
country; nor will any prohibition be maintained or imposed on the
importation into the South African Republic of any article coming
from any part of Her Majesty's dominions which shall not equally
extend to the like article coming from any other place or country.
And in like manner the same treatment shall be given to any article
coming to Great Britain from the South African Republic as to the
like article coming from any other place or country.

These provisions do not preclude the consideration of special
arrangements as to import duties and commercial relations between the
South African Republic and any of Her Majesty's colonies or


All persons, other than natives, conforming themselves to the laws of
the South African Republic _(a)_ will have full liberty, with their
families, to enter, travel, or reside in any part of the South
African Republic; _(b)_ they will be entitled to hire or possess
houses, manufactories, warehouses, shops, and premises; _(c)_ they
may carry on their commerce either in person or by any agents whom
they may think fit to employ; _(d)_ they will not be subject, in
respect of their persons or property, or in respect of their commerce
or industry, to any taxes, whether general or local, other than those
which are or may be imposed upon citizens of the said Republic.


All persons, other than natives, who established their domicile in
the Transvaal between the 12th day of April, 1877, and the 8th
August, 1881, and who within twelve months after such last-mentioned
date have had their names registered by the British Resident, shall
be exempt from all compulsory military service whatever.


Provision shall hereafter be made by a separate instrument for the
mutual extradition of criminals, and also for the surrender of
deserters from Her Majesty's Forces.


All debts contracted between the 12th April, 1877, and the 8th
August, 1881, will be payable in the same currency in which they may
have been contracted.


No grants of land which may have been made, and no transfers or
mortgages which may have been passed between the 12th April, 1877,
and the 8th August, 1881, will be invalidated by reason merely of
their having been made or passed between such dates.

All transfers to the British Secretary for Native Affairs in trust
for natives will remain in force, an officer of the South African
Republic taking the place of such Secretary for Native Affairs.


The Government of the South African Republic will engage faithfully
to fulfil the assurances given, in accordance with the laws of the
South African Republic, to the natives at the Pretoria Pitso by the
Royal Commission in the presence of the Triumvirate and with their
entire assent, (1) as to the freedom of the natives to buy or
otherwise acquire land under certain conditions, (2) as to the
appointment of a commission to mark out native locations, (3) as to
the access of the natives to the courts of law, and (4) as to their
being allowed to move freely within the country, or to leave it for
any legal purpose, under a pass system.


This Convention will be ratified by a Volksraad of the South African
Republic within the period of six months after its execution, and in
default of such ratification this Convention shall be null and void.

Signed in duplicate in London this 27th day of February, 1884.

  N.J. SMIT.





_July_.--His Honour accepts a loan of L7,000 from the State funds at
2-1/2 per cent. interest (current rate being about 6 per cent.).


_July 4_.--The PRESIDENT said: Mr. Taljaard yesterday threw in my
teeth that I took advantage of my position to benefit my own
relations. I assure you that I have not done anything of the kind.
Unfortunately, one of my relatives who is a speculator has got a
concession, which I am in duty bound to carry out. But I am deeply
grieved that Mr. Taljaard said what he did say. In future, I can
assure you not a single member of my family shall receive a single
office. I will not even make one of them a constable. I have children
myself, but I have left them on the farm rather than put them in
office to draw money from the State.


_May_.--In answer to a request that President Kruger would allow his
name to be used as patron of a ball in honour of Her Majesty's


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

  I have, etc.,
        F. ELOFF,
          _Pr. Secretary._




_May 24_.--It was resolved that a dam be constructed on the
President's farm 'Geduld' at a cost of L4,500, at the expense of the


The Public Works Department report that the road across the
President's farm 'Geduld,' estimated to cost L1,500, had actually
cost L5,000. Mr. MEYER stated that this road was of absolutely no use
to anyone but the owner of the farm!


_June 15_.--Letter from Mr. Mare, Deacon, on behalf of the United
Church, Pretoria, complaining that of the twelve erven given by
Government to the Church, they had been deprived of four, which had
been handed over to the President's Church, the Gerevoormede or
Dopper, and two of these had again been transferred to the President

_June 16_.--After a lengthy discussion it was resolved that the
President is entirely exonerated. The Raad further expressed its
disapproval of this conduct of a Christian Church, whose duty it
should be to foster Christian love, and set an example to the


_August 2_.--A memorial was read from Lichtenburg, praying for a
stringent investigation into the Report of the Estimates Committee of
1890, in which it was stated that of L140,000 spent on the Pretoria
streets, vouchers for L22,000 were missing. The Raad decided on the
President's stating that nothing was wrong with the accounts to send
the memorialists a copy of the resolution of last year.


_July 17_.--The PRESIDENT said it was simply murdering the erection
of factories to say there should be no concessions. He denied that
factories could be erected without concessions. If the Raad wished to
throw out all concessions, well and good. That simply meant the
fostering of industries in other countries.


_August 3_.--The PRESIDENT said that speculation, when fairly
conducted, was justifiable, and the Government had acted according to
the circumstances, and in the interests of the State. The Government
had no private interests in view, but thought the sale was quite

The Minister of Mines was then attacked for granting stands to Raad
officials when higher offers had been made.

Footnote for Appendix C

{54} By this name is known the series of transactions in which
Government land in Johannesburg was sold out of hand to certain
private individuals at a nominal figure, many thousands of pounds
below the then market value.



_Extracts from the Published Reports._


_May 8_.--On the application of the Sheba G. M. Co. for permission to
erect an aerial tram from the mine to the mill,

Mr. GROBLAAR asked whether an aerial tram was a balloon or whether it
could fly through the air.

The only objection that the Chairman had to urge against granting the
tram was that the Company had an English name, and that with so many
Dutch ones available.

Mr. TALJAARD objected to the word 'participeeren' (participate) as
not being Dutch, and to him unintelligible: 'I can't believe the word
is Dutch; why have I never come across it in the Bible if it is?'

_June 18_.--On the application for a concession to treat tailings,

Mr. TALJAARD wished to know if the words 'pyrites' and 'concentrates'
could not be translated into the Dutch language. He could not
understand what it meant. He had gone to night-school as long as he
had been in Pretoria, and even now he could not explain everything to
his burghers. He thought it a shame that big hills should be made on
ground under which there might be rich reefs, and which in future
might be required for a market or outspan. He would support the
recommendation on condition that the name of the quartz should be
translated into Dutch, as there might be more in this than some of
them imagined.


_June 20_.--Mr. WOLMARANS said the diggers simply did not want to buy
from the Boers; there was plenty of meat and bread in the land, and
the Boers could not get good prices for their cattle.

Mr. VAN HEERDEN could not see how the inhabitants of the State would
benefit in the least by lowering the tariff.

Messrs. LOMBAARD and WOLMARANS both declared that when duties were at
their highest groceries etc. were at their cheapest.

Mr. TALJAARD thought that members who were in favour of lowering the
tariff did not act for the benefit of the country.


_May 29_.--A discussion of considerable length took place on a
petition from burghers of Gatsrand, Potchefstroom district, praying
that at least two-thirds of the Government money now lying idle in
the banks should be given out to agriculturists as loans, and the
remainder for other purposes.

_July 2_.--His Honour was asked why he did not suppress all
sweepstakes and races.

The PRESIDENT said gambling and lotteries were in conflict with the
Word of God, but it was also the duty of man to have exercise and to
exercise his horses. For that reason an exception had been made in
the Bill as to horse-races, etc.


_July 7_.--The PRESIDENT supported the increase. He promised the
Raad--and he had done this before--that whenever there was a falling
off in the revenue, he would at once reduce the salaries. He had said
this before, and if members did not believe him let them call him a
liar at once.



_June 5_.--Mr. ESSELEN objected to minutes not being full enough.

Mr. TALJAARD accused Mr. Esselen of insulting the Raad.

A discussion ensued on minutes, in which certain proposals which had
been rejected had not been incorporated. Several members said that
the incorporation of proposals that had been rejected would entail
some members being held up to the scorn of the public.


_June 24_.--Two hundred vouchers were found to be missing from the
yearly accounts, and no explanation could be given. Also L13,000 had
been given on loan to the Boeren Winkel (Boer General Store--a
private mercantile venture).

_July 27_.--Mr. MARE maintained that the Public Works were badly

The PRESIDENT dashed down the papers in front of him and stalked out
of the Raad, after emphatically denying that money had been wasted.

_July 27_.--At the debate on the question of appointing a State
financier, who could among other things be held responsible for the
disappearance of vouchers, the Auditor-General said that he did not
want an official of that nature, who would be always snivelling about
his books.


_August 5_.--The PRESIDENT said that owners of properties had quite
sufficient privileges already, and he did not want to give them more.

Mr. LOMBAARD said the Gold Fields wanted too much. The revenue from
the Gold Fields was already less than the expenditure. He was of
opinion that the best course would be to let the Gold Fields go to
the devil and look after themselves.



_May 6._--Protracted discussion arose on the Postal Report, the
Conservatives being opposed to erecting pillar-boxes in Pretoria on
the ground that they were extravagant and effeminate.

OOM DYLE (Mr. TALJAARD) said that he could not see why people wanted
to be always writing letters. He wrote none himself. In the days of
his youth he had written a letter, and had not been afraid to travel
fifty miles and more on horseback and by wagon to post it; and now
people complained if they had to go one mile.


_May 21_.--On the question of abolishing the post of Minute-Keeper to
the Executive the President fell into a passion with Mr. Loveday who
thought a Minute-Keeper unnecessary, and left the Raad in a temper.

_June 13_.--The PRESIDENT said the reason why he did not subsidize
some papers by giving them advertisements was that they did not
defend the Government. It was the rule everywhere to give
advertisements to papers which supported the Government.


_July 21_.--General JOUBERT tenders his resignation as Chairman of
the Chicago Exhibition Committee. He had written again and again to
the President and State Secretary for an intimation of the
Government's intention with regard to the amount on the Estimates,
but his communications were treated with silent contempt.

The PRESIDENT made a long speech, in which he said he felt great
grief at being thus falsely charged by the General, who was also a
member of the Executive. Still he would only bless those who
spitefully used him and would not blacken the General.


_July 21_.--After the resolution had been taken on Mr. Van Niekerk's
proposition regarding compensation for claims not yet worked out
(Clause 60 of Gold Law), the PRESIDENT was still speaking, and
objecting to the recording of Van Niekerk's objection to the passing
of the Gold Law Clause Amendment, when Mr. ESSELEN called 'Order,
Order!' several times.

The PRESIDENT said he was insulted by Mr. Esselen and would withdraw
unless he apologized.

The Raad adjourned, as Mr. Esselen refused.



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

Messrs. DECLERQ and STEENKAMP spoke in the same strain, quoting
largely from the Scriptures.

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

Mr. STOOP conjured the members not to constitute themselves
terrestrial gods and oppose the Almighty.

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

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

_July 26_.--Mr. DE BEER attacking the railways said they were already
beginning to eat the bitter fruits of them. He was thinking of
trekking to Damaraland, and his children would trek still further
into the wilderness out of the reach of the iron horse.

_August 16_.--Mr. DE BEER said he saw where all the opposition to
duties came from. It was English blood boiling to protect English


_June 21_.--A memorial was read from certain burghers of Waterberg
about children beating their parents, and praying that such children
should not be allowed to become officials of the State or sit in

Mr. DE BEER--the Member for Waterberg--who in the days of his hot
youth is said to have given his father a sound thrashing, and is the
one aimed at by the memorialists, denied all knowledge of the


_August 24_.--Mr. WOLMARANS opposed the line, as it would compete
with the Delagoa Bay Railway, for which the State was responsible.

Mr. LE CLERQ maintained that the Cape Free State line was against the
interests of the burghers, as a tremendous number of cattle were
brought into the State from outside countries.

Mr. MALAN said he would never vote for this line.

Mr. ROOS referred to the sacred voice of the people, which he said
was against railways.

The extension was eventually approved of.



_May 14_.--A debate took place upon the clause that members should
appear in the House clad in broadcloth and having white neckties.

Mr. JAN DE BEER complained of the lack of uniformity in neckties.
Some wore a Tom Thumb variety, and others wore scarves. This was a
state of things to be deplored, and he considered that the Raad
should put its foot down and define the size and shape of neckties.


_August 28_.--The PRESIDENT said he was against concessions generally
speaking, but there were cases where exceptions should be made. There
was for instance the Jam Concession. The manufacture of jam ought to
be protected.


_August 22_.--Mr. WOLMARANS opposed the reduction, saying the Postal
Department would probably show a deficit at the end of the year. And
besides who would benefit? Certainly not the farmers.

Mr. LOMBAARD also was against the reduction.

Mr. DE LA REY said speculators could afford to pay the present rates
of postage, and as the reduction would only benefit the townspeople,
let matters remain unaltered. If he resided in a town and speculated
he would be able to pay twopence.

Mr. SCHUTTE said the Postal Department was run at a loss at present,
and if they further reduced the tariff things would go very badly
with them.

Reduction rejected, 13 to 9.


_September 6_.--The PRESIDENT throughout the debate maintained that
there was no advantage to be gained by increased representation, and
that business could be more quickly transacted with a small number of
members. He disagreed with those members who wished to give big towns
representatives as the Raad would be swamped with town members.

After the rejection of various proposals the PRESIDENT rose and
pointed out it would mean ruination to the country if the Raad
resolved to increase the number of the members, and amidst some
confusion he left, declining to occupy the Presidential chair,
muttering that the Raad was large enough already and if it were
increased it would be a shame.


_September 7_.--The Committee reported that a number of memorials had
been received, praying that more hours weekly should be devoted to
the English language. Counter memorials had also been received. The
Committee advised the Raad not to grant the request of more hours for

Mr. LOMBAARD thought the Raad was bound to refuse the request, and it
would be useless to discuss the matter.

Mr. DE BEER could see no harm in granting the request, in fact it was
their duty to do so.

Mr. SPIES considered there was no necessity to teach English in the
State. Trade did not require it, and they could get on very well
without English. Let the English remain in their own country.

The PRESIDENT was opposed to extending the hours. He did not object
to English being taught, but then it must not interfere with the
language of the country to the prejudice of the latter language. He
had schools upon his farm, and parents objected to their children
being taught English in those schools. After a very little while they
could write English as well as or better than their own language, and
neglected Dutch for English. _The Dutch language could not be
maintained against English in competition._

Mr. WOLMARANS also spoke against the English language saying that if
they went through the list of those who had signed the memorial for
the annexation of the Transvaal by the English, they would find
without exception that those who signed were English-speaking.
He was against children being taught English so early, as when they
were taught young their minds became poisoned with English views.

Mr. OTTO agreed with the spirit of the Committee's report. This was a
Dutch country, with Dutch laws, and why should they be asked to
exchange the Dutch language for the English? What had the English
done for the country that this should be asked?

The CHAIRMAN thought many members made too much of the English
language already. One language was sufficient, and if a man was
properly educated in his own tongue that should suffice.

Mr. LE CLERQ and Mr. PRINSLOO both cautioned the Raad against foreign
languages in their schools.

Mr. LOVEDAY pointed out the absurdity of saying that the National
Independence depended upon one language only being used, and pointed
to the American and Swiss Republics as examples.

Mr. LOMBAARD in the course of a violent speech said those people who
wanted English taught in the State-aided schools were aiming at the
independence of the State. They wanted to bring dissension in the
midst of the burghers by teaching new and wrong ideas, and they
became indignant because the burghers would not allow it. He was
ashamed that members should argue in favour of injuring their
independence: English should not be taught in the State-aided

The law remained unaltered by 12 to 10.


_July 26_.--The matter of purchasing diamond drills cropping up, the
PRESIDENT said it was true that the two industries mining and
agriculture went hand in hand, but it must be remembered that every
fresh goldfield opened meant a fresh stream of people and extra
expenses. He hoped the Raad would excuse him referring to it, but the
Raad took away the revenue and still asked for money. There was the
reduction of postage; now it was asked to spend money on boring
machines, when each new field meant so much extra expense. Machines
for water boring were cheap and not fitted with diamonds like those
for mining, which required to be handled by experts. It must be
remembered that money voted for agricultural purposes was spent here,
while for the gold industry it was sent away. The Raad must be
careful how the money was voted.



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

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

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

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

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

Mr. JAN MEYER said such things were actually done in Johannesburg.
Last year during the drought men were engaged to send charges of
dynamite into the clouds. They fired from the Wanderers' Ground and
from elsewhere, but without result. Then some one went to Germiston
and fired at a passing cloud; but there was no rain. The cloud sailed
away, and the heavens became clear and beautifully blue. He had
reported the matter to the Government.

Mr. DU TOIT (Carolina) said he had heard that there were companies in
Europe which employed numbers of men to do nothing but shoot at the
clouds simply to bring down rain. It was wonderful that men could
think of doing such things; they ought to be prohibited here. He did
not consider that the Raad would be justified in passing a law on the
subject, however; but he thought all the same that they should
express their strongest disapproval of such practices.

Mr. BIRKENSTOCK ridiculed the idea of people forcing rain from the
clouds. In some of the Kaffir countries they had witch-doctors who
tried to bring down rain; whether they succeeded or not was a
different matter. Still, if people were foolish enough to try and
force the clouds to discharge rain, the Legislature ought not to
interfere to prevent them. He did not agree with the idea of firing
at the clouds, but did not consider that an Act should be passed to
prevent it.

The CHAIRMAN said if such things were actually done--and he was
unaware of it--those who did it ought to be prevented from repeating

After a further discussion, Mr. A.D. WOLMARANS moved: 'That this
Raad, considering the memorial now on the Order, resolves to agree
with the same, and instructs the Government to take the necessary
steps to prevent a repetition of the occurrences referred to.'



The article for the abolition of barmaids was dealt with.

Mr. WATKINS declared himself strongly against such an article. He
could not see why females should be prevented from dispensing liquor.
Such a clause would prevent many respectable young women from making
a living.

Mr. PRETORIUS said there were many memorials on this subject, and in
compliance with the wish expressed therein the article was inserted
in the Liquor Law. Of course, it was for the Raad to decide.

Mr. RENSBURG spoke strongly against the clause. According to it the
proprietor's wife would be prevented from going behind the counter.
He would not deny that there were some barmaids who were not strictly
virtuous, but to accuse them as a class of being dangerous was
going too far. Many of the memorials were signed by women. These
memorials were drawn by men whom he considered were hypocrites, and
they ought to be ashamed of themselves for their narrow-mindedness.

Mr. VAN STADEN said he did not like to take the bread out of the
mouths of a great many women.

Mr. KOENIG suggested that they could become chambermaids.



_September 4_.--An Executive resolution was read, stating that the
Executive had decided to deprive Malaboch of his rights of
chieftainship, and keep him in the custody of the Government, and
that his tribe be broken up and apprenticed out to burghers, each
burgher applying to have one or two families upon payment of L3 per
family per annum. The Executive wished the Raad to approve of this;
the Government had the right to do this according to law. This was
without prejudice to the trial before the High Court. Perhaps when
the Krijgsraad assembled it would be decided to try him before the
High Court on charges of murder and rebellion.

Mr. JEPPE thought this was a matter for the High Court, and
counselled the Raad to adopt that course, giving the chief a public

The PRESIDENT said the Executive acted strictly in accordance with
the law; it was not necessary for the Government to send the case to
the High Court, as it had the power to decide native cases. For
instance, in the case of Lo Bengula and his headmen, they were not
tried by any High Court.

Mr. MEYER thought they should give Malaboch a fair trial.

Finally Mr. MEYER moved, and Mr. JEPPE seconded, that Executive
resolution be accepted for notice.



The following extract is made from the Report of the great Franchise
Debate, published in the Johannesburg _Star_, August 17, 1895:


Petitions were read praying for the extension of the franchise. The
petitioners pointed out that they were all residents in the Republic,
that the increase of the wealth of the country and the status of the
country were due to their energy and wealth, that the number of the
non-enfranchised far exceeded the number of the burghers, that
taxation was so arranged that the non-enfranchised bore four-fifths
of the taxes. The memorialists pointed out that one of the Republican
principles was equality, but that notwithstanding the numerously
signed memorials the Raad decided last year to make the Franchise Law
so stringent that a new-comer could never obtain the franchise, and
his children could only obtain it under severe conditions. They
pointed out the danger of this, and prayed for admission under
reasonable conditions.

The petitions came from every part of the country, including all the
Boer strongholds, and some were signed by influential officials. One
petition from Johannesburg was signed by 32,479 persons, and the
total signatures amounted to 35,483.

Memorials to the same effect were read from a large number of farming
districts, signed by 993 full burghers, who were anxious that the
franchise should be extended to law-abiding citizens. These memorials
contained the names of prominent farmers. There were nineteen of
these last-named memorials, four of which came from different parts
of the Pretoria district and three from Potchefstroom.

A memorial was read from Lydenburg, suggesting that ten years'
residence in the country and obedience to the law be the
qualification. This was signed by about a hundred burghers.

A number of memorials were read from Rustenberg, Waterberg, Piet
Retief, Utrecht, Middelberg, Zoutpansberg, and Krugersdorp, signed by
about 500 burghers, stating that while they valued the friendship of
the peace-abiding Uitlanders they petitioned the Raad not to extend
the franchise or alter last year's law.

A memorial from Krugersdorp was to the effect that the franchise
should not be extended until absolutely necessary, and then only in
terms of Art. 4 of the Franchise Law of 1894. This was signed by
thirteen persons.

One was read from the Apies River and Standerton, praying that the
children of Uitlanders born here should not be granted the franchise.

Memorials from other places, with 523 signatures, prayed that the
existing Franchise Law should be strictly enforced.

Several petitions against the prohibition of the Election Committee
were read.

A further memorial from the Rand was read, containing 5,152
signatures, pointing out that they objected to the memorial issued by
the National Union, and they wanted the system of one-man-one-vote
and the ballot system adopted before they asked for the franchise.


The Memorial Committee recommended that the law remain unaltered,
because the memorials signed by full burghers requested no extension
to take place.

Mr. LUCAS MEYER, who was chairman of the Memorial Commission,
submitted a report, stating that he was in the minority and differed
from his fellow-committeemen. There was not a single member of the
Raad who would use his powers more towards maintaining the
independence of the country than himself, but he was fully convinced
that the Raad had as bounden duty to propose an alteration to last
year's law. Proposals to do so had to emanate from the Raad. A large
majority of memorialists who prayed for the extension were not
burghers, but even those burghers who petitioned the Raad against the
extension asked the Raad not to do so at present. That showed that
they were convinced that sooner or later the extension would have to
take place--cautiously perhaps, but the extension would come. Even
the committee, the majority of whom were against him, recognised
this. He repeated that it was his opinion that the time would come.
Let the Raad then submit the proposal to the country, and if the
majority of the burghers were against it, the Raad would have to
stand or fall with the burghers; but at any rate they would be acting
according to the will of the country, and could not be blamed for
possible consequences. Recently the President said something had to
be done to admit a portion of the people who were behind the dam,
before the stream became so strong that the walls would be washed
away and the country immersed in water. He hoped the Raad would
favourably consider his proposal.

Mr. TOSEN said that when the proposals came to extend the franchise,
such proposals had to come from old burghers, and so far the old
burghers had not signified their willingness that this should be
done. On the contrary, a large number of them were against it. They
did not wish to exclude the new-comers for all eternity, but just now
they should make no concession. It stood to reason that the
new-comers could not have so much interest in the country as the old
inhabitants. He cautioned the Raad against accepting the
recommendations of Mr. Meyer. _It would be contrary to Republican
principles_. Yes, he repeated it would be contrary to the principles
of Republicanism, and were newcomers admitted to the franchise the
old burghers would be deprived of all their rights. They would not
dare to vote or exercise any of their privileges. Those persons who
signed the petition for the franchise said they were peaceful and
law-abiding citizens, _but they gave a sign that they were not
law-abiding, because they were against the law. The Election Law was
there, and they should abide by it._

The CHAIRMAN called the speaker to order and advised him to keep to
the point, whether it was desirable to extend the franchise or not.

Mr. TOSEN said he was cut short, but in a few words he would say that
he would resist to the bitter end any attempt to alter the law as it
at present stood. He spoke on behalf of his constituents and himself.

Mr. JEPPE, in the course of his speech, said: Who are the people who
now demand from us a reasonable extension of the franchise? There are
to begin with almost a thousand old burghers who consent to such
extension. There are in addition 890 petitioners, also old burghers,
who complain that the franchise has been narrowed by recent
legislation. There are 5,100, chiefly from the Rand, who ask for
extension subject to the ballot, the principle of which has already
been adopted by you, and there is lastly a monster petition, bearing
35,700 names, chiefly from the Rand goldfields: and in passing I may
mention that I have convinced myself that the signatures to it, with
very few exceptions perhaps are undoubtedly genuine. Well, this
petition has been practically signed by the entire population of the
Rand. There are not three hundred people of any standing whose names
do not appear there. It contains the name of the millionaire
capitalist on the same page as that of the carrier or miner, that of
the owner of half a district next to that of a clerk, and the
signature of the merchant who possesses stores in more than one town
of this Republic next to that of the official. It embraces also all
nationalities: the German merchant, the doctor from Capetown, the
English director, the teacher from the Paarl--they all have signed
it. So have--and that is significant--old burghers from the Free
State, whose fathers with yours reclaimed this country; and it bears
too the signatures of some who have been born in this country, who
know no other fatherland than this Republic, but whom the law regards
as strangers. Then too there are the newcomers. They have settled for
good: they have built Johannesburg, one of the wonders of the age,
now valued at many millions sterling, and which, in a few short
years, will contain from a hundred to a hundred and fifty thousand
souls; they own half the soil, they pay at least three-quarters of
the taxes. Nor are they persons who belong to a subservient race.
They come from countries where they freely exercised political rights
which can never be long denied to free-born men. They are, in short,
men who in capital, energy and education are at least our equals. All
these persons are gathered together, thanks to our law, into one
camp. Through our own act this multitude, which contains elements
which even the most suspicious amongst us would not hesitate to
trust, is compelled to stand together, and so to stand in this most
fatal of all questions in antagonism to us. Is that fact alone not
sufficient to warn us and to prove how unstatesmanlike our policy is?
What will we do with them now? Shall we convert them into friends or
shall we send them away empty, dissatisfied, embittered? What will
our answer be? Dare we refer them to the present law, which first
expects them to wait for fourteen years and even then pledges itself
to nothing, but leaves everything to a Volksraad which cannot decide
until 1905? It is a law which denies all political rights even to
their children born in this country. Can they gather any hope from
that? Is not the fate of the petition of Mr. Justice Morice, whose
request, however reasonable, could not be granted except by the
alteration of the law published for twelve months and consented to by
two-thirds of the entire burgher population, a convincing proof how
untenable is the position which we have assumed? Well, should we
resolve now to refuse this request, what will we do when as we well
know must happen it is repeated by two hundred thousand one day. You
will all admit the doors must be opened. What will become of us or
our children on that day, when we shall find ourselves in a minority
of perhaps one in twenty, without a single friend amongst the other
nineteen, amongst those who will then tell us they wished to be
brothers, but that we by our own act made them strangers to the
Republic? Old as the world is, has an attempt like ours ever
succeeded for long? Shall we say as a French king did that things
will last our time, and after that we reck not the deluge? Again I
ask what account is to be given to our descendants and what can be
our hope in the future?

Mr. DE CLERCQ opposed the extension.

Mr. JAN DE BEER said he could not agree to the prayer for extension.
The burghers would decide time enough when the dam was too full, or
when fresh water was wanted. He had gone through the memorials, and
some that wished an extension were unknown to him, even those who
signed from his district. Very few persons were in favour of the
extension. If the burghers wished it he would give it, he would agree
to it. The people coolly asked the Raad to extend the franchise to
80,000 persons, men who were not naturalized and had nothing to lose.
He did not mind extending the franchise to a few. When it was a small
case he did not object, but when it came to giving away their
birthright wholesale he kicked. He did not object to give the burgher
right to _persons who shot Kaffirs_, or he had better say, persons
who went into the native wars on behalf of the Transvaal, because
they shed their blood for the country; but people who came here only
to make money and that only did not deserve the franchise. Let them
look at that book of signatures on the table with the 70,000 names.
Who were they? (Laughter, and cries of 'Too much.') Well, 38,000
then. He had 'too much.' They were the persons, the millionaires side
by side with mining workers whom Mr. Jeppe spoke of, but where did
they find these people side by side? Nowhere! No, he would not grant
an extension of the franchise.

The PRESIDENT said he wished to say a few words on the subject, and
the first thing he had to say was that those persons who signed the
monster petition were unfaithful and not law-abiding.

Mr. JEPPE: I deny that.

The PRESIDENT: Yes--I repeat unfaithful.

Mr. JEPPE (excitedly): I say they are not!

The CHAIRMAN: Order, order!

The PRESIDENT then endeavoured to qualify his remarks by reasserting
that these people were disrespectful and disobedient to the law,
because they were not naturalized. 'Now,' asked His Honour
triumphantly, 'can you contradict that? No, you cannot. No one can.
The law says that they must be naturalized, and they are not.'
Speeches had been made that afternoon, His Honour proceeded, urging
that the rich should be made burghers and not the poor. Why not the
poor as well as the rich, if that were the case? But he was against
granting any extension, saving in cases like that he mentioned the
other day. Those who went on commando were entitled to it, but no
others. Those persons who showed they loved the country by making
such sacrifices were entitled to the franchise, and they should get
it. These memorials were being sent in year by year, and yearly
threats were made to them if they did not open the flood-gates. If
the dam was full before the walls were washed over, a certain portion
of the water had to be drained off. Well, this had been done in
the case of commando men. They were the clean water which was drained
off and taken into the inner dam which consisted of clean water, but
he did not wish to take in the dirty water also. No, it had to remain
in the outer dam until it was cleaned and purified. The Raad might
just as well give away the independence of the country as give all
these new-comers, these disobedient persons, the franchise. These
persons knew there was a law, but they wished to evade it; they
wished to climb the wall instead of going along the road quietly, and
these persons should be kept back. He earnestly cautioned the Raad
against adopting Mr. L. Meyer's proposal.

Mr. D. JOUBERT said excitement would not avail them. They had to be
calm and deliberate. Now, what struck him was first who would give
them the assurance, were they to admit the 35,000 persons who
petitioned them for the franchise, that they would maintain the
independence of the country inviolate and as a sacred heritage? They
had no guarantee. He could not agree with the request of the petition
(here the speaker became excited, and gesticulating violently,
continued), and he would never grant the request if the decision was
in his hands.

Mr. A.J. WOLMARANS said that his position on this question was that
he would not budge an inch.

Mr. JAN MEYER impugned the genuineness of the petition, and said he
had represented Johannesburg in the Raad for some time, and could
tell them how those things were worked. They were nearly all
forgeries. He stated that as there were only 40,000 people in
Johannesburg it was impossible that 38,000 of them signed. Therefore
they were forgeries. The speaker concluded by saying that as long as
he lived he would never risk the independence of the country by
granting the franchise, _except in accordance with the law_. It was
unreasonable to ask him to give up his precious birthright in this
thoughtless manner. He could not do it--he would not do it!

Mr. PRINSLOO said that he had gone through the petitions from
Potchefstroom, and certainly he had to admit that many of the
signatures were not genuine, for he found on these petitions the
names of his next-door neighbours, who had never told him a word
about their signing such petitions.

Mr. OTTO again addressed the Raad, endeavouring to prove that
memorials from Ottos Hoop contained many forgeries. He said that he
did not consider the Johannesburg people who signed in that wonderful
and fat book on the table to be law-abiding, and he would have none
of them. The Raad had frequently heard that if the franchise were not
extended there would be trouble. He was tired of these constant
threats. He would say, 'Come on and fight! Come on!' (Cries of

Mr. OTTO (proceeding): I say, 'Come on and have it out; and the
sooner the better.' I cannot help it, Mr. Chairman, I must speak out.
I say I am prepared to fight them, and I think every burgher of the
South African Republic is with me.

The CHAIRMAN (rapping violently): Order, order!

Mr. OTTO: Yes, this poor South African Republic, which they say they
own three-fourths of. They took it from us, and we fought for it and
got it back.

The CHAIRMAN: Order!

Mr. OTTO: They called us rebels then. I say they are rebels.

Loud cries of 'Order!'

Mr. OTTO: I will say to-day, those persons who signed the memorials
in that book are rebels.

The CHAIRMAN: Will you keep order? You have no right to say such
things. We are not considering the question of powers, but the
peaceful question of the extension of the franchise to-day; and keep
to the point.

Mr. OTTO: Very well I will; but I call the whole country to witness
that you silenced me, and would not allow me to speak out my mind.

The PRESIDENT said they had to distinguish between trustworthy
persons and untrustworthy, and one proof was their going on commando,
and the other was their becoming naturalized. People who were
naturalized were more or less worthy, and if they separated
themselves from the others who would not get naturalized, and
petitioned the Raad themselves, the Raad would give ear to their
petition. He strongly disapproved of the Raad being deceived in the
manner it had been by the forged signatures.

Mr. R.K. LOVEDAY, in the course of an address dealing exhaustively
with the subject, said: The President uses the argument that they
should naturalize, and thus give evidence of their desire to become
citizens. I have used the same argument, but what becomes of such
arguments when met with the objections that the law requires such
persons to undergo a probationary period extending from fourteen to
twenty-four years before they are admitted to full rights of
citizenship, and even after one has undergone that probationary
period, he can only be admitted to full rights by resolution of the
First Raad? Law 4 of 1890, being the Act of the two Volksraads, lays
down clearly and distinctly that those who have been eligible for ten
years for the Second Raad _can_ be admitted to full citizenship. So
that, in any case, the naturalized citizen cannot obtain full rights
until he reaches the age of forty years, he not being eligible for
the Second Raad until he is thirty years. The child born of
non-naturalized parents must therefore wait until he is forty
years-of age, although at the age of sixteen he may be called upon to
do military service, and may fall in the defence of the land of his
birth. When such arguments are hurled at me by our own flesh and
blood--our kinsmen from all parts of South Africa--I must confess
that I am not surprised that these persons indignantly refuse to
accept citizenship upon such unreasonable terms. The element I have
just referred to--namely, the Africander element--is very
considerable, and numbers thousands hundreds of whom at the time this
country was struggling for its independence, accorded it moral and
financial support, and yet these very persons are subjected to a term
of probation extending from fourteen to twenty-four years. It is
useless for me to ask you whether such a policy is just and
reasonable or Republican, for there can be but one answer, and that
is 'No!' Is there one man in this Raad who would accept the franchise
on the same terms? Let me impress upon you the grave nature of this
question, and the absolute necessity of going to the burghers without
a moment's delay, and consulting and advising them. Let us keep
nothing from them regarding the true position, and I am sure we shall
have their hearty co-operation in any reasonable scheme we may
suggest. This is a duty we owe them, for we must not leave them under
the impression that the Uitlanders are satisfied to remain aliens, as
stated by some of the journals. I move amongst these people, and
learn to know their true feelings, and when public journals tell you
that these people are satisfied with their lot, they tell you that
which they know to be false. Such journals are amongst the greatest
sources of danger that the country has. We are informed by certain
members that a proposition for the extension of the franchise must
come from the burghers, but according to the Franchise Law the
proposition must come from the Raad, and the public must consent. The
member for Rustenberg says that there are 9,338 burghers who have
declared that they are opposed to the extension of the franchise.
Upon reference to the Report, he will find that there are only 1,564
opposed to the extension. Members appear afraid to touch upon the
real question at issue, but try to discredit the memorials by vague
statements that some of the signatures are not genuine, and the
former member for Johannesburg, Mr. J. Meyer, seems just as anxious
to discredit the people of Johannesburg as formerly he was to defend

The CHAIRMAN advanced many arguments in favour of granting the
franchise to the Uitlander, but nevertheless concluded by stating
that as the Raad with few exceptions were against the extension, he
would go with the majority. He was not, he said, averse to the
publication of Mr. Meyer's proposition, because the country would
have to decide upon it; still he could not favour the extension of
the franchise in the face of what had been said during the debate.
Let the Raad endeavour to lighten the burden of the alien in other
respects. Let the alien come to the Raad with his grievances, and let
the Raad give a patient ear unto him, but he really was not entitled
to the franchise.

The PRESIDENT again counselled the Raad not to consent to the
publication of Mr. Meyer's proposal. He did not want it put to the
country. This business had been repeated from year to year until he
was tired of it. And why should they worry and weary the burghers
once more by asking them to decide upon Mr. Meyer's motion? There was
no need for it. There was no uncertainty about it. The burghers knew
their minds, and their will, which was supreme, was known. The way
was open for aliens to become burghers; let them follow that road and
not try to jump over the wall. They had the privilege of voting for
the Second Raad if they became naturalized, and could vote for
officials, and that was more than they could do in the Cape Colony.
In the Colony they could not vote for a President or any official.
They were all appointed. They could only vote for Raad members there.
And why should they want more power here all at once? What was the
cause of all this commotion? What were they clamouring for? He knew.
They wanted to get leave to vote for members of the First Raad, which
had the independence of the country under its control. He had been
told by these people that 'if you take us on the same van with you,
we cannot overturn the van without hurting ourselves as well as you.'
'_Ja_,' that was true, '_maar_,' the PRESIDENT continued, they could
pull away the reins and drive the van along a different route.

Mr. JEPPE, again speaking, said there was one matter he must refer
to. That was his Honour's remarks about the petitioners, calling them
disobedient and unfaithful. The law compels no one to naturalize
himself. How then could these petitioners have disobeyed it? Of
course we should prefer them to naturalize. But can we be surprised
if they hesitate to do so? Mr. Loveday has told you what
naturalization means to them.

The PRESIDENT agreed that these people were not obliged by law to
naturalize, but if they wanted burgher rights they should do so, when
they would get the franchise for the Second Raad; and upon their
being naturalized let them come nicely to the Raad and the Raad would
have something to go to the country with, and they would receive
fair treatment; but, if they refused naturalization and rejected the
Transvaal laws, could they expect the franchise? No. Let Mr. Jeppe go
back and give his people good advice, and if they were obedient to
the law and became naturalized they would not regret it; but he
could not expect his people to be made full burghers if they were
disobedient and refused naturalization. Let them do as he advised,
and he (the President) would stand by them and support them.

Mr. JEPPE said: His Honour has again asked me to advise the people of
Johannesburg what to do regarding the extension of the franchise. He
says they must first naturalize and then come again. Then he holds
out hopes that their wishes will be met. Why then does he not support
Mr. Meyer's proposal, which affects naturalized people only? What
is it I am to advise the people of Johannesburg? I have had many
suggestions from different members. You, Mr. Chairman, seem to
support the hundred men from Lydenburg who suggest ten years'
residence as a qualification. Mr. Jan Meyer suggests that those who
came early to the goldfields should memorialize separately, and he
would support them. Others say that only those who are naturalized
should petition, and that if a few hundreds petitioned instead of
35,000, their reception would be different. Well, we have had one
petition here wherein all these conditions were complied with. It was
not signed by anyone who had not been here ten years, or who is not
naturalized, or who could at all be suspected of being unfaithful,
nor could any exception be taken to it on the ground of numbers,
since it was signed by one man only, Mr. Justice Morice, and yet it
was rejected. Gentlemen, I am anxiously groping for the light; but
what, in the face of this, am I to advise my people?

Mr. JAN DE BEER endeavoured to refute Messrs. Jeppe's and Loveday's
statements, when they said a man could not become a full member until
he was forty. They were out of their reckoning, because a man did not
live until he was sixteen. He was out of the country. In the eyes of
the law he was a foreigner until he was sixteen. (Laughter.) The
member adduced other similar arguments to refute those of Messrs.
Jeppe and Loveday, causing much laughter.

Mr. LOVEDAY replied to the President, especially referring to his
Honour's statement that he (Mr. Loveday) was wrong when he said that
a person would have to wait until he was forty before he could obtain
the full rights. He (Mr. Loveday) repeated and emphasized his
statements of yesterday.

The CHAIRMAN said there was no doubt about it. What Mr. Loveday said
regarding the qualifications and how long a man would have to wait
until he was qualified to become a full burgher was absolutely
correct. It could not be contradicted. The law was clear on that
point. There was no doubt about it.

Mr. JAN DE BEER: Yes; I see now Mr. Loveday is right, and I am wrong.
The law does say what Mr. Loveday said. It must be altered.

The debate was closed on the third day, and Mr. Otto's motion to
accept the report of the majority of the Committee, to refuse the
request of the memoralists, and to refer them to the existing laws,
was carried by sixteen votes to eight.



_Sir Hercules Robinson to Mr. Chamberlain._

Received April 6, 1896.

  _Government House, Capetown,
               March 16, 1896._


I have the honour to transmit for your information a copy of a
despatch from Her Majesty's Acting Agent at Pretoria, enclosing a
communication from the Government of the South African Republic,
accompanied by sworn declarations, respecting the terms of the
surrender of Dr. Jameson's force, a summary of which documents I
telegraphed to you on the 12th instant.

At my request, Lieutenant-General Goodenough has perused these sworn
declarations, and informs me 'that,' in his opinion, 'Jameson's
surrender was unconditional, except that his and his people's lives
were to be safe so far as their immediate captors were concerned.'

    I have, etc.,
      _Governor and High Commissioner._

Enclosed in above letter.

_From H. Cloete, Pretoria, to the High Commissioner, Capetown._

  _Pretoria, March 11th, 1896._


I have the honour to enclose for the information of your Excellency a
letter this day received from the Government, a summary of which I
have already sent your Excellency by telegraph.

    I have, etc.,
              H. CLOETE.

  _Department of Foreign Affairs,
        Government Office, Pretoria,
                 March 10, 1896._

Division A., R.A., 1056/1896,
                B., 395/96.


I am instructed to acknowledge the receipt of the telegram from his
Excellency the High Commissioner to you, dated 6th instant, forwarded
on by you to his Honour the State President, and I am now instructed
to complete with further data my letter to you of 4th instant, B.B.,
257/96, which I herewith confirm, containing the information which
the Government then had before it respecting the surrender, and which
was furnished in view of your urgent request for an immediate reply.

In order to leave no room for the slightest misunderstanding, and to
put an end to all false representations, the Government has summoned
not only Commandant Cronje, but also Commandant Potgieter, Commandant
Malan, Field-Cornet Maartens, Assistant Field-Cornet Van Vuuren, and
others, whose evidence appears to be of the greatest importance, and
places the matter in a clear and plain light.

The information which the Government has found published in the
papers is of the following purport:


  '_London, Monday,_ 11.15 _a.m._

'Mr. Hawksley, the Chartered solicitor, who is defending Dr. Jameson,
published the following letter to-day, which passed between Sir John
Willoughby and Mr. Cronje, the Dutch Commandant at the time of the
Krugersdorp surrender:

'_From Willoughby to Commandant._

'"We surrender, providing you guarantee a safe conduct out of the
country for every member of the force."

'_From Cronje to Willoughby._

'"Please take notice, I shall immediately let our officers come
together to decide upon your communication."

'_From Cronje to Willoughby._

'"I acknowledge your letter. The answer is, If you will undertake to
pay the expenses you have caused to the Transvaal, and will lay down
your arms, then I will spare the lives of you and yours. Please send
me reply to this within thirty minutes."'

I have now the honour to enclose for the information of His
Excellency the High Commissioner and the British Government sworn
declarations of:

1. Commandant Cronje, substantiated by Field-Cornet Maartens and
Assistant Field-Cornet Van Vuuren.

2. Commandant Potgieter.

3. Commandant Malan.

4. J.S. Colliers, substantiated by B.J. Viljoen, and the interpreter,
M. J. Adendorff.

These sworn declarations given before the State Attorney agree in all
the principal points, and give a clear summary of all the incidents
of the surrender, and from the main points thereof it appears, _inter

That the second letter, as published above, and which is alleged to
be from Cronje to Willoughby, was not issued from Cronje, but from
Commandant Potgieter, who has undoubtedly taken up the proper
standpoint, and has followed the general rule in matters of urgency,
such as the one in hand, and where the Commandant-General was not
present in person on the field of battle, first and before treating
wishing to consult with his co-commandants in as far as was possible.

That a note such as appears in his declaration was sent by Commandant

That neither Commandant Malan nor Commandant Potgieter were present
at the despatch of it.

That the reply thereon from Willoughby was received by Commandant
Cronje, as appears in that declaration.

That Commandant Cronje then, in compliance with the note sent by
Commandant Potgieter, as well as the other commandants and officers
mentioned in the declaration of Cronje, rode up.

That Commandant Cronje then explained his own note.

That thereupon also Commandant Malan joined his co-commandants and
officers, and at this time Commandants Malan, Cronje, and Potgieter
were present.

That after consultation, and with the approval of Commandants Cronje
and Potgieter, Commandant Malan, by means of the interpreter
Adendorff, had the following said to Dr. Jameson:

'This is Commandant Malan. He wishes you distinctly to understand
that no terms can be made here. We have no right to make terms here.
Terms will be made by the Government of the South African Republic.
He can only secure your lives to Pretoria, until you are handed over
to Commandant-General at Pretoria.'

That Dr. Jameson agreed to these terms and accepted them.

That thereupon by order of Dr. Jameson the arms were then also laid

That Commandant Trichardt then appeared with the orders of the
Commandant-General to himself.

It now appears that these orders are those which were contained in
the telegram of which I already sent you a copy by my above-quoted
letter of the 4th March, 1896, and which, after the final regulation
of matters such as had then taken place, was not further acted upon
because as regards the surrender negotiations were in fact carried on
in accordance with the orders of the Commandant-General.

While putting aside the question of the surrender there is little to
be said about the other points contained in the telegram under reply,
there is one which is considered of sufficient importance by this
Government to even still draw the attention of His Excellency the
High Commissioner thereto. His Excellency says: 'I may therefore
explain that an armistice had been agreed to pending my arrival.'

The Government here can only think of one other misunderstanding,
they having at the time of the disturbances at Johannesburg never
recognized any acting party, for which reason therefore the
concluding of an armistice was an impossibility.

In conclusion, I have to tender thanks both to His Honour the
Secretary of State and His Excellency the High Commissioner for the
unprejudiced manner in which they, as against insinuations of a low
character, have made known their feelings with respect to the good
faith shown by His Honour the State President in his negotiations in
connection with the question of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force.

    I have, etc.,
           C. VAN BOESCHOTEN,
                _Acting State Secretary_.

  _His Honour H. Cloete,
     Acting British Agent, Pretoria._

_Appeared before me,_ HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, _State Attorney and
ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic_, PIETER ARNOLDUS
CRONJE, _Commandant of the Potchefstroom District, who makes oath and

I was, together with H.P. Malan (Commandant of the Rustenburg
District), and F.J. Potgieter (Commandant of the Krugersdorp
District), one of the commanding officers of the burgher forces
in the fights against Jameson. When I noticed the white flag, I
instantly ordered De la Rey to approach the enemy. Instead of De la
Rey, Hans Klopper, one of the men of Commandant Potgieter, went. He
brought back a note from Willoughby to me. The contents of the note
were that if we left them to themselves he promised to withdraw over
the boundary. In reply I sent him per Hans Klopper the following

'John Willoughby,--I acknowledge your note, and this serves as reply,
that if you guarantee the payment of the expenses which you have
occasioned the South African Republic and surrender your flag
together with your weapons I will spare the life of you and yours.
Please send reply within thirty minutes.'

When this reply was written by me neither Malan nor Potgieter were
present. Thereupon he answered that he accepted the terms, and
surrendered himself fully with all his arms into my hands. After
receiving Willoughby's answer, I rode to Jameson's troops in order to
meet the other commandants, in accordance with a note sent by
Commandant Potgieter to the enemy. I went with Field-Cornets Maartens
and Van Vuuren to Jameson's troops, and met Jameson. When I met him
I gave him to clearly understand our agreement namely that he must
plainly understand that the last clause was that I guaranteed his
life and that of his men until I had handed him over to General
Joubert. Thereupon I asked him if he was willing to lay down his flag
and his arms, to which he replied, 'I have no flag; I am willing to
lay down my arms.' Thereupon I asked him if he could declare upon
oath that he had no flag, whereupon he declared under oath that he
had no flag. Then Commandant Malan arrived, and then the three
commanding officers, Malan, Potgieter and I, were present on the

Before I began speaking to Malan, Jameson called Willoughby to be
present. Thereupon Malan and I spoke together about the surrender
of Jameson. Whereupon Malan said, 'We can't decide anything here.
Jameson must surrender unconditionally, and he must be plainly given
to understand that we cannot guarantee his life any longer than till
we have handed him over to General Joubert.' I fully agreed with
Malan, and the interpreter Adendorff was then instructed by the three
commandants jointly to convey plainly in English to Jameson what the
three commandants had agreed upon. After this had been done, Jameson
bowed, took his hat off, and said in English that he agreed to the
terms. Thereupon he issued orders to Willoughby to command the
subordinate officers to lay down their arms. Then the arms were laid
down. Later on, after the arms had been laid down, Commandant
Trichardt arrived with orders from the Commandant-General, and his
terms were the same as those we had already laid down.


Sworn before me on this 7th day of March, 1896.

_State Attorney and Ex-officio J.P._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

We, the undersigned, Jan. Thos. Maartens, Field-Cornet of the Ward
Gatsrand, District Potchefstroom, and Daniel Johannes Jansen van
Vuuren, Assistant Field-Cornet of the Ward Bovenschoonspruit, declare
under oath that we were present at everything stated in the foregoing
sworn declaration of Commandant P.A. Cronje, and that that
declaration is correct and in accordance with the truth.


Sworn before me on this the 7th day of March, 1896.

  _State-Attorney and ex-officio J.P._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

_Appeared before me_, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, _State Attorney and
ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic_, FREDERICK JACOBUS
POTGIETER, _Commandant of the Krugersdorp District, who makes oath
and states:_

On the morning of January 2, I received a written report from the
enemy in which was stated that he would surrender, but that he must
be allowed to go back over the line. I answered thereon in writing
that I would call the officers together and would then immediately
notify him. The report received by me I immediately transmitted to
Commandant Cronje. A short time after I saw Commandant Cronje with
the burghers going towards the enemy. I thereupon also went towards
the enemy and met Commandant Cronje there. I then attended the
discussion as set forth in the declaration given by J.T. Celliers,
dated March 6, 1896, and confirmed by Messrs. Michiel Joseph
Adendorff and Benjamin Johannes Vilgoen.

The purport of that discussion is correctly rendered.

  _Commandant, Krugersdorp_.

This sworn before me on this the 6th day of March, 1896.

  _State Attorney and ex-officio J.P._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

_Appeared before me_, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, _State Attorney and
ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic_, HERCULES PHILIPPUS
MALAN, _who makes oath and states:_

I was together with P.A. Cronje, Commandant of the Krugersdorp
District, one of the commanding forces in the fights against Jameson.
On the morning of January 2, a despatch rider from Commandant
Potgieter came up and informed me that Jameson had hoisted the white
flag, and that I must quickly attend a meeting with the other
commandants. When I came up to Jameson I found Cronje and Potgieter
there; and, as I saw that Cronje had been speaking to Jameson, I
asked Cronje 'What is the subject you have been speaking about? I
also wish to know it.' Cronje told me that he had agreed with Jameson
that Jameson would pay the expenses incurred by the State, and that
he (Cronje) would spare the lives of Jameson and his people till
Pretoria was reached.

Thereupon I answered, 'We cannot make any terms here. We have not the
power to do so. Jameson must surrender unconditionally, and we can
only guarantee his life until he is delivered over by us into the
hands of the Commandant-General. Then he will have to submit to the
decision of the Commandant-General and the Government.' When I had
said this, Commandant Potgieter answered, 'I agree with that.'
And Commandant Cronje said, 'So be it, brothers.' Thereupon the
interpreter (Adendorff) was instructed to translate to Jameson
what had been spoken. He did so. Jameson thereupon took off his hat,
bowed, and replied in English that he agreed thereto. Jameson then
ordered Willoughby, who was present from the moment that I arrived,
to command the subordinate officers to disarm the men, and thereupon
the arms were given up.

H.P. MALAN, _Commandant._

Sworn before me on this the 9th day of March, 1896.

  _State Attorney and ex-oficio J.P._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

_Appeared before me_, HERMANUS JACOB COSTER, _State Attorney and
ex-officio J.P. of the South African Republic_, JAN STEPHANOS
CELLIERS, _of Pretoria, who makes oath and states:_

I came up to Jameson and his troops on the second of January (after
Jameson had hoisted the white flag), together with B.G. Viljoen,
Krugersdorp, and another Viljoen, whose place of residence is unknown
to me. I asked one of Jameson's troopers where he was. He showed me
the direction and the place where Jameson was. Jameson thereupon
approached me, and I greeted him. While this took place Commandant
Cronje, the interpreter (Adendorff), and another man whose name is
unknown to me, came. Cronje was thereupon introduced by Adendorff,
who spoke English, to Jameson. Thereupon Cronje said to Jameson, 'I
understand that you and your men will surrender yourselves with your
flag and everything you possess?' Jameson said thereupon, 'I fight
under no flag.'

Cronje then replied, 'Then I must believe you upon your word that
you have no flag?' Jameson then said, 'I declare under oath that I
possess no flag.' This conversation was interpreted word for word by
Adendorff. Shortly afterwards Commandant Malan also arrived there. He
asked, 'What is up here? Tell me the news also.' Then Cronje told
Malan that Jameson would surrender conditionally, whereupon Malan
said in effect, 'There can be no question of a conditional surrender
here, because we have no right to make terms. The surrender must take
place unconditionally. If terms must be made, it must take place at
Pretoria. We can only guarantee his life and that of his men as long
as they are under us, and until the moment when they are handed over
to the Commandant.'

General Cronje answered thereupon, 'So be it, brother.' Then
Adendorff asked if he had to interpret this to Jameson, whereupon
Malan said, 'Yes,' and thereupon said in English to Jameson, 'This
is Commandant Malan. He wishes you to distinctly understand that no
terms can be made here. We have no right to make terms here. Terms
will be made by the Government of the South African Republic. He can
only secure your lives to Pretoria, until you are handed over to the
Commandant-General at Pretoria.'

In reply, Jameson took off his hat, bowed, stepped backwards and
said, 'I accept your terms.' Thereupon Jameson ordered Willoughby to
command the subordinate officers that the troopers should lay down
their arms. The arms were then laid down.


Sworn before me on the 6th March, 1896.

  _State-Attorney and ex-officio J.P._

We, the undersigned, Benjamin Johannes Viljoen and Michiel Joseph
Adendorff, the persons mentioned in the preceding declaration,
declare under oath that the facts stated therein, which we witnessed,
as stated above, are true and correct.


Sworn before me on the 6th March, 1896.

  _State-Attorney and ex-officio J.P._

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *


_Downing Street, April 21, 1896._


I am directed by Mr. Secretary Chamberlain to request that you will
lay before the Marquis of Lansdowne the undermentioned papers on the
subject of the surrender of Dr. Jameson's force to the Boers.

1. A despatch from Sir Hercules Robinson, enclosing sworn
declarations taken by the Government of the South African Republic.
A telegraphic summary of these declarations was laid before Dr.
Jameson, whose observations are contained in--

2. A letter from the solicitor for Dr. Jameson and his fellow

3. A despatch from Sir Hercules Robinson, enclosing a sworn

Lord Lansdowne will observe from Sir H. Robinson's despatch of the
16th March that the declarations taken by the Government of the South
African Republic were submitted to the General Officer commanding at
the Cape, who gave his opinion that the surrender was unconditional.

Mr. Chamberlain would be obliged if Lord Lansdowne would submit these
papers to his military advisers, and obtain from them their opinion
as to the terms of the surrender, which Mr. Chamberlain thinks was
completed on Sir John Willoughby's acceptance of Commandant Cronje's
terms, and was therefore subject to these terms and conditions.

  I am, etc.,
        R. H. MEADE.

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *


Received April 28, 1896.

    _War Office, London, S.W.,
                   April 27, 1896._


I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to acknowledge
receipt of your letter of the 21st inst., on the subject of the
surrender of Dr. Jameson's force to the Boers.

In reply, the Marquis of Lansdowne, having consulted with his
military adviser, desires me to observe that, whatever position Mr.
Cronje may hold in the Transvaal army, he decidedly on the