The Mission at Griquatown 1801-1821 - Karel Schoeman (book at this link)
Several important references related to the Griquatown coins can
be seen in Karel Schoeman’s book “The Mission at Griquatown 1801-1821”. Schoeman was given access to diaries and letters
from the Cape Town Archives and the London Missionary Society.
The Griquatown coins did not arrive in 1815-16
The Griquatown mission in their report to the London Missionary Society (LMS) say in their 1815-16 report: An Auxiliary Mission Society has been established in Griquatown, the subscribers to which, having no money (for money is utterley unknown in that part of the world) have contributed property which is to be sold for the benefit of the Society. (pg 85 Schoeman)
Comment: Why "having no money" in the 1815-16 report from the LMS Society in Griquatown? and also in this same report... (pg 85 Schoeman) An auxilliary mission has been established in Griqua Town, the subscribers to which, having no money, (for money is utterly unknown in that part of the world) have contributed property which is to be sold for the benefit of the Society. The following is a list of the subscriptions: elephant's teeth, 30 pounds; nine young bulls; four hefers; one ox; twehty three sheep; five goats. To remedy the inconvenience sustained by the people (who have now made considerable progress in civilization) by their want of a circulating medium, the Directors are now procuring for them a coinage of silver tokens.
Comment: even the LMS admit that the coins are token coins.
Lack of acceptance of Griquatown coins south of the Orange River reason Griquas rejected the coins
In August 1820 Campbell notes in his diary while in Griquatown (13th August) "Conversed also on the coin. They said if it would pass in the colony the Griquas would readily take it. I promised to apply to the Governor to sanction its passing in the districts of Graaff-Reynet and Beaufort." (pg 104 Schoeman)
Rijksdaalder not Griquatown coinage used.
On page 131 to 133 Schoeman transcribes a letter written by the resident Griquatown missionary H Helm written to Dr John Philip in Cape Town on 21 June 1821 which reads as follows: Andries Waterboer has for some years assisted me in the school. Since he became Captain he could not regularly attend, as his duty required frequently his absence from home. I have therefore discharged him in May last. And indeed the school has not lost much in him. The natives like much to be preaches but not schoolmasters, if they think that work to be too mean or too troublesome I do not care. Br Anderson made the agreement with him that he would receive for payment 60 Rijksdaalders a year from the society. Having no money, he has for the last two years received nothing except 13 Rijksdaalders 4 Schillings. As most of the members of our Auxiliary Society have payed (sic) their contribution for the past year partly in money and partly in corn, sheep and goats, I have been able to give him about 36 Rijksdaalder more. He has therefore still to receive 70 Rijksdaalder 4 Schilling. Will you be so good as to send for him that sum by a safe opportunity. Of what I have received from the Griquas for our society I shall give an account as soon as all is payed. The greater part of the Griqua money is still in our Society’s property which Br Anderson when leaving delivered to my care. As Mr Campbell thought that Br Anderson had dispersed the silver pieces at too cheap rate, I asked him to let me know the real value of a piece of each which he promised to do, but I have as yet received no account and it is therefore still in my possession. I should be glad if you, dear sir, would have the goodness to inform me what I am to do with it.
Note: Greater part above should be GREATEST part; and dispersed above should read DISPOSED (edit 21 Feb 2016)
The relevant scan of Schoeman's book can be seen at this link
It is likely Campbell brought the Griquatown
coins with him to South Africa on his second trip in 1820. He had a
meeting with the Griqua who refused to accept them over the Rijksdaalder. They
were then stored by Anderson before being handed over to Helm who took over the
missionary services and probably returned to Britain to be melted down.
Several important points.
From these first hand accounts transcribed by Schoeman we can confirm that the Griquatown coins did arrive at Griquatown sometime between 1817 and 1820 but were never used as currency or accepted by the Griqua. They could well have later circulated as jewellery and trinkets but the Rijksdaalder was used as currency even in this remote settlement. The main reason the Griquatown coins failed was because they could not be used south of the Orange river where there were trading stores. Consider this failure to the incredible success of the Strachan and Co currency tokens over nearly sixty years.
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