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the present signal-post stands, the name of James Mountain ; to the lower portion near the present quarries, that of Prince Charles ; to the Lion's Head, the Sugar Loaf; and the Devil's Head was dignified with Captain Fitzherbert's own name, the Table being allowed to retain its own appropriate designation. Except the act of possession and the change of nomenclature alluded to, no further step appears to have been taken by the English Government*.
“ In the fulness of time,” VAN RIEBECK, a surgeon and a botanist, touched at Table Bay in his homeward passage, in 1648. The excursions he made into the country, in the prosecution of a delightful and bewitching science, probably inspired him with the first desire to revisit this richest and most splendidly adorned temple of Flora ; some lovely flower, perhaps, whose predecessor had been
born to blush unseen, And waste its fragrance in the desert air,” may have been the trivial cause of this important settlement. Whether this be the case or not, being a man addicted to speculation, and enthusiastically devoted to the service of his country, Van Riebeck, with others, having represented the advantages to be secured by forming a general rendezvous at the Cape for the United Chartered East India Company of Holland, was selected as the founder of the new colony, and on the 23d Dec. 1651, he launched with three vessels on the ocean, freighted with the precious seeds of civilization, to the celebrated promontory of
* It was the practice of captains of vessels visiting the Cape for live stock, previous to the occupation by the Dutch, to bury letters and despatches under large stones, on which was inscribed the name and date of the arrival of the vessel. Many of these are still preserved at Cape Town, and some few years ago, on removing the earth to repair a drain in one of the principal streets, one of these memorials was dug up :
T-E. LONDON, ARIVED.T.E 10 OF JVL
the Cape of Good Hope, where he arrived about sunset on the evening of the 6th April, 1652, and immediately afterwards commenced his little settlement.
Having taken possession, Van Riebeck issued his first proclamation, enjoining kindness to the aborigines, and prescribing that, “should they be detected in theft, they should on no account, without his previous knowledge and consent, be pursued, beaten, or even be looked upon with anger;” that any European, “who ill uses, beats, or pushes any of the natives, be he in the right or in the wrong, shall be punished with fifty lashes ;” and “that every friendship and kindness should be shewn to them *."
The colony thus planted soon began to spread its wide encircling branches over the surrounding territory. Within eight years a treaty gave the new possessors an extent of three Dutch miles beyond the original fort; ten years more incorporated Saldanha Bay and Hottentot Holland, in fact all the Cape Peninsula ; and, in 1672, two contracts with the Hottentot chiefs, signed on the 19th April and 5th of May, witnessed the sale in full perpetual and hereditary property of the lands around the Cape. “ The consent of the chiefs” (says Mr. Moodie, the collector of the Cape Records), “ and their contentment with the price paid, was testified by the members of the Cape Government, and by the Admiral of the Fleet as Supreme Commissioner ; and the purchase appears as complete as that concluded between William Penn and the North Americans. In all such transactions betwen such parties, the advantage must be on the side of the civilized. The prime cost of the articles delivered by Penn may have borne the same proportion to the value of Pennsylvania in its present improved condition, as did the tobacco, beads, brandy, and other trifles, to the value of the land around the Cape at this day.
In a few years after this transaction, the colonists spread along the eastern slopes of the dividing range of Hottentot Holland mountains, and soon descended into the fertile valleys of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, carrying with them their industrious habits and religious faith. The Swellendam district, then called the “far and outlying district," was appended in 1742, and Graf
• Vide “ The Record,” or a series of official papers relative to the condition and treatment of the native tribes of South Africa, compiled, translated, and edited by D. Moodie, Lieut. R.N.-RICHARDSON,
Reinet in 1786, at which time the eastern frontier of the colony was fixed where it is up to the present day, namely, the Great Fish River. Since that year, except in 1836, when the colony was extended to the Keiskama by Sir Benjamin D. Urban, this has been the only boundary, although, in unfair attempts to stigmatize the colonists for cupidity, efforts have been made to assign the Chamtoos river as the eastern limit of the colony. The erroneous charge that the lands as far as the Great Fish River were lately wrested from the Kafirs is now totally exploded by the publication of the official records of the colony.
After a peaceable possession of the colony by the Dutch for one hundred and forty-three years, on the 10th June, 1795, an English fleet arrived at Simon's Bay, bringing letters from the Prince of Orange, enjoining the Cape Government to place the colony under British protection, which, being disregarded by the French party then at the head of affairs, forcible possession of the colony was taken on the 16th September following ; but, on the signature of the general treaty of peace at Amiens in 1801, the restoration of the settlement was ordered to take place on the 1st of October of that year. This event was, however, delayed until the 20th of February, 1803, when the inhabitants were absolved from their allegiance to his Britannic Majesty. Hostilities having recommenced in Europe, the British Government, acquainted, through their recent occupation of the colony, with its great importance, determined again to take possession ; and after some slight resistance by the troops at Blauwberg, near the metropolis, Cape Town capitulated on the 10th of January, 1806, and the colony has ever since remained in the hands of Britain, being finally ceded at the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
The treatment of the aboriginal inhabitants by the Europeans, in the acquisition of this extensive tract of territory, has not only been open to suspicion, but deliberate and distinct charges have been laid against both the early, and even the modern colonists on that head, by a number of writers, some from ignorance, some from misinformation, and some from motives of a less creditable character. The number of natives, estimated at the time of the discovery as about 200,000, are stated to have been reduced, or cut-off,” to the present population of about 32,000, “ by a continual system of oppression, which, once begun, never
slackened." Now there is every reason to believe that the Hottentot tribes were never one-fourth so numerous as represented, and the parties thus representing their numbers have not attempted or been able to produce the data on which they found their calculation. Whatever other reasons may have been the cause of their disappearance, disease and not oppression, and feuds among themselves, not the aggressions of the colonists, must chiefly account for their gradual and still progressive extinction. In 1663, 1666, 1674, 1713, and 1767, we find that small-pox, measles, and other infectious diseases (not apparently of European import, but indigenous), ravaged the villages of these people, so that they perished by thousands. That wars between the Dutch and the natives can be alleged as the cause, is not at all either a tenable position, for twice only did hostilities take place between the parties, namely, in 1659, and 1673 to 1676, on which occasions not more than 25 of the natives are stated to have been destroyed, and all the booty taken seems to have been 1765 head of horned cattle, and 4930 sheep. Of these wars and their causes, namely, robbery of cattle by the natives, and the treacherous murders of some twenty Europeans, the fullest and most circumstantial details are still preserved, and have been published ; " they are in the usual spirit of bulletins, and the loss inflicted upon
does not seem to be under-rated." It has been represented that the Hottentot race, on the arrival of the Dutch, kept the law of nations better than civilized people; as being remarkable for the purity of their morals, as acquainted with the Scripture idea of the Deity, and as having worshipped the true God, previous to the introduction of Christianity;—that among them the vices of lying and stealing were unknown, and that they lived together in great harmony ;-with many other statements contrary to fact,—to the very nature of man in his best estate, and more particularly untrue as regards the Hottentot race. So far from theft and falsehood being rare, perfidiousness, murder, and robbery, were, as might be expected, of constant occurrence. This people had not the slightest idea of a Divinity, or the smallest glimmering of religious light; they seem, indeed, to have been almost entirely devoid of the common superstitions of the barbarian state. Even with feteshism, so generally acknowledged by other Africans, and with the practice
of the Taboo, they were totally unacquainted. Their lives were stained by the grossest practices, and they were continually waging the most sanguinary and exterminating wars with each other, plunder of cattle being the principal object. This state of affairs, it is known, was not incident to the intrigues of the new comers from Europe, but, according to native testimony at that time collected, had existed from periods as far back as their earliest recollection ; and even within two days after the arrival of Van Riebeck and his party, two neighbouring clans measured their strength in his presence. Surely with the well accredited facts connected with these subjects, which recent research has brought into light, it is unjust to impute the cause of the disappearance of this people to the conduct of the early settlers.
As the depopulation of the country cannot, then, be attributed to devastating wars of the Dutch, similar to those carried on in America by its conquerors ; so neither can it be assigned to an organized system of oppression and cruelty. This colony possessed no mines in which to immure the natives; no gold or di amond-bearing streams, in which to enforce labour under the lash, as in the new world ; it produced no valuable agricultural riches requiring extreme exertion of strength; nor were the people seized, sold, and expatriated to foreign climes to pine away in the shackles of irredeemable servitude. On the contrary, so far from “oppression” being the rule of the Dutch government, they evinced a constant solicitude for their protection. All their orders relative to the aborigines, whether Hottentot, Bushman, or Kafir, breathe the spirit of kindness and conciliation, and the records of the criminal courts, fortunately preserved from the earliest date of the colony to this present time, fully bear out the statement that every protection was afforded them, and that Europeans were as constantly condemned to punishment for their ill usage, as the latter were subjected to correction for their misdeeds.
However melancholy the contemplation, it seems certain that the native tribes must inevitably melt away before civilization. The process is going on wherever a new settlement is founded : even the Hottentots of the present day, who enjoy all the privileges of equal laws with the whites, who have had the advantage of missionary efforts for nearly half a century, and who are not