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size of its cattle, and another, the Tarka, for its sheep, while the northern slopes of the Winterberg are devoted to grain, of which large crops are reaped.
The farming stock is as follows :-5420 horses, 39,500 cattle, 350,000 sheep, and 66,400 goats.
Official Return of the Produce of this Division. Wheat, bushels 29,400 | Potatoes, bushels
840 Barley, do.
3,600 Peas, Beans, and Lentils 750 Oats, do. 1,900 Wine, gallons
. 26,600 Maize and Millet 800 | Brandy, do.
It is traversed by the Great Fish River and its many branches, thé Breke, the Schap Kraal, Vleek Port, and Kla Smits Rivers ; but it is nevertheless deficient in water. The great elevation of this part of the colony renders it extremely cold in the winter, while in summer it is much parched.
Several very valuable farms in the county have of late passed into the hands of English Colonists, and who are generally in thriving circumstances, and doing great good in the way of example among the Dutch farmers.
There are five hundreds or wards in this county.
scenery is somewhat monotonous, and in many parts wild, consisting of enormous plains entirely devoid of trees, except on the margins of the rivers, and indeed in one place, in the extreme northern part of the division, one of these scarce productions has procured the name of the “ Wonder Boom," or wonder tree, from its rarity. The grasses are coarse and scanty, but still affording admirable pasture for enormous flocks of sheep, which increase rapidly and thrive well.
The mountain ranges are bleak, stony, and almost denuded of vegetation, and the only relief which the eye enjoys is through the animation conveyed to it by large troops of game, which depasture these extensive steppes, as the gnu, quagga, antelope,* ostrich, and not unfrequently the lordly lion.
* One of the great luxuries of the colony is spring-bok biltongue, which is nothing more or less than the muscles of the haunch of the spring-buck separated, salted, and dried in the air; and this, cut into thin wafer-like slices, forms an agreeable entremet at a colonial meal. I lately treated a green cousin of mine, fresh (raw) from Eng. land, with a right good African breakfast, under the English name of
These mountains assume the most fantastic forms. There are two in particular on the Wesleyan mission station, called Haslope Hills, or Two Table Mountains, from their flattened summits, which, as approached from the back or northern angle of the Winterberg, appear as two colossal glass houses, perfectly distinct from each other, unconnected with any other range, and situated on an immense flat. On the top of one there is said to be a small lake filled with fish. Their elevation from the plain cannot be less than 1500 feet.
Cradock, the seat of the chief magistrate of this county, is situated on the eastern side of the Great Fish River. It is governed by a municipality, and contains about eighty houses, a church capable of holding 2000 persons, public offices, a public school-room, and a prison. A place of worship has also lately been opened by the Wesleyan Methodists, and there is also one for the Independent congregation.
There are some fine hot and cold medicinal springs in the neighbourhood of the town, and native sulphur is said to be found in the county.
The town of Cradock has much increased within the last two or three years. Buildings are springing up on all sides, and are no sooner erected than they find tenants to inhabit them. Being on one of the high roads of the Dutch emigrants to Natal, and one of the nearest points with which they can communicate with the colony, there is every pospect of its becoming an important station. eggs and bacon, the nature of which was not disclosed till after the repast was finished and then having been found good, did not disgust. The first was an omelette of ostrich egg, and the latter the salted and smoked flesh of the hippopotamus, or as it is called here Zee Koe spek (sea-cow pork), and from good pork it cannot be distinguished. Prejudice goes a great way in causing us to reject such dishes; but I pronounce, after considerable experience, that elephant steaks, though somewhat coarse,
are not contemptible; and that baked elephant's foot is a delicacy. I have eaten both these with the room illuminated with candles made from elephant's tallow, when residing at Frederick'sburg, in 1822. I beg also to bear testimony to other niceties of the native African cuisine. The flank of a quagga broiled al fresco ; a roasted porcupine, very much like sucking pig; the leg of an earthhog (Myrmecophega Capensis) equal to the most delicate veal, with a goût only to be compared to its own; the wild boar, rather too lean, but well tasted; land tortoise baked, and river tortoise either made into soup or curried.
5. COUNTY OF GRAF REINET.-There is little room to doubt that at a very early period the division, which now forms the county of Graf Reinet, began to be penetrated by parties of adventurers from the districts contiguous to the Cape, and by the Dutch East India Company's servants, for the purpose of bartering with the natives for cattle to refresh their ships. Governor Van Plettenberg, in 1771, erected on the Sea-cow River, about thirty miles from its confluence with the Orange River, near the present village of Colesberg, a stone inscribed with his name and the date of his visit, to commemorate the incorporation of this territory with that of the colony; the inhabitants having a few months previously been permitted, by a resolution of council, to settle themselves in the Camdeboo and Bruges Heights, on what was termed loan places.
This new accession of territory was added to the county of Swellendam, but in 1786 erected into a separate jurisdiction by Governor Van de Graf, who called it Graf Reinet, in order to leave a memorial of his name as its founder, and in honour of his lady, Reynetta.
For a considerable number of years the occupation of this district was no easy task. The Bushmen, a savage race of people, entirely distinct from the Hottentot race, to which they never belonged, (and who had never been possessed of any description of stock,) partly disturbed from their hunting-grounds by the new comers, and allured from afar by the flocks and herds there introduced, carried on a determined warfare with the settlers, and the entire abandonment of the county was seriously contemplated. That great cruelties were exercised on both sides in the disputes which consequently arose, and that considerable numbers of the unfortunate savages disappeared in the unhappy conflicts which took place, it would be in vain to deny. The habits of an enemy living in caves and rocky recesses, the wantonly mischievous character of his depredations, destroying whatever he could not carry away, and the difficulty of detecting either his residence or approach, his activity, his facility of concealment, must all be taken into account when an estimate is made of the feelings of the colonists, and of the retaliation with which they pursued these unlucky denizens, if denizens they were, of the soil. The fate of the savage is melancholy enough, and need not be made worse by the power of fiction. An attempt, however, has been made to tamper with the best feelings of our nature, and to bring down (not only upon the colonists of a past age, but also upon those of our own times,) the indignation of good men, who, not having access to the means of necessary evidence, and who never having been placed in similar circumstances, are unable to judge dispassionately of the measure of provocation which operated upon the Dutch settlers.
It has been gravely and maliciously asserted, that these same Bushmen were originally Hottentots, and only became robbers after being despoiled of their lands by the colonists ; that through fear of being forced into an abject state of servitude, they retired into the bush or desert, and that the Government not only entertained the idea of exterminating the whole race at one deadly swoop, but actually issued orders to that effect in the year 1774. Fortunately for the character of the Dutch Government of the day, as well as of human nature, the publication of the colonial records has triumphantly disproved this accusation, and its author has recently confessed that no other order but the one which has been found in the colonial archives, and upon which the charge of such an intention was grounded, was ever seen by
and that the order, so far from bearing out the monstrous allegation, only directs the proper authorities to repress the disorders of the Bushmen, without loss of blood, if possible, and to treat them with the greatest humanity, by giving them presents and food, and settling them on lands within the colony. The fact, also, of a specific difference between the Hottentot race and the Bushmen is too well known to require comment, and the circumstance that the latter never possessed cattle of any description is testified by the oldest Hottentot, Kafir, and Colonist, to whom appeal can be made, and is fully substantiated by the earliest extant records.
Graf Reinet is bounded on the north by the county of Colesberg, on the east by that of Cradock, on the south by Somerset and Utenhay, and on the westward by the county of Beaufort. This once extensive district, which, in the time of Barrow, contained an area of full 40,000 square miles, since reduced no all sides by the erection of the new counties surrounding it, is now
confined within an extent of about 8000 square miles, with a population of 8292 souls, of which 3363 are white, and 4929 coloured persons.
It is subdivided, for the purpose of local government, into eight wards or hundreds, of which that of the Snewberg is considered the most valuable, being occupied by a superior and affluent race of stock farmers, well described by Pringle.
Cattle, sheep, wool, butter, tallow, soap, and dried fruits, and a considerable quantity of grain, are the staple products of this division. Of late years particular attention has been bestowed upon the improvement and increase of the fine woolled description of sheep, and the flocks of this valuable animal are rapidly augmenting, for which the extensive plains of the county appear peculiarly well adapted, and the fineness of the fleeces, and the length of their staple, grown on its comparatively arid pastures, is said by competent judges to exceed that of those flocks depastured nearer the sea, occasioned, it is conjectured, by the frosts, which are severe in these upland districts. From want of water at present (which can be obviated by the erection of dams, to be filled by the periodical thunder-storms so frequent in this district), a great portion of the wool is sent away in the grease.
The following is the official return of its produce :Wheat, bushels . 25,827 | Wine, gallons
33,440 Barley, do. 7,746 Brandy, do.
. 22,648 1,900 The Sundays, the Camdeboo, the Bull, the Milk, the Buffalo, and the Kareka Rivers water this county, and as they are capable of being led out over extensive fields, they bring into existence the powers of a soil of the most extraordinary fertility, which, without this artificial description of moisture, would be condemned to everlasting sterility. There are a number of fine springs also in many parts of the division, upon which farms are established, where the vegetation is both rich, beautiful, and profuse.
The natural appearance of this district, where art and culture have not been busy, is not at all prepossessing, except immediately after rains, when the grasses which suddenly start into life, for a few weeks only, impart a beauty as evanescent as it is re