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The first years of the new colony were those of severe difficulties, considerable privation, and much disappointment, heightened by an unprecedented failure of the wheat crops, which were not confined to the new settlement. The native tribes also exercised on their new neighbours those predatory habits which they, in common with other savages, naturally are heir to; and the British settlers felt galled under the restraints imposed by the colonial government, at that time in every sense despotic. Notwithstanding this complication of evils, the immigrants were made of too sturdy materials to yield to their pressure. They inherited the temper of their race who emigrated to America two centuries before" the Pilgrim Fathers,” who, under similar suffering, publicly declared in a manifesto to their Government, “ that it was not with them as with other men, whom small things could discourage, or small discontents cause to wish themselves home again.” In the failure of their crops, the Albany settlers saw a severe but doubtless a wise dispensation of Providence, and they looked with an unabashed countenance and with full confidence towards their country for relief from the other evils with which they were then beset.

The close of the year 1823 was the most critical period of the new settlement; the plant appeared to be in the last stage of exhaustion; it had not recovered its change of soil and climate, although it was supposed to have struck root, and fears were generally expressed that its doom and failure were sealed. Exactly similar were the appearances and prognostics in the first days of the foundation of our noble American colonies, more recently of New South Wales, and still later of all those on the western and southern coasts of Australia. It appears, indeed, to be the law of transplantation, whether of men or vegetables.

The following year, 1824, is the æra of the successful establishment of the new settlement in the eastern division of the Cape of Good Hope. The complaints of the British settlers produced a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, by which they were nobly vindicated from the aspersions attempted to be fixed upon them for expressing English sentiments, and for demanding the privileges of their birthright, under an English flag and in

an English colony. The same commission recommended an extensive reform in most of the branches of the local Government, which has since been effected, and is still hailed as a boon obtained chiefly through the influence and instrumentality of the settlers. The immigrants also obtained, though with unbounded difficulty, the legalization of a trading intercourse with the neighbouring Kafir tribes, hitherto forbidden under the penalty of death. Within a few months, the articles thus purchased from the savages, consisting principally of ivory and hides, were estimated at the value of £32,000. The disease which had hitherto proved so destructive to the crops

lost much of its virulence. Native depredations were far less frequent, general confidence became restored, hope revived, and the Albany settlement commenced a career of success from which, with the exception of the check given by the Kafir irruption of 1834, it has never been for a moment diverted.

From 1825 to the close of 1834, the young colony made astonishing strides. Fine wool farming was successfully introduced by Messrs. Daniel, Griffiths, White, Korsten, and others. A direct commerce was established between England and the settlement by Messrs. Maynards in 1828. Our Albany traders had opened a traffic, of a very lucrative kind, with the native tribes, as far as Natal on the east, and among the numerous aboriginal clans on the north, to an immense distance. Our travellers had reached the Portuguese colony of Dela-Goa Bay, in one direction, and the tropic of Capricorn on another. Our missionaries had carried the standard of the Christian faith almost as far as the traveller had set his foot. Population, building, stock, and produce, rapidly multiplied, and the political and social reforms demanded by the new comers, for the most part, were conceded.

The disastrous and unprovoked invasion of the frontier districts of the colony by the Kafirs, at the end of 1834, was certainly a severe blow to the now flourishing settlement. Their irruption may be traced to the remissness of the Government, in allowing a fatal diminution of the military force on the border ; in failing to watch and check the first symptoms of aggression on colonial subjects in Kafirland, and on colonial property within the boundary; and also in neglecting to curb certain intriguing

demagogues and mischievous partisans in the colony, who, under the mask of philanthropy, tampered with the ignorant natives on the subject of their imaginary wrongs, and thus precipitated them upon their own countrymen, the unoffending settlers. On the eve of that unexpected explosion, no other plantation of so short a date, assailed by so many difficulties, (principally artificial,) had ever accumulated an equal amount of wealth, enjoyed so much ease, or exhibited so promising a prospect for the future. The towns and villages resounded with the voices of a busy and contented population, their flocks literally covered a “ thousand hills,” and rich and ripe harvests awaited the sickle of the reaper. By this unforeseen and unmerited calamity the labours of fourteen years' toil, patience, and frugality, within that number of days were almost annihilated, and property to the value of £300,000, at the lowest computation, swept off or destroyed, besides the sacrifice of fifty valuable lives. This stroke has been the more severely felt, because the chief sufferers, the British settlers, were cruelly and falsely taunted as the cause of their own misfortunes ; and not only has compensation and redress been denied them, but the public inquiry (by an appeal to their sovereign and parliament, into their conduct, on the spot, and in the face of open day) which they courageously demanded, was most ungenerously and unjustly refused to them. The British settlers, so far from having been guilty of the smallest aggression upon the Kafir tribes, had been, on the contrary, their greatest benefactors, by subscribing several thousands a-year

for their civilization and instruction by missionary efforts, and by opening a mutually beneficial trade. In lieu of being obnoxious to the charge of oppression, the only time the settlers entered the Kafir country in hostile array was in 1828, with the sole view of defending the family of the Chief Hintza and his people against the all successful marauding tribe of the Fetcani, a predatory people, who were then devastating the interior. This chief (Hintza) and his people were saved from certain destruction by the generous interference of the settlers, for which they never asked, never received, and never were offered remuneration. Hintza, however, repaid this act of friendship six years afterwards by planning and causing to be executed the murder of many of the

very individuals who had been at his rescue, and by deeply injuring the settlement which had furnished his defence.

The elastic spirit of the settlers, and the extraordinary capabilities of the country, have, however, nearly obliterated the injuries of the Kafir invasion, which is now only referred to as a matter of history ;-and, although many families still suffer from the effects of that irruption, the settlement, as a whole, has recovered from its consequences, in spite of a vicious border policy, which, after six years' test, is pronounced and proven a decided failure. It is, however, mainly to the extraordinary adaptation of the colony to the rearing of fine woolled flocks that it owes its speedy recovery.

In a series of questions proposed by the South African Land and Emigration Association relative to, and in order to elicit information respecting the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, submitted at the suggestion of Lord John Russell, Secretary of State for the Colonies, will be found the following important queries :

“No. 86. Has the colony founded in the Eastern Province in 1820, commonly called Algoa Bay, answered the expectations formed by the Government and the public ?” and “No. 87. Do you know its present population, and whether any extensive emigration from England has increased the original number ?”

As the replies to these questions, prepared for transmission to England by an Emigration Committee, established at Port Elizabeth in the month of June last (1841), will perhaps furnish satisfactory information upon the subject, and exhibit in a brief but comprehensive view the value of the settlement and the progress it has made, I shall adopt their answers, at the risk of being charged with the sin of considerable repetition, premising, however, that they emanate from a body of persons, most of whom have had the advantage of a twenty years' experience in the colony, and who have filled, or still do so, the various situations of public functionaries, landed proprietors, farmers, merchants, traders, &c., and are therefore entitled to the greatest confidence :

“ The colony, founded in the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope in 1820, is correctly known here by the name of

the sea-po

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* the British Settlement of Albany, the latter named district being that in which the greatest number of the settlers were originally located; a considerable number, however, located themselves in the neighbouring county of Utenhay, especially at

in Algoa Bay named by his Excellency the then Governor, Sir Rufane Donkin, Port Elizabeth, which is completely an English town, and an integral portion of the British settlement of 1820.”

“ The emigration was a Government measure, for which the House of Commons readily voted £50,000, a sum of money never more advantageously laid out by the English nation.”

“The emigrants who landed in Algoa Bay in the early part of 1820 were 3736 in number. This number has never been materially augmented, except by births. Indeed, the immigration to the whole colony, including 750 juveniles sent out by the Children's Friend Society, has not, during the last twenty years, amounted to more than 4000, a portion only of whom have settled in the Eastern Province *."

Amongst the original immigrants were several persons with considerable capital, but certainly seven-tenths had little if any means; but the latter class, it must be observed, are now the most wealthy. The capitalists, not only ignorant of the country and climate, but unfitted by their previous habits to cope with the humbler ranks, soon dissipated their resources upon unproductive undertakings. Many of the immigrants were sent out either by parochial assistance, or by the subscription of their friends, and these it is known have been among the most successful. The large proportion of the settlers, had they continued in their native country, would doubtless have remained, or become a burden upon the parish, and entailed a hopeless state of servitude upon their posterity; but here they are metamorphosed into a self-supporting independent population.”

“In the brief space allotted for a reply to the questions pro

* Emigration to the Cape is under-rated by the Port Elizabeth Committee. The number recorded at the Custom House give 4870, without including the 760 boys. Many vessels taking only a small number have made no return; and many vessels going to Sydney &c. have landed passengers at the Cape instead of going further; and one New Zealand vessel left seventy emigrants at the Cape: so that we cannot estimate the emigration to the Cape at less than 6000.

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