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expulsion of those tribes whom we found in possession of large tracts of land within the boundaries of the colony. Whatever foundation there may have been for their alleged purchase of some part of these lands, it was clear they had intruded upon the colony far beyond that part; and had burned and destroyed many of our farms, after a succession of frightful border wars.
The Caffres, like ourselves, are a spreading people,-not migratory, but in a state of progress and improvement. They are a people of herdsmen ; and have long possessed great numbers of cattle, without sheep or horses, until lately. They also grow some grain. But the increase of their herds, and that of their people has long led them to seek for additional lands. The country to the east, and north-east of their confined territory, being in possession of powerful and kindred tribes of the same habits with themselves, they spread to the west, where they found the comparatively weak tribes of Hottentots in possession of the soil.
Caffreland, as it is called by the Colonists, is a very small portion of the Caffraria of the maps. It is bounded towards the colony by the Great Fish River; to the north by the Winter Berg range of mountains; on the east by a line run at a short distance beyond the river Kei; and on the south by the eastern ocean, breaking in on an iron-bound coast without a single port, although full of streams of fine water. In this country they seem to have been fixed for at least a century; but the names of some of the rivers, and other circumstances, show that they must have once dispossessed Hottentot tribes of it. It may be roughly estimated at an extent of 4,000,000 of square acres. Their population is above 150,000 souls, which is far more dense than the population of the civilized Cape colony. Their correct name is, the Kosæ, or Amakosæ, by which they are distinguished from the other tribes of the great Caffre race, covering so large a portion of south-eastern Africa. The neighbours of these Caffres are the Cape Colonists, the Bushmen of the mountains, and the interior and eastern Tambookies.
The Caffres, or Amakosæ, are divided into several tribes, each having sovereign power, but acknowledging a great chief over them all, with an authority on certain occasions not very well understood by us. This great chief has a tribe of his own, and is entirely separated from the colony by several intermediate tribes. All the chiefs have hereditary councillors possessing extensive influence. Their plan of government has strong indications of reflection and progress; so, that wisely dealt with, they could not fail of becoming a civilized people.
The Caffres who had established themselves within the colonial boundaries, were a portion of these intermediate tribes. The Dutch government had in vain negotiated with them to
retire; and about the year 1811, we resolved to expel them, which was effected with much difficulty. At this period, their relations with the colonists were often friendly and mutually advantageous. They furnished good farm labourers, and many of them were in service, scattered far to the west, among the colonists. They had also placed some of their children at the school of the remarkable Dr. Vanderkemp, a Dutch missionary connected with the London society. After a sanguinary war, however, they were driven beyond the great Fish River. To do this we had formed an alliance with a powerful Caffre chief, who had not intruded upon us, Gaika, so well described in his youth by Barrow; and a rival of the intruding chiefs. He was not the great chief of the interior, acknowledged by all the Caffres as their common suzerain; yet we long persisted in the attempt to exclude all but Gaika from the right of making treaties with us. Thus we not only committed the fault of depriving independent tribes of a privilege of the highest value, but we did so in favour of their enemy.
The cost of this war, and the loss of life in it, were great evils; but it was far worse to throw away an opportunity of laying a deep foundation for African civilization by the improvement of the Caffre people, and by their ultimate amalgamation with us. In the place of such a prospect, we excited the worst passions of our neighbours, and threw them back into barbarism by compelling them to be plunderers for subsistence and revenge.
If the missionaries, and especially Dr. Vanderkemp, had been listened to at this period, things would have had a very different result. He warmly advocated conciliation with the Caffres; and upon a system of peace, he had planned a line of stations, from the frontiers of the Cape Colony, by Caffreland, to Natal and Delagoa Bay. He had gained a correct acquaintance with the populous region, from Dutch books unknown in other countries, and especially to our own most diligent geographers, as could be shown by curious mistakes on the subject. But all his unwearied appeals were vain. Whatever may be the real influence of missionaries upon the government in our days, about which the whole truth is little known; and, however they may have used the influence which they really possess, they are, at least, clear of all reproach for the course of Colonial affairs at the period in question. Even the proved and eminent services of the Moravians, and the great talents of Vanderkemp, his surprising learning, his knowledge of the world which he had in high stations in Europe, with his disinterested devotion of a good private fortune to this cause, could neither gain the confi
• See Pinkerton; and several articles in the Quarterly Review,' upon the Cape, attributed to Sir John Barrow.
dence of the government, nor shield them from the hatred of great numbers of the Colonists. Their appeals were treated with the same neglect as those of several distinguished travellers and shipwrecked seamen, whom the Caffres had treated with signal kindness. The opportunity of doing a great and good work in South Africa, was, therefore, thrown away at that time, and Caffreland became crowded with people so much the more exasperated, as, at least one-third of the tribes expelled from the colony must have been born there in the twenty-three years, during which the intruders had occupied the southeastern districts; whereupon commenced, almost necessarily, a long series of plunderings on the part of the Caffres, and of commandos, with every kind of abuse in border police on the side of the Colonists and Cape government. After several years, in 1819, the expelled tribes very nearly surprised the principal military post on the frontier, since called Graham's Town, now the chief place of the eastern province. The Caffre hero, who roused his people to this effort, and invaded the colony to carry it into effect, was Makanna, the prophet, a man of great eloquence and talents, who, upon learning that a price was set upon his head, gave himself up, for a sacrifice, as he said, on behalf of his coun
Up to this time, inglorious Caffre wars were the acts of the local authorities, with the silent sanction of the home government, undisturbed by one word of reproach from any quarter. In England, all colonial interests were absorbed in those of the French wars; and philanthropy, which, in the preceding century, was not limited by Granville Sharpe and his numerous admirers of all ranks, to race or condition, had now long been directed exclusively to the negro slave, and almost to the slave trade. The colonial press did not extend beyond the government gazette, and the bold and eloquent African travellers,* who formerly reported to Europe the abominations practised at the Cape, had no successors. Among them was one, who, when secretary to the excellent Lord Macartnay, had earned a deserved reputation for his humane and judicious semi-official book upon the Cape; but who, afterwards high in station, and in literary influence, abandoned the good cause, and became a steady assailant of its few advocates. We have before alluded to the geographical blunders of Sir John Barrow respecting South Africa; and refer with far deeper regret to his partisanship in the Quarterly Review, in favour of those who are responsible for enormous oppression in South Africa.
The formation of the British settlement in Albany by a vote of Parliament was one of the sources of a great change. The Sparrman, Le Vaillant, and Barrow.
misfortunes of that settlement, combined with the reviving zeal of the philanthropists, led to the appointment of a commission of inquiry, which began a revolution in the policy of the Caffre frontier. A struggle was commenced at the same time for a free press in Cape Colony, which ended successfully, although to the great peril of all concerned, and to the ruin of one of its most honest and able champions, the late Mr. Pringle, afterwards the secretary to the Anti-slavery Society.
The result was, the abolition of the system of non-intercourse between Caffres and colonists. An extensive trade was therefore opened between them; and at length even the employment of the former upon the farms of the latter was again permitted, as before the expulsion of the Caffres from the colony in the war of 1811. Other beneficial changes accompanied this reform; and several years were consumed in establishing it. The official opponents in the colony were strong; and it met with so little favour in the colonial office at home, that some of its best points recommended by the commissioners of inquiry, were utterly neglected. For example: they proposed to place civil agents among the border tribes upon a good system, a most admirable step, which ought to be taken in advance of all our settlements. Before the arrival of the commissioners of inquiry, such agencies, even on a narrow, vacillating plan, had done good. Nevertheless, this indispensable measure was not followed up until forced upon the government by the great invasion of the colony by the Caffres in 1834. Again, although the commissioners were at the Cape from 1823 to 1827, the border police by commandos (which they condemned) remained little changed long after this period; and its peculiarly mischievous character was aggravated by our encroachments upon the Caffre country, in a way not sufficiently guarded against by the commissioners, although they strongly declared the injustice and impolicy of such encroachments.
In fact, our own steady lawless acts respecting lands belonging to the Caffres, met with no permanent check; whilst our police against their occasional lawless acts, continued to be as mischievous as their lawless acts themselves. These territorial encroachments, and the fears to which they gave rise, were the first causes of the invasion of 1834, which cost the colony and England together not less than half a million sterling, in addition to other enormous evils which do not admit of a money price.
This difficulty as to land by no means stood alone. All parties were dissatisfied with the border police, and with the fluctuations in our border policy. The Governor at Cape Town was too far off; and he rarely had a correct know
ledge of the wants, or grievances, either of the colonists, or of the Caffres in their new relations; or he became acquainted with them too late. So strong was the general opinion against the system in force previous to the Caffre invasion of 1834, and 1835, that the Governor of the Cape himself informed the Secretary of State of his own decided conviction that a change was indispensable. It was, therefore, in the last degree unjust to declare, as the Governor did after that invasion in a public proclamation, that the Caffres were in fault; and 'irreclaimable.' Without doubt the Caffre tribes have cattle stealers among them; and some of the chiefs, being of the same marauding habits as their people, largely share the spoil; but it is a gross calumny to call the whole Caffre people, or any one tribe, thieves, and irreclaimable' savages; or to deny that their chiefs have seconded our measures to suppress crime. It is surely no less our duty, than it is our interest, to admit, and so to strengthen, the good dispositions of the Caffres, and not to aggravate their vices. But by being forgetful, with the Times,' of the very fact of such an invasion as that of 1834, and 1835, to say nothing of the previous invasion of 1819, and of the unquestionable main cause of both, is to put the question of land, and especially our own territorial encroachments, out of the case altogether in our speculations, whilst with the Caffres, those encroachments on our part, and their pressing want of land, are predominant ideas. It is this that gives great importance to carelessness about little historical facts.
A few details upon the land case will place our steady encroachment upon the Caffres in a clear light; and this is not the time for blinking even an unpleasant truth in this quarrel. These details do not in any way concern the old pretensions of the Caffres to a title to lands within the colonial boundary.
Between that boundary, as we received it from the Dutch, at the Great Fish River, and another river further east, the Kaiskamma, lies a large tract commonly called the Neutral, or ceded, territory. So early as the time of General Craig, about 1796, as is recorded with becoming indignation by Sir John Barrow, the border colonists attempted to prevail upon the government to sanction their taking possession of the most desirable part of this territory towards the interior. This portion belonged to the Gaika tribe; whose right to it was undisputed. At no distant period it had been the scene of some very barbarous outrages on the part of the colonists upon the Mandanka Caffres, afterwards incorporated with the people of Gaika. The government would not hear of the design; and during many years it