oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die lewensverhaal van pionierboer en Voortrekker Lourens Abraham Erasmus

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The life history of Lourens Abraham Erasmus (1780-1849) is given. He is one of the few boers who trekked with an ox wagen and his household and cattle right through South Africa. Born near Cape Town he first trekked through the Cape Province as farming conditions demanded. With the Great Trek he moved through the Transoranje and the Transvaal to find his last resting place in Zoutpansbergdorp. To trace the trek of one person is made possible by research in the archives of our country. In the Cape Colony the Field Comets had to compile Citizen Rolls annually to show who stayed where and what the taxable assets were. Information is also obtained from the marriage and baptism registers of the churches and from local authority records. With the Great Trek the appointed magistrates had to record the applications for farms along the routes in the Potgieter I and Potgieter II registers now stored in the Transvaal Archives in Pretoria. Some estate files have been preserved in the archives. Thus the contribution of one boer trekker to the opening up of the interior of South Africa for civilization could be traced. Reference is made to the unsympathetic Cape Government, the danger of wild animals, plundering and murder by indigenous tribes and subsequent punitive expeditions. On the available land-maps the resting places of this trek could be traced and shown.

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