Historia - Volume 33, Issue 1, 1988
Volumes & issues
Volume 33, Issue 1, 1988
Author H.C. BredekampSource: Historia 33, pp 1 –18 (1988)More Less
Africo Christian's association with George Schmidt, 1737-1743. In the annals of the Moravian Church Africo (Christian) is only remembered for being one of George Schmidt's Khoikhoi converts. This article attempts to give a more detailed account of his life. In the 1730's he introduced Schmidt, first missionary to South Africa, to the Khoikhoi lifestyle, and is a unique example of how the process of transformation manifested itself in the life of a colonial Khoikhoi. Africo Christian is thus portrayed as the most remarkable Khoikhoi personality known at the Cape between 1737 and 1743 in terms of his adaptability to the socio-economic order of the Cape and his tran~formation from heathen to Christian. Despite the strained relations between missionary and convert, at times, Schmidt had to acknowledge the leadership qualities and social standing of Africo as a clan leader. This seemed to have been an important reason for entrusting the mission station at the time of his departure in October 1743 to Africo Christian.
Author C.C. EloffSource: Historia 33, pp 53 –68 (1988)More Less
Stock-theft in the Conquered Territory during the 19th century. Little research has thus far been done on the role of stock-theft in the history of South African agriculture. This can be attributed, inter alia, to the fact that theft relates to negative interpersonal or intergroup relations as well as the sensitive and complex question of guilt. Some writers state in this regard that too much emphasis should not be placed on stock-theft in the analysis of border communities. They are of the opinion that claims to the same land were actually the ""fundamental basis of the conflict"". This article stresses the fact that during the 19th century stock-theft was indeed one of the most serious problems facing the agrarian community of the so-called Conquered Territory in the Eastern Free State border region. Cattle stealing was caused or facilitated by a host of factors, while the nature of the thefts and the way in which it was committed sheds some light on its seriousness. Although the extent of stock-theft can by no means be precisely calculated and losses cannot be quantified in exact financial terms, it becomes clear in this study that those who had to contend with it almost daily, regarded their position as intolerable, desperate and even hopeless. The continuous thefts, in fact, paralysed stock-farmers and filled them with a sense of insecurity, because in time it also caused their farms to diminish in value. Apart from its socio-economic implications stock-theft also had a negative effect on interstate relations since, together with border violations and squatting, it constituted the quintessence of the 19th century border issue between the Free State and Basutoland.
Author A. AppelSource: Historia 33, pp 69 –84 (1988)More Less
Bethelsdorp c.1890-1945: Urbanisation phenomena in a peripheral area. Although this former missionary institution was a peri-urban area during the period under discussion, it did indeed experience the effect of the urbanisation process in Port Elizabeth. This can be seen on two levels: reality and perception. Being on the fringe of an expanding city, Bethelsdorp served as an early 20th century refuge for Coloureds and Blacks who either could not or preferred not to obtain controlled and more expensive housing within the municipal area. Migration to a place of residence at greater distance from the urban working place had thus become a personal choice for many before apartheid legislation institutionalised it into an urban pattern. The well-known urban slums did not develop in the Bethelsdorp settlement. Nevertheless, the increasing influx did create mounting pressure on the existing residential and hygienic facilities and services. The financial and administrative inability of first the Council of Supervisors and then the Local Board, as town councils, to cope effectively with the situation elicited negative comments on the settlement. But seen in a comparative perspective, much of this was impressionistic and formulated exclusively in terms of White urban interests, reminding of a ""sanitation syndrome"" kind of response.
Author J.S. OosthuizenSource: Historia 33, pp 85 –97 (1988)More Less
Although sociology and history started off as one discipline they gradually developed into two completely different fields of study, each with its own methods and terminology. Since the beginning of this century a growing number of historians and sociologists have argued in favour of a closer co-operation between history and sociology. In this article a plea by Van Jaarsveld for more co-operation between history and sociology, is supported and ways in which this could be done are discussed. Firstly, sociologists are cautioned not to resort to broad generalisations which are not supported by historical facts. Two abstract models which are often used by sociologists to explain social change -the linear and the cyclical model -are discussed and historians are urged to assist sociologists in gathering appropriate data to prove or disprove the validity of these models whenever they are utilised. Secondly, historians are urged to employ certain methods and techniques which were originally developed by sociologists but could also be useful to historians since they would give them access to data that would otherwise remain beyond their reach. Examples of these are: the social survey, content analysis, network analysis and the construction of ideal types. A plea is also made to historians to make more frequent use of a number of sociological concepts which may enable them to descriptionbe certain forms of human behaviour in a more precise way than was hitherto possible with purely historical concepts. Particular reference is made to the concepts ""social structure"" and ""social function"", ""social role"", ""social stratification"" and ""mentality"" and ""ideology"".
C H Wessels se omstrede aanstelling en dienstyd as tweede administrateur van die Oranje-Vrystaat : 1915-1924Author J. HaasbroekSource: Historia 33, pp 98 –111 (1988)More Less
The controversial appointment of C H Wessels as second administrator of the Orange Free State 1915-1924. Cornelis Hermanus Wessels' appointment in 1915 as the second administrator of the Orange Free State, a position which he held until his death in 1924, was preceded by political upheaval which eventually led to the government's decision to appoint a new administrator for the province. In 1914 Gen. L. Botha's ruling South African Party (SAP) finally split as a result of policy differences between him and Gen. J.B.M. Hertzog. In that year Hertzog founded the National Party (NPI in which the majority of the white inhabitants of the Orange Free State, especially the Afrikaans speaking people, found their political home. The pro-Hertzog leanings of Dr. A.E.W. Ramsbottom, the first administrator, and the tactless manner according to Botha-supporters, in which he handled the Rebellion crisis in 1914, left the government with no choice but to replace him when his term of office expired in 1915. To Wessels, one of the few leading influential Free State political figures who were a sound government supporter, fell the honour of becoming Ramsbottom's successor. Wessels found himself in an unenviable political situation, since he as a SAP administrator was faced with an overwhelmingly NP-orientated Provincial Council and an exclusively NP Executive Committee. Through his personality and fine political diplomacy, he neutralized the antagonistic feelings towards him in NP provincial circles and thereby established a sound administration. He succeeded in leading the Free State in an uncontroversial manner through a period of serious political economic and social problems.
Johannes Pretorius, die stamvader van die Pretoriusse van Suid-Afrika, se jare op Mauritius : 1666-1669 : IIAuthor Francois J. PretoriusSource: Historia 33, pp 112 –122 (1988)More Less
The Mauritius years of Johannes Pretorius, progenitor of the Pretorius family of South Africa (1666-1669)The Mascarene Islands of Reunion (Bourbon), Mauritius and Rodrigues were discovered in 1513 by the Portuguese navigator, Don Pedro Mascarenha. Mauritius was initially called Ilha da Cirnos (Swan Island) after the swan-like but now long extinct dodo birds. The first settlers were Dutch seamen under Admiral Wybrandt van Warwyk who landed on the island in 1598 and named it Mauritius in honour of their stadholder Maurice of Orange (Nassau). The island which was strategically situated between the Cape and Batavia (Jakarta) in the East Indies was occupied by the Dutch East India Company for the first time in 1638. The main reasons for this occupation were firstly to avoid the menacing Portuguese presence along the East Coast of Africa and secondly the abundance of much sought after ebony on the island. Although the Dutch abandoned the island in 1658, the Dutch East India Company informed Jan van Riebeeck in 1657 that henceforth Mauritius would be administered by the Cape Council of Policy. This led to the second Dutch settlement which lasted for nearly half a century -from 1664 till 1710 -and forget the historic link between the Cape Dutch Settlement and the distant island of Mauritius. In 1666, two years after the second Dutch occupation, Johannes Pretorius, European ancestor of the South African Pretorius family was sent to Mauritius by the Council of Policy at the Cape. This account of his departure from the Netherlands, his arrival at the Cape, his subsequent departure and three years' stay on Mauritius is set in the prevailing Cape and Mauritian history and has been compiled from South Mrican and Dutch archivalia. As a young 22 year old midshipman he sailed from the Netherlands in December 1665 and after a brief sojourn at the Cape was commissioned by the Council of Policy as secunde to the island of Mauritius. His initial status was that of sick-comforter and subsequently also of secunde. During 1667 the Council of Policy suggested that he be considered for the office of governor of the island. He remained on Mauritius for three years and returned to the Cape in December 1669. On his return he wrote a comprehensive report on the wildlife, the horticultural prospects and the supplies of ebony on the island. He concludes his report by confirming the self-sufficiency of the settlement following the second Dutch occupation in 1664.