Indigenous people of southern Africa

Indoda Ebisithanda (“The Man Who Loved Us”) – The Reverend James Laing among the amaXhosa, 1831-1836

2022-07-19T09:19:20+00:00September 4th, 2019|

This study is a critical edition of a section of the journals of the Reverend James Laing of the Glasgow Missionary Society. The first scholarly study of the Laing journals, this thesis seeks to contribute towards a new understanding of the early days of transcultural interchange on the Eastern Cape frontier. The only previous published work on Laing is William Govan's hagiographical Memorials of the Missionary Career of the Rev. James Laing, Missionary of the Free Church of Scotland in Kaffraria published in Glasgow by David Bryce and Son in 1875. This study attempts to make Laing's text as accessible to today's readers as possible. To this end, the text is a faithful transcription of the original, augmented by a contextual introduction, detailed footnotes and a comprehensive index

Isaac Williams Wauchope: Selected Writings 1874-1916

2021-02-25T19:35:34+00:00July 24th, 2008|

Isaac Williams Wauchope (1852-1917) was a prominent member of the Eastern Cape African elite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a Congregational minister, political activist, historian, poet and, ultimately, legendary hero in the Mendi disaster. A Lovedale student, he was instrumental in founding one of the first political organisations for Africans, an enthusiastic campaigner for the establishment of the University of Fort Hare. This volume assembles a selection of these writings, in English and in Xhosa, reflecting Isaac Wauchope's momentous and turbulent life.

Words of Batswana: Letters to Mahoko a Becwana, 1883-1896

2021-02-23T21:45:36+00:00July 24th, 2006|

Words of Batswanapresents a selection of letters that were written by Batswana to Mahoko a Becwana (News/Words of Batswana), a Setswana-language newspaper published by missionaries of the London Missionary Society at Kuruman between 1883 and 1896. The majority of the writers were members of congregations in what are today South Africa’s Northern Cape Province and North West Province, but many also wrote from as far away as the Transvaal, Orange Free State and the Bechuanaland Protectorate. Most of the writings were letters to the editor, but their intended audience was primarily other Batswana readers of the newspaper. They wrote on a wide range of topics of concern to literate, mission-educated Batswana at that time, including mission work, theology, standardization of written Setswana, cultural change and European colonization. Their letters were also often written in response to other letters or missionary articles, producing lively debates on a number of controversial issues. These writings offer a rare and revealing glimpse of conversations that took place among literate Africans during a crucial period in the formation of modern South Africa and Botswana. They are reproduced here both in their original Setswana form and as translated into English.

The Journal of Gustav de Vylder, naturalist in South-Western Africa 1873-1875

2021-02-23T21:38:02+00:00July 24th, 1997|

Gustav de Vylder, a Swedish naturalist, journeyed through Namibia from 1873 to 1875, collecting insects and other natural-history specimens for institutions in his home country. His travels were undertaken some years before the German colonial occupation when the European presence was slight. De Vylder's journal is a record of an adventurous journey, personal encounters and conditions in what was then considered to be a remote region. He was a man of his age, but had some advanced and provocative views.

Norwegian missionaries in Natal and Zululand: selected correspondence (1844-1900)

2021-02-24T14:31:56+00:00July 24th, 1996|

The Norwegian Missionary Society established its first permanent stations north of the Tugela in the 1840s. The Zulu Lutheran Church which developed from conversions in the 1860s only really developed after the conquest of Zululand in 1879. The Norwegian missionaries were strategically located to view changes in Zulu culture and civilisation and their letters and reports comprise a rich and detailed historical source.

Griqua Records, the Philippolis Captaincy, 1825-1861

2021-02-23T21:35:13+00:00July 24th, 1994|

In the Transorange in the early part of the 19th century, there were four small, semi-independent Griqua polities, each ruled by its own Chief or Kaptyn. They of were of considerable importance to the British authorities at the Cape, and to the London Missionary Society. This volume comprises of a collection of official and semi-official documents relating he Captaincy which existed at Philippolis in the modern Free State from 1826 to 1861, when it was transferred to Kokstad, Griqualand East. They provide a comprehensive picture of a poorly-documented aspect of the history of the Northern Frontier.

Johan August Wahlberg: Travel Journals and from letters, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, 1838-1856

2021-02-24T10:03:10+00:00July 24th, 1992|

Johan August Wahlberg (1810-1856), a Swedish naturalist, travelled through much of southern Africa, including Natal and Namibia, before the mid-19th century. He had been chosen by the Swedish Academy of Sciences to collect plants and animals in southern Africa for the Natural History Museum in Stockholm. His account of his travels is often terse and businesslike but his accounts of the people he encountered are usually fair and open-minded.

Guillaume Chenu de Chalezac, the ‘French Boy’

2021-02-24T09:48:14+00:00July 24th, 1991|

The 15-year-old 'French boy' was wrecked on he Ciskei coast in 1687, and spent a year living in the household of a Xhosa chief. The worlds of the Huguenot diaspora, the great days of Indian Ocean trading, the Cape's pivotal position in the struggle for mastery, and the awakening interest of the Dutch in the 'Terra de Natal' form a many-layered basis to this first full account of the Xhosa and their way of life since European settlement in South Africa began.

The Commissions of W.C. Palgrave Special Emissary to South West Africa, 1876-1885

2021-02-24T08:40:48+00:00July 24th, 1990|

William Coates Palgrave (1833-1897) was active in South West Africa (Namibia) for 25 years. As Special Commissioner to Hereroland and Namaland, he undertook 5 consecutive commissions to that country on behalf of the Cape government. This volume, containing the official journals, or minutes and reports produced during the commissions, records the life of a country on the brink of colonisation.

The Frontier War Journal of Major John Crealock 1878

2021-02-24T08:20:30+00:00July 24th, 1988|

Major John North Crealock (1837-1895) fought in a number of colonial wars, including the Indian Mutiny and the Anglo-Zulu War. This volume is a detailed account of the warfare conducted against the Xhosa in the last phases of the frontier war of 1877-1878. Opinionated and inefficient, Crealock nevertheless gives a sober account of the military situation.

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