Namibia, Namaqualand and Botswana

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.

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.

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.

Travels and Adventures in Southern Africa by George Thompson, 1823-24; Vol. II

2021-09-02T15:36:43+00:00November 25th, 1968|

This second volume of Thompson's travels covers a journey to the 'country of the bushmen, Korannas, and Namaquas', in the Roggeveld and Namaqualand. The volume concludes with 'observations on the present condition of the Dutch and English inhabitants' and a discussion on the commercial potential of the Cape Colony.

Travels and Adventures in South Africa by George Thompson, 1823-24; Vol. I

2021-09-02T15:41:07+00:00July 25th, 1967|

George Thompson, who arrived in the Cape about 1818, was a successful merchant in Cape Town. He married a Dutch woman and travelled widely in southern Africa in the early years of the 19th century. Much of this travelling was to expand the business of his company amongst the 1820 settlers of the Eastern Cape. He also travelled up to Kuruman and across to the Augrabies Falls on the Orange River.

The Narrative and Journal of Gerald McKiernan in South-West Africa during the years 1847-70

2023-08-20T16:36:30+00:00July 25th, 1954|

Gerald McKiernan was an American trader, operating in South West Africa in the last decade before German colonial rule. The manuscript consists of a narrative of 5 years' travel in Africa, from 1875 to 1879, and a diary which he kept from 1877 to 1879. The author travelled widely, probably reaching well into Angola.

Journals of Andrew Geddes Bain, trader, explorer, soldier, road engineer and geologist

2022-07-17T19:29:51+00:00July 25th, 1949|

Andrew Geddes Bain is best known for his building of Cape roads and passes. His diaries, from 1826 to the 1840s, were both working journals and accounts of his experiences and descriptions of the people he encountered in the course of his work. This volume includes his chronicle of his journey in 1826 to the northern Cape.

The Journal of Carel Frederik Brink of the journey into Great Namaqualand [1761-2] made by Captain Hendrik Hop and The Journal of the journey of Ensign Johannes Tobias Rhenius [1724]

2023-09-11T19:12:56+00:00July 25th, 1947|

Hendrik Hop was a Stellenbosch farmer who led a pioneering journey into Namaqualand. The account of the journey is told by the Cape surveyor and map-maker, Carel Brink. Accompanying this record is the brief journal of the trading journey of Johannes Rhenius of Berlin, made nearly 40 years before that of Hop. His account is of particular interest because of his encounters with Khoi people distant from the Cape settlement.

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