The Great Trek and its First Results.
[Sidenote: Abolition of Slavery]
The abolition of slavery is one of the landmarks in South African history. The motive for the expenditure of a hundred million of dollars in freeing slaves within the bounds of the British Empire was noble beyond all criticism. The act itself was wise and necessary. But the immense distance of the British Government from the scene in South Africa and the unfortunate ignorance of the Colonial Office, at times, concerning conditions in those far-away regions, produced mistakes in the carrying out of their policy of freedom which created a distinct injustice and made memories which still rankle in the breasts of Dutchmen from the Cape to the Zambesi. The Slave Emancipation Act came into force in Cape Colony on December 1st, 1833, and by the terms of its administration $6,235,000 was apportioned to the Cape proprietors, as against the $15,000,000 at which they had valued their property. The difference was considerable and, as many of the slaves were mortgaged it is apparent that some measure of trouble must have followed even had the whole six million dollars been promptly distributed amongst the farmers. As it was, the period of seven years' apprenticeship originally granted in order to prepare all parties for the inevitable change of condition was shortened to five years, while the money itself was doled out from London after individual proof of claim. The result, through a natural and complete ignorance of procedure amongst the farmers, was the wholesale disposal of claims against the Government for mere trifles and the enrichment of hordes of agents at the expense of the settlers.
[Sidenote: A Disastrous Measure]
To many this meant ruin. Their source of labour was gone; they could not, or would not, themselves perform manual work; their discontent with the British Government was intensified by a bitter feeling that the missionaries were their sworn enemies and were installed at the ear of the Governor and in the heart of the Colonial Office; their belief in British power was at a minimum owing to weakness in dealing with the Kaffirs; their homes had been harried along the border during many Kaffir wars and sometimes in days of peace; their pleas for a vagrancy law which should restrain wandering Kaffirs or Hottentots while within the Colony had been refused from fear of harshness in its local administration; their whole social system, religious sentiment and racial pride seemed in a state of revolt against existing conditions. At this unfortunate moment another Kaffir war broke out. There had been warning signs of danger along the eastern frontier of the Province, much alarm had been felt and expressed and appeals were sent to Cape Town for protection. Dr. Philip, the political missionary and self-constituted defender of all natives, declared these fears unwarranted, and Sir Benjamin D'Urban, who had just come out as Governor, failed to take any serious measures for defence. The result was that on December 23rd, 1834, 10,000 Kaffirs swept over the frontier, plundered the farms, murdered fifty Europeans within a week and, before the Colony was cleared of them, had wholly, or partially destroyed 806 farm-houses and captured, or destroyed sixty wagons, 5700 horses, 111,000 horned-cattle and 161,000 sheep. This was the final blow to thousands of Dutch settlers. Had they been naturally loyal to British institutions and allegiance, their repeated misfortunes must have produced some discontent, and, as it was, they were said to create an absolutely impossible situation. [Sidenote: The Trek Commences] Disregarded by their own slaves, whom they despised and often ill-treated; pillaged by the native tribes, whom they hated with a bitter hatred and oppressed wherever possible; governed by the English, whom they had learned to dislike intensely and to in some measure despise; controlled by rules of administration which they failed to understand and by laws of liberty which aimed at their individual right of control over human chattels, while striving to permeate by education the dense mass of their inherited ignorance; they prepared their caravan-covered wagons, gathered together their household possessions and flocks and herds, and withdrew in thousands from the Colony, and, as they hoped, from British rule.
[Sidenote: Qualities and Mode of Life]
Such is a brief pen-picture of the immediate and surface causes of the Great Trek. It gives the most favorable view for the emigrant farmer, and constitutes, in various forms, the basis for the belief in foreign countries that the Boers were forced to migrate from Cape Colony by British tyranny or maladministration; that they deserved their independence if ever a people did; and that Great Britain had no right to interfere further with them in the interior. Such an opinion is far from correct. As we have seen in preceding pages, the British Government had made sundry serious mistakes in policy; but they had occurred under conditions of exceptional difficulty and from motives of the highest and best. The Boers, in fact, did not want firm government or free institutions; they desired liberty to do as they liked with their own living chattels and with the natives of the soil. They deliberately cultivated modes of life and thought diametrically opposed to everything the Englishman holds dear, and carefully fanned the smouldering embers of dislike and distrust in their own breasts until they became a flame of active hatred. The development of conditions, therefore, which in Canada or Australia would have produced protests and elicited eventual and satisfactory reforms only served, in South Africa, to intensify individual bitterness, to increase the racial misunderstandings and prejudices, and to hasten the great migration into the interior.
There are some important details to consider in this connection. Many of England's troubles in administering the eastern part of the Colony were due to Boer arrogance and contempt of native rights and property; while the wars which resulted in the destruction of Dutch property, in turn, were natural though regrettable ebullitions of that spirit of revenge which is not always confined to savages. Unwise as Lord Glenelg's despatch to Sir Benjamin D'Urban was, its terms clearly prove this fact. As to the Trek itself, there is a possibility that it would have occurred in any case. The Boers were accustomed to a wandering life in wagons, and, in time, their laagers must inevitably have extended further and further into native territory. The loss of their slaves would have naturally driven parties of the more enterprising and youthful into the vast interior, and the spirit with which they slaughtered natives as readily and as cheerfully as they did wild beasts would have surely established Dutch communities to the north and east without the provocations afforded by missionary charges of cruelty, the Slaghter's Nek incident, the freeing of the slaves, or native raids of retribution across the frontier. The pity of it is that the feeling of hatred toward England and Englishmen was so early in its origin and so deep-seated in its nature that some of these occurrences, which superficial writers give as the undoubted cause of the sentiment, were in reality more like the froth and foam upon the top of a slow-gathering wave of sullen and stubborn resentment against a superior racial civilization.
[Sidenote: Troubles with the Natives]
The Boers who migrated were chiefly those of the eastern part of the Colony, far away from the seat of Government and almost entirely isolated from communication with English settlers--largely by their own desire. They were accustomed to fighting the natives, and had the authorities allowed them at pleasure to throw off their allegiance and move into the interior in detached bodies, there would have been no end to complications with the native tribes, while a prolonged series of little wars in partial defence of men who were alien in race and thought and policy would have resulted. At this period, too, England still maintained throughout the world the principle that he who is born a British subject is always one, and in South Africa, up to 1836, it was really good policy to prevent isolated Dutch settlements in the native regions. When the migration became too large and too well organized to prevent, later developments made it still necessary to press this claim of allegiance in order to try and control, or check, the new régime of strife and bloodshed which the Boer commandos had established and which threatened both British interests and settlers in Natal. There was much of the picturesque and something of the apparently heroic in this famous migration. Out of Egypt and from the bondage of the Englishmen--who would not let them retain their bondsmen--the Boers went to the number of at least ten thousand, and traversed the vast wilderness stretching through what is now Griqualand East into the Natal of to-day; or else trekked into the regions north of the Orange and Vaal Rivers. The interest and striking features of the migration were undoubted, but the heroism was not at first so clear. As events turned out there was much of danger and death in these determined raids into native territory--conquered and partially cleared of population by the wars of Moselkatze and Tshaka--but at first the contempt of the Boers for all savages, their absolute belief in themselves as a chosen people and in their shotguns as invincible allies, made the movement an apparently simple matter.
[Sidenote: Preparations and First Party of Trekkers]
In 1836 the Great Trek began. All through the frontier districts sounded the hum of preparation, while the still primitive roads became crowded with large wagons laden with household goods, provisions, ammunition and the families of the men who rode on either side or guarded the droves of cattle and horses and the flocks of sheep and goats which accompanied each caravan. The parties travelling together were usually made up of related families, and were led by one of themselves duly elected to the post and to the title of Commandant. The first party to start was divided into two sections of about fifty individuals each. One section met the not uncommon fate of over-confident invaders in a land of savages, and its members were destroyed with the exception of two children. The other went away up to the north and east, and only a few finally reached the Portuguese settlement at Delagoa Bay alive. Fever and the Tsetse fly had been too much for the expedition. [Sidenote: The Second Party] The second party was a large one under command of an able leader--Hendrik Potgieter. Slowly and carefully he guided his people up to an extensive strip of land lying between the Vet and Vaal Rivers, and of this they took possession. It was not long, however, before Moselkatze, the potent Chief of the Matabele, heard of this invasion of his sphere, and some isolated parties of the farmers were killed by his warriors. Then came the news that a grand attack was to be made and the settlement wiped out. Potgieter at once selected a suitable elevation, made a strong defence with wagons and trees, and with forty men awaited the attack. The result of fierce onslaughts upon such a position by the naked bodies and brandishing spears of a Matabele army was what might have been expected, and 155 corpses of the enemy were finally left outside the laager.
[Illustration: BRITISH COURIER CARRYING THE NEWS OF THE BEGINNING OF WAR TO THE ENGLISH SETTLERS]
[Illustration: INSPECTION BY THE COMMANDANT OF THE ASSEMBLED "COMMANDO" IN THE MARKET PLACE OF A DORP. BEGINNING OF THE WAR-BOERS LEAVING PRETORIA FOR THE FRONT.]
[Sidenote: The Third Contingent]
Relief came to the party from a third contingent of emigrants under Gerrit Maritz, who soon after joined forces with them, and then the Boers with their characteristic and inborn contempt for the natives organized an expedition of one hundred and seven farmers to attack the nearest kraal of the Chief whose name was a household word of terror amongst alien tribes and a force for unity and fighting power amongst his own people. The commando surprised a large kraal from which both Moselkatze and his Induna happened to be absent, slew at least four hundred warriors, fired the village and returned to camp with nearly seven thousand cattle as trophies of victory. The emigrants then established themselves at a place on the Vet River, which they called Wynburg, and here they were soon joined by other families from Cape Colony, and, notably, by one band with Pieter Retief at its head. The latter was elected Commandant-General, and a skeleton of a constitution, after the Dutch plan, was framed. Instinct, however, with the roving spirit of their people, many of the continually arriving bands would not settle down even at this spot, and hankered after the lowlands and sea-coast of Natal. Pieter Uys, one of the leaders, had visited this region a couple of years before, and was eloquent in praise of its beauty, fertility and delightful climate. The fact that Natal had been partially colonized as early as 1825 by Englishmen, under arrangements with Tshaka; that it was claimed as a British possession, and that, in 1835, the settlers at Durban had petitioned the Imperial Government to take them formally under its protection; does not seem to have greatly concerned the Boers. The only point in question was how Dingaan, who had succeeded Tshaka as head of the Zulus, could be persuaded or coerced into a cession of territory outside the immediate sphere of British settlement on the coast. [Sidenote: How they Obtained Land] To this end Retief himself crossed the Drakensberg mountains, paid a visit to Dingaan in what is now Zululand, and found him apparently quite willing that the farmers should settle in Natal. Meantime a second Dutch expedition against the Matabele in the west had been organized, and the result, as told by Dr. Theal, the Cape Town historian, is so typical of Boer methods and character in warfare that no apology is needed for its reproduction here:
 The Story of South Africa. By George M. Theal, LL.D. London, 1895.
[Sidenote: Ruthless Warfare]
"It consisted of one hundred and thirty-five farmers in two divisions, under Hendrik Potgieter and Pieter Uys. Moselkatze was found on the Marikwa, about fifty miles north of Mosega, and he had with him at least twelve thousand warriors, all splendidly trained and as brave as any troops who ever lived. But the advantage of the farmers in their guns and horses was so great that the hundred and thirty-five did not hesitate to attack a force which was to theirs as ninety to one. For nine days the Matabele tried to reach their opponents, but all their efforts were in vain. The farmers were more than once nearly surrounded; still their plans were so perfect that they were never quite entrapped. They had little else but dried meat to live upon, and they had no resting-place but the bare ground with a saddle for a pillow. Only the hardiest of men and horses could have carried on aggressive operations so long. The loss of the Matabele was great, so great that at the end of the nine days Moselkatze gave up the contest and sought only to escape. With his people and his cattle he fled to the north, and in the country beyond the Limpopo commenced to destroy the Mashona tribes as he had destroyed the southern Betshuana. The farmers were too wearied to follow him, and indeed they could not have continued in the field much longer under any circumstances, so they contented themselves by seizing six or seven thousand head of cattle, with which they returned to Wynburg."
[Sidenote: Subjugation of Matabele]
There seems to have been no particular reason for the expedition except the driving of the Matabele out of a region which the Boers wanted and the making of their own position more secure. It is probable that negotiation would have answered the purpose, as Moselkatze was more amenable to reason than other native potentates had proved to be, and was to some slight extent under the influence of Dr. Moffat. But the emigrant farmers wanted territory, and despised the native owners too much to care about taking time and trouble for its acquisition. Better a bold assault, a speedy and successful slaughter of the enemy, than an ordinary and peaceful but prolonged settlement. The immediate result of this raid was a proclamation issued by Commandant Potgieter in which he declared territory now including the greater part of the Transvaal, a half of the Orange Free State, and the whole of northern Bechuanaland, to belong to the emigrant farmers. [Sidenote: Pieter Retief] Not satisfied with this immense acquisition, or annexation of territory, Retief, in the succeeding year (1838) led a large party of Boers over the Drakensberg, and went on himself with about seventy men to Dingaan's capital--Umkungunhlovu, where he claimed the formal cession of that part of Natal which had been previously promised him. The Zulu Chief expressed his approval of the deed which had been drawn up, affixed his mark to it, and then invited the visitors into his own private part of the kraal. Unsuspiciously leaving their guns behind them, the entire party seated themselves, and were then seized, bound and slaughtered by surrounding guards. Immediately afterwards ten thousand Zulus left the kraal, and after a march of eleven days fell upon the nearest Boer encampment at a place since called Weenen, and destroyed men, women, children and slaves. The horrors of that massacre have never been forgotten or forgiven by the Dutch. Had not one young man, sleeping at a distance from the camp, awakened in time to save himself on a swift horse, every Dutch emigrant in Natal must have suffered the same fate. As it was, he succeeded in warning the other scattered parties in time for them to form their simple laagers and to shoot down the attacking Zulus until surrounded, literally, by heaps of dead savages.
[Sidenote: War with the Zulus]
Immediately upon hearing of the disaster Potgieter and Uys collected every available fighting man and crossed the mountains to the relief of their comrades. The Englishmen of Port Natal, or Durban, also offered their assistance. Finally, a force of 347 Boers rode straight for the Zulu capital, intent only on vengeance. After five days' journey they were, however, drawn into an ambush and lost ten men, including Commandant Uys, and much ammunition and baggage. About the same time seventeen Englishmen, leading fifteen hundred friendly natives, of whom some four hundred were armed with muskets, started out to help the Dutch. A little south of the Tugela River they came upon a Zulu regiment, and were in turn drawn into an ambush on April 17, 1838, which resulted in one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in that region of almost continuous conflict. The little force found itself between the wings of a Zulu army numbering at least 7,000 men and with thousands more coming in during the battle. Three times the Englishmen and their little force beat back the enemy. One division, with four white men and four hundred blacks, did fight its way down the steep bank of the Tugela and across the river. The other division, after battling for hours with the serried masses of savage warriors, was finally overpowered and slaughtered. [Sidenote: Natal Overrun by Native Soldiers] Natal was now overrun by Dingaan's soldiers, and the remaining Boer families were gathered together in fortified camps, which the Zulu armies could not carry by storm.
[Sidenote: Pretorius in Command]
In November, 1838, however, a change came over the scene. Andries Pretorius, a Boer leader of great natural skill and characteristic self-confidence, arrived in Natal, was elected to the command of the scattered forces, and speedily succeeded in getting together a compact and mobile little army of 464 men. With prayers and psalms the men rode straight for the place where they expected to find the enemy. Every precaution against surprise or ambush was taken, and wherever they camped they were surrounded with a circle of wagons lashed together; while scouts were maintained continuously in all directions. A vow was made that if victory came to the little troop they would build a church and set apart a yearly thanksgiving day in commemoration. On the 16th of December, Dingaan's army of ten or twelve thousand men attacked their camp on the margin of a stream which has ever since been called Blood River, and for two hours the brave Zulu warriors faced the storm of bullets from that deadly laager. It was useless, however. The guns and artillery of the invaders killed over three thousand of the enemy before they finally broke and fled. Pretorius followed them to the Zulu capital, which Dingaan meantime set on fire, and then tried without success to capture the Zulu Chief, who had fled with some thousands of men to a part of the country where cavalry could not operate. Finally, the commando returned to Natal with some 5,000 head of cattle and the loss of six white men in the entire campaign. Dingaan also returned and rebuilt his capital, while the Dutch founded Pietermatitzburg, erected a church in memory of their victory, and commenced the annual celebration of Dingaan's Day which is still maintained.
[Sidenote: Durban Re-occupied by the British]
Meanwhile Durban had been re-occupied by a small British force in accordance with a proclamation issued by Sir George Napier, Governor of Cape Colony, and dated November 14, 1838, which declared that it was intended "to put an end to the unwarranted occupation of the territories belonging to the natives by certain emigrants from Cape Colony, being subjects of Her Majesty." No definite interference was effected, however, and a year later the troops were withdrawn in one of the multiform mutations of Colonial Office policy; though Sir George Napier absolutely refused to recognize any right of control over the country by the Boers, and declared in January, 1841, that "Her Majesty could not acknowledge the independence of her own subjects." Despite this Pretorius acted as if he were the head of a free and all-powerful community, and with a degree of autocratic contempt for other races and peoples which was very characteristic. Dingaan, during the year succeeding the battle on the banks of the Blood River, remained passive, and does not appear to have had any aggressive intentions. [Sidenote: Invasion of Zululand] In September, 1839, however, the Boers made common cause with a local rebellion raised by his brother Panda, joined the latter in January, 1840, with four hundred men under Pretorius, invaded Zululand and defeated Dingaan with great slaughter. The latter fled to the Delagoa Bay region, and was shortly afterwards murdered, being replaced by Panda as "King of the Zulus" under the terms of a curious proclamation signed by the Boer leader as "Commandant-General of the Right Worshipful Volksraad of the South African Society," and in which he claimed for the farmers the whole of Natal by right of conquest. During this campaign against Dingaan--from which the Dutch farmers received a booty of 40,000 head of cattle--an event occurred for which there is no adequate excuse, and which illustrates the unscrupulous nature of Boer warfare. Dingaan, at one stage of the invasion, tried to come to terms with his enemy, and sent an officer named Tambusa to negotiate for peace. Contrary to all the rules of war, savage or civilized, Pretorius had the envoy arrested, tried by court-martial for an alleged but unproven share in the Umkungunhlovu massacre, and executed.
[Sidenote: Republic of Natalia Established]
What was called by the Boers the Republic of Natalia, stretching from the Umzimvubu to the Tugela and including a claim to much of modern Zululand, was thus established. The first act of its Government, toward the close of 1840, was to attack a chief named N'Capai, living two hundred miles from the territory of the alleged Republic, and not far from the border of Cape Colony. Without apparent rhyme or reason, the men were slaughtered, their cattle captured, and seventeen young children carried away into slavery. This at last aroused the Colonial Government, and, in turn, the Home authorities. Sir George Napier promptly sent some soldiers into the region to watch events and prevent further aggression upon the natives, announced his intention to resume the military occupation of Natal, and at the same time appealed to the Colonial Office for further aid and instructions. Ultimately it was decided to occupy Natal permanently. But before this was done there had to be some fighting with the irrepressible farmers. A small British force had been sent to defend Durban, but before it reached that place was surprised and almost surrounded by a number of Boers. After fighting for some time the British retired, losing their guns and oxen and some nineteen men. Captain Smith found a new position, strengthened it, and stood a siege at the hands of Pretorius and his six hundred men, until he was relieved on June 25, 1842, by troops from Cape Town, who came to his rescue by sea.
[Sidenote: Further Developments]
The further developments of the situation were peaceful. Lord Stanley, then Colonial Secretary, wrote a despatch on December 13, 1842, appointing Mr. Cloete as British Commissioner at Durban, and laying down definite and important rules in a new system of administration for the country. Under these instructions the white people were to be called together and given every opportunity for stating the nature of the institutions they desired, although full legislative power was not yet to be granted. "I think it probable," said Lord Stanley, "looking to the nature of the population, that they will desire those institutions to be founded on the Dutch rather than on the English model, and however little some of those institutions may be suited to a more advanced state of civilization, it is the desire of Her Majesty's Government that, in this respect, the contentment of the emigrants, rather than the abstract merits of the institutions, should guide our decision." There were, of course, to be certain limitations in this connection. No distinction or disqualification founded on "color, origin, language or creed," was to be recognized. No "aggression upon natives beyond the Colony" was to be tolerated or sanctioned. Slavery in any shape or form was to be "absolutely unlawful." But the Boers were incorrigible. They would not meet with the British Commissioner or fairly discuss his terms. They would not accept the principle of racial and religious equality under any condition of affairs. They would not accept any restriction upon their right to take whatever territory they liked from the natives outside of Natal and at any time they might feel disposed. They would not endure the principle of negro freedom in this new region any more than in the older Colony at the Cape. Apart from these basic principles of government, practical details also galled them. The establishment of a Land Court to limit and define the possessions of settlers and to give legal rights of ownership to the natives, was especially objectionable, and, by 1847, most of the emigrant farmers had again trekked away to the Orange Free State and the country beyond the Vaal.
[Sidenote: British Principles of Government]
There seems to have been no valid reason for this movement. The British Government, outside of certain fundamental principles of morality and administration, desired to give the farmers every possible latitude. It had no wish for territorial expansion, and would never have interfered at all if the aggressive policy of the Boers meeting the wild instincts of the Bantu, or Zulus, half-way, had not drenched the region with blood. But the deterioration of the Boer character, or rather the expression of that character in a sphere where it was practically uncontrolled, had assumed a form in which the possession of large tracts of land and the compulsory service of natives appeared as absolute essentials of life, which they had the right to take by force--in the same way as Moselkatze and Tshaka had done previously and with apparently no higher motives than those which had actuated savage chiefs at war with weaker tribes. Moreover, they had failed signally in this first effort at self-government, and the rivalry of leaders like Hendrick Potgieter, Gerrit Maritz and Andries Pretorius had not only helped to prevent the establishment of any form of administration amongst the people capable of levying taxes and compelling obedience to the state, but had made constant raids upon neighboring native tribes appear almost essential to the holding together of the scattered communities in a common bond of conflict and territorial acquisition.
[Sidenote: The Trek North of the Vaal River]
With the failure to acquire and hold Durban and to rule themselves or the regions of Natal which they had taken from the Zulus ended the first Boer effort to reach the sea and to establish Dutch independent communities in touch with the external world. The bulk of the farmers, as already stated, trekked north of the Orange or the Vaal. Here they found conditions, in 1845-47, which were scarcely less perplexing and troubled than their own had been. Over an area of some 700 miles long and 300 wide was established a Dutch population of about fifteen thousand persons which was constantly at war with the natives, and, as a result of losses in this connection, did not increase greatly in numbers despite the numerous accessions from Cape Colony and Natal. Nominally, and by British theory, they were still British subjects; practically, from the Orange to the Limpopo they were independent communities whom the Colonial Office would have preferred to forget altogether rather than to assert claims over or make demands upon. But their relation of permanent and bitter hostility towards the natives appears to have made absolute British neutrality impossible. Accordingly, in 1843, an effort was made to further isolate the Boers from Cape Colony, and "buffer states" of native or half-breed tribes were established and recognized; much in the same way as in the days of the Kosa tribes on the eastern frontier of the Colony. Then, however, it was for the protection of the Dutch farmers against the natives; now it was for the protection of native and Colonial interests against the turbulent Boers.
[Sidenote: Moshesh the Basuto]
Moshesh the Basuto was at this time established in much strength upon the borders of the present Orange Free State and in territory now known as Basutoland. He was one of the ablest men produced by the Bantu, or Kaffir, race, and, unlike chiefs of the type of Moselkatze the Matabele or Tshaka the Zulu, did not build his fortunes and his power upon bloodshed and devastation. When the regions afterwards covered by the Dutch republics and Natal were swept by a sanguinary tide of conquest under the leadership of the two chiefs mentioned, Moshesh followed in the wake of the wave of slaughter, gathered together scattered remnants of tribes, conciliated, strengthened and united them until, by almost imperceptible degrees, he had established a strong state around the rock-ribbed heights of Thaba Bosigo--the centre of his kraal and his kingdom. In 1843, therefore, when the British authorities were looking around for some means of restricting the sphere of Boer difficulties and aggressions upon the natives, Moshesh seemed an ideal instrument. He was intensely ambitious to extend and consolidate his power. He was not a savage or barbarous potentate in the sense of Dingaan or his predecessor; and to him the proffered alliance, a small annual subsidy, an extension of recognized territorial rights and supremacy over minor chiefs in contiguous regions, was extremely attractive and easily acceptable. West of his territory lived a tribe of Griquas--a half-breed people of mixed Dutch and Hottentot blood--numbering about two thousand and ruled over by a man named Adam Kok. They were largely influenced by missionaries, and were an inoffensive and, as it turned out, perishing race. [Sidenote: Establishment of a Border Native State] With Kok a similar arrangement of alliance was made, and he was recognized as ruler of all the territory from the Basuto border westward to where Andries Waterboer--another Griqua chief--held sway over the region afterwards dominated by Kimberley and including Modder River and the southern portion of the present Free State. East of Moshesh and the Basuto territory a similar alliance was made with the Pondo Chief, Faku, and thus the girdle, or league of allied states between British territory and the Boers was complete.
[Sidenote: Rebellion by the Boers]
But the plan did not work out as well as was expected. The racial elements involved were too mutable, the conditions too loose, the Governments too inadequate in strength and prestige, the Dutch too aggressive and hostile in character, to admit of its permanent success. A strong man, backed up continuously with plenty of British troops, might have saved the situation and averted the wars which followed; but continuity of policy for these fluctuating frontiers seems to have never prevailed at either London or Cape Town. The Treaty States did not prevent personal and commercial intercourse between the Boers of the Cape and of the interior. They did not avert further emigration or encourage the return of those who had left the Colony. The Dutch population in Adam Kok's territory did not like being ruled by a half-breed chief, and the greater part of them repudiated the right of Great Britain to support him in this government. Some of the minor native chiefs refused to accept the sovereignty of Moshesh. The first result was a small Boer rebellion against Kok and the defeat of 250 men by some British troops under Colonel Richardson. The second was an entire rearrangement of existing matters by Sir Peregrine Maitland, who had meantime become Governor at the Cape. Kok's sovereignty over the whole region was still acknowledged, but he was limited in government to the portion of it occupied by Griquas; while the whites living in the other section were placed under the supervision or rule of a British officer, who, in 1846, established himself at a small place called Bloemfontein, where some three hundred Boers of a friendly disposition took the oath of allegiance to the Queen. The rest moved north to Wynburg and out of the region thus controlled by Major Warden. With Moshesh much less could be done. He had been far too shrewd to violate directly the terms of his arrangement with Great Britain or to accept any proposals which would seriously alleviate the differences between himself and the bordering tribes or neighboring Boers. Thus the State, which had been strengthened with a view to maintaining peace, now threatened to promote conflict instead, and in this condition matters rested when Sir Harry Smith came out to Cape Town in 1848 as Governor and High Commissioner. Now the events which immediately followed came the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic.