The Native Races of South Africa.

[Sidenote: The Bushmen]

The physical and mental differences between the three chief native races of South Africa have been very great. The genuine aborigines, or Bushmen, ranked amongst the lowest of human races, and maybe placed upon much the same level as the Fuegians or the Black-fellows of Australia. Though primarily natives of the coast they seem to have become scattered in after times throughout the region from the Cape to the Zambesi. Nomadic by nature, knowing nothing of agriculture, and not even owning cattle, they wandered here and there, living upon such wild animals as they could kill with poisoned arrows, or upon wild fruits and the roots of plants. They were small in stature and untamably savage, swift in passage from place to place, and capable of enduring the severest fatigue. Almost inevitably, the pressure of a civilization which had to often shoot them in self-defence, the influence of progressive settlements which destroyed the game upon which they lived, and the force of stronger types of savagery which bore down on them from the north, have in the end blotted the Bushmen out of existence.

[Sidenote: The Hottentots]

Superior in some respects were the Hottentots. Though small in stature they were not by any means pygmies, and they lived in a better manner than the Bushmen knew anything of. They possessed sheep and many lean cattle, which they drove hither and thither over vast tracts of country, doing a little intermittent hunting, fighting occasionally with one another and living in a tribal system which the lower racial type found it impossible to emulate. Like the Bushmen their muscular power was slight, their hair grew in woolly tufts upon the skull, and they were of a yellowish-black colour. They made fairly good servants after a period of subjugation, but suffered in numbers very greatly from the spread of small-pox and similar epidemics, which were at times introduced into the country from the ships of the white man. In 1713 immense numbers perished from this cause. The Hottentot was for many decades in the succeeding century a favourite subject of missionary labour in Cape Colony, but it is to be feared that the degraded elements which are to be found in every white community, with the additional factor of an absolute contempt for all natives amongst the Dutch of South Africa, had far greater influence for evil upon the unfortunate tribes than English legislation and Christian efforts had for good.

[Sidenote: The Bantu and its Sub-Divisions]

A far more important native race than either of these, and one which has taken a place in history as distinct as that of the Indian in America or the Maori in New Zealand, is the Bantu, with its many tribal sub-divisions. Popularly known as Kaffirs from the earliest days of Portuguese discovery and slave raids, there seems little reason to doubt that they have gradually drifted southward from the Upper Nile and the Nyanza Lake region; while the brown colour of many of them would appear to indicate an admixture of Arab blood from settlers and traders along the coast of the Indian Ocean, the majority are black and they all possess the thick lips, woolly hair and scanty beard of the typical negro. Usually they are strong and well-made, fierce in battle, savage in their punishments, brutal in many of their customs. Their bravery is of a high order, as a rule, but has varied somewhat in quality, and the various tribes in later days have developed special lines of intelligence. At the present time, for instance, the Zulus and the Matabele are the most noted for courage and for fighting skill of a savage sort, the Fingoes show some natural adaptiveness for trade and barter, and the Basutos, under the influence, no doubt, of English contiguity and friendliness have given distinct indications of steady industry--a most unusual quality amongst natives.

[Sidenote: Civilization Helping the Natives]

There are various groups of this widely scattered race. They include the Amakosa, with whom the Cape Colonists so early came into conflict along the Fish River frontier, and who afterwards became known as Tembus and Pondos; the Amazulu of Natal and Zululand; the Swazis, the Matabele and the Amatongas; the Bechuanas, who are subdivided into Bamangwato, the Basutos, the Barolongs, and the Barotze; the Makalakos of Mashonaland. The speech and habits of these people are sufficiently similar to denote a common racial origin and to stamp them as a distinct type. As a race they are very prolific, and in this respect present a marked contrast to the primeval natives of America or Polynesia. The approach of civilization, instead of killing them off, has surrounded them with safety, bound them to a more or less peaceful life, and thus prevented the strife which at one time changed the central part of South Africa from the home of a teeming population into an almost lonely and empty wilderness. The result of this régime of peaceful power is that their numbers all over South Africa are increasing at a rate which, in itself, creates a serious problem for the future and resembles the rapid advance of the population amongst the myriad races of Hindostan under the gentle rule of Great Britain. Dr. Theal states[1] that "the Bantu population in South Africa from the Limpopo to the sea has trebled itself by natural increase alone within fifty years," and he goes on to add that even this is asserting "what must be far below the real rate of growth." In 1879, for instance, there were 319,000 Kaffirs in Natal as against 455,000 in 1891; while in Cape Colony between 1875 and 1891 the natives increased from 483,000 to 1,150,000. Roughly speaking, the native population of all South Africa south of the Zambesi was, in 1893, about five millions.

[1] Theal, History of the Republics.

[Sidenote: Vain to Avoid Interference]

Of this population Great Britain controls more than one-half. About a million and a half are in the Portuguese possessions, a hundred thousand in the German Protectorate, seven hundred thousand in the Transvaal, and something over a hundred thousand in the Free State. Since the time, in the early fifties, when Earl Grey was at the Colonial Office, and the proposed abandonment of the Orange River region was announced, he added in his despatch to the Governor: "That done, no war in future, 'however sanguinary,' between the different tribes and communities which will be left in a state of independence beyond the Colonial boundary are to be considered as affording ground for your interference." In this vain effort to avoid further responsibility beyond the outer marches of the Cape Lord Grey was certainly logical. But, like the Manchester School in this respect--although he did not adhere very closely to its general views--he bore a striking resemblance to Mrs. Partington, in the familiar pages of Punch, sweeping back the ocean tide with a broom. He believed that, with utterly inadequate military resources at the Cape and with absolute indifference at home, it was useless to try to control a vast region where the majority of the white settlers were opposed to Great Britain and the masses of the natives strongly hostile. But he overlooked the impossibility of maintaining a stable frontier amid the shifting sands of a savage population, and he forgot that justice had to be done, as between native and native and often as between white man and native, if Great Britain was to fulfill her mission and do her duty. Neither of these ends could be accomplished without strife or expansion. As time passed, and amid all the countless mutations of South African policy, this inevitable advance of the British border and gradual incorporation of native tribes went on. In 1865 British Kaffraria, with its 78,000 natives, was annexed to the Cape, and then Basutoland, with (in 1893) some 218,000 natives, was brought under British control. Following this came Griqualand West, with its 30,000 natives; British Bechuanaland, with some 50,000; Khama's Country, or the Bechuanaland Protectorate, with over 100,000; Zululand, with its 140,000; Pondoland, with 200,000, and Tongaland, with 80,000; and finally Rhodesia, or British Mashonaland, with a quarter of a million Matabele and Mashonas.

[Sidenote: Expansion Inevitable]

Earl Grey's despatch was, in fact, only a passing phase of the many-sided British policy toward the native territories. Every now and then, however, this principle of non-extension and non-responsibility, so far as the Kaffirs were concerned, continued to come into practice--as in the previous case of Lord Glenelg and the Kosas. Instances in point may be mentioned such as the giving up of part of Zululand and much of Swaziland to the Transvaal, the earlier and prolonged refusal to annex the Kosa country, afterwards known as Kaffraria, the hesitating and lingering policy over Bechuanaland and the refusal to annex Damaraland and Namaqaland at a period when no objection would have been raised by anyone, and a region covering 300,000 square miles and, with the Providential exception of Walfisch Bay, guarding the entire western coast, might have become British instead of German territory. There were three causes--all connected, directly or indirectly, with the natives and the native question--for the ultimate and inevitable expansion. The first was the determination of the British people to suppress and prevent slavery. This produced emancipation in Cape Colony, and partially caused the Great Trek of the Boers. The second was the intensity of Dutch arrogance, the frequency of Dutch oppression and a continuous Dutch policy of aggression, in connection with native tribes. The third was the impossibility of holding frontiers intact against uncivilized races, and the natural wish of missionaries to extend British influence and through it the power of Christianity. The second and third causes worked together in some measure and may be seen controlling or modifying many complicated conditions.

[Sidenote: Slavery]

Little doubt exists as to the continued practice of slavery amongst the Boers--in Natal before 1846, in the Orange Free State up to recent years, and in the Transvaal at the present time. There was, in the earlier period, a state of absolute lawlessness amongst the Boers themselves, combined with constant war, or raids, upon surrounding tribes. Kaffirs were shot down in cold blood, beaten at pleasure, their families burned out of their little huts and their children, or the most promising of them, taken away as "apprentices" for a given period--the euphemistic expression for a condition of permanent enslavery. Of course the natives retaliated when they could, and during the first thirty years of the Boer migration and history--1836 to 1866--the state of affairs was lamentable. It was estimated in 1869 that six thousand child-slaves were in the Transvaal as the much-prized booty of casual raids upon different tribes. And this despite the clause in the Sand River Convention forbidding, and promising to prevent, anything of the kind. During these years agitation in England against these practices of the Boers was incessant, and local protests from missionaries and others at the Cape and in Natal equally so. Papers in 1868 were laid before the Natal Legislature describing many accredited instances even at that late date, and three years before, Mr. W. Martin had laid before the Government of that Colony a detailed statement of his own experiences across the Vaal in this connection. The Lieutenant-Governor (Mr. John Maclean, C.B.) transmitted the documents to Cape Town, and the High Commissioner intimated that while he believed there was much of truth in the charges, yet it would be practically impossible to intervene successfully without being prepared to use force. A Resolution of protest against this view was at once passed by the Legislature, of which the following is an extract:

"That the traffic is a direct breach of the Treaty entered into with Her Majesty's Commissioners, is an outrage upon humanity and civilization, and is an aggravation of the traffic which Her Majesty's Government has so long sought to suppress upon the east coast. That so long as this traffic in children is suffered to exist there can be little hope for the progress of civilization amongst the native tribes in the Transvaal Republic, while the prevalence of such practices in the immediate neighborhood of independent and colonial tribes has a most pernicious and injurious effect, and tends to lower the position and influence of the white race. That it is impossible for the High Commissioner, living as he does so far from the scene of those atrocities, to judge clearly and fully their character and tendencies."

[Sidenote: Livingstone Reports on Slave Trade]

This statement regarding the Boer slave policy represented the feeling and knowledge of Englishmen generally along the borders, or when they came into contact with the Dutch and the natives together. Of the missionary sentiment in this connection the works of Livingstone and Moffat and the more recent statements of the Rev. Dr. Stewart afford abundant evidence. And this aside from the aggressive and sometimes mistaken or exaggerated views of Dr. Philip and Cape Town missionary leaders and semi-political preceptors in the earlier days of Kosa or Kaffir warfare. All around the frontier of the two Republics commandos would from time to time attack isolated tribes, with slight excuse and sometimes none at all, burn their kraals, take their cattle and kidnap their women and children. Dr. Livingstone has put it on record,[2] after prolonged experience of both Boers and Blacks and with a personal character for honesty and honor which no one will impeach, that "the great objection many of the Boers had, and still have, to English law is that it makes no distinction between black men and white." Elsewhere in the same volume he declares that "it is difficult for a person in a civilized country to conceive that any body of men possessing the common attributes of humanity should with one accord set out ... and proceed to shoot down in cold blood men and women, of a different color it is true, but possessed of domestic feelings and affections equal to their own.... It was long before I could give credit to the tales of bloodshed told by native witnesses; but when I found the Boers themselves, some bewailing and denouncing, others glorying in the bloody scenes in which they had been themselves the actors, I was compelled to admit the validity of the testimony." [Sidenote: Early Scenes of Bloodshed] The great missionary proceeds, in detail, to describe one of the Boer methods of fighting natives. "When they reach the tribe to be attacked, friendly natives (previously captured) are ranged in front to form as they say 'a shield;' the Boers then coolly fire over their heads till the devoted people flee and leave cattle, wives and children to the captors." He knew of this being done nine times within his own personal experience, and upon no occasion was any Boer blood shed. He also declares that the Boers never intended to abide by the promise regarding slavery made in 1852-4, and describes how a slave raid amongst the Bechuanas was organized and carried out by 400 Boers under Piet Scholz immediately after that engagement was entered into. It was the same all along the line until, in the latter sixties, England began to advance into the interior and to definitely plant her feet upon regions which the Boer deemed himself heir to and, almost, actual owner of. During these years the Natal Mercury, the Cape Argus and the Transvaal Argus--a small but energetic sheet--drew continuous attention to this slave system and policy, and a bulky pamphlet was published in 1868 at Cape Town containing a mass of printed proof as to the real condition of affairs. As Dr. Livingstone says, no attention was ever paid, or intended to be paid, to the pledges in the Conventions. The only effect was to change the name of "slave" to "apprentice." The following paragraph from an authoritative source[3] summarizes the situation in this respect:

"Children were kidnapped, trained to work in the fields, had their price and were as little protected by the law as any other live stock on the farm. The 'apprenticeship' never came to an end. Wagon-loads of slaves, 'black-ivory' as they were called, passed through the country and were put up to auction or were exchanged, sometimes for money, and sometimes for a horse, or for a cow and a big pot."

[2] Missionary Travels. By David Livingstone. London, 1857.

[2] Martineau's Life of Sir Bartle Frere. Vol. II., p. 174.

[Sidenote: English Abhorrence of Slavery]

Such were some of the causes of British dislike for Boer methods and for naturally unfriendly contact with them through strong sympathy for oppressed races and utter abhorrence of slavery in every shape and form. The relation of the Boer and the native was indeed at the root of much to of British expansion during the last thirty years of the century. The threatened subjugation of Moshesh caused the annexation of Basutoland. The Transvaal attack upon the Bapedi under Sekukuni and its failure precipitated the annexation of 1877. The danger of a Zulu invasion of the same country and of Natal, as a consequence of this attack, caused the war with Cetywayo and the establishment of a feeble and tentative protectorate over Zululand. The raids of the Boers into the latter region and the formation of what they called the "New Republic" caused the ultimate annexation of a greater portion of the whole country and of Pondoland. Their attempt to crush the Batlapins and Barolongs in Bechuanaland and to establish the so-called Republics of Stellaland and Goshen caused the expedition of General Warren and the annexation of the territory. Their effort in 1891 to trek north of the Limpopo and to take possession of a portion of Rhodesia had to be repressed by Dr. Jameson under threats of force. Their previously well-known ambition in this connection had much to do with Mr. Rhodes' determination to extend British power northwards by means of his Chartered Company. Similar efforts in Tongaland had, meanwhile, compelled its ruler to appeal to the Queen's Government for protection in 1887. The complications of British policy with the natives of South Africa north and east of Cape Colony, in the latter half of the century, were, therefore, as much the fault of Boer ambition and arrogance and ill-treatment of the Blacks as were the difficulties in the earlier part of the century with the Hottentots and Bushmen and Kosas.

[Sidenote: The Napoleon of South Africa]

Of these natives--Bantu, or Kaffirs, or whatever their local names might be--much has been written and much might be said here. The race has produced some great men. Merciless in war they generally were, but it is a question whether the cruelties perpetrated by Matabele or Zulu chiefs have not been excelled by leaders of Christian nations without the aggravation of continuous warfare or the excuse of natural savagery. The religious strife of mediæval Europe, or the fire and sword and tortures of Spain in Mexico and Peru, will occur to every mind. Bravery was an almost universal quality amongst the Bantu, though it varied in degree. Tshaka, the founder of the Zulu nation, possessed boundless ambition, a powerful and ruthless will, a genuine genius for military organization and rule. He was emphatically the native Napoleon of South Africa. Dingaan, his successor, had a few of his qualities; Cetywayo enough of them to constitute him an interesting figure and to give him a permanent place in history. Had he not been obliged to contest his supremacy with the firearms and cannon of the white man, he might have extended his sway up to the Zambesi and been a greater warrior than Tshaka. Moselkatze, until he came into conflict with the emigrant farmers, was a savage potentate of considerable ability. Like Tshaka with his Zulus, he organized the Matabele into a strong military power and ruled the west and north with a rod of iron for many years. His successor, Lobengula, resembled the Zulu Cetywayo in many respects, and in none more than in his final overthrow by the white man. Had conditions been otherwise the two chiefs might have disputed the primacy of South Africa; and it is hard to say which would have won. These men were all warriors by nature and environment and generals by instinct. Moshesh the Basuto was, however, a statesman as well, and his rise and progress and career afford most striking evidence of the natural ability which a savage may possess. Of a somewhat similar character is Khama, the present Chief of the Bechuanas. So much for the greater names among the Bantu.

[Sidenote: Native Bravery]

Their customs and characteristics are, and have always been, somewhat varied in detail amongst the different tribes, though the main points are the same. In a military sense they all possess bravery, skill in ambush, and resourcefulness in attack or defence. The assegai is certainly a manly weapon in many respects, as well as a deadly one. It required physical strength, skill and courage in assault, and marked powers of endurance in the long marches which they have so often undertaken to surprise a foe or raid a kraal, to attack a British force or a Dutch commando. The southern tribes--Zulus, Pondos, Tembus and Kosas--have been perhaps the fiercest and strongest warriors, but the Matabele of the north ran them pretty close. On the west coast, however, owing to intermixture with the Bushmen and Hottentots, the Bantu have deteriorated in both physique and intellect. As a whole, they knew something in earlier days of agriculture and tilling the soil, though their women performed the labor; could work in metals to some extent; had a common language, fairly developed, and a sort of general law of custom. In government they were, with certain exceptions, autocratic, and the chiefs possessed great personal power. Cattle constituted and still comprise the principal source of wealth and measure of value. Slavery amongst the tribes of the interior was common up to the days of British rule, and was a natural result of wars of conquest or predatory excursions. With the Zulu and the Matabele, as with the Boer, it was a matter of course to keep prisoners of strength or usefulness as slaves, and to the Kaffir, being constitutionally lazy, it was a great advantage to have some in his possession. If he had none, his wife, or wives, occupied a position of practical serfdom.

[Sidenote: Religion and Superstitions]

Religion has always been a strong factor in Kaffir life. It is not, however, a principle of Deity worship, nor has it ever been potent in morals, or government, or military enthusiasm. It is more like the Chinese deification of ancestors, and consists chiefly in a worship of the spirits of the dead. The greater the dead chiefs or warriors, the more pronounced the worship, and the system has, therefore, some influence in maintaining loyalty to the living chiefs. Spirits are supposed to pass into animals, and at different times and places, snakes and lions and antelopes and crocodiles are revered, and have been propitiated by the sacrifice of other animals--but never of human beings. It is a moot question as to whether a Supreme Being has ever been so much as thought of in their original conception of religion, and the probabilities seem to be against it. Of proof there is practically none. With a simple superstition which peoples the world with spirits of no higher character than their own gross or wild imaginations it has, therefore, been a matter of course that the Kaffir religion should not influence for good the morals and habits of the tribes or inspire them even with the religious and military enthusiasm of the Mahommedan dervish or the Hindoo devotee. Such power as it had, up to recent years, lay with the wizards, or witch-doctors, who took the place of the priests in other creeds, and, like the medicine men of the Red Indians, revelled in cruelties and ruled by playing upon superstitious fears. The practice of "smelling-out" persons suspected of witchcraft or of causing sickness, or drought, or cattle-disease, gave a tremendous power into the hands of chiefs and their unscrupulous allies. Once a victim was "smelled-out" little chance was left him, and, no matter how wealthy in person, or strong in influence, his end had usually come. His property then went to the chief. The murders and terrorism this system gave rise to constituted perhaps the darkest side of native life, and its suppression has caused at least one war between the British and the Kaffirs; while it was for long the greatest obstacle in the way of the missionary. Of morals the Kaffirs never knew much, and could not, therefore, lose by association with the white man in as important a degree as other savage races have done. They were distinctly inferior in their conception of woman's position to even the Indian of North America, and females appear to have always held a very degraded place amongst them. Hence the easy immorality of the Boers and the practical impossibility of abolishing the polygamous system amongst semi-independent tribes despite all the efforts of generations of missionaries.

[Sidenote: Tribal Divisions]

These general characteristics were, of course, modified by surroundings and external influences. Roughly speaking, the Kaffirs are divided into the military and industrial Bantu. The former live largely in the fertile regions between the Drakensberg mountains and the Indian Ocean, in the Zoutpansberg district of the Transvaal and in Kaffraria. The latter prefer the mountainous country, and are to be found in Basutoland, in the greater part of the two Boer republics and in the regions south of the Orange River or on the confines of the Kalahari Desert. The differences between these classes of the same race are pronounced. The military Bantu is stronger, fleeter of foot and sterner in battle. His assegai has a short handle and a long blade, and is used for fighting at close quarters; while the other tribes have a weapon with a long shaft and light blade intended primarily for hunting. Among the former the chief is a despot; amongst the Mashonas and Bechuanas and Basutos his power is limited by a council and sometimes by a general assemblage of the people. The town, or kraal, of the former is designed chiefly for defence; that of the latter for purposes of open intercourse and barter. The sole business of the one has, up to recent years, been warfare and the raising of corn and cattle as a subsidiary pursuit. The latter cultivated gardens, sowed fields of grain and could smelt ore and work in iron. Their seats of power and influence were, and are, in Basutoland and Bechuanaland. Outside of the steadily improved civilization and character of the Basutos themselves their country is noteworthy for the career of Moshesh; his almost final words in 1868, after twenty years of intermittent conflict with the Boers: "Let me and my people rest and live under the large folds of the flag of England before I am no more;" and for the general and sincere loyalty of its people in these later days. Bechuanaland is famous as the scene of the labors of Robert Moffat, David Livingstone and John Mackenzie; as being the trade route from Cape Colony to Central Africa; and as the scene of a prolonged struggle voiced in the words of Livingstone: "The Boers resolved to shut up the interior and I determined to open it." Eventually it was opened, and the work of the great missionary became triumphant.

[Sidenote: British Efforts at Civilizing the Natives]

Meanwhile, much was being done by the British in the various parts of South Africa which they controlled, from time to time, to elevate the life and pursuits and character of the natives. In regions governed by the Dutch no such idea was ever tolerated. Dr. Moffat tells a story in this connection which describes much in a few words. He was visiting a Dutchman's house, and suggested that the servants be brought in to the Sunday service. His host roared with laughter. "Preach to Hottentots!" he exclaimed. "Call in my dogs and the preach to them! Go to the mountains and preach to the baboons! Preach to the Hottentots! A good joke." Aside from the missionaries, Sir George Grey was probably the first prominent Englishman to even partially understand the natives, and he was certainly the first to put his views into effect as Governor. He was greatly respected by all the tribes with whom he came into contact personally or by policy. Yet he had his limitations. Mr. Rees in his biography of the Governor tells an amusing story of his having upon some public occasion remonstrated against the extravagant folly of a number of the native women in wearing brass ornaments. One of the chiefs promptly rose and pointed out that there were bounds to human power. "Rest content, O great chief," said he, "with what you have accomplished. You have made us pay taxes. You have made our people work. These things we thought could never be. But think not you can stop women wearing ornaments. If you try to do this, O Governor, you will most surely fail."

[Sidenote: Education of Natives]

The first and most important point in the improvement of the native races is the matter of education. To be really effective it must take the form of an organized system with plenty of pliability and machinery; and there should be a fair number of Europeans in the general community to prevent the native children, after they have once been trained and taught, from relapsing by degrees into the barbarism of their natural associates and older relatives. For this reason little has been done in Natal to educate the Kaffirs; although there are some seventy-three native schools and the natives appear to be improving in general character and even in willingness to perform mild sorts of intermittent labor. Nothing of importance has been achieved in the purely native territories except such isolated teaching as the missionaries can manage. Nothing has been even attempted in the two Republics. But in Cape Colony very successful results have followed the labors of many men during a number of years--assisted by special provision made through the Government for purposes of native education. Sir Langham Dale, Superintendent-General of Education, reported in 1883 that there were 396 mission schools in the Colony, with an attendance of 44,307 pupils; 226 aborigines' schools, with 13,817 pupils; and 21 boarding and trade schools, with 2,519 pupils. About one-third of the annual Education Grant, which amounted in 1866 to $110,000, and in 1889 to $425,000, and in 1897 to nearly a million dollars, was appropriated to these purposes. In the latter year, it may be added, the number of mission schools had risen to 551, and the aborigines' schools to 420. Of the various native schools, or institutions, that at Lovedale is the most important. In 1883 there were 300 pupils in attendance, and it had a yearly revenue of $125,000. Native clergy and teachers are trained in its College department; young men are taught book-binding, printing and other trades in its workshops; young women are instructed in sewing and laundress work, and there is also an elementary school for children.


[Illustration: A DERVISH CHARGE, SOUDAN WAR. A battle of the Soudan in which Sir Herbert Kitchener avenged the massacre of Hicks Pasha and his 12,000 men; also the death of the heroic Gordon which occurred a year later.]

[Sidenote: Progress of the Natives]

The Superintendent-General of Education, already quoted, in a supplementary Report published in 1884, speaks of the general opposition he has had to meet as coming from two classes of people--one which describes the schools as worthless and decries educated natives as useless, and another which describes the aborigines as getting a better education than white people and denounces the system as consequently increasing the competition in industrial employments. And then he appeals to such evidences of progress and success as: "The large interchange among natives of letters passing through the Post-Office; of the utilization of educated natives as carriers of letters, telegrams and parcels; of the hundreds who fill responsible posts as clerks, interpreters, school-masters, sewing-mistresses; and of the still larger number engaged in industrial pursuits, as carpenters, blacksmiths, tin-smiths, wagon-makers, shoe-makers, printers, sail-makers, saddlers, etc., earning good wages and helping to spread civilization amongst their own people." This is a good record, and there is no doubt that amongst the million natives of Cape Colony the influence of the system is steadily spreading. There is the natural defect, however, of the refusal of the white population to mix with the black either in school or elsewhere, outside of politics. The native schools and the native system are things apart and isolated, although, throughout the Colony, there are wealthy and influential Kaffirs, many of whom are substantial owners of property. And, as a matter of fact, there are more negro children now attending Government schools than there are pupils of white extraction.

Everywhere in British territory an effort has been made to utilize Kaffir free labor and to make the native appreciate the money value of his work and his time. But although some progress may be seen, it has not been very great. In Natal, for instance, the sugar industry, with an invested capital of nearly five million dollars, finds colored labor absolutely essential. But the Kaffirs cannot be got to work with any degree of permanence, or effectiveness, and the planters have had to import coolies in thousands, while all around them are multitudes of natives admirably suited to the work. At the Diamond Mines of Kimberley, Mr. Rhodes has employed thousands of black laborers, but it has only been for short periods and in successive relays. They make a little money and then go back to their huts, or kraals, as miniature millionaires--able to obtain cattle enough to buy a wife and to settle down in Kaffir comfort. Of the important matter of liquor drinking and liquor selling to natives a word must be said here. In Natal, where there are at least half a million Zulus, scattered around the villages and settlements of the fifty thousand white men, it is naturally a vital question--as in a lesser degree it is all through South Africa. The law is therefore very strictly administered, and the penalty for a European selling liquor to a native is severe. It is practical prohibition, and a similar law has been enforced in the vast territories of the Chartered Company. Incidentally, it may be said that in the Colony of Natal the general native management approximates somewhat to the model of India. The tribal organization has been largely preserved, instead of being broken up, as it was in Cape Colony by Sir George Grey. The native mass was too great to be merged in the small white population. European Courts, mixed Courts of native and European Judges, and Courts composed of Kaffir chiefs alone, administer the law in a peculiar form which admits the validity of Kaffir custom and precedents and law--modified, of course, by Colonial statutes. Order is maintained, and splendidly so, by a system of passes and by a code of special police regulations applicable to natives alone. Written permission from a magistrate must be obtained before a Kaffir can change his abode, and in the towns all natives must retire to their huts when curfew rings at nine o'clock. Registration of firearms is imperative, and the sale to natives is guarded by very strict enactments. Every native who is responsible for a hut has to pay a yearly tax of 14s., and this is very cheerfully done.

[Sidenote: The Liquor Laws]

Drunkenness amongst the Kaffirs of Natal is limited, as may be inferred from this sketch of their management. But in Cape Colony the natives are not nearly so well guarded from its evils--partly because of the aversion of the Dutch electorate to legislate in their behalf or to enforce laws of this kind when they are made; partly from the influence of the wine-growers and distillers, who naturally have something to say; partly, in general result, from the intermixture of lower races such as the Hottentot and Bushmen, and the creation of a type of negro and half-breed much inferior in parts of the Colony to the Kosa of the east or the Zulu of Natal. [Sidenote: Civil Rights and Qualifications] In the important matter of civil rights there is a common feeling among all settlers of British origin in South Africa, as elsewhere in the Empire, that no color line should exist in the franchise--other things being reasonably equal. The qualification is, of course, vital, although the Dutch part of the community make no qualification or admission of equality in any way, shape or form, and were, for instance, greatly disgusted when, in 1895, Khama, the educated, Christianized and civilized Chief of the Bechuanas, was received in England with respect and consideration, and entertained by prominent personages. The principle of political equality is, however, firmly established in British South Africa. But, so far as the natives are concerned, the tribal system must be given up, and this debars the greater part of the population of Natal. In that Colony, also, a native must have lived for seven years exempt from tribal laws before he can share in the franchise under qualifications of the same kind as affect the white population. In Cape Colony there are similar conditions, with an added proviso that the would-be native voter must be able to sign his name and write his occupation and address.

[Sidenote: Native Suffrage]

Practically it is only at the Cape that the experiment of native suffrage has been fairly tried. In Jamaica it failed for various reasons, and in Natal it did not work when first tried, and at present has little more than a theoretical existence. In the eastern part of Cape Colony, which contains the chief native population--including the Kaffraria of earlier days and the Transkei region--a member of the Legislative Council is apportioned to mixed constituencies containing an average respectively of 227,000 colored people and 18,000 whites; and a member of the House of Assembly is similarly given to every 56,000 natives and 4,500 whites.[4] There are, as yet, not very many constituencies where this colored vote is an important consideration. The chief exceptions are to be found amongst the Malays in and around Cape Town, the Hottentots of the Kat River Settlement, and the Kaffirs at King Williamstown, Beaufort and Alice. But the number of voters is growing, and in the eastern part of the Colony their influence appears to be very good. The educated Kaffir is very unlike the educated Hindoo, who is apt to become a sort of skeptic in patriotism as well as in creed. He is intensely conservative in a natural fondness for land and aversion to change. He is also loyal in the extreme to the British institutions from which his opportunities and position are derived; and in this respect has set an example of gratitude worthy the appreciation of some more civilized peoples. Practically, he is an Imperialist, and one student of the subject has recently expressed a belief that the wiping out of the native vote in Cape Colony would mean the loss of eight or ten seats to the Progressive party in the Assembly. Most instructive of all, and even more striking than the fact of their being adherents of Mr. Rhodes' advanced British policy, has been the support given by educated natives to measures presented to the Legislature for the prohibition of the sale of liquor to colored people--proposals defeated from time to time largely by the Afrikander vote. This is, indeed, a fitting statement to conclude a brief sketch of native history and development.

[4] Tables of Director of Census. Cape Town. 1891.