A Carnival Of Murder Preceding Jameson's Raid And Chamberlain's Conspiracy
Having remained in Johannesburg for just thirty days, I secured four pack donkeys, and in company with three friends,* started for this fabulously rich country, Golden Rhodesia. It was the rainy season, and it was rain, rain, rain, day and night, but we were determined not to be balked by anything ; we would see Buluwayo, the gold center, 600 miles away, or go down in the attempt. We had before us eight swollen rivers, wicked rivers at this season, but almost dry beds at any other time of the year. We had to swim all of them, and what a struggle it was for us! I can't understand now just how we succeeded, and do not know how we escaped the crocodiles, yet we landed safely in Victoria, Mashonaland, on Easter Sunday, in the early part of April.
Here I found about 600 people sleeping in the graveyard, and about 300 lying on cots and on the counters in the stores and various other places, all down with the fever. I did not like the situation at all. To buy anything one had to help himself and then hand the money to the sick man on the counter. I found that Salisbury, Gwelo and Buluwayo were all practically in the same condition. It was fever, fever, nothing but fever everywhere, and all this talk of gold, gold, gold, was entirely misleading. It did not take us but about one minute to discover that Golden Rhodesia was a golden fraud, and so it was then, and so it is now, and will forever be. However, I was not satisfied, so I traversed the whole land, penetrated into the jungles of the Zambesi, roamed about in company with the elephant, rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the savage buffalo, giraffe, zebra, the lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, jackal and all the many and various kinds of antelope that swarm in that far-a-way, God-forsaken, fever-stricken country, where Livingstone breathed his last, and where the natives, in thousands, naked as nature made them, swarm about you, and look at you and treat you royally in their simple way. Here was wild nature, in all its glory, and here I was supremely happy. Thousands of baboons and monkeys made music during the day, and at night-fall the lions, hyenas and jackals took up the strain and kept a curious, nature-loving white man, with his rifle on his knee, delightfully entertained. After several months of exploring, I returned to Buluwayo, on March 21st, 1896; and on March 23rd, the Matabeles broke out in rebellion against the great C. J. Rhodes, and his great fraud, the Chartered Company.
The Matabeles surrounded this miserable, drunken, fever-stricken town, and, of course, I was one of the victims. These Kaffirs, 15,000. or 20,000 strong, would dance on the ridges about us, make sport of us, and have a good time generally during the day, and when night came, all women and children were shut up in the market building, while the men were in the laager surrounding it. During the night every house in town was abandoned. False alarm after false alarm was the order of the night; and how often have I seen loving mothers, with their arms around the necks of their two, three or four children, moaning, shrieking, praying, appealing to God and kissing their little ones the last farewell 1 Those awful scenes still haunt me, and will till the day of my death. During the day the men would go out and fight for a while, and then fly back with the Matabeles after them, and proceed to get on a big drunk, and then have a riot meeting.
During the siege, many small parties of Kaffirs would come into Buluwayo for safety, as they would not take any part in the war. Chartered officials made use of these small parties, as a means to amuse the people with interesting street scenes. On reaching the town, the party of two, or three, or four, or possibly ten Kaffirs, would be arrested and ordered shot. The poor devils would be marched up the street, lined up, and in the presence of a large crowd, shot down. After several hours, when all had feasted their eyes and satisfied their curiosity, the innocent whites, among the Company's convicts, were made to carry these mangled bodies in their arms to the veldt, and bury them. These convicts were not allowed to make use of wagons or carts. In order to have a change of scene, the guards would sometimes make these refugees climb the big tree on Fife Street, and having attached ropes to their necks and a limb of the tree, would make them jump for their lives.
Then again the guards would sometimes take others to the same tree, and, having tied the ropes to their necks and passing it over the limb of the tree, would draw them up till their toes would just touch the ground, that the people might see them struggle and slowly strangle to death. Again, they would be marched into the street, and many guards being placed behind and near them, they would be commanded to run for their lives. Of course, all would be shot down, and the wounded sometimes shot five or six tunes before they died. These were horrible murder scenes, but Rhodesians seemed to enjoy them. Having seen all this, I do not hesitate to tell the public, that all may know just what a civilized people the English are.
In June we were relieved, by troops coming from the south, and I said farewell to the miserable hole, Buluwayo, and returned to Johannesburg in August, 1896.
I will tell in a few words the causes of that war, because I know them. The Matabeles had not forgotten that white men had poisoned their chief, Lobengula. The Chartered Company sent its police and forcibly took all the cattle from the Kaffirs. This caused the death of thousands of their little ones, who lived almost exclusively on the milk of the cows. The Company allowed its police and its people generally to go to the Kaffir Kraals, and, with their rifles, force young girls to go to their huts, where they could use them at their pleasure. This struck the Kaffirs to the very heart, because they are an extremely moral people, and immorality with them is punished by death. The Company allowed its Police Commissioners to force the Kaffirs to work in the mines. The Commissioners received from the Mining Company $2.50 for each Kaffir, and, in return, guaranteed the Kaffir to work for three months.
Just before the expiration of the three months, the mine captain would take his cowhide whip and so slash them that they would run away. He would then call upon the Commissioners to make good their contract and bring back the Kaffirs. The Commissioner would then send his police to arrest the runaways, and, having got them in his possession, would himself give them twenty lashes and return them to work. Finally the Kaffir, after running away, would hide in the hills. Then it was that the Commissioner would arrest the fugitive's wife and children and hold them as hostages, till he came and gave himself up to receive the twenty lashes. If the Kaffir left before his three months expired, the mine captain did not have to pay him any wages. To get his $2.50, the Commissioner had to make the Kaffir work three months, or put another one in his place, so that the poor Kaffir must be cut and slashed to pieces whether he worked or not. So universal was this cutting and slashing, that life to the Kaffir became worse than hell itself, and thereupon they rebelled, and killed every white man they could lay hands on. I said, "Well done. " They would have taken the country, but Rhodes paid them $2,500,000, in kind, and bought peace ; and to-day there is no whipping, no cutting Kaffirs to pieces, and they are as independent as kings, in Rhodesia, because they are the masters.
While I was enjoying myself in the jungles of the Zambesi, Rhodes completed all his arrangements for a raid into the Transvaal, but I must tell why it became necessary for Rhodes to make a raid into the Transvaal. He had painted Rhodesia yellow, and through flaming advertisements had led the world to believe that it was the richest gold bearing country on earth.
He knew there was no gold of any account in the country, and he knew, too, that the English public had been swindled out of more than $120,000,000. He knew also that the Chartered Company could not exist, would fall flat, and prove worse than the South Sea bubble, if something were not done, and that quickly, too. Now if he could only manage to seize the world-known, rich gold fields of the Rand, at Johannesburg, and annex them to Rhodesia, why then he and the Chartered Company would be safe, and could easily fill their chest with many more millions.
If the Rand gold-fields were once annexed, then he could advertise the marvellous gold output of Rhodesia, and would find no trouble in floating all the sand banks of that desert land, as veritable gold mines, and thus save and enrich himself and the Chartered Company.
I will say a few words about the Raid.
In December, 1895, Rhodes put about 600 of the Rhodesian police, with Dr. Jameson in command, on the western border of the Transvaal, near Mafeking. Of course, Rhodes had every thing arranged in Downing Street, London, so that at the proper time the English Government could step in, with its troops, to protect its citizens and thus take the rich Rand gold-fields from the Boers. Rhodes had a telegram sent to the London Times that the Boers were about to murder the English women and children in Johannesburg. Many of Jameson's men refused to cross the border, but when they were called into line and told they must go and help protect the English women and children from the savage Boers, they consented. The raiding column made a rapid march, reached Doornkop, about twenty miles from Johannesburg and were there captured by 180 Boers, who had come to meet them on hearing of the raid. There were some prominent Americans in the Johannesburg Reform Committee of seventy, who with Rhodes were implicated in this most outrageous piece of piracy, arid when President Kruger refused to put Dr. Jameson and his staff, together with his seventy members of the Reform Committee, in a line and shoot them down, (and what a blessing it would have been for humanity,) he made the fatal mistake of his life and in the end lost his country, at least, temporarily. It was by wilful lying that Rhodes, Jameson and the Reform Committee induced those 600 police to make that raid, and on the tombstones of the twenty-five or thirty men killed at Doornkop, there should be engraved the words, "Murdered by C. J. Rhodes and his followers." All the miscreants who were connected with that infamous raid were soon set free, and they began at once in another way to create trouble for the Boers, and, as a result of their labor, one of the greatest wars in the history of man was fought by a handful of patriotic Boers, against the so-called mightiest empire of the world.
As a result of the raid, the names of something like a hundred low, greed-loving conspirators were made know to the world, and the Transvaal still held possession of its precious gold fields.
Rhodes had now failed, and in order to avert the catastrophe, he put up money himself, and pulled in his faithful allies, Alfred Beit, Lionel Phillips and several others, and succeeded in preventing a great financial calamity.
Immediately after Jameson and his 600 men were captured, Rhodes swore he knew nothing about the raid, and that it was a surprise to him. Of course Joe Chamberlain knew nothing about it because he said so. With Jameson, was captured a lot of cipher telegrams, as well as the keys. These gave Rhodes away, and proved conclusively that he was the organizer of the raid, and that Chamberlain was implicated with him. I will give one or two letters, just to show how much faith can be placed on an English official's word.
30 MINCING LANE, E. C.,
LONDON, February 20th, 1897.
MY DEAR GREY:
Thanks for your letter of the 9th ult., which I read with great interest. You will, of course, have heard that the committee was reappointed and has got to work. I send you official prints of the evidence already taken. Rhodes has done well, and I think will come out on top. He was nervous on the first day, though his evidence was good even then. Yesterday he was simply splendid. I do not think that we are by any means out of the woods, but there does not seem an off-chance of the plea of public interest being recognized, and the cables of the last of the year 1895, or rather the negotiations of that period, not being disclosed, though I am bound to say that personally I think the balance of probability is that they will have to come out. If they do, Mr. Chamberlain will have no one but himself to thank. I am very sorry I have been such a bad correspondent, but really the work and anxiety of the last fifteen months, or nearly two years, that is, since Harris came to England on the subject of the Protectorate, in July, 1895, have been most trying, and I sometimes fear that even my constitution will not stand it much longer, though, happily, I am still very well. I will try and write you more fully next week. Believe me,
Very truly yours,
BOUCHIER, F. HAWKESLEY.
P. S. Rhodes has received your letter and cable about Lawley.
THE RIGHT HON. EARL OBEY.
The following came out in the Select Committee of the House of Commons that was appointed to investigate the Jameson Raid. The suppressed cables mentioned were never produced, because Mr. Chamberlain must be protected. The above letter, however, is pretty strong evidence and it made Mr. Chamberlain shake in his boots. Mr. Hawkesley is Rhodes' solicitor, and with him Chamberlain and the London Times were deeply implicated in the raid. [PRIVATE]
39 CADOGAN SQUARE, LONDON, S. W.
(No Date) DEAR MR. HAWKESLEY:
So many thanks for yours. I knew you would feel as I do, that we owe Allingham a great deal, and must give the brother any (or every) help we could. I will tell him to make an appointment to come and see you one morning. He sails in the beginning of next month. I quite agree with you that very little good, if any, can be done with J. C. He knows what he has to expect, and will have had plenty of time to think it over, by the time C. J. R. arrives. As long as you make it impossible for C. J. R. to give away Jameson, he will be loyal to him ; but I am sure from what I've said (heard), that at one time Rhodes contemplated sacrificing the Dr. The Dr. must never know this, and if any one can keep Rhodes up to mark, you can. I want to talk to you one day about the Dr.'s future to see what you think of my plan, which he has already taken kindly to.
You do not know how grateful I am to you for all you have done for him, but I think you can perhaps partly understand how much it means to me to feel he has got a friend like you.
Can I come and see you one morning about 11.30?
The above shows that C. J. Rhodes was ready to prove traitor to his most faithful tool, who had done all his dirty work. The initials J. C. stand for Joe Chamberlain and all want to know what he had to expect. The initials C. J. R. stand for C. J. Rhodes.
On the arrival of Mr. Tatton Egerton in London after the circulation of a report that Mr. Chamberlain was cognizant of the plans connected with the Jameson Raid, this gentleman was confronted by the Colonial Secretary, and asked who had told him that Mr. Chamberlain was in the raid. The reply was, "Mr. Rhodes himself." The Colonial Secretary's answer to this blunt statement of the case was, "The Traitor! "
As neither Mr. Egerton nor Mr. Chamberlain has ever denied the above report, one can draw his own conclusion. If Rhodes "peached" on Chamberlam to Mr. Egerton, then I think that he was guilty of treason to one of his most trustworthy fellow conspirators.
Rhodes and his crew did not remain idle for a moment, they started more newspapers in Johannesburg, got possession of all the newspapers in South Africa, except three or four, and then began a paper war against the Government, President Kruger, all Boer officials, Hollanders, and in fact all who were in any way in sympathy with the Boers. false for them to say about the Netherlands Railroad Company, the Dynamite Factory, the price of coal or the treatment of some Cape niggers caught in a drunken brawl. There were many other grievances, among them was the five per cent tax levied on the gold output, by the Government. Then again, the capitalists wished to establish the "compound" system, and thus make slaves of all Kaffirs employed at the mines. This the Government refused to grant.
In addition to this came the cry for the franchise. It was claimed that the Uitlanders furnished the money that carried on the Government, that they were in a majority, and that therefore they were entitled to vote and hold office. They claimed the franchise by the fact of residence in the Transvaal. Under no circumstances, were they to forswear allegiance to their Queen and thus forfeit their British citizenship. They claimed the right to vote and hold office, as long as they saw fit to reside in the Transvaal, and at the same time to remain British subjects.
The Government changed the law from fourteen to seven years' residence necessary for the franchise, with an oath requiring the applicant to renounce all allegiance to the State of which he was last a citizen. The press cried this down as an act of impertinence and injustice on the part of the Government, because no British subject could for one moment think of giving up his citizenship and Queen for the sake of becoming a citizen in a country run by an ignorant Boer.
Remember, reader, that all this was purely the work of the press of South Africa, whose object was to give Joe Chamberlain a chance to put his mouth into the business. The Uitlanders of the Transvaal, including Englishmen, Americans, Germans, Frenchmen, in fact, representatives of all nationalities, took little or no interest in the reports which the press was spreading, because all knew that they were manufactured and utterly false; and besides all were freer, happier and making more money than ever before in any other country. All were making from $5 to $25 per day of eight hours' work, depending on each one's individual skill and smartness. I was there, knew them, heard them talk, and I say, there was not one in a hundred who wanted the franchise, who would have made use of it if given to him, or who ever discussed the subject. Each was trying to make his little fortune, that he might leave that far away land and return to his old home.
The horrible condition of affairs in the Transvaal existed only in the press and was the work of Rhodes, his crew and his ally in Downing Street, London. The press continued its dirty work day after day and month after month, without variation, except in a few instances where the imagination, under heavy strain, was able to squeeze out a little more venom. The English pursue the same tactics in their fighting, they bombard day after day, increasing the number of guns from time to time, and at last when they have concluded that the Boers are all. killed or so demoralized that they could offer no resistance, they advance the line for the general attack. Just so the press continued to spit out its venom and spread it over the civilized world, month after month, until it was deemed that the time was ripe for making the final crushing blow that must rob the Boers of their gold fields and their country. This brings me to that notorious petition of 21,000 names that was deliberately manufactured in Johannesburg. Excluding women and children, I think it is safe to say that there were not 2,000 genuine signatures on that petition.
A hired bar-room specimen would go from house to house and have the mother put her name down and the names of all her children, first telling her it was the wish of Rhodes and the so-called big men of Johannesburg. Cape niggers would give their names, and the bar-room specimen would write them down, for the niggers could riot write their names. There were men in Johannesburg who made it a profession to get up petitions, charging so much for every hundred names. The Rhodes crew employed these fellows at $25 per hundred names. These fellows would then go to their rooms, write down a few hundred names, as they came to their minds, and would then turn in the list, receive their money, and proceed to their rooms to repeat the process. That is the way that petition was gotten up, and it recited enough grievances to stagger the world. I used to talk with the people, and many of them, too, every day, and it was a rare exception when I found one who ever saw the petition. When completed, it was forwarded to Sir Alfred Milner, Cape Town. He looked at it, pronounced it correct, and forwarded it to Downing Street. When Sir Alfred Milner reported that he had investigated the names on that petition, and found them correct, he knows, I know, and the people of Johannesburg know, that he was guilty of a deliberate falsehood. Milner was sent to South Africa for a purpose. His predecessor would have thrown that petition into the waste basket. He could not be handled by Rhodes ; so it became necessary to get rid of him, and out he went. Milner was just the man for the place, for he was an educated man, suave and gentlemanly, and, best of all, he was easily led by such a moneyed man as Rhodes.
Now you have what I call a trinity, three in one, but apparently three distinct individuals, Chamberlain, Milner, Rhodes, three names that will in time appear on the first page of the history of the decline and fall of the British Empire, as the cause of the beginning of the end. With Chamberlain in Downing Street, Rhodes and all his money in South Africa, and weak Mr. Milner in the middle and ready at hand, it was inevitable that the great struggle must come, in which thousands of innocent people must fall, and the plains of South Africa be reddened with their blood.
As a result of this petition, the conference in Bloemfontein between Presidents Kruger and Stein and Sir Alfred Milner was held. This conference was simply a farce, as the world knows, for Milner had his orders and all the concessions made by Presidents Kruger and Stein were simply declined. Had President Kruger told Milner that he was willing to cut off the Rand Gold-Fields, and allow them to be annexed to Rhodesia, why, that would have prevented the war, and war could not have been avoided in any other way, for Milner positively refused to let any of their differences go to arbitration. He came there to bring on war; he succeeded, and what a pity it is that he, Chamberlain and Rhodes thought it prudent to remain so far removed from the immediate scenes of action! But that is the way in this wicked world those who are responsible for suffering and loss of life in a cruel and uncalledfor war, are the very ones who escape unharmed, and receive the congratulations of the civilized world for the masterly way they have carried out their designs.
From now on telegrams fly thick and fast, the pot is boiling, and ready to flow over at any moment. President Kruger is praying for arbitration and peace, while Chamberlain, as chief of the Trinity, is clamoring for gold and war. He had lyddite, too much lyddite, and it must be exploded ; and on the mountains of Natal, and the plains of the Transvaal and the Free State, the explosion must take place. Every shell exploded means so many dollars to Chamberlain and Co., and thousands upon thousands were exploded before the bloody struggle came to an end. I am glad to add, however, that but few Boers owe their death to lyddite.
If you read the London Times from June to October, 1899, you will find that the British Government had no intention of going to war with the Boers. But during this time about 15,000 English Troops were assembled at Dundee and Ladysmith, on the Transvaal border, and about the same number on the border of the Free State in Cape Colony.
A goodly number were also sent to Mafeking on the western border. About $2,000,000 worth of ammunition and war supplies were put into Dundee, and about 110,000,000 worth into Ladysmith. In Kimberly and Mafeking, the same provisions were made as regards ammunition and war supplies. At the same time there were something like 20,000 troops on the water, bound for South Africa. There can be no question about it, the British Government had no idea of making war on the Transvaal, for Chamberlain said so in Parliament, Milner said so in Cape Town, and Rhodes backed up both of them with his money.
These great bases of war supplies were established, and thousands of troops landed in South Africa, simply to keep the Commissary and Quartermaster's Department in good training, and allow the troops to enjoy some holiday exercises in a far-away land. Long before the war, many English officers, disguised in civilian clothes, had labored hard in making military maps of the Transvaal and Free State, showing every road, path, farm, sluit, hill, etc., and yet the British Government had no idea of forcing war upon the Transvaal; and this must be true, too, for the London Times said so, Chamberlain said so, Milner said so, and all were backed by Rhodes and his millions. We captured so many of these military maps that I can make the above statement without fear of contradiction.
Years ago, the Orange Free State had been robbed of the Kimberly Diamond Fields by the English, and thereafter the English Government never complained of any grievances in that Republic. The South African Republic and the Orange Free State formed an offensive and defensive alliance because it was a certainty that if the English took one of them, it would be but a question of time when an excuse would be manufactured to take the other; so they wisely concluded to stand shoulder to shoulder and live as Republics, or fall together and exist as dependencies.
They did stand together, they fought together and although they were brought to their knees, they are not down yet, and the price the English have so far paid, if the English graves in South Africa are to be taken as an index, is certainly enough to stagger humanity. How many graves are yet to be dug on the very same battle-fields, of those two little countries, in order to keep the Boer on his knees, or to put him, quite down, is the question for the future to answer.
Now I come to the point where the two little Republics are brought face to face with the military forces of war prepared England ; when war is inevitable, when the immortal gods could not prevent a clash of arms; when the first shot is fired in a struggle destined to stir the world, humiliate the English officer and lord, and destroy the name and prestige of the great degenerate British Empire.