The English arm Kaffirs - The Hague Conference and civilization - Hands-uppers and their position
Now I wish to say, and will say, a few words about English war correspondents. I never met but two personally, and they were prisoners of war in Pretoria, having a few days previously been captured by the Irish Brigade at Elandsfontein near Johannesburg, at the time of the British occupation of this city. The two gentlemen were Lord Cecil Manners and Lord Roslyn. They were given comfortable quarters in the Grand Hotel, and both seemed contented, although they were anxious to be released, that they might see what the English and Boers were doing just outside of Pretoria. They were not prejudiced and thick-headed, as you generally find Englishmen of their class, and both impressed me as being honest, reasonable and desirous of the whole truth. Lord Roslyn showed one of his reports to me, made while Buller was trying to relieve Ladysmith, and Lord Cecil Manners gave me his views, too. Both of course were Englishmen, and very handsome and fine looking ones, too. Naturally they viewed matters from an English, stand point, still I was surprised at their fairness, and I do not believe that either would intentionally twist a fact in order to conceal British blunders. Now this brings me to one that I did not meet, but one I wanted to meet. His name is Bennet Burleigh, and he was war correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph.
In Johannesburg there is a house known as the American Hotel, and the proprietor of that house was Dave Norris, an American, and one of the worthiest of the race in South Africa. He despised the English, loved liberty and longed to see the Boers free and independent. All the Irish boys knew him, and all loved him, and he in his turn was as warmly devoted to them, so, naturally, when any of them were in Johannesburg, they were always to be found with good' Dave Norris in the American Hotel; and wherever the Irish boys were, there I, too, would be.
Now I will return to Mr. Bennet Burleigh. As soon as the English occupied Johannesburg, they heard 'that I was still in the city. All wanted me and they wanted me badly, because it meant quite a neat sum of money to the fortunate man. Bennet Burleigh was not a combatant ; he was a war correspondent, and was not supposed to take any active part.
Late one night, Dave Norris was aroused and, on opening the door, in walked Bennet Burleigh with a revolver in his hand. In the adjoining room there was a man named Wilson, and to Wilson's ear he placed his revolver, and said, "I have you at last, Blake, and you are good meat." "Butch'* Wilson replied : "Fooled again, old man! Colonel Blake is not here." "Butch" having proven his identity, was released. After a few nights, Bennet Burleigh was again in the American Hotel, but this time put his revolver in old John Langtry's ear, and said: "I know I am right this time, come on here, sir, and be quick about it." Old John asked him what he wanted him for. "I know Blake by his photo, and you are the man, so get out." Again Mr. Bennet Burleigh, the war correspondent, the non-combatant, was sorely disappointed. Had this thing, Bennet Burleigh, been captured by the Boers, he would have whined and cried and begged to be released, because he h td nothing to do with fighting and only acted as a correspondent.
After the general surrender, one of the English majors whom I knew quite well, told me that Mr. Bennet Burleigh was very anxious to meet me, and would like an appointment. I was highly pleased and told the major that I would be glad to meet Mr. Burleigh at the Grand, in the evening, and that if he presented him to me I would make him a beautiful present, or give any one $25.00 who would bring the man face to face with me. Mr. Burleigh never showed up, and I inquired after him, but he had gone to Johannesburg. He soon left for England, so I never had the opportunity I so longed for.
Bennet Burleigh is a cowardly thing, and such a thing cannot possibly make a truthful report. Take all his writings during the war, and I very much doubt whether one grain of truth could be found in any one of his reports. We read many of his detailed descriptions, and they were so ridiculously false that we could not help laughing. Mr. Bennet Burleigh, you are a thorough-bred Englishman, typical of a degenerate race, and I now drop you as I picked you up, a dirty thing.
Now I come to the subject of armed Kaffirs. On the English side of the western border of the Transvaal, the English armed several thousand Kaffirs, and instructed them to make raids on the Boer farms across the border, and take all cattle, sheep, horses, etc., they could find. The Kaffirs were delighted and lost no tune in carrying out their instructions. They crossed, and on the first raid murdered more than fifty old men, women and children, and destroyed their property. They came again, and nearly all the Boers were withdrawn from Mafeking in order to fight them, and drive them out. They slaughtered the Kaffirs by the hundreds and drove them back to their English allies for protection.
While the troops were absent, Baden-Powell did not leave his prairie-dog-holes and come out, because he was afraid the Boers might catch him out, and that would be the end of Baden-Powell and his letter writing. A Boer commando had to be formed and kept near the border to protect the women and children from these savages armed by the English. All of the many thousands of Kaffirs in the Rustenburg district were so armed, and at times General de la Rey would have to abandon all operations against the English and go and fight them, to drive them far from the women and children. All the thousands of Kaffirs between Pretoria and Pietersburg and those to the north of Pietersburg were also armed by the English, and General Beyers had to fight them much more than he did the latter, in order to save the women and children from being outraged and murdered.
Armed Kaffirs were stationed all along the Pretoria-Pietersburg railway line and did all the work that Joe Chamberlain told the British Parliament the English soldiers were doing.
Northeast of Pretoria, north of Middleburg and all about Lydenburg and Pilgrims' Rest, were thousands of England's savage allies who murdered hundreds of men, women and children. In the east, about Komati Poort and along the Swazie-land border, the same conditions prevailed and the outrages committed are too sickening to put in print. Nearly sixty men were attacked, murdered and cut into pieces at one place.
All the blockhouses along the eastern border were manned with armed Kaffirs. About thirty women and children who had their homes burnt on the Piet-Retief border by the English and were left to starve to death, started out on foot to find some Boer commando, and get food and relief. They had to pass through this line of blockhouses manned by the armed Kaffirs. The savages seized and outraged all of them, and then drove them into the high veldt, where they were abandoned. They were found by the Boers, and a more sickening sight or characteristic picture of English brutality and savage outrage could not be imagined. In the face of all this, Lord Kitchener, Lord Milner and Joe Chamberlain swore to the world that no armed Kaffirs were employed by the English troops 1
There were between 30,000 and 40,000 Kaffirs armed by the English, and instructed to kill off the Boers. The Kaffirs had always been friendly to the Boers but the English went to them, and told them that if they did not take up arms against the Boers, they would destroy all their food and not allow them to grow any more as long as the war lasted. The Kaffirs in the mountains near Lydenburg were not to be so threatened because the English knew them and were afraid of them. In order to get them to fight the Boers, the English promised to give them all the Boer farms in their section at the end of the war. Many of my good friends were murdered in cold blood by these same Kaffirs.
At the town of Lydenburg, the English had more than 1000 armed Kaffirs side by side with them. At Middleburg they had about 600. In all the blockhouses and forts along the railway lines there were armed Kaffirs, with the English soldiers, and the Kaffirs were generally in the majority.
After the war came to an end, the English sent wagons and carts out to bring in the rifles, but the Kaffirs refused to give them up until the English had made good their agreement. The Kaffirs fairly drove out the English, who then came to the Boers and asked them to join with them and help them disarm the Kaffirs. The Boers refused *c a man, and told them since they had armed the blacks, they must now disarm them. The Kaffirs took possession of the Boer farms which the English had promised to give them, and would not let the Boers return.
At this time, I do not know how the affairs were settled, but I think all Kaffir claims were paid for, but the rifles were not given up.
Now that the war is over and hundreds of men, women and children have been murdered by these savages, Lord Kitchener, Lord Milner and Joe Chamberlain are ready to admit that they armed thousands of Kaffirs and used them against the Boers. They now admit it because they have to, for if there was any possible way to lie out of it, it is certain they would take advantage of it.
The English officers, English soldiers and Kaffirs all tell you now that they were armed by the English, to fight the Boers, and the savages do not hesitate to tell why they turned against the Boers. It is hard for Joe Chamberlain, and Milner and Kitchener to lie out of it. They can't do it, and they are too smart to try it.
For eighteen months we had the Kaffirs on one side and the English on the other, and the narrow belt between was not more than twenty-five to thirty-five miles wide, and here it was that we must live and fight and try to protect ourselves. Sometimes we were fighting the English, and sometimes the Kaffirs, and sometimes both at once. How we managed to hold our own and escape what the English call sure death, I can not explain, but I do know that nearly all escaped.
I have heard much about Geneva Conventions, Hague Conferences, and have had to know something about International Law, and I am forced to come to the conclusion that all these peace and humanity posters are only intended for times of peace. Great men meet at Geneva; great men meet at the Hague ; great men meet to discuss questions of International Law ; all are lovers of peace, all love humanity, all are determined to reduce the sufferings of mankind to a minimum in times of war, but lay at their feet the lifeless form of a child mutilated by an English shell, or a savage armed with an English rifle, and all will throw up their hands in horror, and cry out '''what a pity! But the English are a civilized people, and we must support them."
When I hear learned and humane men discussing the sufferings of man, Geneva Conventions, Hague Conferences and International Law, I feel like crying out "Rot, rot, rot ! and three times Rot, rot, rot 1 " because that is all there is hi the whole business. The savage fights to kill; he asks no quarter, and he gives none in times of war ; he has no Geneva Conventions to conceal him while murdering the wounded ; he has no Hague Conferences, no International Law ; but he is not a hypocrite, because he proclaims just what he is, and will not appeal to long-faced humanity to make screens to hide his acts.
I know the savages, because I have lived with them. I know the civilized, because I have lived with him ! and when it comes to decide on questions of honor, humanity and justice, give me the savage every time. The great savage nation a are better governed, are infinitely more moral, more humane and just, than any of the so-called civilized nations.
The Great Indian tribes, before they were corrupted and polluted by the presence of white men, were proud, high-spirited, well governed, happy and contented, but now they are low, degenerate, immoral and miserable. The great Kaffir nations of South Africa, the Zulus, the Basutos, and the Swazies, probably the finest races of people in the world, are far more free and independent, better governed, more moral and contented than the people of the so-called civilized nations on the globe. Both men and women are pictures of physical perfection ; they are proud, but not boastful; they are honorable and truthful to each other ; immorality with them is punished by death ; and they live at peace with each other, and with the world, so long as greedy, unmoral white man does not interfere.
Now I will pass on to what is in the world known as " hands-uppers," that is, those burghers who for various reasons voluntarily went into the English lines and surrendered their rifles. On the occupation of Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria, thousands of this name really thought the war was over, and acted accordingly. All Boer officers totally condemn them, and declare there was no excuse for them. Here I differ with the Boer officers, and say that they themselves were entirely responsible for nearly every one who voluntarily surrendered his rifle. Thousands upon thousands surrendered on the occupation of Johannesburg and Pretoria, believing that the war was at an end. Under Lord Robert's proclamation, setting forth that the war was practically over, and assuring all burghers who came in and surrendered their rifles, that neither they nor their property would be in any way molested, thousands of others surrendered. Not a Boer officer in the field opened his mouth and told the burghers anything. When they did assemble the burghers, and talked to them, their theme was Christ and His teachings, and that all must follow the narrow path, because the broad one led to hell. Not in a single instance did any Boer officer tell the burghers what their duty to their country was ; not a word about patriotism was ever mentioned, not a hint given that the war would proceed more vigorously than ever after the fall and occupation of Pretoria. No, the burghers were absolutely ignored, and while I deplored the fact that so many thousands of them surrendered, yet I felt that the Boer officers deserved infinitely more censure than the burghers themselves.
For instance, General de la Rey, the noble and patriotic defender of his Country, called upon the burghers in the Rustenburg district to take up arms again and fight for their Country. All responded, and General de la Rey had to send hundreds of miles for rifles and ammunition with which to equip them. I, at least, do not censure this class of "hands-uppers," but I do censure the Boer officers, all of whom were guilty and strictly responsible for their conduct. Had there been no surrenders, the Boers would have beaten the English.
In Ermelo, in 1901, I heard General Louis Botha make a speech to the burghers. I did not like what he said, and thereupon did not agree with him. He told them they could go and surrender if they pleased, but if they did go, it would be without his permission. This was really an inducement for them to go and surrender. Idleness always creates discontent, and from this all the burghers were suffering. They could see no reason why they should lie in laager and do nothing, and if that was what General Botha wished them to do, why, they said, it is better to go and surrender, and be through with the business.
I certainly blame General Botha for the surrender of hundreds of men, and while I like him and know that he is a great fighter when pushed to it, yet I must be honest and tell him the great mistake he made, in not keeping the burghers in hand, and giving them plenty of fighting, for they were always ready to fight when there was anything to be accomplished. I used to wish to say to him: "General Botha, you know what the Governor of North Carolina said to the Governor of South Carolina, "It is a longtime," not "between drinks," but between fights.
The English columns had not then swarmed over the high veldt, and both the Delagoa and Natal railway lines were easy to destroy, and many trains could have been taken, yet he would not allow the burghers to molest them. I did not understand him then, and I don't understand him now. Captain Jack Hindon and that most reckless officer, Lieutenant Hendrik Slegkamp, were destroying armored trains and freight trains, near Balmoral, and they captured enough supplies and ammunition to support the whole Boer army, yet the burghers were not there to help themselves and make provision for the future.
Captain Hindon and Lieutenant Slegkamp had only about 100 men, yet they were in every way successful. Captain Karl Trichardt, a son of the patriotic Commandant Trichardt, of the State Artillery, joined with Captain Hindon and Lieutenant Slegkamp and together they took in more than 100 trains in two months. The burghers were most anxious to have a hand in this business; but General Botha discouraged them, and in every instance, when they requested him, they were refused. I do not like to criticise General Botha, because he is a most excellent fighter, but I feel that in telling him his weaknesses, he may, at some time in the future, remember what I say, and benefit by it. I know that he is loyal and true, but he must feel the prick of the spur in order to develop the high speed that is really in him.
I say all this with the best intentions, General Botha, for you are a young man, and in the future possibly your services will be needed. To JOUT tact, courage and generalship, add energy and foresight, and I assure you that you will prove yourself a star of the first magnitude in the eyes of the military world; but remember that you can not ignore and allow to remain undestroyed the enemy's line of communications, when all is in your own hands. Make your plans to win, but also prepare for disaster, and your name will go down in history as a great general. Of General de lay Rey and De Wet, I have but one criticism to make, and that is they must tell their burghers less of religion and more of the duties they owe to their Country.
The burghers know their bibles as well as the officers, can pray as well and preach as well; then why should their officers keep trying to drive more bible into the burghers? When the officers tell them that God has ordained that all men shall be free, and that all burghers who submit to live as slaves to an English Sovereign can never hope to pass St. Peter and enter the gates of heaven, they have said enough on the bible question. In contending with such an unscrupulous and Godbanished government as the British, they must remember that their rifles and artillery must take first place. The Boers are by nature intensely humane and religious, and command the respect and admiration of all who know them, but they must remember that when at war with the English, they are fighting a lot of savages, and that by way of retaliation they must play the savage, too. The civilized Christian preaches of humane war, but has any one ever taken part in or witnessed a humane war, or can any one mention a humane war since the world was created? When two civilized nations go to war, each strains every nerve to mow the other down, to cut his throat, to mutilate and kill him, by fair means or foul, and when the battle is lost and won, they commiserate and sympathize with them, and grieve to see so many hundreds of their fellowmen writhing in agony on the battlefield. This is what they call humane war in modern times. If the greedy, ambitious and unscrupulous politicians who draw the people into war were forced to shoulder the rule and take position hi the front line of battle, then we would have a truly humane war, because they would then find a way to settle all differences without resorting to force of arms.
Had the English law required Joe Chamberlain, Alfred Milner and C. J. Rhodes, to go into the front line of battle as proof of their earnestness and sincerity and of their love for their country, it is certain that the pages of history would never have been stained by the account of the bloody war in South Africa.
Now a few words on the Anglo-Boer, a class of men in my opinion far more contemptible than such men as Roberts, Kitchener, Milner and Chamberlain who had burned down the Boer homes and left the Boer women to starve to death, because they did not make their men come in and surrender. The Anglo-Boers deserted their people, took up arms with the British and materially helped them to destroy their own people's farms and make the women and children suffer death, if possible. These Anglo-Boers were organized into a military force and christened by Lord Kitchener as National Scouts. To show their great loyalty to the British Crown they endeavored to prove themselves more cruel to the Boer women and children than the English ever were, and they made thousands of them suffer. The Boers were fortunate enough to capture a few of them and they were promptly shot. All of them would have been shot had they been captured. After the general surrender any one of those National Scouts who dared to go back to his own farm would promptly meet his just doom. The English would bury him and ask no questions. Within the first two months after the surrender, twenty-two of them were buried, and I learn that occasionally one or two of them are buried now. They have to live under the protection of the British troops to avoid being killed. It is hoped that in time the entire 3000 will have died unnatural deaths. In hundreds of instances their own wives and children deserted them and would not allow them to come near them. Many of them wanted to go to Somaliland and help the English fight the Mad Mullah and his negroes, but the English Government felt that they could not be trusted. They are now ignored and despised both by the English and the Boers, and the most commendable act they could do would be for each to cut his own throat and thus earn the thanks and approval of present and coming generations.
The traitor is the mosb despicable of all the animal creation, and of the National Scouts I say with Tom Moore "May the blood that courses through their dastardly veins and recoils at the very sound of Freedom's call, stagnate in chains !"
I will now sum up the reasons why the Boers lost their independence and country, and then throw in a few scraps which are worth recording. In the first place, the Boers lost because they made the fatal mistake of laying siege to Ladysmith, Kimberly and Maf eking. Had they driven ahead and take possession of the capitals of Natal and Cape Colony, all three of these depots of supplies and ammunition would have fallen into their hands without a shot being fired ; and besides they would have received at least 75,000 recruits from the Colonies. Mafeking was absolutely of no importance to them. Of course, Baden-Powell was there and thousands of dum-dum bullets, and three or four years' supply of food, but all this in the beginning was not wanted. Baden-Powell would never have ventured a day's march from his prairie-dog-holes had there been Boers present, because he did not wish to take any chances of being captured. In the second place, the Boers lost because so many thousands of them surrendered voluntarily on the occupation of Bloemfontein and Pretoria. The Boer generals I hold entirely responsible for this. Had they met and talked to them and explained Roberts' proclamations, they would have prevented at least 35,000 men from surrendering.
In the third place even after the voluntary surrender of so many thousands of men, had the three generals, Chris De Wet, de la Rey and Louis Botha, concentrated their forces and carried the war into Cape Colony, they would have won, because they would have received as many thousand recruits as they had lost in men who had v 1untarily surrendered, and more, too. They could have taken complete possession of the English lines of communication, and this would have forced the English to abandon both the Free State and the Transvaal. But with a hammer and a spike one could not drive into a Boer general's head the real importance of his enemy's line of communication and the necessity of its destruction.
In the fourth place, the Boers lost because the English Government in Washington, D. C., allied itself with the English Government in London, England, and allowed British officers to establish a military camp at Chalmette, New Orleans, for recruiting horses, mules and men for the British army in South Africa. This was a most damnable piece of business. More than 200,000 horses and mules were sent, and I don't know how many thousand men.
So anxious was the English Government in Washington, D. C., to supply, the British army in South Africa with horses and mules that to-day, May, 1903, there is a deficiency of them in the United States and our own cavalry regiments can not be mounted.
On reading all this in the newspapers, the Boers would come to me and ask me to explain the conduct of the Government. I recalled to them the fact that Mr. Hay, Secretary of State, had been ambassador for a month or so in London, and that the English had so stuffed him with flattery that he had forgotten that he was a republican and a citizen of a republic, and that they must expect him to be English in his every act.
Strange to say, practically all American ambassadors to England return to America as Englishmen. They cannot stand against English flattery. Read the papers and you will see that at every private dinner or reception of the King the American ambassador is the only foreign representative honored with an invitation. He accepts, the King lets him sit for five minutes in his own chair, allows him to recline on the couch where Queen Victoria once took a nap after returning from her drive in Hyde Park, and that settles him, he is denationalized. Kings, queens, earls, lords and so forth, are trained flatterers, and there is certainly much power in these titles, too, for let a dissolute, caddish earl who thinks nothing of his mother, but is devoted to his mistress, come to America, there are many rich girls who are ready at once to vend their souls and bodies and give their fortunes for the title of princess. All learn what there is in such a title when it is too late. I lived in London fifteen months and I saw a great deal. The nobility or upper set, and the lower class of Englishmen, are dissolute and immoral to an extreme, while the middle class is perfection. In this class one will find the moral, refined, upright, and honest Englishmen, and no where in the world can be found a better class of men and women than in this middle class. Unfortunately they are but few, as compared to the whole, and being sandwiched in between the mighty upper and lower classes, or immoral and dissolute classes, it is inevitable that in the end they will be squeezed to death. And then it is that the remains of a once glorious and proud old England will be laid away in the same vault with those of Rome and Spain.
There is not an Englishman living that does not at heart despise every American, yet he must look to the American for his food. All talk of their cousins across the sea, for all now know that their very existence as a nation depends upon the good will of America. I have talked with many business men in London, and all, in speaking of American merchants, say, "He is smart, but not a good business man." They mean by this that all Americans are rascals, and so they believe.
In 1895 I was amused one morning when I read in one of the Cape Town newspapers that "It was strange to see on Adelaide Street, this morning, the American Consul in a sober condition." I was also amused in London during the Spanish War to witness such men as Dewey, Schley and Sampson hissed in the theatres on the very mention of their names. One picture of the battle-ship Maine leaving New York, was hissed by the whole house. Another of its destruction was applauded, yet there are thousands of Anglo-Americans to be seen walking the streets every day. For more than a hundred years the British Government has labored to disunite our Union or in some way to destroy our Republic, yet we still have Anglo-Americans, and, be it said to our shame, an English Government in Washington, D. C. Let a crown prince or some great lord come to the United States, and then something is sure to happen. Such personages come to flatter and arrange matters in Washington for a slap at the United States. The Venezuelan disgrace was the outcome of Prince Henry's visit. Lord Charles Beresford comes to tell us how much England loves us and the Monroe Doctrine, and we are then ready to give up our rights to Alaska. It is time for the American people to see to it that no one but true Americans shall hold the highest offices hi their gift. Plain it is that we are drifting towards imperialism, that is, corruption and crime. The records of our action towards the Phillipines and of the conduct of our army towards the Filipinos will mark the darkest pages in our history and prove loathsome to posterity. The Filipinos long to be free, and our motto seems to be to kill or enslave them. It is unnecessary to give reasons, for the daily papers fairly teem with accounts of barbarous and murderous acts on the part of several army officers towards the people, black and white, of those far away and sorely afflicted islands. Strange to say, our Secretary of War brings down heavily the stamp of his approval on all these outrages and endeavors to keep the people in the dark as far as it is within his power. The very people who declared for liberty for all, and fought to free the blacks of the Southern States, are now fighting to enslave the blacks and whites of the far-away Phillipines. I admire nerve, but despise hypocrisy. Now I must say a word about the Irish and Irish-Americans on their conduct in America during the South African War. There are many millions of Irish hi America and there is one organization, the Clan-na-Gael, known as the Physical Force Element. For nearly half a century this organization has been crying and preaching that "England's difficulty was Ireland's opportunity." They have blown up a few barns and woodsheds in the rear of some lord's residence, managed to get some good patriotic Irishmen behind the bars of English prisons for life, and tried to turn the course of the Gulf Stream in order to frighten or freeze England. But when an English military camp was established in New Orleans to recruit horses, mules and men, they did nothing but prohibit every member of the society from doing anything towards its destruction. Every man of the rank and file wanted to destroy that camp, and stop the shipment of the horses, mules and men to the British army in South Africa,. and were ready to volunteer for the service. They saw England's difficulty and wished to take advantage of it. But their leaders said NO, and not one man was allowed to open his mouth or do anything.
Lord Salisbury and Chamberlain must have known all about the stand the leaders of the Clan-na-Gael had taken and the reasons for it, for both said in Parliament, "there was nothing to fear from the Irish in America." Clansmen should look out, for there is something wrong about their leaders. Had the Irish destroyed that camp, it would have told England, in unmistakable terms, that so long as there are Irish in America, so long will it be impossible for her to recruit horses, mules and men on our soil. England would then learn that it would be for her best interests to allow the people of Ireland to govern themselves.
Irish enmity will live in all its bitterness till the people are free, and England will find this out when it is too late. She is now going to give them a land bill by which the tenants can, to a certain extent, buy the land of which they were forcibly robbed in years gone by; and I confess this will prove a great boon to them. I believe, however, that the concession is intended as a bribe, for England is frightened because the Irish have at last come to then: senses and cease to enlist in the army. Without the Irish, the British army would be helpless m a war with any country, for they are its very backbone and sinew of strength. The Scotch will think twice about enlisting, too, when they learn the Irish have cleared out, for they know that when it comes to a fight the Englishmen are not there, and if there are no Irish to call upon, why they, the Scotchmen, would have to stand the whole brunt. By the concession which England now makes, she hopes the Irish will feel grateful, to the extent of enlisting again hi the army; but I hope they will have sense enough to do no such thing, as England grants nothing except when forced to it.
Now my narrative is virtually at an end, but to be in fashion I must say another word to be called the "Conclusion."
Queen Victoria had a peaceful reign of some sixty-three years. Of this long period, only thirty-seven years were devoted to war against her own people in her own possessions. It was against the blacks, her own subjects, that her huge armies were principally employed. Her armies could easily account for 5,000 dead blacks annually, so that during the thirty-seven years of her long and peaceful reign of sixty-three years, there could be recorded in the annals of English History the names of some 185,000 of her black subjects who, innocent, helpless and unarmed, were deliberately shot down because they were native and rightful owners of lands that might be rich in gold and other precious minerals.
The venerable Queen died in the year 1901 during her war in South Africa against an innocent, humane and Christian people who happened to have the richest gold fields known. She was succeeded by her son who followed in her footsteps till the Boers finally consented to surrender in order to save all that remained of their women and children and therefore their race from extinction.
At last, England longs for peace. She has all the gold fields with the exception of those in Alaska and she knows that by sending a titled person to the English Government in Washington, D. C., she can get all the gold she wishes in that land by the mere asking.
She is through with war and such is her condition financially that if any Power offers her an insult she must swallow it. The South African war absorbed all her money and to-day she acknowledges the huge debt of 14,000,000,000. To pay the interest on that debt alone her population of 40,000,000 people must be taxed at the rate of three dollars per head annually for every man, woman and child. Even bread, the sole food' of her thousands of starving poor, must be taxed in order that she may meet the interest of her heavy debt. She prays for peace not only because she is pressed to earth by the weight of her debt but also because the South African War demonstrated the extreme weakness of her army.
The Mad Mullah in line with the Boers, has also developed the fighting incapacity of her army, I wonder why they call him "Mad?" Is it because he has wiped out some English commands? It may be so, because General Cronje was called the 'Butcher" when he wiped out some English commands.
The English army having shown itself so pitifully weak in the presence of an armed though far inferior enemy, in numbers, the question arises, "Is her navy as weak as her army?" I don't know, but should her navy by accident run against either the; American or French navy, I have an idea that it would follow the same course and meet the same fate as the Spanish navy during the American Spanish War.
That the English navy is huge in its number om paper I do not doubt, but that there is any effective; strength in its numbers, I seriously doubt, because so many of her principal ships are armed with old smooth-bone, [sic] muzzle-loading guns, so many of the boilers; are burnt out and so many of the old hulks are rotten with age?
At any rate England is praying for continued peace and will not go to war unless actually driven to it. For 700 years she has tried to crush out the very life of the Irish people by thrusting them in prison, by starvation and by actually murdering them, yet, in the end she found them invincible and not to be destroyed. Now her King and Queen go to Ireland and fairly kiss the Irish people's feet and tell them what a good, noble people they are and how dearly they love them. To be sincere, they should have added, "Now won't you enlist in our army, for we : can't possibly fight without your help?"
The English, of all people^ are the least sincere officially and know best the value of flattery. It is for this reason, I think, that the British Empire has so long held together^ but now the people of the Colonies are beginning to reflect, to think and reason, and the connecting links are growing weaker and weaker every day and some of them may, at any moment, snap.
As soon as peace was made in South Africa, the English with long faces and pleading tones, appealed to the Boers to forgive and forget, as there were no longer any reasons why they should live on unfriendly terms. Having robbed the Boers of their gold fields, destroyed more than 22,000 of their women and children, all their homes and property, and then endeavored to starve to death the whole population, she humbly begs them to forgive and forget. Yes, the Boers are sure to forgive and forget, but when?
The Eighty Years' War showed that the Dutch were the most determined fighters and the greatest lovers of liberty the world had ever known. Shortly after the conclusion of this war many of them went to South Africa and settled in Cape Colony. It was fight, fight and fight all the time for years, but, though they lost many of their women and children, yet they were determined and held their ground. Near the close of the 17th century many of the Huguenots driven from France also sought refuge in Cape Colony. The Boers of to-day are the descendants of those two races of people. This explains why they are such a determined race and such great lovers of liberty. The Dutch and French Huguenots, both being intensely religious, united, fought side by side during those fearful times and in the end became so intermixed that to-day there is not one individual Dutch or Huguenot family among the Boers.
After years of fighting the natives, wild beasts and starvation, they succeeded in establishing themselves in comfortable homes and converting a wilderness into a habitable, productive country.
Now the time was ripe for England to act and she fell upon them with her army and navy and deprived them of all their rights and liberties. They withstood English domineering for a few years, when many of them, driven to it, openly rebelled. The terrible murder scene at Slagter's Nek was the result. Here five men were hung in the presence of hundreds of men, women and children who had been driven to the scene at the point of English bayonets. When the five patriots were dropped, the scaffold broke and down all came, some half dead from choking, and all writhing in agony. The scaffold was partially repaired and all drawn up, so that they could die as horrible a death as possible. The Boers have never forgotten that awful day and that heartrending scene, and they never will.
During the recent war men, women and children were again forced to witness many such revolting scenes, and yet the English beg them to forgive and forget.
Back in the thirties, the English became so oppressive that life to the Boers was unendurable, so thousands of them banded together, left their dear old homes and all their property and started on the "Great Trek" to the unsettled country of Natal. Here again they had to contend with the savages, wild beasts and starvation. Hundreds of them were murdered, yet, in the end, they again established themselves in homes and made the wilderness bloom. No sooner were they comfortable, happy and in a flourishing condition than the English fell upon them again and drove them from the land. They now crossed the mountains and sought homes hi the great deserts now known as the Transvaal and Free State. At last the English said they would no longer hound them and would allow them to live or die in the desert.
Again the Boers had to contend with the savages, wild beasts and starvation. Here they suffered women and children were murdered by the savages. Yet they persevered and converted the desert into two of the richest and most flourishing little republics in the world. All this is as fresh as ever in the Boer memory, yet, after the late South African War, the English beg the Boers to forgive and forget.
Unfortunately for the Free State, as soon as she began to really flourish, the great diamond fields at Kimberly were discovered. Now England falls upon her, kills a lot of her people and, in the end, robs her of her diamond fields and establishes a little despotism in Kimberly. The diamond fields were alone cut off and annexed to Cape Colony, for there was nothing else in the Free State worth having as far as the English knew.
It is at Kimberly that the great "Compound System" was established and is still running in all its glory. Rhodes, Beit, Phillips and Bernato were the prime movers.
A large compound was built around the mines and all the employees locked within it. No employee can buy anything except from the Company and within that compound. On leaving the compound, the employees have to go through an ordeal that is simply beastly, because the Company fears that some of them may have swallowed a diamond. It requires a week to pass the last door and every one must swallow such purging drugs as the Company may command. The Compound is simply a little hell established by the civilized English.
They made a law in the Colony by which any one caught with a rough diamond in his possession is sent to penal servitude for a term of years, the period raging from five to seven years. This law was especially enacted for the Diamond Company ? now known as De Beers Company.
Any one in Kimberly who might say anything about the Compound System would incur the displeasure of the Diamond Company. Th-it means that one of the Company's detectives would watch his chance and drop a rough diamond in the offender's pocket. In another five minutes the detective would arrest the offender and charge him with having a rough diamond in his possession. The offender would plead innocence, but the search brings out the diamond, the offender is hauled before the Company's judge and sentenced to five or seven years' penal servitude. I remember, in one instance, where the judge held a rough diamond in his hand and remarked to those in the court room that that one diamond had sent eleven men to penal servitude. Sure it is that under an English administration, there is no doubt that justice will be given.
This frightful state of affairs exists because Rhodes, Bernato, Beit, Philips, etc. must be pleased, Rhodes and Bernato are now dead, the one having been fatally shot by John Barleycorn, and the other having jumped overboard at sea that it might be recorded of him that he had at least done one good thing.
Having sliced off the diamond fields and annexed them to Cape Colony, the English now allowed the Free Staters to live in peace. The people of the Transvaal had long since established their Government, but they were struggling hard to keep starvation from the door. There was no money in the treasury, the people had no money and every official gave his time and services free. There was no complaint, however, for all could be happy in their religion even if they had no money $nd starvation was staring them in the face.
While still struggling to live, a great misfortune fell upon them in the year 1887 by the discovery of the great Rand gold fields at Johannesburg. People from all parts of the world poured into the country and the Boers suddenly jumped from poverty into affluence. These fields became world known, all was flourishing in the Transvaal, and Boers and foreigners alike were all happy and prosperous. England, through the subsidized press soon manufactured an excuse to make war upon the Boers and rob them of their gold fields.
With the material assistance rendered by the English Government in Washington, D. C., she managed to succeed in her highway robbery and at the same time deprive two little republics of their independence.
Judging by what I read and hear, I am led to believe that President Roosevelt claims to be of Irish and Dutch extraction, but judging him by his conduct and the English proclivities of some of those who are his chief advisers, I should say that real English blood predominates over all others he may claim. Whatever the composition of his blood may be, certain it is that he helped England destroy two little republics in South Africa. The American people will wake up by and by and see to it that none but true Americans will hold office under the United States Government.
Having driven the Boers from pillar to post, hounded them, preyed upon them and robbed and murdered them for 250 years, and then deprived them of their liberty and independence, England now expects them to forgive and forget because there is no longer any reason for ill-feelings.
Will the Boers ever forget the sufferings and torture heaped upon their forefathers in Cape Colony? Will they ever forget what their fathers and mothers had to endure in Natal ? Will they ever forget what they themselves have had to suffer in the Transvaal and Free State ? Will they ever forget the 3,723 patriots who were killed or died of wounds during the late South African War?
Will they ever forget the 22,000 women and children who were murdered in the English prison camps? Will they ever forget the many martyrs who were tied hand and foot, and deliberately shot in cold blood?
Go to the lone tent standing by the charred walls of the destroyed home and with the children listen to what is taught them by the mother, and you will hear the answer.
Such noble women as that grand matron, Mrs. Joubert, widow of the late Commandant-General Piet Joubert, would redeem any land or people. She is one of thousands of Africander mothers whose sons may forgive much, because they are Christians but will forget nothing because they are men. They will not have any of the amiable sentimentality of the Irish whose soft hearts and heads prompt them too often to let bygones be bygones. Nor will they have any of the vulgar admiration of succcess which makes the American parvenu cringe to the Englishman of rank or station, until the Yankee to-day is more despised in Great Britain than his independent father was ever hated there which is saying a good deal.
The bible-loving Africanders may enjoy the following poem, with its Hebraic language of fierce denunciation. It is by an Irish American without any Anglo "virus" in his system, James Jeffrey Roche, editor of the Pilot.