National Geographic : 1896 Nov
THE REVOLT OF THE U1TLANDERS Natal, after the loss of a great part of their number, treacherously slaughtered by the Zulu chief, Dingaan. The English had re peatedly refused to annex Natal, but after the Boers had been settled there for five years and had set up a republic, the British took possession, and to escape them most of the Boers trekked again to the north of the Orange river, where many of their kins folk had preceded them in 1836-'37. Repeated official declara tions had been made that the British dominion would not be extended to the northward of this river. Nevertheless, in 1848, British sovereignty was proclaimed over the region between the Orange river on the south and the Vaal on the north, practically the area now occupied by the Orange Free State. The Boers resisted the annexation; two of their number were hanged and the property of other recalcitrants was confiscated. As early as 1842 many Boers had entered the Transvaal. After the annex ation of the country to the south, many more crossed the Vaal. In 1852 the population amounted to about 5,000 white families, and the independence of the Transvaal was acknowledged by England in the Sand River Convention. In 1877 the Transvaal was annexed by England on the plea that the weakness of the state was a menace to English in terests.* But the unwillingness of the Boers to be British sub jects had not diminished, nor were they without grave reasons for dissatisfaction. It is acknowledged by men of all parties that the promises made by the English at the time of the annexation were not kept.t Late in 1880 the republican flag was again hoisted; war and the battle of Majuba hill followed, and in 1881 the Transvaal was again acknowledged independent, t though with the reservation of British suzerainty. In 1884 the relation of the two countries was further modified by a convention, which is still in force. In this document the only substantial right re served to Great Britain is that of ratifying treaties between the republic and foreign powers. An attempt has been made in the foregoing paragraphs to show the origin of the hostility and distrust with which the Boers regard the English, but it is not to be inferred that the * Proclamation of annexation and address of Sir T. Shepstone. The annexation was nominally provisional. In 1879 Sir Garnet Wolseley announced that it should continue " forever." t Mr Nixon writes: "Nor were any of the other promises which were expressed or implied at the time of the annexation carried out." $ The greater part of the above historical notes are taken from Mr G. McC. Theal's History of South Africa, 4 vols. Mr Theal is generally acknowledged to be a trust worthy and impartial historian.