The Last Trek: A Study of the Boer People and the Afrikaner Nation

The Last Trek: A Study of the Boer People and the Afrikaner Nation

The Last Trek: A Study of the Boer People and the Afrikaner Nation

The Last Trek: A Study of the Boer People and the Afrikaner Nation

Excerpt

'Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, thus saith the Lord'

(2 Corinthians , 6: v. 17)

'The importance of an historical event lies, not so much in the extent of its influence upon contemporary thought and action, as upon its propaganda value for a later generation'

(Professor Vincent Harlow)

THE birth-year of the Boer or Afrikaner nation was in 1657. In this year the Dutch East India Company, interested, as always, in penny-pinching, decided that a more economical method must be found of provisioning its Indies-bound ships at the Cape entrepôt, which had been set up five years earlier. The local Hottentots were not an agricultural people, and had proved demanding and capricious when pressed for a regular supply of cattle.

Accordingly, nine free burgers, all of Dutch or German origin, were settled in the Liesbeeck valley. The terms of settlement were sufficiently onerous to lay the foundations of subsequent strife between officialdom and the colonists.

The Company had no intention of creating a colony. The settlers, however, forced its hand by overflowing the Company's wild almond hedge and all the other boundaries subsequently set up, and moving steadily towards the interior. By 1660 the original nine settlers had become sixty, and by 1678 they had spread over the Cape Flats as far as the Hottentots Hollands Mountains. Thereafter followed three decades of assisted white . . .

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