British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

their service, or in any other manner harbour any Caffres, shall, within the space of twelve months, liberate and discharge the same, and provide themselves with other servants. . . .


20
MAJOR-GENERAL FRANCIS DUNDAS TO GOVERNOR SIR GEORGE YONGE, 20 February 18001

Rondebosch.

[ General Dundas gives an account of the frontier insurrection at Gruff Reinet. 150 insurgents had surrendered to Brigadier-GeneralVandeleur without fighting in April 1799, and 20 of the ringleaders were still in confinement. Resenting the conciliatory attitude towards the Kaffirs of the Landdrost, Maynier, they had defied his authority. These disorders had been followed by a rising on the part of the Kaffirs and Hottentots living within the eastern frontier of the colony, and many Boer farms in that region had been attacked and plundered. Previous to the British capture of the Cape in 1795, the Dutch authorities had extended the frontier of the colony eastward to the Great Fish River, and General Dundas ascribes the present attack to 'the violent and injudicious attempts' that had been made to drive the Kaffirs over that river.]

. . . The attention of Mr. Maynier2 has been directed to [do justice to Hottentot and Kaffir rights] since the conclusion of the peace, and his Instructions consist in the following points.

1st. To endeavour to convince the Hottentots and Caffres that it is the intention of His Britannic Majesty's Government to alleviate the sufferings of the former, and to prevent in future the injustice which upon many occasions has been done the latter on the part of the farmers in their dealings with them.

2ndly. To see that a Register of the Hottentots--men, women and children who are employed in the service of the different farmers--is established and kept at the Drostdy by the Landdrost in which is to be specified the names of the parties, farmer and Hottentot, with the age, condition and term of service of the latter, and the Landdrost is likewise instructed not to suffer with impunity any acts of violence or cruelty as have been usual on the part of the farmers towards the Hottentot.

3rdly. As the native Hottentots possess no property in the country, having been deprived of their cattle and lands by the European settlers

____________________
1

R.G.G., vol. iii ( 1898), pp. 53-57. Major-General Francis Dundas had served in America and the West Indies before being appointed to command at the Cape in 1796. He acted as Governor from Macartney's departure in November 1798 till Sir George Yonge's arrival in December 1799. Sir George Yonge had been Secretary of State for War from July 1782 to April 1783, and was appointed Governor of the Cape of Good Hope in 1799. He quarrelled with General Dundas and, when recalled in 1801, was replaced by him. Dundas remained as Governor until the restoration of the Cape to the Dutch in 1803.

2
H.D. Maynier was landdrost and resident commissioner for the districts of Swellendam and Gruff Reinet. General Dundas considered the colony indebted to his courage for the restoration of tranquillity.

-505-

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