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them of their flocks and herds, and you scarcely leave them any alternative but to perish, or to live by robbery. This was the case with many of the Hottentot tribes during the seventeenth century. Driven to desperation by the loss of their cattle, they were occasionally forced by hunger to seize a few sheep or cattle belonging to the colonists. To evade their pursuers, and to have the opportunity of devouring their spoil in peace, they would naturally seek refuge in the most inaccessible places of the mountains; and in this brief sketch will be seen the origin of the Bushmen.

The opinion now advanced on this subject was originally formed from circumstances which came under my own observation during my journies into the interior of South Africa, and it has been since strongly confirmed by the facts elicited during my investigation into the early history of this people. The reader, by referring to Vol. I., page 33, will find the true origin of the Bushmen developed in brief, but forcible terms, by the respectable Dutch magistrate, Sterreberg Kupt. This gentleman explicitly states that, “ by the misbehaviour of these vagabonds”—unprincipled aggressors from the colony—"the whole country was ruined ;” for the kraals of the Hottentots being plundered by the colonists, the natives were driven by famine to rob other hordes of their own countrymen, and these again their neighbours. Those who betook themselves to this mode of life retreated to fastnesses among the rocks and mountains, whence they issued forth, from time to time, to plunder the Colonists, or such of the native hordes as still possessed cattle.

" And thus,” says the landdrost Kupt, “ from people living in peace and happiness, divided into kraals under chiefs, and sub

sisting quietlj by the breeding of cattle, they are become almost all of them huntsmen, Bushmen, and robbers, and are dispersed everywhere, among the barren and rugged mountains."

The same system was continued, as the reader will perceive, by referring to Vol. I., Chapter III., by the “ barterers,” (as they styled themselves,) who penetrated, from time to time, into the interior of the country. The Hottentot tribe of Horisons, mentioned at page 38, are termed “Bosjesmen” in the original manuscript from which the account of the transactions there briefly stated has been extracted ; and the reader may, from that circumstance, form a pretty impartial judgment as to the quarter from which the first and worst aggressions principally proceeded. The account of the commando system,* employed against the native tribes, already given, (see Vol. I., page 41, et seq.) renders it unnecessary to recapitulate here the revolting details of this disgraceful chapter of colonial history. I only request the reflecting reader to retain the facts, there stated on official authority, in his recollection, while we proceed with the more recent history of the degraded and persecuted race of Hottentots now denominated "

* Mr. Thomson, when travelling near the Hantam, in 1824, received the following account of the outbreakings of Bushman animosity from an aged Hottentot :

“ An old Hottentot servant of the family accompanied me. This man was between sixty and seventy years of age, and had all his life resided upon the Bushman frontier. I found him communicative, and elicited some interesting information from him. He said he could recollect the time when few or no murders were committed by the Bushmen, especially upon the Christians. The era of bitter and bloody hostility between them commenced, according to his account, about fifty years ago, in the following manner :The burgher, Coetzee Van Reenen, had an overseer, who kept his flocks near the Zak river; this fellow was of a brutal and insolent disposition, and a great tyrant over the Bushmen; and had shot some of them, at times, out of mere wantonness. The Bushmen submissively endured the oppression of this petty tyrant for a long period; but at length their patience was worn out; and one day, while he was cruelly maltreating one of their nation, another struck him through with his assagai. This act was represented in the colony as a horrible murder. A strong commando was sent into the Bushman country, and hundreds of innocent people were massacred, to avenge the death of this ruffian. Such treatment roused the animosity of the Bushmen to the utmost pitch, and eradicated all remains of respect which they still retained for the Christians. The commando had scarcely left their country, when the whole race of Bushmen along the frontier simultaneously commenced a system of predatory and murdercus incursions against the colonists, from the Kamiesberg to the Stormberg. These depredations were retaliated by fresh commandos, who slew the old without pity, and carried off the young into bondage. The commandos were again avenged by new robberies and murders; and thus mutual injuries have been accumulated, and mutual rancour kept up to the present day."

savage Bushmen.''

“ Treat men as wild beasts,” says a philosophical writer, “and


will make them such ; and by joining the ardour of revenge to their yet untamed barbarity, they will grow every day more untractable, and more dangerous.” The vindictive dispositions ascribed to the Bushmen are more owing to their unfortunate circumstances than to anything in their natural character, which distinguishes them from other uncivilized tribes. Driven to desperation by a long series of cruelties, they began to view all persons not belonging to their own tribe as against them; and if men who were formerly friends suspect and treat each other as enemies, their former friendship will soon be changed into bitter hostility. It is probable that the savage dispositions of the Bushmen would be at first directed against their immediate oppressors, but, once called into action, and cherished by a state of constant hostility, they would gain a wider sphere of operation, and be incensed against their fellow-creatures in general. This deterioration of character, and the barbarous acts arising out of it, would be attended with loss of good repute; would produce a general combination of other tribes against them, and occasion a powerful reaction ; and thus those dispositions, which at first arose out of the oppression to which they were subjected, would be confirmed by the continuance of those circumstances out of which they originally sprung. Such as escaped the bloody scenes which accompanied these murdering expeditions would become the bitter enemies of the colonists. Deprived of their cattle, they must now rob others, or perish for want of the means of subsistence. Self-preservation is the first law of nature; and, in their predatory excursions in quest of food, it is natural to suppose that their first thoughts would be turned towards the colony. Their vengeance would probably, in some instances, fall upon the innocent ; the retaliation of the Bushmen would call forth a powerful reaction on the part of the farmers; and the flames of perpetual hostility would continue to rage when it was forgotten by what means they were first kindled. - When

When savage and barbarous tribes are oppressed by civilized nations, perfidy and injustice are the only things they borrow from their oppressors ; and the animosity excited by a sense of the injuries they sustain, presents an insuperable barrier to their improvement in civilization,

The system of oppression under which the Hottentots suffered so grievously, rendered it necessary for their oppressors to allege some reasons in their own defence; and to a colonial government, in possession of the ear of the government at home, this was an easy matter. While a government continues on the side of the oppressed, abuses must be an exception to a general rule ; but when the duty and the interest of those at the head of a government are placed in opposite directions, the law itself becomes the greatest abuse; all checks are withdrawn from the passions of the oppressors; and the oppressed, if they are incapable of vindicating their own rights, are left without a remedy.

To the Dutch East India Company, which still, in all its communications with the Cape, manifested considerable solicitude for the protection and improvement of the aborigines, the government at the Cape justified itself from the complaints urged against it for its conduct to the colonial Hottentots, by laying the blame on their character. The Hottentots were now said to be the most degenerate creatures upon earth; they were represented as the lowest class of human beings; as void of memory; as filthy, and disgusting to a degree exceeding credibility; and so ungovernable in their propensities, that nothing would do for them but severe coercion.

But the Bushmen-Hottentots have been still more calumniated. They have been represented, in their persons, as caricatures of human nature, as a species of semi-baboons, and as full of deadly malignity against all other beings.

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