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scribed by Barrow and other travellers, it might have.. been' expected, that the transfer of the government into British hands was an event in which humanity had to rejoice. But what is the fact ? During the last twenty-... two years of the Dutch government at the Cape, the Bashmen were oppressed; yet notwithstanding their 3 oppressions, in 1796 they were still powerful.--Since : the English took possession of the colony in 1796, what was, in the time of the Dutch government, the Bushman country, has been brought into the possession of the ij colonists; and the people who were so powerful in 1796, as to threaten the colony, are now reduced to slavery, or to the condition of miserable fugitives in what was then their own country.
Extended as the present frontier of the colony is, it : will not stop there. Within the last thirty years the frontier of the colony has been extending in every direction; and, as a proof that the colonists will not be! satisfied to confine themselves within the bounds which have been fixed for them, the people of New Hantam had scarcely seated themselves in the Bushman country's on the banks of the great Orange river, when they began to cross it to seek new grazing grounds for their : cattle, and to kill game (the only provision on which is the natives had to depend) beyond it; and there are : on the other side of that river, and immediately beyond the eastern and northern limits of the colony, numerous i and interesting nations who must shortly share the. melancholy fate of the hordes who occupied what was formerly known to us as the Bushman country, unless British humanity, and British justice, throw their protecting shield over them.
In Mr. Stockenstrom's letter, dated 5th June, 1822,'
after having stigmatized commandoes against the Bush. men as “ cruel expeditions,” and fully admitted that the colonists were the first aggressors, he goes on to state, that the constant depredations of that unfortunate race of people must be occasionally checked by some serious examples, to keep our remote districts at all habitable.”
We are agreed in respect to the origin and cruelty of those expeditions, and as to the greater guilt of those who made the first aggressions, on a comparison : with that of those who have continued them ; but as to the necessity of them, there is room for some difference i of opinion between us. Whatever might be the ostensible reason of the first expeditions against the Bushmen, the motives will, I believe, be found to be the same in both; and while the late expeditions have not, perhaps, been conducted with less cruelty than the first, they have been much more destructive.
The following description by Barrow, is applicable to i these commandoes at every period of their existence :-)
“The abominable expeditions which are carried on, under the authority of government, against this miser-, able race of mortals, ought not, on any, consideration, to be tolerated. They answer no other purpose than that of irritating, and rendering more savage, the unhappy creatures who are the objects of them. The boors are chiefly induced to undertake them with the view of securing for their service the women and the children. It is a well-authenticated fact, that in
proportion as they are hunted down by the boors, their ferocity towards the Christians has increased.”--(Vol. i.
"Forty years ago, as appears from living testimony, the Bosjesmans frequented the colony boldly and openly, begged, and stole, and were troublesome, just as the Caffers now are; but they never attempted the life of any one. They proceeded not to this extremity until the government had unwisely, and unjustly suffered the peasantry to exercise an unlimited power over the lives of those who were taken prisoners. It failed at the same time to fix any bounds to the extent of the expeditions made against them, which, if at all allowed, certainly ought not to go beyond the limits of the colony.
". Their inroads would in fact be more effectually checked by charging them boldly, when caught within the colony, than by pursuing and hunting them in their own country. This, however, would not answer the object of the farmer, which is that of procuring children. To attend his numerous flocks and herds, he must have many people; and Hottentots are now so scarce that a sufficient number is not to be had. These, too, must be paid wages; but the poor Bosjesman has nothing but his sheepskin and his meat.”—(Vol. i.
In the last extract quoted from Barrow, we have the key to these expeditions ; it is there candidly admitted that the object of the farmer in these “abominable expeditions,” is that of procuring children, because Hottentots were becoming scarce. Owing to the great increase of the colonial population, which has been doubled since that period, and the abolition of the slave-trade by act of parliament in 1808, by which they have been prevented from getting slaves from Moza mbique, Madagascar, &c., Hottentots have become
much more difficult to be obtained than they were at the time when Barrow wrote; and the boors in the Graaff-Reinet, Beaufort, and Somerset districts, and those dwelling in what was the Bushman country, are entirely dependant on the Bushmen for keeping up their present establishments, &c. &c. With the character of the colonists, given by Barrow, and such facts before us, the man who can believe that the farmers have no object before them in taking the Bushmen children but pure humanity, has no need to have the measure of his credulity enlarged
Knowledge possessed by the Colonial Government of the Traffic
in Bushmen Children at the period when the Missions to that people were suppressed. -Letters from Messrs. Read and Smith, on the Suppression of these Missions. Statement of the Commissioners of Inquiry respecting the Bushmen, Appeal to the British Public in regard to the cruel Treatment of the Bushman Nation.
Before concluding my remarks on this subject, I must again advert to some facts, presented in this official document, of importance to my argument.
Mr. Stockenstrom admits, in his letter of May, 1817, the existence of this traffic; he says,
“ It had been many years in use," &c. &c. The letter containing this statement was sent to the colonial office in Cape Town, and must have been perfectly familiar to the heads of the colonial government, as the recommendations it contained were adopted by that government, in the proclamation of the following month, June, 1817; and yet it was on the representations of the farmers, on this very point-it was because the missionaries had resisted their unjust attempts to carry the children of the Bushmen into slavery, that those differences arose betwen them and the farmers, which terminated in the destruction of the missions. It now appears, from the face of an official document, that when the farmers made their representations in 1817, against the missionaries, the true state of the case was perfectly known to the government; and that, at the
very time when it was publishing its proclamations with the