THE NATIVE RACES OF SOUTH AFRICA
GEORGE W. STOW, F.G.S., F.R.G.S.
19. THE GRIQUAS OF THE EARLY SETTLEMENT
It was at the time of Mr. Campbell's first visit that the people of Klaarwater determined to call themselves Griquas, instead of Bastaards. It was also during this visit, and at Mr. Campbell's earnest recommendation, that they agreed to adopt certain fixed laws for the protection of life and property, and that judges or magistrates should be chosen to put them in execution. He commended them for relinquishing a wandering life, and assured them that the longer they remained at Klaarwater the more they and their children would be attached to the spot and be desirous of promoting its prosperity.
Griqualand West then consisted of Griquatown and two principal outposts, Campbell and Hardcastle, together with a few minor kraals. The western limit of the new territory was then fixed at the present Langeberg, which the visitors called Vansittart mountains ; there is no mention of any eastern boundary. In those days it is evident that these few hundred newly-arrived Griquas had not set up any claim to an extent of territory equal to a respectable kingdom, nor had they commenced dictating terms of occupation to those who were older occupants of the soil than themselves. They were something in the position of the Boers in Namaqualand whose case we have just noticed ; first their modest requirements were merely to sit still and sow a little corn, then to build a mill, ending however in a dictatorial demand for the entire country.
The morality of the affair, whether a large territory was seized for the benefit of a few kraals of Griquas, or a farm unjustly appropriated for the sole use of a farmer and his family, is exactly the same. If we unhesitatingly condemn the Boer for his unprincipled conduct in dispossessing a kraal of Hottentots, how can we heap praise upon the Griquas and their supporters, who in an equally unjustifiable manner despoiled a considerable number of independent clans of the aborigines of their ancient territorial possessions ? At the commencement they merely took possession of the localities they positively occupied, they felt that others had still some right to occupy the intervening tracts of country. It was only as they began to feel the strength which their superior weapons gave them, that more ambitious ideas dawned upon the minds of the Griquatown authorities, and they began to lord it over the territories and persons of their weaker neighbours.
On the present occasion it was decided that their two captains or chiefs, Barends and Adam Kok, should continue to act as commanders in affairs requiring the public safety against foreign attacks.
It was also resolved for the future that wilful murder should be in every case punished by the death of the murderer ; that housebreaking should be punished by public whipping, for the second offence whipping and hard labour ; that stealing a bull, ox, cow, horse, sheep, or goat should be punished by restoring double, or more, as should be decided by the court, for a second similar offence whipping and restoring double ; for stealing from a garden either whipping or a term of labour for the person in whose garden the robbery was committed ; for allowing cattle to feed near growing com, or allowing them to trespass therein, the proprietor of the cattle to pay double the loss sustained ; that if a Bushman, Korana, or any stranger should be murdered, the murderer should receive the same punishment as for murdering a Griqua ; that any going upon commando for plunder should be punished by a term of labour, and the property taken should be restored to its owners ; that if a Bushman, Korana, or other stranger should commit murder, theft, or any other crime, within the limits of the Griqua country, the punishment should be the same as if he had been a Griqua ; and that no person should be permitted to inflict personal chastisement upon another, but should submit his case to the court.
The eleventh and twelfth of the laws enacted were to prevent bribery in the administration of justice, the thirteenth ordered the delivering up of all offenders fleeing from justice in the Colony, and the fourteenth provided that any person endeavouring to obstruct the course of justice should be punished as the court should deem proper.
It was further resolved that nine magistrates should be chosen to act as judges at Griquatown, and one at each of the two principal outposts ; but all serious cases were to be remitted to the court at Griquatown ; that the two captains, Barends and Kok, with the missionaries, Messrs. Anderson and Janz, should form a court of appeal ; and that the limits of the country should be marked out in the course of one month, and magistrates be chosen.
At this time, whilst they were enacting wise laws and deciding about marking out the boundaries of their new kingdom, the entire number of the " Griqua nation " consisted of 291 men, 399 women, 310 boys, and 266 girls, or 1,266 all told, while of the neighbouring Koranas about 1,341 had entered into an alliance with the Griquas for the sake of mutual protection. The church, or Christian society, at the same time consisted of twenty-six men and sixteen women.
All the endeavours of the missionaries to persuade these people to fix upon a permanent place of abode were in vain till they gained over to their sentiments the two captains and a few of the principal men. During his stay among the Griquas Mr. Campbell frequently urged them to build better houses for themselves, as calculated to wean them more effectually from a wandering life, to which they still felt a propensity ; and as an ox could carry on its back any of the houses in which most of them then lived, they were encouraged by this facility of removing often to take long and needless journeys with their cattle.
The natives of warm climates have a remarkable attachment to the manners and customs of their forefathers. The Chinese, Hindoos, and many others dress and build their houses in the very way their progenitors did two thousand years ago. In South Africa it is the same. If you see only one Batlapin, Korana, or Bushman house, you see an exact model of every house belonging to that particular nation.
Upon leaving Griquatown Mr. Campbell determined to travel along the course of the Great river to Namaqualand. Along this route we have already followed him. It was. a journey which up to that time no European traveller had ever accomplished, and, as we have before said, it was well for the subject of our enquiry that one so observant as this zealous and single-minded missionary succeeded in carrying out what was then deemed so hazardous an undertaking.
At Hardcastle, which at that time was occupied by the special partizans of the captain or chief Barend Barends, the new laws of Griqualand were read to the people and to those of one or two Korana kraals in the neighbourhood, and the names of those were entered who gave in their adhesion to them. It was for this reason that Cornelius Kok the younger, who was not present at the promulgation of the Griqualand laws and in fact was not a party to them, he being acknowledged as an independent chief of his own clan at the time, repudiated in after years the authority which the Griquatown government determined to assert over him and his people, whether they desired it or not. Besides Hardcastle and the two Korana kraals mentioned, there was still another kraal belonging to the same people in a valley near the foot of Paardeberg (the Horse mountain), and at six hours' waggon travelling from this place, or about fifteen miles, there was another small Griqua village, where Nicholas Barends, of Africaander renown, the brother of the captain, then resided.
From the foregoing facts we learn that not only were Cornelius the younger and his clan still far removed from the new Griqua centre, but the Barendses also, with their special following of Bastaards, were living in an isolated position to the westward, and it was evident that no cordial fusion had taken place between them and the growing power under purely missionary control.
Having arrived at this stage, we can now proceed with advantage to the next portion of our investigation.
G. — The Griquas of 1820 under the Rule of the Chief Waterboer.
From what has already been advanced, we feel justified in drawing the following positive conclusions, viz. —
I. That the Griquas were a mixed race, having almost the same manners as the Bastaards, speaking the same language, and intermarrying with them ; that the characteristics of Hottentots predominated in the former, and those of the Dutch in the latter ; that for what African blood the Bastaards have they are indebted entirely to the natives of the Cape Colony, and that the Griquas trace theirs to the same source, notably to the old Grigriquas, but in later days in part to the Hottentot tribes of the Namaquas and Koranas.
2. That from the very commencement they were divided into two distinct communities, one composed chiefly of the Bastaard element, adhering to the fortunes and leadership of the Barendses, the other composed of a more unmixed native population congregating around the Koks as their chosen centre ; that these latter became again subdivided into what might be termed the missionary party of Griquatown, and that portion which followed old Cornelius in his retirement, and then, as he became weakened by age and increasing infirmity, followed the guidance of his younger son, afterwards called the chief of Campbell. This section of the Griqua people has not been inappropriately styled " the family clan of the Koks."
We have already noticed that on the departure of old Cornelius, the people of the mission station elected, upon the recommendation of the resident missionaries, his eldest son Adam to the office of chieftain in his father's stead ; that after the accession of Adam, the missionaries became dissatisfied with the selection they had made, that disagreements arose between them, and that in 1816, although they had influence enough to reject the father, the elder Cornelius, upon his return to the settlement, they were not able to displace the son, owing to his continued popularity among the great mass of the people. When the old man was repulsed at Griquatown, he retired to Campbell and settled down there, when he was joined by his sons Cornelius and Abraham and other members of his family.
Whilst residing in the west he was spoken of by every one in the highest terms of praise, his house and farm became a halting place for the missionaries to and from the Interior, where they received counsel, comfort, and assistance, and when driven out from their more advanced stations by gangs of ferocious desperadoes, his house became their ark of refuge and their place of asylum ; but with the missionary authorities of Griquatown the case was different. There both he and his family fell into disfavour, for they were stumbling blocks in the way of carrying out pet schemes that were cherished. The Koks possessed too much independence of spirit to be used simply as obedient tools in the hands of their would-be spiritual rulers, therefore every little failing, every little bagatelle was immediately seized hold of, exaggerated, and multiplied as a witness against them, causing irreconcilable estrangements and, as a natural consequence, a feeling of lasting and deep hostility. Thus it was that in 1819 affairs had so ripened that a coup d'etat in the interest of missionary influence was possible.
By that time the differences between the chief and his spiritual masters had reached a crisis. A useful man in a long-tried catechist named Andries Waterboer had considerably strengthened their hands, while the recalcitrant chief Adam had become a very Saul, who had turned his back upon the prophets. He was now threatened with deposition ; but such a revolutionary measure, even if carried out by ruling missionaries and their converts, would nevertheless have sounded to outsiders something like a scandal ; he was therefore induced to go through the farce of an abdication. He then finally abandoned Griquatown, with, so we are informed by the friends of the coming man, the more turbulent of his followers to embrace a life of rapine and plunder. This last charge is another of those exaggerated misstatements which we shall find were unjustly made against the irreligious Adam, and was evidently intended to serve as a palliation for the ecclesiastical severity which had been doled out to him.
After his departure those left behind were the more settled portion, many of them being of mixed race, who adhered to the mission of Griquatown. The missionaries, following the example of some of the old Theocracies in the amusement of making and unmaking kings, induced this portion to elect another to the now vacant seat of their dethroned chief. A great meeting was held for that purpose about the end of 1819, and, as we are informed by the dominant party at Griquatown, the unanimous choice fell upon Andries Waterboer. Subsequent events however prove that this was not the unanimous choice of all the Griquas, for a considerable number of their hearts were with the departing Adam, and many, as we shall see, " rebelled," as it was termed, against the newly-exalted Waterboer, and were sufficiently strong, though subsequently defeated, to attack him in his own capital. These Griquas, who denied the authority of Waterboer and sympathised with Adam Kok and Barend Barends, at whom the blow was struck equally with the former, although termed " rebels " in Griquatown, emphatically styled themselves " the Patriots," and left Waterboer to rule Griquatown with his party of adherents.
The conditions under which the new chief assumed his limited sovereignty are clearly explained in his own letter to the Rev. P. Wright, dated in 1832, in which he states that the chieftainship of Adam Kok was not from hereditary right but from the choice of the people and the recommendation of his appointment by Mr. Anderson to the colonial government. " I consider," he adds, " the chief of the Griquas responsible to the people and the London Missionary Society." In this assumed power lies the whole gist of the matter. " Responsible," he continues, " in every thing that has relation to the well-being of the missions and the promotion of religion and morals among the people." With regard to his own right to the chieftainship he explains that, " owing to Adam Kok abandoning Griquatown, on going to the Black river " ('Nu 'Gariep), " I was chosen chief in 1820 by the people in his stead. This choice was recommended by the missionaries, and approved of by the Directors of the London Missionary Society."
In the face of this it seems absurd to maintain that the chief of the politico-religious government of Griquatown, which this Society sought to set up, could be, or was ever intended to be, an independent chief. The ruling missionaries were to be independent, but the chief himself was to be nothing more than the representative of their power and a mere puppet in their hands. Their first selection, Adam, had proved restive. In the present instance, Waterboer's previous missionary training and proclivities evidently marked him as a man fit to carry out the missionary Utopian idea of laying the foundation, under their own special priestly guidance, of a model kingdom of " regenerated natives."
The choice they made, in Waterboer's case, appears to have been a judicious one, as he proved himself possessed of energy and a certain talent for governing the opposing elements by which the mission of Griquatown was surrounded ; but as he himself acknowledges that he owed fealty to his spiritual superiors, and as it is an admitted fact that at that time their influence was brought to bear upon all matters, not only of church but of state also, they cannot be held blameless for the great acquisitions of territory that were made during this period, without the slightest reference to the existing rights of others, until the territory thus claimed had become expanded to almost inordinate bounds, not to meet the requirements of the Griqua nation, for they, when most numerous, would not have exceeded the population of many an English market town, but apparently to gratify the lust of conquest and the pride of empire on a small scale.
Waterboer's first exercise of authority was to subdue the still unconquered Bushmen of the territory, and to suppress brigandage. We remember it was stated by the missionary friends of the Griquas that they had been fortunate enough to obtain an unoccupied piece of country to settle down in with their protégés. It has been already proved that this was entirely a misconception on their part ; and some eighteen or twenty years after their settlement Mr. Thompson, who rode through the country between Campbell and Griquatown, says of this intervening bush-covered tract : " These coverts enable the Bushmen to lurk here, in spite of all the efforts of the Griquas to root them out. They are a great annoyance to the latter, as well as to the other pastoral tribes in their vicinity, and they are consequently pursued by them, equally as by the Boers, with the utmost animosity."
Thus we find, even after such a lapse of time, the true owners of the so-called unoccupied country were still numerous and strong enough to resent the intrusion and to keep up a struggle for their independence. Even when Mr. Thompson arrived at Griquatown, Waterboer was away on a commando against these Bushmen. And not long before, he and his followers had been engaged in a war against these same unhappy outcasts. It appears that a Bushman captain named the Owl had maintained peace with the Griquas for twenty years after their first settlement in the country, but finding that his hunting grounds were daily becoming more curtailed, he determined to be no longer controlled by them but to make war upon his enemies as he chose.
He had therefore attacked a Korana kraal in alliance with the Griquas, and carried off some of their cattle. The Koranas complained to their Griqua patrons, and Captain Waterboer went out with his men, surprised Owl and his kraal, forced him to make restitution, and fined him a tribute of beads. He, however, speedily made another foray upon the Koranas, and not only carried off some of their cattle, but also some belonging to the dominating Griquas. This conduct was considered the height of insolence and ingratitude ; and Waterboer again went forth with his band and surrounded the robber in his den.
Two messengers (tame Bushmen) were sent to require him to surrender at discretion, for his retreat was surrounded by men with muskets and not a soul could possibly escape. But old Owl like so many of his race, finding himself at bay, turned a deaf ear to all overtures, and resolved to fight it out manfully, the envoys themselves being scarcely spared in his wrath.
The unequal conflict commenced, poisoned arrows against powder and ball, but it was not until eight of his followers had fallen and he himself had been mortally wounded that the old chief would permit his sons to surrender. Seventy men, women, and children were found in the kraal, and carried prisoners to Griquatown, where the sons having expressed contrition and promised to remain peaceable for the future, were allowed to depart with their people. To win their confidence and friendship Mr. Melvill made them a parting present of some goats. This kindness was not misplaced, for Mr. Melvill informed the traveller Thompson that instead of seeking to avenge the death of their father, they had ever since remained on friendly terms with the pastoral tribes around them.
Up to this point it would seem that with the exception of persuading their Griqua followers to settle down and adopt a certain amount and style of European clothing, with all the missionary zeal which had been expended not much genuine advance had been made among the mass of the people. For this the missionaries are not to be blamed, for all who have studied the idiosyncrasy of the native character must have noticed that their determined conservatism and the tenacity with which they cling to old forms and habits present gigantic obstacles to anything like rapidity of progress. Numberless instances could be cited in proof of this.
A marked one is doubtless still fresh in the remembrance of some, where a zealous missionary, following the teachings of his own particular persuasion, strove by every means in his power to make religion attractive to the native eye with crosses, embroidered cloth, burning candles, processions, processional banners and processional hymns, matins, vespers, and midnight services. At one of the last, amid grand ceremonial, they were to attend the departure of the old and the birth of the coming year, doles of mealies were to be dispensed to all the invited worshippers, but savoury meats were forgotten. The eventful night arrived, the high festival was celebrated, and the multitude departed But in the early morning no cheery cock announced the day and aroused the teacher to his accustomed matins ; a number of the departing devotees, believing the lesson they had been taught that man could not live on bread (mealies) alone, had stripped his well-stocked hen-roosts, and thus secured the necessary addition to their food !
It was not therefore that the missionaries to the Griquas were to be blamed for want of success ; but it is the mistaken system which they have ever adopted that has proved to be pernicious and useless in producing any permanent results for good. Notwithstanding therefore the conversions which they professed to have brought about, they felt there was a considerable amount of insecurity in the claims they had put forth. To give assurance therefore to a more rapid spread of " the Word " in the future, it was determined to enforce argument with a little application of physical force, after the manner of the sword of the Prophet. Of course this was to be done through the agency of their new chief ; it was therefore determined shortly after he was raised to office as far as possible to suppress the almost universal custom of brigandage. There appears to have been a lull in this practice during the presence of the elder Kok. Under the independent rule of this great hunter, amid the abundance of game, there was always a sufficiency of food among the people ; but the old inveterate habit had evidently broken out again under his son Adam. Possibly it had never been entirely suppressed, as we are informed by Livingstone that the old Griquas had as little scruple about robbing farmers of cattle as the Kaffirs themselves.
However that may be, it was now declared that under the new regime no marauding should be allowed. Notwithstanding these decisive orders, we learn from the authority of Dr. Livingstone that some of Waterboer's principal men disregarded the injunction and plundered some Korana villages. He seized six of the ringleaders, summoned his council, and tried, condemned, and publicly executed them all. This produced an insurrection, and the insurgents twice attacked Griquatown.
According to Jan Pienaar, who gave evidence before the court of arbitration at Bloemhof, those engaged on these occasions against Waterboer were that portion of the Griquas calling themselves " the Patriots," together with Jan Bloem the younger, Jan Kockman, Hendrik Hendriks, Kora, and all the Koranas with the exception of Jan Taaibosch and Gert Links. They all " shot at Andries Waterboer," he said, " but he conquered all those who rebelled against him." By such means as these he strove to bring under his own rule not only those whom he punished as marauders, but those who needed his protection, and thus he absorbed into his own tribe many wandering hordes of Koranas and Bushmen, besides Bachoana.
We now approach the period when an impetus was given to the development of the power of the Griquas until the successful Waterboer raised it to the highest pinnacle which it ever attained, but it as rapidly collapsed as soon as his personal influence ceased to be exerted upon it. As early as 1822 strange reports had reached the Griquas about hordes of invading tribes. It was said that they consisted partly of white men with long hair and beards, led on by a giantess with one eye in her forehead. At first they were looked upon as fables by the missionaries, but it was soon discovered that these supposed fables had emanated from a serious foundation.
In 1823 intelligence was brought to the mission that the Mantatees, or Ma-Ntatis, were advancing, plundering and slaughtering in every direction. They were at that time pressing upon the great place of the Batlapin, near Kuruman. It was said that they had come from the south, from the neighbourhood of the Likwa or Upper Vaal, that they had conquered or driven before them numerous tribes of the Bakuena nation, had invaded the territory of the Barolong, and now, in its turn, threatened that of the Batlapin.
Mothibi, the paramount chief of these last, had appealed, in the name of the other chiefs of his tribe, to the missionary at Kuruman for advice, when it was decided that as the Bachoana in that quarter were entirely unable to withstand so powerful and destructive an enemy, help should be immediately asked for from the Griqua chiefs.
It was fortunately at this very juncture that Mr. Thompson was on his visit to Griquatown. In passing Campbell he had an interview with the Griqua chiefs then staying there, brooding over their wrongs in a kind of sullen isolation. Their principal ground of complaint against Mr. Melvill was his making a chief of Andries Waterboer, and wishing through him to rule them, the real hereditary chiefs. This they considered as a sort of usurpation or infringement of their privileges not to be tolerated, and to which they resolved not to submit. He endeavoured as much as possible to allay the irritation which they expressed at the treatment they had received, and ultimately persuaded Adam and Cornelius Kok to accompany him to Griquatown, in the hope that some accommodation might be effected between the opposing parties ; and thus it was that, at this important crisis, the otherwise rival chiefs had already assembled in Griquatown when the startling intelligence was made known to them.
On Mr. Moffat's arrival to solicit assistance from the Griquas, he informed them that fugitives who had escaped from places that had been attacked by the invading tribes, described them as an immense army of plunderers led by several chiefs, consisting of people of various complexions, the majority black and almost naked, others a yellow or Hottentot colour, and some perfectly white, with long hair and beards. Their weapons were said to be clubs and javelins, and a short crooked instrument like a scimitar. They were considered almost irresistible from their numbers and warlike ferocity. They were accompanied by their wives and children, and finally they were confidently affirmed to be cannibals.
A meeting of the Griqua chiefs was at once held, including the disaffected captains. Messrs. Moffat and Thompson were also admitted, and after long and serious deliberation the Griquas came to the resolution of mustering their forces with all speed, and of marching towards Kuruman to join the Batlapin in repelling the invaders. Messengers were instantly dispatched to all their settlements to call out men and arms ; and Mr. Thompson states that he was pleased to see that all parties cooperated cordially and unanimously in these energetic measures, and that the urgency of a great common danger dissipated, at least for a time, their internal broils and jealousies. The Griqua chiefs calculated they could muster about two hundred men, mounted and armed with muskets, and had sufficient time been allowed, they could have brought into the field double that number. They promised to be in Kuruman in ten days ; and to prevent Mothibi and his people from retreating until the Griquas could arrive, it was arranged that Messrs. Moffat and Thompson should return immediately to Kuruman to encourage them with their presence.
The commando was promptly assembled, and within the specified period marched in considerable force to the assistance of the Batlapin and Kuruman mission station. On their arrival at their destination, Waterboer, at the recommendation of his friends was chosen Commandant-General. The superiority of the weapons in their possession over the inferior ones used by the enemy proved irresistible, and the formidable horde of marauding savages was driven back with considerable loss. The effect of this staggering blow upon these swarming hordes, flushed as they had been by recent successes, was fatal to them ; and the divisions which followed their defeat led to their final dispersion.
The prominent position in which Waterboer was placed at the time of this achievement laid the foundation of his fame, and made his name more widely known than any other occurrence in his long rule of thirty years. The prestige afforded by this victory added much to his authority throughout the surrounding country, and increased very considerably the extent of territory over which he and his supporters claimed jurisdiction, while those Griquas who from the first refused to acknowledge his authority as paramount chief were now broadly termed rebels by him and his admirers.
The portion of the Griquas who thus opposed him were those who, as we have seen, represented the old Griqua element, the followers or descendants of the earliest retainers of the great hunter Cornelius Kok. The chief support of Waterboer was the later Bastaard portion of the community, the members of which had migrated from the Colony to the mission-grounds after the establishment of Griquatown, and who came for the express purpose of settling and were as a natural consequence under missionary authority. Those of the former class, looking back to the marauding expeditions of their earlier days and the more lenient rule of the Koks, were naturally disgusted at the tight rein with which Waterboer, under the inspiration of his missionary friends, expressed his intention of governing them. Their jealousy was further aroused by his apparent connection with the colonial government.
Another cause of dissension and offence was the ever extending absorption of new territory. From time to time boundary lines were marked out, presumably on similar authority to that which first awarded Klaarwater for mission purposes, and all those who came within these self-constituted limits were treated, whether they wished it or not, as the subjects of the missionary chief Waterboer.
It was this despotic assumption of authority to which the old Griqua party, the Patriots, objected ; and though their chief, under the pressure of the influence of Griquatown, had gone through the farce of a forced abdication, this section of the Griquas refused to throw off their allegiance to him, a chief, they did not forget, under whose father and grandfather they and their fathers had lived. After having fallen under missionary displeasure, it was soon evident that not only he himself was a marked man, but all those who continued faithful to his leadership, or who from time to time subsequently joined him ; all these came immediately under the same potent ban, and were known to their more docile countrymen by the mild appellation of lawless banditti, being classed at once, as we have before pointed out, with the Bergenaars or robbers living in the mountains.
For a number of years a harassing kind of guerilla warfare, or a long continued series of cattle-raids, was carried on between these Griquas, the Batlapin, and the Bergenaars until, on account of the losses they had sustained, the Batlapin were driven from Kuruman. This occurred in 1828, when Mr. J. Hughes was missionary there. Waterboer was again called to the succour of the Batlapin. He visited Kuruman, and advised the people to remove to a more convenient locality. Acting upon this suggestion, they retreated in two divisions, one under Mothibi, who went to the south-east and settled along the banks of the Kolong or Hart and the Vaal, near the junction of the two rivers, the portion of the Bushman territory visited by Campbell in 1813, where they and their descendants remained until Griqualand West was made over to the British Authorities ; the other division, under Mahura, migrated in a northerly direction, and settled eventually at the old Barolong station of Taung (the place of the Lion), which had afterwards been occupied for a considerable time by a clan of Toovenaars under one of the Taaibosches, on the Malalarene or Upper Hart river. These people were to be under a sort of Griqua protectorate, and it was thus that Waterboer claimed as his feudatories a large section of the tribe of the Batlapin.
We are assured by the friends of Waterboer that all the warlike expeditions in which he engaged were undertaken solely for the purpose of suppressing crime and punishing evil doers. It is certain that he never involved himself, like every other native chief of his time, in a series of expeditions for the express purpose of augmenting his herds of cattle, and thus at the close of each successful campaign we find him with more numerous subjects and a wider extent of territory.
The Mantatee hordes, after their repulse at Lithako, spread themselves over the country of the Barolong and ravaged it from one end to the other. One of the divisions, composed principally of Bataung, the people of the Lion, under Molitzane, remained in it for more than twelve months, until he attacked the great place of the Barolong chief Sihunel, and not only drove out the terrified inhabitants, looting and burning down the town, but entirely destroyed the neighbouring mission station of the Maquassie. Sihunel in his distress sent messengers imploring aid from Waterboer. A commando was raised by Waterboer, assisted by Cornelius Kok, the chief of Campbell. In crossing the great plains considerable time was lost in hunting, and when they at last arrived in the neighbourhood of the fugitive Barolong all trace of the enemy had disappeared.
For some unexplained reason a most unwarrantable charge was brought against Sihunel, and he was accused of pillaging and destroying his own town, together with the Wesleyan mission station attached to it, and then to screen his guilt, of raising a false alarm about the invading hordes having made a swoop upon it. Waterboer proceeded forthwith to levy a fine, as compensation from Sihunel, the Griquas stating that by joining this commando they had lost the season for elephant hunting, besides the expense entailed upon them in carrying it out. Six hundred head of cattle were therefore demanded as restitution and punishment for what was termed the atrocious conduct of the Barolong chief. Knowing that resistance would be useless, the unfortunate Sihunel paid the number of cattle so unjustly demanded of him, when they were divided among the Griquas and Koranas composing the commando. The carrying out of this expedition gave the missionary chief an opportunity of extending his conquests to the north-east, setting up a claim to all the intervening territory over which he had passed, and adding the Old Platberg mission station and its lands to the West-Griqua dominions.
At this period wherever the Griqua conquests had spread missionary influence was paramount, and whenever necessary a certain amount of salutary physical force could be brought to bear upon the too flagrantly disobedient, by means of the converts under the direction of the Christian chief of Griqua-town. The Griqua power was then at its highest, and extended over the greatest area which it ever attained of lands belonging to the ancient inhabitants, the Bushmen.
But it was this very extent combined with the sparseness of its population which proved fatal to its stability, while the discordant elements of which the population was composed could not be welded together so as to form a united and homogeneous tribe, but constantly gave evidence of crumbling to pieces from its own inherent weakness. A circumstance, however, which appears to have been accidental in the beginning, ultimately led to the solution of the difficulty by the formation of a second centre, which at last afforded means for the antagonistic and repellent particles of which the body corporate was composed to segregate themselves in a more peaceable manner and gather around the point most congenial to their own proclivities, thus leading to the establishment of the distinct territories of East and West Griqualand ; and if justice had been done to the claims of Cornelius Kok, of Campbell, there would have been a third also, viz. of Central Griqualand. The consideration of this necessarily brings us to the next stage of our subject.
The Native Races of South Africa
01. Editor's Preface
15. The Koranas
17. The Griquas
24. The Barolong