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Historia

versión On-line ISSN 2309-8392
versión impresa ISSN 0018-229X

Historia vol.54 no.2 Durban  2009

 

The influence of British traders on early Potchefstroom, 1852-1877

 

Die invloed van Britse handelaars op vroeë Potchefstroom, 1852-1877

 

 

G.N. van den Bergh

Prof Gert van den Bergh is a research fellow of the Department of Sustainable Social Development at North-West University, Potchefstroom campus

 

 


ABSTRACT

Fear of annexation by Britain resulted in strained economic relations between Transvaal Voortrekkers and the British colonies. At first only indispensable trade was tolerated. Andries Pretorius, however, favoured broader trade with the colonial harbours. The Sand River Convention of 1852, whereby relations between the ZAR and the colonies were normalised, facilitated this. This resulted in an immediate and extensive settlement of foreign, especially British, merchants with their families and staff in Potchefstroom. Trade boomed overnight to the advantage of all concerned, but centred on British initiative. As money was scarce in a state with no coinage of its own, much of the trade was conducted by means of bartering. The recession of the 1860s and 1870s, which could have had a disastrous effect on trade, was held in check by resourceful new entrepreneurship. Accustomed to municipal government in the Eastern Province, from where most of the new merchants came, they were instrumental in establishing a similar system in Potchefstroom from where it spread to the rest of the Transvaal. A number of the new residents were elected to the Volksraad in time. The foreign residents were also instrumental in establishing a variety of formal cultural movements, in which the Afrikaner community shared and which was emulated by them.

Keywords: Culture; Grahamstown; human relations; municipality; Potchefstroom; Sand River Convention; sports; trade; transport riding


OPSOMMING

Vrese vir Britse anneksasie het stram verhoudinge tussen die Transvaalse Voortrekkers en die Britse kolonies veroorsaak. Aanvanklik is slegs onontbeerlike handel verdra. Andries Pretorius was egter 'n voorstander van nouer handelsbetrekkinge met die koloniale hawes. Die Sandrivierkonvensie van 1852, waardeur verhoudinge tussen die ZAR en die kolonies genormaliseer is, het handel vergemaklik. Dit het 'n onmiddellike en uitgebreide vestiging van buitelandse, en veral Britse handelaars met hulle gesinne en personeel in Potchefstroom tot gevolg gehad. Handel het oornag geblom, tot voordeel van almal, maar dit het veral om Britse inisiatiewe gewentel. Aangesien geld skaars was in 'n staat sonder 'n eie geldstelsel, het 'n groot deel van die transaksies die vorm van ruilhandel aangeneem. Die resessie van die 1860's en 1870's kon rampspoedige gevolge vir handel gehad het, maar dit is afgeweer deur middel van vindingryke nuwe tipes entrepreneurskap. Aangesien baie van die nuwe handelaars oorspronklik van die Oos-Kaap afkomstig was, waar hulle aan munisipale bestuur gewoond was, was hulle instrumenteel in die vestiging van 'n soortgelyke bestuurstelsel in Potchefstroom, vanwaar dit na die res van die ZAR uitgebrei is. Mettertyd is enkele van die nuwe aankomelinge selfs tot die Volksraad verkies. Die uitlanders het die leiding geneem om 'n verskeidenheid formele kulturele organisasies te stig, wat ook deur die Afrikanergemeenskap geniet en nageboots is.

Sleutelwoorde: Grahamstad; handel; kultuur; menseverhoudinge; munisipaliteit; Potchefstroom; Sandrivierkonvensie; sport; transportry


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

1 J H Breytenbach (ed), South African Archival Records, Transvaal I, Minutes of the Volksraad of the South African Republic 1844-1850 (The Government Printer, Cape Town, 1949), p 292;         [ Links ] see also J H Breytenbach (ed), South African Archival Records, Transvaal II, Minutes of the Volksraad of the South African Republic 1851-1853 (The Government Printer, Parow, 1950), pp 337-339         [ Links ]
2 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal I, p 28
3 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal I, p 64
4 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal I, pp 118-119; National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria (hereafter NASA): ZPO (Landdrost Potchefstroom) 161: Criminal Cases 28; Executive Council 1, Minutes of the Executive Council (hereafter UR), 15 July 1860, Article 12
5 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal I, pp 522-524, 525
6 DE Krynauw (red), Transvaalse Argiefstukke, 1850-1853 (Staatsdrukker, Pretoria, 1949), p 76         [ Links ]
7 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 27 Desember 1857, "Markpryzen"; NASA: ZPO 149: Markt Boek
8 Breytenbach (ed), South African Archival Records, Transvaal IV, Minutes of the Volksraad of the South African Republic 1859-1963 (The Government Printer, Parow, 1952), p 355         [ Links ]
9 F Jeppe, Die Transvaal'sche oder Süd-Afrikanische Republik beschrieben von Friedrich Jeppe in Potchefstroom (J Perthes, Gotha, 1868), p 13;         [ Links ] See also: Standard Bank Archive, Johannesburg: Box insp file 442, Potchefstroom Annual Report, Manager, Potchefstroom Branch, 1877
10 AN Pelzer, Geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek I (Balkema, Kaapstad, 1950), p 183         [ Links ]
11 Transvaal Argus, 17 Julie 1866, "Transvaalse of Zuid-Afrikaansce Republiek Schatting van invoer."
12 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, p 463; Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, p 526
13 For example: De Staats Courant der ZAR, 1 July 1866; Transvaal Argus, 20 Februarie 1866, "Begroting"; Transvaal Argus, 5 June 1866; Transvaal Argus, 26 June 1866
14 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 30 Oktober 1866, "Begroting"
15 NASA: Examples in ZPO 161: Notulen van de hof van Landdrost en Heemraden
16 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal I, pp 318-323; Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, pp 358-362, 505-507
17 R W Schikkerling, Hoe ry die Boere (Afrikaanse Pers Boekhandel, Johannesburg, 1964), p 7         [ Links ]
18 NASA: RAK (Registrar of Acts), 1940, Potchefstroom Erven, 121, 12; Krynauw, Transvaalse Argiefstukke, p 76 Chapman claimed that he had been a resident in Potchefstroom since 1848 - A J Clement, Chapman Khama (Longmans, Cape Town, year unknown), p 1 - but there is no record of a licence for him prior to 1850         [ Links ]
19 Pelzer, Geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek I, p 185
20 Transvaal Argus, 5 June 1866, "Transvaal or South African Republic"; Jeppe, Die Transvaal'sche oder Süd-Afrikanische Republik, p 7; F Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1878 (Davis & Sons, Pietermaritzburg, 1877), p 13;         [ Links ] F Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1879 (Van Alphen, Potchefstroom, 1878)         [ Links ]
21 DG McGilll, "A History of the Transvaal 1853-1854" PhD thesis, University of Cape Town, 1943, p 35         [ Links ]
22 De Volksblad, 13 May 1860, editorial
23 Transvaal Argus, 5 June 1865, "Transvaal or South African Republic"
24 F J Potgieter, "Die vestiging van die blanke in Transvaal, 1837-1886", Archives Year Book for South African History, 21, II (The Government Printer, Elsiesrivier, 1959), p 164         [ Links ]
25 NASA: ZPO 57: Mortgages; NASA: ZPO 61: Mortgages; NASA: ZPO 59: Property Transfers
26 E Rosenthal, Manne en maatskappye (Human & Rousseau, Kaapstad, 1963), p 36         [ Links ]
27 Schikkerling, Hoe ry die Boere, p 26
28 I Churchill and M Churchill, A Merchant Family in Natal (Balkema, Cape Town, 1979), p 51;         [ Links ] Transvaal Advocate, 20 May 1873, advertisement of A Forssman & Co; Transvaal Argus, 5 October 1877, advertisement of F W Reid & Co
29 Transvaal Argus, 3 June 1866, editorial
30 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, pp 126, 316, 317
31 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, p 362
32 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, pp 409, 63
33 NASA: ZPO 101: Kontant Boek; NASA: ZPO 57: Verkopen, 4 Oktober 1852; Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, pp 393, 527
34 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 1 July 1859, editorial
35 Transvaal Argus, 3 July 1866, "Handel"
36 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, p 406
37 NASA: ZPO 161: Notulen van de Landdrosthof, 3 Januarie 1854
38 J H Breytenbach (ed), South African Archival Records, Minutes of the Volksraad of the South African Republic, 1864-1866, Transvaal V (The Government Printer, Cape Town, date unknown), p 383         [ Links ]
39 Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1879, p 13
40 NASA: ZPO A 375: Forssman Collection: Forssman - Prekker & De Villiers, 5 May 1875; Forssman - A Foster, 7 May 1875
41 A J van der Walt, Uit vanmelewe ou Potchefstroom se dae (Potchefstroom City Council, Potchefstroom, 1936), p 267         [ Links ]
42 Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1878, p 13
43 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 27 November 1857, "Schets Eener Wet"
44 Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1878, p 13; Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1879 The census, conducted by the printer Jeppe, lists only 293 names out of a population of approximately 2 000 From this it appears that his census refers to the heads of households only
45 E Morse Jones, Roll of the British Settlers in South Africa - Up to 1826 I (Balkema, Cape Town, 1969), pp 17-72         [ Links ]
46 For example: Transvaal Argus, 15 May 1866; Transvaal Argus, 29 May 1866; Transvaal Argus, 12 July 1866; Transvaal Argus, 21 September 1866; Transvaal Argus, 1 July 1868; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 20 July 1865, advertisements
47 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 27 November 1857, "A Forssman: Nieuwejaars Goederen"
48 Pelzer, Geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek I, p 183; Transvaal Argus, 25 August 1865
49 De Zuid-Afrikaan, 4 Junie 1860
50 Potchefstroom Museum: The Potchefstroom Branch of the Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, file 332 12 STA
51 Potchefstroom Museum: R Scorgie, "My Swan Song" (manuscript), 09/35190, 1971, p 35
52 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 21 February 1857
53 NASA: ZPO 149: Markt Boek
54 Jeppe, Die Transvaal'sche oder Süd-Afrikanische Republik, p 7; NASA: ZPO 150: Markt Boek
55 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 4 December 1857
56 This is indicated by goods travelling from Durban to Potchefstroom costing double the price of goods travelling in the opposite direction - Transvaal Argus, 17 July 1866
57 De Volksstem, 23 July 1878; Jeppe, Die Transvaal'sche oder Süd-Afrikanische Republik, p 13; FL Cachet, De Worstelstrijd der Transvalers (The Press, Pretoria, 1897), p 411         [ Links ]
58 NASA: UR 1: 25 September 1858, Article 22; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 20 November 1859, "Bekendmaking"; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 1 July 1859; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 1 August 1865, "Potchefstroom Budget"; Transvaal Argus, 18 April 1863; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 3 February 1866; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 20 May 1865, editorial; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 15 May 1866, "Scandinavia"
59 Transvaal Argus, 12 June 1866, editorial
60 NASA: State Secretary: Petitions, R1823/57, R257/59; NASA: VR Register: 92, 6 February 1868
61 For example: Transvaal Argus, 29 July 1857, advertisement of F W Reid
62 Krynauw, Transvaalse Argiefstukke, p 77; Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal IV, pp 374, 493, 183
63 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal V, p 59
64 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal V, p 373
65 NASA: ZPO 3: Incoming Correspondence, State President - Pavey, 13 September 1865, 4 August 1866, 1 February 1868; Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal V, p 359.
66 Transvaal Argus, 3 June 1868, editorial; Transvaal Argus, 16 Oktober 1867, "Vergadering van handelaars"
67 Transvaal Argus, 3 April 1866, editorial; Transvaal Argus, 2 October 1866, editorial; Transvaal Argus, 10 July 1869, editorial
68 Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1878, p 13; Jeppe, Transvaal Book Almanac and Directory for 1879, p 13
69 De Oude Emigrant, 2 July 1861; Transvaal Argus, 25 August 1866; Transvaal Argus, 29 January 1868
70 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal V, p 327; De Oude Emigrant, 2 July 1861; Transvaal Argus, 25 August 1866; Transvaal Argus, 28 January 1868
71 Transvaal Gouvernements Courant, 41, 22 January 1878, editorial
72 Transvaal Government Gazette, 22 January 1878, editorial
73 Standard Bank Archive, Johannesburg: Box insp file 442, Potchefstroom Biannual Reports, July-December 1877 & Biannual Reports, May-December 1878
74 F Jeppe and J G Kotzé (reds ), Locale Wetten der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek 1849-1885 (Uitgewer onbekend, Pretoria, 1887), pp 31, 646         [ Links ]
75 NASA: T96: List of Members of the Volksraad
76 NASA: ZPO 161: Minutes of the Court of Landdros and Heemraden, State President -Landdros, 17 June 1854; Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, p 176
77 NASA: ZPO 161: Minutes of the Court of Landdrost and Heemraden, 22 March 1854; also see: De Staats Courant der ZAR, 6 November 1857, "Stads Regulatien"
78 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal VI, p 145.
79 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal II, pp 59, 17; Jeppe & Kotzé (reds ), Locale Wetten, p 85
80 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 20 November 1857
81 NASA: State Secretary: Incoming Correspondence: R3821/60, Petition: Reid and others -State Secretary; NASA: UR 1: Article 3, 23 February 1860
82 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal IV pp 539-540
83 K S Hunt, "The Development of Municipal Government in the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, with special reference to Grahamstown (1827-1862)", Archives Year Book for South African History, 24 (The Government Printer, Parow, 1961), pp 152-198         [ Links ]
84 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal VI, p 295
85 Transvaal Argus, 17 July 1866, editorial; Transvaal Argus, 2 October 1866, editorial; Transvaal Argus, 4 March 1868, editorial.
86 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal V, pp 145, 146
87 Transvaal Argus, 12 February 1869, editorial
88 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal VI, p 295
89 Breytenbach (ed), Transvaal V, p 175
90 NASA: State Secretary: R4718/85, Landdrost - State Secretary, R1923/8; NASA: UR 1: Article 253, 1 May 1889
91 Churchill & Churchill, A Merchant Family in Natal, p 117
92 Transvaal Argus, 8 July 1868, "Rev Ludorf and the Burning of Children".
93 Krynauw, Transvaalse Argiefstukke, p 247
94 E Twells, "Narrative of a Pastoral Visit to the Transvaal, May, June, July, 1868", in "Occasional Papers V Orange Free State and Basutu Mission", Quarterly Paper (William Skeffington, London, 1864), p 9         [ Links ]
95 St Mary's Parish, Potchefstroom: Marriage and Baptismal Registers, 1866-1880; Argief van die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk, Pretoria: Huweliksregister, Potchefstroom-gemeente
96 Christiana and Chrissiesmeer was named after her
97 Transvaal Argus, 18 March 1868, editorial
98 Transvaal Argus, 12 September 1868, editorial
99 Transvaal Argus, 1 July 1868, "Local and General: St John's Day"
100 NASA: RAK 1940: Erf 122; Fleischack Collection, Ferdinand Postma Library, Potchefstroom: File 10(a)3, Erf Register, Stand 122
101 AW Wegelin, "Die geskiedenis van die musieklewe in Potchefstroom, 1838-1925 " MMus-verhandeling, Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys, 1965
102 De Emigrant, 15 July 1862, editorial
103 Potchefstroom Museum: J Vorendyk, "Die musieklewe van Wes-Transvaal (1838-1960)" (manuskrip), lêer 09/3519, p 12
104 De Volksblad, 5 September 1863; Transvaal Argus, 4 April 1867, "Local and General"
105 Transvaal Argus, 3 September 1875, "Local and General"
106 Vorendyk, "Die Musieklewe van Wes-Transvaal", p 17; NASA: A376: Forssman Collection
107 De Volksblad, 5 August 1863
108 Transvaal Argus, 18 September 1866, editorial.
109 Potchefstroom Museum: S du Toit, "Die sportgeskiedenis van Potchefstroom" (manuskrip)
110 De Staats Courant der ZAR, 13 February 1859; De Staats Courant der ZAR, 20 May 1859
111 Transvaal Argus, 3 July 1866, advertisement
112 NASA: ZPO 3: J Desardines - Landdrost, application for a licence; NASA: ZPO 3: Secretary, Turf Club - Landdrost, 1 September 1867
113 NASA: ZPO 3: Incoming Correspondence, Forssman - Landdrost, 26 July 1864
114 Potchefstroom Museum: Minutes of the Town Council, 10 March 1879
115 Transvaal Argus, 11 April 1867, "Prysschieten"
116 Transvaal Argus, 3 January 1866, "Local and General"
117 Transvaal Advocate, 12 April 1870; Transvaal Argus, 8 January 1868
118 Potchefstroom Museum: Municipal Council's Letter Copy Book, 11 November 1874
119 Potchefstroom A dvocate, 18 May 1888

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