The snake, however, to which the word "asp" has been most commonly applied is undoubtedly the haje of Egypt, the spy-slange or spitting snake of the Boers (Naja haje), one of the very poisonous Elarinae, from 3 to 4 ft.
During the war of 1899-1902 the Boers were driven out of Barberton (13th of September 1900) by General (afterwards Sir John) French.
A few years later, in 1836-1837, large parties of emigrant Boers settled north of the Orange, and before long disputes arose between them and Moshesh, who claimed a great part of the land on which the white farmers had settled.
The Basuto acquired an unenviable notoriety as a race of bold cattle lifters and raiders, and the emigrant Boers found them extremely troublesome neighbours.
At the same time, if the Basuto were eager for cattle, the Boers were eager for land; and their encroachments on the territories of the Basuto led to a proclamation in 1842 from Sir George Napier, the then governor of Cape Colony, forbidding further encroachments on Basutoland.
The expedition was by no means a success, but Moshesh, with that peculiar statecraft for which he was famous, saw that he could not hope permanently to hold out against the British troops, and followed up his successful skirmishes with General Cathcart by writing him a letter, in which he said: "As the object for which you have come is to have a compensation for Boers, I beg you will be satisfied with what you have taken.
In 1865 a fresh feud occurred between the Orange Free State Boers and the Basuto.
The Boers proved more successful than they had been in the past, and occupied several of the Basuto strongholds.
They also annexed a certain fertile portion of Basuto territory, and finally terminated the strife by a treaty at Thaba Bosigo, by which Moshesh gave up the tract of territory taken by the Boers and professed himself a subject of the Free State.
Seeing that the struggle against the Boers was hopeless, no fewer than 2000 Basuto warriors having been killed, Moshesh again appealed for protection to the British authorities, saying: "Let me and my people rest and live under the large folds of the flag of England before I am no more."
In early life he had distinguished himself in the wars with the Boers, and in 1880 he took an active part in the revolt against the Cape government.
Barkly, Among Boers and Basutos (new ed., London, 1897), a record, chiefly, of the Gun War of 1880-1882; C. W.
GNU, the Hottentot name for the large white-tailed South African antelope, now nearly extinct, know to the Boers as the black wildebeest, and to naturalists as Connochaetes (or Catoblepas) gnu.
He provided a steady revenue by the levying of a tax of 10% on the annual net produce of the gold mines, and devoted special attention to the repatriation of the Boers, land settlement by British colonists, education, justice, the constabulary, and the development of railways.
Here in December 1880 a great meeting of Boers resolved again to proclaim the independence of the Transvaal.
It is in the north-west of the province, is famous for its investment by the Boers in 18 991900 and is an important railway junction.
The first emigrant Boers to enter the country were led by Pieter Retief (c. 1780-1838), a man of Huguenot descent and of marked ability, who had formerly lived on the eastern frontier of Cape Colony and had suffered severely in the Kaffir wars.
Dingaan consented on condition that the Boers recovered for him certain cattle stolen by another chief; this task Retief accomplished, and with the help of the Rev. F.
The Zulu king then commanded his impis to kill all the Boers who had entered Natal.
The Zulu forces crossed the Tugela the same day, and the most advanced parties of the Boers were massacred, many at a spot near where the town of Weenen now stands, its name (meaning wailing or weeping) commemorating the event.
Nevertheless in one week after the murder of Retief 600 Boers - men, women and children - had been killed by the Zulus.
The English settlers at the bay, hearing of the attack on the Boers, determined to make a diversion in their favour, and some 20 men under the command of R.
Meantime the Boers, who had repelled the Zulu attacks on their laagers, had been joined by others from the Drakensberg, and about 400 men under Hendrik Potgieter and Piet Uys advanced to attack Dingaan.
The Boers had firearms, the Zulus their assegais only, and after a three hours' fight the Zulus were totally defeated, losing thousands killed, while the farmers' casualties were under 1 Captain Allen Francis Gardiner (1 79418 5 1) left Natal in 1838, subsequently devoting himself to missionary work in South America, being known as the missionary to Patagonia.
(This memorable victory is annually commemorated by the Boers as Dingaan's Day, while the Umslatos, which ran red with the blood of the slain, was renamed Blood river.) Dingaan fled, the victorious Boers entered the royal kraal, gave decent burial to the skeletons of Retief and his party, and regarded themselves as now undisputed masters of Natal.
In sanctioning the occupation of the port the British government of the day had no intention of making Natal a British colony, but wished to prevent the Boers establishing an independent republic upon the coast with a harbour through which access to the interior could be gained.
Meantime the Boers had founded Pietermaritzburg and made it the seat of their volksraad.
The Boers, however, strongly resented the contention of the British that they could not shake off British nationality though beyond the bounds of any recognized British possession, nor were they prepared to see their only port garrisoned by British troops, and they rejected Napier's overtures.
The Natal Boers believed the Netherlands to be one of the great powers of Europe, and were firmly persuaded that its government would aid them in resisting England.
The Boers, cut off from their port, called out a commando of some 300 to 400 men under Andries Pretorius and gathered at Congella at the head of the bay.
On the 26th the Boers captured the harbour and settlement, and on the 31st blockaded the British camp, the women and children being removed, on the suggestion of Pretorius, to a ship in the harbour of which the Boers had taken possession.
There was a considerable party of Natal Boers still strongly opposed to the British, and they were reinforced by numerous bands of Boers who came over the Drakensberg from Winburg and Potchefstroom.
Many of the Boers who would not acknowledge British rule trekked once more over the mountains into what are now the Orange Free State and Transvaal provinces.
For some years Natal, in common with the other countries of South Africa, had suffered from the absence of anything resembling a strong government among the Boers of the Transvaal, neighbours of Natal on the north.
C.) Scarcely had the colony recovered from the shock of the Zulu War than it was involved in the revolt of the Transvaal Boers (1880-1881), an event which overshadowed all domestic concerns.
It was clearly understood that the Boers would aim to establish a republican government over the whole of South Africa, and that the terms of peace simply meant greater bloodshed at no distant date.
But it was not long before their worst fears with regard to the Boers began to be realized, and their patience was once more severely taxed.
As the London Convention had stipulated that there should be no trespassing on the part of the Boers over their specified boundaries, and as Natal had been the basis for those operations against the Zulus on the part of the British in 187 9, which alone made such an annexation of territory possible, a strong feeling was once more aroused in Natal.
So suspicious had the ministry become of the nature of the military preparations that were being made by the Boers, that in May 1899 they communicated their apprehensions to the High Commissioner, Sir Alfred Milner, who telegraphed on the 25th of May to Mr Chamberlain, informing him that Natal was uneasy.
The first act was the seizure by the Boers of a Natal train on the Free State border.
Newcastle was next occupied by the Boers unopposed, and on the 10th of October occurred the battle of Talana Hill outside Dundee.
Brigadier-General Yule then took command, and an overwhelming force of Boers rendering the further occupation of Dundee dangerous, he decided to retire his force to Ladysmith.
On the 21 st of October General Sir George White and General (Sir John) French defeated at Elandslaagte a strong force of Boers, who threatened to cut off General Yule's retreat.
The Boers gradually surrounded the town and cut off the communications from the south.
West and north of the Drakensberg the general level of the low veld is not much below that of the lowest altitudes of the middle veld, though the climatic 1 By the Boers the western and less elevated part of the plateau is known as the middle veld.
The Dutch, as their usual designation, Boers, implies, are mainly farmers and stock-raisers and are still predominant elsewhere than in the Witwatersrand and Pretoria districts.
On returning to the Vet, Potgieter learned that a hunting party of Boers which had crossed the Vaal had been attacked by the Matabele, who had also killed Boer women and children.
This party instituted an elementary form of government, and in 1840 entered into a loose confederation with the Natal Boers, and also with the Boers south of the Vaal, whose headquarters were at Winburg.
In 1842, however, Potgieter's party declined to go to the help of the Natal Boers, then involved in conflict with the British.
When the British government decided to recognize the independence of the Transvaal Boers it was with Pretorius that negotiations were conducted.
Whatever their internal dissensions the Boers were united in regard to what they considered their territorial rights, and in the interval between the signing of the Sand River Convention and the death of Pretorius an incident occurred significant alike of their claims to jurisdiction over enormous areas and of their manner of treating the natives.
Pretorius alleged that by this means the natives were obtaining firearms. At the same time the Transvaal Boers claimed that all the Bechuana country belonged to them, a claim which the British government of that day did not think it worth while to contest.
Sechele was regarded by the Boers as owing them allegiance, and in August 1852 Pretorius sent against him a commando (in which Paul Kruger served as a field cornet), alleging that the Bakwena were harbouring a Bakatla chief who had looted cattle belonging to Boer farmers.
In reviewing an incident so important in the history of the Transvaal as the appointment of the Potchefstroom assembly it is of interest to note the gist of the complaint among the Boers which led to this revolution in the government of the country as it had previously existed.
To conciliate the Boers of Zoutpansberg the new-born assembly at Potchefstroom appointed Stephanus Schoeman, the commandantgeneral of the Zoutpansberg district, commandant-general of the whole country.
The executive council, which had been appointed by the Potchefstroom assembly, with Pretorius as president, now took up a bolder attitude: they deposed Schoeman from all authority, declared Zoutpansberg in a state of blockade, and denounced the Boers of the two northern districts as rebels.
If at this stage of their existence the real ambition of the Transvaal Boers was to found a strong and compact republican state, their conduct in opposing a scheme of union with the Orange Free State was foolish to a degree.
A charge frequently laid at the door of the Boers, at that time and since, was that of enslaving the black races.