Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/624

This page needs to be proofread.




Britain at all costs. He first endeavoured to conciliate the Boers by every reasonable concession, and only when he found this task hopeless did he join the politicians at the Cape in the agitation which led to the Warren expedition. By this action the great northern trade route was kept open. In 1889 Mr Rhodes was chiefly instrumental in bringing about the amalgamation of the diamond mines of Kimberley, a measure which strengthened and conserved the great mineral resources of the diamond fields, and thus preserved for Cape Colony an industry which might have declined with over-production. It has been urged that this step greatly added to his own fortune, but of all the millionaires South Africa has produced none has recognized more liberally the obligations of wealth. It is recorded of the very negotiations which led to amalgamation that Mr Rhodes insisted on the application of what (following Mr Chamberlain in his “Radical days”) he called the doctrine of ransom, whereby a certain portion of the immense wealth won by such a huge and lucrative corporation as the De Beers Consolidated Mines should be directly devoted to the development and progress of the country from which that wealth was derived. In this action he also received the support of Mr Alfred Beit. This policy has been accepted and in a considerable measure acted on by the De Beers directors, if not by all shareholders, and £500,000 was advanced to further the opening up of Rhodesia and railway extension. Under Mr Rhodes’s chairmanship all local institutions were treated with a liberality foreign to most commercial concerns, and he on at least one occasion urged the desirability of investing De Beers funds for the furtherance of the fruit industry in the Western Province, many of the fruit-growers being without enough capital or the requisite knowledge to conduct this industry with much success. In his dealings with the natives of Cape Colony and elsewhere in South Africa, Mr Rhodes was particularly successful. He won their personal respect, and he was signally successful, both with the Pondos and the Matabele, in arranging their future government. He opposed the native liquor traffic, and at the risk of offending some of his supporters among the brandy farmers of the Western Province, he suppressed it entirely on the diamond mines, and restricted it as far as he was able in the native reserves and territories. Nevertheless the continuance of this traffic on colonial farms, as well as to some extent in the native territories and reserves, is a black spot in the annals of the Cape Colony. The Hottentots have been terribly demoralized, and even partially destroyed by it in the Western Province. Mr Rhodes has been denounced by his enemies as an autocrat. In view of his successful conduct of the Premiership for several years, and his cordial relationship with many men of all parties, the charge cannot be considered a just one. At the same time he had a direct way of going to the heart of things, and sometimes of acting entirely on his own responsibility in matters of State importance. The leading instance of this was in the Jameson Raid. But another instance, which is not so widely known, and in which the result was beneficial to all concerned, deserves some notice. After the native territories east of the Kei had been added to Cape Colony, and were under colonial administration, a case of claim to inheritance came up for trial, and in accordance with the law of the colony, the Court held that the eldest son of a native was his heir. This decision created the strongest resentment among the people of the territory, as it was in distinct contradiction to native tribal law, which recognized the great son, or son of the chief wife, as heir. The Government were threatened with a native disturbance, when Mr Rhodes telegraphed his assurance that compensation should be granted, and that such a decision should never be given again. This assurance was accepted and tranquillity restored. At the close of the next session (that of 1894), after this incident had occurred, Mr Rhodes laid on the table a Bill drafted by himself, the shortest the House had ever seen. It provided that all civil cases were to be tried by magistrates, an appeal to lie only to the chief magistrate of the territory with an assessor. Criminal cases were to be tried before the judges of Supreme Court on circuit. The Bill was passed, and the effect of it was, inasmuch as the magistrates administered according to native law, that native marriage customs and laws (including polygamy) were legalized in these territories. Mr Rhodes had retrieved his promise, and no one who has studied and lived amongst the Bantu will question that the action taken was both beneficent and wise. When not engaged with Cape politics, Mr Rhodes turned his energies to the north, and Rhodesia has become a monument to his energy, ambition, and financial genius. Sir Gordon Sprigg, four times Premier, has been associated with the Cape Parliament since 1873. In and out of office his zeal has been unflagging, and if he lacks those qualities which inspire enthusiasm, and are requisite in a great leader, he has at least been a model of industry. Among other prominent politicians have been Mr Rose-Innes, Mr J. X. Merriman, and Mr Schreiner. Mr Rose-Innes is a lawyer whose intellectual gifts and patriotism have never been impugned; he is not a “party man,” and this has made him, on more than one occasion,


a somewhat difficult political ally. On the native question he has taken up a consistently strong attitude, defending their rights, and uncompromisingly opposing the native liquor traffic. Mr Thomas Fuller, the Cape Town representative, though he has remained outside office, has given staunch support to every enlightened liberal and progressive measure which has been brought forward. A man of exceptional culture and eloquence, he has made his influence felt, not only in politics, but in journalism, and every other branch of social and public life in the colony. In literature, the colony has produced at least two authors whose works have taken their place among those of the best English writers of their day. The History of South Africa, by Mr G. M ‘Call Theal, will remain a classic work of reference. The careful industry and the lucidity which characterize Mr Theal’s work, stamp him as a historian of whom South Africa may well be proud. In fiction, Olive Schreiner (Mrs CronwrightSchreiner) produced, while still in her teens, the Story of an African Farm, a work which gave great promise of original literary genius. Her later works have scarcely fulfilled that promise. Unfortunately, she, in common with the rest of South Africa, was swept into the seething vortex of contemporary politics, and her political pamphlets will add nothing to her reputation as a writer, whatever value they may have as expressions of opinion. In music and painting there have been artists of talent in the Cape Colony, but the country is still too young, and the conditions of life too disturbed to allow such a development as has already occurred in Australia. Governors at the Cape since Introduction of Responsible Government. 1870. Sir Henry Barkly. 1877. Sir Bartle Frere. 1880. Sir Hercules Robinson. 1889. Sir Henry Loch. 1895. Sir Hercules Robinson (Lord Rosmead). 1897. Sir Alfred Milner. 1901. Sir W. Hely-Hutchinson. Prime Ministers. 1890. Mr C. J. Rhodes. 1872. Mr J. C. Molteno. 1896. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg. 1878. Mr J. Gordon Sprigg. 1898. Mr W. P. Schreiner. 1881. Mr T. C. Scanlen. 1900. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg. 1884. Mr Upington. 1886. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg. Authorities.—History of South Africa, Theal ; South African History and Geography, Theal ; Annual Register, Cape of Good Hope, 1899 ; Receding Points in South African History, Pratt ; South African Studies, Hillier ; Cecil Rhodes: Political Life and Speeches, Vindex ; Cecil Rhodes. Imperialist, and Dr Jameson ; South Africa: Its History, Heroes, and War, Mackenzie 11and Stead ; Austral Africa: Losing it or Ruling it, Mackenzie ; The Times ” History of the Boer War; Parliamentary Papers—see Colonial Office list; Argus Annual and South African Directory. (a. p. h.) Cape Elizabeth, a town of Cumberland county, Maine, U.S.A., situated in the south-western part of the state, adjoining Portland, and on the Boston and Maine railway. In 1895 it was subdivided, and a part of it chartered as the city of South Portland. Population (1880), 5302; (1890), 5459. Cape Town, the capital of Cape Colony, on the south shore of Table Bay, between the sea and Table Mountain. It stands on a site at first almost flat, then of moderate ascent, and finally with steep slope as the mountain and its spurs are approached. It is almost completely hemmed in on the wrest by the Lion’s Head and Rump, and less completely so on the east by the Devil’s Peak. Since 1875 the town has been modernized. The “stoeps” have been cleared away, and continuous foot pavements put in their place; the streets have been levelled up and paved or well macadamized, and an underground drainage and sewage system is now approaching completion. As the supply of water from the Molteno Reservoir at the foot of Table Mountain was found insufficient for the increasing needs of the town, another reservoir, with a capacity of several hundred million gallons, has been constructed on the top of the mountain. The town is lighted with gas and electric light, water falling from the mountain to the Molteno Reservoir supplying the motive power for the