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CHARTERED The company at the commencement of its operations had to deal with a country absolutely untouched by the hand of civilization. The size of the territory History was 500,000 square miles at least, as large as meat™ °P" France and Germany combined, ruled over by Lo-Bengula, whose power was supported by hordes of savage warriors. The only possessions of the natives were enormous herds of cattle; there was no cultivation of the soil or attempt to work its mineral riches. Of course there was at every step a grave danger of incurring the hostility of the natives. The first move of the company was to extend northwards the railway and the telegraph. In 1889 the former only went as far as Kimberley and the latter to Mafeking. The Cape Government agreed to make the railway to Yryburg, and the company was to continue it. A police force of 250 men under experienced officers was enrolled. In order to open up the new territories it was necessary to set on foot a pioneer expedition. This was done by an arrangement between the company and Mr Frank Johnson, who undertook to fit out and conduct the expedition on certain terms which included grants of reef claims and farms to each pioneer. Among the pioneers was Mr F. C. Selous, the well-known explorer. After the pioneer force had been duly inspected by General Lord Methuen, its advance was authorized by the high commissioner, and it set out in June 1890, accompanied by a force of police, the whole expedition being under the command of Lt.-Col. Pennefather. Its results were striking. It constructed a road 400 miles long, known as the “Selous Koad”; it bridged streams; it established fortified stations at Tuli, Victoria, Charter, and Salisbury; it brought peace and security to Mashonaland, which had formerly been a prey to its more warlike neighbours—and all this without losing a rifle or firing a shot. Mashonaland was taken in hand by Mr A. It. Colquhoun, and its administration organized; but his health gave way, and he was succeeded by Dr Jameson. During the first two years of its occupation the white population of that country reached 3000. In 1891 the company successfully interfered to prevent a large Boer trek into the south-east portion of Matabeleland and the occupation by them of that territory by force. About this time there were serious threats that Germany would attempt to stretch her hinterland boundary across Lake Nyasa to the Congo State, but this was averted by the establishment of Forts Fife and Abercorn at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika and midway between the two lakes. The company also agreed to buy up a company called “ The African Lakes Company,” which had unsuccessfully endeavoured to open up the districts north of the Zambezi. This was a Scottish company founded in 1878 to protect the mission stations and to trade between the lakes of Mweru, Tanganyika, and Nyasa, but its capital had been expended in strife with the slave-traders. The shareholders in the “ African Lakes Company ” exchanged their shares for shares in the South Africa Company, and the latter in return acquired all their rights. By 1893 the absorption of that company in the South Africa Company was complete. In the early part of 1891 the British Government extended the field of the company’s operations so as to include the whole of the British sphere immediately north of the Zambezi, except Nyasaland, towards the expense of the administration of which district the company was contributing at this time £10,000 a year. The imperial commissioner for Nyasaland was allowed to act also as administrator of the company’s sphere north of the Zambezi, and in 1894 the Government took over all liabilities connected with this Nyasaland territory. The company took early steps to open up its territory by the construction of railways and telegraphs. As has



been stated, the railway running north from Cape Town went no farther than Kimberley when the company began its operations, but in November 1889 the extension was taken in hand, and by December 1890 the section to Vryburg was open, about 120 miles; and at the same time the telegraph was carried on to Mafeking; by the end of 1892 the telegraph had reached Victoria. Meanwhile prospects of mining development had brought into the country a large number of settlers, who had marked out claims. During the first three years the opening up of Mashonaland proceeded apace. Salisbury, Umtali, and Victoria began to grow into towns, and building plots fetched at the lowest £35. The company also entered upon a regular system of agricultural development, and by the end of 1892 as many as 500 concessions of farms had been made, and the number of immigrants in 1892 reached 1121. Administration had also been satisfactorily and rapidly organized. Dr Jameson reduced the standing police force to 40, and set on foot a volunteer corps which soon had 500 members. The Transvaal burgher system was also adopted, which allows the Government to demand on necessity the services of every able-bodied citizen, supplying him at the same time with rifle and ammunition. A regular postal service was established. Under Mr Selous the road system was completed, and the headquarters of the administrator were fixed at Salisbury. Though Mashonaland was being civilized, Matabeleland was still the home of Lo-Bengula and his savage warriors. Their continued raids into the company’s territories led to war, which broke out in July 1893 and lasted till the end of the year. This war cost the company 100 men and £110,000. Lo-Bengula died, and his lands passed under the sway of the company. Charges were made against the latter of having provoked the natives in order to bring on this war, but after inquiry they were expressly exonerated from the charge by Lord Eipon, then colonial secretary. The conditions under which Matabeleland was handed over to the company were set out in the “ Matabeleland Order in Council” of 18th July 1894. The administrator was given a council of four to assist him. Local taxes and customs dues were to be fixed by the company with the approbation of the secretary of state. A high court and a land commission were established. Magistracies were established, and resident magistrates and civil commissioners appointed at Salisbury, Umtali, Victoria, and Tuli, with functions similar to those exercised by like officials in Cape Colony, the law administered being the Roman-Dutch law of that colony. During 1894 and 1895 the company continued the development of its territory, now increased to 750,000 square miles. It stretched uninterruptedly to the southern end of Lake Tanganyika in the north, i.e., roughly to the 8th degree of latitude. This increase of territory led at first to a great increase of expenditure, and the original capital of £1,000,000 was raised to £2,000,000 by a resolution passed at an extraordinary meeting of the shareholders held in November 1893 ; and this was increased by another £500,000 in July 1895, and by further issues in 1896 and 1898. By a proclamation of 3rd May 1895 the company’s territory received officially the name of “Rhodesia,” and was divided into three provinces, Mashonaland, Matabeleland, and Northern Zambezia. The two provinces comprising Southern Rhodesia were subdivided into districts. The districts, for convenience of administration, were grouped into fiscal and mining divisions, and the civil magistrates and mining commissioners were reappointed to the new divisions. A native commissioner was, as heretofore, appointed to each district, the whole being under the