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Conflict And Negotiation Along The Lower Vaal River: Correspondence From The Tswana-Language Newspaper Mokaeri Oa Becuana

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Chapter Summary

The 1850s were a time of uncertainty and upheaval in the interior of southern Africa. Clusters of Boer communities that had settled in the region merged to form the two governments of the Orange Free State (OFS) and South African Republic (SAR). In hostilities that erupted in July 1858 along the lower Vaal River, the primary parties involved were: a group led by the San leader Kousop; a Kora group led by Mosweu at Mamusa; four different Tswana groups; and Boer settlers under the authority of either the SAR (led by Marthinus Pretorius) or the OFS (led by Jacobus Boshof ). When Ashton started publication of the monthly Mokaeri oa Becuana, his stated purpose was to promote Tswana literacy as well as Christian teachings. This chapter reproduces the letters, commentary and other documents published in Mokaeri oa Becuana that relate to the conflict of 1858.

Keywords: Jacobus Boshof; lower Vaal river; Marthinus Pretorius; Mokaeri Oa Becuana; Mosweu; Orange Free State (OFS); South African Republic (SAR); Tswana literacy; William Ashton



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