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Hammond, Natalie Harris, - / A Woman's Part in a Revolution
E-text prepared by Michael Ciesielski, Jeannie Howse, and the Project
Online Distributed Proofreading Team ()




Longmans, Green, and Co.
39 Paternoster Row London
New York and Bombay



To the American Public, whose sympathy was my chief support through
days of bitter trial, this book is gratefully dedicated. My personal
experience forms the subject of my story. The causes of the Revolt in
Johannesburg, and the ensuing political questions, are but lightly
touched upon, in deference to the silence enforced upon my husband as
one of the terms of his liberation by the Boer Government.


February, 1897.


I hope I may be able to tell the truth always, and to see
it aright according to the eyes which God Almighty gives


Totsey the terrier lay blinking in the hot African sun, while Cecilia
Rhodes, the house kitten, languished in a cigar box wrapped about with
twine to represent bars of iron. Above her meek face was a large label
marked 'African Lion.' Her captor, my young son Jack, was out again
among the flower-beds in quest of other big game, armed with my
riding-crop. The canvas awnings flapped gently in the cool breeze.
Every now and then a fan-like arm of one of the large Madeira chairs
would catch the impetus and go speeding down the wide red-tiled
verandah. I looked up from the little garment which I was making, upon
this quiet picture. It was the last restful moment I was to know for
many long months--such months of suffering and agonised apprehension
as God in His mercy sends to few women.

David, my husband's black coachman, drove rapidly through the gate,
and, coming up to me, handed me a letter. It was from his master and
briefly written. Jameson had crossed the Border; Johannesburg was
filled with strange people, and he thought it wise for me to move with
our family and servants into town. Rooms had been secured for us at
Heath's Hotel, and he would meet us that night at dinner. This summons
was not entirely unexpected. For many months the political kettle had
been simmering. Johannesburg had grown tired of sending petitions in
to the Government to be answered by promises which were never
redeemed. An appalling death-rate of fifty-six in each thousand,
directly traceable to lack of proper sanitation, resulting from bad
government, spurred the general discontent, and a number of
representative citizens, unwilling longer to wait upon gods and
Government, finding all attempts to obtain redress of their grievances
by constitutional means ineffectual, determined to enforce their
demands for right by arms if necessary. As arms for the Uitlander
under the law of the Transvaal could only be obtained by a permit,
guns and ammunition were smuggled into the country, hidden away in oil
tanks and coal cars.

My husband had vast interests in his charge; many million pounds
sterling had been invested at his instance in the mining industry of
the country, and, actuated by a sense of duty and responsibility to
those who had confided in him, he felt in honour bound to take an
active part in the movement, for the protection and preservation of
the property placed under his control.

My leaving for the Cape, in case affairs should assume a dangerous
phase, was frequently discussed between us, but I could not make up my
mind to leave my husband, feeling that the separation would be more
trying than if I remained, even should a conflict be forced upon us.
In addition to my wish to be with him, I knew that many of his staff
had their wives and children in Johannesburg, and would be unable to
send them away, and for me, the wife of their chief, 'to bundle to the
rear' would subject my husband, as well as myself, to harsh, and not
unjust, criticism.

The Leonard Manifesto was published December 26th, setting forth the
demands of the Uitlander.

'We want,' it reads:

'1. The establishment of this Republic as a true Republic.

'2. A Grondwet or constitution which shall be framed by
competent persons selected by representatives of the whole
people, and framed on lines laid down by them; a
constitution which shall be safeguarded against hasty

'3. An equitable Franchise law and fair representation.

'4. Equality of the Dutch and English languages.

'5. Responsibility to the Legislature of the heads of the
great departments.

'6. Removal of religious disabilities.

'7. Independence of the Courts of Justice, with adequate and
secured remuneration of the judges.

'8. Liberal and comprehensive education.

'9. An efficient Civil Service, with adequate provision for
pay and pension.

'10. Free Trade in South African products.'

It was further planned to hold another meeting of the 'National
Union,' and afterward make a last demand upon the Government to
redress our wrongs.

Arrangement meanwhile was made with Dr. Jameson, who was encamped on
the western border of the Republic with a body of the Chartered
Company's troops. In case of a disturbance he was to come to the aid
of Johannesburg with at least a thousand men and 1,500 guns. It was
also distinctly understood between him and the five gentlemen who were
the recognised leaders of the movement, that he should not start until
he had received instructions to do so directly from them.

I gathered my household about me, explained the situation, and gave
the servants their choice, whether they would go into town or remain
in the house. The four white servants decided to remain, but the
native boys begged leave to depart under various pretexts. One to get
his missis from Pretoria because he was afraid the Boers might kill
her. Another to tell his mother in Natal that he was all right.
Another frankly said, that as the white men were going to fight among
themselves, this was no place for Kaffirs.

I arranged to leave Mr. Hammond's secretary in charge of the house.
We hastily packed up a few of our most precious belongings, and left,
to take possession of four tiny rooms at the hotel in town. With a
full heart I looked back at my pretty home. The afternoon shadows were
beginning to lengthen; I saw the broad verandah, the long easy chairs
suggestive of rest; my books on the sill of the low bedroom window;
the quiet flower garden, sweet with old-fashioned posies associated
with peace and thrift. We were going to--WHAT?


My diary carries the story on:--

DECEMBER 30.--We find the town intensely excited, but there is no
disorder. Men are hurrying about in cabs and on foot with
determined-looking faces, but no other visible evidence of the day's

My husband ran in to see how we were faring about 8 o'clock this
evening. I had not seen him since early morning. He told me that a
Reform Committee had been formed of the leading men of the city. Also
that the Americans had called a meeting in the course of the afternoon
to hear the results of a Special Deputation, consisting of Messrs.
Hennen Jennings and Perkins, to President Kruger. Mr. Jennings
reported the President as having listened to them attentively while
they conveyed to him what they believed to be the sentiment of the
Americans on the Rand. They assured him that, although the Americans
recognised the rights of the Boers as well as those of the Uitlanders,
unless he could in some way meet the demand of the unenfranchised
people of the Transvaal he could not expect their support when the
revolution came. They also told him that the Americans wanted to see
the Republic preserved, but on a truer basis. And when questioned by
the President if in case of rebellion the Americans would be with or
against the Government, they answered bluntly, 'They would be against
the Government.'

President Kruger dogmatically declared 'this was no time for
discussion, but a time for the people to obey the law,' and with this
they were dismissed.

A Committee of three is appointed to visit Pretoria to-morrow and
again lay before the President a statement of the demands of the
Uitlanders, the attitude of the Americans and their wish to preserve
the integrity of the Republic, but also to warn him that, if the
Government insists upon ignoring these just demands, and thus
precipitates war, the Americans must array themselves on the side of
the other Uitlanders.

A large mass meeting is called to receive these gentlemen on their
return from Pretoria and to decide upon the Americans' future course
of action.

The mail train to Cape Town was crowded with hundreds of
terror-stricken women and children sent away by anxious husbands to a
place of safety. The ordinary accommodation was far too inadequate to
supply the sudden rush. They were crowded like sheep on cattle trucks.
I fear the journey of a thousand miles will be one of great

There are many anxious souls in Johannesburg to-night.

Betty and I are sitting up. The night is sultry, and we have dragged
our chairs out on to the verandah which overhangs the street.

MIDNIGHT.--The town has quieted down. Once a wild horseman clattered
down the street towards the 'Gold Fields' shouting, 'A despatch, men!
a despatch. We've licked the Dutchmen!' A few heads peered out of
windows--but that was all.

DECEMBER 31.--My husband came in at 4 o'clock this morning, looking
very tired. He was on the point of going to bed, when a messenger came
from the 'Gold Fields' and hurried him away.

The streets are alive at a very early hour, and the excitement
increases. The Reform Committee sits in perpetual session in the
offices of the 'Gold Fields.' They are appointing sub-committees for
the safeguard and comfort of the town; 51,000_l._ for the relief of
the poor has already been raised. Messengers are sent out to call in
all the women and children from the mines. Arrangements are being made
for the housing and feeding of these. Nothing is forgotten, and
everything goes on with the utmost method and precision. It is like a
great, splendid piece of machinery.

The merchants have sent up a deputation to try to bring the President
to reason. He has temporarily removed the dues from food stuffs as a
result of the interview. The Government has prohibited all telegraphic
communication. _We are cut off from the world_.

The Reform Committee repudiates Dr. Jameson's inroad, but publishes
its intention to adhere to the National Union Manifesto, and
'earnestly desires that the inhabitants should refrain from taking any
action which can be construed as an overt act of hostility against the
Government.' A certain tone of security and dignity pervades all the
notices of the Reform Committee. The town is sure of success.

In order to silence rumours in regard to the hoisting of the English
flag, Mr. Hammond after some difficulty secured a flag of the
Transvaal, and took it into the committee room this morning. The
entire body of men swore allegiance with uncovered heads and upraised
hands. The flag now floats from the roof of the 'Gold Fields.' The
merchants have closed their shops and battened up the windows with
thick boards and plates of corrugated iron. Boer police are withdrawn
from the town. Excitement at fever heat, but everything running
smoothly. No drunkenness nor rioting. The streets are filled with
earnest-looking men. Near the Court House arms are being distributed.
At another point horses are given over to the newly-enrolled

4 P.M.--I have driven from one end of the town to the other, through
busy crowded streets, without seeing one disorderly person, or being
regarded a second time by one of the thousands of men filing solemnly
past my carriage. They would form into squads and march gravely to
their posts of duty. A splendid-looking set of men, ranging in age
from 25 to 35. Men from every walk in life, professional men, robust
miners, and pale clerks, some among the faces being very familiar. My
eyes filled when I thought of what the future might be bringing them.
At the hotel dinner Mrs. Dodd, Betty and I were the only women
present. The room was crowded with men who spoke excitedly of a
possible war and exchanged specimen cartridges across the table. I
hear that one thousand Lee-Metford rifles have been given out. The
town is now policed by Uitlanders under Trimble.

The Americans have held another meeting. Five hundred men were
present, and with only five dissenting votes determined to stand by
the Manifesto. After this meeting, the George Washington Corps of 150
members was formed.

Following are the names of the various Brigades:--

Australian, Scotch, Africander, Cycle, Colonial, Natal, Irish,
Northumbrian, Cornish, and Bettington's Horse and the Ambulance Corps.
Most of the mines are closing down. Women and children are still
flying from the town. Alas! some men, too, who are heartily jeered by
the crowd at the railroad station.[2]

St. John's Ambulance Society is advertising for qualified nurses or
ladies willing to assist.

Natives are in a state of great panic. One of the Kaffir servants in
the hotel gave me a tremendous shock this morning by rushing into my
room to fling himself at my feet, sobbing and imploring me not to
allow the Boers to kill him.

LATER.--The sultry day has cooled down into a calm, moonlit night.

This evening the Reform Committee received a deputation from the
Government consisting of Messrs. Marais and Malan; these gentlemen
showed their authority from the Government, and were duly accredited.
They are both progressive Boers and highly respected by the
Uitlanders. They stated that they had come with the olive branch, that
the Government had sent them to the Reform Committee to invite a
delegation of that Committee to meet in Pretoria a Commission of
Government officials, with the object of arranging an amicable
settlement of the political questions. They emphatically asserted that
the Government would meet the Reform Committee half-way--that the
Government was anxious to prevent bloodshed, &c. That they could
promise that the Government would redress the Uitlander grievances
upon the lines laid down in the Manifesto, but that of course all the
demands would not be conceded at once, and both sides must be willing
to compromise. The Reform Committee met to consider this proposal,
and after long discussion decided to send a deputation to Pretoria.
These gentlemen leave with Messrs. Malan and Marais on a special train
to-night for Pretoria.

Johannesburg is quiet as ever was country town. The streets deserted.
Nothing to suggest a city girt around by a cordon of soldiers, and yet
such it is.

At midnight my husband ran in for a moment to see how we had stood the
strain of the day.

'Is the news from Jameson really true?' I asked, still hoping it was

'I am afraid so.'

'And are those heavy wagons just going down the street carrying the
big guns to the outskirts?'

'Yes. Good-night, dear.' He was gone.


[Footnote 1: The sufferings of this hapless crowd were acute.
Provisions were hard to obtain at the way stations. The water supply
gave out. A little child died of exposure, and the heart-broken mother
held the lifeless body twenty-four hours on her lap. There was no room
to lay it to one side. Another woman gave birth to an infant.]

[Footnote 2: The Cornish miners were politely presented at Kimberley
and other places en route with bunches of white feathers by the
howling mob. One Cornishman afterwards related that he was pulled out
at every station and made to fight. After the fourth mauling he turned
round and went back to Johannesburg, preferring to take his chances
with the Boers.]


January 1, 1896.--With the dawn of day I am out of bed and at the
window waiting for the cry of the newsboy.

What will the New Year bring us?

With nervous dread I opened the paper brought to my door. In large
headlines it told of disaster.

The Natal train filled with refugee women and children has been
wrecked, with great loss of life. The papers say forty have been
killed outright, and many fearfully injured. Entire families have been
wiped out in some cases. Mr. ---- has lost his wife, his sister, and
three little children. This is the result of a Boer concession. The
accident was caused by the Netherlands carriages being poorly built
and top-heavy. In rounding a curve they were swung off the
track--collapsed at once like card-houses, crushing and mangling the
helpless and crowded occupants.

The deputation to Pretoria did not leave last night, as was expected.
They go this morning instead.

My husband is greatly disturbed at the delay. He says time is all
important, and the Reform Committee's hands should not be tied while
the Boers gain time.

Reports of Jameson's meeting the enemy have been amplified. Now it is
said that fifty of his men have been killed and three hundred Boers.
Sir John Willoughby is believed to be shot.

I drove out to my home to reassure my women, Mr. Sharwood having
brought in word that the coachman Adams had almost caused a panic by
his garish tipsy account of 'what was going on in town,' and 'the many
risks he ran when taking the mistress out.'

Parker was overjoyed to see me, and so was Totsey. I found all
staunch, and ready, not only to protect themselves, but to fight
anything, particularly the valiant Adams.

On my way back to town I heard firing beyond the ridge east of us.
Some men at practice probably, but it gave me a wrench and detracted
from Adams's dignified bearing. More organising and drilling of
troops. I hear there is much suffering among them. The book-keeper,
clerks, and indoor men find the unaccustomed exposure and fatigue
trying in the extreme. But they are a plucky lot, and stand for hours
on guard in the scorching sun, and walk miles with their poor
blistered feet with pathetic cheerfulness; swooning in many cases at
their posts rather than give in; to a man, eager to fight.

Betty and I began our daily visits to the women and children at the
Wanderers' and Tattersall's to-day. At the Wanderers' alone are nearly
three hundred. The wonderful provision made for their health and
comfort spoke well for the intelligence as well as heart of the
Reform Committee, and Mr. Lingham, an American, who has that especial
department in charge. We found the dancing-hall of the Wanderers'
converted into a huge dormitory, the supper-room into a sick ward, and
the skating-rink reserved for women newly confined--fright and
excitement having brought on many premature births. There is a matron
in charge of the sick, and a medical inspector, who comes twice a day
to visit the different wards. I overheard him soundly berate a mother
who kept her children too much indoors. The food was good, and there
was plenty of it. Fresh cow's milk was supplied to the children. I
noticed a large vessel of galvanised iron marked 'Boiled water for
drinking purposes.' The little children were romping and tumbling
about with great energy. The women were wonderfully patient, I
thought, and firm in their adherence to the cause. This in some cases
was but vaguely understood, but there was a general belief that there
was 'goin' to be some fighten,' which was sure to make us all better
off. I heard but one complaint, and that from a hulking slouch of a
man who had sneaked in from duty to take a nap on the foot of his sick
wife's pallet. He complained of the food, showing me the remains of
dainties given out to the sick woman, and _which he had helped her to
eat_. The woman looked up at me with haggard eyes: 'It ain't the
vittles, but the pain that's worrying me, ma'am.'

A touching sight were the yelping dogs of every breed, family pets
tethered to the fence outside. All canteens are closed by order of the
Reform Committee as a precautionary measure, and where there was doubt
of these precautions being observed, the liquors were bought and
thrown away.

Hundreds of varying rumours are afloat, which rush and swirl along
until lost in distorting eddies.

This afternoon a horseman went through the town distributing a
Proclamation from the High Commissioner, Sir Hercules Robinson:--


_His Excellency the Right Hon. Sir Hercules George Robinson,
Bart., Member of Her Majesty's Most Hon. Privy Council,
K.C.B., of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and
St. George, Governor, Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's
Colony of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and of the
Territories, Dependencies thereof, Governor of the Territory
of British Bechuanaland, and Her Majesty's Commissioner,
&c., &c_.

'Whereas it has come to my knowledge that certain British
subjects, said to be under the leadership of Dr. Jameson,
have violated the territory of the South African Republic,
and have cut telegraph wires, and done various other illegal
acts; and

'Whereas the South African Republic is a friendly State in
amity with Her Majesty's Government; and whereas it is my
desire to respect the independence of the said State:

'Now therefore I hereby command the said Dr. Jameson and all
persons accompanying him, to immediately retire from the
territory of the South African Republic, on pain of the
penalties attached to their illegal proceedings; and I do
further hereby call upon all British subjects in the South
African Republic to abstain from giving the said Dr. Jameson
any countenance or assistance in his armed violation of the
territory of a friendly State.


'Given under my hand and seal this 31st day of December,

'High Commissioner.

'By command of His Excellency the High Commissioner.'

Johannesburg is dumfounded!

The sixth edition of the 'Star' this evening says that Jameson is only
fifteen miles away, and that he has had a second encounter with the
Boers. The populace has recovered from the Proclamation, and their
wild enthusiasm can scarcely be restrained. They want to go out to
meet Jameson and bring him in with triumphal outcry. It is hard to be
only a 'she-thing' and stay in the house with a couple of limber-kneed
men, when such stirring happenings are abroad.

11 P.M.--Mr. Lionel Phillips has just addressed the crowd collected
around the 'Gold Fields' waiting for news. He told them that the
Reform Committee Delegation--of which he was one--had been received
with courtesy by the Government Commission, the Chief Justice of the
Republic acting as chairman.

They were assured that their proposals should be earnestly considered.
Mr. Phillips then explained what was wanted, and reiterated the Reform
Committee's determination to stand by the Manifesto. He also told the
Commission that the leaders of the Reform Committee had arranged with
Jameson to come to their assistance when necessary, but that
unfortunately he had come before required, probably through some
misunderstanding or false report. While the Reform Committee regretted
Jameson's precipitate action, they would stand by him. And as they had
no means of stopping him they offered to prove their good faith by
giving their own persons as hostages that Jameson should leave
Johannesburg peacefully if he were allowed to come in unmolested. This
offer was rejected by the Commission, but a list of the names of the
Reform Committee was asked for.[3]

As a result of this interview the Government decided to accept the
offer made by Her Majesty's High Commissioner to come to Pretoria to
settle differences and avoid bloodshed. An armistice was then agreed
upon pending the High Commissioner's arrival. Mr. Phillips was often
interrupted by the crowd, some with cheers and others hooting. One
voice called out, 'And how about Jameson?' Mr. Phillips answered, 'I
am instructed by the Reform Committee to state to you, as I did to the
Government, that we intend to stand by Jameson. Gentlemen, I now call
upon you to give three cheers for Dr. Jameson.' There was prolonged
and enthusiastic cheering.

The Reform Committee has sent out J.J. Lace to escort a messenger from
the British Agent, who carries the Proclamation, and also to explain
the situation to Dr. Jameson.

It is said that Lieutenant Eloff was captured by Jameson some miles
beyond Krugersdorp. Eloff declaring he had official orders to obstruct
his advance, Jameson expressed his determination to go on, but added
that he had no hostile intentions against the Government.

JANUARY 2.--Betty and I sat up all night. The excitement is too
intense to admit of hunger or fatigue. We know nothing beyond the
rumours of the street. Jameson is said to be at Langlaagte, fighting
his way into town, the Boers in hot pursuit.

Mademoiselle has asked leave to go to the Convent to make her will.

In the streets, private carriages, army wagons, Cape carts and
ambulances graze wheels. Every hour or two a fresh edition of the
'Star' is published; public excitement climbing these bulletins, like
steps on a stair. We sit a half-dozen women in the parlour at Heath's
Hotel. Two sisters weep silently in a corner. Their father is manager
of the 'George and May'; a battle has been fought there a couple of
hours ago. No later news has come to them. A physician, with a huge
red-cross badge around his arm, puts his head in at the door, and
tells his wife that he is going out with an ambulance to bring in the
wounded. At this we are whiter than before, if it were possible.

Poor Mademoiselle returned an hour ago and was obliged to go to bed,
done up with the nervous tension.

Jacky is loose on the community; in spite of energetic endeavours
(accompanied by the laying-on of hands in my case) his Aunt Betty and
I cannot restrain his activity. He is intimate with the frequenters of
the hotel bar, and on speaking terms with half the town. The day seems

Things have gone so far, men want the issue settled, and perhaps the
irresponsible are eager for a little blood-letting; there are certain
primitive instincts which are latent in us all, and the thought of war
is stimulating.

Mr. Lace returned this afternoon and reported that he had ridden
through the lines to Jameson. He had had very little speech with the
doctor, as the time was short, and the messenger bearing the
proclamation of the High Commissioner was also present. Jameson asked
where the troops were. Lace told him that he could not rely on any
assistance from the Uitlanders, as they were unprepared, and an
armistice had been declared between the Boer Government and the people
of Johannesburg.

LATER.--News is brought of a battle fought at Doornkop this forenoon,
and _Jameson has surrendered_. Johannesburg has gone mad.

MIDNIGHT.--My husband has just come in, his face as white and drawn as
a death mask.

We talked earnestly, and then I insisted upon his going to bed, and
for the first time in three days he drew off his clothes and lay down
to rest. The exhausted man now sleeps heavily; I sit beside him
writing by the spluttering candle. Now, while it is fresh in my mind,
I am trying to put down all that I have just heard from my husband.

He told me the Reform Committee were greatly surprised when they
received the report of Mr. Lace, as Jameson had no right to expect
aid and succour from Johannesburg for the following reasons:--

_First_.--In answer to a telegram from Jameson, expressing
restlessness at the delay, my husband wired him on December 27 a
vigorous protest against his coming.

_Second_.--Strong and emphatic messages were taken by Major Heaney,
one of Jameson's own officers, to the same effect, also by Mr. Holden.
Major Heaney went by special train from Kimberley, and Mr. Holden on
horseback across country.

These messages informed Dr. Jameson that the time had not arrived for
his coming; that the people of Johannesburg were without arms, and
that his coming would defeat the aim and purposes of the whole
movement; and, further, that he could not expect any aid or
co-operation from the people of Johannesburg.

Notwithstanding all this, Jameson left Pitsani Sunday night, and the
first intimation which Johannesburg had of his advance was through
telegrams received Monday afternoon.

The Reform Committee, thus informed of Jameson's coming, and knowing
that he was fully aware of their unarmed condition, believed that he
relied only on his own forces to reach Johannesburg; and the Committee
were assured by Major Heaney and Captain White (two of Jameson's
officers, the latter having two brothers with the invading force) that
no Boer force could stop him in his march; and this was confirmed by
one of Jameson's troopers, who came from him this morning of the
surrender, and reported that he was getting along well; that, although
his horses were tired, he would reach Johannesburg within a few hours,
and that he needed no assistance.

The hope of the Committee was that, after receiving the proclamation
of the High Commissioner, Jameson would retrace his steps instead of
pushing on.

Monday, when we first heard of his starting, there were only 1,000
guns, and very little ammunition in the country, and these were
hidden away at the different mines. One thousand five hundred more
guns arrived next day. So desperate was the extremity, these guns were
smuggled in at great risk of being discovered by the Boer Custom House
officials, under a thin covering of coke on ordinary coal cars. But
for the bold courage of several men, who rushed the coke through, they
would have fallen into the hands of the Boers. The leaders had taken
as few men as was possible into their confidence, so as to reduce to a
minimum all liability of their plans being discovered by the
Government. They had made almost no organisation, and Jameson's sudden
oncoming placed them in a terrible position. To confess at this
juncture that the Reform Committee was short of guns would have
demoralised the people, and placed Johannesburg entirely at the mercy
of the Boers. These leaders played a losing game with splendid
courage. Realising that all would be lost if the true situation were
suspected, and feeling the fearful responsibility of their position,
they kept their counsel, and turned bold faces to the world,
continuing to treat with Government with the independence of
well-armed men, and men ready to fight.

When the news of Jameson's surrender was confirmed this evening, the
surging crowd around the 'Gold Fields' became an excited and dangerous
mob. Pressing thickly together, in their frenzy, they began to mutter
threats against the Reform Committee, and demanded, 'Where is Jameson?
We thought you promised to stand by Jameson! Why didn't you give us
guns and let us go out to help Jameson?'

Plans were made to blow up the 'Gold Fields' where the Reformers sat
in session. Several gentlemen of the Committee essayed to speak from
the windows, but were received with howls and curses from the stormy
tumult below. At last Mr. Samuel Jameson, brother to Dr. Jameson, made
himself heard:--

'I beg you, for my brother's sake, to maintain a spirit of calm
restraint. We have done everything in our power for him, and used our
very best judgment. In face of the complicated circumstances, no other
course could have been taken.'

It was as oil on the troubled waters.



The Reform Committee issued the following notice at noon:--

'_Resolved_: That in view of the declaration by the
Transvaal Government to Her Majesty's Agent that the
mediation of the High Commissioner has been accepted, and
that no hostile action will be taken against Johannesburg
pending the results of these negotiations, the Committee
emphatically direct that under no circumstances must any
hostile action be taken by the supporters of the Reform
Committee, and that in the event of aggressive action being
taken against them, a flag of truce be shown, and the
position explained.

'In order to avoid any possibility of collision, definite
orders have been given. The matter is now left with the
mediation of the High Commissioner, and any breach of the
peace in the meanwhile would be an act of bad faith.

'By order of the Committee.'

Deep and universal depression follows upon the great excitement.
Jameson and his men are prisoners of war in Pretoria. Armed Boer
troops encircle the town.

One man said to me to-day: 'If we do get the franchise after losing
only thirty men, how much we will have gained and at how cheap a

It was a man's view; birth and death could never mean so little to a

JANUARY 4.--The High Commissioner has arrived at Pretoria.

They say poor Dr. Jameson is greatly dejected, and never speaks to a

JANUARY 5.--This beautiful Sunday, quiet and serene, dawns upon us
free of the sounds of the past week. No cries of newspaper boys nor
hurry of wheels. A couple of bands of recruits drilled for a while
sedately on Government Square, and then marched away. It is wonderful
to an American woman, who still retains a vivid recollection of
Presidential Elections, to see two warring factions at the most
critical point of dispute mutually agree to put down arms and wait
over the Sabbath, and more wonderful yet seems the self-restraint of
going without the daily paper. The George Washington Corps attended a
special service. The hymns were warlike and the sermon strong and
anything but pacific.

JANUARY 6.--The Government issues an ultimatum: Johannesburg must lay
down its arms.

The letter of invitation signed by Messrs. Charles Leonard, Francis
Rhodes, Lionel Phillips, John Hays Hammond and George Farrar, inviting
Dr. Jameson to come to the succour of Johannesburg under certain
contingencies, was printed in this morning's paper. It was picked up
on the battlefield, in a leathern pouch, supposed to be Dr. Jameson's
saddle-bag. _Why in the name of all that is discreet and honourable
didn't he eat it!_

Two messengers from the High Commissioner, Sir Jacobus de Wet, the
British Agent, and Sir Sydney Shippard, were received by the Reform
Committee this morning. De Wet told them that Johannesburg must lay
down its arms to save Jameson and his officers' lives; that unless
they complied with this appeal, which he made on behalf of the High
Commissioner, who was in Pretoria ready to open negotiations,
Johannesburg would be responsible for the sacrifice of Jameson and his
fellow prisoners. It would be impossible for the Government to conduct
negotiations with the High Commissioner for redress of grievances
until arms were laid down. He urged them to comply with this appeal to
prevent bloodshed, and promised that they could depend upon the
protection of the High Commissioner, and that not 'a hair of their
heads would be touched.' After much discussion, the Committee agreed
to lay down their arms.

Betty and Mrs. Clement were busy all the morning giving out books and
flowers which had been generously sent by various ladies and
commercial firms for distribution among the women and children at the
Wanderers' and Tattersall's. Betty says the women were most grateful.
They are busy, hard-working women, and the enforced leisure is very
trying to them. She spoke with the manager of Tattersall's; he thanked
her for her gifts, remarking, with some weariness in his tone: 'You
don't know, Miss, how hard it is to keep the women amused and
contented--and several of them have been confined!' as if that, too,
were a proof of insubordination.

My husband tells me that the Committee is to hold a meeting at
midnight, and another at six to-morrow morning. He says that Lionel
Phillips nearly fainted from exhaustion to-day. Mr. Phillips is
consistent and brave, and George Farrar, too, is proving himself a
hero. Dear old Colonel, with the kind thoughtfulness so characteristic
of him, never fails to ask how we are bearing the trial.

JANUARY 7.--Sir Jacobus de Wet and Sir Sydney Shippard addressed the
populace from the Band Club balcony, exhorting them to accept the

LATER.--I have had such a reassuring conversation with Sir Sydney
Shippard this evening. He is a most intelligent man, and speaks with
such fluent decisiveness that all he says carries conviction. I am
told that Sir Jacobus's speech was a rambling, poor affair and weak;
the crowd showed a restlessness that at one time threatened to become
dangerous. He was fortunately pulled down by his coat-tails before the
crowd lost self-control.

Sir Sydney's speech, on the contrary, was strong and full of feeling.
He told the people that he sympathised deeply with them in their
struggle for what he believed to be their just rights, but that being
an English Government official he could take no part. He reminded them
that Jameson was lying in prison, his life and the lives of his
followers in great jeopardy. The Government had made one condition for
his safety: the giving up of their arms. 'Deliver them up to your High
Commissioner, and not only Jameson and his men will be safe, but also
the welfare of those concerned in this movement--I mean the leaders.'
He continued: 'I, whose heart and soul are with you, say again that
you should follow the advice of the High Commissioner, and I beg you
to go home and to your ordinary avocations; deliver up your arms to
your High Commissioner, and if you do that you will have no occasion
to repent it.'

JANUARY 8.--Arms are being delivered up. About 1,800 guns already
handed in. The Government assert that we are not keeping our agreement
and are holding back the bulk of the guns. My husband tells me that
these are being given up as fast as possible, but that there are not
over 2,700 among the entire Uitlander population. The Reform Committee
has assured the High Commissioner that they are keeping good faith,
but that they never had more than about 2,700. The disarmament is
universally considered the first step to an amicable settlement. The
Reform Committee has sent out orders and the guns are coming quietly
in. Everybody feels a certain relief now that the strain is eased; the
members of the Committee are dropping down into all sorts of odd
places to make up for the lost sleep of the past week. Dozens are
stretched on the floor of the club rooms. Some steady-going gentlemen
of abstemious habit are unprejudiced enough to allow themselves to be
found under the tables wrapped in slumber as profound as that of

In contrast to my feelings of yesterday I am almost joyous. But for
poor impetuous Jameson and the newly dead and wounded of Doornkop, I
could laugh again.

The women are going back to the mines. Many brave little men who have
remained in the shade to comfort their wives now step boldly to the
front and tell us what they would have done if it had really come to a
question of fighting. There is so much talk of _moral courage_ from
these heroes, I fear it is the only kind of courage which they
possess. One gentleman, not conspicuous for his bravery during the
preceding days, gravely said to me: 'If there had been war, I wonder
if I should have had the moral courage to keep out of the fight?' I
looked into his face, and, seeing there his character, answered with
dryness, 'Oh! I suspect you would.' He was too complaisant to
appreciate the sarcasm. God made little as well as great things! I
suppose we should love all humanity, even if it be in the spirit of a
collector of curios.

The protracted excitement has caused several deaths from heart
failure, and I heard of two cases of acute mania. There would
doubtless have been a far greater mortality but for the fact that
Johannesburg is populated by young and, for the most part, vigorous
men and women.

I hear that Dr. Jameson answered, when asked after his first night in
the Pretoria jail if there was anything he would like to have,
'Nothing, thank you, but flea powder.'

I sat on the verandah with Sir Sydney Shippard and Betty this evening
and watched the 'Zarps'[4] take control of the town.

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