“A Selected Class of Natives”

Fiona Vernal

in The Farmerfield Mission

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199843404
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950546 | DOI:
“A Selected Class of Natives”

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Chapter 4 explores the extent to which Farmerfield was imagined as, and became an economic enterprise where Africans engaged in peasant farming while providing labor to local white settler. In the early decades of the settlement, Farmerfield provided one example of the rise of a successful African peasantry that negotiated the limits of arable farming by engaging in a three part strategy of seasonal labor for whites, arable farming and pastoralism and self-employment in various trades. Farmerfield’s peasants rose in the 1840s, long before the process was duplicated on a wider scale in the Cape Colony, and declined just when other peasants began experiencing prosperity elsewhere in the Colony. An economic mosaic of the African residents demonstrate how their activities departed from or converged with the missionary vision of the mission, and to explore the viability of the missionary model of a laboring agricultural peasantry.

Keywords: Natives; peasant; agriculture; farming

Chapter.  15400 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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