Trekking through Bechuanaland

Edward M. Spiers

in The Victorian Soldier in Africa

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780719061219
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700556 | DOI:
Trekking through Bechuanaland

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This chapter focuses on the Bechuanaland campaign, demonstrating the degree of British adaptation since the Anglo-Boer War of 1881. The expedition was occasioned by Boer freebooters exploiting the rivalry among Bantu clans along the border from Vryburg to Mafeking and proclaiming the two semi-independent republics of Goshen and Stellaland in Bantu territory. The Gladstone Government regarded these incursions as breaches of the London Convention (1884), and resolved to protect the Bantu chiefs and retain control of the trade route from Cape Colony to Central Africa. Warren was required to evict the Goshenites from Bechuanaland and re-establish order. The first units of regulars and volunteers reached Cape Town on 19 December 1884 and left by train the same day for the Orange River, disembarking near Hope Town. Warren had sufficient mule-carts, wagons and drivers to march towards the Vaal River, where a forward base was established at Barkly West by 13 January 1885.

Keywords: Bechuanaland campaign; London Convention; trade route; wagons; Vaal River; Anglo-Boer War; Boer freebooters

Chapter.  2180 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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