Company Journal van Riebeeck 1651 to 1655

M, #17271, b. 26 July 1649
Jan van Riebeeck

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Last Edited25/07/2019
NotesBetween 26 July 1649 and May 1662 Jan van Riebeeck wrote letters and the Company journal about the Cape. However to avoid clogging up his page, while still allowing me to link to the individuals named in the letters and journal, I created pages specifically for this purpose. This is the first volume, which is Company Journal van Riebeeck 1651 to 1655.
Company JournalOn 7 April 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Herry is apparently recorded for the first time by the 1652 settlers when he is described as the English-speaking Ottento or Hottentoo. He handed a packet of letters left with him by commander Jan van Teylingen of the return fleet to the skipper, David Coninck. Van Teylingen had also left some horses with Autshumao. He is subsequently referred to again as the Ottento who speaks a little English.1
On 21 October 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Departure of the yacht and the Saldanhars, the latter with about ½ lb. tobacco, - promised to return in 2 or 3 days' time with more cattle and tusks - urged them to do so by the kindest possible treatment. Another Saldanhar appears, stating that many were approaching with wives, children, and much cattle - got some tobacco for the news. Herry in the meanwhile, priding himself on having originated the incipient trade, proceeds to the Saldanhars, no good expected from it, as he proposes to have as brokerage a copper plate of 1 lb. for every animal bartered - will humour him to find him out. Hope he will do his best - can hardly believe that the Saldanhars will listen to him, as they have been so kindly treated, and will prefer to deal without him. Not knowing anything for certain, prudence is necessary - guards doubled - all who can handle a spade set to work to make the walls higher, and bring for a fortnight longer 20 additional loads of earth for the purpose, above the 130 required daily. Men paid in tobacco - bartered cattle slaughtered and everyone given a glass of wine - work pleasantly begun - two carpenters busy with repairing the wheelbarrows - commenced the kraal by digging a trench round it to contain the cattle at night, and -sent for some manure found 1½ miles away for the gardens, mostly for the turnips.2
On 23 October 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Herry and some of the Ottentoos living here return from inland and present us with two eland heads with fine horns - killed by the Saldanhars, who had eaten the meat.2
On 13 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Mists seem to prognosticate fine weather. Herry dining at our table to gain his good will - by signs and in broken English told us that 3 kinds of people of the same customs and manners of life yearly arrived in Table Bay, viz., the beach-rangers, not numbering above 40 or 50, and called in their broken English Watermen, because living on mussels and roots - not always having cattle. The second were those of Saldauha or Saldanjamen, who yearly came hither with countless cows and sheep. The third were Fishermen, who after the departure of the Saldanhars also came with cattle but no sheep, catching fish from the rocks with lines - about 500 in number. Continual war between Fishermen on one side and Water and Saldanha men on the other, endeavouring to do as much mischief to each other as possible. Herry suggests that the lasting friendship of Watermen and Saldanhars would be secured by treacherously seizing and killing the Fishermen. Did not communicate our intentions, stating that we would judge for ourselves when that people arrived - in the meanwhile drawing him out with the semblance of being impressed with his proposals. Fishermen stated to be hiding before the Saldanhars; lighting no fires because afraid of being attacked; living beyond the mountains eastward of the Cape towards the Baya de Sambras. The Saldanhers dwelling towards the west and north in the direction of Saldanha and St. Helena Bays, where the yacht is for trading purposes. The Watermen live in this Table Valley and behind the Lion and Table Mountains. Herry remains with us with wife and children to serve as interpreter - his people subsisting behind said mountains on mussels and roots, the latter tasted like skirret and resembling the Japanese nisi but not tasting at all like it; otherwise we would collect a quantity for Batavia, where the nisi is in great demand and fetches good prices.3
On 21 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Wind less. Sent men for manure, who returned with a Saldanha Captain and reported that they had observed a large number of cows, sheep, &e., at the Fresh River and been kindly treated by the Saldanhars in their huts - receiving cows' milk in abundance. The Saldanha Chief, who had been in the fort yesterday, sent us a fine sheep for the tobacco and food he received yesterday - to day he and wife with Herry were treated in like manner - the wife receiving beads and copper wire for the sheep - wish to make them by our good treatment well disposed towards us. They brought their own food, and milk in large leathern bags, which they took by means of a small brush or swab made of a kind of hemp and curious to behold.4
On 22 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Arrival of some Saldanhars with three sheep - bartered two, each for as much thin copper wire as the sheep was long, and weighing about ½lb., adding ½lb., tobacco - the value of the lot for each sheep eight stivers - would not buy the third as they charged for it double price because it was somewhat larger - should not be taught bad habits. Helm and Verburgh, provided with tobacco and some pipes, and holding in their hands each a piece of thick copper wire to do duty for a walking cane, they visit the Saldanha Captain without showing any inclination to barter, but only to find out to what extent their desire for copper went. Found them 1½ mile from this, and were most civilly welcomed - were taken about to look at his 15 houses, his cattle and sheep (about 15 or 1,600 in number), after that they were invited into his house, nicely made of mats and of fair dimensions, and treated with milk - the two spending their tobacco freely. Had taken with them a cup from which to drink the milk, from which the Chief and his wives also desired to drink, which they considered a great honour. Took a great fancy to the wire, for one of which, weighing ¾lb., they offered a fat calf, and for three pieces of the same kind a cow. The two pretended that they did not wish to barter, but told the Captain that the Dutch Commander had a great deal of copper and they might treat with him. Promised to visit the fort with cattle - the Captain feared and honoured by his men - comported himself admirably - altogether there were about 250. The children drank from the udders of the sheep, being placed by the mothers between the legs of the animal - an interesting sight. The huts were situated in a circle in which the cattle were kept - intended to remain on that spot until all the grass was consumed, when they would move to the fort to pasture their flocks there as long as they could find enough to eat. They showed the two many fires inland of people approaching the fort with their herds, who would also be inclined to trade. Saw at night across the bay and on the mountains many fires - Herry told us they were of the Saldanhars, who had so much cattle that we would soon run out of copper - which God grant - Amen. To-day got the Skipper at last so far that he has sounded the bay, found that it was altogether without danger, as will be seen from the drawing - and declared that no ship on entering could be lost except by carelessness or stupidity.5
On 24 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Van der Helm, Verburgh and 16 armed men sent to the Saldanhars with pipes and tobacco to treat them and so coax them to come to the fort to trade, as up to date only 11 or 12 cattle and sheep had been obtained - necessary to provide more for the sick, as the natives have abundance of cattle. Well received by the Captain and regaled on milk - the jars very dirty, the offer consequently politely declined - presented them with pipes and tobacco to return their courtesy and coax them towards the fort. Gave us to understand that they had not that intention but were going to the large wood about 7 miles from this, discovered by the two bookkeepers - did not show any desire for copper - disinclined to trade. Did not know what to make of it afraid that Herry, formerly an enemy of the Saldanhars, but now very intimate with them, is brewing mischief, which, if discovered, will secure him quarters with wife, children and all the Watermen on Robben Island, to enable us to trade successfully with the Saldanhars and win their favour.6
On 26 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Bartered an old and young sheep from some Saldanhars for wire, and a lamb for some tobacco. Whilst trading we saw them communicating with Herry, who seemed to urge them to ask more copper, thus greatly hindering us, as we offered pretty much for the sheep, having before this bartered the animals for tobacco according to the length of such sheep - reserving the copper for cattle. Mate of yacht and Corporal had been here before, and traded with the Saldanhars, with whom Herry had never been seen, and who were consequently very manageable. Evident that Herry instead of good, is doing us harm, and observing his barefaced treachery, we communicated to them our displeasure, and told them that Herry was the cause of our not doing any business, and that they should behave differently if we were to continue our kindness to him, &c. Tried Herry by proposing that he should join our people going to the Saldanhars, believing that he would be afraid to do so. Did not refuse, as we believe that he knew that they had left, though a few days ago he did not dare to do so. Saw in the meanwhile some fires on the side of the mountain, and went further inland - met no one. Herry did not dare to go with them, but returned and waited at the Salt River. Evident that to curry favour with them he has been trying to urge them to increase the price of their cattle - preventing trade, and no doubt doing more mischief. The yacht to proceed to Saldanha Bay for more skins, in order to have a supply for the return fleet.7
On 27 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Officers of yacht receive instructions to sail. Saldanhars arrive with 27 sheep - traded 19 for wire and tobacco, each costing about six or seven stivers. Barter went on smoothly until Herry came, showing that he is in our way and that some course must be pursued with him.8
On 28 November 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Arrival of Saldanhars. Instigated by Herry we could not trade with them - managed finally to secure nine sheep as cheaply as yesterday - made them understand that we keep the plates for cattle and the wire for sheep.8
On 2 December 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Yacht leaves. Saldanhars arrive in the afternoon with 6 or 7 cows and a troop of fine sheep, of which we bought 24 sheep for 6 or 8 stivers value in wire and tobacco, and 4 head of cattle for the value of 3½ gulden in copper plates, tobacco and pipes. Commence to trade now in reality, though they part with their cattle with reluctance. In the evening saw many fires - told by Herry that there were thousands of natives in the neighbourhood - had watch kept vigilantly, though our intercourse is friendly. Bought 12 ducks and 42 other birds for about 1 lb. tobacco - could not rear or tame them, had them prepared for the people - taste good.8
On 16 December 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Saldanhars half a mile from the fort - only bought 1 cow and 1 sheep - taking 3 sheep back with them, though we offered more than before - believe that they are gorged with copper, having no use for it except as an ornament - consequently very little more cattle will be obtained unless other means be resorted to, but this is at present premature. Herry explained that after the departure of the Saldanhars the Fishmen would arrive with cattle only, and if we wished to oblige him and the Saldanhars we should kill the Fishmen and take their cattle, which would be easily done as they were a very weak tribe. Told him all were our friends who cared to trade, as we had come with copper and tobacco to buy cattle but not to injure anybody - wishing to live in friendship with all. This pleased him as regarded himself and the Saldanhars but not as regarded the Fishmen - the ruin of the latter would be too premature; as beforehand it will be necessary to inquire what profit could be secured from them for the Company. A fine ox and lamb died suddenly.9
On 17 December 1652 in the Company Journal (as translated): Bought one sheep though we paid more for it - natives raising their price and continually driving their cattle away after the sale of an animal - what this means is difficult to say, though we treat their chiefs handsomely - could get no more than 1 cow, 1 calf and 11 sheep - not easy to fathom this peculiar people - sowed some cadjangh, cress, cabbage, watermelon, melon and Indian beans, planted also orange and apple pips - those planted before not having come up. At night about 9 or 10 o'clock saw to the East-South-East, southward from the head of the giant, about 80° above the horizon, a strange star with a tail; the tail extending northwards right on the knees of the giant, and the head mostly to the south about 10° away. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater sentenced for theft ran away - apparently afraid of punishment for other thefts.[DR: The comet, later designated C/1652 Y1, was first recorded by Dutch observers at Pernambuco, Brazil on 16 December 1652. It is not stated who first saw the comet at the Cape, but it was recorded by Van Riebeeck in his journal, and it is now widely accepted that he was the one to see it.]9
On 18 December 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Saldanhars in swarms with numerous cattle near the fort, almost rushing into the the gate and with difficulty kept away from the gardens - not inclined to trade - flush of copper and consequently cattle trade must diminish. Herry says that they have enough copper and will henceforth bring only now and then an animal. Natives make armlets and chains of the copper, and if there be no longer a chance to trade what harm would it be if they were deprived of 6 or 8,000 head of cattle the - opportunities are many, as they are weak and timid - 3 or 4 men often come with 1,000 cattle within range of our cannon, who might easily be cut off. And as they are so confiding we continue to treat them kindly to gain their confidence, and still more so to see whether in course of time anything may be done with them in the shape of trade or otherwise for the Company's benefit and likewise should we to-day or to-morrow receive the order, to be able on the strength of their confidence to take their cattle easily and without a blow, as it is miserable to behold so much cattle, which are so necessary for refreshments for the ships, but cannot be obtained by good treatment or barter. Saldanhars return to the Salt and Fresh Rivers beside Table Mountain, about a mile from this. Saw the comet on the same spot.10
On 21 December 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: On this side N.W. and across the bay strong S.E. wind, which often happens. Sowed a good deal of salad seed, beans, and peas - commenced to cut some wheat and barley, which grew beautifully in spite of the strong winds. If the lands had been manured sooner we would have had earlier and better crops even. Our first season for experiments. Wonderful how well the things grow on a wild and otherwise uncultivated and unmanured ground - expect much from manure, for which the cattle are very serviceable, would, therefore, wish for more to have also milch cows besides those required as refreshments for the ships but the native desire for copper has passed away, as appears from the conduct of a chief to-day, though we offer more. They inquire daily for the ships, especially the English vessels, which makes us suppose that Herry has been influencing them to hold out, as he no doubt likes the English more than he does us, having voyaged with them to Bantam, and expecting to have some profit from them. To prevent which we hope time and opportunity will offer us the means. Would like to have prompt orders to forbid him to trade with the natives or otherwise. Only obtained three sheep. Saw the comet this evening towards the North-East like yesterday.11
On 23 December 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Buried the sailor. Saw no Saldanhars near the fort, but our people fishing at Salt River saw them going inland with thousands of cattle and sheep. But Herry tells us that they will return when the after grass shall have appeared, the vegetation round about having been burnt for the purpose. Are only provided with 80 cattle and 284 sheep, from which the population is to be supplied The Dutch food is exhausted, and no fish to be caught, which will diminish the supplies for the ships considerably. Hope for the best and trust in God, as the Saldanhars have enough copper.10
On 24 December 1652 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sent Van der Helm, the provisional sergeant, and six musketeers to the Saldanhar camps about two or three miles from this, to inquire whether or not the natives had left, how strong they were, and whether they would prefer trading at their location to doing so at the fort. Took with them a good wooden box with cut tobacco and pipes to treat the natives. Returned in the afternoon with some Saldanhars driving 1 cow and 5 sheep, which we bought for copper and tobacco. Report that many had left with their flocks; had only seen two locations, the one having seven and the other eight huts, altogether not more than 80 souls, and of the number 40 men able to carry arms, not at all strong, and possessing 7 or 800 cows and 1½ thousand sheep - were frightened when they first saw our men, and drove away their cattle to the mountains - were called back and told we had brought tobacco and copper to trade with, and were anxious to be on a cordial footing with them - gave them a pipeful of tobacco and finally persuaded them to bring one beast and five sheep to the fort. Seemed to prefer to trade at their quarters - the reason we do not know, as often they came with their cattle near to the fort and found that we desired no more than to trade with them for copper and tobacco. Perhaps prejudiced by Herry, they are afraid of us, and now more so than ever. Herry likes the English more than he does us, being always full of them no doubt he has persuaded the natives to keep their cattle back until the arrival of the English, as he seems to know pretty exactly when their fleet will be here from India. Saldanhars continually asking when, especially the English ships will be here - told them - if Herry truly interprets - that the copper of the ships will be given to us to trade with for cattle to be distributed among the vessels and that we still had sufficient copper and tobacco for the purpose. We doubt whether Herry interprets faithfully, as we often trade better without him - if the English arrive, we will be better able to discover what connection there is between them. Saw at night the comet again - having travelled to the North-North-West of us about 50 degrees above the horizon, its tail, which is now less bright than formerly, pointing to the East-South-East - its signification is known to the Lord.12
On 4 January 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sent the catechist with a corporal and six soldiers with copper, tobacco and pipes to the Saldanhars, to inquire whether they would like to trade at their place, as they no longer come to the fort with any large number of cattle. Bartered seven sheep in the meanwhile. The party returning brought 2 cows, 1 bull, 1 ox, 1 heifer and 1 calf with 11 sheep. Saldanhars more inclined to trade at their camp than at the fort. Will therefore try again on Monday. Also bought four cows, a calf and six sheep - God be praised for the blessing. On the other side of the bay - from the wreck of the Haerlem along the whole coast towards Saldanha Bay - numerous fires, belonging, as Herry states, to natives with much cattle, who may be expected here to trade; if they like copper the cattle barter may again look up. Would like to have more tobacco, which is running out, as without it bartering will be scarcely possible.13
On 9 January 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Men returned with 1 cow, 2 calves and 3 sheep. Report departure of Saldanhars towards the east to the Bay de Sambras, whither they go every year, and thence crossing over the country to the west, as Herry says, proceed to Saldanha Bay, whence they come hither. Obtained the cattle from the Saldanhar Captain stationed about 7 or 8 miles away eastward, nearly on the beach having with him about 80 men and 5 or 600 beautiful head of cattle and 2,000 sheep - the finest they had ever seen. Would not part with any - had to suffer much insult from them and had nearly come to blows. Obeyed orders, however, and did them no harm - bore as much as they could, but had sufficient opportunity to drive off all their cattle, as the corporal, being hard pressed by the natives, fired a small pistol over their heads to get rid of them, when all ran away, leaving their cattle behind. They were called back and told that we would not do them any harm but wished to trade with copper and tobacco - and if they did not like it, they might go whither they wished - parted good friends and gave them some tobacco. Herry stated that Saldanhars will not return before next season, but that there were other natives who night come when seeing the copper of the Saldanhars. For when the latter named Queena, were a good distance off, after having journeyed from one good pasture to another, the Fishmen called Soaqua would arrive with a few cattle. Told us to be careful of them, as they will come nominally to sell cattle but at the same time will endeavour to do us as much harm as possible, stealing what they can, as they subsist by stealing. What they have has been stolen from the Saldanhars, who when they catch them kill them without mercy and throw them to the dogs. Fires seen towards the East. Glad to have obtained so much cattle from theSaldanhars. People well supplied with meat - still on hand 350 sheep and 130 cows, among the latter 25 milch cows, 1 bull and many fine young oxen and heifers for breeding stock and refreshments for the ships. Hope to obtain some from the Fishmen also. The half of our copper supply still left. Tobacco running short - require for the future at least 1,000 lbs. weight, to spend it more liberally, as the natives are mighty fond of it. Two sheep destroyed by wild beasts during the night - the spoor evidently that of a lion. Four carpenters and others in bed with dysentery seemingly in consequence of eating some of the wild figs growing here abundantly and eaten by the natives. It is miserable that the common people are so indifferent about their health and know of no moderation before they are with their noses in their beds.14
On 14 January 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Bought a cow and calf for copper and tobacco, the chief saying that they intended coming to five near us again; treated them well with wine and tobacco to gain their favour, promising to give more copper for their cattle. Herry told us that the Saldanhars made armlets and chains of the copper which they exchange for cattle with tribes more inland, annually returning to the English and Dutch to barter for another supply. Had, however, not been accustomed to sell so much cattle in one year, but if they had exchanged their copper they would return for more. If this be the case it might be profitable in the cold season to salt down some oxen in barrels, as salt is abundant and the pasturage is rich, even for thousands of cattle, within range of the fortress, beyond what is required for gardens and lands. Besides, there is the fine country adjoining Table Mountain, on which the Saldanhars have depastured about 20 cattle and sheep since November on an area of seven or eight miles in Table Valley.15
On 17 January 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Twelve head of cattle missing. The guards confessed that they had taken little care of the kraal, and the six were condemned each to pay 50 gulden to be more alert in the future. Search unsuccessful. Suppose that the Hottentots have been stealing, as twice the gates were found open and the cattle outside. Herry believed that some beach-rangers had done it, and went to find out. Ordered that the guard, consisting of three sailors, together taking turns, should be commanded by two trustworthy cadets, who would at night receive the cattle from the herds, count them, and in the morning return them counted to the same. Likewise every Saturday we shall count them ourselves, the deficit to be taken out of the offender by punishment. Return of the yacht, bringing 1,500 seal skins would have brought more if they had had experienced men and the necessary appliances. Complain of the unwillingness of the men to do this kind of difficult work. Saw no natives excepting a few naked meagre beach-rangers, but fires inland. Had consequently no trade, the principal items being the skins. The blubber, according to report, is hardly worth while to be conveyed to this for melting down. Will make a trial with the eight casks brought. Saldanha Bay full of whales since August none seen here. Whale fishing may therefore be taken into account if the Company intends to boil down train oil. Necessary appliances in the shape of boats, &c., wanting.16
On 3 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Whilst busy dispatching the yacht to Saldanha Bay, Herry comes to inform us that two Saldanhars had arrived with the news that a large ship had arrived in that bay, bartering sheep and killing seals on the islets for food. Half inclined to think that it may be the West Vrieslandt. Sent the galiot with the junior merchant Jacob Reyniersz: with six strong soldiers, besides the crew, to discover what ship it might be, and further decided in Council what was to be done in the best interests of the Company, The galiot was ordered that if it was the West Vrieslandt, to try and get it here in order to restore good order on board, by unshipping some of the ringleaders and manning the vessel with more obedient men, that the ship may be dispatched and safely arrive at Batavia. Last night a person having been locked out and climbed over the wall in sight of the sentry, it was found that both were very stupid, having never before been in service and not knowing what such things meant; consequently decided to give each a few lashes and publish a warning.17
On 19 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). After service we heard that the interpreter Herry had, during service, absconded with house and family. Do not know what it means. Had shown no signs of his intentions before church. Had only said yesterday that he intended visiting the Saldanhars, as he had done last year. At dinner we were told that all the cattle were also gone, and that the [shepherd] ( David Jansz:) who was in charge of them, with the boatman, Hendrick Wilders, had been murdered near the Lion's Rump, whilst the said Wilders was away to fetch their food. The cattle had been driven away, which an hour previously had been seen by the sentry in good pasturage, where they were generally left during dinner time in charge of the boy. Sent a mounted party in search behind the Lion Mountain, and two corporals with 15 or 16 soldiers over the kloof to meet beyond. After prayers at night the sergeant returned stating that the cattle had been driven behind Table Mountain along shore over rocks and stones, and that the corporals and the men were still in persuit, but could not proceed with the horses. Having been informed that the Hottentoos had gone with our cattle (42 in number) to the Hout Bay, we sent four men to the forest to inform the six men there of the theft and take them along with them, in order to circumvent the thieves. At night it commenced to rain and blow heavily, so that the men on the road will have a bad time of it.18
On 20 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Cold, bleak weather. A corporal and five men return via the Kloof, sent by their comrade Jan van Harwarden, who would with 12 men follow the thieves as far as the Hout Bay, but requested to be provided with food, which was sent at once with ten armed men, so that if they meet there will be 33 quite capable of coping with 2 or 300 Hottentoos. Return of Jan van Harwarden at night, with all the men, stating that the thieves had succeeded in driving the cattle beyond the point of Hout Bay towards Cape Falso. Having no provisions they were obliged to return, not having eaten since yesterday afternoon, and being dead tired and weak. Had missed the men sent with the provisions, otherwise they would have proceeded. In short we have lost the pantaloons - being unbreeched - most unexpectedly, and this by means of the Beach-rangers or Watermen, who have always been protected and kindly treated by us, receiving for their clothing all the skins of the cattle, &c. Besides we have been cruelly deceived in our interpreter Herry, whom we had always maintained as the chief of the lot, who had always dined at our table as a friend of the house and been dressed in Dutch clothes; besides also that from every fresh arrival he was provided with bags of bread, rice, wine, &c., by way of remunerating him for his services as interpreter. But this difficulty will be overcome if the Saldanhars are not frightened away by this theft of the beach-rangers from coming to us, thinking that we might revenge ourselves on them. Do not hope so. The milch cows are to be regretted, especially as we had much milk, butter and cheese, as in the Fatherland - all gone at once. Likewise the use of the draught oxen for fetching wood, stones, &c., to say nothing of the manure. With God in the van however, we trust to get other cattle from the Saldanhars, from whom the day before yesterday we obtained eight sheep, and who after being kindly treated left, promising to bring cattle very soon - we having at present only 60 sheep, one cow, one ox, and four young calves. The rest were stolen whilst we were listening to the sermon.19
On 21 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Council decided, notwithstanding the theft, and though the men were very bitter in consequence, that no harm should be done to the natives, even if the thieves, yea Herry himself, were encountered, not only to show that we only wish to be on friendly terms, but also desire to forgive and forget, in order to remove all fear from the Saldanhars and draw them into close intercourse with. us, as the season for trading is now near at hand. Consequently a placcaat was issued that the men should not be carried away by anger to take vengeance on the natives, but to avoid it as much as possible. The men were properly distributed for duty, that in cases of emergency every one should know his station and work. The guards were likewise doubled. Discovered from this theft that these natives are not to be trusted and that prudence is necessary. Died from cold during the night our only ox, one calf and a sheep, having had no shelter. Much cattle dying from want of shelter and by wild animals.20
On 23 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sent a corporal and two men, with hidden arms for defence, to meet two natives seen at a distance and if possible attract them with tobacco and good treatment, so that not only they, but the Saldanhars might be tempted to trade with us again, notwithstanding the murder committed and the theft of the cattle, and to make them feel that we wish to do them no harm, but to remain as friendly as ever, fully convinced that it was only a number of thieves and Beach-rangers who had done the mischief. For the rest they were to act in the best interests of the Company. Corporal returns in the afternoon and reports that he could not find the natives, though they had pretended to collect flowers and herbs. Wagon returns at night with a beam and two corbels. Had met seven natives armed with assegais, but no communication had been held with them. Three musketeers hastily arrive, reporting that five or six Saldanhars had visited them in the forest, and among them a captain from whom last year we had obtained much cattle, and who had once brought back to us a lost ox, and who told them that Herry was squatting with our stolen cattle at the Bay Falso and had requested the Saldanhars to live with them; but aware that he had stolen the cattle, they would have nothing to do with him, but would show us where he was, that we might regain our own with some men and fire-arms. Recognizing the captain, and knowing that his people possessed thousands of cattle and sheep and would think little of such a small number (as was stolen), also being aware that they had no great affection for Herry and his confreres, and would prefer to trade without, rather than with him, and that this captain, leaving his arms behind, had kindly come to tell us where Herry was, offering his services as guide, and for which purpose our men would expect him at the entrance of the forest this night, we decided by special resolution to send this evening, well armed and provisioned for five or six days, the Corporal Jan Jan van Harwarden, a man of good discipline and energy, with 16 of the nimblest soldiers, who had volunteered to sleep in the forest this night, and before daylight to-morrow to start thence with the Saldanhars.21
On 25 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: After the closing of the gate three of our men returned with one cow, reporting that already yesterday they had observed the cattle and the location of Herry, consisting of four huts, near the point of Cape Falso, but as they had look-outs everywhere, they had left before our people had arrived, leaving their huts and some useless household utensils behind. Had followed them the whole day, and were still pursuing them, determined to come up with them. The cow having been left behind because she was tired, the corporal had sent her home with the request that they might have more provisions.22
On 26 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Sent the food, and orders that as the Saldanhars were afraid of joining us in the pursuit of Herry, not to follow the cattle further, and not having been successful, to return to the fort and give up the pursuit, as it would be impossible to provide them continually with food. Arrival of another cow from behind Lion Mountain of its own accord.22
On 27 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Jan van Harwarden returns and reports that he had missed the five men sent yesterday with food. Had followed Herry persistently and for a long time, but could not catch him as he continually crossed the downs of Bay Falso, which were high, and where there was not always water, the men consequently suffering severe thirst and fatigue. Had been so near them once that one of Herry's people was within range. Tried to catch him alive to make a guide of him, but before we could lay hold of him he had made his escape through some swampy ground and bushes. Herry kept to the downs, and avoided the flats and the beach, and also the places which the Saldanhars ordinarily visit, a proof that he is as afraid of them as of us. Will find this out for certain when the Saldanhars arrive, so as to persuade them by some presents to deliver to us Herry, and his people or join us in following them up, &c.
On 28 October 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Return of the provision bearers. Had not met the others. Been on the spoor, but had not been able to come up with Herry or any of his people.23
On 4 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: The men returning with beams brought an old Hottentoo between them whom they had caught. He was at once set at liberty, and being a Saldanhar, we filled his stomach and knapsack with bread and tobacco, and also gave him some wine, so his fears departed, and he remained at the fort of his own accord. Showed him tobacco and copper that he might tell his people that we wished to buy cattle as last year. Told us they were coming, and that Herry had proceeded far inland. Could not understand him well, as he knew not a word of Dutch or English. What we understood from him was by means of Hottentoo words, whose meanings we had learnt.24
On 5 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Again treated the Hottentoo well, to show that we meant the natives no harm in consequence of Herry's theft. They seem to be afraid, and therefore do not come to the fort. Men ordered to treat all without exception kindly, that they might come without reluctance with their goods. Let the Hottentoo go at noon, well provided with bread, tobacco, and arrack. Hope this treatment will draw the others.24
On 8 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: The same threatening destruction to everything. Jacob Reijniers: to marry Elisabet van Opdorp, niece and ward of Jan van Riebeeck, the first notice to be given in church to-morrow. The ceremony to be performed by the bookkeeper Frederick Verburgh, as by Resolution specially taken.24
On 9 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). First publication of the banns (for Jacob Reijniers: and Elisabet van Opdorp.)24
On 16 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Cut the first cauliflower, as fine and delicate as at home. Second banns published (for Jacob Reijniers: and Elisabet van Opdorp.)25
On 17 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: ...Would that fuel were so, which is getting scarce, as not more than one cargo will be obtainable at Hout Bay, but if we obtain more cattle from the Saldanhars we may get sufficient from the forest about one-and-a-half miles away, also timber. The oxen stolen by Herry did good service. Have now to use the two Batavia horses to drag the beams from the forest.26
On 18 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Wet weather, but seasonable for the gardens. Drought and heat have been very injurious to the fine seeds. Turnips and cabbage and carrots much destroyed by worms, of which the gardens are full. Will however, have abundance for the return fleet and all who arrive from home, except cattle and sheep, as we fear that the Saldanhars will be afraid of coming to the fort when informed of Herry's crimes, thinking that we may take vengeance on them. May God make them understand otherwise, that on arrival they may experience the same friendly treatment of last year.27
On 23 November 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Fine, warm, sunshine. The young couple ( Jacob Reijniers: and Elisabet van Opdorp) solemnly married before the Council and the public in the Council Chamber. There being no Minister the ceremony was performed by the Secretary.28
On 7 December 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Two of our men (one with a gun) shooting birds at Salt River had perceived five Saldanhars, who had given them an egg-shell for the Commander, asking for tobacco. Sent them two men with tobacco and pipes, for which they were very grateful. They said that what Herry had done was by no means pleasant to them, and that the Hottentoo called by us Lubbert, the comrade of Herry, had murdered the boy, and that they would have nothing to do with them or any of the watermen, and would visit us tomorrow with cattle and sheep as last year, upon which our people, in the best way they could do, expressed our kind intentions and bartered four or five ostrich egg-shells. Trust that the Lord God will give his blessing on the trade. Amen.29
On 14 December 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday), 15, 16 and 17. Men arrive with palisades on their shoulders from the woods with the news that six Hottentoos had been with them, and that a while after Corporal Willem Muller had proceeded with them to within cannon range of the fort, where they remained, stating that they had two cows beyond the river to sell to us. Accordingly we sent the Domine whom they knew well since last year with tobacco, copper, pipes and bread, and besides Muller another corporal, both secretly armed with pistols, but as soon as the natives saw them approaching they took to their heels to about half-a-mile beyond the view of the fort, where they awaited our people, seeing they had no muskets. Found them to be people of the captain, who seemed last year to be in alliance with Herry. Among them were two who were present when Herry stole the cattle. Often asked our men whether they had fire-arms with them, evidently being very frightened and shaking and trembling as they sat down with them. Could not be persuaded to come to the fort, but would be at the same spot tomorrow with two cows. Gave each a piece of wire, tobacco, pipes and bread, also some for their captain; and as one of them had had a hand in the theft, or at any rate was present when.it was committed, the present to the captain was entrusted to him to show that he was not suspected, and to remove their fears. They parted consequently in friendship, with the agreement to meet tomorrow, sending as a token of regard a full ostrich egg to the Commander. They also wished to make it appear that they abhorred Herry and his evil deeds. God best knows what to make of it, but it is certain that they fear that we will revenge ourselves on them. Must do our best by kind treatment to regain their confidence, which can only be done when again trading with them. The Domine is to go again to-morrow.30
On 20 December 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: Riebeeck and Reijniers escorted by 20 men proceed to the forest to inspect, &c., and see whether it were possible to reach the Saldanhars. About 1½ mile from the fort from the side of the mountain we saw half-a-mile from us various troops of natives, to whom we at once went, leaving the soldiers behind us within musket range, and taking three or four secretly armed with pistols with us, and also the drummer, who was sent in advance to tell them that the captain was there himself. Having given his message, and the natives finding that we had left the armed men behind, awaited about 12 or 13 of them our coming, but as we approached, and the soldiers imperceptibly almost did the same, they sometimes, some of them, got up and ran away as hard as they could through abject fear, and even after returning, repeating it 10 or 12 times, until we left four more behind and the three of us approached. Ten of them then kept their ground, though shaking with fear; the rest stood at a safe distance, seeing how matters would end. When we came up they recognized the Commander, shook hands with him, and, as a strange sign of good feeling and friendship, took him round the neck, the Commander not being backward in his gesticulations for the same purpose. At once the bags were opened, and they were treated well with bread, arrack, wine, tobacco and pipes. Made us understand that they were greatly dissatisfied with Herry's doings, and had given him a good thrashing, &c. Seemed to be favourably disposed, and we at last succeeded in getting them with one cow to the fort, but they stopped more than 50 times on the road, afraid of proceeding, and begging us to bring the copper to them in the fields. We, on the other hand, encouraged them the best way we could, assuring them of good treatment at the fort. At last they ventured, and we, taking them by the hand, and dancing, jumping and singing, entered the fortress with them, where we filled them well with tobacco, arrack and food, besides performing various tricks which pleased them well and caused a new alliance with them, to further which we bought a cow from them for double the amount generally paid.31
On 3 January 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Hottentoos without cattle arrive at the fort, boldly stealing whatever they can lay their hands upon, not hesitating to deprive our people even under the fort, when unarmed, of their property, and coaxing the children aside to rob them of their brass buttons, though they are so well treated. The carriers of the palisades report that daily some 50 armed Hottentoos are loitering about the forest without approaching the fort. Do not know what to make of it. Decided to protect the carriers with 20 musketeers, and the carpenters there with 2 additional soldiers, and besides the 5 soldiers to guard the gardener's house outside the fort, to have 5 musketeers for the gardens, the fowl, duck and geese houses; also to add 2 musketeers to the armed herds in the pastures, in order from our side to avoid all estrangement of the natives, which can only be avoided by taking good care of our own, for if they have stolen anything, they are at once afraid to come near to the fort where they are much wanted, if only to fetch fuel for the cook, which assistance is beginning to be rendered “to the great relief of our people”; likewise also for the re-opening of the cattle trade, which, as yet, hangs fire. Accordingly we intend soon to visit them in person to try and persuade them, but fear that Herry breeds mischief among the Saldanhars, and may treacherously conspire against us, for which we hope to be prepared.32
On 10 January 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Resolved in Council to demand the evidence required of the witnesses in order to be able to proceed with the case in the interest of the Company. Some Hottentoos Strantloopers and their wives at the fort, who had helped Herry to steal the cattle. Showed no signs of recognizing them, but treated them as well as we could, with bread, arrack, tobacco and pipes. Told us that Herry had gone far inland, and had frightened the Saldanhars by saying that if they came with their cattle we would deprive them of it and kill them, but seeing our friendly ways and that, as last year, we had bought 3 or four beasts, their fears had vanished, and they would soon return with all their effects to exchange some cattle for copper. Treated them as well as we could, but the mischief is that the men of the ships can with difficulty be prevented from coming in contact with the natives; yea, some skippers (discreet persons) even dare to say that, not being able to obtain enough cattle to their liking from us, they desire with hundreds of men to proceed inland to shoot cattle, and to take them if the Hottentoos do not wish to part with them, and such talk more, which can be proved by evidence. Commission returns from board ship, and reports that the officers had reluctantly given evidence, but at last had declared and subscribed that they had seen the skipper drunk on the 14th December, and also before, but that he had been unfit for, or neglected his duty, they could not say. Commission convinced that these persons were strongly prejudiced against the skipper and intended to get him under their thumb, acknowledging him as skipper but allowing him no more authority than they liked. Time will produce stronger evidence of this; necessary consequently that though they would not like to render the necessary obedience, the indispensable discipline is to be restored; they also stated that the chief surgeon had been carelessly treating the medicine chest and some patients; consequently had this matter investigated by the surgeon of the fort and the sub-surgeons of the ship, who reported that 2 patients had been carelessly treated, the one with a broken arm and the other with a tumor on the knee. The arm broken since the ships departure from the Vlie and not yet healed, causing great agony; other improprieties of his also came to light, viz: that he had most insolently treated the skipper when asking after the patients as appears from the evidence.33
Between 26 January 1654 and 27 January 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: The woodmen reported that a certain troop of Saldanhars with 11 or 1,200 head of cattle and sheep were about a mile away from the fort, among which mostly all the stolen cattle were, and also those who had a hand in the theft, excepting Herry, whom they had not seen. The Saldanhars calling out to us to come with copper for cattle; not certain whether no treachery planned by Herry is intended; quite convinced that they would think nothing of killing us for the sake of the cattle. Destitute of copper plate, and thick wire so scarce that we could not buy more than 5 or 6 cows, as they will give nothing but sheep for the thin wire of which we have at present not much; our going to them would therefore be of little advantage, as we are obliged to be somewhat liberal with our terms; consequently will keep away from them for the present, and treat all coming to the fort with, or without cattle, very well to remove their fears, and so gain time for the arrival of copper plates, which, if we had a supply, would have enabled us personally to visit them in order to draw them to the fort with their cattle, at present afraid to come in consequence of the theft and the murder, which however we pretend to care little about.34
28 January 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: S. East. No work on the fort possible, so sent the men to the forest for wood for platforms for the guns. Sent, in consequence of their repeated requests 19 armed soldiers and the Catechist Willem Barentsz: to the Saldanhars with some wire to obtain as much cattle and sheep as possible; also some bread, wine, tobacco and pipes to treat them. Set a silversmith at work to discover whether he can extract silver from a certain mineral found Has been so far successful that he has obtained a better species than tin. The Catechist returned in the afternoon with 2 head of the stolen cattle. The Saldanhars not at all willing to trade, very likely, as last year, influenced by Herry, who is allied with the Captain, as we found at the time and now see as clearly as daylight; neither saw Herry nor the Captain, but the latter's father, an old and very stout man who had last year lived with Herry under the fort and now appears to be Chief of the whole gang, and among whose cattle all our stolen beasts were; also all the watermen and one of Herry wives, who is very deaf, and all his children, among them a girl who had lived with us and whom we called Eva. Said old man had come to the fort with a wife, to bring the news that the Catechist had obtained the two beasts, and to get some tobacco which was given him with as much wine and bread as he could consume. Could only gather from him that Herry was far inland, but our opinion is that he and the Captain were hiding in the bushes, afraid of being caught; assured them that such would not take place, though it is as much as can be borne to see our cattle and the thieves, and show them friendship instead of taking vengeance and paying ourselves for the losses and insults suffered, and the shedding of Christian blood, which could easily be done as they have about 12 or 1,300 head of cattle and 5 or 600 sheep which by breeding would provide the ships and the garrison abundantly as they are not more than 50 persons whom we might catch with 14 or 15 men. Of this they were very much afraid, though having 20 armed men among them, continually asking whether we intended to seize them or their cattle; they were told that such were not our intentions. We shewed them copper and tobacco with which we intended to buy, treating them likewise with bread and wine. As they came of their own accord, we decided not to do them any harm this time, though we suffer much annoyance from them as they meet no one that is unprotected without robbing him, and in case of his showing any opposition, they threaten to murder him with the assegai on his breast; cannot bear this much longer, it would pay better to punish this guilty gang, taking their cattle for our support and their persons as slaves in chains to fetch fuel and do other work to relieve our men, who have unceasingly to suffer much from them, and daily beg us to pay them off. Not one Councillor who would object, consequently dare not moot the subject at the Board as we would be outvoted, though that would not trouble us much as we would at once obtain sufficient cattle. The natives are too lazy to trouble themselves with ivory or musk, those which they bring being found on the road. It is the same with musk, what they carry around their necks they take from cats found dead or caught in snares, not keeping them alive, but feeding on the flesh. It is the same with feathers, a saleable quantity will hardly be gathered in 100 years, so that if we revenge ourselves on this troop the others would know the reason and not mind it; would therefore like our masters to weigh this matter, as next season we will have the same opportunity for revenge as now, and in the meantime we will continue to bear the nuisance, and do our best to keep our men away from them. Went before dark to the mountain where the mineral had been found, with picks, crowbars, &c; dug up some stones and found said mineral in large quantities apparently, and took various samples home, shining most extraordinarily, to see what is in them. Feared the South-easter would blow down all the houses during the night.35


On 7 February 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: February 7th. Sent 5 men to the mountain to make a hole in the ground and see about the mineral below the surface. Hottentoos visited the redoubt at night thinking that there was nobody and intending to steal the iron off the gates, &c. Detected by the guard they ran away. All are allies of Herry having with them our stolen cattle and Herry's people. We suffer so much annoyance from them that it is becoming unbearable. Not strange therefore if this lot were disposed of not killing them but taking their cattle and using them as slaves to work on the islands for seal catching, &c., would then be able to get on nicely with the rest who are very simple minded. These however do nothing but steal, and are unwilling to sell a single beast (of which they have many fine ones) excepting the sick, lame or halt. Return of the Galiot with Frederick Verburgh and 6 firkins of oil, also 5,373 skins. Verburghreports that the work could not last longer than 3 weeks as the seals were disappearing fast; the people grumble because of the dirty stinking work, and he had great difficulty in keeping order.36
On 10 February 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: No signs of the Draeck. Natives friends of Herry arrive at the fort, in consequence of the firing by the ship; wish to go on board to fill their stomachs; told them to bring cattle and sheep. Answered that others were coming with oxen, &c., and they did not wish to barter theirs. Told them in a laughing and playful manner, palavering with them, that those who sold us cattle would go on board, but not the others, &c., &c. Would have enough cattle if we only had plate copper. Nothing found in the new mineral (potclay?). Ordered to try the other hard stuff again. Fine rain during the night – the first in 7 weeks – the plantations wonderfully benefitted.37
On 11 February 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Had great trouble in obtaining a cow for some time, in consequence of some watermen and friends of Herry prejudicing the natives' minds. No signs of the Draeck.37
On 6 March 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Heard from the woodmen that Herry's allies were squatting on the mustard grounds about a mile away. Sent the Catechist (Willem Barentsz: Wilant) with copper and tobacco, bread and wine, to see whether they would trade, found they only had about 200 head of cattle and 150 sheep, saying that all their cattle had been robbed by the Fishmen (called by them Soaqua), and pointing to wounds on many of them obtained in the battle. Could therefore not part with any stock. If copper-plate could be had, some cows might have been obtained. Would only give sheep for wire. Could only obtain a calf for about two lbs. wire. These Hottentoos hard at work boiling oil from the dead whale, which they preserved in dry “sea bamboo,” drifting everywhere about the Cape, and washed ashore. They told us they rubbed it on their bodies, and if we gave them bread they soaked it in it.38
On 10 March 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Ships not able to leave. Allies of Herry arrive with a captain whose knee had grown crooked in consequence of a wound; requested to be healed by the surgeon who believed it possible; told to do his best to win the good favour of these people.39
On 7 April 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: The galiot leaves and proceeds with the first boat to Saldanha Bay; the second boat despatched for the penguins. Went in search of natives with cattle. Found behind the mountain, about 1½ miles away, various troops of sheep in a little bay, and about 100 natives, and as some who had been away had seen our approach with armed men, they rushed forward to stay our progress, armed with assegais, bows and arrows. Location consisted of 16 good-sized dwellings, built in a circle, and connected with rushes as a fence, with two openings for the cattle to go in and out, to protect them from wild beasts. Found, as we came nearer, the approaches guarded by 30 strong fellows, quite naked, and well provided with assegais, bows and arrows. Most of them were the thieves of our cattle, of which we recognized 3 quite plainly. Coming nearer we held out our hands, upon which they kissed theirs and held them out also. We thereupon embraced, as if we were the greatest friends in the world, and again spoilt a suit of clothes in consequence of their dirt and the train oil with which they had besmeared themselves, glittering in the sun like a looking glass, the fat dripping from the head over the whole body, apparently their greatest ornament. Within the encampment the embracing was repeated, but they were afraid that we would take their cattle. We told them that we did not look upon them as guilty of the theft, but only on Herry as the thief, offering to buy cattle for copper and tobacco, but not having any with us, told them we would send men for the purpose to-morrow. Do not believe they will trade, only promised through fear. Saw Herry's wives and children among them, and the stolen cattle. Pretended not to be aware of it, and that we only came to strengthen our alliance with them, which was confirmed by two or three glasses of wine all round. They returned the compliment with milk and honey. We spent about 1½ hours with them, and parted mutually well contented. Some accompanied us to the forest where we found many bitter almond trees, apparently fit for food for pigs, like acorns, which they completely resemble in taste. They were much eaten by the natives, who first peal them, then dry them in the sun for a few days, and finally roast them in the fire. Will try them.40
On 12 April 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). During service some strongly built Hottentoos with assegais endeavoured to steal the cattle, thinking to find only 2 or 3 men in charge; when however they saw the others who had been hiding behind a bush, they pretended only to have come to beg some tobacco; every day it becomes more evident that this faithless crew of Herry cannot be trusted; in spite of our kindness they offend and insult us on all occasions; necessary therefore to leave our 12 head of cattle in charge of 5 musketeers under the fort where there is enough for them to eat, and protect the woodmen with 5 soldiers, to prevent unpleasantness so long until they have again about a thousand head of cattle together, and then get them with wives and children and all in our power. There would then be enough by breeding, for the purpose required. As they have at present only 300 head of cattle and as many sheep, it would not be worth our while to show our dissatisfaction, but more expedient to treat them well and so gain their confidence, that on a suitable occasion our revenge may be complete. Might already begin to make up our minds to it if they had cattle enough for breeding, and instead of making slaves of the natives, use them on the islands for flaying seals, &c. the meat of which would be sufficient food for them. It must happen one day, or we will derive no benefit from them. They are commencing to believe that we are afraid of them, no other native dares to come whilst they are here. Would be able to trade fairly with others as was done last year, but if we offer copper or tobacco to these rogues they laugh at us. Boat returns with 4 casks of salted penguins and 4 or 500 living birds for food for the men. Two sheep had died on the island. Galiot and boat at Saldanha bay to salt more birds and fish Herry (an unknown value.)41
On 25 April 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Herry's allies departure their flocks about ½ mile from the fort; would not part with one. Had enough to do to restrain our people, who were desirous of recovering the stolen beasts, forced by hunger and angered by the murder committed on the boy. They were prepared to take just vengeance on that faithless lot instead of suffering any longer the pangs of hunger; but were restrained by promises that the return fleet would send relief; fed them with cabbage, &c., from the gardens, and penguins, to keep them fairly obedient and at work, but not without murmuring on their part. Boat returns from Saldanha Bay with a cask of salted birds, caught on a certain island there, finer and of better flavour than the penguins. Had, in consequence of the wind, been lying 8 days off the land. The galiot, still becalmed, under Robben Island, had 20 casks full, and a thousand spotted birds in the hold, which will be welcome, and help us on for a few months. In the meanwhile will consider whether the galiot shall be sent to Madagascar for rice and arrack, &c.42
Between 18 May 1654 and 20 May 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: The first brick kiln left to cool, and another commenced to be ready before the heavy rains. Woodmen report that Herry's friends are commencing to move inland, without having sold a single animal, but endeavoured to rob and insult us whenever they could – are quite satisfied with their departure. Trust that others may come with whom we may succeed better. Yesterday a Hottentoo woman was, without any assistance, delivered of a child near the fort on the banks of the river, just like any dumb animal, herself cleaning the child and rubbing it well with cow dung; also blackening it; otherwise it was like the mother, as fair as a brown Jewess. Placed it at once in a skin at the breast; father and mother begging from us; and to-day coming into the fort for bread and tobacco and a glass of wine, which we gave them. Left in good spirits for their hut, not in the least protected from the weather.43
On 5 July 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Some of Herry's allies come with the news that some natives from the far inland were approaching with cattle to trade; time will show whether this is not one of their ordinary lies. Not having copper plates we will not be able to get cattle, will only be able to procure sheep for our thin wire; so it does not matter whether they come or not. Looking out anxiously for ships.44
On 10 July 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Some of Herry's allies arrive with 4 meagre head of cattle, could not come to a sale. Wished to go on board to fill their bags and stomachs with bread and wine; but as they had often played us the trick to walk off with their cattle after their return from the ships, we told them that we would treat them well on board if they sold their cattle. Left with their cattle, whether they will return, time will show. Will continually place before their eyes, samples of the copper, tobacco and beads, brought by this vessel, as soon as landed. Some of our people, sent for wood and sorrel, were molested by the Hottentoos and forbidden to gather any; in short they are getting more audacious every day; will soon have to show our teeth, but must wait until they are here with thousands of cattle; in the meanwhile we must strengthen their self-conceit not only to find a better opportunity to revenge the murdered Christian blood, but to repay ourselves for the stolen cattle, &c. The sick (60 in number) landed and placed in a tent within the fortification to be refreshed with vegetables so as to be able to leave again with their ship.45
On 18 July 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Officers of yacht land with despatches from India and Commander of Mauritius; gathered from them the kindly care of all of them in providing us with rice, arrack, &c., for which we had longed so much. Bartered 5 cows from Herry's allies for a higher price than ordinary to draw them on; allowed some to proceed on board, requested the skipper to treat them well with bread, rice, arrack or wine to make them inclined to bring more cattle; sent one animal to the Goutsblom, ½ one to the Haes, and another ½ to the Caap Vogel with greens, &c.46
On 6 August 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: The same; serviceable for our mason work which proceeds rapidly. Ice on the water last night the thickness of a rixdollar. Woodmen report that Herry's allies were on the side of Salt River with their cattle; some brought us a tusk which we bought, told us to come to-morrow with copper and tobacco to them: would like to trade with us.47
On 18 September 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: The Roode Vos being despatched to Saldanha Bay to see whether any natives might be met there, from whom cattle might be obtained. Can get nothing from Herry's allies. Vessel leaves.48
On 31 October 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Obtained two beasts from Herry's allies squatting with their cattle 1½ miles away have heard of no other natives. The beasts were killed for the ships.49
On 1 November 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Galiot leaves for Saldanha Bay. The Minister Marcus Masius, a passenger on board the Bul, celebrates the Holy Sacrament. Two beasts and 3 sheep obtained from Herry's allies.49
On 5 November 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Got an ox from Herry's allies; could hear of no other natives, more inclined to trade, – this lot not inclined to part with their cattle, but squatting near the Salt River with their beautiful herds. Two beasts killed for the ships.49
On 23 November 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Roode Vos returns with fuel. Skipper reported the danger incurred by entering and leaving the Bay; had often been in danger of stranding; would not be advisable to send the vessel again. Hardly another cargo of wood there now. Some new Hottentoos arrive with 3 beasts, accompanied by some of Herry's allies, who influenced them to such an extent that it was difficult to trade with them. Desirable that these rogues were put on one side, when trade with the others would be more successful. Obtained the animals for about 20 lbs. copper-plate and 1½ lb. tobacco, also 4 or 5 pints of arrack and some bread liberally treated, so that altogether joyful they went home.50
Between 27 November 1654 and 28 November 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Obtained two more beasts – Herry's allies present; appear to act as brokers – not profitable to the Company. These rascals are daily among and insult us.50
On 8 December 1654 in the Company Journal, as translated: Found that Herry's allies had moved towards Cabo Falso.51
On 14 January 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Obtained a large ox from some new Saldanhas; had trouble though, as Herry's allies were poisoning their minds. More and more evident that these scamps are the cause of the others not corning to us. What Herry himself tells them is difficult to know; as long as his friends were here, nobody would come, and now these new ones are unwilling to sell any cattle, though having about 15 or 1,600 in all. Our opinion therefore remains that these rogues should be deprived of their cattle, and removed with their families, which they have richly deserved, as they have helped to steal our cattle and murdered the young man, doing every day some mischief to our men.52
On 10 February 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Woodmen report the place full of natives, but with little cattle, who molested them everywhere; require more soldiers to protect them and their tools, &c; did not know how to hide the latter sufficiently from the Hottentoos, who had stated that they intended to come and attack the fortress in great numbers and take the copper there. Had been told that they would receive copper for cattle, and that we wished to trade with them on friendly terms; had answered that we were sitting on their lands, and building on very fast, never more to leave; would, therefore, not sell us any more cattle, as we took the best pasture for our cattle, &c; this the bushrangers had often told us in broken English. Will henceforth have to take more care, as the theft of the cattle was the result of too great confidence on our part. Are getting so bold that we must hold the tools in one hand and arms in the other, or at least have soldiers everywhere to avoid their molestations. Last night some 50 of them wished to build their huts near the side of the canal of the fortress, and being told to do so a little further off, stoutly declared that it was their land, and would build where they liked, and if we would not allow it, they would come in numbers and kill us, showing that they could easily scale the walls and knew how to break the palisades. Evident that the rogues get worse by kind treatment. What Herry does inland to the prejudice of the Company it is difficult to say; it cannot be any good he is doing; will have to take care that we are not suddenly attacked. The fort will not easily be taken, but as all the men have their hands full, and hardly one has been spared to keep a separate watch, a large slaughter may take place among us. Have therefore divided the men into three watches, to watch every third night, fully armed, and nevertheless to do their work during the day; some to remain at the gate and examine all the bushes round about to see whether no Hottentoos are hiding in them, that those at work may not be surprised, of which we are more and more growing afraid. From the fires we gather that there are many natives about, and our people innocently suffer much from them. Do not dare to say too much, as we are still assisted by their fetching fuel, though they must be beseeched to do so, and if the whim seizes them they won’t do it at all, and we have work enough to keep the kettle boiling, as the wood is scarce and far away. The horses very much needed from Batavia.53
Between 12 February 1655 and 13 February 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: The same; very dry. Much produce, especially melons, destroyed; a great pity, as they would have been serviceable to the fleet. There will be enough however, of all greens. Obtained, after much haggling, a cow from Herry's allies; told us they were going, and others coming with much cattle. Woodmen confirmed their departure. Particularly on our guard not to be surprised, not knowing what Herry may have been brewing.54
On 15 February 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Seven volunteers provisioned for three weeks, leave for inland, under command of the cadet Jan Wintervogel, late captain of the Brazilians in Brazil, which land, he explored as far as the South Sea, helping to discover the silver mines of Chiera – a good explorer hence entrusted with the command to see whether any other natives and better minerals than about here might be found. Takes with him for trade 6 lbs. tobacco, 6 lbs. copper, and some beads and knicknacks, &c. Is to persuade the natives to come and trade, as undoubtedly Herry has been frightening them; consequently expedient to have him with us again by friendly means and promise of pardon which may occur, as his friend Lubbert is already hanging about the fortress and being treated kindly.55
On 12 March 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Galiot despatched to Dassen Island with provisions. A Madagascar slave missing; Hottentoos, contrary to their habit, refuse to search for him; suppose that they killed him, as he was often quarrelling and fighting with them. Lubbert, Herry's mate, arrives, treated well; says Herry is far inland. May be he may be tempted to come to the fort, though he is a clever rogue, and so is this Lubbert, the chief of the thieves.55
On 3 April 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Arrival of the Provintie with Starthenius on board – Councillor of India – had left Zealand on the 18th Nov. and touched at Cape Verde; crew fairly well – had only lost 7 men. The Phenix had 10 deaths and the Blommendaal 2. The Coningh David and Maagd van Enckhuysen, which had left on 7th Dec., had no dead, as is usually the case with large ships; excepting scurvy they have hardly any sick, only some scurvy patients – all the 6 ships to be well refreshed as long as they are here. Jan Wintervogel and his men return, having left behind Jan de Vos who had died from eating too many bitter almonds – reported that they had been about miles inland and met a native of very small stature, poorly fed, quite wild, and clothed with skins as the Hottentoos, and almost talking as the latter do. Had also found some 70 or 80 Saldanhars in different troops about 15 miles away, with numerous cattle and sheep, anxious to obtain copper and tobacco but not desirous of coming to the fort because of Herry's friends being there. Had also met some Souquaas called fishermen and enemies of the Watermen and Saldanhars without any cattle, who had approached us fully armed; did not attack us, gave them some tobacco and beads. The large troop of apparently real Saldanhars with many cattle were very friendly, and by no means of a begging disposition, always at once giving something in return for what they received, very much inclined for trade, especially tobacco, but would not come to the fort because of Herry's friends – would come when they were gone – whenever they came to us they laid down their weapons – we treated them well. These Saldanhars could give us no information about Herry, but the Sonquaas laughed at us when we spoke of him, just as his friends here do, saying that he is far inland, though daily we see his wife and children among them.56
On 7 April 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Went a little inland with the Hon. Sterthenius to have a look at the Hottentoo encampments, four in number, having amongst them about 1,200 sheep and 400 head of cattle: all Herry's allies, who would not sell us a single animal, and when we returned from the forest which we had also gone to see, and to inspect the position of certain ground for cultivation, they offered us a sickly lamb, which we refused, telling them to bring other sheep which we would buy for copper, which they were not inclined to do. They were not at all afraid of us though we appeared with 50 or 60 soldiers, which is a good sign, and will be of service when it shall be resolved to seize them and their cattle, a fate which they have richly deserved.57
On 10 April 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Tulp arrives from St. Helena; had left 10th March; had on board 2 horses, one caught in the Church Valley, and the other obtained from the Weesp, also the saddles. Could not catch the other horses with the galiot's men. The United Council of the Muyden, Ter Scheming, Weesp, and Draeck, would not resolve upon giving any assistance. Are very much in want of 6 or 8 horses. Said fleet had left on 6th March had obtained no pigs but much vegetables and fish, excepting the Mayden, which had hardly caught 6 or 7, so that its sudden departure from this has been of no service to it whatever; so they have run fast away from abundance to bad fare, each one trying his best to win the race; despising our abundant vegetables which they thought we would have sent after them, and which we might have done if we had not been led to suppose that we would be merely adding to abundance. Some of them when here pulled up their noses at our fruits, but if they had had them at St. Helena they would have licked their fingers and thumbs. Some ships' minds sometimes seem to be wiser than their Lords and Masters, who on purpose went to the heavy expense of this settlement that the ships might be properly refreshed. The English yacht, The Welcome, had arrived at St. Helena from Surat on the way to England. Bought at a dear rate two beasts from natives far inland; had been influenced by Herry's allies.58
Between 16 April 1655 and 17 April 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Went with about 60 musketeers to the new natives, about 1¼ mile from the fort; came upon 10 huts with a fair number of cattle, but as Herry's friends again obtruded themselves nominally as our brokers, under our protection, we could not get more than 2 lean kine, and very dear. Killed the animals for the ships.59
On 10 May 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: All still in the bay. During the day they leave. Obtained a cow and 2 sheep from new natives at present in large numbers near us. Hard to deal with, influenced as they are by Herry's allies.60
Between 25 May 1655 and 29 May 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: The new natives gone again, having obtained no more than 5 or 6 cows and about 20 sheep from them, believe that they are influenced by Herry and his allies; don't tell them our opinion of them in order to keep on good terms, and make them feel quite secure, so that as soon as the interests of the Company require it, they and their cattle may be seized. Coming near our cattle so often that the two troops get mixed up; done purposely no doubt to be able to steal our beasts, consequently a good watch is kept, and they become aware of our having no intention to take their cattle but to take care of our own. They consequently use our pasturage as well, which will be all the better when they are paid off.61
On 30 May 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Dark, rainy weather. At dusk some of Herry's friends arrived from the Salt River with about 300 cattle, hurriedly passing the fort saying that they had been pursued by some Saldanhars inland who were angry with them, and being afraid they had fled, having been robbed of all their sheep and many cattle. Some had also been taken by their enemies the Soaqua who were also the enemies of the Saldanhars, as Herry had been pretending. Requested to remain under our protection with their cattle between the Downs of the Lion's Rump, for which favour they would gladly fetch firewood for the cooks and be paid with rice, tobacco or arrack. Some of their party were still at the redoubt at Salt River with about as much cattle who would also come if they saw the enemy approaching. Commander visited them in the afternoon and proposed to them to give him their cattle when they might always live unmolested under the protection of the fort and be supported by the garrison. Would not part with their animals, but willing to fetch wood for rice, &c. Told them we would buy the cattle; was answered that they lived from the milk, but that there were others deeper inland from whom enough might be procured. Quite convinced that if we protect them, no other natives will come near us, and that their coming to us is a mere pretext to get on our pasture lands, and keep our cattle down in numbers, therefore no doubt telling others that we do not buy cattle, whilst they are not willing to part with any. Allowed them however to come under our protection, they undertaking to fetch fuel for a remuneration, a great relief to our men. This permission especially granted to have them at hand when it is necessary to seize them.61
On 15 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Got a meagre old ox from Herry's friends, from whom we get no other quality, and that rarely. Must take it, as our supply is running out and we wish to retain their confidence, otherwise the cattle which they bring us would be hardly worth looking at, though they have the finest in the country, about 300 in number, and about 200 sheep grazing between Lion's Bump and the Sand Downs, by our favour.62
On 23 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: [Fair.] Arrived beyond all expectations the interpreter Herry, with 50 armed men, strangers, and a lot of 40 fine cows, of which, through him, we obtained 26, after his request to see the Commander. This having been allowed, and having been well treated, he commenced to apologise for leaving in October, 1653, when all the cattle were stolen, stating that the theft had not been committed by him or with his sanction, but by the Cape men (called by us his allies, and at present living under our protection); that the boy had been murdered by the son of the fat old man now the captain of the gang; had left through fear that he would be hanged, as we might think that he was guilty, and to show his innocence and good feeling he had now returned with these real Saldanhars and their cattle to sell them to us, with the promise that he would obtain for us from them and from others as many animals as we wished; only wished to be forgiven and favourably received. Granted provisionally, and 25 lbs wire, copper plate, tobacco, wine, pipes, a bag of rice, bread, &c., given him to make merry with his comrades. Quite at ease, he told us that he would show us our own cattle among those of the Caepmans, though they had eaten a good many, but if we wished to have service from the Saldanhars we were to destroy the Caepmans (called by us his allies, our cattle thieves, who would never sell us any), for where they were the others dared not come, being such rogues that what they have is stolen, which is self-evident, as they never wished to trade, &c. Proposed to execute the plan to-night, himself and other Saldanhars to remain in the fort as hostages. The Caepmans had no sentries at night their cattle were coupled together 2 and 2, and hence easily obtainable; also the men and their families, who should be sent over sea, so that the Saldanhars would not only be obliged, but would bring as much cattle as we wanted. Afraid in that case that we would sooner run out of copper than they of cattle. As long as these Cape men were here the others would not come, as the former had also spread the report that we intended to kill him and the Saldanhars. To test this, and well knowing our good disposition, he had come with these Saldanhars, assuring us that the others would be well pleased, &c. Assured him of our forgiveness and protection, allowing him as before to eat at the Commander's table, &c. Did not reveal any inclination to adopt his proposal to seize the persons and property of the Cape men, though we saw our cattle among them; had no intention of doing anybody any harm, though they annoyed us daily very much, but were willing to buy what we wanted on friendly terms. He answered that we would not be able to do any business with anybody unless they went, as they were only robbers, and no traders. Urged us to take steps tonight. Did not show him our minds, but gathered that he was not quite wrong, his statements agreeing very much with our suspicions, as we have observed that the rogues were very much annoying those who had come with Herry in order to trade with us, and with great importunity begged tobacco and copper from them plausibly as brokerage, and if we showed signs of dissatisfaction they gave us to understand that they had invited that nation and Herry who would otherwise not have come, though we knew the contrary, as they had for a long time not been away from their camp or past the fort; upon which Herry being alone with us, told us again that as long as these Cape men were about us the natives would not come; nor did he dare to oppose them openly, as they would kill him, so that often he had to dissimulate, as he had done generally before this. And when the Saldanhars objected to this imposition of brokerage they were robbed right and left, which made them dissatisfied and afraid. At night Adriaan van Paver arrived with the canoe from Robben Island; had yesterday seen a ship which had passed on. Two sheep had died on the island, but five lambs were born; total now 98.63
On 24 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: The Prins te Paard arrives greatly in want of water; at once supplied; also refreshments sent on board. Had left Batavia 1st April, Officers come on shore state they had a prosperous voyage, but since 28th May had to struggle with heavy W.N.W. storms, and suffered much discomfort and injury to the ship; had consequently been short of water for three weeks the crew had only five tankards a day, and all the time the cook had not prepared anything. Many had consequently become sick and been attacked with dropsy; hitherto fortunately, only two had died. Trust that the rest will soon recover, as the gardens are well provided, and, with Herry's, assistance, we have obtained some cattle, which will be serviceable now and for other arrivals. Officers had also 10 days ago sighted a ship to the East of the Cape going Eastward, supposed to be English or Portuguese. Herry brought two cows, so that we have in all obtained 28 head of cattle at reasonable prices and without much trouble. The natives left, Herry's remaining with us near the Downs with his wives and children, and about 16 head of cattle, given him by the said natives, and which he liked to keep for himself, and which he begged might be depastured under our care; provisionally allowed, to see how he will conduct himself. Our cattle always guarded by soldiers, as Herry told us that the Capemen would steal them whenever they found an opportunity. Could not understand how we trusted them so much, and could not make up our minds to seize them and their cattle, again maintaining that so long as they were here, the other natives would not come, and thinking that as there was a ship here now they might all be easily coaxed on board and made drunk, whilst the rest could be easily caught, offering himself and family as hostages to prove his sincerity, &c. Consider it too premature; better to wait until the Capemen, attracted by our kind treatment, have come together near us, when it will be worth while as regards the large number of stock which they will then have together, the number at present not being above 4 or 500, whilst if all are together, the number would be about 15 or 16,000, from which a fine supply would be obtained, the ships provided, and the salted meat and pork for this garrison saved. Having seen during his absence that generally one of Herry's wives or children was among the Capemen, from which we gathered that they were his friends, and that they were together guilty of the cattle theft, we asked him whether he was sincere in what he had said, to which he answered “Yes!” What then did it mean that his wife and children had generally lived with the Capemen? Answer, that they had retained them by force that he might not betray them to us, or dare to come to us, or ally himself to us without them, which he would not have done if he had not succeeded in persuading the other natives to come with their cattle as a proof of his sincerity, which was also shown by his advice to us to seize the Capemen, which would be of great service to us. Told him that before his absence we had seen how intimate he was with them, and obliging. Answered that it was so, but more through fear than real attachment, as at that time he hardly knew in what relation he stood to us, and whether we would always stop here or leave, as was the case with the shipwrecked crews of the Mauritius and Haerlem, when he would have been obliged, as the Watermen still do, to hide from the Capemen; but now, seeing that we remained, he might more safely depend upon us than formerly; and to do us a real service he had given us the advice as stated. Asked us whether we had not previously observed that he had never dared to trust himself entirely among the Capemen, except in our company, and even then not without fear, as he knew they would have killed him if it had not been for us. He was aware, especially at present, that we were always asking after him, and had made fair promises to get him back again, all of which he had heard from some Saldanhars who had been here with one or two cows. Had consequently resolved to return and ask forgiveness; but to go to the Capemen he never in his life would have ventured, as they are his mortal enemies, and together they had only been false friends. Must have observed at the time of the theft that he had gone in a different direction from the Capemen; that he had never been among them, only his wife and children for the reasons stated. In short Herry has anew wheedled himself into the favour of the Dutch, especially by bringing the cattle and his promise of obtaining more from the natives. As his first effort was so successful we show him more kindness to encourage him. Says, when the rainy season is past, many natives will come with cattle, but he wished that we should first seize the Capemen and their cattle. It seems that he must have promised the Saldanhars to try and persuade us to this. Our unwillingness does therefore not please him, as according to him, this is the chief aim of the Saldanhars, so that we might regain our stolen cattle also; but this requires further consideration, and in the meanwhile he must be left in suspense to see how things will go.64
On 25 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Herry brought again 2 fine fat cattle and 3 sheep.65
On 26 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Same rainy weather. Herry brings 2 other beasts without trouble and cheaply obtained, so we have at present above 60 head, besides those killed for the Prins te Paard; also abundance of vegetables.65
On 29 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Strange natives arrive and squat near Herry's place; obtained 9 cattle and 2 sheep; would trade again to-morrow; too tired to-night; obtained some tobacco and smoked before sleep.65
On 30 June 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Obtained 26 cows and 4 sheep, for copper, tobacco, and pipes: Herry asking for a little copper for what he had done; received 6 lbs. wire and tobacco by way of brokerage. Has already obtained for us 67 cows and 13 or 14 sheep, and trafficked to our advantage.65
On 14 July 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Found everything in order at the fort; obtained from the Capemen 1 ox, 1 calf and 6 sheep. Herry and 2 Hottentoos having attended the Commander, he requested to be allowed to go and live on Robben Island with his family and cattle thinking that the Capemen might also be inclined to go there with all their friends; this would be a fine thing and much better than conquering them in war. Island big enough to depasture thousands of cattle and sheep. Herry showed us herbs from which the cows would produce much milk; will make the attempt to coax the Capemen or others thither.66
On 8 August 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Fine calm weather. When on the ordinary parade in the afternoon and having only 35 or 36 persons under arms, Herry called us on one side and advised us to get more men from the ships as he would with his family no longer be safe with us, as when the summer sets in many natives would come with cattle, and seeing our small garrison, would try to surprise it. Took notice of it and had more attention paid to the guards, the more so, as beforehand he had warned us in like manner with respect to the theft of the Company’s cattle. If these natives knew how to improve the opportunity, they might easily overwhelm us as by day the men are so scattered and unarmed; so that if more natives come, soldiers must be expressly told off to keep watch. It is necessary that we should be strong enough to defend ourselves, but as long as we have no slaves, the men have to work and watch as best they can. Natives becoming more knowing, and therefore more men are required, say 40 or 50 soldiers for the fort, above those required for labour, for which slaves would otherwise be employed. Horses are also wanted, to carry fuel and timber and to plough, &c., about 6 or 8.67
On 16 August 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Heavy S. Easter. Obtained 2 fine cows from strange Hottentoos: price made by Herry, trade easy. Wish it was always so.68
On 17 August 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sent the smack with the wood to Robben Island. The hunters report that the Capemen were hurriedly leaving, taking their course towards Saldanha Bay. They were followed by 20 others here, who daily fetched fuel for the cooks, but ran away as if they were hunted with fire and sword, throwing down their loads of wood. Only Herry and a few women and children remained. Herry had told them that he was angry with them and they must leave, as they would sell no cattle and only wished to fetch wood and fill their stomachs with rice, &c., which his own people could do very well without their assistance, &c. Whether they have treason on hand or are afraid of the Saldanhars expected here according to Herry, in large numbers in summer, it is difficult say. Have to be careful and send more men with the cattle, now numbering about 100. Herry calling us outside, showed us the road taken by the Capemen, which agrees with the report of the hunters. He again pointed to the mountains eastward, and said that beyond them there were many natives with much cattle, and that he was desirous of going thither in 5 or 6 days' time, requesting some copper to buy cattle for us, leaving his own behind as some security; told him to tell us when he was ready, &c. This flight of the Capemen is most inconvenient for the men, who have to work and keep watch, nobody excepted. Catechist (Bernert Willemsz Wilant), barber (unidentified) and Commander (Jan van Riebeeck) have to go about armed to see whether there is no conspiracy or secret gathering of the natives. All the dwellings in the fort are provided with firearms. The fort not to be easily taken, but the men being so scattered during the day, a great massacre might take place. The woodmen returning in the evening likewise reported the sudden departure of the Capemen.69
On 18 August 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Herry's troop very busy preparing their assegais, arrows, and bows. Boat returns from Robben Island; 3 sheep dead, but 4 born. Brought back the 4 pigs because they destroyed all the penguins and their nests; also did not thrive there; all their young ones dead.70
On 5 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Herry again proposes to proceed inland with some soldiers to obtain cattle; the soldiers to take charge of the copper and tobacco to be carried by his oxen, especially to enable us to become acquainted with the distant natives and get them nearer, as well as some of their chiefs who were big captains or cadets as he said. Would not go without the soldiers, feared no harm for himself; would only accompany our men to teach them how to trade “and to serve as interpreter, to invite the natives and say to them these are Hollanders who have built houses at the Cape, never more to be broken down”: provided with copper, tobacco, beads, &c., to trade with them amicably, &c. Would leave all his people here to carry wood for the cooks for food, tobacco, and arrack; also Claes Das to act as interpreter during his absence. Would leave 3 of his cattle with us, and take the oxen with him to carry the goods; also some cows to provide milk for his family on the way. Proposed that he should leave his wives and children with us; told us their wives are always to accompany them, that no other men may approach them. Nor was it their custom to remain so long away from their wives. Many volunteers for this expedition.71
On 6 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Council decides to despatch 9 volunteers under Corporal Willem Muller with Herry, provided with copper, tobacco, pipes, beads, &c., and also provisions and ammunition; all to be carried by oxen.71
On 7 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Expedition leaves, provided with 250lbs. bread, 80lbs. pork, 3 cheeses, 1 cask arrack and 1 ditto brandy; Herry leaves 3 of his cattle at the fort, also Claes Das and other Hottentoos to fetch fuel. It seems as if Herry is sincerely trying to benefit the Company; time will show.71
On 11 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Men sent to the forest to carry out the beams to the wagon for the houses now being built; the light wooden dwellings brought from home are collapsing fast, the wood having been spoilt before it arrived here. Launched the Robbejacht of 16 or 17 tons, with 1 mast, &c., and provided with a fine cabin for the men, the whole made of Cape wood and intended to sail to the Islands; being made for oars also. Will last a long while as the worms do no mischief here. Will relieve the galiot. Woodmen report that; Herry and his party were still in that neighbourhood, some of his Hottentoos having stolen some of their food; some distrust had likewise arisen, as Herry had requested Corporal Willem Muller to discharge the firearms at night and leave them unloaded the whole night. Had also been in the forest and made particular inquiry into everything, our strength, arms, &c. Decided to land 9 more soldiers to strengthen Herry's party, who were to return if Herry delayed any longer; they were also to see whether he wished to go alone with some copper and rather to return than be delayed, as their food might run out and they be starved on the way. Not to leave their guns unloaded, but to be on their guard. The 9 soldiers leave under Corporal Symon Huybrechtsz.72
On 12 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: The woodmen ask for a larger guard, as they are so scattered and always unarmed; the Hottentoos always trespassing. Soldiers sent to do nothing else than guard the men and things. Huybrechts returned and reported that the party had no scruple to proceed with Herry; were strong enough to look after themselves and require no more men; would like to have more provisions to stay away longer. Provisions sent with orders to Muller to inquire what may be obtained from the other natives, but if Herry delayed on the way and their provisions ran out, they were to return with the copper and let Herry go on alone.72
On 13 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: The expedition leaves early with Herry, and in good spirits. Herry pleased and grateful for the bread; sent two Hottentoos each with a can begging for some arrack and wine, which were sent to him with orders to make haste; would be well rewarded on his return.72
On 22 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Commander (Jan van Riebeeck) revisits the Island and finds it capable of providing for some cows; returns to Table Bay, finds everything as he had left it. Some of Herry's friends return to the fort, stating that the expedition had already proceeded so far that they can no longer see Table Mountain and were determined to go further to get as much cattle as possible. Corporal (Willem Muller), according to the Hottentoos, writing very much.73
On 5 October 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Willem Muller and party return. Victuals had run out, and they had been unable to proceed further; had left the goods and one of the Company's oxen with Herry who had promised to return with a lot of cattle in two or three months' time; believe that he will do some good with the merchandise; would like to have had some asses to carry provisions and copper to be able to remain away longer with oxen it does not prosper well. Corporal (Muller) gives in his journal; had found an unhealthy spot where they had become quite lame and giddy; presumed that minerals might be in the neighbourhood, whence the unhealthiness emanated, for as soon as they had passed the place they became quite well again.74
On 29 November 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Obtained 13 fine cows and 7 sheep. Heard that Herry was approaching with cattle and sheep for the Company, would be here in about 10 days' time with other natives and their cattle, who are coining to trade.75
On 30 November 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Obtained 16 cows and 20 sheep – a some of Herry Hottentoos arrived asking for some tobacco for him, and bringing a knife with a brass handle to show that it came from him as it was known to us. Sent him the tobacco – will be here shortly with much cattle. Having inquired from Herry's people concerning a Madagascar slave a long time missing and called Anthony they told us that wild beasts had devoured him, but we believe that he has been murdered by the Capemen.76
On 3 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Hottentoos depasturing their cattle near the fort; the country as far as the mountain between this and Salt River being so stocked that we calculated the number of cattle at 20,000 – only obtained three cows and 7 sheep in spite of our best endeavours. Having asked our interpreter Claes Das why the natives would not sell cattle, notwithstanding their desire for copper and tobacco, he told us that they did not like to part with any, but that in a few days Herry would return with other people who would supply us abundantly, besides what Herry has obtained; those about here would leave as soon as it was fine weather because Herry was coming with other tribes. Again asked why these people would make way for the others, he said because Herry would come with people courted by us, whom they would not like to hinder but oblige as much as possible. Also asked whether those coming with Herry were the enemies of those here, he said no, but sometimes disputes arose when they took each other's cattle, and killed one another, but soon again made peace. It is evident that serious fights do take place, judging from the scars and wounds covering their naked bodies; it also appears that the Capemen have sometimes little and at other times much cattle which they say have been stolen from them and replaced by others taken from other tribes. The three soldiers return – had seen nothing.77
On 4 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Had a fine day's trade – bought 52 head of cattle and 21 sheep from the natives last arrived – promised to bring some more to-morrow. If they return with as much, our copper plate will run out; trust to get on with the wire also, which they do not like so well. Das told us that the natives intend bringing so much cattle that all our copper would be exhausted, to have a good laugh at the Commander. This it will not take a long time to effect as regards the copper plates. If the good news be true time only can show.77
On 5 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday ). Natives approach the fort with thousands of cattle, had to close our kraal, otherwise a lot would of their own accord have gone into it; obliged to admonish them to keep somewhat away from the fort, which they did, selling us 15 head of cattle and 6 sheep. Herry is said to be very near, having some cattle for us and some for himself.77
On 6 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Landed the skins from the sloop to have it ready for taking the sheep to Robben Island; obtained 27 cows and 8 sheep, and sent the Robbejacht with 68 sheep to the Island. Woodmen report that the Cape troop of Hottentoos were moving away to False Bay, the Capemen remaining at the foot of the mountain where the forest is. Herry will be here with other natives in 2 or 3 days.78
On 8 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sloops returned stating that 20 of the sheep had died, and that the number on the island was 326. Bought again 39 and 27 young and old cattle, also received 13 others bought by Herry, who would have brought more but some natives had stolen 4 bags of copper and all the tobacco; had urged the natives to come to the fort with their cattle, where they could always obtain sufficient copper; did not seem satisfied that all our copper plates had been used up, as he had depended upon them; the wire being not much in demand;, would otherwise without difficulty obtain as much as we want. It is clear that if we had enough copper plate we would obtain 1,000 head of cattle even from those who had squatted here a while, and who daily come even without the help of Herry; but they would rather have plate copper than wire. Regarding the copper stolen from Herry we do not believe half his story, as he no doubt spent it in presents to court favour among the natives (the thirteen head of cattle will cost the Company a good deal) which would be advantageous, the more so as we observe that they are coming on very rapidly with their cattle. Therefore pretend to believe him and treat him kindly, much having been gained by having established a good understanding with these savages. Riebeeek's wife (Maria de la Queillerie) delivered of her second son (Anthony van Riebeeck) at the Cape, and in the afternoon the wife of Frederick Verburg (Meinsje Campen) of her first, a daughter (PN Verburgh) the first girl born here, after they had been married 9 months, less one day. Sloop returns from Robben Island; sheep all right.78
On 9 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Herry having taken with him the 3 cattle left in our charge, proceeds to False Bay, saying that he would soon return with other natives and cattle, but that he wanted more copper; told him it might again be stolen, and that it would be better if he could urge the natives to come to the fort, which he promised to do; time will show with what success: but as this clever fellow goes away so hurriedly and the other natives trade with us, we are firmly persuaded, as the Cape and Saldanha men say, that he has been using the copper for himself and now is rich in cattle and will not inquire after us any more; time will show. If the natives continue bringing cattle, our thick wire will also run out, but for sheep we still have abundance of thin stuff, which, as it is not liked, will never again be required from India.78
On 12 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Arrival of English ship, Jan Anthamis or Jan Baptist of 200 tons, Captain Thomas Poth, and merchant Nathaniel Davidts; on board; 24th April, from London and going to Bantam; had touched at Cape Verde, which it left on the 24th August: had lost in the long voyage of 8 months to this 10 men, and still had about 40 sick on board; requested to have refreshments and water; kindly allowed to take a lot of vegetables on board; also gave them 2 cows and 3 or 4 sheep, and allowed 10 or 12 of their sick into our hospital; were very grateful, and dined with the Commander, who bade them welcome. Sloop returns, having brought sheep to Robben Island; one had died; a large shed required there; do not possess the material. Obtained 6 cows and ditto sheep. Natives tell us that Herry is not inclined to serve as interpreter, but when ships arrive he is ready to fill his bags with bread, rice and wine; his copper had not been stolen, but he had exchanged it for cattle and sheep, so that he also had become a great Captain and asked very little after us, which we will discover more every day, &c. A certain Hottentoo called by us Doman, or Domine because he was such a very simple-minded man, and Claes Das having been asked by us whether this was true, affirmed it, adding that it was he who had stolen the Company's cattle 2 years ago, and that his sons had murdered the Dutch boy, telling us also how the whole was managed. Denied that the Capemen had anything to do with it, showing with evidence in what way Herry had with his gang committed the crime, against the wish of the Cape and Saldanha men. Capemen though unwilling to part with their cattle wished to be friends of the whites, and mediators between us and the Saldanhars in trade; and if we wished to prove what they had said we were to seize Herry, when he again came, when he would soon make a clean breast of it and send for his cattle, of which he has a large number, to regain his liberty. Being asked whether in case we did it, the Saldanha and Capemen would not run away thinking they might share the same fate, they said no, but on the contrary would be much obliged and more inclined to bring us more cattle, as no one feels kindly disposed towards Herry because he is such a big talker, and was continually rendering false reports from one side to the other. We might inquire from the son of the big Captain of the Capemen, and we would soon find out the feelings against Herry. Sent 5 men to the southern point of False Bay, where the men who had gone with Herry had found some mussels; each had to bring a bag full for us to examine.79
On 13 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (full moon). Obtained 20 cows and 69 sheep from the Saldanhars who came with much cattle thinking that our ships had brought us copper plates; many would not hear of wire. Herry was also in the fort pretending that he had urged the natives now here to bring cattle; pretended we believed him. Sloop leaves for Robben Island with 77 sheep; number there now 471. English officers enjoy themselves on shore, dining with the Commander; promised them 6 tons of rice, begged hard for a few more cattle, told them civilly that we trusted to be able to satisfy them, &c.80
On 17 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sloop to take 50 sheep to Robben Island, and then to proceed to Dassen Island with Commander's (Jan van Riebeeck) letter to Woutersen. Obtained only four sheep; natives promise to bring more. Woodmen report that the Hottentoos had already crossed the mountains, and Herry likewise. One of the English merchants lands, and asks to be immediately supplied with some cattle for the crew, as in consequence of their long and painful voyage they would, unless supplied here, run short of provisions. Offered to pay what we asked. Told them civilly that we had given them from the gardens as much as they wanted every day, and also two head of cattle and four sheep, with which they were better supplied as a small crew pro rata than our ships with their large numbers of men. They replied that every day we obtained much cattle, but we answered that between now and March about 40 large ships were expected, which had to be provided for, and if each one only got six beasts, then 240 would be required, a number which we did not yet possess; that such a proportion of fresh provisions was little enough for the large number of men on board the Company's ships; and that we had given them meat in the same proportion in which our own crews received it, but to show our good feeling we would give them another animal and four sheep, with the request not to ask us for more; garden produce we would give them as much as they liked, as we were, thank God, abundantly supplied Made them understand that what we gave them we took from our own ships, &c.81
On 22 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Fine weather for the brick kilns, with which we are busy; as well as for the sick left behind by the ships; would like to get them away as they are quite recovered. Obtained 18 sheep and 21 cows. All the Hottentoos, even our wood-carriers, have left as they said to attack with the Capemen and the black captain's people, some Saldanhars, with whom they had fallen out; said Saldanhars having entrusted to the Capemen and this black captain some of their cattle and sheep to be sold to us, but discovered that double the value had been obtained of what was delivered as the amount, and therefore determined themselves to come to the fort and trade. This the Capemen and the black captain endeavoured to prevent, and if an attack did take place, to rob them of some cattle. To have a finger in the pie our wood-carriers also joined the Capemen, in order to sell to us for copper whatever cattle they might obtain as their share, and which the Capemen also intend doing. It is, therefore, evident that the latter try to keep those from the far interior away from the fort, in order to secure the full profits for themselves, which is not at all a good thing, as it prevents us from finding out what other things may be bought from the natives besides cattle. It would therefore not be strange or contrary to expectation, if intercourse were impeded by these Capemen, when in course of time natives as far away as- Monopotapa or Butna visited us by land, as many allege that they trade with those of Angola, whose gold is said to come from Monopotapa. Yea! those of Coffala and Angola are said to have intercourse; so that we may expect them this way also if the Capemen are not such hindrances. This must be looked into, that the inland natives may be able to come to us in safety. The Capemen are also to be treated kindly, who every day bring heavy charges against Herry and urge us to detain him at the fort with all his cattle, his sons having murdered the Dutch boy, and the cattle having been stolen by them. He had also used our copper and tobacco to procure cattle for himself, telling us that these articles were stolen from him. Matter to be carefully sifted; in the meanwhile show a friendly face. Herry will soon be here with all his cattle, when matters must come to a climax. In the meantime it is not at all the thing that the Capemen should prevent the inland natives from coming to us. Being so injurious to the Company, these Capemen must one day be brought under discipline, and though they say that they had no hand in the theft of the cattle, which, though seen among their herds, they had merely taken from Herry; we still remember that at the time they left very hurriedly with him – no doubt because equally guilty; for all which they deserve to be punished. But beforehand the subject is to be carefully inquired into, though we maintain that no good intercourse with the natives will ever be secured before these Capemen and Herry have been treated differently. In the meanwhile the Company is gaining a firm footing here and a thorough knowledge of the relations between this tribe and others for its future guidance, as we still hope to make the acquaintance of and open a trade with those of Monopotapa and Butna, &c.82
On 22 May 1657 in the Company Journal, as translated: S.S.E. breeze. The Oyemar leaves. Riebeeck visits the corn-lands, of which a large portion had been sown. The wife (Geertruyd van Riebeeck), of the sick comforter, Pieter van der Stael, gives birth to a daughter, PN van Stael.83
On 17 June 1657 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Dirty, rainy and changing weather...Riebeeck's (Jan van Riebeeck) wife (Maria de la Queillerie), confined of a daughter (Maria van Riebeeck.)84
On 8 September 1660 in the Company Journal, as translated: ...As the agriculturists Pieter Visagie and Jan Coenraad Visser, are becoming daily more indifferent to their work and consequently piling up their debt, without displaying any zeal whatever in the rearing of wheat, with which alone they will be able to pay what they owe, it was finally decided to instruct the Company's agricultural superintendent, Cruythoff, daily to urge them on to their work as if they were still in the Company's service, until they shall have cultivated their lands to such an extent as will make them equal in value to their debt, seeing that the Company advances everything to them at a cheap rate, keeps their mouths open, and helps them up from the very bottom. It is therefore but fair that they should make every effort for repayment, without being compelled to do so by the Company.85

Citations

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  2. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.37.
  3. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.38-39.
  4. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.46.
  5. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.46-47.
  6. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.47.
  7. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.47-48.
  8. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.48.
  9. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.52.
  10. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.53.
  11. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.53-54.
  12. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.54-55.
  13. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.57.
  14. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.58-59.
  15. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.59-60.
  16. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.60.
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  18. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.85.
  19. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.85-86.
  20. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.86.
  21. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.86-87.
  22. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.87.
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  27. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.91.
  28. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.92.
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  30. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.93.
  31. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.94-95.
  32. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.171-172.
  33. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.172-173.
  34. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.175.
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  36. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.177-178.
  37. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.178.
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  57. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.219.
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  63. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.225-226.
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  65. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.228.
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  67. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.232-233.
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  73. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.237.
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  75. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.248.
  76. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.248-349.
  77. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.249.
  78. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.250.
  79. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.251.
  80. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.251-252.
  81. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.252.
  82. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.253-254.
  83. [S646] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, JVR Journal II, 1656-1658, H.C.V. Leibrandt; (Cape Town, South Africa: W. A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, Castle Street, 1897), May 22nd. S.S.E. breeze. The Oyemar leaves. Riebeeck visits the corn-lands, of which a large portion had been sown. The wife of the sick comforter, Pieter van Staels, gives birth to a daughter.. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives, JVR Journal II 1656-1658.
  84. [S405] H.B. Thom, editor, Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol II 1656-1658 translated by J. Smuts from the original Dutch, (Cape Town, Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1954), [1657] June 17th (Sunday). Dirty, rainy and changing weather.
    Riebeeck's wife confined of a daughter.. Hereinafter cited as Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol II 1656-1658.
  85. [S406] H.B. Thom, editor, Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol III 1659-1662 translated by J. Smuts from the original Dutch, (Cape Town, Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1954), 9.156. Hereinafter cited as Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol III 1659-1662.
 

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