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boekenhout, country house of president paul kruger, museum near rustenburg, western transvaal. pix 1997 Paul Kruger From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the South African politician. For others of the same name, see Paul Kruger (disambiguation). Paul Kruger Kruger, photographed in 1900 3rd President of the South African Republic In office 9 May 1883 – 10 September 1900 Preceded byTriumvirate Succeeded bySchalk Willem Burger (acting) Member of the Triumvirate In office 8 August 1881 – 9 May 1883 Serving with M W Pretorius and Piet Joubert Preceded byT F Burgers (President, 1872–77) Personal details BornStephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger 10 October 1825 Bulhoek, Steynsburg, Cape Colony Died14 July 1904 (aged 78) Clarens, Vaud, Switzerland Resting placeHeroes' Acre, Pretoria, South Africa Spouse(s)Maria (née du Plessis) * (1842–46, her death) * Gezina (née du Plessis) * (1847–1901, her death) Children17 Signature Stephanus Johannes Paulus "Paul" Kruger (/ˈkruːɡər/; Dutch: [ˈkryɣər]; 10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa, and President of the South African Republic (or Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900. Nicknamed Oom Paul ("Uncle Paul"), he came to international prominence as the face of the Boer cause—that of the Transvaal and its neighbour the Orange Free State—against Britain during the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. He has been called a personification of Afrikanerdom, and remains a controversial and divisive figure; admirers venerate him as a tragic folk hero, while critics view him as the obstinate guardian of an unjust cause. Born near the eastern edge of the Cape Colony, Kruger took part in the Great Trek as a child during the late 1830s. He had almost no education apart from the Bible and, through his interpretations of scripture, believed the Earth was flat. A protégé of the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, he witnessed the signing of the Sand River Convention with Britain in 1852 and over the next decade played a prominent role in the forging of the South African Republic, leading its commandos and resolving disputes between the rival Boer leaders and factions. In 1863 he was elected Commandant-General, a post he held for a decade before he resigned soon after the election of President Thomas François Burgers. Kruger was appointed Vice-President in March 1877, shortly before the South African Republic was annexed by Britain as the Transvaal.[1] Over the next three years he headed two deputations to London to try to have this overturned and became the leading figure in the movement to restore the South African Republic's independence, culminating in the Boers' victory in the First Boer War of 1880–81. Kruger served until 1883 as a member of an executive triumvirate, then was elected President. In 1884 he headed a third deputation that brokered the London Convention, under which Britain recognised the South African Republic as a fully independent state. Following the influx of thousands of predominantly British settlers with the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886, "uitlanders" (out-landers) provided almost all of the South African Republic's tax revenues but lacked civic representation; Boer burghers retained control of the government. The uitlander problem and the associated tensions with Britain dominated Kruger's attention for the rest of his presidency, to which he was re-elected in 1888, 1893 and 1898, and led to the Jameson Raid of 1895–96 and ultimately the Second Boer War. Kruger left for Europe as the war turned against the Boers in 1900 and spent the rest of his life in exile, refusing to return home following the British victory. After he died in Switzerland at the age of 78 in 1904, his body was returned to South Africa for a state funeral, and buried in the Heroes' Acre in Pretoria. Contents [hide] * 1Early life1.1Family and childhood1.2Great Trek1.3Burgher1.4Field cornet2Commandant2.1Mediator2.2Forming the "Dopper Church"2.3Civil war; Commandant-General3Diamonds and deputations3.1Under Burgers3.2British annexation; first and second deputations3.3Drive for independence4Triumvirate4.1Transvaal rebellion: the First Boer War4.2Pretoria Convention5President5.1Third deputation; London Convention5.2Gold rush; burghers and uitlanders5.3Early 1890s5.4Rising tensions: raiders and reformers5.5Resurgence5.6Road to war5.7Second Boer War6Exile and death7Appraisal and legacy8Notes and references9 Further reading Early life[edit] Family and childhood[edit] Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger was born on 10 October 1825 at Bulhoek, a farm in the Steynsburg area of the Cape Colony, the third child and second son of Casper Jan Hendrik Kruger, a farmer, and his wife Elsie (Elisa; née Steyn).[2] The family was of Dutch-speaking Afrikaner or Boer background, of German, French Huguenot and Dutch stock.[2][3] His paternal ancestors had been in South Africa since 1713, when Jacob Krüger, from Berlin, arrived in Cape Town as a 17-year-old soldier in the Dutch East India Company's service. Jacob's children dropped the umlaut from the family name, a common practice among South Africans of German origin, and over the following generations Kruger's paternal forebears moved into the interior.[2] His mother's family, the Steyns, had lived in South Africa since 1668 and were relatively affluent and cultured by Cape standards.[2] Kruger's great-great-uncle Hermanus Steyn had been President of the self-declared Republic of Swellendam that revolted against Company rule in 1795.[4] Bulhoek, Kruger's birthplace, was the Steyn family farm and had been Elsie's home since early childhood; her father Douw Gerbrand Steyn had settled there in 1809. The Krugers and Steyns were acquainted and Casper occasionally visited Bulhoek as a young man. He and Elsie married in Cradock in 1820, when he was 18 and she was 14.[n 1] A girl, Sophia, and a boy, Douw Gerbrand, were born before Paul's arrival in 1825.[2] The child's first two names, Stephanus Johannes, were chosen after his paternal grandfather, but rarely used—the provenance of the third name Paulus "was to remain rather a mystery", Johannes Meintjes wrote in his 1974 biography of Kruger, "and yet the boy was always called Paul."[2] Paul Kruger was baptised at Cradock on 19 March 1826,[2] and soon thereafter his parents acquired a farm of their own to the north-west at Vaalbank, near Colesberg, in the remote north-east of the Cape Colony.[6] His mother died when he was eight; Casper soon remarried and had more children with his second wife, Heiletje (née du Plessis).[7] Beyond reading and writing, which he learned from relatives, Kruger's only education was three months under a travelling tutor, Tielman Roos, and Calvinist religious instruction from his father.[7] In adulthood Kruger would claim to have never read any book apart from the Bible.[8] Great Trek[edit] Map showing the routes taken by the Voortrekkers during the Great Trek of the 1830s and 1840s In 1835 Casper Kruger, his father and his brothers Gert and Theuns moved their families east and set up farms near the Caledon River, on the Cape Colony's far north-eastern frontier. The Cape had been under British sovereignty since 1814, when the Netherlands ceded it to Britain with the Convention of London. Boer discontent with aspects of British rule, such as the institution of English as the sole official language and the abolition of slavery in 1834, led to the Great Trek—a mass migration by Dutch-speaking "Voortrekkers" north-east from the Cape to the land over the Orange and Vaal Rivers.[9] While many Boers had been voicing displeasure with the British Cape administration for some time, the Krugers were comparatively content—they had always co-operated with the British and the abolition of slavery was irrelevant to them as they did not own slaves. They had given little thought to the idea of leaving the Cape.[10] A group of emigrants under Hendrik Potgieter passed through the Krugers' Caledon encampments in early 1836. Potgieter envisioned a Boer republic with himself in a prominent role; he sufficiently impressed the Krugers that they joined his party of Voortrekkers.[11] Kruger's father continued to give the children religious education in the Boer fashion during the trek, having them recite or write down biblical passages from memory each day after lunch and dinner. At stops along the journey classrooms were improvised from reeds and grass and the more educated emigrants took turns in teaching.[12] Voortrekkers; a 1909 depiction The Voortrekkers faced competition for the area they were entering from Mzilikazi and his Ndebele (or Matabele) people, a recent offshoot from the Zulu Kingdom to the south-east. On 16 October 1836 the 11-year-old Kruger took part in the Battle of Vegkop, where Potgieter's laager, a circle of wagons chained together, was unsuccessfully attacked by Mzilikazi and around 4,000–6,000 Matabele warriors.[13][14] Kruger and the other small children assisted in tasks such as bullet-casting while the women and larger boys helped the fighting men, of whom there were about 40. Kruger could recall the battle in great detail and give a vivid account well into old age.[14] During 1837 and 1838 Kruger's family was part of the Voortrekker group under Potgieter that trekked further east into Natal. Here they met the American missionary Daniel Lindley, who gave young Paul much spiritual invigoration.[15] The Zulu King Dingane concluded a land treaty with Potgieter, but then promptly reconsidered and massacred first Piet Retief's party of settlers, then others at Weenen.[13] Kruger would recount his family's group coming under attack from Zulus soon after the Retief massacre, describing "children pinioned to their mothers' breasts by spears, or with their brains dashed out on waggon wheels"—but "God heard our prayer", he recalled, and "we followed them and shot them down as they fled, until more of them were dead than those of us they had killed in their attack ... I could shoot moderately well for we lived, so to speak, among the game."[16] These developments impelled the Krugers' return to the highveld, where they took part in Potgieter's campaign that compelled Mzilikazi to move his people north, across the Limpopo River, to what became Matabeleland. Kruger and his father thereupon settled at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains in the Transvaal.[13] Meanwhile, in Natal, Andries Pretorius defeated more than 10,000 of Dingane's Zulus at the Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838, a date subsequently marked by the Boers as Dingaansdag ("Dingane's Day") or the Day of the Vow.[n 2] Burgher[edit] Boer tradition of the time dictated that men were entitled to choose two 6,000-acre (24 km2) farms—one for crops and one for grazing—upon becoming enfranchised burghers at the age of 16. Kruger set up his home at Waterkloof, near Rustenburg in the Magaliesberg area.[13] This concluded, he wasted little time in pursuing the hand of Maria du Plessis, the daughter of a fellow Voortrekker south of the Vaal; she was only 14 years old when they married in Potchefstroom in 1842.[19] The same year Kruger was elected a deputy field cornet—"a singular honour at seventeen", Meintjes comments.[20] This role combined the civilian duties of a local magistrate with a military rank equivalent to that of a junior commissioned officer.[21] Kruger was already an accomplished frontiersman, horseman and guerrilla fighter.[13] In addition to his native Dutch he could speak basic English and several African languages, some fluently.[22] He had shot a lion for the first time while still a boy—in old age he recalled being 14, but Meintjes suggests he may have been as young as 11.[23] During his many hunting excursions he was nearly killed on several occasions.[13] In 1845, while he was hunting rhinoceros along the Steelpoort River, his four-pounder elephant gun exploded in his hands and blew off most of his left thumb.[24] Kruger wrapped the wound in a handkerchief and retreated to camp, where he treated it with turpentine. He refused calls to have the hand amputated by a doctor, and instead cut off the remains of the injured thumb himself with a pocketknife. When gangrenous marks appeared up to his shoulder, he placed the hand in the stomach of a freshly-killed goat, a traditional Boer remedy.[25] He considered this a success—"when it came to the turn of the second goat, my hand was already easier and the danger much less."[26] The wound took over half a year to heal, but he did not wait that long to start hunting again.[25] Andries Pretorius, a great influence on the young Kruger Britain annexed the Voortrekkers' short-lived Natalia Republic in 1843 as the Colony of Natal. Pretorius briefly led Boer resistance to this, but before long most of the Boers in Natal had trekked back north-west to the area around the Orange and Vaal Rivers. In 1845 Kruger was a member of Potgieter's expedition to Delagoa Bay in Mozambique to negotiate a frontier with Portugal; the Lebombo Mountains were settled upon as the border between Boer and Portuguese lands.[27] After Maria and their first child died of fever in January 1846,[28] Kruger married her cousin Gezina du Plessis, from the Colesberg area, in 1847. Their first child, Casper Jan Hendrik, was born on 22 December that year.[29] Concerned by the exodus of so many whites from the Cape and Natal, and taking the view that they remained British subjects, the British Governor Sir Harry Smith in 1848 annexed the area between the Orange and Vaal rivers as the "Orange River Sovereignty". A Boer commando led by Pretorius against this was defeated by Smith at the Battle of Boomplaats. Pretorius also lived in the Magaliesberg mountains and often hosted the young Kruger, who greatly admired the elder man's resolve, sophistication and piety. A warm relationship developed.[30] "Kruger's political awareness can be dated from 1850", Meintjes writes, "and it was in no small measure given to him by Pretorius."[31] Like Pretorius, Kruger wanted to centralise the emigrants under a single authority and win British recognition for this as an independent state. This last point was not due to hostility to Britain—neither Pretorius nor Kruger was particularly anti-British—but because they perceived the emigrants' unity as under threat if the Cape administration continued to regard them as British subjects.[31] The British resident in the Orange River area, Henry Douglas Warden, advised Smith in 1851 that he thought a compromise should be attempted with Pretorius. Smith sent representatives to meet him at the Sand River. Kruger, aged 26, accompanied Pretorius and on 17 January 1852 was present at the conclusion of the Sand River Convention,[32] under which Britain recognised "the Emigrant Farmers" in the Transvaal—the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek ("South African Republic"), they called themselves—as independent. In exchange for the Boers' pledge not to introduce slavery in the Transvaal, the British agreed not to ally with any "coloured nations" there.[33] Kruger's uncle Gert was also present; his father Casper would have been as well had he not been ill.[32] Field cornet[edit] Kruger as a field cornet, photographed c. 1852 The Boers and the local Tswana and Basotho chiefdoms were in near-constant conflict, mainly over land.[33] Kruger was elected field cornet of his district in 1852,[21] and in August that year he took part in the Battle of Dimawe, a raid against the Tswana chief Sechele I. The Boer commando was headed by Pretorius, but in practice he did not take much part as he was suffering from dropsy. Kruger narrowly escaped death twice—first a piece of shrapnel hit him in the head but only knocked him out, then later a Tswana bullet swiped across his chest, tearing his jacket without wounding him.[34] The commando wrecked David Livingstone's mission station at Kolobeng, destroying his medicines and books. Livingstone was away at the time.[35] Kruger's version of the story was that the Boers found an armoury and a workshop for repairing firearms in Livingstone's house and, interpreting this as a breach of Britain's promise at the Sand River not to arm tribal chiefs, confiscated them.[34] Whatever the truth, Livingstone wrote about the Boers in strongly condemnatory terms thereafter, depicting them as mindless barbarians.[36] One charge levelled by Livingstone and many others against the Boers was that when attacking tribal settlements they abducted women and children and took them home as slaves.[37] The Boer argument was that these were not slaves but inboekelings—indentured "apprentices" who, having lost their families, were given bed, board and training in a Boer household until reaching adulthood.[38] Modern scholarship widely dismisses this as a ruse to create inexpensive labour while avoiding overt slavery.[39][n 3] Gezina Kruger had an inboekeling maid for whom she eventually arranged marriage, paying her a dowry.[40] Having been promoted to the rank of lieutenant (between field cornet and commandant), Kruger formed part of a commando sent against the chief Montshiwa in December 1852 to recover some stolen cattle. Pretorius was still sick, and only nominally in command.[42] Seven months later, on 23 July 1853, Pretorius died, aged 54. Just before the end he sent for Kruger, but the young man arrived too late.[43] Meintjes comments that Pretorius "was perhaps the first person to recognise that behind [Kruger's] rough exterior was a most singular person with an intellect all the more remarkable for being almost entirely self-developed."[31] Commandant[edit] Pretorius did not name a successor as Commandant-General; his eldest son Marthinus Wessel Pretorius was appointed in his stead.[43] The younger Pretorius elevated Kruger to the rank of commandant.[44] Pretorius the son claimed power over not just the Transvaal but also the Orange River area—he said the British had promised it to his father—but virtually nobody, not even supporters like Kruger, accepted this.[45] Following Sir George Cathcart's replacement of Smith as Governor in Cape Town, the British policy towards the Orange River Sovereignty changed to the extent that the British were willing to pull out and grant independence to a second Boer republic there. This was in spite of the fact that in addition to the Boer settlers there were many English-speaking colonists who wanted rule from the Cape to continue.[46] On 23 February 1854 Sir George Russell Clerk signed the Orange River Convention, ending the sovereignty and recognising what the Boers dubbed the Oranje-Vrijstaat ("Orange Free State").[47] Bloemfontein, the former British garrison town, became the Free State's capital; the Transvaal seat of government became Pretoria, named after the elder Pretorius.[47] The South African Republic was in practice split between the south-west and central Transvaal, where most of Pretorius's supporters were, and regionalist factions in the Zoutpansberg, Lydenburg and Utrecht districts that viewed any central authority with suspicion.[48] Kruger's first campaign as a commandant was in the latter part of 1854, against the chiefs Mapela and Makapan near the Waterberg. The chiefs retreated into what became called the Caves of Makapan ("Makapansgat") with many of their people and cattle, and a siege ensued in which thousands of the defenders died, mainly from starvation. When Commandant-General Piet Potgieter of Zoutpansberg was shot dead, Kruger advanced under heavy fire to retrieve the body and was almost killed himself.[49] Mediator[edit] M W Pretorius, who became the Transvaal's first President in 1857 Marthinus Pretorius hoped to achieve either federation or amalgamation with the Orange Free State, but before he could contemplate this he would have to unite the Transvaal. In 1855 he appointed an eight-man constitutional commission, including Kruger, which presented a draft constitution in September that year. Lydenburg and Zoutpansberg rejected the proposals, calling for a less centralised government. Pretorius tried again during 1856, holding meetings with eight-man commissions in Rustenburg, Potchefstroom and Pretoria, but Stephanus Schoeman, Zoutpansberg's new Commandant-General, repudiated these efforts.[50] The constitution settled upon formalised a national volksraad (parliament) and created an executive council, headed by a President. Pretorius was sworn in as the first President of the South African Republic on 6 January 1857. Kruger successfully proposed Schoeman for the post of national Commandant-General, hoping to thereby end the factional disputes and foster unity, but Schoeman categorically refused to serve under this constitution or Pretorius. With the Transvaal on the verge of civil war, tensions also rose with the Orange Free State after Pretorius's ambitions of absorbing it became widely known. Kruger had strong personal reservations about Pretorius, not considering him his father's equal, but nevertheless remained steadfastly loyal to him.[51] After the Free State government dismissed an ultimatum from Pretorius to cease what he regarded as the marginalisation of his supporters south of the Vaal, Pretorius called up the burghers and rode to the border, prompting President Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff of the Free State to do the same. Kruger was dismayed to learn of this and on reaching the Transvaal commando he spoke out against the idea of fighting their fellow Boers. However, when he learned that Boshoff had called on Schoeman to lead a commando against Pretorius from Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg, he realised that simply disbanding was no longer enough and that they would have to make terms.[52] With Pretorius's approval, Kruger met Boshoff under a white flag. Kruger made clear that he personally disapproved of Pretorius's actions and the situation as a whole, but defended his President when the Free Staters began to speak harshly of him. A commission of 12 men from each republic, including Kruger, reached a compromise whereby Pretorius would drop his claim on the Free State, and a treaty was concluded on 2 June 1857.[53][n 4] Over the next year Kruger helped to negotiate a peace agreement between the Free State and Moshoeshoe I of the Basotho,[54] and persuaded Schoeman to take part in successful talks regarding constitutional revisions, after which Zoutpansberg accepted the central government with Schoeman as Commandant-General.[55] On 28 June 1858 Schoeman appointed Kruger Assistant Commandant-General of the South African Republic.[56] "All in all", Kruger's biographer T R H Davenport comments, "he had shown a loyalty to authority in political disputes, devotion to duty as an officer, and a real capacity for power play."[16] Forming the "Dopper Church"[edit] Kruger considered Providence his guide in life and referred to scripture constantly; he knew large sections of the Bible by heart.[8] He understood the biblical texts literally and inferred from them that the Earth was flat, a belief he retained firmly to his dying day.[8] At mealtimes he said grace twice, at length and in formal Dutch rather than the South African dialect that was to become Afrikaans.[57] In late 1858, when he returned to Waterkloof, he was mentally and physically drained following the exertions of the past few years and in the midst of a spiritual crisis. Hoping to establish a personal relationship with God,[58] he ventured into the Magaliesberg and spent several days without food or water. A search party found him "nearly dead from hunger and thirst", Davenport records.[16] The experience reinvigorated him and greatly intensified his faith, which for the rest of his life was unshakeable and, according to Meintjes, perceived by some of his contemporaries as like that of a child.[58] Kruger belonged to the "Doppers"—a group of about 6,000 that followed an extremely strict interpretation of traditional Calvinist doctrine.[59] They based their theology almost entirely on the Old Testament and, among other things, wished to eschew hymns and organs and read only from the Psalms.[60] When the 1859 synod of the Nederduits Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHK), the main church in the Transvaal, decided to enforce the singing of modern hymns, Kruger led a group of Doppers that denounced the NHK as "deluded" and "false" and left its Rustenburg congregation.[61] They formed the Gereformeerde Kerke van Zuid-Afrika (GK),[59] thereafter known informally as the "Dopper Church",[60] and recruited the Reverend Dirk Postma, a like-minded traditionalist recently arrived from the Netherlands, to be their minister.[59] This act also had secular ramifications as according to the 1858 constitution only NHK members could take part in public affairs.[58] Civil war; Commandant-General[edit] In late 1859 Pretorius was invited to stand for President in the Orange Free State, where many burghers now favoured union, partly as a means to overcome the Basotho. The Transvaal constitution he had just enacted made it illegal to simultaneously hold office abroad, but nevertheless he readily did so and won. The Transvaal volksraad attempted to side-step the constitutional problems surrounding this by granting Pretorius half a year's leave, hoping a solution might come about during this time, and the President duly left for Bloemfontein, appointing Johannes Hermanus Grobler to be Acting President in his absence. Pretorius was sworn in as President of the Free State on 8 February 1860; he sent a deputation to Pretoria to negotiate union the next day.[62] Stephanus Schoeman, a fierce opponent of Kruger during the 1860s Kruger and others in the Transvaal government disliked Pretorius's unconstitutional dual presidency, and worried that Britain might declare the Sand River and Orange River Conventions void if the republics joined.[62] Pretorius was told by the Transvaal volksraad on 10 September 1860 to choose between his two posts—to the surprise of both supporters and detractors he resigned as President of the Transvaal and continued in the Free State.[62] After Schoeman unsuccessfully attempted to forcibly supplant Grobler as Acting President, Kruger persuaded him to submit to a volksraad hearing, where Schoeman was censured and relieved of his post. Willem Cornelis Janse van Rensburg was appointed Acting President while a new election was organised for October 1862. Having returned home, Kruger was surprised to receive a message urgently requesting his presence in the capital, the volksraad having recommended him as a suitable candidate; he replied that he was pleased to be summoned but his membership in the Dopper Church meant he could not enter politics. Van Rensburg promptly had legislation passed to give equal political rights to members of all Reformed denominations.[63] Kruger, photographed as Commandant-General of the South African Republic, c. 1865. The loss of his left thumb is clearly visible. Schoeman mustered a commando at Potchefstroom, but was routed by Kruger on the night of 9 October 1862. After Schoeman returned with a larger force Kruger and Pretorius held negotiations where it was agreed to hold a special court on the disturbances in January 1863, and soon thereafter fresh elections for President and Commandant-General.[64] Schoeman was found guilty of rebellion against the state and banished. In May the election results were announced—Van Rensburg became President, with Kruger as Commandant-General. Both expressed disappointment at the low turnout and resolved to hold another set of elections. Van Rensburg's opponent this time was Pretorius, who had resigned his office in the Orange Free State and returned to the Transvaal. Turnout was higher and on 12 October the volksraad announced another Van Rensburg victory. Kruger was returned as Commandant-General with a large majority.[65] The civil war ended with Kruger's victory over Jan Viljoen's commando, raised in support of Pretorius and Schoeman, at the Crocodile River on 5 January 1864. Elections were held yet again, and this time Pretorius defeated Van Rensburg. Kruger was re-elected as Commandant-General with over two-thirds of the vote.[66] The civil war had led to an economic collapse in the Transvaal, weakening the government's ability to back up its professed authority and sovereignty over the local chiefdoms,[16] though Lydenburg and Utrecht did now accept the central administration.[67] By 1865 tensions had risen with the Zulus to the east and war had broken out again between the Orange Free State and the Basotho. Pretorius and Kruger led a commando of about 1,000 men south to help the Free State. The Basotho were defeated and Moshoeshoe ceded some of his territory, but President Johannes Brand of the Free State decided not to give any of the conquered land to the Transvaal burghers. The Transvaal men were scandalised and returned home en masse, despite Kruger's attempts to maintain discipline.[68] The following February, after a meeting of the executive council in Potchefstroom, Kruger capsized his cart during the journey home and broke his left leg. On one leg he righted the cart and continued the rest of the way. This injury incapacitated him for the next nine months, and his left leg was thereafter slightly shorter than his right.[68] President Thomas François Burgers, whose election dismayed Kruger In 1867, Pretoria sent Kruger to restore law and order in Zoutpansberg. He had around 500 men but very low reserves of ammunition, and discipline in the ranks was poor. On reaching Schoemansdal, which was under threat by the chief Katlakter, Kruger and his officers resolved that holding the town was impossible and ordered a general evacuation, following which Katlakter razed the town. The loss of Schoemansdal, once a prosperous settlement by Boer standards, was considered a great humiliation by many burghers. The Transvaal government formally exonerated Kruger over the matter, ruling that he had been forced to evacuate Schoemansdal by factors beyond his control, but some still argued that he had given the town up too readily.[69] Peace returned to Zoutpansberg in 1869, following the intervention of the republic's Swazi allies.[16] Pretorius stepped down as President in November 1871. In the 1872 election Kruger's preferred candidate, William Robinson, was decisively defeated by the Reverend Thomas François Burgers, a church minister from the Cape who was noted for his eloquent preaching but controversial for some because of his liberal interpretation of the scriptures. He did not believe in the Devil, for example.[70][n 5] Kruger publicly accepted Burgers's election, announcing at his inauguration that "as a good republican" he submitted to the vote of the majority, but he had grave personal reservations regarding the new President.[70] He particularly disliked Burgers's new education law, which restricted children's religious instruction to outside school hours—in Kruger's view an affront to God.[71] This, coupled with the sickness of Gezina and their children with malaria, caused Kruger to lose interest in his office. In May 1873 he requested an honourable discharge from his post, which Burgers promptly granted. The office of Commandant-General was abolished the following week. Kruger moved his main residence to Boekenhoutfontein, near Rustenburg, and for a time absented himself from public affairs.[70][n 6] Diamonds and deputations[edit] Under Burgers[edit] A map of South Africa in 1878, showing the Transvaal or South African Republic (purple), the Orange Free State (yellow), the Cape Colony (red), Natal (orange) and neighbouring territories Burgers busied himself attempting to modernise the South African Republic along European lines, hoping to set in motion a process that would lead to a united, independent South Africa. Finding Boer officialdom inadequate, he imported ministers and civil servants en masse from the Netherlands. His ascent to the presidency came shortly after the realisation that the Boer republics might stand on land of immense mineral wealth. Diamonds had been discovered in Griqua territory just north of the Orange River on the western edge of the Free State, arousing the interest of Britain and other countries; mostly British settlers, referred to by the Boers as uitlanders ("out-landers"), were flooding into the region.[72] Britain began to pursue federation (at that time often referred to as "confederation") of the Boer republics with the Cape and Natal and in 1873, over Boer objections, annexed the area surrounding the huge diamond mine at Kimberley, dubbing it Griqualand West.[73][n 7] Some Doppers preferred to embark on another trek, north-west across the Kalahari Desert towards Angola, rather than live under Burgers. This became the Dorsland Trek of 1874. The emigrants asked Kruger to lead the way, but he refused to take part. In September 1874, following a long delay calling the volksraad due to sickness, Burgers proposed a railway to Delagoa Bay and said he would go to Europe to raise the necessary funds. By the time he left in February 1875 opposition pressure had brought about an amendment to bring religious instruction back into school hours, and Kruger had been restored to the executive council.[72] In 1876 hostilities broke out with the Bapedi people under Sekhukhune. Burgers had told the Acting President Piet Joubert not to fight a war in his absence, so the Transvaal government did little to combat the Bapedi raids. On his return Burgers resolved to send a commando against Sekhukhune; he called on Kruger to lead the column, but much to his surprise the erstwhile Commandant-General refused. Burgers unsuccessfully asked Joubert to head the commando, then approached Kruger twice more, but to no avail. Kruger was convinced that God would cause any military expedition organised by Burgers to fail—particularly if the President rode with the commando, which he was determined to do.[75] "I cannot lead the commando if you come", Kruger said, "for, with your merry evenings in laager and your Sunday dances, the enemy will even shoot me behind the wall; for God's blessing will not rest on your expedition."[76] Burgers, who had no military experience, led the commando himself after several other prospective generals rebuffed him. After being routed by Sekhukhune, he hired a group of "volunteers" under the German Conrad von Schlickmann to defend the country, paying for this by levying a special tax. The war ended, but Burgers became extremely unpopular among his electorate.[75] With Burgers due to stand for re-election the following year, Kruger became a popular alternative candidate, but he resolved to stand by the President after Burgers privately assured him that he would do his utmost to defend the South African Republic's independence. The towns of the Transvaal were becoming increasingly British in character as immigration and trade gathered apace, and the idea of annexation was gaining support both locally and in the British government. In late 1876 Lord Carnarvon, Colonial Secretary under Benjamin Disraeli, gave Sir Theophilus Shepstone of Natal a special commission to confer with the South African Republic's government and, if he saw fit, annex the country.[77] British annexation; first and second deputations[edit] Shepstone arrived in Pretoria in January 1877. He outlined criticisms expressed by Carnarvon regarding the Transvaal government and expressed support for federation. After a joint commission of inquiry on the British grievances—Kruger and the State Attorney E J P Jorissen refuted most of Carnarvon's allegations, one of which was that Pretoria tolerated slavery—Shepstone stayed in the capital, openly telling Burgers he had come to the Transvaal to annex it. Hoping to stop the annexation by reforming the government, Burgers introduced scores of bills and revisions to a bewildered volksraad, which opposed them all but then passed them, heightening the general mood of discord and confusion. One of these reforms appointed Kruger to the new post of Vice-President.[78] The impression of Kruger garnered by the British envoys in Pretoria during early 1877 was one of an unspeakably vulgar, bigoted backveld peasant.[79] Regarding his austere, weather-beaten face, greying hair and simple Dopper dress of a short-cut black jacket, baggy trousers and a black top hat, they considered him extremely ugly. Furthermore, they found his personal habits, such as copious spitting, revolting. Shepstone's legal adviser William Morcom was one of the first British officials to write about Kruger: calling him "gigantically horrible", he recounted a public luncheon at which Kruger dined with a dirty pipe protruding from his pocket and such greasy hair that he spent part of the meal combing it.[80] According to Martin Meredith, Kruger's unsightliness was mentioned in British reports "so often that it became shorthand for his whole personality, and indeed, his objectives".[80] They did not consider him a major threat to British ambitions.[80] E J P Jorissen, Kruger's colleague in the first deputation to London, pictured in 1897 Shepstone had the Transvaal's annexation as a British territory formally announced in Pretoria on 12 April 1877. Burgers resigned and returned to the Cape to live in retirement—his last act as President was to announce the government's decision to send a deputation, headed by Kruger and Jorissen, to London to make an official protest. He exhorted the burghers not to attempt any kind of resistance to the British until these diplomats returned.[81] Jorissen, one of the Dutch officials recently imported by Burgers, was included at Kruger's request because of his wide knowledge of European languages (Kruger was not confident in his English); a second Dutchman, Willem Eduard Bok, accompanied them as secretary.[82] They left in May 1877, travelling first to Bloemfontein to confer with the Free State government, then on to Kimberley and Worcester, where the 51-year-old Kruger boarded a train for the first time in his life. In Cape Town, where his German ancestor had landed 164 years before, he had his first sight of the sea.[83] During the voyage to England Kruger encountered a 19-year-old law student from the Orange Free State named Martinus Theunis Steyn.[84] Jorissen and Bok marvelled at Kruger, in their eyes more suited to the 17th century than his own time. One night, when Kruger heard the two Dutchmen discussing celestial bodies and the structure of the universe, he interjected that if their conversation was accurate and the Earth was not flat, he might as well throw his Bible overboard.[84] At the Colonial Office in Whitehall, Carnarvon and Kruger's own colleagues were astonished when, speaking through interpreters, he rose to what Meintjes calls "remarkable heights of oratory", averring that the annexation breached the Sand River Convention and went against the popular will in the Transvaal.[85] His arguments were undermined by reports to the contrary from Shepstone and other British officials, and by a widely publicised letter from a Potchefstroom vicar claiming that Kruger only represented the will of "a handful of irreconcilables".[85] Carnarvon dismissed Kruger's idea of a general plebiscite and concluded that British rule would remain.[85] Kruger did not meet Queen Victoria, though such an audience is described in numerous anecdotes, depicted in films and sometimes reported as fact.[n 8] Between August and October he visited the Netherlands and Germany, where he aroused little general public interest, but made a potent impact in the Reformed congregations he visited. After a brief sojourn back in England he returned to South Africa and arrived at Boekenhoutfontein shortly before Christmas 1877.[86] He found a national awakening occurring. "Paradoxically", John Laband writes, "British occupation seemed to be fomenting a sense of national consciousness in the Transvaal which years of fractious independence had failed to elicit."[87] When Kruger visited Pretoria in January 1878 he was greeted by a procession that took him to a mass gathering in Church Square. Attempting to stir up the crowd, Kruger said that since Carnarvon had told him the annexation would not be revoked he could not see what more they could do. The gambit worked; burghers began shouting that they would sooner die fighting for their country than submit to the British.[88] Piet Joubert, Kruger's associate in the second deputation According to Meintjes, Kruger was still not particularly anti-British; he thought the British had made a mistake and would rectify the situation if this could be proven to them.[88] After conducting a poll through the former republican infrastructure—587 signed in favour of the annexation, 6,591 against—he organised a second deputation to London, made up of himself and Joubert with Bok again serving as secretary.[89] The envoys met the British High Commissioner in Cape Town, Sir Bartle Frere,[89] and arrived in London on 29 June 1878 to find a censorious letter from Shepstone waiting for them, along with a communication that since Kruger was agitating against the government he had been dismissed from the executive council.[n 9] Carnarvon had been succeeded as Colonial Secretary by Sir Michael Hicks Beach, who received the deputation coldly. After Bok gave a lengthy opening declaration, Hicks Beach muttered: "Have you ever heard of an instance where the British Lion has ever given up anything on which he had set his paw?" Kruger retorted: "Yes. The Orange Free State."[91] The deputation remained in London for some weeks thereafter, communicating by correspondence with Hicks Beach, who eventually reaffirmed Carnarvon's decision that the annexation would not be revoked. The deputation attempted to rally support for their cause, as the first mission had done, but with the Eastern Question dominating the political scene few were interested.[91] One English sympathiser gave Kruger a gold ring, bearing the inscription: "Take courage, your cause is just and must triumph in the end."[74] Kruger was touched and wore it for the rest of his life.[74] Like its predecessor, the second deputation went on from England to continental Europe, visiting the Netherlands, France and Germany.[92] In Paris, where the 1878 Exposition Universelle was in progress, Kruger saw a hot air balloon for the first time and readily took part in an ascent to view the city from above. "High up in mid-air", he recalled, "I jestingly asked the aeronaut, as we had gone so far, to take me all the way home."[93] The pilot asked who Kruger was and, on their descent, gave him a medal "to remind me of my journey through the air".[93] Meanwhile, the deputation composed a long reply to Hicks Beach, which was published as an open letter in the British press soon before they sailed for home on 24 October 1878. Unless the annexation were revoked, the letter stated, the Transvaal Boers would not co-operate regarding federation.[94] Drive for independence[edit] Kruger and Joubert returned home to find the British and the Zulus were close to war. Shepstone had supported the Zulus in a border dispute with the South African Republic, but then, after annexing the Transvaal, changed his mind and endorsed the Boer claim.[95] Meeting Sir Bartle Frere and Lord Chelmsford at Pietermaritzburg on 28 November 1878, Kruger happily gave tactical guidance for the British campaign—he advised the use of Boer tactics, making laagers at every stop and constantly scouting ahead—but refused Frere's request that he accompany one of the British columns, saying he would only help if assurances were made regarding the Transvaal.[n 10] Chelmsford thought the campaign would be a "promenade" and did not take Kruger's advice.[96] Soon after he entered Zululand in January 1879, starting the Anglo-Zulu War, his unlaagered central column was surprised by Cetshwayo's Zulus at Isandlwana and almost totally destroyed.[96] Sir Garnet Wolseley, who headed the British Transvaal administration from 1879 to 1880 The war in Zululand effectively ended on 4 July 1879 with Chelmsford's decisive victory at the Zulu capital Ulundi. Around the same time the British appointed a new Governor and High Commissioner for the Transvaal and Natal, Sir Garnet Wolseley, who introduced a new Transvaal constitution giving the Boers a limited degree of self-government.[97] Wolseley blunted the Zulu military threat by splitting the kingdom into 13 chiefdoms, and crushed Sekhukhune and the Bapedi during late 1879. However, he had little success in winning the Boers over to the idea of federation—indeed his defeat of the Zulus and the Bapedi had the opposite effect, as with these two long-standing threats to security removed the Transvaalers could focus all their efforts against the British.[98] Most Boers refused to co-operate with Wolseley's new order;[87] Kruger declined a seat in the new executive council.[99] At Wonderfontein on 15 December 1879, 6,000 burghers, many of them bearing the republic's vierkleur ("four-colour") flag, voted to pursue a restored, independent republic.[100] Pretorius and Bok were imprisoned on charges of high treason when they took this news to Wolseley and Sir Owen Lanyon (who had replaced Shepstone),[100] prompting many burghers to consider rising up there and then—Kruger persuaded them not to, saying this was premature.[87] Pretorius and Bok were swiftly released after Jorissen telegraphed the British Liberal politician William Ewart Gladstone, who had met Kruger's first deputation in London and had since condemned the annexation as unjust during his Midlothian campaign.[101] In early 1880 Hicks Beach forwarded a scheme for South African federation to the Cape Parliament.[102] Kruger travelled to the Cape to agitate against the proposals alongside Joubert and Jorissen; by the time they arrived the Liberals had won an election victory in Britain and Gladstone was Prime Minister.[102] In Cape Town, Paarl and elsewhere Kruger lobbied vigorously against the annexation and won much sympathy.[n 11] Davenport suggests that this contributed to the federation plan's withdrawal, which in turn weakened the British resolve to keep the Transvaal.[16] Kruger and Joubert wrote to Gladstone asking him to restore the South African Republic's independence, but to their astonishment the Prime Minister replied in June 1880 that he feared withdrawing from the Transvaal might lead to chaos across South Africa. Kruger concluded that they had done all they could to try to regain independence peacefully, and over the following months the Transvaal burghers prepared for rebellion.[104] Meanwhile, Wolseley was replaced as Governor and High Commissioner by Sir George Pomeroy Colley.[104] Piet Cronjé, pictured later in life In the last months of 1880, Lanyon began to pursue tax payments from burghers who were in arrears.[105] Piet Cronjé, a farmer in the Potchefstroom district, gave his local landdrost a written statement that the burghers would pay taxes to their "legal government"—that of the South African Republic—but not to the British "usurper" administration. Kruger and Cronjé knew each other; the writer Johan Frederik van Oordt, who was acquainted with them both, suggested that Kruger may have had a hand in this and what followed.[105] In November, when the British authorities in Potchefstroom were about to auction off a burgher's wagon that had been seized amid a tax dispute, Cronjé and a group of armed Boers intervened, overcame the presiding officers and reclaimed the wagon.[106] On hearing of this from Cronjé, Kruger told Joubert: "I can no longer restrain the people, and the English government is entirely responsible for the present state of things."[107] Starting on 8 December 1880 at Paardekraal, a farm to the south-west of Pretoria, 10,000 Boers congregated—the largest recorded meeting of white people in South Africa up to that time. "I stand here before you", Kruger declared, "called by the people. In the voice of the people I have heard the voice of God, the King of Nations, and I obey!"[107] He announced the fulfilment of the decision taken at Wonderfontein the previous year to restore the South African Republic government and volksraad, which as the Vice-President of the last independent administration he considered his responsibility.[108] To help him in this he turned to Jorissen and Bok, who respectively became State Attorney and State Secretary, and Pretorius and Joubert, who the reconstituted volksraad elected to an executive triumvirate along with Kruger.[108] The assembly approved a proclamation announcing the restoration of the South African Republic.[109] Triumvirate[edit] Transvaal rebellion: the First Boer War[edit] Main article: First Boer War Kruger, photographed c. 1880 At Kruger's suggestion Joubert was elected Commandant-General of the restored republic, though he had little military experience and protested he was not suited to the position.[109] The provisional government set up a temporary capital at Heidelberg, a strategically placed town on the main road from Natal, and sent a copy of the proclamation to Lanyon along with a written demand that he surrender the government offices in Pretoria.[110] Lanyon refused and mobilised the British garrison.[110] Kruger took part in the First Boer War in a civilian capacity only, playing a diplomatic and political role with the aid of Jorissen and Bok.[111] The first major clash, a successful Boer ambush, took place on 20 December 1880 at Bronkhorstspruit.[112] By the turn of the year the Transvaalers had all six British garrison outposts, including that in Pretoria, under siege.[113] Colley assembled a field force in Natal, summoned reinforcements from India, and advanced towards the Transvaal.[114] Joubert moved about 2,000 Boers south to the Drakensberg and repulsed Colley at Laing's Nek on 28 January 1881.[115] After Colley retreated to Schuinshoogte, near Ingogo, he was attacked by Joubert's second-in-command Nicolaas Smit on 8 February and again defeated.[116] Understanding that they could not hold out against the might of the British Empire indefinitely, Kruger hoped for a solution at the earliest opportunity.[117] The triumvirate wrote to Colley on 12 February that they were prepared to submit to a royal commission. Colley liaised by telegraph with Gladstone's Colonial Secretary Lord Kimberley, then wrote to Kruger on 21 February that if the Boers stopped fighting he would cease hostilities and send commissioners for talks. Kruger received this letter on 28 February and readily accepted, but by now it was too late. Colley had been killed at the Battle of Majuba Hill the day before, another decisive victory for the Boers under Smit.[118] This progressive humiliation of the Imperial forces in South Africa by a ragtag collection of farmers, to paraphrase Meintjes and the historian Ian Castle, stunned the Western world.[118] Colley's death horrified Kruger, who feared it might jeopardise the peace process.[119] His reply to Colley's letter was delivered to his successor Sir Evelyn Wood on 7 March 1881, a day after Wood and Joubert had agreed to an eight-day truce.[120] Kruger was outraged to learn of this armistice, which in his view only gave the British opportunity to strengthen their forces—he expected a British attempt to avenge Majuba, which indeed Wood and others wanted[121]—but Gladstone wanted peace, and Wood was instructed to proceed with talks.[120] Negotiations began on 16 March. The British offered amnesty for the Boer leaders, retrocession of the Transvaal under British suzerainty, a British resident in Pretoria and British control over foreign affairs.[121] Kruger pressed on how the British intended to withdraw and what exactly "suzerainty" meant.[122] Brand arrived to mediate on 20 March and the following day agreement was reached; the British committed to formally restore the republic within six months.[n 12] The final treaty was concluded on 23 March 1881.[123] Pretoria Convention[edit] Kruger presented the treaty to the volksraad on the triumvirate's behalf at Heidelberg on 15 April 1881. "With a feeling of gratitude to the God of our fathers", he said, "who has been near us in battle and danger, it is to me an unspeakable privilege to lay before you the treaty ... I consider it my duty plainly to declare before you and the whole world, that our respect for Her Majesty the Queen of England, for the government of Her Majesty, and for the English Nation, has never been greater than at this time, when we are enabled to show you a proof of England's noble and magnanimous love for right and justice."[124] This statement was to be ignored by many writers,[124] but Manfred Nathan, one of Kruger's biographers, stresses it as one of his "most notable utterances".[124] Kruger reaffirmed his faith in the royal commission of Wood, Sir Hercules Robinson and the Cape's Chief Justice Sir Henry de Villiers, who convened for the first time in Natal on 30 April, Brand with them as an adviser. The commissioners held numerous sessions in Pretoria over the following months with little input from Kruger, who was bedridden with pneumonia.[125] Kruger was largely happy with the terms under which the republic would regain its sovereignty, but two points offended him. The first of these was that the British would recognise them as the "Transvaal Republic" and not the South African Republic; the second was that it was still not clear to him what British "suzerainty" was. The commission, in which De Villiers emerged as the dominant figure, defined it primarily as British purview over the Transvaal's external affairs. The final Pretoria Convention was signed on 3 August 1881 by Joubert, Pretorius and the members of the royal commission. Kruger was absent due to his illness, but he did attend the official retrocession five days later in Church Square. Kruger felt well enough to give only a short speech, after which Pretorius addressed the crowd and the vierkleur was raised.[126] Kruger House, the family home in Pretoria (2008 photograph) By now aged nearly 56, Kruger resolved that he could no longer travel constantly between Boekenhoutfontein and the capital, and in August 1881 he and Gezina moved to Church Street, Pretoria, from where he could easily walk to the government offices on Church Square. Also around this time he shaved off his moustache and most of his facial hair, leaving the chinstrap beard he kept thereafter. His and Gezina's permanent home on Church Street, what is now called Kruger House, would be completed in 1884.[127] A direct consequence of the end of British rule was an economic slump; the Transvaal government almost immediately found itself again on the verge of bankruptcy.[128] The triumvirate spent two months discussing the terms of the Pretoria Convention with the new volksraad—approve it or go back to Laing's Nek, said Kruger[128]—before it was finally ratified on 25 October 1881. During this time Kruger introduced tax reforms, announced the triumvirate's decision to grant industrial monopolies to raise money and appointed the Reverend S J du Toit to be Superintendent of Education.[128] To counteract the influx of uitlanders, the residency qualification to vote was raised from a year to five years.[129] In July 1882 the volksraad decided to elect a new President the following year; Joubert and Kruger emerged as candidates. Kruger campaigned on the idea of an administration in which "God's Word would be my rule of conduct"—as premier he would prioritise agriculture, industry and education, revive Burgers's Delagoa Bay railway scheme, introduce an immigration policy that would "prevent the Boer nationality from being stifled", and pursue a cordial stance towards Britain and "obedient native races in their appointed districts".[130] He defeated Joubert by 3,431 votes to 1,171,[130] and was inaugurated as President on 9 May 1883.[131] President[edit] Third deputation; London Convention[edit] Lord Derby, with whom the third deputation concluded the London Convention Kruger became President soon after the discovery of gold near what was to become Barberton, which prompted a fresh influx of uitlander diggers. "This gold is still going to soak our country in blood", said Joubert—a prediction he would repeat many times over the coming years.[132] Joubert remained Commandant-General under Kruger and also became Vice-President.[132] A convoluted situation developed on the Transvaal's western frontier, where burghers had crossed the border defined in the Pretoria Convention and formed two new Boer republics, Stellaland and Goshen, on former Tswana territory in 1882.[133] These states were tiny but they occupied land of potentially huge importance—the main road from the Cape to Matabeleland and the African interior.[133] Kruger and the volksraad resolved to send yet another deputation to London to renegotiate the Pretoria Convention and settle the western border issue. The third deputation, comprising Kruger, Smit and Du Toit with Jan Eloff as secretary, left the Transvaal in August 1883 and sailed from Cape Town two months later. Kruger spent part of the voyage to Britain studying the English language with a Bible printed in Dutch and English side by side. Talks with the new Colonial Secretary Lord Derby and Robinson progressed smoothly—apart from an incident when Kruger, thinking himself insulted, nearly punched Robinson—and on 27 February 1884 the London Convention, superseding that of Pretoria, was concluded. Britain ended its suzerainty, reduced the Transvaal's national debt and once again recognised the country as the South African Republic. The western border question remained unresolved, but Kruger still considered the convention a triumph.[134][n 13] Bismarck, one of the many European leaders Kruger met in 1884 The deputation went on from London to mainland Europe, where according to Meintjes their reception "was beyond all expectations ... one banquet followed the other, the stand of a handful of Boers against the British Empire having caused a sensation".[135] During a grand tour Kruger met William III of the Netherlands and his son the Prince of Orange, Leopold II of Belgium, President Jules Grévy of France, Alfonso XII of Spain, Luís I of Portugal, and in Germany Kaiser Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. His public appearances were attended by tens of thousands.[135] The deputation discussed the bilateral aspects of the proposed Delagoa Bay railway with the Portuguese, and in the Netherlands laid the groundwork for the Netherlands-South African Railway Company, which would build and operate it.[135] Kruger now held that Burgers had been "far ahead of his time"[135]—while reviving his predecessor's railway scheme, he also brought back the policy of importing officials from the Netherlands, in his view a means to strengthen the Boer identity and keep the Transvaal "Dutch". Willem Johannes Leyds, a 24-year-old Dutchman, returned to South Africa with the deputation as the republic's new State Attorney.[135] By late 1884 the Scramble for Africa was well underway. Competition on the western frontier rose after Germany annexed South-West Africa; at the behest of the mining magnate and Cape MP Cecil Rhodes, Britain proclaimed a protectorate over Bechuanaland, including the Stellaland–Goshen corridor. While Joubert was in negotiations with Rhodes, Du Toit had Kruger proclaim Transvaal protection over the corridor on 18 September 1884. Joubert was outraged, as was Kruger when on 3 October Du Toit unilaterally hoisted the vierkleur in Goshen. Realising the implications of this—it clearly violated the London Convention—Kruger had the flag stricken immediately and retracted his proclamation of 18 September. Meeting Rhodes personally in late January 1885, Kruger insisted the "flag incident" had taken place without his consent and conceded the corridor to the British.[136] Gold rush; burghers and uitlanders[edit] Gold mining at Johannesburg in 1893 In July 1886 an Australian prospector reported to the Transvaal government his discovery of an unprecedented gold reef between Pretoria and Heidelberg. The South African Republic's formal proclamation of this two months later prompted the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the founding of Johannesburg, which within a few years was the largest city in southern Africa, populated almost entirely by uitlanders.[137] The economic landscape of the region was transformed overnight—the South African Republic went from the verge of bankruptcy in 1886 to a fiscal output equal to the Cape Colony's the following year.[138] The British became anxious to link Johannesburg to the Cape and Natal by rail, but Kruger thought this might have undesirable geopolitical and economic implications if done prematurely and gave the Delagoa Bay line first priority.[137] The President was by this time widely nicknamed Oom Paul ("Uncle Paul"), both among the Boers and the uitlanders, who variously used it out of affection or contempt.[139] He was perceived by some as a despot after he compromised the independence of the republic's judiciary to help his friend Alois Hugo Nellmapius, who had been found guilty of embezzlement—Kruger rejected the court's judgement and granted Nellmapius a full pardon, an act Nathan calls "completely indefensible".[140] Kruger defeated Joubert again in the 1888 election, by 4,483 votes to 834, and was sworn in for a second time in May. Nicolaas Smit was elected Vice-President, and Leyds was promoted to State Secretary.[141] President Francis William Reitz of the Orange Free State Much of Kruger's efforts over the next year were dedicated to attempts to acquire a sea outlet for the South African Republic. In July Pieter Grobler, who had just negotiated a treaty with King Lobengula of Matabeleland, was killed by Ngwato warriors on his way home; Kruger alleged that this was the work of "Cecil Rhodes and his clique".[141] Kruger despised Rhodes, considering him corrupt and immoral—in his memoirs he called him "capital incarnate" and "the curse of South Africa".[142] According to the editor of Kruger's memoirs, Rhodes attempted to win him as an ally by suggesting "we simply take" Delagoa Bay from Portugal; Kruger was appalled.[141] Failing to make headway in talks with the Portuguese, Kruger switched his attention to Kosi Bay, next to Swaziland, in late 1888.[141] In early 1889 Kruger and the new Orange Free State President Francis William Reitz enacted a common-defence pact and a customs treaty waiving most import duties.[143] The same year the volksraad passed constitutional revisions to remove the Nederduits Hervormde Kerk's official status, open the legislature to members of other denominations and make all churches "sovereign in their own spheres".[16] Kruger proposed to end the lack of higher education in the Boer republics by forming a university in Pretoria; enthusiastic support emerged for this but the Free University of Amsterdam expressed strong opposition, not wishing to lose the Afrikaner element of its student body.[144] No university was built.[n 14] Kruger was obsessed with the South African Republic's independence,[146] the retention of which he perceived as under threat if the Transvaal became too British in character. The uitlanders created an acute predicament in his mind. Taxation on their mining provided almost all of the republic's revenues, but they had very limited civic representation and almost no say in the running of the country. Though the English language was dominant in the mining areas, only Dutch remained official.[147] Kruger expressed great satisfaction at the new arrivals' industry and respect for the state's laws,[139] but surmised that giving them full burgher rights might cause the Boers to be swamped by sheer weight in numbers, with the probable result of absorption into the British sphere.[147] Agonising over how he "could meet the wishes of the new population for representation, without injuring the republic or prejudicing the interests of the older burghers",[143] he thought he had solved the problem in 1889 when he tabled a "second volksraad" in which the uitlanders would have certain matters devolved to them.[143] Most deemed this inadequate, and even Kruger's own supporters were unenthusiastic.[143] Rhodes and other Brit

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