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INTRODUCTION

THERE are proverbially two sides to every question,

and the Transvaal question is no exception to this

generally received aphorism. It seems to me, how

ever, that a large number, if not the great majority,

of persons in this country, are either ignorant or

oblivious of this fact, or else deliberately shut their

eyes to it.

There has been far too great a disposi

tion, in my opinion, to regard the matter from the

"d-d Boer” point of view, and to jump to the

conclusion that, although the incursion of Dr

Jameson into the Transvaal might, from a high and dry legal standpoint, not have been entirely justifiable, yet these matters should not be looked

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at too technically, and that the best way of settling the Transvaal question, once and for all, would be,

by some means or another, to get the Boers out of

the country, bag and baggage. I do not say that

this view of the matter has been put forward on

the platform by responsible speakers, or that it has

been urged in the leading articles of influential

papers, but I do say that such a view has largely

permeated the masses of this country, and caused them to regard the Transvaal question, as a whole,

from a prejudiced, and consequently entirely erroneous,

standpoint.

To so great an extent has this fact been borne

in upon me that I have felt impelled, from a simple

desire that President Kruger and his countrymen

should, if possible, be judged justly and dispassion

ately by the masses of this country, to, as succinctly

and concisely as possible, lay before the reader

my case for the Boers.

I want to show who the

Boers are, why they came to South Africa, and why

they are at present located in that particular portion

of South Africa commonly known as the Transvaal.

I shall give a brief and, because brief, necessarily imperfect narrative of the wanderings of these Boers

since their ancestors left Europe more than a hundred

a

years ago.

I shall treat rather more fully of the

events of the last twenty years, culminating, as they

have done, in the discovery of the phenomenal

riches of the Rand, and the consequent incursion

into the South African Republic of a heterogeneous

mass of foreigners, many of whom left their country

for their country's good, and all of whom came to

the Transvaal for no other reason than to accumulate

wealth in a hurry. I shall deal with the alleged

"grievances” of these Uitlanders, and I shall show

to what extent those“ grievances” have been magni

fied, and how the treatment of those "grievances”

by President Kruger and his Government has been

falsified in the Press, not only of South Africa but I may claim, I think, to approach a consideration

of Great Britain.

of this matter with a certain amount of knowledge,

and with an absolutely unprejudiced mind. My sympathies, if I gave them full sway, would probably

lead me to side with the Uitlanders, most of whom

are my own countrymen, but there are things higher

and nobler than sympathies and prejudices, namely

truth and justice. It is with those ends in view

that I indite this book.

I do not claim any literary

merit for it; it has necessarily had to be written

during the leisure moments that I have been able to

snatch from the press of work incidental to my

business avocations, in fact, at all sorts of times,

and in all kinds of places. I may claim for the

book, however, that it is inspired by one single idea,

and that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing

but the truth about the Transvaal, its people, its

rulers, its foreign population.

If I shall have

succeeded in giving the people of this country a

little insight into matters which are now dim and obscure, a juster appreciation of people, of motives,

than the veil of prejudice now permits, my book will

not have been written in vain.

I commend its

careful perusal to my countrymen, and I beg of them most fervently, as regards this Transvaal

question, not to allow that reputation for justice and fair dealing which Englishmen bear all over

the world to be minimised or obscured.

W. F.R.

41 THREADNEEDLE STREET, LONDON, E.C.,

March 1896.

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