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In Southern Africa Paul Kruger was the president of the independent South African Republic (or Transvaal) with its capital at Johannesburg. Discoveries of immense gold deposits on the Witwatersrand made Johannesburg a boom town with the arrival in the transvaal of a new industrial comunity called the Uitlanders (or ‘Foreigners’), many of whom were British and whose numbers threatened to swamp the Afrikaner population. Kruger’s government responded by rigidly controlling the mining industry and denying full political, rights to members of the immigrant community. Britain was worried because the centre of economic activity in South Africa moved from Cape Colony towards the north and threatened to undermine Britain’s influence in the sub continent. Also British financiers and industrialists were hampered by the restrictive economic practices of the Transvaal government. Relations between the two countries deteriorated rapidly during the 1890’s. War seemed likely in 1896 following the Jameson Raid on December 29, 1895, a thoroughly mismanaged attempt by Cecil Rhodes (Prime Minister of Cape Colony) with the connivance of the British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, to engineer an Uitlander rebellion and overthrow the Kruger regime. This raid and its commander, Leander Starr Jameson, found more than a sneaking admiration from the British public and the ILN’ issued a special number entitled ‘Jameson’s Dash into the Transvaal’

dated February 25, 1896. (Appendix List no. 29) It is a stirring illustrated narration in a series of chapters by Captain Frank Thatcher, one of the men who accompanied Jameson. Admitting that the whole venture was “obviously a story of dismal failure” the author describes ‘Dr. Jim’ as “a splendid outlaw” whose personal qualities inspired the deepest devotion in his men who “loved him even more in his hours of defeat than when the hopes of success stood highest”. This issue follows the tradition of ‘From Cape Coast to Coomassie’ and the ‘Emin Pasha Relief Expedition’ in its patriotic praise of heroic exploits. The fact that this adventure failed added a special piquancy. The outer wrapper, in blue, shows ‘Dr. Jim’ astride his horse. Carrying his rifle at the ready he crosses the rough scrub land with an air of heroic determination. The issue consists of 46 pages, measures 30 x 42 cm and was priced at one shilling. next page >>

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