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Sources of Conflict in Southern Africa, c. 1800–30: The ‘Mfecane’ Reconsidered*

  • Elizabeth A. Eldredge (a1)

The so-called ‘mfecane’ has been explained in many ways by historians, but never adequately. Julian Cobbing has absolved the Zulu of culpability for ongoing regional conflicts, but his work is severely flawed in its use of evidence. Cobbing is incorrect to argue that the Delagoa Bay slave trade existed on a large scale prior to the disruptions beginning in 1817, and European slaving therefore cannot have been a root cause of political turmoil and change, as he claims. Cobbing correctly identifies European-sponsored slave-raiding as a major cause of violence across the north-eastern Cape Frontier, but his accusations of missionary involvement are false. Jeff Guy's interpretation of the rise of the Zulu kingdom based on environmental factors is inadequate because he examined only stock-keeping and not arable land use, which led him to false conclusions about demography and politics. In this paper I argue that the socio-political changes and associated demographic turmoil and violence of the early nineteenth century in southern Africa were the result of a complex interaction between factors governed by the physical environment and local patterns of economic and political organization. Increasing inequalities within and between societies coupled with a series of environmental crises transformed long-standing competition over natural resources and trade in south-eastern Africa into violent struggles.

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1 Cobbing Julian, ‘The mfecane as alibi: thoughts on Dithakong and Mbolompo’, J. Afr. Hist., XXIX (1988), 487519.

2 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 489.

3 Ibid. 503–4; cf. Hedges D. W., ‘Trade and politics in southern Mozambique and Zululand in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1978).

4 This information also appeared in Omer-Cooper and has been repeated by both Hedges and Bonner. Omer-Cooper J. D., The Zulu Aftermath: A Nineteenth-Century Revolution in Bantu Africa (Evanston, 1969), 29, 49, 86; Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 504, n. 83.

5 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 507.

6 Harries P., ‘Slavery, social incorporation and surplus extraction: the nature of free and unfree labour in South-East Africa’, J. Afr. Hist., XXII (1981), 309–30.

7 Harries, ‘Slavery’, 316.

8 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 504.

9 Ibid. 504–5. Italics his.

10 Ibid. 506.

11 Ibid. 506.

12 Smith Alan K., ‘The trade of Delagoa Bay as a factor in Nguni politics 1750–1835’, in Thompson Leonard (ed.), African Societies in Southern Africa (London, 1969), 177.

13 Bannister Saxe, Humane Policy, or Justice to the Aborigines of New Settlements… (London, 1830; reprinted London, 1968), xxxii. Bannister incorrectly cites the title as ‘The Adventures of Robert Drury’, whereas the book has appeared in several editions under the title Madagascar; or, Robert Drury's Journal, During Fifteen Years’ Captivity on that Island and was long attributed to Daniel Defoe. A full examination of the authorship question is found in Secord Arthur W., ‘Robert Drury's Journal’ and Other Studies (Urbana, 1961), 145. This same quotation from Drury appeared in Kay Stephen, Travels and Researches in Caffraria (New York, 1834), 336, but there are no other references to an early slave trade out of Natal in these sources or in Drury. Drury further writes that six Africans from Delagoa Bay who had been taken aboard on a previous trip were left off at Port Natal and that the Natal slaves were left off in Madagascar, where 130 other slaves evidently of Madagascar origins were purchased and taken aboard. Madagascar; or Robert Drury's Journal, ed. Oliver Pasfield (London, 1890; reprinted New York, 1969), 304–7.

15 MrFynn , ‘From a Fragmentary Paper…’, The Annals of Natal, 1495 to 1845 (2 vols.), by the late MrBird John (Reprinted Cape Town, 1965), i, 73.

16 Ibid. 144. Adding to the total exports the 25 slaves who were taken to the Cape in 1730 when the post was abandoned brings the total for slaves to 313. James C. Armstrong, personal communication, citing Coetzee C. G., ‘Die kompanjie se besetting van Delagoabaai’, Archives Year Book for South African History, XI (1948), 269.

17 Smith, ‘Trade’, 176.

18 Ibid. 177.

19 Smith Alan K., ‘The struggle for control of southern Moçambique, 1720–1835’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of California—Los Angeles, 1970), 154.

20 Ibid. 162–5.

21 Ibid. 166–8, 176–97.

22 Ibid. 191.

23 For example see ‘Carta dos Governadores Interinos ao Secretario de Estado, em 19 de Julho de 1785’, Documento no. 21, Lobato Alexandre, História do Presidio de Lourenço Marques. Vol. I, 1782–1786 (Lisboa, 1949), 202–3.

24 ‘Mr. Penwell's account of Delagoa given me by Himself’, no date, no name of person to whom given; Theal G. M. (ed.), Records of South-Eastern Africa (RSEA) (9 vols.) (London, 1903; reprinted Cape Town, 1964), ii, 455–65. Theal estimates the document is from the late eighteenth century; the contents, which refer to specific chiefs, indicate a date from the 1780s.

25 Lobato, História, i, 21.

26 Ibid. Zimmerman concludes that ‘the years 1785 to 1794 mark the peak of the French slave trade at Moçambique’, which was brought to a halt by the British and never really revived. Except for the years 1789 to 1800 at the single port of Moçambique Island, trade in foreign ships was officially illegal, so foreign trade is almost impossible to trace. The complete absence of any references to French ships buying slaves at Delagoa Bay in Zimmerman and in Mettas is therefore not conclusive. See Zimmerman Matilde, ‘The French slave trade at Moçambique, 1770–1794’ (M.A. thesis, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1967), 19, 21, and passim; and Mettas Jean, Repértoire des expéditions négrières françaises au XVIIIe siècle’ (2 vols.) (Paris, 1978 and 1984). On the other hand, in 1785 a French ship which had aided the Portuguese in a fight against Africans at Delagoa Bay subsequently went to Moçambique Island to purchase slaves, suggesting that slaves had not been available at Lourenço Marques. Lobato, Historia, i, 127. Filliot attempted to compile a comprehensive statistical profile of the slave trade to the Mascarene Islands in the eighteenth century. He documents the trade from the Portuguese coast of Mozambique, but in his massive search he found no references to slaves from Delagoa Bay. Nevertheless this is inconclusive since he acknowledges that no use had been made by himself or his sources of the Portuguese archives at Lourenço Marques. Filliot J.-M., La traite des esclaves vers les Mascareignes au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1974), 52. Although Dutch ships stopped occasionally at the Bay looking for lost ships and had an ongoing awareness of activities there, the Dutch sources show no evidence of significant trade in slaves from Delagoa Bay during the late eighteenth century; James C. Armstrong, personal communication. I am indebted to Armstrong for assistance with sources for this period.

27 Smith, ‘Trade’, 175–6. Smith's research included a search for all related materials in the Lisbon overseas archives, the Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino.

28 Smith, ‘Struggle’, 210–11, 225–7.

29 Ibid. 225–6.

30 de Paiva Manso Visconde, Memoria sobre Lourenço Marques (Delagoa Bay) (Lisboa, 1870), 12.

31 ‘The Bay of Delagoa’, by Owen Captain, of HMS Leven, in RSEA, ii, 475. This article contains information not available in Owen's published journals.

32 Owen, ‘The Bay of Delagoa’, 474.

33 ‘Extracts from a letter from Commodore Joseph Nourse to J. W. Croker, esq.’, 15 01 1823, RSEA, ix, 20.

34 ‘Report to Captain J. Tomkinson, commanding His Majesty's sloop of war Caledon, to Vice-Admiral Albemarle Bertie’, 7 06 1809, RSEA, ix, 1. Campbell has dealt with the early nineteenth century but has very little for the period before 1820, none of which refers to Delagoa Bay. Campbell Gwyn, ‘Madagascar and Mozambique in the slave trade of the western Indian Ocean 1800–1861’, in Clarence-Smith William Gervase (ed.), The Economics of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1989), 166–93.

35 ‘Report of Captain William Fisher, of His Britannic Majesty's Sloop of War Racehorse, to Vice-Admiral Albemarle Bertie’, 17 08 1809, RSEA, ix, II.

36 Letter from the Earl of Caledon to the Right Honourable Nicholas Vansittart, Cape of Good Hope, 27 June 1810, RSEA, ix, 11–12.

37 Letter from Captain H. Lynne to Rear Admiral Stopford, 21 May 1812, RSEA, ix, 16.

38 Owen W. F. W., Narrative of Voyages to Explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia and Madagascar (2 vols.) (London, 1833), i, 148.

39 Ibid. i, 137, 141.

40 Thompson George, Travels and Adventures in Southern Africa (2 vols.) (London, 1827; reprinted Cape Town, 1967), i, 182 n.

41 Owen, ‘The Bay of Delagoa’, RSEA, ii, 465–79.

42 Owen, Narrative, i, 270.

43 Ibid. i, 286–7.

44 Ibid. i, 301.

45 Ibid. ii, 218. This observation supports the conventional view that slaves became readily available at Delagoa Bay as a result of the migrations from the south and that the slave trade expanded following these migrations, rather than the reverse.

46 Ibid. ii, 218.

47 Letter from Captain W. F. W Owen to J. W. Croker, 9 Oct. 1823, HMS Leven, Mozambique, RSEA, ix, 32.

48 Letter from Captain W. F. W. Owen to John Wilson Croker, esq., H.M.S. Leven, Mozambique, 11 Oct. 1823, RSEA, ix, 37–9.

49 Letter from Captain Owen to Senhor de Botelho, Governor of Moçambique, Leven, 10 May 1825, RSEA, ix, 57.

50 Stuart James (ed.), The Diary of Henry Francis Fynn (Pietermaritzburg, 1969), 39.

51 Ibid. 40.

52 Fynn H. F., ‘Delagoa Bay’, RSEA, ix, 487.

53 Stuart (ed.), Diary, 43.

54 William Threlfall, Village Sleugally, Tembe, Delagoa Bay, 1823, in Bannister, Humane Policy, lxvi.

55 Threlfall, Portuguese Fort, Delagoa Bay, 29 Nov. 1823, in Bannister, Humane Policy, lxvii.

56 Newitt M. D. D., ‘Drought in Mozambique, 1823–1831’, J. Southern Afr. Studies, XV (1988), 1435.

57 Lobato A., História do Presídio de Lourenço Marques. Vol. II, 1787–1799 (Lisbon, 1960), 356, quoted in Harries, ‘Slavery’, 311.

58 Lobato, Historia, ii, 356–7. Lobato does not elucidate the period 1800–30 since his work ends in 1799, but his exposure of the slave trade in the earlier period indicates that he was not part of a conspiracy of silence about the Portuguese slave trade out of Mozambique.

59 Botelho Sebastião Xavier, Memoria estatistica sobre os dominios Portugueses na Africa oriental (Lisboa, 1835).

60 Botelho, Memoria, 92. Translation mine.

61 Capela José and Medeiros Eduardo, O tráfico de escravos de Moçambique para as ilhas do Índico 1720–1902 (Maputo, 1987), 3241. Their ship lists are far from complete, and these data are supplemented with evidence from a broad range of archival sources.

62 See Legassick Martin, ‘The northern frontier to c. 1840: the rise and decline of theGriqua people’, in Elphick Richard and Giliomee Herman (eds.), The Shaping of South African Society, 1652–1840 (2nd rev. ed., Middletown, 1988), 358420.

63 How Marion, ‘An alibi for Mantatisi’, Afr. Studies, XIII (1954), 6576; and Lye William F., ‘The lifaqane: the mfecane in the Southern Sotho area, 1822–24’, J. Afr. Hist., VII (1967), 107–31. Historians have long since recognized that the colonists misidentified many Africans, indiscriminately calling otherwise unknown groups who originated from the north-east ‘Mantatees’. The term ‘Mantatees’ was a catch-all name used for all non-Xhosa Africans of whom Cape Colonists became aware during this period, either through hearsay or as incoming laborers. Cobbing's treatment of this issue illustrates why his work is so difficult for a non-specialist to read and criticize. Cobbing uses the term Mantatees beginning on page 492 to refer to captured, enslaved laborers sold into the colony, without initially explaining this use to the reader. He does not trace the origins of the term and its misuse in the sources until pages 514–15, and he never acknowledges that the distinction between so-called Mantatees and the people of ’MaNtatisi was recognized even when the term Mantatee was first in use and is widely understood by historians today. It is not until the reader reaches the discussion and footnotes on page 516 that we learn why Cobbing rejects the accepted view of events at Lithakong, found in the work of How and Lye. Even here he never addresses the evidence on which the accepted view is based, making it necessary to review this evidence briefly here.

64 MacGregor J. C., Basuto Traditions (Cape Town, 1905). For further discussion of Ellenberger and MacGregor see Eldredge Elizabeth A., ‘Land, politics and censorship: the historiography of nineteenth-century Lesotho’, History in Africa, XV (1988), 191209.

65 Unfortunately the renditions of How and Lye, like that of Ellenberger before them, read much into the material which they have only surmised and which is highly questionable, such as the attitudes and intentions of the participants. Many of the pejorative adjectives from the missionary sources which appeared in Ellenberger also appear in How and in Lye.

66 Lye, ‘Lifaqane’, 127–8. The difficulties of transcribing SeTswana sounds account for the many variations of name spellings in early sources. For example, a sound which many foreigners have difficulty pronouncing can be rendered as ‘hl’ or ‘tl’ or ‘cl’; another guttural consonant is rendered alternatively as ‘r’ or ‘g’ or ‘h’.

67 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 516.

68 Ibid. 516n. In the text Cobbing refers to ‘the Hlakwana and Phuthing, whoever they were’.

69 Ibid. 492.

70 Ibid. 492.

71 Ibid. 492. Cobbing mistakenly says that Lithakong was the residence of the ‘Maida’, when in fact it had long been the main BaTlhaping town, and the Maili lived among the BaTlhaping near Lithakong.

72 Ibid. 493.

73 Philip John, Researches in South Africa (2 vols.) (London, 1828; reprinted New York, 1969), ii, 79.

74 Thompson, Travels.

75 Ibid, i, 74.

76 Ibid, i, 74.

77 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 493.

78 ‘Melvill's narrative of transactions after the battle, and of his excursion to rescue the women and children of the invaders’, in Thompson, Travels, i, 153.

79 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 493.

80 Watson R. L., The Slave Question: Liberty and Property in South Africa (Middletown, 1990), 1920, 234n.

81 Thompson, Travels, i, 86, 88, 92–3, 112, 115, 165–6; 11, 48n, 223–4, 235.

82 Ibid. i, 187.

83 Philip, Researches, ii, 7984. Original letter from John Melvill to Sir Richard Plasket, Secretary of Government, Cape Town, 17 Dec. 1824.

84 ‘Extract from a Report by Mr. Melville [sic], Government Agent for Griqua Town, dated December 1824, relative to the State of the Griquas, addressed to the Colonial Secretary’, in Papers Relative to the Condition and Treatment of the Native Inhabitants of Southern Africa within the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope or Beyond the Frontier of that Colony, Part I: Hottentots and Bosjesmen; Caffres; Griquas, in Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, 1835 (50), XXXIX, 212–19.

85 Ibid. 215–16.

86 Ibid. 217.

87 Ibid. 217.

88 Extracts from the Journal of Mssrs Melvill and Kolbe, addressed to the Rev Richard Miles, Superintendent of the Society's Missions in Africa, Philippolis, 25 Nov. 1828, Council for World Missions (London Missionary Society) Archives (hereafter CWM). An edited version of this was published as ‘Missionary tour through the country of the Bashutoos’, Transactions of the Missionary Society, LII (10 1829), 123–8. Other extracts from Melvill appear in this journal.

89 Extracts from the Journal of Mssrs Melvill and Kolbe, 25 Nov. 1828, CWM Archives (unpublished original letter).

91 Gluckman Max, ‘The rise of the Zulu Empire’, Scientific American, CCII (04 1960), 157–68. Omer-Cooper subsequently focused on the age-regiment system of Dingiswayo and argued that it was newly borrowed and adapted from the customs of his SeSotho-speaking neighbors, but recent research indicates this was a false assumption. Omer-Cooper, Zulu Aftermath. In the context of the historiography of South Africa in the 1960s, Omer-Cooper broke new ground in giving primary attention to the internal dynamics of African history in his book. Unfortunately, the very title of the book perpetuates the myth of Zulu responsibility for the violence of the period. By focussing only on the internal dynamics of these societies, Omer-Cooper ignored the fact that they were affected by external trade and other forms of European influence. Implicit in Omer-Cooper's book, in addition, is a ‘great man’ approach to history, as his focus tends to be on the character and innovations of leaders.

92 Smith, ‘Trade’; and Smith Alan K., ‘Delagoa Bay and the trade of south-eastern Africa’, in Gray Richard and Birmingham David (eds.), Pre-Colonial African Trade (London, 1970), 265–89.

93 Guy Jeff, ‘Ecological factors in the rise of Shaka and the Zulu kingdom’, in Marks Shula and Atmore Anthony (eds.), Economy and Society in Pre-Industrial South Africa (London, 1980), 102–19.

94 Ibid. 105–12.

95 Ibid. 103.

96 Ibid. 103.

97 Guy acknowledged the importance of cultivation in another article, but he did not attempt to revise his earlier thesis based on the recognition that ‘cereal production was not only fundamental to the existence of these societies, but absorbed massive amounts of labour time dominating not only the productive processes, but profoundly affecting social life generally’. Guy Jeff, ‘Analysing pre-capitalist societies in southern Africa’, J. Southern Afr. Studies, XIV (1987), 29.

98 Isaacs Nathaniel, Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa (2 vols.) (London, 1836; reprinted Cape Town, 1936), ii, 127.

99 Ibid. ii, 127.

100 Isaacs, Travels, i, 46, and ii, 241.

101 Guy, ‘Ecological’, 116.

102 Guy, ‘Pre-capitalist societies’, 32.

103 Krige says marriage was also delayed for women in Shaka's time, but she has no source or evidence for this assertion, and she elsewhere tends to collapse evidence from different periods, a mistake Guy makes here as well by using Shepstone's evidence concerning delayed marriage of women in 1873. Krige Eileen J., The Social System of the Zulus (3rd ed., London, 1936; reprinted Pietermaritzburg, 1957), 38; Guy, ‘Ecological’, 116.

104 Captain J. S. King, ‘Some account of Mr. Farewell’s settlement at Port Natal, and of a visit to Chaka, King of the Zoolas, etc.’, in Thompson, Travels, ii, 251.

105 Krige, Social System, 38.

106 Lunguza ka Mpukane, informant in de B. Webb C. and Wright J. B. (eds.), James Stuart Archives of Recorded Oral Evidence Relating to the History of the Zulu and Neighboring Peoples (JSA) (4 vols.) (Pietermaritzburg and Durban, 19761986), i, 317.

107 Lunguza in JSA, i, 317. Isaacs indicates that bridewealth was seldom more than ten cows: Travels, ii, 237. Gardiner estimates it was four to six cows, but twenty to one hundred for a chief's daughter: Gardiner Allen F., Narrative of a Journey to the Zoolu Country in South Africa (London, 1836), 98.

108 Hall Martin, ‘Dendroclimatology, rainfall and human adaptation in the later Iron Age of Natal and Zululand’, Annals of the Natal Museum, XXII (1976), 693703. Wright and Hamilton have asserted that ‘the “environmental” argument is speculative and cannot by itself explain why conflict over resources should have begun when and where it did, nor why it should have produced the particular political effects that it did’. This led them to emphasize an explanation based on trade, but they have admitted that trade also can account for state formation in the region only partially, since ‘why these processes should have begun in these particular chiefdoms and not in others is more difficult to explain’. Wright John and Hamilton Carolyn, ‘Traditions and transformations: the Phongolo-Mzimkhulu region in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries’, in Duminy Andrew and Guest Bill (eds.), Natal and Zululand From Earliest Times to 1910: A New History (Durban, 1989), 61.

109 Bonner Philip, Kings, Commoners and Concessionaires: the Evolution and Dissolution of the Nineteenth-Century Swazi State (Cambridge, 1982), 21.

110 Bonner summarizes the interpretation of this process found in D. W. Hedges, ‘Trade and polities’; Bonner, Kings, 1023.

111 Smith, ‘Trade’, 176; see also Portuguese sources, e.g. Manso, Memoria, 1113, 66–32, 100–32, 118, 121, 131.

112 See also Smith Alan, ‘The Indian Ocean zone’, in Birmingham David and Martin Phyllis M. (eds.), History of Central Africa (2 vols.) (London, 1983), i, 233–6.

113 It is not sufficient to assert that drought must somehow have induced social stress without explaining the precise causal relationship: in well-managed systems of food storage and distribution through any form of social security system, drought need not cause food scarcity, famine, or social distress. As Amartya Sen has shown, it is politics and the distribution of food entitlements which determine the social impact of drought, i.e. whether or not drought leads to famine. Sen Amartya, Poverty and Famines: an Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (Oxford, 1981). For an explanation of Sen and an analysis of drought and famine in nineteenth-century southern Africa using Sen's approach, see Eldredge Elizabeth A., ‘Drought, famine, and disease in nineteenth-century Lesotho’, Afr. Economic Hist., XVI (1987), 6193.

114 The great drought of 1800 to 1803 affected all of southern Africa. Europeans in the Cape Colony lost so many cattle from drought in 1800 that an expedition was sent north to acquire cattle from trade with the BaThlaping (BaTswana). Barrow John, An Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa (2 vols.) (London, 1801; reprinted New York, 1968), 11, 55. Numerous oral traditions about this drought and the associated famine have been recorded from the BaTswana, BaSotho, and AmaZulu. ‘Mabokoboko, ou une page d'histoire’, Journal des Missions Evangéliques, 1884, 420; Laydevant H., OMI, ‘La misère au Basutoland’, Les Missions Catholiques, 1934, 333–7; Moshoeshoe Nehemiah Sekhonyana, ‘A little light from Basutoland’, Cape Monthly Magazine, 3rd series, ii, part 10 (04 1880), 221–33, and ii, part II (May 1880), 280–92; Almanaka ea Basotho, Selemo sa 1894, Mabille Khatiso ea A. (Morija, 1894); Litaba tsa Lilemo (Morija, 1931). See also Ballard Charles, ‘Drought and economic distress: South Africa in the 1800s’, J. Interdisciplinary Hist., XVII (1986), 359–78; Eldredge, ‘Drought’; Guy, ‘Ecological’.

115 The Nguni had the capacity to store large quantities of food for up to seven years in order to prevent famine in times of drought. Contrary to what Hall states, both grain pits and grain baskets were used by the Nguni for storing huge quantities of grain, and although some would always be lost to rot and pests, the incentives for storing grain to avoid famine were very great in the nineteenth century. Hall, ‘Dendroclimatology’.

116 Omer-Cooper, Zulu Aftermath, 49; Daniel J. B. M., ‘A geographical study of pre-Shakan Zululand’, South African Geographical Journal, XV (1973), 29.

117 Isaacs, Travels, i, 85, 106, 149–52, 159, 161.

118 Ibid. ii, 171.

119 Ibid. i, 110.

120 Ibid. i, 180, 283.

121 Moffat, Missionary Labours, 307.

122 Ibid. 329–30.

123 Campbell John, Travels in South Africa (2 vols.) (London, 1822; reprinted New York, 1967), ii, 93–4.

124 Ibid. 332–3.

125 ‘Mabokoboko’; Almanaka ea Basotho (1894); Litaba tsa Lilemo (1931).

126 In August 1824 Thompson encountered some Korannas who were literally starving to death and noted that they had been reduced to this state because of extreme drought. Thompson, Travels, ii, 30–3. Similarly Moffat noted that there had been ‘several successive years of drought, during which water had not been seen to flow upon the ground; and in that climate, if rain does not fall continuously and in considerable quantities, it is all exhaled in a couple of hours’. This drought lasted several years prior to early 1826, when finally rain came, indicating that the drought dated back at least three years to 1823 if not earlier. Moffat, Missionary Labours, 315, 447. BaSotho oral traditions also indicate that there was a severe drought during these years. ‘Liketso tse etsagetseng Lesotho 1820–1870’ [Events in Lesotho 1820–1870], Leselinyana la Lesotho (newspaper of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Lesotho), 10 1871, 73–7; Litaba tsa Lilemo (1931); N. S. Moshoeshoe, ‘A little light from Basutoland’.

127 Moffat, Missionary Labours, 316.

128 Thompson, Travels, i, 79.

129 Ibid. i, 100, 107.

130 Campbell, Travels, i, 64.

131 Thompson, Travels, i, 101.

132 Ibid. i, 107.

133 Cobbing, ‘Mfecane’, 517.

* I would like to thank James C. Armstrong, R. Hunt Davis Jr., Robert Edgar, John Mason, Alan K. Smith, and Rick Watson for their comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this paper.

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