The British and the ‘Bushmen’: The Massacre of the Cape San, 1795 to 1828

TitleThe British and the ‘Bushmen’: The Massacre of the Cape San, 1795 to 1828
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPenn, Nigel
JournalJournal of Genocide Research
Volume15
Issue2
Pagination183-200
Date Published06/2013
Abstract

During the first three decades of the British occupation of the Cape the government was committed to stopping the massacre of the San (the hunter–gatherer inhabitants of southern Africa). Under the rule of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) commandos had waged a genocidal war against the San on the colony's frontier. British policy, in contrast, was to protect and ‘civilize’ the San. By 1828, however, the Cape San were in a worse situation than they had ever been in. The superintendent of the London Missionary Society, Dr Philip, claimed this was because the British authorities at the Cape had presided over and permitted one of the bloodiest episodes in British history, the destruction of the San. This article seeks to evaluate Philip's accusations and to ascertain whether massacre was indeed prevalent in the British colony of the Cape of Good Hope.

URLhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14623528.2013.793081
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