The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 82
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
cantly different from, their European originals. The word Boer means,
literally, "farmer," and most of the original Afrikaaners were farmers.
What the British call "The Boer War" and the Afrikaaners call
"Die Engelse oorlog" erupted in 1899. Bitter fighting was followed
by the Treaty of Vereeniging, signed on May 31, 1902; intensive nego-
tiation resulted in the creation of the Union of South Africa eight
years later, on May 31, 1910o. The Union consisted of four provinces:
the predominantly Afrikaaner Orange Free State and the Transvaal,
and the chiefly British Cape and Natal provinces. On May 31, 1961,
the Union withdrew from the British Commonwealth to become the
Republic of South Africa.'
Although the terms of the Treaty which ended the war were gener-
ous, the Afrikaaners deeply resented their defeat. Considerable senti-
ment arose in favor of another migration, and some persons consid-
ered Texas as a new Afrikaaner homeland. The prospect of such a
migration brought about the visit to Texas of ex-President Francis
William Reitz of the Orange Free State which is here recounted by
the Reverend J. A. van Blerk.
"Met President Reitz deur Texas" is Chapter Sixteen of Op die
Bermudas Beland, published in Cape Town and Amsterdam in 1949.
None of Op die Bermudas Beland has been translated previously. Its
author, the Reverend Dr. J. A. van Blerk, was born in Malmsbury
District, Union of South Africa, about thirty miles from Cape Town,
in 1871. He completed his theological studies at the University of
Stellenbosch in 1899. In 1901o he was sent as chaplain to the Boer
prisoners of war, then interned by the British in Bermuda. At the end
of the war, he went to Washington, joined the party of President Reitz,
and traveled with them through Louisiana and Texas. Later he trav-
eled on his own to see more of the United States before returning to
South Africa by way of Europe in July, 1903. Having married in
1A well-researched account of the political affairs that led to the outbreak of the
Boer War can be found in J. S. Marais, The Fall of Kruger's Republic (London, 1961).
The story of the war is told from a partisan point of view in Deneys Reitz, Commando:
A Boer Journal of the Boer War (New York, 193o), but more objectively in W. Baring
Pemberton, Battles of the Boer War (London, 1964). Two general histories of South
Africa are F. A. Van Jaarsveld, The Afrikaner's Interpretation of South African History
(Cape Town, South Africa, 1964), a series of lectures and articles by a history pro-
fessor in the University of South Africa (published originally in Afrikaans and now
for the first time in English) which examine the history of South Africa and how the
Afrikaaner looks at himself; and Hector Menteith Robertson, South Africa: Economic
and Political Aspects (Durham, N.C., 1957), a brief general treatment of South African
history from the beginning of European interest there.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/94/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.