top of page
< Back

Nathaniel Isaacs of Natal

S. A. Rochlin

<plain_text><page sequence="1">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 247 Nathaniel Isaacs and Natal By S. A. Rochlin. Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England. March 24, 1930. In the annals of Anglo-Jewry across the seas, the name and fame of Nathaniel Isaacs ought to occupy an exemplary place on its roll of honour. Now that a century has passed since the subject of this paper nobly and actively played his role on the fascinating stage of South African history, it is fitting to emphasise and evaluate those salient features of his unusual career which have endeared his adven? turous and pioneering personality to the historically-conscious Jews of England and South Africa. Let this study be our centennial tribute to his memory. Sincerely and impartially he deserves this honour, inasmuch as he is still a somewhat neglected figure among the historians of Anglo-Je wry.1 Even in South Africa where his character should receive further recognition and appraisement, little has been done to promote in critical vein a fuller and effective account of his con? tribution to the advancement of European civilisation in the sub? continent, and he is generally regarded as a " man of lesser note."2 1 Incomplete accounts of his life are to be found in the Jewish Chronicle, July 26, 1895 ; Dr. J. H. Hertz, The Jew in South Africa (Johannesburg, 1905), pp. 14, 15 ; Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. vi. pp. 634-35 and vol. xi. pp. 477-78 ; S. Mendelssohn, " Jewish Pioneers of South Africa " in Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc, viii. 189; Sir George E. Cory, The Eise of South Africa (London, 1913) vol. ii. pp. 353-66 ; Dr. G. McCall Theal, History of South Africa Since 1795 (London, 1915), vol. ii. pp. 321-42 ; C. Graham Botha, " Early Jews of South Africa " in Cape Times, 22 August, 1923 ; Israel Cohen, " Jewish Pioneers of British Dominions " in The Real Jew, edited by H. Newman (London, 1925), p. 254; Clarence I. Freed, " Famous Globe Trotters " in American Hebrew (New York), Feb. 3, 1928, p. 463. See also L. Herrman, The Jews in South Africa (1930), p. 70 sq. 2 J. F. Ingram, The Land of Gold, Diamonds and Ivory (London, 1890), p. 50.</page><page sequence="2">248 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. A closer study of his career would show that it is otherwise the case, bearing in mind the immensity of his self-imposed tasks and the general conditions of life and public opinion then pertaining in a pratically undeveloped country. Moreover, all his actions and thoughts would serve to suggest how a Jew has been a responsible agent in opening up a large and productive area of land in the con? solidating growth of the British Empire in the 'thirties of the nine? teenth century. Not only in this wise must Nathaniel Isaacs be considered, but also as a representative of a notable family in Anglo-Jewry, of whose varied activities little has been penned in Jewish literary sources, and whose influences in many a circle of action and thought are still felt to this very day. A nephew of his was Samuel Isaac (1815-86), the projector of the Mersey tunnel, and one of the most prominent European supporters of the Southern States during the Civil War in America.3 Another nephew was Saul Isaac, M.P. for Nottingham (1874-80).4 He was, too, intimately associated with the Solomons of St. Helena?a family whose descendants have left their mark on the finer elements of South Africa's public and intellectual life. His maternal uncle was Saul Solomon, senior, who came to St. Helena about 1806, and " was a merchant of unquestionable reputation, and highly esteemed for the warmth of his friendship and hospitality, as well as for the integrity of his character?distinctions which have been conferred on him by all who had an intercourse with that island, and which have eminently tended towards the attainment of the confidential and responsible appointments of Consul, with which he has been honoured by their Majesties the King of the Netherlands and the King of the French."5 Apart from this group, Isaacs came 3 Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xxix. p. 60; Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. vi. p. 629. See Herrman, I.e. 4 Transactions J. H. S., viii. 204. 5 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. p. xvix; Captain Henry Foster, F.R.S., Narrative of a Voyage to the Southern Atlantic Ocean in the Years 1828-30 (London, 1834), vol. i. pp. 349, 365 ; Sir James E. Alexander, Narrative of a Voyage of Observation Among the Colonies of Western Africa (London, 1837), vol. ii. pp. 248-52 ; and J. W. Massie, Continental India (London, 1840), pp. 380-81. The latter author remarks, inter alia : " The English population besides the soldiers, infantry, and artillery, amounted to nearly 300. There were several</page><page sequence="3">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 249 much in contact with the Moss and Gideon families, who, for many years, traded under the name of Solomon, Moss, Gideon, &amp; Co.6 They were all energetic and prosperous business people. " Their business," declared a later authority, " materially aids in supporting a large portion of its inhabitants, and they are the principal Shipping Agents and the largest stockholders and landed proprietors in the island."7 All these family connections with Isaacs must be realised to the full. From them alone did he receive his earliest commercial training, which may be regarded as a prelude to his later trading adventures on the east coast of Africa. Besides, Isaacs filled no ordinary position in the early history of Natal or in the exploration of South Africa. His dominant ideal or ambition in life was to improve Britain's interests in foreign places. His was not the mission of undertaking an adventurous career merely for the sake of whimsical inclinations, but for the call of the true pioneering spirit in him.8 And this standpoint is quite evident in all his literary communications. It has always been clearly noted that the activities of Isaacs and his colleagues in Natal " have been of great service in extending the opportunity of our inquiries into the state of the surrounding country."9 More than this, if the principal governmental authorities of the day had fallen directly into line with the views of Isaacs, it would have saved South Africa from several respectable Jews. We stayed at the house of one where we were most suitably entertained, but the charges were high. Mr. Solomon has made a fortune of ?80,000, gone to England, where he lost it in speculations, and returned to his former employment of hotel-keeper. . . . He (Napoleon) arrived on the 17th of October, 1815, and died there on the 5th of May, 1821. He first resided in one of the houses which Mr. Solomon kept for voyagers, and then removed to the farm-houses where he died." Massie must have visited St. Helena about the year 1825. Vide Benjamin Grant, A Few Notes on St. Helena (St. Helena, 1882), p. 8). 6 Jewish Chronicle, April 24, 1895. 7 A Few Notes on St. Helena, p. 7. 8 C. Graham Botha in his article on " Early Jews of South Africa " (Cape Times, August 22, 1923), confirms this view. He declares that " Isaacs and his companions may be called the real pioneers of Natal, this being a few years before the Great Trek." 9 J. C. Chase, " A Sketch of the Progress and Present State of Geographical Discovery in the African Continent, made from the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope " in South African Quarterly Journal, April-June, 1834, p. 194.</page><page sequence="4">250 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. disastrous disagreements with the aborigines and others. As a con? temporary Cape newspaper expressed it,10 " The question of the occupation of Port Natal may elsewhere be a matter of unprofitable speculation ; but it must ever be deeply interesting to the inhabitants of the frontier of this colony, whose quiet is even now subject to daily interruptions from the frequent alarms so often communicated to the border tribes by every movement of the Zoolas, and whose pro? perty would depend upon the frailest of tenures should Port Natal, the only vulnerable point on the coast, be occupied by any rival power. Should we unfortunately be anticipated in the occupation of this port, the consequences would be equally injurious and inevitable. Our present lucrative and daily extending trade would be annihilated at a word : a wide field of profitable emigration, and a most promising vent for English manufacturers, would be closed and pre-occupied; all future prospects, dependent upon the spread of civilisation in the interior, would be at an end ; and the possession of Port Natal would, with a few hundred fire arms, have the power of propelling the whole population of Kafirland upon our frontier, and at some future day ?by super-adding the advantages of discipline to the overwhelming numbers of the native tribes?the English interests of the Cape of Good Hope might be circumscribed by the lives of Cape Town." But the greatest legacy Isaacs left to South Africa was his Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, with a Sketch of Natal, in two volumes, now very scarce. Published, in 1836, by Edward Churton, of 26, Holies Street, London, it was immediately considered a work of some importance.11 It has been hailed by erudite South African historians as " one of the most valuable and authentic accounts of the early 10 Graham's Town Journal, August 3, 1832 ; R. Godlonton, Introductory Remarks to a Narrative of the Irruption of the Kafir Hordes into the Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope, A.D. 1834-35 (Graham's Town, 1836), p. 163. 11 For example, the London Spectator (as quoted in the South African Com? mercial Adviser?Cape Town), October 26, 1836, wrote thus : "Mr. Isaacs seems so tremblingly alive to his deficiencies both as a traveller and as a writer, that we cannot help accepting his apology for the want of exactness, fullness, con? ciseness, and orderly arrangement, which is felt in the perusal of these volumes. In this case, moreover, any information is interesting, and in a measure valuable; for less is known of the South-east coast of Africa, and of the Zoolu or Fumos country, than of almost any other portion of that barbarous country."</page><page sequence="5">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL, 251 times of Natal."12 It was the result of a Journal kept by him during a period of six years' residence in Natal,?October, 1825 to June, 1831.13 And it is written, to a great extent, in the dignified prose of the period, accompanied by several poetical quotations and litho? graphic reproductions of members of the Zulu tribe. More remarkable it is that he, a young man,?he was born in 1808?should have pro? duced such a work, seeing that his education was purely a commercial one, " and taught nothing beyond that which might qualify me for Mercantile pursuits."14 That alone suggests the make-up of his mental calibre, and entitles him to a high position among the historians of Natal, especially his description of the various Zulu customs, which he was the first to give, and which is still consulted by students of Bantu anthropology and ethnology. No wonder that he has been described as "a man of high intelligence, who, being brought up amongst the natives, speaks their languages, and otherwise has thoroughly understood them."15 Before considering his main contribution in respect to the develop? ment of the Europeanisation of Natal, it would be well to judge other aspects of his personality which served to promote the cause he had at heart. He valued, for instance, the meaning of comrade? ship in its sincerest form and, among the early settlers of Natal, he may be noted as one who certainly lived up to his reputation. His friendship with Lieutenant King and others, in a then uncivilised country, was a fine picture of human devotion.16 His able defence 12 Sir George E. Cory, The Rise of South Africa, vol. ii. p. 353 ; Theal, History of South Africa (London, 1887), p. 90. 13 Considerable sections of his Journal were first published in the 1832 edition of the South African Commercial Advertiser (June 9, June 13, July 14, August 1, September 12, and October 10 issues respectively). Vide Appendix V. One can also agree with the view expressed by a writer in the London Quarterly Review for February, 1837, that his Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, apart from his Journal, must have been disfigured by some bookseller's hack in London, judging by the arrangement in which his volumes were edited; The Moderator, or Cape of Good Hope Impartial Observer, May, 1837, p. 3. 14 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. p. xviii. 15 D. C. F. Moodie, The History of the Battles and Adventures in Southern Africa (Cape Town, 1888), p. 437. 16 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. pp. 163-65; S.A. Com mercial Advertiser, January 17, 1828.</page><page sequence="6">252 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. of Iiis comrades' aims in coming to Natal was also another mark in his favour.17 His perspicacity in facing a dangerous situation elicited appreciation from friend and foe alike. The greatness of his character is shown by his boldness in meeting the dreaded Zulu despot, Chaka, and he was thus one of the earliest Europeans in Natal to be received with respect and honour from unwelcome quarters. Here is an example of his courage, which he displayed on one occasion while encountering serious difficulties with Chaka :18 " Inflamed by disappointment, and indignant from conceiving that we were a people of a petty race, I began to perceive that I stood on the brink of eternity, and that the next look of the savage might be a signal for my death. In this state of horrible suspense I remained three days, during which time I was incessantly abused, and often threatened with immediate execution. I at last told the merciless savage, when he assured me of death, that I was a single individual only, and could not contend with his power ; but that if he should kill me, my death would meet an avenging hand, which would fall heavily on him and his nation ; for that violence to a British subject was never allowed to escape the strictest investigation. Chaka laughed at this address ; and said, ' The Maloonquan, or little white man, is a spirited fellow, he fears not death.' I replied to him, that it was true, I did not fear death." Let it be remembered that this Chaka has an important niche in the history of the progress of nineteenth-century South Africa. Many and interesting are the accounts penned of his rise to power.19 Many and gruesome, too, are the tales told of this Zulu King's blood spattered actions, of which Isaacs was an unwilling witness. His idea was, in the main, to become an African Napoleon, and he acted accordingly. " The world," wrote a South African writer, " has been scourged by monsters. Rome had her Nero, the Huns their Attila, and Syracuse her Dionysius,?but Chaka immeasurably eclipsed them all. In sanguinary executions and in refined cruelties he outstripped all who had gone before him in any country in the world. He was a monster, a compound of vice and ferocity without one virtue, except 17 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. pp. 213-18, particularly in regard to the attacks of the Rev. S. Kay. 18 Ibid., vol. i. p. 296. 19 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 320-50.</page><page sequence="7">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 253 that of valour, to redeem his name from the infamy to which history has confined it."20 So, from this standpoint alone, Isaacs' contact with him was extraordinary. Isaacs left England in the year 1822 at the age of fourteen, and landed at the island of St. Helena, where a commercial life had been mapped out for him. He was employed for a few years in the counting house of his maternal uncle?Mr. Saul Solomon?with whom he lived on friendly terms. He tired of this vocation, and, in 1825, he formed an intimate friendship with Lieut. King, B.N., who commanded the brig Mary. Lieut. King was desirous of going to the Cape of Good Hope and Natal, where he was anxious to find out whether his friend, Lieut. Farewell was still alive,21 and he asked Isaacs to accompany him. Isaacs readily accepted his offer, and the brig reached Cape Town about the 1st of August, 1825. Three weeks later they left Cape Town for Port Natal?now known as Durban,?where, ultimately, the Mary was wrecked on its desolate and savage coast. As it can be imagined, Isaacs felt his position rather keenly, for he was " amidst a people whom I imagined not humanised ; emotions were awakened within which nothing but my trust and confidence in the protection 4 of the Giver of all life ' could have made endurable. It was the hour of reflection; and the thoughts of an anxious parent, of whose fostering care in my boyhood I had received so many endearing proofs, rushed irresistibly in my mind, and in the poignancy of my grief I became insensible to the dangers by which I was sur? rounded."22 Here they were to remain for several years. They found Farewell and his few friends safe, and immediately began to build another vessel, which was subsequently named the Susan and Elizabeth. Not satisfied with this activity, Isaacs wanted to meet the Zulu king Chaka, about whom he heard much from the lips of Farewell. The king's residence was many miles away from their settlement, 20 D. C. F. Moodie, History of the Battles and Adventures in Southern Africa, vol. i. p. 406 ; T. J. Lucas, The Zulus and the British Frontiers (London, 1879), p. 231 ; John Bird, The Annals of Natal (Pietermaritzburg, 1888), vol. i. p. 93; Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. p. 322. 21 Dr. G. McCall Theal, History of the Boers in South Africa (London, 1887), pp. 87-90. 22 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. p. 10. s</page><page sequence="8">254 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. and Isaacs travelled to that place on horseback. He shortly after? wards interviewed Chaka for the first time. He wrote as follows:23 " I offered to his Majesty the presents I had brought with me, con? sisting of twelve brass bangles and a bottle of sweet oil, the value of which he would be able to estimate when applied to bruises and swelled parts of the flesh. He desired me to rub his leg with some of it, an honour to which none but his subjects of rank are admitted ; and during my performance none of his people dared advance to within twenty yards without danger of his displeasure. While thus engaged, the Portuguese came up, whom he asked, ' who were the greatest warriors ? ' When he replied that the English had subdued all the powers on the other side of the great water, I was apprehen? sive that this compliment to the gallantry of my country might incense Chaka, and lead him to fear that we might next attempt to subdue him; but, to my great enjoyment, he felt otherwise, and said to his people about him, ' king George's warriors are a fine set of men ; in fact, king George and I are brothers ; he has conquered all the whites, and I have subdued all the blacks.' " The rest of the interview proceeded on the above line of thought. Nothing eventful happened as a result of this discussion. One view? point was clearly discernible : Isaacs gave a good account of him? self to Chaka. Subsequently, after sixty miles of travelling under the most horrible conditions, he reached the settlement of his friends. He reported to them his impressions of Chaka, whom he was destined to see again soon. This time he carried a tent to him, the present of Farewell. Chaka was pleased with it, and invited him to under? take a review of his fighting army. This being done, the Zulu king asked him whether he would care to fight for him. Isaacs, much against his will, assented to this request, but added that, before doing so, he must first inform his European colleagues what he had promised. He returned to his friends and told them of Chaka's demand. About this time, November, 1826, enmity had broken out between Lieutenants King and Farewell. This naturally, in a way, affected the mission of Isaacs, and from this time onward till his departure from Natal, Isaacs may be regarded as the leading European who 23 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 65-72.</page><page sequence="9">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 255 was the medium of expression between his friends and Chaka. Early in January, 1827, after a long tour in the interior, Isaacs visited Chaka, who promised Lieut. King a large tract of land near the river Umlallas. King took advantage of this offer. Isaacs, therefore, accom? panied Lieut. King to the river Umlallas, where he " planted a Union Jack on an elevated and conspicuous sandhill, to the eastward of this river, taking possession of it as a grant to us from Chaka to inherit, for the purposes of trading under the auspices of a Zoola monarch."24 Once more he retraced his steps towards Chaka, who was then preparing to fight his enemies. Isaacs had to act as a leader in one of his armies, and, at one stage in the battle, he was wounded.25 " Just as I had pulled my trigger, and saw the man fall, and another remove his shield, I felt something strike me behind. I took no notice, thinking it was a stone, but loaded my musket again; on putting my hand, however, behind, I perceived it to be bloody, and a stream running down my leg. Turning my head I could see the handle of a spear which had entered my back. John Cane tried to extract it, but could not; Jacob and four others tried successively; I, there? fore, concluded that it was one of their barbed harpoons. I retired a short time in consequence, when my native servant, by introducing his finger into the wound, managed to get it out. All this time I felt that the wound made by the spear had lacerated my flesh a good deal. I now was more anxious than before to renew the attack, but felt myself getting weak from loss of blood; I therefore descended the hill, and got to the position where a regiment of Zoola boys had been stationed. I requested some of them to conduct me to the Kraal, as I had to go along the side of the bush where the enemy had small parties, but they refused to lend me the least assistance. I took a stick and began to beat them, and levelled my piece at them, but not with the intention of firing, at which they all ran off in great confusion. My party now came up, the enemy having retreated, and we proceeded towards the camp in a body, but I had not gone far before I was compelled to drop, and my wound being extremely stiff and painful, I was obliged to be carried on the backs of my boys." Shortly afterwards he interviewed Chaka, who appeared to be amused 24 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 185-87. 25 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 197-208.</page><page sequence="10">256 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. at the wound Isaacs received. Had he not been a European, Isaacs (according to Chaka's ideas of warfare) would have been murdered in a brutal way. Instead, Chaka admired the bravery of our hero, presenting him with four milch cows. At this stage, however, Chaka was thinking seriously, of trying to meet the English monarch, George IV. Arrangements were thus made that his representatives should interview the Colonial authorities for the purpose of considering a treaty of amity between him and his English friends. This mission Lieut. King undertook to perform, and together with Isaacs and others, sailed from Port Natal on the 30th of April, 1828, on board the Susan and Elizabeth. Previously, Chaka did not wish Isaacs to leave Natal, owing to one of his chiefs ?Sotobe?going with Lieut. King. But Isaacs, then suffering from indisposition, was rescued from this situation by the offer of Mr. Fynn to act in this capacity as hostage until his return from his mission. The Susan and Elizabeth arrived in Algoa Bay on the 4th of May. They were well received by the inhabitants of the place. At first, Isaacs could not go on shore, for " I had only a pair of duck trousers, and a frock of the same material, made up by myself into these garments, but which exhibited little of their original appearance ... and my cap, composed of the skin of the civet cat, was the best piece about me; shoes I had none, I had discarded them two years ago, having been rendered useless and could obtain no others." Later, he was allowed to see his friends on the mainland, after being pro? perly attired. They remained in Algoa Bay three months. Their mission was an unsuccessful one, and the party returned to Natal on a man-of war, the Helicon. They saw Chaka, who, when informed of what occurred at the conference held in British territory, severely cen? sured the white men. He was especially angry with Lieut. King, who was then dangerously ill?in fact, on his death-bed. He also threatened Isaacs on several occasions with death. Isaacs took no notice of him, treating his remarks with indifference. All this trouble was chiefly due to the peculiar behaviour of Sotobe towards the Europeans as well as to " that absurd nostrum, the hair oil, the notion of which Mr. Farewell had impressed him, Chaka, as being</page><page sequence="11">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 257 a specific for old age." But Isaacs by bis courage and pertinacity overcame him, and soon Chaka and he were friends.26 Forthwith Chaka desired that Isaacs should interview the Colonial Government on behalf of the Zulu power. Before doing this, however, the Zulu king offered him a kraal of cattle, and sent his warriors to hunt elephants for him. Then he made a treaty with Isaacs, which was later reaffirmed by Dingaan. Wrote Isaacs :27 " As a remuneration for the presents he had received from me, as well as for my attention to his people on the last mission, and for the wound I had received in the war with Ingoma, he created me chief of Natal, and granted to me the tract of the country lying from the river Umslutee to the river Umlaas, a space of twenty-five miles of sea-coast, and one hundred miles inland, including the bay, islands, and forests near the point, and the exclusive right of trading with his people. After he had made his mark, as his signature to the grant, the interpreter made his, which happened to be larger than that of the king; the latter asked, in a stern manner, how it was possible that a common man's name could be greater than a king's ? Insisting on having the pen and grant again, he scribbled and made marks all over the blank part, and said, 'there,' pointing to his signature, ' any one can see that it is a king's name, because it is a great one. King George will also see that it is king Chaka's name.' " A little later?September 23rd, 1828?Chaka was murdered by one of his compatriots, and Dingaan took his place. Subsequently Isaacs handed over his grant of land to Mr. Fynn in acknowledgment of services 26 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 219-96. 27 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 311-12 ; T. J. Lucas, The Zulus and the British Frontiers, p. 33. The Rev. Wm. C. Holden, The Past and Future of the Kaffir Baces (London, 1866), p. 31, refers to it. He wrote that the document in question was " very creditable to the parties by whom it was prepared, showing that the best feelings existed between Chaka and the early settlers, and exhibiting on his part a very laudable desire to live in friendly relations with his Britannic Majesty; and evincing a disposition for his people to improve in the arts of civilized life . . . which might be of the utmost value to them in their intercourse with, and relation to, the white men; good faith characterizing the whole." J. F. Ingram in The Story of an A frican Seaport (Durban, 1899), pp. 17-19, has a copy of this document. Dr. J. H. Hertz in his Jew in South Africa, p. 15, slightly differs from J. F. Ingram's copy of the treaty.</page><page sequence="12">258 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. rendered by that gentleman to him and to others generally.28 It marked a new period in the career of Isaacs in Natal, and his suc? ceeding actions in South Africa testify to this orientation of his personality. Immediately after the death of Lieut. King (which took place on September 7th, 1828) Isaacs was appointed commander of the Susan and Elizabeth. This was done after much discussion among the settlers themselves, some of them openly displaying a jealous attitude towards him. The Susan and Elizabeth left Port Natal on December 2nd, 1828, for Algoa Bay, where Isaacs was to lay the case of the Zulu monarch before the Colonial Government. He landed in Algoa Bay on December 15th, and was badly treated by Mr. Francis, the Collector of Customs. Besides, his schooner was seized on account of his not having a register for it. Isaacs, of course, deeply felt this action, and strongly protested against the officer in question. He did not even, it is supposed, receive a share of the proceeds of the sale of the Susan and Elizabeth, although Mr. Francis in his com? munication to the Government at Cape Town declared that it was his " intention to restore to the parties interested the Cargo of the above named Vessel on their paying the duties thereon. . . . The peculiar circumstances under which the vessel was built together with the severe lapses which I understand the Parties interested in her have sustained at Port Natal, have determined me to return such parts of the Proceeds of Sale as may be placed at my disposal." All this, for a time, badly affected the fortunes of Isaacs, who felt depressed at his unexpected treatment from such people.29 Never? theless, he had faith enough to believe that his mission in Natal would not be a failure. So he journeyed to Cape Town. He was then sick, and was advised to return to St. Helena. This he did and shortly recovered from his illness. Meanwhile, he had been interviewed by an enter? prising American shipping master, who was anxious to obtain from him such information concerning conditions in Natal which would 28 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. ii. p. 41. 29 Ibid., vol. ii. pp. 2-3 ; Sir George E. Cory, Th e Rise of South Africa, vol. ii. p. 366 ; Cape Archives, C0573/113 (December 19, 1828); Cape Archives, C0618/1 (January 2, 1829); S.A. Commercial Advertiser, December 31, 1828.</page><page sequence="13">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 259 be favourable to American exploitation of that place. Much against his ideals Isaacs gave this American, Williams, some hints. He did this owing to " the insufferable indifference we met with in the case of Chaka's mission, at the hands of the Cape authorities, to whom I wished much to submit such information as might have been neither uninteresting nor unacceptable. I knew, or rather I could perceive, that no information was palatable, or conceived to be of a nature entitled to any favourable consideration, unless it emanated from, or was commissioned through, the instrumentality of officials. This being the case, and as I felt no disposition to make further effort to lay such information before the Cape Government, I did not hesitate to make my American friend acquainted with the advantages Natal affords."30 Clearly, the Colonial authorities were at this period, unsympathetic to the claims of Isaacs. But, in a few years, it changed its policy. On the 18th of February, 1830, he left St. Helena for Port Natal on an American brig. Reaching Natal on April 1st, he came across his old friends, especially Mr. Fynn, who was then on good terms with Dingaan. He interviewed Dingaan, and was optimistic of future prospects. All this while he noticed that the natives were improving their plots of land, pleasing to one who had devoted his labours for some time to them. And this spirit grew. On one occasion, com? mented Isaacs, " notwithstanding my most strict and earnest assur? ances that I would not permit any labour on the Sabbath day, my people commenced planting early in the morning, saying, they knew nothing of our Sunday, and that if they did not continue to plant now, their crops would all fail."31 In contrast to this picture was the activity of certain Cape colonists at the other end of South Africa. Envious of Isaacs' work in Natal, several irresponsible Europeans at the Cape caused rumours to be floated that he " was an American consul, engaged in training the natives in the use of firearms, for the purpose of defending Natal until the Americans arrived to take posses? sion of it," and other similar absurdities. Isaacs promptly and vehemently denied these statements, which also had its echo some 30 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. ii. pp. 6-7. 31 Ibid., vol. ii. pp. 63, 215.</page><page sequence="14">260 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. months later. Furthermore, he had on his side the majority of the white settlers in Natal, who believed in the cause he had in mind.32 Meanwhile, he visited Dingaan from time to time. The Zulu king, who had promised his white friends protection, was seen to be adopting a warlike attitude towards them. Once he asked Isaacs to fight for him in a coming native war. He refused to do this on principle, saying that his former action, during the regime of Chaka, had not been well-received by his countrymen. But Dingaan would not be dissuaded, and prepared his forces against the small band of Europeans, parti? cularly John Cane and his group. They all fled in alarm from his wrath. Isaacs left the country on June 24th, 1831, with the hope of returning to it, but he never did.33 Instead, he travelled further along the East coast, visiting Delagoa Bay and other places, noticing their development from small beginnings. And as a result of this journey, he expressed the hope, in words which sounded prophetic:34 "That the time is not far distant, when the government of Great Britain may view the advantages which the port of Natal offers for the exten? sion of commercial enterprise ; and that she may, on adverting to her Indian possessions, perceive how valuable an acquisition to her colonial dependencies such a position must be, from its being within the general course of her vessels bound to the eastern portion of her empire." When it is realised what other difficulties Isaacs had to contend with in order to reach the summit of his ambitions, it can be shown how his was not only a heavy task but one that was liable to constant misrepresentation. The life he and his comrades led in Natal was the chief source of mischief-making among a group of persons over-zealous in making hasty moral deductions. Probably, in his own lifetime, Isaacs' severest critic was the Rev. Stephen Kay, who, in his Travels and Researches in Caffraria (London, 1833), accused him and his colleagues of being a demoralising force in Natal.35 Isaacs emphatically 32 Ibid., vol. ii. pp. 211-15. 33 Vide Appendices VI and VII. 34 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. p. xxiii; Natal Advertiser (Durban), September 24, 1927. 35 Sir George E. Cory, The Rise of South Africa, vol. ii. p. 364, says that the Rev. Kay's acquaintanceship with Kaffirland " seems scarcely to have been of that intimate nature which entitled him to speak with authority."</page><page sequence="15">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 261 denied these allegations and expressed surprise that such mis-state? ments should come from one " who has never visited Natal, nor has any knowledge of the country . . . indicating too much of a morose and intolerant disposition in a man who attempts to asperse the unfortunate (and to blast their hopes of being well thought of their countrymen) by the dissemination of such equivocal charges, unsup? ported as they are by any testimony save the vehement reprover's own details."36 And let it be noted that Isaacs, personally, tried to lead a clean and moral life in a savage country. Only in one case has this claim been disputed.37 Then when it is considered that Isaacs' friends " were completely isolated from all society except that of barbarians, were without the restraints under which barbarians live, and were under no rulers or religious guides," sufficient reasons could be given to account for such a situation.38 Above all, let it be recollected that the Natal of Isaacs' generation was a pioneering Natal, and the early settlers?although not an over-intelligent company?had to engage in a great up-hill fight for existence. Moreover, if some Europeans did not have confidence in the labours of Isaacs and his fellows in Natal, the latter won the favour of many of the natives. For the disastrous crusades of Chaka and Dingaan drove many of the aborigines from the lands of these Zulu kings. It was only when the Europeans came to Natal, that these Zulus returned to their former lands, owing to the discernment of Isaacs and his friends ; a course of action which was duly appreciated by the British Government in the years to come.39 Coinciding with this view-point was the fact that Isaacs, apart from his engagement in one of Chaka's wars, " appears to have abstained from committing any further acts of violence in this territory during the short remainder of his life."40 In his friendly relations with the natives, his services were most valuable as he thus prepared the ground for future British colonisation. Most surprising of all, was the British Government's apathy 36 Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, vol. i. pp. 213-18. 37 Rev, Wm. C. Holden, History of the Colony of Natal (London, 1855), p. 44. 38 G. McCall Theal, History of South Africa Since 1795, vol. ii. p. 330. 39 John Mackenzie, Austral Africa (London, 1887), vol. ii. p. 430. 40 Bishop Wm. Colenso, Ten Weeks in Natal (Cambridge, 1855), p. x.</page><page sequence="16">262 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. towards the proposals of Isaacs. This was not from any cause of antipathy towards the pioneer and his friends, but owing to the financial obligations Britain would have had to undertake in order to establish such a settlement. For years the Cape authorities followed a similar course of policy. For instance, on May 5th, 1824, the Governor?? Lord Charles Somerset, wrote this letter to Lieut. Farewell:?41 " His Excellency will hear with great satisfaction, that your endeavours to establish a commercial intercourse and to lay the ground for civilizing the inhabitants of that part of South Africa have been successful; but his Excellency begs that you will clearly understand that all your intercourse with the natives must be con? ducted in a conciliatory manner, and upon fair terms of barter ; that he cannot sanction the acquisition of any territorial possession without a full communication being made to him of the circumstances under which they may be offered, and be intended to be received." Moreover, his successor, Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, clearly realised, in 1831, that such a state of affairs should not continue to be main? tained. There was " the possibility of the United States forming a settlement at Natal," he opined, " and it is hardly necessary to remark how embarrassing such neighbours would eventually prove to this colony."42 Yet, for a decade, the English authorities were adamant in regard to this matter. Only when serious trouble was brewing towards the end of the 'thirties, did the Cape Government take the necessary advice of Isaacs and others. But popular opinion at the Cape, let it be said, was opposed to this apathy of the Government in not making Natal an adjunct of British territory. In the early part of 1834 a mass meeting was held in Cape Town to express concern in this affair.43 As a result, a memorial was drafted, and signed by 190 leading inhabitants of Cape Town and suburbs. It was inspired to a great extent, by the labours of Isaacs. A section of this document reads as follows :?44 41 J. C. Chase, The Natal Papers (Graham's Town, 1843), vol. i. p. 16. 42 John Bird, The Annals of Natal, vol. i. p. 195. 43 S.A. Commercial Advertiser, January 22 and 25, 1834. 44 Cape Archives, CO.Memorials 747/75 (1834). Among the 190 signatures are to be found the following persons of Jewish extraction : Isaac Manuel, D. H. Canstatt, and Jos. Solomon.</page><page sequence="17">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 263 " The facts herein set forth have been obtained from information afforded by various individuals who have visited or resided at Port Natal, and are confirmed by Dr. Andrew Smith, of the medical staff of this garrison, who is intimately acquainted with the country, and but recently returned from Port Natal. And in corroboration of this testimony, your memorialists respectfully refer to Sir G. Lowry Cole, the late Governor of this colony, and to the various documents on this subject transmitted to England by the Colonial Government, particularly to that which has been received from Mr. Isaacs." Again, the Secretary of State's reply to these requests was not at all favour? able to those concerned. It reiterated the same arguments as were found in previous official communications. In the meantime, Isaacs, disillusioned of his mission in South Africa, left the country. " But his liking for Africa was so great" that he first sought refuge at St. Helena, and, later on, on one of the islands off the West coast of Africa.45 His was indeed a tragic case but his work in Natal was not in vain. In 1842 Natal was annexed to British South Africa. Before this step was taken by England, other Jews followed in the wake of Isaacs, and may rightly be considered as pioneers. There was Benjamin Norden (who, many years later, was one of the founders of the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation), who traded with Natal as far back as 1832, and took a prominent part in its opening up.46 There was George Britton?a relative of the Moss family of St. Helena ?who played his part in the Natal of 1835.47 But all of them received their inspiration and enthusiasm from the appeal of Isaacs' leader? ship and ideals as a Jew and citizen. As it has been remarked, " the romantic incidents connected with the European occupancy of Natal 45 Rev. Joseph Shooter, The Kaffirs of Natal and the Zulu Country (London, 1857), p. 402 ; G. McCall Theal, History of South Africa Since 1795, vol. ii. p. 342 ; Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. xi. p. 477. 46 Graham's Town Journal, January 13, 1832 ; S. A. Rochlin, " Jews and South African Exploration" in Ivri Onouchi (Johannesburg), October, 1929 ; and Dr. J. H. Hertz, The Jew in South Africa, pp. 10-11 ; Cf. Herrman I.e., p. 109. 47 Dr. G. McCall Theal, Willem Adriaan van der Stell and Other Historical Sketches (Cape Town, 1913), p. 264; Die Meditator (Cape Town), January 23, 1838; Herrman, p. 134.</page><page sequence="18">264 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. and the first struggles of the Colonists with the warlike Zulus will assuredly live in the history of South Africa."48 APPENDICES. I. From the South African Commercial Advertiser for August 20, 1831. Accounts have been received from Henry Fynn (who has resided at Natal for the last nine years), that in consequence of the misrepresentation of the Border Caff er Jacob to Dingaan, the Chief of the Zoolas, the whole of the English residents had been obliged to leave the Zoola territory, their cattle plundered, and a scheme laid to murder all the whites. It was, how? ever, discovered, and the two Fynns (Henry and William) succeeded in gain? ing the Wesleyan Missionary Station Bunting (Farqua's Tribe of Amapondos), from whence their letters are dated 21st July. The fate of Cane and Ogle was uncertain. Cane, however, being out Elephant Shooting, was likely to have escaped?Mr. Isaacs got on board the American brig St. Michael, which had been trading at Natal with him and Fynn. Jacob's story to Dingaan was,?that Col. Somerset intended to attack the Zoolas, and would avail himself of the assistance of the English residents at Natal. He said he had discovered this at Graham's Town, when he was with Mr. Cane, and that it was the cause of Capt. Campbell (the Civil Commis? sioner) refusing to accept the present of Elephant's Teeth which Dingaan sent to the Colonial Government. Fears are entertained for the safety of Mr. Collis and party, who left Graham's Town for Natal about two months ago. It is most probable, however, they will hear of the movements of Dingaan before crossing the Boundary. Several Portuguese had arrived at Dingaan's Kraal before the Fynns and others were driven out. The Americans are stated to have traded with a large quantity of arms and ammunition. II. From the South African Commercial Advertiser for September 10, 1831. We learn from a Correspondent, that owing to the confusion which prevailed at Natal, when Dingaan threatened Cane, the Fynns, and all the 48 John Mackenzie, Austral Africa, vol. ii. p. 429. I am indebted to Messrs. C. Graham Botha, M.A., (Chief Archivist for the Union of South Africa), Louis Herrman (author of a forthcoming History of the Jews in South Africa) [published by Gollancz, 1930], and I. M. Goodman (Associate Editor, S.A. Jewish Year Book), for words of encouragement as well as a suggestion or two offered me during the preparation of this paper.</page><page sequence="19">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 265 Whites with destruction a few weeks ago, Mr. Isaacs, who had recently landed there to form a Settlement or Trading Intercourse with the Natives in con? junction with the Americans, was compelled to take refuge on board an American vessel, and left behind him five tons of Ivory, 500 barrels of Corn, and some other articles, which had been obtained in barter with the Natives. Our Correspondent adds the expression of his belief, founded on what he had learned from time to time from several persons who had been at Port Natal, Delagoa Bay, etc. during the last seven years, that very great advan? tage to his colony would accrue from a regular trading intercourse being established there, which he thinks would soon take place, if Government would send a Deputation to the Chiefs, and explain the objects they would have in view. Ivory, Gold-dust, Hides, Corns, Horns, are among the produce which might be exchanged for manufactures ; and he conceives that the amount might be swelled to a large amount annually if Confidence on both sides were once properly established. III. From the South African Commercial Advertiser for June 2, 1832. Port Natal: Eastern Africa. St&gt; Heienaj April? 1832. To the Editor: Sir,?Having perused the Advertiser of the 20th of August and 10th of September, 1831, various accounts respecting " Natal," in which it appears you do not put much faith, as the cause of the disturb? ances narrated is not shown at full length, I am induced, for the public satisfaction, to give publicity through your valuable columns to all that took place under my immediate eye, and to trouble you further with a descriptive account of that place ; also to disprove, in the absence of Captain Page, the report of the American brig " St. Michael" having taken firearms and ammunition to barter with the Natives for ivory; not that I think the Americans would hesitate to traffic in any honourable way, but because it is a downright falsehood, and could only have been advanced to impress on the minds of the Colonists the injury such a traffic would do them. The few firearms, etc., that were on board were originally intended for Mada? gascar, but were afterwards purchased by me for my own use and protection ; and although Dingaan and others frequently tried to get them both from Mr. Fynn and myself, never did they succeed. The following lines will, I trust, have the desired effect to show eveiything in its true fight, or in the manner that I have witnessed; and I must add, the unforeseen accidents had prolonged our voyage to nearly nine months after leaving Natal, which delay put it entirely out of my power to give such information as might affect the welfare of your Colony. It is my intention to leave this Island soon for the Cape. In the mean? time I would thank you to give publicity to an extract from my Journal,</page><page sequence="20">266 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. as early as possible, as it may prove a consolation to the friends of those whom it concerns : " On the 1st of December, 1831, an Arab Dow, or vessel, arrived at Brava, in lat. 1.6 North, long. 43.58 East, and reported that a whale-boat had gone ashore near MacKadoxa, (Native name Cadishoo), with five men in it; three were lifeless and the other two nearly exhausted from hunger. The Savages came down and took them as a prize ; the boat attracted their notice, and they set to work and knocked the iron-work out, and were in the act of taking the two surviving sailors into the interior as Slaves?or rather to sell them as such?but fortunately some Arabs heard of it, and told the Governor (who had hitherto been hostile to white people) that if he released them, and treated them well the King of England would send a ship and reward him, as he had done to the King of Johanna for pro? tecting white people. Moreover, the Imaum (or Arab King) was expected to touch there on his way to Mambas, which place he was going to attack, and wanted all the Europeans he could get for the occasion. Under these circumstances the Natives of Cadishoo were induced to contribute their mite and purchased from the savages the unfortunate seamen for the sum of 50 Spanish dollars. They are now, I am happy to say, living in town with the Governor, who is very good to them, under the idea that the British Government will reward him well for his hospitality. " It appears, from what I can glean from the Arabs who came from there, that the boat was out whaling, the night overtook them, and they lost their ship, when they were obliged to pull for the shore ; they being ignorant of each other's language could only understand by signs ; there? fore I could not find out the name of the vessel; but I understand that the boat had been six or seven days at sea, consequently they must have parted from the vessel about the 20th of November. The Brava people told us that the Natives of Cadishoo would take advantage of our vessel and exact a large sum for their ransom, and the N.E. Monsoons had set in strong, which prevented Captain Page from going out to their assistance; but I arranged with one Darer to proceed thither and try to get them to Brava, where they might get a conveyance to Zanzibar; therefore, should a vessel be bound that way they may obtain information respecting them, by applying to him. " From this we proceeded to Lamoo in lat. 2.15 South, where I again learnt from some Arabs who had seen the unfortunate fellows that they offered 50 bags of Dates for their release ; but the Governor thought it would be more to his advantage to keep them until an English vessel should touch there, (which probably may never happen, unless the Government sent one), and refused the offer. The Arab could not understand a word of English, but from the simple manner in which he described to me the particulars,</page><page sequence="21">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 267 I put great faith in what he said. The vessel it appears, foundered, and out of 35 of the crew these are the only two that have survived; he asked me for pencil and paper, and made out to write SOH, but was at a loss to form the other letters, when I wrote out all the names of vessels that those three letters suggested to me, and he recognised these letters?SOPHIA?which it appears the sailors had shown him on the sand, and said that they pro? nounced the name as I did; so I don't hesitate to say that the vessel they belonged to was the ' Sophia.' I learned through another channel, that six men came ashore in the boat, three were lifeless, one (black one) was taken into the interior and sold, and the other two are protected by the Governor as before mentioned. One of them is represented to be a very tall man, and the other a middle sized man; both have light hair." I am, etc., Nathaniel Isaacs. IV. From the South African Commercial Advertiser, June 13, 1832. Towards the latter end of the last year the Sophia, a whaling vessel commanded by Captain Adcock, touched here, to procure some officers and seamen for the vessel. It appeared from Captain A.'s statement, inserted in the Advertiser of the 28th of December, No. 474, that while cruising to the north-ward of the Mahe Islands two whales were seen, and the first and second mates, with two boats and 10 men, went to secure them; but unfortunately they lost sight of the ship and were not again heard of, although the Captain sailed about the spot for four days. In our Paper of the 2nd inst., a letter appeared from Mr. Nathaniel Isaacs, of St. Helena, stating that a whale-boat had reached Mackadoxa (Cadishoo), on the East Coast of Africa, with three men in it, which he learned from some Arabs was conjectured to be one of the boats belonging to the Sophia. Mr. Isaacs' exertions on behalf of these men were highly creditable to his humanity ; and since that period we have received from him the following letter, written by the sailors in question to the English and the Americans resident at Madagascar, giving an affecting narrative of their sufferings from the time of parting from the Sophia until they reached the shore, and of their sub? sequent treatment in captivity. It is to be hoped that they will soon obtain their liberty, and as a trading intercourse exists between Zanzibar, Mada? gascar and Johanna, a facility will thus be afforded them to obtain a passage to Europe. V. From the South African Commercial Advertiser, October 6, 1832. Eastern Africa :?Natal, etc. To the Editor : Sir,?You would perceive, by my communication from St. Helena, that I intended to have given publicity to the greater part of</page><page sequence="22">268 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. my Journal respecting the Trade on the Eastern Coast of Africa, now carried on to a very great extent by the enterprising Americans ; but owing to cir? cumstances since my arrival here (with which I shall not trouble you), I must beg leave to decline for the present the continuance of my Journal. I must, however, have recourse to your very useful columns, which have more than once afforded me an opportunity of giving to the Public the little information I have gleaned during my travels. My intention is to insert what I should have inserted in your paper long ago ; but I judge the urgent business of the Press has prevented the publication of the con? clusion of what I have already given you. However, I will continue to state that, after leaving Natal last year, we shaped our course for Delagoa Bay, where I had an interview with the Governor of the Portuguese Settlement at the English River, who as well as the Commandant asked me, whether Mr. Fynn had received a letter of thanks and a present of clothing, etc., from the Governor-General of Mozambique, as a small token of his gratitude for the very kind, humane, and hospitable treatment of the Portuguese received from him and his brother William Fynn, when they were wrecked at Natal in the sloop African Adventurer ? On my answering in the negative, they inquired of the people who took the present, who said that they deposited the letter, etc. in the Kraals of Dingaan, the Zoola Chief, with whom the Portuguese have great intercourse. I trust, Sir, that through the wide circulation of the Advertiser, that this may reach the eye of Mr. Fynn, as it will prove to him, that the humanity, benevolence, and hospitality which are such prominent features in his mind ?which I have often experienced during an intimacy with him for a period of seven years?do not pass unnoticed even by the Portuguese; and as I feel it a duty incumbent on me, having been authorised by the parties that felt the benefit of a pure benevolent and disinterested hand, and as I have no means of forwarding a letter to him, the numerous letters I have written have either miscarried or been intercepted by those to whom I have entrusted them, and as I find that even through the uncultivated and uncivilised paths of Africa, the Advertiser is happily finding its way, I beg you will insert this as early as possible, more particularly as I have Dr. Smith's authority for adding that he experienced the same good traits of Mr. Fynn's untarnished character, as the Portuguese and every unbiassed person must have done who is acquainted with him; and that that gentle? man would be one of the first to step forward in defence of his (Mr. Fynn's) character against those that would take advantage of his being in a distant and unlettered country. It is moreover, the opinion of Dr. Smith that Mr. Fynn's good nature and humanity (if he do not soon abandon that lawless country) will yet lead to the sacrificing of his life in behalf of the Natives, ?who have been the cause of his present embarrassed circumstances.</page><page sequence="23">NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. 269 You will oblige me by finding room for the following extract from my Journal: 64 The American brig St. Michaels, while cruising about the equinoxial line, at the latter part of last year, discovered a space of about 50 miles of disclosed water, which alarmed the mate (Mr. Nicholls), who was at that time in command; he sounded with 55 fathoms, and found no bottom, then passed over the spot several times in the course of two months, and always found it the same. It is situated between the latitude of 165, and I 33 N.; long. 48.30, 49.54 East." Nathaniel Isaacs. VI. From the Cape Archives, CO. Arrear Memorials, 703/14/(1832) (undated). To His Excellency the Hon'ble Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, etc. etc. etc. Sir/ As it is my intention to proceed to England by an early opportunity, I take the liberty of addressing your Excellency respecting a grant of land at Natal. That in the event of Natal being colonised during my absence, it may please your Excellency to allow me the preference of a certain piece of land situated about seven or eight miles from the Anchorage, in a Northwesterly direction, and about two or three miles from the mouth of the " Stinkin Basin " and immediately on the borders of the river " Umlas." I trust that your Excellency will take into consideration the prospects I have held out to the public, respecting that country, and the information I have rendered this Government; together with the enormous expence and trouble I have been at for the last seven years past, in endeavouring to negotiate a traffic with the Natives, and the circumstances of my being ship? wrecked when I first visited that place for the purpose of extricating Lieut. Farewell and his party from impending difficulties, likewise my having built on the land, and cultivated, and cleared the soil I now ask for in the event of that place becoming a British Settlement, and that this Government will be pleased to allow me the beforementioned land on the same conditions, as other emigrants may procure their grants. My motive for thus troubling your Excellency is that I am anxious to become a resident of Natal as soon as possible after the British Govern? ment may deem it expedient to form a Settlement there, and I am fearful that others may take advantage of my absence from this Colony, by applying for the land which has cost me so much trouble in clearing, etc., and as I am aware of the impartiality of this Government in considering the first t</page><page sequence="24">270 NATHANIEL ISAACS AND NATAL. applicant to the Land, provided that it does not interfere with the Govern? ment's views. I rest assured that under the foregoing circumstances that this indulgence will be extended to me. I have the Honour to be, Your Excellency's Most Obedient, and very Humble Servant, Nathaniel Isaacs. VII. (From the Cape Archives, CO. Land (1830-3), 1859/927.) " His Excellency the Governor does not see how he can comply with the Memorialist's request as the Land is not within this Colony. His Excel? lency, however, presumes that should the Government at Home hereafter contemplate to form a Settlement at Port Natal, it will probably not dispose of any Land there except by public auction. By command, (Signed) John Bell, Secretary to Govt. Mr. Nathaniel Isaacs, Cape Town, 28th December, 1832.</page></plain_text>

bottom of page