« ElőzőTovább »
same district, to much the same effect. These certificates must then be presented to President Krüger, in whose absolute discretion it lay whether to admit the applicant or not. All these rules applied equally to persons born in the Transvaal of foreign parents. As might naturally be expected, the Boers treated with the utmost contempt all white men who, thus living among them, were kept in such servile conditions.
Corruption and monopolies were universal. In a railroad litigation, it was proved before a Boer Court that nine-tenths of all the principal officials and members of the First Raad had taken bribes. Among them was the son-in-law and private secretary of President Krüger. But it was notorious that nothing could be got without bribing the President's son-in-law, and that anything could be got through in that way. According to the testimony of his own friends, he is worth several million dollars, and lives in a $250,000 house, although he has never earned $2,500 by honest labor in his life. As an immense amount of dynamite was required in mining, President Krüger granted a monopoly of dynamite to a small combination, with which, as usual, his relatives were closely connected. This monopoly kept the price of dynamite at about three times its price outside of the Transvaal. They pretended to manufacture it at home; but the official report of a Boer commission shows that this manufacture was a mere fraud, the dynamite being imported ready for use, and simply manipulated a little, so as to give it the appearance of having been changed. The only effect of this manipulation was to deteriorate its quality to such an extent that it became dangerous to handle, and fearful explosions, causing frightful loss of life, ensued. As fast as any article of supply or food was found to be in great demand, President Krüger would create a new monopoly. Thus, finding that Englishmen were fond of jam, he established a monopoly in jam, under the pretense of encouraging domestic industry.
Taxation was ingeniously arranged in such manner as to cast nine-tenths of its burden upon foreigners, who were not allowed to vote. It has been pretended that the greater part of this taxation was levied directly upon the mines, so as to fall mainly upon wealth. But this statement is not true. The great bulk of taxation was laid upon the necessities of life, and thus fell mainly upon the shoulders of the relatively poor. The large and rapidly in
creasing revenue was made the excuse for a still more rapidly increasing scale of salaries and jobs. Official salaries were increased from less than $150,000 a year to more than $6,000,000.
The cruelty of the Boer Government could be proved in a hundred ways; but two or three examples must suffice. Pretexts were easily found for repeated onslaughts upon the black natives.
Those who resisted were massacred without mercy, and those who submitted were made practical slaves, under the name of "apprentices.” Erasmus, whs is a particular pet of the President, drove a crowd of black woluen and children into a cave, and then built a fire in front of the cave, with the result of either suffocating or burning them all to death, not one being allowed to escape. General Cronjé and Erasmus were convicted in a Boer Court, of gross and unlawful brutality to the female chief of a native tribe and twenty of her men, without the smallest evidence of their having done anything wrong. They were both condemned to pay small damages to the injured natives; but they never paid any; and immediately after the conviction President Krüger appointed them to govern the district in which their unfortunate prosecutors lived. No negro has ever since made complaint of Cronjé or Erasmus.
As to their treatment of white men, the official record of the trial of the Johannesburg Reform Committee is sufficient evidence. Sixty of the very best men in the city were thrown into prison on a charge of treason; the alleged treason consisting only of an attempt to compel internal reforms, without the least idea of taking away the independence of the Republic. Every Boer of any prominence had been guilty of treason at some time or other, including especially Krüger himself. No one convicted of treason had ever been punished by anything more than a small fine. The Boer judges were too honorable and consistent to be willing to impose any greater punishment upon foreigners. Therefore, President Krüger imported a foreigner, named Gregorowski, and appointed him judge, for that occasion only, to try the foreign prisoners. Before the trial opened, he borrowed a black cap. The foreigners being then positively assured that, if they would plead guilty, they would all be let off with the usual small fine, which could not by law exceed $185, they did so plead. Thereupon Gregorowski revived an ancient provision of Roman-Dutch law, under which treason was punishable with death, and he forthwith Bentenced the principal prisoners to be hanged and the others to long terms of imprisonment. President Krüger announced that certain pious scruples forbade him from commuting death sentences for fines; but, after much back-stairs negotiation, the prisoners were informed that if they would make charitable contributions, ranging from $10,000 to $125,000 each, the President would magnanimously pardon them. These contributions, amountto about $1,100,000 in all, were paid. Mr. Krüger put the money in his pocket, and the “charities” have never been heard of since. There is not in the record of criminal justine in any monarchy, during the last two hundred years, any example of fines of this magnitude being imposed for any offense whatever.
Illustrations might be multiplied without end, to show the true character of this so-called Republic. No public meeting could be held in the open air; and any meeting in a hall could be instantly dispersed at the will of any policeman. Newspapers could be suppressed, at the will of Mr. Krüger. Even petitions were finally prohibited. Power was given to the President to expel any foreigner, without any cause assigned, and to confiscate his property on a fictitious pretense. Fifty thousand persons were thus expelled, in October, 1899, and all their property has been confiscated. And then a law was passed empowering the Boer army to force any American or other neutral to serve it in any menial capacity which its officers might dictate.
It is pleaded, in excuse for these undeniable facts, that each of them might be paralleled in some other country; that the gove ernment of New York City is as corrupt; that our tariff is as bad; that meetings are suppressed in Ireland and Germany, and that aliens are expelled from France. But there is no such combination of oppression, corruption, cruelty and outrage to be found in Europe, west of Turkey, and none on this continent, except in some of our beloved “sister republics” of Central America.
To sum up, there is not a republic on earth, except Switzerland and our own United States, in which there is even an approximation to the honesty of administration found in at least six European monarchies; nor anything like the combination of governmental honesty, judicial impartiality, equality of rights, personal liberty and liberality toward Americans, which can be found in those monarchies and in all of the British colonies.
THOMAS G. SHEARMAN.
AN OBLIGATION OF EMPIRE.
BY MARY ENDICOTT CHAMBERLAIN.
The profession of nursing is of such importance in modern times, and science and training have done so much to develop and make it efficient, that it has become the duty of all who have it in their power to help to extend its benefits to plead its cause.
It is, therefore, desired to call the attention of the readers of this REVIEW to an Association, which has only been in existence for a few years, and whose work is but little known, but which is of such inestimable value that a brief account of it may be of some interest, not only in Great Britain, to whose colonies it ministers, but in America as well.
Recent developments of policy, arising out of the SpanishAmerican War, have brought before the citizens of the United States many of the problems that for generations have confronted the nation which, of all others, has been the pioneer of colonial expansion of the modern type. From the moment this policy was initiated, Englishmen have watched with the keenest interest and deepest sympathy the efforts of their kinsmen across the sea to meet the responsibilities with which they themselves are so familiar, and it may be useful to those Americans whose thoughts are turning to the consideration of new needs and new obligations to have before them some of the results of the experience which the world-wide Empire of Great Britain has afforded to her sons and daughters.
For present purposes, the experiences may be divided into two classes : those furnished by the great self-governing colonies and those furnished by the Crown colonies. It is with these last that this article is especially concerned. Situated in tropical or subtropical regions, their European population is chiefly confined to managers of commercial undertakings and the official class, and is, of course, very limited; while their tie with the mother country is
a closer one than that of the larger dependencies, in that they are more directly connected with her in all the administrative branches of their governments, and are often dependent on her to open and extend the avenues of their material prosperity. These countries are varied in their climates, but still more so in their peoples. Races of every color and creed inhabit them, and while to the native the climate is innocuous, to the white man it is often deadly, without those aids to life and health which he must carry with him, if his work is to be one of development and progress in the distant lands for whose civilization and advancement he has made himself responsible.
For many years excellent Government hospitals have been established in the Crown colonies, which have brought medical aid and careful nursing to the natives and poorer classes of the community; but, great as is the advantage of these institutions, their good work is of necessity restricted to nursing those within their walls. Here the responsibility of the Government ceases, and rightly ceases. All who can and will enter the wards of the hospital as patients are welcome, but in many places this is practically impossible. Very often illness occurs at long distances from the capital, where the hospital is situated, in countries where the means of travelling make it impossible for an invalid to move without grave danger to life; and even where this obstacle does not exist, there are frequently objections, which long residence among alien races does not make it easier to overcome. For educated Englishmen or their wives to find themselves in a hospital among natives or other uncongenial companions, is an ordeal from which they may well shrink. In small communities the accommodation does not always permit of the multiplication of wards, and thus the divisions which in a large hospital at home are a matter of course are an unheard-of luxury.
Terrible hardships are often the result. Delicately nurtured women are exposed to suffering and peril which are inconceivable; little babies are left neglected and spend their brief lives in pain which might so easily have been saved; strong men, who have never had to think of themselves are struck down by that baleful and deadly foe, tropical fever, far away from all the comforts to which they have been accustomed, with no friend at hand, with no white woman within reach-only natives near them, who are totally incapable of carrying out any directions which the weary