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3   cape slavery 3 cape slavery Presentation Transcript

  • Theme ThreeCape Slavery
  • Origins of Cape Slavery 1658 – first large shipment of slaves; for the VOC; 1692 – privately owned slaves exceeded Company ownedslaves;◦ Used as domestic servants and farm labourers;◦ In demand in the wheat and wine growing districts of the south-western Cape;◦ Less in demand in the pastoral interior; Brought from across the Indian Ocean rim;◦ South-East Asia, South Asia, Indian Ocean Islands, East Africancoast; Chattel slaves: considered to be the property of their owners;◦ Bought and sold;◦ Evaluated at auctions;◦ Bequeathed in wills to children of the owner; Although the Khoisan were regarded as free people, slaveand Khoisan statuses became blurred; Chattel not the only form of slavery; Degrees of “unfreeness”
  • Coercion, Control and ResistanceSee Armstrong & Worden, “The Slaves, 1652-1834”, pp.149-162. The control of slaves crucial to social stability;◦ Farmers isolated;◦ Vulnerable to slave resistance – arson, poisoning,desertion, for example; The master-slave relationship nuanced; not onlycoercive;◦ Favoured slaves;◦ Paternalism (See chapter by Shell, “The Family andSlavery at the Cape”); The threat of physical punishment always present;◦ Whipping with a sjambok, the punishment of choice; However, masters not legally allowed to torturetheir slaves, although this did occur.
  • Amelioration and the Ending of SlaverySee Armstrong & Worden, “The Slaves, 1652-1834”, pp. 162-168. 1808 – the slave trade was abolished throughout theBritish empire;◦ Rise in free trade and free labour thinking;◦ Emergence of industrial capitalism – the West Indian slavecolonies became less important to Britain’s imperial economy;◦ Evangelical revival of the late 18th and early 19th century;◦ Growing slave resistance and slave revolts – Saint Domingue(1791); Liberals pushed for the eventual emancipation of allslaves in British territories; Amelioration – prepare the slaves for freedom. 1834 – slavery abolished; 1834-1838 – Apprenticeship Period; 1838 – final emancipation.
  • Ameliorative Laws at the Cape 1820s;◦ Concern for the physical well-being of the slaves;◦ Limitations on the number of hours worked;◦ Slaves permitted to marry;◦ Children not allowed to be sold separately from theirmothers;◦ Limitations placed on punishment;◦ Slaves encouraged to report abuses to the authorities;◦ 1826: Guardian of Slaves appointed; Increased the control of the colonial state overlabour relations;◦ Previously, labour relations existed in the private domain.
  • Van der Spuy, “Making Himself Master:Galant’s Rebellion Revisited” February 1825; Galant van de Kaap (26 years old); Led a revolt of slaves and Khoisan servantsagainst their master and his family; The slaves planned to then travel to Cape Town toclaim their freedom – which they believed wasowing to them; Question:◦ Although the rebellion was led by a slave, why theinvolvement of several Khoisan – who were legally free?◦ Van der Spuy draws attention to the fact that the rebellionwas led by men against men;◦ She argues for a gendered analysis – why?
  • Abrahams, “Disempowered to Consent: SaraBartman and Khoisan Slavery in the NineteenthCentury Cape Colony and Britain” 1810 – Bartman was taken to Britain and exhibitedto the public in “freak shows”; Evangelical abolitionists believed she was beingheld against her will as a slave; She was eventually taken to Paris, where she died; Question◦ Was Sara Bartman a slave?◦ Abrahams argues that she was and draws largerconclusions about the experiences of Cape Khoisan withina slave society;◦ Abrahams suggests that the majority of colonial Khoisanwere essentially slaves (unfree);◦ How were slave and Khoisan lives similar and how werethey different?
  • In Summary For subaltern men, rebellion served as anexpression of masculinity;◦ Their unfree status meant the means for expressingmasculinity were often denied to them;◦ Important issues: punishment and families; Amelioration raised expectations of freedom (whichwas still a decade away) for slaves and highlightedthe unfree nature of Khoisan existence;◦ In the Cape context, slave and non-slave (Khoisan) liveswere bound together; Khoisan existence bore several markers of slavery;◦ Occupied an ambiguous legal position during the early1820s.
  • The Case of Jan Paerl (Viljoen article) 1796, Stellenbosch Dispute between Paerl, a Khoikhoi man, andJohannes Albertyn, his employer/master (a man ofmixed heritage);◦ Albertyn wished to indenture Paerl’s four children followingthe death of their mother; Paerl contested Albertyn’s claim with the fiscal;◦ A classic struggle between master and servant; Raises questions about equality before the law inCape society at the turn of the 19th century.
  •  Indentured labour◦ Due to labour shortages – chattel slavesexpensive and in short supply;◦ Farmers demanded that children born to slavefathers and Khoisan mothers ought to beindentured for a certain period;◦ Known as Bastaard-Hottentots, could beindentured until the age of 25;◦ Children born to Khoisan fathers and slavemothers were legally regarded as free and werenot permitted to be indentured; As such, Paerl’s children could not legallybe indentured to Albertyn; However, Albertyn claimed it was theirmother’s dying wish.
  • The Context 1795 – the Cape had been captured by the British;◦ The First British Occupation (1795-1803); The British authorities would now have the final word overlabour-related issues; During the 18th century, while under VOC rule, Khoisanlabourers had been granted limited legal rights;◦ They could sue their masters in court;◦ For the non-payment of wages, or excessive punishment, forexample; Paerl bypassed the local magistrate and headed to CapeTown to lodge his grievance; This period was marked by efforts to improve legalprocedures at the Cape;◦ Due process;◦ Equality before the law;◦ Impartial justice.
  • Local Authorities Landdrosts; veldkornets;◦ Retained by the British up until 1828;◦ Exercised significant influence on local legal matters; Khoisan and slaves tried to circumvent theauthority of Landdrosts and veldkornets; Contests over who was entitled to legal rights andequality before the law;◦ Between the new British authorities, the old established Dutchfarmers and the Khoisan and slaves; These contests would also occur on the imperiallevel over the course of the 19th century;◦ The rights of indigenous colonial subjects – Australia, NewZealand, Canada, etc.
  •  Importance of one’s colonial identity in determiningaccess to rights;◦ Khoisan or Bastaard-Hottentot or slave;◦ Christian or heathen; In theory, equality before the law superseded class,colour, religion, wealth, status;◦ At this time though, in practice, equality before the law did notextend to slaves, but only to “Hottentots”;◦ See Dooling, “The Good Opinion of Others” – the social statusof masters was an important factor in whether legal sanctionfor the abuse of slaves occurred. There was much resistance to extending legal rights toKhoisan from settler society and some British officials;◦ Believed that it could spark a Khoisan insurrection; True equality before the law was never realised;◦ Idealistic, but not practical in a colonial society;◦ In the early 1800s, missionaries were to take up the challengeand campaign on behalf of the Khoisan (Theme Four)