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advantage, but at the same time stated that the pretensions of the emigrants to be regarded as an independent community could not be admitted. Various measures were proposed which would but have aggravated the situation. Finally, in deference to the strongly urged views of Sir George Napier, Lord Stanley, in a despatch of the 13th of December, received in Cape Town on the 23rd of April 1843, consented to Natal becoming a British colony. The institutions adopted were to be as far as possible in accordance with the wishes of the people, but it was a fundamental condition “that there should not be in the eye of the law any distinction or disqualification whatever, founded on mere difference of colour, origin, language or creed.” Sir George then appointed Mr Henry Cloete (a brother of Colonel Cloete) a special commissioner to explain to the Natal volksraad the decision of the government. There was a considerable party of Natal Boers still strongly opposed to the British, and they were reinforced by numerous bands of Boers who came over the Drakensberg from Winburg and Potchefstroom. Commandant Jan Mocke of Winburg (who had helped to besiege Captain Smith at Durban) and others of the “war party” attempted to induce the volksraad not to submit, and a plan was formed to murder Pretorius, Boshof and other leaders, who were now convinced that the only chance of ending the state of complete anarchy into which the country had fallen was by accepting British sovereignty. In these circumstances the task of Mr Henry Cloete was one of great difficulty and delicacy. He behaved with the utmost tact and got rid of the Winburg and Potchefstroom burghers by declaring that he should recommend the Drakensberg as the northern limit of Natal. On the 8th of August 1843 Natal annexed by Great Britain.the Natal volksraad unanimously agreed to the terms proposed by Lord Stanley. Many of the Boers who would not acknowledge British rule trekked once more over the mountains into what are now the Orange Free State and Transvaal provinces. At the end of 1843 there were not more than 500 Dutch families left in Natal. Cloete, before returning to the Cape, visited Panda and obtained from him a valuable concession. Hitherto the Tugela from source to mouth had been the recognized frontier between Natal and Zululand. Panda gave up to Natal all the territory between the Buffalo and Tugela rivers, now forming Klip River county.
Although proclaimed a British colony in 1843, and in 1844 declared a part of Cape Colony, it was not until the end of 1845 that an effective administration was installed with Mr Martin West as lieutenant-governor, and the power of the volksraad finally came to an end. In that year the external trade of Natal, almost entirely with Cape Colony, was of the total value of £42,000 — of which £32,000 represented imported goods.
The new administration found it hard to please the Dutch farmers, who among other grievances resented what they considered the undue favour shown to the Kaffirs, whose numbers had been greatly augmented by the flight of refugees from Panda. In 1843, for instance, no fewer than 50,000 Zulus crossed the Tugela seeking the protection of the white man. The natives were settled in 1846 in specially selected locations and placed under the general supervision of Sir (then Mr) Theophilus Shepstone (q.v.). Sir Harry Smith, newly appointed governor of the Cape, met, on the banks of the upper Tugela, a body of farmers preparing to recross the Drakensberg, and by remedying their grievances induced many of them to remain in Natal. Andries Pretorius and others, however, declined to remain, and from this time Pretorius (q.v.) ceased his connexion with Natal. Although by this migration the white population was again considerably reduced, those who remained were contented and loyal, and through the arrival of 4500 emigrants from England in the years 1848–1851 and by subsequent immigration from oversea the colony became overwhelmingly British in character. From the time of the coming of the first considerable body of British settlers dates the development of trade and agriculture in the colony, followed somewhat later by the exploitation of the mineral resources of the country. At the same time schools were established and various churches began or increased their work in the colony. Dr Colenso, appointed bishop of Natal, arrived in 1854. In 1856 the dependence of the country on Cape Colony was put to an end and Natal constituted a distinct colony with a legislative council of sixteen members, twelve elected by the inhabitants and four nominated by the crown. At the time the white population exceeded 8000. While dependent on the Cape, ordinances had been passed establishing Roman-Dutch law as the law of Natal, and save where modified by legislation it remained in force.
The British settlers soon realized that the coast lands were suited to the cultivation of tropical or semi-tropical products, and Indian coolies introduced.from 1852 onward sugar, coffee, cotton and arrow-root were introduced, tea being afterwards substituted for coffee. The sugar industry soon became of importance, and the planters were compelled to seek for large numbers of labourers. The natives, at ease in their locations, did not volunteer in sufficient numbers, and recourse was had to coolie labour from India. The first coolies reached Natal in 1860. They came under indentures, but at the expiration of their contract were allowed to settle in the colony. This proved one of the most momentous steps taken in the history of South Africa, for the Indian population rapidly increased, the “free” Indians becoming market gardeners, farmers, hawkers, traders, and in time serious competitors with the whites. But in 1860 and for many years afterwards these consequences were not foreseen, and alone among the South Africa states Natal offered a welcome to Asiatics.
In 1866 the borders of the colony were extended on the south-west by the annexation of part of Kaffraria that had formerly The Keate awards.been under the sway of the Pondo chief Faku, who found himself unable to maintain his authority in a region occupied by many diverse tribes. The newly acquired territory was named Alfred county in memory of a visit paid to Natal by Prince Alfred (afterwards duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha). In 1867 R. W. Keate (1814–1873) became lieutenant-governor, a post which he filled until 1872. His administration is notable, not so much for internal affairs but from the fact that he twice acted as arbitrator in disputes in which the Boer states were involved. In a dispute between the Transvaal and the Orange Free State he decided (February 1870) that the Klip river and not the upper Vaal was the frontier stream. A more famous decision, that known as the Keate Award, was given in October 1871. It concerned the south-Western frontiers of the Transvaal, and the award, which was against the Transvaal pretensions, had important effects on the history of South Africa (see Transvaal and South Africa).
During all this time little was done to alter the condition of the natives. There was scarcely an attempt to copy the policy, deliberately adopted in Cape Colony, of educating and civilizing the black man. Neither was Natal faced with the Cape problem of a large half-caste population. The Natal natives were left very much in the state in which they were before the advent of the white men. While this opportunity of educating and training a docile people was in the main neglected, savage abuse of power by their chiefs was prevented. Under the superintendence of Shepstone the original refugees were quiet and contented, enjoying security from injustice and considerable freedom. This ideal lot, from the native point of view, drew such numbers of immigrants from disturbed districts that with the natural increase of population in thirty years the native inhabitants increased from about 100,000 to fully 350,000. New generations grew up almost as ignorant as their fathers, but not with the same sense of dependence upon the white men. In this way was sown the seed of future trouble between the two races. The first serious collision between the natives and the government occurred in 1873. The Amahlubi, one of the highest in rank of the Bantu tribes of South Africa, fleeing from the cruelties of
- Between 1860 and 1866 some 5000 Indians entered the colony. Immigration then ceased, and was not resumed until 1874. By that year the natives from Portuguese territory and elsewhere who had found employment in Natal had been attracted to the Kimberley diamond mines, and the Natal natives not coming forward (save under compulsion), the importation of Indian coolies was again permitted (see the Natal Blue Book, Report of the Indian Immigration Commission, 1909).