Swaziland Digital Archives: Decades: 1880's

About the 1880's

Photos 1 to 10

1880's
Forbes Reef Battery
Photographer: Mary Kiernan
Source: National Archives

Photo No. 71


Gold Battery - Forbes Reef. Gold mining in the treeless highveld in the 1880's. A major deposit of gold was found here, the mine can be visited in Malolotja Nature Reserve.

1880's
Komati Miner's Party
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: Millin family

Photo No. 126


Miners party, Komati, 1888. Miners came from all walks of life. Note the woman in the middle.

1880's?
Frontier Toughness
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: Dawson family

Photo No. 432


Louise and Abraham Karel Bothma. His father, (same name) was one of five rebels hanged at Slagters Nek. They later became the first Afrikaner heroes, despite having been tried and sentenced by a Dutch judge and jury. Abraham Karel II was six months old at the time. He and his wife later trekked into Swaziland and settled in Namahasha, where they raised a family (Boer family, 1888) and later died. Their grandson, Abraham Karel Holtman, gave up the adventureous life for accountancy.

1880's?
Wagon Crossing River
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: National Archives

Photo No. 90


Extensive wagon trails existed throughout Swaziland. Wagon freight was slow and expensive - something like E4000.00 a cubic metre from Maputo to Mbabane at today's prices.

1886
Boer Family
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: National Archives

Photo No. 1


Boer Family, 1886. The Boers (Afrikaans for farmers) were of Dutch descent. Recognised by many Africans as a tribe, the were a semi-nomadic cattle owning people. When faced with situations they did not like (i.e. emancipation of slaves in the Cape by the British) they loaded up their oxwagons and trekked. Their life and values were based upon the Old Testament which was the guide on their travels. The Old Testament was also their justification for racial superiority. Often poor (look at the house) because of their isolation they suffered from inbreeding and social ostracisation. When they were faced with loss of land and political control by the British quest for gold they were unable to find more land and so they fought - the results were the Boer Wars.

1886
Mdzimba Store
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: Millin family

Photo No. 124


Mdzimba Store, near the current Tibiyo headquarters.

1886
Mdzimba Store
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: Millin family

Photo No. 123


Mdzimba Store, near the current Tibiyo headquarters. Sheep were brought down from the Lake Chrissie/Carolina area to winter in Swaziland, which was less bleak. Most of the early farms in the highveld and middleveld were for sheep, not cattle.

1887
Early Government
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: National Archives

Photo No. 4


First Swaziland Government, 1887. The miners set up their own western form of government which looked after their affairs. Swazis were governed by the traditional King until 1902 when the British role started.

1887
Forbes Reef Gold Mine
Photographer: Unknown
Source: National Archives

Photo No. 3


A major gold deposit was found at Forbes Reef - the mine can be visited today, within Malolotja Nature Reserve.

1887
Goldstamp Battery, Komati
Photographer: Joseph Rauscher
Source: National Archives

Photo No. 2


Goldstamp battery, Komati, 1887. One of several photos of a goldmine whose location is not known, but presumed to be within Malolotja Nature Reserve. Note the water canal - water was used to power crushing equipment and to generate electricity.

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