South Africa Photographs, c1900

Scope and Content

Mounted photograph of Louis Botha 'reading aloud to the Commandants andVeld Kornets his appointment as Commandant-General, near Colenso (Anglo-BoerWar)', c1900; two photographs of Welgelegen on the Groote Schuur estate,Cape Colony, c1900.

Administrative / Biographical History

Louis Botha (1862-1919) was born in Greytown, Natal and elected to theTransvaal Volksraad in 1897. During the South African War, 1899-1902, heproved to be one of the Afrikaners' most effective military leaders, hisvictory at Spion Kop leading to his promotion as Commander-in-Chief. After 1902he worked for reconciliation with Great Britain. In 1907 he was elected PrimeMinister of the Transvaal, and three years later became the first President ofSouth Africa. During World War One, his offer to invade German South-WestAfrica led to Afrikaner opposition, and a greatly reduced majority for hisNational Party in the 1915 elections. From July 1915 he passed direct militarycommand to General Jan Christian Smuts. He attended the Paris Peace Conference,arguing against the harsh treatment of the Central Powers, and was a signatoryof the Treaty of Versailles.

Welgelegen was a farm in the valley of the Liesbeek River, Mowbray, South Africa,the property of the influential van Reenen family by the end of the 18th century,passing from Gysbert van Reenen to his son, Sybrand Mosbert on his death.Welgelegen is the site of Mosbert Mill, South Africa's oldest surviving windmill,and was a part of the Groote Schuur estate, purchased by Cecil Rhodes in 1891.

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Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

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