Author: Moffat, Robert Year: 1842 Edition: First edition Publisher: London John Snow, Paternoster-Row Category: Africa South Price: € 125.-
Profusely illustrated throughout with full and partial-page engravings by G. Baxter, including a very finely executed frontispiece, coloured through the Baxter process. Map missing. 8vo, original deep-brown ribbed cloth with blind stamp decorations and borders on both covers, lettered in gilt within panels with blindstamped tooling on the spine. xvi, 624 with index, ninth thousand. A handsome copy, however, with the usual foxing.
The preliminary chapters deal with the opinions of the author on the origin of the Hottentots, and give a synopsis of the early work of the London Missionary Society in South Africa, reference being made to the labours of Drs. Vanderkemp and Philip, and other pioneer missionaries who preceded Mr. Moffat. The volume gives a valuable account of mission work among the Bechuanas, with notes on the customs of the natives, and a description of the earlier travels of the author and some information is afforded respecting the reformed savage Namaqua chief "Afrikaner". The appearance in Cape Town of this convert was the cause of much wonder and astonishment, his arrival having been awaited with considerable skepticism by Lord Charles Somerset, who was much struck with this example of the results of missionary enterprise, and who "expressed his pleasure at seeing thus before him one who had been the scourge of the country and the terror of the border colonists." An interesting account of Moselekatse and his people is given, and it is remarked that this well-known potentate "seemed anxious to please and to exhibit himself and his people to the best advantage." There was, however, considerable difficulty ascertaining the chief's real character, as no one in his dominions "dared breathe a syllable that was not calculated to set him forth as the best and noblest of beings, immaculate in his actions, the very perfection of all that was lovely just, and good.'' He was very gracious to the missionaries, and appreciated their previous kindness to his envoys, and Moffat gained considerable influence over him, and was instrumental in obtaining his permission to allow a mission station to be established in his country. There are some particulars concerning Dr. Andrew Smith's expedition into the interior in I835, and there is an ample account of the labors of the various missionary societies engaged amongst the Bechuanas, Matabeles, Basutos, and other races at this period. A highly important book on the early exploration and settlement of Africa