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THE RAID


From all accounts it appears that Dr. Jameson and his party gathered together at Pitsani early in December. He drilled his troops and general preparations  were made, without sufficient secrecy however, for the projected invasion. It was unfortunate for the scheme that these plans were publicly spoken of in society in England at the same time as they were merely being discussed in  whispers in Johannesburg! On Sunday the 29th of December 1895, Dr Jameson read aloud to his troops the letter which has been printed, and which, simultaneously with his departure was sent by Dr. Rutherford Harris to the Times,  to justify the action which in a few hours would become world famous. This letter the Reformers subsequently declared was treacherously made use of as they had not had occasion to send the appeal therein mentioned. It is  evident that at that time Dr. Jameson believed that his plans were so well arranged that there would be no bloodshed, that, indeed, he would appear in the nick of time to afford the "moral support" he had originally  engaged to provide. The troops were to go straight to Johannesburg before the Boers had time to assemble their forces or to take any measures to stop him. The Doctor explained that they were marching to the rescue of the  oppressed, and implied that they were going under the auspices of the British flag. On hearing the latter statement a considerable number of the troops refused to take part in the enterprise, and this may account for the fact  that while the Reformers believed Dr. Jameson to be supported by some 500 men or more, he was in reality accompanied by only 480. Here, in order to give the crude facts of the Raid as known to the public, we may copy the report  of the affair made by Sir John Willoughby to the War Office

"SIR John:; WILLOUGHBY'S REPORT TO THE WAR OFFICE

Official Report of the Expedition that left the Protectorate at the urgent request of the leading  citizens of Johannesburg, with the object of standing by them and maintaining law and order whitst they were demanding justice from the Transvaal authorities. By Sir John C. Wiloughby, Bart., Lieutenant-Colonel commanding Dr.  Janzeson's Forces.

On Saturday, December 28, 1895, Dr. Jameson received a Reuter's telegram, showing that the situation at Johannesburg had become acute. At the same time reliable information was received that the Boers  in the Zeerust and Lichtenburg districts were assembling, and had been summoned to march on Johannesburg.

Preparations were at once made to act on the terms of the letter dated December 20, and already published, and also in  accordance with verbal arrangements with the signatories of that letter-viz., that should Dr. Jameson hear that the Boers were collecting, and that the intentions of the Johannesburg people had become generally known, he was at  once to come to the aid of the latter with whatever force he had available, and without further reference to them, the object being that such force should reach Johannesburg without any conflict.

At 3 P.M. on Sunday  afternoon, December 29, everything was in readiness at Pitsani Camp. The troops were paraded, and Dr. Jameson read the letter of invitation from Johannesburg.

He then explained to the force- (a) that no hostilities were  intended; (b) that we should only fight if forced to do so in self defence; (c) that neither the persons nor property of inhabitants of the Transvaal were to be molested; (d) that our sole object was to help our fellow-men in  their extremity, and to ensure their obtaining attention to their just demands.

Dr. Jameson's speech was received with the greatest enthusiasm by the men, who cheered most heartily.

The above programme was strictly adhered to until the column was fired upon on the night of the 31st.

Many Boers, singly and in small parties, were encountered on the line of march; to one and all of these the  pacific nature of the expedition was carefuly explained.

The force left Pitsani Camp at 6.30 P. M., December 29, and marched through the night. At 5.15 AM., on the morning of the 3oth, the column reached the village of  Malmani (thirty-nine miles distant from Pitsani). Presently, at the same moment, the advanced guard of the Mafeking Column (under Colonel Grey) reached the village, and the junction was effected between the two bodies.

From Malmani I pushed on as rapidly as possible in order to cross in daylight the very dangerous defile at Lead Mines. This place, distant seventy-one miles from Pitsani, was passed at

5.30 P.M., December 30.

I  was subsequently informed that a force of several hundred Boers, sent from Lichtenburg to intercept the force at this point, missed doing so by three hours only.

At our next 'off-saddle' Dr. Jameson received a letter  from the Commandant-General of the Transvaal demanding to know the reason of our advance, and ordering us to return immediately. A reply was sent to this, explaining Dr. Jameson' 5 reasons in the same terms as those used to the  force at Pitsani.

At Doomport (ninety-one miles from Pitsani, during an 'off-saddle' early on Tuesday morning, December 31, a mounted messenger overtook us, and presented a letter from the High Commissioner, which  contained an order to Dr. Jameson and myself to return at once to Mafeking and Pitsani.

A retreat by now was out of the question, and to comply with these instructions an impossibility. In the first place, there was  absolutely no food for men or horses along the road which we had recently followed; secondly, three days at least would be necessary for. our horses, jaded with forced marching, to return; on the road ahead we were sure of  finding, at all events, some food for man and beast. Furthermore, we had by now traversed almost two-thirds of the total distance; a large force of Boers was known to be intercepting our retreat, and we were convinced that any  retrograde movement would bring on an attack of Boers from all sides.

It was felt, therefore, that to ensure the safety of our little force, no alternative remained but to push on to Krugersdorp to our friends, who, we  were confident, would be awaiting our arrival there.

Apart from the above considerations, even had it been possible to effect a retreat from Doomport, we knew that Johannesburg had risen, and felt that by turning back  we should be shamefully deserting those coming to meet us.

Finally, it appeared to us impossible to turn back, in view of the. fact that we had been urgently called in to avert a massacre, which we had been assured  would be imminent in the event of a crisis such as had now occurred.

Near Boon's store, on the evening of the 31st, an advanced patrol fell in with Lieutenant Eloff, of the Krugersdorp Volunteers. 'This officer, in  charge of a party of fifteen scouts, had come out to gain intelligence of our movements. He was detained whilst our intentions were fully explained to him, and then released at Dr. Jameson's request.

At midnight (New  Year's Eve), while the advanced scouts were crossing a rocky, wooded' ridge at right angles to and barring the line of advance, they were fired on by a party of forty Boers, who had posted themselves in this position. The  scouts, reinforced by the advanced guard, under Inspector Straker; drove off their assailants after a short skirmish, during which one trooper of the M.M.P. was wounded.

At Van Oudtshoorn's, early on the following  morning (Jan. i), Dr. Jameson received a second letter from the High Commissioner, to which he replied in writing. At 9.30 A.M. the march was resumed in the usual day formation. After marching two miles the column got clear of  the hills, and emerged into open country.

About this time Inspector Drury, in command of the rear guard, sent word that a force of about one hundred Boers was following him about one mile in rear. I thereupon reinforced  the rear guard, hitherto consisting of a troop and one Maxim, by an additional half troop and another Maxim.

About five miles beyond Van Oudtshoorn's store the column was met by two cyclists bearing letters from several  leaders of the Johannesburg Reform Committee. These letters expressed the liveliest approval and delight at our speedy approach, and finally contained a renewal of their promise to meet the column with a force at Krugersdorp.  The messengers also reported that only 300 armed Boers were in the town.

This news was communicated to the troops, who received it with loud cheers. When about two miles from Hind's store the column was delayed by  extensive wire fencing, which ran for one and a half miles on either side of the road, and practically constituted a defile.

While the column was halted and the wire being cut, the Country for some distance on both  sides was carefully scouted.

By this means it was ascertained that there was a considerable force of Boers (i) on the left front, (2) in the immediate front (retreating hastily on Krugersdorp), (3) a third party on the  right flank.

The force which had been following the column from Van Oudtshoorn's continued to hover in the rear.

Lieutenant-Colonel White, in command of the advanced guard, sent back a request for guns to be  pushed forward as a precaution in case of an attack from the Boers in front. By the time these guns reached the advanced guai-d, the Boers were still retreating some two miles off. A few rounds were then fired in their  direction. Had Colonel \Vhite, in the first instance, opened fire with his Maxims on the Boers, whom he surprised watering their horses close to Hind's store, considerable loss would have been inflicted, but this was not our  object, for with the exception of the small skirmish on the previous night, the Boers had not as yet molested the column, whose sole aim was to reach Johannesburg if possible without fighting.

At this hour blind's store was  reached. Here the troops rested for one and a half hours. Unfortunately, hardly any provisions for men and horses were available. An officer's patrol, consisting of Major Villiers (Royal Horse Guards). and Lieutenant Grenfell  (1st Life Guards), and six men, moved off for the purpose of reconnoitring the left flank of the Boer position, while Captain Lindsell, with his permanent force of advanced scouts, pushed on as usual to reconnoitre the approach  by the main road. At the same time I forwarded a note to the Commandant of the forces in Krugersdorp to the effect that, in the event of my friendly force meeting with opposition on its approach, I should be forced to shell the  town, and that therefore I gave him this warning in order that the women and children might be moved out of danger.

"To this note, which was despatched by a Boer who had been detained at Van Oudtshoorn, I received no  reply.

At Hind's store we were informed that the force in our front had increased during the forenoon to about 8oo men, of whom a large number were entrenched on the hillside.

"Four miles beyond Hind's store the column  following the scouts, which met with no opposition1 ascended a steep rise of some 400 feet, and came full in view of the Boer position on the opposite side of a deep valley, traversed by a broad 'sluit' or muddy watercourse.

"Standing on the plateau or spur, on which our force was forming up for action, the view to our front was as follows

"Passing through our position to the west ran Hind's store

-Krugersdorp Road traversing the valley and the Boer position almost at right angles to both lines.

"Immediately to the north of this road, at the point where it disappeared over the sky-line on the opposite slope, la~  the Queen's Battery House and earthworks, completely commanding the valley on all sides, and distant 1900 yards from our standpoint.

"Some 1000 yards down the valley to the north stood a farmhouse, surrounded by a dense  plantation, which flanked the valley

"Half-way up the opposite slope, and adjacent to the road, stood an iron house which commanded the drift where the road crossed the above-mentioned watercourse.

"On the south  side of the road, and immediately opposite the last-named house, an extensive rectangular stone wall enclosure with high trees formed an excellent advanced central defensive position. Further up the slope, some 500 yards to the  south of this enclosure, stretched a line of rifle-pits, which were again flanked to the south by 'prospecting' trenches. On the sky4ine numbers of Boers were apparent to our front and right front.

"Before reaching the  plateau we had observed small partits of Boors hurrying towards Krugersdorp, and immediately on reaching the high ground the rear-guard was attacked by the Boor force which had followed the column during the whole morning.

"I therefore had no further hesitation in opening fire on the Krugersdorp position.

"The two 7-pounders and the 121-pounder opened on the Boor line, making good practice under Captain Kincaid-Smith and Captain  Gosling at 1900 yards.

"This fire was kept up till 5 P.M. The Boers made practically no reply, but lay quiet in the trenches and battery.

"Scouts having reported that most of the trenches were evacuated, the first  line, consisting of the advanced guard (a troop of 100 men), under Colonel White, advanced. Two Maxims accompanied this force; a strong troop with a Maxim formed the right and left support on either flank.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Grey, with one troop B.B.P. and one Maxim, had been previously detailed to move round and attack the Boers' left.

"The remaining two troops, with three Maxims, formed the reserve and rear-guard.

"The first line advance continued unopposed to within 200 yards of the watercourse, when it was checked by an exceedingly heavy cross-fire from all points of the defence.

"Colonel White then pushed his skirmishers forward into and beyond the watercourse.

"The left support, under Inspector Dykes, then advanced to prolong the first line to the left; but, diverging too much to his left,  this officer experienced a very hot flanking fire from the farmhouse and plantation, and was driven back with some loss.

"Colonel Grey meanwhile had pushed round on the extreme right and come into action.

"About  this time Major Villiers' patrol returned and reported that the country to our right was open, and that we could easily move round in that direction.

"It was now evident that the Doers were in great force, and intended holding their position.

"Without the arrival of the Johannesburg force in rear of the Boers-an event which I had been momentarily expecting-I did  not feel justified in pushing a general attack, which would have certainly entailed heavy losses on my small force.

"I accordingly left Inspector Drury with one troop and one Maxim to keep in check the Doers who were now  lining the edge of the plateau to our left, and placed Colonel Grey with two troops B.B.P., one 12½ pounder, and one Maxim, to cover our left flank and continue firing on the battery and trenches south of the road.

"I then made a general flank movement to the right with the remaining troops.

Colonel Grey succeeded in shelling the Boers out of their advanced position during the next half-hour, and blew up the Battery House.

Under  this cover the column moved off as far as the first houses of the Randfontein group of mines, the Doers making no attempt to intercept the movement.

Night was now fast approaching, and still there were no signs of the  promised help from Johannesburg. I determined, therefore, to push on with all speed in the direction of that town, trusting in the darkness to slip through any intervening opposition.

"Two guides were obtained, the  column followed in the prescribed night order of march, and we started off along a road leading direct to Johannesburg.

"At this moment heavy rifle and Maxim fire was suddenly heard from the direction of Krugersdorp,  which lay one and a half miles to the left rear.

"We at once concluded that this could only be the arrived of the long-awaited reinforcements, for we knew that Johannesburg had mlaxims, and that the Staats'-Artillerie  were not expected to arrive until the following morning. To leave our supposed friends in the lurch:~ was out of the question. I determined at once to move to their support.

"Leaving the carts escorted by one troop on  the road, I advanced rapidly across the plateau towards Krugersdorp in the direction of the firing, in the formation shown in the accompanying sketch.

"After advancing thus for nearly a mile the firing ceased, and we  perceived the Boers moving in great force to meet the column. The flankers on the right reported another force threatening that flank.

"Fearing that an attempt would be made to cut us off from the ammunition carts, I  ordered a retreat on them.

"It was now clear that the firing, whatever might have been the cause thereo{ was not occasioned by the arrival of any force from Johannesburg.

"Precious moments had been lost in the  attempt to stand by our friends at all costs, under the mistaken supposition that they could not fail to carry out their repeated promises, renewed to us by letter so lately as I I A.M this same day. It was now very nearly  dark. In the dusk the Boers could be seen closing in on three sides, viz., north, east, and south. The road to Johannesburg appeared completely barred, and the last opportunity of slipping through, which had presented itself an  hour ago when the renewed firing was heard, was gone not to return.

"Nothing remained but to bivouac in the best position  available. "But for the unfortunate circumstance of the firing which we afterwards heard was due to the exultation of the Boers at the arrival of large reinforcements from Potchefstroom, the column would have been by this  time (7 P.M.), at least four or five miles further on the road to Johannesburg, with an excellent chance of reaching that town without further opposition.

"I moved the column to the edge of a wide valley to the right of  the road, and formed the horses in quarter column under cover of the slope. The carts were formed up in the rear and on both flanks, and five Maxims were placed along the front so as to sweep the plateau.

"The other three Maxims and the heavy guns were posted on the rear and flank faces.

"The men were then directed to lie down between the guns and on the side; sentries and Cossack posts were posted on each face.

"Meantime the Boers had occupied the numerous prospecting trenches and cuttings on the plateau at distances from 400 to 8oo yards.

"At 9 P.M. a heavy fire was opened on the bivouac, and a storm of bullets swept over  and around us, apparently directed from all sides except the south-west.

"The troops were protected by their position on the slope below the level of the plateau, so that the total loss from this fire, which lasted about  twenty minutes, was very inconsiderable.

"The men behaved with admirable coolness, and were as cheery as possible, although very tired and hungry and without water.

"We were then left unmolested for two or three hours.

"About midnight another shower of bullets was poured into the camp, but the firing was not kept up for long.

"Somewhat later a Maxim gun opened on the bivouac, but failed to get our range.

"At 3.30 A.M. patrols were pushed out on all sides, while the force as silently and rapidly as possible was got ready to move off.

"At 4 A. ~I. a heavy fire was opened by the Boers on the column, and the patrols driven in from the north and east sides.

"Under the direction of Major R. White (assisted by Lieutenant Jesser-Coope) the column was  formed under cover of the slope.

"Soon after this the patrols which had been sent out to the south returned, and reported that the ground was clear of the Boers in that direction.

"The growing light enabled us to  ascertain that the Boers in force were occupying pits to our left and lining the railway embankment for a distance of one and a half miles right across the direct road to Johannesburg.

"I covered the movements of the  main body with the B. B.P. and two maxims under Colonel Grey along the original left front of the bivouac, and two troops M.M.P. under Major K. White, on the right front.

"During this time the firing was excessively  heavy; however, the main body was partially sheltered by the slope.

"Colonel White then led the advance for a mile across the vlei without casualty, but on reaching the opposite rise near the Oceanic Mine, was subjected  to a very heavy long-range fire. Colonel White hereupon very judiciously threw out one troop to the left to cover the further advance of the main body.

"This was somewhat delayed, after crossing the rise, by the  disappearance of our volunteer guide of the previous night.

"Some little time elapsed before another guide could be obtained.

"In the meantime Lieutenant-Colonel Grey withdrew his force and the covering Maxims out  of action under the protection of the M.M.P. covering troops, and rejoined the main body.

"At this juncture Colonel Grey was shot in the foot, but most galantly insisted on carrying on his duties until the close of the  action.

"Sub-Inspector Cazalet was also wounded here, but continued in action until he was shot again in the chest at Doornkop.

"While crossing the ridge the column was subjected to a very heavy fire, and several  men and horses were lost here.

"I detailed a rear-guard of one troop and two Maxims, under Major R. White, to cover our rear and left flank, and moved the remainder of the troops in the ordinary day formation as rapidly  forward as possible.

"In this formation a running rear and flank guard fight was kept up for ten miles. Wherever the features of the ground admitted, a stand was made by various small detachments of the rear and flank  guard. in this manner the Boers were successfully kept at a distance of 500 yards, and repulsed in all their efforts to reach the rear and flank of the main body.

"In passing through the various mines and the village of  Randfontein, we met with hearty expressions of goodwill from the mining population, who professed a desire to help if only they had arms.

"Ten miles from the start I received intelligence from Colonel Grey, at the head  of the column, that Doornkop, a hill near the Speitfontein Mine, was held by 400 Boers, directly barring our line of advance.

"I repaired immediately to the front, Colonel White remaining with the rear-guard.

"On  arriving at the head of the column, I found the guns shelling a ridge which our guide stated was Doornkop.

"The excellent dispostions for the attack made by Colonel Grey were then carried out.

"The B.B.P., under  Major Coventry, who, I regret to say, was severely wounded and lost several of his men, attacked and cleared the ridge in most gallant style, and pushed on beyond it.

"About this time Inspector Barry received the wound  which, we have learnt with grief, has subsequently proved fatal.

"Chief-Inspector Bodle at the same time, with two troops M.M.P., charged and drove off the field a large force of Boers threatening our left flank.

"The guide had informed us that the road to the right of the hill was impassaHe, and that there was open and easy country to the left.

This information was misleading. I afterwards ascertained that without storming the  Boer position there was no road open to Johannesburg, except by a wide detour of many miles to the right.

"At Wis moment Dr. Jameson received a letter from the High Commissioner again ordering us to desist in our  advance. Dr J ameson informed me at the same time of the most disheartening news, viz. that he had received a message stating that Johannesburg would not, or could not, come to our assistance, and that we must fight our way  through unaided.

"Thinking that the first ridge now in our hands was Doornkop, we again pushed rapidly on, only to find that in rear of the ridge another steep and stony kopje, some 400 feet in height, was held by  hundreds of Boers completely covered from our fire;

This kopje effectually flanked the road over which the column must advance at a distance of 400 yards. Scouting showed that there was no way of getting round this hill.

"Surrounded on all sides by the Boers, men and horses wearied out, outnumbered by at least six to one, our friends having failed to keep their promises to meet us, and my force reduced numerically by one-fourth, I no  longer considered that I was justified in sacrificing any more of the lives of the men under me.

"As previously explained, our object in coming had been to render assistance, without bloodshed if possible, to tile  inhabitants of Johannesburg. This object would in no way be furthered by a hopeless attempt to cut our way through overwhelming numbers, an attempt, moreover, which must without any doubt have entailed heavy and useless  slaughter.

"With Dr. Jameson's permission, I therefore sent word to We Commandant that we would surrender provided that he would give a guarantee of safe conduct out of the country to every member of the force.

"To this Commandant Cronje replied by a guarantee of the lives of all, provided that we would lay down our arms and pay all expenses.

"In spite of this guarantee of the lives of dl, Commandant Malan subsequently  repudiated the guarantee in so far as to say that he would not answer for the lives of the leaders, but this was not until our arms had been given up and the force at the mercy of the Boers.

"I attribute our failure to reach Johannesburg in a great measure to loss of time from the following causes

"1.. The delay occasioned by the demonstration in front of Krugersdorp, which had been assigned as the  place of junction with the Johannesburg force.

"2. The non-arrival of that force at Krugersdorp or of the guides to the Krugersdorp-Johannesburg section of the road, as previously promised by Johannesburg.

"3. The  delay consequent on moving to the firing of the supposed Johannesburg column just before dark on Wednesday evening

"I append (i) a sketch-map of the route from Pitsani to Krugersdorp marked A. This distance (154 miles)  was covered in just under seventy hours, the horses having been off-saddled ten times. The 169 miles between Pitsani and Doornkop occupied eighty-six hours, during seventeen of which the men were engaged with the Boers, and  were practically without food or water, having had their last meal at 8 A.M. on the morning of the 1st January at Van Oudtshoorn's, seventeen miles from Krugersdorp."

(The report concludes with a list of officers engaged in the expedition.)

It will be noted that Sir John Willoughby does not attribute his failure to the bungling of his employee's that is said to have taken place. The man  that was despatched to cut the telegraph wires failed to 4o so, with the result that the Boers were provided with the news of the invasion eight hours before the Reform leaders were aware of it; while another man, whose  business it was to wrench away the rails between Johannesburg and Krugersdorp, and thus interrupt communication from Pretoria, was reposing in a clubhouse hopelessly drunk, while the train he should have intercepted carried  ammunition for use against the invaders.

In order to present a fair picture of the situation, it must be admitted that many of the statements in this report were emphatically contradicted by the Reformers, notably the opening  paragraphs, which scarcely tally with the fact that on the 28th (the day referred to) Dr. Jameson received the letters from the Reformers telling him not to start.

The following statement of the four Reform leaders, which was  read at their trial, will present the case from their point of view, and those interested may judge for themselves of a question over which many differences of opinion exist :-"For a number of years endeavours have been  made to obtain by constitutional means the redress' of the grievances under which the Uitlander population labours. The new-comer asked for no more than is conceded to emigrants by all the other Governments in South Africa,  under which every man may, on reasonable conditions, become a citizen of the State; whilst here alone a policy is pursued by which the first settlers retain the exclusive right of government.

"Petitions supported by the  signatures of some forty thousand men were ignored, and when it was found that we could not get a fair and reasonable hearing, that provisions already deemed obnoxious and unfair were being made more stringent, and that we were  being debarred for ever from obtaining the rights which in other countries are freely granted, it was realised that we would never get redress until we should make a demonstration of force to support our claims.

"Certain  provision was made regarding arms and ammunition, and a letter was written to Dr Jameson, in which he was asked to come to our aid under certain circumstances.

"On December 26 the Uitlanders' Manifesto was published, and  it was then our intention to make a final appeal for redress at the public meeting which was to have been held on January 6. In consequence of matters that came to our knowledge, we sent on December 26 Major Heany (by train via  Kimberley), and Captain Holden across country, to forbid any movement on Dr Jameson's part.

"On the afternoon of Monday, December 30, we learnt from Government sources that Dr. Jameson had crossed the border. We assumed  that he had come in good faith to help us, probably misled by some of the exaggerated rumours which were then in circulation. We were convinced, however, that the Government and the burghers would not in the excitement of the  moment believe that we had not invited Dn Jameson in, and there was no course open to us but to prepare to defend ourselves if we were attacked, and at the same time to spare no effort to effect a peaceful settlement.

"It became necessary to form some organisation for the protection of the town and the maintenance of order, since, in the excitement caused by the news of Dr Jameson's coming, serious disturbances would be likely to occur,  and it was evident that the Government organisation could not deal with the people without serious risks of conflict.

"The Reform Committee was formed on Monday night, December 30 and it was intended to include such men  of influence as cared to associate themselves with the movement. The object with which it was formed is best shown by its first notice, namely

"'Notice is hereby given, that this Committee adheres to the National Union  Manifesto, and reiterates its desire to maintain the independence of the Republic. The fact that rumours are in course of circulation to the effect that a force has crossed the Bechuanaland border renders it necessary to take  active steps for the defence of Johannesburg and preservation of order. The Committee earnestly desire that the inhabitants should refrain from taking any action which can be construed as an overt act of hostility against the  Government. By order of the Committee, 3. PERCY FITZPATRICK, Secretary.'

"The evidence taken at the preliminary examination will show that order was maintained by this Committee during a time of intense excitement, and  throHgh the action of the Committee no aggressive steps whatever were taken against the Government, but on the contrary, the property of the Government was protected, and its officials were not interfered with.

"It is  our firm belief that had no such Committee been formed, the intense excitement caused by Dr. Jameson's entry would have brought about utter chaos in Johannesburg.

"It has been alleged that we armed natives. This is  absolutely untrue, and is disposed of by the fact that during the crisis upwards of 20,000 white men applied to us for arms and were unable to get them.

"On Tuesday morning, December 31, we hoisted the flag of the Z. A.  R., and every man bound himself to maintain the independence of the Republic. On the same day the Government withdrew its police voluntarily from the town, and we preserved perfect order.

"During the evening of that day,  Messrs. Marais and Malan presented themselves as delegates from the Executive Council. They came (to use their own words) to 'offer us the olive branch, and they told us that if we would send a deputation to Pretoria to meet a  Commission appointed by the Government, we should probably obtain 'practically all that we asked for in the Manifesto.'

"Our deputation met the Government Commission, consisting of Chief-Justice Kotze, Judge Ameshof, and  Mr. Kook, member of the Executive.

"On our behalf our deputation frankly avowed knowledge of Jameson's presence on the border, and of his intention, by written arrangement with us, to assist us in case of extremity.

"With the full knowledge of this arrangement, with the knowledge that we were in arms and agitating for our rights, the Government Commission banded to us a resolution by the Executive Council, of which the following is  the purport

"'The High Commissioner has offered his services with a view to a peaceful settlement. The Government of the South African Republic has accepted his offer. Pending his arrival, no hostile step will be taken  against Johannesburg, provided Johannesburg takes no hostile action against the Government. In terms of a certain proclamation recently issued by the President, the grievances will be earnestly considered.'

"We acted in  perfect good faith with the Government, bdieving it to be their desire, as it was ours, to avert bloodshed, and believing it to be their intention to give us the redress which was implied in the 'earnest consideration of  grievances.'

"There can be no better evidence of our earnest endeavour to repair what we regarded as a mistake on the part of Dr. Jameson than the following offer which our deputation, authorised by resolution of the  Committee, laid before the Government Commission

"'If the Government will permit Dr. Jameson to come into Johannesburg unmolested the Committee will guarantee, with their persons if necessary, that he will leave again  peacefully as soon as possible.'

"We faithfully carried out the agreement that we should commit no act of hostility against the Government; we ceased all active operations for the defence of the town against any attack,  and we did everything in our power to prevent any collision with the burghers, an attempt in which our efforts were happily successful.

On the telegraphic advice of the result of the interview of the deputation with the  Government Commission, we despatched Mr. Lace, a member of our Committee, as an escort to the courier carrying the High Commissioner's despatch to Dr. Jameson, in order to assure ourselves that the despatch would reach its  destination.

"On the following Saturday, January 4, the High Commissioner arrived at Pretoria. On Monday, the 6th, the following telegram was sent to us

From H.M.'s AGENT to REFORM COAIMITTEE, Johannesburg.

"'PRETORIA, January 6, 1896.

'January 6.-I am directed to inform you that the High Commissioner met the President, the Executive, and the Judges to-day. The President announced the decision of the Government to be that  Johannesburg must lay down its arms unconditionally as a (condition) precedent to a discussion and consideration of grievances. The High Commissioner endeavoured to obtain some indication of the steps which would be taken in  the event of disarmament, but without success, it being intimated that the Government had nothing more to say on the subject than had already been embodied in the President's proclamation. The High Commissioner inquired whether  any decision had been come to as regards the disposal of the prisoners, and received a reply in the negative. The President said that as his burghers, to tne number of Soos, had been collected and could not be asked to remain  indefinitely, he must request a reply, "Yes" or " No," to this ultimatum within twenty-four hours.'

On the following day, Sir Jacobus de Wet, her Majesty's Agent, met us in committee, and handed to us the  following wire from his Excellency the High Commissioner:-

HIGH COMMISSIONER, Pretoria, to Sir J. DE WET, Johannesburg.

(Received Johannesburg 7.30 A.M.,Jan 7, 1896.)

"'Urgent. You should inform the Johannesburg  people that I consider, that if they lay down their arms, they will be acting loyally and honourably, and that if they do not comply with my request, they forfeit all claim to sympathy from her Majesty's Government, and from  British subjects throughout the world, as the lives of Jameson and prisoners are practically in their hands.'

"On this, and the assurance given in the Executive Council resolution, we laid down our arms on January 6th,  7th and 8th on the 9th we were arrested, and have since been under arrest at Pretoria, a period of three and a half months.

"We admit responsibility for the action taken by us. We frankly avowed it at the time of the  negotiations with the Government, when we were informed that the services of the High Commissioner had been accepted with a view to a peaceful settlement.

"We submit that we kept faith in every detail in the arrangement  with the Government; that we did all that was humanly possible to protect both the State and Dr. Jameson from the consequences of his action; that we have committed no breach of the law which was not known to the Government at  the time that the earnest consideration of our grievances was promised.

"We can only now lay the bare facts before the Court, and submit to the judgment that may be passed upon us.

Signed,

LIONEL PHILLIPS. FRANCIS RHODES. GEORGE FARRAR.

"PRETORIA, April24, 1896."

"I entirely concur with the above statement.

"PRETORIA, April 27, 1896."

(Signed) JOHN HAYS HAMMOND.