CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
JANUAEY, 1659 MAY, 1662.
RIEBEECK'S JOURNAL, &c.
H. C. Y. LEIBBRANDT,
KEEPER OF THE ARCHIVES.
W. A. RICHARDS & SONS, GOVERNMENT PRINTERS.
ABRAHAM VAN RIEBEECK,
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF NETHERLANDS, INDIA,
BORN AT THE CAPE, ON THE 18TH OCTOBER, 1653,
DIED 17TH DECEMBER, 1713.
ELIZABETH VAN OOSTEN,
WIFE OF ABRAHAM VAN RIEBEECK.
BORN 1OTH AUGUST, 166O.
DIED 18TH MAY, 1714.
PEECIS OF JOURNAL
FORT OF GOOD HOPE.
January 1st. Fine weather, cloudy sky. The before-mentioned
Cochoquas of the troop of Oedasoa were this morning with Eva in
church. They seemed to be pleased when they were told what was
taught there, and especially with the treatment received.
About 2 morgen of ground opposite the orchard behind Table
Mountain, on which the first corn had been sown to make a trial,
and since used without payment by Steven Jansen, put up to
public competition for 3 years, and leased for 90 per annum,
together witli some ad j oining uncultivated land bounded by the
bend of the Liesbeeck opposite Herman Remajenne's place , the
lessee during that time to clear it.
January 2nd. South-east.
January 3rd. South-east. Oedasoa's men, well treated, depart.
Eva remains here to be taught reading and praying. The Com-
mander visits the freemen and their fields, which he often does to
prevent negligence ; setting them an example by means of the
Company's farmers and men. Arrival of the English ship Barha-
doex Merchant, with saltpetre and cotton-cloth, from Masulipatnam,
where the Company's affairs were prospering. Five ships had
arrived there, among them the Enismm and Vogelsang from Persia,
with many Portuguese on board, who had a fortnight before the
Englishman's departure left for Batavia. There was still
lying there the Naardeii, which had brought 500 Portuguese, 200
of whom were priests. The young people were sent to Batavia
and the older ones lauded at Masulipatuam ; they had all come
from Neganapatnam, which our people had conquered. Goa also
was so closely invested by our troops that ifc would most likely
very soon fall into the hands of the Company. Time will tell
whether this is so.
January 4th. The Schapenjacht/e sent to Bobben Island with
fuel and spars for sheep sheds. Strong S.E.
January 5th (Sunday). Fine weather.
January 6th. Ryk Oberhagen, superintendent at llobben Island,
reports that there are 78 sheep there and 50 rabbits. " The geese
promise well, eating the grass here. I cannot with kind words
get Herry to carry wood to the hill. The rock rabbits are also
increasing ; I have seen 12 or 13. The carpenters are working
lustily. Please send me some sealing-wax."
Vol. VII. B
1659. The Penguin returns from Dassen Island with oil ; the other boat
is at Saldanha Bay catching harders and other fish, and collecting
salt found in certain pans in the neighbourhood.
January 7th. Fine weather.
January 8th. Ditto, and full moon.
January 9th. The boat leaves for Robben Island with 5 Dutch
ducks, which are in danger of wild animals at the fort, some
pitch and spare. " As Kees and Heyn were very ill, Frederik is to
return, and his place to be taken by Anthony, who is to finish the
stable with walnut- wood. We send you wafers, as we have no
sealing-wnx." Heavy S.E.
January 1 Oth. S.-East wind.
January llth. N.W. ; warm weather.
January 12th. Dark and rainy. 13th, the same. 14th, ditto.
January 15th. S.-East.
January 16th. S.-East. The English ship leaves, taking a letter
to the Chamber of 17, under cover of Sieur Lucas Luce, the Com-
pany's correspondent in London.
January 17th. Hot and calm. Riebeeck visits the farmers, who
were very busy ploughing, threshing, &c., and already daily send-
ing in some corn.
January 18th. Warm weather, S.E. Some spars sent to the
Island, with some purslain seed to be sown everywhere.
January 19th. Changeable weather.
January 20th. N.W. wind ; 3 more rabbits born on the island.
More wood wanted there ; the shed on the west side to be made of
wattle and daub. The ducks are commencing to lay. The
seed seat all sown. A slave wanted to carry wood to the hill, &c,
The sheep, being driven from one place to another, fell down a
deep and narrow gorge ; 61 were killed, mostly ewes with young ;
the meat salted down for consumption. It seems to have been an
accident for which no one is to be blamed. These 61 dead sheep
and their unborn lambs were more valuable than 500 sheep bartered
from the Hottentoos, as they were all picked young ewes of Kerry.
Those bartered generally have something the matter with them, and
must be kil.ed at once, otherwise they die off, so that not 10 per
cent, are saved. This is the reason why tho increase is s > slow.
January 21st. Fine N.W. weather.
January 22nd. Ditto.
January 23rd. Riebeeck sees that the free fishermen and salt
collectors are not over diligent. He had often urged them to do
their best, but as some are suffering from mere laziness, which
urged them to leave the Company's service, it was necessary to make
a sifting and to put others who were more deserving in their places.
Because of this close superintendence the agriculturists show more
diligence and push on more rapidly.
Consequently Pieter Cornelis of Laugesont, free hunter, and Carel
Broers, servant of Leendert Comelissen, sawyer, two very diligent
and industrious men, and old servants of the Company here, have
been given the fisheries and everything connected with them instead 1659.
of Pieter Jacobsen of Bodegraver, formerly companion of the
stowaway Martin Vlockert, who neglected aU his nets and other
utensils and disobeyed the Company in everything, going on board
English vessels against the will of the Commander, and taking
off men to those ships. He likewise used to hide men desirous of
running away, keeping them near the river, until an opportunity
was found during the night to sail out of it and proceed on
board. He and his mate, being great sluggards, have therefore
again been taken into the Company's service, in order to
accustom them to more diligence and make them serve out their
As the Saldanha fishermen have only 3 in the salt pans, 2 other
fishermen are allowed to collect there also, that enough may be
gathered in mounds, as otherwise we will annually fall short of the
quantity required. Moreover, after February no more can be found.
The best use is therefore to be made of the short time still at our
A slave of H. Boom deserts. Some days ago one of Vrelandt's
company ran away and 2 of Leendert CorneHsz the sawyer ; this
puts the masters back in their work.
January 24th. The boat despatched to the island with fuel for
the beacon light, and a female slave whose husband was already
there. Both were to be used in carrying the fuel to the hill, and
fires were to be lighted as soon as vessels were observed. A good
look-out was also to be kept. With this assistance the sheep could
be cleaned of thorns and scab. The thorns were likewise to be
carefully uprooted, as they did much injury to the feet of the sheep,
and the overseer had to report regularly the number of sheep,
rabbits and rock-rabbits on the island. A master carpenter was
also sent to make the shed for the sheep.
January 25th. Warm N.W. weather. The boat again
despatched with timber and fuel to the island.
January 26th (Sunday). Dark misty weather, wind west; some
rain at nightfall.
January 27th. Same weather. The Penguin brings some eggs
from Dassen Island. The pigs seem to thrive well on that island,
living on the green purslain and eggs, with which they are fed.
Some sods sent thither for planting.
January 28th. Cloudy N.W. weather. Kiebeeck was informed
by the free farmers that the Q-oringhaiquas, or Caapmen, and the
Q-ourachouquas, or tobacco thieves, had been at it again, and stolen
from Brinkman's company a cow and calf, and from the Company
2 oxen; that consequently all the Hottentoos who had taken
service in the different households had run away, and could no-
where be found, excepting Doman, about whom for certain reasons
nothing is to be said as yet.
January 29th. The same weather. Riebeeck visits some new
saltpans situated opposite the Leopard Mountains, about 4 good
1659. Dutch miles from the fort, and in the mouth of the river called by our
explorers, because of the quantity of Dutch reeds which it contains,
Holland's Reedpool (Holland's liietbeek), now dry at the mouth,
but having in the rainy season a large outflow into the great
saltpans above the wreck of the Hmn-lrm at the tail of the Leopard
Mountains, and further running over the pans above into the Salt
Biver, which discharges itself into the sea at the fort Duinhoop.
The Salt Biver would be navigable with flat-bottomed boats in the
rainy season, as far as the large saltpans, from which the boats
could again enter the Holland's Iteedpool, whence they might go
higher and take the salt out of these new pans, the best and
cleanest hitherto found, as it is formed in a running river, dry in
summer and full in winter. Further inquiry will be made. At
present it has only been noted down on the chart where the mouth
at the great salt pan has been found to have its discharge.
January 30th. Stormy wind since yesterday. The Penguin
returns to Dassen Island, with some pigs which seem to thrive
better there than here. They will also not be able to do any
mischief there in gardens or land, the reason why people here
won't have them.
January 31st. The same heavy S.S.E. wind. Riebeeck went
out to see where the Hottentoos were at present, and to find
another road for the wagons which now crosses the freemen's lands.
The farmers busy ploughing and threshing, &c.
February 1st. Fine sunshine. The boat sent to the Island
with fuel and planks.
Seven men offered themselves as volunteers to undertake a land
voyage to Monomotapa,and in the first place to a certain nation called
by the Hottentoos Namana or Namaqua, living in stone houses.
Revolution : 1st February. " Having heard through Eva that
the great chief of the Hottentoos was the Chobonas or Coboquas,
rich in gold, pearls, &c., and that on him followed the Namanas
or Namaquas, living in stone houses, and 20 or 30 day's distant
from this, who wear white prepared skins instead of the coarse
ones worn by those here ; and that they have churches in which
they pray to God just like the Hollander.- 1 , earning a living with
all kinds of trades, conducted by black slaves, themselves whitish,
and having straight hair, in wliich they also trade, and likewise in
tusks and cattle (in immense quantities), being very fond of red
copper and yellow copper wirt, red beads, &c., and whereas 7 men
offer themselves to journey to these nations, viz : Christiaau Jansx
van Hoesum, free hunter, thatcher and stock maker, chief of the
expedition, whom the rest promised to obey.
Jochem Elberts of Amsterdam, free Saldanha trader, Hans Jacob
Lisky of Dansig, free servant of the Ensign Pieter Jansz, of
Middelburgh, free servant of the miller.
Gysbert Arensen of Bommel, free mason ; Dirk Kenskens of
Maseyck, free mower ; Jan Francken of Arnhem, corporal in the
After having considered the matter, and read the order of the 1659.
Hon. van Goens, confirmed by the seventeen dated 16th April, 1658,
it was decided to accept the offer of these volunteers, who would if
possible proceed until they found the Namaquas or other nations.
They were to leave on Monday or Tuesday and be provided with
everything required ; also with 2 pack oxen to carry their things.
These men are young and strong and of good character, and
already some years in this country.
One of Biebeeck's Guinea slaves deserts.
February 2nd (Sunday). Fine and warm. The boat again
gent to the Island with wood and timber.
To-day ( ? Sunday) glory be to God, wine was pressed for the
first time from the Cape grapes, and the new must fresh from the
tub was tasted ; it consisted mostly of Muscadel and other white
round grapes, of fine flavour and taste. The Spanish grapes are
still green ; many stocks are quite full with them, and it is expected
that they will yield abundantly. The grapes of three small stocks
of 2 years old produced fully 12 bottles of must. What the latter
will come to when kept over will soon be known. The return
fleet will arrive just in time for the young wine and old beer, when
all the kinds of fruit will be ripe, of which the autumn ships will
also obtain a share, and when the spring ships arrive here in winter
they in their turn will obtain a sufficient supply of vegetables of
all kinds, and milk, which is scarce in summer.
February 3rd. Fine weather. The expedition leaves with the
following instructions and information. The native races hitherto
known are: 1st, the Cape nation from which Herry has been exiled;
then the Watermen hiding among these Cape men, called Goring-
haina, or Goringhaiqua, \vhose chief is the fat Gogosoa. Next
come the Gorachouqa, or Gorachouma or tobacco thieves. These
two tribes are always here, as they dare not venture among the
real Saldanhars. The latter are, 1st, the Cochoquas, visited lately
by the Ensign and some of yourselves, consisting of 2 power-
ful sections and rich in cattle. They are ruled by the chiefs
Ngounoma and Oedasoa, the husband of Eva's sister, dwelling
mostly to the N.N.E. behind the high mountains. Then
come the Khonaiquas, also rich in cattle, living near the
Cochoquas, and on good terms with them. These would,
according to Eva, be the best guides to the Namanas, whom we
would like to see in the first instance ; they live in stone houses as
you have heard, and we also, from her and others. But as they
might be unwilling to be your guides, your first direction should
be towards the west of the Leopard mountains on the
Saldanha road to the Hosomas, who are the little Chari-
gurinars, or Chariguriquas, in order to be brought by
them to the big Chariguriquas, who according to all accounts
have a knowledge of the Namanas and may bring you
there, or show you the Avay. The Namanas, are the dominant
Jlottentoo race, living in stone houses with black walls, hung inside
1669. -with white prepared skins they in time will be able to conduct us
to the Chobonas, whose authority over this Cape people is still
superior to that of Namana, and who are very rich in gold, and
where it is supposed that the river Spirito Sancto lies, from which
all the gold is taken to Mozambique, and not more than 120 or 130
miles to the north-east from this place. Their chief is evidently
the Monomotaper, or Emperor of this distant region ; but as soon
as you have found any inhabiting fixed abodes and you hear from
them that they can introduce you to other nations, we shall leave
it to you to travel further or turn back ; but you should do your
best to induce some of them to visit us, and treat them well. If
the journey be not too lo.ag and you can find nothing particular
among these Namanas, we would be pleased by your proceeding
towards the Chobona or the town Monopatapa, which is rich in gold
and the dwelling place of the Emperor, The land also is rich in
gold near the river Spirito Sancto. You are to be prudent, observe
everything attentively and make full notes of every thing. 1st. As
soon as you cross the first (eerste) river, you are to set your course
by compass, and note down how many hours and half hours more
or less you travel on each course, as is done at sea, that everything
may be laid down on a chart for the Directors. This is by no
means to be neglected. 2nd. You must mark where there is clay
or soil for agriculture; where the country is sandy, stony, or
mountainous ; where there are water and running rivers and mark
their direction. Whether in mountain or river any mineral is hidden
from which silver or gold may be drawn, and whether the roads
are everywhere passable for wagons. Some prominent spots are to
be named by you and you are to enquire after the names of the
nations, their chiefs and cities in order to be known in future. 3rd.
You are to find out when meeting a nation, how they live, what chief
they have, what clothes, what means of earning a living ; what
their religion is, their dwellings, their fortifications are Avhat they
best like ; whether they have among them honey, wax, ostrich
feathers, ivory, silver, gold, pearl, tortoise shell, musk, civet, amber,
fine skins or anything else. 4th. What useful fruits or roots the
country produces, and should you come on the sea coast you are to
notice the bays and rivers which discharge themselves into the sea ;
in what direction they extend, whether there are means of getting
water and refreshments ; if there are oysters, pearl mussels, or
tortoise shells fit for combs or other work. 5th. The strength of
the nation, and with whom they live in friendship or enmity, and
why ? Their general name, and especially the names of their
chief men, towns, &o., and also what instruments for war they
possess. 6th. How they are disposed towards our nation ; whether
they are cruel or friendly ; and whether they have any reasonable
government. And that you may know how to write down exactly
your observations, we give you for your information a specimen
copy drawn up by our masters. For the rest we have also verbally
told you what you are to do for the sake of your own honour and
gaining the reward promised, which will be in accordance with 1659.
what is found, and God grant that it may be something considerable.
We wish you a prosperous journey under the protection of the
Chief Keeper of the pious, unto Whom we shall daily pray for
you that He may abide with you with His grace. Amen.
The seven thus left with the best wishes of all, each armed with
a good firelock and pistol, and took with them a list of articles
carried by two draught oxen which might be acceptable for barter,
February 4th. Cloudy and dark sky, N. breeze. The boat sent
to Robben Island with timber and fuel. Another ox given to
the travellers, who could not get on with the one first given.
February 5th. Warm, N. breeze. Heavy S.E. in the after-
February 6th. Full moon. Warm and quiet.
February 7th. Fiscal Ab. Gabbema and the land surveyor,
who understands a little of these things, sent out with some men
round the Cape to take the distance of all rocks lying off the coast.
The surveyor's work is to be carefully examined and put into a chart.
They take 5 days' provisions, and are also to find out where the
Cape men and tobacco thieves are, as it is reported that Doman,
with all his Hot^entoos, as he ca^s them in the Herry style, had
very suspiciously left during the night. Biebeock himse f went out
to search for them, but fruitlessly, and the freemen were warned to
beware of Doman, who had since his return from Batavia become
very bold, and was less to be trusted, than Herry.
Resolution of the Council : " Whereas most of the freemen are in
poor circumstances, and very much distressed that they may not
receive credit for a higher sum than what the Company has stipu-
lated, and whereas we are consequently afraid to give them more
credit, but at the same time see that, unless they receive further
assistance, it is impossible for them to right themselves and clear
off their debts ; it is resolved, in order to keep the corn-growers
out of trouble and encourage them as much as possible, to pay
them, independent of their debt, a third part of the price of their
produce in cash or goods and to take the remaining two-thirds as
part payment of their debt. In that way they will be somewhat
consoled for their heavy toil, and have something wherewith to pay
their Dutch servants. And this is further done in order to make
it unnecessary for them to evade the law by mixing a lot of wheat
with the refuse, and for the sake of a little money selling the whole
as food for poultry, &c. To prevent this abuse effectively all who
wish to sell food for pigs, &c , shall first bring it to the Castle or
the granary to be inspected by the Fiscal and bailiffs ; the buyer
shall pay 3 st. for every bushel to cover the expenses incurred by
the Company. Offenders to forfeit 6 r^als of 8. And that no
wheat may be exported and the order regarding the conveyance of
wood from the forest should be maintained, all wagons passing the
Company's house or Fort shall stop for examination. This shall
1659. be done in the case of everything intended for shipment. And
whereas the surveyor has divided the freemen's plots with beacons
it is enacted, according to the order of the Hon. Van Goens, con-
firmed by the Masters, that everyone on whose plot a beacon shall
be found missing shall forfeit 6 reals, a quarter of which amount
shall go to the surveyor."
February Bth. Heavy S.E. in the afternoon. Bought 48 sheep
and 4 cows from the Cochoquas, who quickly departed, no doubt
frightened by Doman, who is hiding in the neighbourhood, as Eva
thinks, who endeavoured to remove their fears. They said they
wished to fetch more sheep, and asked for some tobacco for Eva's
Yesterday Doman, when angry with Eva, hinted that he would
cause the men on the land journey to be murdered in order to
deter us from exploring the country. This news reached us too
late, and we therefore leave the case in the hands of Grod ; but if
Doman shows himself at the Fort again, it will be necessary to
put him in confinement.
February 9th. Heavy S.E. Some smokers set fire to the cow
dung in the kraal, which finally communicated itself to the thatch
of the shed ; it was, however, fortunately put out. By pulling the
bell so violently, its eye was broken, and it fell to the ground ;
but this is a slight loss compared with the fire, which had already
crossed the moat, and was creeping up the walls ; the dry grass
burning easily. The stables alone would have been a loss of 2 or
300 gl ; whilst all the houses in the fort were in danger, and
the sparks might have exploded the old magazine, as yet only
covered with tiles.
February 10th. Calm and very hot weather. A messenger
sent by the surveyor that 13 or 14 hours on foot from the Cape
the fiscus had been taken ill (see February 7th) with violent fever,
which had been increasing since leaving the " bergh valley v
(mountain valley). The expedition ha:l made their inspection as
far almost as the furthest point and verified it on the chart. At
that spot Grabbema became so weak that he had to rest once every
1 yards. They were therefore obliged to return to their former
resting place, where the fever violently increased, and to send one
to give you notice. Should the patient improve they would
proceed to the sand bay, where they would expect the Commander's
communications, &c. (Signed) Peter Potter.
Four slaves and a hammock sent to bring the fiscus home ; they
a, so took some wine and other refreshments.
February llth. N.W. cloudy weather.
February 12fh. S.S.E. wind. Arrival of the Emmer/worn,
a.' well. Had left the Vley on the 22nd October in company of the
Resolution, to send the above vessel to the Southland to make
another search for the Gouden Drank, according to letters from
Holland dated 26th December, 1657.
Cornelius Cornelisz of Haarlem confirmed in his appointment 1659.
as master carpenter.
The fiscal, having missed the slaves, is brought home in a free-
man's wagon, and very weak.
February 13th. Heavy S.S.E.
February 14th. Calm and warm.
February 15th. Calm. The Sea Lion proceeds to Dassen, and
the boat to Robben Island, with straw, &c., for the sheep shed, and
the seed of some wild plant thriving well in the drought and liked
by the sheep.
February 16fch. Fine weather.
February 17th. The Emmerhoorn leaves for the Southland
(see February 12th), and takes also letters for Batavia.
February 18th. Death of Ensign Jan van Harwarden, after 6
or 7 days 1 illness. The Company has lost a diligent and industrious
servant, who had been (and not beyond his deserts) raised within 6
years from the rank of corporal to that of Ensign. He leaves a
widow and 5 children.
The wife of the free tailor Hendrik van Surwerden gives birth
to a son.
February 19th. Heavy S.E. The late ensign, having been the
Company's builder and general superintendent, the Commander
went out to-day for general inspection, that especially the plough