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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Will of Abraham and Elizabeth September: The Struggle for Land in Gordonia, 1898-1995
Author:Legassick, MartinISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:South Africa
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
History and Exploration
Architecture and the Arts
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182499
Abstract:This article traces the story of the Baster settlement of Gordonia, near Upington, South Africa, between 1880 and the 1890s, examining the struggle over land which took place between Basters and whites - in the context of the foundation of the white-dominated town of Upington. In particular, it is concerned with the loss of their land to the whites by the September family and their struggle to regain it. Abraham September, an ex-slave, was the first person to lead water from the Orange river to irrigate land, establishing a precedent which led to the construction of the Upington canal and the whole irrigation-based economy of the region. He died in 1898. The article deals with the administration of his estate - in the course of which his land was 'sold' to whites - from the different points of view of the official record and of oral tradition. It then outlines correspondence in the Cape archives from 1920 through to the 1960s protesting against this land alienation as a failure to implement the will of Abraham September and his wife Elizabeth. It concludes with some comments on the accuracy of sources. Notes, ref., sum.