1st Article - 1820 Settlers the story
In the latter stages of the 17th century and in the early stages of the 18th century the dominant population groups in the Eastern Cape area were the white cattle farmers and the black cattle farmers. Both groups were constantly looking for more land on which their cattle could graze. These opposing groups clashed in a series of skirmishes or wars.
Colonel John Graham was the originator of the plan to settle a large group of Scottish Highlanders in this area. He was in charge of the British troops at a fort in the area. The fort later becomes Grahams Town. The plan was not implemented due to the fact that Britain was still involved in the war with Europe and emigration schemes were not priorities.
In 1817 captain Benjamin Moodie brought 50 young Scottish men who were artisans to the Cape as contracted workers. Later on he brought out a further 150 men. Cape citizens bought the contracts of the first group of artisans however some members of the second group absconded; thus leaving captain Moodie with a financial loss. In the final analysis the Cape gained 200 much needed artisans.
Peter Tait tried to emulate Moodies model but only managed to recruit 30 settlers.
On 22 April 1819 Xhosa Chief Mdushane attacked Grahams town with 10 000 warriors and overran the settlement.
This attack as well as the successful settlement of the Moodie settlers motivated the authorities at the Cape to write an appeal to Lord Bathurst to implement a settler scheme.
The end of the European war brought misery to the British population due to inflation, unemployment and the general stagnation of the economy. These miserable conditions lead to food riots in London in May 1819.
These riots in London added pressure to the then Tory government to consider an emigration scheme to the Cape.
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