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PREFACE

TO

THE FIRST EDITION.

A HANDBOOK TO SOUTH AFRICA, containing full informa tion respecting some of the oldest settlements of the British Crown, has long been a desideratum, and has recently become something more in consequence of the rapid commercial and social progress of these now flourishing colonies, and of the corresponding increase in their trade and communication with Europe.

No apology can, therefore, be necessary for this volume, but it may be well to explain that the author has attempted more than a cursory description of the country. He has thought it desirable to give a historical sketch of a settlement as old as the seventeenth century, and having features of particular interest, both from the different nationalities which figure in the story, and the long-continued struggles of the settlers with hostile native tribes.

He has also borne in mind that South Africa is a rich and inviting field to the naturalist, the student of physical geography, and the sportsman, and he has therefore given as full an account of the physical features of

the country, its animal and vegetable life, and its climatic variations, as space permitted, the latter being especially dwelt on in reference to their influence on European invalids afflicted with pulmonary disorders. He has endeavoured, indeed, to make the volume serviceable, not only to commercial men, but to those who desire condensed information on a country which has heretofore been less under the eye of the British public than any colony of the Empire.

In accomplishing his task the author has been especially assisted by Henry Hall, Esq., R.E.D.; Dr. J. C. Brown, late Colonial Botanist; the Hon. Mr. Porter, late Attorney-General; J. V. Vipan, Esq., and T. B. Glanville, Esq., gentlemen whose knowledge of the subjects on which they have contributed valuable information is well known to all Cape colonists.

It may be well to call attention to the Gazetteer in the Appendix, which will give the reader every inforination on the various divisions and localities in South Africa. The Map at the commencement of the volume has been recently constructed, and includes the latest geographical additions to South Africa, the various diamond settlements on the banks of the Vaal, and the routes of the projected railways.

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Discovery and History-Dutch Occupation-Establishment and
Consolidation of British Power-Governors of the Colony, Dutch
and British-Physical Geography Geology - Mineralogy -
Forests, Fruits, Flowers, &c. - Natural History-Sport-
Scenery-Climate-Meteorological Phenomena-Productions—
Industries-Political Geography-Education -- Religion --Go-
vernment-Defence-Trade-Commerce-Inland Communication
-Revenue-Customs Duties-Steam &c. communication-Laws
and Legislation—Emigration and Land Laws, &c.

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