Title page for ETD etd-11012010-113132


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Grobler, John Edward Holloway
URN etd-11012010-113132
Document Title Jan Viljoen (1812-1893), ‘n Transvaalse Wesgrenspionier (Afrikaans)
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof F A van Jaarsveld Supervisor
Keywords
  • Britse Soewereiniteitsgesag
  • Jan Viljoen
Date 1976-04-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
AFRIKAANS: Gebore in 1812 en getroud in 1833, het Jan Viljoen in die Kaapkolonie gebly tot in 1843, toe hy en sy gesin na die Transoranje verhuis het. Daar word hy 'n republikein, en bring hy in 1846 as gevolg van botsings met die Britse Soewereiniteitsgesag, drie maande in die tronk deur. In 1848 veg hy onder Pretorius by Boomplaas. Sy plaas is gekonfiskeer en hy verlaat die Soewereiniteit. Op die Transvaalse wesgrens vestig hy hom aan die Klein Marico-rivier op die plaas Vergenoeg - ver genoeg weg van die Engelse.

'n Sekere ontwikkeldheid, leierseienskappe en gewildheid het in 1849 daartoe gelei dat Viljoen die eerste veldkornet van Marico geword het. As veldkornet het hy 'n rol in die plaaslike regering gespeel, en gedien as skakel tussen sy wyk en die Transvaalse owerheid. In 1859 het hy as veldkornet bedank en is hy tot kommandant gekies.

Op kerklike gebied was Viljoen 'n Hervormer wat die bestaansreg van sowel die Gereformeerde as die Nederduits Gereformeerde kerke in Transvaal ontken het. In 1868 het hy sover gegaan om ds. Cachet, wat 'n Nederduits Geroformeerde gcmeente in Marico gaan stig het, met 'n sambok aan te rand.

Op politieke gebied was Viljoen 'n Pretorius-ondersteuner. In die Burgeroorlog van 1863-1864 het hy as leier van die "Volkslaer” die wapen teen die "Staatslaer” opgeneem in 'n poging om Pretorius president te maak in die plek van N.C.J. van Rensburg. In Januarie 1864 het Paul Kruger egter Viljoen se magte in ‘n skermutseling by die Krokodilrivier verslaan.

Viljoen was tot in 1870 kommandant van Marico. As kommanaant het hy sy wyk se be1ange vooropgestel, en was hy bereid om owerheidsopdragte te ignoreer wanneer hy gevoe1 het dat gehoorsaamheid nie in belang van sy wyk was nie.

Viljoen was 'n belangrike figuur in die Transvaalse geskiedenis, veral as gevolg van sy kontak met die Swart stamme op die wesgrens. Dwarsdeur sy lewe in Marico het hy horn beywer vir vreedsame naasbestaan met stamme soos die Batlhaping, Barolong, Bahoeroetsie, Bakwena, Bamangwato en Matebele. Getrou aan sy doelstelling het Viljoen nooit aan ‘n veldtog teen enige Swart starn deelgeneem nie.

Viljoen is ook bekend as olifantjagter en pionier van die jagvelde noord en wes van Transvaal. In hierdie verband het hy telkens te doen gekry met buitelandse jagters, handelaars, sendelinge en reisigers. Sy kontak met hierdie mense is 'n belangrike faset van sy lewe.

Na die anneksasie van Transvaal in 1877 het Viljoen as Volkskomiteelid die Boereverset teen die Britse besetting help organiseer. Tydens die Vryheidsoor1og het hy Lichtcnburg en Zeerust namens die Boere ingeneem. Daarna het hy hom beywer om 'n botsing met die Baro1ong van Montsioa te voorkom. Na die oorlog het hy sy lot ingewerp by die vrywil1igers in die repub1iek Land Gosen, op die Raad van Bestuur waarvan hy gedien het. Sy laaste jare is gekenmerk deur mislukte pogings om sy ekonomiese posisie te verbeter.

Viljoen, 'n kort en skraa1 man, was gewild by sy medemens, maar hardkoppig, en bereid om gewe1d te gebruik om sy sin te probeer kry. Hy is in 1893 oorlede.

ENGLISH: Born in 1812 and married in 1833, Jan Viljoen was in the Cape Colony until 1843, when he and his family moved to the Transorange. There he became a republican and, as a result of clashes with the British Sovereignty authority, he spent three years in prison. In 1848 he fought under Pretorius at Boomplaas. His farm was confiscated and he left the Sovereignty. On the western border of Transvaal he settled near the Klein Marico river, on the farm “Vergenoeg” - far enough away from the English.

A degree of development, qualities of leadership and persona1 popularity led in 1849 to Viljoen's becoming the first fieldcornet of Marico. As fieldcornet he played a part in local government and served as link between his ward and the Transvaal government. In 1859 he resigned as fieldcornet and was elected commandant.

Viljoen's religious ties were with the Hervormde Kerk, which denied the right of existence in Transvaal of both the Gereformeerde and the Nederduits Gereformeerde churches. In 1868 Viljoen went so far as to assault with a sjambok Ds. Cachet, who had established a Nederduits Gereformeerde congregation in Marico.

In politics Viljoen was a supporter of Pretorius. In tho Civil War of 1863-1864 he took up arms as leader of the “Volkslaer” (“army of the people”) against the “Staatslaer” (“army of the state”) in an attempt to install Pretorius as president in place of W.C.J. van Rensburg. However,in January 1864 Paul Kruger defeated Viljoen's force in a brush near the Crocodile River.

Viljoen was commandant of Marico until 1870. As commandant he promoted the interests of his ward and was prepared to ignore governmental orders when he felt that compliance would not be in his ward's interest.

Viljoen was an important figure in the history of Transvaal, particularly as a result of his contact with the Black tribes on the western border. Throughout his life in Marico he strove for peaceful co-existence with tribes such as the Batlhaping, Baralong, Bahoeroetsie, Bakwena, Bamangwato and the Matabele. True to his aim, Viljoen never took part in an expedition against any Black tribe.

Viljoen was also a noted elephant hunter and pioneer of the hunting grounds to the north and west of Transvaal. In this role he frequently encountered foreign hunters, traders, missionaries and travellers. His contact with such people was an important facet of his life.

After the annexation of the Transvaal in 1877 Viljoen, as member of the Volkskomitee (Peoples' Committee), helped organize the Boer resistance to the British occupation. During the Vryheidsoorlog (War of Independence) he took Lichtenburg and Zeerust in the name of the Boers. Thereafter he strove to avert a clash with the Barolong of Montsioa. After the war he threw in his lot with the volunteers in the republic of Goshen, on whose Government Council he served. His closing years were characterised by unsuccessful efforts to improve his economic position.

Viljoen, a short and wiry man, was popular among his fellow¬men, but he was obstinate and ready to use force when attempting to get his way. He died in 1893.

© 1976 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Grobler, JEH 1976, Jan Viljoen (1812-1893), ‘n Transvaalse wesgrenspionier, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11012010-113132/ >

H1165/ag

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