Hidden Histories of Gordonia

Land Dispossession and Resistance in the Northern Cape, 1800-1990
Author(s):
  • Publication Date: April 2016
  • Dimensions and Pages: 244 mm x 170 mm, 442 pp Softcover
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-86814-954-4
  • eBook EAN: (North and South America, China) 978-1-86814-955-1; (Rest of world) 978-1-86814-956-8
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-86814-957-5
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 390.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 34.95

The Gordonia region of the Northern Cape Province has received relatively little attention from historians. In Hidden Histories of Gordonia: Land dispossession and resistance in the Northern Cape, 1800–1990, Martin Legassick explores aspects of the generally unknown ‘brown’ and ‘black’ history of the region. Emphasising the lives of ordinary people, his writing is also in part an exercise in ‘applied history’ – historical writing with a direct application to people’s lives in the present.

Tracing the indigenous history of Gordonia as well as the northward movement of Basters and whites from the western Cape through Bushmanland to the Orange River, the book presents accounts of family histories, episodes of indigenous resistance to colonisation, and studies of the ultimate imposition of racial segregation and land dispossession on the inhabitants of the region. A recurrent theme is the question of identity and how the extreme ethnic fluidity and social mixing apparent in earlier times crystallised in the colonial period into racial identities, until with final conquest came imposed racial classification.

This is a magnum opus, summing up a quarter century of research by one of the most senior and important South African historians.
— Neil Parsons, former professor of history, University of Botswana

There are few areas in South Africa that are like Gordonia. It is to Legassick’s great credit that he recognised this, but nevertheless makes the history of the country’s major area of desert part of South Africa’s totality. It is a major achievement and an important book.
— Robert Ross, historian and author of The Borders of Race in Colonial South Africa: The Kat River Settlement, 1829–1856.

Acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Illustrations
Preface
Chapter 1 The prehistory of Gordonia
Chapter 2 The Baster settlement of Gordonia and its decline
Chapter 3 The will of Abraham and Elizabeth September: a struggle for land in Gordonia, 1898–2014
Chapter 4 From prisoners to exhibits: representations of Bushmen of the northern Cape, 1880–1900
Chapter 5 South African human remains and the politics of repatriation: reconsidering the legacy of Rudolf Pöch
Chapter 6 The early history of the brown Afrikaners in Riemvasmaak
Chapter 7 The battle of Naroegas
Chapter 8 The Marengo rebellion and Riemvasmaak, 1903–1907
Chapter 9 The racial division of Gordonia, 1921–1930
Chapter 10 Keidebees and Blikkies locations, Upington, 1894–1974
Chapter 11 ‘All my powers have been swallowed by Upington’: the life and times of Alfred Gubula
References
Index

Martin Legassick (1940 – 2016) was Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Western Cape. A historian, activist and author, his publications include The struggle for the Eastern Cape, 1800–1854: subjugation and the roots of South African democracy (2011) and The politics of a South African frontier: the Griqua, the Sotho-Tswana and the missionaries, 1780–1840 (2010).

This is a magnum opus, summing up a quarter century of research by one of the most senior and important South African historians.
— Neil Parsons, former professor of history, University of Botswana

There are few areas in South Africa that are like Gordonia. It is to Legassick’s great credit that he recognised this, but nevertheless makes the history of the country’s major area of desert part of South Africa’s totality. It is a major achievement and an important book.
— Robert Ross, historian and author of The Borders of Race in Colonial South Africa: The Kat River Settlement, 1829–1856.

“… this much valued and timely contribution of Martin Legassick in the post-academic days of his career exposes a giant in thought and a meticulous researcher and recorder of historical detail regarding the themes that occupied his mind. The exposure of several previously hidden histories of Gordonia not only reveals inhumane acts of the past, but also reminds the reader of its value as basis for current decision making on the correction of past injustices, thus to restore the dignity and well-being of descendants of a past generation. This is what the application of the research for which Legassick reached out involves. Hidden Histories of GORDONIA is a gem of a contribution worth reading, and being regarded as part
of the valued historiographical repertoire of the history of the Northern Cape.”

Elize van Eeden in Dec 2016 issue of the New Contree

 

https://www.scribd.com/doc/315559999/Hidden-Histories-of-Gordonia

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