Jan van Riebeeck

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Jan van Riebeeck (1619-77). Bevelhebber van Kaap de Goede Hoop en van Malacca en secretaris van de Hoge Regering van Batavia.

Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck (21 April 1619 – 18 January 1677) set off on the Dromedaris from The Netherlands for the Cape of Good Hope on 24 December 1651, accompanied by his wife and son to oversee the setting up of a refreshment station there.

The ships docked on the 6th of April 1652.

Quotes[edit]

After two tough years since their arrival Jan van Riebeeck set apart the 6th of April and resolved to make it a day of thanksgiving and prayer

"that our prosperity may never forget God's mercies shown to us, but always keep them in grateful memory".[1]


In 1657 Jan van Riebeeck spoke to the Native Koihsan about the nature of the Hollanders as a peaceful nation and said;

"Hollanders are not a nation to rob another of its property, but desire to live in friendship with all people, and trade with them." .[2]


Jan van Riebeeck ordered the establishment of a kraal and signaling post on Robben Island. In 1658 Van Riebeeck wrote to the men stationed there;

"Be careful in always having a good beacon fire, as the signals entirely depend upon it, that the ships may enter the bay in safety".[3]


On the 3rd of May 1658 Jan van Riebeeck gave further instructions to the men on Robben Island;

"You shall also keep your fires burning if the ships are blown back by contrary winds, but if the ships are foreign or not Dutch (onduitsch) you shall at once extinguish your fire.".[4]


Rogue Khoisan tribes attacked the farms and stole many cattle, the settlers were harassed and worn out by these attacks. Jan van Riebeeck ordered that defensive structures be built to protect the settlement. In 1659 he wrote;

"And as we are making our position stronger every day, it is to be hoped that they (Khoisan) will feel less inclined to disturb us, provided, however, that a strict watch be kept on everything and we remain on our guard in every direction, continuing with diligence at the fences and other defensive forts...".[5]


Notes[edit]

  1. Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, December 1651 - December 1653, Riebeeck's Journal, H. C. V. Leibrandt, Cape Town 1897, p. 184
  2. Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, January 1656 - December 1658, Riebeeck's Journal, H. C. V. Leibrandt, Cape Town 1897, p. 67
  3. Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, January 1656 - December 1658, Riebeeck's Journal, H. C. V. Leibrandt, Cape Town 1897, p. 104
  4. Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, January 1656 - December 1658, Riebeeck's Journal, H. C. V. Leibrandt, Cape Town 1897, p. 117
  5. Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, January 1659 - May 1662, Riebeeck's Journal, H. C. V. Leibrandt, Cape Town 1897, p. 86

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