Juta’s Map of South Africa From the Cape to the Zambesi


A fine map of British holdings in South Africa, previewing the tensions that would lead to the outbreak of the Second Boer War.

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Descendants of Dutch settlers, the Boers originally made “The Great Trek” into the interior of South Africa between 1835 and 1845. British encroachments on their land in an attempt to create a confederation of South African states led to the first Boer War, a loss for Britain that led to an uneasy peace and the establishment of the independent states of the South African Republic, Orange Free State, and Natal. Britain continued to consolidate their holdings elsewhere, like in Zululand and the country’s interior, in addition to developing roads and rail lines into the interior of the Boer republics. The development was seen as a necessity by Britain to establish power over recently discovered gold fields, while the Boers saw it as unwanted encroachment into their largely agrarian society.

Several editions of this map published in the interwar period show the progression of these forces in action, and this 1896 version reflects a situation likely beyond the breaking point. The information presented is relatively mundane – transportation routes, established political borders, industrial areas, accessible harbors, etc. But this data becomes critical at wartime, and the map fails to reflect the underlying political tension in South Africa. The Jameson Raid in 1895 was a poorly conceived scheme by Cecil Rhodes to capture Johannesburg with 600 men and a few artillery pieces that failed spectacularly and galvanized Boer opposition. Further flare ups and failed negotiations would lead to the Second Boer War in 1899.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1896

Author: Edward Stanford

Sheet Width (in): 50.00

Sheet Height (in): 37.00

Condition: B+

Condition Description: The lithographed case map is in excellent condition, dissected on linen with original slipcase as issued. Some waviness and minor toning to the paper, otherwise very fine.