A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

[Footnote 2:  This is said to have been on the coast of Africa at the height of Angola, whither they were driven by a storm.  But this could not possibly have been the case before reaching the Cape of Good Hope.—­E.]

Table Bay is very fine and large, of a semi-oval form, entering several leagues into the land, and may be about nine leagues in circuit; but the anchorage is not every where equally good, and there is some danger near the shore.  The middle of the bay is commanded by a very strong fort, being a regular pentagon, and each of its fine bastions mounts twenty pieces of heavy cannon.  This fort and the town are situated on the edge of a plain about three leagues in extent, lying at the bottom of three very high mountains.  The first of these is Lion Mountain, having some resemblance to a lion couchant.  The second is Table Mountain, which is much higher, and has a broad flat top like a table, being so high that it may be seen twenty leagues out at sea in clear weather.  The third is called the Devil’s Mountain, and is not so remarkable as either of the other two.  The houses of Cape Town are very neat and commodious, but are only built two stories high, on account of the furious winds at S.E. which sometimes blow here.

About the year 1650, the Dutch East-India Company bought a certain district of this country from the Hottentots, its aboriginal inhabitants, and took care to have it immediately planted and well peopled, for the convenience of their ships, both outward and homeward bound.  All the inhabitants of this colony are Europeans, or descended from Europeans.  Some of the planters are settled at the distance of three hundred leagues from the Cape; yet all are obliged to appear once a-year at a place called Stellenbosch, where the Drossart or magistrate of the country resides.  They have here to pass in review, as all the peasants, as well as the towns-men, are formed into companies under proper officers.  After the review is over, they go back to their respective plantations, generally carrying home with them what tools or other European articles they stand in need of.  These people cultivate the ground, raising rye, barley, beans, and other grains.  They also plant vines, which produce excellent grapes, of which they make very good wine.  Some of these peasants are in very easy circumstances, having, besides large and well-cultivated plantations, great flocks of sheep and cattle.

Among other colonists, there is one about eight leagues from Cape Town, at a place called Drakenstein, entirely composed of French refugees, who have a large tract of well cultivated ground, and are allowed churches and ministers of their own.  Part of the inhabitants of Cape Town are in the service of the Company, and the rest are free burgesses.  They have regular magistrates, who decide causes of small importance, and regulate any little disputes that happen among them; but affairs of moment are carried before the

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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