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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Late Great Plot: The Official Delusion Concerning the Xhosa Cattle Killing, 1856-1857
Author:Peires, Jeffrey B.
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:The Cape
South Africa
colonial conquest
Xhosa cattle killing
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The very idea that the Xhosa chiefs and their allies engineered the great cattle-killing which finally broke their power seems so absurd that most people who hear of it dismiss it instinctively. And indeed, they are perfectly correct to do so. Yet the sheer mass of documentary evidence in support of the proposition is such that all historians who have come into contact with it have been forced to be more circumspect with regard to the 'chiefs' plot'. We have to look very carefully at this evidence before we reject its conclusions, and once we have done so, we have to answer a further and even more significant question: If the 'chief's plot' did not exist, why did the Colonial authorities maintain that it did? Paradoxically, we will discover that an investigation of the 'chiefs' plot' can tell us a great deal about the mind and methods of Sir Georg Grey, that colossus of early Victorian imperialism. - Notes.