Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist and his daughter Augusta leave on an exploration of the interior

Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de MistJacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist

Date: 9 October, 1803

On 9 October 1803, Jacob Abraham de Mist, Commissioner General, left Cape Town on a 167 day journey into the interior, accompanied by his daughter, Augusta, a companion named Mietjie Versveld, his son and Dr. Heinrich Lichtenstein, an explorer.

The travelling party first went northwards to Saldahna and St. Helena Bay, and then to present-day Calvinia, Sutherland and Tulbagh. They then turned eastwards towards Swellendam and Mossel Bay, proceeding to Algoa Bay and the junction of the Great and Little Fish Rivers.

The ladies remained behind while De Mist met Gaika, a Xhosa chief. After this they travelled to Graaff-Reinet, where Augusta fell ill. She refused to be left behind, and continued the journey, with her bed in one of the wagons. They passed via Beaufort West, Prince Albert and Worcester on their way back to Cape Town, which they reached on 23 March 1804.

Augusta's travel journal, which recorded this journey, was later published in French as Relation d'un voyage en Afrique et en Amerique, par Madam... The only known copy exists in the Library of Congress in Washington, as she had travelled via North America on her way home in 1805.

The English title of the book is Diary of a journey into the Cape of Good Hope and the interior of Africa in 1802 and 1803 by Jonkvrou Augusta Uitenhage de Mist, which was translated by Dr. Edmund Burrows in 1954.

References

  • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1971) Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU Press, Vol. 3, pg. 641-2

  • Wallis, F. (2000) Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau