Journal of Travels in South Africa -
by Rev John Campbell (1834)
Campbell's revised book on his first trip to S Africa

In this abridged book Campbell takes out much of the irrelevant or fanciful journal entries that appeared in his earlier 1815 published work, "Travel in South Africa". As a result this important book clearly demonstrates that Campbell's journal references to a discussion with the Griquas about minting money was nothing but sheer fantasy. In Campbell's 1834 revised book he OMITS any reference to the Griquatown coins... facts below.

Balson argues that these coins were brought to South Africa in about 1820 on Campbell's second trip but that they were a complete failure and not one coin ever circulated.

In his earlier book "Travels in South Africa", a transcript of his journals published in 1815, Campbell states on page 256:

"It was likewise resolved that as they (the Griquas) had no circulating medium amongst them by which they could purchase any small article, such as knives, scissars (sic) etc, etc. supposing a shop to be established amongst them - which they were anxious there should be - they should apply to the (London) Missionary Society to get silver pieces of different value coined for them in England, which the Missionaries would take for their allowance from the Society, having the name of Griqua town marked on them. It is probable that if this were adopted in a short time they would circulate amongst all the nations about, and be a great convenience".

In the abridged version, transcribed below, he omits this earlier claim carried in his journals and replaces it with the text shown in blue.

Source: "Journals of Travels in South Africa" abridged by Rev John Campbell, Chapter 29 pp 173 to 175:


August 7, Had a meeting with the male population, to consider various points, especially regulations for the protection of the lives and property of the community. I endeavoured to explain to them the necessity and design of laws for the government of every society; that of there was no law against murder, and no punishment annexed to the commission of it, then every man's life was in danger of being taken from him, even on the most frivolous occasions; if no law against theft, then the property of the industrious was at the mercy of the idle, and in case they should become a much more numerous people, which was not improbable, should they remain without laws, all would be anarchy and confusion. I told them that, in the history of the world, there as no account of any people existing and prospering without laws. I commended them for relinquishing  wandering life, and for having become a stationery people, and said that I was happy that they were, from experience, convinced of its utility.

The chiefs and people unanimously consented that laws should be made, and magistrates chosen to put them in execution; and that a meeting should be held in the afternoon to consider what laws should be adopted.

It was agree that their two captains, or chiefs, continue to act as commanders, in things respecting the public safety against foreign attacks. The whole people likewise resolved that henceforth they should be called the Griquas, instead of Bastard Hottentots; and that the place should be called Griqua Town instead of Klaar Water.

I had drawn up fourteen laws, which were proposed and agreed to; likewise that nine magistrates should be chosen to act as judges at Griqua Town, and on at each of the two principle outposts, or large villages, who are to judge in smaller cases.

It was agreed that the two captains, or chiefs, Bern and Kok, with Messrs Anderson and Janz be a court of appeal; and that the limits of their country be marked out in the course of one month, and the magistrates chosen.

Image right: Frontpiece of Campbell's abridged work on his first trip to South Africa

Many of the people have gardens; tobacco holds a distinguished place in them. It evidently is the favoured plant. Many acres of land in different parts of the country, especially around Griqua Town are cultivated. They abound in horned cattle, sheep and goats; and these, with other outward comforts, the people acknowledge, have considerably increased since they became a stationery people. For the first five years after the missionaries came among them they wandered about like the wild Bushmen, from place to place, notwithstanding the constant urgent entreaties of the missionaries that they should adopt a settled residence. Many of the old, as well as the young can read; they dress like Europeans.

From the best calculations that could be made the number of Griquas and Corannas, who consider themselves in union with the Griquas, and who statedly or occasionally attended instruction by the missionaries, is two thousand six hundred and seven. The Church, or Christian society, consists of twenty-six men and sixteen women. The number of children who attend the school, both statedly and less regularly, is two hundred and ten. At the school at Hardcastle, their principle village, there are forty children. Twenty four wagons are possessed by the people. Regular trades cannot be said yet to exist in Griqualand.

It should be noted that in the transcript of Campbell's journals published in 1815 he notes:

Trades can scarcely be said to exist in Griqualand. There are some who may be termed bambus-makers, or makers of vessels of wood for holding milk or water. Some can do a little at smith's-work, in repairing waggons, and one man (Fortuyn at Hardcastle) can construct a waggon. From the appearance of the new meeting-house they are building, which stands unfinished (see Burchell's comments two years earlier on this same building), there must be tolerably good masons among them. The women make mats of rushes. Upon the whole, I believe this mission has been a great blessing to this part of Africa.

During the night a wolf was so bold as to enter the town and devour three sheep.

Images of relevant pages transcribed above from
abridged 1834 work "Journal of Travels in South Africa"

Comparison of the relevant pages from Campbell's
transcribed journal "Travels in South Africa" published in 1815

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