Viljoen (Ben J.)

UNDER THE VIERKLEUR (presentation copy)

A Romance of a Lost Cause

Published: Small, Maynard & Company, Boston, 1904

Edition: First Edition

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First edition: 385 pages, frontispiece, 5 plates, pictorial red cloth titled gilt on the spine, a very good copy.

A note printed on the front pastedown endpaper reads: 'This special edition is issued as a souvenir reproduction of the battles of the Anglo-Boer War at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., 1904. Sold only by the South African Boer War Exhibition Company'.

Signed on the front free endpaper by P. A Cronje and B.G. Jackson o/c Highlanders. There is also a pencil signature of Clement Scott (Edinburgh).

The presentation inscription reads: With the compliments of the author and signed by him.

Extracted from Van Der Merwe (Floris) Die Boere-Sirkus van St Louis pages 61 - 62: The South African presence at the World’s Fair was made possible by the South African Boer War Exhibition Company. The founder and original promoter of this company was Captain Arthur Waldo Lewis, a Missourian by birth, who fought for the Rhodesian forces (Bushveld Carbineers) in the Anglo Boer War. After the war he returned to Missouri where he conceived the idea of staging a Boer War exhibition at the coming Exposition.

He went back to South Africa and first consulted with General Ben Viljoen, who supported the idea from the start. Henry Meyer, a resident of Pretoria and himself a St Louis man, gave Lewis substantial financial backing to get this enterprise off the ground. General Viljoen was entrusted with the organisation of the Boer part of the spectacle. Three hundred Boers who had participated in the war signed on and later General Piet Cronje was persuaded to accompany them.

After the termination of the show in December 1904 General Ben Viljoen and a number of other Boer participants set up a colonisation scheme near La Mesa at the Rio Grande (New Mexico ) and later became American citizens.

Extracted from the New York Times of 18 June 1904: Under the Vierkleur is effective and direct – painted in true detail – glimpses of battle are genuine – stories of unusual interest.

On the verso of the title page: First edition (7000 copies) April 1904

Clement William Scott (6 October 1841 – 25 June 1904) was an influential English theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph and other journals, and a playwright, lyricist, translator and travel writer, in the final decades of the 19th century.

Pieter Arnoldus "Piet" Cronjé (4 October 1836 – 4 February 1911) was a general of the South African Republic's military forces during the Anglo-Boer wars of 1880–1881 and 1899–1902. He took part in the World Fair re-enactments of the Anglo-Boer war at St Louis in 1904. Dubbed a 'circus general' by the South African press, he failed to return home, instead joining a show on Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.

  • Overall Condition: A Very Good Copy
  • Size: 8vo (190 x 130 mm)
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 021 794 0600
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Visa & Mastercard via PayGate secure links and Bank transfers.
  • Trade Associations: ABA - ILAB, SABDA

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