Ohio History Journal

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Comments, Notes and Reviews

Comments, Notes and Reviews.                 139


heartedness. Many incidents occurred during his stay to evidence the

gentleness of his nature and the breadth of his sympathy with the unfor-

tunate and the oppressed.



On Monday evening, June 12, but a few days after the departure of

Admiral Dewey, the city for a few hours was the host, as Mr. Dooley

would say, "inofficially" of two other distinguished guests, namely,

Messrs. Wessells and Fischer, Boer representatives

of the Transvaal Republic, who are traversing this

country in the hopes of eliciting sympathy and aid

for the sister republic in the heart of Africa. In

March the two South African Republics (Republic

of South Africa and Orange Free State) addressed

to the United States Government and some of the

European powers, particularly Belgium, Holland

and Switzerland, through their consuls at Pretoria,

a request for friendly "irtervention" in behalf of

their country in the unequal struggle with the

British Empire.  Replies from   all the  select

invitees were received of the polite "compliments but regrets" order.

Secretary Hay and Lord Salisbury exchanged notes in which Uncle

Sam expressed "hope that a way to bring about peace might be found"

but John Bull coldly intimated that the "affair" had gone too far and

would have to be continued to "a finish." The Envoys then as a

dernier resort turned their faces America-ward and landed in New York

May 15. The two named above entered Columbus late in the evening,

almost unheralded, and were escorted by a semi-self-constituted com-

mittee of prominent citizens to the City Hall, where an audience of 500

or 600 gave them a half-hearty welcome as they passed up the aisle to

the stage. The Mayor of the city, several councilmen and an ex-mayor

spoke a few words of greeting in glittering generalities. Mr. C. W.

Wessels, President of the Transvaal Volksraad, presented at some length

the claims of his countrymen to the sympathy of the American people.

Mr. Wessells, we were told, was a typical Boer, exceedingly tall, mus-

cular build, and long, flowing patriarchial beard. He spoke with a

sort of German accent, but in very good English and in a forceful and

sincere manner. He gave a brief and desultory historical sketch of the

South African Republic, dwelling with great emphasis upon the com-

mon racial origin of the Boers and Americans; upon the fact that the

early ancestry of the Boers left their native Dutch country to found a

new republic in the dark continent but a few years after the Pilgrim

Fathers sailed from Holland to establish the American Republic on the

shores of Cape Cod. He gave illustrations to show that the English

had always been the oppressors of the Boers, and that they had always