A little biography of Andries Pretorius

(1798 — 1853)

Andries Pretorius

 

       Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius was a Boer man that was born in the CapeColony in the year 1798. As a youth he received little education but enough to read the Bible. He had 5 children the most famous of them Mathinus Wessel Pretorius, the first president of the South African Republic (Transvaal). In 1836, voortrkker leader Gerret Maritz left the town of Graaf-Reinet and began going northeast towards the limit of the CapeColony for a region after the river Orange. In 1837 Pretorius leave in home and visited the other Voortrekkers. Pretorius would later leave permanently the CapeColony. He then when to the Natal province where he became leader of the Voortrekkers because of the lack of commandants that they had, Piet Uys, Piet Retief and Gerrit Maritz all died in a short period of time and Andries Potgieter have left Natal to go further inland. Pretorius leadered the Voortrekkers in a important battle against the Zulu king Dingane and is troops. However Pretorius would not make the same error the led to the fail in the Battle of Italeni. This time the Voortrekkers were more prepared and in a great numeric inferiority bated the Zulus in the Battle of Bloed Rivier in which the Zulus lost 3000 men and the Voortrekkers none. The Boers remembered the victory as an act of God and memorialized it as Dingane’s Day and later Day of the Vow and Day of the Convenent. After the end of the Apartheid the name of the day was changed to day of the Reconciliation. He was the leader of the Natal Boers who was against the british. However he was fundamental to get the peace with the british in Natal. Later in he is live he continued to dedicate to expand further the Boer domains. In 1848 an expedition led by Pretorius crossed the Vaal river and went to Blomfontein. However he was defeated by british commandant Smith at the Battle of Boomplaats and returned to the Transvaal. He become leader of one of the boer partys with is biggest rival being Andries Hendrik Potgieter. Pretorius then work for the independence of the Transvaal to be recognised by the British Empire. In January of 1852 the independence of the Transvaal boers was recognised by the british. Pretorius conciliate with Potgieter in 1852 and later he when to Durban to open a free trade route between Natal and the new republic. He died in July of 1853 in his farm at Magaliesburg.

 

      He is remembered as one of the greatest Boer patriots, a great leader and the most perfect representative of the Emigrant Farmers. A new town in the South African Republic (Transvaal) was formed in 1855 by Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, which was named it Pretoria in honour to is father.  

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