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Trip Planner Africa  /  South Africa  /  Eastern Cape  /  Grahamstown

Grahamstown

3.6
Monuments · Sacred & Religious Sites · Specialty Museums
Grahamstown is a city of about 70,000 people in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is situated about 110km northeast of Port Elizabeth and 130km southwest of East London. Grahamstown is the largest town in the Makana Local Municipality, and the seat of the municipal council. It also hosts Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, and a diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and 6 South African Infantry Battalion.HistoryGrahamstown was founded in 1812 as a military outpost by Lieutenant-Colonel John Graham as part of the effort to secure the eastern frontier of British influence in the then Cape Colony against the Xhosa, whose lands lay just to the east.Egazini, Battle of GrahamstownOn 22 April 1819 a large number of Xhosa warriors, under the leadership of Nxele, launched an attack against the British colonial forces. The Xhosas warned Colonel Willshire, the commanding officer, beforehand of their planned attack on Grahamstown. This was one of countless attacks launched on the nascent colony by the Xhosas. During the course of the battle, the British were running low on ammunition. A woman by the name of Elizabeth Salt risked her life by walking into the battle carrying weapons and ammunition to the British troops. She disguised the weapons and ammunition as an infant whom she was cradling. The Xhosa warriors were reluctant to attack a woman and child and so allowed her to pass and resupply the troops. The Xhosas, with a force of 10 000 troops under the overall command of Ndlambe's warrior son Mdushane, were unable to overpower the colonial garrison of some 300 men. Nxele surrendered, was taken captive and imprisoned on Robben Island. On Christmas Day, 1819 he tried to escape, and drowned.
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