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Louis Botha (1862-1919) was born in Greytown, Natal and elected to the Transvaal Volksraad in 1897. During the South African War, 1899-1902, he proved to be one of the Afrikaners' most effective military leaders, his victory at Spion Kop leading to his promotion as Commander-in-Chief. After 1902 he worked for reconciliation with Great Britain. In 1907 he was elected Prime Minister of the Transvaal, and three years later became the first President of South Africa. During World War One, his offer to invade German South-West Africa led to Afrikaner opposition, and a greatly reduced majority for his National Party in the 1915 elections. From July 1915 he passed direct military command to General Jan Christian Smuts. He attended the Paris Peace Conference, arguing against the harsh treatment of the Central Powers, and was a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles.
Welgelegen was a farm in the valley of the Liesbeek River, Mowbray, South Africa, the property of the influential van Reenen family by the end of the 18th century, passing from Gysbert van Reenen to his son, Sybrand Mosbert on his death. Welgelegen is the site of Mosbert Mill, South Africa's oldest surviving windmill, and was a part of the Groote Schuur estate, purchased by Cecil Rhodes in 1891.
Mounted photograph of Louis Botha 'reading aloud to the Commandants and Veld Kornets his appointment as Commandant-General, near Colenso (Anglo-Boer War)', c1900; two photographs of Welgelegen on the Groote Schuur estate, Cape Colony, c1900.
The papers were transferred to the library from the Rhodes Trust by Caroline Brown on 30th April 1999.Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Botha | Louis | 1862-1919 | South African General and Statesman
Groote Schuur (Cape Town, South Africa) | Pictorial works
South African War, 1899-1902 | Pictorial works
South Africa | History | 1836-1909 | Pictorial works