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Appendix B


DURING the closing months of the nineteenth century England had no enemies fiercer than the Hollanders of Iowa. They manifested a vital concern in the outcome of differences between Boers and Britons and contemplated every event in South Africa with feelings of intensest partisanship: never were newspapers more in demand, never were campaigns followed with keener interest, and never did victories call forth more genuine exclamations of triumph.

Recalling the Jameson Raid and the role played by Cecil Rhodes, "a great bandit", in South African affairs, and seeing how British aggression was gradually forcing the Boers into an unequal contest, the Hollanders were roused from their accustomed lethargy to vehement expressions of indignation. They interpreted events in South Africa as a veritable call to arms to all Hollanders who loved justice. Furthermore, did not they and the Boers spring from the same fatherland and speak the same language?

Those who advocated the principles of the Democratic party were not the only Hollanders who insisted that President McKinley should intermeddle in Boer-British affairs. When matters were reaching a crisis the Republican administration called forth more and more criticism and abuse for its policy of neutrality, and when war finally broke out McKinley and all Republicans were loudly accused of hostility towards the Transvaal.

No Dutch newspaper in Iowa gave more radical expression to its anti-Republican and anti-British feeling than De Vrije Hollander of Orange City. Van Oosterhout played upon the heart-strings of his readers. Patriotic Hollanders were reminded that the Boers were forced to fight for their freedom and their hearths against the mightiest country in the world; all Hollanders were urged to show their sympathy for that heroic people. "Let our Dutch newspapers declare themselves on this matter; let us call meetings; let us prepare subscriptions", declared the editor, "and let us show that we are with the Boers in their struggle heart and soul, let us help their widows and orphans - this is better than resolutions and telegrams."

On the 15th of November, 1899, the first Transvaal meeting was held in Sioux County. Several ministers of Dutch churches took a prominent part, and a fund for Boer orphans and widows was at once started. Heading the list with a donation of $50, De Vrije Hollander for over two years contained weekly reports of the donors and the amounts of their gifts.(306)

On December 1, 1899, there was published the following appeal: (307)

         The Land of the Free
             and the Home of the Brave,
far down in South Africa, comes no wailing, comes no cry for help or assistance.
     Yet in
          The Land of the Free
               and the Home of the Brave,
in the western hemisphere, we hear by the mysterious electric fluid the reverberations of the death-dealing thunder of England's mighty liddyte guns, of the incessant crackling of the never-missing mausers of the Boers.
     Americans, who always loved. liberty, who always sympathised with the oppressed, who always abhorred tyranny, more so when under the cloak of hypocrisy, cannot blame their co-citizens of Holland origin, if their hearts throb, and an enthusiastic joy, strange to their phlegmatic temperament, makes every nerve thrill, when they see two small republics, of the same stock, the same flesh and blood as their own, dare to stand up for freedom and independence against the Colossus of our times.
     Never did Spartans, never did Romans in their best days, show greater courage, loftier determination to live or die free men, than did the three hundred thousand Transvaalers and Free Staters, when they took up the gauntlet of perfidious Albion with its more than 300 million subjects!
     And our sympathy goes out to the manly Americans who blushing say: "This is the first time in our history, that our government stands listlessly by, when a big bully tries to choke freedom and tramples on a weaker nation; this is the first time that our administration stands as Saul, guarding the clothes of those that stoned Stephen and approving their deed."
     Yes, we sympathise with them; and the world will not hold them responsible for the acts and sympathies of a president and his cabinet, who departed from the old and glorious traditions, that made America the guiding star of the lovers of freedom, the hope of the oppressed.
     Therefore we, your Holland co-citizens, call on all you that love freedom, that detest the oppression of the weak by the strong and say to you: "Those little republics have found the bottom of their treasury; the London moneymarket will not give them credit; they will have thousands of maimed and crippled for life, thousands of widows and orphans. They have not the unbounded credit of our nation, not the immense resources of the first republic that wrested her freedom from England's grasp, and yet those thousands must be cared for, may not - by God Almighty's help-be beggars and outcasts."
     Holland and Belgium, France and Germany, and even Russia are collecting funds for the Red Cross and for kindred purposes.
     Shall Americans stand idly by, shall we be niggards, shall we, to please our friend, the grasping, grinding, greedy Briton, refuse to lend our aid to heroes whose superiors the world did never see?
     God forbid!
     Therefore we, your Holland co-citizens, remembering how magnanimously you came to the rescue when want and famine reigned in Russia or India, ask you to contribute something for the heroic Transvaalers and Free Staters for their widows and their orphans.
The mite of the poorest is as welcome as the greater gifts of the rich.
     Therefore we wish to give all those that sympathise with the Boers occasion to donate something for:
     The crippled, the widows and orphans of the Transvaal and Orange Free State.
     The undersigned have formed a committee to receive the money, collected in this way, and will send same to the representative of the Transvaal, residing in Brussels, and send his receipts to the different papers who may send us their contribution.
     Not doubting a generous response, we are, respectfully, 
     Hon. H. Hospers, State Senator, Orange City, Pres. 
     M. P. van Oosterhout, Ed. De Vrije Hollander, Orange City, Sec.
     Hon. A. W. van Wagenen, Ex-District Judge, Sioux City.
     John Nollen, Cashier First National Bank, 
     Pella. J. H. Stubenraueh, Pella.
     P. D. van Oosterhout, County Attorney, Orange City. Orange City, Iowa, November 27, 1899.

The Hollanders gave way to unbounded excitement and pleasure when news of Boer successes reached them. At Pella the Dutch newspapers published all the latest despatches from the front, and the post-office was kept open until a late hour at night so that citizens might get mail brought by the last evening trains. Ministers spoke at all the Boer meetings in the neighborhood. Pella's Nieuwsblad posted bulletins. Everywhere the Hollanders in Iowa welcomed the reports of British disasters: although they could not expect a handful of people to prevail against such overwhelming odds, the Hollanders rejoiced in months of British reverses and wished English armies nothing but confusion.(308)

The Sioux City Journal made the sensational announcement that the business men of Alton, Maurice, Ireton, Le Mars, and Fort Dodge had collected $25,000 to send two companies of fifty men each to the Transvaal to help the Boers, provided the Federal authorities could be outwitted. It was reported that this filibustering party had been organized under the command of a member of the First Regiment of Illinois Volunteers and of veterans of the Cuban and Philippine war; and that the men drilled after dark outside the town of Orange City.

Equally untrue statements appeared in correspondence from Sioux Center to the Chicago Times-Herald published under the following headlines: "A Whole Regiment. Hundreds Leave Sioux County for the Transvaal to Help the Boers." It was reported that these adventurers intended to proceed to the field of war by threes and fours by various routes in order to escape the vigilance of the United States authorities. The fact that numerous young men who had talked of serving in the Boer army disappeared suddenly without leaving word behind lent color to the rumor that they had started on the journey: their relatives, it was said, felt no uneasiness at their absence, which obviously would not be the case if they were ignorant of all the facts.(309)

Money poured into the treasury of the Iowa Transvaal Committee from the Hollanders of Minnesota, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and from all the Dutch communities in Iowa, as well as from such towns as Sioux City and Iowa City. Governor John Lind of Minnesota sent $10, together with a letter in which he declared that the war was due principally to Cecil Rhodes's press bureau, his tremendous capital, powerful influence, etc. Within four months the Committee forwarded $1,000 to Dr. Leyds at Brussels and $300 to Amsterdam.(310)

Merchants among the Hollanders advertised "Transvaal Days" to be held in their stores: for several weeks a druggist whose advertisement in large type began with "Hoera voor Transvaal!" promised to donate 5% of his sales on Saturdays to the Boer cause. All good Hollanders wore "Oom Paul" buttons on their coat lapels, and many a child born during those stirring months was named after Paul Kruger, Piet Joubert, Piet Cronje and other Boer generals.(311)

On the 2nd day of January, 1900, the following resolutions were spread upon the minutes of the city council of Pella:

     Whereas, The cause of human liberty, as exemplified by those who are now so valiantly defending their homes in the sister republics in South Africa is one that appeals strongly to American citizens, who wrested the precious boon of self-government from the self same ruthless invaders, and who now attempt to assimilate the inhabitants of those countries, therefore, Resolved, That we believe the cause of the Transvaal and Orange Free State to be one of justice and right as against the encroachment of the avaricious British intruder.
     We heartily rejoice in, the success which has so far crowned the efforts of its defenders, and we sincerely hope and trust that with the help from on High complete victory may follow, and that the soil of South Africa may soon become too hot for the oppressor and that in humiliation and disgrace he may be driven hence.
     Resolved, That we acknowledge with unbounded satisfaction and delight the course Senator Mason of Illinois has pursued, in his eloquent pleading in a speech before the Senate of the United States in favor of the righteous cause of the Boers, and we urge him to continue the good work, and thus assist in developing a hearty and intelligent sentiment in regard to this important question of public policy and the attitude that the United States should pursue in the premises.
     Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to Presidents Kruger and Steyn, Hon. W. E. Mason and our Senators and Representatives in Congress and to such others as may be deemed necessary.
     On motion of Mr. Reuvers to adopt said Resolution a roll call was ordered which resulted as follows: Reuvers, van der Sluis, Maasdam, van Zante, van Nimwegen, Wormhoudt and Kruger voted aye (7), Fisk being absent.

A few days later similar resolutions were adopted by the city council of Orange City as follows:(312)

     Whereas the South African Republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State, have been forced into a war of self defence and for their very existence by the English Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, backed by some of the large capitalists of England, who wish to obtain complete control of these small States in order to take from them their mineral wealth, their liberty and government by fair means or foul, and as we firmly believe without the support of a large number of honest, liberty-loving Englishmen at home and abroad, and against their earnest protest; and,
     Whereas the action now taken by the English government is like the action taken by George the Third against the .New England colonies a hundred and twenty-five years ago, with this aggravation thereto that the present South African war is a war of conquest against independent foreign States, to crush out from them the last spark of equality, liberty, and self-government, while in this country it was a colony in fact which she sought thus to crush; therefore,
     Resolved, that we American citizens of Orange City, Iowa, believe in the justice of the cause of the Boers in this war against the money, greed, and ruthless grasp for additional territory on the part of Great Britain, and it is our hearty wish that the victories now achieved by the Boers may be followed by more and greater victories, until the English armies shall be hurled from the soil of South Africa and complete independence and self-government on the basis of equal rights to all men be established there.
     Resolved, that we heartily endorse the actions of so many of our prominent newspapers in the United States, of so many benevolent societies, of so many of our United" States Senators, Representatives and other prominent men, and so many of the City Councils in prominent Cities in so boldly expressing their convictions of the justice of the cause of the Boers and their endeavor to obtain such action as shall cause the United States to tender its good offices in the cause of a just and impartial peace and thus prevent the ruthless shedding of more blood.
     Resolved, that we heartily endorse the action of many American communities in their collection of funds for the widows and orphans of Boer soldiers who are killed or maimed in battle, and to defray the expense of Red Cross nurses to care for the sick and wounded, and hope that such acts of benevolence will continue until an honorable peace has been agreed upon.
     Resolved, that we firmly believe that as American citizens it is our duty to protest against all encroachments on personal liberty wherever such may be done the world over, until tyranny shall be stamped out and the people of all countries enjoy the rights of universal suffrage wherever they are capable of self-government.
     Resolved, that a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to His Excellency President Wm. McKinley, and to our Senators and Representatives in Congress and to Presidents Kruger and Steyn.
                                                                                                 A. Bolks, Mayor.
                                                                                                 A. van der Meide, Clerk.

On the 22nd of January, 1900, the Sioux County member introduced into the State House of Representatives the following resolution:

That the members of the House sympathize with the Boers in South Africa in their struggle for freedom and independence; that their brave stand for their rights entitles them to the respect of the civilized world, and that we trust the President may find a way to tender the good offices of the United States to aid in bringing about peace.

By a vote of 57 to 22 this resolution was laid on the table. The Democratic editor of De Vrije Hollander thanked the six Republicans who favored the resolution, three of them representing large Dutch constituencies in the counties of Sioux, Marion, and Grundy.(313)

Mass meetings were frequently called at Pella, Otley, and Sully, and at Orange City, Sioux Center, Maurice, Alton, Rock Valley, and other towns in the vicinity. Hollanders also spoke at meetings in Le Mars and Sioux City. All these gatherings ended with generous donations for the Boers. Much money was collected also through the churches and by means of concerts and subscription lists which were carried from house to house. In August, 1.900, three young men from Sioux County - A. Kline, H. Dekker, and M. to Veltrup - were thus enabled to enlist in the Boer armies: they fought until the Boers were overwhelmed.(314)

In the summer of 1900 C. H. Wessels, President of the Orange Free State Volksraad, passed through Alton where the Transvaal and Orange Free State flags were flying at the railroad station. A large crowd of Hollanders from all the neighboring towns greeted him with loud hurrahs for the Transvaal and listened to his address in the Dutch language. The Boer representatives who accompanied him were A. D. W. Wolmarens and A. Fisscher.(315)

De Vrije Hollander at Orange City and Pella's Nieuwsblad never ceased their violent attacks upon McKinley for his "murder and robbery policy" and his failure to aid the Boers. Republican and Democratic rallies in the autumn of 1900 assumed additional importance among the Hollanders - the Democrats even obtained speakers in the Dutch language. William J. Bryan gained many votes as a consequence.(316)

Money continued to be collected in every possible way during the year 1901: at Pella the Moonlight Mission Band of the First Reformed church held socials. In Sioux County at the Christian celebration of the Fourth of July a large sum was contributed for the Boers. Shortly afterward H. D. Viljoen, Field Cornet, and Commandant Liebenberg were commended to the good-will of the people of Iowa by the proclamation of Governor Shaw. These two men who had fought in the war put up a large tent wherever they stopped, delivered addresses on the Boers and their land, attracted great crowds in all the Dutch communities at an admission price of twenty-five cents, and raised about $1,000 for Boer orphans and widows.(317)

In the month of October, 1.901, Rev, van Broekhuizen spoke in nearly all the Dutch churches of Iowa: he raised $560 in two meetings at Pella, $530 at Orange City, $350 at Sioux Center, over $200 at Hull, and about $500 at Middelburg, Maurice, Boy den, Rock Valley, and Hospers.(318) A program of one of these gatherings runs as follows:

Psalm 68 - one stanza
Prayer -- Rev. J. Keizer
Introduction of Rev. van Broekhuizen by President of
Transvaal League - J. H. Stubenrauch
Speech - Rev. van Broekhuizen 
Collection recommended - Rev. E. Troost
Collection and Psalm 68 - second and third stanzas 
Thanks and Benediction - Rev. Niemeyer

About this time also the hearts of Hollanders were filled with indignation by the exaggerated reports of terrible suffering in the reconcentrado camps maintained by the English in South Africa. President McKinley was asked in a long petition to use his influence to stop the system. Later De Vrije Hollander displayed the picture of a child in the last stage of starvation in one of Kitchener's camps. Ministers of the gospel met at Newkirk in Sioux County and drew up a petition to the congressmen from Iowa asking them to protest in the name of Christianity, civilization, and humanity against the judicial murder of Commander Kritzinger or other Boer officers who might be captured, and also to use all their influence with the American government to protest against the cruelty and inhumanity of the reconcentrado camps where the death rate, according to official statistics, ranged from forty to fifty deaths per one hundred each year.(319)

Late in the year 1901 came the call for money and clothing for Boer war prisoners on the Bermuda Islands. The Iowa Transvaal Committee sent over one dozen large boxes of clothing besides money for the prisoners, the Ladies' Aid Societies of the churches doing especially good work. When De Vrije Hollander published a letter from a friend on the Bermudas to the effect that all they needed was tobacco, money was at once forthcoming and tobacco was supplied to them.(320)

Pella's Weekblad discovered political capital in the favor which Roosevelt was alleged to show towards the English: did he not allow Englishmen to buy horses in America for the wart During these months, indeed, it was well-nigh impossible to buy horses and mules from the Hollanders of Iowa: they regarded every horse-dealer with suspicion, for how should they know but that their animals might be wanted for shipment to the English armies? (321)

As late as September, 1902, in answer to the final appeal of the Iowa Transvaal Committee, money was pouring in. Although no account of sums collected and despatched can be obtained, it is confidently believed that the Hollanders of Iowa gave to the Boers over $10,000 of their wealth, besides clothing and three volunteers.(322) And among the most powerful promoters of the Boer cause were the two Dutch newspapers Pella's Weekblad and De Vrije Hollander, while no single man exerted himself so ceaselessly as did Martin P. van Oosterhout.


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(306) De Vrije Hollander, October 13, and November 3,10, 17, 24, 1899. The writer is indebted to Mr. H. Toering for the use of the files from 1899 to 1903.

(307) De Vrije Hollander, December 1, 1899.

(308) Pella's Nieuwsblad, November 3, 10, 17, 24, 1899, March 23, 1900.

(309) The Sioux City Journal, December 8, 1899; and De Vrije Hollander, January 5, 1900.

(310) De Vrije Hollander, December 22, 1899, January 12, 19, February 2, March 30, and May 4, 1900.

(311) De Vrije Hollander, December 15, 1899, January 5, 1900.

(312) De Vrije Hollander, January 12, 1900.

(313) De Vrije Hollander, January 26, 1900; and House Journal (Iowa) , 1900, p. 122.

(314) De Vrije Hollander, February 2, May 4, 25, and August 17, 1900.

(315) De Vrije Hollander, June 15, 1900; and Pella's Nieuwsblad, June l, 15, 1900.

(316) Pella's Nieuwsblad, November 2, 1900; and De Vrije Hollander during the months of October and November, 1900.

(317) De Vrije Hollander, June 14, July 12, 19, and August 2, 1901; and Pella's Nieuwsblad, February 8, March 1, April 19, and July 5, 19, 1901.

(318) De Vrije Hollander, October 4, 11, 18, 1901; and Pella's Nieuwsblad, October 18, 25, 1901.

(319) De Vrije Hollander, July 12, and December 19, 1901, February 28, 1902.

(320) Pella's Nieuwsblad, November 1, 1901; and De Vrije Hollander, December 16, 1901, and March 21, and April 4, 1902.

(321) Pella's Weekblad, March 27, 1903.
After the close of the Boer War William T. Stead (the well-known London editor and writer who sank with the Titanic) visited America and one day received an introduction to Roosevelt. The President, knowing of Stead's pro-Boer sympathies, suddenly turned to him and exclaimed: "My people were Dutch, you know, as you can tell by the name."
     For a moment Stead eyed him, and then blurted out "You didn't show it much when you sent those mules over to South Africa."

(322) De Vrije Hollander, January 10, 24, 31, February 28, March 14, 21, April 25, May 9, August 1, and September. 19, 1902.
     Pella's Weekblad collected several hundreds of dollars for the Boers as is shown by office-books.
     When a report reached the Hollanders of Sioux County in 1905 that one of their young men had passed examinations for a Rhodes Scholarship, considerable consternation ensued and old wounds were raked open as is evidenced by the following translation of an editorial in the Dutch language, which appeared in De Vrije Hollander on March 18, 1905:

     As Hollanders, as Sioux County citizens, we should rejoice to have a young man of our nationality win the honor of being considered one of the two best students in the State. But as Hollanders we are ashamed that a young man of such talent should humiliate himself by accepting a gift of charity from the low-lived Cecil Rhodes, -- from the man who was the author of the war against the Boers.
     Furthermore, let us keep in mind the purpose of this scholarship prize. These prizes are meant to educate American students in England not to enable them to gather more knowledge - to convert them into missionaries and propagators of the o accursed, unjust Anglo-Saxonism.
     That a young man who wishes to advance in the world should, in a fit of absent-mindedness, accept money stolen from the Boers, bespattered with their blood and with the blood of innocent children who starved in the camps, is a grievous shame. But that the feeling of honor of our people should be so stupefied that the young man was not admonished is more pitiful still.

Hollanders of Iowa
Table of Contents
Appendix C



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