Perspective on John Graham and the fourth Cape Eastern frontier war.
De Villiers, Johan
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John Graham played a key role in the Fourth Cape Eastern Frontier War, 1811 - 1812. His natural intelligence, training and experience as an officer in the British Army prepared him well as civil and military commander in a distant part of the Colony. Escalating tension, violence and instability in the prevailing open frontier situation called for drastic intervention by the authorities. The policy agreed upon was to involve all available Colonial forces in a military operation against Xhosa occupants of areas to the west of the Great Fish River, the official boundary. Within a relatively brief period of military actions the Zuurveld was cleared of perceived hostile enemies. In military terms the campaign under the immediate direction of Graham was a brilliant success. In the long run, however, his frontier arrangements did not bring about lasting peace and stability in relations with the Colony’s Xhosa neighbours. Graham’s name is perpetuated in the naming of Grahamstown.