A2400 DE WITT HAMER PAPERS 
  
 Copyright 2006, The Library, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 
  
  
 The photographs in this collection can be viewed online. A detailed map of St Helena, accompanied by sketches, has been digitised, see item C2.3 
  
  
 BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 
  
 Extracts regarding life and career of B.G.Verselewel de Witt Hamer. Born Doesburg, Holland, 1855 
 Mr, Verselewel de Witt Hamer came out to South Africa while still a young man after having resigned from the Netherlands Army in which he held the rank of Lieutenant. Landing in Durban in 1885 (he) there engaged in journalism, becoming editor of the Natal Afrikaner. (De Volkstem quoted on 12.2.30, when discussing his 75th birthday celebration which was given great prominence by the Netherlands community, that the newspaper was 'Natal Boeren Vriend'). 
 Soon after the first gold rush to the Transvaal and after spending a few years in he service of the Republic - Collector Transvaal taxes, Johannesburg; Landdrost clerk, Pretoria, and in 1889 Secretary to Christian Joubert, then Head of the Dept, of Mines. in 1896 he was appointed Mining Commissioner of Leydsdorp, N.Tvl, in 1892 promoted to Mining Commissioner in Barberton in succession to the late Mr. J. L. van der Merwe. Five years later he resigned his office to enter political life as the elected member for Barberton in the Second Volksraad. 
 At the outbreak of war in 1899 Mr de Witt Hamer was largely instrumental in raising the Hollander Corps of which he became commander with the rank of Captain, was present with his Command at the Battle of Elandslaagte where on die dispersal of General Kock's commando by General French, he was taken prisoner and was sent with other officers and a number of rank and file of the Boers, to St. Helena. He became persona grata with the authorities and remained there until peace was signed, In 1923 Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands conferred the Knighthood of the Order of Oranje on Mr, de Witt Hamer. 
 (Extract from the Star, Johannesburg. 18.12.1930, at the time of the death of B.G. Verselewel de Witt Hamer) 
  
  
 CLASSIFICATION 
  
Personal Papers 
Correspondence - General and St. Helena 
Documents - Anglo-Boer War and St. Helena, mining affairs, malaria, Barberton and miscellaneous, 
Articles 
Publications 
Photographs 
  
  
 COLLECTION 
  
PERSONAL PAPERS, 2 boxes, 1 framed address, 1 envelope 
  
 Includes Family Bible; 'Nederlands Patriciaat' containing an entry for B.G.V. De Witt Hamer; Hg diary (written in pencil, and later version (written in ink) while De Witt Hamer was a prisoner of war on board H.M.S.'Penelope`, describing the battle of Elandslaagte; Album with handwritten poems 1900. framed document dated 1900 and awarded to De Witt Lamer in recognition of his services to prisoners of war on St. Helena; correspondence and medal in connection with the award in 1923 of the Knighthood of the Order of Oranje-Nassau; leather case containing a CV of De Witt Hamer and miscellaneous letters and photographs; illuminated scroll awarded to De Witt Hamer on the occasion of his retirement from the Miners` Phthisis Board, 1922: file containing correspondence, personal papers and obituaries of De Witt Hamer. (Note: Photos stores with photo collection. See Photograph Inventory) 
A1 Leather case 
  
A1.1 Extracts regarding life & career of B. G. Verselewel de Witt Hamer born in 1855 - 1930 
A1.2 BORGACTE - 1885 
A1.3 B.G. Verselewel De Witt Hamer information from : 1886 - 1897 
A1.4 Marriage certificate of Boudewyn Gerrit Verselewel De Witt Hamer to Gladys Disteli on the 10th April 1897 
A1.5 Government - Office in Pretoria 27th November 1894 
A1.6 Restaurant Riche Amsterdam Menu 31 March 1896 
A1.7 Parcel to be send to Museum in Barberton 1898 
A1.8 Department van Buitenlandsche Zaken 1st October 1898 
A1.9 Diary of Commandant B.G. de Witt Hamer later vesion written in Russia 5th November 1899 
A1.10 Telegram 18th January 1900 
A1.11 Camp Simon Town 9th February 1900 
A1.12 Letter from A.G.Mawatle captain for Staff Officer for Prisoners Warder to B.G.De Witt Hamer 26th April 1900 
A1.13 Passport for Mrs. Hamer 18th May 1900 
A1.14 Cheque from Gladys Verselewel De Witt Hamer 28th September 1900 
A1.15 Permission is granded to Captain de Witt Hamer to visit General L. Cronje at Kamp Cottages 13th January 1901 
A1.16 A letter to Miss Disdelli 28th March 1901 
A1.17 A cheque received by Gladys de Witt Hamer 25th April 1901 
A1.18 Train ticket was received by Miss Distelli from B.G. De Witt Hamer 25th April 1901 
A1.19 Permission is granded to Captain de Witt Hamer to visit General L. Cronje at Kamp Cottages 7th May 1901 
A1.20 Special Pass for Wickel Gate 11th January 1902 
A1.21 Meeting of Captain de Witt Hamer with General Cronje at Kamp Cottages 2nd April 1902 
A1.22 Draft message of P.O.Ws St. Helena to be sent to the King & Queen Allendse,England 15th April 1902 
A1.23 Letter to Honourable Colonel Commanding Troops Deadwood Camp 15 April 1902 
A1.24 Donors are specially requested not to send clothing from houses where there has been illness 28th July 1902 
A1.25 Prisoner of War St. Helena 29 August 1902 
A1.26 The fruits of our sacrifices 20th October 1902 
A1.27 Permit to enter and reside in the Transvaal and Orange river colony 24th December 1902 
  
A2 Various items 
  
A2.1 Hongaarsche Goudleeningen (1881 - 1893) 
A2.2 International Judicial Collecting & Trust Company August 1890 
A2.3 Telegram 20th November 1890 
A2.4 Leydsdorp 12th February 1891 
A2.5 De Nederlandsche Bank 1892 
A2.6 Myn Commissions - 31st December 1894 
A2.7 Myn Commissions - 17th May 1895 
A2.8 Myn Commissions - 30th May 1895 
A2.9 The Eastern lottery Syndicate 1895 
A2.10 Myn Commissions - 18th June 1895 
A2.11 Myn Commissions - 20th july 1895 
A2.12 Eersten Volksraad - 25th july 1895 
A2.13 Astor Berncastle - 12th December 1895 
A2.14 Plechtige Beroeting - 17th February 1896 
A2.15 Department in Pretoria - 27th August 1896 
A2.16 Legalisation Signatures - 28th November 1896 
A2.17 Gezondheids Department - 7th April 1897 
A2.18 Permit - 2nd November 1897 
A2.19 A letter - 28th March 1898 
A2.20 Newspaper Cuttings - 23rd August 1898 
A2.21 Certificate of De Witt Hamer -- 16th March 1898 
A2.22 Gala - Maaltijd Grand Hotel - 22nd September 1898 
A2.23 Extra Trein Ticket - 23rd - 25th September 1898 
A2.24 Kantoor van den Superintended van Naturellen - 24th February 1899 
A2.25 Agenda - Beschrijvings Punten - 16th March 1899 
A2.26 Gouvernements Kantoor - Pretoria - 17th March 1899 
A2.26 A letter - 23rd March 1899 
A2.27 kantoor van den Superintended van Naturellen - 27th April 1899 
A2.28 De Laatste Kabel - 12th August 1899 
A2.29 Hoofd van Dienst onderdeel - 29th September 1899 
A2.30 Kantoor van de Commandant - General - 30th September 1899 
A2.31 Telegrams 4th April and 27th April 1900 
A2.32 Telegrams 14th May and 17th May 1900 
A2.33 Military Governor's Office 5th November 1900 
A2.34 Deadwood Kamp - 12th December 1900 
A2.35 48 - Hour Pass - 18th January 1901 
A2.36 Lentonic hall - 12th April 1901 
A2.37 Rotterdam - 16th June 1901 
A2.38 Deadwood Kamp - 2nd September 1901 
A2.39 St. Helena note: 1902 
A2.40 Passport - 22nd March 1903 
A2.41 Permit to land - 1st December 1903 
A2.42 Benefactor of the World and " HET VOLK" - 1904 
A2.43 Education in the late South African Republic and in the Transvaal - August 1905 
A2.44 Officer Commanding Army Service Corps - 14th June 1907 
A2.45 Parole & Pass - 12th December 1907 
A2.46 Translation of threatening letter - 12th June 1912 
A2.47 De Nederlandsche bank Amsterdam - 31st July 1912 
A2.48 Government Ground Mining District of Barberton from 31st October 1912 to 31st January 1913 
A2.49 Telegram - 30th September 1920 
A2.50 Continuous Centrifugals limited 27th February 1922 
A2.51 De Nederlandsche bank Amsterdam - 25th April 1922 
A2.52 Persoonlik Johannesburg - 26th September 1922 
A2.53 Kantoor van de Eerste Minister 19th October 1922 
A2.54 Kwitantie van onderpand - 8th February 1923 
A2.55 Consulaat der Nederlanden - 1st November 1923 
A2.56 Engineer and soldier Major Swinburne retiring - 9th November 1923 
A2.57 Weledelgester Consul der Nederlander 3rd December 1923 
  
A3 Various items 
  
A3.1 Consulaat der Nederlanden - 11th February 1924 
A3.2 Consul der Nederlanden - 13th February 1924 
A3.3 Frans Laurijssen - 8th May 1924 
A3.4 Receipt - 8th December 1924 
A3.5 Ostende - 12th December 1924 
A3.6 Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid -Afrika Amsterdam RENTENOTA 2nd January 1925 
A3.7 Receipt - 12th January 1925 
A3.8 Receipt - 9th May 1925 
A3.9 Deposit Slip United Building Society Savings Department 13th August 1925 
A3.10 Receipt - 28th September 1925 
A3.11 Receipt - 22nd January 1926 
A3.12 De Nederlandsche Bank 1st January 1927 
A3.13 De Nederlandsche Bank - 28th February 1927 
A3.14 Ontvangen van den Verzekeringnemer - 1st January 1928 
A3.15 Frans Laurijssen - 13th January 1928 
A3.16 De Nederlandsche Bank afdeeling bewaarneming - 11th January to 8th February 1928 
A3.17 Frans Laurijssen - 10th February to 30th March 1928 
A3.18 Ontvangen van den Verzekeringnemer - 1st April 1928 
A3.19 Breda - 5th May 1928 to 16th April 1928 
A3.20 National bank buildings Von Brandis Square - 30th May 1928 
A3.21 Ontvangen van den Verzekeringnemer - 1st July to 1st October 1928 
A3.22 Frans Laurijssen - 16th July to 3rd December 1928 
A3.23 De Nederlandsche Bank Amsterdam - 10th August to 7th November 1928 
A3.24 Deposit Slip United Building Society Savings Department 18th December 1928 
A3.25 Ontvangen van den Verzekeringnemer - 1st January 1929 
A3.26 Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid -Afrika Amsterdam - 24th January 1929 
A3.27 Netherlands Bank of South Africa Troyeville Johannesburg - 7th February to 20th April 1929 
A3.28 Communication - 21st March 1929 
A3.29 Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid - Afrika Amsterdam 5th March to 31st December 1929 
A3.30 Noenmaal - Menu - 12th February 1930 
A3.31 T.B.Clapham Stock And Share Broker - 19th February to 20th February 1930 
A3.32 Max and Schoenzetter Stock and Share brokers - 4th March 1930 
A3.33 Nederlansche Bank voor Zuid - Afrika Amsterdam - 22nd March to 21st October 1930 
A3.34 Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid - Afrika - 24th July to 1st October 1930 
A3.35 Death of D Witt Hamer - 23rd December 1930 
A3.36 B.G. Verselewel de Witt Hamer - 15th January 1931 
A3.37 Death Certificate - 9th April 1932 
A3.38 Owner of bible wanted - 12th March 1934 
A3.39 The Comptroller of the Household is desired by their Excellencies - 18th February 1947 
A3.40 Letter from Cousin Herman to Gladys - 2nd September 1949 
A3.41 The Secretary for the Interior Union Buildings Pretoria - 15th February 1954 
A3.42 Letter to Mrs.Barclay from J.S. Marais - 25th November 1967 
A3.43 Letter to Dr. Lindsay Barclay from L.W. Hiemstra - 27th June 1969 
A3.44 Transvaal Provincial Administration - 14th May to 8th July 1980 
A3.45 Sotheby Parke Bernet South Africa - 16th July 1981 
A3.46 Agent for the Independent Gold Mining Syndicate - 13th May 1993 
A3.47 Department van Mijnwezen Zuid - Afrikaansche Republiek - 26th December 1994 
A3.48 Tweede Volksraadsaal Pretoria - 5th October to 7th October 1997 
  
  
CORRESPONDENCE 
  
B1 General correspondence (pre St Helena) 1885- 1900 3 files 
  
B1.1 Letters, mostly from Natal, Pretoria and Leydsdorp, written by De Witt Hamer to an uncle in Holland, 1885-1892. 
B1.2 Correspondence (genera]) 1895- 1899 
B1.3 Letters written by De Witt Hamer on his being taken prisoner and awaiting transhipment from Simonstown to St, Helena. Includes an account of the Battle of Elandslaagte. 1899-1900 
  
B2 Correspondence St. Helena period: 1900-1902 22 files 
  
 This correspondence consists mainly of letters from and to De Witt Hamer, many of which are in Dutch (some with English summaries supplied by Mrs Barclay. daughter of De Witt Hamer). Subjects include complaints about conditions at the camp, the tracing of missing persons, the selling of artefacts made by P,O,W,s, the delivery to camps in St Helena of comforts provided. for Boer prisoners, the entertainment of prisoners, the questions of parole or release. The letters are in no particular order. There is a file containing letters by Dr. Plowright, a British supporter of the Boer cause, and one personal correspondence between De Witt Hamer, his wife, his brother in Holland and others. Other correspondents include the Netherlands Consulate and the Red Cross. 
B3 Correspondence (General) 1902-1930 1 file 
  
  
DOCUMENTS 
  
C1 Anglo-Boer War 1 file 
  
C1.1 Correspondence, telegrams and accounts concerning the formation of the 'Vrywilligerkorps van Nederlanders en Oud Nederlanders' of which De Witt Hamer was the founder and commandant. 
C1.2 Commemoration of the Battle of Elandslaagte, 1924. 1 file 
  
C2 St. Helena 
  
C2 1 'Kamp Kruimels' 1900-1901 (POW newspaper on St. Helena) 
C2.2 'Die Krijgsgevangene' 1901-1902 (POW Newspaper on St. Helena) 
C2.3 Maps of St. Helena, 2 items        
 Detailed maps in water colour and ink by POW Capt. De Framond, surrounded by ink sketches of locations on St. Helena, by POW E. Mayer-Vrede 
C2.4 Plan adopted for the census of prisoners of war at Broad Bottom, St, Helena. 
C2.5 Miscellaneous passes, permits, correspondence etc, relating to St Helena. 
  
C3 Mining affairs 
  
C3.1 Booklets: Gold Law. S.A.R. 1886.1898; Mining rights: 
 regulations, 1903; Handbook; Mining and Metallurgical Exhibition, Landon, 1890; Analysis of Gold Production on the Witwatersrand, 1895, 
C3.2 Correspondence, prospectors' licences, reports, prospectus, press cuttings and other documents relating to mines including the Royal Sheba (Eureka, 'Transvaal), Boschkop Copper Mine, Elandsriver, and the Independent Gold Mining Co, 
  
C4 Malaria 
  
 Correspondence and press cuttings relating to the discovery of the transmission of malaria by the anopheles mosquito, Includes an article. `Die Oorwinning op die anopheles' by Harm Oost who believed that De Witt Hamer was the first man to prove that the mosquito had a role in the spreading of malaria. 
  
C5 Barberton 1 file 1893-1905 
  
 Documents relating to Barberton, including press cuttings, agreement re recruitment of 'kaffers' 1899, prospectus of Barberton Wanderers' Club, letter appointing De Witt Hamer as a delegate to the Municipal Conference in Pretoria. 1903, correspondence re mining, contract of lease for a property in Barberton, powers of attorney, prospectus of Barberton Banket Beds Syndicate, other correspondence. 
  
C6 Miscellaneous 
  
 Includes; 'Conceptwet' 1899 in Dutch language relating to naturalisation and the franchise; rough draft of an account of a visit (by De Witt Hamer?) to Pres. Kruger in Holland shortly before his death; rough draft of terms of peace as considered by Paul Kruger and Dr. Leyds; report and minutes of the Congress of Municipal Bodies in the Transvaal, 1903 (of which De Witt Hamer was a delegate for Barberton); letter from Gen Louis Botha regarding participation in meetings in Johannesburg, 1905; Governor's Commission appointing De Witt Hamer and others to report on certain matters regarding Semi-Government townships, 1910 (signed by Lord Selborne); press cuttings re Asiatic Bill and other press cuttings, 
  
  
ARTICLES 4 files 
  
 Articles (in Dutch) by De Witt Hamer for magazines such as Suid-Afrika and Huisgenoot, Hollands Weekblad voor Suid-Afrika, Nieuwe Ro.tterdamsche Courant. Includes two articles In English on Rain-making and Queen Mamatolla, Article by J.J.Verselewel de Witt Harner on Battle of Elandslaagte in 'Nederlandse Historien' , Articles on Boer P.0.W. Censor stamps and Boer women and children. 
  
  
PUBLICATIONS 
  
 Includes 'Onze Krijgsofficieren' - album with photos and life-stories of the Transvaal Generals and commanders, published by " Volksstem Kantore, Pretoria, 1904 and various other publications in Dutch and English_ Also extracts from 'Men of the Times' giving information of the early history of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and 'St Helena Guardian ' for 1900-1902, 
  
  
Photographs 
 Please see online display of photographs 
  
F1 Portraits 
F1-10 Portraits of B.G.Verselewel de Witt Hamer and family. 
  
F2 Anglo-Boer War 
F2.1-12 Photographs of groups of Boers; railway bridges destroyed by the Boers; propaganda photo of boy shot by British; Simonstown and tug with Boer POWs. 
  
F3 St Helena 
F3.1 Arrival of Capt. de Witt Hamer (POW) in Jamestown, St Helena. 
F3.2-50 Photographs of Boer POW camps (Deadwood and Broadbottom camps); activities of the prisoners, such as sports, school, church services, de-fleaing blankets, making artefacts, camp orchestra, model of stamp battery and others. 
F3.51-72 Group and individual portraits of POWs on St Helena, including Gen.Cronje and Capt. de W. Hamer; houses occupied by POWs of senior rank. 
F3.73-103 Scenes of St Helena: Jamestown, coastline, countryside and others 
F3.104-131 Small miscellaneous photos of groups, life on St Helena. 
F3.132-134 Groups of POWs, English troops. 
F3.135 Industrial exhibition with exhibits contributed by Boer POWs. 1900. 
F3.136 Ships: H.M.S. Penelope; H.M.S. Monarch; S.S. Putiala NEGATIVES of some photos in file; some recent duplicate photographs. 
  
F4 General Historical 
F4.1-2 State coach with Dr. and Mrs. Leyds and De W. Hamer, c. 1895. 
F4.3 Reform committee. 1896. 
F4.4 Luncheon party in Sheba mine, Barberton. 1898. 
F4.5 Exhibition to honour Paul Kruger. 
F4.6 New railway line: Komatiepoort to Delagoa. 
F4.7 Illuminated address to Louis Botha. 
F4.8 Opening of goldmine (Barberton?) 
F4.9 President Krugers arrival in Rotterdam. 
  
F5 Miscellaneous photographs 
F5.1-12 Miscellaneous photographs 
 Mostly unidentified. No. 6: First wagon on the Rand; No. 9: Reunion of 1st Hollander Corps, 21/10/1924. 
  
F6 Album 
 Contains photographs of early gold mining (President and Harmony Gold mines); De Witt Hamer as mining commissioner; Nieuw Agatha and Leydsdorp; Kraals; Queen Mamatolla and her court. 
  
F7 British Special Mine Police, Johannesburg, c.1900. 
 Mounted photograph with handwritten description 
 ADOLPHE EPLER, Knight of the Imperial and Royal Austrian Franz Joseph's Order, of Johannesburg, and of the Rand and New Clubs, is the son of a well-known Austrian Govt. Official who at one time was Chief inspector of the Northern Railway System of Austria, and an Imperial Austrian Councillor. Educated in Vienna, he commenced business in that city in 1875, and remained there until 1889, when he left for S.A. and proceeded to Johannesburg, remaining there during the whole time of the war. In conjunction with A. Brakhan and E. Boucher, he formed the Official Police for the Protection of the Mines [Speciale politie voor de Mijnen], holding the rank of Capt. In May, 1901, he was appointed by Lord Milner as a Town Councillor for Johannesburg, he having the unique distinction of being at the tune the only non-British subject on the Council. As a representative of Austro-Hungarian capital he is a director of several gold mining companies. He has been President of the Austro-Hungarian Benefit and Patriotic Society in Johannesburg since 1891, and was decorated by the Emperor of Austria in 1900. Since 1897 he has acted continuously on the Executive Committee of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines.