Manna of BoegiesWidow of the late agriculturist, Hendrik Swanepoel; mentions that her late husband in 1764 bought from the late free black, Johannes Jansz of Ceylon, a slave named Manna of Boegies, who, especially since the death of her husband, has shown himself very obstinate and unbridled, so that, for fear of disaster, she had been obliged to do away with and sell him in another country. Accordingly having brought him into town from her place in the country, in 1771, she requested the Provost, Jan Jacob Doeksteen, to send him away to India, in charge of one or other seaman, in order to be sold there.

He accordingly entrusted him to the junior mate of the Ceylon ship “Velzen,” viz.: Arnoldus Pietersz: who however found himself unable to carry out his commission; for having brought the said slave to Colombo, the latter maintained that he was no slave, but a free man. Accordingly the Court of Justice there decided that the Deed, authorising Pietersz to sell the slave, was sub, and obreptitious (had been obtained under false pretences), so that the slave was given his liberty until the contrary had been proved, as will appear from the annexed letter of Pietersz, written from Point de Galle, as well as from the sentence of the Court. Memorialist therefore, in order to show that Manna legally belongs to her, submits besides 3 secretarial declarations, that he was formerly the property of Johannes Jansz of Ceylon; also a note of hand given by her late husband to Jansz, dated 14th January, 1754, for Rds. 20, the balance of the purchase amount, and which was in due course properly paid to the seller. As in consequence of this vile action of her slave, she will never be able to prove her right of ownership in him, without your powerful assistance, she feels herself compelled to ask you to write in her favour to the Colombo authorities, that the said Manna may by lawful authority once more be declared a slave, and publicly sold for the benefit of his owner, or sent back to this place. And in case he be sold in Colombo , that the purchase amount may be transmitted to her, less the costs. (N.B. – Letter of Pietersz annexed, also sentence of the Court of Justice at Colombo, and attestations showing that Manna was a slave, etc.)

The first is of the freeman Adolf Danielsz, who states that about two years ago, a slave unknown to him, called at his house, and asked him whether “Nonje” Apollonia was at home, to which he answered, “she is already dead.” He asked the slave thereupon who he was, and he replied, “I was a slave of the Father of “Nonna” Apollonia, who was a daughter of deponent’s long since deceased father-in-law, Johannes of Ceylon, and deponent’s first wife. The slave, Manna, who had a “riem” round his body, to which was suspended a large knife in a sheath, thereupon asked whether there were other children of his former master alive? Deponent had replied “Yes, there was still a daughter named Maria”; the slave then asked to be shown her house, and he sent him with his young son to the residence of the burgher Jan Hendrik Christoffel Smith, who had married the said Maria Johannissen. The latter’s statement is as follows:

 ”That one afternoon, about 2 years ago, a slave arrived at her house, and having greeted an old slave sitting in the hall, deponent at once, when she heard it, left her room, and went to the hall, (voorhuijs), where she not only found an elderly slave, but also a son of her brother-in-law, Adolf Danielsz, who however at once left. The slave however, having wished the deponent good-day, asked: ‘Does Nonna not know me?’ Deponent replied: ‘No, Paaij, I do not know you.’ He then said: “I was a slave of your father, but you, Nonna, were at the time very small, and now you are so big.” At the same time Danster, a Hottentot still living with deponent, who had many years previously lived also with her late parents, said: ‘Yes, Nonna, this man, Manna, was a slave of your father, but you were still a little girl at the time’; and as the said Manna had a ‘riem’ round his middle, to which was suspended a sheath with a large knife in it, she, deponent, returned to her room, the slave boy leaving after that. The Hottentot Danster deposed that some years before the small pox raged here, in 1755 as he thinks, for about 10 years he had lived with the deceased free black, named Johannes of Ceylon, that the latter shortly before the small pox broke out, or during the time it raged here, had bought from the deceased burgher Frederik Horling, a slave named Manna of Boegies, who was at the time not only full grown, but also of medium stature, thick-set, yellowish colour, with black hair on his head. And as he would do no good under Johannes, whom he did not like, Johannes returned him to Horling. Deponent however, not exactly knowing what the agreement was between Horling and Johannes, cannot say whether the sale was cancelled, or whether Horling, who made a business of buying and selling slaves, had to sell Manna to someone else for account of Johannes. Deponent was still living with the children of the late Johannes at the house of the burgher J.H.C. Smit, married to Maria, daughter of the late Johannes.

About 20 months ago, or in October, 1770, Manna called at the house in the afternoon, and having said good-day to Smit’s wife, the latter asked who he was. He replied by asking: ‘Do you not know me? I was a slave of your grand-father.’ In the meanwhile deponent, coming from the back to the front, at once recognised Manna, and said to Smit’s wife, ‘Nonje!’ he was a slave of your father, but you were small at the time, and accordingly do not know him. The slave at the time said that he came from the country, and was going back. thither.” – Here follows the note of hand given by J. Swanepoel to Joh. of Ceylon for Rds. 20, the balance of Rds. 100 for which he had bought a slave from the latter in 1754; also acknowledgment of H. Pietersz: that he had received the slave Manna from Doeksteen, in order to be sold by him in India.

Inventory of Judith Van Eeden and Hendrik Swannepoel mentioning the slave Manna of Boegies

Judith van Eeden
Hendrick Swanepoel

8 October 1770



Van de naalatenschap tussen mijn Judith van Eeden, en mijn overleeden man Hendrik Swanepoel, welke goederen door ondergeteekende mannen sijn op genomen en naagesien als volgt

2 plaatzen in leening van de E:E: Compagh:e
4 man slaaven, waar onder een oud en afgeleeft
48 aanteel beesten 86
38 trek ossen
4 peerde
2 wagens half-sleeten, cum suis
680 aanteel schapen 830
150 klijne lammers
1 ploeg cum suis
2 pikken
2 grafen
1 ankers-ketel
3 halve legers
3 bier-pijpen
3 booder-vaaten
1 karring
1 tafel
2 kisten
4 emmers
4 potten
2 tinne schodels
6 tinne boorde
2 ketels
1 coffe kan
1 douzijn lepels
1 zaadel cum suis
2 bedden met zijn kaartels
1 Noordze moolen
4 stoelen
3 sakken half sleeten

Als getuijgen: Jan Nel, Stephanus Gouijs

De kinderen
Fredrik Hend:k 14 jaaren
Piter Andries 13 jaaren
Jan Paul 12 jaaren
Johannis Jacobus 8 jaaren
Abraham Christophel 4 jaar
Reijntje 10
Maria Sijbille 5
Rosa Catharina 14 maanden
1 slave jonge gen:t April van Bengalen
1 slave jonge gen:t Novemb:r van Mallabaar
1 slave jonge gen:t Moses van Mallabaar
1 slave jonge gen:t Manna van Boegies
een leenings plaats gen:t de Swarteberg geleegen aan de Swarteberg
een leenings plaats gen:t de Klipbank gel: aan de Swarteberg
100 Maria Sibilla Swanepoel
Inne schulden
van Jan Bouwermeester 170

Source Cape Town Archives  MOOC 8/13 47b