Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Leprosy in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope

Leprosy in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope THE JOURNAL OF CUTANEOUS DISEASES VOL. XXIII JULY, 1905. NO. 7. Dr. Gregory Reports From Robben Island and Emjanyana. J Cutan Dis. July 1905;23:327-329. Editor's Comment COLONEL AUCAMP curtly informed us that we were being transferred. Where? Tefu asked. Someplace very beautiful, Aucamp said. Where? said Tefu. “Die Eiland,” said Aucamp. The island. There was only one. Robben Island.—Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela Robben Island, situated just 10 km off of Cape Town, South Africa, was first used as a way station by Portuguese explorers and Dutch traders of the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck established the first permanent European settlement on the Cape of Good Hope, and Robben Island assumed even greater importance. The plentiful wildlife there—especially the seals, after which the Dutch island was named—provided refreshment to the merchants and sailors involved in the lucrative East India trade. Its isolation yet proximity to the Cape offered sanctuary to white settlers eager for trade with the natives but fearful of savage cannibals and uncivilized pioneers on the mainland. In 1657, van Riebeeck realized that the same geography made a perfect place for banishment and inaugurated Robben Island’s infamous history as a penal colony. The first political prisoner was the local leader, Autshumao, who dared to reappropriate the cattle that whites had stolen from his people. Autshumao is also notable for being the first and only man to escape from Robben Island. The prison at Robben Island became the ultimate destination for religious and political opponents to Dutch colonialism throughout East Africa and the Indies. The British defeat of the Dutch in 1795 did nothing to change Robben Island’s status. The new rulers continued to use the island as a place of imprisonment for undesirables, including common criminals, army deserters, and their own political prisoners. In addition to its function as a prison, in 1846 the British began to use Robben Island to isolate lepers, lunatics, and the medically indigent. Though efforts were made to separate the prisoners from the patients, until the hospital on Robben Island was finally closed in 1931, it is dubious which group was the lesser victim of the governing authorities’ bigotry and ignorance. From 1939 to 1945, Robben Island served primarily as a military training and defense establishment, but in 1961, the island once again became a maximum security prison. The appalling incarcerations and determined resistance of political prisoners like Nelson Mandela made Robben Island emblematic of the anti-apartheid struggle. In 1999, Robben Island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a monument to the triumph of democracy, freedom, and the human spirit. Nowadays visitors can take tours of the island, which has been converted into a museum. It is only fitting that their tour guides are former political prisoners who can give personal testimony to the long sad history of political oppression on Robben Island and its symbolic significance in the struggle against colonialism and racism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Dermatology American Medical Association

Leprosy in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope

Archives of Dermatology , Volume 141 (7) – Jul 1, 2005

Leprosy in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope

Abstract

THE JOURNAL OF CUTANEOUS DISEASES VOL. XXIII JULY, 1905. NO. 7. Dr. Gregory Reports From Robben Island and Emjanyana. J Cutan Dis. July 1905;23:327-329. Editor's Comment COLONEL AUCAMP curtly informed us that we were being transferred. Where? Tefu asked. Someplace very beautiful, Aucamp said. Where? said Tefu. “Die Eiland,” said Aucamp. The island. There was only one. Robben Island.—Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela Robben Island, situated just 10 km off of Cape...
Loading next page...
 
/lp/american-medical-association/leprosy-in-the-colony-of-the-cape-of-good-hope-wh1ebs8Gbp
Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-987X
eISSN
1538-3652
DOI
10.1001/archderm.141.7.823
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE JOURNAL OF CUTANEOUS DISEASES VOL. XXIII JULY, 1905. NO. 7. Dr. Gregory Reports From Robben Island and Emjanyana. J Cutan Dis. July 1905;23:327-329. Editor's Comment COLONEL AUCAMP curtly informed us that we were being transferred. Where? Tefu asked. Someplace very beautiful, Aucamp said. Where? said Tefu. “Die Eiland,” said Aucamp. The island. There was only one. Robben Island.—Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela Robben Island, situated just 10 km off of Cape Town, South Africa, was first used as a way station by Portuguese explorers and Dutch traders of the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck established the first permanent European settlement on the Cape of Good Hope, and Robben Island assumed even greater importance. The plentiful wildlife there—especially the seals, after which the Dutch island was named—provided refreshment to the merchants and sailors involved in the lucrative East India trade. Its isolation yet proximity to the Cape offered sanctuary to white settlers eager for trade with the natives but fearful of savage cannibals and uncivilized pioneers on the mainland. In 1657, van Riebeeck realized that the same geography made a perfect place for banishment and inaugurated Robben Island’s infamous history as a penal colony. The first political prisoner was the local leader, Autshumao, who dared to reappropriate the cattle that whites had stolen from his people. Autshumao is also notable for being the first and only man to escape from Robben Island. The prison at Robben Island became the ultimate destination for religious and political opponents to Dutch colonialism throughout East Africa and the Indies. The British defeat of the Dutch in 1795 did nothing to change Robben Island’s status. The new rulers continued to use the island as a place of imprisonment for undesirables, including common criminals, army deserters, and their own political prisoners. In addition to its function as a prison, in 1846 the British began to use Robben Island to isolate lepers, lunatics, and the medically indigent. Though efforts were made to separate the prisoners from the patients, until the hospital on Robben Island was finally closed in 1931, it is dubious which group was the lesser victim of the governing authorities’ bigotry and ignorance. From 1939 to 1945, Robben Island served primarily as a military training and defense establishment, but in 1961, the island once again became a maximum security prison. The appalling incarcerations and determined resistance of political prisoners like Nelson Mandela made Robben Island emblematic of the anti-apartheid struggle. In 1999, Robben Island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a monument to the triumph of democracy, freedom, and the human spirit. Nowadays visitors can take tours of the island, which has been converted into a museum. It is only fitting that their tour guides are former political prisoners who can give personal testimony to the long sad history of political oppression on Robben Island and its symbolic significance in the struggle against colonialism and racism.

Journal

Archives of DermatologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jul 1, 2005

There are no references for this article.