Andries Hendrik Potgieter, b7c8d7e2

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Andries Hendrik Potgieter, b7c8d7e2

Nicknames: "Kommandant Generaal"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Graaff-Reinet, EC, South Africa
Death: Died in Schoemansdal, Transvaal, South Africa
Place of Burial: Schoemansdal, Makhado, LP, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Hermanus Philipus Potgieter De Oude and Petronella Margaretha Krugel, b4c2d5
Husband of Susanna Maria le Grange; NN Bronkhorst; Catharina Elisabeth Erasmus and Elizabeth Helena Helena Potgieter, b2c4d1e2f3
Father of nn Potgieter Potgieter, b7c8d7e2f14; Daniël Elardus Potgieter, b6c8d7e2f15; Johanna Catharina Potgieter, b7c8d7e2f16; Martha Helena (Petronella) Brits, b7c8d7e2f17; Elizabeth Helena Potgieter, b7c8d7e2f1 and 12 others
Brother of Jacobus Hermanus Potgieter; Petronella Margaretha du Plessis, b7c8d7e3; Hermanus Phillipus Potgieter; Clara Isabella Potgieter, b7c8d7e4; Maria Elizabeth Louisa Potgieter, b7c8d7e6 and 2 others
Half brother of Nicolaas Johannes Potgieter; Susanna Catharina Du Plessis; Gertruy Maria Margaretha Grobler and Hester Johanna Cornelia Potgieter

Occupation: Kommandant Generaal, Voortrekkerleier
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Andries Hendrik Potgieter, b7c8d7e2

A.H. Potgieter was a Boer leader in the Great Trek; he took his party from the Cape Colony to in the Transvaal. He convinced the family to cross the Orange River in pursuit of the dream of an independant state (Volkstaat). The first Potgieter trek, which left the Cape Colony in 1835 under Hendrik Potgieter left a trail of Boer republics. Joining Andries Hendrik were his brothers, Jacobus Johannes, Nicolaas Johannes and their father Hermanus Potgieter.

He served as the first head of state of Potchefstroom from 1840 and 1845 and also as the first head of state of Zoutpansberg from 1845 to 1852.

(Added by Deborah POTGIETER)

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Andries Hendrik Potgieter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andries Hendrik Potgieter (19 December 1792 - 16 December 1852) was a Voortrekker leader. He served as the first head of state of Potchefstroom from 1840 and 1845 and also as the first head of state of Zoutpansberg from 1845 to 1852.

Potgieter was born in the Tarkastad district of the Cape Colony, the second child of Petronella Margaretha and Hermanus Potgieter. He grew up to be a wealthy sheep farmer and fought in the Fourth and Fifth Frontier Wars. However, like many other Boers -- farmers of Dutch, French, and German descent living in the Cape Colony -- he decided to leave the colony in 1834. Delayed by the Sixth Frontier War, Potgieter and a group of Voortrekkers under his leadership left in 1835. Other treks under Louis Trichardt and Johannes Hendrik Janse van Rensburg had preceded him. The Voortrekkers' spiritual leader, Sarel Arnoldus Cilliers, later joined Potgieter's trek.

Potgieter and his party moved inland to the present Free State, where they signed a treaty with the leader of the Baralong, Moroka. The treaty stipulated that Potgieter would protect the Baralong against the Matabele raiders, in exchange for land. The tract of land was from the Vet River to the Vaal River.

The Matabele leader, Mzilikazi, was threatened by the white incursion into what he saw as his sphere of influence, which led to the Matabele's attack on the Potgieter laager in October, 1836, at Vegkop, near the present-day town of Heilbron. The attack was beaten off, but the Matabele made off with most of the trekker oxen, crucial draught animals for the wagons. The combined trek groups of Piet Retief and Gerrit Maritz came to Potgieter's rescue. Moroka also helped with oxen. His group joined up with Retief and Maritz at Thaba Nchu, where they formed a Voortrekker government and decided to move to Natal. Potgieter was not in favour of this plan and stayed behind in the Free State

In 1838, after Piet Retief and his party were killed by Dingane, and other Voortrekker parties were attacked at the Bloukrans- and Bushmen's Rivers, Potgieter and another leader, Pieter Lafras Uys assembled a military force. To prevent schism and discord, the new Voortrekker leader in Natal, Maritz, diplomatically pronounced that both Uys and Potgieter were to be in command. However, a struggle between the hot-headed Uys and Potgieter ensued. The divided force was lured into an ambush by the Zulus at Italeni, and both Uys and his son Dirkie, were killed. The surrounded and outnumbered force fled. Potgieter was criticized for his actions, and the force was called " Die Vlugkommado" or Flight Commando. He was further accused, unjustly, of causing the death of Uys by deliberately leading the force into the ambush. He left Natal for good soon afterwards and moved to the Transvaal.

Potgieter subsequently went on to found Potchefstroom (named after him) and served as its first head of state of the Potchefstroom Republic between 1840 and 1845. Later, in 1845, he also founded Ohrigstad (originally named Andries-Ohrigstad after Potgieter himself and George Ohrig) as a trading station. Owing to a malaria outbreak, the town had to be abandoned. The inhabitants, including Potgieter, moved to the Soutpansberg area, where he founded the town Soutpansbergdorp, later renamed Schoemasdal.

After the 1842 annexation of Natal by Britain, many Natal Trekkers moved to the Free State and the Transvaal. These newcomers and their leader, Andries Pretorius, refused to accept the authority of Potgieter, and a power struggle developed. War was averted, and in 1848 a peace treaty was signed in Rustenburg. Potgieter died on the 16th of December, 1852, in Schoemasdal. A number of African chiefs who held him in very high regard came to pay their respects before his death.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andries_Hendrik_Potgieter"

(Added by Yolanda SIM, 12 DEC 2009)

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Andries Hendrik Potgieter (19 December 1792 - 16 December 1852) was a Voortrekker leader. He served as the first head of state of Potchefstroom from 1840 and 1845 and also as the first head of state of Zoutpansberg from 1845 to 1852.

Potgieter was born in the Tarkastad district of the Cape Colony, the second child of Petronella Margaretha and Hermanus Potgieter. He grew up to be a wealthy sheep farmer and fought in the Fourth and Fifth Frontier Wars. However, like many other Boers -- farmers of Dutch, French, and German descent living in the Cape Colony -- he decided to leave the colony in 1834. Delayed by the Sixth Frontier War, Potgieter and a group of Voortrekkers under his leadership left in 1835. Other treks under Louis Trichardt and Johannes Hendrik Janse van Rensburg had preceded him. The Voortrekkers' spiritual leader, Sarel Arnoldus Cilliers, later joined Potgieter's trek.

Potgieter and his party moved inland to the present Free State, where they signed a treaty with the leader of the Baralong, Moroka. The treaty stipulated that Potgieter would protect the Baralong against the Matabele raiders, in exchange for land. The tract of land was from the Vet River to the Vaal River.

The Matabele leader, Mzilikazi, was threatened by the white incursion into what he saw as his sphere of influence, which led to the Matabele's attack on the Potgieter laager in October, 1836, at Vegkop, near the present-day town of Heilbron. The attack was beaten off, but the Matabele made off with most of the trekker oxen, crucial draught animals for the wagons. The combined trek groups of Piet Retief and Gerrit Maritz came to Potgieter's rescue. Moroka also helped with oxen. His group joined up with Retief and Maritz at Thaba Nchu, where they formed a Voortrekker government and decided to move to Natal. Potgieter was not in favour of this plan and stayed behind in the Free State

In 1838, after Piet Retief and his party were killed by Dingane, and other Voortrekker parties were attacked at the Bloukrans- and Bushmen's Rivers, Potgieter and another leader, Pieter Lafras Uys assembled a military force. To prevent schism and discord, the new Voortrekker leader in Natal, Maritz, diplomatically pronounced that both Uys and Potgieter were to be in command. However, a struggle between the hot-headed Uys and Potgieter ensued. The divided force was lured into an ambush by the Zulus at Italeni, and both Uys and his son Dirkie, were killed. The surrounded and outnumbered force fled. Potgieter was criticized for his actions, and the force was called " Die Vlugkommado" or Flight Commando. He was further accused, unjustly, of causing the death of Uys by deliberately leading the force into the ambush. He left Natal for good soon afterwards and moved to the Transvaal.

Potgieter subsequently went on to found Potchefstroom (named after him) and served as its first head of state of the Potchefstroom Republic between 1840 and 1845. Later, in 1845, he also founded Ohrigstad (originally named Andries-Ohrigstad after Potgieter himself and George Ohrig) as a trading station. Owing to a malaria outbreak, the town had to be abandoned. The inhabitants, including Potgieter, moved to the Soutpansberg area, where he founded the town Soutpansbergdorp, later renamed Schoemasdal.

After the 1842 annexation of Natal by Britain, many Natal Trekkers moved to the Free State and the Transvaal. These newcommers and their leader, Andries Pretorius, refused to accept the authority of Potgieter, and a power struggle developed. War was averted, and in 1848 a peace treaty was signed in Rustenburg. Potgieter died on the 16th of December, 1852, in Schoemasdal. A number of African chiefs who held him in very high regard came to pay their respects before his death.

-------------------- Andries Hendrik Potgieter was born in the Graaff Reinet district in the Cape Colony on the 19th of December 1792. He was the second child of Petronella Margaretha and Hermanus Potgieter.

He fought in the Fourth and Fifth Frontier Wars and was a wealthy sheep farmer when, like many other Dutch farmers at the Cape, he decided to leave the colony in 1834. In 1835 a group of Voortrekkers left the colony under his leadership. His departure had been delayed by the Sixth Frontier War.

Potgieter moved inland to the northern Free State where he developed cordial relationships with local Black leaders who were hiding from Mzilikazi. One of these leaders, Makwena, exchanged some land between the Vet and Vaal Rivers for 49 cattle and protection from Potgieter.

During this time Potgieter explored the surrounding area and travelled as far as one days riding to Zimbabwe. He returned to the Vaal River in 1836 and heard of Matabele attacks on Voortrekkers. He delayed his plans to migrate further north in order to punish these offences. At a Voortrekker meeting on 2 December 1836 he was elected as the Chief Commandant. By 1837 Mzilikazi and his Matabele were completely removed from the western Transvaal. In 1838 more Voortrekkers were attacked in Natal and Potgieter went to their aid. This time he suffered a severe loss when his forces were drawn into an ambush. The Natal frontiersmen blamed him for the incident. He was deeply offended and left the region and moved on to found the town of Potchefstroom in what is the North West Province today.

In the 1840s the British took control of Natal, but Potgieter refused to become part of the British Empire and Potchefstroom broke away from the Natal. He decided to establish the new Boer republic of Transvaal. Potgieter also developed an interest in Delagoa Bay as an avenue to the rest of the world. He visited the port city in 1843 and was welcomed by the Portuguese colonisers in the area. This, the advice of several of his Dutch friends and his desire to live beyond the 25th degree of latitude caused him to move closer to the Mozambique border.

In 1848 Sir Harry Smith annexed the Orange Free State and Andries Pretorius, Potgieter's rival, gathered a commando to help the Free State Boers regain their freedom. Potgieter was criticised for his lack of involvement and he decided to travel to Potchefstroom to fight for the Transvaal's independence. He had talks with Smith's representative in the Vaal River, Richard Southey, and they reached an agreement that the area north of the Vaal would be left alone.

Due to his commitments elsewhere Potgieter was not present when his trek to the northern parts of the Transvaal began. Jan Valentyn Botha acted as temporary leader and led the group to settle near the Soutpansberg and founded a town that was to become Schoemansdal. Voortrekker communities were spread far apart and it became clear that Boer leaders had to unite and work together under one government or Volksraad to guarantee the safety and well-being of the Voortrekkers all over South Africa.

Potgieter settled in the far north after the meeting to cement the new Voortrekker unity took place. He did not take an active part in politics because he was so far away. This gave Pretorius the opportunity to take the lead with Potgieter's support.

Although he was still relatively young Potgieter had lived a dangerous life, which eventually took its toll on his health. He died at Schoemansdal on 16 December 1852. He had been a recognised and charismatic military leader.

References:

  • Potgieter, D. J. (ed) (1973). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, POP-SLA. Johannesburg: Nasionale Opvoedkundige Uitgewery.
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Andries Hendrik Potgieter, b7c8d7e2's Timeline

1792
December 19, 1792
Graaff-Reinet, EC, South Africa
1793
January 6, 1793
Graaff-Reinet, EC, South Africa
1812
July 12, 1812
Age 19
Graaff-Reinet, EC, South Africa
1813
November 29, 1813
Age 20
1815
September 4, 1815
Age 22
1819
February 16, 1819
Age 26
1821
March 24, 1821
Age 28
Cradock, Stormberg District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1821
Age 28
1822
December 24, 1822
Age 30
Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1825
May 5, 1825
Age 32
Cradock, Stormberg District, Eastern Cape, South Africa