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Charles Graham

Nicknames: "Charles Richard"
Birthdate:
Death: Died in Krugersdorp, West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa
Place of Burial: Krugersdorp, West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Graham and Catharina Graham
Husband of Judith Catharina Graham
Father of Julia Dorothea Penaluna; Anna Susanna Harmse; Kate Graham and Robert Graham
Brother of William Graham; Robert Graham; Dirk Graham; Susanna Graham; Clement Graham and 2 others

Occupation: Transport Rider
Managed by: Julia Elizabeth Penaluna
Last Updated:

About Charles Graham

Extract from:

IN THE EARLY DAYS.

PIONEER LIFE ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.

It should be noted that in those days there was neither railway nor telegraphic communication in South Africa beyond a suburban railway at Capetown and a- telegraph in connection therewith. A single wire stretched from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown, whilst in Natal there was a small railway that reached from the Point to the Umgeni River, a distance of about four miles.

The transport of goods from the coast to up-country districts was done by the primitive ox-wagons, by which means a month was generally occupied in reaching Bloemfontein from Port Elizabeth. Goods for the northern districts of the Orange Free State and Transvaal were obtained from Natal. Even then those engaged in the transport business often experienced great difficulty in getting full loads for their wagons going forward, but could generally rely upon having them well laden with wool on the return journey. As soon, however, as it was proved beyond all doubt that diamonds were really found in the districts described, merchants from down-country began to send forward goods for the purpose of extending their business connections. Consequently there soon became a great demand for transport wagons, so that rates of freight went up by leaps and bounds, until the rate of carriage ranged from thirty to forty shillings per hundred pounds' weight from Port Elizabeth to the newly-discovered River Diggings. The high rate of carriage had the effect of inducing many Colonial farmers to relinquish their agricultural pursuits, for a time at least, and turn their attention to the more lucrative business of carrier, or, as they were generally termed, " transport riders." All wagons available were requisitioned in the business, and there was a great demand for new vehicles. Wagon-makers and blacksmiths began to be busy; wagon-builders' shops, in which grass and weed had been allowed to grow and thrive, were cleaned out and refitted to make room for workpeople engaged in the industry. There was soon an increasing demand for work-people, who began to receive high wages; but even with increased pay, employers soon found that they had no small difficulty in keeping their employees at work, on account of the infection of diamond fever, which raged, and rapidly spread throughout South Africa. As may be rightly conjectured, with such a demand for vehicles, there were a great number of wagons and carts that needed overhauling and repairing to fit them for a five-hundred-mile journey across the arid veld and over rough roads. People were soon rushing to the new Eldorado by the best means available. Many who could not raise sufficient money to pay their passage by one of the transport wagons, set out from their homes in the Colonial towns by the best means at their command. Many married men left their families behind them, to shift for themselves for their subsistence, whilst they (the men) tramped across the dreary, thirsty veld on their way to the land of diamonds; but visions of a fortune filled their imagination, so they trudged along with happy mien. The journey from any of the seaport towns was generally from five to six weeks' duration, and even by the most comfortable of the bullock-wagons, it was of the roughest description, as passengers had to protect themselves in the best manner possible from all conditions of the weather, as but few of the wagons were provided with tents. Mention should, however, be made of the beneficial effect some experienced on account of the rough manner in which they travelled.

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Charles Graham's Timeline

1861
July 21, 1861
September 22, 1861
Hopetown, Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, South Africa
1883
January 12, 1883
Age 21
Wellington, Cape Province, South Africa
June 11, 1883
Age 21
Griekwastad, Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, South Africa
1885
July 23, 1885
Age 24
Warrenton, Diamandveld, Northern Cape, South Africa
1887
July 19, 1887
Age 25
Griekwastad, Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, South Africa
1890
November 7, 1890
Age 29
Barky West, Diamandveld, Northern Cape, South Africa
1890
Age 28
Krugersdorp, West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa
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Krugersdorp, West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa