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Incwadi Yami., or Twenty Years’ Personal Experience in South Africa.

Published: New York: Rogers & Sherwood, 1887

Stock code: 68185

Price: £625

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First US edition, perhaps with precedence over the UK edition of the same year. Matthews left Britain in 1864 as surgeon on the Tugela, an emigrant ship. On arrival he managed to obtain the post of District Surgeon of Victoria County, Natal. In 1871 he proceeded to the diamond fields, having already sent up an advance party under the geologist G.J. Lee, later Chairman of the Kimberley Mining Board, to work the mines. “The author was for many years closely identified with every social and political movement on the Fields, and his description of the diamond fields, and his references to the “Illicit Diamond Trade,” are particularly interesting. There are particulars of “The Kimberley Company and Share Mania of 1881,” “The Early History of the Diamond Fields,” “An Account of the Black Flag Riot,” together with sketches of the author’s adventures in Basutoland, Swaziland, and the Transvaal, where he eventually settled” (Mendelssohn).

Octavo. Original dark green decorative cloth, title and diamond device to the spine, and title and block of a Zulu chieftain to the upper board, both in gilt and black, pale green floral printed endpapers. Frontispiece and 30 plates, numerous illustrations to the text. Minor shelf-wear, fore-edge, endpapers and prelims. a little foxed, but overall a very good copy indeed.

Bibliography: Mendelssohn, I, p.997

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