Armed with Swords and Ostrich Feathers: Militarism and Cultural Revolution in the Cape Slave Uprising of 1808

  • Nigel Worden
Part of the War, Culture and Society, 1750–1850 book series (WCS)


On the evening of 27 October 1808 Lord Caledon, governor of the newly acquired Cape Colony, received an alarming report.1 Some 340 slaves were advancing on Cape Town from the Zwartland and Koeberg hinterland. During the preceding 24 hours, their leaders had attacked over thirty of the prosperous grain farms of the region, taken the farmers prisoner and persuaded the labourers to join them. They planned to ‘first take a battery and then … write a letter to the Governor, to grant our freedom, and if that was refused we should fight ourselves free’.2


Eighteenth Century Cultural Revolution Slave Owner Military Authority Atlantic World 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 4.
    Ross, Cape of Torments; Karen Harris, ‘The Slave “Rebellion” of 1808’, Kleio (Pretoria), 20 (1988): 54–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 8.
    Keletso Atkins, ‘The “Black Atlantic Communication Network”: African American Sailors and the Cape of Good Hope Connection’, Issue: A Journal of Opinion 24/2 (1996): 23–25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nigel Worden 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigel Worden

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations