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It is 202 years since Thomas Pringle and his party of “twenty four souls” packed up camp on the beaches of a nascent Port Elizabeth and struck out for their allotted land in the wild Baviaans River Valley, between Bedford and Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape.  

Though a poet by choice, Pringle was also a pioneer in the fight for SA press freedom, a human rights activist and, later, a champion for the abolition of slavery. I recently got to know more about his life and times while staying at a friend’s place in Wilderness and reading his Narrative of a residence in South Africa...

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