The raid on Johannesburg in the then Transvaal was named after the swashbuckling British doctor Leander Starr Jameson. It began with great bravado on December 29 1895, but ended four days later with a whimper when a weeping Jameson was led by his Boer captors to a cart to convey him to jail in Pretoria.The event is the subject of the book The Jameson Raid: a Centennial Retrospective, edited by Jane Carruthers, which was sold for R2,800 at the Stephan Welz auction recently.Some historians have seen the raid as comic opera, but it had important repercussions.Thomas Pakenham describes what happened in his book The Boer War. He mentions that Gen Jan Smuts regarded the raid as "the real declaration of war in the great Anglo-Boer conflict".Jameson’s plan was to ride to Johannesburg, where the uitlanders (British capitalists) would meet him and his raiders to stoke a rebellion to overthrow President Paul Kruger’s government.But the uitlanders were not prepared for a rebellion. In fact, the...

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