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THE MAN OF THE MOMENT.

DR L, S. JAMESON. (Pall Mall Qatette.) . The news that Dr Jameson had entered the South African Eepublic, and waa marching to Johannesburg N with an armed force of seven or eight hundred men and six machine-guns, came as a tremendous surprise in the city. And to none was the surprise greater than to those to whom he is personally known. . The only explanation they could suggest was that something had occurred at Johannesburg which has not yet been made public, or that facts were within his knowledge that will explain and justify his extraordinary action. They all laid stress upon his great shrewdness, tactfulness, and conciliatory character. They declared that the spirit of the swashbuckler and ths filibuster was quite foreign to his nature. Though a man of prompt action, and of .daring when occasion called for these qualities, he was noteworthy! they affirmed, for signal' caution of judgment. They spoke of him as a man of tried ability in the conduct of delicate matters, and as the least likely sort of person to take upon himself the enormous responsibility of AN ASHED INVASION OF THE BOER COUNTRY without cause that could be proved to he more than adequate. Though his conduct was an enigma to them, they asserted entire confidence in the sagacity of .his judgment, and their belief that when all the facts were known he would come out of the affair with undiminished reputation. This is the view of influential persons in the City whoso confidence Dr Jameson enjoys; and it is perhaps/ well that it should be stated at a moment, when he stands before the bar of public opinion charged, on the strength of the official statement issued by Mr Chamberlain, with the commission of what looks like a gigantic blunder or a graivo -political crime. His career up to the present certainly does not warrant the belief that he is capable of an act of folly such as i>hat involved in the invasion, of thb Eepublic without urgent catise. Let us examine that career, for the • man is THE PIVOT ON WHICH THE SITUATION TURNS. Leander Starr Jameson is a Scotchman of forty-two, and has spent the past seventeen years in South Africa, the last eight of which havo been passed in tho service of Mr Ehodes. He was born in Edinburgh, his father being Writer to the Signet and his mother a daughter of Major-General John Pringle. The family settled in London, and young Jameson studied medicine __ at the University College. He distinguished himself as a student, and, for a man of medium height and slight physique, was a tolerable athlete. He won several silver medals as a student, a scholarship in surgorj', and when he graduated at London University in 1876, took away the gold medal for medical jurisprudence. Then his health broke down, and he took a' tour in America. On his return, 'in 1878, he went to South Africa,* and entered into partnership with Dr Prince in Kimberloy. The praotice prospered exceedingly, for to professional knowledge and capacity for incessant work the young doctor brought a suavity of manner and no mean social gifts, Mr Ehodes was in the earlier 'eighties A BISING- MILLIONAIEE, a king among Kimberley financiers, a member of the . Legislative Assembly, and a politician the vastness of whose aims were reahsed only by his intimates. The two men struck np a close friendship, and Dr ! Jameson is reported to have been one of his earliest confidants in the great scheme jof northern extension. When in 1888 the amalgamation of the diamond mines was j completed, Mr Ehodes was free to begin his plan of operations. He picked out Dr Jameson ac Mr Eudd's companion in the mission to Lobengula, which was to obtain leave to inarch a pioneer force into Mashonaland; and Dr Jariieson tln-ew up one of the most lucrative practices in South Africa, staking his all upon his friend's ACCOMPLISHMENT .OF HIS • DREAMS. He remained at Buluwayo for three months, treating Lobengula for the gout, and becoming high favourite with that unfortunate potentate. He was at Buluwayo again when the pioneer expedition followed Mr Selous up country, and had much to do with securing a safe passage for it, the Mai abele, in reality, being anxioUs for the ■ King's leaveto.bar its way. Dr Jameson joined- the column as. Mr Ehodes's representative, marched with it to Mount Hampden, and then, with Major Frank Johnson, struck across country eastward to the Tungwe, .and: # thence .by. water . to Capetown, .''. „,-•:•■' In 1890 he returned to Fort Salisbury, and during 1890-01, with two English companions, visited Gungurihana's country, with tho object of including it in the territory of the Chartered Company. He was successful in extracting a concession and treaty from the King ; but the AngloPortuguese negotiations stood in the way of the compact and it lapsed. On his return, though much weakened by fever, he accepted the post of Administrator of Mashonaland in succession to Mr Archibald Colquhouni The position was critical, foi the Transvaal Boers were ready to trek across the Limpopo into the new territory. Dr Jameson met them as they were preparing to cross the river. He had with him a troop of the Bechuanaland Police. The Boers were numerous and well armed. Bloodshed seemed unavoidable. But by "dint of persuasion Dr Jameson kept them on the other side of the river. THE TREKKERS DISBANDED and tho victory was his. This feat alone made his reputation. Of his actual administration of Mashonaland Mr Selous— writing before the war — shall bear witness .- — " I consider that it was a veritable inspiration that prompted Mr Ehodes to ask his old friend Dr Jameson to take over the arduous and difficult duties of adminis- | trator of Mashonaland: Dr Jameson has endeared himself to all classes of the community by his tact and good temper, and . has managed all the diverse details connected with the administration of -a new country with a correctness of judgment which amounts to nothing less than genius —and genius of a most rare and versatile order. He was the man for the position/

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18960229.2.9

Bibliographic details

THE MAN OF THE MOMENT., Issue 5502, 29 February 1896

Word Count
1,024

THE MAN OF THE MOMENT. Issue 5502, 29 February 1896

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