The Great Research Trek and its Aftermath!

My, my, do I have a lot to report today!  I haven’t posted in a while so I do beg your forgiveness if you were waiting with bated breath for the next installment of my narrative here, though the delay of course is not due to lassitude but rather industry, as for the better part of two weeks I have been engaged in near-constant travel and archival research, putting in about a thousand miles on buses, rifling through how many archival folders and letter books the Lord Himself only knows, and in general having an absolutely terrific amount of (intellectually-stimulating) fun.  It’s enough to recall the words of the American war correspondent, author and social butterfly Richard Harding Davis in his June 29th, 1900 letter to his mother, describing the difficulty of adjusting to a vacation in Europe after spending six months in South Africa:

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Let’s Talk About the Transvaal Question: What the War Was, and Why We Cared (Part II of II)

Hello there,

I promised y’all this post last month, so I suppose it’s important to follow up on my promises here.  You all have doubtless been on tenterhooks for weeks wanting to know what the Jameson Raid was.  Lying awake in bed at night, a strange mustachioed apparition calling himself John Hays Hammond has been visiting you lately, whispering strategies for improving the productivity of the Witwatersrand mines in your ear. Why is this happening?

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Let’s Talk About the Transvaal Question, and Why We Cared (Part I of II)

Hello all,

The past few weeks have been extremely busy, with newspapers, manuscripts and the books of the time continually offering up gems to Your Intrepid Reporter.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I can delve into them without explaining the fundamentals of South African history first (unfortunately, because writers in the late 19th century felt the same way; I can’t tell you how many truncated synopses of early South African history I have read over the past few months.  At least one per day.).  So, while I promise to smuggle you some unlicensed Kimberley diamonds soon (to use a period-appropriate metaphor), I figure we should get this over with and bite the bullet as soon as possible.

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(Re)discovering Rhythms

The script goes something like this:

“So, what are you up to this summer?”

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Tyd om te trek?

Hello Internet!

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Robin Crigler.  I’m a history and religious studies double major and a sophomore year transfer to William and Mary.  I’m active in the theatre department, the Canterbury Association, and last summer I had the extreme good fortune to walk two hundred miles of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain, carrying out ethnographic research with two excellent professors at the College.  I am preparing to write a thesis in history this year—“Trekking Towards Empire: South African Empire and American Identity, 1880-1910”—with the help of my advisor Robert Vinson, and to that end I am extremely grateful to the Roy R. Charles Center, the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History, and all my Honors Fellowship donors for their encouragement and financial support for my project.

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