The first six years of James Laing's daily journal. Laing, one of the earliest missionaries of the Glasgow Missionary Society to arrive on the Eastern frontier of South Africa in 1831, mastered isiXhosa and earned the trust of amaXhosa chiefs like Maqoma and Sandile. As a result he was able to witness their growing suspicion, anger and hostility towards the colonial authorities leading up to the Sixth Frontier War of Dispossession of 1834-1835. During 1836 Laing conducted several interviews that offer important new insights into the origins of the amaXhosa, especially of the descendants of King Ngqika amongst whom he lived.
Sandra Rowoldt Shell is currently Senior Research Associate at Cory Library for Humanities Research, Rhodes University. Her books include Protean Paradox: George Edward Cory (1862-1935): navigating life and South African history and Children of Hope: the Odyssey of the Oromo slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa