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Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.

Conciliates Natives

Conciliates Natives.

According to his own account, Grey continued to despatch to India all the Imperial troops he could possibly spare, numbering 5,000. As these were under the command of English officers, who could obey only the orders of the War Office, he must have superseded those officers and thus supplanted the War Office. It is possible, but not very credible. One thing is certain. Resolving to trust to his personal influence to maintain peace in the midst of hostile races, he showed his customary energy in fore-arming himself against possible dangers. He set out on a series of visits to the kraals of the Kafir chiefs in order to extract from them solemn assurances of fidelity, or at least to arrange for a truce so long as the Empire was in danger. It is a tribute to his powers of persuasion, and at the same time a testimony to the loyalty of character of these savages, that he was completely successful and met with no refusals. Had they fallen on the defenceless settlements as the Zulus fell twenty years later, the British colonies would have been wiped out. He climbed the heights of Thaba-Bosigo, and from Moshesh, the aged chief of the Basutos, he received an assurance of friendship. From all others he received similar assurances. All were kept, and the whole of South Africa remained at peace, not only during the struggle in India, but for many years after. Grey was a fighting Governor, but he fought to end wars, not to begin them, and he established peace.