Robert Jacob Gordon Journal Archive

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This collection was created to give scholars and interested public access to the raw data of Robert Jacob Gordon’s Journal.Since few people have the opportunity to travel to the Brenthurst Library in Johannesburg to view the original documents, we have reproduced the first transcription of the original Dutch. We have also included Patrick Cullinan’s translation of the Journal, which was produced from a photographic copy made while the diary was still in the Stafford County Library, U.K., before it was acquired by the Brenthurst Library in 1979. No attempt has been made at providing the reader with comments on places, people or events mentioned by Gordon. The reader should consult Raper & Boucher (1988) for such comment. Equally, to situate Gordon’s Journal within its time-frame, the reader is encouraged to refer to Cullinan (1992) for a full biography.

Gordon drew, or had drawn, 456 sketches in full colour, which were meant to accompany his journal. Of these, 157 have appeared in various forms in Raper & Boucher (1988), Cullinan (1992), Rookmaaker (1979) and Forbes (1965). The drawings are owned by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, who retain full copyright for publication. Access them here.


2nd journey DUTCH
Transcription of Gordon's journal from his 2nd Journey (October 1777 to March 1778) to the Sneeuberg, Orange River and returning via the south coast. The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam
2nd journey ENG
Translation of the transcription of Gordon's journal from his 2nd Journey (October 1777 to March 1778) to the Sneeuberg, Orange River and returning via the south coast. The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
3rd journey DUTCH
Transcription of Robert Jacob Gordon's 3rd Journey (August 1778 to January 1779) to the Zeekoei River with Governor Van Plettenberg. The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
3rd journey ENG
Translation of the transcription of Robert Jacob Gordon's 3rd Journey (August 1778 to January 1779) to the Zeekoei River with Governor Van Plettenberg. The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
4th journey DUTCH
Transcription of Robert Jacob Gordon's 4th Journey (June 1779 to January 1780) up the west coast to the mouth of the Orange River, then upriver, as far as the Alabaster Klip (Boegoeberg Dam today). The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
4th journey ENG
Translation of the transcription of Robert Jacob Gordon's 4th Journey (June 1779 to January 1780) up the west coast to the mouth of the Orange River, then upriver, as far as the Alabaster Klip (Boegoeberg Dam today). The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
5th journey DUTCH
Transcription of Robert Jacob Gordon's 5th Journey (November 1785 to April 1786) through the Karoo and returning via the south coast. The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
5th journey ENG
Translation of the transcription of Robert Jacob Gordon's 5th Journey (November 1785 to April 1786) through the Karoo and returning via the south coast. The accompanying original gallery of Gordon drawings is held by Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/1560350--Keithcza/collections/robert-jacob-gordon?ii=0&p=0
Introduction to Gordon Collection by Andrew Smith
Background to the transcriptions and translations of Gordon's Journal that are presented in this collection. Please note: the CD-ROM referred to in the text is no longer available.
Introductory statement by translator, Patrick Cullinan
Introduction to Gordon's life, and background to his journal written while travelling in the interior of South Africa, with bibliographical references.
Letter from Gordon to Fagel
Translation of a consolidated report, written by Robert Jacob Gordon and sent to Greffier Hendrik Fagel, describing his travels with Governor Van Plettenberg on the 3rd Journey to the Eastern Cape. Letter is dated 24 April 1779.

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