The Environment and Slave Resistance in the Cape Colony

  • Nigel Worden
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


This chapter explores the ways in which the physical environment of the Cape Colony provided opportunities for individual or small-scale group desertion by slaves during the heyday of Dutch colonial rule in the eighteenth century. In so doing, it identifies a slave geography, that is, a landscape perceived and used by slaves in ways different from those of their owners. However, the slave uprising in 1808 and the forms of slave resistance in the subsequent decades marked the attempted conquest of those parts of the Cape’s environment hitherto dominated by the slave owners rather than an escape from it. The environment itself did not change, but the ways in which slaves used and perceived it did.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigel Worden
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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