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Number: 3686
Continent: Africa
Region: South
Place Names: Namibia
Year of Origin: 1896
Title: Sudwest-Afrikanisches Schutzgebiet in 4 Blattern (nebst Verbreitung des Deutschtums in Sud-Afrika) von Paul Langhans.
Language: German
Publish Origin: Gotha
Units: centimeters
Size Class.: Large
Scale: 1 : 2,000,000
Color Type: Full Color
Images of this map are not yet available.
Cartographer: Paul Langhans
Edward Stanford
Publisher: Johann Georg Justus Perthes and Heirs
Other Contributors:
Northernmost Latitude:
Southernmost Latitude:
Westernmost Longitude:
Easternmost Longitude:
Notes: [PENDING; Alex Johnson and Dasa Pahor SOURCE COMMONWEALTH ARRIVAL] NAMIBIA / MINING / RAILWAYS / ?CUSTOMISED? HIGH-LEVEL MAP USE: S?west-Afrikanisches Schutzgebiet in 4 Bl?tern (nebst Verbreitung des Deutschtums in S?-Afrika) von Paul Langhans. Gotha: Justus Perthes, [1894], with extensive printed and manuscript additions by Edward Stanford Ltd. of London, [circa 1896]. Lithograph in colours, but with slightly later extensive overprinted additions with outlining in hand colour, plus proposed railway lines added in manuscript in red ink, dissected into 18 sections and mounted upon linen with marbled endpapers, pastedown label of ?Edward Stanford Ltd.? to lower right corner; housed in Stanford?s chestnut cloth slipcase with printed title ?South West Africa? (Excellent condition, clean and bright with lovely colours, just a few insignificant spots; slipcase with major shelf-ware and sunning), 71 x 89.5 cm (28 x 35 inches). An extraordinary, and perhaps unique example of Paul Langhans? spectacular map of German Southwest Africa (modern Namibia) published by Justus Perthes in Gotha, Germany in 1894, but here subsequently ?customised? in London around 1896 with extensive and important printed and manuscript additions relating to mining, railways and land speculation endeavours executed by Edward Stanford Ltd. seemingly at the behest of a major British investor in the colony, rendering the map amongst the most detailed and fascinating early maps of South West Africa in existence. This amazing map is an extraordinary, and perhaps unique, example of Paul Langhans? grand 1894 map of German South West Africa (modern Namibia), which is here ?customised? by the addition of important printed information concerning mining and real estate company concessions, as well as marking the routes of proposed railways in manuscript, all added around 1896 in London by the leading firm of Edward Stanford Ltd., seemingly at the behest of a major British investor in the colony. Amongst the most detailed and ?action packed? early maps of what would become Namibia in existence, it provides a valuable insight into high-level cartographic use in the heady period following the ?Scramble for Africa? and merits much further academic study. During the mid-19th century, ?South West Africa?, the region today known as Namibia, was generally considered to be a ?no mans land?, sandwiched between Portuguese Angola and the British Cape Colony. Its brutally tempestuous, sandy desert coastlines posed a forbidding barrier to even the most ambitious explorers, while the sun-baked interior was inhabited by often less-than-welcoming indigenous peoples. For decades the only significant permanent European presence in the region was the small outposts of German Protestant missionaries. While South West Africa was known to be rich in minerals, for decades the effort of exploiting these bounties was thought to far outweigh any promise of reward. While Britain, tied up by expensive wars in South Africa, had no desire to colonise South West Africa, in 1878, it moved to give itself a dominant strategic position in the region. It annexed Walvis Bay, the only stellar natural harbour along the coast, as well as all of the offshore islands (the so-called ?Penguin Islands?), in order to both secure naval control and to harvest the islands? guano deposits. Meanwhile, a newly united Germany was looking for its place in the sun, with Chancellor Bismarck reluctantly agreeing to support the foundation of German overseas colonies, in the hope of making the country onto a true empire, like Britain. In 1882, a merchant-adventurer from Bremen, Adolf L?eritz, founded a settlement at the bay of Angra Pequena (named L?eritz). With ambitious plans to exploit South West Africa?s vast mineral deposits, he applied to the German government to declare the region a ?Protectorate?,(German: Schutzgebeit). Berlin formally laid claim to the region on August 17, 1884, creating Deutsch-S?westafrika, a move that was internationally recognised by the Berlin Conference in October of the same year. While Bismarck was compelled to give into the ?Weltpolitik? lobby, so allowing German overseas colonies, he was adamant that there was no way that these ventures would be funded by the state. If Germans wanted to have colonies, they would have to be run and financed by private corporations. In April 1885, the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft f? S?west-Afrika (German Colonial Society for Southwest Africa), supported by German bankers, industrialists and the mayor of Frankfurt, was founded and given the concession to govern and economically exploit most of the protectorate, a role strengthened when they acquired L?eritz?s rights in 1886. However, starting a colony in the most unforgiving environment in Southern Africa proved to be much more difficult than the Kolonialgesellschaft?s principals envisioned. It was not only the vast amount of venture capital required, but also the level of specialised knowledge needed to build infrastructure and negotiate with indigenous people, skills that only old ?Africa hands? possessed. In 1890, fearing fatal cost overruns and delays to projects, the Kolonialgesellschaft retained it mineral rights, but surrendered its responsibility for governance to the German state, making S?west-Afrika into a German crown colony. The Germans then invited British private investors to act as partners in developing S?westfrika?s infrastructure and mineral resources. The British, through their vast experience in South Africa, possessed the ideal knowledge to manage affairs in the Schutzgebeit, while Cape Town could function as an ideal supply base. Moreover, many leading London bankers were keen on investing in African mining projects. It was in this context that the present map appeared. Enter Paul Langhans and his map of the S?west-Afrikanisches Schutzgebiet Paul Langhans (1867 - 1952) was as talented and influential a cartographer as he was politically controversial. Born in Hamburg, the son of an innkeeper, he dreamed of the world beyond Germany, and yearned for his country to acquire a global empire that could rival that of Britain. After studying geography and economics at the universities of Kiel and Leipzig, he gained a post as a junior cartographer at the Justus Perthes institute in Gotha, Continental Europe?s most prestigious private map and geographic publisher, responsible for breaking the news of many explorers? discoveries, especially in Africa. Langhans? immense technical ability and drive soon convinced the institute to placed him in charge of its most important single project (Langhans was still only in his mid-20s!) to date, the creation of the first authoritative atlas of Germany?s overseas possessions, as well as German trading and immigrant communities around the world. Working in league with the Reichs-Kolonialamt (German Colonial Office) in Berlin and private mining, railway and land corporations, Langhans devised the atlas that was to be comprised of several ground-breaking, large format maps of various regions, including S?westafrika. As shown on the present map, Langhans? extensive reconnaissance of sources and attention to detail was so thorough as to border upon being pathologically obsessive; every inch of his maps are packed with the best possible information in manner that far exceeded the work of his peers. Unfortunately, while Langhans continued to produce stellar maps for the rest of his long life, even becoming the editor of the prestigious journal, Petermann's Geographische Mitteilungen, his career came to be overshadowed by his obsessive, ultra-extreme German nationalism and anti-Semitism, which until the advent of the Third Reich brought him into conflict with many of his colleagues and clients. Interestingly, in the early days of World War II, his mapping of Africa was revived and used as a strategic and propaganda tool to aid Germany?s serious, but short-lived, design to regain its former African colonies (including S?westafrika). Returning to the colonial atlas project, the undertaking was so ambitions that it had to be serially released in fifteen parts, called ?Lieferungen?, over a five year period. Eventually, the project came to be known as Langhans? Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas: 30 Karten mit 300 Nebenkarten (15 Lieferungen, Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1892-7); and upon the publication of all its parts in 1897, one could purchase a bound copy containing the complete work. The atlas was immediately hailed as the most important and technically ambitious German cartographic work of its era. Langhans? map of the future Namibia, S?west-Afrikanisches Schutzgebiet, was first published separately, in four un-joined sheets, as part of a Lieferung in 1894. The map (being the underlying basis of the present work) was the finest and most detailed early map of the region, as well as arguably the most technically proficient map in the entire atlas. Langhans? work is an incredibly rich composition, with a main map accompanied by numerous insets; it features so much information that is possible to describe only a fraction of it here. The main map provides an amazingly detailed record of all of Deutsch S?westafrika based upon the synergy of the best sources supplied by the German authorities, private mining companies, missionaries and explorers. German territory is outlined in pink, British in orange, while Portuguese domains are outlined in green. The colonial capital, Windhoek, is located roughly in the middle of the country, while the British protectorate of ?Walfisch Bucht? (Walvis Bay) and the port of ?Tsoachaubmund? (Swakopmund) are locate to the west. The coasts are carefully charted, with all headlands, navigational obstacles and anchorages depicted, while the seas feature copious bathymetric soundings. The rugged interior captures all areas of elevation with careful shading and spot heights in metres, while all rivers and ravines are delineated. The ?Erkl?ung? (Explanations), in the upper left, identifies the symbols to identify many features. This includes the marking all settlements, both European and indigenous (indicating those which feature Evangelical Christian missions), as well as all roads and desert tracks, while the routes of several explorers are delineated. Importantly, the map indicates the locations of wells and watering holes along the routes, critical details in such an arid land. The terrain is also colour-coded, to note areas of tropical vegetation (emerald green); areas of pastureland in the rainy season (light green); sand desert (light yellow) and stone desert (tan colour). The territories of he various indigenous nations are labelled, while the map features many fascinating notes on the nature of the countryside, including the nature of vegetation and the animal life (ex. revealing where elephants of ?alligators? (actually crocodiles) congregate). Importantly, the map also provides symbols and notes to identify the locations of natural resources, such as mines. Enriching the composition, by giving further details on Deutsch S?west-Afrika and its relationship with other locales, are numerous inset maps, including: Spencer Bai; Itjimbingwe; Walfisch Bucht [the British enclave of Walvis Bay]; L?eritz Bucht [the port which was the first German commercial settlement in the region]; Ethnographische Skizze von Deutsch S?west-Afrika [a fascinating ethnographic map of the colony]; Elisabeth Bai; Sandfische Hafen; Deutsche Kolonien in Britische Kafferland [a map of German colonies in the eastern part of the British Cape Colony], Deutsche Kolonien in Natal [a map of German colonies in British colony of Natal], Windhoek [a detailed map of the settlement that became the colonial capital in 1892, with an small inset of the Rhenish mission at !Hoacha !Nas], Der Bremische Freistaat [the Free State of Bremen, the key nexus for African trade in Germany]; Deutsche Siedelungen auf der Kap?schen Fl?he [a map showing German settlements near Cape Town], Treks (Wanderz?e) der Buren [a historic map of the Afrikaners? 1830s-?40s migration into the South African interior]; and finally, S?-Afrika, Die Grenzgebiete des Damra- und Gross-Nama-Landes [a fascinating overview map of South Africa and South West Africa, depicting the numerous explorers? routes, major settlements, transportation corridors and missionary posts throughout; the locations of German consulates in South Africa; as well as the locations of German commercial concessions and military posts in South West Africa].
 Customising the Map: Stanford?s Important Printed and Manuscript Additions The present example of the map is extraordinary, and perhaps unique, as it features extensive printed and manuscript additions executed in London by Edward Stanford Ltd. Founded in 1853, by Edward Stanford (1827 - 1904), the Geographer to Queen Victoria, the firm was by this time the most important commercial mapmaker in the world, in addition to its own initiatives, it fulfilled numerous commissions for the British crown, as well as real estate, mining and railway companies. Its mapping of Africa was especially important, as Stanford published the first maps of the discoveries of many famous explorers and issued pioneering accurate maps of many key regions and infrastructure projects. In this particular case, the present example of Langhan?s map of Deutsch S?westafrika was ?customised? by Stanford at the behest of a major British investor in the colony, likely someone involved with the South West Africa Company, South West Africa?s leading mining concern. We gather that Stanford modified the present map around 1896, as that time accords to the status of the information showcased by the additions. Stanford?s transformation of Langhans original map grants fascinating insights into high-level map by major stakeholders in the heady days in the wake of the ?Scramble for Africa?. When viewing the main map, one should consider it to have two distinct levels of information. The first level is the underlying original map as printed in Gotha, with the details generally printed in pastel and green hues. The second level is the overlaying information, or the ?customising? added in London by Stanford. These include details overprinted in red (likely by some form of stencil device), namely the boundaries and names of several major private land concessions, while the frontiers of the concessions are outlined in attractive hand colours. Additionally, the routes of two proposed railways lines are delineated and labelled in very neat manuscript, in red pen. Stanford?s additions are as follows: Prominently, in the northern interior of the country, are the two separate concessions of the ?South West Africa Co. (Mining)?, connected by a ?Freehold? territory, while an abutment is labelled as ?Debatable Ground?; these lands are outlined in a bright pink hue. The South West Africa Company Limited (German: S?westafrikanische Gesellschaft) was the most important mining interest in the colony. It was formed in 1892, as a joint Anglo-German venture, headquartered in London, with a representative office in Berlin. The company was given a control over 22,000 square kilometres of land in the Danamara land region, where it endeavoured to exploit the large copper deposits in and around Otavi, labelled on the map as ?Otawi (Kupferminen)?. Additionally, Stanford added the labelling of several new mining settlements sponsored by the company, likewise printed in red. The South West Africa Company found a great bounty of copper in the Otavi region, but faced a severe challenge in transporting the ore to smelter and market. The Company thus dispatched the engineer Mathew Rogers to led teams to survey possible routes for a railway from the coast to Otavi. At the same time, the German authorities were eager to create a railroad to Windhoek, the colonial capital, which lay deep the interior. On the map, in very neat manuscript (that almost looks printed), in red pen, the routes of two proposed railway lines are delineated and labelled. Both lines commence at the port of ?Tsoachaubmund? (Swakopmund), with the lines bifurcating near ?Ebony Mines? to branch into the separate ?Surveyed Railway to Windhoek? and the ?Surveyed Railway to Otavi?. The railway to Windhoek, called the Staatsbahn (State Railway) was commenced in September 1897 and completed from Swakopmund to the capital on June 19, 1902. The proposed line from Swakopmund to Otavi, as mapped by Rogers, was realised by the Otavi Mining and Railway Company (Otavi Minen- und Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft), a joint venture between the South West Africa Company and the Disconto-Gesellschaft Bank of Berlin. Construction on the 497 km route commenced in 1903, and was completed in August 1906. The line was subsequently extended to reach additional copper mines. Also noted on the map are the two territories marked as the ?Hanseatic Co?s Concession? as well as the ?Proposed Extension to Hanseatic Co.?s Concession?, both outlined in a brilliant blue hue. The Hanseatic Company (Hanseatische Landgesellschaft) was an offshoot of the South West Africa Company formed in 1894. With an initial grant of 10,000 square kilometres and additional territories subsequently acquired that lay upon the land of the indigenous Khauas Hottentotts, the company promoted European settlement. In the far northwest of the colony is the large ?Kaoko Land & Mining Co. Concession?, outlined in orange. The Kaoko Land & Mining Company was initially formed in London under name of Hirch & Co., as a mining concern. However, it soon changed its name and by 1898 transitioned to being a land development firm encouraging the settlement of German and Boer immigrants. Also added by Stanford to the map is the ?Southern Herero Boundary?, referring to the southern limit of the territories of the Herero nation, a powerful indigenous society with whom the Germans would have a tragic relationship. Epilogue Deutsch S?westafrika continued to develop, as private enterprises ramped up their mining operations, while as many as 10,000 European settlers established themselves. However, it was not long before the simmering tensions between the Europeans and the indigenous nations came to a head. In what became known as the Herero Wars (1904-8), the Herero peoples of central South West Africa, followed by the Nama peoples of the of the south, rebelled against German encroachment upon their lands. Indeed, European settlement had gone from being a nuisance, to posing a direct threat to their traditional nomadic lifestyles, causing immense hardship. As attempts to reason with the Germans had fallen on deaf ears, the various tribal leaders felt that they had no choice but to rise up. However, the German ?Schutztruppe? (military ?protection? force) brutally crushed the uprisings, driving the Hero and Nama into the wastes of the desert where between 25,000 and 100,000 people (mostly civilians) died of starvation and exposure. The Germans? conduct is today generally recognised as a genocide, and during its era it totally discredited the colonial regime in the eyes of the indigenous peoples of South West Africa. Even some of the British investors in the colony found the Germans? conduct to be excessive and reprehensible. During World War l, in 1915, Britain launched an expedition that easily conquered Deutsch-S?westafrika. The Treaty of Versailles made the colony into a British trust territory, at which point it was effectively annexed by South Africa. South West Africa?s people thus had the great misfortune of being subjected to over 40 years of Apartheid rule, before Namibia gained its independence in 1990. A Note on Rarity The present ?customised? example of Langhans? map of Deutsch-S?westafrika, as augmented with printed and manuscript additions by Edward Stanford, is extraordinary, and perhaps unique. We can trace 2 other examples of the map that are noted as having been re-issued by Stanford, bearing his label and housed within his slipcase, held by the Stanford University Library and the University of South Africa (Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria). However, we have not inspected these examples, so do not know if they feature additions similar to those that appear upon the present map. References: Stanford University Library: G8621 19UU .L3; University of South Africa (Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria): 912.6881; OCLC: 78886824. Cf. Richard Andrew VOELTZ, German Colonialism and the South West Africa Company, 1884-1914 (1988).
Last updated: May 13, 2020