South Africa SIG #SouthAfrica RE: smousing and Afrikaaner relationships #southafrica


Thank you Eitan, this is really interesting to show how 'smousing' actually
worked. I have written an article about wholesalers in Kimberley saying how this
was a natural development for Jews >from their experience as a smous. And here he
says clearly that the man in the shop was looking for a travelling salesman.

Is your great uncle Hyman's whole account available to read somewhere? I would
love to read it.

Best wishes

Geraldine Auerbach MBE
T: 020 8907 1905 M: 07971 818 262

-----Original Message-----
From: South Africa SIG <safrica@...>
Sent: 11 December 2019 16:05
To: South Africa SIG <safrica@...>
Subject: [safrica] smousing and Afrikaaner relationships

The following is an extract of an account dictated by my great uncle Hyman Levy
to his son Sam. It is handwritten and some parts { marked so } are illegible. It
gives an insight into the importance of smousing and of the relationships with the
local Afrikaaners - including Paul Kruger's inlaws - and seems to show that
smousing was not negatively regarded.

[Hyman describes his arrival in SA and the various jobs he held in Cape Town and
Johannesburg before going to Rustenberg to smous.]

(Pa.... heard that) a Landsman Mr Ahrenfred was in a shop in Rustenberg and was
looking for a smouser.....

Mr Ahrenfred said Rinderpest was prevalent & oxen were impossible to obtain for
smousing. Donkeys only were available for spanning in. Mr A's clerks father also
wished to accompany Pa on smousing - he also was a Jew. Du Plessis provided the
wagon & donkeys on { ? } and the former {farmer?} drove. Went away for 2/12 &
sold all the goods & returned & in return for goods got some cash but mostly
mealies & corn. Paid 18/- bag mealies & got 30/- bag. Most trade was with Natives
& to a lesser extent with farmers. At Machadasdorp {Rovincross} {bros} had a shop
- then at that time a law was that a smous could only remain for 24 hours.

A paid Pa 15 pounds p.month & food. Then he left for J.Burg - ox wagon - took 3
days. No charge. Farmers knew him well & did not charge him - they treated Jews
very well.

On arrival there stayed in Commissioner Str and bought unframed pictures & stayed
with Theunis Eloff - Paul Krugers son-in-law - & Piet Triechardt - son of
Commandant Triechardt (a school master). This man gave Pa drapery for him to
smous & profits to be shared. Used a wagon with 6 donkeys.

Continued to smous until war broke out. There was credit system & when war broke
out everything was lost. He joined up in the Rustenberg Commando under Casper Du
Plessis - Paul Krugers brother-in-law - who was in charge of mounted commando.

[Hyman then gives an account of taking part in the war on the Boer side.
According to records he was captured by the British in November
1900 and was prisoner of war #17122] .

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