Paul Kruger

South African politician and President of the South African Republic (1825–1904)

Paul Kruger (10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa, and President of the South African Republic (or Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900.

Paul Kruger


  • Search in your past for what is good and beautiful. Build your future from there. (From his last letter. As reported in: They Made this Land (Donker, 1981), p. 164)
  • Indien de Lieve Heer ons helpen en zegenen wilde, en wij ons land terug zouden krygen, dat den het volk elk jaar daar zouden komen feestvieren, juist by dezelfde steenhoop, en den Heer onze geloften komen betalen. En deze steenhoop is de eeuwige getuie daarvan.
  • If the Dear Lord would decide to help and bless us, and we would succeed in recovering our country, that the citizens would annually come to celebrate at this exact cairn, honouring our vow to the Lord. And this cairn serves as eternal witness to it.
    • On 13 December 1880, when some 6 000 to 8 000 armed SAR citizens were adjured by Kruger to add stones to a cairn, marking their resolution to restore the Transvaal's independence. The Paardekraal Monument of 1890 still marks the spot, though the cairn was removed by British forces in 1901.
  • Wy syn hier gekomen om feest te vieren en gy weet het. Ons en u doel is niets anders dan om meer en meer te doen verstaan den wil des Heeren en om ons te wyzen op zyne leiding, opdat de ouders aan hunne kinderen en kindskinderen tot in het verste nageslacht kunnen verhalen, wat God aan ons gedaan heeft.
  • We have arrived here to celebrate as you are well aware. Our aim, as your aim, is no less than to acquire a deeper understanding of the will of the Lord, and to apprise ourselves of his guidance, in order that the parents may convey to their children and grandchildren, and thence to our most distant descendants, what God has bestowed on us.
    • At Paardekraal, current Krugersdorp, addressing a crowd of SAR citizens who gathered to celebrate the Paardekraal resolution of a year before, besides the Day of the Vow (13 to 16 December 1881)
  • Through the World I thank the people of the United States most sincerely for their sympathy. Last Monday the Republic gave Great Britain fourty-eight hours' notice within which to give the Republic an assurance that the present dispute would be settled by arbitration or other peaceful means, and that the troops would be removed from the borders. This expires at five to-day. The British Agent has been recalled. War is certain. The Republics are determined, if they must belong to Great Britain, that a price will have to be paid which will stagger humanity. They have, however, full faith. The sun of liberty will arise in South Africa as it arose in North America.
    • Telegram to the New York World on 11 October 1899 at the start of the Second Boer War, as quoted by Louis Creswicke in South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 From the Commencement of the War to the Battle of Colenso, 15th Dec. 1899, Library of Alexandria

Quotes about Kruger

  • I express to you my sincere congratulations that you and your people, without appealing to the help of friendly powers, have succeeded, by your own energetic action against the armed bands which invaded your country as disturbers of the peace, in restoring peace and in maintaining the independence of the country against attack from without.
  • Kruger was the dour, stolid, canny, provincial trader. The only time that his interest ever left the confines of the Transvaal was when he sought an alliance with William Hohenzollern, and that person, I might add, failed him at the critical moment.

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