Frederick Korsten: Founder of Eastern Province Commerce

Of all the early inhabitants of the nascent Port Elizabeth, Frederick Korsten deserves to be remembered, yet there is no tribute to him. The most fitting monument would have been the preservation of his former magnificent home but even that now lies in ruin. 

Even a comprehensive biography would have salved our conscience yet even that road to salvation has been rejected. John Centlivres did make an attempt in 1868, yet in length it is little more than that of a eulogy. What he fails to mention or even allude to, is that Frederick Korsten was his father-in-law, nor does he provide an insight into what made him tick. 

Such disdain for history reflects poorly on the denizens of Algoa Bay.

Main picture: Frederick Korsten

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: John Centlivres Chase & Early PE

Often spoken of as “the father of the Eastern Cape,” friend and son-in-law of Frederik Korsten, one of Baillie’s Party aboard the Chapman, M.L.A, John Centlivres Chase was one of the prominent and influential settlers of the infant town. 

Despite setting foot initially at Port Elizabeth, Chase’s odyssey would not commence there, but its terminus and swansong would be. 

Main picture: John Centlivres Chase

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