Port Elizabeth of Yore: J.C. Chase Recalls the Town’s Development to 1848

Like his father-in-law, Frederick Korsten, John Centlivres Chase also had a profound influence on the development of the Eastern Province, and especially Port Elizabeth.  

From the formal establishment of Port Elizabeth in 1820 by Sir Rufane Donkin, the nascent town experienced unprecedented growth for the following 50 years. For the first half century after 1820, this development is sparsely documented due to the paucity of official documents or even a newspaper. 

The 1848 edition of the Eastern Province Directory and Almanac carried an article entitled “Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth” by J.C. Chase. Clearly enamoured with its progress and prospects, he elaborates and enthuses over the development of the late starter, Port Elizabeth. This article represents one of the few original sources of information about those formative years. The article forms the basis of this chapter and is largely verbatim.

Main picture: Paddle Steamer Phoenix

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