Talk:Cape of Good Hope

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Beefart says: Hey dudes: If you are going to remove captions that you find "weird", please make sure that what you leave in place makes sense. Cape Point is "behind"? Behind what? The horizon? No, I don't think so. It is behind the photographer. It was behind the photographer when he took the picture. It is no longer behind him, coz afterwards he went home. That is what I said. The description was precise. You may not like it but unless you can improve on it, leave well alone.

Yes, technically accurate but I was found it kind of jarring too. There's really no good way to caption what a picture does *not* show; better to confine oneself to describing what's in the picture, and use another for the opposite direction. Stan 14:03, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Name of the colony[edit]

I removed this text for now:

2) sensu lato, it is a name that was applied to the whole of the early European colony at the southern tip of Africa, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1825 a visitor from Swellendam to Europe might have said "I am from the Cape of Good Hope", even though his abode was more than a hundred miles from the remote headland of that name. Many a settler lived at the Cape of Good Hope without ever setting eyes on the Cape of Good Hope!

Now, I used to tell lots of people that I was from the San Francisco Bay, even though (1) I didn't live in the water, and (2) The San Francisco Bay is not an alternative name for Alameda, where I did live. So, can we find some reference to confirm that the Cape of Good Hope was specifically a name for the colony? Because I've only heard it referred to as the Cape Colony. — Johan the Ghost seance 00:41, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

When it became a province of the Union it was officially known as the "Cape of Good Hope Province". That's not exactly evidence, but it does seem to indicate that type of usage, perhaps? I did get the impression in my school history classes that "Cape of Good Hope" was used by people from elsewhere to refer to at least the area of the Cape Peninsula and surroundings, if not the whole colony. I don't have a reference, I'm afraid. - htonl 01:33, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. "Cape of Good Hope Province" makes sense; maybe that should be added to Cape Colony as a synonym (or was it exactly the same thing?). In terms of general usage, it may have been casually used that way — like me saying I'm from the SF Bay — but that doesn't make it an actual title for the colony, as far as I can see. But if we can get a reference for that kind of usage, it would certainly be worth noting in the article. — Johan the Ghost seance 13:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Beefart says: A little learning is a dang'rous thing... I consider the removal of the text to be ill-informed. Why don't you start from first base and read what is written on the scan of the postage stamp? Does it say Union of South Africa? Does it say The Cape Colony? Does it say Denver, Colorado? No, Maude, it says "Cape of Good Hope". Now I wonder why that is? What the official name was is not germane. What was in common usage is germane. According to your logic, there cannot be any Dutch people, because there is no country called Dutchia..... There isn't even a place called Holland. It's official name is The Netherlands. But heaps of people from France go to Holland every week and don't notice the difference... I don't know whether there is a Golden Rule in Wikipedia that says "If it aint broke, don't fix it" but there ought to be... The preceding unsigned comment was added by Captainbeefart (talk • contribs) .

There isn't; in fact, official Wikipedia policy is exactly the opposite, and this is the whole point of Wikipedia. There is, however, a policy called "Content must not violate any copyright and must be verifiable" — you'll see it at the bottom of your edit window. So, as I said above, if you can cite a source that confirms that Cape of Good Hope was an official name for the colony, then go ahead and state that in the article. If you can confirm that the name was in common unofficial usage for the colony, then go ahead and state that in the article. But the stamp is no evidence at all, I'm afraid. Check out this United States of America stamp. Is Golden Gate Bridge another name for the USA?
BTW, you may find the Wikipedia policies and guidelines useful. — Johan the Ghost seance 14:20, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Beefart pastes this after edit conflict:

Beefart adds: You wanted a reference? How about Darwin? Heard of him in California? NO? Look him up. He's at Google?

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. (Darwin's words, not Beefarts)
After the accounts given by Barrow, Carmichael, Basil Hall, and W.B. Clarke of the geology of this district, I shall confine myself to a few observations on the junction of the three principal formations. The fundamental rock is granite (In several places I observed in the granite, small dark-coloured balls, composed of minute scales of black mica in a tough basis. In another place, I found crystals of black schorl radiating from a common centre. Dr. Andrew Smith found, in the interior parts of the country, some beautiful specimens of granite, with silvery mica radiating or rather branching, like moss, from central points. At the Geological Society, there are specimens of granite with crystallised feldspar branching and radiating in like manner.), overlaid by clay-slate: the latter is generally hard, and glossy from containing minute scales of mica; it alternates with, and passes into, beds of slightly crystalline, feldspathic, slaty rock. This clay-slate is remarkable from being in some places (as on the Lion's Rump) decomposed, even to the depth of twenty feet, into a pale-coloured, sandstone-like rock, which has been mistaken, I believe, by some observers, for a separate formation. I was guided by Dr. Andrew Smith to a fine junction at Green Point between the granite and clay-slate: the latter at the distance of a quarter of a mile from the spot, where the granite appears on the beach (though, probably, the granite is much nearer underground), becomes slightly more compact and crystalline. At a less distance, some of the beds of clay-slate are of a homogeneous texture, and obscurely striped with different zones of colour, whilst others are obscurely spotted.
Darwin, Charles 1846. Volcanic islands, p. 80.

I found this in two minutes through Google. It is stating the Bleeding Obvious for anybody who knows anything about the Cape. What's your excuse? Darwin is talking about "The Cape of Good Hope", sensu lato. There is no granite at "The Cape of Good Hope", sensu stricto. (Trust me. I have a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Cape Town and I lived at "The Cape" for over thirty years). And no, I don't have a reference for that :) :) :) )... Green Point is 40km from the GOGH senso stricto. The "country" and "the district" that Darwin refers to in the text is given in the title of the chapter: "The Cape of Good Hope". The "interior parts" (of the Cape of Good Hope) are not specified by Darwin but the next nearest outcrop of granite is at Paarl, which is getting on for a 100km into the interior of the colony from the end of the Cape Peninsula. Cape of Good Hope, senso stricto, it aint...

If is isn't broke, don't fix it. If you haven't bothered to look up a reference, don't rubbish somebody else for the same crime. To quote John Cleese, "It's people like you wot cause unrest". Clean up your act and put the original text back, ...... The preceding unsigned comment was added by Captainbeefart (talk • contribs) .

Hi Beefart, thank for another passionate contribution to this discussion. A few comments:
  1. Please sign your posts.
  2. If you want to be taken seriously (and if you want people to believe in that PhD), please drop the unnecessarily condescending and abusive tone.
  3. I'm not in California (or in the same hemisphere). Check out the past tense above.
  4. I didn't rubbish anybody (or if you think I did, please show me where). What I said was "If you can confirm that the name was in common unofficial usage for the colony, then go ahead and state that in the article".
  5. Please try do deal with this without introducing unnecessary emotion. There's no reason to be upset here. If you re-read my original comment, you'll see that I simply said "can we find some reference to confirm that the Cape of Good Hope was specifically a name for the colony", which seems very reasonable to me.
  6. To provide a reference, you can simply quote a URL; there's no need for a huge chunk of pasted text. Unfortunately, you've left the URL off here. One version I found (there are several on the net) is at [1].
  7. This seems like a very weak way to document that the term Cape of Good Hope was used to refer to the district. Please understand that I am not denying this, but this reference would only be useful to someone who has studied the geology of South Africa. Since a good Wikipedia article should be useful to a wider audience than that, it would be better to find a more direct reference to this usage of the name.
  8. I don't believe that re-inserting the original text is the right way to document this, because that text is not particularly encyclopedic in style. In particular, exclamation marks for "humour" are a bit frowned upon (see a similar discussion at Talk:Berwick-upon-Tweed#Exclamation mark). Since you're obviously quite sure that the usage is correct, however, I've introduced a paraphrased version of it.
  9. It would still be useful to provide a direct reference for this usage. Of course, the article is generally lacking in references, and I intend to work on this as time allows (as I did for Cape Horn, for example). But there's nothing stopping other people from helping. Since you're based there, any references you could provide would obviously be helpful.
Johan the Ghost seance 16:36, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that "Land grants" site seems to cover it — so I've added that as a ref. Now, it would be good to document what area this covered — was it the whole Cape Colony (which seems like a huge area), or just the Cape area, ...? — Johan the Ghost seance 16:57, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

If this link springs back to life, we can put it back in:

Johan the Ghost seance 17:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Good Hope / Cape Point locations[edit]

I'd like to clarify the locations of Good Hope and Cape Point a little. Currently, this article says that Good Hope is "the south-west corner of the Cape Peninsula", at location 34°21′23″S 18°29′15″E / 34.35639°S 18.48750°E / -34.35639; 18.48750. Cape Point says it is 1km east.


That puts the two points 2.33 km (1.45 miles) apart.

Anyone care to check/comment on this? I'm trying to put together a detail map showing the exact layout. — Johan the Ghost seance 13:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Gavin Menzies / 1421[edit]

Please stop adding references to Gavin Menzies' 1421 hypothesis as if it was fact. These theories are totally disputed by mainstream historians; if they are going to be mentioned in the article at all, it needs to be done in a correctly balanced way (ie. mentioning that most people think he's wrong). See:

Johan the Ghost seance 12:06, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Source for 1488 voyage[edit]

Hi, I don't know how to wikify this info, so if anyone else wants to do it then thanks! I have found a citation for the first paragraph ("Thus the rounding of the cape in 1488 was a major milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish a sea route to the Far East.")

Bartolomeu Dias and the discovery of the South-east passage linking the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean (1488)

W.G.L. Randles

Lisboa : Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, 1988.

Série separatas / Centro de Estudos de História e Cartografia Antiga, 0870-6735 ; 188

Selected quotes from the article: "The voyage of Bartolomeu Dias, which established the southern limit of the African continent, thus proving that a navigable passage from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean existed, began with his departure from Lisbon in August 1487 and ended with his return in December 1488"--p.3

"The historian João de Barros was later, in 1552, to set out the new configuration of the African continent contrasting it with the representation given it by Ptolemy. Beyond the region of Agisymba, the southern limit known to Ptolemy, wrote Barros, lies another land unknown in his day, of which the coastline is now well explored. It starts at the Prassum Promontorium in 15 1/2 degrees Lat. S., called by the inhabitants Mozambique. Its western limit, unknown to Ptolemy lies in 50 Lat. S. in the land of the Pangelungos, that is, near the mouth of the Congo. Between these two limits, to the east and to the west, lies the great and famous Cape of Good Hope, for thousands of years unknown to the world."--p.12

Thanks Gemma (

Cape of Good Hope[edit]

Hi im just here to ask but why did bartolomeu name is discovery The Cape Of Good Hope????=\ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

You're probably more likely to get a response to your question at the reference desk.--VectorPotentialTalk 22:58, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Deer deer?[edit]

I don't know whether the reference to deer on the peninsula is correct or not, but unless someone can confirm this with great confidence, I mean to remove it. If someone really can affirm it, then ok, but then please mention that they are not indigenous, and if you have the info, please say something about their origin. JonRichfield (talk) 16:45, 5 July 2013 (UTC)