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Trekker Settlement Hopes Dissipate
In December 1845, a British Lieutenant Governor took office in Pietermaritzburg and the disheartened Voortrekkers realized that they had caught up with them once more after all the years of suffering.
Many of the Voortrekkers now pulled their wagons up over the Drakensberg five years after they first descended with such high hopes. However, after the suffering of Natal, most were now imbued with a burning sense of nationalism as they trekked once more to the independent highveld.
Pretorius is Insulted by the British
Pretorius travelled to Grahamstown and attempted to meet with the Governor, Sir Henry Pottinger, who refused to see him personally. Outraged, Pretorius took most of the Voortrekkers who still remained in Natal over the Drakensberg with him.
Sir Harry Smith succeeded Pottinger and rode to the Drakensberg to try and persuade the Voortrekkers to return. He had always been sympathetic to them and was moved when he saw their pitiful condition and heard their grievances. However, their minds were made up and they continued over the Drakensberg.
Potgieter's premonitions about Natal had been proved justified.