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BAINES IN THE EASTERN CAPE AND THE EIGHTH FRONTIER WAR OF 1851-52
Baines arrived in South Africa in 1842 and settled in Cape Town until 1848, moving up to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, which became his base until 1853 and from where he set out on a series of expeditions into the interior, with Liddle to the Orange River in 1848, on his solitary journeys in the Eastern Cape in 1849 and with McCabe on the Vaal River Expedition in 1850-51 before joining Colonel Somerset and the British Forces in June 1851. Somerset 'asked the artist to join his staff to sketch 'the localities and events of the war' in return for rations for himself and his horse... [Baines] accompanied the army in the field until January 1852 when he realised that far from covering his costs he was actually losing money. Involvement in this war gave Baines another new dimension: that of official war artist, probably the first in southern Africa. He spent his time with the soldiers, sharing their daily camp routine and joining their regular scouting patrols in the Amathole Mountains.' (J. Carruthers and M. Arnold, The Life and Work of Thomas Baines, Vlaeberg, 1995, p.65).