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MARKS, SAMUEL:

South-African pioneer; born in Sheffield about 1850. He went to Cape Colony about 1868 and commenced trading in the country. He entered the diamond trade, and, gaining the confidence of the diggers, bought claims and worked them. He was joined subsequently by his brothers; working harmoniously together, they amassed an enormous fortune. In 1884 Marks left the diamond-fields for the Transvaal, where he became acquainted with President Kruger, advanced the government considerable sums of money, and acquired numerous farms in the Transvaal. These farms turned out to be extensive and valuable coal-mines, and the Cape government contracted with the firm of Lewis & Marks for the supply of coal for its railway. The interests of the firm in South Africa at the end of the century were almost colossal. It gave great impetus to the trade of the country by its opening up of coal- and silver-mines and by its establishment of glass, jam, and other factories. It furthermore held the monopoly of the manufacture of spirits and possessed a distillery near Pretoria.

Bibliography:
  • Jewish Chronicle, June 28, 1895; March 17, 1899.
J. G. L.
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