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Encyclopedia > Orange Free State
Republic of Orange Free State
Oranje Vrystaat

1854 — 1902

Flag of Orange Free State The Orange River Sovereignty (1848-1854) was a short-lived political entity between the Orange and Vaal rivers in southern Africa. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Orange_River_Colony. ... Flag of Orange River Colony The Orange River Colony was a British colony created by the annexation of the Orange Free State in 1900, after the Boer War. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Orange_Free_State. ...


Flag of the Orange Free State Flag of the Orange Free State The flag of the Orange Free State (1854 - 1902) was adopted in 1856. ...

Capital Bloemfontein
Language(s) Afrikaans, English
Religion Dutch Reformed Church
Government Republic
President
 - 1854 - 1855 Josias P. Hoffman
 - 1855 - 1859 Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff
 - 1859 - 1863 Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (also President of the South African Republic from 1857 to 1871).
 - 1864 - 1888. Johannes Henricus Brand
 - 1889 - 1895 Francis William Reitz
President - in exile after May 28, 1900
 - 1896 – 1902 Marthinus Theunis Steyn
 - May 29 1902 – May 31 1902 Christiaan Rudolph de Wet Acting President and signatory of the Peace of Vereeniging
Historical era 19th century
 - Republic founded February 171854
 - Boer victory over Zulus at the Battle of Blood River;
 - At war with Britain (Second Boer War) October 11, 1899
 - Signing of the Peace of Vereeniging at the conclusion of the Second Boer War May 311902

The Republic of the Orange Free State (Afrikaans: Oranje Vrystaat) was an independent country in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, and later a province in South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province. Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, it was established as a free state by Voortrekker settlers, after their departure from the British-dominated Cape Province (the Great Trek), and was annexed by the United Kingdom in 1848 as the Orange River Sovereignty. The British recognised the independence of the Orange Free State on 17th February, 1854 and the country officially became independent on 23rd February, 1854, with the signing of the Orange River Convention. The Transvaal Republic, a sister Boer state, was granted independence two years earlier. Image File history File links Orange_Free_State_map. ... This is a list of national capitals of the world in alphabetical order. ... Bloemfontein at night Coat of arms of Bloemfontein Bloemfontein (IPA: , Afrikaans for fountain of Bloem (bloom) or for flower fountain) is one of South Africas three capital cities, along with Pretoria and Cape Town. ... Look up Wiktionary:Swadesh lists for Afrikaans and Dutch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Dutch Reformed village church of St. ... In a broad definition, a republic is a state or country that is led by people whose political power is based on principles that are not beyond the control of the people of that state or country. ... Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1861-1865) The majority of this article is about heads of states. ... Josias P. Hoffman was the first President of the Orange Free State, from 1854 to 1855. ... Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff (31 January 1808 - 21 April 1881) was the second President of the Orange Free State, from 1855 to 1859. ... Son of Andries Pretorius, Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (17 September 1819 - 19 May 1901) was the first president of the South African Republic, and also compiled the constitution of the Republic. ... Capital Pretoria Created 1857 - Independence 1881 - Boer Rebelion Dissolved 1877 - 1st British Annexation 1900 - Formal Annexation Official language Dutch (Afrikaans more common) This article is about the former country in Africa. ... Johannes Henricus Brand (popularly known as Jan Brand) (December 6, 1823, Cape Town–July 14, 1888, Bloemfontein) was the fourth President of the Orange Free State, from 2 February 1864 to 1888. ... Francis William Reitz (1844-1934) was a Boer politician at the time of the Boer war. ... Martinus (or Marthinus) Theunis Steyn (October 2, 1857 - 1916) was a South African politician, last president of the Orange Free State. ... Christiaan Rudolf de Wet (7 October 1854 - 5 February 1922) was a Boer general and politician. ... The Treaty of Vereeniging was a treaty signed on 31 May 1902 to end the Second Boer War between the Boers and the United Kingdom. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Boer is the Afrikaans (and Dutch) word for farmer which came to denote the descendants of the Afrikaans-speaking migrating farmers of the expanding eastern Cape frontier. ... This article is about the African ethnic group. ... Combatants Voortrekkers Zulu Commanders Andries Pretorius Dambuza Ndlela kaSompisi Strength about 470 men between 10,000 and 20,000 men Casualties 3 wounded 3,000 dead The Battle of Blood River (Afrikaans: Slag van Bloedrivier) was fought on 16 December 1838 on the banks of the Blood River (Bloedrivier) in... Combatants United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand Orange Free State, South African Republic Commanders Frederick Roberts, Lord Kitchener Christiaan Rudolf de Wet, Paul Kruger Casualties 22,000 6,500 Civilians killed [mainly Boers]: 24,000+ The Second Boer War also known as the South African War (outside of South Africa... October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Treaty of Vereeniging was a treaty signed on 31 May 1902 to end the Second Boer War between the Boers and the United Kingdom. ... Combatants United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand Orange Free State, South African Republic Commanders Frederick Roberts, Lord Kitchener Christiaan Rudolf de Wet, Paul Kruger Casualties 22,000 6,500 Civilians killed [mainly Boers]: 24,000+ The Second Boer War also known as the South African War (outside of South Africa... May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining. ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Afrikaans is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa. ... A map of the nine provinces of South Africa South Africa is currently divided into nine provinces. ... For the term free state as it arises in United States history, see: Free state. ... The Orange River is the major river in South Africa. ... The Vaal River is the largest tributary of the Orange River in South Africa. ... Flag of the now defunct Orange Free State Flag of the modern Free State of Bavaria The modern Republic of Ireland was known from 1922-1937 as the Irish Free State. ... The Voortrekker Monument built in 1949. ... Under the Union of South Africa and after that under the Republic of South Africa, the old Cape Colony became the Cape of Good Hope Province (though it was commonly known as the Cape Province). ... Trekboers on the Karoo. ... Annexation (Latin ad, to, and nexus, joining) is the legal incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity (either adjacent or non-contiguous). ... 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Orange River Sovereignty (1848-1854) was a short-lived political entity between the Orange and Vaal rivers in southern Africa. ... (Redirected from 17th February) February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... (Redirected from 23rd February) February 23 is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Bloemfontein Convention was an 1854 meeting of representatives of the Boers and the British. ... The South African Republic (Dutch: Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek), often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, not to be confused with the Republic of South Africa, occupied the area later known as the province of Transvaal, first from 1857 to 1877, and again, after a successful Afrikaner rebellion against British rule... Afrikaners are white South Africans of predominantly Calvinist Dutch, German, French Huguenot, Friesian and Walloon descent who speak Afrikaans. ...


Although the Orange Free State developed into a politically and economically successful republic, it experienced chronic conflict with the British (see the Boer Wars) until it was finally annexed as the Orange River Colony in 1900. It ceased to exist as an independent Boer republic on 31 May 1902 with the signing of the Vereeniging Treaty at the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Boer War. It joined the Union of South Africa in 1910 and later the Republic of South Africa in 1961 as a province along with the Cape, Natal, and the Transvaal -the other conquered Boer republic. In a broad definition, a republic is a state or country that is led by people whose political power is based on principles that are not beyond the control of the people of that state or country. ... Boer guerrillas during the Second Boer War There were two Boer wars, one in 1880-81 and the second from October 11, 1899-1902 both between the British and the settlers of Dutch origin (called Boere, Afrikaners or Voortrekkers) in South Africa that put an end to the two independent... Flag of Orange River Colony The Orange River Colony was a British colony created by the annexation of the Orange Free State in 1900, after the Boer War. ... 1900 (MCM) was an exceptional common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, but a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. ... May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining. ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Treaty of Vereeniging was a treaty signed on 31 May 1902 to end the Second Anglo-Boer War between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State Republic on one side and the United Kingdom on the other. ... Boer guerrillas during the Second Boer War There were two Boer wars, one in 1880-81 and the second from October 11, 1899-1902 both between the British and the settlers of Dutch origin (called Boere, Afrikaners or Voortrekkers) in South Africa that put an end to the two independent... National motto: Ex Unitate Vires (Latin: From Unity, strength} Official languages Afrikaans, Dutch and English. ... 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ...


The republic's name derives partly from the Orange River (just as the Transvaal Republic was named after the Vaal River), but both names were bestowed by the Dutch Protestant settlers in honour of the Dutch ruling family, the House of Orange. The Orange River is the major river in South Africa. ... The South African Republic (Dutch: Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek), often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, not to be confused with the Republic of South Africa, occupied the area later known as the province of Transvaal, first from 1857 to 1877, and again, after a successful Afrikaner rebellion against British rule... The Vaal River is the largest tributary of the Orange River in South Africa. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... The House of Orange-Nassau (in Dutch: Huis van Oranje-Nassau), a branch of the House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands since William I of Orange (also known as William the Silent and Father of the Fatherland) organized the Dutch revolt...

Contents

History

The country north of the Orange river was first visited by Europeans towards the close of the 18th century. At that time it was somewhat thinly peopled. The majority of the inhabitants appear to have been members of the Bechuana, but in the valleys of the - Orange and Vaal were Korannas and other Hottentots, and in the Drakensberg and on the western border lived numbers of Bushmen. Early in the 19th century Griquas established themselves north of the Orange. Between 1817 and 1831, the country was devastated by the chief Mosilikatze and his Zulus, and large areas were depopulated. Up to this time the few Europeans who had crossed the Orange had been chiefly hunters or missionaries. The Batswana (singular Motswana) in Southern Africa speak the Tswana language which is also known as Setswana. ... This article is about the African ethnic group. ...


Beor

In 1824 Dutch farmers from Cape Colony seeking pasture for their flocks settled in the country. They were followed in 1836 by the first parties of the Great Trek. These emigrants left Cape Colony from various motives, but all were animated by the desire to escape from British sovereignty. The leader of the first large party of emigrants was A. H. Potgieter, who concluded an agreement with Makwana, the chief of the Bataung tribe of Bechuanas, ceding to the farmers the country between the Vet and Vaal rivers. The emigrants soon came into collision with Mosilikatze, raiding parties of Zulus attacking Boer hunters who had crossed the Vaal without seeking permission from that chieftain. Reprisals followed, and in November 1837 Mosilikatze was decisively defeated by the Boers and thereupon fled northward. Official language English and Dutch1 Capital Cape Town Largest City Cape Town Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 1st 569,020 km² (1910) Negligible Population  - Total (1911)  - Density Ranked 1st 2,564,965 4. ... Andries Hendrik Potgieter (1792 - 1852) was a South African Boer political figure. ... Bataung is one of the three main Basotho tribes, or clans, who speak Sesotho, the other two being Batlokwa and Bakoena. ...


In the meantime another party of emigrants had settled at Thaba'nchu, where the Wesleyans had a mission station for the Barolong. The emigrants were treated with great kindness by Moroko, the chief of that tribe, and with the Barolong the Boers maintained uniformly friendly relations. In December 1836 the emigrants beyond the Orange drew up in general assembly an elementary republican form of government. After the defeat of Mosilikatze the town of Winburg (so named by the Boers in commemoration of their victory) was founded, a volksraad elected, and Piet Retief, one of the ablest of the voortrckkers, chosen "governor and commandant-general." The emigrants already numbered some 500 men, besides women and children and many servants. Dissensions speedily arose among the emigrants, whose numbers were constantly added to, and Retief, Potgieter and other leaders crossed the Drakensberg and entered Natal. Those that remained were divided into several parties intensely jealous of one another. The Volksraad was the parliament of the former South African Republic (ZAR) (also sometimes referred to as the Transvaal Republic), which existed from 1857 to 1902 in part of what is now the Republic of South Africa. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


British Rule

Meanwhile, a new power had arisen along the upper Orange and in the valley of the Caledon. Moshesh, a Bechuana chief of high descent, had welded together a number of scattered and broken clans which had sought refuge in that mountainous region, and had formed of them the Basuto nation. In 1833 he had welcomed as workers among his people a band of French Protestant missionaries, and as the Boer immigrants began to settle in his neighborhood he decided to seek support from the British at the Cape. At that time the British government was not prepared to exercise effective control over the emigrants. Acting upon the advice of Dr John Philip, the superintendent of the London Missionary Society's stations in South Africa, a treaty was concluded in 1843 with Moshesh, placing him under British protection. A similar treaty was made with the Griqua chief, Adam Kok III. By these treaties, which recognized native sovereignty over large areas on which Boer farmers were settled, it was sought to keep a check on the emigrants and to protect both the natives and Cape Colony. Their effect was to precipitate collisions between all three parties. The Basotho (Sotho-speaking people) have lived in southern Africa since around the 15th century. ... Adam Kok III (16 October 1811 - 1875) was a leader of the Griqua people in South Africa. ...


The year in which the treaty with Moshesh was made several large parties of Boers recrossed the Drakensberg into the country north of the Orange, refusing to remain in Natal when it became a British colony. During their stay there they had inflicted a severe defeat on the Zulus under Dingaan (December 1838), an event which, following on the flight of Mosilikatze, greatly strengthened the position of Moshesh, whose power became a menace to that of the emigrant farmers. Trouble first arose, however, between the Boers and the Griquas in the Philippolis district. Many of the white farmers in this district, unlike their fellows dwelling farther north, were willing to accept British rule, and this fact induced Mr Justice Menzies, one of the judges of Cape Colony then on circuit at Colesberg, to cross the Orange and proclaim (October 1842) the country British territory, a proclamation disallowed by the governor, Sir George Napier, who, nevertheless, maintained that the emigrant farmers were still British subjects. It was after this episode that the treaties with Adam Kok and Moshesh were negotiated.


The treaties gave great offence to the Boers, who refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of the native chiefs. The majority of the white farmers in Kok's territory sent a deputation to the British commissioner in Natal, Henry Cloete, asking for equal treatment with the Griquas, and expressing the desire to come on such terms, under British protection. Shortly afterwards hostilities between the farmers and the Griquas broke out. British troops were moved up to support the Griquas, and after a skirmish at Zwartkopjes (May 2, 1845) a new arrangement was made between Kok and Sir Peregrine Maitland, then governor of Cape Colony, virtually placing the administration of his territory in the hands of a British resident, a post filled in 1846 by Captain H. D. Warden. The place chosen by Captain (afterwards Major) Warden as the seat of his court was known as Bloemfontein, and it subsequently became the capital of the whole country.


Beor Governance

The volksraad at Winburg during this period continued to claim jurisdiction over the Boers living between the Orange and the Vaal and was in federation with the volksraad at Potchefstroom, which made a similar claim upon the Great Boers living north of the Vaal. In 1846 Major Warden occupied Winburg for a short time, and the relations between the Boers and the British were in a continual state of tension. Many of the farmers deserted Winburg for the Transvaal. Sir Harry Smith became governor of the Cape at the end of 1847. He recognized the failure of the attempt to govern on the lines of the treaties with the Griquas and Basutos, and on the 3rd of February 1848 he issued a proclamation declaring British sovereignty over the country between the Orange and the Vaal eastward to the Drakensberg. The justness of Sir Harry Smith's measures and his popularity among the Boers gained for his policy considerable support, but the republican party, at whose head was Andries Pretorius, did not submit without a struggle. They were, however, defeated by Sir Harry Smith in an engagement at Boomplaats (August 29, 1848). Thereupon Pretorius, with those most bitterly opposed to British rule, retreated across the Vaal. Andries Pretorius Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (November 27, 1798 – 23 July 1853) was a leader of the Boers who was instrumental in the creation of the Transvaal Republic, as well as the earlier but short-lived Natalia Republic in present-day South Africa. ...


Orange River Sovereignty

In March 1849 Major Warden was succeeded at Bloemfontein as civil commissioner by Mr C. U. Stuart, but he remained British resident until July 1852. A nominated legislative council was created, a high court established and other steps taken for the orderly government of the country, which was officially styled the Orange River Sovereignty. In October 1849 Moshesh was induced to sign a new arrangement considerably curtailing the boundaries of the Basuto reserve. The frontier towards the Sovereignty was thereafter known as the Warden line. A little later the reserves of other chieftains were precisely defined. The British Resident had, however, no force sufficient to maintain his authority, and Moshesh and all the neighboring clans became involved in hostilities with one another and with the europeans. In 1851 Moshesh joined the republican party in the Sovereignty in an invitation to Pretorius to recross the Vaal. The intervention of Pretorius resulted in the Sand River Convention of 1852, which acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal but left the status of the Sovereignty untouched. The British government (the first Russell administration), which had reluctantly agreed to the annexation of the country, had, however, already repented its decision and had resolved to abandon the Sovereignty. Lord Grey (the 3rd earl), secretary of state for the colonies, in a dispatch to Sir Harry Smith dated the 21st of October 1851, declared, "The ultimate abandonment of the Orange Sovereignty should be a settled point in our policy." A meeting of representatives of all European inhabitants of the Sovereignty, elected on manhood suffrage, held at Bloemfontein in June 1852, nevertheless declared in favor of the retention of British rule. At the close of that year a settlement was at length concluded with Moshesh, which left, perhaps, that chief in a stronger position than he had hitherto been. There had been ministerial changes in England and the ministry then in power - that of Lord Aberdeen - adhered to the determination to withdraw from the Sovereignty. Sir George Russell Clerk was sent out in 1853 as special commissioner "for the settling and adjusting of the affairs" of the Sovereignty, and in August of that year he summoned a meeting of delegates to determine upon a form of self-governrnent. At that time there were some 15 000 europeans in the country, many of them recent emigrants from Cape Colony. There were among them numbers of farmers and tradesmen of British blood. The majority of the whites still wished for the continuance of British rule provided that it was effective and the country guarded against its enemies. The representations of their delegates, who drew up a proposed constitution retaining British control, were unavailing. Sir George Clerk announced that, as the elected delegates were unwilling to take steps to form an independent government, he would enter into negotiations with other persons. " And then," writes Dr Theal, "was seen forced the strange spectacle of an English commissioner addressing men who wished to be free of British control as the friendly and well-disposed inhabitants, while for those who desired to remain British subjects and who claimed that protection to which they believed themselves entitled he had no sympathizing word." While the elected delegates sent two members to England to try and induce the government to alter their decision Sir George Clerk speedily came to terms with a committee formed by the republican party and presided over by Mr J. H. Hoffman. Even before this committee met a royal proclamation had been signed (January 30, 1854) "abandoning and renouncing all dominion" in the Sovereignty. The Orange River Sovereignty (1848-1854) was a short-lived political entity between the Orange and Vaal rivers in southern Africa. ... Flag of Transvaal For the Russian theme park, see Transvaal Park. ...


Orange Free State

A convention recognizing the independence of the country was signed at Bloemfontein on the 23rd of February by Sir George Clerk and the republican committee, and in March the Boer government assumed office and the republican flag was hoisted. Five days later the representatives of the elected delegates had an interview in London with the colonial secretary, the duke of Newcastle, who informed them that it was now too late to discuss the question of the retention of British rule. The colonial secretary added that it was impossible for England to supply troops to constantly advancing outposts, "especially as Cape Town and the port of Table Bay were all she really required in South Africa." In withdrawing from the Sovereignty the British government declared that it had "no alliance with any native chief or tribes to the northward of the Orange River with the exception of the Griqua chief Captain Adam Kok." Kok was not formidable in a military sense, nor could he prevent individual Griquas from alienating their lands. Eventually, in 1861, he sold his sovereign rights to the Free State for 4 000 and removed with his followers to the district now known as Griqualand East. (F. R. C.)


On the abandonment of British rule representatives of the people were elected and met at Bloemfontein on the 28th of March 1854, and between that date and the 18th of April were engaged in framing a constitution. The country was declared a republic and named the Orange Free State. All persons of European blood possessing a six months' residential qualification were to be granted full burgher rights. The sole legislative authority was vested in a single popularly elected chamber styled the volksraad. Executive authority was entrusted to a president elected by the burghers from a list submitted by the volksraad. The president was to be assisted by an executive council, was to hold office for five years and was eligible for re-election. The constitution was subsequently modified but remained of a liberal. character. A residence of five years in the country was required before aliens could become naturalized. The first president was Mr Hoffman, but he was accused of being too complaisant towards Moshesh and resigned, being succeeded in 1855 by Mr J. N. Boshof, one of the voortrekkers, who had previously taken an active part in the affairs of Natal.


Conflict with Transvaal

Distracted among themselves, with the formidable Basuto power on their southern and eastern flank, the troubles of the infant state were speedily added to by the action of the Transvaal Boers. Marthinus Pretorius, who had succeeded to his father's position as commandant general of Potchefstroom, wished to bring about a confederation between the two Boer states. Peaceful overtures from Pretorius were declined, and some of his partisans in the Free State were accused of treason (February 1857). Thereupon Pretorius, aided by Paul Kruger, conducted a raid into the Free State territory. On learning of the invasion President Boshof proclaimed martial law throughout the country. The majority of the burghers rallied to his support, and on the 25th of May the two opposing forces faced one another on the banks of the Rhenoster. President Boshof not only got together some 800 men within the Free State, but he received offers of support from Commandant Schoeman, the Transvaal leader in the Zoutpansberg district and from Commandant Joubert of Lydenburg. Pretorius and Kruger, realizing that they would have to sustain attack from both north and south, abandoned their enterprise. Their force, too, only amounted to some three hundred. Kruger came to Boshof's camp with a flag of truce, the "army" of Pretorius returned north and on the 2nd of June a treaty of peace was signed, each state acknowledging the absolute independence of the other. Paul Kruger Stephanus Johannes Paul Kruger (10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904), fondly known as Oom Paul (Afrikaans for Uncle Paul) was a prominent Boer resistance leader against British rule and president of the Transvaal Republic in South Africa. ...


The conduct of Pretorius was stigmatized as "blameworthy." Several of the malcontents in the Free State who had joined Pretorius permanently settled in the Transvaal, and other Free Staters who had been guilty of high treason were arrested and punished. This experience did not, however, heal the party strife within the Free State. In consequence of the dissensions among the burghers President Boshof tendered his resignation in February 1858, but was for a time induced to remain in office. The difficulties of the state were at that time (1858) so great that the volksraad in December of that year passed a resolution in favor of confederation with the Cape Colony. This proposition received the strong support of Sir George Grey, then governor of Cape Colony, but his view did not commend itself to the British government, and was not adopted.


In the same year the disputes between the Basutos and the Boers culminated in open war. Both parties laid claims to land beyond the Warden line, and each party had taken possession of what it could, the Basutos being also expert cattle-lifters. In the war the advantage rested with the Basutos; thereupon the Free State appealed to Sir George Grey, who induced Moshesh to come to terms. On the 15th of October 1858 a treaty was signed defining anew the boundary. The peace was nominal only, while the burghers were also involved in disputes with other tribes. Mr. Boshof again tendered his resignation (February 1859) and retired to Natal. Many of the burghers would have at this time welcomed union with the Transvaal, but learning from Sir George Grey that such a union would nullify the conventions of 1852 and 1854 and necessitate the reconsideration of Great Britain's policy towards the native tribes north of the Orange and Vaal rivers, the project dropped. Commandant Pretorius was, however, elected president in place of Mr Boshof. Though unable to effect a durable peace with the Basutos, or to realize his ambition for the creation of one powerful Boer republic, Pretorius saw the Free State begin to grow in strength. The fertile district of Bethulie as well as Adam Kok's territory was acquired, and there was a considerable increase in the white population. The burghers generally, however, had not learned the need of discipline, of confidence in their elected rulers, or that to carry on a government taxes must be levied. Wearied like Mr Boshof of a thankless task, and more interested in affairs in the Transvaal than in those of the Free State, Pretorius resigned the presidency in 1863, and after an interval of seven months Mr (afterwards Sir) John Henry Brand, an advocate at the Cape bar, was elected president. He assumed office in February 1864. His election proved a turning-point in the history of the country, which, under his beneficent and tactful guidance, became peaceful and prosperous and, in some respects, a model state. But before peace could be established an end had to be made of the difficulties with the Basutos. Moshesh continued to menace the Free State border. Attempts at accommodation made by the governor of Cape Colony (Sir Philip Wodehouse) failed, and war between the Free State and Moshesh was renewed in 1865. The Boers gained considerable successes, and this induced Moshesh to sue for peace. The terms exacted were, however, too harsh for a nation yet unbroken to accept permanently. A treaty was signed at Thaba Bosigo in April 1866, but war again broke out in 1867, and the Free State attracted to its side a large number of adventurers from all parts of South Africa. The burghers thus reinforced gained at length a decisive victory over their great antagonist, every stronghold in Basutoland save Thaba Bosigo being stormed. Moshesh now turned in earnest to Sir Philip Wodehouse for preservation. His prayer was heeded, and in 1868 he and his country were taken under British protection. Thus the thirty years' strife between the Basutos and the Boers came to an end. The intervention of the governor of Cape Colony led to the of the conclusion of the treaty of Aliwal North (Feb.12,1869), which defined the borders between the Orange Free State and Basutoland. The country lying to the north of the Orange river and west of the Caledon, formerly a part of Basutoland, was ceded to the Free State (see Basutoland). This country, some hundred miles long and nearly thirty wide, is a fertile stretch of agricultural land on the lower slopes of the Maluti mountains. It lies at an altitude of nearly 6000 ft., and is well watered by the Caledon and its tributaries. It has ever since been known as the Conquered Territory, and it forms to-day one of the richest corn-growing districts in South Africa. A year after the addition of the Conquered Territory to the state another boundary dispute was settled by the arbitration of Mr Keate, lieutenant-governor of Natal. By the Sand River Convention, independence had been granted to the Boers living " north of the Vaal," and the dispute turned on the question as to what stream constituted the true upper course of that river. Mr Keate decided (Feb. 19, 1870) against the Free State view and fixed the Klip river as the dividing line, the Transvaal thus securing the Wakkerstroom and adjacent districts.


The Basutoland difficulties were no sooner arranged than the Free Staters found themselves confronted with a serious difficulty on their western border. In the years1870-1871a Discovery large number of diggers had settled on the diamond of the fields near the junction of the Vaal and Orange rivers, which were situated in part on land claimed by the Fi Griqua chief Nicholas Waterboer and by the Free State.


The Free State established a temporary government over the diamond fields, but the administration of this body was satisfactory neither to the Free State nor to the diggers. At this juncture Waterboer offered to place the territory under the administration of Queen Victoria. The offer was accepted, and on the 27th of October 1871 the district, together with some adjacent territory to which the Transvaal had laid claim, was proclaimed, under the name of Griqualand West, British territory. Waterboer's claims were based on the treaty concluded by his father with the British in 1834, and on various arrangements with the Kok chiefs; the Free State based its claim on its purchase of Adam Kok's sovereign rights and on long occupation. The difference between proprietorship and sovereignty was confused or ignored. That Waterboer exercised no authority in the disputed district was admitted. When the British annexation took place a party in the volksraad wished to go to war with Britain, but the wiser counsels of President Brand prevailed. The Free State, however, did not abandon its claims. The matter involved no little irritation between the parties concerned until July 1876. It was then disposed of by the 4th earl of Carnarvon, at that time secretary of state for the colonies, who granted to the Free State fgo,000 " in full satisfaction of all claims which it considers it may possess to Griqualand West." Lord Carnarvon declined to entertain the proposal made by Mr Brand that the territory should be given up by Great Britain. One thing at least is certain with regard to the diamond fields - they were the means of restoring the credit and prosperity of the Free State. In the opinion, moreover, of Dr Theal, who has written the history of the Boer Republics and has been a consistent supporter of the Boers, the annexation of Griqualand West was probably in the best interests of the Free State. " There was," he states, " no alternative from British sovereignty other than an independent diamond field republic." At this time, largely owing to the exhausting struggle with the Basutos, the Free State Boers, like their Transvaal neighbours, had drifted into financial straits. A paper currency had been instituted, and the notes - currently known as " bluebacks "- soon dropped to less than half their nominal value. Commerce was largely carried on by barter, and many cases of bankruptcy occurred in the state. But as British annexation in 1877 saved the Transvaal from bankruptcy, so did the influx of British and other immigrants to the diamond fields, in the early 'seventies, restore public credit and individual prosperity to the Boers of the Free State. The diamond fields offered a ready market for stock and other agricultural produce. Money flowed into the pockets of the farmers. Public credit was restored. " Bluebacks " recovered par value, and were called in and redeemed by the government. Valuable diamond mines were also discovered within the Free State, of which the one at Jagersfontein is the richest. Capital from Kimberley and London was soon provided with which to work them.


The relations between the British and the Free State, after the question of the boundary was once settled, remained perfectly amicable down to the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899. From 1870 onward the history of the state was one of quiet, steady progress. At the time of the first annexation of the Transvaal the Free State declined Lord Carnarvon's invitation to federate with the other South African communities. In 1880, when a rising of the Boers in the Transvaal was threatening, President Brand showed every desire to avert the conflict. He suggested that Sir Henry de Villiers, Chief Justice of Cape Colony, should be sent into the Transvaal to endeavour to gauge the true state of affairs in that country. This suggestion was not acted upon, but when war broke out in the Transvaal Brand declined to take any part in the struggle. In spite of the neutral attitude taken by their government a number of the Free State Boers, living in the northern part of the country, went to the Transvaal and joined their brethren then in arms against the British. This fact was not allowed to influence the friendly relations between the Free State and Great Britain. In 1888 Sir John Brand died. In him the Boers, not only in the Free State but in the whole of South Africa, lost one of the most enlightened and most upright rulers and leaders they have ever had. He realized the disinterested aims pursued by the British government, without always approving its methods. Though he had thrown the weight of his influence against Lord Carnarvon's federation scheme Brand disapproved racial rivalries.


During the period of Brand's presidency a great change, both political and economic, had come over South Africa. The renewal of the policy of British expansion had been answered by the formation of the Afrikander Bond, which represented the racial aspirations of the Dutch-speaking people, and had active branches in the Free State. This alteration in the political outlook was accompanied, and in part occasioned, by economic changes of great significance. The development of the diamond mines and of the gold and coal industries - of which Brand saw the beginning - had far-reaching consequences, bringing the Boer republics into vital contact with the new industrial era. The Free Staters, under Brand's rule, had shown considerable ability to adapt their policy to meet the altered situation. In 1889 an agreement was come to between the Free State and the Cape Colony government, whereby the latter were empowered to extend, at their own cost, their railway system to Bloemfontein. The Free State retained the right to purchase this extension at cost price, a right they exercised after the Jameson Raid. Dutch ( ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 22 million people, mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium. ...


Having accepted the assistance of the Cape government in constructing its railway, the state also in 1889 entered into a Customs Union Convention with them. The convention was the outcome of a conference held at Cape Town in 1888, at which delegates from Natal, the Free State and the Colony attended. Natal at this time had not seen its way to entering the Customs Union, but did so at a later date.


In January 1889 Mr F. W. Reitz was elected president of the Free State. His accession to the presidency marked the beginning of a new and disastrous line of policy in the external affairs of the country. Mr Reitz had no sooner got into office than a meeting was arranged with Mr Kruger, president of the Transvaal, at which various terms of an agreement dealing with the railways, terms of a treaty of amity and commerce and what was called a political treaty, were discussed and decided upon. The political treaty referred in general terms to a federal union between the Transvaal and the Free State, and bound each of them to help the other, whenever the independence of either should be assailed or threatened from without, unless the state so called upon for assistance should be able to show the injustice of the cause of quarrel in which the other state had engaged. While thus committed to a dangerous alliance with its northern neighbor no change was made in internal administration. The Free State, in fact, from its geographical position reaped the benefits without incurring the anxieties consequent on the settlement of a large uitlander population on the Rand. The state, however, became increasingly identified with the reactionary party in the Transvaal. In 1895 the volksraad passed a resolution, in which they declared their readiness to entertain a proposition from the Transvaal in favour of some form of federal union. In the same year Mr Reitz retired from the presidency of the Free State, and was succeeded in February 1896 by M. T. Steyn (q.v.), a judge of the High Court. In 1896 President Steyn visited Pretoria, where he received an ovation as the probable future president of the two Republics. A further offensive and defensive alliance between the two Republics was then entered into, under which the Free State took up arms on the outbreak of hostilities with the Transvaal 1899.


In 1897 President Kruger, bent on still further cementing the union with the Free State, visited Bloemfontein. It was on this occasion that President Kruger, referring to the London Convention, spoke of Queen Victoria as a kwaaje Vrouw, an expression which caused a good deal of offence in England at the time, but which, to any one familiar with the homely phraseology of the Boers, obviously was not meant by President Kruger as insulting.


In order to understand the attitude which the Free State took at this time in relation to the Transvaal, it is necessary to review the history of Mr Reitz from an earlier date. Previously to his becoming president of the Free State he had acted as its Chief Justice and still earlier in life had practised as an advocate in Cape Colony. In 1881 Mr Reitz had, in conjunction with Mr Steyn, come under the influence of a clever German named Borckenhagen, the editor of the Bloemfontein Express. These three men were principally responsible for the formation of the Afrikander Bond (see Cape Colony: History). From 1881 onwards they cherished the idea of an independent South Africa. Brand had been far too sagacious to be led away by this pseudo-nationalist dream, and did his utmost to discountenance the Bond. At the same time his policy was guided by a sincere patriotism, which looked to the true prosperity of the Free State as well as to that of the whole of South Africa. From his death may be dated the disastrous line of policy which led to the extinction of the state as. a republic. The one prominent member of the volksraad who, inherited the traditions and enlightened views of President Brand was Mr (Afterwards Sir) John G. Fraser. Mr Fraser, who:was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency in 1896, was the son of a Presbyterian minister, who had acted as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church since the middle of the century. He grew up in the country of his father's adoption,. and he consistently warned the Free State of the inevitable.


Postage stamps

The republic began to issue postage stamps in 1868, and continued until 1897. The sole design used was an orange tree, with the inscription "Oranje Vrij Staat" in the margin. The stamps were typographed by De La Rue and Company, and came in denominations from one penny to five shillings, in various colours. Periodic shortages forced the use of overprints, in 1877, 1881, 1882, 1888, 1890, 1892, 1896, and 1897. The stamps of the republic are generally common today, but some of the overprints are scarce and are in the US$200 range. Many kinds of overprint errors are known (inverted, double, etc), and some of them command high prices. A selection of Hong Kong postage stamps A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... De La Rue is a British commercial printer and papermaker. ... A variety of low value coins, including an Irish 2p piece and many U.S. pennies. ... The shilling (or informally: bob) was an English coin first issued in 1548 for Henry VIII, although arguably the testoon issued about 1487 for Henry VII was the first English shilling. ... An overprint is the addition of text (and sometimes graphics) to the face of a postage stamp after it has been printed. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) is a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ...


See also

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Capital Pretoria Created 1857 - Independence 1881 - Boer Rebelion Dissolved 1877 - 1st British Annexation 1900 - Formal Annexation Official language Dutch (Afrikaans more common) This article is about the former country in Africa. ... Map of the Natalia Republic. ... Volkstaat (Afrikaans for Peoples state) is a proposal for the establishment of an independent state or autonomous homeland in South Africa for the Afrikaner minority to obtain self determination. ...

External links


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