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19th Century Republics in South Africa

Last modified: 2022-10-22 by bruce berry
Keywords: south africa | boer republics |
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Trans-Orange and Trans-Vaal

In 1848 the governor of the Cape Colony annexed the territory across the Orange river in an attempt to control the colony's frontiers, but Britain had little real desire to follow the Voortrekkers (literally "pioneers") into the interior. In 1852 and 1854 independence was granted to the trekkers across the Vaal and Orange rivers, respectively.

In the Trans-Vaal, four main centers each became the headquarters of an independent Republic :

These republics merged between 1857 and 1864 to form the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR).

Other Boer States

Some obscure Boer states may also have had flags:
Winburg Potchefstroom Republic 1844-1845 (renamed Andries Ohrigstad Republic 1845)
Jaume Ollé, 22 Aug 2001

Winburg is in the Free State while Potchefstroom north of the Vaal River (now in North West Province). Winburg was an early Voortrekker settlement, and was the centre of the Boer state as it took shape after the loss of Natal. However, it became part of the Orange River Sovereignty and subsequently the Oranje Vrij Staat, and had no further formal link with Potchefstroom. Potchefstroom, on the other hand, remained a separatist centre until its leaders agreed to merge with Lydenburg and Zoutpansberg to form the ZAR.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001

Andries Ohrigstad Republic 1845-1849 annexed to Transvaal 1849
Jaume Ollé, 22 Aug 2001

The town of Andries Ohrigstad is today in Mpumalanga. It was founded because the Trekkers believed it to be north of the line proclaimed by the British as the limit of the area falling under the Cape of Good Hope Punishment Act, which in fact it wasn't quite. It was the centre of an early Boer state, but was absorbed into the Lydenburg republic. The town was meant to become a major centre, but it was not entirely free of tropical diseases, and has remained small.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001

Campbell 1816-1861, to Orange Free State 1861
Jaume Ollé, 22 Aug 2001

Campbell was also not a Boer state. Campbell was a settlement, but also gave its name to the disputed Campbell Lands. These were Griqua territory falling under the authority of Cornelis Kok, who in 1857 ceded the land to his nephew Adam Kok III. Following the departure of Adam Kok and his followers in 1861 the Campbell Lands were part of an extensive dispute involving the OVS, Nikolaas Waterboer and others. The dispute had not finally been settled when the territory was included in the colony of Griqualand West.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001

Phillipolis 1825-1862, to Orange free State 1862
All of which are quoted in "Regal Chronologies" .
Jaume Ollé, 22 Aug 2001

Philippolis (spelled with two Ps in the middle) was the capital of Adam Kok III and a mission station. It was taken over by Boere after the departure of  Kok's people, but was never a separate Boer state. It has been part of the Free State (OVS, OFS) ever since Kok's departure.
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001