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A Dutch term meaning “farmer.” given to the descendants of the Holland emigrants to the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. They gradually extended civilization over a wide territory. The British acquired the settlement in 1796 as a fruit of war. In 1803 it was restored to the Dutch, but in 1806 was again seized by the British. In the Congress of Vienna (1814) Holland formally ceded it to Great Britain. This settlement became known as Cape Colony. A large majority of the Boers moved north in 1835-36, a number settling in the region which afterwards became known as the Orange Free State, and the remainder in the present colony of Natal. The settlers in the latter region stayed there until Great Britain took possession of it in 1843, when they removed farther north, and organized the South African, or, as it has been generally called, the Transvaal, Republic. In 1877 the South African Republic was annexed by the British government; in 1880 the Boers there rose in revolt: in 1881 a peace was signed giving the Boers limited self-government: and in 1884 another convention recognized the independence of the republic, subject to a British suzerainty restricted to the control of foreign affairs. The war of 1899-1901 between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State on the one hand. and Great Britain on the other, resulted from the refusal of the Boers to accede to a number of British claims which the Boers held to be without justification. In this war the Boer military leaders, Joubert, Cronje, Botha, and De Wet displayed a skill in manoeuvring that won the admiration even of their opponents. The death of Joubert and the surrender of Cronje were the severest shocks to the Boer cause up to the close of 1900. During the summer of 1900, General Lord Roberts. British commander-in-chief in South Africa, formally declared [374] the annexation of the two republics, giving them the names of the Vaal River and Orange River colonies. About the same time a joint commission was appointed by the presidents of the two republics to visit the countries of Europe and also the United States for the purpose of securing intervention. In the United States they were received by President McKinley, wholly in the capacity of private visitors; were given a hearty welcome in several large cities; and had a subscription started to aid their cause.

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