Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Orange River Free State

Orange River Free State, The, is bounded on the N. by the South African Republic, on the E. by Natal and Basutoland, and.on the S. and W. by Cape Colony and Griqualand West. Its estimated area is upwards of 41,000 square miles. The territory, then in the possession of Dutch immigrants, was annexed by Great Britain in 1848, but six years later it was given up to the Boers, by whom the present republic was organised. The country is a large, well-watered plateau, with hills called "kopjes" standing alone in some districts. There is abundance of good pasture; and, besides horses, goats, and cattle, ostriches are kept. Cereals are grown in the district bordering on Natal; and there are coal mines in the north and diamond-mines in the south-west. Diamonds, wool, ostrich-feathers, and cattle are the chief exports. The government consists of a President (elected every sixth year) and an Executive Council of six, of whom three, including the President, are official, and a Legislative Council elected by manhood suffrage. The finances of the young state are in a flourishing condition. Bloemfontein is the capital.