Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff, b3c1d1 (1808 - 1881)

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Nicknames: "Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff - 2nd President OFS"
Place of Burial: Pietermaritzburg, Indlovu DC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Birthplace: Kochmanskloof, South Africa
Death: Died in Pietermaritzburg, Indlovu DC, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Occupation: President of the Freestate
Managed by: Marina Breed (Badenhorst)
Last Updated:

About Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff, b3c1d1

Boshof, Jacobus Nicolaas, president van die OranjeVrystaat. 1808: Op 31 Januarie gebore op Agter-Kogmanskloof, Swellendam. Ontvang sy opleiding onder leiding van dr. Robertson. 1824: Aangestel as klerk in die landdroskantoor op Graaff-Reinet. 1838: Besoek die Voortrekkers in Natal saam met kmdt. Gideon Joubert; werp sy lot met hulle in; kry opdrag om instruksies vir Natalse amptcnare op te stel en word op 11 Julie as voorsitter van die volksvergadering in Natal gekies. 1839: Verkies as voorsitter van die Volksraad. 1846-54: Beklee die dubbele amp van griffier en weesheer van die Hooggeregshof van Natal. 1855: Verkies as president van die Oranjc-Vrystaat. 1859: Bedank as president. 1862: Word lid van die Wetgewende Raad van Natal vir Kliprivier. 1873: Tree uit die politieke lewe. 1881: Op 21 April oorlede.

Uit Afrikaanse Kinder Ensiklopedie Deel XI 1962 Sincerely,

Hans Peter Silbernagl -------------------- Family

Boshoff was a member of a Huguenot family from the Cape Colony, originally bearing the surname Boseau. He completed his education in Swellendam and Graaff-Reinet.Boshoff married twice, first to Adriana Petronella Gertruida Van Aswegen (Graaff-Reinet 3 November 1827) and after her death in 1878 to Louisa Perry van der Berg (26 May 1880).

Early career

Boshoff was one of the original Voortrekkers in Natal, that established the Natalia Republic. Here he showed himself an able politician in the light of the British plans to annex Natal. He drafted and co-signed the protest manifesto the Boers signed at Pietermaritzburg on 21 February 1842 and in a way it made his reputation with the British.

State president

In 1856 Boshoff, then living in Graaff-Reinet, stood for election as state president of the Orange Free State, against the chairman of the Presidential Executive Commission J.J. Venter and A. Du Toit from Beaufort. He won the election with a convincing majority.

During his term of office Boshoff laid the foundation stone of Grey College in Bloemfontein on 13 October 1856, named after Sir George Grey, governor of the Cape Colony and high commissioner for South Africa.

Politics in the Orange Free State were still rather volatile and personal in the 1850s and there were conflicts regularly between the Volksraad and the state president. In the process heavy political decisions were often made light-heartedly, and as easily reversed. On 25 February 1858 Boshoff handed in his resignation effective 15 March 1858 over a dispute about the order of the meetings of the Volksraad. The Volksraad accepted the resignation, but also showed its displeasure about it. Eventually Boshoff withdrew his resignation after some discussions, but this in turn effected the resignation of several Volksraad members, among whom the chairman. In town sentiments ran high as well, mainly in support of Boshoff, with people shooting in the air, and throwing "turpentine balls".

Early in 1858 tensions rose on the border with Basotho territory and war seemed inevitable. As the state finances were in dire straits at the time, Boshoff had great difficulty in organising the defense and buying arms. On the purchase of fifty rifles at £6 a piece he had to request an delay in payment of six months. Either assistance from the Transvaal or intervention from the Cape Colony seemd inevitable. The government of the Orange Free State asked Governor Sir Grey to intermediate between the Orange Free State and the Basotho. This expired in August and September 1858, resulting in the Treaty of Aliwal North on 29 September 1858. In it, the Basotho and Orange Free State jurisdictions were for the first time clearly demarcated, as were several legal provisions.In the meantime, a movement had developed that aspired to a union or amalgamation of the Orange Free State with the South African Republic. In November 1858 Boshoff in turn made clear that he wanted to go on leave to Natal for several months. Eventually he would leave Bloemfontein in February 1859, tired of the burden of his high office. The peace treaty with the Basothos did not put an end to the frontier skirmishes. Closer co-operation with the Cape Colony had been ruled out by the British government. And last but not least, the supporters of a union with the South African Republic now forcefully pushed for a personal union with Marthinus Wessel Pretorius as president of both Boer republics. Boshoff did not return from his leave, but handed in his final resignation from Natal in June 1859.

In 1860 Pretorius was elected as his successor and the two Boer republics were then briefly united under one head of state with a dual mandate. The experiment failed quickly however, with Pretorius first resigning the Transvaal presidency and not finishing his term in the Orange Free State. For the new elections in 1863, Boshoff was named as one of four candidates, but eventually J.H. Brand was put forward by the Volksraad as the sole candidate.

Later life and death

Boshoff continued his political career in Natal as member of the Legislative Assembly of the Klip River District (1866).He died in Weston, Pietermaritzburg on 21 April 1881 and was buried in the Voortrekker cemetery in Pietermaritzburg. Upon the news of his death reaching Bloemfontein, the Volksraad passed a resolution honouring Boshoff for his services to the Orange Free State.

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Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff, b3c1d1's Timeline

1808
January 31, 1808
Kochmanskloof, South Africa
February 16, 1808
Kochmanskloof, South Africa
1827
November 3, 1827
Age 19
Graaff-Reinet, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1828
November 8, 1828
Age 20
South Africa
1830
1830
Age 21
1831
August 15, 1831
Age 23
1832
December 14, 1832
Age 24
1835
1835
Age 26
Pretoria
1836
July 26, 1836
Age 28
1838
April 16, 1838
Age 30