province of South Africa, west of Lesotho: formerly a Boer republic (1854-1900) & then a British colony (, 1900-10): 49,992 sq mi (129,480 sq km); pop. 2,783,000; cap. Bloemfontein
See Orange Free State in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A province and historical region of east-central South Africa. European settlement of the area began early in the 1800s and accelerated with an influx of Boer farmers after 1835. Great Britain annexed the region as the Orange River Sovereignty in 1848 and granted it independence as the Orange Free State in 1854. In 1900, during the Boer War, Great Britain once again annexed the territory, this time as the Orange River Colony. The renamed Orange Free State formed an independent government in 1907 and became a founding province of South Africa in 1910.