newspaper was started, called Naledi ea Lesotha (Star of Basutoland). The publication of this paper was followed in 1906 by the adoption of a uniform system of Sesuto orthography. A book on national customs, the first work in the vernacular by a South African native, was published in 1893. The brandy-drinking habit, which, when the imperial government assumed control of the administration in 1884, threatened the existence of the nation, has been very largely checked. A strong beer, brewed from Kaffir corn, is a favourite drink.
History.—Until the beginning of the 19th century Basutoland appears to have been uninhabited save by wandering Bushmen, whose rude rock pictures are to be found in several parts of the Drakensberg. About 1800 the country was occupied by various tribes of Bechuana, such as Batau, Basuto, Baputi, who then possessed the greater part of what is now Orange River Colony. They appear to have recognized the paramount authority of a family descended from a chief named Monaheng. By the wars of the Zulu chiefs Chaka, Matiwana and Mosilikatze, these tribes were largely broken up and their power destroyed. One tribe, living in the Maluti mountains, was reduced to cannibalism. Moshesh forms the Basuto nation. From their chief Machacha mountain takes its name. At this period a young man named Moshesh (born about 1790), who was of the family of Monaheng and already noted as hunter and warrior, gathered round him the remnants of several broken clans, out of which he welded the existing Basuto nation. He established himself in 1824 on the rock-fortress of Thaba Bosigo, where, in 1831, he successfully defended himself against Mosilikatze; and thereafter became second only to that chief among the natives north of the Orange River. In 1833 Moshesh invited the missionaries of the Société des Missions Evangéliques of Paris to settle in his country, and from that day until his death proved their firm friend. A few years later, in 1836-1837, large parties of emigrant Boers settled north of the Orange, and before long disputes arose between them and Moshesh, who claimed a great part of the land on which the white farmers had settled. The Basuto acquired an unenviable notoriety as a race of bold cattle lifters and raiders, and the emigrant Boers found them extremely troublesome neighbours. At the same time, if the Basuto were eager for cattle, the Boers were eager for land; and their encroachments on the territories of the Basuto led to a proclamation in 1842 from Sir George Napier, the then governor of Cape Colony, forbidding further encroachments on Basutoland. In 1843 a treaty was signed with Moshesh on the lines of that already arranged with Waterboer, the Griqua chief (see Griqualand), creating Basutoland a native state under British protection.
To the quarrels between Basuto and Boers were added interminable disputes between the Basuto and other Bechuana tribes, which continued unabated after the proclamation of British sovereignty over the Orange river regions by Sir Harry Smith in 1848. In 1849, however, Moshesh was unwillingly induced by Sir Harry to surrender his claims to part of the territory recognized as his by the Napier treaty. The British continued to intervene in the inter-tribal disputes, and in 1851 Major H.D. Warden led against the Basuto a commando composed of British soldiers, farmers and a native contingent. This commando was defeated at Viervoet, near Thaba Nchu, by the Basuto, who thereafter raided and plundered the natives opposed to them and the farmers who had helped the British. Attempts were made to come to terms with Moshesh and the justice of many of his complaints was admitted. The efforts at accommodation failed, and in 1852 General Sir George Cathcart, who had succeeded Sir Harry Smith as governor of Cape Colony, decided to take strong measures with the tribe, and proceeded with three small divisions of troops against Moshesh. The expedition was by no means a success, but Moshesh, with that peculiar statecraft for which he was famous, saw that he could not hope permanently to hold out against the British troops, and followed up his successful skirmishes with General Cathcart by writing him a letter, in which he said: “As the object for which you have come is to have a compensation for Boers, I beg you will be satisfied with what you have taken. You have shown your power, you have chastised; I will try all I can to keep my people in order in the future.” General Cathcart accepted the offer of Moshesh and peace was proclaimed, the Basuto power being unbroken. Fourteen months later (February 1854) Great Britain renounced sovereignty over the farmers settled beyond the Orange, and Moshesh found himself face to face with the newly constituted Free State. Boundary disputes at once arose but were settled (1858) by the mediation of Sir George Grey, governor of Cape Colony. In 1865 a fresh feud occurred between the Orange Free State Boers and the Basuto. The latter applied to Sir Philip Wodehouse at the Cape for protection, but he declined to interfere. The Boers proved more successful than they had been in the past, and occupied several of the Basuto strongholds. They also annexed a certain fertile portion of Basuto territory, and finally terminated the strife by a treaty at Thaba Bosigo, by which Moshesh gave up the tract of territory taken by the Boers and professed himself a subject of the Free State. Seeing that the struggle against the Boers was hopeless, no fewer than 2000 Basuto warriors having been killed, Moshesh again appealed for protection to the British authorities, saying: “Let me and my people rest and live under the large folds of the flag of England before I am no more.” In response to this request, the British authorities decided to take over Basutoland, and a proclamation of annexation was issued on the 12th of March 1868. At the same time the Boer commandoes were requested to leave the country. The Free State strongly Annexation to Great Britain. resented the British annexation of Basutoland, but much negotiation the treaty of Aliwal North was concluded (1869) between the Free State and the high commissioner. This treaty defined the boundary between the Free State and Basutoland, whereby the fertile strip of country west of the Caledon river, known as the Conquered Territory, was finally transferred to the Free State, and the remainder of Basutoland was recognized as a portion of the British dominions.
Moshesh, who for nearly fifty years had led his people so skilfully and well, died in 1870. He was one of the rare instances among the Kaffirs of a leader endowed with intellectual gifts which placed him on a level with Europeans, and his life-work has left a permanent mark on South African history. In diplomacy he proved fully the equal of all—white or black—with whom he had to deal, while he ruled with a rare combination of vigour and moderation over the nation which he had created.
In 1871 Basutoland was annexed to Cape Colony, the area at that time being given as 10,300 sq. m. The turbulent Basuto warriors did not remain quiet for any length of time, and in 1879 Moirosi, a chief residing in the southern portion of Basutoland, openly repudiated colonial rule. An expedition was despatched from Cape Colony and severe fighting followed. Moirosi’s stronghold was captured and the chief himself was killed. Immediately after the war, strife occurred among the Basuto themselves over the question of the partition of Moirosi’s territory, which had been decided on as one of the results of the war. In 1880 the Cape government felt sufficiently strong to extend to Basutoland the Cape Peace Preservation Act of 1878. This act The “gun” war. provided for the disarmament of natives, and had already been put in force successfully among some of the Kaffir tribes on the Cape eastern frontier. Its execution in Basutoland, however, proved an extremely difficult task, and was never entirely accomplished. Desultory warfare was carried on between the colonial troops and the Basuto until 1881, when the intervention of the high commissioner, Sir Hercules Robinson (afterward Lord Rosmead), was asked for. Peace in Basutoland was not announced until the end of 1882. In the following year a form of self-government was established, but was once more followed by internal strife among the petty chieftains.
The subjection of Basutoland to the control of the Cape government had by this time proved unsatisfactory, both to the Basuto and to Cape Colony. The Cape government therefore offered no opposition to the appeal made by the Basuto themselves to the imperial government to take them over, and, moreover, Cape Colony undertook to pay towards the cost of administration an