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Boers (bo͞orz), meaning “farmers,” is the name given to the Dutch colonists of South Africa, who are engaged in agriculture and cattle-raising.  As early as the 17th century their first settlement was made at the Cape of Good Hope (1652), and they still have the old Dutch characteristics, especially the love of freedom, with an added energy and recklessness, although they have mixed to some extent with other races.  The Cape was ceded to England in 1814, and in 1835 the Boers, not liking the new government, as it prohibited the holding of slaves, went northward in bands and occupied Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.  They seized the land of the natives, whom they reduced to a sort of servitude.  They are an interesting people, sober, industrious, good horsemen and splendid marksmen.  See Natal, Orange River Colony and Transvaal.