WINBURG, a town in the Orange Free State, 90 m. N.E. by rail of Bloemfontein. Pop. (1904) 2762, of whom 1003 were whites. It is built by the banks of a tributary of the Vet affluent of the Vaal, and is a trading centre for a large grain and pastoral district. It is joined to the trunk railway from Port Elizabeth to the Transvaal by a branch line from Smaldeel, 28 m. N.W. The town was founded in 1837 by Commandant H. Potgieter, one of the voortrekers, and was named by him in commemoration of a victory gained over the Matabele chief Mosilikatze. It became the capital of a quasi-independent Boer state, which included considerable areas north of the Vaal. In 1848 the town and district were annexed to Great Britain and thereafter followed the fortunes of the Orange river sovereignty (see Orange Free State). In the Boer War of1899-1902Winburg was one of the Boer centres in the guerrilla fighting which followed the fall of Pretoria.

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