Josias Philip Hoffman

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Josias Philip Hoffman
JPHoffman litho web.jpg
1st State President of the Orange Free State
In office
15 June 1854 – 10 February 1855
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by J.N. Boshoff
Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Orange Free State
In office
23 February 1854 – 29 March 1854
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Office abolished
Chairman of the Volksraad of the Orange Free State
In office
29 March 1854 – Early April 1854
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Unknown
Acting State President of the Orange Free State
In office
18 April 1854 – 15 June 1855
Preceded by J. Groenendaal (act.)
Succeeded by J.P. Hoffman
Personal details
Born 1807
Died 1879
Religion Dutch Reformed

Josias Philip Hoffman (commonly known as Sias Hoffman) (1807 – 1879) was a South African (Boer) politician and statesman, and was the chairman of the Provisional Government and later the first State President of the Orange Free State, in office from 1854 to 1855.

Career[edit]

Hoffman was one of the representatives of the Smithfield District in the Orange River Sovereignty during the negotiations between Boers and British about the independence of the territory. He acted as chairman of the Boer deputation in the negotiations and signed the Orange River Convention of 23 February 1854 in that capacity.

He was first appointed chairman of the Provisional Government (23 February – 29 March 1854) and after a short intermezzo as chairman of the Volksraad he was first elected Acting State President (18 April – 15 June) and eventually the first substantial State President of the Orange Free State.[1][2]

Both Hoffman and his State Secretary J. Groenendaal were cripples, reason for their government to quickly gain the nickname 'the crippled government'.[3]

Hoffman's term in office was short-lived, just under one year, and ended with a political incident. As a gesture of good faith, Hoffman had given a present of a keg of gunpowder to the Basotho king Moshoeshoe I. His fellow burghers found this an unwise move, over-friendly and potentially dangerous for the survival of the new state. Relations between the Boers and the Basotho were less than cordial at the time. A greater sin than the gift itself was the fact that Hoffman had tried to hide it from the Volksraad, the Orange Free State parliament. Hoffman was forced to retire, and did so on 10 February 1854. He was succeeded by a (temporary) Presidential Executive Commission, chaired by the influential burgher J.J. Venter.[4]

He died on his farm ('plaas') Slootkraal, District Wepener, Orange Free State on 13 October 1879.[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Muller. Oude tyden in den Oranje-Vrystaat. pp. 45, 306–309. 
  2. ^ Worldstatesmen.org.
  3. ^ Collins, R.D. (1906). "Herinneringen". South African News (Christmas Issue): 26.  cited in Muller. Oude tyden in den Oranje-Vrystaat. pp. 45, 306–309. 
  4. ^ Muller. Oude tyden in den Oranje-Vrystaat. pp. 53–54. 
  5. ^ Kultuur Dagboek on Facebook.

References[edit]

  • Muller, H.P.N. (1907). Oude tyden in den Oranje-Vrystaat. Naar Mr. H.A.L. Hamelberg's nagelaten papieren beschreven. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 383p.