Early in the 29th century Griquas established themselves north of the Orange.
Trouble first arose, however, between the Boers and the Griquas in the Philippolis district.
The majority of the white farmers in Kok's territory sent a deputation to the British commissioner in Natal, Henry Cloete, asking for equal treatment with the Griquas, and expressing the desire to come on such terms, under British protection.
Shortly afterwards hostilities between the farmers and the Griquas broke out.
British troops were moved up to support the Griquas, and after a skirmish at Zwartkopjes (May 2, 1845) a new arrangement was made between Kok and Sir Peregrine Maitland, then governor of Cape Colony, virtually placing the administration of his territory in the hands of a British resident, a post filled in 1846 by Captain H.
He recognized the failure of the attempt to govern on the lines of the treaties with the Griquas and Basutos, and on the 3rd of February 1848 he issued a proclamation declaring British sovereignty over the country between the Orange and the Vaal eastward to the Drakensberg.
Kok was not formidable in a military sense, nor could he prevent individual Griquas from alienating their lands.
The town was founded in 1819, and in its early days was largely resorted to by Griquas and Bechuana for the sale of ivory, skins and cattle.
The Griquas (or Bastaards) are descendants of Dutch-Hottentot half-castes.
Considerable trouble was caused by the emigrant Boers on either side of the Orange river, where the new corners, the Basutos and other Kaffir tribes, Bushmen and Griquas contended for mastery.
The first of these " Treaty States " recognized was that of the Griquas of Griqualand West.