In 1685 Simon van, der Stell, then governor of the Cape, led an expedition into Little Namaqualand and discovered the Koper Berg.
In 1704 and 1705 other expeditions to Namaqualand were made.
Mission stations north of the 'Orange were established a few years later, and in 1813 the Rev. John Campbell, after visiting Griqualand West for the London Missionary Society, traced the Harts river, and from its junction with the Vaal followed the latter stream to its confluence with the Orange, journeying thence by the banks of the Orange as far as Pella, in Little Namaqualand, discovering the great falls.
In Namaqualand and ~ Damaraland, British influence, exercised from Cape Colony, had long been strong, but the British government had refused to annex the country even when asked so to do by the German missionaries who labored among the natives.
Though annexed in 1884 it was not till ten years later, after protracted fighting, that the Hottentots of Namaqualand recognized Germany.
Extensive deposits are mined in the United States, particularly at Butte in Montana, and in Namaqualand, South Africa.
Wool, mohair and ostrich feathers were the chief exports, the only mineral exported being copper (from the Namaqualand mines).
In 1868 the Europeans in Great Namaqualand and Damaraland petitioned for annexation to Great Britain.