Initially the division of Fort Beaufort fell under the district of Albany, and was proclaimed a separate division on 8 March 1848. At that stage its area also included the Kat River Settlement, which was separated in 1858 when it was proclaimed the division of Stockenstrom. Its economy was based primarily upon sheep-farming although, during the 1880s, a measure of ostrich husbandry was also taking place. Its landscape was rugged, with well-wooded hills and deep ravines, which were used to great advantage by the amaXhosa during the frontier wars of 1811-1858.
The following census figures are available for the division:
1865 census: 13,341 residents, of whom 1,802 were literate
1875 census: 14,748 residents, of whom 2,537 were literate
1891 census: 14,675 residents, of whom 2,934 were literate
1904 census: 19,956 residents, of whom 5,096 were literate
It has developed into a lovely town, in the Garden Route area and is a stop for many Travellers!