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- This compilation of documents is an important source for the study of the early history of the Seychelles, an archipelago located in the western Indian Ocean north of Madagascar. Previously uninhabited, the islands were explored by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama in the early 1500s. In the 1740s, the French sent expeditions from the Isle de France (present-day Mauritius) to the Seychelles, and on November 1, 1756, Captain Corneille Nicolas Morphey, commander of the French East India Company frigate Le Cerf, took possession of the islands in the name of the King of France and the French East India Company. Settlement began in the 1770s with the establishment of plantations to produce, with imported slave labor, crops such as cotton, sugar, and rice. The British seized the islands in 1794 and gained permanent control of them in 1814 at the conclusion of the Napoleonic wars. This book, published in 1909 in Mahé (the capital of the then-British crown colony of the Seychelles), includes the texts of the most important French documents relating to the history of the islands from 1742 to 1810. The documents were gathered from major libraries and archives in Paris, the Archives of Mauritius, and the City Library of Caen. Also included is a listing of early maps of the Seychelles. The Republic of Seychelles became an independent nation in 1976.
Printed at the Government Printing Office, Mahé, Seychelles
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