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Type of Item
West Indies Showing Sovereignty of the Various Islands
This undated map of the West Indies from the first half of the 20th century was produced by the Military Intelligence Division of the General Staff of the U.S. Department of the Army. It shows U.S., British, French, and Dutch possessions in the region, along with principal trade routes, undersea telegraph cables owned by Britain and the United States, and the location of government and privately owned radio stations. Defense of the Caribbean against possible incursions by hostile European powers was a major concern of U.S. military ...
Map of the Whole of Guiana or the Savage Coast, and the Spanish West Indies at the Northern End of South America
This 18th-century Dutch map, produced in Amsterdam by the publisher Isaak Tirion (circa 1705–circa 1769), shows the northern coast of South American and its offshore islands, including Curaçao, Bonaire, and neighboring islands; Trinidad and Tobago; and Grenada. Guiana is divided, from west to east, into Spanish, Dutch, and French sections, corresponding roughly to a part of present-day Venezuela and present-day Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The territory to the south of Guiana, in present-day Brazil, is labeled as Portuguese. Three scales are given in the main map: French and ...
British Somaliland and Sokotra
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. British Somaliland and Sokotra is Number 97 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. British Somaliland (the northwest part of present-day Somalia) was a British protectorate, established in 1884−7, after ...
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Dahomey is Number 105 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Dahomey (present-day Benin) was an African kingdom that arose most likely in the second quarter of the 17th century. It ...
Upper Senegal and Niger
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Upper Senegal and Niger is Number 107 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Upper Senegal and Niger was a French colony, established in 1904 as part of the Government-General of ...
The Colonization of Indochina
La colonisation de l’Indo-Chine: L’Expérience anglaise (The colonization of Indochina: the English experience) is an 1892 case study of the British colonial experience in Asia and its lessons for France in the administration of French Indochina (present-day Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). The author, influential French essayist and colonial theorist Joseph Chailley-Bert (1854–1928), was a passionate advocate of reforming France’s colonization practices and governing strategies, which he argued were deficient in both design and execution, and of the need to draw upon the successful experiences of the ...
Unpublished Documents on the History of the Seychelles Islands Anterior to 1810
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 ...
The Independence of the Republic of Congo: Texts of the Speeches Given at the Official Session of the National Assembly and During the Public Proclamation of Independence
This booklet, issued by the Ministry of Information of the Republic of the Congo, is a collection of speeches given by high-ranking Congolese and French politicians at a special session of the Congolese National Assembly on August 14-15, 1960, convened to mark the country’s independence from France, which took effect on August 15, 1960. Included are speeches by the first president of the Republic of the Congo, Fulbert Youlou (1917-72), a speech by André Malraux, and a message from French President Charles de Gaulle read by Malraux. Youlou was ...
New Journey into the Land of the Negroes, Followed by Studies on the Colony of Senegal, and Historical, Geographical, and Scientific Documents
Anne-Jean-Baptiste Raffenel (1809–58) was a French colonial official, who in 1846 was commissioned by the French navy to undertake a voyage of exploration to the interior of Africa. Raffenel left France in mid-May 1846 and returned in June 1848. Volume one of this two-volume work is an account of Raffenel’s fourth-month journey from France to Senegal and his travel throughout the colony, which included visits to many Senegalese towns and regions, such as Saint-Louis (Ndar), Bakel, Bambouk, and Makana. Raffenel described the governing structure of the colony, the ...
Message from Mister Leopold Sedar Senghor, President of the Republic, to the Senegalese People
This speech to the people of Senegal by Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001) was delivered the day after his election as the first president of the newly independent republic. Senghor was born in what was then French West Africa. He was sent at a young age to a Catholic mission school, where he embraced French and European culture, but also felt the loss of his mother tongue and the pain of being torn from his African roots. He won a scholarship to pursue literary studies in France, beginning in 1928. In ...
Togo: The Hugues Le Roux Mission
Robert Charles Henri Le Roux (1860–1925), better known by his pen name of Hugues Le Roux, was a French writer and journalist who specialized in travel literature and books about the French colonies. Close to French official circles, he helped to build support in France for the idea that France had a unique civilizing mission (mission civilisatrice) in the less-developed parts of the world. In 1918–19, Le Roux produced for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs a series of small books on the French colonies in Africa, as ...
The Colonial Expansion of French Congo
L’Expansion coloniale au Congo français (The colonial expansion of French Congo) is a study of the history, geography, population, administrative structures, and economy of Congo, published in 1906 in conjunction with the French Colonial Exposition in Marseille. In the years before World War I, France’s global empire, second in size only to Britain’s, was nearing its peak. The exposition was intended to glorify France’s civilizing mission as well as to highlight its profitable trade with the colonies, much of which passed through the port of Marseille ...
Speech Delivered by Mister Houphouet-Boigny, Minister of State at the Geo-Andre Stadium in Abidjan on September 7, 1958
Félix Houphouët-Boigny (1905-93) was the first president of Côte d’Ivoire. He gave this speech shortly before a September 1958 referendum on the future of French West Africa. Houphouët-Boigny outlined the country's path to independence, but also called for the preservation of strong ties with France, within a new French Community. Côte d’Ivoire became a de facto French protectorate under a series of treaties concluded in 1843-44, and a French colony in 1893. From 1904 to 1958, Côte d’Ivoire was part of the federation of French West ...
The Special Features of French Antarctica, Otherwise Called America, and of Several Lands and Islands Discovered in Our Time
André Thevet (1516/17-92) was a Franciscan friar who traveled widely and, through his writings, helped to establish cosmographie--as geography was called at the time--as a science in 16th-century France. After making trips to Africa and the Middle East in the 1540s, he was appointed chaplain to the expedition of Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon, which set out from Le Havre in May 1555 to establish a colony in Brazil. The expedition landed near present-day Rio de Janeiro in November of the same year. In January 1556, Thevet fell ill ...
Defense of the Settlers of Saint Dominique: Or, a Quick Look at the New Declaration of the Rights of Man, Particularly as it Relates to the Colonies
The French Revolution of 1789 had enormous repercussions in France’s Caribbean colonies. In August 1791, slaves in the colony of Saint-Domingue staged a massive revolt, setting in train the chain of events that ultimately led to the founding of Haiti in 1804. In 1792, the de facto government of revolutionary France sent commissioners to the colony to enforce a decree by the National Assembly that enfranchised free blacks and mulattoes, but that did not yet free the colony’s slaves. Under growing pressure from the revolt and threatened by ...
The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe
This book, published in London in 1778, is a succinct compilation of information about the West Indies, containing, as indicated by the lengthy subtitle, “an authentick account of the first discoverers of those islands, and the parts adjacent, their situation, extent, boundaries, soil, product, trade, commerce, inhabitants, strength, government, and religion: also their principal bays and harbours, the materials for which were collected on the spot during the last war by some of the officers of his Majesty's forces, and diligently compared with all authentick narrators.” Even though the ...
A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies
A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies is a six-volume translation, published in London in 1798, of the ten-volume Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes by Guillaume-Thomas-François (1713–96), also known as Abbé Raynal. Educated by the Jesuits and ordained as a priest, Raynal left the clergy and became a journalist. He published the first edition of Histoire des deux Indes in 1770, which he expanded in editions of ...
A Day for the African Army and the Colonial Troops
This World War I poster showing French soldiers fighting alongside black soldiers from Africa celebrates the participation of troops from the French colonies and overseas territories during the war. More than 480,000 such troops were deployed by France in Europe over the course of the war, including 134,300 soldiers from West Africa, 172,800 from Algeria, 60,000 from Tunisia, 37,300 from Morocco, 34,400 from Madagascar, 2,100 from the Somali coast, and 44,000 from Indochina. Initially, most colonial troops were volunteers, but as the ...
The Ivory Coast
La Côte d’Ivoire is a comprehensive study of the French colony, published in 1906 in conjunction with the French Colonial Exposition in Marseille. In the years before World War I, France’s global empire, second in size only to Britain’s, was nearing its peak. The exposition was intended to glorify France’s civilizing mission as well as to highlight its profitable trade with the colonies, much of which passed through the port of Marseille. The book consists of four parts. Part one recounts the history and political constitution ...
This study of the history, geography, population, administrative structures, and economy of French Guinea was published in 1906, in conjunction with the French Colonial Exposition in Marseille. In the years before World War I, France’s global empire, second in size only to Britain’s, was nearing its peak. The exposition was intended to glorify France’s civilizing mission as well as to highlight its profitable trade with the colonies, much of which passed through the port of Marseille. Wedged between Portuguese Guinea to the north and British-controlled Sierra Leone ...