Leland C. Barrows/Louis-Léon César Faidherbe (1818-1889)

African Proconsuls. European Governors in Africa.
L.H. Gann & Peter Duignan, eds.

New York/London/Stanford. The Free Press/Collier Macmillan Publishers & Hoover Institution. 1978. 548 pages

Leland C. Barrows

Louis-Léon César Faidherbe

Louis Léon César Faidherbe (1818-1889) is classed along with Bugeaud, Gallieni, and Lyautey as one of the outstanding architects of the French colonial empire . His legendary reputation rests almost entirely on his accomplishments during his two terms as governor of Senegal (1854-1861, 1863-1865). The duration of his service as governor, his tenacity in carrying out what was in fact a very limited plan although it seemed spectacular in light of his predecessor’s accomplishments, and the precedents that he set earned him an exaggerated reputation as the veritable founder of French West Africa. He also became known as an Africanist from his published writings in history, anthropology, and linguistics. The major role he held in the Franco-Prussian war as commander in chief of the Provincial Army of the North was secondary to the Senegalese career, which established his national position.

Background, Education, and Early Military Career

Faidherbe was a graduate of France’s elite Ecole polytechnique; yet his family origins and early background were modest . Born in the industrial town of Lille not far from the Belgian frontier, he was the fifth and youngest child of hosier Louis Joseph César Faidherbe and Sophie Monnier Faidherbe. Faidherbe’s father, a sergeant major in the revolutionary and Napoleonic armies, had been imprisoned during the Hundred Days for having expressed anti-Bonapartist sentiments. Freed when Louis XVIII returned to power, his national guard company awarded him a ceremonial sword. André Demaison’s claim that this may have influenced Faidherbe’s supposed anti-Bonapartist, republican sympathies seems doubtful inasmuch as the senior Faidherbe died when his son was a child. But the episode may have stimulated Faidherbe to engage in some political opportunism to advance his career.
Faidherbe’s mother managed to support the family and to keep the business afloat. Her youngest son began in primary school to display a talent for drawing and mathematics. Recommendations by his teachers and appeals by his mother to several local politicians won him a full scholarship to a preparatory school at Douai and a half-scholarship to the Ecole polytechnique in Paris, which he entered in November 1838.
In later years Faidherbe’s personality would be disciplined, unsmiling, and aloof. The experience of having been a poor boy at Polytechnique may have disillusioned him and contributed to his later reputation for coldness; or perhaps it was bitterness at the gambling debts incurred while on garrison duty at Metz and Belfort (he had great difficulty paying them off) . The school’s reputation for liberal republicanism and Saint-Simonism undoubtedly had its influence. That many of its graduates became civilian entrepreneurs in business and industry may have facilitated Faidherbe’s dealings with such persons in Senegal and Algeria. But in 1838, when the tall, blond adolescent entered Polytechnique, he tended to be a hell-raiser, a good caricaturist-some of his drawings survive-and a composer of bawdy songs for the guitar . His grades suffered. He placed near the hotton of his class at graduation in 1842 and only nineteen out of twenty-three in the entrance examination for the engineer corps. His performance at the Ecole d’application for engineers at Metz was little better. But by becoming an engineer he gained admission to an arme savante, which allowed him a greater degree of intellectual curiosity and creativity than was the usual case in the French army officer corps of the period.

Algerian and Colonial Assignments

As a colonial officer Faidherbe only made a strong impact on Senegal; but his actions and attitudes while governor were profoundly influenced by his earlier assignments in Algeria (May 1844-June 1846) and Guadeloupe (March 1848-September 1849). It was not only the exotic that prompted him to request Algerian and colonial assignments but the combat pay and chances for rapid promotion that came with the former, the double pay with the latter, and the extra allowances for both. Faidherbe could pay off his gambling debts and help with his aging mother’s support. The assignment to Algeria in 1844 served as an escape mechanism, on outlet for his frustrations, and a stimulus to develop his talents.
He was first sent to the Third Company of Engineers at Mostaganem, and shortly after the Sidi-Brahim disaster of September 1845 he transferred to the engineering staff. At both posts his primary duty was to assist in the opening of trails and roads to connect the coastal garrisons with major interior settlements. He seems not to have taken part in much combat although the roads were intended for military use and his province saw the terminal French struggle against Abd elKader and Bou-Maza.
The five surviving letters written to his mother during this period indicate that although he was captivated by Algeria, his attitude was contradictory toward its peoples and cultures. In one case he compared the “majesty and dignity” of the “poorest Arab” of Mostaganem to the “deformed, . . . awkward, . . . gauche, . . . crude, ridiculously dressed…. ignoble, . . . and badly built” French peasant or worker from his home district . But he supported the aims of the French military and the means used to accomplish these aims. In this and a later letter he praised Islam for being a great world religion and for forbidding the consumption of alcohol, but he predicted that the advance of French civilization would make alcoholics of the Algerians . It was the start of his ambivalence toward Islampositive when he was not in a position of responsibility and could be objective, negative when in power and confronted not only with Islamic state builders but also with the mass appeal of Islam as a religious and cultural system distinct from that of France.
Faidherbe took a dim veiw of the poor Spanish and Maltese settlers of Mostaganem, but he considered that wealthy colonists with capital to invest would lead to the future prosperity of Algeria. Though conscious of the differences between French aims in Algeria and in Senegal, he would retain this view while serving in Senegal. He never developed the anticivilian, anti-big business attitudes that characterized Marshal Bugeaud, the most famous French governor of Algeria, but tended more to resemble fellow-Polytechnicien Lamorici6re, who was serving at the time as commandant of Oran province.
Much to his disappointment and despite his promotion to captain second class, the completion in June 1846 of the tasks undertaken by the engineers in Oran province sent Faidherbe back to Belfort and then to Lille. Fortunately, the influence of two generals, Charron and Négrier, brought him an assignment to Guadeloupe to fill a last-minute opening there in the engineer corps.
Part of the Faidherbe legend is that he became an ardent republican and negrophile while stationed in Guadeloupe because he was caught up in the events of 1848, particularly the final emancipation of slaves in the French colonies. He and a handful of other radical whites, so the story goes, so annoyed the planters by campaigning for the election as deputy for Guadeloupe of the emancipator, Victor Schoelcher, that they convinced the governor to have Faidherbe recalled. Nothing in the available records points to this scenario. Faidherbe had to leave Guadeloupe because he had the least seniority of the engineer officers there at a time when metropolitan authorities initiated a reduction in personnel. After his second tour of duty in Algeria he would have been reassigned to Guadeloupe in 1852 had he not, at the last moment, been designated for Senegal . His performance was acceptable; inspection certificates for 1848 and 1849 indicate that his superiors thought highly of him.
What may have given rise to the myth that Faidherbe was forced out of Guadeloupe is the notation on his 1848 certificate that he was “attracted to exaggerated socialism-easily impassioned by radical opinion [and] should be directed into reasonable channels by good advice.” The same certificate also commented that Faidherbe was studying geology, natural history, and several foreign languages on his own but that he needed to “be more consistent” in these studies and to “give them a positive aim.” His interest in the blacks of Guadeloupe led to his later request for assignment to Senegal, as acknowledged in the draft of a letter to Jornard, president of the Geographical Society of Paris, a later version of which was published in the society’s bulletin in February 1854.
During his second assignment in Algeria (December 1849-June 1852) Faidherbe led a fairly sedentary existence as director of the engineers in the isolated, newly occupied oasis settlement of Bou-Saada, where he built the fort. With the support of General Bosquet-also a Polytechnique graduate, an engineer, and the commandant of Mostaganem during Faidherbe’s earlier Algerian assignment-he also took active part in the Kabylie campaigns of 1851 and 1852, fighting under General Saint-Arnaud, commander in chief of the expedition, who recommended him for the Legion of Honor. Faidherbe received the decoration-his first-in April 1852.
In an effort to open a road through the Djurjura mountains to connect Bougie (Bejaia) with Algiers, Faidherbe was attached to the column that was trapped by a blizzard fifty kilometers west of Bougie in February 1852. The men panicked and, despite their officers’ efforts, fled back to Bougie, 150 dying of exposure. Faidherbe collapsed from fatigue and survived only because he was carried part of the way by two troopers. The exerience has been blamed for his chronic arthritis, but nothing in his writings indicates that he suffered any ill effects. After a few weeks of rest in Bougie, Faidherbe proceeded with construction of the mountain road. He returned to France in June 1852 on a four-month furlough, which was cut short in August by his sudden assignment to head the engineer corps at SaintLouis du Senegal.

Proconsul and Soldier in West Africa, 1852-1865

Faidherbe arrived in Saint-Louis just as the French government decided to make radical changes in the system of economic and political linkages that until then had characterized French relations with the Senegalese polities. In 1852 French authority in Senegal was confined to a series of miniscule comptoirs (trading stations) the two principal ones being Saint-Louis on N’Dar island sixteen kilometers from the mouth of the Senegal river, and Gorée, a rocky island two kilometers east of the southern point of Cape Verde.
The French administrative apparatus of Senegal and its dependencies always appeared more substantial on paper than was the case in reality. Administration and local government in Saint-Louis combined the characteristics of municipal government in France and the system of naval command and administration that one might find in a small base or on a ship at sea. A royal ordinance of 1840 had spelled out the powers of the local colonial administration and had given the governor much theoretical power. One who was skillful could increase these powers by taking advantage of the slow communications between Senegal and France and the fact that he was the principal vehicle of communication with his superiors in Paris. The governor was advised by a privy council consisting of the heads of administrative services: an ordonnateur, or head of the interior administration, a secretary, a treasurer-comptroller, and the head of the judicial service, plus two appointed unofficial notables. Of the departments represented, only that of the judicial service was well developed. It consisted of several judges and two courts at Saint-Louis and at Gorée, respectively. The ordonnateur’s staff included himself and one clerk. Gorée, except for a brief four years of complete separation from the government of Senegal, was ruled by the governor but allowed a separate executive council and budget.
Faidherbe worked through the command structure of the small French force placed at his disposal. Outlying posts like Bakel remained under martial law. The usual effectives of the colony were three companies of marine infantry, a squadron of spahis, two batteries of artillery, a subsection of engineers, the native companies and tirailleurs sénégalais created by Faidherbe in 1857, and special levies, which from time to time were lent to the Senegalese government. Faidherbe could draw up to forty officers at any one time for military and administrative assignments in Saint-Louis or in the hinterland posts.
The truly sovereign powers in the areas were African polities like the Trarza, Brakna, and Idaw ‘Aish Mauritanian confederations on the right bank of the river; the Tukulor (Toucouleur) almamate of Fouta-Toro, which dominated 600 kilometers of the left bank of the middle Senegal valley; Cayor, a powerful Woloff kingdom that stretched from the Senegal river opposite Saint-Louis to the edge of Cape Verde, 200 kilometers south; and Walo, a smaller and weaker Woloff kingdom that occupied most of the delta of the Senegal river, extending northeast of Saint-Louis to Dagana, 100 kilometers away.
Based at Saint-Louis, which they had occupied in 1659, the French exploited the trade possibilities of the river. As far as Podor in western Fouta-Toro it was navigable all year, and seasonally to Bakel, site of a major French fort; to Sénoudébou, site of a smaller fort of the Falémé river, a tributary of the Senegal; and to Médine, a pro-French village in Khasso near the Félou falls. Gorée—the second comptoir—was a trading center for Cape Verde, the petite côte extending from Rufisque to the Saloum estuary and giving access to the Sereer kingdoms of Sine and Saloum; for the Casamance river, which the French penetrated as far inland as the Songrougrou junction and the post of Sédhiou; and for the Rivières-du-Sud of what became French Guinea.
Trade was conducted very much on African terms. The gum trade in particular (gum constituted the major French import from Saint-Louis) was highly regulated both by the Mauritanian rulers in whose territories most of the crop was grown and by the French colonial government in Saint-Louis in favor of the city’s small African and mulatto merchants. During almost the entire period of Faidherbe’s governorships the Senegal river, and hence Saint-Louis, continued to de-ive most of its export wealth from gum. (The value of peanuts exported from Saint- Louis- most of them coming from Cayor-never exceeded that of gum; in 1860, for instance, the gum exported was valued at 1,875,261.50 francs in comparison to 444,828.50 francs for the value of peanuts.).
Peanuts grew better in the Senegalese polities like Cayor and Baol on the plain lying between the Senegal river and the Gambia than they did in the polities of the Middle and Upper Senegal, and peanut oil had become an essential ingredient in the manufacture of French blue marble soap as well as an increasingly popular cooking oil. The growing importance of the crop contributed to French decisions to involve themselves more closely in the southern area. This explains the French hostility to the thièdos (the warrior class), whom they accused of interfering with the expansion of this new produce. Some African rulers, fearing the effects that a cash crop economy would have on their free peasantry, indeed encouraged the thièdos to plunder the tillers. This in turn caused the peasants to seek help from Islamic reformers like Maba-Diakhou, under whose rule—and as orthodox Moslems—they might by allowed to respond fully to this new market stimulus.
The development of trade had encouraged the rise of a substantial class of Afro-European merchants, partly gallicized, profoundly interested in inland commerce. Until Faidherbe’s appointment relations between the African states of the interior and Saint-Louis had almost always been the exclusive preserve of the municipal governments of Saint-Louis and Gorée. Not only did the local mulatto mayors have close cultural ties-and in some cases family ties-with the hinterland rulers, but their stability in office was much greater than that of the French governors. (During the period from 1817 to Faidherbe’s governorship there had been seventeen governors or, if interims and divided assignments are counted, thirty-seven shifts in gubernatorial power in as many years. During the same period Saint-Louis had five mayors.)
The merchants, white and black, helped to shape the political future of Senegal. Prodded by various groups and individuals-the wholesalers led by the Maurel and Prom Company, a former governor of Senegal Bouët-Willaumez, and an interministerial commision formed in 1850 to make recommendations for the future development of the French colonies-the naval ministry formulated a series of specific instructions that it gave first to Captain Auguste Protet, governor since 1850, and then to Faidherbe himself. They were supplemented by two long petitions, dated December 8, 1851, and February 11, 1854, which were signed by major Saint-Louis wholesalers and notables and were the basis of nearly everything that Faidherbe would accomplish while serving as governor of Senegal
Initially, the plan of 1854 applied only to the Senegal valley. It called for the colonial government:

  1. to suppress the three Mauritanian controlled, seasonal, gum trading escales of the lower river with several fortified, French controlled trading posts, two of which—at Richard-Toll and Dagana—already existed and the third—at Podor—was to be built;
  2. to allow French controlled African villages to form around these posts, where wholesalers could open trading branches to buy and sell any products yearround;
  3. to reduce progressively and then end all coutumes (trade and land occupancy taxes paid by the French government or by private parties to African rulers), those remaining during transition to be calculated according to a percentage of the value of the annual trade with a given polity;
  4. to suppress all navigation tolls (also called coutumes) along the Senegal river, particularly the major one at Saldé-Tébékhout in central Fouta-Toro;
  5. to require that the Senegalese rulers recognize the French as the proprietors of the Senegal river;
  6. to institute what the French called free trade-indicating trade freed of all African imposed taxes and other restrictions;
  7. to free the left bank of the Senegal river by force if necessary from all Mauritanian political control and to end the practice of some Mauritanian clans of raiding the sedentary left bank black populations.

This was the blueprint for French control of a major inland waterway that happened, incidentally, to be the only reliable dry season source of fresh water for many of the peoples living along its banks. A few steam gunboats would easily intimidate the villages on the Senegal and its navigable tributaries. Landing parties would carry the destruction a few kilometers inland on both sides, The same tactics would eventually be applied to the coast and to the Saloum, the Casamance, the Rivières-du-Sud, albeit on a much reduced scale during Faidherbe’s era.
The expanding peanut culture in the inland areas south of the Senegal river in Cayor and in Baol would stimulate Faidherbe and others to attempt to adapt this plan to dry land in an effort to halt what they considered the depredations of the thièdos, Woloff crown soldiers of servile origin accused of interfering with the agricultural activities of the peasantry. The land based campaigns that this adaptation required involved the French in unanticipated complications.
No sooner had he arrived in 1852 as director of the Saint-Louis engineers than Faidherbe threw himself into action. He visited the whole French sphere, traveled to Grand Bassam and Gabon with Captain Baudin, commandant of the French West African naval squadron, where he took part in a punitive raid against the Jack-jacks near Grand Bassam, built a fort at nearby Dabou, and supervised major repairs and improvements in the fort at Libreville, Gabon. In a study of possible public works projects for Senegal he made several important recommendations including one for the French occupation and fortification of Dakar and another for the construction of a bridge to link Sor island, opposite Saint-Louis, to the Cayor mainland, He later recommended that the French occupy Gandiole, a salt producing center and a major Cayor peanut exporting point at the mouth of the Senegal river opposite the bar. He began to study African languages and history and to write for publication. His private papers indicate that he was fascinated by the middle and upper Niger valley. “It would be shameful,” he wrote, “for France, mistress of Senegal and Algeria … to leave to other nations the trade of the Sudan.” 10
At the end of 1854 a series of events brought Faidherbe to the governorship. Ae
with Protet, who was overly cautious and slow in executing his orders. Their complaints drew the attention of the naval minister, Théodore Ducos, a native of Bordeaux. The expeditions that Protet undertook between March and May 1854, first to reoccupy and to fortify Podor and then to punish the major Tukulor settlement of Dialmath in Dimar, were unsatisfactory. At Podor he failed to declare an immediate end to the coutumes and escales. The attack on Dialmath, even though it was classed as a French victory, resulted in 175 French casualties—too high for a mere colonial campaign, thought Ducos 11. Under heavy criticism from both Ducos and the Saint-Louis wholesalers, Portet requested his recall by the end of July 1854.
Some of the wholesalers had meanwhile decided to propose Faidherbe as governor. Hilaire and Marc Maurel were initially impressed by him because, like Bouët-Willaumez, he had served in Algeria and he argued publicly that the French should make use of Algerian tactics and energy in combating the Mauritanians. In the Dialmath expedition Faidherbe had rallied that French forces as they were being repulsed by the village’s defenders 12. Faidherbe in 1854 published illustrated accounts of both expeditions in L’Illustration journal universel of June and July 1854. By chance, his account of the Dialmath affair—one that emphasized his own role— appeared in the July 10, 1854, issue of the Moniteur universel, rather than Protet’s; General Fitte de Soucy, commander in chief of the engineer corps, had had it published without Faidherbe’s knowledge to give publicity to the engineers.
It may have been Hilaire Maurel of the Maurel and Prom Company who proposed Faidherbe for the governorship on June 19 in a personal interview with Ducos in Paris. In August he and eighteen other powerful Bordeaux merchants presented the minister with a long, signed petition requesting the appointment 13. So that in rank Faidherbe would be equal to the capitaines de vaisseaux who usually governed Senegal, Ducos rewarded him for his valor at Dialmath by having him promoted to major in advance of his actual seniority. An imperial decree of November 1, 1854, raised Faidherbe to the governorship.
Since a second imperial decree of the same date detached Gorée and its dependencies to the south from the jurisdiction of Saint-Louis, during the first four years of his governorship Faidherbe concentrated on the Senegal river valley. His preliminary instructions, while cautioning that his nomination “was not the beginning or the continuation of a bellicose era,” authorized him to back up his authority with force 14. As an Algerian veteran, he was convinced that most of the Senegalese polities would have to be defeated militarily at least once before they would agree to the new French terms, so he made use of this authorization. He took on the Trarza Mauritanians, Fouta-Toro, and supporters of El-Hadj Omar, being careful to make hostilities with the Trarzas grow out of his enforcement of treaties that previously had been ignored. With the second group he claimed selfdefense as a result of difficulties created by Protet’s forceful reoccupation of Podor and other long-standing differences between the French and the Fouta-Toro almamate
The coincidental arrival of the Tukulor Islamic reformer and state builder, ElHadj Omar Tall was a boon to Faidherbe. Omar’s resemblance to leaders such as those whom the French had already encountered in Algeria served to bolster support for him from the metropolitan government. The threat that he posed to the traditional rulers of Fouta-Toro, Guidimakha, Khasso, Bondou, and others led them to make accommodations with Faidherbe since the limited nature of the governor’s plan seemed to be less menacing than the social revolution presaged by Omar’s domination.
In January 1855 Faidherbe burned the Tukulor settlement of Bokol in Dimar, one of two of the Fouta-Toro provinces easily accessible by boat during the dry season. His objective, however, was the Trarzas—particularly those who habitually spent the dry season in Walo—in order to end their domination of this polity and to impose the new trading regulations on them and on the Braknas. Except during the rainy season, when Faidherbe sent most of his forces upstream to combat the Omarians and Fouta-Toro, he made the Mauritanians his first priority. To get them out of Walo on the left bank and to eliminate the pro-Trarza ruling lineage in this polity, he annexed it to the colony after it had been invaded and gutted. He initially had doubts about this annexation but had failed to find a compliant ruler from a rival lineage to whom he could offer the throne. Walo would serve as a model for future French annexations in West Africa. Faidherbe continued a war of attrition against the Mauritanians, killing their cattle, denying them access to the Senegal river, and launching raids short distances inland. He also attempted to pit their ruling clans one against the other, and the religious and gum selling groups—the marabouts—against the warriors. The Idaw ‘Aish emirate, however, remained at peace and even allied itself with the French against the Omarians; their ruler Bakar, for political, religious, and social reasons feared Omar more than he did Faidherbe 15
Peace with the Mauritanians finally came in the spring of 1858 in the form of a compromise settlement. The Trarzas and the Braknas as well as the Idaw ‘Aish agreed to abandon all political claims to the left bank and to trade their gum only at the French posts on French terms. The French, in turn, agreed to respect the strict independence of the Mauritanians and to pay to the rulers of the three principal emirates a duty of three to four percent of the value of gum exported from their territories.
By 1859, after heavy fighting, Faidherbe was able to make similar settlements with left bank polities although the situation was complicated by local leadership crises that arose as a result of the Omarian movement. The French made peace treaties with friendly leaders in the various riverine polities. They did not guarantee coutumes by treaty to any of them but made it clear that cooperative leaders would be offered presents paid for by a well-endowed fund set up for the purpose. They required the rulers of the Fouta-Toro provinces of Dimar and Toro in the west and Damga in the east to agree to their separation from the almamate. A pro-French almamy, Mohamadou-Birane-Wane, tacitly accepted this separation. Similar settlements were made with the polities of Guidimakha, Gadiaga, Khasso, and Bondou and with some of the chieftancies of Bambouk. With French aid two leaders—Bokar-Saâda of Bondou and Sambala of Khasso—eventually built strong anti-Omarian followings in their two polities despite the popular appeal of the Omarian ideology and pro-Omarian rival leaders in both cases.
By opening forts at Médine in Khasso at the foot of the Félou falls in 1855, Matam in Damga in 1857, and Saldé in central Fouta-Toro in 1859 and by strengthening Bakel and Sénoudébou, the French authorities were able to intervene more directly in the affairs of the left bank societies than in those of the right bank settlements. But the situation in the mid-Senegal valley remained ambiguous. Traditional leaders, particularly in Fouta-Toro, had been intimidated rather than conquered and would be the source of much instability in the future.
Faidherbe did not wish to destroy the Omarian empire but simply to prevent it from incorporating the Senegal valley polities east of Bafoulabé and to block Omar’s Tijjani ideology from permeating the Woloff and Serrer peoples of western Senegal. He fought some major campaigns against Omarian forces, one of which—the relief of the siege of Médine in July 1857 and the battles that followed it—has been made an epic in colonial hagiography. When French forces in November 1859 destroyed Guémou, the last Omarian stronghold in the French sphere, Faidherbe authorized the commandant of Bakel to make peace overtures to Thierno-Moussa, Omar’s governor of Kaarta and Diombokho. The result was the agreement of 1860, which guaranteed the independence of the Omarian empire east of Bafoulabé, regulated the relations between the two spheres until 1880, and provided for the Mage-Quintin expedition of 1864-1866.
Having imposed the basic plan on the Senegal valley by the summer of 1858, Faidherbe began to lobby seriously for the return to his jurisdiction of Gorée and its dependencies. His aim was to “organize” Cayor “a little” 16 and to impose treaties of the sort made in the Senegal valley on Cayor—which linked Saint-Louis to Cape Verde and Gorée—and on the principal riverine and coastal polities to the south, all of which formed a vast area wherein the peanut culture was making great headway. By February 1859 Prince Jerome Bonaparte, the head of the experimental combined ministry of Algeria and the colonies (in existence from June 24, 1858, to November 24, 1860), had acceded to Faidherbe’s request.
Faidherbe had given greater substance to French claims to Cape Verde and the so-called petite-côte by marching 800 men from Dakar—annexed by Protet in 1857 while serving as commandant of the French West African naval squadron to Rufisque, Portudal, Joal, and then inland to Fatick in Sine, where they defeated the Sine army. Along the way he imposed new commercial regulations on Rufisque and punished a few African officials accused of having molested French traders. When it was over, the rulers of Sine, Saloum, and Baol had signed treaties recognizing French predominance in the area and agreeing not to interfere with trade. Small blockhouses were constructed at Rufisque, Portudal, and Joal along the coast and a larger fort was built at Kaolack in Saloum.
Concerning Cayor, Faidherbe planned to build a telegraph line along its coast linking Saint-Louis and Gorée and to place three small forts at equal distances along the route. These forts were to be supplied from the sea and would serve as bases from which military expeditions could move inland if necessary to intimidate the damel of Cayor and the thiMos. Damel Biraima would be invited to sign a treaty embodying these provisions and new commercial arrangement. But weak and alcoholic though he was, he refused to sign despite considerable prodding by Faidherbe’s agents. After Biraima’s death in January 1860, however, Faidherbe claimed that he had made a deathbed declaration in favor of the treaty, and he attempted to have it honored by the next damel, Macodou. The latter’s refusal led Faidherbe to request permission of the new naval and colonial minister, Chasseloup-Laubat, to open hostilities against Cayor to enforce provisions of a treaty that probably did not exist.
The coast of Cayor proved unsatisfactory for successful amphibious operations and the coastal route only skirted the populated heartland of Cayor, from which it was separated by a belt of sand dunes, so Faidherbe was forced to fight a land campaign against a powerful foe and to settle for inconclusive results. Failing to win over Macoudou after three invasions in the spring of 1861, he finally installed a rival damel, Madiodio, from a collateral but rival lineage, and annexed to the colonial territory the peripheral provinces of Ndiambour in the north and Diander in the south (he had seized Gandiole and its salt pans earlier). But Madiodio was incapable of resisting Macoudou’s partisans, based initially in Baol, and those of Lat-Dior, one-time contenders for Biraima’s succession.
A semblance of peace returned to Cayor during Jauréguiberry’s administration (1861-1863). He allowed Lat-Dior to supplant Madiodio on condition that he honor the treaty to which Madiodio had agreed, a condition that was accepted; but when Faidherbe returned to Saint-Louis in 1863 he drove Lat-Dior out without justification and reimposed Madiodio. This action only increased the turmoil in Cayor. Madiodio remained as incompetent as ever. In March 1865, before leaving Saint-Louis for good, Faidherbe ousted Madiodio, whom he retired on a small pension, and declared what was left of independent Cayor annexed and broken into seven cantons.
By then Cayor was beset with famine, and the export of peanuts had dropped considerably. Although it remained peaceful for the next few years while recovering from this devastation, it did not return to normal until 1870, when Governor Vallière disannexed it and allowed Lat-Dior to reascend the throne. The invasion of Cayor was clearly Faidherbe’s greatest failure in Senegal.
The French were less active south of Cayor even though the engineer officer Pinet-Laprade—commandant of Gorée after 1859 and Faidherbe’s successor in 1865—increased French pressure in the Casamance river area, where the French had two posts, Carabane and Sédhiou, and in the Rivières-du-Sud of Guinea. They threatened war against Maba-Diakhou Bâ, a disciple of El-Hadj Omar’s, who had attempted since 1861 to construct an Islamic state on the model of his master’s empire among the Mandingo and the Sereer between Cayor and the Gambia river. As long as Maba did not directly attack their posts or their subjects, the French were initially disposed to leave him alone. Pinet-Laprade argued that if Maba’s marabout army freed the area of thièdo depredations, peanut culture would be stimulated. But Jauréguiberry and then Faidherbe grew alarmed when it seemed that Maba was supporting Macoudou before he died in 1863 and then Lat-Dior after Faidherbe dethroned him. In 1862 Maba and Macoudou jointly made an unsuccessful attack against the French post at Kaolack.
In October 1864 Faidherbe finally reached a compromise with Maba. He recognized his authority south of the Saloum estuary on the conditions that he allow free trade between his subjects and the French and that he respect the independence of Cayor, Djoloff, Baol, and Sine. It settled the question of Maba as far as Faidherbe was concerned, but serious hostilities broke out between Maba’s forces and the French during Pinet-Laprade’s governorship (1865-1869). They did not end until Maba was defeated—not by the French army but by the traditional army of Sine at the battle of Somb in July 1867.
Because Faidherbe’s budget as well as his political and military objectives were limited, his forces were small. In 1855 his regular effectives were made up of three companies of marine infantry, a squadron of spahis, one company of artillery, a detachment of sappers headed by a few engineer officers, two companies of African troops, and some 700 volunteers from Saint-Louis. The local fleet numbered seven steam launches and a small assortment of other craft. With these Faidherbe developed an effective system of amphibious warfare. Its range was greatest during the rainy season, when the boats could make maximum use of the inland waterways of the region.
Faidherbe worked to increase his limited number of troops. He encouraged the African population of the enclaves, particularly of Saint-Louis, to volunteer for service by promising them a generous share of any booty they might take. He used traditional intertribal rivalries to obtain volunteers from one group when fighting its traditional enemies. His most important manpower innovation was the founding of the tirailleurs sénégalais in 1857. The French had employed African auxiliaries in their West African posts almost since their arrival, and Faidherbe’s achievement was to create in Senegal an African force akin to the tirailleurs indigènes of Algeria.
Unlike the already existing compagnies indigènes, the tirailleurs sénégalais consisted of free volunteers relatively well paid, allowed a special discipline and special rations consisting of traditional African foods. They were provided with a comfortable and colorful uniform similar to that of their Algerian counterparts, which included baggy pants but eliminated the tight collar of the regulation French army uniform that the earlier African troops had hated. Each tirailleur was armed with the sort of double-barreled shotgun that previously had been used only as a gift in dealing with powerful African potentates. What Faidherbe created, using an Algerian pattern and Senegalese material, was an elite African contingent for the French army—the governor’s thièdos. Despite the misgivings of the naval minister, Admiral Hamelin, Faidherbe had formed two companies of tirailleurs by June 1858. Their number was raised to five in 1859, six in 1860, and eight in 1867.
But to Faidherbe the importance of these troops was not great. Without them he completed pacification of the Senegal valley and undertook such expeditions as the two raids on Lake Kayar in the Trarza zone in 1856 and 1857 and the battles following the relief of Médine in 1857. Although he used them in the conquests of Cayor, he placed more importance on the loan of three companies of tirailleurs indigènes from Algeria. They had both propaganda and military value in Cayor 17, and their use in 1861 marked the first time that native Algerian troops were deployed in French possessions other than Algeria.
When he later evaluated his role as governor of Sénégal, Faidherbe gave the tirailleurs sénégalais little importance. In none of his published writings, not even in Le Sénégal, la France dans l’Afrique occidentale (1889), did he describe how or why he created them. In his pamphlet Base d’un projet de réorganisation d’une armée nationale, which he wrote in 1871 at the close of the Franco-Prussian war, he excluded the colonial and Algerian native troops from any role in France’s metropolitan defenses and recommended the use of “special forces” solely to maintain order in each colony. He even recommended that the marine infantry be integrated into the regular army.
Jauréguiberry, however, who had severely criticized the tirailleurs sénégalais while he was governor of Senegal and had refrained from using them in his massive Fouta-Toro campaign of January and February 1863, predicted before he left office that they would become an intercolonial fighting force 18. When serving many years later as minister of the navy he ordered the expansion of the tirailleurs sénégalais and their development along these lines. Had he foreseen their use in Europe he would have rivaled General Charles Mangin as a black army theoretician.
Much of Faidherbe’s success as governor of Senegal was the result of the good relations that he cultivated with powerful wholesalers in Saint-Louis. He particularly followed the advice of Marc Maurel of Maurel and Prom. Less than a month after his first inauguration in 1854 he had the company granted choice lots for their trading depots and stores at Podor and at Dagana and allowed it to do business all year. He favored a proposal made by Marc Maurel to end most pacte colonial restrictions on the foreign trade of Saint-Louis and contributed to a reform of the local customs tariffs—also desired by Maurel and Prom—that went into effect in 1866.
Faidherbe continued to favor the cultivation of export crops, especially peanuts. Saint-Louis continued to rely primarily on gum exports. But the total value of peanuts exported from other parts of Senegambia, including Rivières-du-Sud, was much higher than that of gum from Senegal. The value of gum exports fell while that of peanuts continued to rise. Another trade aspect came up in November 1859, when Faidherbe agreed to a suggestion made by the Bordeaux chamber of commerce that French shippers be allowed to import rice from any source into Senegal. “If the blacks,” he declared, “are content with growing and eating millet, it does not help our trade. There is every advantage for us to have them grow peanuts, béraf, and cotton … instead of millet and then [for us] to sell them rice imported from India in French ships.” 19 Responding to ministerial promptings, Faidherbe also attempted to encourage the growing both of indigo and of cotton for export, the latter staple showing some promise during the period of the Union blockade of the Confederacy in the United States. But neither crop had any long-term commercial success.
A more serious failure resulted from Faidherbe’s attempt between 1858 and 1860 to occupy the gold-bearing area of Bambouk and to attempt heavy mining operations there. He had argued in 1856 in a report addressed to Admiral Hamelin that the area had “the richest gold mines in the world not yet exploited.” 20 But two years of effort and considerable expense produced only insignificant quantities of marketable gold. The bitterness that the fiasco engendered between Faidherbe and Hamelin’s successor, Chasseloup-Laubat, may have contributed to Faidherbe’s sudden decision to resign in 1861.
Faidherbe tried to prevent the wars that he fought with the Senegambian polities from interfering with business. Except for a brief, government imposed boycott for propaganda purposes during the off-season of 1856, gum could always be traded at Podor if the marabouts themselves could get there with their supplies. When Faidherbe later decided to invade Cayor, he attempted with less success to schedule his campaigns to avoid interfering with the peanut harvests.
Faidherbe’s support in the business community was hardly unanimous. Many of the traitants and their leaders—Justin Devès and Durand-Valantin, the ex-deputy—were bitterly opposed to him. Several wholesalers—Lacoste, Chaumet, and Merle—were never more than lukewarm supporters, and his enemies often made common cause with jealous naval officers in attempts to have him recalled. But each time friends stood by him, intervened with the ministry in his behalf, and prevailed.
The wholesalers gave Faidherbe poor advice when they urged him to replace the 2 percent tax on gum imported into Saint-Louis from the hinterland with a general head tax of three francs a year per adult, which the colonial government attempted to collect in certain areas of Senegal as of January 1, 1862. The price that gum could fetch in France was still falling, and the wholesalers claimed that even a 2 percent reduction in the total tax of 21.5 percent that it generated would save the gum trade from ruin. Faidherbe refused to consider reducing the duty paid the Mauritanian rulers since it was the cornerstone of his compromise with them, but he agreed that a head tax charged to the annexed population would be a good substitute as well as a visible sign of their submission to France 21. He thought that the money could be more easily extracted from the supposedly submissive and annexed left bank populations. However, a few of the populations in question resisted it violently—those of Dimar and Toro and those of Diander in Cayor—feeling that they had never agreed to pay a tax to French authorities. It contributed to the anti-French outbreak in Fouta-Toro that Jauréguiberry suppressed only with difficulty.
It should be pointed out in all fairness to both governors, however, that Stépan, the ordonnaeur (chief administrative officer), rather than Faidherbe, drew up the actual tax ordinance, completing it after Faidherbe had ended his first term and designating its starting date as January 1, 1862. Jauréguiberry, who arrived in December 1861, thus was forced to begin the tax’s collection before he could master the intricacies of Faidherbe’s treaty system and judge which of the Senegambian polities were or were not taxable. The bitterest irony of this head tax, however, was that even after it went into effect Chasseloup-Laubat insisted that the colonial government continue to collect the two percent tax on gum brought into Saint-Louis. The local budget could not do without it.

Administrative and Educational Innovator

Although Faidherbe has been credited with developing administration and education in Senegal, his contributions in this domain were small, not very systematic, but in keeping with the limited nature of the plan that he was following. When he took over the governorship in 1854 he found that there was very little legal distinction made in enclaves between those persons who could be called citizens and those who could be called subjects; nor could a distinction be made between permanent residents and transients among the African population of Saint-Louis. The directorate of exterior affairs, founded in 1845 to centralize relations between Saint-Louis and the hinterland polities, was practically nonfunctional. No system for administering annexed territories existed because there were none to administer under French rule other than the few tiny French enclaves. Last, Faidherbe found that the educational system was geared to offer primary instruction to children of the Christian population of Saint-Louis, white and mulatto, but not to the Moslem black majority.
Faidherbe started to attack these problems by borrowing methods and terminology from his Algerian experience; he usually gave his solutions very little substance, however, particulary concerning the hinterland. His first measures were to wrest control of the relations between Saint-Louis and the hinterland from the mulatto habitant dominated municipal government. He strenghtened the directorate of exterior affairs, confiding it to Louis-Alexandre Flize, one of his most talented officers, who held the position during both of Faidherbe’s governorships. He then removed the mulatto mayor, Jean Derneville, replacing him with the white merchant Héricé and then with Blaise Dumont, a totally loyal habitant businessman.
A greater problem lay in the fact that Islam was the religion of the majority of the Saint-Louis population and that many of these Moslems were attracted to ElHadj Omar’s Tijjani brotherhood. Faidherbe, who in his official capacity always distrusted Islam, recognized that he could not hope to suppress it. But he could favor and regulate the more conservative and traditional Qadiri variety. In November 1855 he expelled all Tijjani marabouts from Saint-Louis. In the next two years he formulated regulations by which the colonial government would examine and certify teaching marabouts who wished to practice in Saint-Louis. He required Moslems to register births, deaths, and marriages with the French civil authorities. Finally, he coaxed the ministry into authorizing him to open a Moslem court in Saint-Louis, limited to cases involving marriage, divorce, and inheritance: voluntary for Moslems who wished to be judged by Maliki law. The French court system retained primary jurisdiction in all other civil and all criminal cases and appellate jurisdiction as far as the Moslem court was concerned.
Faidherbe sugarcoated these innovations by making members of a francophile elite responsible for their functioning. He appointed a Moslem vice-mayor whom he made responsible for the registration of Moslems with the French civil authorities. He appointed the colonial government’s chief interpreter and tamsir (head of the Moslem community), Hamat N’Diaye Anne, as qadi of the Moslem court. He and another Moslem notable served on the examining board created to certify marabouts.
At the same time, Faidherbe tried to create institutions that would introduce the Moslems to secular French culture. He required the marabouts to send their students to a lay evening school, founded in 1857 to teach French and arithmetic. In the next several years he opened similar schools at Bakel, Dagana, and Podor. He also founded the more famous Ecole des otages (renamed in 1861 the Ecole des fils de chefs et des interprètes) to teach French and arithmetic to the student pledges whom African potentates left in Saint-Louis. Faidherbe’s aim was to begin the creation of a francophile elite in the interior. The school closed in 1870, but the idea was picked up again and expanded after 1886, when Gallieni became the superior commandant of the Upper Senegal-Niger territory.
Similarly, when Faidherbe founded the Moniteur du Sénégal and the Annuaire du Sénégal, he insisted that they both be written almost completely in French and not bilingually, as was the practice in Algeria. Few people in Senegal, he explained to the minister, could actually read Arabic. “It would be infinitely better that the newspaper be translated (to the masses) by those who know French rather than by those who know Arabic, for we must beware of the latter.” 22
Faidherbe’s approach to governing African territory was to interfere as little as possible. His usual method was to intimidate traditional rulers into acceding to fairly limited demands and to force some of the polities to accept new pro-French rulers if the previous ones proved intractable. His approach had defects. It tended to create great pressures in the polities, which weakened their structures of government and led to the anarchy he wished to avoid. In some societies it led to anti-French outbreaks when his departures from Senegal were interpreted as a lessening of French pressure. Also, his administrative methods and terminology gave the impression that the Senegalese hinterland was closer to being fully conquered than it really was. When Faidherbe annexed whole blocks of territory other than the villages around French forts, as in the case of Cayor, he did so as a last resort, after failure of his halfway measures.
The directorate of exterior affairs underwent several name changes, which implied that it did more than oversee French relations with the independent polities of Senegal and supervise the administration of annexed Walo. In 1857 Faidherbe renamed it the directorate of native affairs. Jauréguiberry attempted at the end of 1861 to add to this body and create a combined directorate of interior and native alfairs. Upon his return in 1863 Faidherbe renamed the bureau once again, this time calling it the directorate of political affairs, like its counterpart in Algeria. But the directorate was not a bureau arabe even though many Saint-Louis residents referred to it informally by that name. Except when he was sent on a mission into the interior, the director had little specific authority over the French arrondissement and post commandants since both tended to correspond directly with the governor.
Between 1856 and 1859 Faidherbe designated three major territorial units for Senegal and it dependencies, which he called arrondissements: Saint-Louis, Bakel, and Gorée, each named after their administrative centers and including lesser French posts. But he did not define the functions and responsibilities of arrondissement and post commandants. He merely gave new appointees specific written orders upon their departure from Saint-Louis. Faidherbe was also vague regarding peacetime relations between arrondissement and post commandants and independent African rulers, but he allowed the commandants a great deal of authority over French citizens and visitors within their jurisdictions.
The fate of Walo in 1855 is the textbook example of how an African polity could be conquered, annexed by France, broken into artificially created cantons—called cercles prior to 1863—each administered by a French appointed warrant chief (chef de canton) who might or might not be qualified to rule. In 1859 Faidherbe even wrote a constitution for Walo in the two languages of Woloff and French, which spelled out the power of the warrant chiefs and their relationship to the French superior commandant of Walo, who at that time was also the commandant of Dagana.
His annexations of territories other than African villages around French posts were often more nominal than real—good examples being the cases of Dimar and Toro. When Jauréguiberry took over the government of Senegal, he discovered—much to his consternation—that nothing available in writing in Saint-Louis, except for an obscure footnote on page 278 of the 1861 Annuaire du Sénégal, proved that Toro had ever been annexed. Cayor, even annexed, remained relatively unorganized.
The plan that Faidherbe was attempting to follow did not require systematic conquest or annexation of all the African territories of Senegal. As far as he was concerned, Senegal was not to be a new Algeria. When he wrote in 1859 that “Senegal should be nothing more than a subdivision of Algeria,” 23 he meant that, with the dissolution of the short-lived ministry of Algeria and the colonies, Senegal should not be returned to the jurisdiction of the naval ministry but to that of the war ministry, which was also responsible for governing Algeria. He was reflecting an anti-navy view shared by many persons in Saint-Louis. As Marc Maurel wrote, “Such an annexation … would rid us completely of the navy … and permit us to pick up crumbs from an always well-garnished table.” 24 Faidherbe’s request that Senegal be given a director of the interior was intended as a way of relieving the ordonnateur, or chief administrative officer—usually of a naval vessel—of responsibilities for the small civil population of Saint-Louis and the other enclaves that were not really his.
Jauréguiberry, a trained naval administrator shocked by the discrepancies between theory and fact that he discovered in Faidherbe’s administrative system, resolved to “break with the administrative past … [as Faidherbe] had broken with the political and military past.” 25 To increase centralized control by Saint-Louis, he created seven arrondissements from Faidherbe’s three, and he proposed to create a structured and combined directorate of the interior and of native affairs. He spelled out in detail the responsibilities and powers of arrondissement and post commandants, as well as responsibilities of representatives of the director of the interior and native affairs in the various arrondissement centers. Jauréguiberry traced lines of authority from the governor’s office through the directorate to the arrondissement and post commandants. He did not elaborate on how the unannexed African polities were to fit into this administrative structure, but the implication was that they would be annexed as soon as feasible. He further proposed the creation of consultative commissions in the administrative centers of each arrondissement to be made up of official and unofficial members authorized to deliberate on all questions of local interest except political ones. Last, he proposed the reestablishment of the general council (conseil général) that had been abolished in 1848.
Chasseloup-Laubat, the naval minister, approved most of these proposals; but again, as he had done earlier with Faidherbe, he turned down the request that he authorize the establishment of a bureau of the interior, citing as justification the added expense involved. He refused even to consider reestablishment of the general council—the idea was too liberal for the Second Empire. But the other proposals soon went into effect.
When Faidherbe returned to Senegal in 1863, he retained many of Jauréguiberry’s innvoations. However, he again reduced the number of arrondissements to three and diminished Jauréguiberry’s centralizing tendencies, particularly as they concerned the directorate of native affairs. At this point Faidherbe completed the transfer to Senegal of the Algerian administrative terminology. Large subdivisions of the three arrondissements became twelve cercles, six of them corresponding to six of Jauréguiberry’s seven arrondissements. The subdivisions within Walo that had been called cercles since 1855 were now called cantons, and Walo as a whole became part of the cercle of Saint-Louis. The directorate was renamed to become directorate of political affairs. But, now as before, most of the Senegalese polities remained either independent or only nominally annexed but intimidated. Faidherbe’s system continued to lack substance and to depend more on the presence of its creator than on administrative structure for its smooth operation.
Faidherbe undertook a number of projects to improve material conditions in Saint-Louis as well as in the other enclaves. He ordered the refurbishing or the construction of a number of the town’s public buildings, the paving of a number of its streets, the clearing of a quay that encircled the island, and the erection of the first public latrines. He planned the system by which fresh water would be piped into Saint-Louis from the Lampsar creek, a delta channel of the Senegal river; this project would be completed by Governor Brière de L’Isle after 1877. Faidherbe had the narrow branch of the Senegal river bridged in 1856 to connect Saint-Louis with Guet-N’Dar on the Langue de Barbarie—the long, narrow sand spit, which separates Saint-Louis from the Atlantic Ocean. He obtained permission to bridge the main branch of the Senegal river with a pontoon bridge completed in 1865.
Faidherbe had little to do, however, with the development of port facilities at Dakar even though he had recommended in 1853 that the French occupy this town and had surveyed the site for the Mamelles lighthouse, whose beacon would shine for the first time in 1864. The decision to build first one and then two breakwater piers was made in Fance as an effort to force the new navigation company—The Messageries impériales, which connected Bordeaux and Marseilles to South American ports—to have its ships stop for coaling on French territory rather than in the Portuguese Cape Verde islands. The layout of the port, the grid plan for the town of Dakar, and the supervision of the construction were all the work of Pinet-Laprade, commandant of Gorée after 1859.
Although Faidherbe never denied the strategic importance of Dakar, like his mentors in the Maurel and Prom company he never believed that it would have much future as a commercial center. Morale in the business community had begun to suffer because Jauréguiberry not only favored moving the capital of the colony to Dakar but also because he favored Pinet-Laprade’s pet scheme to forbid commercial transactions at Rufisque and to force the traders established there to move their operations to Dakar, twenty-two kilometers west. To restore public confidence in Saint-Louis, Faidherbe sponsored the publication of an article in the Moniteur du Sénégal that stated that Saint-Louis would always be the largest city in the colony even if Dakar became the capital 26. As late as 1889, several years after the opening of the Dakar-Saint-Louis railway, Faidherbe was still claiming that Saint-Louis was a viable seaport despite the bar at the river’s mouth. One major Bordeaux company, he wrote—no doubt Maurel and Prom—dispatched six ships a year from Bordeaux directly to the upper river and back, hence bypassing the railway altogether.
The official weekly newspaper, the Moniteur du Sénégal (called the Feuille officielle du Sénégal et dépendances from January 1860 to June 1864), which Faidherbe founded in 1856, and the Annuaire du Sénégal, which he founded in 1858, were two of his most significant creations. They resulted from orders given to Protet to found a government printing press in Saint-Louis and to begin publication of these official organs. Under Faidherbe’s editorship, both published more than official notices and documents. He and some of his talented subordinates—Flize, Azan, and Pinet-Laprade—contributed articles on African history, anthropology, and linguistics. In addition, they both reproduced material like that appearing in French and Algerian newspapers and are valuable sources for the study of the period.
While Faidherbe was serving as governor, his attitude toward the various Senegalese people was ambivalent as it had been earlier in Algeria toward the Arabs and Berbers. He was ruthless or benevolent toward them, depending upon their degree of receptiveness to his policies. He always distrusted Islam, even when practiced by pro-French peoples or individuals, and remained unimpressed in the cases of the Woloff and the Sereer populations by the opposition of Islamic reformers like Maba-Diakhou to the thièdos.
Faidherbe’s methods of warfare were violent; he was a strong practitioner of the razzia. But he devoted a percentage of the sales of the booty taken in razzias to help finance the founding of a social club in Saint-Louis aimed at promoting interracial understanding 27. Having destroyed the commercial privileges of the mulatto elite in Saint-Louis, he then tried to assimilate them to the Europeans by very direct methods. He favored interracial liaisons, and in 1885 was angered when the apostolic prefect of Saint-Louis, the Abbé Barbier, forbade the upper class, young mulatto women of Saint-Louis to attend a ball given in honor of the emperor, to which all his officers had been invited. Liaisons between European men and pure-blooded African women he saw as a means of increasing the links between Europeans and Africans. They also increased the number of mulattoes. Faidherbe himself had one and possibly two children by his Sarakholé mistress, Dionkounda Siadibi28
Toward slaves, Faidherbe’s attitude was more practical than humanitarian. He avoided applying provisions of the emancipation decree of 1848 in areas that he brought under French control, particularly the villages adjacent to French posts. On the subject of slave ownership he conveniently adopted the distinction made by Carrère, the judicial service head, between French citizens and subjects. In 1855 Faidherbe promulgated an arrêté that permitted French citizens in all the enclaves except Saint-Louis and Gorée to hire captives from their African masters for use as laborers 29. In 1857 he issued an arrêté that codified a practice in which he had engaged since the beginning of his governorship to the effect that only those captives from African polities at odds with the French would be automatically freed upon setting foot on French soil; captives from friendly polities would be expelled as “undesirable vagabonds.” 30 He permitted Pinet-Laprade to make use of captive labor in the construction at Dakar 31
There appears to be no truth to the legend that Faidherbe threatened in November 1857 to resign the governorship in protest over the possibility that as part of his government contract of March 1857 the Marseilles merchant Victor Régis might be permitted to recruit for contract labor for the West Indies as far north as Senegal. In the section of Le Sénégal, la France dans l’Afrique occidentale that discusses this issue, the letter of resignation that Faidherbe quotes does not mention this question at all nor did the minister’s reply, which he does not quote 32. Régis’s base of operations being on the Ivory and Dahomey coasts, he had little desire to recruit in Senegambia. Faidherbe’s threat to resign, it seems apparent, was motivated by a desire to obtain renewed ministerial support for his continued struggle against the Trarzas and for his plan to create the tirailleurs sénégalais.
A difficult question to answer about Faidherbe’s two governorships is how far east he really wished to expand French rule. It is evident from his writings, private and published, that he was fascinated by the mid-Niger basin. When the Third Republic began to expand inland from the headwaters of the Senegal river to the mid-Niger, the protagonists of the advance—Governor Brière de L’Isle, Captain Gallieni, Borgnis-Desbordes, and others—claimed that they were following Faidherbe’s policy, claims he did not deny even though he criticized the violence of their campaigns against Ahmadou and other African rulers. On the contrary, he maintained that he had always favored peaceful penetration of the area in cooperation with local African rulers 33. This assertion was only partially true.
As early as 1856 Faidherbe had recommended that the French government recognize the sovereignty of El-Hadj Omar east of Bafoulabé. In 1858 he suggested that exploration missions penetrate the upper and middle Niger regions not only from the upper Senegal but also from the mouth of the Niger river. Not to do so, he argued in reference to the latter scheme, would be “an unpardonable political error.” 34. Nothing immediately came of either suggestion although Faidherbe obtained permission to sponsor several exploratory missions of a more limited nature into areas bordering Senegal, such as southern Mauritania and Fouta Djallon
In 1863 Faidherbe returned to Senegal with a comprehensive plan to send an emissary to Ségou, Omar’s new capital, to negotiate a treaty that would allow the French to open a trail connecting Médine with Bamako along which would be placed three fortified trading posts at strategic points. The two emissaries, Mage and Quintin, who departed for Ségou in 1864 on what would be an epochal journey, accomplished little before Faidherbe’s final departure from Senegal in May 1865. He claimed that he wanted only a peaceful penetration of Omar’s empire, wherein the latter’s sovereignty would be respected. But if indeed Faidherbe really had such a hope it was naive; had he proceeded with the construction of these posts they would have led to the same conflicts as had the posts and the telegraph line in Cayor.
Except for his participation in the Franco-Prussian war and his continued scholarly endeavors, Faidherbe’s later career was not spectacular—probably a result of his deteriorating health and a resulting decline in what could be called his political acuity. Each time he resigned from the governorship of Senegal, he claimed poor health as justification and requested new assignment in Algeria. In 1861 he served as commandant of the subdivision of Sidi-Bel-Abbès from September of that year to May 1863. After his second resignation, a period of leave, and a struggle with the war ministry, he was named commandant of the subdivision of Annaba (Bône), beginning in February 1867; and he served intermittently as interim commandant of the province of Constantine from 1869 until November 1870.
But Faidherbe clearly disliked not being the chief in Algeria. In a letter to General Frossard—head of the emperor’s military household, with whom he had been corresponding regularly since 1856—he threatened to resign from the army if he were not soon promoted from colonel to brigadier general 35. Frossard replied soothingly, encouraging Faidherbe to take advantage of the navy’s dissatisfaction with Jauréguiberry to obtain reappointment as governor of Senegal. But Faidherbe would not consider returning to Senegal without the rank of brigadier general. He received both the promotion and the assignment.
Leaving Senegal the second time in May 1865, Faidherbe spent a very long sick leave in Algeria. But when the war ministry wished to transfer him to a subdivision in Corsica, he claimed that the climate would aggravate his chronic bronchitis—a specious argument considering the similarities between the climates of Corsica and of northern Algeria—and refused. André Demaison claims that the real reason for this refusal was that Faidherbe did not wish to serve the Second Empire in domestic assignments. In this instance he knew that the government needed to fill all its general officers’ posts on the island in order to use the army to enforce the conscription law, which was particularly unpopular in Corsica. As a result of this issue Marshal Randon, then war minister, almost forced Faidherbe into retirement at forty-eight, but he relented and finally permitted him to accept the available assignment in Algeria.
Within two years, however, Faidherbe began to ask for more. In frank letters to Marshal Niel, Randon’s successor in the war ministry, he requested promotion to divisional general and assignment to head the divisional command of Constantine province should the incumbent, General Périgot, whom he had previously replaced on an interim basis, resign because of his own ill health 36. Again Faidherbe threatened to retire if his request were denied. Niel reminded him that he was not the only ambitious brigadier general in the French army but urged him in no circumstances to retire 37
Faidherbe was not opposed, at least openly, to the Second Empire. He cultivated the friendship of members of the imperial entourage like General Frossard, Prince Jérome, and several others. Their letters indicate that Napoleon III thought highly of Faidherbe though they had never met. That he could quibble about his assignments, even refusing one, indicates that he was held in official favor.
During his stints at Annaba and Constantine, Faidherbe got along well with the white colonist—and this at a time when the régime du sabre in Algeria was under civilian attack. In early 1870 he served as president of the court-martial of several bureau arabe officers and the commandant of the cercle of Tebessa in eastern Algeria. They were accused of complicity in the April 1869 murder by local qadis of members of a caravan approaching the Tunisian border from Tebessa in eastern Algeria. The episode, which became known as the affaire de l’oued Mahouine, rivaled the affaire Doineau of 1856 in stimulating the antimilitary sentiments of many settlers and their liberal supporters in France. The trial was complicated in that the defense counsel was the radical lawyer and politician Jules Favre, a major spokesman for the antimilitary, anti-bureaux-arabes groups in France. Paradoxically, in winning acquittal for the officers, Favre increased the unpopularity of the system in general by transferring the blame for what had happened to the entire military government in Algeria. Both military and civilian authorities praised Faidherbe for his impartiality during the trial. Colas, the new radical deputy from Constantine, wrote to the minister of war in April 1871 that Faidherbe had “the unanimous confidence of the army and population” and requested that he be appointed to head the division of Constantine. Faidherbe’s return would cause the province, at that time wracked by the revolt in the Kabylie, to “return to order.” 38

Commanding General of the Army of the North

Faidherbe was on leave in Lille when the Franco-Prussian war began. Much to his annoyance Marshal Leboeuf, the new war minister, ordered him back to Algeria to serve once more as commandant of the subdivision of Annaba (Bône) rather than acceding to his request for a metropolitan command, believing that Faidherbe’s talents would be better used to keep order in Algeria, from which most metropolitan troops were being withdrawn. With the fall of the Second Empire Faidherbe offered his services to the government of national defense. He made such a good impression on Léon Cambetta when the two men met at Tours on November 28, 1870 that Gambetta offered him command of the Army of the North headquartered at Lille. Faidherbe assumed this command in early December.
The Army of the North consisted basically of the Twenty-second and Twenty-third Infanty Corps and was one of several provincial armies created by the new government to continue the war after the surrender at Sedan and the beginning of the sieges of Metz and Paris. Testelin was its creator, a veteran of the 1848 revolution, whom Gambetta named special commissioner for defense in the four northernmost departments. When Faidherbe took over, this army consisted of 17,000 poorly trained regular troops and several thousand irregular gardes mobiles. To these were added escaped officers and men from the armies of Sedan and Metz. By January Faidherbe could claim 35,000 regular troops, “half of whom fight seriously.” 39 His two military objectives were to keep the Prussians out of northeastern France and to help the Army of Paris break out. He succeeded in the first objective but, except for tying down some 25,000 Prussians who might have been better used elsewhere, he failed in the second.
The Army of the North earlier had fought valiantly at Villers-Bretonneux but had not succeeded in driving the Prussians from Amiens. Faidherbe’s first engagement, recapturing the fortress of Ham, was a success; but he failed to take La Fère to the east, which would have facilitated communications with Rheims, a major Prussian communications center. Turning west to relieve Amiens, on December 23 he met the forces of General Manteuffel at Pont Noyelles, near the junction of the Hallue and the Somme rivers. His troops made good use of their chassepots and mitrailleuses and even slept on the battlefield that night—a proof of victory—but the next day retired to Arras in exhaustion.
Faidherbe then went to the relief of Péronne, south of Arras, the remaining fortress in French hands along a strategic route linking Amiens with Rheims. The Prussians had surrounded it on December 27. The fort itself could easily withstand a long siege, but when the Prussians trained their artillery on the town rather than on the fort itself, the townspeople began to pressure its commandant to surrender. Faidherbe told them to stand firm.
To reach Péronne meant dislodging the Prussian Eighth Corps, commanded by General von Goeben, from Bapaume. Faidherbe’s troops managed to occupy the suburbs of Bapaume on three sides and even forced most of the Prussian troops to evacuate; yet they never occupied the town themselves. Michael Howard writes that Faidherbe tragically misjudged the real weakness of the Prussian position. Faidherbe later asserted in his Campagne de l’armée du Nord (1871) that he did not complete the operation at Bapaume because he had forced the bulk of the Prussian troops to withdraw and that occupation would have necessitated destroying what was, after all, a French town 40. According to Demaison, “Faidherbe … an engineer officer [was] above all a builder. Had he been an infantryman, an artilleryman, or a cavalry officer, he would have slept in Bapaume [that night] even if it were half destroyed.” 41 His troops retreated north to Arras during the evening of January 3 and Péronne—despairing of relief, its discouraged commandant pressed by the town’s citizens—surrendered six days later, its defenses still intact. Its fall negated any value that Faidherbe’s effort at Bapaume might have had.
Faidherbe’s final action in the war was to lead a diversion that was to move either toward the Oise or toward Paris, whichever would tie down the Prussian soldiers while General Trochu in Paris made a final attempt to break the siege. An attempt to trick the Prussians into thinking that he was moving west toward Amiens and Paris when in reality he was moving east failed because the Prussian general, Von Goeben, guessed his strategy and forced him to give battle at Saint-Quentin. The result was hardly a French success. Faidherbe lost 15,000 men either as casualties or as prisoners—half his army. The other half, however, made an orderly retreat to the north on January 19 taking most of the army’s artillery pieces with it, a retreat so well executed that Von Goeben did not realize what was happening and failed to order pursuit until a day later. Faidherbe’ s men had escaped, but they did not again take the field.
Given its lack of training, the Army of the North fought well but not very decisively. But it did provide the French with a little honor in a war with otherwise dismal consequences.

Public Offices

When Faidherbe relinquished command of the Army of the North in March 1871, he was physically and psychologically spent and wanted nothing more than a long rest and a chance to get back to his writings. But the local republican leaders in Lille, particularly Testelin and Warin—editor of the influential Echo du Nord—hoped to use his fame as a war hero to bring him into politics on their side. They first sponsored Faidherbe for election to the municipal council of Lille an then to the general council of the department of the Nord, elections he easily won. Then they decided to have him elected to the National Assembly. But when elected spontaneously by the department of the Somme in February, Faidherbe refused to serve because he was still in active command of his army. Only after being elected by three departments in July did he agree to represent the Nord.
Success in politics was a crowning achievement for such contemporaries of his as Admiral Jauréguiberry, who would serve two terms as minister of the navy and colonies, and General Farre, Faidherbe’s immediate subordinate in the Army of the North, who became minister of war in 1879. Faidherbe’s political career was marred by a combination of poor health, little sustained interest, too rigid a personality, and lack of political acumen—at least in this arena. He left his campaign for the deputyship to the editor of the Echo du Nord.
While still in the military, Faidherbe’s political position on several issues conflicted with the emerging French conservatism. He continued to support Léon Gambetta, and he opposed the tendency of the National Assembly to consider itself constituent. His enemies accused him of having tacitly favored the Paris Commune because he did not offer his services personally to Thiers when the latter decided to crush the Commune by force. Indeed, when Thiers summoned Faidherbe to Versailles in March 1871 to discuss ways by which the remnants of the Army of the North could support the Army of Versailles, Faidherbe, pleading poor health, only went as far as Saint-Denis; he sent his aide-de-camp on to Versailles. His enemies forgot that he had earlier made plans to use the Army of the North to occupy Lille should the local radicals there get out of hand 42
Once elected to the National Assembly, Faidherbe annoyed supporters of both Gambetta and Thiers by not immediately taking his seat after election; instead, he took a two-week cure at Aix-les-Bains. And after having sat for less than three weeks, he suddenly resigned to protest passage of the Vitet bill, which confirmed the constituent powers of the Assembly. Although he would eventually draw closer to Thiers, the immediate result of Faidherbe’s resignation was that he was not included in either the Changarnier commission, created to evaluate government promotions, or the commission formed to draft a new conscription law. In the case of promotions, Faidherbe strongly believed that those officers and men who had fought throughout the whole Franco-Prussian war should be properly rewarded, have their promotions confirmed, and be given seniority over those who had been captured at the start and had never returned to active service. The Changarnier commission disagreed, being particularly reluctant to reward officers who had fled German captivity because they had violated their word of honor that they would not attempt to escape. Faidherbe, who had not granted promotions frivolously, defended his men in writing and in person before the commission, and convinced the members to confirm the ranks and seniority of his principal subordinates.
Like the majority of the commission on conscription at the beginning of its deliberations, Faidherbe favored a short-term conscript army. All able-bodied young men, he believed, should be required to serve. He would exempt only those preparing to teach or to serve as clergymen in the recognized churches. He would not exempt married men, but he favored imposing a special tax on bachelors over the age of twenty-five to help defray the cost of supporting the wives and families of needy married draftees—and incidentally to encourage marriage. As the debates dragged on, however, the majority of the commission agreed with Thiers and several others that a professional army that relied on a relatively small number of long-term draftees was best for France. The law of 1873 fell far short of Faidherbe’s ideal. The 1905 law would come much closer.
Within a month of his resignation from the National Assembly, Faidherbe sought from Thiers a military desk job—all that he was now physically fit for—and funds to undertake a short research mission in Egypt. He obtained the latter thanks to his old friend, J. Lambrecht, an industrialist from Lille who served as minister of the interior from July 1871 until his death in October. The desk job was granted when Faidherbe returned from Egypt; in October 1872 he was appointed to the Commission centrale des chemins de fer until its dissolution in 1878, when he became a member of its successor, the Conseil supérieur des voies de communication. Faidherbe’s dossier shows, however, that these appointments were honorary—a means for him to retain his full salary, which he desperately needed to pay for his medical treatments 43. Faidherbe had wanted to be on the Conseil des fortifications. Although Thiers seemed to favor the idea, his war minister, General Cissey, argued that since Faidherbe had not held an engineering command since 1854 his knowledge of military engineering would be out-of-date 44
Faidherbe’s public career did not end even after paralysis confined him to a wheelchair in 1874. In 1879 he was elected to the French Senate from Lille, again sponsored by the Echo du Nord; and in 1880 Charles de Freycinet, formerly the war delegate in the government of national defense and now prime minister, named him grand chancellor of the Legion of Honor. Faidherbe was not very active as a senator, but he did take part in the debates on French expansion into the Sudan. He advised Admiral Jauréguiberry, minister of the navy in 1879 and 1880, on the projected railway to run from Kayes to Bafoulabé and eventually to Bamako and in 1883 and 1886 argued strongly against abandonment of the project. As grand chancellor he supervised a major reform in the Legion’s finances and democratized the three boarding schools operated by the Legion for the daughters of legionnaires.

The Scholar

Faidherbe developed eclectic intellectual interests that included African history, linguistics, anthropology, and what could be called public relations. He began taking notes during his first Algerian assignment and publishing articles after he reached Senegal, the first ones being four descriptive essays for the popular L’Illustration journal universel on the French possessions in Senegal, the Ivory Coast, and Gabon. He then turned to more serious scholarship with “Les Berbères et les Arabes des bords du Sénégal” in 1854 and “Populations noires des bassins du Sénégal et du haut Niger” in 1856, both published in the Bulletin de la Société de géographie de Paris. He became quite close to Jomard, editor of this journal and president of the society, with whom he corresponded. It was Jomard who urged Faidherbe to submit to the Volney competitition of the French Institute of 1856 a study that he had witten about the Berber dialect spoken in the Senegal valley. This entry won honorable mention and was publishecl in 1877 as Le Zénaga des tribus sénégalaises: Contribution à l’étude de la langue berbère. Between 1860 and 1887 Faidherbe published eight other short studies and vocabulary phrase lists of Woloff, Sereer, Sarakholé, Poular, Arabic, and Berber.
The bulk of Faidherbe’s writings had the practical aim of publicizing his activities, particularly in Senegal. He also wrote a book, two pamphlets, and an extended letter to the editor of the Moniteur de l’armée in which he defended the performance of the Army of the North during the Franco-Prussian war and the role of its commander in chief.
His writing about North Africa and about Senegalese anthropology, history, and linguistics indicate that like Sir Harry Johnston he undertook some scholarly activities for the sake of scholarship. As far as Senegal was concerned, however, he believed that knowledge of local history and anthropology had practical applications. It helped him, for instance, to implement policies of divide and reign. Linguistics, he believed, enabled a colonizer to avoid “the difficulties of all sorts that can arise in the relations of a civilized people with an uncivilized people when they cannot understand each other.” 45 But he also recognized in a very modern way that comparative linguistics was a valuable tool for studying African history 46. He continued to subscribe to what is now called the Hamitic thesis as far as Foulbé origins were concerned, yet he recognized that certain similarities between Poular, Woloff, and Sereer suggested a common origin for the three languages and the three peoples who spoke them 47. He was only a step away from the modern understanding of the relationships among the speakers of the West Atlantic languages group.
Faidherbe’s final years in Algeria (1865-1870) were particularly fruitful for his scholarly activities. He became honorary president of the Academy of Hippo, a learned society founded by local colonists of Annaba. And he went on numerous archeological expeditions to such sites as Roknia, Bou-Merzoug, Oued-Berd, and Tebessa in search of prehistoric remains and grave markings, dolmens, and ancient Numidian inscriptions. Several writings emerged from his research:
Mémoires sur les éléphants carthaginois (1867), Voyage des cinq nasamons d’Hérodote dans l’intérieur de la Lybie (1867), Recherches anthropologiques sur les tombeaux m9galithiques de Roknia (1868), Collection complète des inscriptions numidiques (1870), Inscriptions numidiques: Réponse à M. le docteur Judas (1871), Les Dolmens d’Afrique (1873), Epigraphie phénicienne (1873), and others of lesser importance.
His works reflect the author’s first-rate powers of empirical observation and the influence of scholars such as Renan, Topinard, and Paul Broca, with whom he corresponded frequently. He applied the terminology and the cephalic measurements of Paul Broca to prehistoric skulls that he unearthed and even ventured suggestions as to how one of Broca’s craniometers could be improved. He used the concepts and terminology of race that had been developed by Gobineau and popularized by others, especially Renan.
Faidherbe developed a strong interest in the popular Nordic hypothesis. But even though he tended to glorify the achievements of the dolichocephalic, tall, blond man, “la dernière fixée dans la série du perfectionnement progressif des
êtres vivants que nous enseigne le transformisme,” 48 and to categorize humanity into inferior and superior races, he was made uneasy both by the impossibility of rigidly classifying races according to physical criteria and by the ease with which blacks, when given the chance, could acquire a European, middle-class culture 49
The only writings of Faidherbe’s generally remembered today are those dealing with the history of French rule in Senegal, particularly his last work—the 501 page compendium Le Sénégal, la France dans l’Afrique occidentale (1889). This work is informative but hard to evaluate because it recapitulates other works by Faidherbe such as his fascicle sequence Le Soudan français, published between 1881 and 1885, “Journal des opérations de guerre au Sénégal,” which appeared in the Annuaire du Sénégal in 1861, and Annales sénégalaises de 1854 à 1885 suivies des traités passés avec les indigènes, published by the naval ministry in 1885 with no specific author listed. It also quotes from a letter that Emile Maurel, the son of Hilaire, wrote Faidherbe in which he had argued in favor of the upper Senegal route to the mid-Niger. The same passage had appeared earlier in the second fascicle of Le Soudan français in 1883.
In 1885 Faidherbe admitted that arthritis had so crippled his hands that he could barely write. He could dictate, assuming that he was still lucid; but one of the obituary notices that appeared at his death in 1889 suggested that he had not been so in recent months—just when Le Sénégal was published. In the preface of the book Faidherbe acknowledged that he had been helped in its compilation by his son-in-law, Captain Brosselard-Faidherbe, and by two of his aides—Captain Bizard and above all Captain Ancelle, himself the author of an anthology on European explorers in West Africa.


Faidherbe’s African reputation rests on his role as governor of Senegal for nearly nine years and on his efforts and those of his associates to create what might be called a Faidherbe legend. In person and by reputation he influenced the next generation of colonial proconsuls, men like Brière de L’Isle and Gallieni, who continued the push into the interior after 1879. Both men corresponded with Faidherbe, visited him when they were in France, and generally claimed to be following in his footsteps—claims that he and his heirs did not discourage.
Faidherbe’s role in the Franco-Prussian war was honorable. He kept the Germans at bay in his sector, and along with General Chanzy and Admiral Jauréguiberry proved that at least some soldiers trained in colonial warfare could also fight effectively against fellow Europeans. The tirailleurs sénégalais, which he founded, were expanded by his successors and used in conquering the rest of France’s African empire. They played an important role in the revanche when it came.
As an Africanist, Faidberbe in a sense inaugurated France’s scientific study of its tropical African colonies. In addition to publications of a practical nature, propaganda, and self-justification, he produced several works of theoretical scholarship in linguistics and anthropology. His achievement in this respect is all the more signficant in that the French army at the time offered a poor intellectual environment. Indeed, many of the senior officers who held major commands in Algeria or powerful positions in the war ministry in Paris were frankly anti-intellectual. As a colonial scholar-administrator Faidherbe prefigured men like Paul Marty and Maurice Delafosse.
As an innovator in colonial affairs and as a conqueror, Faidherbe was not as distinguished as Bugeaud, Gallieni, and Lyautey. In Senegal, however, he synthesized and brought to fruition ideas for the development of French domination, a few of which went back as far as the seventeenth century. He raised the level of efficiency in the old mercantilistic system for exploiting the resources of the navigable waterways of Senegambia and their hinterlands. He introduced into this West African trading colony more modern and vigorous practices of military conquest, repression, and direct rule developed by the French army in Algeria. Finally, he created the nucleus of a comprehensive system of colonial administration that others would expand.

. I wish to express my gratitude to the French Colonial Historical Society and to the Hoover Institution for the award of a grant in 1975. I would also like to express my appreciation to Dr. Lester Brown, president of Voorhees College, and to Dr. Kariuki Karei, former chairman of the Social Science Division of Voorhees College, and to Mrs. Mary Small, reference librarian at the college, for their invaluable cooperation.
. Reconstructing Faidherbe’s early years and the personal side of his active life is difficult because he wrote no real reminiscences other than several quasi-official accounts of French expansion in Senegal many years after he had quit the governorship. Most of his private papers, including what must have been a voluminous correspondence carried on with his mother until her death in 1856, were lost by his heirs. A few items, the Ogé-Lamoitié Papers, have remained in the hands of Madame Denise Lamoitié of Paris, Faidherbe’s great-granddaughter, who kindly permitted me to consult them. These materials and the information available in Faidherbe’s two personal dossiers constituted by the war and naval ministries permit a rudimentary reconstruction of the unoffical side of Faidherbe life and career.
3. Inspection certificate, 1845, Faidherbe personal dossier, War Ministry, Archives historiques de l’armée (Vincennes); André Demaison, “Faidherbe,” in Les Grandes Figures coloniales (Paris, 1932), p. 8.
. Inspection certificate, 1840, Faidherbe personal dossier, War Ministry; Georges Hardy, “Faidherbe” in Collection les grands coloniaux (Paris, 1947), pp. 11-14; interview with Professor Lucien Genêt of the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris, 19 June 1968.
. Faidherbe to his mother, Sophie Monnier Faidberbe, June 1844, Ogé-Lamoitié Papers.
. Faidherbe to his mother, Sophie Monnier Faidherbe, June 1844 and n.d. (incomplete), Ogé-Lamoitié Papers.
. Faidherbe to naval minister, 29 January 1849, 17 October 1849; governor of Guadeloupe to naval minister, 31 August 1849; war minister to naval minister, 31 May 1852, all in Faidberbe personal dossier, Naval Ministry, Archives nationales de France (Paris); General Delgrave to war minister, 29 June 1852, Faidherbe personal dossier, War Ministry.
. Inspection certificate, 20 October 1848, Faidberbe personal dossier, War Ministry.
. Bouët-Willaumez to naval minister, 6 November 1844, Sénégal VII 10c; naval minister to Protet, 4 and 5 January 1853; 14 December 1853, 5 and 21 January 1854, Sénégal 1 37c, 39b, 40c; naval minister to Faidberbe, 8 December 1854, Sénégal I 41a, all quoted in Christian Schéfer, Instructions genérales données de 1763 à 1870 aux gouverneurs et ordonnateurs des établissements franqais en Afrique occidentale (Paris, 1927), 1:166-172, 216-229, 239-246, 265-273; naval minister to Vérand, 3 November 1853, Sénégal I 38b, Archives nationales, Section d’outre-mer (Paris) (hereinafter cited ANSOM); naval minister to Protet, 18 May 1854, 27 July 1854, Sénégal 1 40c, ANSOM; Georges Hardy, La Mise en valeur du Sénégal de 1817 à 1854 (Paris, 1921), pp. 341-342; “Pétition addressée à monsieur le gouverneur du Sénégal,” 8 December 1851, attached to Protet to naval minister, 16 May 1852, Sénégal XIII la, ANSOM; Deuxième Pétition adressée à M. le gouverneur du Sénégal (Bordeaux, 1854). For a description of how Faidherbe’s instructions were formulated see Leland Conley Barrows, “The Merchants and General Faidherbe: Aspects of French Expansion in Senegal in the 1850s” Revue française d’histoire d’outre-mer 51, no. 223 (1974):238-246, 249-259.
10. Ogé-Lamoitié Papers.
11. Marc Maurel to Auxcousteaux, 19 and 22 April 1854, 19 May 1854, 3 and 30 June 1854; Marc Maurel to Hilaire Maurel, 11 and 14 April 1854, 17 May 1854, 3 June 1854, all in Maurel and Prom Papers; collective letter signed by Maurel and Prom and four other Bordeaux companies to the minister of the navy, I June 1854; Hilaire Maurel to Mesiro, 12 and 17 June 1854, 25 July 1854, all in Sénégal IV 17d, ANSOM.
12. Marc Maurel to Auxcousteaux, 19 May 1854, 3 and 30 June 1854, Maurel and Prom Papers; Faidherbe to Colonel Roux, 10 September 1854, Faidherbe personal dossier, Naval Ministry.
13. Petition to naval minister, 28 August 1854, Sénégal TV 17d, ANSOM.
14. Naval minister to Faidherbe, 9 November 1854, Sénégal 1 40c, ANSOM, quoted in Schéfer, Instructions, pp. 256-258.
15. Marc Maurel to Hilaire Maurel (Saint-Louis), 9 and 11 May 1855, Maurel and Prom Papers Faidherbe to naval minister, 27 July 1855; deliberations of the executive council, 20 October 1857, all in Sénégal VII 26bis, ANSOM.
16. Faidherbe, “Mémoire sur la colonie du Sénégal,” 1 October 1858, Sénégal I 45a, ANSOM.
17. Faidherbe to colonial minister, 13 April 1860, Sénégal I 46a, ANSOM; Louis Léon César Faidherbe, Le Sénégal, la France dans l’Afrique occidentale (Paris, 1889), pp. 261-266.
18. Jauréguiberry to MMC, 26 December 1862, Sénégal I 48b, ANSOM; Jauréguiberry, “Notes sur l’organisation militaire et administrative du Sénégal et dépendances,” Sénégal VII 13c, ANSOM.
19. Deliberations of the executive council, 29 November 1859, Sénégal VII 26bis ANSOM.
20. Faidherbe, “Mémoire sur la colonie du Sénégal,” 5 August 1856, Sénégal I 43d, ANSOM.
21. Deliberations of the executive council, 11 October 1859, Sénégal VII 26bis, ANSOM.
22. Faidherbe to naval minister, 25 December 1855, Sénégal I 41b, ANSOM.
23. Faidherbe to colonial minister, 14 October 1859, Sénégal I 46a, ANSOM.
24. Marc Maurel to Monsieur Pierre, 20 October 1860, Maurel and Prom Papers.
25. Jauréguiberry to MMC, 17 December 1861, Sénégal 148 b, ANSOM.
26. Moniteur du Sénégal, 22 September 1863.
27. Faidherbe to naval minister, 1 April 1857, Sénégal XI 3a, ANSOM: Naval Minister to Faidherbe, 22 May 1857, Sénégal XI 3b, ANSOM.
28. Genêt interview, Demaison, “Faidherbe,” p. 125; superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers to naval minister, 28 October 1855, Sénégal X 4ter, ANSOM; naval minister to Faidherbe, 16 November 1855, Sénégal VIII 17d, ANSOM; Archives nationales du Sénégal (Dakar), 1867.
29. François Renault, “L’Abolition de 1’esclavage au Sénégal: L’Attitude de l’administration, 1848-1905,” Revue française d’histoire doutre-mer 63, no. 210, pt. 1 (1971): 10.
30. Ibid., p. 11.
31. Faidherbe to Pinet-Laprade, 22 February 1865, quoted in Jacques Charpy, La Fondation de Dakar (1845-1857-1869), no. 1: Collection des documents inédits pour servir à l’histoire de l’Afrique occidentale française (Paris, 1958), p. 350; see also Renault, “L’Abolition,” p. 14.
32. Faidherbe, Le Sénégal, p. 386; Faidherbe to Hamelin, 15 November 1857; Hamelin to Faidherbe, 19 February 1858, all in Faidherbe personal dossier, Naval Ministry.
33. Louis Léon César Faidherbe, Le Soudan français, fascicle 4: Pénétration au Niger (Lille, 1886), pp. 5-7, 13.
34. Faidherbe, “Mémoire sur la colonie du Sénégal,” October 1858, Sénégal I 45a, ANSOM.
35. Frossard to Faidherbe, 3 February 1863, Ogé-Lamoitié Papers.
36. Marshal Niel to Faidherbe, 19 April 1869, Ogé-Lamoitié Papers; Faidherbe to Marshal Niel, 27 April 1869, Faidherbe personal dossier, War Ministry.
37. Marshal Niel to Faidherbe, 27 April 1869, Ogé-Lamoitié Papers.
38. Colas to war minister, 14 April 1871, Faidberbe personal dossier, War Ministry.
39. Quoted in Michael Howard, The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871 (London, 1961), p. 392.
40. Louis Léon César Faidherbe, Campagne de l’armée du Nord (Paris, 1871), pp, 45-46.
41. Demaison, “Faidherbe,” pp. 230-231.
42. Daniel Foucaut, “Le Rôle politique du Général Faidherbe dans le Nord” (thesis, Diplôme d’études supérieures, University of Lille, 1967), pp. 29-30.
43. “Note sur la situation du Général Faidherbe,” 13 February 1879, Faidberbe personal dossier, War Ministry.
44. Chabaud de La Haune to Faidherbe, 30 August 1872, Ogé-Lamoitié Papers.
45. Louis Léon César Faidherbe, Langues sénégalaises: Wolof, Arabe-Hassania, Soninké, Serère: Notions grammaticales, vocabulaires, et phrases (Paris, 1887), p. 1.
46. Faidherbe, Notice sur la colonie du Sénégal (Paris, 1859), p. 23.
47. Faidherbe, Notice sur les travaux du géneral Faidherbe (Paris, n.d.), p.
48. Faidherbe, “Collection complète des inscriptions numidiques (libyques),” Extrait des mémoires de la Société des sciences, de l’agriculture, et des arts de Lille 8, no. 8 (1870):30.
49. Ibid., pp. 26-29; Faidherbe, Les Dolmens d’Afrique (Paris, 1873), pp. 419-420.


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