He himself would ask permission to establish a company branch at Dagana where the French already had a small fort. Similar establishments could be founded at Richard Toll, and at Podor, when the projected French fort there had been completed, and at other convenient locations. But it could, he felt, be made navigable with a minimum of dredging and some of locks and by the introduction of large, flat-bottomed, light-draft barges, pulled by steam tugs, to convey goods up and down the river.
Except for the Wolof state of Walo, Marc Maurel, neither then nor later, ever favored the actual conquest of any African states ; he merely wanted them subjected to what would be in practice a French monopoly. To guarantee the safety of the African growers of peanuts and, possibly, gum, he would prohibit the Mauritanians of the north bank from raiding the South, where, except as peaceful traders and transporter, they would not be welcome.
And there is almost a. Auxcousteaux, a journalist-friend of Marc Maurel, reported as very successful Although the Maurel and Prom Papers only rarely mention Ducos by name, they indicate, in an impersonal way, that he was very favorable to the Maurel and Prom Company.
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Some surviving letters indicate that when Maurel went on a trip to France during the summer of , Mestro deliberately sought him out to discuss Senegalese issues In August, , he even reported that Mohammed-el- Habib wanted such a Marc Maurel's next step was the unprecedented one of asking in October, , of Ducos himself, to open a branch store at Dagana, about kilometers up the river from Saint-Louis on the border between Walo and the Toucouleur province of Dimar where a small French fort was already located.
Up until then, the Trarza Moors in particular, and the Braknas had acted under the assumption that the treaties which they had made with France in and , gave them a virtual monopoly over the. Nor did they give the Trarza any sovereignty over Walo. Therefore, Maurel' s request that he be authorized to purchase gum of any origin, at any time during the year at this store had undeniable revolutionary implications. Both the memoir and the letter reached the Ministry about the same time. Not only was this request refused at the Executive Council meeting of December 21, , but also the colonial government would not guarantee the safety of this concession We note that this letter too was cited by Faidherbe when he wrote to the Minister, October 13th, , stating that he had accomplished the plan of and asking for new instructions.
It was Faidherbe, then, in one of his first acts as governor, who finally distributed at Dagana and Podor in January, Marc Maurel got two of the best, one at Dagana, the other at Podor. But when and how he did, one cannot tell for sure from the currently available records. The dealing with Cayor reflected the increased importance of this Wolof state as a producer of peanuts. But she cites no source for this bit of information Instead, Faidherbe received an unsolicited promotion in the army, hors cadre.
So the Minis- ter of War, Marshall Vaillant, gave him an hors cadre promotion for exceptional valor at Dialmath. Perhaps the Minister of War had read the account of the battle, written by Faidherbe himself , which General Fitte de Soucy, the Direc- tor General of the Engineer Corps, had had published in the Moniteur universel without first consulting Faidherbe. The degree of intimacy existing between Faidherbe, on one hand, and Hilaire and Marc Maurel, on the other is a moot point, but the tone of the available correspondence suggests that the relationship was never intimate, certainly not as intimate as the relationship them and Pinet-Laprade ; although the two Maurels and did develop a great deal of mutual respect.
Also, he reminded the signatories that the extra blockhouses could not yet be considered because they were not part of the original requests made in the memoirs, About the same time, Faidherbe's own account of the events reached Colonel Roux, the Director of Fortifications, at the Ministry of the Navy, who passed it on to General Fitte de Soucy, the Director of the Engineer Corps, who eventually published it in the Moniteur universel of 10 July, Protet's own officiai report was, as could be expected, rosier than the others, but even he admitted to at least casualties — very high for a colonial campaign — and gave.
Possibly it was as a resuit of the June 19th meeting with Hilaire Maurel that Ducos began to consider Faidherbe for the governorship, for that same day he took the first step which would obtain for Faidherbe the promotion to chef de bataillon major , which he would need to be named to the governorship We note next that Ducos waited nearly a month before responding to Protet's report, possibly so that in the favorable one of his two letters, both dated July 18, 91 that in which he considered Dialmath a great French victory and responded favo- rably to Protet's requests for appropriate rewards for his men, he could include the news that he had asked his colleague, Marshall Vaillant, the Minister of War, to promote Faidherbe to Major.
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One cannot tell whether or not Faidherbe himself definitely knew that his star was rising as far as Hilaire and Marc Maurel were concerned. Dated 28 August, it was received in Paris 5 September, But he reassured him that Faidherbe's wars were only the ougrowth of Ducos's instructions, themselves the product of the Commission des Comptoirs d'Afrique of , on which he had a seat :.
Enfin, quoique je ne connaisse pas personnellement M. His final action in this direction, before relinquishing control of the colony to Faidherbe, was to attempt a seulement with the Moors and the Toucouleurs by distributing money and goods to some of the chiefs through the good offices of Guillaume Foy, one of the very influential traitants who was not then a supporter of the new policy Tout le monde a enfin vu avec plaisir la nomination de M.
Most of the letters emanating from the pen of Marc Maurel, first in Saint- Louis, and then in Bordeaux, where he retumed after , were paeans of praise for Faidherbe and his support of their business acti- vities. Almost immediately after Faidherbe became governor, he allo- wed the Company to build at Dagana and to purchase gum ail year Its purpose was to suggest ways of ending or reorganizing the customs payments to the African rulers among whom the French travelled and traded, so that if some payments con- tinued, they would no longer seem like tribute payments.
This dispatch and suggestions in Maurel' s first memoir called on the Governor to replace the system whereby the local chiefs, acting as sovereign rulers, collected their own dues from French traders to one whereby the French colonial authorities paid them regular subsidies in return for which they would make no demands on the traders themselves. The French colonial would raise the necessary sum by taxing the gum trade itself. A committee of three, Flize, the Director of Exterior Affairs, Paul Holle, and Provoust, two pro-Government traitants, had determined that the total amount paid by the French government in customs to the riverain African states totalled , francs per year.
The compromise solution worked out was that the total sum to be distributed was reduced to , francs, to which would be added a 30, francs subsidy to be provided by the French metropolitan government. This sum would be raised by a tax of 1 guinea per 1, kilos of gum imported into Saint-Louis, equal approximately to three per cent ad valorem. No other natural products imported into Saint-Louis would be taxed at ail.
Marc Maurel, who had written a comprehensive plan for instituting such a system right after Faidherbe's inauguration, presented it for- mally in August, It is worth mentioning that the interest which Hilaire and Marc Maurel developed in the question of tariff liberalization seems to correspond with a period in the history of the Maurel and Prom Company when it was seeking to open branches in Liverpool, New York, Buenos Aires, and Saigon Indeed, in , when the Executive Council adopted a comprehensive tax and tariff project, Marques, one of the unofficial members, reminded the Council that he had been the only dissenting member of the which had condemned Maurel's plan in But he remained devoted to his former employers But since their aim was to pacify rather than to conquer, they were of the sort which Marc Maurel favo- red and indeed had recommended in his two memoirs of and In , Hilaire Maurel confirmed the company' s commitment to peanuts by opening Bordeaux' s first peanut oil refinery, so that West African peanuts coud be marketed and refined elsewhere in France than at Marseille.
Marc Maurel clearly relied on peanuts, particularly from Gambia and Cayor, to carry the company through the period of troubles Even when he began the Cayor campaigns in , he timed them to avoid trou- bling the harvest and sale of the peanut crop At times he had held the concession to supply millet to the French military authorities for the cavalry and for the African troops and auxiliaries Probably the richest of the traitants in , Guillaume- Foy, who was cool to Faidherbe at first, simply swit- ched sides when he realized that Faidherbe was going to be suc- cessful Faidherbe would name another wealthy traitant, Biaise Dumont, Mayor of Saint-Louis, to reward him for his co-operation.
And he then proceded to summarize the very glowing report about Faidherbe which he presented to de Larbre several days later. Part of this process indeed had. Faidherbe received the promotion and performed the task. His involvement in Cayor, after , would be his greatest departure from his usual policy of non-rule. Although Marc Maurel' s letters from Bordeaux mentioned the Cayor problem frequently, he was never critical of Faidherbe's inability to reach a satisfactory solution there ; he confined him-.
He clinched his argument by estimating that it would cost the French 50 francs per ton less to transport goods from Bordeaux to Timbuktu, via Saint- Louis, than via the mouth of the Niger ; one would cost francs per ton, the other, francs per ton. This paper has intended only to trace some aspects of the Maurel and Prom connection and to suggest appropriate Unes of investigation. Because various persons, including Verminck, who founded C. Bank, the Company today can correctly claim to be the doyen of French-African trading firms. The first one to sail to Africa with a small quantity of goods was Hubert Prom in They soon associated their commercial activities with the senior Jean Maurel's brokerage business.
In Africa, the enterprise remained unspecialized and spread itself out. Their main article of purchaae at first was gum, Senegal's only staple until the 's, which they purchased with imported small goods, Indian guineas, and spirits from France. They would purchase literally anything for which they could find a market in France, such as native indigo, which had had a period of subsidized success in the 's, and tobacco. Perhaps it was this willingness to experiment and to diversify which caused Hilaire Maurel to begin importing increasingly large numbers of peanuts into France after After , the Company undertook construction contracts for the colonial government.
Finally, in , Hilaire Maurel opened Bordeaux's first peanut oil refinery. For more information about Maurel and Prom, see J. In Guadeloupe, however, contact with the newly freed Negro slaves is what perhaps gave him a certain measure of negrophilia. His first period of gover- norship ran through August 6, , and was punctuated by two furloughs in France : June-November, , and November-January, He remained until May 1, He emerged from this war a French national hero. Although he never actually retired from the French army, he went into inactivity by the end of But he continued to lead an active life.
He served briefly in the National Assembly in Versailles in Faidherbe was a prolific writer on colonial subjects and African anthropology, history, and linguistics. Both the Annales Lavauzelle, n. For an examination of the population make-up of the French settlements in Senegambia, see John D. The request was refused.
Various records belonging to the Maurel and Prom Company claim that the first actual shipment of peanuts to France was made by a M. However, the shipment into France of unshelled peanuts on a regular basis began with Rousseau's shipment in He had been sent to the West Coast of Africa by the Chamber of Commerce of Rouen to investigate the commercial possibilities of peanuts and other crops.
In a letter to the M. Schefer, op. The value of peanuts exported from Saint- Louis never exceded that of gum. For instance, in , the total value of gum exported from Saint-Louis was valued at 1,, In , the value of gum went up to 1,, francs, and that of peanuts, to , Courrier du Havre estimated that the 1,, kgs.
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Consequently, the Maurel and Prom Company, at least, seemed to for- get about gum altogether. See Froelicher, op. Typical are wiews expressed in Georges Hardy, Faidherbe, p. But they offer no sources for their common assertion.
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La Fondation de Dakar Paris : Larose, , p. Statistics quoted in S. C, Saint-Louis : 16 June, , No. See Note 5, particularly, John D. C, Saint-Louis : 13 October, , No. However, the name, Maurel, is very common in sou- thern France, and it is doubtful either that the two men knew each other or that this Maurel was related to Hilaire Maurel's family.
It is a fact that he had debts in his early years after graduation, in part because he was briefly a rather heavy gambler. Hardy, op. The letter which he sent in reply, dated June 13, , has been preserved in the Maurel and Prom Papers. Personal communication from Roger : 7 July, The first Une. You will receive an email when new issues are put online. O ur understanding of the Haitian revolution has significantly progressed over the last thirty years.
However, one problem remains: sources. More is known of the prominent black revolutionaries who were promoted to the rank of general during the revolution. But their correspondence, although abundant, was usually transcribed by secretaries, which means that the sophisticated French of their letters is probably far removed from the language they used in everyday life. Although the voices of these generals have not been entirely muted, they come through today only via interpreters.
This article uses the rare documents directly written by the revolutionaries of Saint-Domingue—especially the most famous among them, Toussaint Louverture—in order to reconstitute their way of speaking and eventually restore their voice. However, these men and women, despite forming the majority, were so uprooted and exploited that they were unable to impose their native tongues on others.
The African languages only survived in the communities composed of fugitive slaves and in Afro-Caribbean culture, particularly in Voodoo practices in the colonial era, like today, an individual possessed by spirits speaks in pale langaj , the language of the African ancestors. While this is plausible because his parents were born in what is now Benin, his assertion that Louverture frequently conversed in Ewe-Fon throughout his life is less so. Although their grammar and syntax are well understood today, their origins remain the subject of debate.
It has also been suggested that this similarity was a sign of how people naturally adapt to complex languages learned late in life or that its origin was to be found in the pidgin of the slave traders. This controversy has continued in part because of the fragmentation of disciplines. Historians have the archival knowledge necessary for this but have generally neglected this subject—which is perhaps considered too literary—in favor of economic, political, or racial issues linked to slavery and colonialism.
While recent work by Deborah Jenson and Daniel Desormeaux on revolutionary Haitian texts constitutes an important advance in this field, they essentially focus on the political significance of these texts rather than their linguistic elements. This quarter remains free of rights and fees, under no circumstances may anything be deducted from it. A record of it exists in the form of a poem in alexandrine verse in French, which was published more than thirty years after the event.
See also Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about these speeches, apart from those re-transcribed by a writer in Port-au-Prince in a little-known manuscript. There is no Black in the Cap who fought sooner for freedom… It is not me but Rigaud and the mulattoes who want to make you slaves. It is they who had slaves who are angry to see you free, not I who was a slave like you. The immense majority of Haitian literary work and official documents of the nineteenth century, however, were written in French.
French was the third most frequently used language in Saint-Domingue. It was sometimes more present than in metropolitan France where regional languages still predominated because the mingling brought about by immigration forced white settlers to adopt a common language. On the margins of the standard French spoken by the white and black elite, rebels emerged during the revolutionary period who had never been formally educated but who, in official contexts, nonetheless attempted to express themselves in French.
I wishes you a Better health. Was this approximation of French their own language, or was it that of their secretaries? To what extent did the rebels master French, oral or written? What value did they accord to each of these languages? The only revolutionary for whom one can constitute some sort of response to these questions is Toussaint Louverture. I was sicken arrivin here, but the commandant of this place who is a humanly man brung me al the assisstences possible; thanks to god, I amuch betta; you no my fection for ma family an matachment to a woman I luv, whyve you not send me news.
Following the example of Bayon de Libertat and many settlers, Louverture sent his sons Placide and Isaac to study in France in There they learned to speak and write standard French. The objective of language is not only to communicate, but also to display a social profile across various elements accent, range of vocabulary, etc.
This is particularly the case in societies where two languages of unequal reputation coexist. His diglossia was particularly pronounced because he even used French in the family sphere and in his private life, which is unusual in modern Haiti. It is difficult to recompose the French spoken by Louverture. This a difficult task since he was long illiterate. Born around , Louverture did not sign any of the civil-status or notarial acts concerning him before the revolution and even after his emancipation in the s. The first letter indisputably signed by Louverture dates from the end of , when he was approximately 50 years old.
His style, however, was probably quite different from that found in the documents bearing his name. Of the hundreds of letters and proclamations that have survived, only seven documents date from the period when he lived in Saint-Domingue: four letters, two grocery notes, and one postscript.
He generally made a mistake in each word, sometimes more.
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I gotten yor letter wid al satis[faction] posib, me only regreses havin learned of te sicknes of the queene of sheba ets a hartbrake for me te see a so grate person as she be hafflicted, ime angere; I cant rite you more ma dutees preven smee, il rite more for yur own bisnis when il be bak Gud day to al yor frends fur me, embras yor fader tendurly go fa and paichence wins oer fors. These spelling mistakes are those of a man who, lacking education, wrote phonetically in part.
The few letters written in Saint-Domingue are unfortunately too brief to allow for further analysis. Only a larger corpus would permit broader conclusions. In the winter of , fearing that Louverture would declare independence, Bonaparte sent an expedition led by his brother-in-law General Charles Victoire Emmanuel Leclerc. In June , Leclerc had Louverture arrested and deported to France. This period, although tragic for Louverture, is ideal for the historian and linguist because it represents the most intense epistolary activity of his life.
Louverture presented him with the memoir and several other letters when he left on September Desormeaux even sees Louverture as part of the literary tradition of French memorialists and considers these memoirs to be the true political testament of a man who knew he was condemned to death. It was only in mid-October , following a particularly humiliating body search, that he abandoned all hope of ever leaving Fort de Joux alive.
Beard, Toussaint Louverture: A Biography and Dismayed by the confused style of the memoir, he even considered rewriting it entirely so that it conformed to the literary canons of his time. The three versions of the memoir preserved in the Archives nationales are referred to here as A, B, and C. The first, written by the secretary, contains numerous corrections and marginal notes, as though it had been dictated, then reread and amended. It is also incomplete, apparently a first draft. Manuscript C is written entirely by Louverture. Its content, while similar to manuscript B, is written with the spelling and grammar characteristic of Louverture.
It is the most authentic of the three. However, Besse only arrived in Fort de Joux after the death of Louverture, and, in any case, Louverture was not allowed to meet with other prisoners. Successive versions and corrections by Louverture himself attest to the fact that he reread the text attentively in order to ensure that his ideas were faithfully transcribed. Indeed, that of manuscript C varies significantly and shifts from grammatically correct French albeit with inaccurate spelling to sentences in which the structure and conjugation considerably differ from standard French.
These phrases also tend to be the most impassioned, as if an angry Louverture rejected the formulations suggested by the secretary in favor of a more personal form of French. The first is taken from the introduction and is written in very formal French, which can be attributed to the secretary. It appears from the first version and was amended several times by Jeannin. The third, in a similar style, only appears in manuscript C and constitutes the most authentic available sample of his way of speaking.
It is my dutee to give to the francois government an egsact acount of my condut I will tell the facts with all the naievete and francnes of a former solder a ding reflecshuns as they come naturaly, and finaly I will tell the truth be it agains myself. Arbitariley a rested widout earingmi or teling why; seesing als me belogins, plundering te family in genral, takin me papers an keping em, bordin me sending me neked asa erthwurm, spreding calomies most horid a bout me, from this I amsend to depfs of te dungen.
Were and of te promis of General leClerc, it was to trikmi an if he wanted to trikmi why did enot use clevarnes an sutulty onle; an not hes wurd an te protecshun of te french governmement; in givinmi hes wurd an not kepinit es no tonorable; promis te protecshun of te govenment and act a nother maner; its brekin laws, an lackin fur govenment. Louverture hoped that his memoir would convince Bonaparte to set him free—or at least contact him—but nothing came of it. Paris reacted by ordering his writing supplies to be removed.
Nine notebooks were subsequently confiscated. Louverture also had to relinquish three letters that he had hidden in his trousers. There are no remaining letters written by Louverture or his secretary from the last months of his life. He barely managed to conceal under the madras handkerchief that covered his head copies of the letters he had sent to Bonaparte and a longer text, which might have been a fifth copy of his memoir but which has since been lost.
Many reflect his lack of education. These spelling mistakes are of limited interest for the researcher because they only reinforce what is already known: Louverture never went to school. He rarely used accents especially grave and acute accents, which had only recently become commonplace in France. Retracing the phonetic history of French is an arduous task because spelling does not always correspond to pronunciation in French.
The historians who have published the memoirs have not used this approach, preferring to follow a strictly historical or literary interpretation. This textual analysis brings to light certain pronunciations that are obsolete today. This was a common pronunciation until the nineteenth century and is still found in some parts of France.
Two hypotheses which are not mutually exclusive could explain this usage. Consequently, this pronunciation had become politically incorrect by Perhaps Louverture, often seen as a traditionalist, continued to pronounce the imperfect in the old style in order to imitate the noblemen he had known during his time as a slave. While it is tempting to attribute these palatalizations to the influence of the Auvergnat dialect, there is not sufficient evidence.