Child Slavery and Guardianship in Colonial Senegal 9781009296472, 1009296477

Uncovers the stories of children liberated from slavery in Senegal after 1848 and relegated to tutelle or guardianship.

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Table of contents :
Cover
Half-title
Series information
Title page
Imprints page
Dedication
Contents
Map of Senegal
List of List of Figures
List of List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Child Slavery, Redemption, and "Adoption" in Senegal
1 Urban Senegal in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century
Economic Activity in Urban Senegal
The French Commercial Enterprises, the Signares, and the River Trade
Religious Institutions and Affiliations
2 The Evolution of Tutelle
Slavery in Senegal
Engagement à temps
Abuse and the End of Engagement à temps
Opposition to Abolition, Indemnity, and Children
The Creation of Tutelle
3 Adoption of Minors and State Control of Tutelle
Reclamations
Free Orphan Minors in Tutelle
Adoptions after the Cessation of the Conseil de Tutelle
4 Legislating Guardianship, 1848-1900
The Act of 1857
The Act of 1862
5 Juvenile Labor, 1849-1905
Apprenticeship
Hiring out Minors
Remuneration for Minors in Apprenticeship
Domestic Labor
Sundry Occupations
Agricultural Labor and Religious Missions
Sexual Abuse and Prostitution
6 The Crisis of 1903 and 1904
The Victor Prom Case and Its Ramifications in Senegal
The Act of 1903
7 Minors in Institutions
Incarceration of Liberated Minors in the Saint-Louis Prison
Incarceration at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès
The Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny and the Orphanage at Ndar Toute
The Orphelinat de Sor
The Ecole Professionnelle Pinet-Laprade
Minors in the Military
8 Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse
Flight
Lodging Complaints against Guardians
Travel with Guardians
Kept in Tutelle beyond Eighteen
Death in Tutelle
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
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Child Slavery and Guardianship in Colonial Senegal

In the immediate aftermath of the French abolition of slavery in 1848, many previously enslaved children suddenly became wards of the colonial state. The colonial administration in Senegal created an institution called tutelle, a form of guardianship or wardship, that aimed to both prevent the loss of labor from liberated minors and safeguard the children’s welfare. Drawing from extensive archival research, Bernard Moitt uncovers the stories of these liberated children who were entrusted to Africans, Europeans, institutions such as orphanages, Catholic orders and the military, and, often, their former owners. While the literature on servitude in French West Africa has primarily focused on the period before 1848, Moitt demonstrates that tutelle allowed slavery to persist under another name, with children continuing to be subject to the same widespread labor exploitation and abuse. Using a range of rich case studies, this book offers new insights into the emancipation of enslaved people in Senegal, the tenacity of servility, and children’s agency. bernard moitt is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Born and raised in Antigua, his research focuses on slavery in French West Africa, primarily Senegal, and the French Antilles. He has previously published Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635–1848 (2001) and edited Sugar, Slavery and Society: Perspectives on the Caribbean, India, the Mascarenes and the United States (2004).

African Studies Series The African Studies series, founded in 1968, is a prestigious series of monographs, general surveys, and textbooks on Africa covering history, political science, anthropology, economics, and ecological and environmental issues. The series seeks to publish work by senior scholars as well as the best new research.

Editorial Board: David Anderson, The University of Warwick Carolyn Brown, Rutgers University, New Jersey Christopher Clapham, University of Cambridge Richard L. Roberts, Stanford University, California Leonardo A. Villalón, University of Florida Other titles in the series are listed at the back of the book.

Child Slavery and Guardianship in Colonial Senegal bernard moitt Virginia Commonwealth University

Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8EA, United Kingdom One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia 314–321, 3rd Floor, Plot 3, Splendor Forum, Jasola District Centre, New Delhi – 110025, India 103 Penang Road, #05-06/07, Visioncrest Commercial, Singapore 238467 Cambridge University Press is part of Cambridge University Press & Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge. We share the University’s mission to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781009296472 DOI: 10.1017/9781009296441 © Bernard Moitt 2024 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press & Assessment. First published 2024 A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Moitt, Bernard, author. Title: Child slavery and guardianship in colonial Senegal / Bernard Moitt, Virginia Commonwealth University. Description: First edition. | New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2023. | Series: ASS African studies | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2023011475 (print) | LCCN 2023011476 (ebook) | ISBN 9781009296472 (hardback) | ISBN 9781009296465 (paperback) | ISBN 9781009296441 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: Child slavery–Senegal–History. | Guardian and ward–Senegal–History. | Senegal–History. Classification: LCC HT1331 .M65 2023 (print) | LCC HT1331 (ebook) | DDC 306.3/6209966.3–dc23/eng/20230505 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2023011475 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2023011476 ISBN 978-1-009-29647-2 Hardback Cambridge University Press & Assessment has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

To Tia Moitt and to the memory of my mother, Pearl Agusta Moitt, 1910–1967

Contents

Map of Senegal

page viii

List of Figures

x

List of Tables

xi

Preface

xiii

Acknowledgments

xvi

Introduction: Child Slavery, Redemption, and “Adoption” in Senegal

1

1

Urban Senegal in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

24

2

The Evolution of Tutelle

41

3

Adoption of Minors and State Control of Tutelle

67

4

Legislating Guardianship, 1848–1900

92

5

Juvenile Labor, 1849–1905

101

6

The Crisis of 1903 and 1904

134

7

Minors in Institutions

152

8

Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

177

Conclusion

202

Bibliography

208

Index

218

vii

Map of Senegal

viii

Figures

6.1 Certificat de liberté (two-sided freedom certificate) 8.1 Avis de décès (death notice)

x

page 142 195

Tables

1.1 Population of urban centers in the nineteenth century 2.1 Minors freed in Saint-Louis and placed in indentureship, 1841 3.1 Slaves liberated in Saint-Louis in October 1859 6.1 Minors freed from slavery and placed in tutelle, 1857–1903 7.1 Offences of inmates at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès, 1892 7.2 Work day of liberated minors at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès, 1892 7.3 List of liberated minors placed at the École PinetLaprade, Dakar 8.1 Deaths among minors in guardianship, 1877 8.2 Deaths among minors in guardianship, 1878

page 29 50 79 145 161 162 175 197 198

xi

Preface

My interest in tutelle or guardianship of minors in post emancipation Senegal dates back to the 1980s when I was a graduate student at the University of Toronto engaged in PhD research on peanut production and social change during the nineteenth and twentieth century in the Wolof Kingdoms of Kajoor and Bawol in Senegal. While conducting this research in the National Archives of Senegal, I perused dossiers that contained gems of information about tutelle that raised my consciousness about gaps in the historiography of slavery in Africa that required attention. Scholars seemed to have ignored tutelle – an institution that was clearly a subterfuge for slavery. In pursuing research on this subject, I felt the need to contribute to scholarship that dealt with the aftermath of slavery. In this respect, The End of Slavery in Africa, which appeared in 1988, was significant and timely.1 A worthy scholarly pursuit, guardianship in post emancipation Senegal has not been the object of sustained or substantial intellectual inquiry. Indeed, with few exceptions, the historiography on servitude in French West Africa focused heavily on the period before 1848 and ignored child slavery for the most part. Moreover, little, if any, attention was given to child labor in the urban areas, the most significant of which were Saint-Louis and Gorée in the case of Senegal. I came across scattered archival references to child servitude after 1848 that I found astonishing and revealing. I read specific cases of liberated minors – children under eighteen years of age – who had been freed by the French Abolition Act of April 27, 1848 only to become wards of the colonial state, and whose labor was coerced in ways that I had not imagined. The abuse they endured, including sexual exploitation and

1

Suzanne Miers and Richard Roberts (eds.), The End of Slavery in Africa (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988).

xiii

xiv

Preface

trafficking, and the agency that they employed to fight back in all instances took me by surprise. I decided that addressing this lacuna in the historiography would be my next major research project after the completion of my PhD, fully aware, all along, that tutelle could well be the pursuit of other scholars faster on the draw. But the state of the data was daunting and may explain why there has not yet been a book-length treatment of the subject. Indeed, the data are highly fragmented and spotty, compounded by large gaps in the chronology, making the reconstruction of case histories of liberated minors – a major focus of this book – all the more challenging. Some of the Libérations registers used in this study are in poor shape and falling apart, the brittle paper a sad reminder of how histories can be lost if not preserved in ideal conditions. In some cases, the archival sources are hard to read and decipher, especially the M3 files. These files are incredibly rich. However, teasing out information from them is fraught with difficulty and often requires enormous concentration, extended periods of time, and the use of a magnifying glass in order to get at the specificity of the language and expressions that various French administrators and officials used in their reports and correspondence. In probing the data in this fashion, I hope that I have justifiably represented the experience of and done justice to the multitude of liberated minors – females and males – whose lives were shaped, upended, and no doubt destroyed, by tutelle. The challenges posed by the absence of and gaps in the data notwithstanding, I pressed on. In 1988, I delivered a paper on tutelle at a graduate history workshop organized by the Canadian Association of African Studies held at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. On subsequent trips to the National Archives in Senegal, I continued to pursue my goal of bringing liberated minors out of anonymity. In 1993, Slavery & Abolition published my article, “Slavery, Flight and Redemption in Senegal, 1819–1905,” which dealt with the transition from slavery to freedom. I argued that, although the transition was marked by few disruptions, the process was not at all smooth for a significant number of enslaved people. For too many, redemption fell short of expectations as they lacked complete personal autonomy, their labor remained coerced, and their relations with former slave owners were not a radical break from the past. Tutelle fell into this category in my estimation. I concluded that the need to continue probing the process of emancipation was important to get at

Preface

xv

the resilience of coercive labor systems and the aspirations on the enslaved to acquire liberty.2 With a full-length study still in mind, many years would go by as my career took multiple turns – often in ways that I had not anticipated. My relocation to the United States from Canada in 1994, the need to maintain my expertise and scholarship in the African Diaspora – my second research and teaching field – and the preparation to acquire promotion and tenure further delayed the completion of my manuscript. To acquire tenure, the Department of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, which hired me in August, 1995 after an academic year on tenure-track at Utica College of Syracuse University, required a monograph published by a reputable press. To meet this requirement, I turned my attention to the Caribbean and researched and wrote from scratch Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635–1848.3 Little did I know, the gaps, lack of data, and methodological hurdles that I encountered in researching and writing this book would be strikingly similar to tutelle, and good preparation for what turned out to be a most difficult and time-consuming book project. I was not deterred. In 2011, I published my first full-length article on tutelle, entitled “Slavery and Guardianship in Postemancipation Senegal: Colonial Legislation and Minors in Tutelle, 1848–1905,” in a volume on child slavery edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph Miller.4 In this article, I argued that tutelle in Senegal was an institutionalized form of servitude, and highlighted the duplicitous role of the colonial state as the legal protector of children – aspects of the institution that I have amplified in this book. 2

3

4

Bernard Moitt, “Slavery, Flight and Redemption in Senegal, 1819–1905,” Slavery and Abolition, vol. 14, no. 2 (August, 1993), pp. 70–86. Bernard Moitt, Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635–1848 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001). Bernard Moitt, “Slavery and Guardianship in Postemancipation Senegal: Colonial Legislation and Minors in Tutelle, 1848–1910,” in Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller (eds.), Child Slaves in the Modern World (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2011), pp. 140–156.

Acknowledgments

Given the time it took me to bring this study to fruition, it is reasonable to assume that I would accumulate many debts along the way, and I did, even though researching and writing this book was a lonely journey from start to finish. In Senegal, Momar Diop, my good friend and former director of the National Archives of Senegal, drew upon his extensive knowledge of the holdings to guide me to valuable archival sources. His assistance was invaluable and served to enhance the quality of my research. He and his wife, Fatou, accommodated my wife and I at their home in close proximity to the archives, and this facilitated my work appreciably. Momar remained enthusiastic, encouraging, and supportive throughout. I am deeply indebted to him for his support, his fidelity, and his confidence in me that I would reach the finish line in due course. Along the way, Mohamed Mbodj, Ibrahima Thioub, and Mamadou Diouf were all helpful in identifying sources and clarifying specific historical issues related to tutelle and Senegalese history that enabled me to sharpen my focus. So were Charles Becker and Hilary Jones. In the late stages of my project, I reached out to Richard Roberts, whom I have known since our graduate student days at the University of Toronto studying with Professor Martin Klein. Richard took an interest in my project, pointed me to recent publications on tutelle and work on liberated slaves, including the work that he and his team at Stanford University were in the process of producing on the Libérations registers of Senegal. A sharp and inciteful critic, Richard’s input and guidance on the manuscript submission process at Cambridge University Press were invaluable. Due to our engagement, he recused himself from the evaluation process, and expressed his delight at the outcome. In Toronto, my good friend, Egya Sangmuah, gave me valuable insights into legislative matters relating to tutelle, while his son, Benjamin Sangmuah, conducted bibliographical searches at the University of Toronto that yielded valuable results, especially during the period when COVID-19 caused disruptions in library acquisitions. xvi

Acknowledgments

xvii

From Martinique, my good friend, José Robelot, answered my call for help at every instance, from researching arcane French words and expressions, to checking my French translations. Like Momar Diop, he too has been in it for the long haul. I thank him sincerely for his demonstrative interest in me and my work, for his rapid responses, and for never wavering. I am greatly indebted to my PhD dissertation supervisor, Martin Klein, whose work on slavery in French West Africa put him in a unique position as a critic. This was all the more so since his work and mine on tutelle are complementary in many ways. Martin’s help served to enrich my study in countless ways. He willingly read drafts of the manuscript and provided detailed comments on my chapters that enabled me to make corrections, provide clarification, think about chronology, and improve my structure. He pointed me to additional sources that assisted me in enriching my chapters. Overall, I benefited substantially from his comments and criticisms. However, neither he nor others mentioned here bear any responsibility for the contents of my study or its shortcomings, for which I am entirely responsible. Thanks are also due to members of the VCU Department of History: to John Powers, chair, and administrative assistants, Kathleen Murphy and Andrea Wight, for their multidimensional assistance, especially in the technical realm. And to Ramont Reed for the technical services he provided no matter my location in the world. For his help in constructing a map of Senegal, which was tedious and time-consuming, Dylan Stephens, a VCU student, also has my thanks. Most of all, the help that I received from my wife, Tia Moitt, who has lived with tutelle through my ups and downs over decades, while also shouldering much of the responsibility of nurturing our two children, and holding down a permanent, full-time position as a professor of nursing at the Waterfront Campus of George Brown College in Toronto as I advanced my own career, was nothing short of magnanimity. She accompanied me on one of my research trips to Senegal and teamed up with me in the archives so that I could accelerate the pace of bringing my study to fruition, never ceasing to marvel at my ability to decipher almost illegible manuscripts. Fortunately, the international life we have lived has been a tremendous source of joy. To be sure, it has enabled us to develop solid and enduring friendships globally. To Tia, I offer my sincere thanks, my gratitude, and my love.

|

Introduction

Child Slavery, Redemption, and “Adoption” in Senegal

This study is a social history of minors in Senegal who were once enslaved and who, upon the abolition of slavery in the French colonial empire in 1848, became wards of the colonial state. In essence, it is a study about children – eighteen years of age and younger – and institutional care, specifically guardianship. From 1848 to the first decade of the twentieth century when guardianship declined (it was never abolished), minors experienced a transition from slavery to freedom. At emancipation, French authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, backed by merchants, proprietors, and commercial enterprises in Senegal, among whom were those who vehemently opposed abolition, expressed the need to maintain the Senegalese economy, avoid chaos, and ensure a future source of labor. In the aftermath of emancipation, these were among the considerations that led the French colonial administration to create an institution called tutelle – a form of guardianship or wardship. With tutelle in place, the administration gave minors to Black and mixed-race Africans, Europeans, and institutions, including Catholic orders, and, later, to the military for “adoption.” As I have argued elsewhere, tutelle as a legal instrument existed in metropolitan France before French emancipation in 1848, but its purpose – to protect the patrimony of mostly middle and upper-class orphan minors – and the manner in which it was administered, were vastly different than the tutelle which emerged in colonial Senegal during the second half of the nineteenth century, as we shall see in Chapter 3.1 Paradoxically, many of the individuals who adopted liberated minors were people who once owned them, and who had no vested interest in abolition, which they believed would lead to the end of servile labor. For the most part, these individuals continued to profit 1

See Bernard Moitt, “Slavery and Guardianship in Postemancipation Senegal – Colonial Legislation and Minors in Tutelle, 1848–1905,” in Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller (eds.), Child Slaves in the Modern World (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2011), p. 141.

1

2

Introduction

from the labor of minors in the post-emancipation period. In addition to adoption, the administration viewed tutelle as a form of apprenticeship that would allow minors, mostly males, to acquire skilled trades taught by their guardians or others designated by them. Most of the trades were artisanal. Females had fewer opportunities to learn trades and were usually relegated to acquiring and performing domestic labor like cooking, washing, and grain pounding. As we shall see throughout this book, the colonial administration’s focus on apprenticeship was a self-serving device aimed at maintaining critical labor needs in postemancipation Senegal. As a result, the poor treatment of liberated minors in tutelle – a central theme of this study – was not the primary focus of administrative attention for most of the period covered by this study. In other words, child welfare was not the principal objective of tutelle. Since the abolition law of 1848 applied only to areas where the French had sovereignty, this study focuses primarily on minors in urban areas of Senegal, the most important of which were SaintLouis, located at the mouth of the Senegal River, and Gorée, an island adjacent to the Cape Verde peninsula.2 But minors in Dakar, located at the tip of the Cape Verde peninsula, and Rufisque, south of Cape Verde, also merit attention because, along with Saint-Louis and Gorée, they became the most important commercial and political centers in Senegal. Indeed, by the late nineteenth century, as G. Wesley Johnson indicates, they were known as the Four Communes or “municipalities whose citizens lived under the same privileges as communal residents in France itself.”3 Child slavery was 2

3

Article 7 of the Emancipation Act of April 27, 1848, decreed that slavery was illegal on French soil. In the case of Senegal, French soil referred to Saint-Louis, Gorée, and a number of trading posts along the Senegal River within the range of cannon. The law was promulgated in Senegal on June 23, 1848. See Victor Schœlcher, L’esclavage au Sénégal en 1880 (Paris: librairie centrale des publications populaires, 1880), pp. 8–9; Martin Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 19–21. Archives Nationales du Sénégal (hereafter ANS) K 24, Captivité et esclavage: répression de la traite, 1904–1906, Gorée, June 2, 1905; François Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal: l’attitude de l’administration française, 1848–1905 (Paris: Société française d’histoire d’outre-mer), 1972, pp. 5–16. See G. Wesley Johnson, Jr., The Emergence of Black Politics in Senegal: The Struggle for Power in the Four Communes, 1900–1920 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1971), p. 35.

Introduction

3

important in these centers, albeit to different degrees. Minors also became wards in the town of Thiès, thirty-five miles inland from Dakar, which must also be considered urban. Overall, the data show that tutelle was more geographically widespread than colonial authorities acknowledged. There were minors in tutelle in areas further afield, including Podor and Kaolack, where the French had no sovereignty. Guardianship in these areas has not been the object of scholarly inquiry, but it is likely that it operated differently than it did in the urban centers where the French had control. In Senegal, there was a close association between tutelle, slavery, and other forms of servitude and coercive labor, especially engagement à temps – a form of apprenticeship. Indeed, slaveowners in post emancipation Senegal received compensation for loss of coercive labor in the form of indemnity for engagés (indentured servants), and the enslaved alike in the 1850s.4 But clientage, which Paul Lovejoy describes as “voluntary subordination without fixed remuneration for services rendered,” and pawnship, “in which labor was perceived as interest on a debt and the pawn as collateral for the debt,” are also relevant to tutelle, though beyond the boundaries of this study.5 It is worth emphasizing that the association between tutelle and other forms of coercive labor shaped social relations in the post emancipation era. Thus, although Richard Roberts and Suzanne Miers contend that there is disagreement among scholars “as to whether the transition from slavery to freedom caused widespread disruption or whether it had little impact on major African social and economic institutions,” the phenomenon of tutelle shows that this transition was marked by a lack of demonstrable antagonism between former slaveholders and the formerly enslaved after 1848.6 One might well ask whether these children had options and, if so, whether they could exercise them. As it was, former slaveholders (in the urban centers in particular) 4

5

6

M’Baye Guèye, “La fin de l’esclavage à Saint-Louis et à Gorée en 1848,” Bulletin de L’I.F.A.N., tome XXVIII, Série B, nos. 3–4, 1965), p. 645. Paul Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 3rd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 5. See also Igor Kopytoff and Suzanne Miers, “African ‘Slavery’ as an Institution of Marginality,” in Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff (eds.), Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977), p. 10. Richard Roberts and Suzanne Miers, “The End of Slavery in Africa,” in Suzanne Miers and Richard Roberts (eds.), The End of Slavery in Africa (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988), p. 27.

4

Introduction

continued to coerce and profit from the labor of formerly enslaved minors under the guise of adoption, as later chapters demonstrate. These slaveholders were mainly habitants – Europeans and Africans of various racial backgrounds, many of whom were mixed-race merchants and traders. Due to fears of a labor shortage at emancipation, the French colonial administration in Senegal yielded to the wishes of the habitants who wanted to maintain the status quo. Of the habitants, the signares – women of African and European ancestry, a significant number of whom engaged in commerce and owned many enslaved people, primarily minors – exerted considerable influence, which this study will highlight. The administration sought their support in making the transition from slavery to freedom for minors attainable, but the signares, who viewed abolition as an attack on their wellbeing, devised ways to maintain coercive labor instead. In spite of the fact that anti-slavery laws existed, the colonial administration was determined to limit their application as much as possible to guarantee labor. After 1848, other minors were bought out of slavery (in areas of Senegal where the institution was still legal) through a process called rachat (ransom or redemption) by institutions and individuals who “freed” them first, “adopted” them, and then exploited their labor under tutelle.7 Some of these individuals were bureaucrats in the colonial administration, including members of the judiciary. Roman Catholic orders, such as Les Pères du Saint-Esprit (the Holy Ghost Fathers) and the Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny (the Sisters of Saint-Joseph of Cluny), were among the institutions that had minors in their care. The colonial state also placed minors in institutions, most notably the Ėcole pénitentiaire de Thiès (the Thiès Penitentiary School) – a correctional facility run by the Holy Ghost Fathers, the Ėcole des Frères (the School of the Fathers) – a school run by Catholic Fathers – and two orphanages, the Orphelinat de Ndar Toute (the Orphanage at Ndar Toute) and the Orphelinat de Sor (the Orphanage at Sor), near Saint-Louis. In some cases, minors were entrusted to parents (when they could be found), other relatives, or to themselves if they were considered of age, in which case they were left to their own devices.

7

For a comprehensive treatment of ransom and redemption in Africa, Europe, and Asia, see Jennifer Lofkrantz and Olatungi Ojo (eds.) Ransoming, Captivity & Piracy in Africa and the Mediterranean (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2016).

Introduction

5

In most instances, however, the habitants constituted the majority of the guardians. Guardianship in colonial Senegal was servitude, though it has not been presented as such. Indeed, the roots of tutelle date back to slavery. It most clearly resembled engagement à temps or indentureship – a form of coercive labor that the French introduced after the abolition of the maritime slave trade in 1818 to fulfill labor needs in the French garrisons, commercial enterprises, and domestic households in urban areas.8 Under this system, enslaved Africans were redeemed from slavery on the condition that they work as engagés. Paradoxically, “the French often seized slaves destined for export or purchased them through rachat (ransom) in violation of their own law against slave trading,” in order to increase the number of African army recruits – an endeavor which proved difficult and yielded meagre results.9 To be sure, “The Emancipation Act of 1848 expressly prohibited the recruitment of slaves and the military tried to rely on volunteer forces, but in the three years after emancipation, only three volunteers came forward.” So purchasing and freeing enslaved males “in exchange for an indenture contract of twelve to fourteen years” became the primary means of recruitment for the military.10 According to Myron Echenberg, the price paid to slaveowners (rachat) usually did not exceed 300 French Francs.11 The Tirailleurs Séenégalais (Senegalese Rifles) aside, enslaved Africans ransomed by the colonial state had to serve for seven years, while those ransomed by the habitants of SaintLouis and Gorée were obliged to serve fourteen years, providing labor in return for food and accommodation. Thus, the habitants had become accustomed to one form of servile labor or another. The engagés in these cases were adults for the most part, but their offspring were subject to servitude of a sort as well. Indeed, “Children born of former enslaved females who became 8

9

10 11

Martin Klein believes that the terms which the French employed were designed to hide the fact that tutelle was a form of servitude. Another factor may have been a nineteenth-century notion of childhood that children were expected to serve, except those who came from privileged families (Martin Klein, personal communication, May 2017). Bernard Moitt, “Slavery, Flight and Redemption in Senegal, 1819–1905,” Slavery and Abolition, vol. 14, no. 2 (August 1993), p. 71. Martin Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 74. Myron Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts: The Tirailleurs Sénégalais in French West Africa, 1857–1960 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1991), p. 8.

6

Introduction

indentured servants also had obligations. Though free, they had to work for their mother’s employers until the age of 21. In return, they were fed.”12 While there has been some inquiry into engagement à temps among these adults, this has not been the case with children.13 We must study the experience of children if we are to better understand the transition from slavery to freedom. This phenomenon has been neglected not only in the historical literature of Senegal but that of Africa as a whole. While scholars have emphasized the slavery of adults and, to a lesser degree, the transition from slavery to freedom among them, child slavery and forms of child servitude have been largely ignored. Fortunately, there has been growing interest in the broader trends of child welfare, including child fosterage, the commodification and use of children as capital, pawnship, migration, child sex trafficking, and the relation between child slavery in precolonial Africa and modern slavery. There is a need for good, comparative studies that incorporate these aspects of child bondage. In concentrating principally on the experience of liberated children in colonial Senegal during the second half of the nineteenth and the first decade of the twentieth century, this study contributes to the literature on the exploitation and degradation that children endured across geographic regions. Marie Rodet has produced solid work on children in foster care in Kayes, Mali, where fosterage expanded in the twentieth century and permitted women to draw upon additional labor. These women profited from their own family networks and from previous forms of bondage that persisted after abolition to control juvenile and female labor.14 Rodet also draws linkages between fosterage and child sex trafficking after fosterage came to an end in the early twentieth century.15 In southern Nigeria, where the palm oil industry created a 12 13

14

15

Moitt, “Slavery, Flight and Redemption,” p. 72. See, for example, François Zuccarelli, “Le régime des engagés à temps au Sénégal (1817–1848),” Cahiers d’études africaines, vol. 7 (1962). Marie Rodet, “Notes sur la captation de la main d’œuvre enfantine dans la région de Kayes, Mali (1904–1955), Journal des africanistes, vol. 81–82 (2011), p. 49. Marie Rodet, “Under the Guise of Guardianship and Marriage: Mobilizing Juvenile and Female Labor in the Aftermath of Slavery in Kayes, French Soudan, 1900–1939,” in Benjamin N. Lawrence and Richard L. Roberts (eds.), Trafficking in Slavery: Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2012), pp. 86–100.

Introduction

7

need for credit in the twentieth century leading to the development of a vast pawning network, Robin Chapdelaine has indicated that hundreds, if not thousands of children were thrust into domestic slavery as pawns. Along with pawning came child rape, child slavery, and the intensification of trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of prostitution.16 Child migration has also been linked to child trafficking and contemporary forms of labor.17 Martin Klein and Audra Diptee have highlighted the need to understand child slavery as a means of grasping fully the human experience and the slavery of adults. They state that “an historical analysis of children has the potential to shed light on the common priorities and values of any particular society. Furthermore, understanding childhood experiences provides greater context and a more holistic portrait of the human experience.”18 Diptee amplifies this position further. Indeed, she argues that . . . the story of children and the story of adults are, in fact, part of the same story. The story of the enslaved child is the first part of the story of the enslaved adult. In other words, without proper consideration of childhood under slavery the adult’s story is incomplete, and the narrative lacks depth.19

There is no single study of enslaved children in Africa, but some authors have dealt with aspects of child slavery and guardianship in their work with regard to female slavery and the process of abolition. In their pioneering study, Women and Slavery in Africa, for example, Claire Robertson and Martin Klein emphasized the importance of female slavery in their opening sentence by stating that “most slaves

16

17

18

19

Robin Phylisia Chapdelaine, The Persistence of Slavery: An Economic History of Child Trafficking in Nigeria (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2021), pp. 15–99. Marie Rodet and Elodie Razy, “Child Migration in Africa: Key Issues & New Perspectives,” in Elodie Razy and Marie Rodet (eds.), Children on the Move in Africa: Past and Present Experiences of Migration (Woodbridge: James Curry, 2016), p. 3. Audra Diptee and Martin A. Klein, “African Childhoods and the Colonial Project,” Journal of Family History, vol. 35, no. 1 (2010), p. 3. Audra Diptee, “Notions of African Childhood in Abolitionist Discourses: Colonial and Post-Colonial Humanitarianism in the Fight against Child Slavery,” in Anna Mae Duane (ed.), Child Slavery before & after Emancipation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), p. 209.

8

Introduction

in sub-Saharan Africa were women.”20 But aside from noting that “slaves were often taken as children and removed far from their homes,” they ignored the link between female slavery and child slavery.21 More recently, Klein has indicated that “in many areas, slave children were given as part of bridewealth. Thus, young slaves often moved to the master’s compound or were permanently separated from their parents.”22 A similar approach to the study of slavery in the Americas has resulted in few published works on child slavery. Since the late 1980s, the historiography of this region has benefited from serious and ongoing work on female slavery – a worthy scholarly pursuit given the neglect of women’s contribution in history. Thus, child slavery is seen through the prism of enslaved women.23 With regard to the Caribbean, the works of Hilary Beckles, Barbara Bush, Marisa Fuentes, Arlette Gautier, Bernard Moitt, Jennifer Morgan, and Marietta Morrissey fall into the same category.24 Consequently, 20

21 22 23

24

Claire C. Robertson and Martin A. Klein, “Women’s Importance in African Slave Systems,” in Claire C. Robertson and Martin A. Klein (eds.) Women and Slavery in Africa (Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 1983), p. 3. Robertson and Klein, “Women’s Importance in African Slave Systems,” p. 12. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 10. See for example, Richard H. Steckel, “Women, Work, and Health under Plantation Slavery in the United States,” in David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine (eds.), More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), pp. 43–60; Cheryll Ann Cody, “Cycles of Work and of Childbearing,” in David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine (eds.), More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), pp. 61–78; Wilma King, “‘Suffer with Them Till Death’: Slave Women and Their Children in Nineteenth-Century America,” in David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine (eds.), More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), pp. 147–168. See Hilary Beckles, Natural Rebels: A Social History of Enslaved Black Women in Barbados (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1989); Barbara Bush, Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650–1838 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990); Arlette Gautier, Les Sœurs de Solitude: La condition féminine dans l’esclavage aux Antilles du XVIIe au XIXe siècle (Paris: Editions Caribéennes, 1985); Bernard Moitt, Women and Slavery in the French Antilles (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001); Jennifer Morgan, Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); Marietta Morrissey, Slave Women in the New World: Gender Stratification in the Caribbean (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989); and Marisa J. Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence and the Archive (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania

Introduction

9

although the literature on slavery in the Americas is very extensive, only a few works – primarily those of Wilma King and Marie Jenkins Schwartz – focus specifically on child slavery.25 With regard to guardianship in Senegal, the picture is not much better. Indeed, aside work done by François Renault, Mohamed Mbodj, Martin Klein, Trevor Getz, and Bernard Moitt, there has not been has not been much else until recently.26 A welcome addition to the literature on tutelle is an excellent article that Kelly M. Duke Bryant has published. Drawing upon some of the same data used in this study, Bryant “investigates both trends and individual experiences of work, mistreatment, conflict, and sometimes – defiance” of liberated minors in Senegal’s colonial towns (primarily Saint-Louis) from 1895 to 1911 – a period of sixteen years.27 In doing so, she has joined Audra Diptee and others who have drawn attention to the lack of studies about children in Africa. However, the chronological boundaries of Bryant’s study – a period when the data on tutelle are richest for the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a whole – point to the challenges that confront the researcher intent on writing a full-length study of guardianship in colonial Senegal, as we shall see.

25

26

27

Press, 2016). See also Barry W. Higman, Slave Populations of the British Caribbean, 1807–1834 (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1984). Wilma King, Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America, 2nd ed.(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011); Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Born in Bondage: Growing Up Enslaved in the Antebellum South (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000). Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage; Mohamed Mbodj, “The Abolition of Slavery in Senegal, 1820–1890: Crisis or the Rise of a New Entrepreneurial Class?,” in Martin A. Klein (ed.), Breaking the Chains: Slavery, Bondage, and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), pp. 198–199; Martin A. Klein, “Slavery and Emancipation in French West Africa,” in Martin A. Klein (ed.), Breaking the Chains: Slavery, Bondage, and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), p. 174; Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, pp. 72–73; Trevor Getz, Slavery and Reform in West Africa: Toward Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century Senegal and the Gold Coast (Athens, OH: University Press, 2004), pp. 69–84; Bernard Moitt, “Slavery and Guardianship in Postemancipation Senegal: Colonial Legislation and Minors in Tutelle, 1848–1905, in Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller (eds.), Child Slaves in the Modern World (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2011), pp. 140–156. Kelly M. Duke Bryant, “Changing Childhood: ‘Liberated Minors’, Guardianship, and the Colonial State in Senegal, 1895–1911,” Journal of African History, vol. 60, no. 2 (2019), p. 209.

10

Introduction

There is no doubt that scholars have focused mainly on the nature and dimensions of slavery in Africa, with particular emphasis on the Western Sudan which encompasses much of West Africa. While this emphasis can be justified given the dimensions of slavery in this region where the enslaved constituted 30 to 50 percent and, in some areas, up to 80 percent of the total population by the end of the nineteenth century, the neglect of child slavery and guardianship is still baffling.28 Since children made up a significant part of the slave populations of the western Sudan, it seems reasonable to assume that they would feature prominently in studies dealing with the end of slavery and its aftermath. Guardianship deserves sustained historical inquiry because it will illuminate the process of liberation, thereby enabling us to get a better understanding of what this phenomenon entailed.29 Such inquiry will also provide new insights into how the labor of children was used and exploited for more than a half century after the end of slavery in Senegal. As the labor of children was also exploited under apprenticeship schemes in other parts of the world, including the Caribbean, Latin America, and North America following the end of slavery in those regions, this study opens up greater possibilities for comparative approaches. Indeed, when slavery ended in the British Caribbean in 1834, the authorities classified formerly enslaved people above the age of six years as either agricultural or domestic servants, depending upon their previous occupation. Under the Abolition Act, such servants were forced to undergo an apprenticeship – six years in the case of the former, four in the case of the latter. Douglas Hall has 28

29

See ANS K 14–K 27; Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery, pp. 191–194; Martin A. Klein, “Women and Slavery in the Western Sudan,” in Claire C. Robertson and Martin A. Klein (eds.), Women and Slavery in Africa (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983), pp. 67–78. On the transition from slavery to freedom, see Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage; Roberts and Miers, “The End of Slavery in Africa”; Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule. See also, Frederick Cooper, From Slaves to Squatters: Plantation Labor and Agriculture in Zanzibar and Coastal Kenya, 1890–1925 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980); David Northrup, Beyond the Bend in the River: African Labor in Eastern Zaire, 1865–1940 (Athens: Ohio University Centre for International Studies, 1988); Fred Morton, “Slaves, Fugitives, and Freemen on the Kenyan Coast, 1873–1907,” PhD dissertation, Syracuse University, 1976; Toyin Falolo, “The End of Slavery among the Yoruba,” in Suzanne Miers and Martin A. Klein (eds.), Slavery and Colonial Rule in Africa (London: Frank Cass, 1999), pp. 232–249; Paul Lovejoy and Jan S. Hogendorn, Slow Death for Slavery: The Cause of Abolition in Northern Nigeria, 1897–1936 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

Introduction

11

stated that “In the British view, the apprenticeship was to be a period of adjustment, a time of learning for masters and for ex-slaves, in which both parties would accustom themselves to the new relationship of freedom and search out new ways toward mutual trust and accommodation.”30 However, he argues that the primary concern of the Caribbean planters was labor supply. Indeed, William Green shows how coercive apprenticeship was when he highlighted the vulnerability of the young: The Emancipation Act freed children under six years of age, but it permitted mothers who suffered destitution to indenture their free children on estates until they attained the age of 21. In colonies where apprentices produced their own food from provision grounds, the care and sustenance of small children was not a problem. The situation was dramatically different in Barbados where apprentices were sustained largely upon food distributed to them by their masters. Interpreting the Emancipation Act with self-serving rigidity, Barbados planters refused to supply customary allowances to the island’s 14,000 free children. . . . The apprentices were equally intransigent. Magnificently adamant, they refused to indenture their children, asserting that they would prefer to see them starve than to bind them for fifteen years or more to the estates.31

In Latin America, coercive systems of servitude, similar to tutelle in Senegal, existed in the post emancipation period, that is, from 1888. Indeed, Nara Milanich has argued convincingly that “tutelary servitude,” commonly known as patrones, under which poor and orphaned children raised in masters’ households primarily to provide present and future services in exchange for sustenance, thrived in Latin America after emancipation. Milanich concludes that tutelary servitude was “an unequivocally modern form of bondage.”32 In the American South, former slaveholders disregarded laws designed to protect former bondpeople and the authority of the Freedmen’s Bureau and forced black children into apprenticeships 30

31

32

Douglas Hall, Five of the Leewards 1834–1870: The Major Problems of the Post-Emancipation Period in Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis and St. Kitts (Bridgetown: Caribbean Universities Press, 1971), p. 26. William A. Green, British Slave Emancipation: The Sugar Colonies and the Great Experiment (London: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. 134. The emphasis is the author’s. See Nara Milanich, “Degrees of Bondage: Children’s Tutelary Servitude in Modern Latin America,” in Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller (eds.), Child Slavery in the Modern World (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2011), pp. 106–107.

12

Introduction

after the end of slavery in 1865. In some areas, such as Maryland, they ignored the emancipation law, seized children, and subjugated them to apprenticeships. As Wilma King, noted, “more than 2,500 youngsters were apprenticed throughout the South within the first month of emancipation. Many of the persons binding apprentices did not keep them within their households, but hired them out elsewhere.”33 Similarly, the hiring out of minors in tutelle in urban Senegal was a common practice among guardians, who thereby exploited their labor. This study of minors will therefore give us a better appreciation of the labor that youngsters performed in colonial Senegal and enable us to assess its importance to the development of the colonial economy. Aside from domestic labor, minors worked at the ports, in commercial enterprises, as grain pounders, and as apprentices in many trades. They also cultivated gardens under the auspices of religious orders. Their labor was particularly important to the development of the colonial economy, which was integrated into the market economy based on the production and export of peanuts from the 1840s. From then onward, peanuts became a more important commodity than slaves and gum arabic, and the Senegalese economy became increasingly tied to that of France. Commercial activity, especially in Saint-Louis and Gorée, revolved around the peanut economy. After a period of wars between French imperialists and indigenous rulers from the 1860s to the 1880s, the peanut economy underwent unprecedented expansion, and Senegal became the world’s largest peanut producer. Indeed, Senegal’s dependence on the export of this single crop was a fact until recent decades.34 What is worth emphasizing is that the evolution and development of tutelle coincided with the rise of the peanut economy to which minors contributed indirectly by the labor they performed. The actions that the colonial administration in Senegal took in response to revelations of widespread abuses in tutelle that surfaced during the first years of the twentieth century provide valuable insights into the social condition of liberated minors.

33 34

King, Stolen Childhood, p. 151. See Bernard Moitt, “Peanut Production and Social Change in the Dakar Hinterland: Kajoor and Bawol, 1840–1940,” PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, 1985; Bernard Moitt, “From Pack Animals to Railways: Transport and the Expansion of Peanut Production and Trade in Senegal,” in Outre-Mers Revue d’Histoire, no. 330–331, 1er semestre (2001), pp. 241–267.

Introduction

13

The data show that a virtual scandal surrounded the institution at that time, for administrative records reveal that serious lapses by colonial officials and poor record-keeping put minors at risk and left them at the mercy of their guardians. The administration was well aware of the potential damage that these revelations could do at a time when public opinion in Europe had turned against slavery. The actions it took came in the form of legislative decrees for the most part. However, administrative action was marked by inconsistency and a lack of rigor. As the chief legal officer in the colonial administration, the Procureur général was the official and legal guardian of minors and was, thus, fully responsible for their care. Governors of Senegal expected heads of the judiciary to take this responsibility seriously, even though they were well aware that French policy, though antislavery in general after 1817, was often contradictory, as the actions of French authorities revealed from the early nineteenth century. It is worth reiterating that the laws were clear. However, they were thwarted by the colonial administration. Thus, colonial officials and others, to whom minors were entrusted, disregarded the laws and regulations governing guardianship, often with impunity. Administrative attempts to regulate guardianship were also hampered by a lack of financial resources, insufficient personnel in the judiciary, and, most of all, sheer negligence. These factors resulted in legislative failure and left adopted minors in precarious positions that resembled slavery. This study is based primarily on primary sources, mostly archival data. There are several good dossiers on slavery in the Archives Nationales du Sénégal, but files pertaining specifically to tutelle are limited. Even so, critical information about enslaved and liberated minors can be culled from them. In general, the data on tutelle are highly fragmented and contain large gaps. From the 1860s to the 1880s, for example, tutelle virtually disappeared from official correspondence, mainly because of administrative neglect. As a result, the scholarship on tutelle suffers from gaps in the chronology. For the conscientious researcher, the challenge to fill such gaps is daunting, though not insurmountable, because other data testify to the ongoing existence of guardianship. The implications of heavy reliance on archival sources are real because they tell the story from the perspective of the colonial

14

Introduction

administration, and from individuals – Whites, mixed-race, and Blacks – who benefited from the maintenance of guardianship. We have no first-hand accounts from the liberated children under study here, and must, therefore, narrate from silence while extrapolating from the data we have, all the while engaging in critical analysis of the sources, as was the case with my study of women and slavery in the French Antilles.35 In a study aimed at bringing enslaved women in Bridgetown, Barbados, out of anonymity, Marisa Fuentes adopted a critical and unique methodical approach that challenges the biases of traditional archival sources, and the ways in which they have shaped our thinking, considering that these sources were “produced in a system of violence against racialized and gendered subjects.”36 To give enslaved women their own voice, Fuentes conscientiously subverted the archival discourse that filtered the past only through the voices of Whites – mainly plantation owners and colonial authorities – while scrutinizing the archival fragments that criminalized them intensely, and drawing upon interdisciplinary sources to compensate for the lack of empirical data. The result is a work that demonstrates how new methodological approaches can be gainfully employed in reconstructing the history of people whose voices were usurped by those who held power over them. In this respect, her work is relevant to children in tutelle. Thus, methodologically challenging as it may be, narrating from silence, as this study demonstrates, is not insurmountable. Chronology notwithstanding, this study is the first of its kind and the most comprehensive to date. It is probable that the most consulted archival sources on slavery have been the dossiers in the K series, which cover many aspects of slave trading and enslavement. This study draws significantly upon this series, especially the following: K7, which deals with slave trading, abolition, and indentureship; K17 and K18, where data on surveys on slavery in Senegal and French West Africa that the French conducted in 1904 can be found; K23, which focuses specifically on minors in tutelle; and K27, which contains much data on slavery and repression of the slave trade in Senegal. For the period from 1849 to 1852, the M3 dossier is indispensable because the census records in the official 35 36

Bernard Moitt, Women and Slavery in the French Antilles. Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives, p. 123. See also, Bernard Moitt’s review of Fuentes’ book in The New West Indian Guide, vol 92, no. 3–4 (2018), pp. 293–296.

Introduction

15

registers of liberated slaves in Senegal date from 1852 and no earlier. In the M3 dossier, we find minutes of the meetings and transactions of the newly established guardianship council from 1849 to about 1874. In addition, there are unclassified dossiers in the Annex section of the Archives Nationales du Sénégal that I have used to enrich this study. Among the most important archival sources upon which this work draws, however, are ten of twenty administrative Libérations registers that contain data pertaining to the liberation of enslaved people in Senegal from 1857 to 1904. These registers, most of which are in poor condition, have been out of circulation for almost a century and a half, and have only been made available to researchers at the Archives Nationales du Sénégal in recent years. They are likely to be the most complete record of slavery in Senegal and may well force scholars to revise their previous findings. Indeed, they confirm that the dimension of slavery in Senegal and the Western Sudan was quite extensive. It is probable that they will likely show that slavery was even more widespread among children than studies have revealed thus far. The registers also contain valuable information about the nature of the slave trade, the origin of the enslaved, slave parentage, and adoptees. Digitized by Stanford University, the registers, which contain evidence of 28,930 liberations from 1857 to 1903, have been scrutinized by a team of researchers who have produced an extraordinarily detailed and sophisticated preliminary analysis of the evidence from 1894 to 1903 which this study draws upon.37 Two of the registers contain records solely about liberated minors. One dates from June 4, 1892 to September 27, 1897; and the other from October 4, 1897 to May 16, 1904. However, minors, along with women, account for a significant portion of the liberated in all of them. The gaps in the data are glaring, and the risk of cross listings must be taken into consideration. Taken together, however, these registers provide substantial statistics that are used in this study to create censuses of liberated minors. They also tell us about the age range and sex of liberated minors, the majority of whom were female. The birthplace, age, and sex of minors, and the areas from which they came when ransomed, provide insights into slavery and the slave trade. Also, 37

Joshua Goodwin, Erica Ivins, Richard Roberts, and Rebecca Wall, “The Registers of Slave Liberation in Colonial Senegal: Preliminary Analysis of the Evidence from 1894 to 1903,” in Open Edition Journals, available at: https:// journals.openedition.org/slaveries/5495 (last accessed October 25, 2021).

16

Introduction

the people who adopted them and the professions in which they were engaged, provide valuable clues about the lives that minors in tutelle lived. This study also draws upon research guides, secondary sources, and contemporary newspapers. In particular, it has benefited from the work of Fatoumata Cisse (now director of the Archives Nationales du Sénégal) whose thesis chronicles the archival sources on slavery housed in the archives. Cisse’s work is the first comprehensive list of the major series pertinent to slavery in French West Africa, of which Senegal formed an important part. As such, it is a very important research tool. Because its chronological boundaries are about the same as those of this study, it served as a particularly useful instrument. Divided into three major sections, it examines the origins and development of slavery in French West Africa, offers a view of life in SaintLouis during the second half of the nineteenth century, and chronicles the series in which documents on slavery can be found. But it does more; it highlights a select number of cases from the registers of liberated minors to illustrate the nature of record keeping and character of guardianship.38 It is worth emphasizing that Cisse’s study also catalogues the notary records of Saint-Louis that a researcher studying tutelle might well overlook. Since most of the adopted minors lived in Saint-Louis, such records may indicate whether minors in tutelle were still considered heritable property after 1848, or whether they inherited from their guardians. In essence, they may shed valuable light on the sociocultural relationship between adopted minors and their guardians. Like Cisse, Saliou Mbaye, former Director of the Archives Nationales du Sénégal, concurs that the notary records of SaintLouis, and those of Gorée too, are of primary importance in writing about slavery in urban Senegal. He notes that a royal edict of 1776 required notaries to keep their original records in Senegal and send copies to France. Also, the activities of notaries in Saint-Louis began in 1786, but the uninterrupted flow of documents goes back to 1817 only. Aside from marriage contracts, wills, inventories after death, and the like, these records also contain acts of liberation and 38

Fatoumata Cissé, “Les sources de l’histoire de l’esclavage conservées aux Archives Nationales du Sénégal, 1848–1904,” thèse, Ecole des bibliothécaires archivistes et documentalistes de l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop, 1999–2000.

Introduction

17

rachat. The notary records show that slaves were heritable property, as were indentured servants. Mbaye cites a case in December, 1847, a mere four months before the abolition act of April, 1848, in which Etienne Pierre left his concubine, Louison Porquet – a free black woman – and their two children, three slaves and two engagés à temps, estimated at 1,550 French Francs.39 Mbaye’s study ends at 1848 just at tutelle became instituted. Thus, one would have to consult the records after 1848 to determine whether the practice of passing on those who were indentured continued. With regard to other secondary sources, François Renault’s L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal remains the best treatment of tutelle, however incomplete. Renault’s concern was the abolition law of 1848 and the manner in which the French colonial administration in Senegal applied it down to the period 1904–1905. A critic of French policy on slavery, which he found inconsistent, Renault concentrated on breaches in the law and wrote about adopted minors from this perspective. In taking the administration to task for poor recordkeeping in charting liberated minors, Renault throws light on the origin and development of tutelle, but his account does not go beyond the 1870s. Thus, his contribution with regard to tutelle can be confined mostly to the period before 1870. In focusing on the initiatives of former slaveowners in the postabolition period, Mohamed Mbodj enhances our understanding of tutelle. He paints a solid picture of entrepreneurship in Saint-Louis and Gorée in the second half of the nineteenth century. In doing so, he showed that former slaveowners maintained their control over artisanal crafts that were a linchpin of the slave system. In the period after 1848, they still held a quasi-monopoly over the training of craftworkers and were thus able to exploit adopted minors in tutelle in this way. With the gradual decline of these crafts, former slaveowners shifted to the control of salaried labor and “transformed themselves into intermediaries necessary to both employers and employees,” according to Mbodj.40 As he noted, “This quasi monopoly over the training of craftworkers ended only toward the end of the [nineteenth] century, 39

40

Saliou Mbaye, “L’esclavage domestique à Saint-Louis à travers les archives notariées (1817–1848),” in Djibril Samb (ed.), Saint-Louis et L’esclavage (Initiations et Etudes Africaines, no. 39) (Dakar: Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, 2000), p. 154. Mbodj, “Abolition of Slavery in Senegal, 1820–1890,” p. 203.

18

Introduction

when the development of peanut-trading networks increasingly transferred workers from one area to another.”41 This study is divided into an introduction, eight chapters, and a conclusion. Chapter 1 offers a brief historical overview of nineteenthcentury urban Senegal, with particular emphasis on social and economic factors, including the evolution and development of the towns, the ethno-cultural populations that inhabited them, the religions they practiced, the institutions they developed, and the role of the French in the development of trade and commerce. G. Wesley Johnson’s treatment of what became known as the Four Communes, though heavily concentrated on political developments, remains unique and will serve as a useful starting point.42 With regard to commerce and trade, it is important to identify and highlight the major players, both local and international, in order to get a better understanding of the dynamics at work in urban Senegal that made coercive labor of youngsters attractive and desirable. Hilary Jones’ study of the métis of Saint-Louis, which complements and goes beyond G. Wesley Johnson’s study, has excellent material on what she refers to as métis society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although her study is confined to SaintLouis, it contains references to Gorée. She does not focus on tutelle, but she uses Catholic baptismal records effectively and provides useful information about métis men and women who became guardians.43 Chapter 2 focuses on the evolution and development of tutelle leading up to the creation of the Conseil de Tutelle – the guardianship council. It traces the antecedents of tutelle going back to the institution of engagement à temps – a system of indentureship that the French introduced after the end of the maritime slave trade in 1818 to fill labor needs both at the level of the state and local households. It shows how people were bought out of slavery through the process of rachat to become indentured workers for specific periods of time and illuminates the coercive nature of such a labor system. The chapter highlights the relationship between engagement à temps and tutelle to demonstrate 41 42 43

Mbodj, “Abolition of Slavery in Senegal, 1820–1890,” p. 204. Johnson, Emergence. See Hilary Jones, “Citizens and Subjects: Métis Society, Identity and the Struggle over Colonial Politics in Saint Louis, Senegal, 1870–1920,” PhD dissertation, Michigan State University, 2003. See also, Hilary Jones, The Métis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013).

Introduction

19

that the system of guardianship was most often a subterfuge for slavery. As this examination is carried out within the larger context of slavery and slave trading in the Western Sudan where women and children constituted the majority of slaves, the chapter sheds light on the peculiarity of bondage among the young, reveals their vulnerability at abolition, and shows how the establishment of an institution like tutelle could evolve. The work of the Conseil de Tutelle which was created in 1849 in the immediate aftermath of the abolition of slavery is the subject of Chapter 3. The colonial administration granted the council broad authority to place minors – both formerly enslaved and free orphans – in households and institutions. The council also had to deal with reclamations by the families of liberated minors seeking to reclaim them, often on shaky grounds. It left detailed records of its meetings and undertakings in 1849, but virtually disappeared from the records after the 1850s, leaving a void that makes it difficult to trace and write about minors in tutelle. Chapter 4 chronicles legislation governing tutelle, first introduced by Governor Louis Faidherbe in 1857. This was the first of other important legislative measures, which followed in 1858 and 1862, that the colonial administration adopted to regulate tutelle. The 1857 legislation was crucial because it provided a legal framework for the manner in which enslaved youths brought to Saint-Louis after 1848 should be liberated, and the role that the state was required to play in ensuring that the proper process be followed and executed. The legislation was timely because the Conseil de tutelle’s inactivity after the 1850s dealt a deadly blow to guardianship. Gone were the minutes of the meetings held from 1849 and, with them, the decisions the council rendered on the placement of liberated minors. Thereafter, no-one appears to have known for sure whether records of liberated minors were being kept on a constant basis or by whom. Worse, the heads of the judicial services, whom the state designated as the official guardians of minors in place of the wardship council, were negligent to a degree that Camille Guy, the French Governor of Senegal, considered scandalous in 1904 when he discovered the gravity of the damage that has been done for decades. Chapter 5 is dedicated to the working lives of minors, mostly as apprentices and domestics. The case studies upon which the chapter draws detail the ways in which their labor was exploited, and how they

20

Introduction

responded to coercion. Bryant argues that “children’s cooperation with or rebellion against guardianship not only shaped the circumstances in which they lived and worked, but also influenced discourses about childhood, labor, and stigma in postemancipation Senegal.”44 I contend that minors had few options aside from remaining within the confines of their placements, even when they were exploited. Minors were not considered to be regular workers. In the case of apprenticeships, however, the colonial administration thought it advisable to create bank accounts for minors into which guardians who worked minors as apprentices would deposit funds. But the case histories upon which this chapter draws show disputed claims by guardians and attempts to deny them a hedge against the future. The chapter tackles head-on the accusation leveled at guardians that they put female minors to work as prostitutes. These accusations have usually been made without supporting evidence. In spite of the paucity of data on this subject, however, it is possible to assert, as this chapter does, that prostitution did occur. Indeed, the testimony of a female minor in 1910 lends credence to this assertion. Overall, the working lives of minors, whether apprentices or domestics, was fraught with difficulty, which explains why flight was a most common response to their social condition. Governor Guy’s legislation of 1903, which called for censuses of liberated minors, is taken up in Chapter 6, along with an assessment of the total number of liberated minors from the 1850s to 1904. A careful exploration of legislation governing tutelle reveals that the laws were not enforced; in fact, guardians generally ignored them. I argue that the difficulties surrounding the lack of enforcement were largely ideological, because the actions of those in authority, as well as the habitants in general, demonstrate that they did not accept the Abolition Act of 1848, and consequently viewed slavery as an ongoing phenomenon. Further, they were able to maintain this demeanor because the state did not destroy the elements that underpinned slavery, and this duplicity became increasingly evident after 1848. Chapter 7 offers a glimpse of minors in institutions such as the Ėcole pénitentiaire de Thiès, the orphanages at Ndar Toute and at Sor near Saint-Louis, and the Ėcole Pinet-Laprade in Gorée and Dakar. The data are particularly fragmented in these areas, but they give us a sense 44

Bryant, “Changing Childhood,” p. 211.

Introduction

21

of what life must have been like for African youngsters away from domestic settings and supportive networks. Minors were required to perform manual labor in some institutions, but it was also possible for them to acquire a rudimentary education in some instances. The chapter ends with a brief treatment of minors sent to the colonial military. Flight and other aspects of life in tutelle, such as travel with guardians, with and without the knowledge of the administration, marriage, and death, are explored in Chapter 8. The fact that minors of all ages fled, irrespective of their circumstances, the social standing of their guardians, and their abode, reveals a sense of displacement, dislocation, and general discontent with guardianship as a whole. It is possible that some minors lived what might be considered normal lives, but aspects of neglect and abuse were prevalent. With regard to travel (from Senegal to France in particular), the evidence shows that these sojourns – the ones we know of – were not joyful occasions for minors. Most were sent back to Senegal. But there may also have been some bliss among some minors. Tirailleurs Sénégalais, in particular, sought to marry young girls in tutelle, and wrote appealing letters to their guardians seeking permission. They usually indicated how much dowry they could afford. Whether guardians found the amount of the dowry tantalizing and yielded to the Tirailleurs as a means of enriching themselves and thereby exploiting the sexuality of their female charges is also worth asking. The chapter ends with the deaths of minors in tutelle. Among the evidence it draws upon are death certificates which formed part of administrative reports. Guardians were required to report deaths, but not all of them did so. The circumstances under which they died are not clear, but details from the death certificates, including age and sex, assist us in determining how minors lived and died in tutelle. This study ends with a conclusion about the end of tutelle and its aftermath. It posits that wardship declined after 1905 – the year that French law made the alienation of a person’s labor illegal in French West Africa, thus bringing an end to slavery in areas of Senegal where its existence was still legal after 1848. In doing so, the conclusion reinforces the positions taken in this study about the relationship between tutelle and slavery. In essence, it argues that, had slavery continued beyond 1905, tutelle would likely have survived. As this study shows, tutelle was very much alive in 1906. In fact, this study draws upon references to the institution as late as 1910. It is no wonder

22

Introduction

that vestiges of this phenomenon can still be observed in parts of West Africa to this day. Although tutelle has not received sustained treatment in the historiography of slavery due largely to the fragmentation and paucity of the data in many cases, this study brings to the fore aspects of the experience of the children who endured the mistreatment that characterized the institution hitherto disregarded, out of anonymity. The assessment of tutelle is ongoing, and rightly so. Bryant concludes that liberated minors “sometimes challenged dominant expectations, linked to slavery, about their work lives, interactions with guardians, and sexuality,” and that tutelle “shaped post-emancipation society, but largely because some children used it as a vehicle to make their own change.”45 The assessment of tutelle by Senegalese historians points in another direction for it amounts to an indictment of the colonial system, which it was. Ibra Sene stated that “A large majority of these children who could not keep up with the new social order in which they were trapped would rebel and flee their masters. Others were just thrown in the streets of Saint-Louis by their ‘masters’ returning to France.”46 Likewise, Dior Konaté contends that “The tutelage system was a subterfuge for imprisonment because the tutors’ abusive use of their power turned the whole system into a nightmare for the recipients.”47 Lastly, Ibrahima Thioub offers that the “expansion of urban areas widened the social field that harbored groups considered marginal by the public authorities.”48 The assessments of tutelle by these scholars provide insights into an institution that deserves serious intellectual pursuit. What must not be lost sight of, however, is that the experience of children in tutelle was nuanced. To be sure, imprisonment, however troubling and disconcerting, was only one dimension of the children’s experience, as this study shows. Also, not all of the children who became state wards were 45 46

47

48

Bryant, “Changing Childhood,” p. 228. Ibra Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization: A History of the Prison of Saint-Louis and the Development of the Penitentiary System in Senegal, CA. 1830–CA. 1940,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University, 2010, p. 152. Dior Konaté, Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal (New York: Lexington Books, 2018), p. 56. Ibrahima Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality and Incarceration during the Colonial Period: The First Penitentiary Schools in Senegal, 1888–1927,” in Florence Bernault (ed.), A History of Prison and Confinement in Africa (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003), p. 82.

Introduction

23

liberated slaves – an aspect of guardianship that these assessments ignored. This study reveals that a very significant number of young orphans – males and females, liberated and free – fell into the hands of state authorities who assigned guardians to them. The state made no distinction between slaves and orphans irrespective of their status. Orphans were processed in the same manner as liberated slaves, and they received no preferential treatment. A worthy scholarly pursuit, orphans have not been the object of scholarly investigation. In their preliminary analysis of the liberation registers, the authors deliberated on the use of the term “orphan,” deciding in the end that the term was “inappropriate for the condition in which many of these children found themselves.”49 They opted for the term “unaccompanied minors,” to define children who were separated from their parents through kidnapping and were therefore not orphans as such. The uncertainties surrounding the status of orphans – an issue that will be taken up in this study – demonstrates that there is much we do not know about guardianship in Senegal. However, this study offers a window into a world that has been hidden from view for far too long. 49

Goodwin et al., “Registers of Slave Liberation in Colonial Senegal,” p. 12.

|

1

Urban Senegal in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

The coastal towns of urban Senegal had already become increasingly important and potentially vibrant and promising centers of commerce with Europe when the French abolition act of 1848 became law. By the 1840s, “legitimate trade” (as opposed to the trade in humans) began to take hold and peanuts were becoming increasingly important to the Senegalese economy. Even so, slavery remained an integral part of the socio-economic fabric of Senegalese society. In this regard, trends from previous times remained dominant such that, in Saint-Louis and Gorée, for example, the enslaved still constituted the majority of the populations as was the case in the mid-eighteenth century.1 The enslaved in Rufisque and the Lebu villages that later became Dakar were not as numerous but were nonetheless significant. Thus, enslaved and liberated people who arrived in the coastal towns – considered French soil – from regions in the interior of Senegal after 1848 joined the ranks of a growing population of Africans who were legally free but still trapped by the encumbrances of bondage. These Africans, adults and children, free and liberated, made an important contribution to the social and economic development of colonial Senegal. It is worth emphasizing that child labor was, and remained, central to this development. Indeed, the correlation between liberation and child labor worked to the advantage of the colonial administration in that it fostered social and economic stability, the displacement and subjugation of minors notwithstanding. This chapter focuses on social, political, and economic developments in the coastal towns of urban Senegal, primarily from the 1840s to the end of the nineteenth century. In so doing, it highlights the relationship between the urban economy and the Senegal River trade, as well as the importance of slavery and guardianship in this development. It 1

James Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce: The Senegal River Valley, 1700–1860 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 94.

24

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

25

concentrates mainly on Saint-Louis – the most important economic hub. Some consideration is given to Gorée, whose economy focused mostly on the Petite Côte – the coastal area from Dakar to the SineSaloum Delta – and the Upper Guinea Coast – primarily Sierra Leone and Liberia. It also considers developments in Rufisque and Dakar. It shows that these maritime societies were not a cohesive entity at the outset. They became products of European interests and expansionism and gained importance through maritime trade, including the trade in slaves. European presence in these regions dates back to the mid-fifteenth century when the Portuguese began to trade with Senegal. From the outset, trade was central to European interest in Senegal, however unappealing the towns may have appeared. Towns such as SaintLouis and Gorée were, according to James Searing, “nearly uninhabited when they were acquired by European merchants. Small, infertile, and almost totally lacking fresh water, the islands had little value to the Africans who sold their rights to the land.”2 However, Hilary Jones indicates that African women of Wolof, Soninke, Peul, Serer, and Lebu extraction migrated to these towns and produced most of the métis (mixed-race) children fathered by Europeans – French, English, Irish, Portuguese, and Americans, among others.3 During a period of British rule of Saint-Louis in the mid-eighteenth century, Colonel Charles O’Hara, the Governor, was apparently very productive. According to Jones, the inhabitants of Senegal sent a petition to London in 1775 complaining about the abuses he committed, including racial insults, selling household slaves and free people arbitrarily in the Atlantic slave trade, and seizing “the property of free Africans to provide a residence for his ‘concubine’ Coumba Poole.”4 In spite of their early and initial successes in trading in Africa, the Portuguese could not deter other Europeans from encroaching upon their settlements. To head off such challenges, they turned to destroying the fortifications of other Europeans. But in an era of rivalry, their tactics were not successful. Indeed, rivalry between the Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries seemed never ending and resulted in the settlements changing 2 3

4

Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce, p. 94. Hilary Jones, The Métis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), p. 9. Jones, The Métis of Senegal, p. 9.

26

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

hands repeatedly, such that it is often difficult to determine when the changes actually occurred. As Hilary Jones notes, French trading companies administered the settlement at Saint-Louis at the outset, and eight different companies did so from 1659 to 1758.5 The fact that annexations were not always formal further complicates the matter. Fortunately, G. Wesley Johnson’s treatment of European interest, conquest, and settlement offers clarity. He indicates that, by the 1650s, the French, who took an interest in the region as early as the sixteenth century, were intent on monopolizing the Senegal River trade, and viewed control of the river mouth as essential to achieving this goal. In addition, they envisioned opening up the Sudan, which they achieved through military campaigns in the nineteenth century. French interest aside, the British, who also relished the idea of controlling the Senegal and Gambia rivers, occupied Saint-Louis in 1758 and held it for twenty-one years until the French recaptured it in 1779. Gorée, which G. Wesley Johnson describes as “a small rocky island lying just off Cape Verde” that Portugal occupied early on, was the object of European rivalry due to its strategic location. The Dutch seized the island in 1588 but did not manage to maintain sovereignty. Philip Curtin states that attacks on Gorée in 1629 and 1645 failed to dislodge the Dutch from the fort they constructed and rebuilt after every encounter.6 Under the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678, however, Gorée, along with the old Portuguese possessions of Joal, Portudal, and Tanguegueth (later called Rio Fresco and later still, Rufisque) became French possessions. This was not the end of territorial rivalry because Gorée fell to the British in 1779 but returned to French rule in 1783. Thus, Gorée went from Portuguese occupation at the outset, to seizure by the Dutch, followed by French and British rule. Dakar also came under the French sphere of influence after annexation in 1857 by Louis Faidherbe, who took up his appointment as governor of Senegal in 1854. In 1859, the French formally annexed Rufisque.7 What is 5 6

7

Jones, The Métis of Senegal, p. 24. Philip D. Curtin, Economic Change in Precolonial Africa: Senegambia in the Era of the Slave Trade (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1975), pp. 97-99. These developments are discussed in G. Wesley Johnson, The Emergence of Black Politics in Senegal: The Struggle for Power in the Four Communes, 1900–1920 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1971), pp. 19–37. See also Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce, pp. 106–107; Abbé David Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, 1853 reprint (Paris: Karthala, 1984), p. 55.

Economic Activity in Urban Senegal

27

noteworthy is that, irrespective of who gained dominance over the centuries, the status of enslaved Africans in territories over which Europeans had sovereignty remained unchanged. Where does the foregoing leave us? The end of European rivalry means that, by the late eighteenth century, the French had eliminated their rivals in the coastal towns of Senegal and could then concentrate on pursuing their economic agenda centered on trade on the Senegal River. Further, by the mid-nineteenth century this agenda became more pronounced, expansive, and aggressive as French imperialism hit its stride. What led up to this? The answer lies in the economic activities in the towns and the Senegal River trade, which constitute key factors worth exploring.

Economic Activity in Urban Senegal The level of economic activity and the ethnic composition of populations of the towns varied. However, most of the inhabitants were Wolof – “the first Senegalese to meet Europeans,” according to G. Wesley Johnson.8 They engaged in agricultural pursuits, fishing, and trading. As population increased, it became more difficult to obtain adequate food supplies, however. The urban areas were not very fertile. Indeed, both Saint-Louis and Goré lacked fresh water and a steady, constant supply of produce. According to Camille Camara, Blanchot, a French commandant and administrator of Senegal and its dependencies who found Saint-Louis too small for the number of inhabitants there, bought three small neighboring islands in the hopes that Saint Louisans would migrate there and engage in cultivation to provide Saint-Louis with agricultural produce. This colonization scheme failed. In 1803, Blanchot requested a census of Saint-Louis, which was not carried out, and the town continued to attract immigrants.9 In all likelihood, the immigrants helped to raise the level of economic activity in urban Senegal. The urban trade has not been the object of sustained scholarly inquiry, but evidence points to its vibrancy. Indeed, Abbé Boilat, a métis who was born in Saint-Louis, educated in France, 8 9

Johnson, Emergence, p. 9. Camille Camara, Saint-Louis du Sénégal: Évolution d’une ville en milieu Africain (Dakar: Université de Dakar – Institut Fondamental D’Afrique Noire, Initiations et Études Africaines No. XXIV, 1968), pp. 39–40

28

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

and ordained as a priest in Senegal in 1840, observed the production and circulation of produce in the region in the nineteenth century. He noted that the cultivation of vegetables during the rainy season, and the selling of palm wine during the dry season, were the primary occupation of most of the inhabitants of Rufisque at mid-century. Fishing with dug-out canoes, fabricated from tree trunks by merchants and their slaves, was done throughout the year in Rufiaque, Dakar, and other areas on the coasts. In this interregional economy, Guet Ndar, near the mouth of the Senegal River, emerged as an important fishing village. Indeed, fish from Guet Ndar entered the markets of the region including Saint-Louis, as did grain from the River trade. Trade between Rufisque and Gorée also included fish transported by canoes.10 Boilat witnessed very large catches, especially of a herring variety that populated the coastal waters as far as Dakar. The inhabitants salted and dried fish, as they do today, and exchanged it in the interior for millet, cotton, and other commodities. As for Dakar, it furnished Gorée with vegetables.11 Bouët-Willaumez described a lively commercial network with products coming into Gorée from surrounding regions. These included peanuts, cowhides, coffee from Rio-Nuûez, grain from the River trade, palm oil, cattle, rice, dried fish, and millet.12 The social and economic dynamism that characterized the urban scene by the mid-nineteenth century came from the multiethnic populations in place, the economic and political activities in which they engaged, and French backing and support of their entrepreneurial drive. According to Mamadou Diouf, the two most prominent groups were the originaires, “the first notable inhabitants of Saint-Louis,” referred to as doomu ndaar in the Wolof language, and the métis.13 The doomu ndaar were Muslims primarily; a limited number, the gourmets, adopted Christianity as did the influential métis population of which the signares formed part. European traders, merchants, and administrators abounded. By the second half of the nineteenth century, 10 11 12

13

Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, pp. 191–195. Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, pp. 42, 56–57. Édouard Bouët-Willaumez, Commerce et traite des Noirs aux côtes occidentales d’Afrique (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1848), pp. 51–54. Mamadou Diouf, “Hamet Gora Diop (1846–1910): Merchant and Notable from Saint-Louis in Senegal,” in Dennis D. Cordell (ed.), The Human Tradition in Modern Africa (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), p. 67.

Economic Activity in Urban Senegal

29

Table 1.1 Population of urban centers in the nineteenth century Year

Saint-Louis

1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876

11,760 11,701 15,650 15,917 15,834 15,834 15,980

Gorée

Rufisque

Dakar

2,762

5,268

3,350

Source: Y. Saint-Martin, Une Source de L’Histoire Coloniale du Sénégal: Les Rapports de Situation Politique, 1874–1891, Histoire, No. 9 (Dakar: Publications de la Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, 1966), p. 51.

many of the African merchants were Wolof Muslims. Together, members of these groups have been referred to as the habitants. Enslaved Africans – children and adults – constituted the lower rungs of society and played an important role in the economy as providers of labor in these multi-ethnic and multi-racial societies. As they gathered momentum after abolition, some of the urban centers became heterogeneous due to in-migration from hinterland regions. As Table 1.1 shows, the urban population was heavily concentrated in Saint-Louis. However, a single ethnic group – the Wolof – was, and remains, the dominant group in urban Senegal. Even so, the scholar needs to be cautious and not proceed too quickly to categorize the multiplicity of African ethnicities without regard to the pitfalls such an exercise may entail. In her excellent study of the métis of Saint-Louis during the late nineteenth century, Hilary Jones has drawn attention to some of the difficulties and complexities involved in studying the populations of urban Senegal. In doing so, she has pointed out that the métis population does not fall neatly into specific categories of analysis because its members were phenotypically diverse, were of different religions persuasions, and had different lifestyles based on their economic standing.14 Jones has also pointed to class divisions in urban society because the northern part of Saint-Louis was comprised primarily of Muslim residents while the center of the island served as the seat of the French authority. Also, 14

Jones, The Métis of Senegal, pp. 9–11.

30

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

the villages of Guet Ndar and Ndar Toute on the Atlantic coast became home to a growing population of [Wolof] fishermen and their families. A new settlement called Sor was founded by the French on the adjacent mainland in 1837 to accommodate Saint Louis’ growing population and the island dwellers need for land to cultivate gardens.15

Later in the century, as we shall see, the French established an orphanage at Sor to which some minors in tutelle were sent after abolition. With regard to the African population, there were differences in ethnicity and religion. Indeed, G. Wesley Johnson has drawn a distinction between urbanized Africans and “Creoles” or mixed-race Africans who, according to him, adopted French culture and considered themselves French, whereas the former retained their African identity, of which they were proud.16 This would mean that most of the guardians of children in tutelle would be métis because of their economic and social standing. Although the Wolof came to dominate the urban scene, most of the inhabitants in Dakar at the time of French annexation in 1857 were Lebou. As the century wore on, they were gradually overtaken by the enterprising Wolof and, later, the Toucouleur. Johnson’s study of the Four Communes reveals that among the African inhabitants in the towns were educated elites who became engaged in politics very early on and could be considered, “political mavericks” by World War I. Indeed, “Saint-Louis and Gorée had African mayors by the time of the French Revolution and elected a deputy to the National Assembly in Paris in 1848.”17 By 1879 urban inhabitants had effective institutions of local government. Indigenous Black Africans constituted the majority of the electorate, while a tiny minority of French and mixed-race politicians dominated politics until the end of the nineteenth century. The Europeans who inhabited the urban towns in the midnineteenth century were mostly merchants, traders, administrators, priests, and employees of French commercial firms. They were treasurers, attorneys general, commanders of the armed forces, and directors of public works including roads, canals, and ports. They headed both the bureaucracies and the leading Bordeaux-based firms whose 15

16

Hilary Jones, “Citizens and Subjects: Métis Society, Identity and the Struggle over Colonial Politics in Saint Louis, Senegal, 1870–1920,” PhD dissertation, Michigan State University, 2003, p. 5. 17 Johnson, Emergence, p. 35. Preface to Johnson, Emergence, p. vii.

Economic Activity in Urban Senegal

31

origins in Senegal date back to the 1820s, and from whom they took direction.18 The leading enterprises profited from commercial activities around the ports and along the Senegal River, as well as the rise in peanut commerce in the nineteenth century. Governor Faidherbe’s drive to establish Senegal as a cash crop producer led to the subjugation of African rulers and empire builders who resisted French encroachment but lost. Consequently, Senegal came under French sovereignty which made it possible for the French to integrate Senegal into the world market economy in which the leading French commercial firms played an important role. Peanut cultivation for market began in the coastal regions, first in the Gambia. By 1840, entrepreneurs connected to French commercial enterprises in Senegal, and merchants interested in promoting commerce, successfully spearheaded efforts to produce the crop in Senegal and market it in France. Two of them – Rousseau-Chazelles, a French chemist, and Jean de Saint Jean, a métis from Gorée – bought seventy tons of peanuts at Dakar, Rufisque, and Albreda in the Gambia and shipped them to an oil refinery at Sotteville-les-Rouen in France in 1841.19 Based at Saint-Louis, French commercial houses, which established principal outlets in Saint-Louis, Gorée, Dakar, and Rufisque, played a pivotal role in the commercialization of peanuts and were among the first to lead the way. The oldest and most prominent of these was Maurel et Prom, which played a dominant role in urban trade. The firm’s commercial activities in Senegal date back to 1822 when Hubert Prom, a nephew of Jean-Louis Prom of Bordeaux, was sent to Gorée at the age of sixteen by his parents, in all likelihood to search for commercial initiatives. With the help of a cousin – Hilaire Maurel – Hubert Prom opened a trading post at Saint-Louis on January 1, 1831, each investing 5,293 French Francs 5 centimes.20 18

19

20

Laurence Marfaing, Evolution du Commerce au Sénégal, 1820–1930 (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1991), pp. 11, 177. Bernard Moitt, “Peanut Production and Social Change in the Dakar Hinterland, Kajoor and Bawol, 1840–1940,” PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, 1985. References to exports from the Gambia are in English tons. One such ton is equivalent to 2,240 pounds. The French metric ton is equivalent to 1,100 kg or 2,204 pounds. Jean Charbonneau and René Charbonneau, Marchés et marchands d’Afrique noire (Paris: La Colombe, 1961), pp. 71–72. See also M. Sar, Louga et sa région (Dakar: I.F.A.N., 1973), p. 132.

32

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

From the 1840s, Maurel et Prom became very active in the promotion of peanut commercialization. In 1840 and 1857, the firm created oil presses at Marseille and Bordeaux, respectively, to treat Senegalese peanuts.21 From this beginning, Bordeaux and Marseille became two of most important French colonial ports tied to Senegalese commercial development. A competitor of Maurel et Prom, the firm Charles Peyrissac, had its beginnings in 1862 when its owner, Charles (Cheri) Peyrissac, came to West Africa from Bordeaux at the age of sixteen. Unlike the proprietors of Maurel et Prom, Peyrissac had no capital outlay and started out by working for different commercial firms. By 1872, he was able to establish a trading post at Saint-Louis. Peyrissac exported gum and sold fabric and other commodities to Senegalese but ended up tapping the lucrative peanut trade. The firm broadened its base in the 1880s with the establishment of the Dakar–Saint-Louis Railway by opening up several trading posts along the line. In 1881, it created an oil press at Sor near Saint-Louis and operated (in conjunction with a Bordeaux ship-owner) coastal trade using a number of small boats.22

The French Commercial Enterprises, the Signares, and the River Trade As vibrant as it was, the urban economy did not develop under its own steam: it was linked to and undergirded by the Senegal River trade that was driven largely by the signares in the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century. According to James Searing, the signares of the eighteenth century borrowed their name from a similar group of AfroPortuguese women entrepreneurs who inhabited the coastal ports of Senegambia during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some sources indicate that the word signare comes from the Portuguese word senhora.23 In the eighteenth century, the signares owned landed property and controlled trade on the Senegal River. Hilary Jones notes that they 21

22 23

Roger Pasquier, Le commerce de la Côte Occidentale d’Afrique de 1850 à 1870 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1970), p. 122; Charbonneau and Charbonneau, Marchés et marchands, p. 72. Charbonneau and Charbonneau, Marchés et marchands, p. 77. Jean-Pierre Biondi, Saint-Louis du Sénégal: mémoire d’un métissage (Paris: Editions Denoël, 1987), p. 48.

French Enterprises, Signares, River Trade

33

“owned the vast majority of houses, boats and slaves. In addition, they possessed gold and silver jewelry, furniture, luxury textiles from Europe as well as local textiles.”24 Their ownership of slaves, including children, was key to their economic success and requires amplification. In 1700, André Brüe, director general of French commerce in Senegal, attached to the Compagnie des Indes, wrote about “signora Catti,” a mixed-race woman in Rufisque who had several slaves conducting commerce on her behalf.25 In 1753, the signare Marie-Thérèse of Gorée owned a dwelling house with four rooms on the ground floor where domestic slaves were lodged. Such buildings were usually constructed of stone and many have withstood the test of time. In 1779, Gorée had twenty-three such buildings and there were eighty-one by 1784.26 By the nineteenth century, the signares had to compete with the French over trade but could not be pushed aside. Their considerable wealth, influence, and liaisons with Frenchmen enabled them to remain a force with which to be reckoned. The signares’ heavy reliance on salve labor deserves emphasis. As Martin Klein has indicated, slave labor was the primary source of labor in the river trade until just before the abolition of 1848.27 The signares’ use of slave labor was not accidental because they were active participants in the slave trade.28 The co-relation between slave trading and slave holding worked to the benefit of French commercial firms – an important phenomenon for understanding the Senegal River economy. Signares acted as intermediaries between commercial firms and local merchants.29 The French commercial firms in the nineteenth century normally employed agents whom they recruited in Europe and upon whom they imposed a great deal of responsibility. As Marfaing indicates, Bordeaux decided which European employees to send to Senegal 24

25 26

27

28

29

Hilary Jones, “Women, Family & Daily Life in Senegal’s Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Towns,” in Mariana Candido and Adam Jones (eds.), African Women in the Atlantic World (London: James Currey Press, 2019), p. 243. Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce, p. 100. Jean Delcourt, Gorée: Six Siècles d’Histoire (Dakar: Editions Clairafrique, 1984), p. 56. Martin Klein, “The Role of Slavery in the Economic and Social History of SaintLouis, Senegal,” unpublished paper, p. 45. M’Baye Guèye, “Gorée dans la traite négrière,” in Djibril Samb (ed.), Gorée et l’esclavage: Actes de séminaire sur Gorée dans la traite atlantique: mythes et réalités, Initiations et Etudes Africaines, No. 38 (Dakar: Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, 1997), p. 25. Guèye, “Gorée dans la traite négrière,” p. 25.

34

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

and favored young males with no military obligations. Once there, the firms subjected them to strict discipline, and monitored their activities from their living quarters above the stores.30 They also hired mature male agents whose responsibilities brough them into close contact with African and mixed-race entrepreneurs. The commercial and personal relationships between company agents and local entrepreneurs were a driving force behind the river trade and this is worth amplifying because it provides a window into the economic life of the region. Like many other French merchants in Senegal, Maurel and Prom “married” two signares who were sisters.31 Others seem to have followed suit. “There are,” Abbé Boilat wrote in 1854, “very few traders based on Gorée. They are generally representatives of SaintLouis traders. Whatever the case, all traders live in perfect harmony with the indigenous inhabitants and many are now married to signares.”32 In time, agents tended to become independent of the larger commercial houses, to branch out on their own to seek opportunities to set up separate operations. In time, Maurel et Prom extended their operations over French West Africa. By 1923, the firm “had 150 trading posts in West Africa together with 60 ships; and its wharves were found wherever coastal or river navigation was practicable.”33 For the most part, the firm shipped commodities in its own ships while its oil press at Bordeaux processed peanuts. Thus, Maurel et Prom engaged in vertical integration, which allowed it to compete successfully with other import–export enterprises which concentrated on marketing other commodities besides peanuts in urban Senegal. How did the signares acquire their wealth? Martin Klein posits that the success of the signares lay in their efficiency in providing services to French trading companies (whose employees cohabited with them) and their exploitation of servile labor. Klein notes that the needs of a French company would include “feeding its employees, providing them with laundry services, supplying wood and water, and, eventually,

30 31 32 33

Marfaing, Evolution du Commerce au Sénégal, p. 182. Charbonneau and Charbonneau, Marchés et marchands, p. 72. Boilat, Esquiesse Sénégalais, p. 9 Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, “French Colonialism in Africa to 1920: Administration and Economic Development,” in L. Gann and P. Duignan (eds.), Colonialism in Africa, 1876–1960 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 178; Charbonneau and Charbonneau, Marchés et marchands, pp. 71–92.

French Enterprises, Signares, River Trade

35

providing artisans and slaves for St. Louis’ annual and Gorée’s coasting trade.”34 Abbé Boilat, the son of a signare, hinted at the source of their wealth when he noted that temporary conjugal unions between signares and Frenchmen, known as mariage à la mode du pays (marriage according to the custom of the country), facilitated the acquisition of resources.35 Hilary Jones states that, at first, this type of union “existed primarily as a means of facilitating trade relations between foreign visitors on the coast and African producers in the states of the interior.” But she also indicates that there were shifts in this form of marriage practice among the métis population over time. She argues convincingly that, by the mid-nineteenth century, “choosing the appropriate spouse for their children was critical for consolidating wealth and power in the changing environment of French colonialism.”36 Boilat observed that mariages à la mode du pays began to decline after 1840 when Senegalese priests, trained in France, returned to the colony and promoted the idea of converting these unions into legal marriages, apparently with modest success.37 However, Martin Klein notes that the decline began much earlier – from the late eighteenth century when métis families engaged in marriage among themselves.38 There are other elements of mariage à la mode du pays worthy of mention, however. Based on family archives, portraits, paintings, and photographs, as well as wills and inventories of probated estates, Hilary Jones points to emotional ties and affectionate relations between signares and their European husbands to demonstrate that mariage à la mode du pays was based on factors that transcended commerce.39 Signares gained wealth through their engagement in trade and through inheritances, either when the men died – usually of tropical illnesses – or when they left the colony, leaving property and other possessions to them. Key to their economic prowess was the need for 34

35 36

37 38 39

Martin Klein, “Slavery in St. Louis-du-Senegal and other African Cities of the Slave Trade,” unpublished paper, p. 7; Klein, “Role of Slavery,” p. 49. Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, p. 209. Hilary Jones, “From Mariage à la Mode to Weddings at Town Hall: Marriage, Colonialism, and Mixed-Race Society in Nineteenth-Century Senegal,” International Journal of African Historical Studies, vol. 38, no. 1 (2005), pp. 39–40. Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, p. 227. Martin Klein, personal communication, May 2017. Jones, “Women, Family & Daily Life,” pp. 242–243.

36

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

Europeans to engage them as business partners in order to conduct trade on their own accord outside of the confines of established European commercial firms. The offspring of signares and Europeans could inherit the possessions that their fathers owned in Senegal, but not in France or elsewhere.40 It would seem logical that European males, who often had families at home, would want to keep this option open. Even so, their Senegalese offspring probably did well enough. Searing stated that “the signare household was female-dominated at least until a signare’s own sons reached maturity. In this manner the signares gave birth to the prominent habitant families.”41 There were, however, prominent Muslim habitants in Saint-Louis too. Signares were among the most important slaveowners in urban Senegal. They obtained slaves as gifts from their partners upon “marriage,” used them as labor units, and rented them out, as we shall see in later chapters. They owned male slaves who manned the convoys that went up the Senegal River. They also engaged in other business ventures, all of which had slave-holding at the core. As Searing notes, The business of purchasing water and provisions, processing and preparing food for slaves in transit and Company workers, washing clothes and keeping house, was undertaken by the signares. They were slave owners, and the households they headed were composed primarily of female slaves who labored under their direction.42

The large commercial firms were able to extend their operations because they had good connections with the colonial banks, all of which were created in the wake of emancipation to deal with paying indemnities to slaveowners for the loss of their slaves – an issue that is taken up in Chapter 2. The first such bank was the Banque du Sénégal, which was created in 1853, and whose operations were taken over by the Banque de L’Afrique Occidentale (BAO) in 1895. Maurel and other merchants sat on the Board of Directors of the BAO. Also, Maurel and Prom were among the shareholders of the BAO, which, unlike the Banque du Sénégal, was geared to lending money to large

40 41 42

Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, p. 222. Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce, p. 96. Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce, p. 96.

French Enterprises, Signares, River Trade

37

commercial interests.43 Small commercial firms were at a competitive disadvantage because they did not have the same access to credit as the larger firms. The larger firms were also able to secure loans directly from France “while the small and middle commercial operations had to rely solely on the support of the Banque du Sénégal . . . whose capital was limited.”44 For example, the Banque du Sénégal had a capital of 230,000 French Francs in 1853, 300,000 in 1874, and 600,000 in 1888.45 Thus, it took the bank fourteen years – 1874–1888 – to double its capital at a time when it should have done better as the peanut economy underwent significant growth during this period. In granting loans, the banks favored Bordeaux firms. Other firms received loans but the amount granted usually fell short of their needs. Out of a short-term fund of 247,0000 French Francs for example, the Marseille-based Compagnie Française d’Afrique Occidentale was able to borrow 40,000 Francs for twenty days in April 1889.46 By then, the firm had been in existence for two years, but this seemed to have mattered little. In addition to favoritism, the banks adopted a standard practice of not granting loans to Africans. Thus, those Africans who wanted to participate in the commercial development of Senegal had very limited resources. They had to rely solely on their own initiative. Access to credit made it possible for larger firms to move deeper into the hinterland and broaden their commercial networks that the development and extension of railway lines made possible. Thus, transport was vital to the economic development of the urban centers. Early forms of transport included head loading, canoes, and animals, mostly camels and donkeys. After years of conflict and strife with Wolof rulers who were opposed to the construction of permanent structures on their territory, the French completed the Dakar–Saint-Louis Railway in 1885, thereby ushering in an era of market integration that would only expand. They followed up with the construction of the Thiès– Kayes in 1904, followed by the connection to Bamako and Koulikoro completed in 1924. The expansion of the railway network led to a

43

44 45 46

A. Dieng, Le rôle du système bancaire dans la mise en valeur de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Dakar: Nouvelles Editions africaines, 1982), p. 56. Dieng, Le rôle du système bancaire, p. 56. Dieng, Le rôle du système bancaire, pp. 47–56. Dieng, Le rôle du système bancaire, p. 51.

38

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

significant increase in peanut production, which continued to the end of the nineteenth century and beyond.

Religious Institutions and Affiliations As the urban and river economies advanced in the nineteenth century and slave labor became more widespread and institutionalized, the habitants continued to co-exist, thanks in large part to religious harmony. In the mid-nineteenth century, “Saint Louis was heavily Muslim and Gorée was mostly Christian.”47This means that Muslims and Christians became guardians of minors in tutelle. Since minors in urban Senegal came from Muslim parentage, Hilary Jones’ statement that the majority of the enslaved and former captives in Saint-Louis were Muslim is justified.48 Undoubtedly, some minors, born and raised as Muslims, would come to adopt Christianity in the households of their guardians. The social transformations that resulted from this phenomenon have not been studied but are worth considering given the turbulent relations between minors and their guardians that will be taken up in later chapters. Both Islam and Christianity engaged in broadening their reach through proselytization in some instances. Indeed, the “institutionalization of Christianity and Islam in the coastal towns encouraged adherence to orthodox teachings of both religions.”49 However, Christian missionary activity, in particular, usually included efforts to educate young Senegalese. The presence of Catholic priests in urban Senegal dates back to at least the seventeenth century, the Portuguese being the first, according to Abbé Boilat.50 Already in 1635, there were two Capuchin priests in Rufisque, then a Portuguese entrepôt. By the eighteenth century, there were Catholic missions in Gorée but the number of priests remained small and constituted a token presence only. Serious efforts to proselytize began in the early nineteenth century, however. Thus, in 1819–1820, the Catholic missionaries began to 47

48

49

Martin A. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 22. Jones, The Métis of Senegal, p. 50. There have been changes over time. G. Wesley Johnson estimates that, from 1900 to 1945, 5 percent of the urban elites in urban Senegal were Catholics. See G. Wesley Johnson, Africa & the West: Intellectual Responses to European Culture (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1972), p. 142. 50 Jones, The Métis of Senegal, p. 75. Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, p. 20.

Religious Institutions and Affiliations

39

keep baptismal and other registers at Saint-Louis and Gorée.51 Along with proselytization came the promotion of missionary education. Thus, as elsewhere in Africa, Christianity and missionary education went hand-in-hand. Several Christian missions sought to establish a presence in urban Senegal in the nineteenth century. In this endeavor, their efforts were enhanced by the French in 1816 when a royal ordinance gave the congregation of the Perès du Saint-Esprit (Holy Ghost Fathers, also known as the Spiritains) the sole right to provide priests for all the French colonies.52 This order was one of the two orders or so that provided institutional care for minors in guardianship, as later chapters will show. The other order was the Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny (Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny). Founded by Mother Anne-Marie Javouhey in 1812, the mission arrived in Senegal in 1819 with the intention of opening a hospital and a school for girls. The school became a reality in Saint-Louis in 1826, thanks to Baron Roger’s arête of July 15. The Sisters, especially Mother Rosalie, were preoccupied with the disease environment and trying to stay healthy enough to feed and care for the sick. Moreover, there was a shortage of nurses which led to a dependence on enslaved Africans as substitutes. The Sisters did household chores and laundry. Under these circumstances, they had little time to concentrate on education, even though they had the necessary resources including books, blackboards, dictionaries, atlases, cloth for embroidery, knitting needles, and the like. It seems clear that the Sisters intended to cater not solely to children but to adults because twelve signares who habitually sat on the ground, were among the first recruits. But the school did not really get off the ground. On a visit to France in 1821, Baron Roger noted that the health of the Sisters had deteriorated such that they would have to be replaced in three years. He regretted the closing of the school for girls, which he considered absolutely necessary for the acquisition of French language skills and personal amelioration, and blamed it on the colonial government which refused to rent space. Thus, he encouraged the Sisters to soldier on with the goal of reestablishing a school for girls.53 51 52 53

Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, p. 29. Boilat, Esquisses Sénégalaises, p. 27. Geneviève Lecuir-Nemo, Anne-Marie Javouhey: Fondatrice de la congrégation des Sœurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny ,1779–1851 (Paris: Karthala, 2001), pp. 90–91.

40

Urban Senegal in the Late Nineteenth Century

With strong backing and support of the merchant community in 1855, Governor Louis Faidherbe further advanced the undertakings of the mission when he authorized the creation of an orphanage at Guet Ndar – the Orphelinat de Sor for abandoned youngsters.54 This orphanage would come to play a role in guardianship, as it took in some liberated youngsters after 1848, as did the Holy Ghost Fathers. Although the Christian missions had very similar objectives in terms of saving souls, rivalry developed among them “over the direction of French education,” as Hilary Jones has revealed.55 In 1843, Governor Bouët-Willaumez appointed Abbé Boilat director of education. Along with his compatriots and fellow priests Jean Pierre Moussa and Arsene Fridoil, Boilat founded a junior high school in Saint-Louis, which catered to children of eleven to fifteen years old. However, its lifespan was short-lived because rivalry developed between Boilat’s institution and that of the Frerès de Ploërmel (Brothers of Ploërmel), who came to Senegal in 1841 but quickly abandoned their religious undertakings and offered a technical rather than a religious education. Boilat’s school also faced hostility from the Holy Ghost Fathers. These difficulties, in addition to the financial problems that beset the school, led to its closing and Boilat’s departure for France in 1852.56 Institutions – secular and non-secular – shaped the character of tutelle in that children, once within their grasp, were expected to conform to predetermined modes of conduct and lifestyles by which many could not abide and found ways to buck. Signares too had a major impact on the lives of liberated children in that their refusal to accept an adoptive system that the French colonial administration proposed to put under their control at the outset forced the state to consider another option. That option was tutelle. Moreover, the ways in which signares systematically exploited the labor of children – enslaved and liberated – served as an example to others of how African childhood could be disregarded and abused. 54

55 56

Félix Brigaud and Jean Vast, Saint-Louis du Sénégal: Ville aux Mille Visages (Dakar: Claireafrique, 1987), pp. 85–86. Jones, The Métis of Senegal, p 114. See Abdoulaye-Bara Diop’s introduction in Boilat’s Esquisses Sénégaileses, p. 6.

|

2

The Evolution of Tutelle

The abolition of slavery in the French colonial empire in 1848 legally freed enslaved people from bondage in parts of Senegal where the French had sovereignty (principally Saint-Louis and Gorée) but minors, above all, remained in conditions of servility not far removed from slavery. This situation persisted for many decades after abolition, during which the colonial administration in Senegal stood back from tutelle – a form of guardianship or wardship that it instituted after abolition to provide institutional care and safeguard the welfare of minors. In the 1850s, the French also institutionalized tutelle in Rufisque and Dakar, which they then occupied. By the first years of the twentieth century, however, the colonial administration discovered that for more than half a century following abolition, minors had been neglected by the state because safeguards and protective measures that it instituted were largely disregarded. Many minors were virtually abandoned. The evidence shows that, by the late nineteenth century, some of them could not be traced or accounted for and had been seriously neglected, even abandoned, as the administration discovered. Thus, in spite of administrative safeguards designed to protect them, most often minors were left to fend for themselves. This chapter explores the evolution and development of tutelle and its relationship to other forms of servility in Senegal in the nineteenth century. It shows that the transition from slavery to freedom in Senegal, though not demonstrably disruptive, was not necessarily smooth, either for children or adults. It reinforces the argument made in the Introduction that the colonial administration in Senegal created tutelle with the aim of cultivating children as future laborers in the interest of former slaveowners and the colony. As such, French authorities pursued efforts at the outset to provide accountability and ensure the success of tutelle, but their efforts lacked rigor, consistency, and proper surveillance to police the institution effectively. Consequently, the administration left minors to the whims and caprices of their 41

42

The Evolution of Tutelle

guardians, some of whom were their former owners. Thus, although many individuals, African and European, prolonged the subjugation of minors after abolition, it can be argued that administrative negligence was at the core of the hardships that minors in tutelle experienced. To be sure, tutelle was a subterfuge for slavery sanctioned by the state. The shock of this revelation led to changes designed to improve the condition of minors, but they came too late to make a difference to their lives. By the first decade of the twentieth century, the proposed changes could not be so easily implemented and guardianship went on much as it had since its inception.

Slavery in Senegal The relationship between tutelle and other forms of servitude can best be understood if explored within the larger context of slavery in Senegal. At its abolition, slavery was widespread throughout Senegal. Indeed, enslaved people were an integral part of a highly stratified Wolof society in which the nobility or garmi, along with the peasant farmers or badolo, occupied the top rung, being jambur or free people. The jaami-burr, commonly referred to as ceddo or crown slaves came next, followed by endogamous castes, made up of various artisanal castes, leather workers, weavers, griots or custodians of oral traditions, and the like. Trade slaves (jaam-sayoor) and domestic slaves (jaamjuddu) were at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The jaam-sayoor were bought or captured in war. They had no legal rights and were usually sold before they could cultivate binding relationships in the host society. The jaam-juddu were born in captivity and were sold only in cases of extreme hardship such as famine. Even so, slave status, which was determined by the mother, remained. It should be emphasized, however, that the status of the domestic slave was “that of subordinate membership, including fictitious quasi-kinship relationship to the master’s lineage.”1 By the end of the nineteenth century when the Wolof household was the basic unit of production headed by the njatigi, the standard arrangement under which domestic slaves 1

Philip Curtin, Economic Change in Precolonial Africa: Senegambia in the Era of the Slave Trade (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1975), p. 35; See also Martin A. Klein, “Servitude among the Wolof and Sereer of Senegambia,” in Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff (eds.), Slavery in Africa (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977), p. 345.

Slavery in Senegal

43

worked for him was five days per week, from morning until about 2 p. m. They dedicated the afternoons and their two free days to their own individual plots. In return, the njatigi, who had responsibility for other dependents besides slaves, was obliged to provide food, accommodation, clothing, and land.2 In effect, domestic slaves were, to a large extent, permanent dependents of the household, except in cases where they were permitted to set up their own households apart from their owners or where they were freed by the latter. They were allowed to marry, but usually to other slaves. Enslaved females did domestic and fieldwork within the household and their children belonged to their owners. In urban Senegal, some enslaved people became part of French naval operations, manning garrisons among other duties. Others worked as domestics, stevedores, and boat hands along the coast, or as helpers in the construction industry. As Martin Klein noted, “Not only did slaves do heavy labor, but they were also the artisans and the sailors who went upriver and down the coast. During the 1820s, over 85 percent of the approximately 1,200 sailors (laptots) going upriver were slaves, as were 90 percent of about 325 in the coastal trade.”3 Entrepreneurs could draw upon other sources of labor. Martin Klein argues that free labor was available, but the importance of slaves lay in the fact that slave labor was cheaper and more efficient. Thus, “Slavery was not only the most effective way to find labor, but it provided more reliable labor.”4 Enslaved minors, most of whom were female, were largely confined to domestic tasks in urban households. Many households in SaintLouis and Gorée were headed by signares who formed an important part of the community of habitants, comprised of Africans of various racial backgrounds and religious persuasions, who were mostly merchants and traders.5 As Chapter 1 showed, they were among the most 2

3

4

5

See ANS K 14–ANS K 18. See also Klein, “Servitude,” pp. 345–347; Martin A. Klein and Paul E. Lovejoy, “Slavery in West Africa,” in H. Gemery and J. S. Hogendorn (eds.), The Uncommon Market: Essays in the Economic History of the Atlantic Slave Trade (New York: Academic Press, 1979), pp. 181–212. Martin Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 22. Martin Klein, “Slavery in St. Louis-du-Senegal and other African Cities of the Slave Trade,” unpublished paper, p. 3. See Wesley G. Johnson, Jr., The Emergence of Black Politics in Senegal: The Struggle for Power in the Four Communes, 1900–1920 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1971), p. 23.

44

The Evolution of Tutelle

important slaveholders. When the estate of the well-known signare Adelaïde Lafrerière of Saint-Louis was probated in October, 1817, her holdings consisted of twenty-four slaves, an extravagant collection of jewelry worth 814F 55, and several houses, one of which sold for 12,732F 50.6 The pervasiveness of domestic slavery indicates that slave labor was extensively employed in Senegal, both in the hinterland where peasant farming was dominant after the mid-nineteenth century, and in urban areas of Saint-Louis and Gorée where slaves comprised the majority of the populations and where commercial enterprises abounded. To be sure, domestic slavery in urban Senegal was important, even though the number of slaves there was not that significant. A census carried out by the French in 1844 has become the basis of evaluation of the extent of slavery in Saint-Louis and Gorée. Sources suggest that the slave population ranged between 10,075 and 10,196.7 Searing has done a thorough probing of the demographic data and gives a figure of 6,061 as representative of the number of slaves in Saint-Louis rather than the usual 4,524. Klein offers a different set of figures for the enslaved population: 6,008 for Saint-Louis and 3,735 for Gorée in 1845.8 These figures do not change the overall picture. Indeed, besides fraud, the distinction between indentured servants and slaves in urban centers was often blurred. After 1848 when statistical data on the number of slaves in SaintLouis and Gorée ceased due to abolition, an increasing number of enslaved people from the hinterland came or were brought into the urban areas. Thus, the dimensions of slavery in the hinterland help us to understand the flow and the ongoing importance of coercive labor in urban Senegal. An extensive population survey of slavery in French West Africa, which the French carried out in 1904, enables us to 6

7

8

Sylvain Sankalé, “`À la mode du pays’: Chroniques Saint-Louisiennes D’Antoine François Feuiltaine, Saint-Louis du Sénégal, 1788–1835,” 2 vols., Thèse de doctorat, Université Montpellier, Juin, 1998, 1, p. 81. A. Demougeot, “L’esclavage et l’émancipation des noirs au Sénégal,” Tropiques, no. 323 (July) 1949, p. 16; Roger Pasquier, “À propos de l’émancipation des esclaves au Sénégal en 1848,” Revue Française d’histoire d’outre-mer, tome 54, nos. 194–197 (1967), p. 200; M’Baye Guèye, “La fin de l’esclavage à Saint-Louis et à Gorée en 1848,” Bulletin de L’I.F.A.N., Tome XXVIII, Série B, nos. 3–4, 1965, p. 645; James Searing, West African and Atlantic Commerce: The Senegal River Valley, 1700–1860 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 23.

Slavery in Senegal

45

project backwards. It estimated that as much as two-thirds of the population of some areas were slaves. This picture has been reinforced by subsequent studies. One such study of the Soudan and Guinea concludes that “slaves made up between a quarter and a third of the total population and that a large part of the colony was marked by slave percentages of at least 40 and sometimes over 50 percent.”9 The slave populations of some areas in the Dakar hinterland and urban Senegal can be used to gauge the importance of domestic slavery. The 1904 census showed that there were 8,940 slaves in Louga, near SaintLouis. It is not known what percentage of the total population this figure represented, but the percentage of male, female, and child slaves was 30, 41, and 29 percent, respectively. In the Wolof kingdoms of Kajoor and Bawol in the Dakar hinterland, the picture was similar but, at 38.2 percent, the level of child slavery in Kajoor was higher than that of male and female slavery.10 Thus, women and children made up the bulk of the slave populations. And the significance of the child slave populations can readily be observed. It is probable that the level of the slave populations was higher in 1904, when the French survey was carried out, than at abolition in 1848. One reason is that enslavement within West Africa increased substantially after the end of the maritime slave trade. Another is that the peanut economy of Senegal, which replaced the trade in slaves and gum arabic, hit its stride in the second half of the nineteenth century and expanded rapidly with the use of increased inputs of slave labor and a more extensive transportation network. In other areas as well, legitimate trade took precedence over the slave trade, as the West African economies became more integrated into the world economy. Given the abolition decree of 1848, no data on slavery in most of urban Senegal were included in the survey of 1904. In his report from Saint-Louis that year, for example, Lieutenant De Scement stated that there were no slaves there, only a significant number of children in tutelle.11 In Thiès, however, slavery existed, apparently among the Wolof, Peul, and Toucouleur, who were regarded as recent arrivals 9

10

11

Martin A. Klein, “The Demography of Slavery in the Western Soudan: The Late Nineteenth Century,” in Dennis Cordell and Joel Gregory (eds.), African Population and Capitalism (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), p. 54. ANS K 18, Cercle de Louga, January 25, 1904; Cercle de Thiès, 4 February 1904; Cercle de Cayor, January 25, 1904. ANS K 18, Thiès , February 4, 1904.

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The Evolution of Tutelle

in the region, according to the administrator who filed the report. Of the 745 slaves in the town, 424 were males, 259 were females, and 62 were children.12 The census figures show that the number of slaves in Dakar was about 18,098. Of these, 5,664 (31.3 percent) were males, 10,166 (56.1 percent) were females, and 2,259 (12.5 percent) were children.13 These figures reveal the importance of slave labor in urban Senegal and explain why tutelle was conceived as a system of apprenticeship designed to maintain labor, as we shall see. Thus, Trevor Getz’s statement that “after 1818 the coastal towns of Senegal, in contrast to the Gold Coast, did not see the stockpiling of large numbers of slaves in the early nineteenth century,” requires clarification.14 It should not be forgotten that the idea of apprenticeship was not new in Senegal. Well before the creation of tutelle, the colonial administration had been engaged in apprenticeship schemes.

Engagement à temps After abolishing the maritime slave trade in 1818, the French introduced a system of coercive labor known as engagement à temps – a form of indentured labor – in the early 1820s as a means of recruiting labor for agricultural projects in the Senegal valley.15 To attract free labor, the Governor of Senegal, Baron Roger, who was in charge of the project, offered what he considered to be incentives. In 1823, he promoted the idea of redeeming slaves from slavery on the condition that they become indentured laborers.16 To this end, the French often seized slaves destined for export or purchased them through rachat, in 12

13 14

15

16

ANS K 18, Thiès, January 22, 1904. A later report, which claimed that the inhabitants of Thiès refused to admit the existence of slavery, gave a figure of 750 slaves out of a total population of 50,000. See ANS K 18, Thiès, February 4, 1904. ANS K 18, Dakar, February 22, 1904. Trevor R. Getz, Slavery and Reform in West Africa: Toward Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century Senegal and the Gold Coast (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2004), p. 42. For a detailed analysis of the colonization schemes of the 1920s, see Boubacar Barry, Le royaume du Waalo (Paris: François Maspero, 1972), pp. 256–258; Boubacar Barry, La Sénégambie du XVe au XIXe siècle (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1988), pp. 196–201. François Zuccarelli, “Le régime des engagés à temps au Sénégal (1817–1848),” Cahiers d’études africaines, vol. 7 (1962), p. 421.

Engagement à temps

47

violation of their own law against slave trading. As Trevor Getz noted, “Between 1825 and 1829 the [French] administration hired the Compagnie de Galam to purchase 433 slaves, mostly Bambaras, from the interior, representing 14 percent or more of all engagés during this period.”17 Though the colonization projects had collapsed by 1830, engagement à temps continued to flourish. It did so because of the administration’s need for conscripts for the garrison and the colonial army.18 Demands also came from colonial personnel, civil servants, and merchants and traders in Saint-Louis and Gorée for domestics, boat hands, and general laborers.19 Under the law of March 4, 1831 – the year effective enforcement of the ban against slave trading came into being – the maximum term of indentureship for slaves ransomed by the state was seven years.20 The following case is demonstrative in this regard. In 1840, two habitants in Saint-Louis – Sieur Jean Pierre Grangene, a merchant, and Jacques Phillippe Adolphe Mathieu, an agent for a French commercial establishment – served as witnesses for Sieur Joseph Grossard – first officer on the French state ship, Erèbe – who requested a seven-year indentureship. The name of the indentured servant was not given, but Grossard signed the official forms, thereby agreeing to abide by the conditions governing indentureship outlined in a royal ordinance of May 24, 1840 with reference to military technicians.21 Slaves ransomed by the habitants of Saint-Louis and Gorée were obliged to serve fourteen years, though it is unclear whether this obligation always stood. In both cases, however, indentured workers were obliged to provide labor in return for food and accommodation. Children born of former female slaves who became indentured servants also had obligations. Though free, they had to work for their mother’s employers until the age of twenty-one. In return, they were fed.22 As we shall see, in cases where mothers were ransomed by the 17 18

19

20 22

Getz, Slavery and Reform, p. 47. Myron Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts: The Tirailleurs Sénégalais in French West Africa, 1857–1960 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1991), pp. 8–9. Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” pp. 423–424; David Robinson, Chiefs and Clerics: Abdul Bokar Kan and Futa Toro, 1853–1891 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), p. 30. 21 Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” p. 430. ANS K 6, Saint-Louis, August 12, 1840. Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” p. 429; Georges Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale française: action politique, action économique, action sociale (Paris: Librarie Hachette, 1908), p. 432.

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The Evolution of Tutelle

habitants, the length of service for them and their children was fourteen years. Archival records show that, before 1848, French authorities in SaintLouis freed a significant number of slaves, among them many minors taken in raids and enslaved by Trazza Moors. They did so in accordance with laws that required disclosure of slaves upon arrival in SaintLouis, witnesses to the declaration of freedom granted to the slave, and the placement of the liberated slave into indentureship by the authorities. Not all slaveholders obeyed the laws, however. In 1836, the tribunal de première instance – the lower court – rendered a judgment against Sieur Antoine Yayé, a baker and trader in Saint-Louis, for bringing into Saint-Louis and selling a twenty-eight to twenty-nineyear-old female slave, Amanita, without declaring her. The court determined that Yayé sold Aminata to Armand Relanier, another baker in Saint-Louis, who maltreated her. It ruled that Yayé’s act contravened the rules governing indentureship and imposed a severe penalty – the confiscation of the enslaved woman. In doing so, it took into consideration the fact that she had already served three years of her seven-year indentureship in accordance with the law of March 4, 1831.23 The court’s ruling meant that Aminata became the property of the state. As such, she could have been freed outright, but the mention of her original seven-year indentureship term suggests that she was probably obliged to serve the remaining four years. To be sure, some slaves were freed outright, but the majority were liberated on condition that they work as indentured servants for a period of fourteen years. In 1840, Pierre André, an entrepreneur and merchant in Saint-Louis, freed several slaves (most of whom were from Kajoor), who then became indentured servants. The majority were adult females and their children. Comba, a twenty-two-year-old woman from Kajoor and her one-year-old daughter, Baya, were among them. So was twenty-five-year-old Asseta of Kajoor and her two-year old daughter Comba. A female minor, fifteen-year old Comba of Kajoor, was part of the group of ten. All were subjected to fourteen years of indentureship in the service of Pierre André or to anyone to whom he ceded his rights.24

23 24

ANS K 6, Actes d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, 5 décembre 1836. ANS K 6, Actes d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, 20 aout 1840.

Engagement à temps

49

These examples demonstrate that women and their children who were not freed outright were forced to become indentured servants. Such was the case of the woman Foëtema, thirty years old, and her one-year old child, Cady, who were freed in Saint-Louis in 1834 to work for Samba for fourteen years.25 That same year, sixteen year-old Birame Diaye, who was apparently seized and enslaved by Moors, was freed in Saint-Louis to work as an indentured servant in the household of Sieur Wargny or his designates for a period of fourteen consecutive years.26 Similarly, Bakary, a thirteen year-old of Bambara origin, was freed to work for Sieur Ferrolier or his designates for fourteen years.27 Maka, a youngster of Bambara origin, was freed in 1841 to work for Sieur De Saint Just for fourteen years.28 Moussa, a thirteen year-old male, was also freed to work for Sieur Régie or his designates for fourteen years.29 As Table 2.1 shows, a number of young enslaved people were freed in Saint-Louis in 1841 on the condition that they become indentured servants. They were likely not the only ones, as the data are scattered. Indeed, the number of liberations points to the need for labor in the urban centers. The age range of the liberated youngsters was wide, but all of them were expected to serve fourteen years. It is noteworthy that the people to whom they were confided appear to have been people of standing in the urban community. Some worked in the civil service. Others, such as Sieur Isaac Emile Frois, were merchants. Dessé was the grounds-keeper at the governor’s residence in Saint-Louis; Goyaux, a marine officer. Most of the guardians had European names, judging by phonetics, but some could well have been métis. There can be no doubt, however, that Madieye, a Muslim marabout (priest) and guardian of Amar-Awa, was an African. Of the fourteen freed slaves, there were eight males and six females. Nearly all of them were born in Saint-Louis, no doubt of parents who were enslaved there. Samba, better known as Samba-Lecogniac, was an exception. Born in Futa Toro, Samba was first a slave of Sieur Mareille in Saint-Louis. At some point, he became an indentured servant in Mareille’s household because his name was inscribed in 25 26 27 28 29

ANS ANS ANS ANS ANS

K 6, K 6, K 6, K 6, K 6,

Acts Acts Acts Acts Acts

d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, June 15, 1834. d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, June 17, 1834. d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, July 1, 1841. d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, June 10, 1841. d’affranchissement,1834–1841, Saint-Louis, July 30, 1841.

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The Evolution of Tutelle

Table 2.1 Minors freed in Saint-Louis and placed in indentureship, 1841 Name

Age

Sex

Ethnic Origin

Guardian

Samba-Lecogniac 15 N’Doumbé 16 Maka 9

M F M

Futa Toro Wolof Bambara

Manchot Fatimata Bilale Awa-Guieye Fari Guiawe Saïde Birama M’Baquis Maram-Guiawe Babaguiawe Amar-Awa

M F M F F M M F F M M

Sarakoole Peul Bambara Wolof Wolof Bambara Wolof Wolof Wolof Wolof Wolof

Sieur Lecogniac Malick-nar Sieur Jean Auguste De Saint Just Sieur Isaac Emile Frois Dessé Vincent Florentin Goyaux Rose Alin Michelle Kervasco Pierre Provost Louis André Crampel Silvie Bruno Samba-Agui Charlotte Riguad Madieye

17 18 13–14 6 8 17 15 7 17 6 7

Source: ANS K 6, Affranchissement, Saint-Louis, July, 1841

the official register of indentured servants under the number 1,613. It appears that Mareille abandoned him, however. On January 6, 1836 when he was eleven years old, he was redeemed from slavery by Sieur Lecogniac, a marine officer, in whose household he worked as a domestic and cook. But it appears that Lecogniac never considered the youngster a formal indentured servant. In June 1837, Lecogniac freed Samba outright and gave him his last name, making him Samba Lecogniac. Official measures taken by the administration on March 12, 1841 when Samba was about sixteen years of age, freed him officially and definitively.30 At Samba’s age, however, it seems certain that he would have remained in Lecogniac’s household. Young female minors also became indentured servants. In 1841, Pinda, a sixteen-year-old female from Kajoor was freed to work for Sieur Salva or his designees for fourteen years after which she could claim full liberty.31 That year, another sixteen-year-old Wolof female, N’Doumbé, was freed to work for Malik-Nar for fourteen years.32 30 31 32

ANS K 6, Acts d’affrinchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, March 12, 1841. ANS K 6, Acts d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, August 12, 1841. ANS K 6, Acts d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, July 1, 1841.

Abuse and the End of Engagement à temps

51

There are innumerable cases of youngsters freed in Saint-Louis and placed in indentureship. In all instances, the administration used Senegalese, primarily former slaves, to translate and read to minors in their native language, Article 12 of a local arête drafted by the commandant and administrator in Saint-Louis on May 13, 1828. Balla was one of several Senegalese translators, as were Seyni and Savaro, whom the administration used regularly.33 It is doubtful that a six or seven year old child understood the laws and conditions governing indentureship that were read out to them, but the procedure was standard. Some points are worth stressing. First, liberated minors were sent to a variety of households, both African and European. Second, even if they were approaching the age of eighteen years, they were still obliged to serve for fourteen years. Third, not all of them served for this length of time. Born in Saint-Louis, fifteen-year-old Birima was ransomed from slavery and placed in indentureship to serve for fourteen years in the household of Louis Andre Crampee – a merchant in Saint Louis – on May 3, 1841. Less than two weeks later on May 15, however, Crampee granted Birima full freedom without explanation.34

Abuse and the End of Engagement à temps Although the administration maintained a semblance of control over engagement à temps, as evidenced by the existence of a register which detailed transactions and penalties for non-compliance with regulations, the loopholes were obviously large enough to permit serious abuses. The most common abuse was that of retaining the services of engagés beyond the period specified in the contract. Another abuse was that of not declaring children born of female engagés, as the law required.35 In general, engagés who arrived at Saint-Louis and Gorée were not always declared free and were worked as enslaved people.36 Demougeot believes that more than half of the engagés who entered these urban centers reverted to slave status and blames “administrative

33 34 35 36

ANS K 6, Acts d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, June 17, 1834. ANS K 6, Acts d’affranchissement, 1834–1841, Saint-Louis, May 3, 1841. Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” p. 439. Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 437; Guèye, “Le fin de l’esclavage,” p. 640; Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” p. 51.

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The Evolution of Tutelle

complacency.”37 Thus, engagement à temps was a subterfuge for slavery. The Procureur général, whose office was responsible for law enforcement, clearly suggested this in 1846 when he declared that 3,000 people in Saint-Louis (which represented the number of engagés) were “unjustly and fraudulently held in a state of slavery.”38 Measures to outlaw engagement à temps were taken by Governor Bouët-Willaumez as early as 1844, when he decreed that no more slaves were to become indentures as of March 1 of that year.39 The colonial government reserved the right, however, to engage indentures for the colonial army whose recruits came largely from slaves. As early as 1819, the French obtained slave soldiers through rachat by paying masters a premium of up to 300 French Francs per slave and allowing the men to indenture themselves for a period of twelve to fourteen years in the French colonial army.40 In the 1830s and 1840s, whole garrisons were made up of slaves redeemed by the state. In later decades, ransomed soldiers were needed to occupy territory annexed by the French in the imperialist drive to create a Sudanic empire.41 In 1857, Governor Louis Faidherbe, who assumed office in 1854, called them Tirailleurs Sénégalais and attempted to use other means of recruitment besides rachat, but they were not successful. As Echenberg notes, free Africans “found military labour degrading, and saw it as a preserve of slaves and ex-slaves.” Thus, “in the three years following 1848, only three volunteers came forward, hardly enough to meet the two hundred minimum required to maintain garrison strength.”42 As a result, redemption through state purchase remained important right to the end of the nineteenth century.43 Though they were never able to free themselves from the stigma of slavery, the Tirailleur Sénégalais derived benefits such as bonuses, exemption from head tax, and the ability to plunder and to accumulate wives. Bouët37 38 39

40

41 42 43

Demougeot, “L’esclavage et l’émancipation”, p. 11. Cited in Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 437. Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 436; Guèye, “La fin de l’esclavage”, p. 640; Zuccarelli, “Le regime,” p. 446. Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts, p. 8; Myron Echenberg, “Slaves into Soldiers; Social Origins of the Tirailleurs Sénégalais,” in Paul Lovejoy (ed.), Africans in Bondage: Studies in Slavery and the Slave Trade (Madison: African Studies Program, 1986), p. 312. Barry, La Sénégambie, p. 289. Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts, p. 9; Echenberg, “Slaves,” pp. 312–316. Echenberg, “Slaves,” pp. 312–316.

Opposition to Abolition, Indemnity, Children

53

Willaumez’s decree on indentured laborers was challenged in the appeal court, which ruled the Governor’s decree unconstitutional.44 This meant that engagement à temps could continue. And it did, at least until 1848. In the end, the system collapsed under the general weight of the 1848 abolition law which stressed that French soil – a reference to areas in Senegal like Saint-Louis where the French had sovereignty – freed. As it turned out, however, French authorities, keen on maintaining good relations with African rulers, returned some refugees to their home territories at night where they were re-enslaved. The law also forbade French citizens from engaging in slave trafficking, an offence which carried the penalty of withdrawal of French citizenship.45

Opposition to Abolition, Indemnity, and Children When the Abolition Act of April 23, 1848 was promulgated in colonial Senegal on June 23, 1848, it had important social and economic repercussions that impacted liberated children adversely. The lag time between the pronouncement of the act and its promulgation was designed to give slaveholders, who opposed abolition vehemently, time to prepare for the application of the law, which was under serious consideration for some time. In 1842, a colonial commission expressed concern about the adverse effects that abolition would have on the Senegalese economy. This was followed by an extensive survey on emancipation (but also about the need for banking services), commissioned by Governor Bouët-Williamez on January 23, 1844 at the request of the French government. Carried out in Saint-Louis, Gorée, and some posts along the Senegalese River among Europeans, mixedrace habitants, signares, free Blacks, and some enslaved people, the authorities who conducted the survey did not recommend immediate emancipation. They believed that the economic impact would be dire, all the more so since the payment of indemnity to slaveholders for the loss of their slaves which the colonial government proposed would cover only one-fifth of what was required.46 In March 1844, Monsieur 44 45

46

Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” p. 452. François Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal: l’attitude de l’administration française, 1848–1905 (Paris: Société française d’histoire d’outre-mer, 1972), pp. 6–16; Zuccarelli, “Le régime,” p. 454. Pasquier, “À propos de l’émancipation,” pp. 192–193; Ghislaine Lydon, “Les péripéties d’une institution financière: la Banque du Sénégal, 1844–1901,” in

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The Evolution of Tutelle

Larcher, the head of the judicial services, carried out another survey on emancipation, this time among “indigenous women” who were asked eighteen questions. It revealed that the majority of signares opposed abolition on the grounds that, irrespective of the level of indemnity that the state might award them, it would not match the annual revenue they could obtain from the labor of their slaves. In essence, abolition would ruin them.47 In the end, however, pressure from abolitionist forces – a longstanding phenomenon in France that came to be spearheaded by the Société Française pour l’abolition de l’esclavage (the French Society for the Abolition of Slavery) from 1834, in addition to the economic crisis in France in 1847 and the Revolution of 1848, carried the day. Indeed, France was caught in the grips of a serious financial crisis undergirded by failures, collapse, and lack of confidence in the banking system in 1847, and the civil unrest caused by Revolution of 1848 which ended in the collapse of the July Monarchy and the ushering in of the Second Republic. In 1848, European merchants in Senegal fell into the category of moderate slaveowners – those owning more than twenty slaves. Among them was Héricé, who had twenty-seven slaves, and who would come to preside over the guardianship council – the Conseil de tutelle – formed in 1849, as we shall see in Chapter 3. Maurel et Prom, a leading French commercial firm highlighted in Chapter 1, had eighteen slaves. Among mixed-race and Black habitants, the numbers were significantly higher. As we saw in Chapter 1, Marie Labouré, whom the colonial administration would tap to become a founding member of the guardianship council, had 94 slaves, Louis Alsace 111, Massamba Cina 77, and Samba Agui 87. In Goreé, the same patterns of slave ownership prevailed, where François Saint-Jean and his brother, Jean Saint-Jean, owned 141 and 125 slaves, respectively.48 This pattern of slave ownership can be gauged from the lists of minors who were liberated from slavery in Saint-Louis and Gorée in

47 48

Charles Becker, Saliou Mbaye, and Ibrahima Thioub (eds.), AOF: réalités et héritages, Sociétés ouest-africaines et ordre colonial, 1895–1960, 2 vols. (Dakar: Direction de Archives du Sénégal, 1997), vol. 1, p. 476. Lydon, “Les péripéties d’une institution financière,” pp. 476–477. Pasquier, “A propos de l’émancipation,” p. 193; A. Dieng, Le rôle du système bancaire dans la mise en valeur de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Dakar: Nouvelles Editions africaines, 1982), p. 34.

Opposition to Abolition, Indemnity, Children

55

1847 and 1848. Published in the Bulletin Administrative du Sénégal, they identify minors by age and sex only, along with the names and profession of the liberators. Ranging in age between eighteen months and seventeen years, some of the twenty-two minors liberated in 1847 acquired freedom through family redemption, mostly by mothers and fathers. Many others were liberated by free Black women, proprietors, and merchants. Four of the minors (18.18 percent) were males, while the remaining 18 (81.82 percent) were females. The lists show that, of the nineteen minors who were liberated in 1848 prior to the enactment of the abolition law, nine (47.37 percent), were males and ten (52.63 percent) were females. Here, the age range was one to sixteen years. The Procureur général oversaw the execution of these liberations that were published in the civil registers of Saint-Louis and beyond, along with the accompanying arêtes.49 As abolition of April 1848 loomed, the states close to Saint-Louis, which traditionally depended on the Atlantic slave trade and slavery, were particularly hostile to emancipation. This was due to the fact that they would no longer be able to sell slaves and engage in transactions involving the placement of children into indentureship in Saint-Louis. It is no wonder that, in spite of preventative measures taken by Governor Baudin to prohibit the sale of slaves from Saint-Louis to neighboring regions outside of French hegemonic control two days before the announcement of the abolition act, some slaveholders defied the prohibition and sold off some of their salves to these regions, believing that they could obtain a better price than the indemnity offered by the administration. Displaying insensitivity from the highest level of authority, Baudin attributed the defiance mostly to a handful of “signares – old, retrograde fanatics of slavery.”50 However, the response was more broad-based. Indeed, other slaveholders apparently left in droves to escape French soil.51 To halt the exodus, leaders from neighboring states – some of which supplied dependent Saint-Louis 49

50 51

See Le Bulletin Administratif du Sénégal, 1847–1848, no. 34, Arrêté d’affranchissement, 29 mars , 1847; no. 68, Arrêté d’affranchissement, 18 septembre 1847; no. 75, Arrêté d’affranchissement, 19 octobre 1847; Governor Baudin, Arrêté d’affranchissement, 5 février 1848; and no. 69, Arrêté d’affranchissement, 7 juillet 1848. Pasquier, “A propos de l’émancipation,” p. 197. Lydon, “Les péripéties d’une institution financière,” p. 478; Ibrahima Thioub, “L’abolition de l’esclavage en Afrique française: le principe du sol libérateur à l’épreuve du terrain,” in Droit et Esclavage: Théorie et pratiques en Afrique et

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with vital food supplies – asked French authorities for new guarantees of the right to own slaves.52 Ghislaine Lydon believes that children made up a large contingent of those sold in this manner, judging by the incomplete census of July 1848 and the number of children who fled their new owners to seek liberty in Saint-Louis.53 When it became evident that abolition was inevitable, slaveowners accepted indemnity for the enslaved and indentured laborers in their charge. There is general agreement that the indemnity process was long, messy, and marked by fraud and deception. A major problem was the absence of a precise census of slaves per household at emancipation. The first census of Saint-Louis and Gorée for indemnity was 10,075. As M’Baye Guèye points out, however, the number was too high due to fraudulent claims. Indeed, indentured laborers were passed off as slaves, and some slaves had already been freed or sold off. Still others died before the law came into force or were born after the promulgation on the abolition act. These factors led to decline in the amount of indemnity the administration offered, but not for long because, on September 4, 1848 the administration went along with the 10,075 figure and agreed to pay 330 F15 per slave.54 Unable to pay the indemnity in cash, the colonial government, with the backing of France, turned to the creation of colonial banks to administer transactions such as the indemnity liquidation certificates or titles attesting to rightful conversion of slave ownership. The certificates carried a 5 percent annual interest rate and could be held or exchanged for ready cash, merchandise, or a mixture of both. Like other colonial banks, the Banque du Sénégal (the Bank of Senegal) was created to facilitate the handling of indemnities. This was in 1855. With limited resources, the bank’s commitment to the development of small enterprises was thwarted by the large Bordeaux firms, whose interests lay elsewhere. The confusion, complication, and uncertainty surrounding the indemnity titles, and the need for ready cash, caused some slaveholders to sell their titles for far less than their value. Thus, slaveholders and

52 53 54

dans les Amériques (Paris: Karthala, 2022), pp. 5–7; Guèye, “La fin de l’esclavage,” p. 646. Thioub, “L’abolition de l’esclavage en Afrique française,” p. 5. Lydon, “Les péripéties d’une institution financière,” p. 646. Guèye, “La fin de l’esclavage,” p. 647; Lydon, “Les péripéties d’une institution financière,” p. 647.

Opposition to Abolition, Indemnity, Children

57

French commercial firms in good financial standing profited handsomely from this opening. Roger Pasquier contends that, among the indemnified, illiterate Blacks who lacked knowledge about the value of the titles and the formalities required to convert them, sold their rights, often at a major loss. He notes that numerous indemnified originaires preferred to sell, and that titles worth 300 French Francs were sold for 150 French Francs, usually divided equally between cash and merchandise, to commercial enterprises. He writes: “Small proprietors: grain pounders, washerwomen, woodworkers, bakers, master masons and laptots, as well as traders in difficulty and a number of Signares in Gorée, in particular, were eliminated in favor of Europeans and the wealthiest among the mixed-race merchants.”55 The case of one, Jean d’Erneville, who was indebted to Blaise Dumont, shows how those who had the upper hand profited by purchasing titles from vulnerable individuals. To clear his debt, d’Erneville sold his titles to fifty-eight slaves to Dumont on April 16, 1850.56 There were exceptions, however. Rather than selling, a “marigotier” converted his titles for three slaves for a piece of land in SaintLouis.57 Who were the purchasers? Maurel et Prom took the lead, purchasing 623 titles, followed by the French firm Rabaud and Company with 123, and Marie Labouré with 115½. Aside from Labouré, mixed-race merchants such as Valentin Durand and Beynis acquired substantive titles.58 The significant transactions in indemnity titles carried out by the leading French commercial firms and the signares in the aftermath of abolition demonstrate the extent to which the colonial state in Senegal would be compromised in establishing a guardianship system because it needed to keep these two influential and slaveholding entities in its good graces. For one thing, women were the largest slaveholders and very active participants in the banking system, as Lydon has indicated.59 The fact that the transactions were ongoing well into the 1850s when the guardianship council was already formed, and that indemnity titles could be resold in France, shows that there was no

55 56 57 58 59

Pasquier, “À propos de l’émancipation,” p. 205. Pasquier, “À propos de l’émancipation,” p. 205. Pasquier, “À propos de l’émancipation,” p. 205. Pasquier, “À propos de l’émancipation,” p. 204. Lydon, “Les péripéties d’une institution financière,” p. 481.

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The Evolution of Tutelle

change in the social order. For liberated minors, the road ahead would likely be nothing short of rough.

The Creation of Tutelle At emancipation, some minors who had been slaves in Saint-Louis and Gorée and who had not yet been sold off in anticipation of abolition were abandoned by former slaveowners who considered the potential loss of labor as a catastrophe, as we have noted.60 Although most minors remained in the households of their former owners, however, the colonial administration was aware that this apparent “patronage” would not last for long, and that permanent institutional arrangements were required to provide parental guidance and authority that it considered necessary to head off dereliction. Indeed, an administrative report mentions Article 51 of a decree of September 7, 1840 in which the Procurer Général made a proposition with regard to foster care.61 Such a proposition could now be put into action. Through the creation of tutelle, the colonial state shifted the responsibility for the care of minors to established families first in Saint-Louis and Gorée and, later, in Thiès, Rufisque, and Dakar, in whose households most minors had been enslaved. In the years after 1848, other minors were also bought out of slavery (in areas of Senegal where the institution was still legal) through rachat by institutions and individuals who “adopted” them and then exploited their labor under tutelle.62 Though technically free, these children, like most of the enslaved in the Anglo-Caribbean at emancipation in 1834, were forced to serve an apprenticeship. By a decree of April 13, 1849, Governor Baudin created two conseils de tutelle (guardianship councils) for boys and two comités de patronage (patronage committees) for girls at Saint-Louis and Gorée simultaneously. In spite of the gender distinction of the committees, they were conceived in the same manner and expected to perform the same 60

61

62

Guèye, “La Fin de l’esclavage,” p. 646; Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 23. ANS M 3, Procès-verbal des séances et transactions du conseil de tutelle des enfants, mâles, mineurs et sans parents, Saint-Louis, April 13, 1849. Dakar was founded in 1857 by Pinet-Laprade. Rufisque was annexed by the French in 1859 and in 1862, Faidherbe founded Thiès. By 1893, these areas, like Saint-Louis and Gorée, came under direct French administration. See Johnson, Emergence, pp. 31–36. It is, however, important to note that emancipation applied to Dakar in 1877 and to Rufisque in 1879.

The Creation of Tutelle

59

functions. From the outset, however, the emphasis was almost entirely on the conseils de tutelle, referred to as the conseil de famille (family council) in some administrative documents. This was the case because the comités de patronage did not get off the ground. Consequently, most of the archival data pertain to the conseils de tutelle. The conseils de tutelle and the comités de patronage were created for liberated minors who either remained with or were abandoned by their former owners. The preamble to the decree is revealing in this regard for it acknowledged that in the early stages of emancipation, most minors remained with their former owners, but that this arrangement was not expected to last. The guardianship bodies were also meant to cover orphans and other minors whose former owners were not in a position to provide them with the means to acquire a trade, obtain a profession, or who were negligent in this endeavor. In addition, the decree applied to orphaned or destitute minors who were never slaves. A major objective of the state was to create apprenticeships for male minors who could be gainfully employed as tradesmen upon completion. In this way, the state would help to foster the industrial development of Senegal. No mention was made of young females in this regard.63 The creation of tutelle achieved several objectives. First, it allowed the administration to shirk its responsibilities to liberated minors. By placing minors in households, it did not have to create or find permanent structures to accommodate them and hire personnel to deliver care. Second, tutelle was a means of maintaining the status quo because it was a subterfuge for slavery which allowed guardians to maintain and continue to exploit and benefit from coercive labor. Third, the administration’s focus on liberated male minors acquiring trades through apprenticeships suggests that it wanted to create a cadre of workers who could eventually lead productive lives while benefiting the colony economically. Thus, at abolition, the colonial administration feared both the loss of labor and economic decline. As Martin Klein notes, “The end of official involvement in the slave trade and the end of the slave trade itself in Senegambia deprived the colony of Senegal of the economic activity that had created it.”64 The gum trade, which rivalled 63

64

ANS M 3, Procès-verbal des séances et transactions du conseil de tutelle des enfants, mâles, mineurs et sans parents, Saint-Louis, April 13, 1849. Martin A. Klein, “Slaves, Gum, and Peanuts: Adaptation to the End of the Slave Trade in Senegal, 1817–48,” The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, vol. 66, no 4 (October 2009), p. 903.

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the slave trade, was still a primary export until the 1850s, but it would not have been sufficient to build a vibrant economy. From the 1840s, however, French commercial enterprises viewed peanuts as a viable and potentially profitable commodity and successfully promoted its expansion in the era of legitimate trade.65 Thus, French authorities turned a blind eye to the coercive and exploitative forms of labor in which former slaveowners and others engaged, much as they did in previous times. What this phenomenon indicates is that the French viewed tutelle primarily as a means of resolving a potential labor shortage and maintaining the status quo. That being the case, their actions may well have been designed to soften the blow of emancipation. Thus, concerns for the welfare of formerly enslaved children were secondary. From the outset, the colonial government gave the wardship councils a broad mandate with much authority. They were to find and exercise parental authority over liberated minors; place them in apprenticeships with persons of sound moral character who, after consultation with and aptitude assessment of minors, would be responsible for teaching them a trade at no cost. They were also required to police the system in order to assess the progress of minors and determine when they reached the level of stability and acquired the “morality” necessary to be left on their own. In addition, they were responsible for collecting the wages that minors earned from their employment or apprenticeships and using them, in whole or part, to take care of their needs. This they were required to do with discretion.66 Some particularities with regard to the creation of the comités de patronage for female minors should be noted. First, the administration named only women, eight in Saint-Louis – four from the north and four from the south of the town. Four women were named to the committee in Gorée, along with two substitutes. Second, there was a stipulation that these women would take charge of female minors above the age of seven years. Third, they had the authority to visit the residences where they placed the minors in order to judge their progress and be able to report on their conduct. Further, they could determine when the apprenticeship should end.67 This suggests that, at 65

66

See Bernard Moitt, “Peanut Production and Social Change in the Dakar Hinterland: Kajoor and Bawol, 1840–1940,” PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, 1985. 67 ANS M 3, Saint-Louis, April 13, 1849. ANS M 3, April 13, 1849.

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61

the discretion of the council, a girl’s indentureship could be terminated before she reached the age of majority at eighteen years, and placed with new guardians, if circumstances warranted, as was often the case. Overall, these stipulations indicate that the administration believed that female minors had to be more closely supervised than male minors. The councils could not administer punishment to minors, but they had the right to exercise disciplinary powers. Article 5 of the 1849 decree gave conseils de tutelle the right to apply Articles 376–379 of the civil code, which emphasized paternal rights, in dealing with serious misconduct of male minors. Similar provisions applied to female minors.68 In both cases, however, the cost of detention accrued to the state. By all appearances, the colonial administration expected the councils to be accountable. It was contingent upon the presidents of the conseils de tutelle and the directors of the comités de patronage to call regular meetings, during which non-members, who had just cause to be present, could offer opinions. Also, the presence of all council members was required at meetings; otherwise, decisions taken, which required a majority vote to carry, would not be valid. The execution of all the articles of the decree was the responsibility of the Procureur général, who was obliged to disseminate them as widely as possible.69 The councils were also obliged to report to the administration, at least once a year, the results of their work.70 The members of the guardianship council knew that their work would not be easy. In 1849, the president of the council warned that the gravity of the task should not be underestimated. He was aware that the council would encounter numerous obstacles but was certain 68

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Articles 376–379 of the civil code emphasize the authority of fathers over children under seventeen years of age. The father had the right to have the child detained for up to a month by the authorities, but the President of the tribunal had to issue the order. Between the age of seventeen and eighteen years, the father could have the child detained for six months or more, with the backing of judicial authorities. Similar provisions applied to the Comités de patronage for girls. Female minors could be subjected to solitary confinement for up to fifteen days at the expense of the administration. See ANS M 3, April 13, 1849. ANS M 3, Saint-Louis, April 13, 1849. ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis,20 décembre, 1900; Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 23; Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, pp. 446–447.

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that the devotion of the members and the zeal that they had for society and the progress of civilization would surmount whatever obstacles they encountered. Moreover, they would do their utmost to restore the dignity of the abandoned children.71 These lofty goals were in line with France’s “civilizing mission,” but they would not be so easily achieved. Trevor Getz has argued that, faced with pressure from the habitants and their allies, who were angered by abolition, Governor Baudin retreated from Article 7 – the abolition decree – and allowed them to achieve a de facto repeal of the law; and that this weakness forced him to make concessions, tutelle being one of them. As he explains, Unable to care for emancipated juvenile slaves, Baudin acceded to suggestions from local leaders and allowed patrons (guardians) to take the children on as apprentices to be compensated for housing and food costs by the child’s labor. It was clear that the patron would generally be the children’s former masters and that the system would be essentially a return to slavery, but the so-named conseils de tutelle (wardship councils), created to administer the placement of emancipated juveniles, were nevertheless approved by the ministry on November 13, 1849.72

Getz’s analysis of Baudin’s actions is spot on. Surely, Baudin ought to have been more considerate about the prospect of potential coercion and child abuse in crafting a law on tutelle. Was he knowledgeable about adoption and child protection in France? In Europe, there was hostility to adoption from ancient times, due perhaps to opposition from the Catholic church which perceived it as competing with marriage.73 However, adoptions took place in France as far back as the Ancien Regime, but not for minors. Indeed, the adoption of minors is a fairly recent phenomenon in France, permitted only after the laws of June 19, 1923 and July 23, 1925, followed by the law of July 29, 1939, that legitimized adoptions across the board.74 Based on Roman origins and practices, tutelle also existed in France during the Ancien Regime. According to Sylvie Perrier, tutelle was “designed to protect the goods and the person of the orphan minor 71 73

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72 ANS M 3, Saint-Louis, May 9, 1849. Getz, Slavery and Reform, p. 83. Agnès Fine, “Le don d’enfant dans l’ancienne France,” in Agnès Fine (ed.), Adoptions: Ethnologie des parentés choisies (Paris: Éditions de la maison des sciences et de l’homme, 1998), p. 62. Jean-Pierre Glutton, Histoire de L’adoption en France (Paris: Editions Published, 1993), p. 8.

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through the intermediary of a tutor named by a judge.”75 The tutor remained under the surveillance of the judge. In short, the primary objective was to protect the patrimony of children mostly from privileged social classes such as rich laborers, artisans, merchants, and nobles. As for orphans from modest families, they had to rely on charitable institutions such as hospitals which played an important role in accommodating children, particularly after the First World War when the number of orphans rose significantly.76 The differences between tutelle in France and Senegal notwithstanding, what should be emphasized is that the colonial administration in Senegal benefited substantially from the exploitation of the labor of liberated minors. In this respect, the habitants and the administration were allies. The 1849 decree was, in theory, a serious effort to regulate childcare, mostly for formerly enslaved minors, but for minors of free status as well. Indeed, the inclusion of children of free status in the decree suggests that, by 1848, the number of orphans in the urban centers was a cause for concern. The administration was very concerned about delinquency and disorder among youngsters at abolition. To be sure, Governor Baudin believed that it was in the interest of the administration to develop a taste for work among them. He stated that some apprentices had deserted their posts, causing a shortage in domestic labor. He no doubt exaggerated when he added that there was a preference for begging over paid employment, irrespective of the wages offered. He wrote, “The streets are full of beggars, encouraged and recruited by marabouts.” According to the governor, no-one wanted to work; people had other means of existence. Where did these “perverts” find lodging at night, he wondered. “What is to be feared,” he continued, “is the contact that they will have with the young people of free status. This could cause disorder in society.” So he hoped that tutelle would bring an end to “debauchery among the newly liberated.”77 Governor Baudin’s comments reek of paranoia. The stereotype of Africans as lazy and unambitious is unmistakable and goes beyond his concern about the lack of potential young laborers for a market in need. However, his views on Africans were not out of line with those of Europeans in the nineteenth century, although these views became far 75

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Sylvie Perrier, Des enfances: La Tutelle des mineurs en France (XVIIe–XVIII siècles) (Saint-Dennis: Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 1998), p. 12. 77 Perrier, Des enfances, p. 342. ANS M 3, Saint-Louis, April 13, 1849.

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more pronounced in the last quarter of the century with the rise of pseudo-scientific racism.78 The composition of the wardship councils also requires comment. Governor Baudin did indeed appoint prominent habitants but most had ties to slavery and can, thus, be accused of having a conflict of interest. In Saint-Louis, Baudin chose Héricé, assistant to the mayor of the town and a significant slaveholder, as we have seen, as president of the conseil de tutelle. Other members included two prominent habitants, two heads of artisanal establishments, and two substitutes in case of absences or unforeseen circumstances. As in Saint-Louis, the president of the conseil de tutelle of Gorée, Monsieur Sallomon, was the mayor’s assistant, and the other members were similarly constituted. Records of the meetings held provide further insights about the Saint-Louis members. Aside from Monsieur Héricé, other members were Bancal, a physician, Dumont Blaise, Valentin, and Théraizol, merchants, Dubuc Morel, head of an artisanal establishment, and John Bessine, a carpenter. As for the comités de patronage, the governor named Marie Labouré, also a significant slaveholder, and Virginie Legros, both signares, as directors of the Saint-Louis and Gorée councils, respectively.79 The conflict of interest over slavery came to a head in the comités de patronage before it held its first meeting. Fierce opposition came from Marie Labouré, a “notorious” slaveowner in the words of Getz, and Virginie Legros. Both refused to serve and claimed that they were unable to secure the backing of other local women, whose support was deemed crucial.80 Essentially, signares viewed efforts to recruit them as guardians of freed-slaves formerly in their charge as an insult to and degradation of their social standing. These were women, mostly mixed-race, whose economic and social importance dates back to the mid-eighteenth century, a period when many are said to have held as many as thirty to forty slaves. Many acquired an education, entered commerce, and “exerted a real influence on the colony.”81 George Brooks amplifies this influence thus:

78

79 80 81

See Philip D. Curtin, The Image of Africa: British Ideas and Action, 1780–1850, 2 vols. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1973). ANS M 3, April 13, 1849; May 1, 1849. ANS M 3, May 1, 1849; Pasquier, “A propos de l’émancipation,” p. 197. Johnson, Emergence, p. 21. See also Guèye, “La Fin de l’esclavage”, p. 642; Camille Camara, Saint-Louis du Sénégal: Évolution d’une ville en milieu

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Signares who were successful in trade and marriages presided over large households, with enclosed compounds inhabited by their domestic slaves. Female slaves tended the signares and their families as cooks, washerwomen, and wet nurses as the signares’ personal maids and confidants. The compounds served as the workshops of male slaves who were skilled smiths, masons, carpenters, weavers, tailors, and sailors, the latter of whom the signares engaged to work on French vessels and trade on their behalf.82

Brooks’ assessment of the signares helps to explain their opposition to the wardship councils. The administration had crossed their path and they had no reason to be cooperative because they knew that they could still exploit the labor of liberated minors. In this respect, they had the administration in a bind. On May 1, 1849, the guardianship of girls was transferred to the conseils de tutelle.83 Under an arrêté of May 25, a language instructor was hired and eleven members were named to the conseil de tutelle of Saint-Louis, an increase of six from April. But it was never able to assemble all eleven officers for any of the six meetings it held in 1849.84 In 1850, Héricé, the president of the conseil de tutelle, died, leaving a void. Six years later the president of the court unofficially occupied the position but he lacked the funds, if not the will, to do the job.85 Thus, the conseil de tutelle existed in name only, indicating that the administration placed a low priority on tutelle. The failure of the guardianship councils had a major negative impact on the lives of liberated minors above all. After the 1850s, there is no record of their activities in the archival records. This explains why relatively little is known about the lives of liberated minors. Since other designated administrative officials did not pick up the slack as they

82

83

84

85

Africain (Dakar: Université de Dakar – Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire, Initiations et Études Africaines No. XXIV, 1968), p. 272. George E. Brooks, Eurafricans in Western Africa: Commerce, Social Status, Gender, and Religious Observance from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003), p. 270. ANS M 3, May 1, 1849; ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, 20 décembre, 1904. Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 23; Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 447. ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, 20 décembre 1900; Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 23. Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 27.

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were required to do, tutelle fell through the cracks. It is no wonder that there are large gaps in the census data, not to mention substantial information about the social conditions of the youngsters, the richness of the Libéreations registers notwithstanding. However, with careful use of, and extrapolation from the data, we provide as full a picture as can be expected, as the following chapters demonstrate.

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3

Adoption of Minors and State Control of Tutelle

In the immediate aftermath of emancipation in 1848, former slaveowning families in urban Senegal sought to retain the services of former enslaved children and maintain control over their labor. As we have seen, the French colonial administration helped them to achieve these objectives by instituting mechanisms designed to keep minors in place, albeit in situations where their labor was coerced. However, the measures the administration adopted were hasty and may have been designed to prevent problems with French public opinion. To be sure, the measures were ill conceived, lacked longterm vision, and fell significantly short of the mark. The administration relied almost solely on the guardianship or wardship council – the Conseil de tutelle – to carry out the mandate of finding adoptive homes and suitable placements for liberated and other displaced minors, but it left the council to its own devices and neither monitored nor regulated its activities sufficiently. The administration drafted rules but provided no oversight. In these circumstances, the integrity and interest of the council members would be key. The wardship council functioned in urban areas where the French had sovereignty but, in some areas in the interior, unofficial forms of tutelle existed. One such area was Kaolack, which the French occupied in 1859 during Louis Faidherbe’s governorship and forced its sovereigns to accept unequal treaties that guaranteed freedom of French commerce, a monopoly of trade, and rights to build permanent structures and purchase land. French authority existed – at least within the range of the French post – though not sovereignty.1 Even so, minors liberated from slavery in Kaolack were also placed in tutelle by the early twentieth century. Another such area was Podor, where

1

See Martin A. Klein, Islam and Imperialism in Senegal: Sine-Saloum, 1847–1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1968), pp. 54–59.

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administrative correspondence from 1868 to 1871 attests to the existence of unofficial guardianship.2 This chapter examines the ways in which liberated and displaced minors were placed in tutelle and the conditions under which placement occurred. As such, it is largely concerned with the work of the Conseil de tutelle, mostly from the 1840s to the 1850s – a period when it was most active – but also after the 1850s when jurisdiction of tutelle passed to the Procureur général and other administrative officials. During the 1840s and 1850s, information on the placement of minors was scant, amounting to cursory notes in the margins of administrative reports or a section of official registers, without elaboration. In most cases, information on the sex, age, and origin of minors can be culled from the data. Likewise, the identity and origin of the parents of minors were recorded in some reports. As for the guardians of minors, their identity, place of abode, and profession can be garnered from the data, though spotty for the most part. Overall, the fragmentary state of the data and the continual transfer of authority over tutelle make it difficult to determine who was in charge, particularly after the 1850s when the wardship council ceased to exist. Irrespective of who administered tutelle, however, the methods of placements remained fairly uniform. In 1849, the Conseil de tutelle met on several occasions to decide the fate of a substantial number of minors who required state protection under the law enacted that year – the year the council itself was created. A surprising revelation that has been ignored in the historiography on slavery in Senegal is that a significant number of liberated minors were listed in the official records as orphans. It may well be that authorities sometimes designated this status to minors whose parents were absent or unknow. For this reason, the authors of a recent analysis of liberated children in Senegal from 1894 to 1903 have chosen to use the term “unaccompanied minors.” They cite a note from the administrator of Podor “indicating that two children (a boy aged 7 and a girl aged 3) were kidnapped from their liberated African mother,” and could well have been designated as unaccompanied minors, but were surely not orphans.3 Overall, however, the 2 3

ANS 13G 124, Podor, Correspondence du Commandant du Poste, 1868–1871. Joshua Goodwin, Erica Ivins, Richard Roberts, and Rebecca Wall, “The Registers of Slave Liberation in Colonial Senegal: Preliminary Analysis of the Evidence from 1894 to 1903,” Open Edition Journals, available at: https:// journals.openedition.org/slaveries/5495 (last accessed October 25, 2021), p. 12.

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background of liberated minors that emerged from the caseloads that the guardianship council handled during the meetings it held in 1849, and later records, demonstrate that the status of orphan was all too real. On November 8, 1904, for example, Molleur, the administrator of Thiès, wrote to inform the Secrétaire général (General Secretary) that five days earlier, the woman Macodou M’Baye, a former slave from the village M’Bar Diop in Kajoor, died in Thiès leaving a ninemonth-old female child. Molleur confided the child to Fadim Bocom, the wife of the former canton chief, Aly N’Guer, who “is taking all measures to ensure that this orphan is raised in the best possible conditions.”4 The meetings held by the guardianship council in 1849, which resulted in the placement of orphans – free and formerly enslaved – as well as liberated youngsters, are the most detailed records we have for the immediate post emancipation period. There are no records of council meetings after 1849, but other data show that the council was still engaged in placing minors in tutelle in 1859. Thereafter, there is no sign of council activity, and the state appointed administrative officials, the most important of whom was the Procureur général, to fill the void. Although there were laws governing guardianship, the means by which colonial authorities distributed minors were not necessarily standard and unilateral. In some instances, the governor intervened and assigned minors to guardians at his discretion. In general, the wardship council and those who administered tutelle based placement decisions on information about the status of liberated minors presented to the administration by informants or initiators who wished to become guardians. In a number of cases, the claimants bore no relation to the liberated minors, but they hoped to acquire them as wards by bringing them forward to seek administrative authorization. This was the case because many minors were purchased from areas along the Senegal River and brought to Saint-Louis where they were freed. Thus, declaration was a largely successful tactic, especially if the council considered the people who wanted to adopt them to be in good social standing, and the liberated youngsters were deemed to be happy in their abode. Not all informants sought wards; some appear to have been acting on behalf of others in the interest of the youngsters. 4

ANS E 67, Administrator Molleur to Monsieur le Secretaire général, Thiès, November 8, 1904.

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The number of parents who came forward with their liberated youngsters whom they wished to reclaim was also significant, particularly after the 1860s, and most were successful in doing so even though proof of parentage seems not to have been generally required. Others told the administration where they wanted their children to go, but their wishes were not always respected. The data suggest that cases were judged individually and that the council’s decisions were often sporadic. What often mattered most was the social standing of potential guardians. In 1849, the council handled a large number of cases, which is hardly surprising in light of the fact that the 1848 abolition law displaced a significant number of minors. The heavy caseloads can also be explained by the fact that the council administered guardianship, not just for liberated minors, but orphans of free status (and probably enslaved too), and displaced and derelict children. The number of reclamations by parents, relatives, and former slaveowners seeking either to regain custody of children or retain them within their households in the wake of the abolition law, were also substantial. At the outset in 1849, Héricé, president of the Saint-Louis guardianship council, reminded members that he was responsible for the care of orphan minors without regard to their status, that is, free or liberated from slavery. Indeed, a typical case involving an orphan was that of the eight-year-old male, Sambou, who lived in the household of Antioumane Cuisimis. Cuisimis may well have appeared before the council, for it agreed that the youngster should remain in his household and be taught a trade by him.5 Héricé explained that the responsibility of finding homes for minors with different statuses led him to inform council members about the case of Mariame Pierre Malivoire, who died shortly after giving birth to a son. She also left behind fourteen-year-old Faquey, now an orphan, as her father had been long dead. Add to these Magdeline Samba, whom Malivoire raised, and who had an inheritance from her father and mother that had to be sorted out. According to Héricé, Samba was left with no family members on her father’s side who could raise her normally and administer her heritage. As for her maternal aunt, she too was deemed unsuitable. However, Marie Labouré, who was nursed by Faquey’s grandmother, offered to take her. Due to these 5

ANS M 3, June 22, 1849.

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circumstances, the president considered the creation of a Conseil de famille (family council) and the appointment of a testamentary guardian necessary. Thus, it was up to the council to decide whether the grandmother was preferable to a “fat, brutish black woman” prone to violence, from whom the youngster had been taken.6 The president’s actions suggest that he considered the Conseil de tutelle inadequate in dealing with all matters relating to minors who were orphans. The load was clearly too heavy. The distinction between the Conseil de famille and the Conseil de tutelle is unclear, but there are references to both (more so to the latter than to the former) throughout the 1850s. Data from the notary records of Saint-Louis suggest that the predominant preoccupation of the Conseil de famille was handling inheritance cases where minors were beneficiaries, and not cases involving minors liberated from slavery. In 1849, for example, the council dealt with the case of three children – Jean Jacques, Edmond, and Eliza – the children of a mariage à la mode du pays between Andre Lejeune, a Frenchman, and Marie Louise, a signare. At the death of their parents, the children were given to one, Monsieur Morrel, a Frenchman, who died while they were still minors. But the children were not destitute. At her death, which probably predated 1849, Marie Louise’s property – five slaves and a house in ruins, were sold for 4,978.29 French Francs. The council subtracted its fees (19.60 French Francs) and other costs for a total of 91.29 French Francs, which left a balance of 4,887 French Francs. The balance was divided into three so that each child received 1,629 French Francs. In 1840, Louis Descemet, a prominent métis figure, became the tutor for Edmond and Eliza – the two youngest children. A year later in 1850, however, he went before the judge to report that Edmund had reached the age of majority. And he asked to be relieved of the wardship of Eliza, but there was no immediate resolution.7 The Conseil de famille handled a similar case in October 1849. This was the case of two minors – Mam Sar Ambyalla and Soukeyna – the children of M’Bougana and Jadissa, who died that very year. In October, Marc Yacine, a proprietor in Saint-Louis, appeared before the council and asked to be their guardian. After deliberating, the 6 7

ANS M 3, “Aux membres du conseil,” 2 Septembre 1849. ANS 4Z 2 (29), Délibérations du Conseil de famille des mineurs, October 1849.

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council granted his request. What was in it for Yacine? No mention was made of his relationship to the children or their deceased parents. What is certain is that an inventory of Jadissa’s estate had to be done. Also, Jadissa’s jewelry (worth 1,312.86 French Francs), and other belongings, were given to Yacine for safekeeping. Needless to say, unless the state followed up the case to ensure that the children were not deprived of their inheritance, abuse was a possibility, as it turned out to be in many such cases. No mention was made of the children’s age.8 The function of the Conseil de famille can be further culled from another case involving payment to a guardian for services rendered. In 1849, Marie Bertrand, a proprietor in Saint-Louis, swore in the presence of notaries and witnesses that she received the sum of 269.77 French Francs from another Saint-Louis proprietor, Monsieur Louis Georges Alsace, a métis. The money came from the account of the minor, Marie Berthelool, to whom Bertrand provided care and lodging.9 It is worthy of note that all of the parties mentioned in this case carried French names. This indicates that the Conseil de famille dealt with cases involving Europeans and mixed-race people in SaintLouis, among them members of the merchant community. The Conseil de famille aside, the rulings that the Conseil de tutelle made at the outset in 1849 offer valuable insights into how wardship was initially conceptualized, and how minors were assigned to guardians. That year, it ruled that the young girl, Merée, should be put in the household of Coumba Seye, who had been the child’s guardian since the death of her mother, Alexine. It also ruled that the daughter of Mousty Charbonnié, a member of the Saint-Louis guardianship council, should become the guardian of the minor Félicité. Interestingly, Charbonnié was charged with determining the conditions of Merée’s indentureship and that of others, such as four-year old Salma, the daughter of Deane, a former slave of the woman Yacine Gueye. Deane wanted to retrieve her daughter from Gueye so that she could put her in the household of one Antioumane. The data do not indicate what lay behind this reclamation. However, records kept by the president of the council showed that the mother consented to leave her child with her former mistress who accepted the responsibility of raising her 8 9

ANS 4Z 2 (29), October 23, 1849. ANS 4Z 2 (29), November (no date given), 1849.

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and maintaining her at her own cost.10 Was Deane coerced? There is no hint of this in the data. Judging by other cases that will be the object of further study, however, it seems clear that formerly enslaved mothers had little say. Indeed, the council often removed their children from where their mothers sent them. The sources do not indicate how mothers responded to being overridden by French authorities, but it is difficult to imagine that they would have been content in such instances. On July 6, 1849, the council confided Ousmane, a fourteen-year-old liberated male, to Monsieur Monlezun, who intended to make him an apprentice tailor. In the same sitting, it ruled that a sixteen-year-old insubordinate female, Daëneck Seye, would be confided to Ndella Mandian to be taught proper behavior, put to work, and cared for.11 The council confided the sixteen-year-old female minor Fanbaï (Fambey) to the woman Counababa, who agreed to raise her properly and look after her, while teaching her how to wash, iron, and sew.12 It is unlikely that the youngster would be taught these skills simply for her own good. Given the need for domestic labor in the urban areas, it is more likely that she would end up providing labor within her guardian’s household, if not that of others. However, the outcome of this placement, like most, will remain in doubt because in a July 12 sitting, the council revealed that the minor had run away from her guardian to take refuge with Yacine Paté from northern Senegal, who claimed to have informed her that he possessed the ability to teach her what the council required.13 In the same sitting, the council decided that Fadiol Gay should not be granted his request to become the guardian of the fifteen-year-old orphan female, Soina Nian, and that the minor should be left with Diatmasec and his wife, who promised to raise her and to give her a good upbringing. The council seldom explained what lay behind its decisions. In this case, it is worth asking whether the refusal to entrust a sexually mature female orphan to a male not related to her may have been due to his sex. It is noteworthy that, at the same time, Therèze Abiola, a fourteen-year-old female orphan, was given to Madame Guisson. Yafal, an eighteen-year-old orphan female, was to remain with Marianne Borel, where she had been a ward “for a long time,” 10 12

ANS M 3, June 4, 1849. ANS M 3, July 6, 1849.

11 13

ANS M 3, July 6, 1849. ANS M 3, July 12, 1849.

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and not go to Ndella Manyaré, who requested her services. At eighteen, Yafal should have been treated as an adult and freed, but the council gave no explanation for its decision to keep her in a dependent situation. Did the council believe that she was better off in familiar surroundings? Interestingly, the council turned down Manyaré’s request to become the guardian of Anna-Ndiaye – an eleven-year-old liberated orphan female – and confided her to Madame Cathy Louis Poul instead.14

Reclamations In addition to placing minors who were kinless, the council dealt with a significant number of cases where family members, acquaintances, or former owners of minors sought to reclaim them. In many instances, former owners persuaded the council to grant them custody of children of slaves born in their households. The council recorded many such cases in 1849. In July, Madame Catherine Melis came before the council to request that she regain guardianship of Rose, an eightyear-old female whose mother took her away from Melis and sent her to Bakel. The council ruled in favor of Melis without explanation. There is no indication as to how the order was to be carried out, however. Was the child’s mother forced to comply? How would the child get to Saint-Louis from Bakel? It is doubtful that the council would foot the bill for her transport. At the same sitting, the council decided that the eleven-year-old female orphan, Koriala, should become the ward of Anna Ndiay Bambé, who agreed to raise the minor according to the conditions set out by the council.15 On June 6, 1849, Dietié Guey asked the council to grant her custody of the children of her former slave, Doussoumba, who died in her house – a four-year-old male and a nursing female infant. However, the children’s father – a Bambara woodcutter – also asked for custody. Given what is required to raise the children, the council reasoned, it was preferable to give custody to Guey pending a new order if need be, which it did.16 The reclamations made by several potential guardians suggest that they were aimed at maintaining the labor that minors had been 14 16

ANS M 3, July 12, 1849. ANS M 3, June 6, 1849.

15

ANS M 3, July 12, 1849.

Reclamations

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performing as slaves. This appears to have been the case behind the reclamation of Miriame Guipson and her daughter who asked the council to leave Thereze Abdassa, a fourteen-year-old female who had been their slave, and who remained in their household. The council granted them their wish and seemed certain that Guipson would raise her and teach her to work.17 At age fourteen, Abdassa would surely have been performing labor tasks in Guipson’s household. The committee was still active in the 1850s. By then, the Procureur général had usurped much of the authority that the council exercised. The death of Héricé was also a factor. In 1856, Carrère, the President of the court, noted that the files of the council were in Héricé’s possession until his death on October 4, 1856, and that Monsieur Roger had not turned them over to him. Even so, he pledged to dedicate himself to administering the wardship of minors to the best of his ability.18 Heads of the judiciary signed off on decisions made about the wardship of liberated minors but they did not act alone. This is clear from the use of the French pronoun “nous” (we) at the beginning of archival reports about people who appeared before the council to request that minors be placed in their charge. In 1856, for example, when Fatima Latir of Saint-Louis appeared before the council, it heard that Latir’s son, Birima Gasconi, bought an eight-year-old male, Demba, out of slavery in Bakel and brought him to Saint-Louis. After interrogating Demba, the council was satisfied that he was (as he claimed), happy in Latir’s household, and awarded her custody as a result.19 In 1857 and 1858, the council ruled on several intriguing cases that are very revealing about the background of minors who ended as state wards, and the lives that they were likely to lead into adulthood. It is well worth highlighting a few of these cases. One such case was recorded on February 18, 1857, when the woman Kilé, along with a six-and-a-half year-old female, appeared before the council, which had to consider whether the child should remain with her or be given to Sala, a woman from Kajoor who sought to reclaim her under the guise of being her grandmother. Sala informed the council that the child had been kidnapped in Kajoor in 1852 when she was two-and-a-half years old. She was thereby separated from her mother, sold to a Moor, and 17 18

19

ANS M 3, June 12, 1849. ANS M 3, October 14, 1856; ANS Sénégal XIV, 15 B, Report of Carrère on Conseils de Tutelle. ANS M 3, October 14, 1856.

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taken to the desert. In 1857, Sala recognized her in Saint-Louis, where the Moor had taken refuge. She claimed that the child’s correct name was Couna. Members of the council asked Sala how she could recognize a child whom she had not seen in five years. Her reply was that she could not point to any particular sign or feature but knew that the child was a relative based on blood lines. After some hesitation, she ended by admitting that the child was neither her daughter nor granddaughter but her niece. At the completion of the interrogation, the council decided that the child would remain with Kilé, who promised to nourish, care for, and raise her well.20 A similar case unfolded in September 1857 when Massiri appeared before the council with an eleven-year-old girl, Weymou, born in Bouke Sabou in Damga. Massiri told the council that the girl was seized by Boubacar Saada Almamy of Bundu and sold to his brother Massamba Gueye Goumet (of Femoudebou) who had since died in the service of France. He asked for custody of the child, whom he promised to nourish and care for as his own daughter. During the interrogation that followed, Weymou indicated that Massiri treated her well and that she wished to stay with him. The council granted her wish.21 With the introduction of Governor Louis Faidherbe’s law of December 5, 1857, which required that detailed transactions of minors confided to tutelle be kept in registers, expanded upon in Chapter 4, the activities of the council became even harder to trace.22 Thus, information about actual adoptions must be culled from the registers, particularly after the 1860s. Gone were the minutes and deliberations of the council meetings of the 1840s. At the outset, the council handled several cases in one sitting. By the 1850s, the number of cases remained significant, but fewer in number. In August 1858 it ruled on the case of twelve-year old Massaer who was born in Saint-Louis. Left alone in the city after his parents, Demba N’Diaye and Aram Guèye, died, the young male turned to vagabondage, as did others who lacked guidance, as the later chapters will show. The committee placed him in the household of Monsieur Momfort, a civil servant in the judiciary, who promised to feed, care for, and raise him in a proper manner. No mention was made of his parents’ status, which suggests that they were 20 22

21 ANS M 3, February 18, 1857. ANS M 3, September 10, 1857. On Governor Faidherbe’s law of 1857, see ANS K 11, Esclavage et Captivité, 1854 -1880; Arrêté relatif aux captifs rachetés et amenés à Saint-Louis pour êtes libérés, Saint-Louis, 5 décembre 1857.

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free. It is also noteworthy that Massaer was adopted by a guardian who was likely a métis or a European.23 In a sitting of December 22, 1858, Penda, the eight-year-old daughter of Sisa, a domestic who worked for Charles Bamby in Bakel, was brought before the council. At the hearing, a woman Diaté informed the members that while in Bakel a few months ago, the child’s mother asked her to retrieve her daughter from the person to whom she was entrusted (now dead). The mother requested that the child be given to Monsieur Charbonnié, a member of the Saint-Louis guardianship council. Not surprisingly, the council approved the mother’s wishes, at least until such time as she could come forward in person to state her intentions. So it was that the council charged Charbonnié with the care of Penda to raise her well. And he and the other members signed the required documents to this effect. Interestingly, the council took Diaté at her word. The data do not indicate if the council attempted to verify her story. It is conceivable that the child’s mother would have known the names of some of the council members, as she may have lived in Saint-Louis before the move to Bakel.24 On October 6, 1859, the council confided the ten-year-old free orphan boy, Demba-Aly, who was born in Séméya in Fouta Toro, to André Tchoye, a carpenter; and twelve-year-old Hamet-Boubacar, a free male orphan born in Dgioum in Fouto Toro whose parents disappeared, to Masaër-Sar, a carpenter. On October 8, 1859, the council made only one ruling in which it granted Moussé-Toupe, a carpenter in Saint-Louis, guardianship of Samba-Aliou, a ten-year-old free male orphan born in Dendroi, Damga. On October 11, Baidy, a sevenyear-old free orphan born in Dgioum, went to Monsieur Gaillard, a merchant in Saint-Louis. The designation “Monsieur” suggests that Gaillard was European.25 In assigning some children to apprenticeships, the council appears to have acted on behalf of the parents of minors who probably saw apprenticeship as a means of upward mobility for their children, and as a means of guaranteeing some measure of financial support in their old age. This seems to have been the case on October 15, 1859 when it confided the twelve-year-old free male, Mamadou, who was born in Sagnior in Kaarta, to Souleyman-Diop, who caulked boats for a 23 25

24 ANS M 3, August 2, 1858. ANS M 3, December 22, 1858. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 204.

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living.26 This is a period when Governor Louis Faidherbe intervened directly in placing minors in tutelle. On October 14, 1859 he confided several minors to wardship and placed many newly-liberated adults in the homes of African and European habitants who had a need for servants. For example, he confided fifteen-year-old Fassama to Madame Angél Feuiltaine; seventeen-year-old Diongourou to Minster Aléfal; and fourteen-year-old Awa for Minster Tiécoro, an interpreter. Fifteen-year-old Penda went to the woman Dorine Garnier and eightyear-old Dgialla to Monsieur Vieu, president of the tribunal at SaintLouis. Most of the guardians were women, African and European, and the children were girls. Madame Monlezun became the guardian of fifteen-year-old Siga; Madame Soulens, the guardian of six-year-old Sadio-Balacagny; the woman N’diobo, the guardian of fourteen-yearold Mariam. Along with her forty-year-old mother M’Barka, the governor confided fourteen-year-old Demba to Monsieur Chassaniol, medicine-in-chief at Saint-Louis. In this case, he may have considered it best to keep the mother and child together. Since the mother was liberated, she had a right to work where she pleased. The fact that her child became the ward of the medical officer may mean that she lacked independence and could not assume full responsibility for the child. Unlike M’Barka, twenty-seven-year-old Dambo, a former enslaved woman who presented herself to the Saint-Louis authorities on her own accord and gained liberty, was granted full custody of her fiveyear-old child, Madoun-Fall. So was nineteen-year-old Meissa-Ndiaye, who also came forward on her own initiative and was granted liberty and the custody of her six-month old son, Karialla.27 An indication of the state of guardianship at the end on the 1850s can be gleaned from the Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendences. An issue of November 8, 1859 contains a list of people brought into SaintLouis and liberated there under the terms of Governor Faidherbe’s Act of December 5, 1857. All the entries were made in the month of October. The twenty-nine liberated Africans listed in the newspaper ranged in age from five to fifty-six years. No sexual designation was given. As Table 3.1 shows, eighteen of the twenty-nine (or almost twothirds) of the liberated were minors. Some were presented to the committee by relatives. Most of the adults came forward on their 26 27

Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 204. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 203.

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79

Table 3.1 Slaves liberated in Saint-Louis in October 1859 Name

Age

Presenter

Destination

Yamar Bafa Coumba Lalia

12 10 5 15

Mother, Gdiemba Sar Monsieur Vieu Monsieur Blanchard Civil Hospital provisionally

Fatoumata Sira Fassama Diongourou Awa Penda Dgialla

6 11 15 17 14 15 8

Jullien Patté Massar-Aly Monsieur Gaillard Bakar Waly for Sieur N’Gour Alphonse Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe

Siga Sadio-Balacagny Mariam Demba

15 6 14 14

Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe Governor Faidherbe

Madoun Fal Karialla Dgiounouba

5 Dambao, mother 6 months 6 Yacine-Ongué

Couta of Saint-Louis Madame Louison Germain Madame Angél Feuiltaine Sieur Aléfal Sieur Thiécore, interpreter Dorine Garnier Monsieur Vieu, president of tribunal Madame Monlezun Madame Soulens N’Giobo, female Monsieur Chassaniol, chief medical officer Mother Mother Wife of Captain Déthié

Source: Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, November 8, 1859, p. 203.

own. Thirteen of the eighteen minors were freed on an order given by Governor Louis Faidherbe on October 14, 1859. Most of the adults were left to their own devices, but some were placed in households. Important inferences can be drawn from Table 3.1. First, most of the minors were female, judging by their names. Second, the person who presented the minors to the authorities was not necessarily the one to whom they were confided. Third, Governor Faidherbe’s intervention in placing ten of the minors in tutelle suggests that he had an interest in making the institution work, knowing, as he did, that catering to the labor needs of the habitants in the urban centers was critical to their well-being, and to the success of the colony. Fourth, the council confided more than one liberated minor to the same guardian, and this may well have been designed to keep families together if possible, as well as the social standing of the guardian. For example,

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fourteen-year-old Demba was confided to a chief medical officer, as Table 3.1 shows. But so was his forty-year-old father, M’Barka, although the verb used in this instance was “placed in the household of” rather than “confided to” Monsieur Chassaniol, because M’Barka was not a minor in tutelle. Lastly, some relatives who brought minors forward sought liberation at the same time or had been recently liberated. Take the case of twenty-seven-year-old Dambao. When she came forward, she was left to her own devices as an adult and not entrusted to anyone. But she also brought in her child, five-year-old Madoun Fal, and was granted custody, as Table 3.1 shows.

Free Orphan Minors in Tutelle The number of minors with free status, among them orphans whom the council confided to guardians, was significant and worth emphasizing. Some of these minors were brought forward by their relatives with no explanation given. It may well be that relatives gave them up because they lacked the means to care for them, or because they believed that their future would be more secure in households other than their own. Take the case of the four-year-old boy whose mother, Fatine Ly, a free woman who lived in Gandal village, left him in the care of Charles Angrand, a proprietor in Saint-Louis on August 18, 1859. In this case it may well have been that the mother could not live in Saint-Louis and may have thought that the child would have had a better future in the Angrand household. To formalize his position as guardian, Angrand, accompanied by the child, appeared before the council on August 30, 1859. The council authorized his guardianship under the usual conditions, but with the added stipulation that it could take back the child if need be. In this case, which is rare, Angrand’s signature appears next to that of the official council signature.28 Likewise, on August 16, 1860, the council authorized the adoption of a free twelve-year-old male whose mother gave him up to Charles Coute Calfad. Calfad promised to make him an apprentice and abide by the terms of the law of June 22, 1858 governing apprenticeship.29 Orphans constituted the bulk of free minors. Indeed, the distribution records of the Conseil de tutelle in the period 1849–1859 show that a significant number of free orphans were entrusted to guardians in 28

ANS M 3, August 30, 1859.

29

ANS M 3, August 16, 1860.

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urban Senegal. In some cases, their status as orphans resulted from the death of their parents. Others were dislodged from, and not reclaimed by their kin; still others may have been abandoned. Some free orphans were born in Saint-Louis; others came from other regions further afield – Bakel, Bundu, Futa Toro, and Mali, among them. To be sure, distance and tracking would make unification exceedingly difficult. In 1849, the council acknowledged its duty to provide sustenance for orphan children who, because of infirmity, illness, or tender age, were unable to earn a living. Both the state and charitable individuals had to be mindful of their condition and exercise generosity, the council stated. At the same time, it noted that the administration of tutelle for girls was more difficult than for boys, one reason being the makeup of the council, which consisted of all males, and warranted the addition of one or several “good women to assist us in our deliberations.”30 This step was never taken, however. Born in Saint-Louis, Sambou, an eleven-year-old male was one of the many free orphans whom the council placed in tutelle in 1858. Magnam, a cook at the Saint Louis Hospital to whom he was confided, promised to take care of him and teach him his profession. As was the practice in several instances when the guardian was absent during the deliberations, the council signed the agreement on Magnam’s behalf.31 Like Sambou, Massaëë, a twelve-year-old orphan male, was born in Saint-Louis. After his parents, Demba N’Diaye and Aram Guèye, died, he allegedly turned to vagabondage. Upon investigation, the council took charge and confided him to one Monsieur Des Momford, an adviser at the imperial court in Saint-Louis.32 Because the council provided little by way of details on these cases, we are left to speculate. For the most part, we know nothing about the guardians except for their professions. The council took them at their word that they would take care of the youngsters. However, the youngsters’ perception of life in their guardians’ household is another matter. By 1858 the number of free orphans in Saint-Louis was considerably more significant than in previous years. This was a time when the head of the judiciary reminded the governor about the shortage of apprentices in the colony and the need to increase their ranks. To this end, as we shall see in Chapter 4, Governor Louis Faidherbe enacted 30 32

ANS M 3, May 9, 1849. ANS M 3, August 2, 1858.

31

ANS M 3, March 17, 1858.

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legislation aimed at facilitating the processing of minors entering SaintLouis. This was also a period marked by military conflict and wars waged by a number of Muslin reformers that may have resulted in displaced children flowing into Saint-Louis from war-torn regions. Wars led by empire builders such as the astute French Governor Faidherbe, who sought to expand French commercial and political influence in the Middle and Upper Senegal Valley in the 1850s, and Al- Hajj Umar Tal al-Futi from Futa Toro, a tenacious Muslim reformer who led jihads in the Western Sudan from 1852 to 1864, produced casualties. The conflict between these two imperialists, who engaged in sustained warfare in the 1850s in Futa Toro and other parts of the Middle and Upper Senegal, resulted in famine, upheaval, and large-scale migration as Umar’s followers left their villages to follow him. Cultivation was abandoned; large stores of millet were destroyed; and chaos ensued.33 According to David Robinson, “It is reasonable to estimate the total departures from Futa for 1858–59 coupled with the earlier migration in the 1850s, at over 50,000 men, women and children, or almost 20 per cent of the population.”34 The migration that Robinson describes is the best explanation for the number of children coming into Saint-Louis from Futa Toro during the late 1850s even though the “Umarian procession” as he calls it, went in the direction of Karta.35 Not all of the orphan minors in Saint-Louis in the 1850s were products of warfare, but some may have been because the data show significant inputs of minors from Futa Toro, and Bundu in eastern Senegal. Many of the displaced ended up there and joined the ranks of the growing number of people living in dependent situations in urban Senegal. As Robinson noted, “5,000 persons took refuge in Gambia and southern Senegal.”36 Robinson has asserted that “the only persons who did not suffer significantly were the members of the Saint-Louisan commercial community. They often acquired new dependents in the

33

34

35 36

Michael Gomez, Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 133. David Robinson, Chiefs and Clerics: Abdul Bokar Kan and Futa Toro, 1853–1891 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), p. 48. Robinson, Chiefs and Clerics, p. 48. David Robinson, The Holy War of Umar Tall: The Western Sudan in the MidNineteenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), p. 239.

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83

crisis.”37 And the merchant community and people who engaged in a wide variety of economic activities were the beneficiaries. They too stood to gain, and did. Inputs of children from Bundu in the 1850s could also have been, in part, a result of warfare in and around the area, first with Umar Tal, then after 1860 with the establishment of a French ally, Bokar Saada, and then with Mamadou Lamine. Even in the absence of war, as Martin Klein asserts, there could have been a good bit of raiding. Moreover, given the proximity of Bundu to French trading posts, and the number of children likely to have been taken in raids, it is probable that a significant number of children from Bundu ended up in Saint-Louis.38 Michael Gomez’s work reinforces Klein’s assertion. Gomez chronicles the struggles between Bokar Saada and the Umarians in 1855–1856, a time when Saada tried to assert control over Bundu.39 In sum, children came into Saint-Louis from Futa Toro, Bundu, but also from Bakel. In 1858, the Conseil de tutelle confided Fatimata, a free eight-yearold female orphan “without family” from Bakel, to Tako Yoro, wife of Bodin Diaw in Saint-Louis. Coumba, an eleven-year-old free female orphan, also from Bakel, ended up first in the household of the woman, m’Bissine, but left and was placed in four other households. Four-yearold Kadidja, a free orphan from Bakel, was confided to Venus.40 Likewise, Fily, a six-year-old free orphan female “without family” from Bakel was confided to the woman, Diodio, a former slave of one, Descemet. A notation in the file, added after 1858, indicates that, upon Diodio’s death in 1865, Fily became the ward of a male, Makone Sek, who worked for the well-known commercial firm Maurel et Prom.41 Fily would have been fifteen years old at this time. In 1859, the Le Moniteur du Sénégal published a list of minors that the council placed in tutelle in conditions of apprenticeships. Among them was a fourteen-year-old male orphan, Martoup, who, on his own accord, asked the council to place him in tutelle. The council decided that Yacoub-Penda, a carpenter in Saint-Louis, would become his guardian. As such, Yacoub-Penda pledged to accommodate, feed, clothe, and teach Martoup his trade for four years. During this period, 37 38 39 41

Robinson, Holy War of Umar Tal, p. 240. Martin Klein, Personal communication, February 26, 2009. 40 Gomez, Pragmatism, p. 132. ANS M 3, September 1858. ANS M 3, September 1858.

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the salary that Martoup gained would go to Yacoub-Penda. At the age of eighteen years, Martoup would be free to do as he pleased irrespective of the level of his instruction.42 On October 4, 1859, the council placed Samba, a ten-year-old free male orphan and refugee in SaintLouis who was born in Tchoubalé in Futa Toro, in apprenticeship with Balthasar, a mason. Balthasar and other guardians agreed to abide by the prevailing laws of 1858 in his role as guardian.43 Born in Bundu, seven-year-old Penda was taken in a raid by Babacar Saada and carried to Sennoudebou and sold to Famboye, who subsequently resold her to Jean Lamothe in Saint-Louis where she was confided to Charles Boucaline, a court recorder. Boucaline was expected to free her, raise her, and ensure that she learned a trade. Similarly, a six-year-old girl born on Kasso where she was captured, was taken to Bakel and sold to the woman Coumba Fall of Saint-Louis who then resold her to Awa Fimon. The child’s story became more complicated, however. The president of the Saint-Louis tribunal ruled that she be freed, cared for, and be assured of learning a trade. It appears that one, Charles Beccaria, took Awa Fimon to President Carrère to have her declared free and make her his domestic since he apparently purchased her out of slavery. Carrère declared her free but confided her to judge Vieu instead. Upon leaving Senegal in 1866, the judge gave Penda to her mother-in-law. Penda would have been seventeen years old at the time.44 Another minor listed in the Libérations registers is ten-year-old Malik from Bundu who was presented to the authorities in SaintLouis by Etienne Parquet with whom he had been living for two years. He was expected to attend the Ėcole des frères in 1861. Maramm Tiané, a ten-year-old minor from Bundu, was brought in by Yama Guey, a trader. She was expected to perform domestic labor for one, Demba Talibe. In June 1861, she was placed in the home of Kathy Marin Aly, but a note in the register indicated that this liberated minor was found guilty of theft.45 Born in Waalo and liberated in Saint-Louis, Birima N’Diaye, fifteenyears-old, was confided first to Monsieur Béziat, and in 1871 to 42 43 44 45

Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 204. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 204. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874.

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85

Ibrahim Faye, a carpenter, to learn the craft.46 A craft to which a limited number of minors were assigned for apprenticeship was that of the Muslim priesthood. In 1859, the parents of twelve-year-old Mamadou, a free male born in Kaarta, confided him to the Muslim cleric, Souleyman Diop, in Saint-Louis to learn the profession.47 And in 1864, Samba Galo, twelve-years-old, captured in Saloum and sold in Kajoor, ended up in Saint-Louis. After his owner could no longer feed him, however, he was confided to M’Baye, a Muslim cleric, who agreed to provide an apprenticeship.48 Promises made by guardians likely had little value since the system of guardianship lacked surveillance. For minors in tutelle, whether they were apprentices or wards in other settings, abuse of one sort or other was a fact of life. Their status as former slaves, and their youth, made abuse all but certain. Adoption of a free orphan was no guarantee of a successful outcome. In 1865, the council gave three unrelated orphan boys, aged seven, eleven, and twelve, to Monsieur Ardin D’Elteil, who promised to care for them until they reached the age of eighteen years. Thus, they were clearly seen as apprentices. In 1866, however, twelve-year-old Boubacar was given back in a state of poor health. He was taken to the hospital in Saint-Louis and later returned to Bundu where he was born.49 Similarly, ten-year-old Amadou Guèye, who became an orphan in 1871 when his parents died from a cholera epidemic, was given to an Arab tutor in Saint-Louis. Whatever the case, he was later given to another Arab teacher, one Massamba Guèye.50 It appears that it was more difficult to place girls in apprenticeships. The profession of the women, with whom many wards were placed, was not always given. Thus the thirteen-year-old free orphan Coumba, who was born in Diawoly in Bundu, was confided to Madame Guillaume Foy on October 3, 1859. On October 10, another free orphan female – Fatima, who was born in Dounguel in Futa Toro – was confided to a Saint-Louisian woman, Bourika.51 The case of the thirteen-year-old female orphan minor, Aliouma Sar, offers insight into adoption. Born free in Bapalet in Domgo, she was brought to SaintLouis in 1862 by the woman Marceline de Kigoro who did not notify 46 47 48 49 51

ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. 50 ANS M 3, December 25, 1865. ANS M 3, August 9, 1873. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 204.

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the administrative authorities, as required, until a year later. During this time, she worked for her pounding grain for the civil hospital. On August 25, 1863, the council placed her in the household of Madame Maréchal where she would become an apprentice seamstress, one of the few crafts open to her, while being looked after until she reached the age of eighteen years.52

Adoptions after the Cessation of the Conseil de Tutelle The colonial administration continued to place minors in tutelle in ensuing decades down to the end of the nineteenth century. In October 1862, Procureur général Carrère lamented that the wardship council had not met since December 1849. Consequently, he had to administer the institution from 1856 following the death of Héricé. Since the enactment of Faidherbe’s law of December 5, 1857, which granted enslaved minors brought to Saint-Louis free status, which is discussed in Chapter 4, he oversaw 433 liberations – 137 men and 296 women. Of the 137 males, 65 were minors, 35 of whom were confided to tutelle in Saint-Louis. The remaining thirty were entrusted to their mothers, who were liberated at the same time. Of the 296 females, 151 were minors, 117 of whom were placed in tutelle, while the remaining 34 were given to their mothers, fathers, and grandparents. During the same period, the authorities placed eighty-eight free orphans – thirty-two girls and fifty-six boys, most of the latter with trades men under whom they were to become apprentices.53 Data from the 1860s show that the colonial state placed many minors in tutelle during the decade. After her mother received a oneyear prison term in 1864, for example, the state confided twelve-year Fradiani, a female, to Madame Roth to be an apprentice seamstress. The child’s life seems to have been turbulent, however, for she also became a ward of Madame Valentin, Marcellin Martin, a seamstress, and Madame de Couture in August 1869.54 Being bounced from household to household could not have been a happy childhood for Fradiani. Nor for the ten-year-old male orphan – a free born from Louga - who was confided to Monsieur Gillet in July 1864. After six 52 53 54

ANS M 3, August 1863. ANS Sénégal XIV 15b, Report of Carrère on the Conseils de Tutelle. ANS M 3, June 9, 1864.

Adoptions after the Cessation of the Conseil de Tutelle

87

months, the youngster took off and led a roaming life, which led Gillet to brand him as “a bad egg.”55 After 1867, when heads of the judiciary and other administrative officials replaced the wardship council, tracking minors became more difficult. That year, Governor Pinet-Laprade complained that Bazot – a magistrate – refused to follow his instructions, defied him, and made the task of accommodating fugitive slaves more difficult. With regard to tutelle, he found Bazot to be indifferent. Bazot did not put the lists of liberated minors placed in tutelle in the Le Moniteur du Sénégal as required, and this was the case during Governor Pinet-Laprade’s entire absence in France. He believed that Bazot was unhappy with his position in Senegal, after having served in the French Caribbean where he became accustomed to a lifestyle much better than the one he had in Senegal. The governor contrasted him to Carrère, who understood Governor Faidherbe’s law of 1857 and applied it in a manner “as firm and prudent” as possible such that it resulted in over 1,000 liberations. So perturbed was Governor Laprade that he wanted Bazot transferred. Interestingly, Bazot himself requested a change of residence which the governor asked the Minister of Marie and Colonies in Paris to consider favorably.56 The absence of tutelle lists in most issues of the Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances notwithstanding, data from the Libérations registers can fill the gap. Indeed, they contain extensive lists of liberated people of all ages. It is not clear who kept the records, but they are authentic. And they provide valuable information about the age and sex of the children and the identity and profession of their guardians. The usual pattern was such that children were brought forward and presented to the authorities and given to those who presented them, whether they were the biological parents or not. The data from the Libérations registers show that the number of children freed between 1860 and 1874 was fairly low if we accept the official records. They range from about nineteen to eighty-one. In 1867, for example, only nine liberations were recorded. This is highly unlikely and indicates that underreporting was an issue. From about 1875 to the end of the century, however, the registers record a significant number of minors liberated from slavery in Saint-Louis. In 1875, 55 56

ANS M 3, July 29, 1864. ANS K 11, Governor Pinet-Laprade to Minister, November 23, 1867.

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for instance, 254 children were liberated.57 Between April 19, 1883 and June 30, 1884, 594 children were liberated. Similarly, 436 liberations took place between January 1, 1889 and April 30, 1892.58 Overall, the number of children liberated in the 1880s was significant. In 1890, there were 562 liberations. From then until 1904, the numbers fell off but remained significant for the most part. Taken together, the numbers suggest that there was increased demand for adoptions and pressure to place children in homes and institutions at all cost. Statistics aside, we learn about the minors who became state wards from the 1870s by extrapolating largely from marginal notes in the Libérations registers. This is how we know that Amady Ndiaye, one of the four fourteen-year-olds liberated in 1872, was confided to a priest at Ndioun on the outskirts of Saint-Louis. Similarly, Femea Kalibu, twelve-years-old, was given to Walter Taylor, a Protestant minister in Saint-Louis in February 1878. In May of that year, Ama was sent to the Sisters of Saint Joseph de Cluny.59 The dada show that children were scattered widely, as in previous decades. What appears to be different is lack of emphasis on apprenticeships. In the 1870s, the distribution of children was fairly wide. This was also a time when, through reclamations, the state returned a number of children to their mothers. In 1886, there were at least five such cases. On July 11, 1876, for example, a one-and-half-year-old child was liberated along with his/her mother, Cor Fall, twenty-eightyears-old, and given to her. On September 21, 1876, Salma Ahmed, thirty-six-years-old, was freed along with two young boys, ten-yearold Sabars and seven-year-old Ahmed who remained with their mother. Many other children were entrusted to traders, merchants, and housewives in Saint-Louis, but died within three years.60 To be sure, the death rate in 1876 is nothing short of staggering, as we shall see in Chapter 8. By the 1880s when the number of liberations reached a peak, the colonial state rejected some minors and turned them away rather than finding adoptive homes for them. Such was the case of two females – 57 58

59 60

ANS, Libérations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879. ANS, Libérations, April 10, 1883–June 30, 1884; ANS, Libérations, January 1, 1889–April 30, 1892. ANS, Libérations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879. ANS, Libérations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879.

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fourteen and sixteen years of age who, in 1887, were confided to themselves because of ill health.61 What were they to do? We have no further details. They were not confided to relatives, so we must assume that these two teenage girls were left to fend for themselves. In the 1890s, some mothers brought their children to state authorities for adoption. On September 8, 1890, the mother of six-year-old Badiougou, a male, did so as his father, a Tirailleur, was stationed in the French West Indies. As if a coordinated act, the mother of Boye Bouty, a seven-year-old male whose father, a Tirailleur also serving in the French West Indies, made the same move the very next day – September 9.62 Many Tirailleurs were former slaves, and it is possible that the children had also been enslaved at some point. Their mothers gave them up, perhaps temporarily, due to economic hardship. It is unlikely that the state provided subsidies to families of Tirailleurs but their foray into the Caribbean provides avenues for future research. There was no guarantee that a child placed in adoption would remain with a designated guardian until age eighteen. Often, minors were bounced around from guardian to guardian for one reason or other, leading to a life of apprehension and uncertainty. Freed on November 11, 1896, the twelve-year-old female, Awa Diop, was confided to Madame Held Richard who took her back to the administrator of Cayor due to poor morale standards, so it was alleged. On May 6, 1897, she was confided to Tilly Diavora, a retired interpreter. This was not the end of her saga for, on September 27, 1898, she was confided to the woman, Seynabou N’Doye of Louga following the death of Diavora.63 Another such case involved a young male who was entrusted to one Bodier on July 12, 1898. The state took him away from Bodier on July 30 and confided him to Monsieur Martin, a magistrate in Dakar, the same day.64 What does the period from the immediate aftermath of emancipation in 1848 down to the end of the century tell us? First, as we have seen, former slave-owning families sought to keep control of the children of slaves, much in keeping with the notion in African societies that slave owners can keep the children of female slaves. In Senegal, former slave owners succeeded in using their influence with the French 61 62 63 64

ANS, ANS, ANS, ANS,

Libérations, June 25, 1887–December 1887. Libérations, January 1, 1889–April 30, 1892. Libérations, June 4, 1892–September 27, 1897. Libérations, June 4, 1892–September 27, 1897.

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colonial administration, whose priority was the economic stability of the colony, to achieve this objective. The Conseil de tutelle’s distribution of formerly enslaved children to the families provides proof of this phenomenon. Second, the need of the habitants to acquire young, formerly enslaved children increased from the 1850s, and compliance on the part of the Conseil de tutelle led to the continued entrustment of children, including children of free status and free orphans, to adults, although the council also accepted legitimate claims by some family members. Third, the 1850s saw the evolution of apprenticeship and the desire of some parents, who saw no other way out, to place their children in apprenticeship, thereby permitting them to acquire valuable trades and a hedge against the future. Apprentices were not slaves, but their labor was highly exploited, as succeeding chapters will show. Fourth, the number of orphans stand out. As this chapter demonstrates, the Conseil de tutelle also entrusted them to the habitants even though they were not slaves, at least not in 1849. Whether they were enslaved at an earlier period remains a possibility. Fifth, unofficial forms of tutelle existed in the interior. A registry of enslaved people in Podor signed by Jean, the commandant of the cercle, Podor, on the Upper Senegal River who was also Governor of Senegal (1861–1863), shows that, in 1866, a seven-year-old male, Ma Goné, was confided to one, Monsieur Baaucal by the head of the judiciary. In 1867, a number of child captives, including orphans, were confided to adults. Among them was Anta, a twelve-year old female who was found close to the body of her father the day he died at the Podor mosque. She had already lost her mother; she was now an orphan. French authorities confided her to one, Yoro Soô, who asked to adopt her. It appears that such orphans, and other liberated minors in Podor, could end up in Saint-Louis where tutelle officially existed. Indeed, Juréguibéry suggested as much when he wrote, “I will not send this child to Saint-Louis until I receive the governor’s decision.”65 However, epidemics, families, and warfare in the Western Sudan also led to children becoming orphans – a subject worthy of scholarly pursuit. 65

ANS 13G 124, Pador, Correspondance du Commandant de Poste, 1868–1871, 9 septembre 1867.

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In Kaolack, records from the early twentieth century show that several liberated minors were entrusted to people, including those who were attached to commercial firms, traders, interpreters, artisans, and administrative personnel. The fact that these guardians were listed as custodians of minors suggests that guardianship in Kaolack was unofficial but not opposed by the authorities in Saint-Louis. In 1905, Lefillatre, the administrator of Kaolack, wrote that “all of the children are being well treated, and I would advise that they be left in the hands of their guardians.”66 Demba, a fifteen-year-old male, thought to be of “good temperament with average intelligence,” was confided to one, E. Anglais, an agent of Maurel Frères of Kaolack. Another male, Sara N’Diaye, eighteen and-a-half years old, was entrusted to an African chief, Alioune of Kaolack. Lastly, Samba Malem, a twelve-year-old male, was confided to J. P. Sarre – a Kaolack trader.67 In conclusion, by the late 1850s, the need to regulate tutelle became pressing because the Conseil de tutelle in Saint-Louis folded and left a void. Children who had been enslaved elsewhere were still being brought into Saint-Louis where they ought to have been freed and placed in adoption. But this was not always done, as Governor Louis Faidherbe discovered. His attempt to regulate tutelle is important because it brought to the forefront critical legal issues that revolved around slave trading, slavery, and emancipation. His 1857 law governing children redeemed from slavery was the first of its kind and an important beginning. After the Conseil de tutelle ceased to function in the 1850s, the state continued to place children in adoptive homes and institutions and did so down to the end of the century. The number of liberations was quite heavy in the latter decades of the century and involved mostly girls. Tutelle was vibrant throughout the century but the institution suffered from a lack of legal measures needed to underpin and regulate it. Governor Louis Faidherbe was the first to tackle this weakness and the impact of the measures he introduced and their ramifications down to the end of tutelle are the subject of Chapter 4. 66 67

ANS 1F 1, Surveillance et protection des enfants mineurs, 25 février, 1905. ANS 1F 1, Surveillance et protection des enfants mineurs, 25 février 1905.

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4

Legislating Guardianship, 1848–1900

From the institutionalization of tutelle in 1849 down to the first years of the twentieth century, the colonial administration in Senegal enacted laws to govern wardship, periodically called for censuses of liberated minors to enhance accountability, and adopted protective measures designed to curb abuse of minors. These efforts failed because of contradictions in administrative policy, lack of oversight, and failure to enforce legislation. What this indicates is that child welfare was not the administration’s primary concern at abolition. Although the administration’s concerns changed over time, the pace was exceedingly slow. Indeed, the maintenance of child labor remained the primary goal, just as it was for adult labor, even though there were no policy pronouncements to this effect. In the immediate aftermath of emancipation, as we have seen, the colonial state established the Conseil de Tutelle and gave it full authority to administer guardianship, which it did until the 1860s. But the council made decisions without holding formal meetings, which required a quorum. With the death of council president, Héricé, in 1855, de facto leadership fell to Procureur général Frédéric Carrère in 1856, and he exercised it until 1866, the administration having made this arrangement official in 1862. As the chief legal officer in the colonial administration he thus became the official and legal guardian of minors and assumed primary responsibility for their care. In ensuing years, authority passed from one Procureur général to another, each exercising his responsibility without a sense of continuity. Heads of the judiciary were well aware of demonstrable contradictions in French anti-slavery policy, which surfaced after French abolition of the maritime slave trade in1817 and the strengthening of its provisions in 1831. With regard to enforcing the laws, however, the actions of French administration were duplicitous, evidenced by its determination to limit their application as much as possible so as to curtail the aspirations for freedom among the enslaved population whose labor it deemed essential 92

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to economic stability. Thus, colonial officials and others, to whom minors were entrusted, disregarded the laws and regulations governing guardianship, often with impunity. Administrative attempts to regulate guardianship were also hampered by a lack of financial resources, insufficient personnel in the judiciary, and, most of all, sheer negligence. These factors amplified legislative failure and left adopted minors in precarious positions that facilitated their exploitation by guardians in every way. This chapter focuses primarily on the French colonial administration’s enactment of and measures to enforce legislation aimed at regulating tutelle as minors made the transition from slavery to freedom in colonial Senegal. It concentrates on the period up to the 1860s after which there was a lull in legislation until the first years of the twentieth century. Overall, nineteenth-century legislation was sporadic and ineffective. Indeed, enforcement of the laws depended on the will of the governor in place and, to a lesser extent, the Procureur général.

The Act of 1857 The 1850s marked the beginning of the enactment of legislation aimed at regulating tutelle, and the emergence of Governor Louis Faidherbe as a major player in crafting French policy on issues relating to slavery and redemption in Senegal. The first such legislation came about after censuses revealed flaws in the administration of tutelle that negatively impacted liberated minors. Successive governors of Senegal grappled with the issue of guardianship; none pursued it with vigor long enough to bring about a resolution. During Louis Faidherbe’s first term as Governor of Senegal (1854–1861), tutelle received a higher profile than it did earlier on. In 1857, he endorsed a proposition by the Procureur gènéral, Frédéric Carrère, that recognized the practice of redemption from slavery (rachat), but not the abuses that accompanied it. How enslaved people (especially those coming from areas where the French had no sovereignty even if those areas adjoined French posts or were within the range of French canon) acquired redemption once on French soil became an issue. What would be the response of slaveowners to the loss of their slaves? Faidherbe viewed the Trarza Moors on the left bank of the upper Senegal River as adversarial and a hindrance to his objectives in this regard because they controlled African populations who were productive and economically viable,

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and who apparently viewed French sovereignty that could be attained within reach of French canon as preferential. He sought Carrère’s guidance on this matter and prepared a report at his request to remedy what Carrère considered to be a solution to a “serious problem” facing the governor. He took the position that the enslaved in Senegal had rights and were not destitute. In the Wolof kingdom of Kajoor, for example, he noted that a slave of the Damel (king) was the head of the army. This was indeed the case as the tyeddo (crown slaves) held important administrative posts and exerted considerable influence. For Carrère, tampering with slavery risked creating serious problems between slaves and slaveowners; rupturing relations between the French and African rulers; and endangering the realization of Faidherbe’s ultimate abolitionists goals. He drew a distinction between French citizens and French subjects and argued that enslaved people escaping to French territories need not be considered citizens: indeed, they could still be subjected to their own laws living as French subjects. In essence, the French had no obligations to them.1 This duplicitous rendering amounted to contradictions in French policy on slavery, but it did, according to Martin Klein, provide “the formula” Faidherbe needed.2 Indeed, the proposition, which became the legislative act of December 5, 1857, sort to finesse the issue of redemption while seeking to control abuses. The first of such legislation, it revealed Faidherbe’s stance on slavery in this instance. However, his position on slavery as a whole remained dubious. The importance of the 1857 legislation can hardly be overstated because it was path-breaking, comprehensive, and serious. It could have put tutelle on a sound footing had it been followed to the letter, but it was not. The first of the eight articles of the law is illustrative in this regard. “Slaves, ransomed and brought to Saint-Louis to be liberated,” it declared, “must be reported on the day of their arrival on the island and placed in the hands of the head of the judiciary.”3 If the ransomed slaves were older than eighteen years of age, they had to be granted outright freedom and left alone to exercise it. Those under 1

2

3

François Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal: l’attitude de l’administration française, 1848–1905 (Paris: Société française d’histoire d’outremer, 1972), pp. 84–86. Martin A. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 28. ANS K 27, Arrêté du 5 décembre 1857; ANS K 15, Le Procureur général M. le Gouverneur général, 20 décembre 1904.

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eighteen years of age, however, were to be placed under the jurisdiction of the president of the Conseil de tutelle, who was responsible for placing them in tutelle or in apprenticeships with people of his choice until they were reclaimed by their parents, if at all.4 Upon their arrival in Saint-Louis, the president of the Conseil de tutelle was required to draft and give each ransomed slave a certificat de liberté – a freedom certificate. In addition, he was to record in a register the names of the children; the date and place of their birth; the names and age of their parents; the date on which they were placed with a family; and the name of the person to whom they were confided. He was required to publish the names of ransomed minors and their guardians in the Le Moniteur du Sénégal once a month; submit a detailed report outlining the progress of his work to the administration every three months; and list minors in guardianship in alphabetical order every three months. At the end of each year, the president was also required to publish the names of all liberated slaves in alphabetical order. The head of the judiciary was charged with the execution of the law, which had to be duly registered and publicly proclaimed.5 The Act of 1857 was a means of freeing minors, at least from the status of slavery, but there appears to have been conflicting positions among administrators about what the best option for liberated minors should be. To be sure, an important consideration was the labor needs of the colony. In 1858, for example, Procureur général Carrère asked Governor Faidherbe to modify the 1857 legislation so that more liberated minors could be placed in apprenticeship as their numbers had diminished markedly that year. According to François Renault, the reason for the decline in the number of child redemptions was due to the fact that those who redeemed enslaved children were not certain that the state would grant them adoptive rights. In any case, Faidherbe’s concession resulted in the Act of June 21, 1858 which specified the conditions under which minors were to be placed in apprenticeships and outlined the obligations of guardians.6 To make 4

5

6

ANS K 11, Esclavage et Captivité, 1854–1880, 5 décembre 1857; Le Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances, 15 décembre 1857, pp. 2–5. ANS K 11, Esclavage et Captivité, 1854–1880, 5 décembre 1857; Le Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances, 15 décembre 1857, pp. 2–5. ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur-général, 20 décembre 1900; Georges Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale française: action politique, action économique, action sociale (Paris: Hachette, 1908), p. 453.

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rachats more attractive, Faidherbe agreed that African and European artisans of good moral character could become guardians of children younger than ten years of age who were redeemed from slavery as long as they were granted their liberty, fed, housed, given a salary, and released from their obligations when they reached eighteen years of age.7 There is no doubt that Carrère viewed the promotion of artisanship and trades as urgent for the future development of Senegal.8 So did Faidherbe. The evidence shows that some aspects of Faidherbe’s 1857 law were followed. In some issues of the Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, for example, there are lists of slaves freed in Saint-Louis who were dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the law. One such issue was that of November 8, 1859, which contains a list of twenty-nine people freed from slavery – ten adults and nineteen minors. The adults were left on their own, and the minors were placed in tutelle.9 Yet Faidherbe’s motives were unclear and his stand on slavery remained ambiguous. Along with Procureur général Carrère, he limited abolition to Saint-Louis and Gorée, and did not apply it to areas conquered by the French in which inhabitants were designated subjects of protectorates rather than citizens of France, a status that would have conferred freedom upon the enslaved who requested it.10 He also returned slaves who sought refuge in Saint-Louis to slaveowners from territories friendly to France.11 Such slaves were viewed as vagabonds and a threat to public order. As such, they were taken to the borders of adjoining kingdoms from whence they came and could then be seized by their owners. He freed those who fled from areas engaged in war with the French.12 It is also worth underlining that Faidherbe’s candidacy for the governorship was strongly supported by the merchants and traders of Saint-Louis and Gorée who derived great benefit from the 7 8 9 10

11

12

Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 25. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances, 13 Juillet 1858, p. 4. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 203. Article 7 of the Emancipation Act of April 27, 1848 decreed that slavery was illegal on French soil, which meant Saint-Louis, Gorée and a number of trading posts along the Senegal River. See Victor Schœlcher, L’esclavage au Sénégal en 1880 (Paris: Librarie centrale des publications populaires, 1880), pp. 8–9. A. Demougeot, “L’esclavage et l’émancipation des noirs au Sénégal,” Tropiques, no. 323 (July 1949), p. 17. Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 11.

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exploitation of child slave labor. Thus, it is possible that he acted in ways that accommodated their labor needs. Also, Faidherbe, like Boudin in 1848, was keen to maintain good relations with the rulers of neighboring kingdoms, primarily Kajoor, from which most of the enslaved seeking freedom in Saint-Louis came. That being the case, expediency triumphed over French law and resulted in fewer liberations than there might otherwise have been.

The Act of 1862 In later years, other acts followed which indicate that Faidherbe’s legislation of 1857 required further amendments. The Act of October 11, 1862, which officially abolished the conseils de tutelle, whose functions were henceforth to be executed by the Procureur général, was the most important. By this act, the Procureur général replaced the president of the Conseil de tutelle. The Act of 1862 made the Act of June 21, 1858 applicable to Gorée, and made certain requirements binding on areas outside of Saint-Louis. In these areas, a special register detailing the circumstances surrounding the liberation of minors was to be kept. In Gorée, a magistrate designated by the attorney general was responsible for its preparation and submission to the commandant de cercle – a French district head – who in turn was required to forward the register with his comments to the administration. Outside of Gorée, the commandants de cercle prepared the register.13 The last of the five Articles that comprised the 1862 law put the responsibility of publicizing, registering, and executing the new law on the Procureur général. In essence, the head of the judicial service had complete power to administer tutelle. The Act of 1862 gave the Procureur général exclusive control over guardianship, but it did not contravene the acts of 1857 and 1858. The Act of 1862 placed emphasis on control through detailed recordkeeping, but the evidence indicates that this was a major area of weakness in the years ahead. By the late 1860s, as we saw in Chapter 3, Governor Pinet-Laprade identified glaring weaknesses that made the transition from slavery to freedom needlessly difficult for 13

ANS K 27, Arrêté qui modifie plusieurs actes antérieurs relatifs aux conseils de tutelle des affranchis orphelins et rend applicable à Gorée celui du 21 Juin, 1858, Saint-Louis, 11 Octobre 1862.

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fugitive slaves. He also exposed serious shortcomings in the manner in which the head of the judicial service executed his duties. As for the administration of guardianship, the governor blamed Procureur général Bazot for failing to follow official instructions and keeping proper official records pertinent to guardianship. Worse, he indicted him on the grounds of indifference and willful negligence. Gone were the days of Procureur général Carrère who executed his duties conscientiously and efficiently, whether or not he believed in the mission. In 1868, the minister of Navy and Colonies in Paris sought PinetLaprade’s views about whether the Act of 1857 should be changed to allow more enslaved people to be freed on French soil more speedily.14 This suggests that there was an increased demand for liberation. Indeed, the period between the 1860s and the 1880s was one of active slave trading in areas where it was still legal. It was also a period that witnessed a significant movement of slaves from the French Soudan (now Mali) into the Upper Senegal River regions such as Matam from which they were eventually sold in the Peanut Basin, primarily in the Wolof kingdoms of Kajoor and Bawol where peanut production expanded exponentially thanks in large measure to slave labor. Many children from this trade network ended up in urban Senegal, principally Saint-Louis, where they were liberated and placed in tutelle. Also, data from the official Libérations registers show a fairly even pace from the mid-1860s to the mid-1880s, but the numbers pick up after that. Indeed, there were over 1,000 liberations in 1884 and 1887.15 The pick-up in liberations was also due to Prosper Darrigrand’s activist stance against slave trading in the 1870s; and Victor Schœlcher’s anti-slavery speech in the French Senate in 1880. Darrigrand, a lawyer and Procureur général in Senegal in 1875, relentlessly pursued a number of cases against prominent habitants in Saint-Louis who contravened the 1831 ban against slave trading, at times, against the will of the governors under whom he served. Undaunted, Darrigrand pressed on, determined that French citizens should obey the law, and that slaves brought into Saint-Louis had to be freed. Likewise, the French senator and abolitionist, Victor Schœlcher, expressed his dismay about the violation of French policy on slavery by 14

15

ANS K 11, Ministry of Navy and Colonies to Governor Pinet-Laprade, June 11, 1868. ANS, Libérations, April 10, 1883–June 30, 1884; July 1, 1884–June 24, 1887; June 25, 1887–December 1887.

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the French themselves in a speech before the senate in March 1880. He faced setbacks in his calls for enforcement of the laws but his persistence eventually paid off, though only to a degree. Indeed, by 1883, Governor René Servatius unequivocally came down in favor of strict adherence to and enforcement of the laws and made it more expedient for fugitive slaves to obtain freedom papers – a move which resulted in higher levels of emancipation. Even so, as Martin Klein contends, “the administration limited the effects of its anti-slavery policies.”16 These developments notwithstanding, we must proceed cautiously with regard to statistics on liberation, however. François Renault is correct in pointing out that the various lists of the liberated often vary widely. He notes that Carrère recorded 216 rachats of children, males and females from 1857 to 1862. But the state registers gave only ninety-eight for the same period.17 In sum, the 1862 law placed emphasis on gathering data and inscribing them in state registers, thus making them a crucial and indispensable source on slave redemption, but the reporting structure lacked centralization. Thus, only partial data ended up in the official registers and the result was confusion, lapses, and discrepancies. Ongoing and future analyses of liberated salves in Africa and globally will enhance our knowledge of the statistical picture. However crucial the statistics may be, the lives behind the statistics are the major objective of this study, and readers should keep this in mind. What is perplexing, even mystifying, in light of these developments is the absence of administrative reports and surveillance of tutelle from 1862 to 1903 – a period of four decades. This presents a substantial hurdle for the researcher to surmount, for the lacuna leaves the impression that the institution no longer existed. But it did because data drawn from the Libérations Registers show that enslaved people, both adults and minors, were redeemed from slavery during those years. As I indicated in Chapter 1, a significant number of liberated minors are spread throughout the registers although only two registers, covering the period 1892–1904, are solely dedicated to them. By going through the entries, one by one, I was able to construct a statistical table of the 16

17

Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 64. See also Trevor R. Getz, Slavery and Reform in West Africa: Toward Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century Senegal and the Gold Coast (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004), pp. 140–141. Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 26.

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volume of liberated minors from 1857 to 1905, keeping in mind that under-reporting and failure to report were likely throughout. Equally perturbing is the absence of legislation from the 1860s until the early twentieth century when revelations of administrative negligence and abuses in tutelle surfaced and led to greater scrutiny. We can project backward, but only so much. This means that much must be left to speculation based on the available evidence. To this end, the crisis that befell tutelle in the early years of the twentieth century provides a window into those lost years and is the subject of Chapter 6.

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5

Juvenile Labor, 1849–1905

The fragmented state of the data on guardianship highlighted in this study, and the absence of direct testimonies by liberated minors who became state wards, make the task of reconstructing the lives of these youngsters rather daunting, but no less so than that of piecing together the lives of many enslaved people who left behind little by way of written records that scholars can probe. But there are additional problems that complicate this effort to bring liberated minors whose lives were marked by uncertainty, upheaval, lack of stability, and drama on many fronts out of anonymity. One is timing. In the period 1900–1905, all of contemporary Senegal was under French sovereignty following wars of conquest in the nineteenth century, as opposed to 1848–1849 when French sovereignty was centered primarily on two islands – SaintLouis and Gorée. Tutelle expanded geographically and numerically between the 1860s and 1905 judging by data in the Libérations registers. Even so, the vast majority of the files on tutelle from 1900 to1905, upon which this chapter draws, deal with Saint-Louis and, to a lesser extent, Gorée. To be sure, these towns remained the epicenter of tutelle. Another issue of importance is slavery itself. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the importation of slaves into the urban areas was significant and redemptions of both adults and children frequent, as the Libérations registers show. Also, the movement to end slavery that the French spearheaded from the last decade of the century came to fruition in 1905 when they outlawed the alienation of a person’s labor, giving the enslaved, in areas where slavery was still legal, the right to leave their households. In addition, the state created institutions, including correctional facilities, an orphanage, and primary schools, all of which catered to liberated minors. The Catholic missions also played a part, because they too sought to reform and prepare minors for the future, whatever their shortcomings. All together, these developments must have had a significant impact on the lives of minors. 101

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Juvenile Labor, 1849–1905

By 1905, the data show that far too many minors disappeared from view after too brief a glimpse. Not all of them led miserable lives, although the case histories of these young people reveal considerable delinquency and misery, which sometimes led to incarceration in the Pènitentiaire de Thiès – a state penitentiary institution. As with people elsewhere who were deprived of full liberty, there must have been minors who prevailed over adversity. Some minors probably thrived in tutelle, especially those who obtained an education and those who acquired artisanal skills, which they could market once free of the encumbrances of wardship. To get at their perspective, the scholar must extrapolate from the accounts provided by their guardians and use other evidence as critically and inventively as possible. The relationship between minors and their guardians in households and other work settings was often characterized by discord, even violence, and provides glimpses into their social condition. In general, minors responded to their condition in ways that are reminiscent of the actions of enslaved peoples – flight being the most common. What their responses demonstrate is that agency on their part was not lacking. As with slavery, tutelle’s longevity was due to its labor component. And the capacities in which minors labored are indicative about the needs of colonial Senegal. Their attitude toward work varied and can be gauged from the manner in which they carried out their tasks, their general disposition, their dispensation, and their tendency to respond in an adversarial manner in the face of perceived unwarranted treatment by their guardians. Minors performed a wide variety of tasks, some of them gender-specific. Young girls did mostly household and domestic tasks; boys were not exempt from this line of work, but most became apprentices and learned artisanal crafts. During the first decade of the twentieth century, the colonial administration devised regulations to ensure that the wages male minors gained as apprentices were set aside for them until they reached the age of eighteen. This chapter will show that they were often robbed of their earnings, however. For the most part, the labor of both male and female minors was coerced and it is all but certain that this coercion lasted well beyond the official end of tutelle.

Apprenticeship Although there are no specific documents dealing with the work life of liberated minors who became state wards, the data show that they

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performed a multiplicity of occupational tasks that can be gauged, in part, by the occupations of their guardians, as we saw in Chapter 3. There was a wide range of occupations among guardians. Many of them were masters of artisanal crafts; others were housekeepers, washerwomen, cooks, merchants, professionals, bureaucrats, interpreters, Islamic religious leaders, soldiers, peasant farmers, and grain pounders. Those who specialized in and practiced artisanal crafts imparted their skills to the minors in their care. The situation was mixed with regard to other types of labor, however. The need for domestic labor in the urban centers where they were elites was great, but minors who performed domestic tasks may not have required extensive training. And such training may not necessarily have been provided by the mistresses of household, some of whom were merchants. Minors in the care of professionals would not have been expected to follow in their guardians’ footsteps. But wards of fishermen would likely fish, and wards of grain pounders would likely pound grain. Apprenticeships in the workshops of artisanal craftsmen were among the earliest tasks that liberated minors performed, and were a central component of the idea behind the creation of tutelle, as I noted in Chapter 3. However, the state assigned minors to other types of apprenticeships besides crafts. Similarly, in post-emancipation Mali where child fosterage expanded and permitted women to acquire additional labor, liberated minors were often confided to artisans or traders to apprentice, and were exploited by their guardians, according to Marie Rodet. Young liberated girls were given out to families of traders as servants, among others, and to religious institutions. Officially, “young girls of servile origin became ‘petite bonnes’ (young domestic servants), whose social condition did not change.1 The occupational categories of liberated children from the Kenyan coast who were freed in the 1850s by the British Royal Navy (which captured and relocated more than 20,000 Africans from aboard slaving vessels between 1807 and 1896), and subsequently turned them over to the Church Missionary Society in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, hence, “Bombay Africans” or “Bombays,” were similar. In Bombay, liberated boys were apprenticed in trades such as smiths, weavers, carpenters,

1

Marie Rodet, “Notes sur la captation de la main-d’œuvre enfantine dans la région de Kayes, Mali (1904–1955),” Journal des africanistes, nos. 81–82 (2011), p. 53.

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sailors, painters, and mechanics, whereas girls became cooks, seamstresses, and domestics.2 Children freed by the British from slave ships and resettled in Liberia became apprentices in households where they served for seven to fourteen years in return for food, clothing, housing, and instruction, which some of them rejected. Young boys and girls labored in Liberian fields and fetched firewood. Also, Protestant missionaries from the United States “sought custody of receptive children as ideally kinless and pliable population for ‘civilizing’ and Christian conversion.”3 Often mistreated and abused, child recaptives in Liberia, like children in tutelle in Senegal, moved from slavery to new forms of servitude through apprenticeships, and resorted to flight as a means of escaping bondage. In discussing the assignments of minors to apprenticeships in 1849, the guardianship council of Senegal stressed the urgency of filling the colony’s most needed trades. However, it considered domestic service “indispensable” and envisioned males who engaged in such service – cooks and laptots among them – to be future “trustworthy, right-hand men.” The apprenticeships to which minors were assigned were at the sole discretion of the council, which apparently took into consideration the disposition and leanings of the children. Young and vulnerable, most of the children could hardly have been expected to select future career choices. A sure indication that the council imposed apprenticeships as it saw fit is the fact that it ruled out apprenticeships in maraboutage (Muslim priesthood training), although a few minors were entrusted to marabouts (Muslim holy men) in the 1870s.4 The Conseil de tutelle moved swiftly to assign a significant number of youngsters, of free and slave status, to artisanal craftsmen and to other types of apprenticeships from 1849 onward. The council viewed apprenticeships as a means of filling labor needs while keeping minors off the streets and providing them with guardians who could serve as 2

3

4

Fred Morton, Children of Ham: Freed Slaves and Fugitive Slaves on the Kenyan Coast, 1873 to 1907 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990), pp. 54–55; Henry B. Lovejoy and Richard Anderson, “Liberated Africans and Early International Courts of Humanitarian Effort,” in Richard Anderson and Henry B. Lovejoy (eds.), Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1807–1896 (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2020), p. 11. Sharla M. Fett, “Fugitive Liberated Congoes: Receptive Youth and the Rejection of Liberian Apprenticeships, 1858–61,” in Anderson and Lovejoy, Liberated Africans, pp. 330–331. ANS M 3, April 13, 1849.

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mentors and provide them with a skill, and the colony with crafts. Thus, the economic benefits can hardly be missed because the labor minors provided in the workshops was important to the development of colonial Senegal, and the trades they acquired a guarantee of the longevity of craft skills. Mohamed Mbodj suggested something similar when he stated that With the abolition of the slave trade and then slavery itself, former masters used their control over access to artisanal skills to restrict apprenticeship to the children they had adopted. By placing these minors in apprenticeship in their workshops and enterprises, they guaranteed themselves a free supply of labor and at the same time controlled the market for future workers.5

Of the artisanal crafts, carpentry was the most popular, no doubt because household furnishings were (and still are to a great extent), locally made, not to mention the need for housing as economic activity expanded in the mid-nineteenth century. However, masons, blacksmiths, tailors, and seamstresses took wards as apprentices. Among the minors whom the council placed in apprenticeship in 1849 were the two sons of the late Lesse Boucher: twelve-year-old Haucerne, who turned to vagabondage and wandered the streets of Saint-Louis begging on behalf of marabouts, and ten-year-old Héricé. The council placed Haucerne with a master woodworker who also had another minor in training, one Mamadi Sangué. Héricé may have had a desire to follow in his brother’s footsteps for he wanted to be a woodworker. So the council placed him with master carpenters, one of whom was Charles Lesse.6 The names “Boucher” and “Lesse” are not typical Senegalese names, but these may well have been the last names of people of Eurafrican descent who were, according to David Robinson, “predominantly Catholic with European names.”7 If Boucher was European, his sons would no doubt have been by a Senegalese woman, making them mixed-race, because white children were not part of the system of wardship. Could Boucher and his sons have been métis? If they were wood-workers, it is likely that they were. 5

6 7

Mohamed Mbodj, “The Abolition of Slavery in Senegal, 1820–1890: Crisis or the Rise of a New Entrepreneurial Class?” in Martin A. Klein (ed.), Breaking the Chains: Slavery, Bondage, and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), p. 198. ANS M3, July 12, 1849. David Robinson, Chiefs and Clerics: Abdul Bokar Kan and Futa Toro, 1853–1891 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), p. 31.

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A decision that the council made in 1849 in order to rectify a dispute over remuneration for a minor in apprenticeship provides insights into the labor those apprentices performed. This case involved a claim by the master woodworker, Amadi Sangué, for twenty months of work by the minor, Alin Daté, whom Sangué trained for four years. In support of his claim, he presented a deed signed by Alin’s former owner, one Bécaria, which showed that he agreed to pay Sangué 300 French Francs in cash after the end of the four years of apprenticeship or two years of work by the youngster. The council decided to award Sangué the labor of Alin for twenty months, not the two years he claimed. It considered this award proper compensation, and no doubt felt that twenty-four months of the minor’s labor would have been excessive and overly exploitative, even though Sangué had to feed, clothe, and house the youngster during his apprenticeship.8 It is worth noting that it was Sangué who received the award, not the minor who gave four years of his labor. As we shall see, the earnings of minors during their apprenticeships accrued to those with whom they apprenticed. Clearly, the master had control over the youth who underwent training. In the overwhelming number of cases, however, guardians were obliged to feed, clothe, and house apprentices. In this respect, the council’s award was not out of line. In a sitting of July 6, 1849, the council confided Ousmane, a fourteen-year-old liberated male, to Monsieur Monlezun, who would make him an apprentice tailor.9 A decade later, Monsieur Gaillard, a tailor and merchant in Saint-Louis, took on a seven-year-old free orphan from Futa Toro, Baïdy, as an apprentice.10 A decade after abolition, the Conseil de tutelle was still actively engaged in assigning trade-based apprenticeships using the terms of Faidherbe’s 1857 legislation. Buoyed by Governor Faidherbe’s legislation of June 21, 1858, which was enacted to increase the number of apprentices, the council could move more aggressively in support of the administration’s initiatives. In September 1859, it assigned several minors to accomplished craftsmen. One of them was Bakari, a minor who was formerly confided to Monsieur Marc Maurel. The youth was now to become an apprentice with the professional mason, Samba Marianne. His age was not given, but the fact that the council set his 8 10

9 ANS M 3 – Séance du 6 juillet, 1849. ANS M 3 – Séance du 6 juillet, 1849. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et Dépendances, November 8, 1859, p. 204.

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apprenticeship at four years suggests that he may have been about fourteen years of age in 1859. In such a case, his apprenticeship would end in 1863 when he turned eighteen. Under the terms of the agreement, Marianne had to feed, clothe, and house his charge while teaching him the craft of masonry. In addition, whatever salary the apprentice gained during his apprenticeship accrued to his guardian. At the end of the four-year period, the apprentice was free to go, irrespective of his level of instruction.11 These obligations were standard and applied to all such cases. No details are given about the salaries that minors gained during their apprenticeships or the conditions under which they labored. If apprentices had free time, they often had the right to sell what they produced depending on their craft, but this was over and beyond work they did for the master craftsmen. The council assigned Dama, a minor freed from slavery in SaintLouis and placed in tutelle the very day – September 14, 1859 to an apprenticeship with the master blacksmith, Tressol, for a period of four years. This suggests that Dama, like Bakari, was about fourteen years old. Tressol signaled his agreement to the terms and conditions of the apprenticeship by signing the required document in the presence of members of the council and witnesses. The following day, the council confided the minor, Saga, fifteen, to the master woodworker, Mikane of Saint-Louis.12 It set the term of apprenticeship at four years, which means that Saga would be nineteen years old before he could be released to go on his own. Did the council believe that it took four years to master the craft of a blacksmith? This may have been so. Or was the length of stay a way of enticing master craftsmen to take on apprentices? Indeed, in September 1859, a four-year apprenticeship was also imposed on the fourteen-year-old minor, Yoro from Bambuk, with the master house painter, Chimère. According to a marginal note in the records, however, the youth’s conduct was deemed unbecoming and he was left to his own devices in 1861 when he would have been sixteen years of age.13 There were cases where the council confided young children to guardians with the expectation that they would become apprentices. On September 20, 1859, for example, it awarded guardianship of two children of free status – the seven-year-old male, Makmoudou, and the 11 13

ANS M 3, September 1, 1859. ANS M 3, September 21, 1859.

12

ANS M 3, September 15, 1859.

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four-year-old female, Binta – to Kally, of Saint-Louis, who was charged with looking after them and ensuring that they acquired a trade. The council made the decision after confirming that the children’s father, Nalla, had confided them to Kally in Matam, but died shortly after doing so.14 An 1859 issue of the Le Moniteur du Sénégal contains a list of minors placed in apprenticeships that year and demonstrates the importance that the colonial administration placed on this method of acquiring labor. On October 3, the council assigned the orphan minor Martoup, fourteen years old, who placed himself in tutelle on his own accord, to Yacoub-Penda, a woodworker in Saint-Louis. The obligations of both parties were very clear: Yacoub-Penda had to feed, clothe, and lodge Martoup, and teach him his trade; Martoup had to remain with his guardian for a period of four years during which all proceeds of his labor accrued to his guardian. At age eighteen, Martoup was free to leave, irrespective of his level of knowledge of woodworking.15 The following day, the council granted Monsieur Balthasar, a master mason in Saint-Louis, the right to have ten-year-old Samba, an orphan male of free origin from Futa Toro, as an apprentice. Other minors of free status in Saint-Louis were confided to carpenters for apprenticeships. They include six-year-old orphan Demba-Aly who went to André Tchoye; twelve-year-old Hamet-Boubacar from Dgioum in Futo Toro, whose parents could not be found, went to Masaër-Sar; and six-year-old orphan Samba-Aliou from Déndori in Damga, who went to Moussé-Toupe.16 Gaps in the data notwithstanding, it is safe to say that the apprenticeship system continued for as long as tutelle lasted, that is, until 1905. The Libérations registers provide the best evidence of this assertion because all of them contain lists of children among mostly adults. Fatoumata Cisse, who has drawn heavily upon these registers in her study of historical sources on slavery in Senegal, cites several examples of minors confided to tutelle from the 1860s. One such example is that of two enslaved brothers, Bidjié, eleven years old, and Bilal, seven years old, who were freed three months after their arrival in Saint-Louis and confided on March 11, 1860 to Monsieur Moreau – a master tailor – 14 15 16

ANS M 3, September 20, 1859. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances, 8 novembre 1859, p. 204. Le Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances, 8 novembre 1559, p. 204.

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to learn the trade. On July 8, 1866, Bidjié left Moreau’s household. Cisse concludes that he had reached the age of majority, but if he were indeed eleven years old when he began his apprenticeship, he would be seventeen years old, not eighteen, in 1866. It is possible that his apprenticeship was limited to six years, or that he was older than eleven years when it began. Regardless, Bidjié must have been confident enough about his ability to make it on his own while leaving his brother behind.17 Children, both formerly enslaved and free orphans (some of whom may well have been enslaved at one point or other) became apprentices in 1860s. On October 9, 1860, fourteen-year-old Solimanfi, a free orphan born in Medine and abandoned, was confided to Samba Roti – a carpenter in Saint-Louis. His term of apprenticeship was set at four years during which Roti agreed to teach him the trade and feed, house, clothe, and nourish him at his expense.18 That same year, Monsieur Moceau, a tailor, agreed to the same terms when, on June 2, a male orphan born in Bundu was confided to him to apprentice for four years. His age was not given. On April 1, 1863, fifteen-year-old Diadie, who had been in Saint-Louis since 1860, was confided to Pierre Tesiche who agreed to be his guardian whom he would teach how to cook.19 And on November, 18, 1869, the eleven-year-old orphan, Fara Diao, became the ward of Aly Diouf, a carpenter with a stipulation that he send the child to school.20 There were instances where guardians of apprentices returned them to the administration when the youngsters displayed a lack of interest in apprenticeship. One such case is that of a fifteen-year old free male, Yargou, who was placed with the master mason, Amadé Coumba. Yargou promised to obey his patron, and the latter agreed to teach him the trade, feed and take care of him including in case of illness. This was in 1868. In 1869, his guardian returned him to the administration, after accusing him of dereliction of duty and turning to vagabondage 17

18

19 20

Fatoumata Cisse, “Les Sources de l’histoire de l’esclavage conservées aux Archives Nationales du Sénégal, 1848–1904,” thèse, Ecole des bibliothécaires archivistes et documentalistes de l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop, 1999–2000, p. 70. ANS M 3, Saint-Louis, April 20, 1849 (Registre destiné à inscrire des Délibérations) – Procès verbaux des séances et transactions du conseil de tutelle des enfants mâles, mineur et sans parents (April 20, 1849–December 31, 1874. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. ANS M 3, November 18, 1869.

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to boot. In his defense, Yargou claimed that he lacked the aptitude to learn masonry; it was not his calling. Although his patron treated him well, he stated, he would much rather become a Tirailleur.21 Being a soldier was clearly more attractive to Yargou, and his actions demonstrate that liberated youth exercised agency. The data do not indicate whether the council granted him his wishes. At the age of fifteen, he was still a minor and subject to the laws governing guardianship. In this and other such cases, the usual course of action was to assign the minor to another guardian. The experience of other minors, similarly inclined, offers insights into how young liberated males may have weighed their options as prospective colonial soldiers as opposed to remaining as state wards. It may well be that being a Tirailleur was seen as a way out, and it appears that there was little opposition from the colonial administration to increasing the number of Black soldiers. An entry in the Libérations register of August 2, 1883 shows that fifteen-year-old Séré Biry, a male, was confided to Birahim Faye, a carpenter in SaintLouis. However, an August 21 entry reveals that the youngster joined the Tirailleurs after Faye returned him to the administration.22 Yet another youth, Moussa Kamara, thirteen years old, of unknown parents who was entrusted to one, Croux, head of the railway station at N’Dande, on February 2, 1895, and later, to another, Amadou Soulé, a police officer on October 1, 1896, yearned to become a Tirailleur. On June 27, 1898, when Moussa would have been about sixteen years old, Soulé appeared before the authorities in person to inform them that Moussa joined the Tirailleurs without his consent.23 Other free youngsters may not have been in a position to exercise the agency in a manner that Yargou, Séré Biry, and Mousa Kamara did. During the 1860s a number of free people from Kajoor, Bawol, and other Wolof kingdoms were reduced to captivity due to drought and famine on the one hand, and warfare between the French and Kajoor on the other. There were children among them who ended up in tutelle in Saint-Louis. One was ten-year-old Samba who, in 1864, was sold separately from his mother in Walo. In Saint-Louis, he was confided to Monsieur Tiékoro. An entry of June 1864 in the same Libérations 21 22 23

ANS M 3, July 24, 1868. ANS, Libérations, April 10, 1883–June 30, 1884. ANS, Libérations, June 4, 1892–September 27, 1897.

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register lists nine-year-old Diémé Diouf of free origin, who, along with his mother, was sold into slavery due to drought. They may have been from Kajoor, for she was later sold in Gandiole, an area near SaintLouis. As for Diémé, he was confided to Madame Gaudinat, who rejected him, so he ended up with Madame Girodot.24 During the 1870s, the Libérations registers show that several children were confided to wives of traders from Saint-Louis. They may well have been put to work for their husbands. At the same time, a number of liberated minors were placed in apprenticeships. Among them were fifteen-year-old Guirane N’Diaye, born in Saalum, who, in 1873, was confided to his uncle Guery N’Diaye, a bricklayer with the police force in Gorée. So was thirteen-year-old Ndji Dambélé, who was confided to a fisherman in Guet Ndar.25 In the 1880s and 1890s, the state confided children to individuals and institutions, including Catholic missions, though not always to serve as apprentices. It is worth remembering that the majority of liberated minors were female, who, due to their sex, were not considered for the same occupations as males for the most part and were excluded from apprenticeships, but not from work. Of the 521 liberated in 1885, for example, 221 were males and 300 were females.26 Similarly, one of the registers for the period January 1, 1889 to April 30, 1892 listed 139 males and 297 females for a total of 436. Another, covering the same period, listed 153 males and 409 females for a total of 562.27 Overall, the placement system remained in place and involved many free orphans and adolescents. We get the date of liberation, the age of minors, the name and age of their parents, the address and profession of the declarant, as well as his or her signature in some of the registers. The register for 1897 lists the liberated children alphabetically. Most, but not all, had last names, and the vast majority were clearly female judging by their names. Of the eleven names under the “C” category, six of the liberated were named Penda – common in present-day Senegal. In the “P” category, the two liberated minors listed there were named Penda. By and large, the following female names featured prominently: Awa, Aminata, Amata, Adawa, Assita, Coumba, Fatima, Fatou, Koura, Louise, and 24 25 26 27

ANS, ANS, ANS, ANS,

Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. Libérations, July 1, 1884–June 24, 1887. Libérations, January 1, 1889–April 30, 1892.

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Penda. Among the males, the names Mamadou, Mamady, Moussa, and Samba were the most popular.28 Those to whom they were confided included peasant cultivators. In 1898, there were 201 minors in the register, most of them females, given the use of the French words “née chez” (born among) to indicate the place of birth. The geographic locations of their origins give us an indication of their status and how they may have ended up in urban Senegal. For the most part, the place of birth is listed as the Soudan (now Mali), and their ethnicity, Bambara. But others came from Jolof, Kajoor Médine, Kong (now Burkina-Faso), Gabon, Saloum, Bakel, and Fouta Jallon. In most cases, administrators were the declarant. They included administrators in Kaolack, Dakar, and Dagana, and the head of the judicial service in Saint-Louis. As declarants did not necessarily become wards, the administrations distributed the children to a variety of individuals in various parts of Senegal. This pattern of distribution continued into the twentieth century. Indeed, the colonial administration continued to confide children to individuals and institutions in many parts of Senegal. In addition to Saint-Louis, Bakel, Dagana, Dakar, Louga, Saloum, Sor, Ndar Toute, and Guet Ndar were regions in which liberated children became state wards. On September 1, 1902, for example, the administrator of Bakel confided several minors to people there. Among them was sixteenyear-old Kanta Sayo, a female, who went to Faïn Cissé; twelve-yearold Beydari Surr, a male, who went to Goudia Bachyli; and fifteenyear-old Mada Diara, a male, who became the ward of N’Bar, a baker at the French post in Bakel.29 Because the distribution of the children was at the discretion of administrators, we cannot be certain that they always acted in the best interest of the children. The children were at the mercy of their guardians and subject to abuse of one sort or other. However, they exercised agency throughout the life of guardianship, as we shall see.

Hiring out Minors One of the most common abuses in tutelle was that of hiring out minors without informing French authorities – a process by which 28 29

ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904. ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904.

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guardians exploited child labor. They were sent to work in ports along the Senegal River and hired out as apprentices. Thus, Governor Guy was correct in asserting that, for the habitants of Senegal, tutelle became a costless and lucrative means of acquiring domestics and apprentices and, for some, a form of currency.30 This indicates that habitants in urban Senegal resold liberated minors for cash. Indeed, the Procureur général compared minors in tutelle to a piece of furniture, or an animal, that is, treated as slaves, and he questioned whether their mobility was not a disguised form of the slave trade.31 This mobility often made it difficult for the administration to trace minors. Often, families claimed that minors were on assignment or that they had been returned to the judiciary, but the Procureur général could find no record of the transactions.32 This type of abuse must have been facilitated by the fact that some guardians had several minors in tutelle, which suggests that minors were probably held as potential sources of labor. Rufisque census data compiled by its police commissioner, show that Aly Gaye, a merchant, had several minors in his charge. One was Borsa Gaye, who, in 1906, had been in Gaye’s household since 1889. Borsa Gaye was considered to be of good conduct but neither spoke nor understood French. As a domestic in Gaye’s household for seventeen years, the youngster’s horizons were clearly limited and hampered by a lack of schooling. This may explain why Governor Guy sought to clamp down on this practice by allowing no more than two minors per guardian.33 More minors made for greater mobility and, the greater the mobility, the better the chances of maximizing profits. To be sure, most minors had to turn over most of their earnings to guardians, even when they passed the age of eighteen. Governor Guy gave the example of a Saint-Louis carpenter who forced a minor confided to him to turn over seventy-five percent of his earnings and took another to court for refusing to remit 850 French Francs.34 30

31

32

33

34

ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, May 4, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, December 20, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, May 4, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Président du tribunal de Dakar. This report is undated, but there is a high probability, given the chronology of events, that it was written in the second half of 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, May 4, 1904.

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Juvenile Labor, 1849–1905

Remuneration for Minors in Apprenticeship Liberated minors engaged in apprenticeships and household labor were not considered to be wage earners. As far as French authorities were concerned, acquisition of a trade was a hedge against the future. And guardians considered food, lodging, and the provision of other necessities sufficient compensation for minors.35 There are indications, however, that some minors received remuneration, albeit small, for their services. In March 1864, for example, fifteen-year-old Fatimata Kan – a former slave in Dagana of unknown parents – was working in the household of Madame Leyangard in Saint-Louis. Meanwhile, she was confided to Madame Barbefeuil who was expected to pay her three French Francs per day for the month of May.36 While some minors received remuneration, however meager, others had to compensate their guardians. One such case was that of the fifteen-year-old orphan male, Abdoulaye Ndiay, who became an apprentice mason with one, Mouton, in 1850. Abdoulaye was required to live with Mouton, who agreed to house and feed him until he became a second-class mason, at which point he would pay Mouton 200 French Francs in cash or in labor. Both parties agreed to the transaction in the presence of Abdoulaye’s uncle.37 The work that Abdoulaye performed during years of apprenticeship with Mouton should have been sufficient compensation. Since he was not paid during this time, it is unlikely that he would have had the cash to pay Mouton at the end. His only alternative would have been to work off the debt, and this may have meant staying in tutelle after he turned eighteen years old. Such was the exploitative nature of guardianship. A similar case is that of the twelve-year-old orphan male, Alamesé, who became an apprentice carpenter with Mamadé Sangué, who agreed to be his guardian for five years during which the youth would acquire mastery of the trade. This was in 1851. At seventeen years old, Alamesé’s apprenticeship would come to an end. But he would then be required to work for Sangué for two years to repay his apprenticeship, after which he was free to “work wherever he pleased.”38

35 36 37

ANS 1F1, Saint-Louis, August 24, 1906. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. 38 ANS M 3, October 22, 1850. ANS M 3, May 20, 1851.

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The weak financial position of minors became more of an issue in the first years of the twentieth century. In 1904, the administration adopted measures to create bank accounts for minors into which their guardians were expected to deposit funds for as long as they remained apprentices. This was a time when the Secretaire général (Secretary General) was the official guardian of minors in tutelle. Under his direction, the Commission de protection et de surveillance des mineurs affranchise (Commission for the protection and surveillance of liberated minors) produced a lengthy report at its meeting on December 10, 1904. The president of the commission outlined three principal tasks: the creation of a census of liberated minors; surveillance of minors; and finding ways to improve their condition. The bank issue would have been seen as part of the third task. The commission agreed to have Monsieur Augrain – a member – take charge of opening the accounts. Once each account reached a certain level, and upon the advice of the commission, Augrain would be authorized to take the money to France and deposit it there. And there it would remain until a minor reached the age of majority – eighteen years. Some members of the commission objected to the plan on the grounds that the funds were nothing much to speak of, and that contribution to the bank accounts by guardians should be voluntary. At eighteen years of age, thy argued, minors will have completed their apprenticeships and would be in a position to command a high salary which they would be able to save and use without the control of the commission.39 Governor Camille Guy of Senegal was concerned about the exploitation and maltreatment of minors by guardians. In May 1904, he expressed his dismay about such abuse and highlighted cases of guardians who robbed apprentices of their earnings, even when they were no longer officially in tutelle. One such case was that of a guardian in Saint-Louis who, in 1904, demanded seventy-five percent of the wages of the minor in his charge. Another went to court when the minor who was confided to him (but no longer under his roof ) refused to turn over 850 French Francs out of the 1,500 French Francs that he saved while working in the Congo in Central Africa.40 Minors doing domestic labor would not normally accumulate cash, unless they were hired 39 40

ANS 1F 1, December 10, 1904. ANS K 23, Governor of Senegal to Governor-General of French West Africa, May (date illegible), 1904.

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out, in which case they probably faced the same hindrances as apprentices.

Domestic Labor Domestic labor was widely used in urban Senegal as we have indicated, and liberated minors, mostly females, served as domestics in African and European households from 1848 to the first decade of the twentieth century and beyond. This form of labor involved household chores such as cooking, washing, sewing, and ironing, but also grain pounding and baking. In a number of instances, archival records list female minors as doing “travaux ordinaire des négresses du pays,” meaning any kind of housework that black women in Senegal did. In 1857, eight-year-old Liseseta performed domestic labor for Charlotte Mercure, known as Pellegrin, a washerwoman in Saint-Louis. The twelve-year-old orphan, Lira, did the same for Catherine Léribgar. In this case, Léribgar’s husband, Jean Pierre Audebert, was the declarant and was granted the status of guardian, which was not always the case. Sophie, also known as Sojna, a six-year-old female minor born in Bakel, fell into the same category as Liseseta for she had to wash, iron, and sew for Cathi Marquis. Also, it was Paul Louis Beynis who was the declarant, and Marquis the guardian. As in the majority of cases, the relationship between the declarant and the minor was not stated. A last example should suffice. Ten-year-old Maramm Tiané from Boundou performed general domestic work for Demba Taliba. In this case, Yamar Guey, a trader, was the declarant. In June 1861, the minor was placed in the home of Kathy Marin Aly. However, a note in the Libérations register indicated that the minor was liberated and that she was convicted for theft.41 These are cases where men were the declarants and the girls were confided to the women, presumably their wives, which meant that they lived and worked in the men’s households. In 1849, the Guardianship Council gave out the fourteen-year-old orphan female, Niakalé, to Madame Aumont to use as a domestic and provide care.42 No other details were given, but the designation “Madame” may indicate that Aumont was either French or mixedrace. The council also confided the sixteen-year-old female minor, 41 42

ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. ANS M 3, July 12, 1849.

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Fanbaï (Fambey) to the woman Counababa, who agreed to raise her properly and look after her while teaching her how to wash, iron, and sew.43 In a sitting of July 12, however, the council revealed that the minor had run away from her guardian with the intention of taking refuge with Yacine Paté from the North. Paté assured the council that she was aware of the regulations regarding apprenticeship and possessed the requisite skills to teach the minor well.44 The number of complaints by guardians about minors doing domestic work illustrates how minors may have viewed their condition. In 1849, Monsieur Héricé, president of the guardianship council, brought to the attention of the members a complaint registered by Madame Tailhardat Fayette against her domestic, Karialla, whom she claimed tended to be violent. She accused Karialla of striking her and of being insubordinate. The council drew upon evidence from Monsieur Tailhardat and several witnesses, as well as the declaration of Karialla herself, but gave no indication how or under what circumstances it was obtained. It ruled that the minor be sentenced to two days in prison as a correctional measure at the expense of her mistress who was obliged to take her back. The judgment was immediately executed.45 It would have been interesting to know what Karialla’s defense was, but the data give no indication. Why the council would send her back to her guardian is puzzling. And if she were truly violent, would two days in a penitentiary reform her? A similar complaint of insolence came from Madame La France, who wrote to the Secretaire général in August 1906 to inform him that her domestic, Cécile, who was confided to her by the administration, had displayed “extreme insolence.” La France claimed that the minor refused to obey her orders when asked to perform tasks. Exasperated, she asked the permission of the Secretaire général to send back the minor to the administration, as it was clear that Cécile no longer wished to remain with her.46 The story was more complex, however. An investigation by the police commissioner of Saint-Louis revealed that Madame La France had raised the young woman, now fifteen, and had been pleased with her service all along. At the beginning of August 1906, however, Monsieur La France “graciously” put Cécile at the 43 45 46

44 ANS M 3, July 6, 1849. ANS M 3, July 12, 1849. ANS M 3, October 23, 1849. ANS 1F 1, Madame La France to Monsieur le Secretaire général, August 20, 1906.

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disposition of Monsieur Rouméyaux and his wife who had moved away from their home temporarily to a site where Monsieur Rouméyaux was supervising a project. At the end of the project, the young woman was sent back to Madame La France, but ran back to the Rouméyaux, which caused the Police Commissioner to ask whether they had influenced her during the short period she had been with them. She repeated this pattern.47 It appears that these were the circumstances under which Madame La France gave up Cécile and Madame Rouméyaux became her guardian with the permission of the Secretaire général. The young woman’s relations with her new guardian were just as turbulent, however, for Madame Rouméyaux wanted to rid herself of her charge after just two weeks. In August, she wrote to the Secretaire général to complain about Cécile’s unwillingness to work. Characterizing her actions as “vicious,” Rouméyaux explained that she sent Cécile, along with her cook, to do errands, and that, in spite of precautions, the young woman absconded.48 The Police Commissioner then wrote to the Secretaire général to say that Madame Rouméyaux no longer wanted to keep the minor and asked for direction on the matter.49 Other correspondence indicates that, on August 29, the youngster was put under observation at the Civil Hospital. In September, she was taken from the hospital and put in the household of her new guardian, Madame Gaillard, the wife of a merchant in Saint-Louis.50 This relationship was short-lived for Gaillard did not keep her long “due to bad reports about her.”51 In the end, the Secretaire général requested that she be taken to a workshop in Ndar Toute – a suburb of Saint-Louis.52 Upon instruction from the Procureur général in May 1906, the Secretaire général asked the Police Commissioner of Saint-Louis to launch an investigation into why the liberated female minor, Awa Marie, better known as Awa Diop, did not wish to remain in the household of Charles Pelleguin – a major métis family. The minor 47

48

49 50

51 52

ANS 1F 1, Commissaire de Police à Monsieur le Secretaire général, St. Louis, September 1, 1906. ANS 1F 1, Madame Rouméyaux à Monsieur le Secretaire général, St. Louis, August 24, 1906. ANS 1F 1, St. Louis, August 28, 1906. ANS 1F 1, St. Louis, September 9, 1906; ANS 1F1, St. Louis, September 11, 1906. ANS 1F 1, September 12, 1906. ANS 1F 1, September 1906 (no day given).

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apparently gave no reasons. However, the investigation, which can be used to illuminate the relations between the minor and her guardian, revealed that she was confided to Madame Pelleguin who claimed that she was well treated by the family; and that she had suffered no illtreatment. They further charged that the minor had a penchant to steal. She is alleged to have stolen a blouse and shirt from Madame Pelleguin’s daughter, and a silver neck chain from Nancy, the cook, with the intention of selling or giving them away. Caught in the act, she is said to have confessed to the acts of theft. The investigation also revealed that, in April 2006, she was sent to purchase a box of gloves from Monsieur Léopold Martin but bought instead a silk handkerchief for which Madame Pelleguin had to pay. Knives and forks went missing from the Pelleguin household and the assumption that Diop stole them goes without saying. The report is somewhat contradictory for it indicates that the youth disappeared from the household, but also that the Pelleguins returned her to the administration because of her alleged misdemeanors.53 What seems clear is that neither the minor nor her guardians wanted to maintain a relationship. Rarely did the administration rule in favor of minors. This makes the case of Vielé Diara, a liberated minor who was confided to the household of Madame Vigier of Saint-Louis, somewhat unique. In October 1906, the Secretaire général wrote to the police commissioner of SaintLouis to say that Vigier should be asked to return Diara’s belongings, which constituted the salary of the minor for eight years of domestic service. It seems clear that there was a dispute between the two parties and that the minor had left her guardian’s household empty-handed. The matter was quickly resolved, however, for Madame Vigier readily complied.54 Flight by female domestics from households to which they were confided appears to have been a common occurrence. One such case was that of the female minor, Awa Diara, who fled from Charles Patterson’s household in Saint-Louis. In May 1905, Patterson informed the authorities that she did so in order to pursue a Tirailleur Sénégalais serving at Ndar Toute. The Secretaire général took Patterson’s complaint seriously because he told the police 53 54

ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général au Commissaire de Police, St. Louis, 2 mai, 1906. ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général au Commissaire de Police, St-Louis, 27 octobre 1906.

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commissioner of his intention to ask Monsieur Cazegnare to conduct a search for Diara, who, if found, should be brought to his office.55 The act that Diara was accused of committing is not unusual for young people in any society. But, if she was guilty, it may indicate that her relations with her guardian were not cordial. On the other hand, her relations with the tirailleur were perhaps even more cordial. The relations between the female minor, Sokna Trawalé, thirteen years old, and Madame Gaillard, a merchant in Saint-Louis to whom she was confided, could not have been cordial. In February 1906, Trawalé lodged a complaint with the police commissioner of SaintLouis against Monsieur Gaillard, whom she claimed kicked her and beat her. Gaillard in turn complained that the minor mocked him and laughed in his face repeatedly after comments were made about her work. To this insolence, he responded with “a few blows.” The police commissioner noted that the minor showed no signs of brutality or mal-treatment, however. So, upon Monsieur Gaillard’s complaint, the authorities imprisoned her for four days as a disciplinary measure.56

Sundry Occupations Females were not the only disgruntled wards, and artisanal crafts and housework not the sole occupations in which liberated minors engaged. Indeed, Assane Seck, son of Moumar Seck, worked at a bakery owned by Abdoulaye Seck, a bureaucrat, who unofficially became his guardian, apparently out of charity. After about twenty days, Seck deemed that the youngster was up to no good and confided him to one, Abibon – a master baker at the establishment Barthès et Guinard in Saint-Louis – thus side-stepping administrative regulations under which Seck should first have been returned directly to the authorities. In any case, the young Seck spent seven-to-eight months at the bakery, left for Kayes in Mali, and returned after a three-month stay. After Monsieur Mazières – a representative of the owner of the bakery – discovered that the young Seck was stealing bread at night, he threw him out. The police commissioner told the Secretaire général that, due to Seck’s tendency to steal, no-one wanted to become his 55 56

ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général au Commissaire de Police, St-Louis 30 mai 1905. ANS 1F 1, Commissaire de Police au Secrétaire général, St. Louis, 22 février 1906.

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guardian, so he was left homeless with no means of existence. Seck claimed that he had an aunt, Coumba Seck, in NDiarène in Thiès, but the commissioner sought direction about what measures to take in this case.57 Although we lack first-person narratives, Seck’s case raises questions about deprivation, specifically whether liberated minors in guardianship usually had enough to eat. Paola Porcelli’s field work on child fosterage in Mali between 2005 and 2007 showed that children faced adversities which they overcame by employing multiple strategies. Battered and mistreated, Yakobu, a thirteen-year-old male, recounted how he worked hard in the field when not in school; often went to school without eating; and did not get enough to eat. Much to the dismay of his biological father, he eventually challenged his tutor and returned home.58 Thus, Yakobu had the choice of leaving his guardian; Seck did not. In the mid-nineteenth century, liberated youngsters of both sexes who “labored in Liberian fields and households even as they continued to experience health problems from their previous imprisonment in slave ships and barracoons,” likely fared no better.59 Grain pounding – a necessary occupation among Senegalese women in Saint-Louis – was a domestic activity that minors confided to pounders must have done, among other domestic chores. In 1901, liberated minors were confided to several women in Saint-Louis who were grain pounders.60 A 1906 census of liberated minors done by the police commissioner of Rufisque contains references to the profession of guardians as pounders. One of them was Gana Diop, who was the guardian of fifteen-year-old Kadiata Bâ, who could neither speak nor understand French. Another was Yande Sene, widow of Suleyman Bâ, who was the guardian of eight-year-old Maimouna Bâ, who had to do the washing.61 Wards of pounders were almost exclusively female though. In 1898, however, Moul Barka, a four-year-old male born 57

58

59 60 61

ANS 1F 1, Commissaire de Police à Monsieur le Secrétaire général, St. Louis, 27 octobre 1904. Paola Porcelli, “I will Never Become a Crocodile but I am Happy if I Eat Enough: A psychological Analysis of Child Fosterage & Resilience in Elodie Razy and Marie Rodet (eds.), Children on the Move in Africa: Past and Present Experiences of Migration (Woodbridge: James Curry, 2016), p. 97. Fett, “Fugitive Liberated Congoes,” p. 333. ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904. ANS 1F 1, Surveillance et protection des enfants mineurs, 1848–1906, Rufisque, March 15, 1906.

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among the Moors, whose parents could not be found, was confided to Ayeta, a pounder in Tivaouane.62 The foregoing examples show that minors in trade-based apprenticeships acquired the profession of their guardians. This was likely the case in other instances also. So it was likely that the thirteen-year-old male, Ndji, who was confided to a fisherman from the fishing village Guet Ndar near Saint-Louis in 1874, would follow in his guardians’ footsteps.63

Agricultural Labor and Religious Missions Farming was the lot of some minors because cultivation was among the occupation of some guardians. In 1872, for example, Biram Sierre, a peasant farmer in Rufisque, redeemed Maïssa Niang, a thirteen-yearold female born in Kajoor. Likewise, Binta Diop, a gardener in Bouteville in 1872, was the guardian of Coura Diop, a nine-year-old female born in Gandiole near Saint-Louis.64 It is conceivable that these minors performed multiple tasks, for, by virtue of her sex, it would be unusual if Coura Diop escaped housework. Minors who became wards of religious congregations received an education but also performed agricultural labor. Such was the case at the Mission de St. Joseph in Saint-Louis which the Sisters of St. Joseph de Cluny established when they arrived in Saint-Louis in March 1819 and took in wards as early as the 1850s. In 1858, two-year-old Oumar Krairi was confided to Mother Superior Léonice of the mission. So was six-year-old Tako Sô, a former slave among the Bambara of Mali and sold in Bakel to a woman, Dié, who took her to the declarant, Samba Bambara. This is how Mother Superior Léonice became her guardian.65 One might well ask why the mission would take in such young children. The major objective of the missions was saving souls while offering education and promoting French civilization, which explains why they often bought child slaves and raised them as Christians. In parts of French West Africa, the missions “often bought children who were near death and tried to nurse them back to health.”66 62 63 64 65 66

ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. ANS, Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874. Martin Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 116.

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Wards of the mission received religious teachings and educational instruction in French under strict disciplinary conditions. But they also had to perform agricultural and other labor tasks to enable them “to earn an honest living.” Upon leaving the mission, the religious authorities helped minors to secure jobs within Senegal, including administrative positions, in the belief that this was a means of advancing the French civilizing mission and the Catholic Church.67 The work that minors performed at the missions was apparently not lucrative but considered part of their education. In 1888, the vicar apostolic wrote to all the missions in Senegambia about the minors in their care. He complained that the work the children did was not sufficient to offset the cost of accommodating them at the missions. In his view, not all minors should be kept, especially those who were home-based or those who still had guardians or parents. As a first step, the missions should explore the possibility of asking people interested in leaving minors at the missions to pay for their boarding costs. He gave the example of the mission St. Vincent de Paul and the Société des Mères de Famille in Saint-Louis which had already adopted such a measure. And he hoped that the municipal councils and regional councils could help pick up the slack and pay at least fifteen French Francs per month for a good number of minors.68 This chapter has explored a variety of labor tasks that formerly enslaved minors and minors of free status performed in urban Senegal in the post-emancipation period. These were the main tasks that can be culled from the data. But it is unlikely that they were the only ones, given the commanding position of guardians and the subordinate and dependent condition of minors in tutelle, whose only recourse appears to have been lashing out at their guardians or taking flight. We do not know enough about the conditions under which they worked either in Senegal or in France where some minors were taken, usually without the knowledge or permission of colonial authorities. Certainly, the work they did in France remains to be investigated. The fact that some died an early death while abroad may provide clues 67

68

Archives Générales de la Congrégation du Saint-Esprit, 311.10b – Boite no. 159B, Sénégal, 1887–1888, Rapport de Mgr Picarda, adressée à Monsieur le SousSecrétaire d’Etat aux Colonies, sur la libération des captifs au Sénégal, Octobre, 1887. Archives Générales de la Congrégation du Saint-Esprit, 311.10b6 – Boite no. 159-B, 1887–1888, Lettre Circulaire septembre 21, 1888.

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about their general condition and treatment. The climate in France may have brought on flus; colds and pneumonia were common. All-inall, minors provided labor at a crucial juncture in the economic life of colonial Senegal, at a time when the colony became integrated into the global economy through the production and export of peanuts in which the urban centers played a key role.

Sexual Abuse and Prostitution Some female liberated minors working in households in urban Senegal – Saint-Louis in particular – were accosted by their guardians or other members of the household and were subjected to sexual abuse. Others became engaged in prostitution, either on their own accord or at the behest of their guardians. Investigation of these aspects of guardianship has usually been based largely on suppositions and hampered by a lack of evidence, which is hardly surprising since firsthand testimony from minors on this issue is virtually non-existent. Although the evidence pointing to sexual abuse and prostitution of liberated minors is not extensive, there is enough to indicate that they occurred. The renting out of minors by guardians must only have served to increase the likelihood of such abuse. In 1900, the head of the judicial service revealed that female minors aged between seven and ten were bought in the Senegal River cercles (administrative units) and put to work in urban households as domestics doing the dirtiest of chores for two or three years, after which they were sexually abused.69 It is probable that sexual abuse and prostitution were common phenomena of tutelle from the outset. Indeed, when the guardianship council met on June 22, 1849, it dealt with the case of Soutourou, a female, whom Madame Cathy Louis Pout – described as a loose married woman who kept her charge “actively employed” – sought to reclaim. Rather than leaving her in the clutches of Madame Pout, the council decided to leave Soutourou to her own devices as “she could manage on her own.”70 It did so without stating her age. The fact that she fell under the jurisdiction of the guardianship council, however, indicates that she was still a minor. What is also revealing in 69

70

ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, December 20, 1900. ANS M 3, June 22, 1849.

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this case is that, although the profession of guardians formed part of the official records, the council had knowledge about Madame Pout’s personal life. To be sure, Bryant’s statement that “liberated minors in Senegal were sometimes targets of sexual advances, including rape, from their guardians and employers” has merit.71 Take the case of Awa, who, according to official correspondence between the Secretaire général and the police commissioner of Saint-Louis in 1906, was found after a search of fifteen days and returned to the woman, Bara N’Dao of Ndar Toute, from whom she ran away. The commissioner stated that Awa, twenty years old, was in the late stages of her pregnancy, “supposedly” by YaroPenda, the husband of Marième Sow, from whose household she fled due to poor treatment during that period.72 The commissioner’s report warrants sustained analysis. First, Awa’s age put her beyond the limits of tutelle from which she should have been released when she was eighteen years old. Given her age, it is possible that she spent a good deal of her youth in her guardians’ household and may have considered it home. Second, the fact that, at twenty, she was still being exploited under the banner of tutelle was not unusual, as we shall see in Chapter 8, but it points to the argument made in this book about the abusive character of tutelle, and the vulnerability of children (girls in particular) to the whims of household heads. We do not know if Sao was aware of Awa’s claims about her husband’s exploitation and the commissioner’s skepticism, designed to cast doubt, was characteristic of the administration’s usual stance of disdain. Third, the fact that Awa ran away from both households is troubling, for her actions indicate that she was a young woman, who was kinless in Senegal, having been born in Kayes, Mali of unknown parents, on the run and unhappy in both environments. Thus, it is worth noting that, although most minors in tutelle were female and were entrusted to women, the prospect of sexual abuse was ever present. Also, such abuse was heightened by the fact that some men sought to reclaim and adopt girls, often posing as long-lost relatives.73 71

72

73

Kelly M. Duke Bryant, “Changing Childhood: ‘Liberated Minors’, Guardianship, and the Colonial State in Senegal, 1895–1911,” Journal of African History, vol. 60, no. 2 (2019), p. 227. ANS 1F 1, Correspondence of police commissioner of Saint-Louis, September 5, 1906. ANS 1F 1, Secretary General to police commissioner, Saint-Louis, September 5, 1906.

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The Archives Nationales du Sénégal contain cases involving men attempting to claim young girls as their children. One such case involved an eleven-year-old girl – Taka Ba – whose alleged father Baba Yoko, a tirailleur, engaged in a battle to reclaim her. Baba Yoko claimed that he served in Madagascar for eight years during which the girl was born to him and his Bambara wife. Upon the death of his wife, Baba Yoko attempted to sell the child. Through the intervention of a European, the girl was placed in the care of Demba Ba, also a tirailleur, and his wife, Ramata Sy, who subsequently moved to Senegal with her. When Demba Ba died, his wife kept the child. When she died, her alleged father reclaimed her.74 What followed was a period of investigation by the police commissioner at Rufisque which involved testimonies of several witnesses. One such witness, a tirailleur, supported Baba Yoko’s claim, although he noted that the girl avoided Baba Yoko. When he asked Baba Yoko why the child avoided him, his answer was that she had become strange since the death of Ramata Sy. Another witness, Coumba Dul Taba, did not know whether Baba Yoko was the rightful father of the child. This witness knew Ramata Sy well and pointed out that the girl protested when Baba Yoko attempted to claim her as his child. The child insisted that her father was dead. Cumba Dul Taba further testified that Baba Yoko had never supported Tako Ba. Besides, Ramata Sy had confided that the child was that of her husband, Demba Ba.75 This could well have been a case of a male attempting to claim a child that was not his own but the prospect of sexual exploitation cannot be overlooked. Baba Yoko’s claim was, at best, tenuous. He nevertheless confiscated her and put her in the care of a woman in Rufisque who could not verify his story when questioned. As she admitted, she only had his word. Tako Ba eventually ran away from the woman’s household and sought help from the police. After further investigation, the police commissioner concluded that the child was raised by strangers and probably forgot her father. This is possible, but somewhat improbable in this case. Indeed, the girl remembered Baba Yoko trying to sell her in Madagascar.76

74 75 76

ANS E 67, Rapport à M. le Secrétaire, January 30, 1905. ANS E 67, Rapport à M. le Secrétaire, January 30, 1905. ANS E 67, Note adressée au Président du Tribunal de Dakar, February 8, 1905.

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Tako Ba finally found refuge in Dakar. Brought before the police commission in the presence of Tako Ba and other witnesses, Baba Yoko continued to press his claim. In light of the doubts surrounding his case, however, the commission refused to award him custody. Instead, the commission asked for Baba Yoko’s cooperation in finding the girl a suitable guardian in Rufisque. This case demonstrates the vulnerability of female minors to sexual abuse. Tako Ba’s appeal to the police and her constant evasion of the alleged father through flight dramatized her situation to the extent that it cast doubt on the validity of his claim. A similar case is that of a thirteen-year-old girl Assa (Fatou), whose alleged brother – Bakary Keita – a tirailleur, attempted to reclaim her in Dakar in 1904. In a series of correspondences between Keita, the Dakar police, and the colonial administration, an intriguing tale of sale and subsequent breakup of the family – mother, brother, and sister – in the French Soudan during the wars fought by the nineteenth-century warrior, Samori, emerged. Keita’s story is detailed, illuminating, and confirms much of what is known about the pattern of slavery in the Soudan. Even so, his claim was shaky. When asked by the police commissioner what proof he had that Assa was his sister, his reply was, “I recognize her as my sister because I remember her. I also know her because I was already older than her when the family broke up. Besides, our mother always said that when the Sunofo bought Assa, they scarred her face as was their custom.”77 Keita also claimed that he encountered his sister in the streets of Dakar but requested the services of an interpreter to communicate with her since she had become wolofized. When questioned, Assa, who was confided to a Dakar merchant, Jaussein, remembered being sold into slavery but denied that Keita had met her in the streets. She told the police commissioner, “This is the first time I have seen this tirailleur whom I have never met in the street.”78 The police commissioner was sympathetic to Keita’s claim. In a letter to the Governor of Senegal, he drew a sordid picture of Assa’s life. He accused her of being a prostitute citing as evidence her alleged contraction of venereal disease. “In light of these facts,” he wrote, “I am pleased to recommend that the tirailleur Bokary Keita be

77 78

ANS E 67, Procès-verbal, Dakar, October 7, 1904. ANS E 67, Police de Dakar, October 12, 1904.

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granted custody of his sister and to exercise . . . in the absence of her mother the right of guardianship as far as the law permits.”79 Considered undesirable, Assa’s mobility and lifestyle, which reveal as much about the life of female minors, clearly played into the hands of the police. Her guardians – the Jausseins – evicted her, leaving her to wander from household to household. This did not go unnoticed by the commissioner. The French had a fear of disorder and were well aware that there was a market for prostitution in the port cities like Dakar. What is striking is the response of the Secrétaire général. In his judgment, “the proof brought by the tirailleur, Bokay Keita, in order to prove that this young girl is his sister seems insufficient”.80 He noted that the girl would be eighteen years old in 1905 (not fourteen years as Keita’s evidence showed) and should remain in tutelle until then. If she desired to rejoin her family after that, the decision would be hers. This decision was sound and shows that some of the changes made by Governor General Earnest Roume were beneficial to minors. Some points are worth stressing. One is that cases of men attempting to claim female minors were common. Indeed, I have not seen any cases of men reclaiming male minors. It is not farfetched to suggest that men could, by claiming female minors, acquire wives or concubines who were kinless. Since the men making claims were usually former slaves, it is likely that this was considered an easy method of acquiring spouses in a highly stratified society where marriage across cast lines was difficult, if not impossible. Another is that, in addition to sexual exploitation, liberated minors were steered into prostitution and trafficked. What of prostitution? The Holy Ghost Fathers were among the first to link tutelle to prostitution. In the 1880s, they wrote with skepticism about the precarious condition of minors adopted by Muslim Africans in Senegal as opposed to Europeans and Catholic orders. They considered tutelle to be slavery in disguise sanctioned by law with no guarantee against abuse, including prostitution.81 In 1904, Governor Guy indicated that guardians were living off the avails of female minors in their trust. “Personal information which I have compiled,” he wrote that year, “shows without a doubt that a large number of 79 80 81

ANS E 67, October 12, 1904. ANS E 67, Secrétaire général du gouvernement, October 19, 1904. Archives Générales de la Congrégation du Saint-Esprit, 311.10b6 – Boite no. 159-B, Sénégal, 1887–1888.

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young girls entrusted in this manner have been steered into prostitution which brings a profit, however shameful, to their masters.”82 A similar faith awaited the daughters of female minors “who were sometimes forced into prostitution and distributed to the four corners of the country to families or friends.”83 The guardian’s control over the sexuality of female minors lasted well after 1905 when many were still compelled to take up the profession, according to Georges Deherme.84 M’Baye Guèye corroborates this assertion.85 A 1910 administrative report from Dakar about Marie Conte – a female minor in tutelle who was confided to a European male, taken to France, and became unsuspectingly roped into a prostitution and sex trafficking operation there – provides valuable insights into the abuses that liberated minors endured. Two Dakar police officers, who already had a dossier on her case, went aboard the SS France to meet Conte when the vessel docked there in 1910. One officer surveyed the disembarking passengers; they expected to interrogate Conte but could not find her even though she was well known by the personnel aboard the ship. A few hours later, he met her at the Café Sergent in the company of another woman. There, she told him her story in private. Marie Conte said she was a virgin when she went to Paris in the service of Monsieur Estervenin, a lawyer, who lived at 148 Boulevard Montparnasse. Estervenin may have been her guardian, for, as we have seen, some guardians took minors in tutelle to France. One Thursday evening while socializing with two friends at Bal Wagram, a man whom she did not know, but who claimed to be a horse trader, wooed her. He offered to marry her and give her a good life in Buenos Aires. So persuasive was this Monsieur Castodi that rather than returning to her “masters” that night, she went with him to a hotel. He subsequently took her shopping at a large store and bought her a number of beautiful items of clothing that she found irresistible. “After having been a docile servant” she told the officer, “I was now in a situation where I could impress my cohorts.” He took her by train to Marseille 82 83

84

85

ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, May 4, 1904. ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, December 20, 1900. Georges Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale française: action politique, action économique, action sociale (Paris: Hachette, 1908), p. 358. M’Baye Guèye, “La Fin de l’esclavage à Saint-Louis et Gorée en 1848,” Bulletin de L’I.F.A.N., Tome XXVIII, Série B, nos. 3–4 (1965), p. 653.

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where he continued to court her (referring to himself as her future husband), but her blissful state would soon become a sad reality she said. He forbade her from looking at other passengers on the train, prohibited her from feigning sleep and from going near the doors where passengers boarded the trains. She attributed his behavior to jealousy. Upon their arrival in Marseille on Sunday, they checked into the Hôtel de la Méditerranée and were met by a woman, Claudine, whom Castodi introduced as his wife. On Monday morning, he gave her a false bulletin de naissance (birth certificate) which she showed the officer. Castodi explained that this was required to prove that she was of majority age and could legally marry. He insisted on her learning by heart and memorizing the names of her new mother and father – a deceitful scheme that made her apprehensive and suspicious. As it turned out, it was Claudine who told her what Castodi’s real profession was, but Conte never told the Senegalese officer what it was, except to say that her rapport with Claudine made her understand that she was in a dire situation. Castodi thwarted her attempt to send her father a note via the post office asking him to rescue her and kept a close eye on her. She should have alerted the police, she said, but did not have the wherewithal to do so. At last, the anchor was pulled up and they embarked for Dakar. On board, Castodi introduced her to three other couples. A Madame Ester, who claimed to be a merchant selling lace in Buenos Aires, offered her a position as a cabin maid, which she accepted. Meanwhile, Castodi began to abuse her physically such that her shin was blue from his kicks. Still, she refused to sleep with him in his cabin. The police officer’s report indicated that it was difficult to tell Conte that she had exchanged one master for another. She was not the first of Castodi’s recruits, he wrote, because “the young Claudine” was one. He knew of this because Claudine, twenty-six years old, revealed that she had been a prostitute since 1900, which means that she was sixteen years old – a minor – when she was entrapped. Indeed, it was Claudine herself who revealed that, upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, she freed herself from the “tutelle” of Castodi and worked for herself. When the Senegalese police officer told Conte that a similar fate awaited her, she wept abundantly, but agreed to follow him. What had Castodi to say about his actions? During interrogation by the Dakar police, he denied that he was engaged in a prostitution and

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sex trafficking operation and presented papers to show that he was a traveling salesman selling lace and sowing machines on behalf of his father. He admitted having relations with Marie Conte, and that he took her as a mistress from whom he did not want to be separated. And he regretted her insinuation that he planned to put her to other use. When the authorities examined the list of passengers on board the SS France by name, age, height, color of eyes and profession, however, they discovered that Castodi’s first name was Rudolphe and that Marie Conte was embarked as Marie Morel and Chamaulet embarked as Claudine. The police indicated that Castodi developed a standard method of recruiting minors: stick to the same promises; promise a lot; and tempt them with luxury. The police report went into great detail about how the traffickers executed the operation. Traffickers like Castodi were familiar with areas in Paris where prostitution was rife. With the help of police there, they manufacture false passports which allowed them to enter Buenos Ayres, and for which they paid 20–25 French Francs. A fairly extensive police report detailed the sex trafficking ring operating from the Montmartre area which involved corruption, pay-offs, and entrapment of minors who ended up in Buenos Aires in a state of dependency that was designed to keep them entrapped. The police report, which is worth citing in full, indicates that the sex traffickers frequented certain red-light districts in Paris, Montmartre in particular: There, they get along with the prostitutes who have come of age, and ask them to go to the police headquarters to obtain prearranged passports made out to them for travel to Buenos Aires. They buy these passports for 20 to 24 francs and then use them to embark minors. Once they have embarked, the boys recognize the girls and they get together in the best cabins that have been reserved for them. Boys and girls live in the same compartment and avoid contact with the other passengers. To prevent trouble or any desire to give up the trip (which is possible at any moment), they are given separate cabins. Mister Régis, who is in charge of the second-class tickets of passengers from France, and who renders this favor to Salvator and his friends, receives a bill of 100 francs as compensation. When they are eating, they are offered extra menus. At each port of call, they disembark to break with the routine of the journey and buy postcards. During the long days of the journey, they play lottery or draughts. That is nice. This is the kind of life which the poor girls are going to experience after

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Juvenile Labor, 1849–1905

their arrival. When they get to Buenos Aires, they must be clean and attractive, but very plain. The owners of the houses (brothels) are waiting for the newcomers. After checking the passports, a discreet cart takes them to their new homes. The men who made the journey handle the luggage. In the evening, everyone sits at the head’s table to celebrate the ladies’ arrival – an experience that demonstrates that the way back home is far away. The day after, things become more serious with the dressing operation. The beautiful clothes bought in France appear again, but the cost will be prohibitive. Each woman receives an ad-hoc trousseau worth 2,500 to 3,000 francs but her attempts to pay back the debt with regular deposits will be followed by new needs. That sum represents a debt which will tie a girl to the house (brothel) for many months. There will be only two ways to acquire freedom. The first one is the hospital. The second may come from the man who wants to keep the woman for his personal needs and will pay off her debts. In this case, she will be able to leave. But then, what is in store for the woman when the hospital or the gentleman get tired of the girl and send her to the streets? How will the poor maid manage to have enough money to pay her way back home? The isolated prostitute is unlikely to afford it because of the drastic conditions and guarantees of the brothel. What other options remain for her? She will go to the hospital and will be happy enough to be accepted if the clothes are not more expensive. Once more, the big iron door with diamond shape nails will stand between them and freedom. They have to find a way to earn a living. While waiting for the next departure to France, Salvator and the other traffickers are offered board and lodging no matter what. They will receive from 3,000 to 3,5000 francs per victim. Additionally, they will receive one part of the difference between the purchase price and the selling price of the goods they brought with them from France.86

This detailed account of sex trafficking, which remains an ongoing and widespread contemporary phenomenon difficult to curb, shows that African children, like others, have been subjected to this atrocity over time. Indeed, Chapdelaine has shown that, in Nigeria during the 1920s, the trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of prostitution intensified. Also, as the need for credit became acute, pawnship became endemic. In the 1920s and 1930s, girls and young women were

86

ANS 1F 1, Dakar, March 16, 1910.

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offered as pawns and children were trafficked.87 Thus, the correlation between slavery, pawnship, prostitution, and child trafficking provides fertile ground for further research. With regard to colonial Senegal, tutelle did not end abruptly in 1905 when the French outlawed the alienation of a person’s labor because children continued to endure exploitation through coercion of one kind or another. The trafficking of liberated minors to Argentina demonstrates that the tentacles of tutelle extend way beyond the geographic boundaries of this study. We know what happened to a limited number of those who were taken to France by their guardians, but the fate of the majority still eludes us. What is certain is that the changes brought about by the crisis in tutelle in 1903 and 1904, which Chapter 6 chronicles, did not put a halt to the exploitation that Marie Conte and other minors faced. 87

Robyn Phylisia Chapdelaine, The Persistence of Slavery: An Economic History of Child Trafficking in Nigeria (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2021), pp. 79–99.

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6

The Crisis of 1903 and 1904

In the first years of the twentieth century, the number of minors liberated in Saint-Louis was much lower than in most years of the nineteenth century, but supervision of tutelle was still lax, the disregard for French laws governing slavery and slave trading blatant, and the response of the colonial administration decisive, for the first time, in the face of a perceived crisis that required serious state intervention. The principal laws in question were the 1831 ban against slave trading, the abolition act of 1848, and the 1857 and 1862 laws governing tutelle. The central legislative question in 1903 revolved around contravention of the March 4, 1831 law which prohibited the purchase or selling of slaves and carried a penalty of six months to five years in prison if contravened. It was mostly applied to the Atlantic trade, and was, according to François Renault, applied with rigor against Europeans for at least the first three years when the maximum penalty increased to as high as ten years of forced labor in prison, and the loss of French citizenship.1 The question was whether the law applied to slave trading in Africa. It did not; it applied only to the maritime trade, but was, nevertheless, “the principal law under which slave traders were punished.”2 Were French citizens engaging in outright slave trading or doing so under the guise of rachat at the opening of the twentieth century? Revelations and judgments rendered in court cases at the time led to state intervention that gave rise to calls for censuses of liberated minors and rigorous accountability of the system. For the first time since the inception of tutelle in 1849, the plight of minors came to the fore.

1

2

François Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal: l’attitude de l’administration française, 1848–1905 (Paris: Société française d’histoire d’outremer, 1972), pp. 62–64. Martin A. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 21.

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Victor Prom Case and Its Ramifications in Senegal

135

In exploring these issues, this chapter places particular emphasis on the crisis brought about by revelations that the laws against slave trading were regularly contravened, and the legislative measures that the colonial administration took to counteract violations of the law. It also lays bare the state of tutelle in the first years of the twentieth century when the inadequacy of censuses of liberated minors pointed to abuses in the institution that had been ignored for many decades. Spotty record-keeping and negligence by the colonial administration make it difficult to determine how many liberated minors became state wards. However, this chapter builds upon my previous work, and draws upon data from state registers that are probably the richest and best source on slave emancipation in Senegal, the K series notwithstanding. Some registers cover a period of several years, but there are gaps, particularly for the decade after emancipation in 1848. However, there are clear trends. For example, the majority of the liberated, who came mostly from the French Soudan (now Mali), were females, seventeen years of age and younger. Some were infants less than one year old. This chapter also provides valuable information about the origins and kin of the liberated. Valuable clues about the social condition of the liberated and the predicaments many faced can be gleaned from the Libérations registers also. Likewise, this chapter sheds light on the guardians of the liberated, who represented a cross-section of the Senegalese population.

The Victor Prom Case and Its Ramifications in Senegal The event that triggered the crisis in 1903 was a court case at the center of which was a French citizen, Victor Prom, accused of purchasing a young slave in contravention of the 1831 law. But the roots of the crisis date back to the nineteenth century and are worth highlighting because they place the Prom case into proper perspective. This was a time when cases of illegal slave trading came to light. In 1878, for example, four Senegalese from the Wolof kingdom of Walo who bought slaves there and took them to Saint-Louis were duly arrested and then convicted of slave trading. According to François Renault, one of them, N’Diack N’Diaye, was a French citizen; the other three were French subjects born in the western part of Walo.3 Martin Klein notes that all four 3

Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 13.

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The Crisis of 1903 and 1904

defendants owned slaves who worked on their farms, and that the authorities knew N’Diaye and were aware of his practices. He states that N’Diaye “was the son of former slaves, hard-working and frugal, with eight children, fifteen slaves, and residences inside and out of Saint Louis.”4 There is no indication that they sought to free the slaves in Saint-Louis, which would have constituted a rachat. Prosper Darrigrand, head of the judiciary which fell under the Ministry of Justice and not the Naval Ministry, sought to bring the case before the cour d’assises but his efforts were thwarted, first by Interim Governor Le Guay and second by Governor Beière de L’Isle, neither of whom wanted to anger the Walo-Walo who considered the charges unwarranted. The governors argued that the timing was bad, given the administrative and military resources required to deal with the outbreak of yellow fever in Goreé that could spread to Saint-Louis. Thus, they were prepared to free the accused as quickly as possible. Darrigrand held his ground, however. He believed that the accused had committed a crime on French territory and that the law should prevail. Le Guay accused Darrigrand of intransigence motivated by personal ambition, but Darrigrand appears to have been concerned about maintaining the independence of the judiciary. The dispute was ongoing when Brière de L’Isle resumed his post as governor. He then ruled that the three French subjects be released, and that N’Diaye, the French citizen, should face the cour d’assises. The court imposed the minimum sentence – six months in prison.5 This episode demonstrates that prosecuting cases involving slavery and slave trading depended on who the major legal office-holding authorities and colonial administrators in place were, their ideological leanings, and the political dynamics at play, especially with regard to the dispensation of African rulers. A governor held a higher status than a head of the judiciary – something the latter would certainly have been aware of – but Darrigrand stood up to them to protect the integrity of the judiciary. The case of Victor Prom can be analyzed within this context, as it occurred at a time when two leading administrators took a strong stand against slavery and made a difference at the level of the judiciary that had an impact on slavery in French West Africa. One was Camille 4 5

Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, pp. 60–61. Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 13.

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Guy; the other, Earnest Roume. An agregé in history, former teacher in a French lycée, and author before joining the French administration in 1895, Guy had a keen interest in education and, like Roume, believed that French-language instruction would uplift Africans and make them more useful to France, thus giving meaning to France’s “mission civilsatrice” (civilizing mission).6 Roume, a graduate of France’s elite ¯ Ecole Polytechnique, came to West Africa in 1902, became GovernorGeneral of French West Africa, and sought to reform the justice system. Along with Secretary-General Martial Merlin, Guy and Roume were liberals, as Martin Klein has stated.7 The Prom saga began in September 1903 when a woman from Dagana – a cercle on the Senegal River – complained to French authorities in Saint-Louis that her six-year old granddaughter was kidnapped by Moors who were known to be active enslavers, especially of children, in the region. After searching for her, the grandmother found the child in Saint-Louis in the household of one, Assa Koyo, who claimed that she was the legitimate owner of the child, having paid 250 French Francs for her. Upon verifying the story, the head of the judiciary returned the child to her rightful parents and launched an investigation which showed that it was Victor Prom, an agent of the French commercial firm Buhan et Tisserie of Rufisque, who bought the girl from a Moorish trader in Dagana while he was on a business trip related to peanut commerce. He allegedly did so upon the request of a Senegalese friend, Amadu Fall, who wanted a domestic – a practice that Villeger, a French priest posted in Senegal, acknowledged and justified on humanitarian grounds.8 Due to Prom’s status, considerable pressure was brought to bear on the judiciary to dismiss the case. The case proceeded but the outcome was hardly in doubt. Since Prom took no part in the kidnapping, and the transaction was declared as a rachat, which was legal, the charge of fraud could not stand and the case against him was dismissed. As Martin Klein explained, “when the court acquitted him, the Governor-General

6

7 8

See Alice Conklin, A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895–1930 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), pp. 75–94. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 132. Victor Schœlcher, L’esclavage au Sénégal en 1880 (Paris: Librairie centrale des publications populaires, 1880), p. 115.

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ordered an appeal, but the Cour de Cassation, the French appeals court, held that it was not a ‘punishable infraction’.”9 The Prom case served as a catalyst for change but other such cases followed and served to stiffen Roume’s resolve. One such case was that of Charles Bobin, a forty-two-year-old French merchant from Bordeaux living in Saint-Louis, who was prosecuted for acquiring a sixteen-year-old minor, Mahmonte, through purchase or kidnapping from a Moorish trader, Sidy Ally. In his report, the Procureur général complained that the judiciary was required to prove too many elements. In the Bobin case, it had to be shown that the victim had been lured into being kidnapped, and that displacement followed. In addition, fraud and the intention to commit a violent or a criminal act had to be proved. The investigation was negligent and key witnesses could not be found to testify. All of this resulted in Bobin’s acquittal.10 It also seemed a travesty to the Procureur général that the Moorish trader who launched the initial complaint should be allowed to escape the law. He noted that the authorities were aware that the Moor was a slave trader who had subsequently received the price of the slave in question from Bobin. Both were, thus, guilty of slave trading. The Procureur général called for changes in the legislation to close loopholes and make witnesses less susceptible to pressure.11 These cases demonstrate that, under the guise of redemption, children were being traded. The need for minors in the urban centers may well have encouraged the trade. Indeed, in the first years of the twentieth century, the trade focused heavily on them. In 1902, for example, a French resident at Mossi reported the seizure of two slave caravans, one of them with forty children on board. The children were put in the hands of a Catholic priest who then requested authorization to send them to an orphanage in Segu (Mali) or to a village de liberté (freedom village) at Ougadougou (Burkina Faso).12 Measures against the slave trade notwithstanding, the possibility of abuse would remain 9 10

11

12

Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 132. ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 28 janvier 1904; ANS K 23, Extrait des minutes du Greffe de la Cour d’appel de L’Afrique Occidentale Française, Saint-Louis, 9 Janvier 1904; ANS K 23, Extrait des minutes du Greffe de la Cour d’appel, 12 Janvier 1904; Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 66. ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, January 28, 1904; Renault, L’abolition de l’esclavage, p. 66. ANS K 15, Télégramme, Bobo, August 3, 1902.

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139

strong as long as redemption was permitted. To be sure, weakness derived from ambiguities, legislation without muscle, and sheer negligence. Consequently, the judiciary would be in a weak position to prosecute.13

The Act of 1903 The Act of 1903 was an attempt to regulate guardianship effectively once and for all in the wake of the Prom case, but it fell short of the mark and came too late to be of real help to minors. In November 1903, Governor Guy wrote to Governor-General Earnest Roume complaining that redemption of minors was a subterfuge for slavery. Besides being immoral, he argued, the practice was contrary to the fundamental principles of contemporary law and France’s “mission civilsatrice.” To put an end to abuses, he proposed that minors who presented themselves to administrative or judicial authorities, or who, on their own account, placed themselves under French law, be automatically declared free without first having to obtain freedom certificates. If parents did not reclaim minors, or if they could not be located, the state would take responsibility for their education. Guy suggested that minors could be placed in institutions and trade schools run by the colonial administration. He argued that if they were placed in apprenticeships with artisans, the latter ought to be required to set aside a certain sum of money in a special account each month for services rendered by the minors until they reached adulthood. As it turned out, this became another vehicle for exploitation that the governor should have anticipated, given the lack of enforcement of previous measures and the absence of penalties for non-compliance with the law. Instead, he expressed skepticism about the judicial authorities and their willingness to carry out the 1848 abolition law.14 There is little doubt that he saw the answer to guardianship as moving minors out of households and into state institutions. Roume quickly adopted some of Guy’s proposals, as evidenced by the legislation of November 24, 1903, which put the emphasis on liberated minors being placed in state institutions and learning centers. 13

14

Georges Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale française: action politique, action économique, action sociale (Paris: Hachette, 1908), p. 489. ANS K 27, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, November 22, 1903.

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The Crisis of 1903 and 1904

Guy’s proposal regarding the setting aside of funds to permit minors to acquire a trade was adopted. Roume promised further legislation that would regulate admission to the institutions. He also promised to create a commission to guide him on what to do about minors already in tutelle and to advise the governor on the well-being and education of minors. Unlike the old conseils de tutelle, this was to be an advisory body, but its mandate would almost certainly usurp some of the power of the Procureur général. Under Article 5 of the 1903 legislation, the Acts of 1857 and 1862 were repealed in all areas where they conflicted with the Act of 1903. He charged the governor with the execution of the new law and asked that it be published in the colonial press throughout French West Africa.15 Thus, he broadened the parameters of guardianship and put the power of his office behind it. Roume’s abrogation of the 1857 and 1862 laws created confusion in the administration, however. For Governor Guy, the question was whether the 1903 law nullified those of 1857 and 1862. In the end, he took the position that the earlier laws held except when overridden by the 1903 law, and he asked the governor-general for confirmation.16 As for the Procureur général, he appeared uncertain as to whether freedom certificates were still to be granted to minors.17 He told the governor that he was embarrassed when faced with reclamations of that nature. He also reminded him that, while waiting for state institutions to be created, action had to be taken against abuses in tutelle. Indeed, he feared that minors would be severely abused, since it was his understanding that the 1903 law made it unnecessary for people to declare minors coming from the interior the same day of their arrival in Saint-Louis. At the very least, he argued, the governor should propose that people declare minors to the Police Commission within three days or be subjected to fines.18 To this, Roume replied that there was no need for a special law allowing for a three-day declaration, since the laws of 1857 and 1862 were still applicable.19 15

16 17 18

19

ANS K 27, November 24, 1903; ANS K 24, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général # 1, December 9, 1903. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, March 3, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur, February 20, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur, Saint-Louis, December 9, 1903. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur général à M. le Chef du service judiciaire, Gorée, May 24, 1904.

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The Procureur général continued to clash with the governor over the granting of liberty certificates, however. In December 1903, he called for a study of French policy and asked that he be given the right to have minors coming from the interior immediately declared free.20 The governor held firm and argued that “to give a native a liberty certificate is to admit that in Senegal, individual liberty has to be proved and supported by written evidence. It is also to admit that those who are not in possession of such evidence can be legitimately enslaved.”21 On this issue, both governor and governor-general shared similar views. The latter argued that individual liberty could not be subordinated to freedom papers and special registers.22 The former agreed, boasting that the power of the French administration, far greater than it was in 1857 and 1862, now made liberty certificates redundant. They were also contrary to the social organization established by the French.23 But the Procureur général viewed the problem in a different light and continued to highlight abuses in tutelle. In 1904, he advised the governor that he had printed, as a means of preventing abuses, the obligations of guardians to minors in their charge on the back of liberty certificates in French and Arabic.24 I have examined many of these certificates and can attest that this was done. The certificates which appeared in the Journal Officiel of Senegal bore the name, age sex, and, often, the ethnic origin of the liberated, as well as the date of liberation (Figure 6.1). The obligations prohibited guardians from renting out minors for profit to other people. Guardians were responsible for the total care of minors, including any travel expenses they incurred. It was the guardian’s responsibility to ensure that minors received a trade or acquired a profession that would enable them to make a living as adults. When 20 21

22

23

24

ANS K 23. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, January 27, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur général à M. le Chef du service judiciaire, Gorée, May 24, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, January 27, 1904; June 9, 1904. ANS E 67, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, July 15, 1904; ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, SaintLouis, December 20, 1900; ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, July 15, 1904.

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The Crisis of 1903 and 1904

Figure 6.1 Certificat de liberté (two-sided freedom certificate)

asked by the Procureur général to present the minors in person, something that he rarely did, the guardians had to comply. The Procureur général had to be notified of changes of residence. As for minors, they were not permitted to marry without the consent of the Procureur général as long as they were in tutelle. At age eighteen years, they could do as they pleased.

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Figure 6.1 (cont.)

The Procureur général complained that his initiative had not been well received and that the administration had not supported him in his endeavor. On a larger level, he scarcely had enough personnel to carry out the normal functions of his office, which meant that he could not administer tutelle – an extra judicial responsibility that he could no longer carry out in a constant manner. Worse, lack of funds compounded the problem. “Under these conditions,” he concluded, “the criticisms levelled at the guardianship of abandoned minors administered by the head of the judiciary of Senegal, are, in my opinion, not sincere.”25 These are the circumstances under which the governor-general lashed out at the Procureur général when he received the survey of liberated minors that he requested in early 1904. According to Roume, an examination of the census showed that the guardianship of minors had been carelessly administered, and that there were sweeping violations of laws governing adoption dating back to the 1850s. Though reported, deaths of minors had not been documented. Many guardians had left Senegal, abandoning minors in the process. Contrary to the regulations, the judiciary had made no inquiries as to their whereabouts. Roume also noted that the census suffered from 25

ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, July 15, 1904.

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The Crisis of 1903 and 1904

important omissions, such as the date on which guardians adopted minors and the treatment they received while adopted.26 Roume went further. He questioned the competence of the Procureur général and asked whether he had the legal right to administer guardianship.27 The census that Roume received from the Procureur général showed that 143 children were freed from slavery and placed in tutelle between 1900 and 1903. Of these, most were confided to guardians in SaintLouis, Thiès, Rufisque, Gorée, and Dakar. Relatively few were confided to guardians in the Senegal river cercles such as Dagana and Bakel. Still fewer were confided to guardians with France as their permanent residence.28 The urban centers remained the major market for juvenile slave labor and Senegalese the major beneficiaries. The problem with the census is that it was way off the mark. As Table 6.1 shows, at least 821 minors were freed during this period. This indicates that Roume’s assessment of tutelle was accurate, but the situation was much worse than he imagined. And he expressed personal regret that the administration found itself in such dire straits which could well have been avoided had it gone about tutelle with more zeal. In spite of his disappointment with the census, he still believed that the administration could take corrective measures that could lead to positive results. Indeed, he believed that the creation of an orphanage at Sor near Saint-Louis, the enrolment of minors in the Pinet-Laprade School at Gorée, and their admittance to the Botanical Gardens at Hann in Dakar would serve to curb the abuses.29 Little did Roume know, the problems were deeper and more complex, and had become endemic in the decades since the 1860s. Soon after he received the census, Roume discussed his concerns about tutelle with Governor Guy. He was careful in assigning blame, but he accused the Procureur général of negligence and incompetence. Moreover, he suggested that the Secretaire général was the best qualified administrator to be the official guardian of minors. Not content with the results of the first and incomplete census, though highly 26

27

28 29

ANS E 67; ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur général à M. le Procureur général, Gorée, June 8, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur général à M. le Procureur général, Gorée, June 8, 1904. ANS E 67. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur général à M. le Procureur général, Gorée, June 8, 1904.

Table 6.1 Minors freed from slavery and placed in tutelle, 1857–1903 Year

# Liberated

Year

# Liberated

Year

# Liberated

Year

# Liberated

1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869

13 67 40 59 28 19 46 61 81 13 9 25 24

1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882

29 33 27 39 94 254 146 144 112 116 211 289 428

1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895

568 1,171 521 478 1,076 454 559 665 375 117 193 170 185

1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903

191 148 198 176 125 271 278 340

Total

10,666

Source: ANS, Libérations, August 1857–December 31, 1874; October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904; April 10, 1883–June 30, 1884; June 4, 1892– September 27, 1897; August 23, 1888–July 31, 1897; January 2, 1875–April 5, 1897; January 1, 1889–April 30, 1892; April 10, 1883–June 30, 1884; July 1, 1884–June 24, 1887; April 7, 1879–November 8, 1881.

145

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disturbed by its revelations, Roume asked Governor Guy to conduct a new census of liberated minors in adoptive situations starting from 1895, not 1900.30 Secretary General Martial Merlin, a former Director of Native Affairs, sent out a circular (623) in July 1904 to administrators of cercles in Senegal asking about the number of minors who had been freed from slavery since January 1, 1895. He wanted to know the exact address of adoptive guardians of minors, how minors had been treated, and what their present situation was. In addition, any deaths that had occurred among minors had to be reported, as well as peculiarities which suggested that changes had taken place without the consent of the administration. He stressed that he attached great importance to the census, given the humanitarian aspects of the matter. He asked administrators to be both careful and rigorous in preparing their reports.31 This census yielded far less data than the earlier one and can thus be described as a failure. Administrators in the various administrative districts who had earlier responded to Merlin’s circular of December 1903, concerning the dimensions of slavery in French West Africa, were now being asked to fill out a similar questionnaire specifically on minors.32 The census on French West Africa, which has been widely drawn upon for information about slavery in the Western Sudan, revealed that in some areas of that region, up to two-thirds of the population, were enslaved people – mostly women and children. The census yielded valuable information about conditions under which the enslaved could marry and obtain liberty, but it was not concerned about the number of liberated people in the administrative districts surveyed.33 Therefore Merlin’s request for information about liberated minors was a new development. 30

31

32

33

ANS E 67, Le Gouverneur général à M. le Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Sénégal, Gorée, July 8, 1904. This report is also found in ANS K 23. It is, however, dated June 8 and is unsigned. ANS K 23, Tutelle des mineurs délivrés de la condition de captivité, 1903–1906, Circulaire à M. M. les administrateurs, July 16, 1904. See Archives Nationales de France, Section Outre-Mer, Sénégal XIV, 28, December 10, 1903. ANS K 18–ANS K 22; See also Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 383; Martin Klein “The Demography of Slavery in the Western Soudan: The Late Nineteenth Century,” in Dennis Cordell and Joel Gregory (eds.), African Population and Capitalism (Boulder: Westview Press, 1987), p. 54; Paul Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 3rd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 192.

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Given the findings of the 1904 census on the Western Sudan, it is certain that Roume and those around him were well aware of the magnitude of slavery. Indeed, it is hardly coincidental that Roume began to adopt a tougher attitude to abuses in guardianship just as some of the administrative reports on the French West African census were coming in. In this respect, both censuses are related and occurred at a time when French policy was about to culminate in the end of slavery throughout the region. Thus, it is probable that guardianship came under greater scrutiny as a result of the larger focus on slavery. Though Roume was perturbed by the abuses to which minors were subjected, the question of juvenile slavery was not as potentially explosive as adult slavery, which had been the focus of concentration and attack by the anti-slavery lobby in Europe for much of the nineteenth century. It seemed less urgent and did not appear to create alarm. Besides, since slavery did not officially exist on French soil, there seemed little urgency in documenting what was a major embarrassment.34 From the outset, this false premise made it easy for the administration to shirk its responsibilities and ignore the detractors of guardianship. Administrators were caught off guard by the inquiry and gave evasive answers. Molleur, the administrator of Thiès, could not respond to the questionnaire, as the archival records at his disposal were incomplete.35 Other reports fill several pages and provide crucial information on origins and sex of liberated minors, but leave glaring omissions on the condition of minors about which they obviously knew nothing. The clearest indication of the failure of this census to yield significant results is Roume’s replacement of the Procureur général by the Secretaire général as the chief administrator of guardianship, effective October 1, 1904; and his call for the Procureur général to conduct yet another census of liberated minors, this time from 1903. As if to underline the importance of Merlin’s new responsibilities, he asked that the census be submitted to the Secretaire général.36 I have not 34

35

36

In responding to the questionnaire on slavery in French West Africa, for example, administrator Descement pronounced that there were no slaves in Saint-Louis, just several liberated minors placed in tutelle by the Procureur général. See ANS K 18, Rapport sur l’esclavage dans les cercles d’administration directe du Sénégal, 1905. L’administrateur du cercle de Thiès à M. le Secrétaire général, Thiès, July 29, 1904. ANS E 67, Document no. 713 bis, Gorée, October 1, 1904.

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been able to find this census and cannot say for sure whether it exists. I am inclined to think that it does not, since later documentation makes no reference to it. Fortunately, data from the Libérations registers are more complete and can be drawn upon to give us a more accurate demographic picture. These registers were the official record of all liberated slaves – males and females of all ages – to which all administrators ought to have had access. The data from the registers prove that the flow of slaves from the French Soudan into Sénégal was significant, especially in the second half of the nineteenth century.37 This was a period of major upheaval caused by jihads led by Al-Hajj Umar Tall and other Muslim reformers who led social revolutions during which they waged destructive wars at will that resulted in significant loss of life on the one hand, and widespread enslavement and slave-trading on the other. Martin Klein’s analysis of this “turbulent period” charts the movement of several slave caravans, some bearing children.38 The data show that there were particularly heavy flows from Bundu and Futa Toro after the mid-nineteenth century. However, these flows were not the major source of enslaved children ending up in urban Senegal. Indeed, the flows from the French Soudan continued to be the primary source. The number and sex of liberated minors who became state wards is now the focus of scholarly endeavor. There is more consensus on the sex of minors than on their numbers, however. Also, statistical analyses of the numbers are based on different time periods. Martin Klein has drawn upon figures from the Le Moniteur du Sénégal, which indicate that almost 40 percent of formerly enslaved people were minors, and that about 70 percent of these were girls. The data from the Libérations registers are more complete and more comprehensive than those in the Le Moniteur du Sénégal. They give breakdowns by sex for some years, but not for others. In some cases, the sex of the children is listed as “unknown.” Georges Deherme has estimated that 200 children per year were bought into Saint-Louis and adopted between 1898 and 1904, but the registers do not support his statistics.39 This would mean at least 1,400 children over a six-year period. 37

38 39

See Bernard Moitt, “Slavery and Emancipation in Senegal’s Peanut Basin: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies, vol. 22, no. 1 (1989), pp. 27–50. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, pp. 37–58. Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 489.

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Deherme believed that this estimate was conservative and that the real number may have been three times as high since the majority of minors were not declared to the Procureur général as the law required.40 Deherme’ assertion is probably correct. Figures given by Martin Klein, Kelly Duke Bryant, and the team consisting of Joshua Goodwin, Erica Ivins, Richard Roberts, and Rebecca Wall have brought us closer to the mark. The team’s analysis of 10,000 liberations in Senegal from 1894 to 1903 shows that young adults aged 21–30 made up the largest block, and that “unaccompanied minors” accounted for 1,175, of which 68 percent were female and 32 percent were male.41 Similarly, with specific regard to liberated children placed in tutelle in Saint-Louis, Bryant has given a figure of 1,324 liberations between 1895 and 1911. Of these, 62.24 percent were female, 30.21 percent male, and 7.55 percent of unknown gender. As Table 6.1 indicates, however, at least 10,666 minors were liberated from slavery between 1857 and 1903, and this suggests that children made up about 33 percent of the liberated population from 1848 to the early years of the twentieth century. What is needed is a comprehensive analysis of liberations in Senegal over this period based upon data from the archives, the Le Moniteur du Sénégal, and the Libérations registers. As is the case with the Atlantic slave trade, the exact number will never be known. The Libérations registers are worth highlighting because of the quality of the data they provide and the difficulty with determining percentages. Take the register which dates from August 6, 1857 to December 31, 1874. The names and age, but not sex, of the enslaved who were liberated in Saint-Louis during this period are listed alphabetically. Two hundred and thirty-two pages of the register are dedicated to the 1,922 liberated, mostly adults, but some children as well. Other personal information about the liberated included the date of their declaration, the name, profession, and address of the declarants, 40 41

Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale, p. 489. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, pp. 71–74; Kelly M. Duke Bryant, “Changing Childhood: ‘Liberated Minors’, Guardianship, and the Colonial State in Senegal, 1895–1911,” Journal of African History, vol. 60, no. 2 (2019), p. 217; Joshua Goodwin, Erica Ivins, Richard Roberts, and Rebecca Wall, “The Registers of Slave Liberation in Colonial Senegal: Preliminary Analysis of the Evidence from 1894 to 1903,” Open Edition Journals, available at: https://journals .openedition.org/slaveries/5495 (last accessed October 25, 2021), pp. 12–14.

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the profession of the liberated, the names of their parents, the name, profession, and address of the persons to whom they were confided, and the signature of the official tutor and his or her witnesses. Most of the minors listed in the register were confided to their parents, usually their mothers; others were confided to unknown individuals. Adults received outright freedom.42 Was Roume aware of the existence and location of these registers? He may well have been, although record-keeping was decentralized and scattered. Though highly flawed, the 1900–1903 census data that Roume received was all he had to go by, and it provided the background against which he boldly declared that “certain vestiges of the state of slavery still persisted in a disguised form in the colony of Senegal. On several occasions, children had been ‘ransomed’ or better yet ‘bought’ by intermediaries from Moors who kidnap them.”43 Thus, it is possible to infer that Roume was cognizant that tutelle was a subterfuge for slavery. In the second half of 1904, the situation became critical and events moved fast. In October 1904, Roume ruled that the degree of November 19, 1903, under which a new judicial system for French West Africa was introduced, gave him the right to take tutelle out of the jurisdiction of the Procureur général. From October 1, 1904, tutelle fell under the Secretaire général’s portfolio.44 The Procureur général expressed delight at being relieved of the portfolio and turned over all the documentation in his possession to the Secretaire général as the administration requested. However, the Secretaire général achieved no demonstrable success in curbing abuses in guardianship. This, as we recall, was the period when the governor general accused the Procureur général of negligence, explored ways to relieve him of tutelle, and commissioned the 1895 census.45 The Secretaire général set up a Commission de surveillance (surveillance commission) in accordance with Article 4 of the 1903 law. Under 42

43 44

45

Libérations, August 6, 1857–December 31, 1874 (Saint-Louis, March 13, 1858). ANS K 27, Saint-Louis, November 22, 1903. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur général, document 713 bis, Gorée, October 1, 1904; ANS E 67, document 713 bis, Gorée, October 1, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, October 13, 1904; ANS K 23, Le Procureur général à M. Gouverneur général, October 3, 1904.

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the direction of its first president, Seguier, the commission began by calling in minors. Eleven minors appeared before it in December 1904, but the police could not account for another nine. Still others had died or changed guardians. There was also the case of Monsieur Rey, who wrote to and appeared before the commission to deny that he had ever been the guardian of Meniya Meriko, whom he allegedly adopted on January 29, 1898, as the official records showed.46 The action that the Commission de surveillance took was the most decisive action with regard to the supervision of minors in tutelle in more than half a century. It had to work from registers that contained incomplete data, however. This meant that some minors would never be accounted for, but accountability became pre-eminent at last. Even so, its initial findings, however troubling, only confirmed what many colonial administrators must have suspected or known all along. Indeed, this study of minors in tutelle shows that these revelations were characteristic of the institution from its inception and were not all the exceptions to the norm. Unfortunately, the commission had too little time to make a difference. The question as to whether it could actually regulate tutelle effectively is still valid, for as long as slavery remained a legitimate institution in areas outside of French control, coercive labor and its corollary, abuse, would thrive. In essence, French authorities had to be willing to rein in their own bureaucrats and the entrenched entrepreneurial class in urban Senegal, while moving decisively to end slavery, despite fears, ungrounded as it turned out, of labor shortage and social upheaval. Where does this leave us with regard to the social condition of minors in tutelle? We do not know exactly what happened to minors in tutelle from the 1860s to the first years of the twentieth century. However, data from 1900 to 1905 allow us to explore aspects of their lives that may well serve as a barometer of what their condition must have been like in earlier times. Their time spent in institutions, working in households and as apprentices, the social relationships they formed, and their marriages and deaths, hint at what life must have been like, although these would have changed over time. The remaining chapters draw upon the early twentieth-century data in this reconstruction effort. 46

ANS K 23, Document no. 92, Saint-Louis, December 2, 1904.

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7

Minors in Institutions

With few exceptions, freed slaves and orphans who became state wards in colonial Senegal lived a rather topsy-turvy life from the inception of tutelle in 1849 to the first decade of the twentieth century. We can get an adequate glimpse into what their lives must have been like by scrutinizing their interactions with their guardians and other individuals, and by analyzing their interface with institutions where they spent time. Because minors were sent to various institutions and the administration had no post-institutional follow-up strategies for inmates in place, it is difficult to determine what the objective of disciplinary measures were. Ibra Sene refers to “colonial institutions of socialization that sought to turn the youths into ‘responsible citizens’.” With specific regard to penal institutions though, Sene highlights condescension on the part of French authorities toward the carceral African population and disdain of their racial origin. He writes, “The promise of improvement of individual prisoners that was a central dimension of French penology in the first half of the nineteenth century in mainland France was clearly absent in Senegal.”1 Further, imprisonment by the French was imposed “in total disregard of the African conception of deviance and punishment.”2 This chapter focuses on minors in institutions and exposes a side of tutelle that has largely been hidden from view. The picture that emerges is one of trauma for the most part. To be sure, the experiences of minors in established institutions, carceral and non-carceral, varied but, overall, they were negative. This is the consensus of scholars who have written about guardianship in Senegal. However, the period from 1848 to the 1880s has eluded scholars, as evidenced by studies whose 1

2

Ibra Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization: A History of the Prison of Saint-Louis and the Development of the Penitentiary System in Senegal, CA. 1830–CA, 1940,” PhD dissertation, Michigan State University, 2010, pp. 127, 133. Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization,” p. 149.

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chronological boundaries encompass this period but contain little information about children. As a result, there is usually a jump from the 1840s and 1850s to the late 1880s – a lapse of more than three decades.3 This study is not different in this respect because we lack the data that would enable us to fill the gap. Thus, we must project backward. One of the institutions where minors were incarcerated after being sentenced for petty crimes and misdemeanors was the Saint-Louis prison. The colonial administration also sent some minors to the École pénitentiare de Thiès (the Thiès penitentiary school), run by the Pères du Saint-Esprit (the Holy Ghost Fathers) – a Roman Catholic order. It sent others to an orphanage at Sor, near Saint-Louis, and still others to the Ėcole Profesionel Pinet-Laprade in Gorée. The records indicate that a limited number of liberated minors were also confided to the colonial military – the Tirailluers Sénégalais – under the command of Senegalese officers. An exploration of these aspects of tutelle follows.

Incarceration of Liberated Minors in the Saint-Louis Prison The French colonial administration incarcerated male and female liberated youngsters in the Saint-Louis prison whose origins are somewhat obscure. Ibra Sene has indicated that, in 1834, the Saint-Louis prison consisted of a row of small huts on the first floor of the French fort.4 Dior Konaté argues that in 1820 a commercial warehouse served as Saint-Louis’s first prison, and that the prison system developed between 1820 and 1863. She notes that “Between 1841, when the Prison Act was issued, and 1863, when a brand-new prison was erected in Saint-Louis, prisons in Senegal were nothing more than disorganized, makeshift disciplinary facilities with no architectural soul and no institutional identity.”5 3

4 5

See, for example, Ibrahima Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality and Incarceration during the Colonial Period: The First Penitentiary Schools in Senegal, 1888–1927;” in Florence Bernault (ed.), A History of Prison and Confinement in Africa (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003), pp. 79–95; and Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization,” pp. 149–185. Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization,” p. 32. Dior Konaté, Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal (New York: Lexington Books, 2018), p. 42.

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Neither Iba Sene nor Dior Konaté dwell on youth incarceration in the decades after emancipation in 1848. Nor do they give specific examples of youths sent to prison. Indeed, Sene argues that the mission of the colonial penitentiary institution was such that it targeted adults, even though the Saint-Louis prison “welcomed a sizeable number of juveniles” who “were arrested for a wide range of crimes such as vagrancy, petty thefts, misconduct, pederasty, and the like.”6 It comes as no surprise, however, that the date of the archival source that Sene cites in this instance is 1903–1906 – a significant jump from the 1840s. In any case, he engages in a useful discussion of tutelle, although he gives no examples of juveniles sent to prison. What is revealing is that both the pre and post emancipation carceral population was mostly slaves and former slaves. According to Konaté, a large number of slaves were prosecuted in the wake of the creation of the courts of Assizes in Saint-Louis and Gorée in 1837. In 1839, 1840, and 1841, for instance, the tribunal of first instance (the lower court) of Saint-Louis handed down thirty, forty-six, and forty-seven prison terms, respectively, to slaves convicted for robberies. The same phenomenon occurred in Gorée.7 Konaté attributes slave delinquency to the “conditions created by slavery and the slave trade in Senegal” and argues that emancipation sparked “newly defined crimes like vagabondage and begging,” leading to increased levels of imprisonment of formerly enslaved people – adults and children.8 Thus, “The tutelage system was a subterfuge for imprisonment because the tutors’ abusive use of their power turned the whole system into a nightmare for the recipients.”9 The sentences that the state imposed upon minors were usually short – a week or less. The length of sentences may well have depended on the cost and rationality of keeping minors who were not hardened criminals locked up, as well as the capacity of the institutions to which they were sent, because those incarcerated in the Saint-Louis prison served very little time. Indeed, the facility at Saint-Louis – the headquarters of the colonial administration and the epicenter of tutelle – appears to have been designed for short-term stays, at least in the case 6

7 8 9

ANS 3F/00052. Civil Prisons of Saint-Louis, 1903–1906, Arrest Orders (1905), cited in Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization,” p. 151. Konaté, Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal, pp. 53–54. Konaté, Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal, p. 55. Konaté, Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal, p. 56.

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of minors who were placed in the same facilities as adults. But minors sent to the penitentiary school at Thiès, which was created in the late nineteenth century, received heavier sentences no doubt because it served as an instructional facility designed to equip minors with skills they could employ after their release. The state sent minors to both facilities but, aside from sketchy information about those who were sent there, the archival documents offer little else with regard to the nature and administration of the institutions or how the inmates occupied their time while incarcerated. The historiography on penal institution is Senegal offers no insights into these issues. In most cases, however, the state locked up minors for insubordination to their guardians, minor infractions, and petty crimes. Incarceration began from the inception of tutelle. Most of the minors who were sentenced, like the youth liberated population, were orphans – a phenomenon that has been overlooked in the historiography of slavery in Senegal. There are large gaps in the data and most of the cases in the Senegalese archives date from 1905 and 1906 – as guardianship was coming to a close. It is rare to find a detailed case involving incarceration. Indeed, most cases lack precision. They seldom indicate the infractions that the minors committed. In the 1840s, the guardianship council imposed penalties on minors mostly for petty infractions and small scale crimes. In 1849, as we saw in Chapter 5, the administration imposed a two-day prison term on Karialla – a liberated female and domestic of Madame Fayette Tailhardat in Saint-Louis – for alleged insubordination and assault. The judgment against Karialla was executed immediately and she had no recourse to appeal.10 It is difficult to imagine how two days in prison would have been enough to reform the youngster – any youngster in similar circumstances for that matter. Then again, how often does prison reform anyone? The archival documents offer no information about the social services available at the prison or programs in place to prevent recidivism. Whether she returned to her mistress remains an open question. Karialla was one of many youths sent to prison in the initial stages of tutelle, which indicates that, from the outset, the Conseil de Tutelle viewed incarceration as a disciplinary measure. A significant number of

10

ANS M 3, séance du October 23, 1849.

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minors received prison sentences at the outset in 1849, several of them in December. One was Couta, a sixteen-year-old female who apparently lived a “scandalous life,” causing her mother to call for her imprisonment. She was incarcerated on December 13, released on the 17th, and confided to Helen Paul. Tamata, a female orphan living a “bad life” began her sentence on December 6, was released on December 14 and confided to Nanci Blanchis of Guet Ndar. Like Tamata, Sira Paté was incarcerated on the same day – December 6. Neither her age nor her offence was given, as was so often the case. Upon her release on December 15, after nine days in prison, however, she was confided to one, Ndala Yegan. Batio Ntoul, a female orphan “living a bad life,” was also imprisoned on December 6, released on December 15, and confided to Batio Eli.11 For allegedly stealing his guardian’s clothing and absconding, Figaro, a male minor, was given a prison term on July 26, 1850. After his release, however, he was sent back to his guardian, one, Siper.12 It appears that age was not a factor in issuing prison sentences because the state sentenced very young minors to prison terms. A case in point is that of the eight-year-old female, Kary Dia, who, in 1866, was first confided to Monsieur Allard, and later, a sergeant in Saint-Louis. Dia asked to be placed elsewhere, but there is no indication that her wish was granted. Instead, the state claimed that it was obliged to punish her with a sentence of five days in prison.13 For some minors, incarceration was not a one-time occurrence. Indeed, data from 1850 point to recidivism. On January 19 of that year, for example, Diara was sent back to prison for disorderly conduct after a previous stay from January 5 to January 11. As a result, “no-one wants to adopt her.”14 We do not have much data for the remainder of the century. The case of the twelve-year-old female minor, Fadiama, indicates that incarceration was ongoing, however. In June 1864 the state imposed a one-year prison term on her mother,

11

12

13 14

ANS M 3, Registre Destiné à inscrire les délibérations des Procès-verbaux et des Séances de des Transactions,” Saint-Louis, 20 avril 1849. ANS M 3, Registre destiné à Inscrire les délibérations des Procès-verbaux et des Séances des Transactions, Saint-Louis, 20 avril 1849. ANS M 3, June 13, 1866. ANS M 3, Registre destiné à inscrire les délibérations des Procès-verbaux et des Séances de des Transactions, Saint-Louis, 20 avril 1849.

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Absa Fall. During this period, Fadiama was bounced from guardian to guardian – Madame Valantin, Marcellin Martin, Madame de Couture – until she ended up with Madame Roth, who agreed to feed her and teach her to sew.15 Based on the foregoing cases, it is likely that incarceration was a feature of tutelle down to the end of the century. On August 8, 1905, for instance, the president of the tribunal honored a request from the administration to report on the whereabouts of a young female liberated minor, one, Fatma Kassonké. He stated that he incarcerated her in the prison at Saint-Louis for eight days as a disciplinary measure, and he attached her freedom certificate to his communication.16 Why he felt the need to prove that the minor was liberated is an interesting question, but this was a period when the wardship system was under scrutiny. The incarceration in 1905 of Cécile – a fourteen-year-old liberated minor who worked as a domestic in the household of Madame Rouméyaux, as we saw in Chapter 5 – shows how the state used incarceration indiscriminately, irrespective of the offence or the circumstances that led up to it, and the disregard for child welfare. In this case, a troubled and probably ill youngster bounced between two European households seemed to have lost the ability to cope. In the end, the authorities sided with her guardians, whose desire for retribution they endorsed. In 1906, the Secrétaire général informed the authorities that Cécile was being detained in the Saint-Louis prison for eight days as a correctional measure.17 What became of Cécile after the end of her prison term is worth asking, but the archival data offer no answers. The administration received information about the imprisonment of liberated minors from different sources. On February 5, 1905, for instance, the Secrétaire général wrote to the French authorities in Saint-Louis to inform them that, in January, a young minor was imprisoned there for three days. He did not indicate what led to the incarceration. Upon his release, he stated, the youngster ought to have

15 16 17

ANS M 3, Saint-Louis, August 30, 1864. ANS 1F 1, Président du Tribunal au gouvernement, 8 aout 1905. ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général à Monsieur le Juge, Président du Tribunal de première instance de St. Louis, St. Louis, 28 aout 1906.

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been placed in the hands of the administration which governs guardianship, but this course of action was not taken.18 Five days later on February 10, he sent a similar communication to the prison warden in Saint-Louis, adding that the minor began to serve his sentence on January 1, and that he should not have been left to his own devices upon discharge.19 The fact that the Secrétaire général alerted two branches of the colonial administration suggests that he took his position seriously – a position to which he was appointed to help regulate guardianship after a half century of failure, as we have seen.

Incarceration at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès Much like the Saint-Louis prison, the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès (the Thiès Penitentiary School) housed minors sentenced by the state, among others. But the mission of this establishment was different from the Saint-Louis facility in that it was not a prison in the conventional sense, but a reformatory institution for the most part. It is also worth noting that the relationship between the Catholic missionaries and the colonial administration with regard to tutelle was somewhat symbiotic. The state could rely on the stern discipline for which the missionaries were known, and the missionaries could engage in their longstanding goal, that is, their “civilizing mission.” Evidence of this rela¯ tionship predates the creation of the Ecole Pénitentiaire de Thiès. Indeed, Le Moniteur du Sénégal published a list of slaves who were liberated between November 11, 1885 and October 30, 1886 which shows that, of the 993 slaves, 483 (48.6 percent) were minors. Of these, 301 were sent to the missionaries.20 Thus, the penitentiary school merely cemented and formalized an existing relationship that was mutually beneficial. Created in 1888, the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès was distinctive in being the first penitentiary school in Senegal, and the first such establishment to house minors liberated from slavery. According to Ibrahima Thioub, the school was created out of necessity after the 18 19

20

ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général au Gouverneur, 5 février 1905. ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général à Monsieur le Régisseur de la prison, Saint-Louis, 10 février 1905. Archives des Pères de Saint-Esprit, 311.10b6, Boite no. 159-B, 1887–1888.

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colonial administration realized that urban expansion required more than the help of private citizens to accommodate minors. Drawing upon Article 66 of the French Penal Code of 1810, which gave the state the right to send minors under age sixteen to correctional institutions and keep them there until the age of twenty, if need be, the Procureur général of Senegal, with the backing and support of the governor, drew up Article 13 in August 1888, thereby creating the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès. Liberated minors and orphans considered “insubordinate or perverts” could be sent to the Holy Ghost Fathers to perform field or domestic labor depending on their abilities. For the colonial administration, the objective of the 1888 Act was to teach liberated children to “obey and work, two qualities which are often lacking among the indigenous people.”21 European racial attitudes toward Africans predated the1880s, however. In assigning liberated minors to guardians from 1849 onward, for example, the Conseil de Tutelle often stipulated that the guardians should teach the children how to work. Martin Klein’s comment on this irony is appropriate. For him, “the notion that Africans did not know how to work would be amusing if it were not tragic.”22 Ibrahima Thioub posits that a second consideration was economic. The penitentiary school would take pressure off the prison system and would also be cost effective. Aside from funding the construction of the facility, the state’s financial input would be negligible. The cost of medicine, transportation of the youths to the facility, as well as their moral and professional education would be borne by the Holy Ghost Fathers pending reimbursement by the state.23 As it turned out, the state sent both minors charged with criminal offences and those recently liberated from slavery who may not have run afoul of the law to the Holy Ghost Fathers. Not all potential inmates came from Saint-Louis as the following case, which demonstrates the ingenuity of liberated minors, shows. This is the case of a young liberated male, Moussa, who escaped while on his way to the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès by train in 1892. As the train pulled out of 21 22 23

Thioub, “ Juvenile Marginality,” p. 82. Martin Klein, personal communication, June 2020. Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” 83.

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the Kébemer station in Bawol, Moussa asked his captors to use the toilet. He was granted his wish, but instead of using the facility he jumped through a door and took flight instead. The conductor stopped the train and a chase ensued, but to no avail. So the train continued toward Dakar with Moussa’s personal effects, including a blanket and a pair of pants, aboard.24 Did Moussa know what awaited him at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès? We do not know. But his actions were clearly calculated and meant to resist incarceration. Still, it is hardly likely that he would have taken such a risk if he had nowhere to go and no one to lean on. It is probable that he had a network which he could draw upon or that he was confident that he could survive on his own. He must also have known the Kébemer area well and decided to make his move at an opportune time. There is no doubt that minors weighed their options and acted independently as much as possible. Of the offenders who ended up at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès, most appear to have been charged primarily with petty crime, as Table 7.1 shows. Of the twenty-nine inmates in 1892, more than half allegedly committed acts of theft. One was likely Amadou, who was serving a five-year term, and whose former employer, Madame Farrereau – a merchant in Saint-Louis from whose enterprise he stole – wrote to the administration in 1892 to ask that he be liberated and returned to her services to assist her in the business now that he has been punished and reformed, and in good standing.25 There must have been other youngsters in Saint-Louis who could have replaced him. That Farrereau took this initiative while noting that she was carrying on alone, indicates that, despite Amadou’s alleged shortcomings, she viewed him as a promising young man. The predominance of theft in the crime statistics leads Ibrahima Thioub to conclude that “economic delinquency” was the primary cause of incarceration among inmates at the penitentiary school, much as it was for the general prison population in Senegal.26

24

25

26

ANS 3F 26, Le Directeur de l’Intérieur à Monsieur le Secrétaire général, SaintLouis, 29 février 1892. ANS 3F 26, École Pénitentiaire de Thiès, 1888–1900, correspondence départ et arrivée, directeur de l’intérieur, Lettre du 18 juillet, 1892, cited in Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” p. 85, note 33. Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” p. 83.

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Table 7.1 Offences of inmates at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès, 1892 Number of Inmates

Sex of Inmates

Offence Committed

1 19 3 2 1 1 1 1

F M M M M M M M

Unknown Theft Battery Vagabondage Vagabondage and Abuse Attempt to derail a railway Indecent offence Accomplice in assassination plot

Source: ANS 3F 26, Pénitentiaire de Thiès, rapport du comité de surveillance, November 1892.

Minors at the penitentiary school were generally institutionalized for much longer periods than inmates of the Saint-Louis prison, and were subjected to an established daily regimen which the Holy Ghost Fathers, who ran the institution from its inception, established. Since the institution had an apprenticeship component, and young girls were expected to engage in domestic work, the inmates at the Thiès facility were predominantly males, as Table 7.1 shows. The data show that most of the youngsters had committed petty crimes. As such, they did not fall into the category of hardened criminals who required constant surveillance. With the youngsters in the hands of the Holy Ghost Fathers, the state could stand back and leave matters to them. Whether the children ended up being reformed is another matter. To be sure, the breakdown of the workday of liberated minors in the penitentiary school suggests that the Holy Ghost Fathers viewed work as an important disciplinary measure, even though no breakdown was given for the afternoon. The Catholic missionaries, including the Holy Ghost Fathers, all put youngsters to work, giving credence to Ibrahima Thioub’s notion of “redemption through work and the Gospel.” Thioub argues that The Fathers profited from a cheap form of labor employing the inmates efficiently in rehabilitating the agricultural enterprise of the Mission. At the same time, scholarly instruction and apprenticeship, as promised, were minimized.27 27

Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” pp. 84–85.

162

Minors in Institutions Table 7.2 Work day of liberated minors at the École Pénitentaire de Thiès, 1892 5:30 AM 7:15 AM 9:30 AM 12:00 Noon

Work in the garden Breakfast Recreation Lunch

Source: ANS 3F 26, Pénitentaire de Thiès, Rapport du comité de surveillance, November 1892.

What work did the inmates of the École Pénitentaire de Thiès perform? As Table 7.2 shows, the children’s workday began at 5:30 a.m. In addition to field work, they labored on public works projects, which included the maintenance of roads in the cercle of Thiès, for which the state compensated the Holy Ghost Fathers.28 In the late nineteenth century, the Holy Ghost Fathers had several wells dug, which furnished a large quantity of water, some of which they used to irrigate the gardens that the youths tended. To facilitate this endeavor, the state provided workers, and funding – an indication of their support of the mission. In March, 1889, Father Andrien requested 35,000 French Francs for construction and 20,000 French Francs to buy agricultural material. This was the year that Monseigneur Magloire Barthet – a member of the Saint-Esprit congregation – arrived in Senegal and visited the school. There, he found twenty-four children “in good spirits,” working diligently in the garden tending thirty hectares of land. Aided by four ploughs drawn by four oxen (out of a total of thirty oxen and seven horses), they cultivated sesame, coffee, tobacco, cotton, lemons, oranges, and other fruits. This serious undertaking required substantial labor and explains the daily routine set by the Holy Ghost Fathers. Indeed, Father Barthet noted that close to a thousand fruit trees had been planted. The volume of fruit production could not have been designed for the consumption of the school alone, given the limited number of occupants. When 28

Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” p. 85. On prison labor used for road building and other public works projects see also, Ibra Sene, “Colonisation Française et Main-d’œuvre Carcérale au Sénégal: De l’emploi des détenus des Camps Pénaux sur les Chantiers Travaux Routiers 1927–1940,” French Colonial History, vol. 5 (2004), pp. 153–171; Babacar Fall, Le travail forcé en Afrique Occidentale Française, 1900–1945 (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 1993).

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harvested, the fruits were likely sold on the local market. In addition to cultivation, the youngsters labored in the workshops on the property as apprentice blacksmiths, tailors, and carpenters.29 There were costs associated with keeping minors at Thiès penitentiary school, but the missionaries probably came out ahead. In a letter of September 21, 1888, the Vicar wrote to all the Catholic missionaries in Senegambia about the children housed at their missions. He noted that the work the children performed could not compensate the missions for their keep, and that municipal councils and the council generals could contribute about fifteen French Francs per minor per month to ease the burden.30 By 1906, Governor-General Roume questioned whether it was worth paying one French Franc per day per liberated minor sent to the Thiès penitentiary school or await the pending construction of a state facility that could house them in a satisfactory condition but for which there was insufficient funds. He suggested to Governor Guy that minors could be sent to the Pinet-Laprade School or to the botanical gardens in Hann, envisioned as a large agricultural enterprise.31 Paradoxically, Ibrahima Thioub contends that the economic contribution that the minors made to the prosperity of the Mission at Thiès was not “negligible,” given the long working days and the labor tasks they performed.32 The missionaries housed most detainees in wooden cabins, but some had to make do with veranda space on beds made of straps. The Fathers informed the administration that the youngsters were relatively well fed compared to other prison inmates, the principal meals being couscous with meat, and rice with peanut oil. Senegalese medical doctors tended to the needs of the inmates and reported two deaths over the period 1888–1903: Alassane Guèye in 1894 and Omar Mbaye, who arrived with pneumonia and died in 1896. Overall, there was little or no oversight, but a Comité de surveillance – a government body – visited the establishment once a year and prepared a report, which appears to have raised no particular concerns in the initial years after the establishment of 29

30

31

32

Joseph Roger de Benoist, Histoire de l’Église Catholique au Sénégal du milieu du ¯ XVe siècle à l’aube du troisième millénaire (Paris: Editions Karthala, 2008), pp. 245–246. Archives des Pères de Saint-Esprit, 311. 10b6, Boite no. 159-B, Sénégal, 1887–1888. ANS 1F 1, Governor-General to Lieutenant Governor of Senegal, Gorée, February 18, 1906. Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” p. 85.

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the school. After 1892, however, the committee began to question the manner in which the Mission used the funds the state provided and accused the missionaries of promoting evangelism above all else. Ibrahima Thioub hypothesizes that the dispute sprang from the radical anticlerical current in France and the separation between Church and State that ensued.33 Martin Klein has indicated that the separation was pronounced during this period 1899–1905 when “overnight, the administration moved from aid and support to hostility and persecution.” This was a time that witnessed the disestablishment of the Catholic Church in France when, according to Klein, missionaries were accused of treating their converts as slaves, and when secular orphanages were established.34 What is revealing are the ways in which the detainees responded to incarceration and disciplinary measures adopted by the Holy Ghost Fathers to keep the inmates in line. A particularly telling case is that of the young male inmate, Touti Ndiaye, whom they considered a “natural rebel” and kept in iron shackles as a result. In 1888, they reported that he broke his chains, escaped, and got drunk. They wrote, “We attached the feet of this incorrigible fugitive to an iron chain link that is not so tight as to completely prevent him from walking, but only allows him to go a very short distance.”35 This incident stands in stark contrast to the picture that Monseigneur Barthet painted upon his visit to the school in 1889. He considered the penitentiary school a beacon of Christianity where the children were eager to be baptized. He noted that, in 1890, on the anniversary of the patron saint, Sainte-Anne, ten students requested baptism. Six of them received it. Likewise, fourteen of them requested baptism in 1891, but only eight were received.36 The missionaries were more concerned about saving souls and spreading the gospel. The children in their care were Muslims. Some were likely persuaded to accept Christianity, but the actions of others tell a different story. 33 34

35

36

Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality,” p. 86. Martin A. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 173. ANS 3F 28, Rapport sur l’installation d’une école pénitentiaire à Thiès, Arrêté du 13 Août, 1888, cited in Ibrahima Thioub, “Marginilité juvénile et enfermement à l’ époque coloniale: Les premières écoles pénitentiaires du Sénégal, 1888–1927” in Florence Benault (ed.), Enfermement, prison et châtiment en Afrique: Du 19e siècle à nos jours (Paris: Khartala, 1999), pp. 205–226. de Benoist, Histoire de l’Église Catholique au Sénégal, pp. 245–246.

Incarceration at the École Pénitentiaire de Thiès

165

Flight was a constant problem. In 1888, the Procureur général informed the Director of the Interior that the fourteen-year-old minor, Normand Faye, was cleared of the charge of theft but was still placed in the newly-created correctional facility in Thiès where he would remain for two years during which he would be nurtured.37 After a judgment by the tribunal in Saint-Louis on August 23, 1892, ten-yearold Ibrahim Dialo was sent Thiès. Two weeks later, on September 7, he profited from a lapse in surveillance and escaped. As it turned out, he went in search of a relative of his former owner in Saint-Louis – a distance of seventy-two kilometers. He was subsequently found and taken in by the Saint-Louis police, but the Procureur général blamed the prison director for the lapse and highlighted the need for better surveillance of the young inmates.38 For Ibrahim to have found his way back to Saint-Louis required courage and fortitude on the part of someone so young. His motives also suggest that he had some affinity for the family of his former owner, which is not unusual as no mention was made of his parents. This must also have been the case with the liberated youngster, Bilarly Couloubaly, whom the administration sent to Thiès on October 2, 1902, and who fled the facility almost two years later on October 12, 1904. Monsieur Boutrais, the director of the mission, informed the Procureur général that both he and the police in Thiès conducted a thorough inquiry but came up empty-handed.39 The Holy Ghost Fathers were strict disciplinarians and believed in good governance. They did not hesitate to return to the administration minors whom they deemed unruly. They were judgmental and often negative about the intellectual capabilities of the young Africans in their charge, but they also supported minors whose conduct they deemed to be good. On September 26, 1893, for example, the missionaries informed the administration that St. Jean Pellegrin – a minor at the penitentiary – was slated to finish his term in five days but requested an extension so as to finish perfecting his craft as a woodworker. Due to his good behavior, the missionaries supported his bid, and proposed that he be given a monthly stipend, food, and lodging. 37

38

39

ANS 1F 150, Police de St. Louis, 1888–1917, Procureur de la République au Directeur de L’Intérieur, 17 aout 1888. ANS 3F 26, Procureur général à M. le Directeur de l’Intérieur, Saint-Louis, 13 septembre 1892. ANS E 67, Monsieur Boutrais à Monsieur le Procureur général, 17 octobre 1904.

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This was clearly a special case because the missionaries stated that Pellegrin, who no doubt adopted a European name, would be separated “from the other detainees.”40 The Thiès penitentiary school was still housing liberated minors as late as 1906. That year the Procureur général sent the president of the Saint-Louis tribunal the freedom certificate of the female minor, Tenée, who was placed at the school. In his letter, the Procureur général told the president that Tenée’s ongoing conduct had been such that the religious order could no longer keep her and demanded that she be taken back by French authorities in Saint-Louis. This was in early July 1906. At the end of the month, the Secrétaire général, the chief administrator of tutelle by this time, wrote to the French administrator at Thiès to ask that he take the necessary steps to transport the minor under police escort after notifying him of the date of departure. At the beginning of August, the administrator at Thiès informed the Secrétaire général that Tenée had been sent back to Saint-Louis.41 The Holy Ghost Fathers gave no details about Tenée’s conduct. Her freedom certificate would have given us personal details including her age and place of birth. What happened to minors who finished serving their prison sentences? By the early twentieth century, the colonial administration began to discuss measures designed to facilitate a smooth transition from prison to civilian life. In 1905, the Secrétaire général became aware of some of the difficulties that resulted from the release of incarcerated minors who were left to their own devices. In February, the President of the tribunal indicated that he shared the views of the Secrétaire général that prison authorities be instructed to inform the police of the date and time of such releases the day before they occurred. Upon receiving this information, the Police Commissioner at Saint-Louis had to ensure that one of his agents fetch the minor at the appointed time and conduct the youngster to the Secrétaire général who would determine whether the minor should be sent back to his/her former guardian or placed elsewhere.42

40

41 42

ANS 3F 26, Congrégation du Saint-Esprit du St. Coeur de Marie to Monsieur le Directeur de l’intérieur, Thiès, 26 septembre 1893. ANS E 67, July 11, 1806; July 16, 1806; July 31, 1806; August 1, 1806. ANS 1F 1, Le Président du tribunal, président de la commission de mineurs à Monsieur le Secrétaire général du gouvernement du Sénégal, St. Louis, 16 février 1905; See also ANS 1F 1, February 27, 1905 (Secretary General note).

Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny/Ndar Toute Orphanage

167

The Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny and the Orphanage at Ndar Toute Much like the École Pénitentaire de Thiès, the orphanages at Ndar Toute and Sor, near Saint Louis, housed minors, mostly orphans. In the aftermath of abolition, the colonial administration created these orphanages as non-carceral institutions where minors could be supervised and cared for, mostly by Catholic missionaries. From the 1820s onward, Catholic missionary activity in Senegal began to spread, thanks to support from the colonial state which stood to benefit from the spread of education and the work of nuns caring for the sick in newlyconstructed hospitals. By the late nineteenth century, as Martin Klein has indicated, “missions were important to the colonial enterprise.”43 Despite their charitable endeavors, however, they were a reflection of the times in which they lived, according to Klein. With reference to the western Sudan, they were, in his estimation, “courageous in risking themselves in a difficult climate, marked by Christian sympathy and compassion, but sometimes racist, authoritarian and paternalistic.”44 In Senegal, Mother Anne-Marie Javouhey, who founded the Catholic order – the Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny in France in 1807 – was instrumental in promoting missionary activity which aided the colonial enterprise. Upon her arrival in Senegal in 1822 she engaged in commercial enterprises aimed at generating funds to construct two establishments designed to educate young Africans. By so doing, the mission would accomplish its “larger ambition to civilize Africa, to turn Africans into an agricultural, industrious people, and above all, to make them honest and good Christians.”45 To achieve this goal, Mother Javouhey orchestrated the movement of more than twenty eight-to-ten-year-old girls and boys from Senegal to France in the 1820s with the object of raising and educating them there to become nuns and priests. As Bryant states, “Javouhey and her Sisters saw these children,” some of whom may have been orphans, “as future missionaries who would help bring Christianity to Africa and to Africans in the Diaspora.”46 Though not a success due to the children 43 44 45 46

Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, p. 115. Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, pp. 118–119. de Benoist, Histoire de l’Église Catholique au Sénégal, p. 100. Kelly Duke Bryant, “An Ardent Desire to be Useful:” Senegalese Students, Religious Sisters and Migration for Schooling in France, 1824–1842,” in Elodie

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falling prey to illnesses and deaths (mainly from tuberculosis), the mission laid a foundation in Senegal and benefited from state aid, starting with Governor Baron Roger.47 In 1854, as Hilary Jones notes, the Sisters “received a subsidy from the administration to broaden their educational program in the colony. They used part of the subsidy to open an orphanage in the coastal fishing village of Ndar Toute.”48 Jones rightly asserts that the schools run by the Sisters in Saint-Louis and Gorée “provided a popular option for métis parents seeking to attain the same religious and academic training for their daughters as that expected for middle-class French girls. Most of the students enrolled came from families of the métis elite.”49 But the evidence shows that the orphanage at Ndar Toute also took in girls who did not fit this mold. According to the Holy Ghost Fathers, minors at Ndar Toute received a French education and were subjected to strict discipline throughout their stay. Like minors at the Thiès penitentiary, they performed a variety of tasks including agricultural pursuits, all of which enabled then to earn an honest living on their own. Upon leaving the institution, the mission assisted them in finding positions in the French colonial administration. It is no wonder that the Holy Ghost Fathers viewed their work as furthering the cause of civilization and a benefit to France and the mission.50 The Ndar Toute orphanage took in indentured servants, but apparently not enslaved people. In 1905, the lieutenant governor of Senegal decided to send young girls to the orphanage, among them the minor, Alima, who had been hospitalized in Saint-Louis due to a perceived mental illness. After the attending physician decided that her condition was satisfactory, the lieutenant governor decided to ask the police to

47

48

49 50

Razy and Marie Rodet (eds.), Children on the Move in Africa: Past and Present Experiences of Migration (Suffolk: James Curry, 2016), pp. 34–37. See also, Kelly Duke Bryant, Education as Politics: Colonial Schooling and Political Debate in Senegal, 1850s–1914 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015), pp. 9–15. Geneviève Lecuir-Nemo, Anne-Marie Javouhey: Fondatrice de la congrégation des Sœurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny, 1779–1851 (Paris: Karthala, 2001), p. 166. Hilary Jones, The Métis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), p. 99. Jones, The Métis of Senegal, pp. 99–100. Archives des Pères de Saint-Esprit, 311.10b6, Boite No. 159-B, Sénégal, 1887–1888.

The Orphelinat de Sor

169

escort her from the hospital to the orphanage.51 The Police Commissioner quickly followed up to inform the Secrétaire général that Alima was indeed sent to the orphanage at 5:30 p.m. on July 18.52 Given the relationship between indentureship and slavery highlighted in Chapter 2, it is possible that some of the young indentured servants were former slaves. To be accepted, the youths had to be orphans, but children with parents were also accepted as long as they agreed to let their children stay for about four years, during which no visits were allowed except in the presence of the Sisters. No strangers were allowed at the institution. Whether the Sisters of Saint-Joseph expected the young girls to become nuns is an interesting question for, aside from rudimentary education – basic reading, writing, and counting – their day consisted of prayers, domestic education, and physical labor in the orphanage’s garden. Overall, their recruitment efforts were not successful.53 The linkage to slavery requites further amplification. Indeed, most orphans were former slaves. In a correspondence of 1906, the Secrétaire général outlined the difficulties the administration faced in finding suitable placements for liberated minors who were returned to state custody by guardians who no longer wanted to keep them. He told the lieutenant governor of Senegal that the state had to house and feed them in the interim, which explains why they were placed at the general hospital. Rather than paying three French Francs per day to keep each minor at the hospital, he suggested that the girls be sent to the orphanage at Ndar Toute which cost only fifty centimes per day, and the boys to the orphanage at Sor. He asked the lieutenant governor to decide on the matter.54

The Orphelinat de Sor Archival documents dealing with Sor are scant and published material focuses mainly on the development of Catholicism and missionary activity there from the 1820s and not on minors in the orphanage. For many decades thereafter, the French Administration relied on the 51 52 53 54

ANS 1F 1, Secretary General, July 18, 1905. ANS 1F 1, Police Commissioner to Secretary General, July 19, 1905. Lecuir-Nemo, Anne-Marie Javouhey, p. 167. ANS 1F 1, Le Secrétaire général du Gouvernement du Sénégal à Monsieur le Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Sénégal, Saint-Louis, September 19, 1906.

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Minors in Institutions

Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny and worked closely with them as they pursued their evangelical mission while providing opportunities for young orphans and the displaced to obtain an education, however rudimentary. After 1848, they courted the community of Bambara freed slaves at Sor and strove to learn their language in preparation for their push into the French Soudan in 1888.55 By the 1880s, the Bambara community in Sor was pronounced. In 1891, the missionaries laid the foundation for a cathedral – Notre Dame de Lourdes – which became an important part of the Catholic dioses in Senegal aside from Saint-Louis.56 In 1903, they obtained a subsidy from the state to open a dispensary at Sor.57 Given the ties between the state and the Sisters of Saint Joseph, it is likely that the missionaries created and administered the orphanage at Sor. The limited data we have show that French authorities sent minors to the orphanage at Sor, which was likely established after the orphanage at Ndar Toute. Minors sent to Sor were referred to as “pupils” in official correspondence. This suggests that some type of instruction was given. Minors released from prison were often sent to Sor. So were minors who lacked kinship ties. Balla Fall fell into the former category. Balla’s guardian wrote to the administration in May 1905 to say that, in March 1904, Balla sustained a serious wound to one of his fingers while away from his household. He placed Balla in the hospital, well aware that this would incur costs. However, Balla refused to resume his household duties and showed up only at meal and rest times. Sent on an errand to Sor, he took flight, taking clothing with him – an indication that he had lost his appetite for work in his guardian’s opinion. Informed about his departure, the Saint-Louis police caught up with him around April 3 and put him in the Saint-Louis prison for three days, and then placed him in the orphanage at Sor. His guardian asked the Secrétaire général to refund the hospital charges he paid. Indeed, an invoice dated March 31, 1905 from the Service Local of the hospital shows a charge of thirty-two French Francs, fifty centimes for Balla’s stay from March 9 to March 30.58 Balla’s guardian expected to be reimbursed, but the fact that the request was made almost a year after the hospitalization suggests that money was not an issue. Also, 55 56 57 58

de Benoist, Histoire de l’Église Catholique au Sénégal, pp. 168, 201. de Benoist, Histoire de l’Église Catholique au Sénégal, p. 236. de Benoist, Histoire de l’Église Catholique au Sénégal, p. 273. ANS 1F 1, Saint-Louis, May 5, 1905.

The Orphelinat de Sor

171

had Balla returned to his guardian’s household, it is possible that the request would not have been made. The data do not indicate whether the Secretary General agreed to pay the reimbursement, but the state expected guardians to take full charge of minors in their care. The administration also sent minors without prison records to the orphanage, especially when they lacked apparent kinship ties. Such was the case of Amadou N’Dieye, eight years old, who was found wandering in the streets of Thiès. Molleur, the French administrator at Thiès, told the Secrétaire général that the police brought N’Dieye to his residence. When interrogated, N’Dieye said that he fled from his mother’s house at Tivaouane to go in search of his father, Meïssa N’Dieye, a shopkeeper in Dakar. However, the research carried out by the authorities in Tivaouane and Dakar turned up no leads on N’Dieye’s parents. Therefore, Molleur asked Secrétaire général for authorization to send N’Dieye to the orphanage at Sor.59 The Secrétaire général granted the request, as evidenced by a marginal note on the file which he signed.60 What would become of this minor? Another minor, Ali Niang, ended up at the orphanage following similar circumstances. In July 1905, the police commissioner at SaintLouis informed the Secrétaire général that the administrator at Thiès sent Niang to Saint-Louis. From Saint-Louis, Niang somehow found a way to get to Leybar near Saint-Louis. He did not indicate why the youngster fled or how old he was. But the police took him to the orphanage at Sor.61 For many minors, the orphanage was a place of temporary abode pending adoption. Raised by Victor Valentin, Yoro N’Diaye became a ward of Gube, a civil servant who wrote to the Secrétaire général in January 1906 to remind the authorities that he had adopted N’Diaye in 1904 when he was posted at Thiès and kept him for more than a year. When he left for France in 1905, Monsieur Gilbert Dessalons, a magistrate in Saint-Louis, wrote to the Secrétaire général to request that Yoro, a Bambara resident at the orphanage at Sor, become his ward. According to Dessalons, who promised the administration that he would take proper care of his charge, Valentin agreed to the

59 60 61

ANS 1F 1, M. Molleur à Monsieur le Secrétaire général du Sénégal, undated. ANS 1F 1, Saint-Louis, 1905 (this is the extent of the reference). ANS 1F 1, Saint-Louis, July 6, 1905.

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arrangement.62 No mention was made of Valentin’s whereabouts or explanations given as to why Yoro ended up in the orphanage after Gube’s departure for France. In any case, it is highly unlikely that the administration would deny Dessalons’ request because he was vicepresident of the Cour d’Appel (court of appeal) of French West Africa – a prominent position in the civil service. Meanwhile, Gaube, no longer the guardian of Yoro, asked that N’Barick, a twelve-year-old liberated minor in the orphanage at Sor, be placed in his care. He indicated that N’Barick had been highly recommended by the head of the orphanage, who praised his work ethics and good conduct.63 What life was like for the minors housed at the orphanage at Sor is difficult to ascertain because of the lack of testimonies and accounts of the living conditions there. But the actions taken by French authorities to regulate the administration of the orphanage on one occasion provide hints. In 1906, the governor of Senegal dismissed the Senegalese security guard, Nafal Fall, along with his mother, Coumba Diop, a cook and laundress at the orphanage. The account of what led to the dismissals is somewhat contradictory, because Fall is painted as too lax with the youngsters whom he permitted to participate in social activities such as outings that involved African drumming. It also appears that he used the orphanage for personal gain by raising animals. In January 1906, the director of the orphanage informed the Chef de Service that he asked Fall to get rid of two of the four dogs he had raised only to be met by an angry response. In addition, Fall then left the premises taking six of the oldest pupils with him.64 Fall’s relationship with the children was deemed acrimonious, as evidenced by flight and a revolt they staged. On January 18 or 19, the director informed the Chef de Service that seven minors left the orphanage and returned only at mealtime. The “Chef” proposed that Fall and his mother be dismissed. He had no replacements in mind but would rely on the advice of a Monsieur Crespin, a civil servant who was familiar with the populace. He also proposed that guards no longer be appointed by

62

63

64

ANS 1F 1, A. Gilbert Dessalons à Monsieur le Secrétaire général du Sénégal, Saint-Louis, September 5, 1905. ANS 1F 1, l’Administrateur-Adjoint de 1ère classe des Colonies, C. Gaube à Monsieur le Secrétaire général du Sénégal, Dakar, 31 janvier 1906. ANS 1F 1, Director of the Orphelinat de Sor to Monsieur de Chef de Service, Saint-Louis, January 20, 1906.

The Ėcole Professionnelle Pinet-Laprade

173

the decision of the lieutenant governor and paid by special mandates. This arrangement allowed guards to be independent of the director of the orphanage, even openly defiant. It would be preferable, the “Chef” argued, to pay guards for services rendered and place them directly under the authority of the director, who would thus have the authority to dismiss them.65

The Ėcole Professionnelle Pinet-Laprade In the early twentieth century the colonial administration found another avenue to accommodate liberated minors – the Ėcole Profesionel Pinet-Laprade (the Pinet-Laprade Professional School), so named after the Governor of Senegal. The creation of the institution came about by a 1902 decree dealing with the reorganization of the governor generalship of French West Africa, the idea being to create professional apprenticeship schools across French West Africa to produce African workers in order to meet the needs of the colonies. Thus, they were not designed specifically to meet the needs of the liberated; in fact, students, ranging from age eleven to sixteen, were required to pay a fixed sum for room and board with Senegalese hosts. The schools were to be controlled by the director of public works and administered by a conseil de surveillance consisting of the principal of the school and head of the treasury of the Secrétaire général. In addition to creating a curriculum, the conseil de surveillance was responsible for preparing the budget and administering the school administration. For the first year of the four-year program, students received no salary. After that, they received small increments that were held and given to them upon completion of the program.66 Correspondence from state officials indicates that active recruitment was sought. In early 1904, the Governor General’s office asked that the Governor of Senegal look for young Senegalese to populate the branch of the school in Dakar, and attached an arrêté outlining the condition of slaves in Senegal which showed that it was possible to recruit

65

66

ANS 1F 1, Service de l’enseignement, le Chef de Service, Saint-Louis, January 23, 1906. ANS J 65, undated but likely 1903. This dossier also contains pages from an issue of Le Journal Officiel du Sénégal et Dépendances (undated) which duplicates the information in it.

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youngsters from among them.67 Opened on March 15, 1904, the Dakar branch appears not to have been very successful, however, because it was transferred to Gorée on July 11, 1910.68 Recruitment proved to be difficult as Monsieur Meyrieur, a teacher at the school, told the Director of Public Works in response to three requests from him to recruit students. Meyrieur told him that the police commissioner at Saint-Louis found the potential candidates he interviewed to be incapable of taking the courses offered by the school and asked that recruitment deadlines be pushed back. Even so, Meyrieur assured the Director that the student body in 1904–1905 was literate.69 That the administration turned to the police in Saint-Louis suggests that former enslaved minors were the object of recruitment. As might be expected, there were minors who were considered to be bright sparks with the intellectual capacity to succeed at the school. Originally from the French Soudan, the twelve-year-old liberated minor, Abdoulaye, was singled out as one such student by Samba N’Diaye – the judicial interpreter at Dakar. N’Diaye wrote, “In my opinion, this child possesses all the aptitude and necessary qualifications to be admitted to the Ėcole Profesionel Pinet-Laprade.” The President of the Commission exercised his authority as administrator of tutelle in conformity with the Governor of Senegal’s circular of February 15, 1904, and endorsed Abdoulaye’s candidacy. In as firm a manner as ever, he drew attention to Article 3 of the arrêté of October 10, 1904, under which he was obliged to receive such requests and transmit them to the Secrétaire général in Saint-Louis if need be.70 The President’s insistence is indicative of his support for Abdoulaye, whom he clearly believed had potential. Since the intake was small, it can be assumed Abdoulaye stood out. As Table 7.3 shows, the number of liberated children who were sent to the École Pinet-Laprade was small, amounting to one admittance per year for most years between 1900 and 1902, when the average age of the pupils was 10 years. 67

68

69 70

ANS J 65, Secretary General of the Government General to Governor of Senegal, January 18, 1904. ANS J 65, Director of the Ėcole Pinet-Laprade to Inspector of Public Works, Dakar, June 22, 1904; ANS J 70, Gorée, July 11, 1910. ANS J 65 (undated). ANS 1F 1, Le Président du Tribunal à Monsieur le Maire du Sénégal, Dakar, 16 octobre 1904.

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Table 7.3 List of liberated minors placed at the École PinetLaprade, Dakar Date of Placement

Number of Minors

April 4, 1900 October 6, 1900 March 19, 1902 September 7, 1903 March 2, 1903 January 8, 1900 May 5, 1902 Total

1 2 1 1 1 1 1 8

Age of Minors 9 10 13 12 12 13 11 Average Age: 10

Source: ANS 1F 1 (unsigned and undated).

Minors in the Military Minors were confided to the military, but their numbers appear to have been small. Indeed, there is very little mention of this aspect of tutelle in the archival dossiers. These young liberated minors should not be confused with the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, who were the backbone of the Black colonial army in French West Africa since 1854 when Governor Louis Faidherbe created the force. Most of them were former slaves. They joined the ranks of the military as adults, not as minors. In 1906, Governor Guy informed the General Superintendent of Troops of French West Africa that four minors “rescued from the condition of slavery” were confided to the military in Dakar and placed under the command of Sergeant Samba Coumba N’Diaye, and Amady Bâ. Both military men belonged to the seventh Compagnie du Sénégalais and were responsible for taking care of the moral and material needs of their charges.71 In all likelihood, these youngsters would later be integrated into the ranks of the Tirailleurs Sénégalais. Certainly, the Tirailleurs Sénégalais drew upon the cadre of liberated female minors for wives, as we shall see in Chapter 8. As this chapter has shown, the colonial administration in Senegal sent minors to a number of institutions, carceral and non-carceral, to be rehabilitated in some cases and, in others, to acquire skills that they 71

ANS 1F 1, Surveillance et Protection des Enfants Mineurs, 1848–1906, Dakar, 14 avril 1906.

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could use to build a future and contribute to the economic development of the colony. By and large, however, the majority seem not to have benefited from institutionalized care. The institutions highlighted here were the most important, but likely not the only ones to which liberated minors and orphans in Senegal were sent. Aside from the prison facility in Saint-Louis, most of the institutions to which liberated minors were sent were alienating and not at all conducive to their wellbeing. In a society where kinship was a major asset, these minors lost their way, hence the reason why flight was constant. Liberated minors had little choice but to bide their time and hope that adulthood would be better.

|

8

Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

In addition to the aspects of tutelle that have been discussed in the previous chapters, it is possible to extrapolate further from the data to determine how minors fared overall, especially with regard to the challenges they faced in their work settings. Minors were subjected to a wide range of abuse and took flight in all instances. In this regard, Ibra Sene’s contention that guardians abandoned liberated minors who resorted to flight and rebellion in response deserves very serious reflection.1 This was indeed the view of Governor Camille Guy who accused Europeans of “abandoning children who were confided to them to the hazards of the streets without the official tutor launching an investigation to find out what has become of them.”2 He contended that many remained on the streets.3 And he expressed alarm at the “relatively large numbers of minors missing” in Dakar and around the ports of Saint-Louis.4 Many liberated minors were kept in tutelle beyond the age of eighteen years. Some were taken to France without the knowledge of the administration, as we indicated, and this was a clear violation of the law. Far too many minors fell between the cracks and could not be accounted for, and this was largely due to lax record-keeping – a situation from which guardians who wished to dodge the system profited. With regard to marriage, it is not certain that minors in tutelle always consented to the suitors their guardians favored and approved. And minors of all ages died in tutelle, often quite young and usually from illnesses for which no diagnoses were given and under 1

2 3

4

Ibra Sene, “Crime, Punishment, and Colonization: A History of the Prison of Saint-Louis and the Development of the Penitentiary System in Senegal, CA. 1830–CA, 1940,” PhD dissertation, Michigan State University, 2010, p. 152. ANS K 23, Governor of Senegal to Governor General, Gorée, May 4, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, May 4, 1904. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Président du tribunal de Dakar (undated).

177

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circumstances that appeared to be suspect. Some died in France. In such cases, it was up to the guardian to inform the administration. In general, however, deaths were not reported. This chapter explores these aspects of minors in tutelle.

Flight Minors fled their guardians and institutions where they were housed on a regular basis for as long as tutelle lasted, although most instances of flight came to light in the early twentieth century when tutelle came under administrative scrutiny, as evidenced by the volume of correspondence between the Secrétaire général – under whose portfolio tutelle fell from 1903 – and the police commissioner in Saint-Louis during this period. In addition to greater scrutiny of guardianship, it is possible that the significant increase in liberations from the 1880s when it was possible to acquire liberty certificates more easily, gave liberated minors more options to exercise agency and, by so doing, free themselves from their guardians. There are several dossiers on minors fleeing their abode in the police files of Saint-Louis during the first decade of the twentieth century. Sone patterns are clear. One is that flight was endemic, and age was inconsequential to flight. Another is that children in tutelle sought refuge wherever they could. The frequency of flight suggests that many minors considered their social condition untenable. That some fled even when they appear to have had no identifiable kin to turn to may indicate that they saw no way out. This chapter shows that flight was still ongoing in 1906 – a year after the end of slavery in French West Africa. Among the cases handled by the Conseil de tutelle on June 13, 1849 was that of the female minor, Yassine (no age given), who fled from her guardian’s abode and apparently turned to a life of vagabondage and debauchery. After a search, Yassine was found with a female compatriot (unnamed) who catered to such a lifestyle. In the end, the council accepted Marie Ausnae’s offer to keep her.5 Sadly, a marginal note in the council document dated July 12, 1849 indicated that Yassine contracted venereal disease and that Ausnae promised to take care of her.6 Similarly, the liberated minor, Moctar Fall – the ward 5

ANS M 3, June 13, 1849.

6

ANS M 3, June 13, 1849.

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179

of Abdoul Ndaou, who made sails for shipping vessels, fled his apprenticeship which Ndaou agreed to administer, in favor of hanging out at the barracks from which the council retrieved him and sent him back to Ndaou.7 Confided to Noudja Fall in 1871 when she was eight years old, Penda Fall, a female orphan, fled in June, 1878. Found at the home of a fictitious sister, Penda was reintegrated with her guardian forthwith upon the orders of the authorities.8 In 1896, the twelve-year-old male, Barrick, who was confided to Dialo Diop, a trader, fled due to alleged poor treatment. He sought refuge at the protestant mission in Saint-Louis where he was received by one Monsieur Moreau. On August 23, 1897, the authorities confided him to Moreau, who thereby became his legal guardian. In July 1903, two male minors, fourteen-year-old Ali Conaté and Soma (no age given) were confided to two Europeans – Monsieur Joucla, a substitute for the Procureur général, and Monsieur Rabil. The Procureur général was the declarant for Conaté, whose parents, Mamady and Lata, were known. However, a marginal note in the Libérations Register stated that Conaté absconded and that efforts to find him were unsuccessful. Interestingly, Soma also fled without leaving a trace.9 Did the two conspire to abscond? In September 1903, the Procureur général asked the police commissioner in Saint-Louis to conduct a search for Fatou, a liberated female minor who was confided to a woman named Kathie Guèye, wife of Malick Lô, a former baker who lived at rue de France opposite the mosque. The details that the Procureur général provided indicate that the administration kept proper records in this instance. The police commissioner responded in November to say that the research he undertook was futile and turned up no trace of Fatou. “It is possible,” he wrote, “that Fatou may no longer be in St. Louis.”10 In such instances, the case was closed and no further action followed. Correspondence between Maurice Merlo – a Saint-Louis habitant – and the Secrétaire général in 1904 show a continuing pattern of flight. In his letter, Merlo stated that “Ibra Takouré, a minor ransomed from slavery and confided to me, ran away from my household on Friday, 7 9 10

8 ANS M 3, July 30, 1850. ANS M 3, August 9, 1871. ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904. ANS, Libérations, [January 16, 1894 # 9] Procureur général to commissaire de police, Saint-Louis, 29 October, 1903; commissaire de police to Procureur général, Saint-Louis, November 3, 1903.

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November 4, and has been living in a state of vagabondage since.”11 Merlo did not say how he learned of this, but went on to state that he notified the Saint-Louis police the day of his flight and that the police had conducted a search that tuned out to be futile. Merlo considered Ibra a habitual, irredeemable runaway because he had previously taken off for two days and was imprisoned in Saint-Louis for two days as a consequence. “Given this situation,” he wrote, “I must inform you, Monsieur le Secrétaire général that I can no longer keep him, and will notify you in the event that he is found.”12 In May 1905, the Secrétaire général wrote to the police commissioner in Saint-Louis to inform him that Awa Diara – a liberated female minor who had been confided to Monsieur Charles Patterson – had run away from his household and had been missing for several days.13 Some minors fled after alleging maltreatment by their guardians. Such was the case of the male minor Mahmoride, whom Bakar Sal renamed Abdoulaye N’Diaye when he became his guardian in April 1899 when the child was four years old. On April 27, 1906, Sal informed the Secrétaire général that N’Diaye fled and remained at large for fifteen days. This would put the flight at April 12. Sal indicated that all his efforts to find the youngster, whom he believed was still in Saint-Louis, proved futile. He gave a description of N’Diaye to both the Secrétaire général and the police and asked for their help, which he believed they were obliged to provide. Abdoulaye was found and taken to the police station on April 27. He claimed that his guardian beat him regularly – a charge that Sal disputed. Sal told the authorities that he treated the boy well and that other members of his household, neighbors, and the village chief of Guet Ndar could corroborate his account. Having cared for Abdoulaye for seven years, he stated, he would be distraught if the boy was taken away from him. So he welcomed an investigation which was certain to show that the youth was lying. On April 30, the Secrétaire général asked the police commissioner to investigate the matter urgently but, as in other cases,

11

12

13

ANS E 69, M. le Secrétaire général du Gouvernement du Sénégal, November 9, 1904. ANS E 69, Monsieur Merlo to Secretary General, Saint-Louis, November 9, 1904. ANS 1F 1, Secretary General to Police Commissioner, Saint-Louis, May 30, 1905.

Flight

181

there seems to have been no resolution.14 It is difficult to imagine how an eleven-year-old child who had been with a guardian for almost all of his life would leave home for no apparent reason, and did not return. It would have been helpful to know where he found shelter. He would either have been sent back to his guardian or placed elsewhere depending on the results of the investigation, if indeed it was carried out. Sockna Trawalé, thirteen years old, a female liberated minor who was entrusted to Madame Gaillard, a merchant in Saint-Louis, on October 11, 1898 complained to French authorities in 1906 about being beaten constantly without reason, which turned her into a habitual runaway. At noon on February 22, 1906, Gaillard appeared before the commission to lodge a complaint that Monsieur Gaillard had to administer a beating to Sockna, including punches and kicks after she mocked him and laughed in his face after he made observations about her work. Interestingly, the police commissioner reported that the minor showed no signs of ill-treatment and imposed a four-day prison sentence on her. Madame Beaujeat, a midwife, asked to become her guardian.15 Fatma Fall, a fourteen-year-old minor, took off to rid herself of unhappy circumstances too. Born in Dabaye on the right bank of the Senegal River opposite Podor, her drama began when she was kidnapped by a Moor named Abdoulaye while working in the forest of Dabaye. The Moor sold her for 500 French Francs to fifty-year-old Massaw Dièye, a peasant farmer at Ndieben in Gandiole near SaintLouis. She ran away from Dièye’s household and hid out in Saint-Louis with Ahmed M’Bayrick, a thirty-five-year-old laptot employed by the commercial firm Maurel et Prom, who was born in Dabaye and knew her parents, Brahim Fall and Oumar Kaéri, well. In a letter to the Secrétaire général, the police commissioner in Saint-Louis emphasized that under no condition did Fatma want to return to Massaw Dièye. So he hoped that her parents could retrieve her as she could not remain in

14

15

ANS 1F 1, Baka Sar à Monsieur Secrétaire général, Saint-Louis, 27 avril 1906; ANS 1F 1, Bakar Sar au Commissaire de Police, 27 avril 1906; ANS 1F 1, SaintLouis, 28 avril 1906; ANS 1F 1, Chef du Bureau du Secrétaire général au Commissaire de Police, Saint-Louis, 30 avril 1906. ANS 1F 1, Commissaire de Police au Secrétaire général, Saint-Louis, 22 février1906; 5 septembre 1906.

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M’Bayrick’s household where she had been for the last four days.16 How Fatma ended up hiding out in the household of an acquaintance of her parents is intriguing and shows how minors used their ingenuity to their advantage. There were instances of liberated minors who ran back to their guardians after they had been placed elsewhere. They did so either out of loyalty or unhappiness with their new surroundings. In 1906, the administration removed an adult female, Oulèye, from her guardian’s household and confided her to Monsieur Braziley. This was her third move because she received her certificat de liberté in 1893 when she was thirteen years old and was confided to Monsieur Abdoulaye Seck. The police commissioner in Saint-Louis who handled the case stated that under no circumstances did Oulève want to return to the Braziley household where she was apparently deprived of liberty and forced to shave her head – an act she considered to be “a grave injustice.” On April 5, her former guardian wrote to the governor of Senegal to say that Oulèye sought refuge at her house on four occasions, having fled from the Brazileys. She requested that Oulèye be given back to her. As it turned out, Oulèye kept running off, and could not be found in the end. Monsieur Braziley believed that she had been enticed by Seck – her first guardian – but the police deemed this conjecture to be groundless. In any case, the commissioner rightly concluded that Oulèye was a “big woman” who was capable of making her own decisions.17 Indeed, she would have been about twenty-six years old in 1906 and, as such, much too old to be in tutelle. This case was typical as there are many examples of minors who were kept in tutelle beyond the age of eighteen years, as we shall see. Oulèye’s case also reinforces the argument that tutelle lasted beyond 1905, and that flight was a constant. Indeed, in 1907, the commandant of the cercle of Tivaouane wrote to the lieutenant governor of Senegal to inform him that Meïssa M’Baye, a provincial chief, told him that Seydance, a Moorish youth about twelve years old who ought to have been confided to him in 1901 by administrator Virenne, had run away from his master in Mauritania. The youth was apparently rescued by a 16

17

ANS 1F 1, Commissaire de Police au Secrétaire général, Saint-Louis, 23 mars 1906. ANS 1F 1, Procureur général au Gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 5 Avril 1906; ANS 1F 1, Commissaire de Police au Lieutenant-Gouverneur of Sénégal, Saint-Louis, 7 avril 1906.

Lodging Complaints against Guardians

183

Senegalese who turned him over to the administrator of Tivaouane. At last, the youth appears to have been finally entrusted to M’Baye. By 1907, however, M’Baye no longer wanted to keep Seydance, whom he deemed to have had numerous failings, among them stealing. The question that the commandant of Tivaouane asked in 1907 was whether to send “this young minor” to Saint-Louis, thus placing him at the disposition of the lieutenant governor.18 This case gives rise to many intriguing questions. In 1901, when Seydance was up for adoption, he would have been about six years old. Described as a “young Moor” in 1907, he may have been entrusted to a guardian in Senegal who took him to Mauritania, likely without the knowledge of the administration. At what point did he run away from his master in Mauritania? When did M’Baye adopt him? The fact that he did so suggests that he knew Seydance’s history, at least going back to 1901, and that the youngster was aware of his roots. We lack follow-up on this case and can only speculate as a consequence.

Lodging Complaints against Guardians Liberated minors lodged complaints against their guardians and, by so doing, revealed the conditions under which they lived. One such minor was thirteen-year-old Sokna Trawalé, who was confided to Madame Gaillard, a merchant in Saint Louis. She told the police commissioner of Saint-Louis that Monsieur Gaillard beat and kicked her and punched her all over her body. The commissioner wrote, “This girl also complained about her mistress, who did not provide her with adequate clothing,” but she showed no sign of brutality or maltreatment. What is noteworthy is that, later that day, Monsieur Gaillard also filed a complaint claiming that, after they complained about her work, Trawalé mocked him and laughed in his face, over and over. He responded to this insolence by giving her “a few blows,” he said. Rather than investigating further, the commissioner took his side of the story and had Trawalé put in the Saint-Louis prison for four days as a disciplinary punishment.19 What should not be lost sight of is the 18

19

ANS E 37, L’Administrateur en Chef des Colonies; Commandant le Cercle de Tivaouane à Monsieur le Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Sénégal, Saint-Louis, December 26, 1907. ANS 1F 1, Le commissaire de police à Monsieur le Secrétaire général, SaintLouis, February 22, 1906.

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courage it took for a young girl like Trawalé to complain about her guardians in the manner that she did. Monsieur Gaillard was clearly livid about her taunts and turned to corporal punishment. So her incarceration constituted a second punishment. Since she had no recourse to redress her grievance, she had to bear the physical and psychological pain.

Travel with Guardians Guardians who left urban Senegal with minors were required to notify the administration, but not all of them did so. Some moved to other parts of Senegal; others to other parts of Africa; still others to France, temporarily or permanently. This phenomenon was a constant from the inception of tutelle. At a sitting on December 7, 1849, the wardship council took up the case of Marie Magdeleine, a six-year-old girl whose mother, Caroline, confided her to Marie Antoine and went to live in Fouta Toro. Antoine must have requested that the child accompany her on a trip to the Gambia because the council enthusiastically endorsed the move, given the child’s attachment to her guardian, from whom she apparently did not wish to be separated. However, Antoine agreed to abide by the condition that at the first request of Caroline, the child would be returned to her, even if she was still in the Gambia.20 There is evidence, however slim, that guardians took wards to France from the inception of guardianship. Although they did not state their motives, it is conceivable that they used minors to perform domestic service. In 1849, the wardship council decided that Bourica, a fourteen-year-old female orphan who Madame Chassaniot had taken to France and freed there, should regain wardship of the youngster.21 This case is interesting from many points of view. The data do not indicate when Bourica went to France. In the 1840s, however, the French abolition movement hit its stride and the question as to whether slavery was legal in France had been resolved. So Chassaniot’s act may appear to have been generous but may also have been a reflection of the times. It seems logical that Chassaniot returned to Senegal and renewed her claim to the minor for the council’s consideration.

20

ANS M 3, October 7, 1849.

21

ANS M 3, July 12, 1849.

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185

On April 27, 1878, the colonial administration gave Madame Charfrew permission to take Coumba Kouloubaly, who was confided to her on June 28, 1876, to France temporarily.22 Since there were no mechanisms or reporting systems in place to ensure that the children were brought back to Senegal, we cannot be certain that guardians kept their promises. Even if they had good intentions, circumstances could change once in France. On May 8, 1897, Monsieur Congoulat, a pharmacist, took a twelve-year-old female minor in tutelle to France.23 No further details were given. The young male minor, Mamadou N’Diaye, was also taken to France but ended up back in Senegal. In 1900, N’Diaye was confided to Dr. Kieffer – the chief medical officer of Senegal – who took him to France but returned him to the administration in 1905. It is not clear whether Kieffer accompanied him back to Senegal, because some minors were shipped back alone. In any case, the Procureur général asked the Secrétaire général to take the necessary measures to ensure the wellbeing of “the young Mamadou N’Diaye” whose parents were unknown. The Secrétaire général acted upon the request because, on December 23, 1905, N’Diaye was confided to Monsieur Richard. No information was given about his age, how he was occupied in France, or why his guardian no longer required his services. The fact that he was placed in another household indicates that he was still considered a minor.24 Born in the Upper Gambia, Tamba was another male minor sent back to Senegal from France. Writing from Paris on March 28, 1905, Chaeles Mazeran, a ship lieutenant, told the Secrétaire général that he would send back Tamba, by ship on March 31. He had been Tamba’s guardian since August 1, 1904. This means that their relationship lasted a mere eight months. Mazeran complained that Tamba’s behavior left much to be desired. From the outset, he had every intention of providing Tamba a good education and proper guidance but it was not to be.25 Had Mazeran provided information about Tamba’s conduct it would have been possible to judge what might have gone wrong from

22 23 24

25

ANS, Libérations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879. ANS, Libérations, June 4, 1892–September 27, 1897. ANS 1F 1, Procureur général to Secrétaire général, Saint Louis, December 18, 1905. ANS IF 1, Lieutenant de Viseau to Secretary General, Paris, March 28, 1905.

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his perspective but he did not. Was his profession as a ship lieutenant a hindrance to parenting? Did Mazeran have a family? What was life like for an African youngster in Paris in 1905? Did Tamba’s move from the Upper Gambia to Senegal and then to France prove unsettling? Whether a move from one part of Senegal to another was less unsettling is difficult to tell. In 1905, Diminga Salla informed the Secrétaire général about a planned move to Carabane with Namou – the minor who was “adopted” in 1899 at the age of six years. Salla requested authorization for the move without further details.26 In 1905, Namou would have been twelve years old. A guardian whose absence was not prolonged could name another guardian to whom a minor could be sent pending his/her return, but acceptance of this arrangement depended on the administration. This was the case in November 1904, when Madame Thébaud planned a four-to-five-month trip to France. Her husband wrote to the Procureur général to request permission to leave the young female minor, Fodi (known as Fari), who was confided to him in August 1904, with Madame Morin, the wife of the chief sanitation officer in Dakar. If the Procureur général refused, Monsieur Thébaud agreed to keep her during his wife’s absence. However, the Procureur général swiftly granted permission.27 The prospect of Monsieur Thébaud together with a young female in his household in his wife’s absence undoubtedly led to a quick decision in this case which also points to the mobility that minors in tutelle experienced. Monsieur Sègeur, who also resided in Thiès, made similar arrangements for Bakar Kanjé (known as Mapinda) – a male minor whom the Procureur général confided to him on August 10, 1904, without first seeking permission. Indeed, it was the administrator in the cercle of Thiès who, in March 1905, informed the Secrétaire général that, before leaving for France, Sègeur, an administrator at the department of Native Affairs, left Kanjé with Monsieur Chennetier, a commissioner in the same department.28 Minors returning to Senegal did not necessarily resume the life they once lived in the service of their guardians, as the Bonhomme family, 26 27

28

ANS IF 1, Diminga Salla to Secretary General, Saint-Louis, February 22, 1905. ANS 1F 1, Saint-Louis, November 25, 1904; ANS 1F, Thiès, November 25, 1904; ANS 1F 1, Saint-Louis, November 28, 1904. ANS 1F 1, Administrator of Thiès to Secretary General, Thiès, March 23, 1905.

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187

whose members were representatives of the commercial firm Buhan et Tisseire in Conakry, Guinea, discovered. Bonhomme claimed that, in 1901, the French administration confided a seven-year-old female slave to him in Conakry. That year he took the child, Mahissa, also called Marie Kamara, to France and subsequently to Senegal where he conducted business. In 1906, when the girl was twelve years old, Bonhomme again went to France leaving her with another family connected to his commercial activity at Tivaouane, Senegal. Upon his return to Sénégal in October 1906, Bonhomme complained that he could no longer control Mahissa, who followed the advice of other women to leave his household. Further, she kept unconventional hours, did the minimum work for him, and defied his efforts to reform her.29 Bonhomme wanted to retain the services of Mahissa but the question as to whether he had ever obtained a certificat de liberté for her arose. When pressed for the certificate by the police in Tivaouane, Bonhomme could not produce one.30 Bonhomme claimed to have later submitted one directly to the administrator of Tivaouane, a claim which administrator Allys later confirmed, though this confirmation is hardly convincing.31 Mindful of the 1905 law which made the alienation of a person’s liberty illegal, the police insisted that Mahissa was free to do as she pleased, and suggested that Bonhomme return the girl to Guinea. But Bonhomme expressed fear that Mahissa would, on the advice of other women, turn to prostitution. He recommended that she leave Tivaouane.32 Mahissa’s claim that she had been mistreated by the Bonhommes was ignored.33 In the end, Bonhomme returned the girl to the administration. In light of the seriousness of prostitution among all ages of women at Tivaouane, administrator Allys ruled, he could not add to the numbers. He opted to send her to Saint-Louis to be placed in the guardianship of a female post-office employee. However, the potential guardian refused to accept Mahissa, and she was eventually sent back to Guinea. Mahissa’s departure likely had no effect on prostitution, since the problem was much wider.

29 30 31 32 33

ANS ANS ANS ANS ANS

E 67, Tivaouane, November 12, 1906. E 67, Police de Tivaouane, November 12, 1906. E 67, Tivaouane, November 12, 1906. E 67, Tivaouane, November 12, 1906. E 67, Police de Tivaouane, November 11, 1906.

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Kept in Tutelle beyond Eighteen Another common abuse was that of retaining the services of minors long after they passed the age of eighteen years. In fact, many guardians intimidated minors by convincing them that they were bought with administrative approval which, in effect, made them “slaves, things for life.”34 As we have seen, this was one of the abuses that perturbed Governor Guy in 1904 when he discovered how poorly wardship had been administered. For the most part, the age of minors freed from slavery in colonial Senegal was listed in official documentation (including the freedom certificates), but there was, in many instances, an air of uncertainty, which explains why the French word “environ” (about) often preceded the age listing. Thus, guardians could always plead ignorance. It is worth considering whether keeping minors beyond the age of eighteen years falls into the broader concept of clientage among various ethnic groups within Senegal where asserting control over individuals who came into their households as children was viewed as normal and acceptable practice. Was this the case of Oulèye mentioned above? Lotte Pelcmans’ metaphor of children of “the rope” which signifies enslavement in Fulbe communities where a rope was tied around the neck of slaves sold at markets, is instructive in this regard. Pelcmans found that, in contemporary Fulbe society, the legacies of slavery were part of a broader cultural field determined by hierarchy. Pelcmans’ research in Bellagamba in 2009 revealed that in some instances, slave status is considered advantageous and does not warrant a complete rupture with the past in times of hardship. In such cases, reverting back into dependency relations with former masters is considered preferable.35 Clientage and tutelle are different phenomena, but boundaries were crossed, and much depended on whether a guardian was abusive. To be sure, in all African coercive systems, there were reasons to stay put. Census data from Rufisque show that several minors in their twenties were still in tutelle in 1906, legally free but clearly still dependent 34

35

ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, 20 décembre 1904. Lotte Pelcmans, Travelling Hierarchies: Roads in and out of Slave Status in a Central Malian Fulbe Network (Leiden: African Studies Centre – African Studies Collection, vol. 34, 2011), pp. 8–26.

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189

and subject to coercion. Among them was twenty-three-year-old Cora Diarra who had been in the household of one, Berard – a tax collector – since the age of twenty-one. Aly Gaye, a merchant in Saint-Louis, had several in his household who had been confided to him in the 1880s and 1890s, and who were still in tutelle in their twenties.36 It is quite likely that the social status of these guardians shielded them from inquiry and allowed them to exercise the kind of latitude over the administration that many others could not. What is unfortunate is that this latitude did not benefit minors. As we shall see, some of the minors in Aly Gaye’s household died in service. An indication that Governor Guy was serious about controlling such abuses was his willingness to accommodate the demands for liberty of a number of “minors” – eighteen to twenty-three years old and still in tutelle in Dakar; and his attempt to notify others that they were free to leave their guardians. What is striking in this and other cases is the number of Europeans, many of whom held responsible positions in the colonial administration, who ignored their own law. For example, two of the “minors” in this case worked for one, Berard, a tax collector at Rufisque.37 If the administration could not curb abuses among its own personnel, it would have been difficult to do so elsewhere. Some liberated minors, mostly females, got married while in tutelle. As for males, the absence of evidence of marriage may be due to the fact that they lacked the dowry which normally accompanied marriage proposals. We have no personal testimonies from minors attesting to consent or rejection of marriage proposals. Whether those who married consented to these unions is a question worth asking. For the most part, guardians were the ones who took charge, made the arrangements, and sought consent from the colonial administration. Even among young women of free status in Muslim Senegal, however, the choice of a marriage partner was left to others within the family.38 It is probable that marriages among liberated minors occurred from the early stages of guardianship, but only in the late nineteenth and first decade of the twentieth century did information about such unions come to light. The marriage of the liberated female minor, Fatou N’Diaye, is instructive in this regard. Entrusted to Rose Dally, a 36 37 38

ANS 1F 1, Report of Police Commissioner Marcel, Rufisque, March 15, 1906. ANS K 23, Le Gouverneur à M. le Président du tribunal de Dakar (undated). See Abdoulaye Bara Diop, La famille Wolof (Paris: Karthala, 1985), pp. 100–105.

190

Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

washerwoman in Saint-Louis, on June 2, 1897, fourteen-year-old Fatou lasted only a year because Dally returned her to the authorities on June 6, 1898. She was then entrusted to Madame Diodis, wife of Demba Diavoura, a principal regional guard at Port Louis in SaintLouis and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur – a French order of merit. On February 18, 1899, when she would been about sixteen years old, however, Fatou was left to her own devices on account of a marriage proposal from Samba Sidili, a peasant farmer from Bakel, with the consent of Diavoura.39 What seems certain is that the guardian had to grant permission and notify the authorities. It was easy for female minors to marry newly emancipated male slaves, a type of union which, according to M’Baye Guèye, was a hedge against the future.40 There are, however, indications that guardians, signares in particular, forced female minors into marriage to collect dowry.41 They were forced to marry the first suitor who appeared, often before they reached puberty. Neither the minors nor the Procureur général was consulted. Years after marriage when they reached twenty to thirty years, many still sought the protection of the Procureur général against abuse.42 In December 1904, an administrative report by a commission charged with looking into the condition of liberated minors recommended that liberated minors be encouraged to marry as soon as possible, “so as to take this responsibility, however delicate, off their masters.”43 Thus the possibility that guardians forced minors into marriage for their own personal gain is real. The 1904 report was written during the era of the Secrétaire général under whose portfolio tutelle fell. Thus, it is no wonder that, on February 17, 1905, Madame Léna N’Diaye, a housewife in SaintLouis, wrote to seek his approval of a marriage between a female minor, Sajha Tiré, who had been confided to her, and one, Gaspard 39 40

41

42

43

ANS, Libérations, June 4, 1892–September 27, 1897. M’Baye Guèye, “La Fin de l’esclavage à Saint-Louis et Gorée en 1848”, Bulletin de L’I.F.A.N., Tome XXVIII, Série B, nos. 3–4 (1965), p. 653. Guèye, “La Fin de l’esclavage,” p. 653; Georges Deherme, L’Afrique occidentale française: action politique, action économique, action sociale (Paris: Hachette, 1908), p. 358. ANS K 15, Le Procureur général à M. le Gouverneur général, 20 décembre 1900. ANS 1F 1, Surveillance et protection des mineurs; Commission de protection et de surveillance des mineurs affranchis, Procès-verbal de la séance du 10 décembre, 1904.

Kept in Tutelle beyond Eighteen

191

Preira, who may have been a Luso-African from Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, or Casamance, as such individuals settled in Saint-Louis at that time. Nowhere in her correspondence did she hint at Tiré’s sentiments about the union. It seems odd that N’Diaye made her request after the marriage had already taken place aboard the ship, St. Kilda. However, it may well have been an indication that guardians had become more amenable to compliance with state regulations. In any case, the Secrétaire général consented to the union but gave N’Diaye fifteen days to produce a marriage certificate to prove that the act had taken place. The importance of this measure should not be taken lightly because marriage to a free person constituted an act of liberation. Thus, it would indicate that Tiré was now fully emancipated and that N’Diaye no longer had the rights of wardship over her that she once possessed.44 The data offer no clues as to N’Diaye’s social status, but the marriage aboard ship and her designation as “madame” suggest that she had social standing in the Saint-Louis community. The hypothesis about Madame N’Diaye’s status can be strengthened by a marriage proposal that Gaspard Frérat, a sailor aboard the ship Kildoo, wrote to the Secrétaire général on February 17, 1905 – the very day N’Diaye sent her request to this administrator. Born in Casamance, Frérat, thirty-eight years old, informed the Secrétaire général that he wanted to marry the minor, Lakha Sy, whom the administration confided to N’Diaye. With a salary of sixty French Francs per month, Frérat had a mere seventy-five Francs for dowry, so he asked the Secrétaire général to intervene on his behalf with N’Diaye to give him more time to gather additional resources that would enable him to increase his offer to the required amount.45 I do not know whether Frérat was granted his wish. His dowry was considerably less than what others offered. What is clear is the N’Diaye had more than one female minor in tutelle in her household. There were many requests by guardians for authorization to marry off minors. Several involved African males who served in the French colonial army, many of them Tirailleurs. Most were of servile status who used the army as a route to liberation. In June 1905, the Secrétaire général consented to the marriage of Moussa Koné, a Tirailleur, and 44 45

ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général à Léna D’Diaye, 27 février 1905. ANS F 1, Gaspard Frérat à Monsieur le Secrétaire général, St. Louis, 17 février 1905.

192

Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

eighteen-year-old Béré Coulbary, whom the Procureur général had confided to Madame Khoudia N’Daw of Saint-Louis in 1897 when she was about ten years old.46 The quick pace of the written exchanges between different levels of administration and Madame N’Daw in this case is worth commenting on, for it may well reveal that the administration favored these unions and may have viewed colonial soldiers who had served France’s interests as good bets. She first wrote to the Secrétaire général on June 14 to inform him that she had seen a suitor who wanted to marry Coulbary. As if to soften him up, she indicated that she anticipated a favorable response from him after which she looked forward to expressing her gratitude. In a signed hand-written notation on N’Daw’s letter, he indicated that he had forwarded the request to the police commissioner of Saint-Louis the very next day.47 The police commissioner responded two days later with details about the potential suitor. Moussa Koné, twenty-five, was a Tirailleur in the thirteenth Company of the First Regiment of the Tirailleur Sénégalais. He offered a dowry of 185 French Francs toward the purchase of wedding garments. He indicated that the two agreed to marry according to Muslim customs.48 As if to press his own case, however, Koné sent a hand-written note in broken French to the head of the Bureau de L’Intereiur asking to marry Coulbary, a domestic. He stated that he had a dowry of 190 French Francs and that the young woman’s guardian had consented. He asked for help, and his note was sent to the police commissioner in Saint-Louis the same day.49 Given the merits of the case, the Secrétaire général could hardly refuse Madame N’Daw’s request, although it seems clear that she had already consented to the marriage before writing to him. He responded positively to her on June 22, a mere six days after he received her letter of June 16, giving her fifteen days to produce a marriage certificate for purposes of authentication and assurance that the young woman would no longer be in her charge. At eighteen, Coulbary should not have been treated as a minor, but the qualification “environ” (about) 46

47

48 49

ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général from Madame Khoudia N’Daw, St. Louis, June 22, 1905. ANS 1F 1, Monsieur Secrétaire général from Madame Khoudia N’Daw, St. Louis, June 14, 1905. Police Commissioner to Secrétaire général, St. Louis, June 16, 1905. ANS 1F 1, Monsieur le chef du Bureau de l’Intérieur from the Tirailleur Moussa Koné, St. Louis, June 15, 1905.

Kept in Tutelle beyond Eighteen

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often preceded mention of the age of minors, as we have noted, thus adding a measure of uncertainty that no doubt contributed conveniently to manipulation, if not exploitation. Another such request came from Madame Fatou Boye. In a letter of March 30, 1906, she informed the Secrétaire général that Birama Diallo from Konkom in the Soudan, a former spahi or soldier in the French colonial forces, wanted to marry Mariame Boye, a female minor to whom she gave her name after the administration confided the young woman to her. According to Boye, Diallo offered a dowry of 250 French Francs, 200 of which he paid in advance. Given Diallo’s employment, which allowed him to earn cash, Boye’s claim was likely legitimate. Indeed, Diallo himself wrote to the Secrétaire général asking for the young woman’s hand in marriage.50 In his response of April 10, 1906, the Secrétaire général revealed that Boye was “about” twenty years old and had been in her guardian’s charge for almost fifteen years. If so, she should already have been freed from guardianship, but the administrator made no mention of this. As was the case with N’Diaye, however, the Secrétaire général gave his consent but requested a marriage certificate within fifteen days for the reasons already outlined. Some Tirailleur Sénégalais had much larger dowries than others. In a letter of June 4, 1905, the Tirailleur Naman Kèïta told the Directeur de L’Intérieur that he gave a dowry of 371 French Francs, 25 centimes, to his intended wife, Fatima Travaré, a minor raised by the woman Kémé Kamara.51 Two days later, the Police Commissioner wrote to the Secrétaire général acknowledging the marriage request. His investigation showed that the young woman was about twenty-one years old, the soldier, who belonged to the First Class Third Regiment of the Tirailleur Sénégalais, about thirty. He confirmed that she had received the dowry to purchase wedding garments. Based on the excellent relations between Kèïta and Travaré, he recommended authorization of the union, which he probably gave even though she was no longer a minor.52 50

51

52

ANS 1F 1, Madame Fatou Boye à Monsieur le Secrétaire général, St. Louis, March 30, 1906; ANS 1F 1, Birama Diallo á Monsieur Secrétaire général, St. Louis, 30 mars 1906. ANS 1F 1, Tirailleur, Naman Kéïta à Monsieur le Directeur de l’Intérieur, St. Louis, 4 juin 1905. ANS 1F 1, Commissioner of Police to Monsieur Secrétaire général, St. Louis, June 6, 1905.

194

Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

The Secrétaire général did not authorize the marriage of the Tirailleur Bakary Kane and Mariam Kane (also referred to as Camara), a Bambara from Mali of unknown parentage who was confided to guardianship in the household of Madame Seynabou Sar, a housewife in Ndar Toute, when she was nine-to-ten years old. In March 1905, when the Secrétaire général rendered his decision, the police commissioner had already informed him that Kane was twentyfour-to-twenty-five years old. Whereas he may have given his consent for a young woman who was a few years beyond the age limit, he was not willing to bend the rules in this case. In his letter to Madame Sar, he stated that “the administration does not need to intervene to authorize this proposed union, whose accomplishment now depends solely on the will of the interested parties.”53

Death in Tutelle Many minors died in tutelle, at times without the knowledge of the administration. The fact that most of the deaths came to light toward the end of the of the nineteenth and the first years of the twentieth century when the tutelle was nearing an end makes it difficult to hazard a guess as to the total number of deaths. There are death certificates in some of the archival dossiers on tutelle which I have examined but they are few in number. As the death certificate in Figure 8.1 shows, they show the name and age of the minor and the date on which the death occurred. However, the causes of death were seldom given. What is perplexing is that, in many cases, the deaths took place not long after minors were placed in tutelle. If free minors in African households were not dying at the same frequency as minors in tutelle, it can be assumed that there was something about tutelle that shortened the lives of those in its embrace. Data from the Libérations registers confirm this trend. They show an unusual number of deaths among children adopted in 1876 only to die a few years later. Anta Sankaré (no age given) was one. She was confided to Coumba Diarlé, a housekeeper in Saint-Louis, on August 7, and died a week later on August 13, 1876. Five-year-old Cecile, a female who was confided to Nancy Sacray of Saint-Louis on September 27, 1876 was another. She died on February 5, 1877. Yet another was Sira Diop, a thirteen-year-old female, who was confided to Soukayna 53

ANS 1F 1, Secrétaire général à Madame Seynobou, St. Louis, 24 mars 1905.

Death in Tutelle

195

Figure 8.1 Avis de décès (death notice)

Diop, a merchant in Saint-Louis, on September 30, 1876. She died on February 8, 1883. A ward since October 9, 1876, seven-year-old Aoua Sidibe died on November 17, 1879. Déténeba, a seven-year-old female, suffered the same fate. Confided to Mambaye Faye, a trader in SaintLouis, on November 15, 1876, she died on August 20, 1879.54 It would be easy enough to blame the children’s deaths on negligence on the part of their guardians. For sure, childhood deaths occur. Even so, we do not know the causes. During this period, archival sources indicate that there was a cholera epidemic in the 1860s and the 1870s, but the date is not precise. On December 31, 1868, the women, Farry Fall appeared before the authorities with two children, Aminat Diop, a tenyear-old female, and three-year-old Moctar M’baye, a male. She informed the authorities that the children’s mother died of cholera leaving their father in a difficult position to provide care. She asked to become their guardian. She may have been successful, at least for some years, because Moctar M’baye was given back to his father in May 1873.55 54 55

ANS, Libérations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879. ANS M 3, December 31, 1868.

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Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

Figure 8.1 (cont.)

It is worth asking whether there were particular illnesses that affected children in urban Senegal when these minors died. For the most part, we only have the word of their guardians as to the causes of death. No autopsies were performed. Cholera may well have been the

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197

Table 8.1 Deaths among minors in guardianship, 1877 Age

Liberated

M

F

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total

4 3 11 4 5 1 10 14 12 17 16 11 12 8 6 5 0 5 0 144

3 2 6 3 4 0 3 3 2 6 4 5 4 1 0 1 0 1 0 48

1 1 5 1 1 1 7 11 10 11 12 6 8 7 6 4 0 4 0 96

Particulars

5 deaths among females 2 deaths among females 4 6 1 1

female deaths, 1 male deaths female death female death

Source: ANS, Liberations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879.

cause of deaths in the years between 1877 and 1878, as shown in Tables 8.1 and 8.2. It is noteworthy that children who were not state wards also succumbed to death. Take the case of twenty-five-year-old Aïssa Massa, who was freed on September 19, 1876, along with her three-month-old twin boys. On April 21, 1878 one of the twins died.56 In the 1870s, Amadou Gueye, a ten-year-old male, became an orphan and ward of Ndiaye Mousta – an Arab tutor in Saint-Louis – when his mother and father died of cholera. In the end, the youth was entrusted to Massamba Gueye, a teacher of a Muslim school, to instruct and raise.57 Nine-year-old Lyra lasted two years in tutelle. In August 1883, she was confided to Silla Seck and her husband Madior Cissé, a trader in 56 57

ANS, Libérations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879. ANS M 3, August 9, 1871.

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Marriage, Life, Death, and Abuse

Table 8.2 Deaths among minors in guardianship, 1878 Age

Liberated

M

F

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Total

0 2 3 7 3 2 10 16 8 10 7 7 12 8 9 4 1 3 112

0 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 1 4 3 4 5 8 2 4 1 3 49

0 1 1 5 1 0 8 13 7 6 4 3 7 0 7 0 0 0 63

Particulars

2 deaths 2 male deaths

1 female death 2 female deaths 2 male deaths 2 male deaths

Source: ANS, Liberations, January 2, 1875–April 5, 1879.

Saint-Louis. She died in March 1885. Likewise, five-year-old Aminata, who was born in Galam and was confided to Fatou Sèye of Saint-Louis in 1898, died on September 23, 1900 at 8 a.m. Born among the Trarza Moors, Fatma died after being in tutelle for two years. After receiving her certificat de liberté on June 3, 1901, she was confided to Anna Cissé – a grain pounder in Saint-Louis. She died on October 19, 1903 at the age of seven years. Death among minors in tutelle was not confined to the very young. Born in Mali, Ayessa (Diène) was confided to Nanièned Tène and her husband Boubacar Fall – an interpreter in Saint-Louis – in 1899 when she was seventeen years old. She died on June 29, 1902 at the age of twenty years. There is no mention in the records that she should have been released from tutelle at the age of eighteen years. Once again, the fact that she was still listed among minors in tutelle reinforces Governor Camille Guy’s complaint that minors were kept and exploited even when they reached the age of majority.

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In some cases, the administration learned about the deaths of minors when they called in guardians to account for them. A case in point is that of the minor Toumané. In 1904, Georges Parker, a merchant in Thiès, responded to a demand from the administration in Saint-Louis to appear before the commission on December 2 of that year, along with the minor who had been confided to him. Parker wrote back to say that it was his mother, Madame Parker, who informed him about the letter from the administration because he had been away from his residence since October 12, 1904. Parker went on to inform the administration that Toumané died in Rufisque during hivernage (winter), 1902. This means that two years went by before the death was reported or revealed. Nevertheless, Parker indicated that he was in the process of writing to the Mayor of Rufisque to request a death certificate urgently.58 Had Parker not been called in, it is likely that Toumané’s death would have gone unreported. A death certificate would authenticate his story, but he clearly did not feel obliged to abide by the terms and conditions of guardianship. Guardians who notified the administration about the death of minors were likely the exceptions because there are few such cases. These notifications provide more useful clues about the demise of minors than death certificates. One such notification came from Monsieur J. Crétois, the Regional Receiver at Thiès, who wrote to the Secrétaire général to inform him that Dounougou – the female minor who had been confided to him by the Procureur général in 1898 – suffered a cerebral embolism and died on October 2, 1904 while he was in Arcachon (Gironde), in southern France. He did not say how old Dounougou was and expressed no remorse about the youngster’s demise. But he requested, with great politesse, another girl or boy of ten years old or younger if there were other youngsters “to distribute.”59 Crétois’ letter shows no emotional attachment to Dounougou and his use of “distribute” lends an air of commercialization to guardianship, as if minors were mere commodities. A second and more detailed notification came from Arnaud Soucheyre in a correspondence from France dated December 11, 1901. In it, he told the Procureur général that Barka, a young male 58

59

ANS 1F 1, Lettre à M. le Président du Tribunal de 1ère Instance de St. Louis de M. Georges Parker, Thiès, 29 septembre 1904. ANS E 67, Monsieur J. Crétois au Receveur Régional de Thiès, 26 décembre 1904.

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who was confided to him on March 12, 1901, and whom he subsequently took to France, died of pneumonia despite receiving good care. Pneumonia and tuberculosis were common illnesses to which Africans succumbed in cold climates, so death from such causes would not have been unusual. As Bryant has shown, there were several deaths among children taken from Senegal to France by Mother Javouhey in the 1830s, ten in the period 1830–1834 alone.60 In late nineteenth-century France, tuberculosis was rampant and the leading cause of death, especially among the working classes. Also, consumption was, according to Barnes, an “individual, inscrutable, and all but random killer.”61 Data from the Libérations registers show that Barka, the son of Aldiouma and Ferima, was born in Mali, and was ten years old when Soucheyre – a pharmacist in Saint-Louis – adopted him. The date of his death is listed as December 6, 1901. And a correspondence with this same date – an extract from the office of the registry of the commune of Rabastens in the district of Gaillac, France, corroborates this date. It indicated that Soucheyre, sixty-five years old, and Charles Brethenou, fifty-four years old – a caretaker at the City Hall in Rabastens – reported that Barka died at the hospice there at 7 a.m. Once they were notified of the death, they obtained a death certificate. Further, Soucheyre and Martin J. Brethenou, assistant to the mayor of Rabastens, signed the register. On December 8, 1901, the Mayor, J. Julia, authenticated the records.62 One might ask why Soucheyre was so forthcoming in reporting Barka’s death to the French authorities in Senegal, and why he handled the youngster’s passing so carefully and efficiently. First, his letterhead showed that he owned a pharmacy in Rabastens. As such, he would have been a respected member of his community who would have been expected to abide by professional ethics, the law, and prevailing customs. He would not have wanted to jeopardize his social standing. Second, since the death had to be duly recorded in Rabastens, the risk 60

61

62

Kelly Duke Bryant, “An Ardent Desire to be Useful: Senegalese Students, Religious Sisters and Migration for Schooling in France, 1824–1842,” in Elodie Razy and Marie Rodet (eds.), Children on the Move in Africa: Past and Present Experiences of Migration (Suffolk: James Curry, 2016), p. 37. David S. Barnes, The Making of a Social Disease: Tuberculosis in NineteenthCentury France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), p. 13. ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904.

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that it would be discovered by authorities in Senegal at some point, especially if Soucheyre returned there, could not have been ignored. Third, it may also be that he did indeed do all that he could to save Barka and had nothing to hide. Indeed, his stationery, which touted his credentials as a former pharmaceutical assistant at the University of Toulouse, contained photographs boasting of miraculous cures for illnesses such as anemia, chest conditions, and childhood or infantile diseases.63 Given his knowledge of medicine, he would have been in a position to help Barka, but he gave no clues as to what may have caused his pneumonia – a bacterial or viral illness. Whatever may have been the cause, Barka died in France, miles away from home, after less than a year there. And the tragedy of a young life lost in tutelle in this fashion was likely not unique. Such was the condition of guardianship. 63

ANS, Libérations, October 4, 1897–May 16, 1904.

|

Conclusion

This study has shown that the abolition of slavery in the French Colonial Empire in 1848 had a major impact on children under the age of eighteen years in colonial Senegal, primarily the urban towns of Saint-Louis and Gorée, where enslaved people formed the majority of the population and contributed significantly to the colonial economy. As a result of the abolition act, liberated youngsters, free and formerly enslaved orphans, as well as displaced youths – most of whom worked as slaves in the urban towns up to 1848 – became wards of the state overnight. To ensure an orderly transition from slavery to freedom and head off a possible labor shortage, the French colonial administration established two guardianship councils – the Conseil de Tutelle – in Saint-Louis and Gorée in 1849 and charged its members with administering the welfare and protection of minors. As it turned out, the guardianship council in Saint-Louis became the sole adoption agency, and Saint-Louis became the epicenter of tutelle. Exercising its full and legal authority, the guardianship council entrusted liberated children to the habitants or residents of Saint-Louis – Africans, Europeans, mixedrace or métis, Muslims, and Christians alike – and to institutions, secular and non-secular. Paradoxically, many of the children ended up in households in which they were once enslaved, particularly households headed by signares – mixed-race African women. The council entrusted many others, mostly males, to artisans in whose households the children worked as apprentices. In all instances, the guardians of liberated children exploited their labor and the guardianship system was characterized by abuse to which the youths responded by flight and other means that testify to their agency. What happened to liberated minors between 1848 and the first decade of the twentieth century when tutelle petered out has been difficult to ascertain due to the paucity and fragmentation of the data and the absence of data for some periods. This situation has led to much speculation about the life of minors in tutelle and to harsh 202

Conclusion

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condemnation and inditement in some quarters of both the colonial administration and the guardians of minors. Given the degree of administrative negligence throughout the life of the institution, this judgment is warranted for the most part, even though those who have taken this position have usually done so without the backing of adequate and sufficient supporting data. To be sure, the experience of children in tutelle can be characterized as tragic, alienating, and sad, when it could well have been otherwise. Indeed, examples of happy, contented minors in tutelle, or of guardians complimenting them for their work, ambition, demeanor, conduct, or exemplary lifestyles are nowhere to be found. This may be due to the fact that the data are slanted in one direction, that is, in favor of the master class. The administrative reports – the police files in particular – criminalize the youths for the most part. Because the children left us no personal accounts, we are compelled to narrate from silence. Indeed, it is as if they have disappeared into thin air. Senegalese have been reluctant to talk about slavery. As for tutelle, no one mentions it; it has all but been forgotten. The silence surrounding the memory of slavery in Senegal, and Africa in general, deserves further comment because it makes the task of reconstructing the past from the perspective of different parties all the more difficult, as Ibrahima Thioub has recently stated.1 Thioub has argued that, in parts of contemporary Africa such as Mauritania and Niger, stigmatization of former slaves and their descendants still exists, along with issues of blood purity and a discourse of denial. Further, social status is transmitted by heredity, which means that the descendants of slaveowners and enslaved people view slavery from very different perspectives, the former “zealously stand guard over genealogical memory,” while the latter “have an interest in erasing their ancestry or even changing their group identity.”2 Thioub is not alone. The reluctance to discuss slavery has also been highlighted by Lotte Pelcmans, who found that rekindling the slave past – seen as shameful in contemporary Mali – is not allowed in the present. Indeed, there is silence in 1

2

See Ibrahima Thioub, “L’esclavage en Afrique: briser le silence sur une question tabou,” preface to the French translation of Martin Klein, Esclavage et Pouvoir Colonial en Afrique Occidentale Française (Paris: Karthala, 2021), pp. 11–20. Ibrahim Thioub, “Stigmas and Memory of Slavery in West Africa: Skin Color and Blood as Social Fracture Lines,” New Global Studies, vol. 6, no. 3 (2012), pp. 11–12.

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the public sphere on the subject, so much so that “it is rare to find references in Malian journals to an indigenous slave past although there are some fairly recent exceptions.”3 Methodologically challenging as it may be, however, narrating from silence, as this study has demonstrated, is not insurmountable. Fragmentary data notwithstanding, what is clear is that the experience of children in tutelle varied depending on placement and other circumstances. One shoe does not fit all here. Nevertheless, their condition resembled enslavement. And the ways in which they responded to their predicament was strikingly similar to that of enslaved peoples in the Americas among whom marronnage, or slave flight, was the most common form of resistance. The fact that they were wards in an urban setting where employment opportunities abound made little difference. Children had limited options due to age and lack of expertise. Most children in tutelle were fourteen years of age and younger. They could be manipulated because most had no other option but to remain with their guardians or flee, which they did often. Children could also be exploited in ways that adults could not be. This exploitation was not limited to their labor. Indeed, young girls could be steered into prostitution to the benefit of their guardians, as this study has revealed. They could also be pressured into marriage, usually with other formerly enslaved males, mostly tirailleurs (black soldiers) who were eager to acquire wives and used their resources to entice guardians who stood to benefit financially. Overall, labor was the most important contribution that children in tutelle in urban Senegal made to society. By and large, this contribution has been overlooked. Undoubtedly, the labor of children in tutelle undergirded all aspects of the colonial economy. Take the labor that they performed in the households of Signares. Young female domestics helped them maintain their lavish and stylish attire (for which they received constant praise from the outset), polish their jewelry, accompany them on their outings to shield them from the sun with umbrellas, and keep their households in tack while they built their fortunes. Signares ate and entertained, as did other habitants. With easy access to fish from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Senegalese River, 3

Lotte Pelcmans, Travelling Hierarchies: Roads in and out of Slave Status in a Central Malian Fulbe Network (Leiden: African Studies Centre – African Studies Collection, vol. 34, 2011), pp. 1–27.

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205

Saint-Louis is regarded as the home of the Senegalese national dish, Thiéboudieun – a combination of fish, rice, and a variety of vegetables, like eggplants and carrots, steamed in tomato sauce. Likewise, Saint-Louisians are traditionally rated as the best cooks who prepare this special dish. Thièboudienne defines Senegalese cooking and reputation for good food in West Africa. The preparation is long, tedious, and laborious. No one I know thinks about how slavery or tutelle may have the contributed to the quality and maintenance of this culinary delight. Since signares and most other habitants of Saint-Louis had young girls in tutelle performing domestic chores, including cooking, it is highly probable that they learned how to prepare this meal and passed on their skills down through the decades from 1848 onward. Whether they were former slaves who remained in the households or newly acquired wards, they would have been expected to prepare meals. However, the institution has left its marks on contemporary Senegalese society, most notably in households where the labor of young female domestics, locally known as “bonnes,” is often exploited in ways that are reminiscent of former times. What of the apprentices? Surely, there must have been minors who, as adults, opened their own workshops, having apprenticed with master tailors, carpenters, masons, and other artisans. Take the case of the brothers, eleven-year-old Bidjié, and seven-year-old Bilal, who arrived in Saint-Louis in 1860 and were not reclaimed by their owner, a Moor. The administration confided them to one, Monsieur Moreau, a master tailor under whom they apprenticed. Six years hence, in 1866, Bidjié left Moreau’s household on his own accord. Fatoumata Cisse surmises that he reached the age of majority and had the right to do so.4 He must have been confident about his life chances. After all, his apprenticeship with the master tailor lasted six years and it is conceivable that he continued to practice his craft. His brother Bilah would apprentice for another five years. This pattern of accomplishment likely continued down the line. Today, tailoring in urban Senegal, especially in Dakar, is a brisk business to which tutelle may have contributed. Likewise, some young women may have become seamstresses and grain pounders. It is highly probable that some minors 4

Fatoumata Cisse, “Les sources de l’histoire de l’esclavage conservées aux Archives Nationales du Sénégal, 1848–1904, ” thèse, Ecole des bibliothécaires archivistes et documentalistes de l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop, 1999–2000, p. 70.

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would likely have acquired literacy. Did any become a Catholic priest or Sisters of Catholic orders? Becoming a tirailleur was an attractive option for young liberated males. In 1895, thirteen-year old Moussa Kamara (parents unknown) was confided to Croux, a manager at the train station at N’Dande. In 1896, at age fourteen, he was adopted by Amadou Soulé, a brigadier in the police force. In June 1896, Soulé informed the authorities that Moussa Kamara signed up with a regiment of the Tirailleur without his consent. Those who joined the ranks of the tirailleurs may well have been combatants in the First and Second World Wars in which Tirailleurs fought even more courageously than the French soldiers in the European front. What became of minors who were taken to France? Did they leave any traces? These are open questions. What should not be lost sight of is that tutelle did not end in 1905 when slavery formally ended in French West Africa. In SaintLouis and other urban areas, guardians continued to profit from exploiting the labor of minors, often keeping them in service beyond the age of eighteen. In January 1906, the French administrator of the cercle of Thiès reported that fourteen-year-old Mauritanian-born Samba Fall, who was sold as a slave in Kajoor around 1900, appeared at his residence and demanded liberty. He asked the Secretary General whether he should send the youngster to Saint-Louis where he would be at his disposition. In the interim, the administrator confided him to Aly Guer, a former Chef du canton (administrative unit chief ) in Thiès.5 If we knew how Samba found his way to Thiès, and what motivated him to seek liberty, our understanding of wardship would be greatly enhanced. Coming after the December 1905 decree, however, his appearance at the administrator’s residence was well timed. That he was confided to an African who was a former local administrator showed that, at the highest levels, tutelle was still acceptable. The current interest in child welfare and trafficking may lead to further research on guardianship and other coercive systems in Senegal and other parts of Africa. Such studies may reveal how different ethnic groups in Senegal, among them, Wolof, Serer, and Hal Pulaar, conceptualized slavery, guardianship, and clientage in the broadest sense. Certainly, more work on tutelle in areas of Senegal 5

ANS 1F 1, Chef du Cercle de Thiès à Monsieur le Secrétaire général, Thiès, 7 janvier 1906.

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outside of the urban towns, including Podor and Kaolack, remains a worthy and unexplored scholarly pursuit. Thus, this work should be seen as a beginning. If it helps us to better understand child slavery, indeed, slavery in general, and the lives that liberated minors led in the aftermath of emancipation in French West Africa, particularly in the urban context; and if it inspires others to fill the gaps highlighted in this study or take off in other directions, then the time it took me to bring this study to fruition would have been well worth it.

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Index

Abolition Act (1848). See Emancipation Act (France, 1848) Abolition Act (Great Britain, 1833), 10 abolition law. See Emancipation Act (France, 1848) Act of 1857 administrative failures, 93 ambiguous motivation, 96 amendments to, 95–96 apprenticeships, 106 emancipation, 94–95 importance of, 94 minors, adoption, 91 minors, registration of, 76 partial repeal of, 140 Act of 1862 conseils de tutelle abolished, 97 jurisdiction, 92, 97 partial repeal of, 140 records, 97–98, 99 registration of minors, 97 Act of 1903 abuses, 139 administration of guardianship, 147, 150, 157–158 administrative confusion, 140 adoption of legislation, 139–140 advisory body, 140, 150–151 census of minors, 143–144, 146–148 certificat de liberté, 140–141 guardians, obligations of, 141–142 institutional guardianship, 139 jurisdiction, 140 apprenticeships artisanal trades, 103, 105, 106–107, 120–121, 202, 205–206 Bombay (Mumbai, India), 103–104 British Caribbean, 10–11 conseil de tutelle, 104–105 exploitation, 2, 10–11, 121

218

flight, 63 Latin America, 11 Liberia, 104 Mali, 103 minors, free-status, 107–108, 109 minors, hiring out, 112–113 remuneration, 20, 105–106, 114–116 return of apprentices, 109–110 tutelle, relationship with, 108–109 United States, 11–12, 104 Banque de L’Afrique Occidentale, 36 Banque du Sénégal, 36, 37, 56 Barnes, David S., 200 Barthet, Magloire, Monseigneur, 162–163, 164 Baudin, Auguste (Governor, Senegal, 1847–1850), 55, 58–59, 62, 63–64 Bawol (Wolof kingdom, Senegal), 45, 98, 110 Boilat, David, Abbé, 27–28, 34, 35, 38–39, 40 ¯ Bouët-Willaumez, Edouard (Governor, Senegal, 1843–1844), 28, 40, 52–53 Brière de L’Isle, Louis (Governor, Senegal, 1876–1880), 136 Brooks, George, 64–65 Bulletin Administratif du Sénégal, 55 Camara, Camille, 27 Chapdelaine, Robin, 6–7, 132–133 Charles Peyrissac (commercial house), 32 Cissé, Fatoumata, 16, 108–109, 205 comités de patronage, 58, 60, 61, 64 Compagnie Française d’Afrique Occidentale, 37

Index conseil de tutelle abolished, 97 accountability, 61, 67 Act of 1857, 76 apprenticeships, 77, 83–86, 90, 94–95, 104–105 female guardianship, 65 formation of, 54, 58, 62 Gorée, 64 inactivity, 19, 65 incarceration, 155–156 mandate, 19 objectives, 59, 202 orphans, 68–71, 80–81, 83 records, 68, 69, 95, 96, 111–112 Saint-Louis, 64, 65 state wards, 75–76 See also conseil de famille. Curtin, Philip, 26 Darringrad, Prosper, 98 Deherme, Georges, 129, 148–149 Demougeot, Antoine, 51 Diouf, Mamadou, 28 Diptee, Audra, 7 domestic labor complaints, 117 farm labor, 122, 123 female labor, 2, 73, 84, 116–117, 121–122 flight, 63, 73, 119–120 need for, 104 religious missions, 122–123 surrender of guardianship, 117–119 training, 103 Duke Bryant, Kelly M., 9, 20, 22, 125, 149, 167, 200 Echenberg, Myron, 5 Ėcole des Frères, 4, 84 École pénitentiare de Thiès creation of, 158–159 discipline, 164, 165–166 economics, 159, 163 flight, 164–165 Holy Ghost Fathers, 4 incarceration of minors, 102, 153, 159 offenses, 160, 161 oversight, 163–164

219 reformatory mission, 158, 159 resistance to incarceration, 159–160, 164 sentences, 155, 161 state support, 162, 163 symbiotic relationship, 158 transition to civilian life, 166 work day, 162–163 Ėcole Professionnel Pinet-Laprade, 173–174 economic activity banking and credit, 36–38 commercial houses, 31–34 dynamism, 28–29 fishing, 28 gum trade, 59–60 market gardening, 28, 30 peanut economy, 12, 24, 31, 45, 60, 98 river trade, 26, 28, 32–33, 34 transport, 37–38 Emancipation Act (France, 1848) military recruitment, 5 opposition to, 20, 55, 62 repercussions, 41, 53, 70, 202 engagement à temps abuses, 51–52 child labor, 5–6, 47–51 end of, 52–53 indenture, 3, 5, 47–48 introduction of, 5, 18, 46 military recruitment, 47 rachat, 46–49 Faidherbe, Louis (Governor, Senegal, 1854–1861, 1863–1865) Act of 1857, 76, 91, 93–97 Dakar, annexation of, 26 Kaolack, 67 military conflict, 81–82 Orphelinat de Sor, 39–40 peanut economy, 31 Tirailleurs Sénégalais, 175 Tirailleurs Sénégalais, formation of, 52 tutelle, introduction of, 19 tutelle, placement of minors, 78–79 Frères de Ploërmel (Brothers of Ploërmel), 40 Fuentes, Marisa, 14

220 Getz, Trevor, 46, 47, 62 Gomez, Michael, 83 Goodwin, Joshua, 149 Gorée (Senegal) British occupation, 26 Catholic missions, 38 Christian population, 38 commercial network, 28 conseil de tutelle, 64 Dutch occupation, 26 Ėcole Profesionel Pinet-Laprade, 173–174 French occupation, 26, 101 métis, 25, 31 Portuguese occupation, 25 rachat, 47 slave census, 56 slave holdings, 54 slave population, pre-1848, 44 slavery, 33 slavery, liberation from, 54–55 Green, William, 11 Guèye, M’Baye, 56, 129, 190 Guy, Camille (Governor, Senegal, 1902–1907), 115, 137, 139, 146, 177, 188, 189 habitants abolition, opposition to, 4, 20, 62, 96–97 conseil de tutelle, 64 entertainment, 204–205 guardianships, 4–5, 79, 90 indenture, 47–48 multiethnic group, 28–29, 36, 38 servile labor, 5–6 slave holdings, 54–55 tutelle as currency, 113 See also signares. Hall, Douglas, 10–11 Holy Ghost Fathers, 4, 39, 40, 128, 168–169 See also École pénitentiaire de Thiès. institutions Ėcole Professionnel Pinet-Laprade, 173–174 Orphelinat de Ndar Toute, 4, 167, 168–169

Index Orphelinat de Sor, 4, 39–40, 167, 169–170See also École pénitentiaire de Thiès; Saint-Louis prison. Ivins, Erica, 149 Jauréguiberry, Jean Bernard (Governor, Senegal, 1861–1863), 90 Javouhey, Anne-Marie, Mother, 39, 167–168, 200 Jones, Hilary institutional rivalry, 40 mariage à la mode du pays, 35 métis, 18, 25, 29–30 Saint-Louis, 25, 26, 38 signares, 32–33 Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny, 168 Kajoor (Wolof kingdom, Senegal) child slavery, 45 emancipation, 206 peanut economy, 98 rachat, 48, 50, 110–111, 122 reclamation, 75 slave population, 97 social organization, 94 Kaolack (Senegal), 67–68, 90–91 Klein, Martin child slavery, 7–8, 148 enslaved people, population of, 44, 149 female slavery, 7–8 French slavery policy, 94, 99 guardianships, 159 institutional guardianship, 164, 167 mariage à la mode du ays, 35 signares, wealth, 34–35 slave labor, 33, 43 slave raiding, 83 slavery, abolition of, 59 Victor Prom case, 135–138 Women and Slavery in Africa (1983), 7–8 Konaté, Dior, 22, 154 L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal (Renault, 1972), 17 Labouré, Marie (signare), 54, 57, 64, 70 Les Pères du Saint-Esprit. See Holy Ghost Fathers

Index Lovejoy, Paul, 3 Lydon, Ghislaine, 56, 57 Marfaing, Laurence, 33–34 mariage à la mode du pays, 35, 71 Maurel et Prom (commercial house), 31–32, 34, 36, 54, 57 Mbaye, Saliou, 16–17 Mbodj, Mohamed, 17–18, 105 métis Gorée (Senegal), 25, 31 guardianships, 30, 49, 77, 202 marriage, 35 orphanage, Ndar Toute, 168 Saint-Louis (Senegal), 18, 25, 27–28, 29 Miers, Suzanne, 3 Mission de St. Joseph, 122–123 Orphelinat de Ndar Toute, 4, 167, 168–169 Orphelinat de Sor, 4, 39–40, 167, 169–170 Pasquier, Roger, 57 Pelcmans, Lotte, 188, 203–204 Perrier, Sylvie, 62–63 Podor (Senegal), 67–68, 90 Procureur général apprenticeships, 95 Bobin case, 138 certificat de liberté, 140–141, 166 emancipation, census of minors, 143–144, 147 emancipation, limitation on, 96 emancipations, Saint-Louis, 86 execution of articles, Emancipation Act, 55, 61 minors, legal guardian, 13, 92, 141–142, 186 rachat, 93 resale of minors, 113 slavery, Saint-Louis, 52 tutelle, abuse of minors, 140, 141 tutelle, jurisdiction over, 68, 69, 75, 92, 97, 142–143, 150 tutelle, record keeping, 97–98 rachat army recruits, 5, 52 engagement à temps, 18, 46–47

221 minors, purchase of, 4, 50, 58, 69, 75, 95–96, 99, 134, 150 recognition of, 93 reclamations coerced labor, 74–75 family, 72–73, 77, 88 guardianship, 70, 76–80 state wards, 75–76 Renault, François, 17, 95, 99, 134, 135 L’abolition de l’esclavage au Sénégal (1972), 17 Robertson, Claire, 7–8 Women and Slavery in Africa (1983), 7–8 Rodet, Marie, 6, 103 Roger, Jacques-François, baron (Governor, Senegal, 1821–1827), 39, 46–47, 168 Roume, Earnest (Governor-General, French West Africa, 1902–1907), 137, 139, 143–147, 150 Saint-Louis (Senegal) British occupation, 25, 26 Catholic missions, 38–39 conseil de famille, 71 conseil de tutelle, 64, 65 expansion attempt, 27 French commercial houses, 31–32 French occupation, 26, 101 indenture, 47, 48–51, 52, 168–169 métis, 18, 25, 27–28, 29 Mission de St. Joseph, 122–123 Muslim population, 38 originaires, 28 orphans, 81–83 Portuguese occupation, 25 river trade, 28 slave census, 56 slave population, pre-1848 44 slavery, liberation from, 54–55, 56, 79 Société des Mères de Famille, 123 St. Vincent de Paul, 123 trading companies, 26 tutelle, 45 See also Saint-Louis prison. Saint-Louis prison origins of, 153 prison population, 154, 156 sentences, 154–155, 157, 180 Schœlcher, Victor, 98–99

222 Searing, James, 25, 32, 36, 44 Sene, Ibra, 22, 152, 153, 177 Senegal Archives Nationales du Sénégal, 13–16 Banque de L’Afrique Occidentale, 36 Banque du Sénégal, 36, 37, 56 Catholic missions, 38–39 child labor, 12 clientage, 3, 188 colonial banks, 36, 56 education, 39 Emancipation Act (1848), 2–3 European colonization, 25–27 four communes, 2–3, 18, 30 guardianship, 9, 10 illnesses, 195–197 institutional guardianships, 4, 20–21 libérations registers, 15–16 mariage à la mode du pays, 35, 71 notary records, 16–17 pawnship, 3 See also Act of 1857; Act of 1862; Act of 1903; economic activity; engagement à temps; Gorée (Senegal); Holy Ghost Fathers; Saint-Louis (Senegal); slavery, Senegal; Soeurs de Saint- Joseph de Cluny; Tirailleurs Sénégalais; tutelle; Wolof. urban population, 30–31 warfare, 82, 83 Servatius, René (Governor, Senegal, 1882–1883), 99 sexual abuse grooming, 131–132 by household members, 124, 125 kinship claims, 125–127, 128 prostitution, 20, 124, 127–129, 178, 187, 204 trafficking, 6, 129–130, 131, 132 signares abolition, opposition to, 54 economic power, 4, 28, 57–58, 64–65 entertainment, 204–205 estates, size of, 43–44 forced marriage of minors, 190 guardianships, 40, 64–65, 202 Labouré, Marie, 54, 57, 64, 70

Index river trade, 32–36 slave labor, 33, 36 wealth, 34–36 slaveowners, 3, 53, 55–57 See also habitants; signares. slavery, Senegal abolition, impact of, 53–54, 59, 93–94 child slavery, 2–3, 6–9, 10, 45, 148 domestic slavery, 43–44, 64–65 economic reliability, 43 French military, 43 French policy, 94, 134, 147 illegal slave trading, 135–136, 138–139 maritime slave trade, 5, 18, 45, 46, 92, 134 minors, 43, 49–50, 58, 101 peanut economy, 45, 98 slave population, post-1848, 44–46 slave population, pre-1848, 24, 44 stigma, modern day, 203–204 Victor Prom case, 137–138 Wolof social organization, 42–43See also engagement à temps. Société des Mères de Famille, 123 Société Française pour l’abolition de l’esclavage, 54 Sœurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny, 4, 39, 122, 167–170 St. Vincent de Paul, 123 Thiès Penitentiary School. See École pénitentiare de Thiès Thioub, Ibrahima anticlerical sentiment, 164 child labor, 161, 163 École pénitentiare de Thiès, 158–159, 160 marginalized groups, 22 slavery, memory of, 203 Tirailleurs Sénégalais female relatives, claiming, 126–128 formation of, 52, 175 marriage, 191–193, 204 recruitment, 110, 175, 206 sexual relations, 119–120 support of families, 89 tutelle abuses of, 12–13, 92–93, 134, 140, 151, 178, 179, 188, 202

Index administration of, 68 administrative neglect, 13, 17, 19, 41–42, 99–100, 202–203 as apprenticeship, 1–2, 58, 86 certificat de liberté, 95, 139, 140–141, 157, 166, 178, 182, 187, 198 child labor, 10–12, 20, 24, 41, 63–64, 67, 92, 204 coercive labor, 3–4, 60, 62, 67, 89–90, 102, 112–113, 114, 115, 204 deaths, 198–199 deaths, frequency of, 194–195, 197, 198–199 deaths, notification of, 199–201 Emancipation Act (1848), 41 emancipations, post conseil de tutelle, 87–88, 91, 98–99, 145, 148–150 extension beyond legal age, 182, 188–189, 206 geographic extent, 3, 101, 112 guardians, 38, 62, 89, 143, 147, 182, 186 guardians, mistreatment by, 180–184, 187 incarceration, 152–153, 155–157, 180 institutional guardianships, 4, 92, 101, 111 introduction of, 1, 19, 58 marriages, 189–194 marriages, forced, 190, 204 metropolitan France, 1, 62–63 minors, 38, 41, 59, 62, 81, 86–87, 109, 110–111, 143, 177 minors, flight of, 73, 102, 164–165, 178–182

223 minors, hiring out, 112–113, 124 narration from silence, 13–14, 203, 204 notary records, 16–17 orphans, 68–71, 80–81, 83 placement methods, 68, 69–70, 72–74 roots of, 5 social relations, 3–4 tracking minors, 87, 179–180 travel to France, 184–187 travel within Africa, 184, 186 unofficial forms, 3, 67–68, 90–91 See also Act of 1857; Act of 1862; Act of 1903; apprenticeships; comités de patronage; conseil de tutelle; engagement à temps; Holy Ghost Fathers; institutions; rachat; reclamations; sexual abuse; Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny. Wall, Rebecca, 149 Wesley Johnson, G., 2, 18, 26, 27, 30 Wolof conflict, 37 doomu ndaar, 28–29 Guet Ndar, 30 Ndar Toute, 30 peanut economy, 98 slavery, 45, 94, 98, 110 social organization, 42–43, 94 urban population majority, 27, 29, 30 Women and Slavery in Africa (Robertson and Klein, 1983), 7–8

African Studies Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

City Politics: A Study of Leopoldville, 1962–63, J. S. La Fontaine Studies in Rural Capitalism in West Africa, Polly Hill Land Policy in Buganda, Henry W. West The Nigerian Military: A Sociological Analysis of Authority and Revolt, 1960–67, Robin Luckham The Ghanaian Factory Worker: Industrial Man in Africa, Margaret Peil Labour in the South African Gold Mines, Francis Wilson The Price of Liberty: Personality and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, Kenneth W. J. Post and George D. Jenkins Subsistence to Commercial Farming in Present-Day Buganda: An Economic and Anthropological Survey, Audrey I. Richards, Fort Sturrock, and Jean M. Fortt (eds.) Dependence and Opportunity: Political Change in Ahafo, John Dunn and A. F. Robertson African Railwaymen: Solidarity and Opposition in an East African Labour Force, R. D. Grillo Islam and Tribal Art in West Africa, René A. Bravmann Modern and Traditional Elites in the Politics of Lagos, P. D. Cole Asante in the Nineteenth Century: The Structure and Evaluation of a Political Order, Ivor Wilks Culture, Tradition and Society in the West African Novel, Emmanuel Obiechina Saints and Politicians, Donal B. Cruise O’Brien The Lions of Dagbon: Political Change in Northern Ghana, Martin Staniland Politics of Decolonization: Kenya Europeans and the Land Issue 1960–1965, Gary B. Wasserman Muslim Brotherhoods in the Nineteenth-Century Africa, B. G. Martin Warfare in the Sokoto Caliphate: Historical and Sociological Perspectives, Joseph P. Smaldone Liberia and Sierra Leone: An Essay in Comparative Politics, Christopher Clapham Adam Kok’s Griquas: A Study in the Development of Stratification in South Africa, Robert Ross Class, Power and Ideology in Ghana: The Railwaymen of Sekondi, Richard Jeffries West African States: Failure and Promise, John Dunn (ed.) Afrikaaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State, Margo Russell and Martin Russell

25 A Modern History of Tanganyika, John Iliffe 26 A History of African Christianity 1950–1975, Adrian Hastings 27 Slaves, Peasants and Capitalists in Southern Angola, 1840–1926, W. G. Clarence-Smith 28 The Hidden Hippopotamus: Reappraised in African History: The Early Colonial Experience in Western Zambia, Gywn Prins 29 Families Divided: The Impact of Migrant Labour in Lesotho, Colin Murray 30 Slavery, Colonialism and Economic Growth in Dahomey, 1640–1960, Patrick Manning 31 Kings, Commoners and Concessionaries: The Evolution of Dissolution of the Nineteenth-Century Swazi State, Philip Bonner 32 Oral Poetry and Somali Nationalism: The Case of Sayid Mahammad ‘Abdille Hasan, Said S. Samatar 33 The Political Economy of Pondoland 1860–1930, William Beinart 34 Volkskapitalisme: Class, Capitals and Ideology in the Development of Afrikaner Nationalism, 1934–1948, Dan O’Meara 35 The Settler Economies: Studies in the Economic History of Kenya and Rhodesia 1900–1963, Paul Mosely 36 Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 1st ed., Paul Lovejoy 37 Amilcar Cabral: Revolutionary Leadership and People’s War, Patrick Chabal 38 Essays on the Political Economy of Rural Africa, Robert H. Bates 39 Ijeshas and Nigerians: The Incorporation of a Yoruba Kingdom, 1890s–1970s, J. D. Y. Peel 40 Black People and the South African War, 1899–1902, Peter Warwick 41 A History of Niger 1850–1960, Finn Fuglestad 42 Industrialisation and Trade Union Organisation in South Africa, 1924–1955, Stephen Ellis 43 The Rising of the Red Shawls: A Revolt in Madagascar 1895–1899, Stephen Ellis 44 Slavery in Dutch South Africa, Nigel Worden 45 Law, Custom and Social Order: The Colonial Experience in Malawi and Zambia, Martin Chanock 46 Salt of the Desert Sun: A History of Salt Production and Trade in the Central Sudan, Paul E. Lovejoy 47 Marrying Well: Marriage, Status and Social Change among the Educated Elite in Colonial Lagos, Kristin Mann 48 Language and Colonial Power: The Appropriation of Swahili in the Former Belgian Congo, 1880–1938, Johannes Fabian

49 The Shell Money of the Slave Trade, Jan Hogendorn and Marion Johnson 50 Political Domination in Africa, Patrick Chabal 51 The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia: Essays in History and Social Anthropology, Donald Donham and Wendy James 52 Islam and Urban Labor in Northern Nigeria: The Making of a Muslim Working Class, Paul M. Lubeck 53 Horn and Crescent: Cultural Change and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, 800–1900, Randall L. Pouwels 54 Capital and Labour on the Kimberley Diamond Fields, 1871–1890, Robert Vicat Turrell 55 National and Class Conflict in the Horn of Africa, John Markakis 56 Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the Second Republic, Richard A. Joseph 57 Entrepreneurs and Parasites: The Struggle for Indigenous Capitalism in Zaire, Janet MacGaffey 58 The African Poor: A History, John Iliffe 59 Palm Oil and Protest: An Economic History of the Ngwa Region, South-Eastern Nigeria, 1800–1980, Susan M. Martin 60 France and Islam in West Africa, 1860–1960, Christopher Harrison 61 Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia, Christopher Clapham 62 Prelude to the Mahdiyya: Peasants and Traders in the Shendi Region, 1821–1885, Anders Bjorkelo 63 Wa and the Wala: Islam and Polity in Northwestern Ghana, Ivor Wilks 64 H. C. Bankole-Bright and Politics in Colonial Sierra Leone, 1919–1958, Akintola Wyse 65 Contemporary West African States, Donal Cruise O’Brien, John Dunn, and Richard Rathbone (eds.) 66 The Oromo of Ethiopia: A History, 1570–1860, Mohammed Hassen 67 Slavery and African Life: Occidental, Oriental, and African Slave Trades, Patrick Manning 68 Abraham Esau’s War: A Black South African War in the Cape, 1899–1902, Bill Nasson 69 The Politics of Harmony: Land Dispute Strategies in Swaziland, Laurel L. Rose 70 Zimbabwe’s Guerrilla War: Peasant Voices, Norma J. Kriger 71 Ethiopia: Power and Protest: Peasant Revolts in the TwentiethCentury, Gebru Tareke

72 White Supremacy and Black Resistance in Pre-Industrial South Africa: The Making of the Colonial Order in the Eastern Cape, 1770–1865, Clifton C. Crais 73 The Elusive Granary: Herder, Farmer, and State in Northern Kenya, Peter D. Little 74 The Kanyok of Zaire: An Institutional and Ideological History to 1895, John C. Yoder 75 Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu, Michael A. Gomez 76 Slow Death for Slavery: The Course of Abolition in Northern Nigeria, 1897–1936, Paul E. Lovejoy and Jan S. Hogendorn 77 West African Slavery and Atlantic Commerce: The Senegal River Valley, 1700–1860, James F. Searing 78 A South African Kingdom: The Pursuit of Security in the NineteenthCentury Lesotho, Elizabeth A. Elredge 79 State and Society in Pre-colonial Asante, T. C. McCaskie 80 Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal: Disciples and Citizens in Fatick, Leonardo A. Villalon 81 Ethnic Pride and Racial Prejudice in Victorian Cape Town: Group Identity and Social Practice, Vivian Bickford-Smith 82 The Eritrean Struggle for Independence: Domination, Resistance and Nationalism, 1941–1993, Ruth Iyob 83 Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone, William Reno 84 The Culture of Politics in Modern Kenya, Angelique Haugerud 85 Africans: The History of a Continent, 1st ed., John Iliffe 86 From Slave Trade to ‘Legitimate’ Commerce: The Commercial Transition in Nineteenth-Century West Africa, Robin Law (ed.) 87 Leisure and Society in Colonial Brazzaville, Phyllis Martin 88 Kingship and State: The Buganda Dynasty, Christopher Wrigley 89 Decolonialization and African Life: The Labour Question in French and British Africa, Frederick Cooper 90 Misreading the African Landscape: Society and Ecology in an African Forest-Savannah Mosaic, James Fairhead and Melissa Leach 91 Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia: The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, 1975–1991, John Young 92 Senegambia and the Atlantic Slave Trade, Boubacar Barry 93 Commerce and Economic Change in West Africa: The Oil Trade in the Nineteenth Century, Martin Lynn 94 Slavery and French Colonial Rule in West Africa: Senegal, Guinea and Mali, Martin A. Klein 95 East African Doctors: A History of the Modern Profession, John Iliffe

96 Middlemen of the Cameroons Rivers: The Duala and Their Hinterland, c.1600–1960, Ralph Derrick, Ralph A. Austen, and Jonathan Derrick 97 Masters and Servants on the Cape Eastern Frontier, 1760–1803, Susan Newton-King 98 Status and Respectability in the Cape Colony, 1750–1870: A Tragedy of Manners, Robert Ross 99 Slaves, Freedmen and Indentured Laborers in Colonial Mauritius, Richard B. Allen 100 Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 2nd ed., Paul E. Lovejoy 101 The Peasant Cotton Revolution in West Africa: Cote d’Ivoire, 1880–1995, Thomas J. Bassett 102 Re-imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century, Johan Pottier 103 The Politics of Evil: Magic, State Power and the Political Imagination in South Africa, Clifton Crais 104 Transforming Mozambique: The Politics of Privatization, 1975–2000, M. Anne Pitcher 105 Guerrilla Veterans in Post-War Zimbabwe: Symbolic and Violent Politics, 1980–1987, Norma J. Kriger 106 An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar, 1750–1895: The Rise and Fall of an Island Empire, Gwyn Campbell 107 Honour in African History, John Iliffe 108 Africans: A History of a Continent, 2nd ed., John Iliffe 109 Guns, Race, and Power in Colonial South Africa, William Kelleher Storey 110 Islam and Social Change in French West Africa: History of an Emancipatory Community, Sean Hanretta 111 Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War and Decolonization, Daniel Branch 112 Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda, Timothy Longman 113 From Africa to Brazil: Culture, Identity, and an African Slave Trade, 1600–1830, Walter Hawthorne 114 Africa in the Time of Cholera: A History of Pandemics from 1817 to the Present, Myron Echenberg 115 A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600–1960, Bruce S. Hall 116 Witchcraft and Colonial Rule in Kenya, 1900–1955, Katherine Luongo 117 Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 3rd ed., Paul E. Lovejoy

118 The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300–1589, Toby Green 119 Party Politics and Economic Reform in Africa’s Democracies, M. Anne Pitcher 120 Smugglers and Saints of the Sahara: Regional Connectivity in the Twentieth Century, Judith Scheele 121 Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade, Roquinaldo Ferreira 122 Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival, Derek Peterson 123 Black Morocco: A History of Slavery and Islam, Chouki El Hamel 124 An African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World: Benguela and Its Hinterland, Mariana Candido 125 Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender, and National Identity in Ethiopia, Lahra Smith 126 Slavery and Emancipation in Islamic East Africa: From Honor to Respectability, Elisabeth McMahon 127 A History of African Motherhood: The Case of Uganda, 700–1900, Rhiannon Stephens 128 The Borders of Race in Colonial South Africa: The Kat River Settlement, 1829–1856, Robert Ross 129 From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel: The Road to Nongovernmentality, Gregory Mann 130 Dictators and Democracy in African Development: The Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria, A. Carl LeVan 131 Water, Civilization and Power in Sudan: The Political Economy of Military-Islamist State Building, Harry Verhoeven 132 The Fruits of Freedom in British Togoland: Literacy, Politics and Nationalism, 1914–2014, Kate Skinner 133 Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonization, Emma Hunter 134 Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola, 1975–2002, Justin Pearce 135 From Slavery to Aid: Politics, Labour, and Ecology in the Nigerian Sahel, 1800–2000, Benedetta Rossi 136 National Liberation in Postcolonial Southern Africa: A Historical Ethnography of SWAPO’s Exile Camps, Christian A. Williams 137 Africans: A History of a Continent, 3rd ed., John Iliffe 138 Colonial Buganda and the End of Empire: Political Thought and Historical Imagination in Africa, Jonathon L. Earle 139 The Struggle over State Power in Zimbabwe: Law and Politics since 1950, George Karekwaivanane

140 Transforming Sudan: Decolonisation, Economic Development and State Formation, Alden Young 141 Colonizing Consent: Rape and Governance in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Elizabeth Thornberry 142 The Value of Disorder: Autonomy, Prosperity and Plunder in the Chadian Sahara, Julien Brachet and Judith Scheele 143 The Politics of Poverty: Policy-Making and Development in Rural Tanzania, Felicitas Becker 144 Boundaries, Communities, and State-Making in West Africa: The Centrality of the Margins, Paul Nugent 145 Politics and Violence in Burundi: The Language of Truth in an Emerging State, Aidan Russell 146 Power and the Presidency in Kenya: The Jomo Kenyatta Years, Anaïs Angelo 147 East Africa after Liberation: Conflict, Security and the State since the 1980s, Jonathan Fisher 148 Sultan, Caliph, and the Renewer of the Faith: Ahmad Lobbo, the Tar ¯ ı¯kh al-fattash ¯ and the Making of an Islamic State in West Africa, Mauro Nobili 149 Shaping the African Savannah: From Capitalist Frontier to Arid Eden in Namibia, Michael Bollig 150 France’s Wars in Chad: Military Intervention and Decolonization in Africa, Nathaniel K. Powell 151 Islam, Ethnicity, and Conflict in Ethiopia: The Bale Insurgency, 1963–1970, Terje Østebø 152 The Path to Genocide in Rwanda: Security, Opportunity, and Authority in an Ethnocratic State, Omar Shahabudin McDoom 153 Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia, Robtel Neajai Pailey 154 Salafism and Political Order in Africa, Sebastian Elischer 155 Performing Power in Zimbabwe: Politics, Law and the Courts since 2000, Susanne Verheul 156 Revolutionary State-Making in Dar es Salaam: African Liberation and the Global Cold War, 1961–1974, George Roberts 157 Race and Diplomacy in Zimbabwe: The Cold War and Decolonization, 1960–1984, Timothy Lewis Scarnecchia 158 Conflicts of Colonialism: The Rule of Law, French Soudan, and Faama Mademba Sèye, Richard L. Roberts 159 Invoking the Invisible in the Sahara: Islam, Spiritual Mediation, and Social Change, Erin Pettigrew 160 Wealth, Land, and Property in Angola: A History of Dispossession, Slavery and Inequality, Mariana P. Candido

161 Trajectories of Authoritarianism in Rwanda: Elusive Control before the Genocide, Marie-Eve Desrosiers 162 Plunder for Profit: A Socio-environmental History of Tobacco Farming in Southern Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, Elijah Doro 163 Navigating Local Transitional Justice: Agency at Work in PostConflict Sierra Leone, Laura S. Martin 164 Arming Black Consciousness: The Azanian Black Nationalist Tradition and South Africa’s Armed Struggle, Toivo Tukongeni Paul Wilson Asheeke