The French settlements, situated on the western coast of Africa, from Cape Blanco to the mouth of the river Gambia, have been alternately possessed by France and England, and have remained definitively in the hands of the French, whose ancestors laid the foundations of them previously to the fourteenth century, when they discovered this country.
The English made themselves masters in 1758 of the Isle of St Louis, the seat of the general government of all the settlements which the French have on that part of the coast; we recovered it twenty years after, in 1779 and our possessions were again confirmed to us by the treaty of peace between France and England, concluded on the 3d of September, 1783. In 1808, our possessions fell again into the power of the English, less by the superiority of their arms, than by the treachery of some individuals unworthy of bearing the name of Frenchmen. They were finally restored to us by the treaties of peace of 1814, and 1815, which confirmed that of 1783 in its whole extent.
The stipulations of this treaty regulate the respective rights of the two nations on the Western coast of Africa; they fix the possessions of France as follows:—from Cape Blanco situated in longitude 19 deg. 30’, and latitude 20 deg. 55’ 30”, to the mouth of the river Gambia in longitude 19 deg. 9’, and latitude 13 deg.; they guarantee this property exclusively to our country, and only permit the English to trade together with the French, for gum, from the river St. John to Fort Portendick inclusive, on condition, that they shall not form establishments of any kind whatsoever in this river, or upon any point of this coast. Only it is said, that the possession of the factory of Albreda, situated at the month of the river Gambia, and that of fort James, are confirmed to England.
The rights of the two nations being thus regulated, France thought of resuming her possessions and the enjoyment of her rights. The minister of the marine after having long meditated, and taken two years to prepare an expedition of four vessels, at last gave orders that it should sail for Senegal. The following is a list of the persons who composed the expedition.
A Colonel, to command in chief for the king on the whole coast from Cape Blanco to the mouth of the river Gambia, and charged with the superior direction of the administration... 1
A Lieutenant-Colonel, (chef de bataillon) commandant of Goree....................................................... 1
A Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the African battalion, composed of three companies of 84 men each.................. 253
A Lieutenant of Artillery, inspector of the powder magazines and batteries, and commanding ten workmen of his arm........ 11
A Commissary, inspector of the marine, chief of the