Gorée

Gorée

Île de Gorée (i.e. "Gorée Island") (pronounced /goʀe/) is one of the 19 communes d'arrondissement (i.e. "commune of arrondissement") of the city of Dakar, Senegal. It is a 0.182 km² (45 acre) island located a mere 1 km at sea from the main harbor of Dakar ().

Its population as of 31 January 2005 official estimates is 1,056 inhabitants, giving a density of 5,802 inh. per km² (15,028 inh. per sq. mile), which is only half the average density of the city of Dakar. Gorée is both the smallest and the least populated of the 19 communes d'arrondissement of Dakar.

Gorée is famous as a destination for people interested in the Atlantic slave trade. In fact, however, relatively few slaves were processed or transported from there. The more important centers for the slave trade from Senegal were north, at Saint-Louis, Senegal or to the south in the Gambia, at the mouths of major rivers for trade.

History and slave trade

Gorée is a small island 900 m in length and 350 m in width sheltered by the Cape Vert Peninsula. Now part of the city of Dakar, it was a minor port and site of European settlement along the coast. Being almost devoid of drinking water, the island was not settled before the arrival of Europeans. The Portuguese were the first to establish a presence on Gorée (c. 1450), building a small stone chapel there and using it as a cemetery.

Gorée is known as the location of the House of Slaves (Maison des esclaves), built by an Afro-French Métis family about 1780 - 1784. The House of Slaves is one of the oldest houses on the island. It is used as a tourist destination to dramatize the horrors of the slave trade throughout the Atlantic world. Well known in the West because of this museum, Gorée was actually relatively unimportant in the slave trade. The claim that the "house of slaves" was a slave-shipping point was refuted as long ago as 1958 by Raymond Mauny, shortly afterward the first professor of African history at the Sorbonne.

Probably no more than a few hundred slaves a year were ever embarked here for transportation to the Americas, and those not on large slave ships but as incidental passengers on ships carrying other cargos. After the decline of the slave trade from Senegal in the 1770s and 1780s, the town became an important port for the shipment of peanuts, peanut oil, gum arabic, ivory, and other products of the "legitimate" trade. It was probably for support of this trade that the "Maison des Esclaves" was built.

The island of Gorée was one of the first places in Africa to be settled by Europeans, the Portuguese setting foot on the island in 1444. Later it was captured by the United Netherlands in 1588, then the Portuguese again, again the Dutch — who named it after the Dutch island of Goeree, the British under Robert Holmes in 1664, and then the French in 1677. The island remained continuously French until 1960, when Senegal was granted independence. There were brief periods of English occupation during the various wars fought by France and England between 1677 and 1815.

Gorée was principally a trading post, administratively attached to Saint-Louis, capital of the Colony of Senegal. Apart from slaves, beeswax, hides and grain were also traded. The population of the island fluctuated according to circumstances, from a few hundred free Africans and Creoles to about 1,500. There would have been few European residents at any one time.

In the 18th and 19th century, Gorée was home to a Franco-African Creole, or Métis, community of merchants with links to similar communities in Saint-Louis and south to the Gambia and across the Atlantic to France's colonies in the Americas. Métis women, called signares from the Portuguese senhora, were especially important to the city’s business life. The signares owned ships and property and commanded male clerks. They were also famous for cultivating fashion and entertainment. One such signare, Anne Rossignol, lived in Saint-Domingue (the modern Haiti) in the 1780s before the Haitian Revolution.

In February 1794 during the French Revolution, France was the first nation in the world to abolish slavery (with the exception of a few precedents set by some US states such as Massachusetts). The slave trade from Senegal stopped. However, in May 1802 Napoleon reestablished slavery after intense lobbying from sugar plantation owners of the Caribbean départements of France. They found support for their position from the wife of Napoleon, Joséphine de Beauharnais, daughter of a rich plantation owner from Martinique.

In March 1815, during his political comeback known as the Hundred Days, Napoleon definitively abolished the slave trade to build relations with Great Britain (Scotland had never recognized slavery and England finally abolished the slave trade in 1807). This time abolition continued.

As the trade in slaves declined in the late eighteenth century, Gorée converted to legitimate commerce. The tiny city and port were ill situated for the shipment of industrial quantities of peanuts, which began arriving in bulk from the mainland. Consequently, its merchants established a presence directly on the mainland, first in Rufisque (1840) and then in Dakar (1857). Many of the established families started to leave the island.

Civic franchise for the citizens of Gorée was institutionalized in 1872, when it became a French “commune” with an elected mayor and a municipal council. Blaise Diagne, the first African deputy elected to the French National Assembly (served 1914 to 1934), was born on Gorée. From a peak of about 4,500 in 1845, the population fell to 1,500 in 1904. In 1940 Gorée was annexed to the municipality of Dakar.

Gorée is connected to the mainland by regular 30-minute ferry service – pedestrians only; there are no cars on the island. It is Senegal’s premier tourist site and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It now serves mostly as a memorial to the slave trade. The built-up urban core of the island is geared to tourism, and many of the historic commercial and residential buildings have been turned into restaurants and hotels. s (1763) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on February 10, 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. Together with the Treaty of Hubertusburg, it ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War.[1] The treaties marked the beginning of an extensive period of British dominance outside of Europe.[2]

While the bulk of conquered territories were restored to their pre-war owners, the British made some substantial overseas gains at the expense of France and, to a lesser extent, Spain.[3] Preferring to keep Guadeloupe, France gave up Canada and all of its claims to the territory east of the Mississippi River to Britain[4]. Spain ceded Florida to the British, but later received New Orleans and French Louisiana from France; Manila and Cuba were restored to Spain. France retained Saint Pierre and Miquelon and recovered Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Lucia in exchange for Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tobago going to the British. In India, the French lost out to the British, receiving back its "factories" (trading posts), but agreeing to support the British client governments, as well as returning Sumatra and agreeing not to base troops in Bengal. The British garrison on the Mediterranean island of Minorca was returned to her control, having been captured by the French at the outbreak of hostilities in Europe.

Britain returned the slave station on the isle of Gorée to the French, but gained the Senegal River and its settlements. Britain agreed to demolish its fortifications in British Honduras (Belize), but received permission from Spain to keep a logwood-cutting colony there. Britain confirmed in the treaty the rights of its new subjects to practice the Roman Catholic religion[5] and received confirmation of the continuation of the British king's Hanoverian right as a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

It is sometimes claimed that the British King George III renounced his claim to be King of France by the treaty. However, this is a historical myth, and it is also falsely attributed to some of the treaties of the French Revolutionary Wars. Such a renunciation is nowhere in the text of the treaty, and, in fact, George III continued to be styled "King of France" and used the fleurs-de-lis as part of his arms until 1801, when Britain and Ireland united. It was dropped then because the claim was regarded as anachronistic. Contents [hide]

   * 1 Louisiana question
   * 2 Quebec question
   * 3 See also
   * 4 References
   * 5 External links

[edit] Louisiana question

The Treaty of Paris is frequently stated as the point at which France conveyed Louisiana Territory to Spain. However the transfer actually occurred in 1762 in the Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762) (which was not publicly announced until 1764).

The Treaty of Paris was to give Britain the east side of the Mississippi (including Baton Rouge, Louisiana which was to be part of the British territory of West Florida). New Orleans on the east side remained in French hands (albeit temporarily). The Mississippi River corridor in what is modern day Louisiana was to be reunited following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1819.

The 1763 treaty states in Article VII:

   VII. In order to re­establish peace on solid and durable foundations, and to remove for ever all subject of dispute with regard to the limits of the British and French territories on the continent of America; it is agreed, that, for the future, the confines between the dominions of his Britannick Majesty and those of his Most Christian Majesty, in that part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the middle of the River Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence, by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the sea; and for this purpose, the Most Christian King cedes in full right, and guaranties to his Britannick Majesty the river and port of the Mobile, and every thing which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left side of the river Mississippi, except the town of New Orleans and the island in which it is situated, which shall remain to France, provided that the navigation of the river Mississippi shall be equally free, as well to the subjects of Great Britain as to those of France, in its whole breadth and length, from its source to the sea, and expressly that part which is between the said island of New Orleans and the right bank of that river, as well as the passage both in and out of its mouth: It is farther stipulated, that the vessels belonging to the subjects of either nation shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of any duty whatsoever. The stipulations inserted in the IVth article, in favour of the inhabitants of Canada shall also take place with regard to the inhabitants of the countries ceded by this article.

   – [6]

[edit] Quebec question

Article IV of the treaty provided protections for Catholics in Canada and has been cited as the basis for Quebec often having its unique set of laws that are different from the rest of Canada.

The article also provided for unrestrained emigration for 18 months from Canada. As a result many of the emigrants called Cajuns were to move to Louisiana to a region now called Acadiana which they thought was going to remain part of France -- only to find out after they had moved that Louisiana had become part of Spain.

The article states:

   IV. His Most Christian Majesty renounces all pretensions which he has heretofore formed or might have formed to Nova Scotia or Acadia in all its parts, and guaranties the whole of it, and with all its dependencies, to the King of Great Britain: Moreover, his Most Christian Majesty cedes and guaranties to his said Britannick Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well as the island of Cape Breton, and all the other islands and coasts in the gulph and river of St. Lawrence, and in general, every thing that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and coasts, with the sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights acquired by treaty, or otherwise, which the Most Christian King and the Crown of France have had till now over the said countries, lands, islands, places, coasts, and their inhabitants, so that the Most Christian King cedes and makes over the whole to the said King, and to the Crown of Great Britain, and that in the most ample manner and form, without restriction, and without any liberty to depart from the said cession and guaranty under any pretence, or to disturb Great Britain in the possessions above mentioned. His Britannick Majesty, on his side, agrees to grant the liberty of the Catholick religion to the inhabitants of Canada: he will, in consequence, give the most precise and most effectual orders, that his new Roman Catholic subjects may profess the worship of their religion according to the rites of the Romish church, as far as the laws of Great Britain permit. His Britannick Majesty farther agrees, that the French inhabitants, or others who had been subjects of the Most Christian King in Canada, may retire with all safety and freedom wherever they shall think proper, and may sell their estates, provided it be to the subjects of his Britannick Majesty, and bring away their effects as well as their persons, without being restrained in their emigration, under any pretence whatsoever, except that of debts or of criminal prosecutions: The term limited for this emigration shall be fixed to the space of eighteen months, to be computed from the day of the exchange of the ratification of the present treaty.

   – [6]

[edit] See also

   * List of treaties

[edit] References

  1. ^ Marston, Daniel (2002). The French-Indian War 1754-176. Osprey Publishing, pp.84. The French-Indian War 1754-1760.
  2. ^ "Wars and Battles:Treaty of Paris (1763)". "In a nutshell, Britain emerged as the world’s leading colonial empire."
  3. ^ "The Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian War".
  4. ^ "his Most Christian Majesty cedes and guaranties to his said Britannick Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well as the island of Cape Breton, and all the other islands and coasts in the gulph and river of St. Lawrence, and in general, every thing that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and coasts, with the sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights acquired by treaty, or otherwise, which the Most Christian King and the Crown of France have had till now over the said countries, lands, islands, places, coasts, and their inhabitants" – Treaty of Paris, 1763
  5. ^ (1892) Extracts from the Treaty of Paris of 1763. A. Lovell & Co., pp.6. "His Britannick Majesty, on his side, agrees to grant the liberty of the Roman Catholic religion to the inhabitants of Canada."
  6. ^ a b Text of Treaty of Paris 1763

[edit] External links

   * Treaty of Paris
   * The Treaty of Paris and its Consequences (in French)
   * Treaty of Paris from The Canadian Encyclopedia

Wikisource has original text related to this article: Treaty of Paris (1763) Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Paris_(1763)" Categories: 1763 in law | French and Indian War | Legal history of Canada | History of Quebec | British peace treaties | French peace treaties | Seven Years' War | 1763 in France Views

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Administration

With the foundation of Dakar in 1857, Gorée gradually lost its importance. In 1872, the French colonial authorities created the two communes of Saint-Louis and Gorée, the first western-style municipalities in West Africa, with the same status as any commune in France. Dakar, on the mainland, was part of the commune of Gorée, whose administration was located on the island. However, as early as 1887, Dakar was detached from the commune of Gorée and was turned into a commune in its own right. Thus, the commune of Gorée became limited to its tiny island.

In 1891, Gorée still had 2,100 inhabitants, while Dakar only had 8,737 inhabitants. However, by 1926 the population of Gorée had declined to only 700 inhabitants, while the population of Dakar had increased to 33,679 inhabitants. Thus, in 1929 the commune of Gorée was merged with Dakar. The commune of Gorée disappeared, and Gorée was now only a small island of the commune of Dakar.

In 1996, a massive reform of the administrative and political divisions of Senegal was voted by the Parliament of Senegal. The commune of Dakar, deemed too large and too populated to be properly managed by a central municipality, was divided into 19 communes d'arrondissement to which extensive powers were given. The commune of Dakar was maintained above these 19 communes d'arrondissement. It coordinates the activities of the communes d'arrondissement, much as Greater London coordinates the activities of the London boroughs.

Thus, in 1996 the commune of Gorée was resurrected, although it is now only a commune d'arrondissement (but in fact with powers quite similar to a commune). The new commune d'arrondissement of Gorée, which is officially known in French as the Commune d'Arrondissement de l'île de Gorée, took possession of the old mairie (town hall) in the center of the island. This had been used as the mairie of the former commune of Gorée between 1872 and 1929.

The commune d'arrondissement of Gorée is ruled by a municipal council (conseil municipal) democratically elected every 5 years, and by a mayor elected by members of the municipal council.

The current mayor of Gorée is Augustin Senghor, elected in 2002.

Island historical sites

Other attractions on the island include three museums, one dedicated to women, one to the history of Senegal and one to the sea. The seventeenth century Gorée Police Station, Gorée Castle and a small beach are also of interest to tourists.

The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Archaeological research on the historical occupation of Gorée has been recently undertaken by Dr. Ibrahima Thiaw (Associate Professor of Archaeology at the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN); and the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal); Dr. Susan Keech McIntosh (Professor of Archaeology, Rice University, Houston, Texas); and Raina Croff (PhD candidate at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut). Dr. Shawn Murray (University of Wisconsin-Madison) also contributed to the archaeological research at Gorée through a study of local and introduced trees and shrubs, which aids in identifying the ancient plant remains found in the excavations.

Notable residents

  • Father of French rapper Booba (born Elie Yaffa). In his song "Garde la pêche" he mentions the island, saying "Gorée c'est ma terre" (Gorée is my land/hometown).
  • Djembe musician Latyr Sy.

References

  • Camara, Abdoulaye & Joseph Roger de Benoist. Histoire de Gorée. Maisonneuve & Larose, Paris (2003).

External links

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