History of West Africa 1815-1891

Senegal, 1445-1815

In 1445 Portuguese discoverers reached the Senegal river. They established trading stations along the coast and along the lower Senegal and Gambia rivers, as well as on GOREE island. In the 17th century, the Portuguese were replaced by the Dutch (on Goree, since 1617) and by the French at ST. LOUIS (1659). In 1677, the French gained Goree from the Dutch. Under ANDRE BRUE, Governor of the COMPAGNIE ROYALE DE SENEGAL 1697-1702, French territory was extended into the interior. The main trade commodities were African slaves (for the French colonies in the Caribbean).
During the 7 Years War, the British occupied French Senegal, returning Goree to France in 1763, but holding on to the remainder. During the War of American Independence, the French regained mainland Senegal but ceded Goree to Britain in 1783. In 1763, the Apostolic Prefecture of Saint Louis de Senegal was detached from Funchal (Madeira), thus establishing a Senegalese church province.
During the Napoleonic wars, the British again occupied Senegal; in 1815 Senegal - both Goree and the mainland possessions around St. Louis, were returned to France.
In the meantime, Britain had outlawed slave trade (1807), France, at least temporarily, outlawed slavery alltogether (1792-1802). This was to greatly affect the colony of Senegal.

Senegal, History of, from Infoplease; and from africana.com
Goree and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, from msu; Goree, Africa's slave island, from goafrica.about.com
Key Dates in the history of Senegal, from Senegal Online; French language timetable from Afric Network
Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Senegal, from Kirken i Norge
The Forgotten Front : the Napoleonic Wars in Senegal, from napoleonicwars.com
DOCUMENTS List of French company directors 1697-1758, British governors 1758-1779, French commandants 1779-1809 etc., from World Statesmen
REFERENCE F. Mahoney, H.O. Idowu, Peoples of the Senegambia (Precolonial History), pp.131-143 in : J.F. Ade Adayi and Ian Espie (ed.), A Thousand Years of West African History, Ibadan UP (1965) 1967

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on April 2nd 2005

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