anfom document

Lieutenant Governeur p.i. Terrasson de Fougères, "Rapport Politique Annuel, Année 1923"
(Koulouba, February 29, 1924)
in ANFOM Affaires Politiques, Carton 160

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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There was a raid by the "pillards et les dissidents venus des régions non soumises de la Séguiet El Hamra" (thieves and dissidents from the unpacified region of Séguiet el Hamra) who unfortunately destroyed a part of the camel-mounted military unit (peloton méhariste) of Timbuktu.

Agriculture in the colony is good thanks to the highest prices ever for cotton and peanuts.

The following table lists some figures on tax receipts and expenses. Since the administration expected to collect 14,559,700 francs, this meant the colony had a surplus of 318,618.40 francs.

Source of revenue Amount collected (francs)
Personal income taxes, Europeans 48,550
Personal income taxes, Africans 12,517,401
Personal income taxes, Transient 36,402
Fees collected in lieu
of forced labor (Prestations rachetées)
82,445.20
Market and commercial permits (Patentes et licenses) 704,827.75
Nomad tax (zekkat) 1,408,474.45
Armes à feu 80,218
Total 14,878,318.40

Under the category of Affaires Musulmans, the report mentions pilgrims who returned from Mecca. Two reached Djenné; one via Egyptian Soudan and the other "par la voie de mer" (by the ocean route) In Timbuktu, of five returning pilgrims, two returned by "voie de terre" (overland) and the other three via Dakar.

In the section on military and forced labor recruitment, "44,000 hommes ont eté examinés sur lesquels 2,000 ont été incorperés, 10,154 classés dans la deuxième portion du contingent et 21,000 ajournés. Sur les 2,000 incorperés, il y a eu 558 engagés" (Recruiters examined 44,000 men and chose 2,000 for the army and 10,154 for forced labor. 21,000 were rejected. Of the 2,000 military recruits, 558 volunteered to serve).

Thanks to improvements in the road network, administrators in the various cercles now have cars that permit them to make longer and more frequent inspections. This improves the accuracy of census figures.

The Lt. Gouverneur reported the construction of maternity clinics in the Cercles of Kayes, Bamako, Ségou, Mopti and Timbuktu. They are functional in all but Bamako where the work is not yet completed.

In Bamako, a private group has started a school for "d'assistance aux enfants en bas ge" (assistance for very young children).

An inspection was made in the Cercle of Kayes to examine conditions for laborers on plantations and the Chemin de Fer.

This table gives a summary of the written contracts between Africans by type, number and total value in francs:

Type of contract Number Total value (francs)
Personal credit transactions (ventes mobilières à credit) 22 3,125.75
Personal cash transactions (ventes mobilières au comptant) 15 2,002.50
Other personal transactions (ventes mobilières) 24 1598.65
Marriage contracts (conventions matrimoniales) 139 22,279
Rental contracts (contrats de louage) 10 775
Transport contracts (contrats de transport) 88 24,000
IOUs (Reconnaissances de dettes 180 35,000
Inheritance (successions) 12 25,788.80
Other (divers) 620 66,925.30
Total 1,110 181,495.00

The road between Bamako and Koulikoro was laid out and a number of permanent bridges were constructed. Airplane landing strips were cleared along the routes from Bamako to Kankan and to Bougouni using of African labor. In order to suppress human porterage, donkey transport was organized between Bamako- Koulikoro and Bamako-Bougouni.

The Compagnie de Culture Cotonnière du Niger, located at Sama near Ségou, easily found sufficient labor.

In the Cercle de Nioro, the military post at Yélimané was decommissioned, since there is no more trouble in the region.

There was continued hostility from a nomad group (Régueibat) despite the offer of submission from Abdoul Ouahab, chief of the Moroccans at Timbuktu. Apparently, he only made this offer in order to obtain the 25,000 franc premum offered by the French.

The French were aware of preparations for the annual rezzou (raid|) in September, but the Méhariste column was taken by surprise and slaughtered. Other French military units pursued at got their revenge at the battle of Tin- Aïcha.

At the beginning of 1923, the first tracked automobiles crossed the desert and went as far as Timbuktu. In December 1923, they did the same as far as Tessalit.

Ten Touareg children followed the "cours de la Médersah" (atteneed a government-sponsored Koranic school) in October. This was the first time that Tuaregs trusted their children to the colonial administration.