A. Grodet, "Instructions pour
Monsieur le Lieutenant Collot envoyé en tournée du
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(p1) M. le Lieutenant Collot, adjoint au Commandant du Cercle est chargé de faire le recensement de la population de la province de Segou en vue de l'établissement des r“les d'impot pour l'année 1896. This is the order from Albert Grodet, the first Governor General of French West Africa, to conduct a census of the population in the region of Segou in preparation for assessing taxes.
The officer (Collot) was expected to visit villages and note the number of men, women and children (including slaves), the number of "Soukhalas" (maybe heads of households?) and the number of "cases" (lodgings) associated with each Soukhala . The officer was also supposed to note the names of chiefs and the race of all inhabitants.
The officer's second task was to evaluate the relative wealth of the village so that the tax rate could be determined. The poorest villages paid 1.50 francs per person, and there were four levels of taxation at 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 francs per person.
(p2) The instructions said that it was preferable for taxes to be paid in silver or coins, but that local products such as mil, sel, gomme, animals, rice or cotton were all acceptable, as were cowries.
The officer was also supposed to contribute to a map of the cercle of Segou that was already in progress. He also had to gather information on village chiefs including their names, birthplace, past, relations with the French, brothers and sons, and their relative influence.
The officer was escorted by a caporal indigene and six tirailleurs , plus one "agent politique s–r connaissant bien le pays."