Portuguese Colonial Treaties in Africa: The Treaty of Simulambuco in Cabinda February 1, 1885

Angola_Cabinda_2Portugal had a few colonies in Africa: Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Mozambique.  Since 1885, the State of Cabinda has been a Portuguese Protectorate according to the Luso-Cabindan Treaties of Chifuma, Chicamba, and Simulambuco. Today, it is an exclave and province of Angola, a status that has been disputed by several political organizations in the territory. The capital city is also called Cabinda. Modern Cabinda is the result of a fusion of three kingdoms: N’Goyo, Loango and Kakongo.

Logo of the province of Cabinda

On February 1, 1885, the Treaty of Simulambuco established Cabinda as a protectorate of the Portuguese Empire, and the Cabindan independence movements consider the occupation of the territory by Angola illegal. The Treaty of Simulambuco was signed between the emissaries of the Portuguese Crown and the princes and notables of Cabinda, giving rise to three territories within the Portuguese protectorate of Cabinda: Cacongo, Loango, and N’Goyo. The original in Portuguese can be found here: Cabinda_Tratado de Simulambuco.


Treaty of Simulambuco between the Portuguese Crown and the Princes of Cabinda

Angola_Cabinda_Guilherme Augusto de Brito Capello
Guilherme Brito Capello in O Occidente Nº 738 de 30 de Junho de 1899

Guilherme Augusto de Brito Capelo, captain-lieutenant of the fleet, commander of the Corvette Queen of Portugal, Commander of Avis and Knight of several orders, authorized by the government of his most faithful Majesty King of Portugal, satisfying the wishes expressed by the princes of Cabinda in Duly signed by them in a large foundation, concluded with their respective Princes, Governors and Heads, their Successors and heirs, the following:

Article I – The princes and chiefs of the country, and their successors, declare, voluntarily, to recognize the sovereignty of Portugal, placing under the Protectorate of this nation all the territories governed by them.

Article II – Portugal recognizes the current Chiefs and confirms those who are elected by the Peoples in accordance with their laws and practices, promising them aid and protection.

Article III – Portugal undertakes to maintain the integrity of the territories placed under its Protectorate.

Article IV – The Landlords of the Country and their Inhabitants shall be kept directly from the lands belonging to them, and may sell or dispose of them in any way for the establishment of business factories or other private industries, by paying customs, marking a Clear and precise the area of land granted in order to avoid future complications, and the contracts must be ratified by the commanders of Portuguese warships or by the authority in which the government of his Majesty delegates his powers.

Angola_Burial of a king view of the Cabinda mountain 1786-87
Burial of King Andris Poncouta, Macaye, and view of the Cabinda mountain 1786-87

Article V – The greatest freedom will be granted to traders of all nations to establish themselves in these territories, the Portuguese government being obliged to protect these establishments, reserving the right to proceed as it deems most convenient, if it proves that an attempt is being made to destroy the domain of Portugal in these regions.

Article VI – The princes and more indigenous chiefs undertake not to make treaties nor to assign lands to the representatives of foreign nations when this transfer is of an official character and not for the purpose mentioned in article 4.

Article VII – It is also obliged to protect the commerce of both the Portuguese and foreigners and indigenous people, not allowing interruption in communications with the interior and making use of its authority to unravel the paths, facilitating and protecting relations between buyers and sellers, missions Religious and scientific organizations that establish themselves temporarily or permanently in their territories, as well as the development of agriculture.

Article VII.1 – They force themselves not to allow trafficking in slavery within the confines of their domains.

Article VIII – Any and all questions between Europeans and natives shall always be resolved with the assistance of the Portuguese ship’s war commander who may be able to communicate with the land on that occasion, or who has duly legalized powers.

Article IX – Portugal will respect and respect the customs and customs of the country.

Flag of Portugal

Article X – The Princes and Chiefs ceded to Portugal the whole and complete ownership of portions of land for the payment of their respective amounts, in order that the Portuguese Government may have them build their military, administrative or private establishments.

Article XI – The present treaty signed by the Princes and Chiefs of the Country, as well as by the captain-lieutenant commander of the corvette Queen of Portugal, shall begin execution from the day of its signature, but may not be considered definitive until after it has been approved by Government of his majesty.

Simulambuco, in Cabinda, February 1, 1885

(A) Guilherme Augusto de Brito Capelo, commander of the corvette Queen of Portugal.

  • De Neto do Prince Gime, Viceroy. (A) Guilherme Augusto de Brito Capelo, commander of the corvette queen of portugal.
  • De Neto do Prince Gime, Viceroy.
  • De Ibiála, Mamboma do Rei and representative of the Regency.
  • Muanafumo Mahundo, son of the late King.
  • For Mangove Dangoio Puata Puna.
  • From Princess Maria Gimbe, Mambuko. (A) Barão de Cabinda, Manuel José Puna.
  • Sambo Franque, Governor of Chinga.
  • Machimbi, Mafuca Franque.
  • Mavungo Mangombe, Governor of Samona. (A) Manuel Bonzola Franque, Governor of Puerto Rico and Mutamba. (A) Francisco R. Franque, Governor of Pernambuco and Vitória.
  • Fernando Sonsa, Governor of Povo Grande.
  •  Pucuta Caetano, Iinguist de Porto Rico.
  • Manichuvula, Prince, Mambuko de Buco-Sinto.
  • King Jack, Prince of Ponta do Tafe.
  • King Taine, Prince of Ponta do Tafé.
  • Fenando Mingas, son of Prince Jack do Buco-Sinto.
  • Mangove Velho, Don of Povo Grande.
  • Son of Prince Bette Jack, Governor of Caio,
  • Manissabo, Governador de Chobo.
  • Perico Franque, linguist of Mambuco.
  • Puata Puna.
  • Luemba Franque, irmão do Príncipe Sambo, Governor of Chinga.

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