Since we were talking about Côte d’Ivoire, I thought about taking us down memory lane with this 1869 treaty between France and the King of Petit Bassam in modern-day Côte d’Ivoire. Today, on the island of Petit Bassam are neighborhoods such as Treichville, Koumassi, and Marcory; these are all parts of the city of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire‘s most populous city. The treaty below was signed between the French navy lieutenant Vernet and King Bogny of Petit Bassam.
The English translation of the treaty is by Dr. Y., Afrolegends.com. For the French original click here: Cote d’Ivoire_Traite relatif a la souverainete de la France sur le territoire de Petit Bassam 7 Fev 1869.
Treaty between M. VERNET, navy lieutenant, Knight of the Legion of Honor, Senior Commander of the Gold Coast trading posts, on behalf of the M. the Counter-Admiral, Commander in Chief of the navy of the western coast of Africa, Gabon, Gold Coast and BOGNY, King of the country of Petit-Bassam.
The king and chiefs of Petit-Bassam, desiring to place their country under the protection of France, concede the full and entire sovereignty of their territory to H.E. Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.
The French flag will be on all points where the Admiral Commander-in-Chief will deem necessary as a mark of sovereignty.
The king and chiefs give up in full ownership to the French the lands which will be necessary to them [the French] to build a fortification or commercial establishment that they [the French] will judge suitable.
In the event of the sinking of a ship, to whatever nation it belongs, they must lend their hands to the rescue; one-third of the cargo will be conceded to the rescuers.
In the event that disputes arise between the locals and Frenchmen or foreigners, if the matter cannot be arranged amicably, it will be brought to the court of the Senior Commander of Grand-Bassam who will judge in the last resort, unless approved by the admiral commander chief.
Any ship, from whatever nation it belongs to, may deal with the villages of Petit-Bassam, in accordance with the orders of the admiral commander-in-chief and subject to a customs duty of 4% on exported goods, fixed by the decree of September 12th 1868. This right will be levied by the French agents from May 1st 1869.
In exchange for these concessions, it will be granted to the king, chiefs, and inhabitants of the villages of Petit-Bassam protection of the colonial outpost and French warships.
The said treaty, read and re-read in the French language and the language of the country, will start its course today.
It was made double and in good faith between us, and a copy was issued to each of the parties.
In the village of Petit-Bassam, the seven of February one thousand eight hundred and sixty nine.
The Senior Commander of the Outposts of the Gold Coast
Signature of BOGNY.
Mark made by the King
Signature of DÉDÉ, translator.
The doctor of 2nd class of Grand-Bassam
Signed: Le BUNETEL
The Counter-Admiral, Commander-in-chief of the naval division of the Western coasts of Africa and Senior Commander of the trading posts of the Gold Coast and Gabon.
Signed: A. Dauriac