Faith in Empire: Religion, Politics, and Colonial Rule in French Senegal, 1880-1940 0804783802, 9780804783804

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Faith in Empire: Religion, Politics, and Colonial Rule in French Senegal, 1880-1940
 0804783802, 9780804783804

Table of contents :
Contents
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: To Mock a Nun: Religion and Politics
in Senegal’s Coastal Communes, 1882–1890
Chapter 2: Rivalry in Translation: Catholicism, Islam,
and French Rule of the North-West Sereer, 1890–1900
Chapter 3: “The Storm Approaches”: Laïcité and
West Africa, 1901–1910
Chapter 4: Proving Patriotism: Catholic Missionaries
and the First World War in Senegal
Chapter 5: An Ambiguous Monument: Dakar’s
Colonial Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain
Chapter 6: Civilization, Custom, and Controversy:
Catholic Conversion and French Rule in Senegal
Conclusion: The Limits of Civilizing, 1936–1940
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

faith in empire

Faith in Empire religion, politics, and colonial rule in french senegal, 1880–1940

Elizabeth A. Foster

stanford university press stanford, california

Stanford University Press Stanford, California © 2013 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved. Support for this publication was provided by Tufts University. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system without the prior written permission of Stanford University Press. Printed in the United States of America on acid-free, archival-quality paper Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Foster, Elizabeth Ann, 1976– author. Faith in empire : religion, politics, and colonial rule in French Senegal, 18801940 / Elizabeth A. Foster. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 978-0-8047-8380-4 (cloth) 1. Religion and state--Senegal--History--19th century 2. Religion and state-Senegal--History--20th century. 3. Religion and politics--Senegal-- History-19th century. 4. Religion and politics--Senegal--History--20th century. 5. Catholic Church--Senegal--History--19th century. 6. Catholic Church-Senegal--History--20th century. 7. Church and state--France--Colonies-Africa. 8. France--Colonies--Africa--Religion. 9. France--Politics and government--1870–1940. I. Title. bl2470.s38f67 2013 322'.10966309041--dc23 2012040242 Typeset by Bruce Lundquist in 10.5 /12 Sabon

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Contents

List of Illustrations

ix

Acknowledgments xi Introduction

1

1. To Mock a Nun: Religion and Politics in Senegal’s Coastal Communes, 1882–1890

21

2. Rivalry in Translation: Catholicism, Islam, and French Rule of the North-West Sereer, 1890 –1900

43

3. “The Storm Approaches”: Laïcité and West Africa, 1901–1910

69

4. Proving Patriotism: Catholic Missionaries and the First World War in Senegal

95

5. An Ambiguous Monument: Dakar’s Colonial Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain

117

6. Civilization, Custom, and Controversy: Catholic Conversion and French Rule in Senegal

141

Conclusion: The Limits of Civilizing, 1936–1940

169

Notes

183

Bibliography

239

Index

263

Illustrations

Maps Colonial Senegal, c. 1920 xvi Mission stations in the Dakar-Thiès region and along the Petite Côte, 1911 Casamance

45 159

Figures Monsignor Hyacinthe Jalabert, apostolic vicar of Senegambia, 1909–1920

97

Travel brochure advertising the “National Pilgrimage” to the consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain, 1936

118

Consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain, 2 February 1936

126

Spiritan postcard of “Young Christian Households”

147

Acknowledgments

I have incurred debts to many generous individuals and institutions in the course of researching and writing this book. I am amazed when I think about all of the people on three continents who helped me realize this project. It is no accident that I turned out to be a historian of France and Franco­ phone Africa, given the many phenomenal teachers of history and of French that I had as a student at the Agnes Irwin School. I would like to thank all of them, and George and Barbara Barnett in particular, for laying the intellectual foundations of my work. The Graduate School, the History Department, the Council on Regional Studies, and the Institute for International and Regional Studies at Prince­ ton University provided generous financial support. I am grateful to the French government for a Chateaubriand scholarship. At Bates College, Dean Jill Reich funded research in France and Italy and found me some extra dollars to overcome a terrible exchange rate. At Tufts University, the Faculty Research Awards Committee and Dean Andrew McClellan enabled me to complete the project. At Stanford University Press, I thank Norris Pope and Carolyn Brown for their support and flexibility. I could not have written this book without the assistance of a number of archivists and librarians in France, Senegal, and Italy. Many of them work in private collections and were under no obligation to open their doors to me. I am equally indebted to the friends and colleagues who provided food and shelter along the way. In France, I owe a special thank-you to Father Gérard Vieira at the Spiritan Archives. He was exceedingly kind and helpful when I first arrived in Chevilly-Larue. He and Father Roger Tabard have provided crucial assistance ever since. Geneviève Karg at the Spiritan image archive went out of her way to e-mail me photographs. Sister Marie-Cécile de Segonzac opened the Archives of the Sisters of SaintJoseph de Cluny in Paris, though there was no permanent archivist there at the time. I reflect with amazement on the generosity of Madame Niclause at the Archives of the Orphelins-apprentis d’Auteuil, who let me in on Bastille Day, just a few days before her retirement. Sadly, she has since passed away, but her kind successor, Marie Noëlle Dumont, provided additional help. The staffs at the Centre d’archives d’outre-mer in Aix-en-Provence and at the National Archives in Paris shared their expertise. Nancy Green helped me navigate French bureaucracy, and Emmanuelle Saada invited

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Acknowledgments

me to audit her seminar in Paris. Sean Murphy let me use his apartment. Finally, I thank my dear, departed friend Kathy Lee, who housed and fed me in Boulogne on several forays and kept me laughing with her wry take on the world. In Senegal, Saliou Mbaye gave me a warm welcome to the National Archives and Mamadou Ndiaye was very helpful during my visits there. Mamadou Mbodj and his colleagues in the annex hunted down volumes of the Journal officiel, found me space in the bindery, and shared their ataya. The West African Research Center and Université Cheikh Anta Diop provided assistance with housing. Father Joseph-Roger de Benoist shared his work in progress with me, and Philippe Méguelle gave me some crucial tips on finding sources in Chevilly and in Dakar. In Rome, Brother Joseph Pinel was welcoming and obliging at the Archives of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel. At the Archives of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, S­ ister Marie-Bénédicte and Sister Françoise were exceedingly helpful, and all the sisters there made me feel at home by sharing their luncheon meals with me. Domenico Grillea and Letteria Previtera opened their home to a stranger, helped me find lost baggage, and fed me copious amounts of delicious food. I have been very fortunate to enjoy the guidance of remarkable mentors, who helped me see this project through. Philip Nord has been a model teacher, colleague, and friend for more than a decade. I am so very thankful for his unwavering support, his kindness, and his ever prompt and incisive feedback. I am extremely grateful to Frederick Cooper for his invaluable insights on this project and his generous support of my endeavors. Robert Tignor directed my first forays into colonial African history and provided astute critiques of my writing, as well as perceptive observations on Philadelphia sports teams. I am indebted to Robert Darnton for rigorous training in primary source analysis, for inspired teaching on Old Regime France and for his comments on my work. Finally, I thank Ann Blair, who advised me as an undergraduate and who continues to provide sound guidance on work, motherhood, and life in general. I would not have pursued an academic career without her encouragement. A number of kind and brilliant people have provided crucial advice, suggestions, and criticism over the last few years. Owen White and Alice Conklin helped me get my bearings at the very beginning of the project and have provided vital feedback ever since. Jennifer Boittin and Rachel Chrastil have been good friends and supportive advisers on the publishing process. Scholarly exchanges as well as informal conversations with ­Raberh Achi, Pape Chérif Bertrand Bassène, Charles Becker, Kelly Duke Bryant, Barbara Cooper, Sarah Curtis, J. P. Daughton, Mayanthi Fernando,

Acknowledgments

xiii

Harry Gamble, Ruth Ginio, Patricia Hickling, Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Eric Jennings, Hilary Jones, Charles Keith, Kate Keller, Phyllis Martin, Louisa Rice, Cliff Rosenberg, Jim Searing, Emmanuelle Sibeud, Miranda Spieler, and Judith Surkis all helped me move forward. I also wish to thank the colleagues I have worked with during the gestation of this book. At Yale University, Maria Rosa Menocal, Jane Levin and Norma Thompson gave me an opportunity that furthered my education, and ­Benjamin and Karen Foster secured me a quiet place to write. At Bates College, I greatly enjoyed the hospitable environment created by my fellow historians. Joe Hall, Hilmar Jensen, and Karen Melvin made suggestions that advanced the project. Will Ash and Matt Duvall at the Bates Imaging Center patiently taught me to enhance digital photographs of documents. It is my pleasure to work in the extraordinarily friendly and supportive atmosphere that prevails in the History Department at Tufts University, and I thank all of my colleagues for contributing to it. Howard Malchow wrote in support of the project, and Benjamin Carp and David Ekbladh gave me helpful tips on getting to the finish line. I greatly appreciated the advice and support of Annette Lazzara Aloise, Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe, Virginia Drachman, Beatrice Manz, Jeanne Penvenne, and Chris SchmidtNowara as I cared for an infant while making revisions. Alisha Rankin has been an endless source of good humor, sisterly support, and excellent advice. Last but by no means least, I thank Peniel Joseph, Dennis Rasmussen, and Stephan Pennington for their loyal friendship since my very first day at Tufts. Over this project’s long life, a number of people have commented on pieces of it. Ruramisai Charumbira, Molly Loberg, Thomas F. McDow, Tania Munz, Katrina Olds, Ishita Pande, Mitra Sharafi, Caroline Sherman, and George R. Trumbull IV read early iterations. Amanda Gustin helped with proofreading. Members of the Boston Area French History group, especially Oded Rabinovitch, Jeff Ravel, and Dan Smail, provided valuable feedback. I am particularly grateful to those who helped me refine the text in the final stages. Karin Vélez and Heather Curtis waded through large chunks of the manuscript. Mary Lewis offered perceptive observations, as well as much appreciated wisdom on work and parenting. Naomi ­Davidson buoyed my spirits throughout the revision process. Needless to say, errors in it are entirely my own. I could never have started or completed this book without the unconditional love and encouragement of my family. My parents, Timothy and Dorothy Foster, and my brother, Tim, have always supported my endeavors, academic and otherwise. I am very lucky to have such sensitive, caring, and funny people in my corner. Peter and Cynthia Ellis have been wonderful additional parents for nearly fifteen years now. I owe them a

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debt I can never repay for their extraordinary help and generosity over the last two years. Finally, my husband, Dai Ellis, has encouraged me every step of the way. His belief in my abilities, his optimism, his humor, and his critical eye were invaluable throughout this long journey. I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

faith in empire

Colonial Senegal, c. 1920

Introduction

A battle raged in the summer of 1884 between the parish priest and the mayor of Rufisque, a bustling port town on the throat of the Cap Vert peninsula in French Senegal. It began on Bastille Day, when the mayor, Monsieur Sicamois, approached the priest, Father Strub, and asked him to hang the tricolor flag on the Catholic church in honor of the newly minted French republican holiday.1 Strub flatly refused, so Sicamois attached the republic’s banner to the church tower himself. Infuriated, Strub tore it down and threw it in the mud.2 A month later, tempers flared again on the occasion of the first “prize day” at Rufisque’s new secular public school. School prize days were a highlight of the annual calendar in Senegal’s coastal towns and always featured solemn speeches by municipal and colonial officials to the assembled students and their parents. Yet this celebration of secular education was unusual because Catholic congregations ran most of Senegal’s urban public schools. As Father Strub bristled in the audience, Mayor Sicamois used his address to praise the laic instruction at the school as the best way to “break down the old ramparts of superstition and intolerance that separate our minds from those of the natives in whose midst we live.” He went on to argue that Muslim Lebu, who composed much of the local African population, harbored a “fierce antipathy” for Christianity, which had prevented them from sending their children to the colony’s Catholic schools. It was necessary, however, he argued, to “convert” Africans to “our language and our mores [moeurs],” and secular education provided a way forward. Now, Sicamois claimed, Lebu children would come to school when their parents saw that religion was not part of the curriculum, and the result would be the extension of French language, influence, and “civilization” in the region.3 Father Strub interpreted Sicamois’s speech both as a condemnation of Catholicism and a personal attack. Fuming, the priest went home after

2

Introduction

the festivities and scribbled an indignant letter to the mayor, accusing him of portraying Catholicism as mere superstition. He also suggested that ­Sicamois had privileged Islam over Christianity in his address. “You said,” he wrote, “that the instruction in your school is completely secular and excludes every sort of superstition. You could not have intended to say that your instructor would not teach Muslim superstitions, since you seem to have founded the school for Muslim protégés. When you spoke of expunging superstition from your curriculum, you must have meant the Christian religion.” Strub expressed incredulity that the mayor would say such things in front of a priest, who, he wrote sarcastically, is “paid by the government to spread superstition in Rufisque.” Moreover, he continued, Rufisque’s Christians had not been aware that they were engaging in “superstition” as they practiced their religion. Strub said he had accepted the official invitation to attend the prize day because he thought that a new school, even a secular one, could be completely compatible with “our holy religion.” He professed regret that he had been wrong and that he had inadvertently scandalized the population of Rufisque by attending an event that treated Catholicism in such an insulting fashion.4 Deeply offended in turn, Sicamois expressed his complete astonishment at Strub’s reaction in a defensive letter of his own. The mayor asserted that he sincerely respected Catholicism and had been referring to the Lebu when he mentioned “superstitions and intolerance” in his speech. He wrote that he was too well bred to insult individuals or Catholicism, the religion in which he had been raised, and that Strub had let himself be blinded by emotion.5 The priest backed down, apologizing and thanking the mayor for pointing out that he had let himself get carried away.6 This was not enough for Sicamois, however. The mayor denounced the priest to R ­ ufisque’s municipal council and the Catholic authorities in the colony and asked the French colonial administration, Strub’s employer in his official capacity as parish priest, to transfer the excitable cleric out of Rufisque.7 Bishop Riehl, head of the French Catholic mission in Senegal, ultimately sent Strub to a rural mission post, away from other Europeans, where he was just a simple missionary and not a state employee.8 The bishop did not display much sympathy for Strub, faulting the priest for committing “two very reprehensible acts vis-à-vis the civil authorities.” Riehl prioritized the maintenance of good relations with the colonial administration and ­Senegal’s municipalities and told his religious superiors in Paris that he felt fortunate that Strub had not provoked an even bigger scandal.9 The clash between Strub and Sicamois in Rufisque appeared to echo the bitter struggle that was then taking place in France between republicans and the Catholic Church. After the conservative, pro-Catholic regime of “Moral Order” had governed the Third Republic for most of the 1870s,

Introduction

3

republicans had come to power in 1879 and had immediately tackled what they called the “religious question,” or the place of religion in French public life.10 They launched a campaign to curtail Catholic influence in the public sphere, in France’s classrooms in particular. Among other legislative measures, Jules Ferry’s initiative to create a national system of free, compulsory primary education for both girls and boys showed the republican regime’s determination to wrest control of public instruction from the church.11 Indeed, a tableau featuring a priest and a mayor engaging in a tug-of-war over a tricolor flag and trading insults about secular education would have accurately captured the mood in many towns and villages across metropolitan France in the 1880s. At first glance, it would thus seem as though avowedly anticlerical republican minister Léon Gambetta’s oft-quoted dictum that “anticlericalism is not for export,” uttered in support of French missionary activity in Tunisia in 1881, did not hold true in colonial Senegal.12 Despite their apparent parallels with metropolitan developments, the incidents in Rufisque reveal that the religious landscape was far more complicated in Senegal than it was in France. Indeed, analyzing these episodes chiefly as evidence of the “export” of metropolitan squabbles obscures the much more important interplay of local actors and conditions that shaped the controversy in Rufisque, and religious politics and policies in Senegal as a whole. While Strub’s violent reactions to Sicamois’s acts and words may well have been informed by concern about church and state relations in France, unique colonial circumstances, and, specifically, varied French attitudes toward the colony’s diverse African population, lay at the heart of the misunderstanding.13 Sicamois argued in his prize day speech that the French minority in the colony should view its African neighbors primarily through the prism of their religion and tailor its approach to them accordingly. His further contention that secular French education could reach Muslim Africans in ways that Catholic instruction could not exposes how religious questions in Senegal were inextricably linked to conceptions of a French “civilizing mission” in Africa. At stake were rival French visions of the African population’s relationship both to the Europeans in their midst and to the French colonial state.14 The development and subsequent resolution of the controversy in Rufisque also points to the diverse cast of characters who shaped religious policy and, by extension, colonial rule in Senegal. Senegal was unique in French sub-Saharan Africa in that after 1879, the originaires, or adult males born in its coastal communes (there were four communes by 1887, including Rufisque), enjoyed the right to vote for municipal officials, a General Council that helped to govern the colony, and a deputy to represent them in the French legislature.15 This meant that the majority of the

4

Introduction

voters were African, and most of them were Muslim. In addition to European colonists, who were in the minority, the electorate included an influential métis population, born of two centuries of liaisons between French traders and African women. Sicamois was not a colonial administrator but a politician and elected official who aimed his message at his urban constituency.16 Strub, however, was both a private member of Senegal’s Catholic mission and a paid state functionary who answered both to his bishop (who was also on the state payroll) and the colonial authorities. Their dispute thus had repercussions in the colony’s political circles, as well as up and down the administrative and Catholic hierarchies. In urban Senegal, the French colonial administration could not make policy without reference to the political power wielded by civilians. It was somewhat freer to act outside the towns in the colony’s rural interior, where Africans were colonial subjects and could not vote, but this book will show that the colonial administration’s authority was always constrained by local forces there as well. Indeed, the administration was just one of a plethora of power brokers that helped shape colonial rule in French Senegal.

Framing the Inquiry Faith in Empire investigates the interactions between these power brokers around questions of religion and authority in Senegal between 1880, the year after the colony’s electoral institutions were definitively established, and the French defeat of 1940.17 It is therefore about colonization under the French Third Republic, though the metropole is often at the margins of the story. Instead, this book highlights how French colonial officials; French Catholic missionaries; métis traders and politicians; and Muslim, animist, and Christian Africans in Senegal navigated and shaped particular aspects of French colonial rule. This case study of the relationship between religion and colonial rule in one place over a span of sixty years offers a corrective to French colonial historiography of the Third Republic that takes a top-down, metropole-centric approach to empire by privileging official (or unofficial) discourses over negotiations on the ground. It examines how empire actually worked in practice by looking not only at French policies but also at how they were implemented, modified, bastardized, or ignored by French and African civilians and the officials charged with carrying them out. In doing so, it offers insight on the practice and limitations of French colonial rule, the nature of the relationship between the French Third Republic and its colonies, and competing and contradictory French approaches to African populations, while demonstrating the importance of local agency in forging the colonial order.

Introduction

5

One of the key themes that emerges from the examination of religion and empire in Senegal is the heterogeneity of French colonial rule, even within a single colony. In Senegal, various French and indigenous groups enjoyed particular historical, legal, and administrative relationships with the colonial state and modified its actual power in a multitude of ways. While the specifics are of course unique to this case study, the model of the French Empire as a heterogeneous patchwork of communities with unique, negotiated relationships to French authority, shaped as much, if not more so, by civilian indigenous and French actors as colonial officials, is widely applicable. Indeed, the heterogeneity and local agency emphasized here suggest a new analytical lens for conceptualizing French rule in Senegal during the Third Republic, which also applies to the empire more broadly. Because of its legislative institutions and its African voters, historians of French colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have tended to place Senegal within a republican frame of analysis that stresses France’s purportedly signature universalist and assimilative impulses as a nation and as a colonizer.18 Yet this reading of the evidence highlights the case of a small minority who gained voting rights in particular legislative battles over who would wield commercial and political influence in the colony. After 1914, African voters and their representatives’ employment of the language of republican universalism to cement their standing deepened the resonance of that language in narratives of French colonialism, further obscuring the unique historical contingencies of their position. To escape a republican lens, this book employs a more holistic approach to colonial Senegal that views the colony as a collection of differentiated spaces and populations where varying layers of law, administrative prerogative, and what French officials called “custom” held sway, depending on an individual’s physical location, gender, status as citizen or subject, and, frequently, his or her confessional identity as Muslim, animist, or Christian. This takes French governance of all of Senegal’s inhabitants into account and more accurately reflects the variegated nature of French colonial rule. Rather than a republican frame, therefore, the French Old Regime, so often ignored by scholars of modern France, provides a useful analogy to the modern colonial empire, in so far as it was a polity composed of a variety of territories and categories of individuals who related to the state in different ways.19 The key to the Old Regime was privilege—literally “private law”—an extensive array of distinct laws and regulations that applied to particular groups and territories. To quote historian William Doyle, privilege was “the hallmark of a country without uniform laws or institutions,”20 which made “the whole of pre-revolutionary society a chaotic, irrational jungle of special cases, exceptions and inequalities.”21 While the

6

Introduction

structure of privilege was perhaps not as complex or extensive in Senegal as it was in Old Regime France, the fundamental comparison still holds. And, much like the Old Regime monarchy, the colonial administration in Senegal tried to centralize and concentrate its power over time yet simultaneously contributed to the proliferation of special exceptions and legal pluralism within its domain. For example, in the interior of the colony, the indigénat, or administrative code of summary justice, coexisted uneasily with a complex legal regime based on “customary” law.22 Even the legislative institutions of the Four Communes are better understood as examples of privilege common in differentiated polities rather than as beacons of republican egalitarianism. After all, Muslim African voters in the communes were not entirely assimilated to French norms: they enjoyed a unique status that allowed them to vote as French citizens yet regulate their personal affairs according to Islamic law.23 In that respect, they actually enjoyed more options than their French neighbors, or even French male citizens in the metropole. And when extended all across the metropole and the empire together, this model reflects the bewildering intricacies of Old ­Regime privilege. For instance, when French officials considered extending the republic’s hallmark anticlerical laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 in the empire, they debated universal application but ended up recommending an elaborate set of exemptions and partial measures, based on the historical and religious context in each colony.24 This book’s application of an Old Regime frame to Senegal, and the modern French Empire more broadly, as well as its close focus on actors within the colony, does not mean that the Third Republic disappears entirely from the story, however. The following chapters will show that there were key moments when metropolitan politics, policies, and exigencies had an impact in Senegal. And, as other scholars have skillfully demonstrated, a discourse of “republican” colonialism animated high-level official rhetoric in France and colonial capitals, though there has been some debate about the precise meaning and scope of “republicanism” in this context. Alice Conklin’s pathbreaking A Mission to Civilize argues that French republican ideology shaped a civilizing mission that the governors general of West Africa pursued as they ruled the federation between 1895 and 1930. Though it evolved over time and harbored deep internal tensions and contradictions, this republican civilizing mission established constraints within which the colonial administration formulated and defined policy.25 Even though the practice of colonial rule appeared to repudiate the universal ideals on which the republic was founded, Conklin takes republicans’ discussion of a civilizing mission seriously, arguing that these paradoxes need to be investigated to illuminate the relationship between republican France and its empire.

Introduction

7

In his subsequent work on colonialism in West Africa between the wars, Gary Wilder warns against setting up a dichotomy between republican ideals and practice in the empire. Such an approach, he argues, preserves those ideals themselves from rigorous examination and cements a “canonical narrative of republican universalism that remains as undisturbed as the national paradigm that is its starting point.”26 Wilder, who suggests historians view Third Republic France as an “imperial nation-state,” emphasizes that republicanism cannot simply be equated with universalism, in France or in its colonies. Rather, he maintains, “universalist” and “particularist” impulses were at work simultaneously both in metropolitan France and its empire. The colonies were therefore not merely a site of republican failure to implement lofty ideals in place in the metropole, or marked by an absence of what existed in France, but embodied the nature of the imperial polity as a whole, including France and its possessions abroad.27 Indeed, the limits of universalism within Third Republic France have been amply illustrated by a variety of scholars who have tackled gender, race, and immigration.28 While Wilder’s analytical frame usefully treats the metropole as part of the wider empire, the Old Regime model of a polity differentiated by webs of privilege may be more apt than the concept of an “imperial nationstate.” The term “imperial nation-state,” when applied to France, still conjures up conceptions of French exceptionalism, which rest on claims about France’s unique “nationhood” that are, in turn, often linked to republican narratives of French history. Though very carefully qualified and contextualized, “republican” discourse still looms large in his text.29 Indeed, discourses, whether republican, universalist, or particularist, tell only a small part of the story of French colonial rule.30 Moreover, Faith in Empire suggests that a tangible, definable “republican colonialism” may be a myth, except in the discursive realm. Over the course of sixty years, metropolitan initiatives or ideologies played a relatively insignificant role in shaping developments in Senegal, though the colony is often treated as the epicenter of “republican” values in the empire. Again, the metropole was not irrelevant: It had an important effect on the colonial sphere at particular moments, as in the case of the desperate conscription of Africans during the First World War. Yet much of the time its impact was limited, and often by its own agents’ determined efforts to preserve their autonomy on the ground. Moreover, meaningful echoes of metropolitan political ideologies were rarer still. While senior colonial officials in Dakar may have paid lip service to republican ideals, they and their subordinates tended to say one thing and do another, depending on the exigencies on the ground, and often improvised in response to particular challenges that arose on the spot. Moreover, they often invented principled explanations for the particular pragmatic outcomes they desired.31

8

Introduction

Faith in Empire suggests that historians of French colonialism should be wary of limiting themselves to an increasingly specialized dialogue about republicanism and empire that still tends to preserve older narratives of French national exceptionalism and extend them to the colonial sphere. Its reevaluation of and recalibration of the relationship between metropole and colony decenters the French Republic (and the French nation-state) in the history of the French Empire and may, by downplaying French uniqueness, open the field to more findings about the way modern European colonial empires were similar rather than different.32 More such studies may show that at a local level, French colonial rule, in its heterogeneity, its negotiated character, and its varying degrees of efficacy, was more akin to that of its fellow European colonial powers than its particular justifying discourses, especially during the Third Republic, would suggest. Such comparisons are beyond the scope of this particular book but hopefully may animate future research in the field.33 Indeed, studies that involve missionaries are particularly well suited to a transimperial approach, as they frequently served in religious jurisdictions that crossed colonial frontiers. While this book is careful not to overstate the importance of the metropolitan republic, it also approaches the reach of the colonial state with a critical eye. Its focus on religious questions allows for the incorporation of a wide variety of actors into an examination of colonial rule on the ground. Studies of colonization that limit themselves to colonial officials can overemphasize both the agency of those officials and the impact of their policies, thereby understating the importance of European and indigenous civilians in shaping colonial rule. Though colonial administrations wielded real authority over indigenous populations, the reach and scope of that power were contingent on a variety of factors, forces, and actors. Much as William Cunningham Bissell has suggested in his recent work on British urban planning in colonial Zanzibar, scholars have too readily accepted the reach and efficacy of colonial states. Instead, he argues, in language that echoes Doyle’s categorization of Old Regime France, that the colonial regime and its policies were “marked by contradiction, confusion, even chaos.”34 Bissell’s doubts about the coherency and effectiveness of colonial policy find echoes in the stories presented here, which illustrate the limits of what colonial officials could impose in Senegal. French administrators were consistent in their desire to consolidate their power in relation to both metro­ politan and colonial rivals, yet they were often only partially successful. While the colonial administration definitely increased its control in Senegal after 1880, it faced continual competition from European, métis, and ­African power brokers who pursued their own priorities, and it also fended off interference from officials in France. Although the representative institu-

Introduction

9

tions in urban Senegal facilitated some of these challenges to the colonial state, they do not fully explain its limitations, and some of the examples in this book reveal how local actors could thwart, shape, or redirect state policy outside the coastal communes. European activity in the colony comprised a wide range of projects that privileged different goals. People from a variety of backgrounds, including men, women, missionaries, soldiers, and traders, pursued disparate aims that often clashed with administrative policies.35 Missionaries, for example, undermined administrative policy both by encouraging African resistance in Senegal and by appealing over administrators’ heads to metropolitan officials and the French public at large. On the African side, an ethnically diverse array of urban voters, Sufi leaders, former aristocrats, animist villagers, and Christian converts also employed a range of strategies to deal with French rule, not easily reducible to simple paradigms of resistance and collaboration.36 In some cases, this meant allying with French civilians against the colonial state, or vice versa. Indeed, even the colonial administration itself cannot be viewed as a monolithic entity or a consistently efficient bureaucracy.37 Overall, Faith in Empire illustrates that there was no unified, ideologically consistent French colonial project in Senegal and that a number of actors shaped colonial rule in practice. Thus, while this book is broadly a study of how colonialism worked on the ground, at a specific level it is an examination of the intersections between religion, politics, and authority in French Senegal. In this study, the term “politics” means two related things. In the narrowest sense, it means the formal electoral politics of the Four Communes, especially early in the story, when particular religious issues were important in the electoral arena. It also encompasses the politics of religion in a broader way: specifically, how religious questions and controversies shaped colonial policy and how it was (or was not) implemented. This understanding of the term includes how the colonial regime dealt with Senegal’s citizens and subjects based on their confessional identities, as well as how the actions of Catholic missionaries and Muslim, Christian, and animist Africans, in their capacity as Catholics, Muslims, and animists, impacted the negotiation of authority. Faith in Empire is therefore an examination of the way religious questions and particular groups of co-religionists shaped local politics and colonial rule. It is not a close analysis of the nature or content of religious belief among the people studied, except in cases where that nature or content (or, more commonly, official perceptions of it) directly impacted colonial policy. In the Old Regime–style colonial polity, religion was a key category of differentiation and privilege. It determined how the French regime dispensed justice among its citizens and subjects, recruited indigenous personnel, and organized local administration over time. As noted previ-

10

Introduction

ously, Muslim citizens enjoyed the privilege of regulating private affairs according to Islamic law in the Four Communes. In the interior, French administrators relied increasingly on what they termed “indigenous custom” to settle controversies or disputes between subjects, drawing on advice from “native assessors.” In practice, “custom” was nearly synonymous with “religion,” except in the notable case of African Catholic converts. Because French officials did not consider Christianity to be an African custom, frustrated converts often found themselves judged according to local Muslim or animist practice. Finally, religion was also important at the level of French perception of Africans, which in turn shaped how colonial authority worked locally. French officials and missionaries viewed Muslims, animists, and Christian converts in particular ways at particular times. For example, officials relied heavily on Muslims as agents and lieutenants along Senegal’s Petite Côte in the 1880s and 1890s, considering them to be more capable and civilized than the animists of the region, whereas missionaries saw the animists as potential converts and the Muslims as enemies of France, a discrepancy that gave rise to violence and heated controversies among French and African opponents alike. As the controversy along the Petite Côte and the Strub/Sicamois drama both reveal, French debates about religion in the colonial context often involved claims about “civilization”—what the place of religion was in French civilization, what indigenous peoples’ “level” of civilization was, or if the French had a duty to “civilize” subject populations and how they should go about doing so. This book’s findings complicate Conklin’s argument regarding a republican civilizing mission in French West Africa in this period.38 While Conklin’s focus on French West Africa’s chief executives gives her unique insight into how policy was formulated at the top of the administrative hierarchy, it says less about how it was (or was not) applied in practice, particularly about how local French and African brokers may have shaped it. Governors general were in frequent contact with metropolitan superiors and thus had an incentive to describe policies and initiatives in language that resonated with republicans in France. Indeed, William Ponty, considered among the most “republican” of French colonial officials to govern French West Africa, was actually an expert at being all things to all audiences.39 Conklin’s account, by concentrating on figures such as Ponty, may miss the extent to which executive rhetoric was out of step with reality on the ground.40 Moreover, as she acknowledges, ­Conklin’s focus on secular, republican civilizing does not account for the activities of French Catholic missionaries, who elaborated their own version of a civilizing mission in Senegal and the empire more broadly.41 Indeed, because it concentrates on religion, Faith in Empire also contributes to a nascent scholarly literature regarding the place of missionaries

Introduction

11

and the Catholic Church in French colonial endeavors. This scholarship reflects a renewed interest in the history of Catholicism in modern France, long scorned by secular republicans and historians as the antithesis of modernity and progress.42 Missionaries, who vastly outnumbered colonial administrators in the French colonies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are finally attracting rigorous scholarly attention outside the church, though they remain largely absent from the historiography of French West Africa.43 The most important recent contribution to missionary historiography is J. P. Daughton’s An Empire Divided, which examines the relationships between Catholic missionaries and French authorities in Indochina, Polynesia, and Madagascar between 1880 and 1914. Faith in Empire moves beyond the scope of Daughton’s inquiry in two ways: it reaches into the crucial interwar period, and it examines a setting in which Islam dominated the religious sphere. In late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Senegal, the French colonial regime confronted missionary Catholicism and expansionist Islam simultaneously. Conflicting and competing French perceptions of Islam and its adherents always inflected debates about missionary activity, religious policy, and civilizing Africans. Was Islam compatible, as Mayor Sicamois argued, with a secular vision of French moeurs? Or perhaps, as some Catholic missionaries contended, Islam was not reconcilable with French civilization and values. Remarkably, current political debates in France about the compatibility of laïcité (secularism) and Islam echo conversations that took place in Senegal more than one hundred years ago as colonial officials considered whether to apply the 1905 separation of church and state to French missionaries as well as to Muslim and animist African populations. Daughton uses his case studies to argue, in contrast to Conklin, that the French civilizing mission was not a straightforward product of republican ideology but rather emerged from the complex interactions of missionary and republican interests and was therefore neither exclusively Catholic nor exclusively republican in nature.44 Faith in Empire supports his conclusion that missionaries in the French Empire developed a distinctly Catholic version of a civilizing mission. In Senegal, this was an assimilative mission, designed to mold Africans into loyal Catholic French subjects.45 The evidence from Senegal does not support Daughton’s contention, however, that this Catholic mission melded with a republican administrative variant to produce mutual accommodation and synthesis. He argues that missionaries and officials “abandoned some of their most cherished ideals” to find common ground. Missionaries proclaimed their allegiance to the French state, and administrators swallowed their distaste for Catholicism, “tacitly accept[ing] that a significant component of the rational, scientific, and secular civilizing ideology would in practice entail catechism, conver-

12

Introduction

sion and the Church hierarchy.”46 Catholic missionaries in Senegal did indeed proclaim their loyalty to France, continually arguing that their work served the French cause in Africa. They critiqued administrative policy on a number of fronts but were also careful to manifest their patriotism, most dramatically during the First World War, when they swallowed their horror at brutal French conscription of African soldiers. Yet their sixty-year campaign to have the colonial administration accept them as partners essentially came to naught, and what success they had, such as their triumphant erection of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain in interwar Dakar, was largely due to support in metropolitan, not in colonial official, circles. Like Conklin, Daughton proceeds from the supposition that republicanism shaped French colonial rule. He writes of a “republican colonialism,” though he wants to show that it was both stoked and tempered by Catholic input.47 In Senegal, however, colonial officials did not reject missionary overtures out of ideological conviction or a commitment to a republican civilizing mission, however carefully defined. Indeed, this study turned up very little evidence of such a commitment, though, as mentioned previously, colonial executives knew how to deploy rhetoric of republican civilizing in conversations with metropolitan superiors. Thus, the argument here does not rest on the assumption that France’s colonial administrators were animated by republican values and calls their civilizing intentions into doubt. Throughout the period under study, Catholic missionaries in Senegal pursued civilizing goals much more consistently than the colonial administration did. It should be perfectly clear, however, that this book does not seek to praise missionary work or endorse the deeply problematic concept of a “civilizing mission.” Missionaries provoked violence and discord in many African communities, and their dedication to assimilation foundered on racism when it came to training an African hierarchy to lead the church in Senegal. Nonetheless, they pursued their ideological goals regarding Africans in a manner that contrasts starkly with the prevailing approach of their administrative counterparts. “Ideology” is defined here as a commitment to a particular set of philosophical principles, sometimes to the detriment of desired outcomes. Indeed, in the interwar period, senior Vatican officials criticized missionaries in Senegal for hampering evangelical efforts by being too exacting concerning their potential converts and encouraged the priests to relax their requirements in order to increase African baptisms.48 By contrast, administrators were predominantly pragmatic, which means that they prioritized particular outcomes over philosophical principles. This led them to adopt a more flexible approach toward people and problems on the ground. Viewed from the bottom up, administrators’ goals seem far from idealistic, do not prioritize civilizing Africans, and do

Introduction

13

not fit easily into a republican framework. Their primary concerns differed over time but included consolidating their authority in the face of African and French challengers, collecting revenue, maintaining order, and slowing the pace of change in African society after the First World War. The administration rejected missionary cooperation and assistance not because they did not align with republican ideals but because missionaries often threatened those particular goals.

Settings, Institutions, Brokers This book’s claims will be easier to follow if the reader has a clear grasp of the places, institutions, and people involved in the story, as well as a sense of the complex legal, political, commercial, and religious environment of colonial Senegal. In her exploration of the law and geography of early modern European empires, Lauren Benton writes that “empires did not cover space evenly but composed a fabric that was full of holes, stitched together out of pieces, a tangle of strings.”49 She points out that brightly colored territorial maps of European possessions overseas often obscure the complexity and nuances of the exercise of power on the ground, and colonial regimes frequently held sway in narrow “corridors” or “enclaves” within the broader regions they claimed. Some of these areas were legally demarcated from surrounding territory, but some of them were not well defined at all. By 1880, Senegal fit this description well: it was a curious agglomeration of towns whose indigenous populations enjoyed particular rights and institutions, coastal enclaves and river ports where French law held sway, and newer rural possessions that the French governed in a different manner altogether. After 1895, as the headquarters of the Government General of the French West African federation, the colony became the administrative nerve center of the rapidly expanding French presence in the African interior. By the late nineteenth century, Senegal was thus a mixture of the very old and the very new in the French Empire. Its coastal settlements of SaintLouis and Gorée (located on an island off the Cap Vert peninsula) dated to the seventeenth century, when they were founded as comptoirs (trading posts) under the purview of royally licensed trading companies.50 Located at the mouth of the Senegal River, Saint-Louis was the colony’s capital and remained its most important coastal settlement until it was eclipsed by Dakar in the early twentieth century. Beginning in the late seventeenth century and continuing well into the nineteenth century, Senegal furnished African slaves for the Atlantic trade. Saint-Louis and Gorée were the main departure points for slaves, though the French also purchased slaves at smaller coastal harbors such as Joal.51 The Atlantic trade also led to an increase in slavery

14

Introduction

within the region, and slavery remained central to economic and political structures for decades after France officially abolished it in 1848, leading French governors in Saint-Louis to turn a blind eye to its persistence.52 In the nineteenth century, agricultural exports became increasingly important economically. Saint-Louis was a center for trade in gum and peanuts, the region’s primary exports to France. Gum, derived from ­acacia that grew well in the Senegal River valley and used in Europe for alimentary, medicinal, and industrial applications, dominated Franco-African trade in the first half of the nineteenth century, particularly in the 1830s and 1840s. It gradually gave way to the peanut, cultivated in the so-called peanut basin, which encompassed much of western Senegal from Saint-Louis south to the Gambia. By the 1860s, the peanut became the colony’s primary export to Europe, and from then on the brokers who controlled the trade wielded considerable influence in the colony.53 Centuries of contact endowed the African populations near the coastal settlements of Saint-Louis and Gorée with experience of French language, culture, and governance and also gave rise to powerful Francophone métis families.54 These families, many of whom were staunchly Catholic and linked by blood or business interest to prominent Bordelais trading firms, amassed considerable commercial and political clout in the colony in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They worked with networks of African traders, many of whom were Muslim and who also maintained headquarters in the coastal towns, especially in Saint-Louis.55 These Muslims developed institutional ties to the colonial state: in 1857, Governor Louis Faidherbe created the official Muslim Tribunal, which dispensed justice according to Islamic law.56 The administration salaried the court’s personnel and also kept a tamsir, a person recognized by French authorities as “head of the Muslim religion,” on the payroll.57 And, as noted previously, thanks to intense lobbying from the Bordelais houses, who wanted to make sure their interests in Senegal would be represented in both colonial and metropolitan government, the originaires of the coastal communes gained the right to vote for municipal offices, the regional General Council, and a deputy to the French legislature in the 1870s. These concessions, granted in the metropole, limited the powers of the colonial administration in the coastal regions and gave the métis and the African voting majority the potential to wield a great deal of power in the colony. Yet even as Saint-Louis entered its third century of French governance, France participated in the frenzied “scramble for Africa,” that great spasm of the so-called new imperialism.58 In the 1880s and 1890s, the French military conquered vast regions of the West African interior. As a result, thousands of Africans in Senegal and beyond encountered French rule for the first time in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century. In contrast

Introduction

15

to the originaires of the coastal communes, Africans inland did not enjoy political rights. Even though electoral institutions did not limit the French colonial administration in the interior, African power brokers and other French interests, such as the military, Catholic missionaries, and commercial traders, used their clout to shape the development of colonial rule. In most areas, conquest was only the beginning of a long process of elaborating and organizing a governing structure, frequently contested or influenced by various French and African players. Because it concentrates on religious questions, particularly on the triangular interactions between Catholic missionaries, French officials, and Africans, this book focuses on certain colonial groups. The prominent métis of the coastal communes play an important role, especially until their political eclipse in the early years of the twentieth century. Religion was central to how the métis conceived of their political and social identities in colonial Senegal and impacted how they influenced colonial rule through municipal offices, the General Council, and the law courts in the communes. Though most of the métis were devout Catholics who allied themselves with French missionaries, there was also a faction, led by the powerful Devès family, that made strategic use of anticlerical rhetoric in the political arena. The African populations who figure most prominently in this book are probably not the ones readers may expect. The African voters of the Four Communes are important to the book’s political story, particularly once they built their own political machine and elected the first black deputy, Blaise Diagne, in 1914. Diagne was a skeptical Freemason, but he saw parallels between his aspirations for Africans and Catholic missionary approaches to civilizing. Outside the communes, however, the book focuses on locales where conflict erupted between missionaries, administrators, and African populations. These tended to be places with large numbers of animists, where French missionaries felt they could evangelize effectively and stem the spread of Islam. Missionaries had particularly high hopes for the Sereer populations of the areas south and east of Dakar and the Joola of the Lower Casamance region and invested a lot of energy and resources in trying to convert them. Missionaries took the side of the Sereer against Muslim Wolof chiefs appointed by the colonial administration in the late nineteenth century and thus became embroiled in long-standing local conflicts. In the interwar Casamance, they acted aggressively to stamp out animism and served as advocates for their Joola converts with French officials. In both places, missionaries posed as rivals to French authorities, affording Africans opportunities to challenge administrative rule. Islam plays a crucial role in this book’s excavation of religious questions and colonial governance, but this is not a history of Islamic movements

16

Introduction

or leading Muslim figures in the Senegambian region. Numerous works devoted specifically to those subjects have given us a well-developed picture of them.59 Though parts of Senegal had been Muslim for centuries, between 1880 and 1940 Islam was also an expanding faith in the colony.60 Indeed, Islam proved to be much more compelling to potential converts than French-purveyed Catholicism in the period under study. Muslim Sufi brotherhoods, particularly the Muridiyya and the Tijaniyya, brought many animists into their folds and became increasingly economically and politically powerful in this period. The spread of Islam was cause for concern for Catholic missionaries and French administrators alike, but they tended to approach Muslims in different ways. Islam pushed them together in some circumstances but more often divided them as they each pursued their particular aims in Senegal. A word on bureaucracy is necessary to round out this explanation of locations, populations, and institutions. The Catholic Church and the French colonial state each developed bifurcated yet overlapping bureaucratic structures to encompass the colony’s coastal towns and its rural interior. In 1882, French colonial officials divided the colony into the Territories of Direct Administration and the Protectorate. Although these administrations functioned differently, they answered to the same authorities: the governor of Senegal and, after 1895, the governor general of French West Africa. In the areas of direct administration, French law applied and the General Council exercised the power to oversee the colony’s budget, both of which constrained the administration’s authority. In the protectorate, meanwhile, the French administration ruled by fiat, and Africans in these regions were French subjects who lacked political rights and were subject to administrative justice. Nonetheless, the colonial administration could not usually operate effectively or consistently in rural areas without the assent or assistance of African power brokers. Though direct administration originally applied to the entire coast south of Saint-Louis, as well as ports along the Senegal River and stops on the railway lines, the administration successfully fought to shrink the areas under direct administration in the 1890s. In doing so, it reduced the amount of territory where its authority was limited, thus expanding its discretionary power. Mirroring the administrative system, the Catholic Church organized its personnel in Senegal via two bureaucratic institutions: the Prefecture of Senegal, which included the Four Communes; and the Vicariate of Sene­ gambia, which comprised a vast area that included the British Gambia and extended east into what is now Mali. In both the prefecture and the vicariate, the missionary Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Spiritans, directed the church and its missions. The Spiritan congregation originated in France in the eighteenth century and had

Introduction

17

played a role in the French Empire prior to 1789.61 In the mid-nineteenth century the Vatican designated Senegambia as the Spiritans’ evangelical terrain. The bishop of Senegambia, who sat in Dakar, and all of the priests in the prefecture and the vicariate were thus members of the Spiritan congregation. A powerful executive priest known as the superior general directed the congregation from its headquarters, or “Mother House,” in Paris. In conjunction with a vicar general, the superior general made personnel decisions for staffing missions and designated priests for promotion to bishop, though his nominations required final joint approval from the Vatican and the French government. The bishop of Senegambia answered directly to the superior general and sent him accounts of Catholic progress in Senegal every two to four weeks. In the prefecture, the institutional ties between church and state resembled the system in place in metropolitan municipalities, except the French Concordat of 1801 was never officially applied in Senegal.62 (In yet another example of imperial exceptions and inconsistencies, the concordat did apply in other remnants of the eighteenth-century empire: the vieilles colonies of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Réunion, as well as in Algeria.)63 Until the first decade of the twentieth century, the prefect, parish priests, vicars, and the hospital chaplains in Senegal were listed on an official cadre and remunerated as government functionaries out of the colonial budget. They appeared at all official events, such as the arrival and departure of governors, and took their appointed place in processions and receptions as colonial bureaucrats. Like other employees of the colonial administration, they were entitled to paid vacations in France every few years and free repatriation in the event of illness. They also received state subsidies for their lodging. The prefect oversaw the priests and supervised two European female congregations, the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny and the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, who worked in the colony’s hospitals and ran schools and orphanages for girls, and the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel, a teaching congregation that directed the boys’ schools in the Four Communes. Because there were no institutional ties between church and state outside the prefecture, the mission had to rely on funding from the Vatican, Catholic associations, and private donations for its endeavors in the interior, which included a seminary for training African priests at Ngazobil. In 1858, the Spiritans founded the exclusively African Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, the first of its kind, whose members assisted the priests in rural areas.64 Even though the church and the state each utilized dual administrative structures to manage their urban and rural operations, common personnel and authorities muddied the urban-rural divide in both cases. Within

18

Introduction

both the administrative and ecclesiastical hierarchies, the same officials made policy decisions for the Four Communes and the rural interior. For example, with one brief exception, one person always held the posts of prefect of Senegal and bishop of Senegambia simultaneously throughout the period under study, effectively conflating their administrative responsibilities. Chronic shortages of missionaries in the colony led the bishops to juggle responsibilities between the prefecture and the mission stations in the vicariate. In practice the bishops did not keep the cadre list in good order and frequently rotated personnel between the urban and rural settings. Thus, while the institutional differences between the coastal areas and the interior were real and meaningful, they did not create two hermetically sealed worlds. Officials, missionaries, and Africans alike frequently negotiated the physical and legal boundaries between them.65

Structure Faith in Empire includes six thematic chapters organized roughly chronologically over the period from the early 1880s until the late 1930s. Each examines an important moment, issue, or debate that illuminates the inter­ sections between religion, politics, and colonial rule in Senegal. The settings range from the courtrooms, schools, and administrative headquarters of the Four Communes, to meeting rooms in Paris, to Sereer communities near Senegal’s Petite Côte and remote Joola villages of the Casamance, among others. Viewed as a whole, they expose some of the dramatic changes that took place in Senegal during the course of the French Third Republic, demonstrating how particular French, métis, and African interest groups and power brokers gained or lost influence over time. Yet they also reveal some remarkable continuities in administrative attitudes toward religion and civilizing Africans and in Catholic missionary approaches to both Africans and French officials. The first two chapters examine religion, politics, and policy in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. This was a crucial time of transition in Senegal, when the French expanded their reach inland and a new civilian colonial administration tried to establish firmer control over the colony in the face of entrenched French, métis, and African interests. Chapter 1 explores the place of religion in Senegal’s lively communal politics in the 1880s. It contextualizes the uproar provoked by the slander of a missionary nun in a colonial newspaper, which occurred in the context of a heated electoral campaign between métis factions. The chapter showcases the importance and power of Catholicism in the Four Communes but also examines new and formidable challenges to church preeminence. Chapter 2 moves to a rural setting to analyze fledgling French

Introduction

19

colonial rule in the region south and east of Dakar, where two antagonistic African populations, the predominantly animist Sereer and the Muslim Wolof, skillfully exploited tensions between French Catholic missionaries and French colonial officials. Centered on the alleged murder of a Wolof agent of the French administration by a Sereer and the investigation and trial that followed, the chapter exposes the tenuous nature of the French administrative reach in the African interior and illuminates the bitter rivalry between French missionaries and colonial officials. Missionaries, who hoped to convert the Sereer, were horrified by the administration’s employment of Muslim Wolof canton chiefs throughout the region and encouraged Sereer disobedience. The chapter reveals the vast gulf between missionary and administrative conceptions of a French civilizing mission and demonstrates that at this time both French groups were largely the tools of rival African interests. Chapters 3 and 4 move past the turn of the century, when administrative rule was more firmly established in Senegal but newly challenged by metropolitan interference. Chapter 3 examines the moment when French anticlericalism touched the colony, in the wake of the Dreyfus Affair. It details how the French laic laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 affected Senegal’s Four Communes, where public Catholic schools closed and Catholic workers left public hospitals. The chapter also explores the mitigation of these measures by a determined resistance in the communes, led by nuns in particular and, somewhat surprisingly, by the skepticism of the colonial administration. Colonial officials ultimately balked in negotiations with Parisian officials over whether to apply French anticlerical legislation throughout French West Africa because of their fears of a Muslim reaction and a paramount desire to preserve their autonomy in the face of metropolitan law. Chapter 4 further explores the theme of metropolitan demands on the colony by examining the difficult position of both Catholic missionaries and colonial administrators during the wide-reaching metropolitan effort to recruit African soldiers to fight for France in the First World War. Administrators resented the disorder provoked by recruitment and conscription, especially as time went on. Catholic missionaries harbored deep misgivings about the brutal methods and manner of French recruitment of Africans but chose to emphasize their loyalty to France and publicly proclaim their patriotism, in hopes of finally converting French officials to their views on civilizing Africans. The final two chapters address the relationships between religion, politics, and policy in the interwar period, though both reach back into the prewar period to fully develop their subjects. Chapter 5 examines the conception, construction, and consecration of Dakar’s Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain between 1910 and 1936. Catholic missionaries billed the

20

Introduction

project as a patriotic monument to the French who had died colonizing Africa and, after the First World War, to the French and African troops who had died fighting for France. The cathedral formed a central part of missionaries’ sustained and unsuccessful effort to convince the colonial administration of the value of their Catholic civilizing mission. The lavish consecration in 1936 appeared to show that the mission and the administration were close allies but obscured their fundamentally different priorities, reflecting instead a metropolitan interwar ideal of a plus grande France. Providing a contrast to the image of harmony developed around the cathedral’s consecration, Chapter 6 returns to rural Senegal to assess the administration’s religious policies in the wake of the First World War. It commences with a history of the legal status of African Christian converts in Senegal, a key theme in the long-standing civilizing debate between missionaries and administrators, before examining how the issue became particularly fraught in the interwar Casamance. Concerned about African political gains in the Four Communes and returning African soldiers’ new expectations of colonial rule, the interwar administration tried to revalorize indigenous “custom” and “tradition” in the face of change, including religious conversion. This led to controversy and even violence in the Casamance, the last region of Senegal where Catholic missionaries felt they could still persuade a large number of animists to adopt Christianity. The final chapter illustrates that the administrative/missionary divide over civilizing Africans persisted throughout the period under study. Though missionary and administrative power and influence evolved between 1880 and 1940, their attitudes toward civilizing remained fairly consistent. Missionaries continued to pursue an assimilative model and tried to convince the administration of the wisdom of their approach, but officials rejected African assimilation emphatically and, in general, did not prioritize civilizing of any kind. Throughout the period, the divide between missionaries and administrators, like differences between officials and other independent power brokers, provided opportunities that Africans exploited to subvert the regime or turn it to their advantage. If Father Strub and Mayor Sicamois had returned to Rufisque on the eve of the Second World War, they would have found their local influence and importance diminished because of African political gains and the decoupling of the church and the colonial state in the communes just after the turn of the century. Yet they may have recognized that as in their day, colonial rule in Senegal was still the messy product of a cacophony of French and African interests jockeying for position and influence, though the identities of some of the key players had changed.

1

To Mock a Nun religion and politics in senegal’s coastal communes, 1882–1890

On 30 May 1886, the Réveil du Sénégal, then the only private newspaper in colonial Senegal, published a short blurb at the bottom of the last column of its second-to-last page: “A correspondent informs us that two nuns stationed on Gorée recently left for France, and one of them was in a ‘­position forte intéressante.’1 It seems the administration refused to pay for her passage. We will not forgive her for wearing her bustle in front, and not in the back, as our elegant ladies do.” Despite its cryptic nature, the paper’s readers understood the meaning of this report. The “correspondent” was suggesting that the nun was pregnant, because she had a bulge on the front of her person. Furthermore, the anonymous tipster intimated that the sister’s condition had gotten her in trouble with the colonial administration, which paid nuns to serve as teachers and nurses in Senegal’s urban schools and hospitals. Though it was brief and buried in a corner of the paper, this burlesque innuendo touched off a political uproar in the colony. Senegal’s coastal communes had never seen anything like it in print.2 The Réveil had first appeared only the year before. Prior to that, the sole local paper was the administrative Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances. The Réveil had been overtly political and stridently anticlerical from its inception, an orientation that irritated and angered the colony’s Catholic missionaries and Catholic members of the urban public, particularly a powerful and devout faction of its métis population. Yet the Réveil’s ribald evocation of a nun’s sexual escapades went a step further than its usual invective, provoking widespread shock and outrage. The snippet prompted the nun in question, Sister Saint-Pierre of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, to pursue the paper’s editor, Auguste Forêt, for defamation. Found liable after a flurry of appeals, he served three days in prison and paid two thousand francs in

22

To Mock a Nun

damages.3 The fallout from the pregnancy accusation, combined with the consequences of other provocative pieces, led the Réveil to fold in 1887, but not before it had deeply shaken Senegal’s Catholic mission and the Catholic métis political establishment in the coastal communes.4 The Réveil’s tactics and the public reaction to them reveal the central importance of religion in communal politics in Senegal in the 1880s and early 1890s. The Réveil’s unrelenting criticism of the church in Senegal underscored the importance of Catholicism in the coastal towns even as the paper tried to challenge its influence. Yet Catholicism was not the only religion in play. In fact, the majority of Senegal’s voters were African Muslims, though in the nineteenth century most were bought or controlled by French or métis political leaders. Not until 1914 did African voters unite to elect the first black African deputy to represent the colony in the French legislature, Blaise Diagne. Even though Muslims did not vote as a religious bloc, both clerical and anticlerical factions sought to appeal to them. Anticlericals suggested that Catholics did not respect Islam and wished to convert Muslims, while Catholics argued that anticlericals were hostile to all religions, Islam included. Religion was therefore a key idiom of political debate and shaped the frequent municipal and regional elections. At first glance, the Réveil’s strident anticlericalism seemed to mimic the tactics and vocabulary employed by ardent republican journalists in France, suggesting that the political battles of the metropole were simply spilling over into the colonies. The 1880s were a decade of republican triumph and consolidation in France, marked by, among other legislation, the Ferry laws curtailing the role of the Catholic Church in public education. Reading the Réveil as a mere echo of metropolitan politics would be misguided, however. Certainly, Forêt borrowed elements of his tone and presentation from anticlerical discourse in France, but the paper’s causes and raison d’être were entirely local. In fact, the Réveil’s anticlerical stance was part of a broader assault on the powers that rivaled its sponsors, the Devès family, in the communes’ political arena and the colony as a whole. The Devès were a métis branch of a Bordeaux clan that had built up a vast commercial network extending well into the African interior. In the mid-nineteenth century, patriarch Gaspard Devès had made a fantastic fortune that may have equaled that of some of the great Bordeaux houses by cobbling together a veritable empire of African clients and allies throughout the Senegalese interior.5 The Devès cared most about preserving their business interests from outside interference, and they opposed a constellation of entities that they saw as potential threats, including the colonial administration, which had signaled its desire to expand French rule inland and also to supplant independent powers in the colony; the devout métis political faction, which had ties to rival

To Mock a Nun

23

Bordeaux houses and the colonial administration; and the Catholic mission. Yet the Devèses’ anticlericalism was largely opportunistic: they were more than willing to abandon it when it made sense to ally with Catholics. Moreover, the results of the Réveil scandal also point to divergence from contemporary metropolitan trends: the paper’s aggressive anticlerical­ ism backfired, demonstrating the strength of the church and the depth of public support for the nuns, though Catholics were in the minority in the communes. This outcome points to the importance of local agency and conditions in a colonial setting. The church did not emerge unscathed from the political controversies of the 1880s, however. Although the Réveil closed down in disgrace, the missionary clergy also suffered in the treacherous arena of communal politics. The paper’s virulent anticlericalism helped tarnish a particular Catholic culture that had developed in the communes in the preceding decades with the support of the colony’s former military administration. In combination with other factors, including missionary policy in the interior, political attacks on Catholicism helped drive a wedge between the Catholic mission and the new civilian colonial administration, which took over from the military in 1882. In addition, the Réveil scandal exposed fissures within the colony’s Catholic establishment itself. While the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny initially hesitated to magnify their embarrassment with a lawsuit, the priests who ran the mission and male Catholic métis politicians saw the nuns’ misfortune as an opportunity to attack their political rivals. The slander incident demonstrated that the nuns had successfully cultivated an identity as selfless servants of the colony’s urban communities and that they were popular among groups beyond devout Catholics. Yet it also showed that, in order to maintain their status and image in the colony, they had to negotiate the colony’s two Catholic male centers of power: the missionary priests and the métis politicians. The sisters alternately cooperated with and resisted male Catholic authorities and did not hesitate to try to manipulate them to protect their own particular interests. This chapter explores the volatile relationship between religion and politics in the Four Communes during a time of formative transitions in colonial Senegal. In the 1880s, the French both extended their reach inland and established a new, civilian administrative hierarchy in Senegal. These two developments had far-reaching impacts both on the political scene and the Catholic mission in the colony. A detailed exposition of the complex political and religious landscape in the communes introduces the key actors and their relationships with one another. The chapter then delves into the political acrimony of the 1880s, focusing on the use of religion in politics and its effects on the Catholic establishment, while ultimately circling back to the slander of Sister Saint-Pierre.

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A Complex Political and Religious Landscape In the 1880s, Senegal’s coastal communes featured a racially and religiously diverse population. The French, including administrators, officers, missionaries, traders, and merchants, were likely the smallest group, though they controlled administrative and military power. Until late in the nineteenth century, the majority of French inhabitants were men, with the notable exception of nuns, and most were at least nominally Catholic, though observance varied greatly. The Société des missions évangéliques ran a tiny Protestant mission in Saint-Louis, but it had relatively little impact.6 There was also a French Freemason presence; although masons had first founded a lodge in Saint-Louis in 1781, their roots in the communes were quite shallow before 1900.7 In Saint-Louis and Gorée in particular, a large métis community, the fruit of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century alliances between French men and African women, wielded a great deal of commercial and political clout. Most of the prominent métis families were devout Catholics and close to the Catholic mission, though the Devès and their allies were an important exception. The majority of the urban population was African, and its most powerful elements, particularly the prosperous traders of Saint-Louis, tended to be Muslim and Wolof, though the Muslim Lebu were in the majority in Dakar and Rufisque.8 There were also small communities of African Christians who had been converted by the missions, and some animists, particularly among new arrivals from the interior. The communes, however, were not demographically identical, and their populations were in flux in the late nineteenth century. Saint-Louis and Gorée, the two oldest settlements, featured a particularly strong métis presence, which dominated politically in the nineteenth century. In the early 1880s, Rufisque and Dakar were tiny by comparison—in 1878, Saint-Louis boasted a population of 15,980; Gorée, an island, had 3,243 inhabitants; Rufisque had 1,173; and Dakar, 1,566.9 In 1880, a French administrator observed, “[Dakar] will certainly become more important with the introduction of the railway, but for now it is quite bleak and lacks resources.”10 Rufisque was elevated to commune status in 1880, but Dakar did not become independent of Gorée until 1887. Saint-Louis remained the largest commune until Dakar overtook it around the turn of the century, aided by its newly developed port and its designation as the capital of the entire French West African federation in 1902. French traders, businesspeople, and bureaucrats, as well as Africans from throughout West Africa, came to Dakar in large numbers after 1900, changing Senegal’s urban demographic balance and weakening the political importance of Saint-Louis and its métis population.

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By 1880, the unique colonial society in Senegal’s coastal communes enjoyed extensive, institutionalized political rights. Between 1870 and 1879, metropolitan officials endowed the communes with legislative institutions, overriding strong opposition from the colony’s military governors.11 In the course of the decade, French, métis, and African male inhabitants of the communes obtained the right to vote for a deputy to represent them in the French legislature, as well as for municipal councils and a General Council that controlled a portion of the colony’s budget and participated in the allocation of resources to the communes and a swath of the rural interior that surrounded them.12 These concessions were the fruit of aggressive lobbying by Bordelais commercial houses, as well as the métis and African traders themselves.13 All of these parties wanted commercial interests to have a say in the colony’s governance, in order to protect trade and check the power of the colonial administration. Muslim African voters enjoyed a particularly advantageous and unique position that allowed them to vote as French citizens yet retain their personal status as Muslims. This gave them the right to be judged by Muslim courts in accordance with Muslim law, according them a degree of privilege largely unparalleled among indigenous, or indeed French, populations elsewhere in the empire. The colonial state went even further than merely granting these privileges: it installed and remunerated a bureaucracy to guarantee them. The colonial administration in Senegal paid a salary to Muslim qadis (judges), their clerks, and the tamsir in Saint-Louis.14 Though it may be tempting to interpret the extension of the vote to Africans in the coastal communes as a grand republican gesture—a testament to republican universalism and assimilative tendencies—the reality was much more complicated. An assimilative reading is countered by the institutionalization of Muslim African voters’ special status, which allowed them to preserve a distinct public, legal identity that reflected their privately held beliefs. Moreover, republican ideologues were not yet firmly in power in France until 1880, after the electoral institutions were already in place, and the new elected offices all had precedents—de facto or de jure—in earlier eras, in some cases well before any republican stirrings in France. Gorée had métis and/or African mayors in the 1760s, and Saint-Louis, by the 1770s, if not earlier.15 In 1789, Saint-Louis’s métis mayor, Charles Cormier, presided over a local committee that sent a c­ ahier de doléance to Paris—it sought to end the commercial monopoly of the Senegal Company.16 In a separate petition of 14 March 1791, a French resident of Saint-Louis, Dominique Lamiral, asked the National Assembly to recognize the town as a proper municipality, with paid officials elected by French, métis, and African property owners. Though the assembly’s colonial committee examined the proposals and produced a

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draft of a decree that instituted most of them in Saint-Louis and Gorée, it appears that the revolutionary government never followed through.17 Nonetheless, it seems that mayors and some form of municipal councils, either elected or appointed, remained in effect in Senegal into the nineteenth century. There were also precedents for the General Council and the deputy. A General Council was first instituted in 1840, though it was outlawed under Louis Napoleon. A deputy position was created in 1848 but did not survive the Second Empire either.18 Thus, while they would later be celebrated and claimed by republicans with a variety of agendas, the Four Communes’ voting rights were not an inspired gift of the Third Republic. Indeed, the definitive granting of the municipal councils, the General Council, and the deputy in the 1870s was more akin to the cementation of Old Regime–style privilege than a new initiative and was a triumph of local interests over central government. At the very least, it was a legacy from the “old” empire reconfirmed under the “new” one. Like the electoral institutions, Catholicism had a long history in the communes, though the institutions in place in 1880 had not fully taken shape until the mid-nineteenth century. The Portuguese, who made landfall in Senegambia in the fifteenth century, first introduced Catholicism to Africans in the region.19 In the 1630s, French Capuchins initiated a missionary endeavor along the Petite Côte, south of what later became Dakar, but were unable to maintain it.20 When the French established comptoirs at Saint-Louis and Gorée later in the seventeenth century, the royal companies who held the concessions were required to bring priests to serve the French community.21 In 1779, the missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit took over the newly created Apostolic Prefecture of Saint-Louis, sending priests from France to work there.22 The Revolution and subsequent British occupation of Senegal during the Napoleonic Wars interrupted the congregation’s work in Senegal, but Catholicism gained new momentum with the arrival of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny in 1819.23 In 1842, the Vatican created the vast Vicariate of the Two Guineas and Sierra Leone, which encompassed much of the western coast of Africa, and its first bishop invited Father François Libermann, a converted French Jew who had founded the missionary Congregation of the Holy Heart of Mary to send men to evangelize it. This first expedition stopped briefly in Senegal and then moved to the south, but a second voyage in 1845 established a base of operations at Dakar, then an African village. The following year, the outpost in Dakar became the seat of the apostolic vicar of the Two Guineas, a post filled by one of Libermann’s men.24 In 1848, Libermann merged his fledgling missionary society with the older Congregation of the Holy Spirit, forming the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Heart of Mary (henceforth Spiritans), of which he became the first

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superior general.25 The Vicariate of Senegambia was carved out from the Vicariate of the Two Guineas in 1863, and until 1962, it would be run by a Spiritan bishop based in Dakar, who answered to both the Spiritan superior general in Paris and the Vatican. By the second half of the nineteenth century, the clergy in Senegal had thus moved from simply serving the European and métis communities to also actively trying to convert Africans. By 1880, the Catholic mission in Senegal was composed of several congregations, each with a particular role. The Spiritans were in charge of the mission as a whole. They oversaw its finances and managed relations with the Vatican and French authorities. Although the concordat was never applied in Senegal, the Spiritans who served as bishops, parish priests, and vicars in the communes were state employees with salaries drawn on the colonial budget.26 In the interior they were volunteer missionaries, relying on funding from donors and the Vatican. Every priest in the colony was a Spiritan, with the exception of a handful of secular African priests that the Spiritans trained in their seminary at Ngazobil (a few Africans also became Spiritans). In addition, several Spiritan brothers in Senegal did construction and other heavy labor for the mission. The colony also paid congregations of men and women who served in the colony’s urban schools and hospitals. The Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel, who had arrived in 1841 to run the communes’ schools for boys, rounded out the male Catholic workforce.27 Three female congregations were in place by the late nineteenth century. The Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, who first came to Senegal in 1819, worked as nurses in the colony’s hospitals, ran public schools for girls in Gorée and Saint-Louis, and managed an orphanage-workshop at N’Dar-Toute near Saint-Louis.28 They were more numerous and their congregation was wealthier than that of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, also known as the soeurs bleues for their distinctive blue habits. The soeurs bleues, who arrived in 1848, ran schools, workshops, and dispensaries in the relatively new towns of Dakar and Rufisque (after 1883) and did laundry and mending for the Spiritan priests. Finally, these two predominantly European congregations (both had a few métis members) were joined by the first African congregation of Catholic sisters: the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, founded in Senegal by Spiritan Father Barbier in 1858.29 The African sisters were posted primarily in rural mission stations and did not generally work in the Four Communes. Even though most of the African majority in Senegal’s coastal communes was Muslim, a strong, public Catholic culture developed in the towns in the second half of the nineteenth century. Cultivated by the mission, this Catholic culture defined the rhythms of colonial life for the French and métis populations. In addition to weekly Mass, elaborate public ceremonies

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marked Catholic holidays, prize days at the public schools, and any events of note, such as military victories or defeats. Under the military administration that governed Senegal in the 1870s, and under its civilian successors in the early 1880s, colonial officials reinforced the mission’s prestige and lent solemnity to Catholic rituals and ceremonies by participating in full dress uniform.30 These authorities attended Mass in honorary seats and spoke in praise of Catholic teachers at the annual school prize distributions, which were among the most important and festive events on the colonial calendar. On Good Friday officials traditionally fired cannons every half hour.31 In Saint-Louis, the governor and his entourage often turned out for High Mass during the festival of the patron Saint Louis, a daylong celebration prepared by the municipality.32 In addition to their participation in Catholic ceremonies, many military administrators and naval officers developed close personal relationships with the Spiritan missionaries in the communes, which continued even after the advent of civilian administration in 1882. Some of these friendships reflected the long-standing affinity between the church and the military in France, both of which were bastions of conservatism.33 Not all military officers were Catholics, but most of them had attended training institutions such as Saint-Cyr and the Ecole navale, where a conservative, Catholic-tinged ethos held sway.34 Ronald Hood III has argued that the late nineteenth-century naval officer corps was “accustomed to an intermingling of religious and maritime traditions,” and Theodore Ropp has noted that even “skeptical” officers tended to participate in ostentatious displays of Catholicism typical in imperial outposts in the late nineteenth century.35 Yet there was also a purely social aspect to these relationships: missionaries in Dakar were particularly close to the officers at the naval base there because there were initially few other Europeans in the vicinity. The priests and officers occasionally dined together at the mission or aboard ship, and Admiral Grivel and Captain Cavalier de Cuverville, commanders of the Naval Division of the Western Coast of Africa, frequently put their personal small craft at the Spiritan bishop’s disposal.36 Even nuns enjoyed privileged relations with the navy: A young soeur bleue wrote home in 1896 to describe the day that officers had invited the sisters aboard ship to meet the notorious King Behanzin of Dahomey, recently captured by the French. Afterward, the nuns toured a nearby frigate and even tried to fire the ship’s cannon, to the great amusement of the assembled sailors.37 Celebrating French military exploits in Africa was another key component of the Catholic culture in the communes and contributed to the affinity between the mission and military personnel. Missionaries and officers in Senegal shared a particular philosophy of sacrifice: missionaries respected and identified with men who, like themselves, were willing to

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brave adverse conditions and give their lives in “savage” lands to glorify a greater cause rather than live comfortably as parish priests or garrison officers in France. The priests in Senegal played a key role in public ceremonies celebrating and memorializing military campaigns in the African hinterland and lionizing soldiers and sailors who contributed to France’s greater glory in Africa.38 This impulse ultimately culminated in the mission’s most obvious physical legacy in Senegal: the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain in Dakar, a giant monument originally conceived to honor those who had given their lives for France in Africa. The mission used pageantry and ceremony to promote Catholicism in urban Senegal, but its most important tool for the maintenance and development of a Catholic colonial society was its control of what little public education was available in the Four Communes in the nineteenth century.39 Nearly all the important métis families in the Four Communes, and in Saint-Louis in particular, sent their sons to the Brothers of Ploërmel’s Catholic primary schools. Even prominent Muslims did, when they thought it would help their children advance in the colony. In 1902, approximately four hundred Muslim students were studying with the brothers either in their classrooms or auxiliary programs.40 The daughters of the métis elite in Saint-Louis studied with the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, and some of them grew up to join the congregation. In Dakar, the soeurs bleues ran a boarding school for the daughters of local French and métis notables, including officers, traders, and politicians. By 1892, twelve students had enrolled, including two de Montfort girls, the daughters or nieces of a frequent mayor of Dakar; a daughter of Louis Huchard of Joal, a prominent trader; and a daughter of Captain Teisseire, formerly lieutenant of the port of Dakar and subsequently based on Gorée.41 The few laic and Protestant schools in the Four Communes before 1900 did not have the same following as the Catholic schools.42 Thus, the nuns and the Brothers of Ploërmel guided most of the métis elite in their formative years. As Spiritan Father Lamoise remarked in a letter to Bishop Riehl about Brother Didier-Marie, superior of the brothers who had worked in the colony from 1849 until his death in 1893, “Brother Didier might as well be a general councilor, since the vast majority have passed through his hands.”43 Didier’s obituary echoed this sentiment: “The current generation, completely raised in his care, will always carry the memory of the excellent lessons of the master, as well as the enlightened advice of the friend that he was.”44 These statements reflect the important influence of Catholic education on many of the leading métis figures in the late nineteenth century. They illustrate the centrality of Catholicism in the lives of much of the colony’s elite and the mission’s role as a leading institution in the diverse and complex society of the Four Communes.45

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Religion and Politics in an Era of Transition The 1880s marked two fundamental shifts in the French approach to West Africa, which, along with the new electoral institutions, had profound effects on society and politics in Senegal’s coastal communes. In the course of the decade, the French intensified campaigns of conquest in the African interior, destabilizing African regimes and laying the groundwork for the vast French West African federation.46 Within Senegal itself, the French established effective control over the kingdoms of Kajoor in 1886 and Bawol and Jolof in 1890.47 Even as the military extended French reach inland, bureaucrats in Paris imposed a new civilian administration in Senegal, beginning with the appointment of René Servatius as governor in 1882.48 Servatius was the first civilian executive in Senegal in more than three decades—prior to his appointment the governors of Senegal had been officers in the French navy or the Troupes de marine, a ground force attached to the navy.49 Officials in France thought that extending civilian control in West Africa would rationalize French administration in the region and provide for more effective government and more efficient exploitation of resources. To be sure, military officers conquered and administered territory as French forces moved into the West African interior, and they ruled areas that were insufficiently “pacified” well into the twentieth century. But the official goal after 1882 was to establish a coherent, hierarchical administration composed of civilians who managed administrative districts (cercles) on the ground and reported to civilian superiors.50 In 1895, the creation of the office of governor general of French West Africa, a civilian executive who oversaw all of France’s vast new territories in the region, cemented this vision.51 These two developments threatened the position of established colonial power brokers in Senegal, and the Devès family in particular. French expansion disrupted their commercial networks in the interior by displacing their contacts and undermining power structures they relied on.52 Additionally, over time, the new civilian administration revealed a strong ambition to establish itself as the true seat of power in the colony by displacing French, métis, and African rivals alike. The new administration’s goal was to establish itself as the primary source of French authority in the colony, the entity that all residents, regardless of their status, recognized as “in charge”: governing, dispensing justice, and collecting revenue. In the interior, the administration cultivated its own African partners to assist it and, as time went on, increasingly kept well-entrenched French and métis power brokers, such as métis politicians, the Catholic mission, and even the French military, at arm’s length.53 The political upheaval of the 1880s, including the Devèses’ volatile, anticlerical campaigns, grew out of these changing circumstances and shifting power dynamics.

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At first glance, the Devèses’ anticlerical strategy might not seem to make sense, especially if the Catholic mission was also a potential rival to the new civilian administration. Yet early on, the scope of the new administration’s ambitious intentions was not entirely clear. The administration often aligned with the Devèses’ fiercest political opponents, the Descemet family, a devout métis clan that was close to the Catholic mission and Bordelais commercial interests.54 (Senegal’s missionaries referred to the Descemet political machine as the parti bien-pensant.)55 In the 1880s, the administration could not afford to forgo all métis alliances because the elected General Council controlled a portion of the colony’s budget in the communes and in the important regions of direct administration surrounding them. And from the administrative perspective, the Descemet party posed less of a threat to order in the interior than the Devès group did. In contrast to the Descemets, the Devès prided themselves on their independence from French interests and were more hostile to the trading companies based in the metropole. Both the Bordelais commercial houses and French expansion threatened the Devèses’ rural concerns, so the family and its allies frequently posed as defenders of Africans against the colonial regime to win votes in the communes.56 Since the Catholic mission had been so closely aligned with the prior military administration and supported the Descemets, clericalism proved to be a brush the Devès could use to tar all of their opponents together; thus, they moved religion to the center of the political stage in the 1880s. The Devèses’ perennial deputy candidate, JeanJacques Crespin, a prominent attorney in Saint-Louis, was prone to public declarations of “Vive la révolution!”57 and caused a stir by calling for the laicization of the Catholic schools in the Four Communes while serving on the General Council in 1882.58 In the course of the decade, he borrowed the language and rhetoric of metropolitan republican radicalism and established himself as one of the communes’ loudest anticlerical voices. The most important effects of the Devèses’ anticlerical campaign, which culminated with the Réveil’s slander of Sister Saint-Pierre, were to tarnish the public Catholic culture that had developed in the communes and to sow division between their opponents, most notably between the colonial administration and the Catholic mission, and within the varied elements of the Catholic mission itself. It rarely resulted in electoral victory: between 1880 and 1900, the Descemet party won most of the elections in the Four Communes and Crespin never became deputy. Even though the majority of Senegal’s voting public was not yet ready to endorse the Devèses’ anticlerical agenda, and their failures illustrated the continued strength of the Catholic Church, the party’s tactics shook the Catholic establishment to the core and contributed to missionaries’ growing sense that the colony was changing around them, and not for the better.

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Electoral politics both hurt and benefited Senegal’s Catholic mission in the 1880s and early 1890s, though the missionaries tended to think the harm far outweighed the gain. In the 1870s, the mission had sympathized with the military administration’s strong opposition to the creation of the General Council and the deputyship. General Louis Brière de l’Isle, who served as Senegal’s governor from 1876 until 1880, was a notoriously authoritarian executive who did not want to see his administration fettered by commercial interests. Brière enjoyed a close relationship with his contemporary Monsignor François-Marie Duboin, the equally autocratic Spiritan bishop of Senegambia, who supported Brière’s resistance to the introduction of electoral institutions.59 Even though the mission became very adept at using its devout métis allies on the General Council to obtain public funding for Catholic projects, later bishops echoed Duboin’s stance when electoral campaigns gave anticlerical voices free reign in the communes. The Devèses’ virulent anticlerical tirades in the mid-1880s led Duboin’s successor, Monsignor François-Xavier Riehl, to lament to the Spiritan superior general in Paris that “times had changed” with the advent of municipal and general councils and that these developments did not bode well for the mission.60 In 1890, Monsignor Magloire Barthet repeated the refrain while bemoaning the colony’s budget woes: “If they got rid of the elected councils,” he wrote to Deputy Lemyre de Vilers in France, “where each member uses his influence to serve his personal interests and those of his friends and relatives, and instead put an honest man in charge of the colony, giving him full powers and an advisory council, things would work a thousand times better.”61 For Barthet, of course, an “honest man” would be a governor supportive of missionary aims à la Brière de l’Isle. In this letter, Barthet omitted the fact that his particular interests were often served by sympathetic councilors, though he also found lobbying the General Council exhausting and distasteful.62 Indeed, despite friendly relations with the Descemet majority, the Catholic mission often waxed nostalgic in the heat of electoral battles about the days of a dictatorial, church-friendly administration. Electoral politics frightened the missionaries both because of anticlerical trends in republican France and because of their particular goals in Africa. They worried that the metropolitan-style anticlericalism preached by their political adversaries would infect colonial Senegal and result, as it had in France, in legislation curtailing the church’s role in public education. Furthermore, the missionaries felt that public disparagement of the mission in electoral campaigns diminished their evangelical efforts among Africans by alienating potential converts. They also believed that political bickering in the Four Communes damaged French influence in the colony more broadly by exacerbating divisions between French interests and less-

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ening French prestige in African estimation. In their view, the extension of French influence in Senegal was best served by maintaining a united front (led, of course, by a strong executive). Indeed, in missionary eyes, the entire electoral structure in the communes, with its base of African Muslim voters who enjoyed the privilege of Islamic justice paid for by the colony, flew in the face of French interests. As Monsignor Barthet explained, with some exaggeration, to Lemyre de Vilers, Politics were introduced in the communes, and people who do not want to accept anything French—not our language, not our dress, not our customs, and above all not the duty of military service—were made into voters. These blacks, who are almost all Muslim, are the majority, and therefore are the masters. To please them, we will do everything they want; we will sacrifice everything to get their votes. How, with such a system, will we ever manage to civilize the country and make it truly French?63

The missionary vision of colonization was an assimilative one, in which French civilization would be introduced to Africans alongside Catholic teachings. The missionaries believed that this would strengthen French power in Senegal. In their estimation, accommodating and privileging African religious difference, Islam in particular, seemed diametrically opposed to the establishment of French hegemony in Senegal. Although they were viscerally opposed to Muslims’ status in the communes, Catholic missionaries also resented the Devèses’ political attempts to openly pit Muslims against Christians. The missionaries could deploy a rhetoric of religious tolerance and the unity of believers in the face of anticlericalism and, at particular moments, styled themselves as uniquely able to relate to Muslims because of their shared religiosity.64 The hotly contested Saint-Louis municipal elections of 1884 marked just such an occasion, illustrating how quickly alliances and rhetoric could shift in communal politics. Thanks to the Devès party’s campaign efforts, many voters saw their choices in religious terms. In the streets people spoke of Catholics versus Freemasons, and the Spiritan priests cast it that way when they discussed it with each other.65 On 9 September, the mission diarist of SaintLouis noted: We learned today that the electoral battle was really a religious battle. Our adversaries made it a religious struggle. They told the blacks not to vote for the “clericals” because they will destroy the mosque and force Muslims to become Christian. Today the chief of the blacks, Pèdre Allessane [sic], responded to this calumny in a meeting that included the mayor. “The priests, the Brothers and the Sisters have been in Saint-Louis for sixty years, and they have never hassled anyone, have never forced a single person to convert, and have never wanted to destroy the mosque. In any case we esteem them and the good Catholics because they believe in God. And those who believe in God have respect for others. We do not want the Freemasons

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at any price because they do not believe in God. And just as they have tried to chase the clerics from France, they would like to do the same in our country, and once they are done with that, they will attack us with force and violence.”66

Pèdre Alassane was a prosperous trader with links to the parti bienpensant and a leading mediator between Africans in the interior and the French administration.67 The missionaries’ self-congratulation on the support of Muslims is remarkable considering how much ink they spent excoriating Islam in their correspondence.68 Everything, however, took second place when missionaries had an opportunity to claim superiority over their anticlerical opponents. This demonstrates how deeply they felt threatened by Freemasonry and secularism, even when it did not triumph at the ballot box.69 Political divisions in the communes deepened the following year in the context of the deputy elections, a drop in peanut prices on the European market, and African resistance to French expansion in Kajoor and ­Futa-Toro.70 “Division reigns in the city. Satan divides and Christians must unite, support one another, and above all live in a saintly manner. My God, give us some Saints!” wrote the Saint-Louis Spiritan diarist in March 1885.71 The Devès party significantly escalated the tension by launching the Réveil du Sénégal in July.72 The backers announced the first issue by blanketing Saint-Louis in posters inked in bright red: “the color of fire,” noted Monsignor Riehl; a “deadly” red, commented the mission diarist in Saint-Louis.73 From the outset, the Réveil was both anticlerical and critical of the administration. It also accused the incumbent Descemet deputy, Albert Gasconi, of favoring the interests of Bordeaux commerce over those of the colony’s inhabitants.74 Before printing the suggestion that a sister of Saint-Joseph de Cluny was pregnant and leaving the colony in disgrace in May 1886, the Réveil issued numerous scathing attacks on the Catholic clergy of Senegal and the devout métis politicians of the Descemet party. On 23 August 1885, an epistolary story entitled “Letters to Madame X on Clericalism in Senegal” authored by “Kel-Kun” filled all four columns of the first page. The article was a sharp anticlerical tirade from beginning to end, which compared Senegal in the 1880s to Restoration France: “While clericalism is extinguished in France by education and good sense, here in Senegal it penetrates everywhere, invades all things and this old colony, so liberal in many respects, allows itself to be systematically exploited by the servants of the pope and God.” The article also specifically mocked the nuns’ efforts at education as well as the church’s civilizing mission as a whole, claiming that Africans who converted to Catholicism became egotistical liars and hypocrites who were inferior to Muslims because they drank heavily.75 This article caused quite a stir among the Catholic community in Senegal,

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and the Spiritan priests condemned it. Undaunted, Réveil editor Auguste Forêt issued a second front-page installment of “Letters to Madame X” on 6 September as well as an article entitled “Clerical Intolerance” on page 2 of that issue. In the fall of 1885, he published numerous articles decrying the clergy’s influence on the electoral campaign. Occasionally, the articles mocked specific clergymen, such as Monsignor Riehl or his vicar and chief administrator, Father Picarda. Picarda declared he had become the paper’s bête noire after it published a piece mocking his efforts to police inappropriate behavior among Saint-Louis’s Catholic youth. The church struggled to figure out how to counter the Réveil’s attacks in a dignified manner. Father Kunemann, a priest stationed in Saint-Louis (and a future bishop of Senegambia) wondered, “How do we answer those who simply want to insult us? How do we combat enemies who cover themselves in mud, if we do not want to get dirty?”76 The missionaries ultimately responded with grand displays of piety and, whenever they had the opportunity, public critiques of Freemasonry and republican secularism. As incongruous as it may seem, Father Picarda used his invitation to bless the locomotive at the official inauguration of the Saint-Louis–Dakar railroad in 1885 as a platform to put forth the missionary vision of the French civilizing mission and repudiate the idea that science and technology, embodied by the railroad, were the best ways to gain African sympathy for France. He asked the audience, Is offering the indigenous people the marvelous products of your genius the way to attract them to you? Often science repels them by inspiring fear and distrust. The act of faith that they witness today reassures them and gives them confidence, and to use their naïve words: “The white man is a genius, but he must be a good genius because he believes in God, honors Him, and recognizes His power.”77

Picarda placed Catholicism at the epicenter of colonization by arguing that France would establish influence over Africans only by demonstrating a belief in God. Moreover, Freemasonry, anticlericalism, and secular republicanism would actively retard the progress of French power in Africa. Picarda made the case, as his predecessors and successors did throughout the Third Republic, that the church was an indispensable partner in French colonization: colonizers could not hope to civilize “naïve” Africans without using the power of Catholicism. To the horror of the colony’s Descemet-aligned Catholics, the Réveil’s strategy of eroding the prestige of the dominant political group and the church appeared to be working, though it did not succeed in getting Crespin elected deputy in 1885. Moreover, it seemed to be driving a wedge between the administration and the mission. Father Picarda concluded that colonial officials, frightened by the Réveil’s suggestion that they were

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in league with the clergy, were taking more care to distance themselves from the church. This became evident in administrative dithering about participating in a missionary ceremony to erect a giant Calvary at Sor, a suburb of Saint-Louis, as a physical rejoinder to their political opponents at the height of the 1885 deputy campaign. The Spiritan priests chose both the monument and its location for maximum impact. The cross itself was more than twelve meters high, and the Christ upon it weighed more than six hundred pounds. They decided to place it on a lot just across from the Saint-Louis rail station so all passengers could not help noticing it as they traveled to and from the city. The priests meant to mark Muslim-­ dominated Saint-Louis as Catholic territory and also to impress the African community of Sor, especially its immigrant community of animist Bambara, whom the mission hoped to convert.78 The Réveil took advantage of the ceremony to attack colonial officials for being too close to the mission, and, apparently, they were sensitive to its charges. Father Picarda, who planned the event, related to his superior general in Paris that when he initially approached Governor Seignac about organizing a procession bearing the statue of Jesus to the cross, the governor had heartily agreed to join in.79 The governor gave his assurances twice more but then reneged on his promise and said he would attend, but not formally process. Picarda attributed the governor’s waffling to Seignac’s fear of the Réveil, which had published an article critical of the governor’s planned participation in the event. The municipal council followed his lead—first the councilors agreed to process and then withdrew. On the day of the procession, however, Picarda was gratified to see all of the important town officials and most of the parish assembled on the square. No one was dressed in an official uniform, but everyone piously followed Christ’s hearse to the erection site while singing hymns. According to Picarda, Governor Seignac and his wife ultimately joined the ceremony at Sor unofficially and practically incognito.80 The governor’s equivocation demonstrated that the religiously tinged acrimony of the communes’ electoral politics sowed distance between the administration and the Catholic mission. Officials’ irresolution about participating in the Sor procession exacerbated nascent missionary fears that the new civilian administration was not as friendly to them as its military predecessors had been. They had already begun to notice subtle behavioral changes, which amounted, in their eyes, to great symbolic gestures. The new administration was not usually overtly belligerent toward the mission; indeed, some of its members and leaders between 1882 and 1900 were personal friends of the missionaries.81 However, officials were increasingly inconsistent in their approach to the mission. For example, on the first Good Friday after the administrative changeover in 1882, Father Lossédat, the parish priest of Dakar, noted

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that for the first time in his memory in Senegal, Christ’s death was not marked by official mourning or by cannon fire on the half hour in the port of Dakar.82 In 1890, Governor Clément Thomas reinstated the cannon fire on Good Friday, but it apparently ceased again soon thereafter.83 When Monsignor Barthet arrived in Senegal to assume his post in 1889, senior administrative officials greeted him according to established custom, but new regulations forbade them from wearing their dress uniforms to do so.84 These gradual changes made the missionaries uneasy, and they worried that these symbolic gestures (or lack of them) telegraphed an anticlerical turn in administrative policy. By the spring of 1886, when it attacked Sister Saint-Pierre, the Réveil had already distinguished itself with its anticlerical rhetoric and its corrosive effects on the alliances between the mission, the Descemet bloc, and the administration. Given the acid tone of much of its polemics, it may not be immediately obvious why an aside about the bulge in a nun’s dress, buried on a back page, became the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. After all, the Réveil had taken many extensive, front-page shots at Catholicism, at Catholics in the colony’s towns, and at particular Spiritan priests. Yet, in making sexually charged suggestions that impugned the honor of a specific sister, the paper crossed a line and even alienated people who sympathized with its anticlerical views. The nuns enjoyed a welling of popular support across the colony’s urban communities in the wake of the accusation. Father Picarda reported that even M. Ursleur, a judge in SaintLouis and a noted Freemason, had declared that he would be very severe on the perpetrators if a libel case came before him.85 Indeed, the widespread indignation at the Réveil’s pregnancy story revealed the unique, revered status that nuns, and the sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny in particular, enjoyed in the coastal towns of Senegal. In many ways they were more sympathetic figures than their male counterparts in the colony. They occupied a special place because of their long service to the community, their work in the colony’s hospitals, and their central role in educating many of the colony’s prominent métis women, who became the wives and mothers of general councilors and merchants. In a climate where illness was a constant threat to Europeans, the nuns risked and gave their lives during numerous pestilential outbreaks of disease. In their schools the sisters provided a combination of practical training, such as sewing, alongside book learning, a combination designed to produce capable and virtuous wives, mothers, and household managers, goals that sat well with local parents. Denise Bouche, who has written extensively on education in Senegal, asserts that between 1842 and 1903, the instruction that the nuns provided in their girls’ schools “gave perhaps more satisfaction to families than the boys’ schools, which were nonetheless highly

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esteemed.”86 The nuns had established themselves as the guardians of the colony’s sick and its young female elite, and in mocking them in this particular manner, the Réveil had raised the ire of the majority, regardless of political affiliation. Despite the general indignation at the Réveil’s accusations, however, the Catholic establishment was divided on how to respond, largely along gender lines. Even on the cusp of its defeat, the Devèses’ paper managed to sow discord and acrimony among its devout targets. The Réveil’s insinuations were demonstrably false—the story had apparently originated with an admissions clerk at the Hospital of Gorée, who had quarreled with the nuns who worked in the wards. When the clerk noticed that a sister departing Gorée on the mail ship for France did not have an official administration pass, he formulated his pregnancy theory and sent it to the paper. In reality, the woman in question, Sister Saint-Pierre, was in transit from the British colony of Sierra Leone and therefore had no relationship with the French administration.87 When confronted with these facts, however, editor Forêt refused to retract the story.88 Although the nuns were deeply angered at his intransigence, they feared that retaliation would only draw more unwanted attention to the issue. Sister Germaine, the superior of the Cluny community in the colony, sent the offensive clipping to the mother superior of the congregation in Paris, describing it as “vile,” “a calumny,” and a “terrible humiliation for the sisters in the colony and the congregation as a whole.” Germaine related that she had learned that legal action was possible under existing defamation law, but she was not sure it was a good idea. It would cost money, but more important, it would magnify the nuns’ mortification. “When it comes time to discuss the issue in front of the court, it will be a scandal throughout the city,” she wrote.89 The topic threatened the nuns’ image of feminine innocence, virtue, and selflessness, which constituted the base of their social capital in colonial society. It was risky to allow it to be publicly challenged and debated. While the sisters hesitated, the male Catholic leaders in the colony clamored for legal proceedings. Father Picarda, who was acting as interim bishop at the time, had already floated the idea of trying to attack the Réveil head-on in the weeks just before the pregnancy blurb appeared.90 After meeting with Cavelier de Cuverville, then serving as commander of the naval detachment in Saint-Louis, and the city’s devout métis mayor, de Bourmeister, he suggested to his superiors in Paris that the Spiritans set up a press in Dakar to rival the Réveil.91 Yet when the false pregnancy story broke, Picarda saw an opportunity to assail the Réveil that would not cost the Spiritan congregation a dime. He became increasingly frustrated, however, as it became clear to him that the nuns were not enthusiastic about a suit. He wanted the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny to act

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in what he saw to be the broader interest of the Catholic mission and the parti bien-­pensant, and he visited Sister Germaine, their superior in SaintLouis, to try to overcome their reticence. He advised Germaine to consult her mother superior in Paris and meanwhile wrote his own superior general, suggesting that the Spiritan executive “advise” the mother superior of the best course of action. “I will not insist, Most Reverend Father, and I do not claim to offer you advice; I am sure that you will do the right thing and that you are always ready to defend the religious interests of this poor colony,” he lobbied.92 Over the next several weeks, Picarda repeatedly expressed his impatience with the nuns and his hopes that the incident would prove to be the Réveil’s death knell. “The case of the sister, in everyone’s opinion, is the best way to harm the Réveil. Let us not let the opportunity escape!” he wrote again to Paris.93 In the end, to his relief and delight, the sisters’ leadership decided to pursue the Réveil in the courts. Mayor de Bourmeister gallantly offered to represent the nuns free of charge, to his own political benefit, of course.94 The nuns had been right to be cautious, as the case turned out to be long and arduous, involving appeals on both sides and multiple public audiences over the following six months. The initial judgment, rendered on 7 August 1886, condemned Forêt to pay a fine of two hundred francs and fifteen hundred francs in damages to the sisters.95 De Bourmeister appealed to get a bigger settlement and obtained a judgment for six thousand francs in damages and fifteen days of prison in September. Forêt then appealed, claiming that some of the sitting judges, Descemet allies, were his personal enemies and should recuse themselves. In December 1886 the case was finally settled, with three days of prison for Forêt and two thousand francs in damages, much less than the ten thousand francs Picarda had hoped for, though the judgment did contribute to putting Forêt out of business by May 1887.96 In the meantime, however, Forêt had intensified his anticlerical rhetoric by starting another fiercely anticlerical paper, the Petit s­ énégalais.97 The nuns continually worried about the repeated exposure of the pregnancy story. Sister Germaine wrote, “I only wish this case would conclude, because while it continues, attacks on Catholicism and the congregations in the colony persist.”98 The case also made the nuns more fearful of possible criticism—Germaine watched her personnel very carefully lest they give Forêt or his backers more ammunition.99 In the end the results were mixed, from the nuns’ perspective—two thousand francs was not much compensation for months of public wrangling on this particular subject. It would be wrong to conclude, however that the Réveil case showed that the nuns were simply manipulated by their male ecclesiastical superiors and Catholic politicians. The Spiritans’ correspondence reveals that they harbored a paternalistic and almost proprietary attitude toward the

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nuns, but the sisters were not averse to meddling in the affairs of priests and politicians to pursue their own ends. While the Réveil case was dragging through the courts, Sister Germaine spearheaded a surreptitious effort to diminish Father Picarda’s power within the Spiritan mission in favor of her own brother, Father Guérin, a Spiritan priest in Saint-Louis. Picarda complained to his superiors, “This dear sister has an extraordinary influence over her brother, which is not good for either one of them.”100 Just a few months after the Réveil case closed, Germaine schemed with the sitting Descemet deputy, Alfred Gasconi, to get her brother appointed apostolic prefect in Saint-Louis, a step that would enable the nuns to exercise direct influence on the colony’s ecclesiastical hierarchy. Gasconi proclaimed his support for Guérin’s ascension to Sister Germaine and tried to interfere in the mission’s internal nomination process.101 Picarda reported to Paris that he felt as though he could not circulate freely in the streets of Saint-Louis because people were so supportive of Guérin, yet Picarda did not think Guérin himself was heavily involved—the campaign was really the work of the nuns and the Descemet politicians.102 Though Picarda ultimately prevailed and took office, Sister Germaine showed her ability to disrupt the internal workings of the Spiritan mission and steer public opinion and politicians toward aims that would serve her congregation. Indeed, though they felt it necessary to wade into the fray to counter the Devèses’ anticlerical assault in the 1880s, the Spiritan missionary leadership found communal politics to be very treacherous territory. Participation in politics exposed the church to manipulation by the warring factions and even the scorn of its own supporters. In 1889, the Descemet party, Gasconi in particular, again tried to interfere in the selection of the Spiritan executive in the colony by lobbying the French government authorities to insist on the nomination of Father Guérin, even though secular officials usually just rubber-stamped whomever the Spiritan congregation and the Vatican approved as bishop. Though Gasconi did not ultimately succeed, his efforts delayed the official nomination of Monsignor Barthet and created dissension within the Catholic community in Senegal.103 This episode demonstrated that it had become nearly impossible for the church to stand above the electoral battles. Put in a very awkward position vis-à-vis his superiors (again), Guérin felt he could not vote for Gasconi in the subsequent deputy elections, but neither could he support the opposition. His abstention provoked the ire of devout Saint-Louisiens who defended Catholicism in the elected assemblies.104 Similarly, in 1897 when the priests decided to abstain from a particularly bitter election for the General Council, seven members of SaintLouis’s Catholic Circle, a social group of devout parishioners, resigned in protest.105 The missionaries found to their dismay that both their participation in and their abstention from politics resulted in public criticism.

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Conclusion The Réveil’s slander of Sister Saint-Pierre reveals a great deal about the place of religion in the whirl of communal politics in 1880s Senegal. On the one hand, the attack showed that colonial interests were willing to employ the rhetoric of metropolitan anticlericalism, albeit for particular, local goals. On the other hand, the result of the scandal—the closing of the paper and the jailing of the editor—demonstrated that Catholicism was a powerful force in the colony, despite the Muslim majority and the loud handful of Freemasons in the communes. The Catholic mission, composed of its various congregations, was a formidable institution that had managed to accumulate a great deal of social, cultural, and political capital through its works and its staging of public spectacles. Nonetheless, the Devèses’ anticlerical assault of the mid-1880s put the mission on the defensive and revealed some cracks in its armor. Electoral politics damaged the symbolic capital that the missionaries had accrued over the decades they had served in the communes. Moreover, the Devèses’ campaign, and electoral politics more broadly, sowed divisions between the mission and the colonial administration, the mission and its erstwhile Descemet allies, and even between the missionary congregations themselves. The mission was not the only colonial power broker to lose its footing in the shifting sands of communal politics, however. Indeed, the relationship between religion and politics illuminates how interest groups were consistently forming and re-forming alliances in what was an important period of transition in colonial Senegal. While the mission triumphed over the Réveil, the Spiritans’ frequently expressed fear that the colony was changing for the worse (from their perspective) was prescient. The following decade and a half would bring a further erosion of the church’s status in the colony and increased missionary frustration that colonial officials did not understand or accept the wisdom of the Catholic vision of the civilizing mission. Though it was not apparent to them at the time, the Devèses’ shrill anticlerical campaigns in the 1880s were in many respects a sideshow to a bigger transfer of power taking place behind the scenes. Ultimately, the new civilian colonial administration gradually emerged as the leading power in Senegal by the end of the century, at the expense of other French and métis power brokers, including the clergy, the devout métis party, and the Devès themselves. This became clearer in the early 1890s, when colonial officials moved to restrict the power of the métis-dominated General Council and the Devès moved closer to the Catholic mission. Moreover, the métis groups would lose their grip on their remaining power as formal French rule expanded inland and disrupted their commercial networks; more and

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more French newcomers swelled the population of the coastal communes, especially after the formation of the French West African federation in 1895; and their African allies in the communes developed their own political aspirations. In hindsight, the Devèses’ political assault on Catholicism may have helped accelerate the decline of métis influence by hastening the split between the colonial administration and the Catholic mission and its devout allies. At a minimum, the infighting between Senegal’s old established power brokers distracted them just as a new force arose to supplant them. The administration’s consolidation of power led to a surprising alliance between the Catholic mission and the Devès party in the context of French governance of the Sereer populations of Senegal’s Petite Côte and the Thiès escarpment in the 1890s.

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Rivalry in Translation catholicism, islam, and french rule of the north-west sereer, 1890–1900

Early in the morning of 17 February 1892, while the sun still hung low in the sky, a gun-toting enforcer named Amadu Gueye arrived in the Sereer village of Tiéki, southeast of Dakar near Senegal’s Petite Côte. Gueye was a Muslim jaraaf (retainer) of Abdel Kader, the French-appointed Wolof chief of the region.1 Gueye had come to collect a fine from Lat M’Bor, a villager who had allegedly been involved in a theft of peanuts in the neighboring hamlet of Toubab Dialao.2 On his way into Tiéki, Gueye stopped to greet the village laman (or “chief”), Latyr Ly, before proceeding to search for his quarry.3 What exactly happened after he left Ly’s hut is a matter of dispute, but Amadu Gueye did not survive his visit to Tiéki. In the course of the day, one or more individuals in the village killed Gueye and then buried his body about a mile away in the wilderness. The death of the jaraaf caught the attention of French officials and the public in Senegal’s Four Communes, because Gueye had been the emissary of an African appointee of the French colonial administration and because Tiéki was located in territory of direct administration, where French law applied. The killing of Amadu Gueye evoked simultaneous responses from the colonial administration and the French judiciary based in the Four Communes. As administrators tried to determine how to manage the fractious Sereer population, the French prosecutor’s office in Saint-Louis carried out a criminal probe to bring the murderer(s) to justice. Seven months later, Ballouk Sene, a Sereer and former village chief of Tiéki, stood trial for the murder of Amadu Gueye in the French Cour d’assises in Saint-Louis. Sene did not deny killing Gueye but claimed that he had done so in self-defense after Gueye had tried to shoot him. The defense lawyer, the Devès party’s perennial candidate, Jean-Jacques C ­ respin, argued that Sene’s violent response to Gueye’s (alleged) aggression was

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­ nderstandable because the Muslim Wolof officials appointed by the cou lonial administration used their power ruthlessly to exploit the animist Sereer populations concentrated along the Petite Côte and in the hilly, forested terrain of the Thiès escarpment. The defense supported these claims by calling a star witness: the Reverend Father Sébire, a French Spiritan missionary respected in the colony for his agricultural experiments at the Catholic mission at Thiès. Sébire was one of several priests stationed in the vicinity of these Sereer, whom the Spiritans had identified as excellent prospects for conversion to Catholicism. Crespin’s strategy of putting the French administration’s governance of the Sereer on trial for the crime worked beautifully. Father Sébire galvanized his urban audience by testifying that French-appointed Muslim Wolof chiefs despised the Sereer, considered them subhuman, and frequently mistreated them. According to the priest, the chiefs exacted exorbitant taxes and fines from the Sereer to line their own pockets rather than the coffers of the French administration. Sébire also affirmed that Sereer villagers’ accounts of the incident were consistent with Sene’s tale of self-defense. During cross-examination, the prosecutor attacked Sébire’s credibility by suggesting that the missionaries, blinded by their affection for their potential converts, too readily believed the Sereer, but the priest stood his ground.4 To the disgust of administration officials and the prosecution, the court acquitted Ballouk Sene and he left Saint-Louis a free man. All of the disappointed parties agreed that Father Sébire’s testimony had been the decisive factor in a trial whose repercussions reached ministerial corridors in Paris and contributed to significant changes in the judicial landscape of colonial Senegal. .

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The case of Amadu Gueye and Ballouk Sene illuminates two fierce, intertwined struggles that raged along Senegal’s Petite Côte and inland around Thiès as the French colonial administration extended its reach into the colony’s interior at the end of the nineteenth century. Strife between Wolof and Sereer populations, in turn, fueled a heated rivalry between French administration officials, who tended to favor the Wolof, and French Spiritan missionaries, who took up the Sereer cause. Prior to French expansion in the region, groups of Sereer had resisted Muslim Wolof domination within and on the edges of the precolonial kingdoms of Kajoor and Bawol. These “North-West” Sereer had jealously guarded their independence and fiercely opposed conversion to Islam, which they equated with subordination to the Wolof.5 Yet when the French established protectorate rule over the region in the 1880s and early 1890s, colonial officials entrusted Muslim Wolof allies with the day-to-day responsibilities of governing it.

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Many of the North-West Sereer found themselves within the boundaries of the so-called Autonomous Sereer Provinces, a newly created administrative unit ruled by a powerful Wolof superior chief, a position historian James F. Searing has described as a “virtual monarch.”6 French colonial expansion thus reinvigorated the long-standing local conflict, tipping the balance in favor of the Wolof, to the frustration of the Sereer.7 This administrative approach shocked and angered French Spiritan missionaries working among these Sereer.8 The priests viewed the administration’s reliance on the Wolof as a grave misstep in an epic battle between Islam and Christianity for the souls of the animist Sereer, as well as a longterm threat to French interests in West Africa. The missionaries hoped

Mission stations in the Dakar-Thiès region and along the Petite Côte, based on a Spiritan map of 1911

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they could convert the Sereer en masse and thus create a human Catholic bulwark against the further spread of Islam in Senegal. They feared that French-backed Wolof authorities would jeopardize Catholic evangelism by pressuring the Sereer to convert to Islam. They also considered Muslims treacherous allies whose faith was antithetical to French “civilization.” Monsignor Magloire Barthet, the Spiritan bishop of Senegambia from 1889 until 1898, frequently denounced the perfidy of Muslims and the myopia of administrative policy. “Doubtless, the administration persuades itself that by dispensing favors it will win [Muslims] over to the French cause,” he wrote in one typical letter, “but in the opinion of almost everyone who really understands Muslims, this is a great error, because whatever they do, they will never make a true Frenchman out of a Muslim.”9 Sooner or later, Barthet warned, Muslims would turn on the French and try to evict them. In the missionary view, it would be infinitely more intelligent and morally sound to cultivate a loyal Catholic Sereer population than to rely on Muslims. The Spiritans criticized and undermined administrative policies whenever possible yet also consistently tried to convince officials to support their Catholic civilizing mission. They wanted to be the allies and helpers of an administration that shared their understanding of France’s role in Africa. Though French officials and priests speak loudest in the archival record, it is nonetheless evident that Africans sowed and stoked much of the enmity between them. The confrontations between missionaries and French and African representatives of the administration demonstrate not only that there were deep fissures between groups of French “colonialists” with widely divergent goals but that Africans clearly perceived and exploited those rifts for their own benefit. The Sereer in particular used the divisions between the mission and the administration to enlist the Spiritans as lobbyists against their hated Wolof chiefs. This tactic represented a mutation in the Sereer’s long-standing campaign to preserve their small, decentralized, independent communities from Wolof interference.10 Indeed, the older Wolof/Sereer antagonism simply flowed into the conduit of administrative and missionary rivalry as both Africans and Frenchmen translated and repackaged African conflicts into French categories and ­forums during the transition to French rule. There was certainly reciprocal manipulation— missionaries took advantage of Sereer dissatisfaction with government policy to position themselves as allies against the administration and ingratiate themselves with potential converts.11 However, in a region where both the administration and the mission lacked the material and human resources to pursue their respective visions without African cooperation, African actors wielded a great deal of power. From start to finish, the case of Amadu Gueye and Ballouk Sene revealed how tenuous French influence

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over Africans really was and how Africans could turn French people, policies, and institutions to their own advantage. Indeed, Sene’s acquittal prompted French officials to ensure that no other Sereer could use the French justice system to undermine administrative policy. On 13 December 1892, Governor of Senegal Henri de Lamothe “disannexed” the region from the territory of direct administration, establishing “protectorate” rule instead.12 Though exchanging direct administration for protectorate appears to imply a weakening of French administrative control, the opposite was true. In territory of direct administration, the elected General Council exercised budgetary oversight and French laws were in force, so administrative policy was subject to meddling by political interests in the Four Communes and constrained by the justice system. In the protectorate, administrative fiat and summary justice held sway, untroubled by rival French institutions. Disannexation thus strengthened the administration’s discretion, and the hand of its Wolof chiefs, by removing the trappings of French “civilization” from the Sereer lands. This step, which followed a similar move in the region around Saint-Louis two years earlier, altered the landscape of Old Regime–style privilege in Senegal by reifying the legal and institutional divide between the Four Communes and the rural interior. It effectively withdrew privileges and avenues of negotiation that had been available to the local African population, forcing them into a new relationship with the colonial state. This decision reflected a strain of administrative thinking that remained dominant in West Africa through the Second World War. Rejecting the impulses of metropolitan legislators and the assimilative goals of Catholic missionaries, administrators consistently prioritized the maintenance of order, the gathering of revenue, and their own discretionary power.13 Moreover, they viewed the purveyors of assimilative civilizing ideals, like missionaries, as rivals rather than partners.14

Competing French Visions The difference in administrative and missionary perspectives on how best to approach the North-West Sereer reflected their divergent priorities and competing desires for authority over Africans. While the Spiritan missionaries cherished grand dreams of incubating a Catholic civilization in West Africa, French administrators’ priorities were exceedingly pragmatic as they expanded their reach inland in the late nineteenth century. A Spiritan missionary believed that he had a duty to elevate the “heathen” population via a Catholic civilizing mission, which he felt should be a central aspect of the colonial endeavor. Administrative correspondence from this period, however, is remarkably devoid of any reference to civilizing at all.15 French

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administrators did eventually develop the rhetoric of a republican civilizing mission, particularly after the turn of the century, but even then it did not seem to define official practice on the ground.16 During French expansion in Senegal, the administration sought to establish itself as the paramount authority in the colony and wanted Africans to recognize its representatives as superior to all other French and métis power brokers, including missionaries, commercial interests, and even the military. Its ultimate aims were to maintain order and facilitate the exploitation of resources.17 Goals alone did not shape policy, however; the administration’s limitations also played a vital role in how it governed Africans in the interior. In addition to facing down both French and métis rivals for authority on the ground, the governors and their immediate subordinates in Saint-Louis fought a constant battle to manage their own staff. It was difficult to recruit qualified French personnel who wanted to risk their health in Africa, and the men who volunteered for service often had ulterior motives, such as commercial aspirations, a desire to live outside the norms of European society, or even a need to escape trouble in France.18 Though Undersecretary of the Colonies Eugène Etienne founded the Ecole coloniale to train administrators in 1889, its curriculum was a source of controversy throughout the 1890s and it failed to solve chronic recruiting and training problems until just before the First World War.19 The administration in Senegal was fortunate that it could draw upon the educated métis population of the Four Communes to fill some holes in its ranks, but it was still far from a model bureaucracy, particularly before 1900. The lack of personnel meant that French officials had to rely heavily on African agents, which compromised administrative control. In some instances, the French left precolonial leaders in place and signed treaties to protect commerce and prevent armed conflict.20 Elsewhere, the administration set up hierarchies of African “chiefs” who answered to a French superior. As in the case of the Wolof and the North-West Sereer, these chiefs were not necessarily men who had governed prior to the French arrival, nor did the concept of a chief always resonate with previous structures of authority. This dependence on Africans meant that the French administration was both powerful and feeble, depending on locality and circumstances.21 On paper, a French administrator was an absolute ruler outside the areas of direct administration, and after 1887 he could subject Africans to the indigénat. In reality, the administrator’s isolation and his frequent inability to speak local languages meant he could accomplish little without African cooperation, which left him open to manipulation by his African representatives.22 French administrators in Senegal knew that some of their African agents exploited their positions for personal gain, but officials were willing to turn a blind eye as long as their larger goals were satisfied.

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The administration’s decision to use Muslim Wolof chiefs to govern the North-West Sereer emerged from political calculations as well as officials’ perceptions of both the Wolof and the Sereer. It was not, as Spiritan missionaries claimed, evidence of a complete lack of concern about Islam’s potential to threaten French power in Senegal. In fact, the administrative view of Islam was more nuanced than missionary assessments suggest. Officials were indeed wary of Islam’s potential as a source of rebellion because French armies had encountered militant Islamic resistance both in Algeria and West Africa. They did not favor Muslims they identified as threats, yet they tried to cultivate Muslims who eschewed jihad and use them as allies.23 The Wolof that the administration employed as chiefs of the NorthWest Sereer were frequently aristocrats of the precolonial kingdoms of ­Kajoor and Bawol who were used to wielding authority. Many of these men were literate and multilingual and thus able to fulfill roles of interpreters and chiefs under French direction.24 They proved adept at collecting tax revenue, which played a key role in the administration’s support of them.25 French officials also tended to see them as relatively civilized and therefore as natural partners.26 Administrators’ opinions of the North-West Sereer were very different, however. While the missionaries saw the animist, Islam-resistant Sereer as the ideal tabula rasa for the implantation of Catholicism and civilization, French administrators considered the Sereer “anarchic” and “savage” and prone to drunkenness.27 Louis Patterson, who supervised the administration of the region in the early 1890s, elaborated this negative view in a letter to Senegal’s governor: “The Sereer race is intractable; as soon as they have a weapon in hand, their murderous habits, their debauched passions, their thieving and rapacious instincts, and the rest of the retinue of vices that characterize nasty brutes reawaken in them.”28 Elsewhere he characterized them as “a race of drunks, looters, and thieves.”29 From the administration’s perspective, the Sereer’s lack of civilization was a justification for ruling them with an iron hand, not an invitation to reshape their society. Even though French officials occasionally expressed concerns about “feudal” African social organization in West Africa, they had no qualms about imposing a feudal-style system of authority on the Sereer by handing the reins to Wolof overlords.30 The generally low opinion of the Sereer in administrative ranks thus worked in favor of the Wolof. The Spiritans could not fathom the administration’s confidence in Muslim chiefs and its tepid attitude toward their Catholic civilizing efforts among the Sereer. For Monsignor Barthet, it was inconceivable that French colonial authorities could bestow more official support on Muslim Africans than on French-born missionaries. Barthet was particularly piqued that he had to negotiate with Muslim chiefs to obtain land for rural mis-

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sion stations and chapels. In a letter to Spiritan superior general Emonet he ranted, Is it not vile that after conquering territory with the blood of our soldiers, France freely cedes territory to all her Muslim chiefs so they can sell it at a profit to French citizens! To missionaries who have expatriated themselves to civilize the unfortunate Africans! Such are the policies of the government of Senegal. It is beyond the scope of belief. In this colony the reality is truly unreal.31

The priests thought they deserved accolades from French officials rather than suspicion, competition, and admonishments. They felt officials’ rejection of their opinions and their values keenly and continually bemoaned what they saw as the administration’s wrong-headed opinion of where France’s best interests really lay.

“The Reality Is Truly Unreal”: Frenchmen and Africans Dispute Authority On the ground, the rivalry between missionaries and administrators became an extension of the older Wolof/Sereer antagonism, though French actors did not frequently acknowledge, or perhaps even realize, that they were often mere instruments in an African quarrel. The Gueye case was merely an extreme example of a pattern of Sereer and missionary challenges to French-backed Wolof authority during the last decade of the nineteenth century. In the early 1890s, Administrator Patterson found himself dealing with a spate of incidents between the Sereer and the Wolof chiefs.32 As soon as he had quelled one dispute, another would arise. The documentary record evokes a high level of tension, which occasionally erupted in violence. The Spiritans pursued a dual strategy to try to overturn administrative policy in the region. They encouraged Sereer resistance to the administration’s Muslim agents, but they also bombarded French officials with verbal and written accounts of chiefly abuses, hoping to persuade them to suspend the use of Muslim collaborators and embrace the Catholic civilizing mission. In one such missive, Monsignor Barthet sent a copy of a letter from Father Guy Grand, superior of the mission station at Popenguine, to Director of Political Affairs Tautain. In Barthet’s view, Guy Grand’s recitation demonstrated the “fatal” power of the marabouts in Senegal, which was “a great detriment to French influence.”33 Guy Grand complained that N’Gor, an agent of canton chief Abdel Kader, was using his position to inflict unjust fines upon his Sereer subjects, prevent them from working in their fields on Mondays and Thursdays, force them to perform the salaam in his presence, and intimidate them so that they did not dare to complain.

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According to Guy Grand, N’Gor carried this behavior to an extreme in the more remote areas, where he had little fear of reprisal, and cowed villagers by telling them that the toubabs (white men) supported him. The result, wrote Guy Grand, was that the very mention of the French provoked horror among the Sereer in the vicinity of Popenguine.34 Guy Grand and Barthet warned that the Sereer were blaming the French for the behavior of their Muslim chiefs and that the colonial administration was therefore sabotaging any hope of Sereer support and sympathy. Barthet used the alleged abuses of N’Gor to make the bold suggestion that his Spiritan missionaries replace Muslims as the administration’s agents in the region. Barthet emphasized that his priests were French and served the French cause in Africa. “If our missionaries had even half the power in their respective districts that the Muslim chiefs misuse in such an unworthy manner,” he wrote, “such [abuses] would not happen.” Barthet concluded his letter by stating, “[I will] always be happy to do everything in my power to second the administration to promote justice and liberty, without which colonization is impossible.”35 Barthet thus exhorted officials to adopt his view of France’s mission in Africa, as well as his personnel, for the good of France and Africa alike. Barthet’s letter moved Tautain to probe Guy Grand’s allegations and showed that officials were somewhat concerned about their reputation among the Sereer; however, Tautain’s handling of the investigation also demonstrated that the administration’s pragmatic priorities trumped any desire to right all wrongs committed by its representatives. Tautain asked Patterson to examine the situation, acknowledging that although he did not accept Guy Grand’s reports at face value, the reports of exorbitant fines and the prohibition of work on certain days were troubling.36 Yet Tautain also explicitly ordered Patterson to make sure not to implicate Abdel Kader, N’Gor’s supervisor, even if Kader was partially responsible. Kader was a Muslim Wolof who had graduated from the colony’s Ecole des otages and who had worked for the colonial government since 1868.37 He was a favorite of administration officials for his energy, his knowledge of French, and his intelligence, and they would subsequently promote him to superior chief of the Autonomous Sereer Provinces in 1894.38 Tautain was anxious to preserve Kader’s prestige and authority, but he asked Patterson to remind Kader that only French administrators could exact fines from subjects and that a French official needed to be notified of any punishments inflicted by African representatives of the administration. Tautain instructed Patterson to make N’Gor the scapegoat if necessary, authorizing both fines and imprisonment if N’Gor had abused his position. Moreover, Tautain explicitly commanded Patterson to publicize any punishment of N’Gor throughout the entire region to impress

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other potential offenders and repair the administration’s reputation on the ground.39 Patterson investigated Guy Grand’s accusations and concluded that most of them were the product of a combination of missionary exaggeration and Sereer manipulation of their eager priests. Though Patterson found N’Gor guilty of abuses in collecting taxes and fines, it was clear that the administrator was more aggravated by missionary and Sereer conduct, which consumed almost five pages of his six-page report.40 No one had ordered any work stoppages, Patterson concluded, and the charge that villagers had been forced to perform the salaam was completely false. While Patterson thanked Father Guy Grand for communicating N’Gor’s real transgressions, the administrator expressed his dismay that the priest, who knew the region well, would also repeat things that were better suited to a “novel” than an official report. Patterson also charged that Monsignor Barthet had not checked the validity of Guy Grand’s assertions before forwarding them to the director of political affairs.41 Yet in Patterson’s view, the missionaries were not the only ones trying to manipulate the situation. His report asserted that the Sereer exploited the Spiritans’ anti-Muslim stance and tried to use the missionaries’ clout to provoke the recall of their Wolof chiefs. The Sereer proved recalcitrant in the face of orders from Muslim chiefs and deliberately provoked the chiefs to excess because they knew they could count on missionary support. ­Patterson argued that Sereer converts to Christianity were the worst offenders: in order to please the missionaries and free themselves of Muslim Wolof rule, they invented stories against the agents of the administration.42 Even though his inquiry into N’Gor’s conduct proved to be justified, Patterson seemed to resent that it was a result of Sereer machinations. Patterson felt that neither the Sereer nor the Spiritan missionaries could be trusted. Rather than welcome the Spiritans as allies, officials firmly rejected Barthet’s suggestion that his missionaries work as auxiliaries of the French administration, as well as the priests’ approach to civilizing the Sereer. In his report, Patterson stated, “Though I recognize the devotion of our missionaries, I would prefer they abstain from all interference that has political implications.” Patterson repeated this refrain over and over in his correspondence. Whereas Barthet claimed that missionaries buttressed French influence in Senegal, Patterson argued that they undermined it. As long as the mission behaved as an alternative French authority in the region, it was a threat to administrative control. Patterson cited the village of Joal, where he asserted that the Sereer population immediately transmitted any order from the administrator or the canton chief to the mission and either carried it out or ignored it based on the priests’ opinion. The mission thereby encouraged independence among Africans that was not com-

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patible with administrative goals to consolidate power and establish its representatives’ authority. Furthermore, in Patterson’s view, this measure of autonomy was not commensurate with Africans’ “level of civilization.” Patterson argued that the missionaries’ approach was detrimental to their own civilizing goals, not just French rule. He asserted that the people of the region would only “refine” themselves “little by little by contact with our mores” and that the Spiritans were only slowing that process by trying to “destroy Islam in one fell swoop.”43 The administration resented, rather than applauded, the missionaries’ methods. In 1891, when Henri de Lamothe became governor of Senegal, relations between the Catholic mission and the colonial administration entered a new acrimonious phase.44 Monsignor Barthet detested de Lamothe, whom he characterized as “a fanatic partisan of Islam.” (De Lamothe had previously worked as a journalist in Algeria, where, according to Barthet, he had written numerous articles favorable to Islam.)45 The bishop reported to the Spiritan headquarters in Paris that de Lamothe had once declared that he would rather become Buddhist than help missionaries and that he was actively making it difficult for missionaries to establish themselves in rural posts.46 Barthet saw de Lamothe’s tenure as a catastrophe for the mission and the non-Muslim populations of Senegal—three years into the governor’s term Barthet wrote that de Lamothe envisioned Senegal as a francophone Muslim civilization and was actively favoring the propagation of Islam at the expense of France’s true interests.47 After de Lamothe’s appointment, the Spiritans undermined administrative policy toward the Sereer more actively, simultaneously trying to combat it on the ground and discredit it before wider audiences in Senegal and in France. Barthet made several dramatic personal appearances to intimidate Muslim chiefs and impress potential converts, in defiance of the administration’s desire that he eschew political involvement. In one such incident, Barthet publicly admonished canton chief Malic Coumba Fall in a brazen attempt to take credit for administrative decisions designed to relieve Sereer tax burdens. According to Fall, Barthet called him to the mission at Thiès and informed him, in front of a Sereer crowd, that Fall could no longer collect any revenue in his canton other than a head tax of one and a half francs. Barthet specifically prohibited Fall from imposing fines on his subjects, or collecting the assaka, a tax paid in kind to supplement the chiefs’ income, which had become a frequent tool of abuse. Barthet claimed to speak in the name of the governor (who was conveniently away from Senegal, during which time an interim replacement held the office) and thus, in Fall’s own words, “annihilated” the chief’s authority among the assembled Sereer.48 This action predictably outraged Administrator Patterson, who implored the interim governor to put an end to Barthet’s

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interference in political affairs.49 The administration had been investigating the chiefs’ misuse of the assaka and was thinking of abolishing it in favor of a cash tax and prohibiting chiefs from levying fines.50 Barthet, aware of these plans, preemptively announced the good news to the Sereer himself to try to earn their sympathy at the administration’s expense. The missionaries’ activism exposed a fundamental tension between their desire to earn more converts by delivering the Sereer from the administration’s unfavorable policies, and their hope that the administration would adopt the Catholic view of the French civilizing mission and change its methods of rule. However, Monsignor Barthet admitted that Muslim chiefs’ persecution of the Sereer benefited his cause since administrative abuses allowed missionaries to come to the rescue of subject populations and conversions followed. Barthet identified the Sereer quest for protection from their Muslim Wolof canton chiefs as the “principal impetus pushing populations to us.”51 He reported to the Spiritan superior general in France that “we now have a good reputation throughout the Sereer lands, and even Sereer who have never seen a missionary are thrilled when they meet an abbé.”52 According to Barthet, Sereer villagers welcomed missionaries and sent their children for religious instruction so that they might receive some protection from chiefly pillage.53 When missionaries at Thiès attempted to stop undue exactions by a Muslim representative of the administration (to the great displeasure of the French administrator), they earned the thanks of Sereer villagers and proceeded to baptize 130 people.54 Nonetheless, despite the gains they made from their adversarial approach to the administration’s policies, Barthet and his missionaries believed that they would be more effective evangelists and accomplish more civilizing in Senegal if they were auxiliaries of the administration, not its adversaries. Barthet wanted the administration to adopt his view of the best way to govern Africans, which would result, he argued, in an assimilated, Catholic, African population that would be loyal to France. In an emotional letter to the Comte de Mun, a leading legitimist from Morbihan who often represented Catholic interests in the Third Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, Barthet argued, If the administration were more just and more honest and wanted to make use of missionaries to win the population’s allegiance to France, not just by the force of arms but by the conquest of sympathies, there would not be the slightest difficulty; in a short time all of the animists in Senegambia would be French Catholics. The Muslims, by contrast, will always be anti-European and consequently antiFrench, because they want to dominate Africa in order to exploit it; as long as they see themselves as weaker than us, they will flatter us to gain our favor and participate in the exploitation of the country, but the day they see there is a possibility of getting rid of us, they will not hesitate to try. I believe that even those who

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propagate pro-Muslim policy most vociferously would not dare deny this. In any case, I consider the forces we are obliged to employ in Algeria, after sixty years of occupation, as convincing proof of it.”55

Here Barthet was both wildly idealistic and utterly sincere, even though prevailing French policy allowed his priests to ingratiate themselves with the Sereer by defending them against administrative representatives. He equated his mission’s goals with the best interests of France and argued that Islam was the common enemy of both the mission and the administration. His language reveals a stark, simplistic view of Muslims as invariably “anti-European” and thirsty for domination, whatever the context. Barthet saw Africa primarily in terms of its confessional communities and the struggles between them, and in his view, France should always be on the side of Catholicism. Despite the tension between them, the administration was willing to work with the mission in limited contexts where their interests aligned in the region. In 1889, Bishop Picarda, Barthet’s predecessor, signed a contract to run a school-penitentiary on the colony’s behalf at Thiès.56 The administration sent juvenile offenders to the mission station instead of locking them up in prisons at Dakar and Saint-Louis, where they were exposed to more hardened criminals. At the school-penitentiary the detainees attended classes and learned the basics of agriculture as they farmed the school’s crops under the supervision of the missionaries. In return, the administration paid for the transport and nourishment of the prisoners and helped track escapees. It also agreed to pay for the initial installations to house the detainees and the materials necessary for their agricultural work. Finally, it guaranteed the mission personnel access to free medical care.57 The mission and the administration each sought to benefit from this arrangement. The missionaries got a malleable captive audience for their Catholic message along with public assistance. Though the official sanction of the project included the caveat that the priests had to respect the detainees’ freedom of conscience, then-governor Clément-Thomas assured the Spiritans that they would not be hassled on the subject.58 The mission also got labor to work its farm, which it saw as a means to train African farmers in European methods that could revolutionize and civilize African society. Father Audren, the Spiritan director of the project, wrote that the introduction of the plow to Senegal would not only ease cultivation and improve African work habits but would also peacefully emancipate millions of slaves, as he reasoned that once an African could efficiently work his own plot with a plow and a steer, he would be willing to free his slaves.59 The administration had commercial motives: it encouraged the mission to experiment with potential cash crops, such as cotton, tobacco,

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rubber, and tropical fruits, hoping that African farmers could then produce them for export.60 The mission’s agricultural activities at Thiès even led to cordial dealings between Monsignor Barthet and his nemesis, Governor de Lamothe. Despite the administration’s support, mismanagement of the school-­penitentiary at Thiès ultimately made it a financial drain on the mission.61 In 1895, Barthet and de Lamothe signed a separate contract that applied exclusively to agricultural work at Thiès. The governor was frustrated by the poor returns of an expensive government nursery at Richard-Toll and eager to take advantage of the mission’s efficient agricultural practices. The new contract stipulated that the superior of the mission would procure plants using public funds, and the administration would be sole proprietor of the plants and their produce. In exchange, the mission would receive three thousand extra francs per year to defray the costs of running the nursery. Barthet characterized this arrangement as “the first kindness de Lamothe has shown us since he arrived in the colony.”62 In addition to this instance of collaboration, the mission and the administration cooperated to bring about infrastructure improvements, such as new roads, which benefited both parties.63 This prompted Barthet to write of the administrators that “these men cannot prevent themselves from recognizing that the missionaries are still the best agents of civilization, both moral and material.”64 These isolated instances of cooperation did not mean that the administration accepted missionary priorities in the region, however. Collaboration between the mission and the administration remained limited and piecemeal in this period of administrative consolidation. While the Spiritans hoped that joint projects would show French officials the error of “pro-Muslim” policies and demonstrate that missionaries were “the best agents of civilization” in the colony, their work did not have the desired effect. The administration was simply not as interested in civilizing Africans and pursued other priorities. Moreover, missionaries did not stop the behaviors that most antagonized the administration, even as they worked alongside it. As a result, administrative officials continued to see missionaries primarily as rivals rather than allies in the rural interior.

Civilization on Trial: Amadu Gueye and Ballouk Sene The killing of the jaraaf Amadu Gueye in 1892 fit the well-established patterns of Sereer resistance to French-backed Muslim Wolof authority. Tensions were already running high between the Sereer and the Wolof, and between the Spiritan missionaries and the colonial administration, when Gueye met his end in Tiéki. The trial of Ballouk Sene for Gueye’s murder publicly exposed the antagonism between the Sereer and the Wolof, as

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well as the fierce rivalry between the Catholic mission and the administration. It demonstrated how Africans could use the antagonisms between French interests and the contradictions within the French system to their own advantage. Moreover, the investigation of the crime revealed how Africans, with their superior knowledge of local land and languages, could easily outwit and flummox French authorities. Though the mission and the ­Sereer won this particular battle when Father Sébire’s dramatic testimony of Wolof abuses led to Sene’s acquittal, the results of the investigation and the trial prompted the administration to take aggressive measures to prevent a repeat performance. The Gueye case posed some dilemmas for the colonial administration and highlighted fundamental inconsistencies within French rule in Senegal. Because Gueye had died in territory under direct administration, it was not legal for the administration or its representatives to impose a summary punishment on the alleged perpetrators. Just two years before, the administration had usurped judicial authority by illegally executing three Africans for the murder of French administrator Abel Jeandet in territory where French law applied, causing a scandal in the colony.65 As much as administrators may have wanted to mete out punishment at their own discretion, they did not want to provoke another showdown with the colony’s judiciary. Moreover, the administration had not sanctioned Gueye’s actions on behalf of Abdel Kader in Tiéki. As Interim Governor Roberdeau admitted, Gueye had not had the right to impose fines on the local population, and such abuses of power were “hurting French influence among the natives.”66 Yet the crime had taken the life of an official representative of French authority, which set a dangerous precedent. The colonial administration did not want Africans to think they could murder its agents with impunity. Though administration officials assisted the judicial inquiry into the case, they also planned a crackdown on recalcitrant Sereer villages in order to reinforce administrative authority, thus creating tension between judicial process and administrative prerogative when dealing with African subjects.67 Conducting a judicial inquiry in the interior was difficult, however, and French investigators were impeded by practical obstacles and vulnerable to manipulation by Africans. Gathering evidence for a legal case was tedious and challenging in rural areas. News and people traveled slowly. Language barriers required French officials to communicate with many Africans via interpreters, making conversations sluggish and misunderstandings more likely. African interpreters, whose skills made them necessary to the French and Africans alike, were also known to accept bribes from clients or impose their own agendas in the course of French and African interactions.68 French investigators often could not identify African suspects without the

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help of other Africans, who often harbored interested motives. French prejudices about African and, in this case, Sereer perfidy only clouded the picture further. The various accounts of the Gueye case reveal how far removed French officials were from the day-to-day activity on the ground in the region and how little they actually knew about the people involved and their role in the killing. It took two full days for the news of the murder to reach French ears, via chief Abdel Kader, who telegraphed Administrator Patterson on 19 February.69 Since the murder took place in territory under direct administration, Patterson immediately notified the French prosecutor’s office, which ordered the police commissioner of Rufisque to go to the scene and investigate. It took the police commissioner another two days to get to Tiéki, which he found almost completely deserted—the inhabitants had fled in fear of reprisals. The few that remained did not say much, but they indicated that Gueye’s body had been taken about a mile outside the village. Yet the police commissioner did not inspect the burial site or exhume the body, an investigative failure that was to have important ramifications for the trial.70 Africans mediated all of the crucial first steps of the French murder investigation. Village chief Latyr Ly provided the primary list of suspects, though he had not witnessed the crime personally. Ly reported that he had grown curious about Gueye’s whereabouts on the afternoon of 17 February, since he had not seen or heard from him since their morning greeting. When Ly asked after Gueye in the village, he learned that a posse of local men had attacked the jaraaf. According to Ly, Ballouk Sene had shot Gueye; then Diagne Bass had cut Gueye’s throat while M’Bissane Faye, Ballouk Sene’s brother-in-law, held Gueye’s head and his chin and Sow Seck and M’Ba Faye pinned the victim’s arms and legs.71 Ly confirmed that he had heard a single gunshot in the course of the day but had assumed it was a villager shooting at birds.72 Abdel Kader sent his men to find the alleged culprits while the French police commissioner was still slowly making his way to the crime scene. One of Kader’s representatives, Massaer Leye, rounded up M’Bissane Faye on the road to Popenguine. According to Leye, Faye hurriedly tried to suck bloodstains out of his clothing when it became clear he would not elude capture. Initially, Faye claimed that the blood on his clothes and in his hair was chicken blood but subsequently admitted that he had played a role in the murder of Amadu Gueye. In a confession—recorded by Guibril Diagne, a Muslim cleric based in the village of Dias—Faye allegedly confirmed Ly’s testimony, though he added another suspect, Demba Dione, to the list. Faye reportedly said that ­Ballouk Sene had shot and wounded Gueye; then Diagne Bass had cut ­Gueye’s throat while Faye himself held Gueye’s head and chin and M’Ball

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N’Diokor Faye [sic], Demba Dione, and Law Seck [sic] pinned Gueye’s arms and legs. Faye also admitted that he had helped bury Gueye’s decapitated corpse. On 20 February, Samba N’Diaye, a farmer from Dias, delivered both Faye and the alleged confession to Abdel Kader.73 The canton chief’s ability to move quickly to gather evidence and round up suspects was exceedingly helpful to distant French officials, and there is no indication that they questioned his handling of the early investigation. Yet Abdel Kader was not a disinterested party—a Sereer population that had consistently challenged him and his fellow Wolof chiefs had killed his direct representative. In fact, much of the evidence the French collected filtered through Africans who were potentially partial in the case. Latyr Ly, for example, whose testimony shaped the French understanding of the killing though he did not witness it himself, had replaced Ballouk Sene as village chief the previous year after Amadu Gueye had fired Sene from the job. Ly thus owed his authority to Gueye and, by extension, Abdel Kader and may have considered Sene a personal rival. In addition, M’Bissane Faye’s first confession was not made to a French official but to a Muslim cleric in Abdel Kader’s territory. Kader and his lieutenants could have tried to implicate as many Sereer as possible to consolidate their own control. While the judicial investigation slowed because the key suspects were still at large, French administration officials and their representatives encountered Spiritan missionary interference as they tried to maintain order among the Sereer, who had become restive in the wake of the events at Tiéki. In March, Meissa Niasse, the newly appointed chief of the Sereer villages in the canton of Rufisque-Bargny, got a rude welcome in P ­ openguine when he arrived to implement an administrative directive to disarm the Sereer population. Niasse spent fifteen days in the village but found himself unable to impose his authority because of the Sereer relationship with Father Strub at the local Spiritan mission station. The villagers refused to provide huts or food for Niasse and his men or relinquish their arms. They informed Niasse that they wanted to be “close to Father Strub” so they would not have to pay taxes and give up their weapons. Niasse reported that Strub had also told the Sereer that all villagers who owned cattle were entitled to have three guns, in defiance of administration policy. “If the priest is in charge of the Sereer, let me know and I will not govern this region anymore,” Niasse wrote to French officials. Yet Niasse’s letter also suggested that Father Strub was himself subject to Sereer machinations. ­Niasse said that before building the priest a hut, the Sereer extracted Strub’s assurance that they would no longer be subject to chiefs from outside and would not have to pay taxes.74 In early April, Malic Coumba Fall reported to Administrator Patterson that all of the Sereer in the canton of Thiès-Pout were also refusing to pay their taxes. Bands of Sereer

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had burned huts and granaries belonging to Fall and had ignored his summonses. Fall blamed the Spiritan missionaries at Thiès for inciting and encouraging this rebellious behavior.75 Indeed, the Spiritans went so far as to impede direct action by French officials, not just the administration’s Muslim representatives. In April, when Father Strub learned of an administrative expedition to Tiéki to look for murder suspects and disarm the population, he warned the Sereer villages throughout the region. He then wrote a letter to Administrator Patterson on behalf of Rafou, a village neighboring Tiéki, imploring Patterson to spare Rafou’s inhabitants from the impending sanctions and passing along their request for a French flag that they could display as proof of their loyalty and as a shield against administrative reprisals.76 When Senior Administrator Leclerc stopped in Popenguine en route to Tiéki, he was surprised to find emissaries from Tiéki at the Spiritan mission, as well as village women hiding in the bush nearby. When Leclerc, Abdel Kader, and their small escort arrived in Tiéki, they found the men of the village waiting for them sullen, hostile, and armed. Leclerc was forced to withdraw without attempting to discipline the village or locate the alleged murderers. In his report, Leclerc wrote that he suspected that the Spiritan missionaries had helped prepare his unwelcome reception in Tiéki.77 After Leclerc’s failure to subdue Tiéki, frustrated administration officials deemed it ever more necessary to quell Sereer rebelliousness. The governor wrote a confidential letter to Administrator Patterson, charging him to lead an aggressive, severe campaign to punish the Sereer of Tiéki and disarm the region once and for all.78 Patterson’s expedition demonstrated that French action in the region simply reanimated local African conflicts rather than establishing the French administration as undisputed master of the land and its people. Africans who hoped to benefit from the punishment of the Sereer initially hampered Patterson’s plans. The governor had suggested that Patterson surround Tiéki at night or surprise the inhabitants early in the morning before they had time to resist. Patterson was unable to follow this advice, however, because the Sereer were hiding in the bush and because hundreds of opportunistic Muslim Lebu inhabitants of Rufisque and its environs joined his expedition in expectation of plundering the Sereer villages. Patterson was forced to wait three days in Toubab Dialao for this crowd to dissipate before proceeding. He then sent out his chiefs, mostly Muslim and Wolof, who seized and imprisoned seventeen Sereer laman who were held hostage while Patterson waited for the villages to disarm and pay exorbitant fines, threatening that he would burn and pillage any who resisted. Patterson and his representatives rounded up some 432 guns, 31 of which disappeared into the ranks of his African helpers.79 Though he had punished the Sereer severely, Patterson had had

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to rely on his African allies, whom he could not control entirely. They took their share of the plunder and used their alliance with the administration to strengthen their own position. There was a great deal of incongruity between the French prosecutor’s ongoing investigation of the killing of Amadu Gueye, an exercise based on the French republic’s judicial norms, and the administration’s simultaneous warlike punishments of entire villages. In his official summary of the trial, the presiding judge noted that it was “disadvantageous” to have the administration’s Department of Political Affairs govern territory where the ordinary justice system was charged with pursuing crimes. The administration, he observed, “cannot accommodate itself to our regular procedures.”80 Nevertheless, the legal case ground on despite the chaotic state of the region, though the investigation became increasingly tinged with absurdity. On the heels of Patterson’s expedition, a relative turned Ballouk Sene in to French authorities on 5 May. Though his arrest initially seemed to be a breakthrough, Sene’s apprehension ultimately only muddied the waters for French prosecutors. Under interrogation by the French examining magistrate in Dakar on 6 May, Sene told a very different story from the one M’Bissane Faye had recounted in February. Sene did not deny killing Amadu Gueye; in fact, he took sole responsibility for doing so and exonerated the other suspects. Sene claimed, however, that he had acted in self-defense. He referred to the fact that Gueye had fired him from the position of village chief a year earlier and cited a history of bad blood between them. He testified that Gueye pursued him into the bush, threatened him, and shot at him, missing his body but tearing a hole in his clothing. Sene said he fired back and wounded Gueye in the lower abdomen. Gueye fell but then staggered to his feet and hit Sene across the shoulder with the butt of his gun while brandishing a dagger in his other hand. Sene grabbed the dagger, wounding his hand, but managed to stab Gueye in the throat. Gueye fell to the ground, and Sene declared that he immediately fled the scene and did not know what happened after that.81 Sene’s testimony presented French prosecutors with two irreconcilable African versions of events. To make sense of the divergence, they reinterrogated M’Bissane Faye on 9 May. Faye’s story changed radically—it seems likely that French officials allowed contact between the prisoners or revealed too much information about Sene’s confession, enabling Faye to backtrack completely, or that Faye’s initial confession had been falsified or forcibly extracted. Faye’s use of the conditional in his response to this new questioning, quoted in the prosecutor’s report after the trial, seems to suggest that he edited his testimony as he spoke: If Ballouk Sene killed Amadu Gueye, I had nothing to do with his death or his burial. Everything I said in front of the investigating magistrate was false—the

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traces of blood found on me came from hens that I killed. I said that I buried Amadu because I was afraid and someone named Gargougne told me that Ballouk Sene, Diagne Basse, Law Seck, M’Ball Niokhor Faye, and Demba Dione killed Amadu.82

According to the examining magistrate, Faye’s demeanor was “appalling” during this interview. He hesitated, stammered, and even laughed in confusion while responding with great difficulty to the questions.83 Faye’s reversal highlighted how difficult it was for the French prosecution to gather reliable evidence in cases involving Africans in remote locations. After Faye changed his story, the prosecutor’s office was obliged to revisit the scene of the crime to try to substantiate or refute the new version of events. It took the magistrate and his entourage almost twentyfour hours to get to Tiéki from Dakar.84 To their dismay, they still could not find any of the other men Faye had implicated or any evidence to discredit Sene’s version of events. The police commissioner of Rufisque’s failure to examine the body just a few days after the crime proved to be a fatal obstacle for the prosecution, since it could have shown whether Gueye had been decapitated, as Faye had originally testified, and may have revealed whether he had struggled with a group of men rather than just one. The investigators dug up Gueye’s alleged gravesite in June but found only the fleshless bones of an incomplete skeleton. Without any remaining tissue, doctors were unable to determine what kinds of wounds Gueye had incurred (if the remains were his). The prosecutor’s office reluctantly dropped the case against Faye and focused on prosecuting Ballouk Sene. 85 He was brought to trial in Saint-Louis in September 1892. The conflict between the Sereer and the Wolof continued in the distant forum of the French court in Saint-Louis. Ballouk Sene brought the trial to a standstill on the first day by claiming he could not speak Wolof well enough to testify and needed an interpreter who spoke his Sereer dialect. The proceedings had to be postponed while a new interpreter was summoned. Sene, likely distrustful of Wolof interpreters, ultimately had to testify via two men—the first translating Sereer to Wolof; the second, Wolof to French. Abdel Kader spoke on behalf of the prosecution and the administration, detailing the evidence against Sene. Latyr Ly, the village chief who had helped implicate Sene, revealed the awkwardness of his position as a Sereer who had sided with the Wolof. On the stand, Ly froze in fear and spoke little, declaring that he did not know if he was still Sereer or if he had “become Muslim.”86 This extraordinary declaration revealed the depth of the tension in a courtroom that had become a theater of an ongoing war. In Saint-Louis, the center of European and métis political life of the colony, the Gueye case also took on a new layer of meaning and became

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a battleground for yet another set of opponents. The trial provided an opportunity for métis commercial interests to challenge the administration. The Devès family, which had established its commercial empire in the African interior before the administration’s consolidation of authority, particularly resented administrative encroachment on its rural power base. Like the Spiritan missionaries, the Devès marketed themselves as defenders of Africans in the interior and, on occasion, helped Africans on the ground evade or resist administrative measures. Jean-Jacques Crespin, the prominently anticlerical Devès candidate and mouthpiece, continued this trend by serving as Sene’s defense lawyer in the trial. Crespin recognized that the Spiritans, often the objects of his derision in the political arena, were his allies in the case. Visitors to the court in Saint-Louis thus observed the improbable spectacle of Crespin calling Father Sébire as his sole defense witness. Sébire, though surprised when he received his subpoena, was also willing to put aside politics in order to defend the Sereer and vilify administrative policy on a public stage. According to the extant reports on the trial, Sébire was by far the most compelling witness, and his testimony on Wolof mistreatment of the ­Sereer ensured Ballouk Sene’s acquittal. Ironically, but fittingly, given the French inability to determine the facts of the case, Sébire was by far the least knowledgeable witness in the entire trial. Based at Thiès, he was not even the Spiritan missionary closest to Tiéki and had had little to no contact with the Sereer population in the vicinity of the crime.87 The presiding judge observed that Sébire’s description of the Sereer fleeing their villages to escape the burden of the administration’s representatives struck a chord with the judges, several of whom, he noted, were devout Catholics. “I do not think that they voted for acquittal to approve the murder that the defendant admitted committing,” he wrote; “rather they wanted to condemn the administration for allowing its agents, far from the central authority, to collect abusive taxes and impose fines at their will.”88 The prosecutor also noted that the majority of the court, composed of “notables,” by whom he meant powerful métis businessmen, were less interested in determining the merit of the murder case against Ballouk Sene than in bringing to light justifications of why a Sereer would kill a Muslim representative of the administration. The prosecutor charged that for this coterie of judges, the “real question” of the trial was whether the crime was really the fault of the administration, which had “unjustly imposed” rapacious Muslim chiefs on the Sereer. In his opinion, this focus led the judges to ignore evidence that undermined Sene’s story (such as the fact that only one gunshot was heard in the village, and not two, which challenged Sene’s self-defense narrative).89 Thus, an expedient alliance of two rivals of the administration, the missionaries and métis interests, saved Ballouk Sene.

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Interim Governor Roberdeau scribbled a note on the public prosecutor’s report, which he forwarded to Paris, warning that Sébire “could become very dangerous” among the Sereer by posing as their defender against the Muslim agents of the administration. “His testimony,” wrote Roberdeau, “was a veritable indictment of the government and was all the more groundless because the defendant himself admitted that nether he nor his family had been subject to exorbitant taxation.”90 Both administrative and judicial officials were outraged by the acquittal—the presiding judge argued that the court ought to be “seriously reproached” for its decision. 91 The public prosecutor described Sene as the worst example of Sereer savagery: a “Cain” who had murdered his own brother seven years before but had escaped prosecution because Tiéki had not yet been annexed and put under direct administration. The prosecutor faulted the court for viewing Sene as a liberator in the mold of “William Tell,” when his actions had been motivated by “hate, jealousy, and vengeance.”92 The verdict in the Sene trial was the proverbial last straw for French officials and contributed to the disannexation of the entire region from direct administration. In the wake of Tiéki’s inhospitable treatment of Administrator Leclerc’s expedition, Roberdeau wrote to Paris that a system of direct administration, with its reliance on the French justice system to keep order, was completely unequipped to manage a population that was frequently in open rebellion. The exercise of justice itself had to rely on the administration’s use of force, he wrote, which invariably relegated the justice system and its representatives to a secondary and inferior role. Roberdeau suggested a reestablishment of a protectorate regime, which would render the French justice system inapplicable in the region and give the administration sweeping powers to deal with African unrest without worrying about violating French laws and without the interference of French courts.93 It would do away with the contradictions between administrative use of force and the rule of law and tighten the administration’s grip on the interior, while striking a blow at its French and métis competitors.94 When Governor de Lamothe returned, he implemented the disannexation on 13 December 1892. Monsignor Barthet tried to block disannexation by fomenting metropolitan indignation at the administration’s policies, though he was ultimately unsuccessful. He wrote another impassioned letter to the Comte de Mun, calling for a campaign in France to stop de Lamothe, who, Barthet claimed, was trying to “put the whole country under Muslim administration.” Barthet enclosed the irate protests of the general councilors with his letter and pointed out the potential for gross abuses of a system in which a phalanx of African chiefs collected a vast amount of taxes from the population under very limited supervision by the French authorities.

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“We cannot have people in France believe that the natives want this type of administration,” he wrote. “They would much rather be governed by Frenchmen.” Barthet claimed that de Lamothe had said that it was probably good for the population to be ruled by iron-fisted chiefs, as it would make them more malleable and amenable to French governance in the future. In Barthet’s mind, however, the policy would have just the opposite effect. He believed that the imposition of indirect rule by Muslims would turn the population against the French for the long term, damaging French influence as well as Catholic evangelism. “I will leave you to judge what kind of attachment these populations develop for French authority,” Barthet warned. “Yet it would be so easy to win them over: a little justice and equity would suffice.” Even though he acknowledged in this letter that the Spiritan missions were flourishing because the Sereer saw the missionaries as “their only protectors” in the face of their Wolof chiefs, Barthet continued to insist that a favorable administration would help, not hinder, the Catholic civilizing mission in Senegal.95 In the wake of disannexation, the administrative approach to the North-West Sereer remained largely unaltered for the rest of the decade. Abdel Kader became even more powerful, but Catholic missionaries continued to meddle on behalf of the Sereer.96 The repression in the wake of Gueye’s death appeared to dissuade the Sereer from more violent actions against the agents of the administration, but day-to-day struggles persisted. The administration did not shift course until 1899. Following a scathing report on Wolof treatment of the Sereer in Kader’s Autonomous Sereer Provinces by the French administrator at Thiès, a former Spahi commander named Decazes, Governor Chaudié expelled some Wolof chiefs from the region and relieved others of their positions, though he left Abdel Kader in place as chief executive.97 Chaudié instructed Sereer notables to elect their own provincial chiefs in the presence of Decazes and Kader and ordered Kader to pay the new chiefs’ salaries out of his tax revenues. The missionaries were overjoyed—Monsignor Barthet wrote that the decision struck a “great blow against the propagation of Islam among the animists.” The Spiritans tried to influence the choice of Sereer chiefs when they could. When the Sereer met to elect the new chief of the province of Joobas at the missionary stronghold of Popenguine, Spiritan Father Jouan sat to the right of Administrator Decazes, assuming a position of authority that suggested that the mission had been instrumental in bringing about the revolution in Sereer governance. His presence had the desired effect: the man selected for the post was a prominent parishioner of Jouan’s and the father of a large Catholic family.98 Decazes expressed his pleasure with the result of the changes, remarking that the Sereer, formerly so “savage,” were now more friendly to the administration and

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grateful for their deliverance from Wolof rule.99 Had Monsignor Barthet read D ­ ecazes’s reports, he would certainly have thought, “I told you so.”

Conclusion The irony of the Spiritans’ joy at the new regime for the North-West Sereer was that the reforms blunted the impetus that had driven the Sereer into missionary arms in the first place. With Wolof abuses checked, there was much less need for missionaries to serve as the translators of Sereer discontent. Nonetheless, the Spiritans had never argued that they would be better off as opponents of the administration rather than its allies. They had never stopped trying to convince the colonial administration that their Catholic civilizing mission was the best policy for both Africans and France’s long-term interests in Senegal. In their view, administrative support would help, rather than hinder, their goals. They seemed unwilling to acknowledge that they profited from their strife with the administration and expended a lot of energy trying to convert French officials, as well as the Sereer, to their cause. The case of Amadu Gueye and Ballouk Sene shows how African conflicts could flow easily into the cracks in the French colonial regime, animating the antagonism between competitors within the French colonial community. The administration’s rivalry with the Catholic mission, as well as its struggles with other colonial power brokers such as the métis elites, demonstrates how French empire building in West Africa was a fitful process shaped by a variety of local actors with disparate goals, visions, and priorities. Though religion lay at the heart of the dispute between the missionaries and the administration regarding the North-West Sereer, the conflict did not stem from the battles then raging between church and state in Third Republic France. It emerged as a result of divergent priorities, a competition for influence, and skillful exploitation by African populations. Indeed, until the turn of the century, “subordinate” Africans were frequently calling the shots within the French framework of authority in the region immediately south of Dakar and east toward Thiès. While the administration could make itself obeyed with occasional overwhelming displays of force, ordinarily the French presence was thin on the ground and Africans repeatedly challenged and subverted French authority. The Wolof and their agents made the most of the opportunities that administrative policy afforded them to increase their personal wealth, power, and prestige. In retaliation, the Sereer handily exploited the rivalry between the Spiritans and the administration to their own advantage. In what was, from the administration’s point of view, the ultimate inversion of the colonial hierarchy, the “savage” Sereer managed to use the French courts to strike

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back at their Wolof overlords and, by extension, the administration itself. The Sereer thus also profited from the deep tensions between administrative rule and the French justice system in the area of direct administration. The administration’s decision to disannex the region from direct administration resolved these contradictions of jurisdiction. It narrowed the reach of French courts but reified Old Regime–style legal pluralism in the colony by creating a firmer legal barrier between rural Africans and their originaire urban counterparts. This choice was a strong assertion of administrative prerogative, as well as a repudiation of assimilation or a civilizing mission. French officials wanted to control the Sereer, and in their view the best way to do so was not to civilize them with French ideas and institutions but to limit interference by other French actors and preserve administrative freedom to use force. There was a precedent for such a step—in 1890, Governor Clément-Thomas had disannexed the rural territories of the First Arrondissement that were located near the capital of Saint-Louis and erected a protectorate regime in Kajoor. One of the causes was a widespread African emigration from the area because of French judicial enforcement of antislavery legislation in the areas of direct administration. Clément-Thomas argued that the application of French law was alienating Africans and driving them away, which ran counter to the colony’s hopes for commercial exchange and revenue. Protectorate rule allowed the French to tolerate African customs (including slavery in this case) and was necessary, the governor maintained, for peaceful coexistence between Africans and Frenchmen. Imposing French institutions, customs, and values on Africans only caused trouble, in his experience.100 Though the voting privileges that Africans enjoyed in the Four Communes made Senegal seem like the most “republican” and assimilative of colonies, this thread of administrative reasoning remained dominant into the 1940s. It emerged again in a religious context just after the turn of the century, when ministerial officials considered applying the new, stringent metropolitan secular laws in the empire.

3

“The Storm Approaches” laïcité and west africa, 1901–1910

As the year 1903 came to a close in Dakar, Monsignor Alphonse Kune­ mann, Spiritan missionary and French Catholic bishop of Senegambia, contemplated the future with trepidation and a deep sense of foreboding. His final report of the year to his superior general, Monsignor Alexandre Le Roy, betrayed his anxiety that 1904 would bring new hardships to his mission, as a fierce spirit of anticlericalism gained momentum in metropolitan France: Ah, Monsignor, you and the priests at the Mother House must be in torment! We can do nothing but pray for you. All ship captains must prepare themselves: I sense that the storm approaches us as well—the first winds of the tempest have already reached us. May God give me the courage to stand firm and man the helm as best I can. Happy New Year, in spite of everything.1

The “tempest” Kunemann feared was a new legislative campaign to institute laïcité in France, which had already proved nearly catastrophic to the Spiritan congregation. The Law on Associations, the first of a triumvirate of legislative measures that would radically transform the relationship between church and state in France between 1901 and 1905, had almost resulted in the loss of the Spiritans’ legal authorization in France.2 Most frightening to Kunemann, however, was the republican government’s apparent determination to extend its militant stance to the French colonies. On 22 January 1903, the Chamber of Deputies adopted a resolution “inviting the minister of colonies to laicize all of his departments and remove all religious emblems from establishments dependent upon his ministry.” In February, Minister Gaston Doumergue obliged by forwarding this directive to his personnel in French West Africa.3 It seemed, contrary to Léon Gambetta’s famous pronouncement, that anticlericalism would be an “­article for export” after all.

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This wave of legislation was a consequence of the Dreyfus Affair, which rocked the Third Republic at the turn of the century by exposing profound divisions in French society. The affair reopened and exacerbated church and state tensions that had arisen in the 1880s as republicans consolidated their power and implemented plans for universal, secular primary education. Church and state relations had thawed briefly in the 1890s during the so-called ralliement (rapprochement), when Cardinal Lavigerie, the archbishop of Algiers and founder of the missionary congregation of the White Fathers, offered his celebrated toast to the Third Republic and Pope Leo XIII called on French Catholics to accept the regime.4 It was no accident that the initiative for reconciliation in the 1890s came from a missionary leader based in North Africa. Unlike some ultraconservative Catholics in the metropole, many missionaries saw the virtues of practical accommodation to political realities. But this effort at conciliation foundered at the end of the decade as French society fractured over the fate of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery captain accused of spying for Germany. Though the Dreyfusard and anti-Dreyfusard camps were not monolithic blocs of ideologically united individuals, members of the church hierarchy and conservative Catholics tended to fall on the anti-Dreyfusard side.5 Thus, in the wake of the affair, Dreyfusard republican legislators used their position to strike at the church. The legislative fallout from the Dreyfus uproar had particularly marked effects on Catholic congregations, who became republican lawmakers’ primary targets in the wake of the affair.6 The aggressive tactics of congregations such as the Assumptionists, who published torrents of anti-Dreyfusard, anti-Semitic, and antirepublican invective in La Croix, and the Jesuits, who had close ties to the army establishment that repeatedly condemned Dreyfus in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was innocent, inflamed anticlerical opinion.7 In J’accuse, his renowned condemnation of the army’s handling of the case, Emile Zola referred to the war ministry as a “jésuitière.”8 Even the pope accused the Assumptionists and the Jesuits of funding extreme-right plotters against the republican regime.9 Republican retaliation against congregations began under René Waldeck-Rousseau’s government of “republican defense” with the dissolution of the Assumptionists in 1900 and the 1901 Law on Associations, which subjected congregations to government authorization, dissolved the communities, and sold off the property of those who did not obtain authorization.10 After 1902, under the ardently anticlerical ministry of Emile Combes, the legislative assault on the congregations and the church intensified. In addition to applying the 1901 law severely, Combes’s government targeted the “unauthorized” institutions of authorized congregations in 1903;11 it subsequently passed the law of 7 July

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1904 prohibiting members of religious congregations from teaching in France. Combes also presided over the preliminary development of the law of 9 December 1905, which abrogated the Napoleonic concordat and separated church and state.12 These measures had potentially far-reaching consequences in the empire, as most of the Catholic missionaries in the French colonies were members of congregations based in France. Missionaries watched with mounting alarm as their superiors and colleagues in the metropole wrestled with the requirements and restrictions of the new laws. In addition to the disruptions of their congregations’ operations in France, they feared the direct extension of the laws to the colonies. Despite skirmishes with colonial officials over the nature of the French civilizing mission, the congregations had claimed a vast field of action within the empire in the course of the nineteenth century. Catholic missionaries greatly outnumbered French administrators on the ground and frequently delivered basic social services in both official and unofficial capacities as they pursued their evangelical goals.13 Support from highly placed officials in the Ministries of the Navy, Colonies, and Foreign Affairs, who saw missionaries as crucial purveyors of French language and influence abroad, had helped missions develop in the empire and had largely shielded them from previous anticlerical outbursts in Third Republic France.14 Yet the fallout from the Dreyfus Affair threatened to overwhelm the established channels of official protection. The violent resurgence of anticlericalism and the determination to extend republican ­laïcité beyond the metropole raised the possibility of a complete withdrawal of government funding for Catholic projects, laicization of schools and hospitals staffed by missionaries, and the dissolution of missionary congregations entirely.15 At the heart of Monsignor Kunemann’s domain in Senegal’s Four Communes, where the Ministry of Colonies salaried Spiritan missionaries to serve as parish priests and paid male and female congregations to staff the colony’s schools and hospitals, this implied a complete revolution in the delivery of education, health care, and Catholic rites. The extension of republican anticlericalism to the empire did not necessarily involve just Catholic missionaries, however. French officials also explored if and how to impose the new framework of republican laïcité on religious faiths and institutions indigenous to the colonies. In the case of French West Africa, their central preoccupation was whether the laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 could and should be applied to Sufi Muslim brotherhoods, though they also occasionally included the federation’s animists in their discussions.16 Application in the colonies raised both ideological and practical questions about the management of religious, racial, and cultural difference. French bureaucrats in West Africa and Paris debated whether Sufi brotherhoods were comparable in structure

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and function to French “associations” or “congregations,” as defined by the laws of 1901 and 1904. The mere fact that these conversations took place in correspondence that simultaneously debated the status of French Catholic congregations in the colonies revealed a universalizing impulse to extend republican values to the empire and make French and African religions equal before the law. Yet it was countered and defeated by those who insisted on the maintenance of difference between France and Africa. They argued, based on a host of shifting reasons, that it did not make sense to try to assimilate Sufi Islam or African animism to French legal norms. The issue of whether republican laïcité should apply in the empire played a key role in the definition and elaboration of the relationship between the metropolitan republic and its colonies just after the turn of the century. It raised both philosophical and practical questions about how France would both imagine and govern its vast empire as it consolidated the broad territorial gains of the 1880s and 1890s. In the words of ­Pascale Gonod, the period of imperial expansion and consolidation between 1870 and 1914, which took place alongside the stabilization of the Third Republic, was a time of “great hesitation between a policy of assimilation or a policy of autonomy” with regard to colonial governance and administration.17 Those who supported the application of the anticlerical legislation across the empire envisioned a centralized model of imperial rule, animated by republican ideology. In 1906, Minister of Public Instruction, Fine Arts, and Religion Aristide Briand argued that the laic laws should be enforced in the colonies because “the principle of laïcité is the essence of the republic.” He also worried that French missionary congregations would escape the effects of the metropolitan laws.18 Direct extension of metropolitan republican principles to the colonies implied a consistent and uniform approach to governing the varied territories and peoples of the empire and an emphasis on universal principles over acknowledgment of and adaptation to local circumstances. As the handling of religious questions clearly illustrates, however, a very different model of imperial governance prevailed, which preserved and reinforced a complex Old Regime–style structure of privilege and exception across the empire. As ideological debate over religion raged in legislative circles, the Ministry of Colonies instituted a commission, headed by Councilor of State Paul Dislère, to study the application of the laws of 1901, 1904, and later, 1905, in the empire.19 Dislère was a naval engineer and former colonial official who had written a lengthy treatise on legislation in the colonies.20 Dislère’s commission, dominated by councilors of state, sought information from governors across the empire and formulated a complex set of recommendations based on the circumstances in each col-

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ony, including the laws already in force, the extent of “French influence,” diplomatic considerations, and the political situation on the ground.21 The commission’s proposals ranged from complete application in some colonies to partial implementation in others and full exemption elsewhere.22 Overall, the commission’s recommendations favored colonial heterogeneity and administrative autonomy at the expense of centralization and universalism. The commission’s conception of the empire thus had more in common with Old Regime France—an amalgamation of a variety of territories and peoples governed by a web of varied laws, exemptions, and privileges—than the centralized twentieth-century republican state. The commission’s work does not just shed light on the mechanisms of empire, however; it also reveals the degree to which theoretically immutable republican principles such as laïcité were objects of negotiation and compromise across the frontiers of metropole and colony. The case of French West Africa demonstrates that a simple unidirectional concept of “export,” in which crusading republicans in France tried to impose their values on pragmatic colonial administrators, who resisted and thwarted their ideological initiatives, does not entirely capture the dynamics of interactions between metropolitan and colonial officials. There were powerful advocates for administrative autonomy and special accommodations for Muslims, as well as those insistent on enacting “universal” republican principles on both continents, and the reasoning of key interlocutors did not remain stable throughout the dialogue on religious policy. Arguments shifted as participants in France and Africa tacked back and forth between principles and expediency but also questioned the universality of the principles themselves. As Monsignor Kunemann feared, the anticlerical storm did come ashore in West Africa, but two distinct forces mitigated its effects. The Ministry of Colonies implemented laicization in the schools and hospitals in the Four Communes, but a variety of civilian and official actors on the ground contested and circumvented its efforts. The first part of this chapter shows how Catholic missionaries, métis politicians, and civilians tried to counter the effects of laicization in the Four Communes, albeit for very different reasons, while midlevel officials sought compromises between directives from above and pressures on the ground.23 In the meantime, the governor general conducted a lengthy discussion with the Dislère commission about if and how to implement the three laic laws in French West Africa. The second part of the chapter explores this dialogue in detail, showing how both the governor general and his metropolitan correspondents wrestled with what laïcité meant in theory and in practice in French West Africa. Their intricate negotiations reveal how both parties struggled to reconcile both abstract ideas and specific legislative provisions with messy local realities.

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In the end, their difficulties influenced a ministerial decision not to apply the laws in the federation, keeping its French and African inhabitants exempt from them.

Resistance to Laicization in the Four Communes Even before the legislature devised the laws of 1904 and 1905, the Ministry of Colonies moved to comply with the chamber’s 1903 invitation to laicize all of its departments and dependent institutions, including the schools and hospitals in the Four Communes of Senegal. Most of the public schools in the communes were managed by congregations who had worked there for decades.24 The Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel ran boys’ primary schools and the colony’s secondary school for boys in Saint-Louis. The Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny and the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres operated schools for girls in Saint-Louis, Rufisque, and Dakar. In addition, the nuns played a vital role as nurses and administrators in the public hospitals. They also operated publicly subsidized orphanages and dispensaries, which primarily served the black African population.25 Laicization thus implied sweeping changes in education and health care in the colony. On the surface, ministerial laicization appeared to be a success in the Four Communes. By 1905, Senegal’s public schools were all secular and nuns were no longer employed in the colony’s hospitals. Yet the application of laicization was neither entirely smooth nor thorough. Those who tried to impose metropolitan political will in Senegal faced opposition from the Catholic missionary congregations, the métis political elite, and members of the colonial administration. The congregations responded by organizing recreational activities, religious instruction, and even unauthorized schools to maintain their influence on the colony’s youth. The métis elite saw the reforms in health care and education as an administrative campaign to limit the powers of the General Council and protested in the colony’s public forums while helping the congregations preserve their position in the communes. Finally, local officials charged with implementing laicization often did not display the anticlerical zeal of the republican legislature or their superiors in the metropole. They complained that they did not have the financial and human resources to accomplish laicization, and they often tried to find middle ground between metropolitan orders and local conditions, invoking their superior understanding of the colonial milieu in the face of metropolitan fiat. Senegal’s civilians and officials thus took an active role in shaping the effects of the legislature’s anticlerical campaign in the colony. As in parts of France, imposition of laïcité in the Four Communes was a negotiated and contested process, which involved considerable compromise.26

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The practical, financial, and political obstacles to laicization were formidable, and it is not hard to see why officials on the ground took a cautious approach. First, qualified lay nurses and teachers were not available in West Africa in meaningful numbers. Second, they cost more than Catholic personnel, both in salary and relocation expenses. Finally, laicization enjoyed relatively little public sympathy in the Four Communes. Much of the métis elite who dominated municipal and regional politics had grown up in the Catholic schools and practiced Catholicism. To many of them, laic­ization was an attack on deeply held beliefs, as well as a political assault. Even some métis politicians who had been known to profess anticlerical views in local elections were staunchly opposed to driving out the congregations. They worried that laicization was an administrative bid to circumvent the General Council and municipal councils, which had long played a role in subsidizing and overseeing education in the Four Communes. In addition, the congregations had the support of important segments of the French and the black African populations. The sacrifices of the nuns and priests who died after ministering to victims of the great yellow fever epidemic of 1900 were fresh in the public consciousness; indeed, the administration had decorated some of them for their efforts.27 In the case of health care, local officials’ inability to find the people and money necessary to implement metropolitan laicization directives resulted in friction and recrimination up and down the administrative hierarchy, as well as a measure of accommodation to the status quo. Dr. Rangé, director of health services in French West Africa, became infuriated by his superiors’ disregard for his professional opinion as he attempted to comply with orders to laicize Senegal’s hospitals.28 His acrimonious correspondence with Minister of Colonies Doumergue and Governor General Ernest Roume reveals the chasm between the legislature’s ideological program and the practical concerns of officials charged with executing it. In 1904, Rangé asked the ministry for thirty-five lay nurses to replace forty-one nuns working in West Africa’s hospitals, most of whom were in the Four Communes. Doumergue, assuming that many of the sisters were superfluous, accused Rangé of “exaggerating” the numbers and ordered him to reevaluate. Rangé then developed a new proposal, arguing that he needed an absolute minimum of twenty-two nurses.29 But locating even twenty-two lay nurses proved impossible—the ministry had none to send, and there were precious few available in Africa. The ministry suggested that Rangé fill the gaps in his personnel with nurses employed in other services, such as the navy. Even then Rangé was able to find only nine employees, fewer than half of his “absolute minimum.” Under increasing pressure, Rangé grudgingly agreed to go ahead with laicization but reiterated in a caustic letter to Roume that his acceptance of reduced staff was only temporary.30

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As political pressure in Paris mounted, Minister Doumergue grew increasingly frustrated by Rangé’s correspondence and the delay it occasioned in laicizing the hospitals. The minister had initially favored a gradual laicization in the colonies but became more aggressive as republicans in France urged him to act.31 Doumergue urged Governor General Roume to bring the laicization of health care to a speedy conclusion and chastised him for failing to give Rangé “precise orders,” which, in the minister’s view, had resulted in “tergiversations and unnecessary expenses.” 32 Roume shared this missive with Rangé, who fired off a testy riposte to Doumergue, arguing that his professional expertise and local knowledge put him in the best position to evaluate the situation. Rangé’s letter bristled with righteous indignation: from his perspective, any “tergiversations” were a result of the ministry’s unreasonable stance or the governor general’s inability to communicate the delicacy and complexity of the situation on the ground to Paris.33 Laicization of Senegal’s hospital personnel did go forward, though it provoked anger and resentment from the officials who accomplished it. Yet laicization failed to dislodge the female congregations from health care altogether. Because of practical difficulties, public pressure, and the local administration’s unwillingness to force the issue, nuns held on to an important role managing dispensaries in the Four Communes. The dispensaries primarily served the black African population, often treating dozens of patients a day, and formed a key part of the sisters’ Catholic civilizing mission.34 The nuns ingratiated themselves with the African public by providing bandages and basic care and positioned themselves to baptize children and adults in danger of dying. Though founded and operated by the missionaries, the dispensaries received administrative and municipal subsidies, and the governor of Senegal, Camille Guy, knew that council members would not willingly pay to replace their beloved nuns with more expensive laypeople.35 Indeed, when Guy moved to abolish the minimal public salary of the sister who ran the dispensary in Rufisque, widely considered the most anticlerical of the Four Communes, the municipal council condemned his action and vowed to protect her.36 This insubordination demonstrated the depth of local sympathy for the nuns’ work, as well as the limits of administrative power in the Four Communes. Though it probably withdrew its subsidies, the administration ultimately did not insist on laicization or closure of these institutions—it shut down the dispensary of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny at N’Dar-Toute in the suburbs of Saint-Louis in 1908, but the municipality reopened it the following year. Despite their expulsion from the hospitals, the nuns continued to play a vital role in delivering care to the public up to and following the First World War, including thousands of smallpox vaccinations.37

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Metropolitan pressure tempered by local resistance and administrative hesitation also characterized the laicization of education in the Four Communes. The colony’s schools were the central battleground of the laic­ ization campaign, and its youth the objects of a tussle between the congregations and lay instructors, as well as between the métis elite and the administration. As in health care, the laicization of public schools succeeded in purging Catholic personnel from key public institutions in the Four Communes but could not do away with the congregations’ influence in education entirely. Determined opposition and deliberate subterfuge by the congregations (the nuns in particular), as well as the métis politicians and the broader urban public, undermined administrative measures. Administration officials, awkwardly positioned between metropolitan calls for quick progress and a hostile public in the colony, ultimately acquiesced to some of the local efforts to circumvent and subvert laicization of education. In education, colonial officials also temporized on laicization, favoring a gradual process in the face of budgetary concerns and public protest. The secularizing push from the Chamber of Deputies coincided with a broad administrative initiative to reform public education in West Africa, but the administration had not initially envisioned laicization as part of it.38 In 1902, the Brothers of Ploërmel fully expected to play a role in the development of educational reforms.39 When Minister Doumergue gave the order to laicize all public colonial institutions, he introduced new layers of complexity and expense to the administration’s plans. Laicization meant a complete overhaul of the school system in the Four Communes: new personnel, new curricula, and in some cases, new buildings. 40 Governor General Roume took an apologetic tone in a report to the ministry in which he affirmed that there was not enough elasticity in the budget to implement a complete and rapid changeover to secular personnel, which he estimated would cost an extra four hundred thousand francs.41 Though Minister Doumergue acquiesced to a gradual approach, he suggested that the administration create incentives for children to go to the colony’s secular schools by giving their graduates preference for jobs.42 Budget troubles were not the most important obstacle to laicization, however. Governor Guy was most concerned about how local politicians and the urban public would respond and stressed to his superiors the need to proceed cautiously. Guy would require the General Council’s approval to allocate public funds for the transition to secular schools, and he knew it would not be easy to get it. Many of the councilors were ardent Catholics, and they would also see the initiative as an attack on their faith and on the council’s prerogatives. “I am the first to recognize the necessity of laicization, . . . but I have grave fears about how the General Council

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will react,” he admitted to Roume.43 Guy emphasized that the congregations had entrenched themselves in the fabric of the urban communities and asserted that it would be necessary to manage public opinion to ease the process of laicization. He devised a three-step plan that would take effect over two years.44 He proposed to begin laicization where he thought it would be most well received: in Rufisque, the most “radical” and “French” of the Four Communes. He saved the most difficult cases for last, including the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny’s school for girls in Saint-Louis. As he explained to the governor general, This school, already sixty years old, has been directed for the last twenty-seven years by a nun who enjoys considerable influence throughout the colony and who has managed to win the esteem of all parties. There is not a single woman in the assimilated population in Saint-Louis who did not attend this school and who does not ardently desire that her daughter do the same. Brusquely closing this establishment would not ensure secular education for girls; it would instead destroy all education for girls, since the obligation to go to school does not exist in Senegal and most of the students would not go to another school.45

Guy knew that the nuns would be particularly hard to dislodge because of the social capital they had accrued among the métis, African, and French populations. Indeed, the governor’s worries that local politicians and the public would react negatively to laicization were well founded. Even in Rufisque, his initiative barely made it through the municipal council, which voted 4 to 3 in May 1903 to laicize the commune’s schools.46 He faced even more determined opposition in Saint-Louis, the stronghold of the métis elite, where several general councilors devoted to the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny had promised to take up the nuns’ defense.47 In April 1904, General Councilor Hyacinthe Devès organized a deputation of métis women and black African Muslims who paraded to Guy’s office and deposited a petition expressing their opposition to laicization.48 The petition adopted the language of the civilizing mission, reminding Guy that he governed not only the European and métis but also the majority of Africans, who, it argued, needed to be drawn into the assimilated population. The petitioners asserted that all schools should be able to “exercise their civilizing action on African soil” because the metropolitan religious battle “did not exist in Africa.”49 The presence of Muslim Africans might seem incongruous, but they were likely part of Devèses’ political clientele, and perhaps members of the minority who sent their children to Catholic schools.50 Guy charged that although Devès made a public show of being anticlerical, he maintained intimate relations with the congregations.51 Devès certainly adopted Catholic interests when they helped him thwart the administration, much as his family had always done.52

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Devès and his fellow métis general councilors viewed laicization as just one aspect of an ongoing administrative campaign to undermine their position in the colony. The administration had eroded métis clout in Senegal in the late nineteenth century by disannexing territory from the purview of the General Council and placing it under direct administrative control. The administration’s expanding authority in the interior threatened métis commercial networks as administrators replaced métis traders as the primary interlocutors with Africans in the interior. At the same time, demographic changes threatened métis political primacy in the Four Communes. In the new century, immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere in French West Africa began to challenge the dominance of the old métis elite, and Dakar eclipsed Saint-Louis as the center of power on the coast.53 The Government General of French West Africa firmly disassociated itself from the government of Senegal, which the General Council could influence with its budgetary powers, and moved to Dakar in 1902, drawn by the town’s growing importance and its navigable port.54 In a tempestuous session in the winter of 1904, the council made its displeasure known to the governor by protesting the decree that definitively organized the Government General and created an administrative superstructure for all of French West Africa that the council had no official power to check or audit. Monsignor Kune­ mann reported, “M. Guy is battling the General Council at the moment. These men are finally waking up and do not want to be stripped of all of their prerogatives by a soft or honeyed speech. It is about time.”55 The métis councilors thus saw the laicization of education as an affront to their Catholicism and yet another administrative challenge to their power in Senegal. Direct political opposition to laicization measures ultimately failed, but a running war of attrition conducted by the congregations and the urban public forced the administration to accommodate some forms of illegal Catholic education. The nuns of Saint-Joseph de Cluny and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, whose work had earned them the respect and admiration of many of the communes’ inhabitants, proved to be the most tenacious and effective opponents of the ministry’s efforts to compel the colony’s youth to attend secular schools. Although the Brothers of Ploërmel left the colony en masse when the schools were laicized, the majority of the nuns remained behind.56 Inhabiting mission buildings and private homes (including that of a branch of the Devès family), the nuns supported themselves by working as laundresses and seamstresses.57 They concentrated on continuing to shape the development of girls in the colony through organized activities and covert lessons. The Spiritan priests lent a hand, organizing a “Joan of Arc” youth club in Saint-Louis and running an annual retreat weekend where they “inoculated” children with three days of religious instruction before they went to school.58 The priests also spent time with

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schoolchildren on holidays, weekends, and vacations to make sure their faith was not eroded by their new teachers, one of whom reportedly taught that “the soul does not exist and thought is just a chemical process.”59 Many parents supported missionary efforts to keep Catholic instruction alive in the communes. In Saint-Louis, a wealthy former student found the nuns a place to live and helped pay their rent. Catholic mothers formed the Comité de l’enfance (Children’s Committee) to assist the sisters financially and to reward children for attending services and the Catholic promenades with distributions of gifts and sweets.60 As Guy had predicted, some families initially stopped sending their girls to school when Catholic school was no longer an option. The secular girls’ school in Rufisque attracted only ten students on the first day, and after several weeks had only twenty-five, when it should have had approximately sixty.61 When the secular school opened in Saint-Louis, the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny found themselves besieged with requests from mothers to offer private lessons to their daughters.62 Members of the administration were no exception. Bureaucrats and naval officers enrolled their children in Catholic after-school and weekend programs and kept their children in the Catholic schools that had not yet closed as laicization took hold gradually. The newly appointed naval commander of the Southern Atlantic, Admiral de Gueydon, asked for a Spiritan priest to serve as a preceptor to his son, whom he refused to send to public school in Dakar.63 In October 1904 Governor Guy issued a circular that reprimanded his subordinates: “Officials who wish to serve the government loyally must no longer place their children under the influence of congregations established in the colony, thereby encouraging resistance to the law,” he wrote.64 The governor general sent a similar message to the heads of the various departments in his administration, whose children were also attending the congregations’ classes and activities.65 Governor Guy was situated uncomfortably between the ministry’s desire to satisfy the republican legislature and the hostility of the public and members of his staff to laicization. He was no republican ideologue— caught in the middle of the fight, he weathered searing criticism from people on both sides of the issue. Guy was aghast when an article in Georges Clemenceau’s Parisian daily L’Aurore accused him of “sympathizing” with religious congregations and charged him with trying to “prevent” the project of laicization and favoring “clerical agents” in 1904. The piece argued that Guy preferred nuns to teach girls and claimed he had sabotaged the French civilizing mission by giving the congregations free reign to educate Africans, thereby undermining the French duty to “­elevate” Africans “to our level.”66 Although the article was actually written under a pseudonym by an ardent Freemason (and disgruntled administrative employee) in S­ enegal, Guy expressed his astonishment to Roume that a paper in

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“PARIS” would slander him about his activities in Senegal.67 His emphasis on “PARIS” suggested that he felt the local management of colonial affairs should not be fodder for metropolitan commentary. Much as Dr. Rangé did, he believed his local expertise and professional experience should trump the agenda of republican zealots. Guy managed his difficult position by paying lip service to the republican politics of the metropole while making compromises on the ground, a strategy that many colonial governors employed to their advantage in a variety of situations. Guy made small concessions to the congregations and asked them to reciprocate, though they did not always oblige. Before giving a speech praising secular education at school prize day in Saint-Louis in 1904, Guy secretly sent a copy to the parish priest, Father Jalabert, so Jalabert would not come to the event and be publicly humiliated.68 Guy responded to the congregations’ youth activities with a decree outlawing the formation of young people’s associations or day nurseries without authorization.69 Immediately afterward, however, he visited Jalabert and assured him that the priests could continue to mentor the youth of Saint-Louis, but he urged that they be more discreet and avoid leading large troops of singing children through the streets. It would be better, he advised Jalabert, to dispense with the promenades altogether or at least have the children walk in small, detached groups.70 The priests complied, somewhat: “The children promenade in groups of ten or twelve, under the surveillance of an older child. So nothing is organized: everyone happens to be walking—the priest as well—who can complain about it? A bon chat, bon rat! [Tit for tat!]”71 The Spiritans saw Guy as a pawn of his superiors and mocked his impotence in their journal: “The poor man! As if he were really in charge of the situation! Poor bureaucrat, he will execute the government’s orders and then fall victim to them.”72 Rather than appreciate Guy’s gestures to them, they viewed him with a measure of contempt. Indeed, Guy was mortified by the congregations’ ongoing disregard of administration policy but felt powerless to stop them. In a confidential letter to the governor general, he reported that priests and nuns were taking boys and girls on excursions in Saint-Louis several times a week and that the nuns were also teaching classes in private homes. Indeed, by 1906 the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny had unauthorized schools up and running in Gorée, Saint-Louis, and Thiès, and they had managed to hold on to their dispensaries, orphanages, and workshops for vocational training in Saint-Louis, Dakar, and Gorée.73 Guy confessed his frustration and embarrassment, claiming that he did not have the necessary tools to counter Catholic resistance. I have already drawn the Government General’s attention to this regrettable state of affairs several times, which is rather humiliating for the administration and

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against which I can do nothing. None of the laws or decrees in place in the metropole on the organization of laic instruction, private instruction, or religious instruction have been applied in the colony despite my efforts in this direction. The result is that every year we spend more than 450,000 francs to permit the children to benefit from our teachers, our schoolhouses, and numerous scholarships and they still frequent the congregations, to whom the parents have stayed loyal, on Thursdays, Sundays, Christian holidays, Muslim holidays, and vacations—a total of about six months a year.74

Guy tried to get the secular teachers in Saint-Louis to spend time with the children during vacations, but they wanted extra pay to do so. These teachers also refused to hold meetings to compete with Catholic youth groups without supplemental wages. Guy resented their mercenary attitude and their contracts with the Ministry of Colonies, which he felt allowed them many privileges without exacting much service.75 Without public support, proactive auxiliaries, or the direct application of metropolitan legislation, such as the 1904 law banning congregations from teaching, Guy claimed he was incapable of combating Catholic initiatives. In theory, the 1840 ordinance establishing the powers of the governor of Senegal gave him broad powers in the domains of education and religious matters, but he appeared to be unaware of it.76 Indeed, the question of whether to apply the metropolitan laic laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 revealed the administration’s confusion about its own powers. Ultimately, Guy and his successors simply turned a blind eye to unauthorized teaching by the nuns, though not without a measure of rancor. In 1905, the director of the Department of Education fulminated against the “duplicity” of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, pronouncing them “skillful at trickery” and supremely “arrogant.”77 In 1907, the head of the girls’ public school in Dakar complained of the “fierce competition” she faced from a school run by the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, which most of the French girls in town attended, and from one directed by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, where the customs officers as well as the entire navy garrison sent their daughters. The artillery detachment’s vehicle even drove the girls to and from their classes with the nuns. If the government did not want laicization to fail, she argued, it would have to close these establishments, but there is no evidence that the administration tried to do so, though all schools technically required government authorization.78 In 1909, Madame Vaillant, director of the public school for girls in Rufisque, wrote the administration an angry denunciation of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception for opening a school rivaling her own. They will succeed in recruiting more students, she wrote, “because they are the ‘Soeurs,’ because the priests support them, and because they have been here a long

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time and helped to raise many of the mothers here.”79 In 1908, the sisters had reported that they enjoyed the sympathy of the population and the colonial authorities, especially in Rufisque.80 Indeed, the new governor, Jean ­Peuvergne, proved reluctant to give Madame Vaillant satisfaction. In a letter to Governor General William Ponty, he pointed out that despite laicization the nuns had never ceased to instruct the daughters of the officers, bureaucrats, and other notables. He admitted that the situation did not fit with official policy but asserted that his predecessors had all tolerated it. “Personally I have no intention to be more exacting than they were,” he wrote, “but I thought I should ask for your instructions nonetheless.”81 Ponty’s exact response is unknown, but the school remained open. Peuvergne’s stance demonstrates that the congregations and the public in Senegal had forced the colonial administration to compromise on the laicization of education in the Four Communes. There is no doubt that laicization dealt a heavy blow to Catholic education there, particularly for boys. Yet the schools for girls largely survived, and even flourished, despite lacking government authorization. As in health care, metropolitan laicization initiatives had initially carried the day, but their potential was not fully realized because of resistance on the ground. Moreover, as was true for health care, laicization of education created friction between local administration officials and the ministry. Colonial officials felt unable to pursue it to completion because they did not have the means to overcome the resistance and many of them disagreed with the premise, as evidenced by their continued patronage of Catholic schools. The experience of laicization in Senegal illustrates how civilian and official colonial actors could mitigate the “export” of metropolitan ideas and politics. The local refusal to fully digest metropolitan directives was not the only reason that the anticlerical “storm” did not find full expression in Senegal, however. There was another problem at work—a deep uncertainty in metropole and colony alike about how far metropolitan laws should reach in the empire and to whom laïcité should apply. This hesitation came to light as the Dislère commission and the Government General discussed the application of the laic laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 in French West Africa.

Paris and Dakar: Conversations on Laïcité, Missionary Catholicism, and Islam As the dogged resistance to ministerial laicization unfolded in the Four Communes, a dialogue began between the Dislère commission and the Government General in Dakar about the application of the laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 in the federation. Their conversations took place in two stages

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between 1905 and 1908: originally instituted to evaluate the extension of the laws of 1901 and 1904 to the empire, the commission was still working when the legislature passed the 1905 separation law, which was then added to its docket and precipitated another wave of communication. Though the Ministry of Colonies ultimately rejected many of the Dislère commission’s recommendations and decided not to implement the laws in French West Africa, the correspondence between the Government General in Dakar and the commission is significant because it shows the malleability of official thinking on laïcité in the empire. It was not obvious to anyone what enforcing laïcité would actually mean in the broader colonial context. The concrete provisions of the laws did not necessarily help; in fact, they frequently muddied the waters, as officials tried to imagine how to reconcile the laws’ specific prescriptions with indigenous and colonial institutions and ways of life. Rather than simply digest republican secularism as a received notion or concrete principle, officials debated, contested, and negotiated the meaning and practice of laïcité in French West Africa and elsewhere in the empire.82 The laic laws were potential tools in the hands of administrators but also challenges to their discretionary power. Two sets of questions lay at the heart of the discussions on whether to extend the laws to French West Africa. The first implicated republican concepts of universality and the civilizing mission by examining the commensurability and difference of African and European religion and, by extension, “civilization.” Did African religions, and Islam in particular, resemble the organized religions in France, and should they be subject to the same laws? Would treating French and African religions equally before the law further the French civilizing mission or hinder it? Perhaps more civilizing was necessary before they could be considered equal? The second set of questions was tactical: Did it make political sense to apply the laws to Catholic missions or Muslim brotherhoods in the empire? Would the laws help control Muslim Africans or provoke them? Should Catholicism be promoted as a political tool of French influence (or perhaps be hampered because it offended Africans)? Finally, would it be feasible to apply the laws to every last Muslim and animist in the federation? In the case of French West Africa, officials in Dakar and Paris made both principled and practical arguments for and against the implementation of the laws, but they frequently derived their principles from the practical outcomes they desired. In the course of their correspondence, the interlocutors in Dakar and Paris shifted their positions on whether the laws should be applied and if and how to translate republican laïcité to the colonial setting. What is particularly arresting and remarkable is that the strongest arguments against application of the laws and in favor of administrative autonomy in the empire came initially from Dislère’s cohort in Paris, not from Dakar. Moreover,

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as laïcité’s applicability to Islam took center stage in their discussions, the metropolitan commissioners initially portrayed West African Islam in much more threatening terms than the Government General did and used this reasoning to recommend against the application of the laws of 1901 and 1904 in the federation. Though Dakar would ultimately adopt these positions, early on the Government General seemed more favorable than the Parisian commission to applying the metropolitan laws (albeit with modifications). Yet the commission’s policies were not entirely consistent either: by 1907 it was supporting the promulgation of parts of the 1905 law in French West Africa, despite having rejected the laws of 1901 and 1904 wholesale. These migrations on both sides reveal the incoherence and instability of official thinking on laïcité and the complexity of exchanges between metropole and colony regarding the place of “republican” ideals in the empire. The correspondence also reveals the degree to which officials on the ground were ignorant of their own powers and prerogatives and that they were often improvising on the job. The dialogue began with a questionnaire inviting each colonial governor to report on the associations and congregations in his colony, the regulations governing them, and recommendations for modifications to those regulations. The questionnaire asked specifically about indigenous Christian congregations or Muslim brotherhoods in reference to the Law on Associations, as well as domestic and foreign missions in its section dealing with the law of 1904 on teaching congregations.83 In French West Africa, the governors’ initial responses reveal a lack of consensus about whether to apply the laws. They mixed principled and practical reasoning in their answers and generally failed to engage with the question about indigenous associations and Muslim brotherhoods, concentrating on French missions instead.84 In regard to Catholic missionaries, the governors of Upper S­ enegal–Niger and Côte d’Ivoire drew vastly different conclusions. The governor of Côte d’Ivoire opposed application, arguing that the motives that had inspired the legislation in the metropole were completely out of place in a region so far removed from the “degree of development” in France and the “old colonies.” Given the basic need for education in his colony, he thought the administration should utilize the free collaboration of Catholic missions to teach the French language to its African subjects.85 The governor of Upper Senegal–Niger reached the opposite conclusion because he thought the missionaries were at best ineffectual, and at worst a deterrent, to the education of Africans, Muslims in particular. He accused missionaries of not prioritizing education per se but instead focusing on the molding of converts and using students to work in the fields for the mission’s material well-being. He reported that a Muslim chief in Timbuktu had said that as soon as the administration opened secular schools, the

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local Muslims would send their children. “From a political standpoint,” he wrote, “the departure of the missions would not decrease French influence, because the missionaries do not enjoy the esteem of the indigenous populations of this region.”86 The governor of Dahomey came down in the middle, declaring himself favorable “in principle” to applying the laws and arguing that secular education should be extended regardless of the legal status of the missionaries in his colony, but he did not advocate shutting down their operations altogether.87 In Senegal, where Muslims were in the majority but also where Catholic missions had an important presence, Governor Guy favored the application of the laws but sidestepped their potential application to Muslims. He argued that the law of 1904 would not have a major impact because the colony had just undertaken to laicize its schools, omitting his confidential complaints to the governor general that he was powerless to tackle the congregations’ unauthorized education initiatives. In contrast, he felt that the law of 1901 would have two advantages: it would give the administration a set of regulations to rely on in regard to associations and would allow existing “small associations” the possibility of legal status (personnalité civile). Guy mentioned associations for shooting, fencing, and gymnastics, as well as an African mutual-aid society in the Saint-Louis suburb of Sor that provided assistance to its members in case of illness or unemployment. The report evaded the question of Muslim brotherhoods, even when Guy was prompted by a direct question asking for information on such brotherhoods and recommendations about how to regulate them. The governor’s response suggests that he did not consider Muslim brotherhoods to be associations or congregations.88 His endorsement of promulgation thus rested on a limited interpretation of the laws’ relevance and his apparent conclusion that Sufi Islam was outside their purview. In his report synthesizing his governors’ recommendations, Governor General Ernest Roume echoed their muddled positions. He advocated application of both laws to manage future developments, though he felt that current circumstances did not really require them. In reference to the law of 1901, he repeated Guy’s conclusion that application would have the double advantage of giving associations the possibility of legal status and providing the administration with a means of monitoring and controlling them.89 While he judged that very few existing associations would be affected by the law, Roume imagined that there would be more in the future, so it would be prudent to have the law in place. He said much the same thing in reference to the law of 1904. Religious congregations had limited influence in the federation as a whole, especially inland, and they were occasionally helpful in spreading French influence and instruction, but that might not always be true. He reasoned that “in these regions, where reli-

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gion plays such an important role, where more than any other motive it awakens distrust and arouses hatred, the actions of congregations might not always align with our policy.” In recommending for application to missionary congregations, Roume explicitly endorsed the “substitution of the impersonal and inflexible authority of the law” for the “personal authority of the governor who could take situations and circumstances into account.” He acknowledged the existence of the Ordinance of 1840, which Guy had not, but recommended applying the laws anyway.90 In this report, Roume’s position on Muslim brotherhoods was striking: he favored local administrative prerogative over the extension of metropolitan legal measures to the brotherhoods, all the while denying that Islam posed a serious threat. He argued forcefully that the brotherhoods could not be considered associations as defined by the law of 1901 because they “lacked organization, a defined goal, and financial means.” Moreover, he did not think they could be easily compared to European religious congregations because they had “no bonds, no vows, and did not require subordination to leaders.”91 As a result, he concluded that if extended to French West Africa, “evidently” the law of 1901 should not apply to these brotherhoods “because they do not have any of the characteristics of associations.” Roume was at pains, however, to emphasize that he was arguing from principle and that he did not want to exempt the brotherhoods because they were politically dangerous. He wrote, “It is not that we fear that application of the law of 1901 will increase the strength of these brotherhoods by giving them an organization that they currently lack. Their weakness derives from many other causes; moreover, the law contains a protective clause that declares illicit and dissolves all associations hostile to the government.”92 He went on to say that the brotherhoods were not “centers of fanaticism” nor were they “utterly hostile to our domination.”93 Administrative surveillance would suffice, he argued, to control the brotherhoods until it was feasible to devise a legal regime to apply to them. Despite his emphasis on weakness, however, Roume acknowledged that Muslims could be “prickly” about their religious beliefs. As a result, he felt it would be better in the long term if all French schools in the federation were secular, since Muslims did not necessarily understand the difference between public state schools and private religious ones and would resist French influence as long as they equated French education with Christian proselytism.94 Dislère’s commissioners in Paris approved of Roume’s assessment in some respects, but their judgments differed from his in important ways. 95 They agreed to the necessity of protecting administrative prerogative that the governor general had evoked with respect to Islam, but they took the idea much further than he did. The Ordinance of 1840, the commission

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stated, was a “precious weapon” of the local authorities that gave them wide latitude to deal with congregations and foreign protestant missions. Extending the laws of 1901 and 1904 to French West Africa would actually restrict the colonial administration’s powers to regulate their activities. The commission concluded, in contrast to Roume, that it did not make sense to promulgate any aspect of the laws to anyone in the federation— the discretionary power of the governor was more flexible and much preferable to the “impersonal” and “inflexible” authority of the law.96 The commissioners did not embrace Roume’s benign portrait of Islam either. Roume’s position did have an advocate on the commission: Louis Gustave Binger, director of the Africa Department at the Colonial Ministry. In discussion, Binger echoed the governor general, arguing that the brotherhoods were not associations because they lacked organization and financial means, defined goals, and strong leadership. Most important, he contended that the brotherhoods did not pose a danger to French rule in West Africa and denied that there was any threat of collaboration between them or any connection between them and Muslims in Algeria that might have an antiEuropean character.97 Yet the commission’s final report on the application of the laws in French West Africa, which Binger authored, stated, “The commission could not completely second the opinion of the governor general that the brotherhoods ‘lack organization, a defined goal, and financial resources’ and do not have any ‘bonds, vows, or subordination to leaders.’” Instead, the commissioners thought that it was very difficult to discern how the brotherhoods were organized and how they functioned. They explicitly questioned the depth of the administration’s understanding of West African Islam and the governor general’s confident assessment of it.98 It seems Binger was overruled. The discussion of the laic laws and their relationship to Islam in French West Africa did not end there, however. The passage of the 1905 law separating church and state prompted a new exchange and revealed that positions had shifted somewhat in Paris and Dakar. In Senegal, Governor Guy prepared a detailed report that welcomed the application of the 1905 law with some small modifications, arguing that it would enable the administration to remove the Spiritan parish priests from its payroll and give officials a way to deal with dispensaries, orphanages, and other establishments run by congregations, though he argued it would also be necessary to apply the laws of 1901 and 1904 first. As before, he focused mostly on Catholicism in the Four Communes and did not acknowledge that the Ordinance of 1840 already gave him the power to regulate religious institutions and activities. This time, however, he could not entirely dodge the question of how the law would apply to Islam because the colony continued to pay a salary to the tamsir in Saint-Louis, who by this time was also

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a “chief Muslim justice” of Islamic courts in the capital and a judge on the federation’s court of appeals. Guy revealed that he was more afraid of Muslims than Roume was, claiming that “nearly all the population practices Islam with a fervor bordering on fanaticism.” As a result, he recommended a cautious compromise: reclassify the tamsir simply as a judge but continue to pay him a reduced salary to comply with the provision in the law that the state could not fund any religion. Guy did not see Islam as an obstacle to application, however, his report suggested that Muslims would simply remain unaffected by most of the law’s provisions since, in his opinion, Islam was not organized like the European religions.99 In his first letter on the subject, Governor General Roume echoed his earlier position on the laws of 1901 and 1904, mixing principled argument with tactical considerations. He thought that the 1905 law should be applied to the dominant French religions, though he noted that it would have a real effect only in the Four Communes of Senegal, where the Spiritan parish priests were on the government payroll, in an arrangement that mimicked the concordat. He continued to insist, however, that Islam be exempt, explicitly disagreeing with Guy’s report on this point. As before, he stressed the dissimilarity between West African Sufi Islam and the religions of the metropole, stating that the brotherhoods were “marked by differences that clearly separated them from all other religions.” He reiterated his contention that they had no vows, no clergy, and no organization that would make them comparable to institutionalized Catholicism, Judaism, and Protestantism in France. Emphasizing difference and refuting universality, Roume wrote that it would be a mistake to apply rules made for “superior intellects” to West African subjects. Yet he also gestured toward republican principles of equality, arguing that “equal application” of the law to priests in France and animists in Africa would in fact “accentuate inequalities” because their religious practices were so divergent.100 Roume also backed his stance by repeating his contention that Muslims could be “prickly.” He worried that they would not understand the 1905 law’s emphasis on liberty of conscience and would see it as an attack on their faith. In addition, because he did not think the law could feasibly be applied to the animist population, he worried that application to Muslims would be interpreted as an “act of persecution” that would “alienate the most intelligent and influential portion of our indigenous population.”101 This was not the governor general’s last word on the subject, however. The following year, Roume went further and dramatically revised the stance he had taken on Islam in West Africa in his early correspondence with the commission. In a missive of 1907, he based his arguments on a much more cautious and fearful assessment of West African Islam. Though he had expressed some concern about offending “prickly” Muslims in his

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prior letters, Roume had also insisted on the weakness and disorganization of the Sufi brotherhoods. Now he explicitly repudiated his report of December 1905, declaring that imposing the 1905 law, which required the formation of associations cultuelles to organize worship might actually give West African Islam a potentially dangerous structure. “We have an interest,” he wrote, “in delaying the organization of the unconscious forces within Islam as long as possible.” Moreover, he sounded a warning note about pan-Islamic agitation, once again reversing his earlier position. “We must remember,” he warned, “that Muslims imbued with the principles of the Koran are never morally subdued, and we would be lacking perspicacity if we did not acknowledge that despite their apparent docility, the blacks of French West Africa have not escaped from the current agitation within Islam as a whole.”102 Roume thus evinced a much more wary approach to West African Islam than he had previously. The transformation in Roume’s thinking presumably came from one of two directions: either it resulted from events on the ground or developed from his conversations with the commission. If the latter, his assessments may have embodied his desire to conform to prevailing political trends in France, specifically within the Ministry of Colonies. After all, promotions were made from above, and it made sense to espouse the views of superiors—hence, perhaps, Roume’s close identification with Binger’s position in 1905 and his abandonment of it in 1907 when Binger left his post in the ministry. It is noteworthy that with one exception, no lieutenant governor in French West Africa warmly endorsed Catholic missionary work or suggested that the laws of 1901 and 1904 or 1905 should not apply to metropolitan congregations in their colonies. They all tended to advocate for application of the anticlerical laws, even as they proposed sweeping exceptions for Muslims or animists. None of the lieutenant governors made the case that they already had far-reaching power to deal with religious questions in their colonies, proclaiming instead their openness to metropolitan law. It seems clear that they did not understand some of their own powers, but their responses might also reflect a desire to mirror anticlerical stances at home in order to keep their footing in turbulent political times. William Ponty, Roume’s successor, became a master at saying what republicans in Paris wanted to hear while pursuing his own compromises with missionary congregations on the ground.103 It seems most likely, however, that Roume’s change of heart reflected a growing conviction that Islam posed more of a threat than he had initially thought. In his study of French administrative approaches to Islam in West Africa, Christopher Harrison locates a shift from an optimistic French attitude toward relations with Muslims to one of fear and suspicion just at this time. A Muslim’s 1904 assassination of Xavier Coppolani, Roume’s

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civil commissioner in Mauritania and one of the chief advocates of the positive view, was followed by a series of reports in the federation that “Islamic activity” was on the rise.104 A revolt led by the marabout Sahibu in Upper Senegal–Niger began in December 1905 with the assassination of two French officials and spread in 1906 into British-controlled territory, resulting in the death of a British administrator. Roume considered it a movement targeted at whites in general. In early 1906, after his first report to the Dislère commission, Roume ordered his subordinates to place suspicious Muslims under surveillance. The following month, the attempted assassination of a French official in Zinder heightened government anxiety.105 Roume’s concern in his 1907 letter, therefore, could have reflected a growing administrative obsession with Muslim subterfuge. Regardless, Roume’s shift on Islam led him to champion aggressively the preservation of administrative prerogative over the extension of French law. He continued to emphasize African difference in his arguments to Paris while professing respect for republican ideals of equality. In his view, the application of French laws in the colonies hampered administrators’ ability to rule effectively. In contrast, the indigénat permitted officials to take swift action against subjects who challenged colonial rule. He thus reasoned backward from his pragmatic goal of control to a more principled justification that invoked the civilizing mission and the well-being of Africans: “The administration must have elbow room [coudées franches] to impose its will on all subjects and stop all propaganda that damages our authority. The indigénat gives the administration the ability to immediately strike all those who try to weaken French authority. . . . It allows us to solid­ly establish our domination, in the interest of the Africans themselves.”106 Domination had to come first, he argued, for the Africans’ own good. “It would be imprudent,” he claimed, “under a pretext of uniformity, to apply rules made for superior intellects to populations whose thought is just beginning to awaken via contact with our civilization and that, despite their liberalism, address necessities very much different from those we face in French West Africa.” Turning republican reasoning into a justification for his position, he again contended that applying the same law to priests of the metropole and animists in Cote d’Ivoire would only exacerbate inequalities rather than eradicate them. Inequality between the two groups was a fact, he argued, and could not be effaced with a stroke of a pen.107 The civilizing mission would need time to do its work before it made sense to put metropolitan and colonized populations on the same legal footing. This time, the Dislère commission did not entirely agree with Roume, though his recommendations echoed the position they had taken when they rejected the application of the laws of 1901 and 1904 in French West

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­ frica. Whereas the commission had then insisted on administrative preA rogative, it now believed that the law of 1905 should be promulgated in the federation in some form and that it would not be acceptable to exempt Muslims entirely, as Roume proposed. The commission also based its argument against a Muslim exception on universalist republican principles of equality: “The law of 9 December 1905 constitutes an intangible whole, which applies to all religions. . . . An exception in favor of Muslims would thus be entirely contrary to the spirit of the law and could lead to justified reclamations and complaints by others.”108 The commissioners noted that the text extending the law of 1905 to Algeria, then under consideration by the Conseil d’état, “did not include any distinction (at least in principle) between Muslims and the faithful of other religions in Algeria.”109 The parenthetical comment points to the hiccup in this argument. The Algeria text closely echoed metropolitan legislation but harbored a key exception to cope with the fact that the state paid a number of Muslim clerics who had endorsed the colonial order. The eleventh article allowed the state to issue a “temporary indemnity” to these individuals for a period of ten years so the Muslim majority would not be antagonized by the firing of clerics en masse. Every time this exception was set to expire, the French authorities in Algeria pushed for its extension, so it became a permanent “temporary” exception, renewed in 1917, 1922, and 1932, until the Vichy regime, untroubled by republican principle, made it permanent in 1941.110 The Dislère commission ultimately edited the law of 1905 in even more dramatic fashion for French West Africa: its proposal did away with entire sections, including the potentially dangerous associations cultuelles, narrowing the law to its statements of principle (freedom of religion and separation of church and state), as well as dispositions dealing with existing religious buildings and the government’s ability to regulate religious meetings and public gatherings.111 The commission also produced a second decree to deal with the particular situation in Senegal because of the financial links between church and state in the Four Communes.112 A commitment to uniform principle thus became a messy patchwork of exception and privilege as the commissioners tried to reconcile ideas and political realities. In the end, the Ministry of Colonies did not accept the decrees elaborated for Senegal or French West Africa, choosing instead not to extend the law of separation to the federation.113 Ultimately, the law of 1905 was promulgated only in the “old colonies” of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Réunion in 1911, and two years later in Madagascar, because of strife between officials and missionaries there. Notably, however, the French exempted Mayotte and the Comoros, which were administered from Madagascar, because of their majority Muslim populations.114 A pattern was established, then, at the highest administrative levels—despite a com-

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mitment to laicize their own ranks, ministry officials thoroughly rejected the idea that the laws instituting laïcité should apply uniformly across the colonies and, in particular, to Muslims, whom they considered politically suspect. Administrative autonomy triumphed, even though administrators in French West Africa had not always championed it in the most effective fashion in their letters to the Dislère commission. The incoherence of this dialogue exposes, in some cases, colonial administrators’ ignorance of their own powers, as well as their ability to engineer principled stances that would correspond to their needs on the ground.

Conclusion Hesitation and debate at the top mixed with revolt from below conspired to limit the reach and effects of republican laïcité in Senegal in the wake of the Dreyfus Affair. Certainly, republican anticlericalism in France spawned a period of crisis in religious policy in Senegal and across the empire. There was indeed a moment when anticlericalism was “exported” via ministerial channels, but they did not remain open for long. Laïcité did not go as far as it might have, and the case of Senegal reveals that both colonial and metropolitan actors played a role in resisting, softening, and reshaping laïcité for imperial consumption. In the Four Communes, metropolitan initiatives could not work without backing from the power brokers in colonial society, including the Catholic congregations, the métis elite, and administration personnel. Moreover, officials in Dakar and Paris lacked both the will and the ability to foist metropolitan laws and mores on colonized populations. Indeed, the crisis testifies to the chaotic nature of colonial policy making. Faced with conflicting impulses, and uncertain if and how metropolitan laws should apply in the colonies, colonial officials made things up as they went along, responding to challenges with ad hoc solutions, though frequently employing a vocabulary of republican principle. Supposedly “universal” tenets of republicanism became sites of negotiation and adjustment across imperial boundaries. Conditions on the ground shaped policy makers, leading them to improvise and rationalize by modifying principles to their needs, finding principled excuses for their modifications, or, if necessary, implementing concrete “exceptions.” Overall, the outcomes of this process served to reify the variegated “Old Regime” character of the empire more broadly, creating an intricate, uneven web of laws, regulations, and privileges that applied to French subjects and citizens in different ways, depending on their location and status. Laïcité, as it emerged in the early twentieth century, was the fruit of negotiation, not a fixed principle uniformly imposed. While equivocation and compromise were most pronounced in the imperial context, this was

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also true in metropolitan France and has continued to be, despite recurrent claims that laïcité is an inviolable and essential republican tenet, universally applicable to all.115 Indeed, laïcité in France has been defined, elaborated, and reshaped in response to particular circumstances on the ground since its legal canonization as an assault on the congregations after the Dreyfus Affair, to the controversies over Muslim headscarves, and, most recently, face-covering Muslim veils. Echoes of the early twentieth-century conversations between Dakar and Paris reverberate now as French lawmakers debate if and how laïcité can and should apply to how Muslim women cover their bodies. The tendency to obscure instrumental political motives or simplify complex questions of race, gender, and social control by invoking republican rhetoric of laïcité persists in France today.

4

Proving Patriotism catholic missionaries and the first world war in senegal

In February 1914, Father Joffroy, director of the Catholic mission station of Bignona in the Casamance region of Senegal, received a letter from his boss, Monsignor Hyacinthe Jalabert, bishop of Senegambia. The letter read, in part, “[The authorities] in Dakar have received an administrative report that portrays you unfavorably in regard to military recruitment. You and your fellow missionaries have been accused of instructing African Catholic converts to evade military service and of demonstrating a remarkable lack of patriotism in general.” Jalabert asked Joffroy for a summary of the facts of the case, “including everything you know that could be blamed on your accusers.”1 The bishop did not intend to allow such reports to circulate unchallenged through the corridors of the Government General. Jalabert considered himself an ardent French patriot and regarded the kind of accusation leveled at Joffroy as particularly pernicious for the Catholic mission as a whole. In a lengthy response to Monsignor Jalabert’s query, and in a subsequent letter to Governor General William Ponty, Father Joffroy offered an impassioned self-defense. Joffroy maintained not only that he was patriotic but also that the local administrator (and Joffroy’s accuser), Captain ­Modest, was harming French influence in the region with his misguided policies.2 Joffroy first denied inviting or helping any Africans escape military service. “Please protest energetically to M. Ponty that I have never concerned myself, nor will I concern myself, with military recruitment, which is none of my business,” he implored Jalabert.3 Joffroy went on to argue that he had publicly manifested his French patriotism. He claimed that he had been the only European not affiliated with the military to attend Bignona’s Bastille Day celebration in 1913. On holidays, he decorated his simple chapel with French flags. “Has Captain Modest ever told his subjects about the French

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flag?” Joffroy asked. “I do not think so. But I have, many times, and in front of audiences of two hundred people or more. I have spoken to my Christians and my catechumens of the French flag and ‘sweet France’ of which it is the emblem.” He had made a special effort, he contended, to make the animist Joola population of Bignona love France.4 As far as Joffroy was concerned, however, patriotism was not just about waving flags. He saw his civilizing mission among the Joola as inherently and fundamentally patriotic. Joffroy argued that the Catholic missionaries at Bignona “worked for France by taking advantage of every occasion to bring the natives closer to the Europeans here and to implant French civilization.” Joffroy cited an array of evidence to show that the missionaries were successfully orienting the Joola toward French norms. Catholic converts and catechumens were covering their bodies with clothing, constructing more spacious houses à la européenne, using tables and chairs, consuming less alcohol, and seeking out European medical treatment at the French dispensary. Joffroy concluded that “these facts prove that we are accomplishing the work of French civilization and, consequently, that we are patriotic.”5 In his mind, assimilating Africans to French ways was the essence of patriotism. Joffroy not only wished to prove his own patriotism to the governor general; he wanted to cast doubt on his accuser’s patriotism by suggesting that Captain Modest was actively damaging French prestige in the region. Joffroy’s indictment of Modest reflected his missionary bias against Islam. According to Joffroy, the captain placed the burden of administrative ­corvée (forced) labor unfairly on the Catholic and animist Joola population of the region, exempting Muslims. He reported that Joola requisitioned for labor had to work impossibly long hours and were not allowed to eat at midday. He also accused Modest of turning a blind eye to the excesses of two Muslim subordinates: Babadi, an official interpreter, and Ansumané, a French-appointed chief.6 According to Joffroy, they abused their positions and worked in concert to terrorize and defraud the non-Muslim population. When Joola villagers tried to complain to the administration, J­ offroy claimed, Babadi made sure the captain did not hear their full stories. ­Joffroy condemned the two men for spectacular thefts of cattle, extortion, beatings, and even murder as they wielded French-sanctioned authority.7 In his denunciations of Captain Modest, Joffroy assumed a righteous tone and seized the patriotic high ground for the Catholic mission as he criticized the administration. He punctuated his prose with rhetorical questions such as, “Is this how Captain Modest thinks one sows the love of France?” “Is it by tolerating such abuses that Captain Modest thinks he proves his patriotism?”8 In his letter to the governor general, Joffroy did not shy away from lecturing Ponty: “This state of affairs cannot con-

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tinue. . . . The Cause of French Civilization is threatened.”9 Joffroy thus combined blunt disapproval of the administration with pleas to persuade officials to recognize and embrace the Catholic civilizing mission as truly patriotic and the embodiment of French national interest in Africa. Joffroy’s stance echoed that of Monsignor Barthet some twenty-five years earlier and reflected the position of Monsignor Jalabert and the mission as a whole. The Catholic missionaries in Senegal regarded themselves as loyal patriots, and they wanted the administration to recognize the ­errors of its ways and endorse their conception of the civilizing ­mission.

Monsignor Hyacinthe Jalabert, apostolic vicar of Senegambia, 1909–1920. Postcard from the author’s personal collection.

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Monsignor Jalabert, who made great efforts to repair missionary ties to the colonial state after the acrimony of laicization, wanted to move beyond a fitful state of mutual toleration to a true partnership with the administration. This was the driving force behind his Souvenir Africain cathedral project for Dakar, a monument-church that he conceived as a memorial to all the French soldiers, administrators, colonists, missionaries, and explorers who had given their lives to colonize Africa. Jalabert was desperate to persuade officials that his mission’s work strengthened French rule in Africa. He believed that if his priests became trusted allies of the administration, rather than suspicious figures that officials kept at arm’s length, the Catholic civilizing mission would flourish, to the benefit of the mission, the administration, and Africans alike. In his mind, convincing the administration of the patriotic value of missionary work was the avenue to the partnership he hoped for, and he emphasized it at every possible opportunity. The First World War, which broke out just a few months after Father Joffroy’s clash with Captain Modest, appeared to offer Jalabert and his missionaries the ideal opportunity to prove their patriotism to the colonial administration and to French officials in the metropole. Eagerly seizing on the concept of union sacrée, President Poincaré’s plea for national unity in the face of the German threat, Jalabert committed his mission and its personnel to the war effort. He sought opportunities to publicize his missionaries’ contributions to the French cause in order to broadcast their patriotic loyalty. To make their case, he and his personnel squelched deep misgivings about the conduct of wartime policy in Senegal and about the recruitment and conscription of African soldiers in particular. Though their private correspondence reveals that they were appalled by the brutal and arbitrary ways in which Africans were pressed into French military service, Catholic missionaries in Senegal refrained from public criticism of French authorities during the war. Their desire to appear patriotic trumped all of their other concerns. During the war, they focused more on converting French officials to their cause than African populations to Christianity. The mission’s wartime sacrifices initially seemed to have the effect that Jalabert desired. Missionary relationships with administrators in Senegal improved, and a new, more public cordiality developed between administrative and mission headquarters in Dakar. Indeed, the wartime m ­ issionary/ administrative rapport in Senegal often appeared warmer than church and state relations in the metropole, though the war also triggered clerical and republican rapprochement in France. In the long term, however, this colonial union sacrée did not last.10 The war had devastating effects on both the Catholic mission and the administration: they each lost power and influence among Africans between 1914 and 1918. When the smoke

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cleared, officials and missionaries scrambled to recover, and their renewed commitments to their respective priorities drove them apart. Ironically, in the interwar period, Jalabert’s message of missionary patriotism found a much more receptive audience in metropolitan officialdom than in the administration in West Africa. Once the emergency was over, missionaries and administrators in Senegal found, once again, that their goals did not align. The tumultuous war years in Senegal proved to be a key turning point for the colony. The war experience disrupted the prevailing balance of power among various French and African brokers on the ground, laying the basis for long-term changes in Senegal, and the West African federation more broadly. The conflict provided great opportunity for some interests and proved deleterious for others. Though military service ravaged African populations, the war improved African standing in French West Africa in the long run, particularly in the Four Communes, where the 1914 election of the first black African deputy, Blaise Diagne, gave Africans a powerful voice in the metropole. Diagne was able to use the war emergency to extract concessions for the originaires of the communes and some African subjects in the federation. In contrast, the colonial administration struggled, sandwiched increasingly uncomfortably between the shrill demands of the desperate metropole and fractious Africans. The war weakened both the administration’s autonomy from metropolitan interference and its grip on the African population. The French Catholic mission, which prioritized its commitment to the official war effort over evangelization, also lost traction among Africans. The wartime trajectories of these groups and others led to renegotiations of power and influence within Senegal itself and between metropole and colony in the interwar period.

Union sacrée in Metropole and Colony On 2 August 1914, the French captain stationed at Bignona called the Europeans in the vicinity to the military post and informed them of the general mobilization. The Spiritan priests eligible for military service packed their bags for Dakar and wondered in their journal, “What is happening? We know nothing.”11 They would not remain ignorant for long. Though no fighting took place in Senegal, the war had a profound impact on the colony, both in the Four Communes and the most remote rural communities of the Casamance. The war placed new burdens on Africans, administrators, and missionaries and fostered realignments in their relationships with one another. In the decade following the passage of the anticlerical laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905, church and state relations had remained tense in metropolitan France. As late as 1 July 1914, Interior Minister Louis Malvy

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signed a decree closing well over a hundred schools or classes annexed to religious establishments.12 Yet the beginning of the war brought a stunning reversal. When France mobilized on 2 August, Malvy gave orders to suspend the enforcement of the laws against religious orders, allowing exiled regular clergy to return to the country. On 4 August, as German troops invaded neutral Belgium, French president Raymond Poincaré called for the French people to form a union sacrée. In language inflected with religious sentiment, he reached out to socialists on the left and Catholics on the right and asked the population to put aside their internal quarrels to do their “sacred” duty and defeat the enemy.13 Despite deep and persistent political divisions, evidenced in the elections of May 1914 and in parliamentary debates in mid-July, many French people on both sides of religious and social questions answered his call. Leaders on both the left and the right testified to the extraordinary climate of cooperation and unity in the early weeks of the war.14 Over time, religious questions did create some fissures in the union sacrée, however. Anticlerical whisperings that clergy were behind the war, or that priests were not doing their part at the front, known as the rumeur infâme, persisted throughout the conflict. The church tested its truce with the government through its zealous distribution of religious paraphernalia at the front, a campaign to officially dedicate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and ill-advised pronouncements by some Catholic figures that the war was a punishment for France’s atheism.15 The Vatican’s calls for an end to the war and Pope Benedict XV’s attempts to broker a peace in 1917 also raised some hackles.16 But overall, historians agree that the service of priests in the war, despite the rumeur infâme, weakened the audience for anticlerical tirades and laid the foundations for interwar reconciliation between church and state.17 Evidence from the interwar period, particularly surrounding the construction and consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain in Dakar, suggests that metropolitan officials were also willing to promote church and state cooperation in West Africa after the war. In Senegal, the war improved relations between the colonial administration and the Catholic mission in the short term—indeed, public displays of church and state solidarity went further than they did in the metropole during the war years. In France, key members of the government refrained from going to church services throughout the war; however, in Dakar, Governor General Ponty, a Freemason, and his senior staff attended masses for the French war dead in September 1914 and October 1915.18 In Paris, Clemenceau refused to attend the victory “Te Deum” at NotreDame in November 1918, and President Poincaré sent his wife in his stead. In Dakar, Monsignor Jalabert made the rounds in a private automobile

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to personally invite leading officials to the “Te Deum.” By and large, they accepted: Governor General Gabriel Angoulvant, also a Freemason, and many senior civilian and military authorities were present.19 Jalabert had been working to ingratiate himself with administrators since his ascension to bishop in 1909, and the war gave him the chance to further his efforts to convince them of missionary patriotism and loyalty. He was encouraged by their responses to his overtures. In late October 1914, he reported that “here, as in France, anticlericalism is dead, or at least very sick.”20 When Angoulvant first arrived in September 1914 to serve as interim governor general, Jalabert noted that he was “welldisposed” to the mission and, in contrast to Ponty, not afraid to show it.21 Jalabert noted that Angoulvant was the first governor general who had ever returned his visit, according to polite custom.22 Despite a personal friendship with Jalabert, Ponty had never made an appearance at the bishop’s office: Jalabert was obliged to call on him instead, lest Ponty give the outward appearance of being pro-Catholic. In the spring of 1917, Jalabert traveled back from the Casamance on a boat with the governor of Senegal, Fernand Levêque. The bishop reported that Levêque “was very amiable toward me, and when he stopped at Carabane, he wanted to visit the mission and say hello to the nuns, who were very flattered by his visit.”23 Seeking out nuns would have been very unusual for a governor before the war, in the wake of laicization. Even the famously severe Joost van Vollenhoven, who became governor general in 1917, seemed softened by the union sacrée. In 1907, while serving as interim governor of Senegal, Van Vollenhoven had abruptly terminated the Spiritan clergy’s state salaries in the Four Communes, even though the anticlerical laws had not been formally applied in the federation. An astonished Jalabert rejoiced in Van Vollenhoven’s change of heart in 1917: “Since his arrival, every time he has met missionaries in public, he has paid attention to them,” Jalabert observed, “rather than keeping them at a distance.”24 Jalabert noted in his journal that in their first meeting in 1917 the new governor general had received him very cordially. “God be praised!” the bishop wrote.25 Jalabert certainly shared some of the Catholic attitudes that angered republicans in France: he wrote in his journal that he hoped the war would “renew France from a Christian point of view.”26 Yet the bishop kept those ideas to himself and focused on building alliances with executives in Dakar, hoping that his actions would ultimately help convince them that missionary work aided the French cause in Africa. He seized a variety of opportunities to demonstrate the mission’s patriotism as well as its support for the administration and war-torn France. For example, in 1917, he embarked on a widely publicized trip to Mauritania to bless the remote tombs

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of French soldiers who had died conquering the region. The White Fathers had ceded the western part of Mauritania to Jalabert’s vicariate in 1915 because so many Senegalese worked and traveled there. Jalabert’s hope was to draw attention to his memorial Souvenir Africain cathedral project by striking a chord with a French public mourning their dead at home and to ingratiate himself with colonial officials.27 Jalabert cooperated closely with the administration and even played an unofficial diplomatic role on its behalf in Mauritania, which he described in his report “In the Mauritanian Sands.”28 The bishop traveled under the official protection of Shaykh Sidiyya, France’s greatest ally in the region and a mentor of Amadu Bamba.29 Jalabert met with Sidiyya twice, and they got along well—as the bishop prepared to leave, Sidiyya asked him for an Arabic translation of the Bible and some Catholic prayers, which Jalabert promised to send.30 According to Jalabert, the administration was thrilled about his trip. Senior officials apparently did not see the bishop’s voyage as potentially upsetting to the Muslim leaders it relied upon in the region but rather as a patriotic manifestation of religious unity in wartime. Colonel Gaden, governor of Mauritania, brokered the agreement with Sidiyya that allowed Jalabert to travel unmolested.31 Governor General Clozel warmly thanked Jalabert for undertaking the trip and, according to the bishop, was greatly pleased by the idea of blessing the tombs of fallen soldiers.32 Jalabert saw the trip as a step forward in his campaign to prove missionary patriotism to the administration and the French public. Upon his return to Senegal, he wrote enthusiastically and optimistically, “I am very happy that I was able to follow through on my plans for this trip. It will bring positive results to the entire mission: it is good that people know that we also work for the expansion of French influence!”33 In his official report he hammered his patriotic message home to the families of the dead soldiers in Mauritania: Again I salute the tombs where your adored sons rest, O Mothers of France; the little children that you rocked on your knees and that the African desert devoured. Their deaths were holy and glorious. The Bishop of the “Souvenir Africain” will remember them at the Holy Altar. Sleep in peace, heroes of Mauritania; you have increased France’s colonial territory. “Death is nothing; long live the tomb, when the country emerges from it alive. Immortal glory to France!”34

In the midst of a war in which the importance of imperial resources was becoming more and more evident to people in the metropole, Jalabert employed a florid language of sacrifice, casting himself as the guardian of memory of those who had died for France’s gain in Africa. Throughout the conflict, he never ceased to emphasize missionary patriotism, promote the

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memorial cathedral project that exemplified it, and emphasize that missionaries were excellent servants of French influence in Africa. In yet another example of his attempts to prove the loyalty and usefulness of his missionaries to the administration, Jalabert stepped forward when the “Spanish” influenza pandemic reached Dakar in October 1918. Jalabert saw the flu crisis as a chance to demonstrate missionary patriotism and, simultaneously, to take back some ground lost in the ­laicization crisis between 1903 and 1905. In what he termed “a gesture of union sacrée,” he offered the administration the services of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, whom the administration had removed from the public hospitals fifteen years earlier.35 Before long, three nuns were back in the wards that their congregation had managed for decades. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Dakar also devoted themselves to public care during the scourge and visited private homes in a car belonging to the municipality. Jalabert was heartened by the warm reception afforded the nuns by both patients and officials and hoped it would lead to permanent posts for them.36 Jalabert was thus a master of the grand gesture, but in service of proving missionary patriotism, perhaps the most important gestures were ones he chose not to make in the course of the war. In particular, Jalabert and his missionaries chose to stifle their indignation and horror at how West Africans were recruited to fight for France. Privately, the Catholic missionaries in Senegal deplored the “barbaric” manner in which the military conducted recruitment and feared it would harm their relations with potential converts. Yet they raised relatively few objections and even preached to Africans that they submit during the final 1918 recruitment drive led by Deputy Blaise Diagne. It appears that Captain Modest’s charges, even if erroneous, that Father Joffroy had displayed a lack of patriotism by interfering in military recruitment in Bignona, haunted Jalabert throughout the war years. He did not want to expose his mission to similar critiques as battle raged. The French had long used indigenous troops in their West African possessions: the naval ministry first enunciated a policy on the practice in 1819, using purchased slaves who were then indentured to the military, and Governor of Senegal Louis Faidherbe took it further by founding the professional corps of tirailleurs sénégalais in 1857. French authorities began exporting African soldiers from Senegal to fight their wars of conquest with the expedition to Madagascar in 1827, and the tirailleurs eventually participated in many of the campaigns within West Africa and in Morocco.37 In the early twentieth century, a faction in the French military, led by General Charles Mangin, argued that France should dramatically increase its African army as a counterweight to German demographic

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superiority. In his 1910 book La force noire, Mangin wrote that France could establish a crucial “reservoir of men” in sub-Saharan Africa.38 Governor General Ponty agreed with Mangin, a fellow protégé of Louis Archinard, the conqueror of the western Sudan.39 When sufficient volunteers did not come forward, he advised the French government to pass the partial conscription law of 7 February 1912, which became the basis for the mass conscription during the First World War.40 Even before the war, Mangin and Ponty’s targets had put pressure on local administrators and chiefs to furnish African soldiers, and more than thirty thousand were under arms when the conflict began.41 This scale-up in conscription of Africans after 1912 provided the backdrop to the “patriotism” drama between Father Joffroy and Captain Modest in Bignona in early 1914. Though they did not question the idea of the force noire, Catholic missionaries in Senegal disapproved of the methods of “recruitment,” which were often brutal and got worse as the shocking losses of the war increased the demand for troops. “Recruitment” was a euphemism for a wide range of circumstances ranging from Africans volunteering freely to being coerced by their chiefs and, where slavery persisted, by their masters.42 Kande Kamara, the son of a chief in colonial Guinea, related years later that French authorities in his home region relied heavily on chiefs to fill their quotas and imprisoned them when they did not comply. Many chiefs tried to meet the demands by sending slaves and men with lesser status in their communities, while protecting their own relatives and other prominent families.43 This was also true in the French Sudan, where chiefs routinely sent wolosow (house slaves) to fight.44 Kamara, who felt he had an obligation as an older son of a chief and who feared rumored French promises “that every slave who went to war would be made a chief when he came back,” volunteered to serve. Aghast, his father ordered him to leave the village and join his brothers hiding in the forest, but Kamara disobeyed.45 Thus, while there certainly were Africans who elected to serve, many others did not have a choice. Historians have compared the “recruitment” of African soldiers for the First World War to the depredations of the slave trade. In areas where Africans resisted conscription, chiefs resorted to raiding villages, placing bounties on the capture of able-bodied men, and leading them to French officials in chains. In Senegal, where the scale of recruitment was heavier and more far-reaching than in any other colony in the West African federation, the export of 29,000 men overseas in a four-year period exceeded that of the entire eighteenth-century slave trade with Europeans. The mortality rate of 20 to 25 percent among these soldiers was very high, especially considering that men sent in 1918 did not see much action.46 In total, French West Africa had approximately 200,000 men under arms

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during the war, roughly 161,000 of whom were subjects recruited between 1914 and 1918. Some 7,200 originaires of the Four Communes were incorporated into the French Army as citizens, but the vast majority of West Africans fought in segregated African tirailleur units under French command.47 Monsignor Jalabert registered his revulsion at the manner of African recruitment at the very start of the war and frequently wrote of his horror and frustration in his journals and private correspondence in the course of the conflict. In mid-September 1914, he wrote to Spiritan headquarters in Paris, suggesting that Monsignor Alexandre Le Roy, the Spiritan superior general, intervene at the highest levels to put a stop to the violent coercion across the federation: At the moment I write there is talk of revolt in Dahomey, Zinder, Kissi-dougou, and Sudan. . . . All of these revolts have been caused by the very bad handling of the conscription of African troops—conscription that the government wants to push further—they are talking of 50,000 more men. They will turn the country upside down and provoke people; they are exposing themselves to many difficulties. They must be ignorant of this in the ministry in Paris—if Monsignor Le Roy has the occasion to see the minister, I think he would do a great service to the government and the colony if he alerts him to what is happening.48

Jalabert did not openly blame or complain to the local administration, however; he speculated instead that Interim Governor General Angoulvant must have been following metropolitan orders reluctantly.49 On a trip to Kayes in 1916, the bishop perceived that African reactions to conscription upriver had not improved. “I asked [a local official] if the young recruits are satisfied with their situation,” Jalabert wrote in his journal. “The answer was not what I had hoped for. Men do not want to let themselves be taken—here, as in many parts of Senegal, people were ill-prepared for this recruitment. Moreover, the country is depopulated, and there are not enough people for agriculture.”50 Mangin and other French military minds had vastly overestimated the population of the federation. As Jalabert observed firsthand, recruitment led to labor shortages, which were exacerbated by the flight of those seeking to avoid military service.51 Jalabert’s humanitarian concern over abusive conscription practices mixed with his deep suspicion of Muslims who served as chiefs and administrative subordinates, a common theme in missionary assessments of colonial rule in West Africa. Though Jalabert was willing to play ambassador to Shaykh Sidiyya in 1917, and his successors reached out to prominent Muslim clerics at the interwar consecration of the Souvenir Africain, missionary distrust of Muslims and frustration with administrative reliance on them never disappeared. In 1916, for example, Jalabert complained bitterly in his journal about the injustices of conscription, suggesting, as

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many missionaries did, that the administration was in the clutches of devious Muslims, when it should have been listening to missionaries. Instead, they [officials] rely on all the fanatical Muslims and others who prowl about the administrators and have an interest in deceiving them. The administration has managed the conscription of African troops deplorably. So many of these poor people have been mistreated, led with ropes around their necks like criminals or slaves from post to post all the way to Dakar! So many have died as a result of maltreatment!52

Jalabert and his missionaries privately feared that Muslims would encourage heavy conscription of African Christians, tarnishing the mission’s reputation among converts and potential converts in Senegal. In 1915, missionaries in the Casamance complained to one another that disproportionate numbers of converts were taken for military service. “They are recruiting more ‘volunteers’ among our Christians,” the mission diarist grumbled, “although the last mail ship already took a substantial number. It seems that recruitment could have and should have been done more equitably.”53 Nonetheless, there is no evidence that missionaries complained forcefully to the administration, especially in this region, where they were already particularly sensitive to charges of disloyalty. As the war dragged on, mounting African frustration with recruitment did in fact slow the success of evangelization. As Spiritan Brother Friard reported from the Casamance in 1918, the Joola were becoming increasingly disgusted with the French in general. People in this remote region paid their taxes, he wrote, but did not know where the money went because the administration never did anything to improve their villages. Then, “one fine day the administration said to them, ‘You are French; give us your children to show us that you love us.’ One can understand that the Joolas became surly at this request. . . . Let us hope that as soon as the conscription is over, evangelization will return to normal.”54 Yet conscription could cut both ways. Some Joola villages were spared during the final 1918 conscription drive, to the great delight of the local missionaries, who saw the hand of God in this development. “It is even possible,” they wrote in their journal, “that our good Joolas attribute this to an intervention by the priest: that would beat all! That would far from harm our evangelization!”55 Troubled that they could be tainted by conscription, the missionaries were happy to take undeserved credit when their converts were spared. Yet there are no indications that aside from the prewar controversy between Father Joffroy and Captain Modest, any missionaries actively tried to save their converts from conscription. In wartime, missionaries remained more committed to securing official support than opposing the administration to win the hearts of Africans, believing that government endorsement would greatly help their cause.

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Indeed, Monsignor Jalabert’s assessment of the recruitment debacle revealed his conviction that prior administrative support of missionaries would have made the war effort easier. He did not reject the idea of using African soldiers to defend France, only the way in which they were recruited. In fact, he believed that the process would have proceeded more smoothly if Christianity had made greater inroads among the West African population. He believed that years of neglecting and actively thwarting Catholic missions had come back to haunt the administration. In the context of a huge African rebellion upriver in late 1915 and early 1916, rumored in Dakar to involve eighty thousand men employing European battle tactics, Jalabert asserted that if the populations in question had been converted to Catholicism, “they would never have dreamt of revolt.” He could not hold back an “I told you so” in his private journal: “People can say and write whatever they want—not only did they (the administration) not do anything to favor the development of Catholic missions; they did everything to make them fail. . . . It is a pity—they see it now, perhaps—but it is a bit too late and the harm is almost irreparable.”56 Father ­Jacquin, a young missionary in the Casamance, echoed this view by citing the administration’s approach to African Catholics during the war as evidence of the patriotic efficacy of the Catholic civilizing mission: Officials knew they had nothing to fear from the African Catholic and that he was French just like his brothers born in the metropole. This official indifference to the Catholic population, the lack of all political action, elsewhere so vigilant and ingenious, is it not the most beautiful and magnificent homage one could make to us? Let us emphasize it strongly: In ignoring our Catholic faithful, in not distinguishing them from their white brothers, the government has acknowledged them to be loyal Frenchmen in mind and heart.57

Missionaries also smugly pointed out that the administration feared that Muslim leaders might lend their support to the Ottomans and watched them carefully during the war.58 The missionaries thought that this only further illustrated their contention that the administration would have acted in its own interests by embracing the Catholic civilizing mission from the start rather than relying on Muslim intermediaries in Senegal and throughout the federation. Despite their frequent criticism of administrative methods of recruitment in private letters and journals and their wistful musings of how things could have been different, Monsignor Jalabert and his missionaries publicly manifested their support for the creation of an African army to save the metropole and played a part in cultivating loyalty and patriotism among West African troops. In June 1916, for example, Monsignor ­Jalabert officially blessed the flag of the Fourth Senegalese Battalion. In his oration, he told the soldiers that the flag “awakened noble sentiments in

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the patriotic soul, which raise the man and the soldier above the meanness and vulgarity of everyday existence.”59 Even Father Joffroy, the previous object of administrative suspicion, got into the act. Apparently conscription was no longer “none of his business.” When recruiters came back to Bignona in 1918, Joffroy played the part of a loyal Frenchman. He insisted from the pulpit that Joola Christians not run away and told the younger men that they should volunteer and spare older, married men from service. Two days later a group of Christians came to see Joffroy and informed him that they were going to volunteer. Eleven of them were accepted as recruits, far exceeding the official quota of three men.60 Monsignor Jalabert was ecstatic when he heard this news. He gushed in a letter to Monsignor Le Roy, “As a result of a patriotic sermon by valiant Father Joffroy fifteen Christians went to the post to enlist and were received with open arms. They will no longer say that we are lacking in patriotism!”61 ­Joffroy’s about-face on conscription and Jalabert’s excited reaction reveal just how much missionaries wanted officials to see them as loyal patriots whose work benefited France. Monsignor Jalabert’s careful cultivation of administrative executives during the war, and his vigorous efforts to demonstrate missionary loyalty and patriotism, seemed to have the desired effect. Wartime relations between the Catholic mission and colonial officials in Senegal appeared to be even warmer and closer than the union sacrée in metropolitan France. This cordiality did not lead to a permanent rapprochement in administrative and missionary ideals or in their respective approaches to the African population, however. Ironically, in the interwar period, officials in the metropole seemed more sympathetic to missionary aims and efforts in West Africa than did their counterparts in the colony. This puzzle can be explained by the strain the war effort placed on both the mission and the local administration, each of which lost important resources and the ability to continue its work as it had beforehand. Moreover, Africans, particularly in the Four Communes, gained a great deal of influence between 1914 and 1918, which shifted the balance of power in the colony and alarmed the administration in particular. Both the mission and the administration thus emerged from the war on the defensive, determined to recoup their losses after the fighting ended. The aftermath of the emergency that had pushed them together ultimately drove them apart.

Senegal at War: Challenges and Opportunities Though no battles were fought in Senegal, the war severely disrupted colonial life and affected administrative governance, trade, Catholic missionary activity, and thousands of French and African lives. The colony’s popula-

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tion experienced immediate danger and hardship. Commerce slowed and prices rose steadily in the course of the conflict. Residents of Dakar feared bombardment of the port, and ship captains were wary of German submarines beyond the safety of the harbor.62 The war also exacerbated existing tensions and gave rise to occasional panic: in 1917, Monsignor Jalabert claimed that the authorities had thwarted a Muslim plot to massacre people in Dakar.63 Many Africans feared being coerced into military service while French officials and civilians alike trembled at the possibility of African rebellion, though the major revolts against recruitment efforts in West Africa did not occur in Senegal.64 Even the relatively isolated Casamance felt the ill effects of war, and not just from recruitment. “The terrible war has had an impact even here. Everything is dead: no commerce, no shipping, no work for the laborers,” observed the Catholic mission diarist at Ziguinchor late in 1914, when nearly four years of fighting still lay ahead.65 The war placed new demands on French colonial bureaucracy, private institutions such as the Catholic mission, and both French and African individuals by requiring them to prioritize service to the metropole. This meant great changes in routine for officials, missionaries, and civilians. Though theoretically colonial rule was always imagined to benefit metropolitan France, administrators in Senegal and elsewhere in the empire had also been careful to safeguard a measure of autonomy from metropolitan dictates. The great emergency altered the prevailing balance between metropole and colony, as French officials extended their reach into colonial matters deemed critical to the war effort. Though supportive of defending France, colonial administrators grew increasingly frustrated by metropolitan requests, particularly for more African soldiers. Perhaps most galling to administrators were the activities of African deputy Blaise Diagne, who cultivated a following through his brilliant oratory in the Chamber of Deputies and used the crisis situation to cement the rights of the Four Communes’ originaires, make promises to France’s African subjects, and increase his personal power. Administrators saw Diagne, with the help of metropolitan officials, as actively undermining the colonial order they had striven to put in place. All of this meant a realignment of the balance of power within colonial Senegal during the war as existing colonial institutions such as the administration and the Catholic mission faltered and struggled to adapt. Catholic missionaries in Senegal were eager and willing to prove their patriotism during the war, but the conflict severely crippled the mission’s daily operations and hindered evangelization. Military mobilization snatched priests from their rural congregations: by 7 August 1914, all the Spiritan priests who were eligible for service had arrived in the capital. There were fourteen in all, a sizable proportion of the forty-one priests

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active in the colony.66 Together with a contingent of eleven missionary Fathers of Lyon from Côte d’Ivoire, and some White Fathers from the Sudan, they went to work in the hospitals of Dakar. 67 After 1916, mobilized priests with language skills were removed from Senegal altogether. Five Spiritans left for France to translate for African troops in September 1916, and more departed with the new recruits of 1918.68 This mobilization, in combination with several deaths and the usual toll of illness, left Monsignor Jalabert with few able-bodied men.69 After the death of a colleague in December 1917 he wrote, “Soon I will have no one left with me to undertake the necessities of evangelization.”70 War forced missionaries to make lifestyle adjustments, both great and small. Government censorship disrupted the routine correspondence between the bishop and his superiors in France. Jalabert managed to circumvent it on occasion by giving his letters to individuals traveling to the metropole, in order to escape official prying.71 There were dietary sacrifices too: Spiritans got rid of dessert at their tables in 1914 and wine the following year.72 Morale and religious zeal suffered in Dakar, where twenty-five priests from three rival congregations shuttled between the hospital and the mission.73 Monsignor Jalabert fretted about mobilized priests who wanted to frequent the city’s cafés, where temptations to smoke and drink were high.74 All in all, there was more work for everyone. Father Le ­Hunsec complained in 1915 that his schedule was terrible: in addition to his service as parish priest of Dakar and his job as the mission’s treasurer, he had to do several hours of military service each day.75 The war also exacerbated the dismal state of the mission’s finances, which had been in decline since laicization had ended government subsidies for Catholic institutions and services in the Four Communes. The conflict disrupted the flow of funds from the mission’s two main European sources: the Propagation de la foi and the Sainte enfance, which financed much of the mission’s rural work. From 1901 to 1908, the Sainte enfance gave the mission 40,000 francs a year; and between 1909 and 1914, it generally provided 35,000 francs per year, in some cases a few thousand more.76 In 1915, this dropped precipitously to 11,000 francs and never exceeded 19,800 francs in the course of the war, even as the value of the franc plummeted. It is not clear from the mission archives how much the Propagation de la foi’s donations decreased, but they certainly did. Moreover, many French Catholics who had previously donated to missions were either impoverished by the war or gave their money to battle-ravaged parishes at home. The lack of personnel and funds forced the Catholic mission in Senegal to implement some drastic changes, which were probably beneficial to evangelization in the long run, though they could not immediately overcome

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the wartime difficulties. The mission ultimately leaned more heavily on its believers for money and service, a small step in the direction of creating a truly indigenous church in Senegal. In a pastoral letter of 1915, Monsignor Jalabert announced the creation of a local branch of the Oeuvre du denier du culte, a public fund first instituted in France to help pay for religious services. Jalabert described contributions to the fund as a “tax on faith” that was both “necessary and obligatory” to provide the religious services, baptisms, communions, marriages, and funerals that the faithful expected in the colony’s seventeen principal mission stations and thirty additional chapels. He argued that it was just as important as paying taxes to the government for border patrols and public services. He asked that each head of a Catholic household reflect on his ability to give and arrange a monthly donation to his priest in the amount of ten, five, two, or one franc or, for poorer families, in kind. Jalabert beseeched the faithful to give willingly; making the collection rounds would be embarrassing to priests, but they were necessary. Finally, he threatened sanctions on those who would not cooperate: “If they ignore their consciences, the religious authorities will have to take moral measures to distinguish them from the true faithful.”77 The mission thus transferred its hardship (along with a hefty dose of guilt) to its followers, adding to their financial burdens in the chaos of the war.78 To deal with the penury of personnel during the war, the mission sent nonmobilized priests on tours of unmanned stations and intensified its use of African catechists in rural areas.79 Monsignor Le Roy had made the training of catechists in missions a priority just before the war, because qualified missionaries were increasingly scarce.80 The anticlerical laws in France had contributed to a decrease in the number of missionary vocations, while attempts to train African priests at the Spiritan seminary in Ngazobil had yielded only a handful of graduates in more than sixty years.81 The mission had always used African catechists to teach the basic Catholic prayers and tenets to rural communities, but not with consistency or to great effect.82 Many priests preferred to do the work themselves, and there was no clear policy for training and support of catechists.83 The wartime experience confirmed the necessity of a new approach, as did the rapid spread of Islam via wandering marabouts, who became models for catechists.84 As one missionary pointed out, properly trained Africans could achieve better results than European missionaries, whose status as outsiders could provoke distrust or defiance among potential converts.85 These innovations could not prevent the mission from losing ground during the war—conversions fell and evangelism suffered. In addition to the material exigencies of wartime service, the mission’s ardent desire to prove its patriotism to French authorities trumped its evangelical agenda. After the war, the mission would scramble to revive its conversion efforts,

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adopting some policies that put its personnel at odds with the colonial administration, which was also struggling to recoup. Like the mission, the administration was reduced to its bare bones during the fighting—one-third of Senegal’s rural administrators were mobilized and sent to France, along with half of the colony’s medical staff.86 Those who remained faced difficulties stemming from lack of resources, rising prices, stagnant commerce, and social and political pressures caused by the widespread recruitment of African soldiers. Administrators were not oblivious to the nastiness of the recruitment process. In late 1914, an administrative report recommended that more sensitivity to the African population be coupled with better efforts to explain the reasons for conscription: The black who understands our purpose, and who has been allowed to express his opinion and to discuss it with us, is generally won over (excepting the residents of the Four Communes, who privilege their rights over their duties), but our representatives must have enough latitude to work. They lack this because the demands of the military authorities always come at the last minute and necessitate exceptional measures, which lead to misunderstandings with the natives.87

In addition to asserting the necessity for administrative autonomy, this assessment reveals officials’ dual frustration with the originaires of the Four Communes and metropolitan authorities. Indeed, in the course of the war, administrators increasingly felt their power and independence under attack from both quarters: originaires demanding (and obtaining) rights in exchange for their military service, and metropolitan officials desperate for troops. Caught in the middle, administrators saw their room to maneuver diminished and watched with concern as recruitment and military service changed their relationship with the federation’s African population. Blaise Diagne’s wartime role as an advocate for the rights of originaires and a broker between the broader African population and the French military was difficult for many administrators to swallow. Having to work with the French and métis interests who controlled the deputyship and the General Council between 1880 and 1914 was challenging enough, but the prospect of a unified black African majority in the communes frightened colonial officials. In fact, Diagne had not captured all of the African votes in 1914, but his success broke the paradigm of métis electoral dominance in the communes (and, by extension, greatly reduced the Catholic mission’s clout in political affairs). He owed his election to the fact that voters split on the European and métis candidates in the race, allowing his support from the Jeunes sénégalais (Young Senegalese), a party of French-educated African elite founded in 1912, and from the Lebu in Dakar to carry the day.88 His victory was a surprise to colonial officials as well as French and métis commercial interests.89 The Devès family and Bordelais trading firms

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raised official objections that he was not a citizen and therefore could not serve, though the Chamber of Deputies ultimately overrode them. Interim Governor of Senegal Raphaël Antonetti suggested to Governor General Ponty that perhaps Diagne could be bought off with a cushy job as a civil servant but admitted this would be “immoral.” Ponty agreed that it would be wrong to try to remove Diagne, though the governor general was clearly disturbed by the election and had assembled a brief for the minister of colonies contesting the originaires’ claims to citizenship only the year before.90 An administrative report from Saint-Louis worried, “The election of a black deputy in Senegal has permitted turbulent and thoughtless youth who have been agitating for several years to declare themselves openly hostile to our influence.”91 Rather than view Diagne’s election as a triumph of an assimilative civilizing mission, administrators saw it as a grave threat to French rule. Diagne proved to be a skilled orator and politician who used his position to advocate for further assimilation of African populations to French norms. The war provided him with a great opportunity—he recognized that France needed African men and resources, and he positioned himself as a broker between the metropole and Africans, often cutting the colonial administration out of the equation completely. He attacked head-on Ponty’s view that the originaires were not citizens. He insisted, from the beginning of the war, that as French citizens, originaires of the Four Communes should be integrated into metropolitan army units, not placed in segregated African formations. He encouraged originaires not to enlist until their status was clarified. He appealed to metropolitan officials on the basis of republican ideals of equality, insisting that originaires, who had been exempted from French conscription laws of 1905 and 1913, wanted to serve on equal footing with their French counterparts.92 When he did not succeed in persuading officials in the Ministry of War, he managed to reach his goal through legislative channels: the Chamber of Deputies passed the law of 19 October 1915, which subjected originaires to the draft and placed them in metropolitan units. This law did not completely resolve all questions pertaining to originaire citizenship, however. In a subsequent law of 29 September 1916, Diagne cemented their status by clearly specifying that originaires and their descendants, regardless of where those descendants were born, were French citizens.93 Diagne’s skillful manipulation of the legislative process bypassed the colonial administration in Dakar, and frustrated officials watched, impotent, as he strengthened the position of the African electoral base in the communes. Later in the war, Diagne moved beyond representing his constituency in the Four Communes and became an advocate for expanded rights for African subjects recruited throughout the federation. As he had before,

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he used metropolitan connections to position himself as a direct broker between African subjects and the military authorities in 1918, effectively challenging the colonial administration’s rule in what had been its exclusive domain. Fearful of revolt, officials in West Africa already resented many of the demands that metropolitan military authorities placed on them. Interim Governor Antonetti was “vigorously opposed” and Governor General Clozel was “reluctant” when the military initiated a massive recruitment effort in late 1915 to compensate for dramatic French losses.94 In 1916, Monsignor Jalabert reported that Clozel appeared exhausted and dispirited in the midst of a bloody rebellion in the western Sudan.95 Administrative pressure did lead to temporary reductions in quotas for African troops, though Clozel’s successor, Van Vollenhoven, did not succeed in attaining his goal of suspending recruitment altogether in 1917.96 Irate, Van Vollenhoven resigned in protest when Clemenceau’s government decided to give Diagne the title of “commissar of the republic,” which gave him powers equivalent to those of the governor general to undertake an immense recruitment drive across West Africa in 1918. Diagne approached this recruitment from a new angle. Relying on his reputation as an advocate for Africans, he persuaded the government to offer potential recruits concrete gains for service, including exemption from the indigénat, the head tax, and forced labor. Those who won decorations could also aspire to full citizenship, but only if they renounced their personal status as Muslims.97 Historians have debated the true sources of Van Vollenhoven’s anger at Diagne’s appointment to this role. Marc Michel has argued that Van Vollenhoven was more upset about Diagne’s threat to his authority as governor general than the renewed recruitment effort. In contrast, Charles Balesi believes a close reading of Van Vollenhoven’s papers demonstrates he was more displeased about recruitment than about sharing power with Diagne.98 Indeed, it is likely that both factors played a role, as both challenged administrative power and prerogative. The removal of more ablebodied men from West Africa threatened to spark further revolts and to endanger agricultural production and economic stability. Elevating Diagne over white officials and empowering him to make promises to potential recruits also threatened to change African perceptions of administrators and affect future African interactions with the colonial government.99 On both counts, administrators on the ground would have to deal with the longterm consequences of short-term policies conceived in and for the metropole. Administrators had long been trying to manage around and minimize the effects of metropolitan improvisations in the empire—the unique status of the Four Communes, which ultimately gave rise to Diagne’s election, was the most important example of that in West Africa. Viewed through administrative eyes, Diagne’s wartime activities only made things more dif-

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ficult for French officials by consolidating an independent African power base in Senegal and complicating the administration’s relationship with a host of African subjects who now had greater aspirations. The war experience thus brought about seismic shifts in the balance of power between some of Senegal’s historic brokers of influence. The colonial administration, which had systematically been consolidating its power since 1890 by simultaneously trying to limit the reach of metropolitan officials and of the voters of the Four Communes, found both parties encroaching on its prerogatives. The métis commercial interests who had long played a key role in communal politics were voted out just on the eve of the war, and Diagne’s wartime advocacy for the black voters of the Four Communes effectively cemented an African voting bloc that would not relinquish power. The devout métis allies in the Catholic mission suffered a diminution in influence as well. In addition to their losing clout with the métis political demise, the pressures of mobilization and the missionaries’ all-consuming determination to prove their patriotism to French audiences resulted in a decline in their ability to reach African converts. While wartime shortages of money and personnel forced some changes in procedure that foreshadowed the eventual development of an African church, they did not have an immediate effect. Finally, West Africans both suffered greatly and made important gains during the war years. Hounded into military service, thousands went to France unwillingly, where many of them were killed or wounded. For some, however, military service was an eye-opening opportunity that exposed them to other ways of life, or, with the help of Diagne’s rhetoric, led them to expect better treatment from their colonial rulers. After the war, both within the Four Communes and throughout the federation, African veterans became a group that colonial authorities needed to take seriously and manage carefully.

Conclusion In a 1918 letter to Monsignor Le Roy, Monsignor Jalabert admitted jealousy of Monsignor Lemaître, bishop of the White Fathers’ missions in Sudan, who was then visiting African troops on the western front. Clemen­ ceau had asked Lemaître to evaluate the situation of African troops in France and give his opinion on further recruitment.100 Jalabert would have loved to have had the upper echelons of the republic’s government seek out his expertise. It would have been an excellent way to demonstrate his loyalty and to call metropolitan attention to his monumental, patriotic cathedral project. All in all, however, Jalabert did not miss many public relations opportunities to drive home his message of missionary patriotism during the war. In his cordial relations with colonial executives, on his trip

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to Mauritania, and in his reluctance to criticize publicly the recruitment of African soldiers, Jalabert consistently made the case that his mission was patriotic and thoroughly devoted to the French cause in Africa. He saw the war as a golden opportunity to prove the mission’s utility and loyalty to colonial and metropolitan authorities and threw himself into the task whole-heartedly, relegating his African audience to second place. He hoped his efforts would finally convince colonial officials that it made more sense to support Catholic evangelization in West Africa than to privilege Muslim populations. He prayed that his mission’s wartime sacrifices, as well as the stresses of the war experience, had revealed the true patriotic value of the Catholic civilizing mission and could undo years of administrative suspicion of missionaries. His choice to place patriotism above all else reveals how greatly missionaries valued and desired official support for their vision, even after the bitter quarrels of previous decades. Jalabert’s wartime stance did not have all the long-term effects he desired, particularly on administrative officials in Senegal. Though they maintained very cordial relations with the mission during the war, administrators proved to be reluctant to embrace the Catholic vision in the war’s aftermath. This hesitation stemmed primarily from the challenges the administration faced in the wake of the war. Weakened by the demands of the needy metropole and by African political gains during the conflict, the administration strove to reassert its power and control in the federation in the interwar period. In particular, officials tried to manage rising African ambitions and contain change in African communities. They worried that the Catholic civilizing mission stoked potentially threatening African aspirations for better lives and contributed to unsettling ferment in African society. Almost as soon as the war was over, missionaries were dismayed to find that administrative executives and their subordinates reverted to their more familiar prewar stance of coldness bordering on hostility. The missionaries did manage to produce some French “converts,” however, through their wartime efforts. Officials in the metropole proved more receptive than their colonial counterparts in the interwar period to the idea of missionary patriotism and the value of the Catholic civilizing mission. Indeed, they even proved willing to reach into the colonial sphere, much as they had during the war, to support the Souvenir Africain cathedral project in Dakar, overriding administrative foot-dragging and objections in the process. The last two chapters of this book examine the tensions manifest in interwar religious policy in French West Africa, exposing the continuing dissonance between administrators and missionaries as well as colony and metropole on religious questions.

5

An Ambiguous Monument dakar’s colonial cathedral of the souvenir africain

On the morning of 1 February 1936, the passenger liner Chella entered Dakar harbor to the booming welcome of a twenty-one-gun salute, offered by Admiral François Darlan and the ships of the French Atlantic fleet. As the ship eased alongside the quay, European passengers wearing white, broad-brimmed “colonial helmets” crowded the deck railings.1 They had embarked from Marseilles on 25 January to witness the consecration of the first Catholic cathedral in French West Africa: Dakar’s church of the Souvenir Africain. The Chella bore a number of distinguished pilgrims, including a delegation of Vatican prelates; the bishops of Marseilles, Nice, and Algiers; the Countess de Mac Mahon; and General Henri Gouraud, who officially represented the Ministries of War and Colonies.2 Yet the man of the hour was Jean Cardinal Verdier, archbishop of Paris and legate of Pope Pius XI. Verdier would perform the consecration ceremony and tour Senegal as a representative of both France and the Vatican. Verdier’s reception was one of the most elaborate official ceremonies ever staged in the colonial capital of French West Africa. It was particularly remarkable given Senegal’s Muslim majority, its active African political scene, and the long tradition of administrative coolness toward Catholic missionary endeavors in the colony.3 A Chella passenger described the scene on the quay as an “unforgettable spectacle” comprising official delegations of the army, the clergy, municipal and administrative officials, the scout troop, and schoolchildren, all arrayed against the background of an immense crowd of European and African onlookers.4 When the Chella docked, the governor of Senegal and other important colonial officials climbed aboard to welcome Verdier. The cardinal and his entourage then disembarked, as a band greeted them with the papal hymn and the “Marseillaise.” Verdier reviewed a detachment of troops and listened to speeches

Travel brochure advertising the “National Pilgrimage” to the consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain, 1936. Courtesy of the Archives historiques de la Fondation des orphelins-apprentis d’Auteuil.

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of welcome by the mayors of Dakar and Saint-Louis. Following Verdier’s reply to the mayors, a parade of automobiles carried the cardinal and other dignitaries uphill from the docks to the imposing palace of the governor general, where Verdier would stay during his visit. In his capacity as the representative of the president of the republic, Governor General Brévié received the cardinal with the protocol due a pope’s personal ambassador. Thus began Verdier’s hectic week of ceremonies, speeches, and travel throughout the colony in honor of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain.5 As its name suggests, the Souvenir Africain was a memorial as well as a cathedral. Monsignor Hyacinthe Jalabert, the Spiritan bishop of Sene­ gambia from 1909 to 1920, had launched the project in 1911, billing it as a monument to all French people who had died for France in Africa. According to Jalabert’s initial plans, the interior walls of the cathedral would bear the names of French soldiers, missionaries, administrators, traders, settlers, and others who had died to expand French influence in Africa, making the building a physical livre d’or (guest book) of French colonialism. This commemorative strategy allowed Jalabert and his collaborators to interest a variety of donors in the project, but it was not just a ploy by the church to attract funding from a broad-based French audience. Rather, the memorial cathedral was a major thrust in a fifty-year effort by the Catholic mission in Senegal to convince the French colonial administration that the mission was a loyal and valuable ally in France’s colonizing efforts. The missionaries felt that they should be privileged partners of the administration. They believed that their Catholic version of a civilizing mission was essentially patriotic because it furthered French influence in Africa in spite of the rift between church and state in Third Republic France. By the consecration in 1936, the political context had changed and the memorial meaning of the cathedral had expanded to include both African and French victims of the First World War. The ceremonies involving ­Verdier manifested an even more far-reaching Catholic claim than Jalabert’s initial assertions of patriotism. In the wake of African service in the war, the church used the consecration ceremonies to argue that the Catholic mission was drawing Africans closer to France rather than creating a separate Catholic sphere of influence or leading Africans to question French authority. The war had shown that France needed the support of its colonies, and the development of African politics in urban Senegal and disturbances in rural African communities during and after the war increased French awareness of the need to conciliate Africans to French rule. The consecration ceremonies of the Souvenir Africain even suggested that the Catholic mission did a better job than the colonial administration of convincing Africans, including Muslims, to support France. The celebrations

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argued that Catholicism represented the best face of the French colonizing effort or the true “smile of France in Africa,” a familiar catchphrase from the visit and the title of a celebratory book written after the fact.6 The displays of unity during the weeklong consecration celebration between the Catholic Church and the colonial state, and between the African and the French populations, were stunning and uplifting to those who had eagerly awaited the cardinal’s visit, as well as to those who had dreaded it. Yet the exhibits of harmony at the ceremonies masked the fact that the Catholic mission and the colonial administration in Senegal were pursuing increasingly divergent agendas with respect to the African population in the interwar period. The colonial administration had grown progressively more worried about the impact of Catholic missions among rural populations after the First World War, and missionaries became increasingly frustrated by administrative methods of governing Africans. Concerned by an African takeover of the political scene in the urban centers and by unrest in rural areas during the recruitment and demobilization of African troops, administrative officials feared that conversions were sparking conflict in African communities and that missionaries were giving Africans dangerous ideas about equality and opportunities that did not yet exist in French West Africa. For their part, the missionaries believed that the colonial administration was shirking its so-called civilizing mission, preferring to leave Africans in a state of “barbarity” rather than undertake the work of “elevating” them. Thus, while the consecration ceremonies of the cathedral appeared to celebrate a shared church and state agenda, they concealed that the missionary and administrative approaches to colonization and civilizing were increasingly divergent.7 In fact, the underlying strain between the missionaries and the administration in the interwar years meant that the cathedral project and the lavish consecration ceremonies actually reflected a metropolitan vision of church and state unity, not a reality in the colony itself. Before the First World War, missionaries based in the colony had driven the early development of the project, but in the interwar period initiatives for the advancement of the cathedral venture tended to emanate from the metropole. On the administrative side, sympathetic colonial officials in France had to press colleagues in Dakar to accommodate the project at crucial moments. On the missionary side, religious personnel in France had to prod the priests in the colony to advance the cathedral plans. The missionaries in Senegal generally preferred to focus on other priorities, such as strengthening their presence in rural African communities in the wake of the war. Thus, the striking, spectacular consecration ceremonies veiled a variety of tensions and ambiguous relationships between the mission and the administration, between the French colonial presence and the African

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population, and between metropolitan ideals and colonial realities. Despite appearances, the pageantry surrounding the consecration ultimately did little to reconcile the Catholic mission and the colonial administration in Senegal. In the interwar period missionaries remained frustrated by their inability to convince the colonial administration to partner with them and adopt their view of France’s civilizing mission. The first part of this chapter examines the conception of the Souvenir Africain, as well as how the missionaries presented the project to the colonial administration and the French public in the prewar context. The second part shows how the First World War changed the memorial scope of the project, creating new opportunities for the church to emphasize the benefits of its civilizing mission to France. The consecration embodied the Catholic argument that the church brought Africans closer to France, helping build African support for the metropole that had proved crucial in wartime. Finally, the third part reveals undercurrents and tensions that tore at the project and the ceremonies and belied the appearance of concord between colonial church and state. Although the pilgrims on board the Chella may have gotten the impression from the festivities that the Catholic Church served as a pillar of the colonial state in Senegal, the reality differed markedly.

Monumental Beginnings The memorial cathedral project took shape in the wake of a trying period for the Catholic mission in Senegal, when laicization and a series of unfortunate mishaps threatened the mission’s status in the colony. The project was a response to this series of crises; it was both an attempt to bring the mission closer to the administration and a bid to reassert the mission’s position in Senegal. In official circles and in the wider public, the mission emphasized that the cathedral was a profoundly patriotic venture because it would pay tribute to the French people who had died colonizing Africa. The missionaries’ message to the administration was clear. We are French patriots, they argued, and we pursue the same objectives that you do: the expansion of French influence in Africa and the attendant glory for our country. That is not to say that missionaries did not have a Catholic vision of the monument. They wanted a grandiose church to impress their followers, potential converts, and unbelievers with the glory of their faith, though they downplayed this aspect. Instead, they concentrated on acting out their patriotism, demonstrating that they shared the administration’s goals, and suggesting that their work furthered those goals. A series of dramatic events between 1903 and 1908 had diminished the prestige of the Catholic mission in Senegal and disrupted its activities.

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First, between 1903 and 1905 laicization removed Catholic workers from the colony’s hospitals, took public education in the Four Communes away from the church, and cut off important sources of state funding to the mission. Relations with the administration deteriorated to such a degree that the Spiritan bishop, Monsignor Alphonse Kunemann, spoke of moving his headquarters from Dakar to the British Gambia.8 Kunemann, a divisive leader during laicization, was then lost at sea in early 1908, leaving the disorganized mission without an executive.9 To make matters worse, in 1907 the mission had to demolish its most important church, located on Dakar’s central square, the place Protet, because the building’s foundations had shifted in the sandy coastal soil.10 This left the bishop without a proper venue to celebrate Mass in his episcopal seat, an indignity that contributed to the mission’s concerns about its standing in the colony. In the wake of the loss of Kunemann in 1908, and in the shadow of the turmoil of the previous five years, the experienced missionary priest Jalabert became bishop of Senegambia and set out to repair the mission’s prestige with three goals in mind. First, he wanted to increase the number of African converts in his bishopric.11 Second, he hoped to improve relations with the colonial state by demonstrating the mission’s loyalty to the administration and proving that a Catholic civilizing mission would bolster French colonial rule in West Africa. Despite some evidence to the contrary, the missionaries believed that an alliance with the French administration would increase their conversion rate, because administrative endorsement would enhance their ability to reach potential converts and augment the mission’s reputation among Africans.12 The Spiritans also felt that the administration would further the expansion of French influence by allying itself with the mission. Third, Jalabert aspired to replace the ruined church with an impressive cathedral befitting Dakar’s status as the capital of French West Africa and as the headquarters of the bishop of Senegambia, as well as to provide an emphatic Catholic answer to the city’s mosques. Catholicism and Islam were both expanding faiths in Senegal in the nineteenth century, but by 1909 it was quite clear that Muslim proselytizers had done a much better job of winning converts, a trend that Catholic missionaries blamed in part on the administration’s lack of support for their work.13 The memorial cathedral idea proved a way to pursue all three of Jalabert’s goals at once, and it came from an unlikely source: Governor General William Ponty, a prominent Freemason. In 1910, Ponty suggested to Jalabert that the mission design its new church in Dakar as a patriotic monument to those who had died serving France in Africa—as a souvenir africain.14 This would allow the Catholic mission, which did not have many wealthy parishioners in Senegal and whose income from the admin-

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istration had dropped precipitously since laicization, to appeal to a wide range of donors. More important, making the cathedral into a memorial enabled the missionaries to show the administration that they were French patriots. In their view, the cathedral would be an impressive visual manifestation of the grandeur of Catholicism and of French colonization in Africa, enhancing and linking the prestige of the church and of France in the eyes of Africans. Moreover, they hoped an impressive building would help them challenge the growth of Islam in Dakar and in the colony more broadly. William Ponty’s personal loyalties and his political skill help explain the contradictions between his participation in the cathedral project and his anticlerical reputation. Ponty was friendly with Jalabert—by 1910 they had known each other for fourteen years.15 They shared an admiration for French pioneers who had helped build the West African federation. Ponty had started his career in French Sudan, where he had fought Samori with Archinard, and was eager to celebrate his colleagues who had sacrificed their lives to France so far from the public eye.16 Yet Ponty was also a master at cultivating an official persona that pleased staunch metropolitan republicans who held the keys to colonial advancement, and he maintained his republican reputation even as he helped Jalabert behind the scenes. Ponty assisted the Spiritans in obtaining extra ground for the cathedral building site adjacent to their lot and personally approved the architect’s plans, but he spent no state money on the building and instructed the missionaries not to publicize his role.17 The designation of a large religious edifice as a patriotic memorial was unique in the wider French imperial context at the time. There was no precedent for it in West Africa beyond the use of memorial plaques in churches and religious services to commemorate fallen French soldiers.18 In other colonial settings, small monuments provided opportunities to reconcile missionary and administrative agendas, such as the memorial statue to the eighteenth-century bishop Pigneau de Béhaine placed in front of ­Saigon’s cathedral in 1901. In his description of the statue’s unveiling, J. P. Daughton argues that the missions used the occasion to “redefine” their role in the colony and align themselves with the republican administration by lauding Pigneau’s virtues as a Catholic and as a “servant of French colonialism.”19 Yet there appears to be no colonial precedent for a religious and patriotic memorial on the scale of a cathedral. Indeed, perhaps the most obvious potential model lies in the heart of the metropole, not in the empire: the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur in Paris. Conceived under the regime of “Moral Order” in the wake of the national humiliation of the Franco-­Prussian War, SacréCoeur was designed to serve as a monument of national atonement and as a call to reintroduce religion and morality into French government and public life.20 It was not just a Catholic church; it was a genuine national

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undertaking, in the same way that the Souvenir Africain was a Catholic building as well as a national monument. Yet, despite the parallels, there is no evidence of direct inspiration in the correspondence of the architect or of the missionaries who directed the Souvenir Africain project. Armed with the memorial cathedral concept, Spiritans in Senegal and in Paris launched a shrewd marketing campaign to attract the support of donors, state officials in France and West Africa, and the Vatican. In 1911, Jalabert traveled to France to organize a secular association, also known as the Souvenir africain, to manage fund-raising. Jalabert enlisted Spiritan Father Daniel Brottier, who had once served in Saint-Louis but had left the colony due to health problems, to be treasurer and secretary of the association. Brottier became the daily financial manager of the project in Paris and guided the effort for some twenty-five years.21 The secular association provided a convenient front for the Spiritan congregation in its dealings with the French authorities, allowing both sides to avoid awkward dealings between church and state.22 As Brottier admitted, however, the association merely disguised the fact that the Spiritans themselves were doing most of the work.23 To maximize their reach into sympathetic (and wealthy) milieus, the Spiritans packed the steering committee of the association with dignitaries representing different aspects of France’s colonial undertakings. The Spiritans appointed as honorary president the Duchess of Uzès, matron of a prominent, staunchly Catholic family, who had lost a son in Africa. The committee also featured the widows of explorers and officers who had died in Africa, distinguished members of the army and navy with colonial ties, and intellectuals with colonial interests.24 After the First World War, the Spiritans scored a public relations coup when they convinced Maréchal Foch to join the duchess as honorary president. Military, commercial, literary, and religious colonial causes all found a place on the committee and were able to reach out to many groups for support. In June 1912, under the aegis of the committee, Brottier founded the magazine Pour nos morts d’Afrique, which publicized the cathedral endeavor and helped build a loyal following in France and in the colonies.25 Every prewar issue contained Jalabert’s stirring “appeal to France for the construction of a monument to the French who died for the conquest of the African continent,” which laid out his vision of the project. In this broad-based call for support, Jalabert downplayed evangelization and Catholicism and emphasized patriotism—the appeal did not even have the word cathedral in its title; it referred to the building only as a monument. The appeal targeted all French people, “without distinction,” and declared, in bold print, that “Monsignor [Jalabert] refuses to believe that a single French patriot can remain indifferent to this project, which will provide a

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haven for the memory of those who, by giving their lives in Africa, made our homeland more glorious and France ever greater.”26 The Spiritans continually stressed the importance of unity and the irrelevance of political allegiances in the patriotic endeavor. A blurb printed in nearly every prewar issue of the magazine stated, “The Souvenir Africain is a national project of patriotism and gratitude to those heroes who, regardless of their opinions, spilled their blood for ‘la plus grande France’ (greater France). The project thus addresses itself to all good French people, to all patriots.”27 Jala­bert’s appeal did not even classify missionaries among the “heroes” who had given their lives for France in Africa: it mentioned only explorers, soldiers, sailors, and administrators. Instead, it cast missionaries in the roles of caretakers of French soldiers in Africa. The appeal asserted that Jalabert “hopes that he will receive the most generous collaboration from families who have members on African soil or mourn the fate of a dear one who is buried there, who know that at the most crucial moments, his missionaries replaced them by showing their children all the affection they could not from afar.”28 In Jalabert’s vision, missionaries were surrogate parents to the French abroad in Africa and the guardians of their memory. Since the Souvenir Africain celebrated the French who died in Africa, Africans’ place in the memorial concept was ambiguous. Before the First World War, the project’s promoters in France and Senegal were largely silent about the fact that Africans themselves, whom the French had been recruiting for decades, had accomplished much of the conquest of West Africa under the command of French officers. As the cathedral was a patriotic memorial celebrating Frenchmen who had subjugated Africa and its inhabitants, the African climate and Africans themselves often appeared as French adversaries in the pages of Pour nos morts. There was no effort to include the ranks of African soldiers who had been a crucial part of French expansion in the memorial concept—no one mentioned that they frequently died far from home in hostile environments.29 The Spiritans selected a design for the cathedral that emphasized the patriotic function of the building yet also evoked its role as a beacon for African Catholicism. The architect, Charles Wulffleff, chose to build in the shape of a Greek cross because he believed that it corresponded best to the church’s role as a “pantheon” for France’s dead in Africa. He also mimicked the republican mausoleum of the Panthéon in Paris with the message emblazoned above the front entrance of the cathedral, “For those who died in Africa, a grateful France.”30 Yet Wulffleff also made the building “local” to fit it into an African architectural context and adapt it to the climate.31 He drew inspiration from African architecture along the Niger, mosques in North Africa, and ancient Egypt. His heavy, imposing building featured two massive bell towers with pyramidal summits

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flanking the entrance. Rectangular drainpipes protruded from the tops of the towers and the walls, evoking the jutting beams of West African architecture.32 Thus, on the eve of the First World War, the Spiritans had a design in hand, an expanded lot on the place Protet, and almost three hundred thousand francs in the bank from their fund-raising campaign. They had brought about a marriage of Catholicism and semiofficial patriotism, which was noteworthy given the poisonous climate of church and state relations in France at the turn of the century and the mission’s struggles in Senegal between 1903 and 1908. The outbreak of the war put the project on hold

Consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain, 2 February 1936. Postcard from the author’s personal collection.

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as Spiritan missionaries in Senegal mobilized to serve in the colonies and at home. Brottier volunteered as a military chaplain on the Western Front, eventually earning the Cross of War (Croix de Guerre) and induction into the Legion of Honor. In his absence, publication of Pour nos morts ceased and the steering committee disbanded. In January 1920, a further setback occurred when Jalabert perished at sea in the wreck of the steamer A ­ frique, bound for Dakar.33 When the war ended, Brottier and the Spiritans resumed the cathedral project, but they retooled its meaning for the new postwar world.

Changing Meanings: The Interwar Context The devastation of the First World War threatened the nascent cathedral project, but it also gave the missionaries new opportunities to trumpet the value of their work in Senegal. On the one hand, the extraordinary bloodshed and destruction of the war dwarfed the sacrifices of French colonialists in Africa, endangering the flow of donations from the metropole. Potential donors, many of them impoverished by the war, now had churches to rebuild in northern France and memorials to the dead to erect in every French commune. On the other hand, West African troops had played an important role in the defense of metropolitan France, and many people began to look to the empire as a crucial reserve of military and economic strength. The Spiritans adapted to this new context by expanding the memorial meaning of the cathedral to commemorate the French colonialists and the Africans who had died in the conflict and by emphasizing the link between the sacrifices of prewar colonizers and those of African troops in the war. The French who died in Africa, they argued, laid the groundwork for the crucial African contribution to the French war effort, which had helped France defeat Germany. French recognition of the importance of the African role in the war also allowed the Spiritans to highlight their role in bringing Africans closer to France. The consecration ceremonies embodied their argument that missionaries helped generate loyalty to France among African populations, including Muslims. Instead of pushing Muslims away from France, the church could, as Verdier and the Spiritan mission tried to demonstrate in 1936, engage Muslims in ways that the secular administration could not. Thus, in the interwar period the cathedral project veered away from dramatizing French and African antagonism, instead stressing African allegiance to France and the role the church could play in generating that allegiance. Brottier realized in the trenches that the war would irrevocably alter the nature of the cathedral project. He wrote from the front to Superior General Le Roy that the Spiritans had to update the idea of the Souvenir

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Africain because the prewar formulation of the concept would no longer seem compelling in the wake of the cataclysm.34 To interest supporters in a devastated France with many new targets for charity, the Spiritans had to widen the scope of the Souvenir Africain. Brottier believed the “salvation” of the cathedral lay in expanding its memorial capacity to include all the troops from the colonial army, the “black army”—as he called the tirailleurs—and the navy who had died in the conflict.35 The cathedral would have to celebrate the colonialists and Africans who had died in defense of metropolitan France as well as the French who had died to colonize Africa. The Spiritans also used heightened metropolitan awareness of the African role in the defense of France to promote the cathedral. They associated their cause with a movement of devoted colonial partisans who, concerned about France’s demographic inferiority to Germany and its low birthrate, looked to the empire as a crucial component of French power and security in the interwar years. African soldiers had helped save France in the war, and they might be needed again if another conflict arose in Europe. Ardent supporters of empire emphasized the concept of la plus grande France or of a “France of a hundred million people” and promoted mise en valeur, the realization of the human and economic potential of the colonies, to strengthen the metropole. This new emphasis on Africans’ central importance to the security of metropolitan France changed the memorial project’s approach to Africans, but the Spiritans managed to incorporate this shift into a revamped version of their original concept by connecting the sacrifices of French colonialists in Africa to those of African soldiers in France. The bond between them was the civilizing mission: Had the French not sacrificed themselves to civilize Africa, African colonial subjects would not now be sacrificing their lives in defense of France. The soldiers, administrators, traders, and others whom the prewar conception of the cathedral had planned to honor had laid the groundwork that enabled the African contribution to the war effort. The memorial still ignored the subject of African participation in the French conquest of Africa, however.36 On the occasion of the groundbreaking of the cathedral, which the Spiritans scheduled on the fifth anniversary of the armistice, Henry Bordeaux wrote an article for L’Illustration in which he emphasized the link between the early conquerors and the tirailleurs’ defense of France.37 ­Bordeaux related that in 1919 General Charles Mangin had unwittingly reunited General Gouraud and an Officer Touré (Ture), an African serving in the French army, at a dinner in occupied Mainz. The two men had crossed paths more than two decades earlier in Upper Senegal–Niger. Gouraud had been a young officer in the campaign against Samori, one

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of the most accomplished African military leaders the French had encountered in their conquest of West Africa. Touré was one of Samori’s sons, and Gouraud had taken him prisoner.38 The transition from enemy combatant to ally took place in one generation: three of Samori’s sons died fighting in the French army in the First World War. Bordeaux connected the sacrifices of the men of Gouraud’s generation, the original subjects of the cathedral commemoration, with those of the African tirailleurs by invoking a particularly French civilizing mission. “That Gouraud and the sons of Samori fought together for France demonstrates that we colonize with humanity and know how to make yesterday’s enemies into tomorrow’s soldiers,” he wrote.39 Bordeaux thus joined the prewar vision of the monument and the new, more inclusive postwar incarnation. Yet the Spiritans went further than simply linking the sacrifices of the prewar colonizers to the African defense of France. They used the appreciation for the African contribution to the war to call attention to the role the missionaries played in bringing about African support for France through the Catholic civilizing mission. Missionaries had always been convinced that their civilizing mission was the best way to further French influence in Senegal and had sought administration support for their work since their arrival in the colony, but in the wake of laicization Jalabert had decided to stress missionary patriotism in his prewar conception of the cathedral. The war gave the Spiritans the chance to make their civilizing role the central message of the project. A new hymn of the Souvenir Africain made this shift in emphasis explicit. During the Colonial Exposition in Paris in 1931, the committee of the Souvenir Africain organized a requiem mass at Notre-Dame to honor those who had died for France in Africa and Europe. The exposition was the centerpiece of the interwar campaign to develop the empire as a key resource for the metropole—it was a grandiose attempt to teach the French population about the empire and to promote investment and careers in the colonies. The mass at Notre-Dame attempted to harness some of the excitement generated by the exposition for the cathedral project, and the committee enlisted some big names to help. The president of the republic, Paul Doumer, who had been governor general of Indochina from 1887 to 1902, agreed to sponsor the Mass, though not to attend it, and Maréchal Hubert Lyautey, the former resident general of Morocco and chief organizer of the Colonial Exposition, served as president at the ceremony.40 Participants sang the hymn of the Souvenir Africain to the tune of the “Marseillaise.” The first verse celebrated the explorers, sailors, and settlers whose exploits made “a greater France.” The third and last stanza evoked the sacrifices of colonial soldiers: “When the faraway homeland called / the black continent jumped to help; / our

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tirailleurs, our furies / defended liberty. / And that is how it came to be that throughout the world / in wartime and peacetime, / one hundred million French hearts / beat together forever.”41 The second verse made the Catholic civilizing mission the key link between the early colonialists of the first verse and the African soldiers of the third. It described how Christianity followed France to the colonies, how it tackled misery and suffering, how the church found “new sons” in the forests, and how, in the formerly “dark lands,” a new “glittering” church arose. More explicitly than Bordeaux’s “colonization with humanity,” the hymn put the Catholic civilizing mission at the heart of the transformation of Africa into a devoted ally of the metropole. Five years later the consecration ceremonies of the Souvenir Africain in 1936 repeatedly enacted the Spiritan argument that the Catholic civilizing mission drew Africans closer to France and that, as a result, the colonial administration should support missionary endeavors in Senegal. The Spiritans made a particular effort to show that the Catholic civilizing mission did not antagonize Muslim populations, as administrators feared, but that Catholic missionaries were uniquely able to relate to Muslims and draw them closer to France. The consecration appeared to be an unqualified success as propaganda for the Catholic civilizing mission. The colonial administration extended a warm welcome to Verdier throughout his visit in Senegal. Governor General Brévié and the highest officials took places of honor at the consecration ceremonies. On the surface, it appeared the administration was prepared to endorse the Catholic civilizing mission as embodied by Verdier and his entourage. The consecration ceremonies continually highlighted the fruits of the Catholic civilizing mission. The prominent incorporation of African Catholics in the ceremonies sent a message to administrative authorities that Catholicism was a vehicle of civilization in Africa and a path to French and African solidarity. The Spiritans, who were also active in Cameroon, brought in the first eight African subdeacons to be ordained there to participate.42 On the morning of the consecration Verdier knelt solemnly at the cathedral’s closed doors and knocked. Three African Catholics knelt beside him, while the senior European prelates stood back. Once admitted, Verdier conducted consecration rituals, which concluded with an imposing procession of red-robed French and Roman prelates, Spiritan missionaries, African deacons, and African children carrying relics around the cathedral’s exterior perimeter. A week later the cardinal closed his visit to Senegal with the ordination of an African priest, Father N’Diaye, in the new cathedral.43 The inclusion of African Catholics in the ceremonies reflected the missionary desire to convert more Africans. Yet the strategy also contained a key lesson for France: the church was showing off its achieve-

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ments as a force for inculcating French civilization in Africa and bringing Africa and France closer together. Verdier played his role as a Catholic and French ambassador masterfully, to the delight of missionaries and the relief of the colonial authorities. He hit all the right notes in his official and unofficial activities—he was gracious toward state authorities, warmly paternalistic toward African Catholics, and respectful to Muslims. In a report to the governor of Senegal, the administrator of Sine-Salum related that local African leaders, religious figures, and the general populace had been impressed with Verdier during his visit to Kaolack. “It must be said,” he wrote, “that the cardinal knows how to find the appropriate words and gestures to speak to the natives both as a Frenchman and as an important religious leader.”44 The title page of the 29 February issue of L’Illustration captured one of the cardinal’s signature moments, which quickly became part of the propaganda storm surrounding his visit. A photographer had caught Verdier pausing on the cathedral steps to hug an African boy. The cardinal had left the company of the bishop of Senegambia and high-ranking government officials, who are visible in the background of the photograph, to speak to the child. “A fatherly and symbolic gesture by Cardinal Verdier,” the caption read.45 This image reappeared as the frontispiece of Gustave Daumas’s celebratory book on the consecration with the caption “The Smile of France.”46 A similar scene graced the cover of the official album of the pontifical trip to Dakar: a smiling Verdier conversing with apparently Muslim Africans, including an older man wearing a number of French medals on his robes, as a French official looked on in the background. The message was the same: Verdier did not stay with his European entourage but reached out to Africans, embodying how the church drew Africans closer to France.47 Before Verdier’s arrival and during his stay in Senegal, administration officials were concerned that his visit might alienate Muslims. Fears that missionaries would antagonize the Muslim majority in Senegal had long contributed to the administrative circumspection regarding the Catholic version of the civilizing mission. Officials were particularly anxious to find out how the colony’s Muslim majority perceived the administration’s participation in the consecration and attendant ceremonies. Some worried that Muslims might be piqued by the governor general’s privileged place in the consecration ceremonies or by the efforts of local administrators and municipal officials to arrange popular celebrations in the cardinal’s honor. The governor general asked the governor of Senegal to collect reports from his administrators on how the Africans throughout the colony reacted to the consecration and to Verdier’s visit. It was an opportunity, Brévié wrote to the minister of colonies, to gauge the depth and character of Islami-

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cization in the region by evaluating the African reaction in the wake of the Catholic festivities.48 To their delight, administrators discovered that, in general, Muslims reacted well to Verdier’s trip and the administration’s show of support for the cathedral. This investigation showed that instead of taking umbrage to official participation in Catholic ceremonies, many African Muslim subjects appeared to condone it. Officials concluded, as Spiritan missionaries had long claimed, that Muslim subjects were more likely to respect religious people of any faith than atheists or agnostics. The administrator of Louga remarked that the deference the French population showed the cardinal pleased Muslims, who were “happy to see that the whites had religious leaders of their own.” He felt the visit raised the standing of the French in Muslim eyes because “the Muslim natives cannot understand how the Europeans can live without God.”49 Administrator Louveau of Sine-Salum echoed the report that Muslim leaders at Kaolack were very impressed by the enthusiastic French reception of Verdier. Like his colleague in Louga, Louveau asserted, “What most astonishes the native, and the Muslim in particular, is the indifference of the majority of the colonists to matters of religion, which he cannot understand.”50 Reports from Saint-Louis and Thiès reiterated the Muslims’ respect for the cardinal and their appreciation of French esteem for him. They show that many Muslims and their leaders, particularly in Dakar and Saint-Louis, attended and participated in the official Catholic ceremonies occasioned by the cardinal’s visit.51 In a confidential report to the governor general, the governor of Senegal concluded that rather than provoking the Muslim population, Verdier’s visit and the administrative support of the Catholic ceremonies had in fact enhanced French prestige among Muslims.52 The administration was also pleased with the results of a meeting between Verdier, his ecclesiastical entourage, and more than twenty Muslim dignitaries from throughout Senegal and Mauritania, organized by the mayor of Dakar.53 The Muslim attendees included Sheikhs Sy, Tolba, and Sidiyya, of prominent families in Mauritania, as well as imams of mosques in Dakar, the qadi of Dakar, and various marabouts.54 Administrators and some Muslim notables feared that Verdier would speak of Catholicism, but their concerns were unfounded.55 Verdier kept his comments above the plane of religious difference, and all the Catholic prelates were respectful of their Muslim counterparts. The most prominent Muslims greeted the cardinal with short speeches thanking him for coming and, in many cases, extolling the virtues of France. Sëriñ Babacar Sy, the Tijaniyya leader of Dakar, Tivaouane, and Saint-Louis, pronounced, “France administers us well. She has placed us in her benevolent guardianship. We are pleased with the governor general and his collaborators.” In a similar vein, Sheikh

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Mohamed O. Tolba, leader of the Tijaniyya of Lower Mauritania, said, “We are happy with the French, who have brought order to our country. Before they came, people killed one another to take their possessions. We now live in peace, thanks to the French.”56 Verdier responded to each man individually, thanking each one for his greetings and his sentiments. He shook hands, professed joy at their words of gratitude toward France, and wished them all the best in this life and the next. The bishop of Algiers, who was part of the cardinal’s entourage, greeted one of the sheikhs in Arabic and said that he wished that “Allah would grant him happiness.” The potentially awkward meeting thus became a manifestation of French and African unity across religious divides, thanks to the political skill of Verdier, who demonstrated the church’s tolerance, and his Muslim interlocutors, who decided to act out their allegiance to France. 57 The administration was also satisfied with the wider political effects of the meeting. Administrator Carrière at Thiès reported that it had “profound repercussions” among the local Africans. “They view it as manifest proof of the tolerance of France in regard to religion,” he wrote.58 The administrator of Dakar and its environs asserted that the Muslims had not viewed the cardinal’s visit as a sign of an evangelical assault on the continent but had seen Verdier primarily as a representative of France rather than as an emissary of the pope.59 The director of political and administrative affairs observed, “The religious confrontation that some had dreaded became nothing more than a manifestation of patriotism, and all participants declared themselves satisfied with the outcome.”60 The governor general reiterated this idea in his report to the minister of colonies: “This undertaking, which seemed delicate at first, unfolded in an atmosphere of complete trust and perfect cordiality.” He assured the minister that the meeting had allowed the administration to “record yet another proof of the loyalty of the Muslim populations of Senegal and Mauritania.”61 Had missionaries read these administrative reports, they would have felt vindicated. Instead of inspiring division, the consecration activities had occasioned many patriotic displays of French and African unity. Administrative officials seemed to agree that the Catholic civilizing mission not only could coexist with Islam but could actually bring Muslims closer to France. The church could communicate with Muslims on a level that the secular state could not. Contrary to what the administration had feared, the political skill of the cardinal and his delegation enhanced French prestige among the general population as well as African leaders. Both the mission and the colonial administration had reason to congratulate themselves on the outcome of the consecration of the Souvenir Africain, and it seemed as though the Spiritans had made their case for more official support of Catholic activity in the colony.

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Underlying Tensions The consecration festivities and the glossy albums that commemorated them seemed to indicate that the Catholic Church held a privileged place in colonial Senegal and that it worked closely with the colonial administration. In fact, the cordiality of the ceremonies obscured fundamental tensions between the Catholic mission and the administration, which had been building throughout the interwar period. Differing approaches to the African population in the interwar years exacerbated distrust between the colonial officials and missionaries. Worried by unrest in French West ­Africa, the administration prioritized the maintenance of order after the war. Meanwhile, missionaries were trying to accelerate their civilizing mission, which the administration found disruptive. The tensions between them meant that after the war, the impetus for the Souvenir Africain came from metropolitan France rather than from Senegal. As missionaries and administrators in the colony bickered with one another and focused on more pressing objectives, their superiors in France intervened to advance the cathedral. The Spiritans and colonial officials in Senegal were not always convinced that the cathedral embodied their interests, and the consecration ceremonies thus reflected a metropolitan-based ideal of colonial harmony, not reality on the ground in the colony. Though the First World War had brought missionaries and administrators together as they mobilized to serve, its effects on the African population began to push them apart even before the fighting was over. While they remained publicly supportive of the administration during the conflict, missionaries privately criticized the brutal methods that the government used to conscript African soldiers. After the war, administrative and missionary goals for African populations completely diverged. Senegal was the epicenter of an African political awakening, which emerged forcefully with the election of Blaise Diagne in 1914 and grew with the demands of returning African war veterans in the interwar period. Alarmed by African agitation born of urbanization, dislocation, and politicization, the colonial administration attempted to contain and manage the transformation of African society. It tried to slow change in African society by handing power back to “traditional” authorities in rural areas and by reinforcing the legal status of African “custom” in colonial courts. In contrast, the Catholic mission continued to pursue its goal of civilizing African communities through the introduction of Christianity, with a heightened sense of urgency because it felt that it was losing too many Africans to Islam. Missionary interventions in all aspects of daily African life divided rural communities, estranged family members, and in some cases, led to violence. Missionaries and their converts also frequently asserted that African

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Catholics should enjoy special judicial and administrative considerations by virtue of having attained a “higher” level of civilization. The administration did not appreciate missionaries fomenting unrest, undermining its primary goals of stability and order, and giving Africans aspirations it was not willing to fulfill. It also worried that increased missionary activity might antagonize powerful Muslims whose support had been important during the war. In return, the Spiritans accused the administration of abandoning its imperial duty to civilize subject populations. These conflicting mission and administrative agendas led to clashes between priests and colonial officials on the ground, which Chapter 6 explores in greater detail. The new challenges facing the colonial administration and the Catholic mission in Senegal, and their increased hostility toward one another, had an impact on the cathedral project when it reemerged after the war. Although the cathedral had been a colonial project from the outset—conceived of and launched in Dakar—interwar bishops and administrators in Senegal found it a distraction from more vital concerns. Thus, in the interwar period the primary driving force for the project came from France, where the First World War and its aftermath had brought about an improvement in church and state relations. Frequently, Spiritan leaders and sympathetic colonial officials in the metropole had to beg or force their counterparts in the colony to pursue the project. The Spiritans in the colony fretted about the proposed location of the cathedral and the resources they had to devote to its construction. The colonial administration did not want to promote the missionary agenda and worried about its image among the Muslim population. The placement of the cathedral became one of the most fraught issues, one that divided the Spiritans in Senegal from their leadership in France and from the local colonial administration. Initially, Jalabert, Ponty, and everyone else involved assumed that the cathedral would take the place of the condemned church on the place Protet. It soon became clear that the weak soil would pose particular problems for a building as heavy as the projected cathedral.62 Extraordinary foundations would be required to build on the site, greatly increasing the building’s expense. In July 1914, on the eve of the war, Jalabert investigated the possibility of building on what was known as the plateau—the site of a former cemetery, about a kilometer from the original site—but the architect, the builder, and the priests in Dakar felt the plateau was too far from the center of town.63 When Louis Le Hunsec succeeded Jalabert as bishop of Senegambia in 1920, he wrestled with the question of the cathedral’s placement and grew frustrated that the Spiritan leadership in France did not heed his opposition to the plateau site. Le Hunsec had a practical vision of the Souvenir Africain: he wanted a functional church in the center of town as soon as

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possible. He feared that the cathedral would just be a necropolis if it were built on the plateau and would not work as a parish church.64 To overcome the foundation challenges, he proposed reducing the scale of the building by a fifth, or even as much as a third.65 Brottier and the Spiritans in France did not agree; they felt that as a symbolic building, the cathedral must have the dimensions of the original design. A bitter Le Hunsec observed, “­Decidedly, the opinion of the bishop does not count.”66 Ironically, when Le Hunsec became superior general of the Spiritan congregation in 1926, he found himself on the opposite side of the question. From his new post in France, he found that he had to pressure Monsignor Augustin Grimault, his successor in Dakar, to work on the Souvenir Africain. Grimault did not like the cathedral project. He wrote to Le Hunsec, “Just between us, I confess that this [cathedral] business does not excite me in the slightest. With three hundred thousand francs I can enlarge the current chapel, and it would easily suffice.”67 Grimault grumbled about the sums he had to spend on construction, complaining that he was sacrificing the entire vicariate to the Souvenir Africain. Le Hunsec reprimanded Grimault for displaying a negative attitude toward Brottier and for prioritizing other matters over the cathedral.68 Throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, Brottier and the Spiritan leadership in France held fast to the symbolic value of the cathedral, brushing aside the objections of bishops on the ground, who worried more about the rural missions. In 1926, the parish priest of Dakar called the project a “notorious thorn” for the bishops of Senegal.69 As was the case with the Spiritans, colonial officials in France were often more sympathetic to the cathedral project than were their subordinates in Dakar in the interwar period. High-ranking officials in the metropole had to intervene to get the project off the ground in the first place. In 1919, after officials in Dakar had repeatedly rejected his offers to buy the plateau site for the cathedral, Jalabert appealed to Henry Simon, the minister of colonies. Simon cabled Governor General Gabriel Angoulvant to ask why the administration did not donate the land to the bishop for the patriotic and religious monument, but Angoulvant left the matter to his interim successor, Auguste Brunet.70 Brunet would not finalize the deal and referred the matter to the incoming governor general, Martial Merlin. Merlin stalled the placement of the cathedral for two more years—he never openly opposed the cathedral project, but he did nothing to further it.71 In the end, it took another metropolitan intervention by the minister of colonies, Albert Sarraut, to persuade Merlin to give way. In his very last act as governor general on 16 March 1923, Merlin made the deal to cede the plateau lot to the Souvenir Africain.72 Over the next thirteen years the local colonial administration remained aloof from the cathedral project

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except when its presence was required for patriotic ceremonies, such as the groundbreaking or the consecration. Even then, metropolitan influence was evident: Sarraut designated Governor General Carde to attend the groundbreaking as his official representative in 1923, and for the consecration the minister of colonies ordered Brévié to grant Grimault a subsidy of twenty-five thousand francs to pay for the ceremonies.73 At no point after Ponty’s death in 1915 did administration officials in the colony enthusiastically help the mission with the Souvenir Africain. The protracted struggle over the cathedral’s location and its construction demonstrated a clash between metropolitan visions and colonial realities in the interwar period. The cathedral’s symbolic meaning resonated most profoundly in France, where the Spiritans and colonial officials emphasized the plus grande France celebrating French and African unity. The project made less sense to priests and officials in Dakar. Missionaries found it to be an impractical solution to their lack of a parish church and believed that it diverted crucial resources from their evangelical efforts. The colonial administration was uncomfortable with the effects of missionary activity on the African population and worried about how Muslims would view the monument, as was evidenced by their careful monitoring of the Muslim reception of the consecration. Despite its conclusions that Muslims had responded positively to Verdier’s visit, the administration continued to reject the idea of a Catholic civilizing mission as a way of reconciling Africans to French rule, because it carried great potential to divide African communities. Even under Vichy’s pro-Catholic regime, the colonial administration in French West Africa remained wary of Catholic evangelism and continued its policy of buttressing African custom.74

Conclusion Jalabert’s vision that a patriotic Catholic mission could work as a partner with the colonial administration seemed to be realized during the heady days of the consecration festivities, as colonial officials participated in the celebrations and marveled at Africans’ positive reactions to the cardinal’s visit. Yet the extraordinary displays of church and state unity during the consecration ceremonies proved just that: extraordinary. The Spiritans had not convinced the administration to embrace the Catholic civilizing mission, and the warmth engendered by the consecration did not overcome the divide between their respective approaches to the African population. In reality, the consecration embodied metropolitan agendas, not those of administrators or missionaries in the colony. The celebrations demonstrated that the French state was promoting the idea of a unified plus grande France in the empire and the metropole in the interwar period.75 The consecra-

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tion cultivated the image of a greater France for African and French audiences in Senegal, as well as for the broader public in the empire and in the metropole, while obscuring latent tensions between church and state and between the French administration and its African subjects in the colony. In many respects, the patriotic memorial Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain was out of step with Catholic trends elsewhere in the French Empire and was nearly obsolete by the time of its consecration.76 In the interwar period, the papacy was rethinking the relationship between the church and colonial regimes, even as the Spiritans desperately tried to prove their patriotism and the value of their civilizing mission to the French administration in Senegal. The Holy See addressed missionary activity in colonial territories in Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum illud (1919) and Pius XI’s encyclical Rerum ecclesiae (1926). Maximum illud explicitly condemned missionary nationalism: “It would be deplorable if any missionaries should be so forgetful of their dignity that they should think rather of their earthly country than of the heavenly, being unduly desirous to widen its influence and to extend its glory above all else.”77 Rerum ecclesiae looked forward to safeguarding the interests of the church at decolonization: “Suppose that . . . the inhabitants, to render themselves independent, should wish to drive from their territory both the ruling officials and the missionaries of the foreign nation under whose rule they are?” 78 The remedy for the survival of the faith in such a context, Pius asserted, was the training of an indigenous clergy and a church increasingly disassociated from colonial rule.79 The pope’s decision to send the archbishop of Paris to perform the religious and patriotic rituals of the consecration in a French colony, therefore, did not embody a broad church commitment to colonialism but was instead a response to particular local circumstances. It reflected the relatively slow progress of the church in West Africa and the lack of sufficiently senior African prelates to perform the necessary ceremonies.80 By contrast, in French Indochina two of the sixteen bishops were Vietnamese in 1936, and they ministered to more than 35 percent of the colony’s Catholics.81 Although the decolonization of the church had not yet occurred in Senegal, the Vatican was looking forward to a day when Africans, not Frenchmen, would run it.82 Thus, the Souvenir Africain, designed as both a patriotic monument and a Catholic cathedral, remained an ambiguous building as long as the French ruled Senegal. It represented two uneasy pairings: that of the Catholic Church and the colonial state, and that of French colonialists and the Africans they ruled. Once Senegal was independent, the building’s purpose became clearer. The archbishopric replaced the “For those who died in Africa, a grateful France” inscription on the front facade with the words “For the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus the Savior.” This restaging

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of the ­cathedral was facilitated by the fact that the Spiritans had never had enough money to engrave the names of the donors, the prewar French dead, and the French and African dead of the First World War on the interior walls. Freed of its memorial function, the cathedral simply became the home of the Catholic community of Dakar’s plateau, as well as the church of the first African archbishop of Dakar, Hyacinthe Cardinal Thiandoum, whose parents had named him after Jalabert.83

6

Civilization, Custom, and Controversy catholic conversion and french rule in senegal

In 1934, Father Jacquin, a Catholic missionary in the remote Casamance region of Senegal, published a piece in the Spiritan monthly magazine Echo des missions entitled, “A Sad Story: How the ‘Civilization’ That We Claim to Bring to Pagan Africa Consists of ‘Respecting Local Customs.’”1 Jacquin was in the habit of writing articles for French Catholic periodicals to keep the metropolitan public informed of missionaries’ endeavors in the empire and highlight the challenges they faced, especially from French colonial officials. In this particular piece, Jacquin adopted an outraged tone to critique the administration’s handling of a local family drama involving a Christian African widow named Albertine-Marie, her young son, and her deceased husband’s brother, a Muslim. Jacquin related that, in keeping with local custom, when Albertine-Marie’s husband died, her brother-in-law claimed custody of their son.2 As a Christian mother, however, A ­ lbertine-Marie refused to turn her child over to a Muslim relative. The dispute ultimately came before a French administrator, who dispensed justice with the aid of African “assessors” who advised him on how the local community dealt with quarrels or transgressions. 3 At the hearing, a French missionary (most likely Jacquin himself) spoke on behalf of Albertine-Marie, arguing that as a Christian convert, she had the right to be judged according to French law and therefore to keep custody of her son. The administrator rejected this reasoning, stating that when a case involved Africans of “conflicting customs,” dominant local African practice should prevail, even if, as in this instance, it trumped French norms. The administrator handed the child over to his uncle, who, in Jacquin’s dramatic narrative, smiled wickedly and laughed with the African interpreter about how he would make the boy a Muslim right away, while AlbertineMarie wept inconsolably.4

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Jacquin’s version of the story was populated with characters calculated to rile his metropolitan Catholic audience and mobilize it to condemn what he saw as the absurdity and hypocrisy of French administrative policy in Africa. A bereft Christian widow and her child emerged as the innocent victims of an evil Muslim, a conniving interpreter, and a feckless and ambitious French administrator, who was seemingly unmoved by the “injustice” he facilitated. In his analysis of the incident, Jacquin focused on the role of French officials in perpetuating and reifying indigenous customs that he believed were fundamentally contrary to those of French civilization. Moreover, he accused the French administration of blatantly contradicting its purported civilizing mission in Africa. He denounced “the criminal insouciance and cowardly fear that leads certain officials, self-styled messengers of ‘Civilization’ in Africa, to become the obstinate protectors and accomplices of heathen barbarity.”5 He told his readers that every time there was a conflict between “unjust, cruel, and shameful” local custom and “natural law and French law” invoked by African Christians, the former would prevail with the help of the administration, no matter how “barbaric” the result.6 In the story itself, as well as in his act of storytelling, Jacquin cast Catholic missionaries as the conscience of French rule in Africa and the true guardians of the French civilizing mission. He contrasted administrative and missionary perspectives through a dialogue between the administrator and the priest at the end of the hearing. The administrator, voicing official policy and abdicating personal responsibility, announced: “Dakar has decided that local custom should prevail; THE REST OF IT IS NOT MY BUSINESS.”7 The priest riposted, “And to think that in France there are a lot of good people who think that civilizing the natives is the ideal of all colonialists! Ah! The official speeches and other publicity about civilization! One hundred years ago, the slavers of Europe went about their business more openly!”8 Jacquin thus equated French public opinion with the missionary point of view that the colonial administration’s insistence on preserving local custom flouted France’s civilizing mission and undermined its obligation to “uplift” its colonial subjects. This, he implied, simply reduced colonialism to naked exploitation of Africans. Jacquin’s article about the plight of Albertine-Marie highlighted the unique position of African Christian converts in French West Africa. Though they were a small minority in Senegal, their very existence challenged colonial boundaries of law and culture and threw the disagreements between missionaries and administrators over civilizing into sharp relief. Converts, of course, were the living personification of the assimilative Catholic civilizing mission. In the eyes of their missionary mentors, they were simultaneously a community loyal to France, a human barricade against the spread of Islam, and the seeds of a future Catholic Africa. By

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contrast, most administrators viewed them with circumspection from the late nineteenth century through the interwar period. Rather than embrace African Christian converts as reliable patriots or civilized islands in a sea of barbarity, officials tended to see them as potentially troublesome misfits who belonged neither in French nor in African communities. Official ambivalence about converts, and the missionary model of assimilation more generally, was reflected in converts’ ambiguous legal status throughout the period under study. Officials were reluctant to consider Christianity as an “African custom” that could impact interpretations of customary law. Indeed, African Christian converts who were not citizens seemed to be the only group who could not find a niche in the heterogeneous web of exception, legal pluralism, and privilege of colonial French West Africa. The case of Albertine-Marie also exposed a gaping divide between Catholic missionaries and the colonial administration over their respective approaches to France’s African subjects in interwar Senegal. This dissonance may seem surprising. After all, church and state relations improved markedly in the metropole after the war. The republic reestablished diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1921, and the two sides subsequently settled lingering questions about the implementation of the 1905 Law of Separation. In Senegal, the consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain appeared to showcase newfound unity between the administration and the Catholic mission. Concerns about Anglophone missionary arrivals in French West Africa led officials to relax the laicization-era restrictions on Catholic education, allowing French missions to open private schools.9 Finally, some missionaries and administrators noted a renewed tone of civil­ity in their interpersonal dealings, at least initially.10 Nonetheless, conflict increased between missionaries and administrators in Senegal, particularly in rural areas. Their differences emerged in a context of increased African protest and political agitation in the colony, administrative resolve to maintain order and better exploit colonial resources, and missionary determination to make a last stand against the spread of Islam, especially in the Casamance. These divergent administrative and missionary priorities resulted in diametrically opposed positions on the desirability and management of change in African society. The administration was concerned that African social and political transformations would threaten its goals of stability and economic growth. Officials responded to political challenges in the Four Communes and the threat of unrest from African veterans returning from Europe with attempts to slow the pace of change in African society. This stance included reinforcing what the French deemed to be traditional authorities in rural locales and bolstering the legal status of African custom in administrative tribunals. In stark contrast, Catholic missionaries tried to accelerate their program

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of remaking African communities through the introduction of Christianity. They attempted to reorganize African communities around Catholic households and stamp out beliefs, practices, and customs they deemed contrary to Christianity and, by extension, their conception of French civilization. Thwarted by administrative policy, the missionaries complained vociferously to a metropolitan audience. Monsignor Grimault, the Spiritan bishop in Dakar between 1927 and 1946, wrote to his superiors in 1934 that “public opinion in France must be alerted to oblige the government to modify its mentality regarding indigenous custom.”11 At its heart, as Jacquin’s article demonstrates, the conflict was about defining a civilizing mission. Both sides deployed the rhetoric of a civilizing mission in support of their goals. Officials employed the term “association” to describe their interwar policies and explained their renewed emphasis on tradition and custom in terms of civilizing, asserting that they would better reach the African masses and eventually “democratize” them by making use of “legitimate” African authorities, whom they would endeavor to educate.12 Missionaries, as they had for decades, continued to argue that the surest pathway to inculcating civilization in Africa and producing African subjects loyal to France lay via conversion to Christianity. Indeed, missionaries in Senegal regarded the administration’s interwar policy as a complete abandonment of a civilizing mission. As they asserted that the renewed emphasis on tradition and custom was antithetical to civilizing, missionaries pointed to increased administrative reliance on African forced labor to illustrate their argument. In their eyes, the heightened use of corvée labor to satisfy a growing obsession with the mise en valeur of the colonies smacked of slavery and underscored the emptiness of official civilizing rhetoric.13 In addition, as Jacquin did in the case of AlbertineMarie, missionaries focused on the implications of administrative policy for African wives, mothers, and daughters. They argued that French officials were actively collaborating in the oppression and subjection of African women instead of protecting and defending them. This all added up to a scathing assessment of interwar administrative policy as a repudiation of French ideals and responsibilities in West Africa.14 The missionary critique of administrative hypocrisy had validity, yet the reenergized Catholic civilizing mission was also disruptive for both Africans and the administration. Missionary activity inspired conflict and violence in African communities, as evidence from the interwar Casamance reveals. In response to missionary critiques, colonial officials argued that strife between African Christian converts and animists or Muslims was evidence that assimilation of Africans to French norms was a mistake and that missionary activity could damage African communities, as well as pose a threat to French governance.

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This chapter explores the curious position of African Christian converts in interwar Senegal and what that position reveals about how French colonial rule worked on the ground. It contrasts the divergent priorities of missionaries and administrators and examines their clashes over the nature and meaning of the French civilizing mission, with a particular focus on debates concerning African customs and the African family. It begins with a history of the status of African Christian converts in rural areas of the colony, before exploring how these tensions came to a head in the Casamance in the 1920s and 1930s. Administrative and missionary approaches to Africans became increasingly polarized in the interwar period, but that did not reflect profound change in the administrative approach to the civilizing mission. The administration’s interwar stance reflected new concerns and involved some shifts in emphasis, but, when viewed from a missionary perspective, the continuities with its earlier policies are more striking than any differences. Ironically, the only moment when the administration’s attitude toward Africans, and converts in particular, partially aligned with missionary goals occurred under the governor generalship (1908–1915) of William Ponty, often portrayed as the most anticlerical of the men to hold the office under the Third Republic. But Ponty never moved officially or decisively to endorse the missionary vision of the civilizing mission. While he was willing to recognize the assimilation of African Christian converts in some limited ways, his policies also helped establish the basis for the interwar focus on preserving African customs. Indeed, the close examination of administrative policies and their outcomes throughout this book reveals that between 1880 and 1940 the colonial administration in Senegal never pursued the assimilation of African populations, as missionaries did, nor prioritized a civilizing mission. The granting of the vote to Africans in the Four Communes, celebrated as a hallmark of French assimilation, was a metropolitan initiative carried out over the objections of local administrators and is best described as a residual Old Regime–style privilege for a particular interest group rather than a manifestation of republican ideals. Subsequent concessions, such as full citizenship for the originaires in 1916, were also granted in the metropole and were born of political necessities and negotiation rather than ideological convictions or an official embrace of assimilation. Although officials in French West Africa were experts at invoking a republican civilizing mission rhetorically, and reasoning backward to it from their instrumental aims, they consistently put other goals first, including the maintenance of order, revenue collection, military recruitment (until it threatened the maintenance of order), and, in the interwar period, mise en valeur. Thus, in missionary eyes, interwar association was simply more of the same hypocrisy, though perhaps more extreme.

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The Status of African Christians in West Africa, 1887–1925 Disputes between Catholic missionaries, their converts, and colonial officials about the legal status of African Christians in French West Africa were not new in the interwar period, though they took on fresh urgency as priests and officials redoubled their efforts to pursue their particular aims. In one crucial respect, the case of marriage, the colonial state dealt with African Christian converts as if they were assimilated to French norms, applying restrictive French law that impeded their ability to wed. Yet in nearly every other circumstance, the administration failed to treat African Christians as if they were assimilated and frequently insisted that their conversion had no bearing on how customary law applied to them, which enraged missionaries. In Senegal, tensions over the legal status of African Christians outside the Four Communes first arose between the Catholic mission and administrators in the late 1880s and early 1890s. The central, divisive issue was the legality of Christian marriages between converts in rural areas of the colony. According to Article 199 of the French penal code, no religious minister could proceed with a marriage ceremony until the parties had filed a civil act of marriage. Application of this article presented unique challenges in rural Senegal. Decrees of 22 and 30 September 1887, which had strengthened administrators’ prerogatives within their domains, had given them the exclusive power to file marriage acts in their cercles. Yet it was often difficult and expensive for African couples to reach the administrators, who did not visit all villages in their districts regularly. Moreover, as Monsignor Barthet, then bishop of Senegambia, wrote to the governor, Africans who did not speak French were afraid to ask administrators to undertake the necessary paperwork and to declare their conversion to official translators, who were usually Muslims. (Unable to restrain himself, he also added that since some French administrators were of dubious moral character, his missionaries had instructed African converts to avoid them.)15 The most galling part of the marriage question from the missionary perspective was that Muslims did not need to file a civil act in order to marry, although, in Catholic opinion, a marabout seemed to fit Article 199’s description of a religious minister. By making legal Christian marriage so difficult in comparison to Muslim marriage, missionaries felt that the administration was giving its animist subjects yet another reason to opt for Islam, undermining both Catholicism and its own best interest. Barthet professed astonishment at this state of affairs: Is it that these African Christians, who represent one-thousandth of the population in Senegal, are more fearsome to the government than the Muslims . . . ? However, are not the Christians the only ones who are assimilating themselves little by little to our

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customs, our clothing, our language, and our civilization, while the Muslims insist on preserving their own, despite all of the favors the administration bestows on them?16

Elsewhere in the letter he warned, “The fanatical Muslim will never be French, even if given all the rights of Frenchmen without any of the accompanying duties. The principles of his religion are too fundamentally opposed to our ideas and our sentiments to hope that he could ever sincerely rally to them.”17 Barthet’s arguments reflected his view that the French civilizing mission should be essentially an assimilative and Christian endeavor. Marriage was so important because it lay at the heart of missionary conversion strategy. Catholic missionaries considered monogamous unions to be the key to the creation of Christian families and, therefore, the future generations of African Catholics. A Spiritan postcard, captioned “Young Christian Households,” probably sold in France to raise money for the mission, captures the missionary vision of African marriage and family. It features two nuclear African families, in European-style clothing, posed in attitudes that echo contemporary French family photos. The fathers stand, clearly assuming a patriarchal role, while the mothers sit surrounded by their children, affirming their place as the nurturers of the next generation of Christians. The Spiritans intended this as an advertisement of their civilizing work to a French audience—a clear argument that they could mold Africans to French norms.

“Young Christian Households.” Spiritan mission postcard from the author’s personal collection.

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In the 1880s and 1890s, the mission’s argument, paradoxically, was that African converts should not be subject to the rigors of French law and procedure, at least in the realm of marriage, though the purpose of exemption was to ease their adoption of French customs and civilization. The missionaries hoped that a relaxation or adaptation of procedure would facilitate Christian marriage in rural areas. Barthet, incensed after an administrator in the Casamance charged one of his African priests with illegally officiating at an African Catholic marriage, urged the governor to allow missionaries the administrative power to keep marriage registers.18 Better yet, he suggested, the administration should just make missionaries into canton chiefs and have them manage the état civil (public registry of births, marriages, and deaths) as part of their official duties. This would reduce Muslim power and influence over African Christians and animists and would free up funds for the administration to hire French teachers, to further the civilization of Africans.19 As this proposal indicates, Barthet desired a close partnership between missionaries and administrators to make Africans into Catholics who would be loyal to France and who would serve as a human bulwark against the spread of Islam. His program was nothing less than an administrative revolution that would place the nonMuslim populations in missionary hands and cement the priests’ role as the primary French interlocutors with African subjects. Unsurprisingly, the administration did not agree and rebuffed Barthet’s suggestions—officials saw the mission as an obstacle to establishing administrative control in rural Senegal in the 1890s, not as a potential ally. Aside from marriage, however, missionaries found that it was difficult to get the colonial administration to legally recognize converts as Christians or treat African Christians as assimilated to French norms. Just after the turn of the century, under the guidance of Governor General Ernest Roume, the administration undertook a broad reform of the justice system in French West Africa. It organized a hierarchy of village, province, and cercle courts that would judge according to local customs, with the vague caveat that customs that conflicted with “the principles of French civilization” would not be enforced. The basic architecture of this justice system lasted for decades, though subsequent colonial administrations would reform it several times.20 It instituted a pluralist system that divided the African population into groups to whom different laws applied, reminiscent in some ways of the legal complexity of privilege in Old Regime France, though most noncitizens were also still subject to the indigénat.21 The decision to rely on customary law had far-reaching implications for African Christians, whose conversion put their relationship to the “customary” into question. Once Christian, should they still be subject to animist and/or Muslim customs of their neighbors? Initially, there was no official clarity on this point. While

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the administration implicitly revisited the question of the legal status of African Christians during its consideration of whether to extend the anticlerical laws of 1901, 1904, and 1905 in French West Africa, African converts were not at the center of debates over the legislation’s application. Colonial officials’ ultimate decision not to apply those laws constituted a firm rejection of assimilating the indigenous population to metropolitan norms, as well as an assertion of administrative autonomy. Indeed, African Christian subjects’ relationship to customary law did not receive much administrative attention until Governor General William Ponty’s tenure as chief executive of French West Africa between 1908 and 1915. As noted previously, Ponty cultivated a reputation as an arch anticlerical who did much to further a republican civilizing mission in the federation. His two signature policies—his 1909 politique des races and his 1912 judicial reforms—have been cited as evidence of his republican, “anti-feudal” style of colonial rule.22 When these initiatives are examined in relation to the status of African Christians, however, new conclusions emerge. In the short term, the way that Ponty implemented both policies did more to alleviate missionaries’ discontent over the status of their African converts than any previous administrative policies under the Third Republic. Indeed, his methods point to the same conclusion as his behindthe-scenes support for the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain in Dakar. Far from being a republican ideologue, Ponty adopted a flexible, pragmatic approach to governance, and the 1909 and 1912 initiatives demonstrate his desire to reconcile Africans and French people of a variety of faiths and backgrounds to colonial rule. Although he could speak the language of anticlerical republicanism to his superiors in the metropole, Ponty pursued a more subtle approach on the ground.23 Yet it would be incorrect to see his politique des races or his judicial reforms as a wholehearted endorsement of an assimilative civilizing mission like the one pursued by the Spiritans in Senegal. In fact, Ponty was eager to protect and utilize indigenous custom as a tool of French governance. His departure from his interwar counterparts was that he proved willing to recognize Christianity unofficially as a custom and allow African converts to employ its tenets to govern their communities and disputes. In the long term, his successors would repudiate his quasi-acceptance of Christianity as a custom, but not custom itself as a cornerstone of colonial rule. The basic premise of Ponty’s politique des races, put forth in a circular of 22 September 1909, was a diluted form of African ethnic self-­determination under a French umbrella.24 Ponty believed that the French policy of appointing African chiefs to rule over diverse populations was fomenting social unrest, particularly in cases where Muslims governed non-Muslims. Whenever possible, he believed Africans should be administered by a chief

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of their own religion and race (a French term loosely corresponding to “ethnicity”), under close French administrative supervision. His judicial reforms of 1912 took this idea further by requiring that indigenous subjects be judged according to their own customs, particularly in civil disputes. Tribunals had to contain at least one assessor from the same ethnic and religious background as each of the parties involved. This aimed to reduce the number of cases where Muslims sat in judgment of non-Muslims.25 Both of these reforms addressed arguments that Catholic missionaries had been making to administrators for decades, though gratifying missionaries was not Ponty’s central intention whatsoever. Had these policies been in force along the Petite Côte and the Thiès escarpment of Senegal in the early 1890s, Barthet and his priests would not have complained about the exploitation of Sereer populations by Muslim Wolof chiefs. Indeed, on the question of Muslim chiefs, Ponty’s 1909 circular closely mirrored missionary views. It reserved particular criticism for the practice of appointing Muslim chiefs over animist populations, which, Ponty claimed, provoked “social malaise” and favored the spread of Islam. In Ponty’s words, More flexible, more familiar with our conception of authority, and, it must be said, more disciplined, the Muslims quickly gain political hegemony in regions where animists are often in the majority. Therefore, without realizing any benefit to the extension of our own influence, we favor the extension of Muslim clericalism; and the action of Islam, if led by ambitious or fanatical chiefs, dons the character of a protest more or less hidden, against all European innovations.26

Missionaries had long claimed that Muslims would never be trustworthy allies of the French cause. Ponty’s words indicate that he shared at least a measure of this concern and that he wanted to slow the spread of Islam in West Africa.27 His thinking reflected the shift in administrative attitudes toward Islam that had occurred under his predecessor, Ernest Roume. Paul Marty, the governor general’s highly influential adviser on Islamic affairs, also shared the view that the spread of Islam did not serve French interests, and he valorized preexisting customs instead. Marty, a practicing Catholic with ties to the Spiritan mission, authored the first in-depth studies of Islam in many of the colonies of the West African federation.28 In Senegal, Marty argued that indigenous customs, though “primitive,” were often superior to those of Islamic law or custom, with respect to their compatibility with French civilization. Like many of his contemporaries, he also regarded the situation of women in a society as the “keystone of civilization,” and he argued that by this measure, women in the Wolof community of Senegal approached the status that women enjoyed in Europe. He did not see what he termed the “simple and mild” Islamic overlay on Wolof customs as particularly influential or detrimental. Rather, in his opinion, Wolof custom was “full of respect for the civilization, religion,

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and arts” of European civilization. This custom was malleable and became complete through contact with French practices and laws.”29 For Marty, Islamic law was another story, however—it was rigid and could not be easily accommodated to French customs and civilization. As a result, he advocated that in judicial matters, the administration take the entire relevant spectrum of indigenous custom into account, not simply enforce Islamic law.30 This approach, he argued, was the “best solution for the blacks’ interests, for French interests, and in the interest of civilization in general.”31 Moreover, Marty issued a clear warning that neither French nor African interests would be served by broader and deeper Islamicization: What will our black animists gain by Islamicizing themselves? The Islamicized ones by becoming perfect Muslims? And as for us, does it make sense to add the dangers of a social revolution to the political difficulties of occupying the country? Should we hasten the evolution of Africans toward a foreign civilization when we do not dare—and do not want—to push them toward our own civilization?32

For Marty, the answer to all these questions was an emphatic no. Here, he exposed the administration’s ambivalence and reluctance to pursue an assimilative civilizing mission as well as its concern to minimize Islamicization. The administration did not “dare” or “want” to make Africans French, nor did it want them to become fanatical Muslims. Marty seemed to suggest that it would thus be best for Africans to stay much as they were for the time being and evolve very slowly toward European civilization—a position echoed by interwar officials. Ponty’s judicial reforms of 1912 implemented these ideas and emphasized legal pluralism in the federation by prescribing that every subject should be judged according to his or her custom.33 This approach to Africans had a long history in Senegal: it had informed the creation of Muslim tribunals in the Four Communes, and it had shaped Roume’s judicial reorganization of French West Africa in 1903. Before Ponty’s reforms, however, little effort had been made to account for the diversity of the population, with the result that Christian and animist Africans often found themselves judged according to Muslim law, particularly if the local French-appointed chief was Muslim. Under Ponty’s reform, the panels that heard cases had to include African assessors of the parties’ own ethnic and religious affiliations. This gratified Catholic missionaries by increasing the chances that their converts’ cases would be judged according to Christian mores rather than Islamic law. This had particularly important implications for female African Christian converts, whose families had betrothed them to Muslim men. They now had a chance to escape arranged marriages if Catholics helped to adjudicate their cases.

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A contemporary Spiritan pamphlet noted that the reforms were widely applied to disputes involving African Christians across French West Africa, a welcome change from past procedure. The governors of Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Dahomey implemented the use of Christian assessors in disputes involving Christians. In 1914, Bishop Lemaître of the White Fathers argued that Catholic communities in Upper Senegal–Niger were relatively civilized islands in the great mass of African people and, as such, should have their own courts. He even went so far as to suggest that African Christians become naturalized French citizens.34 Ponty responded that although he did not think the small number of Christians in the colony merited their own courts, he had “no objection to the designation of Christian assessors for the examination of cases involving people who followed Christian custom.”35 This personal, though unofficial, affirmation by the governor general was an important acknowledgment of missionary work in the heavily Muslim region where he had been skeptical of the White Fathers during his tenure as lieutenant governor.36 He was now willing to see the results of missionary activity as a custom that the administration should respect. Ponty also played a personal, quasi-official role in partially resolving the long-standing question of illegal marriage between Christian converts in the African interior. As late as 1909, missionaries in Senegal were complaining that the requirement to appear before an administrator for a civil ceremony made it difficult for Christian converts to marry, an obstacle that Muslim and animist couples still did not face.37 In 1910, Spiritan Bishop Jalabert wrote to Governor of Senegal Peuvergne, asking him if subordinate officials who administered smaller divisions of administrative cercles could have the power to celebrate Catholic marriages, which would cut travel time and distance for betrothed couples. Peuvergne forwarded the letter to Ponty, adding that he did not think Jalabert’s request could be granted without changing the law because the statute clearly referred only to cercle administrators.38 Ponty thought, to the contrary, that the existing measure could be read in a more expansive sense to include all officials who were actively administering a territory, be they administrators, residents, or military personnel. He ordered that marriage registries be put in every subdivision and further instructed administrators to try to time their trips to coincide with marriage celebrations within their jurisdictions.39 A subsequent decree of 1910 specified that missionaries could proceed with a religious marriage ceremony even if a civil ceremony had not yet taken place.40 After a long meeting with Ponty on the subject, Spiritan Father Le Hunsec reported that the governor general knew that unregistered, illegal Catholic marriages took place in rural areas but that he preferred to remain “ignorant” of them. Ponty thus unofficially in-

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dulged missionaries’ violation of the marriage laws, though he also made it easier for them to comply.41 Ponty’s handling of the status of African Christian converts reflected his broader philosophy of governance. Even though he did not explicitly or officially endorse missionaries’ assimilative civilizing mission, he made efforts, often behind the scenes, to reconcile missionaries and their converts to his regime. This approach relied on the governor general’s discretionary power in the federation, which, much like his predecessors, Ponty sought to preserve. Ponty’s subtlety was not reserved for Christians. He managed the federation’s Muslims in a similarly nuanced manner. On the one hand, he attacked Muslim prerogatives in the Four Communes, asserting in a 1913 report to the Ministry of Colonies that Muslim originaires were not French citizens. Again revealing his acceptance of Catholicism as an ­avenue to civilization, he argued that only Christian métis and originaires who accepted French law should be citizens, while Muslims, as in Algeria, should have to renounce their personal status as Muslim to qualify for naturalization.42 In addition, his judicial reforms were designed to slow the pace of Islamic proselytism, and he put Muslims he considered dangerous under surveillance. Yet Ponty also worked hard to earn the allegiance and support of prominent Muslims. As he wrote in a letter rejecting a subordinate’s suggestion that the administration take a hard stance against the powerful Murid leaders Amadu Bamba and Sheikh Anta, “I have always thought that our policy toward our Muslim subjects should be more clever and tactful than severe. This should especially be the case when it is exercised on a group that has many followers.”43 Ponty’s policies and his way of implementing them revealed that he was supremely practical and flexible, though his ultimate goals, like those of his predecessors, were always maintaining order and strengthening administrative power in the federation. As he wrote in the 1909 circular, “In matters of policy, one must always avoid rigidity in the application of even the best formulas.”44 He was a politician at heart who cultivated many disparate groups in the federation, including African peasants, Muslim leaders, Catholic missionaries, and their converts. After Ponty’s death in 1915 and the upheaval of the First World War, his successors built upon some key tenets of his indigenous policy but rejected his ad hoc accommodations of African Christians.45 In many respects, interwar officials continued and intensified Ponty’s valorization of indigenous custom, though with slightly different priorities in mind. They, too, wanted to reconcile Africans to French rule, but they focused particularly on thwarting burgeoning African political and social aspirations and promoting mise en valeur in the wake of the war. New French anxieties about African desires for a political voice, manifest in the 1914 election of Blaise

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Diagne, as well as demands made by both originaire and subject soldiers during and after the war, led officials in Dakar to reject policies that might give more Africans expectations that the administration was not prepared to meet. This included Ponty’s willingness to recognize the assimilative effects of missionary work on African Christians, whom the administration feared were ultimately going to make demands of their own. After all, Bishop Lemaître had suggested that Catholic converts should become French citizens. In 1923, Governor General Carde informed an astonished Monsignor Le Hunsec, then Spiritan bishop of Senegambia, that he considered Ponty’s approval of judging Christian converts in accordance with their beliefs “an abuse of power.”46 According to Le Hunsec, Carde found it perfectly logical that Muslim law should govern an animist convert to Islam, whereas an animist convert to Christianity remained subject to the “customary” law of his “tribe.” A long discussion between the two men did not change Carde’s mind. “It amounts to favoritism for Islam,” declared the frustrated bishop.47 Decisions in the federation’s superior courts supported the administration’s rejection of accommodating Christian converts. In 1921, the Court of Appeals in Dakar ruled that it was incorrect to characterize members of a judging panel as enjoying the “Christian statute.” In 1925, the Court of Appeals in Bamako ruled definitively that there was no “Christian statute” and that marriages celebrated by priests had no contractual value unless a civil marriage was also conducted.48 The reasoning was, apparently, that a custom could not derive from a recently imported religion, nor could a religion (culte) shape the civil rights of its members.49 Yet religion clearly defined the customary law applied to Muslims and animists. Moreover, the administration continued to recognize Muslim and animist marriages as valid without French civil formalities. Officials’ support for African custom and their simultaneous denial that Christianity could be a custom laid the groundwork for bitter clashes between Catholic priests and French officials in interwar Senegal, particularly in the Casamance.

Senegal after the First World War Both the colonial administration and the Catholic mission in Senegal faced a host of new challenges in the wake of the First World War. Though the war experience fostered some new bases for cooperation between them, on balance their responses to postwar conditions ultimately pushed them apart, particularly with respect to their approaches to France’s rural African subjects. Their discord was prompted by fresh circumstances but was not entirely new in nature—it echoed fundamental tensions that had

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characterized their relationship for decades. In general, the war years had weakened both the administration and the mission in relation to the African population. Wartime conscription and recruitment had provoked violent revolts against French authority in many areas of the federation. The war sent tens of thousands of African soldiers to Europe, where their experiences enhanced their political awareness and led many of them, originaires and subjects alike, to demand compensation for their sacrifices in the form of expanded rights. In addition, the black African community of the Four Communes finally overcame its subordination to French and métis interests with Blaise Diagne’s victory in 1914. Diagne became a powerful voice for the so-called évolués, the educated African population of the communes, but also an advocate for African subject soldiers’ rights during his famous recruitment campaign of 1918. Though Diagne was celebrated as a great orator and a brilliant example of the success of the civilizing mission in the metropole, administrative officials in Africa eyed him and members of his constituency with suspicion and alarm.50 While the administration faced new African challenges to the colonial order, the Catholic mission struggled to reassert itself after the upheaval of the war years in the face of political and demographic change in Senegal. Diagne’s election marked the political demise of the Catholic mission’s former protectors: the devout métis of Saint-Louis, who had long dominated the General Council and who had helped the mission resist laicization measures at the turn of the century.51 Within five years of Diagne’s victory, his allies held 90 percent of the elective offices in Senegal and had gained control of the General Council and municipal councils. 52 The métis’s political eclipse reflected demographic shifts as well as black African political unity: they were now overwhelmed numerically by the mass of new French, Lebanese, Syrian, and African immigrants to the cities of the coast.53 The m ­ étis’s weakness cost the Catholic mission a prominent place in the colony’s political forums. In rural areas of Senegal, Catholic missionaries also struggled to adapt to new circumstances and setbacks. Catholic evangelism had been losing ground to Islam prior to the war because of a combination of personnel shortages, poor resource allocation, and French administrative policies. The war accelerated this trend: mobilization of priests meant that they could not regularly visit many of their rural Christian communities between 1914 and 1918, and many converts lapsed. Missionaries in the Casamance also believed that wartime African frustration with the French had given rise to a wave of conversion to Islam.54 And just as the mission prepared to address its deficiencies after the peace, the wreck of the Afrique killed Monsignor Jalabert and eighteen additional Spiritan priests and brothers, five of whom were destined for Senegal.55 The mission lost

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an experienced, charismatic leader and precious manpower in one stroke. Louis Le Hunsec, who had previously served as parish priest in Dakar, took Jalabert’s place as bishop, but his talents were so exceptional that he ascended to superior general of the Spiritan congregation in 1926.56 Le Hunsec’s replacement, Monsignor Grimault, grappled with ongoing personnel shortages, financial troubles, and continual advances of Islam.57 The administration’s and the Catholic mission’s respective responses to the difficult postwar environment put them at odds with each other, particularly in rural areas. In the Four Communes, both parties sought a measure of accommodation with Diagne and the évolués. The administration made small concessions to the évolués in hopes that they would decrease their agitation for more rights and privileges.58 Similarly, the mission did not welcome African control of politics in urban Senegal, but its personnel adapted to the new situation.59 The Spiritan hierarchy in France issued orders to its men in Dakar to engage productively with Blaise Diagne.60 The missionaries did not approve of Diagne’s particular route to assimilation, which included freemasonry, republican politicking, and a French wife. Nonetheless, they found that he shared some of their interests and that he saw the mission as a potential force for African advancement. Frustrated by the administration’s lack of commitment to genuine French education for Africans, he enlisted the mission as an ally in 1929 and proposed that it run a state-funded professional school.61 African political power in the interwar communes dictated the strategies of both administrators and missionaries and diluted rivalry between them. The real battleground developed in the colony’s rural areas, where Africans were still French subjects rather than voting citizens. Administrative and missionary approaches to these African populations were fundamentally opposed, often with explosive results. Though officials in Dakar liked to cast association as a respectful nod to African ways and as a step toward the “democratization” of West Africa, it was both cynical and nostalgic. Administrators wanted to turn back the clock, or at least minimize change in rural West Africa, in order to reassert their grip on African subjects after the war.62 This attitude was evident in officials’ preoccupation with ­déracinés (uprooted) Africans, individuals who had become estranged from their “traditional” communities through urban living, exposure to politics, wartime service, or, potentially, conversion to Christianity. Officials feared that déraciné Africans, loosed from the bonds of family, community, and custom, posed a social and political threat to colonial rule. Viewed through interwar administrators’ eyes, African Christian converts were prime examples of déracinés, not shining paragons of a French civilizing mission at work. Governor General Jules Brévié, who hosted the Souvenir Africain consecration ceremonies at the behest of his metropoli-

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tan superiors, was in reality a staunch critic of the destabilizing effects of missionary work in the federation. In a draft circular to the lieutenant governors of the West African Federation in 1933, Brévié asserted that the French had to allow Africans to “evolve” according to their own “traditions” in their own “milieus,” and it would not do to repeat the “old error of assimilation.”63 Brévié presented missionary activity as completely antithetical to administrative strategy: “Religious associations, by the very character of their mission, seek to eradicate indigenous customs to substitute precepts that are entirely foreign to the moeurs and institutions of the country,” he wrote.64 When Brévié shared this draft with the Ministry of Colonies in Paris, his metropolitan colleagues objected to his tone and ordered him not to publish it in the Journal officiel.65 They feared it might provoke damaging interpretations of administrative policy or alienate Catholic public opinion in France. This ministerial caution further illustrates the divide between the administration in Africa and metropolitan officials, who were eager to promote the optimistic idea of “a hundred million Frenchmen” in the interwar period. Brévié’s final draft was more diplomatic, but it carried essentially the same message as his earlier version. According to the minister’s wishes, he made the circular confidential, and he warned his subordinate governors not to communicate the document to missionaries under any circumstances. He acknowledged that missionary work had helped some of the “most backward” populations throw off their “bloodthirsty superstitions” and that missionaries served as “models of propriety” to Africans. Yet, he argued, missionary activity “disturbed the normal evolution of the African.” Christianity penetrated African society imperfectly, he claimed, and resulted in “social groups with ill-defined status and muddled aspirations who tend to try to free themselves from their roots before they have sufficiently adapted to their new milieu.”66 The mere presence of these ­déracinés provoked familial and community strife and placed French authorities in a difficult position. Brévié advocated legal limits on missionary action to prevent this kind of unrest. To avoid generational conflict over conversion, he stipulated that no child could convert to Christianity before his or her majority without parental permission.67 Brévié also stressed that conversion to Christianity did not entitle Africans to special status in the French administration’s eyes. Converts frequently caused problems for the administration, he wrote, because missionaries “imprudently” led them to believe that as Christians they would be governed by different rules than their peers. Because they embraced a European religion, he argued, many of these converts felt that they enjoyed quasi-naturalization, which should exempt them from the indigénat and entitle them to special judicial accommodations. Emphasizing the need to

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keep African communities cohesive in spite of religious difference, Brévié declared, “A Christian convert should publicly manifest his respect for all the traditions of his race. He must continue to abide and evolve in intimate contact with his family and his clan, while living in accordance with the religious and moral rules he has freely chosen for himself.”68 Brévié wanted converts to know that they would be recruited into the army, conscripted for labor gangs, and taxed like everyone else.69 The interwar missionary approach to rural Senegal involved a redoubling of assimilative conversion efforts, which clashed directly with administrative priorities as laid out by Brévié. Missionary strategy reflected both the church’s diminished position after the war and a renewed determination to salvage as many converts as possible. The mission acknowledged the obvious: Senegal was never going to be a Catholic colony, though Catholicism would dominate in certain regions and play an important role in the coastal towns. Missionaries, therefore, poured their energy into tending their existing converts and expanding in the Casamance, the last place where a large animist population, the Joola, remained. Monsignor Grimault described the strategy in military terms: “We are on the front lines for stopping Islam, which is trying to move ever southward. We are working to save our rear in the south.”70 The missionaries’ sense of urgency in the Casamance led them to employ a variety of tactics, including aggressive interventions in African communities and public critiques of French policy, that antagonized French officials.71 Although the interwar political climate influenced their actions and their disputes, in many ways missionaries and administrators were having a new version of the same argument they had had many times in the preceding fifty years.

Conversion and Colonial Rule in Casamance A closer look at dynamics in the interwar Casamance emphasizes the importance of local and civilian agency, both French and African, in the shaping of colonial rule. Initially, the relationship between Catholic missionaries and administrators in the Casamance appeared to improve in the wake of the war. A new atmosphere of comity replaced the strain occasioned by Father Joffroy’s dramatic clashes with officials in Bignona in 1914,72 but conflict was never far from the surface. Missionary priests provoked strife in the animist Joola communities they targeted for conversion and earned the ire of administrators with moratoriums on dancing, disruptions of animist religious rites, and interference in African marriages and family matters.73 Frustrated French officials found themselves adjudicating messy African disputes, which frequently pitted younger Catholics against vil-

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lage elders, and female converts against their male family members. As had been the case among the Sereer in the 1890s, Africans, converts in particular, exploited the divide between missionaries and administrators to further their own interests. Some, like Albertine-Marie, tried to use the federation’s courts to their advantage. In the eyes of many administrators, missionary activity spawned more trouble than it was worth: they preferred peaceful, productive, “pagan” villages to communities wracked by discord and favored “docile” animists over demanding converts. Missionaries saw the administration’s sympathy for indigenous custom as a misguided abandonment of its civilizing mission. They accused the administration of siding with barbarity over civilization, failing in its duty to protect African women, and cynically exploiting Africans for labor without doing anything to benefit them. The dissonance between missionary and administrative priorities concerning the African population is evident in a 1919 incident in Bignona. Upon his return to his post after the war, Father Joffroy found with dismay that Kéba, a local Joola who served the administration as a chief, had decided to betroth his daughter Anastasie, a Catholic convert, to a Muslim nurse named Bakary. The priests deplored such marriages because Muslim husbands often took additional wives, a practice missionaries considered gravely immoral. Moreover, such couples’ children usually became Muslims like their fathers. From the mission perspective, a Catholic

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African woman in such a marriage was a waste: the mission wanted her to become the linchpin of a Catholic nuclear family and raise her children in the church so that they, too, would become agents of Christian civilization. Joffroy went to plead with Kéba and Anastasie’s brother Germain, also a convert, but found he was too late to stop the wedding. He did not accept defeat, however—the next day the Catholic Joola in the vicinity asked the administration for a Christian chief to replace Kéba, almost certainly at Joffroy’s instigation. Local French officials did not heed this appeal. An administrator told Joffroy that in order to replace Kéba, the administration would have to find he had done something wrong, and in its eyes he had not. From the administrative perspective, the converts’ request constituted an unwarranted and unreasonable attempt to upset the existing hierarchy of authority. Yet for the mission, the established order was wrong and needed to be righted in the interest of the Africans, of France, and of civilization itself. Joffroy recorded his frustration in the mission diary: “If [Kéba] did not do something wrong in giving his daughter to a Muslim, then I no longer understand anything.”74 His incredulity illustrated the yawning breach between missionary and administrative assessments of the situation. As in the case of the widow Albertine-Marie, the missionary reaction to Anastasie’s fate illustrated that the interwar Catholic civilizing mission involved a special focus on women.75 One of the Spiritan priests’ chief goals on the ground was to defend their female converts from “oppressive” custom and domination by male relatives.76 Indeed, missionaries of a variety of denominations and nationalities in Africa focused on women’s issues, both because they felt converting women was the key to reaching young people and changing African religion and because they disapproved of women’s status in many African societies.77 After his retirement as Spiritan superior general, Monsignor Le Roy devoted time to publicizing the “plight” of African women, particularly in Cameroon.78 In 1936, he published a pamphlet, “On the Social Improvement of the Native Woman.” In an accompanying cover letter to Governor General Brévié, Le Roy excoriated “the customs that put the African woman in a miserable situation, contrary to justice, morality, and above all, French civilization.”79 Missionaries wanted administrative backing to assist women who wanted to change their circumstances and were frustrated when they did not get it. Officials were loath to interfere in matters of marriage and family in particular, lest they give rise to disorder. A 1931 report by the federation’s director of political and administrative affairs urged administrators to make sure that missionaries did not exert undue pressure on Africans to force them to abandon their customs, particularly in the realms of marriage, succession, and property tenure.80 Yet these were often the elements of African

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practice that missionaries were most committed to changing in order to create the Christian families they envisioned. The fundamental differences between the missionary and administrative attitudes toward Africans in the Casamance crystallized and intensified in the summer of 1926 on the occasion of the Joola circumcision rites.81 ­Animist Joola in the vicinity of Bignona practiced male circumcision in large gatherings of multiple villages every fifteen to thirty years, usually when a harvest promised to be exceptional. The ages of the initiates varied widely, and the practice was not conceived as marking the physical transition to puberty but as an admittance to true adulthood and a sacred purification of the self.82 The circumcision took place over an extended period of days and involved preparatory ceremonies, sequestration, instruction of the initiates in a sacred forest, and joyous celebrations afterward. It was one of the most important and elaborate Joola rites, a truly once-in-a-lifetime event for the community’s men. To Catholic missionaries, however, the circumcision was a “diabolical and vile ceremony.”83 The Spiritans at Bignona offered rewards and threatened punishments to make sure Catholic Joola converts and catechumens did not participate. The missionaries promised catechumens who abstained that they would be baptized that year and warned that those who attended would have to restart their religious education from the beginning.84 They sent local children to the mission station at Ziguinchor (a distance of more than thirty kilometers) to keep them out of reach of their animist parents and grandparents.85 After the circumcision was over, the missionaries disciplined baptized participants with five Sundays of repentance. When Catholic converts from the village of Kutégo begged for forgiveness for attending the rites, the mission informed them that it would no longer perform baptisms or funerals in their chapel and suggested they buy a bell and a Catholic statue to show their “regret for the scandal of the circumcision.”86 The French priests were willing to chastise their followers and grossly interfere in familial relationships to try to undermine animist beliefs. Indeed, the circumcision exemplified a bitter conflict between French missionaries and the older generation of Joola animists for the hearts and minds of the young.87 The priests used martial terms to describe this struggle, which they viewed as a divine test of their strength and will.88 “It is war,” the mission diarist in Bignona remarked. “The elders in the village of Brin forbid the children and the young people to go to the chapel. Yesterday they again drove the baptized people to the edge of the village and have threatened to kill them at the next circumcision.”89 During the circumcision, old women in the village of Soutou gathered to heckle Father Lamendour when he made his rounds.90 The priests claimed that in many villages elder animists forcefully took Catholic children to the circumcision

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in spite of the protests of their parents.91 In turn, animists complained to the administration that priests and their Catholic African allies were hiding children of animist parents. This was precisely the kind of dispute that French officials did not want to arbitrate. Officials responded angrily to the missionary campaign against the circumcision, coming down firmly on the animist side.92 The Bignona mission diary brims with laments that the administrators favored “savage customs” over the progress of Christian civilization. Priests faulted French officials for telling an African catechist to attend the circumcision, for refusing to help Catholic converts whose children were taken for the rite, and for replacing the Catholic Joola chief of Bignona with an animist in the aftermath of the affair.93 According to the mission, an administrator also threatened a Joola catechist with five years of prison for hiding three children to preserve them from the circumcision. The man spent three days in jail before Father Jacquin went to administrative headquarters to demand his release.94 When M. Maubert, the administrator-in-chief of the Casamance, questioned Jacquin about the children, the priest tartly pronounced that he had “nothing to reproach himself for” and openly displayed his disregard for the administrator’s displeasure.95 Each party was convinced that the other was in the wrong: the missionaries felt the administration should support their civilizing conversion efforts, while French officials felt the missionaries should stop sowing discord among Africans, which made rural governance more difficult than it had to be. While the missionaries saw themselves as righteous purveyors of civilization, officials frequently saw them as meddlesome nuisances. Occasionally, however, to the missionaries’ smug satisfaction, French officials became alarmed by African customs and religious practices, particularly when they threatened administrative priorities of public peace and order and when they involved behaviors that administrators considered criminal. Administrative tolerance for what was barbaric and should be suppressed was much higher than the missionary standard, but officials did draw a line at some activities, particularly those that threatened life and limb. In 1923, for example, officials intervened to save the lives of three Joola accused of witchcraft. Villagers were about to administer poison to the suspects to see if they were really sorcerers, but an emissary from the administration arrived just in time to prevent the test. The administrator on the spot considered the attempted poisoning a crime and arrested the women he considered responsible, transferring the whole dispute to the administrative tribunal.96 Officials also reacted swiftly to end alleged cannibalism that caused widespread unrest in the Casamance in 1926, invoking a torrent of missionary “I told you so’s” in their private and public writings.

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Missionaries in the Casamance believed that their condemnation of the administration’s stance on African society and custom was vindicated when the cannibalism scandal erupted. According to French reports, a secret society of Joola allegedly had been consuming both exhumed remains and live victims as an initiation rite. Members of the society purportedly coerced others to join by forcing them to eat human flesh and then swearing them to secrecy, sparking conflict and unrest among the broader Joola population.97 At the height of the crisis, French authorities relied heavily on converted Catholic Joola chief Benjamin Diata to round up more than 180 suspects, 6 of whom they executed.98 Nonetheless, missionaries in the region accused the administration of dragging its feet. They claimed that officials had been unwilling to believe their reports of barbarities in native communities. According to the priests, the administrators had first characterized the rumors of cannibalism as missionary “fibs” or exaggerations.99 Missionaries hoped that the scandal would persuade the administration of their conviction that “pagan religion still harbors tolerance for the worst instincts of perverted man” and that it would lead officials to abandon their sympathy for indigenous society and customs. “The golden age that certain colonials accuse us of disrupting seems far away now,” one priest observed.100 The Joola cannibalism uproar appears to have sparked Father Jacquin’s moonlighting as a correspondent for metropolitan Catholic publications. Jacquin analyzed the affair in an exposé entitled “My Dear Cannibals” for the widely read Missions catholiques.101 In his articles, Jacquin consistently reiterated three themes to his French audience: only missionaries truly comprehended African society (and the depths of its depravity), only Christianity would civilize Africans, and the administration’s defense of indigenous custom was a grave mistake that contravened the progress of civilization. In his account of the affair, Jacquin focused on officials’ ignorance of the secret society and their benevolent attitude toward African customs. Officials had too much respect for African religion, Jacquin argued, and the cannibalism had revealed its true, ugly nature. Jacquin also attacked the idea that secular French education was doing anything to civilize Africans: “People are more than a little surprised to find out that among the accused there are people who went to the public school and speak French. The Europeans are stupefied!” he exclaimed.102 “People place too much faith in education alone,” he sermonized, “which only makes these brutes into better-armed brutes, but without the morality that comes from fearing God our Judge.”103 According to Jacquin, conversion to Christianity was the only effective route to civilization. And anyone could take that path, the “cannibals” included, though he specified that it would require a “long-term” effort to convert “such monsters.”

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Nonetheless, he ended on an optimistic note: “We will find our most solid Christians among these cannibals, formerly warriors and still energetic and hardworking.”104 Unbridled contempt for administrative ignorance of African society resurfaced again and again in missionaries’ correspondence and publications, where they vaunted their own “superior” knowledge of African life. In a 1934 article for Le Figaro, Monsignor Le Roy argued that “the priests have usually served in the country for a long time: they are known, disinterested, speak the language, and understand local customs, while administrators are strangers, feared, and obliged to rely on interpreters of doubtful integrity who inspire more fear than confidence in the natives.”105 Jacquin liked to show his French audience that he understood what was really happening in Africa, while French administrators remained hopelessly in the dark. In a 1935 piece entitled “Au tribunal indigène,” he described the bafflement of the local administrator in a case involving cattle theft. Only two years removed from Saint-Cyr, the young man was overwhelmed by his administrative responsibilities, which required him to serve as amateur engineer, architect, entrepreneur, mechanic, and judge all at once.106 Flummoxed, he could not seem to get to the bottom of the crime. Of course, Jacquin and the African community knew who the perpetrators were, but they kept their mouths shut. Jacquin described the hearing: The accused blamed others, and all of the parties involved tried to bribe the African court interpreter. In the end, unable to determine who was telling the truth, the frustrated administrator imprisoned plaintiffs, defendants, and witnesses alike. Jacquin’s point was that the administration did not understand its African subjects and did not know how to manage them. Its attempts to police disputes and dispense justice were thus mere parodies.107 In a similar story, Jacquin showcased not only official obtuseness but also the salutary effect of Christianity on even the most “barbaric” African. “M. Bè,” the title character, was a reputed sorcerer and tirailleur deserter who had committed a murder before reinventing himself as a musician in the local administrative center. Jacquin noted that Africans were greatly amused that Bè was living under the administration’s nose, since the warrant for his arrest was still pending. “Even the little schoolchildren knew his story and that he had changed his name. So did the African gendarmes and the official interpreters, in short, everyone except the administrator, who will never know,” Jacquin wrote.108 No Africans denounced Bè because they feared his sorcery. Jacquin was not inclined to report him either—a faithful attendee of catechism, Bè had forgiven his old enemies and “desired only to live peacefully and forget his past.”109 Jacquin thus suggested that missionaries’ local knowledge, coupled with their faith, made them uniquely suited to civilize the violent African subject, while French

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administrators wielded little to no meaningful influence over their charges. Monsignor Descamps, director of the Propagation de la foi, also expressed this sentiment after a visit to the Casamance in 1927: “It is marvelous to observe how much religion changes and civilizes the poor primitives. Missionary action is more effective than the presence of administrators or military posts who supervise the Africans,” he observed in the Echo des missions.110 The missionary argument that administrators did not understand African society or its traditions implied that much of the official protection of customs was a sham. Administrators, since they did not actually understand African customs, were easily manipulated by Africans, particularly interpreters.111 The wicked interpreter, usually a Muslim, was a stock character in many missionary critiques of administrative practice. “Justice” thus amounted to favoritism for whoever caught the administrator’s ear. This in turn undermined administrative claims that association had any civilizing aspects. From the missionary perspective, association and the attendant defense of custom were inherently flawed policies that amounted to a complete abandonment of a civilizing mission or a desire to better the lot of Africans under French rule. Finally, nothing reinforced missionary conclusions about administrative hypocrisy like the widespread reliance on forced labor in Senegal (and across West Africa) in the interwar years. Administrators frequently employed corvée labor as they focused on economic development. In the Casamance, where roads and infrastructure were generally in poor condition, the use of forced labor gave rise to a number of incidents between missionaries and administrators. In 1920, Father Weiss could not restrain himself when Joola laborers struggling with loads of cement staggered by his mission station under a rain of blows from their tirailleur minders. The soldiers complained to their superiors of Weiss’s interference, which piqued the administrator. Sounding a familiar refrain, he complained of “yet another priest meddling in our administration of the country.”112 In 1930, Father Esvan became embroiled in a dispute with the administrator of Ziguinchor when an African overseer refused to excuse some Christian converts from labor detail to attend Sunday morning mass. Frustrated by the administrator’s response to his protests, Esvan threatened to denounce the administration to the League of Nations.113 That same year, Father Jacquin told Superior General Le Hunsec that he was discouraged and disheartened by the hypocrisy and cowardice of European civilization. “It is modern-day slavery,” he wrote. “Under the pretext of mise en valeur of the colonies, pirates in the administration and sharks in commerce crush the Blacks with corvées that endure for months, without paying them, although money is never lacking for more parasitical bureaucrats!”114

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J­ acquin, ever the mouthpiece of missionary indignation, kept hammering home the failure of the administration to live up to its responsibility to civilize, accusing officials of pursuing naked exploitation under the guise of beneficent colonization.

Conclusion The status of African Christian converts in Senegal (and, eventually, French West Africa more broadly) between the late 1880s and the 1930s highlights the heterogeneity of French rule in Africa. To the astonishment and ire of Catholic missionaries, Christian converts became the only community of African subjects in the federation that was not governed according to (albeit imperfect) French understanding of its religious beliefs or customs. Though customary law held sway in the federation and became more complex and responsive to various populations over time, the administration, except under William Ponty, did not recognize Christianity as an African custom, forcing converts into legal limbo. This striking exception to a rule of exceptions and Old Regime–style legal pluralism reveals the administration’s fundamental suspicion of African assimilation. The evidence from the interwar Casamance shows how civilian actors on the ground, including African converts and French missionaries, reacted to and tried to change this state of affairs through local action and appeals to metropolitan audiences. Indeed, the interwar years proved to be yet another moment when policies and attitudes in France and West Africa parted ways in the realm of religion. In France, the republic made peace with the Vatican, and Catholics took up a new role in public life.115 Interwar culture and society in France tended toward conservatism, which suited the church well. Metropolitan officials and church dignitaries even proved willing to advertise this harmony in the consecration ceremonies of the Souvenir Africain in Dakar. It would seem, therefore, that the Catholic mission in Senegal would have found a comfortable role in relation to a colonial administration that was itself increasingly conservative and authoritarian in the face of African dissent. However, that was often not the case. In the colonies, unlike in the interwar republic, the Catholic Church was a force for radical change rather than a conservative pillar of order.116 Missionaries took the idea of a civilizing mission seriously and approached African communities with the goal of fundamentally altering them through evangelization. Missionaries tended to view African cultures, customs, and societies in a very negative light, yet they believed that Africa could evolve to a Christian future. They liked to make comparisons between Africa and pagan Europe

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and reminded their detractors that it had taken centuries to Christianize France.117 While many missionaries shared the racism of their French contemporaries, they also tended to believe in the power of Catholic faith to “improve” any person. In one of his articles, Father Jacquin argued that African “barbarism” was better explained by the lack of a Christian tradition than by racial factors. “If we are better than they are,” Father Jacquin wrote, “it is less because of the superiority of our race and more because of the Christianity that has been in our blood, our morals, our laws, and our customs for centuries.”118 Jacquin and his colleagues believed that only the introduction of Christianity would suffice to truly civilize Africans.119 The colonial administration did not agree with the missionaries’ view of their evangelical activities in Senegal. Administrators frequently saw missionary work as disruptive and potentially threatening to colonial rule. They had a point: missionaries were willing to go to extraordinary, even criminal, lengths to pursue their aims. More important, however, the missionary push for transformation of African society contravened administrative priorities. In the face of both évolué and rural African protest in the interwar period, the colonial administration tried to contain change in African society to preserve its own power. Its efforts included a conscious, institutionalized, bureaucratic defense of indigenous customs and widespread rejection of accommodations for African Christians. The administration did not want converts to think that they deserved special treatment. Though the First World War brought many changes to Senegal and French West Africa more broadly, the interwar period was also characterized by important continuities, especially in administrative policy. In particular, the administration’s approach to missionaries and their converts in rural areas continued precedents set decades before. The official refusal to back an assimilative civilizing mission or to judge converts according to Christian mores and/or French law hearkened back to the 1890s, the era of disannexation and the missionary and administrative clashes on the Petite Côte. Like most of their predecessors, interwar administrators deployed a republican rhetoric of civilizing for metropolitan consumption, though they employed the frame of association. Finally, they, too, prioritized administrative autonomy. They wanted to preserve their spheres of operation from meddling by civilians on the ground or forces in the metropole.

Conclusion the limits of civilizing, 1936–1940

At the end of the period under study, for a brief moment it looked as though Catholic and administrative civilizing aims in West Africa might finally align more closely. In the late 1930s, there were powerful exterior pressures for change on both French administrators and Catholic missionaries in Senegal. The French election of the Popular Front in May 1936, just a few months after the consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain in Dakar, brought to power a socialist-led coalition of the left that moved to reform colonial rule.1 The new government swept more than half of France’s colonial governors out of office and extended some key aspects of its program, such as expanded rights for workers, to the empire.2 Meanwhile, a new and resolute Vatican push for the creation of indigenous church hierarchies in Europe’s colonies targeted the Catholic mission in Senegal at the end of the decade. Senior Vatican officials visited the colony in 1938, and the following year they insisted on the appointment of an African, Monsignor Joseph Faye, as the Spiritan mission’s chief executive in the Casamance, disregarding the protests of the Spiritan hierarchy and Faye himself. Both efforts demonstrated that the French government and the church were each trying to make practice on the ground more fully reflect their respective stated civilizing missions.3 Both sets of reforms proved to be limited and temporary, however, at least in the realm of tangible policy. There is, of course, the possibility that these short-lived experiments of the late 1930s pushed the imaginative boundaries of what was thought possible in the colonial context, paving the way for postwar movement toward decolonization.4 In the short term, the Popular Front’s impact in the empire was mitigated by the government’s short duration, its preoccupation with the rise of fascism in Europe, and activity on the ground by local European and African interests, includ-

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ing the administrative rank and file. An arguably sincere attempt to change the colonial regime and finally implement a civilizing mission foundered on die-hard administrative priorities and incapacities, as well as civilian activism, which pushed the government beyond the limits of change it could accept. Meanwhile, some Catholic missionaries in Senegal found that they could not countenance the logical outcome of their own vaunted civilizing mission: a church hierarchy directed by Africans. Though the assimilation of Africans to European norms had been their avowed goal for decades, racism and a reluctance to relinquish authority over Africans proved to be formidable obstacles to their acceptance of an African prelate. Under the Popular Front, the socialist minister of colonies Marius ­Moutet tried to inculcate a new approach to the empire. Although the government did not question colonialism per se, it aimed to make French rule more humane and beneficial to the colonized.5 Beyond the appointment of new colonial executives, much of its work on the empire involved the creation of a legislative committee of inquiry to conduct wide-ranging factfinding missions in the colonies. The aim of this body, as written in its constituent law, was to “lay the basis for the renovation of the French colonial system [by seeking to establish] the needs and legitimate aspirations of the populations living in the colonies” and to make concrete suggestions for reform.6 Even though the commission’s various agents gathered a great deal of data in French West Africa in the course of 1937 and 1938, it did not exist long enough to implement many of the recommendations. The Popular Front did have time, however, to introduce two significant innovations in the realm of labor and to try, tentatively, to improve the status of women in African society. Some of these measures brought government policy closer to missionary positions. One of the most striking Popular Front initiatives in French West Africa was the socialist governor general Jules Marcel de Coppet’s authorization of trade unions in the federation in March 1937. This measure embodied the usual colonial complexity and differentiation by specifying that Africans could not join a union unless they were educated, though this was not strictly enforced. Moreover, it was not so much a gift from French leftists as the result of activism on the part of African workers, primarily in Senegal. Dakar and the peanut basin had the most concentrated and politicized body of workers in the federation, who, beginning in 1936, conducted rolling strikes to force the issue. De Coppet, sympathetic to many of their demands, thus provided a framework for what was already taking place, while seeking to circumscribe union activity to the évolués.7 This policy came to a disastrous end in Thiès in 1938 when the army fired on striking railway workers and killed six. Strikers faulted de Coppet for the violence; Europeans in Senegal blamed the situation on his lenience. The incident

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provoked his recall, a regime was installed that signaled it would not be as tolerant, and unions in Senegal stayed quiet before the war began, though they remained legal.8 African agency and de Coppet’s policies had opened a window for union activity for a short time and laid an institutional basis that postwar activists would exploit. The other notable Popular Front foray into colonial labor policy in French West Africa was a reexamination of forced labor. In this area, its record was a similar combination of new departures and reversion to old habits, as well as an attempt to balance humane civilizing with economic priorities and “respect of customs.” Forced labor was, of course, a practice that many missionaries excoriated, though it is unlikely that their criticism was what caused the government to reexamine the policy. It was a hotbutton issue in international circles—France had refused to ratify the International Labor Organization’s 1930 convention on forced labor to preserve its ability to utilize it in the empire.9 Again, de Coppet was sensitive to African workers, up to a point. He was disappointed to discover that administrators routinely ignored or violated regulations that were supposed to limit the amount of labor Africans had to perform for local improvements such as road building.10 Yet, when it came time to formulate policy, he found it difficult to get away from the existing paradigm in some crucial respects. Nor was he willing to renounce infrastructure projects that relied on forced labor. The result was a mixed bag. The administration strengthened a precedent allowing Africans to pay a tax to exempt themselves from forced labor; however, by early 1938 only 25 out of 109 districts in the federation had implemented the reform. De Coppet also tried to improve the working conditions at big development initiatives such as the massive irrigation project on the Niger, but his efforts to reduce hours there only led to more Africans being conscripted. Like his predecessors, de Coppet found justification for some of his compromises in respect for custom. He invoked it, for example, when exempting “traditional tasks inherent in village life” from his definition of forced labor.11 All in all, though de Coppet harbored an inclination to reform forced labor, he could not reconcile it with the pursuit of development or overcome resistance from his subordinates. While they were only voices in a broader chorus critiquing forced labor, missionaries’ publicity campaigns may have had an effect in sparking the Popular Front’s handling of the situation of women in sub-Saharan Africa. Ghislaine Lydon has suggested that Spiritan efforts, including Monsignor Le Roy’s public denunciations of African women’s subordinate status, directly influenced officials to study the matter. Le Roy had corresponded with Governor General Brévié about the “plight” of African women in the spring of 1936, just before de Coppet’s appointment.12 The Popular Front’s commission of inquiry assigned Denise Moran Savineau, one of the few

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women in the colonial administration, to conduct an official investigation. Savineau traveled throughout French West Africa for approximately eight months from the fall of 1937 through the spring of 1938 and submitted a detailed, thousand-page report.13 The policy that emerged from this context also embodied the tension between the assimilative civilizing that missionaries demanded and the administration’s attachment to, and defense of, African custom. The administration proved willing to interfere in African marriage and family customs in a new but limited way to try to protect women as potential brides and as widows. It also tried, again in restricted fashion, to combat the practice of pawning, or using people (usually female children) as collateral for loans, which had increased dramatically in the wake of the Great Depression.14 In a stunning about-face in June 1936, just before his replacement, Brévié issued a circular in which he proposed that no marriage should be contracted for girls younger than fourteen and boys younger than sixteen, that the future spouses had to agree to the marriage, and that paternal assent was also needed if the betrothed were under the age of consent.15 As Martin Klein and Richard Roberts point out, Brévié clearly manifested his ambivalence about the measures within the circular itself by emphasizing the importance of respecting indigenous customs in the colonies. Yet, they argue, he felt pressure from both Catholic and leftist women’s groups in the metropole.16 De Coppet picked up where Brévié left off, reiterating many of the same suggestions in an administrative circular on African marriage in May 1937. He, too, stipulated that African marriage contracts should not be drawn up for girls before the age of fourteen or boys before the age of sixteen and that both parties had to agree to the marriage. In missionary eyes, this meant that parents could no longer force a Christian child to marry an animist or a Muslim, as in the case of Kéba and Anastasie. Finally, de ­Coppet instructed administrators to spare widows from having to submit to the will of their deceased husband’s family members—a prescription that would have helped Father Jacquin in his defense of the widow Albertine-Marie.17 These dispositions were not formalized, however, until a decree of 15 June 1939, well after de Coppet’s departure and the fall of the Popular Front. The decree recognized, wrote Minister of Colonies Georges Mandel, that “our respect of indigenous customs should not go so far as to deny the transformations wrought by our influence.”18 Mandel’s position echoed William Ponty’s informal conclusions nearly thirty years earlier. As in Ponty’s time, however, considerable ambiguity remained about the relationship between civilizing and respecting indigenous customs. Mandel’s careful wording did not actively advocate civilizing; it simply acknowledged the need to manage the results of change.

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Though missionaries considered it a step forward, the decree did not indicate wholesale administrative acceptance of Catholic proselytism. It opened some administrative avenues to deal with the effects of evangelization and placated segments of French public opinion on marriage practice and women’s status in Africa. Yet after the decree, and even under the ostensibly pro-Catholic Vichy regime, converts and missionaries continued to battle administrators who tended to favor indigenous custom over the mores of the converted.19 Moreover, as noted previously, African Catholics in Senegal never enjoyed official recognition within customary law under French rule. They obtained it in 1961 after independence. The Popular Front’s colonial reforms were thus passing and limited, often by the action of officials and civilians on the ground. They did push official policy closer to Catholic goals by addressing forced labor and the status of women in African society, two issues that were very dear to missionaries.20 Rapprochement between administrative and missionary goals in the late 1930s should not be overstated, however. Popular Front initiatives in West Africa were still riven with tension between assimilative impulses that reflected missionary aims and those that prized the preservation of African custom. Just as the reformist spirit of the Popular Front was petering out with mixed results, the Vatican appointment of an African prelate in the ­Casamance exposed the limitations of the Catholic civilizing mission in Senegal and of Vatican reach into colonial missions. In theory, the central goal of missionary activity was to build an indigenous African church that would be run by Africans. Father François Libermann, the “refounder” of the Spiritan congregation in the nineteenth century, insisted that the training of African clergy be a missionary priority.21 In 1847, two years after their arrival in Senegal, his missionaries founded a junior seminary for Africans, and ten years later they opened the first Catholic senior seminary in sub-Saharan Africa.22 Yet these institutional innovations did not produce a viable African clergy. Over the course of seventy years, the Spiritans in Senegal admitted more than three hundred African seminary students but graduated only about fifteen priests.23 This dramatic rate of attrition reflected frequent changes in seminary leadership and staff, a demanding curriculum that required students to limit contact with their families and immerse themselves in foreign languages and subjects, and missionaries’ racism and lack of sensitivity to the transition demanded of the African students. This outcome was not unique to the Spiritans in Senegal: both Catholic and Protestant missions across sub-Saharan Africa struggled to train African clergy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In fact, the faltering Spiritans were the most successful European missionaries in Africa in this regard before the First World War.24

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A large part of this thoroughgoing failure was that while missionaries in Senegal were passionate about growing their African “flock,” they were also wary of entrusting it to African shepherds. French priests wanted to do the work of evangelization themselves. Before the First World War, the Spiritan mission in Senegal was even hesitant to rely on African catechists, though they were often better equipped both linguistically and culturally to introduce religious ideas to potential converts.25 Given this reluctance to cede authority to African personnel, it is not hard to see why the Vatican had to insist on Faye’s appointment and why his elevation sent shock waves through the mission in Senegal. His promotion revealed that for a number of French missionaries, the assimilative civilizing ideal did not encompass the building of an African church hierarchy. It was one thing to convert and civilize Africans; it was quite another to put them in charge of the church and in a position to direct French personnel. Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum illud (1919) and Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Rerum ecclesiae (1926) had both emphasized the importance of training indigenous clergy and disassociating missionary efforts from colonial regimes. To underline the urgency of such training, the latter text mentioned the possibility that indigenous populations might one day evict European “governors,” “soldiers,” and “missionaries” from the colonies.26 Initially, however, the Vatican appeared to temper this agenda in West Africa, as evidenced by its willingness to designate the archbishop of Paris as a papal legate for the consecration of the Souvenir Africain. That choice, which seemed to identify the church with French imperial power (the goal, in fact, of the missionaries who had first advanced the idea for the cathedral), reflected a belief that an autonomous West African church was far in the future. But just a couple of years later, Vatican thinking had changed, spurred by the energy of Celso Costantini, who became secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda Fide, the arm of the Vatican dedicated to evangelization, in 1935. A former apostolic delegate to China, Costantini was impatient with long-standing missions that never seemed to produce a viable indigenous clergy.27 He was eager to force change on this score and conducted a tour of Africa in 1938 that included a stop at the Spiritan mission in the Casamance, the home of Senegal’s last sizable animist population. A result of this journey was the appointment of Faye, one of the handful of Africans who had ever become a Spiritan priest, as apostolic prefect of the Casamance, a post that gave him supervisory powers over all the French missionaries in the prefecture. Faye’s elevation was a huge surprise to Faye himself, the French missionaries in Senegal, and Europeans in the Casamance. Reactions were mixed. While few of the French missionaries in the colony openly condemned the choice in their letters to their metropolitan superiors, they implicitly ques-

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tioned his ability to do the job, expressed their sympathy for the difficult position he was in, or professed their obedience in terms that revealed their reluctance to follow him.28 Father Joffroy, the cantankerous veteran priest who had clashed with the administration on the eve of the First World War, was more openly hostile. Joffroy’s letters and diary entries reveal the perspective of an older missionary generation that believed that Africans were still “children” who needed much more European tutelage before they could assume leadership in the church.29 Faye’s correspondence from the period shows that Joffroy was not the only French missionary who made the job difficult, however. Faye, who had a retiring personality and had evinced a desire to join a contemplative order before his nomination, hated the spotlight and actively campaigned to be replaced from the start. After Faye appealed to him in person, the pope finally obliged in late 1946, after seven years that Faye described as torment.30 Faye’s agonizing tenure as prefect reveals that many French missionaries were not able to carry their civilizing ideal to its logical conclusion: an African hierarchy in charge of an independent African church, which would make missionaries irrelevant. Moreover, it reillustrates that evangelization brought with it authority over Africans that missionaries were loath to renounce. This missionary penchant comes through clearly elsewhere in this book. For example, administrative sources brim with resentment of priests’ appropriation of authority over Africans in the Sereer communities of the Petite Côte and the Thiès escarpment in the 1890s and in the Casamance in the 1920s and 1930s. Missionary rejection of Faye was not just about relinquishing authority, however; it was about giving that authority to a black man. Both Faye and French missionary observers cited racism as a root cause of the trouble. When Europeans were firmly at the top of the church hierarchy in Senegal, racism remained somewhat veiled by, and was channeled through, the unequal power dynamic between missionaries and converts or mission superiors and their subordinates. When those roles reversed, it emerged openly and virulently, demonstrating the imaginative limits of the assimilative Catholic version of the civilizing mission. The Popular Front moment in Senegal and the unhappy tenure of ­Joseph Faye emphasize the importance of local agency in determining the fate of impulses from the imperial center, whether that center was France or Rome. Both civilians and officials on the ground largely shaped what the Popular Front actually meant in practice in Senegal. In reference to labor, which was at the heart of the Popular Front’s domestic agenda, results were mixed. Local workers drove the momentum toward unionization but pushed the government beyond its comfort zone, resulting in violence. Federation executives moved to ameliorate forced labor but encountered resistance below them in the hierarchy and found them-

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selves unable to reconcile further reform with their development goals. Outside pressure and missionary lobbying produced some administrative efforts to ameliorate the status of women, yet they were limited and did not really threaten the primacy of indigenous custom in administrative thinking. On the church side, Faye and his new subordinates worked hard to end a situation that they were both uncomfortable with and ultimately prevailed over their superiors in France and Rome. There would not be another black African in a position of authority in Senegal until Hyacinthe Thiandoum’s ascension to archbishop of Dakar in 1962. In the meantime, in a solution uniquely available in Senegal, the Vatican and the Spiritan congregation compromised by appointing Father Prosper Dodds, the product of a prominent métis family in Saint-Louis, to replace Faye in the Casamance. Superior General Le Hunsec rationalized this choice to the Vatican by arguing that Dodds was indeed “indigenous clergy,” if not “entirely black.”31 Tony Chafer and Amanda Sackur argue that the Popular Front was a “defining moment in the history of French colonialism” because at that time “the contradictions inherent in the colonial project first became clearly visible.”32 These contradictions, however, had been obvious to m ­ issionaries, among other critics, for a long time. As early as the 1880s, missionaries in Senegal were chiding the administration for failing to live up to a French civilizing mission in regard to African populations. Of course, missionary critiques emerged from a particular Catholic view of what colonialism should look like, as well as a desire to wield authority in Africa. Many missionaries remained largely blind to the contradictions and limitations of their own conception of colonialism and the civilizing mission, which were exposed by their failure to develop and endorse African leadership of the church. .

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.

Faith in Empire has highlighted the complex interplay of forces that shaped colonial rule by focusing on specific religious questions, policies, and politics in French Senegal between 1880 and 1940. To do so, it has examined the actions and perspectives of a variety of power brokers at particular historical moments. These brokers include colonial administrators, French Catholic missionaries, metropolitan officials, métis politicians, and various African groups within and outside the Four Communes. In exploring their interactions, the book has developed arguments about administrative attitudes toward religion and religious policy, French missionary activity in the empire, varying French approaches to Africans, African manipulation of French interest groups, the relationship between the French metropole and colonial Senegal, and the nature of the French Empire under the Third Republic.

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This book has traced an arc over time between the 1880s and the late 1930s, drawing out both continuity and change in the identities of relevant power brokers and their positions in relation to one another. Over the course of the period, which began with concerted French expansion into the African interior in the 1880s and the 1890s and closed in the interwar era, there were some clear winners and losers among various French, African, and métis contingents jockeying for influence in Senegal. In general, the métis commercial lobbies and independent French interests in Senegal, such as the Catholic mission or the military, lost their ability to influence colonial policy over time as the civilian colonial administration asserted itself against them and tried to establish itself as the primary French interlocutor with Africans. As it strengthened its grip within the colony, the administration also diligently tried to preserve a measure of autonomy from metropolitan colonial officials and the French legislature. However, even as it centralized power, the administration contended with, and in some instances helped create, a fabric of privilege, rules, and exemptions that could make the exercise of that power complex. This is not, then, a story of the triumph of an all-powerful administration. French power in Senegal remained vulnerable throughout the period under study. Local civilians, both French and African, frequently mitigated or redirected administrative aims. Moreover, subordinate officials often thwarted the designs of their superiors in Dakar or in Paris. In the 1880s and 1890s, the administration was remarkably weak and incompetent and handily manipulated by Africans, French missionaries, and métis politicians alike. It proved unable to control the African subordinates it relied on and inept at managing the disorder they provoked. Though it managed to limit the reach of French institutions into the interior after 1892 and therefore partially disarmed its missionary and métis competitors, it was always susceptible to interference from whoever wielded political clout in the Four Communes. After Blaise Diagne’s election in 1914, Africans had this power and used it to strengthen their privileges and further diminish métis and Catholic influence. Diagne’s triumph showed how power had also shifted among African brokers. Chiefs who took advantage of the administration’s dependence on them lost influence over time, while politicians in the Four Communes and Sufi leaders, who cultivated an appearance of independence from the French, consolidated political and economic clout. Though the French administration was more powerful in the interwar period than in the 1890s, it faced new challenges from veterans and subjects who wanted more rights. In sum, it was never entirely dominant and continually had to negotiate with and manage influential French and African interests. That reality exposes why studies focused only on French discourses of colonialism, or the administration in isolation, are, by definition, limited portraits of colonial rule.

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Indeed, analyzing colonial rule as the result of the jockeying of a varied cast of interests prompts reevaluation of some of the contemporary narratives about French governance in West Africa, as well as historical interpretations of it. For example, missionary voices serve as a valuable counterweight to administrative sources on French colonial governance. Frustrated by administrative approaches to Africans between 1880 and 1940, missionaries were quick to point out what they saw as the failings and inconsistencies of official policies. One of their most persistent arguments, which belied administrative rhetoric, was that the French colonial regime was not committed to a civilizing mission in West Africa. While they were clearly biased, the missionaries were nonetheless right about this. Time and again, other concerns drove administrative calculations, including keeping order, collecting revenue, harnessing African manpower for labor or war, and preserving administrative autonomy. Administrators might have justified some of these initiatives as civilizing, but their rhetoric often followed their instrumental goals. Missionaries desperately wanted the administration to recognize and adopt their assimilative version of civilizing, which it steadfastly refused to do. Yet it did not really offer a meaningful alternative—its efforts to educate Africans or improve their standards of living were always haphazard and secondary to its other priorities, as Popular Front officials finally acknowledged. Even Blaise Diagne, the staunch republican Freemason, recognized that missionaries were more serious about civilizing Africans than the colonial government was. In a reworking of an older pattern of interest-group alliances, he turned to supporters in the metropole and missionaries in Dakar to advance his assimilationist agenda in the face of administrative recalcitrance after 1914. The use of missionary perspectives as a corrective to administrative explanations of official policy does not reflect a lack of critical perspective on missionary narratives, however. Missionaries ignored or did not see their own failings and were frequently unconcerned by the pernicious consequences of their activity in African communities. They never expressed doubts about their overall goals to revolutionize African society or the righteousness of their cause. They adhered more closely and consistently to a universalist ideological program and were more loyal to the concept of a civilizing mission than members of the colonial administration, but that did not mean that their mission or their tactics were boons for Africans. Moreover, their commitment to their assimilative ideals also had flaws, most evident in their failure to cultivate a robust indigenous clergy in Senegal throughout the period in question. While they wanted to assimilate Africans to French norms, missionaries were also reluctant to cede their personal authority over converts and their descendants. Their missteps, as

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well as a chronic lack of funding and personnel, contributed to French Catholic missionaries losing most of their battles in Senegal: many more animists became Muslims than Catholics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The ongoing quarrel between missionaries and administrators in Senegal about their respective approaches to Africans also belies the common trope of the missionary as the “handmaiden” of colonial regimes in Africa. On the contrary, in Senegal, the colonial administration kept Catholic missionaries at arm’s length and refused to endorse their vision of a civilizing mission. While European missionaries elsewhere in Africa may have played the role of handmaidens to varying degrees, in Senegal missionaries were just one autonomous interest group among several French and African power brokers vying for influence on the ground between 1880 and 1940. Indeed, the great irony is that missionaries in Senegal very much desired to partner with the French administration and kept campaigning, fruitlessly, to persuade colonial authorities to endorse their work and adopt their perspective on the African population. They tried to demonstrate, time and again, that their evangelism helped expand French influence in Africa and that they themselves were loyal French patriots, to little avail. Official rejection of the missionary program had relatively little to do with metropolitan anticlericalism, however. One lesson from this study’s investigation of religious policy is that French colonial administrators, at any level of the hierarchy, cannot be assumed to have been agents of the republic and its purported values in the empire. Local dynamics and the interplay between French and African power brokers proved much more significant in determining how policies were developed and implemented on the ground, regardless of how colonial officials were casting their actions in conversations with their superiors. As they confronted a complex religious landscape, administrators rejected Catholic overtures because they saw missionaries at various times as competitors for influence among the African populations, as meddlers who provoked disorder and antagonized Muslim and animist Africans, as allies of political interests that challenged administrative rule, or as agents who gave Africans inappropriate aspirations within the colonial framework. These reasons, not deep-seated, visceral anticlericalism on the part of republican administrators, explain officials’ persistent failure to support missionary endeavors and their frequent rejection of missionary collaboration. Indeed, administrators’ tendency to try to preserve administrative autonomy and authority in the face of both metropolitan and colonial challenges is much more evident than any ideological orientation. Overall, they were consistently practical and pragmatic. It is really no wonder that they never embraced or endorsed the ideologically driven vision proffered by Catholic missionaries.

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All of these conclusions serve to diminish some of the exceptionalism that tends to characterize historiography of the French Empire under the Third Republic, and of Senegal in particular. Empires are by definition heterogeneous political entities: cobbled together over time in changing circumstances, they deal with subject populations in a variety of ways, often related to when and how those populations enter the imperial fold or what vital interests or resources they control. There is often an improvisational character to imperial governance, however strong the impulse to centralize may be. Empire’s agents cope, ad hoc and haphazardly, with the unintended consequences of earlier policies and concessions to interest groups on the ground.33 Indeed, in these respects, colonial Senegal was a veritable microcosm of empire. Its islands of privilege in the Four Communes, with their centuries of contact with France, juxtaposed with the recently subdued territories of the interior; its distinctions between African citizens and subjects; the French use of local agents; and the administration’s reliance on an ill-defined mix of legal pluralism and administrative prerogative in dealing with ethnic and religious diversity all made the colony an imperial polity par excellence.

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Notes

abbreviations ACIC ACSSp AFIC ANF ANS AOAA AOF ASSJC CAOM Gén. JOAOF JORF JOS JOSD MDS SG TRM TRP

Archives de la Congrégation de l’Immaculée Conception de Castres, Rome Archives de la Congrégation du Saint-Esprit, Chevilly-Larue Archives de la Congrégation des frères de l’instruction chrétienne de Ploërmel, Rome Archives nationales de France, Paris Archives nationales du Sénégal, Dakar Archives des Orphelins-apprentis d’Auteuil, Paris Afrique occidentale française Archives de la Congrégation de Saint-Joseph de Cluny, Paris Archives nationales d’outre-mer, Aix-en-Provence Series généralités (CAOM) Journal officiel de l’Afrique occidentale française Journal officiel de la République française Journal officiel du Sénégal Journal officiel du Sénégal et dépendances Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances Séries géographiques (CAOM) Très révérende mère (supérieure générale) Très révérend père (supérieur général)

“ANF 200 mi” refers to microfilmed reproductions of AOF documents available in the ANF. These references include the microfilm classification used in the ANF, as well as the AOF classification, which denotes the location of the original documents in the ANS. ANS AOF refers to documents in the AOF collection in the ANS. ANS Sénégal refers to documents in the Sénégal collection in the ANS. introduction 1.  Bastille Day became an official French holiday in 1880. On its adoption, see Amalvi, “Le 14-juillet.” 2.  Strub admitted to the superior general of his congregation in Paris that he “permitted himself” to tear the flag down; his bishop in Dakar reported that he had thrown it in the mud. P. Strub to TRP Emonet, Rufisque, 10 Sept. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b5; Mgr Riehl to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 8 Sept. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 3.  MDS, 2 Sept. 1884, 287.

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4.  P. Strub to M. Sicamois, Rufisque, 19 Aug. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.10 b4 (emphasis in original). 5.  M. Sicamois to P. Strub, 19 Aug. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.10 b4. 6.  P. Strub to M. Sicamois, 19 Aug. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.10 b4. 7.  Spiritan journal, Rufisque, 21 Aug. 1884, ACSSp 3I 2.14. See also P. Strub to TRP Emonet, Rufisque, 10 Sept. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b5. 8.  Spiritan journal, Rufisque, Apr.–May 1885, ACSSp 3I 2.14. This transfer did not keep Strub entirely out of trouble, however. See Chapter 2. 9.  Mgr Riehl to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 8 Sept. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 10.  Republicans had first won a majority in the Chamber of Deputies in 1876, but it was not until 1879 that they firmly controlled the chamber, the senate, and the presidency, upon the resignation of the conservative president Maréchal de MacMahon. On Moral Order, see McManners, Church and State, 34–44. 11.  Ferry’s laws also included measures designed to limit Catholic congregations’ influence in particular areas of education, such as universities, but John McManners argues that Ferry’s constructive initiatives, like the system of primary education, were more effective than his attempts to reduce the Catholic presence in existing institutions. McManners, Church and State, 50–53. 12.  In May 1877, Gambetta made his famous declaration, “Cléricalisme: Voilà l’ennemi!” in the Chamber of Deputies. McManners, Church and State, 41–42. He was grateful, however, for French missionary activity in Tunisia as France prepared to establish a protectorate there in 1881. His “export” statement, frequently cited by historians, is variously reported to have been made to Monsignor Lavigerie, the archbishop of Algiers, whose mission was active in Tunisia, or one of Lavigerie’s deputies, Father Charmetant. For the former view, see Pottier, Lavigerie, 156; for the latter, see Deschanel, Gambetta, 261. See also Renault, Cardinal Lavigerie, 285–286. Renault notes that Lavigerie offered Gambetta advice about how to structure French rule in Tunisia when Gambetta was serving as premier and minister of foreign affairs in late 1881 and early 1882. 13.  Strub did not refer to metropolitan anticlericalism in his descriptions of these incidents. 14.  Throughout this book, terms that reflect contemporary actors’ categories, such as “civilized,” “civilizing mission,” “barbaric,” and “custom,” should be regarded as though they were in quotation marks. 15. In 1884, at the time of the dispute between Sicamois and Strub, Saint-Louis, Rufisque, and Dakar-Gorée enjoyed these rights. Rufisque had become a commune in 1880, and ­Dakar was separated from Gorée to become an independent commune in 1887, making four total. Légier, “Institutions municipales et politique coloniale,” 415. 16.  On the relationship between mayors, Muslim judges, and electoral politics in Senegal’s communes, see Christelow, “The Muslim Judge.” 17.  On the history of the municipal councils, deputyship, and the General Council in Senegal, see Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 38–62. In 1940, the administration of the federation of French West Africa (of which Senegal was a part) sided with Maréchal Pétain’s Vichy regime after Pétain hurriedly appointed an ally, Pierre Boisson, to serve as governor general. Ginio, French Colonialism Unmasked, 6–7.

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18.  See, for example, Crowder, Senegal; and Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics. Though she deals with colonial governance in West Africa more broadly, Conklin uses a republican frame in A Mission to Civilize. 19.  In its focus on local actors and rejection of a “republican” or “assimilative” framework, this book is similar to Amanda Sackur’s examination of the effects of the French Revolution in Senegal. She rejects the idea that the “egalitarian idealism” of the French Revolution underpinned assimilative policy in Senegal or, indeed, that the Revolution changed racial attitudes in the colony or “established a new basis for colonial rule.” Sackur, “French Revolution and Race Relations,” 69, 78, 83. 20. Doyle, French Revolution, 27. Robert Darnton has described privilege as “the term one meets everywhere in the Old Regime.” Darnton, Literary Underground, 21. 21. Doyle, Ancien Régime, 3. 22. The indigénat debuted in Algeria. Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 68. Gregory Mann has analyzed the indigénat as a centerpiece of colonial rule, arguing that scholars who focus solely on colonial law are misunderstanding the nature of that rule and French authority. Here I conceive of the indigénat (and of being subject to it) as part of the broader complex of differentiation or “privilege” that I describe. Indeed, becoming exempt from the indigénat, as various African groups, such as tirailleur veterans, did over the course of the period under study, was an important marker of status and differentiation for colonial populations. Mann, “What Was the Indigénat?,” 331–332, 344–347. On the indigénat, see also Merle, “Retour sur le régime”; Asiwaju, “Control and Coercion.” 23.  Christelow, “The Muslim Judge,” 4. 24.  Moreover, as Caroline Ford has shown, application in the metropole did not always go smoothly. Local communities, particularly in staunchly Catholic areas such as Brittany, forced government officials to compromise when putting the laws into practice. See Ford, Creating the Nation, 135–169. 25. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 2–3. 26. Wilder, French Imperial Nation-State, 7. 27. Ibid., 6–7. 28.  Recent examples that deal with colonial migrants to the metropole include Rosenberg, Policing Paris; Lewis, Boundaries of the Republic; Boittin, Colonial Metropolis. 29.  Wilder rejects characterizing modern France as simply an “empire-state” because, he argues, “its imperial heritage did not wholly negate its republican form.” Wilder, French Imperial Nation-State, 25. Antoinette Burton has used the term “imperial nation-state” in reference to Britain, but it takes on a particular meaning in the French context because of the republican mythology surrounding the French “nation.” Burton, Burdens of History, 13. 30.  Examining imprisonment in colonial Vietnam, Peter Zinoman points out the limitations of discursive approaches to colonial history. He also emphasizes the heterogeneity of the colonial state and its “premodern” aspects. Zinoman, Colonial Bastille, 6–7. 31.  This also raises questions about whether metropolitan Vichy ideology had

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an impact in the colonies. In Vichy in the Tropics, a comparative investigation of colonial Guadeloupe, Madagascar, and Indochina, Eric Jennings argues that the Vichy regime, though of short duration, had far-reaching impacts in the empire and, through a Pétainist valorization of indigenous folklore, “unwittingly” gave nationalists in the colonies the means to challenge French rule. However, although the Vichy regime had close ties to the Catholic Church in France, Vichy administrators continued previous policies of refusing to grant African Catholic converts legal status as Christians. In this religious domain, at least, the colonial status quo prevailed. Ginio, French Colonialism Unmasked, 105–107. 32.  On the relationships between metropole and colony, the nature of the colonial state, and comparison of “imperial systems,” see Cooper and Stoler, “Between Metropole and Colony,” in Tensions of Empire. 33.  For compelling models, see Asiwaju, Western Yorubaland and West African Transformations; Cooper, Decolonization; Burbank and Cooper, Empires in World History; Getz, Slavery and Reform; Mamdani, Citizen and Subject. 34. Bissell, Urban Design, 1. This assessment contrasts with Gwendolyn Wright’s portrayal of the French Empire as a “laboratory” where officials wielded more power than they did in the metropole and were thus able to push through urban projects that became models for undertakings in France. Wright, Politics of Design, 11. On colonies as laboratories, see also Rabinow, French Modern, 289. For a critique of colonies as “laboratories,” see Rosenberg, “Colonial Politics,” 638–639. For a recent contribution on the theme, see Tilley, Africa as a Living Laboratory. 35.  On gender in the colonial context, see Clancy-Smith and Gouda, Domesticating the Empire; and various essays in Cooper and Stoler, Tensions of Empire. On nuns, one of the most important groups of French women in the colonies, see Curtis, Civilizing Habits; Lecuir-Nemo, Femmes et vocation missionnaire; and the recent special issue of Histoire et missions chrétiennes 16 (2010), “L’autre visage de la mission: Les femmes.” On signares, métis and African women who played key roles in Senegal’s commercial families, see Brooks, “Signares”; Searing, West African Slavery; Knibiehler and Goutalier, La femme; Reyss, “Saint-Louis du Sénégal”; Marcson, “European-African Interaction”; H. Jones, “From Mariage à la mode” and “Citizens and Subjects.” 36.  David Robinson has written about “accommodation” of Muslim societies in Senegal to French rule and has shown that the French policy toward Muslims was complicated: even as French colonial authorities hoped to build alliances with Muslims, they employed surveillance against Muslim leaders. See Robinson, Paths of Accommodation. James F. Searing has illustrated the strategies of African elites in Senegal to simultaneously resist French rule, “accommodate” it, and mold it to their own uses. Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance” and “God Alone Is King.” Mamadou Diouf has complicated the portrait of Lat Joor, a ruler of Kajoor often celebrated for his armed resistance to the French, by demonstrating that he both “collaborated” with and “resisted” the French and by placing his actions in a nuanced examination of Kajoor during French expansion in the nineteenth century. Diouf, Le Kajoor au XIXe siècle, esp. 282–285. Demonstrating the ongoing relevance of colonial history in the political realm in Senegal, Lat Joor’s descen-

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dants attacked Diouf over this argument. See Klein, “Development of Senegalese Historiography.” 37. Cohen, Rulers of Empire. 38. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize. 39.  For the “republican” interpretation, see Johnson, “William Ponty,” 128, 141; Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 110, 289n20; Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 75. For the opposing point of view, see Foster, “Rethinking ‘Republican Paternalism’”; Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, 288n2; Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 238n266. 40.  For a study that posits that a “civilizing mission” was important to colonial policy well before the Third Republic and argues that it was shaped by its targets on the ground in the colonies (in this case Jews in Algeria), see Schreier, Arabs of the Jewish Faith. 41. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 259n2. 42.  The creation of a stark dichotomy between republican “progress” and “religious superstition” or “backward tradition” has its roots in the campaigns of eighteenth-century philosophes, as well as economic and political conflict between church and state during the Great Revolution. Much more academic history has been devoted to the republican, “modern,” and “progressive” side of this divide, and until recently, few scholars outside the church were using the rich troves of Catholic sources on the modern era in France. Now, Ruth Harris and Suzanne Kaufman have challenged the oppositional view of religion and modernity in their respective works on Lourdes. Raymond Jonas and Thomas Kselman also investigate Catholic practice and belief in modern France. See Harris, Lourdes; Kaufman, Consuming Visions; Jonas, Cult of the Sacred Heart and Tragic Tale; Kselman, Miracles and Prophecies. 43.  Historiography of French Catholic missions in sub-Saharan Africa is still largely composed of literature written by missionaries themselves. Important exceptions include Martin, Catholic Women and “Celebrating the Ordinary”; Orosz, Religious Conflict. Owen White deals briefly with missionary activities in French West Africa in Children of the French Empire but focuses on them more closely in two recent articles: “The Decivilizing Mission” and “Priests into Frenchmen?” Other recent scholarly contributions on missionaries in French West Africa include works by authors who are also priests: de Benoist, Histoire de l’Eglise catholique and Eglise et pouvoir colonial; Vieira, Sous le signe du laïcat; Shorter, Cross and Flag. In general, missionaries appear only briefly, if at all, in broader accounts of French colonialism in West Africa. See Manning, Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa; Johnson, Double Impact; Becker, MBaye, and Thioub, AOF. White and Daughton, In God’s Empire, remedy a staggering lack of scholarship on missionaries in the French Empire as a whole. Daughton’s recent book, An Empire Divided, treated in more detail later, is the best recent book-length contribution on missionaries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, though it does not deal with French West Africa. Curtis, Civilizing Habits, examines French women missionaries in the early nineteenth century and includes material on Senegal. A special issue of Vingtième siècle in 2005 demonstrated that the centenary of the separation of church and state in France generated interest in the “export” of religious battles to the colonies. See Keith,

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“Catholicisme, Bouddhisme”; Saaïdia, “L’anticléricalisme.” On Vietnam, see Tuck, French Catholic Missionaries; Keith, Catholic Vietnam. For a collection of essays on anticlericalism in the empire, see Delisle, L’anticléricalisme. It contains contributions on French Congo and Cameroun but nothing on French West Africa. By contrast, scholarship on missionaries in the Anglophone world is more robust. See Porter, Religion versus Empire?; Robert, Converting Colonialism; Etherington, Missions and Empire; Stanley, The Bible and the Flag. 44. Daughton, An Empire Divided, 15–17. 45.  There is an old debate about assimilation and association in French colonial policy. The leading text is Betts, Assimilation and Association, which posits a shift from assimilative administrative policies to “association” in the late nineteenth century. Conklin found this time line problematic in French West Africa. I have not found much evidence of a drive to assimilate Africans on the part of government officials at any point in the period under study—it was really the province of missionaries. Approaches to African conversion could vary depending on missionary congregations, however. Spiritans in Senegal pursued an assimilative strategy, but Cardinal Lavigerie, the founder of the congregation of the White Fathers, rejected it. His motto was the apostle Paul’s: “Omnibus omnia factus sum ut omnes facerem salvos” (I will be all things to all men in order to save them all). Lavigerie, Ecrits d’Afrique, 138. He founded his congregation initially to convert Arab Muslims in North Africa and instructed his missionaries to blend in as much as possible in their dress and speech and to refrain from proselytizing openly until they earned local trust. When his congregation expanded southward into West and Central Africa, he ordered his priests to try to convert people more aggressively, but he still shied away from preaching assimilation to European ways. In his instructions to his missionaries he wrote, “I expressly forbid the White Fathers to give the [African] children European clothes, European beds, or European customs.” Lavigerie, Ecrits d’Afrique, 183. The Société des missions africaines (SMA), which comprised the third major group of French male missionaries in sub-Saharan Africa in this period, was not a congregation but a secular society of missionary priests, whose approach seems closer to that of the Spiritans than the White Fathers. On the SMA, see Gantly, Histoire de la Société; Semplicio, De Marion Brésillac. 46. Daughton, An Empire Divided, 264. 47.  Daughton argues, for example, that “criticism of missionaries pushed the government to adopt a more proactive—and, as a result, more republican civilizing program.” Ibid., 262–263. 48.  In a visit to Senegal in 1938, Cardinal Celso Costantini, secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda Fide, the Vatican bureaucracy charged with spreading Catholicism, insisted that missionaries in the Casamance lower their expectations for baptism and conversion. P. Doutremépuich to TRP Le Hunsec, Ziguinchor, 13 Sept. 1938, ACSSp 3I 1.18 b4. 49. Benton, Search for Sovereignty, 2. 50. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 19. 51. Searing, West African Slavery, 32. Estimates of total slave exports vary and often reference the entire Senegambian region, which includes the British-controlled Gambia. Philip Curtin estimates that between 1710 and 1810, some 181,800 slaves

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were exported from all of Senegambia, 77,600 of those by the French. Curtin, Economic Change, 164. David Richardson argues that Europeans shipped 336,880 slaves from the region between 1700 and 1810. Richardson, “Slave Exports,” 17, table 7. For a comparison of several estimates, see Searing, West African Slavery, 34. On the Atlantic trade and Senegambia, see also Barry, Senegambia and the Atlantic Slave Trade. While the transatlantic slave trade had widespread economic and social impact in the region, Senegambia was not French traders’ primary supplier: they took many more slaves from the Bight of Benin and West-Central Africa in the course of the eighteenth century. For French slave trading volume by African region, see Richardson, “Slave Exports,” 14, table 6. 52.  On the relationship between the Atlantic trade and internal slavery in the Senegal River valley, see Searing, West African Slavery, 28. The persistence of slavery reveals the limits of French power to police African populations but also a lack of motivation to enforce abolition into the twentieth century. On the contortions of the French administration regarding slavery, as well as African adaptation to French policy in Senegal, see Getz, Slavery and Reform; Mbodj, “Abolition of Slavery”; Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule, esp. chaps. 1, 4, 6. When slaves began leaving their masters in the French Sudan in 1905, the administration, under the guidance of then-governor William Ponty, initially tried to protect slave owners’ property rights before supporting emancipation. See Roberts and Klein, “Banamba Slave Exodus”; R. Roberts, “End of Slavery”; Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule. On the persistence of slave status in Mali and its relationship to French use of African soldiers, see Mann, Native Sons. 53. Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 28–33. In the twentieth century, both during and after colonial rule, control of much of the peanut basin and the labor force necessary to exploit it gave the Muridiyya Sufi brotherhood an independent source of power in Senegal. On Sufi political power in postwar Senegal, see CruiseO’Brien, Saints and Politicians, 176–177; Coulon, Le marabout. 54.  For more discussion of the term “métis,” see H. Jones, “Citizens and Subjects,” 5–9. 55.  The best background on the Muslim community in Saint-Louis is in Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 117–139. 56. Ibid., 79. I disagree with Robinson, however, that this is part and parcel of a long history of French toleration and secularism going back to the Enlightenment. This reasoning is too often invoked to explain church and state relations in the colonies. Linking the state to Islam institutionally by paying a Muslim judge does not seem to be a secular policy. It makes more sense to see it as the product of political calculation designed to mollify or accommodate (to use Robinson’s word) the Muslim population. On Islamic justice in Senegal, see also Christelow, “The Muslim Judge.” 57. The tamsir was the moral leader of the Muslim community in Saint-Louis. For origins of the term and the office, see Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 80, 269n26. 58.  Though French policy makers had considered serious expansion into the interior (as opposed to simply maintaining trading posts on the Senegal River) at various times in the nineteenth century, the plans had never come to fruition because

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of a lack of will and funds in Paris. After 1876, Senegal became the starting point for aggressive French expansion in West Africa. Newbury and Kanya-­Forstner, “French Policy,” 253–257. 59.  For example, see Abun-Nasr, The Tijaniyya; Cruise-O’Brien, Saints and Politicians; Harrison, France and Islam in West Africa; Robinson, Paths of Accommodation; Glover, Sufism and Jihad; Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad. 60.  Cécile Laborde delineates three waves of Islamicization in Senegal, beginning in the eleventh century, but argues the last one, in the nineteenth century, was the most far reaching and important. Laborde, La confrérie layenne, 7. 61.  The Spiritans were active in the Antilles and many parts of Africa. The best overviews of their evangelical activities are in Koren, The Spiritans and To the Ends of the Earth. 62.  The concordat, Napoleon’s 1801 agreement with the Vatican, governed the relationship between religious institutions and the French state between 1801 and 1905. 63.  Prudhomme, “Stratégie missionnaire,” 354. 64. Koren, The Spiritans, 497. 65.  Historians of Senegal have warned against drawing sharp distinctions between the Four Communes and the rural interior. Hilary Jones rejects approaches to the history of urban Senegal that segregate the Four Communes and deemphasize their important ties with the rural hinterland. Jones, “Citizens and Subjects,” 4. James F. Searing categorizes the division between the communes and the rest of the colony as “arbitrary” and notes, “The Four Communes were legally isolated from the rest of the colony in a manner which belied the real cultural, economic, and political unity of the region.” Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 366. chapter 1 1.  Emphasis in original. 2. In 1886, there were only three communes, as Dakar was then part of Gorée. It became its own commune, bringing the total to four, in 1887. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 39. 3.  Soeur Germaine to TRM, Saint-Louis, 20 Feb. 1887, ASSJC B 1; P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 5 June 1887, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 4.  In the midst of his legal troubles in 1886, Forêt launched a weekly journal, the Pétit sénégalais, but it lasted less than eight months. Though virulently anticlerical, it aimed more at popular entertainment, while the Réveil closely monitored local politics and colonial policy. 5.  On the Devès family and the Réveil, see Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 108–116; July, Origins of Modern African Thought, 244–253. 6.  A Protestant mission opened a school each for African girls and boys in 1870, but neither ever had many students. Bouche, L’enseignement, 161–163. 7.  The first lodge did not last a decade, and neither did a second lodge, founded in 1823 under the auspices of Governor Baron Roger. Roger’s freemasonry did not preclude him from being a close ally of Anne-Marie Javouhey, the mother superior of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, and favoring her ideas on agricultural and educational development in the colony. Curtis, Civilizing Habits, 197–204. Free-

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masonry returned to Senegal under the Third Republic with the foundation of the Union sénégalaise in Saint-Louis in 1874, but it struggled for membership, attracting mostly Frenchmen who often spent only limited time in the colony. This lodge, which admitted the first black African in 1882, closed in 1893. In 1894, the lodge L’avenir du Sénégal replaced it but remained small. Another lodge called L’étoile occidentale opened in Dakar in 1899. Odo, La franc-maçonnerie, 9–24; White, “Networking,” 95–96. 8. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 85. David Robinson estimates that thirteen thousand of Saint-Louis’s fifteen thousand inhabitants in the 1850s were African—the French and métis groups composed the other two thousand. Of the Africans, he estimates that six thousand were Muslim Wolof working in commerce, and the rest were recently freed slaves of a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 31, table 1.1. Though this is thirty years prior to the period addressed in this chapter, Africans were still in the majority in the 1880s. For more on Lebu involvement in communal politics, see Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics; Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 391–395. 9.  Statistics in Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 35. 10.  Jacquemart, commandant du 2e arrondissement, report on the political and economic situation in Senegal, Dakar, 1 July 1880, ANF 200 mi 970: AOF 13G 309. 11. Idowu, “Establishment of Elective Institutions,” 266–271. The crucial point is that the institutions were a metropolitan imposition, strongly resisted by Governors Valière and Brière de l’Isle in the 1870s. 12.  The Four Communes obtained the deputy in 1870, municipal councils in 1872, and the General Council in 1879. Senegal briefly lost its deputy in 1875 but regained it in 1879. Idowu, “Establishment of Elective Institutions,” 268–269. Until 1882, the colonial governors appointed the mayors of the communes, but after that they were elected by the municipal council from among its members. Légier, “Institutions municipales et politique coloniale,” 424n8. 13.  Métis and African notables sent several petitions to the Ministry of the Navy between 1869 and 1872, signing their names in French or Arabic. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 43. 14.  On Muslim courts, see Christelow, “The Muslim Judge.” 15. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 39–40. 16.  Jore, “Les établissements français,” 126. 17. Ibid., 129–137. For biographical information on Lamiral, see 139n1. 18. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 43. 19.  On the Portuguese and other early European travelers, see de Benoist, Histoire de l’Eglise catholique, 7–60. Portuguese missionaries constructed the first chapel on Gorée Island in 1481. Portuguese unions with African women gave rise to a Lusophone métis population, primarily based in ports south of the Cap Vert peninsula, which conserved elements of Catholic practice, such as baptism, into the nineteenth century. The last such colony was at Joal, which became an important Spiritan missionary post. D. Jones, “The Catholic Mission,” 323–324. On this population, see also Boulègue, Les Luso-africains. 20.  D. Jones, “The Catholic Mission,” 323.

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21.  de Benoist, Histoire de l’Eglise catholique, 62. 22.  The first French Catholic priests who came to Senegal arrived in Rufisque, then a Portuguese comptoir, in 1635. The first one assigned as a parish priest by the French king came to Gorée in 1763 (Saint-Louis was then briefly an English possession). The Spiritan congregation (the pre-1848 version) was charged with providing religious service in Senegal in 1778 and then was reinstated in 1816 after the upheaval of the Revolution. The extant church in Saint-Louis was erected in 1828. Boilat, Esquisses sénégalaises, 20–34. 23. Koren, The Spiritans, 508–509. 24. Ibid., 89. 25. Ibid., 100–101. This amalgamation would pose legal difficulties for the congregation during the Third Republic. 26.  The concordat was applied in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion. For more on those examples, see Janin, Les diocèses coloniaux. 27.  On the arrival of the Brothers of Ploërmel, see de Benoist, Histoire de l’Eglise catholique, 130–132. 28.  The French term is orphelinat-ouvroir. The Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny (and their charismatic founder, Anne-Marie Javouhey, who worked in Senegal in the 1820s) have attracted more scholarly attention than the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres. For recent work on Javouhey, see Curtis, Civilizing Habits. On the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, see Foster, “‘En mission il faut se faire à tout.’” For analysis of both congregations in Senegal, see Lecuir-Nemo, Femmes et vocation missionnaire; Bouche, L’enseignement. 29. Koren, The Spiritans, 582. 30.  In the 1870s, this was true of the “Marine” officers who served as governors of the colony and the commanders who patrolled the Atlantic from bases on the coast. The Marine became known as “La coloniale” when it was transferred to the Ministry of War in 1900, though it was renamed the “Marine” in 1957. Clayton, France, Soldiers and Africa, 7. 31.  Spiritan journal, Dakar, 23 Mar. 1883, ACSSp 3I 2.7. 32.  See, for example, Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 28 Aug. 1887, 25 Aug. 1889, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 33.  The military became increasingly conservative after 1870, as it became a haven for right-wing men, many of whom were Catholic. Rabinow, French Modern, 118; Girardet, La société militaire, 148–150. 34.  Ronald Chalmers Hood III points out that the student body at the Ecole navale was disproportionately aristocratic and haute-bourgeois. Hood, Royal Republicans, 24–25. On the Marine, see Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan, 10–14; Hubert Lyautey, cited in Anderson, Imagined Communities, 152. 35. Hood, Royal Republicans, 11; Ropp and Roberts, Development of a Modern Navy, 49. 36. Spiritan journal, Dakar 1880–1892, passim, ACSSp 3I 2.7. Cuverville became an admiral and a member of the Committee of the Souvenir Africain, ­Dakar’s memorial cathedral. Ropp notes that the French left-wing press criticized Cuverville in the 1890s for visiting a missionary bishop, though Ropp does not

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provide specifics or documentation. Ropp and Roberts, Development of a Modern Navy, 258. 37.  Soeur [?] to sa mère, Dakar, 7 May 1896, ACIC dossier Journaux et relations depuis la fondation du Sénégal. For French sources on Behanzin, see Michel, La campagne du Dahomey. 38.  In Saint-Louis, religious services in honor of military men drew throngs: in memory of those who died in Futa in 1881; in the Sudan in 1891; and for Colonel Bonnier and his troops, killed near Timbuktu in 1896. Spiritan journal, SaintLouis, 14 June 1881, 23 Dec. 1891, 27 July 1896, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 39.  The most comprehensive text on schooling in the colony in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries remains Bouche, L’enseignement. Alice Conklin has argued that Bouche does not adequately investigate the ideological agenda of the education policy makers and addresses this issue in A Mission to Civilize, 73–106. For her critique of Bouche, see A Mission to Civilize, 278n5. In “Politics of Education,” Kelly Duke Bryant takes a close look at education in Senegal between 1885 and 1914. 40.  Muslims did not send their daughters to school, and they did not frequent French schools outside the Four Communes. Even in the Four Communes most Muslims chose Koranic schooling for their sons. Bouche, “L’école française et les musulmans,” 229–230. 41.  Soeur Saint-Jérôme to supérieure générale, Dakar, 19 May 1892, ACIC dossier Mère Saint-Jérôme Delpuech. While mayor, de Montfort supported the nuns’ work. See his letter and donation to their dispensaries: De Montfort to mère supérieure, Gorée, 24 May 1886, ACIC dossier Mère Saint-Joseph Labrousse. The Teisseire family had been in Senegal since at least 1829 and became powerful traders and partners in the houses of Buhan and Teisseire and of O. Teisseire and L. ­Descemet. It is not clear if the particular individual mentioned by the nuns is Albert or Edmond Teisseire or another relative. Both Albert and Edmond had links to the Catholic mission and political aspirations. See Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 51, 101, 112–117; Manchuelle, “Métis et colons,” 479. 42. Bouche, L’enseignement, 161–163. It is worth noting that even though the Protestants were never very influential, a wave of anxiety swept the Catholic mission in 1884 when a new Protestant minister and a doctor arrived in Saint-Louis. P. Guérin to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 23 Jan. 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4; P. Planeix to Mgr Duboin (in France), Gorée, 26 July 1884, ACSSp 3I 1.12 b4. Governor Faidherbe had established the first secular school in Saint-Louis in 1857, largely to attract Muslims, whom he felt would be more likely to send their children to a laic rather than a Catholic school. This was not the case: Muslims still preferred Koranic schooling, and secular schooling struggled. J. J. Crespin’s speeches in the General Council in favor of implementing the Ferry laws on secular education ran into staunch opposition from his Catholic co-councilors. Bouche, L’enseignement, 279–311. 43.  Didier became superior of the Brothers of Ploërmel in Senegal in 1876. P. Lamoise to Mgr Riehl, Joal, 7 July 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b3. 44.  JOS, 15 Apr. 1893, 131. The speeches at Didier’s funeral by administrators,

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municipal officials, and notables also emphasize his impact. See JOS, 15 Apr. 1893, 131–133. 45.  David Robinson identifies the Catholic Church as a key institution of the “private sphere” in Saint-Louis in Paths of Accommodation, 101–102. Robinson asserts that the Catholic mission had a tacit agreement with the administration not to stir up trouble by proselytizing in Muslim areas. There is no evidence for this in the Spiritan archives. The Spiritans concentrated on converting animist African populations because the mission had limited resources and found animists were more receptive to Catholicism. In fact, they accompanied the French army under Archinard into Upper Senegal–Niger, where Islam predominated. They got along well with Archinard, who supported their efforts. For more on their relationship with him, see Foster, “Church and State,” 69–75; de Benoist, Eglise et pouvoir colonial, 70–75. 46.  The years immediately following the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War were a time of retrenchment in Senegal, when it seemed as though the French would remain in their coastal enclaves and not pursue an empire in the African interior. Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan, 51. They reinitiated conquest under Governor Brière de l’Isle in 1876, but their most dramatic gains occurred in the 1880s and early 1890s. 47.  For more on the Wolof kingdoms of Kajoor and Bawol, see Searing, “God Alone Is King.” 48.  Indeed, military officers carried out some of the conquests in the western Sudan in open defiance of civilian directives. Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan, 174–175. 49. Zuccarelli, La vie politique sénégalaise, 30. It was later known as the Colonial Army. For more on this force, see Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan, 10–15. 50.  Though it took some time, the metropolitan end of colonial administration finally took permanent shape in 1894 with the founding of the Ministry of Colonies, after years of rotating responsibility for the rapidly expanding empire through the Ministries of the Navy and Commerce. The Ministry of the Navy oversaw colonial affairs via the office of the Directorate of the Colonies throughout much of the nineteenth century. In 1881, Gambetta moved this office to a new Ministry of Commerce and Colonies, but it went back to the navy several months later. The colonies remained within the navy except for brief stints in the Ministry of Commerce in 1889 and 1894. In 1883, a permanent undersecretary of state for the colonies was established, which made the colonial office more independent from naval oversight. Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 18–21, 224n5. 51.  Initially the governor of Senegal filled the office of governor general as well, but after 1902 the offices split and the governor of Senegal reported to the governor general, as did all the other governors in the French West African federation. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 68. 52.  On Devès family frustration with French policy vis-à-vis Kajoor, which the Réveil and the Petit sénégalais critiqued vociferously, see Searing, “God Alone Is King,” 60–61. 53.  The transition from military to civilian rule did not always go smoothly in

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Senegal or elsewhere in West Africa. Official communiqués from the late 1880s reveal both the civilian administration’s determination to impose its primacy over the military and the difficulties it faced in doing so. Decrees of 22 and 30 September 1887 helped delineate the lines between civil and military authorities but did not suffice. In a draft circular in October of that year, the governor of Senegal reminded his civilian administrators that political and administrative questions were uniquely their responsibility as his direct representatives on the ground: “You do not take orders, even communications of any kind, from a military officer, no matter who it is. And in a case where a commander of a military post establishes relations with natives in order to ascertain the political situation in your district, or meddles in affairs that are solely your concern, you must advise me immediately and remind the natives that they are beholden to you alone.” Gouverneur du Sénégal, draft circular to administrateurs civils, Saint-Louis, 13 Oct. 1887, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0001. See also gouverneur du Sénégal, circular to administrateurs, Saint-Louis, 2 Nov. 1889, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0005. For similar tensions in Upper Senegal–Niger, see Foster, “Church and State,” 73–75. 54.  On the Devès/Descemet rivalry, see Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics; Zuccarelli, La vie politique sénégalaise; Manchuelle, “Métis et colons.” David Robinson points out that focusing exclusively on these two groups risks excluding Bordelais commercial interests or the colonial administration. Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 105; see also H. Jones, “Citizens and Subjects,” 171. This approach also tends to conflate the experience of the Four Communes themselves: Although Saint-Louis was the epicenter of métis political power in this period and dominated the voting for deputy and the General Council until 1898, the other towns had their own political character. Gorée, with a centuries-old métis population and commercial interests, was more like Saint-Louis, but it was in steep decline ­ ufisque or by the 1880s as its population moved ashore to carry on business in R Dakar. Manchuelle, “Métis et colons,” 480–481. First Rufisque and, later, Dakar became commercial boom towns and attracted French traders and settlers who did not always see eye to eye with the métis leaders of Saint-Louis. The 1898 deputy election marked the first time a general election was won in Dakar and not SaintLouis. Zuccarelli, La vie politique sénégalaise, 75. 55. Louis Descemet, patriarch of the Descemet family, served as Governor Faidherbe’s personal secretary in the mid-nineteenth century. He then served as president of the General Council from 1879 to 1890, president of the Saint-Louis Chamber of Commerce from 1881 to 1891, and mayor of Saint-Louis from 1895 to 1909. The Descemets’ French ancestor had come to Senegal for commercial gain under the First Empire, and the family still made its money in commerce. Louis directed the house of O. Teisseire and L. Descemet. Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 105. 56.  Manchuelle, “Métis et colons,” 480–481; Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 108–116. 57.  Mgr Barthet quoting Crespin’s speech on prize day at Saint-Louis’s secular school in 1890. The speech elicited formal protests from Catholic missionaries who attended. Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 5 Aug. 1890, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. Crespin became mayor of Saint-Louis in 1890.

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58. Bouche, L’enseignement, 303–304. His fellow councilors rejected his proposal. 59. Duboin was Mme Brière de l’Isle’s personal spiritual adviser, and the bishop remained close to the couple for the rest of their lives. Brière was a graduate of Saint-Cyr, a veteran of colonial campaigns in Asia, and a hero of the battle of B ­ azeilles during the Franco-Prussian War, for which he received the Legion of Honor. Though not Catholic, as Francine N’Diaye has claimed, he flirted with converting to Catholicism, and both his wife and his Spiritan friends tried to convince him to do so. N’Diaye, “La colonie du Sénégal,” 498. See also Mme Brière de l’Isle to Mgr Duboin, Paris, 8 June 1883, ACSSp 3I 1.12 b4. On Brière and Duboin’s warm relationship, see also Général Brière de l’Isle to Mgr Duboin, Gorée, 26 Apr. 1881; Mgr Duboin to TRP Levavasseur, Dakar, 22 May 1881, ACSSp 3I1.11 a3. On Duboin’s and Brière’s opposition to the electoral institutions, see Idowu, “Establishment of Elective Institutions,” 270; N’Diaye, “La colonie du Sénégal,” 468. Brière’s firm stance on this question and his support of expensive military expansion angered French commercial interests, the métis community in Senegal, and the Ministry of the Navy. Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 105–106. His opponents ousted him by orchestrating a press campaign in France about the persistence of slavery in Senegal, which prompted Victor Schoelcher to air his concerns about slavery in the Senate. N’Diaye, “La colonie du Sénégal,” 464. 60.  Mgr Riehl to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 14 June 1885; ibid., Ngazobil, 10 Aug. 1885, both in ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 61.  Mgr Barthet to Deputy Lemyre de Villiers [sic], Saint-Louis, 12 Sept. 1890, ACSSp 3I 1.14 b1. 62.  At the start of each of the General Council’s annual sessions, the Spiritan bishop traveled from Dakar to Saint-Louis to lobby friendly councilors with mission requests, such as land or money to build schools, chapels, or orphanages in the regions within the council’s purview. Obtaining a grant was not as simple as it had been when favorable governors had the unfettered power to issue orders on the mission’s behalf. Councilors sometimes interfered in areas that the mission considered its own responsibility, such as primary education. In February 1885, the mission complained bitterly of a General Council debate on the Catholic school curriculum. Councilor Crespin, representing the anticlerical position, criticized the Brothers of Ploërmel. But even the sympathetic councilors expressed doubts about the religious texts used in the schools. “[The councilors] are posing as a Vatican council, correcting the catechism, supervising the religious texts, and even reforming them,” complained the mission diarist in Saint-Louis. “They desire to subordinate the clergy to their whims.” Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 14 Apr. 1885, ACSSp 3I 2.16. Yet the council could also be a lifeline for the mission: in 1892, Monsignor Barthet reported that he expected to obtain public subsidies for mission-building projects at Thiès and Ngazobil from the General Council, despite administrative opposition. Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 22 Dec. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 63.  Mgr Barthet to Deputy Lemyre de Villiers [sic], Saint-Louis, 12 Sept. 1890, ACSSp 3I 1.14 b1. His claim that Africans were the “masters” is an exaggeration for his time. Black African voters were often clients of one of two dominant parties. Not

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until 1914 did the black African population unite to elect a black African, Blaise Diagne, as the colony’s deputy. 64.  This happened in the electoral arena in the communes in the 1880s and also in the interwar period in the context of the consecration of the Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain. 65.  Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 31 Aug. 1884, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 66. Ibid., 9 Sept. 1884, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 67.  For more on Alassane and his family (the Mbengue family), see Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 124–126. It is not clear what the missionaries meant by their characterization of Alassane as “chief of the blacks,” but it may indicate that Alassane was the manager of the Descemet party’s black African clientele. 68.  For the view that Muslims had been granted too many concessions in the town of Saint-Louis, see Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 20 May 1885, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 69.  Yet the radical forces did not triumph in this bitter contest: it produced the staunch Catholic triumvirate of Messieurs de Bourmeister, Molinet, and Germain d’Erneville as the chief municipal officers of Saint-Louis. Molinet and d’Erneville, prominent métis in the Descemet group, were close to the mission. Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 8 and 18 Sept. 1884, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 70.  Pasquier, “Les débuts de la presse,” 480. 71.  Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, early Mar. 1885, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 72. Zuccarelli, La vie politique sénégalaise, 61. 73.  Mgr Riehl to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 14 June 1885, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3; Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 24 May 1885, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 74. Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 53; Mgr Riehl to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 28 Oct. 1885, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 75.  Kel-Kun, “Lettres à Mme X, le cléricalisme au Sénégal,” Le Réveil du Sénégal, 23 Aug. 1885, 1. 76.  P. Kunemann to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 27 Sept. 1885, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 77.  MDS, 14 July 1885, 188. 78.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 28 Sept. 1885, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 79.  Ibid. On the Bambara at Sor, see P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 29 July 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 80.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 28 Sept. 1885, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 81.  Notably friendly officials in the 1880s and early 1890s were Léon Jurquet (a royalist) and Quintrie, who both served as directors of the interior. Governor Clément Thomas was a friend of Mgr Barthet’s from previous service in India, but he angered the mission on occasion. 82.  Spiritan journal, Dakar, 23 Mar. 1883, ACSSp 3I 2.7. 83.  Ibid., Apr. 1890, ACSSp 3I 2.7. 84.  Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 23 Nov. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 85.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 14 June 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 86. Bouche, L’enseignement, 408. 87.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 14 June 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. In a letter written three years later, Father Alaux, then the parish priest of Rufisque, identifies M. de Bornoville, the instructor at Rufisque’s new secular

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school, as the man who had defamed Sister Saint-Pierre in the Réveil. It is not clear if Bornoville was the clerk mentioned by Picarda or if new evidence had come to light in the meantime. P. Alaux to TRP Emonet, Rufisque, 17 Jan. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b5. 88.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 14 June 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 89.  Soeur Germaine to TRM, Saint-Louis, 14 June 1886, ASSJC A 2. 90. Bishop Riehl was ill and died in France in the summer of 1886. TRP Emonet to Mgr Stumpf, Paris, 24 July 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.10 b5. Picarda replaced him as bishop. 91.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 12 May 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 92. Ibid., 14 June 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 93. Ibid., 12 July 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 94.  De Bourmeister was an old political enemy of the Devès patriarch—he succeeded in removing Gaspard as mayor of Saint-Louis in 1880 on charges of fraud. Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 283n67. 95.  For summaries of the legal proceedings, see CAOM Greffes Senegal, Police correctionnel: Audience, 26 Aug. 1886; Cour d’appel, Saint-Louis: Audiences publiques, 7 and 17 Sept., 1 and 14 Oct., 24 Dec. 1886. 96.  Soeur Germaine to TRM, Saint-Louis, 20 Feb. 1887, ASSJC B 1; P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 5 June 1887, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. Devout métis general councilor and mission ally, Germain d’Erneville, denounced the paper in the General Council in 1886 (Louis Descemet was then the sitting president of the council) and also sued for defamation. See session of 15 June 1886, Procès-verbaux des ­séances du Conseil général du Sénégal (1886), 198–210, for d’Erneville’s intervention and a response by Crespin. For d’Erneville’s libel case, see CAOM Greffes Senegal, Police correctionnel: Audience extraordinaire, 5 July 1886, Cour d’appel, Saint-Louis: Audiences publiques, 6 and 20 Aug. 1886. 97. The Petit sénégalais was published between 1886 and 1887, though its appearance became increasingly sporadic over time. It styled itself a “journal ­républicain hebdomadaire” with the banner “Le cléricalisme: Voilà l’ennemi— Gambetta” but had a different layout and a smaller format than the Réveil. It aimed more at popular entertainment than the Réveil did. 98.  Soeur Germaine to TRM, Saint-Louis, 13 Sept. 1886, ASSJC A 2. 99.  See, for example, ibid., 28 Oct. 1886, ASSJC A 2. 100.  P. Picarda to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 14 Aug. 1886, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 101.  Ibid., Dakar, 27 Apr. 1887, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 102.  Ibid., Saint-Louis, 5 June 1887, ACSSp 3I 1.11 a3. 103.  It is possible that Guérin was behind this intrigue, though in a defensive letter to the Spiritan Mother House in Paris he denied that he had ties to Gasconi and that he had known of the latter’s plans to support his candidacy. P. Guérin to P. Barillec, Saint-Louis, 16 Apr. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. Guérin had long served as a listening post for the mission near the centers of administrative and electoral power in Saint-Louis and frequently played a diplomatic role between the mission and the authorities. 104.  P. Guérin to P. Barillec, Saint-Louis, 7 Oct. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.11 b4. 105.  Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 14 Nov. 1897, ACSSp 3I 2.16.

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chapter 2 1.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 2.  The French sources are inconsistent in their spelling of African names for people and places, including Tiéki. For example, Lat M’Bor also appears as Lat N’Dior, and Latyr Ly as Latyr Cisse. I have tried to use the most common spellings for clarity’s sake, except when quoting directly. 3.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. In this case, the laman was appointed by the jaraaf as his point of contact in the village. Historically, independent Sereer villages had not concentrated authority in one person or chief, and the term laman designated a village elder responsible for the distribution of land. According to James F. Searing, the term became “poisoned” among the Sereer-Safèn of the Petite Côte when Wolof canton chiefs began using it to refer to their Sereer interlocutors in the colonial period. Searing, “‘No Kings, No Lords, No Slaves,’” 425, 425n74, 428. It is important to note, however, that French administrators and missionaries often used laman to mean “village chief.” 4.  P. Sébire to Mgr Barthet, 17 Sept. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 b2. 5.  There is no scholarly agreement on what to call the various groups comprising the North-West Sereer. Searing advocates three subdivisions: the Ndut, ­Cangin, and Safèn. He rejects the use of the term “Sereer-Noon,” noting that “Noon” is the Wolof term for enemy, and the Wolof used it for all the North-West Sereer. Searing, “‘No Kings, No Lords, No Slaves,’” 411, 411n14. However, French anthropologist Marguerite Dupire proposes five subgroups: the Safèn, Ndut, Palor, Noon, and Lala (the last four groups are located in the vicinity of Thiès; the Safèn, to the south). These groups are linguistically distinct from the Sereer who speak Sereer Siin, including the Sereer Seex in the north and the Sereer populations in Sine and Saloum. Dupire, Sagesse Sereer, 9. Historian Charles Becker denotes four groups of North-West Sereer: the Ndut, Palor-Sili, Noon, and Safèn. Becker, “Les Serer Ndut,” 2. 6.  The first Wolof chief of the Autonomous Sereer Provinces, Sanor Ndiaye, ruled from 1889 to 1894, when he was replaced by Abdel Kader. Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 160. 7. Ibid., 75–81. On the deep cultural, religious, and political divide between the North-West Sereer and the Wolof, see Searing, “God Alone Is King,” 19–21; “‘No Kings, No Lords, No Slaves,’” 412; Pélissier, Les paysans du Sénegal, 202. 8.  The Spiritans first founded a station at Saint-Joseph de Ngazobil in 1862. Koren, The Spiritans, 189. An 1898 survey lists missionary posts at Thiès, MontRoland, Popenguine, Ngazobil, Joal, Fadiout [sic], and Ndianda. Statistical report on the Senegambian mission for 1898, ACSSp 3I 1.13 a6. 9.  Mgr Barthet to président de la Propagation de la foi, Dakar, 3 Dec. 1890, ACSSp Senegal 3I 1.13 a6. 10.  Searing has investigated how as a “small-scale society,” the Sereer-Safèn successfully resisted conquest and slaving by the centralized Wolof kingdoms. Searing, “‘No Kings, No Lords, No Slaves.’” See also Klein, “Slave Trade and Decentralized Societies,” and related articles in issue 42 of the Journal of African History.

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11.  The progress of conversions to Catholicism among the North-West Sereer was not rapid, however. The 1898 mission report lists 657 Catholics at Thiès (some of whom were probably European residents), 57 at Mont-Roland, and 87 at Popenguine. Farther south, among the Sereer-Siin, there were 975 at Joal and 260 at Ngazobil. Mission statistics of converts are sometimes inflated, since they were often used to justify requests for funding and did not reflect the ambiguities of convert belief. Charles Becker argues that the majority of Sereer-Noon near Thiès became and remained staunchly Catholic because of the mission’s defense of them against the Wolof representatives of the French administration, while missionary progress among the Sereer-Ndut near Mont-Roland was slower. Becker, “Les Serer Ndut,” 84. In a thesis on the Christianization of the Sereer, Diaegane Sene explores the limitations of the missionary approach to conversion and the appeal of Islam. Sene, “Evolution et limites de la christianisation.” Searing, in “The Time of Conversion,” examines why some Catholic Sereer-Safèn converted to Islam in the twentieth century. 12.  Manchuelle, “Métis et colons,” 495. For the General Council’s impassioned reaction, see session of 19 Dec. 1892, Procès-verbaux des séances du Conseil général du Sénégal (1892), 67–98. The councilors continued to protest the disannexations throughout the 1890s: see Idowu, “Establishment of Elective Institutions,” 256–259. 13.  In his examination of the indigénat, the basis of administrative discretionary power, Gregory Mann shows how reluctant most officials on the ground were to reform it, limit its application, or abolish it up through the 1940s. Mann, “What Was the Indigénat?,” 347–349. 14.  On assimilation, see Betts, Assimilation and Association. For a critique of the use of these terms to describe the French approach to African societies before 1914, see Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 74–75. 15.  This is evident in the treaties the French signed as they expanded inland. They often stated that the French would respect the customs of the region in question and bound the African signatories to protect French persons and commerce in their domains. See, for example, Governor Clément-Thomas’s draft treaty for part of the Casamance, gouverneur to administrateur, 22 Nov. 1889, ANS Sénégal 11D1/0284. Administrators’ monthly and quarterly reports also reveal their real priorities: Political questions concerning stability always came first, followed by commercial and agricultural updates. Any other information came after political and economic news. 16.  On the articulation of a republican civilizing mission, see Conklin, A Mission to Civilize. 17.  Métis commercial interests also positioned themselves as rivals to administrative authority in the same region. In 1896–1897, Hyacinthe Devès and his ally Louis Huchard purchased peanuts on credit and issued bonds to African farmers near Thiès, promising to pay when the peanuts were sold in Europe. However, the administration did not honor Devèses’ bonds as tax payment, so the farmers had to reserve a percentage of their crop to pay their taxes, thereby reducing the amount of peanuts that Devès and Huchard could buy. Devès and Huchard retaliated by telling the farmers that they did not have to pay their taxes to the administration. Monthly report on Thiès, 13 Mar. 1897, ANS AOF 2G 1-110. See also reports for

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Jan., Apr., May 1897 in ANS AOF 2G 1-110; and the monthly report on DakarThiès, 12 May 1896, ANS AOF 2G 1-108. For an example of commercial interference in Bawol, see Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, 20 Apr. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 18.  As George Hardy pointed out, even in 1929, when a Frenchman joined the colonial service, his friends asked, “What crime must he have committed? From what corpse is he fleeing?” Hardy, cited in Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 24. 19. Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 25–26. For a contemporary view, see Boutmy, Le recrutement. 20.  Searing points out that the advent of colonial rule was not a huge rupture for many Africans in Senegal because it relied so heavily on existing structures. This was true until the early twentieth century. Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 5–8. 21.  Frederick Cooper has pointed out that power in colonial societies was “arterial” rather than “capillary” (as Michel Foucault argued in reference to Europe) and “concentrated spatially and socially.” Cooper, “Conflict and Connection,” 1533. He makes a similar point about colonial violence: “It was above all located and often all the more brutal for its limitations,” 1530n49 (emphasis in original). 22.  For a collection of essays examining the role of African intermediaries in colonial rule, see Lawrance, Osborne, and Roberts, Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks. 23.  Donal Cruise-O’Brien has argued that there was not a coherent French administrative policy on Islam in West Africa prior to 1900, though certain tendencies are discernible. See Cruise-O’Brien, “Towards an Islamic Policy,” 303. David Robinson refutes this and argues there was a definitive administrative policy, though he acknowledges that it became more sophisticated after 1900. He highlights French distrust of particular Muslims, especially Tukulors and members of the Tijaniyya order associated with state-building efforts and jihad, but also French cultivation of other Muslim partners. Robinson, “French ‘Islamic’ Policy and Practice,” and Paths of Accommodation, 75–96. 24.  Abdel Kader attended Faidherbe’s Ecole des otages, founded in 1856 and renamed the Ecole des fils de chefs et des interprètes in 1864. Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 160. On the school, see Bouche, L’enseignement, 328–356. 25.  Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 160–161. 26.  Cruise-O’Brien, “Towards an Islamic Policy,” 304–305. 27.  Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 159, 159n172. He also notes that the French called Jander (Ndiander), the one Sereer-dominated province of Kajoor, the “ravine of thieves” and considered it “lawless and unruly” because the Sereer lacked centralized government (61). 28.  Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, Dakar, 8 May 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 29.  Administrateur Patterson to directeur des affaires politiques, 6 Sept. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 30.  As Searing comments, “Whatever abuses existed, in this case the French considered ‘feudalism’ to be a step up from anarchy.” Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 160–161.

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31.  Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Saint-Louis, 6 June 1893, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 32.  Patterson was a member of a métis family that was active in politics and allied with the Devès. His letters demonstrate that he was particularly interested in the development of commerce in the region. Although I have not found any evidence, it is possible he was pursuing his own angle in the region, though his loyalty to the administration and its African representatives and his hostility to the mission do not align with the Devèses’ position in this case. There is not space here to describe every missionary clash with the administration, but see also the controversy over the appointment of a Muslim chief in the canton of Joal, in ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279; and mission interference in Sanor N’Diaye’s rule over the Sereer of the Joobas on behalf of the administration, in ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4, and ANF 200 mi 965: AOF 13G 294. 33.  Mgr Barthet to directeur des affaires politiques, Dakar, 17 Aug. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. Tautain was a member of the Descemet group and would pursue Administrator Abel Jeandet’s killers. Manchuelle, “Métis et colons,” 489. Barthet used the term marabout broadly to refer to Muslim authority figures of all kinds. 34.  P. Guy Grand to Mgr Barthet, Popenguine, 7 Aug. 1890, transcribed in Mgr Barthet to directeur des affaires politiques, Dakar, 17 Aug. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 35.  Mgr Barthet to directeur des affaires politiques, Dakar, 17 Aug. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 36.  Draft letter, M. Tautain, directeur des affaires politiques, to Administrateur Patterson, n.d. (it is clear from Patterson’s letter to Tautain on 6 Sept. 1890 that Tautain’s letter was sent on 19 Aug. 1890), ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 37.  Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 160. 38.  Kader used that position to tighten Wolof control in an area where the Wolof had not been able to exercise effective rule over the Sereer prior to French expansion inland. Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 159–160, and “‘No Kings, No Lords, No Slaves,’” 424. Favorable views of Abdel Kader are in Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, 11 Feb. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279; 2nd quarterly report, Thiès, 9 July 1895, ANS AOF 2G 1-107; monthly report, Thiès, 10 Oct. 1896, ANS AOF 2G 1-108. In 1896, the administration proposed Kader for the Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Black Star of Porto-Novo, in 2nd quarterly report, Thiès, 9 July 1896, ANS AOF 2G 1-109. See also Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, 24 Mar. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 39.  Draft letter, Tautain, directeur des affaires politiques, to Administrateur Patterson, n.d., ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 40.  Patterson removed N’Gor from his post, fined him thirty francs, and imprisoned him for five days for misconduct involving the collection of taxes and fines. Patterson was happy to report to Tautain that Abdel Kader was not implicated in the affair and remained “worthy of administrative confidence.” 41.  Administrateur Patterson to directeur des affaires politiques, Dakar, 6 Sept. 1890, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1279. 42. Ibid. 43. Ibid.

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44.  De Lamothe’s predecessor, Léon Clément-Thomas, knew Barthet personally because they had served in India together. Even when their priorities clashed, they maintained a civil personal correspondence. 45.  Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 18 Apr. 1892, 9 June 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 46.  Ibid., Saint-Louis, 17 Dec. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 47.  Ibid., Dakar, 20 Mar. 1894, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 48. Malic Coumba Fall to administrateur, 31 Jan. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 49.  Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, Fissel, 2 Feb. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 50.  Telegram, Direction affaires politiques to Mgr Barthet, Saint-Louis, 1 Feb. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 51.  Mgr Barthet to Comte de Mun, Saint-Louis, 22 Dec. 1892, ACSSp 3I1.14 b2. 52.  Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, 7 Apr. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 53.  Ibid. See also Spiritan journal, Thiès, 2 Feb. 1892, ACSSp 3I 2.17. 54.  Mgr Barthet to Comte de Mun, Saint-Louis, 22 Dec. 1892, ACSSp 3I1.14 b2. 55. Ibid. 56.  For an 1889 map of the mission at Thiès, see ACSSp 3I 1.10 b7. 57.  Contract proposal between the Colonie du Sénégal and the Préfet apostolique, 25 Mar. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.10 b7. See also Thioub, “Juvenile Marginality and Incarceration,” 82–86. 58.  P. Audren to TRP Emonet, Thiès, 6 Mar. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a2. 59.  P. Audren to P. Guyot (his cousin), Thiès, 8 Aug. 1889, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a2. 60.  For example, see rubber experimentation in the monthly report on DakarThiès, 31 Dec. 1896, ANS AOF 2G 1-108. 61.  It closed in 1903. Marginal note by Mgr Barthet on the report by the Comité de surveillance du pénitencier de Thiès (Imprimerie du gouvernement, 1893), 2, in ACSSp 3I 1.22 a3. Barthet’s relationship with Audren deteriorated as a result of the latter’s mismanagement of Thiès. See Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 7 Nov. 1891, 7 Apr. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 62.  Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 27 Feb. 1895, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. In his monthly report of July 1897, the administrator at Thiès wrote that he had planted more than one thousand plants from the mission in his territory. Monthly report on Thiès, July 1897, ANS AOF 2G 1-110. Barthet renegotiated this contract in 1898: for an annual salary of three thousand francs the mission agreed to provide eight thousand plants to the administration per year, including numerous banana, mango, lemon, and orange trees. See Contrat relative à la pépinière de Thiès, 1898, ACSSp 3I 1.22 a3. 63.  For example, see the projects to build a bridge and a wall at Joal in 1888: contract between Mgr Picarda and directeur de l’intérieur, Saint-Louis, 26 Mar. 1888; chef du Service des travaux publics to directeur de l’intérieur, Saint-Louis, 9 June 1888, ANS Sénégal 10D1/0005. See also Mgr Barthet to P. Gerrer, Thiès, 2 Jan. 1897, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a5, concerning a project to maintain roads in the ­Autonomous Sereer Provinces. 64.  Mgr Barthet to P. Gerrer, Thiès, 2 Jan. 1897, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a5.

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65. For more on the Jeandet case, see Gausseron, Un français au Sénégal; ­Manchuelle, “Métis et colons.” For archival material, see CAOM SG Sénégal IV/66. 66.  Gouverneur to Administrateur Patterson, Saint-Louis, 8 Apr. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. De Lamothe was still governor but was not in Senegal. 67.  On tension between colonial law and administrative prerogative in French West Africa, see Mann, “What Was the Indigénat?” 68.  For more on interpreters, see Lawrance, Osborn, and Roberts, Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks. 69.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG ­Sénégal VIII/29. 70.  Report of the président de la Cour d’assises, audiences of 13 and 14 Sept. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 71. Ibid. 72.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG ­Sénégal VIII/29. 73.  Ibid. The spelling of Leye’s name also varies in the sources. 74.  Meissa Niasse to Monsieur, 27 Mar. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. A few months later, Patterson added Niasse’s territory to Abd-el-Kader’s purview, citing Niasse’s incompetence. Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, Dakar, 2 Jun. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. This is the same Father Strub who got in trouble in Rufisque in 1884. 75.  Malic Coumba Fal [sic] to administrateur, Thiès, 2 Apr. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 76.  P. Strub to Administrateur Patterson, Popenguine, 4 Apr. 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 77.  Administrateur Leclerc to directeur des affaires politiques, 1 May 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 78.  Abd-el-Kader to Administrateur Patterson, Bargny, 4 May 1892; Administrateur Patterson to directeur des affaires politiques, Dakar, 6 May 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. A draft of the confidential letter is also in this file: gouverneur to administrateur prinicipal, Dakar, n.d. 79.  Administrateur Patterson to gouverneur, Dakar, 2 June 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. Patterson also took 249 head of cattle, 38 lambs, and 62 goats as payment for fines. 80.  Report of the président de la Cour d’assises, audiences of 13 and 14 Sept. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 81.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG ­Sénégal VIII/29. 82.  Ibid. Faye also claimed that his previous declarations had been the result of a “great state of physical weakness.” See report of the président de la Cour d’assises, audiences of 13 and 14 Sept. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 83.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG ­Sénégal VIII/29. 84.  They left Dakar at 6:30 a.m. on 2 June on the train to Rufisque and then took the sandy thirty-kilometer road to Toubab Dialao, where they arrived at sunset. They continued inland to Tiéki in the morning.

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85.  Report of the président de la Cour d’assises, audiences of 13 and 14 Sept. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 86. Ibid. 87.  P. Sébire to Mgr Barthet, Thiès, 17 Sept. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 b2. Father Strub was better placed to testify because he lived closer to Tiéki and had assisted its population after the death of Amadu Gueye, though he had not witnessed the killing personally. Strub had a volatile personality, however, and had been exiled to the interior after antagonizing the mayor of Rufisque in 1884, whereas Sébire was highly respected in the colony for his agricultural experiments. Crespin probably calculated that Sébire would make a better impression in court. 88.  Président de la Cour d’assises to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 3 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. The judges in the case were Jean Honoré Maroleau, proprietor, aged fifty-nine; Michel Louis Aimé Pesnel, proprietor, sixty-one; C ­ amille Guillaume Larrouy, merchant, thirty-eight; Michel André, proprietor, fifty. All were native to Saint-Louis. Pesnel was a friend of the Catholic mission and politically conservative: see Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, Jan. 1889, 12 Apr. 1891, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 89.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG ­Sénégal VIII/29. 90.  Gouverneur p. i. (par intérim) Roberdeau, marginal note, Saint-Louis, 1 Nov. 1892, in procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 91.  Président de la Cour d’assises to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 3 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG Sénégal VIII/29. 92.  Procureur général to gouverneur, Saint-Louis, 6 Oct. 1892, CAOM SG ­Sénégal VIII/29 (emphasis in original). 93.  Gouverneur p. i. Roberdeau to sous-secrétaire d’état des colonies, SaintLouis, 17 June 1892, ANS Sénégal 11D1/1335. 94.  The budgets for the new protectorates were still inserted in the General Council’s budget, but in the “obligatory expenses” section. Effectively, the council lost much of its ability to interfere with administrative affairs in the disannexed areas. Idowu, “Establishment of Protectorate Administration,” 255. 95.  Mgr Barthet to Comte de Mun, Saint-Louis, 22 Dec. 1892, ACSSp 3I 1.14 b2. 96.  As noted previously, Kader became supreme chief of the Autonomous Sereer Provinces in 1894. In 1896, Administrator Berton faulted Father Sébire and the missionaries at Thiès for disrupting the flow of information between the Sereer and the administration, because the Sereer were relaying their complaints about Abdel Kader to officials via the priests. Nonetheless, in the agricultural section of the report, Berton wrote that he had nominated Sébire for the Knight’s Cross of Agricultural Merit in recognition of his work in the Thiès nursery. Monthly report, Thiès, 7 July 1896, ANS AOF 2G 1-108. 97.  Mgr Barthet to P. Grizard, Ngazobil, 26 July 1899, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a5. Searing cites Decazes’s report dated 24 June 1899 in “Accommodation and Resistance,” 160n174. Décision concernant divers chefs des provinces Sérères autonomes, Saint-Louis, 12 July 1899, ACSSp 3I 1.14 b5. Searing argues that Kader

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remained powerful in the region until his death in 1920, though he retired in 1907. Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 161. 98.  Mgr Barthet to P. Grizard, Ngazobil, 26 July 1899, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a5. 99.  Report, Thiès, 6 Feb. 1900; quarterly report, Thiès, 7 Oct. 1899, ANS ­Sénégal 10D4/0005. 100. Searing, “God Alone Is King,” 63–65. The Jeandet case, which brought administrative measures into conflict with the French justice system, also played a role. On administrative policy on slavery in Senegal, also see Getz, Slavery and Reform. chapter 3 1.  Mgr Kunemann to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 30 Dec. 1903, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. 2.  I have decided to use the term laïcité in this chapter, though some argue that not translating it to “secularism” reifies its place in a supercilious French republican mythology. See Scott, Politics of the Veil, 15. On the Spiritans’ history of authorization woes in France, see Janin, Les diocèses coloniaux, 180–192; Koren, To the Ends of the Earth, 300–301. 3. Quoted in draft of gouverneur général to Délégué permanent de Kayes, Saint-Louis, 28 Mar. 1903, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 4.  Cholvy and Hilaire, Histoire religieuse, 89–95. The official name of the White Fathers was the Society of African Missions, and Lavigerie initially intended his missionaries to convert Muslims. See Ceillier, Histoire des missionnaires; Shorter, Cross and Flag; Renault, Cardinal Lavigerie. 5.  Ruth Harris has highlighted the complexity of the affair by exposing the surprising contradictions within the pro- and anti-Dreyfusard movements and even within the individuals who composed them. She notes that a small group of vocal liberal Catholics supported Dreyfus. Harris, Dreyfus, 194–196. 6. McManners, Church and State, 126; Cholvy and Hilaire, Histoire religieuse, 102. The Concordat of 1801 had largely ignored the congregations and failed to assign them a clear legal status. Cholvy and Hilaire, Histoire religieuse, 104. 7.  See Harris, “The Assumptionists.” 8.  Emile Zola, “J’accuse,” L’Aurore, 11 Jan. 1898. McManners points out that the charge that Jesuit-trained men dominated the General Staff exaggerated the truth. Church and State, 126. 9. Larkin, Church and State, 79. There was a genuine plot against the republic by Déroulède, and the Duc d’Orléans entertained ideas of a royalist restoration in 1898, though both came to naught and involvement by religious congregations is unclear. Ibid., 74–78. 10. McManners, Church and State, 128; JORF, 2 July 1901, 4025–4027. 11. Koren, The Spiritans, 241–242. This forced the Spiritans to close more than fourteen educational and social-assistance establishments in France. Their work in France became restricted to their colonial seminary at Chevilly-Larue, supply houses in Bordeaux and Marseilles, and a rest home for missionaries in Brittany. 12.  Combes left office before the law was passed. He was not entirely in favor of it but did set up a commission to study separation during his term. He felt that Napoleon’s concordat gave the state a way to control the church, but he was also “pushed along” toward separation by radicals and socialists who were committed

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to it. McManners, Church and State, 141–142; JORF, 11 Dec. 1905, 7205–7209. In 1904, France and the Vatican severed diplomatic relations. 13. For a comparison of numbers of missionaries and administrators, see Daughton, An Empire Divided, 11, 272n37. He cites an estimate of as many as fifty-eight thousand Catholic workers in the empire in 1900; there were only four thousand total administrators in Africa (including Madagascar) between 1867 and 1960. Daughton also examines the echoes of the Dreyfus Affair in the colonial context, though he does not deal specifically with anticlerical legislation, in “A Colonial Affair?” 14.  One major exception was in the “old colonies” of Martinique, Guade­ loupe, and Réunion in the 1880s—for specifics, see Janin, Les diocèses coloniaux. On the Foreign Ministry’s position on missions in the Ottoman Empire, see Shorrock, “Anti-clericalism and French Policy.” See also Bocquet, “Les lois anticongréganistes.” 15.  Even as the Chamber of Deputies developed the historic anticlerical legislation, republican ranks were divided over whether to impose laïcité on Catholic missions in the empire. Reservations were strong enough to persuade legislators to accept the Leygues amendment to the 1904 law, which exempted Catholic missionaries from the law’s requirement that teaching congregations close all novitiates and cease accepting new members. This did not prevent attempts to extend the law to the colonies, however. 16.  See Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, on the dominant brotherhoods in this era. See also Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad, on the Muridiyya. 17.  Pascale Gonod, “Les avis du Conseil d’état,” 115. 18.  Ministre de l’instruction publique, des beaux-arts et des cultes to M. le président du Conseil, garde des sceaux, ministre de la justice, Paris, 16 June 1906, CAOM Gén. 680-3063. Briand played a key role in the development of the 1905 law separating church and state. See Bellon, “Aristide Briand”; Bedin, “Briand et la séparation.” 19.  For a list of commission members, see the minutes of 1ère séance, 1 Apr. 1905, CAOM Gén. 681-3067. 20.  For details on Dislère’s career, see Drago et al., Dictionnaire biographique, 465. See also Dislère, Traité de législation coloniale. 21.  For a discussion of the Conseil d’état’s role in mediating the extension of the 1905 separation law to the colonies, and Algeria in particular, see Achi, “Le Conseil d’état.” See also Gonod, “Les avis du Conseil d’état.” On the role of the Conseil d’état in the republic at this time, see Vanneuville, “Le Conseil d’état.” 22.  For a summary of the recommendations regarding the laws of 1901 and 1904, see “Tableau des propositions de la commission,” n.d., CAOM Gén. 6803065, and Note remise par le secrétariat general to cabinet du ministre, 17 Dec. 1906, CAOM Gén. 680-3064. The commissioners called for full application in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Réunion. In Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, they recommended applying the law of 1901 with some modifications, but not the law of 1904. In Guyana, Oceania, Cochinchina, and Cambodia, they advised application of both laws, with the exception of the first articles of the law of 1901 pertaining to associations. They recommended against application in Congo, Annam-Tonkin,

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India, and Madagascar. In Congo and Annam-Tonkin their reservations hinged on violating treaties with Spain and Britain, and in the others the commissioners cited political circumstances, the maintenance of security, and French influence as prime motives for exemption. 23.  William Cohen argues, following Robert Delavignette, that administrators were the “real” governors of the empire, because they made decisions on the spot, often without reference to governors or ministers. It is also important to emphasize that citizens and subjects played a key role in shaping administrative decisions on the ground. Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 57–60. 24.  As Denise Bouche points out, Senegal was the only colony in French West Africa with an organized public education system on the eve of laicization. Bouche, L’enseignement, 434. 25.  Some of their installations lay outside the Four Communes, as did the schools of the Sisters of the Holy Heart of Mary, an African congregation founded by the Spiritans. 26.  For a metropolitan comparison, see Ford, Creating the Nation, 135–169. 27.  Father Jalabert, then parish priest in Saint-Louis, was named Knight of the Legion of Honor. Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 5 Jan. 1901, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 28.  An example from Dahomey echoes the difficulties in Senegal. The governor informed the governor general that he could not find replacements for the nuns staffing the hospital in Porto-Novo and could not repatriate them. Moreover, he asked permission to use public funds to bring the former chief nurse of the hospital, Sister Victorien, back from France. The governor general asked the minister in Paris to find a secular employee for this job as soon as possible. Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Dakar, n.d., ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 29.  Dr. Rangé to gouverneur général, Dakar, 31 Aug. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 30. Ibid., 21 Nov. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. See also Dr. Rangé to ministre des colonies, Dakar, 22 Nov. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 31. Bouche, L’enseignement, 479. 32.  Ministre des colonies to gouverneur général, Paris, 28 Oct. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 33.  Dr. Rangé to ministre des colonies, Dakar, 22 Nov. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 34.  For example, the first year it was open, the dispensary of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Rufisque, which had only one full-time staff member, saw thirty to forty patients a day. Soeur Saint-Augustin to R. Mère, ­Rufisque, 23 Oct. 1883, ACIC dossier Mère Saint-Augustin Taynton. Africans often walked from villages, and nuns also made house calls. On other dispensaries, see Lecuir-Nemo, Femmes et vocation missionnaire, 607–608. 35.  On dispensaries, see Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 29 Jan. 1904, 15 Feb. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 36.  See Guy’s letter to the council and the council’s official response copied in the Spiritan journal, Rufisque, 4 Jan. 1905, ACSSp 3I 2.14. Compare the case of the Filles du Saint-Esprit in Brittany in 1902, in Ford, Creating the Nation, 135–169. 37. Lecuir-Nemo, Femmes et vocation missionnaire, 607–608. In the influenza

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epidemic of 1918, a handful of nuns reentered the public hospitals. Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 24 Oct. 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 38.  Governor General Roume and Governor Guy, a former teacher, devised a system of education designed to reach more Africans and teach the colony’s children practical skills that would promote agricultural and commercial development. Guy expressed frustration that students in secondary schools in Saint-Louis knew the Merovingian kings but could not name the principal trading posts on the Senegal River. See his prize day speech in Saint-Louis, JOSD, 2 Aug. 1902, 426–427. Some missionaries agreed: Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 26 July 1902, ACSSp 3I 2.16. See also Bouche, L’enseignement, 475–501; Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 78–80; Bryant, “The Politics of Education,” 218–225. 39. Bouche, L’enseignement, 476. In December 1902, the governor general asked the ministry to send four more Brothers of Ploërmel to Senegal. For the negative reply, see ministre des colonies to gouverneur général, Paris, 28 Jan. 1903, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 40.  For other responses, see gouverneur de la Guinée française to gouverneur général, 10 July 1903; gouverneur de la Côte d’Ivoire to gouverneur général, Bingerville, 14 May 1904, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 41.  Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, “Laïcisation du service de l’enseignement en AOF,” n.d., ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 42.  Ministre des colonies to gouverneur général, Paris, 3 Apr. 1903, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 43.  Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 1 Aug. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 44.  Ibid., Dakar, 23 June 1904, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 45. Ibid. 46.  Ibid., Saint-Louis, 23 May 1903, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 47.  Soeur Madeleine Victoire to TRM, Saint-Louis, 26 Jan. 1904, ASSJC C2. 48.  Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 14 Apr. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. Guy said the delegation included fifty métis women and one hundred Muslims; Monsignor Kunemann claimed that four hundred people had participated. Mgr Kunemann to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 11 Apr. 1904, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. 49.  Handwritten petition, 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36.  50.  Muslims also had reason to be concerned about the future of Koranic schools, which the administration had identified as a “grave danger” to education reform. Officials had drawn up lists of Muslim instructors in the Four Communes, and a decree of 15 July 1903 required them to solicit authorization from the administration to teach. Chef de Service de l’enseignement to gouverneur du Sénégal, Saint-Louis, 7 Jan. 1904, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0023. Most initially ignored this order. See also Harrison, France and Islam in West Africa, 57–59. 51.  Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 14 Apr. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36. 52.  Devès supported a General Council subsidy for a church in Ziguinchor that Guy opposed in 1903. Mgr Kunemann to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 5 June 1903, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. Yet this did not stem from religious conviction: in the General Council he later demanded the immediate cessation of budget allocations for reli-

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gious services. Mgr Kunemann to TRP Le Roy, Carabane, 21 Dec. 1906, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a2. 53.  See Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 35, table 1. In 1878, Saint-Louis had a population of 15,980; Dakar, 1,566. By 1910, Dakar had surpassed SaintLouis by a count of 24,914 to 22,093 people, respectively. Gorée, the other center of métis preeminence, saw its population decline from 3,243 in 1878 to 917 in 1921. 54. The Government General’s move to Dakar did not please the Spiritan bishop, who had historically preserved some freedom from the civilian authorities by maintaining his seat in Dakar. Mgr Kunemann to TRP Le Roy, Ngazobil, 25 June 1903, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. 55.  Ibid., Dakar, 24 Nov. 1904, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. 56. Unlike the nuns, the brothers did not fill any public roles outside the schools and did not have much experience working to make ends meet. For their correspondence with the authorities, see AFIC 186 (5). 57.  Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 22 Oct. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 58.  Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 18 July 1904, 19 Sept. 1905, 27–30 Oct. 1910, 26 Oct. 1911, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 59. Ibid., 21 Jan. 1905, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 60.  Bulletin de la Congrégation de Saint-Joseph de Cluny, 8:456. 61.  Report for Dec. 1903 by chef de Service de l’enseignement to gouverneur du Sénégal, Saint-Louis, 7 Jan. 1904, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0023. 62.  Soeur Madeleine Victoire to TRM, Saint-Louis 23 Nov. 1904, ASSJC C2. 63.  Mgr Kunemann to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 7 Aug. 1903, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. Despite a personnel shortage, Le Roy obliged and sent Father Le Hunsec (later bishop and superior general). 64. Gouverneur Guy to chefs d’administration et de service, Saint-Louis, 10 Oct. 1904, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. 65.  Gouverneur général p. i. to chefs de service (confidential), Gorée, 28 Oct. 1904; gouverneur général p. i. to gouverneur du Sénégal, Gorée, 29 Oct. 1904, ANS AOF O 13 (31). 66. Jonquer, “Au Sénégal,” L’Aurore, 20 May 1904, 2. Also see Bouche, L’enseignement, 485–486. 67.  Gouverneur du Sénégal to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 11 July 1904, ANF 200 mi 1072: AOF 17G 36 (emphasis in original). Guy suspected that a Government General employee had talked to the paper, though he did not seem to know that one had actually written the article. The author was L. Poyen de Bellisle, who was dissatisfied with his position in the administration but who also spoke for the small group of ardent Freemasons in Senegal who thought Guy was too soft on the congregations. For more on Poyen de Bellisle, the Freemasons, and Guy, see White, “Networking,” 106–108. 68.  JOSD, 17 July 1904, 398–399. On Guy’s letter, see Spiritan journal, SaintLouis, 17 July 1904, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 69. Decree, 12 Oct. 1904, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 70.  P. Jalabert to P. Pascal, 26 Oct. 1904, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a1. 71.  Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 19 Oct. 1904, ACSSp 3I 2.16.

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72. Ibid., 17 Dec. 1903, ACSSp 3I 2.16. 73.  See table frontispiece of “Résumé historique de la Mission du Sénégal,” ASSJC 2B e-1-1. 74.  Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 31 Oct. 1906, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 75. Ibid. 76.  A copy of the Ordinance of 1840 is in ANS AOF O 67 (31). 77.  Report entitled “Enseignement privé congréganiste,” Service de l’enseigne­ ment AOF, Dakar, 17 May 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 78.  Confidential note to gouverneur général, Dakar, 10 Sept. 1908, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 79.  Mme Vaillant to chef de service, Rufisque, 3 June 1909, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 80.  Annales de la Province du Sénégal, 1894–1984, 20 Jan. 1908, 22, ACIC. 81.  Gouverneur Peuvergne to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 11 June 1909, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. The situation of illegal Catholic schools in Senegal was not regularized until decrees of 1922 authorized private schools that met particular criteria. See décret, Paris, 4 Feb. 1922; décret, Dakar, 26 Mar. 1922, ANS AOF O 93 (31). 82.  For comparisons across the empire, see Keith, “Catholicisme, Bouddhisme,” on Tonkin; Saaïdia, “L’anticléricalisme,” and Achi, “Laïcité d’empire,” on Algeria; Daughton, “The Civilizing Mission,” 298–305, on French Polynesia. 83.  Ministre des colonies to gouverneurs généraux, gouverneurs, etc., Paris 15 Apr. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 84.  It appears that the commissar of Mauritania and the lieutenant governor of Upper Senegal–Niger sent separate reports on Muslim brotherhoods, which informed Roume’s report of 1905. They are not in the file, but Roume refers to them in gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 8 Dec. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 85.  Gouverneur de la Côte d’Ivoire to gouverneur général, Bingerville, 6 Apr. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. (This letter was signed by the secretary general, not the governor at the time, Clozel.) 86.  Gouverneur p. i. du Haut-Sénégal to gouverneur général, Kayes, 3 Apr. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 87.  Gouverneur du Dahomey (Liotard) to gouverneur général, Porto Novo, 4 Apr. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. This cautious response may have been a result of the relative importance of missionaries in Dahomey. 88.  Guy’s exact response to this question was “same answer as above,” indicating his reply to the previous question about whether special rules should be developed to deal with foreign associations (aimed primarily at Protestant missionaries). That response read, “Since no foreign associations exist in the colony, I think it useless to create special regulations.” Gouverneur Guy to gouverneur général, 18 June 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 89.  He also stated that there were no foreign associations in the federation, either mistakenly or deliberately ignoring the presence of Anglophone Protestant

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missionaries in Dahomey—precisely the kind of “foreign association” the ministry wanted to know about. 90.  Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 8 Dec. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 91.  Ibid. George R. Trumbull IV argues, in contrast, that French ethnographers in Algeria found Sufi orders comparable to Catholic congregations. Trumbull, An Empire of Facts, 103–105. 92.  Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 8 Dec. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 93.  He based this claim on a report from the governor of Upper Senegal–Niger, but not the one that responded to the questionnaire. 94.  Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 8 Dec. 1905, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J83. 95.  See minutes of 9e séance, 20 Jan. 1906, and 10e séance, 3 Feb. 1906, CAOM Gén. 681-3067. 96.  “Rapport rélatif à l’application des lois du 1er juillet 1901 et du 7 juillet 1904 dans l’Afrique occidentale française,” CAOM Gén. 681-3066; also in minutes of 10e séance, 3 Feb. 1906, CAOM Gén. 681-3067. 97.  Minutes of 9e séance, 20 Jan. 1906, CAOM Gén. 681-3067. Binger was an ardent opponent of European fears of pan-Islamism and decried it in his book Le péril de l’Islam. On Binger, see Harrison, France and Islam in West Africa, 32–33; Brunschwig, “Louis Gustave Binger,” in Gann and Duignan, African Proconsuls. 98.  “Rapport rélatif à l’application des lois du 1er juillet 1901 et du 7 juillet 1904 dans l’Afrique occidentale française,” CAOM Gén. 681-3066; also in minutes of 10e séance, 3 Feb. 1906, CAOM Gén. 681-3067. 99.   Gouverneur to gouverneur général, Saint-Louis, 26 Mar. 1906, ANF 200 mi 1181: AOF J84. 100. Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 26 May 1906, CAOM Gén. 681-3066. 101.  Ibid. See also gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Dakar, 14 Aug. 1906, CAOM Gén. 681-3066. 102. Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 17 May 1907, CAOM Gén. 681-3066. 103.  For more on Ponty’s crafted republican image, see Foster, “Rethinking ‘Republican Paternalism.’” 104. Harrison, France and Islam in West Africa, 40–42. 105. Ibid., 42–49. 106. Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 17 May 1907, CAOM Gén. 681-3066. On the indigénat in West Africa, see Asiwaju, “Control through Coercion”; Mann, “What Was the Indigénat?”; Merle, “Retour sur le régime de l’indigénat.” 107. Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Gorée, 17 May 1907, CAOM Gén. 681-3066. He made a similar point in his May 1906 letter: ibid., Gorée, 26 May 1906, ANF 200 mi 1071: AOF 17G 35. 108.  “Rapport sur le régime des cultes et les conditions d’application de la

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loi du 9 décembre 1905 en Afrique occidentale française,” n.d., CAOM Gén. 681-3066. 109. Ibid. 110.  Achi, “Laïcité d’empire,” 254–259. 111.  “Projet de décret concernant le régime des cultes en Afrique occidentale française,” n.d.; “Rapport à l’appui du projet de décret concernant le régime des cultes en Afrique occidentale française,” n.d., CAOM Gén. 681-3066. 112. “Projet de décret concernant le régime des cultes au Sénégal,” n.d., CAOM Gén. 681-3066. 113. In 1907, the administration in Dakar decided to stop paying the Spiritan parish priests in the Four Communes, even though the law was not promulgated, causing a crisis in Senegal and remonstrances by the General Council and individual priests, who eventually won a temporary reprieve. See Foster, “Church and State,” 186–191. 114.  Achi, “Le Conseil d’état,” 184. 115.  On the slipperiness of laïcité as a concept, see Bowen, Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves, 32–33. For more on laïcité and Islam in France in the twentieth century, see Davidson, Only Muslim. On the history of negotiation and for perspective on recent debates on Islam and laïcité, see Scott, Politics of the Veil, 100–102; Baubérot, Laïcité. chapter 4 1.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Joffroy, 5 Feb. 1914, cahier “Brutalités du P. Joffroy,” ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 2.  P. Joffroy, report on the Bignona mission, Bignona, 7 Feb. 1914; P. Joffroy to gouverneur général, Bignona, 11 May 1914, cahier “Brutalités du P. Joffroy,” ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. Joffroy’s report of 7 February is nearly thirty handwritten pages. Military administrators were common in Casamance, which was still a frontier region at the time. When Modest arrived in June 1913, Joffroy noted that he appeared to be a friend to priests, as military administrators often were. Spiritan journal, Bignona, 15 June 1913, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 3.  P. Joffroy, report on the Bignona mission, Bignona, 7 Feb. 1914, cahier “Brutalités du P. Joffroy,” ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 6. The spelling of the latter name varies in the sources. Joffroy spelled it Ayssoumané. 7.  Joffroy gave detailed accusations both in his report to Jalabert and his subsequent letter to Ponty. He accused Ansumané of beating a falsely accused cattle thief to death in the village of Mandégan. See P. Joffroy to gouverneur général, Bignona, 11 May 1914, cahier “Brutalités du P. Joffroy,” ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. Ansumané was sentenced to three years in prison for other crimes ten years later. Spiritan journal, Bignona, 1 Jan. 1925, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 8.  P. Joffroy, report on the Bignona mission, Bignona, 7 Feb. 1914, cahier “Brutalités du P. Joffroy,” ACSSp 3I 2.4 b.

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9.  P. Joffroy to gouverneur général, Bignona, 11 May 1914, cahier “Brutalités du P. Joffroy, ” ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 10.  To compare, see the case of Vietnam in Keith, “A Colonial Sacred Union?” He argues that there was no colonial sacred union in Vietnam. 11.  Spiritan journal, Bignona, 2 Aug. 1914, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 12. Fontana, Les catholiques français, 132. 13.  On the use of religious language in nationalist discourse, see Kselman, “Religion and French Identity.” 14.  On the elections of May, see René Rémond’s introduction to J. Becker, 1914, 7, as well as the main text, 62–80. On the debates on 13 and 14 July 1914, see Fontana, Les catholiques français, 123–124. 15.  See Jay Winter’s introduction to J. Becker, The Great War, 2, as well as the main text, 324. See also J. Becker, 1914, 7, 416–420, 452–468; Mayeur, “Le catholicisme français”; McMillan, “French Catholics.” Fontana says politics as usual started up again after the victory at the Marne in September 1914. Les catholiques français, 126, 136, 140. On anticlericalism during the war, see Beauquier, “Un aspect de la lutte.” On the distribution of religious emblems, see Jonas, Tragic Tale, 91. Twelve million insignia and 1.5 million banners of the Sacred Heart were shipped to the front in the course of the war. Priests were also accused of being overzealous in their attempts to convert the wounded in hospitals. 16.  Mayeur, “Les catholiques français,” 156. 17. Ibid., 392–393; Rémond, L’anticlericalisme en France, 226–230. Despite the persistence of anticlericalism during the war, Rémond argues that it was fundamentally weakened by the conflict and would “never again” have the influence it enjoyed between 1815 and 1914. See also Paul, Second Ralliement, 32. Fontana suggests that French officialdom was less hostile to the church in the wake of the war. Les catholiques français, 167. 18.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 23 Sept. 1914, 2 Oct. 1915, ACSSp 2D 34.1. On the French government’s refusal to attend services, including the “Te Deum” celebrating the end of the war, see Mayeur, “Le catholicisme français,” 388; Fontana, Les catholiques français, 167, 385. Fontana points out that officials were more likely to attend Catholic services in the provinces than in Paris. 19.  Spiritan journal, Dakar, 13, 14 Nov. 1918, ACSSp 3I 2.7. Note, however, that although the governor general personally invited Mgr Jalabert to the official civil and military parade on 17 November, he could not give the bishop a seat on the administration’s platform or invite him to the vin d’honneur (reception) afterward because he was not an “official.” The governor general offered Jalabert a spot on the municipality’s platform, but the bishop felt this was beneath his dignity and declined. 20.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 31 Oct. 1914, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 21.  This is noteworthy because Angoulvant was a Freemason. White, “Networking,” 93. 22.  Jalabert had called on officials as parish priest and vicar general long before he was bishop. Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Thiès, 14 Sept. 1914, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 23.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 9 May 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 

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24. Report by Mgr Jalabert to the S. Congrégation de la propagande July 1916–July 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.13 a8. 25.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 4 June 1917, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 26. Ibid., 6 Aug. 1914, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 27.  P. Le Hunsec to P. [Pascal?], Dakar, 8 Mar. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. See also Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 29 Mar. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 28.  Mgr Jalabert, “Dans les sables mauritaniens,” ACSSp 3I 1.15 b3. 29.  Sidiyya hosted Bamba, at French bidding, during Bamba’s deportation to Mauritania in 1903. See Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad, 148–152. 30.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 27 Jan. 1917, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 31.  P. Le Hunsec to P. [Pascal?], Dakar, 8 Mar. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 32.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 29 Mar. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. According to Jalabert, Clozel wrote an article describing the trip for the Courrier colonial, and Maurice Delafosse, then director of political affairs for the federation, wrote one for the Depêche coloniale. Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 6 June 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 33.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 6 June 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 34.  Mgr Jalabert, “Dans les sables mauritaniens,” ACSSp 3I 1.15 b3. 35.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 24 Oct. 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 36. Ibid. 37. Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts, 27. Note that the term tirailleurs ­sénégalais was used indiscriminately to refer to sub-Saharan African troops—not all tirailleurs were from Senegal. 38. Mangin, La force noire. Archinard wrote the preface to this book. Mangin’s family was exiled from Lorraine after 1871; he was a conservative Catholic and committed to “revenge” against Germany. Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts, 28. For more background on Mangin and his projects, see Davis, Reservoirs of Men; Fogarty, Race and War, 20–21. Two additional works on African soldiers in the First World War are Carlier and Pedroncini, Les troupes coloniales; Thiam, Le Sénégal dans la guerre. 39.  On Archinard, see Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan; on Ponty’s early career, see Foster, “Rethinking ‘Republican Paternalism.’” 40. Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts, 29–30. 41. Michel, L’appel à l’Afrique, 404. 42. Fogarty, Race and War, 22–30. 43.  Lunn, “Kande Kamara Speaks,” 32–33. 44. Mann, Native Sons, 36–37. Mann points out that many Sudanese tirailleurs had previously fought as slave soldiers in the armies of Samori Ture, Umar Tal, and other African rulers and that some of them, even those of slave status, owned their own slaves. 45.  Lunn, “Kande Kamara Speaks,” 32–33. 46. Lunn, Memoirs of the Maelstrom, 1, 46–47; Michel, L’appel à l’Afrique, 406. 47. Michel, L’appel à l’Afrique, 404. The volume of casualties are open to some debate, but historians tend to estimate similar numbers. For the differences in how

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originaire citizen-soldiers and tirailleur subjects experienced France, see Lunn, Memoirs of the Maelstrom, 157–186. 48.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Thiès, 14 Sept. 1914, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1 (emphasis in original). This demonstrates that Le Roy had access to some centers of power in the republic. 49. Ibid. 50.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 1 Jan. 1916, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 51. Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts, 29. 52.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 12 Sept. 1916, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 53.  Spiritan journal, Ziguinchor, 29 Dec. 1915, ACSSp 3I 2.6 b. 54.  Report by Brother Friard on the Basse-Casamance mission to TRP Le Roy, Carabane, 19 July 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. 55.  Spiritan journal, Ziguinchor, 25 June 1918, ACSSp 3I 2.6 b. 56.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 17–18 Jan. 1916, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 57.  Note by P. Jacquin on catechists, 7 July 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. 58.  Most Muslim leaders in West Africa remained loyal to France during the war. Harrison, France and Islam, 118–119. 59.  Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 17 June 1916, ACSSp 2D 34.1. 60.  Spiritan journal, Bignona, 1, 3, 12 Apr. 1918, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 61.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 20 July 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 62.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 7 Aug. 1914, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. On submarines, see ibid., 27 Dec. 1916, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 63.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 30 Oct. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 64.  For more on violent resistance to recruitment in French West Africa, see ­Osuntokun, “West African Armed Revolts”; Crowder, “Borgu Revolts”; D’AlmeidaTopor, “Les populations dahoméennes”; Garcia, “Les mouvements de résistance”; Saul and Royer, West African Challenge. 65.  Spiritan journal, Ziguinchor, 12 Dec. 1914, ACSSp 3I 2.6 b.  66. In 1913, the mission relied upon forty-one Spiritan priests, five of whom were African, and ten Spiritan brothers to man their mission posts. Report by Mgr Jalabert to Propagation de la foi 1913, ACSSp 3I 1.13 a8. 67.  The laws governing the mobilization of priests in metropolitan France were complicated. All priests ordained prior to 1905 who occupied a post governed by the concordat were mobilized into the health services according to the military law of 15 July 1889. Priests ordained after that were soldiers like everyone else, unless they became aumôniers militaires (military chaplains) by virtue of a decree of 5 May 1913. Of approximately twenty-five thousand mobilized priests, only about five hundred were aumôniers and some twelve thousand served in the hospitals. Mayeur, “Le catholicisme français,” 380–381. For more information on priests in service in France, see Chaline, “Les aumôniers catholiques.” See also Fontana, Les catholiques français, 277–307. 68.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 1 Sept. 1916; Mgr Jalabert to P. [Pascal?], 6 Sept. 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. Five or six of the Spiritans sent to the front in France had still not returned to Senegal by June 1919. See P. Le Hunsec to P. [Pascal?], Dakar, 16 June 1919, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 69.  P. Le Hunsec to P. Pascal, Dakar, 17 Jan. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1.

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70.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Le Hunsec, Dakar, 6 Dec. 1917, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. The war’s impact on French missionary congregations in Africa varied by colony. Some congregations had personnel working in British, Belgian, and German colonies, and some of their priests were of German nationality, which gave rise to complex individual situations. In AOF, the White Fathers, who controlled the Vicariate of French Sudan, had twelve of their forty-three men called up for wartime service in France, though two of those returned to their missions. Three to four more served in Africa in Dakar and Cameroon. Aylward Shorter argues that the colonial administration in the region, which experienced some of the most violent African revolts during the war, considered missionaries important bulwarks of stability and favored their exemption from military service. Shorter, African Recruits, 8, 92–93. In the Vicariate of Côte d’Ivoire, ten of the sixteen missionary priests of the Society of African Missions were mobilized during the war, severely restricting their capacity at a time when conversions were burgeoning, thanks to the teachings of the African “Prophet” William Wadé Harris, a native of Liberia. Harris was not Catholic but instructed animists in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and the Gold Coast to convert to Christianity and baptized them, leaving local Catholic and Protestant missions to provide religious instruction. His work posed a challenge to missions’ orthodoxy but also helped them attract followers. His intervention dramatically increased conversions in Côte d’Ivoire, and French missionaries there could scarcely keep up with the demand for instruction and services during the war. Trichet, Côte d’Ivoire, 37–38. For more on Harris, see Shank, Prophet Harris. 71.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Saint-Joseph de Ngazobil, 2 Dec. 1914, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 72.  Ibid., Dakar, 28 Sept. 1914, 3 Oct. 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 73.  P. Le Hunsec to P. [Pascal?], Dakar, 3 July 1916, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 74.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Thiès, 25 Oct. 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. There were parallel concerns in France about mobilized priests’ behavior. A report by the Archbishopric of Paris complained of those who “took up the habits of officers by smoking, drinking, and even frequenting cafés in the cities!” Cited in Becker, 1914, 461. 75.  P. Le Hunsec to P. [Pascal?], Dakar, 23 Dec. 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 76.  For Mgr Kunemann’s financial reports 1901–1908, see ACSSp 3I 1.13 a7. For Mgr Jalabert’s financial reports 1909–1920, see ACSSp 3I 1.13 a8. 77.  Pastoral letter by Mgr Jalabert for the establishment of l’Oeuvre du denier du culte, 8 Dec. 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. 78.  In the first eleven months of 1916, the missionaries raised 16,511.35 francs, with participation from both the Four Communes and rural outposts. Circular letter to all missions by Mgr Jalabert, Dakar, 8 Dec. 1916, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. Dakar contributed the most: 6,533.20 francs; Saint-Louis was second, 5,359 francs; the village of N’Dianda provided the least, 37.5 francs. The receipts dipped in 1917 to 13,947.90 francs, in part a result of the ongoing privations of the war. Circular letter to all missions by Mgr Jalabert, Dakar, 25 Feb. 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. Note that these totals do not necessarily match what Jalabert reported to the Propagation de la foi because the figures in the reports to the Propagation were always estimates for the coming year. It was also in his interest to lowball the mission’s

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income in those reports because he based his requests for funds on his projected budget shortfall in a given year. 79.  Report by Mgr Jalabert to Propagation de la foi, late 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.13 a8. 80.  See Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 31 Jan. 1913, 10 Mar. 1913, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 81.  See Foster, “A Mission in Transition,” on missionary failures to train African clergy. 82.  See note by P. Jacquin on catechists, 7 July 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. 83.  See Jalabert’s characterization of Father Joffroy as one of the “rare” (emphasis in original) priests in his mission who understood the need to prepare catechists. Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 18 June 1913, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. See also Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 5 Apr. 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 84.  For the new approach, see note by P. Jacquin on catechists, 7 July 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b2. 85. Ibid. 86. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 147. 87. See 4th quarterly report on the political and administrative situation in Senegal, 1914, ANS Sénégal 10D4/0015. 88.  On the election, see Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 388–400; Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 154–177. 89.  The roots of the African political florescence that resulted in Diagne’s election began before the war with the founding of the Jeunes sénégalais ca. 1912 and the activities of Mody M’Baye and Galandou Diouf. For more on early developments, see Zuccarelli, La vie politique, 90–98; Johnson, Emergence of Black Politics, 149–153. On Diagne, see also Johnson, “Ascendancy of Blaise Diagne”; Conklin, “Who Speaks for Africa?” 90.  In a letter to the Ministry of Colonies, Ponty argued that the originaires were not French citizens, as citizenship could be acquired only “individually, by decree.” He suggested naturalization of originaires who accepted French law, which ruled out most Muslims. That would bring Senegal into closer alignment with Algeria, where Muslims could become French citizens only by renouncing their personal status as Muslims. These changes were not made, but Ponty erected administrative hurdles to block originaire advancement in the colonial service. Ponty, cited in Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 387. See also Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 151–156. 91.  Johnson, “Ascendancy of Blaise Diagne,” 251; “Note pour l’élaboration du rapport du 2e trimestre sur la situation générale des Pays d’administration directe,” Saint-Louis, 7 Aug. 1914, ANS Sénégal 10D4/0015. 92.  There was controversy about this claim. French administrators, ever eager to characterize the originaires as more interested in rights than duties, argued that many opposed Diagne, but other evidence suggests that many welcomed both the opportunity to serve and the clarification of their citizenship status. See Balesi, From Adversaries to Comrades in Arms, 86. 93. Genova, Colonial Ambivalence, 26–28; Fogarty, Race and War, 240–241. 94. Lunn, Memoirs of the Maelstrom, 34.

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95.  Mgr Jalabert to P. Pascal, Dakar, 15 Mar. 1916, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. 96. Lunn, Memoirs of the Maelstrom, 35. Lunn points out that the colonial commercial lobby also virulently disliked recruitment because it disrupted trade. Van Vollenhoven argued that West Africa would be more helpful to the overall war effort if its labor force could provide raw materials. Balesi, From Adversaries to Comrades in Arms, 88–96. 97. Fogarty, Race and War, 310n172. The government also promised facilities to care for wounded veterans and preference for veterans in the ranks of the colonial administration. 98.  Michel, “La genèse du recrutement,” 444; Balesi, From Adversaries to Comrades in Arms, 92–94. Van Vollenhoven subsequently volunteered for combat and died at Longpont in July 1918—there is a monument to him and his regiment in the vicinity. 99.  There is some evidence that Diagne’s status as an African who had attained a high rank did make a difference in persuading Africans to sign up in 1918, though historians agree that the majority of the sixty-three thousand recruits (substantially more than the target of forty-seven thousand) were probably coerced, often by chiefs. Fogarty, Race and War, 51–52, 310–311n176. 100.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 20 July 1918, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. On Lemaître’s role, see de Benoist, Eglise et pouvoir colonial, 236–239. chapter 5 An earlier version of this chapter appeared as “An Ambiguous Monument: Dakar’s Colonial Cathedral of the Souvenir Africain,” French Historical Studies 32, no. 1, pp. 85–119. Copyright 2009, the Society of French Historical Studies. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Duke University Press. 1.  For eyewitness accounts, see P. Paul de la Croix, untitled memoir, 2–3, ANS AOF 17G 363 (126); Chanoine E. Germain, Souvenirs et impressions de Dakar, 25 janvier–17 février 1936 (conférence donnée aux associés et amis de l’oeuvre apostolique, 18 Mar. 1936), AOAA A3/22. There are also photographs of Verdier’s arrival in ACSSp 3I 1.16 b3 and in the collections of press clippings in ACSSp 3I 1.16 b2 and ANS AOF O 103 (31). 2.  The pilgrims also included middle-class French men and women who had come to pay tribute to sons who had died in French service in West Africa. Countess Mac Mahon’s son had died in battle in Mauritania. For a tentative list of passengers divided by cabin class, see ANS AOF O 103 (31). 3.  For ceremony planning, see gouverneur général to commandant supérieur des troupes, Dakar, 20 Jan. 1936; Direction des affaires politiques et administratives to chef du Cabinet militaire, 17 Jan. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). See also circular by gouverneur du Sénégal, 6 Feb. 1936, and gouverneur général to gouverneur du Sénégal, Dakar, 27 Jan. 1936, ANS Sénégal 10D6/0047. 4.  De la Croix, untitled memoir. 5. For the official report, see gouverneur général to ministre des colonies, Dakar, 8 [May?] 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 6. Daumas, Sourire de la France. 7.  This chapter also contributes to scholarship on colonial memorials. Much of

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this literature deals with shifting interpretations of remnants of the colonial past after decolonization, but this example shows how the meaning of a monument evolved in a changing colonial context, long before French withdrawal. Examples include Jennings, “Remembering ‘Other’ Losses,” and “Monuments to Frenchness?”; Aldrich, Vestiges of the Colonial Empire; Mann, “Locating Colonial Histories”; Aldrich, “Sites et monuments de mémoire.” 8.  The Gambia was part of the Vicariate of Senegambia; the Spiritans ran a large school in the capital of Bathurst (now Banjul) and occupied some mission stations along the river. Kunemann raved about the British governor George Denton, whom he referred to as “Good Sir George” and a real “gentleman.” Kunemann argued that unlike the French administration, British officials understood that missionaries were valuable auxiliaries because they “civilized” Africans and made governing easier. Mgr Kunemann to P. Procureur, Ziguinchor, 28 May 1904, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a7. 9.  Kunemann angered some of his missionaries by taking an administrative settlement on the question of priestly salaries in 1908. See Foster, “Church and State,” 188–191. Kunemann disappeared after sailing from Ngazobil in late March 1908. P. Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 27 Mar. 1908, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a2. 10.  This square is now the place de l’Indépendance. Spiritan journal, Dakar, 29 July 1901, ACSSp 3I 2.7; Brasseur, “A propos de la cathédrale.” See also Mgr Le Hunsec, “Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 28 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b4. Le Hunsec claims that it was first repaired in 1901 and that dynamite was necessary to destroy it in 1907—proof, in his view, that it probably could have been repaired. 11.  For mission statistics, which may be reasonably accurate for Catholic numbers but grossly overestimate the population of the region as a whole, see the mission’s reports to the Sainte enfance and the Propagation de la foi, ACSSp 3I 1.13 a7. According to these reports, in 1907 there were just under twenty-one thousand Catholics in Senegal. In 1911, there were between five thousand and six thousand Catholics in Dakar. 12.  Even though the missionary priests profited from hostility between Sereer populations and the administration along the Petite Côte in the 1890s by presenting themselves as alternative authorities, Spiritan leaders consistently maintained that they would have had more converts in the region if they had been closely allied with the administration instead of working against it. 13.  For more on the expansion of Islam in the region and French policy toward Islam, see Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad; Robinson, Paths of Accommodation; Harrison, France and Islam; Searing, “God Alone Is King,” and “Accommodation and Resistance”; Klein, Islam and Imperialism. The Spiritan leadership also blamed a lack of resources and the strategy on the ground, particularly the failure to use more African catechists. Koren, To the Ends of the Earth, 460. 14.  Report by Mgr Jalabert on the Senegambian mission to Mgr Le Roy, Dakar, Mar. 1910, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a6. 15.  P. Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 30 Mar. 1908, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a2. They had corresponded when Ponty served as governor in Upper Senegal–Niger from 1904 to 1908. On letters to Ponty, see Mgr Jalabert’s journal, 24 Jan. 1904, 27 Sept. 1904, ACSSp 2D 34.1.

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16.  For more on French campaigns against Samori, see Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan. Mission chapels in the Sudan, such as the one in Timbuktu, sometimes contained plaques honoring French soldiers who had died in campaigns there, and Ponty may have been inspired by this practice. The Spiritan mission in Saint-Louis had also long played a role in celebrating the sacrifices of soldiers who died fighting in Africa. Jalabert had participated in this: while still a priest in Saint-Louis in 1898, he presided over a Mass organized for soldiers who had died for France in Africa by the local branch of the Souvenir français, a French society founded to ensure the maintenance of the tombs of French soldiers and sailors who had fallen for the patrie. Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 21–22 Nov. 1898, ACSSp 3I 2.16. Jalabert’s complete oration is reproduced in ANF 200 mi 1071: AOF 17G 33. 17.  Mgr Jalabert to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 11 Dec. 1912, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1; report by Mgr Jalabert on the Senegambian mission to Mgr Le Roy, Dakar, Mar. 1910, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a6. 18.  The Catholic mission in Senegal had erected purely religious monuments, such as the giant Calvary in the Saint-Louis suburb of Sor in 1885. 19. Daughton, An Empire Divided, 99–104. 20.  Jonas, “Monument as Ex-Voto,” 485. 21.  Brottier, who had a truly remarkable career, was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1984. In addition to directing the Souvenir Africain project, Brottier ran and greatly expanded the Fondation des orphelins-apprentis d’Auteuil, served at the front as a chaplain in the First World War, and then founded the Union national des combattants in the wake of the war. 22.  For example, in a marginal note on a letter from Mgr Le Hunsec in 1921, Mgr Le Roy wrote that it would be best to allow the association, rather than the mission, to negotiate for the building site with the administration. Mgr Le Hunsec to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 27 Sept. 1921, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a1. 23.  P. Brottier to Mgr, 10 Feb. [1919?], ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. 24.  The widows were Mme Crampel, Mme Klobb, and Mme Savorgnan de Brazza. The distinguished officers included General Alfred-Amédée Dodds, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Marchand, and the Admirals Amédée Bienaimé and Jules Cavelier de Cuverville. Among the intellectuals were Maurice Barrès, the exoticist author Pierre Loti, René Bazin, Etienne Lamy, Henri Lavedan, Jules Lemaître, and Henry Bordeaux, all either current or future members of the Académie française in 1911. Other significant members included Mme Moll; the Duchess of Chartres; Victor Gaboriaud, the explorer of Fouta-Djallon; Prince Auguste d’Arenburg, president of the Suez Company; Etienne Aymonier, a former director of the Ecole coloniale; and M. Fiegenschuh, the father of a “heroic” officer. 25.  Before the war it was published once a month or every two months. The name was shortened to Pour nos morts after the first few issues. Pour nos morts included a number of regular features designed to stimulate donations through emotional appeals to patriotic and religious sentiments. Nearly every prewar issue featured a list of “Morts,” whose names had been sent by subscribers or unearthed in the archives. Each magazine also contained a list of donors, as well as a description of the rewards available to donors: a name in the cathedral’s interior for one

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hundred francs, a mention in an eventual published livre d’or of donors for twentyfive francs, and a spot in the perpetual prayers to be offered in the cathedral for any level of assistance. Most prewar issues also printed testimonials and letters from subscribers, who wrote to express their support for the project or their gratitude that the sacrifice of a relative would be commemorated in the cathedral. The first issue contains a typical and poignant example of a feature article: the last letter Lieutenant de Franssu wrote to his mother before he died in battle, along with his bereaved mother’s account stating that his body was never located, though other French officers recovered his revolver and later found his ring in an African village. Pour nos morts, June 1912, 19–20. The most complete collection of Pour nos morts is in the AOAA. 26.  The mission also published the appeal as a poster: a copy, dated 12 Jan. 1912, is in ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. 27.  For example, see Pour nos morts, July–Aug. 1912, inside back cover. 28. Ibid. 29.  A quick review of the extant lists of prewar military donors turned up only one clearly African name: a soldier named Macodou M’Baye, posted with the 4th Senegalese in Rufisque. Pour nos morts, Jan.–Feb. 1913, 14. Occasionally, French commanders of African troops donated in the name of their entire unit. 30.  “A ses morts d’Afrique, la France reconnaissante,” a paraphrase of the inscription above the entrance to the Panthéon in Paris, “Aux grands hommes, la patrie reconnaissante.” 31.  Wulffleff’s statements regarding the design are in an undated printed pamphlet, Souvenir Africain, in ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. Wulffleff became famous for his socalled colonial architecture. He won the grand prize at the Exposition coloniale de Marseilles in 1922, was a member of the Société coloniale des artistes français, the winner of the Prix de l’AOF of the Société coloniale, and a member of the Presse coloniale. In addition to a number of buildings in Fribourg, Switzerland, he designed churches in Martinique, Bangui, Paris, and Lille. He also collaborated with the Spiritans on the cathedral in Conakry, which was not conceived as a memorial. For more on the cathedral in Conakry, see Vieira, Sous le signe du laïcat, 62–85. Wulffleff’s résumé is in ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. 32.  When Wulffleff designed the Souvenir Africain, there was a wide variety of Catholic architecture in the French Empire. Before the First World War, small local churches were more likely to exhibit the blending of European and indigenous architectural elements that Wulffleff proposed, whereas cathedrals tended to remain predominantly European in design. There were, however, some important precedents for syncretistic architecture in North Africa, where in certain cases, such as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame des Sept Douleurs in Constantine, Algeria, missionaries adapted existing local structures. The cathedral of Algiers, erected between 1845 and 1860, incorporated Byzantine and Moorish motifs, as did Cardinal Lavigerie’s grand church in Carthage. For photographs, see Costantini, L’art chrétien dans les missions, 310–321. In western and central Africa, there were few models. In Senegal, the mission church in Saint-Louis, erected in 1828, was European in style, as was the condemned church in Dakar. In the French Congo, the Spiritan bishop Mgr Augouard had erected a European-style cathedral in Braz-

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zaville using local bricks between 1892 and 1894. For a photograph, see Goyau, Monseigneur ­Augouard, plate between 96 and 97. In Indochina, the major cathedrals, such as those in Hanoi and Saigon, featured predominantly European architecture, but there was one glaring exception: the cathedral of Phát Diệm. Designed and built by the indigenous priest Trân Lục (also known as Father Six) in the 1890s, Phát Diệm incorporated a wealth of Vietnamese architectural motifs and inspirations. For more on Lục’s life and career, see Olichon, Le Père Six. For a survey of Catholic architecture in Vietnam from colonial times to the present, see Nguyễn et al., Nhà thờ Công giáo ở Việt Nam (Catholic churches in Vietnam). 33.  The accident devastated the Spiritan congregation, which lost Jalabert and eighteen other priests and brothers destined for African posts. Nearly two hundred African soldiers who had survived the war in France died on their trip home. 34.  P. Brottier to TRP Le Roy, 22 Dec. 1915 or 1916, ACSSp 2D 14.1. 35.  For a concise explanation of the differences between the “colonial army” and “navy infantry,” see Kanya-Forstner, Conquest of the Western Sudan, 8–15. Brottier managed to gain access to regimental records of the colonial army to obtain the names of fallen soldiers and the addresses of their families in order to solicit donations. P. Brottier to Mgr [Le Roy?], 10 Feb. [1919?], ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. 36.  The only person who evoked the crucial role of African troops in the conquest in the context of the consecration was Galandou Diouf, Senegal’s African deputy to the National Assembly, in “Quelques aspects de l’âme sénégalaise,” a speech reproduced in Album officiel de la mission pontifical à Dakar, 2–9 février 1936, 11–12, AOAA A3/22. 37.  Bordeaux, a devout and politically conservative Savoyard novelist who was close to Charles Maurras, was a member of the steering committee of the Souvenir Africain as well as of the Académie française. Bordeaux referred to the same story in his consecration address in Dakar thirteen years later: “Cérémonie du Souvenir Africain à Dakar,” 9. Bordeaux, a Pétain supporter, was called a “cruel grand bourgeois” by the German character Werner von Ebrennac, in Vercors, Silence de la mer, 47. On Bordeaux’s politics, see also Sapiro, La guerre des écrivains. 38.  Touré (Ture) was Samori’s family name. Bordeaux does not note the officer’s first name. 39.  Henry Bordeaux, “Le panthéon des morts d’Afrique, oeuvre du Souvenir Africain,” L’Illustration, 10 Nov. 1923, 427. 40.  The official program of this Mass is in ACSSp 3I 1.16 b5. 41.  The entire text of the hymn, composed by Jean Suberville, is located in ibid. 42.  A photograph of these individuals, clipped from a newspaper and labeled “Ami du peuple, 29 Jan. 1936,” is located in ANS AOF 17G 363 (126). 43.  N’Diaye later became the voice of Catholicism on Senegalese radio. See the “Programme du cinquantenaire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 1986, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b5. 44.  Administrateur en chef des colonies Louveau, commandant du cercle du Sine-Saloum, to gouverneur du Sénégal, Kaolack, 18 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 45.  “Un geste paternel et symbolique du Cardinal Verdier,” title-page photograph, L’Illustration, 29 Feb. 1936. This issue of L’Illustration, subtitled “L’oeuvre

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de la France en Afrique occidentale,” features extensive coverage of the consecration, as well as a broader discussion of France’s colonizing efforts in West Africa. 46. Daumas, Sourire de la France, 4. 47.  This image seems to be based on a doctored photograph. See Album officiel de la mission pontifical à Dakar, cover. 48.  Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies (confidential), Dakar, 24 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). Brévié wrote the same thing to the governor of Senegal: Gouverneur général Brévié to gouverneur du Sénégal, gouverneur de la Mauritanie, 14 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 49.  Excerpt of report by commandant du cercle de Louga to gouverneur du Sénégal, Louga, 21 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 50.  Administrateur en chef des colonies Louveau, commandant du cercle du SineSaloum, to gouverneur du Sénégal, Kaolack, 18 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 51.  Administrateur commandant le cercle du Bas-Sénégal to gouverneur du Sénégal, Saint-Louis, 10 Mar. 1936; Administrateur Carrière, commandant le cercle de Thiès, to gouverneur du Sénégal, Thiès, 14 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). For Muslim participation in the consecration, see also administrateur de la circonscription de Dakar et dépendances to gouverneur général, Dakar, 9 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 52.  Gouverneur du Sénégal to gouverneur général (confidential), Saint-Louis, 4 May 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 53.  This invitation alarmed the governor general somewhat, who advised the mayor to take precautions to avoid misunderstandings. Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies (confidential), Dakar, 24 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 54.  For background on relations between the French and Muslim leaders in Senegal and Mauritania, see Harrison, France and Islam; Robinson and Triaud, Le temps des marabouts; Robinson, Paths of Accommodation. 55.  Some Muslim leaders did not attend because they feared a conversion effort, but most of those invited came. A few stayed away because they feared that their rank would not be respected in the gathering. See directeur des affaires politiques et administratives Rougier to gouverneur général, 11 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). See also interpreter Kamara’s report on the meeting, Dakar, 8 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 67 (31). 56.  Interpreter Kamara’s report, Dakar, 8 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 67 (31). 57.  Some of them clearly hoped to gain from their professions of loyalty. Sheikh Tolba of Mauritania subsequently asked for a document from the administration to certify that he had shown support for France in the meeting. See the end of interpreter Kamara’s report on the meeting, ibid. 58.  Administrateur Carrière, commandant le cercle de Thiès, to gouverneur du Sénégal, Thiès, 14 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 59.  Administrateur de la circonscription de Dakar et dépendances to gouverneur général, Dakar, 9 Mar. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 60.  Directeur des affaires politiques et administratives to gouverneur général, 11 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 61.  Gouverneur général to ministre des colonies (confidential), Dakar, 24 Feb. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31).

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62. In 1920, the builder Leblanc reiterated the technical difficulties of building on the place Protet. At a depth of eighteen meters, experimental shafts on the site had hit seawater. To get beyond the water to bedrock, Leblanc worried, might involve digging down to fifty meters, and the foundations alone might cost close to a million francs. 63.  Le Hunsec, “Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 28 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b4. For the priests’ view, see Spiritan journal, Dakar, 19 Aug. and 11 Sept. 1918, ACSSp 3I 2.7. Brottier was also not initially in favor of building on the plateau, yet after Jalabert’s death he argued in favor of the plateau site as representing Jalabert’s true intentions. “Réponse à quelques questions posées dans le mémoire de Mgr Le Hunsec sur le Souvenir Africain,” 30 Jan. 1921, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. 64.  Mgr Le Hunsec to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 2 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 a13; Le Hunsec, “Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 28 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b4. 65.  Le Hunsec, “Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 28 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b4. Le Hunsec also thought the proposed design too ambitious, given the number of Catholics in Dakar. See Mgr Le Hunsec to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 8 Jan. 1921, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b1. He was wrong: the population of Dakar doubled between 1926 and 1934, and the missionaries began to complain that the cathedral was too small. See Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 3 Apr. 1934, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b4. 66.  Le Hunsec, “Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 28 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b4. 67.  Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 11 Nov. 1928, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a4. 68. Ibid., 23 Apr. 1929, 28 May 1929, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a5; ibid., 31 Jan. 1930, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a6. On an official visit of inspection in 1930, Father Soul reported back to Paris his astonishment that the cathedral, which had been inaugurated for use by then, seemed to have little importance to Grimault and that the bishop had not even invited him to see it on a tour of the city. P. Soul to TRP Le Hunsec, Dec. 1930, ACSSp 3I 1.16 a14. See also Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 15 Dec. 1929, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a5; P. Brottier to TRP Le Hunsec, Paris, 24 Dec. 1929, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a5. 69.  P. Lecocq to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 29 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a2. 70.  Le Hunsec, “Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire de la cathédrale de Dakar,” 28 Dec. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 b4. 71.  The Spiritans believed that Merlin’s ill will stemmed from the parish priest’s refusal to allow Mme Merlin to serve as godmother to a friend’s child because she had not been married in the church. Spiritan journal, Dakar, 1 Apr. 1920, ACSSp 3I 2.7. 72.  The Souvenir Africain paid the symbolic price of one franc for the plateau site. In return, the mission surrendered the lot on the place Protet to the administration. The administration agreed to pay the mission two hundred thousand francs to make up the difference in the value of the two lots and also agreed to grant a fifty-thousand franc subsidy once construction started. Brasseur, “A propos de la cathédrale,” 117.

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73.  Ministre des colonies to gouverneur général, Paris, 4 Jan. 1936, ANS AOF O 103 (31). 74.  See Ginio, French Colonialism Unmasked, 105–107. 75.  For pro-imperial propaganda, see Chafer and Sackur, Promoting the Colonial Idea; August, Selling of the Empire. 76.  In this respect, there are more parallels between the Souvenir Africain and the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur in Paris. The dreams that inspired both buildings were never quite realized. As Jonas puts it in reference to Sacré-Coeur, “Given that the Government of Moral Order ultimately failed to carry out the political-cultural reorientation envisioned for itself in 1873—namely, national renewal through Christian monarchical restoration—the spiritual and national aims embodied by Sacré-Coeur stand as a monument to the unfulfilled aims of the partisans of Moral Order.” Jonas, “Monument as Ex-Voto,” 485. 77.  Pope Benedict XV, Maximum illud, 30 Nov. 1919, in Catholic Church, ­Selected Papal Encyclicals and Letters, 12–13. 78.  Pope Pius XI, Rerum ecclesiae, 28 Feb. 1926, in Catholic Church, Selected Papal Encyclicals and Letters, 17–18. 79. Ibid., 18. 80. The first African nominated to a position of authority in the Catholic Church in Senegal was Monsignor Joseph Faye, who became apostolic prefect of the Casamance in 1939. His unpleasant experience in this role is discussed later; also see Foster, “A Mission in Transition.” Today Catholics form a small but important minority in Senegal, with considerable communities among the Sereer and Joola populations. Catholics have been part of the country’s elite since independence. Leopold Sédar Senghor, the first president of independent Senegal, was Catholic and attended a mission school as a boy. 81.  I thank Charles Keith for his insight on Vatican policy in the interwar period and for sharing his expertise on Vietnam. See Keith, “Annam Uplifted.” 82.  The church had largely remained silent on the subject of colonization in the heyday of conquest and expansion in the late nineteenth century; years later the veteran French colonial official Robert Delavignette expressed surprise that the 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, on the state of workers, was not aimed at, or interpreted by missionaries to deal with, colonialism. Delavignette, Christianity and Colonialism, 88–89. 83.  For more on Thiandoum’s early life and career, see Sèye, Mgr Hyacinthe Thiandoum. chapter 6 1.  P. Jacquin, “Histoire triste,” Echo des missions des Pères du Saint-Esprit 10, no. 11 (1934): 230 (emphasis in original). 2.  On this Joola custom, see Alliot, “Christianisme et droit traditionnel,” 1032, 1034. He argues that more Joola widows kept their children after the Second World War. 3.  On African assessors, see Ginio, “Negotiating Legal Authority.” 4.  Jacquin, “Histoire triste,” 231–232. Jacquin also noted that the commandant was very concerned with his own advancement. Monsignor Grimault com-

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plained in Dakar and Monsignor Le Roy wrote to Blaise Diagne, but the mission apparently did not retrieve the child. Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Mar. 1934, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b4. 5.  Jacquin, “Histoire triste,” 230. 6. Ibid., 231. 7.  Ibid. (emphasis in original). 8. Ibid., 232. 9.  This educational about-face was largely stimulated by what administrators called the “Protocol de Saint-Germain” of 1919, which revised the General Act of Berlin of 26 February 1885 and the General Act and Declaration of Brussels of 2 July 1890. It obliged signatory powers to “protect and favor, without distinction of nationality or of religion, the religious, scientific, or charitable religious institutions or undertakings created or organized by nationals of the other Signatory Powers and of States, Members of the League of Nations, which may become parties to the present convention, which aim at leading the natives in the path of progress and civilization.” It guaranteed freedom of conscience for all nationals of the signatory powers and members of the League of Nations in colonial Africa and explicitly stated, “Missionaries shall have the right to enter into, and to travel and reside in, African territory with a view to practicing their calling.” French administrators saw this as a policy imposition by the metropole, and French missionaries complained that it was a concession to British and American demands. To regulate foreign missionary activity, officials responded with a 1922 decree on private education in the federation. (See decree, Dakar, 26 Mar. 1922, ANS AOF O 93 [31].) Though this decree initially worried French missionaries, they found that administrators generally targeted foreign missionary schools and overlooked French missionary violations of the regulations. See also Foster, “Church and State,” 261–270. 10.  In his work on missions and language policy in Cameroon, Kenneth Orosz also sees a worsening of relations between the French administration and the Spiritan mission in the interwar period, though the context was very different. Cameroon was a former German colony that had become a French Mandate under the auspices of the League of Nations, and the Spiritans had a much larger African Catholic following there than in Senegal. Their decision to try to reach converts in the vernacular rather than French angered administrators who were trying to “Gallicize” the colony and erase its German roots. This example suggests that both missionary and administrative policy varied based on their relative situations in a given colony. Orosz, Religious Conflict, 287. Ghislaine Lydon cites evidence that in the mid-1930s Governor General Brévié explicitly rejected the assimilationist approach in Cameroon as “interfering with customs.” Lydon, “Women, Children,” 177, 186n25. 11.  Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Mar. 1934, ACSSp, 3I 1.17 b4 (emphasis in original). 12. On association, see Betts, Assimilation and Association, 32, 106–132; Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 174, 187–188, 210. 13.  After the First World War colonial officials in Dakar and Paris focused on the economic development of French possessions. Minister of Colonies Albert Sarraut articulated this in La mise en valeur. On the rationalization of the use of

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forced labor, see Conklin, “Civilization through Coercion,” in A Mission to Civilize, 212–245; Fall, Le travail forcé, esp. 203–219; Cooper, Decolonization and African Society, 77–92. 14.  Orosz sees a similar conflict between missionaries and administrators in Cameroon over forced labor and mission education of women in the 1930s, though the mandate context and the Spiritan mission’s larger following in Cameroon affected the dynamic. Orosz, Religious Conflict, 288–291. The administration there, bent on Gallicizing the population, tried educating African girls in the domestic arts and the French language in the early 1920s by creating écoles ménagères. These lost momentum over the decade, however. Ibid., 263–265. 15. Mgr Barthet to gouverneur, Dakar, 21 Aug. 1890, transcribed in Mgr Barthet to TRP Emonet, Dakar, 22 Aug. 1890, ACSSp 3I 1.14 a4. 16. Ibid. 17. Ibid. 18.  According to Barthet, the British administration in the Gambia handled it this way. Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20.  For an overview of this reform, see Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 86– 94. For an overview of customary law in Senegal during the Third Republic, see Robinson, “Ethnography and Customary Law.” See also Wilder, French Imperial Nation-State, 106–116; Asiwaju, “Control through Coercion”; Mann, “What Was the Indigénat?” For primary sources, see Labouret, “La justice indigène”; Geismar, Recueil des coutumes. 21.  Over time, various groups were exempted from the indigénat, including chiefs, employees of the administration, veterans, and eventually, women and children in 1924. This only added to the complexity of the system, of course. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 310–311n52. See also Mann, “What Was the Indigénat?,” on the relationship between the parallel systems of law and administrative prerogative in the colonies. 22.  Ponty himself used the term “feudal.” Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 110. 23.  For a longer exposition of this argument, see Foster, “Rethinking ‘Republican Paternalism.’” 24.  Circular, Gouverneur Général Ponty, 22 Sept. 1909, in Forgeron, “Le protectorat,” 75–79. 25.  For Ponty’s thought on his judicial reforms, see Ponty, Justice indigène. 26.  Circular, Gouverneur Général Ponty, 22 Sept. 1909, in Forgeron, “Le protectorat,” 77. 27.  Gouverneur général to lieutenants gouverneurs, Dakar, 26 Dec. 1911, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0025. 28.  Christopher Harrison characterizes Marty as the first Frenchman “to really document an example of African Islam with thoroughness.” Harrison hazards only that Marty might have been favorably disposed to missionaries, but the Spiritan archives confirm this. Harrison, France and Islam, 117, 131. Though nothing suggests he was overtly pro-Catholic in his official role, Marty was clearly privately sympathetic to the Spiritan mission. In 1915, Monsignor Jalabert sent Marty a draft of a brochure outlining how African Catholic catechists should be deployed

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in rural areas to maximize African conversions. Marty helped edit the brochure and approved the plan, recommending that the mission distribute the tract widely to raise money for the necessary catechists. See Marty, Cabinet du gouverneur général, to Mgr Jalabert, Dakar, 12 Mar. 1915, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. This connection provides more evidence of the strong links between Ponty’s office and the Spiritan missionary hierarchy in Dakar, though they were not publicly evident at the time and have escaped the notice of many historians. Marty felt that Islam noir, or the Islam of black Africans, as opposed to that of Arabs, was not truly Islam—in his assessment of the Muriddiya under Amadu Bamba he asserted that Islam was only the “facade” for what was really a new religious phenomenon, which featured many characteristics of pre-Islamic beliefs, including anthropomorphism and anthropolatry. He described Islam as a “wave” that had passed over the region but said that in its wake ancestral belief and practice had reasserted themselves. Marty, Etudes sur l’Islam au Sénégal, 1:280–281. On Marty’s view of Islam noir, see Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad, 62; Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 95. 29. Marty, Etudes sur l’Islam au Sénégal, 298–299. 30. Ibid., 299. 31. Ibid., 300. 32. Ibid., 299. 33.  For an overview of legal pluralism in a colonial context, see Hooker, Legal Pluralism. 34.  Citizenship would exempt them from the indigénat. 35.  Mgr Lemaître to gouverneur du Haut Sénégal Niger, 5 June 1914; gouverneur général to gouverneur du Haut Sénégal Niger, 27 Aug. 1914. Cited in “De la représentation des statuts chrétiens dans les tribunaux indigènes,” Dakar (n.d., but post-1920), ACSSp 3I 1.21 a1. 36.  On Ponty’s relationship with the White Fathers during his time as the governor general’s special delegate and then lieutenant governor of Upper Senegal– Niger, see Foster, “Rethinking ‘Republican Paternalism,’” 219–220. 37.  For example, Christians at Carabane in the Casamance had to travel more than one hundred kilometers to marry in the presence of the administrator at S­ édhiou. P. Le Hunsec to P. Pascal, Dakar, 18 May 1909, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a2. 38.  Gouverneur du Sénégal to gouverneur général, 28 Oct. 1910, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0025. 39.  Gouverneur général to gouverneur du Sénégal, Dakar, 30 Nov. 1910, ANS Sénégal 10D3/0025. 40.  P. Le Hunsec to TRP Le Roy, Ziguinchor, 15 Sept. 1912, ACSSp 3I 1.15 b1. This letter is a comprehensive report on the subject and reveals that much confusion remained after the 1910 decree. It is not clear, for example, why Christian African subjects still needed to appear before the administrator and Muslim ones did not. The decree seemed to say that an African couple could select certain provisions of French law to apply to their marriage, a freedom that French citizens did not enjoy. 41.  Le Hunsec to P. Pascal, Dakar, 18 May 1909, ACSSp 3I 1.15 a2. 42.  Searing, “Accommodation and Resistance,” 384–388; Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 151–153. This was part of a broader assault on Muslim origi-

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naires in the communes, whose special status and voting privileges posed a threat to administrative power. Ponty’s judicial reform of 1912 initially stipulated that originaires would not have access to French courts outside the communes, but he backed down on this a short time later. He also excluded originaires from higher positions in the administrative bureaucracy and particular schools. Blaise Diagne’s election and his advocacy for the originaires in the First World War repelled this administrative assault, and a citizenship distinction between Christian and Muslim originaires was never formalized. 43.  Gouverneur Général Ponty to gouverneur du Sénégal, Dakar, 13 Aug. 1912, ANF 200 mi 965: AOF 13G 294. For more on Ponty’s handling of the Murids, see Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad, 156–160; Robinson, Paths of Accommodation, 222–223. 44.  Circular by Gouverneur Général Ponty, 22 Sept. 1909, in Forgeron, “Le protectorat,” 78. 45.  Ponty died of illness in office. A Freemason, he refused the last rites, though his mother and relatives in France cabled the Spiritan mission in Dakar and demanded a Catholic burial. The acting mission executive, Father Le Hunsec, felt he had to say no, though he wrote that it “broke his heart” to do so. P. Le Hunsec to Mgr Jalabert, Dakar, 17 June 1915, ACSSP 3I 1.15 b1. 46.  Mgr Le Hunsec to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 4 Sept. 1923, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a1. 47.  Ibid. Le Hunsec believed that scholar-administrator Maurice Delafosse was also likely shocked by this. 48.  For a discussion of these cases and questions, see Solus, “Le statut juridique.” Solus also wrote a longer treatise on the legal status of French colonial subjects, Traité de la condition des indigènes en droit privé. Governor General Brévié also mentions these decisions in his circular discussed later. Circular by Gouverneur Général Brévié to lieutenants gouverneurs and administrateur de la circonscription de Dakar, Dakar, 6 Feb. 1933, ANS AOF 17G 73 (17). 49.  In “Christianisme et droit traditionnel,” Alliot also refers to an appeals court decision of 13 November 1924 that refused to recognize a Christian statute. Alliot argues that there was a gap between the law as it was written and as practiced. In fact, he argues, local courts began treating Christianity as a “custom” before legal recognition (which did not come until 1961), but most of his examples are from the late 1940s and 1950s, demonstrating that things did not change until after the Second World War. A report on the subject from the Vichy era reveals that although colonial officials were more sympathetic to Catholic claims, they still harbored serious reservations about implementing a Christian statute in West Africa. See “Note d’un statut de la communauté catholique en Afrique noire,” attached to gouverneur du Sénégal to Mgr Faye, Saint-Louis, 11 Aug. 1941, ACSSp 3I 1.21 a1. On Vichy, see also Ginio, French Colonialism Unmasked, 105–107. 50.  On metropolitan views, see Genova, Colonial Ambivalence, 26. 51. In 1920, the administration, wary of new African political power, weakened and subjugated the General Council. It became the Colonial Council and included representatives of rural chiefs for the first time. These new additions owed their positions to the administration and did its bidding. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 158.

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52.  Johnson, “Ascendancy of Blaise Diagne,” 251. 53.  The former glory of Saint-Louis was dying with them: relegated to lesser importance with the establishment of the Government General in Dakar, the commune’s commercial life also suffered at the expense of Dakar’s superior port. SaintLouis’s religious heritage began to disappear from the map in the early 1930s, as the municipality renamed the streets. Rue Blaise Diagne replaced rue de la Mosquée, rue de l’Eglise became rue Schoelcher. Rues St. Paul, St. Pierre, and St. Jean were renamed for new African leaders of Saint-Louis. Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 25 June, 1 July 1932, ACSSp 3I 2.16. Many of the old Catholic métis families moved to Dakar, and their elderly patriarchs, the former pillars of Catholic Saint-Louis society, began dying off, mourned by their missionary allies. Spiritan journal, Saint-Louis, 4 Apr. 1932, 15 Oct. 1935, ACSSp 3I 2.16. By the end of 1927, the number of priests at Saint-Louis decreased from four to two; and in 1934, the parish priest, Father Walther, complained to his superior general, “We are so isolated at Saint-Louis that we do not know what is happening in the rest of the vicariate, nor in Paris.” P. Walther to TRP Le Hunsec, Saint-Louis, 1 June 1934, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b4. 54.  See P. Jacquin to TRP Le Hunsec, Bignona, 8 Aug. 1931, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b1; ibid., 10 June 1933, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b3. On the interwar popularity of Islam in this area, see Mark, Cultural, Economic, and Religious History. 55. Koren, The Spiritans, 283. 56.  Missionaries, officials (including Marty), and civilians all clamored for Le Hunsec’s appointment in Dakar. See petition signed by Dodart, président du Cour d’appel et al. to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 18 Jan. 1920; Marty, chef du Service des affaires musulmanes to TRP Le Roy, Dakar, 22 Jan. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 a5. Monsignor Le Roy stepped down from the post of superior general in 1926 but continued to publicize missionary causes and maintained high-level connections in French politics. 57.  Senegal was expensive during and immediately after the war. Le Hunsec maintained that the cost of living had increased by 300 percent in the course of 1920. Report by Mgr Le Hunsec to Sainte enfance for Oct. 1919–Oct. 1920, ACSSp 3I 1.16 a7. The subsequent world economic crisis was a “catastrophe” in West Africa, in the words of Father Lecoq. P. Lecoq to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 2 Jan. 1931, 17 Dec. 1931, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b1. See also P. Jacquin to TRP Le Hunsec, Bignona, 7 Jan. 1932, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b2; Klein and Roberts, “Resurgence of Pawning.” 58. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 203. 59.  Missionaries complained that youth in the coastal towns had changed for the worse and had become infected with “political contagion.” Report by Mgr Le Hunsec to Sainte enfance for Oct. 1919–Oct. 1920; ibid., Dakar, 7 Oct. 1921, ACSSp 3I 1.16 a7. 60. This is evident in a letter from Father Lecoq, the politically conservative parish priest of Dakar, to the superior general in 1926. “You announce that M. ­Diagne will visit in November—do not worry,” he wrote. “You can rest assured that I will suppress my repugnance, though it is great. . . . There are collective interests that come before individual ones: in this case, our congregation and its missions before the royalism of one of its members.” P. Lecoq to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 1 Sept. 1926, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a2.

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61.  Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 13, 26 Mar. 1929, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a5. 62.  Though interwar proponents of association benefited from new French scholarship on, and appreciation for, African culture, language, and history (Wartime Governor General Clozel and his director of political affairs, Maurice Delafosse, are two of the best examples of scholar-administrators who set the stage for this), the policy was above all an effort to reassert French dominance. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize, 175–180; Harrison, France and Islam, chap. 6. 63.  The circular responded to a series of incidents provoked by missionary activity in Upper Volta and Sudan. Brévié also felt that Islam was a disruptive force in West Africa because it was, in his view, destroying animist or, as he called them, “naturist” African societies. See Harrison, France and Islam, 146–149; Brévié, ­Islamisme contre “naturisme.” On Brévié and customary law, see Wilder, French Imperial Nation-State, 109–110. 64.  Circular, Gouverneur Général Brévié to lieutenants gouverneurs and administrateur de la circonscription de Dakar, Dakar, 6 Feb. 1933, ANS AOF 17G 73 (17). In 1928, the governor general of French Equatorial Africa made the same point in a letter to the lieutenant governor of Gabon, where Spiritan missionaries were also active: “No missionary from any church can come to this country and create with his own authority religious practices that destroy local customs.” Quoted in Rich, “Marcel Lefebvre in Gabon,” 67. 65.  Ministre des colonies to gouverneur général, Paris, 23 Sept. 1932, ANS AOF O 692 (31). The first draft is also in this file. The missions got wind of the circular fairly quickly, however. Monsignor Grimault apparently learned of it from Monsignor Thevenoud, the Catholic bishop of French Sudan. Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 8 Sept. 1933, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b3. 66.  Circular, Gouverneur Général Brévié to lieutenants gouverneurs and administrateur de la circonscription de Dakar, Dakar, 6 Feb. 1933, ANS AOF 17G 73 (17). 67.  There was no such restriction on conversion to Islam. 68.  Circular, Gouverneur Général Brévié to lieutenants gouverneurs and administrateur de la circonscription de Dakar, Dakar, 6 Feb. 1933, ANS AOF 17G 73 (17). 69.  Official concern about African assimilation to French norms, and the expectations it might evoke, is also evident in the experiences of the African graduates of the elite Ecole William Ponty in Dakar. Peggy Sabatier has shown that although these graduates received the best education available in French West Africa, their diplomas did not measure up to metropolitan ones. They found that with respect to education, military service, careers in the colonial administration, and citizenship, “policy was deliberately designed to prevent large numbers of Western-educated Africans from becoming too French.” Sabatier, “Did Africans Really Learn to Be French? The Francophone Elite of the Ecole William Ponty,” in Johnson, Double Impact. See also Sabatier, “‘Elite’ Education.” 70.  Mgr Grimault to TRP Le Hunsec, Dakar, 31 May 1928, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a4. The Spiritan missions in Cameroon were very successful in the interwar years. For more on French missionaries in interwar Cameroon, see Orosz, Religious Conflict.

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71.  There are few sources on the history of the Casamance, and most barely touch on missionary activity. The most relevant is Baum, “Emergence of a Diola Christianity.” See also Mark, “Economic and Religious Change,” esp. chap. 6; ­Méguelle, “La politique indigène”; Snyder, Capitalism and Legal Change, esp. 203–207; L. Thomas, Les Diola, esp. 772–787. See also Baum, “Crimes of the Dream World”; Trincaz, Colonisations et religions; Mark, Cultural, Economic, and Religious History; Linares, Power, Prayer and Production; Roche, Histoire de la Casamance; Leary, “Islam, Politics and Colonialism”; Pélissier, Les paysans du ­Sénégal; Girard, Genèse du pouvoir. 72.  Even Jacquin acknowledged improvement. P. Jacquin to TRP Le Hunsec, Bignona, 20 Mar. 1931, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b1. 73.  For an example concerning dancing, see Spiritan journal, Bignona, 20 May 1921, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 74. Ibid., 18 Nov. 1919, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. See also 14, 15, 16 Nov. 1919. 75.  Female missionary congregations had always focused closely on African women because they tended to provide education, health care, and training to women exclusively, but male congregations seemed to take more notice of African women in the interwar period. For other examples of missionary focus on women in French Africa in this period, see Martin, “Celebrating the Ordinary,” 305–307; Marie-André du Sacré-Coeur, La femme noire. 76.  Note that the missionaries’ critiques of the administration contrast sharply with Marlene Dobkin’s argument that the French administration applied assimilation heedlessly in the case of women without taking African customs or social organization into account. Dobkin, “Colonialism and the Legal Status of Women.” 77.  For a fruitful comparison, see Pedersen, “National Bodies, Unspeakable Acts,” on the British debate on female circumcision in Kenya. For further reading on this topic, see Presley, Kikuyu Women, 89–93; Tignor, Colonial Transformation, 235–254. 78.  TRP Le Roy to P. Jacquin, Paris, 20 Feb. 1934, ACSSp 3I 1.21 a1. 79.  Mgr Alexandre Le Roy, “Pour le relèvement social de la femme en Afrique française,” and TRP Le Roy to gouverneur général, Paris, 25 Apr. 1936, ANS AOF 17G 160 (28). Le Roy had to acknowledge that women in France did not enjoy the right to vote and often did all domestic labor, just like their African counterparts. Yet he argued that French women were not virtual slaves, who lacked control of their own destinies, as African women did. 80.  Directeur des affaires politiques et administratives to gouverneur général, 26 Mar. 1931, ANS AOF O 66 (31). Rougier, the official who wrote this report, was actually somewhat sympathetic to missions and supported some subsidies for them. Yet he did not seem to grasp that their raison d’être was incompatible with the limits he wanted to impose on them. 81. The best source for information on circumcision in the region around Bignona is Thomas, Les Diola, 696–709. Peter Mark has pointed out that it is dangerous to generalize about ritual practices because they varied from one Joola community to another and, particularly after the mid-nineteenth century, Joola religion was constantly evolving. Mark, Cultural, Economic, and Religious History, 77, 86.

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82.  Most Joola did not practice female circumcision or excision. Because the ages of initiates ranged across generations, many of them had long been sexually active. L. Thomas, Les Diola, 696–697, 706. 83.  Spiritan journal, Bignona, 25 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 84. Ibid., 14 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 85. Ibid., 8 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 86. Ibid., 29 Aug. 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 87.  For more on generational conflict sparked by mission activity, see Baum, “Emergence of a Diola Christianity,” 381–383. 88.  Spiritan journal, Ziguinchor, 31 Jan. 1927, ACSSp 3I 2.6 b. 89. Ibid. 90.  Spiritan journal, Bignona, 17 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 91. Ibid., 16 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 92. Ibid., 20 July 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 93. Ibid., 13, 16 July 1926, 20 Aug. 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 94. Ibid., 3 Aug. 1926, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 95.  P. Jacquin to TRP Le Hunsec, Bignona, 4 Aug. 1926, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a2; P. Esvan to TRP Le Hunsec, 30 Oct. 1926, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a2. 96.  Cercle de Ziguinchor, first quarterly report, 1923, ANF 200 mi 2618: AOF 2G 23–54. 97.  It has proved very difficult to determine if there was any truth to these accusations. Robert Baum argues that the French mistook Joola descriptions of spiritual crimes for actual material crimes. Baum, “Crimes of the Dream World.” Similarly, Peter Mark writes that Joola abhorred the idea of eating human flesh; however, their definition of cannibalism included consuming a person’s spirit. He surmises that the French may have misunderstood what took place. Mark, Cultural, Economic, and Religious History, 86–87. Conversations with a descendant of Joola involved in these incidents have indicated that many of these events are still closely guarded secrets. The intention here is not to figure out what exactly took place but to examine French perceptions and reactions. Private communications, Pape Chérif Bertrand Bassène, Saint-Denis, France, 17–18 June 2010. 98.  Diata (also spelled Diatta) served the administration for much of the interwar period. Administrative assessments of his value vary widely. Some French officials considered him “too civilized” to relate to his Joola charges; others thought he did an excellent job. For a negative view, see marginal note on gouverneur du Sénégal to administrateur supérieur de la Casamance, Saint-Louis, [13?] Aug. 1930, ANF 200 mi 1736: AOF 2G 30–60. For a positive take, see overall political report on the Casamance, including Ziguinchor, Bignona, Sédhiou, Kolda, 1935, ANF 200 mi 1772: AOF 2G 35–67. Diata went to the Exposition coloniale internationale of 1931 in Paris. P. Joffroy to TRP Le Hunsec, Oussouye, 16 June 1931, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b1. 99.  Annales religieuses: Casamance, 122, ANF 200 mi 1610: AOF Fonds privés 2Z2. (These are also available in ACSSp 3I 1.15 b4. Father Abiven prepared them in his retirement in the 1930s.) 100.  Annales religieuses: Casamance, 123. ANF 200 mi 1610: AOF Fonds privés 2Z2.

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101.  Les missions catholiques was a weekly publication of the Oeuvre de la Propagation de la foi, the largest and most powerful French organization devoted to supporting missionary causes. For more on the Oeuvre, see Daughton, An Empire Divided, 34–41. 102.  Jacquin, “Mes chers anthropophages,” Les missions catholiques 59, no. 3023 (3 June 1927): 260. Jacquin also compared the secret society (which he called the Bu sang abu) to Freemasonry. 103. Ibid., 261. 104. Ibid. 105.  Mgr Le Roy, “Les missionnaires catholiques et leur action civilisatrice dans les colonies et les pays placés sous mandat,” Le Figaro, 23 Sept. 1934. Historians have noted that French administrators tended to move between posts more frequently than their British counterparts. See Crowder, “Indirect Rule,” 203; Cohen, Rulers of Empire, 124. 106.  In this respect, Jacquin’s characterization closely mirrors Robert Delavignette’s assessment of the vast array of administrative responsibilities and daily activities. Delavignette, Freedom and Authority, 8. 107.  Jacquin, “Au Tribunal indigène,” Echo des missions des Pères du SaintEsprit 12, no. 7 (1935): 141. 108.  Jacquin, “Mr Bè, sorcier,” Echo des missions des Pères du Saint-Esprit 5, no. 3 (1928): 54. 109. Ibid., 55. 110.  Mgr Descamps, “Ce que j’ai vu en Afrique occidentale française, suite: Excursion en Casamance,” Echo des missions des Pères du Saint-Esprit 3, no. 11 (1927): 215. 111.  On Baule manipulation of French judicial procedures in Côte d’Ivoire, see Weiskel, French Colonial Rule, 150–151. 112.  Spiritan journal, Bignona, 13 Feb. 1920, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. 113.  Political report on the Casamance, Sept.–Oct. 1930, administrateur supérieur to gouverneur du Sénégal, Ziguinchor, 25 Nov. 1930, ANF 200 mi 1736: AOF 2G 30–60. For Esvan’s initial complaint and the local administrator’s response, see P. Esvan to administrateur-maire, Ziguinchor, 20 Sept. 1930; administrateur du cercle de Ziguinchor to administrateur supérieur de la Casamance, Ziguinchor, 24 Sept. 1930, ANF 200 mi 2632: AOF 2G 30–60. Presumably Esvan intended to contact the International Labor Organization (ILO), founded as an agency of the League of Nations in 1919. On Esvan’s career, see Esvan, Père Jean-Marie Esvan. On the ILO and colonial labor practice in the interwar years, see Daughton, “Behind the Imperial Curtain,” 517–528. 114.  P. Jacquin to TRP Le Hunsec, Bignona, 20 July 1930, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a6. The mission began refusing building materials gleaned from forced labor—on principle and to prevent alienating potential converts. P. Joffroy to TRP Le Hunsec, Oussouye, 21 Jan. 1934, ACSSp 3I 1.17 b4. For further commentary on forced labor, see also Spiritan journal, Ziguinchor, 10, 19 Dec. 1929, and 20, 22 Sept. 1930, ACSSp 3I 2.6 b. 115.  In May 1920, the republic sent an official delegation that included eighty Catholic members of its legislature to attend the canonization of Joan of Arc in

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Rome. Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the republic resumed in May 1921, and the two sides found satisfactory solutions to the questions of church property holdings and episcopal nominations over the course of the 1920s. In December 1926, the Vatican condemned Charles Maurras’s Action française, a mouthpiece for ultranationalist right-wing Catholics in France, thereby disarming the extreme wing of antirepublican Catholics. (The pope’s condemnation of the Action française was not just to reconcile with the republic; it was also aimed at reestablishing Vatican authority over French Catholics.) Arnal, Ambivalent Alliance, 125. Harry Paul calls the reconciliation in the 1920s a second ralliement. See Paul, Second Ralliement. James F. McMillan thinks the term “second ralliement” is too strong. Though he argues that the interwar period was indeed a “watershed” in the church and state conflict in France, he finds evidence both of continuity and change in that relationship between 1919 and 1939. McMillan, “France,” 34, 41. 116.  T. O. Beidelman makes a similar point in his work on a Protestant mission in British East Africa. He argues, “The raison d’être of mission work is the undermining of a traditional way of life. In this the missionary represents the most extreme, thorough-going and self-conscious protagonist of cultural innovation and change.” Beidelman, Colonial Evangelism, 212. 117.  See Father Esvan, quoted in Annales religieuses: Casamance, 124–125, ANF 200 mi 1610: AOF Fonds privés 2Z2. 118.  Jacquin, “Mes chers anthropophages,” 261. 119.  It is important to note that some Spiritans evinced pejorative racist opinions of Africans. An ailing Joffroy wrote in the Bignona diary in 1918 that the Joola who were assisting him were remarkably “stupid.” Spiritan journal, Bignona, 22 Sept. 1918, ACSSp 3I 2.4 b. In 1927, Father Le Douaron also found the Joola “stupid.” P. Le Douaron to TRP Le Hunsec, Joal, 15 Dec. 1927, ACSSp 3I 1.17 a3. For more on missionary racism, see Foster, “A Mission in Transition.” conclusion 1.  For background on the Popular Front’s constituent parties’ positions on the empire, see Cohen, “Colonial Policy.” Senegal’s voters did not actually elect the left in 1936—they favored the outgoing deputy, Galandiou Diouf, over socialist Lamine Gueye. Nonetheless, many in the colony embraced the Popular Front’s program. Bernard-Duquenet, Sénégal, 7–8; Chafer, End of Empire, 33–34. 2.  Eighteen out of thirty governors were reassigned. Cohen, “Colonial Policy,” 376. 3.  Tony Chafer makes that case for the administration. Chafer, End of Empire, 33. 4.  For this argument about Popular Front policy, see ibid., 35–36; BernardDuquenet, Sénégal, 9–10. 5.  Frederick Cooper warns that to measure the Popular Front’s stance by later standards of anticolonialism is anachronistic. Cooper, Decolonization, 73–74. Léon Blum, the socialist premier of the Popular Front government, was in fact a proponent of eventual colonial independence, but he did not trumpet this position in office. Coquéry-Vidrovitch, “The Popular Front,” 157. Moutet had also been more radical on the question before 1936. Lydon, “Women, Children,” 171–

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172. The Vatican blunted its gesture by placing its first African prelate in a remote region with a small European population and making him report to the French bishop in Dakar. 6.  Constituent Law of 30 January 1937, cited in Coquéry-Vidrovitch, “The Popular Front,” 157. 7. Cooper, Decolonization, 92–104. 8. Ibid., 104–107. 9. For the convention’s terms, see http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/convde. pl?C029. 10. Cooper, Decolonization, 88–89. 11. Ibid., 90–91. 12.  Lydon, “Women, Children,” 176–177. Lydon claims that the murder of a Spiritan priest who was trying to protect a slave girl in Cameroon created a sensation. For Le Roy’s interventions, see Mgr Alexandre Le Roy, “Pour le relèvement social de la femme en Afrique française,” and TRP Le Roy to gouverneur général, Paris, 25 Apr. 1936, ANS AOF 17G 160 (28). Brévié assured Le Roy that the administration was working on the issue. Lydon, “Women, Children,” 177, 186n23. Martin Klein and Richard Roberts also point to missionary influence. Klein and Roberts, “Resurgence of Pawning,” 314. 13.  Lydon, “Women, Children,” 179, 186n35. 14.  Klein and Roberts, “Resurgence of Pawning,” 305. 15.  Governor general to lieutenant governors, 25 June 1936, cited in Klein and Roberts, “Resurgence of Pawning,” 314. 16.  Klein and Roberts, “Resurgence of Pawning,” 314. 17.  “Note annexe à la circulaire no. 290 AP/2 du 7 mai 1937 au sujet du ­mariage indigène,” reproduced in Bertho, “Le problème.” 18.  Ministre des colonies to président de la république, Paris, 15 June 1939, reproduced in Bertho, “Le problème,” and in Dobkin, “Colonialism and the Legal Status of Women,” 404. 19. Ginio, French Colonialism Unmasked, 105–107. Brévié served as Vichy’s equivalent of minister of colonies (the position was then called colonial secretary) from April 1942 until March 1943. On his career, see Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics, 16–17. 20.  De Coppet even found thirty-three thousand francs to subsidize Catholic schools in Côte d’Ivoire in 1936. Gouverneur général to gouverneur de la Côte d’Ivoire, 12 Oct. 1936, ANS AOF O 717 (31). 21. Libermann, Directoire spirituel, 539–540. 22. Koren, To the Ends of the Earth, 461–465; “Notice historique sur le Séminaire indigène de la Sénégambie,” ACSSp 3I 2.13 a. The Spiritans in Senegal founded a congregation of African nuns, the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, in 1858 and an organization of African religious brothers in 1860. The Daughters survived but had trouble attracting personnel. The congregation of brothers lapsed and was refounded in 1925. 23.  “Notice historique sur le Séminaire indigène de la Sénégambie,” ACSSp 3I 2.13 a. 24.  Spiritan missions in Senegambia, Gabon, French Congo, Zanzibar, Angola,

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Sierra Leone, French Guinea, and northern Nigeria trained 37 African priests between 1840 and 1924, yet all but two African priests ordained before 1910 had attended Spiritan seminaries. The Spiritan seminary in Gabon admitted 200 students before graduating its first African priest in 1899. The White Fathers in Uganda ordained 2 priests out of 160 seminary students between 1878 and 1913. An African, Samuel Adjai Crowther, served as an Anglican bishop between 1843 and 1891 in Sierra Leone, but no other Africans became diocesan bishops until after 1950. On the Catholic numbers, see Koren, To the Ends of the Earth, 461–465. On Crowther, see Hastings, Church in Africa, 555–556. On Spiritan efforts to train African clergy in French Congo, see Kinata, Formation du clergé. 25.  The Spiritans in Senegal reexamined their catechist policy on the eve of the First World War. 26.  Pope Benedict XV, Maximum illud, 30 Nov. 1919, in Catholic Church, S­elected Papal Encyclicals and Letters, 12–13; Pope Pius XI, Rerum ecclesiae, 28 Feb. 1926, in Catholic Church, Selected Papal Encyclicals and Letters, 17–18. 27. Costantini, Réforme des missions, 27, 29, 38–40, 43–48. 28.  Foster, “Mission in Transition,” 268–269. 29.  See, for example, P. Joffroy to TRP Le Hunsec, Nikine, 19 Feb. 1940, ­ACSSp 3I 1.18 b6. 30.  Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi to TRP Le Hunsec, the Vatican, 28 Dec. 1946, ACSSp 3I 1.20 b3. 31.  TRP Le Hunsec to Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi, Paris, 27 Feb. 1947, ACSSp 3I 1.20 b3. 32.  Chafer and Sackur, “Introduction,” in French Colonial Empire and the Popular Front, 27. 33.  On this theme, see Hussain, Jurisprudence of Emergency.

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Index

Page numbers in italic type indicate illustrations. African Christians, 24, 141–67. See also Christian converts Africans: agency of, in colonial history, 46–47, 57–58, 66–67, 175; agitation by, 107, 113, 114, 134, 143, 155; alienation of, 67; Christian converts among, 141–67; and colonial rule, 9, 48, 99, 112–16, 119–20, 153–54; colonial ties of, 14; déraciné, 156–58; education of, 1–2, 209n38, 232n69; health care of, 76; in the military, 95, 98, 103–8, 112–15, 134, 155; Souvenir Africain cathedral and, 119–20, 125, 127–31; voting rights of, 3–4, 5, 14, 22, 25–26, 33, 145, 196n63. See also African Christians; Animists; Four Communes; Muslims Afrique (ship), 127, 155, 223n33 Agriculture, 55–56 Alassane, Pèdre, 33–34 Albertine-Marie (African Christian convert), 141–42 Algeria, 17, 49, 53, 55, 88, 92, 153, 185n22, 187n40, 207n21, 211n82, 212n92, 218n90, 222n32 Anastasie (African Christian convert), 159–60 Angoulvant, Gabriel, 101, 105, 136 Animists, 15, 16, 44–45, 150, 161–63, 194n45 Ansumané, 96 Anta, Sheikh, 153 Anticlericalism: declining vocations as result of, 111; First World War and, 100, 214n17; in France, 69–71; in Senegal, 3, 15, 21–23, 30–41, 101, 149. See also Laicization Anticlerical laws, 6, 69–94. See also Law on Associations Antonetti, Raphaël, 113, 114 Apostolic Prefecture of Saint-Louis, 26 Archinard, Louis, 104, 123

Architecture, 125–26, 222n32 Assimilation, 6, 11, 12, 20, 25, 33, 96, 144–45, 149, 156, 170, 173, 188n45, 232n69 Associations cultuelles, 90, 92 Assumptionists, 70 Audren, Father, 55 Augouard, Bishop, 222n32 Aurore, L’, (newspaper), 80 Autonomous Sereer Provinces, 45, 51, 65 Babadi, 96 Bakary (Muslim baker), 159 Balesi, Charles, 114 Bamba, Amadu, 102, 153, 229n28 Barbier, Father, 27 Barthet, Magloire, 32–33, 37, 40, 46, 49– 56, 64–65, 146–48, 203n44 Bass, Diagne, 58 Bawol, Senegal, 30, 44, 49 Bè (Joola sorcerer), 164 Behanzin, King of Dahomey, 28 Benedict XV, Pope, 100; Maximum illud, 138, 174 Benton, Lauren, 13 Binger, Louis Gustave, 88, 90 Bishop of Senegambia, 17–18 Bissell, William Cunningham, 8 Bordeaux, Henry, 128–29, 223n37 Bordelais commercial houses, 14, 22–23, 25, 31, 34, 112 Bouche, Denise, 37 Brévié, Jules, 119, 130, 137, 156–58, 171–72 Briand, Aristide, 72 Brière de l’Isle, Louis, 32, 196n59 Britain, 26 British Gambia, 16 Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploërmel, 17, 27, 29, 74, 77, 79 Brottier, Daniel, 124, 127–28, 136, 221n21

264

Index

Brunet, Auguste, 136 Bureaucracy, 16–18 Burton, Antoinette, 185n29 Calvary, Sor, 36 Cameroon, 130, 160, 227n10, 228n14 Cannibalism, 162–63, 234n97 Capuchins, 26 Carde (governor general), 137, 154 Carrière (official), 133 Casamance, Senegal, 15, 106, 109, 143– 45, 158–66, 159, 173–74, 188n48 Catechists, 111, 174 Catholicism: bureaucracy of, 16–18; ceremonies of, 27–28, 36–37; and colonial rule, 12, 17; in contemporary Senegal, 226n80; criticisms of, 1–2, 21–22; decline of, in Senegal, 155; divisions within, 23, 38, 40; and the Dreyfus Affair, 70; and education, 29, 37–38, 79–83; First World War and, 100; in Four Communes, 18, 21–42; and Freemasonry, 33–34; French state’s relationship with, 166, 190n62; laicization and, 84–90; métis and, 24; and the military, 28–29; Muslims and, 102, 132–33; popular support for, 75; republicans vs., 1–3; role of, in French history and politics, 10–11; in Senegal, 158, 169, 192n22 (see also Missionaries); and state employment of clergy, 27; Vichy regime and, 186n31. See also Converts; Missionaries Ceremonies, Catholic, 27–28, 36–37 Chafer, Tony, 176 Chamber of Deputies, 69, 77, 113 Chaudié (governor), 65 Chella (ship), 117 Children, pawning of, 172 Christian converts: First World War’s effect on, 111–12; frustrations of, 10; incidence of, 200n11; intermarriage of, 141–42, 159–60; military recruitment of, 106–8; pursuit of, 27, 44–46, 54, 111–12, 130, 158–66, 188n45, 188n48; status and experiences of, 141–67, 147, 186n31 Christianity. See African Christians; Catholicism; Missionaries; Protestantism Christian statute, 154, 230n49 Circumcision, Joola, 161–62 Citizenship, 6, 25, 105, 113–14, 145, 153, 218n90

“Civilization,” Africans and, 10, 53, 84, 96, 135, 150–51 Civilizing mission: as administrative goal, 11–12, 84, 91, 120, 142, 144–45, 178; African custom in relation to, 144; converts resulting from, 142; missionary practice of, 3, 10–12, 34, 35, 46–47, 52–54, 65, 71, 78, 96–98, 116, 119–20, 130–31, 134–35, 143–44, 147–48, 163–67, 178; and Muslims, 130, 131, 147; patriotic justification of, 96–98, 107, 116, 119; republicanism and, 6, 10–12, 48, 84, 145; Souvenir Africain cathedral and, 128–30 Clemenceau, Georges, 80, 100, 114, 115 Clément-Thomas, Léon, 55, 67, 203n44 Clozel (governor general), 102, 114 Coastal communes. See Four Communes Colonial Council, 230n51 Colonial rule and administration: and African Christian converts, 143, 152– 53; and African custom, 10, 20, 67, 134, 141–45, 148–50, 154, 161–63, 172–73; Africans and, 9, 48, 99, 112– 16, 119–20, 153–54; bureaucracy of, 16–18; Catholicism and, 12, 17; civilian-based, 30–31, 41, 194n53; constraints on, 4, 8–9; Devès family vs., 22; First World War’s effect on, 98–99, 109; heterogeneity of, 5, 8–9, 15, 180; of the interior, 22–23, 30, 44, 47, 57– 67, 156, 189n58, 200n15; Islam and, 16, 201n23; and laicization, 72; metropolitan influence on, 3, 4, 6–8, 22– 23, 69, 72–73, 83, 185n31, 194n50; missionaries and, 9, 12–13, 15, 23, 31–33, 36–37, 41, 44–56, 60, 64–65, 98, 100–101, 108, 116, 119–23, 129, 130, 134–35, 137, 143–45, 148, 153– 67, 178–79; Muslims and, 10, 14, 49, 86–93, 106, 153; pragmatic character of, 12–13, 51, 149, 153; religion and, 9–10; republicanism and, 6–8, 12, 25–26; socialist reform of, 169–76; staffing issues for, 48; strengthening/ preservation of, 47–48, 67, 134, 143, 179 Combes, Emile, 70–71 Comoros, 92 Concordat of 1801, 17, 27, 71, 89, 190n62 Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, 17

Index Congregation of the Holy Heart of Mary, 26 Congregation of the Holy Spirit, 26 Congregation of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Heart of Mary, 26. See also Spiritans. Conklin, Alice, 6, 10–12 Conscription, 7, 12, 19, 98, 104–6, 108, 112, 134, 155, 171. See also Recruitment Conservatism, 28 Converts. See Christian converts; Muslim converts Coppolani, Xavier, 90 Cormier, Charles, 25 Corvée (forced) labor, 96, 114, 144, 165, 171, 175 Costantini, Celso, 174, 188n48 Côte d’Ivoire, 85 Crespin, Jean-Jacques, 31, 35, 43–44, 63, 193n42 Custom, African, 10, 20, 67, 134, 141– 45, 148–50, 154, 161–63, 172–73 Cuverville, Cavalier de, 28, 38–39 Dakar, Senegal, 7, 12, 13, 24, 26–29, 37, 45, 79, 109, 184n15, 195n54, 231n53 Darlan, François, 117 Darnton, Robert, 185n20 Daughton, J. P., 11–12, 123 Daumas, Gustave, 131 De Bourmeister (mayor), 38–39 Decazes (military officer), 65–66 De Coppet, Jules Marcel, 170–72 Defamation of character, 21–22, 38–39 Déraciné (uprooted) Africans, 156–58 Descamps, Bishop, 165 Descemet, Louis, 195n55 Descemet family and party, 31, 34, 37, 40, 195n55. See also Parti bien-pensant Devès, Gaspard, 22 Devès, Hyacinthe, 78–79 Devès family and party, 22–23, 30–34, 41–42, 63, 112 Diagne, Blaise, 15, 22, 99, 103, 109, 112–15, 134, 153–56, 177, 178 Diagne, Guibril, 58 Diata, Benjamin, 163, 234n98 Didier-Marie, Brother, 29 Dione, Demba, 58–59 Diouf, Mamadou, 186n36 Direct administration. See Territories of

265

direct administration Disannexation, 47, 64–65, 67 Dislère, Paul, 72 Dislère commission, 72–73, 83–85, 87– 88, 91–92 Dispensaries, 76 Dodds, Prosper, 176 Doumer, Paul, 129 Doumergue, Gaston, 69, 75–76, 77 Doyle, William, 5, 8 Dreyfus, Alfred, 70 Dreyfus Affair, 70–71 Duboin, François-Marie, 32, 196n59 Echo des missions (magazine), 141 Ecole coloniale, 48 Education: of Africans, 1–2, 209n38, 232n69; Catholic provision of, 29, 79–83; Ferry laws, 3, 22, 184n11, 193n42; laicization of, 77–83, 143, 163; of métis, 29; missionaries and, 85; of Muslims, 29, 193n39, 193n40, 193n42, 209n50; nuns’ provision of, 37–38, 82–83; religion and, 1–3, 184n11 Electoral institutions, 32–33, 40–41 Empire, France as, 5–7, 66, 71–73, 84– 85, 137–38, 169–71, 185n29 Esvan, Father, 165 Etienne, Eugène, 48 Évolués (educated Africans), 155–56, 170 Faidherbe, Louis, 14, 103, 201n24 Fall, Malic Coumba, 53, 59–60 Fathers of Lyon, 110. See also Société des missions africaines Fathers of the Holy Spirit. See Spiritans Faye, Joseph, 169, 174–76 Faye, M’Ba, 58–59 Faye, M’Bissane, 58–59, 61–62 Ferry, Jules, 3 Ferry laws, 3, 22, 184n11, 193n42 Figaro, Le (newspaper), 164 First World War, 98–116; challenges and opportunities posed by, 108–15, 134; missionaries and, 98–108, 217n70; recruitment/conscription for, 103–8; Souvenir Africain cathedral and, 126–27 Foch, Ferdinand, 124 Forced labor, 96, 114, 144, 165, 171, 175 Forêt, Auguste, 21–22, 35, 38–39, 190n4

266

Index

Four Communes: Africans in, 155–56; Catholicism in, 18, 21–42; establishment of, 184n15, 190n2; and First World War, 112–15; governance and politics in, 3, 14, 15, 18, 25–26, 112– 15, 191n12; interior in relation to, 47, 190n65; laicization in, 73–83; population of, 24 Freemasonry, 24, 33–34, 190n7 French exceptionalism, 8, 180 French law, 16, 43, 47, 67, 141, 146–54 French Revolution, 26 French West Africa, 30, 71, 73, 83–93 Friard, Brother, 106 Futa-Toro, Senegal, 34 Gaden (colonel), 102 Gambetta, Léon, 3, 69, 184n12 Gasconi, Albert, 34, 40 General Act and Declaration of Brussels, 227n9 General Act of Berlin, 227n9 General Council, 16, 25, 26, 31, 32, 41, 47, 74, 75, 77, 79, 155, 196n62, 230n51 Germain (African Christian convert), 160 Germaine, Sister, 38–40 Gonod, Pascale, 72 Gorée, Senegal, 13–14, 24–27, 184n15, 195n54 Gouraud, Henri, 117, 128–29 Government General of French West Africa, 79 Governor general, 30 Grimault, Augustin, 136–37, 144, 156, 158 Grivel, Admiral, 28 Guadeloupe, 17, 92 Guérin, Father, 40 Gueydon (admiral), 80 Gueye, Amadu, 43, 56–62 Gum, 14 Guy (governor), 76–82, 86, 88–89, 209n38 Guy Grand, Father, 50, 52 Harris, Ruth, 187n42 Harris, William Wadé, 217n70 Harrison, Christopher, 90 Health care, 74–76, 103 Hood, Ronald, III, 28 Humans, pawning of, 172

Hymn, for Souvenir Africain cathedral, 129–30 Illustration, L’, (magazine), 128, 131 Indigénat (summary justice), 6, 48, 91, 148, 228n21 Indochina, 138 Influenza, 103 Interior of Senegal: expansion into, 22–23, 30, 44, 189n58, 200n15; Four Communes in relation to, 47, 190n65; governance and politics in, 4, 15, 16, 18, 47, 57–67, 156; missionaries in, 27 International Labor Organization, 171 Interpreters, 57, 165 Islam: attitudes toward, 11, 49, 87–91; black vs. Arab, 229n28; Catholics and, 132–33; Christianity vs., 1–2, 45; colonial administration and, 16, 201n23; conversion to, 44, 122, 155; laicization and, 84–93; missionaries and, 16, 33–34, 45–46, 53–55, 96, 123, 131– 34, 142–43, 146–47, 158; Senegalese history of, 190n60; spread of, 15–16, 46, 111, 143, 150, 155–56. See also Muslims Islamic law, 6, 10, 14, 25, 151, 154 Jacquin, Father, 107, 141–42, 162–66 Jalabert, Hyacinthe, 81, 95–103, 97, 105–11, 114–16, 119, 122–25, 127, 135–36, 137, 139, 152, 155, 221n16 Jeandet, Abel, 57 Jennings, Eric, 186n31 Jesuits, 70 Jeunes sénégalais (Young Senegalese), 112 Joffroy, Father, 95–97, 103–4, 108, 159– 60, 175 Jolof, Senegal, 30 Jonas, Raymond, 187n42 Jones, Hilary, 190n65 Joola, 15, 96, 106, 108, 158–66 Jouan, Father, 65 Kader, Abdel, 43, 50–51, 57–60, 62, 65, 201n24 Kajoor, Senegal, 30, 34, 44, 49, 67 Kamara, Kande, 104 Kaufman, Suzanne, 187n42 Kéba (Joola chief), 159–60 Klein, Martin, 172 Koranic schools, 209n50

Index Kselman, Thomas, 187n42 Kunemann, Alphonse, 35, 69, 79, 122 Labor policy in Senegal, 170–71. See also Forced labor Laicization, 11, 69–94; colonial applications of, 208n22; colonial correspondence on, 83–93; of education, 77–83, 143, 163; in Four Communes, 73–83; of health care, 75–76; missionaries and, 71, 74, 122; Muslim attitude toward, 132; relaxation of, 143; resistance to, 74–83. See also Anticlericalism Lamendour, Father, 161 Lamiral, Dominique, 25 Lamoise, Father, 29 Lamothe, Henri de, 47, 53, 56, 64–65 Lat Joor, 186n36 Lavigerie, Cardinal, 70, 188n45, 222n32 Law: African Christian converts’ status under, 146–54; customary, 6, 148–50; French, 16, 43, 47, 67, 141, 146–54; indigénat and, 6, 48; Islamic, 6, 10, 14, 25, 151, 154. See also Custom, African Law on Associations, 69, 70, 85–88 League of Nations, 165 Lebu, 1, 24, 60, 112 Leclerc (official), 60 Le Hunsec, Louis, 110, 135–36, 152, 154, 156, 165, 176, 230n45 Lemaître, Bishop, 115, 152, 154 Lemyre de Vilers, Deputy, 32–33 Leo XIII, Pope, 70 Le Roy, Alexandre, 69, 105, 111, 127, 160, 164, 171, 231n56 Levêque, Fernand, 101 Leye, Massaer, 58 Libermann, François, 26–27, 173 Lossédat, Father, 36–37 Louveau (official), 132 Ly, Latyr, 43, 58–59, 62 Lyautey, Hubert, 129 Lydon, Ghislaine, 171 Mac Mahon, Countess de, 117 Madagascar, 92 Mali, 16 Malvy, Louis, 99–100 Mandel, Georges, 172–73 Mangin, Charles, 103–5, 128 Marabouts, 50, 111, 132, 146

267

Marriage, 146–48, 151–54, 159–60, 172–73 Martinique, 17, 92 Marty, Paul, 150–51, 228n28 Maubert (official), 162 Mauritania, 101–2 Mayotte, 92 M’Bor, Lat, 43 Memorials, 123, 221n16 Merlin, Martial, 136 Métis: and Catholicism, 24; education of, 29; in Four Communes, 24; laicization and, 74–75; and politics, 22–23, 32, 41–42, 63, 79, 112, 115, 155; religion of, 15; role of, 4, 15; voting rights of, 25 Metropole, influence of, 3, 4, 6–8, 22–23, 69, 72–73, 83, 134, 185n31 Michel, Marc, 114 Military: and Catholicism, 28–29, 32; recruitment/conscription for, 95, 98, 103–8, 112–15, 134, 155 Ministry of Colonies, 73, 74, 84, 90, 92 Mise en valeur, 128, 144, 145, 153, 165 Missionaries: and animists, 15, 194n45; and anticlericalism, 31–37; and colonial administration, 9, 12–13, 15, 23, 31–33, 36–37, 41, 44–56, 60, 64–65, 98, 100–101, 108, 116, 119–23, 129, 130, 134–35, 137, 143–45, 148, 153– 67, 178–79; decline of, 155–56; and education, 85; finances of, 110–11, 122–23; First World War’s effect on, 109–12, 217n70; funding of, 17; ideological nature of, 12; in the interior, 27; and Islam, 16, 33–34, 45–46, 53–55, 96, 123, 131–34, 142–43, 146–47, 158; and the Joola, 158–66; laicization and, 71, 74, 122; and the military, 28–29, 32; opposition of, to African authority, 170, 173–75; opposition of, to Muslims, 33, 50–55, 64–65, 150; patriotism of, 95–116, 121, 123–24, 138; role of, in French history and politics, 10–11; and the Sereer, 44–67; shortages of, 18; and Souvenir Africain cathedral, 12, 28, 98, 102–3, 119, 121–28, 137; stations for, 45; training of indigenous clergy by, 138, 173–75, 237n24; transimperial effects of, 8. See also Civilizing mission Missions catholiques (magazine), 163, 235n101

268

Index

Modest (captain), 95–96, 103–4 Moniteur du Sénégal et dépendances (newspaper), 21 Monuments, 123, 221n16 Moutet, Marius, 170 Mun, Comte de, 54, 64 Muridiyya, 16, 153, 189n53, 229n28 Muslim brotherhoods, 16, 71, 84–93, 189n53. See also Muridiyya, Tijaniyya Muslim converts, 44, 122, 155 Muslims: agitation by, 90–91; attitudes toward, 46, 49–50, 53, 105–6, 141– 42, 147, 228n28; Catholics and, 102; civilizing mission and, 130, 131, 147; and colonial administration, 10, 14, 49, 86–93, 106, 153; colonial ties of, 14; education of, 29, 193n40, 193n42, 209n50; and First World War, 216n58; governing non-Muslims, 43–67, 149– 50; intermarriage of, 141–42, 159–60; laicization and, 71–72; marriage laws concerning, 146; missionary opposition to, 33, 50–55, 64–65; policies toward, 1–3, 84–93, 186n36, 189n56; privileges of, 6, 25, 33; religiosity of, 132; role of, in colonial administration, 14, 25; Souvenir Africain cathedral and, 127, 131–32, 137; voting behavior of, 22. See also Islam Muslim Tribunal, 14, 25 Napoleon, Louis, 26 Napoleonic Wars, 26 National Pilgrimage, to Souvenir Africain cathedral, 118 N’Dar-Toute, Senegal, 27 N’Diaye, Father, 130, 223n43 N’Diaye, Samba, 59 Ngazobil, Senegal, 27 N’Gor, 50–52, 202n40 Niasse, Meissa, 59 Nuns: education provided by, 37–38, 82–83; health care role of, 74, 76, 103; and the navy, 28; popular support for, 23, 37–38, 76, 78; pregnancy scandal concerning, 21–22, 37–41. See also Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, Sisters of SaintJoseph de Cluny, Soeurs bleues Nurses, 75 Oeuvre de la Propagation de la foi, 110, 235n101

Oeuvre du denier du culte, 111 Old Regime France, 5–7, 26, 47, 72–73, 145, 148 Ordinance of 1840, 87–88 Originaires, 3, 14–15, 99, 105, 109, 112– 15, 145, 153–54, 218n90 Orosz, Kenneth, 227n10, 228n14 Pan-Islam, 90 Papacy. See Vatican Parti bien-pensant, 31, 34, 39. See also Descemet family and party Patriotism, 95–116, 121, 123–24, 138 Patterson, Louis, 49–52, 53, 57, 59–60, 202n32, 202n40 Peanuts, 14, 189n53 Petite Côte, Senegal, 10, 26, 44, 45 Petit sénégalais (newspaper), 39, 190n4, 198n97 Peuvergne, Jean, 83, 152 Picarda, Bishop, 35–40, 55 Pigneau de Béhaine, Bishop, 123 Pius XI, Pope, 117; Rerum ecclesiae, 138, 174 Plows, 55 Poincaré, Raymond, 98, 100 Ponty, William, 10, 83, 95–96, 100–101, 104, 113, 122–23, 135, 137, 145, 149–54, 166, 172, 218n90, 221n16, 230n45 Popular Front, 169–76 Portugal, 26, 191n19 Pour nos morts d’Afrique (magazine), 124–25, 127, 221n25 Power brokers, 4, 8, 16, 18, 20, 30, 41– 42, 48, 66, 93, 177, 179 Prefects, 17 Prefecture of Senegal, 16–18 Privilege, 5–7, 25–26, 33, 47, 72, 145, 148 Propagation de la foi. See Oeuvre de la Propagation de la foi Protectorate rule, 16, 47, 67 Protestantism, 24, 193n42 Protocol de Saint-Germain, 227n9 Race, 149–50, 167, 175 Rafou, Senegal, 60 Railroad, 35 Rangé (doctor), 75–76 Recruitment, for the military, 95, 98, 103–10, 112–16, 155. See also Conscription

Index Religion: African vs. European, 84, 89, 91; and colonial rule, 9–10; education and, 1–3; First World War and, 100– 108; of métis, 15; politics and, 21–42 (see also Separation of church and state); republicanism vs., 2–3, 32, 35, 98, 101, 187n42 (see also Anticlericalism; Laicization) Rémond, René, 214n17 Republicanism: and anticlericalism, 22, 70; Catholic Church vs., 1–3; and civilizing mission, 6, 10–12, 48, 84, 145; and colonialism, 6–8, 12, 25–26; and laicization, 91, 207n15; religion vs., 2–3, 32, 35, 98, 101, 187n42 (see also Anticlericalism; Laicization) Réunion, 17, 92 Réveil du Sénégal (newspaper), 21–23, 31, 34–41 Riehl, François-Xavier, 2, 29, 32, 34, 35 Roberdeau (interim governor), 57, 64 Roberts, Richard, 172 Robinson, David, 186n36, 189n56 Roume, Ernest, 75–78, 86–92, 148, 150– 51, 209n38 Rufisque, Senegal, 1–3, 24, 27, 76, 78, 80, 82–83, 184n15 Rumeur infâme, 100 Sabatier, Peggy, 232n69 Sackur, Amanda, 176, 185n19 Sacré-Coeur basilica, Paris, 123, 226n76 Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda Fide, 174, 188n48 Sahibu (religious leader), 91 Sainte enfance, 110 Saint-Louis, Senegal, 13–14, 24–27, 29, 35, 40, 62, 78–82, 191n8, 195n54, 231n53 Saint-Pierre, Sister, 21, 31, 37, 38 Samori, 129 Sarraut, Albert, 136–37 Savineau, Denise Moran, 171–72 School-penitentiary, 55–56 Science, 35 Searing, James F., 45, 186n36, 190n65 Sébire, Father, 44, 57, 63–64, 205n87, 205n96 Seck, Sow, 58–59 Secularism. See Laicization Seignac, Governor, 36 Self-determination, 149–50 Seminaries, 173

269

Sene, Ballouk, 43–44, 47, 56–64 Senegal, colonial, xvi, 13–14. See also Colonial rule and administration; Four Communes; Interior of Senegal Separation of church and state, 1, 11, 69– 71, 88–92, 99–100, 143 Sereer, 15, 43–67, 199n3 Servatius, René, 30 Sicamois, M., 1–4 Sidiyya, Sheikh, 102, 105, 132 Simon, Henry, 136 Sisters of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, 17, 27, 74, 79, 82, 103. See also Soeurs bleues Sisters of Saint-Joseph de Cluny, 17, 21, 23, 26–27, 29, 37–40, 74, 76, 78–82, 103 Slavery and slave trade, 13–14, 104, 188n51, 189n52, 215n44 Smallpox, 76 Société des missions africaines (SMA), 188n45. See also Fathers of Lyon Société des missions évangéliques, 24 Society of African Missions. See White Fathers Soeurs bleues, 27, 29 Sor, Senegal, 36 Souvenir Africain cathedral, Dakar, 117–39, 118, 126; Africans’ place in, 125, 127–31; changing meanings of, 119–20, 127–33, 138–39; consecration of, 20, 105, 117, 119, 127, 130–34, 137–38; design of, 125–26; financing construction of, 119, 124, 126–27, 136, 139; First World War’s effect on, 126–27; hymn of, 129–30; location of, 135–37; metropolitan interest in, 134, 136–37; missionaries’ promotion of, 12, 28, 98, 102–3, 119, 121–28, 137; Muslims and, 127, 131–32, 137; original conception of, 119, 121–27; tensions revealed by, 120–21, 134–39; unifying message of, 20, 100, 105, 120, 130–34, 137–38 Souvenir français, 221n16 Spiritans, 16–17, 26–27, 33, 35, 38–41, 44–67, 69, 81, 88–89, 101, 109–10, 122, 124–30, 133–39, 147, 156, 160, 171, 173–76, 188n45, 190n61, 192n22, 194n45, 227n10, 237n22, 237n24. See also Missionaries Strub, Father, 1–4, 59–60, 205n87 Sudan, 104, 114

270

Index

Sufi Muslims, 16, 71, 89–90 Superior general (Spiritan executive), 17, 27 Sy, Sëriñ Babacar, 132 Tamsir (religious leader), 14, 25, 88–89, 189n57 Tautain (official), 50–51 Taxes, 44, 49, 52–54, 59, 106 “Te Deum,” 100–101 Territories of direct administration, 16, 43, 47, 57, 64 Thiandoum, Hyacinthe, 139, 176 Thiès, Senegal, 44, 45, 54–56, 60, 170 Thiès-Pout, Senegal, 59 Third Republic, 2, 4, 6–7, 18, 70–71 Thomas, Clément, 37 Tiéki, Senegal, 43, 58, 60, 64 Tijaniyya, 16 Tirailleurs sénégalais, 103, 105, 128–30, 165, 215n37, 215n44 Tolba, Mohamed O., 132–33 Touré (officer), 128–29 Trade unions, 170–71, 175 Trân Luc, 223n32 Unions, 170–71, 175 Union sacrée, 98–108 Universalism, 5, 7, 71, 73, 84, 91–92 Upper Senegal-Niger, 85 Ursleur (judge), 37

Uzès, Duchess of, 124 Vaillant, Madame, 82–83 Van Vollenhoven, Joost, 101, 114, 219n98 Vatican, 17, 26, 27, 100, 138, 143, 169, 173–76 Verdier, Jean, 117, 119, 127, 130–33 Vicariate of Senegambia, 16–18, 27 Vicariate of the Two Guineas and Sierra Leone, 26–27 Vichy regime, 185n31 Voting rights, 3–4, 5, 14, 22, 25–26, 33, 145, 196n63 Waldeck-Rousseau, René, 70 Weiss, Father, 165 White Fathers, 70, 102, 110, 152, 188n45, 206n4, 217n70 Wilder, Gary, 7, 185n29 Witchcraft, 162 Wolof, 15, 24, 43–67, 150–51 Women’s issues, 160, 171–72 World War I. See First World War Wright, Gwendolyn, 186n34 Wulffleff, Charles, 125, 222n31 Yellow fever, 75 “Young Christian Households,” 147 Zola, Emile, 70