In his report to the governor of Bourbon, de Cheffefontaines, the commandant Louis Joseph Victor Carpentin, commanding the corvette the “Seine”, spoke of the situation of the French settlement on Île Sainte-Marie (August 1828).
From the outset, he points out that much is to be said about the benefits to be gained from St. Mary’s and at very little expense in time of war. The island has, indeed, a port where one or several buildings could be loosened by a higher force. However, according to Carpentin, it is absolutely necessary to have a naval officer, at least a harbor master, to avoid the mishap of “Normandy” repeating itself. “The building is now full of water and shaved up to half its battery in the place that offers a safe and safe harbor. “
“It would have the advantage of being able to repair any kind of building that would need it. And if it were possible to have a mole, one could clean a passage that leads to a location sheltered from anything where one could put buildings, even a frigate. “
Another subject evoked by Carpentin, the defense of Sainte-Marie. Four pieces of cannon have just been disembarked there. They will be installed on the hill at the Monument, to the east of the island, to protect one side of the harbor and the island of fortifications. But for the defense to be complete, he says. It will take another eight pieces of cannon, four of which
Placed on St. Pierre to guard the other side of the harbor, and the rest on the island of Les Forbans.
Concerning road infrastructures, Carpentin stresses that the naval captain Schoëll, commander of the troops in Sainte-Marie, will need 200 to 300 Yolofs to clean and open several lanes. Especially since many settlers began to build houses and to develop the island.
Carpentin, moreover, suggests the construction of a stronghold for the representative of the government of Bourbon, “on a site of its own”, for example on that of Ambarisomotra. This, he believes, should present no insurmountable difficulty, since the island contains all the necessary materials and possesses men for labor. “There is only the order to do it for accounting. “
It is also from his report that orders are given to repair the tsunami, the “General-Magallon”, abandoned and stranded, as well as two boats. The “Magallon” will be used to supply Sainte-Marie with oxen, rice and other provisions. “For it has been necessary several times, and lately again, to frequent an English building, and at a great price, to have what was needed. “
Moreover, with regard to supplies, the same problem arose at Bourbon Island. Or you have to go through the markets, because there is no ship of 200 to 300 tons, armed as a merchant vessel and assigned to the service of Bourbon in Madagascar. However, it is essential to serve to transport oxen, to load rice, “for it often happens that they are missing” and to prevent the French of Bourbon not being forced to buy several cargoes to English Or to the Dutch. For Carpentin, the best solution is to create a cattle farm on Île Sainte-Marie, where pasture is abundant.
In another area, he recalled that the schooner “Turquoise” had to be sent from Bourbon to Mauritius to be repaired. “It cost a lot of money. He therefore suggested that he should carry out these repairs at Sainte-Marie, where there was already a good forge in the workshop, which was well equipped. To do this, it is enough to send a good carpenter who knows the caulking to direct the work. However, the construction of the abandoned “small fairing” will have to be continued beforehand due to a lack of masons and stonemasons, or to send a dozen men to ensure it, as local labor can also be used.