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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


The Marseillais named Arnoux, an associate of the House of Rontonay de Bourbon, founded a coffee plantation and a sugar factory in Mahela, a few miles from Mananjary, in his name and that of the latter. Both cases are rapidly expanding. Arnoux died in 1828, shortly after Radama Ier.
On the other hand, Napoleon de Lastelle, established a little higher up in Toamasina, associated himself with de Rontonay and took charge of a sugar factory, while his brother Charles de Lastelle was appointed to Mahela, Arnoux. And it is he who, according to some historians, would collect Jean Laborde who fails on the coast, and not his brother Napoleon. The latter is the first of the two Frenchmen who have the great honor not to be included in the general proscription which expels in 1845 all Europeans, both the English and the French. The second of these privileged ones is Jean Laborde.
A little historical feedback is needed. The political situation in Madagascar is serious at the time. France’s relations with the Hova government have been, for a long time, the most tense. At that time Sir Robert Farquhar, the English Governor of Mauritius, was ordered by his Government not to consider Madagascar as part of the Establishments ceded by France to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris of 1814, The general denomination of the Dependencies of the Ile de France, now Mauritius.
He thus learned, with regret, the order given in March 1817 by the Viscount Dubouchage, French Minister of the Navy, to the governor of Bourbon to have to take possession of the French Establishments on the eastern coast of Madagascar. On October 15, 1818, Sylvain Roux resumed solemnly possession of Sainte-Marie that Queen Betty ceded to the Compagnie des Indes in 1750, and to Tintingue, on November 4th.
But on April 13, 1822 Radama I proclaimed no cession of the territory that he had not ratified and sent a 3,000-strong expeditionary force commanded by Rafaralahy under the leadership of the Englishman James Hastie. Sylvain Roux can not prevent the Merina from taking Foulpointe and occupying the coast. He died shortly afterwards and was replaced by the captain of the genius Blevec.
At the beginning of July 1823, the merina king went to Toamasina, at the head of 2,000 Voromahery, the royal sparrows, and arrived at Foulpointe accompanied by Jean René. There, solemnly, he tears and throws into the mud the monumental stone in which is enclosed a writing recording the taking of possession by the French of the east coast. In a great Kabary, in the presence of the Betsimisaraka and the English, he exclaims: “If anyone keeps the memory of this stone and yields an inch of land to the Vazaha who pretend to be masters of it, we deny it” (RP Callet , “Tantara ny Andriana”).
The following month the troops of Radama plundered in the North all that the French possessed. In front of Sainte-Marie, they burnt the villages of Fondaraza and Tintingue, and the king, in a despatch dated August 4, 1823, intended for the commander of Sainte-Marie, claimed the exclusive sovereignty of all Madagascar. On July 27, 1828, Radama turns his back on 36 years. His main wife, the Princess Ramavo, becomes Queen under the name of Ranavalona I.
A few years later, it issued tough anti-Vazaha measures. Then comes the case of Pinson. Installed in Sainte-Marie, the latter leaves this island to go to the bay of Antongil where he wants to settle. A heavy weather forced him to land on the Great Earth. The Hova, who happened to be there by chance, seized him, clasped him and led him before the chief of Fenoarivo. Immediately, the latter informed him that the next day a white man would be sold at the ordinary price of every slave. The neighbors of the neighborhood are contributing, buying the unfortunate, and warning the French commander of Sainte-Marie, who sends an officer without delay to protest against this violation of the law of nations.
The matter is complicated. Six ships commanded by Captain Gourbeyre arrive, on 8 July 1829, in the harbor of Toamasina. By a letter dated July 14, he gives the governor of Ranavalona, ​​Andre Soa, a period of twenty days to recognize the rights of France. His silence would be considered a formal refusal.
It was not until the 10th of October that three ships sank into Toamasina, three hundred yards from Fort Hova. The next day, the bombardment began and the French troops disembarked. Foulpointe and Pointe à Larrée are resumed.
But the July revolution in France is just calling into question. The king recalled the warships and enjoined the governor of Bourbon not to speak of the question of sovereignty. It must content itself with settling the trade agreements between France and Madagascar.