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Agent of Commerce, African Novice: From Bordeaux to Bandiagara, 1894–1896

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Chapter Summary

The boat carrying Jules Nicolas Henri Gaden from France docked in the port of Dakar on the night of 29th October 1894. His initial observations betrayed his European bourgeois prejudices: The blacks are decidedly a dirty race; above all those here, terribly lazy and indolent that one must berate them firmly in order to get something done. Gaden learnt on 15th November 1894 that he was to be appointed as assistant to the Resident of Bandiagara by order of the civilian Governor of the Soudan, Louis Albert Grodet. Gaden left the fort at Kayes en route for his new posting, and he departed 'in very good health and full of ardour and enthusiasm'. He looked forward to being in Bamako by Christmas and Bandiagara by the New Year. Gaden arrived on 13th December in Bamako on the banks of the great Niger River.

Keywords: Bamako; Bandiagara; France; Jules Nicolas Henri Gaden; Louis Albert Grodet; port of Dakar

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