Home >> Encyclopedia-britannica-volume-9-part-1-extraction-gambrinus >> James David Forbes to Millard Fillmore >> Louis Leon Cesar Faidherbe

Louis Leon Cesar Faidherbe


FAIDHERBE, LOUIS LEON CESAR French general and colonial administrator, born on June 3, 1818, at Lille, received his military education at the Ecole Polytech nique and at Metz, and entered the engineers in 184o. From to 1847 he served in Algeria, then two years in the West Indies, and again in Algeria, taking part in many expeditions against the Arabs. In 1852 he was transferred to Senegal as sub-director of engineers, and in 1854 became governor of the colony. He held this post with one brief interval until July 1865. The work he accomplished in West Africa constitutes his most enduring monu ment. At that time France possessed in Senegal little else than the town of St. Louis and a strip of coast. Faidherbe dreamed of creating a French African empire stretching from Senegal to the Red sea. By boldly advancing the French outposts on the upper Senegal he stemmed the Muslim advance on the Middle Niger, and by an advantageous treaty with Omar al-Hadji, the ruler of these countries, in 186o he brought the French possessions into touch with the Niger. He also conquered the country lying between the Senegal and Gambia. When he resigned his post the foundation of the French dominion in West Africa had been laid. In 1863 he became general of brigade.

From 1867 to 187o he commanded the subdivision of Bona in Algeria, and was commanding the Constantine division at the com mencement of the Franco-German War. Promoted general of di vision in Nov. 187o, he was appointed (Dec. 3) commander-in chief of the army of the North. The struggle between the I. Ger man army and that commanded by Faidherbe, in which were, in cluded the hard-fought battles of Pont Noyelles, Bapaume and St. Quentin, was perhaps the most honourable to the French army in the whole of the People's War. Elected to the National Assembly for the department of the Nord, he resigned his seat in conse quence of its reactionary proceedings. Faidherbe was made chan cellor of the order of the Legion of Honour. In 1872 he went on a scientific mission to Upper Egypt, where he studied the monu ments and inscriptions. He was elected a senator in 1879. He died on Sept. 29, 1889, and received a public funeral. Statues and monuments to his memory were erected at Lille, Bapaume, St. Quentin and St. Louis, Senegal. His works include : Collection des inscriptions numidiques (187o) ; Epigraphie phenicienne (1873) ; Essai sur la langue pout (1875); Le Zenaga des tribus senegalaises (1877); Campagne de l'armee du Nord (18 71) ; Le Soudan Fran cais (1884) ; Le Senegal (1889).

See Brunel, Le General Faidherbe (2 vols., 1892) ; Riethy, Histoire populaire du general Faidherbe (i9oi) and Froelicher, Trois Colonisa teurs: Bugeaud, Faidherbe, Gallieni (19o3).

senegal, french, st and algeria