The Métis of Senegal: Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa

By Hilary Jones | Go to book overview

APPENDIX: FAMILY HISTORIES*

Alin—Jean Jacques Alain (1777–1849), called l’Antillais or l’ainé (the elder), arrived in Senegal with his parents, Louis (1744–1821) and Rose Dessources (1759–1839), in 1799. The Alains were part of a company of one hundred free blacks sent to develop loyalty to France in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Jean Jacques Alain married Signare Marie Paul Benis (1793–1860) and served as part of the town’s guard under Blanchot at the beginning of Napoleon’s empire. A distinguished habitant and gum trader, Alain was mayor of Saint Louis from 1829 to 1848. Two of their daughters, Charlotte Alain and Louison Alin, married Crespin brothers, Joseph “Dio” and Germain. The Alains are an example of the integration of free people of color from the French Antilles into Saint Louis society during the revolutionary era.

Angrand—One of the principal métis families of Gorée, the Angrands trace their lineage to the mid-eighteenth century. Pierre Angrand (1819– 1901), a commercial agent, married Helene de Saint Jean (1826–59), of a notable Gorée family. His son, Leopold Angrand, participated in trade in

* The families described are based on a selected list that is relevant to this work. I composed these biographical sketches from a variety of sources. The principal secondary references are Johnson, The Emergence of Black Politics; Idowu, “Café au Lait: Sénégal’s Mulatto Community”; Zuccarelli, La vie politique Sénégalaise; Natalie Reyss, “Saint Louis du Sénégal”; and Sylvain Sankale, “A la mode du pays…chroniques Saint Louisianes.” Notarized documents and private family archives assisted me in compiling this information. Guillaume Guillabert, “Arbre généaogique des familles Descemet-Guillabert”; Yves Teisseire, “La famille d’Erneville”; Georges Crespin, “Liste de descendance de Benjamin Crespin”; notarized documents, Saint Louis, Senegal, 1881, and Gorée, Senegal, 1880, 1Z107, ANS; http://www.senegalmetis.com/S%C3%A9n%C3%A9galm%C3%A9tis/Genealogie.html. Personal communication with Xavier Ricou, Christian Valantin, Sylvain Sankale, Ibrahima Diallo, Madeleine Devès Senghor, and Moustapha Crespin provided further clarification.

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