by A. I. ASIWAJU (1974)
— « Perturbateur professionnel, escroc (sic), faussaire, déserteur, condamné à diverses reprises par les tribunaux militaires et par les juridictions criminelles et correctionnelles de droit commun de la colonie... »
(The Governor-General of French West Africa, Marc h 1923) 1.
— « Patriote de grande classe, ancien fonctionnaire d'élite, a été toute sa vie, le vivant exemple de l'honnêteté, du dévouement, du courage et du mérite ».
(Government citation in 1964 for the posthumous title of « Grand Officier de l'Ordre National du Dahomey ») 2.
Such were the contradictory evaluations of Louis HUNKANRIN, the Porto-Novian who proved not only a real thorn in the flesh of French administrators of Dahomey but also some kind of suspect to the post-independence political regimes of his country. This was not a peculiar experience in French West Africa where most outstanding opponents of French rule were generally little regarded by their countries' post-independence governments led mostly by pro-French leaders who tended to be indifferent, if not equally antagonistic, to the purpose and method of these critics of the colonial regime.
This political atmosphere indexes certain methodological difficulties attendant on the historian's efforts to evaluate the man. Hunkanrin lived his life mostly as a victim of the French indigénat regime (3) which turned him into a chronic prisoner and detainee. This fact limits the sources from which the investigator could draw his information. Still studied mostly through the jaundiced records of French colonial administrators and jurists who, in most of the cases preferred against him, were at once the plaintiffs and judges, Hunkanrin has remained one of the rare African leaders deplorably little known. His understandably limited private papers, now in the custody of his surviving daughter, are ill-organised and generally inaccessible by reason of the frequent absence of the custodian from Porto-Novo where the material are still kept in a family house. Contemporary newspapers published mostly in Dahomey, Senegal and France, which contained information about Hunkanrin were, though numerous, generally poorly produced and strictly con-trolled, and the complete number of the issues are not yet discovered anywhere (4). Louis Hunkanrin's own greater association with the educated élite, than with the masses, limited knowledge of him to a rather restricted circle of close friends and relations, so that the historian is deprived of the advantage of a systematic collection and evaluation of oral evidence from a larger number of informants (5). But despite these problems, there is at least some room for a. preliminary assessment.
The contention in this paper is that Louis Hunkanrin was neither the crook which the French colons imagined nor the nationalist which he is generally considered today (6). As reflected in his popular cognomen, " Eke l'oju oti" (7), he '.vas simply a strong-willed, indefatigable and rigid adherent to the twin-virtues of fairness and humanity. One of his biographers caught the picture when he observed that 'son amour de la justice et sa profonde sympathie pour les opprimés ont déterminé ses lignes d'action politique" (8). This character was bound to get into trouble with the French colonial authorities, operating the indigénat régime of discrimination between 'subjects' and 'citizens'. But to take him for a Dahomeyan nationalist simply because he spent a better part of his active life in various colonial prisons and detention camps is to miss the fact that what he opposed was administrative abuse, and not French rule as such. An admirer of Blaise Diagne, the number-one 'black-French' politician of Senegal whom he accompanied on a conscription tour of Dahomey in 1918, (9) Louis Hunkanrin was not different from the first generation of educated élite ail over French West Africa wbo, prior to 1958, could not conceive of independence status for their homelands (10). His aspirations were for a Dahomey whose interests were 'indissolublement liés à ceux de la France' (11). The fact that he did not become a Jomo Kenyatta or an Nkrumah for Dahomey and the incredible vacillation of the Dahomeyan Governement which had to wait until he was dead before conferring a national honour on him, ail point to the degree of reservation with which Hunkanrin was regarded even by Dahomeyan s. His commitment to the course of ail led him to embrace communist ideas ; and this, perhaps more than any other consideration, placed. him in permanent suspicion of both the colonial and postcolonial regimes.
Louis Ouéssou Hunkanrin was born in Porto-Novo on the 25 th November 1886 (12) of royal parentage. His father was a professional jeweller in the service of the kings of Porto-Novo whilst his mother, Woume (13) was a direct descendant of the De Messe branch of the royal lineage from which hailed King Mekpon who had rejected the French protectorate treaty of 1863 (14). This connection, as will be made clear presently, constitutes an important explanation for the series of fatal disagreements which later arose between Louis Hunkanrin and the French in Porto-Novo. For the vindictive policy by which the French banned the De Messe from presenting candidates to throne ran against the established Porto-Novian succession traditions and offended Hunkanrin's sense of justice (1.5). His resultant association with Prince Sohingbe, Mekpon's son and claimant to the throne from 1901 to 1923, was what largely determined the deportation of the two to Mauritania in 1923 following their alleged involvement in the Porto-Novo incidents of that year (16).
The catalytic effect which Western education often produced on Africans only sharpened Hunkanrin's awareness of the ills in the conduct of French administration of his country. The youngest in a family of nine children, lie had the privilege of going to school in a locality which, more than other areas, had made Dahomey what Emmanuel Mounier a French commentator, has called the "quartier latin de l'Afrique noire" (17). Starting as a pupil in the Roman Catholic school, he was among the first products of the public school established in Porto-Novo in 1902 (18). After a brief working experience with the German-owned firm of Witt and Busch, he gained admission in 1904 into the newly created 'Ecole Normale' of Saint-Louis in Senegal which, until the 1930s, was the only teacher-training institution for the entire French West Africa (19). Ranking as one of the first four Dahomeyans to graduate from this school (20), he was posted to the Dahomeyan educational services and was placed on probation on the staff of the Public School in Whydah on the 27 th August 1906 (21). Although his performance at this station merited a recommendation for confirmation and promotion in 1909 (22), his independence of thought and action and his uncompromising attitude to arbitrary exercise of power soon caused conflicts with the colonial authorities which also had control of schools. Beginning in 1907 with a disciplinary action 'en raison du mauvais exemple donné aux élèves' (23), following an alleged combat with a colleague around the school premises, Hunkanrin was finally dismissed from service in April 1910 on accusations of 'violence et dénociations calomnieuses contre son Directeur' (24).
Henceforth he fell under the close surveillance of an essentially totalitarian and reactionary colonial administration. Having failed in ail his bid to be reinstated, he entered into the service of the Compagnie Française de l'Afrique Occidentale (C.F.A.O.), a French oligopoly with business interests spreading ail over West Africa (25). After a brief career and an accelerated advancement to the status of 'agent d'affaires' (26) he ran into the usual trouble. By an order of the French West African Court of Appeal in Dakar on the llth August 1911, he sustained a suspended sentence of six day imprisonment for violence and insult against a customs collector (27).
In July 1912, he stood trial at the Tribunal of Cotonou, which sentenced him to eighteen-month imprisonment plus 25 Francs fine for 'abus de confiance' against the C.F.A.O. The term, reduced by a decision of the Court of Appeal on 8 November 1913 into one-year imprisonment, was served in Dakar (28). His stay in Dakar, the second of the Four Communes of Senegal in which he would live within the ten years between 1904 and 1914, brought him in contact with Blaise Diagne whom he apparently admitted as the model of the treatment which the French should met out to all educated Africans. His defences of this Senegalese stooge of the French colonialism were published in issues of Démocratie du Sénégal (29).
He returned to Dahomey in July 1914 (30). His criticisms against the excesses of Governor Noufflard's notorious administration (3]) and the resultant government reaction determined his flight into Nigeria, having been charged to court for counts of defamation both to the governor and the Chief Judge for the Colony. At Ijofin, the Nigérian village where he took refuge, Hunkanrin associated fully with Prince Sohingbe who had himself been sent out of Dahomey, clearly because of his strife-provoking aspirations for the stool of Porto-Novo, but on the pretext that he was a Nigérian (32). Whilst in his self-exile at Ijofin, Hunkanrin was sentenced in abstentia four times by the Dahomeyan administration although thèse condemnations were ultimately annulled by the law of Amnesty of October 1919 (33). The recall of Governor Noufflard in 1917 and the appeals wich Biaise Diagne ma<de to M. Fourn, Noufflard's successor, in favour of Hunkanrin, during his trip to Dahomey in 1918. ail created a new atmosphère wich made for Hunkanrin's re-entry into Dahomey in 1918 (34). His active support for Blaise Diagne's mission to Dahomey and his voluntary enlistment in the colonial army temporarily softened the attitude of French administration, Military service took him once again to Senegal and from there to Toulon, Saint-Raphaël and Paris in France (35).
But ail the discipline which the army dispensed could not silence the man. Initially impressed about his exceptional intelligence, the military authorities, who had trusted him with administrative function and role of adviser in commissariat matters relating to Dahomey, ended up by evaluating him as :
'un anarchiste militant, n'ayant cessé de faire preuve de mauvais esprit et d'indiscipline dans ses rapports avec ses supérieurs et de faire de la propagande pour les idées anarchistes, révolutionnaires et soviétiques parmi ses camarades...' (36).
Louis Hunkanrin considered discipline in the army as incompatible with the dignity of man (37). Contrary to the military tradition of carrying out orders without questioning, ne would engage in endless discussions of his superiors' instructions, and was very allergic to routine (33). His position in the army afforded him generous leisure hours which enabled him to make important contacts with French communist chiefs among whom were Léon Prouvost of Saint-Raphaël, the editor of 'Revue Sociale' (a socialist propaganda periodical) (39) as well as Stefany and Bloncourt who both aired Hunkanrin's anticolonial criticisms in the Paria, a contemporary French communist monthly of wide circulation (40). For these activities and' involvements, he sustained a series of disciplinary actions, including the disapproval of his request to be demobilised in France as well as a thirty-day imprisonment and a reduction in rank in January 1920, for unauthorised absence from duty post and for being in possession of 'tracts anarchistes, anti-militaristes et soviétiques et de lettres insultantes pour l'armée' (41). He was eventually courtmartialled by the war Council in Dakar which in April 1921 imprisoned him for six months on charges of desertion (42).
He had hardly landed in Dahomey when he was made to face a trial for forgery which in December 1921 led to a sentence of three-year imprisonment and five years of interdiction by the Cotonou assizes (43). He was still serving these terms in 1923 when the incidents of Porto-No vo took place. Though at this time a confined prisoner.
he was suspected for a major involvement ; and, along with five others, including prince Sohingbe, he was exiled for ten years in Mauritania. But whilst all the others died in banishment, Hunkanrin survived ail the hardships which included not only the strains of a prolonged separation from home but also the experience of a debilitating climate and of life among the Moors, the fair-skinned African people, whose proud racial and Muslim heritage often meant contempt for a foreign negro prisoner who would not embrace Islam (44).
On his release and eventual return to Dahomey in 1933, Louis Hunkanrin was given a reception by his relations and friends, especially the newspaper editors in Cotonou ; and this fact seemed to have kept French authorities in permanent watch over him. However, this surveillance was combined with a new pacific approach to the Hunkanrin problem. He accepted offers first as a research officer in charge of Dahomeyan customs and later as editor of Trait d'Union, a newspaper founded by the administration to promote understanding between government and the local populations (45). It must have been hoped that these responsibilities would divert Hunkanrin's intelligence and energy away from criticisms of the administration.
However, this was a miscalculation. Hunkanrin's articles, not on customs but on the ills of the colonial administration, were frequently published in the Voix du Dahomey, an anti-colonial newspaper strongly influenced by Blaise Kouassi, Hunkanrin's admirer and son in-law (46). This led to his involvement in the celebrated trial of this newspaper and the eventual imprisonment of its editorial staff in 1935. Although Hunkanrin's own sentence was suspended, his continued publication of politically involved materials and, especially, the sensational report which he produced of his study of Dahomeyan customs, determined his final, dismissal from government; service in 1936 (47).
The imposition of the Vichy regime in France during the Second World War placed Hunkanrin once again. in active opposition to the Government of the day, as his support was for' the Free France movement led by Charles de Gaulle then in exile in Algeria (48). In January 1941, he was detained in Cotonou on a charge of being a spy for England, and in September of the same year he was, along with three other persons, condemned to death. However, whilst the other accused persons were accordingly executed in Dakar, Hunkanrin's own sentence was eventually reviewed in favour of an eight-year penal seclusion in the French Sudan (49).
Whilst the allegation by a French 'Commandant de Cercle' in the Sudan, that Hunkanrin practised sorcery (50), may be treated as misplaced, that the man had by 1947 emerged as a most strange legend. among the subjects of French West Africa is undebatable. For on the 15 th of December of that year. Hunkanrin returned to Dahomey both alive and alert. He was then sixty-one years of âge ; and when he died on the 28 th May 1964 not only had he celebrated his 77 th birthday ; he had as well witnessed the celebrations of the third anniversary of Dahomey's independence. However, whilst he must hâve drawn much satisfaction in the fact that he survived French rule and the indigénat regime in Dahomey, the extremely factious politics of the post-War Dahomey must have sickened the near octogenarian whose life had been dedicated to the cause of freedom and honest leadership.
At his burial in 1964, Louis Hunkanrin was posthumously awarded the title of 'Grand Officier de l'Ordre National du Dahomey'. But this was nothing short of a partial recognition of a contribution that was far superior, much wider and more profound, than can over be adequately reflected in a name. In Dahomey, which naturally constituted the most important arena of his activities, the biography of Louis Hunkanrin is the s tory of a Western-educated Porto-Novian. prince, fearless in his hatred of injustice, defender of the oppressed, a practising socialist, irresistible journalist and news headliner of the entire colonial period.
He was an educationist. Having experienced. the enlightening and liberating effect of Western education, he desired improved and increased educational facilities ; and much of his encounters with the colonial regime were in the direction of ensuring parity of treatment for both the French and French-educated Africans. As he himself noted in one of his numerous letters, he was not a revolutionist (51). His faith abide in a purely French. educational programme. Speaking and writing more in French than in Gun or Yoruba (the two local languages of his hometown) and often dressed in French suit, his attachment to assimilationist ideals would appear to be in consideration of the need, felt by most contemporary African leaders, for the African to acquire the whiteman's own tools for the purpose of treating with him as equals (52). That lie believed in the value of Western education is more than adequately illustrated from the fact that his actual movements were more with in the élite circles of Porto-Novo and Cotonou than with the Africans in the villages. It is significant that our knowledge of him is, outside the colonial archives, confined more or less to what has been written of him either by himself or by educated Africans, mostly in the elite-bound newspapers.
The difficult conditions under which he wrote prevented him from attaining a rate and quality of literary production that would have facilitated his being ranked among the most versatile contemporary African politicians. Yet Louis Hunkanrin's pen was never really dry of ink. He never relented his efforts in putting down his ideas on paper whenever and wherever he could. Believing in the efficacy of the newspaper press as a major influence on public opinion, he founded and directed certain newspapers and contributed immensely to others outside his direct control. His 'Messager dahoméen' was founded in Paris in November 1920, just two months before he was repatriated from France in January 1921 (53), In Dahomey he, with Blaise Kouassi, founded the 'Courrier du Golfe du Bénin' which went into production in 1933 (54) and he was, as already noted, the editor-in-chief of the government-owned weekly publication, Trait d'Union, established in 1936. His numerous contributions to other papers included those in La Démocratie du Sénégal or La France d'Outre Mer and Le Récadaire de Béhanzin a clandestine monthly issued in 1915 by Emile Zinsu Bodé and Paul Hazoumé, both close friends of Hunkanrin (55). Hunkanrin's impact on Dahomeyan journalism especially in the 1930s, disseminated mostly through the activities of Kouassi who wielded much influence on ail the Dahomeyan papers then in circulation, was demonstrable in the reception which ail the Dahomeyan newspaper editors arranged for him, on his return from Mauritania in 1933 (56). Outside journalism, his two major writings were 'L'Esclavage en Mauritanie' (draft completed by 1932) and 'Le Zangbeto, étude ethnologique', both published in récent issues of Etudes Dahoméennes (57) and reflecting reminiscences about Mauritania and experiences of a one-time commissioned researcher in Dahomeyan ethnology.
But when note has been taken of Hunkanrin's impact on Dahomey, it must be borne in mind that his activities transcended the borders of the republic. His exceptional courage and tenacity of character which determined his wide travels in West Africa and France, whether as a prisoner or a soldier, made him one of the most widely known personalities in these areas. His habit of self-expression announced his presence everywhere and in ail situations. Through what he wrote and what other people wrote about hira especially on the pages of newspapers published or circulated outside Dahomey, knowledge of him spread to many parts of West Africa and France. In the Sudan, as earlier in the Cotonou prison where his petitions precipitated an enquiry into the living conditions of prisoners (58), Hunkanrin was "un prisonnier embarrassant, et. certainement aussi, un sorcier (59)". In studies of Nigerian politics. Hunkanrin is still little noted. Yet his sojourn at Ijofin, a Yoruba village in the Egbado Division of Western Nigeria in 1913-1918 and his contacts with Lagos (60), generally in connection with the Sohingbe affair, suggest possibilities of communication with contemporary Nigérian nationalist leaders like Herbert Macauley whose activities in Egbado Division has elsewhere been noted (61). One of the pioneer African members of 'Ligue des Droits de l'Homme', Hunkanrin thought of Dahomey largely as a ground for the cultivation of the French communist ideals of natural justice and. universal brotherhood of all men, opposition to private property and to ail forms of violence, and respect for the freedom of the individual (62).
In France, he was known for his articles in the Combattant, a communist paper, in which he denounced treatments meted out to Africans in the French army ; and for this he incurred the disfavour of
Biaise Diagne. In Pan-Africanism, he shared the same mantle with Tova-lou Houénou, the Paris-based Dahomeyan lawyer and politician whose pan-Africanist activities have been cove red in a recent scholarly work (63).
For a personality of this stature, then, a post-humous " G.O.O.N.D. " by the Dahomeyan Government of 1964 was nothing but an underestimation. Hunkanrin has always deserved much higher honours and wider publicity not only in Dahomey but ail over Africa than had hither-to been given him. For even if he was a conservative in the abiding belief :n the positive values of French culture, he excelled in his determination to fight the ills inhérent in French administrative practice in his country. In this way he qualified as a proto-nationalist whose ideas and endeavours inspired nationalist feelings which led Dahomey to embrace the idea of political independence. For Africa, he should pass for a pioneer patron of the ideas which had inspired tbe evolution of the Organisation of African Unity at least in so far as this body stands for African freedom and equality with the other peoples of the world. For ail these deployments, education is important and so believed Hunkanrin, the " ancien élève de l'Ecole Normale de Saint-Louis" (64). The Louis Hunkanrin Collège, a private secondary school in Porto-Novo, is therefore a most fitting monument in honour of a, man who believed that education should make m en free.
(1) Archives nationales du Sénégal (Fonds Dahoméen), Dakar (hereafter A.N.^.), Série SG 52 (23), Correspondance N" 108, Dakar, Gouverneur Général de l'A.O.P. à M. le Ministre des colonies, Paris, 7 Mars 1923.
(2) Djivo, J.A «, HUNKANRIN (Louis) », Dictionnaire-bio-Bibliographigue du Dahomey, tome 1, Institut de Recherches Appliquées du Dahomey (hereafter I.R.A.D), Porto-Novo, 1969, page 97
(3) The indigénat code, which originated in Algeria in 1874 and was eventually applied to French Tropical Africa, empowered administrators to impose summarily on subject peoples (as distinct from the assimilés or citizens) sanctions of fines, imprisonment and exile for a large variety of administrative and political offences. In Dahomey, as elsewhere in the French African dependencies up to the end of the Second world war when the code was abolished, this practice rendered French rule extremely oppressive.
(4) Doy Ronen has attempted a comprehensive survey of the Dahomeyan news-papers published during the colonial period and he has corne across this problem. See his article. « The colonial Elite in Dahomey », in African Studies Review, XVII, 1, 1974
(5) It is hoped that someone will in the very near future undetake a detailed assessment of the life and times of Louis Hunkanrin, supplementing documentary sources with a scientifically collected oral data especially from informants in Porto-Novo.
(6) In this paper, nationalism is defined as a sum-total of ideas and endeavours which focus on the formation of an independent nation-state.
(7) Glele, M., Naissance d'un Etat Noir (L'Evolution politique et constitutionnelle du Dahomey, de la Colonisation à nos jours), Paris, 1969. The idiom may be translated as 'the liar shall be shamed', or the truth shall triumph.
(8) Djivo, op. cit., page 97.
9) For a note on Biaise Diagne, see Jonhson, G. W. The Ascen-dancy of Biaise Diagne and the Beginning of African Politics in Sénégal', Afrir.a, XXVI (1966)
(10) For further details on Francophone African leaders' attitude to independence before 1958, see Crowder, M., "Independence as a Goal in French West African Politics", in French-SpeakingAfrica; The Search for Identity, ed, Lewis, W. H., New York, 1965, Pages 15-45, and Adamolekun, L. 'The Road to Independence in French Tropical Africa' Tarikh, vol. 2 N° 4 1969 Pages 72-85.
(11) Archives nationales du Dahomey, Porto-Novo (herafter A.N.D.) La Presse, Porto-Novienne, T' -22 Novembre, 1933.
(12) The precision of this date is on the strength of I. R. A. D. Elunkanrin Papers, 'Extrait de jugement correctionnel du 29 Novembre 1915 : Ministère public Vs. Louis Hunkanrin, Injures publiques envers les fonctionnaires publics'.
(13) Hunkanrin Papers, op cit., 'Assignation à Prévenu signé V. Nimar, Huissier près le trbunal de première instance de Cotonou, 28 Novembre 1935, au sujet de l'affaire 'La Voix du Dahomey'.
14. Newbury, C. W., The Western Slaves Coast and Ils Rulers Oxford, 1961, Pape 71
(15) The succession tradition is in reference to the principle of alternation between recognised branches of the royal lineage, a practice found in most parts of Africa.
(16) See Ballard, J. A., The Porto-Novo Incidents of 1923 : Politics in the Colonial Era, Odu, Vol. 1 N° 1, July 1965.
(17) Emmanuel Mounier in Esprit, cited in Glele, op, cit.,page 34. For some details about Porto-Novian response to Western education, see Grivot, R., Réactions Dahoméennes, Paris 1954, Chapter on 'Enseignement'.
(18) Djivo op. cit., page 94 and Ballrd op. cit., page 64.
(20) Glele, op. cit. page 32
Hunkanrin Papers, op. cit., 'L'Instituteur-Stagiaire, Louis Hunkanrin en service à Ouidah, ancien élève de l'Ecole Normale de Saint-Louis à Monsieur le Gouverneur (du Dahomey) undated, signed Louis Hunkanrin. Ibid., op. cit., Secrétariat-Général : Note pour Monsieur le Gouverneur, Porto-Novo, le 15 Janvier 1909, Signé illisible. Ibid., Ouidah le 28 Juin 1907, le Directeur de l'Ecole Laïque à Monsieur l'Administrateur de Ouidah ; aslo Ouidah, le 1er Juillet 1909, L'Administrateur (Signature is illegible) à M. le Gouverneur du Dahomey «t dépendances.
(24) A. N. S., Série 8 G 45 (23), Fiches de Renseignements concernant le nommé Hunkanrin interné (10 ans) par arrêté du 14 Avril 1923.
(25) Djivo, op. cit., page 94, Ballard, op. cit., page 65.
(26) Djivo, op. cit., page 94
(27) A.N.D. Dossier de M. Hunkanrin, Louis, dated 1920 : N° 491/c Porto-Novo 31-10-1919, Lt-Gouverneur du Dahomey à M. !<> Commissaire Général des effectifs Coloniaux, 19, rue de Bourgogne, Paris, a.s. de la situation judiciaire de l'ex-insttuteur Louis Hunkanrin.
(28) A. N. S., Série 8 G 45 (23) op. cit., A.N.D. Dossier de M. Hunkanrin, op. cit.
(29) Djivo, op. cit.
(30) A. N. S., Série 8 G 45 (25) op. cit., 'Dossier de M. Hunkanrin op. cit.,See A. N. S., Série 8 G 9, Rapport du Gouverneur-Général de l'A.O.F. au Ministre des colonies, le 8 Mars 1917. Noufflard's administration coincided with the First World War which witnessecl a widespread wave of armed revolts which stemmed largely ifrom the French policy of conscription and the goveruors' excessive brutalities in handling the situation
(31) A. N. S., Série S G 44 (23), Confidential despatch N° 264, Gouverneur Général au Ministre des colonies, 294-23.
(32) A. N. S. Série 8 G 45 (23), Fiche de Renseignements concernant le nommé Hunkanrin...', already cited.
(33) Djvo, op. cit.
(34) I.R.A.D., Hunkanrin Papers, 'Le Commissaire-Général des Effectifs Coloniaux à M. le Ministre de la Guerre (Direction des Troupes Coloniales, Cabinet du Directeur), Paris, 12-2-1920.
(35) A.N.S., Série SG 52 (23), Gouverneur-Général de l'A.O.F. à M. le Ministre des Colonies, 7-3-23, op. cit.
(36) I.R.A.D. Le Commissaire Général des Effectifs coloniaux à M. le Ministre de la Guerre, 12-2-1920.
(39) A.N.S., Série 8 G 32 (23), Gouverneur-Général à M. le Ministre des colonies...' already cited.
(40) Ï.R.A.D., Hunkanrin Papers, 73è Bataillon de Transition Saint Raphaël, Commandement des Camps de Saint-Raphaël, Etat-Major Cabinet N° 72 c/2, 26-1-20.
(41) A.N.S., Série 8 G 45 (23), Fiche de Renseignements...', alreadv cited.
(44) An auto-accoant of thèse hardships are contained in 'L'Esclavage en Mauritanie' in Etudes Dahoméennes, op. cit. (45( Djivo, op. cit., page 96. (46) Ibid.
(47) Ibid., page 96.
48) Ibid.. page 96. 49) Ibid.
(50) Ibid., page 97
(51) Djivo, op. cit., page 96. In this particular letter which he is said to hâve addressed to Biaise Kuassi in November 1932, he is quoted to hâve writen : 'Ce n'est pas la révolution que je prêche...'
(52) The same consideration inspired the assimilatonist zeal apparent in educational policy and planning in colonial Africa especially in the period after the Second World War. See Presser Gifford and Timothy Weiskel, 'African Education in the Colonial Context : The French and Bristish Styles' in Presser Gif
ford and Roger Louis (eds), France and Britain in Africa, Yale University Press 1971.
(53)BaUard, op. cit., pages 65-66 and Djivo, op. cit., page 98 A.N.S., Série 8 G 58 (23), 'Notes sur la Presse Dahoméenne'
(54) A.N.S., Série 8 G 58 (23), 'Notes sur la Presse Dahoméenne'.
Ballard, op. cit., page 64.
(56) À.N.S., Série 8 G 58 (23), Notes sur la Presse Dahoméenne'.
(57) See Etudes Dahoméennes (nouvelle série), n° 1, 1961), and n" 5, Décembre 1964 respectively.
(58) A.N.S., Série 8 G 52 (23) Gouverneur-général de l'A.O.F. au Ministre des colonies, 7-3-23, Following Hunkanrin's reports of ill-treatment by prison authorities in Cotonou, complaints which were' aired to the Ministry of colonies by one M. André Berthon in Paris, the Governor-General of French West Africa
instituted a commission of enquiry into the matter.
Djivo, op. ait., page 9
At Ijofin, e.g., both Sohingbe and Hunkanrin were repor-ted to have engaged in activities considered by the French to be injurious to their administration in Dahomey with particular reference to Porto-Novo. Strongly worded petitions, drafted by Lagos-based Nigérian, letter writers such as O.K. Williams of Docemo Street,, were addressed against the French authorities in Dahomey ; and in 1916, efforts were made to enable Sohingbe, possibly with Hunkanrin, to go to France, from Lagos to solicit the support of their French sympathisers who might influence the Metropolitan government to effect changes in the Dahomeyan administration. See A.N.S., Série 8G 19 Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Dahomey au Gouverneur-Général de l'A.Q.F. 12-1-16 . cdso Télégramme N" 37, Gouverneur-Général de l'A.O.F. au Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Dahomey, 1S4-1916, instructing negotiations with the British Government of Nigeria not to allow Sohingbe to embark any ship in Lagos. See Chapter 6 of Asiwaju, A.I. Western Yombaland Under Colonial Rule the revised version of an Ibadan doctoral thesis forthcoming as a book by Longmans in the Ibadan History series.
(62) See Hunkanrin Papers, Léon Prouvost à Saint-Raphaël à Louis Hunkanrin au sujet de : « Qu'est-ce qu'un anarchiste ? » (undated)
(63) Langley, D.A. Pcm-Africanism and Nationalism in West Africa, 1900-1945, a study on ideology and Social Classes, Oxford, 1973, pages 290-302.
(64) This phrase has been extracted from the personal letter which he wrote to the Governor of Dahomey in 1908 when he petitioned for promotion See I.R.A.D., Hunkanrin Papers, 'L'instituteur-Stagiaire, Louis Hunkanrin à Monsieur le Gouverneur', Whydah, 28 Septembre 1908
by A. I. ASIWAJU (1974)
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