Detailed map of the Island of Saint Louis in Senegal, from Heiden's Americanische urquelle derer innerlichen kriege des bedrängten Teutschlands. . .
Heiden's map illustrates the capture of Senegal. Originally conceived by American Merchant Thomas Comming, a British Naval force under Captain Henry Marsh undertook the Capture of Senegal in 1758, during the French & Indian War. With 2 ship and 200 troops, Marsh left Plymouth in early 1758 and after a brief stop in Tenerife, the force reached Senegal in April 1758. Fort Saint Louis was captured on May 1, 1758, without casualties.
The Island Saint-Louis was established in 1659 by French traders on an uninhabited island called Ndar. It was baptized Saint-Louis-du-Fort in homage to the French king Louis XIV, becomeing the first permanent French settlement in Senegal. The fortified factory commanded trade along the Senegal River. Slaves, hides, beeswax, ambergris and, later, gum arabic were exported.
Between 1659 and 1779, nine chartered companies succeeded one another in administering Saint-Louis. As in Gorée, a Franco-African Creole, or Métis, merchant community characterized by the famous "signares", or bourgeois women entrepreneurs, grew up in Saint-Louis during the 17th and 18th centuries. The Métis were important to the economic, social, cultural and political life of the city. They created a distinctive urban culture characterized by public displays of elegance, refined entertainment and popular festivities. They controlled most of the up-country river trade and they financed the principal Catholic institutions.