Rare map of the region around Timbuktu, published by the French Geographical Society in April, 1895.
Finely detailed map of the lake region of Faguibine and Tele, near Timbuktu, formed by the branching off of the Niger River. This rich and mysterious part of Africa was the subject of considerable Fremcj commercial and exploration interest at the end of the 19th Century.
The map offered here was prepared by Lieutenant Hourst, Niger Fleet Commander, and Lieutenant R. Bluze of the French Marines, to illusrate their report on the region, published for the French Geographical Society. The report provided a detailed overview of the hydrography and the feasibility of French military control over the region, by managing river transportation.
The map legend identifies 14 French officers whose work went into the compilation of the contents of the map and shows the location of various geographical features, towns, encampments, permanent settlements and roads, etc.
By controlling the river and levying taxes on goods in transit, the French hoped to capitalize on increased trade from the region to Europe. At the time, the French had four miltary companies in the country and the exploitation of economic and tax opportunities as essential to their success.