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4 - Legislating Guardianship, 1848–1900

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

Bernard Moitt
Affiliation:
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Summary

Chapter 4 focuses primarily on the French colonial administration’s enactment of and measures to enforce legislation aimed at regulating tutelle. It argues that legislation failed due to disregard for the laws enacted in 1857 and 1862 that the colonial administration adopted to regulate and oversee guardianship by providing a legal framework for the process of liberating minors brought to Saint-Louis after 1848 and by outlining the state’s responsibility in finding suitable placements for them. Negligence and poor record-keeping on the part of French authorities led Camille Guy, the French Governor of Senegal, to declare that the management of tutelle was scandalous in 1904 when he discovered the gravity of the damage that has been done for decades. The chapter analyzes the Act of 1862, which officially abolished the Conseilles de Tutelle, whose functions were henceforth carried out exclusively by the Procureur Général. Drawing on data from the Liberations Registers and other sources, the chapter ends with the impact on tutelle stemming from active slave trading that occurred between the 1860s and the 1880s in areas of Senegal where it was still legal, the movement of enslaved people into urban Senegal, and the pick-up in liberations in the 1880s.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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