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Treaty with the Kingdom of Abomey

In the name of the French Republic,

Between Brigadier General Dodds, Commander-in-Chief of French Settlements in Benin, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour,

On the one hand;

And Ago-li-Agbo, King of Abomey,

On the other hand;

The following Treaty has been concluded:

First Article - The King and the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Abomey place themselves under the Protectorate and suzerainty of France.

Art. 2. - The Governor of French Settlements in Benin is responsible for the running of the Protectorate; he is represented by a delegate in Abomey bearing the title of Vice Resident.

Art. 3. - The Kingdom of Abomey has as its limits: Little Coffou, Zou, Paco, the village and cultivated land of Gonssoué dependent on this kingdom in the North; the Ouémé in the East; a broken line passing by the villages of Tandji, Dassa, Kissa, Aïvedji, Allagba, Lomey, Massi, Han, Aouangitomé, all these villages and their land being part of the Kingdom of Abomey in the South; Couffo in the West. However the Dahomey villages of Lahomè, Tocamè, Aoulèta, Aglali, Arobia, Dodji, Azangbè, Adjasagon, Zali, Acocodjia and Bota, situated on the right bank remain dependents of the Kingdom of Abomey.

In addition, the courses of the Ouémé and the Couffo remain in their entire stretch.

Art. 4 - The King of Abomey renounces in his name and in that of his successors all claim to territories situated outside the limits set out in the previous Article.

Art. 5 - The nomination of the future kings of Abomey will be made in accordance with the customs of that country and be submitted for the approval of the Government of the French Republic.

Art. 6 - The King will exercise his authority over his subjects according to the laws and customs of the country; nevertheless he will undertake to forbid trading in slaves and will abolish all practices and customs resulting in human sacrifices.

Art. 7 - Under no circumstances nor for any reason whatsoever may the King exercise his authority over foreigners, whether European or otherwise, travelling through or residing in the country.

Any dispute between an inhabitant of the kingdom of Abomey and a European or a foreigner will be submitted to the Vice Resident of France in Abomey, except for appeals lodged before the Governor of French Settlements in Benin.

Art. 8 - Trade will be carried out freely. The King undertakes to keep the roads between his country and neighbouring regions open and to take all necessary steps to encourage the export of products and the development of agriculture.

He will demand no customary rights from traders settling in his country with the authorisation of the French government.

Art. 9 - In return, the inhabitants of Abomey may have free movement in all directly administered or protected territories, may reside in them and carry out commercial transactions.

They will receive the help and protection of the French authorities according to the laws in force.

Art. 10 - The King may not carry out any war without the authorisation of the French government.

Art. 11 - No concessions of land may be granted in the Kingdom of Abomey without the authorisation of the French government.

Art. 12 - France will have the right to set up establishments of all kinds, to execute public works, telegraph lines, communication links (roads, canals, railways).

Art. 13 - The King guarantees the respect of property as well as the security of goods and persons.

Art. 14 - French schools may be opened in all agglomerations. The King will encourage this establishment and will use his influence to propagate the French language and spread education throughout the country.

The school of Abomey will be attended by the children of the royal family.

Art. 15 - All previous treaties concluded with or by the Kings of Dahomey are annulled.

Art. 16 - The present Treaty established in triplicate will only become binding after its approval by the French government.

Drawn up at Abomey, January 29, 1894.

     King's mark



Have signed as witnesses:



Ministers :


Princes :

Soou-Guezoje,son of Guézo
Ganlo-Allodoponougan , -
Gimavedomo Ahéhénou, -
Akbama Soubanon Cohebamé, -
Agbobadji Yamogbè, -
Jogbè Kinilogoun,-
Houkenté Moyodé,daughter of Glè-lè
Ouon Kokrokakra, son of Glè-lè
Ganbè Sepholieè,-
Sodjebedgi, -

Ignacio Chagas, , interpreter to the Commander-in-Chief ,

Achille G. Féraud, interpreter to political and native affairs,

E. Taverna, Major, Infantry Battalion, Chief of Staff of the Expeditionary Column,

E. Boutin, Major, Naval Infantry Battalion, Commander of Goho station,

A. d'Albéca, Colonial administrator, Director of political and native affairs , p . i.

Nesty, Colonial under commissary, Commissary of the Expeditionary Column,

Pitault, Captain, Naval artillery,

Valette, Captain, Naval infantry, Staff of the Expeditionary Column,

Fonssagrives, Captain, Naval infantry and Expeditionary Column,

L. Garineau, Lieutenant, Naval infantry, aide-de-camp to Commander-in-Chief,

Brondy, Assistant veterinary surgeon, Army,

F. Martel, Naval doctor (2nd class),

Michel, Colonial assistant commissary,

Candèze, Captain, Naval artillery,

Drude, Major, Infantry, Commander of the First Group of the Expeditionary Column

De Pignier, Captain, Naval artillery,

A. Gramat, Lieutenant, 2nd Foreign, on detachment to the Staff of the Expeditionary Column,

This Treaty was approved by the Government of the Republic by letter dated April 19, 1894, n°20, from the Minister of Colonies.

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