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French Equatorial Africa
Mar 17, 2023 00:58:56   #
Robert J Samples Loc: Round Rock, Texas
While we lived in New Orleans, we had some interesting neighbors. The wife of one couple had been born in French Equatorial Africa. Her father was governor of one of the territories. The entire family, plus other government workers would spend several months living in tents in the jungle. She was just a baby and had a nursemaid to care for her.
Some of the stories she told were often dangerous and always interesting. For instance, her father would fire his pistol at vultures if they flew over the family’s tent. Apparently, the top was just mosquito netting, and he could see when one was overhead.

Another quite frighting incident happened when she was just a baby. The nursemaid had orders to never leave her alone unless the mother was in the tent with her.

One morning, there was a lapse in who was to be in her tent and watching. A hyena smelled the baby and saw an opportunity to slip into the tent and seize the infant by her diapers. She was slinking away with the child. Her mother just happened to see the animal and pulled out her pistol and fired it in the general direction, causing the hyena to drop her!

There are numerous stories of animals raising human children, such as Romulus and Remus, who rounded Rome, Tarzan, and others. I am sure you can name others. However, in our neighbors’ case, I suspect the hyena’s intent was a quick meal.

A Quick History:
French Equatorial Africa, former French federation in W central Africa. It consisted of four constituent territories: Gabon, Middle Congo (see Congo, Republic of the), Chad, and Ubangi-Shari (now the Central African Republic). The capital was Brazzaville. The federation was formed in large part through the efforts of Savorgnan de Brazza, who forged the link between French possessions in the Congo basin and those in W Africa. French Equatorial Africa (originally called French Congo) was officially established in 1910. Until 1920, Chad and Ubangi-Shari were a single territory. The federation was ruled by a governor-general, resident in Brazzaville, who had a deputy in each of the four territories.

About 100,000 sq mi (259,000 sq km) were ceded to Germany as a result of the Agadir crisis (1911) but were returned to France by the Treaty of Versailles. During World War II the federation supported the Free French. In the Fourth French Republic, French Equatorial Africa was given representation in the French parliament and in the assembly of the French Union. When the constituent territories voted (1958) to become autonomous republics within the French Community, the federation was dissolved. In 1959 the new republics formed a loose association called the Union of Central African Republics, and in 1960 they became fully independent republics within the French Community. Just Sayin…RJS

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