anm document

Main-d'oeuvre Kayes Niger (1919)
in ANM S 1 fonds anciens

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Commandant du Cercle de Kita to Directeur du Chemin de Fer Thiès-Kayes, "Registre des renseignements" telegram n°3889AG (Kita, March 31, 1919)

There were 25 forced laborers recruited from Kita for work on the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Kayes.

Commandant de Cercle de Bobo Dioulasso, "État des travailleurs de la circonscription de Bobo Dioulasso engagés sur les chantiers de KN" (Bobo Dioulasso, March 31, 1919)

156 forced laborers left Bobo Dioulasso in September 1918 to go work on the Kayes-Niger railroad.

Chef de Service de Voie et Batiments, "Releve des main d'oeuvres employés sur les chantiers de la Service de Voie et Batiments" (Bamako, July 9, 1919)

This is another list of employees, their cercles d'origine, and the starting dates of their contracts All contracts were for three months.

Cercle Number of workers Contract starting date
Koulikoro 32 May 30
Nioro 80 June 06
Mouroudia 44 June 07
Nara 15 June 11
Bobo Dioulasso 7 June 12
Bobo Dioulasso 25 June 14
Bobo Dioulasso 34 June 15
Nara 15 June 16
Bobo Dioulasso 41 June 21
Bobo Dioulasso 27 June 25
Bobo Dioulasso 26 June 28
Total 346

Chef de subdivision de Kaya to Commandant de Cercle de Mossi à Ouagadougou,
letter n°240 (Kaya, July 25, 1919)

This letters complains that wages and travel money for forced laborers were withheld, and that rations were short.

Commandant de Cercle de Bamako to Gouverneur du Territoire du Niger,
telegram (Bamako, August 24, 1919)

Seventy-five laptots (workers on river boats) arrived in Bamako from Djenné yesterday. They were put to work for the Société de Bamako.

Resident de Koulikoro to Commandant de Cercle de Bamako,
telegram (Bamako, September 25, 1919)

This is another French officer who questioned the use of requisitioned labor on the railroad. In order to determine why the desertion rate was so high, he took an interpreter to the prison where six men were being held for desertion. They claimed that they received short rations - one kilogram of millet per two men instead of one kilogram per man, and no millet at all on their day off. They also claimed that they had been paid only 27.30 francs for two months' work. They named their foreman, Fossé, and the cook, Modi Taraoré, as the men who were responsible for their rations.

The six men were Ya Taraoré, Mari Taraoré, N'Golo Taraoré, Dougoutigui Taraoré, Koké Diallo and Ba Diallo.

Lt. Gouverneur du Haut-Sénégal-Niger, "Notice de Service pour M. le Directeur du Chemin de Fer de Kayes à Niger" n°AG 930 (Bamako, October 3, 1919)

This note said that the daily ration of 700 grams of millet (or 500 grams of rice) was not enough to sustain railroad laborers. It recommended increasing the millet ration to 800 grams, adding salt and condiments, and serving meat or fish three or four times a week.

Various "Ordres de Route" (October 1919)

Several documents list the names of workers who returned to their villages in the Cercle of Bobo Dioulasso at the end of their contracts. See Ordre de Route for October 17, October 18, October 20, October 24, and December 4. They contain a total of 101 names.

Commandant de Cercle de Bamako to Gouverneur du Haute Volta, Telegram n°627 (Bamako, October 13, 1919)

151 forced laborers arrived from Danfara.

Ingenieur de 1er classe des Travaux Publics Fazembat, "État numerique des indigènes requisitionés presents sur les chantiers du Chemin de Fer"
(Bamako, October 31, 1919)

Cercle of origin # of workers arrival date contract length
Mouroudia 44 June 7 3
Dédougou 29 August 17 3
Dédouogu 49 August 22 6
Koulikoro 20 August 24 6
Sikasso 24 August 28 6
Ouagadougou 97 September 20 6
Kaya 80 September 23 6
Danfara (Bobo) 150 October 11 & 13 6
Djenné 41 October 28 6
Total 534

Chemin de Fer de Kayes à Niger, Service de la Voie et Batiment, "Liste des manoeuvres recrutés dans le cercle de Bamako, pour etre employés aux chantiers de coupe de bois du chemin de fer" (Bamako, November 1919)

This document lists 128 men who started in November 1919 and were contracted to work for 6 months to May 1920.

Commandant du Cercle de Kita to Directeur du Chemin de Fer Thiès-Kayes, "Registre des renseignements" telegram n°3889AG (Kita, November 3, 1919)

There were 37 forced laborers recruited from Kita for work on the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Kayes.

Lt. Gouverneur du Haut-Sénégal-Niger to Lt. Gouverneur du Haute Volta, letter "au sujet des manoeuvres de Bobo Dioulasso employés au KN" (Koulouba, November 17, 1919)

Of the 150 men who were sent to the railroad in September 1918, most were "laid off" in February 1919, but the Lt. Gouverneur du Haute Volta said that only 70 had returned to Bobo Dioulasso. Of the 160 men who were hired in June 1919, all were let go in September-October 1919 except two. One died of sleeping sickness and the other was killed by an accident when he fell into a hole used as a chalk oven. Of the 150 men who were hired on October 14, 1919, all were still employed by the Chemin de Fer de Kayes à Niger.

Secretaire Général (Terrasson) (pour le Gouverneur en tournée) to Commandant du Cercle de Kita, letter n°4129AG (Bamako, November 28, 1919)

In response to bills submitted by "chefs districts du railway," Terrasson ordered the railroad to continue to pay 1.50 franc per stère of cut wood.


There are other folders in this file concerning forced labor recruitment from the cercles of Dédougou, Mopti, Mourdiah, Nara, Nioro, Ouagadougou, Sikasso, and Sokolo.