Settler Colonialism Uncovered

"Croquis de la ville de Constantine" (Sketch of the city of Constantine)

Dublin Core

Title

"Croquis de la ville de Constantine" (Sketch of the city of Constantine)

Subject

Constantine

Description

Prior to the first French military campaign to conquer the province of Constantine in 1836, parts of Captain Saint-Hippolyte’s notes about Constantine were incorporated into a military report and sent to the Minister of War on August 30, 1836. There is no mention of who compiled this information, but the introduction to the document states that previously, the topographical office of Algiers was responsible for furnishing information useful for upcoming expeditions, and remarks, “That of Constantine will not fail [to provide] precise information.”[1] Contrary to modern notions of “precise information,” no French officer had visited the city. In lieu of direct observation or topographical maps, Saint-Hippolyte questioned travelers and Indigenous Algerians to obtain information about their travel schedules, which in turn provided insight into distances for maps and how many days must be allotted for military march. These travelers' descriptions and accounts guided the report prepared for Governor General Bertrand Clauzel.

In the introduction, the author writes that “Of the three Beyliks of the Algerian Regency, the most extensive, the richest, and the most important was that of Constantine in the East,” which was bordered by the sea, the Jurjura Mountains and salt marshes, and the Regency of Tunis.[2] Not only was it important to give the governor general a sense of location and prominent geographical features, it was also vital that he understood the value of this province. With coastal access to the north, an eastern border with Tunisia, and the desert to the south, Constantine was a hub of trade networks that connected sub-Saharan Africa, eastern North Africa, and the Mediterranean. The report observes, “Farther away is the desert whose solitude is frequently [broken] by caravans coming from the center of Africa toward Tunis and Tripoli in particular, which having frequent enough relations with Turkey, offers an avenue to products from the Tropics.”[3]



[1] “Expédition de Constantine: Notes extraites des Mémoires du Capitaine Saint-Hyppolyte.” 30 Août 1836. 80 MIOM 1672, no. 1. ANOM.
[2] “Expédition de Constantine: Notes extraites des Mémoires du Capitaine Saint-Hyppolyte.” 30 Août 1836. 80 MIOM 1672, no. 1. ANOM.
[3] “Expédition de Constantine: Notes extraites des Mémoires du Capitaine Saint-Hyppolyte.” 30 Août 1836. 80 MIOM 1672, no. 1. ANOM.

Creator

Captain Saint Hippolyte

Source

Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Cartes et plans, GE D-16480

Publisher

Saint Hippolyte

Date

1836

Contributor

Ashley Sanders

Rights

Public Domain. Used with permission from Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Format

JPEG. 1024 × 682 pixels. 2.1 MBF

Language

French

Type

Map, Manuscript

Identifier

St Hippolyte 1836 Constantine Map

Coverage

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Map

Physical Dimensions

55 x 30 cm

Files

Citation

Captain Saint Hippolyte, “"Croquis de la ville de Constantine" (Sketch of the city of Constantine),” Settler Colonialism Uncovered, accessed April 29, 2017, http://settlercolonialism.matrix.msu.edu/items/show/10.