This page has been validated.



the Count set sail for America in the Robert and Ann, with a cargo suitable for the Madagascar market. He reached Baltimore in July, 1784, obtained another vessel and cargo, and sailed for Madagascar in the following October. On the 7th of July, 1785, he again cast anchor in Autougil Bay. He renewed his former friendship with the chiefs; seized a storehouse belonging to the French, and commenced building a town, intending to establish a factory there. Whilst thus engaged he was attacked by an expedition from the Isle of France, and fell mortally wounded while defending a fort against an assault.

It was in 1776 that Benyowsky abandoned the French settlement which he had formed in Madagascar, and for some years afterwards the French government appear to have given up all idea of establishing a colony in that island, confining their efforts to the maintenance of military posts and factories, for the purpose of trade with the natives, to obtain supplies of rice and bullocks for the Isle of France. It was made an auxiliary to the Isle of France as an important depot for those engaged in the slave-trade, which continued to be carried on to a great extent throughout the whole island, notwithstanding the declarations of the French Minister, that he considered the tendency of the traffic to be prejudicial to the Isle of France.

The French revolution, which took place soon after Benyowsky had abandoned the colony, so fully engaged the attention of the French government, that, amidst the tragical and appalling events which crowd the page of history, it was scarcely possible to entertain any new project relating to the occupation of a distant island. St. Domingo was a scene to which much of the public attention of France was at that time directed, and its subsequent separation from that country was an alarming indication of the power which such colonies possess, when they have acquired a practical knowledge of their own physical strength and resources.

In the year 1792, the French National Assembly deputed Mons. Lescallier to visit Madagascar, in order to ascertain whether it would be practicable to establish a colony once more in the island. In a report rendered by him he said that "Europeans have hardly ever visited this island but to ill treat the natives, and to exact forced services from them; to excite and foment quarrels amongst them, for the purpose of purchasing the slaves that are taken on both sides in the consequent wars: in a word, they have left no other marks of having been there,