Page:Madagascar - Phelps - 1883.djvu/23

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tween opposing squadrons, and a landing was at length effected by the English on the Isle of France; but an unfavorable circumstance having occasioned the destruction of some of the British ships, the troops on shore were thus cut off from all hope of relief, and were compelled to surrender. The French therefore remained triumphant in those seas some years longer; and in 1807, an attempt was made to form a settlement at Foule Point in Madagascar by some Frenchmen from the Isle of France; but unfortunately having chosen the sickly season for the expedition, they were carried off almost to a man, by the fever incident to that part of the island.

But the continual interruptions which the British East India trade experienced from the French cruisers, rendered it absolutely necessary for the English to effect the reduction of the French strong-hold in the Isle of France. The French continued their annoyance from this favored island long after their power in India was extinct. It was calculated that the value of the prizes carried into the Isle of France during ten years, amounted to over 12,000,000 of dollars. The vessels thus taken were emptied of their cargoes, and sold to the Arabs, by whom they were afterwards taken again to Calcutta and sold.

It was not until the year 1810, that a competent expedition was fitted out, and dispatched by the English government against the Isle of France. On its arrival, the resistance it met with was comparatively feeble, and, after a short contest, the governor offered to capitulate, and finally surrendered the place. There were at that period in the harbor, six frigates, three Indiamen, and twenty-four large merchant vessels, all of which fell of course into the hands of the victors. Soon after this, the Isle of Bourbon was also taken possession of by the British; and immediately upon the conquest of these islands, the English sent a detachment to Foule Point, and another to Tamatave, to take possession of the forts formerly occupied by the French in Madagascar.

When the peace of 1814 was arranged, the Isle of Bourbon, which had changed its name to Reunion, was by treaty ceded to the French; but the Isle of France, or Mauritius, as it is more generally called, a name given to it by the Dutch when the island was in their possession, remained in the possession of the English, to whom it still belongs.

Soon after this period, a proclamation was issued by the governor of the Mauritius (Sir Robert Farquhar) taking possession of Madagascar in the name of the King of Great Britain;