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French India and the French East India Company (5 trading stations)

Dates: 1649-1954

  • 1664: East India Company (Colbert).
  • 1671: François Martin (Company Agent) founded the first trading station in Pondichéry.
  • 1686: Chandernagor
  • 1721: Mahé
  • 1738: Karikal
  • 1751: Yanaon

The French Empire extended with Dupleix, Governor General of Pondichéry from 1742 to 1754. Lally, his successor, had to capitulate to the English at Pondichéry in 1761.
At the Treaty of Paris in 1763 only 5 trading stations were left, reoccupied by the English several times between 1778 and 1883.

In fact the colony had 5 districts: Pondichéry, Chandernagor, Yanaon, Karikal and Mahé and 8 subsidiary trading stations: Balassore, Kassimbazar, Yougdia, Dacca, Patna, Masulipatnam, Calicut, Iskitipitch and Surate.

From the IIIrd Republic onwards French India had a Member of Parliament and a Senator. From 1940 rallying to the Free French, it became an Overseas Territory in 1946.

The Indian Union demanded that the trading stations be incorporated into its territory. Chandernagor was ceded in 1949 and the four other trading stations in 1954.


Some figures

Main nationalities of readers

  • France: 1338
  • Algeria: 145
  • United States: 109
  • Canada: 27
  • Vietnam: 26
  • Others: 249