The World at War


Felix Eboue

French Colonial Administrator

Born: December 26, 1884 at Cayenne, French Guyana
Died: March 17, 1944 at Cairo, Egypt

     Eboue began his career after graduation from the School of Colonial Administration (l'Ecole coloniale). He was appointed secretary general of the Government of Martinique in 1932 and served in the same capacity in French Sudan in 1934 before his appointment as the first Black Governor of Guadeloupe in 1938. He was appointed Governor of Chad later that same year.

     Eboue suffered no illusions regarding the implications of Vichy's capitualtion to Nazi racial philosophy for himself and other non-European French nationals. Chad was the first French colony to march into the Gaullist camp in August 1940 and Eboue led the parade. He was appointed Governor General of French Equatorial Africa after the Free French wrested control of the region's other territories.

     Eboue advocated maintaining ties between metropolitan France and the overseas territories but insisted that they could continue in the postwar world only on the basis of equality. He played a major role in organizing the January 1944 Brazzaville Conference that began the transformation of the French Empire into the French Union.

     He died of sudden heart attack in Cairo on March 17, 1944. His ashes were interred at the Pantheon in 1949.

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