General issues: French colony 1892-1944
Country name on general issues: Guinée Française, Guinée
Currency: 1 Franc = 100 Centimes 1892-1944
Population: 1 459 000 in 1901, 2 125 000 in 1946
Political history French Guinea
French Guinea is located in western Africa – the current Guinea. In the middle of the 19th century the future Guinea is home to a number of Niger-Congo peoples – the most important being the Fulbe, the Mandinka and the Soussou. Relations with European traders have existed in Guinea since the 16th century. In the mid 19th century, the French sign treaties with local rulers in the coastal region thus forming protectorates. These protectorates are grouped together in 1882 as the protectorate of the Rivières du Sud, administered from Senegal. In 1891, the Rivières du Sud protectorate is annexed by France as the colony of French Guinea. French Guinea, in 1895, becomes part of French West Africa, the federation of French possessions in western Africa established in 1895.
Starting from the coastal region, the French in subsequent years extend their control to the hinterland. The French in the process meet opposition most notably from two kingdoms. The first is Fouta Djallon – a Fulbe imamate. Fouta Djalon is one of the so called ‘Jihad states’ several of which developed in western Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries with the goal to – led by an imam – spread Islam. Fouta Djalon is conquered by the French in 1896. The second kingdom is that of Wassoulou, a kingdom that rapidly extends itself across French Guinea, French Sudan – the current Mali – and Ivory Coast in the 1880’s and 1890’s. Wassoulou is conquered by the French in 1898. Although most of French Guinea is thus brought under French rule, pockets of resistance will exist until the early 20th century.
The borders of French Guinea with British Sierra Leone, with Portuguese Guinea and with independent Liberia are established in 1882, 1886 and 1892 respectively. The borders of French Guinea within French West Africa are by and large established in 1899, when French Sudan is split up and several provinces of French Sudan become part of French Guinea.
Postal history French Guinea
The first stamps used in what is to become French Guinea are, from 1881, the general issues for the French colonies. From 1887 until 1892, the stamps of Senegal are used. The post offices, as set up in the coastal region, are, until 1892, run from Senegal. Once French Guinea is established as a separate colony, stamps are issued from 1892. In the part of French Guinea that, in 1899, is transferred from French Sudan, a post office has functioned in Siguiri where the stamps of French Sudan have been used. The stamps issued from 1906 are inscribed ‘Guinée’ with the additional inscription ‘Afrique Occidentale Française’‘French West Africa’ or ‘AOF’ to show that French Guinea was part of the federation of French West Africa.
The stamps of French Guinea are, from 1944, superseded by those of French West Africa and from 1959 by those of independent Guinea.