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Fernand Foureau

Fernand Foureau
Born(1850-10-17)17 October 1850
Saint-Barbant, Haute-Vienne, France
Died17 January 1914(1914-01-17) (aged 63)
Known forExploration of the Sahara
Governor of Martinique, 1908–1913

Fernand Foureau (17 October 1850 – 17 January 1914) was a French explorer and Governor of Martinique from 1908 to 1913.

He was born at the Château de Frédière at Saint-Barbant in Haute-Vienne in the Limousin region of France. He studied under Henri Duveyrier, the Saharan explorer, who developed Foureau's own interest in the subject.

Once in the Sahara, Foureau carried out the first artesian well drilling for the company Oued RIHR and then became famous for his numerous study trips in the desert from 1882, which earned him several awards from the French Société de géographie.[1][2] Between 1888 and 1896 he also made nine expeditions to southern Algeria to study the feasibility of a trans-Saharan railway line from Ouargla to In Salah.

From 1898 to 1900 he undertook the long journey from Ouargla to Lake Chad with Army officer Amédée-François Lamy, known as the Foureau-Lamy Mission, which was part of the French strategy to conquer Chad and unify all French dominions in West Africa. He made maps, established trans-Saharan routes and performed numerous geographical and meteorological surveys.[1] In 1901 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the French Société de Géographie.[3]

In 1906 he was appointed Governor of Mayotte and Comoros and from 1908 to 1913 served as Governor of Martinique.[2]

Honours and awards

He also received the colonial medal with clasp " Mission Saharan Africa" , was raised to the rank of Commander of the Order of the Crown of Belgium and Grand Officer of the Order of the Dragon of Annam.


  1. ^ a b Nécrologie de Fernand Foureau by Henri Schirmer in the Annales de Géographie, 1914, vol.23 , pp. 179-182.
  2. ^ a b Fernand Foureau's Obituary in The Geographical Journal, vol. 43-5, 1914, p. 587-588.
  3. ^ "Grande Médaille d'Or des Explorations et Voyages de Découverte (in French)". Société de géographie. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Prize Awards of the Paris Academy of Sciences" (PDF). Nature. 65: 211. 2 January 1902. doi:10.1038/065211b0. S2CID 33933060.
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Fernand Foureau
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