Gambia under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1881-1966

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Annual Departmental Reports relating to the Gambia, 1881-1966

Annual Departmental Reports relating to the Gambia, 1881-1966

His Excellency said...while he hoped to be able to supply the Commissioners with the detachments of Police that they had asked for, he asked them to carry on as hitherto with Badge Messengers, until other arrangements could be made
Travelling Commissioners, Conference Report, 1926Administration; Miscellaneous; img 5

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Gambia was seen as a colonial problem, learn how this affected its treatment

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A colony described as an historical accident in political geography"', Gambia did not deliver the financial returns that its colonisers had hoped for and this led to its treatment as a bit of a problem, rather than a desriable asset. Whether left to the jurisdiction of the moribund Company of Merchants Trading in Africa, being treated as a bargaining chip in Anglo-French negotiations, or being run as an administrative off-shoot of Sierra Leone; Gambia was somewhat of an inconvenience to its colonisers. It was also too strategically important to be left in the hands of a military opponent as it was the gateway to more profitable colonies within Africa. Georgraphically difficult to defend, the garrisons there were demolished, abandoned, and rebuilt with monotonous regularity as the Gambia was buffeted by the ebb and flow of the power struggles of Europe. The colonial powers of Britain and France knew that any investment in Gambia might be lost to their European opponents the next time they lost control of it; so they held it out of neccessity but were relcutant to invest in its future. The Annual Departmental Reports relating to the Gambia are a complementary series to the earlier microform collection of Annual Reports of the Governor, Blue Books and Government Gazettes, titled Government Publications relating to the Gambia (EP Microform, 1975). For the purposes of organization, the departmental reports have been divided into nine sections; Administration, Finance, Judicial and Police, Natural Resources, Social Services, Transport and Public Works, Communications and Post Office Savings, Commerce and Miscellaneous. Within each section, departmental series have been organized in chronological order, prefaced by selected extraordinary reports and sessional papers of particular relevance, and followed by related sub-sections. relating to discrete collections, as well as more complete explanations of the functions and activities where titles are not self-explanatory. Introduction derived from an online guide to the microfilm edition by D. C. Dorward, Lecturer in African History, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.


Gambia under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1881-1966...

Containing 22,628 pages belonging to 90 documents housed in 9 volumes...

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The Conferences of Chiefs chart the series of events and transferrals of powers that preceded Gambia gaining independence. Tax collection...


These documents all focus upon the Gambian budget, from income and expenditure tables to audits, financial estimates, revenue accounts, memoranda...

Judicial and Police

These papers cover various aspects of the Gambian legal system, from the perception of crime to the rules of criminal...

Natural resources

The authorities in the Gambia were working in an area where food supplies were not always sufficient; in order to...


  • These reports are arranged by the departments which they cover within The Gambia. Comparing the data in them shows how each area of government has developed over the years.
  • These papers cover World War One and World War Two as well as the social services in this colony before independence.
  • Trade and shipping records during World War Two reveal how shipping, air services, and the laws governing them, were affected by the war.
  • Annual Departmental Reports differ from Blue Books of Statistics because they include explanations of why the statistics are at the levels recorded.
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