Antonetti, Raphaël Valentin Marius
- Jeremy Rich
was born in Marseilles, France, on 12 February 1872, to Joseph Raphaël Jean-Baptiste Antonetti and Antonia Rose Joséphine Antonetti (née Magaud). Antonetti was a crucial figure in colonial French African rule from 1909 until 1934, yet no complete biography had been written about his life until over seventy years after his death. Little is available about his early years or education. He joined the French colonial administration and spent his formative years in government as an official on the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Canada at the turn of the twentieth century. He briefly served in 1905 in Djibouti. In 1906 he was appointed as a senior administrator of the same colony. It is unclear why Antonetti was transferred to French West Africa, but he advanced quickly and became the governor of Dahomey (modern Benin) in 1909 He held this position until ...