Mauritius History

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The Dutch established a colony on Mauritius in 1638. It never prospered and the few hundred souls there were evacuated in 1710 when the success of the Cape Colony made its supply function superfluous. A few years later the island was settled by Frenchmen from nearby Réunion. They successfully developed the Island’s present sugar plantation economy. In 1750 the island’s population was 10,000. By 1800 it had grown to 60,000. Nearly 50,000 of the 60,000 were slaves whose origins lay in Madagascar or Mozambique.

In 1810 the British took Mauritius. They prohibited first the slave trade, then slavery, introducing Indian coolies (low paid, unskilled laborers) instead. Three hundred thousand of them came between 1834 and 1910. Mauritius attained independence in 1968.[1]




  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Western Indian Ocean,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1990, 2000.