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"The province of Hanoi has been completely pacified at this present moment. All the administration is in our hands and is beginning to run as it should […]. Although the Christians were the first to offer me their help, I took care to avoid relying on them exclusively and giving the revolution that had just taken place the character of a religious reaction. By proclamation I invited the intellectuals to visit me so that they would not think that I was prejudiced against them; I kept all of the municipal and local authorities in place; I received their submission and retained the rank of all the authorities that came to me. Finally I took the most energetic measures to suppress the banditry that the disorganisation of the country had resulted in on all sides. At the same time I returned to the people half of one year's rice tax. They did not delay in trusting a regime that ensured them efficient protection and looked after their interests […] The country became visibly calmer."

(Francis Garnier, 1873)

Arrival of the French troops in the Bay of Haiphong in June 1884 (© Private collection / Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Giraudon)