I should mention that there’s another André Nageon lurking in a gap in the Nageon de l’Estang timeline (slightly after the others that I covered in parts one to four): and he actually has quite a funky story attached to him. 🙂

André Nageon vs the Monster

There are a number of fleeting mentions of André Ambroise Nageon de l’Estang‘s time in the Seychelles in “Population et vie quotidienne aux Seychelles sous le premier empire” by Joël Eymeret, in “Revue française d’histoire d’outre-mer” Année 1984, Volume 71, Numéro 262, pp. 5-29.

But given that André Ambroise Nageon de l’Estang died in 1798, it must surely be his son about whom a particular anecdote was told. Eymeret repeats the tale, but it actually first appeared in “FRAPPAZ, Les voyages du lieutenant de vaisseau Téophile Frappasz dans les mers des Indes”, texte publié et annoté par Raymond Decary, in-8°, Tananarive, 1939, pp.108-109:

C’est ainsi qu’André Nageon passe dans la légende : Créole de haute stature et d’une force prodigieuse, faisant défricher les terres il y a environ quinze ans [c’est-à-dire en 1803] il s’éloigna un peu des travailleurs pour sonder un marais. A peine eut-il commencé son opération qu’un gros cayman, caché dans les roseaux se dressa sur sa queue, pour s’élancer sur lui. L’apercevoir, deviner son intention et le saisir à bras le corps fut pour l’intrépide M. Nageon l’affaire d’une seconde : et luttant ainsi avec son terrible adversaire, il sut maintenir l’égalité du combat jusqu’à ce que des noirs accourus à ses cris, l’eussent aidé à terrasser le monstre qu’il avait combattu avec tant de courage

…i.e. (my free translation)…

It is thus that André Nageon passes into legend: a tall [white] Creole of prodigious strength, while clearing land there about fifteen years ago [i.e. in 1803] he went a small way away from the other workers to survey a marsh. As soon as he started his work, a big cayman, hidden in the reeds, lifted itself by its tail to jump on him. Noticing it, guessing its intention and wrapping his arms around its body took the intrepid Mr. Nageon no more than a second: and it was in this manner, struggling with his terrible opponent, that he managed to keep it at bay until the blacks, having flocked to his cries, helped defeat the monster he had fought against so bravely.

But this is surely the same André Nageon de l’Estang who is mentioned as selling some land in 1815 on Henri Maurel’s site (through which all manner of genealogical goodness flows):

Le 5 Octobre 1815, Antoine [Maurel] fait l’acquisition de André NAGEON DE l’ETANG de deux parcelles de terrain à Victoria.

And so the Seychellois Nageon de l’Estang family marched forward from there to the modern day, one can only presume. 😉

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