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Abdel Kadei

Abd- el-Kadei (Sidi-el - Hadji-Ouled-Mahiddin), the son of a venerable Marabout, born in 1807 near Mascara in the province of Oran. His eloquence, prowess, and popularity early provoked the jealousy of the Dey of Algiers, and he fled to Egypt. On his return (1829) he was chosen by the tribes in the neighbourhood of Oran to lead them in an effort to expel the French from their territory. The young Emir (1832) at the head of 10,000 horsemen vigorously attacked Oran, which was held in succession by Boyer and Desmichels. Louis Philippe, fearing to be drawn into serious operations, now sanctioned a treaty (1834) by which the Emir was virtually recognised as sovereign of Oran, with the River Chelif as his eastern boundary. Having with French aid crushed some rival chiefs, he proceeded to seize a town within French borders. General Trezel, sent out to give the Emir a lesson, found himself surrounded at Macta (1835), and only escaped with the loss of his baggage and wounded. Indignation knew no bounds at Paris, and the famous Marshal Clauzel was dispatched as Governor of Algeria, with instructions to make short work with the son of the desert. The Marshal executed a pretty military promenade, but left Abd-el-Kader's power unbroken. Marshal Bugeaud next took the business in hand, and, after offering terms which were rejected, marched to the relief of the French troops beleaguered in Tlemcen. The Emir attacked him in the defile of Sakkak, but the Marshal defeated his assailant with heavy loss. The treaty of Tana was then concluded (1837 and 1838), making Abd-el-Kader a tributary of France, but giving him a large territory and ample freedom of action. After a brief interval, the Emir broke loose once more, and for some months was kept at bay by the Duc d'Orleans and Marshal Valee (1840). Marshal Bugeaud, again appearing on the scene, by means of razzias (q.v.) so harried the Emir's followers that they began to desert. Mascara was captured (1841), and the gallant chief with a few devoted Kabyles was driven back to the desert. He was compelled (1842) by the Due d'Aumale to seek refuge in Morocco. The Emperor was disposed to support him, but Bugeaud by land, and the Prince de Joinville by sea (1844) frustrated this design; and as Abd-el-Kader's popularity began to undermine the Emperor's authority, the latter made common cause with the French. Many months were spent before the bold Arab could be crushed. At last the failure of a night attack on the Emperor's camp (1847) induced the Emir to surrender to General Lamoriciere and the Duc d'Aumale. In violation of solemn promises, he was conveyed as a prisoner to France, and there kept in confinement at Toulon, Pau, and Amboise successively. In 1852 he was released on parole by Napoleon III. He resided successively at Broussa, Constantinople, and Damascus, where he exerted himself in defence of the Maronite Christians. He was supposed to have died at Mecca in 1873, but his death really took place in 1883.