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    Bài viết – PGS.TS Sử Học NGUYỄN MẠNH HÙNG !

    Giáo sư Nghiêm Thẩm mở đầu bằng cách nêu lên lý do về sự cần thiết xây dựng một cơ quan chuyên về “Sử học viện”

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      MARCEL BERNANOISE1

      I. Physical Geography

          The province of Tayninh [Tây Ninh] has a superficial area of about 450.000 hectares, and is bounded in the north and west by Cambodia, in the south by the provinces of Giadinh [Gia Định], Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] and Tanan [Tân An]  and in the east by the Saigon [Sài Gòn] river. The ground is broken byonly one undulation, the mountain called “Nui Ba Den” [núi Bà Đen], 1.000 meters high, the highest point in Cochin-China.

      HYDROGRAPHY

           The water routes of the province are the Saigon [Sài Gòn] river and the [Vàm Cỏ] river with its tributaries, the chief of which are the rivers (rach) Cai Bac [Cái Bạc], Soc Om [Soc Om], and the Tayninh [Tây Ninh]. These water ways allow boats of small tonnage to travel as far as Lo Go [Lò Go] on the river Cai Bac [Cái Bạc], and to Ben Cui [Bến Củi] on the Saigon [Sài Gòn] river.

      MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONS

           Tayninh [Tây Ninh] is served with communications by water by a bi-monthly launch service between Tayninh [Tây Ninh] and Saigon [Sài Gòn]. Further by numerous motor cars travelling along roads from Tayninh [Tây Ninh] to Saigon [Sài Gòn], and calling at Godauha [Gò Dầu Hạ] and Trangbang [Trảng Bàng]. Its network of routes comprises:

           Two roads:

      1. From Tayninh [Tây Ninh] to Saigon [Sài Gòn], one of which, the local route 12, continued by the colonial route 1, serves the centres of Trangbang [Trảng Bàng] and Godauha [Gò Dầu Hạ]. Tayninh [Tây Ninh] is 99 km, Trangbang [Trảng Bàng] 49 km and Godauha [Gò Dầu Hạ] 60 km from Saigon [Sài Gòn] along the route Saigon-Pnom Penh [Sài Gòn-Pnôm Pênh];
      2. There are two routes leading to Pnom Penh [Pnôm Pênh], the colonial route 1 passing by Godauha [Gò Dầu Hạ], and the local route 13 from Tayninh [Tây Ninh] which, at Soairieng [Soài Riêng], joins the colonial route 1 leading to Pnom Penh [Pnôm Pênh]. To leave the province by either route, one must cross by a ferry, but this will shortly be replaced by a bridge;
      3. Another route runs from Tayninh [Tây Ninh] to Kedoi [Kẻ Đôi], a village situated at the foot of Nui Ba Den [núi Bà Đen], 15 km from Tayninh [Tây Ninh]. This route divides:

      a) into a route, 8.700 km long, leading to the foot of the mountain, where a foot-path brings you to the pagodas where you will find the “Dark Virgin”, a favourite object of pilgrimage;

      b) into a route in course of construction, followed up by a path leading to the summit of Nui Ba Den [núi Bà Đen];

          4. The local route 13, running from Tayninh [Tây Ninh] to the Saigon [Sài Gòn] river, and from this point continuing to the province of Thudaumot [Thủ Đầu Một], very picturesque, as is also the route to Soairieng [Soài Riêng], incidentally traversing a forest région full of game;

          5. A route, 15 km long, from Trangbang [Trảng Bàng] to Bungbinh [Bùng Binh], from which spot in the dry season, there is a cart track, skirting the banks of the Saigon [Sài Gòn] river;

          6. A route, 1 km above the town of Trangbang [Trảng Bàng], connecting the colonial route 1, with the provincial routes of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn].

      Besides these chief routes, the province has:

          a) the route to Xom Vinh [Xóm Vinh], paved for about 4 km only, but can be used by motor cars in the dry season, a route passing through a game district and enabling one to visit the tower of Chot Mat [Chột Mắt];

          b) The Thanhdien [Thanh Điền] route near which is a pagoda containing idols of some archaeological interest.

      II. Administrative Geography

      GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

          Tayninh [Tây Ninh], which was only a borough (Phu) of the province of Giadinh [Gia Định], under the Annamite government, was formed into a province on April 14th 1862 by Admiral BONNARD. This province is divided into two divisions, Thaibinh [Thái Bình] and Trangbang [Trảng Bàng]; the first has a hospital organisation under the direction of a doctor, and the second a medical post under a native doctor.

      POPULATION

          Thinly populated with only 93.000 inhabitants, the province has no important centres besides its chief town, Trangbang [Trảng Bàng] and Godauha [Gò Dầu Hạ], which are respectively 100, 50 and 78 km from Saigon [Sài Gòn]. The population is made up as follows:

          Annamites: 80707, Cambodians: 9457, Cham: 1110, Chinses: 781, Minh Huong: 377, Europeans: 87, Indians: 31; Total: 92550.

      III. Ecomotional Geography

           No important industry has as yet been developed. The chief wealth of the province consists of agriculture and hunting.

          Anyone wishing to go over the plantations and to assist in developing the products, can easily get information as to the cultivation of the hevea (rubber) plant, sugar cane, araches (earth-nuts), as well as the manufacture of indiarubber, the refining of sugar and nut oils. They can also easily form an idea of the resources of the province with regard to fire-wood and timber for carpentry.

      FAUNA AND FLORA

           Without going into closer details, attention should be drawn to the variety of the species which one encounters everywhere. Insects, lizards, rodents, deer, ruminants, birds exist here in great numbers, among which must be cited the royal tiger, the rarest species of rhinocerus, and a great variety of squirrels. Among birds are found the calao or horn-bill and eagles. Among insects a great variety of cicindcla (tiger-beetle) and scarabs, and those known by the name of “Coq des Bois” who, with their white fluffiness have the appearance of a flower.

          As to the Flora this is principally represented by a variety of ferns and numerous varieties of orchids.

      IV. History

         Official documents are completely at fault as far as establishing an authentic historical record.

          Towards 1850, an Annamite mandarin HUYNH DUONG GIANG [Huỳnh Đường Giang], who governed the province, was attacked by the Cambodians. Considering his resistance futile, he, as well as his lieutenant Chanh Tong [Chánh Tổng], committed suicide. A pagoda was erected to his memory at Tra Vong [Trà Vông], and there, a commemorative ceremony is held yearly. At this period an Annamite from Annam, named DANG VAN DUA [Đặng Văn Đua], settled in the southern part of the province, and founded Trangbang [Trảng Bàng], where a temple has been erected to his memory. At the time of the French conquest, a mandarin of Tayninh [Tây Ninh], named KHAM TAN TUONG [Khâm Tấn Tường], refusing to submit, took refuge at Phu An Go [gò Phú An]  (a village in Hao Duoc [Hào Đước]) and gathered together a number of adherents. They were dispersed in a skirmish, and their defeat coinciding with the death of Kham Tan Tuong in 1860, marked the end of Annamite resistance.

          The Cambodians however under Champa, took the field and marched on Tayninh [Tây Ninh], and on the 7th June 1566 at Truong Voi [Trường Voi] came in contact with French troops, causing the loss of Captain LARCLAUSE and lieutenant LESAGE, as well as 8 N.C.O’s and soldiers. Reinforcements were sent after this fight, under the command of Lt. Colonel MARCHAISE. A second engagement took place on the 14th June 1866 at Bang Dung [Bàng Dung] (a village in Hao Duoc [Hào Đước]). It resulted in the defest of Champa, but cost the lives of Lt. Colonel MARCHAISE. Captain BEXJAMEN and 13 N.C.O’s and soldiers of the 58th company of the 3nd regiment of Marines.

      BAN TU THƯ