Black town,Madras,1851, en.wikipedia.org
|A plan of the Fort St. George and surrounding settlements, en.wikipedia.org/wiki|
Chennai has a long history since the establishment of the East India Company followed by the British Crown to its present growth. Incidentally, Robert Clive, who was instrumental in establishing the great British Empire, had begun his humble life as an ordinary clerk in the East India company here.
Francis Day and his superior Andrew Cogan were considered as the founders of Madras (now Chennai) who began the construction work of Fort St George on 23 April, 1640 and houses for their employees. Their small fortified settlement quickly attracted other East Indian traders and, as the Dutch position collapsed under hostile Indian power, they also slowly joined the settlement. By 1646, the population in the settlement had reached 19,000 with Portuguese and Dutch populations substantially more.
|Black Town, Madras, credit; en.wikipedia.org/|
To further consolidate their position, the Company combined the various settlements around an expanded Fort St. George, which including its citadel also comprised a larger outside area surrounded by an additional wall. This area became the Fort St. George settlement. As stipulated by the Treaty signed with the Nayak, the local ruler the British and other Christian Europeans were not allowed to decorate the outside of their buildings in any other color but white. As a result, over a period, the area came to be known as ''White Town''.
|George Town,Madras, chennaifocus.woodpress.com|
|Map of Madras city in 1921, en.wikipedia.org|
Collectively, the original Fort St. George settlement - "White Town", and the new settlement "Black Town" were called Madras. An important fact was initially, this planned settlement with mutual consent did not carry any racial connotations.
|Fort St. George,Madras, credit: en.wikipedia.org|
In 1911 the black town was renamed George Town in honor of king George V who was crowned as the Emperor of India.
(Modified : January 8, 2015)