Jacques known as Jules Garnier was born in Saint-Etienne: on November 25, 1839. Of the paternal ancestry one finds some samples in the manuscript of one of his three sons: General EFG Garnier. "My paternal grandfather, he writes, born in 1800 died a long time before my birth. He was a storekeeper in Saint-Etienne and, actually, I do not know much about him. My father (JJ GARNIER) said that he was very nice, very amiable and that he liked to entertain numerous friends. His strength, it seems, was proverbial and surprising examples of it are reported".
JJ GARNIER studied at first at the parochial school of Big Church then at the secondary school. There, great reader of stories of journey and adventures, he despised in the beginning textbooks and shows himself an appalling pupil. We know by his classmate Murgue, who wondered later to see itself outstripped by him in the entrance exam to St Étienne's School of Mining Engineers that "Garnier had understood flight of fancy could not be enough… he recovered". It is commonplace to notice - and all the biographers know - that a film, the burning reading of a book soak a teenager in the point to influence definitively all the course of the existence and to indicate him the vocation.
To have read with passion as well Fennimore Cooper as the journeys of the Captain Cook among others, Jules Garnier at first neglected at the given moment his studies in the point when his school bulletin - found in this attic of which we shall speak again- mentions. " clever but little hard-working " second term of which being obviously contradictory to all his life. Then, taken out in a good rank as Mining engineer, he was ready-made to accept, in August 1863 a Mission of Investigation confided by the Ministry of Marine and Colonies.
One of the major reasons of the annexation by the country in 1853 of this distant, isolated isle, in the healthy climate was to set up there a penal colony. However, the growth of the industry in this mid 19-th century requires more and more metal bearing ore but also the invention of recent processes opens an outlet to new minerals. For example, in 1847, a settling of the production of fine iron sheet steels tin plate for the manufacture of cans had aroused a new interest for the tin.
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