The Fashoda incident was the subject of important diplomatic negotiations, which at one time approached an acute phase; but ultimately the French position was found to be untenable, and on the 11th of December Marchand and his men returned to France by the Sobat, Abyssinia and Jibuti.
That control would have been lost had a European power other than Great Britain obtained possession of any part of the Nile valley; and at the time the Sudan was reconquered (1896-98) France was endeavouring to establish her authority on the river between Khartum and Gondokoro, as the Marchand expedition from the Congo to Fashoda demonstrated.
The next year, in circumstances curiously like those which were repeated when the French expedition under Marchand menaced Britain in Egypt by seeking to establish a post on the Upper Nile, George Washington, a young Virginian officer, was sent to drive the French from their Fort Duquesne on the Ohio river, where now stands Pittsburgh.
Henser, Bencke, Adami, Marchand and others have also put forward hypotheses to account for the origin of new growths.
Soon after this decisive success, it was found that a French expedition under Major Marchand had reached the upper Nile and had hoisted the French flag at Fashoda.
With this object a small force under Major Marchand was sent from the French Congo into the Bahr-elGhazal, with orders to occupy Fashoda on the Nile; whilst a Franco-Abyssinian Expedition was despatched from the eastward, to join hands with Major Marchand.
Major Marchand had to retire from Fashoda, and as a concession to French susceptibilities he was allowed to retreat by the Abyssinian route.
He arranged with Marchand to leave the political question to be settled by diplomacy, and contented himself with hoisting the British and Egyptian flags to the south of the French flag, and leaving a gunboat and a Sudanese battalion to guard them.
He started for the Captain south on the 10th of September, with 5 gunboats and Marchand a small force, dispersed a body of 700 dervishes at at Reng on the 15th, and four days later arrived at Fashoda.
The north-western islands were first sighted by the American Captain Ingraham in 1791, and given the name of Washington by him; the French Captain Marchand followed in the same year, and Lieut.