From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
SAIGON, a town of French Indo-China, capital of the colony of Cochin-China, on the right bank of the river Saigon, 34 m. from the sea. Pop. (1905) 54,745, of whom 8749 were French (exclusive of troops), 152 Europeans of other nationalities, about 30,000 Annamese, 14,000 Chinese. The town is enclosed by the river Saigon on the east, the Chinese Arroyo on the south and the Arroyo of the Avalanche on the north, while on the west it extends towards the neighbouring town of Cholon. Double rows of trees give shade in all the streets, the width and uniformity of which, together with the beautiful gardens (including the zoological gardens), make Saigon one of the finest towns of the Far East. It is lighted chiefly by electricity and its watersupply is secured by a filtering reservoir. The chief public buildings are the government house, the palace of the lieutenantgovernor of Cochin-China, the law courts, the theatre, the postoffice and the cathedral. The commercial port, at the mouth of the Chinese Arroyo, carries on a large rice trade. The naval harbour comprises an arsenal and has a repairing dock.
Saigon is the seat of two chambers of the court of appeal of French Indo-China, of tribunals of first instance and of commerce, and of the vicar apostolic of Cochin-China. Its municipal council consists of eight French and four native members elected by universal suffrage. This body elects a mayor and two assistants.
Before the French 'conquest, Saigon, then known as Gia-dinhthanh, was the capital of Lower Cochin-China, which consisted of the "six southern provinces" of the Annamese empire, and constituted a vice-royalty under the government of a kinhluoc. In 1836 it was fortified for the emperor Gia Long by Colonel 0111vier. The French captured it in 1859, and it was part of the territory ceded in 1862.