At the February 1926 session of the Council of Notables in Yaoundé, Cameroon, dozens of African chiefs and French administrators gathered to discuss the institution of marriage in the colony and plans for the regulation and codifi cation of African customary marriage law. One powerful administrator, the Head of Subdivision of Yaoundé, Yves Nicol stated, “the foundation of native life to which we turn our attention most ardently is marriage … In our original meeting in 1922 I demanded that women no longer be treated as a simple piece of property. Polygamy and the contracting of marriage of women should be controlled as they pose a threat to the freedom and participation of women in society … Their status should not be one of slaves” (Nicol 1926 ). The Council of Notables provided a forum where members of the colonial administration as well as African leaders could voice their concern or agreement with legal changes proposed by the Ministry of the Colonies or other legal bodies in Cameroon. Throughout this session both French administrators and African leaders hotly debated the institution of marriage, local customs governing women’s status and privileges, and the role of women in family life.