Tools from the Old Stone Age indicate early life in Gabon, but little is known of its people. The Myene had arrived in Gabon by the thirteenth century and settled as a fishing community along the coast. Gabon History and Culture Information and Travel Guide. Vacation package Book. With the exception of the Fang, Gabon's ethnic groups are Bantu and arrived in Gabon after the Myene. The different ethnic groups were separated from one another by the dense forest and remained intact. Europeans began to arrive at the end of the fifteenth century. The Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English participated in the slave trade that flourished for 350 years. In 1839, the first lasting European settlement was started by the French. Ten years later, Libreville was founded by freed slaves. During this time, the Fang were migrating from Cameroon into Gabon. The French obtained control inland and stymied the Fang migration, thus concentrating them in the north. In 1866, the French appointed a governor with the approval of the Myene leader. At the start of the twentieth century, Gabon became part of French Equatorial Africa, which also included the present-day nations of Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. Gabon remained an overseas territory of France until its independence in 1960.