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A HI ST O R Y O F T HE G O L D

C O A ST AND A SHA N T I
FR O M T HE E ARLI EST TI MES T O T HE COM
M ENCE MENT OF T HE T WENTI ETH CENT U R Y

BY W WALTO N C LAR I DGE


.

S EN IOR M ED I CA L O FFICER , WE ST A FR I CA N MEDI CA L STA FF, G OLD COA ST

WITH AN e onu c nox BY

S IR HU G H C LI FF O R D ,

G OVER N O R A N D COI I A N D ER — lN -C H I E F O F THE GO L D COA S T

IN Tw o V O LU M E S , WI T H M A P S

VO L . I

LO N D O N

JO HN M U RRAY, A LBE M A R LE ST REE T, W .

191 5
L L .
D E D I CA T E D T O

HI S E "CE LLE N CY

SI R HU G H CLI F FO R D , K cm c i t .

G OVERNOR A N D OO MMA ND E R -lN ~ CHI EF

OF THE

GOLD COAST

A ND I TS DE PE N D EN CI ES

IQ WHOSE

TIT
-
E Pm Afi ON OF T HIS B OO K

IS MA I NLY DUE
I NT ROD U CTIO N

S IN C E the manuscript o f Dr Cla rid g s monumental e


e
.

His tory of th Go ld Coa s t a nd A s ha nti first came into my


hands i n the summer of 1 9 1 5 , its p u b lica tion in suitable .

form has been to me a matter of keen personal interest


e
.

I t i s not often that o n o f our Crown Colonies has the


good fortune t o number among the o flicia ls serving in it a
man who possesses so many of the qualities that go to the
making o f a really good historian diligence in research —
,

meticulous accuracy a capacity for marshalling facts


, ,

the nice sense o f proportion which allots to each question


o r incident its full but no more than it s due place in t he
,

general picture a strongly critical habit of mind and a


ee
, ,

thorough command o f appropriate language The x r


e
"

cise of all these together with years of patient but nth u si


,

asti o labour have been devoted to the production of the


,

present work and Dr Claridge has thereby rendered to


, .

the Colony with which he has long been connected a


, ,

service of conspicuous value .

I n the past too it has not infrequently happened that


, ,

when labour of this description has been performed by a


servant of Government during his not over abundant
e
e
-

leisure the result of his toil has been s u fi’ r d to reach the


,

public either at his own expense or under the auspices o f ,

some learned body whose imprimatur is apt to have upon


,

the general reader an e ffect comparable to that which


scare crows are piously supp osed to exercise upon the
-

fowls o f the air I n the present instance however the


.
, ,

Government of the Gold Coast has succeeded in saving


the author and his work from such unmerited obscurity ,

though with its characteristic vacillating caution ( of


I NTR O DUCTI O N

which so many notable instances are t o be found recorded


e

in the pages of Dr Cla ridg s book ) it has been careful
.

to dissociate itself from any implied endorsement of the


opinions expressed in these volumes .

I t is in every way right that this work which is now —

presented to the public under the guarantee o f the H ouse


o f Murray —
should be placed in a p osition to make it s
appeal to readers in every part of the Empire for it deserves ,

the attention of all who are interested in the history o f the


-
e
over seas po ss ssi o ns o f Great Britain o f which it forms
,
'

an unusually striking and instructive chapter I t illus .

trates with peculiar force the curiously haphazard fashion


in which many o f ou r tropical colonies have come into
being the manner in which so often the Flag has followed
trade rather than trade t he Flag and the frequency with
,

which extension of control and j urisdiction has been


gradually and reluctantly accepted not as the result of an
e
,

insatiabl appetite for power and dominion but in the ,

first instance as the only practicable means whereby


,

peaceful commerce could be assured and later because a


e
,

newly awakened sens of r esponsibility toward the native


races forbade continued toleration of savage and bar
barous practices I t reveals am ong other things the
.
, ,

ugly fact that the path t o the establishment of a durable

e
peace in semi civilised communities is almost invariably
-

paved with the victims o f a seri s o f devastating little


wars and it shows h ow immeasurably the d iflicu lty o f
avoiding such happenings is increased by an i m perfect
understanding of the character the polity and the ou t
, ,

look upon li fe o f the peoples with whom in t ropical lands , ,

Great Britain h a s had to deal .

I have not included an absolutely unbiassed j udgment


. e
among Dr Claridg s qualities as an historian for as is

,

the case with most Englishmen who have come into close
contact with the Ashantis the admiration excited by the
,

courage and the many manly and chivalrous character


is tics o f this warlike people has engendered in him so strong
an affection for them that he cannot invariably view all
e
the incid nts in their history with complete and disp as
I NTR OD UCTI O N

eimpartiality
e
s io n at But such bias as he from time to
.

time shows is a generous bias and l nds to this book in


, , ,

my op inion a very S pecial value I t is well that o u r


, .

nation a l actions should be examined as much as possible


from t he standpoint o f those who were a ffected by them
and no intelligent reader can rise from the perusal of these
pages without being consciou s that their author has con
ee
v y d to him a deeper and truer appreciation o f the peoples
o f the Gold Coast and Ashanti than has in the past been , ,

any way common or without feeling that his sympathy


,

with them has thereby been notably enlarged and quick


ened .

The records of a Colony the earliest beginnings o f which


,

had their inception in the da rk days o f the slave trade ,


-
,

cannot but hold many things that modern Englishmen


must recall with mingled shame and horror The reader .

will fin d much to deplore in the public and private acts of


m any o f the white men who in their time made history on, ,

the Coast ; and some deeds were done which must fo r


ever remain among the most bitter and humiliating
memories o f every Britisher who lov s his country and is e
j ealous of its fair fame For these Dr Claridge has done
. .

well to o ffer neither palliation nor excuse O n the other .

hand it is at least open to argument that he h a s occasion


,

ally been somewhat harsh in the verdicts which he passes


up on the policy o f the Government and upon the actions
o f its se rvants The historian is necessarily in the posi
e
.

ti on o f on wh o i s wise after the event but the large ,

bird s eye view which he is enabled t o take was n ot at the



-

ser vi ce o f any save very ex ceptional men among those who


were the contemp or arie s of the events which he records .

This must be borne in mind for excep tional men are rare
e
,

at all times and i n all p laces and f w indeed found their ,

way to the West Coast o f Africa Due allowance there .


,

fore must be made for the imperfect appreci ation which


e
, ,

m any public servants showed o f th situations with which ,

they were confronted and for the bewildering ignorance


e
,

of the p eople with whom they w ere d aling by which they ,

were so frequently hampered .


I NTR O DUCTI O N

To -
day most thinking men will readily subscribe to the
Opinion that the only j usti fication for the presence of Great
Britain in West Africa and for the control which we
,

exercise over its inhabitants abides in ou r ability to,

govern the country in a manner more conducive to the


common good and happiness and with a higher regard to
,

the rights and well being o f the weak and inarticulate


-

masses than would be possible to the natives themselves if


,

left to their own devices This theory however had not


.
, ,

the remotest connection with the obj ects for the attain
ment of which the first European settlements were estab
e
lis h d on the Coast and though Englishmen began
trading with the natives of the Gold Coast as long ago as
I 5 5 3 the publication of Dr Cla rid g s His tory celebrates
, . e ’

the centenary of the earliest tentative attempts of a British


Governor to improve the lot of the people or to save the ,
1
weak from the Oppression o f the strong For many
e
.

decades after 1 8 1 5 however the maintenance o f u nint r


e
, ,

ru p t d trade routes to and from the interior represented


-

the highest ambition of the British Government on the


Coast and it was in order to secure this obj ect that little by
,

little j urisdiction was extended and an increasingly active


part was taken in inter tribal politics Even after the

.

national conscience had been su fficiently awakened to


bring about the abolition of the slave trade the commercial -
,

interests of the British traders continued to be the principal


preoccupation o f the authorities on the Coast and the ,

assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the natives ,

whose world o u r coming had turned topsy turvy was —


,

shirked and evaded as much as possible There can be no .

reasonable doubt that if the British had not interfered the


, ,

Ashantis would have extended their empire over all the


nations of the Gold Coast but our disapproval of their
invasions was due in the beginning not s o much to any
, ,

feeling of pity for their victims as to resentment at the ,

disturbance to trade which they occasioned Thus the


e e
.

ré l of protector of the defenceless was more or less in x o r

ably thrust upon u s in the interests o f o u r own commerce


1
Vida V ol .
p . 2 79 .
I NTR O DUCTI O N

but once accepted it could never again be wholly dis ,

carded and thereafter o u r main obj ect was to keep t ribal


,

warfare within some sort o f bounds and to shore up as , ,

best we could the tottering prosperity o f the countries


ee
,

which the aggressive energy o f the Ashantis was p rp tu


ally assailing .

After the characteristic fashion of o u r nation we tried ,

t o accomplish t his with the expenditure o f as few men and


as little money as possible and a policy o f hopeless vacilla ,

tion and inconsistency o f course resulted Such a policy .


,

equally of course was quite unintelligible to the natives


,

with whom we were dealing ; and the Ashantis at any ,

rate never knew what to expect o f u s which was only


,

natural seeing that we were living so to speak from hand


, , ,

to mouth and never knew from year to year what to


,

expect of ourselves .

Looking backward from the standpoint we occupy to


day it is clearly to be seen that anything resembling a
,

permanent friendly alliance between a British Administra


tion on the Coast and an independent Kingdom of Ashanti
was unthinkable having regard t o the incompatible ideals
,

and the wholly divergent Views on a number of vital


matters entertained by the two Governments I t may .

be that modern civilisation is the lion and that barbarism ,

is the lamb but the two cannot nowadays lie down side
by side N o Colonial Administration of our time for
.
,

instance could long have maintained an alliance with a


,

Power which regarded human sacrifice as an essential


religious rite and the records of West Africa show b e
yond dispute that the abolition of such practices can
only gradually be e ffected even in localities where Great
Britain exercises full executive aut hority A Colonial .

Government which in the beginning battened on the


,

slave trade was itself according to modern notions in a


-
, , ,

condition o f semi barbarism from which it had to emerge


-
,

ere ever the assumption of resp onsibility for the regu


lation of the habits and customs o f its native neighbours
could be recognised by it in the light of an imperative
duty The white men of bygone generations therefore
.
, ,
I NTR O DUCTI O N

whose aim was commercial expansion not the moral ,

improvement of the Africans whose own standards of ,

civilisation were still in some respects rudimentary ,

and who regarded a friendly Ashanti as the surest


means of se curing the ends they had in view cannot ,

fairly be blamed for having failed to foresee that their


ideals would fall far short of the demands of those who
would come after them Thus the history of British rela
.

tions with the peoples o f the Gold Coast and As hanti ,

rightly viewed is the story o f an attempt to secure our


,

merchants profits at the least possible cost to ourselves



,

and the gradual assumption o f extended responsibilities

undertaken in pursuance of that obj ect To a much later .

phase belongs the practical annexation o f the whole


country a step which was forced upon us not by any

,

alteration in the habits and practices of it s inhabitants but ,

by a change which in the course of years had been wrought


, ,

in ourselves and in o u r conceptions of the m oral obliga


tions which our presence in their midst imposed upon us .

The passing away of an empire which had risen to gre at ,

power through the warlike genius o f its rulers and people ,

cannot but occasion some sentimental regrets and the


dissolution o f the Kingdom of Ashanti like the destruction ,

o f the great military organisation which Chaka created in

Zululand seems to curtail the already dwindling domain


,

of modern romance No one however can find serious


.
, ,

reason for doubting that the people of Ashanti to day -


,

who devote their energies to the cultivation o f their food


plots and cocoa gardens and to the improvement o f their
-
,

towns are not only a more useful but o n the wh ole a


e
, ,

happier set of people than were their blood stained a nc s -

tors who spent a goodly portion o f their time in ravaging


,

their neighbours homesteads taking other people s lives



,

,

and enslaving their women kind and their children The -


.

contrary point of view which much more accurately —

represented the truth when it was written nearly fifteen


e
,

years ago than it does now is ably s t forth in the quota


,

tion from a despatch by Sir Ma t thew N athan which will ,

be found on page 440 of the second volume o f this book .


I NTR O DUCTI O N

The dragging across the face of any primitive country of


Jagann ath ca r in which is borne aloft the great idol we
-

name P a x B rita nnica entails the demolition of many


,

romantic things I t necess itates the subs titution of the


.

co m monplace for the exotic the tameness and safety of ,

ordered modern life for the excitement and the perils of


primordial existence and the drab of every day wear for
,
-

the highly co loured hues of barbaric display I ncidentally .


,

however it a ffords to the individual human being the


,

average man who in the past was at best a successful


, ,

looter and at the worst mere food for powder an Op p or


,

tu nity to live his own life i n pe a ce and quietude and in a ,

manner chosen by h ims elf I t once fell to my lot t o bear


.

the tidi ngs o f an outbreak of war through the villages o f a


co u ntry whose people were famous for their bellicose and
blood thirs ty reputation The men wore grave faces as
-
.

they looked to their weapons and patiently resigned them


selves t o the inevitable but the wailing o f the women
still sounds in my ears Kings and chiefs , o n the other
.

hand stood to lose much and to gain little or nothing


, , ,

by the establishment of a lasting peace and a well regulated -

admi nistration for it h a s usually been the peculiar privilege


of the great ones o f the earth to thrive at the expense of
their subjects and to combine the excitements of war with
,

a comp arative immunity from its dangers I t is not


e ee
.

possi b le how ver to legislate for a minority but x p ri


, ,

ence would seem to show that it is a mistake to suppose


that the average man of any race who has tasted war in ,

real earnest has thereafter an overpowering love of it


,
.

I t is to be regretted that Dr Claridge h as not seen his .

way to carry on his record o f the hist o ry of the Gold Coast


and Ashanti beyond the dawn of the present century for ,

whereas the story that he h a s to tell relates to the alm o st


uninterrupted wars and disturbances which culminated
in the final campaign of the British against Ashanti in ,

1 9 00 it is during the p ast decade especially that the fruits

e
,

of th peace wh ich was then established with so much


e
,

di fficulty have been made manifest Ev n now the


e
.
,

p o t ntia lities of the Gold Coast and i t s Dependencies hav e


I NTR O D U CTI O N

only begun to be fully appreciated and the phenomenal ,

prosperity o f its people is the growth of the past few years .

N ever until quite recently have the natives o f the Gold


, ,

Coast and Ashanti been a fforded an opportunity o f


developing their ancestral property in peace and security ,

free from the fear that the accumulation o f wealth


might excite the cupidity and invite the unwelcome
attentions of some powerful neighbour Little more than .

a dozen years have elapsed since this p ossibility dawn ed


upon the bulk of the population ; yet to day the Gold -

Coast and Ashanti alike are inhabited by a sturdy race of


peasant proprietors who among other things produce
, ,

annually more than a fifth of the total cocoa crop of the -

world .British energy and a careful management o f the


financial resources of the country are beginning to over
come the appalling transport di fficulties by which West
Africa is still shackled the development of the gold mining -

industry is due to British capital enterprise and science


, ,

but the enormous agricultural expansion o f the last ten


years which has revolutionised the conditions o f life o n
,

the Gold Coast and in Ashanti is the work o f the natives


,

themselves I t has of course been aided and stimulated


.
, ,

by the Government but no one can doubt that a peop le


, ,

who have s o promptly and eagerly availed themselves


o f the chances placed within their reach can look fo rward ,

with confidence to a future marked by increasingly credit


able achievements And though alas the mistakes which
.
, ,

the British have committed in the past in their dealings


with the peoples of the Gold Coast and Ashanti have been
both grave and numerous and though the African s
,

instinctive suspicion of the white man has all too frequently


been j ustified the essential soundness of the relations
,

which in our time subsist between ourselves and the native


population has recently emerged triumphant from a very
searching test .

When the great war broke o u t in August 1 9 1 4 the , ,

military forces o f the Gold Coast invaded Togoland the ,

adj oining German colony in the interior of which had


,

been erected a huge wireless installation of immense


I NTR O D UCTI ON

strategic value I nless than four weeks the Germans


.

had been compelled to surrender and there ca n be lI ttl ,


e
doubt that the knowledge that whereas the natives of the ,

Gold Coast were doing all in their power to a d us the ,

natives o f Togoland had everywhere welcomed us as the ir


e
e
deliverers helped them to the conclusion that th n P95 1
,

tion w as desperate A month later it wa s found p ossI bl


.

to despatch to Duala to aid in the campaign of the A llI s


,
e
i n the German K a m a ru ns nearly all the men o f the Gold
,

Coast Regiment of the West African Frontier Force wh o


were not req u ired for the occupation of the conquered
territory The denudation o f the Colony and o f Ashanti
.

of practically all the troops which in time o f peace are , ,

ordinarily maintained in them was rendered possible by ,

the enthusiastic loyalty to the British Throne and to the


Governm ent which was manifested from end to end o f t he
country A s an additional proof of the sincerity of this feel
.

ing subscriptions to the Patriotic Fund initiated by natives


, ,

and mainly received from native contributors amounting ,

to over were rapidly collected and placed in my


hands for transmission to the Secretary of State I t is .

pleasant to recall that at this t ime of national cri sis the


, ,

chiefs and people of Ashanti displayed a s keen a desire


to assist and support the Government a s any that wa s
shown by their neighbours o n the Coast
e
.

There is on subj ect up on which I feel constrained t o


break a lance with Dr Claridge His book will tend I
. .
,

fear to confirm t he p opular belief that the climate


e
,

o f the Gold Coast is o n o f the deadliest in the tropics I .

regard this opinion a s at once unsound and unscientific .

Speaking as a man who has S pent more than thirty years


in tropical lands east and west I regard it a s an axiomatic
, ,

proposition that the climate in any part o f the heat belt -

is strongly inimical to the health of Europeans I t cannot .

be otherwise than enervating t o be in a constant state of .

perspiration ; and those whose skins are no t provided


with wide open p ores really suffer more than do men who
-

p ossess this healthy but inconvenient equipment A s .

tropical climates go however that o f the Gold Coast is at


'

, ,
I NTR O D UCTI O N

e
fo und in many other pa rts of th world
e
once l ss h ot and l ss damp than t h ose wh ich are to be
This is not a e .

q uestio n of opi nion but of fact p roved beyo nd dispute


e
, ,

by the readings of the ther m ometer and the rain gaug ;


e
-

and no one wh o h a s lived both in th Gold Coast and in


e
.
,

say th low country of Ceylon in the Malay Peninsula


, ,

or Archipelago in Co ch inch ina or in K am b odia can enter

e
, ,

tain a doubt on the subj ect Yet it is an inco ntrov rt .

e
ible t ru th t h at the ravages wroug ht in the health of Euro
peans and especially in that of newly arrived Europ a ns
, ,

ee
by a soj ourn in the Gold Coast have from time to time been ,

greater t h an any which a r r corded in the localities above


e nu merated This is to be acco unted for not by th e
e
.
,

e
c lim at which as I have said is merciful as tropical
e

, , ,

cli m ates g o b u t by th virule nc o f the insect and


water borne microbes which have their home in West


-

e
I t will p rhaps be s aid t h at if th result is in either
"
, e
case let h al it does not greatly s ignify whether sickness or
e
,

d ath is induced by the climate or by microbes but the


fa ll acy of this will be recognised when it i s remembered
t hat though mankind has not yet obtained a mastery over
,

ee
cli m atic conditions a successful war against microbes is
,

so m ething w ll withi n ou r power Were the climate o f .

the Gold Coast th primary cause of disease we s hould be ,

e
unable to e ffect in it even a slight i m pr ovement but if as ,

has now b en proved to be the case infection is conveyed ,

by the bites o f certain insects or the drinking o f impure


water it will at once be reali sed tha t preventive measures
,

e
are more nearly within our reach As it is however it is
.
,

neither more nor less a cc u rate or logical to blame the


.

cli m a te for cases of yellow fev r malari a or dysentery ,

th an it would be to hold the climatic conditions of I ndia


acco u ntable for th inj u ri s w h ic e e
h .a man h ad sustained in
an encounter with a B engal tiger I n each case the person .

a ffected has fallen a victi m to the onslaughts of the loca l


.
.

fauna which chance to require a tropical climate for their


,

co m fort and well being -


.

Accord ingly, if in the light of the knowledge we to day -


,
I NTR O DUCTI ON

po ssess concerning the causation of tropical diseases we


were to ana lyse the statistics quoted on p ag 1 6 5 of the e ,

e
s cond volume o f Dr Clarid g s His tory which show the
. e ’

casualties from sickness among the Europeans en gaged in



Lord Wolseley s mar ch to Kumasi in 1 8 74 w shou ld —
e
have t o admit that on the face o f them they constitute
e
, ,

no specially damagi ng case against the clim ate o f th


Gold Coast We should ask for instance how ma ny of
.
, ,

those invalided had dispensed with the use of a mosquito


net and how m any had drunk w ater which had no t previ
,

e
ou s ly been boiled and filtered I n other words we should
'

.
,

eliminate all cases o f avoidable tropical disea s such as ,

yellow fever malaria and dysentery and when this had


, , ,

been done it would be found that a surprisingly small


residue remained to b laid at the door o f the climate e .

For the invisible and aggressive organisms o f the Gold


Coast to whose assaults the death and illness of Europeans
,

in that country are almost entirely to be ascribed I do ,

n o t desire t o be understood as holding any s ort o f brief .

I t is true that mosquitoes are here fa r le ss numerous and


persecuting than they are in many other countries the
e e

Malay Peninsula fo rinsta nc but that renders them a llth —

e
,

more dangerous When these insects swarm in myriad s


.
,

as they did on the P rak River in Malaya or in Georgetown ,

British Guiana a comparatively small percentage of them


,

are usually infected and an elementary desire to avoid


,

being eaten alive compels even the most careless of Euro


e
p ans to protect himself from them I n the Gold Coast .

a man may easily be tempted to pass the night outside h is


net for the sake o f coolness and the mosquitoes will not
, ,

usually be sufficiently numerous to break his sleep yet the


bite of one of them may compass h is u ndoing .

The attack is therefore more insidious in the Gold


, ,

Coast than it is in other tropical countries and it is also ,

far more virulent The malarial mosquito is here neither


.

more n or less dangerous than his fellow in Malaya or


Ceylon or elsewhere in the tropical zone which means that —

he is a p retty deadly enemy to Europeans but it is only


o f very recent years that it has been recognised and a d
xviii I NTR O D UCTI O N

m ethat yellow fever which i conveyed by the bite of


itt d ,
s

the common house mosquito is endemic in West Africa


E e
.
,

long it will probably be a generally accepted theory


r

that the West Coast is the original habitat o f the a s ye t


unidentified organism which passing from the mosquito ,

into the blood o f a human being causes this disease and ,

that it was from across the Atlantic that it was imported


into the West I ndies and South and Central America with
the cargoes of slaves some of whom carried the infection
,

i n their veins The extraordinary virulence of yellow


.

fever when it first appeared in those countries would


, ,

e
seem to indicate that the germs were let loose among a
population which had never acquir d any measure of here
d ita ry immunity from them or which in the case of the , ,

descendants o f the African slaves had lost that immunity , .

Similarly it has now been ascertained that though the


,

tse tse fly which is the bearer o f the germ o f sleeping


-
,

sickness is found distributed throughout wide areas in


,

tropical Africa , the disease in an endemic form h a s for cen


e
tu ri s been familiarly known to the natives of Ash anti
and many other parts of the West Coast where it annually ,

claims a few but only a very few victims O f recent


, , .

years however the opening up of trans continental com


, ,
-

m u nica tio n between the seaboards o f the Atlantic and the

I ndian O cean which has been e ffected by Europeans h a s


, ,

caused sleeping sickness germs to be imported i nto locali


-

ties where the tse tse fly abounds but has hithert o been
-
,

innocuous I n these places the native populations had


.

had no opportunity o f acquiring an hereditary immunity ,

such as is enj oyed by the natives of say parts of Ashanti , , ,

and in consequence the people of Uganda to cite a single ,

instance have died of the disease in very large numbers


, .

The position then is that West Africa while enj oying


e
,

what for th tropics is quite a good climate has the m is ,

fortune to be the chosen home o f a variety of dangerous


living organisms which are peculiarly deadly to Europeans
, ,

and are much less easy to cope With than man eating -

tigers or other more demonstrative beasts of prey The .

recognition of this fact was and is the first step toward


I NTR O D UCTI O N

e
p ople of the Gold Coast and As hanti have reason t o be
gr ateful to him for he has recounted t he history o f t he ir
,

e
country and their forebears in a manner which should
cause it to b widely read through out the E nglish sp aking r e
w orld and if a knowledge and understanding o f a
e
e
country s past is as I believe it to b essential t o those

, ,

who serv it in the prese nt and have t o some extent a


,

hand in the moulding o f its future then the t oil and study
,

e
which have gone to the m a king of this book will bear fruit
in Wes t Africa not only for men o f the present gen ration
, ,

but for those of generations yet unborn .

H UG H C LIFFORD .

LLA N D O G O , MO N MOU TH S H I R E ,
A u gu s t 1 7 th , 1 9 1 5
.
CO NTE NTS

PART I
A N CI E N T HI S TOR Y A N D TR A D I TI

CHAPTER I
THE ORI G IN THE G OLD
OAST T RIB ES
OF C

Th eo rig in o f th eAka n tribe Tra d itions of th e ir e


a rly m igra tion

to wa rds th e coa st Th e a t triba l f am il ie


gre Th e oth e
r tr ibe
s —

in h a biting th e

s s —

G o ld Coa st pp 3 1 0 .

CHAPTER I I
THE G OLD C OAST AN D THE A N C I ENT S
Voya g e f h ePh ei i Th e Sile T de Hed
t nt otu s

h Ne V y gef S t p e V y gef H
s o o n c ans— ra —
ro

P h
h ara o I ts
ibleee E ideef Ph e t de h e
c o— o a o a as s— o a o anno—

xt i int— G ld C o n c an on t oa st

y ge f E d
p oss v nc o ra o

Vo a s o u pp
ox u s . 1 1 - 29

PART I I
PER I OD OF E UR OP E A N D I S CO VER Y A N D

1 3 6 4 To r6 9 9

C HAPTER 111
THE DI S C OVE RY or THE G OLD C OAS T B Y E U RO PEANS
1 3 64 To 1 48 2

e
p g e P g e
ro r ss of ed eie WeAf P i e
Hey is cov in
e le N
Th ortu rica—

ge G
st

e
u s r s r nc nr
N g avi a tor— V oya s of ilian G onza
el e de e
th z, s and u no Tristan
O g
ri in fi
of E th di C p y
S Tra Th rst

e de De N
a st In
V y ge Pe d
av —
a om an

J u an F i
rna n z— ath of 11 11 0 Tr stan— o a s of dro a
x fii C O NTENTS

Cintra D eath of PrinceHe Discove


ry of th e G o ld Coa s t
Th ecla im s of th e Fre
nry

Se
ttle
m e
— —

F orm atio n of a nt a t E lm ina nch

dis cove

to priority of ry pp _

CHAPTER IV
E A RLY E N G LI S H V O YA GE S TO THE G OLD C OAS T
1 482 To 1 59 2
Th e
P l Bu ll Th e first G u ine a Com p a ny N a tive Kingdom s Th e
Portu gu e
se Establish m e Po rtu gu e forts V oya ge e
ap a — — —

nt s of Win d

Lok a nd T o wrso n Adv e ntur es o f a b oa t s cre


s — —

w Portu

h am
gu ese reprisa l s Th e S l av eTra de
— —
,

pp 5 4 8 1
— -
,

CHAPTER V

THE A RRIVA L OF THE D UT C H A N D E "P U L S IO N OF THE


P ORT UGU ES E
1 59 2 To 1 64 2

Arriva l o f th e
Du tch ee Portu gu e
se
Opp os ition Th e
D u tch form S ttl
e F D efi ep El i
— —

nts— F N ort ort Th r st a tt m t


We I d i C p Re
on na
e
m u m a— a ssa u — m

F i f D
orm a t on o f u tch st tu rn th
Th e E gli h C p ie d Selee Th e

a n a om a ny— o

E glin fi sh — r st n tt nts —
Ab i i eTh ee d
an an

ep
s

ef e
om s m

n El i C p a tt m t tu r th
leP g e eei Fi l ep l i f h eP g ee
oa s m —
s con on m na —
a o

C a st ortu t
e f he

u s v rs on- na x u s on o ortu u s

T rac si p i o t r o ccu
pp at on . 8 2— 1 00

CHAPTER V I

I I-I E FIR S T A N G LO D UT C H -
WA R
1 64 2 To 1672

Du tch im ee b g C pe
prov m nts — F ortConraad s bu rg
Ch i i C r st ans

e
oa s t

eSwe de h eD e i e

or —
a

Cas tl — Forts bu ilt a t Accra Th T


Se lee Th e y f R y l Ad e e f

s— an s arr v

and f C tt nts — v ntu r rs

lekeb y e
an

C pe
orm m om o o a
p o

E gl d T di g Af i C D Ca st ta th
H l e d de y e C di i
to oa st u tch

Th e
n an n
epe
ca— n

f he
ra r a

di i t on s of Ru t t on
E gl h C p y h e
t
T e d Th e
an on

B e

x o m s r— o

is E gli h C p y T r at of n
edei C e
n y om an r a— s om an

su rr n rs ts pp h art
8 r . . 1 01 — 1 1
C O NTENTS xxiii

CHAPTER VI I
TRIB A L WA R S A ND ATTA C K S O N THE P O R TS

1 672 To 1 69 4

Africa n Com pa ny Th ePortu gu e


R oya l se ga in p os se ss io n o f

Ch ristia n sb o rg Cas tleWa r be twe en th e


Accra s a nd A k wam u s
Se ko nd i F orts bu ilt Elm ina Ca stle a tta cke d b y th e to wns p op le e

Ca p e Coa st Ca s tl e a tta cked Th e Bra nde nburge rs f orm Se ttle


m e Th e D a ne s rede e m Ch r istians b o rg Ca stle F o rt Fre de


— —

nts ricks

b org bou gh t b y th e English Fre nch fa ctory a t K o m e


— —

n da Fort
V re de Th e Adom Ah a nta wa r Ba rba ritie
— —

n b u rg s o f Ank wa

D ix cov e F o rt Ch ristiansb o rg Ca stle ta ken b y th e


— - —

A k wam u s
Re dee m e d b y th e D a ne n ira F ort blown u p Th e Office

th e
rs o f

Eu rop e a n E s ta blis h m e
s — —

nts pp 1 1 9 1 40 .

C HAPTER VI I I
THE D U TC H -
KO M E ND A WA R
1 6 9 4 To 1 69 9

e C p Ph illip W bewe
V oya g of ta in eA i d Fe Wi e b t n ss n a n tu
e e Ag O ge de e
nn
d O be
a s— ar —
a

F G
o rt— F pl nt o f k or t ut r a

e D h K e K be D e fe f e
ov rnm u na— ra n u n r —

of th d w
u tc J D oh n at o th u tch

Ab i ee e de ke
-
om n a a r— a s—

g i i F b g d C l i
o t a t o ns — f Vr
Le
o rt v ort a tta c

p ee heid Siegef D eF t T e
n n ur —
onc u s o n o

F d ort E gli h ix cov h


Se e d db e d T eh e
ac n s
k d i p l de y f he

y s a am —
o or —

F o rt a t E gli h t
eE gli h de depe F R y l e e
on un r an u rn —
r ac r o n s

d D
an u tch - Th n d s tra m a o n— ort o a r stor

pp 1 4 1
1 -
54

CHAPTER IX
THE G OLD C OAS T A T THE L O SE O F THE S EVE N TE E NTH
C

C E NT U RY

1 7 00

e eC
N a tiv Sta t dition of th e garrisons Unh e a lth in ss of th eclim a te e
Wild a nim a l s E le p h a nt killed in E lm ina Arm s of th e na tive
s— on —

e
Fo rts d am a g d by l igh tning Th e Tra d e e
— —
s —

G o ld Tra d goods
I nte
rl op e De s crip tio n o f th eF orts a nd Se ttle Th e S l av e e
— — —

nts
Tra dePira cy
rs —
m —

pp 1 5 5 1 7 7
— —
.
CONTENTS

PART I I I

THE R I SE OF A S HA N TI
1 700 T o 1 80 3

CHAPTER X
THE AS H A N T I S

1 7 00
betwe e n th e Ash a ntis a nd th e Fa ntis Th e Ash antis oft n e
e
Contra st
d Mu ch of th h o stil ity towa rds th e
a bu s e a nd m a ny o f th e

ch a rge a re e e

m

s a g a inst th m u nj u stifi d pp 1 8 1 1 9 1 .

CHAPTER X I
THE E A RLY HI STORY OF AS HA NTI
1 7 00 TO 1 73 1
F ou nda tion o f th e e
Ah Th eAh i kingdom R ign o f O sa i Tu tu —
ef h e N e f E l i C leTh e
a nti ant

Deke w
s —
s

C p tu r t ot a st

De f O
n ra a r— a o or m na —

A i Ak
s h antw T A
im k A b a th sai u tu — tta c
he e ked by h e D h C pe
- ar— o on na m a o

F or t— TA ii Fr n ch C at a tta c t u tc oa s t

b b de d by F e h e e h eB deb ge lee
ss n

le

a

C a st r n ch t T
he T we A f i f he
om ar a —
ra n n ur rs av

G ld C J y P ipp

t o C oas t —
oh n onn —
h s o r— f a rs o t
R oya l Africa n Com p a ny pp . 1 9 2 — 2 08

CHAPTER X I I
THE SE C OND A N G LO D UT C H WA R -

1 73 1 To 1 80 3

e
R igns of ei d O i K j h e
Osa i Op oku Os a i K w Af i C T

p y f Me le k e d b he F eh
an can
C pe
,
s sa u o— r om

C Cr ch a nts— oa st a st a tta c y t
D h W be we eE gl d d
an r nc

by h e
o a

i
I nv a s f Ap ll onia t u tc t
he
on o n n an an

ef f
o —
ar

H ll d E gli h k El i
T C p T i l tu r o rts —

d M i Th e
a tta c na—
de i e D e
an

C p i M keie
o —
n s m a s o r a

of ta n f ac r com m tt at an s

eed h e i Se lee R e
a nz or a m u r or —

xt n t g f O i Kw tt i d O ints— i ns sa am na an

he
r m o sa

Op k I I P i i fA i d di i f ff i
t on G ld s h a nt a n t on t
e ey
con a rs on

h el ef ee igh e
o u —
os o o a o

C t
oa s at t c os pp o 9 th
34 t nth c ntu r . 20 —2
CO NTENTS xx v

PA R T I V
THE WA R S B E TWEE N THE EN GLI S H A N D
A S HA N TI S

I 80 3 To 1 8 72

CHAPTER X I I I
THE FIR ST AS HA NTI W A R
1 80 3 To 1 80 7

e
R ign of Osa i e
Tu tu K wa m ina ee
Distu rba nc s in A ss in— Tr a ch rou s
de e e

o f Ash a nti a m b a ss a do rs— Adv anc o f th Ash a nti a rm y


T e he
m ur rs

y f Ak
r ac F ligh f Ch ib d p ti A i l f t A

fee A
r o um an rr va

De

o u u a — o

an Ah i K
a nt i b F t
at orm a nt n— of

Pligh f h eg i
s

Ne p eeT eh e
y a rm nc na m a o or

t g i i
t f f
C l e
o t at o n s

eT eC ei he
o arr s on— ac r ac

d f he
y or —
r o

lT w F

e
o on onv nt on— En t urt

f lp e e
orra n —

eAb li i f th eSl e
o rra n

d g fC l e
s o a r— r

di g l in
e
s ra c u ro c s o o on T orra n —
o t on o av

Tra d pp . 2 3 7— 2 5 7

CHAPTER X IV
THE S E C OND A S HA NTI W A R
1 80 8 To 1 813

e
E fi cts ew
of Th e
th bl k def E l i Th eF i kA na — a nt s a tta c ccra

Mee ge f eK g f A h Th ee d A h
ar— oc a o m

th i in a nti— a nt

d f he
s co n

R el he

ss n rs ro m o s s

inv a s ion Aki d Akw p i of En t inva

pe p leM de
t t
L wle e f h e
vo m s an o

he

a m s—

i d ig
T A of tta t
e by eEl i M de M V dep ye
s on— o n s —
a ss n s s o o —
ur r

f D h G u tc th r of

Wi e
an

e M de f M Me edi h b y e
o a ov rno r m na s— ur r. r u

by Ath b Bi h t th nn tis
ege eI e ffe
ccra s —
ur r o r . r a s— r

v n a nc ts ppct58 7 2 2 2
— -
.

CHAPTER XV
THE T HIRD AS HA NT I W A R
1 813 TO 1 816

Akim s a nd Akwa pim s a tta c eA


k T e
th hi d A h ti i h t an n

wee h eE gli h d A h ti
ccra s— s

be
r

eh e
va sio n— Co m m u nica tions t t n an an

he
n s

ew i ep
s s

F E gli h i pof to t
ifi e h e m l e
E nd of th rs t a tt m ts t n m rov

p leP eei f h
s

pe
ar—

nt on o T tra in s av s

e
u m an sa cr c s— o

W e
o —
r v

b F
inn b il a . ort r u t pp . 2 73- 2 85
CO NTENTS

CHAPTER XV I
TR E ATY W I T H AS HA NTI
1 8 16 To 1 818

Em ba ssy to Ku m bj e I ts eep i Diffi y b


t on e cu lt ou t th
e
as i— I ts cts
e T ediffi l y b
r c

e I peee M J
o — —
a

of h cu t ou t th
e F ed iffi e h e
N ot t nc
d R ell f M J
ncom am s— a

N e
r

ep l i e
s— .

u r th cu lti s T
id e ell W be we
e
ot s

ety B i i h R e
x a n —
ca o r . am s

r —

tr K ts nt in i H is ca t n

e
a —
r s u m as —
r -
ar

A h ti j d l
a nd R i icu in Cap C oa st— Ash anti
le K e
s an am an— o u s ru m o u rs

am b d i
a ss ad d
ors ns u t at om n a pp . 2 8 6- 3 02

CHAPTER XVI I
THE TR EAT Y BRO K E N B Y THE E N G LI S H
1 8 19 To 1 8 20

Appointm e nt o f Mr D u p u is Me ss e
n gers from th e King Th e Kin g
cla im s re dres s on th e ngth o f th e
s tre tre Th e j u stice
— —
.

a ty o f h is

S m ith s atte m p ts to e va d eth e tre


de Mr Hop e

m a nd s

a ty

S l ave

.

tra ding a t Accra pp 3 0 3 3 1 8 .


CHAPTER XVI I I
C ON S U L D U P U I S TR E ATY ’

1 8 20 To 1 82 1

Mr D u pu is visits eN e h eKi g
Ku m a si D ifficu lty bou t th ot s T n

i de d f eG e A e ey
.

a —
s

j ifi i
u st fcat o n o w h th tr at

g e d T eey e jee e C d
m an ov rno r— n

d by h e
s ro m

si n h G tr f f i
at ct t itio n fa
M i he e l e P e

r ov rno r- on o a rs

Sk hirm is C w at T s contro of th o ss ss ions

th e e f ef

or —
ro n a ss u m
on G ld C A o oa st—
pp 3 3 rm am nts o th orts . 19— 33

C HAPTER XI X
THE O U TBR EA K O F THE FO U RTH AS HA NTI WA R
1 82 2 To 1 8 24

Arriva l ofeM C E l e t p Se
Sir Ch arl ef
ge
arth y— nt of
e
i

b T ee ge e ee
nro m
d E pe
s roo s— zu r o a

A ant at di i
nam a h a nt cu t t on to
D kw Th e e e e Fi d e h e f
s r o- s r x —
x

A j i G n th nt— rst ta c
eh e
un ccras nt o
Ri e
ov rnm

E pe
a—

Se d
o m

Ah is P
ant s cross s di i E ik t v r r a— x t on to ss um a —
con
C O NTEN TS

CHAPTER XX I I I

G OVE R N OR MA C L EA N ’
S T R EAT Y A ND G OVE R NMEN T
1 8 3 0 To 1 83 7

Appointm ent of Capta in Ma cl a n Condition o f th e cou ntry Mac e


e e ee e e

le

N g otiations for p ac Ma cl an s tr aty '

e e e

ch ara ct r
His gov rnm e nt I m prov e e
d con dition of th pe op l and incre
an s — —

as d

tra deAp o llo nian Exp e e


atrociti s dition to Apollonia Wa r


b twe e e Arrival o f m is sionarie
— — —

n Ku m a si and j a bin s pp 405 42 5 — .


CHAPTER XX I V
MA C L EAN S A D M I N I S TR A T IO N A TTA CK E D

A ND VI NDI CA T E D
1 8 3 7 To 1 84 3

L E L Hedeh Di b e B t i ee vi i
at stu r at Fr

ee g i M le C pl i t g i hi
. . .

r —
a nc u r —
m an s s ts to
K i p t Fals nst
D e l e
u m as —
r or s a a ac a n— om a n s a a nst s

d ii n stra tion—
ti y C p y fig t t K ti h
i i ee ef E
c s av r
App i e i e
a m om s —
_
om an a orm an n

th e
C t f
e
ss o n r s nt ou t— ntm C om tt
q i y M le i d i d T e ee

om m o n o a m o u

u r — l C w ac an v n l ca t -
h ro n r su m s contro of

G old Coa st pp .
4 2 6 —
45 1

CHAPTER XXV
D I STU R B A N C ES ON T HE C OAST
1 844 To 1 849

Bond Murd e A i A C figh El i


r of a n s h a nt in ssin—

S l e di g
ts

p om any at m na
d A Mi Aw
ssio n

P i ee
D h
i be
an to
ge
ccra — i
ie d De f M le G e Wi ie
a om —
av tra n in u na— F ort
nz nst n

pe
ath

Ap ll i e E e e
r s ac an— ’
o ov rnor tt s

nn
d Hi
on a n K d ition s vis it to u m as i—

Re
o ff cts of

b e M ke
x i —
u ca t on
and i i lg
Chr stia n d m iss ons— i iou s istur at

E p i e f fe
a nc s an s im
R A
io t b S b i
at Ad na m a o— ti h u m ss ion of u -
x os 1r o s

pp 45 2 -
47 3
C O NTENTS

CHAPTER XXV I
T HE P O LL TA x

1 850 To 1 8 59

e e f e ld
Gov ent o ed f th f Sie Go
LeeP
rnm h Co a s t arat t at o

h e eD i P ei Th eP ll T
p s rom rra
on urc a s of th a n sh

e ld C ig e

o s s ss ons — o ax

ti f A si A i
e ev de
th Go
Th e
Form ti i oa st Cor s h an ntr
d Wi d w l f e A h ti E e
a on o s— u n ss n
p
P rot ctorat in th th an cu
ii E e
a —
ra a o s s — x

i
t on f K j Ch ib K b f B ti h a nd ina G ab x t ns ion ri s

P y e ei e d Di b e
o u o

e
u o r —
o

j i di ti c on— nt o f th P011 T ax r s st stu r anc s at

e
ur s a

b d e
m —

Ch i i b g B
r st ans L b di hi d Ch i nt o f

b g Th e
T r stians

K b e e C pe
or — om ar m a a , s an

or
y figro o r C t b llion Com p a n ht at a oas
— ~

Pp 474 5 00
-

CHAPTER XXV I I
THE FIFTH AS HA NTI W A R
1 8 60 To 1 8 64

E arth qu ak eM eG ld C C p P pe diti
u tiny o f th oa s t

f he i f gi i ei he P e teTh e

o or s— ros rou s con on

ty A h i
e
t t a nt tv t rot

e di i de de
cou n
d d e f e
n c ora
d Pe
o r — s u s — r

C e
x tra t on i f w Ad a ra t ons

f th e lef E k e
m an an r us r or ar— vanc
p

Ah i y B ant M j h att ss i u m a

et e B ttlef B b k W h d w l f th e
o s a rm —
o —
a or o ran s

r at— A h ti i it
eG e Pi ep p l
r a o o u m a— ra a o s an s

pl i g i tM j C ’
C a nts a o ch ra n

eG ld C t C p disb de
a ns ov rnor n
A i l f C l e
om a or —
s ro osa s

l C d Th
E pe th e Si k e g t h e p Th e e
rr va o o on o nra n— o oa s or s an

di i P H
G e e
t on to t troo
ep e
x ra— c n ss am on s s— om

t t p
ov rnm n s o s pp 5th 53 o ra tion s . 01 - 0

CHAPTER XXV I I I
EFF E CT S OF THE W A R
1 86 5 To 1 8 67

ee App ointm e nt o f a P ar lia m e


ntary Com m itt e
e
e
Com iss ion nt ou t—
e
el h e I ts l oca l effe
m r s

R volt of Aggri R iot at


e
R su t of t nqu iry cts

e
Cap Coast Com pa ny figh ts a t S e
— — —

kondi Kom nd a a nd Mu m ford


l e Conran s pe ace ee

,

l
Co on pro cl a m a tion A tt 1npt d Com pany
'

e
h t at Cap Coa st S e e
— —

fig ditiou s co ndu ct of Ortabil Th A wu na


De portation of Aggri G o v e e e
— —

w y D ath
m or B la ckall s tr at

of Osa i Kwaku Du eD isturba nce



ar — s —

s in Ku m a s i
pp 5 3 1 5 5 6
— —
.
C HAPT ER XX I X
THE A N GLo - D UT C H E"C HA N G E O F T E R R I T ORY
1 86 7 T o 1 86 8

N e
g
otia tions eD E
with th ge ei y Obj ei u tch — x ch a n of t tor ct o ns of

epele e ef e e K ed b b de
rr —

th R sistancd th K om nd a S —

e i C fedeti e e f El i A k e
op — o om n a om ar

e w h he
Th F a nt I nv s tm nt o ttac th
P l e El i
on ra on— m na— on

to w
n— a av rs Aw at m na— Tr a ty it t u nas

PP 5 5 7 5 75
-

CHAPTER XXX

THE AS HA N T I I N VAS I O N O F K R E P I A ND THE D UT C H -


K O ME N D A
WA R

Ash anti p lans e e


invas ion Kr pi d d Mr Sim pson s m ission
inv a ’

e e
of

ee e e
— —
.

Tr a ch ry o f th A k wam u s— Ca ptu r of G rm a n m issionari s


e e e ey e e
_ _

Ba ttl of K w sikru m — Ca ptur o f Du tch prison rs b th Ko m n


e e e
d a s Bom bardm nt o D f i ce A tj m p on s a trociti s— His a r
i

Ap h y f e
— x ov —

i l i El i
r va n D h
m na—pp 5 7 6 5 at o th u tc ,

93

C HAPTER XXX I
N E G O T I AT I O NS W I T H THE D UT C H AND AS H AN TI S
1 8 70 To 1 872

Policy o f th eGov e rnm e nt re garding th e Ca ptive E u rop ans Hosta ge e


give n for th ir s afe e
ty Ex ch a nge prisone Ne
s -

of gotia tions for


th e purch ase o f th e Du tch S e ttle m e A tj ie

rs —

nts m p on s con du ct in
E lm ina Ash a nti cl a im to Elm ina Me e

ting with th e

Du tch pro
te cted Chie fs Arre st of A tj ie Ba ttle
— —

of D u fi o I s la n d
Alle ged renu nciation of th e
— m p on —
~

As h anti claim to Elm ina Disp o sition


o f th e Elm ina s R e m ova l o f A tj ie

— m p on
pp 5 9 4 6 1 3 ,

CO NT ENTS

CHAPTER XXXI I
THE FA N T I C ONF E D E RAT ION
1 87 1 To 1 872

Th eigi f h e
or F iC
n o fe
de i
t fi f a nti d bj e ra t on— I ts rst orm a t on a n cts
eA N i e E ly e f he
on

C fede i
o

Th l i F t a nti

eG e e A C
at v

fe
de
ccra ra t o n— at o ns o
~
on ar r

C on wi ra tio n i d w pth th nt onstitu t on

he Hee
n u

e P pe
ov rnm —
ra

A ction o f t
Ad G pi i
m I nistra tor—

he
n on
ee
y ov rno r o nn ss s o

P li o l l
cy o f t o ca
PP G ov rnm nt

CHAPTER XXXI I I
THE TR A N S F ER OF THE D U TC H S ETTL EM E N T S

I n stru ctio ns of th e
H e
ef h e
G e et
D h f Tra ns f t u tc orts

M de Liee J T ede
ov rnm n

p e
om —
r o

R io tEl iat na dK g r of ut na nt oo st— h in


e e d E e e dee R de de
m —
ur os

in sta t f d f
cu tion o th
ei ie G e Heey p l Ci il w i
r —
x m ur r rs— a ns om m an or

th ssiona r ov rnor nn ss icy n

C p i Dye i
m s —
s o —
v ar

Ap ll E d y fii A x im

e f d p ei eE e D i A i e

onia ta n ssion— x traor inar a r at

S ele
o —
a r sm a

tt nt o is ut s th a st rn istr ct, tc

p ie e l
n ss n ,

S e e eK i C l e de
m .

in th d ou nci — Th t R
Th e p i ee elle
ra nsom

A j e
c n u m as os —
m ov a

of ti F d Di ca t v s s nt om ana ca

e C peC
on— r s
p

m

turb a nc at a 6 6 4 o ast 2 — 6 9
A HI STO R Y O F T HE G O L D
C O A ST A N D A S HA N TI

CHAPTER I

THE ORI G IN OF THE G OLD C OAST TRIB E S

THE country now known as the Gold Coast includes ,


a p . 1

not only the Colony proper but also Ashanti and a small
,

portion of the Southern Soudan known as the Northern


Territories I ts coast line extends from Newtown on the
.
-

west to Afl a o on the east and in addition to the Gold


, ,

Coast as geographically defined includes a part of the,

Slave Coast to the east of the River Volta I t is only .

within comparatively recent times that the greater part


o f this area h a s been included within the sphere o f influence

or been visited and explored by Europeans who for many , ,

centuries never penetrated more than a few miles into the


,

interior .

The history o f the country lying along the coast line


e
-

is fairly well known for on European nation or another


has held trading settlements there for over five hundred
years and the works o f several writers remain giving a
, ,

more or less complete account o f different periods Such .

discrepancies as occur between them are mainly attribut


able to international j ea lousies for they were written at a
time when several nations were on the coast together con
e
,

tending the on against the other for the trade and regarding
each other a s interlopers I n these circumstances it is
.
,

not altogether unnatural that each writer S hould incline


towards that version o f any particular occurrence which
redounds most to the credit of h is own race Apart from .
O R IGI N O F TH E COAS T TR I B ES

C HA P . 1 these works t here are no written records The local h is .

tory howe ver h a s always been handed down verbally


e
, ,

from on generation to another t h rough t he Linguists and


e
,

such are their pow rs o f memory that these accounts ha v e


been found remarkably accurate in those cases in which
they could be checked by the written records They are .

always entitled to consideration an d may usually be a c

ee
,

c p t d as reliable s o far as the incidence and sequence of


events are concerned and there is seldom any difficulty
,

in fixing the approximate dates by other contemporary


occurrences .

The records left by Europeans do not commence ti ll


the latter part of the fourteenth century and none o f them ,

have left any account of any statemen t s that may then


have been ma de t o them by the people a s to their pas t
history Very li t tle is known therefore about the origin
.
, ,

o f these tribes and such accoun ts a s hav e been handed


'

down and are current among them at t he present time are


purely traditionary The Gold Coast African however
.
, ,

seldom emigrates He will make long j ourneys for p ur


.

poses of trade and may stay away for years but he always ,

tends to return to h is original home The Linguists and .

better class people from whom these traditionary accounts


-
,

of past e v ents are obtained belong to families w hich have ,

had their home in one and the same place fro m time im
memorial Am ong such a people tradition h a s a far
.
,

greater v al ue t han among less settled races for places and ,

natural obj ects connected with their pas t history are con
s tantly before their eyes and assist in preser v ing the story
,

from generation to generation .

The general sum of these traditions is that the Fantis ,

Ashantis Wassaws and in fact all the Twi speaking or


e
-
, ,

Akan peoples , were originally on tribe They were a .

pastoral race and inhabited the open country beyond the


forest belt and farther north th a n Salaga A northern and .

lighter skinned people which is commonly s upposed to


-
,

have been the Ful a nis com menced to encroach o n their


e
,

territory and being stronger than they sei zed their cattl
, ,

and young women and made m any of the others slaves .


AS HANTI S AN D FANTI S

After a time the Akans began to migrate in small parties


, ca n . 1

into the forest where they built little villages and lived in
,

hiding As time went on the number of these forest


.
,

e
dwelling fugitives increased until in the course of many , ,

years th ir numbers became very considerable Their


, .

oppressors then h eard o f them and made se veral attempts


to conquer and enslave them but were unable to fight in ,

the dense forest and tiring of their want of success


, , ,

eventually left them unmolested Living in peace the .


,

people continued to increase and gradually extended ,

farther south until they had populated the forest belt and
eventually reached the coast .

The subdivision of the united Akan race into its main


bra nches the Fantis and Ashantis is variously accounted
, ,

for. The split however seems to have occurred long


, ,

before the coast line was reached and while the principal
-

settlements were in the country north of the River Pra


e
,

the present Adansi and around T kim a n O ne story very


, .

plausibly explains that the constant raids of their northern


enemy w h o b u rned all the farms reduced the Akans to
, ,

great straits for food Some o f them subsisted on a wild .


plant named fan and others o n a plant named S han
, ,

and thus gained the names F ah d ti and Shan d ti - —

( d ti to eat ) The former subsequently migrated farther



.

south and the latter remained in the more northerly dis


,

tricts o f the forest But though this story accounts for


.

the names Fanti and Ashanti and it is worthy of note —

that the initial A of the latter is not pronounced


by the people it fails to explain why they separated

.

Another account says that a section of the people dis


liked the King and conspired to poison him The names .

o f the two tribes are derived from the names o f the foods

they o ffered to him The Fantis are said to have gathered


.

fan and the Ashantis a poisonous herb called asun


or as u an which with the verb
, tsiw ( to gather )
, ,

give the deri vation of these names The King discovering .


,

what the Ashantis had done naturally favoured the Fantis ,

but they were n ot strong enough to withstand the j ealousy


and oppressio n of the former wh o ultimately drove them ,
O R IGI N O F TH E C O AST TR I B ES

ca n . 1 from t he country Yet another version of this story says


.

that a quarrel arose among the people wh o divided i n t o


e
,

two fac t ions on of which migra t ed farther south


,
They .

became known a s the Fa tsiw fu meaning a portion of - -


,

the people who had cut themselv es off from the main body ,

and t he others were called Asua tsiw fu meaning the - —


,

people wh o did not hearken because they refused to lis t en


e
,

to th ad vice of t he King when he w anted to restore peace


and prevent the As hantis from driving the Fantis away .

The Fantis s a y that they found the forest uninhabited ,

and some of them set t led there founding the village of ,

Kwaman but the maj ority pushed on till they reached t he


coast They are said to have been led by three chiefs
.

O sun Obu rnu m a Kuma and Od ap agan They found t he


,
.

sea board inhabited by two t ribes the A sib u s and Etsiis


-
, ,

who united to oppose the new comers Kormantin is -


.

said to ha v e been the princip al t own of t he A sib u s and


e
,

their Chief A m a nfi wh o is said to have be n a gian t led


e
, , ,

them against th Fantis defea t ed them and compelled


,

them to pay him tribute La t er however they organized a


.
, ,

rebellion and dro v e the A sib u s in t o the bush but A m anfi , ,

wh o was su ffering from guinea w orm in h is legs an d could -

no t escape was found in h is house and pu t to death


, The .

Elminas are said t o ha v e come to the coast at a later da t e ,

and to be an off shoo t of the Ashantis which w ould account


-
,

for the fact that while the latter have alw ays been the foes
o f the Fantis their relations with the Elm inas have been
,

uniformly friendly .

How much truth there may be in these accoun ts it ,

is impossible to say but vague and uncertain t hough


they may be they are nevertheless no t unreasonable and
, , , ,

are probably very fairly correct The Fulanis are known .

e
to ha ve been mi grating in a southerly direc t ion for cen
tu ri s and the Arabs had e v en prior to t he el venth cen
, , e
tury founded s t ates in the interior of Africa one of the
, ,

chief of which was Ghana which is belie ved to have been


,

near the present site of Soko t o The country o f Wangara .

belonged to this s t a t e and though this name is now con


, ,

fined to a country quite dis t inct from Ashanti the Ma ,


AS HANTI S AN D FANTI S

h om e
d in Kumasi in 1 8 2 1 told Mr Dup u is , t he Briti s h
a ns . C HA P . I

Consul that Ashan t i was a part of W angara According


, .

to the Ar ab his t orians the coun t ry to t he sou t h of Wangara


,

was ca lled Lam lam and was inhabited by a race o f sa vages


e
-
, ,

e
whom the people li ving round t he Nig r used to hunt and
sell into slav ery I t is moreo v er well kno wn tha t th
e
.
, ,

Mah om d ans have only been able to conquer in coun t ries


e
where they could u s cavalry which would have been ,

quite impossible in the dense fores t of Ashan t i and might ,

easily account for t heir lack of success agains t t he A kans


wh o fled thither
e
.

I n Winneba and some other plac s on the coast a lan ,

gu age is still spoken whi ch is quite distinct fro m Twi


e e
.

This langua g is grad u ally dying ou t bu t it may well o w


e
,

its origin to that of th tribes wh o were li ving o n the coast


line at the time of t he Fanti imm igration As suming the
e
.
.

tra dition al accoun t of their conqu st to be subst a ntially


correct it by no means follo ws that they were ex t erminated
,
.

I t is far more probable that they would hav e been required


e
to pay tribut to the Fantis and if this was so , the natural
e
, ,

conservatism of the A ffican would be qui t e suffici nt to


account for their language and perhaps some o f their
customs having lingered in those part s of t he coast where
they settled The di fferent languages of the Accras and
.

A p ollo nia ns o n the other hand are to be accoun t ed for by


, ,

t he fact that they are believed to be immigr ants from th e


S lave and I vory Coas t s rather than tru e nati v es of the
Gold Coast The Accras at least h ave nev er succeeded in
.

establishing themsel ves in t he true forest districts ; and


the fact that the count ry now occupied by the Fantis was
e
at on time inhabi t ed by a very p rimi t i v e race is proved
by the discovery of a number o f stone weapons a nd im
plee
m nts .

The only argu men t t hat could be addu ced to refute


t he general truth of t hese traditions is the fac t t hat the
Portuguese when t hey firs t settled on t he Gold Co as t in
,

e
1 4 8 2 found the people alr ady grouped in t o separa t e petty
,

kingdoms and t ribes and the ques t ion h as been raised


whether four and a half centuries would afiord s u ffi
O RI GI N O F TH E C O AS T TRI B ES

ca n . 1 cient time for the migration through the forest and the
form ation of these tribal distinctions Each of these little .

states however most probably arose from the settlement


e
, ,

o f on o f the more powerful families of the immigrants

with their dependents ; for the family or patriarchal


system is the fundamental principle of the Akan con
s titu tion .

Another point in favour of a belief in the common


origin of the Fantis and Ashantis is the existence among
them of a number of definite families At the present .

time it is impossible to say what their ori ginal number


may have been I t is certain however that some of
.
, ,

them are of very much greater antiquity than others which ,

are believed to be o ff shoots from the parent stock due to


-

quarrels or some other cause The principal families are .

the Twida n ( Leopard ) Nsonna ( Bush cat ) K wo nna ,


-
,

( Bu ffalo ) I ntwa ( Dog) A no nno ( Parrot ) A b ra dzi ( Plan


, , ,

tain ) A bru tu ( Corn stalk ) A ppia di ( Serv ant ) and Yoko


,
-
,

( Red earth ) There are several others but these are


.
,

generally acknowledged to be the oldest The animals .

and other obj ects from which they derive their names are
commonly held sacred by their members The name was .

probably given as a descriptive title to the original head


o f the family a common practice among most primitive

peoples but in course of time the fact that it wa s merely


the name of an individual has been lost sight of and later ,

generations have come to regard these a nim a ls a s their


actual ancestors or as the tutelary deities or the homes of
,

the tutelary deities of their families .

Members of these families are found among Fantis


and Ashantis alike and it would be difficult to find any
,

explanation of this fact unless it is admitted that these


e
tribes were at o n time living together a s o n united people e .

Many of these names too seem to belong to an older , ,

dialect for they are not those in common use among the
,

Fantis at the present day Moreover though the members .


,

o f these clans are now s o widely scattered a certain brother


,

hood still exists among them and the customary laws in ,

use among all the Akan peoples though va rying slightly ,


O R IGI N O F TH E C O AS T TRI B ES

C HA P . 1 and their rule became so tyrannical and obnoxious


people that their authority was expressly limited .

In addition to the Akans there are a number of other


e
,

tribes more especially in th Northern Territories about


, ,

whose origin little o r nothing is known and there are also


many colonies of Hausas and Fulanis scattered about the
country but though something more is known of their
,

early history they are only aliens in the land and cannot
,

legitimately be included among the tribes of the Gold


Coast.
CHAPTER I I

THE G OLD C OA S T A ND THE A N C I E NT S

WH E TH E R the Gold Coast was known to the Ancients o r ca n


no t, is a question to which it is impossible at this day to , ,

give a decided answer but there is a certain amount of

e
evidence which tends to j ustify the belief that it was
e
.

The greatest navigators of early times wer the Ph o ni


cia ns but a s none o f their writings have been preserved
, , ,

the exact extent of their voyages and discoveries is doubt


ful and there is very little mention of them in the writings
,

o f other nations This fact is easily accounted for by the


e
.

j ealousy of the Ph c nicians wh o carefully guarded all


,

information connected with their navigation and trade


as State secrets Consequently when Tyre was conquered
.
,

by Alexander and Carthage by Rome these records were ,

lost for ever We know however that they made frequent


.
, ,

voyages in the Mediterranean wh ich were often extended ,

along the Atlantic coast of Africa or to the British I sles ,

and that they founded colonies o n the African coast ,

beyond the Straits of Gibraltar as early as to 8 00 ,

B C
. . But it is quite certain that they would never have
attempted such colonization o f new countrie s until they
had by frequent voyages become fairly well acquainted
, ,

with their seas and coasts .

Knowing therefore that these ancient t nicia ns


were in the habit of sailing down the western coas t of
Africa the only question to be settled is how far these
,

voyages extended There are two passages in Herodotus


.

whi ch point to the possibility of their having reached the


Gold Coast or its neighbourhood H e states that the .

Carthaginians say there is a region of Libya ( Africa )


G O LD C O AST AN D TH E ANC I ENTS

C HA P . beyond the Pillars of Hercules ( J b u Za tou t and Gib e


ra ltar
) which is inhabited and that when they g o there

to trade they land and having deposited their go ods on


, ,

the beach return on board their ships and make a great


,

smoke in order to attract the attention o f the natives .

The latter then come down to the shore and place the gold
they are willing to give in exchange opposite the heaps
o f merchandize and go away The traders then land
.

again and if they are satisfied with the amount o ffered ,

take the gold and leave the goods and then sail away ;
but if they think the price too small they go o n board ,

again and wait for it to be increased .

N ow a similar method of trade is mentioned by two


other writers Aluise de Cada Mosto a Venetian was
.
, ,

sailing from V enice to Flanders in 1 4 5 5 when he heard of ,

the great profits made by the Portuguese in the African


trade under Prince Henry the N avigator These were .

stated to be sometimes 700 or even as much as


per cent H e therefore determined to make a voyage
.

down the west coast and arranged to give the Prince a


,

fourth of the profits on h is return H aving arrived at a


.

place somewhere in the neighbourhood of Cape Blanco ,

which he calls H oden he heard of a town or district named


e
,

Tr gazza ( meaning a chest bag or sack of gold ) which lay


,

some six days j ourney by land from Hoden From this


e
.

Tr gaz z a a salt trade w a s regularly carried on by means


o f caravans to Tom b u to ( Timbuktu
) and thence to Melli .

Whatever salt wa s not disposed of in Melli was taken by


carriers through a country where there were no camels
or other beasts of burden to a river the Niger There ,

he says having reached the shore or bank of The ,

Water the salt is placed in heaps each merchant s pro


, ,
'

perty by itself They wh o belong to it then retire to the


.

distance o f half a day s j ourney ; when other negroes


wh o avoid being spoken to or seen and who it is con


ee ,

j ctu r d come in bo ats from some adj acent I slands a p


,

proach the heaps of salt and having examined its quality ,

p lace a certain portion of gold on each and withdraw


O r p o ss ibly th e
, .

1
V o lta .
TH E S I LENT TRA DE

The original t raders then return if t he Deposit satisfies “


on .

their expectation they take it and lea v e the salt if no t


, , ,

they again retire witho u t removing the gold The former


, .

Negroes upon this ei t her add more gold or only take the
, ,

sal t on which t heir deposit was appro v ed This mode of .

tradin g is very ancien t among them t he truth of it h as


been attested by many of the Arab and A z anaghi merchants ,
" 1
and by other persons whose information deserves credit .

The next mention of this silent trade is made by Captain


Richard J obson wh o in 1 6 20 2 1 made a voyage to the
, ,

,

Ri ver Gambia for the express purpose of disco v ering the


gold trade mentioned by Cada Mosto He published an
e
.

account o f his v oyage in 1 6 2 3 b u t though he makes m ntio n


o f t his trade he does not seem to ha v e been writing from
,

pers onal experience of it but rather to hav e been repeat ,

e
ing what he had read in certain authors but whose names ,
” 3
he could no t recollec t Claude J ann qu in Sieur de
.
,

Rochfort wh o made a West African v oyage in 1 6 3 7 also


e
, ,

mentions the existenc of this silent trade in the neigh


bou rh oo d o f Cape B lanco The account gi v en by Hero
e
.

d otu s of this trade as carried o n by the Ph c nicia ns is


t herefore confirmed and the fact t hat paym nt wa s e
habitually made in gold is additional proof of its truth
e
.

I t do s not follow howev er that they s ailed as far as the


, ,

Gold Coast though i t is a fact that a form of this silent


,

trade is not uncommon both there and much farther down


t he coast even to the present day
, .

The second passage fro m H erodotus is of much greater


importance in this connection Abou t 6 00 B C Pharaoh . . .

Necho then King of Egypt attemp t ed to cu t a canal


,
3
,

e
from the Nile to the Red S ea but such enormous numbers
of h is labourers died a t t h is work that h was forced to
abandon it and seek some other means of s t ablish ing
_

e
communication between t hat s a and the Mediterranean e .

H e therefore provided some Ph aanicians with ships in


e
th Red Sea and ordered t hem to enter t he Mediterranean
by t he Straits o f Gibral t ar and so return t o Egypt They .

Cl a rke Astley vol 1 1 p 1 8 2


s am ewh o s le
w th e
Je
2

Th e
1
p 2 45
, . . , . , . .

3 wish King J osiah .


G O LD C OAST AN D TH E AN CI ENTS

C HA P . accordingly sailed south and o n the approach o f autumn


, , ,

landed and made a farm where they sowed corn and waited
,

to gather in the harvest This Herodotus explains wa s .


, ,

the usual practice with sailors on an African voyage .

Having thus consumed two years they in the third ,


;

doubled the columns of H ercules and returned to Egypt ,


.

Their relation may obtain attention from others but to ,

me it seems incredible for they a ffirmed that having


, ,

sailed round Africa they had the su n on their right hand
,
.
1

I t appears that though Herodotus believed that Africa


was everywhere surrounded by the sea except at Suez ,

he thought this statement that the sailors had had the s u n


on their right that is to the north wa s a mere travellers
, ,

tale As a conscientious historian however he inserted


.
, ,

it for what it wa s worth and it is very fortunate that he


,

did so ; for it undoubtedly a ffords the very strongest


evidence that the circumnavigation of Africa was actually
accomplished Either this must have been done or the
e
.
,

whole story was a pure invention of the Pho nicians who ,

tried to cover their failure by describing something mar


e
v llo u s
. But as against this latter hypothesis it must
, ,

be remembered that such an idea was so entirely opposed


to the knowledge o f those days that had they wished to ,

invent anything it is one of the very last things they


,

would have been likely to think of and S ince the holders ,

o f such unorthodox views were more often than not


punished by death it is even less likely that they would
,

h ave ventured to repeat it unless they had really seen


what they described and were convinced of its truth .

This statement alone therefore goes far to prove the


, ,

truth of their story and to j ustify the belief that they


really had rounded the Cape o f Good H ope and were
describing in perfect good faith a phenomenon which they
had actually observed but which they were unable to
,

explain Nor are any of the other details given inco n


.

sistent with this belief The time the voyage is said to


.

h ave occupied is not unreasonable and the winds and ,

currents are more favourable for the passage from east to


1
Me
lpom e
ne 42 Cla rkep l x x x vii
, , . .
PHCEN I CIA N V O YAGES

west than in the opposite direction The only real d iffi a . p .

culty is the doubt whether the ships of those days could


have successfully encountered the enormous seas which
are so frequently met with o ff the Cape of Good Hope .

I t is usual to avoid these by standing o u t to the south


e
,

but this was a course which the Pho nicians coasting along ,

in strange seas would no t have been able to adopt But


, .

though this obj ection exists it is no t sufficient to invalidate


,

the story for starting with a number of S hips it would


, ,

be quite reasonable to expect a proportion of them to get


through and it is known that they constantly sailed to
,

and maintained a regular trade with the British I slands ,

which involved the successful navigation of the Bay o f


Biscay .

Believing therefore that this voyage was indeed made


6 00 years B C it is quite possible that the Gold Coast
. .
,

may even then have been visited The ships of t h ose .

days were small and the seas unknown and it is safe to


e
,

assume that this voyage was a coasting one and that th ,

S hips never lost sight of land for more than a few days at
a time and then only if blown out to sea by storms The
e
.
,

Pho nicians would moreover have been compelled to


, ,

land and obtain fresh water and provisions at fairly


frequent intervals and it is quite possible that one or more
,

calls may have been made on the Gold Coast for this
purpose for though it is true that the landing there is for
the most part very dangerous there are several places ,

where it is nearly always easy and safe and they would ,

doubtless have been put on shore and taken o ff again


by the natives who would have come out to the ships
,

in their canoes and are well able to manage them in almost


,

any surf They might even have made their farm there
e
.
,

though this is very improbable owing to th amount of


clearing that would have been necessary I f they did in
e
.

fact visit the Gold Coast it is possible that it was th n that


,

they discovered that gold was obtainable there and ,

founded that more or less regular trade which there is


some reason to suppose at one time existed For similar
e
.

reasons we must admit the possibility at any rat that , ,


G O LD C OAST AN D TH E ANCI ENTS

C RAP . II the Gold Coast may have been visited by others of the
Phoenician explorers who sailed along the West African
coast but of whose exploits no record has been preserv ed
,
.

There seems to be no doubt that at this time the , ,

belief that Africa was a peninsula had gained general


acceptance and that the theory of Hipparchus which
e
, ,

confined each s a in its separate basin was only formulated ,

after all recollection of these earlier discoveries had died


ou t I t was then that such fragmentary accounts of the
e
.

Ph c nicia n voyages as survived came to be discredited


e
.

I n the reign of Xerxes S a tasp s a Persian nobleman and


, ,

a nephew of Darius was condemned to death for some


,

crime but h is mother prevailed upon Xerxes to commute


h is sentence on conditio nthat he should sail round Africa
until he reached Arabia S atasp s accordingly s t ou t
. e e ,

and passing the Pillars of Hercules and 8 01015 turned ,

towards the south According to H erodotus


. after ,
1

continuing his Voyage for several months in which he


e
,

passed over an immense tract of s a he saw no probable ,

termination of his labours and therefore sailed back to ,



Egypt . O n his return to the Court o f Xerxes with his
1

task uncompleted he gave as his reason for turning back


,

that it was impossible to make the circuit o f Africa as h is ,

vessel was totally unable to proceed Xerxes however .


, ,

was not the man to be put o ff with excuses o f this kind ,

and the original sentence was at once carried out and the
e
unfortunate S a ta sp s crucified Antonio Galvano writing .
,

in the sixteenth century gives the date of this voyage


e
,

as 4 8 5 D C and says that S a ta sp s reached the Cape of


. .
,

Good H ope though it is not very clear on what grounds


,

he bases this assertion I t is true however that several


.
, ,

months might have enabled him to get there and the ,

mountainous seas and strong currents around the Cape


might well account for his statement that h is vessel was
totally unable to proceed .

By far the most important of these ancient voyages


o f which we n ow have any record however is that o f the
, ,

Carthaginian Hanno This was undertaken when Carthage


.

1
Melpom e
ne 43 , Cl arke
.
p cii
2
, . .
G O LD C OAST AN D TH E AN CI ENTS

C HA P . covered an island in a deep bay which he colonized and ,

named Cerne H e adds that the distances from the


.

Pillars of Hercules to Carthage and to this island seemed


to him to be about equal H e seems therefore to have .
, ,

doubled Cape Blanco and to have reached the island now


known as Arguin a surm ise that is further borne o u t by
the discovery in Arguin of the remains o f the old tanks
or cisterns constructed by these Pho nician colonists e .

Proceeding farther south Hanno came to another river


ee
, ,

the Ch r t s This he entered and found that it opened


.
,

into a large lake containing several islands O ne day s .


sail beyond the mouth o f this river were some mountains ,

and still farther south another large river in which were ,

large numbers o f crocodiles and hippopotami This .

description can fairly be applied to the Rivers Senegal


and Gambia the first of which h as a large lagoon in which
, ,

there are several islands while the latter was noted for ,

the number of crocodiles and hippopotami it contained


within quite recent times The mountains he mentions
e e
e
.

as being on day s sail beyond the Ch r t s would then be


the hills around Cape Verde which though of no great , ,

height are specially noticeable on a coast that is almost


,

uniformly flat Hanno having apparently reached the

e
.
,

mouth of the Gambia then returned to Cerne for a time ,

b fore again proceeding south and it is during this second ,

part of the voyage that the principal difficulties arise in


identifying localities and that there is most reason to
,

suspect errors or omissions of time on the part of the


Greek translator .

The Periplus gives the following account of this second


portion of the voyage Sailing then twelve d ai s . e
Southerly not going farre from the Coast which was
, ,

peopled with Negroes wh o upon sight o f us fled away


e
, ,

and spake so as the Lix ita that were with u s understood


e
,

them not the last day we arrived at a Mou ntain full of


great trees the wood whereof was odoriferous and of
e
, ,

various colours H aving now coasted two d ai s by this


e e
ee
.

m o u nta in wee found a d p and troublesome race of


,

Sea on the side whereof towards the land wa s a plaine ,


PERI PLU S O F HANN O

where by night we saw fires kindled o n every side distant CR A P


e
, .

o n from the other some more some lesse Having watered


e
.

here we sailed by the land five d ai s so that we arrived


, ,

in a great B ay which our interpreters said was called


,

Hesperus his hom e ( the western born ) I n this there was .

a great I sland and in the I sland a lake which seemed a


e
, ,

s a and in this there was another I sland


, Where having
landed by day wee s aw nothing but woods but in the night
e
, ,

many fires were kindled and we heard Ph if s and the


e
,

noise and sound o f cim ba ls and dru m m s and besides ,

infinite shouts so that wee were exceedingly afraid and ,

o u r diviners commanded us to abandon the island then


swiftly sailing from thence we passed by a countrie
ee
,

smelling of spices from which some fi ri rivers fall into


e
the s a and the land is so hot that men are not able to
e
,

go in it therefore being somewhat affrighted we s u d


e
,

d nly hoised out our sailes and running along in the maine
e
,

the space of four d ai s we saw by night the countrie full


,

o f flames and in the middest an exceeding high fire


, ,

greater than all the rest which seemed to reach unto the ,

Starres but wee saw this after in the day time which
e e
,

was a very lofti m ou ntain called the Chariot of the


e ee
,

Gods But having sailed three d a i s by fi ri rivers we


e
.
,

arrived in a gulfe called Notu c ra s that is the South , ,

Horne in the inner part thereof there was a little island


like unto the first which had a lake in it and in that there
, ,

was another I sland full o f savage men but the women were
e
,

more ; they had their bodies all over h airi and of our ,

interpreters they were called Gorgones ( Gorilla ) we pur


sued the Men but could take none for they fled into preci
e
,

p ic s and defended themselves with stones but we tooke


three o f the Women which did nothing but bite and scratch
,

those that led them and would not follow them There
e
.
,

fore they killed them and fl a d them and brought their ,

skins to Carthage and because Victuals failed us we



sailed no further .
1

Th is portion o f the voyage is less easy to limit than


the earlier part and various estimates of its extent and
,

Clarke p clx x
1
, . .
G O LD C O AST AN D TH E AN CI ENTS

the positions o f the Western and Southern H orns have


been given by di fferent commentators D A nvill says .

e
the Western H orn is Cape Roxo and the Southern one
Cape St Anne or the point o f Sherbro Sound M de
.
. .

Bougainville o n the other hand fixes Cape Palmas as


, ,

the Western and Cape Three Points as the Southern H orn


ee
,

while Maj or R nn l thinks Sherbro I sland was the island


o f th e Gorilla and practically limits the extent of the
,

voyage to Sierra Leone But though there are mountains


.

here some indeed reaching a height of about


,
ft .
,

they have been pronounced non volcanic O thers again -


.

believe that H anno reached the Gaboon and Congo ;


while some geographers have argued that he never got
beyond the Moroccan coast and others even say he reached,

the Cape of Good Hope Several of these writers had no


.

personal acquaintance with the West African coast


but those who know it best incline to the belief that Hanno
reached the Cameroons even if he got no farther
,
.

Apart from the question of time there are other diffi


e
,

cu lti s ; the chief o f which seems to be to decide what


H anno himself really means by the di fferent things he says .

I n the first place there is some doubt about the meaning


,

implied by the term horn Much confusion seems to .

have arisen through some commentators having confined


this term to promontories whereas the word keras was
e
,

usually applied by the Greeks to arms of the s a A pas .

sage in Hampton s translation o f Polybius shows the sense


in which it was then used I n describing the current in .

the Bosphorus he says I t is once more hurried back


,

to Asia to the place called Bos and lastly falling back


again from Bos it directs its course towards Byzantium ,

and there breaking into eddies a small part of it winds


, ,

itself into a pool which is called the horn The islands .

mentioned in the great bay at the Western H orn were


probably low lying alluvial tracts whose conformation
-
,

would in the course of centuries be liable to very great


, ,

alterations They might even become j oined to the


.

mainland and cease to exist The island of the gorilla .

however seems to have been of a much more permanent


,
GO RGO N ES

character for precipices are mentioned in it which cer


, C HA P .

ta inly do not occur o n the alluvial islands found in lagoons


and river deltas .

Then there is the question wh ether the Gorgones men


e
tion d in the Periplus were identical with the species
e
now known as g orilla or were in reality baboons chim
e
e e
, ,

p a nz s or some other large species o f ape When th .

modern gorilla was discovered I n 1 846 it was so named


because it was believed that it was the species that had
been described by Hanno The way in which the males
.

are said to have fled up the mountains and thrown stones


is very suggestive of baboons the females o f which would
,

equally have fulfilled the conditions of biting and scratching


their captors and would moreover h ave been far more
, , ,

readily taken than genuine gorilla I n fact the capture


.

of three living and possibly full grown specimens o f the -

true gorilla would be an undertaking o f considerable


magnitude and danger even at the present day Even
e
.

assuming that these animals really were gorilla it is quite ,

unnecessary to conclude t h at the species was then con


fined vvith in the same geogra phical limits as now We
e
.

know that many African animals were common ev n ,

within the last few centuries in places where they would


,

certainly never be found at the present time Bosman .


,

writing about 1 7 00 describes h ow the tracks of thousands


,

of antelope elephants and other animals were to be seen


,

in the neighbou rhood o f Takoradi and Sekondi ; while


around Axim and the River Ankobra several elephants
were killed daily O ne indeed was killed close to the fort
.

at Accra and at least three at Elmina one of them in the ,

town itself Elephants could not now be found within


.

many days march of these places and if this change h as


occurred within the comparatively short space of a couple


o f centuries how much more may the distribution o f the
,

gorilla have been altered during a period of between two


and three thousand years The probability is however
.
, ,

tha t these Gorgones were merely baboons or chim panzees .

Then there is the distance travelled by the ships of


those times in a day s sail to be considered R nn l h as

. ee
G O LD C O AST AN D TH E AN CI ENTS

C HA P . collected several ex amples in his G ography of H rodotu s e e


giving the rate of sailing of the best constructed ships of
e
the Pho nicians Greeks and Egyptians He gives eight
,
.


ex amples and taking the mean of these a day s sail wo rks
, , ,

o u t at t h irty seven miles-


A great deal however must .
, ,

depend upon winds and currents and H anno would ,

naturally have had to regulate the speed o f his whole


fleet by t h at of his S lowest vessel so that it is impossible ,

to draw any accurate conclusions from times alone More .

over great uncertainty ex ists whether the times given in


,

the Periplus are either complete or correct O bviously .


,

then it would be very unwise to place too much reliance


,

on them as a means of fixing localities though when times , ,

are given they cannot of course be entirely disregarded


, .

Consequently with s o extensive a field for conj ecture


e
,

opened up by this question of time the possible u nc r ,

tainty about the exact meaning of the term horn and


the doubtful identification o f the Gorgones we are com
ee
,

p ll d to rely rather on the more definite physical features


mentioned and notably on th mountain of fire the island
, e ,

with precipitous hills which was inhabited by some species


o f ape , and either promontories or gulfs but preferably ,

the latter that will answer the descriptions given of the


,

Western and Southern H orns .

Now to consider the second portion o f the voyage in


greater detail Taking Cerne as having been satisfactorily
.

identified with Arguin about which there can be little ,

room for doubt and the Carthaginians having already


e
,

explored the coast as far as the Gambia we find they s t ,

ou t again from Cerne and sail south past a country in

habited by Negroes whose language the interpreters taken


e e
from th Lix ita were unable to understand This again .

clearly s h ows that they had already passed south of the


River Senegal which forms the northern limit of d is trib u
ee e
,

tion of the true N gro s w h os language would of course be


e
,

strange to the Lix ita Next they reach some mountains


.

covered with trees This is probably another reference to


.

Cape Verde for there are no other mountains except


,

D u brika until Sierra Leone is reached and this cape is s o ,


EXTENT O F TH E V O YAGE

conspicuous a point and landmark on a West African C HA P


voyage that it would not be unnatural to mention it again .

The tree covered hills of this cape from which it derives


-
,

its name are cited as a landmark by all the early voyagers


, .

V illau lt in 1 6 6 6 says
, Cape Verde is one o f the most
,

agreeable places in the world for its verdure the north ,

part is mountainous and always covered with green


trees .
” 1
e
G o lb rry who wrote an account o f his travels
,

in West Africa during 1 7 8 5 8 7 says of this spot the —


,

baobabs which are the most monstrous of all vegetables


, ,

grow here in great abundance I counted near sixty of .

them towards the point of Cape Verd among which ,

there were many of a prodigious S i z e their branches laden


with foliage give the Cape a very verdant aspect and it
, ,

is from these trees alone that it derives its name It 1

e e
.

is also given as a landmark in the M rch a nts a nd M a rin rs ’ ’


e
Africa n Gu id ( 1 8 1 9 ) which says of the hills at Cape Verde
,

that the easternmost is thickly studded with trees .
1

Having already mentioned the River Gambia H anno ,

probably would not refer to it again and the troublesome


e
,

race of the sea may be th mouth of the Rio Grande ,

which he could hardly fail to notice .

After this they come to the great bay called the Western
Horn where they land on an island but are alarmed at night
, ,

by the sounds of drumming and shouting and by fires .

This Horn at any rate is distinctly stated to have been a


bay and can hardly have been anything but the harbour
,

o f Sierra Leone which is the finest on the whole coast


,
It .

also contains several low lying alluvial islands beyond


e
e
-

Ta gr n Point The fires and sounds wh ich so alarmed the


.

Carthaginians are capable of a very simple explanation .

I t has been the custom of the natives along the whole of


this coast from time immemorial to clear land for their
, ,

farms by setting fire to the low bush and grass at the end
o f the dry season and it was probably these fires that H anno
,

saw distant one from the other some more some less ,

o r they may have been fires lit by the people to illuminate

Astle e
eh e e
1
y v ol , . ii p 3 7 6
, . . G olb rry v ol 11 p 3 7
2
, .
, . .

3
M rc a nts

a nd M arin rs

A frica n Gu id , p 1 4 . .
G O LD C OAS T AN D TH E AN CI ENTS

C HA P . 11 their dances in the evening The drumming and shouting .

m ay be heard in any African village o n a moonlight night .

After this they passed by the land from which some


ee
fi ri rivers fall into the sea and the land is so hot that
men are no t able to goe in it This so alarmed them that .

they went on fo r four days until they sighted the mountain


o f fire These fiery rivers admit of two explanation s I t
. .

was commonly believed by the earliest voyagers that the


heat in the tropics was so great that no man could live
there and that the heavy surf they saw was due to actual
,

boiling of the waves on coming in contact with the heated


sands For many years this surf was always referred to as
.

burnings and Bosman in his description o f the mouth ,

of the River V olta mentions the very high B urning of


e
,

extraordinary violence as well a s lofty Agitations of th ,



Waves and the same author when writing of the bad
,
1
,

surf on the Slave Coast says : This Port ( Fida ) is so ,

incom o diou s and dangerous ; by reason o f the horrible


Burnings in the Sea that we cannot land here without ,

running a great Risque but in April May J une and J uly , ,

the Sea burns so violently that according to the Proverb , ,

he ought to have tw o lives who ventures fo r the

e
Sea Burning is so viole nt and rolls so that a Canoa full of
-

P ople is over turned and the Canoa shattered into Splin


-


ters in a minute These statements about fiery rivers
.
1
,

therefore may merely mean that the rivers they passe d


,

had bad bars and have been inserted to explain why it was
,

that they did not enter and explore them I t may be .


,

however that the passage was intended to be taken liter


,

ally ; for when the grass is fired at the end of the dry
season the vegetation along the banks of the rivers and
streams is usually too damp to burn and remains until later ,

when if the stream h a s dried up and the grass is again


,

fired the rest of the land being already clear the appear
,
,

ance o f a veritable river of fire is produced The four .

days mentioned probably refers to the time taken after


leaving this land and not to that occupied in passing it
also which h a s been omitted and if this is so they might
,
,

1
Bosm a n, p 32 8
. .
2
I bid .
, p .
337 .
G O LD C O AST AN D TH E ANCI ENTS

GHA P . course of a few centuries Now the number of really per .

manent islands in this part of the world is very limited and ,

the choice o n this particular part of the coast is reduced


to two Fernando Po and Corisco
,
The former lies too far .

o u t to sea to have been described by Hanno as being in a

gulf but Corisco standing in the entrance to Corisco Bay


, , ,

is a rocky wooded island wit h some small precipitous


,

cliffs along its shore and with mountains lakes and minia ,

ture rivers inland I n fact it answers the description


.

admirably .

Now t h ere is nothing in all this voyage to show that


Hanno ever landed on the Gold Coast in fact if its ,

ex tent has been correctly estimated he seems to have been ,

too alarmed by the surf or bush fires that he s a w even to


have touched there to water his ships The account .
,

however is of very great importance because it is the only


e
, ,

on that has been handed down to u s and because what , ,

ever its actual extent it shows the enterprising c h aracter


,

o f the t nicia ns and proves that they had seriously


,

turned their attention to West Africa Their explorations .

were made primarily for the purpose o f extending their


trade and it is quite certain that after achieving so much
, ,

as at the very lowest estimate was done by Hanno they


, , ,

would have followed up this first success by further voyages ,

and have endeavoured to open up communication and


trade with the natives They would then have received .

gold and ivory in exchange for their merchandize and , ,

once they learned that these were obtainable on the coast


and in very considerable quantities nothing would have ,

been left undone to foster and extend so profitable a trade .

A very few voyages would have sufficed to show them that


gold was most abundant on the Gold Coast and the bulk ,

o f their trade would then have gone there Therefore .


,

though no accounts of any further voyages are now extant ,

it is no t at all unreasonable to believe that they were made .

There is h owever other evidence o n the Gold Coast


, ,

itself which supports this belief in an ancient trade with


a maritime people There are on the Gold Coast certain
.

peculiar beads locally called Aggri beads though the


, ,
V O YAGE O F E U D O XUS

natives can give no meaning to the word These beads are C H A P .

highly prized and commonly valued at their weight in


. e
gold Th natives assert that they find them in the ground ,

and it is noteworthy that they have only been found in


the western part of the Colony where the best known gold ,
-

producing districts have always been nor have they been


found at any great distance inland Their manufacture is a .

lost art Many attempts have been made to counterfeit them


.

o n account o f the high value set upon them by the natives ,

but easily detected imitations have been the only result .

They are of di fferent colours eit h er plain or variegated , ,

and some have small flowers or other patterns worked on


them or an appearance of mosaic Similar beads have .

been discovered in some parts of North Africa in tombs ,

in Thebes and in places in India to which the t nicia ns


,

are known to have traded I t is also known that the


e
.

Pho nician city Sidon was celebrated for manufactures


o f this kind They cannot have been introduced by cara
.

vans across the Sahara or specimens would surely have


,

been discovered farther inland and they must therefore ,

h ave been brought by maritime traders and none more ,

likely than the t nicia ns wh o made them The remains


,
.

o f bronze lamps o f antique design and arranged to bu n a


r
wick floating in oil have also been found in some old disused
g old workings .

About the year 1 1 7 B C a Greek named Eudoxus a


. .
,

n ative of Cyzicus sailed from Egypt to India


, and on his
return voyage meeting with bad weather was blown ou t
, ,

o f h is course and driven o n to the East African coast .

H ere among other things he found the wreckage of a


, ,

ship with the figure of a horse carved upon the prow .

Regarding this a s something of a curiosity he carried it ,

a wa yvvith him and subsequently exhibited it in the market

e
,

place a t Alexand ria Some pilots who saw it there id nti


e e
.

fi d it as the prow o f on o f the ships of the fishing fleet


o f Cadiz which were all marked in this way and used to
,

fish along the West African coast as far as the River


Lix iu s .

H aving found the wreckage of a ship peculiar to western


G O LD C OAST AN D TH E AN CI ENTS

C HA P waters on the east coast o f Africa Eudoxus concluded ,

that it must be possible to sail round that continent and


e
,

determined to make the attempt Accordingly h went


e
. .

to Cadiz and fitted out o n large and two small ships in ,

which he sailed down the west coast for some distance ,

but was then compelled to beach h is vessels because the ,

crews when they found themselves entering unknown


,

seas refused to go any farther He persuaded them


,
.
,

however to make another start but then found he could


e
, ,

not r floa t his largest ship At length he contrived to


e
.

build another small on of her materials and saved all her


cargo Continuing the voyage he reached a country
.
,

inhabited by Negroes which was probably Senegambia


, ,

and then a fresh mutiny broke out and he was forced to


return This failure however was not sufficient to
.
, ,

extinguish his ambition Fitting ou t two more small


.

vessels he again sailed south but unfortunately never


, ,

returned .

The wreck Eudoxus found on the east coast can hardly


have been carried there by wind and tide after h aving
been lost on its usual fishing grounds t h ough the possi ,

bility o f th is must be admitted Nor is it known exactly


.

how far Eudoxus went on his first voyage some indeed


believe that he sailed much farther than Senegambia for ,

he reported on his return that the natives spoke the same


language as those on the east coast and that before he ,

turned back he was unable to obtain provisions The .

language common to the east and west coasts at the present


day is Bantu which would not now be met wit h north of
,

the Cameroons nor is there any reason to suppose that it


,

ever extended any higher I t is quite possible however


.
, ,

that in those days before the Arab invasion of North


,

Africa the Berber language may have extended right


,

across this part of the continent The accounts o f the .

o ld Arab historians S how that the Moroccan coasts were

much more fertile in those days than now and a deter ,

mined man like Eudoxus should have had no difficulty


in obtaining provisions until he got down among the
mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta or if he really went , ,
G O LD COAST TH E ANCI ENTS

south o f the Cameroons until he had passed the Congo


, a p

and reached the Kalahari Desert .

Though therefore there is no definite proof of trade


e
, ,

o r communication with the Gold Coast by the Ph c nicia ns

o r any other ancient race ; there are nevertheless a


, ,

number of facts which together furnish a considerable


amount of evidence in favour o f such a belief.
D I S CO VERY O F TH E G O LD C O AS T

These will therefore be outlined in order to S how what


, ,

were the obj ects for which these explorations were under
taken and h o w it was that the Portuguese were n e
e
,

cou rag d to persevere fo r so long .

The discoveries of the Portuguese were primarily due


to the enterprise and ambition o f Prince H enry the Navi
gator H e was the fifth child and fourth s o n o f J ohn I of

e
.

Portugal and Philippa daughter of J ohn of Gaunt O n .

his mother s side th refore he was Engli s h and a nephew



, ,

o f Henry IV and great grandson of Edward I I I Until


e
-
.

th year 1 4 1 2 the Portuguese had never passed beyond


Cape Non ; but in this year Prince H enry sent a small
ship to explore the coast and another was despatched a
,

little later Cape Non was then passed and the coast
.

explored as far as Cape Boj ador but when they reached


this point the Portuguese were so alarmed by the strong
,

currents and tremendous surf they found there that ,

they were afraid to venture beyond it and maintained ,

that they had now reached the limit of practicable


navigation .

I n 1 4 1 5 Prince H enry accompanied his father to Ceuta ,

in the conquest of which he greatly distinguished h imself ,

and was created Duke of Viseo Remaining some time .

in Africa he collected all the information he could from


,

the Moors and it was then that he learned for the first
,

time of the existence beyond the Sahara Desert of a rich


and fertile inhabited land where both gold and ivory were
obtainable This he was told could be approached either
e
.

by land or by sea The Ma h om d a ns at this time had


.

several States o n the Niger and were well a cquainted with


,

the J a llof country and Timbuktu I t was the account .

o f their trade with these regions the very existence o f


,

which had hitherto been unsuspected that fired the Prince ,

with the strongest desire to reach them But this was not .

the only obj ect of the explorations to which he devoted the


remainder of his life He was anxious to discover if
.
,

possible a southern route to I ndia in order to obtain for


,

Portugal a portion of the valuable trade carried on by the


Arabs and their Venetian agents which had first been ,
PRI NCE H EN RY THE NAVIGATO R

e
founded by Alexander and N arch u s Prince Henry was .
,
1 3 6 4— 1 48 2
moreover a very pious man and Grand Master o f the
, a p . 11 1

O rder of Christ
. He believed in the now abandoned dogma
that no heathen could be saved and the propagation of
,

the Christian Faith and the discovery of the kingdom of


Prester J ohn also formed part of his schemes This rather .

mysterious person was said to rule over a Christian people .

He had been sought in vain in Asia and it was now believed


,

that his kingdom must be somewhere in Africa At the .

present time this kingdom of Prester J ohn is identified -

with Abyssinia whose Kings trace their descent from the


,

son o f the Queen of Sheba by Solomon


e
.

Prince H enry though only twenty on now retired


,
-
,

from the Court and went to live on Cape St Vincent where .


,

the town of Sagres was built I t was a bleak and desolate


.

spot where a few j unipers were the only plants that could
,

survive the continual drenchings of spray from the waves


that dashed against the foot of the cliff The View of the .

wide expanse of ocean constantly inspired his thoughts


and encouraged him to persevere Here he established .

his dockyards and collected the most skilful navigators ,

the best S hipwrights and the most learned scientific men


,

of his day and from here he watched his vessels sail from
the neighbouring port of Lagos with the cross of his O rder
painted o n their sails and patiently waited to catch the
,

first glimpse of them as they returned fro m the unknown


seas they had been sent to explore .

I n 1 4 1 8 Prince Henry sent two naval o fficers of his


e
household J oao G ons a lv z Zarco and Tristam vaz T ix yra
,
ee ,

in a small ship to try to pass Cape Bojador Before they .

reached the cape a heavy gale sprang up and blew thei r


ship o u t to sea I n this helpless condition having lost
.
,

sight o f their familiar landmarks they had given them


,

selves u p for lost when they suddenly saw an island ahead


e
,

under the lee of which they cast anchor This was on of .

the Madeira group which they named Porto Santo Hithert o


,
.

the Portuguese had never done more t h an coast along


within sight of land but this accident had demonstrated
the possibility of navigating the open sea and when they ,
DI S COV ERY O F TH E G O LD C O AS T

ee
returned and reported their discovery they were sent back
e
8 64 1 48 2
-

C HA P . 1 1 1 in the same year with one Bartholomew P r str llo to


coloni z e the island .

Prince H enry now met with great opposition from


many sections of his o wn countrymen who for reasons of
, ,

their own were averse to the further extension o f these


,

discoveries The nobility were afraid the wealth obtained


.

by others from these new lands might weaken their own


power and dignity and the learned men dreaded having
,

their long cherished theories upset by newly discovered


-

facts The clergy seem to have thought the expenditure


.

o f a part o f the funds o f the O rder of Christ o n the pro

eb l m a tical conversion o f heathens wh o had yet to be dis


covered was hardly j ustifiable and the j ealousy of the
,

military was aroused by the sight of honours being won


by a profession they had always been accustomed to look
d own upon There were many ignorant and superstitious
.

persons too who loudly proclaimed that it was vain


, ,

presumption to attempt to discover a passage round the


southern extremity o f Africa which the best and wisest
,

o f the older geographers had always taught was impossible .

They declared that any Portuguese who were rash enough


to pass Cape Boj ador would be turned into Blacks and bear
this lasting brand o f their folly These absurd predictions
.

had such an eff ect on p ublic opinion that Prince Henry


fo und it impossible to obtain crews to man his S hips ;
but he was not a man to be easily turned from h is purpose ,

and the success he had already achieved in the discovery


of Porto Santo made him determined to persevere About
ee
.

1 430
, therefore he s ent Ferdinand Lopez d A z v d o to
,

Pope Martin V to point out the advantages that might


accrue to the Church if his discoveries were extended He .

succeeded s o well in this mission that the Pope granted a


Bull confirming the Portuguese in the possession not only ,

of the islands that they had already discovered but o f any


,

lands that might be acquired by future exp editions also .

H e then silenced the obj ectors by blessing the naval


profession and granting plenary indulgence to all those wh o
m ight lose their lives in these attempts These concessions
.
V O YAGES O F G I LIA NEZ

were subsequently confirmed and extended by Popes


Eugene IV Nicholas V and Sextus IV
e
, ,
.

I n 1 4 3 3 Gilia n z succeeded in doubling Cape Boj ador


and then returned and reported that contrary to the ,

general opinion there was nothing to prevent the seas


,

beyond that point being navigated Accordingly in the .


,

following year he was sent o u t to continue his discoveries


,

and with him in a larger ship went Alphonso Gonzales


, ,

B a ld a ya the Prince s cup bearer They reached a point



-
.
,

ninety miles beyond Cape Boj ador where on landing , , ,

they found the trail of a caravan and then returned They .

gave the name Angra d os R u yvos or Bay o f Gurnets to


the bay in which they had anchored on account of the ,

number o f those fish that the seamen had caught The .

next year 1 4 3 5 these same two men were sent out again
, ,

and ordered to prolong their voyage until they met with


some of the inhabitants o f these new countries They .

sailed another forty miles beyond the Angra dos R u yvos ,

but saw no S igns of any people They therefore landed .

two o f their number Hector H omen and Diego Lopez


,

d A lm a id a with horses

, Neither of these youths was yet
.

S ixteen but they rode boldly inland to explore each was


,

provided with a spear and sword but they were not allowed ,

a rmour lest they S hould be tempted to engage the natives


if they met any I t was not until late in the day after
.
,

they had ridden many miles that they espied nineteen ,

natives all armed with spears wh o o n their approach , , ,

fled and hid themselves in a cave from which they found ,

it impossible to dislodge them The two adventurers .


,

therefore returned to their ship for assistance and a party


, ,

was quickly organized which set ou t for the cav e ; but


,

when they reached it they found that the people had


already fled I n commemoration of this excursion the
.

bay in which they had landed was named Angra dos


Cav a llos o r the Bay o f Horses Later they reached Punto .
,

da Gale where they found a fis h ing net but could see


,
-
,

no other sign of any inhabitants and then returned to ,

Portugal
e
.

During this voyage G ilian z had obtained some seal


DI S C O V ERY O F TH E G O LD C O AST

skins and in 1 44 1 Antonio Gon z ales was sent out to con


e
,

tinne the exploration of th coast and get a further supply


of these skins Having S h ipped his cargo this enter
.
,

prising man took nine of his crew and marched inland by


nigh t After they h a d gone about ten miles they saw a
. ,

man armed with two spears following a camel and easily


e
secured h im for h was too astonished by this sudden
,

apparition of wh ite men to attempt to escape O n their


e
.

way back to th s h ip with their captive t h ey fell in with ,

a party o f forty men and a woman and having separated


e
, ,

th latter from her companions secured her also The ,


.

nex t day while they were getting ready to leave Nuno


, ,

Tristan arrived in another ship and a second ex cursion ,

was at once planned for the following night They had .

not gone far when they again fell in with the natives ,

and after a struggle in the darkness in which three of the ,

Africans were killed succeeded in taking ten more prisoners


,
.

They were taken on board where it was found that an


e
,

Arab who formed o n o f the crew was able to understand


their language He was accordingly put o n shore with
e
.

th woman to arrange for the redemption of the others


e
.

Th Africans were naturally enraged by these captures


and the loss of the men w h o h a d been killed in the a ffray
over night and thoug h they came down to the beach in
-

great numbers and beckoned to the Portuguese to come


o n shore and treat with them the Arab called o u t warning
, ,

them that if th ey landed they would certainly be attacked .

They therefore lay off in their boats and the people after , ,

throwing volleys o f stones at them went away Gonzales , .

then returned to Portugal with his prisoners and Nuno ,

Tristan having first careened his S hip continued h is


, ,

voyage down the coast and succeeded in reaching Cape


Blanco about three hundred and sixty miles beyond Cape
Boj ador But though he again found fis h ing nets on the
e
e
. -

beach he could s nothing of any inhabitants


, .

The prisoners taken on this expedition were well treated


and when it was found that three of them were men of
some importance in their own country and willing to pay
liberally for their release it was decided to send them
,
G O LD AN D S LAVES

back ; fo r the Prince believed that the accounts they


would give of the good treatment they had received at
the hands of the Portuguese would do much to remove
the ill feeling of the people towards his sailors and materi
-

ally simplify their future labours I n 1 44 2 therefore .


, ,

Gonzales returned with the three principal Moors and on , ,

reaching the coast landed the chief one He however no


, .
, ,

sooner found himself free again than he forgot all his


promises and disappeared as quickly as he could without
paying the ra nsom for which he certainly cannot be blamed
,
.

But he seems to have reported the arrival of the others


for nine days later about a hundred of their people came to
redeem them They were given up in exchange for ten
.

Negroes from di fferent countries some gold dus t a few


1
, ,

ostrich eggs and a buckskin shield This gold dust was .

the first that had been seen and the estuary in which it
,

was obtained was named the Rio del Oro or River of Gold .

I t is di fficult to over estimate the effect it had in infla m ing


-

the z eal o f the Portuguese fo r further discoveries and silene


ing their detractors for the sight of it opened up such
vast possibilities of an extensive and highly profitable trade
that there was no longer any fear that these explorations
would be abandoned Had Prince Henry died before this
.

gold was obtained to prove the truth of his theories it is ,

doubtful if any further voyages would have been made


fo r he was s t ill generally regarded as a V isionary and ,

it was due to his personal influence and determination


alone that they had not been given up long before I n .

1 44 3 N uno Tristan doubled Cape Blanco and reached the

I sland of Arguin where he captured fourteen more natives


,
.

These seizures of natives by Gonzales and N uno Tristan


constituted the foundation o f the African Slave Trade ;
for from that time forward it became customary for the
captain of every vessel that passed down the West Coast
2
to carry o ff a few of the people in this way Though it .

was not until the commencement of the sixteenth century


ee ee P i e
ee Hey
T h y w r p r s nt d by Pope M artin V
e eeb gh Portu gal and th e
1
r nc nr to .

I n 1 444 2 00 s la v s w r a nnu a l
ee e7 8
1
rou t to ,

a v ra g im p ortation s oon ro s to 0 0 or 00 .
D I S C OVERY O F TH E G O LD C OAS T

'
3 6 4 1 48 2

that this trade began to take definite shape it was then ,

cu p , 1 1 1 very quickly established and eventually assumed such


,

proportions that it over shadowed everything else and for


-
,

many years afterwards maintained its position a s one of


the greatest curses ever introduced into Africa I t was .

a custom however which was not peculiar to the Portu


e
e e
, ,

gu s nor did they originate it Slavery in o n form or .


,

another had existed from the remotest times not only in


, ,

Africa but also among the J ews Greeks t nicia ns and


, , , ,

in fact every ancient race During the Roman occupation


.

o f Britain great numbers of the people were carried away


,

into slavery to add lustre to the triumphal processions of


their generals or to be done to death at their festival games .

About this time some merchants o f Lagos now fully ,

alive to the importance of the Prince s schemes and the ’

value of the trade that might be expected to result from


h is discoveries proj ected a Chartered Company
, The .

Prince granted their request and the first East I ndia


e
,

Company was formed by La ncaro t J uan Diaz Gilian z , ,

Estevan Alphonso and Rodriga Alvarez I n 1 4 44 this .

Company with the sanction of the Prince sent out a fleet


, ,

o f s ix caravels under La nc a ro t wh o reached the I sland of


,

Nar near Arguin There he assaulted a village and captured


e e
.

no t fewer than o n hundred and fifty fiv natives after -


,

wards taking forty more from some other islands near by .

I t is said that the obj ect of the Portuguese in taking these


prisoners was to obtain reliable information about their
countries but that the Prince had ordered all h is captains
,

to treat the people at all times with kindness and humanity


and no t to take more men than were necessary for this
purpose I t is evident however that these m oderate
.
, ,

instructions were grossly exceeded by his o fficers who had ,

Only themselves to thank for the unfortunate events that


occurred a little later .

I t is but natural that such high handed proceedings -

should have been resented by the natives and have incensed


them against the Portuguese and in the following year , , ,

Gonzales da Cintra was betrayed by an Arab interpreter at


Arguin and he and seven of his men murdered while five
, ,
D I S COV ERY O F TH E G O LD COAST

leagues beyond the R io Gr a nde when he too was wounded ,

by the poisoned arrows o f the natives but being p os , ,



sessed of an antidote recovered and returned in safety
e
'

to Portugal where he received on hundred gold ducats


,

each from the Regent Dom Pedro and Prince H enry as a


Special mark o f their gratitude After many o t her voyages .

o f no special importance and the first t w o voyages of the


,

celebrated Genoese Aloisio da Cada Mosto in 1 4 5 5 and

e
1 4 5 6 Pedro da Cintra sailed with two armed ship s in 1 46 2
,

and disco v red and named Sierra Leone after which he ,

sailed on and explored the coast as far as Cape Mensurado .

Before Da Cintra s return Prince Henry had died in



,

1 46 3 in his sixty seventh year The death of this illustrious


-
.

Prince the founder and moving spirit of European d is


e
,

cov ry in West Africa put a stop for a time to further


, .

explorations of an organized ch aract er H is had been .

undertaken as a national work but the only v oyages that


e
,

were made during the next few years were those of privat
traders and ad venturers .

Though the records of his discoveries only e x tend


them to the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone there is some ,

reason to belie v e that some o f the expeditions he sent out


went much farther and even penetrated south of the Line
but whether the absence of records is due to loss or to the
fact tha t the explorers were wrecked and could not return
to report the extent o f their travels is doubtful The , .

latter however seems to be the most probable explanation

e
, , .

I n 1 5 2 5 Garcia de Loa ysa Knight of Malta Visited the , ,

I sland of S an Thom with a Spanish fleet He found it


e
.

u ninh ab it d bu t s a w distinct traces of its former occupa


, ,

tion by the Port ugues e Besides many fruits and tame .

cattle he discovered an inscription carv ed on a tree a s was


, ,

the Por t uguese custom setting forth that they had been
,

e
there eighty seven years earlier that is in the year 1 4 3 8
- —
, ,

twenty fiv years before the death of Prince Henry whose


-
,

motto Talent de Bien Faire was also ca rved upon the


tree.

I n 1 46 9 King Alphonso V farmed ou t the Guinea T rade


to Fernando Gomez for an annual rent of fiv hundre d e
DISC OVERY O F TH E G O LD C OAST

ducats ( equivalent to about 75 1 3 8 ) and an undertaking that


he would extend the discovery of the coast five hundred
leagues farther south Few details remain of the voyages
e
e
.

made during this period but in 1 4 7 1 J uan de S a nt r m


and Pedro d E s coba r discovered the trade of O ro de la

Mina o r the Gold of the Mine somewh ere in the neighbour


, ,

hood o f Elmina o r Shama This is the first authentic 1

e
.

record of Portuguese discovery o n the Gold Coast F r .

nando Gomez also opened a gold mine at A b ro bi near ,

Komenda 3
Th ere was now a regularly established gold
.

trade and large quantities were imported annually from


,

Elmina and Shama a treaty o f commerce having been


,

concluded with the Chief of the former place When his .

contract ex pired in 1 4 7 4 Fernando Gomez was given the ,

surname Mina by the King and granted a coat of arms


argent three Negroes heads collared or and with rings in
,

their noses and ears in recognition of his discoveries


, .

I n 1 4 8 1 J ohn I I ascended the throne of Portugal and ,

being thoroughly conversant with the Guinea Trade and


appreciating to the full the great importance of the work
done and progress made by Fernando Gomez decided not ,

to rely on the Papal Bull alone but to build a fort on the ,

Gold Coast to protect the trade from the avarice of other


nations and safeguard the interests o f Portugal Acc ord
e
.

ingly a fleet o f ten caravels and two transports w as m a d


'

ready and loaded with all the materials necessary for the
erection of a fortress and church which were to be built at ,

the place found most convenient for protecting the gold


trade The equip m ent was remarkably complete Every
. .

thing was provided from the ready dressed stones for the -

foundation to the tiles for the roof and provisions for six
hundred men The command of this fleet was given to
.

Do n Diego d A z a m b u j a under whom were the following


e
,

oflic rs commanding caravels Gonzales da Fonseca


e
,

Ruy d Oliv ira J uan Rodrigues Gante J uan Alphonso



, , ,

Diego Rodrigues I nglez Bartholomew Diaz Pedro d Evora, ,

and Gomez Aires O f these the last was an attendant


.
,

on Pedro King of Arragon but all the others were o fficers ,

2 E ll is
1
Marm ol . .
D I S C OVERY O F TH E G O LD C O AST

of the King s household The two transports were com
e
.

m a nd d by Pedro da Cintra and Fernan d A lp h o ns o and ’


,

a smaller vessel went with them as despatch boat to the -

squadron They had 5 00 officers and soldiers and a 1 00


masons and other workmen on board .

This fleet sailed on the 1 1 th of December 1 4 8 1 and ,

anchored off Elmina on the l g th of January 1 4 8 2 There .

they found a Portuguese trader named J uan Bernardo who ,

had come to the coast for gold and had some knowledge
of the people and their language H e was therefore t aken.

as interpreter and sent to notify the Chief of the arrival


o f the expedition H e was told to arrange a meeting as
.

early as possible and particularly to impress upon the


,

Chief the high rank and importance o f h is V isitors .

Early the next morning J anuary 20 the party , ,

landed carrying their arms concealed under their coats


, ,

and walked towards the spot they had chosen as most


suitable for the erection of the fortress There they .

h oisted the Royal Standard o f Portugal on a high tree ,

beneath which they built an altar Mass was then said .

and prayers were o ffered for the success o f their plans ,

the conversion of the Africans and the endurance o f the ,

church they were about to found Everyone was splen .

d id ly dressed in order to make the greatest possible im



pression ; d A z am b u j a wore a gold brocaded waistcoat
and a richly ornamented gold collar set with j ewels and ,

all h is companions were clothed in silks .

The Chief was now expected so d A z am b u j a seated ,


himself on a raised chair and disposed his followers in two


lines before him so that they formed an avenue up which
e
th Elm ina s would have to pass The Chief whose name
e
.
,

I s g1v n as Caraman a
c probably a corruption of K wa m in

Ansa now approached with h is retinue They wore



.

monkey skins o r palm leaves hanging from the waist but


-

e
were otherwise naked Their arms consisted of spears
.
,

s h I ld s and bows and arrows and on their heads were


, ,

helmets made of S kins and thickly studded with sharks ’

teeth The Chief who was preceded by his horn blowers


.
,
-

a nd drummers wore plates and other ornaments o f gold on


,
N EGOTIATI ON S WITH AN SA

his arms and legs and a hea vy gold chain around his neck ,

while his hair and be ard a s well as those of his subordinate


,

Chiefs were ornamen t ed with small golden bells and


,

other trinkets The lesser Chiefs also wore gold chains


e
.

about their necks and each o n was accompanied by two


e
,

attendants o n of whom carried his s tool and the other


,

his shield .

After an interchange of salutations and com pliments ,



d A za m b u j a through h is interpreter explained the obj ect
, ,

o f h is visit H e used e v ery S pecious argumen t he could


.

think of to con vince the Chief of the ad v antages he and


his people would deri v e from the friendship and local
protection o f s o powerful a monarch a s the King of Portu
gal and while carefully concealing all anxie t y and cove
e
,

tou s n ss o n his own S ide laid special stress on the fact that
,

the King s chief wish was to instruct the people in the


Christian religion Finally he asked Ansa s permission to


.

establish themselves in his town and build a h ouse saying ,

that though Baya the Chief o f Shama and several others


would think it an honour to have such a house built o n
their lands yet the King had selected Elmina because he
,

had been moved by Ansa s previous kindnesses to his
people and wished to honour him alone .

This speech was liste ned to with great attention by the


Elminas and when it wa s finished A n sa sat silent for some
, , ,

minutes considering the whole subj ect and weighing the



arguments that had been advanced by d A zam bu j a in s u p
port of his request H e raised no obj ection to anything but
.

the suggested formation of a Settlement a proj ect which ,

he evidently viewed w ith suspicion and distrust His .

guarded reply plainly s hows that even in those early days


the African Chief was as skilled a diplomatist as those of
more recent times ha v e so often proved themsel ves .


I am no t insensible said h e to the high honour
, ,

which your great master the Chief of Po r t ugal h as t his day


conferred upon me His friendship I have always u e
e e
.

d a v ou r d to merit by the strictness o f my dealing with

e
the Portuguese and by my constant exert ions t o procure an
,

immediate lading for t h ir Vessels Bu t ne ver unti l this .


D I S CO VERY O F TH E G O LD C OAST

3 6 4 1 48 2

day did I observe such a di fference in the appearance of
a r . 1 1 1 his subj ects they have hitherto been only meanly attired ,

were easily contented with the commodities they received


and so far from wishing to continue in this Country were ,

never happy until they could complete their lading and ,

return N ow I remark a strange di fference A great


. .

number richly dressed are anxious to be allowed to build


houses and to continue among us Men of such eminence
,
.
,

conducted by a commander who from his own account


seems to have descended from the God who made day and ,

night can never bring themselves to end ure the hardships


,

of this climate nor would they here be able to procure


any of the luxuries that abound in their own country .

The passions that are common to us all will therefore


inevitably bring on disputes ; and it is far preferable
that both o u r nations should continue on th same footing e
they have hitherto done allowing your ships to come and
,

go as usual the desire of seeing each other occasionally


will preserve peace between us The Sea and Land being
.

always neighbours are continually at variance and con ,

tending who shall give way the Sea with great vi olence
attempting to subdue the Land and the Land with equal
,

obstinacy resolving to oppose the Sea .
1

This skilful evasion of the principal if not the sole ,

obj ect of their mission considerably disconcerted the


,

Portuguese and it required all the address of d A z a m bu j a


,

,

backed by presents and promises and veiled threats that if


permission were withheld it might possibly be dispensed
with to induce the Chief to give a reluctant consent His
, .

unwillingness was probably due in part to previous mis


understandings and quar rels with some of the Portuguese
sailors and to a belief commonly held by the Africans
,

that Europeans were a people who had no land o f their


own but were compelled to wander about the seas in ship
,

until some fortunate chance enabled them to settle them


e
selves in th country of some other people Whatever his .

real reasons may have been there can be no doubt that


e
,

Ansa looked fo rward to the continual presence of th


De Barros a nd Faria Vide
1
Cl a rke
.
p 324 , . .
ELMI NA CASTLE FO UNDE D

Portuguese with anyt hing but enthusiasm and had a ,

pretty clear perception of h is own int eres t s H owever .


,

h is consent once gi v en d A zam b u j a lost no time in com


e

,

m ncing Operations and Ans a as soon s aw h is misgivings


,

j ustified
.

The very next morning ( January 2 1 ) t he workmen


were landed and preparations at once made for laying the
foundations of the fortress Seeing a large rock close at
.

hand and convenient for their purpose the Portu guese ,

were beginning to quarry it when they were suddenly ,

attacked by the Elminas wh o believed it to be the residence


,

of the god o f the River Benya D A za m b u j a ran towards .


them and managed to pacify them with presents and apolo


gies but no t before many of his men had been wounded
, .

This misfortune however was not allowed to delay the


, ,

building of the fort and the work was pushed on to such


e
,

good purpose that in twenty days time the tower had be n ’

raised to the first storey and the whole building was already
sufficiently advanced to be capable of easy defence This .

rapid progress h a d been made possible by the prepared


materials that had been brought out for the tower which ,

only required fitting together This is the tower which .

stands j ust beyond the draw bridge at the main entrance


-

to the Cas tle at the present time .


A s soon as the building wa s finished d Az a m b u j a ,

sent back the fleet with a large quantity of gold while he ,

hims elf remained at Elmina with a garrison of S ixty men as


its first Governor a position which he filled with credit
,

fo r two years and seven months The fort was named the .

Castle of San J orge 1 and in 1 4 86 King J ohn conferred


,

upon it all the rights and privileges of a city and an annual


e
,

sol mn mass w a s ordered to be said in its church for the


repose o f the soul of Prince Henry to whose efforts the ,

Portuguese owed their Poss essions in West Africa At .

the same time the King added to his other titles that of
,

Lord of Guinea .

The site of the Castle was well chosen I t stands upon .

a rock forming the point of a peninsula and is surrounded


Sa intG e
orge
,

1
.
D ISC OVERY O F TH E G O LD C O AST

3 6 4 1 48 2

on two sides by the sea and on the third by a lagoon known
C HA P . 1 1 1 as the River Benya which runs inland fo r some distance
,

almost parallel to the sea The Castle therefore can only


.
, ,

be approached by land o n its western side .

Such is the account given by the Portuguese historians


o f the formation o f the first settlement at Elmina ; but

although this is the one that is most generally accepted


e
,

it is not as has been mentioned already the only on and


, , ,

the claim to priority of discovery which h a s been advanced


e
by th French must now be considered That the French .

traded to the Gold Coast shortly after the Portuguese


settle d at Elmina there is abundant evidence to prove and ,

the Portuguese themselves admit it ; but the question


now at issue is whether o r not they were there in the four
e
e t nth century long before the date o f the Portuguese
,

discoveries and even before the time of Prince H enry


himself
.

This claim has been advanced by V illa u lt Sieur de ,

Bellefond who made a voyage to the Gold Coast in 1 6 6 6


,

and 1 6 6 7 and by the geographer Robbe whom O gilby


, ,

and others have copied Their several accounts are in


.

general agreement Villa u lt says that in the year 1 346


.

certain adventurers of Dieppe who were accustomed ,

to make long voyages a circumstance which he attributes


to their N orman descent sailed down the West Coast of


Africa and established Settlements at various places ,

especially in the neighbourhood of Cape Verde where they ,

named a bay the Bay o f France giving the names Petit


e
Dieppe and C stro Paris to Rio Corso and Grand Cess
,

respectively H e says they brought large quantities of


.

ivory back with them and that it was at this time that the
,

ivory turning and comb making industry for which Dieppe


- -

afterwards became famous was first established H e .

goes on to say that the Castle of Mina ( Elmina ) wa s founded


e
by th French in 1 3 8 3 and that they held it until 1 4 84
but that during the time of the Civil Wars in France ,

from 1 3 8 0 to 1 46 1 this trade became s o disorganized that


,

the Settlements were first neglected and ultimately


abandoned .
D I S CO VERY O F TH E G O LD C OAST

disco veries of Nigritia and Guinea the least mention of ,

their having heard o f any Frenchmen that had founded


the Ca stle of Mina in 1 3 8 3 or that A z m b u j a when he e
came to Mina in 1 4 8 4 "
,

s ic"and begun there his first n e


e e
,

tr nch m nt ever saw or heard of any such castle built by


,

the French an hundred years before .
1

These reasons seem singularly insufficient for thus


summarily dismissing all claims of the French for accord
ing to the accounts of Villau lt and Robbe those voyages ,

and settlements were made by private merchants and not , ,

as in the case o f the Portuguese a s a national work I t ,


.

seems most unreasonable to suppose that these inde


pendent traders having a t great trouble and danger to
,

themselves discovered and founded a rich and profitable


trade in a hitherto unknown country would have been ,

anxious or even likely to have advertised many par


, ,

ticu lars ; but far more probable that they would have
been content with congratulating themselves on their
good fortune and have endeavoured by every means in
their p ower to keep it to themselves A manufacturer at .

the present day wh o discovers a new and lucrative process


does not immediately make a present of it to all h is rivals ,

but on the contrary takes every precaution to keep it


, ,

secret There are comparatively S imple means of effecting


.

this now but in former times silence was the only safeguard
, ,

even as it is still the best The absence o f any mention of


.

this trade by the French historians is not therefore very , ,

remarkable .

The fact that no French fort is mentioned by any


Portuguese historian is equally inconclusiv These e .

writers were dependent for their information on those who


went to the Coast with Diego d A za m bu j a s expedition ; ’ ’

and if they going ou t to found a Settlement suddenly


, ,

discovered the existence of a fort built by another Euro


pean nation long before the date of those discoveries of
their own race in which they took such pride it would be ,

only in accordance with human nature perhaps if they , ,

decided to s a y nothing about it but to keep all the credit


,

Barbot p 1 01
, . .
TH E FREN CH CLAI M

for themselves rather than nullify the glory of all those


,

expeditions that had cost them so much .

As against this possibility it may be argued that the ,

Portuguese would never have permitted a name or ih


scription pointing to such a previous occupation to have
remained in existence during all the time they were in
undisputed possession But though this seems to be a .

sound argument it is nevertheless a well known fact that


,
-

such careless mistakes are very frequently made and the ,

name Bastion de France might have been perpetuated by


the Elminas themselves and no t by the Portuguese at
all The inscription also amounted to so little that it
.
,

might easily have been overlooked or its defacemen t


deferred until in the end it was forgotten ; or again it , ,

may actually have been defaced but the work badly done .

The existence on the coast of places bearing French


names at the time o f V illau lt s voyage is however of very ’
, ,

little importance Such names were probably given by


.

the Rouen Company which had Settlements on the Grain ,

Coast in 1 6 1 6 only fifty years before he wrote but were


, ,

afterwards abandoned O n the other hand in favour o f .


,

this claim Villa u lt distinctly states that he himself s a w the


,

ruins of the French fort at Takoradi upon which the ,


1

Swedes had subsequently erected a fort which in turn , ,

was then in ruins and saw at Elmina a fair Church still


in Being adorned with the Monuments and Arms
, of
France He was also shown at Komenda the remains of
.

the o ld French factory at the northern end of the town ,

and received a message from the Chief informing him that


he had refused a flag that had been sent him by the Dutch
e
General Will m b u rg at Elmina on the ground that h is ,

count ry had always belonged to the French and that


no other nation would be welcomed in it The Portuguese .

and Dutch writers also complain of the damage done by


e
e ee
e ee e
Th s m ay, o f cou rs h a v b n th ru ins o f F ort Wits n , wh ich wa s
e e eee e
1
,

blo wn u p by D R u yt r in 1 66 5 b u t it is non th l ss a fa ct th a t th
e ee e e ,

Ch i f a nd p op l o f T a kora d i s till p oint to a h ill a t som distanc from


e ee e ee e
th a t o n wh ich a r th r m a ins o f F ort Wits n as th s it of a Fr nch
ee e
fort th at sto o d th r m any y a rs a go
e
.

2
Astl y v ol ii p 3 7 5
, . , . .
D ISC OVERY O F TH E G O LD C O AST

l3 64 1 48 2

the French to their trade and the preference the people ,

1 1 1 showed for them

e
ca n ,
.

Th chief interest in this dispute however centres , ,

around the inscription in the Bastion de France As has .

already been remarked and as might reasonably be ex


ee
,

p ct d the French make mention of these things while the


, ,

Portuguese o n the other hand are silent on the subj ect


, ,
.

They were both interested parties and V illau lt as has ,

been stated did not write until 1 66 6 and does no t quote any
,

aut h orities for his assertions I t is interesting therefore .


, ,

to note what a third party writing at a not much later ,

date has to say on the subj ect Dapper a Dutchman


,
.
, ,

published a description o f this Coast i n 1 6 8 6 less than ,

fifty years after the expulsion of the Portuguese from


Elmina of which he gives one of the best accounts He .

says : Some years ago the Dutch restored a battery


wh ich is called the French Battery because according , ,

to the general Opinion of the natives o f the place the French


e
,

were masters of it before the Portuguese There is n .

graved on a stone the first two figures of the number 1 3 00 ,

but it is impossible to decipher the two others I t had .

another inscription also carved on a stone between two


pillars in a small room inside the fort but it was all ob lit r

, e
ated He goes on to say that there was yet another
1

e
.

inscription over th door of the warehouse in the Castle ,

setting forth that it was built in 1 4 84 under J ohn I I o f


Portugal and that the figures of this date were so little
,

worn that they might only have been carved nine or


ten years and consequently the others must be assumed
,

to be of great age Farther on he describes how after .


,

the expulsion of the Portuguese the D utch restored the ,

ruined battery which held the outworks of the Castle and ,



is said to defend the shore battery and river and that ,
1

as the soldiers in this battery could not pass int o the


Castle except by two flights of close o n forty steps the
, ,

soldiers lodgings were lowered by about 5 ft and a long .

gallery constructed all round from the sea to the new



bastion 1

ep
.

1
D ap p r, . 2 80 .
2
I bi d .
, p . 281 .
3
I bid .
, p . 283 .
TH E FRENCH CLAI M

Now if the figures in an inscription o ver the door of a


warehouse where they w ould be exposed to the inclemency
,

of the weather only appeared to be about ten years old


,

after the lapse o f a couple o f centuries i t is absolutely


e
,

inconceivable even aft er allowing for possible di ff rences


,

e
in t he quality of t he s t one that another inscrip t ion in a
,

S helt red position in a room inside the fort should have


been so defaced by time alone as to hav e become quite
illegible after a period of only on hundred years longer e .

Consequently great support is lent by this s t atement to the


,

theory that there really was a French fort in existence


at Elmina when the Portuguese arrived there under
d Az am bu j a and that in order to conceal this ev idence o f

, ,

priority they defaced the inscriptions but did not perform


e
, ,

this act o f vandalism and deceit su fici ntly thoroughly to


prevent a p a rt of t he da t e of on of them b ing still de e e
cipherable and further that the ruins of this old building
,

were subsequently restored and incorpora t ed w ith the


Castle by the Dutch .

Labat writing in 1 7 2 8 a
, lleges that there existed among
,

e
the archives of Dieppe a Deed o f Association between
,

th merchants o f Dieppe and those of Rouen to carry on


the trade to West Africa This deed was dated 1 3 6 5 but
e
.
,

was destroyed in the fir which consumed the Town H all


in 1 6 9 4 and consequently could not be produced in
,

e vidence .

Such is the evidence now available on t his disputed


point which it must be admit t ed is somewhat inconclusive
,

and meagre But t hough it may be impossible at this


.

date to decide with certainty whether the French had


established themselv es in Elmina before the arrival of the
Portuguese or not it is equ ally ou t o f t he question alto
, .

ge th er to ignore the claim s of the former nation The


e
.

account of the formation of the Po rtuguese S ttlement h as


therefore been gi ven first merely because there is no doubt
e
,

that it occurred and because it is the on of which we now


possess the fullest particulars and no t because t he French ,

account is considered apocryphal or in any way deserving


of ready dismissal .
CHAPTER I V

EARLY EN G LI S H VO YA GE S To THE G OLD C O AS T


1 48 2 To 1 59 2

S OON after the Portuguese had formed their S e t tlement

e
at Elmina the King sent to Pope Sextus IV and ob t ained
,

a confirmation of the Bulls th at had been grant d to


Prince Henry This Pope added an inj unction strictly
.

forbidding any Christian nation to disturb the Por t uguese


e
in the possession of th territory that he had bestowed
upon them and even decreed that if they should disco v er
e
,

any fresh countries within th limits he had assigned to


the Portuguese t h ese too should belong to them At
,
.

this time the Pope s right to dispose of kingdoms was


e
universally acknowledged and his mandates were con
e
s id r d binding upon all European nations
,

ne vertheless
it appears that their violation was on at least on occasion ,
e
,

seriously contemplated I n 1 4 8 1 J ohn I I sent Ruy de


.

Sousa as his ambassador to the English Court H e was .

accompanied by h is surgeon and secretary J oan d Elu aS ’

e
,

and F rnam de Pina and h a d orders to


,
confirm the
ancient leagues with England and to inform Edward IV
of the King of Portugal s title to Guinea He wa s to ask

.

him to cause this to be published throughout h is kingdom ,

s o that none of his subj ects might go there and more ,

particularly to request him to prohibit t he sailing of two


Englishmen named John Tinta m and William Fabian wh o ,

were even then fitting o u t a fleet under the instructions


of the Spanish Duke o f Medina Sidonia With all thes . e
requests Edward complied .

J ohn however was not entirely satisfied with these


, ,
TH E FI RS T GU I N EA C O MPANY

safeguards and feared that if the great riches of the coun


,

try became known the greed of gain might be more than


,

sufficient to counteract fear of the Pope s commands H e ’


.

therefore spared no pains to keep the full extent of the


Portuguese discoveries secret H e spread reports of the .

great di fficulties to be encountered in making a voyage to


Guinea and alleged that each quarter of the moon produced
,

a terrible storm that the people were cannibals that the


, ,

shores were hedged around with dangerous rocks and that ,

such a voyage was in fact only possible at all in a ship of


, ,

special construction which had been invented by the


Portuguese
e
.

H ence it is that very little is known of the history of th


Gold Coast during the earlier years of the Portugues e
occupation and such knowledge as we have of the latter
,

part of this period is mainly derived from the accounts


of di fferent voyagers wh o sailed there after the Pope s ’

Bull had come to be disregarded I t is known however .


, ,

that about the year 1 5 00 J ohn I I formed a Guinea Com


pany granting it a monopoly of the trade to the Coast for
,

an annual payment of a hundred pieces of gold and ,

making it a capital o ffence for any o f his subj ects to trade


there without its licence This Company for a time .

made very great profits and set up new stations at Axim ,

Accra and Shama and a little later at Christiansborg and


,

probably at Cape Coast also According to all accounts .


,

the Portuguese treated the people very badly though ,

it would be unj ust to place implicit trust in everything that


is said of them by other natio ns who were doing their ,

utmost to deprive them of their trade and oust them from


their Possessions I t is certain however that they had
.
, ,

frequent trouble with the people of di fferent places and ,

had very little power outside the range of the guns of their
forts and that they often treated not only the natives
, ,

but also any Europeans who fell into their hands with the ,

utmost barbarity .

The Gold Coast at this time was held to extend from


e
the Rio de Sw iro da Costa ( River Tano ) on the west ,

to Ningo o n the east I t was split up into a number of


.
EARLY ENGLI S H V O YAGES

petty kingdoms and commonwealths lying along the sea


board none o f which extended any great distance inland
,
.

Commencing on the west the country between the Rivers ,

Tano and Manco was known as A d o u ir and the kingdom


of Ankober lay between this and the Rio Cobre ( River
A nkobra ) Next came A tsyn ( or Axim ) which was bounded
e
.
,

on th east at Akoda ( Akwida ) by the western frontier of


Ante Ante extended from this p oint to about a mile and
e
1
.

a h a lf east of Za kond ( Sekondi ) Between this place and .

the Rio San J uan ( River Pra ) were two more kingdoms ,

Adom or Little I nka ssa n and Jabi ; but o n crossing the


river the kingdom of Com m a ni Commendo or G u a ffo was ,

entered This stretched as far as the River Benya or


.

Salt River at Elmina The present coast town Komenda .


was called Little Com m a ny or E kki Tokki and it and -
,

the headland near it were known to the Portuguese as


Aldea de Terres I t is still called Ekit ki by the natives e
e
. .

Th capital Eguafo which was then a large town said to


,

h ave contained a b out four hundred houses w a s distin


e
,

gu ish d as Com m a ny Grande or Great Commendo Fetu


e e
.

lay between th Benya and Queen Anne s Point and Sabo ’


,

between there and the Iron Hills These last three seem .

to have been subdivisions of an earlier larger state for


Barbot says the kingdoms of Commendo Fetu and Saboe
e e
,

formerly constituted on kingdom called A d oss nys .
'
1

I t is possible that the S plit may have occurred during the ,

early years of the Portuguese occupation Fa ntyn ( Fanti )


e
.

lay between the Iron Hills and somewhere near wher


Saltpond now stands From here to the Monte de Diable
.

( Devil s Mount at Winneba ) was Akron and from there


’ 1

to Beraku Aguna The country lying between this and


,
.

Ningo constituted the kingdom of Accra I n the maj ority


e e
.

o f these little States the towns o n the s a board were mer -

villages the inhabitants of which were employed in fishing


,

and making salt to supply the larger inland towns The .

capitals o f their Kings lay at some distance from the coast .

Ah a nta Ba rbot
d be ca u s eit wa s be
lie
ve
1

ca lle eh eedee eg d
2
.
, p54 . 1 .

3
So d to b t r si nc o f th o
B ob owisi .
P O RTUGU ESE ESTA B LISH MENT

When the Portuguese first settled in Elmina th town , e


was divided into two parts under separate kingdoms one ,

owing allegiance to the King of Eguafo and the other to that


of Fetu The Portuguese however encouraged them to
1
.
, ,

assert their independence and now that they had the , ,

Castle to protect them they established themselves as a


,

separate republic There were three Town Companies in


.

Elmina at this time and their Chiefs ruled the town under
e
,

the direction of th Portuguese Governor They had to .

submit their decisions and resolutions for h is sanction and ,

h is right to approve or rej ect them was j ealously guarded


and went far to maintain the local authority of the Portu
e
e
gu s . The people were also assisted when necessary to
avenge any wrongs inflicted o n them by the neighbouring
tribes and were thus kept trained to war and made for
e
,

m id a b l to their enemies But though the Portuguese .

found it to their advantage to encourage and humour the


Elminas they treated th people elsewhere with very
,
e
scant consideration .

When the Guinea Company was first formed the King ,

caused the Castle to be further fortified and well pro


visioned and reserved to himself the right of appointing
,

the Governor and other principal officers These appoint .

ments were made every three years and were usually


e
,

giv n to o fficers who had lost a limb or in some other way


e
become u nfitt d for further active service while fighting
in the King s wars against the Moors o f Fez The chief

.

officials besides the Governor were the Padre or Chaplain


e
, ,

the Vi d or or Chief Factor the King s Procurador or ’

e
,

Judge and the Officer Commanding the Garrison Th se .

'
and the Company s chief clerk had quarters in the Castle ,

but the soldiers barber surgeon and others lived in the


,
-

town beneath its walls and only went there each day to do
their work The garrison was composed o f criminals who
.

had been banished there for life and with such a rabble ,

it is not surprising that discipline is said to have been very


poorly maintained O nly the most negligent guard wa s
.

kept except when there were S hips in the roads when the
, ,

E fu tu 1
.
EARLY EN G LIS H V O YAGES

48 2 1 5 9 2

sentries in helm and b r a s tp la c and armed with heavy e e
C HA P . i v halberds might have been seen pacing up and down the

ramparts Two fleets of four or five ships each used to


.

arrive at Elmina in April and September every year ,

bringing merchandize and supplies for the garrison from


Portugal Elmina Castle o n account both of its position
.
,

and design was a fortress of no mean importance The


,
.

Portuguese had built two batteries o n the side towards the


e
s a and mounted them with six guns each O n the land
e
.

side there was another S ix gun battery but towards th -


,

north east facing the River Benya and a hill beyond it


-
, ,

it was only defended by two small pieces of ordnance .

Towards the sea it was strengthened by the lower bastion


known as the Bastion de France so the walls on this side ,

were of no great height but those to landward were very


lofty The Castle was surrounded by a deep ditch but it
.

was only on the side towards the sea that it contained any
water H ere however it was deep enough to admit small
.
, ,

boats There were two gates one o n the east and the
.
,

other on the west The latter which was the main .


,

entrance was furnished with a draw bridge and over it


,
-
, ,

in d A z am b u j a s original stone tower were the Governor s

,

quarters The other and lesser gate was next the Custom
.

H ouse and was only used for passing goods in and out
,

o f the Castle Some time before 1 5 5 5 the Portuguese


.

built a little chapel on the hill over looking the Castle from -

the other side of the River Benya and dedicated it to St .

Jago The b ill itself still bears the name A little later
. .
,

between 1 5 5 5 and 1 5 8 8 a small watch tower was also ,


-

erected there and a stone wall with a gate in it and de


,

fended by a deep ditch and several guns was built across


the neck of the peninsula on which the Castle stands ,

extending from the sea to the River Benya .

The first fort erected by the Portuguese at Ax im 1


was built on a little point o n the shore but they were so ,

continu a lly harassed by the natives that they were com


ee
p ll d to abandon it I n 1 5 1 5 however they built a
.
, ,

second but far stronger fort on a small but high rock in


Ca lled A ch om b e
1
nein s o m e o f th eo lde
r b o o ks .
P O RTUGU ES E F O RTS

the sea which formed the rounded head of a peninsula


,

and was only open to attack on the land side where it ,

could easily be defended This S ide was s trengthened with

e
.

breastworks a ditch 8 ft deep and a draw bridge the


, .
-
,

approach to which was cov red by several guns There .

was also a spur capable of containing twenty men with ,

steps cut in the rock to connect it with the main building .

This fort was named San Antonio Though small and .

triangular in shape on account of the limited space a fforded


by the rock upon which it was built it was nev ertheless , , ,

very strong and had two good batteries towards the sea
,

in addition to the land defences already described I t .

mounted several large guns besides smaller pieces .

The post at Shama was only built to supply the Castle


at Elmina with provisions and firewood Little if any .

trade was carried on there and the place was afterwards


,

neglected and fell into decay I n 1 5 5 4 the Portuguese had


.

a dispute with the Shamas over a man they had stolen ,

a nd drove them out of the town fully half of which they ,

demolished with their guns .

The fort at Accra was built much against the wish


o f the people who dreaded the tyranny o f the Portuguese
,

a nd were anxious to keep them out of their country .

Th ey therefore took steps to remove them at the first


o pportunity I n 1 5 7 8 some traders having arrived from
.
,

the interior a number o f the Accras went to the fort and


, ,

having gained admission under a pretence of coming to


trade fell upon and murdered the garrison and razed the
,

building to the ground They subsequently invited the


.

French to settle there which they did but were soon after
, ,

wards forced to abandon the place owing to the persistent


hostility o f the Portuguese .

Until the time of the Reformation the Papal Bull had ,

insured a monopoly of the Guinea Trade to the Portu


e
e
gu s but the change in religion had no sooner invalidated
the Pope s authority in the eyes of other nations than they

,

began to compete with them According to the accounts .

that are still in existence the English were the first to


,

u ndertake trading voyages to Guinea they were quickly


EA RLY ENGLI S H V O YAGES

148 2 1 5 9 2

followed by the French however and very soon afterwards ,

a p . I v by the Dutch also These intrusions naturally aroused


.

the bitterest enmity of the Portuguese who left no stone

e
,

unturned to drive the new comers o ff the Coast I t is -


.

from the accounts l ft of these early voyages and princip ,

ally from those of Towrs on that most of ou r knowledge ,

of what h appened on the Gold Coast at this period is


derived Th ey were semi piratical adventures in which
.
-

ships were sent ou t by small syndicates of merchants ;


e
and th captains divided their time between a legitimate
barter of goods for gold and ivory or slaves and attacks
e
U pon o n another .

The first of these English voyages was made by Captain


Thomas Windham and Antonio Anes Pint a do who e
e
,

sailed in two ships the P rim ros and Lyon and a pinnace
e
, , ,

the M oon with total crews of 1 4 0 men This Pint a d o


,
.

was a Portuguese a native of the Port of Portugal ( O porto )


, ,

wh o on account o f his S kill in navigation had formerly


, ,

been a gentleman in the King s household and very
popular but afterwards fell out of favour and came to Eng
,

land resolved to bring the English on the scene to avenge


,

his wrongs He is described as having been a very able


.

and prudent navigator and an expert pilot and it is on ,

record that he had previously been entrusted by the King


of Portugal with the care of th Coasts o f Brazil and

e
Guinea against the insults o f the French From this it .

appears that t h ough there are no accounts of such voyages


,

now extant the French had made attempts to trade on


,

the Coast prior to this voyage and if it is true that they


had a prior claim to it it may very well be that they did,

make efforts to re establish themselves there after the


-

Civil Wars to which their former retirement is attributed


, .

Windham on the other hand seems to have been a very


, ,

ill natured quarrelsome and obstinate man and to have


-
, ,

taken great o ffence at the appointment of this Portuguese


captain as h is colleague .

They sailed from Portsmouth on the 1 2 th of August


1 5 5 3 Windham having first given a sample o f his disposi

e
,

tion by tu rning a relative of on of the p rincipal merchants


'
V O YAGE O F WI NDHAM

out of his ship O n reaching the Gold Coast they carefully


.

avoided Elmina but traded along the shore both to east


,

and west of it and succeeded in obtaining 1 5 0 pounds


weight of gold There was no lack of gold here and they
.
,

might easily have bartered the whole of their cargo for


it a course which Pint a do advised Windham however e
e
, .
, ,

who had commenced to quarrel openly with Pint a d o soon


after leaving Madeira insisted upon going on to Benin for ,

Guinea pepper and when his fellow captain ventured to


-
,
1
,

doubt the wisdom o f this course owing to the lateness of


the season openly reviled and cursed him before the crew
e
, ,

saying , This whore son J w hath promised to bring u s to


such Places as are not to be found or he cannot bring us ,

to But if he do not I will cut o ff h is Ears and nail them to


,

the Mast They sailed on therefore to the Benin River
1

e
. .
, ,

Pint a d o and some of the crew then ascended it for some


distance in the pinnace and saw the King who treated them ,

very well and sent out ordering his people to bring in large
quantities of pepper Windham in the meantime was b .
, , e
coming alarmed at the high rate of mortality among his
crews and sent for them to return to which they replied that ,

they now had large quantities of pepper and daily expected


more They therefore begge d him to wait a little longer
. ,

This so enraged Windham that he seems to have lost all con


trol over himself He broke up Pint ado s cabin destroy
. e ’
,

ing his chests instruments and other possessions and then


, ,

sent him word that if he and his party failed to come back
at once he would sail without them Pint a do then . e
hurried down and tried to make him listen to reason but
Windham himself now died and several of the o fficers and
e
,

crew after cursing Pint a d o for having brought them to s o


deadly a place and even threatening his life insisted o n
e
,

leaving the Coast at once I t was in vain that Pint a do .

begged them to wait for those who were still up the river
o r to leave him o n e
o f the ships boats and a sail to bring

them home nothing would content them but that they


must start at once and he with them He therefore wrote .

1 Af a d a s a spice
m u ch v a lu e a t th is tim e
11 A s l ev ol i
r m om u m .

t y p 1 42
, .
, . .
EARLY ENGLISH V O YAGES

to the men he had left promising to come back later and


,

fetch them and was t h en forced on board and grossly ill


,

treated being put with the cabin boys and half starved
,
-
.

H e died broken h earted a few days later The crews were


-
.

n ow so reduced that they had to sink one o f their ships


for want o f hands to sail her and on their arrival in Eng ,

land there were only forty men left alive of the 1 40 who

e
had set out Nevertheless the great quantity of gold
.
,

they h a d got in xchange for only a part of their cargo


soon encouraged others to try their fortunes on a Guinea
voyage .

O ne o f the first of these was Captain J ohn Lok who ,

sailed from the Thames on the 1 1 th of O ctober 1 5 5 4 with


three ships the j oh n E va ng lis t and Trinity o f 1 40 tons e
e
,

each and the B artholom w of 9 0 tons He also took two


pinnaces but lost one of them in a gal before he had
,

cleared the Channel Passing Fort St Anthony at Axim


.
.

.
e
( which Lok calls Arra Castle ) he reached Shama on the ,

1 2 th of J anuary 1 5 5 5 Here he says the natives fired on


.

them with their ordnance whereof they have only two or ,



three pieces This was a year after the Portuguese had
.

had their dispute with the Shamas and destroyed most


o f the town so that they may have already abandoned
,

their lodge as these smaller fortified houses at out stations


,

were called I n this case the Shamas may have been


.

making use of the guns they had left there but it is far ,

more likely that it was the Portuguese themselves who


were firing Sailing on they reached Cape Korea ( called
.
,

Cabo Corso by the Portuguese and now anglicized to Cape


Coast ) The Chief o f this place was called Don J ohn by
.

the Portuguese hence these early writers often refer to it



as Don J ohn s Town The people here were very friendly
.
,

and the English found a ready market for nearly all their
cloth I n the meantime th Trinity had been trading e
e
.
,

along th coast farther east but the other ships now j oined ,

her and they t h en traded in company as far as Beraku .

While the Trinity was at Kormantin the Chief had come ,

o n board and invited the English to build a fort there ,

promising to give them land if they would do so O n the .


EARLY ENGLIS H V O YAG ES

are very wary in bargaining and will not lose the least ,

Spark of Gold They have Weights and Measures and


. ,

are very circumspect in t h em Wh oever would deal with .

them must behave civily for they will not tra ffick if they ,

be ill used .
1

I n 1 5 5 5 Captain William Towrson made the first of


e
his three v o ga g s to the Gold Coast This as in the case .
,

o f the preceding ones was a trading venture and two,

vessels the Ha rt J ohn Ralph master and the Hind William


, , , ,

Carter master were engaged in it Their cargo consisted


,
.

principally o f linen cloth and small basins They left .

Ne wport in the I sle of Wight on the 3 o th of September


1 5 5 5 and after trading for pepper and ivory higher up the
,

Coast eventually reached Cape Three Points on the


,

3 rd of J anuary 1 5 5 6 having p assed Fort St Anthony , .

during the night They found some difficulty at first in


.

getting the people to trade with them for they were all ,

afraid of being punished by the Portuguese who now that , ,

they found their trade declining dealt severely with all ,

those whom they caught buying from other nations con ,

fis ca ting the goods and fining or enslaving the purchasers .

At length however they anchored o ff a town which


e
, ,

T owrso n calls St J ohn s Town This from the d scrip ’


. .
,

tion he gives of it must have been Shama the name being


, ,

given it because it stood at the mouth of the Rio San J uan ,

as the Portuguese called the Pra H ere they traded very .

profitably The people gave the Portuguese a bad name


. .

They said they used to catch the natives whenev er they


could and keep them in irons as slaves in the Castle at
Elmina and would certainly hang any English or French
,

whom they caught trading on the Coast To wrs on was .

also told that instead of the four or five ships every six
,

months that formerly brought supplies to Elmina only one ,

s h ip and a small caravel now came once a year This in .

itself is sufficient evidence of the disastrous e ffect that


competition and the counter attraction of their newly -

acquired commerce with the East I ndies had had on the


Portuguese trade
Astle
.

1
y v ol 1 p 1 48 , .
, . .
TOWRSON S

VO YAGES

e
These peopl wore cloth manufactured from the bark
o f trees probably palms and used cords and fi
, s hing lines ,
-

of the same material Some wore caps of this cloth , and


.

others helmets made o f skins either basket shaped or ,


-

like a wide purse They understood the working o f iron


.
,

and made spears fis h hooks two edged daggers and other


,
-
,
-

articles of it Some of these latter weapons were very


.

sharp and curved like a scimitar Their other arms .

consisted of spears and bows and arrows and they carried ,

shields made of bark .

Having been told at Shama that Don J ohn the Chief


of Cape Coast was then at war with the Portuguese they ,

sailed down and anchored off h is town Cape Coast at .

this time consisted of only some t wenty houses which ,

were enclosed by a rush fence about 5 ft high The . .

Fantis call this place Gwa or n a and a lo ca l tradition ,

says that it was founded by an Efutu hunter of that name ,

wh o came down to the coast and first saw the sea from
the hill on which the Wesleyan Chap el now stands N o .

boats coming o ff to them they landed and were told that ,

Don John h a d gone to the bush but was expected back ,

that night Landing again the next day they found he


.
,

had not yet returned but was expected hourly Some


e
.
,

men however had arrived in the meantime from D vis o


, , ,

the town on Akwon Point s o called from its Chief having ,

been named J ohn de Viso by the Portuguese They had .

brought some gold to show To wrs on and asked him to ,

come d own there and trade H e therefore went down in .

the Hind and spent the next two days trading with them
,
.


This trade was carried o n from the ship s boats which ,

lay off the shore the people coming o u t through the surf
,

in their canoes ; but finding the natives kept pressing ,

them to land they suspected treachery and went back to


e
,

the ship whence they discovered thirty m n o n the hill


,

with a flag whom they took to be Portuguese Towr


,
.

s on therefore went down in his boat to j oin the Hart o ff


, ,

Cape Coast but before he could reach her S he was seen


e
to fir two guns and her boats came hurrying off from the
s hore Hastening on board he learned that some of h is
.
,

I— S
'
EARLY ENGLI S H V O YAGES

men had been on shore negotiating with Don J ohn and his
sons to open trade when a party of Portuguese suddenly
,

came down from the hill and fired o n them as they were
making off in their boats The people had tried to warn
.

them of their danger but they had not understood what


,

they said and were taken completely by surprise .

Guns were at once put into the boats which were ,

well manned and pulled towards the shore The surf .

was too bad for them to land so they lay off the beach
and opened fire o n the Portuguese wh o had now taken u p ,

a position on the rocks The fire was returned but no


.

one seems to have been hurt and as the Portuguese wer


seen to be still in the town next morning they went down
,
,

e
e
,

to rej oin the Hind o ff D viso Here they found the .

Portuguese had punished the people for trading with them


by burning their town and only six houses were left stand
,

ing They therefore went farther along the coast until


.

they came to a place which from the description given of


,

it must have been Kormantin


, .

The people here seemed afraid to trade ; but in the

e
evening the Chief came down to the beach and Towrson
sent him a pr sent Early the next morning they landed
.

and rigged up a tent with their oars and sail while waiting
fo r the people to come down After a time the Chief.

arrived but though he appeared friendly enough he was ,

in reality betraying them into the hands of the Portuguese


and trying to distract their attention from a crowd of his
people who were standing in the opening o f a narrow path
and acting as a screen for the enemy while they got their
gun into position With this they suddenly opened fire
.

and before Towrson and his men could get the oars and
sail into their boat and launch her th ey had reloaded and ,

fired a second S hot Fortunately however neither of


.
, ,

them did any harm and having now got their boat into
,

the water the English sprang into her and pulled off to
,

their S hip as fast as they could while the Portuguese fired


,

two more S hots at them and the K orm a ntins also ran ou t
along the rocks and poured in a volley or two .

The cause of this treacherous attack by the Korman


EARLY ENGLIS H V O YAGES

when they S ighted three other ships Thinking they .

might be Portuguese they at once cleared for action ; ,

but on coming up with them they found that the strangers ,

were Frenchmen O n learning each other s nationality


.

,

the Frenchmen enquired what Portuguese the English


had seen and were told none but fishermen the French ,

however reported that several Portuguese ships had


,

recently been sent out to Elmina to protect the trad e and


that they themselves had taken and burned anot her of
2 00 tons only a short time ago saving only her c aptain , ,

one or two N egroes and a few of the crew but th ey had


all been s o severely burned that they had put them ashore
at the Cess River .

The French o fficers came on board Towrs on s ship ’

and proposed that the two fleets should conti nue their
v oyage in company Towrson and his o fficers carefully
.

weighed the advantages and disadvantages of this ar


rangement and next day dined on board the French
, , ,

fl ag ship and agreed that


-
to whatever Place they came ,

they should be of one Mind and not hurt each other s ,


Market To which End some of their B oats should settle the


.


Price for all and then one Boat make Sale for each Ship
, .
1

Having doubled Cap e Three Points they arrived on ,

the 1 5 th of J a nuary I 5 5 7 at a town standing on the shore


of a bay This which they call Bulle was probably
.
, ,

Butri or perhaps Dixcove The inhabitants were very .

pleased to see the K orm a ntins they had now brought back
with them and told them that there had been more than
e
,

on fight recently between the Portuguese guard ships -

and so m e other French vessels that were down the coast .

From here they went to Hanta which from the sailing , ,

distances given may have been Sekondi or Takoradi


, ,

where they heard that there were five ships and a pinnace
then at Elmina The K orm a ntins they had brought
.

back with them were well known here and they were ,

consequently very well received O n the 1 7 th they .

anchored o ff Shama and putting guns in their boats


, , ,

landed with drums beating and trumpets sounding fully


Astle
,
1
y v ol 1 p 1 6 3 , . , . .
FI GHT WITH TH E P O RTUGUES E

e
xpecting encounter some of the Portuguese I n this
to .
,

however they were agreeably disappointed and were able


,

to do a good trade in peace They promised the Chief .

protection from the Portuguese and fired their guns and ,

shot with their long bows in order to give him some idea
-

o f their power which greatly astonished and impressed


,

him All this time they had been keeping a S harp look
.

o u t for the Portuguese and always went ashore prepared

for battle and expecting to be attacked but though they


heard some shots in the forest near by which must have ,

been fired by the Portuguese to frighten the Shamas and


deter them from trading they were evidently not strong ,

enough to risk an engagement and never S howed themselves , .

Towrso n therefore lay at anchor here for some time send


, , ,

ing h is boats every day to trade at the di fferent villages


along the beach .

About a week had been spent in this way when on the ,

2 3 rd the Shamas warned them that the Portuguese ships


,

had left Elmina and were coming down to attack them .

The English and French thereupon fired their guns and


sounded their trumpets while the Shamas implored them
e
,

to S how the Portuguese no mercy Two days later fiv .


,

Portuguese S hips were sighted coming towards them and ,

the boats were at once recalled but when night closed in ,

the enemy were still a long way o ff and in the morning ,

they were seen at anchor White scarves were then .

served out to all the English crews so that the French


might distinguish them in case of boarding and that ,

night they anchored j ust out of range of the enemy Next .


morning both fleets weighed anchor at about seven o clock
and the fight commenced The Portuguese seem to
e
.

have out man o uvred the ships of the Anglo French fleet
- -
,

besides having the faster vessels and the better ordnance .

They sailed past in succession and riddled the French


flag ship with their broadsides and carried away her main
e
-

mast neither was the Tyg r able to make a good shot


,

at any of them because she was s o weak in the Side that


e e
,
” 1
sh lay all her Guns under Water The Tyg r and the
Astle
.

y vol 1 p 1 6 5
1
. . .
, ,
EARLY EN GLI S H VOYAGES

Frenchman tried to run alongside and board some of t he


enemy s ships but they were too fast for them and sailed

,

too close to the wind so t h at they fell away to leeward and


,

were left behind The other French ships would not close
e e
.
,

and the Ha rt lay far a st m The Tyg r th erefore seeing .


, ,

the French flag ship was disabled crowded o n all her


-
,

canvas and gave chase H aving followed the enemy ou t


e
.

to s a for two hours they suddenly put about and fired


e
,

o n h r as they passed All the other French and English


e
.

ships had now sailed away to s a but Towrson still held ,

bravely on in pursuit of the Portuguese in order to prevent

e
,

them from boarding and capturing the disabled French


man A s they passed the la t ter they each pour d in a
e e
.
,

broadside but the Tyg r being still close a s t m they


, , ,

dared not stop to board her and seemed afraid to sep arate
e
.

After they had passed the Frenchman sh too lay as close


e
,

a s sh could to the wind and followed the rest of the allied


e
fleet o u t to s a The Tyg r was thus left in the lurch
. e ,

but Towrson handled her so well that though the Portu


e
e
gu s tacked over and over again he always contrived ,

to keep to weather of them so that it was useless for them ,

to fire on her These tactics were maintained until it was


e
.

so dark that in the end s h lost them .

N ext day Towrs on came up with t he other English and


French ships except the French vice admiral s ship ’

e
ee
-
,

L u ri r which had fled clear away and upbraided them


, ,

with hav ing deserted him Most of them however were .


, ,

in a sorry plight hav ing lost many of their men and sus
e
,

ta in d other serious damage The pinnace indeed had

e
.

been so badly knocked about that they had to take off


her cr w and set her on fire Ten days later when they . .
,

had resumed their trade one of the K orm a ntins whom ,

they had brought out with them came in a canoe having ,

followed them for thirty leagues , and told them that after
the battle which he had watched from the shore the
, ,

Portuguese had put into the Pra but the Chief o f Shama ,

had refused to allow them to harbour there Two men


e
.

had been killed on one o f their ships by a shot from on of


e
the Tyg r s guns ’
.
EARLY ENGLI S H V O YAGES

millet and that the people keep strict Watch there every
,

Night and have Cords with Bells at them stretched


, , ,

a cross the Ways which lead into Town


-
so that if any one

touch the Cords the Bells ring and then the Watchmen
e
e
, ,

run to s wh o they are I f they be Enemies and pass the ,

Cords they take them by letting fall N ets hung for that
, ,

Purpose over the Roads which they are obliged to pass


, ,

for there is no getting otherwise to the Town by reason of ,

the Thickets and Bushes which are about it I t is also .

walled round with long Cords bound together with Sedge ,



and Bark of Trees .
1

Towrso n s third and last voyage was made in 1 5 5 8


’ 1

in the M inion Chris toph r and Tyg r and a pinnace


, e e
named the Unicorn They had no sooner arrived on the .

Coast and begun to trade at Hant a than they were at


e
,

tacked the very next day by fiv Portuguese ships A .

running fight ensued but no great damage was done on ,

either side At Lagu they heard that there were four


ee
.

French ships farther down the coast one at P rrin n


e e
,

another at W am b a ( Winneba ) a third at P rikow ,

( Beraku ) and the fourth at Egra nd ( Accra ) and England ,

being then at war with France they decided to go down and


e
,

attack them They soon S ighted on of the Frenchmen


.

coming ou t of Winneba and gave chase and the next day


e
,

found three of the enemy together at anchor on of which


e
, ,

the M u l t they boarded and took She had fifty pounds


, .

five ounces of gold on board and when they had removed ,

this and all her cargo they tried to sell her back to the
French but they would not pay anything for her because
e
,

she was leaky so they sunk h r o ff Accra The ships now


, .

cruised singly along the coast but met with very small ,

success and at Mori and Cape Coast the people refused to


,

trade with them at all At Cape Coast the inhabitants .

fled into the bush and the English took several of their
go a ts and fowls but when they landed at Mori they were
stoned and on returning the next day to get ballast
,
,

e l p 7
Astl
e
1

d eg e
y, vo 1
e e
16 .
, . .

Th bviou s
e
1
a t is iv n in A s tl y’ s Voya g s as 1 5 5 7 b u t this is
, an o
rro r .
C OMPAN Y O F MERCHANT ADV ENTU RERS 73

numbers of people a t tacked them and tried to dri v e them


o n board again Se veral of the nati v es were killed in
.

this a ffra y and t heir town was then burned The ships
, .

were now running short of provisions s o t hey returned to


Shama and H anta ; but the Chief of S hama had now
,

come to terms with the Portuguese and refused to supply


e
,

them with anything and t h y in revenge burnt h is t own


,

also
. They did very little better at Hanta for the ,

people here would not trade with them either ; so they


concluded they were not likely to gain anything by remain
e e
ing any long r on th Coast and returned to England .

When Towrson wa s at Komenda the King of Egu afo ,

had asked him to send men and materials to build a fort


in his country and in 1 5 6 1 a syndicate calling th ms elv s
, e e
the Company of Merch ant Adventurers for Guinea and
e
,

consisting of S ir William Gerard William Winter B nj a


e
, ,

min G onson Antony Hickman and Edward Cas t lin


, ,

decided to send J ohn Lok ou t in the M inion to choose


e
a site near the s a and report on the possibility of accepting
this invitation The M inion however wa s an old ship
e
.
, , ,

and had been badly strained in a gal on her last v oyage


home and Lok told the Company that even though sh e
e
,

h a d been repaired he did not consider her s a worthy nor


,
-
,

did he believe that any amount o f patchi ng would e v er


make her so H e t herefore refused to sail in her and the
.
,

proj ect fell t hrough .

A year later however in 1 5 6 2 the M inion and P rim


e
, , ,

were sent o u t by this syndicate but their misfortunes


e
ros ,

fully j ustified th predictions o f Lok They were unable .

to trade anywhere on the Gold Coast for the Portuguese ,

s hips followed them to Cape Coast Mori Kormantin and , ,

wherever else they went and continually harassed them


e
.
,

The favourit method of attack with the Portuguese



was in galleys in which t hey could creep up under a ship s
e
,

stern as s h lay becalmed and helpless and take her at a


d isadvantage e Th s e galleys carried a gu n in the b ow
e
e e
.

and had eigh t n oars on either side to each of which thre


e
,

slaves were chained Many of these wretched gall y


.

slaves were English or Frenchm en wh o had had t he m is


EARLY ENGLIS H V O YAGES

fortune to fall into the hands of the Portuguese and now


e
,

had to spend th remainder of their short lives sitting in


the broiling sun and tugging at the oars with nothing to ,

keep up their strength but a minimum quantity of the


coarsest food and little or no hope of rescue or escape Two .

men used to run up and down between the rows of slaves


carrying whips with which to la sh them to greater exertions
, ,

and in the stern were a number of harquebusiers and cross


b ow m e n .

During the action o ff Kormantin the M inion was ,

attacked by two such galleys which crept up u nder her ,

stern where they were safe from her guns while every
,

shot from their own bow gun told At last by dint of great .
,

exertions the M inion s crew managed to get a demi


,

culverin into position o n the stern and during the next ,

hour did great damage to the Portuguese Many of .

them and the S laves were either killed or wounded and a


cross bar shot broke nearly every o ar o n on S ide of o n of
-
e e
the galleys so that though the M inion had lost several
e
,

men sh wa s fully holding her own when a barrel of


, ,

powder suddenly exploded in the steward s room inj uring ’


,

not only him but the chief gunner and nearly all his men
as well O n this the Portuguese raised a shout o f triumph
.
,

for the English were now dependent o n their small arms -

only not having enough gunners left to work the gun


e
.
,

Soon after this a lucky shot from o n o f the galleys


e
,

carried away the for m a st a nd the Portuguese gave another


,

great shout thinking that now they must surely take


,

the ship I ndeed the crew of the M inion had almost given
.

themselves up for lost when one of the white galley slaves


,
-

called out to them in English not to give up as it was ,



better to die like men than lead a dog s life as a slave ’
.

Thereupon one of the Portuguese ran up to him and lashed


him with his whip until the blood streamed down his
shoulders and back which so enraged the English that they
,

swore they would never surrender and poured in a close ,

shower of arrows which killed both the wretched slave and


his brutal assailant Determined though they were how
.

ever they could not have held o u t much longer for the
, ,
EARLY ENGLISH V O YAGES

S ign of their ships they concluded that it would be useles s


,

to spend any more time in looking for them and began to ,

consider what they had best do .

They saw at once that it would be hopeless to attempt


to sail their boat home to England without pro v isions ,

and realized that it would be equally o u t of the question


fo r them to remain in her much longer Exposed as they .

were to all weathers by day and by night they could not ,

last long indeed they were already s o cramped that they


,

could scarcely stand and were beginning to be afraid that


they would lose the use o f their limbs Scurvy had also .

broken o u t amongst them Baker wh o had been factor


e
.
,

o f the M in io n when S h was attacked o ff Kormantin ,

and consequently knew what to expect now suggested ,

three possible courses First they might go to Elmina


.
,

and surrender to the Portuguese when the worst that ,

could happen to them would be to be hanged and so have


an end put to their misery or if they were made galley
, ,

slaves for life which was the most they could hope for they
, ,

would at any rate be supplied with food and drink A n .

other possible course was to throw themselves on the


mercy of the natives but they knew very little about
them and were afraid they might be cannibals wh o would
kill and eat them forthwith while even if they escaped
, ,

this fate they thought it very doubtful if they would be


,

able to exist on their diet and endure the hardships they


must suffer from want o f clothing and other inconveniences
to which they h a d never been accustomed Their only .

other course would be to stay in the boat which they had


e
,

already decided wa s impossible Baker therefore r .


, ,

commended that they should go to the Portuguese from ,

whom as white men and fellow Christians they might


, ,

reasonably hope for better treatment than they could


e
expect fro m th pagan Africans .

Everyone having agreed to this proposal they started ,

to row to Elmina but seeing a light ashore during the


,

night and thinking there must be a trading town there they ,

anchored until daybreak and then pulled in towards the


beach There they s aw a watch house with a large black
.
-
,
R O B ERT B A K ER

wooden cross in front of it standing o n a rock and beyond ,

this a castle This proved to be the Portuguese Fort San


.

Antonio at A xim of the existence of which they seem to


,

have been ignorant Some Portuguese now came out of


.

the fort and one of them carrying a white flag beckoned


, , ,

to them to come on shore But though they had been .

bold enough at a distance the sight o f the Portuguese , ,

now that they had reached them caused the boat s crew

,

to regret their decision to surrender and they tried to


e
,

make o ff The Portuguese however seeing their int n


e
.
,

tion fired o n of their guns the shot from which fell within
e
, ,

a yard of the boat and th y having no means of re


e
, ,

s is ta nc then pulled towards the beach a s fast a s they


e
,

could . The nearer they drew to th shore however the ,

more fu riously did the Portuguese fire on them until they ,

go t under the castle wall where they were out o f reach o f


,

the guns They were about to land when they were


.
,

greeted with a shower of stones from the walls of the fort


and s aw the natives coming down with their bows and
arrows Several of them had been wounded by the stones
.

hurled down at them by the Portuguese so they turned ,

round again in sheer desperation and once more tried to


escape out to sea Four men rowed while the others
e
.
,

snatched up their bows and fir arms and turned them -

against the enemy H aving dropped several of the A x im s


.
,

they next began to shoot at the Portuguese whom they


s a w standing o n the walls of the fort in long white Shirts
( or Gowns ) many of which
,
” 1
were soon dyed red by means of
the English Arrows They were still near enough to
.

the fort to be safe from its guns and had already dis ,

covered that there were no galleys in the place that might


be sent ou t to take them they could therefore a fford to
laugh at the threats of the Portuguese and held their ground
until they thought they had sufficiently punished them for
their want of hospitality They then rowed off and al .
, ,

though they were greeted with another storm of shot as


soon as they entered the fire z one of the fort got clear ou t ,

to sea without receiving any damage


stl e
.

1 A
y v ol i p 1 8 3 , .
, . .
EARLY ENGLI S H V O YAGES

1 48 2 1 5 9 2

They had now had more than enough of Portuguese
C HA P I V charity and decided to sample that of the natives
,
H aving .

sailed about thirty leagues from Axim they anchored off ,

a town somewhere in the neighbourhood of Grand Bassam ,

where some of the people came off to them in canoes .


Baker gave them each a present and the Chief s s on then ,

came out to them to whom they explained by signs that


,

they had lost their ship and were starving They were .

then invited to land but in doing s o their boat capsized in


,

the surf the people however swam o u t and not only


, ,

rescued them but brought the boat and oars and all their
,

goods safely to shore also They were then kindly received


.

and food was brought to them For a time they were .

liberally supplied with everything and Baker seems to ,

have expected the people to feed and wait upon them for
an indefinite period and complains because they did not
do so An European built boat with her sail and oars and
.
,

the goods that had been in her must have represented an ,

almost fabulous s u m to these people and should have


amply repaid them for anything they did but when they
found the time slipping by and no ships came as they had ,

expected they gradually reduced the supplies and forced


,

the castaways to shift for themselves The latter then .

suffered great hardships but d o not seem to have been ,

very resourceful for they made no attempt to build


,

themselves a hut or make a farm but slept around a fire on ,

the bare ground and subsisted on any roots or berries that


they could find growing wild This kind of life soon tol d
e
.

on them and S ix of the nine died o n after the other ; but


e
,

Baker George Gage and o n other survivor were u ltimately


e
, ,

rescued by a French ship and as England and France wer


, ,

still at war were carried back to France and imprisoned


, .

The Portuguese were now thoroughly exasperated by


the damage that was done to their trade by the continual
presence of English and French ships on the Coast and
took the severest measures to discourage them I n 1 5 64 .
,

when the M inion was sent ou t again they took her com ,

mander Capt ain Carlet and a merchant and twelve seamen


,

prisoners and dro v e the ship o ff the Coast and in 1 5 8 2


,
EARLY ENGLIS H V O YAGES

1 48 2 1 5 9 2

and in the end no t only abandoned it themselves but
, , ,

ca n . xv made great e fforts to abolish it altogether Slaves had .

been taken from West Africa to Portugal as early a s 1 4 3 4


but it wa s not until the Spaniards in 1 4 70 began to import
s l av e s i nt o S p ai n t h e Ca nary I s l an d s a nd l at er i nto the
, ,

Wes t I ndi es a ls o t hat t hi s tra d e b egan to as s um e large


,
1
p r0p o tio ns
r There was some Opp osition in 1 5 0 3 to the
.

importation o f slaves into the West I ndies on account of


the great number o f them who escaped into the woods
and formed themselves into dangerous predatory bands
but the rapid decrease in the number of I ndians wh o died ,

in enormous numbers under the cruel treatment of the


Spaniards and indeed seemed likely to become extinct
, ,

rendered the importation of Africans to replace them


absolutely necessary I n 1 5 1 7 this traffic in human
.

beings received the formal sanction of the Pope which at ,

once established it on a firm basis so t h at by 1 5 3 9 the ,

annual sales had risen to over


The Papal Bull by which th Spaniards were excluded
, e
from Africa did much to bring other nations into the
, ,

Slave Trade for as the demand increased and the profits


became proportionately greater so the international com ,

petition fo r the Spanish contract became more and more


keen The slaves were employed in the mines and o n the
.

sugar plantations and also as divers in the pearl fisheries .

Th ese unfortunate people a s well as the I ndians them


,

selves were often treated with the utmost cruelty and Las
,

Casas the Bishop of Chiapa wh o wa s styled the Protector


, ,

o f the I ndians and had himself advocated the establish

ment o f a regular system o f importing slaves in order to


2
save the remaining I ndians mentions an instance of the ,

inhuman treatment meted ou t to them H e says : I .

1
e
ThP ee ee d g
ortu u s com m g de nc l
th is e
carryin tra to su pp y oth r

Pe f e
n a tio ns in 1 49 7
e ee e ge d g e
.

d d l
rm iss ion wa s r b y Ca r in a "im n s (R
le
2

f e de leg e
us nt ur in th
m in ority of Ch a r d
s V ) b u t, a t r his

l ee b eg ld el e
a th Ch a r s it, a nd by
e
, ra nt
,

f ll
M kee bl e deP l
to s av s w r
le f e
1 5 39 rom in s o a nnu a y in th S av
d b
d eg ee e d e f b dee f
ar t sta ish in Lis on u n r ap a s a nction Ch ar s a t r .

eee
d
wa r s r r tt
e
wh at h h ad on a nd o r a th tra fic
ee
b u t, on h is
r tir m d
nt to a m ona st r , it wa s r viv
y .
TH E SLAVE TRAD E

once beheld four o r five principal I ndians roasted at a


slow fire and as the V ictims poured forth screams which
disturbed the commanding officer in his slumbers he sent ,

word they should be strangled But the o fficer on guard .

( I know his name and I know h is relations in Seville )


,

would not su ff er it but causing their mouths to be ,

gagged that their cries might not be heard he stirred up


, ,

the fire with his own hand and roasted them till they all ,

expired I s a w it myself
The English took no part in this trade until 1 5 6 2 when ,

Captain ( afterwards Sir J ohn ) H awkins engaged in it on


h is own account fitting out three ships and obtaining three
,

hundred slaves in Guinea which he sold in the West I ndies


and although Queen Eli z abeth expressed her disapproval
o n his return saying I f any Africans should be carried
,

away without their free consent it would be detestable


e
, ,

and call down the vengeance of H eaven on th under


” 1
taking the prohibition whether sincere or no t a t the
e
, ,

time wa s soon afterwards withdra wn for t he Que n lent


e
, ,

H awkins one of her own ships the j s u s for a slaving , ,

voyage in 1 5 6 4 and granted h im a coat of arms in which


,

a Negro loaded wi t h chains appeared 2 I n I 5 6 2 or 1 5 6 3 an .

Act wa s passed legalizing the purchase o f Africans th ough ,

few Englishmen if any seem to have availed them selves of


e
, ,

e
th permission Their e fforts to e stabli sh Colonies in North
.

America had not yet met with suffici nt success to crea t e


a demand for slaves and it wa s not until some years later
, ,

after 1 66 0 that the English Slave Trade seriously began


, .

e
I n 1 5 8 0 Portugal had become a province of Spain
u nder Philip I I and these African P os s ssions were much

e
,

neglected for those in America This still fu rther dam ag d .

e
the Gold Coast tra d e and a s the profits decreased the , , ,

e
King reduced the supplies s nt to Elmina so tha t in the ,

course of a few years the garriso n becam very m u ch

e
weakened and poorly provis ioned thus paving the way ,

for its fall soon aft rwards .

e
e
Hill s N a va l His tory
e e ebly di e
e

1
.

Ha wkins p ris h d m is g i d d
y ge
3
ra ,
as h is S ov r n h ad pr ct , u rin
g
l
a s avin g vo ia5 88 n 1 .
CHAPTER V

THE ARR IV A L OF THE DUT C H A ND E "PUL S I O N O F THE


P O R TU G U E S E
1 59 2 TO 1 64 2

THE Portuguese had no sooner go t ri d of the English


and French than yet a third rival appeared o n the Gold
Coast I n 1 5 9 5 Bernard Ericks of M d nblick made the
. ee
first Dutch voyage and succeeded in establishing very
friendly relations with the people wh o found his goods ,

were both b etter and cheaper than those with which the
Portuguese were in the habit o f supplying them This .

Ericks had once been taken prisoner by the Portuguese


and carried to the I sland of St Thomas where he learned .
,

fo r the first time o f the rich trade they had on the Gold
Coast . Some time afterwards he wa s s t at liberty and e
returned to H olland where he laid h is information before
,

some Dutch merchants wh o accepted the o ffer of his


,

s ervices and fitted him o u t with a ship and cargo to make

a voyage to the Coast This first venture having proved


.
,

so successful was quickly followed by others until in the


, ,

course o f a few years the Dutch had established a regular


trade with the Gold Coast .

This fresh competition immensely disgusted the Portu


ee
g u s who since they had had the Coast to themselves
,

again had no t improved their manner of treating the


,

people and were a s much disliked by them as ever In


e
.

1 5 9 6 Elmina Castle itself was threatened by o n Charles


Hu tsor and they were compelled to demolish their o riginal
e
,

Ch a p l which stood outside the walls and build another


, ,

inside the fortress They did all they could however to


.
, ,

82
ARR I VAL O F TH E DUTCH

1 5 92 1 6 42
— calmed near Elmina as they were passing to Mori by
am p , v canoe They were seen by the Portuguese Governor
.
,

who sent some Elminas ou t to take them H a ving .

wounded all t he Dutchmen and brought them ashore the ,

Elminas then cut off their heads and presented them to


the Governor These and their broken limbs were s t up
. e
o n the Ca stle walls a s a warning to their countrymen and ,

their skulls were afterwards made into drinking cups by -

the nati v es I n 1 6 00 again t he Portuguese aided by the


.
, ,

Elminas surprised another Dutch barque b ut met with


, ,

such determined resistance that they were compelled to


beat a re t reat I n the same year too the crew of a barque
.
, ,

from Oporto which had been taken by pirates put in at


, ,

Elmina for fresh water and pro visions but though they
,
'

e
were S pa niards th Governor refused to supply them and
t h reatened them with slavery if t hey did not immediately
leave the Coast
e
.

I n spite however o f the continued hostility of th


, ,

Portuguese the Dutch succeeded i n doing what neither


,

the English nor French had ever attempted and founded


Settlements of their own o n the Gold Coast I n 1 5 9 8 .

they formed an alliance with the King of Saboe and estab


e
lis h d a lodge at Mori l
The Portugu ese in revenge came
.

by night and burnt all the fishing canoes but the Dutch ,

e
having thus gained a definite fo oting in the country ,

rapidly extended their influence and built two more lodg s


on e at Kormantin and the other at B utri The lodge at .
,

Kormantin however was abandoned very soon afterwards


, ,

because of the quantity o f base metal that wa s mixed


with the gold brought by the people who then h ad to ,

come over to Mori when they wanted to trade The


e
.

Dutch also supplied the K om nd a s wi t h arms and ammu


nition and incited them to attack the Portuguese to
e
avenge th attack they had made o n the canoe at Elmina
e
.

The K om ndas were j oined by the people of Fetu and


ee e
,

the war that nsu d la st d several months a nd cost the


_

Portuguese abou t t hree hundred men who were presumably ,

e Afte ee e
e e
rwa rds call d th Ce Du tch e
e e
1

ee
m t ry o f th on a cco u nt of th
gr a t nu m b r of th at nation th at d i d th r .
TH E DUTCH F O RM SETTLEMENTS

nearly all Africans but though they eventually managed


to come to terms with the Fetus the K om n d a s refused to
,
e
owe any further allegiance to them and the Dutch then ,

built another lodge in their town These early Settle .

ments of the Dutch were mere fortified houses and even at ,

their headquarters at Mori the defences consisted only o f


e arthworks which were continually being damaged by
the rains and needed constant repair .

An incident which occurred at Mori j ust before the


Dutch settled there shows the favourable disposition of the
people towards them I n April 1 5 9 8 some Dutch sailors
.

landed there for woo d and began cutting down some


fetish trees paying no heed to the warnings and r
, e
monstrances of the people which in all probability they did
,

not understand The Moris t h erefore attacked them


e
,
.
, ,

killing o n of their number and cutting o ff his head The .

next day they brought the murderer on board and asked


the Dutch to put h im to death in the same manner ; but
they refused They therefore took him ashore themselves
e
.

and beheaded and quartered him and when th Dutch


e e
,

landed again soon a ft rwa rd s th yfou nd that their country


,

man had been decently buried and the murderer s head set ’

up o n a spear over his grave .

The Dutch did all they could to cultivate the friendship


of the people forming alliances with the di fferent Chiefs
, ,

encouraging them to defy the Portuguese and assisting ,

them in their wars When the Moris were threatened by


.

the Chief of Atti with a much stronger force the Dutch lent ,

them two cannon and sixty or seventy muskets which ,

materially contributed towards the complete victory that


they gained soon afterwards I t is true that this policy
.

of inciting the people to resist the Portuguese had bee n

tried by the English and French and failed but the greater
success of the Dutch wa s probably due to the fact that
they had formed definite Settlements in the country which ,

gave the people some guarantee that they would no t sail


away and leave them to bear the brunt o f Portuguese
v engeance a s their predecessors had done During the next .

few years the consistent pursuit o f this policy and their


ARRIVAL O F TH E D UTCH

fair and j ust dealings with the people steadily increased


the influence of the Dutch and that of the Portuguese was
,

proportionately dimi nished .

There are two Castles on the Gold Coast Christians —

borg and Cape Coast whose early history is shrouded in


mystery They will be considered in greater detail a


.

little later but may be mentioned here because they are


,

both said to have been founded originally by the Portu


e
e
gu s . The di fferent accounts however vary so much that , ,

nothing definite can be said to be known about the earliest


history of either .

I n 1 6 2 1 Philip IV came to the Spanish throne The .

Portuguese trade on the Gold Coast however had by this , ,

time been utterly ruined by the Dutch who were able to ,

sell their goods more cheap ly on the Coast than the


Portuguese could buy them in Lisbon The new King .
,

moreover was far more interested in the growing trade


,

with the East I ndies than in the trifling profits that could
now be expected from his Possessi ons in West Africa .

Their wealth had paled before the newly discovered riches


e
of th East and he therefore neglected them even more
,

t h an his predecessors had done The Portuguese thus .

became so weak that they could seldom or never attempt


to do anything outside the walls of their forts though ,

at one time while they were still strong enough they had
, ,

not only claimed but actually exercised sovereign rights


,

over a great part of the Coast .

O ne o f their last sources o f gain was lost to them at


a bout this time This was the gold mine at A b robi which
.

had b een Opened by Fernando Gomez before the Castle was


built and had been worked with few intermissions ever
s ince . But by 1 6 2 2 1 the hill had been riddled in every
direction with badly shored up tunnels and suddenly fell ,

in burying a number o f the workmen beneath it Djesi


, .
,

the Chief of Komenda consulted the Fetish Priests who


Th is is th e da te
,

giv en b y E llis b u t s ince th e


,

Du tch are s a id to h ave


h a d a lo dge
1

a t K om e th a t this d isa ste


nd a a t this tim e pos s ible
, ,

m a y h a ve h a pp ene a rl ie Ellis h o we ve
d a little e y care
it is r

e
,

r is s o u nifo rm l
fu l th a t it 1 5 v ry u nl ike ly th a t h ew ou ld h a ve give n a d a te a t a ll u nle
r .
, ,

he h ad s o m e
, ss
go od au th ority for it .
ARRIVAL O F TH E D UTCH

two hundred o f their dead before the fort Even the .

Portuguese protected though they had been behind their


,

screen Of mantelets did not escape unscathed About ,


.

e
half a dozen men were wounded by spears in the final rush ,

and two or three Ah anta labourers and a Portugues


received arrow wounds The latter all ended fatally .

within a few days with symptoms of tetanus After this .

peace was arranged The A wo ins recognized the right of


e
.

th Portuguese to Open mines in the neighbourhood of


t h eir fort and the latter undertook no t to interfer with
,
e
any workings that were already in the possession o f the
people A rich vein of gold bearing quartz was soon
.
-

1
afterwards discovered in a h ill at Ab oasi about five miles ,

from Fort Duma This hill however was believed to be


.
, ,

the residence of a s as a b onsu m and for some time no labour ,

could be obtained ; b ut i n 1 6 3 0 slaves were brought up


from Elmina and the Chiefs having been won over by
,

presents and p romises work was commenced During the ,


.

next s ix v ea t s it is said that some pound s weight of


gold was sent to Lisbon from this mine ; but this is pro
bably a gross exaggeration .

The weakness o f the Portuguese gave the Dutch more


leisure to improve their own position on the Coast Their .

first act was to enlarge and improve their post at Mori ,

converting what had been a mere trading station and


redoubt into a substantial stone fort which on its com
e
, ,

p l tio n in 1 6 2 4 was named Fort Nassau in honour of the


,

H ouse of O range I t was garrisoned by a strong force Of


.

Europeans and native levies and the command given to


Adrian J acobs They also built a stone house or lodge on
.

the b ill at Queen Anne s Point but no trade wa s done ’

there the flag only being displayed to prevent others


,

from settling there and damaging the trade at Mori .

The great ambition of the Dutch however was to , ,

capture Elmina and in December 1 6 2 5 they made their


,

first attempt on it The Dutch force consisted o f 1 200 of


.
,

their o wn men most of whom had been sent out for the
e
,

p urpose and 1 5 0 S ab o s I t wa s commanded by Rear


Me Under th e
, .

ng
a ni ro ck
1
.
B ATT LE O F AM PEN I

Admira l J an Dirks Lamb A landing w as e ff ec t ed shortly


.

before sunset at Terra Pequena ( Ampeni ) a village about ,

six or eight miles to the w est Of Elmina bu t before the


Dutch had time to form up they were furiously attacked
by a large force of Elminas wh o inflicted a crushing defeat
, ,

the battle being o v er before night I n this action the .

Dutch lost nearly all their Officers 3 7 3 soldiers and 6 0 , ,

seamen besides their native allies who were slaughtered


, ,

to a man Admiral Lamb himself was among the wounded


e
.
,

and was only saved by the K om nd as who opportunely ,

arrived o n the scene This decisive victory must always


.

stand to the credit of the Elminas who that e v ening g ave ,

such convincing proof of their courage and loyalty


e
.

I n March 1 6 2 9 the Dutch States Gen ral established a -

e
West I ndia Company and handed over to it all their Settle
ments o n th Gold Coast together with any other lands
,

that it might acquire in Africa between the Tropic O f


Cancer and the Cap e of Good H ope The English too .
, ,

encouraged by the great success o f the Dutch had begun ,

to renew an intermittent trade I n 1 6 1 8 J ames I had .

1
granted a Charter tO Sir Robert Rich and some merchants
'

o f the City Of London for the formation Of a Company to

trade to Guinea This Company wa s called the Company


.

of Ad v enturers of London trading into Africa and several ,

v oyages were made ; but the results no t coming up to their


expectations the promo t ers withdrew from it and the
e ,

Chart r was allowed to expire The next Company was


e
.

form d in 1 6 3 1 under a Charter granted by Charles I to


Sir Richard Young Sir Kenelm Digby Nicholas Crisp
, , ,

Humphrey Slaney and some others This Charter gave .

the Company an ex clusi v e right to the Coast trade from


Cape B lanco to the Cap e of Good H op e for a period o f
e
,

t hirty on years The principal trade at this time wa s


-
.

for slaves the demand for which had been greatly in


,

creased by the colonization o f the Wes t I ndies by the


English and the int roduction Of slav e labour into Man
hattan by the Du t ch The English had hitherto b en
. e
cont ent to cruise along the Coast and get a cargo of slaves
1 Afterwards E arl o f Warwick .
ARRIVAL O F TH E D UTCH

wherever they could but the growing importance O f the


trade now led t h is Company to establish posts o n shore the
better to supervise it They selected Kormantin as their
.

headquarters and built a large stone fort with four bastions


,

there and afterwards erected lodges at several other places


,

along the Coast N ominally this Company held the sole


.

English rights to trade on the Coast but in reality the ,

trade remained Open and anyone who cared to do so went


there The Company tried to stop these private ventures
.

whenever it came to their knowledge that such a voyage


was being planned and in 1 6 3 7 the Ta lbotwas s o stopped
,

b ut as a rule their e fforts were of little avail for the pro ,

motet s Of such undertakings nearly always kept their


destination secret until they were clear of the last English
port .

O n the 1 8 th of December 1 6 3 6 the western districts of


the Gold Coast were visited by an earthquake which ,

caused the tunnel and galleries o f the Portuguese gold


mine at Aboasi to fall in and bury all those who were
working in it with the ex ception o f a single soldier who was
, ,

o n guard near the southern entrance to prevent the escape

of any of the slaves and ran o u t j ust in time The sole .

survivors of the disaster were this man J uan Rodrigues , ,

Fernan Diaz and Pedro Gomez the engineers and three


, ,

other soldiers They had all been above ground when the
.

accident happened That night they camped around the


e
.

ruins intending to leave at daybreak and report Th .

A wo in villages however had shared in the catastrophe


e
, , ,

and the Fetish Priests Of course attributed it to the v n


ee
g a nc of the s a s a b o ns u m o f the hill and demanded

sacrifices to appease his wrat h During the night there


.
,

fore they led the villagers against the little camp and
,

surprised it Five of the Portuguese were at once secured


.
,

and one of the Others was shot down as he t ried to make


o ff ; but the seventh though wounded in the thigh by an
,

arrow managed to escape The prisoners were taken into


, .

the still open southern end O f the tunnel and there bound ,

hand and foot and left as a propitiatory o ffering to the


outraged god while the A woins tore down the supports of
,
ARRIVAL O F TH E D UTCH

able to control the trade to the East I ndies to the exclusion


of all other nations Moreover H olland w a s then at war .
,

with Spain o f which Portugal had been a province since


, ,

1 5 80 and the Dutch being unable to e ffect very much


e
,

against th Spanish troops on land had to rely on harassing


e e
,

th enemy at s a wh ere they were uniformly successful


e
.
,

When Van Y pr n s letter wa s received Count Maurice of ’


,

N assau a near relative Of the Prince o f O range and Gover


,

nor O f the West I ndia Company s Possessions in South ’

America was in Bra z il with a fleet O f thirty two ships


,
-
,

including twelve men of war on b oard which he had - -


,

picked troops The news from the Gold Coast was there
.
,

fore forwarded to him with a request that he would detach


, ,

as many men and ships as he could spare from h is squadron


and send them to Van Y pr n s assistance Count Maurice e ’
.

was so impressed with the importance of this scheme that


e
,

h decided to go to the Gold Coast himself H e took nine .

men o f wa r well manned and provided with large reserves


- fi
,

O f ammunition and gave the command o f the troops to


e
,

Colonel H ans Coin .

This fleet arrived off Cape Lahou on the Ivory Coast


on the 2 5 th of J une 1 6 3 7 and as soon as the ships had
e
, ,

dropped anchor a letter was sent to Van Y p r n at Mori


, ,

informing him of the arrival o f the troops and asking him to


choose a suitable spot for their disembarkation He was .

warned to keep their arrival secret especially from the ,

English lest they should suspect their Obj ect and do


,

something to thwart them The fleet then s ailed down to .

Assini where Count Maurice had arranged to await the


,

Governor s reply H ere an unforeseen di fficulty arose



.
,

for the people naturally concluded the ships had come to


trade and came O ff in eighteen canoes to barter their ivory
, .

But the Dutch had no trade goods with them and had to ,

put them o ff from day to day while they sent another


e
,

urgent message to Van Y p r n begging him to complete his


preparations with the least possible delay ; for they now
lived in continual dread that the people would suspect and
reveal their Obj ect and possibly ruin the expedition by
giving the Portuguese time to prep are for their defence or
TH E D UTCH ATTAC K ELM I NA

raising the Opposition of the English These fears h ow .


,

ever were groundless : the people believed they were


,

putting them O ff in order to Obtain better prices and a ,

few days later came out and said that their Fetish had
revealed to them that there were seven other ship s o n
their way to the Coast which would soon arrive and ruin
,

the trade o f the Dutch


e
.

Van Y p r n s reply now arrived instructing Count


Maurice to bring his fleet to Komenda where he promised


e
,

to j oin him I n the meantime Van Y p r n had secured


e e
.
,

th alliance of the K om nda s by promising them large


e
rewards if th Castle should be taken and by the time the ,

fleet arrived there they were ready to j oin it in 2 00 canoes .

The combined fleets left Komenda on the 2 4 th of August ,

and sailed down towards Cape Coast wh ere the troop s ,

were disembarked early on the morning o f the a6 th in a


little creek about half a mile to westward of the Cape .

Th is must have been the opening o f the lagoon or salt


pond at Free Town which though usually quite shut O ff
, ,

from the sea h a s been Opened from time to time and


, ,

m ust have been permanently connected with the sea until


the sand silted up and closed its mouth .

The Dutch force consisted Of 8 0 0 soldiers and 5 00 sea


e
men besides the K om nda s wh o probably mustered b
, , e
tween 1 000 and
, men Each man carried rations for
.

t h ree days They advanced towards Elmina in three


.

divisions William Latan led the advance guard and J ohn


G o dla a t the main body while Colonel Coine himself
,

commanded the rear guard About mid day they reached


.
-

the Rio Dolce ( Sweet River ) where a halt was called to


,

rest the men and give them an opportunity to have some


thing to eat while the scouts were sent forward to find
out the strength and disposition o f the enemy .

I t was absolutely essential for the Dutch to gain posses


sion Of the hill on which the Chapel of San J ago stood ;
for this overlooked the Castle on its weakest side and was ,

the only position from which it could be a ttacked with any


reasonable hope of success But when the scouts returned
.
,

they reported that the hill wa s being defended by a force


ARR IVAL O F TH E DUTCH

of about a thousand Elminas which had been posted at its


foot Four companies o f fusiliers were therefore sent to
.
, ,

drive them back b ut they advanced too far and were so


e
,

vigorously attacked by the Elminas that they were r


pulsed with heavy loss The Elminas then seem to have .

imagined that they had already won the day and cutting , ,

O ff the heads Of the fallen Dutchmen carried them in ,

triumph through the town So many went to celebrate .

their victory in this way that very few men were left to ,

hold the position and Maj or B o nga rzo n coming up with


, ,

a reserve detachment quickly put this small party to,

flight with a loss o f only four of his own men and ten of
the native allies The Elminas then realized too late that
.

the battle had only j ust begun and hurrying back from , ,

the town twice attempted to retake the position ; but


,

though they fought well and inflicted some further losses


on the Dutch including William Latan and several more
,

men killed they were eventually driven back into the


,

valley between San J ago and the hills behind it The .

few Portuguese wh o had b een with them at once sought


refuge in the Chapel of San J ago and their redoubt ,

where they were soon afterwards attacked and forced to


surrender .

Meanwhile Colonel Coine had been having two paths


,

cut through the bush one leading to the summit o f the hill
,

and the other to the Sweet River so that he could Obtain ,

fresh water and ascend the hill without using the path
made by the Portuguese to their redoubt ; for this led up
immediately in front Of the Castle and was covered by its
guns Two pieces of cannon and a mortar were then
.

brought up and mounted on the hill whence fire was ,

opened on the Castle and ten or twelve grenades thrown


against it but they did little or no damage a s the range ,

w a s too great
e
The Dutch however were perfectly safe
.
, ,

wher they were for the Castle s only means of defence on


,

this side were two small cannon mounted over an Old


walled u p gate which were quite useless against an enemy
-
,

o n the hill I n the meantime while the attention of the


.
,

Portuguese had been engaged by the bombardment of the


EXPU LS I O N O F TH E P O RTUGU ES E

they could b e landed o n the I sland of San Thom


1
e
( S t Thomas)
. .

Thus the celebrated Castle Of San J orge del Mina fell


into the hands of the Dutch o n Saturday the 2 9 th of
August 1 6 3 7 A Dutch inscrip tion over the main gate still
.

exists recording the event and a white stone let into the
e
,

pathway leading from th bridge over the River B enya to


e
the Castle marks th spot where the Portuguese Governor
hand ed over the keys Of the fortress to Colonel Coine The .

garrison had been so reduced by death and neglect that


only about thirty men were left to march ou t of the Castle
and even t hey were nearly all sick Th Dutch found . e ,

e
v ery little gold or merchandize in the place but they took
3 0 go od brass cannon pounds Of p owd r , 8 00 cannon
,

balls and 1 0 casks o f musket balls 3 00 packages of flints -


,

and 3 6 Spanish swords besides a great number Of axes , ,

pikes and other weapons most Of which however had , , ,

been mu ch neglected and were very rusty I t was not .

want of ammunition therefore that had been the cause


e
, ,

of the feeble d fe nce made by the Portuguese

ee
.

Colonel Coine now left Captain Wa lra v n Van Malburg


a nd 1 40 men to garrison the Castle while h went down e
to Mori to make arrangements fo r mo v ing the Dutch
headquarters to Elmina At the same time he sent a .
, .

e
letter by canoe summ oning the Portuguese Commandant
at Axim to surrender H e hop d that the consternation .

e
following the fall o f their principal stronghold would prove
sufficient to ensure the submission of any other Portugues
o n the Coast a t h is mere word but he soon found that
this man was not such a p oltroon as the Governor of
Elmina and the only answer he got wa s a defiant message
,

challenging him to do his worst the Commandant de ,

claring that as for himself he would hold the fort for the
, ,

King his m aster until his last breath With this the Dutch .

had to b e content for a time but in 1 640 Por t ugal taking ,

ad van t age o f the distracted condition of Sp ain achieved ,

her indep endence under the H ouse Of B raganza and war ,

e
e e
l fe ee e
e
e l Du tch d d
3
Th w of a
e e
r a s a so a
provision th at th i s rt r nam
H rm an sh ou ld b s ar d
p .
P O RT U G U E S E VERS I O N

immediately broke ou t be tween her and H olland on th e


question of the possession of Brazil I t wa s during these .

hostilities that the Du t ch attacked and captured For t


San Antoni o on t he 9 th of J anuary 1 6 4 2 and by the trea t y ,

o f peace concluded soon afterwards the Portuguese formally

ceded all their Possessions on the Gold Coast to t he Du t ch


West I ndia Company in return for H olland s renuncia t ion ’

of her claims to so v ereignty in Brazil .

The Portuguese v ersion Of the fall of Elmina is entirely


di fferent to that o f B arbot and Dapper which h as been
given ab ove but t here is no difficulty in deciding which
is correct They say that a Dutch ship a nchored in
.

Elmina roads either to Obtain provisions o r ou t of curiosity


,

to see the place and that her Captain became ve ry friendly


,

with the Portuguese Gov ernor They exchanged present s .

and entertained each other and the Governor also pur


,

chased a considerable quantity of the Dutchman s trade ’

goods on his own account paying for them in gold Before


, .

the ship sailed the Go v ernor invited the Captain to return


,

as soon a s he could with a large cargo guaranteeing him a ,

successful v oyage and promising to have p lenty of gold and


ivory ready for him on h is arrival .

The Dutchman now schemed to take possession Of the


place and on h is return to H olland laid h is plans before
,

the States General Their approval having been Obtained


-
.
,

special short light cannon were cast and packed in boxes


to represent cases of merchandize and quantities of small ,

arms and ammunition were made up into bales to appear


e
like ordinary trad goods These were put on board a shi p
.

with a small supply of the usual articles for the Coast trade
and presen t s for the Portuguese Governor but instead of
the thirty or forty men which was the usual complement of
a merchantman of forty guns 3 00 picked men sailed in her
e
.
,

Six months later sh anchored off Elmina Presents were .

sent to the Governor and her Ca ptain reported that owing


, ,

to wa nt of fresh prov isions and other privations sickness ,

h a d broken ou t among his men who were nearly all seriously


,
'
ill
. H e therefore begged the Governor s p ermission to
land them and t reat them in a hospital camp on shore .

I— 7
EXPULSI O N O F TH E P O RTUGU ESE

Leave was granted and a site for the camp chosen on


San J ago s Hill where the sick men might reap the full

,

benefit of the sea breeze Tents were pitched and the sup
.
,

posed invalids and incidentally the cases containing the


,

cannon were carried up in hammocks Engineer officers


,
.

posing as surgeons accomp anied them and bales Of arms ,

and ammuniti on were landed a s medical stores and other


necessaries A s i t was found that the sick men com
.

plained o f the intense heat and want o f proper ventilation


in the tents it was next decided to erect barracks a work
, ,

in which some of the Portuguese soldiers themselves were


paid to assist These were s o arranged by the surgeons
e
.

that they could easily be converted into batteries Th .

Governor and Portuguese Officers susp ected nothing being ,

too afraid o f possible infection to approach the working


parties They were moreover well entert ained by th
.
, , e
Dutch Captain and his officers who did all they could to ,

distract their attention from the suspicious number of


loads that was being taken up to the camp I n two days .

time all the arms and ammunition had been disembarked ,

and the Dutch then began to raise earthworks under cover


of the temporary walls of the huts .

Their preparations were soon completed and the Dutch ,

then invited some of the Portuguese to j oin them in a


shooting party and eve n borrowed guns from them
e
e
, ,

p r t nding th a t their o wn were still o n b oard the ship


'

I n the evening they entertained their guests to supper on


the hill and plied them so well with wine that they were
,

unable to return to the Castle During the night the .

temporary walls were taken down thus uncovering the ,

now finished batteries and when the Portuguese awoke


,

they were astonished to find themselves prisoners in a


respectably fortified camp with the surgeons ”
, com
manding the plague stricken crew wh o now appeared as
-
,

soldiers under arms and in the best o f health The Dutch .

Captain at once sent to summon the few Portuguese wh o


remained in the Castle to surrender threatening to butcher
e
every on of them if they did not comply immediately
,

The ship at the same time stood in towards the shore and
1 00 EXPULS I O N O F TH E P O RTUGU E S E

( palabra ) panyar ( apanhar ) fetish ( feiti co ) 1 piccaninny


, , ,

(p ic a n ia)
,
caboceer ( cabeceiro ) and dash me ( das me ) , .

Many O f the Old Portuguese geographic al names too , ,

still persist as Gold Coast ( Costa del O ro ) Cap e Three


, ,
2
Points ( Cabo de Tres Puntas ) C ape Coast ( Cabo Corso ) , ,

Elmina ( San J orge del Mina ) River Volta ( R io Volta ) , ,

River Ankobra ( R io Cobre ) and many others Many Of , .

the names used by them on the other hand have quite , ,

disappeared Ampeni is no longer known a s Terra Pequena


nor the River Pra as the R io San J uan I t was the .

Portuguese too who first introduced cattle into the


, ,

country and the prickly pear with which to fence their


enclosures They are also said to have brought I ndian
.

corn and the sugar cane from the I sland o f San Thom
and the banana and pineapple from the Congo It is
-

.
e
also asserted that some parts of the funeral customs and
other ceremonies of the people especially in the neigh ,

b o u rh oo d of Elmina show some traces of the influence of


,

Roman Catholic ritual and this may very possibly be the


correct explanation of their origin for the Portuguese , ,

so long as they were on the Coast adhered to this object ,

Of Prince Henry and maintained missionary priests to


,

instruct the people in their religion N or were these the .

only missionaries o n the Coast for Barbot records the


e
,

fact that some French Ca p u ch in priests were sent out to


Assini in 1 6 3 5 and at first made some progress among the
people who treated them very cour teously and seemed ,

to have some relish of Christianity but soon after they ,



sco ff ed at them and their doctrine , Three o f these men .

died at Assini and the other two then withdrew to the


,

Portuguese near Axim being no longer able to bear with ,

the insulting behaviour O f the Blacks and their deriding ,



the Christian religion
.
.
3

1 S arba h (Fa nti N atio na l Constitu tio n ) th in ks th


e
d riva tion of ee
da sh is th F a nti d asi (th ank you )
e ee
.

A” ridicu lou s corru ption T h origina l na m , m a ning cru ising


e
2

e e e e
.

wa s d ou btl ss g iv n to it fro m its u s a s a la n dm a rk b y th


Portu gu e
se
cap ,

s a il o rs .

3
Barb ot p 3 05
, . .
CHAPTER V I
THE F I RS T A N G L O DUT C H W A R -

1 64 2 TO 1 6 72

THE Dutch greatly improved Elmina Castle They r 1 6 42 . e —


1 67 2
stored the Bastion de France connecting it with the main ca n
, . v1
building by a long gallery and generally extended and ,

improved the fortifications until in the course Of a few, ,

years the whole building had been very considerably


,

enlarged H aving proved its weakness on the north east


.
-
,

where it faced St J ago s Hill they set about remedying


.

,

this serious defect as soo n a s p ossible To this end they .

built a strong fort o n the summit Of the hill in 1 6 3 8 which ,

was planned with four batteries and a tower whence ,

watch could b e kept over a wide expanse Of country and


s hips sighted thirty miles o u t at s a
1
I t was named Fort e .

Conraa d sb u g and garrisoned by an ensign s guard o f ’

e
r

twenty fiv men who were relieved every twenty four


-
,
-

hours The greatest care was always taken to prevent the


.

defences of this fort being inspected and no strangers were ,

ever admitted to it under any pretence for the Dutch


e
,

rightly regarded it as th key to the Castle Th ey also .

built a stone bridge with a wooden drawbridge in its


,

centre across the River Benya and cut a wide road from
, ,

it to the new fort Another battery was then constructed


.

o n this side o f the Castle and mounted with six guns which ,

covered the road to the fort and were capable o f being


turned on the latter in case o f need and a second smaller ,

battery wa s raised on another hill a s an additional p ro 3

e
t ction to it .

1
N ow gene ra lly k no wn a s Fo rt S t J a go a fte r th eh ill o n wh ich it
.
,

stand s
r J a va Hill or S t J o s e
Eith e
.

p h s Hill

2 .
.

I O"
TH E FI RST ANGLO DUTCH WAR -

Besides these material impro v ements in the defences ,

a great deal O f other work wa s carried out from time to


time in after years Stone walls were b uilt along th
. e
b anks o f the Ri v er B enya converting it into a harb our into
which small vessels could enter and after passing through ,

the drawbridge refit under the guns o f the Castle Many


,
.

fine stone houses were also b uilt and some good roads made
in the town rather later Nor were these improvements
.

confined to Elmina ; at Mori a half moon was cut O ff Fort -

Nassau and the buildings further improved and strength


ened and in about 1 6 40 or 1 6 4 2 the old Portuguese lodge
.
,

at S hama and their own at B utri were converted into small


forts with four batterie s each The former had been .

called San Sebas t ian by the Portuguese and this name was ,

now retained by the Dutch while the for t at B utri which


e ee
.
, ,

was built by on Carolus was named Fort B at nst in , .

O ther lodges were built at Anamab o Kormantin Accra , ,

and Corso ( Cape Coast ) .

Very little is definitely known Of the history of the


Gold Coast during t he firs t few years after the expulsion
o f the Portuguese and a great deal has to b e inferred from
,

subsequent records in which mention is made o f forts


and Settlemen t s then in existence at various places along
the Coast and possessed by di fferent European nations .

At this time the enormous profits that were to be derived


from the Slave Trade attracted others to t he Coast and ,

t he Danes and Swedes soon began to comp ete with the

e
English and Dutch so that in all probabili t y many in
e
,

t r s ting but unfortunately unrecorded disputes and


transactions took place After the final conquest of the
.

Portuguese by the Dutch all their Settlements o f course ,

came into the possessio n of the latter nation but though


we find some of these places occupied by o t hers very soon
afterwards it is impossible to decide whether these changes
,

were brought about by the reoccupation Of p osts that


had been abandoned by t he Dutch or by t heir forcible
ejection from them Thus importa nt forts or castles ar e
e
.

suddenly mentioned as being in xistence at Christiansborg


and Cape Coast but Of t heir origin next to nothing is
,
TH E FI RST ANGL O DUTCH WAR -

sarily prove that there is no groundwork o f truth in the


remainder .

Ellis sums up what is known o f the early history of this


building as follows The question a s to when Cape Coast
Castle was built is involved in great obscurity Smith .
,

Surveyor o f the Royal African Company wh o visited the ,

Gold Coast in 1 7 2 7 says the Portuguese founded it in


,

1 6 10 while Barb ot ( 1 6 8 7 ) says it wa s built by the Dutch


shortly after the capture Of Elmina N either of these .

gives any authority for his statement and Barbot con ,

tra dicts himself in two other places saying in one that the ,

Dutch had a pretty good fort at Cape Coast which they


e
,

b ought of the factor o f on Caroloff wh o had built it for ,

the Danish Company and in the other that Cape Coast


,

is famous for the castle the English built there I n any ’


.

case Smith is in error for there is abundant evidence to


,

show that the Portuguese had no fort at Cape Coast and ,

B a rb o t s statement that it wa s built by the Dutch is


directly traversed by the complaint made by the African


Company in N ovember 1 66 2 in which it is said the ,

Dutch had no factory at Cape Coast There seems .


,

therefore b u t little doubt that Cape Coast Castle was


,

built by the English but at what date is uncertain The


, .

probability is that it was built shortly before the forma


tion Of the Company of 1 6 6 2 perhaps in 1 66 2 for there , ,

is no mention made o f it before J anuary 1

The Portuguese author Vasconcellos however in his


e
Lif of K ing j o hn writing o f the time when the Portuguese
,
, ,

were still in possession o f Elmina and therefore prior


to 1 6 3 7 says of the Dutch that “they held without any
,

e
,

other right but force the fort at B ou tro four leagues


,

from that at A x im also the settlements Of Kora Kormantin


e
, ,

and Aldea del Tuerto at K om nd o This Kora can .

h ave been no other p lace than Cap e Korea as Cape Coast ,

was Often called .

Meredith says the Danish force under Sir H enry Carlof


( 1 6 5 7) conquered the Swedish forts Ca rolu sb org ( now
Cape Coast ) Ta cca ra ry A nnam ab o and Ursu Lodge e
Ellis His tory of the
, , ,
1
. Gold Coast p 5 3 , . .
CAPE C OAST CASTLE

( now
1
I n another place the same
author says the Castle was originally built by the Portu
ee
gu s and ceded to the Dutch with their other Possessions
in 1 6 4 2 Barbot again when writing of a Danish fort near
.
,

the Castle which will be referred to later says the Danes


ee
, ,

being formerly x p ll d from Corso by the Dutch made ’


,

choice of that mount a s a proper place to build a fort
, .
2

The name Ca ro lu sb org suggests the possibility that this


place may have been built or enlarged by the same Carolus

ee
who built Fort B a t ns t in for the Dutch in 1 6 40 ; and
though Ellis says there is abundant evidence to prove that
the Portuguese had no fort at Cape Coast yet he gives ,

none and the statement of Vasconcellos quoted above


,

certainly seems to show that they had and that the Dutch ,

had ousted them from it When Towrson was trading on .

the Coast between 1 5 5 5 and 1 5 5 8 he was attacked by the ,

Portuguese at Cape Coast and in 1 6 6 3 the Dutch Governor ,

of Elmina J ean Valkenburg complained that in 1 6 4 7


, , ,

the English had encouraged the Dutch vassals at Cabo



Corso to rebel .

But although these statements are so conflicting there ,

are several points on which they show a general agreement ,

and they are not really s o irreconcilable as they appear


to be .After the date of the voyages o f Towrso n it is ,

known that the Portuguese made very determined e ff orts


to drive all strangers from the Coast and having already , ,

found the English trading at Cape Coast within eight miles


o f their headquarters there is nothing more likely than,

that they would have established a small fortified post or


lodge there to protect their interests This may very .

possibly have been built in about 1 6 1 0 but when a little


later their trade declined and their garrisons were weak
ened this would have been one Of the first places that

they would have abandoned This would be quite s u ffi .

cient to account fo r the absence o f all Opposition to the


landing o f the Dutch in 1 6 3 7 which is presumably the ,

evidence upon which Elli s wa s relying The deserted .

lodge would then have come into the possession of the


1
M e
e
rd ith , p . 1 97 .
2
Barbot , p . 1 72 .
TH E FI RST ANGLO DUTCH WAR -

Dutch who apparently did not think it worth garrisoning


, ,

so that when in after years the Swedes resorted to the


Coast they were able to settle at this place without
,

opposition Their occupation Of Cape Coast is said to


.

date from 1 6 5 2 and there is a general agreement that


,

in 1 6 5 7 or 1 6 5 8 Karlo ff or Carlof dispossessed them and


, ,

took the place for the Danish Company What happened .

after this is very doubtful and the place may have changed
,

hands more than once and even have been taken by the
,

Fetus and p assed from them back again to the Dutch as ,

is alleged before it came into the p ossession of the English


, ,

as it undoub tedly had done by 1 66 2 or 1 66 3 Until then .

the fort was probablyno more than a lodge and it was at ,

this time that the Castle itself seems to have been built ,

either as an addition to and improvement o n the original


lodge or near it
,
I t is most likely however that the
.
, ,

latter course was adopted and that the fortified house close
,

to the Castle and occupied by a native trading agent or


,

middle man which will be referred to later was the old


-
, ,

lodge whi ch had been left untouched and handed over


to him .

The Accras were at first as strongly opposed to the


erection o f European forts in their country as they had
been in the time o f the Portuguese and it was not until ,

about 1 6 4 2 that the Danes and Dutch after giving con


ee
,

s id ra b l presents to the King succeeded in Obtaining his ,

p ermission to build store houses undertaking to pay ,

seven marks Of gold annually for the concession .

Having once secured a footing in the place in this manner ,

they continually insinuated the necessity Of converting


these houses into proper forts in order to protect the Accras
in time of need from the attacks o f their inveterate foes
the A kw a m u s This was at last agreed to and the Dutch

e
.
,

then built a stone fort with a tiled roof which they named ,

Cr ve Coau r I t was completed in about the year 1 6 50


.
,

but it was not until some years later 1 6 7 3 in fact that , ,

the English were given a similar privilege At this ti m e .

the Swedes held Ursu Lodge but in 1 6 5 7 Frederick I I I of


,

Denmark sent an expedition to the Gold Coast under Sir


TH E FI RST AN GL O D U TCH WAR -

Komenda and Cape Coast at neither of which according , ,

to the English sta tements had they any factory at tha t,

time The Dutch were doub t less much annoyed to find


.

that after they had achieved their ambition and driven


o u t the Portuguese they had even more competition to
,

contend with t han before They were therefore doing .

their best to pu t a stop to this also s o that they might ,

realize their dream of being supreme on the Gold Coas t


e e
.

I n 1 6 6 2 on of their men O f war the Gold n Lyon fired- -


, ,

o n the boats of an English ship a s they were going ashore

at Cape Coast but try as they would they could not


, , ,

succeed in driving their rivals from the Coast .

I n 1 6 6 2 a new Company wa s formed under a Charter


granted by Charles I I and da t ed the 1 0th of J anuary .

This Company wa s called the Company o f Royal A d


ventur ers of England Trading to Africa ; and their Chart r e
gave them the sole trading righ t s from the Straits of
Gibraltar to the Cape of Good H ope I t included many .

influential persons amongst whom was the King s brother


,

1
J ames Duke of York undertook to supply , slaves
yearly to the Wes t I ndies and was to maintain posts at ,

Cape Coas t A nash a n Komenda Egy a and Accra besides


, , , ,

a factory at Winneba and their fort at Kormantin The .

headquar t ers too were to be remo v ed from Kormantin


, ,

to Cape Coast , where the Chief Agent wa s to be assisted


by two other merchants a w arehouse keeper a gold ,
-
,

taker tw o accountants and three assistant factors The


, .

Castle was to be garrisoned by fifty English soldiers and


thirty sla v es under the command of a captain and four
sergeants The garrison at A nash a n was to consist of
.

ten English soldiers and eight slaves while t wo of each ,

w ere allot t ed to each o f the other lodges The Slave .

Trade thus recei v ed the formal sanction of the Gov ernment


and the direc t patronage of the Roya l Fa mily .

The formation of this Company was strongly resent ed by


the Dutch O n the 2 8 th o f May 1 66 3 the King 1 of Aguna at
.
,

their instiga t ion plundered t he factory at Winneba and


,

less than a week la ter o n the i st of J une Go v ernor J ean


e
Aft rwards King J am e Que e
, ,

1
s II 2 n . .
AN GL O D UTCH QUARRELS
-

Valkenburg lodged a formal protest against the action of 1 6 42 —


1 67 2

the Company s agents in setting up factories in places a r . v1

which he asserted belonged to the Dutch West India


Company by right of conquest o f the Portuguese A few .

days later the Dutch showed their animosity towards the


Company by more active measures They surprised the .

garrison o f Cape Coast Castle seized the fortress and by


, ,

means of bribes and promises induced the King of Fantin


to attack the English fort at Kormantin after first ar ,

ranging with the King of Aguna to secure the person o f


J ohn Cabes the local Chief who was a staunch supp orter
, ,

o f the English .The capture of Kormantin was prevented


by the opp ortune arrival o f Captain Stokes with reinforce
ments but the Dutch took the factory at Egya
, .

A s a result o f these continual quarrels the Company


ee
,

was quite unable to make any progress and in 1 664 r pr


e
,

s nta tions Were made in Parliament o n the subj ect Of the

insolence and aggression of the Dutch and Sir George ,

Downing wa s instructed to demand full reparation from


1
the States General The Dutch Chief Factor at Fort
-
.

Nassau at the same time handed a written protest to


Captain Stokes on board the M a rm a du k comp laining o f e
the erection o f the facto ry at A na sh a n by the English and
s etting forth that the Dutch had not only won the Coast

from the Portuguese at great expense and at the cost of


many lives but that the monopoly of the whole trade had
,

been formally granted to their West I ndia Company .

There was certainly a great deal o f truth in these con


e
tentions o f th Dutch ; but they had been s o busy im
proving Elmina and their other stations after the expulsion
o f the Portuguese that they ha d not troubled to interfere
,

very much with the English while they were still weak ;
and no w that their position on the Coast was stronger and
their trade had develop ed sufficiently to arouse the j ealousy
of the Dutch it was too late for the latter to protest .

The Dutch had now committed a distinct act o f war by


seizing Cape Coast Castle and Sir George Downing having
,

failed to Ob tain any redress from the Government at the


1
Hu yb et V
r an e
Gaz ld oncq .
TH E FI RST ANGLO DUTCH WAR -

H ague Charles I I at once despatched Captains Robert


ee
,

H olmes and J oseph Cu b itts in the j rs y and another


1

man O f war together with six frigates and the same


- -
,

number of smaller vessels with secret orders to proceed


,

to the West Coast o f Africa and capture the Dutch fort at


Goree thus commencing the Dutch wars H a ving taken .

Goree in accordance with these instructions H olmes sailed ,

down the Coast and reaching Takoradi on the 9 th o f April


e
, ,

took Fort Wits n and left an English garrison in it Fort .

St Sebastian was the next to fall and this was practically


.
,

levelled with the ground and abandoned s o that the ,

Dutc h were able to reoccupy it almost at once They built .

a palisade fence around it as a temp orary protection and


e
,

though they were again attacked by the English and th


people of J abi succeeded in driving them off and eventually
,

rebuilt the place Cape Coast Castle was next recaptured


.

o n the 7 th of May I t had been defended by less than


.

twenty Dutchmen but H olmes now left a garrison of fifty


,

men to hold it and supplied them with provisions for six


months and materials and labourers for the repair of its
defences According to Barbot who less than twenty
.
,

years after these events was on very friendly terms with


the Danes and used to visit them at Fort Fr d ricksb org ee ,

they assisted the English on this occasion and were allowed


to retain their position in return for these services Fort .

Nassau at Mori and the lodges at Anamabo and Egya


were all taken in turn and according to Dapper th , e
greatest barbarity was shown to the Dutch garrison of
the latter place H e alleges that though the English had
.

given quarter they cut off the ears and noses of all their
,

prisoners and afterwards cut the throats o f some butcher ,

ing them like so many pigs O thers were flayed alive .


,

and even the dead were disinterred in order that their


heads might be cut off and carried in triumph on the ends
o f the English pikes I n the plate of Fort St Anthony at
e
. .

Axim in B a rb o t s work the small island in front of th


fort is marked as the large rock o n which Admiral Ruyter


raised a battery of twelve guns with which he forced th e
rwa rd s Ad m ira l Sir R o be
Afte rt Ho lm e
1
s .
TH E FI RST AN GLO D U TCH WAR -

differen t na tions may have occupied the place though not ,


1
this identical fort .

The Elmina auxiliaries are described a s we aring helmets


furnished with plumes o f feathers and ornam nted with e
one or two pairs Of horns fixed t o t heir front They .

carried s words the wooden hil t s of which were carved in


,
2
the shape of a leopard s j aw bone and many of them had ’
-
,

pain t ed their bodies red or yello w .

De Ruyter next went down to Cape Coas t Castle which ,

had now been repaired and further fort ified by the English
e
.

Go v ernor Valkenburg attached th v ery greatest im


portance to the recapture o f this place for it wa s believed
that if the English could only b depri v ed of the Castle e ,

which wa s their chief strongho ld on the Co ast , they would


give up all hope of r establishing themselves and retire e -

from the Gold Coast altogether leaving the Dutch in


e
,

undisputed possession O n reconnoi t ring the pla c h h ow.

e v er De Ruyter discovered that it wa s only possible to


,

land in safety on one narrow strip o f sand On the eastern


side of the Castle which besides being s wept by the guns
e
, , ,

could easily have been he ld by a hundred resolute m n


against a thousand The people moreo v er refused to .
, ,

assist the Dutch and threatened to side with the English


e
e
if neces sary so that as i t w a s clear that they could hav
, ,

s topped the paths and cut o ff a ll access to the fresh wa t r

and o t her supplies and that any force he might succeed


,

in landing w ould be starving withi n two or three days if


the Castle held out De Ruyter contented himself with ,

expressing h is astonishment t hat the Du t ch should ever


have permitted the English to retake the place when
once they had gained it and declined to risk an attempt
e
,

that seemed bound to end in disas t er Leaving Cap


e
.

Coast therefore he went to Mori where with the assistanc


, , , ,

o f his Elmina allies he recaptured Fort Nassau repaired


, ,

its fortifications and left a garrison Of Europeans with


,

fifty natives to hold it while he himself returned to Elmina .

General Valkenburg had b een deeply chagrined by the


e
e e
1 Vida not p 6 4 . .

1
Mor proba bly a h u m an j a w- b on , a cu s tom ary troph y.
K O RMANTI N ATTAC KED

Admiral s refusal to attack Cape Coast C as t le and now


'
,

represented to him the great damage that was done to the


Dutch trade by the English forts at Anamabo and K or
mantin urging him at least to attempt the capture Of these
,

places H e undertook to prove that the presence Of the


.

English at Kormantin did more damage to the Dutch


trade than H olmes had done during his whole expedition .

The Admiral was at first rather reluctant to attack K or


mantin b ut having been assured of the friendship and
,

assistance of the A na m a b os and Egya s he agreed to make ,

the attempt Leaving Elmina he touched at Mori and


.
,

embarked the Dutch garrison of Fort Nassau and then ,

sailed o n to Kormantin anchoring o ff it o n the 6 th of


,

February 1 66 5 in company with a fleet o f four or five


hundred canoes manned by the Elminas O n the 7 th .
,

9 00 men were detached and sent with the Elminas in the


ships boats to e ffect a landing at Anamabo where though

, ,

there was a small lodge in the possession Of the English


e
,

the landing was much safer than at Kormantin a nd D


Ruyter expected to be j oined by his other allies O n .

nearing the landing place after a hard pull against wind


e
-

and tide the boats were fir d upon by the K orm antins


, ,

who led by their Chief J ohn Cabes had marched over and
, ,

were lying concealed behind the rocks and bushes S O .

heavy wa s their fire and that o f the English lodge that


the Dutch believing that the King o f Anamabo must
,

have played them false turned round and rowed back to


,

their ships But though the English had thus succeeded


.

in beating o ff the enemy it wa s more than they had ,

expected S O confident indeed had they felt that the


.

Dutch would land and attack their fort at Egya o n their


way to Kormantin that the garrison had mined it and
e
,

lighted a long fus calculated to blow the place up when


the enemy reached and entered it They had then aban .

dom ed it and retired to Kormantin The explosion followed .

in due course and wrecked the fort but the unexpected ,

retreat of the Dutch foiled the second part of their scheme .

e
In spite of this reverse De Ruyter did not despair of ,

taking Kormantin H e had now been j oined by V a lk n


.

1— 8
TH E FI R ST ANGL O DUTCH WAR -

burg and that evening messengers arrived from the King


,

o f Anamabo b ringing hostages and assuring the Dutch

of his fidelity The A na m ab o s explained that the failure


.

in the morning w a s not due to any fault o f theirs but to ,

the fact that the Dutch had made the attempt too soon
and before they had had time to win over the K orm a ntins .

That same night a second messenger named Antonio , ,

came from the King bringing word that he hoped to


complete h is arrangements by the next morning and that ,

a s soon as he had done so he would hoist the Dutch flag

o n the ruins o f E gya Fort as a signal to them to land .

O n the morning of the 8 th this signal wa s seen and as , ,

there wa s very little surf the Dutch force landed in good


,

order near Egya H ere they were j oined by their allies


.
,

and by midday the whole force consisting o f between ,

and Europeans and natives wa s concentrated ,

at Anamabo The allies were then provided with white


.

scarves to distinguish them from those o f the English .

General Valkenburg now sent a letter to the English


Commandant Of Kormantin summoning him to surrender ,

and moved his whole force on to a hill a little to the west


of the fort and about a musket shot from it Here they .

met with a far more determined resistance than had been


anticipated No t only was a terrific fire maintained from
.

the fort but a force of about three hundred K o rm antins


,

was also opposed to them These men led by John .


,

Cabes inflicted such heavy losses o n the Dutch allies


,

tha t the paths soon became blocked with the bodies of


their slain Brave however a s the K orm a ntins were it
.
,

w a s impossible that they could hold out for long agai nst
the immensely superior numbers o f the Dutch force and , ,

though they stubbornly disputed every yard o f ground ,

they were slowly driven back o n to the fort The Dutch


ee
.

now s t fir to the village and under cover Of the smoke


, ,

which was blown directly o n to the fort brought up ,

grenades and mortars and prepared to make the final


assault But the English garrison realizing that their
.
,

position was now hopeless and finding such numbers of


e
,

the enemy close under their v ery walls removed the r d ,


TH E FI RST ANGLO DUTCH WAR -

forts that H olmes had taken and that had matters turned
,

out di fferently they would have been the very first to have
hailed him a s a hero and benefactor instead of lodging
complaints against him They further alleged that they
.

had since the formation of the Company established and


, ,

maintained forts and trading posts at Cape Coast Tantum ,

kweri Kormantin A nash a n Ahanta ( probably Butri )


, , , ,

Winneba and Accra besides other places beyond the


,

confines o f the Gold Coast and had since their incorpora


, ,

tion sent out goods to the total value of


, and

brought away gold to the annual value of and


slaves worth another The whole of this
lucrative trade had now been ruined by De Ruyter a nd ,

they prayed that the Dutch prizes that had been taken
during the war might be handed over to them as som e
comp ensation fo r the losses they had sustained This .

a p p eal was doubtless supported by the Duke of York


and others who were financially interested in the well
being of the Company and was to some extent at any rat e
e
, , ,

granted for in April 1 666 the Dutch man of war Gold n


,
- -

Lyon w a s handed over to the Company .

I n 1 6 6 6 V illa u lt made h is voyage to the Gold Coast ,

and from the account he wrote o f it the condition of


a ffairs at that time appears to have been as follows Th . e
Dutch were in posses sion of Elmina Kormantin Axim , , ,

Mori and Butri and had lodges at Anamabo and Fantin


,

Egya ) Cape Coast Castle belonged to the English


e
.
,

who had also r established themselves at A na sh a n and


ee
-
,

the Danes held Fr d ricksb org and Christiansborg While .

he was lying near Sekondi Villa u lt received a letter from


ee
,

Harry Da lbr ckh of H amburg who was then Governor


ee
,

of Fr d ricksb org O ff ering him the use of his harbour in


,

consideration of the alliance between their respectiv e


countries and asking him to reserve him some o f his goods .

'
V illa u lt therefore anchored o ff the fort and the Governor s ,

secretary came off to fetch the goods that had been ordered ,

but was prevented from returning on shore that night by


a tornado that suddenly sprang up The next morning as ,

e
.

he was being rowed back from the ship the English at Cap ,
TH E TREATY O F BREDA

Coast Castle fired on his b oat the ball falling within a


ee
,

e
few feet of it Fort Fr d rick sb org immediately replied
.

e
with a shot at the Castle which fell at the foot of th
second battery whereupon the English seeing that th y
, ,

were under the Danish Go v ernor s protec tion fired a ’


,

round Of blank H e says tha t although war had b een


.

declared b etween the English and Danes on account of


the Dutch yet the Governors o f Cape Coast Castle and
ee
,

Fr d rick sborg had a mutual understanding by w hich


they remained neutral and on good t rms with each e
other the two garrisons meeting and drinking t ogether
e
,

daily The Da nish Governor informed Villau lt that th


e
.

natives had been continuously at war with on another


for the past four years and that a s a result the country
, , ,

around Accra had been so devastated that the garrison at


Christiansborg were unable to obtain supplies locally and
provisions had to be sent them regularly from Fredericks
borg Villau lt further learned that the A x im s had recently
.

murdered the Dutch Commandant o f Fort St Anthony .

and declared for the English but if thi s be true nothing ,

seems to ha v e come o f it H e was also told that the


.

English had been intriguing with the King of Fanti n to


help them to regain possession of their fort at Kormantin ,
and had taken his s on a s a hostage ; but finding h im

unable or unwilling to fulfil his part o f the contract they ,

now refused to give up the son The King had t herefore


.
, ,

tried to lay hands on some of the Dutch i n t he hope of


effecting an exchange and had recently seized the Com
,

e
mandant of Kormantin and four others while they were
killing two o f their scor t in th e
e
on a v isit to Anamabo ,

scuffle The Fantis also made a night atta ck o n the S ab o s


.

while Villau lt was at A na sh a n killing four men and taking


,

others prisoners and thus started a war between the two


e
trib s .
,

Peace was restored between England and H olland by


the conclusion o f the Treaty o f Breda in 1 6 6 7 B y th e
e
.

third article it wa s s t ip ulated that each side should b


restored to the places it had held before the war The .

Dutch re t ained Kormantin and the English Cap e Coast


TH E FI RST ANGLO DUTCH WAR -

but though this Treaty ended the war it did not entirely ,

put a stop to the quarrels between the English and Dutch


o n the Gold Coast The English soon r established them
. e
-

selves a t Egya and of this the Dutch complained in 1 66 8


, ,

affirming that as the post was under the guns of Kormantin


, ,

it must necessarily have been ceded to them with it In


e
.

J uly Of the same year the K om nd as rose against the


Du tch plundered their factory there and murdered the
,

garrison to avenge which the Dutch declared a blockade


of the Coast which was to include not only Komenda but
,

the whole of Fetu and C ape Coast the people of which


e
,

were suspected o f having connived with the K om ndas in


making this attack The English however on being called
.
, ,

upon to assist in enforcing this measure very naturally ,

declined to do so on the ground that their principal fort


lay within the proscribed area I t could not therefore
.
, ,

be carried o u t I n the following year 1 6 6 9 another war


.
, ,

broke out between the A kwam u s and Accras which lasted ,

for many years and laid waste a vast extent of country .

The Company of Royal Adventurers had had a most


unfortunate career Floated a s it was at a most inoppor
.

tune moment great di fficulty had been found in persuading


,

people to risk their money in what at that time was


generally regarded as a very speculative concern Th . e
result was that the Company had b een compelled to start
business with insufficient stock and the outbreak of ,

hostilities wi th the Dutch so soon afterwards led to ex


penses and losses which they were quite unable to bear ,

and left them in debt for very large amounts They h ad .

now no t only lost a great deal o f what they had originally


had but were by no means certain of being able to retain
,

what still remained to them and certainly had no prospects


,

o f being able to extend their Possessions Had they .

started with a larger capital in the first instance they might ,

have been able to weather the storm and in time make , , ,

good their losses but as matters stood they were com


ee
p ll d to surrender their Charter to the Crown and for a ,

fixed sum transferred all their Possessions and interests


,

to another Company which was about to be formed .


1 20 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

and enlargi ng it They also built a fort which they named


.
,

J ames Fort in honour of the Duke Of York at Accra in ,

1 6 7 3 and other forts at Komenda and Anamabo By .

these active measures they succeeded in securing to


themselves a fair amount of the Gold Coast trade and ,

in 1 6 7 3 fifty thousand guineas 1 were coined in England ,

being s o called because the gold from which they were


struck had been brought from Guinea by the Royal African
Company These first guineas bore the Company s stamp
.

,

an elephant a privilege that had been S pecially granted by


,

King Charles I I in order to encourage the importation of


gold for coining Five pound pieces were also struck .
-
,

which were similar to the guineas in design but had the ,

i nscrip tion round the rim like the crown piece


e
.

I n 1 6 7 9 the Winn b a s attacked the English factory


there and completely ransacked it The Factor was .

severely wounded and he and his garrison only saved their


e
,

lives by escaping in a canoe by night to Cape Coast wher ,

Barbot saw them land the next morning and says the ,

Factor was much wounded and all embrued in his own



blood .

I n the same year the Portuguese made an attempt to


e
t-
establish themselves on the Gold Coast The Governor .

o f the Danish fort at Christiansborg at this time was John

O lrick s o f G lu ck s ta d O ne of his officers a Greek named .


,

Peter Bolt conspired with the natives who treacherously


e
, ,

murder d O lricks and installed B olt in h is place He soon

e
.

afterwards sold the place to J ulian de Campo Baretto an ,

ex Governor o f the Portuguese I sland o f San Thom for


-
,

the palt ry sum o f £2 2 4 and the Portuguese Government


then supplied a small garrison The Portuguese mad
,

. e
some improvements and extensions in the building a nd ,

named it the Castle Of St Francis Xavier They raised . .

the curtains and batteries another 3 ft and built a small .


,

chapel inside the Castle where Mass wa s said by a black ,

1 eeg e we e i lly w e llings be


gh pee eg d
Th
pte
u in a s tw nty ing
e beacce
orth sh i bu t
et
s r nom na , ,

ll w lly d as
e e ll
a ctu a
y o rth i t nc m or ,
ra ua ca m o
tw nty on -
sh i in gs .

3
B a rb o t , p . 1 80 .
ACCRA AKWAMU WA R
-

priest wh o had been ordained by the Bishop of San Thom


They maintained a garrison of forty fiv white men but -
e ,
e .

employed no natives a s they were so well hated all along


,

the Coast that they could get none to serve under them .

They also constructed a small turf redoubt at Am ashan ,

where ten or twelve men were stationed under Lorenzo


Perez Branco and carried on a small trade in tobacco ,

rum soap and other American goods They were still


e
.
,

there three years later b ut h ow much longer they r


,

mained or what afterwards became o f them is unknown .

The war that had broken out in 1 66 9 between the Accras


and A kwam u s lasted until 1 6 8 0 During this time a vast
.

extent o f country had been laid waste many towns had ,

been burned and all the plantations destroyed The .

Accras were completely crushed and their country was,

reduced to the position o f a tributary province of Akwamu .

Those who had escaped the victorious arms of the enemy


either found refuge in the European forts or fled to Popo ,

and their King Furi sought protection under Penin


e
, ,

A sh riv the King o f Fetu to whom he was related


, Little .

Accra the town under the Dutch fort was burned to the
, ,

ground and some of its inhabitants removed to Soko under


the walls of J ames Fort Such wa s the devastation caused
.

by this prolonged struggle that not only during the war ,

but for several years after the cessation of actual hostilities


e e
,

the forts at Accra and Christiansborg had to b s u pp li d


with provisions from the windward Settlements The .

Accras who had fled to Popo were at constant war with


the A wu nas .These quarrels are said to have been
fomented by the King of Ak wamu in order to distract
their attention from his own country and give them no
time to attempt to gain possession o f some rich gold
mines that he had there H e was careful however to
.
, ,

keep the balance o f power fairly even assisting either side


e
,

from time to time a s might b necessary so that neither ,

was ever allowed to gain any signal advantage ; and


though the Accras in 1 7 00 succeeded in driving the
Awu na s from their country they were very soon afterwards
,

reinstated .
1 22 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

The Dutch at this time had a fort at Seko ndi called


Fort O range but it is not known exactly when it was
,

built probably in about 1 6 7 0 7 5 Captain H enry Nurse



.
,

Agent for the English Company also built a fort there


e
,

a f w years later B oth these buildings were Of about the


.

same size and only a gun shot apart that of the English
-
,

standing o n rather lower ground than Fort O range .

I t was now some years since the Dutch had been on


really good terms with the Elminas and in 1 6 80 or 1 6 8 1 ,

matters were brought to a head and the people broke out


into open rebellion The actual cause o f this was an
.

attempt by the Dutch to destroy the independence that


the Elminas had gained under the Portuguese The
e
.

Elminas were j oined by the K om nda s and laid siege to


the Castle and for not less than ten months kept its
,

garrison and that of Fort Conra a d sb u rg closely confined


and made two separate attempts to take the Castle by
assault . Neither of these was successful however for ,

the Castle is indeed impregnable so far as African warfare


is concerned and could only be reduced by bombardment .

The Dutch lost only four men but the Elminas had about
,

eighty killed and several others were taken prisoners a nd


kept stark naked c h ained and exposed to all weathers
, ,

on the land batteries for over nine months When they .

at last realized that the capture of the Castle was im


possible many O f the Elminas burned their houses and
,

emigrated to other towns and the siege wa s then raised .

I n 1 6 8 1 too a great riot occurred at Cape Coast This


, , .

originated in the flight of eighteen slaves who escaped


from the Castle and found refuge in the town Neither .

threats nor persuasion would induce the people to give


these men up and when the guns were trained on the
,

town to compel them to Obey at least 70 0 men turned out


,

and boldly attacked the Castle I n the fighting that .

ensued the garrison had several men killed and fifty or


sixty o f the people also fell The King so soon a s he heard
.
,

o f this outbreak hurried in from Efutu with only twelve


,

attendants to assure the English Agent of his own loyalty .

H e remained for eight days beneath a fetish tree which


1 24 TR I BAL WARS AN D ATTAC KS O N F O RTS

I n 1 6 8 2 Baretto the Portuguese Governor of Christians


,

borg Castle wa s made a prisoner by his own garrison who


, ,

rose against him and kept him close ly confined in the tower
o f the fortress Barbot who had known him in Prince s ’
.
,

I sland three years before went to visit him but was only , ,

allowed to salute him at the window from a consider


” 1
ab le distance The Portuguese Factor wh o had refused
.
,

him admission told Barbot that he was prepared to j ustify


,

what he had done but that if the prisoner wished to return


,

with him ( Barbot ) to Europe he might do so Baretto .

however sent ou t a message that he would on no account


leave h is post except by order o f the King of Portugal ,

but he sent a letter by Barbot to the Court at Lisbon .

The garrison wa s in a miserable condition and had no ,

provisions not even bread and less than sixty pounds


, ,

worth of goods in their warehouse The Danes at Fort


ee
.

Fr d rick sb o rg had o ff ered to buy them out for any


reasonable s u m but in vain Eventually however the
,
.
, ,

garrison became s o reduced by deaths and was in such a


wretched condition from shortage o f provisions and lack
o f discipline that the King o f Portugal was glad to accept
,

the o ff er Of the Danes and they were accordingly allowed ,

to redeem the place .

The African Company had for a long time been anxious


to gain p os session of the Danish Fort Fr d ricksborg at ee
Amanfu which being situated on a hill within gun shot of
, ,

their Castle at Cap e Coast constituted a serious menace ,

to its safety Conscious of their insecurity the English


.
,

had hitherto been compelled to humour the Danes and


live a s amicably with them as possible for it would have
been an easy matter to have levelled Cape Coast Castle
with the ground with a few good guns on the Danish
Mount Barbot wh o knew it well and was on very
.
,

friendly terms with its Commandant says that he had ,

often seen the garrison walking about in Cape Coast Castle


from this fort but it was a poor enough place which its ,

owners never seem to have tried to improve for he describes



,

it as only a pretty large almost triangular enclosure , ,

B a rb o t p 1 8 3 1
, . .
F O RT R O YAL

or indifferent thick wall of stone and clay m ix d together ’


,

e
always falling to decay with a round flanker towards the
es a side and two o t h r sorry small bastions to the land
-
,
,

of the same materials a s the wall and curtains one Of them ,

pointing east and the other west towards Cape Corso ,

on all which there are fifteen o r sixteen old iron guns ,

in no good order Within the enclosure or walls is a


.
, ,

disorderly heap Of Old clay buildings th a tch d like those ,



,
” 1
of the Blacks and all o u t of repair
, I n 1 6 8 5 arrange .

ments were completed for the purchase of t his place by


the English and it was formally handed o v er by its
,

Commandant H an s Luck to Captain H e nry N urse the


, , ,

Company s Ag ent at Cape Coast by whom i t was renamed



,

Fort Royal But the English once they had acquired it


.
, ,

d o not seem to have troubled any more about it and ,

though they had the precedent o f Elm ina Cas t le and St .

J ago s Hill to warn them of the possible results Of such


carelessness it was allowed to fall into decay even greater


,

than that which had existed while the Danes held it The
e
.

walls were m rely patched with clay and t he houses


thatched with reeds so that it can have been li t tle if any
,

better than a native hut and certainly did not deserve ,

to be called a fort Nevertheless it was allowed to remain


.
,

in this state for many years .

Wh en Barbot wa s on the Coast in 1 6 8 2 he wa s much


e
,

impressed by the friendship shown by the K om n d a s


for the French The King of Eg uafo too sent h is second
ee
.
, ,

son to him a s a hostage and invited him to come and s


him and discuss the formation o f a French S ettlement .

O n his return to Europe therefore Barbot laid t his proposal, ,

before the French Ministry and advised them to accept


the offer and choose Ampeni a s the most suitable place for
their purp ose I n 1 6 8 8 M d u Casse was sent ou t with
. .

four French men of war from Rochfor t and established a


- -

factory at Komenda and then sailed do wn to the S lave ,

Coast to make further S et t lements The Dutch however .


, ,

contrived to pick a quarrel with the Egu afos a few months


later and in the war that ensued the King was killed
,

1 B arbot
'

p 1 72 , . .
1 26 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

and the French factory pillag ed I ts garrison fled to the .

English at Cape Coast for protection .

The Dutch now decided to build a fort at Komenda to


e
compete wit h th English Wh o had been est a blished there
,

for some time b ut they met with a great deal of opposition


from the people wh o were probably stirred up by the
e
,

English Commandant to resist the new comers Ev ntu


e
e
- ~
.

ally however Governor S w rts collected troops from all


e
, ,

their ot h er forts and defeated the K om nd as who lost '


,

their Chief and several of their princip a l Cap ta ins and a ,

fort wa s then built about a quarter of a mile to eastward


of the English post and named Fort Vredenb u rg .

I n 1 6 9 0 a most disastrous war broke out between the


A d om s wh o were soon j oined by the people o f Jabi and
, ,

the A h a nta s This war lasted three or four years and


.
,

ended in the total defeat o f the A h a ntas whose losses were ,

so terrible that by the time peace w a s restored Sekondi


, , ,

which had previously been a rich and prosperous town had ,

been burned to the ground and many other places which ,

p rior to the war had been large and populous contained


, ,

not more than ten families The maj ority Of the survivors
.

settled under the Dutch fort at Butri whence in spite of , ,

the severe punishment that they had already received ,

they still continued to bid their enemies defiance .

The A d om s were led by a Chief named Ankwa but it


was to their own valour rather than to his that they owed
their success H e was a blood thirsty bully and an arrant
.
-

coward who though for ever stirring up strife usually


, , ,

took to his heels on the day of battle Bosman says of


ee
.

him This Barbarous Monster having in an I ngag m nt


taken five of his principal A nt s Enemies Anno 1 69 1 he ee , ,

wounded them all over after which with a more than ,

Brutal Fury he Satiated th o not Tired himself by


, ,

,

sucking their Blood at their gaping Wounds but bearing


a more than ordinary Grudge against one of them and ,

n o t contented with the mentioned Savage Cruelty he ,

caused him to be lai d bound at his Feet and his Body to


e
,

be p i rc d with h o t Irons gathering the Blood that issued


e
,

from him in a Vessel o n half of which he Drank and


, ,
128 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTAC KS O N F O RTS

numbered about twenty fiv men ; and the A kwam u s -


e ,

Observing this determined to avail themselves Of so


,

favourable an opportunity to seize the place They were .

prompted to this partly by the ho pe of plunder and partly


by a wish to avenge some real or fancied insults that had
been o ffered to them by the Danes with whom they had ,

been on bad terms for some time The a ffair was planned
e
.

and managed by a man named A ssam ni wh o had formerly


e e
,

been a cook at o n Of th English facto ries but had now


e
s t up in business a s a kind o f commission agent and

used to bring traders from the interior to the fort The .

Danish Governor reposed great confidence in him This


e
.

man came up to the Castle o n day and told the Governor


that he would soon be bringing a number Of traders who
had come down to the coast to buy firearms and advised
him to raise the price A few days later he presented
.
,

himself at the gate with ab out eighty A kwam u s carrying


i vory and gold w h o he said were the traders he had spoken
,

about .

The Danes not suspecting any treachery admitted


, ,

the men and the Factor began to sell them guns and
,

powder I t wa s a common practice with the traders to


.

allow the people who b ought guns to test them with a


blank charge before completing the purchase and this the ,

A kwa m u s n ow prepared to do B ut they had secretly .

brought in some slugs which they now slipped into their


,

guns thus fully loading them Then after stabbing the


, .
,

Factor who was serving them they suddenly turned on ,

the garrison and made them all prisoners The Governor .


,

who was upstairs heard the noise and ran o u t of his room
, ,

sword in hand but was at once attacked by two of the


,

men H e held his ground for some time calling for assist
.
,

ance but finding that none came and seeing more of the ,

A kw a m u s pressing forward to the attack he turned back

ee
, ,

and j umping through a window made his escape to the


, ,

Dutch Fort Cr ve Cc u r H e had been wounded in several


.

places and his left arm wa s disabled After remaining .

with the Dutch for a time he went to Cap e Coast Castle


e
,

in the h O p of finding a Danish ship that would take h im


AS SAMEN I

back and help him to recover the Castl A ss am ni took e . e


gold and goods in the Castle to the value of about seven
thousand p ounds and then occupied it with a garrison of
,

his A kwa m u s He flew a white flag e m blazoned with a


.

device of a Negro brandishing a sword dressed himself


e
,

in th Danish Governor s uniform and caused himself to ’

be treated i n every way a s Governor H e also required .

every ship that passed the fo rt to salute his flag and


himself saluted all those that came there to trade H e was .

in fact lavish with h is powder often indulging himself with a


,

salute and the guns would thunder forth in h is honour at


,

all hours Of the day or night whenever the fancy seized him
e
.

While A ss a m ni was thus installed at Christiansborg ,

Captain Thomas Phillip s made a voyage to the Coast and ,

o n reaching Accra purchased a canoe from him Phillips


ee
.
,

with Nicholas B u ck ridg and J ohn Bloom the English ,

Commandants o f Winneba and J ames Fort were then ,

invited to dine at the Castle The black Governor s ent


h ammocks for his guests but o n their arrival at the gate


ee
,

the guard demanded their swords Blo o m and B u ck ridg .

gave theirs up but Phillip s flatly refused to follow their


e
,

example A ss a m ni wa s therefore informed and came


.

down to the gate and explained that it was the usual


custom ; to which Phillip s replied that that might be
so but it was never the custom of English commanders
,

to deliver their swords upon any account whatever
e
.

This seemed to satisfy A ss am ni who then led the way to ,

the dining room which was entered by mounting a ladder


-
,

and passing through a hole in the floor H ere he drank .

to h is visitors while a salute was fired from the Castle


guns and Phillip s greatly pleased him by taki ng O ff his
,

sword o f his o wn accord and passing it to his boy to hold


e
.

A ssa m ni s previous experiences as cook enabled him to


give his guests a very good dinner at which he presided ,

with a boy armed with a pistol standing on either side Of


his chair a s guard H e repeatedly drank the healths Of
.

the King of England the Royal African Company and each


,

of his guests with volleys Of cannon to accompany each


,

toast about two hundred rounds being fired in all


,
.

1— 9
1 30 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

I n 1 6 9 4 however two Danish ships o f twenty six guns


, ,
-

each were sent out to treat for the redemption Of the


Castle They anchored O ff Christiansborg o n the i 3 th of
.

May and the place was soon afterwards restored to the


,

Danes on payment o f fifty marks in gold 6 00 ) and the ,

renunciation o f all claims upon the people for compensa


tion These negotiations were arranged through the
.

Dutch and the King Of Akwamu to whom the Danes had ,

given a large present The Governor who had been in


.

Office when the Castle was taken then went on board the ,

ships to return to Denmark where he was much afraid ,

he would be severely punished for his carelessness


but as it happened the ship s had been so weakened by
, ,

the loss o f the men who had been left to garrison Christians
borg that they soon afterwards fell an easy prey to Avery
( or Every Long Ben ,
the pirate who plundered and ,

burned them at Prince s I sland ’


.

Some years after the expulsion o f the Portuguese the ,

Dutch endeavoured to follow their example and establish


themselves in the gold bearing districts behind Axim -
.

They met with the s ame di fficulties as the Portuguese h ad


ha d to contend with and for several years the hostility
,

o f the A w o ins prevented any advance into the interior .

At last however they adopted the expedient of fomenting


, ,

a quarrel between this tribe and the A h a nta s and by help ,

ing the latter whenever necessary gradually succeeded in ,

driving the A w o ins back and populating a large proportion


o f their count ry with A h a n ta s They then rebuilt the old .

Portuguese Fort Duma and penetrating still farther , ,

inland in search o f gold followed the River Ankobra as


,

far as the rapids at A b a da m a and built a second fort


there which they named Fort R u ygh a v r This was about
, e
.

forty miles above Fort Duma and in the heart of the gold
bearing country They also built a third fort Fort Elis e
e
.
,

Carthago on the river near its mouth At about this tim


e
, .

of these forts seems to have fallen into the hands of


e
on

the natives Probably it was Fort R u yg h av r that was


.

captured by the A wo ins The Dutch then laid siege to .

t he place and the Chief finding himself hard pressed is


, , ,
1 32 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N FO RTS

came into fairly frequent conflict with them According


e
.

to Barbot the King o f Eguafo sent o n o f the Chiefs of


,

Ampeni named Cou co u m y ( K u k u m i) as his ambassador


, ,

to the King of France when he asked that a French fort


might be built in h is country and this man complained
e
,

that th people were tired of the overbea ring treatment


they h a d been receiving at the hands of the Dutch wh o ,

had frequently burned their coast villages The Dutch .

also imposed tolls on the fisheries at Axim Shama Elmina , ,

and Mori ex acting a fifth of the fis h caught at each of


,

these places Besides this they began to take cognizance


.
,

o f the civil and criminal proceedings o f the native Courts


,

a thing that the Portuguese had never attempted to do ,

and even assumed the power of life and death Barbot .


,

wri ting o f this says The Dutch O pper Koopman or


,
-
,

chief factor h a s an absolute authority over the whole


e
,

country of Axim the natives being so entirely r du c d ’

under subj ection by those people that they dare not ,

refuse him anything but are obliged to serve him to the


,

utmost nor will they presume to decide any controversy


o f moment without his knowledge and approbation he
being a s a chief j udge or j ustice to punish even the greatest ,

o f the Blacks All fines imposed are paid into the said
.

factor s hands who distributes them to the inj u r d persons



,
'
,

first deducting his own fees which are very large For ,
.

example if a Black be fined a hundred crowns for a ny


e
,

crime the factor s fees amount to two thirds and th


e
-
, ,

assembly of Ca b oc iros has the other third but in cases


of murder or robbery or compelling them to pay their
, ,

debts three fourths of the whole are the plaintif s and the ’

e
-
, ,

other fourth is for the factor and the Cab o c iros ; the
former taking two thirds thereof and the latter one So
-
,
.

great is the authority o f this factor at Axim and through ,

o u t the country O f Ankober that the B lacks dare not ,

shelter a criminal but must deliver him up to be p u nish d


,

” 1
by him according to h is o ff ence
, The Dutch too .
, ,

followed the example of the Portuguese in inflicting the


severest penalties on those whom they found trading with
Barbot p 1 5 0 1
, _
. .
TH E D UTCH ESTAB LISHM ENT

other nations and in refusing to open their warehouses


,

until sufficient gold had been brought into the Castle to


guarantee that the trade would compensate them for the
trouble of getting out their goods They are said to have
.

required at least s ix marks for this purpose .

I t was this arrogation of j u dicia l powers and the im


position of tolls and heavy fines that brought about the
estrangement between the Dutch and the people that had
culminated in the attack on the Castle and the subsequent
evacuation o f the greater part o f the town in 1 6 8 2 .

The principal o fficers of the Dutch Establishment and


their annual salaries were as follows

Offic e . S ala ry .

Director General o r Governor whose


-

full title was Admiral and


General o f N orth and South
Guinea and Angola
guilders )
Chief Factor of Elmina
Chief Factors of Mori and Kormantin
Seven o r eight Factors o f out stations -

Nine or ten S u b Factors -

Eighteen o r twenty Assistants or


Clerks
Chief Fiscal
Accountant o r B ook Keeper General -

Under Book Keeper -

Book Keeper of the Garrison


-

Secretary ( sometimes )
Under Fiscal or I nformer
Chaplain
Clerk o f the Church

Besides these there were a warehouse keeper under the -

Ch ief Factor at Elmina the o fficers and men of the ga rri


,

sons and a large number o f workmen and labourers


,
.

Several o f these O fficers dre w allowa nces in addition to


their salaries The Chief Factor at Elmina the Chief
. ,
1 34 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

Fiscal and the Chaplain lived with the Governor but the
other Factors were given from £ 2 1 to £ 2 6 table allowance ,

and all the principal o fficers had an allowance for servants .

The Governor was given a commission on the trade along



the whole Coast and after three years se rvice received
, , ,

an annual increment of £ 1 0 5 The Factors were all .

allowed a commission on the trade transacted in their


own stations and were given an advance to cover the cost
,

of the customary presents to native merchants and agents ,

which was sufficiently liberal to enable them to make a


1
profit on it The Chief Fiscal was entitled to a third of
.

all the gold and goods that were forfeited by illicit traders ,

as well as a third of all the fines inflicted on the staff ,

and another tenth o f all forfeitures was given to the Under


Fiscal .

The Sub Factors received the gold that was brought in


-

by traders and had to account for it to the Factor or Chief


Factor who in turn was responsible to the Company
, , , .

Bosman says that the Factors had to watch these assistants


very narrowly for they sometimes contracted extravagant
,

h abits which resulted in a shortage o f gold or good s that


the Factor had to make good and though he might have
the O ffender punished there was s ldom any chance of
,
e
recovering the money H e mentions one case in which a
.

Factor was called upon to make good a loss of between


£ 7 0 0 and £ 80 0 Promotions usually went by seniority in
.

the service and were made by the Council on the Coast as


,

vacancies occurred ; but the appointment o f any Officer


to the post of Chief Factor at any o f the three principal
stations was only provisional until confirmed by the
Directors Of the Company The Chief Factor of Elmina .

ranked next to the Governor and after having held his , ,

appointment for three years was eligible for promotion ,

to the Governorship when a vacancy arose At this ti m e . ,

the Chief Factors of Kormantin and Mori used to make


more by their commission o n the Slave Trade than from
any other source ; but in 1 6 9 9 the management of this
trade was handed over to the Captains of the ships engaged
Barbo t 1
.
1 36 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

Corporal Punishments ; that not being otherwise to


e
or

b done than in form o f Law and thirdly fo r the Gov ern


'

, ,

ment o f the Coast which is resolved and settled in the ,

C ouncil and least when anything happens wrong the


e
, ,

G o v rno u r should want an excuse he now being able ,

confidently to alledge that he acted by the Advice o f the


whole Council by whom it was also s o resolved tho their ,

real O pinions were at the same time a s distant from their


Suffrages as East and West I n short the Council is of
e e
.
,

no other real u s than to participate of the G ov rnou r s ,


Faults and to shelter him from being answerable for them


, .

Thus it clearly app ears that it is impossible for the Com


e
p a ni s Affairs to succeed under an ill G o v rn ou r
” 1
e .

The headquarters o f the English Royal African Company


.

were at Ca pe Coast Castle and its O fficials were much ,

better p aid than those of the Dutch The Governor who .


,

bore the title o f Captain General Of the English Settlements -

2
o n the Gold Coast o f Guinea drew a salary of a ,

year There were two Factors with him at Cape Coast


.

with salaries of £ 3 00 a year each and a Secretary drawing


£ 200 These officers composed the Council With the
. .

exception of the more liberal salaries paid to its officials ,

the English Company seems to have conducted its a ffairs


o n very similar lines to the Dutch I ts officers were .

forbidden to trade on their own account No I nformer was


e
.

employed to spy on them however ; but they were r


3
quired to take an oath to this e ffect which Barbot s ays ,

they did not scruple to break and this illicit trade together , ,
4
with the competition o f the interlop ers dep rived the Com
e
,

pany of the best part of the trade A s in the case of th .

Dutch the Council nominally administered the Govern


,

ment but in practice had very little voice in any matter


, ,

the Governor s wishes invariably being unopp osed and ’

the members all voting with him as a matter of course .

B esides these officers there were the Factors of ou t ,

1
Bosm a n p
give le eel ef e
, . 1 02 .

Barbot (p
e
2
. 1 7”0 ) s h is titas G n ra of Gu in a ro m Si rra
L ona to Ango la .

Barbot
tra de
Private nse
d by th e
3

rs not lice
, p . 1 70 .

1
Com p a ny .
C O U RT O F FETU

stations the Officer Commanding the Garrison and a Chap


,

lain and Surgeon As with the Dutch the English Factors


.
,

were given a percentage on the trade done in their stations .

The death rate was appalling


-
nor considering the ,

conditions under which these men lived is this surprising , .

Their food consisted almost entirely o f what they could


obtain in the local markets their knowledge o f medicine
and their supp ly o f drugs were most deficient they were
u nsuitably dressed in a scarlet uniform and had to wear

wigs and all the contemporary writers are agreed that


,

they drank to excess and more so than any other nation



on the Coast especially brandy rum and punch and , ,

constantly slep t in the open air when heated with


” 1
debauchery having nothing on but a shirt .

The English even at this early date seem to have taken


, ,

some part in the j udicial proceedings of the people for


Barbot in his account of the Cape Coast district says
e
, ,

Besides the daily market I have m ntio n d to be kep t at ’

the town o f Corso there is a very considerable o n at e


e
,

the town of A b ra m b o f a large town about twenty seven ,


-

miles northward from cape Corso where by appointment


o f the King of Fetu at a certain time of the year is a
ee
, ,

r nd v o u z from all parts of his country for public dancing , ,

and it is ca ll d the dancing season and lasts eight days



, .

An incredible number Of people repair to it from all parts ,

and spend all the day and most o f the night in that , ,

toilsome diversion At the same time are also decided


e
e
.
,

a ll suits and controversies which could not be d t rm in d



,

by the inferior j ustices in their several districts This , .

s upreme court is composed o f the king of Fetu his Dey

e
, ,

or prime minister the G ro ffo and the Bra ffo with two
, , ,

English factors of cape Corso castle I t is the agent s .


prerogative to send those agents to that court and each o f ,

them is to have as many suits o f clothes as he s tays there ,

days to appear every day in a di fferent suit which p uts


, ,
” 3
the company to three hundred pounds charges yearly .

for it is e
1 B a rbo

This A b ram b oe ca nnot h av ebe e x pre


t p 1 71 , . .

n Anam a b o ss l y
d th a t it lay a t s om e distan ce
2

s tate
,

in la nd poss ibly it wa s Abakram pa .

3 Ba rbot p 1 7 2 , . .
1 38 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

The Brandenburg Governor lived at Groot Fredericks


burg and bore the high sounding title of Director General
- -

under his Electoral Highness of Brandenburg and his


African Company These Governors were usually of
.

Dutch extraction The Prussian Possessions were small


.
,

and tho ugh nothing is known of their sta ff it was probably


ve ry similar to those of the Dutch and English but on a ,

prop ortionately smaller scale The Brandenburg Governor .

also claimed some j urisdiction over the people and seems


to have sat with the Chiefs as a kind of j udicial assessor .

Barbot says The Governor j ointly with the Cabo


e
c iros o f Po qu fo ee
and other neighbouring towns de
, ,

termines all cases and di fferences arising between the


inhabitants summoning them together on such occasions
e
,

into the fort whither immediately those Cab oc iros


repair and there decide all causes civil o r criminal and , ,

their sentences are executed accordingly with all sub ,


” 1
mission from the natives .

Bosman thus describes the Brandenburg Governors who


were in Office while he was o n th Coast at the close of

e
the seventeenth century The first J ohn Nyman an
ee
.
, ,

E m b d n r a Man of sound J udgment good Sence and


e
, ,

great Experience wh o discharged his O flic with the


,

greatest Fidelity and good Conduct by which means he ,

quitted this Country with a great deal o f H onour and left


a very good Name behind him : He was Succeeded by
,

J ohn and J acob Ten Hoos t the Father and Son who both
-
, ,

acquired a large share Of Reputation and kept their ,

Subordinates in due Decorum especially the Son who by


e
,

good Nature and a civil Address ga in d the A fi ction of ’

the Blacks and had every body at h is devotion ; By


e
,

which means he Established the B ra nd nb u rgh ia n Affairs


in a much better Condition than any before him and as
they never had a better Governor so tis very much to be ,


doubted they ll repent the time when they re m oved him
e e
, ,

and appointed Gysbr ch t van Hoogv ld t in his Place ;


who before had been Factor in ou r Service at Axim where ,

he treated those under him so ill that General J oel Smits ,

Barb ot p 43 1 1
, . .
1 40 TRI BAL WARS AN D ATTACKS O N F O RTS

retain their Settlements o n the Gold Coast fo r much


longer .

The a ffairs o f the Danes a s has been seen were at th is , ,

time in a very unsettled condition and their Establish ,

ment was a small one Barbot describes their Government .

as being very precarious and uncertain H e says scarce


e
.
,

any o n wh o is sent over from Denmark a s a person of


e
, ,

known integrity to th Comp any a s chief or general lives , ,

long on the Coast but is either snatched away by a natural


,

d eath o r by the contrivance o f his inferiors assisted by


, ,

the B lacks the better to compass their own designs Thus


, .

it sometimes comes to pass that a gunner of the fort or , ,

o ther such mean person succeeds to that post a nd so , ,

manages affairs according to his small capacity or rather ,

to his wicked inclination to enrich himself in as short a


time a s may be knowing he must shortly be removed or ,

discharged by the Company his command being only pro


e
,

interim O f the two Danish G nerals I knew there


.

during my voyages the first had been the gunner O f the,

fort the latter a lieutena nt a s he said himself but


, , ,

o thers told me he had been the other General s servant a


e
,

brisk bold daring well s t man and very young both


, , ,
-
,

which advanced themselves by the aforesaid means The .

first wa s murdered in his turn but what became of the


” 1
o ther I know no t O f this latter man he relates a story
.

that finding the book keeper would not keep h is books in


,
-

the way that he wished ( probably falsely ) he procured some ,

natives to bring false accusations against him and having ,

tried him before a mixed Court of Europeans and Africans ,

all of who m were corrupted sentenced him to death and im


e
, ,

mediately s t him to make his o wn coffin and then shot him .

Whether any Of the other settlers ever brought European


women to the Coast at this time is unknown but the ,

Danes certainly had done s o Barbot s ays that it had .

been observed that the Danish women could not live there
long and h is brother J ames wh o s a il d along the Coast in e
e
, ,

1 6 9 9 says that Mr Tra wn


, the Governor of Christiansborg
.
, ,

had h is lady with him .

Barbot p 1 7 3 1
, . .
CHAPTER VI I I

THE DUT C H K O M END A W A R


-

1 69 4 TO 1 69 9

ON the sth o f Sep tember 1 6 9 3 Captain Thomas Phillips ,

sailed for the Gold Coast in the Ha nniba l of 4 5 0 tons and


3 6 guns with Captain Thomas Shirley in the E as t I ndia
e
,

M rcha nt of 3 0 guns They were engaged in a slaving


e
.

voyage and o n o f the partners in the venture was Samuel


e
,

S ta ny r the Sub Governor o f the Royal African Company


-
.

They also had some soldiers on board for the Company s ’

garrisons so that if they were not actually sailing under


,

its flag they doubtles s held its licence to trade


,
They .

arrived on the Coast in 1 6 9 4 and the account of this voyage


,

that h a s been left by Captain Phillips gives an excellent


idea of the state of a ffairs and mode of life there at
this time .

I n spite o f the fact that the Dutch West I ndia Company


and the English Royal African Company had both been
granted the monopoly of the Gold Coast trade and were
vested by their respective G overnments with the power to
deal severely with those wh o infringed their rights there ,

were more than a dozen Dutch interlopers o n the Coast


when Phillips a rrived there This interloping trade was
.

a profitable one The ships the maj ority of which were


.
,

Zealanders or French used to trade quite Openly ; and as


,

they were always chosen for their speed and were well
manned and armed fighting desperately rather than be
,

captured it was but seldom that any of them were taken


,
.

These illicit traders moreover having no Settlements to


e
,

maintain were able to sell their goods from twenty fiv


,
-

141
TH E DUTCH K O MEN DA WAR -

1 6 9 4 1 6 9 9 to

thirty per cent cheaper than the Companies could and ,

C HA P V I I I thus did enormous damage to their trade They could


.
.

also a fford to give better prices for slaves or other cargo


when the supply was limited and thereby shortened their ,

stay on the Coast and had a quicker turn over Never


e
e
-
.

th l s s the occupation was not without its risks


,
for the
Dutch had power to put crim ina ls of their nation to death
after trial by Court Martial and whenever they succeeded
e
, ,

in capturing o n O f these p oaching ships used to execute ,

the o fficers and confine the crews in the dungeons of


Elmina unless as not infrequently happened it was made
, , ,

worth their while to adopt more lenient measures The .

English however had less power and could only send the
, , ,

o ffenders in irons to take their trial in England .

While he was lying off Axim Phillips was visited by ,

Rawlinson the Dutch Factor at Fort St Anthony who .


,

accepted his invitation to stay and proved a boon Com


panion taking his Glass off very smartly and singing and
, ,
”1
dancing several Jiggs by himself Presently however he .
, ,

s a w a large twelve hand canoe wit h a flag in it coming up


-

from the eastward and showed so much alarm that Phillips


o ff ered to fire on her but Rawlinson hastily begging him ,

not to do so sprang into his canoe and lying flat o n his


, ,

belly in the bottom of the boat was paddled as fast a s ,

possible to westward and following a circular course


, , ,

eventually landed about a quarter of a mile from his fort .

A little later he sent a canoe out to scout and then returned


, ,
” 2
o n board resolved to have the other J ug with them .

H e explained that his sudden departure had been due to


fear lest the canoe contained the Fiscal from Elmina on
one of his periodical tours of inspection I t was however .
, ,

only one of the stewards Frank the Butler from —

Cape Coast Castle who had been sent by the Company s


,

Agent with letters and instructions for Phillips and had


ee
picked up B u ck rid g the Factor at Dixcove on his way
The fort at Dixcove though begun three years earlier
, ,

was as yet but half finished and a few s m all guns planted
e
,

in th open on the rocks were its sole means of defence


Astle
.

1
y vol ii p 3 9 7 I bid p 3 9 8 2
, .
, . . .
, . .
TH E D UTCH K O M EN DA WAR

p urchases had b een made from a ship o r at o n of the e


African Company s forts ’
.

As they passed down to Cape Coast they saluted Elmina ,

Castle with seven guns and t h en anchored off Cape Coast


Castle where they lay for some time as they had a great
,

deal of cargo to land for the Company While they were .

there Clayton the Commandant of Fort Royal died and


ee
, , ,

wa s buried in a spot known as Black J ack s Gard n b


tween the Castle and Fort Royal which was the usual ,

burial ground for Europeans At Cape Coast they landed



.

t h irty s oldiers for the Castle garrison in a s good Health ,

a s they left England but in two Months Time near half


” 1
o f them died O n another occasion Captains Phillips
.

and Shirley gave a dinner to the Agent and the rest of the
Company s officers in a square summer house which stood

-

in the Castle garden Each Captain took six of h is quarter


.

deck guns on shore with which eleven rounds were fired


,

as a salute at every toast These volleys accompanying .

t o asts was a regular custom at this time .

Some time before this the Dutch had instigated the ,

King of Fetu to refuse the A s sins permission to pass


through h is territory These people used to bring a great
.

deal of gold to Cape Coast Castle and the Dutch hoped in ,

this way to divert the trade to their own Settlements The .

King h a ving complied and p lundered some of the traders on


their way down the A s sins declared war against him and
,

were assis t ed by the English with arms and ammuniti on .

The King o f Saboe was a lso paid to help them and the ,

allied army inflicted a crushing defeat o n the Fetus whose


e
,

King w a s forced to fly to Elmina for protection Th


e
.

victorious army consisting Of ab out


,
men under th
King of Saboe and Nim ia the Tu fu h in of Assi m returned
2
,

to Cape Coast while Phillips wa s there and was followed


soon afterwards by the brother of the fugitive King of
Fetu who had been nstool d in his stead and had now
, e e
come down to swear allegiance to the English .

From Cape Coast Phillips and Shirley sailed to Anamabo ,

Astle
Th eprincip a l wa r Ch ie
f or Com m ande
r in Chie
1
y v o l i p 40 0
, . i , . .

1
f - -
.
AG U NA S UCCES S I O N

where they entertained Searle the Factor and Cooper


e
and Fa sl m a n the Factors of Egya and the Dutch Fort
,

Vredenb urg They then went to Winneba where Nicholas


ee
.
,

B u ck rid g wa s no w in charge The factory here was .

only a little thatched house with no defence beyond that


afforded by its mud walls so that it is not surprising that ,

it should already have been twice plundered by the people


and that the Factor lived in continual dread o f another
attack A proper fort w a s built however in this year
.
, , .

The A gu na s were ruled by a Queen which had been their ,

custom from time immemorial She was not allowed to


e
.

marry but bought male slaves whenever s h pleased as


,

paramours H er eldest daughter who succeeded to the


e
.
,

stool wa s granted a similar privilege s o soon as s h attained


,

a marriageable age These slaves were sold again whenever


th eir mistresses grew tired o f them but if caught intriguing ,

with other women they lost their heads All the female .

children were kept but any males that were born to the
,

Queen or the H eiress Apparent were sold into slavery


-
.

This custom s o di ff erent to that o f the neighbouring Akan


,

tribes together with the fact that the people have a


,

language o f their own which is entirely distinct from the


Twi strongly supports the belief that they are descended
,

from some o f the survivors of the o riginal inhabitants Of


the coast line p rior to the date of the great Fanti invasion
-
.

From Winneba the ships went to Accra where Captain ,

Shirley died and was bu ried with naval h onours in J ames


Fort While the corpse was being towed ashore h is own
.
,

ship fired minute guns and after the ceremony was over

e
,

she fired a salute of thirty guns the Ha nn iba l fired twenty ,

six For t J ames twenty and Fort Cr ve Cm u r and Chris


e
, ,

tiansb org Castle ( then in the hands of A ss a m ni and his


A kwam u s ) sixteen each The pall bearers were Captain .

Phillips J ohn Bloom the Factor of J ames Fort Nicholas


ee
ee
, ,

B u ck rid g Factor at Winneba and the Dutch Factor ,

from Fort Cr ve Co ur .

I n September 1 6 9 4 the Dutch Fort O range at Sekondi


was surp rised and plundered by the A h a ntas who at the ,

same time massacred the crew of a Dutch vessel that


I —
IO
TH E DUTCH K O M EN DA WAR -

chanced to b e at anchor in the road The fort however


e
.
, ,

w as not destroyed and the Dutch soon afterwards r


,

occupied it .

The year 1 6 9 4 saw the commencement o f a war between


e
the Dutch and the K om nd a s which wa s destined to last
fo r some years during which it did an immense amount of
,

damage to the Dutch trade besides costing them very large


e
e
,

sums of money When Mr Sw rts in 1 6 8 8 had overcome


e
. .
, ,

the opposition o f the K om nda s and built Fort Vredenburg ,

he had only accomplished h is Obj ect by force of arms


e
,

and the K om nd a s wh o had never willingly submitted to


,

the presence o f the Dutch had been nursing their resent


,

ment ever since and only required an excuse to break


out into open rebellion Such a pretext was given to
.

them now by an attemp t by the Dutch to reopen the old


gold mine which the Portuguese were known to have
worked at A b rob i A party o f miners was sent ou t from
e
.

H olland and s t to work to locate the mine They com


ee
.

m nc d op erations in a hill j ust above Komenda which ,

they thought must contain the obj ect of their search but
e
this hill wa s believed by the K om nda s to be the residence
Of the chief local g o d and a few d a ys later the miners were
,

suddenly attacked and robbed of all they possessed several ,

o f them being captured and kept prisoners for some time .

The Dutch complained to the Chief of Komenda but he ,

declined to accept any responsibility and said that the


real author o f this outrage was a native trader named
e
J ohn K a b s wh o lived near Fort Vredenburg and had
,

considerable dealings with the Dutch


e
.

This K ab s had formerly been concerned in the murder


o f some Dutchmen and had fled to Cape Coast where he ,

lived for some years as a servant or agent under the


English Later however he got into their debt and went
.
, ,

over to the Dutch Governor J oel Smits whom he bribed


, ,

to let him o ff the punishment with which he had been


threatened and was given p ermission to settle in the
,

village under Fort Vredenburg I n B osm a n s Opinion he.


was s o arrant a coward that he would never have dared


to commit such an outrage as this except by the express
TH E DUTCH K O M EN DA WAR

e
defea t ed t he K om nd a s he would march h is army against

e
t hem also The natural result of these premature boasts
.

was the immediate allianc o f the threa tened tribes with


e
the K om nd as The allied army opposed to the Dutch
.

was t hus made much stronger than their own and in the
e
,

firs t g neral engagement the Du t ch mercenaries suffered


terrible losses and as those wh o were neither killed nor
, ,

taken prisoners only saved themselves by flight the Dutch ,

found themselves not only without an army and


ou t Of pocke t but with the most powerful of the Coast
e
,

t ribes at Open war with th m also Fortunately for them .


,

however a division occurred among the enemy which


,

gav e them an opportunity o f extricating themselves from


their difficulties of which they were only too glad to avail
,

themselves .

A dispute arose between Abe Teki the Chief of Komenda ,

and his brother Teki Ankan a s a result of which the ,

la t ter came over t o the Dutch bringing the A dom s and ,

some other allies with him With the new army thus .

provided a second attempt wa s made to subdue the


e ,

K om ndas and in the battle which follo wed both sides


,

fought with such valour and determination that for some


time the issue wa s in doubt But at length the Dutch .

auxiliaries thinking they had gained the advantage fell


, ,

to plundering and while they were thus engaged Abe Teki


,

brought up reinforcements wh o advancing with their , ,

arms reversed succeeded in deceiving the Dutch who


, ,

mistook them for a party o f their friends NO sooner .


,

however had they go t near enough than they opened so


,

rapid and accurate a fire that the Dutch force was soon
routed and fled in disorder to Fort V redenburg thus
e e
,

giving a second complete victory to th K om ndas .

N O further ac t ion w a s taken until on the death of Mr ,


.

S mits early in 1 6 9 5 his successor J Staphorst seeing the


, , .
,

great losses that the Company had already incurred by

e
this war opened negotiations for peace and succeeded so
e
,

w ll that the K om nda s even undertook to make good the

e
losses that the Dutch had sustained Such a satisfactory .

termination o f the trouble howe v er by no means suit d , ,


F O RT V RED EN B URG ATTAC KED 1 49

the English whose aim it w a s to profit by the expulsion


,

of the Dutch and thus get the whole o f the Komenda trade
into their own hands They therefore pointed out to the
.

Chief that after his two signal victories it wa s not for him
to give satisfaction but rather to dictate his own terms
, ,

and further supported their argument by showing that the


Dutch were no t in a position to refuse him but would have
to purchase peace at whatever price he chose to demand .

They also undertook to help him with arms and a m m u ni


tion if he followed their advice
e
.

By these means the K om nd a s were prevailed upon to


assume the o ffensive once more and in 1 6 9 5 they attacked ,

Fort Vredenburg William Bosman was the Commandant


.

and had less than twenty men h alf o f whom were sick
e
, ,

to serve the twenty guns Finding that the K om nd a s


.

were resolved to attack him he sent to Elmina reporting ,

h is weak condition and asking for reinforcements and


ammunition Two ship s were sent and anchored o ff the
.

fort and Peter Hinken the Captain of one of them sent a


, , ,

boat full of men to j oin the garrison They had no sooner .

set foot on the beach however than they were furiously


e
,

attacked by the K om nd as under the very guns of the


fort and lost several killed Bosman could do nothing
.

to help them for on going to the guns to fire on the enemy


,

he found that through the treachery o f the gunner every


, ,

one of them had been S piked The gunner wa s therefore .

arrested and sent in irons to Elmina but Bosman complains ,

that though the Governor swore that he would make a


terrible example of him he never did anything Of the kind
, ,

but released him almost at once and promoted him to an


even better p osition elsewhere very soon afterwards
e
.

Fortunately for the garrison the K om nd a s did no t avail ,

themselves o f this opportunity to storm the fort but went ,

away to eat and thus gave the garrison time to put the
guns in order again .

I n the evening however they returned and attacked


, ,

the fort The Dutch were at a great disadvantage for


.
,

many of the embrasures had no doors to them and Bosman ,

says the N egroes p ou r d Small shot o n us a s thick a s


’ -
TH E D UTCH KO M EN DA WAR -

H ail ; insomuch t h at those few Doors which were left


to some Gun holes were become like a Target that had
-

been shot at for a Mark and the very Sta ff which ou r ,

Flag was fasten d on tho it took up s o little room did


’ ’

e
, ,
” 1
not escape shot free O n on occasion one of the
-
.

enemy actually began to hack at the door with an axe ,

but he was killed and no further attemp t wa s made to


gain admission in that way O ne of the soldiers who .
,

had had the crown of h is hat shot away came to Bosman ,

fo r some grenades two of which he threw down to the


,

enemy telling them that they were something to eat


, .

They at once crowded round and stood for a time watching


them burn and were at first very agreeably diverted ;
,

b ut when they burst they so g a ll d them that they had no ’


,
” 2
great Stomach to such another Meal The fight lasted
e
.

five hours but the Dutch had only two men killed and th
e
, ,

K om nd as finding they could not take the fort then


, ,

drew o ff .

The Dutch now reali z ed that if they were to maintain


their position and credit in the country they must raise ,

another army as quickly as possible They therefore .

approached the Fantis whose former enmity had by th is ,

time died out and bargained with them to take the fiel d
e
,

and fight the K om nd a s until they had utterly exterminated


them on payment o f a sum of £9 00 But no sooner had .

this arrangement been made than the English paid the


Fantis an additional £9 00 to remain neutral Their Chief .
,

who seems to have had some sense of honour demurred ,

at this but was promptly deposed and his stool given to


,

a less fastidious person ; s o that as the Fantis infinitely ,

preferred to d o nothing fo r rather than fight for


o nly half that sum the only result the Dutch attained by
,

these negotiations was the loss o f their money The .

A d o m s next agreed to ally them selves with the Dutch for


something under £ 5 00 and a similiar arrangement was ,

made with the A ssins and the people of Cap e Coast They .

d isagreed among themselves however over the division , ,

o f the money and in the end all that could be got from
,

1 Bosm an, p . 2 7. 3
I bid .
, p . 28 .
TH E DUTCH K O MEN DA WAR
-

and burned N othing remained but the blackened outer


.

walls and though in ab out 1 7 00 several attempts were


made to rebuild it the people proved s o hostile that nothing
e
,

could be done and such trade a s the place a fforded r


mained entirely in the hands of the Dutch A new fort .

had however been built before 1 7 2 6 when Smith the


, , ,

African Company s Surveyor visited the Gold Coast ; for



,

he gives a drawing of b oth forts and a ground plan of the


English o n e
The Dutch had had several ships at Sekondi
.

at this time and were strongly suspected of having ih


e
s tig a t d the attack but when a protest was forwarded
to Director General J ohn Van S v nh u ys n he denied any
-
ee e ,

complicity and explained the presence o f the Dutch ships


by saying that they had come in search o f interlopers
But from some contemporary correspondence it seems quit e
clear that this charge against the Dutch was well founded .

I n a letter from the three English Agents to the Directors


o f the Royal African Company reporting this occurrence ,

and dated at Cape Coast the 2 6 th of J une 1 6 9 8 it is stated ,

that the people wh o took the fort had been sent from
Elmina some in canoes and others by land and that th e
e
, ,

English warned of their hostile intentions sent to th


, ,

Dutch Governor to protest H e admitted having sent .

them but said that they had only come to collect a debt
,

and refused to recall them Moreover from a letter from


.
,

the English to the Dutch Governor it appears that an ,

English l Op was in Sekondi road at the time having put ,

in on account of bad weather She had lost both her .

anchors and her Captain therefore sent to borrow one


, , ,

from one of the Dutch ships but the mate of the latter
replied Tis true we have enough but d o you think we

e
e
, ,

will spare any to you Do you not s we are sent to


take your fort and can you expect ou r help Th e
English answered
,

We must then perish to which th
, ,
e
Dutchman replied Why then perish and the Lord have
, , , ,

mercy upon your souls From a second letter dated the
.
,

zu d of J une 1 6 9 8 it further appears that the Dutch Factor


,

allowed the goods that were taken from the English fort
to be carried Openly into Fort O range and that he turned ,
M U RDER O F AB E TE KI

the garrison away almost naked and only ridiculed their


misfortunes I n the face o f this evidence it is hardly
.
,

possibly to acquit the Dutch o f complicity in the attack .

e
The fortunate termination o f the Dutch troubles with
the K om nd as s o exasperated the English that in Novem
ber 1 6 9 8 they treacherously murdered Abe Teki while he
wa s visiting them at Cap e Coast The K om nd a s were
. e
determined to avenge the death of their Chief and Teki ,

Ankan wh o was also concerned in this dastardly act fled


, ,

to Cape Coast and sought the protection of the English ,

whom he j oined against h is o wn people The English


e
.

then raised a large force of S ab o s and Cape Coast men ,

and placing Teki Ankan in command sent him against the


e
K om nd a s but the Dutch though invited to j oin refused
e
, ,

to mix themselves up in this new quarrel The K om nda s


e
.
,

who were outnumbered by four to on were led by their ,

Tu fu h in Am u Teki and completely routed the force under


, ,

Teki An kan Amu Teki then sent some of the enemy s


.

1
skulls to the Dutch Governor at Elmina in token o f
his victory and a s a sign o f friendship The messengers .

were well received and sent back with presents for the
,

Tu fu h in and the Governor s thanks The Dutch were


e
.

now on such friendly terms with the K om nd a s that they


had the best possible opportunity to damage the English
but they seem to have been prevented from doing so
p rincipally by the intrigues of a native named Akim wh o ,

was much trusted by the Governor wh o constantly allowed,

himself to be guided by this man s advice Akim used ’

e e
.

every means to irritate the Governor against th K o m nda s .

Some Elmina women were murdered at this time and Akim ,

pretended that this outrage had been perpetrated by


the Fetus though there is good reason to believe that it
,

was really committed by Agents o f Akim and Teki Ankan


in order that they might lay the blame at the door of the
Fetus who were allies of the K o m nd as Be this a s it
,
e .

may Ak im persuaded the Governor to have a number of


,

Fetus attacked when they came to the Castle to trade ,

several o f whom were killed and eighty more taken


1 Pr ba bl
o j a w b one
y th e s only -
.
TH E DUTCH K O M EN DA WAR

prisoners This treacherous act was committed without


.

the sanction or even the knowledge of the Council


e
.

The English now attacked the K o m nda s again and ,

this time met with better success ; for Amu Teki being
e
,

wounded and dropping o u t of th figh ting line the Ko


e
-
,

m nda s,
missing t h eir general lost confidence and Teki
, ,

Ankan secured an easy victory killing o r taking p risoners


,

many of the principal men Teki Ankan thus became


.

Chief of Komenda and the continual state Of warfare in


e
,

which the country had been kept for the past four or fiv
years at last came to an end .

The a ffairs of the Royal African Company and the subject


o f the trade to Africa generally had now been considered
1
by Parliament and an Act was passed laying open the
,

trade to all His Maj esty s subj ects for a period of thirteen

years from the 2 4 th of J une 1 6 9 8 A duty of ten per cent


e
.

a d va lor m was to be co llected o n all goods and merchandize

exported to Africa and the am ount thus raised was to be


,

paid over to the Royal African Company to assist them in


maintaining the castles and forts o n which the safety of
the trade so largely depended .

I n 1 6 9 9 the Company sent o u t special orders to the


Agent at Cape Coast to lose no time in putting Fort Royal
in a thorough state of repair This important position
.

had been neglected far too long nothing had been done
to improve it since it was purchased from the Danes and ,

it was now little better than a heap o f ruins A model .

was now prepared however which if it had been followed


e
, , ,

would have made this fort the strongest on th whole


Coast but though it was rebuilt the original plan was ,

only partly carried o u t .

1
T h is wa s a n o u tco m e
o f th e
Decla ra tio n o f R ig h ts .
1 56 TH E G O LD C O AST IN TH E I 7 TH CENTURY
1
1 7 00 and were both under the protection o f Fanti The A dom s .
,

ca n . ix J abis and A kwa m u s were now the most p owerful and


warlike o f the coast tribes but the latter were continually
at va riance with the Akims wh o claimed a feudal right ,

over them and tried to exact an annual t ribute Akim .

would have been a much more powerful State than it was


if its Chiefs had only been able to agree amongst them
selves instead o f being for ever engaged in petty quarrels
and disputes s o that their enemies had little cause to fear
t h em Some Of the inland States now began to be heard
.

o f fo r the first time O f these Denkera was the richest


.

and most powerful and had recently conquered A woin


,

after a prolonged struggle in which their ultimate success


,

was largely due to the want o f combination shown by the


enemy The A na m a b os were especially truculent and
.
,

would sometimes keep the garrison shut up in the fort for


days or weeks together or if they took a dislike to the
, ,

Factor thought nothing o f sending him away in a canoe


,

to Cap e Coast .

Most o f the garrisons o f the forts were very weak ,


2
especially those of the English Atkins describes them .


as a Company of white N egroes and says that they were ,

entirely in the power of the Governor wh o punished them ,

fo r any fault with Mulcts Confinement the Dungeon , , ,

Drubbing or the wooden H orse and for enduring this


, ,

they have each of them a Salary sufficient to buy K anky ,

Palm O il and a little fish to keep them from starving


-
, ,

fo r though the Salaries sound tolerably in Leaden hall -

street ( a s from fifty Pounds to ninety Pounds per annum


a Factor ; fifty Pounds fo r an A rtific r) yet in Guinea e
, ,

the General for the Company s Good pays them in


,

,

Krakra a false Money current only upon the Spot which


, , ,

disables them from taking any Advantage O f buying



Necessaries from Ships coasting down I n order to keep .

up the price of the stock they were forbidden to buy ,

anything except from the Company and were encouraged


to run into debt and then became practically exiled for
e
,

life for no on was ever allowed to leave the Coast until


Astle
,

1 B a rb o t 1
p 1 79 , .
y v ol 11 p 45 1
.
, .
, . .
CLI MATE AN D H EALTH

his account had b een settled I f a man was to o sober to .

run into debt Atkins alleges that there were other means
,

of attaining the same end by arts o f mismanagement or



loss of goods under h is care Similar methods were .

practised with the townspeople many of whom thus ,

became pawns to the Company and liable to be sold by


the Governor at any time Most of the Factors had .

dwindled from the genteel Air they brought ; wear no


Cane nor Snu ff b ox idle in men of business have lank
e
-
, ,

Bodies a pale Visage their Pockets sewn up or of no U s


, , , ,
” 1
and their Tongues tied .

The unhealthiness o f the climate and the insanitary


habits of the peop le were a s noticeable features of life
on the Gold Coast in those days as they are at present .

Bosman says The Stench of this unwholesome Mist is


very much augmented by the N egroes pernicious Custom ’

of laying their Fish for five o r six Days to p u trify before


they eat it and their easing their Bodies round their
,

Houses and all over their Towns ; and if this odious


,

Mixture Of noysome Stenches very much a ffects the State


of H ealth here it is not to be wondered since tis next
, ,

to imp ossibility not only for new Comers but those who
e
, ,

have long continued here to preserve themselves intir ly ,

from its Malign Effects The great Di fference betwix t .

the European Air and t h is is so observable t h at few come , ,

hither who are not at first sei z ed by a Sickness which


carries o ff a great many and that chiefly because we are ,

so wretchedly unprovided with what should comfort and


nourish these p oor Men ; for we have no help to have
recourse to but corrupted M d cin s and unskilful Physi e e ’

e
,

ia u s they being only ignorant Barbers who bring several


, ,

into the utmost danger o f their Lives Whereas N ature


is strong enough by the Assistance of good N ourishing
,

Diet and Restoratives it might probably recover the ,

Patient B ut alas how should he be able to get them


.
,

e
For our Medicines a s I have before told you are most o f
, ,

them spoiled and for Food what is here to be gotten f r ,

the common People besides Fish and a dry lean H en


Astl e
y v ol ii p 4 5 1
1
, . . . .
1 58 TH E G O LD CO AST I N TH E I 7TH CENTURY

And i ndeed were he able to pay for better here is nothing


, , ,

proper for a weak Stomach for all the O xen or Cows ,

Sheep and Hens are dry lean and tough So that a sound
, ,

Man not to mention an infirm one hath enough to do to


, ,
” 1
eat them The habits of many of the people have not
.

noticeably improved d uring the two centuries that have


elapsed since Bosman wrote nor has the quality of the ,

fowls changed for the b etter but the progress of civiliza


tion has nevertheless had some e ffect and neither the
, , , ,

want of provisions nor the dearth of medical comforts


are now such marked c h aracteristics o f the Gold Coast as
they once were .

But though the laps e o f time has failed entirely to


ab olish the defects complained o f by Bosman it has pro
e
,

d u c d very great changes in the distribution of the wild


animals o f the country I n his day antelope leopards .
, ,

lions elephants and other animals that are now rare or


,

extinct along the coast line were extremely common He


- .

describes the slaughter O f an elephant in Elmina itself as


late as December 1 700 and says that three had been killed
,

there on different occasions while several were killed ,

daily in the districts around Axim .

The elep h ant at Elmina came into the town about six
o clock in the morning walking along the foot of St Jago s

, .

Hill and numbers of the people though unarmed at


, , ,

once turned out and began to follow it O ne o f the Dutch .

officers came down from Fort Conra a dsb u rg and shot at it ,

wounding it j ust above the eye ; but in spite of this and


a number of other shots that were fired by the Elminas ,

it continued to walk quietly on until it reached the Govern


ment Garden which it entered and began to pull down a
,

clump of coco nut palms The Dutch Governor with


-
.
,

B osman and several other Officers n ow came down and , ,

while the elephant stood in the garden more than a hundred


shots were fired into it at close range but a s only leaden
balls were used they did not penetrate very far and
,

many of them even failed to pierce the thick skin so that ,

a fatal wound w a s not to be exp ected and all this firing


1
B o sm a n, p . 1 05 .
1 60 TH E G O LD C O AST I N TH E I 7TH CENTURY

only obliging the people with a Knife to cut ou r own



Throats and Barbot prophesied that if the sale of cannon
,

went o n it would only require some renegade white man


,

to teach the people how to use them and then they might
bid farewell to all the forts and castles and the Coast trade
fo r ever .

Spears b oth for throwing and stabbing shields and


e
, ,

bows and arrows were still in u s and helmets of ,

crocodile s or some other skin adorned with a red shell on


each side and a bunch of horse hair behind and secured -

on the head with a heavy iron chain The arrows were


e
.

feathered thus di ffering from those still in u s among the


,

tribes of the N orthern Territories and except among the , ,

Aw oins were never poisoned


,
The use o f arrows however .
, ,

was already dying o u t and they were in general use only ,

in Akwamu B osman says the people were so nicely


.

dextrous in shooting that in Hare hunting they will lodge ,
-

their small fine Ar rows in what part of the Hare s Body is ’

desired ”
.The chief weapon after their fir arms h ow
1
, e -
,

ever wa s the sword These swords were very strong and


,
.

heavy but so blunt that several strokes were required to


,

cut off a man s head They were shaped exactly like the

.

state swords that are still to be seen amongst the regalia


Of any Chief which is the only form in which these ancient
,

weapons have survived .

Several of the forts were struck by lightning from time


to time and considering the quantity of p owder that was
,

stored in them it is marvellous that none of them were


blown up Bosman found it recorded in some old papers
.

written by Governor Valkenburg that in 1 6 5 1 Elmina


Castle was struck All the gold and silver was melted in
.

the bags which were themselves untouched and swords


, ,

were broken in their scabbards without any damage to


the latter Fort B a t ns t in was struck in 1 6 9 1 and the
. ee
fl a g sta ff shattered and in about 1 6 9 3 Fort St Anthony
-
, .

and Fort Nassau were both struck At Axim Bosman .

says the Thunder broke all the Drinking Glasses of the -


Factor s Chamber and raised up h is Child with the Bed
,

1
Bos m a n, p . 1 86 .
EXP O RT O F G O LD

under it both which it threw some feet distant without ,


” 1
the least hurt done Fort J ames at Accra was also .

struck and its walls were so shattered that there were


,

holes reaching through to the powder room and some -

pewter p orringers were melted into a lump .

I n spite of the fact that no attemp t had yet been made


to improve up on the crude methods employed by the
people to obtain gold a very large quantity of this metal ,

was annually exp orted from the Coast though only a small ,

proportion o f it passed through the hands of the legitimate


Companies According to B osm a n s estimate the total
.

,

amount was about marks annually ( equivalent to


about sterling ) O f this he says the Dutch .

West I ndia Company obtained about marks the ,

Royal African Company about 1 20 0 the Dutch interlopers , ,

another and the English interlopers while


the Br a ndenburgers and Danes between them accounted
fo r another 1 000 and the Portuguese and French together
, ,

had about 8 00 more According to his reckoning there .


,

fore the largest share fell to the Dutch


,
.

The gold was Ob tained by barter and each nation took ,

o u t chiefly those goods that were cheapest in his o wn

country though there were many articles with which they


,

all had to be supplied The Factors too had to be very .


, ,

careful in examining the gold which was Often mixed ,

with base metal more s o at some places than at others


,
.

The p rincipal trade goods were cloth of di fferent kinds ,

linen chintz calico and other materials spirits muskets


e
, ,

fir locks ; cutlasses and knives ; p ewter dishes basins ,

and porringers powder and flints lead in sheets pipes ,

and balls or shot copper basins and pots brass kettles ,

locks bells rings trumpets pins and cups hair trunks


, , , ,

iron bars and hammers ; glass bugles and beads of all


kinds ; fis h hooks and a variety of other articles The
e
- .
,

French carried more brandy wine iron paper and fir , , ,

locks than the English and Dutch who supplied most of ,

the linen and cloth wrought copper and pewter and b eads , ,

and nearly all the gunpowder The Danes Brandenburgers


ei ew
.
,

1 B osm a n. p . 1 1 3 .
1
B arb o t s
'
st m at as

I— I I
1 62 TH E GO LD C O AST I N TH E I 7TH CENTURY

and Portuguese bought most of their goods through Jews


i n H olland but the Portuguese often added rum and
,

tobacco from Brazil .

I nterlopers still frequented the Coast during the summer


months and then had nearly all the trade in t h eir hands
, ,

as they could sell their goods more cheaply than the


Companies who relied mainly on the winter trade James
,
.

Barbot in 1 6 9 9 saw three Zealand ships in Elmina road


, ,

which had j ust been captured by two Dutch frigates One .

of them was a ship of thirty six guns and her commander


-
, ,

who had made a desperate resistance wa s to be tried for ,

his life .

The following is a description o f the Forts and Settle


ments as they existed at or about this time Commencing .

from the west the ruins o f a French fort are described


,

by the Chevalier de Marchais as being still in existence


on a h ill to the east of the River Manco H e says it had .

been a double square redoubt b ut his statements are not ,

always to be relied upon and it is possible t h at what he


saw were the ruins o f Fort Elise Carthago which had been ,

abandoned by the Dutch At Axim Fort St Anthony


e
. .
,

was in the possession of the Dutch but th defences of ,

this place have already been fully described The Chief .

Factor s house was a high triangular building of brick


with a small plot of ground planted with a few orang e


trees on its west front and the Dutch had a kiln in th
, e
village where they burnt lime from oyster shells for the
repair Of their di fferent forts .

Farther east was Groot Fredericksburg the headquarters ,

of the Brandenburgers which mounted forty six guns on


,
-

four large batteries the guns however were of no great , ,

size A handsome outwork on the east side of the fort


.

rather weakened its defences and the breastworks ,

being no higher than a man s knee a fforded but little ’


,

protection to the garrison and constituted another serious


defect The quarters and store houses however were
e
-
.
, ,

exceptionally fine and well built and the gateway was th


e
,

most beautiful o n the whole Coast so large was it that th


saying used to the burghers of Minde u s ed to be quoted to
1 64 TH E G O LD CO AST I N TH E I 7T H CENTURY

being merely a square white house in a yard mounting ,

eight or ten guns on a terrace on the roof The first .

Englis h fort had been a very similar building but had been ,

so grossly neglected that the guns were literally honey


combed with rust and the carriages rotten and useless .

I t is small wonder therefore that it fell such an easy prey


, ,

to the Elminas The second English fort was built on


.

much the same plan as Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove and


mounted the same number o f guns but was made rather
1
,

larger and stronger .

Shama at this time consisted of three small villages


b uilt close together and totalling about two hundred
houses The Dutch Fort St Sebastian stood o n a little
ee
. .

hill and was of about the same size as Fort B a t nst in with ,

eight small guns on its four batteries .

Komenda also consisted o f a group o f three villages


e
,

which at ordinary times contained about on hundred


and fifty houses but in 1 6 7 5 nearly the whole town had
been accidentally destroyed by fire and many of th , e
people had temporarily removed to Ampeni The lagoon .

at this time op ened into the sea and was used as a harbour ,

for fishing canoes The English fort was a large quad


.

ra ng u la r building with four bastions and a high tower .

I t mounted twenty one guns and was garrisoned by about


-
,

sixty men half of whom were Europeans The Dutch


, .

Fort Vredenburg lay a little farther east and was a square ,

stone building with a stunted tower and four batteries


mounting twenty guns The close proximity of these
.

forts which were within gunshot distance of each other


,