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A

HISTORY OF THE GOLD COAST
OF WEST AFRICA.



A HISTORY OF THE
GOLD COAST OF WEST AFRICA



BY

A. B. ELLIS,
/i

Lieut. -Colonel \st Battalion West India Regiment,

AUTHOR OF

'THE TSHI-SPKAKIN-G PEOPLES OF THE GOLD COAST," "THE EWE-SPEAKING PEOPLES OF
THE SLAVE-COAST," ETC. ETC.



LONDON: CHAPMAN AND HALL, LD.
1893-

[All rights reserved.}



ODT-5//



CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS,
CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

West Africa as known to the ancients Voyages of the Phoenicians
The Periplus of Hanno Extent of his voyage Expeditions
of Eudoxus of Cyzicus Traces of Phoenicians on the Gold
Coast .



CHAPTER II.
13931485.

The Portuguese discoveries in West Africa Exploration of the
coast Formation of a settlement at Elmina French claim of
a priority of discovery 12

CHAPTER III.

14861594.

The Gold Coast under the Portuguese Early English voyages
The voyages of Towrson Adventures of a boat's crew French
trade on the Gold Coast Reprisals of the Portuguese Aban-
donment of the Gold Coast by the English and French adven-
turersNative States on the Gold Coast at the close of the
sixteenth century .... 24

CHAPTER IV.
15951642.

The Dutch commence to trade to the Gold Coast They form
settlements Hostility of the Portuguese Wars between the
Dutch and Portuguese Capture of St. George d'Elmina Final
expulsion of the Portuguese Traces of their occupation . . 39



M16390



vi CONTEXTS.

CHAPTER V.
16431668.

PAGE

Return of the English to the Gold Coast Growth of the slave
trade The English form settlements Disputes between the
English and Dutch The Dutch seize Cape Coast Castle
Holmes's expedition to the Coast De Ruyter's expedition
The treaty of Breda ... 48

CHAPTER VI.
1669 1700.

Formation of the Royal African Company The Brandenburghers
form settlements Rebellion of the Elminas Native wars
The voyage of Thomas Phillips Capture of Christiansborg
by the Akwamus War between the Dutch and Kommendas
The English trade to Africa made open . . 62

CHAPTER VII.
1701.

Native States in 1701 European forts Personnel of the Dutch
establishments Interlopers Description of the Settlements
The trade in gold Arms of the natives 74



CHAPTER VIII.
1701 1750.

Conquest of Denkera by Ashanti The Elmina Note Affairs in
Ashanti to 1750 John Conny Condition of the Royal African
Company The African Company of Merchants formed The
slave trade Piracy on the Coast 85

CHAPTER IX.
17511804.

Affairs in Ashanti during the reign of Osai Kwadjo First mention
of Ashanti in the Records of Cape Coast Castle War between
England and Holland Extraordinary affair at Mori Reigns
of Osai Kwamina and Osai Apoko II. Accession of Tutu
Kwamina Position of Ashanti at the commencement of the
nineteenth century . . . . . . . . -99



CONTENTS. vii

CHAPTER X.

1805 1807.

PACE

Disturbances in Assin Condition of Fanti First invasion of Fanti
Defence of Anamabo Fort Torrane's convention His dis-
honourable transactions Continuation of the war End of

the invasion ... 107



CHAPTER XI.
18081818.

The Fantis attack Elmina Message from the Ashanti King Con-
dition of the country Rebellion of Akim and Akwapim
Second invasion of Fanti Murder of Mr. Meredith at Winne-
bah Third invasion of Fanti The Fantis purchase a peace
End of the war Embassy to Kumassi Difficulty about the
notes Conclusion of a treaty Gradual growth of British juris-
diction The traffic in slaves 121

CHAPTER XII.
18191823.

New difficulty with Ashanti Mr. Dupuis His treaty Skirmish at
Mori The Crown assumes the Government of the Gold Coast
Seizure of a sergeant at Anamabo Expedition to Dunkwa
The Accras join the Government 137

CHAPTER XIII.
1823 1824.

The Ashanti invasion Expedition to Essikuma The Ashantis enter
Wassaw Sir C. Macarthy advances to meet them Defeat and
death of Sir Charles Macarthy at Assamako Escape of Captain
Ricketts Movements of Major Chisholm's force Sekondi
burned A camp formed on the Prah Palaver with the
Ashantis at Elmina Release of Mr. Williams His narrative . 151

CHAPTER XIV.
1824.

Effect of the Elmina palaver on the natives Retreat from the Prah
Defeat at Dompim A camp formed at Beulah Action at
Effutu The Ashantis advance upon Cape Coast Cape Coast
attacked Withdrawal of the Ashantis Condition of the town
Outrage by the Elminas ........ 167



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XV.
1825 1829.

PAGE

Major-General Turner Advance of a second Ashanti army Battle
of Dodowah Proceedings of Sir Neil Campbell Peace ne-
gotiations Blockade of Elmina Further negotiations The
Home Government withdraws from the Gold Coast A com-
mittee of merchants formed Condition of the country ... 179

CHAPTER XVI.
1830 1844.

Appointment of Mr. Maclean Treaty with Ashanti Expedition to
Appollonia L. E. L. Her death Charges made against her
husband Administration called in question A commissioner
sent out The Crown resumes control Domestic slavery
Missionary enterprise 195

CHAPTER XVII.

18441861.

Treaty with protected tribes Death of Maclean Expedition to
Appollonia Visit to Kumassi Religious disturbances at
Mankassim A poll-tax agreed to Formation of a local corps
Ashanti intrigues in Assin Attempted invasion Disturbances
in the east Siege of Christiansborg The Krobo war . . 208

CHAPTER XVIII.
18621867.

Dispute with Ashanti The Protectorate invaded Engagements at
Essikuma and Bobikuma Military mismanagement Native
feeling Mr. Pine's proposals Expedition to the Prah The
Home Government puts an end to the operations Effects of
the campaign Delusive proclamation War with the Awunas
Ashanti intrigue in Awuna Governor Blackall's treaty . 224

CHAPTER XIX.
18681869.

Exchange of territory with the Dutch Native protests Bombard-
ment of Kommenda The Fanti Confederation Investment of
Elmina Fruitless negotiations Condition of affairs in Ashanti
Palaver at Elmina Dutch prisoners at Kommenda Bom-
bardment of Dixcove 243



CONTENTS. ix

CHAPTER XX.
18681869.

PAGE

An Ashanti force sent to Elmina Bloody march of Atjiempon
Affair at Elmina Treaty with the Awunas Ashanti invasion
of Krepi Mr. Simpson's adventure Capture of German mis-
sionaries by the Ashantis Hostages sent for their safety
Policy of the Government ........ 256

CHAPTER XXI.

18701872.

Condition of affairs Negotiations for the transfer of the Dutch
possessions Ashanti claim to Elmina Affairs in Krepi
Negotiations for the release of the Europeans Alleged renun-
ciation of the Ashanti claim to Elmina Further negotiations . 266

CHAPTER XXII.
1872.

Transfer of the Dutch forts Tftr. Hennessey's policy Riot at
Elmina Question of a ransom for the Europeans Palaver in
Kumassi War decided upon Various messages The cap-
tives sent to Fomana Despatch of an Ashanti army Causes
of the war - 275

CHAPTER XXIII.

1873-

Invasion of the Protectorate Helpless condition of the Govern-
mentDefeat of the Assins Actions at Dunkwa Break-up
of the allied force Adu Boffo and Atjiempon Distress of the
Ashantis Defeat at Jukwa Arrival of Colonel Festing Bom-
bardment of Elmina Action at Elmina Condition of Cape
Coast Arrival of reinforcements Unfortunate affair at
Shamah Cape Coast covered 285



CHAPTER XXIV.

1873-

Arrival of Sir Garnet Wolseley Captain Glover's command Sir
Garnet's instructions Palaver at Cape Coast Expedition to
the Elmina villages The Ashantis break up their camps-
Reconnaissances from Dunkwa Defence of Arbrakampa
Amankwa Tia's retreat Skirmish at Faisowa Return of the
army to Kumassi



299.



x CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXV.
18731874.

PAGE

Affairs in the West Arrival of the European troops Difficulties
with the commissariat The plan of operations Captain
Glover's proceedings His trans-Volta campaign Ultimatum
sent to the King Alarm in Kumassi Release of the Europeans
Further correspondence with the King Movements of the
auxiliary columns 312

CHAPTER XXVI.

1874.

Battle of Amoafu Attack of Kwaman and Fomana Battle of
Ordahsu Kumassi entered Incendiary fires The King's
palace Messages from the King Burning of Kumassi . . 325

CHAPTER XXVII.
1874.

Return march to the coast Movements of Captain Glover's
column March of Captain Sartorius Envoys from the King
The Treaty of Fomana Adansi becomes independent The
trade in arms at Assini The climate Embassy from Kumassi
The Treaty signed Treaty concluded with the Awunas The
Gold Coast made a colony Abolition of slavery . . - 34 1

CHAPTER XXVIII.
18751881.

Affairs in Ashanti Secession of Djuabin Conquest of Djuabin
by Ashanti Fresh troubles in Awuna Ashanti intrigues in
Adansi The Golden Axe An invasion of Assin threatened
Protracted negotiations 354

CHAPTER XXIX.

18821886.

Gold Mining Companies in Wassaw Human sacrifices in Kumassi
Quarrel between Ashanti and Gaman Dethronement of
Mensa Rival factions in Ashanti Election and death of
Kwaku Dua II. Renewed disturbances in Awuna Dis-
organisation of Ashanti War between Bekweh and Adansi
The Adansis driven across the Prah Boundary Commissions . 370



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXX.
18861888.

Rival candidates for the stool of Ashanti Raids made on Ashanti
from the Protectorate Effect of the unsettled condition of affairs
upon British trade War between Bekweh and Kokofu The
Colony intervenes to restore peace Prempeh placed on the
stool Murder of Mr. Dalrymple in Tavievi Expedition to
Tavievi Rebellion and defeat of Kokofu .



386



HISTORY OF THE GOLD COAST
OF WEST AFRICA.



CHAPTER I.

West Africa as known to the ancients Voyages of the Phoenicians The
Periplus of Hanno Extent of his voyage Expeditions of Eudoxus
of Cyzicus Traces of Phoenicians on the Gold Coast.

IT is a well-authenticated historical fact that frequent voyages
were made from the Mediterranean along the Western Coast
of Africa, both by the Phoenicians and the Egyptians, many
hundred years before the Christian era ; but considerable
difference of opinion as to the extent of these voyages pre-
vails, and it is not generally held that they were pushed
far south as the Gold Coast. There seems, however,
fair ground for supposing that that part of Western Africa
was not entirely unknown to the ancients, though it must
be confessed the whole subject is involved in great obscurity.
S T one of the writings of the Phoenicians, the greatest maritime
people of antiquity, have been transmitted to us ; but the
numerous colonies which they established on the shores of
the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic beyond the Straits of
Gibraltar, attest the extent of their early voyages. Some
ot these colonies were founded between 1200 and 800 B.C.,
and .it is morally certain that settlements would not be



I



2 A HISTORY OF THE GOLD COAST.

established at so great a distance from the parent state,
until: the seaV fcad^ keen frequently explored and become
fairly* ^wsll^kn own * The, accounts of the Phoenician dis-
GbvetfeG ^furnished - by "other nations are very meagre, which
may be accounted for by the fact that the Phoenicians, being
jealous of foreigners participating in the advantages of their
enterprises, were careful to keep them concealed. Every-
thing relative to their navigation was not only a trade, but
also a State secret ; and Strabo records several instances
of their anxiety to prevent other nations prying into their
affairs. Hence most of these secrets perished with the
downfall of the Phoenicians, and the conquest of Tyre by
Alexander, and that of Carthage by Rome, was followed
by a marked retrograde movement in the science of navi-
gation.

The few facts that survived the destruction of these
conquests have fortunately been preserved to our day. Thus
Herodotus relates that the Carthaginians carried on a trade
with an African people beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, with
whom, however, they had no personal communication. On
arriving at the territory of this people, they arranged their
goods in a number of small heaps, and retired. The natives
then came forward, placed opposite to these heaps the
articles they were willing to offer in exchange, and then
retired in their turn. If the Carthaginians were satisfied,
they took away the offered commodities, and, if not, they
carried away their own, and the trade was, for that voyage,
at an end. This story has generally been regarded as in-
credible, yet Cada Mosto, who made a voyage to the West
African coast in 1455 A.D., learned, at Cape Blanco, that
just such a system of barter was carried on between the
Moors of the kingdom of Melli, and a black people who lived
in the neighbourhood of a great river ; and Captain Richard
Jobson, who made a voyage to the Gambia two hundred
years later, mentions a similar system as existing some
distance up that river. This would seem to show that the
story of Herodotus was well iounded.

Then there is the evidence concerning the circumnavigation



VOYAGES OF THE PHCENICIANS. 3

of Africa, which feat, according to Herodotus, the Phoenicians
accomplished six hundred years before the Christian era.
He says : * " Libya is everywhere encircled by the sea,
except on that side where it joins Asia. Pharaoh Neco, king
of Egypt, made this manifest. After he had desisted from
his project of digging a canal from the Nile to the Arabian
Gulf, he furnished a body of Phoenicians with ships,
commanding them to enter the northern sea by the Pillars
of Hercules and sail back by that route to Egypt. The
Phoenicians, therefore, sailing from the Red Sea, navigated
the southern ocean. At the end of autumn they anchored,
and, going ashore, sowed the ground, as those who make a
Libyan voyage always do, and stayed for the harvest.
Having cut the corn, they sailed. Thus, two years having
elapsed, they returned to Egypt, passing by the Pillars of
Hercules; and they reported a circumstance which to me
is not credible, though it may gain belief from others, that
sailing round Libya they had the sun on the right."

The part of the narration considered by Herodotus in-
credible now furnishes the strongest presumption that Africa
was really circumnavigated. At that time the existence of
a southern hemisphere was considered impossible, and
consequently the statement that the Phoenicians had, when
rounding the southern portion of Africa, seen the sun to
their right, that is to the north, was regarded as a mere
invention; but it is exceedingly unlikely that the explorers
would have invented a tale which was opposed to all the
scientific knowledge of the age ; and it is more reasonable to
suppose that they did circumnavigate Africa, and reported a
fact which they had observed.

The voyage of Sataspes, undertaken in the reign 01
Xerxes, though it failed in its object, showed how confident
the ancients were of the practicability of circumnavigating
Africa. He, having been condemned to death by Xerxes,
was reprieved on condition of making a voyage through the
Straits of Gibraltar, and following the African coast until



* Melpomene, 42.



B 2



4 A HISTORY OF THE GOLD COAST.

he returned by the way of the Red Sea. He sailed a con-
siderable distance along the shores of Western Africa, and
then returned home, where he suffered death. Indeed, the
opinion that Africa was a peninsula, and that the Indian
Ocean joined the Atlantic, appears to have been generally
held by the Persians and the Egyptians ; until, the science of
navigation having declined, and the remembrance of former
explorations having died out, Hipparchus, with his theory
of seas separated into distinct basins, led the world into
error, and caused the fragmentary accounts of the Phoenician
discoveries to be regarded as mythical.

But of all the early attempts at maritime discovery of
which we have any authentic accounts, the voyages of the
two Carthaginians, Hanno and Himilco, along the coasts of
Africa and Europe, are unquestionably the most important.
These expeditions were undertaken when Carthage was at
the height of its prosperity, and must therefore have taken
place prior to the battle of Himera, which was fought in
the year 480 B.C. Hanno was despatched by the Senate of
Carthage to establish some colonies on the west coast of
Africa. According to the Periplus, he had with him seventy-
seven quinqueremes, together with a large number of women
and children, and an ample supply of provisions and other
necessaries. Passing the Straits of Gibraltar, he sailed two
days to the southward, and anchored opposite a large plain,
where he built a city called Thymisterium, on the banks of
the River Marmora. Proceeding further to the south he
built a temple, dedicated to Neptune, on a wooded pro-
montory which he calls Soloeis, and which has been iden-
tified as Cape Cantin. Having doubled this cape, he built
five other towns on the sea shore, at no great distance from
each other. Continuing his southerly course, he passed
along the shores of the Sahara, and, doubling Cape Blanco,
colonised the island of Arguin, which he calls Cerne, and
where the cisterns constructed by his colonists still attest to
the enterprising spirit of the Carthaginians.

Still sailing to the southward, the expedition reached a
river called by Hanno the Chretes. This they entered, and



THE PERI PLUS OF HAN NO. 5

found that it opened into a wide harbour, containing several
large islands. The hills in the neighbourhood were inhabited
by black savages clothed in the skins of wild beasts, who
drove away the voyagers with stones and other missiles.
Not far from this was another great river, filled with
crocodiles and hippopotami. Twelve days to the south of
Cerne the Carthaginians came to a hilly country, covered
with a variety of odoriferous trees and shrubs. The negroes
of this coast were a timid race, and fled from the strangers.
Seven days' further sail brought the expedition to a large
bay, to which they gave the name of the Western Horn.
In this bay was an island, on which they landed. During
the day all was calm, but at night strange appearances pre-
sented themselves : the mountains seemed to be all on fire,
and the sound 01 drums and cymbals was mingled with
strange cries. Terrified at these sights and sounds the
explorers hastily embarked, and as they continued their
course to the south, columns of flame still illumined the
midnight sky. Sailing seven days along this coast they
came to a bay, which they called the Southern Horn, and
found within it an island with a lake, and in this lake
.another island, filled with savages of a peculiar description.
The females were covered with hair and were called Gorillae.
The males fled across the precipices, and defended them-
>lves with stones ; but the Carthaginians captured three
females. These, however, broke their bonds and fought so
furiously that it was found necessary to kill them ; but their
skins were stuffed and brought to Carthage. The want of
provisions prevented the explorers proceeding any further to
the south.

The Periplus, which gives us the above account, is evi-
dently an extract from or summary of some earlier account
of the voyage, made by a Greek of apparently a much later
age ; and the imperfect manner in which the details of the
voyage relating to time and distance have been transmitted
to us, renders it extremely difficult to ascertain with precision
how far it extended. Some geographers have confined it to
the southern confines of Morocco ; M. Gosselin determines



6 A HISTORY Ot THE GOLD COAST.

that Hanno never sailed further south than Cape Non, and
M. de Bougainville supposes the Western Horn to be Cape
Palmas, and the Southern Horn Cape Three Points. M.
D'Avezac limits the voyage to the River Ouro ; while, on
the other hand, others have fixed the Cameroons Mountains
as the Southern Horn, Cameroons Peak as the Currus
Deorum, and Corisco, in the Bight of Benin, as the island
inhabited by gorillas. Most of these authorities, however,
had never visited the African coast, and were unacquainted
with the appearance of the various localities supposed to
have been reached ; while many erred in applying the
word keras exclusively to promontories, whereas the Greeks
generally applied it to inlets of the sea.

Sir Richard Burton, whose intimate acquaintance with
the geography of West Africa entitles his opinion to respect,
appears to favour the supposition that the voyage extended
further than MM. Gosselin and D'Avezac suppose. Assum-
ing the identification of Cerne with Arguin to be complete
and the presence of Carthaginian remains in that island
supports that assumption the first river met with to the
southward, the Chretes, would be the Senegal. There are
several islands in this river, which spreads out into a lagoon
inside the bar, notably the one on which the town of St.
Louis is built. There are hills in the neighbourhood, namely
those at Cape Verde. It is the first place at which, ac-
cording to the Periplus, black people were met, and negroes
are not found north of the Senegal, which separates the
Djollof Negroes from the Moorish tribes. This seems to
fairly identify the Chretes with the Senegal, and the next
great river, filled with crocodiles and hippopotami, would
be the Gambia, which until very recently was remarkable
for the large numbers of those creatures which infested it.
From Cape Verde, north of the Gambia, to the peninsula of
Sierra Leone the entire coast is low, with the exception of
the Dubrika mountain ; the mention therefore of mountains
in the vicinity of the large bay, to which the voyagers gave
the name of the Western Horn, seems to identify it with
Sierra Leone harbour, in the neighbourhood of which the



THE PERIPLUS OP HANNO. 7

mountains of the Sierra Leone range attain in the Sugarloaf
Peak a height of some 2,600 feet. % The harbour, or bay, is
the largest on the whole coast, and in the eastern branch of
it, round Tagrene Point, there are several islands. The
nocturnal fires observed by the voyagers were doubtless the
bush fires, by means of which the negro inhabitants have
been accustomed from time immemorial to clear the ground
for cultivation. These bush fires are at times immense, and
the country for miles round is seen illumined by advancing
lines of flame, which well explains the sentence " fires con-
tinually issuing from the ground " in the Periplus. The
sounds of drums and cymbals and the strange cries which so
terrified the explorers, were no doubt caused by the nocturnal
festivities to which the negroes are so addicted on moonlight
nights.

So far this seems tolerably clear. The Senegal, the
Gambia, and Sierra Leone are fairly well identified ; but now
the difficulties commence. Seven days from the Western
Horn the voyagers arrived at the Southern Horn, where was
the island inhabited by gorillse. Now, there is no island on
the whole coast between Sierra Leone and the Cameroons
Mountains, except Sherbro Island, which, being only some
forty miles from Sierra Leone harbour, cannot be supposed
to be the one in question ; and the voyage to Fernando Po,
the island lying off the Cameroons Mountains, could not
possibly have been accomplished in seven days. If then
the voyage terminated at the Cameroons Mountains, many
important details as to time and distance must have been
omitted from the summary of the voyage which has de-
scended to us.

The only attempt on the part of the Greeks to explore
the West Coast of Africa was that made by Eudoxus of
Cyzicus, who lived about 117 B.C. He was despatched by
the successor of Ptolemy VII. on a voyage to India, and
on his return, being driven by contrary winds to the East
African coast, he there found on the shore, amongst other
fragments of wreckage, the prow of a vessel, with the figure
oi a horse carved upon it. This relic, which he took with



8 A HISTORY OF THE GOLD COAST.

him as a curiosity, was exhibited in the market of Alexandria,
and was there recognised by some pilots as belonging to a
vessel from Cadiz. The smaller vessels belonging to that
city, and which were employed in the fisheries along the
West Coast of Africa as far as the River Lixus (Wadi al
Klios), invariably had the figure of a horse carved upon the
prow, and on this account were termed " horses."

The fact of the wreck of a vessel peculiar to Western
Europe being found on the eastern coast of Africa, convinced
Eudoxus of the possibility of sailing round the southern
extremity of the African continent ; and, proceeding to
Cadiz, he equipped three vessels, one large and two of
smaller size, and endeavoured to put his theory to the test.
After sailing for some distance along the West African
coast, the sailors, afraid of entering upon unknown seas, in
spite of his remonstrances, forced him to beach his vessels.



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