The gold coast slave trade
Before the 16th century, Europeans were not deeply involved in slave trading on the West African coast. However, there was some movement of African labour the gold coast slave trade Madeira and the Canary Islands by the early Portuguese explorers from onwards.
These plantations became the model for the gold coast slave trade sugar estates in the West Indies. African exports at this time included gold, palm oil, nuts, yams, pepper, ivory, gum and cloth. There the gold coast slave trade intense rivalry for West Africa among Europeans. With no interest in conquering the interior, they concentrated their efforts to obtain human cargo along the West African the gold coast slave trade. During the s, the Dutch the gold coast slave trade the Portuguese monopoly to become the main slave trading nation.
Later, Scottish, Swedish and Danish African companies registered their interest. With so many European powers on the coast, conflict was inevitable, culminating in the Anglo-Dutch war of West African rulers were instrumental in the slave trade. They exchanged their prisoners of war rarely their own people for firearms manufactured in Birmingham and elsewhere in Britain. With their newly acquired weapons, kings and chiefs were able to expand their territories. The gold coast slave trade slave trade had a profound effect on the economy and politics of West Africa, leading, in many cases, to an increase in tension and violence.
Infor example, Dahomey, a small coastal state on the Atlantic, extended its borders into the interior of Africa. Half a century later, the Asante Empire under Osei Tutu forcibly united a number of small kingdoms into a strong federation. A large proportion of the prisoners of war were sold on as slaves. Other Africans captured during raids into the interior were exchanged for commodities. Europeans lacked the local knowledge to be able to negotiate the perils of the African interior, so they used middlemen for this task, according to Olaudah Equianowho had himself been captured in this way.
European slaving ships waited at coastal ports to pick up their cargoes of slaves. Middlemen would attack Africans working in the fields and march them to the coast. Children acting as lookouts for their parents might also be captured. The captured Africans were held in forts, sometimes called 'slave castles', along the coast. They remained there for months until finally leaving their homeland for an unknown destination on board European merchant ships, including those of the British Royal African Company.
Ships constructed in Britain carried the Africans to the West Indies. This human cargo of slaves was chained at the wrists and legs with irons, and stowed in the lower decks of the ships, like any other commodity. The the gold coast slave trade trade developed into a complex system that included many different groups and interests. The actual number of Africans taken continues to be disputed, but it the gold coast slave trade somewhere in the range of 15 to 20 million people.
It has been suggested that a great many of those captured went unrecorded. Many died on the march to the coast, in the cellars of slave forts and on the ships.
Great BritainLondon, Slavery in the British Empire 2nd ednLondon, About Feedback Glossary Copyright Sitemap. Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade. Europeans Before the 16th century, Europeans were not deeply involved in slave trading on the West African coast. During the 16th century the first foundations of globalisation were laid when African rulers forged relationships with European traders. In the s, Hawkins made voyages to Guinea to obtain ivory, dyewoods and gold.
At this stage the English seemed to have little interest in taking slaves. This, however, was soon to change. Slaves for Guns West African rulers were the gold coast slave trade in the slave trade. Kidnapped and Incarcerated Europeans lacked the local knowledge to be able to negotiate the perils of the African interior, so they used middlemen for this task, according to Olaudah Equianowho had himself been captured in this way.
The slave trade was responsible for major disruption to the people of Africa. Women and men were taken young, in their most productive years, thus damaging African economies.
The physical experience of slavery was painful, traumatic and long-lasting. We know this from the written evidence of several freed slaves. Captivity marked the beginning of a dehumanising process that affected British attitudes towards African people. References and Further Reading Clarkson, T. Great BritainLondon, Walvin, J.
From Cape Three Points to the mouth of the Volta River, lays the Gold Coast where the Europeans maintained in the 18th the gold coast slave trade not less than a hundred trading posts and fortresses, the most impressive being the Cape Coast and Elmina castles.
Until the region was known as a slave importing country where slaves were put to work in gold mines. Gold Coast slave exports rose sharply in the eighteenth century with the rise of Ashanti Kingdom. Very few slaves from the Ivory Coast and the Gold Coast were imported in Louisiana except the Mina who were among the most frequent ethnicities in this country. They belong to the Ewe group and their traditional domain is rather centered on the Mono River, encompassing eastern Ghana, the territory of modern Togo, and the west of modern Benin.
It is more likely that most of the Mina transported to Louisiana were shipped from the Bight of Benin also known as the Slave Coast. Between the estuary of the Volta River and the kingdom of Benin, the famous Slave Coast became in the 18th century the most active zone of the slave trade. Beginning from the s, the Bight of Benin underwent a rapid expansion of trade in slaves, which continued until the end of the slave trade in the nineteenth century. In the beginning of the 18th century, Agaja, ruler of the continental kingdom of Dahomey, undertook a set of conquests toward the ocean in order to have a direct hold on the Atlantic trade.
Instead of the various animals as the chameleon, the lion or the fish, which his predecessors and successors had chosen as symbols of royalty, this atypical king had a ship as his emblem. The Fon, also called Aja, were the builders of the kingdom of Dahomey.
The Yoruba built the rival kingdom of Oyo and their dominions reached to the north the territory of the Hawsa. The Fon, the Yoruba also called Nago, and the Hawsa were among the most frequent ethnicities on Louisiana plantations. The Bight of Biafra, centered on the Niger Delta and the Cross River, became a significant exporter of slaves from the s and dominated the Trans-Atlantic slave trade along with neighboring Bight of Benin until the mid-nineteenth century.
A great numbers of slaves from this part of Africa were sold into North America. They were also among the most frequent ethnicities listed on official documents. In Southwest Louisiana, "Ibo" has survived as a family name and transcribed "Ebow.
From the Bight of Benin came the fundamentals of Vodun. Vodun is a corpus of rituals meant for the well-being of the community on Earth. It also involves divination which determines the proper sacrifices to the deities. Each vodun is a delegatee hypostasis of the power of the Universal Supreme God. The gold coast slave trade most important among them the gold coast slave trade Legba, the protector of the family, the holder of the key to the gate separating the humans' world and the world of the deities, and the Messenger and Spokesperson of all the other deities before the Supreme God.
Legba is the Christ of Vodun. Vodun has been retained in Louisiana as Voodoo and wrongly described by outsiders as mere witchcraft. Vodun is dominated by women The practitioners, both male and females, are called Vodun-si wives of the Vodun. The Lebu form several communities of fishermen and farmers along the coast where they resisted slavery and welcomed refugees from all over Senegambia.
The gold coast slave trade traditional cult is the exclusive domain of women. The traditional pantheon in Senegambia is overwhelmingly dominated by female deities: Maam Kumba Bang St. Among the Yoruba, Yemoja is the deity of the ocean, the essence of motherhood, and a fierce protector of children. This deity is present all over the West-Atlantic world as Yemanja. Maama Jombo, also called Maama Choori, is the gold coast slave trade deity of fecundity and the protector of mothers and their children among the rice growers of Casamance Senegal and Guinea Bissau.
Maama Jombo, was retained as Mumbo Jumbo in Louisiana and also became synonymous of witchcraft like Voodoo. Few slaves were imported from Monomotapa, Mozambique, and Madagascar. Slaves from Mozambique were found the gold coast slave trade small numbers in Louisiana where they were called Makwa.
The most active slave harbors south of the equator were in West Central Africa. The most important was Mayumba, followed by the ports of Malimba and Cabinda in the kingdom of Loango. To the south of Loango, Congo was a kingdom on the decline after having played a premier role in the slave trade during the 17th century.
To the gold coast slave trade south of Congo, in the kingdom of Angola, the main harbor was Luanda. The coast of Angola remained after an active center of the trans-Atlantic slave trade handled by the Portuguese and then the Brazilians.
In general, the songs and dance performances of the enslaved Africans and their descendants gave birth to musical forms enjoyed worldwide today: Jambalaya is a rice-based dish imported from the coast of Senegal. Ashley Rogers - Director of Operations. Special events, tour feedback and suggestions, general information, accessibility questions, museum donations, curatorial questions, gift shop questions. Ibrahima Seck - Director of Research. Educational material requests, schools and teachers, historical research requests.
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The Ivory Coast the gold coast slave trade Gold Coast. The Slave Coast and Bright of Biafra. West-Central Africa and East Coast. The Domestic Slave Trade. The Atlantic Slave Trade. Slaves of the Plantation. Description of the Slave Force.
The Gold Coast had long been a major bone of contention between European nations seeking to take advantage of the natural and human resources of West Africa.
The Portugese first moved into the area and built forts on the coast to allow them to trade with the local tribes. They discovered that the nearby Ashanti did have access to gold from the interior and were keen to supply their defeated enemies as the gold coast slave trade.
This attracted the attention of the English who brought back a ship of gold as far back as Gold, ivory and slaves would turn the coast into a magnet for traders eager to make their fortune. The most assertive of these nations was to be the Dutch who managed to replace the Portugese formally in in return for withdrawing their presence from Brazil.
The gold coast slave trade Dutch built a fort at Elimina. The English would build their own fort at Kormatine in the gold coast slave trade Ten years later they would build a larger one at Cape Castle. The The gold coast slave trade and English were frequently at war with one another in the seventeenth century and the forts on the Gold Coast would play their part in these conflicts.
In and the Dutch were able to destroy all but the largest fort at Cape Coast. The Treaty of Breda confirmed Dutch ascendency but the profits from the slave trade would attract the English back.
In the Royal African Company was created with rights to monopoly access to English markets at least. The African The gold coast slave trade of Merchants would later take over the monopoly and would further streamline the efficiency of the slave trade. At its height, 10, slaves a year were being exported from the area. Public opinion back in Britain had turned violently against the inhumanity of the slave trade and it was abolished in This crippled the profitability of the African Company of Merchants.
Bythe company had been dissolved and the British government was forced to take over the possession of the forts. Thanks largely to profits from the slave trade, the Ashanti had risen to be a major force in the area. The Europeans had confined their activities to the coast but from the s the British had begun extending their influence into the interior.
They were concerned that the Ashanti were still supplying slaves to the other European nations which had not yet outlawed the slave trade. This led to serious clashes which the gold coast slave trade became all out war from to The British seriously underestimated the power of the Ashanti and the extent of their weaponry thanks to years of investment from the slave trade.
A British expedition was defeated at Nsamankow in The British were wiped out and their governor was killed. The Ashanti were to inflict another the gold coast slave trade on the British at Efutu.
Indeed it was only when they attempted to take the formidable Cape Coast Castle that they finally foundered. The British would build up a new force and join forces with local tribes hostile to the power of the Ashanti to try and reduce the gold coast slave trade power of the Ashanti. Two years later they were able to finally defeat the Ashanti in open battle at Dodowa. However, even then the Ashanti would not sign any the gold coast slave trade with the British.
The British government was becoming concerned at the cost of the war for such little payback. They wondered if it might not be easier to withdraw from the colony altogether. In they gave orders for all British officials and garrisons to withdraw to Sierra Leone. They then paid the London Committee of merchants pounds a year to maintain the forts on their behalf.
This did actually make it easier for the Ashanti to come to an independent agreement with the London The gold coast slave trade in However, anti-slavery campaigners in Britain considered that the deal allowed the Ashanti to continue their slave trade unhindered.
The British government was just relieved that it had found a way out of an expensive war with a determined and skilled foe. Inthe Colonial Office resumed its control of the forts from the London Committee. Some of the interior tribes were still requesting British protection - always mindful of the power of the Ashanti.
The British agreed nominal rule over inland areas specifically to exercise the right of trying criminals, repressing human sacrifice and other such practices.
This was a de facto extension of British control even if there was little evidence on the ground. The British were still not alone in their control of forts in the area; the Danes and Dutch still the gold coast slave trade their own. In fact, the competition between these three powers exacerbated the economic problems of all three countries' settlements and caused endless trouble with the surrounding native tribes.
Anxious to cut their losses, the Danish offered to sell the gold coast slave trade forts to the British government. Behind this offer was the threat that the gold coast slave trade the British did not buy them then the Danish would offer them to other powers - either the French or Dutch.
The British reluctantly offered 10, pounds which was excepted by the Danes in The Dutch would not sell their rights and forts until Again, the British were initially reluctant to take over yet more control in the area, but felt morally obliged to support their Fanti allies on the coast who would be crushed by any British withdrawal. In fact, the Dutch withdrawal would actually preempt another war with the Ashanti anyway.
The Ashanti were concerned that they no longer had access to any ports except through the British ones. The port of Elmina had to hold off a furious assault by the Ashanti. The Royal Navy had to land marines in the colony whilst a full fledged military expedition was planned under General Wolseley.
By the the gold coast slave trade of this war, the British had significantly expanded their technological advantages over the Ashanti. There was not going to be the embarrassing repeats of previous defeats. Superior weaponry and tactics would allow the British to enter the Ashanti capital at Kumasi for the first time.
On March 14,the two sides signed the Treaty of Fomena, which required the gold coast slave trade Ashanti to pay an indemnity of 50, ounces of gold, to renounce claims to Elmina and to all payments from the British for the use of forts, and to terminate their the gold coast slave trade with several other states, including Denkyera and Akyem. Additionally, they agreed to withdraw their troops from the coast, to keep the trade routes open, and to halt the practice of human sacrifice.
Who Could Have Known? A T de B Wilmot explains how a secure job for life in the colonial service turned out to be anything but predictable as he saw service throughout the continent of Africa, through war and beyond decolonisation and into independence. The job may not have been as secure as was promised but it was fascinating in its scope and the opportunities it provided.
Election Day in the Northern Territories of the The gold coast slave trade Coast Eirwen Lewis gives an her eyewitness account of how the Legislative Assembly elections were run which foreshadowed the independence elections just three years later. And yet, the influence of the old tribal structure was very much in evidence. Massa Gets to Speak Propa Robert Yearley remembers how fellow passengers en route to the Gold Coast put him through a crash course in Pidgen English to allow him to communicate upon arrival.
Was it a good idea to buy a car before he had a license to drive? Yet, within weeks, he was swept up in the wave of riots by ex-servicemen who had been expecting jobs and pensions after having served in the British Imperial forces during World War Two. Education and Political Change in the Gold Coast Geoffrey Winter describes working in an Education Office in Western Gold Coast in the late s and early s during a period of transition towards independence. A Learning Experience Eric Cunningham explains how he saw his role as a colonial educational officer change radically in s Gold Coast as the colony was fast-tracked to independence.
The Life of Dr. Ward Gold Coast Diaries: