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ASHANTI

territory southward, the figures are included in those of the Gold Coast; but Ashanti does also a considerable trade with its French and German neighbours, and northwards with the Niger countries. Its revenue and expenditure are included in those of the Gold Coast. Revenue is obtained principally from caravan taxes, liquor licences, rents from government land and contributions from the gold-mining companies.

Communications.—The railway to Kumasi, cut through one of the densest forest regions, is described under Gold Coast. The usual means of communication is by tortuous paths through the forest, too narrow to admit any wheeled vehicle. A wide road, 141 m. long, has been cut through the bush from Cape Coast to Kumasi, and from Kumasi ancient caravan routes go to the chief trading centres farther inland. Where rivers and swamps have to be crossed, ferries are maintained. A favourite mode of travelling in the bush is in a palanquin borne on the heads of four carriers. Telegraph lines connect Kumasi with the coast towns and with the towns in the Northern Territories. There is a well-organized postal service.

History.—The Ashanti first came under the notice of Europeans early in the 18th century, through their successful wars with the kingdoms bordering the maritime territory. Osai Tutu may be considered as the real founder of the Ashanti Early relations with the British. power. He either built or greatly extended Kumasi; he subdued the neighbouring state of Denkera (1719) and the Mahommedan countries of Gaman (Jaman) and Banna, and extended the empire by conquests both on the east and west. At last he was defeated and slain (1731); but his successor, Osai Apoko, made further acquisitions towards the coast. In 1800, Osai Tutu Quamina, an enterprising and ambitious man, who appears early to have formed the desire of opening a communication with white nations, became king. About 1807, two chiefs of the Assin, whom he had defeated in battle, sought refuge among the Fanti, the ruling people on the coast. On the refusal of the Fanti to deliver up the fugitives, Osai Tutu invaded their country, defeated them and drove them towards the sea. The Ashanti reached the coast near Anamabo, where there was then a British fort. The governor exhorted the townsmen to come to terms and offered to mediate; but they resolved to abide the contest. The result was the destruction of the town, and the slaughter of 8000 of the inhabitants. The Ashanti, who lost over 2000 men, failed, however, to storm the English fort, though the garrison was reduced from twenty-four to eight men. A truce was agreed to, and the king refusing to treat except with the governor of Cape Coast, Colonel G. Torrane (governor 1805-1807) repaired to Anamabo, where he was received with great pomp. Torrane determined to surrender the fugitive Assin chiefs, but one succeeded in escaping; the other, on being given up, was put to death by the Ashanti. Torrane concluded an agreement with the Ashanti, acknowledging their conquest of Fantiland, and delivering up to them half the fugitives in Anamabo fort (most of the remainder were sold by Torrane and the members of his council as slaves). The governor also agreed to pay rent to the Ashanti for Anamabo fort and Cape Coast castle. The character of this man, who died on the coast in 1808, is indicated by Osai Tutu’s eulogy of him. “From the hour Governor Torrane delivered up Tchibbu [one of the Assin fugitives] I took the English for my friends,” said the king of Ashanti, “because I saw their object was trade only and they did not care for the people. Torrane was a man of sense and he pleased me much.”

In consequence of repeated invasions of Fantiland by the Ashanti, the British in 1817 sent Frederick James, commandant of Accra fort, T. E. Bowdich and W. Hutchinson on a mission to Kumasi. After one or two harmonious interviews, the king advanced a claim for the payment of the quit rents for Anamabo fort and Cape Coast castle, rents the major part of which the Fanti had induced the British to pay to them, leaving only a nominal sum for transmission to Kumasi. Mr James, the head of the mission, volunteered no satisfactory explanation, whereupon the king broke into uncontrollable rage, calling the emissaries cheats and liars. Bowdich and Hutchinson, thinking that British interests and the safety of the mission were endangered, took the negotiation into their own hands. Mr James was recalled, and a treaty was concluded, by which the king’s demands were satisfied, and the right of the British to control the natives in the coast towns recognized.

The government at home, though they demurred somewhat to the course that had been pursued, saw the wisdom of cultivating intercourse with this powerful African kingdom. They sent out, therefore, to Kumasi, as consul, Mr Joseph Dupuis, formerly consul at Mogador, who arrived at Cape Coast in January 1819. By that time fresh difficulties had arisen between the coast natives, who were supported by the British, and the Ashanti. Dupuis set out on the 9th of February 1820, and on the 28th arrived at Kumasi. After several meetings with the king, a treaty was drawn up, which acknowledged the sovereignty of Ashanti over the territory of the Fanti, and left the natives of Cape Coast to the mercy of their enemies. Mr J. Hope Smith, the governor of Cape Coast, disowned the treaty, as betraying the interests of the natives under British protection. Mr Hope Smith was supported by the government in London, which in Sir Charles M‘Carthy’s fate. 1821 assumed direct control of the British settlements. Sir Charles M‘Carthy, the first governor appointed by the crown, espoused the cause of the Fanti, but was defeated in battle by the Ashanti, the 21st of January 1824, at a place beyond the Prah called Essamako. The Ashanti had 10,000 men to Sir Charles’s 500. Sir Charles and eight other Europeans were killed. The skull of the governor was afterwards used at Kumasi as a royal drinking-cup. It was asserted that Sir Charles lost the battle through his ordnance-keeper bringing up kegs filled with vermicelli instead of ammunition. The fact is that the mistake, if made, only hastened the inevitable catastrophe. On the very day of this defeat Osai Tutu Quamina died and was succeeded by Osai Okoto. A state of chronic warfare ensued, until the Ashanti sustained a signal defeat at Dodowah on the 7th of August 1826. From this time the power of the Ashanti over the coast tribes waned, and in 1831 the king was obliged to purchase peace from Mr George Maclean, then administrator of the Gold Coast, at the price of 600 oz. of gold, and to send his son as a hostage to Cape Coast. The payment of ground rent for the forts held by the British had ceased after the battle of Dodowah, and by the treaty concluded by Maclean the river Prah was fixed as the boundary of the Ashanti kingdom, all the tribes south of it being under British protection.

The king (Kwaka Dua I.), who had succeeded Osai Okoto in 1838, was a peace-loving monarch who encouraged trade, but in 1852 the Ashanti tried to reassert authority over the Fanti in the Gold Coast protectorate, and in 1863 a war was caused by the refusal of the king’s demand for the surrender by the British of a fugitive chief and a runaway slave-boy. The Ashanti were victorious in two battles and retired unmolested. The governor, Mr Richard Pine, urged the advisability of an advance on Kumasi, but this the British government would not allow. No further fighting followed, but the prestige of the Ashanti greatly increased. “The white men” (said Kwaka Dua) “bring many cannon to the bush, but the bush is stronger than the cannon.” In April 1867 Kwaka Dua died, and after an interval of civil war was succeeded by Kofi Karikari, who on being enstooled swore, “My business shall be war.” Thereafter preparations were made throughout Ashanti to attack the Fanti tribes, and the result was the war of 1873-74.

Two distinct events were the immediate cause of the war. The principal was the transference of Elmina fort from the Dutch to the British, which took place on the 2nd of April 1872. The Elmina were regarded by the Ashanti The war of 1873-1874. as their subjects, and the king of Ashanti held the Elmina “custom-note,”—that is, he received from the Dutch an annual payment, in its origin a ground rent for the fort, but looked upon by the Dutch as a present for trade purposes. The Ashanti greatly resented the occupation by Britain of what they considered Ashanti territory. Another but minor cause of the war was the holding in captivity by the