Assin Praso marked the end of the British protectorate in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) during the colonial era. On the site of the Heritage Village that the British encamped to fight against the Ashanti Kingdom in the Anglo Ashanti was. The Ashanti Kingdom was powerful and bravely fought and resisted colonial rule.
The two were separated by the Pra River. On these river banks many battles were fought. It was the banks of the River Pra which dominated the area. It was of the bank of the river Pra which runs on this site that the great king Osei Tutu I king of Ashanti Kingdom, was shot whilst crossing the river in one of his many military escapades.
At the Assin Praso heritage Village are the remains of the British castle where soldiers and their armoury were stationed. The site is still host to great mango trees of Africa, where slaves were tied until they were transported to Assin Manso to be sold or to Cape Coast Castle and Elimina Castle further south. Thereafter embarked on a journey of no return across the Atlantic.
British Camp commandments, their families, British soldiers and captured slaves who died in Assin Praso during the Anglo-Ashanti battles are buried in the Heritage Village cemetery. Major Victor Ferguson (2nd Life Guards), who died in 1896 whilst serving as camp commandments and his wife Sophia are among those buried on the site. You will also find mass graves of both British and Africa Soldiers and enslaved Africans.
Today, you have the freedom to walk the path the enslaved Africans walked, bath the river in which they bathed to learn at first-hand what happened on the land of Assin Praso.
The Anglo Ashanti Wars
The British fought the Ashantis in 1826, 1871, 1893-94 and 1895-96, and quelled a final uprising in 1900. The first Anglo Ashanti War began in 1823 after the Ashanti defeated a small British force under Sir Charles McCarthy converted his skull into drinking cup. Although the British beat an Ashanti army near the Coast refused to retain a fugitive slave to the Ashanti, they invaded the British protectorate, ( the Ashantis had cross the Pra at Assin Praso for this invitation and this is the site on which you stand), along the Coast. Although the results was a standoff, the British took casualties and public opinion at British started to view the Gold Coast as a quagmire.
In 1873, the second Ashanti war began after the British took possession of the Dutch trading post along the Coast, giving then a regional monopoly on the trade between Africans and Europeans. The Ashanti had long viewed the Dutch as allies, so they invaded the British protectorate (again crossing the River Pra at Assin praso. British General Wolsley waged a successful campaigned against the Ashantis that was covered by a number of correspondents (including H.M. Stanley) and Wolsley army briefly occupied Kumasi.
In July 1874, the conservative Disraeli government in Britain signed a treaty of protection with the Ashantehene of the Ashanti, ending the war.
In 1874, the third Anglo-Ashanti war began when the British press reported that the new Ashantehene (Prempeh) committed acts of cruelty barbarism. Strategically, the British also used the war to insure their control over the gold fields before the French, who were advancing on all sides, could calm them.
In 1896, the British government formally annexed the territories of the Ashanti and the Fanti. In 1900, a final uprising took place when the British governor of Gold Coast (Hodgson) unilaterally attempt to depose the Ashantehene by seizing the symbol of his authority, the Golden Stool.
The British were victorious and occupied Kumasi. On September 26, 1901 the British created the crown colony of Gold Coast. They change in the Gold Coast status from the protectorate to crown colony meant that relations with the inhabitant of the meant that relations with the inhabitants of the region were handled by the colonial office, rather than the foreign office. This change implied that the British no longer recognized the Ashanti as an independent.
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
In 1471, the Portuguese under the patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator, they had reached the area that was to become known as the Gold Coast because Europeans knew the area as the source of gold that reached Muslim North Africa by way of trade routes across the Sahara.
With the opening of European plantations in the New World during 1500. Which suddenly export of the area indeed, the West coast of Africa become the principal source of slave for the New World. The seemingly insatiable market and the substantial to be gained from the slave trade attracted adventures from all over Europe. Much of the conflict of that arose among the European groups on the coast and among the competing Africa Kingdoms was the results of rivalry grew rapidly from its inception around 1500 to its peak in the eighteenth century. Philip Custin, a leading authority on the African slave tread, estimates that roughly 3 million slave where shipped from West African to North America and South America about 4.5 million of that number between 1701 and 1810. Perhaps 5,000 a year were shipped from the Gold Coast alone. The demographic impact of the slave trade on West Africa was probably substantially greater than the number actually enslaved because significant number of Africa perished during slaving trade or while in captivity awaiting transshipment.
All nations with an interest in [trade], and destructed to frequent clashes. Disease caused high loss among the European engage in the slave trade, but the profits realised from the trade continued to attract them. The growth of the anti-slavery sentiment among Europeans made show progress against vested Africa and Europeans interests that were reaping profits from the traffic. Although individual clergymen condemned the slave tread are early the seventeenth century.
Major Christian denomination did little to further early efforts of abolition.