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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'A Smattering of Education' and Petitions as Sources: A Study of African Slaveholders' Responses to Abolition in the Gold Coast Colony, 1874-1875
Author:Akurang-Parry, Kwabena O.ISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
Subjects:political action
abolition of slavery
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3172106
Abstract:By the mid-nineteenth century African societies had begun to use petitions as an instrument of agitation for reforms in nascent colonial policies. This study deals with how slaveholders in the Gold Coast (Ghana) responded to British abolition of slavery and pawnship in the Gold Coast in 1874-1875. Specifically, it examines how the African intelligentsia in the Gold Coast Colony used quasilegal means, essentially petitions, to oppose abolition and the emancipation of slaves and pawns. This opposition was undertaken on behalf of slave/pawnholders, including the indigenous rulers of the coast, especially the Fante region. Additionally, the study draws attention to Africans' use of petitions as an important historical source that can benefit the study of various aspects of colonial rule and facets of African responses. The reasons for the anti-abolition petitions were the refusal of the Colonial Office to compensate slave/pawnholders and colonial officials' manumission of slaves contrary to the assurance given by Governor George Strahan during the inauguration of abolition. The significance of the petitions lies in their exemplification of historical continuity, showing a reformist rather than a revolutionary stance against the inception of British colonial rule in 1874-1875. Notes, ref.