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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:To Wassa Fiase for Gold: Rethinking Colonial Rule, El Dorado, Antislavery, and Chieftaincy in the Gold Coast (Ghana), 1874-1895
Author:Akurang-Parry, Kwabena O.ISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
gold mining
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3172080
Abstract:According to R.E. Dumett (1998), until the late 1890s, the British colonial authorities did little to encourage capitalist goldmining in Wassa Fiase in the Western Province of the Gold Coast (Ghana). Dumett argues that the colonial intervention in Wassa Fiase was due to King Enimil Kwao's ineptitude, structural conflict inherent in chieftaincy, and problems of African rulers' territorial jurisdictions. He also asserts that it was a forceful London-based antislavery lobby and Governor George Strahan's tactlessness that drove the colonial State to intervene in Wassa Fiase. Using new official sources and newspaper accounts giving additional insights into Enimil Kwao's slave-dealing trial and his subsequent exile to Lagos, the present author disputes Dumett's conclusions. He argues that local crisis, the role of the London-based antislavery lobby and the impetuosity of Governor Strahan do not adequately explain the colonial intervention. He shows that colonial rule in Wassa Fiase was systematic, aimed at supporting capitalist goldmining ventures from the early 1880s, and not from the late 1890s, as Dumett asserts. Indeed, the focal point of contention should be the degree of the colonial State's success in harnessing goldmining from the inception of colonial rule, rather than as Dumett states, its objection to goldmining until Joseph Chamberlain's economic policies in the late 1890s. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]