Ghana. Gold coast
o Fort Amsterdam (Ghana) (Nabij Cormantin) (1665 – 1721 / 1785 - 1867 door verdrag met Engeland)
o Fort Apollonia (16.-1768 / 1868-1872) (Cape Apollonia (Benyin))
o Fort Batenstein (Nabij Butri)(1656 - 1665 / 166..-1872)
o Fort Cape Coast Castle
o Fort Conraadsburg, Fort de Veer (1810/1811), **Fort Naglas (1828), Fort Java (1828), Fort Scomarus (1828),
o Fort Crêvecoeur (Ussher Town (Accra)) (1649-1782/ 1786-1868)
o Fort Elise Carthago (1650)
o Fort Goede Hoop, (1667 or 1705/06 fort – 1782/1785 - 1867/68)
o Fort Hollandia(Poquefoe of Pokesu (Princess Town)) 1725 fort - 1814/1815 opgegeven
/1687* - 1698/1711 – 1712/1732 - 1804 opgegeven
o Fort bij Kpone: (1697 - Apr. 1700 / 1706 - ?)
o Fort Leydsaamneyd of Lijdzaamheid (of Patience, nabij Apam) (1697/1698 – 1782/ 1785-1868)
o Fort Metaal Kruis, nabij Dixcove (1868 - 1872)
o Fort Nassau, nabij Mouri (16240 (1598 of 1611 / 12 – 1664/1665 – 1782/1785 - 1867
door verdrag met Engeland)
o Fort Oranje, nabij Sekondi(1640 of 1670/75 - 1872)
o Fort Ruychaver (Jul./Aug. 1654 - 1659)
o Fort Santo Antonio de Axim (Feb. 1642 – 1664 / 1665 – 1872)
o Fort Elmina (hoofdstad)
o Fort San Sebastian, nabij Shama (1637 - 1664 / 1664 – 1872)
o Fort Singelenburgh, nabij Keta (? - 1737)
o Fort Vredenburgh, nabij Komenda (1688 fort – 1782 / 1785 – 1872)
o Fort Witsenn, nabij Takoradi
o Cong (Cong-hoogte): - 1659 opgegeven
o Egya:(1647 - ? / 1663 - 1664)
o Kumase (1837-1842 / 1848-1853 / 1859-1869)
o Petit Popo of Popo / (Anecho of Aneho) (1731 - 1760)
Rev. Dr. S. S. Quarcoopome Institute of African Studies University of
Ghana Legon, Ghana West Africa
The area in Africa, which was involved in the transatlantic slave
trade, was the Guinea Coast. It stretches from the area of the present
day Senegal to the southern borders of present day Angola. The
Portuguese were the first Europeans to set foot in this area in the
fifteenth century. Their objective was to find a sea route to India and
the Orient as the Turks in 1453 had closed the land route. The
Portuguese started trading in copper, brass, European cloth, etc in
exchange for gold, which was in high demand in Europe. It was they who
began to acquire slaves from the Bight of Benin and Biafra and the area
of Niger Delta for the mining of the gold deposits in the Gold Coast,
thereby introducing the Africans to the practice of using forced African
slave labor, a practice foreign to the institution of slavery in West
It was the Portuguese who first took Africans as slaves to Europe
after 1441. After 1460, they exported between 700 to 800 slaves to
Portugal to work on the sugar plantation in Southern Portugal and Spain
and the islands of Fernando Po, Sao Tome and Principe By the 1480's, the
Portuguese interest in gold had changed to the purchase and sale of
slaves. It is interesting to note that it was a Papal Bull, which
authorized the opening of the slave market in Lisbon. The English
Parliament also passed an Act legalizing the purchase of slaves in 1545.
Even in 1452, the Pope declared that the
possession of slaves was the right of all Christians.
As the Portuguese continued to explore the western sea route to
India, their neighbors, the Spaniards were opening up the Atlantic route
to America and the Caribbean, in the spirit of the Papal Bull of
demarcation of 1493. After the exploration of the American continent,
consequent to the voyages of Columbus, Vespucci and others, many nations
rushed to establish colonies there. The earliest and the largest
colonies were established by the Spaniards, Dutch, French and the
English. They established big mining companies as well as coffee, cotton
and sugar plantations.
From the beginning, indentured labor was recruited from Europe. These
were mostly criminals, prisoners and those who could not pay their
passage to America but were eager to go there to make their fortunes.
However, it soon turned out that they were too few and were unequal to
the task. Attempts to use the indigenous Americans also failed. In the
process about 90% of their population were wiped out due to cruelty,
violence and lack of resistance to disease introduced by the Europeans.
Attention was therefore shifted to the native African, who, as a
result of their use by the Portuguese, had proved to be strong, hard
working, resistant and could stand the diseases and the tropical
weather. A Spanish monk, Las Casas, mooted the idea of recruiting
Africans. Furthermore, it was observed that African rulers could be
persuaded to sell their war captives and criminals. Consequently the
Atlantic Slave trade initiated.
The first batch of African slaves to be exported to the Americas was
in about 1501, from Lisbon Portugal. Forty
years later, the slaves were being transported direct from the Guinea
Coast. By 1630, the demand for slaves increased tremendously because of
new farms opened up by the English, Dutch, the French in the Caribbean
and Brazil. By the treaty of 1713 known as Asiento, Spain permitted
Britain to introduce 144,000 Negro slaves into the Spanish American
colonies up to 1733. In 1750, because of the lucrative nature of this
trade the Spanish government bought back the Asiento for 100,000 pounds!
African slaves were packed like sardines in Slave ships from the
Guinea Coast. They were stripped naked, fed like animals, underfed and
over worked, in the ships, the conditions were appalling and unhygienic,
so that sometimes a whole shipload of slaves died.
The produce of sugarcane, coffee, and cotton from the American
plantations were shipped to Europe as raw materials to feed factories.
From Europe cheap manufactured goods such as cotton cloth, brass wave,
rum, inferior guns and gun powder were shipped to West Africa and
exchanged for Africans captured and sold by Africans to be transported
to work in the plantations of America. while Africa gave its most
important resource, its people to build the economies and prosperity of
Europe, she obtained in return consumables, which did not help in her
growth and development. This is the Triangular or the Atlantic Slave
The Portuguese and the Europeans who followed them to Guinea, built
forts and castles to store their goods as well as the acquired slaves.
The coast of the present day Republic of Ghana, is littered with the
highest concentration of forts and castles than any other coastline in
Africa. Some of the most important ones are Elmina Castle, Cape Coast
Castle, Christianborg Castle, Fort Crevecour, James Fort, Axim Fort etc.
others were Factories or Baracoons. For over three hundred years, the
slave trade was the main issue in the relation between Africa and
Europe. It is not clear how many people were transported out of Africa.
Historians have calculated the number to be anywhere between twenty-five
million to seventy million, including those who died in the wars and
those who perished in the middle passage, as well as those who survived
and landed in America.
It affected Africa politically, economically, demographically and
culturally Its impact is still very much with us presently.