British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

the Company created by the Act of the 23d Geo. 2d., c. 31, and for vesting all the Forts, and the property and effects of the said Company, in His Majesty. . . .


12
LORD BATHURST TO GOVERNOR CHARLES TURNER, 5 July 18251

. . . I have to acquaint you, that after a full consideration of the present state of His Majesty's possessions on the Gold Coast, and the policy in regard to them which it would be most prudent to pursue, His Majesty's Government have not deemed it expedient to abandon the coast altogether, to which measure your opinion seems in some degree to lean. It is reasonable to expect, that under a better system of management the evils which have been already experienced may not recur, and that some of those commercial advantages which have been anticipated from opening a communication with the interior of Africa may yet be realized, and may be hereafter extended by improving the friendly intercourse which has recently been established with the reigning powers in Soudan and Bornou. Although, however, a general abandonment of our settlements on the Gold Coast has not been considered advisable, it has now been determined to reduce the number of points of which military possession shall henceforth be retained in this quarter to the two most important which appear to be Cape Coast Castle and the Fort of Accra, giving up entirely all military charge of the minor posts along the coast, of the greater part of which indeed for some time past only nominal possession has been enjoyed. . . .

I cannot but anticipate, that when placed on a proper footing with a garrison of 300 men, and by remaining strictly on the defensive, the forts of Accra and Cape Coast Castle will prove sufficiently strong to keep in check any force which may be brought against them by the native powers, or to prevent any annoyance from the neighbouring fort of Elmina, should its inhabitants on any future occasion give colour to complaints similar to those which were brought against them during our late war with the Ashantees. I have to signify to you His Majesty's approbation of your determination to abstain from all interference in the dissensions which appear to prevail among the nations and tribes inhabiting the countries adjacent to the Gold Coast. There is no desire on the part of His Majesty's Government to obtain possession of any territory on the coast beyond that in the immediate vicinity of the two forts which have been named, and no

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1
Parl. Papers, 1830 (57), vol. xxi, p. 54. Major-General Charles Turner, who had served in the West Indies and in the Peninsula, was appointed Governor-in-Chief of Sierra Leone and its dependencies in June 1824.

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