British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

assumed a right of judging as to the manner and time of offering terms to the enemy. So far was this feeling carried, that on General Sir Neil Campbell's arrival on the coast, soon after the action at Dodawah, several of the chiefs not only refused to be parties to any pacific negotiation, but absolutely adopted measures to frustrate the endeavours made by the General to open a communication with Ashantee. Their avowed reason for this opposition was an apprehension lest the Ashantees (being incapable of comprehending the motives of humanity which dictate a desire for peace) would construe any overture made with that view, either as an acknowledgment of past defeat, or dread of future hostility, and therefore rise in their demand, or at best subscribe to a hollow truce merely till it should suit their purposes to break it. An opinion of this kind being prevalent amongst the merchants, may have been sincerely entertained by some of the allied chiefs; but there is reason to suppose that the most influential of them were actuated in their opposition to overtures of peace by personal motives rather than by any regard for the general welfare. . . .

Many circumstances might be cited to justify an inference that power only is wanting to some of the allied tribes to render them as despotic and rapacious as those to whom they are now opposed. This would be the result of their union, and if divided they can never successfully cope with the Ashantees. . . .


15
GOVERNOR HUGH LUMLEY TO THE KING OF ASHANTI, 10 December 18271

Cape Coast Castle.

The Governor in Chief of His Britannic Majesty's possessions on the Western Coast of Africa, on the part of His Majesty the King of England, &c. &c. &c. To the King of Ashantee, sends greeting:

This letter will be delivered to you by a special messenger of mine, who will also deliver the terms upon which peace will be granted to you.

You must see the necessity of complying, with as little delay as possible, with the terms offered to you, which are both safe and honourable.

When my sovereign, the King of England, makes peace with a nation, former offences are forgotten, and you will find that the King of England is as kind and just to His friends as He is (under the protection of God) terrible to His enemies. As a proof of His present goodwill towards you, I have ordered all prisoners of your people to

____________________
1
Parl. Papers, 1865 (412), vol. v, pp. 436-7.

-498-

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