Slave Owners of West Africa: Decision Making in the Age of Abolition

By Sandra E. Greene | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

THANKING ALL THOSE who made this book possible is no small task. For forty years, I have been welcomed and supported by the Ewe-speaking peoples of Ghana in my explorations of their cultures and histories. Without the willingness of so many, the hundreds who opened their hearts and homes to me, the many who encouraged me to expand my work to include more and more areas of the Ewe-speaking areas of Ghana, this work would have been impossible. I have benefitted greatly from their wisdom, their willingness to share their fears and frustrations, their hopes and dreams, as well as their memories and family records. So it is they whom I wish to thank first and foremost. Akpe Akpe! Especially important for this project was William Sohne, to whom this book is dedicated. As a member of the Amegashie family, he was critical in supporting this project. Most families, wherever they live, are naturally sensitive about how their ancestors are remembered. Flattering and funny family memories can overlap with stories unearthed by historians. But information about long deceased family members can also emerge that is less than admirable. In such instances, it is not surprising that living family members find these revelations embarrassing and then seek to distance themselves from the ignoble actions of their ancestors by keeping such information out of the public eye. I salute William Sohne for resisting this impulse. And I thank him as well for sharing with me his own genealogical work on the Amegashie/Quist family. My interactions with members of the Tamakloe family have been equally positive. I thank them, especially Christian Nani Tamakloe, for also sharing with me the memories they have passed from generation to generation, as well as copies of the various legal documents, and the genealogical work they have done themselves on their own ancestor. Again, aka akpe.

From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, German missionaries associated with the Norddeutsche Missionsgesellschaft (NDMG) were present in a number of different Ewe-speaking communities in what is now southern Ghana and Togo. Throughout this period, they recorded and published their observations about the peoples, cultures, economies, and histories of the communities in which they lived. Professional translations of these writings have been critical for this study. For this work, I am especially grateful to Nadia Rodriquez, Anna Horakova, Timothy Haupt, Svenja Müller, Marissa Nederhouser, Sean Franzel, Chris Muenzen, Aife Naughton, Kelsey Dow, and Patrick Vacca. Gaining access to these documents often proved to be particularly challenging.

-ix-

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Slave Owners of West Africa: Decision Making in the Age of Abolition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Amegashie Afeku of Keta- Priest, Political Advisor, Businessman, Slave Owner 13
  • 2 - Nyaho Tamakloe of Anlo- Of Chieftaincy and Slavery, of Politics and the Personal 31
  • 3 - Noah Yawo of Ho-Kpenoe- The Faith Journey of a Slave Owner 54
  • 4 - Concluding Thoughts 84
  • Notes 89
  • Bibliography 107
  • Index 121
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