CHAPTER I
THE FACE OF THE LAND

THE first European sea captains, coasting slowly and cautiously along the West African surf, named the different stretches of coast according to the principal cargoes they found there. Today, the very names of the Grain Coast and the Slave Coast are half forgotten; the French colony of the Ivory Coast exports only a negligible quantity of ivory; but the Gold Coast still contains some of the world's richest gold mines, and is an important source of supply. The Portuguese in the fifteenth century found gold within a few miles of the sea. Today nearly all the gold produced comes from inland. The great recent developments in the production have been made possible by the use of modern machinery for the extraction of gold from deep lodes; though river gravels still yield enough gold not merely to repay the small scale African prospector for his efforts, but to pay a dividend to London mining companies.

The modern British territory of the Gold Coast is composed of the two Colonies of the Gold Coast and Ashanti, and the Protectorate of the Northern Territories. After the war of 1914 a narrow strip of the adjoining small German colony of Togoland was attached to the Gold Coast under a mandate from the League of Nations, the greater part of the territory of Togoland, including its port of Lome, being assigned to the French. British mandated Togoland is administered as part of the Gold Coast. The British territory on the coast was gradually extended by a series of treaties with the African rulers during the first half of the nineteenth century, and the combined territory was proclaimed a Crown colony in 1874. Ashanti was annexed after a series of wars, and became a Crown colony in 1901, and the Protectorate of the Northern Territories was established in the same year.1 The total area of the Gold Coast apart from Togoland is some 78,000 square miles; of this total the Colony and Ashanti are almost exactly equal in

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1
In this book I shall use the term ' Gold Coast' to mean the whole of the area under the one administration, including the two colonies, the protectorate, and unless otherwise stated the mandated area also; the four constituent parts shall be 'the Colony', Ashanti, the Northern Territories, and British Togoland.

-21-

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