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Guide to the British Parliamentary Papers on the Ashantee Invasion, 1873-1877

Abstract

The Ashantee (also spelled Ashanti) Invasion of Britain's Gold Coast protectorates began in December 1872. British forces responded with their own expedition and invasion of the Ashantee nation in January 1874, resulting in the Battle of Amoaful and the destruction of Kumasi.

Materials in this collection consist of bound volumes and printings of reports, dispatches, and correspondence sent to Parliament during the Ashantee (also spelled Ashanti) invasion and the subsequent British expedition into Ashantee lands. Includes initial reports pre-dating the invasion, compilations of correspondence from the commanding officers leading the British forces, transcriptions of communications from the Ashantee king, negotiations regarding the Ashantee surrender, and reports from the Treasury about the cost of the expedition, both monetarily and in terms of British casualties.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Great Britain. Parliament.
Title
British Parliamentary papers on the Ashantee Invasion 1873-1877
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.6 Linear Feet, 20 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Materials in this collection consist of bound paperback volumes and compilations of reports, dispatches, and correspondence sent to Parliament during the Ashantee (also spelled Ashanti) invasion and the subsequent British expedition and retaliation. Items include initial reports from Gold Coast officials pre-dating the invasion, coverage of the Elmina battle, compilations of correspondence from the commanding officers leading the British forces, transcriptions of communications from the Ashantee king, negotiations regarding the Ashantee surrender, and reports from the Treasury about the cost of the expedition, both monetarily and in terms of British and allied casualties.

The majority of the materials are copies of dispatches and reports, but the volumes also include occasional maps detailing the terrain and layout of cities and villages; tables and spreadsheets calculating casualties and expenses; and other miscellaneous notes and asides. Volumes have been organized in loose chronological order.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

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Collection is open for research.

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All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Copies and Extracts from Mr. Pope Hennessy's Despatches respecting the Transfer of the Dutch Possessions on the Gold Coast to the British Crown; the Negotiations for the Release of the German Missionaries that had been Captured by the Ashantees in 1869; and the Ashantee Invasion: Of Governor Keate's Despatches respecting the Ashantee Invasion: And, of any further Papers relating to the above Subjects. Parts 1 and 2, 1873.
Box 1 Folder 1
Gold Coast. Despatch from Governor J. Pope Hennessy, C.M.G., and Reply, relative to his estimate of the nature and importance of the Ashantee Invasion, July 1873. [C.-801.]
Box 1 Folder 2
Gold Coast. Despatches on the subject of the Ashantee Invasion and Attack on Elmina, July 1873. [C.-802.] (2 copies)
Box 1
Gold Coast. Despatches on the subject of the Ashantee Invasion and Attack on Elmina (in continuation of Papers presented on July 15, 1873), July 1873. [C.-804.]
Box 1
Gold Coast. Further Correspondence respecting Ashantee Invasion (in continuation of Papers presented July 18, 1873), July 1873. [C.-819.]
Box 1
Ashantee Invasion. Report by Captain Glover, R.N., on the conduct of the Deputy Commissioners, Officers, and Men, composing the Expedition Under His Command on the Gold Coast, April 1874. [C.-962.]
Box 1
Further Papers relating to the Ashantee Invasion, No. 1, March 1874. [C.-890.]
Box 1 Folder 3
Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion, No. 2, March 1874. [C.-891.]
Box 1
Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion, No. 3, March 1874. [C.-892.]
Box 1 Folder 4
Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion, No. 4, March 1874. [C.-893.]
Box 1
Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion, No. 5, March 1874. [C.-894.]
Box 1
Ashantee Invasion. Latest Despatches from Sir Garnet Wolseley, No. 6, March 1874. [C.-907.]
Box 1 Folder 5
Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion, No. 7, March 1874. [C.-921.]
Box 1
Gold Coast. Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion (in continuation of Papers presented March 1874), No. 8, 1 June 1874. [C.-922.]
Box 1
Gold Coast. Further Correspondence respecting the Ashantee Invasion (in continuation of Papers presented 1 June 1874), No. 9, 23 June 1874. [C.-1006.]
Box 1
Vote of Credit-Ashantee Expedition. Nine Hundred Thousand Pounds. Treasury Chambers, 19 March 1874
Box 1 Folder 6
Vote of Credit-Ashantee Expedition. One Hundred Thousand Pounds. Treasury Chambers, 5 May 1874
Box 1
Return of the Total Strength of the Force (exclusive of Native Levies and West Indian Regiments) engaged in the Prosecution of the recent War in Ashantee, and the Total Losses and Disablements from Disease in any Engagements with the Enemy. War Office, 6 July 1874
Box 1
Supplementary Estimate. Vote of Credit-Ashantee Expedition. Twenty-five Thousand Pounds. Treasury Chambers, 27 February 1875
Box 1
Appropriation Account of Vote of Credit for the Ashantee Expedition, 27 July 1875
Box 1
Supplementary Estimate. Vote of Credit-Ashantee Expedition. Three Thousand Two Hundred Pounds. Treasury Chambers, March 1876
Box 1
Appropriation Account, 1874-1875. 27 April 1876
Box 1
Statement of Excess. Two Thousand Seventeen Pounds and Five Shillings. Treasury Chambers, 7 March 1877
Box 1

Historical Note

Years of tension on Africa's Gold Coast between Britain's protectorate states and the Ashantee (also spelled Ashanti) nation erupted with the launch of an Ashantee march towards Cape Coast Castle (in modern-day Ghana), beginning on 9 December 1872. By February 1873, the Ashantee had reached neighboring Fantee lands. Subsequent battles in March and April left the Fantee army defeated, and the invaders settled at Dunkwa with a force of 30,000 to 40,000 people.

Throughout the early months of the invasion, the British had maintained their strict policy of non-intervention, leaving the Fantee people to defend themselves. This strategy changed with the battle of Elmina on 13 June 1873, when the British bombardment of the town (which was harboring Ashantee sympathizers) was interrupted by an assault of about 3000 Ashantee. The attack on the British led the Colonial Office to send an expedition to the Gold Coast.

British forces, led by General Garnet Wolseley, sailed from Liverpool in September 1873 with a dual mission: clear Ashantee invaders from the protectorate, and make a new treaty with the Ashantee nation. By the time they arrived, however, the Ashantee invaders had already retreated due to starvation and disease. Wolseley pressed the Ashantee king, Kofi Karikari, for impossible terms; when these were turned down, he launched an invasion of the Ashantee nation, culminating in the Battle of Amoaful on 31 January 1874. British forces fired the town of Kumasi on 4 February 1874, and began their return march to Cape Coast Castle. The Ashantee nation was in such disarray that no one was able to sign the treaty. An embassy from the Ashantee king eventually met Wolseley at Cape Coast to officially surrender on 13 March 1874.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], British Parliamentary Papers on the Ashantee Invasion, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The British Parliamentary Papers on the Ashantee Invasion were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2009-2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, March 2010

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, March 2010

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2009-0286, 2010-0034, 2010-0073

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.