February 21, 1966: Nkrumah departs for peace mission in Hanoi.

Nkrumah left Accra for Hanoi to mediate the Vietnam War on February 21, 1966, leaving a 3 person presidential commission in charge of the country. Below is earlier correspondence with President LB Johnson regarding this peace mission:

“Many thanks for your letter of August 6, which has been delivered to me by my foreign minister Mr. Alex Quayson-Sackey. My special envoys brought me some information from Hanoi which I did not divulge to my foreign minister before he left for Washington, because I wanted time to reflect on the main issues raised. At the same time, I was hurriedly making arrangements to go to Hanoi in spite of the fact that President Ho Chi Minh intimated that he could not guarantee my personal safety. After careful study of the Hanoi report I am satisfied that something good might come out of the information from President Ho Chi Minh. You will recall that in my letter of August 4, I requested the cessation of air attacks on Vietnam to enable me to visit Hanoi. I made this request to you through my foreign minister because, in the light of information brought to me from Hanoi, I considered that it must be useful for me personally to seek clarification on certain points from President Ho Chi Minh, if I went to Hanoi. Since it is not possible for me to go to Hanoi immediately, because President Ho Chi Minh is not in the position to guarantee my safety, I am now writing to inform you of some impressions I have gained from studying the report which my envoys brought to me from Hanoi. It is necessary for me to discuss these impressions and certain other matters with you personally at your convenience. I am certain that a discussion with you would be of immense help in my peace talks when eventually it is made possible for me to go to Hanoi. From what I gather from the observation and the discussions of my envoys with the authorities in Hanoi, and, particular, with President Ho Chi Minh, it is clear that after 21 years of continuous fighting the Vietnamese want peace as much as the people of the United States. But they say they want a peace that will guarantee the independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Vietnam. The Vietnamese emphasized that any settlement of the Vietnamese problem will have to be on the basis of the 1954 Geneva Agreement. It is now clear that President Ho Chi Minh himself and the Vietnamese people have no intention of humiliating the United States which is a great power and entitled to great respect. President Ho Chi Minh pointed out, however, that the Vietnamese are determined to fight to the end to preserve the independence and unity of their country in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement. I have also got to know from the report of my envoys that the current view that the Chinese are encouraging the Vietnamese to adopt an intransigent attitude is incorrect. It is clear from the report from my envoys that the Vietnamese have taken their own decisions and are determined to see them through. It may be true that they receive a lot of material assistance from China and Russia, but the will to fight to the end is their own, and needs no prompting from outside. Mr. President, I am informed that the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam also make the Geneva Agreement the basis of any settlement in Vietnam. They also consider that some kind of a national coalition government in the initial stages might help to achieve a solution. With regard to the unification of Vietnam, they are prepared to establish normal relations between the two zones and to advance towards the peaceful 61 unification of Vietnam. They are prepared, further, to carry out a foreign policy of peace and neutrality and to establish diplomatic relations with all countries which respect the independence and the sovereignty of Vietnam. I know that you and your government are also prepared to accept a settlement of the conflict in Vietnam on the basis of the Geneva Agreement, the neutralization of the area and the unity of two parts of the country by the exercise of the free will of the people of Vietnam through elections. It is appropriate that you, Mr. President, should have taken this stand. Mr. President it is clear to me that the gap which divides the parties to the conflict in Vietnam is very narrow. I believe that with goodwill and patient effort it will be possible to bridge this gap in order to lead to a negotiated settlement and thereby ensure world peace”.

From: The United States and the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah.

Eric Quaidoo

Fort Hays State University



February 20, 1948: JB Danquah and Kwame Nkrumah address Gold Coast WWII, ex-servicemen at Palladium Cinema, Accra.

During World War II, Ghana then called the Gold Coast, was a colony under British colonial. The Gold Coast was obliged to contribute soldiers to fight alongside British and allied troops. At the end of the war the soldiers returned to the Gold Coast. Their gratuities after military service had not been paid. On 20th February, 1948, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. J. B. Danquah of the UGCC met and addressed the World War II veterans who had been agitating for their end-of-service benefits following the end of World War II, at the Palladium Cinema, in Accra. These veterans had fought with the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Forces and had not been paid their gratuities on their return home. Dr. Nkrumah and Dr. Danquah both gave their support and encouraged the veterans in their protest over their post-war neglect. This was a prelude to the events on 28th February, 1948, which came to be known as the “Christianborg Cross-Roads Shooting”.

February 18, 1896: Sefwi formally joins the Gold Coast Colony

In the extreme north of the Western Region of Ghana are three traditional states collectively known as Sefwi.  Sefwi is made up of three mutually independent paramountcies of Anhwiaso, Bekwai and Wiawso. It is bounded on the northeast by Ashanti (Asante), on the east by Denkyira and Wassa-Amanfi, on the south by Awowin and on the west by the Anyi-Baule of the Ivory Coast. It also shares a common boundary with Brong-Ahafo In the north. All the three states share a common dialect Sefwi but almost all the people speak Twi (Akan). In addition they have a common tutelar deity, Sobore, and a common annual yam festival — the Allelolle. Since the middle of the Seventeenth century, this vast stretch of territory has served as a centre of refuge for people escaping from the political centralization policies of their neighbours to the north and east. Refugees from Bono-Takyiman, Wenchi, Adanse, Denkyira, Assin and Asante found ready welcome in this territory. It appears that the Awowin rulers who formerly controlled modern Sefwi territory adopted an open door policy as a measure to Increase the population of their state. Nor has the Influx of people into Sefwi ceased up to the present day. Its virgin forest serves as a bait for cocoa farmers and timber merchants from all over Ghana.

Between 1900 and 1902 the question of recasting the Gold Coast Colony-Ashanti boundary was raised but no significant alteration was effected. It had been argued that the geographical location of Kwahu and Sefwi made it "more convenient that they should be included for administrative purposes in Ashanti". The possibility of establishing protectorates and separate administrations for the two areas had also been considered. In 1901, however, the Governor indicated that he did not think "the Sefwis and Kwahus would understand or appreciate any difference being made in their status to that of the other tribes in the interior.' As the Ashanti were to be treated as a conquered people and punished for rebelling, it was considered proper to exclude the Sefwi and Kwahu who had not participated in the uprising from that administration. Besides, in Sefwi and Kwahu the laws of the Gold Coast Colony were, to some extent, successfully administered and the people were accustomed to taking their cases to the colonial courts. The 1895 boundary was therefore retained. The inclusion of Kwahu and Sefwi in the Colony made it a compact territory. On February 18, 1896, Sefwi formally joined the Colony. The regional boundaries which became operative on 1st January 1902 survived until 1907 when they were recast.






February 15, 1926: Edward A. Ulzen was born in Sekondi

Today marks the 92nd birthday of Edward Abraham Kofi Ulzen who passed away on October 1, 1999. His estate supports the Elmina - Java Museum and its controlling entity, the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation. He attended Amisano Seminary, St. Augustine's College, Achimota College and the University College of the Gold Coast. He reportedly chartered the first branch of the CPP youth wing in Takoradi, where he was a 2nd class officer in H.M. Customs. He was Principal Assistant Secretary in the Office of the President with a schedule for Higher Education and was Secretary of the Interim University Council that oversaw the transformation of Kumasi College of Technology into Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology under Chairman Kojo Botsio. He became the first Registrar of the new university. He was dismissed from this position following the findings of the Manyo Plange Commission after the the 1966 coup.

He continued his service as a Pan-Africanist in many roles in East, Central and Southern Africa. At the invitation of President Kaunda, he became the first African Registrar of the University of Zambia. He went on to become the Registrar of the erstwhile University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. He eventually moved to Nairobi and developed the African Literacy and Adult Education and Association into the largest education NGO in the world. In 1989, he represented Africa at the first UN sponsored conference on the role of NGOs, now known as Civil Society organizations. after his retirement to Ghana he was invited to serve as the Chairman of the Board of the Bureau of Ghanaian Languages. He was also a choral musician, whose choirs wo national competitions in Zambia and Kenya, a pianist and a Thespian.



February 13, 1874: The Ashanti sue for peace with the British at Fomena

After the city of Kumasi, the Ashanti capital, was sacked by the army of Sir Garnet Wolseley, on February 4, 1874, the British sought to capture the Ashanti king Kofi Karikari.

He had fled the capital before the British arrival. They tried unsuccessfully to hunt him down. Kofi Karikari eventually sent his messengers to track down Wolseley, who was returning to the coast. The messengers announced to Wolseley that King Kofi Karikari wished to agree to terms for peace.

They met on 13th February 1874, at Fomena to conclude what became known as the Treaty of Fomena.

This harsh treaty, which included payment of an indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold, renunciation of suzerainty over neighboring nations, cessation of rent payments from the forts, free passage on all roads and the suppression of human sacrifice. These conditions undermined the stability of the Ashanti Kingdom and Kofi Karikari was destooled in September 1874 and this treaty laid the groundwork for the eventual collapse of the Asante Empire in the years to come.

February 13, 1951: Gov. Sir Charles Arden-Clarke invites Nkrumah to form a government

 In February 1951, the first elections were held for the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly under the new constitution for the colony. Dr Nkrumah still in jail, won his seat at Accra Central and his party won an impressive victory with a two-thirds majority of the 104 seats. The governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Charles Arden-Clark, released Dr. Nkrumah from prison and invited him to form a government as "leader of government business" a position somewhat similar to that of prime minister, on February 13, 1951. A major milestone had been passed on the road to independence and self-government. Nonetheless, the structure of government that existed was certainly not what Dr. Nkrumah's party preferred. The ministries of defense and external affairs were still controlled by British officials.

In 1952, the position of prime minister was created and the Executive Council became the cabinet. The Prune Minister was made responsible to the assembly, which duly elected Dr. Nkrumah prime minister. British officials still controlled the foreign affairs of the Gold Coast and independence was still to be won.

February 12, 1957: Nkrumah and Busia agree on a draft constitution for independence


The Constitution-Making Process

The NLM was uncompromising in its demand for a federal constitution and given the spate of violence that followed the formation of that party, the colonial authorities in 1955, appointed Sir Frederick Bourne to investigate and recommend the feasibility or otherwise of the federal system for independent Ghana. The Bourne Report recommended a compromise formula of a unitary system with devolutionary powers to regional assemblies which formed the basis of the 1957 Constitution.

Main Features of 1957 Constitution  

The Independence Constitution, officially titled, The Ghana (Constitution) Order in Council, was firmly based on the cabinet system in line with British political tradition. The executive consisted of the Prime Minister and his cabinet selected from the National Assembly to which they were individually and collectively responsible (Section 7). The head of state was a Governor General with generally ceremonial functions representing the British monarch (Section 6).  The Constitution had very few guaranteed rights such as the right to vote (Section 69), the right to property (Section 34) and others safeguarding minorities rights.

Section 32 provided special amendment procedures. According to Article 32(1) amendment to ordinary  constitutional provisions needed 2/3 majority of Parliament, while entrenched provisions needed a prior approval of not less than two-thirds of all the Regional Assemblies and in some cases the Regional Houses of Chiefs (Section 32(2). This cumbersome procedure of amendment was significant given the polarized politics at the time.

Perhaps the most significant provision in terms of the ‘compromise formula’ was Article 64 which called for the establishment, by an Act of Parliament, of a Regional Assembly in each of the then five regions of the country. Section 64(1) gave the regional assemblies effective powers in nine specified areas- local government, agriculture, education, communications, medical and health services, public works, town and country planning, housing, police- and ‘such other matters as Parliament may from time to time determine’ (Section 64 (2).

Application of the 1957 Constitution

 The colonial authorities had introduced the regional assembly system into the 1957 Constitution as a concession to an opposition which controlled 43% of the popular votes. But it was a compromise that satisfied neither the government nor the opposition. The ruling CPP felt the Independence Constitution had been forced upon it (Kraus 1969:117). Nkrumah reportedly said his Government and the CPP had accepted with grave misgivings the Constitution as was drawn in Britain but they preferred to take what was offered rather than see independence delayed (Ohene-Darko 1977:78). For the NLM and its allies, anything short of the federal system was not desirable and they continued to boycott important stages in the transition process[i], a strategy which the CPP cleverly exploited to its own advantage.

The CPP adopted the uncompromising attitude of using its majority in parliament to adopt measures aimed at destroying the opposition. For example, in December 1957, the CPP-dominated parliament passed the Avoidance of Discrimination Act (ADA) which sought to render illegal all the opposition parties on grounds that they were not national. The regionalist opposition parties however outwitted the CPP by coming together to form the United Party (UP) before the ADA could be passed. Similarly, the passage of the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) in 1958 made it possible to detain without trial for five years and without right of appeal for conduct considered by the government to be prejudicial to the defence and security of the state. The CPP also resorted to amending significant portions of the Constitution; measures that turned the very rigid constitution flexible. In this respect, the fate of the regional assembly system is most illustrative. The CPP government had ‘induced’ the opposition to boycott both the parliamentary debate on and election to the Regional Assemblies and succeeded in legislating the assemblies out of existence(2).

Thus, while the 1957 Constitution was intended to operate on compromise and tolerance, both commodities were scarce between the Government and the Opposition. In the middle of 1960, therefore, Nkrumah and the CPP threw away the Independence Constitution wholly and wholeheartedly and introduced a new one on their own terms (Dale 1993:72).


1.       For example, the opposition was on a boycott and did not take part in the debate on the ‘Motion of Destiny’ tabled by Nkrumah on 4 August 1956 calling for the granting of independence in March 1957. Though the Opposition returned to endorse the draft constitution early 1957, they again boycotted the debate in 1958 of the Regional Assemblies Bill.

2.       In accordance with Section 64 of the 1957, the Governor-General had formed the Van Lare Committee (composed of the chairman, 13 CPP and 8 opposition MPs) to work on the modalities of the regional assembly system. The Committee had drawn a careful compromise between the wide and extensive powers of the Regional Assemblies demanded by the opposition and their reduction to advisory bodies as demanded by the CPP. But the CPP government grossly altered the compromise formula when it introduced the Regional Assembly Bill in Parliament. The opposition boycotted the deliberations and subsequent elections to fill the Assemblies. Not surprisingly, the CPP-dominated Assemblies legislated themselves out of existence. This was approved by 2/3 majority in Parliament that enabled constitutional amendments to be made by a simple majority in the House. In addition, the Houses of Chiefs had their powers modified and chieftaincy matters came under direct government control.


From Alexander K.D. Frempong, "Constitution -Making and Constitutional Rule in Ghana" Golden Jubilee Colloquium March 1-2, 2007 


February 11, 1974: Gen. Acheampong closes all 3 universities in Ghana

On February 11, 1974, students of the 3 major universities in Ghana, namely, the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah of Science and Technology and University of Cape Coast simultaneously marched in protest against the military government of the National Redemption Council (NRC). An event of military brutality against a mature student of the University of Ghana who was traveling back to Accra from Ho in the previous week which galvanized the Accra students into action. The Student Representative Council (SRC) at Legon and the National Union Ghana Students (NUGS) mobilized themselves in one short week and struck in unison, paralyzing the three cities that morning and confronting troops deployed in all 3 cities. By early afternoon, the government announced all 3 universities closed immediately and students were ordered to leave their campuses. This event set forth a train of events of resistance to military rule, which eventually led to the downfall of the Acheampong regime, first with the palace coup in 1977 and eventually the coup in in 1979, led by Flt. Lt. Rawlings.


February 8, 1951: First Gold Coast direct elections for Legislative assembly

8 February 1951 Legislative Assembly Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes




Number of Seats (38)*

Convention People's Party (CPP)


United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC)




*38 out of 84 members were directly-elected; 37 members were indirectly-elected by territorial councils, six were appointed to represent commercial interests, and three were ex-officio members appointed by the Governor.


February 7, 2013; President Mahama moves seat of government to Flagstaff House.

Ghana’s then President, John Dramani Mahama on Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 officially moved the seat of the government of Ghana from the old colonial slave post Osu Castle to the Flagstaff House built with India’s help. Minister for Information and Media Relations Mahama Ayariga confirmed that the government would conduct “formal” business from the House starting Feb 7. The move came after four years of dithering over what to do with the building which was being used by the ministry of foreign affairs.

The ministry planned to relocate to a new building being built with help from China. “Staff of the ministry of foreign affairs are to relocate from the administration block so that we can make a complete move to the Flagstaff House in 2013,” the president had said in December. However, the new presidential palace has gone through several controversies.

First, then president John Atta Mills decided not to use it after its completion, citing security reasons. This was in line with his election campaign promise that he would not live in the building because the money spent on it could have been used on other things to benefit the poor.

However, John Kufuor, under whose presidency the construction was initiated, praised the Indian government for providing the funds.

There was also concern about its cost. Originally estimated at $36.9 million, the cost shot up to $135 million with the provision of additional facilities to enhance security. The amount was part of a $60 million funding from the Indian government that has a 50-percent grant element at an interest rate of 1.75 percent, repayable in 25 years, including a five-year moratorium.

The building returned to the original name of Flagstaff House after it had been changed to Jubilee House by President Kufuor. Shapoorji Pallonji of India was named as contractor of the project, which started in 2006.

February 6, 1812: Commandant of Winneba Fort, Henry Meredith killed by Effutus

In the month of February 1812, Mr. Meredith now commandant of Winneba was done to death by the natives of that place. One day, he was suddenly seized by a number of natives, who dragged him away into the bush and there charged him with detaining a quantity of gold, the property of the natives. This gold, they asserted, a sergeant of the company’s soldiers had delivered to him for safekeeping as Ashantis were in the neighborhood.

It appears that the sergeant upon being asked for it by the owners, had evaded payment by declaring that he had forgotten to whose care he had entrusted it. The owner consulted the great god of the Fanti and was told by the Oracle that was the Meredith had it, hence his seizure.

It was in vein that the unfortunate commandant declared that he knew nothing of the gold….They treated their captive with the greatest barbarity. Not satisfied with making him walk several miles bareheaded in the heat of the sun, they set fire to the dry grass, and taking off his boots, forced him to walk over at barefooted. He was frequently beaten, his arms were stretched out horizontally at full length, and fastened to a long pole, which pressed upon his throat and caused him much pain.

Apparently during this period, there was a great deal of surface gold in and around Winneba. With the Ashanti’s close by, the locals would amass large quantities of gold and send it to the British fort for safekeeping. They however noted that a barrel being shipped out to England, which fell and broke revealed a great deal of gold. Suspicious, the Effutu people demanded an accounting of the gold which had given the British and this was not achieved. As a result, they held the Commandant Mr. Meredith responsible and killed him in the manner described above.

To avenge his death, the English forces led by Commodore Irby, destroyed the fort and burn down Winneba in July 1812. The Effutu were required to pay an indemnity of “some of money and satisfaction of the injury done to the late Mr. Meredith”. Under the guns of the British, the natives of Winneba brought all the gold they had until the large scale being used weigh the gold broke under its weight.

This is why Winneba is the only major caostal town without a fort from this era.

February 5, 1885, Winneba Asafo rioters, executed in Accra

On February 5, 1885 the Asafo men arrested after riots in Winneba were executed in Accra. This followed violent disturbances between Tuafo and Dentsefo companies led to their prosecution at Accra on a capital charge, and finally the condemnation to death of a good many of those who took part in the riot. King Ghartey IV’s petition on their behalf failed to achieve anything. 

When they were executed eventually, it was noted that coincidentally, that all officials involved in the condemnation and execution died one after the other in the same year: the Queen’s Advocate who prosecuted, the Chief Justice who sentenced the people, the Sheriff who delivered them for execution, the Engineer who fixed the gallows, and Governor W. A. Young himself, who signed the death warrant and finally the gaoler (Trant), who conducted the last act of execution.

January Ghana History Moments in Review

Adobe Spark.jpg

In January we revisited many consequential and interesting moments in Ghanaian history. Check out some of the topics that we covered below!

1. Police Constable Ametewee fails in assassination attempt on Nkrumah

2.  JE Atta-Mills wins election to become President of Ghana

3.  The Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) filed a lawsuit challenging the results of Ghana's 2012 elections

4. The Progressive Peoples Party applies formally for registration.

5. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) call a general strike

6. Gov. Arden-Clarke imposes Peace Preservation Ordinance on Ashanti

7. John Dramani Mahama sworn in as President of Ghana

8. Positive Action Day declared by Kwame Nkrumah

9. JB Danquah re-arrested after Ametewee assassination attempt on Nkrumah

10. A Special Court was established to hear cases on security threats to the state

11. Exchange of Dutch possessions completed

12. Lt. Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong overthrows Prof. Kofi Busia's government

13. Ghana's first woman minister, Mrs Susanna Al-Hassan passes away

14. Sir Francis Scott enters Kumasi with British and West Indian troops

15. The foundation stone is laid for the construction of St. George's (Elmina) Castle

16. British Governor, Sir Charles McCarthy killed at Bonsaso

17. Kwame Nkrumah arrested as CPP banned by colonial government

18. Kumasi College of Technology is established

19. The Volta River Hydro-electric Project is inaugurated

20. Cape Coast erupted in riots over chieftancy succession

21. Osei Yaw Akoto becomes King of Ashanti

22. Chief Nii Kwabena Bonne II leads boycott of European goods

23. The Draft Constitution for the 2nd Republic presented

24. People's Movement for Freedom and Justice founded

25. Achimota (Prince of Wales) College opened

26. Elections and Public Offices Disqualification Decree

27. British Komenda natives reject Dutch takeover after Anglo-Dutch Agreement


February 5, 1972: Col. Acheampong Repudiates some of Ghana's foreign debt.

Characteristic of military dictators, Gen. Acheampong unilaterally and unceremoniously declared his government’s intention to repudiate all foreign debts contracted by previous administrations suspected to be tainted by corruption. Unperturbed by the potential consequences of his action, Acheampong announced his infamous ‘Yentua’ (debt repudiation) policy to the chagrin and surprise of Ghana’s creditors. On February 5, 1972, he announced the repudiation of US$90 million of Nkrumah's debts to British companies and the unilateral rescheduling of the rest of the country's debts for payment over fifty years. He declared that the NRC explicitly repudiates all contracts which are vitiated by corruption, fraud or other illegality. He also openly expressed his disdain for the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and refused to allow the IMF and the World Bank to negotiate Ghana’s debt with her creditors. Acheampong’s defiant position won him a lot of admiration from Ghanaians. His populist approach to economic diplomacy was exactly what he needed to rally the people and gain their support for his government. It is argued that Acheampong was emboldened to chart this path of defiance and confrontation with Ghana’s creditors because the country’s economic fortunes were bolstered by an increase in cocoa prices on the world market as well as an increase in timber production.

February 5, 1874: The "Sagrenti War" and the "Sacking of Kumasi".

The Battle of Amoaful was fought on 31 January 1874. A road was cut to the village and the Black Watch led the way, forming square in the clearing with the Rifle Brigade, while flanking columns moved around the village. With the pipes playing "The Campbells Are Coming" the Black Watch charged with bayonets and the shocked Ashantis fled. The flank columns were slow moving in the jungle and the Ashantis moved around them in their normal horseshoe formation and attacked the camp 2 miles (3.2 km) to the rear. The Royal Engineers defended themselves until relieved by the Rifle Brigade. Although there was another small battle two days later, the Battle of Ordashu, the action had been decisive and the route to Kumasi was open. There were three killed and 165 wounded Europeans, one killed and 29 African troops wounded.

Amankwatia (the Bantamahene) designed, planned and executed the last great stand of the Asante at the village of Amoaful against the advancing British Army of Major-General Garnet Wolseley in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War. The Battle of Amoaful itself did not last much more than 24 hours on 31 January 1874.

The British won (and the Asante lost) the Battle of Amoaful. Some (perhaps questionable) British accounts have it that the biggest havoc in the British ranks was caused by bad air (malaria) and yellow fever, but in the Battle of Amoaful every fourth British soldier was hit by the heavy Asante fusillade.  

The Asante chose forest cover and ridges overlooking bogs (through which the British had to wade) as their battle stands. Amankwatia is credited with such clever calculation. What advantage the British had in heavy armament and superior rifles the Asante countered with far superior numbers (no wonder between 2000 and 3000 of them were either injured or killed). The British soldiers for a long time came under heavy gunfire from people they could not see.

The capital, Kumasi, was abandoned by the Ashanti when the British arrived on 4 February and was briefly occupied by the British. They demolished the royal palace with explosives, leaving Kumasi a heap of smouldering ruins. The British were impressed by the size of the palace and the scope of its contents, including "rows of books in many languages.

The Asantahene, the ruler of the Ashanti, signed the harsh Treaty of Fomena in July 1874 to end the war. Among articles of the treaty between H.M. Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and H.M. Kofi Karikari, King of Ashanti were that "The King of Ashanti promises to pay the sum of 50,000 ounces of approved gold as indemnity for the expenses he has occasioned to Her Majesty the Queen of England by the late war..." The treaty also required an end to human sacrifice and stated that "There shall be freedom of trade between Ashanti and Her Majesty's forts on the [Gold] Coast, all persons being at liberty to carry their merchandise from the Coast to Kumasi, or from that place to any of Her Majesty's possessions on the Coast." Furthermore, the treaty stated that "The King of Ashanti guarantees that the road from Kumasi to the River Pra shall always be kept open..." Wolseley completed the campaign in two months, and re-embarked for home before the unhealthy season began.

Wolseley was promoted and showered with honours. British casualties were 18 dead from combat and 55 from disease (70%), with 185 wounded.

Some British accounts pay tribute to the hard fighting of the Ashanti at Amoaful, particularly the tactical insight of their commander, Amankwatia: "The great Chief Amankwatia was among the killed. Admirable skill was shown in the position selected by Amankwatia, and the determination and generalship he displayed in the defence fully bore out his great reputation as an able tactician and gallant soldier".

The campaign is also notable for the first recorded instance of a traction engine being employed on active service. Steam sapper number 8 (made by Aveling and Porter) was shipped out and assembled at Cape Coast Castle. As a traction engine it had limited success hauling heavy loads up the beach, but gave good service when employed as a stationary engine driving a large circular saw.

February 4, 1965: Dr. J.B. Danquah dies at Nsawam Prisons

Dr. J. B. Danquah stood as a presidential candidate against Nkrumah in April 1960 but lost the election. On 3 October 1961, Danquah was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act, on the grounds of involvement with alleged plans to subvert the CPP government. He was released on 22 June 1962. He was later elected president of the Ghana Bar Association.

Danquah was again arrested on 8 January 1964, for allegedly being implicated in the Ametewee assassination attempt against the President. He was admitted to Nsawam Prison and placed in the Condemned Section (Special Block) in Cell No. 9 on the upper landing. The cell is approximately 9 feet by 6 feet in area, secured by solid door with small open grille in the top half of the door and barred window high up in the rear wall. The cell contained no bed or other furniture other than a chamber pot. He reportedly suffered a heart attack and died while in detention at Nsawam Medium Prison on 4 February 1965.

After the overthrow of the CPP government in February 1966 by the National Liberation Council (NLC), Danquah was given a national funeral and his status was rehabilitated.

February 2, 1918: All Basel Missionaries deported from the Gold Coast

From 1870 to 1914 the Basel Mission succeeded in extending its work from the Akwapim Ridge to Kwahu, Akim and Asante and across the Volta as far as Yendi the north in 1913.

During this period, difficulties encountered were different from the initial difficulties which will more related to sickness, deaths and the suspicion of indigenous people in accepting the Gospel. Now, with the burgeoning Cocoa industry, the expansion of commercial activity, the development of gold mines and the building of roads and railways disturbed the traditional lifestyle. This decreased the zeal with which people began to accept the Gospel leading to nominal Christianity. Moreover, the Islamic religion was also being introduced to the southern section of the country by Muslim immigrants from the north of the colony.

In spite of all this, with the advent of the First World War in 1914 in the Kwaku District there were 21 congregations with a total of over 2500 members. The Akim area had about 3400 converts over 32 villages and there were about 900 children distributed in 27 Schools. The Basel Mission, as a result of this phenomenal expansion trained many local personnel to man the new stations.

After World War I was declared in 1914, the German missionaries were restricted in their movements by the British in the British colonies. The restrictions intensified until in the second week of 1917, when all German missionaries were rounded up, brought to Accra and deportations began on December 16. The work of the Basel Missionary Society was taken over with the consent of the Basel Mission Home Board by the United Free Church of Scotland whose ecclesiastical organization was Presbyterian. The Scottish Missionary Society had been working in Calabar, Nigeria, also a British colony adjacent to the Gold Coast and it was from the Calabar Presbyterian Church in Nigeria that a missionary was sent to take charge of the Presbyterian work in the Gold Coast after the deportations.
This was a bitter pill for the Basel Mission to swallow after 19 years of devoted service in the mission field in the Gold Coast but they were not dismayed when they considered that “in education and agriculture and artisan training and in the development of commerce, and medical services and concern for social welfare of the people, the name Basel by the time of expulsion of the mission from the country, had become a treasured word in the minds of the people”.

By February 2, 1918, all Basel missionaries had been deported from the Gold Coast.

February 1, 1896: Exiled Prempeh I and his retinue arrive at Cape Coast Castle

Nana Prempeh I was enstooled in March 1888 with the stool name Nana Kwaku Dua III. This name later changed to Prempeh I. Because of the civil war which proceeded his enstoolment, the chiefs who did not support him continued to cause trouble. Among the states which were opposed to his enstoolment were Kokofu, Mampong, Nsuta, Adanse and Dadiase. The states which supported him were Kumase, Bekwai, Dwaben, Edweso, Offinso, and Nkoranza. Edwesohene was the war general for Nana Prempeh,s faction during the civil war, therefore after the war his stool was raised to paramount status . The other Asona towns within the Kingdom who were serving Kumase direct but had scattered were all made to come under Edweso, as requested by Dikopim.( Dikopim,s request did not materialised at Nana Tutu,s time because of opposition from the scattered Asona Towns)
According to oral tradition , the defeat of Atwereboana,s supporters made them desert their towns . The people of Kokofu crossed the Pra River into the protectorate. Those from Mampong and Nsuta went to Atebubu. There was even the move by the people of Mampong to become British subjects. This period coincided with the scramble for Africa, therefore the British Government decided to colonise Asante by all means. The Governor wrote many letters to the King on the matter but Nana Prempeh I did not yield to his suggestions because his request were always accompanied by threats . According to Kimble, in one of the letters the Government promised to pay the King six hundred pounds sterling (600) per annum. He also promised to pay the Chiefs of Mampong, Kokofu, Bekwai, Dwaben, and the Queen-mother a total of one thousand four hundred pounds sterling (1400) , if they agreed to come under the British ,but if they refused , he will enstool Atwereboana , the rival contestant . This luring and threatening behaviour of the British made the King and the state become confused. The Kingdom had already decided on friendship with the British. That was why the Governor was invited to be present at Nana Prempeh’s enstoolment. However, it was not duty of the British Government to appoint a King for them. Because of the threats, the King appointed an eight – man delegation to go and see the Queen of Britain and have a frank discussion with her on what was happening in the Gold Coast, especially in the Asante Kingdom. According to Claridge, the delegation was made up of the following people: John Ansa, Albert Ansa, Nana Kwame Boaten, Nana Kwaku Fokuo, (a linguist), Kwaku Nkroma, Kwabena Bonna, Agyapon Daban and Kwadwo Tufour.
The Governor persuaded them to stop the journey and discuss everything with him, because he requested the crown in the Gold Coast. They did not agree to the Governor’s suggestion and left for England, because of the many threats in the Governors letters to the King. They wanted to hear from the Queen but not her nominee. They were in fact prepared to throw much light on their customs to the Queen of England to bring about peace among them. The Governor told them point blank that the Queen of England would not welcome them but they took it as one of the threats. They did not know that the King had been described as cruel King who took delight in human sacrifice therefore they would not be welcomed. They still insisted on going to see the Queen of England. They therefore boarded a ship for England. When they arrived, they made all possible efforts to get audience with the Queen, but they were refused. They remained in England for six months trying to see the Queen but all efforts were in vain. The Governor at the time, Mr Branford- Griffiths was transferred and Mr William Maxwell was posted to replace him. The new Governor was asked to send the following message to Nana Prempeh I.

1.       That he should allow a British resident representative in Kumase.

2.       That he should open his trade routes to all and allow free trade in Asante district.

3.       That he should stop human sacrifice.

4.       That he should honour the Fomena Treaty by paying the Government an amount of one hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds sterling (175,000) which was equivalent of fifty thousand ounces of gold stated in the treaty.

5.      That he (The Asantehene) should allow any state in his Kingdom, which wished to secede and come under the British, do so without intimidation. Such a state would be welcome by the British Government.

The new Governor wrote a letter containing the message as stated to Nana Prempeh (Asantehene) and gave him a few days to reply. It was eight days after the deadline that Nana Prempeh I replied that he had received the letter but since he had sent messengers to Britain to see the Queen of England, he could not give full reply to the points raised until they returned. When the letter was received by the Governor, he decided to use force on the Asante Kingdom to bring it under the British Flag.

The messengers to Britain returned to the Gold Coast in December 1895 without seeing the Queen of England. When they reached the shores of Accra that saw the preparations being made by the Governor for an expedition to Kumase. Fearing the consequence, they went to meet the Governor and agreed that a British representative was welcome in Kumase and they wanted to lead the representative to Kumase. They also agreed on all the terms contained in the Governor,s letter and asked him to rescind his decision of sending troops to Kumase. The Governor did not give in to their plea but asked that he needed the King Nana Prempeh I himself but not his representative, therefore he would come to Kumase with the troops and if the King (Nana Prempeh ) was not happy with their coming , he should meet him at Praso and make a new treaty with him. He should also pay all the expenses incurred on the soldiers. Since the Governor did not agree to their request, they left immediately to report to the King and the Asanteman(the Asante state) . Asanteman, on hearing the news waited for the Governor,s arrival.
According to Claridge, the King (Nana Prempeh) and hid Chiefs decide to fight the British again and while waiting, he dressed two of his children and sent them as hostages to the Governor at Praso. His motive was to present them to the Governor so that he and his troops would not cross into the Asnate territory, but return. However, the Governor, knowing that the Asantes did not inherit paternally, refused the offer. The King (Nana Prempeh) sent again his linguist, Nana Fokuo and Nana Boaten to plea with the Governor to return since he had accepted all the terms in the letter. The Governor again refused their plea and continued with his men. The governor and his troops crossed River Pra on 11th January 1896. They were met by the chief of Bekwai, Nana Yaw Boaten, and the chief of Abodom, who made a treaty with him and accepted to become British subjects. According to Claridge, after the treaty, they received flags from the Governor and hoisted one at Bekwai in the chief,s palace . The chief of Adanse, Nana Kwaku Nkansa, had also accepted the British protection earlier on 18th of October 1895.

When the news reached to the King that some chiefs had joined the camp of the Governor,King Nana Prempeh and the remaining chiefs decided to accept the British Flag. They therefore waited for the arrival of the Governor so that they might proclaim to the Asante Kingdom that they had accepted the British Flag and they needed the Governor,s representative in Kumase. When the King (Nana Prempeh) heard that the soldiers would reach Kumase on the 17th of January, he summoned his chiefs to a great durbar to welcome the Governor. The King and his elders reached the durbar grounds at 9:00 O,clock in the morning to wait for the Governor,s arrival . They waited till 5:00 O,clock in the evening before they got to know the news that the Governor was arriving on 18th January . The soldiers who arrived in Kumase on 17th January, consisted of 1,322 whites and 1,800 blacks, made up of Hausas, Fantes, and men from Adanse and Bekwai. When the Governor reached Kumase on the 18th January, he was told that the King (Nana Prempeh) and his men were at the durbar grounds waiting for him. He therefore sent message to the King that he is tired and they should retire to their homes and mount the durbar on the 20th of January.   The and his elders had decided that they were meeting the Governor to proclaim to him that they had accepted to come under the British Rule so that he in turn might introduce the resident representative for Asante . Little did they know about the motive of the Governor and why he had come with that number of troops?
Another durbar was mounted for the Governor on the appointed day. The King and his chiefs reached the durbar grounds early in the morning. To their astonishment they saw soldiers all over the place. The soldiers started separating the chiefs from their supporting men. Only the chiefs and few of their elders were allowed to go to the chief’s stand. This made the King (Nana Prempeh) and his chiefs sense danger. After a while the Governor also arrived at the durbar grounds and exchange greetings followed. Then followed the actual message he brought. This message was that he came to invite the King (Nana Prempeh) and his subjects to accept the British rule in his country. Secondly, he stated that the King and his subjects had not kept the terms of the treaty of Fomena, therefore they had come to urge them to keep their promise by paying the 50,000 ounces of gold as stated in the treaty.  After the message, the King (Nana Prempeh) and his chiefs became baffled as they never dreamt that the Governor was coming to retrieve debts. In this state, John Ansa, leader of the Asante delegation to London, went to the King and whispered something to him. A few minutes later the King and the Queen mother got up and went to the Governor bowling down before him and touching his shoes. They returned to their seats and the King made statements that from that day onwards, he and his subjects had accepted the British rule.  On the payment of 50,000 ounce of gold, the King (Nana Prempeh) stated that he would pay it but had no funds at that particular moment, but he would pay six hundred ounces (600 oz.) of gold, which was the equivalent of two thousand pounds sterling (€2000). The Governor did not accept the amount. He insisted that if the King (Nana Prempeh) had managed to raise money to send a delegation to England, he should be in the position to pay. When the Governor waited for a while and the money was not paid, he ordered the arrest of the King(Nana Prempeh) and the Queen mother ,the King,s father, his brother, two heirs to the throne, two linguists, the King,s interpreter, the chiefs of Bantama, Asafo, Mampong, Offinso, Edweso , and some of the King,s wives and servants.
Records from the archives indicate that the people arrested and deported included the following:

1.     Nana Akwasi Agyemang Prempeh         King of Asante.
2.     Nana Yaa Akyaa                                           The King,s mother and Queen mother of Asante .
3.     Nana Appea  Osokye                                  Chief of Mampong .
4.     Nana Kwadwo Kwahu (alias Kwadwo Appia)   – Chief of Offinso.
5.     Nana Kofi Afrane (alias Kofi Mensa)    – Chief of Edweso.
6.     Nana Kwame Amankwaatia II   –    Chief of Bantama (war chief – Kontihene).
7.     Nana Asafo Boakye   –               Chief of Asafo (war chief 2 and Akwamuhene ).
8.     Nana Kofi Subri                         Akyempemhene.
9.     Nana Kwabena  Agyekum        Oyokohene.
10.   Nana Kwasi  Gyambibi          The King,s father .
11.   Nana Agyemang Badu            The king,s brother and chief of Adum.
12.   Nana Akwasi Akuoko            Head   Linguist of the King
13.   Nana Boakye Ntansa              Chief of royal bodyguards (Akonfrahene)
14.   Mr Francis Korsah                 Interpreter to the King
15.   Barema Yaw Konkroma.
16.   Kwaku Fokuo                         The King’s linguist
17.   Nana Kwaku Wusu               The King’s linguist
18.   Kwame Kusi.
19.   Abena Kordie                        The King,s wife
20.   Amma Kwahan                    The King,s wife
21.   Kwasi Boakye                        The king,s son
22.   Kwame Yeboah                     The Kings, attendant
23.   Kwabena  Dabre                   The King,s attendant
24.   Kwame Asante                     The King,s cook
25.   Maame Mansa                       The Queen mother,s attendant
26.   Maame Daaho                       The Queen mother,s attendant
27.   Yaa Boatemaa                        Mamponghene,s wife ( chief of Mampong)
28.    Kwaku Fokuo                       Mamponghene,s servant (chief of Mampong)
29.    Kwame Ware.                       Mamponghene,s son ( chief of Mampong)
30.    Akua Akyaamaa                   Bantamahene,s wife
31.    Yaa Asokwa                           Bantamahene,s wife
32.    Abrakatu                                Bantamahene,s servant
33.    Daakowaa                              Asafohene,s wife (chief of Asafo,s wife)
34.    Nipade Yennow                    Asafohene,s wife (chief of Asafo,s wife)
35.    Ama Anowuo                        Asafohene,s wife (chief of Asafo,s wife)
36.    Kofi Mensa                            Asafohene,s servant
37.    Dwaben Amma Serwaa       Subri,s wife
38.    Kwaku Dua                            Subri,s servant
39.    Kwame Baafi                         Subri,s son
40.    Kwaku Boaten                       Boakye Ntansa,s servant
41.    Yaa Kordie                              Boaten,s wife
42.    Yaa Yennow                           Agyeman Badu,s wife
43.     Kwame Adu                          Agyemang Badu,s servant
44.     Kwabena Akroma                Agyemang Badu,s servant( Terchirehene)
45.     Amma Serwaa                      FoKuo,s wife
46.     Kwasi Agyapon                    The King,s half-brother
47.     Kwame Oti                            Servant
48.     Kwame Awua                       Servant
49.     Maame Amma Dapaa
50.     Akosua Akyem                      from Mfensi
51.     Akranyame                             from Offinso
52.     Maame Akua Afriyie
53.     Adokuaa
54.     Akua Agyeiwaa                      Offinsohene,s wife (chief of Offinso,s wife)
55.     Nana Kwame Boaten            Dominasehene (chief of Dominase)

After the arrest they were sent to Cape Coast Castle on February 1, 1896.