GHANA. Welcome home to troops from Ashanti War antique print 1874
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Home > Prints and Maps by Country > Africa > Ghana | Gold Coast | Ashanti

GHANA. Welcome home to troops from Ashanti War, antique print, 1874

Price: £9.99

CAPTION BELOW PICTURE: 'Return of the troops from the Ashantee War: Arrival of the Sarmatian with the 42nd-The first note of welcome'


Anglo-Ashanti Wars
The Anglo-Ashanti Wars were four conflicts between the Asante Empire in the Akan interior of what is now Ghana and the British Empire in the 19th century. The ruler of the Asante (or Ashanti) was the Ashantehene. The coastal people, primarily Fante and the inhabitants of Accra, who were chiefly Ga, came to rely on British protection against Ashanti incursions. Finally the Asante Empire resulted in becoming a British protectorate.

First Anglo-Ashanti War
The First Anglo-Asante War was from 1823 to 1831. In 1823 Sir Charles MacCarthy, rejecting Ashanti claims to Fanti areas of the coast and resisting overtures by the Ashanti to negotiate, led an invading force from the Cape Coast. He was defeated and killed by the Ashanti, and the heads of MacCarthy and Ensign Wetherall were kept as trophies. See Charles MacCarthy for details of the Battle of Nsamankow, when MacCarthy's troops (who had not joined up with the other columns) were overrun. Major Alexander Gordon Laing returned to Britain with news of their fate.
The Ashanti swept down to the coast, but disease forced them back. The Ashanti were so successful in subsequent fighting that in 1826 they again moved on the coast. At first they fought very impressively in an open battle against superior numbers of British allied forces, including Denkyirans. However, the novelty of British Congreve rockets caused the Ashanti army to withdraw. In 1831, the Pra River was accepted as the border in a treaty, and there were thirty years of peace.

Second Anglo-Ashanti War
The Second Anglo-Asante War was from 1863 to 1864. With the exception of a few minor Ashanti skirmishes across the Pra in 1853 and 1854, the peace between Asanteman and the British Empire had remained unbroken for over 30 years. Then, in 1863, a large Ashanti delegation crossed the river pursuing a fugitive, Kwesi Gyana. There was fighting, with casualties on both sides, but the governor's request for troops from England was declined and sickness forced the withdrawal of his West Indian troops, with both sides losing more men to sickness than any other factor, and in 1864 the war ended in a stalemate.

Third Anglo-Ashanti War
The Third Anglo-Asante War lasted from 1873 to 1874. In 1869 a German missionary family and a Swiss missionary had been taken to Kumasi. They were hospitably treated, but a ransom was required for them. In 1871 Britain purchased the Dutch Gold Coast from the Dutch, including Elmina which was claimed by the Ashanti. The Ashanti invaded the new British protectorate.
General Wolseley with 2,500 British troops and several thousand West Indian and African troops (including some Fante) was sent against the Ashanti, and subsequently became a household name in Britain. The war was covered by war correspondents, including Henry Morton Stanley and G. A. Henty. Military and medical instructions were printed for the troops. The British government refused appeals to interfere with British armaments manufacturers who sold to both sides.
Wolseley went to the Gold Coast in 1873, and made his plans before the arrival of his troops in January 1874. He fought the Battle of Amoaful on January 31 of that year, and, after five days' fighting, ended with the Battle of Ordahsu. The capital, Kumasi, which was abandoned by the Ashanti was briefly occupied by the British and burned. The British were impressed by the size of the palace and the scope of its contents, including "rows of books in many languages." The Ashantehene, the ruler of the Ashanti (Asente) signed a harsh British treaty, the Treaty of Fomena in July 1874, to end the war. Wolseley completed the campaign in two months, and re-embarked them for home before the unhealthy season began. Most of the 300 British casualties were from disease. Wolseley left behind a power vacuum which led to more fighting, as the Ashantehene could no longer control the former vassal tribes.
Some British accounts pay tribute to the hard fighting of the Ashanti at Amoaful, particularly the tactical insight of their commander, Amanquatia: "The great Chief Amanquatia was among the killed. Admirable skill was shown in the position selected by Amanquatia, and the determination and generalship he displayed in the defence fully bore out his great reputation as an able tactician and gallant soldier."

Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War
The Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War was a brief war, from 1894. The Ashanti turned down an unofficial offer to become a British protectorate in 1891, extending to 1894. Wanting to keep French and German forces out of Ashanti territory (and its gold), the British were anxious to conquer Asanteman once and for all. The war started on the pretext of failure to pay the fines levied on the Asante monarch by the Treaty of Fomena after the 1874 war.
Sir Francis Scott left Cape Coast with the main expedition force of British and West Indian troops in December 1895, and arrived in Kumasi in January 1896. The Asantehene directed the Ashanti to not resist. Soon Governor William Maxwell arrived in Kumasi as well. Robert Baden-Powell led a native levy of several local tribes in the campaign. Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh was arrested and deposed. He was forced to sign a treaty of protection, and with other Asante leaders was sent into exile in the Seychelles.

War of the Golden Stool
In the War of the Golden Stool (1900), the remaining Asante court not exiled to the Seychelles mounted an offensive against the British Residents at the Kumasi Fort, but were defeated. Yaa Asantewaa, the Queen-Mother of Ejisu and other Asante leaders were also sent to the Seychelles. The Ashanti territories became part of the Gold Coast colony on 1 January 1902.

(Source Wikipedia)

Notes on the historical context / background to the print can be viewed at: Anglo-Ashanti Wars

DATE PRINTED: 1874    

IMAGE SIZE: Approx 16.0 x 23.0cm, 6.25 x 9 inches (Medium)

TYPE: Antique wood engraved print

CONDITION: Good; suitable for framing. However, please note: Tight bottom margin below caption; Spot; The image shown may have been scanned from a different example of this print than that which is offered for sale: The print you will receive is in Good condition but there may be minor variations in the condition compared to that shown in the image. Please check the scan for any blemishes prior to making your purchase. This print has been scanned in black and white, however any foxing or spotting highlighted in this statement may appear brown on the actual print. Virtually all antiquarian maps and prints are subject to some normal aging due to use and time which is not obtrusive unless otherwise stated. We offer a no questions asked return policy.

AUTHENTICITY: This is an authentic historic print, published at the date stated above. It is not a modern copy.

VERSO: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture. In some cases this may be visible on the picture itself (please check the scan prior to your purchase) or around the margin of the picture.

ARTIST/CARTOGRAPHER/ENGRAVER: Unsigned

PROVENANCE: Illustrated London News



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GHANA. Welcome home to troops from Ashanti War, antique print, 1874
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