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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Free people, slaves and pawns in the Western Gold Coast: the democracy of dependency in a mid-nineteenth-century British archival source
Author:Valsecchi, PerluigiISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies (ISSN 1536-5514)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:historical sources
Abstract:In 1849, the Acting Governor and Judicial Assessor of the British settlements on the Gold Coast, James Coleman Fitzpatrick, forwarded to the Colonial Office two tables providing an estimate, or rough census, of the population of Dixcove and Appolonia, two polities in the western Gold Coast (now Ghana), which, at the time, were under some form of British influence. The tables included details about territorial subdivisions, men, women, children and slaves and pawns (listed under the same headings). The document can be found in the Colonial Office papers, Original correspondence, in the National Archives of the United Kingdom. Considering the period and the area it deals with, the document is indeed a very rare, source both in terms of historical demography and the history of personal dependency and slavery in this section of the Gold Coast. This article presents an analysis of the two tables as windows to the status of slaves and pawns in the western Gold Coast within the colonial archives. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]