February 28, 1822: Sir Charles McCarthy arrives as first Governor of the Gold Coast

After a period of deteriorating relationships between the British and the Ashanti, Sir Charles McCarthy arrived as governor-in-chief of the British possessions on the Gold Coast. At this time, the charter of the African company was abolished by an Act of Parliament and all its forts and other possessions were transferred to the Crown. When McCarthy arrived on February 28, 1822, he found the country in a most unsettled condition. The ambassador sent by the King of Ashanti to Cape Coast had waited two months beyond the time appointed by Consul Dupuis to hear from the British government. McCarthy seems to have been misled as to the true state of affairs as he at once assumed a determined in the war like attitude, which was resented by the King of Ashanti who immediately commenced his preparations for war on a large scale but with the utmost secrecy. Had McCarthy approached the matter diplomatically, a humiliating period of British history in Africa would not have ensued. The war of 1873 would probably not have occurred and trade between the British and Ashanti would have had a completely different tenor.

James Irvine: The Ashantee Difficulty: A Paper Read to the Birkenhead Literary and Scientific Society. [Liverpool 1873]