September 7, 1817: Anglo-Ashanti Treaty signed between Osei Bonsu and African Company of Merchants

By the early 19th century, the British had by gold and gunpowder occupied the majority of the forts along the shore of the future Gold Coast colony. Led by King Osei Bonsu, the Ashanti charged southward and began to conquer lands towards to the coast. This campaign decimated the land of the Fante and other indigenous groups and won forts from other European powers, such as the Dutch at Kormantse, which had been a Dutch stronghold fort and one of the last strongholds of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The British, in their interest to increase their holdings and promote commerce, sent a mission from Cape Coast to Osei Bonsu's palace in Kumasi to negotiate a treaty of friendship which recognized Ashanti sovereignty over much of the coast. This mission was chronicled by Thomas Edward Bowdich in Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee in 1819. The crown's interests in this treaty were brokered by the African Company of Merchants.

 Thomas Edward Bowdich

Thomas Edward Bowdich

Due to the enforcement of the 1807 slave trade abolition, the company folded and the treaty was dissolved. This chaos culminated in the First Anglo-Ashanti War--a bloody event precipitating eighty years of conflict between the two powers.