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Literature on the History of West Africa
Brandenburgian Gold Coast History of West Africa Dutch Gold Coast

Danish Trading Posts in Africa

I.) The Danish Gold Coast under the Administration of the
Danish West Indian and Guinean Company

In 1658 the Danes established several trading posts located on the Gold Coast, conquering forts such as Fort Frederiksborg (Kpompo) and Fort Christiansborg (at Accra, 1661), from Sweden in a war which ended in 1663. The Danes already had entered the Transatlantic slave trade in 1651; the main purpose of the Danish trading posts in West Africa was the acquisition of slaves to be sold in colonies in the Caribbean. In 1625 Dutchman Johan de Wilhem settled in Copenhagen and was granted the licence to trade with Brazil, the West Indies, Virginia and Guinea. For many years, the lack of capital prevented him from making full use of his licence. In 1659 the Danish Africa Company was founded, in 1671 renamed Danish West Indian and Guinean Company and granted a royal charter, which took over the administration of the Danish Gold Coast and the Danish West Indies (where Denmark began to acquire territory in 1672). It was a joint stock company having, within Danish territory, the monopoly for the Transatlantic trade and the exclusive right to produce sugar. The company took on the obligation to maintain regular communication with the colonies and to sell a certain amount of Danish products in the colonies. The company headquarters was in Copenhagen.
In 1680-1682, Christiansborg briefly was occupied by the Portuguese. In 1685 the Danes moved their headquarters from Fort Frederiksborg to Fort Christiansborg.

II.) The Danish Gold Coast a Danish Crown Colony

In 1754, the Danish Gold Coast became Danish crown colony; Denmark purchased the stocks, which now no longer was a joint stock company. In 1760 the West Indian-Guinean Chamber of Revenues was established. In 1776 the Danish West Indian and Guinean Company was dissolved. In 1781 a West Indian Trade Company, in 1782 a Baltic-Guinean Trade Company were founded.
From 1782 to 1785 it was under British occupation. Late in the 18th century, Ernst Schimmelmann, Danish Minister of Finance (1784-1813), suggested that the slave trade was declining and that Denmark should introduce a Plantation Economy in it's African colonies. Denmark itself outlawed slave trade as early as 1792 (taking effect in 1802). Danish and Norwegian ships, between 1660 and 1806, on a total og 340 transtalantic trips were assumed to have transported 85,000 to 100,000 slaves. Attempts to establish plantations were made around Fort Frederiksborg.
In 1816 the West Indian-Guinean Chamber of Revenues was merged with the College of Commerce to form the General Customs Chamber and College of Commerce (College being a bureaucratic body).
However, neither the plantation economy nor trade in other goods flourished as hoped. The traditional trading partners, the coastal Fanti states, were subjugated by the Ashanti by 1807. The Danish trading posts were finally abandoned; in 1850 Denmark sold it's property and claims on the Gold Coast to Great Britain.

Christiansborg Castle at Accra, here depicted on (British) Gold Coast Stamps,
is a lasting monument of Danish presence at the Gold Coast until 1850

Country Profiles Article : Danish Gold Coast, from Wikipedia; from Wikipedia Danish Edition
Links, General
Links, on History Category : Former Danish Colonies, from Wikipedia; Kategori : Danske Kolonier, from Wikipedia Danish Edition
Category : History of Ghana, from Wikipedia
Historical Dictionaries Den Store Danske, Gyldendal's open encyclopedia, in Danish
Timelines Chronology of Danish Colonial Settlements, by Marco Ramerini
Accounts of History Article : Danish Gold Coast, from Wikipedia; from Wikipedia Danish Edition
James Anquandah, Ghana-Caribbean Relations from Slavery Times to Present, 2006 lecture
H. Meredith, An account of the Gold Coast of Africa: with a brief history of the African Company 1812, GB
Specific Periods Article Danish West India Company, from Wikipedia; Article Vestindisk-Guineisk Kompagni, from Wikipedia Danish Edition
Article Vestindisk-guineisk Rente- samt Generaltoldkammer, from Wikipedia
Sune Wadskjær Nielsen, I ashantiernes vold [in the hands of the Ashanti; on the Danish Gold Coast 1807-1814]; in Danish
Georg Nørregaard, Englands Køb af de danske Besiddelser i Ostindien og Afrika 1845 og 1850 [England's Purchase of the Danish Possessions in East India and Africa, 1845 and 1850], Historisk Tidskrift 1934 pp.335-412, posted by tidsskrift.dk, in Danish
Sophie Petersen, I en gammel dansk Koloni [In an old Danish Colony], Geografisk Tidskrift 44 1941 pp.118-128, posted by tidsskrift.dk, in Danish
Daniel P. Hopkins, Peter Thonning, the Guinea Commission, and Denmark's Postabolition African Colonial Policy, 1803?50, William & Mary Quarterly 2009, requires registration
Military Sune Wadskjær Nielsen, I ashantiernes vold [in the hands of the Ashanti; on the Danish Gold Coast 1807-1814]; in Danish
Jens Geisler, Svenskekrig på Guineakysten, Dansk-hollandsk kolonikrig i Guinea, Kup mod Christiansborg, Danmark som Militærmagt på Guldkysten, Fr. Justitsia'a afrikanske tungemål, Slaget ved Dodowa 1826, Fort Prinsensten, frihedens forpost, from Dansk Militærhistorie, in Danish
Economy & Finances The Slave Ship "Fredensborg", from Unesco Slave Routes
Danish-Norwegian slave trade, from UNESCO.NO
Henrik Jeppesen, Danske plantageanlæg på Guldkysten 1788-1850 [Danish Plantation Establishment on the Gold Coast 1788-1850], Geografisk Tidskrift 65, 1966, pp.48-72, posted by tidsskrift.dk; in Danish
African Slave Trade : Denmark's Heart of Darkness, from The Copenhagen Post 2009
Jens Geisler, Dansk våben- og slavehandel på Guldkysten, from Dansk Militærhistorie, in Danish
C.A. Trier, Det dansk-vestindiske Negerindførselsforbud af 1792, Historisk Tidskrift 1904-1905, posted by tidsskrift.dk, in Danish
Article handelskompanier, from Den Store Danske, in Danish
Edward Reynolds, Agricultural Adjustments on the Gold Coast after the end of the Slave Trade, 1807-1874 (1973), accessible through jstor
Edward Reynolds, The Rise of an African Merchant Class 1830-1874 (1974), accessible through persee
Andreas Bakke Foss, Da slavehandeln kom til Norge, from Aftenposten, 2007, in Norwegian
Den danske slavehandel og dens læger, from EMU, Danmarks Undervisningsportal , in Danish
Ethnography Irene Odotei, External Influences on Ga Society and Culture (MSU African Studies : Research Reviews 1991)
Religion The Legacies of the Basel Mission in Ghana Revisited, by Cephas Omenyo 2003 presentation
History of Cities History of Accra, from Wikipedia
CWA, Archaeological Development in West Africa : Frederiksnopel
Institutions Ghana
Brief History of the Ghanaian Education System, from To Be Worldwide
Biographies Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, posted by Project Runeberg; search for Ludvi Ferdinand Rømer; Søren Schielderup, Henning Frederik Bargum, Hans Christian Monrad, Jørgen Thormøhlen, Julius Philip Benjamin von Rohr, Balthasar Matthias Christensen, Heinrich Ernst Schimmelmann, Christian Cornelisen, Otto Christian Hammer, Nicolai Clausen Schack, Andreas Riis, Jacob Gotfred Poulsen, Hans Krabbe-Carisius, Jesper Peter With
Articles Christian Schiønning, Christian Tychsen, Friedrich Christian Hager, from Wikipedia
Ghana Index, from Dictionary of African Christian Biographies
Christian Jacob Protten, Carl Christian Reindorf, from Dictionary of African Christian Biographies
Jens Geisler, Tordenskjold's liv og levned, from Dansk Militærhistorie, in Danish
Others Danish Colonial Remains, European forts in Ghana, by Marco Ramerini
Denmark and her overseas possessions, 1988 exhibition at James Ford Bell Library, scroll down for Africa
Adam C. de Basa, Dutch Republic Influence on Danish Colonialism Denmark-Norway's mercantilist development a la Dutch model, 2009
Afrotropic Ecoregion, from WWF
Jens Geisler, Kold krig i kolonien, Sort Zenit, from Dansk Militærhistorie, in Danish

Lists of Statesmen List of Governors etc. of the Danish Gold Coast, from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon; from Wikipedia
Document Collections West Indian and Guinean Affairs 1760-1848, archive deposit description from Rigsarkivets Samlingar, in Danish
James Sanders, Northwestern University, An Inventory of Microfilms of Selected Danish Archives (Rigsarkivet, København) concerning West Africa (1981), accessible through jstor
Tropehandelskompagniernes arkiver (Rigsarkivet), from Royal Library Copenhagen, Digital Library, in Danish
Adam Jones, Written Sources for the Material Culture of the Gold Coast before 1800. A Provisional Checklist, from Africanistes 2005
Forordning om negerhandelen 1792, from Danmarkshistorien Leksikon, in Danish
Historical Maps Map : Hermann Moll, London 1729 : Negroland and Guinea, from Univ. of Florida, features Eur. trading posts on Gold Coast
European forts in Ghana, by Marco Ramerini, has maps
Daniel Hopkins, Peter Thonning's Map of Danish Guinea and its Use in Colonial Administration and Atlantic Diplomacy, 1801?1890, from Cartographia 2006
Encyclopedia Entries Articles Gold Coast, Accra (Britannica 1911 edition), posted by Classic Encyclopedia
Article Goldküste, Akkra, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek
Article Accra, from Stefan Ankjaer, Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, in Danish, posted by Project Runeberg
Article : Akkra, from Salmonsen's Konversationsleksikon, 2nd edition 1915, in Danish, posted by Project Runeberg
Archives, Musea, Libraries Museums in Ghana, from International Council of African Museums
National Symbols
Coins, Banknotes

Bibliographies Bibliography of Other Colonial Powers : Austria, Brandenburg, Courland, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Russia, by Marco Ramerini
Search Catalog of Det Kongelige Bibliotek for Guineakysten, Fort Christiansborg, Guldkysten, Guinea
Search Dansk Historisk Bibliografi, maintained at the Royal Library, Copenhagen, for Guineakysten, Fort Christiansborg, Guldkysten, Guinea
Bibliography of titles dealing with the Danish West Indian and Guinean Company, from Danish Consulate in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Registre for Handels- og Søfartsmuseets årbøger; click lokalnavne, scrolldown for Accra, Christiansborg, Guldkysten, Guinea
Online Libraries Electronic Resources of the Royal Library (Copenhagen); Project Runeberg; Internet Archive
Online Journals tidsskrift.dk, online library providing free access to a number of Danish-language scholarly magazines
Specific Topics Georg Nørregård, The English purchase of the Danish possessions in the East Indies and Africa, 1845 and 1850 [n.d., after 1934], posted on Internet Archive
Travelogues Romer, Ludewig Ferdinand, A Reliable Account of the Coast of Guinea (1760), in Engl. translation distributed, a.o., by the Africa Book Center

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 19th 2009

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