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Fort St Batenstein: A Dutch slave Fort in which Ghanaian king was beheaded


The stays of this 17th century making is rundown, deserted and overgrown by weeds

By the recollections that it holds are even now raw in the minds of these who know its chilly tale.

Fort St Batenstein, the Dutch phrase for “profit fort” was the nerve centre of a grand Dutch invasion system in the West of Gold Coast way ahead of the British who would sooner or later colonize the full region would arrive.

Created in 1656, it experienced many forts to the west like Metallic Cross in Dixcove, Fredericksburg in Prince’ City and St Anthony and then Komenda and St George in Elmina to the east.

Its spot- only a going for walks distance from Owusua (Busua) where by Badu Bonso, the revered king of the Ahanta men and women then lived and had his palace- was intended to be strategic.

Fort Batenstein in 1709

“He was a dreaded fighter and no a person knew the resource of his preventing spirit,” claims Steven Arthur, a excellent grandson of Badu Bonso, who I questioned to inform me about the person who was the 2nd recognised king of Ahanta.

A portray of Badu Bonso manufactured by a Dutch lieutenant, 1838

Steven is now the Assembly Member of Butre, the city in which Fort St Batenstein is found. “This fort holds a particular place in my heart. It is like a little one who didn’t meet his father and is instructed this is where your father was killed…that is how I really feel whenever I come here,” he claims.

In accordance to Dutch documents, it was inside of Fort St Batenstein, in August ….that Badu Bonso was killed. There’s no documented account of how Badu Bonso died but Ghanaian oral tradition statements he took his have lifetime.

Ahead of that, he had killed hundreds of Dutch soldiers in several battles for the heart and soul of the then west coastline.

“The Dutch experienced signed a treaty in 1656 with the Ahanta men and women to colonize them for the ensuing 200 a long time. In that time, they ended up free to trade in slaves. Just after the treaty ended in 1856, the Dutch nonetheless wished to proceed their rule. Badu Bonso stood up in opposition to that,” states Daniel Kwofie who has analyzed many accounts of this historical past extensively.

News of Badu Bonso’s notoriety for killing Dutch officers in Gold Coastline had long gone all the way to the royal family in in the Netherlands at the time and that was the single most powerful risk to the Dutch job in West Africa at the time.

Various historic accounts say a deliberate plot to destroy him and have his head brought to Holland was hatched from the maximum amount of Dutch government then.

“We are told that Badu Bonso was betrayed by his possess sub-chiefs who had been bribed to give up the source of prowess of their king then. That led to his capture and beheading in 1838,” claims Kwofie.

Badu Bonso’s last straw that broke the camel’s back was when he killed Tonneboeyer, then Dutch Governor stationed in Elmina.

Quite a few accounts including those people from Holland say Tonneboeyer was a youthful rascal whose impetuous acts caused a great deal difficulties, in Elmina itself and with some neighbouring states as well.

“He walked into a lure set by Bonsu’s guys on Takoradi seaside. In reprisal, the Dutch despatched a navy expedition to the Gold Coast. There was no fight, as the Ahanta handed Bonsu more than for a reward of 10 ounces of gold. Soon after a instead summary demo, Bonsu was sentenced to demise and hanged.

Following the execution, his head was slash off and taken to the Netherlands, to the Anatomy Museum in Leiden,” says Dr. Ineke Van Kessel, Dutch Historian and journalist.

Following just about 200 many years, the head of Badu Bonso was returned to Ghana in 2009 soon after Ex-President John Kuffour had begged for it two years earlier.

Squabbles concerning local Ahanta chiefs about what should materialize to the head has still left the head locked up at the 37 Military services Clinic exactly where it was to start with deposited on return.

“We want to rewrite this heritage. We experience pained by the past but those people of us dwelling currently want to enable the relaxation of the earth know about this tale and we can start out by telling the tale,” claims Steven.

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