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Closing the Books

Governor Edward Carstensen on Danish Guinea 1842-50

Tove Storsveen

Publication Year: 2010

Sitting on the terrace of the royal plantation Frederiksgave, his favourite retreat, Governor Edward Carstensen came to see the inevitable: Denmark had to give up her ìpossessionsî in Africa. As fate would have it, he came to be the instrument by which two centuries of Danish involvement on the Gold Coast was terminated, thereby making way for the emergence of the colonial system that developed there. After the abolition of the slave trade, Denmark had struggled to find ways and means to legitimate her continued stay at the Coast. At an early stage the Danes initiated a number of attempts to establish experimental plantations to cultivate export crops such as cotton, coffee and sugar. But a transition from slave trade to ìlegitimateî products required stability and peace, and a need for control, which the rather limited Danish presence was not able to maintain. Closing the Books comprises a compilation of the official reports that the last Danish Governor sent home during his term of office at the Gold Coast. The reports reflect his personal views regarding the economic and political situations there, as well as his ideas on the ìcivilization of Africaî.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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INTRODUCTION. Governor Edward Carstensen on the Gold Coast: A Historical Background

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pp. ix-xxii

Edward James Arnold Carstensen was the last Danish governor on the Gold Coast in a series of more than 80 forerunners who had presided over the Danish trade emporium on the Coast since 1658. His main mission when he arrived at Christiansborg Castle in February...

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pp. xxiii-xxvii

Of all the Danish governors on the Gold Coast, Edward Carstensen became one of the most prominent. This, partly because of his open mind towards the situation in Africa and his reflections on the implementation of the great European scheme for the “civilization of...

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pp. xxviii-xxix

I have had excellent help in the realization of this project. Without the untiring enthusiasm and encouragement from my mentor and “teammate”, Selena Axelrod Winsnes, in her own right a prolific translator and editor of published Danish primary sources, this project would...

CLOSING THE BOOKS: Governor Edward Carstensen’s Official Reports on Danish Guinea 1842-50

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pp. 1-22

A heavy duty rests on the Establishment to report to the distinguished Board the death of the Interim Governor Wilkens. On 26 July, Governor Wilkens came back to the fort after a three-day stay at the plantation Frederiksgave. In the morning of the same day, he caught a fever, and...

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pp. 23-67

In the Council meeting 31 January this year, the Establishment decided to supplement the governor’s inventory with one mahogany dining table and 12 ditto chairs, bought at the auction after the late Surnummeraire Assistant W. I. Wulff, for the amount of...

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pp. 68-87

By the decision of the Establishment of 24 January this year, (see the transcript of the Negotiation Protocol no.10 and 11) it was determined that, from 1 January this year, the wife of Catechist Jørgensen, Henriette Jørgensen, should teach in the girls’ school of the Establishment, with...

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pp. 88-183

At my arrival here, I found the Akuapem palavers extremely intricate. I summoned Cabuceer Adum and his opponent, namely |103| the Akuapem successor Ussu-Akim, and the mediator Coffy-Krah, down to the fort. Against expectations, Adum came down here; Ussu-Akim...

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pp. 184-283

As is known to the Board, it has been the practice until now, both by the Board and the Establishment, to send duplicates of all letters dispatched to each other. But since both the Board and the accountants have frequently ordered the Establishment to practise very strict...

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pp. 284-326

I hereby most humbly announce to the distinguished Board that on 10 April this year, I took advantage of the most graciously given permission, of 19 November 1845, to travel, when, forced by a weak constitution, I transferred the management of the Guinean Establishment to the Messrs...

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pp. 327-335

Messrs. Hutton and Sons have letters from the Gold Coast of ultimo October [saying], the brig Ørnen had then already sailed off to the West Indies. All was quiet, but no details were available on the conditions in and at Quitta during the stay of the brig. My talk with Hutton left with...

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pp. 336-364

According to a letter of 23 December last year from the Board of the Colonial Office, regarding the Danish-Guinean Establishment, I will, before dealing with the matter in question, take the liberty of making the following remarks first. I believe I can present the matter under...

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pp. 365-390

At my departure from Plymouth on board the brig Contest, I knew that the convention on the cession of the Danish-Guinean possessions to the English would be forwarded to me from London. When the mailbox was opened outside Plymouth, I found a copy of the convention...


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pp. 391


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pp. 392-408

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789988647391
Print-ISBN-13: 9789988647650

Page Count: 450
Illustrations: b/w
Publication Year: 2010