Today In History: JANUARY 17, 1896: SIR Francis Scott Enters Kumasi With British And West Indian Troops

The Fourth Anglo-Asante War was a brief war, from 1894. The Asante turned down an unofficial offer to become a British protectorate in 1891, extending to 1894. Wanting to keep French and German forces out of Asante territory (and its gold), the British were anxious to conquer Asanteman once and for all.

The war started on the pretext of failure to pay the fines levied on the Asante monarch by the Treaty of Fomena after the 1874 war. The other pretext for the Anglo-Asante wars was the British claim that these were anti-slavery wars.

Sir Francis Scott left Cape Coast with the main expedition force of British and West Indian troops in December 1895 and arrived in Kumasi on January 17, 1896. The Asantehene Prempeh I directed the Asante not to resist. Soon Governor William Maxwell arrived in Kumasi as well. Robert Baden-Powell led a native levy of several local coastal and other allies in the campaign. Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh was arrested and deposed. He was forced to sign a treaty of protection and, with other Asante leaders, was sent into exile in the Seychelles.

The Ashanti Star was awarded to the British and colonial soldiers who took part in the campaign.


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