Regarded as the seminal builder of the Gold Coast Colony which preceded modern Ghana, Captain George Maclean was born on 24th February 1801 and was an officer in the Royal African Company Corps. George is reported to have accompanied Colonel Lumley to the Gold Coast as a military secretary.
Shortly after the Battle of Dodowa in 1826, the British government decided to withdraw from the Gold Coast, without seeming to retreat as they had determined before then that earlier Ashanti invasions to the coast made the forts too costly to maintain. However, British merchants on the coast were determined to stay. George Mclean was hired by the Committee of Merchants as President, not Governor as he did not represent the British Crown (though he presented himself as Governor of His Britannic Majesty’s Settlements on the Gold Coast and received a rebuke from the Colonial Office for this).
From the British point of view, the period between 1830 and 1848 was the most shining part of his career in the Gold Coast as he was able to extend the limits of British influence. This was the time when Britain had soured on the colony. He was able to negotiate a deal with the Ashantis on 27th April 1831. He tackled with remarkable success the prevalent problems of slavery, panyarring, and appointed a judicial assessor in 1843. Commander Hill succeeded him after his death on 22 May 1847.
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