Catalogue description Colonial Office and predecessors: Gold Coast, Original Correspondence

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Details of CO 96
Reference: CO 96
Title: Colonial Office and predecessors: Gold Coast, Original Correspondence

This series contains original correspondence relating to the Gold Coast. With the exception of CO 96/1, correspondence between the English authorities at Cape Coast Castle and the Dutch authorities at Elmina 1753-1756, the series begins in 1843.

Date: 1753-1951

Bound volumes arranged chronologically within the following subject headings: Despatches (letters of the Governors), Offices (letters of government departments and other organisations), and Individuals (arranged alphabetically). With a small number of case volumes. Each volume with a contents list, or a précis of each letter giving name of correspondent, date of letter and subject matter. From 1926 correspondence is arranged in subject files.

Related material:

For correspondence before 1843 see CO 267

For further correspondence after 1911 see also CO 554

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 831 files and volumes
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Unpublished finding aids:

For registers of this correspondence see CO 326 before 1849, CO 343 after 1849. For indexed précis of correspondence see CO 714.

Administrative / biographical background:

From 1664 the British settlements on the Gold Coast were under the control of the African Company and its successor the Royal African Company. They were taken over by the British government in 1821, and placed under the control of the government of Sierra Leone. From 1828 to 1843 their administration was entrusted to a committee of London merchants. Sierra Leone resumed control until 1850 when British Gold Coast possessions became separate until 1866 when they were again put under Sierra Leone. In 1874 the Gold Coast and Lagos became the Gold Coast Colony, but Lagos was separated in 1886. A protectorate over the Northern Territories was established in 1898, and Ashanti was annexed to the Gold Coast in 1901. In 1922 a part of the adjoining German territory of Togoland was placed under British administration by a League of Nations mandate and from that time was administered as part of the Gold Coast. On 6 March 1957 the Gold Coast became an independent state within the Commonwealth under the name of Ghana. A republican constitution was adopted on 29 June 1960.

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