Fort William in the 1870s
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Anomabu, also spelled Anomabo and formerly as Annamaboe, is a town on the coast of the Mfantsiman Municipal District of the Central Region of Ghana. Anomabu has a settlement population of 14,389 people.
Annamaboe's origins are cloudy, but the town rose to prominence in the 17th century. The Fante merchants there traded primarily in gold and grain. After inviting the Dutch to build a factory in town, the merchants turned increasingly towards the slave trade. Wealthy Fante merchants supported the building of an English fort to further this cause. However, the loss of the Royal African Company's monopoly in 1698 led to the closing of the fort in 1730. Under pressure from increasing French interest, the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa moved to rebuild the fort.
Fort William, also known as Anomabu Castle, was designed by the British engineer John Apperley and constructed between 1753 and 1760. At the time it was considered to be the strongest fortification on the coast. It is about 16 kilometers (10 mi) from Cape Coast Castle. After his death in 1756, Irishman Richard Brew took over the Governorship of the fort and continued its construction. The Anomabu fort became the center of British slave trading along the Gold Coast until the practice was outlawed in 1807. In the same year, a small garrison successfully resisted the entire Ashanti army, although the city suffered greatly from the attack. In the later 19th century, it exported in palm oil, ivory, gold dust, peanuts, and Guinea grains in exchange for considerable imports of manufactured goods. Its population in the 1870s was around 4500.
Originally a small fishing village, Annamaboe eventually became one of the most important trading ports on the Gold Coast. By the 18th century, the town had become one of the largest exporters of slaves on the West Coast of Africa. In 1798, people who would be enslaved were embarked on the Antelope ship which had come from London.
The people of Anomabo celebrate the Okyir festival which is a week-long annual festival celebrated in the second week in the month of October. "Okyir" means "abomination" and the people celebrate this festival as a reminder of society's social vices.
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Media related to Anomabu at Wikimedia Commons