|Anomabu became the focus of intense European trade rivalry
in the 17th and 18th centuries, partly because of its easy
access to a rich hinterland and partly because the local Anomabu
were themselves powerful and astute traders.
From the middle of the 17th century, European companies vied
with each other in the quest for rights to establish and
maintain a trading post at Anomabu.
The earliest lodge was built in 1640 by the Dutch using
earthwork, changed hands four times - from the Dutch to Swedes,
then to the Danes, back to the Dutch and finally to the English.
In 1674, the English built a small fort using more durable
materials and called it Charles, after the reigning monarch King
Charles II. However, it was abandoned in order to concentrate
efforts and costs on Fort Carolusburg at Cape Coast.
Even though the English demolished Fort Charles in 1731 to
prevent its capture and use by another European company, the
French sneaked in and built a fort where Fort Charles once
In 1698, the English Royal African Company “licensed” ship
captains not in its employment upon the payment of a 10%
“affiliation fee” to’ enable them to trade in its areas of
There followed a flood of “Ten Presenters” trading at English
forts, often outnumbering the company’s own ships.
Anomabu became a popular haunt of “ten presenters”, (until
their licensing was stopped in 1712), exporting vast numbers of
The Dutch director-general at Elmina, Engelgraaf Roberts,
quoting an English captain on Anomabu Slave trade exports stated
in 1717: “From] January 1702 to August 1708 they took to
Barbados Jamaica a total of not less than 30,14 slaves and in
this figure are not include transactions made for other ships
sailing to such Islands as Nevis, Montserrat, St. Christopher,
for the South Sea Company, the New Netherlands and others which
would increase the above number considerably, and of which
Annemaboe alone could provide about one third.”