A History of the Gold Coast and Ashanti

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    Storia, Saggistica

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The records of a Colony, the earliest beginnings of which had their inception in the dark days, of the slave-trade, cannot but hold many things that modern Englishmen must recall with mingled shame and horror. The reader will find much to deplore in the public and private acts of many of the white men who, in their time, made history on the Coast; and some deeds were done which must for ever remain among the most bitter and humiliating memories of every Britisher who loves his country and is jealous of its fair fame. For these Dr. Claridge has done well to offer neither palliation nor excuse. On the other hand, it is at least open to argument that he has occasion ally been somewhat harsh in the verdicts which he passes upon the policy of the Government and upon the actions of its servants. The historian is necessarily in the posi tion of one who is wise after the event, but the large bird's-eye view which he is enabled to take was not at the service of any save very exceptional men among those who were the contemporaries of the events which he records. This must be borne in mind, for exceptional men are rare at all times and in all places, and few indeed found their way to the West Coast of Africa. Due allowance, there fore, must be made for the imperfect appreciation, which many public servants showed, of the situations with which they were confronted, and for the bewildering ignorance of the people with whom they were dealing, by which they were so frequently hampered.

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