The Ashanti Confederacy and Fante Confederacy were two separate entities within what is now Ghana. The Ashanti was a long established empire while the Fante Confederacy was an alliance of the coast Fante tribes. Both the Ashanti and Fante belong to the Akan people located in the southern part of the Gold Coast. The Fante’s alliance was a result of a need for self-preservation.
THE ASHANTI-FANTE WAR
The Ashanti Empire was rapidly taking over land and starting to encroach on land held by the Fante. Eventually, since the Ashanti greatly outnumbered the Fante, they began heading into their territory. This is where the roots Ashanti-Fante War begin.
In 1806, the Ashanti hunted two rebels into Fante territory. They believed they were safe with the British until the Ashanti attacked, leading to the British handing over one of the leaders. Seemingly satisfied, the Ashanti left but this wouldn’t be the last the Fante or the British saw of the Empire as the Ashanti’s conflicts with the Fante and other groups were constant.
A year later, Ashanti’s Asantehene—or ruler—accused some subjects of grave robbing. Knowing that the sentence would be swift and brutal, the subjects fled into Fante lands. Here they were given refuge by the Fante, angering the Ashanti even more.
The Ashanti would march into Fante territory and in Abora, just outside of Cape Coast. They would win this battle and captured several accused grave robbers. The Ashanti weren’t done as the British-held Fort Amsterdam was within striking distance.
At the time the Crown was allied with the Fante. While they generally didn’t want trouble with the Ashanti, it was important to at least attempt to hold up their end of the alliance. In an attempt to either prevent another slaughter or to protect the accused they had, the British handed over Kwadwo Otibu, the blind king of the Assin people.
This seemed to work as conflict ceased for a period after Otibu was executed.