James Fort, Accra, Gold Coast


This watercolour of James Fort, Accra on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) was painted in 1792 by Martin Watts. We can see sentries in their red coats on duty, what looks like a cottage garden, and sheep and cows in the fields.

It forms part of a bundle of building plans, drawings and engineers’ reports relating to a number of British forts in West Africa, apparently prepared for the War Office. Why, however, such a watercolour was done is not recorded.

Slaves were traded at James Fort for various commodities. Compare this painting with a plan of the fort, dated some 35 years earlier, reproduced elsewhere in this exhibition (in the section on Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade).

MPH 1/797, no. 19 (1792)

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