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A timeline

Fort Amsterdam's History

1631
London Merchant Nicholas Crispe takes over the Guinea Company

He obtains a new charter giving it exclusive trade rights to the entire African coast between Cabo Blanco and the Cape of Good Hope. Crispe shifts the company’s focus to the Gold Coast and recruits two highly experienced but disgruntled ex-Dutch West India Company employees, Arent de Groot and Jeremias…
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1632
Under Arent de Groot’s leadership, the English Guinea Company establishes a trading lodge at Cormantine Beach, built with the help of workers from nearby Great Kormantin.

The English presence created a new service economy around the English trading lodge, which attracted many families from Old Kormantin to relocate there and establish a new "Crom" (village adjoining a fort or trading post) on the hilltop to the west of the post. Villagers provided food and accommodations to…
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1637
The Dutch capture Elmina Castle

The Dutch West India Company sends a felt of nine ships with 400 sailors, 800 soldiers, and an unstated number of Brazilian Indian warriors from Pernambuco, Brazil, to capture Elmina Castle. On August 19, the fleet arrives at Komenda, and West India Company Director Nikolaas Van Yperen persuades the King…
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1638
The English Guinea Company begins converting its Cormantine trading post into a fort

This is done as a defensive reaction to the Dutch conquest of Portuguese bases, such as Elmina Castle.

1639
A fire breaks out in Fort Cormantine

It destroys trade goods and halts construction. The Guinea Company blames the fire on Dutch-backed saboteurs.

1640
The Guinea Company begin trading with Portuguese Sao Tome

The Guinea Company at Cormantine send 2 yachts, which return with cargoes of sugar. Two other ships operating from Cormantine trade along the coast to the east, supplied with cargoes from Cormantine’s store rooms. Profits from the gold trade and these additional activities reportedly reach £45,000.

1641
Civil War in England reduces English overseas trade and settlement

Nicholas Crispe, a Royalist, is removed from the Guinea Company. Wartime disruptions interrupt the flow of English goods to Cormantine and other English trading posts for several years. Others, such as London merchant and Barbados investor Maurice Thompson, sponsor rival trade missions to Guinea to procure slaves for Caribbean plantations…
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1646
Maurice Thompson and other English merchants orchestrate a hostile takeover of the English Guinea Company and revamp its operations

After a decade of reluctantly tolerating Dutch legger trading ships anchored nearby, the Guinea Company purges Cormantine Village of its pro-Dutch faction. This forces Ammadou, their captain, to negotiate with Dutch West India Company Director General Jacob van der Well to create a new village for them on the north…
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1652
1657
Maurice Thompson, as governor of both the East India and English Guinea Companies, arranges for the EIC to lease the Guinea Company’s West African trade monopoly

In December 1657, this lease is arranged for an annual payment of £1,300. The shift radically changes commercial operations at Castle Cormantine. The East India Company focuses exclusively on the gold trade in order to obtain bullion to purchase its goods in India and is willing to sell at a…
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