During the transatlantic slave trade era, Europeans built several forts and
castles along the Gold Coast, present day Ghana. They were mostly built in the seventeenth
century, when the competition for maritime trade among European powers became intense.
This image is of Fort St. Anthony at Axim, on the Gold Coast, in the early eighteenth
century. It shows the fort surrounded by rocks, which worked as a natural defense against
the heavy surf, and the African village of Achombene to the rear of the fort. The insert
in the upper left corner of the map indicates some of the main features of the region. At
the beginning of the eighteenth century the fort belonged to the Dutch West India Company,
which competed for the trade of the Gold Coast with the English and the Portuguese. The
image is reproduced courtesy of Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History, Special
Collections, University of Virginia Library. Permission required to reproduce.