Categories
Colonial Events History

The Formation of Togoland – The Protectorate of Little Popo

In 1884, Reginald Firminger, the Gold Coast District Commissioner of Keta, accompanied by his English colonial soldiers, went to the chiefs in the Togo region to complain about the so-called smuggling of free wares such as tobacco, gun powder, rum, and gin. He offered the chiefs money in exchange for an English protectorate. When the chiefs refused, Firminger gave them thirty days to either drive the foreign German merchants out of their territory or face an annexation into the Gold Coast Colony.

On March 5 of 1884, King Aiaushi Agbanon II of Grigi and a group of chiefs petitioned the German Emperor for his protection to forestall a feared annexation by England. This petition and the protectorate which ensued covered the territory of Little Popo, known as Aného today.

The Petition of March 5, 1884

I. We, the signatories, Kings and chiefs of Little Popo and Grigi, express our gratitude to Your Majesty for having assisted us in upholding peace in our land.

II. There would be no threat and no uncertainty, if the British government would refrain from interference in the affairs of our lands, which it desires, while we desire her not to have it.
III. We ask Your Majesty to provide us with protection and to avoid such an annexion.

IV. We implore Your Majesty to come to our aid, as we have placed ourselves fully under your protection.

V. We humbly request to take quick action.

signed
King Aiaushi Agbanor of Little Popo and Grigi,
Caboceer Quadjovi,
chief Pedro Quadjo
and 11 other signatures

to His Majesty, the Kaiser of Germany

Sources : The German Colonial Experience: Select Documents on German Rule in Africa, China, and the Pacific 1884-1914, Edited by Arthur J. Knoll & Herman J. Hiery