George Ekem Ferguson

(1864—1897) surveyor and colonial agent

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(1864–1897). Fante surveyor and colonial agent born on the Gold Coast and educated in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He became a teacher and then a civil servant. As an employee of the Gold Coast colony he accompanied the Governor on a mission inland, producing a map that showed the ethnic divisions of the colony. He was entrusted with a further mission to the interior that resulted in Akwamu becoming part of the British protectorate. Ferguson's surveying skills were developed by his work with the British–German Boundary Commission of 1886. In 1887 he came to London and studied mining and surveying at the School of Mines, graduating with a first-class certificate. During the 1890s Ferguson led important political missions to Asante and to the northern hinterland of what is now modern Ghana. By 1894 he had signed eighteen treaties of trade and friendship with northern rulers. Ferguson's reports and precise maps of the region contained detailed information of topography, flora and fauna, peoples, languages, and cultures. This was recognized by the Royal Geographical Society in 1894 when they awarded him their Gill Memorial Grant and a gold watch for his services to exploration.


From The Oxford Companion to Black British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.

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