Biography of William C. E.Daniels

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Biography Of William Daniels, (Great Grand Pa)

Author: Professor William Ekow Daniels (Uncle Bill)



Our Late Grandfather William Cornelius Daniels was born in 1854 at Elmina, which was then the Headquaters of the "Dutch Possesion on the Coast of Guinea".  He is beleived to be a Grandson of the energetic  Dutch official  Govenor H.W. Daendels of Fort st. Jago,

Govenor H.W. Daendels sent several reconnaisance expeditions to the upper reaches of the Ankobra, Pra and Volta rivers, and a diplomatic mission to Ashanti in 1816-17.  His mother hailed from Elmina and was a member of the Royal family.  She was a descendant of Nana Diewu 111 (1760-1820), the longest reigning Paramount chief of Elmina and also a member of Nyampafo clan; a name givern to members of Number 7 Asafo company in the Edina state.  The company is what may be called the "nominating company" which acts as an intermindiary between the Kingsmakers of Elmina and the family from which prospective candidates are selected i the event of a vaccancy of the stool occupant.

Unlike the British whose colonial policy prohibited inter racial relationship, the Dutch colonial policy turned a blind eye on the union between a Dutch Official and an African Woman as Danzig recounts.

"Many a company official  took an African wife, and fathers of children born out of such unions were compelled by law to pay for their upkeep and some education.  Several families in places like Elmina, Cape-Coast and Accra still carry the names of seventeenth and eighteenth century company officials."

The union between the Dutch official and our Great Grandmother was one of such examples of inter racial marriages.

On completion of his schooling, Grandpa was employed as a clerk at the former United African Company at Tarkwa in the Western Region. 

After his retirments from his job, he returned to Cape -Coast and spent the rest of his time with his family at Macarthy's Hill.  He was an active member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Cape Coast.  He was appionted leader of the church which he held untill his death.

A report in the Gold Coast Methodist times, Dated August 16 1897, Grandpa donated an organ to the church for the serivce of God.

William Daniels married  Mercy Martin, who hailed from Moree.  She was the daughter of William "Bedu" Martin who was a judicial officer of the high Court Registerry at Cape-Coast.  Her brother Joseph Martin was a service man who used his expertise to ran the Oguaa State, The Forts and Settlements on the Gold Coast.

In 1865, when the British House of Commons appionted a select commitee to consider "the state of  British establishments on the Western Coast of Africa", Essien (Crentsil) who had been proclaimed King Aggrey of Cape Coast in February 1865, set up his own court presided over by Joseph Martin (Mercy's Brother) and sent him to Britain as his special envoy to give evidence before the commitee on the grievances of the people of the protectorate and to put forward King Aggrey's claim to jurisdiction over  the territory of Cape-Coast, which extended to a few yards from the walls of Cape-Coast castle.  After his arrival in Cape-Coast, On September 19th, 1865, Martin stated publicly in his Fante speech that King Aggrey had gained victory over the colonial government and expressed the hope that the people would "soon be allowed to govern themselves according to Fante Laws with the advice of the European Settlers ... Under King Aggrey, the legally constituited King of cape-Coast and it depencies".  The King's demand for his territorial jurisdiction over Oguaa state irritated the British authorities especailly Conel Edward Conran, Administrator of Her Majesty's possession on the Gold Coast which conduct led to the withdrawal of his recognition as King of Cape-Coastand his eventual exile to Sierra Leone on a charge of sediton.  Eventually he was put on a pension of one hundred pounds for his life "subject to his good behaviour"  however, he returned from Exile in Sierra Leone on April 14, 1869 as Essien Crentsil.


This short History of our families spanning over a period of 150 years has been complied in memory of our ancestors for the benefit of their proud descendents so that future generations may not forget them.

'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.  At the going down of the sun and in the morning we shall remember them".  Laurence Binyon.