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 Colonial Gambia: HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF BUT WITH A
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Momodou



Denmark
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Posted - 02 Jul 2019 :  22:58:04  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF BUT WITH A DIFFERENCE: RAPE OF GIRLS IN COLONIAL GAMBIA
By Dembo Fatty


I am not one to jump in the fray. But I am inclined to contribute not because rape is indecent or not, but as a history lover, and perhaps would have raped history had it been a human being, I cannot but share some parallels that happened during the colonial era against young girls and in some cases by members of the judiciary.

ENTER THE YEAR 1873

The Superintendent of Police of the Colony of the Gambia, Mr. Henry Fowler began investigating a lot of complaints and allegations regarding rape and prominent figures in the person of Cornelius Kortwright, who was the Administrator of the Gambia that he raped his servant girl and then dismissed her when she became pregnant.

Another key figure was the Chief Magistrate; one Mr. Jackson who was also accused of not only prostituting young girls but he had extended his tentacles to even prisoners. Jackson was accused by two young girls aged 12 and 13 when Jackson dragged one of the girls into his room and raped her despite her cries.

Jackson however admitted that a girl aged 17 came to him on her own accord attempting to engage in prostitution but he rejected her. He described the girls as “of a class little given to truth” and that the girls were used to bring him down by his enemies.

Jackson was never prosecuted and he remained the Chief Magistrate of the Bathurst until 1876 when he fell sick due to liver complications and left Gambia.

Let the debate rage on. I am just a historian.

Just a small dose of history as I celebrate our women this week. For further reading please check the following which should be available at the National Archives.

1. CSO 1/36 Cornelius H. Kortwright Administrator to the Governor in Charge, December 16, 1873.
2. CSO 1/36 Thomas W. Jackson to the Governor in Charge, December 18, 1873.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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