In 1850 Britain's interests were limited to Bathurst on St. Mary's Island at the mouth of the River Gambia; Freetown and its peninsula; and the Gold Coast Forts. Over and above these colonial possessions, Britain had in return for military protection, usually against the Ashanti, contracted special relationships known as 'Bonds' with a number of states on the Gold Coast. Under these Britain could intervene in the administration of justice in these states where capital punishment was involved, but not their government. In 1874 these states were annexed by Britain, creating her first major colony in West Africa. Further down the coast in the Niger Delta region, a Consul for the Bights of Benin and Biafra interfered frequently in the affairs of the palm-oil exporting states in the interests of both British commerce and the suppression of the slave trade, but there was no attempt to acquire a territorial base from which he could operate. The French had, by West African standards in the 1850s, a major colony in Senegal based on Saint Louis at the mouth of the River Senegal along which she maintained a number of trading posts. She was also established on the island of Goree off the Cape Verde peninsula; Albreda on the Gambia; the Boke region of Guinea, and the posts of Assinie, Grand Bassam and Dabou on the *Reprinted by permission of Hutchinson Publishing Group Ltd. from West Africa under Colonial Rule by Michael Crowder. London. 1968. pp 45-64. and earlier reprinted in Joan G. Roland ed. Africa: The Heritage and the Challenge -An Anthologrof African History, Fawcett Publications Inc .. Greenwich. Conn .. U.S.A .. 1974.