Civilizing Duty The story of “Abina and the Important Men” takes place in 1876. The English had control over the Gold coast since 1874. The English did away slavery in Britain, but the colonies had a hard time switching from slavery to freedom. This was one of the many major themes of Abina and the Important Men. By definition a civilizing mission is “a rationale for intervention or colonization, proposing to contribute to the spread of colonization”, according to Google.com. The civilizing mission in this story is to expose the encounters modelled by the English political and legal system integrating the Gold Coast. Even though slavery was no more in Britain, this was not so on the Gold Coast. There was still slaves here, mainly growing palm trees. With the importance of palm oil being so high the English taxed the oil more because for this rich this was great deal of income. Abina was a slave in one of the regions, she decided one night that she was going to escape her master to go to Cape Coast because “They say that in Cape Coast all are free” . She found out that she needed a job, a piece of paper stating her freedom, as well as a place to stay or the police could put her in jail. This is Abinas’ barrier with the ‘civilizing mission’. Abina was then seeking help, the woman at the market offered to help her. The woman told her “I know someone who works for the British. He, too is an important man” . This is where she meets James Davis, he is a young business man.