The African Association hired Daniel Houghton in July of 1790 to explore the course of the Gambia and Niger Rivers. Like other explorers of the time, Houghton seemed to be highly motivated by personal interests, namely a desire to “exploit the mines of the country.”  However, he did get entangled in political matters while he was exploring the capital of Bambuk, Ferbanna; during his stay, the King of Bambuk told Houghton that the French had once provided his people with weapons but were now without a supplier since the French had departed from this area  In response, Houghton told the King that he should:
encourage the English to open a trade by way of his dominions to the populated cities on the banks of the Niger .
Houghton’s comments led to an effort to appoint a British Consul to Bambuk so that Britain could harness the commercial potential (gold) of the region and and combat France’s authority in West Africa .
 Robin Hallet, The Penetration of Africa: European Enterprise and Exploration Principally in Northern and Western Africa Up to 1830, Volume 1: to 1815. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965), 220.
 Ibid, 223.
 Proceedings of the African Association (London, 1810) quoted in Robert Hallet, “The European Approach to the Interior of Africa in the Eighteenth Century,” The Journal of African History 4, no. 2 (1963): 203.
 Robin Hallet, “The European Approach to the Interior of Africa in the Eighteenth Century,” 204.