Anto was born to the Ashanti tribe in the Akan region of West Africa, and his name means "born after the death of his father". Anto was sold into slavery as a young man, and he was sent to the British colony of Jamaica to work on a plantation. With the help of the legendary warrior Cudjoe, he escaped from slavery, and he founded a community of Maroons near Kingston. Anto established good relations with local traders and began coordinating plantation raids to free slaves and build an army. Anto came to run the Hashshashin bureau in Kingston, but his priority was always to free slaves from captivity. With the help of Edward Kenway, he freed three slaves from British captivity, and he killed Commander Kenneth Abraham, who had been sent to crush the Maroon uprising. In 1721, Anto helped Kenway with his planned assassination of Woodes Rogers in Kingston, and he mailed a letter to his wife, Caroline Scott-Kenway.