Today In History: Osei Yaw Akoto Becomes The Ashanti King On January 24, 1824

Osei Tutu Kwamina Asibe Bonsu ascended to the Golden Stool in 1800 and presided over the most sustained expansion of the Asante Empire during his reign until his death on January 21, 1824, the same day that his army killed Governor Sir Charles McCarthy of the Gold Coast at the Battle of Nsamankow.

He was succeeded by his younger brother Osei Yaw Akotoo on January 24, 1824. In the short period of months, on June 21st 1824 his army came within 5 miles of Cape Coast which caused great fear among the Fantis and their allies the British.

By early August 1824, he was leading his army in what was to be known as the Battle of Dodowa, where both he and his heir apparent Kwaku Dua were injured on the battlefield.

The Asante Kingdom was defeated. They also lost the documents on the coastal forts to the British and therefore the British became the owners of the forts. Payments of the rent on the forts to the Asante Kingdom were stopped and this left the Asante treasury virtually empty. After the war, a peace treaty was made between the Asante Kingdom on one side and the British and coastal states on the other side.

The treaty demanded that the Asante Kingdom would not wage war on the coastal states for a period of six years. Asante was to pay 600 ounces of gold as security and if peace prevailed for the six years, the money would be returned to the Asante Kingdom untouched.

The money was to, be deposited at the treasury in the Cape Coast Castle. In addition to the money, two royals were to be given to the British government as hostages to be sent abroad and educated. The two young men given as hostage were: Nkwantabisa and Ansa. The Asante Kingdom really honoured this treaty and therefore after six years, the money was returned to the Asante Kingdom intact and in the same wrapper used to wrap it.

This behaviour of the British Government developed respect and confidence in the eyes of the Asante Kingdom for the British. The treaty was drawn during the time of Captain George MacClean. Though peace prevailed between the southern states a nod Asante, in Asante itself there was a civil war between Kumase and Dwaben state. The other Asante States went to help Kumase to quell down the rebellion. Nana Kwasi Boateng and his people fled from Dwaben to Akyem Abuakwa, where they were welcomed by Okyehene and given land to stay.

They were there when Nana Osei Yaw Akoto was called to eternity in the year 1834.


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