THE REIGN OF NANA KWAKU DUA I
( 1834 – 1867 )
Nana Osei Yaw Akoto was succeeded by his nephew, Nana Kwaku Dua I. Nana Kwaku Dua I made the return of the people of Dwaben state to their land his prime concern. To achieve this, he sent messengers to them with request . All arrangements for their return was set by 1839 . However, when they set for the return journey,their chief, Nana Kwasi Boaten, who should have led them on their return journey , was called to eternity. He also died after reigning for eighty days. The two incidents delayed their return until 1841 when they were led on their return journey by Nana Dwaben Serwah, acting as the Paramount Chief of the Dwaben state.
One of the tasks Nana Kwaku Dua I set himself was to create internal stability. After the return of the Dwaben people, he went to patch up the trouble between Nkoranza state and Gyaman state. Again he invited the Wesleyan missionary, Thomas Birch Freeman, to visit Kumase in 1839. He invited him again in 1841. It was on Thomas Birch Freeman,s second visit that he brought back John Ansa and Nkwantabisa to Nana Kwaku Dua I . The two men were the royals sent to Britain to be educated .
Though Nana Kwaku Dua I loved peace , war was always knocking at his doors. The fourth Asante – British war was fought during his reign. Although the King was for peace , his subjects were nursing the pains of disgrace they suffered from their defeat at Dodowa. They had not forgotten that they lost Denkyira, Assin , Akyem and Fante states as a result of the Dodowa war they lost. They were therefore looking for an opportunity to avenge this defeat and recapture their lands. The people were more disturbed because, after the war ,when the states became independent, the Asante Nation had to ask permission before their men were allowed to pass through the territories of the states to go and trade with the Europeans . This was a way of belittling their authority and they therefore wanted to fight to recapture their lost glory and authority . Their next headache was the loss of income from the forts. They therefore prepared for an opportunity to recapture the papers on the forts . All the same , there was peace from 1834 when Nana Kwaku Dua I ascended the throne up to 1862. No major war was fought in those years.
However, in 1862 an Asante man called Kwasi Gyanin happened to come across some gold nugget which he picked. According to Asante law, such treasures were to be sent to the King, but he kept it to himself . When the King ( Asantehene) heard of it , Kwasi Gyanin bolted away to the Governor . The King( Asantehene) sent messengers to the Governor and requested his repatriation . The King wanted his court to sit on the case and give judgment .
In his request, he promised the governor that whatever be the outcome of the case, Kwasi Gyanin would never be killed , therefore he should be sent back to face his trial. The Governor refused to send Kwasi Gyanin back for trial in Kumasi . This misunderstanding led to the fourth war between the Asante Kingdom on one side and the British and the Coastal states on the other side . The War really broke up and the Asante’s defeated the British forces and the Coastal states and the Asante,s were victorious . Oral tradition is silent on whether the Asante Nation recaptured the papers on the forts or not .
There was no war again between the Asante Kingdom and the British during the reign of Nana Kwaku Dua I . Nana Kwaku Dua I was called to eternity in 1867.
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