July 27, 1886: Akwamu State signs a treaty to become part of the British Protectorate

The Akwamus like most Akans also migrated from Adanse to settle at the Twifo-Heman forest during the latter part of the 16th century. At its peak in the early 18th century, the Akwamu Kingdom stretched more than 250 miles (400 km) along the coast from Whydah (now Ouidah, Benin) in the east to beyond Winneba (now in Ghana) in the west. This group of Akans belonged to the Aduana family and are kin of the Asumennya, Dormaa and Kumawu. According to oral tradition, as a result of a succession dispute, Otumfuo (brass-smith) Asare deserted the family to form a new state or city called Asaremankesee- (Asares big state). The modern city of Asaamankese was originally founded and occupied by the Akwamus.

These Asona family members and their followers then were given land from the original settlers the Guans and Kyerepons, to form the Akuapem state. Most of the present Akuapems still have their roots at Akwamufie especially those bearing the names like Addo and Akoto or those from the Aduana family.

The King of Akwamu Nana Ansa Sasraku (1640-1674) played an important role in the life of the King Osei Tutu of Asante. According to oral tradition, the whole structure of the Asante army attributed to Nana Osei Kofi Tutu l which served the Asantes through many wars, was modelled on the well organised Akwamu army.

Osei Tutu's father was Owusu Panin from Akwamu and his mother was named Manu Kotosii who was from Kwaaman. She was the sister of Oti Akenten and Obiri Yeboa the late kings of Kwaaman. As legend has it, Manu was unable to have children, her brother Obiri Yeboa sent her to a shrine priest called Otutu in Akwamu for help. Later she conceived and gave birth to a baby boy (Osei Kofi) and named him after the shrine called Tutu. At that time, Kwaaman was a vassal state of the Denkyira so when Osei was teenager, he was sent to serve at the court of Boa Amponsem, the then king of Denkyira. Later, Osei got himself into trouble by impregnating the king's sister Akobena Bensua and fled to his father in Akwamu for protection. When Osei got to Akwamu, Otumfuo Ansa Sasraku received him warmly, thus protecting him from the Denkyiras. It was in Akwamu that Osei Tutu met Kwame Frimpong Anokye (a.k.a. Okomfo Anokye) and established a close friendship. Shortly after that, Osei's uncle, Obiri Yeboa, King of Kwaaman died in their war against Dormaa. As a result, Osei was next in line for the Kwaaman throne. The prospect of facing the Denkyiras loomed large as he planned his return to Kwaaaman. Otumfuo Ansa Sasraku therefore detached 300 Akwamu soldiers support his return to Kwaaman. When the soldiers got to Kwaaman, they settled among them and later became citizens of Asafo. The soldiers then restructured the Asante army as the replica of the well-organised Akwamu army and with the help of the Akwamus, they embarked on a series of campaigns which led to the defeat of the Denkyiras; the Asantes and the Akwamu alliance was short-lived as the Akwamu were soon to face combined force of Akyem (Akyem AbuakwaAkyem Kotoku and Akyem Bosome), Ga, Kyerepon, and the Dutch. As the state grew rich on the sale of gold from the Birim River district, its inhabitants sought to extend their authority. Because they were hemmed in on the north and northwest by the state of Akim and other states in loose alliance with or subject to the powerful Denkyira, they expanded south and southeast toward the Ga and Fante (Fanti) towns of the coast. These they subdued between 1677 and 1681 under their king (Akwamuhene), Ansa Sasraku II. They also extended their influence over the state of Ladoku in the east (1679) and, under Ansa’s successor, over the Fante state of Agona in the west (1689). In 1693 under the leadership of Asomani a detachment of Akwamu soldiers seized control of Christanborg Castle at Osu. The Danes regained control of the property after paying 50 marks of gold and an agreement not to seek future reparations. The Akwamus retained the keys to the castle for years after. In 1702 under Ansa Sasraku IV, they crossed the Volta River to occupy Whydah, a coastal state of Dahomey (now in southern Benin), and in 1710 Otumfuo Akonno Panyin subdued the Ewe people of the Ho region. By this time, however, their former satellite, Asante, had grown rich and powerful and was becoming increasingly hostile to the Akyems. Pressured by the Asante, the Akyem peoples retreated upon Akwamu’s borders and, after a long war, succeeded in infiltrating them. The Akyems handed the Asante’s one of their most significant military defeats along with the killing of Osei Tutu on the River Pra at Twifo Praso in 1717. In 1730, the Akyems defeated the Akwamu’s taking control of Accra and the Ga –Adangbe areas along the coast. The Akwamuhene was forced to flee, and by 1731 the state had effectively ceased to exist. However, by 1742 the Asante’s defeated the Akyems, effectively controlling access to the ocean in the Ga – Adange areas.

What was left of the Akwamu nation became a British Protectorate on July 27, 1886 as the British expansion of the Gold Coast continued.