The Queen of Kingston in Jamaica or Cubah Cornwallis, as she is popularly known, is lost in history due to the improper documentation that makes it hard to follow or believe in her existence. In trying to read about the adventurous life of this woman who took the unwilling journey into slavery from Africa and was later executed for resisting oppression, it is easy to think that one is reading about two different women while trying to make sense of her story. That withstanding, it is equally important to attempt to make sense of her story and tell it as it is – an important part of history.
Cubah Cornwallis’s real name was Akua from the Ashanti Empire in Ghana which was then the Gold Coast. Nothing much is said about her life before being captured and sold off as an enslaved girl to the Carribean, but through historical readings, it can be speculated that she was captured during the early years of the many Ashanti Empire wars in an attempt to expand their Empire and have more power than the British. It is very possible that Akua was captured during the same time King Takyi was captured, or perhaps a little earlier than he was.
After making it alive to the Carribean on a slave ship, Akua was purchased by Captain William Cornwallis who later had an affair with her and made her his house help. It was during her time serving the captain that she was given the name Cubah, an incorrect way of mentioning her name. Akua served Captain William Cornwallis until he left Jamaica. In order to escape slavery, she moved to Port Royal permanently and purchased a house.