View of Freetown
|District||Western Area Urban District|
|Founded||March 11, 1792|
|• Type||City council|
|• Mayor||Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (APC)|
|• Governing Body||Freetown City Council|
|• City||81.48 km2 (31.46 sq mi)|
|Elevation||26 m (85 ft)|
|• Density||13,000/km2 (34,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Greenwich Mean Time|
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone's major urban, economic, financial, cultural, educational and political centre, as it is the seat of the Government of Sierra Leone. The population of Freetown was 1,055,964 at the 2015 census.
The city's economy revolves largely around its harbour, which occupies a part of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River in one of the world's largest natural deep water harbours.
The population of Freetown is ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. The city is home to a significant population of all of Sierra Leone's ethnic groups, with no single ethnic group forming more than 28% of the city's population. As in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio language is Freetown's primary language of communication and is by far the most widely spoken language in the city.
The city of Freetown was founded on March 11, 1792 by Lieutenant John Clarkson, Black Britons and free people called the Nova Scotian Settlers, who were transported to Sierra Leone by the Sierra Leone Company. The city of Freetown was a haven for free-born and freed African American, Liberated African and Caribbean settlers; and their descendants are known as the Creole people. Freetown is the oldest capital to be founded by African Americans, having been founded thirty years before Monrovia, Liberia and is noted for its unique Creole architecture reflecting American and Caribbean influences.
Freetown is locally governed by the directly elected Freetown City Council, headed by a mayor, who also is directly elected. The mayor and members of the Freetown City Council are directly elected by the residents of Freetown in an election held every four years. The current mayor of Freetown is Yvonne Aki Sawyerr, who was sworn in on May 11, 2018, after her victory in the 2018 Freetown Mayoral election.The Freetown city council has its own municipal police force.
The city of Freetown is divided into three municipal regions; the East End, Central, and the West End, which in turns are divided into 8 electoral wards: East I, East II, East III, Central I, Central II, West I, West II, and West III.
The area was first settled in 1787 by 400 formerly enslaved black people sent from London, England, under the auspices of the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, an organisation set up by Jonah Hanway and the British abolitionist Granville Sharp.These black people were African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Africans, Southeast Asians, and black people born in Great Britain. They established the 'Province of Freedom' and the settlement of Granville Town on land purchased from local Koya Temne subchief King Tom and regent Naimbana. The British understood the purchase meant that their new settlers had the land "for ever." Although the established arrangement between Europeans and the Koya Temne included provisions for permanent settlement, some historians question how well the Koya leaders understood the agreement, as they had a different conception of the uses of property.
Disputes soon broke out. King Tom's successor, King Jimmy, burnt the settlement to the ground in 1789. Alexander Falconbridge was sent to Sierra Leone in 1791 to collect the remaining Black Poor settlers, and they re-established Granville Town around the area now known as Cline Town, Sierra Leone near Fourah Bay. These 1787 settlers did not formally establish Freetown, even though the bicentennial of Freetown was celebrated in 1987. But formally, Freetown was founded in 1792.
In 1791, Thomas Peters, an African American who had served in the Black Pioneers, went to England to report the grievances of the black population in Nova Scotia. Some of these African Americans were ex-slaves who had escaped to the British forces who had been given their freedom and resettled there by the Crown after the American Revolution. Land grants and assistance in starting the settlements had been intermittent and slow.
During his visit, Peters met with the directors of the Sierra Leone Company and learned of proposals for a new settlement at Sierra Leone. Despite the collapse of the 1787 colony, the directors were eager to recruit settlers to Sierra Leone. Lieutenant John Clarkson, RN, who was an abolitionist, was sent to Nova Scotia in British North America to register immigrants to take to Sierra Leone for a new settlement.
Tired of the harsh weather and racial discrimination in Nova Scotia, more than 1,100 former American slaves chose to go to Sierra Leone. They sailed in 15 ships and arrived in St. George Bay between February 26 – March 9, 1792.Sixty-four settlers died en route to Sierra Leone, and Lieutenant Clarkson was among those taken ill during the voyage. Upon reaching Sierra Leone, Clarkson and some of the Nova Scotian 'captains' "dispatched on shore to clear or make roadway for their landing". The Nova Scotians were to build Freetown on the former site of the first Granville Town, where jungle had taken over since its destruction in 1789. Its surviving Old Settlers had relocated to Fourah Bay in 1791.
At Freetown, the women remained in the ships while the men worked to clear the land. Lt. Clarkson told the men to clear the land until they reached a large cotton tree. After the work had been done and the land cleared, all the Nova Scotians, men and women, disembarked and marched towards the thick forest and to the cotton tree, and their preachers (all African Americans) began singing "Awake and Sing of Moses and the Lamb."
In March 1792, Nathaniel Gilbert, a white preacher, prayed and preached a sermon under the large Cotton Tree, and Reverend David George, from South Carolina, preached the first recorded Baptist service in Africa. The land was dedicated and christened 'Free Town,' as ordered by the Sierra Leone Company Directors. This was the first thanksgiving service.
John Clarkson was sworn in as first governor of Sierra Leone. Small huts were erected before the rainy season. The Sierra Leone Company surveyors and the settlers built Freetown on the American grid pattern, with parallel streets and wide roads, with the largest being Water Street. On August 24, 1792, the Black Poor or Old Settlers of the second Granville Town were incorporated into the new Sierra Leone Colony, but remained at Granville Town.
In 1793, the settlers sent a petition to the Sierra Leone Company expressing concerns about the treatment that they were enduring.The settlers in particular objected to being issued currency that was only redeemable at a company owned store. They also claimed that the governor, a Mr. Dawes, ruled in an almost tyrannical fashion, favoring certain people over others when ruling the settlement. The writers then argued that they had not received the amount of land that Lt. Clarkson had promised them on leaving Nova Scotia. The letter expressed anxiety that the company was not treating them as freemen, but as slaves and requested that Lt. Clarkson return as governor.
Freetown survived being pillaged by the French in 1794, and was rebuilt by the settlers. By 1798, Freetown had between 300–400 houses with architecture resembling that of the United States – stone foundations with wooden superstructures. Eventually this style of housing, built by the Nova Scotians, would be the model for the 'bod oses' of their Creole descendants.
In 1800, the Nova Scotians rebelled. The British authorities used the arrival of about 550 Jamaican Maroons to suppress the insurrection. Thirty-four Nova Scotians were banished and sent to either the Sherbro or a penal colony at Gore. Some of the Nova Scotians were eventually allowed back into Freetown. After the Maroons captured the Nova Scotian rebels, they were granted their land. Eventually the Maroons had their own district, which came to be known as Maroon Town.
Indigenous Africans attacked the colony in 1801 and were repulsed. The British eventually took control of Freetown, making it a Crown Colony in 1808. This act accompanied expansion that led to the creation of Sierra Leone.
From 1808 to 1874, the city served as the capital of British West Africa. It also served as the base for the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron, which was charged with enforcing the ban on the slave trade. When the squadron liberated slaves on trading ships, they brought most to Sierra Leone, and Freetown in particular; thus, the population grew to include descendants of many different peoples from all over the west coast of Africa. The British also situated three of their Mixed Commission Courts in Freetown.
The liberated Africans established the suburbs of Freetown Peninsula. They were the largest group of immigrants to make up the Creole people of Freetown. The city expanded rapidly. The freed slaves were joined by West Indian and African soldiers, who had fought for Britain in the Napoleonic Wars and settled here afterward. Descendants of the freed slaves who settled in Sierra Leone between 1787 and 1792, are called the Creoles. The Creoles play a leading role in the city, although they are a minority of the overall Sierra Leone population.
During World War I Freetown became a base for operations of British forces in the Atlantic. Warships came into the port to resupply and German merchant vessels captured in the region were also sent there.
During World War II, Britain maintained a naval base at Freetown. The base was a staging post for Allied traffic in the South Atlantic and the assembly point for SL convoys to Britain. An RAF base was maintained at nearby Lungi airfield. British fighter aircraft which were shipped into Freetown port, were carried on the Sierra Leone Government Railway to Makeni to be assembled and flown to Egypt.
The city was the scene of fierce fighting in the late 1990s during the Sierra Leone Civil War. It was captured by ECOWAS troops seeking to restore President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1998. Later it was unsuccessfully attacked by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front.
In the early morning on 14 August 2017, after much heavy rain part of Mount Sugar Loaf on an edge of Freetown collapsed in a huge mudslide which drowned over 300 people in Regent town. Deforestation has been blamed for the landslide.
The city of Freetown is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is governed by a directly elected city council, headed by a mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city. The mayor and members of the Freetown Municipality are elected directly by the residents of Freetown every four years.
The government of the Freetown Municipality has been dominated by All People's Congress (APC) since 2004. Since 2004, the residents of Freetown has voted in municipal elections for members of the All People's Congress (APC) by an overwhelming majority. The APC won the city's mayorship and vast majority seats in the Freetown city council in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2018 local elections by more than 67% each.
In Presidential elections Freetown is considered a swing city, as it has a large support base of both the All People's Congress and the Sierra Leone People's Party. However, the APC has won majority percent of the votes in Freetown in the 2007, 2012 and 2018 Sierra Leone Presidential election, including The APC winning more than 65% of the votes in Freetown in both The 2012 nd 2018 Sierra Leone Presidential elections. The APC presidential candidate Ernest Bai Koroma received 69% of the votes in Freetown in the 2012 Sierra Leone Presidential election; compared to the SLPP presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio who received 30%. In the 2018 Sierra Leone Presidential election, The APC presidential candidate Samura Kamara received 65% compared to the SLPP presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio who received 34%, though Maada Bio won the presidential election nationally.
In November 2011, Freetown Mayor Herbert George-Williams was removed from office and replaced by council member Alhaji Gibril Kanu as acting mayor. Mayor Herbert George-Williams and eight others, including the Chief Administrator of the Freetown city council Bowenson Fredrick Philips; and the Freetown city council Treasurer Sylvester Momoh Konnehi, were arrested and indicted by the Sierra Leone Anti-corruption Commission on twenty-five counts on graft charges, ranging with conspiracy to commit corruption and misappropriation of public funds . Mayor Herbert George-Williams was acquitted of seventeen of the nineteen charges against him. He was convicted of two less serious charges by the Freetown High Court judge Jon Bosco Katutsi and sentenced to pay a fine.
Acting Mayor Kanu lost the APC nomination for the mayor of Freetown in the 2012 Mayoral elections by 56 votes; council member Sam Franklyn Bode Gibson won 106 in a landslide victory
In the national presidential and Parliamentary elections, Freetown is similar to swing states in American politics. As the city is so ethnically diverse, no single ethnic group forms a majority of the population of the city. Traditionally, the APC and the SLPP, two of the country's major political parties, have about equal support in the city. In the 2007 Sierra Leone Presidential election, the APC candidate and then main opposition leader, Ernest Bai Koroma, won just over 60% of the votes in the Western Area Urban District, including the city of Freetown, where almost the entire District population reside.
Freetown shares border with the Atlantic Ocean and the Western Area Rural District. Freetown municipality is politically divided into three regions: East End, Central and West End of Freetown. The wards in the East End of Freetown (East I, East II, and East III) contain the city's largest population centre and generally the poorest part of the city. The Queen Elizabeth II Quay is located within East End.
The two central wards (Central I and Central II) make up Central Freetown, which includes Downtown Freetown and the central business district (Central II). Most of the tallest and most important national government building and foreign embassies are based in Central Freetown.
Sierra Leone's House of Parliament and the State House, the principal workplace of the president of Sierra Leone, are on Tower Hill in central Freetown. The National Stadium, the home stadium of the Sierra Leone national football team (popularly known as the Leone Stars) is in the Brookfield neighborhood.
The three westernmost wards (West I, West II, and West III) of the city constitute the West End of Freetown. These wards are relatively affluent. Most of the city's luxury hotels, a number of casinos, and the Lumley Beach are in the west end of the city. The west end neighbourhood of Hill Station is home to the State Lodge, the official residence of the president of Sierra Leone.
The city has the Sierra Leone National Museum and Sierra Leone National Railway Museum. Various historical landmarks connected to its founding by Americans, liberated African slaves, and West Indians. The Cotton Tree represents the christening of Freetown in March 1792. In downtown Freetown is the Connaught Hospital, the first hospital constructed in West Africa that incorporated Western medical practices.
Nearby is the King's Yard Gate built in stone with a statement inscribed which reads "any slave who passes through this gate is declared a free man", and it was this gate through which liberated Africans passed. Down by the Naval Wharf are slave steps carved out of stone. Before Freetown was established, this was where the Portuguese slave traders transported Africans as slaves to ships.
Freetown is home to Fourah Bay College, the oldest university in West Africa, founded in 1827. The university played a key role in Sierra Leone's colonial history. The college's first student, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, went on to be named as the first indigenous Bishop of West Africa. National Railway Museum has a coach car built for the state visit of Elizabeth II in 1961. The Big Market on Wallace Johnson Street is the showcase for local artisans' work.
The Freetown peninsula is ringed by long stretches of white sand. Lumley Beach, on the western side of the peninsula, is a popular location for local parties and festivals.
Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Muslim mosques. : Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Freetown (Catholic Church), United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone (World Methodist Council), Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone (Baptist World Alliance), Assemblies of God. St. George's Cathedral (Anglican) opened in 1828.There are also Christian churches and temples
Freetown is the economic and financial centre of Sierra Leone. The country's state television and radio station, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, is primarily based in Freetown. They have regional headquarters in the country's other primary cities of Bo, Kailahun, Kenema, Koidu Town, Magburaka and Makeni. The other national broadcasters, such as Capital Radio, are also based in Freetown. Many of the country's largest corporations locate their headquarters' home offices in Freetown as well as the majority of international companies.
The city's economy revolves largely around its final natural harbour, which is the largest natural harbour on the continent of Africa. Queen Elizabeth II Quay is capable of receiving oceangoing vessels and handles Sierra Leone's main exports.
Industries include food and beverage processing, fish packing, rice milling, petroleum refining, diamond cutting, and the manufacture of cigarettes, paint, textile, and beer. [ citation needed ]
The city is served by the Lungi International Airport, located in the city of Lungi, across the river estuary from Freetown.
Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Freetown has a tropical climate with a rainy season from May through to October; the balance of the year represents the dry season. The beginning and end of the rainy season is marked by strong thunderstorms. Under the Köppen climate classification, Freetown has a tropical monsoon climate primarily due to the heavy amount of precipitation it receives during the rainy season.
Freetown's high humidity is somewhat relieved November through to February by the famous Harmattan, a wind blowing from the Sahara Desert affording Freetown its coolest period of the year. Temperature extremes recorded in Freetown are from 15 °C (59 °F) to 38 °C (100 °F) all year. The average annual temperature is around 28 °C (82 °F).
|Climate data for Freetown, Sierra Leone (1961–1990, extremes 1947–1990)|
|Record high °C (°F)||36.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||27.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||23.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||15.0|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||8.0|
|Average rainy days||0||0||1||4||15||22||27||27||24||21||9||2||152|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 15:00 LST)||66||67||67||68||73||76||81||82||80||78||76||69||74|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||226.3||215.6||232.5||207.0||189.1||153.0||102.3||86.8||126.0||186.0||198.0||161.2||2,083.8|
|Source 1: NOAA|
|Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes)|
Freetown is home to a large population of both Muslims and Christians, though Muslims make up the majority of the population. In both the Muslim and Christian youth population of Freetown can be found a significant liberal influence. Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Freetown is a very religiously tolerant city, with Muslims and Christians living side by side and getting along well.
As in many parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio language (the native language of the Creole people who make up 5% of the country's population) is by far the most widely spoken language in the city. The language is spoken at home as a first language by over 20% of the city's population and is spoken as a lingua franca by a large number of the population in the city. English (the country's official language) is also widely spoken, particularly by the well educated. The Themne language is the second most popular language spoken after Krio. Themne people also make up the largest members of the population of Freetown and the Western Area Region.
Freetown (as the rest of Sierra Leone) has an education system with six years of primary school (Classes 1 to 6), and six years of secondary school (Forms 1 to 6). Secondary schools are further divided into Junior secondary school (Forms 1 to 3) and Senior secondary school (Forms 4 to 6). This system is known as the 6-3-3-4 education system, which means: 6 years of Primary, 3 years of Junior Secondary, 3 years of Senior Secondary, and 4 years of University.
Primary school pupils are usually aged 6 to 12, and secondary schools are usually aged 13 to 18. Primary Education is free and compulsory in government-sponsored public schools. Freetown is home to one of the country's two main universities, the Fourah Bay College, the oldest university in West Africa, founded in 1827.
Lungi International Airport is the international airport which serves Freetown and the rest of the country. It is located in the town of Lungi, about 17 km northeast of Freetown across the sea. It serves as the primary airport for domestic and international travel to and from Sierra Leone. The airport is operated by Sierra Leone Airports Authority. There is a frequent commercial fast boat, bus, and ferry service to Freetown and other parts of the country. Hastings Airport provides secondary service, but can only handle small aircraft because of its short runway. It is located about 14 km southeast of downtown Freetown (nearly 22 km by road).
Passengers have the choice of hovercraft, ferry, road (5 hours), speedboat, water taxi, local banana boats and helicopter to cross the river to Freetown. Ferry is the cheapest option. Hovercraft and ferry operations have at times been suspended due to passenger overloads and safety issues.
Sierra Leone has the largest natural harbour in the African continent. Ships from all over the globe berth at Freetown's Queen Elizabeth II Quay. Passenger, cargo, and private craft also utilize Government Wharf nearer to central Freetown. Recent investment has seen the introduction of high-tech cargo scanning facilities.
Sierra Leone's infrastructure is limited, and its highways and roads reflect this. The roads and highways of the country are administered by the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) which has often been crippled by corruption. Highway 1 enters the city from the town of Waterloo several kilometers to the south. Despite the SLRA's limited capabilities, main feeder/trunk roads have been reconstructed to a high standard.
Following a recommendation from the IBRD, the Sierra Leone Government Railway which linked Freetown to the rest of the country was permanently closed in 1974. The iron rails were looted in the following years.
Like the rest of Sierra Leone, football is the most popular sport in Freetown. The Sierra Leone national football team, popularly known as the Leone Stars plays all their home games at Freetown's National Stadium, the largest stadium in Sierra Leone.
Eight of the fifteen clubs in the Sierra Leone National Premier League are from Freetown, including two of Sierra Leone's biggest and most successful football clubs, East End Lions, and Mighty Blackpool. A match between these two teams is the biggest domestic-football clash in Sierra Leone. A notable Sierra Leonian footballer is Kei Kamara, who currently plays for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.
Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It is bordered by Liberia to the southeast and Guinea to the northeast. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests, a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,092,113 as of the 2015 census. The capital and largest city is Freetown. The country is divided into five administrative regions which are subdivided into sixteen districts.
Sierra Leone first became inhabited by indigenous African peoples at least 2,500 years ago. The dense tropical rainforest partially isolated the region from other West African cultures, and it became a refuge for peoples escaping violence and jihads. Sierra Leone was named by Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra, who mapped the region in 1462. The Freetown estuary provided a good natural harbour for ships to shelter and replenish drinking water, and gained more international attention as coastal and trans-Atlantic trade supplanted trans-Saharan trade.
Sierra Leonean Creole or Krio is an English-based creole language that is lingua franca and de facto national language spoken throughout the West African nation of Sierra Leone. Krio is spoken by 87% of Sierra Leone's population and unites the different ethnic groups in the country, especially in their trade and social interaction with each other. Krio is the primary language of communication among Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad. The language is native to the Sierra Leone Creole people or Krios,, and is spoken as a second language by millions of other Sierra Leoneans belonging to the country's indigenous tribes. English is Sierra Leone's official language, while Krio, despite its common use throughout the country, has no official status.
The Sierra Leone Company was the corporate body involved in founding the second British colony in Africa on 11 March 1792 through the resettlement of Black Loyalists who had initially been settled in Nova Scotia after the American Revolutionary War. The company came about because of the work of the ardent abolitionists, Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, Henry Thornton, and Thomas's brother, John Clarkson, who is considered one of the founding fathers of Sierra Leone. The Company was the successor to the St. George Bay Company, a corporate body established in 1790 that re-established Granville Town in 1791 for the 60 remaining Old Settlers.
Thomas Peters, born Thomas Potters, was a veteran of the Black Pioneers, fighting for the British in the American Revolutionary War. A Black Loyalist, he was resettled in Nova Scotia, where he became a politician and one of the "Founding Fathers" of the nation of Sierra Leone in West Africa. Peters was among a group of influential Black Canadians who pressed the Crown to fulfill its commitment for land grants in Nova Scotia. Later they recruited African-American settlers in Nova Scotia for the colonisation of Sierra Leone in the late eighteenth century.
Lieutenant John Clarkson (1764–1828) was a Royal Navy officer and abolitionist, the younger brother of Thomas Clarkson, one of the central figures in the abolition of slavery in England and the British Empire at the close of the 18th century. As agent for the Sierra Leone Company, Lieutenant Clarkson was instrumental in the founding of Freetown, today Sierra Leone’s capital city, as a haven for chiefly formerly enslaved African-Americans first relocated to Nova Scotia by the British military authorities following the American Revolutionary War.
Maroon Town, Sierra Leone, is a district in the settlement of Freetown, a colony founded in West Africa by Great Britain.
Settler Town, Sierra Leone is the oldest part of the city of Freetown, now the capital of Sierra Leone, and was the first home of the Nova Scotian Settlers.
Cline Town is an area in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The area is named for Emmanuel Kline, a Hausa Liberated African who bought substantial property in the area. The neighborhood is in the vicinity of Granville Town, a settlement established in 1787 and re-established in 1789 prior to the founding of the Freetown settlement on 11 March 1792.
The Jamaican Maroons in Sierra Leone were a group of just under 600 Jamaican Maroons from Cudjoe's Town, the largest of the five maroon towns in Jamaica, who were deported by British forces following the Second Maroon War in 1796, first to Nova Scotia. Four years later in 1800, they were transported to Sierra Leone.
Moses "Daddy" Wilkinson or "Old Moses" was known as a Black Loyalist who gained freedom from slavery in Virginia during the American Revolutionary War, was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher in New York and Nova Scotia, and migrated in 1791 to Sierra Leone. There he established the first Methodist church in Settler Town and survived a rebellion in 1800.
Birchtown is a community and National Historic Site in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located near Shelburne in the Municipal District of Shelburne County. Founded in 1783, the village was the largest settlement of Black Loyalists and indeed, the largest free settlement of ethnic Africans in North America in the eighteenth century. Birchtown was named after British Brigadier General Samuel Birch, an official who helped lead the evacuation of Black Loyalists from New York.
The Nova Scotian Settlers, or Sierra Leone Settlers were Black Americans who founded the settlement of Freetown, Sierra Leone on March 11, 1792. The majority of these black American immigrants were among 3000 Blacks who had been in enslaved in North America, who had sought freedom and refuge with the British during the American Revolutionary War, leaving rebel masters. They became known as the Black Loyalists. The Nova Scotian settlers were jointly led by African-American Thomas Peters, a former soldier, and English abolitionist John Clarkson. For most of the 19th century, the Settlers resided in Settler Town and remained a distinct ethnic group within the Freetown territory, tending to marry among themselves and with Europeans in the colony. Indigenous tribes in the region included the Sherbro and Mende.
The Cotton Tree is a Ceiba pentandra, also known commonly as a kapok tree, a historic symbol of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. According to legend, the "Cotton Tree" gained importance in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled the site of modern Freetown. These Black Loyalist settlers, called "Nova Scotians" because they came from Nova Scotia after leaving the United States and before they decided to go back to Africa or, "Navatians" in Sierra Leone, founded Freetown on March 11th 1792.
Edna Elliott Horton was the second West African woman from a British colony to receive a university degree after the Nigerian physician, Agnes Yewande Savage who received a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1929. A Sierra Leonean, Elliott-Horton became the first West African woman to complete a BA degree in the liberal arts, after graduating from Howard University in 1933. where Dr. Edward Mayfield Boyle, her maternal uncle, had graduated as a medical doctor. Elliott-Horton was a political activist who challenged the colonial authorities in Sierra Leone through her participation in the West African Youth League which was formally established in her living room.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Creole people is an ethnic group in Sierra Leone. The Sierra Leone Creole people are descendants of freed African American, West Indian, and Liberated African slaves who settled in the Western Area of Sierra Leone between 1787 and about 1885. The colony was established by the British, supported by abolitionists, under the Sierra Leone Company as a place for freedmen. The settlers called their new settlement Freetown. Today, the Sierra Leone Creoles comprise 1.3% of the population of Sierra Leone.
Arthur Thomas Daniel Porter III was a Creole professor, historian, and author. His book on the Sierra Leone Creole people, Creoledom: A study of the development of Freetown society, examines their society in a way in which few books of their time period had, and it is one of the most quoted books on the Creoles. He was also published in East Africa and the UK.
The Oku people or the Aku Marabout or Aku Mohammedans are an ethnic group primarily the descendants of educated, liberated Yoruba Muslims from Southwest Nigeria, who were released from slave ships and resettled in Sierra Leone as liberated Africans or came as settlers in the mid-19th century. Some Oku historically have intermarried since then with the ethnic Creole people. The Creole were primarily descendants of African-American former slaves, as well as some from Jamaica, and slaves liberated from illegal slave trading in the 19th century. The Oku people primarily reside in the communities of Fourah Bay, Fula Town, and Aberdeen and the official cemetery primarily used by the Oku people is the Aku Mohammedan Cemetery.
The Easmon family or the Easmon Medical Dynasty is a Sierra Leone Creole medical dynasty of African-American descent originally based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Easmon family has ancestral roots in the United States, and in particular Savannah, Georgia and other states in the American South. There are several descendants of the Sierra Leonean family in the United Kingdom and the United States, and in Accra, Ghana and Kumasi, Ghana. The family produced several medical doctors beginning with John Farrell Easmon, the medical doctor who coined the term Blackwater fever and wrote the first clinical diagnosis of the disease linking it to malaria and Albert Whiggs Easmon, who was a leading gynaecologist in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Several members of the family were active in business, academia, politics, the arts including music, cultural dance, playwriting and literature, history, anthropology, cultural studies, and anti-colonial activism against racism.