Sierra Leone: Colonization
by Jake Bobrow

 Sierra Leone Colonization

Surrounded by Guinea, Ivory Coast and Liberia on the West African coast, Sierra Leone is land of human diversity. As a political entity, the country is a byproduct of the slave trade. Late in the 18th century, it was established as a colony for freed slaves who wanted to return safely to Africa. Sadly, the country became an example of the lasting chaos that the slave trade made of many African cultures. When the Portuguese began exploring these West African shores in the 15th century, the territory was divided among small tribes, many of them hostile to one another. As a result, the region yielded slaves, as one group was willing to sell members of another for profit. When British abolitionists colonized Sierra Leone, they hoped to resettle freed slaves from throughout the New World, and began doing so in Freetown in 1792. The powerful people were understandably mistrustful and resisted forcefully. But in the first half of the 19th century, the colony attracted Africans from all over, and together they made the capital, Freetown, a vibrant economic center and the home of a new culture. But outside the city, slaving continued right up to 1928, when the British finally ended the illicit trade. Shortly thereafter, diamond and gold mining emerged in the local economy. In 1991, Liberia's militant rebel leader Charles Taylor brought that country's civil war to Sierra Leone, and the country has known a period of severe brutality and chaos ever since.



Paragraph. Works Cited

"Gale - Enter Product Login." GaleNet. 05 May 2009 <>. This site provided me with information on African colonization


"Sierra Leone." The University of Iowa. 05 May 2009 <>. This site gave me information about Sierra Leones Colonial history


"Studying Africa through the Humanities." Exploring Africa. 05 May 2009 <>. This site gave me information about when Liberia brought civil war to the people of Sierra Leone


"Timeline: West Africa." Exploring Amistad: Race and the Boundaries of Freedom in Antebellum Maritime America. 05 May 2009 <>. This website provided me with a time line on Sierra Leone