- Sierra Leone
- Sierra Leone was the first British colony in Africa, aside from the coastal forts of the Gold Coast region. It was founded in 1787 under the influence of evangelical abolitionists, who wanted to resettle liberated slaves and other blacks in Africa, thereby creating “legitimate” trade as an alternative to the slave trade. The colony did not prosper, and was refounded under the Sierra Leone Company, notwithstanding its name a philanthropic enterprise, in 1791. Approximately 1,200 loyalist blacks were transported there from Nova Scotia, along with maroons from Jamaica following the 1797 rebellion. Sierra Leone became at this time the first jurisdiction in which free blacks were granted political rights.Zachary Macaulay, the evangelical father of T. B. Macaulay, governed the colony from 1794–1799, and is credited with making it a permanent concern. In response to concern about the expansion of French West Africa, a British protectorate for the interior region around Sierra Leone was established in 1896. As a result of Admiralty interest in using it as a naval base, Sierra Leone became a crown colony in 1808 and was used thereafter as a destination for slaves liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy.FURTHER READING:Fyfe, C. F. A History of Sierra Leone. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.MARK F. PROUDMAN
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.