Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate
The Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate was the British colonial administration in Sierra Leone from 1808 to 1961, part of the British Empire from the abolitionism era until the decolonisation era. The Crown colony, which included the area surrounding Freetown, was established in 1808. The protectorate was established in 1896 and included the interior of what is today known as Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate
Motto: Auspice Britannia liber
(Latin: "Free under the protection of Britain")
Location of Sierra Leone (red) in Western Africa
|Common languages||English (official), Temne, Mende, Krio widely spoken|
• 1808–1820 (first)
• 1952–1961 (last)
• 1808 (first)
• 1956–1961 (last)
|Legislature||Legislative Council (1863–1954)|
House of Representatives (after 1954)
Decolonisation of Africa
• Colony established
|1 January 1808|
• Protectorate established
|31 August 1896|
• Independence as Sierra Leone
|27 April 1961|
|1924||81,999 km2 (31,660 sq mi)|
|Currency||Pound sterling (until 1912)|
British West African pound (after 1912)
|ISO 3166 code||SL|
|Today part of||Sierra Leone|
In the 1780s there were a number of freed slaves in London that needed a better place to live and to be employed in. It was decided that they should go to the continent their ancestors came from.
The British made an agreement with a Temne chief King Tom to have land on the coast for the settlement of freed slaves. In 1787, a naval vessel carrying 331 freed slaves and 60 white Londoners, supposedly prostitutes, arrived at the coast. The settlement became known as Granville Town. Half of the settlers in the new colony died within the first year. Several freed slaves started working for local slave traders. King Tom's successor King Jemmy attacked and burned the colony in 1789.
The British government abolished slave trade in 1807 and thus made the future of the settlement bright. It took responsibility of Sierra Leone in 1808 and made it a Crown Colony.
On 17 October 1821, the Sierra Leone Colony was made part of British West Africa, an administrative entity consisting of British colonies in West Africa. The entity's original name was Colony of Sierra Leone and its Dependencies, after which it became British West African Territories and finally British West African Settlements. British West Africa was constituted during two periods, from 17 October 1821 until its first dissolution on 13 January 1850, and again from 19 February 1866 until its final demise on 28 November 1888. Freetown served as the capital of British West Africa through the entity's entire existence.
In 1938 Wallace Johnson started the West African Youth League in Freetown, mobilising workers in new trade unions against the colonial government.
When World War II began in 1939, emergency powers were used to incarcerate Wallace Johnson.
In 1947 a new constitution was proposed for the colony, which gave the majority of seats in Legislative Council to the majority population of the protectorate.
Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate lasted until 1961 when it gained independence from the United Kingdom, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Sierra Leone. It retained her as head of state for a decade until 1971, when the country became a republic.
- Fyle, Magbaily C. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. XVII–XXII. ISBN 978-0-8108-5339-3.
- "Sierra Leone". WorldStatesmen.org. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- "History of Sierra Leone". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
- Fyle 2006, p. XX.
- Fyle 2006, p. XVIII.
- "Sierra Leone Population". Worldometers. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "The British Empire in 1924". The British Empire. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- Fyle 2006, p. XXII.
- "Flag of Sierra Leone". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- Fyle 2006, p. XVII.
- "Freetown – national capital, Sierra Leone". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- Fyle 2006, p. XXI.
Media related to Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate at Wikimedia Commons