Challenges faced by black settlers in Sierra Leone

TLDR Black settlers in Sierra Leone faced numerous challenges including difficult terrain, lack of support from British authorities, and the destruction of Freetown during the French bombardment. Despite these challenges, the presence of free black subjects in Sierra Leone had a significant impact on the abolition movement and served as an example for the American colony of Liberia.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 A black former slave named Peters takes his complaints about broken promises to London, where he meets with abolitionists like Granville Sharp and becomes involved in a scheme to send freed slaves to Sierra Leone, resulting in a disastrous experience.
04:28 A group of freed slaves are sent to Sierra Leone on terrible conditions, arriving between a slave trading post and indigenous rulers, facing disease, adverse weather, and pressure from all sides.
08:13 The British make a deal with King Tom, but another deputy, King Jimmy, ends up betraying them and the settlement falls apart; Granville Sharp is devastated but still committed to the idea of creating a free town in Sierra Leone, and through the serendipity of migrations, Thomas Peters lands in London and Granville Sharp sees an opportunity to restart the project with the black loyalists from Canada.
12:29 The Sierra Leone Company, a public-private partnership, is formed to establish a free labor and mercantile exchange in Sierra Leone with an abolitionist agenda, but despite positive intentions, challenges arise for the black settlers in establishing Freetown.
16:49 The black settlers in Sierra Leone face challenges in establishing Freetown due to the difficult terrain and lack of support from British authorities, leading to petitions for better treatment and rights.
21:05 Zachary Macaulay becomes the new governor of Sierra Leone, known for his commitment to abolitionism and his severe evangelical faith.
25:38 During the French bombardment of Freetown, the city is destroyed and plundered, causing a fissure between Zachary Macaulay and the black settlers who feel betrayed by his attempt to declare them as Americans instead of British subjects.
29:50 The black loyalist settlers of Sierra Leone, Freetown, break away from Zachary Macaulay's authoritarian rule, launch a coup, and form their own government, but are ultimately crushed by British troops with the help of Maroons from Jamaica.
34:05 The impact of the Sierra Leone experience on abolition was primarily the presence of a large population of free black subjects, which confronted the British with the reality of emancipated slaves.
38:30 The presence of formerly enslaved people in Freetown created an example for the American colony of Liberia, which became one of the only places in Africa not colonized by European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Categories: History

Challenges faced by black settlers in Sierra Leone

63. Creating Sierra Leone: The Land of the Free
by Empire

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