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|
|George III (first)|
|Elizabeth II (last)|
|Thomas Ludlam (first)|
|Maurice Henry Dorman (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|
Source for 1924 area and population:
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.
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 London, 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.
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 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.
On 1 January 1928 domestic slavery was abolished by the British.
In 1930 Sierra Leone Development Company (DELCO), a British company, started mining iron ore.
In 1932 Sierra Leone Selection Trust, a subsidiary of the British Consolidated African Selection Trust (CAST), was set up to mine diamonds.
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.