Freetown

In 1787 the British helped four hundred freed slaves from the United States, Nova Scotia, and Great Britain returned to Sierra Leone to settle in what they called the " Province of Freedom." The area was first settled by freed slaves sent from England around the Cotton Tree which was said to have previously been a slave market. Disease and hostility from the indigenous population nearly eliminated the first group of returnees.

This settlement was joined by other groups of freed slaves and soon became known as Freetown. In 1792, Freetown became one of Britain's first colonies in West Africa. It is the largest city and also capital of Sierra Leone lying on the peninsula near the Atlantic coast and hosts the third largest natural harbour in the world - Elizabeth II Quay.

Thousands of slaves were returned to or liberated in Freetown. Most chose to remain in Sierra Leone. These returned Africans or Creoles - as they came to be called - were from all areas of Africa. Some of the earliest settlements can be found in the mountain villages of York, Regent, Bathurst, Leicester and Gloucester. From Regent you can walk through creole villages to Charlotte falls and also climb Sugar Loaf Mountain which is one of the highest points on the peninsula. Some fascinating Creole architecture can be found in these areas as well as in downtown Freetown.

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