The Province of Freedom, later Freetown Sierra Leone was established in 1787 as a home for freed slaves who had served various commercial entrepreneurs in the West Indies and North America. Some had even fought on the side of the British during the American War of Independence. They had been promised their freedom and the opportunity presented itself, a place they could call their own. This proposal took concrete form in 1787 when the Province of Freedom was established in Sierra Leone.
This book attempts to portray the tensions within such a planted settlement as the settlers tried various methods of ‘self government’ under a rather domineering colonial regime directed and orchestrated by the Colonial Office in London. This book traces the history of the movement and the tensions between the colonial authority and a rapidly developing educated elite among the settlers who had become known as the Krio and who spoke a dialect also called Krio. The issues revolved around the desire of the Krio to break free from ‘white’ domination and to establish a self-governing colony. Since this was not possible at that point in time, the Freetown City Council served as the main political platform for the political life of the Krio. However with no proper support and at times even fierce opposition from the powers that be, who increasingly came to regard the Krio as a dangerous irritant and a hindrance to good government, an atmosphere was created in which any faltering steps from the Krio would be fatal to their political situation as happened in 1926 when the incumbent Mayor was accused of malpractices, tried, found guilty and jailed.
The book concludes with a cursory look at the interim periods between the dissolution of the council in 1926 and 1945 when the municipality was reinstituted.