FreetownCity

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The capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, in the western part of the country on the Atlantic Ocean. It was settled in 1792 by freed slaves sent from England by British abolitionists. Population: 773,000.

Capital (pop., 2006 est.: metro. area, 818,700) and largest city of Sierra Leone. Located at the mouth of the Sierra Leone River, it has the best harbour in western Africa. It was founded in 1787 by an English abolitionist, Granville Sharp, as a haven for freed African slaves from England. Later more freed slaves from Nova Scotia and runaway slaves from Jamaica settled there. Their descendants, known as Creoles, are now outnumbered by Mende and Temne immigrants from the interior. In 1821 Freetown became the seat of government for Britain's West African possessions. Incorporated as a municipality in 1893, it became Sierra Leone's capital in 1961. It is the nation's commercial, educational, and transportation centre. The city sustained extensive damage during the civil war that wracked the country in the 1990s and has seen an increase in population due to the war.

Freetown, city (1995 est. pop. 519,500), capital of Sierra Leone, W Sierra Leone, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. Located on the Sierra Leone peninsula, Freetown is the nation's administrative, communications, and economic center, as well as its main port. The city's economy revolves largely around its fine natural harbor, which is capable of receiving oceangoing vessels and which handles Sierra Leone's main exports. Industries include food and beverage processing, fish packing, rice milling, petroleum refining, diamond cutting, and the manufacture of cigarettes, paint, shoes, and beer. Lebanese play a major role in local trade, especially wholesaling. Roads and a railroad link Freetown with the interior of the country and the city is served by an international airport in nearby Lungi. Guma Dam provides water and hydroelectric power for Freetown. The area was settled in 1787 by freed slaves sent from England by British abolitionists, including Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson, who started the Sierra Leone Company. In 1792, Freetown was founded by former slaves from Nova Scotia sent out by the company. Freetown was used by the British as the base for creating (1808) the Sierra Leone Crown Colony, and from 1808 to 1874 it served as the capital of British West Africa. In 1893 it was made the first British colonial municipality in Africa, with the right to elect a mayor. During World War II, Britain maintained a naval base at Freetown. Although they constitute only a minority today, descendants of the freed slaves, called Creoles, play a leading role in the city. Freetown is the site of the Univ. of Sierra Leone (1967), which incorporates Fourah Bay College (1827) and Njala Univ. College (1963), and also of a technical institute.

Freetown, city (1995 est. pop. 519,500), capital of Sierra Leone, W Sierra Leone, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. Located on the Sierra Leone peninsula, Freetown is the nation's administrative, communications, and economic center, as well as its main port. The city's economy revolves largely around its fine natural harbor, which is capable of receiving oceangoing vessels and which handles Sierra Leone's main exports. Industries include food and beverage processing, fish packing, rice milling, petroleum refining, diamond cutting, and the manufacture of cigarettes, paint, shoes, and beer. Lebanese play a major role in local trade, especially wholesaling. Roads and a railroad link Freetown with the interior of the country and the city is served by an international airport in nearby Lungi. Guma Dam provides water and hydroelectric power for Freetown. The area was settled in 1787 by freed slaves sent from England by British abolitionists, including Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson, who started the Sierra Leone Company. In 1792, Freetown was founded by former slaves from Nova Scotia sent out by the company. Freetown was used by the British as the base for creating (1808) the Sierra Leone Crown Colony, and from 1808 to 1874 it served as the capital of British West Africa. In 1893 it was made the first British colonial municipality in Africa, with the right to elect a mayor. During World War II, Britain maintained a naval base at Freetown. Although they constitute only a minority today, descendants of the freed slaves, called Creoles, play a leading role in the city. Freetown is the site of the Univ. of Sierra Leone (1967), which incorporates Fourah Bay College (1827) and Njala Univ. College (1963), and also of a technical institute.

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