For the Episcopalian Reverend missionary, see Paul Cuffee. Paul Cuffee or Paul Cuffe was an American Quaker businessman, sea captain, abolitionist, his mother was his father Ashanti, captured as a child and sold into slavery. In the mid-1740s he was freed by his Quaker master in Massachusetts. After Cuffee's father died when the boy was 13 he and a brother worked to support their mother and three younger sisters. Cuffee built a lucrative shipping empire in New England, trading with Great Britain, he established the first racially integrated school in Massachusetts. A devout Christian, Cuffee preached and spoke at the Sunday services at the multi-racial Society of Friends meeting house in Westport. In 1813, he donated most of the money to build a new meeting house, he became involved in the British effort to develop the colony of Freetown Sierra Leone. Many Black Loyalists had been granted land by the Crown in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution. Cuffee helped those, he helped support The Friendly Society of Sierra Leone, which provided financial support for the colony.
Paul Cuffee was born on January 17, 1759, on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts.. He was the youngest son of Kofi, known as Cuffee Slocum since being freed, his wife Ruth Moses. Kofi was a member of the Ashanti, from the Ashanti Region of present-day southern Ghana, he had been brought as a slave to the English colony of Massachusetts. His Quaker owner, John Slocum could not reconcile slave ownership with his religious values and gave Kofi his freedom in the mid-1740s. Kofi took the name Cuffee Slocum. In 1746, he married Ruth Moses. Ruth was a member of the Wampanoag Nation on Martha's Vineyard. Cuffee Slocum worked as a skilled carpenter and fisherman, taught himself to read and write, he worked diligently in order to buy a home, in 1766 bought a 116-acre farm in nearby Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The couple raised ten children together. During Paul's infancy there was no Quaker meeting house on Cuttyhunk Island, so his father taught himself the Scriptures and taught his children. In 1766, when Paul was seven, the family moved to the farm in Dartmouth.
Cuffee Slocum died in 1772, when Paul was 13. As Paul's two eldest brothers by had families of their own elsewhere, he and his brother John took over their father's farm operations, supporting their mother and three younger sisters. Around 1778, when he was 19, Paul persuaded his brothers and sisters to use their father's anglicized first name, Cuffee, as their family name, all but the youngest did. Paul, signed his name by spelling it'Cuffe' with one'e', his mother, Ruth Moses, died on January 1787 soon after the end of the Revolutionary War. At the time of his father's death, young Paul knew little more than the alphabet but dreamed of gaining an education and being involved in the shipping industry; the closest mainland port to Cuttyhunk was New Bedford, Massachusetts—the center of the American whaling industry. Cuffe used his limited free time to learn more about ships and sailing from sailors. At the age of 16, Cuffe signed onto a whaling ship and on, to cargo ships, where he learned navigation.
In his journal, he referred to himself as a marineer. In 1776 during the American Revolution, he was captured and held prisoner by the British for three months in New York, his descendants are eligible by his sacrifice for membership in the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, lineage societies founded in the late 19th century. After his release, Cuffee returned to his siblings in Massachusetts, where he studied. In 1779, he and his brother David built a small boat to ply islands. Although his brother was afraid to sail in dangerous seas, Cuffe went out alone in 1779 to deliver cargo to Nantucket, he was waylaid by pirates on several subsequent voyages. He made a trip to Nantucket that turned a profit. At the age of 21, Cuffe refused to pay taxes because free blacks did not have the right to vote in Massachusetts. In 1780, he petitioned the council of Bristol County, Massachusetts to end such taxation without representation, an issue leading to the Revolution; the petition was denied, but his suit contributed to the state legislature in 1783 granting voting rights to all free male citizens of the state.
Cuffe made enough money to purchase another ship and hired crew for it. He built up capital and expanded his ownership to a fleet of ships. After using open boats, he commissioned the 14- or 15-ton closed-deck ship Box Iron, an 18- to 20-ton schooner, he operated his own shipyard where some of his ships were constructed. On February 25, 1783, Cuffe married Alice Pequit. Like Cuffe's mother, Pequit was a Wampanoag woman; the couple settled in Westport, where they raised their seven children: Naomi, Ruth, Paul Jr. Rhoda, William. In the late 1780s Cuffe's flagship was the 25-ton schooner Sun Fish. In 1795, he sold the Mary and Sun Fish to finance construction of the Ranger — a 69-ton schooner launched in 1796 from Cuffe's shipyard in Westport. Wanting a larger homestead, in February 1799 he paid $3,500 for 140 acres of waterfront property in Westport. By 1800 he had enough capital to purchase a half-interest in the 162-ton barque Hero. By the first years of the nineteenth century, Cuffe was one of the most wealthy — if not th
History of the United States (1789–1849)
George Washington, elected the first president in 1789, set up a cabinet form of government, with departments of State and War, along with an Attorney General. Based in New York, the new government acted to rebuild the nation's financial structure. Enacting the program of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the government assumed the Revolutionary war debts of the states and the national government, refinanced them with new federal bonds, it paid for the program through new taxes. The nation adopted a Bill of Rights as 10 amendments to the new constitution; the Judiciary Act of 1789 established the entire federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court became important under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall, a federalist and nationalist who built a strong Supreme Court and strengthened the national government; the 1790s were contentious, as the First Party System emerged in the contest between Hamilton and his Federalist party, Thomas Jefferson and his Republican party.
Washington and Hamilton were building a strong national government, with a broad financial base, the support of merchants and financiers throughout the country. Jeffersonians opposed the new national Bank, the Navy, federal taxes; the Federalists favored Britain, embattled in a series of wars with France. Jefferson's victory in 1800 opened the era of Jeffersonian democracy, doomed the upper-crust Federalists to marginal roles; the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803 opened vast Western expanses of fertile land, which met the needs of the expanding population of yeomen farmers whom Jefferson championed. The Americans declared war on Britain to uphold American honor at sea, to end the Indian raids in the west, as well as to seize Canadian territory. Despite incompetent government management, a series of defeats early on, Americans found new generals like Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Winfield Scott, who repulsed British invasions and broke the alliance between the British and the Indians that held up settlement of the Old Northwest.
The Federalists, who had opposed the war to the point of trading with the enemy and threatening secession, were devastated by the triumphant ending of the war. The remaining Indians east of the Mississippi were kept on reservations or moved via the Trail of Tears to reservations in what became Oklahoma; the spread of democracy opened the ballot box to nearly all white men, allowing the Jacksonian democracy to dominate politics during the Second Party System. Whigs, representing wealthier planters, merchants and professionals, wanted to modernize the society, using tariffs and federally funded internal improvements; the Jacksonians wanted expansion—that is "Manifest Destiny"—into new lands that would be occupied by farmers and planters. Thanks to the annexation of Texas, the defeat of Mexico in war, a compromise with Britain, the western third of the nation rounded out the continental United States by 1848. Howe argues that the transformation America underwent was not so much political democratization but rather the explosive growth of technologies and networks of infrastructure and communication—the telegraph, the post office, an expanding print industry.
They made possible the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, the expansion of education and social reform. They modernized party politics and sped up business by enabling the fast, efficient movement of goods and people across an expanding nation, they transformed a loose-knit collection of parochial agricultural communities into a powerful cosmopolitan nation. Economic modernization proceeded thanks to profitable cotton crops in the South, new textile and machine-making industries in the Northeast, a fast developing transportation infrastructure. Breaking loose from European models, the Americans developed their own high culture, notably in literature and in higher education; the Second Great Awakening brought revivals across the country, forming new denominations and increasing church membership among Methodists and Baptists. By the 1840s increasing numbers of immigrants were arriving from Europe British and Germans. Many settled in the cities, which were starting to emerge as a major factor in the economy and society.
The Whigs had warned that annexation of Texas would lead to a crisis over slavery, they were proven right by the turmoil of the 1850s that led to the Civil War. George Washington, a renowned hero of the American Revolutionary War, commander of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, was unanimously chosen as the first President of the United States under the new U. S. Constitution. All the leaders of the new nation were committed to republicanism, the doubts of the Anti-Federalists of 1788 were allayed with the passage of a Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution in 1791; the first census, conducted by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, enumerated a population of 3.9 million, with a density of 4.5 people per square mile of land area. There were only 12 cities of more than 5,000 population, as the great majority of the people were farmers. Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789. At the time, the act provided for a Supreme Court of six justices, three circuit courts, 13 district courts.
It created the offices of U. S. Marshal, Deputy Marshal, District Attorney in each federal judic
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone's major urban, financial, cultural and political centre, as it is the seat of the Government of Sierra Leone; the population of Freetown was 1,055,964 at the 2015 census. The city's economy revolves around its harbour, which occupies a part of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River in one of the world's largest natural deep water harbours; the population of Freetown is ethnically and religiously diverse. The city is home to a significant population of all of Sierra Leone's ethnic groups, with no single ethnic group forming more than 29% of the city's population; as in all parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio language is Freetown's primary language of communication and is by far the most spoken language in the city. The city of Freetown was founded on March 11, 1792 by Lieutenant John Clarkson and African American ex-slaves and free people called the Nova Scotian Settlers, who were transported to Sierra Leone by the Sierra Leone Company in 1792.
The city of Freetown was a haven for free-born and freed African American, Liberated African and Caribbean settlers. Freetown is the oldest capital to be founded by African Americans, having been founded thirty years before Monrovia, Liberia and is noted for its unique Creole architecture reflecting American and Caribbean influences. Freetown is locally governed by the Freetown City Council, headed by a mayor; the mayor and members of the Freetown City Council are directly elected by the residents of Freetown in an election held every four years. The current mayor of Freetown is Yvonne Aki Sawyerr, sworn in on May 11, 2018, after her victory in the 2018 Freetown Mayoral election; the Freetown city council has its own municipal police force. The city of Freetown is divided into three municipal regions; the East End is both the most populous, the most densely populous of the three regions within Freetown. The area was first settled in 1787 by 400 enslaved black people sent from London, under the auspices of the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, an organisation set up by Jonah Hanway and the British abolitionist, Granville Sharp.
These black people were African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Southeast Asians, black people born in Great Britain. They established the'Province of Freedom' and the settlement of Granville Town on land purchased from local Koya Temne subchief King Tom and regent Naimbana; the British understood the purchase meant that their new settlers had the land "for ever." Although the established arrangement between Europeans and the Koya Temne included provisions for permanent settlement, some historians question how well the Koya leaders understood the agreement, as they had a different conception of the uses of property. Disputes soon broke out. King Tom's successor, King Jimmy, burnt the settlement to the ground in 1789. Alexander Falconbridge was sent to Sierra Leone in 1791 to collect the remaining Black Poor settlers, they re-established Granville Town around the area now known as Cline Town, Sierra Leone near Fourah Bay; these 1787 settlers did not formally establish Freetown though the bicentennial of Freetown was celebrated in 1987.
But formally, Freetown was founded in 1792. In 1791, Thomas Peters, an African American who had served in the Black Pioneers, went to England to report the grievances of the black population in Nova Scotia; some of these African Americans were ex-slaves who had escaped to the British forces, given their freedom and resettled there by the Crown after the American Revolution. Land grants and assistance in starting the settlements had been slow. During his visit, Peters met with the directors of the Sierra Leone Company and learned of proposals for a new settlement at Sierra Leone. Despite the collapse of the 1787 colony, the directors were eager to recruit settlers to Sierra Leone. Lieutenant John Clarkson, RN, an abolitionist, was sent to Nova Scotia in British North America to register immigrants to take to Sierra Leone for a new settlement. Tired of the harsh weather and racial discrimination in Nova Scotia, more than 1,100 former American slaves chose to go to Sierra Leone, they sailed in 15 ships and arrived in St. George Bay between February 26 – March 9, 1792.
Sixty-four settlers died en route to Sierra Leone, Lieutenant Clarkson was among those taken ill during the voyage. Upon reaching Sierra Leone and some of the Nova Scotian'captains' "dispatched on shore to clear or make roadway for their landing"; the Nova Scotians were to build Freetown on the former site of the first Granville Town, where jungle had taken over since its destruction in 1789. Its surviving Old Settlers had relocated to Fourah Bay in 1791. At Freetown, the women remained in the ships. Lt. Clarkson told the men to clear the land. After the work had been done and the land cleared, all the Nova Scotians and women, disembarked and marched towards the thick forest and to the cotton tree, their preachers began singing "Awake and Sing of Moses and the Lamb." In March 1792, Nathaniel Gilbert, a white preacher and preached a sermon under the large Cotton Tree, Reverend David George, from South Carolina, preached the first recorded Baptist service in Africa. The land was dedicated and christened'Free Town,' as ordered by the Sierra Leone C
Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society is a major historical archive specializing in early American and New England history. It is located at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts and is the oldest historical society in the United States, having been established in 1791; the Society's building was constructed in 1899 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 2016, The Boston Landmarks Commission designated it a Boston Landmark; the Society was founded on January 24, 1791, by Reverend Jeremy Belknap to collect and document items of American history. He and the nine other founding members donated family papers and artifacts to the Society to form its initial collection, its first manuscript was published in 1792, becoming the first historical society publication in the United States. The society incorporated in 1794. Indeed, the Society claims to have been the only historical collection in the United States until establishment of the New-York Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society, after which time the Society's collecting activities began to focus on Boston and New England.
In 1849, Frances Manwaring Caulkins became the first woman elected to the society's membership."The society, for several years after its organization, met in the attic of Faneuil Hall. In 1833... quarters on Tremont Street were occupied" in the building of the Provident bank through the 1890s. The society's current building in the Back Bay was built in 1899. Today the Society continues to collect and communicate historical information about Massachusetts and the United States, it is now organized in five departments: Library, Publications and Public Programs, Research Programs, the Adams Family Papers, Administration. Major collections include: Adams Family Papers - material relating to President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams, as well as other family members including Charles Francis Adams, President John Quincy Adams, First Lady Louisa Catherine Adams, Charles Francis Adams, Henry Adams. Among other papers, the collection includes correspondence, literary manuscripts, speeches and business papers, John Adams' handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson - the library holds Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Coolidge Collection, a collection of "Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts" containing thousands of pages of Jefferson's correspondence, manuscripts of writings, Monticello records including account books and journals, more than 400 of Jefferson's architectural drawings. Other Manuscripts and printed texts - 12,000 biographies and more than 10,000 local histories, as well as newspapers and broadsides including John Dunlap's July 4–5, 1776, Philadelphia printing of the Declaration of Independence. Other notable manuscripts include John Winthrop's manuscripts on the early settlement of New England. Artwork - paintings by John Singleton Copley, Sarah Goodridge, Chester Harding, Alonzo Hartwell, Samuel Stillman Osgood, John Smibert, Richard Morrell Staigg, as well as sculptures by Thomas Ball, Richard Saltonstall Greenough, Henry Dexter, Hiram Powers; the Society continues to produce scholarly books, but now augments these publications with digital editions available through its website and other online resources.
The Massachusetts Historical Review has been published annually since 1999. The Fellows of the Massachusetts Historical Society are elected and serve as the Society's legal governing body. Notable fellows include: American Antiquarian Society List of National Historic Landmarks in Boston National Register of Historic Places listings in southern Boston, Massachusetts Notes Bibliography Rines, George Edwin, ed.. "Massachusetts Historical Society". Encyclopedia Americana. Further reading A short account of the Massachusetts Historical Society: prepared by Charles Card Smith, together with the act of incorporation, additional acts and by-laws and a list of officers and members. January 1791-June 1918; the act of incorporation: with the additional acts and by-laws of the Massachusetts Historical Society: with a list of officers and resident members. Boston: printed for the Society, 1882. Thomas Boylston Adams. "Here We Have Lived: The Houses of the Massachusetts Historical Society." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 78 Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society 1792-1939, Vol. 1-78 - 7 series, Vol. 10 of each series is an Index for the series Series 1 index Series 2 index Series 3 index Series 4 Index Series 5 index, p.331 Massachusetts Historical Society Review of "Adams Family Papers" website.
Teachinghistory.org. "Life Portrait of John Quincy Adams", from C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits, broadc
Methodism known as the Methodist movement, is a group of related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were significant early leaders in the movement, it originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming 80 million adherents worldwide. Wesley's theology focused on the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include the new birth, an assurance of salvation, imparted righteousness, the possibility of perfection in love, the works of piety, the primacy of Scripture. Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all; this teaching rejects the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people.
However and several other early leaders of the movement were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the Calvinist position. Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor, the afflicted through the works of mercy; these ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, soup kitchens, schools to follow Christ's command to spread the gospel and serve all people. The movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition are less ritualistic, while American Methodism is more so, the United Methodist Church in particular. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition, Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church. Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organised religion at that time.
In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class. In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who formed black churches in the Methodist tradition; the Methodist revival began with a group of men, including John Wesley and his younger brother Charles, as a movement within the Church of England in the 18th century. The Wesley brothers founded the "Holy Club" at the University of Oxford, where John was a fellow and a lecturer at Lincoln College; the club met weekly and they systematically set about living a holy life. They were accustomed to receiving Communion every week, fasting abstaining from most forms of amusement and luxury and visited the sick and the poor, as well as prisoners; the fellowship were branded as "Methodist" by their fellow students because of the way they used "rule" and "method" to go about their religious affairs. John, leader of the club, took the attempted mockery and turned it into a title of honour.
In 1735, at the invitation of the founder of the Georgia Colony, General James Oglethorpe, both John and Charles Wesley set out for America to be ministers to the colonists and missionaries to the Native Americans. Unsuccessful in their work, the brothers returned to England conscious of their lack of genuine Christian faith, they looked for help to other members of the Moravian Church. At a Moravian service in Aldersgate on 24 May 1738, John experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed", he records in his journal: "I felt I did trust in Christ alone, for salvation. Charles had reported a similar experience a few days previously. Considered a pivotal moment, Daniel L. Burnett writes: "The significance of Wesley's Aldersgate Experience is monumental … Without it the names of Wesley and Methodism would be nothing more than obscure footnotes in the pages of church history."The Wesley brothers began to preach salvation by faith to individuals and groups, in houses, in religious societies, in the few churches which had not closed their doors to evangelical preachers.
John Wesley came under the influence of the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius. Arminius had rejected the Calvinist teaching that God had pre-ordained an elect number of people to eternal bliss while others perished eternally. Conversely, George Whitefield, Howell Harris, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon were notable for being Calvinistic Methodists. George Whitefield, returning from his own mission in Georgia, joined the Wesley brothers in what was to become a national crusade. Whitefield, a fellow student of the Wesleys at Oxford, became well known for his unorthodox, itinerant ministry, in which he was dedicated to open-air preaching—reaching crowds of thousands. A key step in the development of John Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to preach in fields and churchyards to those who did not attend parish church services. Accordingly, many Methodist converts were those disconnected from the Church of England. Faced with growing evangelistic and pastoral responsibilities and Whitefield appointed lay preachers and leaders.
In United States history, a free Negro or free black was the legal status, in the geographic area of the United States, of blacks who were not slaves. This term was in use before the independence of the Thirteen Colonies and elsewhere in British North America, until the abolition of slavery in the United States in December 1865, which rendered the term unnecessary. Slavery was practiced in each of the European colonies at various times. Not all Africans who came to America were slaves. In the early colonial years, some Africans came as indentured servants who were freed after a set period of years, as did many of the immigrants from the British Isles; such servants became free. As early as 1619, a class of free black people existed in North America; the free Negro population increased in a number of ways: children born to colored free women mulatto children born to white indentured or free women mixed-race children born to free Indian women freed slaves slaves who escapedIn most places black workers were either house servants or farm workers.
Black labor was of economic importance in the export-oriented tobacco plantations of Virginia and Maryland, the rice and indigo plantations of South Carolina. About 287,000 slaves were imported into the Thirteen Colonies, or 2% of the more than six million slaves brought across from Africa; the great majority went to sugar colonies in the Caribbean and to Brazil, where life expectancy was short and the numbers had to be continually replenished. Life expectancy of slaves was much higher in the U. S. Combined with a high birth rate, the numbers grew as the number of births exceeded deaths, reaching nearly 4 million by the 1860 census. From 1770 until 1860, the rate of natural growth of North American slaves was much greater than for the population of any nation in Europe, was nearly twice as rapid as that of England; this was sometimes attributed to high birth rates: "U. S. slaves reached similar rates of natural increase to whites not because of any special privileges but through a process of great suffering and material deprivation".
The southern colonies imported more slaves from established English colonies in the West Indies. Like them, the mainland colonies increased restrictions that defined slavery as a racial caste associated with African ethnicity. In 1663 Virginia adopted the principle in slave law of partus sequitur ventrem: that children were born into the status of their mother, rather than taking the status of their father, as was customary for English subjects under English common law; this meant that children of slave mothers were slaves, regardless of their fathers and ethnicity. In some cases, this could result in a person being white under Virginia law of the time, although born into slavery. According to Paul Heinegg, most of the free black families established in the Thirteen Colonies before the American Revolution were descended from unions between white women, whether indentured servant or free, African men, whether indentured servant, free, or slave; these relationships took place among the working class, reflecting the more fluid societies of the time.
Because the mixed-race children were born to free women, they were free. Through use of court documents, deeds and other records, he traced such families as the ancestors of nearly 80 percent of the free Negroes or free blacks recorded in the censuses of the Upper South from 1790–1810. In addition, slaveholders manumitted some slaves for various reasons: to reward long years of service, because heirs did not want to take on slaves, or to free slave concubines and/or their children. Slaves were sometimes allowed to buy their freedom. In the mid-to-late 18th century and Baptist evangelists in the first Great Awakening encouraged slaveholders to free their slaves, in their belief that all men were equal before God, they approved black leaders as preachers. Before the American Revolutionary War, few slaves were manumitted; the war disrupted the slave societies. Beginning with Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, the British colonial governments recruited slaves of rebels to the armed forces and promised them freedom in return.
The Continentals also began to allow blacks to fight with a promise of freedom. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped from plantations or other venues during the war in the South; some disappeared in the disruption of war. After the war, when the British evacuated New York, they transported more than 3,000 Black Loyalists and thousands of other Loyalists to resettle in Nova Scotia and Ontario. A total of more than 29,000 Loyalists refugees were evacuated from New York City alone; the British evacuated thousands of other slaves when they left southern ports, resettling many in the Caribbean and others to England. In the first two decades after the war, the number and proportion of free Negroes in the United States rose dramatically: northern states abolished slavery all gradually, but many slaveholders, in the Upper South manumitted their slaves, inspired by the war's ideals. From 1790 to 1810, the proportion of free blacks in the Upper South rose from less than 1% to
Sierra Leone the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests; the country has a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature; the country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; these regions are subdivided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone was a British Crown Colony from 1808 to 1961. Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai, who became the country's first prime minister. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general elections as an independent nation. On 19 April 1971, Siaka Stevens' government abolished Sierra Leone's parliamentary government system and declared Sierra Leone a presidential republic.
From 1978 to 1985, Sierra Leone was a one-party state in which Stevens' APC was the only legal political party in the country. The current constitution of Sierra Leone, which includes multiparty democracy, was adopted in 1991 by the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked successor. On 23 March 1991, a rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front led by a former Sierra Leone army officer Foday Sankoh launched an eleven-year brutal civil war in the country, in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Sierra Leone government. In April 1992, a group of junior army officers in their twenties overthrew president Momoh from power, their leader a 25 year old captain Valentine Strasser became the world's youngest Head of State. In January 1996 Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio returned the country to multi-party democracy and the 1991 constitution was reestablished. Bio handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after his victory in the 1996 Sierra Leone presidential election.
In 1997, the military overthrew President Kabbah. However, in February 1998, a coalition of West African Ecowas armed forces led by Nigeria removed the military junta from power by force and President Kabbah was reinstated as president. Sierra Leone has had an uninterrupted democracy from 1998 to present. In January 2002, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fulfilled his campaign promise by ending the civil war as the rebels were defeated by military force with the help and support of Ecowas, the British government, the African Union, the United Nations. 16 ethnic groups inhabit each with its own language and customs. The two largest and most influential are the Mende; the Temne are predominantly found in the northwest of the country, the Mende are predominant in the southeast. Comprising a small minority, about 2%, are the Krio people, who are descendants of freed African-American and West Indian slaves. Although English is the official language, used in schools and government administration, Krio, an English-based creole, is the most spoken language across Sierra Leone and is spoken by 98% of the country's population.
The Krio language unites all the different ethnic groups in the country in their trade and social interaction. Sierra Leone is a Muslim-majority country at about 78%, though there is an influential Christian minority at 21%. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant states in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully, religious violence is rare; the major Christian and Muslim holidays are public holidays in the country, including Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha Sierra Leone has relied on mining diamonds, for its economic base. It is among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, is a major producer of gold, has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite this natural wealth, 53% of its population lived in poverty in 2011. Sierra Leone is a member of many international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Development Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated successively by societies who migrated from other parts of Africa. The people adopted the use of iron by the 9th century and by 1000 AD agriculture was being practised along the coast; the climate changed and boundaries among different ecological zones changed as well, affecting migration and conquest. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest and swampy environment was considered impenetrable; this environmental factor protected its people from conquests by the Mande and other African empires. This reduced the Islamic influence of the Mali Empire but Islam, introduced by Susu traders and migrants from the north and east, became adopted in the 18th century. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa in the 15th century. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the shaped formation Serra da Leoa or "Serra Leoa".
The Spanish rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leona, adapted and, became the country's current name. Although according to the p