Advertisement

Sierra Leone: The Lessons of Experience

  • Philip D. Curtin

Abstract

The world-wide strategy of British affairs began to alter markedly in the mid 1790’s. As the possibility of a quick victory over Revolutionary France faded, the global strategy of the eighteenth-century wars for empire was re-established. Where, in the decade of peace from 1783 to 1793, undeveloped regions like West Africa seemed at least potentially valuable, they were now pushed into the background. Old settlements of known value were available for the taking, and their capture could be justified as part of the military effort against France. French colonies in the West Indies and India, Dutch colonies at the Cape of Good Hope and Java—these were the principal objectives. The minimum requirement for West Africa was the protection of the British slave-trade factories and the interception of French shipping. Resources could be diverted to the capture of the French posts or the exploration of the interior only when other circumstances permitted.

Keywords

Nova Scotia Slave Trade African Culture African Institution Parliamentary Committee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Footnotes

  1. 1.
    Sierra Leone Company, Report of the Court of Directors of the Sierra Leone Company to the General Court, 7 vols, (title varies) (London, 1791–1808), II (1794), 15.Google Scholar
  2. The most authoritative general history of Sierra Leone is C Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone (London, 1962).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Philip Beaver, African Memoranda (London, 1805), p. 305 n.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    J. B. L. Durand, A Voyage to Senegal (London, 1806), pp. 83–88. First published, Paris, 1802.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Sierra Leone Company, Account of the Colony of Sierra Leone from its First Establishment in [sic] 1793 … (London, 1795), pp. 70–72. Sierra Leone Council Minutes, 7 January and 8 May 1794, CO 270/2, pp. 139 and 162; 19 May 1795, CO 270/3, p. 155; 5 February 1798 and 1 December 1799, CO 270/4, pp. 191–93 and 317; 20 January 1801, CO 270/5, p. 142.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    [Campbel], Reasons Against Giving a Territorial Grant to a Company of Merchants to Colonize and Cultivate the Peninsula of Sierra Leone … (London, 1791), pp. 8–9.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    For the Company’s policy on land and taxation see N. A. Cox-George, “Direct Taxation in the Early History of Sierra Leone,” Sierra Leone Studies, II (n.s.), 20–35 (December, 1955)Google Scholar
  8. and Finance and Development in West Africa. The Sierra Leone Experience (London, 1961), pp. 38–52.Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    G. Sharp to J. Clarkson, 24 July 1792, Ad. Mss. 41262A, f. 153; G. Sharp, A General Plan for Laying out Towns and Townships, of the New-Acquired Lands in the East Indies, America, and Elsewhere …, 2nd ed. (London, 1804), esp. pp. 5–6. First published 1794.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    “Address to the Settlers,” 21 August 1797, CO 270/4, f. 162. See also Z. Macaulay’s journal entry for 24 November 1794, printed in M. J. Holland, Vicountess Knutsford, Life and Letters of Zachaty Macau lay (London, 1900), p. 83.Google Scholar
  11. 28.
    Sierra Leone Company, Report (1801), p. 8; Sierra Leone Company Directors. Report (1802), PP, 1803–1804, v (24), p. 22.Google Scholar
  12. 30.
    See arguments of Henry Thornton and William Wilberforce, Commons, 3 April 1798, Parliamentary Register, V (new series), 526 and 546–48.Google Scholar
  13. 31.
    Sierra Leone Company, Report (1801), pp. 3–4.Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    Sierra Leone Company, Report (1801), especially p. 24; Governor and Council to Directors of the Sierra Leone Company, undated, enclosed with Governor and Council to Duke of Portland, 10 June 1799, CO 267/10.Google Scholar
  15. 33.
    African Institution, Reports of the Committee of the African Institution. 18 vols. (London, 1807–1824), I (1807), 51.Google Scholar
  16. 34.
    Sierra Leone Company, Report (1808), p. 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Regents of the University of Wisconsin 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip D. Curtin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations