In 1808, Sierra Leone became a Crown Colony and Protectorate of the British, and gained modern independence in 1961. Early History and Slavery Earliest contacts with Sierra Leone were originated at the time of the Phoenicians. Later, in 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the harbor’s shaped formation Serra Lyoa (Portuguese for Lion Mountains). The Italian rendering is Sierra Leone, which became the country's name.

 

The Gullah: While modern slave trading originated with the Portuguese in the late 1400’s, during the period of 1530 - 1810, the major slave-trading base in Sierra Leone was Bunce Island, located about 20 miles into the Sierra Leone River, now called the "Freetown Harbor." The British slave traders on Bunce Island sent many of their captives to the rice plantations of South Carolina and Georgia. But some like Gullah people today inhabiting the coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and even Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, were taken to America as hired labor, because of their rice -farming skills. They originally came from the Gola Forests of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

The capital Freetown was established in 1792, by the British and the settlement of Black Loyalists [from the USA] and return of former slaves began. Thousands of slaves were returned to or liberated in Freetown. Most chose to remain in Sierra Leone. These returned Africans were from all areas of Africa. They joined the previous settlers and together became known as Creole or Krio people. Cut off from their homes and traditions by the experience of slavery, they assimilated some aspects of British styles of life and built a flourishing trade on the West African coast. The lingua franca of the colony was Krio, a creole language rooted in eighteenth century African American English, which quickly spread across the region as a common language of trade.

Over 10 millions captured Africans had been shipped to the Caribbean Islands and the Americas.

1961: Independence came in April 1961, and Sierra Leone opted for a parliamentary system within the Commonwealth of Nations.  Election: Next Cycle: 2018: Elections: To be elected president of Sierra Leone, a candidate must gain at least 55 percent of the vote. If no candidate gets the 55 percent requirement, there will be a second-round runoff between the top two candidates with the most votes in the first round. For qualification to be elected President of Sierra Leone, the person must be a Sierra Leonean citizen by birth; should have attained the age of 40 years; should be a member of a political party; and should be able to speak and read the English language.