/free"town'/, n.
a seaport in and the capital of Sierra Leone, in W Africa. 214,000.

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Capital (pop., 1999 est.: metro. area: 822,000) 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.

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 capital, chief port, and largest city of Sierra Leone, on the rocky Sierra Leone Peninsula, at the seaward tip of a range of wooded hills, which were named Serra Leôa (“Lion Mountains”) by the Portuguese navigator Pedro de Sintra when he explored the West African coast in 1462. By the 1650s the increased activity of British, French, Dutch, and Danish trading companies ended the limited degree of Portuguese control over the coastal trade. An English abolitionist (abolitionism), Granville Sharp (Sharp, Granville), selected the site (south of the mouth of the Sierra Leone River) in 1787 as a haven for African slaves, freed and destitute in England. (They were known as the Black Poor.) In 1792 the Sierra Leone Company assumed responsibility and helped settle slaves from Nova Scotia who had fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War, the “Maroons,” runaway slaves of Jamaica, and others from captured slave ships. They were landed at King Jimmy's Watering Place (now a bustling marketplace). 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 all of Great Britain's West African possessions, a position it retained (with slight changes) until 1874. Freetown, incorporated as a municipality in 1893, became the country's capital in 1961.

      Freetown's excellent natural harbour (an important World War II naval base) has deepwater docking facilities at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay. Its exports include palm oil and kernels, cocoa, coffee, ginger, and kola nuts. The city is the country's commercial and transportation centre; industrial enterprises are limited and include diamond cutting, confectionary, paint and shoe enterprises, rice milling, and fish packing. Construction of the Guma Dam has solved Freeport's longtime water problem and provided more electrical power. Hastings Airfield (10 miles [16 km] southeast) handles domestic flights; the international airport at Lungi is across the Sierra Leone River.

      Freetown is the site of Fourah Bay College on Mount Aureol (founded 1827, part of the University of Sierra Leone, 1969), Njala University College (1964), the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology at nearby Goderich (1960), a teachers college, a technical institute, and several government and Christian and Muslim secondary schools. Fort Thornton (1796), now the State House and residence of the president, and the House of Representatives stand on Tower Hill.

      There are several mosques and churches, notably the Anglican St. George's Cathedral (1852). The National Museum, housed in the former Cotton Tree Railroad Station, contains historical documents and traditional wood and stone sculptures. Pop. (2004) 772,873.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Freetown — País …   Wikipedia Español

  • FREETOWN — FREETOW Capitale de la Sierra Leone, Freetown fut fondée une première fois en 1787, puis, après sa destruction, une seconde fois en 1792, sous le nom de Nova Scottian Town; elle devint alors rapidement le point de ralliement de milliers… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Freetown — es la capital y principal puerto y centro comercial de la República de Sierra Leona. Fue fundada en al año 1787 por los ingleses, para alojar allí a los esclavos liberados, de ahí el origen de su nombre (Ciudad Libre) Población (1996): 316.300… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Freetown — (spr. Frihtaun), 1) Hauptstadt des Districtes Sierra Leone auf der Westküste Afrikas, liegt an der Nordspitze der Halbinsel Sierra Leone, hat 11,000 Ew. u. ist der Sitz des Gouverneurs aller Britischen Besitzungen in Westafrika; 2) Städtischer… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Freetown — (spr. frītaun), Hauptstadt der brit. Kolonie Sierra Leone in Westafrika, auf der Nordspitze der Halbinsel Sierra Leone in dem von 700 m hohen Bergen umschlossenen, aber ungesunden Talbecken des Sierre Leone Flusses, ist gut gebaut, hat gerade… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Freetown — (spr. frihtaun), befestigte Hauptstadt der brit. Kolonie Sierra Leone in Westafrika, (1901) 34.463 E.; Hafen; nahe dabei die kleine Universität Fouray Bay …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Freetown — [frē′toun΄] seaport & capital of Sierra Leone, on the Atlantic: pop. 470,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Freetown — Infobox Settlement official name = Freetown, Sierra Leone other name = native name = nickname = settlement type = motto = imagesize = image caption = Aerial view of Freetown flag size = image seal size = image shield = shield size = city logo =… …   Wikipedia

  • Freetown — Wappen Karte Basisdaten Region/Provinz: West …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Freetown —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Libreville. Pour les articles homonymes, voir Freetown (homonymie). Freetown …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Freetown — 1 Original name in latin Freetown Name in other language Fritaun, Funkia, Godrich, Фритаун State code SL Continent/City Africa/Freetown longitude 8.43194 latitude 13.28972 altitude 15 Population 13768 Date 2010 01 29 2 Original name in latin… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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