The Choice of Sierra Leone


These minutes of the Black Poor Committee help to show how Sierra Leone was chosen as the new colony. This record appears to show that Sierra Leone was preferred over the Bahamas by Black people in London; but it does not, of course, tell us whether the 'Deputies [representatives] of the Blacks' were portraying the wishes of the majority accurately, nor who these deputies were. A resident of Sierra Leone had apparently assured them that 'all the natives [in Sierra Leone] are fond of the English and would receive them joyfully' - an opinion that, with hindsight, was wildly optimistic.

These minutes also indicate that the Committee was concerned with the presence of 'Asiatic Blacks' in Britain.

T 1/634, no. 1903, f. 86 (26 July 1786)

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