British Anti-Slavery, Trade, and Nascent Colonialism on the Freetown Peninsula, Sierra Leone


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project reveals the impacts of British anti-slavery, local, regional, and state-sanctioned trade on household socio-economic organization at Regent, a Liberated African village on the Freetown Peninsula, Sierra Leone during the early colonial period,1808-1896. It draws on a theoretical framework that connects colonial entanglements, cross-cultural exchange, and materialities to explore how the lives of Africans who were “liberated” from ships embarking from different parts of the West African coast and resettled in a nascent British Crown Colony in Freetown were entangled in the broader regional and global political economy. Using archival documents and material assemblages at Regent village, this project shows how these diverse Africans adapted to this new environment focusing on varied house structures and settlement patterns, and their socio-economic activities and the differences in households’ participation in local, regional, and state-sanctioned trade through the study of the mundane things they made, bought, used, and discarded.