The Sierra Leone Web



History of Sierra Leone

Significant Dates


ca. 2500 B.C. Beginnings of agriculture, settled life, pottery making.
ca. 600 A.D. Introduction of iron making.
ca. 1450-1700 Mande migrations into Sierra Leone.
1462 Portuguese navigator visits the coast, names the peninsula "Serra Lyoa" (Lion Mountain)
ca. 1540 Mane Invasion.
1727 Futa Jallon Jihad. 
Expansion of Islam.
1787 Province of Freedom established.
1789 Koya Temne destroy colony.
1792 Freetown established.
Arrival of the Nova Scotians.
1800 Arrival of the Maroons
1808 British declare the Crown Colony of Sierra Leone.
Recaptive slaves begin to arrive.
1827 Fourah Bay Institution established.
1845 CMS Grammar School established.
First secondary school in West Africa.
1863 New constitution adopted.
John Ezzidio becomes first African elected to the Legislative Council.
1876 Fourah Bay College affiliated with Durham University.
1884 Samori invasions begin in northern interior.
1896 British declare the Sierra Leone Protectorate.
1898 The 1898 Rebellion ("Hut Tax War") (begins in the South on April 27).
1906 Bo School opens for "the sons and nominees of chiefs."
1908 Railway reaches Pendembu.
1914-1918 World War I
Sierra Leonean troops fight in Cameroon.
1924 New constitution adopted.
Chiefs sit for the first time in the Legislative Council.
1937 Native Administration system established.
1939-1945 World War II
Sierra Leonean troops fight in Burma.
1946 District Councils and Protectorate Assembly established.
1951 New constitution adopted.
Unified governmental system.
Protectorate representatives in the majority.
1961 Sierra Leone achieves independence (April 27).
Sir Milton Margai—1st Prime Minister.
1964 Sir Albert Margai—2nd Prime Minister.
1967 Siaka Stevens appointed Prime Minister. Military coup.
1968 Siaka Stevens—3rd Prime Minister.
1971 Sierra Leone becomes a republic.
Siaka Stevens - 1st Executive President.
1978 Sierra Leone becomes a one-party state under the banner of the All People's Congress.
1985 Major-General J. S. Momoh - 2nd Executive President.