Civic Education

Thomas Peters: One Of The True Founding Fathers Of Freetown

Thomas Peters (ca. 1738-1792) was a courageous Afro-American whose efforts made possible the founding of Freetown.Thomas Peters

He was born a slave in the North American colonies and worked in his master’s flour mill in North Carolina. During the American Revolution, Peters ran away and joined the British Army, becoming a sergeant in the Black Pioneers. When the British lost the war, they evacuated Peters and hundreds of other Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia—but after seven years in Canada, the former slaves had still received no land and were living only on a meagre government ration and suffering from the cold.

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Peters, though poor and uneducated, found the courage to travel to England in search of help for his people. He was in grave danger from the moment he left Canada, as he was still legally a slave in the newly-independent United States, and could have been taken there and sold back into slavery by an unscrupulous sea captain. But Thomas Peters managed to reach London, and he convinced the Sierra Leone Company to send ships to help his people establish a colony in Africa.

He then returned to Nova Scotia and, by sheer force of personality, persuaded over eleven hundred former slaves to join him in the voyage to Sierra Leone. Thomas Peters and his “Nova Scotians” founded Freetown in 1792 near the site of the Province of Freedom, which had been destroyed several years earlier.

But problems soon developed when the white men of the Sierra Leone Company insisted on running the colony as they saw fit. Thomas Peters confronted the English commander, demanding that his people run their own affairs through an elected committee, but he was unsuccessful in his attempt to establish self-rule. He died shortly afterwards, a victim of malaria in the colony’s first rainy season.

Thomas Peters was totally committed to freedom, and fought for it until the very last day of his life. More than anyone else, he exemplifies the spirit of hope and determination that gave birth to the city of Freetown.

Reference: Sierra Leone Web

Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a writer, editor, and storyteller. He was born in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone. Started his primary school at the Bo District Educational Council Primary School, Abu Bakarr Jalloh was the top pupil from primary one to three. In 2005, his family relocated to the capital Freetown where he furthered his primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School, Kissy Road. Abu Bakarr Jalloh became a force to reckon with throughout his primary 4-6 at the Holy Trinity Primary School. In 2008/2009, he enrolled at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Junior Secondary School where he started his JSS 1-3 and he went on to top the list of the best student in the 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examination and also 7th best student in the whole of Port Loko District. In 2011/2012 he attended the Government Municipal Senior Secondary School where he attained his West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in 2015. Abu Bakarr Jalloh is now a student of the Njala University, Njala Campus pursuing a degree in Bsc Agricultural Economics. He is a very brilliant writer, editor, and storyteller that is passionate about telling Sierra Leonean stories undiluted using a mobile phone. He is also keen on highlighting national issues affecting Sierra Leoneans.

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