audio by title black history fact of the day 6
1:04 minutes (254.02 KB)
In 1787 first ships left in the unsuccessful attempt to resolve ‘the problem of the black poor’ by resettling them in Sierra Leone. Many of these people arrived in Britain after enlisting in the English army during the American war of independence in 1775. The ill-fated experiment was supported by parliament but after initial enthusiasm it was criticized by leading black intellectuals of its time Cugoano and Equiano. Ultimately, only 400 prospective settlers left and after a harsh journey only a little over half of them arrived alive. The colony was largely unsuccessful.