Ajoti Morgan: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 March 2021:
On this day 11 March 1792, 1,196 black Americans known in history as the Nova Scotian Settlers (Creoles), held a thanksgiving service under a large cotton tree growing at the centre of what became known as the city of Freetown.
This first Baptist service held in Africa, was conducted by David George a freed black Baptist preacher and Nathaniel Gilbert a white preacher.
Between 28 February and 9 March 1792, these Nova Scotian Settlers had arrived on 14 passenger vessels (one additional vessel for luggage) and cleared large swathes of bush and shrubs covering the landscape that is now Freetown. They hoisted the British Union Jack Flag – ”GOD SAVE OUR GRACIOUS KING”…Let Freetown rise.
On this day, 229 years ago, the city of Freetown was named and the second and only permanent Colony of Sierra Leone was officially established.
Among these ‘Nova Scotians’ or ‘Settlers’ who founded the city on that day was a 38-year-old black American originally from Sussex County, Delaware called Anthony Davis.
Davis would prosper in trade and befriend other African American arrivals and visitors, including Paul Cuffe. Davis’ son, George Davis I, travelled to America with Paul Cuffe.
Two generations later, Anthony Davis’ great grandson, George Robert Davis (1861-1920), became a wealthy undertaker, cabinet-maker and businessman who trained the well-known undertaker, William Rainy Lumpkin – aka Alimamy Bungie, Thomas Peters.
Three generations later the Davis family produced among its famous sons a well-known Sierra Leonean businessman, ambassador, and minister.
#NovaScotianSettlers #foundingmothersandfathers #lineage.
About the author
Ajoti Morgan is the Heritage Secretary of the Krio Descendants Union (KDU) – UK/Ireland.
Today, Freetown is home to hundreds of thousands of people who identify themselves as Krio; and possibly millions more across the country who are descendants of freed slaves but do not describe themselves as Krio by birth. The Krio language is now the most popular spoken language in Sierra Leone. Happy Birthday Freetown.