The limits of settler colonialism: Jackson Wood, Perceptions, Promises, And Power: Anna Maria Falconbridge, The Sierra Leone Company, And The Development Of Freetown, 1791-1802, MA dissertation, William & Mary, 2022

16Jan23

Abstract: Suppression, Representation, and Bias: The Sierra Leone Company, Anna Maria Falconbridge, and Portrayals of Indigenous Africans, 1791-1802This paper examines the first decade of Freetown, a British colony in Sierra Leone. Specifically, it analyzes relations between the Sierra Leone Company, the colony’s administrative and governing body, and indigenous Africans in areas surrounding the colony. Although the Sierra Leone Company officially expressed a desire to establish friendship with indigenous Africans (especially the Temne), the Company’s writings betrayed its intent to control and suppress the Temne. This intent becomes amplified when one compares portrayals of the Temne in the Company’s reports to portrayals of the Temne in Anna Maria Falconbridge’s travel narrative, Two Voyages to Sierra Leone (1794). Falconbridge depicted the Temne in much more respectful ways and even included their perspectives on certain events. For Whom and For What? Promises, Perceptions, and the Trajectory of the Settler Colony of Freetown, 1791-1800This paper analyzes relations between the Sierra Leone Company and Freetown’s Nova Scotian settlers. The paper takes as its focal point the journey of two Nova Scotian settlers, Cato Perkins and Isaac Anderson, to London in 1793 to present a petition of grievances to the Sierra Leone Company. Upon careful investigation of this event, this paper argues that the Sierra Leone Company’s belief in its financial generosity played a significant role in its decision to reject Perkins and Anderson’s petition and that the rebellious sentiments which culminated in the attempted Nova Scotian rebellion of September 1800 began during Perkins and Anderson’s journey. Furthermore, this paper claims that Freetown was a settler colony and identifies significant issues surrounding Perkins and Anderson’s journey to London that scholars of settler colonialism should consider when studying settler colonies. Three such issues are promises made to settlers, the opinions of observers, and the perceptions that colonial administrators have of settlers.



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