country in W Africa, on the Atlantic, between Guinea & Liberia: formerly a British colony, it became independent in 1961; a republic since 1971: 27,925 sq mi (72,325 sq km); pop. 3,518,000; cap. Freetown
See Sierra Leone in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A country of western Africa on the Atlantic coast. Inhabited by the Temne when the Portuguese first visited the coast in 1460, the region was later settled by Mande-speaking peoples from present-day Liberia. In 1792 freed slaves were brought from Nova Scotia to found the colony of Freetown, which was transferred to British administration in 1808. The region became a British protectorate in 1896 and achieved independence in 1961. Sierra Leone became a republic in 1971. Freetown is the capital and the largest city. Population: 6,140,000.