The Iconic Cotton Tree

In Digital, Inspiration, Landscapes, Nature
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On my last post, I shared images of our homecoming trip to Sierra Leone. The very last image I shared on that post was of Freetown’s Iconic Cotton Tree. Little did I know that the tree, which stood for several hundred years in Sierra Leone, would come down a mere 5 months after capturing that image.

As a tribute to the Cotton Tree, which was one of Sierra Leone’s most famous landmarks, I wanted to share more images I captured of this symbol of freedom. These mighty branches are, unfortunately, no more.

A group of formerly enslaved Africans gathered and prayed under the shade of the tree, upon reaching the peninsula, in 1792. It became known as a symbol of freedom, and marked the skyline of Freetown. The National Museum, the central Post Office, and the country’s highest court were built around it.

As our family gathered around the Cotton Tree back in December, we could feel the importance of this tree. How grandly it stood in the middle of city. We were honored, and simply taken aback, at how majestic this beautiful tree was.

As photographers, we forget how our images withstand the test of time. Many things we capture today, may. not be here tomorrow. With our cameras, we get to stop time for just a moment. That’s how I feel when I look at these images.

I am reminded what a treasure it is to have memories of the Cotton Tree, as well as tangible photographs of our experience there.

Never think that your photos don’t matter. An insignificant capture one day, may mean the world to you the next.



  1. What a majestic tree. And so symbolic for enslaved Africans too. It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear of its demise.

  2. How devastating that it’s gone. I’m glad you had a chance to see and photograph it.

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