The Europeans - Portuguese, Dutch, French and English who arrived later conducted quick raids when opportunities came and kidnapped several local natives to sell them in different parts of the world. Soon, however , they found local actors willing to partner with them in these vicious but profitable affairs, some chiefs were willing to part with a few of the less desirable members of their tribes for a price, others went into the war business - a bevy of battle captives could be sold for a fortune in European rum, cloth, beads, copper or muskets.
The early slaving was essentialy an export business. The use slaves as labourers by the local Africans appears to have developed only later. It may first have occurred under coastal mulatto chiefs in the late 1700s.
The slave owners were orinally whiteand foreigners, but the late eighteenth century saw the emergence of powerful mulatto slve trading chiefs, who were said to own large no domestic slaves.In the late 1700s, the mulatto chief William Cleveland had a large slve - town on the main land opposite Banana Islands.Rodney has postulated two means by which slaving for export could have caused a local practise of using slaves for labour.
Domestic slavery was abolished in Sierra leone in 1928.