Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city in the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone's major urban, economic, financial, cultural, educational and political centre. The city proper had a population of 772,873 at the 2004 census, As of 2010, the population of Freetown is estimated at 1.2 million. The city's economy revolves largely around its harbor - occupying a part of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River in one of the world's largest natural deep water harbours.As the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown is home to the Sierra Leone House of Parliament, the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone and the State House, the official and principal workplace of the President of Sierra Leone. All of the foreign embassies in Sierra Leone are based in the city.Freetown has an abundance of historical landmarks connected to its founding by African-Americans, liberated African, and West Indians slaves. Freetown is home to the Fourah Bay College, the oldest university in West Africa, founded in 1827. The university not only played a key role in Sierra Leone’s colonial history, but also a key role in the history of the English-speaking West-African nations.The massive Cotton Tree, which has stood in central Freetown for over 500 years, represents the historic symbol of Freetown . The "Cotton Tree" gained importance in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, held a large gathering on their arrival in Freetown under this big tree praying and singing hymns to thank God for their deliverance to a free land.Close to the Cotton Tree are the Sierra Leone Supreme Court Building and the Sierra Leone Museum. In downtown Freetown is the Connaught Hospital, the first modern hospital constructed in West Africa in 1912 .Freetown is one of Sierra Leone's six municipalities and is locally governed by a directly elected city council, headed by a mayor. The mayor and members of the Freetown City Council are directly elected every four years by the residents of Freetown. The municipality of Freetown is politically divided into three regions: East End Freetown, Central Freetown, and West End Freetown, which are subdivided into wards.The population of Freetown is ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. The city is home to a large population of virtually all of the country's ethnic groups, with no single ethnic group forming a majority of the city's population. As in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio language is the city's primary language of communication and is by far the most widely spoken language in the city.Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Football is by far the most popular sport in Freetown. The Sierra Leone National Football Team, widely known as the Leone Stars, play all of their home game at the National Stadium in central Freetown. Eight of the fourteen clubs in the Sierra Leone National Premier League, the top football league in Sierra Leone, are from Freetown, including East End Lions and Mighty Blackpool, the two biggest and most famous football clubs in Sierra Leone. Freetown also has dozens of clubs in the lower divisions of the Sierra Leone football league.popular football clubsBritain planted a colony in the area in 1787 as a place to relocate black poor from London, but it was overcome by native hostility. In 1792 the city of Freetown was founded as a colony for freed slaves by Nova Scotian abolitionist John Clarkson, who had fought on the British side during the American Revolutionary War. The settlers called their new settlement Freetown. Around 500 freed Jamaican slaves made the journey to Freetown in 1800 through the Sierra Leone Company. During the next decades, thousands of freed African American, West Indian and Liberated Africans came to Freetown as settlers, through the Sierra Leone Company. Their descendants are known today as the Sierra Leone Creole people.