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First settled in the 18th century by freed slaves from America, Nova Scotia and Great Britain, Freetown is a thriving cultural capital on the Atlantic coast of Sierra Leone. Standing in the center of downtown is the majestic cotton tree, a symbol of freedom said to have been standing since the first arrival of the free settlers. Other attractions include numerous beaches and nightclubs, as well as the Sierra Leone Museum, housing the Ruiter Stone and the original drum of Bai Bureh.