Christopher Fyfe was a leading expert on Sierra Leone's history and so I had great expectations - and was disappointed. I had hoped to read personal messages from the late 18:th century settlers. Of course most of them could hardly write and few had family or friends with whom they could correspond. In fact this book contains mostly formal petitions to those in authority, written by a more or less professional writer. These are interesting, but not what we usually call letters. Incidentally professional letter writers are still there in West African post offices.