The Tuckers of Sherbro are an Afro-European clan in the Southern region of Sierra Leone and they ruled as chiefs in Gbap. The clans progenitors were an English trader and agent, John Tucker (merchant), and a Sherbro princess. Along with the Caulkers, the Tuckers became one of the two most powerful Afro-European chiefdoms in the Sherbro country. The Tuckers were also one of the three most notorious Afro-European slave trading clans in West Africa alongside the Rogerses and the Caulkers.
In the 1620s, England had a number of agents in the Sherbro region of Sierra Leone; these traders mostly purchased camwood and other such items and traded with the locals. In the late 17th century, the Gambia Adventurers and the Royal African Company began sending many agents to the region. In 1665, an agent in the service of the Gambia Adventurer called John Tucker left England and went to Sierra Leone alongside Zachary Rogers (prognator of the Afro-European clan the Rogerses). Upon arriving in Sherbro Country, John Tucker and Zachary Rogers took Sherbro daughters of a ruling chiefdom as their wives. Multiple children were born to these unions. The children of John Tucker and the Sherbro princess gained control of their mother's kingdom and utilised their father's name. These multiracial children then became powerful traders and middlemen between African and European business interests during the 17th and 18th centuries. The Tuckers eventually became one of the most influential and prominent Sherbro families during the 17th and 18th centuries and established and expanded a powerful chiefdom. The only other Afro-European clan to rival the Tuckers were the Caulkers, and the two families intermarried. The Tuckers maintained strong ties with their European connections and this only helped them expand their influence over the Sherbro trade industry. They remained thoroughly 'Africanised' and were able to gain control of more territory for their chiefdoms.
The Tuckers are still a well known, prominent family in Sierra Leone and are known for their distinctive looks particularly their 'big eyes'. Many Tuckers hold positions of power in Sherbro society even today and are known for their strong emphasis on a good education. All of the Tuckers in Southern Sierra Leone are descendants of the first John Tucker and his African bride. Though the European connection is all but gone, the Tuckers are still very westernized in their style of dress and behavior. Through historical intermarriages, some Tuckers are related to the Caulkers, Rogerses, and Clevelands of today. The Tucker family history has an oral testimony and a written testimony, both of which maintain their own traditions about their European ancestor.
Not all 'Tuckers' in Sierra Leone are descendants of John Tucker; some are Krios who are descendants of the Nova Scotian settlers who were African American slaves resettled in Freetown, Sierra Leone after the American Revolution.
- Patricia Kabbah- late First Lady of Sierra Leone and late wife of President Kabbah
- Peter L. Tucker-Chairman of the Law Reform in Sierra Leone
- Henry Tucker -a powerful Merchant prince during the mid-18th century
- B. J. Tucker - an NFL Football Player
- Harrison Tucker - Late Ambassador and Chair of Black and Hispanic Studies Department of Bernard Baruch College
- Hon Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie - former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Sierra Leone
- Richelieu Dennis, co-founder of the personal care line Shea Moisture, his grandmother was a descendant of the Sherbro Tuckers. In 1912, Sofi Tucker established the family tradition and craft of making and selling handmade shea butters and African black soaps in Sierra Leone, passing the recipes down to her grandson.
- My father, Theodore Williamson Taylor, was a native of Kissy in Sierra Leone; on
my paternal side, my grandmother was the daughter of King Tucker of Sherbro ...
Adam Jones History in Africa, Vol. 10, 1983 (1983), pp. 151–162
TUCKER, PETER L. The Tuckers of Sierra Leone 1665-1914: a history of trade and. British Colonisation of Sherbro Land
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