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Trinidad & Tobago
A brief New-World History


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  THE MAIN Kingdoms of Europe seemed always at war. It would take all the time between the discovery of these West Indian Islands, their agonising birth, to the childhood they have attained today, for that Europe to arrive at this modicum of peace and civility that we have pause to call life at the dawn of the new Millennium. During that time, the peoples of Europe displayed themselves to be far more barbaric and uncivilised than the resident civilisations that they were to inevitably displace and make extinct. They had even, during that period, supported themselves with a view that was quite the reverse. History sadly records differently. It is conservatively estimated that in the making of this New World, bravery aside, some 10 million [UR1] indigenous homo sapiens perished; with an astonishing equal number of around 10 million [PA&FH] displaced from their African homes to enter slavery, out of which more than 2 million were to perish from its direct effects. Within this assessment remains unaccounted the cost to themselves, as they variously plotted the fate of these islands, leaving indelible cultural marks, and to the fact that the main Kingdoms of Europe seemed always at war.

Woodcut. A Swiss print of 1493 - Naked Indians cower as Spaniards row ashore
from their galley

COLUMBUS   1st Voyage 1492 - 1493

  THE NEWS of Spain's successes in discovery of The Indies on the far shores of the Ocean Sea, would have spread rapidly around Europe after Columbus' return.
  Christopher Columbus himself drafted a widely read letter which he penned during his return in 1493, from his 1st voyage. A Swiss edition, from which the fanciful illustration of the Admiral's Arrival is shown [NG2], attests not only to the socio-artistic prejudices of the period, but also to the latitude of interest it generated, in the north of Europe, north from the shores of Spain.
  The news would have set imaginations alight in many a Kingdom; and those in power to do so, would have made plans at the soonest opportunity to gain intelligence for themselves, as to the reality of such a remarkable story.
  The initial misconception of Columbus that he had discovered a route to The Indies of Asia was due mainly to errors in cartography prevalent to the times; he was otherwise an excellent mariner, other short-comings aside. The Greek an Arab texts on which he is reputed to have based his calculations for the circumference of the earth, were 25 percent deficient to reality; and no-one realised that the seas that we today call the Atlantic and Pacific, were not the same; and that there was a land-mass in between [NG1].

Naked Indians cower as Spaniards row ashore from their galley
© New York Public Library

Isula Hispania
Island of Spain

TRINIDAD    4,828 sq km ( 1,864 sq miles )
  For Trinidad ( where Tobago only joins Trinidad for a parallel history in 1889 ) the Spanish reign following Columbus' landfall and naming in 1498, would last some 300 years till its end; with true British occupation beginning in 1797.
  Trinidad would consequently be ruled by only two empires, the Spanish for 299 years and the British for 179 years, before enjoining the twin-island Republic in 1976; which approximates to 478 years of foreign rule, 24 of self-rule, in 502 years of New World existence to the turn of the New Millennium.

  It was Alonzo Perez Nirando, at about noon on Tuesday 31
st July 1498, who first sighted from the high rigging in the main-top, La Trinity - as Columbus had already decided to call the first land he expected to discover on this, his third voyage. The range of three mountains that was first observed, gave Columbus pause to reflect that he was well favoured by the grace of God. [FC, CC -TBOT]

  Some historians cite the hills to the south of today's Trinidad, the consequently named Trinity Hills of the southern range, as those first sighted by Nirando; but this is highly unlikely. More probable is the silhouette outlined by Mount Tamana, the most easterly prominent component of the central range, together with the high peaks of the northern range, making up the triad; if not, the peaks of the northern range alone; as seen from a distance of some 15 leagues [FC -TBOT] ( 40[MapJW] - 45[CE] statute miles / 64 - 72 km ) out to sea; due East of the island.

  The Amerindian name for the island, thought to have been in common use since 1000 AD, was Ieri the land of the humming bird [JH]. This name is still in use today, with a slight French variation, and in a very subtle almost private turn of phrase in friendship with a strong warm gladdening and festive connotation. Iëre. Ah feelin Iëre.

  •      Try this link for a view on our Amerindian Pre-History on the TOBAGO HOME website.

    1498 - 1783
      Trinidad would remain essentially underdeveloped for just 16 years short of the the first 300 years under Spanish occupation; their attentions focused elsewhere, until around the early 1780's. Established settlement took about the first 80 years; with the newcomers activities directed towards their failed settlements, pearl fishing, raids on the Amerindians to use as local and exported slaves, countering ferocious attacks by the Amerindians; before the establishment of the town San José de Oruña (St Joseph), which remained marginally subsistent for virtually another 200 years.
      The town was founded by Don Antonio Sedeño, who had left the island in 1532 after initial failure, but was finally settled in 1577 by his associate Don José de Oruña [DH-TBOT]; and was named as the capital (1592 to 1783) when the Spanish Governor of Trinidad and Guyana, Don Antonio de Barrio y Oruña arrived in 1592 [TBOT].
      Island Government at the time constituted a Cabildo led by the Alcaldes (Spanish appointed Governor as Presidente + Magistrates) who in turn appointed member Reglidores (Couincilmen) from leading houses of the community. Some other functionaries were Reglidore Fiel Executore, Precurador Syndic and Assessor. [PB, KS - TBOT; JCPP]

      [ The early settlers are led by the Conquistadores ( eg. Sedeño, Ponce de Leon, de Barrio y Oruña etc... and others ) who use Trinidad as a stepping-stone on their quest for the fabled El Dorado - Processing - tojo ]

      Sir Walter Raleigh made a brief mark in the name of Elizabeth I of England when he; discovered the Pitch Lake from which he took material to caulk his ship in March; and at 04:00 am, Friday 8th April 1595, sacked and burnt Trinidad's first Spanish capital, San José de Oruña. [SAG-TBOT]

      Following the establishment of Spanish settlement, began the task of quelling and enslaving the native Amerindian population. The encomiendas system was used; parcels of large estates or villages in which the Amerindians were forced to work for, and pay tribute to, the encomiendo - the privileged Spaniard who had been given the Grant. Four encomiendas were established, and still remain in name today, as villages or towns. Acangua (San Juan), Arauca (Arouca), Tacarigua (Same) and Caura ( at Orange Grove, not the village we now call Coura [BB]  ). They were linked by an Amerindian path, from Acangua to Arauca, that is now part of the Eastern Main Road [BB]. The encomiendas were abolished in 1716 [BB-TBOT].

    Roggeveen (1675) - Trinidad and Tabago - Press for Ref  In 1677 buccaneer the Marquis de Mantenon in the Socière frigate, aided by some other buccaneers from the island of Tortuga, who had escaped from imprisonment from Cadez, ravaged Trinidad; their plunder amounted to 100,000 pieces of eight [DH-TBOT].

      Between 1687 to 1708[abolished] Capuchin missionaries, controlled by the Spanish [BB-TBOT], were to successfully harangue the decimated indigenous Amerindians who survived the growing culture-shock of invasion and the ravages of imported disease, into accepting Christianity. These missionaries also worked within the encomiendas [BB-TBOT].
      Some of the missionary settlements that were established for the purpose, survived as Amerindian villages well into the late 1700's and beyond. (Notably: Savanna Grande [Princess Town - BB], Guayria, Savenetta and Montserrate.) [BB-TBOT]. Later, ordinary Spanish Catholic priests would carry on from where the Capuchin left off. Of these mission villages, Toco, Siparia and Savanna Grande (Princess Town) survive as villages or towns today; as they were used to collect the last of the surviving Amerindians from other missions and the old encomiendas, in a move made in 1793 [BB].

      In 1716 the pirate Edward Black Beard Tench committed sad depravations in the Gulf of Paria [DH-TBOT].

      1774 the seat of Government temporarily moved to Puerto de Los Hispanioles. [TBOT]

      A Spanish decree of 1776 authorises foreign Catholics rights to settlement in Trinidad and other Spanish colonies [BB-TBOT].

      1777 Phillippe Rose Roune de Saint Laurent as a foreign Catholics from French Grenada, visits Trinidad to ascertain its potential for settlement [BB-TBOT]. ( See Tobago 1786 )

      In 1782 the variety Otaheite sugar-cane, the breadfruit** and bamboo* introduced into the island by St. H Bagoratt from Martinique. [DH-TBOT]
      [ *Bamboo seems a bit odd here as it appears native to the island; but could, at length, be correct. What remains of interest is; that we have here an English translation of what is perhaps a French manifest. Now Otaheite cane is also known as Bourbon, which may have been mistranslated; or perhaps more likely, there is also a cane variety, popular in Hawaii, called Rose Bamboo [HFM]. ]
      [**A major food-bearer and a native to the islands off the Java peninsula, breadfruit - artocarpus incisa - was imported into the West Indies from around 1780's; when it's use was for providing food for the slaves. This introduction was unpopular at first. It also has the historical novelty of being the cargo - 1,000 trees bound for the West Indies from Tahiti - aboard the mutinous Bounty in 1787 [HFM].]

      1783 The Cedula of Population
      In 1783 The Cedula of Population allowed the French and their slaves to emigrate from the French colonies to this island in large numbers, finally stimulating the economic development of the island; ironically by the French under the rule of the Spanish.

      In 1785 black slavery is legalised [TBOT]. Not all blacks are slaves however, and Trinidad is becoming cosmopolitan.

      1787 Mr Picot de Lapeyrouse establishes the first sugar estate and factory in Trinidad [DH-TBOT]. (The site of the Lapeyrouse Cemetary, in Port of Spain, today.)
    Land of the Humming Bird

    THOSE who eat the cascadura will, the native legend says,
    Wheresoever they may wander, end in Trinidad their days.
    And this lovely fragrant island, with its forest hills sublime,
    Well might be the smiling Eden pictured in the Book divine.
    Cocoa woods with scarlet glory of the stately Immortelles,
    Waterfalls and fertile valleys, precipices, fairy dells,
    Rills and rivers, green savannahs, fruits and flowers and odours rich,
    Waving sugar cane plantations and the wondrous lake of pitch.
    Oh! the Bocas at the daybreak – how can one describe that scene!
    Or the little emerald islands with the sapphire sea between!
    Matchless country of Iere, fairer none could ever wish.
    Can you wonder at the legend of the cascadura fish ?
    Iere - The land of the Humming Bird
    From History of the West Indies
    Nelson’s West Indian Readers
    Compiled by JC Cutteridge
    Book III, Lesson 9, Pg 42,43
    © 1984 Nelson Caribbean

      On the 16
    th February 1797, Admiral Henry Harvey brings a British fleet into Trinidad waters; consisting, 7 ships-of-the-line, 2 frigates, 8 corvettes, 1 bomb vessel and 2 transports.
      By 02:00 am on 18
    th February 1797 by order of Vice-Admiral Don Sebastian Ruiz de Apodaca, the Spanish fleet is afire in Chaguaramas Bay as; 4 ships-of-the-line Arrogante, Gallardo (Flag), San Damaso and San Vincente; and frigate Santa Cecilia are scuttled. Only the San Damaso survives, with some damage, and is towed back to the position of the anchored British fleet in daylight.
      On 18
    th February, General Sir Ralph Abercromby presses a mainly peaceable surrender, by capitulation of the now capital town of Puerto de Los Hispanioles (Port of Spain) from Spanish Governor Chaçon; to begin the British rule of Trinidad in 1797.
      The historic assessment of this transition reveals some illuminating features of character for both the General and the Governor. Chaçon is believed to have wanted capitulation as an outcome, rather than surrender, from the onset of the appearance of the British fleet. He is believed to have commanded that no defensive engagements were to be actioned, but that his meagre forces were to however display a bold readiness for combat. Abercromby's land forces were superior in strength and were strategically excellently placed. It is attested that Abercromby's message of capitulation was extremely polite, and that Chaçon's conciliation's were similar in reply and that the hand-over was amicable to the highest degree of conviviality. Chaçon further negotiating an extraordinarily clear, practical and concise treaty of rule for the island. An unusual agreeability that would leave the island under British rule, but following Spanish laws, until this situation was changed some 50 years later.
      In April 1797, Abercromby leaves Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Picton as Commandant and first British Governor of Trinidad [TBOT].

      On 1
    st August 1799 M. Gallagher publishes the islands first newspaper The Trinidad Weekly Courant. [TBOT]

      1802 Treaty of Amiens
      Through the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, between Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain and Britain; the British agreed to restore all the colonies she had captured to their former owners, except Trinidad; which Spain ceded to Britain [RG&SH].

      The trade in slaves to Trinidad is outlawed in 1806; and Britain outlaws trading of slaves from Africa in 1807. But slaves owned by immigrants may still enter the island, unaffected by this law [BB].

      The great fire of Port of Spain on 24
    th March 1808, lasted in the main only an hour, and completely devastated 12 blocks of the central town and damage 9 others [CO]. The fire consumed around 435 principal houses/stores and destroyed most public buildings including Government House, the Hospital, the Town Hall, the Public Goal, the Customs House, a Protestant Church, and took part of the Public archives' and Treasurers Offices. It made about 4,500 people homeless and cindered property and goods estimated to have valued 3.5 Million Dollars of the day. It caused the administration to enact new and stricter building regulations for the town [CF-TBOT].
      Disputed as to the certainty and story of its cause; its place of origin however noted; it is recorded that one Dr/Mr Shaw (confessed [CF]) who had already caused fires in Martinique and New York, a firebug of international disrepute, had fallen asleep in his privy with a lighted taper in his hand [CO].

      By Order-in-Council passed by the British government for the Crown Colony Trinidad, The Registration of Slaves ( or Registry ) Bill, was introduced to the island in 1812 ( later to St Lucia in 1814 ); an amelioration or half way measure towards the abolition of slavery [RG&SH].

      1815 - 1816.
      Britain and its former colony of America were at war in the western territories of the US bordering Canada between 1812 and 1814. Britain had raised companies of men from both Europe and its Colonies, some of whom were Free Black Men [RG&SH]. In 1815, fifty of these free black men arrived to settle in Trinidad. In 1816, 34 men, 15 women and 7 children formed another batch of these war heroes. Members from five companies came to settle at the expense of the British Colonial Government. Most went to 2nd Company Village woman and child (1820) Richard Bridgens - [TBOT]settle in villages near Princess Town, naming the village after the company to which they belonged [TBOT].
      The free Negro population… was augmented in 1816 by American Negros who had been enlisted by the British from among the slaves of the Southern States of America during the Virginian war of 1812-1813. As it was impossible to remit them again to slavery, about 1,000 of them were disbanded and settled in the South of Trinidad and in Manzanilla. Six companies of about 80 men each became backwoodsmen. Three others under Mandingo priests became Mohammedans. Every man in the American settlements, as they were called, received 15 acres of land whether he had a family or not. One company was lost at sea on the voyage to Trinidad. Their were established in areas named First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Company [OC].
      Some of the soldiers of the American settlements were settled in villages in the area around Manzanilla after 1815. Many had been born in Africa and some were Muslems. They spoke a special language, Manzanillan, made up of English, French and African words [BB].
      The villages Third and Sixth Company, near Princess Town, still exist today. ( See Tobago 1816 )

      Port of Spain became a City after the completion of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception; the first cathedral to be built in the town, the corner stone laid on 24th March 1816 [CO].

      In 1826 literary references to Carnival in Trinidad begin to appear [CO].

      Arguably [SAG-TBOT] through the representations of Dr Jean-Baptiste Phillipe, a coloured Trinidadian who wrote the book A Free Mulatto, all free colourds', if not in practice, became free by rule of law in 1829 [BB].

      On 1
    st August 1834 sees The Abolition of Slavery in Trinidad; but slavery is maintained through Apprenticeship.
      At mid-night on the 31
    st July 1838 The Apprenticeship of Slaves ends.
      On 1
    st August 1838 Slavery ENDS, The Emancipation of Slaves is complete in Trinidad, and all slaves are now FREE [McLR, BB].

    th[BB-TBOT] 30th[PG,ICR-TBOT] May 1845 [TBOT] The sail Fatel Rozack arrives in Trinidad bringing the first of the East Indian indentured labourers from Calcutta, India. They were the first to endure the long passage crossing the kali pani [BB], the dark waters. This venture was the beginning of an era of immigration that was to see by its close some 143,939 indentured labourers enter Trinidad [BB]. ( See Trinidad & Tobago 1845 - 1917 )

      In April 1847 [EB] the Lady McLeod Trinidad stamp was the first stamp to be issued in any British Colony, and was a private issue.

    (copy) The Lady McLeod Trinidad Stamp - 1847 - [P4-TBOT] THE LADY McLEOD
    The SS Lady McLeod once a week Gulf Service

    100 passengers, 60 tonns; 2 x 30 Hp engines, 12 knots.
    The steamer Leaves on Saturdays.
  • From PoS Start 6:00 am; Couva, San Fernando, La Brea by 11:00 am; Bound for Cedros.
  • Leaves La Brea 2:30 pm; 5 hours clear at the Pitch lake, to return to PoS by 7:30 pm.
  • [ MA-TBOT - Port of Spain Gazette (extracts) 12th September; 26th December 1845 The boat arrived on Thursday. ]
      The SS Lady McLeod arrived in Trinidad on Thursday, Christmas day 1845; Christmas was not a special holiday at that time.

    The Lady McLeod Trinidad stamp
      David Bryce, a businessman of Port of Spain, Trinidad, had imported a wood burning paddle boat in December 1845 [MA-TBOT - PoSG], to operate a coastal goods and passenger service in the gulf between Port of Spain and the south of the island. He named the boat the SS Lady McLeod. This was in honour to the wife of the Governor of the day; Sir Henry McLeod (g1840-1845) [MA-TBOT].
      This Port of Spain to San Fernando weekly service carried the mail [MA-TBOT]. It would carry mail at a rate of 5¢ per letter, but was plagued by the problem of running out of change when customers would pay with large coins [EB].
      In April 1847 [EB], Bryce issued his own postage stamp, the five cents blue Lady McLeod, the first stamp to be issued in any British Colony. The stamp was from a wood cut and bears the picture of the vessel above the inscription LMcL [MA-TBOT]. Larger amounts could be purchased on sheet for $4.00 per 100. The stamps were cancelled by pen in the form of a cross [EB].
      The blue Lady McLeod is one of the rarest stamps in the philatelic world, is much sought after by collectors, and commands an exceedingly high value.
      EB = E Barrow - The Trinidad and Tobago Philatelic Page

      In 1857 the Merrimac Oil Company of the USA drilled one of the worlds first oil-wells, at La Brea. Operations abandoned within a year [TBOT]. ( See incert Oil Pioneers )

      Oil is next discovered and produced in Aripero, Trinidad, by Walter Darwent in 1865. It remains an underdeveloped and almost forgotten resource following his death by yellow fever in 1868 [BB]. ( See incert Oil Pioneers )

      In 1868 All types of drumming, at East Indian and African religious meetings; the practice of dancing to them, along with the bangee or chac chac or the carrying of any lighted torches, were banned by the police authorities [GM].

      In 1889 Tobago was placed under the administrative control of the Trinidad Government. The Crown Colony of Trinidad and Tobago is established [BB]. ( See Trinidad & Tobago 1889 )
    Spanish Gold Coins [ATC]
      Pirates took time to accumulate in the West Indies. A body and a cause were needed; thieves and plunder.
      The north-west coast of the large island of Hispaniola is considered to have been an original pirate habitat. Here wild pigs and cattle, and other animals, were hunted and barbecued ( boucan which defines the translated word buccaneer ) - a process of smoke-drying and preserving meat and fish that they had learnt from the Amerindians. The pirates would supply passing ships in that important channel between the island and Cuba. A vast and uncontrollable coastline, the Spanish, considering their monopoly infringed, so began killing the wildlife to displace the interlopers. The strategy developed a hatred for the Spanish among the hunters, a memory that would drive their later reciprocities with a deep vengeance.
      The body formed mainly from the runaways and the dispossessed, from ships, and flotsam and jetsam or refugees of failed colony economics; together with escaped slaves and indentured servants who had nowhere else to go. Their numbers harboured the misfits and the secretive, and in general they were the dregs of humanity, no matter what romantic attributes their exploits may have collected over distance and time. They were lawless though bound as - frères de la côte - brethren of the coast, ran by the crooked but rigid code of thieves - les coutumes de la côte - the customs of the coast, and were in the main - deadly.
      To become a pirate of any worth, a boat was needed. Unless beginning as a rogue captain having a boat; most started their enterprise by following a standard pattern. Unwary sailors, lured by shore-trade goods like dried meat and provisions, would be boarded and killed by radier parties, who would approach in smaller boats. The pirates would then use the larger boat, to attack even bigger ones, and so on. When the boat they liked using got battered or too leaky by rot or worms, they would attempt a raid for a better boat as a replacement. If their boat was provisioned or stocked with goods at the time, they would go stear-to a convenient port, or shore, to effect transfer; and then scuttle the old boat, usually by firing it. Otherwise they would just transfer at sea. Needless to say that all souls aboard the raided boat were lost, unless a worth of ransom was established.

      Francisco Pazarro (c 1478 [P]; m1541) probably got as close to the realisation of the dream of El Dorado, as any man has ever or since, when for ransom of the Inca God Atahualpa in 1532, he received gold and silver enough to fill three rooms of an Inca palace. In an act of barbarism, he killed Atahualpa, then colonised Peru; establishing Ciudad de los Reyes (Lima) in 1535. Fate murdered Pazarro when he fell at the hands of supporters to his rival Diego de Almagro [NG1].
      Pazarro in another act of barbarism, common to the excessive greed of the day; "They hungered like pigs for that gold" sneered an Aztec observer [NG1]; had the incredible gold and silver artefacts of the Incas melted down into ingots for export to Spain. These crudely cast metal ingots from this period ( after 1521 - Aztec; after 1532 - Inca ) were known as tumbaga [ATC].
      The tumbaga displayed, represents a rare find indeed, as these ingots were quickly converted to coin in Spain, and few examples survive. This ingot, one of just over 200, was discovered in 1992 from a shipwreck off Grand Bahama Island; has been period dated to between 1521-35.
      Tagged M101, 5.7 Kg (12.6 lbs), 15x35x1.8 cm and of 45% silver in purity; it represents such small remains to the rich cultural craft and heritage of a past Aztec civilisation. It carries the mark RC-BV; attributed to the assayer Bernardino Vasques, who was assigned to Hernán Cortés [ATC] (b1485; d1547 [P]); who raised the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan to found México City in 1521 [NG1].
    tumbaga_1521to35_ag45pc_12lb6_m101_rcbv_15x35x1cm8_hcortez_3_t101  [ATC]

      Minted at Potosí, with an assayer mark Q; a typical silver coin of denomination 8 reales - known as pieces of eight - weight 25.9 gms and with a diameter of 40 mm (1.6 in). Coins, and silver ingots - cobs - weighing in at some 27 - 32 Kg (60 - 70 lbs), were the treasures that Spain reaped from this fabled mine. This coin was recovered from the Spanish treasure galleon, Nuestra Señora de Atocha, that sank in a hurricane when driven onto the coral reefs near the Marquesas, off Key West, Florida, on the 6th September 1622 [ATC].
    8reales_potosi_qassay_25gms9_40mm_atocha_1622_99167_4  [ATC]
      Following Pazarro, later explorers were to discover other treasure in the region of Peru. 'Take no silver from this hill. It is destined for other owners' was the oracle of legend to a past Inca ruler who had come to mine the hill Potosí.
      Using local Amerindians as slaves; from 1545 after is discovery, Spain derived some 20 million Kgs of silver revenue in the long term from this present day Bolivian site. The mine is known to have been in operation since 1553 [NG1], and to have operated as a mint for coins from around 1574 [ATC]. Although assisting in the revival of many European economies through its presence, this wealth could not stall Spain's own losses to pirates, inflation at home, and the detrimental costs of her extended military campaigns [NG1].
    potosi_bolivia_hispanic_society_of_america_2b  [NG3]
      Another find from the ill fated Atocha of 1622; this silver ingot cast in Potosí, was one of 16 that represented the wealth of a Martin Salgado, a home-bound official of Ciudad de los Reyes; who here perished with his wife, servants and his teenage daughter [ATC].
      Manifest item 567, ley purity 2380 or 99.2% silver, 39.6x12x8 cm, and weighing 80.37 troy lbs; just shows the fabulously high value of the Potosí mine. Partially dated as 162[x] [ATC]; it may be closly supposed that this ingot was cast between-times of the biannual Spanish treasure shipments; thus dated 1621-22.
    manifest567_potosi_classfactor0p9_fineness2380_ag99p2pc_troy80p37lbs_39p6x12x8cm_date162x_4_98021  [ATC]
      The plunder was supplied unwittingly at first by the Spanish; her ships and her colonies.

      It took about 50 years before the trigger of piracy was pulled in the mid 1500's; as soon as it was realised that the lumbering Spanish galleons were carrying the pillaged spoils of the Aztec ( Cortéz 1521-22 [NG1] ), Mayan ( Cortéz 1524-26 [NG1] ), and Inca ( Pizarro after 1532 [NG1] ) empires back to Spain. But the main target was in the wealth of bullion, coins and gems destined to be carried by the biannual treasure convoys to Spain [ATC]. Gold, silver and emeralds began flowing out of four mining centres - two in Mexico; one in Peru; and the fabled Potosí silver mine ( 1545 [NG1] ) of present day Bolivia [HH].
      This wealth was accumulated at territorial storehouses on the mainland before transhipment to Havana, Cuba, for the final leg of the journey to Spain. Vera Cruz for New Spain ( the Mexican ) region. Portobelo ( fed later via Panama ) for Peru and lands to the south-west; some via Callo ( Lima ). Cartagena for New Granada ( Colombia ) and main-lands east [ATC].
      Many coins were minted in the Americas and were to stimulate commerce in Europe [NG1] through Spain's reckless military expenditure.
      Pirates would operate in the Caribbean well into the early part of the 19th Century. Their first 75 years of infestation in the region, coinciding with the transformation to the buccaneers in the early part of the 17th Century, beginning at around 1625. This infamous period of activity would pass just under 75 years later; when the last of the French buccaneers turned to settlement and a planters life in St Domingue ( Later to become Haiti ), following the peace between England and France, by the Treaty of Ryaswick in 1697. But the pirates would remain.
      Boucanier to the French, who preferred to call themselves filibustiers; or vrij-bueters to the Dutch; the freebooters to the English, who adopted for themselves the derivative buccaneers.

      Tiny Providence Island ( Santa Catalina ) some 257 km (160 miles) due East of central Nicaragua was a Puritan foundation. Because of its location near to Spanish shipping lanes around the isthmus of Panama and the Yucatan peninsular, it soon degenerated into a base for pirates. It was first used by the pirate Anthony Hilton in 1629. It was destroyed as a base by the Spanish in 1634 and again in 1641. Later it was recaptured by Mansfield in 1665, and then by Morgan in 1670.

      Pirates attacked anyone, and were generally men without allegiance to any nation [HH]. Privateers bore some closer allegiances to their nations of origin, and at times would act on their behalf, at a price; but some would renege even here, and pillage their own.
    • Jean Florin ( ???? ), before he was beheaded by the Spanish, confessed that he had robbed and sunk one hundred and fifty Spanish ships. He was one of the first using French corsairs to raid the Spanish galleons when Francis I ( b1494, d1547 [P] ) of France was king [HH].
    • Captain François Pegleg le Clerk (1555) led French corsairs who sacked Havana and held the rich for ransom [HH].
    • Sir John Hawkins ( b1532, d1595 [P] ), was initially a slave smuggler ( 1562 [P] ) and a privateer; one of the first encouraged by Queen Elizabeth I ( a1558-1603 ) who eventually knighted him [HH]; (1588) acted to help defeat the Spanish Armada.
    • Sir Francis Drake ( c 1540; beheaded 1596 [P] tol ); began his career as the captain of one of Hawkins' small ships [HH]; (1567) traded in slaves after a raid on the African coast [NG1]; ( 1577 to 1580 ) [HH] sailed around the world in The Golden Hind [P]; and in glory when he went raiding Her Majesty's enemies around the world [HH]; knighted by Queen Elizabeth I. Victorious in raids on Santo Domingo, Havana, Cartagena, Panama and St Augustine in Florida [HH]; (1587) he destroyed a number of Spanish Ships in Cádiz harbour [P]; (1588) under Lord Howard, acted to help defeat the Spanish Armada [P]. Drake never considered himself reprehensible. His fighting was against England's foes [HH].
    • Captain William Kidd ( hanged 1701 ) was a respected ships captain in New York when he was sent by England to wipe out pirates in the Indian Ocean. He turned pirate himself and looted ships from the East Indies to the Caribbean. His infamy lived on long after he was captured and hanged in London [HH].
    • Edward Blackbeard Tench [ name disputed Teach - HH ] ( k???? ); (1716) committed sad depravations in the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad [DH-TBOT]; another infamous pirates was a huge, fierce man with a black beard that reached almost to his waist. Blackbeard's hideaway was in St Thomas in the Virgin islands, until he began to headquarter on New Providence Island in the Bahamas. It was purported that he had an alliance with Governor Charles Eden of North Carolina. Tench was killed off the Outer Banks of North Carolina by Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy [HH].

        The honour of sweeping the last of the Caribbean pirates from the sea goes to the United States Navy under the command of Commodore David Porter in the 1820s. With England's aid and an appropriation from the United States Congress of US$500,000, Porter outfitted his squadron. He captured scores of pirate ships from his base in Key West and by 1830 the Jolly Roger flew no more [HH].

    Letters of Marque - Commission of Reprisal
      Pirating was transformed into a mercenary business, and rose to the pseudo-respectability of buccaneering, when the European Kingdoms first devised to use them as knives against the Spanish throat. The English and French would issue letters of marque or reprisal against the Spanish. Marque refers to the crossing of frontiers to obtain redress; and reprisal refers to taking compensation. Payment was made by reprisal, so the system was named a commission of reprisal. To fight the Kings enemies, a letter was issued to a buccaneer who was allowed to keep a commission of a percentage of the plunder. In reality, the buccaneer usually kept all. An initial payment of drinks on the house, and supplies of munitions, was probably sufficient to start the ball rolling.
      Although pirates would remain forever scattered on the worlds seas; this era of buccaneering would rise and fall with the establishment of two principal groups known as the English and French buccaneers.
      Tortuga, off the north tip of St Domingue and the coast of the mainland itself, would remain the preserve of the French buccaneers, whereas the English would eventually gravitate to Port Royal in Jamaica.
      THE ENGLISH buccaneers were founded after the pirate Anthony Hilton moved with refugees from St Kitts and Nevis to Tortuga in 1629 as Governor. After various attacks by the Spanish, and the marking of Tortuga as French in 1640, they had mainly moved on to Port Royal in Jamaica by 1660. Although England was at peace with Spain with the restoration of Charles II (1660-1685), the buccaneers of Port Royal had already been issued letters of marque against the Spanish and assisted an English attack on Santiago de Cuba in 1662. Appointed by Charles II as Governor of Jamaica in 1664, Modyford changed his policy of attempting to suppress them and instead persuaded them on to various campaigns. Around 1665 the buccaneers ranks were augmented as some soldiers from Cromwell's army choose a life of adventure, to that of settling as planters in Jamaica.
    • Captain Bearnard (1663) captured San Thome at the Orinoco.
    • Lewis Scott (1664) captured Campeche in Mexico.
    • John Davis (1664) looted Granada in Nicaragua.
    • Edward Mansfield [Mansvelt] ( recruited 1664; died end of 1666 ) (1665) captures Sancti Spiritus in Cuba; sacks Granada in Nicaragua and recaptures Providence Island.
    • Modyford (1666) recruits 1,500 buccaneers for the war against Dutch; who capture St Eustatious, Saba and Tobago. As Protestants they are not happy with this venture and would rather have gone against the Catholic Spanish.
    • Henry Morgan ( recruited 1666; knighted and made Lieutenant Governor Jamaica 1674; removed from office for drunkenness 1683 [RG&SH]; d1688 [HH] ) (1668) looted Puerto del Principe in Cuba (Camaguey); sacks Portobelo on the Isthmus - 300k cash, 100k ransom in pieces of eight; (1669) captures Maracaibo and Gibraltar; (1670) captures Providence Island; sacks Rio de la Hacha and takes the castle of San Lorenzo; loot, torture, rape, murder, destroy Panama.

        England is at peace with Spain after the Treaty of Madrid 1670, signed during Morgans final escapade; buccaneering must stop.
        Sir Thomas Lynch, made Governor Jamaica (1670 - 1673) to suppress buccaneering but fails. Reappointed 1684 but dies. New Governor Colonel Molesworth eventually brings a group of buccaneers to Kingston harbour where they are hanged and sun-dried on Execution dock; as an example in 1685.
        Port Royal itself disappears into the sea when an earthquake strikes Jamaica in 1692.

      THE FRENCH buccaneers remaining in Tortuga, move between the island and the mainland coast of St Domingue to farm and hunt. Governor General of all French islands, de Poincy, sends de Vasseur to be Governor of Tortuga in 1640. Numbers increase in 1659 as Tortuga is recognised as French.
    • de Vasseur ( Tortuga Governor 1640 to 1652 ) buccaneers on the side.
    • Bertrand d'Ogeron ( Tortuga Governor 1665 to ???? ) buccaneers on the side; imports women from France for mainland colony; encourages farming; Founds town of Leogane on St Domingue.
    • de Cussy ( St Domingue - French - 1st Governor 1685 - 1691 ) By the Truce of Ratisbon of 1685, French promise Spanish to stop buccaneer raids in exchange for their recognition that St Domingue is French. De Cussy Fails to suppress buccaneers.
      Impressively struck with the Spanish Cross a silver coin - 8 Reales - Pieces of eight [ATC]
    • du Casse ( St Domingue - French - 2nd Governor 1691 - 1697 min ) ( ???? ) In the War of the League of Augsburg, France fought an alliance that included England: Led buccaneers against Jamaica and Cartagena [RG&SH]; (1669) the French buccaneer du Casse passed through Tobago on his pirating way to Brazil [JH].
    • L'Ollonais (1668) sacks Gibraltar in Lake Maracaibo.
    • de Grammont (1678) raids the Gulf of Maracaibo; (1683) raids Vera Cruz; (1685) raids Campeche in Mexico.
    • Marquis de Maintenon ( 1679 [ disputed - See Trinidad 1677 ] ) plundered the pearl fisheries of Margarita and raids Trinidad.
    • de Gaff (1683) raids Vera Cruz. Argues with van Horn over loot.
    • van Horn (1683, d1683) raids Vera Cruz. Killed by de Gaff.

        In 1697 du Casse persuades buccaneers to settle as planters in St Domingue [Haiti]; the French buccaneers effectively disband.
              [RG&SH] Pg 2 - 7Abridged - eEd - tojo ]
    TOBAGO    300 sq km ( 116 sq miles )
    Pipe - Tavaco - from 18thC engraving - Press for RefDISCOVERY
      On discovery; the island was more likely sighted by Alonzo de Ojeda in the company of Columbus' trusted pilot, Juan de la Cosa; during de Ojedas' second Caribbean voyage in 1502 - this is historically disputed as others cite Columbus as the discoverer - and given the name La Magdalena; after one of the four ships on that voyage. The name however appears on a map printed at Naples in 1508; but did not hold [UR2, JH].

      The islands Amerindian, believed to be mainly Carib, called it Tavaco, after the name of a long pipe in which they burnt and inhaled the smoke of the plant they called vcohiba - tobacco. Later Europeans, with national variations, called the island Tabagua [JH], Tabago ( Roggeveen map 1675 ), which further changed in time to Tobago ( Byron Edward's British map 1799 ); so the island is named from a smokers pipe.NOT the 1508 map referred to in the text - Press and see Ref

      The New World history of Tobago remains one of the more unusual for an island of the West Indies. Not small enough to be insignificant. Not large enough to be the attractive choice of the newly arrived. Not close enough to the eventual lanes of commerce to become a hub or to seriously attract undesirables; yet not far enough away to be out of reach. Abundant in all the natural resources that become any tropical. island, and holding a beauty totally her own, Tobago's fate lay only in those eyes that chose to find her; so nearly hidden on the edge.

      1494 Treaty of Tordesillas - Line of Tordesillas
      The Portuguese, whom by the Treaty of Tordesillas with Spain in 1494, had divided the world respectively East and West, with Alexander VI's Papal Line of Tordesillas, which excluded them from the West Indies but gave them Brazil [RG&SH, JC&PP]; stayed clear of Tobago; but may have from time to time traded illegally over the area in slaves and provisions.

      It was Catholic Spains' monopolistic policy of Mare Clausum (sea closed to others), after the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, that so infuriated everyone. Spain meant to imply that all the lands West of the Line were hers, whereas the other Kingdoms would argue; yes to those already occupied; and no to all those other free lands where there is enough for all. Spain attempted to keep everyone out, but her colonies were too far flung and ill placed to do so.
      Spain had no designs to occupy or colonise Tobago, and never committed the resources to do so. Any Spanish incursions to the island would be opportunistic, retaliatory or as a clean up operation in an attempts to remove any perceived threat nearby to Trinidad. This placed Spain out of the main-stream of Tobago's history, apart from brief encounters.

    Roggeveen (1675) - Tabago - Press for Ref  The most southerly of the small Leeward islands, Tobago's strategic importance was overshadowed by nearby larger Trinidad. This facet was perhaps not overlooked by early settlers, who more likely chose the island because of its remote location, and believed it would be left alone. Those that arrived in their leaky worm infested little wooden boats and plonked a stake in the ground with a pretty cloth to-the-wind and proclaimed ownership, vastly underestimated the ferocity and tenacity of Tobago's local Amerindians. It cost them dearly. But in the end of course, superior resources and technology prevailed.

    1500 to 1625
      Over the first 125 years following Tobago's discovery in 1502, historic data is fragmentary and the island appears to have remained mostly obscure. During this period two English navigators report the island uninhabited. (1580 [JH]; 1596 [HC, TBOT]). The English flag is flown in the name of Queen Elizabeth I (a1558-1603) in 1580 [JH]; and from Europe the sovereignty was reclaimed by King James I (a1603-1625) in 1608 [KB]; then Charles I (a1625-bh1649) granted Tobago to William, Earl of Pembroke, in 1628; who made no design or attempt to settle it [KB, JH, McLR].
      Little else is known about the island except by inference from others of a similar kind, where it is suggested that while Tobago never supported an enclave of any permanence, pirates would from time to time use the island as a base for their raids on Spanish shipping [McLR, HC].

      The first attempt at a settlement was made in 1625 by some Englishmen from Barbados, most of whom were attacked and killed by Tobagonian Indians [KB].

  •      Try this link for a view on our Amerindian Pre-History on the TOBAGO HOME website.

    BEY0ND 1625
      The past spectres of excesses, with death by fire, under the Grand Inquisitor Thomas de Torquemanda (1420-98) [P], was poor advertisement for Spanish Catholicism in northern Europe and to the Baltic. Protestantism, with shades of the Puritan ethic, probably led with new hope desires to colonise new lands and escape from it all.
      In 1572 the people of the northern Netherlands revolted against the Spanish rule. The Spanish then forbade the Dutch to trade with either Spain or Portugal with whom they were allied [JC&PP]. The Dutch ignored this.

      The Protestant Dutch, whose fleets were dominant in the 16th Century, and who had ambitions mainly as traders in the beginning, successfully pressured the claims of the Spanish at first. They were to play a major role with Tobago's early settlements. The Dutch powers were to fade in the middle of the 17th Century, when at the beginning of that century they had turned to thoughts of colonisation themselves, fallen pray to being spread too thin, to being too small a nation to resource such an ambition alone, became bankrupt ( Dutch West India Company fails in 1674 [JC&PP] ) and beaten; and so then to return to the business of trade and look East. The end of the three Dutch Wars, between 1652 and 1678, marked the turning.
      It was the Dutch however who would hand over an important key for the French and then English to turn in the West Indies; to unlock the fortunes in sugar that they were to reap when those powers ascended to wrest the power from Spain in the 18th Century, and then to fight among themselves in the 19th to share it. The Dutch had pioneered the process of sugar making in the Brazilian colonies she had gained from and lost to the Portuguese ( 1603-1654 [JC&PP] ); and gave this gold away, as she simultaneously took it back in the cost of slaves and goods she traded.

      The Dutch were the first to seriously attempt to settle Tobago after the 1st quarter of the 1600's.

      Following a report from Dutch Captain Joachim Gitszt, weighed out from Brazil, that the island was uninhabited in 1627 [HC]; between 1628-36 Dutch settlements were attempted by various settlers under Jacob Moersby, Cornelius de Moor and others, who suffering reverses to disease, an Amerindian and Spanish attack; and finally to cruel destruction , led by [Diego Lopez de] Escobar [HC], the Spanish Governor of Trinidad ( 1636-41 [OM] ) [JH, KB, HC].

      Between 1637-40 two English settlements were attempted.
      Nothing is known about what happened to the Reverend Nicholas Leverton in 1637 with a party of Puritans from Barbados [HC]. Captain Marshaw - sent (1639) by the Earl of Warwick who had purchased the Earl of Pembroke's rights - is reported to have been killed (1640) by the Caribs . The survivors fleeing to Trinidad, when this attack caused the settlement to fail [HC].

    BEY0ND 1640
      North of the Netherlands, the Protestant Baltic States of Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Prussians were defining their identities. Some of their ruling houses and Principalities had ties with Protestant England. And they were neighbours to Norway and Denmark. They were basically traders, and had developed their nautical skills in their local seas.
      Next door; earlier Norwegian Vikings were the first Europeans to discover America in modern times, having made it to Newfoundland in about 982 AD [P], but had forgotten it; their technology and culture at the time too primitive to have sustained any endeavour of colonisation over that distance. With Tobago as proof, colonisation stretched the resources of these current 16th and 17th Century mariners to sometimes disastrous limits.
      It is amusing to note that whilst historians continue to argue and vex themselves with the questions as to the ownership of the term discovery, as applicable between the natives and Columbus; by the definition of The New World, the only lands that Columbus rediscovered, was to be the largest apple of them all, North America. Thank you Norway.

      Between 1642 and 1666 settlements were attempted by a group of Kurlanden from Baltic Latvia. The first is recorded to have failed. The second lasting some 12 years; interleaved with co-operative Dutch colonisation and then a period under Dutch rule during the period of the First and Second Dutch Wars. The colony finally disbanded when the political map at home was seeing adverse changes.

      In 1641 James Kettler , Duke of Kurland in Latvia a Baltic state - godson of King James I of England, obtained a grant of the island of Tobago from Charles I [JH].

      In 1642 Duke James sent two ships, under Captain Caroon, to settle Tobago. They chose and settled on the north coast, at a place that still retains the name of Great Courland Bay [KB]. In the same year the Carib Indians forced them to leave for Dutch Guyana (Suriname) [HC].

      First Dutch War (1652-54)
      The First Dutch War (1652-54) involved the English against the Dutch.
      1652 [?] Navigation Act
      1654 Treaty of Westminster
      The English were trying to brake the Dutch domination of trade by insisting that they accept Cromwell's Navigation Act, prohibiting trade with the British islands. In the end the Dutch agreed under the Treaty of Westminster (1654); but effectively ignored it [RG&SH].

      On the 20
    th May 1654 Duke James' ship Das Wappen der Herzogin von Kurland, under Captain Willem Mollens, brings twenty-five officers, 124 Kurland soldiers and eighty families of colonists to begin the second settlement in Tobago [JH].
      On arrival Captain Willem Mollens officially declared Tobago a property of Kurland and named the island Nieuw Kurland (New Courland) [JH].

      In the same year, 1654, another Dutch expedition equipped by merchants of Flushing, Adrian and Cornelius Lampsius, arrived in Tobago to settle on the southern coast. The relations between the two groups of settlers was amicable [JH].

      In 1654 [ to 1689 ?? What happened here? ] The first church in Tobago was built - the Evangelical-Lutheran Church [JH].

      All with an eye to trade; over the intervening years other settlers of other nationals from the Baltic area; like Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Denmark and Prussia may have joined the colony, transported by Dutch and Kurland ships. All would have worked together in the period because their enmity was towards the Spanish.

      From 1654 onwards, the Kurland colony attended to their own devices.
      The Kurlanden colony sold colonial wares such as tobacco, tropical birds, cotton, ginger, sugar, indigo, rum, cocoa, tortoise shells and feathers of tropical birds, and traded widely over Europe [JH].

      Since around 1650, Sweden had begun having aspirations of her own, to look towards controlling the sea trade in the Baltic. Her power had been growing throughout the period of the First Dutch War (1652-54) and come to fruition in 1658; when Sweden incorporated Finland, Estonia, Latvia and part of northern Prussia into her territory. The Dutch would have perceived this as a threat to her trading aspirations, and given the opportunity, acted against the Kurlanden in Tobago.

      In 1658 Duke James was taken prisoner by Sweden [KB, JH] [He is in Europe].
      In 1658 Dutch settlers surrounded Fort James to force Hubert de Beveren, Governor of the Kurlanden to surrender. The Kurlanden paid the Dutch a tribute in return for Dutch protection from the Carib Indians [KB, JH].

    BEY0ND 1660
      The Dutch and French form an alliance before [RG&SH].[probably just prior to 1662 ? (speculative)] the Dutch initiate the Second Dutch War (1665-67) against the English [RG&SH].

      In 1662 Cornelius [or Adrien?] Lampsius procured Letters Patent from King Louis XIV of France creating him the Baron of Tobago under the Crown of France [HC].

      Second Dutch War (1665-67)
      Under Admiral de Ruyter, the Second Dutch War (1665-67) opened when the Dutch fleet attack the English slaving stations of the Royal Adventurers in West Africa in 1665, cutting off the supply of slaves to the English islands. The Dutch and the French later go on to form a naval blockade in the Eastern Caribbean disrupting sugar exports to England [RG&SH].
      Extensive conflicts by all three powers ensues, and many islands change hands, particularly in the Leewards.
      Still in 1665 the Caribs of Dominica took advantage of the English difficulties to launch many attacks on the Leewards [RG&SH].

      In 1666 the Kurlanden left when misfortune at home caused a cessation of communications. [HC]
      [It is not currently known if they left before or after buccaneer attack of 1666.]


      To forestall an expected Dutch invasion of Jamaica during the Second Dutch War (1665-67); Jamaica's Governor Modyford appointed (1664) by Charles II, much in league with the buccaneers of Port Royal, sent a contingent to capture St Eustatius and Saba in 1666 [RG&SH].
      They thus became English.
      In 1665 the buccaneer Robert Searle, joined Edward Morgan's expedition against St Eustatius and Saba [ JH, RG&SH (date only disputed by RG&SH = 1666) ]. The next year, in 1666, Searle and Captain Stedman took two small ships and 80 men to Tobago and destroyed everything they could not carry away [JH]. The buccaneers did not like fighting the Dutch, as Protestants they would rather have gone against the Catholic Spanish [RG&SH].
      The Dutch recapture Tobago, St Eustatius and Saba in 1667, and retaliate further by taking the prosperous sugar colony of Surinam [RG&SH] which was in English hands.

      1667 The Treaty of Breda
      In The Treaty of Breda, 1667, which ended the Second Dutch War (1665-67), the English, Dutch and the French handed back each others' colonies, except for Suriname, which remained Dutch, in exchange for New York which became British [RG&SH].

      1667 Peter Constant [Dutch] was appointed by the Dutch to reform Tobago, a town was built near the present day Scarborough [ HC].

      Third Dutch War (1672-78)
      In the Third Dutch War (1672-78) the French changed sides and allied themselves with the English [RG&SH]; so now the Dutch are fighting the English and French.
      The English again had their supply of slaves cut off and the Royal Africa Company suffered losses [RG&SH].

      In 1672 the English capture Tobago [RG&SH]. [Presumably from the Dutch]
      In 1674 the English realised that the Dutch were no longer the main rivals and concluded a separate peace with the Dutch [RG&SH].
      As part of this settlement treaty of 1674; the English gave back Tobago to the Dutch, but at the request of the Dutch held on to St Eustatious, Saba and Tortola, to protect them from the French [RG&SH].

      The French proved too strong for the Dutch and they capture Cayenne and [Undated; but must be 1674 or after; after Tobago returned to the Dutch by the English] devastate Tobago [RG&SH].
      In 1674 the French navy forced the Dutch into a minor role in the Caribbean and ended Dutch domination of trade [RG&SH].

      [ 1676-77 A further French to Dutch to French conflict occurred. (speculative/being investigated) [JH, HC] ]

      Dec 1677 The French kept Tobago but did not settle [JH].

      1678 Treaty of Nijmegen
      The Peace Treaty of Nijmegen 1678, officially ends The Third Dutch War (1672-78) [RG&SH].

      1678 Tobago was restored to the Dutch under Peter Constant [HC].

    1678 - 1763
      Between 1678 when Tobago may be said to be Dutch, and 1748 when Tobago is granted Neutral status; there is little activity reported in the currently cited historical record.
      There is a three generation gap of some 70 years here.
      Given Tobago's previous history, it may be assumed that there are small European colony groups [most likely Dutch] living on the island probably with their slaves, and an equal or larger number of runaway and some free slaves, and the Amerindians. The odd reports to hand point to routing out pirates and used by the French navy for launching attacks and French not allowed to settle, suggest that at this period, the island has become a stop-over supply point for anyone and pirates, but is quietly going about its business and trading. For the island to have received a Neutral status designation in 1748, suggests that the powers that be at the time had assessed the island similarly.

      1748 The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
      In 1748, The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended hostilities between France and Britain. They agreed that Tobago be granted Neutral status and reserved for the resident Caribs. [HC, JH]

      1751 French resettle Tobago [HC]. This would begin an influx of French planters and a larger number of slaves. The islands economy would grow steadily for jest over another 10 years, until the next change in government in 1763 to begin The Betweenity Years (1763 -1803).

    [BB Pg28] - Dr Bridget Brereton kindly reminds us here that to Dr Eric Williams, our 1st Prime Minister in 1962, when considering this sometimes confusing part of our history between France and Britain, often referred to Tobago as being in the "state of betweenity". How wonderful for a glimps into the humour of the man. Sometimes, whenever I think of the old 'Doc', I get the odd tears in mih eye, an' ah doh'no why. I always remember him gruffin
    Tobago History 1763 to 1803
    around on the radio, readin all dhose stats about the islands production status on sugar an orange; and him carrin on in the House wit some amaizin back-chat from de opposition. It was like listenin to some fire from John Agitetion. An he went an set up Bess Village; an' support West Indian Tobacco from he pocket wit all dem Broadway! De man was smokin like a sugar factory. An' you went to de Ole Mass fête on the tennis-court at St Augustine, an' pan playin; an' de MC leggo in he bess deep Doc immitation "An day gi-we Dis for Christmas!", an de Fat-lady shakin-up a branch, from off one'ov dem trees, wit de droopy threaded leaves, like mop-string. An' after dat, you runnin off behine de woman, drinkin rum-an-coke, strainin your troat like gravel to impress she; an she laughin. Well yes. Is a pity he treasurer let him dong. I havin de same problem with mine, but doh' mine dat. That is a different ting.
      I always like the Doc; lookin tru dem big black glasses when he stannin-up so short in front everybody. He wavin one han' arong, and de nex han' full'ov dem papers he readin from. Oh yes, an' de phone ting in he ears wit de white cord. Ah know too, he cause de man Patrick Stanistaus Castagne to write …"Here every creed and race find an equal place"… an all dat wonderful music! Ah doh'ne know wedder you realise it, but Trinidad and Tobago have one of de bess National AnthemsDr Eric Williams. b1911, d1991 [P3-BB] in the world; an' ah not talkin bout de patriotic ting, although dat deh too. No, I'm talkin about superbly crafted music, pretty to bad, with good words, an jus de right amount of seriousness; it not too long and wit jus de right amount of everyting in it. It can stan-up and hold its own, anywhere on the planet. Such an incredible achievement for these two little islands.
      An' if you tink I cyah spell, yo right! An if you tink I gone krazie wid dis, you wrong. Yu see, a next ting de Doc gi-we is - Identity. Identity to be a Trini or a Tobagonian; an' an identity to be what you want. Like Peter Minchell, Sparrow, Kitch, Rudder, Regrello, The Original De Fosto Himself, Plummer, Pro, Wire, Two-left, Jakes, Sally, Kevin, BJ, Randy, Tommy, Peevre, Odi, Squeze-eye, Trevis, Jase, Ball-head, Diop, Fat-Man, Clarkie, Dogola, Socks, Alexi, Little-man, Mutema, Blacks, Cali, Bram, Jiggs, Toocoo, Sam, Denni, Keisha, Trudy, Abi, Nicki, Racine, Sweetness, Luckey, Raindrops, Radica, Bubbaloops, Ogaloo, Toussent or Doc. You ketch? Is We. Well I feelin so now, me doin my ting, the way I feelin to do it. De way I feel is should go down. In the right place, right here, right now. Is de betweenity I like. Tanks Doc.
      Well ah thinkin now bout me an' meh captain, sittin on the long wooden bench in de yard. One that look like it come-out from one'ov dem ole government primary schools in the 50's; or mabee day teef it from the Council Works building, from across de road. An we talkin; an ah duduse mango drop on-top de rusty galvanise roof - 'pratax!'; a we bot' lookin to see where it go roll to fall. Now I always respek what me captain say. An he tellin me dat we Trinidad an Tobagonians, so sthuped sometimes, we jus doh'no how luckey we is; cussin and sthupsin an gettin-on all de time; an for nuttin'. An we dhose, nottin'. An' I'm now rememberin' all dis, an trying to remember all the excuses he findin we make; an' all the good points he buildin up. An' ah thinkin for meself now, tinkin bout de Doc, an' ah fine a realy strange one dat lookin close to dis trut'. You see, we luckier dan America wit our Doc. We had our Kennedy for life, an deh didd'nt. Ent! An ah hearin some talk right now I eh like; you will know what ah mean wen I tell you. You see dis man Doc?!, Well, Dis man was a 'true son of the soil', as Gideon would say; he is the Father of our Nation, in the simple way it say, no matter what anybody tell you, an none of we should ever forget dat.
      tojo - 17th July 2001

    1763 - 1803
      Tobago History - The Betweenity Years (1763 -1803)
      Following the Peace of Paris - in 1763, where Tobago was ceded by France [JH] to Britain [RG&SH], the main economic and agricultural development of the island began. Britain and France subsequently went to war in Europe over many issues; and Tobago remained a target of opportunity for both, as its sugar production became more important.
      Following from its final capture by the British in 1803, the island would remain British for 160 years, until its Independence together with Trinidad in 1962.
      The periods of occupation are summarised below, with noteworthy events listed later.
      [ Some of these periods are still under historical dispute/review ]

    1763 - For part of this period, the island is French

    1763 to 1781 - British [disputed [JH] / review 1781]
    In 1763 Tobago is ceded to Britain in The Peace of Paris.

    1781 to 1793 - French [BB] [review 1781]
    1781 The French captured Tobago from the British renaming its capital Port Louis [McLR].

    1793 to 1802 - British [BB]
    In 1793 the French sent eight ships to the Caribbean. The English answered by sending an expedition under Rear-Admiral Gardener who captured Tobago in April [RG&SH].

    1802 to 1803 - French [BB]
    The French were granted Tobago through the Treaty of Amiens of 1802 [JH].

    1803 - British [BB]
    In 1803 the British set about recapturing what had been lost in the Treaty of Amiens (1802) [RG&SH].
    British troops recapture Tobago [RG&SH, McLR].

      1763 The Peace of Paris
      Fearing that Britain's greatly enlarged empire would excite the jealousy of the other powers, new Prime Minister the Earl of Bute, Pitt's successor, gave back much of what had been won in the war. In The Peace of Paris, 1763, that concluded the Seven Years' War (1756-63); Britain restored Martinique and Guadeloupe with its neighbouring islands to France; Of the Neutral islands, France was given St Lucia while Britain kept Dominica, St Vincent and Tobago. England also kept Grenada. In the treaty with Spain; Britain gave back Cuba, but kept Florida; and insisted on the right to keep loogwood cutters in Honduras, promising that there would be no fortifications [RG&SH].

      In 1768 the first British capital was established as Georgetown; this was situated in what is now Studley Park [McLR]; to change to Scarborough in 1769 [McLR, HC]. A Legislative Council and House of Assembly is formed in 1768 [HC]. ( For 2nd later House of Assembly: See Tobago 1980 )

      In 1770 is the first shipment of sugar to Britain - 84 tons [BB].

      Over the next 30 years the sugar industry in Tobago expands greatly, peaking in 1799 with 8,890 tons [BB]. Output remains substantially high until 1807 when the slave trade with Africa is outlawed, and acquiring slaves becomes more expensive as a shortage results. Matters are compounded because most plantation owners operate inhuman regimes with high slave death rates.
      Between 1830 and 1834 production was down and averaging 5,000 tons a year [BB]. With emancipation, competition from other sources, rising expenses, by 1850 production had dropped to 2,215 tons a year [JH] and declining. The sugar boom was over for good in Tobago.

      1769 [BB (disputed)] or 1770 [RG&SH, JH], 71 & 74 see a series of serious slave risings in Tobago which eventually ended when the ringleaders were brutally executed. The likelihood of revolt was great in Tobago as the slave/white ratio was [now] over 20:1 [RG&SH, JH].

      By 1777 Tobago occupied by the French [JH]. [disputed]

      In 1778, During the War of American Independence (1776 - 1783), Tobago defended itself successfully against an American attack [McLR-undated], their ship Randolph was blown up by the British ship Yarmouth [HC-dated].

      1786 Comte de Dillon arrives as the new French Governor of Tobago together with Phillippe Rose Roune de Saint Laurent.
      Phillippe Rose Roune de Saint Laurent ( French Governor Grenada 1779 ) arrives as Commissary-General of the Navy and French Ordonnateur of Tobago ( 1786 to 1791? [1791 arrives in St Domingue (Haiti) SAG -TBOT]  ).
      Originally from Grenada, he had visited Trinidad in 1777 and had been much taken by the island, its beauty and potential. He has also seen the need to stimulate immigration into the island to develop its 'desert' territory by colonisation and had written a memoranda, which had been approved by Trinidad Governor Don Manuel Falquez who had then sent it to the Spanish Court in Europe.
      During the frustrating six years it took for the Spanish Court to act, de Saint Laurent whose attested character was convivial, exemplary and persuasive, had worked tirelessly to encouraged many a French coloniser to turn to Trinidad instead of the United Provinces of America; and to many a European investor to see   Trinidad in a positive light.
    In 1783 de Saint Laurent was rewarded when the Spanish Court issued The Cedula of Population, based on his memoranda, that was to dramatically change the fortunes of Trinidad for the better and set a character to the island that remains even to today.
      Ironically de Saint Laurent, who was an excellent organiser and administrator, was Ordonnateur in Tobago in rebuff to Spanish administrators ineptitude in dealing with outstanding financial debts to de Saint Laurent; even though he had been repeatedly offered, albeit belatedly, the post of Commissary of Trinidad.
      Tobago's economy improved markedly during the period of de Saint Laurents tenure [SAG-TBOT]. ( See Trinidad 1777 )

      1789 The great fire of Scarborough where many of the colonial buildings were razed to the ground [JH].
      1801 Slave conspiracy of hundreds of Christian and Creole slaves throughout Tobago. The second slave uprising [HC]. The revolt of 1801 involved slaves from 16 estates [BB].

      1802 Treaty of Amiens
      Through the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, between Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain and Britain; the British agreed to restore all the colonies she had captured to their former owners, except Trinidad; which Spain ceded to Britain [RG&SH].
      The French were granted Tobago through the Treaty of Amiens in 1802 [JH].

      In 1803 Tobago becomes British.
      This marks the end of The Betweenity Years (1763 -1803).

      Britain outlaws trading of slaves from Africa in 1807. But slaves owned by immigrants may still enter the island, unaffected by this law [BB]. Slave conspiracy of hundreds of slaves who marched to one of the Great Houses in Tobago [JH]. By this time the ratio of slaves to whites was 34:1 [BB].

      1814 The Treaty of Paris
      In 1814 The Treaty of Paris, concluded the terms of the Napoleonic Wars (WI 1803-10). Britain restored to France all the captured colonies except St Lucia and Tobago. The Netherlands ceded Demerera, Essequibo and Berbice to Britain on payment of £5M. France gave back to Spain the eastern part of Hispaniola [RG&SH].

      In 1816 members of Second Company, en route to settle in Trinidad, were shipwrecked off the coast of Tobago; swam ashore, and settled there instead [TBOT]. ( See Trinidad 1815 - 1816 )Main Street - Scarborough - Tobago - Captain Wilson (1825) illustration - Tom Cambridge Collection - [P3-TBOT]

      On 1
    st August 1834 sees The Abolition of Slavery in Tobago; but slavery is maintained through Apprenticeship.
      At mid-night on the 31
    st July 1838 The Apprenticeship of Slaves ends.
      On 1
    st August 1838 Slavery ENDS, The Emancipation of Slaves is complete in Tobago, and all slaves are now FREE [McLR, BB].

      Of note is that during 1834-48 several thousand immigrants from neighbouring islands, North America (Baltimore and Pennsylvania), Europe (British, Scots, Irish, French, Germans and Swiss) and free West African, came into Tobago [JH].

      In 1877 Tobago becomes a British Crown Colony [JH].

      In 1889 Tobago was placed under Trinidad's administrative control [McLR]. The Tobago House of Assembly loosing control of the island by consequent divestment of its powers to Trinidad in 1889 [BB]. ( See Trinidad & Tobago 1889 )

      In 1912 [HH] [ date disputed (????) TIDCO ], from their native home in the Aru Islands of New Guinea - as they were threatened with extinction by plume hunters - Sir William Ingram introduced to Little Tobago island the Birds of Paradise [HH].
      Sadly, the Birds of Paradise that once habitated this island, are thought to have died-out during the atrocious hurricane Flora that swept through Tobago in 1963.
      A modern interpretation of the disaster suggests that any avian survivors were too few, and of the same gene pool, to have allowed a natural recovery of the population. Predators, apart from man and the odd snake notwithstanding, being kept away by the islands isolation.
      For over 50 years Little Tobago bore the name Bird of Paradise Island; in folk law and the literature of the times, until it fell out of favour some time in the mid 1970's when the local populace finally accepted that there were no more birds of that feather to be found. But visitors, undaunted by the tale, seek ever hopeful to catch a glimpse of the fabled Birds of Paradise.
      Sir Ingram gave Little Tobago to the government (????) on condition that it remain a sanctuary [HH].

      1952 Electricity comes to Tobago. [BB]

      Tobago is instituted with a House of Assembly ( For the 2nd time: See Tobago 1768  ), with elected members, in 1980 [BB].

      Still to be accurately accounted, and still counting, Tobago is estimated to have changed international ownership some 29 times [JH]; and in the process suffered the extermination of the population of at least seven local Amerindian tribes; the Arawaks, Chaimas, Tamanaques, Salives, Chaguanes, Quaquas and Caribs; the last being divided into four sub-groupings, the Nepoios, Yaios, Carinepagotos and Cumanagotos [JH]. The island however gained a large African slave population, who sustained stronger than is usual their African traditions; and who provided the ancestry to the majority of todays population (~90%).
    TRINIDAD & TOBAGO    5,128 sq km ( 1,980 sq miles )
    Byrane Edwards (1799) - Trinidad and Tobago - Press for Ref1800's
      Between 1845 and 1917 saw the beginning and end of the East Indian and Asian immigration through Indentureship. These labourers came mainly to Trinidad, replete with their cultural traditions, Hindu and Muslim religions, and their descendants now account for about 40% of Trinidad's population; and in consequence accredit Trinidad the sobriquet Little India [ cf: Barbados - Little England ]. Within this period also arrived a smaller number of indentured Chinese. Also on other grounds, as immigrants, came a number of Arab nationals, mainly from Syria and The Lebanon, and mostly to Trinidad as their new home.
      The remainder of the present ethnic composition is of the order of 43% African, 14% mixed, 1% Corcasian, 1% Chinese and 1% other (1997).

      In 1889 the new Crown Colony of Trinidad & Tobago was instituted by the British Government [BB]. Tobago was placed under the administrative control of the Trinidad Government. This was an administrative adjustment, to reduce the cost of running the two colonies by combining control from two, to the use of one Governor in Trinidad [BB].
      Later in 1898, Tobago become an off-island Ward (district) of Trinidad. A further cost cutting exercise [BB].
    [ cf. Wards of Trinidad (1872) - Arima, Caroni, Cedros, Couva, Diego Martin, Mayaro, Montserrat, Moruga, North Naparima, South Naparima, St Anns, Tacarigua, Toco [MapJW] ] ( See Tobago 1889 )

      After 1891 a new form or medium for festival music was developed in Trinidad called Tamboo Bamboo. This was a result of a culmination of circumstances that led to the banning of drums in Trinidad. In the riots of the carnival of 1884, where attempts were made to break up the Hosay festival, which include Tasa drumming, thirteen persons were killed and several wounded. In the riots of Arouca in 1891, police were attacked by stick fighters and reinforcements had to be sent in with the result that the drums were confiscated [GM, ST].

    World Pioneers of Oil
      IT IS CLAIMED that Trinidad holds a place in history as a Pioneer of the Oil Industry.
      In 1857 the Merrimac Oil Company of the USA drilled one of the worlds first oil-wells, at La Brea. They struck oil at a depth of 280 ft.
      Having no immediate market, operations were abandoned a year later [TBOT].
    Pioneers of Oil in Trinidad
    Walter Darwent - John Lee Lum - Randolph Rust

    Walter Darwent   Walter Darwent ( Right ) was an Englishman from Plymouth who had served as a captain in the Union Army in the American Civil War. In 1865, he drilled the first really successful oil well at Aripero in south Trinidad. His company, Paria Petroleum Company, did well for a time, with wells at Aripero, San Fernando and La Brea, and it exported small amounts of oil.
    John Lee Lum   Darwent faced many difficulties, and following his death from yellow fever in 1868, nothing much happened to further develop Trinidad's oil industry for another 30 years.
      It was not until after John Lee Lum ( Left ) discovered oil on his land, that events moved forward.
      Born in 1842 near Canton ( now Guangdong ) in south China, John Lee Lum arrived in Trinidad in 1880. He became a successful businessman and acquired a great deal of land. Some of it was in Guayaguayare in south-east Trinidad.
    Randolph Rust   Around 1900, Lee Lum took a sample of oil from his land to Randolph Rust, and together the two men formed a company to prospect the area. Lee Lum continued to finance Rust's early drilling operations in Guayaguayare.
      Randolph Rust ( Right ), an Englishman who lived most of his adult life in Trinidad, secured additional money from Canada, and in 1902 he struck oil in Guayaguayare.
      Though neither Rust nor Lee Lum made significant amounts of money from oil, Rust never gave up; making several trips to London to try to raise money for further oil exploration.
      It was mainly because of, and through all Rusts' efforts, that the oil industry in Trinidad really took off in 1913; when two big companies were formed and large-scale production began.
      Rusts first successful well at Guayaguayare of 1902, is still maintained by Petrotrin, the Trinidad and Tobago national oil company, as an historic site and monument to the pioneers of the local oil industry.

    An Introduction to the History of TRINIDAD and TOBAGO; Pg 84
    © Bridget Brereton (1996)
    ISBN 0 435 984 748
    Heinemann Educational Publishers of Reed Educational & Professional Publishing Ltd
    [ Abridged - eEd - tojo ]

      Oil is rediscovered in Trinidad in Guayaguayare, by John Lee Lum around 1900.
      Randolph Rust brings in the first production well on Lee Lum's land in 1902 [BB].

      Between 1935-39 the steeldrum appeared as a non-melodic percussive component of a rhythmic ensemble in Trinidad [UK, GG, FB, GM, JdeB].

      In 1937 the authorities banned the display and use of tamboo bamboo in street festivals [GM].

      Between 1939-41 melodic components, or musical notes, began appearing on the steeldrums in use in Trinidad. The steeldrums were called steelpans, or 'pans', and had arrived at the state of being recognised as a new class of musical instruments [UK, JdeB].
      By carnival day 1946, Winston Spree Simon demonstrated his 14 note 'ping pong' - reputedly with a convex note-face shape; the forerunner to the Trinidad Tenor, later to evolve into the Soprano Pan of international acceptance [UK, FB, ST].

      1951 Trinidad sends its first National steelband, the Trinidad All Steel Percussive Orchestra (TASPO) to the Festival of Britain in an effort called Operation Britain, which effectively turns into an European tour. It plays at the BBC, Festival Hall on London's South Bank, St Pancras Town Hall, the Savoy Hotel, at a few more places in London and then went on to Paris for a short stint [FB, GG, ST].

      In 1952 at The Colonial's Biennial Music Festival, the steeldrum is accepted for the first time as a musical component to the competitions. Solo players and Conventional Band categories are represented [ST (GM)].

      In 1958 the first attempt at Caribbean unity saw the formation of a political union called The Federation of the West Indies. The union comprised Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.
      This union, with hopeful trade alliances, collapsed in 1962 when at first Jamaica, then quickly to be followed by Trinidad & Tobago, the two wealthiest islands of the union, pulled out [McLR].

      On 31
    st August 1962 the Independent Nation of Trinidad and Tobago is established; following a Parliamentary democracy, but remain within The British Commonwealth of Nations. Dr Eric Williams becomes the first Prime Minister.

      Carnival 1963 sees the first of the National Steelband Panorama competitions in Trinidad. It was won by Pan Am North Stars playing Sparrows Dan is the Man with music arranged by Anthony Tony Williams [ST].

      In 1968 Trinidad & Tobago join CARIFTA - The Caribbean Free Trade Association - which had been established by other islands of the region in 1965 [McLR].

      Effective from the 1
    st August 1973, CARICOM - Caribbean Community - a regional co-operative Trade and Common Market agreement became operational.
      This followed the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas in Trinidad on 4th July 1973; and preliminaries through the Georgetown Accord signed in Guyana in April 1973.
      CARICOM includes The Less Developed Countries (LDC's) - Antigua, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Surinam; and The More Developed Countries (MDC's) - Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago [McLR].

      In 1976 the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is established.
      17 July 2001 - tobagojo@gmail.com
    Aspects of the Coat of Arms of Trinidad & Tobago.
        The Coat of Arms incorporates some of the historical past as well as some common features of the twin-island Republic. Symbolically portioned; Trinidad is represented to the left, and Tobago to the right.
  • A fruited coconut palm tree. The coconut palm is transposed from the earlier Coat of Arms of Tobago; [ ] now united with this design.
  • A ship's wheel in gold [the helm] ...[ ]
  • A wreath which crowns a gold helmet.
  • The gold [ garbage - to sort out ] ... our ties with England.
  • A shield incorporating the national colours of red, black and white. The colours convey the same meaning as those of the National Flag; stylised on the shield.
  • The two National Birds support the shield, each standing on its particular island. The Scarlet Ibis representing Trinidad, on the left; and the Cocrico representing Tobago, on the right.
  • The shoulders of the shield are decorated with two humming birds. Trinidad is known as the 'Land of the humming bird'. Species common to both islands; they are placed as two birds facing in stationary flight.
  • The three ships on the shield's point, strongly honour Columbus; they honour Columbus' 1st discovery of the West Indies; represent Columbus' later discovery of Trinidad; and are placed as three ships on the shield as a mark of Columbus' signature in naming Trinidad after The Trinity.

  • The shield's point enters the base of the Coat of Arms, with each island closely tucked against it; symbolising the present state of unity of its peoples and the joining of the two islands.
  • On the base of the Coat of Arms is an island with three peaks on the left. The three peaks commemorate Columbus' decision to name Trinidad after The Trinity. The three peaks were represented on the early British Colonial Seal of Trinidad. On the right side of the base is the other island which represents Tobago.
  • The sea is represented on the base; it is the notation that these are islands; where it appears to separates in the middle of the base emphasises that there are two islands.
  • The Nation's motto Together we Aspire, Together we Achieve completes, in scroll, the base of the Coat of Arms.

  •   [ Find the British Colonial Seal of Trinidad ]

    Aspects of the National Flag of Trinidad & Tobago.
        The colours of the National Flag are Red, Black and White.
  • Red represents the vitality of the land and its peoples; the warmth and energy of the sun; the courage and friendliness of the people.
  • Black represents the dedication of the people joined together by a strong bond; the colour of the unity of purpose; and the wealth of the land.
  • White represents the sea which bounds the lands; the cradle of our heritage; the purity of our aspirations; and the equality of all men.
  • Over a Red ground; a Black stripe bounded by two White bands runs diagonally down the flag, from the root at the top, to the tip of the tail.
  • The bands start only at the upper edge of the flag; and finish only at the lower edge of the flag; and at no time enter the left or right edges of the flag.
  • The start of the inner White band is in the corner edge of the upper root of the flag; and the finish of the outer White band is in the bottom corner of the lower tail of the flag.
    Coat of Arms
                    National Flag
    Forged from the love of liberty
    In the fires of Hope and Prayer,
    With boundless faith in our Destiny,
    We solemnly declare,
    Side by side we stand,
    Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea,
    This our Native Land,
    We pledge our lives to Thee,
    Here every creed and race
    find an equal place,
    And may God bless our Nation,
    Here every creed and race
    find an equal place,
    And may God bless our Nation.
      I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life
    To the service of my God
    And my Country.
    I will honour my parents,
    My teachers, my leaders and my elders,
    And those in authority,
    I will be clean and honest in all
    my thoughts,
    My words and my deeds.
    I will strive, in everything I do
    To work together with my fellowmen
    of every creed and race
    For the greater happiness of all
    And the honour and glory
    of my Country.
    Lyrics & Music
    By Patrick Stanistaus Castagne

    By Marjorie Padmore
    Music Score to The National Anthem on TOBAGO HOME.

      All awards may be offered to foreigners of distinction; and may also be offered posthumously.
    2006 Changes for THE TRINITY CROSS  
      The most distinguished and highest honour awarded by the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
      Awarded to persons or the individual members of a group deemed to have rendered distinguished or outstanding service to Trinidad & Tobago; or in the judgement of this nation, to have rendered themselves to be of such an outstanding level of character or attainment that this Republic wishes to honour such individuals in recognition for their meritorious achievement.
      A single category award.
    The Trinity CrossGold )  

    TT - The Trinity Cross ( Gold )
    TT - The Humming Bird Award - Gold, Silver or Bronze
      Awarded to persons deemed to have rendered long or devoted service in the jurisdiction of Labour, Sport or Culture, on behalf of or in Trinidad & Tobago.
      A tri-category award.
      The Humming Bird AwardGoldSilver or Bronze.

    TT - The Chaconia Award - Gold, Silver or Bronze
      Awarded to persons deemed to have rendered long or meritorious service in the jurisdiction of Community Service or Social Welfare on behalf of or within the communities of Trinidad & Tobago.
      A tri-category award.
      The Chaconia AwardGoldSilver or Bronze.

    TT - The Public Service Medal of Merit - Gold, Silver or Bronze
      A medal of recognition given to members of The Public Services for outstanding or meritorious service in the execution of their duties as officers of The Public Services of Trinidad & Tobago.
      A tri-category award.
    The Public Service Medal of MeritGoldSilver or Bronze.  

    2006 Changes for THE TRINITY CROSS

    WITHIN the last handful of years, for no other obvious reasons then political manoeuvring; clever proponents of opportunity set rumblings that began to surface through the news media, that there was discontent within some religious communities that the honorific Trinidad and Tobago Trinity Cross medallion, representing the acknowledgement of this Republics gratitude to its recipient of this Nations highest award and honour of the land, was deemed to be insensitive in name, biased in specific religious iconoclasty, displaying a roughness in design as to make it unrepresentative and to so deny itself being sufficiently worthy of acceptance to its recipients, who are drawn in the main from a background of mixed culture and diverse ethnicity, together with a plurality of religious beliefs, and who comprise the citizens of this remarkable, tolerant and dynamic dual island Republic.

      The opportunists, with dubious resolve and abundant in resource, pursued the matter in the highest of courts to attain their affirmative aim; where the judiciary, beguiled by reflections of long history past, yet mute to the spirit of our independent history present that aptly set the path that we have so shortly trod with good and collective pride to now; acquiesced in their High Court ruling, that the Trinity Cross indirectly, discriminated against non-Christians.

      To his writers credit, and in this instance laudably much to his own; the Honourable Patrick Manning Prime Minister, in answer to questions of the House, responded to this delicate and somewhat Nationally embarrassing matter, with what some consider as a 'landmark' address to Parliament on Friday, 2nd June 2006.

      Mannings' preamble included '…the management of diversity has always been a great challenge for government and society.'; with the statement that 'Since Independence, almost fifty years ago, Trinidad and Tobago has continued to be a shining example to the world, of unity in diversity.', with an implied rebuttal that 'The people have not been as combustible as some would have liked.'

      Addressing the point he stated 'We are therefore able to eventually make the right decision when difficult choices arise as a consequence of our plurality. We have one such choice now before us. Do we keep the Trinity Cross as the nation's highest award or do we not?'

      In characterising the Nation he stated '…on a matter which can generate much emotionalism, never have we reached the point where there arose any cause for alarm. This is a tribute to our country. We are a nation of great cultural and religious diversity. Our constitution affirms our belief in God as the creator of all and as a guiding principle for the conduct of national affairs. Religious beliefs and practices are a most integral part of the lives, [and for] the vast majority of our citizens.'

      Reflecting a line from a popular Soca song, where he stated 'Our good fortune has even produced the saying that God is a Trini
    (1).'; and balances this cultural highlight with the somber comment, 'This is not being frivolous Mr Speaker. The point I am making is that passions run high in this country where the matters of prayer, religion, worship and moral values are concerned.'; concluding here with 'In the final analysis, the issue is not limited to the appropriateness of the Trinity Cross as our nation's highest award. It goes deeper than that. Among other issues, it points to the role that religion should or should not have in the conduct of our national life. Large questions, Honourable Members. Managing diversity is no ordinary matter.'

      Presenting a point of view he noted that 'You need to tread sensitively, carefully, almost tentatively. Religious beliefs are very close to the heart. No Government wants to alienate any section of the population, however large or small, through any decision it takes on a matter like this. It is not in the national interest.'; to then arrive at his point of conclusion that 'Trinidad and Tobago is a secular democracy.'

      He then cautions that 'We must ensure that we do not endanger the future of this diverse society nor replicate the traumas of unmanaged plurality that have been experienced elsewhere. This beautiful, harmonious Trinidad and Tobago would then be no more.', with the provision that 'The Government has a responsibility to ensure that no such dire prospect is ever on the national horizon'.

      He then stressed the point of governance and law with '…I must point to the other unassailable fact by which this country is governed. This is the rule of law. This is the foundation of the order and organisation through which we continue to build this country. Without it there would be utter chaos; our freedoms would vanish…', ending here with a democratic note that 'No one, including the Government, is above the law. This Administration must therefore adhere to the rule of law. One of our main responsibilities is to set the example.', and with reference to the Trinity Cross matter to which he added 'My Administration therefore has an obligation to comply with the ruling and remove this anomaly from our national life.'

      PM Manning then announced that '...the Cabinet has agreed to establish a committee to review all aspects of the nation's highest award and also to examine such other national symbols and observances which may be considered discriminatory and make appropriate recommendations to Government.' The appointed committee members were named (See below), also with assignments and timeframes such that '...the committee is expected to take into account the work of any other committee on related matters. The Committee will report its findings on the matter of the Trinity Cross by the middle of July this year [2006]; and on its larger mandate by the end of September 2006.' He then announced the Governments intention '...to conduct the exercise of National Awards this year [2006] on the basis of new and more acceptable arrangements.'

      With considered political homily, the address concluded with 'Mr Speaker, we have reached a defining moment in the history of our country. I am convinced we are on the way to the greater enlightenment and refinement of our civilization. We are opening the national mind even further and putting to the test the understanding of our history and our much vaunted appreciation of variety. In the final analysis, it will lead us to a better understanding of life and improve our capacity to benefit from the dynamic diversity of Trinidad and Tobago. Let us therefore go forward on this course of strengthening national harmony.'

    The 2006 steering Committee appointed to review all aspects of the Nations Highest Award; and also to examine such other National Symbols and Observances which may be considered discriminatory comprises:

    Designated Name Of Association
    Chairperson Professor Bridget Brereton   The University of the West Indies; TT & WI History
    Member Ms Gillian Bishop Designer
    Member Dr Selwyn Ryan University Professor Emeritus
    Member Mr Devanand Ramlal Lawyer and businessman
    Member Mr Gregory Aboud Business leader
    Member Dr Rolph Balgobin Head of the Arthur Lock Jack Institute of Business
    Member Mr Anselm Richards Head of Policy Research and Development of the Tobago House of Assembly
    Secretary/Member   Mrs Sandra Marchack Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister and Head of the Public Service
      The committee is to report its findings:
    • On the matter of the Trinity Cross by the middle of July 2006
    • On its larger mandate by the end of September 2006

    eEd – tojo – 12th June 2006

     Trini to the Bone; David Rudder - 2002; TT Soca/Calypso ( For Carnival season 2003 )
     The Prime Ministers address to Parliament: Small country, big passions; NEWS, Sunday Express, 4th June 2006, Pg 15 - 17.
    Web Associations
    • See Tobago presents this history page In Association with the TOBAGO HOME website

    TOBAGO HOME offers an extensive information base on Tobago; probably the most comprehensive site on the web about the island. It uses an in-depth and almost encyclopaedic approach to present relevant information. On-site items on history, pre-history, geography, economics, religion, general information, flora & fauna, the rainforest, birding, tobagonians, festivals, maps, books, how to get here, what to do, and accommodations are among many other topics that can be found.
      The site Editor James Harris and Assistant Editor Kathy Birks have, with great appreciation from this site, kindly agreed to be the Official Custodians and Editors to The History of Tobago for the Trinidad and Tobago - A brief New-World History Page on the See Tobago web.
      James and Kathy will be responsible for maintaining and monitoring the accuracy and authenticity of the Tobago data presented here; and act as liaison Editors with tojo for this page.

    Your Feedback Welcome
    YOU are welcome to Contribute - Comment - Note Corrections
    email with: Historytt/??? in the Subject line.
    Thank you - tobagojo@gmail.com

    Reference Maps and Data
    Divided into Counties and Parishes

    To His Excellency James Robert Longden ESQ
    RE - CMG
    Governor & Commander in Chief
    Is Dedicated by His Obliged Servant James Wyld
    Published by James Wyld, Geographer to the Queen (1872)
    437 Strand, 11 & 12 Charing Cross & 2 Royal Exchange, London, England.
    The original Edition was designed by Captain Mallet RE; Compiled from Admiralty Charts, Railway and Original Surveys & Revised by Surveyor General of the Island Sylvester Devenish ESQ.
    1 Castilian League = 26.5 Degrees
    1 French League = 2852.5 Toises = 20 Degrees
    1 Statute Mile = 69.5 Degrees
    CE = Dr Cesare Emiliani
    Cosmology, Geology, and the Evolution of Life and Environment
    © Cesare Emiliani 1992
    ISBN 0 321 40123 2 (hc); 0 321 40949 7 (pb)
    Cambridge University Press (1992)
    [ This is one extraordinary and truly exceptional dude. Whenever & whatever it was that threw it all together - Cesare Emiliani was sitting next to it. An expert on foraminifera among other things; Emiliani has had the coccolith emiliana huxleyi named after him. In answer to your question Doc: Why not sell the Hope diamond to those energy conglomerates who are now fleecing California for her energy supply 2001? - tojo ]
    From Table A2
    1 league (statute) = 3 miles (statute) = 4.823 032 km (exact)
    1 mile (statute) = 1.609 344 km (exact) = 1,760 yards (exact) = 5,280 feet (exact)
    1 mile (nautical) [International standard] = 1 mile (geographic) = 1.852 km (exact)
    1 kilometer = 0.621 371 19 mile (statute) [derived]
    1 kilometer = 0.539 956 80 mile (nautical) [derived]
    1 square mile = 2.589 988 square km [derived]
    1 square km = 0.386 102 159 square miles [derived]

    References Literature & Web Links
    ATC = Atocha Treasure Company
    Key West Atocha Treasure Coin Jewelry Collection
    & related websites
    20690 Persimmon Place, Estero, Florida; FL 33928, USA
    BB = Dr Bridget Brereton
    An Introduction to the History of TRINIDAD and TOBAGO
    © Bridget Brereton (1996)
    ISBN 0 435 984 748
    Heinemann Educational Publishers; a division of Reed Educational & Professional Publishing Ltd
    P3-BB - Trinidad Express - Dr Eric Williams, Fig 16.2, Pg 3
    HH = Prof. Hans W Hannau
    The West Indian Islands
    Prof. Hans W Hannau ~1966 ( Inferred )
    With 90 colour pictures
    Maps - H Felix Kraus; Hedy Elbuschutz
    Endpaper [Inner cover] - Hedy Elbuschutz
    ISBN 0-912458-85-2
    Argos Inc, USA
    JC&PP = James Carnegie & Patricia Patterson
    The People Who Came - Book 2
    James Carnegie & Patricia Patterson
    Series Editor: Edward Kamau Braithwaite
    New Edition - 10th Impression 1996
    ISBN 0-582-76658-3
    © 1970, 1989 Logman Group Ltd

    JH = James Harris
    KB = Kathy Birks
    HC = The Historical Cafe at Studley Park, Tobago [Note: We are not in a position to verify the accuracy]
    The History of Tobago 15th Century to the 19th Century

    From New 2 (The revised page)
    TOBAGO HOME - the 15thC-19thC History of Tobago
    http://www.tobago.hm/gen-hist15.htm -Web Page - undated July 2001
    Editor James Harris Assistant Editor Kathy Birks
    HC = The Historical Cafe at Studley Park, Tobago and we are not in a position to verify the accuracy
    Now without JH/KB referencing as they have now moved to coloured DOT marker referencing
    Where 2 qualified refs = DOT (Pretty but Sad! - tojo)
    From New 1
    Folklore & History of Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago. History of Plymouth.
    http://www.tobago.hm/folk/toba-h.htm - Web Page obsolete
    Editor James Harris Assistant Editor Kathy Birks
    All Ref JH, KB, HC
    But no ref to HC
    From Old
    Castara, Tobago, W.I.
    Castara, Tobago, W.I. - history15.html - Web Page obsolete
    designed by James Harris for Castara
    All Ref == JH and unreferenced

    McLR = McLinton Robinson, ACP
    Social Studies for Common Entrance Students
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Standard IV and V
    ISBN 976-8157-43-7
    Robinson Publications 1998; Ixora Lane, LP B78 Rapsey Street, Curepe, Trinidad, WI.
    Printed by HEM Enterprises Ltd, Freeport, Trinidad, WI.
    NG1 = National Geographic Supplement
    SPAIN IN THE AMERICAS, Vol 181 No 2, Pg 90A, February 1992
    Supplement to the National Geographic
    NG2 = New York Public Library
    Naked Indians cower as Spaniards row ashore from their galley
    NG3 = Hispanic Society of America, New York City
    OM = O Meverogordatto
    Voices in the Streets (1977) - The Spanish Governors of Trinidad.
    The Book of Trinidad,
    Pg36 ( See TBOT )
    P = Pears Cyclopædia
    Cited - Vikings - General Information
    Cited - Inquisition - General Information
    Cited - Torquemanda - Prominent People
    92nd Edition
    ISBN 0-7207-1459-1
    © 1983 Pelham Books Ltd
    Press and Return - From cover Illustration - PA-FH - Map probably around 1560-70 - The Bridgeman Arts Library PA&FH = Peter Ashdown & Francis Humphreys
    Caribbean Revision History for CXE
    Peter Ashdown & Francis Humphreys
    ISBN 0 333 46116 9
    Published 1988 : Macmillian Education Ltd
    © 1988 Text - Peter Ashdown & Francis Humphreys
    © 1988 Illustrations - Macmillian Education Ltd
    Cover Illustration - The Bridgeman Arts Library

    A magnified portion of the upside-down map, the cover illustration of this book, has been used to show Tobagos' name as La Ma[d]allen[a]. You are cautioned that it is NOT the 1508 map referred to in the text. Where the only given reference is The Bridgeman Arts Library, nothing else is known about this (Left) map. A reasonable guess places the map at around 1560-70; simply by the amount of compiled data it contains, which is considerable, and exquisitely and quite accurately crafted. More work will need to be done to identify it. However, it is interesting to note that the name ( [Ma[d]allen[a] ) may have survived for a considerable period in one maritime empire; whereas perhaps a competing empire may have used a different name; the name [Tobago] that was adopted and survived in use instead.

    RG&SH = R Greenwood & S Hamber
    Emancipation to Emigration - Caribbean Certificate History 2
    © R Greenwood & S Hamber 1980
    ISBN 0 333 28148 9
    Macmillan Caribbean; Macmillan Publishers Ltd, London and Basingstoke, England

    TBOT = Gerard Besson & Bridget Brereton
    The Book of Trinidad.
    Gerard Besson & Bridget Brereton
    ISBN 976 8054 36 0
    3rd Edition
    © 1992 Paria Publishing Co Ltd, 66 Woodford Street, Newtown, Port of Spain, Trinidad
    BB-TBOT - Bridget Brereton - Various Sections - Pg 36,60,[and other entries 99,130,151,173,175,212,308,310,317,375]
    CC-TBOT - Cristopher Columbus El Adminante - (Cited - extract - Letter)
    CF-TBOT - CB Franklin - The Great Fire of 1808
    DH-TBOT - Daniel Hart - (Cited - Chronological Table from 1577 to 1866)
    FC-TBOT - D Ferdinand Columbus - (Cited - extract - History etc…)
    ICR-TBOT - Cited - Indian Centenary Review, 1845-1945
    MA-TBOT - Michael Anthony - (Cited - Mayaro in History - & - Port of Spain Gazette - The SS Lady McLeod -26th Dec 1845 / Gulf Service in '45 - 12th Sept 1845)
    PG-TBOT - Cited - Port of Spain Gazette (Extract) & 1845 - FIRST LOT OF INDIAN IMMEGRANTS
    SAG-TBOT - Sue-Ann Gomes - Editor - The Conquistadors of Trinidad - The Coloniser of Trinidad

    M1-TBOT - Roggeveen (1675) - Chart of T&T and Margarita, Pg 20
    M2-TBOT - Bryan Edwards (1799) - Map of the West Indies, Pg 40
    P1-TBOT - ? (18thC) engraving - Tribal people dancing, Pg 3
    P2-TBOT - Richard Bridgens (1820) [Redrawn by Peter Shim] - 2nd Company Village woman and child, Pg 123
    P3-TBOT - Captain Wilson (1825) illustration - Tom Cambridge Collection - Main Street, Scarborough, Tobago, Pg 172
    [ Also used by BB, Pg 30 ]
    P4-TBOT - Woodcut - The Lady McLeod stamp; Pg 198

    FB = Dr Felix Blake
    THE TRINIDAD and TOBAGO STEEL PAN - History and Evolution - (1995)
    © 1996 Dr Felix IR Blake
    ISBN 0-952-52280-9 hc
    Printed in Spain, Grafiques 85, SL - Molins de Rei
    T.A.S.P.O. - Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra
    GG = George Goddard
    Forty Years in the Steel Bands: 1939 - 1979 - (1991)
    Operation Britain: Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (Chapter 3)
    GM = Gideon Maxime
    The 52nd Anniversary of Steelbands on the Streets - (1997)
    JdeB = Jeremy G de Barry
    The Steelpan - From Origins to the New Millennium. An Update to History - (April 2001)
    ST = On See Tobago - The Steelpan Histories Database
    Tamboo Bamboo
    Winston Spree Simon
    ...nor is it the only steelband competition... [@ 20010731 - needs a bit of an update]
    Panorama - Winners
    Panorama - Champions
    UK = Ulf Kronman (Author, Physicist, Steeldrum Tuner and Pannist)
    Steel Pan History
    Steel Pan Tuning - a Handbook for Steel Pan Making and Tuning - (1992)
    Musikmuseets skrifter, ISSN 0282-8952.
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Printed copies of the book may be ordered from Panyard Inc.

    UR1 = Unknown Reference 1 - Investigating
    Information ~ yr2000 - TV / Discovery Channel ???
    Decline in native Indian Populations - Occupation/Disease
    To the order of
    North America = 5 Million
    South America = 5 Million
    UR2 = Unknown Reference 2 - Investigating
    About Tobago History
    1) Have Web Page - TL - Bad design/No identification except = Tobago Love
    2) BB? - or Similar - History book ref ?? - Find

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      This disclaimer applies to all The Carnival Dates Project - Trinidad & Tobago documents that indicate the dates Carnival Monday, Carnival Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and/or Easter/Sunday.

      For whatever reasons you are using the above mentioned dates, you are advised to please consult other sources to verify these dates. Neither Jeremy G de Barry, nor any contributors indicated on these documents, nor the host facilitators to these documents, may be held responsible in any way whatsoever, if these dates are incorrectly calculated or applied. The user assumes full responsibility for the consequences of using this information.

      Have a nice day

    The Carnival Dates Project - Trinidad & Tobago   
    T&T New-World History
      © 2001: tobagojo@gmail.com - 20010625 - 1m20071228 - 2m20140615
    Historic Update: 24 June 2006; Last Update: 12 April 2015 20:53:00 TT
    Processed by: Jeremy G de Barry
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