Tobago (/təˈbeɪɡoʊ/) is an autonomous island within the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) northeast of the mainland of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada, about 160 kilometres (99 mi) off the coast of northeast Venezuela. According to the earliest English-language source cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, Tobago bore a name that has become the English word tobacco. The official bird of Tobago is the cocrico.
Turtle Beach also known as Great Courland Bay, got its name from the amount of turtles that will come ashore and lay their eggs.
Christopher Columbus first sighted Tobago on the 14th of August, 1498. Subsequently, several powers fought over possession of the island.
Tobago did not have any permanent European settlement until the 18th century. Its development as a sugar colony began when it was ceded to Britain in 1763 and continued throughout the period from 1763 to 1814, during which time Tobago changed hands between Britain and France several times.
The original Island Carib population had to defend the island against other Amerindian tribes. Then, during the late 1500s and early 1600s, the natives defended it from European colonists, including 1654, including an attempt by the Courlanders, who colonised the island intermittently between 1637-1690. Over the ensuing years, the Curonians (Duchy of Courland), Dutch, English, French, Spanish and Swedish had caused Tobago to become a focal point in repeated attempts of colonisation, which led to the island having changed hands 33 times, the most in Caribbean history, before the Treaty of Paris ceded it to the British in 1814. In 1662, the Dutch brothers Adrian and Cornelius Lampsins were granted the title of Barons of Tobago, and ruled until the English captured the island in 1666. Adrian briefly recaptured Tobago in 1673, but was killed in battle when the English, under Sir Tobias Bridge yet again took control of the island.
The Duchy of Courland
Courland, also spelled Kurland, Latvian Kurzeme, region on the Baltic seacoast, located south of the Western Dvina River and named after its inhabitants, the Latvian tribe of Curonians (Kurs, Cori, Cours; Latvian: Kursi). The duchy of Courland, formed in 1561, included this area as well as Semigallia (Zemgale), a region located east of Courland proper.
The ethnic origin of the Curonians has been disputed in the past. Some researchers place the Curonians in the eastern Baltic group. However, others hold that the Curonians were related to Old Prussians who belonged in the western Baltic group.
Tobago under British rule
From about 1672, during the temporary British rule of 1672-1674, Tobago had a period of stability during which plantation culture began. Sugar, cotton and indigo factories sprang up and Africans were imported by the British to work as slaves. The economy flourished. France had abandoned the island to Britain in 1763, and by 1777 Tobago was exporting great quantities of cotton, indigo, rum and sugar. But in 1781, the French re-invaded Tobago, and destroyed the plantations, and forced the British governor to surrender. The island's buoyant economy fell into decline.
In 1814, when the island again came under British control, another phase of successful sugar-production began. But a severe hurricane in 1847, combined with the collapse of plantation underwriters, end of slavery in 1834 and the competition from sugar with other European countries, marked the end of the sugar trade. In 1889 the island became a ward of Trinidad. Without sugar, the islanders had to grow other crops, planting acres of limes, coconuts and cocoa and exporting their produce to Trinidad. In 1963 Hurricane Flora ravaged Tobago, destroying the villages and crops. A restructuring programme followed and attempts were made to diversify the economy. The development of a tourist industry began.
Tobago had its own bicameral legislature until 1874. In 1889, with the island’s economy in shambles as a result of the collapse of its sugar industry, Tobago was amalgamated with Trinidad, while retaining a subordinate legislature and separate taxes. In this way the united colony of Trinidad and Tobago was created. In 1899Tobago became a ward (administrative district) of Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago obtained its independence from the British Empire in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.
For turtle lovers amongst us, turtle nesting period starts from March to August and it is also said to be a good spot for bird watching on the Northern side. The large shaded bay is also a great and relaxing bathing, surfing and kayaking site. Even though there are no lifeguards on duty, the nearby hotel puts up flags for sea bathers that indicate the safer areas.
Pieter, great description and pictyres. Courland was powerful until it was conquered by teutonic knights. I didnnot realize that they were trying to colonize thenislamd so far away until i watched teh epizode of "geography now" that is a very popular program/series on YouTube. Latvia with an easy baltic access had some skilled ship navigators