Exploring Historical Resources on Trinidad and Tobago

NALIS, through the Heritage Library Division, seeks to maintain, develop and make easily accessible to members of the public, resources with an emphasis on Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean.  

This series shines a spotlight on resources that illuminate that history.  These resources are located at the Heritage Library Division, and are available for use by NALIS patrons and the public.

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Spanish Trinidad


Title:            Spanish Trinidad.

Author:        Francisco Morales Padron. Edited and translated by Armando Garcia de la Torre.

Summary:    Under the articles of capitulation, on 18 September 1797, Trinidad ceased being a Spanish colony and became British, and with the signing of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, Spain relinquished its claim.   But what was life in Spanish Trinidad like? 

In Spanish Trinidad by Francisco Morales Padron, edited and translated by Armando Garcia de la Torre, we obtain a greater understanding of how international politics impacted the life of Trinidad residents; greater detail on the lives of the First Peoples    information on the myth of El Dorado; the impact of the French Revolution on the island’s development; and in general, we obtain an idea of what life was like in this multi ethnic island during the 17th Century.

In Morales Padron’s illustration of the international context, we see Trinidad as an important strategic resource, we understand its central position in international wars, trade and commercial networks, and even how Dutch, French and British pirates attempted to seize the island. 

This resource provides “the reader with a wealth of previously forgotten original sources, letters and documents from governors, Trinidadian residents and places in the history of Trinidad from 1498 to 1797.” (Garcia de la Torre).

Content:     Columbus’s ships in the seas of Trinidad
                    The first attempts to settle Trinidad
                    Trinidad as a base of operations for El Dorado
                    Trinidad in the 17th Century
                    Trinidad in the 18th Century (1700-1783)
                    Chacon: A questionable governor
                    The Anglo-Spanish Rivalry
                    Trinidad ceases to be Spanish

Publisher:   Ian Randle Publishers

Audience:    Intended for those passionate about Trinidad and Caribbean history, students preparing for CAPE and CSEC examinations, and those attending tertiary level institutions.   

Subject:        History – Trinidad – 17th Century 
                     History – Spanish Colony
                     History – Anglo Spanish Rivalry- 18th Century
                     Myth of El Dorado 

Complied by: Gerada Holder, Librarian IV: Heritage Library Division


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