Key

  • Trinidad Event Only
  • Tobago Event only
  • Trinidad and Tobago Event
  • BC 

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    5000 BC – Archaic or Ortoiroid First People tribes came from South America to settle in northeastern Trinidad 250 BC – Saladoid First People tribes entered Trinidad and moved north to other Caribbean Islands

  • 3rd Century – 201 to 300

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    250 AD – The Barrancoid First People settled along the South Coast of Trinidad.

  • 7th Century – 601 to 700

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    650 AD – The Arauquinoid First People came from the Orinoco river to the coast.

  • 14th Century – 1301 to 1400

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    1300 AD – The Mayoid First People, inclusive of Arawak and Carib speaking tribes, settled in Trinidad.

  • 15th Century – 1401 to 1500

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    1498 AD Christopher Columbus on his third voyage sighted his first landform to be named Trinidad and sighted island of Tobago and called it Bella Forma.

  • 16th Century – 1501 to 1600

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    1511 AD Spanish raiders captured First People tribes to work as slaves in the Margarita pearl-fisheries.

    1530 AD Antonio Sedeño was granted a contract, by the Spanish Crown, to settle Trinidad as a means to discovering El Dorado.

    1532 AD The Battle of Cumucurapo between A. Sedeño’s settlers and the First People tribes resulting in the withdrawal of Sedeño to Margarita.

    1533 AD A. Sedeño returned to establish a settlement at Cumucurapo (present day Mucurapo).

    1534 AD A. Sedeño was forced to withdraw from Cumucurapo in 1534 due to limited number of settlers.

    1553 AD Juan Sedeño was given the authorisation to settle Trinidad but this contract was never fulfilled.

    1569 AD Juan Troche Ponce de León established the town of Circumcision (near present day Laventille).

    1570 AD The Circumcision settlement is abandoned.

    1580 AD A British fleet visits Tobago and found it uninhabited by other Europeans.

    1592 AD The Spanish colonists under Governor Antonio de Berrio established in San José de Oruña (present day St. Joseph).

    1595 AD San José de Oruña is attacked by Sir Walter Raleigh, a British explorer in search of El Dorado, who captures de Berrio and Cacique Topiawar.

    1596 AD Lawrence Keymis – A Lieutenant of Sir Walter Raleigh claims Tobago as a British colony.

    1597 AD The start of Portuguese slave traders delivering cargo to the Spanish settlers on Trinidad.

  • 17th Century – 1601 to 1700

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    1614 AD Spanish merchants tried to establish trade with the island of Tobago. 1627 AD Dutch Captain J. Gisjsz visited Tobago and noted it is an ideal location for a Dutch settlement. 1628 AD Charles I, King of England granted Tobago to Philip, Earl of Montgomery and Pembroke. 1628 AD Jan de Moor, Burgomaster of Flushing sent a Dutch expedition to establish the settlement of New Walcheren (near present day Plymouth). 1632 AD More Dutch settlers came to New Walcheren after disease and the First People attacks diminished the initial settlers. 1636 AD Spanish settlers from Trinidad attacked the New Walcheren settlement in Tobago capturing and driving the settlers out. 1637 AD English Puritans from Barbados attempted to settle in the abandoned New Walcheren but were attacked by First People tribes and driven off to Providence Island, Bahamas. 1639 AD Earl of Warwick purchased the Earl of Pembroke’s rights to Tobago and sent an expedition which was attacked by First People tribes. 1639 AD James, Duke of Courland (Kurland, Lativia) was granted the island by King Charles I 1639 AD Courlands’ expedition called Tobago: New Courland and establishes the town of Jacobsstadt (near present day Plymouth) and made peace with the First People but are decimated by fever. 1642 AD The Second occupation by the Duke of Courland with the assistance of the Dutch to re-establish the settlement. 1642 AD Earl of Warwick’s second attempt to establish a settlement in which indigo and tobacco were planted. 1647 AD Tobago was offered for sale in England but no buyers found. 1650 AD The Courland settlers were driven out of Tobago by the First People. 1654 AD – Tobago divided into two parts with the third occupation by the Duke of Courland residing in New Courland and the Dutch descendants of Jan de Moor re-occupied New Walcheren. 1659 AD – The Dutch settlers surrounded the Courlanders and forced them to leave Tobago. 1662 AD – James, Duke of Courland released and the Dutch settlers now obtained a grant of Tobago from Louis XIV, of France. 1664 AD – Charles II, King of England re-granted Tobago to the Duke of Courland. 1666 AD – Captain John Poyntz commander of four English vessels captured the Dutch settlement and installed a garrison. 1667 AD – French settlers from Grenada evicted the English garrison and got control of Tobago in the Treaty of Breda. 1670 AD – Spanish settlers in Trinidad were engaged in small scale cocoa, cotton and tobacco cultivation with First People and African slaves until 1725. 1670 AD – The rise of the mixed parentage population of Trinidad with ‘mulatto’ half African/European, ‘mestizo’ half Amerindian/European and ‘zambo’ half Amerindian/African. 1672 AD – The English attacked the Dutch on Tobago, destroying the settlement and then abandoning the island. 1676 AD – The Dutch re-established a settlement on Tobago. 1677 AD – The Dutch Admiral Binckles defeated the French in Rockley Bay but later the French returned, destroyed the Dutch settlement and then abandoned the island. 1679 AD – By the Treaty of Nineguen, Tobago was restored to the Dutch. 1681 AD – The fourth occupation by the Duke of Courland by granting title to some London merchants led by Captain John Poyntz. 1687 AD – The Catalan Capuchin friars were authorised to convert the First People in Trinidad and Tobago. 1687 AD – The British Government declared the Duke of Courland’s grant to Tobago null and void. 1698 AD – HMS Speedwell hastily dispatched from Barbados to suppress pirates on Tobago. 1699 AD – The second declaration of the Duke of Courland’s grant to Tobago null and void. 1699 AD – The Arena Uprising: The Amerindians on the Arena Catholic Mission rebelled against the forced labour of the encomienda system and killed Spanish Governor José de León y Echales and his entourage. 1700 AD – The start of migrants from the South American mainland – Venezuela (Cocoa Panyols) came to Trinidad to settle in the northern range on cocoa estates.

  • 18th Century – 1701 – 1800

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    1702 AD – Captain Poyntz and other petitioned the British Crown to allow them to settle Tobago but the petition failed. 1705 AD – The French royal fleet used Tobago as a base for attacks against nearby British colonies. 1721 AD – The Governor of Barbados was authorised to make grants of land in Tobago for cocoa and indigo cultivation. 1725 AD – Governor of Barbados reported to the British Government the French claims of Tobago and was advised to maintain British rights to Tobago but avoid open conflict with the French. 1731 AD – Ferdinand, Duke of Courland tried to regain Tobago with the support of the King of Poland. 1733 AD – The King of Sweden sent settlers to Tobago but were driven out by the First People. 1748 AD – The French Governor of Martinique, Marquis de Caylus brought troops and built a fort on Tobago. 1749 AD – A Mission for First People established in Arima. 1762 AD – The British captures Tobago. 1763 AD – The Treaty of Paris: Tobago is ceded to Britain. 1764 AD – Tobago has its first British Lt. Governor T. Alexander Brown and Governor General Robert Melville who resided in Grenada. 1768 AD – The first session of the Tobago Legislative Council and Assembly is held at Georgetown (near present day Studley Park). 1769 AD – The Seat of Government moved to Scarborough and a house at Orange Hill became the residence of the Lt. Governor 1770 AD – An insurrection of slaves at Queen’s Bay. 1778 AD – An American squadron tries to capture Tobago but are driven off. 1781 AD – The French captures Tobago and took the Lt. Governor Ferguson prisoner. 1782 AD – The French built the French Fort. 1783 AD – By the Treaty of Versailles Tobago was ceded to the French and Philbert de Blanchard became Governor. 1783 AD – The Cedula of Population by the Spanish King Charles III to Philip Rose Roume de St. Laurent for the granting land to Roman Catholic settlers from Martinique, Grenada, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Dominic. 1784 AD – Irish, Scottish, German, Italian and English migrants of the Roman Catholic faith came to Trinidad to claim the full grant of land. The Free Blacks and Coloureds amongst them received half the grant of land. 1785 AD – Amerindians from the established Nepuyo encomienda villages at San Agustin de Arauca, San Pablo de Tacarigua and Caura relocated to Arima. 1786 AD – The First People Mission of Arima was dedicated to Santa Rosa de Arima. 1793 AD – Tobago is recaptured by the British who established a separate Government with its own Governor and British Crown appointed Legislative Council. 1795 AD – The establishment of the Corps of Black Jaegers for homeland security comprising of 100 trusted slaves under the supervision of British officers. 1797 AD – A British Naval Expedition led by Sir Ralph Abercromby captures Trinidad from the Spanish Governor, Don José María Chacón .

  • 19th Century – 1801 – 1900

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    1801 AD – The threat of a slave insurrection is averted and the ringleaders seized and one hanged at Fort King George. 1802 AD – the Treaty of Amiens: Spain cedes Trinidad to Britain and Britain cedes Tobago to France. 1803 AD – The arrival of British colonists with their slaves from the Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Eastern Caribbean following the ceding of Trinidad to Britain. 1803 AD – British troops land at Arnos Vale marched to Mount Grace and was assisted by a slave George Winchester to ascend on the French. 1806 AD – The first wave of Chinese immigrants from Macao and Penang on the Ship Fortitude. 1807 AD – The slave trade is abolished by Britain. 1808 AD – The British Royal Navy starts patrolling the west coast of Africa to free slave aboard ships illegally trading and brought them to settle in Belmont and East Dry River. 1814 AD – The Treaty of Paris: France cedes Tobago to Britain. 1816 AD – At the end of War of 1812, The Merikins came as free black settlers from the US South and are granted land in southern Trinidad. 1833 AD – Tobago ceases to have its own Government and become part of the Windward Islands. 1834 AD – The Emancipation of Slaves proclaimed and the beginnning of the Apprenticeship period. 1834 AD – Portuguese Immigrants first came from the islands of Faial in the Azores. 1838 AD – The collapse of the Apprenticeship system and the official end of slavery. 1838 AD – Newly freed slaves came to Trinidad from the Eastern Caribbean islands in search of better wages and to opportunity to own land. 1841 AD – The start of Liberated Africans from Sierra Leone and St. Helena coming to Trinidad & Tobago as indentured labourers for one year, which lasts until 1861. 1845 AD – East Indian Indentureship begins with the arrival of the Fatal Razzack in Trinidad. 1846 AD – Portuguese Immigrants from Madiera came to Trinidad. 1853 AD – The beginning of the second wave of Chinese Immigrants from South Guangdong province until 1866. 1874 AD – The Single Chamber Act was passed for the Legislative Council to have six nominated and eight elected members and the Privy Council reduced to two members. 1877 AD – A new Constitution Act Tobago decrees Tobago to be administered as a Crown Colony and the elective principle abolished. 1881 AD – Canboulay Riots in Port of Spain, San Fernando and Princes Town by the former slaves against the suppression of their Carnival Celebrations. 1884 AD – The Hosay Massacre in San Fernando of Indian Labourers in the Muslim Hosay Processions. 1889 AD – By an Order in Council Tobago was made subordinate to Trinidad and annexed as unitary British Crown Colony. 1898 AD – Tobago was broke and in debt and became a ward of Trinidad

  • 20th Century – 1901 – 2000

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    1902 AD – Lebanonese and Syrian migrants begin arriving in Trinidad. 1903 AD – Water Riots against the increase cost of water resulted in the Red House being destroyed by fire. 1910 AD – Syrian settlers came to Trinidad from moutainous villages and coastal towns of Lebanon until 1914. 1911 AD – The beginning of the third wave of Chinese Immigrants, which ends in 1949. 1917 AD – The End of East Indian Indentureship. 1919 AD – Labour Riots in which returning soldier Arthur Andrew Cipriani assumed leadership of the labour movement. 1919 AD – The second wave of Syrian and Lebanese migrants to Trinidad until 1944. 1920 AD – The influx of Caribbean migrants to work in the budding Oil Industry. 1925 AD – A new Trinidad and Tobago constitution established seven constituencies, one of which is Tobago. 1930 AD – From the 1930s to the 1940s Sephardic (residing in Spain/Portugal) and Ashkenazi (Central and Eastern European) Jews fleeing Nazi persecution came to Trinidad. 1937 AD – Labour Riots led by Tubah Uriah Buzz Butler and resulted in the death of Charlie King at the hands of the mob. 1939 AD – Jews living in Trinidad and Tobago were considered ‘enemy aliens’ and were rounded up and sent to Nelson and Caledonia Islands. 1940 AD – The arrival of the Americans during World War II to establish bases in Trinidad and Tobago. 1945 AD – Universal suffrage instituted. 1945 AD – The release of Butler from Nelson Island. 1945 AD – End of World War II and the withdrawing of the American bases and outposts on Trinidad and Tobago. 1958 AD – Trinidad and Tobago joins the West Indies Federation. 1962 AD – Trinidad and Tobago leaves the West Indies Federation. 1962 AD – Trinidad and Tobago gains Independence from Britain. 1968 AD – Trinidad and Tobago with other English-speaking Caribbean states form the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA). 1968 AD – The National Joint Action Committee was formed by members of the Guild of Undergraduates led by Geddes Granger (Makandal Daaga). 1970 AD – Domestic unrest by the ‘Black Power’ supportes demanding social changes and an army mutiny resulting in a the Governement declaring a State of Emergency. 1972 AD – State of Emergency lifted from Trinidad and Tobago. 1973 AD – CARIFTA morphed into the Caribbean Common Market CARICOM. 1976 AD – Trinidad and Tobago gains Republic status within the Commonwealth. 1980 AD – Tobago House of Assembly was created for more direct administration of its local affairs. 1989 AD – A Heads of Government decision taken to transform the Caribbean Common Market into a single market and economy (CSME). 1990 AD – Attempted Coup D’Etat by the Musilimeen led by Yasin Abu Abu Bakr who seized the Parliament Building, bombed the Police Headquarters and stormed the national television and radio broadcasters.

  • 21st Century – 2001 – 2100

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    2006 AD – Implementation of the CARICOM Single Market Economy to allow for the free movement of CARICOM nationals to Trinidad and Tobago