Spanish Trinidad is the first ever history of the 300 year span of the Spanish period of Trinidad, written from a strictly Spanish perspective. From the encounter of Christopher Columbus with the first Trinidadian Amerindians during the summer of 1498, to the handover of the island to the British in 1797, Francisco Morales Padrón describes the complex process of the Spanish settlement of the island while searching for El Dorado, the progressive social and economic development of “La Trinidad de Barlovento” (as Trinidad was known until the late 18th century), the significance and relevance of the Caribbean Windward Islands in the Spanish geo-political strategy of its American provinces, and the key role played by Trinidad in the outcome of the European disputes in the West Atlantic after the French Revolution.
This English translation of Padrón’s La Trinidad Española, originally published in 2011, illuminates the oft-forgotten years of the island’s life as part of Spain and complements the existing works by scholars and historians from Trinidad and Tobago and the wider English-speaking Caribbean. Padrón’s extensive research in Spanish archives and the presentation of original source documents shed light on the internal and foreign threats and challenges faced by Trinidad throughout the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. It uncovers and examines the policies and efforts that fuelled Trinidad’s economic and demographic transformation from a remote Caribbean outpost to a prized, and ultimately seized, possession of Spain.
Comprehensive and expansive, Spanish Trinidad is rich study of the three centuries of Spanish presence in Trinidad and an invaluable contribution to the recorded history of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.
- Table of Contents
- List of Illustrations
- Editor’s Foreword
- 1. Columbus’s Ships in the Seas of Trinidad
- 2. The First Attempts to Settle Trinidad
- 3. Trinidad as a Base of Operations for El Dorado
- 4. Trinidad in the Seventeenth Century
- 5. Trinidad in the Eighteenth Century (1700–1783)
- 6. Chacón: A Questionable Governor
- 7. The Anglo-Spanish Rivalry
- 8. Trinidad Ceases to be Spanish
- Selected Sources