Before European explorers landed on the Caribbean islands, peaceful tribes of Amerindians called the Arawaks inhabited the entire Caribbean archipelago. Generous and open where these people that they embraced the Spaniards and bestowed every comfort for the Spanish explorers. Ironically since the arrival of the Spanish these people were mistreated and many died from diseases, within a few decades it was belief that there were no Arawaks left.
In 1498, Spanish decree over the island, ended after the final Spanish Governor, Don José Maria Chacón surrendered the island to a British fleet of 18 warships under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby on February 18, 1797.
Plantation owners in the new British colony of Trinidad were left with a severe deficiency of labour, With the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.
Just 25 years later the population had grown to more than 16,000, including 2,100 white Europeans and 4,500 free Africans. In 1797 the British took control of Trinidad from the Spanish, but they were left with the question of how to handle the large population of free blacks and few British settlers. Social and political pressures caused the British government to ban the importation of agricultural slaves to Trinidad. Rapidly the number of slaves increased significantly in the early 1800s, before the British abolition of the transatlantic trade, and by around 1815 enslaved Africans comprised about 67% of the population.
Being a British colony, captured from a foreign power, Trinidad’s constitutional and political history was relatively different from the ‘older’ British colonies like Barbados and Jamaica. At first (1802-1831) the governor, representing the British crown, had essentially unrestricted powers, with a Council of Advice which lacked law-making powers. However, from 1832, the island was governed under what became known as ‘Crown Colony Government’. A Legislative Council with law-making powers but no elected members, only officials and ‘un-officials’ selected by the governor. Unlike the older colonies, Trinidad never had an elected Assembly. When Tobago was annexed to Trinidad, it lost its separate legislature and came under the same regime, as part of the new British colony of Trinidad and Tobago.
The system of governance established in 1832 was virtually unchanged for almost a century. In 1925, however, elected members, nevertheless, with a very restricted income and property franchise, were also added to the Legislative Council. In 1946, the right to vote for everyone over 21, was sanctioned.
In 1854, the British Government sent William Tucker to Trinidad to help expand trade relations with Venezuela. Tucker aquired the 5,500 acre La Cuesa estate and renamed it the Tucker Valley Estate. In 1912, convicts from Carrera were used to cut mangrove wood on the Tucker Valley Estate and on the 2nd April, 1912, the governor authorized the use of convict labour to cut mangrove wood in Mon Jalous Estate.
Department of State
September 2, 1940.
I have received your note of September 2, 1940, of which the text is as follows:
I have the honour under instructions from His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to inform you that in view of the friendly and sympathetic interest of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom in the national security of the United States and their desire to strengthen the ability of the United States to cooperate effectively with the other nations of the Americas in the defence of the Western Hemisphere, His Majesty's Government will secure the grant to the Government of the United States, freely and without consideration, of the lease for immediate Establishment and use of naval and air bases and facilities for entrance thereto and the operation and protection thereof, on the Avalon Peninsula and on the southern coast of Newfoundland, and on the east coast and on the Great Bay of Bermuda.
Furthermore, in view of the above and in view of the desire of the United States to acquire additional air and naval bases in the Caribbean and in British Guiana, and without endeavouring to place a monetary or commercial value upon the many tangible and intangible rights and properties involved, His Majesty's Government will make available to the United States for immediate establishment and use naval and air bases and facilities for entrance thereto and the operation and protection thereof, on the eastern side of the Bahamas, the southern coast of Jamaica, the western coast of St. Lucia, the west coast of Trinidad in the Gulf of Paria, in the island of Antigua and in British Guiana within fifty miles of Georgetown, in exchange for naval and military equipment and material which the United States Government will transfer to His Majesty's Government.
All the bases and facilities referred to in the preceding paragraphs will be leased to the United States for a period of ninety- nine years, free from all rent and charges other than such compensation to be mutually agreed on to be paid by the United States in order to compensate the owners of private property for loss by expropriation or damage arising out of the establishment of the bases and facilities in question.
His Majesty's Government, in the leases to be agreed upon, will grant to the United States for the period of the leases all the rights, power, and authority within the bases leased, and within the limits of the territorial waters and air spaces adjacent to or in the vicinity of such bases, necessary to provide access to and defence of such bases, and appropriate provisions for their control.
Without prejudice to the above-mentioned rights of the United States authorities and their jurisdiction within the leased areas, the adjustment and reconciliation between the jurisdiction of the authorities of the United States within these areas and the jurisdiction of the authorities of the territories in which these areas are situated, shall be determined by common agreement.
The exact location and bounds of the aforesaid bases, the necessary seaward, coast and anti-aircraft defences, the location of sufficient military garrisons, stores and other necessary auxiliary facilities shall be determined by common agreement. His Majesty's Government are prepared to designate immediately experts to meet with experts of the United States for these purposes. Should these experts be unable to agree in any particular situation, except in the case of Newfoundland and Bermuda, the matter shall be settled by the Secretary of State of the United States and His Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
I am directed by the President to reply to your note as follows: The Government of the United States appreciates the declarations and the generous action of His Majesty's Government as contained in your communication which are destined to enhance the national security of the United States and greatly to strengthen its ability to cooperate effectively with the other nations of the Americas in the defense of the Western Hemisphere. It therefore gladly accepts the proposals.
The Government of the United States will immediately designate experts to meet with experts designated by His Majesty's Government to determine upon the exact location of the naval and air bases mentioned in your communication under acknowledgment.
In consideration of the declarations above quoted, the Government of the United States will immediately transfer to His Majesty's Government fifty United States Navy' destroyers generally referred to as the twelve hundred-ton type.
Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
The Right Honorable The Marquess of Lothian, C. H.,
Destroyers Transferred to Great Britain as a Result of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement
Destroyers Transferred to Great Britain as a Result of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement: The 50 Ships Including their Royal Navy Names, Pennant Numbers and Subsequent Disposition.
USS Aaron Ward (DD-132), commissioned as HMS Castleton (I-23) on 9 Sep. 1940; scrapped 2 Jan. 1948.
USS Abbot (DD-184), commissioned as HMS Charlestown (I-21) on 23 Sep. 1940; scrapped 3 Dec. 1948.
USS Aulick (DD-258), commissioned as HMS Burnham (H-82) on 8 Oct. 1940; scrapped 2 Dec. 1948.
USS Bailey (DD-269), commissioned as HMS Reading (G-71) on 26 Nov. 1940, scrapped 24
USS Bancroft (DD-256), commissioned as HMCS St Francis (I-93) on 24 Sep. 1940; wrecked while being towed for scrapping on 14 Jul. 1945.
USS Branch (DD-197), commissioned as HMS Beverley (H-64) on 8 Oct. 1940; attacked and sank U-187 on 4 Feb. 1942; Beverley was torpedoed by U-188 on 11 Apr. 1943 and was sunk with the loss of all but four of the ship's company of 152.
USS Buchanan (DD-131), commissioned as HMS Campbeltown (I-42) on 9 Sep. 1940; fitted with a large demolition charge, Campbeltown rammed the Normandie Lock in St. Nazaire, France to destroy the only drydock on the Atlantic coast capable of accepting the German battleship Tirpitz; the charge detonated on 29 Mar. 1942, breaching the drydock and destroying Campbeltown.
USS Claxton (DD-140), commissioned as HMS Salisbury (I-52) on 5 Dec. 1940; employed as a special escort for specific convoys, including escorting USS Wasp during the supply of Spitfires to Malta; scrapped in the US in Apr. 1945.
USS Conner (DD-72), commissioned as HMS Leeds (G-27) on 23 Oct. 1940; scrapped 19 Jan. 1949.
USS Conway (DD-70), commissioned as HMS Lewes (G-68) on 23 Oct. 1940; outlived all of her
sisters in British service; stripped of valuable scrap and scuttled off Sydney, Australia 25 May 1946.
USS Crowninshield (DD-134), commissioned as HMS Chelsea (I-35) on 9 Sep. 1940; transferred to Russia as Dzerki on 16 Jul. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 24 Jun. 1949; scrapped 27 Jul. 1949.
USS Cowell (DD-167), commissioned as HMS Brighton (I-08) on 23 Sept. 1940; transferred to Russia as Zharki on 16 Jul. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 4 Mar. 1949; scrapped 18 May 1949.
USS Doran (DD-185), commissioned as HMS St Marys (I-12) on 23 Sep. 1940; scrapped in Dec. 1945.
USS Edwards (DD-265), commissioned as HMS Buxton (H-96) on 8 Oct. 1940; scrapped 21 Mar. 1946.
USS Evans (DD-78), commissioned as HMS Mansfield (G-76) on 23 Oct. 1940; heavily involved in the critical convoy actions of Mar. 1943 with convoy HS229, landing survivors in the United Kingdom; sold 24 Oct. 1944 for scrapping.
USS Fairfax (D-93), commissioned as HMS Richmond (G-88) on 26 Nov. 1940; transferred to Russia as Zhivuchi on 16 Jun. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 26 Jun. 1949; scrapped 29 Jun. 1949.
USS Foote (DD-169), commissioned as HMS Roxborough (I-07) on 23 Sep. 1940; while with convoy HX222 Roxborough met with such heavy weather that the entire bridge structure was crushed, with eleven dead, including the Commanding Officer and 1st Lieutenant; the sole surviving executive officer managed to regain control of the ship, and under hand steering from aft, she made St. Johns, Newfoundland; was transferred to Russia as Doblestnyi on 10 Aug. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 7 Feb. 1949; scrapped 14 May 1949.
USS Hale (DD-133), commissioned as HMS Caldwell (I-20) on 9 Sep. 1940; scrapped 7 Jun. 1945.
USS Haraden (DD-183), commissioned as HMCS Columbia (I-49) on 24 Sep. 1940; scrapped 7 Aug. 1945.
USS Herndon (DD-198), commissioned as HMS Churchill (I-45) on 9 Sep. 1940; transferred to Russia as Dyatelnyi on 30 May 1944; torpedoed and sunk by U-956 on 16 Jan. 1945 while escorting a White Sea convoy; the last war loss of the class and the only one of the destroyers transferred to Russia to be lost.
USS Hopewell (DD-181), commissioned as HMS Bath (I-17) on 23 Sep. 1940; while escorting her sixth convoy (OG71) between Liverpool and Gibraltar, Bath was torpedoed by U-204 on 19 Aug. 1941 and sank rapidly.
USS Hunt (DD-194), commissioned as HMS Broadway (H-90) on 8 Oct. 1940; while escorting convoy OB318, Broadway took part in the attack on U-110 on 9 May 1941; abandoned by its crew, U-110 was boarded and taken in tow. Escorting convoy HX 237, Broadway located and sank U-89 in the North Atlantic on 14 May 1943; allocated for scrapping in Mar. 1948.
USS Kalk (DD-170), commissioned as HMCS Hamilton (I-24) on 23 Sep. 1940. Hamilton was apparently lost while being towed to Boston for scrapping in 1945.
USS Laub (DD-263), commissioned as HMS Burwell (H-94) on 8 Oct. 1940; one of the ships involved in the recovery of U-570 after its surrender to an RAF aircraft; consigned for scrapping in Mar. 1947.
USS Mackenzie (DD-175), commissioned as HMCS Annapolis (I-04) on 29 Sep. 1940; towed to Boston for scrapping on 22 Jun. 1945.
USS Maddox (DD-168), commissioned as HMS Georgetown (I-40) on 23 Sep. 1940; transferred to Russia as Zhostki in Aug. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 9 Sep. 1952; scrapped on 16 Sep. 1952.
USS Mason (DD-191), commissioned as HMS Broadwater (H-81) on 2 Oct. 1940; escorting convoy SC48 between St. John's Newfoundland and Iceland, Broadwater was torpedoed by U- 101 and sunk on 19 Oct. 1941.
USS McCalla (DD-253), commissioned as HMS Stanley (I-73) on 23 Oct. 1940; escorting convoy HG76 from Gibraltar, Stanley and accompanying vessels sank U-131 on 17 Dec. 1941 and U-434 on the following day; Stanley was sunk by U-574 on 19 Dec. with the loss of all but 25 of her crew.
USS McCook (DD-252), commissioned as HMCS St Croix (I-81) on 24 Sep. 1940; escorting convoy ON113 she attacked and sank U-90 on 27 Jul. 1942; escorting convoy KMS10, St Croix and Shediac sank U-87; while escorting the combined convoys ON202 and ONS18, St Croix was twice torpedoed by U-305 and sunk on 20 Sep. 1940; survivors were taken aboard the frigate Itchen, which was sunk on 22 Sep. with very heavy loss of life; only one of St Croix's crew of 147 survived.
USS McLanahan (DD-264), commissioned as HMS Bradford (H-72) on 8 Oct. 1940; consigned for scrapping in Aug. 1946.
USS Meade (DD-274), commissioned as HMS Ramsey (G-60) on 26 Nov. 1940; scrapped Jul. 1947.
USS Philip (DD-76), commissioned as HMS Lancaster (G-05) on 23 Oct. 1940; scrapped 30 May 1947.
USS Ringgold (DD-89), commissioned as HMS Newark (G-08) on 5 Dec. 1940; consigned for scrapping 18 Feb. 1947.
USS Robinson (DD-88), commissioned as HMS Newmarket (G47) on 5 Dec. 1940; scrapped 21 Sep. 1945.
USS Rodgers (DD-254), commissioned as HMS Sherwood (I-80) on 23 Oct. 1940; stripped of usable parts, Sherwood was beached on 3 Oct. 1943 as a target for RAF rocket-equipped Beaufighters.
USS Satterlee (DD-190), commissioned as HMS Belmont (H-46) on 8 Oct. 1940; while escorting troop convoy NA2 from St, John's, Newfoundland, Belmont was torpedoed by U-81 on 31 Jan. 1942 and sank with the loss of her entire ship's company.
USS Shubriak (DD-268), commissioned as HMS Ripley (G-79) on 26 Nov. 1940; consigned for scrapping 10 Mar. 1945.
USS Sigourney (DD-81), commissioned as HMS Newport (G-54) on 5 Dec. 1940; scrapped 18 Feb. 1947.
USS Stockton (DD-73), commissioned as HMS Ludlow (G-57) on 23 Oct. 1940; stripped and beached as a target for rocket firing aircraft off Fidra Island, United Kingdom.
USS Swasey (DD-273), commissioned as HMS Rockingham (G-58) on 26 Nov. 1940; while returning to Aberdeen on 27 Sep. 1944, poor navigation brought her into the defensive minefields off the east coast of the United Kingdom, and after striking a mine Rockingham was abandoned and sank with the loss of one life.
USS Thatcher (DD-162), commissioned as HMCS Niagara (I-57) on 26 Sep. 1940; on 28 Aug. 1941 Niagara was involved in the capture of U-570, which had surrendered to an RAF Hudson the previous day; scrapped by the end of 1947.
USS Thomas (DD-182), commissioned as HMS St Albans (I-15) on 23 Sep. 1940; while with convoy SCL81, St Albans took part in the sinking of U-401 on 3 Aug. 1941; encountered the Polish submarine Jastrzab, and in company with Seagull, attacked and sank it in early 1942; transferred to Russia as Dostoinyi on 16 Jul. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 28 Feb. 1949; towed for scrapping 18 May 1949.
USS Tillman (DD-135), commissioned HMS Wells (I-95) on 5 Dec. 1940; scrapped Feb. 1946.
USS Twiggs (DD-127), commissioned as HMS Leamington (G-19) on 23 Oct. 1940; during the fighting around convoy SC42 in the North Atlantic Leamington shared in the sinking of U-207 on 11 Sep. 1941; while covering convoy WS17 in the UK approaches, sank U-587 on 27 Mar. 1942; transferred to Russia as Zhguchi on 17 Jul. 1944; returned on 15 Nov. 1950; hired for the film The Gifthorse, the last Town class destroyer at sea under her own power; scrapped 3 Dec. 1951,
USS Abel P. Upshur (DD-193), commissioned as HMS Clare (I-14) on 9 Sep. 1940; scrapped 18 Feb. 1947.
USS Welles (DD-257), commissioned as HMS Cameron (I-05) on 9 Sep. 1940; Cameron never reached operational service; hit and set on fire by an air raid in Portsmouth on 5 Dec. 1940, she was considered by the U.S. Navy as the worst damaged but surviving destroyer available and was extensively studied for explosive effects and damage control; consigned for scrapping 1 Dec. 1944.
USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195), commissioned as HMS Chesterfield (I-28) on 9 Sep. 1940; scrapped 3 Dec. 1948.
USS Wickes (DD-75), commissioned as HMS Montgomery (G-95) on 25 Oct. 1940; on convoy escort Montgomery rescued the survivors of Scottish Standard on 21 Feb. 1941 and sank the Italian submarine Marcello the next day; scrapped 10 Apr. 1945.
USS Williams (DD-108), commissioned as HMCS St Clair (I-65) on 29 Sep. 1940; scrapped 5 Mar. 1946.
USS Yarnell (DD-143), commissioned as HMS Lincoln (G-42) on 23 Oct. 1940; transferred to Russia as Druzhny on 26 Aug. 1944; returned to the Royal Navy on 24 Aug. 1952; scrapped 3 Sep. 1952.