“Nugget of Knowledge” #2 – Tortuga


Dry Tortuga – Discussing the “Golden Age of Piracy” (roughly 1600 – 1720 AD, location: the Carribean and SE United States), we come to Dry Tortuga, a small island off of the north coast of Hispaniola (present day – Haiti). Named after its odd turtle-like shape, it became the home of the buccaneers.  As they became more established on the island, their activity expanded to piracy and creating a pirate colony.


blog_map_hispanola_thumbThe Spanish Arrive – A number of attempts to dislodge the colony by the Spaniards, including an attack in 1664 that destroyed and occupy the colony, failed when the Spaniards were forced to vacate to protect Hispaniola from the English. For the next 20-odd years, Tortuga became a powerful community and center for piracy, even providing protection for French colonies growing on the North side of Hispaniola. It faded from prominence more from other centers of piracy becoming more active and supplanting Tortuga in importance, rather than from any military action. Activity moved from the French community to the Spanish Main, and to the heyday of Port Royal,  on the island of Jamaica. Stories for the next time…until then, a hearty “aarr mateys”!