The Merikins Community | Trinidad & Tobago

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It was the engagements in the Atlantic States of Maryland, Virginia and Georgia, between the United States and Britain that led to the founding of the Company Villages in Moruga Trinidad.

During the battle Britain lost to America, the black soldiers who fought against their ex-masters as Corps of the Colonial Marines in British service were later awarded lands in Trinidad in companies where they became known as the Merikins.

The war that lasted for two years had developed a peculiar relationship between black American marines and the British. The Colonial marines who were former slaves believed the British King had come to free them, while the British saw the black American marines as a source of fighting power to curb American expansion.

After the war, Alexander Cochrane, Vice-Admiral and Commander-in-Chief in North America issued a proclamation in 1814 inviting those who may have been disposed to emigrate from the United States, to board a British vessel where they would be taken to one of Britain's overseas possessions and set free. An estimated 761 marines took up the offer and came to Trinidad in six batches or companies.
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