At the time of European contact, Tobago was inhabited by Island Caribs.
The first European visitors appear to have been English in 1580. The first
settlers were Courlanders in 1654. It changed hands 33 times between Courland
(vassal of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), Spain, England, France, Sweden,
and the Dutch Republic until in 1814 it became part of the British Empire. In
1889 Tobago was united with Trinidad into a British crown colony. In 1962 they
became an independent Commonwealth nation of Trinidad and Tobago, in 1976 a republic