An independent state in the Lesser Antilles in the west indies, north of venezuela, comprising the islands of trinidad and tobago. Its capital is Port of spain. Both islands were discovered by Columbus in 1498. The Spanish, English, Dutch, and French figure in their history over four centuries. trinidad and tobago united in 1898 and were made part of the British colony of trinidad and tobago in 1899. The colony became an independent state in 1962. Trinidad was so named by Columbus either because he arrived on Trinity Sunday or because three mountain peaks suggested the Holy Trinity. Tobago was given the name by Columbus from the Haitian tambaku, pipe, from the natives' habit of smoking tobacco leaves. (Webster's New Geographical dictionary, 1988, p1228, 1216 & Room, Brewer's dictionary of names, 1992, p555, 547)


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