The History of Indian Walk and Preau
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The History of Indian Walk and Preau

The History of Indian Walk and Preau

Indian Walk has a rich history unlike any other community in Trinidad or Tobago. It is located in Princes Town. Like quite a quite a few communities around it, it is located above sea level: 78 metres to be exact. The area of Preau lies close by. Preau is south of Fifth Company, northwest of Moruga Road Reserveand southeast of Fourth Company. Preau is 32 meters above sea level.

Of immense historical interest are the origins of the present day names in the community. “Indian Walk” is said to have gotten its name from the daily trek made by the Guarahoon indigenous peoples of Venezuela who came to trade their goods.

St Mary’s Village or Preau Village, is said to be named after one of the African personalities in the area.

The history of the Company communities is also very unique. This is actually the subject of literature and even a movie.

According to Author Boysie Huggins, the original settlers to these areas were African American soldiers who had fought for the British in the War of American Independence during the 1770s. These former slaves were offered their freedom in return for their service. Britain of course lost the war, but was still takes with finding a home for the soldiers.
They were unwilling to send them to England, and were not able to settle them either in Canada or Australia. So, the British decided to send them to their newly acquired possession…Trinidad. This transportation took place in the early 19th century and the Afro- Americans and their families were sent to Trinidad in six batches or Companies. This is where the names of the communities came from. The “company” villages are situated along the Moruga road, and are five in number. 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. The 2nd never reached Trinidad and is rumoured to have landed in Jamaica.
The soldiers and their families were called “Merikins”.The head of each household was given16 acres of land and freedom from slavery. This land became known as “blood land” due to the nature of its acquisition. These “Merikins” numbered 574 in all, and settled in the middle of the jungle.

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June 23rd, 2017

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