The settlement o' Tortuga has been featured prominently in Pirate Fiction o'er time, it's time to learn a little about this humble island! While Port Royal n' Nassau were much more prominent pirate ports, we shouldn't forget that Tortuga also has its own Pirate History.
Tortuga Island (Turtle Island) was a small island off the coast of Modern Haiti, or Hispanola as it was dubbed in the Colonial Era. Allegedly, when Christopher Colombus sailed into the Caribbean in 1492, he saw the Island n' named it for its Turtle shell shape.
It picked up a small colony of Spanish settlers, but it was lightly populated until French n' English colonists arrived around 1625. The new settlers meant to make a life in Hispanola but hadn't thought about the Spanish Military's presence. The Spanish occupied the Island, building a fort after they drove off the colonists. Whenever the military drove off one group of colonists another would appear somewhere else on Hispanola, causing Garrisons to shuffle around n' leave unoccupied forts fer opportunists!
The French saw this n' stole the fort to gain a foothold in the area in 1630, they also shared it with English n' Dutch colonists. The island went through 10 tumultuous years of revolting slaves, Spanish invasions, n' more before "The Brethren of the Coast" made themselves an official organization. It was a short lived group that the Spanish stamped out, but pirates began to call the island home. It was the Fourth and Final time Spain occupied the Island before England n' France reclaimed the territory in 1655. France removed the English citizens and maintained a hold until 1676 when the island was abandoned.
Throughout the 17th Century pirates would spring up from Tortuga however. Henry Morgan drew a sizable contingent of French Pirates from Tortuga in 1670 for a campaign in Cuba. France let their pirates run amok, so Tortuga was an excellent place to stash treasure in the formerly Spanish Fortifications.