“The Angostura Historical Digest Vol. I” by Gérard A. Besson

The stories of these islands have come down to us via the impressions of strangers, transients, travellers, and apologists, analysing, often for the purpose of the creation of polemic. The arranging of information long after the fact has always been the challenge of the storyteller – perhaps that’s why it is called history.

This collection of essays does not pretend to be a history of our islands or of the people of our nation. It illustrates the life and the times of individuals who have contributed to Trinidad and Tobago’s development over the centuries, ranging from the marvellous eccentricities of Mahalle and his invisible car and the city as he saw it, on through to civil rights pioneer Dr. Jean Baptiste Philippe and his success with a civil rights case in the House of Lords in 1829, to the colonist Roume de St. Laurent and his experiment with marooned French people in the Antilles, to politician Albert Gomes and the origins of party politics, and the work of humanitarian Johannes Mohammed Bath, to name a few. The Angostura Historical Digest endeavours to show the commonalities of our shared experiences and the extent to which we are our brother’s keepers. To give context to local events, the essays also speak of what was going on in the region during those formative years in Venezuela, the other islands of the Caribbean, North America and the wider world.