|Points of interest|
|Behind the scenes|
- "More importantly, it is indeed a sad life that has never breathed deep the sweet, proliferous bouquet that is Tortuga. Savvy?"
- ―Jack Sparrow to Will Turner[src]
Tortuga, otherwise called Isla Tortuga or officially known as Île de la Tortue after its French takeover, was an island in the Caribbean. Its name in Spanish means "Turtle Island". Tortuga was located north of Hispaniola.
It became a major center of piracy in the 17th century. The island appeared to be free of governing reach and was generally a lawless place, and one of the only places a pirate considered to be "free" with the expansion of the East India Trading Company. The Faithful Bride was a popular tavern on the island.
Spanish planters began to cultivate Tortuga in 1598, with tobacco as their main crop, although there was not much fertile land to grow it on. They also tried planting sugar but it proved too costly a venture.
In 1625 French and English colonist, who were early buccaneers, arrived on the island. First they lived on island of Hispaniola. They were constantly wandering from one location to another, until they finally found the Tortuga to be the safest place.
The French and English colonists started setting up plantations and populated the island in a short time. They were temporary expelled as a potential treat to Spaniards when Don Fabrique de Toledo attacked Tortuga in 1629. The encouraged army came back to Hispaniola, determined to root out every colonist, until not a single one remained. However, Spanish did not predict that scattered colonists would organize and return to the island and defeat small remains of Spanish force.
From 1630, the island of Tortuga was divided into French and English colonies. It provided a good base for buccaneers' attacks, as well as some other activities like slave trades. Tortuga saw two more successful Spanish raids in 1635 and 1638, and both times the buccaneers managed to regain goods.
In 1639, in order to finally establish decent defense, as the governor of nearby Saint Christopher sent help in the form of Jean Le Vasseur who was promoted to the new governor of Tortuga. He built the stone fortress "Fort de Rocher" on a highest rise of the island. It was enforced with 40 guns and overlooked any vessels in or near the port.
Until 1665 Tortuga was temporarily captured by the Spanish one more time, and than the island became a part of Saint-Domingue colony. The new governor, Bertrand D'ogeron had difficulties to convince the buccaneers to accept him. However, he managed to develop Tortuga even more by organizing people and strengthening its defense.
In following period, some of the greatest buccaneers such as Henry Morgan and Francois L'Ollonais launched attacks from Tortuga and became part of island history. From 1670, the most buccaneers found a new trade like log cutting and trading wood from the island, and many others continued their piracy on the ships of foreign nations. In 1684 a peace treaty was signed between France and Spain. Spain officially gave up Tortuga, as a part of Saint-Domingue to France in 1697.
The Age of Piracy
- "You know Tortuga."
"I do. Port Royal has its charms, but it can't hold a candle to Tortuga."
- ―Esmeralda and Jack Sparrow[src]
In 1701, a war erupted between France, Spain, Great Britain and Holland. Many pirates from Tortuga were employed by the French Royal Navy as privateers. When the war ended in 1713, many former privateers once again turned to piracy.
In the early 1720s, a young sailor Jack Sparrow arrived in Tortuga, searching for his stolen sack. But instead of his own sack, he took the sack of the infamous pirate captain Torrents, which started a series of Sparrow's adventures around the Caribbean. More than ten years later, Sparrow came to Tortuga again, this time as captain of the Wicked Wench, a ship which was raised from the sea floor by Davy Jones, the lord of the sea. Sparrow assembled a pirate crew in Tortuga, renamed his ship the Black Pearl, and sailed into new adventures.
In the 1740s, Tortuga would still be the pirate heaven of the Caribbean, during which time Jack Sparrow assembled another crew, with the help of Joshamee Gibbs, for a voyage to Isla de Muerta. Jack and Gibbs would return to Tortuga a year later to recruit more crewmen as souls to settle Sparrow's debt with Davy Jones.
During the War of Jolly Roger, Roger's undead skeletons, led by general Hex, managed to occupy Tortuga Graveyard. Using their voodoo powers, they raised many dead inhabitants of Tortuga in an attempt to increase Roger's army. However, that was just a prelude to the full scale invasion led by Roger himself, which was repelled by buccaneers.
Shortly after the battle of Calypso's maelstrom, the Black Pearl made port in Tortuga. Hector Barbossa led a mutiny and commandeered the ship from its rightful owner, Jack Sparrow. Several years later, after Barbossa gained complete captaincy over Blackbeard's infamous flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, he ordered the Revenge's crew to set sail for Tortuga.
Behind the scenes
- Scenes in Tortuga were filmed primarily in St. Vincent in the productions of The Curse of the Black Pearl as well as the back-to-back productions of Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.
- Tortuga, as represented in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, drew inspiration from scenes on Puerto Dorado in the original Disneyland ride. Elements from the ride include:
- Pirates shooting guns.
- The "Redhead" (Scarlett).
- A man drinking rum by the tap.
- The woman letting a man look up her skirt.
- A man (Scalawag) sleeping with the pigs.
- While not appearing in the film itself, the scene with the mayor being dunked in the well appeared in one of the deleted scenes, which later made it into Dead Man's Chest.
- Tortuga appears in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. But, since that game was canceled, it is unknown if the island's appearance in the game is canon or not.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: The Siren Song (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: The Pirate Chase (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: Sins of the Father (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- Revenge of the Pirates!
- In Jack We Trust!
- Going Overboard! (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide
- The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook
Notes and references
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide, p38.
- ↑ The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook, p17.
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides