Since the native people were decimated after Columbus' arrival in America, the history of the Bahamas is one of immigrants. Since the 17th century, British, Africans and Spanish have arrived creating the unique blend that set the foundation for today's rich cultural heritage. Let's have a quick look.

The first British settled in Nassau in the 1660s. They were Puritans fleeing from Bermuda resisting Anglicanism. A commercial port, the future Nassau, was built. Around 1770, another wave of British arrived when Loyalists that opposed American Independence found a refuge in the Bahamas. Many were rich plantation owners who brought their slaves establishing slave labor camps that created the foundation for the liberation movements decades later.

More Africans arrived in Nassau between 1808 and 1860. They had been freed from slave ships by British naval officers. In the turn of the century, Nassau and New Providence received new migrants from Lebanon, China, Greece and neighboring islands to meet the country’s demand for experienced workers. A new wave of migration came from Haiti, when in the fifties people fled the country as the political life heated and the economic situation worsened.  Learn more at  This site has useful and educational information.

This history can be followed in the historical museums in Nassau: The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation (portrays slavery and post-emancipation eras of the Bahamas); Bahamas Historical Society Museum (depicts Bahamas history from pre-Columbus times to the present); Department of Archives (has a collection of historical documents dating back to 1600, photographic and oral history collections and a number of maps); and the Nassau Public Library and Museum (exhibits artifacts left by the Arawak Indians, the extinct indigenous people of the Bahamas).