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The Merikins were African-American refugees of the War of 1812 – freed black slaves who fought for the British against the USA in the Corps of Colonial Marines and then, after post-war service in Bermuda, were established as a community in the south of Trinidad in 1815–16. They were settled in an area populated by French-speaking Catholics and retained cohesion as an English-speaking, Baptist community, referring to themselves as Americans, which became "Merikins" in the local patois. Some of the Company villages and land grants established back then still exist in Trinidad today.