From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Marooning is leaving someone behind on purpose in an uninhabited area, such as a uninhabited island. The word appears in writing approximately 1709, and is derived from maroon, a fugitive slave. It could be a corruption of Spanish cimarrón, meaning "wild". The practice was a penalty for crewmen, or for captains at the hands of a crew. A marooned man was set on a deserted island, often no more than a sand bar. He would be given some food, a container of water, and a loaded pistol so he could commit suicide if he desired. The outcome of marooning was usually fatal, but William Greenaway and some men loyal to him survived being marooned, as did pirate captain Edward England.
The chief practitioners of marooning were 17th and 18th century pirates, to such a degree that they were frequently referred to as "marooners." The pirate articles of captains Bartholomew Roberts and John Phillips specify marooning as a punishment for cheating one's fellow pirates or other offenses. In this context, to be marooned is euphemistically to be "made governor of an island," a phrase later popularized by the Disney movie trilogy Pirates of the Caribbean.
During the late 18th century in the American South, "marooning" took on a humorous additional meaning describing an extended camping-out picnic over a period of several days (Oxford English Dictionary).