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Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1934
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
PAUL M. PEARSON, Governor
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1934
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1934
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents. Washington, D.C. -- - -Price 5 cents
National recovery program -------------------- 1'
Financial phase ------------------------------ 2
Relief phase --------------------------------------3
Internal-revenue taxes------ -------------------- 4
Budget for St. Thomas and St. John----------- ---------------- 5;
Regulations concerning alcoholic beverages-- ---- ---------------- 6
Fiscal figures, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix---- -------------- 6
Federal appropriation ---------------------------------------- 7
Health institutions--------------------------- 10
Education ----------------- ------------------ 11
Public works----------------------------- 13
Police and courts---------------------------------13
Banking --------------------------- ---14
Business and industry ----------------------------------- 14
The Virgin Islands Company--------------------------- ------- 16
Homesteading ---------------------------------------------- 18
Public welfare ---------------- ----------------------20
Public libraries -------------------------------------- --------22
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE
ST. THOMAS, VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES,
August 31, 1934.
The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the
Governor of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended June 30,
The year just closed has brought to the Virgin Islands in miniature
many of the most serious problems that have been dealt with in
continental *United States, and the same trying, exhilarating ex-
periences in the attempt to find new methods to meet new conditions.
Thanks to the generous provisions of the emergency agencies and,
the hearty cooperation of all activities of the Federal Government,.
conditions in the Virgin Islands are noticeably improved. Where a
year ago desperation hung heavily over the several industries and
over many groups of people, there is now some hope reflected in
business, and large numbers of people have had a chance to work
and have had more food than last year. There have been no busi-
At the peak of the unemployment about 50 percent of the popu-
lation was affected, while at the peak of the employment there were
few able-bodied adults who did not have at least part-time work.
Besides the administrative work of the government of the Virgin
Islands, the problems dealt with have included unemployment, food
relief, taxation, change in currency, homesteading, housing, prohibi-
tion repeal, malaria control, and retirement insurance, the results
of which are set forth in the following report. The activities in
connection with the National Recovery program have furnished
the greatest single contribution to the solution of these problems,
and claimed the largest share of attention from the Government.
THE NATIONAL RECOVERY PROGRAM
The National Recovery program has brought untold benefits to the
Virgin Islands. The immediate result was that, for a period, em-
ployment was given to practically every able-bodied man and woman
in the islands; and, at the time of reporting, the employment situa-
tion is much improved over last year. From an economic standpoint,
the wide distribution of funds proved of inestimable help to all
classes of business enterprises, so that the islands enjoyed a period
,of unusual business activity. Permanent improvement will result
2 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
from the fact that a large majority of the projects undertaken are
such as will prove of lasting benefit to the islands.
Direction of the program has been entrusted to the Governor of the
Virgin Islands, as Public Works, Civil Works, and Emergency
A summary of the most important phases of the program follows:
The principal projects include road and street construction; re-
pairs and renewals to public-school buildings and other government
buildings; reconstruction of the leper colony, St. Croix; drainage of
swamps and other projects for malaria and filariasis control and
sanitation; typhus fever control; a Civil Works education project;
aid to cooperatives; a housing program; construction of the Blue-
beard Castle Hotel; and organization of the Virgin Islands Company.
THE FINANCIAL PHASE
The Federal Emergency Relief program.-This was inaugurated
in the Virgin Islands with a grant from the Federal Emergency
Relief Administration of $1,638, based on the relief expenditures
from all sources in the Virgin Islands for the first quarter of the
calendar year 1933. This initial grant, as well as two subsequent
grants, based on local relief expenditures for the second and third
quarters of 1933, were authorized pursuant to that provision of the
Federal Emergency Relief Act of 1933 which authorizes grants
of relief funds on the basis of $1 of Federal relief funds for every
$3 expended by local governments for relief purposes.
Thereafter, grants of Federal Emergency Relief funds were made
pursuant to that provision of the act of 1933 .which authorizes
grants of funds when the combined moneys which can be made avail-
able within any State, Territory, or insular possession would fall
below the estimated needs for relief purposes.
Similarly, the Civil Works program in the Virgin Islands was
financed by grants of Federal Emergency Relief funds.
The total of all grants from Federal Emergency Relief funds to
the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year was $435,669. Of this amount,
$267,049.76 was apportioned to the municipality of St. Thomas and
St. John, and $168,619.24 to the municipality of St. Croix. The total
expenditures to June 30, 1934, from these allotments, $384,431.63, are
classified as follows:
Object St. Thomas- St. Croix Total
Work relief .-----. -------.--.----.........-------- $155,142.49 $87,949.44 $243,091.93
Direct relief (emergency cash and food relief)...--------------- 5,513.04 9,493.44 15,006.48
Working capital for handcraft industries --.. --------. ---- 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Material- .-----.--------------------------------.. 71,715. 24 44, 617.98 116,333.22
Total------- ------------.. --......-----..-... 237, 370. 77 147, 060.86 384,431.63
National Industrial Recovery program.-The Public Works Ad-
ministration program in the Virgin Islands, financed from National
Industrial Recovery funds, was inaugurated with a grant of $89,500
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
for road construction and repairs to buildings, and $25,000 for
reconstruction of the leper asylum, St. Croix. This was followed by
a grant of $50,000 for the construction of a tourist hotel at St.
Thomas, which was subsequently increased to a revised total of
$101,750. Later grants were made for the construction of low-cost.
houses; for further repairs, reconditioning and furnishing of public
buildings, and for sanitation repairs, bringing the total to $302,850.
A grant of $1,000,000 was made late in the fiscal year for the indus-
trial rehabilitation program to be carried on by the Virgin Islands
Company. Most of this sum is yet to be expended.
Of the total Public Works Administration allotments of $1,302,850,
there was expended to June 30, 1934, a total of $193,481.43, classified
Labor --------------------------------------- $89, 154. 00
Material ----------------------------------- 104, 327.43
Total----------------------------------- 193, 481.43
Summary of expenditures and money value of other benefits.-
The actual cash expenditures and the money value of commodities
used for food relief under the National Recovery program, total
$667,792.42, classified as follows:
Work r Capital for
Source relief and Dreif coopera- Material Total
labor rel tives
Federal Emergency Relief..------------$243,091.93 $15,006.48 $10,000.00 $116,333.22 $384,431.63
National Industrial Recovery..----------- 89,154.00 ....-------.--- 104,327.43 193,481.43
Total cash expenditures ----------- 332,245.93 15,006.48 10,000.00 220,660.65 577,913.06
Money value of food furnished by Federal
Surplus Relief Corporation (including
freight) -- --------------- ------ 89,879.36 --------- ----. 89,879.36
Grand total....------- ---------- I 332,245.93 104,885.84 10,000.00 220,660.65 667,792.42
THE RELIEF PHASE
As elsewhere, relief fell under two main headings-work relief
and direct relief (emergency cash and food relief).
Work relief.-Work relief was furnished, at the peak of the pro-
gram, to 2,187 persons in St. Croix, 1,787 in St. Thomas, and 240
in St. John-a total of 4,214 persons. At the beginning of the pro-
gram, 2,196 persons in St. Thomas registered as unemployed, and
240 in St. John. All registered in St. John received work. Of the
410 registered in St. Thomas who received no work relief, 70 came
from families having members on work-relief rolls and a considerable
number belonged to the casual labor group (coal workers, etc.) who
have some income, though irregular. The registration figures for
St. Croix are not available, but would show practically the same
situation as in St. Thomas.
Direct relief.-Emergency cash relief, totaling $1,300.58 was dis-
tributed to 401 families (1,181 persons) in St. Thomas, and $1,308.39
to about as many families in St. Croix.
Food relief.-After investigation by welfare department person-
nel, 1,575 families (4,682 persons) in St. Thomas, and 6,213 persons
in St. Croix, received food relief. There was distributed a total
4 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
of 1;298,150 pounds of foodstuffs, valued at $102,276.87 (approxi-
mately 118 pounds or $9.30 per person aided), as follows:
Estimated value (including freight charges) of 1,194,780 pounds
foodstuffs furnished by the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation-- $89, 879. 36
Expended from Federal Emergency Relief funds for local purchase
of 103,370 pounds fresh beef--------------------------------- 9,939. 4
Expended from Federal Emergency Relief funds for landing and
cold-storage charges, and other distribution expenses----------- 2, 458. 08
Total --------------------------------------- 102, 276. 87
Change of ourrency.-By ordinances of identical tenor adopted
by the Colonial Councils of the municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John and of the municipality of St. Croix, and with the concurrence
of the United States Treasury, United States currency became legal
tender in the Virgin Islands, in lieu of the former Danish West
Indian currency, on July 1, 1934, following the expiration of the
charter of the National Bank of the Danish West Indies. The
legal rate of conversion was declared to be 0.965 United States dollar
for each Danish West Indian dollar and 0.193 United States dollar'
for each Danish West Indian franc. At the same time, the Coun-
cils ordained that all laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Virgin
Islands in which the designation Danish West Indian dollar, francs,
or bit are used, are amended to substitute therefore designations in
United States dollars and cents at the rate of one United States
dollar for each Danish West Indian dollar. The Danish West
Indian coins will continue to be legal tender in the Virgin Islands
until 1 year after the Governor has proclaimed that the United
States Government will exchange United States coin or currency
for Danish West Indian coins at the legal rate of conversion. This
proclamation was issued July 14, 1934. The United States Govern-
ment has accepted the responsibility of retiring the Danish West
On March 30, 1933, the Colonial Council of the municipality of
St. Thomas and St. John passed an ordinance to provide additional
revenues by levying certain internal revenue taxes. On the same
date, there was passed by the Colonial Council, as companion legis-
lation to the internal revenue ordinance, an ordinance to suspend
temporarily the collection of certain ships' dues. The purpose was
to obtain additional revenue for the municipality from the operation
of the internal revenue tax ordinance, and to permit the transfer
of a portion thereof from the Colonial Treasury to the Harbor
Treasury to reimburse the latter for the loss of revenue due to the
suspension of the ships' dues. The ships' dues to be suspended con-
sisted of what is in effect a tonnage tax of 32 cents per ton on bunker
coal and fuel oil imported into the island of St. Thomas for use in
bunkering vessels. In a period of economic depression, it was the
best judgment of leaders in the community and in the administra-
tion that the suspension of these ships' due would encourage more
ships to visit the port of St. Thomas for bunkering and thus promote
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
greater activity in the harbor and enhance the general welfare of
On December 18, 1933, a new internal revenue ordinance was
adopted by the Colonial Council for St. Thomas and St. John.
With the consent of the department, this new internal revenue ordi-
nance was approved by the Governor on January 19, 1934, and it
became law 15 days thereafter, viz, February 3, 1934. On the same
date, there was approved by the Governor the ordinance to suspend
until June 30, 1934, the collection of certain ships dues, passed on
March 30, 1933. This ordinance became law on February 18, 1934,
30 days after its approval by the Governor. It has recently been
extended to June 30, 1935.
The internal revenue ordinance levies, for 2 years, a flat 5 percent
ad valorem tax on all articles manufactured, produced, or brought
into the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, with certain ex-
ceptions, principal among the exceptions being bunker coal and fuel
oil, samples and advertising matter, wines for sacramental purposes,
articles for charitable purposes, bread, livestock, poultry, plants,
fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, charcoal and firewood, bay rum, eggs,
and fresh fish. The tax is collected on articles received through the
post office with the cooperation of the postmaster, and on articles
received by freight with the cooperation of the collector of customs.
An internal revenue office was established in a convenient location in
a building adjoining the post office.
Shortly after this internal revenue tax became law, its validity
was tested in the District Court of the Virgin Islands on motion of
a local taxpayer on the ground that the Colonial Council of St.
Thomas and St. John was without jurisdiction and authority to
enact tax legislation of this nature. The administration was rep-
resented in court by the Government attorney and Special Counsel
Philip M. Glick of the Interior Department. The district court
held that the Colonial Council of St. Thomas and St. John was
within its jurisdiction and authority to enact the internal revenue
The internal revenue taxes yielded $13,695.86 from February 3,
1934, to June 30, 1934, and the estimate for the fiscal year 1935 is
ADMINISTRATIVE BUDGET FOR ST. THOMAS AND ST. JOHN
The municipality of St. Thomas and St. John operated during the
entire fiscal year on a budget which was promulgated by the Gov-
ernor, with the approval of the President of the United States, in-
stead of on a budget passed by the Colonial Council and approved
by the Governor. This most unusual situation was created when
the Colonial Council of St. Thomas and St. John was unable to
agree on a budget on a modified basis due primarily to a drastic
reduction in the deficit to be paid by the Federal Government which
had been made necessary by the operation of the National Economy
program in the Virgin Islands. For the fiscal year 1935, however.
a budget for the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John has been
passed by the Colonial Council and approved by the Governor in
6 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
REGULATION OF MANUFACTURE, SALE, AND EXPORTATION OF ALCOHOLIC
The national prohibition laws in their application to the Virgin
Islands were repealed by the Congress, effective March 13, 1934. On
April 3, 1934, the Colonial Council of St. Thomas and St. John
enacted an ordinance to regulate the manufacture, sale, and exporta-
tion of alcoholic beverages and to provide for the taxation thereof.
This ordinance created a Board of Control for Alcoholic Beverages
consisting of the Governor as chairman, two members elected by the
Colonial Council from the Colonial Council, and two members ap-
pointed by the Governor. Under the exclusive control of the board
is the production of rum for export and the export of rum produced
in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. This enactment
is in line with the general policy of the administration to control
the manufacture of rum for export in order that Virgin Islands
rum may not be exploited and in order that a profitable market may
be secured and retained for quality rum from the Virgin Islands.
A similar control board has been authorized for the municipality
of St. Croix, in which municipality there will be Government-
controlled retail liquor stores.
MUNICIPALITY OF ST. THOMAS AND ST. JOHN
The actual revenues of the municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John amounted to $105,898.76, as compared with $86,524.10 for the
fiscal year 1933. The increase is accounted for principally by the
new internal-revenue tax which yielded $13,695.86 from February to
June 1934 and by a contribution from the harbor board as required
by law, of $4,553.14, representing one-half of the net profit of the
harbor board for the fiscal year 1933. A decline in certain other
sources of revenue was offset by an increase in customs dues due to
import duty on liquors and by an increase in income taxes.
The cost of the municipal government of the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John was $182,740.19. The major departmental
Education ------------------------------------- $48, 404.54
Health --------------------------------------- 39, 523. 93
Public works--------------------- ----- 37, 014. 57
The Federal Government paid 42 percent and the local government
paid 58 percent of the cost of operation of the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John during the fiscal year 1934, when the differ-
ence of $76,841.43 between the local revenues and the cost of the
municipal government was met by an appropriation made by Con-
gress to defray the deficit in the Treasury of the municipal govern-
MUNICIPALITY OF ST. CROIX
The actual revenues of the municipality of St Croix amounted to
$119,663.25, as compared with $107,440.57 for -the fiscal year 1933.
A loss of $10,000 on export duty on sugar was offset by an increase
in property and income taxes; by the new internal revenue taxes,
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
which yielded $2,898.17 for the year; and by an increase in import
The cost of the municipal government of the municipality of St.
Croix was $194,579.88. The major departmental expenditures were:
Health ----------------------- ------$45, 795. 50
Public works ------- -------------- 41, 778. 08
Education ------ --- ---------_------- 40, 714. 71
The Federal Government paid 381/2 percent and the local
government paid 611/2 percent of the cost of operation of the
municipality of St.. Croix during the fiscal year 1934, when the
difference of $74,916.63 between the local revenues and the cost of
the municipal government was paid by a deficit appropriation made
03JECTS OF EXPENDITURES OF THE TWO MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS
A study of the expenditures of the two municipal governments
reveals the percentage of expenditure for health, education, public
works, and welfare to the total revenues and to the total expenditures
of the two municipalities, as follows:
Object of expenditure reLocal Exedi-
1. Education--.---.--------------------.-----------------------------39}i 23%
2. Health....----.................................................................. ------------------------------ 37% 22%
3. Public works......................................--------------...--------------------------------- 33 19%
4. Welfare and poor.---------------------- 10 6
THE FEDERAL APPROPRIATION
The appropriation "Temporary Government for the Virgin
Islands" for the fiscal year 1934, as contained in the Interior
Department Appropriation Act, was as follows:
Central administration ---- ----------------- ---$134, 750
Agricultural station and vocational school --- --------------- 25, 000
Deficit, municipality of St. Thomas and St. John ----------- ___- 98, 500
Deficit, municipality of St. Croix --------------- ------------ 98, 500
Special projects ----------- ----------- 15, 000
Total---------- ----- -------- -- 371,750
This appropriation was supplemented by $19,379.52 representing
the unobligated balance of the 1933 appropriation. However, the
total Federal funds available for expenditure during 1934 was
reduced by the National Government, on a cash withdrawal basis to
$347,804, which was later supplemented by $3,405 (to meet the
reduction in compensation deduction from 15 to 10 percent) to a
revised total of $351,209.
THE ST. THOMAS HARBOR BOARD
The St. Thomas Harbor Board, which is an independent, self-
sustaining institution, reflected a healthy activity. With total col-
lections of $28,018.58, as compared with $25,144.69 for 1933, there
8 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
was an operating surplus of $11,875.69 on June 30, 1934, as com-
pared with $9,106.28 the previous year. By law, one-half of the
surplus will be paid to the colonial treasury of St. Thomas and
St. John, and one-half to the harbor surplus fund.
The following is a summary of all expenditures in the Virgin
Islands during the fiscal year:
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John----------------------- $182, 740. 19
Municipality of St. Croix_ --- ----------------------- 194, 579. 88
St. Thomas Harbor Board----------------------------------- 16,142.89
Federal appropriation ------------- ------------ 168, 585. 62
Federal Emergency Relief funds ---------- ----------3-84, 431.63
National Industrial Recovery funds------------------- 193,481.43
Total__------------------- ----- ---------1, 139, 961. 64
The following is a summary of emergency allocations:
National Industrial Recovery---------------- ------- $1, 302, 850. 00
Federal Emergency Relief ------------------------- 435, 669. 00
Money value of commodities received from the Federal Surplus
Relief Corporation (including freight) ---------------- 89, 879.36
Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan for capital stock for
Virgin Islands National Bank ---------------------- 125, 000.00
Total ----------------------------- 1, 953, 398. 36
The Health Department has done much successful work on the
several major health problems of the Islands.
Malaria has been the outstanding problem. In St. Thomas and
St. John, there were 263 cases during the first 3 months of the fiscal
year, but prompt and continued treatment of cases, and careful con-
trol of breeding places of the malaria carrier, the anopheles mos-
quito, resulted in marked improvement in conditions, so that by
the end of the year there were practically no cases-a total of only
18 during the least 3 months. In St. Croix, where there were 894
cases during 1931-32 and 234 cases during 1932-33, the total this
year was 279, with a decided decrease in the number of cases
during the last few months of the year. Not only the medical
agencies, but all resources of the Government have been brought
to bear on this problem. With special grants obtained under the
National Recovery Program, the large La Grange swamp near
Frederiksted and several smaller swamps in the vicinity of Chris-
tiansted, St. Croix, and the Long Bay, Altona, and Lindbergh
Bay swamps in St. Thomas, are being drained and oiled.
For a permanent elimination of this menace to the health of the
islands, the government secured through the Rockefeller Founda-
tion the services of their malaria expert, Dr. Walter C. Earle, and
Sanitation Drainage Engineer, Mr. E. H. Magoon, who made a sur-
vey of the danger areas and made recommendations as to what
was needed to correct conditions. Following this survey, we secured
REPORT OF TEE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
the cooperation of the engineering service of the United States
Army, which sent two Army engineers to make plans and estimates
for the drainage and filling required. On these plans, the Public
Works Administration has granted an allotment of $109,200 for the
purpose of filling the Long Bay and Lindbergh Bay swamps, and it
is expected that the work will be begun shortly after this report
According to the chief municipal physician of St. Croix, filariasis
is the most prevalent disease in that island. Of 842 children ex-
amined, 138 or 16.3 percent were found to have micro-filaria in their
blood. Practically 100 percent of the old people of the island show
The deforming effects of elephantiasis, which is caused by filari-
asis, and the incidence of which is likewise very high, make this
disease a more serious disorder in many respects than is malaria. No
satisfactory remedy for it has been found. Its prevention through
mosquito control is the only effective means so far developed. With
a view to effective control, much study has been made by the chief
municipal physician of St. Croix to determine the carriers of this
disease and their breeding habits. Large numbers of each variety
of mosquitos found in the island have been hatched in laboratory,
fed on patients with micro-filaria in their blood, and each mosquito
dissected to determine if the micro-filaria would undergo develop-
ment in his particular species. So far, four varieties have been
found which are suitable transmitters of the disease. Two of these,
the Anopheles albimanus and the Anopheles grabhami are also
vectors of malaria.
PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIVITIES
The medical service has placed much emphasis during the year
upon activities designed to "keep well people well." Through the
generosity of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Knud Knud-Hansen,
commissioner of health for the Virgin Islands, undertook during the
year extensive study and travel in the United States, visiting and
studying public-health work in several important health centers..
This has resulted in an awakened interest and a thoroughly modern,
approach to the problem.
The children of the Virgin Islands continue to suffer from mal-
nutrition and undernourishment, and from very poor housing, un-
desirable conditions that have existed for decades. Too many chil-
dren are fed to survive rather than to live "', reports the commis-
sioner of health. "The average home does not provide food with
regard to its nutritive value but rather with a view to satisfying
the appetite." "Overcrowded and poorly ventilated homes give
excuses for children romping about until late at night at the expense
of precious hours of sleep." A medical examination of all school
children showed that 46 percent were underweight. It revealed also
the interesting fact that the sixth grade, which was found to have
10 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
the greatest number of undernourished children, also made the poor-
fest showing in school work and the largest percentage of failures.
Through the schools, strong efforts are being made to keep track
(of and give suitable treatment to defective children and to educate
pupils and parents in the fundamentals of proper diet, sleep re-
quirements, suitable recreation, etc. Through Federal food relief,
school gardens, and the continued assistance of the Golden Rule
Foundation, more and better food is being made available for the
children, and they are being taught approved methods of prepara-
tion so that the maximum nutritive value might be, obtained.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND SANITATION
Besides the major activities in connection with malaria and filari-
asis already mentioned, much attention has been given to control
of other communicable diseases through improved sanitary and
health measures. Laws were secured through the council for food
inspection, improved handling of foodstuffs on sale, and control of
garbage disposal. Earnest recommendations have been made for
improvement in sewage disposal, flushing of gutters, street cleaning,
etc., but the necessary funds are not yet available.
Vaccination of school children against smallpox was continued.
and over 600 persons were inoculated with typhoid antitoxin when
a few cases of typhoid, believed to have been caused by imported
infected fruit, were discovered. The result was that typhoid cases
numbered only 14 during the entire year.
Through the three hospitals of the islands, and the several clinics
in outlying districts, adequate medical service has been rendered
to all seeking it. In St. Thomas alone, 24,404 consultations and
treatments were given to out-patients, besides hospitalization total-
ing 18,309 sick days. In addition, a special nursing service for aged
indigents was carried on.
The several health institutions in St. Croix (the leper colony, in-
sane asylum, and poor farm) have functioned normally during the
year. With funds made available by the Public Works Administra-
tion, extensive repairs have been accomplished to the buildings of
all these institutions.
The leper colony has been given special attention. During the
year a small chapel and recreation building was erected from funds
made available by the American Mission to Lepers, and Dr. W. M.
Danner, the general secretary, came to St. Croix for the dedication
of the building. Just across the road, there has been erected a new
and beautiful Catholic chapel. With grants from the Public Works
.Administration, repairs have been made to the old buildings and
six new small buildings have been added, one a laboratory which was
'greatly needed for carrying on the work of the colony. The United
States Public Health Service has made available Dr. L. B. Badger
for -a term to assist in investigation and treatment of leprosy in tlh
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
For the first 6 months of the calendar year, infant mortality shows
a rate of 89.1 per thousand, a reduction of 43 percent from the rate
of 157 per thousand in the preceding year. This is the lowest infant
mortality rate in the Virgin Islands on record, and compares with
an annual average of 320 per thousand for the 7 years (1911-17)
immediately preceding the transfer to United States sovereignty.
and with an annual average of 183 per thousand during the period
The birth rate in the Virgin Islands for the calendar year 1933 is
26.3, an increase of 15 percent over the preceding year.
The death rate for the calendar year 1933, though influenced by
the malaria epidemic during part of the year, was 21.9, an increase
of only 1 percent over the preceding year. The provisional death
rate for the first 6 months of the calendar year 1934, shows the
lowest figure on record, 17.1 per thousand. This is less than half
the annual average of 35.4 per thousand for the 7 years (1911-17)
immediately preceding the transfer, and 26 percent decrease from
the annual average of 23.1 per thousand during the period 1918-30.
The valuable recommendations made by the Hampton Survey
,Commission, in their Report of the Educational Survey of the Vir-
gin Islands issued in 1929, have formed the basic principles of the
-administration's educational program.
During the past year, excellent progress has been made. Some of
,the outstanding activities under the general plan may be briefly
Improving qualifications of teachers.-As it is obvious that a
:school can be no better than its teachers, efforts have been'continuous
to raise the former low standards of teachers in the Virgin Islands.
.Salaries are improved, though not yet adequate. The 1918 average
salary of teachers was $16.23, in 1934 it is $48.24, or 300 percent
Supervision of elementary schools by trained supervisors is result-
ing in improvement in the work of elementary school teachers and
The summer school, with instructors from the Progressive Educa-
ition Association and an enrollment this year of 60 teachers, gave
thorough training in modern pedagogical methods. A demonstra-
tion school was conducted, wherein student teachers were given op-
portunity to put the theories taught into actual practice, under
Scholarships in several universities of the United States, secured
-through the generosity of these institutions and friends of the
islands, have been granted each year to promising students and
-teachers on pledge to return to the islands to teach. During the
_past year, the number of scholarship students has increased to 11.
Improving the training offered students.-The curriculum is being
steadily improved, always with a view to meeting not only the edu-
12 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
national needs of the islands, but the economic as well. The voca-
tional institute has carried on effective work furnishing training in
agriculture and mechanical trades, besides an increasing amount of
academic work. The high school in St. Thomas, while furnishing
such complete academic training as qualifies its graduates to enter
United States colleges, is devoting an increasing part of its time to
cooking, sewing, and home economics in general, and to carpentry,
cabinet-making, and other manual arts. Courses in rug making and
basketry have been added recently to assist these growing industries
of the islands.
Hitherto, scholarships have been secured for teachers only, and
these through sources outside the islands. The Government is now
recommending to the Colonial Councils of the islands that they vote
funds to make available each year a limited number of scholarships
for deserving islanders, not only for training as teachers, but in
other desirable professions, such as medicine, law, engineering, etc.
Increased interest in the schools.-The increased attendance of
children at high school beyond the compulsory school age evidences
a very desirable increased interest in education. The enrollment in
all public schools for the year totals 3,485, an increase of 74 over the
preceding year and of 54 percent over the total enrollment of 2,267
in 1918, when the population w;ai -ubltantially the same as now.
Attendance is 94.42 percent of enrollment. In the same period the
number of teachers increased from 81 to 119, or by 47 percent.
Improving school buildings.-With the Treaty of Session in 1917,
the Danish State turned over 20 schoolhouses of various sizes, which
were used to accommodate 2,267 pupils. In the first 16 years of
United States sovereignty, no new buildings were erected and no
major repairs made, though the number of pupils enrolled increased
by 50 percent to a total of 3,411. To accommodate this increase of
1,144 pupils, there had been added two buildings which formerly
housed United States marines, and a third, a former residence.
With these additions, there was still much overcrowding.
With grants from the Public Works Administration, repairs, re-
newals, additions, and replacements are being made to 12 school
buildings of the islands, so that adequate accommodations are now
Adult education.-With funds made available under the National
Recovery Act, a program of adult education was carried out in the
Virgin Islands with considerable success. The length of the term
was 16 weeks. The enrollment in St. Thomas was 725, and in St.
Croix 800, or a total of 1,525-about 1 in 10 of the adult population.
Sixteen courses were offered, including sewing, home management,
selecting and packing vegetables, health and sanitation, auto me-
chanics, music, geography, history, arithmetic, composition, and
botany. Forty-one teachers were employed. The total cost per en-
rolled pupil for the 16 weeks was $3.33. These figures show a lively
interest, an inexpensive school, and a successful experiment. Con-
tinuation and development of this program is earnestly recommended.
One of the desirable results of the program has been the increased
use of the schools as community centers.
Nursery schools.-Also through aid from the National Recovery
Administration, three experienced nursery school teachers were ob-
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
trained during the year to train islanders in nursery school work and
to instruct parents in child care. Three schools were established, 1
in each of the 3 towns of the islands, and each with approximately
20 pupil children.
Student teachers and parents viewed the demonstration work done
by the training teachers, and both groups attended lectures on
nursery school routine and technic of care and guidance of little
children. The student teachers were later required to do practice
teaching, under supervision. Fourteen student teachers satisfac-
torily completed the course and are available for this work next
year, when it is planned to establish five nursery schools.
Health and ir, /fje work through the schools.-Hot lunches were
continued for the children in all rural schools and in some of the
town schools. School gardens furnished much of the vegetables
needed for these lunches, and their preparation afforded an excellent
opportunity for training the older children in approved methods of
Two Jeanes teachers on the staff of the Vocational Institute in
St. Croix did valuable community work on the estate villages, im-
proving home and village conditions and working toward much
needed improvements in the diet of the people. Another Jeanes
teacher carried on similar work in St. Thomas.
The health and education departments have cooperated actively
in a school health program which aims not only at the maintenance
of such a degree of health as will enable the children to obtain full
benefit from their school training, but which is designed as well to
educate the children, and through them the homes, of the Virgin
Islands, in improved living conditions.
The public works departments in both municipalities have borne
an unprecedented load in carrying, besides their regular functions,
the extensive Public Works and Civil Works programs, which has
meant many times the normal volume of work. The emergency
projects have included road and street construction; repairs and
renewals to public school buildings and other Government buildings;
reconstruction of the leper colony in St. Croix; drainage of swamps
and other projects for malaria and filariasis control and sanitation;
construction of low-cost houses in connection with the homesteading
program; and construction of Bluebeard Castle Hotel.
POLICE AND COURTS
The enviable reputation of Virgin islanders for respect for law
and peaceable relations between the citizenry was well maintained
throughout the year. Crimes of violence were rare, and the small
police force (12 in St. Thomas, 21 in St. Croix, 2 in St. John) main-
tained order without difficulty. There were no arrests for drunken-
ness in the islands. Of the 508 police cases in St. Thomas, 171 were
of people not born in the islands, and 89 percent of the total were
for minor offenses such as disorderly conduct, violation of automo-
bile and sanitary regulations, slander, etc. Of 364 cases in St. Croix,
14 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
91 percent were for minor offenses. In all 3 islands there were-
only 2 cases of manslaughter and 2 cases of assault with intent to-
The district court and the police courts tried cases promptly, and
there was no delay nor congestion in handling the dockets. Juris-
diction over the district court of the Virgin Islands has been changed
from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Justice.
Under the direction of the government attorney, the work of
translating and codifying the Danish statutes and land records
made substantial progress.
The National Bank of the Danish West Indies had the exclusive-
right to issue bank notes in the Virgin Islands of the United States.
for a period of 30 years from June 20, 1904, by virtue of a conces-
sion granted by the Danish State and guaranteed by the United'
States Government at the time of the change of sovereignty. This
concession expired June 20, 1934, and the change to United States:
currency was effected on July 1, 1934. It was hoped to have an
American banking institution in operation in the Virgin Islands by
that date. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation has pledged
$125,000 toward the capital stock of a new bank on the condition
that there shall be subscribed from local sources $50,000. This
amount has been oversubscribed, but certain legal and technical-
difficulties have delayed the establishment of this new bank.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
Though the number of tourists visiting St. Thomas is still small,
during the past year it was 3 or 4 times as great as in any preceding
year. Organized taxi tours for several of the cruises brought addi-
tional business to the island.
For a substantial improvement in tourist trade, the government is
undertaking to provide for hotel and recreational facilities:
Bluebeard Castle Hotel.-With funds allotted by the Public Works
Administration, the Bluebeard Castle Hotel is being constructed on
a hilltop overlooking the city and harbor of St. Thomas and having
an impressive view of the Caribbean. The round tower, reported to,
have been the fortress of the pirate Bluebeard, forms the central
feature and keynote of a group of small modern buildings. Ample
ground space will allow, and plans have been made, for expansion
of this hotel on the unit plan as required.
Recreational facilities.-Also with Public Works Administration
funds, a beach house is being constructed at the government-owned
Lindbergh Bay beach, one of the best in the world, where also golf
will be available on the links on which Colonel Lindbergh landed his
Spirit of St. Louis in 1928. On this same estate is reserved a site
for another hotel when required, and the botanical garden nearby
lends additional attraction to the vicinity.
Automobile roads.-The route has been charted and plans drawn
for an automobile road on the hilltops of St. Thomas, that would
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
open up the beauties of the island to tourists. A bill to provide
the necessary funds for construction of this road was introduced in
Congress and passed the Senate, but failed in conference committee.
Advertising.-The St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce, the St.
Thomas Improvement Association, and the Government cooperated
to produce an advertising booklet for promotion of tourist trade.
Ten thousand copies were printed and distributed. The Department
of the Interior has just completed a reprint of 20,000 of these folders.
The total number of ships entering the harbor of St. Thomas for
the year was 511, with a gross tonnage of 2,006,150 tons, which is
39 ships more than last year, and 6 ships more than the past 14-year
average of 505. The port enjoyed its best year since 1931, showing
an operating surplus of $11,875.69. The Department of the Interior
and the Governor have been working for and expect before long
to be able to report increased passenger service between New York
and the Virgin Islands.
Bunkering of ships.-The most important activity of the harbor
of St. Thomas, showed a 10-percent improvement this year when 203
ships called for bunkers of coal and oil as compared with 182 the
previous year and 185 in 1931-32.
Pan-American Airways has continued a weekly service to St..
Thomas, connecting the island by plane with the mainland, via
San Juan, Puerto Rico, and with the islands to the south and the
mainland of South America,
Exports of bay rum from St. Thomas for the past year showed
practically no change from the preceding year. The program of the
newly organized Virgin Islands Co. includes reorganization of this
industry and development of the bay oil industry of St. John.
While the production of sugar in St. Croix has been less than
in the 2 years previous, the actual production was greater if meas-
ured by cane ground and juice extracted. The resumption of the
distillation of St. Croix rum is consuming an increasing percentage
of cane juice and of sirup, sugar, and molasses. The homestead
projects have added to the cane acreage, and not only are these to
be further extended, but the plans of the Virgin Islands Co. call
for the planting of several thousand additional acres.
The repeal of national prohibition has resulted in a tremendous
revival of interest in the rum industry of the Virgin Islands, for
which product St. Croix particularly has long been famous. Five
16 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
distilleries have been erected or rebuilt in St. Croix, and two in
St. Thomas, with an annual total estimated capacity of 2,000,000
gallons. Distilling operations were commenced in the late spring,
but no commercial shipments were made before the close of the
Hearings were held in the Virgin Islands on June 9, 1934, by the
Federal Alcohol Control Administration, for the purpose of deter-
mining whether the Codes of Fair Competition for the Distilled
Spirit Industry and the Distilled Spirits Rectifying Industry should
be extended to the Virgin Islands, and also for the purpose of deter-
mining whether, in order to meet the consumptive demand for rum,
it is necessary to utilize plant capacity in the Virgin Islands acquired
or constructed after November 27, 1933. The result of these hearings
has not yet been announced.
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS COMPANY
On April 9, 1934, the Colonial Council of St. Thomas and St.
John adopted an ordinance creating a body corporate to be known
as the Virgin Islands Co." to aid in effecting the economic reha-
bilitation of the Virgin Islands. Hon. Harold L. Ickes, Hon. Oscar
L. Chapman, and Hon. Paul M. Pearson, were the incorporators.
The general plan is that certain sugar factories, cane lands, and
rum distilleries in St. Croix; a rum distillery, a hotel, and an office
building in St. Thomas; and bay tree lands in St. John, are to be
purchased from the appropriation of $1,000,000 made by the Public
Work Administration, and these properties leased to the Virgin
Islands Co. for operation for the industrial development of the
islands, and the general welfare, economic as well as social, of their
The Virgin Islands Co. is a partnership program by which the
Government of the United States and the people of the Virgin
Islands cooperate in a long-range social, economic, and industrial
program, the profits being available in the islands for educational
and social purposes. It will include a development of the winter
vegetable crop during the off season for the United States, the
improvement of handcraft industries, the development of tourist
trade, the improvement of the educational system to provide for
adults and children of preschool age, a system of old age and un-
employment compensation somewhat along the lines of those dis-
cussed by President Roosevelt, and extension of the homesteading
and housing programs already initiated.
The President of the United States appointed a board of direc-
tors for operation of this company, consisting of Hon. Harold L.
Ickes, Hon. Oscar L. Chapman, Hon. Paul M. Pearson, Hon. D.
Hamilton Jackson, and Hon. Lionel Roberts.
Advisory council.-To advise on Virgin Islands policies, and in
particular in connection with the development of the Virgin Islands
Co., the President appointed an advisory council of leading men of
the Nation, as follows: Hon. Harold L. Ickes, Hon. Henry A. Wal-
lace, Mr. George Foster Peabody, Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson, Mr.
Walter White, Mr. Charles W. Taussig, and Miss Joanna C. Colcord.
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
The handcraft cooperatives have enjoyed an exceedingly busy
and successful year. With the aid of Federal Emergency Relief
funds, its activities and effectiveness in furnishing part-time em-
ployment for the people of St. Thomas and St. John have been
tremendously increased. A flourishing tourist season and brisk
trade in the United States have combined to make -tpossible for
the cooperatives to find a ready market for all the goods the workers
have produced during the year, despite the fact that production
increased threefold. Sales were two and a half times those of the
Regular handcraft workers increased about 250 percent at the
peak of the program financed by F.E.R.A. The increasing market
for cooperatives products requires addition of new workers as fast
as they can be trained.
The increased outlet for Virgin Islands handcraft in the States
is the result of aggressive sales promotion during the year. Exhibi-
tions of our handcraft at the Century of Progress, the F.E.R.A.
Self-Help exhibit at the Interior Department, the Philadelphia Art
Alliance, and the Women's Club, Rye, N.Y., resulted in almost
complete sales of the exhibits, and in increased mail-order business.
But the most important sales improvement came through develop-
Sment of the department-store and gift-shop trade in the United
States. This was accomplished by an active selling campaign
through a New York commission house, through which orders have
come in faster than they can be filled.
A start is being made in St. Croix on a similar industry under
the self-help cooperative.
During the year, the hooked-rug industry in St. Thomas (which
began as a private concern in 1932 and failed the same year) was
revived on a $5,000 revolving fund secured under F.E.R.A. Through
a recently established connection in the States, sales possibilities are
many times the local output, so that there is opportunity for exten-
sive development in this industry, limited only by the difficulties
of training labor and keeping production costs within the limit,
of what retail outlets will pay for our products.
A home-work industry in local fruit jellies and preserves, just
commenced, finds a market exceeding the supply, and a cabinet-
making factory planned for next year seems assured of an outlet
for its products.
As a whole, the handcraft cooperatives have demonstrated excep-
tional efficiency as an activity for relief of unemployment. With a.
monthly Federal pay roll of approximately $200 for administration,
the cooperatives are disbursing now a monthly average of $1,207.99
for labor. In other words, every Federal dollar now being spent
for administration results in $6 of work relief to the islanders.
St. Croic.-At the beginning of the year, a major problem faced
the agricultural station in St. Croix in an epidemic among the ani-
mals of that island. Of 1,760 mules, donkeys, and horses, 338 or 22.
18 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
percent had been sick, in the first 6 months of 1933, with a kind of
severe colic. Of these, 80 died. Dr. A. T. Kingsley, one of the fore-
most veterinarians of the world, came to St. Croix to investigate.
It was discovered that the sickness came from feeding the cut grass
on manure piles, and that the prevention for this sickness is to feed
animals from racks. Thirty pole feed racks were built as demonstra-
tions on various farms of the island as object lessons in the control
-of parasites, or in prevention of infestation.
Sugarcane breeding has been actively carried on, and 100 acres of
the best varieties were planted to furnish seed for next year, when
it is expected that increased acreage will be planted in sugarcane, to
return the Virgin Islands to something like its former production
Rum experiments were started to determine varietal differences in
quantity, quality, and flavor as well as methods of fermentation.
The sugar and rum industries are discussed earlier in this report.
The tomato crop this year was not so satisfactory because of heavy
rains during the weeks the crop was ripening. Much experimental
work was carried on toward establishing this new industry on a
firm basis, particularly with reference to the types of fertilizers and
*sprays that might prove most effective. A greatly increased acreage
is being planted for the coming year.
St. Thomas.-Agricultural activity in St. Thomas during the
past year was the greatest it has been in generations. On the Lind-
bergh Bay project, besides the homesteading development described
under that heading, a substation of the St. Croix Agricultural Sta-
tion has been established, where sugarcane and cotton quarantine
plots have been planted and general demonstration work and seed
propagation has been carried on for the benefit of local agriculture.
To assist the farmers of the Baakero food gardens in getting their
produce to market, the two main roads thereto have been recon-
structed. Reforestation of the watershed area of Lindbergh Bay is
planned, and a start has been made by vacating that section of the
charcoal burners that had the land on lease. Thoroughbred goats
and hogs were imported during the year in a program to improve the
livestock of the island.
St. Croix.-Homesteading has made most progress in St. Croix,
where the land is best suited to agriculture and the people are experi-
enced farmers. In 1930, more than 80 percent of the St. Croix land
was owned by a score of men. Eighty percent was given over to
grazing, which employs a minimum of labor, 10 percent was in
bush, and 10 percent in cultivation. Of this 10 percent in cultiva-
tion, about half was in cane cultivated by 600 renters, with plots of
1 to 5 acres each, paying from $7 to $12 an acre cash rental.
Two large estates, Whim and La Grande Princesse in St. Croix,
containing 2,125 acres, were secured with Federal funds, and home-
steaded in plots averaging 6 acres each to 230 farmers. Roads were
built, drainage installed, and the land was plowed for the home-
steaders, when desired, the amount charged to be taken out of the
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
first crop. Contracts were made to amortize the purchase price plus
4 percent interest over 19 annual payments, the first due in July 1934.
The change in the agricultural situation in St. Croix may best
be stated in the following way:
In 1930, 1,749 people were engaged in agriculture, 91 people owned the 193
estates, 77 people owned farms of less than 10 acres each, 600 renters of 1-to-
5-acre plots paid $7 to $12 an acre cash rental.
In 1934, approximately 1,900 people are engaged in agriculture, 320 people own
the 425 farms, 310 people own farms of less than 10 acres each, renters of
land have been reduced to 400, and the 230 homesteaders pay $2.50 to $5
an acre on an installment purchase plan.
The homesteading plan has worked well. Less than 10 percent
of the homesteaders have had to be replaced because of unsatisfac-
tory work, and more than 90 percent made their first payment July
31 of this year from crops on their land. The records show a num-
ber of cases in which the results far exceeded all expectations. How
well the homesteaders managed and something of the progress
made may be understood from the following instances:
Antoinetta Douglas, a woman homesteader, delivered 125,367 pounds of
sugarcane from her 3-acre plot. After paying $13.24 land installment, she
had $152.66 left over. In addition, she raised a large quantity of vegetables
on her plot.
Dolores Garcia, another woman homesteader, delivered 150,710 pounds of
cane and had $180.51 left after paying her land installment.
Julianne Barry delivered 139,675 pounds of cane, paid a land installment
of $25.34, and had $161.14 left.
Joe A. Benpamin paid $32.30 as installment on his land and had $114.59
left from the proceeds of his crop.
Some of the homesteaders sold vegetables to the amount of more than $100
each, in addition to supplying their own tables.
The results of homesteading in St. Croix are:
(a) The number of small farmers has increased more than 300
percent, so that there are about four times as many as in 1930.
(b) The average cultivation has increased by nearly 50 percent.
(c) The average annual purchase payment per acre is less than
half the previous rental price.
St. Thonwa.-Homesteading in St. Thomas, where few people
know agriculture, has been less satisfactory, but is still encouraging.
Over 60 families have been allotted homestead plots, varying from
3 to 8 acres, on approximately the same repayment conditions as in
A loan fund gave much needed financial aid to these new farmers,
but funds are not yet available for field equipment, which would
add much to the success of the undertaking by reducing the cost
The crops this year have been mostly vegetables and fruit for the
local market, but plans are under way for planting about 100 acres
of level homestead land in sugarcane to supply local rum distilleries
and to plant 40 acres of hillside land in lime trees.
St. John.-In connection with the industrial development to be
undertaken by the Virgin Islands Co., plans are made for a small
homesteading development in St. John. Bay oil would be the
principal crop, as now.
20 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Any attempt to secure a permanent improvement in conditions in
the Virgin Islands must include serious efforts to improve the hous-
ing situation. According to the 1930 census, percentages of families
in the islands who owned their homes were as follows:
In St. Croix-------- --------------------------- 11.2
In St. Thomas-----_-_--_---- -------------- 28.7
In St. John--------------------- ------------ 66
A housing survey in October 1933 in St. Croix, where the need is
greatest, showed 2,623 one-room houses, with from 1 to 12 persons
in each house. Perhaps half of them are relics of old slavery days.
when one room was given over to a family. There is no privacy.
There is no back door (indeed only one door), so that washing,.
cooking, and living is within the few feet at the front of the house.
A start in the program to correct housing conditions has been
made in connection with the homestead plan. With a grant of
$45,000 from the Housing Commission, more than 50 houses are
being provided for farmers who have proven themselves to be reli-
able and good workers (40 in St. Croix and 10 in St. Thomas).
These are 3-room houses with a gallery and 1,200-gallon cistern,
and are built.of concrete blocks with galvanized iron roofs. They
are to be paid for in 19 years on a rental purchase plan. This plan
has been eagerly welcomed by the islanders.
On the success achieved from the initial allotment, the Subsistence
Homesteads Corporation has authorized a loan of $242,000 with
which to carry forward both homesteading and housing operations
in the Virgin Islands.
Though overshadowed this year by the Federal Emergency Relief
program normal welfare activities were carried on as usual. These
consisted principally of aid to the poor in the form of pensions and
emergency grants, totaling $7,351.15 in St. Thomas-St. John and a
like amount in St. Croix; the care of aged poor at the King's Hill
Poor Farm, St. Croix; and general social welfare work.
The Federal Emergency Relief: program.--The. volume of work
carried by the public welfare department was multiplied several
times this year by the activities incident to the Federal Emergency
Relief program. This department carried on the necessary investi-
gational work and the distribution of food relief and emergency
cash relief, and functioned as an employment agency for registra-
tion of the unemployed and the allocation of workers to the various.
departments expending relief funds. The details of this work are
discussed under the section devoted to the National Recovery
Housing survey.-A housing survey made by the welfare depart-
ment in February 1934, covering the 6,319 persons residing in the-
town of St. Thomas, revealed challenging facts:
(1) Forty percent live in one-room houses.
(2) Twenty-one percent live in two-room houses.
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
(3) Fifty-four percent of those living in 1- and 2-room houses
have families of more than 2 persons.
(4) Twenty-eight percent of the occupied one-room houses were
classified as to condition as "Very Bad" and only 53 percent as
The study showed an appalling lack of decent housing for the low-
est income groups. The majority of the population is still living in
houses with an inadequate number of rooms per person, giving rise
to a number of social problems, inadequate water supply for drinking
and washing, antiquated and improper sanitary conveniences, and
little or no play space for children except the public streets.
No complete housing survey has been made in St. Croix, but the
conditions are known to be even worse than in St. Thomas. An enu-
meration in October 1933 showed 2,623 one-room houses in St. Croix,
as compared with 1,256 in St. Thomas, with a population only 15
percent greater than St. Thomas.
Correction of the housing situation is of paramount importance
in any program attempting to raise the standards of living and
morals of the people of the Virgin Islands. Incidentally, the
building program involved would aid materially in solving unem-
An authority on low-cost housing projects, Mr. W. Pope Barney
of Philadelphia, was secured in March 1934 to plan a program of
slum clearance and low-cost housing, and these plans are now being
Church membership.-It is of interest to note that in the munici-
pality of St. Thomas and St. John, there are 12 denominations
representing a total membership equalling practically the entire
population as given in the 1930 census. Statements as to member-
ship given by these 12 churches show 5 denominations as having
memberships of 400 or more, and the remaining 7 with less than
100 each. Of the. latter, 5 churches have memberships of less than
30. The condition in St: Croix is practically the same.
The music committees.-The St. Croix Music Committee, organ-
ized 3 years ago, has done excellent work in promoting musical
activities in that island. This year, the St. Thomas Music Com-
mittee was organized to carry on a similar program in St. Thomas.
Both committees have done valuable work in promoting concerts
by artists from the mainland (who came to the islands without fee
and by courtesy of the Furness and Dawnic Lines), and in distrib-.
uting over 50 pianos secured this year for deserving people and
institutions in the islands.
The municipal beach house.-A long-standing need was filled
during the year when a public beach house with 18 dressing-rooms,
showers, toilets, and a refreshment stand, was constructed at Lind-
bergh Bay as a Public Works Administration project. Its facilities
are available to the public for a 5-cent fee. It seems certain that
it will soon be paying its own maintenance charges.
Botanical garden, St. Thomas.-Twenty-two acres of the Lind-
bergh Bay estate are being developed into a park and botanical
garden with funds contributed by a dozen public-spirited citizens.
Mr. M. Petit, as a volunteer service, is giving full time and efficient
22 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
direction to development of this plot into a beauty spot that should
prove a great attraction to tourists and a delight to islanders. The
municipality voted the funds for its maintenance for next year..
The growth in library service in the Virgin Islands may be under-
stood from the following: In 1920, there were in the 3 towns of the
Virgin Islands 3 library clubs, rather exclusive groups, with an aver-
age number of books of 300 each. In the year ended June 30, 1934,.
there were circulated in the Virgin Islands 75,085 books through the
public libraries, which is 3.4 circulation per capital. This is 11/2 times
the 2.2 circulation per capital in the United States. In St. Thomas,.
where library facilities are best, the rate is 4.6 circulation per capita..
During the year, the high-school library was revived under the
direction of the public librarians. A substantial increase in interest
in the libraries came through the adult education program conducted
under the National Recovery program, from which came also aid
for the repair of books. The supervising librarian points to the need
of travel libraries for the rural districts in St. Croix and in St. John.
ASSIGNMENT OF COAST GUARD VESSEL TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Correspondence initiated by the local administration during the
latter part of 1931, stressing the need for the assignment of a Coast
Guard vessel at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, has resulted in the
stationing of the Coast Guard 125-foot patrol boat Marion with
base at St. Thomas to afford coast-guard protection and service to
the port of St. Thomas and in the waters adjacent to the Virgin
Islands. The Marion, commanded by Lt. D. H. Dexter, arrived at
St. Thomas on June 22, 1934. The stationing of this vessel in the
harbor of St. Thomas has met a long-felt need and is a source of
considerable gratification to the administration as well as to the
people of the Virgin Islands.
PAUL M. PEARSON, Governor.