• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Highlights of history
 The sugar cane plant
 The age of opulence
 A rich man's fortune or folly
 St. Croix's sugar mills
 How sugar was made
 Molasses to rum to planter's...
 Ye old rum drinks
 Rum and revolution
 A. Hamilton on St. Croix
 Century of change
 Some folk and other lore
 Christiansted historic site
 The St. Croix landmarks societ...
 Appendix
 Advertising
 Bibliography
 Back Cover






Title: Divers information on the romantic history of St. Croix
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085559/00001
 Material Information
Title: Divers information on the romantic history of St. Croix
Physical Description: 71 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lewisohn, Florence
Publisher: St. Croix Landmarks Society
Place of Publication: Christiansted V.I.
Publication Date: c1964
Edition: 2nd ed.
 Subjects
Subject: Saint Croix (V.I.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 70-71.
Statement of Responsibility: by Florence Lewisohn.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085559
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000546400
oclc - 14201154
notis - ACX0373

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Highlights of history
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The sugar cane plant
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The age of opulence
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    A rich man's fortune or folly
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    St. Croix's sugar mills
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    How sugar was made
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Molasses to rum to planter's punch
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Ye old rum drinks
        Page 39
    Rum and revolution
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    A. Hamilton on St. Croix
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Century of change
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Some folk and other lore
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Christiansted historic site
        Page 63
        Page 64
    The St. Croix landmarks society
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Appendix
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Advertising
        Page 69
    Bibliography
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text
Divers Information on
The Romantic History of


J I '



rom
the Time of W
Columbus X
until





PUBLISHED BY THE ST. CROIX LANDMARKS SOCIETY, INC. FOR THE
BENEFIT OF ITS RESTORATION 8c PRESERVATION PROJECTS. $2.00













4I41 C





44



e:
(i li ( j


C. E. Taylor woodcut from LeClerc


I







Divers Information on the Romantic History of


St. CROIX



Containing much information of value to the Reader
about Whim Greathouse 6 Old Plantation Days; the
Story of Sugar 6 Rum; description of Life on a
Cruzan Plantation; the story of the Sugar Cane Plant;
Alexander Hamilton's account of a terrible Hurricane; &
the story of our famous Governor, Peter von Scholten.Also
the connection between Rum and the American Revolution.



By Florence Lewisohn
Third Printing
Published by The St. Croix Landmarks Society, Inc.
Copyright 1964 by Florence Lewisohn
Library of Congress Card No. 65-11869


Book Design by Ralph Bell Fuller








CONTENTS PAGE


CARIB WARRIOR
C. E. Taylor woodcut from LeClerc


Highlights of History
The Sugar Cane Plant
The Age of Opulence
Fortune or Folly
St. Croix's Sugar Mills
How Sugar Was Made
Molasses to Rum to Planter's Punch
Ye Olde Rum Drinks
Rum & Revolution
A. Hamilton on St. Croix
Century of Change
Some Folk & Other Lore
The Christiansted Historic Site
St. Croix Landmarks Society
Appendix
Acknowledgements &: Special Permissions
Suggested Reading List
Bibliography


3
11
15
24
28
33
35
39
40
45
48
58
63
65
67











HIGHLIGHTS OF CRUZAN HISTORY



S T. C RO IX today is an hospitable island that has a little of everything except
cold weather.
The island has changed remarkably since Columbus discovered it in 1493 and
was driven off by hostile Indians. In the nearly 500 years that have intervened, this
little area of 84 square miles and 52,628 acres has alternately suffered and prospered
from the blind forces of nature and history. It has attracted a remarkable variety
of people during its history, not all of whom benefited the island.
During the period of development of the Western Hemisphere, St. Croix was
fought over, colonized, bought, sold, captured and recaptured because of its strate-
gic or economic potential. It is popularly said to have existed under the flags of
seven nations. This tally does not include periods of possession or use by aboriginal
tribes, pirates, filibusters, squatters, private owners, religious and trading com-
panies, or the few times when it was not occupied by .anyone at all.
Our documented history begins with the Indians found on the island by Colum-
bus, and seen again by Governor John White 94 years later when he stopped here
three days on his way to found Virginia in 1587.

THE VANISHED INDIAN. When Columbus sent his men ashore at St. Croix's
Salt River entrance to look for fresh water, November 14, 1493, the landing party
encountered a canoe full of Indians and a lively fight took place on the water.
Columbus' men got more or less the worst of it, but captured a few Indians whom
they took with them. Columbus named the spot "Cabo de Flechas" or "Cape of
The Arrows."
When the island came to be actually settled in the early 1600's, there were no
Indians left. It is assumed that
most of them were carried off
in raids by the Spaniards to
work the gold mines of Santo
Domingo.
To this day the question re-







COLUMBUS' FLAG

mains unsettled as to whether St. Croix was inhabited by the warlike, cannibalistic
Caribs or the peaceful Arawaks, or both. The Arawak culture predominated, as
artifacts show, but the cultural traits were carried by the women, and the Caribs as
they moved northward through the Antilles from the Orinoco area, liked nothing
better than capturing Arawak women. There is also evidence of strong relation-
ships with the warlike Tainans of Puerto Rico, and the peaceful Taino of His-
paniola, who sometimes had women as chieftains.
In any case, St. Croix has at least forty Indian village sites, and is rich in Indian
artifacts.* The Salt River village site is a favorite digging spot for local amateurs.
An archaeologist once uncovered a row of flat stone slabs standing on edge at
Salt River, with petroglyphs and pictographs on them. Hundreds of the "three
pointer" religious stones were found there, and are still to be picked up along the
shore or inland. The still-visible earthen fort built there by the French in the
1650's abounds in shell deposits and other Indian artifacts. There are also sites at
Estates St. George, Fair Plain, Glynn, Grove Place, Plessen, Coakley Bay, Cane
Bay, Longford and Sprat Hall, to mention just a few.
1493 7 SPAIN. Columbus discovered St. Croix and named it Santa Cruz (Holy
Cross) on his second voyage. The Indians called it "Ay Ay"; spelled also
as "Iahi" or "Agay" by early writers.
1587 ENGLAND. John White, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh as Governor of
M Virginia, stayed here three days; found evidence of Indian habitation.
1625 HOLLAND & ENGLAND. Both nations began small settle-
.I 50 ments; Dutch near Bassin: English on SW shore area. French
filibusters had been using island as base for careening boats for years.
1642 Holland increased its settlement, called it Nieuw Zeeland, later Nieuw Walcheron.
Still held jointly with the English, but under much dissension. Tobacco and indigo
chief products. English had an early sugar works.

DOUBLE DEALINGS BY THE DUTCH, ENGLISH & FRENCH. The story
of these settlements on St. Croix is a cloak and dagger one with its details lost in
history. The historian John Knox reasons that the Dutch preceded the English by
a few years, but it is certain that both were there by 1625. The Dutch and a few
*The Folmer Anderson Collection given to the National Park Service in Christiansted by the former St. Croix
Museum.










hundred French Huguenots from St. Kitts lived in or near Bassin, while the
English settled on the south shore not far from present-day Frederiksted.
Affairs muddled along until 1645. By then the colonies had a good high
tone with a Dutch Governor-General appointed by their West India Com-
pany, and some English noblemen with letters-patent from the King. By that
year there were some 600 persons on the island.
Then things came to a boil. That year the Dutch Governor killed the Eng-
lish one in his house, and a rousing fight took place between the two colonies,
with the Dutch Governor wounded and dying a few days later. The Dutch
chose another Governor and he was asked to visit the English, who promised
him protection. This promise was violated; he was seized, condemned and
publicly shot. The Dutch, being the weaker, decided to abandon their colony
and left for St. Eustatius and St. Martins. The French, who had sympathized
with the Dutch, asked permission to leave. They were sent off to Guadaloupe
in an English ship after they promised to give the captain their abandoned
plantations.
When they arrived at Guadaloupe, the refugees registered protests against
the captain. He was seized, imprisoned and his ship and cargo sold. "All this,"
says Knox, "made quite a noise in England, France and the Islands."

1646 ENGLAND held island after Dutch Sc French driven out.

1650 SPAIN. Duke of AMarlborough's English settlement massacred or
S driven out by 1,200 Spaniards from Puerto Rico. Alany went to
Bermuda. The Dutch from St. Eustatius tried to recapture it the same year;
defeated by the Spanish Garrison.

1650 [ -- FRANCE. Governor de Poincy of other French
West Indies took possession for French crown;
planned to make it his capitol.
1651 DE POINCY bought St. Croix and other islands
from French King, for private domain. As a lead-
ing Knight of Malta, he sent other Knights and Frenchmen L nII
to colonize St. Croix. (Z i 7 I 1
r
5
DU BOIS' PALACE at JUDITH'S FANCY
Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier" '





RUIN at JUDITH'S FANCY _




1653 KNIGHTS OF MALTA. All de Poincy's .
private possessions in the West Indies granted
to this Order of St. John.
1657 Chevalier de la Mothe sent by de Poincy with supplies for relief of inhabitants.
Some 200 rebellious French colonists put de Mothe in chains and sailed off in his
ship, presumably to Brazil. Two years later, the new Governor, Chevalier du Bois,
sent to restore order.
THE DAYS OF THE FRENCH. Sieur du Bois built a "castle" in 1659 on
Hemer's Peninsula which is now Estate Judith's Fancy. The ruins of this residence
stand today, done in the old French style of a small chateau, with two unusual
towers at either end, one of which is still there. Legend has it that du Bois brought
in our small white tailed deer to the island to stock his estate park with them.
The French government headquarters lay along the east bank of Salt River,
which then was a real river arising near Canaan and coming down through Estate
Concordia into the Salt River Bay.
On the opposite bank of the bay, the Knights of Malta threw up a triangular
earthenwork, called Fort Sale. Its outline is still visible today if one scrambles
through the underbrush to find it. Upriver from the Fort just off the present-day
Northshore road was the French landing stage and customs house. This site was
later used by the Danes as a guardpoint. Somewhere above on the present Kirke-
gaard Hill was the Jacobin, or Dominican monastery shown on old French maps.
It was here that Pere Labat, the famous writer-priest is believed to have once stayed
on one of his many journeys between French islands.
The French had a fairly difficult time on St. Croix. The Knights were aristocrats
and not used to the hard work of running plantations. There were six-hundred
men among them who could bear arms, but not too many who understood the
problems of running a sugar, indigo or tobacco plantation, all of which they
attempted.
It was these Frenchmen who at one time burned off all they could of St. Croix's
dense forests and lived on their ships until the fires ceased. They wanted more land
for cultivating, and believed that the forests caused their strange fevers, and night
vapours.
By 1671, the French had built another Fort or Battery at Bassin, the present-day










Christiansted. It stood on the point at the entrance to the harbor, and was called
Fort Saint Jean. Later the Danes rebuilt it and renamed it Fort Louise Augusta.
The Knights of Malta gave up on St. Croix, but the name they gave the island
stayed with it, if not their pronunciation.
Judith whose Fancy the old du Bois estate became was Judith A. Letta
Benners, born Heyliger in 1762. Her tombstone may be seen today near the old
Castle-Greathouse ruins. Back of the ruin stand some Danish additions a wind-
mill and the later-period chimney from steammill days, with the sugar factory
ruins nearby.
1665 [ ] FRENCH WEST INDIA COMPANY bought St. Croix and all the
LIo other islands held by Knights of Malta.
1674 FRANCE. King paid off Company debts and took possession.

1695 ABANDONED. French King ordered all inhabitants removed to Santo Do-
mingo. France still claimed it but island was not officially settled. Sometimes it was
uninhabited; ships of all nations used harbor. English planned a settlement in
1720, but did not carry it out. French renewed their claim in 1727 by taking seven
English merchant vessels in the harbor. An undetermined number of English fam-
ilies were squatters there, and remained under the Danes.
1733 7 DANISH WEST INDIA AND GUINEA COMPANY bought St. Croix
from the French Crown.
1755 DENMARK took over the -
island as a Crown Colony.
THE DAYS OF THE DANES. The
first colonization of St. Croix under 4
Denmark came in 1734, when a few
Moravian missionaries cleared six
estates given them by the Danish
Chamberlain de Plus they found
the British families raising cane and
making rum when they arrived. The
next year, the West India and Guinea
Company began to survey the island











and to divide it into 150 and 300 acre plantations, as well as into nine quarters!
To encourage settlement, land costs were extremely low, and some tax benefits
were offered. The planters flocked in from St. Thomas, Tortola, Virgin Gorda,
Montserrat and other islands. Soon there were five English estates to every one
held by a Dane. Things did not go too well however, and 1753 found the settlers
petitioning the Danish King to make St. Croix a Crown Colony as the Company
was almost bankrupt. This was accomplished by sale at about one and one-half
million dollars. The settlement flourished with a population of over 10,000 by
1755, and some 375 plantations under cultivation with sugar, cotton, indigo and
tobacco as main crops.
During the following half century St. Croix's economy, based on sugar and rum
and the slave trade, rose steadily to a phenomenal peak. The first event to disturb
this picture was the protracted quarrel over slavery which went on between the
planters on St. Croix and the more liberal government in Denmark. This same
problem confronted every European nation which had colonies in the West Indies
or trading stations in Africa. In St. Croix it culminated in:

1792 The Danish Government declared the slave trade to be unlawful, but helped
planters to buy slaves during a transition period.

1795-1800 These years marked the peak of prosperity and of the sugar and rum
economy; planters foresaw the beginning of the end.

1801 St. Croix captured by the British; restored to Denmark in a few months.
1803 The slave trade was completely abolished by Denmark.
1807-1815 Taken and held by British during Napoleonic Wars. The English plant-
ers, who had complained of stiff Danish trade restrictions and limited markets




P I : ESTATE SHOYS

-(, Gme- TCourtesy "Vore
-ge lw Gamle Tropekolonier"











were not dissatisfied. The island, however, was returned to Denmark. During the
next 30 years, the island's economy worsened with droughts, political upheavals
and wars in Europe, and a general depression.

1848 Governor von Scholten freed the slaves on St. Croix, after rioting began.

1866 A disastrous fire in Christiansted in February.

1867 Earthquake and tidal wave. Further decline in economy.

1871 Capitol moved from St. Croix to St. Thomas.

1872 Severe hurricane destroyed crops and buildings.

1875 The Danish government lent the island money to build a Central Sugar Factory,
and construction began the next year.

1876 A severe hurricane; followed by depression years until about 1888.

1878-1892 Serious labor riots took place in 1878 and Fredericksted was partially
burned. Later the Capitol was divided, with the Governor to reside six months in
St. Croix and six in St. Thomas each year. Financial difficulties came through
valueless Mexican silver; this silver was abandoned, causing local riots in 1892.
The island's economy was at a low ebb.


1917 THE UNITED STATES. When the United States bought the three
islands in 1917, mainly to keep them out of the hands of the Germans during the
First World War, hopes rose high in St. Croix for better days ahead; hopes that
were not fulfilled for some years. The island became first a possession under U.S.
Navy administration, a period which was satisfactory to no one. As the economy


POCKET ALMANAC for 1863 Courtesy Toby Schoyer
26. 27.


lb

Estate's Name. Owner's Name.
^iq =
? !~
_________ ^I. Q^


Carlton W Peebles
Whim I Knight
Canmporio Mesars. Lang
Hannahsrest W Beech
Stoneyground J Y Stevens


1M 6 6 1
W MI 7I 1 0
WM 7 0o
W Al 7 21 3
.... 9 0
S.... IIJa O 0


the field.

I z1

21161 e1 o
55019 0 0 0
2516 6 3 0 0
40 12 156 0 0 0
7 9 2 0 0 0
6 3 4 0 0 0


Mr L1 ~ I I -- - -- -










began a gradual slow rise, it was dashed again by the impact of Prohibition on the
rum industry. Later, toward the end of the depression years, the U.S. Congress
gave the island its Territorial Organic Act or Constitution, which defined its
relationship to the U.S. under the Department of The Interior, with an appointed
Governor and an elected local Senate. St. Croix continued to muddle along with
an uneven economy until the mid-1950's when the influx of tourists began. Since
then there has been a steady growth, based on the island's re-discovery, by those
seeking retirement, new business enterprise and investment, or just a lovely
tropical vacation.


HARVESTING CANE











THE SUGAR CANE PLANT

(Saccharum Officinarum)

D U R I N G all these centuries and changes of owner-
ship; during years of flux and change, of economic ups
and downs in a variable world, one thing remained con-
stant on St. Croix: the importance of sugar cane.
Some English families are thought to have brought in
the first cuttings of sugar cane. The French put it into
extensive cultivation here in the early 1650's, along with
indigo and tobacco.
It was the importance of sugar cane that led to the
Danish purchase of St. Croix and the years of the island's
greatest prosperity in the late 1700's.
S Today we see the relics of this affluent era in the shells
of old windmills which appear everywhere, plus the pic-
turesque ruins of sugar factories, rum distilleries and
Greathouses which dot the island.
The history of St. Croix, the West Indies and the
world would have been quite different without the sugar
cane plant, once described as "more valuable than the
gold of Peru."

ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS TRAV-
ELLERS. Sugar cane, long thought to have originated
in Asia, has been proved by recent botanical investiga-
tions to have made its start on the island of New Guinea.
From there it spread in prehistoric times to much of
southeast Asia and to some of the Pacific islands.
One of the earliest mentions of cane juice is in the
Buddha legends of the fourth century B.C. One of the
original names for white sugar was the Persian word kandi
from which comes our word candy. The East Indian word

11 Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tr


I,

~I


opekolonier"


C^K


sow










shakar or sheker is the origin of our word sugar. The ancient botanical name was
also corrupted into Zuccharum and Zucra. The Spanish called it Azucar and the
English called it Sugar.
The Old Testament twice mentions the cane as a trade article and some Biblical
tribes are thought to have understood the art of granulation by evaporation.
It was grown in the Eastern Mediterranean and when the Arabs burst forth they
carried it with them to Spain where there was a flourishing sugar industry before
the year 1000.
Christian soldiers enjoyed the juice when in the Holy Land during the Crusades.
They found sugar cane growing at Acra, Tripoli, and on the islands of Rhodes
and Malta. In 1166, the second King of Sicily gave the monastery of St. Bennet a
sugar cane grinding mill.
Cane reached Madeira in 1420 and the Azores, Canaries and West Africa shortly
afterward. Another of its early voyages was to the island of Madagascar probably
from somewhere in Indonesia.
The cane variety which was brought to the Mediterranean was carried by
Columbus to Hispaniola on his second voyage. It is reported that this first ship-
ment was lost, but in any case, cane was being grown there in 1507 and the first
sugar was made there in 1509. From Hispaniola the sugar cane soon reached Cuba,
Puerto Rico and some of the other West Indies, as well as Mexico in 1520, Peru in
1533 and Brazil in 1552. This cane variety, still grown in India under the name
of puri was very sweet and easy to mill, but gave very low yields and was subject
to disease.
Many of the early historians and writers asserted that wild sugar cane was already
growing in Mexico, Hispaniola, Brazil and along the Mississippi. It is true that
there was plenty of "cane" in the New World, but it wasn't sugar cane, and the
early historians and adventurers were easily and quite frequently confused about
this.
Captain Cook outdistanced all the other claimants he found true sugar cane
growing on some of the islands of the Pacific Ocean. It is supposed that some
Polynesians came from New Guinea or near it and brought sugar cane with them
to other islands.
In this hemisphere, it was the Spanish in Hispaniola and the Dutch and Portu-
guese in Brazil who first made good use of the cane. As early as 1535, the Spanish had


12










some thirty animal mills grinding it on Hispaniola. The first mill in Puerto Rico
was in 1524.
We are indebted to the Dutch for introducing sugar cane to the lower part of
the West Indies along with their "secrets" of sugar making. They set up their own
West India Company in Holland in 1621 and, as merchants for the islands, ranged
from lower Brazil to the North American colonies in their own ships. They learned
sugar making in Brazil and when the Dutch Jews there were driven out by 1626 they
moved northward and helped to found the sugar industry in the French and British
West Indies. They brought in cane cuttings and taught the planters all they knew,
supplying them with equipment from Europe on credit against their first crop.
A Dutchman brought the first cuttings to Barbados in 1637, but it wasn't until
five years later that a Dutch merchant there supplied rollers, coppers for boiling and
other equipment on credit for a factory. A plantation began on Martinique in 1639,
and on nearby Guadaloupe, Governor Houel had a flourishing sugar factory going
with Dutch help by 1647.
All the Dutch were ejected from Brazil by 1654 and were scattered on every West
Indian island as bankers, merchants, advisors
and traders. Their style of windmill dotted hill- C / / ourtesy New York Pul
tops on every island. By the 1660's the French,
again with Dutch help, began to refine white
sugar in a new "claying" process. The English
and other nationalities made wet brown musca.
vado sugar with now and then a little clayedd"
or "plantation white" for their own use.
Meanwhile, sugar cane was travelling down
from Hispaniola and Puerto Rico through the .
islands in this area. It is not known from where
or when the first sugar cane reached St. Croix. \
Old records indicate an "Englishman's Sugar
Works" on the south shore, perhaps around
1625.
In 1657, the French were temporarily driven
out of Madagascar and carried with them the ol
cane varieties they found growing there, which

13

CULTIVATING CANE










were different from the one brought by Columbus. They planted them first on the
island of Reunion, then known as Bourbon, and later the varieties were moved to
Mauritius in 1715 and from there the French carried them to their Pacific Colony of
Tahiti. One variety did so well it was taken to the French West Indian islands, and
under the name of "Otaheite" or Bourbon or simply White Cane, soon displaced
almost all of the original varieties.
The Danes were the last of the European powers to get in on the sugar treasure
when they acquired the Virgin Islands. By 1800 here, the Otaheite cane was the
cane of St. Croix and the other Caribbean islands. Like its predecessor, the Otaheite
went down in the West Indies with a new disease about 1875, but fortunately the
possibility of producing new varieties by breeding had been discovered in Barbados
in 1858, and "rediscovered" about 1888 in both Barbados and Java.
New cane varieties, ever higher yielding and resistant to each new disease and
parasite have come forth in enormous numbers in later years.
The sugar canes now grown on St. Croix, for example, can produce five times as
much sugar per acre as the best cane grown when the windmill was built at Whim.
ON GROWING CANE. The cane plant "ratoons" or renews itself for varying
numbers of years. In St. Croix, it was customary to replant new cuttings every five
or six years, in newly-hoed and manured furrows three or four feet apart. Some
fields needed to be replanted every two or three years.
In our area, St. Kitts had the reputation of growing the best cane during the
good years the cane "that answers so well in the pan" with the most sugar in the
juice. Yield also varied from year to year with the weather, soil and cultivation.
Early planters enriched their soil with such things as coal, vegetable ashes from
the sugar boilers, white lime, cane trash of decayed leaves and stems, dung and
grass from the cattle pens, the good mould from "guts" and other waste material.
The job of making new furrows, manuring, setting in the new cuttings, etc. was
so arduous that it took all available labor each year to replant new acreage.
It took the cane from 14 to 16 months to ripen for cutting. The average juice
extracted contained eight parts of pure water to one of sugar, and close to one
part of starch, dextrin, protein, wax and other colloidal matter. Some juice was so
rich as to make a hogshead of sugar (1,600 lbs.) from 1,300 gallons of juice, and
some so poor as to require twice that amount to make a hogshead. Planters reckoned
a good recovery if they got a pound of raw sugar from a gallon of raw juice.


14
























CHRISTIANSTED from ESTATE BULOW'S MIND Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier"


THE AGE OF OPULENCE

ST. C R O I X, slow to start, became the richest sugar island in the Caribbean
for a time. Under the ownership of Denmark, it reached its peak of wealth and
opulence about 1796 when it had 114 windmills and 144 animal or ox mills grind-
ing out the golden juice which by some West Indian magic turned quickly
to gold.
Plantation life is usually thought of in the rosy, romanticised terms of the rich
sugar planter lolling at his ease in a luxurious mansion, while myriads of Negroes
toiled his fields and ground his cane in contented bondage. This picture is almost
a myth as history proves but not quite for in the heyday of sugar and rum, it
did look like this from the surface.
The planters worked hard to establish their estates and to maintain them, for it
took a substantial investment and careful supervision to get started. The planters
made money when the sugar and rum markets were up, and some did live in splen-
dor equal to the upper classes of Europe. They built impressive mansions, often
copied from their favorite European styles, filled with fine furniture, china, silver
and all the appurtenances of wealth. They rode in elegant carriages drawn by fine


15


I ...... MW M4;p










horses. Some of the more flamboyant planters
vied with each other in giving elaborate balls and
other amusements, with the customary emphasis
on vintage wines and rich food. There were bril-
liant official government functions. Children were
sent to Denmark, France, England or Holland to
school.
The usual plantation consisted of an owner's
Greathouse, a manager's house, a workers' "vil-
lage" and many factory buildings where the sugar
Courtesy "Vore Game Tropekolonier" a
Courtesy Vore Game Tropekolonier" and rum were made after the windmill ground
the cane. The time of "crop" in the Spring, when the cane was cut was a time of
feverish day and night activity; with the slaves working in shifts around the clock.
When "crop" was over, the raw or muscavado sugar was off on the high seas for
Europe, and the rum-still was going strong to utilize the molasses residue. Rum
often meant the difference between profit and loss. After the sugar-making, the
plantation settled back again into its months of normalcy, with fields to be tended
or replanted, tools and equipment to be repaired at the smith) where huge eight-
foot bellows were manned by hand. The wheelwright was busy with wagon repairs,
the cooper worked on new hogsheads and rum puncheons for the next crop.
One of the problems of a plantation was that each planter had to own enough
slaves to be certain of labor at crop time, while the rest of the year they sometimes
became an ill-afforded luxury. For this reason, the Negroes planted, hoed, manured
and weeded cane by hand in the West Indies long after the time when other sugar
areas of the world were using the plough. Vindmills and animal mills persisted
in some of the West Indies also long after steammills were available. St. Croix
replaced these windmills with steam earlier than did the other islands the first
steammill was at Estate Hogansborg in 1816, at Whim and others in the 1830's.
Island visitors are always intrigued with the fanciful names given to the old
St. Croix estates. They have a quality of poetry or a hint of hidden meaning in
them. There were Humbug, Bulow's Alinde, Retreat, Tipperary, Barren Spot,
Judith's and Mary's and Sally's Fancy, Upper Love and Lower Love, Work and
Rest, Wheel of Fortune, Hard Labor, and Slob which despite its name once sold
for about $70,000 for 400 acres of cane. There were Hope and Blessing, En vy and
Jealousy, Parasol and Paradise, Rust op Twist (Dutch for Rest After Strife,

16










Struggle or Toil), Solitude and Sweet Bottom, Bog of Allan and Mt. Misery, North-
star and Morningstar, Jerusalem and Sion Hill, Punch and Jolly Hill, Diamond
and Ruby and The Whim!
Of all these, it is Estate Whim that best tells the visual story of what the "good
old days" were like. It is the only restored Greathouse open to the public as a
museum. And in addition, the mystery of its name is enhanced by a colorful legend
about the man who may have built it.

WHIM GREATHOUSE. Not far from Frederiksted, just off Centerline Road,
stands one of St. Croix's really unique structures known both as the Greathouse
at John's Rest and as The Whim. It is an exceptional building for St. Croix,
designed in neo-classic European style with curved ends and a surrounding "moat"
which served as an air shaft for the cellar and as a water runoff area. Apparently
there was at one time a stream under the house and this joined the rainwater
carried from the "moat" to an underground culvert to a well.
Whim was leased from the Virgin Islands Government and then restored over
a period of years by the former St. Croix Museum, under the architectural direction
of Mr. William G. Thayer, Jr. of Frederiksted. The Museum is now amalgamated
with the Landmarks Society.

Whim is open to the public except Mondays, from 10 to 12 and 2 to 5; Sundays,
2:30 to 5 p.m. It is one of the island's
showplaces; a house museum which /
recreates the opulent life of the
sugar planters with their fine furni-
ture, silver and china brought out
from Europe in the late 1700's when
the island was at the peak of its
prosperity.
Much of Whim's original history
is lost or obscure, although many .ll a. i
later records exist of owners and
their sugar production figures. r -l .....*... .
Danish archives have been searched,
but little really conclusive evidence
exists about its builder, presumably .5 ., .


'fff I~


A-.- 4"L.a


WMHIMM GRE~ATHOUSE:


17
















0% ... *. 1% W *
*... Courtesy New York Public Library ....

a Christopher MacEvoy, Jr. The estate dates back to 1751 when it was called
merely Plantation #4 Westend. Its name was changed to John's Rest in 1764 when
the owner John Delaney was buried on the grounds. Oxholm's map of 1794 shows
a house and ox-mill there about the time it was inherited by MacEvoy, Jr.
MacEvoy, Jr. was a flamboyant and ostentatious man, who might well have built
the present Greathouse. He had been educated in both England and Denmark
and came out to St. Croix when he inherited several estates on the island. Later
he moved back to Denmark and bought Bernstorff Castle, plus a palace and a
sugar-refinery. He was made a Court Chamberlain.

Whether John's Rest was the "whim" of an eccentric, or so-called simply
because it had an ox-whim (often called a "whimy" or "the whim") we may
never know. In any case, its Greathouse is one of the outstanding and unique
buildings on the island.
THE MacEVOY LEGEND. One of the stories told of M~acEvov in Denmark
concerns his desire for grandeur. When he was a Court Chamberlain to King
Frederik IV, he once angered the King by having a beautiful carriage with
elegant coachmen, pulled by four magnificent white horses. Not only were white
horses a privilege afforded only to nobility, the whole equipage was grander than
the King's own!
Rebuked, MacEvoy took a long vacation in North America and other distant
parts, but returned again to live in Denmark. His journey had not been in vain
and he was not idle in exile. When next he drove out in Copenhagen, his coach
was finer than ever, and it was drawn not by four white horses, but by eight rare
white mules. Each wore fine lace on its head and ears. The lead mules were ridden
by two Haiduks in impressive gold-braided uniforms, while a colored major-domo
led the parade. A handsome coachman held the reins, while MacEvoy sat in state
behind. No picture exists of him to tell if he was as handsome as his equipage.


18










g recognized a kindred regal spirit and forgave his
erlain for his boldness.
me 1 e e to learn fQr certain whether it was this same audacious
E b w the actual builder of Whim Greathouse.
. ." S f "'Iso governed their islands with a fairly tight
S rein. Christiansted was at this time the Capitol of the three islands and
Government House was the hub of social and commercial life. The Governor-
General was appointed for an indefinite period by the home government in
Copenhagen. The Governor had a Council to pass ordinances and to advise
him, but could veto its decisions. All his final decisions were subject to
change in Copenhagen, and many a Governor spent much of his time there
justifying his actions or seeking support for his plans.
The structure of the rest of the government was not complicated. There
were local courts, local fighting corps under regimental officers sent out from
Denmark, Burgher Corps made up of all citizens under sixty years who
could bear arms, a Brand Corps of fire-fighters, and civil police. All the
military wore impressive uniforms.
Since the English, Scotch and Irish outnumbered the Danes at least five
to one in the planter class, English became the everyday spoken language
of the schools, commercial and social life. Danish was used in government
papers and courts and in the Lutheran Church.
At first the Danes had allowed only the Lutheran and Moravian churches
on the island, but relaxed this to include the Anglican, Dutch-Reformed
Church and others. A group of Catholics who had settled here from Mont-
serrat once complained bitterly that the Puerto Ricans would not return
their escaped slaves on the grounds that there was no priest in St. Croix
to minister to them.
The Dutch-Reformed Church played a prominent role in the island re-
ligious life, taking an especial interest in the education of the slaves. Many
of the Negroes, particularly in St. Thomas, spoke a Creole dialect, and this
church translated its hymnal and the New Testament into this "new" lan-
guage. The Lutheran Church conducted services in Danish and in the dialect.
The commercial life of the island at its peak around 1795 was extensive,
but not varied, as it all revolved around sugar, rum and molasses. The dock

19 KOLONIALADJUTANTERNE c. 1816

Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier"










area was the focal point of Christiansted and Frederiksted, with the harbor and
roadstead teeming with ships of all nations. There were a few mercantile houses
which imported the necessities and luxuries, shipping agents, various tradesmen
and middlemen. There were the usual lawyers, doctors, ministers and other pro-
fessional groups. The richest planters built town houses in addition to their
country Greathouses, and the building trades flourished, using both freed Negroes
and slave labor.
Not a little smuggling went on all during the Danish times, as the English,
Scotch and Irish chafed under strict trade restrictions set up in Copenhagen.
including heavy export taxes and stiff regulations about inter-island trading.
The English particularly wanted more leeway to trade with North America
for much needed lumber, salt fish, barrel staves, hoops and horses. Higher prices
were sometimes paid for sugar, rum or molasses in the other islands, and Cruzans
were not adverse to extra profits. The Frederiksted Fort had been completed in
1760 to stop smuggling to St. Eustatius, but on this score was more decorative
than useful.
Aside from the sugar and rum industry, the most important trade lay in the
slave traffic. Originally, the Danish West India and Guinea Company had estab-
lished its own trading stations on the African coast, but later these were given
up when the Danish crown took over administration of the islands. As St. Croix
grew and prospered, the number of slaves increased in proportion. Figures are
available for some years, and we know that from 1773 to 1791 there were over
21,000 slaves on St. Croix alone. By 1802, there were 27,000.
The Negroes were not treated too badly in the Danish islands since the home
government set up very strict laws about their treatment, working hours and
provisions. These laws were enforced. Nearly every plantation had its "hospital"
for sick workers and lying-in women, and retained a doctor on a yearly fee who
came regularly. At Beck's Grove ruin there still stands the estate hospital building
- a large one of beautiful proportions still bearing up its massive original stone
slab roof.
The Danes provided stringent regulations in the islands to cover most human
activities from birth to death. Illustrating this is part of a six-page contract of:
Instructions to Midwives as shown on the opposite page.


20










Instruction To Midwv
Mbahave GodLead an,"nestK
M 's esciald, withde toward,,
eo .e tashysequest her, as sup i
n ways willing, both day and night
'-dthutdeay, wllth poras the rich,. an-ee ofor~
seiassstace he asfirst been called" without &II-
andabstain fr strong
I& hesalikWise lead a soelieadb J al
01t4e a ell previous as afteachildthoni
heis ial to be cledona
isl e cal n t every moment, and that, the lives and
r ~ ~ deped upo 'her conduct and faithful'
helt o to r ore persons deeduo

hemdiligent Ineatigable and silent inhall
hercaligswhchshould be keptspce
d pordiany and. dangero birth .
-at slt asktifu and well known physician';..
i the subject.,.. she shall not inn
where ory ttbe' br of physic, but that
Ao consideration. whatever, to administer
.j ,.quids,'.powders or drgi d'e
VI~ of, any dnom nation to married
t hrby the foetus in te mote'Wob
toumarried women where
d rexeled, lzvatg or dead, nor. shall she, pre-
1g t 4 rto be prepared ngive thm her-
M4 d S anyone apply to her for the like
shly and precisely pry into the
suhpersons and their intentions to the

h ,obstinate and unfaith-
se.rve iobe ostdligente and eactnes
phdalorderstshervetwi
o "1 oIn abashiered and more
tor o the nt itcircumstanctes to
c nof property or the losr o her
anshdwihamie, onfis SW











e '/ r a 4 ;.a
'I


T2e

S R t OJXIAj4 '.
:- P POCKET.
Comp anio'n
or .
a br'ieff ljtch of the C 'rf tlitings necefary


to be k7zi;n by the diwellrs in, or
) traders to the Jizsand
Extracted


from the belt authorities.






fit


Coppenhagen
Printed for tb
I .... -- .... | -A .


1, 780.
e Author. -
A


1


agreeable to Inftrttions,
dated 20 Nov. 770.
x. No Grave can du t th Burying
Ground, wfput thcKnowledges A
Content of the appointed Seuzteoor
Grave Digger.
a. Every Grave befpoke, sabihe finish
by the faid Sexton in e Space of
or ho8res after apliation, Night
except. And evey Grave for
full grown Corp slall be dug 6 feet
deep 8 feet long $d 4 flee broad.
I this is not comply'd, 'thAn heshda
not only lofe his fin, but paya Ane
of o1 Ps. i.
3. The Grave shall be dug iqmn ypar
culair place in the Burying Ground,
the parties concerned Adl appoint.
For a Grave made in the Chucyar& d ar
die church of England, shall beai
double, owing to the hardn of
the Ground.

a41'


22


II


\


i
r
:1
t

q



i










ON THE LIVELIER side of Cruzan life in these prosperous years many events
were stirring. The question of halting the slave trade was being discussed in
Denmark and in many other European nations. The planters, here and elsewhere,
were in the main against this as being against their own best interests. However,
in St. Croix any slave who could save the money could buy his freedom and the
master was obliged to sell at a court-appraised price. Each Negro family had its
own provision ground on the plantation and was allowed to sell the surplus.
Consequently, the Danish islands had an extremely high percentage of free
Negroes. When the Edict came from the King in 1792 forbidding all Danes from
taking part in the slave trade, it came partly because a wealthy planter here,
Ernst Schimmelmann of La Grande Princesse, had persuaded the King to take
this move. The next Edict came in 1803 after a transition period of some ten years,
formally abolishing the slave trade.
None of this made it any easier for those still slave, and the planters lived
always in the shadow of fear. There was fear of rebellion or riots, of the cane
fields being burned, and the fear of what would happen if the slaves were free.
There was the yearly tension about hurricanes and occasionally the total loss
of the sugar crop from one. There were drought, and strange diseases ranging from
malaria to cholera to yellow fever, which carried off workers and masters alike.
High insurance rates, debts and mortgages were part of the picture. Planters,
wealthy in land and slaves and possessions, were nearly always in some kind of
debt. There was debt for expansion of holdings; debt out of necessity to stay in
business. There was the eternal borrowing ahead on the next crop. Sometimes
there were complicated lawsuits over titles for estates that had many mortgages
against them. High taxes were a complaint, then as now.
The trouble was that once set up and going, a sugar plantation was a demand-
ing affair, almost impossible to convert to any other type of plantation. Once in
the sugar and rum business, a planter was in it for better or for worse.
Rare was the planter who lolled at his ease before sundown; along with his
managers and overseers, he worked and worked hard. The planter's wife super-
vised her own large work force in the Greathouse and its gardens. She was also
expected to minister to the needs of the workers' families.
The Age of Opulence, soon to draw to a close, had its own drawbacks when
examined closely.


23











A RICH MAN'S FORTUNE OR FOLLY

THE actual physical requirements for running a sugar plantation were some-
what staggering, as is best shown by some of the accompanying tables.
In St. Croix, the initial investment was low in comparison to the other islands
in which sugar was well established. The Danes wanted quick colonization and
quick returns for their West India and Guinea Company. They surveyed the
island in 1735, using the present Centerline Road as a base from which the surveys
began.
The island was divided into rectangles of 150 Danish acres each, known as
Matriculens. The price was $500 for one of these plantations good enough for
sugar cane. For cotton land, mostly in the East End, the price was S250 a planta-
tion. There was also a seven year tax exemption for newcomers who took up the
"patents" on new plantations.
There were newcomers at these bargain prices, and no wonder that most of them
were from nearby British islands where land prices were high. In Jamaica they ran
as high as 1,000 pounds sterling for 100 acres.







-r -2
SUGAR FACTORY in 1724

A. Openwork to hold barrels.
B. Windows.
C. Receiver for cane juice.
OD. Cisterns for molasses
E. Coppers for boiling sugar
F. Racks for draining molasses.

From Pere Labat


24












Bryan Edwards, who was a British planter
in Jamaica and one of the best known early
economic historians of the Caribbean, says that
it required no less investment than 30,000
pounds sterling minimum just to get a 900
acre plantation set up and that a smaller one
would not pay there. (This amount equalled
some $120,000 in U.S. dollars at the 1800 ex-
change rate).
In St. Croix, the planters used about three-
fourths of their land for sugar growing and
the factory area. The other one-fourth was for
houses, pasture and timber. The British di-
vided theirs into thirds one area for cane,
one for pasturage and provision grounds, and
one for timber to be used in buildings.
There are no figures on the cost of a Great-
house which depended upon the plain or lavish
taste of the owner. In any case, they were built
with slave labor, as was the estate village where
the workers lived.
In St. Croix, the 300 acres bought for 1,000
Danish rigsdalers in 1734, sold some 15 years
later for about 3,400 West Indian rigsdalers v.c.
(Special rigsdalers issued in Denmark for island
currency. The v.c. meant value current, which
fluctuated). It was estimated that it cost nearly
17,000 rigsdalers v.c. to set up a plantation in
the earliest years, but later this price must
have doubled. A windmill which cost some
2,000 rigsdalers v.c. to build in 1760 had gone
up to around 9,000 rigsdalers v.c. some ten
years later. By this time the total value of a
plantation had risen to between 50,000 to


INITIAL BUILDING COSTS, not including
Greathouse or Negro Quarters
1. M ill ................................................... ... .400
2. Boiling H house ..................... .................. 000
3. Curing House ....................................... 900
4. Distilling H house ...................................1,600
5. Overseer's House ........... .......... ........ 600
6. 2 storehouses ................................... 600
7. H hospital .................... ........................ 00
8. M ule stable ............................ ......... 150
9. Workshop for carpenters,
Wheelwrights & blacksmiths .............. 150
10. Sheds ........... ........ ...... .. 50
11. Tools, Furniture, Utensils .................. 350
Totals: Jamaica currency 7,100
in Pounds Sterling 5,000
in U.S. (1800 rate) $20,000


ANNUAL COSTS on Coppers, Stills, Wain-
,: tyres, Grating Bars, Freight & Commisaionse ,
8.501 pounds sterling


ANNUAL CONTINGENT. CHARGES:
Overseers or manager's salary. ......
Distiller's salary ...................... ........
2 other white servants ...................... ...: i.
Maintenance 5 white servants ........ 200
Carpenter's wages ........................................ 100
Medical care of negroes .............................. 100'
S Millwright, coppersmith, smith
S. & plumber ............................... ........ 250
Colonial taxes .................................... ....... 00
Mules & Steers annually ...... ............... 300
Wharfage & storage ...................... ........... 0
Staves & heading for hogsheads
& puncheons ....................................... 150
M miscellaneous ..................... .... ........... 50
Totals: Jamaica currency 1,840
in Pounds Sterling 1,300
in U.S. (1800 rAte) $5,200


25














S. ANNUAL SUPPLIES
e b. o thing:
0?1 S'ysI Oznabug coh
.i...- yds'; : bue bays or peanistones
-. 50 s. striped Iinseys
: 0i ci:-:'.- coarse check for shirts
1 I- : .,-- ,dx.. coarse blankets
18.-:- coarse hats
OOi$:I.,-0$:: For carpenters, coopers, to amt. of 25
pou.d..s... sterling, including 2 or 3 dz. of falling


MISC: ELLANEOUS:
S160000 nails
2,5.l0 luncheon rivets
50 bundles iron hoops
180 ditto wood hoops
I-- -80 gal. train oil
:6 cattle chains
6 dozen of hoes
6 dozen of bills (cane knives)
4 dozen of ox bows
::': 2 sets puncheon hoops
2 sets hogshead ditto
S2 sheets of lead
S 6 large copper ladles
|;" 6 ditto skimmers
20 dz. small clasp knives
S 2 barrels of tar
S2 boxes short tobacco
8 dz. small iron pots
S4 grindstones
2 puncheons Bristol lime

PROVISIONS:
80 barrels herring or salt
cod equal thereto
6 barrels salted beef
2 barrels salted pork
4 firkins salted butter
2 boxes of soap
2 boxes of candles
2 hogshead of salt
6 barrels of flour
6 kegs of pease
3 jugs of groats


70,000 rigsdalers v.c. according to what the
planter could invest. Many things contributed
to the rise, including the higher land prices
and the need for more slaves to work an estab-
lished plantation. Lacking other specific figures
for St. Croix, it is interesting to consider what
Bryan Edwards said was needed to set up a
900 acre sugar plantation on a British island.
As a preliminary, he warned, "the man that
engages in the business of sugar planting must
engage deeply. There is no medium and very
seldom the possibility of retreat."
"The price for clearing, cultivating and fencing will
run up to 10,000 pounds sterling.
"The upkeep of a plantation of the magnitude de-
scribed cannot prudently be considered without the
aid of 250 negroes annually, plus a stock of 60 mules
and 80 steers:
250 negroes @ 70 pounds each 1 7.500
60 mules @ 28 pounds each 1,680
80 mules Fi 15 pounds each 1,200
20,380 pounds
Jamaica currency
(this equalled 14,557 pounds sterling, or approxi-
mately S58,000 U.S. at the 1800 rate).

WHEN the hard work was done, the planta-
tion a going business, and the planter ready
to loll at his ease at sundown with a planter's
punch resting on the arm of one of those old
planters' chairs, this is what he could expect,
according to historian Edwards:
"The produce of such a plantation is approximately%
200 hogsheads of sugar of 16cwt, at 3.000 pounds
sterling; 130 puncheons of rum at 1,300 pounds ster-












ling (average price on the London market for 10 years) which makes a gross return of pounds
sterling 4,300.
"But the reader is not to imagine that all this, even the sugar alone, is clear profit. The annual
disbursements are first to be deducted and very heavy they are, with the charges within the island
and the annual supplies amounting to some 2,150 pounds sterling, leaving no more clear profit
to the planter than seven per cent. And this is without charging, however, a shilling for making
good the decrease of the negroes, or for the wear and tear of the buildings, or making allowance
for dead capital.
"In short, with these and other drawbacks, to say nothing of the devastations which are some-
times occasioned by fires and hurricanes, it is not wonderful that the profits should frequently
dwindle to nothing, or rather that a sugar estate, with all its boasted advantages, should sometimes
prove a millsone about the neck of its unfortunate proprietor, which is dragging him to
destruction."


Just how hard the planter worked for his seven percent gross return will be seen
in the process he had to go through to make the sugar and the rum.


CANE PLANTING From Ballou's Pictorial


27


c__4











ST. CROIX'S SUGAR MILLS


T H E island's picturesque old windmills and animal mills which (lot its landscape
were mostly built early in the period of 1750 to 1800. A few estates had two wind-
mills, and in addition many had auxiliar) ox or mule mills. For when the cane
was ready it must be cut, and when it was cut it must be ground quickly to avoid
fermentation. During "crop" speed was essential; the mills ground incessantly,
day and night, with the men working in shifts.
THE ANIMAL MILL. This consisted of the central grinding machinery under
a shed surrounded by an earthenwork or stonework elevated rim, with the appear-
ance of a circular crater. Along the top of the rim the oxen, mules or horses
walked on a path. A long pole ran from the animals' harness to the center shaft
of the machinery, thus turning it and providing the power for the grinding.
The earliest animal mills did well if they ground enough canes in one hour to
yield from 300 to 350 gallons of juice. Later models using up to ten mules, pro-
duced some 500 gallons an hour. Allowing four hours out of the twenty-four for
Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier"


r F EARLY AATNIn AL
F..e ,..-.- .' A. Cattle being dr. .i
L ,-:i .Id .6 .r ",,.Ier-,.,. ;. mill machinery. B.
.roller of the ma
Small rolenrs which:gr
D. Pipe through
drains. E Tub whic-
the juice. F. Two
L water which drips. oW
--prevent friction. G.e
gear of big roller whic"k
the machine turn. H. i
framework to support
ery. I. Board on which
cane is placed. J. Q,
Coppers in which. ji:
boiled.


.. _I__










loss of time, the return per day could be
10,000 gallons of juice, being equal to 36
hogsheads of sugar at 16-cwt. for every week
during the crop season.
THE WINDMILL-HOW IT WORKED.
A windmill is essentially a simple contriv-
ance, yet great force is required to run it
to overcome the resistance of the cane being Ii
ground. In the early days in St. Croix, the
machinery inside the mill consisted prince*
pally of three upright iron-plated rollers
cylinders. The middle one, to which e m
moving-power was attached from 0
turned the other two by means of
Between these rollers the canes m1,m- '/
pressed. They passed through th and -
second rollers; were turned around the cen- I
ter one by a circular framework or screen -
sometimes called the "dumb returned," and
were forced back through the second and
third rollers., 2 ,d
This operation squeezed the cane nearly
dry. The juice ran downhill in a leaded
trough to the factory below. The leftover
fibre refuse, called bagasse was later used
as fuel under the coppers in which the juice
was boiled.
The St. Croix mills were a Dutch type,
in which only the dome was turned, carry- A(11
ing the axle and sails with it into the re- .. ::
quired position. The masonry top of the -
mill had a wooden (later cast iron) rim on
which ran small rollers on which the dome
rested. The turning of the dome, so that the


Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier"




















STEAM MILL at ANNA'S HOPE Courtesy "vWore Gamre Tropekolonier"

four canvas sails on their wooden arms would face directly into the wind, was
accomplished by means of a long pole at an angle running down nearly to the
ground from the dome. A whole crew of men sometimes had to rush to shift the
pole when the wind blew stronger or changed direction.
The problems of controlling the sails to give an even grinding operation were
not easily solved. There was at first no means of reefing, and sometimes a gusty
wind revolved it all so fast that the sails were torn off. Later, a way was devised
for men to climb up to reef the sails individually.
The first successful automatic reefing apparatus was invented in 1780, giving
controlled motion to the grinding for the first time. In 1807, a further improved
method of reefing the big sails was introduced. This was a simple arrangement
of movable wooden shutters or louvers in part of the sails instead of canvas.
Today on St. Croix these stone windmills are highly prized for their haunting
quality of beauty and as reminders of the special historic heritage of the island.
Much of the old machinery was sold for scrap or lies rusting in the underbrush.
The mill at Whim Greathouse is being restored to working order by the Land-
marks Society so that visitors and islanders can visualize its use.
THE STEAM MILLS. The first steam mill for grinding cane was lput in use
at Estate Hogansborg for the crop of 1816, but it was so balky and broke down
so often that other plantation owners remained unconvinced that steam was
worth the expense. It was not until the 1830's that other steam mills made their
appearance at Whim and another estate. Wind power and slaves were still
cheaper than steam.


30










However, just four years after the slaves were freed in 1848, there were some
fifty steam engines here.
In the yard of La Grange stands a piece of narrow-gauge railway track with a
small type of flatcar on it. This is one of the last remnants of a little rail line which
once ran along the northwest shore carrying cane to La Grange factory. Another,
south shore, railway led to the factory at Bethlehem which served the estates in
the center of the island. Reportedly, the entire track, tiny steam engine and
strings of flatcars were sold years ago to Mexico.
In 1876, the Danish government underwrote the building of five large cane
crushing stations at Estates Fair Plain, Glynn, Barren Spot, La Grande Princess
and at Peter's Rest, which was the largest station. From these estates, cane juice
was pumped through miles of pipe lines to huge tanks at Orange Grove where
Cruzana now is, and on down to a Central Factory on the shore near Christiansted.
Today all the island's cane is ground at the huge complex known as Bethlehem
Factory near the center of the island. Tomorrow who knows the grinding of
cane commercially on the island may come to a final stop after three hundred and
some years.


31







































, 1 1 'MOLASSES CIS N
I i MOLASSES CISTERN


DIAGRAM OF SUGAR MAKING PROCESS
By Ralph Fuller


32


IIII ----I
-__ I I11111II
-- I-~~---II~


14h


-Zhu
pit qft


17










HOW SUGAR WAS MADE

T H E cut cane was carted in from the fields to the mill; cut short and bundled
for the grinders.
The cane was put through the mill's grinding machinery; the juices ran into
the big vessel called the Receiver.
The juice ran out of the Receiver into a leaded trough, downhill to the Factory
into a large vessel called:
The Clarifier, of which there were as many as three holding 300 to 400 gallons
each. Fire was lighted under the Clarifier, a temper added, such as Bristol lime
powder (or a vegetable alkali or ashes of certain woods).
Scum rose to the top as the juice was brought almost to a boil. Damper applied
and fire extinguished. The juice remained there an hour while impurities collected
on top. Each Clarifier had a siphon or cock for drawing off juice, which then went
by gutter to:
The Grand Copper or evaporating boiler where juice was boiled and the rising
scum taken off with large skimmers. When thickened, the juice was ladled into
the smaller or Second Copper. Boiling and skimming continued; perhaps lime-
water added to temper the juice and to dilute thickness.
The process was repeated in the Third Copper; then it was ladled into the

-- _-

) B )


F-irm Wirot SUGAR BOILING IN COPPERS From Diderot


. i :. : ;-- ;r~~ .' .*-'~ :-ir*~,l~i-::'r".;.*U~' ;..:r;..,. -.. ~


an..FANC










Fourth Copper, called the Teache, where the final evaporation was done. The
juice was now very thick, and tested in cold water for coagulation. Small planta-
tions sometimes used only two coppers for the process. When ready, the juice
was ladled, called taking a strike, into:
The Cooler, of which there were usually six. These were shallow, wooden vessels,
about 7' long and 5' to 6' wide. Each held one hogshead (1,600 lbs.) of sugar.
In the cooler, the sugar grained: i.e., as it cooled, it formed a coarse mass of
crystals, separating from the molasses residue. It was then:
Carried to the Curing house where the molasses was to be drained out. The
Curing house consisted of a molasses cistern with sloping sides of terras or boards.
Over the cistern an open framework of joists held rows of hogsheads, each with
8 to 10 holes in the bottom, each hole plugged with a plantain stalk through which
molasses drained.
The mass from the cooler was put into hogsheads, which was termed potting,
and allowed to drain through the pulpy stalks for about three weeks. By then the
grains were dry and ready for shipment. This made a brown sugar, called
Muscovado.
A system of claying or further refining sugar was sometimes used. The sugar
and molasses mass from the cooler was poured into conical pots or pans, suspended
points downward with a hole in the point. This hole was kept plugged for 12
hours during the cooling, then opened and the molasses drained out for another
12 to 24 hours.
Then a mixture of clay was spread on top the sugar; some water added to seep
down through the clay to carry off more molasses. This left a pure, white sugar.








WIND and STEAM

Courtesy New York Pueoic Library

34











MOLASSES TO RUM TO PLANTER'S PUNCH

RU M has gone by many names: Rhum, Rumm, Rumbooze, Rhumb and Rum-
bullion and even the Indians had a word for it Ahcoobee.
As almost every West Indian knows, no two rums taste quite the same, varying
greatly from island to island. In the early days on St. Croix, the quality of rum
even varied from estate to estate. Each planter had his favorite methods and his
secrets of flavor for creating what he felt was the superior product.
The making of sugar and the making of rum were inseparable. Each planta-
tion had its own still house, usually next to the sugar factory, where the molasses
was used for rum-making. On St. Croix, the rum-making was on a fairly simple
scale, but on the huge plantations of
some of the British islands rum was also
made on a grand scale with elaborate
equipment.
HOW POT STILL RUM WAS MADE.
The still house in which the rum was
made contained a number of large wood-
en vats called butts, generally 10 or 12
of them averaging from 750 to 1,000
gallons capacity. Copper pot-stills with
a capacity approximately the same as a
butt were located outside of the still
house to accommodate the wood fires
which heated the pots. An open shed
covered the distilling equipment to keep FRENCH BRANDY POT STILL From Diderot
rain off. In the bottom of each butt there
was a 2 inch hole stoppered with a long wooden plug. This was removed when
fermentation was complete (in from 4 to 6 days) and the fermented mash ran
down in wooden troughs to the pot-still.
Three types of mash were used for fermentation: the chief one being a mixture
of about one part molasses to five parts water, to which was sometimes added
cush-cush, the fine Bagasse particles left in the strainer when the cane juice ran


35































DIAGRAM OF POT STILL RUM PROCESS By Ralph Fuller.

down from the mill. This was used as a yeast or mother. To this was usually added
some form of acid, and some lime or vegetable ash. When all this was fermented,
it was ready for use.
The second type of fermentation could be used only during crop time, usually
before any molasses was available from the new crop. It was pure cane juice direct
from the mill, requiring no special additives to start fermentation as the juice
contained wild yeast, the whitish powder found around the knot or joint of the
cane stalk.
The third fermented mixture came from using all the skimmings from the
sugar process, added to the molasses. This also could be done only during crop
time.
Next to the pot-still and elevated to about the same level, connected by a
gooseneck pipe, sat the doubler or retort; usually made of wood. It had another
connecting pipe which ran to the final piece of equipment, the pewter worms or

36










coils of pipe which were suspended in a large cistern of cold water.
When all was ready, the pot-still was filled with fermented mash; the doubler
filled to about 1/4 its capacity with low wine, a weak low-proof rum which comes
at the beginning and end of each distillation. The doubler usually had about 100
to 150 gallons of low wine in it.
The two vessels were closed and fire started under the pot-still. As the mash
cooked, the resulting vapors went over into the doubler by the gooseneck which
went down to within two or three inches of the bottom. These hot vapors in turn
started the low-wine boiling and these combined vapors gained much in alcohol
or proof strength, passing on into the pewter worms. The hot vapors running down
through the cold pewter worms condensed into the liquid known as rum, and ran
into a receiving vessel always a wooden tub, usually made by cutting down a
puncheon.
Approximately the first five gallons of the condensed liquid were drawn off as
low-wine to put back into the doubler as they retained some of the low quality
condensate from the tail end of the previous distillation.
Once this was done, the rum began to run at about 1400 proof and ran until the
proof dropped to about 1080. From this one run there would come about 100 wine
gallons of rum with an average proof of about 1200.
When the proof dropped below 1080, the rum was "cut" which meant that the
distillate coming out was too inferior for rum and was accumulated as low-wine.
This was run out until there were about 100 to 150 wine gallons of low-wine which
were put back into the low-wine butt to be used to charge the doubler again for
the next distillation.
The operation was then stopped. The exhausted low-wine in the doubler was
run back into the pot-still and together with all the used fermented mash in the pot,
known as the lees, was run out into the lees pond outside the still house and dis-
carded. The process was then ready to start all over again.

A LITTLE RUM-INATION. Every planter had his own opinion about making
rum and the variations were endless. While the best rum came from cane juice
alone, it was also the most expensive process, and today there are only two or three
brands in all the West Indies made this way.
The early planters were known to use such flavor pickups as Seville oranges,


37










lemons, tamarinds or any acid fruit. The St. Kitts distillers added sea water and
swore by it. Others used nitre, tartar, common salt, vegetable or mineral acids.
The vegetable ashes supposedly kept back the heavy and fetid oil known by the
British makers as the faints, but this also tended to keep back the fine, essential oils
which flavored the rum. Another trick was to put back a few gallons of the high-
proof distillate into the fermentation vats, which was supposed to add greatly to the
quantity of the next rum.
The quality of the cane and its sweet content, known as Brix, also had a bearing
on rum-making. The market demand, too, had a direct bearing. If the price of
sugar were high and that of rum low, the distiller would return more of the skim-
mings and other sugar-containing matter to the sugar clarifiers instead of sending
them to the still house. This way they gained in sugar value what they lost in rum.
This practice could be reversed to make more or better rum and less sugar.
In the early days, the distiller used to test the rum for proof by taking it in his
hand and smelling it, or by shaking it to judge the bead on a high proof. The
British islanders used an "oil proof" test in which olive oil sank in high proof rum.
The rum was stored and shipped in large casks called puncheons, of variable size
from island to island, but usually holding from 110 to 150 wine gallons. On St. Croix
they used a 140 gallon puncheon.
The British estimated the production of whole rum to finished sugar as approxi-
mately three to four. Always the individualists, the British also called their mo-
lasses, treacle; their lees, under; and their skimming, scuinmings. They did call
the product rum! They also did what distillers on the other islands thought was
inexcusable they put a small percentage of the lees or dregs of the process back
into their fermenation vats. It may have been this practice that earned some rum
the nickname of "kill devil."
The rums made on the island of St. Croix today are vastly different and better
than the variable and heavy type of yesteryear. They are now made on a large scale
in continuous column stills under highly controlled methods and exact processes,
including the careful removal of the fusel oils and heads, resulting in a uniform.
dry, light quality rum of excellent flavor and bouquet.

CONCLUSION: Truly, the Rums of St. Croix are so good that there must be some
special secrets in their manufacture.


38











YE OLDE RUM DRINKS


39





















RUM AND REVOLUTION
T H E relationship between West Indian rum and the American Revolution is
one often ignored by the history books, perhaps because its story is not the most
savory. It is a complicated tale of smuggling, slave trading and evasion of the
British Acts of Trade all of which were respectable New England occupations at
the time.
The British Molasses Act of 1733, the New Molasses Act of 1765 and the 1765
Stamp Act set up an economic chain of events leading directly to the Revolution.
In effect the New Molasses Act prevented the North Americans from trading with
the French, Dutch and Danish islands for molasses by imposing a stiff duty, and as
a consequence would have forced the New Englanders to abandon their rum stills
and buy rum from the British West Indies. The effect on the rum distillers (63 in
Massachusetts alone) was incalculable, as it was tied directly to the whole economic
structure of the area, based on the rum and slave trade.
The British themselves had been in the slave trade since 1562 to supply their
own Caribbean colonies and those of Spain. In the 106 years from 1680 to 1786
there were some 2,130,000 slaves imported into their southern American and \Vest
Indian colonies. There were few slaves in New England, but this area flourished on
the trade, sometimes flouting the laws of Old England to do so.
It all worked on what might be called the Vicious Triangle. New England ships
carried their rum and a few other supplies to the \Vest Coast of Africa, where they
traded for Negroes and gold dust. From there they made the infamous "middle
passage" with their victims crowded in miserable, unhealthy conditions to Bar-


40










bados and the other British islands where the surviving slaves were sold for cash or
bills of credit. The ships then usually picked up cheap contraband molasses at the
French and Dutch islands and carried it back to New England to be distilled into
rum.
The New England rum was consumed at home in quantities unbelievable to
those brought up on a Puritan version of history. Still, there was adequate surplus
to ship to Africa.
The smuggling and violations of British regulations arose mainly out of the
molasses trade. Sugar was the main West Indian product, but its value and market
fluctuated widely, and the planters depended on molasses or rum for the difference
between profit and loss.
The French protected their European brandy interests by selling molasses very
cheaply in their islands, as did the Dutch who acted as middlemen and were the
leading Caribbean merchants. The British regulations were so complicated that
they merely led to smuggling between islands. It was the perpetual imbalance of
trade with England which made the colonists both in New England and in the
islands feel not only justified, but obligated, to evade the rules.
The planters in St. Croix were compelled by a 1740 law to sell their molasses,
sugar and rum to the Danish West India Company
at less than one-half the price offered in the Dutch -
free port of St. Eustatius. This same year, the con-
struction of Frederiksted Fort was begun, specifically- -
to stop the smuggling to the Dutch. Then later, dur- EW ENGLAN -
ing the actual Revolutionary period, this tiny Dutch _
island became temporarily the richest port in the
Caribbean, and the hub of the supply line for the -
battling northern colonists until 1780. In 1779 alone TE ISLANDS.
over 3,500 ships put in at St. Eustatius.
The New England Britishers also supplied the _
various islands with barrel staves, horses, salted and
dried fish from Newfoundland, and other plantation
necessities. They were paid in molasses or rum by
the French, Dutch and Danish, and in sterling by
the British islanders. Other shiploads of dried fish The
Viciou
41


By Ralph Fuller









went to Spain and Portugal for gold and silver pay ment which helped out on the
balance of trade. Between times, the) supplied the southern colonies of Virginia
and the Carolinas with New England products, rum and slaves.
In 1773 Europe was in another of its states of tension over quarrels between
various combinations of nations. The price of sugar fell, the coffee market crashed
in Germany and a general slump culminated in England's trying to enforce the Tea
Tax in the colonies. That was the year of the Boston Tea Part\t, which in any
preceding year might just as well have been a molasses or rum party. It led to the
outbreak of actual fighting in 1775.
England promptly switched from French brandy to West Indian rum for its
navy, and the French began their unofhcial aid to the northern colonies. In the
West Indies the smuggling went right on.
The British West Indies were in poor condition to withstand war, long hoped
for by Spain and France. Both were read() to fight England or help England's
colonies to fight her. According to British historians, Parry and Sherlock, "war
against France had long been regarded (by the colonists) as a panacea for the
economic ills of the British West Indies, but war against North America was a
major disaster, which the W\est Indian interests in London did their utmost to
prevent there were many close connections between the two groups of colonists
.. sympathies were divided...."
"The American rebels tried hard to perstlade the West Indies to join in the
Revolution, and at first there was some force in the arguments they used:
"The British West Indies had constitutions similar to those in the rebellious
thirteen colonies; they had some representative but not responsible government;
they had largely the same grievances of taxation without representation, interfer-
ence with their legislative freedom, and adverse trade balances, the inconveniences
and restrictions of the Acts of Trade.
"Like the North Americans, many West Indians rioted against the Stamp Act.
Like North America, the West Indies were taxed to pay part of the imperial
defense, but there lay the difference. The North American colonies believed that



SLAVE SHIPS


42










they did not need the defense for which they were asked to pay. The West Indies
did need it, and knew they needed it."
The British West Indies finally refused to join in our Revolution. The people
"smuggled and grumbled and hoped the war would be short." France went in
officially against England in 1778; took Dominica, and next year took Grenada and
St. Vincent. Spain went in in 1779, mainly to seize and plunder the British islands.
There is an undocumented story that the first salute to the new United States
flag was given at Frederiksted Fort on St. Croix.
At The Hague in 1780, John Adams persuaded the Dutch to recognize our inde-
pendence. The British promptly declared war on the Dutch, and Admiral Rodney
took St. Eustatius. He called this free port a nest of villains which needed scourging.
Finding at least 125 ships of all nations there, he seized them all and sold both ships
and cargoes for over $25,000,000 in one of the world's biggest auctions. This caused
a wave of protests from other governments and an impressive legal tangle over
ownerships. However, Rodney had cut the main supply line to the north and had
relegated tiny St. Eustatius back to a sleepy normal.
The French fleet, released after the Yorktown surrender, went into action in the
Caribbean under de Grasse and took
many islands. Spain moved in on Florida
and the Bahamas. The Caribbean became
the final battleground after the American
Revolution was over.
-: -{ ---. ^ -- _-- _--- -

AFTER THE REVOLUTION. The --
aftermath was again a story of rum and r r
slave trading, depressions and trouble. --- F r r
This was reflected in St. Croix where over 16"0
half the island was in cane, but 40% of
the holdings were in debt, even at this
time of good production.
Great Britain outlawed the slave trade,
but kept up its West African trading by -
buying through Spain and Brazil, thus
nullifying its own law. -

43 FREDERIKSTED FORT


By Amy Jones











The New United States imported six million gallons of West Indian rum by
1818, and also over seven million gallons of molasses used to make rum. Nothing
seemed to deter the New England shipowners. As soon as the Revolution was over
they had gone right back to a steady course on the old \'icious Triangle. It was not
until the Civil War in the United States that slave trading and slavery itself were
effectively stopped there, although gradually the New Englanders withdrew from
the trade. Rum's tie-in with slave trading ceased to be one of the controlling eco-
nomic factors in North American life only when the Triangle trade faded away.















Even George Washington
succumbed to the custom
of mixing rum with poli-
tics. In 1758 he ran for
the Virginia House of Bur-
gesses from Frederick
County during the French
and Indian Wars when he
was away on the frontier.
Leaving his campaign to
friends, he arranged for
the free dispensing of liq-
uor. The final election
returns showed that he got
the highest number cast
for any candidate. He also
had quite a high bar bill!










A. HAMILTON

ON ST. CROIX

SO MI E two hundred years ago there was
born on Nevis in the British islands a some-
what small, frail and intense boy with blue
eyes and red hair. He was the son of an im-
pecunious third son of a Scottish Laird, and
of Rachel Lavien. The date of his birth is
now set at 1755 by newly discovered Danish W/
documents. This makes Alexander Hamil-
ton two years older than was thought.
His mother, Rachel, had been married
some years before in St. Croix at Estate
Grange to a much older and cruel husband,
John Michael Lavien, who owned a small sugar plantation here. After five years of
marriage and the bearing of one son to Lavien, Rachel left him when she was 21.
With her mother she moved back to her old home on Nevis where she met James
Hamilton. The two fell in love and moved to St. Kitts to live together. Lavien re-
fused Rachel a divorce.
Times were bad financially in parts of the Caribbean and James Hamilton found
it hard to make a living for his family. He was sent to St. Croix on a legal mission and
Rachel came with him, bringing their two sons. After some months, Hamilton re-
turned to the British islands and Rachel stayed on here with relatives, opening a
small shop where the boy Alexander helped out.
When Alexander was eleven he was recognized as being unusually precocious
despite lack of much schooling, and he was given work by a hardware merchant,
Nicholas Cruger, in his store.
Meanwhile, Lavien had divorced Rachel but Danish law forbade her to remarry.
She died on St. Croix when Alexander was thirteen and her gravestone can be
visited today at Estate Grange. All her property was claimed by her divorced
husband.


45









Alexander worked hard and read incessantly. He taught himself French, which
came in handy later when as aide-de-camp to George Washington he became friends
with Generals Lafayette and Rochambeau.
St. Croix was devastated by a major hurricane which destroyed or damaged some
500 buildings in 1772 and Alexander wrote a long and vivid letter to his father on
St. Vincent island describing the horror. The letter was published in the Royal
Danish-American Gazette, and so impressed friends and others that they scraped
together enough money to send him on his way to school in the British Colonies in
North America.
Young Hamilton left in mid-isummer for Boston on the ship "Thunderbolt" en-
route for New York. On the way the ship caught fire and he helped to battle it for
twenty-four hours until it was under control.
On his arrival, Alexander went to a boarding school for one year and then entered
the already famous King's College (now Columbia University) which at the time
had a faculty of only three persons.
In a few short years the ambitious boy became a leader in the Revolution and
played a major part in the formation of the original thirteen United States of which
he became the first Secretary of the Treasurv.
Following are excerpts from the long description of the hurricane which gave
Alexander Hamilton his start toward fame.

HURRICANE Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolcnier"



i .. r















Honored Sir. I take up my pen just to give
you an imperfect account of the most
dreadful hurricane that memory or any
records whatever can trace, which hap-
pened here on the 31st ultimo at night.
It began about dusk, at North, and raged
very violently till ten o'clock. Then ensued
a sudden and unexpected interval, which
lasted about an hour. Meanwhile, the wind
was shifting round to the South West
point, from whence it returned with re-
doubled fury and continued so till near
three o'clock in the morning. Good God!
what horror and destruction it's impos-
sible for me to describe or you to form
any idea of it. It seemed as if a total disso-
lution of nature was taking place. The
roaring of the sea and wind-fiery meteors
flying about in the air the prodigious
glare of almost perpetual lightning the
crash of the falling houses and the ear-
piercing shrieks of the distressed, were suf-
ficient to strike astonishment into Angels.
A great part of the buildings throughout
the Island are leveled to the ground al-
most all the rest was very shattered sev-
eral persons killed and numbers utterly
ruined whole families running about the
streets unknowing where to find a place of
shelter the sick exposed to the keenness
of water and air without a bed to lie
upon or a dry covering to their bodies
- our harbour is entirely bare. In a word,
misery in all its most hideous shapes spread
over the whole face of the country a


strong smell of gunpowder added some-
what to the terrors of the night; and it was
observed that the rain was surprisingly
salt. Indeed, the water is so brackish and
full of sulphur that there is hardly any
drinking it.
My reflections and feelings on this
frightful and melancholy occasion are set
forth in following self-discourse.
Where now OH! Vile worm, is all thy
boasted fortitude and sufficiency? why
dost thou tremble and stand aghast? how
humble how helpless how contempti-
ble you now appear. And for why? the
jarring of the elements the discord of
clouds? Oh, impotent presumptuous fool!
how darest thou offend that omnipotence,
whose nod alone were sufficient to quell
the destruction that hovers over thee, or
crush thee into atoms? See thy wretched
helpless state and learn to know thyself ...
Hark! ruin and confusion on every side.
- 'Tis thy turn next: but one short mo-
ment even now Oh Lord help Jesus
be merciful!
Thus did I reflect, and thus at every gust
of the wind did I conclude. till it pleased
the Almighty to allay it.
I am afraid, sir, you will think this de-
scription more the effort of imagination
than a true picture of realities. But I can
affirm with the greatest truth, that there is
not a single circumstance touched upon
which I have not absolutely been an eye-
witness to.


Letter Written By Alexander Hamilton To His Father After The St. Croix Hurricane of 1772


47






























CENTURY OF CHANGE


ST. CROIX in the 19th Century experienced a great period of social change:
much for the better on the human level, worse on the economic. It was a time of
alternating violence and quiet decline.
At the turn of the century the island was still in a period of upswing. This was
marked by the abolition of the slave trade effective in I803, thus beginning the long,
slow progression toward freedom for all. There was soon an Edict of full equality
between the free-colored and the white people: later another Edict set up free
compulsory education for all children.
Denmark, which had so long remained neutral in most of the European conflicts,
found herself and her colonies deeply involved during the Napoleonic Wars.
The English took St. Croix in April of 1801 and held it for about a year. Then
there were five years under the Danes again until the British came back in 1807 and

48











stayed for eight years. Little is known of this period of British occupation here. It
has been surmised that since most of the planters were English, it may actually have
been to their advantage to be out from under what they called restrictive trade laws
imposed by Denmark.
St. Croix was returned to Denmark by treaty. The next decades would have been
difficult ones under any ownership. A period of increasing depression set in
throughout the Caribbean from 1820 on, influenced by European wars and failing
economies with a general slump in sugar, rum, tobacco, coffee and other markets.
This was reflected in mounting debts in all the islands.
Denmark tried to help St. Croix by making it open to free trade in 1833, a move
the planters had long hoped for. Thus began here the free port system which still
exists.
Then there came on the scene in St. Croix an energetic, ambitious and capable
man who was to influence this island as few others had.
GOVERNOR-GENERAL PETER VON SCHOLTEN.
This dynamic man was not new to the Danish islands. He
had come out first at age twenty as a young Danish ensign.
Later he returned as a Captain and as the "Royal
Weigher." In less than ten years he moved up the ladder of
government posts to be Governor of St. Thomas, and was
made a Danish Court Chamberlain. Then for eight years
he was the acting Governor-General of the three islands.
The outstanding quality in von Scholten was his ability
to keep harmony among the diverse groups on the islands.
He was considered the best Governor St. Thomas had ever
had. While there he learned the Creole language of the
Negroes, and became a great helper of the slave popula-
tion.
It was about the time of his acting Governorship that he
fell in love with and took as mistress the lovely free-colored
woman, Anna Elizabeth Heegaard. She served as his
hostess both for private and public functions and shared
his life for twenty years.
Peter and Anna built a gracious mansion at Bulow's
By C. E. Taylor
49












Minde high on the hills overlooking Christiansted. There is some evidence that she
paid most of the cost of the house, and the deed was in both their names.
The harmony of life at Bulow's Minde is described in a letter written by a guest
of von Scholten's in 1841:

The main building, which elsewhere would be called a Castle, its light construction not with-
standing, has two floors with finely furnished social, dining and dancing rooms and also living
quarters for Scholten alone. Adjoining and united to it by a gallery lay Aliss Heegaard's, his
housekeeper's house, to which the kitchen and other housekeeping quarters belong, then some
scattered negro houses; and farthest to the north lay a long, narrow one-story house with windows
on both sides and a veranda or covered gallery on which doors from all the rooms opened. This
house was divided into several bedrooms and a pair of rooms for visitors or rather guestrooms.
The garden lay on the slopes east of and around Scholten's own residence and the guest house,
with a profusion of oleanders, hibiscus and other flowers; humming birds swarmed around them
like bees at home, and a delightful smell of vanilla reached one when the wind stirred the
oleander leaves. The early morning was beautiful and refreshing beyond all description up here
in this open and healthfully located place....
I worked, wrote or read, until I was called to lunch at Scholten's at 9 a.m. where I almost always
met one or more adjutants, government officials, or planters who had come to him on business.
Lunch, which consisted of tea, several cold and hot dishes, fruit, and wine, uas served in Miss
Heegaard's rooms, and she and an aging Miss Gordon presided at table.
Between 1 and 3 p.m. we all went riding, read newspapers, took a short nap on the bed, dressed
and gathered at 4 or 5 in Scholten's rooms for dinner. There were always some guests so that
we were most often six or more persons. The two women were never missing, and, after the
meal, the company, at least those who knew them, paid a short visit to Miss Heegaard's house.
We smoked cigars, walked around the houses, played billiards; visitors came, and later on in the
evening people went to the card tables and played a game of L'hombre or whist and usually parted
company at 10 p.m....

ANNA HEEGAARD was the source of
much speculation and conflicting history.
We know that she was the daughter of a
freed woman as well as herself free. At
one time she owned fifteen slaves, only to
give most of them their freedom. She also
owned considerable property in Christian-
sted, inherited from her mother. She was r
the mistress of at least three other white
men before she joined von Scholten in "










their long relationship, which was terminated only by the misfortunes of histo/
At that time the Danes forbade marriage between white and colored, and 4t
very much the custom of the times for government officials, whose wives- sta
behind in the home country, to form other relationships.
We know also that Anna must have had a deep influence on von Scholt
his attitude and relationship to her people. He asked the home government
times to consider giving the slaves their freedom. The Danish government di
sider this, but delayed it because of uncertain economic conditions and be
many planters protested against it.
The Governor-General was always ahead of the home government. He wa
first to give Negroes good government jobs, and twice a week he held bri
receptions to which both Negro and white residents were invited.
REBELLION AND FREEDOM. Time was running out, and the stage #
for rebellion with the characters onstage: a liberal Governor; his free-colored
mistress; reactionary or dubious planters; a slow-moving home government; some
5,000 free Negroes, and some 17,000 slaves on St. Croix who wanted their freedom.
The spark which lit the tinder was a move on the part of Denmark which was
intended as a step forward. The Danish King in July of 1847 proclaimed a gradual
emancipation program to stretch over twelve years. In this period each baby born
was to be free, then all slaves to be free at the end of that time.
The slaves had anticipated full, immediate freedom. They were bitterly pro-
voked. The unrest and the underground tension mounted, although much of the
white population seemed unaware of its seriousness.
Late in the night of July 2, 1848, the conch shell-horns began to blow and the
estate bells to ring; usually signals of fire. This time they were the rallying call for
a freedom march on Frederiksted, led by a young Negro, Buddhoe.
Governor von Scholten was alerted finally and spent the night consulting with his
officials in Christiansted until daylight. Conflicting and confusing reports came in,
but when it became apparent where the trouble centered, the Governor left in his
carriage for Frederiksted.
Frederiksted, meanwhile, was in a turmoil. Reports came in that some estates
were burning. The Negroes were demanding full freedom. Von Scholten arrived to
confront a still orderly but determined crowd of some 8,000 Negroes who demanded
freedom or the burning of the Fort and the estates. The situation was tense and
dangerous; once the destruction and rioting began, nothing might stop it.


51











The Governor-General acted decisively. Shortly after his arrival he stepped onto
the ramparts of the Fort and read his famous Proclamation of Freedom. It began:
All unfree in the Danish West Indies are from today free.
Von Scholten had long desired and pressed for this freedom, but he was acting
on his own in direct contradiction to the King's orders and to the plantation owners'
wishes. There were those who later accused him of collusion in the uprising and
easy capitulation.
The Negroes dispersed to celebrate, and the Proclamation was ordered printed
during the night for distribution. Meanwhile, word came that the Christiansted
Negroes were gathering in a threatening manner. Von Scholten rushed back there,
to arrive just as real trouble began when a young lieutenant fired on the crowd
against orders. The Negroes formed mobs and began the systematic burning and
looting of the hated Greathouses and the cane fields. They harmed no whites.
The planters were angry and refused to accept the Freedom Proclamation. Under
great pressure, von Scholten turned over his military powers to a group of officials
who declared Martial law and threatened to shoot the rioters. Von Scholten, badly
shaken and shocked by events, and foreseeing the end of his fight for human rights,
resigned and retired a sick man. He is supposed to have had a slight stroke. In any
case, his physician advised him to leave for Denmark immediately, where he would
also have some hopes of vindicating his action in freeing
the slaves.
Von Scholten left on July 14, never to return. His case
went to court and he was sentenced to be dismissed from
all his duties. Long after the Danish King had confirmed
his Freedom Proclamation, von Scholten's appeal to the
Danish Supreme Court cleared him unanimously of all
blame.
Peter von Scholten died six years after he issued the
Proclamation. He never lived to see St. Croix again, nor
his beloved Anna Elizabeth. She who shared his love and
,life for so many years was buried on an estate owned by
V a relative, not far from the beautiful Bulow's MIinde
where she died in 1859.
Von Scholten lives on in memory as a man ahead of his

52

-Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier"










time, hero of the slaves and of those who held human life and
rights above their economic interests. He was a great humani-
tarian and a great man. He was not the only hero of the slaves;
others shared in the fight for emancipation.

BUDDHOE. During the slave rebellion several other figures Y<
emerged as heroes, honored to this day with loving memory in
folk legend and song. One of these was Buddhoe, whose actual
origins may never be known. His real name was Moses Gottlieb,
but history knows him as General Bordeaux or Buddhoe. He
was a young, intelligent and handsome Negro, a skilled sugar-
boiler at Estate La Grange.'i
Buddhoe was reputedly a friend of Governor von Scholten's
and it was this fact that later made the Governor's critics accuse
him of complicity in the revolt for freedom. ,
When the conch shells blew and the bells rang, the Negroes
By C. E. Taylor
had left their estates and headed for Frederiksted Fort. Buddhoe led the early
morning march, yet he controlled the mob. Legend has it that he wore a colorful
uniform, carried a sabre and rode a white stallion. The workers carried their cane
cutting "bills" and some had fire brands. Buddhoe forbade burning or plundering
and gave orders that no white person was to be killed.
Later in the morning, the Danish Fire Chief, Jacob Gyllich, and Frederik von
Scholten who was a brother of the Governor, joined with Buddhoe in helping to
control the huge mob which rallied at the Fort demanding freedom and offering
to burn the town unless given it.
After the actual Freedom Proclamation was read by the Governor, most of the
mob dispersed noisily but peacefully to celebrate. One band of rioters, however,
called "The Fleet" began roaming the countryside burning and plundering in the
center of the island under the leadership of a man named King.
Buddhoe and Major Gyllich confronted the band at Estate Slob, and in the
turmoil Buddhoe saved the Major's life. For days the two men ranged the island
telling the Negroes of their freedom, quelling the mobs and appealing for order.
By August 6th, the militia had been reinforced by troops from St. Thomas and
Puerto Rico.


53


























It was a matter of time until the officials would arrest Buddhoe. Major Gyllich
took him to his home for safekeeping against retaliation from officials or planters.
When they did come for him, the Major insisted on riding to Christiansted with
him and for a few days shared his prison cell as a protest.
Buddhoe was interrogated for weeks, but staunchly refused to implicate Governor
von Scholten in the uprising. The new Governor, sent to investigate the whole
situation, decided to deport Buddhoe. Major G llich and others gave him money
and clothing before he was sent aboard a Danish MIan o' War. He was quickly
parted from the money and clothing and )put in irons. Records show he was put
ashore at Trinidad, penniless and with old clothing. It is thought that he moved
later to Grenada island and died there but on St. Croix the belief also persists
that he went to the United States.
THE AFTERMATH. Freedom did not bring with it all the things the Negroes
had hoped for, nor all the things the planters had feared. It brought a long series
of compromises. Events simmered down. but slowly. Life did not go back to normal
and a long period of readjustments began. There were new Labor Regulations
drawn up for the freed population and it took several years to work out all the issues.
The Negroes found they had to work as usual if they wanted to eat and take care
of their families. The planters found it cost them no more to pay wages and provide
housing than it had cost them to support the slaves.
The laborers grumbled because they had to sign on for one year at a time and


54


MARKET SCENE, St. Croix


Courtesy New York Public Library











did not have quitting privileges except on each October first on Contract Day. On
this day they could change employers. The terms were the same on all plantations.
Twice the government arranged for the importation of "coolie" labor from
India in 1855 and 1863 this provided a fresh labor supply under a contract with
the Indian government.
A few years later a great fire in Bassin, as Christiansted
was still called, destroyed thirty-six dwellings, the Anglican
Church in part and a schoolhouse.
As if this weren't enough, the worst year in island hist y
1867, was a year of one disaster after another. Yellow 'e \l
smallpox and cholera were raging in St. Thomas and St. ,oi' ,
had to bar ships from her sister island. A severe hurri ail
hit here in October. All this was climaxed by the great e '
quake in November which came in two severe jolts. Their a
receded, leaving its bed quite bare, and then according to an
early historian "gathering itself up into one mighty ocean
wall it came toppling over in immense rollers, carrying all
before it. Schooners, brigs, boats and skiffs were washed ashore
... at Gallow's Bay, twenty houses were demolished."
Frederiksted inhabitants were shocked to see the U. S.
warship "Monongahela" sitting inland about where the
market now is. Eventually they dug a basin around her and
a canal to the sea and floated her back again!
Calamity followed calamity. Next there were several ye ..
of poor crops and at times the island was on the verg. F
bankruptcy. Then another terrible hurricane in 1876.
THE LABOR RIOTS. Two years later the frustration
the laborers came to a dramatic climax of riots and burnin'. "
It began quietly enough on October first when new contracts .a
were to be signed. This was a day free from work and the
Negroes began to drift into Frederiksted in large numbers.
Suddenly in the afternoon the rioting began and the first
mob attacked the Fort and was fired upon. An urgent mes- QUEEN MARY By c. E. Taylor
sage sent to Christiansted for reinforcements did not arrive
Queen Mary away ya go burn.
55 Don' ask me nothing' 'tall
Just give me match and oil
Bassin Jailhouse ata we go burn.


























RIOTERS, 1878 Courtesy "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier"
there until after midnight. By that time Frederiksted was a river of fire with all of
Bay Street burning. The puncheons of rum in the warehouses exploded like cannon.
The inferno went on all night and by dawn nearly half of Frederiksted was gone.
The military declared a State of Siege against the bands now roaming the country-
side burning and looting estates. It took five da\s to subdue the rioting, with over
one hundred lives lost. Nearly all the estates along Centerline west of Kingshill
were burned out. Near Christiansted, Anna's Hope and Work and Rest went up
in smoke, but the town itself was left unharmed.
Not only the men were the heroes to the laborers this time. Women too played
their part in the action and the most famous was:
QUEEN MARY. The mobs of women and children who lit the rum or kero-
sene to burn Frederiksted, factories and Greathouses while their men fought the
Militia had several leaders. Queen Mary was the imposing head of one mob. A
famous old Carasou folk song celebrates the part played by Queen Mary, Queen
Agnes, and a third, Queen Matilda, who was known simply as "Bottom Belly."
Later Queen Mary spent some time in the Bassin Jail, and along with the two
other Queens was supposedly sent to Denmark for trial and prison. They were
returned eventually to St. Croix.
The ferocity of these Cruzan women during this great "fire burn" in which


56











forty-four estates, two schools, a customshouse and police station, a big cane
weighing house at Peter's Rest and half of Frederiksted went up in smoke, is
still spoken of with awe. Fire was the Negroes' one weapon against any kind of
enslavement and it was used with great determination in the fight for freedom
and labor rights.
DOWN AGAIN, UP AGAIN. The period after the Labor Riots was another
one of adjustment and compromise. The labor regulations were made more
liberal, and the tension lessened. Frederiksted was rebuilt with late-Victorian
gingerbread charm. In general, however, it was still a period of slow decline. There
were a few temporary financial rallies in the closing decades of the 1800's, but
the old, grandiose days were gone. Denmark found its islands were a burden.
One factor lay in the growing absentee ownership, with the profits of the good
years drained off to England, Denmark or other countries. Planters left in dis-
couragement, putting their estates into the hands of the Scotch and Irish man-
agers, who often managed to acquire title by purchase for unpaid taxes, or assumed
ownership by default.
The slow conversion to new methods went on, and the last big effort in this
line came when the huge Bethlehem Central Sugar Factory was built in 1904 to
serve the entire island.
Great hopes were aroused in the islanders when the United States bought the
Danish Virgin Islands in 1917 for $25,000,000 after several earlier negotiations for
purchase had failed.
The hopes of the three islands for a fast economic growth were dashed again
when the impact of prohibition hit the rum industry. A few islanders turned to
rum-running. Again St. Croix, which had many times been a smugglers' paradise
under its various owners, survived partly by way of its rum, which still meant the
difference between profit and loss.
The depression of the '30's in the States was reflected here with much needed
pump-priming, government aid, homesteading programs, the WPA and welfare
programs. During these years, the CCC planted thousands of roadside trees includ-
ing most of the mahoganies and all of the tall old coconuts on Centerline Road.
Some self-government was realized with the adoption of The Organic Act, or
Constitution, in 1936, set up by the U.S. Congress. This provided for an appointed
Governor and an elected local Senate to serve all three islands.


57
























BAMBOULA Courtesy "Vore Gam:e Tropei. zner"
SOME FOLK AND OTHER LORE

ALL through these early centuries the Negroes of St. Croix developed their own
customs and their own secret ways of compensating for the hard and sometimes
cruel life. There was the jotyfulness of music and (lance and religion. Slupertition
often played a large role in adjusting to the environment as it also still did with
the white population. Among the most interesting of the ,supLerstitions are those
involving our local spirits.
JUMBIES. These supernatural beings were to St. Croix what voodoo was to
Haiti and Obeah to Jamaica. No one has ever laid hands on a Jumbie, but they
were as prevalent as were New England witches. They fought a losing battle and
retreated mostly to a position of respect in folklore, love potions, food beliefs
and medicinal lore.
The term carries over in such local botannical names as Jumbie Beads, Jumbie
Pepper Bush and Jumbie Cutlass.
Some sixty years ago there stood a huge silk cotton tree at Estate Crequis which
bloomed in the low narrow valley where there was a perennial "gut" or water-
course. This tree was a rendezvous over the years for the remaining Jumbie
believers. It was thought to contain a supernatural force which made the tree
walk at night.


58











One of the trivial but indicative ways a Virgin Islander still propitiates the
spirits is never to admit to feeling "fine." He is always "not too bad" or sometimes
"nothing worse."
In Carib times the bush kallaloo was often used, and it is now the word for a
dish, with the plant as one of its many ingredients. It is thought to be a love
plant with match-making abilities. The "leaf of life" is also useful in getting a
spouse. The "lucky nut," the "burning love," and the "crazy love" vine have
meanings clear to those in the know. Soursop, by local legend, adds virility, but
is also a tranquilizer!
If one scoffs at the influence of Jumbies, one should do so while walking under
a ladder on Friday the 13th.
THE WEED WOMEN. The ways of the "old life" on St. Croix are fast dis-
appearing, yet there remains one unusual and functional group, known as the
W\eedwomen, who still practice their ancient healing arts with herbs, simples and
drug plants known locally as "bush."
These island practitioners are nearly all women who have little use for Jumbies
or any religious connotation in their work. They simply know the sixty or more
medicinal plants; know their usages, dosages, their toxic properties and, we hope,
their own limitations. The knowledge has been handed down for centuries, but
in view of the present generation's lack of interest, it is soon likely to be lost. Two
men of our Department of Agriculture, Dr. A. J. Oakes and Mr. M. P. Morris
gathered information for several years on the Weedwomen and their usages of
medicinal plants, and incorporated it in an article published in 1958 by the
Bulletin of the History of Medicine.
The Weedwoman holds a position of respect and admiration in her community;
her work is serious and skillful within its range. Combinations of plants are often
used as sedatives and to treat fevers, muscular pains, colds, intestinal disorders,
etc. The prescriptions include detailed instructions on the parts of plants used,
methods of preparation and dosages, along with dire warnings about their mis-use.
Whether there is a logical, medical basis for such practices is at present a moot
question. Many of the plants have been studied and tested chemically, and some
are in actual pharmaceutical use. Considering the strange, and wonderful, dis-
coveries of modern medicine, who is to say for sure that the Weedwoman with
her ancient lore is behind times, or sometimes ahead. Least of all to object are her


59










satisfied customers who have celebrated her in
a famous local calypso adapted from an old
Trinidadian song.
INDIGO AND COTTON. These were once
two of the island's staple crops, along with cas-
sava and tobacco. The French tried out indigo
plantations, as the blue dye was valuable in Eu-
rope until the sea route to India opened new
sources. There were two species of the plant on
St. Croix.
When the Danes bought St. Croix, the first
Governor to look it over thought it had a large
enough area for 1,000 cotton plantations in addi-
tion to an equal number for sugar. This opti-
mistic figure was never reached but the Oxholm
map published in 1794 after nearly ten years of
surveying showed approximately 40 cotton es-
tates, all east or south of Christiansted. Export
figures show that an average of 93,000 lbs. of
cotton was shipped out for several years around
1780; had gone down to 79,000 lbs. in the early
1790's, and slipped to 11,000 lbs. after the turn
of the century. From this time on cotton became
less important and these estates converted mostly
to cattle farms. The last cotton ginnery in Chris-
tiansted didn't close down until the 1920's, how-
ever, and the one at Estate Longford closed about
the same time.
Today in the spring and summer the wild cot-
ton still can be seen with its pods bursting over
the East End hills.
FLORA AND FAUNA. On St. Croix there is
a great deal of flora and not too much fauna
except for Cruzan dogs, no two of which seem


60











exactly alike. The fauna includes our worst pest, the mon-
~ goose. It also includes our delightful small white-tailed
deer; a few iguana; various types of small lizards; cave bats,
fish bats and insect bats; tree rats and the usual ship rats -
and, naturally, the persistent mouse.
The mongoose dealt effectively with the two kinds of
V harmless snakes which once were here, while it did not eradi-
cate the cane field rats it was brought in to destroy.
Among our birds are seven kinds of heron and egrets,
five kinds of pigeons and doves, the grey kingbird (chincery),
the pearly-eyed thrasher or thrush, the grass quit, two kinds
of hummingbirds, and the lovely little banana quit (yellow-
breast or sugar bird). There is also the Ani, or Black Witch,
which local legend says can be made to talk. Add the graceful
terns, the spectacular dive-bombing Pelicans and the majes-
tic Man o' War birds. In the winter a dozen or so northern
birds, mostly warblers, join the human tourists here. A de-
termined bird-watcher can keep busy identifying a surprising
variety, and there is a local checklist for sale, which helps.
When it comes to flora, every visitor soon learns the
ubiquitous hibiscus, oleander, bougainvillea, cacti and aloes.
From there on it takes a reference book to learn St. Croix's
myriad plant life found in the cultivated garden.
Q Consider instead some of the native plant life and tree
lore. Apples? We have them as-in: pine, belle, maiden, moss,
dog, star, sugar, mamee, golden and sweet. We have also the
poisonous Manchineel apple which the Indians used to poi-
son their arrows. These little green beach apples made Capt.
John White's men ill when they stopped here in 1587 on
their way to Virginia.
SWe have such wonderful flora as Woman's Tongue, noth-
ing nut, catch-and-keep vine, monkey-don't-climb, clashie
melashie, poor man's orchid, powder puff, chucu, man jack,
lady of the night, cassava, jump-up-and-kiss-me, silk cotton,



Courtesy New York Public Library





FRENCH PIRATE FLAG, 1729


cakalaka, diddle doo, sweetsop and soursop, calabash, tama-
rind and WVhite\ Mary. The list is endless.
WEST INDIAN CURRENCY. Money in the West Indies
was as varied as the many nationalities settling here. The
Danish rigsdaler (or rixdaler), the French livre, the Dutch
thaler, were all good stable money on their own islands.
Since buying, selling and smuggling among all the islands
was lively, it was the Spanish or Mexican dollar, the Piece
of Eight, which acted as the common denominator for com-
merce. This famous silver piece was first minted at Mexico
City by the Spanish government in 1607. They were issued
by the millions until 1821. The coin was divided into four
pesatas and eight reales, and named for the latter. A real
was worth 121/2, or one bit. Later the United States based
its dollar on the Spanish unit; hence our "two bits."
The Mexican monetary system served both the pirate and
the commercial world in the Caribbean for hundreds of years
until Mexican silver lost its value in 1892. The U.S. dollar
had gradually become the leading, stable monetary unit in
this hemisphere.
The Danish rigsdaler was rated by the Fifth U.S. Congress
in 1799.at 100 on the dollar, and when the U.S. bought
the islands in 1917, the National Bank of the Danish West
Indies kept the right to issue notes until 1934 these became
the only paper legal tender of the U.S. to bear the portrait
of a foreign monarch.


Courtesy "The Money Museum" N.Y.


TO VFSTiNDISKE DEALER






























CHRISTIANSTED HISTORIC SITE


THE picturesque wharf area of Christiansted is now a National Historic Site
under the supervision of the U.S. Park Service, which offers daily walking tours
of the area and buildings. Enquire at their office in the old Fort for the schedule.
FORT CHRISTIANSVAERN. A typical example of 17th and 18th century mili-
tary architecture built by the Danes. Finished in 1749, it was a garrison for the
army and later a police station. Many changes have been made: a Commandant's
quarters, a powder magazine, a stable and other parts added.
GOVERNMENT HOUSE. Originally a merchant's house, it was bought in 1771
by the government for headquarters, and for living quarters of the Governor-
General. Two years later it was remodeled and again in the 1818-20 period. At
this time an adjoining house on the side street was bought and added. There were
extensive repairs in 1864 and expensive furnishings bought for it. A fire in 1936

63











damaged it badly, and a new third story was
added for living quarters The Danish gov-
ernment has been most generous in helping re-
furnish it in the original elegant style.
THE STEEPLE BUILDING. One of Chris-
tiansted's most historic landmarks, this beautiful
old building was put up in 1750-53 as the Luther-
an or State Church; with the steeple added in the
1790's. By 1831 the Lutherans gave up the build-
ing as in bad condition, and it became at various
times a military bakery and storehouse with many
structural changes, as well as a hospital at one
time. It was closed for many years. After research
and years of authentic restoration work under
the direction of architect Fred Gjessing and his-
torian Herbert Olsen, it opened its doors again
early in 1964 as a museum for the National His-
toric Site under the Park Service.
THE LIBRARY BUILDING. This graceful
two story building was at first only one story
when completed in 1751 to be a Customs House.
It was modified and the second story added in
1828-30. It was later used as a Post Office.
THE OLD SCALE HOUSE. This is the build-
ing that now houses the V.I. Tourist Bureau
downstairs; the Harbormaster's office and the
Chamber of Commerce above. It was a weighing
station for the Customs House. The old scales
are still there, where the out-going bales of cotton,
hogsheads of sugar and puncheons of rum were
weighed, as well as all the exotic in-coming cargo.
THE POST-OFFICE BUILDING. This ram-
bling pink structure with its inner courtyard was
completed in 1746-49 to serve as the big ware-
house for the original Danish West India and
Guinea Company which first colonized the island.

rGOr\\ E N\,T HOt SE irrT 64


By Fritz Henle


I z










THE ST. CROIX LANDMARKS SOCIETY
THE LANDMARKS SOCIETY is an island organization with many
long-range plans for restoration and preservation projects. First among these is
the complete restoration of Whim windmill into running order. When the mill
is restored, island visitors and residents alike will be able to see exactly how such
a mill looked and worked in the late 1700's.
Currently the Society is also establishing a new Plantation Museum wing in
the old stone buildings back of the Whim Greathouse. Here is told the story of
sugar and rum in the working life of an old plantation. Nearby, it is planned to
restore an old cookhouse and a sugar boiling house.
These are just some of the many projects the Society has in mind for the future
of St. Croix. Since it is a non-profit organization dependent upon membership
fees, a yearly grant from the Virgin Islands Education Department, donations and
such money-raising projects as its annual House Tours in the Spring, many of its
plans must materialize slowly.
Meanwhile, the Society also acts to help in planning for orderly future develop-
ment on the island in keeping with the present historic atmosphere. The Society
has made a never-ending watchdog effort against such encroachments as billboards
on our highways, large signs in the towns, neon signs, ugly telephone poles along-
side Government House and opposition to highway construction which would
endanger the appearance of the harbor and Historic Site.
The history of the Society shows many accomplishments. It is an amalgamation
By Fritz Henle WHIM GREATHOUSE










of two former groups: The St. Croix Museum and the Landmarks League, which
joined forces in January, 1963. During the past sixteen years of their existence,
the two groups were responsible for the following:
Establishment of the National Historic Site and zoned area around the
wharf at Christiansted, now under the direction of the U.S. Park Service.
Establishment of a Museum in the Christiansted Library Building, with
exceptional displays of Carib and Arawak material, and interesting exhibits
of local Danish history. (Now in Steeple Building).
Transfer of the historic Steeple Building to the Park Service, which has
restored it with care, to become a Museum encompassing some of the material
from the old museum. Transfer also to the Park Service of the Folmer Anderson
Collection of Carib and Arawak artifacts.
The restoration of the Whim Greathouse, one of the most fascinating show-
places of St. Croix open to the public.
Conducting annual House Tours each February and March which include
some eight mornings of tours through restored plantation mansions, and other
famous old homes, plus many beautiful new tropical homes.
Acquiring reproductions of the original mirrors and chandeliers for Govern-
ment House from Denmark where the originals are now in one of the Royal
Palaces. Acquiring also the portrait of Alexander Hamilton and a reproduction
\ of a portrait of King Frederik VII of Denmark, both of which now hang in
Government House.

The reproduction of an authentic Danish Sentry Box now set up outside
SGovernment House.
Re-doing the old Danish street signs on local mahogany.
An "Award of Merit" from the American Association of State and Local
History was given the Society for "unusual and highly meritorious work." The
Society is also affiliated with the National Historic Trust.
The Landmarks Society, as offspring of the two parent organizations with
all their accomplishments, maintains an unceasing effort toward the preserva-
S tion of St. Croix's unique assets and history. It has succeeded so far through
DANISH the efforts of many interested, generous and dedicated persons, both here and
SENTRY in the United States. The members are proud of what has been done, and wel-
BOX come all who wish to join them in their plans for the future.


66























FREDERIKSTED WATERFRONT


APPENDIX


Acknowledgements
THE author is greatly indebted to many
groups and persons for assistance or previous
research, but in particular to all the Trustees
of The Landmarks Society; the Public Li-
braries of St. Croix, St. Thomas and the
New York City Library's Schomberg Collec-
tion of Negro History & Literature; and to
Mr. Ralph Fuller and Mr. Cyril Marshall,
current and former Directors of the Land-
marks Society.

Also to Dr. Richard Bond, Director of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture in St. Croix
and members of his staff; to Mr. John Fitter,
Mr. Fritz Henle, Miss Val Jacobs, Mrs. Almy
Jones, Mr. Eric Lawaetz, Mr. Walter Lewisohn,
NMr. Harry Neumann. Historian Herbert Olsen
of the U.S. Park Service, Miss Verna Penn, Mrs.
Frances Rice, Mr. George Seaman, Mr. Toby
Schoyer, M Ir. Gordon Skeoch, Mr. Norman
Skeoch, Mr. George van Riper, Mrs. Hope
Whitman and NMr. Kirk Wilkinson.


By Special Permission
By permission of Alfred A. Knopf Publishing
Co., New York, information on slavery, his-
torical periods, trade, the sugar cane plant
and its history, taken from "Caribbean, Sea
of The New World" by German Arcini6gas,
1946, Transl. Harriet de Onis.

By permission of Macmillan & Co. Ltd., Lon-
don, for information on the rum trade with
North America, on sugar plantations and
history taken from "A Short History of The
West Indies" by J. H. Parry & P. M. Sherlock.

By permission of copyright owner, G. P. Put-
nams' Sons, N. Y., information from "Rum,
Romance and Rebellion" by Charles W.
Taussig, pub. Minton, Balch & Co., 1928, used
in Rum & Revolution, Ye Olde Rum Drinks,
Rum-ination, and George Washington's Bar
Bill.

By permission of Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd.,
England, extracts from "Sources of West In-


67


By Toby Schoyer






































dian History" by F. R. Augier and Shirlev C.
Gordon, used in Rum & Revolution, Fortune
or Folly and Highlights of History.

By permission of Pomona College, Claremont,
Calif., material from Dr. Waldemar Wester-
gaard's "The Danish West Indies Under Comn
pany Rule," MacMillan Co., N. Y., 1916.

By permission of the publisher, Pocket Books,
Inc., N. Y. and the publisher's agent, Scott
Meredith Literary Agency, Inc., material from
"The Basic Ideas of Alexander Hamilton", Ed.
Richard B. Morris, 1957.

By permission of Harper & Row, N. Y., mate-
rial used from "The Mind of Alexander
Hamilton" edited by Saul K. Padover, 1958.

"The West Indian Weedwomen of the United


States" by Dr. A. J. Oakes and M. P. Morris,
used by permission of the Bulletin of The
History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Press,
Baltimore, Md.

By special permission of the present copy-
right owner of "Vore Gamle Tropekolonier,"
vol. II, Hassing Forlag of Copenhagen, Den-
mark, sixteen illustrations have been repro-
duced.

Use of the pirate flag illustration in the W. I.
Currency section is by courtesy of Random
House, N. Y., from "The Scourge Of The
Indies" by Maurice Besson.

By permission of Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd.,
England, material was used from "A West
Indian Fortune" by Richard Pares.


68












A Suggested Reading List


FLORA
"A Guide to Tropical & Semi-Tropical Flora."
Loraine E. Buck & Richard C. Tongg.
Charles Tuttle & Co., Rutland, Vermont,
1960.

"Dictionary of Trees". Great Outdoors Asso-
ciation, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1952.

"Dooryard Supermarket In The Tropics and
Sub-Tropics." Ann M. Perry, Ft. Lauder-
dale, Florida, Tropical Works. 1960.

"Exotica", Julius Roehrs Company, Ruther-
ford, New Jersey. 1959.

"Flowering Plants From Cuban Gardens",
Criterion Books, N. Y. 1952.

"Flowering Trees of the Caribbean", Bernard
& Harriet Pertshik, Rhinehart & Co. 1951.

"Poisonous & Injurious Plants of The U.S.
Virgin Islands," A. J. Oakes & James C.
Butcher, Misc. Publication # 882, Agri-
cultural Research Serv. U.S. Dept. of
Agriculture.

"Observers' Book of Cacti," S. H. Scott, Fred-
erick Warne & Co., London. 1957.

"Tropical Blossoms of the Caribbean," Doro-
thy & Bob Hargreaves, Portland, Oregon.
1960.

"Tropical Planting & Gardening," Nixon
Smiley, Univeristy of Miami Press, Coral
Gables, Florida. 1960.


"Tropical Planting & Gardening": H. F. Mac-
millan, Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London.
1952.

"Tropical Plants & Their Cultivation," L.
Bruggeman, Viking Press, New York.
1957.

FAUNA
"Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians of The
Virgin Islands," George A. Seaman, Fish
& Wildlife Service, U.S. Virgin Is.


BIRDS
"Checklist of Birds of the Virgin Islands,"
George A. Seaman, Fish & Wildlife Serv-
ice, U.S. Virgin Is.

"Field Guide of Birds of the West Indies,"
James Bond, Macmillan Company, N. Y.
1947.

SHELLS
"American Seashells," R. Tucker Abbott, D.
Van Nostrand Co. Inc., Princeton, N. J.
1954.
(In paperback: "How To Know The Ameri-
can Marine Shells," Abbott. Signet Key
Book, N. Y. 1961.)

"A Dictionary of Shells," Great Outdoor Asso-
ciation, St. Petersburg, Florida. 1954.

"A Field Guide To The Shells," Percy A.


69












Morris, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.
1947.

"Caribbean Seashells," Germane L. Warnake
& R. Tucker Abbott, Livingston Publish-
ing Co., Narbeth, Pa. 1961.

"Checklist of the Marine Shells of St. Croix,"
G. W. Nowell-Eusticke, St. Croix. 1959.

"Handbook For Shell Collectors," Walter
Freeman Webb, Lee Publications, Wel-
lesley Hills, Mass. 1960.


"Shells, Pleasures c& Treasures," Roderick
Cameron, G. P. Putnam's Sons, N. Y. 1961.


FISH

"A Dictionary of Fish," Great Outdoors Asso-
ciation, St. Petersburg, Florida.

"The Edge of The Sea," 1954. "The Sea
Around Us," 1959. Rachel Carson, Mentor
Paperback, N. Y.


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Anderson, Folmer, "Notes On St. Croix,"
St. Croix Museum Commission. 1954.

Arciniegas German, "Caribbean, Sea of The
New World," Translated by Harriet de
Onis, Alfred A. Knopf, N. Y. 1946.

Aspinall, Algernon E., "West Indian Tales of
Old," Duckworth & Co., London. 1912.

Atherton, Gertrude, "A Few of Hamilton's
Letters," Macmillan, N. Y. 1903.

Augier, F. R. & Gordon, Shirley P., "Sources
of West Indian History," Longmans,
Green & Co., London. 1962.

Besson, Maurice, "The Scourge Of The
Indies," Random House, N. Y. 1929.

Christensen, Carlo, "Peter von Scholten,"
Gadgaard Nielsens Bogtrykkeri; Lemvig.
Denmark. 1955.

du Terte, "Historie Generale des Isles St.


Christopher, Guadaloupe, etc." 4 vol.
1667.
Edwards, Bryan, "History, Civil & Commer-
cial, of The British Colonies of the West
Indies," London. 1807.

Government of Denmark & Government of
Danish Virgin Islands, Miscellaneous
Bulletins, Ordinances, and Production
Booklets.

Guerney, Joseph John, "Familiar Letters To
Henry Clay of Kentucky, Describing a
Winter In The West Indies," N. Y. 1840.

Hearn, Lafcadio, "Two Years In The French
West Indies," Harper & Bros., N. Y. 1890.

Jane, Cecil, Translator, "The Journal of
Christopher Columbus," Clarkson N.
Potter, Inc., N. Y. 1960.

Jones, Trandalier, "Impressions of Nutrition
Habits in The Virgin Islands," Virgin


70











Islands Dept. of Health. 1952.

Knox, John P., "A Historical Account of
St. Thomas," Charles Scribner, N. Y. 1852.

Labat, Pere Jean-Baptiste, "Voyage aux Iles
Francaise de 1'Isles Amerique," 8 vol.,
Paris. 1722.

Ledru, Andre-Pierre, "Ref. Voyage A Tener-
iffe, Sainte Thomas, Sainte Croix et Porto
Rico," Paris. 1810.

McGuires "Geographical Dictionary of The
West Indies," U.S. Coast & Geodetic Sur-
vey. 1925.

Millspaugh, Charles F., "Flora of The Isle
of St. Croix," Field Museum Pub., Chi-
cago. 1902.

Morris, Richard E., Editor, "The Basic Ideas
of Alexander Hamilton," Pocket Library.
1957.

New York State Education Dept., "Alexander
Hamilton, New Yorker," Albany, N. Y.
1957.

Oakes, Dr. A. J. & Morris, M. P., "The West
Indian Weedwomen of The United States
Virgin Islands," Bulletin History of
Medicine. 1958.

Oviedo y Valdes, "La Hystoria General de
las Indiss," Spain. 1547.

Padover, Saul K., Editor, "The Mind of
Alexander Hamilton," Harper & Bros.
1958.

Pares, Richard, "A West Indian Fortune,"
Longmans, Green & Co., N. Y. 1960.

Parry, J. H. & Sherlock, P. M., "A Short
History of The West Indies," Macmillan


& Co., London. 1960.

"Pocket Almanac For St. Croix," St. Croix.
1863.

Rodney, Admiral (Lord), "Letters Relative
To Capture of St. Eustatius, 1781," Pub.
John Fielding, London. 1784.

Seaman, George A., "Mammals, Reptiles &
Amphibians of The Virgin Islands,"
Brodhurst Printery, St. Croix.

Smith, James, "The Winter of 1840 in St.
Croix," New York. 1840.

"St. Croxian Pocket Companion," Copen-
hagen. 1780.

Taylor, Dr. Charles Edwin, "An Island Of
The Sea," 1895.
"Leaflets From The Danish West Indies,"
1887.
"Woodcuts," St. Thomas Public Library.
1938.

Taussig, Charles William, "Rum, Romance &
Rebellion," Minton, Balch & Co., N. Y.
1928.

U.S. Park Service, "St. Croix Historical Re-
ports."

Van Riper, George (with Fritz Henle), "St.
Croix, Virgin Islands," N. Y. 1952.

"Vore Gamle Tropekolonier," Vol. II, (Jo-
hannes Brondsted, Ed.), Hassing Forlag,
Copenhagen, Denmark. 1953.

Westergaard, Waldemar C., "The Danish
West Indies Under Company Rule,"
MacMillan Co., N. Y. 1917.

Wolff, Alfred R., "The Windmill As A Prime
Mover," New York. 1890.


71










ST. CROIX LANDMARKS SOCIETY
Box 242, Christiansted,
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands




Annual Membership, per person $10


Contributing
Donor
Life


$25 to $100
$500
$1,000




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