• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Prelude
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I. Early history of St....
 Chapter II. Question of purchase...
 Chapter III. Later history of St....
 Chapter IV. Historical Sketch of...
 Chapter V. Charlotte Amalie
 Chapter VI. The garden of the West...
 Chapter VII. St. John
 Chapter VIII. Harbour and shipping...
 Chapter IX. The West Indian Company...
 Chapter X. Steamer service
 Chapter XI. Harbour facilities
 Chapter XII. Imports and expor...
 Chapter XIII. Banks and bankin...
 Chapter XIV. Currency.
 Chapter XV. The cost of living...
 Chapter XVI. Sanitation and public...
 Chapter XVII. Transportation and...
 Chapter XVIII. Cattle-raising
 Chapter XIX. Agriculture
 Chapter XX. Sugar-cane and bay...
 Chapter XXI. Agricultural...
 Chapter XXII. Manufactures
 Chapter XXIII. Population
 Chapter XXIV. Education and...
 Chapter XXV. Government
 Chapter XXVI. Finances
 Chapter XXVII. Hurricane of...
 Chapter XXVIII. Sale negotiati...
 Chapter XXIX. Discussion of the...
 Chapter XXX. Convention between...
 Chapter XXXI. Farewell service
 Chapter XXXII. Announcements of...
 Chapter XXXIII. Temporary government...
 Chapter XXXIV. Formal transfer...
 Chapter XXXV. The first American...
 Index
 Atlantic Ocean (map)
 U.S. Virgin Islands (map)














Group Title: The Virgin Islands of the United States of America : historical and descriptive, commercial and industrial facts, figures and resources,
Title: The Virgin Islands of the United States of America
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF90000446/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Virgin Islands of the United States of America historical and descriptive, commercial and industrial facts, figures and resources
Physical Description: xvii, 339 p. : front., plates, ports., fold. maps, facsim. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Zabriskie, Luther Kimbell, 1879-
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's sons
Place of Publication: New York and London
Publication Date: 1918
 Subjects
Subject: Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF90000446
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000610569
notis - ADD9740
lccn - 18026260

Table of Contents
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page i
    Copyright
        Page ii
    Prelude
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xix
    Chapter I. Early history of St. Thomas
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Unnumbered ( 30 )
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Chapter II. Question of purchase by the United States
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Unnumbered ( 37 )
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Unnumbered ( 44 )
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Chapter III. Later history of St. Thomas
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Unnumbered ( 51 )
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Chapter IV. Historical Sketch of St. Croix
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Unnumbered ( 60 )
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Chapter V. Charlotte Amalie
        Page 40
        Unnumbered ( 65 )
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Unnumbered ( 68 )
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Chapter VI. The garden of the West Indies
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Unnumbered ( 77 )
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Chapter VII. St. John
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Unnumbered ( 82 )
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Unnumbered ( 85 )
    Chapter VIII. Harbour and shipping at St. Thomas
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Unnumbered ( 90 )
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Unnumbered ( 93 )
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Unnumbered ( 96 )
        Page 65
    Chapter IX. The West Indian Company and others
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Unnumbered ( 101 )
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Unnumbered ( 106 )
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Chapter X. Steamer service
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Unnumbered ( 113 )
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Unnumbered ( 118 )
        Page 83
        Page 84
    Chapter XI. Harbour facilities
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Unnumbered ( 123 )
        Page 87
    Chapter XII. Imports and exports
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Unnumbered ( 128 )
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Unnumbered ( 133 )
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Unnumbered ( 140 )
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        The Virgin Islands
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 106
    Chapter XIII. Banks and banking
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Unnumbered ( 161 )
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Chapter XIV. Currency.
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Unnumbered ( 168 )
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    Chapter XV. The cost of living - Labour conditions
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Unnumbered ( 181 )
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Chapter XVI. Sanitation and public works
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Unnumbered ( 188 )
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    Chapter XVII. Transportation and communication
        Page 148
        Unnumbered ( 193 )
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Unnumbered ( 196 )
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    Chapter XVIII. Cattle-raising
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Unnumbered ( 203 )
        Page 157
        Page 158
    Chapter XIX. Agriculture
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Unnumbered ( 208 )
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Unnumbered ( 211 )
    Chapter XX. Sugar-cane and bay leaf
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Unnumbered ( 214 )
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Unnumbered ( 219 )
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    Chapter XXI. Agricultural experiments
        Page 172
        Unnumbered ( 224 )
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Unnumbered ( 227 )
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Unnumbered ( 230 )
        Page 177
    Chapter XXII. Manufactures
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Unnumbered ( 235 )
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Chapter XXIII. Population
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Unnumbered ( 242 )
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Unnumbered ( 245 )
        Page 189
    Chapter XXIV. Education and Religion
        Page 190
        Unnumbered ( 248 )
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Unnumbered ( 251 )
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Unnumbered ( 254 )
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Unnumbered ( 257 )
    Chapter XXV. Government
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Unnumbered ( 268 )
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Chapter XXVI. Finances
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Unnumbered ( 281 )
        Page 219
        Page 220
    Chapter XXVII. Hurricane of 1916
        Page 221
        Page 222
        The hurricane
            Page 223
            Page 224
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
        The gale
            Page 230
            Unnumbered ( 294 )
            Page 231
            Page 232
        St. Jan News
            Page 233
            Page 234
        Storm Notes
            Page 235
        Relief coming
            Page 236
            Page 237
    Chapter XXVIII. Sale negotiations
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Unnumbered ( 305 )
        Page 241
        Who Bids? Bargain day in islands
            Page 242
            Unnumbered ( 308 )
            Page 243
            Page 244
    Chapter XXIX. Discussion of the sale
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Unnumbered ( 317 )
        Page 251
        Islands sold
            Page 252
        Gone!
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
    Chapter XXX. Convention between the United States and Denmark
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Unnumbered ( 328 )
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Unnumbered ( 335 )
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
    Chapter XXXI. Farewell service
        Page 274
        Order of service
            Page 275
        Sermon
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
    Chapter XXXII. Announcements of the sale
        Page 284
        Unnumbered ( 354 )
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Unnumbered ( 357 )
        Page 287
        Page 288
    Chapter XXXIII. Temporary government provided
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Unnumbered ( 362 )
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Unnumbered ( 365 )
        Page 293
    Chapter XXXIV. Formal transfer of the islands
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Unnumbered ( 370 )
        Page 297
        The transfer: throngs gather to witness imposing ceremony
            Page 298
            Unnumbered ( 373 )
            Page 299
        Our new flag
            Page 300
            Unnumbered ( 376 )
            Page 301
        'Tis finished!
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Unnumbered ( 381 )
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Unnumbered ( 386 )
            Page 309
            Page 310
            Page 311
        The transfer
            Page 312
        Frederiksted
            Page 312
            Unnumbered ( 391 )
            Page 313
        Christiansted
            Page 314
        Kingshill
            Page 314
        In St. Croix
            Page 315
        The going of old dannebrog and the coming of old glory
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
        The handing over
            Page 315
    Chapter XXXV. The first American governor
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
    Index
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
    Atlantic Ocean (map)
        Page 340
    U.S. Virgin Islands (map)
        Page 341
Full Text







































.46.

- ft AL~


Town and Harbour of St. Thomas

Photo by A. Ovesen


- -- ----- L -C- II-1Y_~--.C -L--L I---.'-. *- -l--l-Y~- --X----'-- .-IL- -I







The Virgin Islands of the

United States of America

Historical and Descriptive
Commercial and Industrial
Facts, Figures, and Resources



By
Luther K. Zariskie
Formerly Vice-Consul of the United States of America at St. Thomas


With 109 Illustrations and 2 Maps






G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
Ube lIttckerbocfter trees
1918








































COPYRIGHT, 1918
BY
LUTHER K. ZABRISKIE


tbe Iltnfckerbocetr 1bress, lRew flor






















Reader, let this little taste that I have given thee of the
Summer Islands satisfied thee for the present: ere it be long
thou shalt have a larger relation thereof. Hastie occasion
of business doth make mee write somewhat hastilie, and
leave out many things which were fitte to be spoken of;
wherefore against my will I am forced to leave my work,
which I have begunne, before I come into the middest of it;
but I hope it will suffice you that are my friends to pass
it over in the best manner you can, for there is much broken
English of it and badly penned: regard I pray you the
matter not the manner, the truth of the store not the
stile.
JOURDAN, 1613.


__














PREFACE

THE little group of fifty or more islands in the Carib-
bean that were generally designated as the .Danish
West Indies from March 30, 1666, to March 31, 1917,
have experienced varying vicissitudes of fortune during
the past two hundred and fifty years. Periods of opu-
lence and plenty and seasons of want and misery have
alternately visited them; years of great commercial
activity, when the port of St. Thomas became known
to the world as The Emporium of the Antilles," were
followed by decades when the visiting merchant ships
became an inconsiderable and almost a negligible quan-
tity. The islands, owing to their peculiar geographical
position and the unusual advantages offered by their
harbours, have been both a bane and a blessing to
warring nations; and evil and good reports have
spread regarding the character of the inhabitants and
their conditions of life.
Columbus included these islands in the Virgin Group
which he named after St. Ursula and her virgins. He
may have given saintly names to all the fifty, but
with the exception of the three large land areas, the
islands bear the marks of the buccaneers and other
terrors of the Spanish Main, rather than those of the
saints, in such titles as Rum Island, Dead Man's
Chest, Salt Water Money Rock, Fallen Jerusalem,
Flanagan's Pass, and the like.
Few sections of the world provide more interesting
material for the writing of books, but comparatively








Preface


little use has been made of this material up to the
present time. In view of the recent importance at-
tached to these islands, an attempt has been made in
this volume to convey, by photographic reproductions
as well as by descriptive accounts, some idea of their
more salient features in respect to natural beauty,
merits as health resorts, and, especially, commercial
and industrial conditions and potentialities.
For much of the data employed in the compilation
of the historical and descriptive parts of this work, in-
debtedness is hereby acknowledged to the writings of
the late Dr. C. E. Taylor, Rev. John Knox, and Dr.
P. E. Kalmer. Recourse was also had to the valuable
report upon the resources and commercial importance
of the Danish West Indies prepared by Special Agents
H. G. Brock, Philip S. Smith, and W. A. Tucker, of the
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, as well as
to other publications issued by the American and
Danish Governments. Particular thanks are due to
the photographers who so willingly rendered assistance
in the collection of the many excellent views which are
shown herewith and which are certain to enhance
greatly the value of this first comprehensive treatise on
the Virgin Islands of the United States of America.
In conclusion, this work is respectfully dedicated to
the kind-hearted people of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and
St. John, whose generous hospitality and delightful
friendship will always be dearly cherished by their
devoted friend and ardent well-wisher.
LUTHER K. ZABRISKIE.
ST. THOMAS, VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
April 14, 1917



















CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
I.-EARLY HISTORY OF ST. THOMAS I

II.-QUESTION OF PURCHASE BY THE UNITED
STATES 13

III.-LATER HISTORY OF ST. THOMAS 25

IV.-HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ST. CROIX 34

V.-CHARLOTTE AMALIE 40

VI.-" THE GARDEN OF THE WEST INDIES" 45

VII.-ST. JOHN 53

VIII.-HARBOUR AND SHIPPING AT ST. THOMAS 57

IX.-THE WEST INDIAN COMPANY AND OTHERS 66

X.-STEAMER SERVICE 76

XI.-HARBOUR FACILITIES 85

XII.-IMPORTS AND EXPORTS 88

XIII.-BANKS AND BANKING 18

XIV.-CURRENCY 124

XV.-THE COST OF LIVING-LABOUR CON-
DITIONS 130

XVI.-SANITATION AND PUBLIC WORKS 143

XVII.-TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION 148









Contents


CHAPTER
XVIII.-CATTLE-RAISING

XIX.-AGRICULTURE

XX.-SUGAR-CANE AND BAY LEAF

XXI.-AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENTS

XXII.-MANUFACTURES

XXIII.-POPULATION

- XXIV.-EDUCATION AND RELIGION

XXV.-GOVERNMENT

XXVI.-FINANCES .

XXVII.-HURRICANE OF 1916

XXVIII.-SALE NEGOTIATIONS

XXIX.-DIsCUSSION OF THE SALE

XXX.-CONVENTION BETWEEN THE
STATES AND DENMARK


PAGE
154

159

S163

172

.178

.184

190

197

.215

221

238

S 245

UNITED
S 256


XXXI.-FAREWELL SERVICE

XXXII.-ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE SALE

XXXIII.-TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT PROVIDED

XXXIV.-FORMAL TRANSFER OF THE ISLANDS

XXXV.-THE FIRST AMERICAN GOVERNOR.

INDEX .


S274

S284

S289

S294

S 318

S325



















ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE
TOWN AND HARBOUR OF ST. 'lHOMAS Frontispiece
Photo by A. Ovesen

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ST. THOMAS 4
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

GOVERNMENT HILL FROM KING'S STREET, ST. THOMAS 4
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

ST. THOMAS HARBOUR AS SEEN FROM ORKANSHULLET
ISLAND .. 10
Photo by Clafe E. Taylor

CHARLOTTE AMALIE AND ORKANSHULLET ISLAND AS
VIEWED FROM "NISKY" 10
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

THE BARRACKS, ST. THOMAS 16
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

THE I01 STEPS LEADING TO BLACKBEARD'S CASTLE 16
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

BLACKBOARD CASTLE, DWELLING HOUSE, ST. THOMAS 18
Photo by J. Mena

BLUEBEARD CASTLE, DWELLING HOUSE, ST. THOMAS 18
Photo by J. Mena

HIs EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR L. C. HELWEG-LARSEN,
K. D. 22
Photo by Clare E. Taylor









Illustrations


PAGE
INSIDE THE FORT, ST. THOMAS .28
Photo by A. Ovesen

LANDING PLACE AT FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX 36
Photo by A. Ovesen

MT. EAGLE, AS SEEN FROM CANE BAY ESTATE .36
Photo by A. Ovesen

THE LAGOONS, ST. THOMAS 40
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE FROM THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE 42
Photo by H. Petersen

BLUEBEARD CASTLE, ST. THOMAS 44
Photo by J. Mena

VIEW OVER THE OPEN NEAR "SLOB" ESTATE, ST.
CROIX 50
Photo by A. Ovesen

VIEW OVER "BETHLEHEM" NEW WORKS, ST. CROIX 50
Photo by A. Ovesen

EMMANS, MORAVIAN MISSION, ST. JOHN 54
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

EAST END SETTLEMENT, ST. JOHN 54
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

A CHAPEL IN ST. JOHN 56
Photo by W. J. Ryan

A SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP 56
Photo by W. J. Ryan

BUCK ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE 60
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

ENTRANCE TO ST. THOMAS HARBOUR 62
Photo by A. Ovesen









Illustrations xi

PAGE
WHARVES OF THE HAMBURG-AMERICAN LINE, ST.
THOMAS .62
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

SIGNAL STATION, ST. THOMAS 64
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

FLOATING DOCK, ST. THOMAS 64
Photo by A. Ovesen

DOCK AND WHARVES OF THE WEST INDIAN COMPANY 68

HUGE COAL CRANE LAID LOW BY HURRICANE 68
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

HON. C. H. PAYNE, AMERICAN CONSUL AT ST. THOMAS
FOR FOURTEEN YEARS 72

DR. VIGGO CHRISTENSEN, WHOSE SUGGESTION GAVE
RISE TO THE NAME "THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" .72
Photo by Funker Jensen

VIEW OVER WEST INDIAN COMPANY'S PLANT AFTER
THE HURRICANE 72
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

HAMBURG-AMERICAN LINE OFFICE BUILDING 78
Photo by H. Petersen

COAL WOMEN IN ST. THOMAS 82

CANE GATHERERS 82
Photo by A. Ovesen

GOVERNMENr HOUSE, CHRISTIANSTED 86
Photo by A. Ovesen

THE "HERALD" PRINTING OFFICE, CHRISTIANSTED 90
Photo by A. Ovesen









Illustrations


PAGE
MARINES FROM THE "VALKYRIEN" MARCHING
THROUGH FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX 90
Photo by A. Ovesen

KING'S STREET, FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX 94
Photo by A. Ovesen

THE AMERICAN CONSULATE, ST. THOMAS 94
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN, WITH JUDGE'S HOUSE IN THE
FOREGROUND 100
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

ISLANDS ADJACENT TO ST. THOMAS HARBOUR 112

THE OLD COLONIAL BANK, ST. THOMAS .120

THE NATIONAL BANK OF THE DANISH WEST INDIES 120
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

"ROOMS TO RENT" 126
Photo by R. H. Beck

FRONT VIEW OF GRAND HOTEL AND "1829" 126
Photo by R. H. Beck

MR. D. HAMILTON JACKSON 138
Photo by J. Mena

PUBLIC HOSPITAL, FREDERIKSTED 44
Photo by A. Ovesen

THE BOYS OF THE "HENRY HOLMES" 148
Photo by Kerr
CABLE OFFICE, ST. THOMAS 50
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, CHRISTIANSTED 150
TURPENTINE AVENUE, ST. THOMAS 152
Photo by Clare E. Taylor









Illustrations xiii

PAGE
NORTHERN SLOPES OF THE ST. THOMAS HILLS .152
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
PLOUGHING IN ST. CROIX 156

LABOURERS' HOMES AT "MT. PLEASANT," ST. CROIX 156
Photo by A. Ovesen
THE MOST POPULAR BEAST OF BURDEN IN ST. THOMAS I6o
Photo by J. Mena
PASTURE LAND IN ST. THOMAS 160
Photo by J. Mena
NATIVE WOMEN WASHING CLOTHES, ST. CROIX 162
Photo by P. S. Smith

WORKERS ON THE BAY TREE ESTATES, ST. JOHN 162
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
IN THE CROP SEASON 164
Photo by A. Ovesen
VIEW OVER "LA VALEE," ST. CROIX 164
Photo by A. Ovesen

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION 168
Photo by D. Hamilton Jackson

WHIPPING COTTON AT "PROSPERITY" FACTORY, ST.
CROIX. .. 172
Photo by A. Ovesen

LA GRANGE SUGAR FACTORY, ST. CROIX 174
Photo by A. Ovesen

VIEW OVER "BETHLEHEM," ST. CROIX. 174
Photo by A. Ovesen

"BETHLEHEM," SUGAR FACTORY, ST. CROIX 176
Photo by A. Ovesen









xiv Illustrations

PAGE
BAY OIL STILL, ST. JOHN 176
Photo by H. G. Brock

VIEW OF CORAL BAY, ST. JOHN, FROM BORDEAUXX" I8o
Photo by H. Petersen

NATIVE HUT IN ST. JOHN 80
Photo by H. Petersen
MARKET PLACE, FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX 86
Photo by A. Ovesen

MARKET PLACE, ST. THOMAS 86
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
VIEW DOWN THE MAIN STREET, ST. THOMAS. 188
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

"WATER GUT," CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX 188
Photo by A. Ovesen

COMMUNAL SCHOOL BUILDING, ST. THOMAS 190
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

A COUNTRY SCHOOL-HOUSE, ST. THOMAS 190
Photo by R. H. Beck

RICHMOND HIGH SCHOOL I92

MORAVIAN CHURCH IN CHARLOTTE AMALIE 192
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING, CHRISTIANSTED 194

DANISH LUTHERAN CHURCH, CHRISTIANSTED 194

MORAVIAN PARSONAGE, ST. THOMAS, AFTER THE
HURRICANE 196
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

"THE FORT," ST. THOMAS 196
Photo by Clare E. Taylor









Illustrations


PAGE
ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, ST. THOMAS 206
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

THE "ANHOLT," HIGH AND DRY 206
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

NATIVE BRASS BAND, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX 218
Photo by A. Ovesen

CONSUL GEORGE LEVI CELEBRATING THE PERUVIAN
NATIONAL HOLIDAY WITH HIS COLLEAGUES 218
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

A JUMBLED MASS OF RUINS 230
Photo by Watson Bros.

COLONIAL COUNCIL DELEGATES FROM ST. THOMAS
(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: DR. VIGGO CHRISTENSEN,
LAWYER, J. P. JORGENSEN, AND MR. JAMES
ROBERTS) 240
Photo by H. Petersen

A PRODUCT OF ST. THOMAS. 242
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

CARIB INSCRIPTIONS ON ROCKS AT RIFF BAY, ST.
JOHN 242
Photo by Clare E. Taylor

VIEW OF MAGEN'S BAY FROM THE WEST 250

A LAST VIEW OF OLD DANNEBROG, FROM THE FORT 260
Photo by A. B. Hassell

A FIRST VIEW OF OLD GLORY, FROM THE FORT .260
Photo by A. B. Hassell

WATER AQUEDUCTS FOR IRRIGATION, ST. CROIX .266
Photo by A. Ovesen









xvi Illustrations

PAGE
MORAVIAN MISSION AT "NISKY," ST. THOMAS 266
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
DANISH CRUISER "VALKYRIEN" 284
Photo by A. Ovesen
COMMANDER KONOW AND OFFICERS OF H. M. S.
"VALKYRIEN" 284
Photo by H. Petersen
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX 286
Photo by A. Ovesen

EX-PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AT "LIBERTY HALL, THE
HOME OF ROBERT L. MERWIN (GOV. HELWEG-
LARSEN IS STANDING AT MR. ROOSEVELT'S RIGHT
AND MR. MERWIN IS AT HIS LEFT) 290
Photo by A. Ovesen

NATIVE FRUIT- AND BREAD- SELLERS .292
Photo by A. Ovesen
INTERIOR OF SMALL COMMUNAL SCHOOL, ST. CROIX 292
Photo by A. Ovesen

THE TWENTY FIVE MILLION DOLLAR PAYMENT
(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: SEC'Y DANIELS, ADMIRAL
OLIVER, MINISTER BRUN, SEC'Y LANSING, AND
SEC'Y MADOO 296
Copyright by Clinedinst Studio
MINISTER BRUN'S RECEIPT FOR $25,000,000 PAID
THROUGH THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO THE
DANISH GOVERNMENT 298
Copyright by Clinedinst Studio
ASCENT OF OLD GLORY 300
Photo by H. Hassell
DESCENT OF OLD DANNEBROG 300
Photo by H. Petersen









Illustrations xvii

PAGE
A GUARDIAN OF THE PEACE FROM H. M. S. "VALKY-
RIEN" 304

ONE OF UNCLE SAM'S FIGHTING DOGS 304

GOVERNOR JAMES H. OLIVER 308
Copyright by Harris & Ewing
ST. THOMIANS ASSEMBLED TO WITNESS TRANSFER
CEREMONIES 312
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
COMMANDER POLLOCK READING PRESIDENT WILSON'S
FIRST PROCLAMATION 312
Photo by Clare E. Taylor
SKETCH MAP SHOWING THE RELATION OF THE VIRGIN
ISLANDS TO THE ATLANTIC COASTS OF THE EASTERN
AND WESTERN HEMISPHERES At the end

MAP OF THE AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS At the end

















The Virgin Islands

of the

United States of America


CHAPTER I

EARLY HISTORY OF ST. THOMAS

Historical records-Erik Smidt takes possession of St. Thomas for Den-
mark, March 30, 1666-Relics of the Caribees and Galibi-Early
colonists-Rule of Governor J6rgen Iwersen-Traffic in slaves-
Earthquake of 169o-Operations under the Company of Branden-
burghers and George Thormohlen-Visit of Pare Labat-Activities
of Dutch [traders-Purchase of the Company's privileges by King
Frederick V.-Alternating distress and prosperity of the Colony.

THAT the island of St. Thomas must have existed
far back in the dim distance of the ages is plainly evi-
denced by its formation. Of the cataclysm that caused
it to spring into existence we have no definite informa-
tion. Amidst volcanic fires, geology tells us, it ap-
pears to have been evolved, and it is quite possible
that some day under similar conditions it may dis-
appear beneath the ocean.
All that is written about this island antedating the
year 1666 must of necessity be regarded as covering








The Virgin Islands


its prehistoric period, for no records prior to the report
that Erik Smidt, the Dane, arrived at St. Thomas on
the morning of the 30th of March, 1666, in a ship
called De Endracht, took possession of it for Denmark,
landed a small colony, which suffered great privations,
and died shortly after his arrival, can be relied upon as
being absolutely authentic.
That the island had a history, and possibly a most
interesting one, before the arrival of Erik Smidt and
his hardy followers, no one can deny. Columbus is
presumed to have discovered St. Thomas in 1493, on
the occasion of his second voyage to the West Indies,
and the names of Galibi and Caribees were given by the
Spaniards to those inhabitants who believed themselves
descendants of a race of people from the mainland.
A few carvings on a rock, some stone chisels, collars,
bowls, necklets, and hideous semblances of heads,
said to be the work of the Caribees, are all the traces
that remain of these people or of their predecessors.
When or how these primitive inhabitants disappeared
from the Danish West Indies cannot be definitely
ascertained.
There are but few records left to tell of the doings
of the early Colonists, or of the Copenhagen Company
which they claimed to represent. That the little settle-
ment must have been in sore straits shortly after their
arrival is evident from a report sent to the Home
Government by Pastor Kjeld Jensen Slagelse, who had
assumed command. This was dated "Smidtsberg,"
3d of July, 1666. It stated that they had provisions
for only nine months, and that they would have to
leave the island at the end of that time if no reinforce-
ments and supplies were received. This appeal was
apparently disregarded, as some time afterward a








Early History of St. Thomas


Dutch Governor named Huntum is reported to have
made a descent on St. Thomas and temporarily put
an end to the Danish occupation.
The actual history and progress of the Colony of
St. Thomas cannot be said to have commenced before
J6rgen Iwersen became Governor. This was on the
23d of May, 1672, when he landed on the'island as
chief of an expedition sent out from Copenhagen by
the Danish West India and Guinea Company. Little
is known of the personal character of J6rgen Iwersen.
From the various orders that were issued under his ad-
ministration it would appear that he was not a man to
be trifled with. A strict disciplinarian, it was not long
before he made his presence felt in the little Colony.
Under his rule there was no shirking church, for every
person whether he spoke Danish or not, was bound
under penalty of twenty-five pounds of tobacco, to
attend service in Christians-fort every Sunday when
the drum beat. They were a pious people in those
days, and the law made it incumbent on every house-
holder to encourage his servants in the ways of right-
eousness, and if he allowed them to do work on a
Sunday which could have been done on a Saturday,
he had to pay a fine of fifty pounds of tobacco. Hand
in hand with godliness went a martial spirit, which
compelled every man to be in readiness, at the first
alarm given by a neighbour or sounded at the Fort,
to defend his Lares and Penates, as well as the Colony.
In those days no man could leave the island without
the Governor's permission under penalty of five hun-
dred pounds of tobacco; and the person who aided
another to depart surreptitiously was obliged to pay a
fine of a thousand pounds of tobacco and be responsible
for the other's debts and liabilities. The restrictions








The Virgin Islands


on white servants were severe, and innumerable fines
were levied upon those who purchased from them or
who harboured them if they ran away from their
employer. Negroes fared far worse, and were often
cruelly punished for the slightest offence.
However, from all accounts, the Colonists lived
fairly contented under the iron-handed rule of their
Governor, steadily increasing in numbers and greatly
prospering.
In 1680, there were on the island some fifty estates
engaged principally in the cultivation of tobacco. Its
population was 331 souls, of whom 156 were whites
and 175 slaves, for whose protection in those palmy
days of piracy and buccaneering, the watchful care of
such a sturdy Governor as Jorgen Iwersen was often
required. It is regretful to note that this gallant
Dane, after having, at his own request, been replaced
by one Nic Esmit, came to an untimely end on his re-
appointment as Governor of the Danish West Indies
in 1683. On the voyage from Copenhagen to St.
Thomas he was thrown overboard by a mutinous
crew after they had shot the captain and decapitated
seven or eight prisoners. The others of the Company's
functionaries and the transported prisoners were set
ashore at Flores. Retribution soon followed the muti-
neers, who, bent upon piracy and having but little
knowledge of navigation, went ashore with their
vessel at Marstrand, Sweden, where they were handed
over to the authorities, and finally condemned to be
hanged outside the eastern gate of Copenhagen.
When the want of labour began to be felt in the
Colony, the traffic in slaves was encouraged by Christian
V., who purchased in Africa from the King of Aquam-
bon the two forts of Frederiksburgh and Christiansburg








Early History of St. Thomas


on the Gold Coast, and ordered ships to proceed thither
to buy slaves for St. Thomas. With this addition
to the working population, agriculture received a fresh
impulse, the cultivation of sugar was introduced, and
efforts were made to utilize the advantages of its
excellent harbour and to add the benefits of commerce
to those of agriculture.
In the year 1690, a violent earthquake took place
on Sunday, the 9th of April, at 4 o'clock in the after-
noon. It is the only one on record which could in any
way be compared to the memorable one of November
18, 1867. It is spoken of as a terrific earthquake,
lasting a long time and cracking the walls of the Com-
pany's storehouse, the sea receding shortly after so
that fish could be picked up from the bottom, nine or
ten fathoms out.
In the same year an attack upon the Colony by the
English was apprehended. For this reason precaution-
ary measures were adopted. A sentry was placed on
each of the four bastions of the fort, its landgate closed
and Frederiks-fort, a tower which the Government
had built on Smith's Hill in 1689, and which is now
known as "Bluebeard's Castle," was provided with
a breastwork of thick Gri-Gri planks at the top for the
protection of the sentry. The alarm, however, proved
false and the fear unfounded.
About the same time the Colonists were startled
by the intelligence that the King of Denmark and the
Company had farmed out the whole island to one
George Thormohlen. Previously a Company of Brand-
enburghers had been permitted to establish themselves
in St. Thomas for the purpose of commerce; they had
prospered exceedingly, and had secured by treaty
certain rights. On the cession of the island to Thor-








The Virgin Islands


mohlen, who was to have entire control over its affairs
and enjoy all its revenues, the King, in order to secure
to himself all the export and import duties paid by
the Brandenburghers, bargained with that Company
for the same for three thousand pieces of eight per
annum, to be paid in two instalments.
There is no doubt that these changes were most
distasteful to the Colonists, who were now to be sub-
jected to taxation. Their opposition to it was strenuous,
and when on the 30th of March, 1692, the first regular
troops were garrisoned in the island, and further
taxation for their support was urged by Thormohlen,
it was steadily refused and ultimately abandoned.
In 1694, the Company threw up their contract with
Thormohlen, who had ruled the island since the 9th
of May, 1691, and had appointed De la Vigne as his
Governor. The Company then sent out their own
Governor, Lorentz, to replace him.
During his administration, in the year 1697, the
first severe hurricane is recorded.
It was in the year 1701, while Johann Lorentz was
still Governor, that Pore Labat visited the island.
The account of this visit, detailed in his work on the
West Indies,' gives a fair picture of the state of the
Colony at that time. Concerning its commerce he
makes this remark: "Denmark being almost neutral
in the wars of Europe, the port of St. Thomas is open
to all nations. During peace it serves as an entrep6t
for the commerce which the French, English, Span-
iards, and Dutch do not dare to pursue openly on their
own islands; and in time of war, it is the refuge of
merchant ships when pursued by privateers. On the
other hand, the privateers send their prizes here to be
z Voyage aux Isles de l'Amerigue, vol. ii., p. 285.







Early History of St. Thomas


sold when they are not disposed to send them to a
greater distance. Many small vessels also proceed
from St. Thomas to the coast of South America, whence
they bring back much riches in specie, or in bars and
valuable merchandise. In a word, St. Thomas is a
market of consequence."
His description of the town enables us to see that at
that period it was of very limited extent. "At fifty
or sixty paces from the Fort there is a town which
takes the form of the bay, and constitutes the port.
This town consists of only one long street, which ter-
minates at the factory or offices of the Company.
This is a large and handsome edifice, containing many
apartments and commodious magazines for merchan-
dise, and for the security of the negroes, in which this
Company carries on a trade with the Spaniards. To
the right of the factory are two small streets filled with
French refugees. The houses of the town, which for-
merly were nothing but huts, are now built of bricks,
almost all of one storey but very well arranged. The
pavements are of tiles, and the interiors whitewashed,
as in Holland." Of the estates he thus remarks:
"They are small, but well kept. Work is only per-
formed during the day, and in consequence, but little
sugar is made. The soil, though light, is very good,
and produces abundance of manioc, millet, sweet pota-
toes, and all kinds of fruits and herbs. The sugar
cane grows very well. They have few cows and horses,
for want of the necessary pasturage; but the inhabit-
ants do not want for meat, the Spaniards in Porto Rico
furnishing them with it in abundance. They raise young
kids, which are excellent, and fowls of all kinds in quanti-
ties. Provisions, however, are always dear, money being
plentiful and strangers generally arriving in affluence."







The Virgin Islands


From the year 1702 to the year 1732, there is not
much of special importance to chronicle of St. Thomas.
Agriculture was still an important feature, the cultiva-
tion of indigo was commenced, and a considerable
quantity of sugar and tobacco was now being raised.
In 1713 a dreadful hurricane devastated the island.
In 1716 the import and export duties were changed
from six to eight per cent. Congregations were per-
mitted to elect their own pastors, and the Secret Council
was now separated from the Courts in which its mem-
bers had formerly sat as judges. The first Govern-
ment House was purchased, and the privileges of the
Brandenburgh Company ceased. In 1718 a land tax
was imposed, and a tax of two and a half rix dollars
for each man, woman, and slave. The Royal Council
consisted of five persons, besides the Governor as
President,-two merchants, the bookkeeper, the treas-
urer, and the secretary. Slaves were to be well treated,
and planters were shorn of the power of life and death
over them. Clerks having served six years were per-
mitted to return home, but young unmarried women
were not to enjoy the privilege without special permis-
sion. A Reconciling Court with the Governor as judge
was established, and the duties on imports and exports
were lowered to five or six per cent.
St. Thomas was in a flourishing condition. It had
long been declared a port of entrance for vessels of all
nations. This gave a new impulse to its trade, which,
extended to the neighboring islands by the enter-
prise of its merchants, brought untold wealth to its
shores, not to speak of greater refinements and luxury.
Passing over the few years between 1732 and 1756
a period is arrived at which later was to have a disas-
trous effect upon the commerce of St. Thomas. The








Early History of St. Thomas 9

island of St. John was under cultivation; St. Croix had
been purchased by King Christian VI.; the seat of
government had been removed thither, and several
St. Thomas planters had settled there. Never had
these islands been so prosperous. For the first time
in history could they speak of a Danish West Indies.
Special note should be made of the great trade which
the Dutch carried on in St. Thomas. Shrewd and
thrifty, they maintained their ground against all
comers as merchants, and with the privileges they had
managed to obtain from the Company, it is no wonder
that they controlled the best part of its commerce.
This was certainly no fault of theirs, but it aroused a
bitter feeling among the merchants of Copenhagen,
who were naturally jealous that foreigners should be
treated more favourably than themselves. For this
reason, they secretly formed an association, fitted out
vessels in Amsterdam, placed them under the Dutch
flag, and despatched them to the island of St. Thomas.
So great was their success that the Company took
alarm, but perceiving the advantages likely to accrue
to itself, if these merchants could be induced to unite
their now conflicting interests, they made overtures to
them for the purpose, which were accepted. This power-
ful accession enabled the Company to exclude the Dutch
from all commerce with the Colonies, but not for the
benefit of the Company or the islands, as will readily
be seen.
From a few men represented by a small band of
adventurers, the Company had become possessed of
wealth, power, and influence, and with these and this
last stroke of policy it was now a gigantic monopoly.
The consequences were soon manifested. High prices
prevailed under the oppressive restrictions put upon








The Virgin Islands


commerce, and discontent showed itself where before
had been peace and prosperity.
It was not long before the complaints of the Colon-
ists reached the ears of King Frederick V., who,
directed by the wise counsel of Count John Bernstorff,
then Prime Minister, resolved to take over the Colonies
and put an end to the privileges of the Company by
purchase. This was effected in 1755 for 2,200,000
pieces of eight ($1,418,0oo). The purchase included
the forts, estates, buildings, stores, slaves, goods, and
money belonging to the Company in the Colonies, and
its refinery, ships, houses, and store-houses in Copen-
hagen. Thus ended the Danish West India and Guinea
Company, a victim of its own insatiable greed and
ambition. A new era was now to begin.
Unfortunately at first for the Colonies, and especially
for the island of St. Thomas, such a sweeping change
as this transaction involved proved a heavy blow to
its commercial prosperity. Its port was no longer
reached by the vessels of the Company, and the exclu-
sive right of trafficking with Africa for slaves also
having been abolished, stagnation and ruin were the
consequence. Up to that time its harbour had always
been crowded with ships, and many of these were
Danish; but for the year 1756 not one of them had
gladdened the sight of its sorrowing merchants. Emi-
gration was of daily occurrence. Money became
scarce, a paper currency was issued, and so deplorable
became the condition of affairs that of the few inhabit-
ants who were now left to sustain its fallen fortunes it
is recorded that the majority were slaves.
During these years great distress prevailed in the
Colony, and it was not until the 9th of April, 1764,
when St. Thomas was declared by His Majesty a free




















St. Thomas Harbour as Seen from Orkanshullet Island
Photo by Clare E. Taylor


4I -


Charlotte Amalia and Orkanshullet Island as Viewed from Nisky "
Photo by Clare E. Taylor


L








Early History of St. Thomas


port for vessels of all nations, that its star was again in
the ascendant. The effect of this act on the part of
King Frederik V. was soon manifest in the altered
condition of the harbour and commerce. Ships began
to come in, and with them the money that was so
much needed.
St. Thomas was now to enjoy a period of unexampled
prosperity. At that time Europe was involved in a
series of long and cruel wars, during which Denmark
always managed to remain neutral. This neutrality,
extending to her Colonial possessions, gave them an
advantage over the rest of their neighbours, whose
governments were at war with each other, an advantage
that only ceased years after the proclamation of peace.
It was during this period of strife that the importance
of St. Thomas as a rendezvous for all sorts of vessels
became so strikingly manifest. It was not very long
before the flags of all nations were flying from the
shipping which crowded its harbour. It was one of the
few spots, if not the only one, where enemies could
meet without fighting, and discuss their next possible
skirmish over a glass of grog and a pipe of tobacco.
Things were lively in those days, and money flowed
like water into the coffers of the merchants. Popula-
tion increased, the town limits were extended, stores
and dwellings were rapidly built, and thousands of
refugees and adventurers, as well as capitalists, sought
its shores for the purpose of traffic.
Up to I8oo the prosperity of St. Thomas continued
unabated. But an enemy was now at its gates. For
the first time, St. Thomas was blockaded, its inhabit-
ants face to face with an invader. Denmark had
become involved, at last, in a war with Great Britain.
This simply meant ruin to her Colonies. After sus-








12 The Virgin Islands

training the blockade for some time, St. Thomas was
surrendered on the Ist of April, 18o, to a military and
naval force under Colonel Cowell. For ten months
it was held by the English, when it was restored to
Denmark on the 22d of February, 1802. Though the
English occupation was a short one, it materially
affected the island's commerce which was not revived
until the return of neutrality.


















CHAPTER II


QUESTION OF PURCHASE BY THE UNITED STATES

Destructive fires-Trade between St. Thomas and the Spanish Main
-A Paradise for fortune-hunters-Prosperous days-Emanci-
pation of slaves-Decline in agriculture-Improvements in har-
bour-Blockade runners from the Southern States-Cholera and
its frightful consequences-Hurricane, earthquake, and tidal
wave of 1867-Visit of Secretary Seward-Cession Proclamation
-Hopeful attitude of people-Hard times-Second Royal Pro-
clamation.

WITH the exception of the destructive fires which
took place in 1804 and I806, which laid the town of
St. Thomas in ashes and destroyed over sixteen million
dollars' worth of property, there is little more to add to
its history till 1807. Then the island was again sur-
rendered to the English, who occupied it until April
15, 1815, when it was restored to Denmark, its lawful
possessor.
In 1815 began that trade between St. Thomas, Porto
Rico, Cuba, Santo Domingo, and the Spanish Main,
which was destined afterwards to assume large propor-
tions. In the quaint old pages of Nissen we learn
that as soon as the Danes again became masters of the
island, foreign vessels speedily arrived, laden with all
kinds of merchandise. Numbers of smaller vessels,
such as schooners, sloops, etc., were put under Danish
colours, and adventures to the other West India Islands








14 The Virgin Islands

and the Spanish Main were resumed with the same
activity as in former times.
The way some of the old authors speak of the for-
tunes made, the sacks of doubloons, the boxes and
kegs of Spanish dollars, is something bewildering. St.
Thomas must have been a very Paradise for fortune-
hunters in those days, and for physicians in particu-
lar, for we read of there being, in 1837, no less than
eight very clever doctors on the island, and that, for
attending a family or going on board a vessel, their
fees were seldom less than one hundred dollars. No
wonder that one of the King's physicians, named Otto,
was enabled to return to Copenhagen after seven years
with about three hundred thousand dollars, when his
fees for attending a crew of ten or fourteen men on
board a vessel, lying at anchor in the harbour for two
months, were from fifteen hundred to seventeen hundred
Spanish dollars. It is also recorded that during the
war between England and America, as many as two
hundred large ships had been counted in its harbour
at one time, besides a great number of small vessels.
For a long time the prosperity of St. Thomas
continued undiminished. St. Thomas had been made
the principal rendezvous of the Royal Mail Steam
Packet Company, and because of its central location on
the great route from Europe to the rich countries then
opening up on the Pacific Ocean, there appeared to
be no limits to its career of good fortune. Earthquakes
had shaken it. Hurricanes had levelled it, and repeated
fires had burned down hundreds of its houses; but,
Phoenix-like, it had risen from its ashes, better built
and more prosperous than ever. It did not seem pos-
sible that St. Thomas could fall from its high estate.
If such an eventuality were even hinted at, it was met








Question of Purchase


with a stare of incredulity. Its splendid harbour, its
facilities as a coaling station, its geographical position,
-these were considered as preventatives of misfor-
tune. The idea of other islands acquiring such facili-
ties, or offering even greater advantages, never entered
the heads of its industrious and money-making mer-
chants. As for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Com-
pany, with its magnificent ships, factory, and staff of
employees going elsewhere, the idea was as ridiculous
as that of Porto Rican buyers purchasing their goods
direct from the manufacturer in Europe. And yet,
all this and much more has actually happened.
On the 4th of July, 1848, the slaves in St. Thomas
were emancipated. Their freedom was proclaimed at
the drumhead. There were few demonstrations be-
yond music and dancing in the streets, and the whole
affair passed off very quietly. From that time St.
Thomas ceased to be an agricultural community.
The town and its temptations were too strong for the
labouring population, and it was not long before some
of the best estates were run down for want of sufficient
hands to till them. A Labour Act had been passed
containing stringent regulations, but so far as St.
Thomas was concerned, it proved a dead letter.
At this time it might be safe to say that perhaps
among all the group of the Virgin Islands none was
fairer or more richly endowed by nature than St.
Thomas. Its past had been eventful, its vicissitudes
many, but now the sun of promise shone warmly on
the island, and trade had brought plenty to its mer-
chants. The harbour was being thoroughly dredged
out and was rendered almost perfect in its facilities for
vessels seeking its port. There was already a fine
marine repairing slip in active operation, and numerous








The Virgin Islands


improvements were in contemplation. Over sixteen
hundred shares in an iron floating dock were subscribed
for; gas works were planned; and a new Government
House, a Custom House, public wharf, new lighthouse,
and a fish market were to be erected.
A fratricidal war which had long been raging between
the Northern and Southern States of America brought
a large amount of business to St. Thomas. Blockade
runners sought its port, and now and then a privateer
or two, and in hot pursuit came the United States men-
of-war which with their crews left a great deal of
money in the port. Another war, one in which the
hearts of the people were deeply concerned, was being
fought at home between Denmark and Germany.
During the latter part of the year 1866 cholera broke
out in St. Thomas with frightful consequences. The
town had already begun to acquire an evil reputation
abroad for its unhealthfulness. "Pest-hole," "Gol-
gotha," and various other epithets were freely lavished
upon it by its neighbours, who, jealous of its commer-
cial prosperity, never let an occasion pass without
flinging a stone at it. They never would acknowledge,
what many medical men declared, that the diseases
which were said to be indigenous to St. Thomas were
invariably brought from their own shores in the ves-
sels visiting its harbour. Up to this time, few pre-
cautions had been taken to enforce quarantine, or to
protect the place by a more perfect system of sanita-
tion. Small-pox and yellow fever had been in the town
for some months, and now cholera had come to cap the
climax of misery. By the 23d of January, 1867, there
were 860 deaths.
On the 29th of October, 1867, a terrific hurricane
passed over the island, which, in magnitude and de-











































The Barracks, St. Thomas

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


The ioi Steps Leading to Blackbeard's Castle

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


1







Question of Purchase


structiveness, surpassed anything ever known or re-
corded in its history. Over 300 lives were lost and
about 77 vessels were stranded or wrecked. Following
this, on the i8th of November, came a severe shock
of earthquake, and a tidal wave. The earthquake
shock lasted about thirty seconds, and a few moments
afterwards the sea receded, leaving the harbour almost
dry, exposing many sunken wrecks, and, upon its
return, laying waste the wharves and warehouses built
upon its shores. Many of the finest buildings were
cracked, a great deal of property was destroyed, and
such was the terror and dismay created that people
deserted their homes and camped out upon the hills.
A visit made to St. Thomas in the early part of 1866
by the Honourable W. Henry Seward, Secretary of
State for the United States of America, was the occa-
sion for rumours to be circulated to the effect that
negotiations were being entered into for the purchase
of the islands, and on the 27th of November of the
following year the following proclamation was published
in the St. Thomr Tidende:

"WE, CHRISTIAN THE NINTH,

"By the Grace of God, King of Denmark, the Van-
dals and the Goths, Duke of Sleswig, Holstein, Storn-
marn, Ditmarsh, Lauenborg, and Oldenborg. Send
to Our beloved and faithful Subjects in the islands of
St. Thomas and St. John Our Royal Greeting.
"WE have resolved to cede Our Islands of St. Thomas
and St. John to the United States of America, and
We have to that end, with the reservation of the con-
stitutional consent of Our Rigsdag, concluded a con-
vention with the President of the United States. We







The Virgin Islands


have, by embodying in that convention explicit and
precise provisions, done Our utmost to secure to You
protection in Your liberty, Your religion, Your pro-
perty and private rights, and You shall be free to re-
main where You now reside, or to remain, retaining
the property which You possess in the said islands
or disposing thereof and removing the proceeds,
wherever You please, without Your being subjected
on this account to any contribution, charge, or tax
whatever.
"Those who shall prefer to remain in the Islands,
may either retain the title and the rights of their natural
allegiance or acquire those of Citizens of the United
States, but they shall make their choice within two
years from the date of the exchange of ratifications of
said convention, and those who shall remain on the
Island after the expiration of that term without having
declared their intention to retain their natural allegi-
ance shall be considered to have chosen to become
citizens of the United States.
"As We, however, will not exercise any restraint
over Our faithful subjects, We will give You the op-
portunity of freely and extensively expressing your
wishes in regard to this cession, and We have to that
effect given the necessary instructions to Our Com-
missioners Extraordinary.
"With sincere sorrow do We look forward to the
severing of those ties which for many years have
united You to Us, and never forgetting those many
demonstrations of loyalty and affection We have
received from You, We trust that nothing has been
neglected on Our side to secure the future welfare of
Our beloved and faithful Subjects, and that a mighty
impulse, both moral and material, will be given to








Question of Purchase


the happy development of the Islands, under the new
Sovereignty.
"Commending You to God!
"Given at Our Palace of Amalienborg, the 25th
October, 1867.
"Under Our Royal Hand and Seal,
"CHRISTIAN R.
"L. S.

"C. E. JUEI-VIND-FRIJS.


"Royal Proclamation to the Inhabitants of St. Thomas
and St. John."


This was also read by His Excellency, Chamberlain
Carstensen, Royal Commissioner Extraordinary, to a
large assemblage of the civil and military function-
aries and other inhabitants whom His Excellency,
Governor Birch, invited for the occasion to Govern-
ment House. It is almost needless to say that the
announcement of such a change, though not entirely
unexpected, led to a variety of comments and specula-
tions. Hopes of the most extravagant kind were
indulged in by many at the prospect of soon belonging
to the mighty American Republic. Others were not
quite so sanguine as to the probable benefits, and some
did not believe the transfer would ever be accomplished.
Nevertheless, all prepared to obey His Most Gracious
Majesty's expressed wish, though not without a feel-
ing in their hearts, that with all its faults, the rule of
dear old Denmark had, in the main, been marked by
humanity, wisdom, and justice.








The Virgin Islands


There did not seem to be a doubt in the minds of
such men as the Honourable William H. Seward as
to the desirability of securing St. Thomas as a naval
station for the United States of America. The acquisi-
tion was looked upon by the leading journals of Europe
as a master stroke of policy. American naval and mili-
tary men had long foreseen the necessity of the United
States having, somewhere in the West Indies, a port
in which to refit their war vessels and which would
form a base for naval operations in case of future wars
with Europe or the South. The United States had
gone through a bitter experience already, so far as
Nassau and St. Thomas were concerned. The ports
of the West Indies had all more or less sympathized
with the so-called Rebels of the South; their pirati-
cal craft had been welcomed and sheltered; the men-
of-war of the North found obstacles placed in
their way; and it was more or less conceded that
had the United States possessed St. Thomas during
the war of the Great Rebellion it would have saved
millions. Thus for these and many other reasons it
was considered a desirable acquisition for the United
States.
In the meanwhile, with a rapidity not always usual
in Denmark, the treaty which had been concluded with
the United States for the sale of the Danish West
India Islands was ratified by a unanimous vote in the
Landsthing, or upper house of the Rigsdag. This
completed the action of Denmark with regard to the
treaty. It now only remained for the United States
Government to fulfil its share of the compact. Two
years and a half dragged wearily along, during which
the St. Thomas people were alternately buoyed up
or cast down by the news of annexation. They had,








Question of Purchase


almost to a man, voted for it and impatiently they
awaited the end.
From causes which have never been satisfactorily
explained, the Treaty was not ratified by the United
States Senate. The opposition of the Radical party
and the impeachment of President Johnson were
assigned as presumable reasons for a postponement
of one year. Then came others for further postpone-
ment. There is no doubt that the failure to conclude
the bargain was a great disappointment to many.
Together with the affection which the people of St.
Thomas and St. John had always manifested for Den-
mark and its King, there was a genuine admiration for
the American people, whose energy and enterprise so
well accorded with their own; and it was hoped that
with a fresh infusion of active energy, the island would
recover from its past calamities and resume its wonted
place as the commercial centre of the West Indies.
In the meanwhile, a dulness began to pervade the
community of St. Thomas. Its harbour, gay with the
colours of all nations, and its hotels, always crowded
with foreigners, either en route to their homes or for
business purposes, had experienced a great change.
The warehouses which were filled with the products of
English, French, and German manufactures, and which,
in the months of October and November, were the resort
of purchasers from the neighboring islands, were now
quiet and inactive. The distressing times at the end
of 1867 had been bravely faced, and it was naturally
supposed that when the storm had subsided the usual
order of things would be resumed. No one antici-
pated that 1868, 1869, and 1870 would bring greater
woe. The busy seasons came and went, but each was
a duller season than its predecessor. Merchants








22 The Virgin Islands

began to compare the present with the past, and on
referring to their books found that at no time of the
year in former days had they made so few entries as
they were now making. And there was but little
hope of encouragement for the future save that which
chance might give.
Still another problem was to be solved. The loosened
bonds between the Mother Country and these islands
were to be again retied. The Crown was once more
to reassert its sovereignty, and the King to take anew
His loyal West Indian subjects to his heart. The
hope that a happy development, not only in moral,
but also in a material respect, would be powerfully
advanced under American rule, had long since died in
every breast, but how was a rapprochement to be effected
between Denmark, St. Thomas, and St. John? Were
they to vote themselves back again, or were they to
consider that their voting themselves free from the
Mother Country was but a formality?
Statesmanship soon found a solution to the question.
A proclamation had sold them, another one would
take them back. A perusal of the following document
will show how kindly this was done.

"WE, CHRISTIAN THE NINTH,

"By the Grace of God, King of Denmark, the Van-
dals and the Goths, Duke of Sleswig, Holstein, Storn-
marn, Ditmarsh, Lauenborg, and Oldenborg, send to
Our beloved and faithful Subjects in the islands of
St. Thomas and St. John, Our Royal Greeting.
"You are aware of the motives that actuated Us at
the time to give ear to the repeated and urgent requests
of the North American Government for the cession of











































4-


His Excellency, Governor L. C. Helweg-Larsen, K. D.

Photo by Clare E. Taylor








Question of Purchase


St. Thomas and St. John to the United States. We
expected that We, in that manner, should have been
able to lighten Our realm of the heavy burthens in-
curred by the then recently-terminated war, and We
hoped that the annexation to the United States would
have afforded the islands advantages so important
that they could have contributed to soothe the pain
which a separation necessarily must cause in the Colo-
nies, no less than in the Mother Country. You, for
Your part, and the Danish Diet on the part of the King-
dom, have concurred in these views, and We all met in
the mutual readiness to accommodate ourselves to what
appeared to Us All to be recommended by the circum-
stances.
"Unexpected obstacles have arisen to the realiza-
tion of this idea, and released Us from Our pledged
word. The American Senate has not shown itself
willing to maintain the Treaty made, although the
initiative for it proceeded from the United States
themselves. Ready as We were to subdue the feelings
of Our hearts, when We thought that duty bade Us
so to do, yet We cannot otherwise than feel a satis-
faction that circumstances have relieved Us from
making a sacrifice, which, notwithstanding the advan-
tages held out, would always have been painful to Us.
We are convinced that You share these sentiments, and
that it is with a lightened heart You are relieved from
the consent, which only at Our request You gave to a
separation of the islands from the Danish Crown.
"In, therefore, making known to You that the
Convention made on the 24th of October, 1867, for
the cession of the islands of St. Thomas and St. John
to the United States of America, has become void,
We entertain the firm belief that Our Government,








24 The Virgin Islands

supported by Your own active endeavours will succeed
in promoting the interest of the islands and by degrees
efface all remembrances of the misfortunes which, of
late years, have so sadly befallen the islands. To this
end We pray Almighty God to give Us strength and
wisdom.
"Commending you to God,
"Given at Our Palace at Amalienborg, the 7th
"May, 1870,
"CHRISTIAN R.,
"L. S."

















CHAPTER III


LATER HISTORY OF ST. THOMAS

Demand for reforms-Havoc caused by hurricane-Visit of H. B. M. S.
Challenger-Decline in trade-Laying of St. Croix-St. Thomas
cable-Labour insurrection in St. Croix-Census of 1880-Change
in government administration-Removal of British and French
Steamship Companies-Sale talk-Danish efforts to better con-
ditions-Effects of European War and labour troubles.

THE demand for reform was now general, and before
long, steps were taken to set forth the desires of the
people. The circumlocutory manner in which the
administration of the Colonies worked at that time,
the expenses attending it by the necessity of keeping
up a Governor and a President,-the latter being at
the same time a Vice-Governor, and both of them
important representatives of the Danish sovereignty,-
their salaries, with table money, a swarm of higher and
lower officials, and a military force, all directly or in-
directly paid by the two islands, called loudly for
change. A careful review of the financial burdens
laid upon the islands in those years will show how great
was the necessity for reform. Unfortunately, instead
of sending home a deputation composed of its best
citizens, or those most qualified to represent the actual
condition and wants of St. Thomas, a petition addressed
to His Majesty was drawn up, and was signed by IIII
of the principal inhabitants of the island, praying for








26 The Virgin Islands

certain reforms which would give a greater measure of
self-government, and control of internal affairs, than
that which the island already possessed. There is
proof that the petition bore the looked-for results.
However, nothing immediate transpired, for while His
Majesty in his reply expressed satisfaction to learn
of the loyalty of his people, and assured them that with
their support it would be his aim and that of his
Government to promote the interests of the islands, the
vagueness of the Colonial law, against which the peti-
tion was principally directed, continued just as vague as
ever. The old laws which were obsolete and unsuited
to the times, and which are occasionally, even now,
brought forward for particular purposes to the discom-
fort and dismay of the many, were unrepealed and
served as an instrument for the unscrupulous to use
as it might suit them. On the IIth of February, 1871,
the seat of government was removed from St. Croix
to St. Thomas.
On the 23d day of October of the same year, a fright-
ful hurricane took place. Fearful havoc was caused in
town, many lives were lost, and many persons wounded.
The heaviest gusts of wind were from half-past
four to five P.M., when they came from the north-west.
Then it was that the great destruction was completed.
The fierce roaring of these fearful gusts, the noise of
zinc sheets, whirling through the air and along the
streets, and the crash of falling houses in that gloomy
half-hour were awful. As usual, the merchants sub-
scribed promptly and liberally for the relief of the
immediate distress occasioned by this great calamity,
the private subscriptions amounting to $6600. In
1872, on the 16th of February, telegraphic communica-
tion between St. Thomas and Europe was established








St. Thomas


via a line to Havana and thence to the United States
and Europe. A new lighthouse was erected on Muh-
lenfel's Point, and was formally delivered to the
Government by the contractor, Mr. Carl Berg, on the
12th of June.
On the 16th of March, 1873, H. B. M. S. Challenger
arrived on a scientific expedition and a tour round the
world. It is pleasing to note that one of their number,
in writing of St. Thomas to the Daily News, London,
said: "After careful enquiry, I am inclined to the
opinion that St. Thomas has been very much maligned
and that it is not the undesirable nor unhealthy spot
it is generally believed. The fact is, and ought to be
recognized, yellow fever is not indigenous here, but is
imported from what is still called (in local parlance)
the Spanish Main, or some other of the West India
islands. There are no noxious mangrove swamps to
breed malaria, as in Jamaica and in other places, and
receiving, as they do, the full strength of the salu-
brious 'trades,' all the year round, the Virgin Islands
possess unusual advantages in a sanitary point of
view."
Trade had now considerably declined. Besides the
Royal Mail Steam Packet'smagnificent fleet of steamers,
other lines had started and extended their operations
throughout the West Indies. It was now possible for
a merchant in Porto Rico or elsewhere to have his goods
brought direct to his own doors, without the assistance
of St. Thomas. Planters could also export their own
produce direct. There was no longer any necessity to
send it to St. Thomas to be shipped. The consequences
soon became apparent to everyone. Purchasers be-
came fewer every year. Still a goodly number of
vessels frequented its port, and many passengers visit-








The Virgin Islands


ing it en route to other places gave it an appear-
ance of activity not observed elsewhere in the West
Indies.
The St. Croix-St. Thomas cable was successfully
laid on January 20, 1875, by the Hooper, and the first
message transmitted from St. Croix to St. Thomas
through the West India Islands was sent that day,
the time occupied being fifty-seven minutes, including
detention at each separate station.
During the year 1876 another hurricane visited the
Danish West Indies. This time St. Croix was included.
The damage to that island was frightful. Fortunately,
there were not many vessels in the harbour of St.
Thomas. Several of these, however, were damaged, a
few shanties were blown away on shore, and many
houses had their tiles or tin sheets torn off. Being so
far removed from the centre, St. Thomas escaped a
worse fate, for it was believed by competent meteor-
ologists to have been one of the most terrific cyclones
that had ever visited the West Indies.
On October 2, 1877, St. Thomas was startled by
the news of an insurrection among the labourers of
St. Croix. Close upon this intelligence came a crowd
of homeless fugitives from "West End," whose tales of
suffering struck terror and dismay into the hearts
of those who had relatives or friends in that ill-fated
spot. His Excellency, Governor Garde, accompanied
by the Police-Master and fifty soldiers, left as soon as
possible in the Royal Mail Steamship Arno, for the
scene of action. The riot was soon quelled, and the
ring-leaders were shot or otherwise punished.
In the year 1880, a census was taken of the Danish
West Indies. According to the returns published
sometime afterwards, the population of the three islands



















































Inside the Fort, St. Thomas

Photo by A. Ovesen


_ __


__








St. Thomas


numbered 33,783, of which 18,440 were in St. Croix,
14,399 in St. Thomas, and 944 in St. John.
The population had been on the decrease since 1860,
for in that year in St. Croix there numbered 23,194
souls (in 1870, 22,760); in St. Thomas, 13,463 (in
1870, 14,oo7); in St. John, 1574 (in 1870, 1054). Of the
population in St. Croix, 4939 lived in Christiansted,
3480 in Frederiksted, and o,o0 I in the country districts.
The majority of the female sex was exceedingly large,
for 14,889 were males and 18,894 females. The mar-
riage statistics showed 763 bachelors, 240 married
men, 31 widowers, and 2 divorced; 739 unmarried
women, 172 married, 87 widows, and 2 divorced. In
regard to means of subsistence, Io,o0o lived by agri-
culture, 7409 by industrial occupations, 6600 as port-
ers, labourers, etc., 2897 by commerce, and 1845 by the
sea, etc. Of the religious persuasions 11,344 belonged
to the English Episcopal Church, 10,025 to the Roman
Catholic, 5881 to the Moravian, and 4862 to the
Lutheran and other churches.
The ,commerce of St. Thomas had reached a painful
crisis. The revenues had decreased annually, and each
successive budget bore upon its face a large deficiency,
in spite of the fact that the island was no longer paying
any contribution to the General State Expenses.
The office of President was abolished, January I,
1884, and in the two districts, the Superior Administra-
tion, established by Colonial Law dated November 27,
1863, was to be exercised by the Governor. His Excel-
lency was to reside six months in St. Thomas, and six
months in St. Croix. During his absence from either
district he was empowered to entrust, on his own re-
sponsibility, the despatch of the daily current business.
At about this period several firms were contemplat-








30 The Virgin Islands

ing liquidation. The removal of the Royal Mail
Steamship Company's offices was already decided upon,
and that of the French Company was talked about.
If it were possible for anything to be done for the
island, it would have to be done quickly. Progress was
the order of the day elsewhere, but St. Thomas seemed
to be slowly drifting back to the old order of things.
While other places were doing their utmost to bring
trade to their ports, St. Thomas, complacently reposing
on the assurance that it was the keystone of the West
Indies, because of its splendid geographical position,
was doing absolutely nothing to attract customers.
It is true that other islands were passing through a
fiery ordeal owing to the competition of the beet-root
and the low price of sugar, their staple production.
But all of them were rising to the occasion, and striv-
ing by every means in their power to avert their
impending ruin and desolation. St. Thomas was
doing nothing to arrest the cankerworm of decay,
beyond finding fault with everything and everybody
except the real cause of its unparalleled misfortunes.
On the 2Ist of February, 1885, a petition, signed by
many influential people, was addressed to His Majesty,
representing the fallen fortunes of St. Thomas, and
asking that the Mother Country should assume the
military expenses and the pensions.
During this same year the Royal Mail Steam Packet
Company removed its headquarters to Barbados. This
transfer, effected on the Ist of July, meant a loss of
about twelve thousand dollars a month to the com-
munity, not to speak of the loss to the shopkeepers,
whose trade with the passengers, brought to the island
by its ships, was an item of considerable importance.
The year 1887 was marked by a still further decrease







St. Thomas


in the island's revenues by the removal of the Compagnie
G6n6rale Transatlantique's headquarters to Marti-
nique, and a rapid decline in every branch of trade.
As if to make matters worse, carefully worded reports
of St Thomas's declining state were circulated far and
wide, and every endeavour was made by interested
parties to divert its large shipping trade to the ports
of jealous rivals. It never occurred to these people
that, although greatly reduced from its former propor-
tions, the commerce of St. Thomas was yet something
of which few of the West Indies could boast. Men no
longer made hundreds of thousands, but they lived
comfortably, and did not fail quite so often as they
did in the islands said to be so much more prosperous
and thriving. When the year 1888 found its harbour
crowded with shipping, mostly of large tonnage, and
it was once more a scene of activity, scarcely any one
doubted that if further advantages were held out to
seeking vessels St. Thomas would yet be a busy place
and the favourite port of call in the Antilles for many
a long year to come.
During the early nineties reports were extensively
circulated concerning the probable transfer of St.
Thomas to America. Nearly every mail from the
United States brought newspapers containing articles
more or less in favour of the project, notably the
New York Herald and the Sun which caused people
to believe that sooner or later something would be
done in the matter. But, like many a former rumour,
it ended in nothing, though it was pretty generally
felt, in the now rapidly increasing fortunes of the island,
that a change of some sort would be beneficial. Pro-
minent Americans believed that the acquisition of St.
Thomas was desirable. Its harbour had time and








The Virgin Islands


again been reported by the best naval authorities as
the finest in the West Indies. The American Govern-
ment had coquetted with Haiti for the possession of
Mole St. Nicolas, and with San Domingo for the Bay
of Samana, but had not succeeded in obtaining either
of them. Here was a port ready made, as it were, with
a harbour almost landlocked, capable of holding nearly
two hundred vessels, with a fine floating dock, wharves,
large warehouses, a clean and well-kept town, sub-
stantial buildings, an intelligent and industrious people,
and, in fact, everything most desirable for a naval and
coaling station. It was most natural that St. Thomas
should receive attention. It is true that just then
America was on the verge of a war with Chile, and felt
the necessity of such a port, but with a peaceful settle-
ment of the difficulty the desire faded away, and Uncle
Sam remained without a Naval Station in West Indian
waters.
On the Ist of April, 1893, the port of St. Thomas
was declared free, and the import dues were raised three
per cent.
In the latter part of the nineties, the sale question
was again revived in the islands, and interest in the
matter lasted for several years. In 1900 an active
agitation in favour of the transfer of the islands to the
United States flag was started by some of the most
influential men of St. Croix, who were especially eager
for the change because of the probable benefits to the
extensive sugar interests of the island.
The Republican platform on which McKinley was
elected in 1896 declared for the purchase of the Danish
West Indies, but it was not until six years later that a
treaty to this end was drawn up. The sum of five
million dollars for all three of the Danish West Indies







St. Thomas


was offered to Denmark, and the offer accepted. Secre-
tary Hay signed the treaty on January 24, 1902, and
three days later President Roosevelt sent it to the Senate
for ratification. The treaty was held up in the Senate
committee for over a year before it was finally passed,
and when it reached Denmark considerable opposition
was encountered. The treaty passed the Folkething,
which is the lower and popular house, but when it was
taken up by the Landsthing, which is composed of
sixty-six members, of whom twelve are appointed by
the Crown for life and the remainder chosen by the
leading taxpayers for eight years, a tie vote resulted
and the treaty was lost.
During the fifteen years since, the Danish Govern-
ment has done much to better conditions in her West
Indian Colonies, among the more important of which is
the establishment of a national bank, which has car-
ried on a successful business. In addition, millions of
dollars have been spent in the islands of St. Thomas
and St. Croix by the West Indian Company, in im-
proving the St. Thomas harbour, and by the Danish
Plantation Company, as well as by the Hamburg-
American Company; but in most cases the ultimate
results have been disappointing to the people.
The Great European War has had a disastrous effect
upon the St. Thomas shipping interests, which are the
most important consideration of the island at present,
and during the years 1915 and 1916 the general condi-
tions among the labouring classes, and the merchants
as well, were far from satisfactory. Affairs in St.
Croix were, in view of the serious labour troubles, even
more unsatisfactory, and this in spite of the fact that
the 1916 sugar crop was the most profitable that the
planters had had for a long number of years.


















CHAPTER IV


HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ST. CROIX

Location and discovery-Caribees and Arrowauks-Arrival of the
Dutch and English in 1625 and subsequent conflicts-Later occu-
pations by Spanish and French-Fertility of soil-The Knights of
Malta-Abandonment of island in 172o-Purchase by King
Christian VI. of Denmark-Again a prosperous community-
Temporary possession by English-Slave trade-Uprising of
negroes-Emancipation of slaves in 1848-Labour troubles in
1916.

THE island of Santa Cruz, or St. Croix, lies in lati-
tude 7 44' 32" N., and in longitude 640 14' W., of
Greenwich, and was discovered by Columbus on his
second Western voyage, November 14, 1493. An-
choring there to obtain water, he found the island in-
habited by Indians similar to those he had seen in
Guadeloupe, whom the Spaniards, on account of their
cannibalistic propensities, called "Caribees." Among
them as captives were the more peaceable Arrowauks,
who had been taken from Porto Rico, or its vicinity.
The natives called the island "Ay Ay." At first,
peaceably disposed, they welcomed the sailors with
true Carib hospitality, but it was not long before a
skirmish ensued which resulted in the death of a Carib
and one of the Spaniards. Several Caribees were taken
prisoners by the Spaniards and were carried to Spain.








St. Croix


From this time till the year 1625 we hear nothing
whatever of St. Croix. Bryan Edwards, in his inter-
esting history of the West Indies, states that the Dutch
and English came to St. Croix in 1625. This state-
ment is partly corroborated by DuTertre, who says
that for many years prior to 1645 St. Croix was in
possession of the Dutch and English, who had been
joined by certain French refugees from the island of
St. Christopher. In the year 1645, the population
numbered over six hundred persons, who up to this
date had lived in comparative peace and harmony.
But about this time the Governor of the Dutch por-
tion of the island having killed in his house, either
designedly or accidentally, M. de Brasebet, the
Governor of the English, a series of reprisals ensued, in
which the English, violating a promise of protection,
seized the Dutch Governor, condemned him to death
in retaliation for the murder of their own Governor,
and publicly shot him. Seeing the impossibility for
peace, the Dutch abandoned the island and retired to
St. Eustatius and St. Martin. It was not long before
the English were to experience in their turn something
of the treatment that they had meted out to their
former fellow-colonists. The prosperity that attended
them after they were left sole masters of the island
excited the envy of the Spaniards at Porto Rico, who,
becoming alarmed at having so prosperous a colony at
their doors, sent twelve hundred men in five ships on
the Ioth of August, 1650, to drive out the intruders
and take possession of the island.
This was speedily accomplished, the Spaniards
putting to death every inhabitant falling into their
hands, murdering as at Tortuga even the women and
children. Those who escaped left the island for St.








The Virgin Islands


Christopher's. Once again the Dutch attempted to
regain the island but without success.
Soon afterwards, the French at St. Christopher's,
then governed by M. de Poincy, Knight of St. John's
and Lieutenant-General over the French West Indies,
determined to take possession of the island. Laying
his plans with great judgment, De Poincy sent an ex-
pedition under M. de Vaugalan to St. Croix to besiege
the fort. The Spaniards, not knowing the strength of
the French, at length capitulated, leaving the fort
with their arms and baggage, and in a vessel that had
been given them embarked for Porto Rico.
The island was then rich in forests, and as a conse-
quence very unhealthful. The poisonous vapours
arising from the dense vegetation proved fatal to the
latest conquerors, who, lamenting the loss from malarial
fever of several of their number, decided to set fire to
the woods. Taking refuge on board of their ships,
they became spectators of the vast conflagration. As
soon as the flames were extinguished, they returned
on shore and energetically applied themselves to the
improvement and cultivation of the land. With the
advantages of a virgin soil, the grounds which they had
cleared became incredibly fertile, and it was not long
before the Colony reached a high state of prosperity.
In 1653, Louis XIV. transferred St. Croix, with St.
Christopher, St. Bartholomew, and St. Martin, to the
Knights of Malta. In 1659, a Monsieur Du Bois
was appointed Governor of St. Croix by M. de Poincy.
Falling sick in St. Croix, he was obliged to go back to
St. Christopher, but in 1661 he returned to his post
with another reinforcement of colonists. In 1665, a
newly formed West India Company purchased the
island from the Order of Malta, and when this company
























Landing Place at Frederiksted, St. Croix
Photo by A. Ovesen


Mt. Eagle, as Seen from Cane Bay Estate
Photo by A. Ovesen


I _ _








St. Croix


was dissolved by Royal edict in 1674, the island was
again annexed to the French Crown.
In 1696, the population is said to have numbered
147 whites, exclusive of women and children, and 623
blacks. Notwithstanding the extraordinary fertility of
the land when the rains were sufficient, the droughts
at that time were so frequent and destructive that the
French settlers, having demolished their forts, aban-
doned the island and removed to Santo Domingo. In
1720, St. Croix was uninhabited. It was visited by
vessels of all nations up to 1727, when the French
captured seven English merchant vessels that were
lying there and again took possession of the territory.
From that time until 1733 St. Croix continued to be
the property of France, from whom it was at length
purchased by King Christian VI. for seven hundred
fifty thousand French livres.
Some time after the Danish purchase was effected,
the land was parcelled out into plantations, or oblong
squares for plantations, measuring in length three
thousand Danish feet from north-north-west to south-
south-east, and in breadth two thousand Danish feet
from east-north-east to west-south-west, and comprising
one hundred and fifty acres of land of forty thousand
square feet to the acre. This having been done, an
invitation was extended to planters of other islands to
come and occupy the lands on easy and attractive terms.
As a result, many rich and influential persons from St.
Eustatius, Virgin Gorda, and Tortola purchased estates
and settled there and abandoned St. Croix once more
became a prosperous community. Sugar cane was
planted, the two towns now known as Christiansted
and Frederiksted were built, roads were laid out, and
the wilderness became a garden.








The Virgin Islands


There are but few records to describe the progress
of St. Croix as an agricultural community, from 1760
to 8IoI. In the latter year, the island was taken by the
British, restored to Denmark after a few months,
retaken by the English in 1807, held by them until
1815, when the Danes again became its lawful posses-
sors.
In the meantime, many slaves had been imported
into St. Croix for the purpose of working on the plan-
tations. St. Thomas had been for many years the
headquarters of an enormous traffic in these unfor-
tunate beings, and though the slave trade had been
declared unlawful by the Danish Government as early
as 1792 it was not entirely suppressed in the Colonies
until several years afterwards.
Following a serious uprising of the negroes in St.
Croix, the emancipation of the slaves in the Danish
West Indies became an accomplished fact in 1848.
In 1878 unfortunate labour troubles took place through-
out the island, which finally resulted in a labourers'
riot that well-nigh laid the place waste and caused
many people, both whites and blacks, to lose their
lives.
The experiences of St. Croix during recent years
have been closely identified with those of St. Thomas,
where varying degrees of prosperity and adversity
have been experienced. St. Croix, although an agri-
cultural community without any special interests in
shipping matters, has been dependent largely upon
good weather conditions and a favourable labour
situation for its success. In 1916 the sugar-cane crop
was the best that the island had known for a number
of years, but on account of serious labour troubles
that lasted throughout the cane season, the planters,








St. Croix 39

in spite of the high prices received for the sugar, be-
came somewhat discouraged, and not a few decided
to abandon their estates for the coming year, and
either to await a time when the labourers on the island
would be more agreeable to the terms of the planters
or else to sell their lands for the best price that could
be obtained.


















CHAPTER V


CHARLOTTE AMALIE

St. Thomas most important of three islands commercially-Location
-General description-Town of Charlotte Amalie-Built on
spurs of three mountains-Most picturesque spot in Caribbean
Sea-" Magnificent, gem-like, glorious"-Essentially a business
community-Massive, brick stores-Empty warehouses-Memo-
ries of days when Spanish dollars were carted through streets in
wheelbarrows-Bluebeard's and Blackbeard's castles-Romantic
pictures.

ST. THOMAS is commercially the most important of
the three islands that constitute what were formerly
known as the Danish West Indian group. It lies in
latitude 180 20' north, longitude 65 56' west. It is
twelve miles long, from east to west, and ranges from
one to three miles in width. Its appearance is that of
a lofty ridge of dome-shaped hills, running through the
centre of the island, whose highest point," Crown Peak,"
is about fifteen hundred feet above sea-level. Charlotte
Amalie is the only town of the island, and is situated
on the south central side on the spurs and lower slopes
of three hills that overlook the harbour. St. Thomas
is almost surrounded by small islands and cays, in
general bold and steep, and like its two sister islands
it possesses a large number of beautiful bays that afford
the local folk and their visitors delightful sea-bathing
all the year round.

















































The Lagoons, St. Thomas

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


I -- --








Charlotte Amalie


The country roads are few, as might be expected
from the formation of the island, and do not total in
length more than fifteen miles, but pleasant cab or
automobile rides may be taken to Smith's Bay, at the
island's eastern extremity, or to John Bruce's Bay on
the western point. In addition, delightful horseback
drives and walks can be enjoyed over the greater part
of the island. The energetic pedestrian can walk
from the town to the top of Mafolie Hill, from the
summit of which one of the finest panoramic views in
the West Indies is revealed. Below are the charming
town and harbour, and away, far over the ocean, to
the south and east respectively, can be observed St.
Croix and Porto Rico. On Mafolie Hill is an obelisk
to commemorate the visit, in 1882, of the Brazilian
astronomers to view the transit of Venus. There are
other attractive walks-to Water Bay, to Benders, to
Bovoni, where one may have a unique experience in
rowing across the wonderful grove lagoon, and to
"Windberg," the highest point on the island, to have
a view that surpasses description.
Many pleasant boat trips can also be made along
the coast of St. Thomas, to the innumerable caves
admirably adapted for picnicking parties, to French-
man's and Morningstar Bays, on the southern side of
the island, to Magen's Bay on the northern side, and
to "Manecke's Villa" and Krum Bay, on the western
shore.
There is but one town in St. Thomas, whose name is
rarely mentioned. It is Charlotte Amalie, and was
so christened by His Majesty, Christian the Fifth,
during whose reign the island was acquired by Den-
mark and the town formally laid out, in honour of His
Royal Consort, Queen Charlotte Amalie. It is built








The Virgin Islands


on the spurs of three mountains, which form a noble
background and add a certain majesty to the town's
general appearance. Because of its unique situation,
the attractive lay-out of its trailing mountainous streets,
and the beautiful blend of the structures and colours
of its public and private buildings, whose red-tiled
roofs rise one above the other up to the very summits
of the hills, with the umbrageous green of the fringing
guinea grass, cocoanut palm, mountain cabbage, and
banana, it has come to be regarded as one of the most
picturesque places in the Caribbean Sea. The well-
known American writer, Mr. F. Ober, styles it as
"magnificent, gem-like, glorious," and says that the spot
is worthy of all the adjectives one can heap upon it.
Awe-inspiring hills surround it on all sides, save toward
the southern sea, where the entrance lies between two
high promontories that are guarded by ancient forts.
As to beauty of location, it is, perhaps, unsurpassed by
any other town in the West Indies.
The town is essentially a place of business, and there
is but one main thoroughfare, parallel with the harbour,
the other streets branching off here and there up the
hillside to commanding elevations from which may be
obtained magnificent tropical views. A more cleanly
town to-day than Charlotte Amalie scarcely exists.
From the trimly-kept, red brick fort, used as a prison
and a police-station, and the handsomely-built bar-
racks, down to the smallest building, one is impressed
with the air of neatness and cleanliness that prevails.
All the streets are macadamized, with stone-paved
gutters. The three principal water-courses, or "guts"
as they are called, are paved in the same manner, and
carry down the water from the mountains to the sea.
Substantial brick stores extend to the water's edge








Th


Bluebeard's Castle from the Government House
Photo by H. Petersen


h.


i"
sr.

L~L~LL-








Charlotte Amalie


some four hundred feet away. There are probably a
hundred such buildings, many of them having been
put up at a cost of from fifty thousand to sixty thousand
dollars apiece. Each has its own private wharf for
the landing of merchandise, and railroad tracks for its
carriage to the storehouse, and some possess powerful
hoisting cranes. The great commercial firms that
once operated at Charlotte Amalie, whose importations
used to amount to millions of dollars annually, are now
no more; many of the warehouses are empty and de-
serted; many merchants and clerks have gone to more
favoured communities to ply their trades until the
prosperity of St. Thomas shall return and she shall, as
of old, become the Emporium of the Antilles. The
pavements no longer re-echo the footsteps of barterers
of a hundred nationalities. Porters lounge at the
street corners; cooks stray leisurely towards the market-
place; nurse-maids with their little ones saunter along
the sidewalks and by the seashore. The town is
slumbering and dreaming the days when roystering
sailors made the streets dangerous by night; when
merchants toiled from early to late; when banks were
unknown, and Spanish dollars were wheeled on barrows
through the thoroughfares. Quiet prevails, but there
are few who have once lived in St. Thomas and become
acquainted with its people who would not be glad to
return.
Bluebeard's and Blackbeard's castles are two old
towers, respectively situated east and north of
Charlotte Amalie. According to tradition, these
castles were once the abodes of the villains whose
names they bear. History, however, does not confirm
the fable. The truth is, very little is known about
these towers, but Blackbeard's Castle is supposed to








The Virgin Islands


have been built before Bluebeard's, and in all prob-
ability both were employed in the olden days as watch-
towers and for defensive purposes. To-day they start
one dreaming. Looking over the town and harbour from
these points of vantage, one of imaginative tendencies,
who is more or less familiar with the ancient history of
the place, can weave as romantic a picture as could be
desired. The harbour will again become gay with the
flags of many nations, and from the misty past there
will be conjured the slender forms of piratical schooners
and slave-traders to replace the prosaic, smoke-belch-
ing steamers of the present. The streets of the town
.will be peopled with the picturesque and ruthless sea-
rovers of old, along with those sturdy Brandenburghers,
who, with their wives and children, inhabited the
quaint, one-storey wooden tenements that once stood
where are now brick, fire-proof warehouses. Other
fancies will suggest themselves to the imagination, and
a visit to those old towers will be well rewarded. Their
massive walls have withstood the hurricane's fury and
the earthquake's shock; they have seen wealth-laden
traders arrive and depart, and have watched impassively
the disembarkation of cargoes of miserable slaves.
Within sight of them poor men have grown rich, have
lived and died. For hundreds of years they have looked
down upon the world below, upon its hopes and joys,
its griefs and pleasures, its days of prosperity and of
suffering, and still the grey walls remain unchanged in
a world of changes, enduring monuments of the past.
















CHAPTER VI


"THE GARDEN OF THE WEST INDIES"

St. Croix-"The Garden of the West Indies"-Natural beauties of
Christiansted-Enterprise of the Frederiksted inhabitants-
Early home of Alexander Hamilton-Commerce and native pro-
ducts-Topography of island-Geological formations-Varied
scenery-As a health resort-Climate and rainfall.

ST. CROIX is not the rich island it once was; but for
natural beauty, fertility of soil, and high standard of
sugarcane cultivation it is surpassed by few, if by any,
of the West India Islands. Its wooded hills, cultivated
valleys, and magnificent roads, lined on either side for
miles by beautiful cocoanut or mountain cabbage
palm, all help to justify its claim to the title which has
been given it-"The Garden of the West Indies."
Bassin, or Christiansted, situated to the north, is the
seat of government; while West End, or Frederiksted,
at the western extremity, though despoiled of much of
its former grandeur by the destruction of its finest
buildings in the riot of 1878, is the more important
town commercially.
The town of Christiansted is picturesquely situated,
within an amphitheatre of dark and lofty mountains,
and an air of quiet repose about the place gives a
decided contrast with the stir and bustle of St. Thomas.
A sloop or two at anchor on the placid waters of the







The Virgin Islands


harbour; a fishing boat near the wharf; the old red
fort, with its guns peeping over the ramparts; the post-
office hidden among the trees; the Custom House;
streets branching off in various directions; a few in-
dividuals sauntering about leisurely; this is one's
first impression of the quietest and pleasantest town
in the Danish West Indies. It is regularly laid out in
squares, and possesses some fine buildings, notably
Government House,-the largest in the Lesser Antilles.
This building gives a fine appearance to King's Street,
the principal thoroughfare of the place. At one time
St. Croix was the seat of government for the Danish
West Indies, but eventually this was transferred to St.
Thomas. Latterly, since the passage of an ordinance
to that effect, the Governor passes his time between
the two places. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Roman
Catholics, and Moravians have churches in Chris-
tiansted.
The entrance to the harbour at Christiansted is so
tortuous that vessels of any size seldom attempt to
enter. Sugar is shipped from this port, but the load-
ing of vessels is all done by means of lighters, and
practically all of the imports are received by way of
Frederiksted and transported across the island by
automobiles or around it in small sloops.
Of Frederiksted itself there is not much to be said
except in praise of the energy and commercial enterprise
of its inhabitants, who, in face of unparalleled mis-
fortunes, have rebuilt their little town and are now
doing a thriving business. Bay Street is once more the
scene of great activity, especially during harvest time.
Of special importance to Frederiksted is the fact that
it is in direct steam communication with the United
States. This has had a decided influence upon its







"Garden of the West Indies"


commerce and has, no doubt, been beneficial to its
merchants. The Custom House, which during the
riots was almost destroyed, has been restored and
many new buildings have been put up to replace the
old ones. Frederiksted has a population of about
three thousand inhabitants. It has Lutheran, Epis-
copalian, Moravian, and Roman Catholic churches, a
hospital, an apothecary hall, and one or two good board-
ing-houses. It was in this town that Alexander Hamil-
ton served as a clerk before he emigrated to America.
Frederiksted does approximately eighty per cent. of
the import and export business of St. Croix. It is
located at the extreme western end of the island and is
a port of call for the Quebec line of steamers that ply
between New York and Georgetown, British Guiana,
the steamers making fortnightly calls in each direction.
Frederiksted's harbour being simply an open roadstead,
is not a good harbour, and all passengers and cargo are
landed by means of lighters and small boats. Several
of the large sugar estates have resident agents in the
town, and the greater portion of the sugar made here
is shipped from this port.
St. Croix is able to produce all kinds of tropical fruits
in abundance, and in recent years efforts have been
made, and not unsuccessfully, by one or two planters,
to cultivate systematically such fruit as oranges and
bananas for local use with a view to exporting them in
the future.
The shape of the island is elongated, its greatest
extent being about nineteen (English) miles from east
to west. From north to south the extent varies be-
tween five miles (toward the west) and one mile
(toward the east). The area is about eighty-one
(English) square miles, or 51,873 acres.







48 The Virgin Islands

The northern part of the island is intersected from
east to west by a range of hills, or low mountains,
of which the highest summits-Mt. Eagle, I116 feet
(350 metres), and Blue Mountain, 1059 feet (332
metres)-are found toward the west. Toward the
east the highest ridges do not reach above from 584
to 830 feet (183 to 260 metres).
The south-western part of the island is level or slightly
undulating. Coral reefs extend along the shore except
on the north-west where the water is one thousand
fathoms deep. There are several small creeks or water-
courses, of which Salt River in the north is the largest.
The coast line of St. Croix is more regular and the
surface more level than in most of the Virgin Islands,
the hills stretching only along the northern coast and
through the eastern part of the island.
Along the coasts are found new alluvial formations,
often enclosing lagoons, some of which are of consider-
able size. These lagoons are being gradually filled up
with vegetable matter, as well as with sand and stones
washed down from the hills by the rains. In the Virgin
Islands many similar lagoons have been raised several
feet above the level of the sea and laid completely dry,
but no such thing has been observed in St. Croix.
The geological formations of St. Croix belong to
different ages. The northern ridge is the older. It
consists of the same species of stratified rocks (diabase,
diorite, bluebit-conglomerate, felsite, also clay-slate
and limestone) as the mountains of the Virgin group,
and probably belongs to the same geological age.
The rocky surface exhibits strongly disturbed strata,
above which- are found much less irregular beds of
coral limestone and white marl, of a much later period.
It is thought that the most recent formation of the








"Garden of the West Indies"


island is the level and undulating land to the south of
the mountain ridge, which appears to rest on the coral
rock. This coral formation is frequently found near
the surface, in the eastern half of the island, while in
the central and south-western parts it lies much deeper,
covered by a heavy layer of clay and earth mixed with
marl. The surface soil is alluvial, and the seashore
sand consists largely of coral substances.
St. Croix has not inaptly been styled "The Garden
of the West Indies," on account of its superior cultiva-
tion, beautiful homes, and its fertility. Its extremely
varied scenery possesses great interest for the student
of nature as well as for those who look upon the island
only as a health resort. To the lover of dark, gloomy
mountains and large, waste lagoons the eastern part
of the island offers many attractions. Here are to be
found most of the stock estates with good pasturage
for the rearing of sheep and oxen. Elsewhere the
country is well cultivated; large sugar estates greet the
eye at every turn of the fine macadamized roads which,
hard, smooth, and level as a floor, intersect the country
in all directions. A rich, fruitful valley occupies the
central and most southern portion of the island, and a
drive over the splendid road that runs from Chris-
tiansted to Frederiksted-a distance of fifteen miles-
between rows of cocoanut trees, interspersed here and
there with lovely areca palms, will amply reward any one
who enjoys picturesque scenery and the purest of fresh
air. Beyond are the fields, full of undulating canes
ready for cutting. Hard by is a little village of
labourers' houses, substantially built and with an
appearance of comfort sufficient to satisfy the most
fastidious, and scattered over the country are many
rich estates, while all about us are hills cultivated to








50 The Virgin Islands

their very summit, and valleys constantly changing in
hue with the alternations of sunlight and shadow.
A windmill can be noted here and there, and now and
then there is a glimpse of the sea. This is a landscape
that is rarely seen outside of the tropics, and not often
outside of St. Croix. Many are the delightful drives,
each one with its own special attraction. To appreciate
and understand the beauties of St. Croix, to assimilate
them, as it were, one must see them, for so richly en-
dowed by nature is the island that all descriptions fail.
It is natural to conceive that in order to induce such
fertility a temperature at once equable and constant
would be necessary. With such sudden changes as are
incident to a northern climate this perennial verdure
could not exist. The geographical position of these
islands, however, is so favourable that it may truly be
said that there are no seasons. It is true that in the
months of December, January, and February it is
cold enough for one to call for an extra covering at
night, but then it is only the difference of a few degrees,
for a comparison of the coldest month, February,
showing 25.60 C. = 78.80 F., with the warmest, Sep-
tember, which registers 28.90 C. = 84.o F., shows a dif-
ference of only 3.3 C=5.90 F. The yearly mean
average is divided nearly equally through all the
months. The same uniformity is observed in the daily
variation, which scarcely ever surpasses 5 C.=90 F.,
the thermometer rising gradually from six in the
morning till two in the afternoon and falling just as
gradually the rest of the twenty-four hours.
An equal regularity manifests itself with regard to
the pressure of the atmosphere, the daily variations of
the barometer being only about 0.05 inches, and the
maximum yearly difference only 0.2 inches. The










































View over the Open near Slob Estate, St. Croix


Photo by A. Ovesen


View over Bethlehem New Works, St. Croix


Photo by A. Ovesen


~lllhL3~.; ~
i28~13,"s~~:,b~~~~~:j rc~E~fC,. C.C
r :~7888~
~~e'
~.;JI"
" '""'
.. .
*.~ap ''
~fio~lr"tl=, f.~01 -iai~~7 .: "-
~ :r
~~ ..
.A .*-
:j;3B~i~ls~sBli~._~~7 ~lllm~r~EglJ~L, ~..
le, -dkzx i.: EI ~rr~L~~nYI~C~C
";r








"Garden of the West Indies"


barometer is more seriously affected only during strong
gales and hurricanes, when it falls sometimes as much
as 2 inches. These hurricanes, as a rule, occur only
during the period from August to October.
The mean annual quantity of rain is about the same
in all the islands. In St. Thomas a twenty-four hours'
consecutive rain rarely occurs,-at most, not more
than three or four times a year. The rain usually falls
in showers, and will often descend more copiously in
from two to ten minutes than it does in so many hours
in northern latitudes. Drizzling rains seldom occur,
and mists and fogs are unknown. The showers are
very local, one estate being frequently well watered
while another in the immediate neighbourhood suffers
from drought.
The following table was compiled by Dr. Hornbeck,
who has given the mean rainfall for each month during
eleven years, and the calculated mean annual rain-
fall:


January............... ........
February............. .........
M arch .............. .. ........
A pril ..........................
M ay ............ .... .........
June......................
July.......................
August ....................
September .......... ........
October ............... .......
November... ..................
December ....................

Annual mean rainfall for eleven
years.............. .........


English Inches.
2.6
2.8
2.7
2.8
5.0
3.1
3.5
5.1
5.6
5.1
5-7
2.8


46.8








52 The Virgin Islands

During the greater part of the year a fresh tradewind
from the east is generally blowing. During the hurri-
cane months,-August, September, and October,-
and occasionally in other months, the tradewind
becomes irregular and even ceases altogether. Owing
to the. shape of the island of St. Croix and its position in
relation to the direction of the wind the eastern part
gets less rain than the western, and because of its size
and isolation St. Croix has a lesser rainfall than most
of the other West India islands, excepting the other
members of the Virgin group.

















CHAPTER VII


ST. JOHN

Situation of St. John-Its history closely allied to that of St. Thomas-
Best watered of Virgin group-Fertile soil-Bay leaves, limes, coffee,
sugar, and tobacco-Scarcity of labour-Means of communicating
with outside world-" Camel Mountain "-Hurricane-proof Coral
Bay-Popular tourist resorts.

THE island of St. John lies in latitude 180 18' 8"
north, and longitude 640 41' west. It is eight miles
long and four miles wide in the broadest part. It was
first formally taken possession of by the Danes in 1684,
but was not colonized by them until 1716, when several
men of St. Thomas received permission to cultivate it.
Since this date its history has been closely allied to that
of its more important sister island of St. Thomas.
The island consists of a mass of rugged and uneven
hills, the highest of which has an elevation of one
thousand feet. It is considered the best watered of the
Virgin group, but, although possessed of great natural
advantages, it enjoys little or no commercial prosperity.
SThe soil of St. John is very fertile, and the bay tree,
which provides for the island its most important indus-
try, flourishes in almost every part. The lime tree also
does well here, but because of the lack at present of
suitable transportation facilities the growing of limes
receives but little attention. Coffee of a superior








54 The Virgin Islands

quality, as well as sugar and tobacco, were cultivated
in St. John to a considerable extent in former years,
and might have been to this day if the emancipation of
the slaves had not produced a scarcity of labour. Only
a small quantity of sugar is produced in the island at
present, though back in 1775, of the sixty-nine estates,
twenty-nine were sugar plantations.
St. John may be reached by any of the sloops running
between the islands; or from the east end of St. Thomas
)2C a,, :i. at Smith's Bay, by boat to Cruz Bay, which, consisting
of a few detached houses, is called the town. Many
years ago it rejoiced in a battery mounted with cannon,
and a lieutenant with a detachment of twenty soldiers.
Now only a judge and two policemen represent the
majesty of the law in this peaceable and well-ordered
island. Dutch-Creole was once the prevailing language,
many of the planters being of Dutch descent. The
present population of nine hundred consists almost
entirely of negroes, who speak English. They are
represented in the Colonial Council of St. Thomas and
St. John by three members, one appointed by the
government and two elected by the people. Only
on horseback and not without a certain sense of fear
can one ride along the pathways of the steep cliffs and
mountains. Probably on account of the difficult roads
and the distance between the estates, social life is
virtually nil.
"Camel Mountain," the highest peak in St. John,
affords a fine view over the whole country, the sea, and
surrounding islands. So bracing and deliciously cool is
the atmosphere at the summit that one seems to be in
another climate. Of the several bays running inshore
Rif Bay is the most famous, on account of the Carib
inscriptions on the neighboring rocks. But there is















































Emmans, Moravian Mission, St. John

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


East End Settlement, St. John

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


14


A








St. John


none more serviceable for large ships than Coral Bay-
indeed it is the most serviceable in the Danish West
Indies. Extremely wide, and surrounded on three sides
by mountains which protect it from storms, it is hurri-
cane proof. The steep dip of the mountains makes it
possible for ships to go close under the land. The bay
runs very far in, which makes it difficult for sailing
vessels to get out when the tradewind is northerly.
The hopes of the inhabitants of St. John were once
centred upon this place as the possible rival of St.
Thomas, and they even went so far as to lay out the
land in magnificent town lots as the future port which
was to attract all the trade, but their hopes were frus-
trated, and now the harbour shelters scarcely a fishing
boat.
The lover of natural scenery will find much to reward
him in his rambles over this picturesque island. Mag-
nificent views are to be had everywhere, and whether
walking, horseback riding, or boating the excursionist
can be assured that he will always find himself in the
most delightful surroundings. Should boating be
preferable a pull to -. Mary's Point or to Smith's Bay
is not easily forgotten. At the former will be found
lofty granite cliffs studded with mica, that glimmer in
the sunshine, while at Smith's Bay there is one of the
finest bathing beaches that one will find anywhere.
The bottom of the bay is of beautiful white sand, spread
out like a carpet and covered with all sorts of brightly
coloured marine plants. These plants spring up in
graceful form and owing to the peculiar transparency of
the waters seem quite near to the observer. It is a rare
and pretty sight and never fails to call forth admiration.
Denis Bay, America Hill, and Leinster Bay are popular
resorts among the regular visitors to St. John and at








56 The Virgin Islands

all these places good food and splendid living accom-
modations can be had at reasonable prices. The
island has many other attractive places for the visitor in
search of health and recreation.










































A Chapel in St. John

Photo by W. J. Ryan


A Shepherd and his Sheep

Photo by W. J. Ryan


1
















CHAPTER VIII


HARBOUR AND SHIPPING AT ST. THOMAS

Approaching landmarks-Lighthouse on Buck Island-Muhlenfel's
Point and Cowell's Battery-Prince Rupert's Rock-Port charges
and ship's dues-Clearance of vessels-Quarantine-Prevailing
prices for accommodations and supplies-Stevedores, warehouses,
and stores.

ST. THOMAS is almost surrounded by small islands
and cays, with but very few hidden dangers to guard
against along the coast. Approaching St. Thomas from
the eastward two small islands will be observed on the
south side, Frenchman Cap and Buck Island. French-
man Cap is southernmost, and lies 208 degrees, four
and one third miles from Dog Island, at the eastern
extremity of St. Thomas. It is a remarkable islet,
300 yards long, 200 yards broad, and 195 feet high,
covered with long grass and steep-to. On the northern
side there are depths of six to eight fathoms at 400
yards from the islet, and on the southern side twenty-
four fathoms at 200 yards. Buck Island is three quar-
ters of a mile in length, 120 feet high in the eastern part,
and lies about one and a half miles from the nearest
shore of St. Thomas. It is steep-to on its southern side.
Off the western end a shallow ledge extends to the
distance of 1oo yards, and to the north the sea depth is
five fathoms at the same distance. Good landing will
be found in the little bay on the west.
57







The Virgin Islands


On Buck Island the Danish Government has con-
structed a new lighthouse and a quarantine station,
which was completed on August I, 1916. The light-
house is on the highest north-eastern point of Buck
Island, and the light shines forth from a square white
tower 2912 feet high. It shows three flashes every
twenty seconds, namely, light Y3 second, dark 3%
seconds, light Y second, dark 3% seconds, light
13 second, dark IYi seconds. The height of the
flame above the sea is about 125 feet and it is visible
about 17.5 nautical miles, with illuminative powers
for 23 nautical miles, and lenticular apparatus of the
sixth class.
The position of the lighthouse is: north latitude
180 16' 48"; west longitude 640 53' 36". In the bear-
ings from about 304 to about 3090 the light is hidden
for about 2.4 nautical miles by the summit of the south-
eastern part of the island. The lighthouse is unguarded.
The harbour of St. Thomas is practically land-
locked, with the town of Charlotte Amalie directly
facing its mouth. It lies in latitude 180 20' N., longi-
tude 650 56' W. The harbour's entrance is narrow,
three hundred yards wide at its narrowest part, but it
has no bar and being open to the southward, is easy
of ingress or egress night or day. It spreads out on
either side into a circular basin about three quarters
of a mile in diameter, with a mud and soft clay bot-
tom, and the average depth of the water is six
fathoms.
On the eastern point of the harbour entrance, which
is called "Muhlenfel's Point," is a lighthouse from
whose circular iron red tower, 118 feet above sea-level,
is shown a revolving white light, that gives one flash
every fifteen seconds that can be seen from a distance








Harbour of St. Thomas


of twelve to twenty miles at sea. Here is located also
the old quarantine station. Directly opposite, on the
western point, "Cowell's Battery" is the Govern-
ment's Signal Station, which notifies the pilots as to
the nationality and the point from which they are
coming, of all vessels passing or entering the port.
On the centre hill of the town are two fixed red range
lights in white towers; the rear light is 303 feet and the
front light 198 feet; above the sea. Each light is
visible ten miles and in line lead in mid-channel bearing
3460. The lights are intensified for 30 on each side of
the range. They mark the direct centre of the harbour
from the entrance. A fixed green light, visible two
miles, is shown from the end of the jetty, which extends
west-south-westward from the water battery of Port
Christian. A fixed red light, visible two miles, also is
shown from the western angle of King's Wharf.
At the narrowest part of the channel into the harbour,
about a half a mile north of the lighthouse, lies the so-
called Prince Rupert's Rock. At its base large boul-
ders, which are only just covered at high water, extend
westward fifty yards. This group is whitewashed, and
on the westernmost rock is an iron beacon with white
staff and ball thirteen feet high. On the south the
rocks are steep-to at thirty yards off. Between them
and Havernsight Point" the water is only twelve to
fifteen feet deep.

There are no port or other similar charges on vessels
in ballast or on those calling for orders, or to replenish
their bunkers with coal, fuel-oil, etc., and vessels
arriving in distress also are free from all charges,
provided they are not condemned. The government's
pilots meet all vessels outside the harbour, but pilotage









60 The Virgin Islands

is optional. The pilot's tariff for the piloting of vessels
to and from the harbour is as follows:
Ships-of-war, steamers belonging to companies habitu-
ally using a pilot, steamers entering for the purpose of
replenishing their bunkers with fuel-oil or coal or for
discharging coal or receiving orders:

Draught. Day. Night.
12 feet inclusive ................$ 4.00..............$ 6.oo
From 12 to 16 feet............. 5.00.............. 8.oo
6 20 ............ 8.00.............. 12.00
20 24 ............. 12.00.............. 16.00
Over 24 feet................. 16.00.............. 20.00

Other steamers:

12 feet inclusive ...............$ 6.00..............$ 8.oo
From 12 to 16 feet ............. 8.00............... 12.oo
6 20 .......1. 2.00.............. 18.oo
S 20 24 ............. 8.00............... 24.00
Over 24 feet .................. 24.00............... 32.00

For warping in the harbour, when demanded, the
charges are the same as for piloting from the harbour.
For mooring, when demanded, the charge is half the
amount fixed for warping, but not less than $2.00.

Sailing Vessels:
To the Harbour. Front the Harbour.
Draught Day. Night. Day. Night.
10 feet inclusive.............$ 2.00.....$ 3.00.....$ 2.00.....$ 3.00
From 1o to 12 feet .......... 3.00..... 4.50..... 2.oo..... 3.oo
12 14 ......... 4.00..... 6.oo..... 3.00..... 4.00
S 14 16 .......... 5.00..... 7.50..... 3.50..... 5.00
S16 1 18 .......... 6.00oo..... 9.oo..... 4.00..... 6.oo
8 20 .......... 7.00..... 1 .50..... 5.00..... 7.00
S 20 22 .......... 8.00..... 12.00..... 6.00..... 8.00
S22 24 ...... 10.00..... 15.00..... 7.00..... 10.00
Over 24 feet................ 15.00..... 24.00..... Io.oo..... 15.00






















































Buck Island Lighthouse

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


I -








Shipping at St. Thomas


The former light dues are abolished.
Ship's dues are payable by vessels discharging or
partly discharging, loading or partly loading, in the
following manner:
(1) Vessels of 50 registered tons and upwards, per
ton of goods discharged or laden................. $0.50
(2) Vessels upward of 20 registered tons, but under
50 registered tons, per ton of goods discharged or
laden....................................... 0.25
(3) Vessels of 20 registered tons or less, that dis-
charge one ton of goods or upwards, per registered
ton of entire burden, inward and outward.......... 0.15
(4) Sailing vessels under the Danish flag trading
between what were formerly the Danish West Indian
Islands, that discharge or load one ton of goods or
upwards, per registered ton of entire burden....... 0.02
(5) Steamers under the Danish flag trading between
what were formerly the Danish West Indian Islands,
per ton of goods discharged or laden............. 0.02
(6) Vessels of 50 registered tons and upward dis-
charging or transshipping coal, for every registered
ton discharged............................... .$.32
(7) Vessels of 50 registered tons and upward, loading
coal from the shore or in other vessel, pay no ship dues
on account of the coal.
(8) Vessels mentioned sub I and 2, to or from which
cargo, excepting coal, is transshipped, two fifths of the
charges specified sub I and 2; but should the trans-
shipment be effected from and to vessels of the same
line, the charge specified sub I will be but one eighth.
(9) Vessels registered in what were formerly the
Danish West Indian Islands are exempt from ship dues
when the voyage does not go beyond the customs dis-
trict of St. Thomas, which comprises the islands of








The Virgin Islands


St. Thomas and St. John, with the islets thereto
belonging.
Ships of war and other government vessels, Danish
or foreign, not used in the carrying trade, are exempt
from ship dues.
As soon as a vessel has anchored, the clearance,
manifest, bills of lading, and other documents relating
to the cargo shall be delivered upon demand to the
Harbour Master or his assistant, who shall forthwith
hand them over to the Custom House. The master
of the vessel shall furthermore, within twenty-four
hours after the arrival of the vessel, appear in person
at the Custom House and deposit the vessel's certificate
of measurement or register, or any corresponding
ship's paper, which document will remain in the keeping
of the Custom House until the vessel is cleared out-
wards, unless the said ship's papers are deposited at
the Consulate of the nation to which the vessel belongs.
In that case the Consul becomes officially responsible
for the appearance of the papers whenever required
until the vessel is cleared at the Custom House. Before
commencing the discharge, not later than twenty-four
hours after the arrival of the vessel, the master shall
sign at the Custom House the general "Entry" made
out there concerning the entire cargo, including a
statement as to what part of the cargo is destined,
respectively, for landing, transshipment, and for ex-
portation in the same vessel. If a vessel enters in
ballast the master is bound by the regulations respect-
ing the delivery of documents showing what the vessel
carries, as well as the ship's papers, and must make
entries that are required for vessels arriving with cargo.
If a vessel arrives on a holiday, or on the day before a
holiday, the time allowed the master to make general

























Entrance to St. Thomas Harbour
Photo by A. Ovesen


Wharves of the Hamburg-American Line, St. Thomas
Photo by Clare E. Taylor


_ _~~__








Shipping at St. Thomas


entry is extended twenty-four hours for each intervening
holiday.
When clearing a vessel, the master shall sign the
clearance, which, if it be for a foreign port, may be
made under general heads, such as provisions, dry-
goods, etc. But according to the old regulations if
it was destined for the mother country or another of
the Danish West Indies the report of the whole cargo
must specify marks, numbers, contents, net or gross
weight, and measurement of gauge, and must state
whether the goods are exported for account of the
master or others.
Upon arrival of all vessels, before pratique is allowed
with the shore, the vessel is boarded by the Health
Officer of the port, to whom the bill of health from the
last port is to be delivered. Passengers and crew are
to be lined up for inspection. The cost of this visit is
for a ship or any other three-masted vessel, brig, brigan-
tine, or any steamer of two hundred tons or upward,
$3.00; for a schooner, sloop, or smaller vessel, $2.00.
Between six P.M. and six A.M. the fee is double. When
the Health Officer is ordered to visit on board a vessel
in consequence of disease having occurred while in port
or during the voyage, or because the vessel has come
from an infected or suspected port, the fees are the
same as above. If it is found necessary to place the
ship under quarantine observation of some duration, or
under quarantine for the purpose of discharging or
disinfecting, the following further charges will event-
ually be made: For the Health Officer's additional
visits, fees as above specified; for quarantine guard on
board, not more than $1.oo per day for each person and
board as one of the crew, and materials for fumigation
at their cost. The fumigation fee is $1o.oo.







The Virgin Islands


If any of the crew is placed in quarantine at the
Station the cost of same per day is: First class board
and lodging, $2.50; second class board and lodging,
$1.75; third class board and lodging, $1.oo.
Stranded vessels, and vessels that on account of
contrary winds, damage sustained at sea, or other dis-
astrous occurrences, or for the purpose of saving the
cargo, put into the port are exempt from ship dues
inward and outward so far as it concerns the goods
brought and re-exported in the vessel. The cargo
discharged from such a vessel, but re-exported for
account of the original owners in the same vessel, or
in another vessel, is also exempt from import duty,
provided that the exportation takes place within one
year from the importation.

Prices Asked for Various Accommodations and Supplies.

Lighterage. For lighters, of from ten to fifteen tons
capacity, without labour, per day, $5.00.
Ballast. Rock or sand ballast can be obtained at
$1.oo per ton, f. o. b.
Bunkers. There are all facilities for the bunkering
of vessels, day or night, with all grades of coal, and
fuel oil. The port is so completely protected that
steamers can lie alongside the coal wharves in perfect
safety, even during the hurricane months. American
coal, such as Pocohontas, New River, Eureka, etc., has
been selling at the rate of $6.oo per ton alongside. Trim-
ming in bunkers costs twopence per ton extra. When
ships are supplied in the stream from lighters, two shil-
lings per ton extra are charged. Merchant vessels can
be supplied at the rate of from 60 to 150 tons per hour,
day or night, according to their bunker accommodations.












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Signal Station, St. Thomas

Photo by Clare E. Taylor


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Floating Dock, St. Thomas

Photo by A. Ovesen


r
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i








Shipping at St. Thomas


Water. Water is usually supplied at present from
large water boats, and is pumped into the ship by
motor boats. The present prevailing price is $1.oo per
tun of 250 gallons.
Docking. There is a floating dock measuring 250
feet in length and 70 feet in width, and having a gross
lifting weight of 3000 tons. Vessels with a 300-foot
keel, drawing 20 feet of water, can be taken up. The
charge for docking varies from 6o to 90 cents per ton
for the first day, and for succeeding days it ranges as
low as Io cents.
There is also a repairing slip, on which vessels are
taken at the same rates.
The facilities for repairing are excellent, there being
many competent ship carpenters, sailmakers, and rig-
gers, also an up-to-date machine repairing shop.
Stevedores. There are many stevedores on the island
who are always ready to make tenders for the discharg-
ing and loading of vessels.
Warehouses. There are many large warehouses,
constructed of metal, stone, wood, etc., both on the
wharves and in the town, that shipmasters can hire at
reasonable rates.
Stores. Ship stores are obtainable nearly as cheap as
in the United States, owing to the nominal import duty.
The principal imports at St. Thomas are coal,, fuel oil,
lumber, general provisions, dry-goods, spirits, etc.; while
the chief articles of export are bay rum, hikes, and
skins. There is no export duty.

















CHAPTER IX


THE WEST INDIAN COMPANY AND OTHERS

Capital stock-Operations at St. Thomas-A gigantic project-
Dredging and reclamation of land areas-Description of dock and
accessories-Facilities for supplying steamers-Board of Directors
-The East Asiatic Company-St. Thomas Dock, Engineering
and Coaling Company-Large floating dock-Creque's Marine
Slip and Coal Yard.

THE West Indian Company, Ltd., a joint-stock
company organized under the laws of Denmark on
October 16, 1912, with domicile originally in Copen-
hagen, is the largest concern dealing intimately with
the affairs of St. Thomas; and its new harbour works,
coaling station, and complements in Longbay promise
to be, when fully completed, the finest of their kind
in the West Indies. This organization might be
regarded as an offspring of the East Asiatic Company,
Ltd., which established a successful business in the
Danish West Indies in 1903. Its interests here now,
however, and since the end of 1915, are in the hands
of the West Indian Co., Ltd., which acts as its agent.
To return the compliment, so to speak, the East
Asiatic Company, Ltd., represents the interests of its
St. Thomas successor in Copenhagen.
The capital of this new syndicate is Kr. 6,ooo,ooo
($i,68o,ooo), divided into Kr. 3,000,000 stock shares,
and Kr. 3,ooo,coo 4% interest-bearing bonds, of which
66








The West Indian Company


Kr. 2,291,300 was paid in on December 31, 1913,
leaving an unpaid balance of Kr. 708,700. Practically
all of these interests are in Danish hands, the controlling
stock being held by the East Asiatic Co., Ltd., under
whose auspices the preliminary surveys were begun
in the year 1904. Serious work was started in May,
1913, the company being represented in St. Thomas
by three engineers from the mother country,-Messrs.
K. B. Hey, Oluf Olsen, and H. Linde; while the principal
contracting firm, Messrs. Monberg, Saabye & Lerche,
was represented by Baron Lerche and Mr. Kjaer
Petersen. On October 9, 1915, the company's head-
quarters were transferred to St. Thomas. In the early
part of 1916 formal announcement was made that the
first large section of their extensive new harbour works
had been completed, the depth of the water in the
harbour and in Longbay basin having been increased
to 31 feet (9.5 metres), while new quays and wharves
had been constructed totalling 3200 feet (970 metres)
in length. The wharves are provided with modern
methods for securing vessels alongside.
The present work is but a part of a more gigantic
project that its promoters, in anticipation of a generous
share of the Panama Canal trade, planned to carry into
effect in the island. This original undertaking, which
would have required a capital stock of not less than
$7,000,00ooo, embraced the reclamation of the entire east-
ern corner of St. Thomas harbour, where there is a natur-
ally spacious basin, and the erection there of piers,
warehouses, oil tanks, electric light plants, huge water
reservoirs, machine-shops, a dry-dock, and a break-
water, such as would have made the St. Thomas port
the best equipped of any in the Caribbean Sea. Various
obstacles were met with,. however,-principally the








The Virgin Islands


difficulty in procuring all the necessary funds from
purely Danish investors, which was very desirable,-
with the result that the original plans were pared down
so as to accommodate themselves to the Danish capital
already subscribed.
The spot selected for the company's operations lies
in an inward curve of the land that forms a perfect
semicircle from Havernsight Point to Fredericksberg
Point, but a short distance east of the Custom House
and King's Wharf, which directly faces the harbour
mouth. This area, which is admirably situated for
docking purposes, comprises a basin of water approxi-
mating 2430 feet across and extending inward some
200ooo feet. The hills on this part of the island half
encircle the spot, and form a perfect protection in
times of storm. Had the original scheme been adhered
to, the entire shore of this basin would have been re-
claimed, and dock embankments would have been
built around the entire curve, with a projecting pier
200ooo feet long in the centre, a dry-dock 800 feet in
length at the seaward end, and a breakwater to afford
greater protection in rough weather from the south.
'Considerable dredging was found necessary in order
to make the approach to the dock practicable for
vessels drawing 30 feet of water, and a channel, varying
from 400 to 500 feet in width, has been dredged out.
Owing, also, to the narrow margin of the shore-
scarcely more than a strip at the base of the hills-
it was found necessary to build land along the entire
portion of the curve, and this has been done with the
sand, clay, and shells dredged from the channel, the
result being the reclamation of approximately 50 acres
of ground, which represents a filling-in of over 600,ooo
cubic yards of soil. Upon this area already stand the




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