Whet your appetite for Caribbean history with these tidbits.
Throughout the 17th century, most new arrivals to the Eastern Caribbean emanated from the old world’s long-suffering peasant and laboring classes. Among them were prisoners of war, condemned criminals, convicted vagrants, penniless orphans, and the destitute poor, all unwillingly transported as a cheap expendable labor force destined to carry out the backbreaking task of carving out the rudiments of colonial infrastructure – the building of forts, wharfs, warehouses, roads, etc. – and the converting of raw land for plantations and settlements.
A True Account of Piracy and Buried Treasure in the Virgin Islands As recounted by William Blackstock aboard the HMS Christian at sea, November 26, 1750
A story of piracy and buried treasure as accounted by William Blackstock aboard the HMS Christian in November of 1750.
Although only a few examples of classic Danish Colonial architecture can be found in Cruz Bay, there is certainly no shortage of notable historical buildings throughout the town. Among these are a number of modest wooden vernacular cottages, which, up until not-too-long ago, represented a majority of Cruz Bay’s residential and commercial structures.
In the early hours of Monday, November 23, 1733, a well-planned insurrection carried out by a determined group of enslaved Africans interrupted Danish-colonial rule on the island of St. John.
While the roughly three-mile stretch of St. John’s North Shore between Mary’s Point and Leiven Marche’s Bay appears remote and unspoiled today, back at the turn of the nineteenth century, it was the most active and densely-populated section of the island’s coastline.
The following is a highly condensed contextual timeline of the first seventeen years of Danish-colonial settlement on St. John, from the island’s formal occupation in 1718, to the suppression of an island-wide African slave rebellion in 1734.