Virgin Islands History - the history of the Virgin Islands
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Virgin Islands   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Virgin Islands History


Virgin Islands History

The Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by Arawak, Carib and Ciboney native American peoples.

Christopher Columbus encountered the islands and named them in 1493 during his second voyage. For the next few hundred years, control of the islands would switch between many European nations including Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta and Denmark.

The Danish West India Company settled Saint Thomas in 1672, Saint John in 1694, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733.

Denmark attempted to sell the islands to the US in the early 20th century, but a deal could not be reached. However, during World War, the US began to fear that the islands might be seized by Germany, and a deal was eventually negotiated whereby the United States purchased the islands for $25 million in 1917. United States citizenship was granted to the islands' inhabitants in 1927.

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America's Virgin Islands: A History of Human Rights and Wrongs

By William Boyer

Carolina Academic Press
Paperback (510 pages)

America s Virgin Islands: A History of Human Rights and Wrongs
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This second edition of America's Virgin Islands by William W. Boyer is the only history of the United States' territory covering the period from 1492 to 2010. Especially emphasized is the period since 1917 when the U.S. acquired the Islands from Denmark. Constituting three small Caribbean islands St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John each is unique, but together they are widely known as a favorite tourist destination featuring sun, sand and surf. In many respects, the territory is a microcosm of the human family. The diversity of its physical environment is matched by the diversity of its people. The focal point of the book is a record of the struggle of the Islanders' greater number as slaves, then serfs, and lastly as citizens to gain control of their own destiny. Broadly conceived, this is a history of human rights and human wrongs. The author does not merely portray the history of the Islands and their people; he also shows how the Islanders share the same aspirations as other colonial subjects. In so doing he taps previously unused sources. The relationship between the USA and the Virgin Islands has been marked by indifference and vacillation on the part of American officials. Moreover, thousands of tourists who flock to the territory annually are unaware of the Islands checkered and rich history. For many, the Islands are simply a tropical paradise. America's Virgin Islands is a fascinating, extensively documented, and detailed source of information, valuable to those interested in a political and cultural perspective, to those interested in African American or Caribbean history, and likewise to those who live in or visit the Islands.

Race Relations in the U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas - a Centennial Retrospective

By Marilyn F. Krigger

Carolina Academic Press
Released: 2017-12-15
Paperback (374 pages)

Race Relations in the U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas - a Centennial Retrospective
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Race Relations in the U.S. Virgin Islands is an account of the results of a 1917 territorial acquisition by the United States. A century ago, one week before entering World War I, the United States purchased from Denmark a small group of islands in the Caribbean to prevent their possible takeover by Germany. The new U.S. territory, which had been known before as the Danish West Indies, became the Virgin Islands of the United States, and is now generally referred to as the U.S. Virgin Islands, a well-known Caribbean tourist destination.This book is a history of race relations, mainly between whites and blacks, and mainly on the island of St. Thomas, the political and commercial center of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It begins with the Danish background, 1672 to 1917, during which the importation of enslaved Africans for labor laid the foundation of the present population, which is mainly black. However, the book’s main focus is on the changes that have taken place since the advent of U.S. rule in 1917, particularly greater economic growth (largely through tourism) and greater racial and social separation.Marilyn F. Krigger, a retired history professor, is a black native and resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands who has lived through most of the American century. In anticipation of the 2017 centennial of American rule, she was inspired to add to her previous research and writing on American racial influences on the social, political, economic, and cultural life of the Virgin Islands and to compile this book, while also appealing for greater morality and respect in human relations everywhere.

A Guide to the Birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

By Herbert A. Raffaele

Brand: Princeton University Press
Paperback (272 pages)

A Guide to the Birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
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This is a revised edition of a widely praised guide to the birds of the largest of the Caribbean islands and the neighboring Virgin Islands. It includes detailed accounts of all 284 well-documented species known to occur in the region, 273 being illustrated. The book also contains specific sections entitled "Biogeography" and "Conservation" to foster an appreciation of the uniqueness of the region's wildlife and to develop an awareness of local conservation issues. The section "Places to Bird" will help make the stay of short-term visitors more productive. The book also substantially updates the data on avian distribution and abundance in the region covering records through November 1988. From reviews of the first edition: "This well-illustrated volume is a must for any student of birds visiting Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands."--Chandler S. Robbins, The Quarterly Review of Biology "A valuable and informative guide."--James A. Dick, The Wilson Bulletin "This well-written book is the first comprehensive guide to the birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. All species, including winter visitors (which comprise 47 percent of the avifauna) are described and illustrated, making a second volume for identification of North American migrants unnecessary. . . . Aside from being a fine field guide, the book contains useful summaries of the biogeography of the region and the ecology of avian populations. . . . A major contribution is Raffaele's presentation of a wealth of hitherto unpublished information on the natural history of the region's birds."--James W. Wiley, Ibis

St. John & Virgin Islands History: Details from the Bottom of its Existence

By Gideon West

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (182 pages)

St. John & Virgin Islands History: Details from the Bottom of its Existence
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St. John & Virgin Islands History. Details from the Bottom of its Existence. St John is a volcanic island, part of a undersea mountain range which includes the larger islands of the Greater Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles. This chain of islands begins with Cuba and ends with Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela. In St John, there is a clear geologic record that stretches back some 100 million years to the late Cretatious period. This earliest stages of island building began when the major continents were closer together. The people in the Virgin Islands come from all over the world. There are African descendants, the French, who have emigrated from French islands, Puerto Ricans, and transplants from the U.S. Also living here are many "down islanders" and a sizeable number of East Indians. Each of the islands has its own celebration. St. Croix's is in December, St. John's is over July 4th and St. Thomas' is in April. Carnival dates back to when Africans first arrived on the islands. Today Carnival is celebrated with colorful parades, elaborate costumes, music, dancing children, fabulous floats, stilt walking mockojumbies, food fairs filled with West Indian dishes, all-night partying, calypso music and steep pan competitions, beauty pageants and more. The origin of MockoJumbies has been traced to the 13th and 14th centuries. It comes from a central African language meaning “healer.” In the English language it means “to mock”, meaning imitation, as in false spirits. MockoJumbie, the traditional symbol of Carnival, is the "elevated spirit" on 10 to 20 foot stilts, dressed in bright colors that you see throughout the parade. The origins of mockojumbies come from the traditions of West Africa. When the enslaved Africans were brought to the Caribbean, their religious traditions and observances came with them. But they were forbidden by the European slave masters to practice their religious customs, so they transferred it into a festive context, to disguise it, so to speak. But it was just a camouflage for its true religious meaning.

A Natural History Atlas to the Cays of the U.S. Virgin Islands

By Arthur E Dammann

Pineapple Press
Paperback (160 pages)

A Natural History Atlas to the Cays of the U.S. Virgin Islands
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Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: Pineapple Press; 1st edition (November 1, 1992) Language: English ISBN-10: 1561640220 ISBN-13: 978-1561640225 Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches

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