St. Thomas, Virgin Islands History

st-thomasWant to learn some fun and interesting facts about St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands? Well then you came to the correct article, as today you’ll learn many new facts and statistics. St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands have a very colorful and interesting history, and there is much to learn.

Facts

There are over 50,000 people living in St. Thomas based on the U.S. Census from the year of 2000. The island is 31 square miles, with it being 13 miles long and 4 miles wide.

During Christopher Colombus’ second voyage to the New World in 1493, he found the island and area around St. Thomas. After he discovered St. Thomas, its existence continued as home to many pirates and several small settlements. This was all long before a European power such as Denmark or the United States decided to pursue a permanent settlement on the island and the areas nearby.

Danish West India Company

In 1671, the Danish West India Company received its charter from King Christian V. to occupy St. Thomas and the islands nearby that they thought may be suitable for plantations. In the years after, St. Thomas was becoming very important and popular because of sugar.

In 1717, a small group of individuals were sent from St. Thomas to claim the island of St. John. In 1733, the Danish West India Company bought the island of St. Croix from the country of France.

There was a proposal in 1754 that recommended that the government of Denmark should take over the islands and how they were run.  This was then approved by the King of Denmark.

Around this same time the island of St. Croix was growing very quickly and its population doubled that of St. Thomas’ and St. John’s combined. The capital of the islands  was then moved from St. Thomas to Christiansted in St. Croix. While St. Croix developed a typical plantation economy in the area, the economy in St. Thomas’ shifted to trade and was booming.

The U.S. and Now

Between 1865 and 1917, negotiations between the United States and Denmark were started and talked about on several occasions. The United States bought the Danish West Indies for $25 million.

Tourism has continued to grow on the island, along with the population. St. Thomas is seen as a bustling island with much to do. It is also one of the top cruise port destinations and Caribbean vacation sports as well.

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