The US Virgin Islands
Hi, Just want to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m from the beautiful island of St Thomas US Virgin Islands, I like the year round warm weather, cool breeze, clean water and greenery and the friendliness of the people here. I enjoy entertaining our guest that comes to the island from time to time it’s lots of fun in the sun, be sure to bring your sunblock!
I’m Big on health! Medical insurance is through the roof, and therefore I believe one can prevent illnesses if one alters their diet plus exercise regularly. I believe if the body is given the proper nutrition it is capable of healing itself as most diseases & illnesses begins as a nutrition deficiency.
I’m a vegan and love cooking and trying other healthy foods from different cultures, I urge people to try to eat organic fresh foods whenever they can, your body will thank you for it. Meditating & exercising is how I start my day, it keeps me focus, energize and feeling great throughout the day.
I’m a computer/network technician and have been a Network Marketer for 15 yrs, I don’t like working a 9 to 5 job. I love the freedom of doing what I want whenever I want. Family is the most important thing to me and I love spending time with family & friends and love traveling. In a nut shell I love & enjoy meeting and helping people succeed & attain freedom to enjoy life! I’m truly serious about improving my quality of life and achieving financial freedom while being of service to others.!
Live life to the fullest!
Great video by recording artist “Pressure” a native of the Virgin Islands, about the United States Virgin Islands. Enjoy.
History of the Virgin Islands
The first residents of the present United States Virgin Islands (USVI) were the Ciboney, Caribs, and Arawaks. In 1493, Christopher Columbus visited these islands. He had been searching for a route to India and consequently he called the people he encountered Indians. Columbus named the beautiful islands ‘The Virgins’ in reference to the legendary beauty of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins.
The period after Columbus’ visit was quiet as far as exploration and colonization is concerned. Explorers as late as 1587 reported evidence of Indian habitation however settlers by 1625 reported not finding Indians. It is believed that Spanish settlers on nearby Puerto Rico raided the islands on a regular basis. Some Indians were forced to work while others fled. Indian groups lived throughout the Caribbean, however European exploration and colonization brought demise to the indigenous groups. They had no immunity to European diseases and were not prepared to deal with the harsh labor they were forced into. Within several decades following colonization of the Caribbean, Indian populations had plummeted. Today they are found on reserved lands on only a few islands. They no longer exist in what is today the USVI.
St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John
In the early 1600s many countries took interest in the Caribbean and in “the Virgins”; Holland, France, England, Spain, Denmark and the Knights of Malta all sought colonies. England and Holland colonized and jointly inhabited St. Croix in the 1620s. The neighboring Spanish on Puerto Rico invaded the small colony; the French then quickly moved in, removing the Spanish and taking over themselves. St. Croix remained a French colony until 1733.
The Danish West India Company first attempted to settle St. Thomas in 1665. They successfully established a settlement on St. Thomas in 1672 consisting of 113 inhabitants. They expanded and settled on St. John in 1694. The Danish had claimed St. John as early as the 1680’s, however hostility from the neighboring British on Tortola prevented the Danes from establishing a settlement. The British, in order to maintain hospitable relations with Denmark, eventually ceased their opposition. After the Danes settled St. John plantation agriculture developed rapidly.
The Danish West Indian Company purchased St. Croix from the French in 1733 bringing St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John together as the Danish West Indies.
Slave Trade and Piracy
In 1685, the Danish government signed a treaty with the Dutch of Brandenburg. This treaty allowed the Brandenburg American Company to establish a slave-trading post on St. Thomas. Early governors also approved of St. Thomas becoming a pirates’ safe haven. The governors realized an influx of pirates would benefit local merchants. While piracy ceased to be a factor in the island’s economy in the early 1800s, the slave trade continued.
Fort Christian is a Danish-built fort in Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Governor Jørgen Iversen Dyppel led the second expeditionary force from Denmark to St. Thomas, where he arrived on 25 May 1672; there, he initiated construction of Fort Christian, named after King Christian V. In the 18th century, the fort was expanded and in 1874 a new entrance with a Victorian Clock tower was added. As the oldest standing structure in the U.S. Virgin Islands, this fort has served as a town center, a government building, and a jail. It currently holds the St. Thomas Museum. This museum holds artifacts and art of the Danish period. Date over the main gate is 1671.
Fort Christiansvaern on St. Croix was constructed circa 1749 and was partially rebuilt in 1771 after hurricane damage. The fort is now a national historic site, the best preserved of the five remaining Danish-built forts in the Virgin Islands, and houses the park’s visitor center. The fort is a wonderful example of Danish colonial military architecture.
In the Danish West Indies slaves labored mainly on sugar plantations. Cotton, indigo and other crops were also grown. Sugar mills and plantations dotted the islands hilly landscapes. Each islands economy prospered through sugar plantations and slave trading. While St. John and St. Croix maintained a plantation economy, St. Thomas developed into a prosperous center of trade. Slave rebellion on St. John and St. Croix are well documented. Legitimate trade and business on St. Thomas influenced a different society where many more slaves were given freedom and an opportunity outside of plantation life.
A July 2, 1848 rebellion on St. Croix, where some 5,000 blacks were free while another 17,000 remained enslaved, prompted liberal governor Peter von Scholten to declare what he had long pressed for, that all unfree in the Danish West Indies were from that day free. While his proclamation was in direct contradiction of the King’s orders and while plantation owners refused to accept the proclamation, slavery was abolished on July 3rd, 1848.
Strict labor laws were implemented several times after emancipation and the populous reacted in tense labor riots. Planters began to abandon their estates and the population and economy in the islands declined. The islands and its residents fell on rough times in the late 1800s due to the poor economy and numerous natural disasters.
The islands remained under Danish rule until 1917, when the United States purchased them for $25 million in gold in an effort to improve military positioning during critical times of World War I. St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John became the US Virgin Islands.
While conditions improved, change came slowly and frustrations brewed. Residents felt deceived when they were not granted American citizenship immediately following the transfer and disappointment also existed in that the islands were run by Naval administrators and appointed officials.
The Military and the Interior Departments managed the territory until the passage of the Organic Act in 1936. Today the USVI is a U.S. territory, run by an elected governor. The territory is under the jurisdiction of the president of the United States of America and residents are American citizens.
In 1956 Laurance Rockefeller gave the National Park Service a generous gift of 5,000 acres of land on St. John. This gift along with subsequent additions have increased the holdings. Today almost two thirds of St. John’s beautiful forest, shorelines and underwater lands are protected by the Park. Historical and marine treasures on St. Croix including Buck Island are also protected by the Park Service, as are portions of Hassell Island.
Water Island: The 4th Virgin Island
In 1996 Water Island, located in St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie harbor, was officially returned to the USVI from the Department of the Interior. Today Water Island is the fourth United States Virgin Island.
In the mid 1900s the Virgin Islands saw the dawn of new times, more prosperous times. Tourist seeking the the warmth, beauty and relaxation the USVI offers, vacationed in the islands. Hotels, restaurants and shops began popping up on beachfront properties and in main towns. With the rise in business and economy came a rise in the population as immigrants from neighboring islands flocked to the USVI to work. Today the population of the USVI is made up of people from all over the Caribbean. The islands entered the new millennium as one of the premiere destinations for tourist visiting the Caribbean.