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St. Thomas

st. Thomas's Mountain View Everything started with Christopher Columbus' second voyage in 1493, when he first sighted St. Croix, which he named Santa Cruz and claimed for Spain. Sailing further north, he found endless islands and named them Las Islas Virgenes - The Virgin Islands. During the 1600s the European government continued to claim and settle in Caribbean territory. In 1671, Denmark ruled St. Thomas, establishing the first permanent settlement there.

In 1685, the Danes signed a treaty with the Dutchy of Brandenburg to allow the Brandenburg American Company to establish a slave-trading post on the island. During this time governors gave their approval to use St. Thomas as a pirate refuge, knowing that the St. Thomas' economy would benefit from the open sale of pirate body.

But while piracy ceased to be a factor in the island's economy in the early 19th century, the slave trade continued until 1848. By this time Charlotte Amalie was known as a shopper's paradise for pirates and buccaneers who would climb to the top of the mountains to spyglass the ships.

In 1700s Denmark expanded the settlement to the island of St. John and St. Croix uniting the three virgin islands of today. St. Thomas is one of the main cruise ship destinations for different cruise line companies. St. Thomas' hills allow visitors to view the sight of the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, as well as St. John's island, which they call the sister island.

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications
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