Hello Friends and Family,

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Part 2

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Wherever I travel, I enjoy walking around, camera in hand, just to record what I am seeing. Hopefully, I will remember later what caught my eye and caused me to click the shutter. I think this was just an interesting street scene however, when I was doing my Photoshop magic on Saturday, I discovered something in the enlarged image that I had not noticed before. There is one of the seaplanes that I mentioned last week, taxiing in the water, in line with the street. If you know how to enlarge the image in your browser or email program (depending on how you receive LAHP), you should be able to see it a bit better although it will get fuzzier the more you enlarge it.

Here we see Government House which contains offices of the territorial government plus a residence available to the Governor should he or she visit St. Croix (the capital is on St. Thomas). The complex consists of two houses joined by an open gallery. The largest was built in 1747 and the other was completed in 1797. It was extensively renovated in 1995.

This photo shows another side of the Government House. A bit of St. Croix history from Wikipedia, "Igneri pottery indicates that people's presence on the island from 1–700, followed by the Taíno from 700–1425, before the encroachment by the Caribs in 1425. However, the island was devoid of habitation by 1590." Columbus landed on the island in 1493 and immediately was attacked by the Kalinago, who lived at Salt River on the north shore. Spain did not establish a colony here and most of the indigenous population was killed or dispersed.

Dutch, English, French, and Spanish all attempted to control the islands but they again eventually became uninhabited. In 1733, the Danish West Indies Company bought the rights from France. By 1742, there were 120 sugar plantations, 122 cotton plantations, and 1906 slaves, with about 300 Englishmen and 60 Danes on the island. 12 years later, the number of slaves had grown to 7,566. That year, Danish King Frederick took direct control of Saint Croix from the company. Later, again quoting Wikipedia, "The slave trade was abolished in the Danish colonies in 1792, although the prohibition did not go into effect until the end of 1802. Existing enslaved people were freed in 1848, after the 1848 St. Croix Slave Revolt led by General 'Buddhoe' Gottlieb."

You might be surprised to learn that Alexander Hamilton was actually born in the Caribbean, and lived right here in Christiansted, St. Croix for many of his formative years. He moved to American in 1772 to pursue an education. His boyhood home has been acquired by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit land conservation organization and will be preserved and eventually open to visitors.

In 1916, Denmark sold the islands to the United States for $25M in gold.

Another government building but a bit more modest.

As I continued my walkabout, I spotted St. John's Anglican Church, dating to 1760. It is currently undergoing renovation and, interestingly, they are still holding regular services.

Not in any of the guidebooks is a complex of apartments for the working poor of St. Croix. I could not see any air conditioners but lots of TV antennas. But, at least, they had a basketball court.

One side of Christiansted from across the bay --- very picturesque.

Here's another beautiful scene in a slightly different direction.

This boat is a bit unusual --- it looks like a Chinese Junk.

Here I am again, looking like I am about to be shot by the cannon upon which my hand is resting. They missed.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com