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History of our island

Brimstone Hill

Brimstone Hill

What a tumultous place!

Long ago, St. Kitts and Nevis were the pearls of the British Caribbean, rich and enormously important islands that were celebrated throughout Europe. St.Kitts possessed incredible wealth from its sugar industry, guarded by the impregnable fortress of Brimstone Hill, the Gibraltar of the West Indies.

The beauty of the islands of St. Kitts & Nevis masks a turbulent history. These islands were originally settled by the Carib Indians. The Caribs were a war like set of Indians, who were mostly cannibals. It is from them that the Caribbean gets its name. The islands were discovered by the Europeans in 1493 on Christopher Columbus' second voyage.

Colonization began on St. Kitts in 1623, with the arrival of Sir Thomas Warner, his family, and fourteen others at what is now Sandy Point and their settlement at Old Road Bay. The English were joined in 1625 by French settlers led by Pierre Belain d'Esnambue, who had sought refuge on the island after a losing fight with a Spanish galleon. The two groups wiped out the Carib Indians in a massacre at Bloody Point in 1626, weathered a Spanish attack in 1629, and then turned their attentions to colonizing the islands around them. From St. Kitts, the British settled Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, Tortuga, and Montserrat, while the French claimed Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Intermittent warfare between the French and British became the norm for the next centuries. France captured the island again in 1706 and lost it once again after that. But the French returned to lay siege to the British fort on Brimstone Hill in 1782. The British eventually fell after a heroic defense. St. Kitts was returned permanently to the British in 1783 after the Treaty of Versailles.

Even Admiral Nelson took a deep liking in our people. He married one of us! Follow this link for a wonderful description of Nelson's life: "Admiral Nelson"

The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis was established as an independent nation within the British Commonwealth in September of 1983. It is democratically ruled with an economic focus on tourism, sugarcane, and light industries.

Additional information can be obtained from other web sites listed on the "Links" page.

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Home to a new luxury resort: A new Marriott luxury resort is scheduled to open in Frigate Bay in 2003. For further information go to the following link "Opening of luxury resort".

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