K i t t S PHOTOS COUrTESY OF ST. KITTS TOUrISM bOArd
A ‘FERtiLE LAND’ by John Anderson
ABoVe: St. Kitts was an important base in the Caribbean. BeloW: Standing guard.
St. Kitts can claim some of the oldest settlements in the entire Caribbean.
into the Spanish Armada. Warner took
For centuries, the island of St. Kitts had
pity and allowed the French to settle on
been an attractive home to various Indian
the island, which made St. Kitts the first
tribes; its rich, productive volcanic soil
French colony in the Caribbean.
earned it the name Liamuiga, or “fertile land,” by the Carib people who arrived
The riCheST iSlAnD
around A.D. 1300. It was the northern-
St. Kitts changed hands numerous
most island in the Caribbean that the
times between the French and English
tribe would settle. St. Kitts’ central
throughout its early history until 1783,
location made it an important base for
when the Treaty of Versailles definitively
trade throughout the Caribbean.
recognized british rule. The island’s
On his second voyage to the New
economic fortunes were bolstered with
World in 1493, Christopher Columbus
a switch to raising sugarcane in 1640,
discovered the island and named it
eventually becoming the leading sugar
San Jorges. but inaccuracies in maps
producer in the Caribbean. but from
of the time made identifying the islands
the late 1800s on, profits from the sugar
difficult, and San Jorges became San
industry began a long, slow decline.
Cristobel (Columbus’ patron saint), which was later Anglicized to St. Christopher.
The FirST FrenCh Colony
island, Nevis, became an associated state
In 1967, St. Kitts, along with its sister In 1623, hungry for a foothold in the Caribbean, the Englishman Thomas Warner
of britain and attained full independence as a single nation in 1983.
landed on St. Kitts and claimed it as the
With its intriguing coves, excellent
first british territory in the West Indies; he
interior hiking paths, dramatic panoramas
established a colony a year later.
and palm-lined beaches, St. Kitts is a
In 1625, a French ship badly in need of
classic Caribbean destination.
repair appeared in the harbor. It had run 312
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