Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands)

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Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands)
St. Croix from space
St. Croix from space
Waters Caribbean Sea
Archipelago Virgin Islands
Geographical location 17 ° 45 ′  N , 64 ° 45 ′  W Coordinates: 17 ° 45 ′  N , 64 ° 45 ′  W
Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands) (US Virgin Islands)
Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands)
length 45 km
width 11 km
surface 213 km²
Highest elevation Mount Eagle
334  m
Residents 50,601 (2010)
238 inhabitants / km²
main place Christiansted
Christiansvaern on St. Croix
Christiansvaern on St. Croix

Saint Croix ( Danish Sankt Croix ) is an island in the US Virgin Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago . With a size of 213 km², it is the largest and with a population of over 51,000 at the same time the most populous island of the American Virgin Islands, which are an outer US area .

The inhabitants are called Crucians .


Geographically, the island does not belong to the Virgin Islands further north , as defined by Christopher Columbus in 1493.

Saint Croix extends from west to east and is 45 km long and 11 km wide. The highest points are Mount Eagle (334 m) and Blue Mountain (326 m). The cities of Christiansted and Frederiksted are on Saint Croix .

About 2.6 km off the northeast coast is the small island of Buck Island , which is best known for the coral reef that surrounds it, the Buck Island Reef reserve .


The island was originally settled by the Caribs and the Arawak . Christopher Columbus landed on November 14, 1493 in the north of the island (see National Natural Landmark and Historical Park and Ecological Preserve ) and gave it the name Santa Cruz . A Spaniard and a carib were killed in a dispute with the inhabitants of the island . This incident led to a war that only ended when the Spaniards abandoned their colony on the island.

In the 17th century, Saint Croix was settled by the English and the Dutch. However, the two colonies soon came into conflict with each other. This is probably why the Dutch gave up their settlement. In 1650 a Spanish fleet of five ships and 1200 soldiers came from Puerto Rico . These occupied the island and killed all the English. However, the Spaniards were again driven out by the French shortly afterwards.

As a result, De Poincy , French governor of St. Kitts , sold the island to the Order of Malta in 1660 . He sold the island to the French West India Company five years later . Under Governor Dubois, the island became economically important because he had over 90 plantations for tobacco , sugar cane and indigo laid out there.

On June 13, 1733, Saint Croix was sold to the Danish West India Company . The company did not care about the nationality of the settlers, so Spanish Jews, French Huguenots and English settlers settled here. The economy was dominated by sugar production.

Peter von Scholten , the Danish governor general , abolished slavery on Saint Croix in 1848.

In a revolt by former slaves thirty years later, the former capital Frederiksted was completely destroyed. Mary Thomas , known as “Queen Mary”, led this violent uprising in 1878 against the Danish colonial rulers.

1858 is named as the capital Christiansted . Governor at that time was J. F. Schlegel.

In 1917, the US bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $ 25 million. Today Saint Croix is ​​part of the US Virgin Islands and, as a non-incorporated US American territory, to the USA.

See also

For the Danish colonial era, see Danish West Indies .


Driving on the left is mandatory on Saint Croix, even though the island is part of the United States.

Regular events

A triathlon has been held here every year in May since 1988 : The Ironman 70.3 St. Croix covers half the Ironman distance (1.9 km swimming, 90 km cycling and 21.1 km running).

Sons and daughters

  • Hans Jonatan (1784–1827), precedent of Danish slavery laws.

National Natural Landmark and Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

The Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is a National Historic Site . The landing of Columbus ( Columbus Landing Site ) is a National Historic Landmark . The jetty is in turn part of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.

Web links

Commons : Saint Croix  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mount Eagle
  2. ^ Blue Mountain
  3. ^ Walter Adolphe Roberts: The French in the West Indies . Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis 1942, p. 118.
  4. Lori Lee: Danish West Indies, Abolition in the . In: Junius Rodriguez (Ed.): Encyclopedia of emancipation and abolition in the transatlantic world . Sharpe Reference, Armonk 2007, ISBN 978-0-7656-1257-1 , Vol. 1, pp. 159-160, here p. 160.
  5. Lori Lee: Danish West Indies, Emancipation in the . In: Junius Rodriguez (Ed.): Encyclopedia of emancipation and abolition in the transatlantic world . Sharpe Reference, Armonk 2007, ISBN 978-0-7656-1257-1 , Vol. 1, pp. 160-162, here p. 161.
  6. Slavery in Denmark: Statue of Contention. Article in the Frankfurter Rundschau on August 11, 2018. Also online: Slavery / Denmark
  7. His story was best known from the book by Gisli Palson: The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan . University of Chicago Press, 2016