St. John: a no man's land, used for centuries by all the European powers, but
never permanently occupied by anyone. Attended sporadically for over 150 years
by the Spaniards (Columbus was the first) for the supply of water and for the
capture of slaves (the Amerindians), or for fishing, salt, game, medicinal
plants and the firewood . French, Dutch and English landed on its shores, to
explore the territory and make a base to support for shipping on other nearby
But on March 25, 1718, Eric Erne, the Governor of the Danish West Indies and
Guinea Company, coming from St. Thomas with five soldiers, twenty farmers and
sixteen slaves, arrived in Coral Bay, decided to take possession of the island
in the name Danish Crown. The English, though they considered themselves the
rightful owners, they had no settlements on the island and did not protest
against this initiative so much more than the Danish government. Thus, the
Danish expedition made an official ownership Indeed Danish private groups,
attracted by good earnings cultivation of sugar cane, had settled on the island
But only with the arrival of the Danish flag in Coral Bay in 1718, St. John found identity and the economy took off.
St. John is the smallest of the "American Virgins",
covered with lush
forests, beautiful beaches and surrounde by a
wonderful clear blue
2/3 of his territory are National Park.
St. John is only 4 miles out from St. Thomas, measures
73 kmq.: 14,5 km. long and 6,5 wide.
Is populated by only 3000 people.
The chief town is Cruz bay on the western coast.