St Thomas was originally inhabited by the peace loving agrarian Arawak Indians, they in turn were moved out by the fierce Carib Indians about 100 years prior to Christopher Columbus 'visiting' this little chain of islands that he called the ’Virgin Islands’. The Spanish, Danish, British and French all enslaved the native peoples. Eventually most of them either died or escaped to Cuba. The colonialists were then forced to turn to Africa for their slaves. The descendants of these peoples have now populated this lovely island.

The islands prospered for many years by growing sugar, indigo, tobacco all of which were shipped to the colonies on the east coast of the US and then to Europe. Thus the islands became an integral part of the triangular trade routes involving Europe, the Caribbean and New England.The sugar crops were also crushed and made into rum making the liquor synonymous with the Caribbean.

The island was a stopping-off point for many pirates in it’s day including the legendary Blackbeard. It is said Sir Francis Drake had a lookout on the eastern side of the island, where he kept a watchful eye out for the  pirates.

Slavery was overturned in 1848. The United States bought the island from the Danish in 1917 to keep it from being taken by the Germans during WWI. St. Thomas has had an elected governor since 1968 and holds a non-voting seat in the United States Congress as a territory of the United States.

The St. Thomas Historical Trust has a small museum located on Roosevelt Park in downtown Charlotte Amalie. You can see some exhibits of colonial furniture, household items, relics found in the St Thomas Harbor and a large collection of old photograph reproductions. They also offer Historical walking tours and tours of Hassel Island. You can learn more from their website: www.stthomashistoricaltrust.org.