Dutch Era

In 1640s: St. Thomas became inhabited by the Dutch who mostly occupied Hassle Island. Their was evidence on Hassle Island that the Dutch were pursuing tobacco agriculture. Cays surrounding us still have Dutch names and reflect their occupation of these territories: Little and Great


Tobago (Dutch for Tobacco), Jost Van Dyke, Buck “Pokken”Island after the

pox Lignum Vitae tree that grows there. Lignum Vitae (lead wood) is a very

light wood but is hard as a rock.


In 1645: The Dutch governor was assassinated in St. Croix by the English in retaliation

for the assassination of the English governor to ensure that they were

understood and not out done the English invited the newly elected Dutch

governor over to discus some issues concerning land rights and he was arrested

and later killed.


The Dutch settlers withdrew from St. Croix, some came to St. Thomas.