Blog


Within this section you will find over 100 articles which have appeared in publications of the Society, have been the subject of our hikes and wanderings and/or are simply of interest to anyone with a love of St. John and its rich history.

If you’d like to submit an article for consideration in a future newsletter or quarterly journal, please be aware of the following guidelines.

  • Word count should be between 500-1,000 words. Articles longer than 1,000 words are accepted on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us in advance for pre-approval;
  • Please single space after periods;
  • Article should be concise, on topic, and most importantly, relate to V.I. or Danish West Indies history; and
  • The article’s relevancy to St. John should be clear.

Please send articles to the attention of newsletter editor Andrea Milam at: ContactUs@StJohnHistoricalSociety.org.


08

Apr 2003

Lost People and Forgotten Places

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt at home in the forgotten places of St. John: crumbling ruins strangled by vines, centuries of abandonment leaving them shadows of what they once were. My father has also spent his lifetime exploring and studying these “secret” places, so that’s why it isn’t everyday that the two of us mount an expedition to a site lost…

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08

Nov 2001

St. John’s Other Revolt: The Desertions of 1840

On the night of May 24, 1840, estates Annaberg and Leinster Bay were the scenes of one of the largest mass desertions of enslaved laborers on St. John since the outbreak of the 1733 slave insurrection more than a century before. In all, eight men (Charles Bryan, James Jacob, Adam [alias Cato], Big David, Henry Law, Paulus, John Curay), and three women (Kitty, Polly, and…

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09

Jan 2001

A Brief History of Sugar and Sugar Production in the West Indies

A native to southern Asia, sugar cane has been nourishing man since prehistoric times. It is not known for certain what culture developed the technique of converting sugar cane juice into crystalline sugar, but as the earliest known written reference to the process appears in Sanskrit in about 500 B.C., historians have long credited northern India as the place where sugar cane juice was first rendered…

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09

Jan 2001

How Sugar Was Made on St. John during the Danish Colonial Period

Sugar cane was cut by hand in the fields and conveyed to sugar mills by various means. In some cases, wooden channels were used to “shoot” the sugar cane downhill from fields in the upland areas of a plantation, and in others, a “windlass” was used to hoist sugar cane up to the factory from fields below. But, in most cases, sugar cane was hauled…

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