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History of Frederiksted
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Columbus - Late 15th Century

Christopher Columbus came upon St. Croix on November 14, 1493, during his second voyage to the Americas. He sent a crew ashore at St. Croix's Salt River inlet in search of potable water; there followed a brief confrontation with some of the island's Taino inhabitants, resulting in deaths on both sides. The Great Admiral promptly moved on to chart the numerous islands to the north, naming the entire group including St. Croix the Virgin Islands, in honor of the legendary virginal devotees of St. Ursula. He later christened the island Santa Cruz, or "Holy Cross."

As the Spaniards concentrated their early efforts in the Caribbean on the Greater Antilles, St. Croix's native inhabitants may have escaped the initial impact of the conquest. But in the early 1500s, when the Spanish began to raid the island for slaves to work their gold mines in more lucrative colonies, a renewed native resistance served as the justification for the extermination of the Caribbean's indigenous peoples. By the early 1600s, when the island was permanently settled, the Tainos Columbus encountered on St. Croix had utterly disappeared.

Columbus Late 15th Century
English / Dutch 17th Century
Danish 18th Century
19th and 20th Century