Ship's Log: St. Thomas Pirate Festival

Ahoy Maties,

I be planning a trip ta the Caribbean, somewhere with lots of wenches . . . the Virgin Islands. I will be vending at the first St Thomas Pirate Festival, which be held on Oct 31 to Nov 3, 2008. Every true pirate should take a visit over dar! Here be an entree I pirated from Nicole Cargill-Kipar's History Resources for the PotC about the pirate haven.

Saint Thomas - Mountainous and sparsely covered in forest, St. Thomas has several low peaks which dominate its silhouette. St. Thomas Harbor is a well-sheltered deep water harbor, peeking out between St. Thomas proper and the smaller, uninhabited Hassel Island. The island is semi-arid and the vegetation is sparse besides trees.

St. Thomas was settled by the Dutch in 1657 and soon became home to several bands of English pirates. The island's population is mainly Danish (with Dutch and Portuguese Jews living there as well) and in 1672 the Danish India Company purchased the island. In 1674 the King of Denmark purchased the island and named the Port Charlotte Amalie, after his wife. Many nobles at the time believed that he purchased the island for the express purpose of naming the port as such.

Because the Danish Navy did not operate as far south as the Caribbean (and was embroiled in a bitter war against the Swedes), the King empowered the Governor of the Danish West Indies (who resided in Charlotte Amalie) to issue Letters of Marque at his discretion.

The island became a haven for pirates to rival Tortuga and is home to a black market nearly as large as CuraƧao.

St. Thomas is the only whole colony in the Caribbean not controlled by the French, English, Dutch, or Spanish. It was the extent of the Danish colonial empire at the time of its founding. St. Thomas is home to a very eclectic and moderately interesting array of people. The nearest other port that is not controlled by the 'big four' (France, Spain, Britain, or the Netherlands) is the Portuguese colony at Buenos Aires, in Brazil.

So come on over an join me in my raid of a true pirate town, yarrrr!

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