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A great deal of the history and culture of the Virgin Islands has been influenced by the natural and geographical characteristics of the area. The islands of St. Thomas and St. John are mountainous and rocky. Fresh water is scarce, and there is not a great deal of rainfall. The powerful European colonizing nations sought out lands where they could realize profits by either finding gold or by producing sugar, rum or other tropical products. St. Thomas and St. John were not particularly promising prospects for any of these activities. England, Spain, France and Holland, interested in more lucrative prizes, did not colonize St. Thomas and St. John. By the time Denmark, a comparatively weak nation, decided to try it's hand at colonization, these islands were just about the only ones left.

In the early 1800's the Danish West Indies were occupied at two different times by the English, once in 1801 for almost a year and again from December 1807 until April 1815. During this period, England was at war with Napoleon's France. The British feared a French take over of St. Thomas and St. John. This would give the French control of the strategic harbors of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and Coral Bay in St. John. The British considered this a great threat to their interests in Tortola and the rest of the British Virgin Islands.

In order to counteract the possibility of the French taking over St. Thomas and St. John, the British made the first move. The Danish military presence in the Danish West Indies was very small and very weak. They knew that resistance to a power such as England would be futile. When the British made their bid to occupy the Danish West Indies, the Danes surrendered without a single shot being fired.

In order to secure St. John, the English built what has been known as the English Fort on Lind Point. It is now called the Lind Point Battery Overlook. The "fort" consisted only of a semicircular platform upon which cannons could be.cgiaced to guard the harbor.

The cannons are long since gone. There is, however, a wooden bench where one can sit down, relax and enjoy the quiet tranquillity and the VIEW FROM THE LIND POINT BATTERY OVERLOOK.

© 1996 by Gerald Singer

St. John, US Virgin Islands

A Great Place to Visit.....again & again