Danish West Indies,
A group of islands lying east by southeast of Porto Rico
, and consisting of St. Croix, St. Thomas
, and St. John
St. Croix is the largest, being about 20 miles long and 5 miles wide, with an area of 110 square miles.
It is generally flat, well watered, and fertile.
Two-fifths of the surface is in sugar plantations, and the principal crops are sugar, cotton, coffee, indigo, and rum. The climate is unhealthful at all seasons, and hurricanes and earthquakes occur frequently.
The population is about 18,000.
is about 17 miles long by 4 miles wide.
Its surface is rugged and elevated, reaching its greatest height towards the centre.
The soil is sandy, and mostly uncultivated.
, which is the principal town and the seat of government for the Danish West Indies
, has an excellent harbor and large trade.
The population of the island is about 14,000.
has an area of 42 square miles.
The chief exports are cattle and bay-rum
, and the population is about 1,000.
Negotiations with Denmark
for the cession of the islands to the United States
began in 1898, after the close of the war with Spain
; but owing to political changes in the Danish
government, no definite results were then attained.
In December, 1900, Congress became favorable to the
bill of Senator Lodge
, advising the purchase of the islands, and negotiations to that end were reopened.
On Dec. 29, 1900, the United States
minister to Denmark
officially informed that government that the United States
would pay $3,240,000 for the islands.