National Geographic : 1968 Jan
in 1650, abandoned the island in 1695, but fought when the English planned a settlement. Then in 1733 the Danish West India and Guinea Company bought St. Croix from the French Crown to supplement the colonies al ready established on St. Thomas and St. John. The Stars and Stripes has flown over the three islands only since March 31, 1917, when the United States acquired the Danish West Indies for strategic reasons. But the islands had a long history of friendship and commerce with their new motherland. St. Croix played its part in the well-known "Triangle Trade." New England ships carried rum to Africa to trade for slaves, sold their human cargo in the West Indies, and stocked up on molasses to carry home to make more rum to buy more slaves. But the cooperation went much deeper, as the record of a letter I came across indicates. In the fall of 1776, a Mr. Kelly on St. Croix watched gunpowder being loaded aboard a schooner for shipment to the forces Two industrial giants sprawl across St. Croix's southern plain. Harvey Aluminum converts bauxite from Africa into alumina for shipment to the United States and Nor way. Hess Oil, beyond the ore carrier, re fines Venezuelan crude oil. To diversify their economy, the Virgins entice industry with low taxes and choice seaside sites. From the white heat of a kiln, a Harvey technician extracts a sample of alumina. Each pound of the powder yields half a pound of raw aluminum.