National Geographic : 1968 Jan
He had me kneeling to sight the contour of a section of beach sculptured by waves. On a hillock, he swung his arm in a circle. "Look!" he exclaimed as enthusiastically as a child finding an unexpected wonder under the Christmas tree. "From here you can see islands through 300 degrees of the compass, and the open Atlantic through the other 60!" Slave Revolt Changes History's Course St. John is as rich in history as in the charms of nature. When the Danes arrived in the mid-17th century, looking for some choice West Indian real estate for agriculture, they found St. Thomas and St. John un inhabited. Shortly after establishing a colony on St. Thomas, they attempted to settle the neighboring island, but the British on Tortola John. Formerly a sugar estate, the resort is a Sten popular port of call for sailboats cruising the at C Virgins' inviting waters. ever- drove them off. In 1716 the Danes came back to St. John and this time were not molested. On the island's rich soil the colony thrived. By 1733, St. John had 109 estates planted in cotton and cane, and 1,295 inhabitants, slaves outnumbering the planters about five to one. With its own magnificent harbor in Coral Bay (pages 66-7), which many have called the finest in the Lesser Antilles, St. John seemed to have a bright future. Then, after a summer of drought, a plague of insects, and a hurricane, the slaves re volted. Entering the fort of Fredericksvaern with bundles of firewood, the leaders whipped out hidden cane knives, massacred the sol diers, and fired two shots, the signal for the slaughter of the planters and burning of the mills and great houses. ciled to their sail by the December sun, vacationers ineel Bay plan an evening voyage. Gentle tides and present breezes combine for a sailor's paradise. KODACHROMES BYNATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHER JAMESL. STANFIELD( N.G .S .