The first settlers to arrive to the islands almost 3,000 years B.C, were a pre-agricultural people who migrated down the archipelago from Florida.
Around 1000 B.C., the agriculturalist Saladoid people came to the islands, migrating up from the banks of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
These people were then replaced in 800 A.D. by the Igneri people. They were a peace-loving pro-religious people who migrated up the same path from the Orinoco.
Around 1300 A.D., the Kalingo, or Carib people arrived on the islands. The war-like Kalinago people quickly dispersed the Igneri.
They named Saint Kitts Liamuiga meaning “fertile island”, and Nevis Oualie meaning “land of beautiful waters”.
The recorded history of St. Kitts begins with the second voyage in 1493 of Christopher Columbus who sailed past the island but did not land. It is said that he named the island after the patron saint of travellers, St. Christopher.
By the time the Englishman Thomas Warner arrived with fourteen other settlers in 1624 to found the first non-Spanish European colony in the Caribbean, the island was affectionately nicknamed St Kitts.
In 1626 the island was formally partitioned between the English and the French, with the French gaining the ends, Capisterre in the north and Basseterre in the south, and the English gaining the centre.
The French held St Kitts for eight years after an attack on English troops in 1705 with over 8,000 French troops on the island easily defeating the 1,000 English,
When the Treaty of Utrecht was signed in 1713 it gave the entire island of St Kitts to the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain. Upon gaining control of the whole island the British soon moved the island’s capital South to the town of Basseterre, and St Kitts quickly took off as a leader in sugar production in the Caribbean.
Saint Kitts and Nevis became independent of the UK on September 19, 1983.
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