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1893 text

Antigua, one of the West India Islands (Leeward Islands), discovered by Columbus in 1493, who is said to have named it after a church at Seville called Santa Maria la Antigua. It was first settled by a few English families in 1632, and in 1663 another settlement was made under Lord Willoughby, to whom the entire island was granted by Charles II. In 1666 it was invaded by a French force, which laid waste all the settlement. It was reconquered by the English, and formally restored to them by the treaty of Breda.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

1 Annotation

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Christopher Columbus sighted islands in 1493 during his second voyage, naming the larger one Santa Maria de la Antigua. However, early attempts by Europeans to settle the islands failed due to the Caribs' excellent defenses.

England succeeded in colonizing the islands in 1632, with Thomas Warner as the first governor. Settlers raised tobacco, indigo, ginger, and sugarcane as cash crops.

By the mid-1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat.

Antigua, Montserrat, and St. Kitts were briefly taken by the French in November 1666; Antigua was reoccupied by the English in the early spring of 1667, and all three islands officially restored to them by the Treaty of Breda in July 1667.

Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda's only town is named after him.

In the 50 years after Codrington established his initial plantation, the sugar industry became so profitable that many farmers replaced other crops with sugar, making it the economic backbone of the islands.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.