Sunrise Coffee in Anguilla
This morning finds me in Anguilla at the end of a hellish 4 day trip. The flights themselves were pleasant enough; there were just too many of them. In any event, I made coffee at the crack of dawn and enjoyed the early light out on the apartment patio. This particular hotel offers suites with kitchens, which is nice. Sadly, we are only in the hotel for 8 hours – not enough time to cook!
SO, the facts: Anguilla was first settled by Amerindian tribes who migrated from South America. The earliest Amerindian artifacts found on Anguilla have been dated to around 1300 BC, and remains of settlements date from 600 AD. The date of European discovery is uncertain: some sources claim that Columbus sighted the island in 1493, while others state that the island was first discovered by the French in 1564 or 1565. The name Anguilla derives from the word for “eel” in any of various Romance languages (modern Spanish: anguila; French: anguille; Italian: anguilla), probably chosen because of the island’s eel-like shape.
Anguilla was first colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts, beginning in 1650. Other early arrivals included Europeans from Antigua and Barbados. It is likely that some of these early Europeans brought enslaved Africans with them. Historians confirm that African slaves lived in the region in the early seventeenth century. For example, Africans from Senegal lived in St. Christopher (today St. Kitts) in 1626. By 1672 a slave depot existed on the island of Nevis, serving the Leeward Islands. While the time of African arrival in Anguilla is difficult to place precisely, archive evidence indicates a substantial African presence (at least 100) on the island by 1683.
The island was administered by England, and later the United Kingdom, until the early nineteenth century when – against the wishes of the inhabitants – it was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. After two rebellions in 1967 and 1969 and brief period as a self-declared independent republic headed by Ronald Webster, British rule was fully restored in 1969. Anguilla became a separate British dependency (now termed a British overseas territory) in 1980.
Here is the bigger view of the patio. I wish I could have lounged here for an hour or so reading the paper, chatting with Mary perhaps… but alas, the needs of the airline come first.
Next week: Nevis revisited, and an island you’ve never heard of!
~ by John on May 5, 2008.