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St. Croix Virgin Islands Online Curriculum

An Interdisiplinary Thematic Unit for the United States Virgin Islands

A semester of V.I. History and a semester of Caribbean History is mandatory for Virgin Islands 9th graders started in 1997.


North Shore of St. Croix USVI

North Shore of St. Croix USVI Copyright 2001 Karen Ellis St. Croix, all rights reserved worldwide may not reproduce.

History of St. Croix - U.S. Virgin Islands





Buried treasure in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands




The Caribbean was one of the earliest projects of European colonization in what we now call the "Atlantic World." Objectives of this curricula is to overcome the linguistic, political, and geographic fragmentation that has traditionally characterized the region through an multi cultural, interdisciplinary, thematic, collaborative online unit.
It is great that the Caribbean has received increased attention in recent years because of more awareness directed towards Atlantic and World History. From an economic perspective, scholars have shown how the Caribbean was crucial to the making of the Atlantic and modern Western World. From a social and cultural perspective, the region is also an important area of study for those interested in global culture. The waves of immigration affecting the Caribbean illustrate mirror movements and migrations of peoples throughout the modern world.
They are in the Lesser Antilles 1,600 miles south, southeast of New York City; 1,100 miles east, southeast of Miami; 70 miles east of San Juan. St. Thomas and St. John lie between the Atlantic and the Caribbean. St. Croix, 40 miles south, is surrounded by the Caribbean.

Help students in grades 2 - 12 increase their motivation for learning, while they explore multicultural relations in the United States. Integrate history through interdisciplinary studies, with the social structures for the Virgin Islands. Teach tolerance and understanding of other West Indian peoples through comparing and contrasting their methods and manner of living using folk studies, storytelling, and music, delivered by online curriculum.


United States Virgin Islands History


Virgin Islands Flag
USA Today Best Bets Award








Where does the word "Caribbean" come from? Conch ShellThis word comes from the Lesser Antilles Carib Indians, the ferocious ones with the infamous appetite for barbecued human flesh, which is where we also get the word cannibal. These people called themselves "Kalina" However, Is the information really true?

Roots of Dialect Speakers

English Language Dialect Speakers


What are the languages spoken in the USVI?


Some of the English-Lexifier Creole languages of A
frica, such as CameroonianPidgin, Nigeria Pidgin, Saramaccan Sierra Leone Krio, and Aukan, have always been considered to be tonal languages (Faraclas and Ramírez Morales 2005). Many linguists,like Carter (1987), Sutcliffe (1998) and Holder (1999), believe that the other dialects ofEnglish-Lexifier Creole in the Caribbean, including Crucian, are also tonal. In most of the English-Lexifier Afro-Caribbean Cre oles there are minimal pairs of words which are distinguished only by tone, for exa mple: sístà (H-L) ‘female sibling’ and
sìstá (L-H) ‘a nun.’ African English-lexifier Creoles (Faraclas 1996: 270-277), like Crucian and many other Caribbean Creoles (Sutcliffe 2003b: 280-281), exhibit intonational processes like downdrift and downstep. Such processes are typical of the
tonal languages of the Niger-Congo family in West Africa.

Surviving Africanisms In V.I English Creole between 1875 - 1950


USVI - Linguistcs - Negerhollands English

1941 Peters Rest near Christiansted St. Croix LC-USF35-1326






Peter's Rest St. Croix USVI 1941 St. Croix Virgin Islands United States

1990 Festival of American Folklife
Folklife of the U.S. Virgin Islands: Persistence and Creativity Page 18 text

St. Thomas St. John Water Island USVI Caribbean Music Studies Domino Guavaberry Books Creole Negerhollands Karen Ellis educational cyberplayground

CreoleTalk - the only mailing list devoted to the study of Creole Dialect Speakers.


"If yo' put yo' ear a mango root
yo' will hear crab cough."

If you have patience and listen that close,
you are bound to learn things.

DOMINO by Karen Ellis
Traditional West Indian Children's Songs, Proverbs, and Culture from the U.S.V.I

Integrate Literacy, Music, and Technology into the classroom


It wasn't always paradise.The St. Croix African Roots Project
Before the U.S. Virgin Islands were a Caribbean paradise, they served as a major stop along the slave trade route for almost a century. Compiled by the Virgin Islands Social History Associates, this is one of the greatest, most extensive compilation of slave trading records available, documenting everything from ship lists, to slave lists to a general census once they were free. If you have any ancestors that were slaves in the Virgin Islands, this will be one of the most important collections you'll ever see.

Interdisciplinary Subjects




Shipwrecks of St John - East Carolina University

Maritime Sea Ports

Denmark, the Virgin Islands, and Reparations for Slavery


St. Croix The Salt River Basin In Prehistoric Times
The prehistoric complex at Salt River, is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Virgin Islands. There has been pre Colombian pottery found. It has been the focus of every major archaeological investigation on St. Croix since 1880: Alphonse Pinnart (1880), Holger U. Ramsing (1899), Jesse W. Fewkes (1912), Georg Nordby (1915; 1925), Theodor De Booy (1917), Gudmund Hatt (1923), Lewis J. Korn (1935), Herbert W. Krieger (1938), Gary S. Vescelius (1952), and Buce E. Tilden (1978-1979).

1,500 year old landfill in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas USVI 2013
Crews renovating a public square in the U.S. Virgin Islands have discovered a 1,500-year-old landfill known as a midden, features hundreds of sea snail shells and bones from fish, birds, rodents and marine mammals. He said some of the pottery fragments feature stylized eyes. A team of specialized archaeologists will excavate the pre-Columbian site. Local historians who analyzed the midden have determined it is among the most important sites of its age on St. Thomas.





  • Pulitzer Prize Winner Derek Walcott
  • CCT Theatre Inc.
    Caribbean Community Theatre

    PO Box 25793 GBS
    Christiansted, VI 00824
    Tel. 340-778-1983 or 718-4229
    Eileen Bishop Des Jardins: Managing Producer & Treasurer
    Theatre Location
    #18 Estate Orange Grove
    Christiansted, St. Croix
    U.S. Virgin Islands
    by Crucian Playwright Anton C. Teytaud
    Directed by Eileen Des Jardins Presented 10/02
    A Collection of West Indian Comic Sketches

A collection of West Indian comic skits, was written by Crucian playwright Anton C. Teytaud during the 1940's and 1950's; his wife Ena, who is since deceased, was the original "Addie" in local productions of the skits. The titular characters sell produce at the marketplace, and entertain themselves and their customers with their opinions on the state of the world as seen daily from their vegetable stalls.
Born in St. Thomas in 1910, Teytaud moved to St. Croix with his family when only two years old, and resided here for over seventy years. When he reached retirement age, Teytaud didn't stop working, he just started a new endeavor, taking passengers to Buck Island on his boat "Intrepid." He now lives with his daughter Pat and her family on Costa Rica. Actresses with West Indian accents would be required; much of the humor in these plays comes from the author's use of "native" dialect.







m st. c
Up to AD 1500

The island of St. Croix is inhabited by the Igneri and then, later by the Arawak and Carib Indians.

Caribbean Studies

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE  (PROJECT ORION) U.S.V.I. was inhabited by the Arawak and Carib tribes of Amerindians

The St. Croix Archaeological Society
St. Croix Landmark Society, awarded $3,869.15 for a "Mock Archaeological Dig" designed to give 5th- and 6th-grade students an interactive and hands-on approach to the field of archaeology. The V.I. Humanities Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, with the mission of providing opportunities for the diverse population of the Virgin Islands to participate in humanities programs which promote a love of learning, encourage dialogue, enhance understanding and broaden people's judgment. For further information, call the council at 776-4044
Become a Member of the Society

Archeology in the American Virgin Islands

Caribbean Pre History

Columbus lands at Salt River during his second voyage to the Americas.  He encounters Igneri, Taino, and Carib Indians. He names the island Santa Cruz (later called St. Croix by the French).  
The Igneri, Taino and Carib Indians' resistance to outside settlers causes their population to dwindle.  By the early 1600's they had all disappeared.


Dutch, English,  and a few French settlers all establish themselves on St. Croix.  Battle between the two in 1645 caused political unrest. The Dutch abandon St. Croix for St. Maarten, and the French relocate to Guadeloupe, leaving only the English.


Spanish colonists from Puerto Rico overrun the English settlement. And then the Governor of the French West Indies claimed possession of St. Croix for the French crown.

The Knights of Malta  purchased the island from the French King.

The Malta Archdiocese of the Catholic Church has launched a digital archive. “Numerous diocesan and parish manuscripts dating back to the 15th century are now freely available online …The publications that have been made available include marriage, baptism and funeral records, pastoral visits, church inventories, property registers and various other publications and records collected by the Catholic Church in Malta over centuries.”


"Jewish settlement was initiated in 1655 when Spanish and Portuguese Jews came as ship owners, planters of sugar cane and producers of rum and molasses. They arrived from Recife (Brazil), Suriname, Barbados, Holland and France. The real growth of the Jewish population in the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix came as a direct result of the destruction of the Jewish community in the nearby Dutch island of St. Eustatius in 1781, which was attacked by the British for having aided the American Revolution.
In 1796 the synagogue Berakha v'Shalom v'Gmilut Hassadim in St. Thomas was founded and that congregation exists until the present day. By 1850 Jews accounted for half the island's white population, or about 400 people. [1]
Unable to manage the plantations and build a viable economy on St. Croix, the French West India Company bought all islands from the Knights of Malta.


The French King paid the French West India Company's debts and assumed ownership.  Unable to turn things around, the French relocate to Santa Domingo.  The island is abandoned and becomes a pirates haven.
The Moravians who came to the United States in the early 1700s were immigrants originating from present-day Saxony in Germany. The Moravian missionaries were the first large scale Protestant missionary movement. The first Moravian Missionaries sent to slaves on St Thomas in 1732 were a potter named Leonard Dober and a carpenter named David Nitschmann. Research and find historic documents of early slaves in the Moravian Archives Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. -- Letters -- Inventory of Paintings
1773 - 1792
Danish purchase St. Croix from the French.  English planters flock to St. Croix attracted by the inexpensive land.  Danish divide the island land into plantations and rebuild a profitable agricultural economy.  Sugar and tobacco were sold to Danish merchants.  St. Croix became one of the leading ports for trade. First Moravian Missionaries in 1733 -- Varia: Letter 'To the Congregations of St. Croix by G. A. Cunow Diarium von Friedensfeld auf St Croix (from 01/01/1858 on in English).
The United States was not first recognized by France as is popularly taught in American history classes.
Rather, its initial recognition as an independent nation came from the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, when on November 16th, 1776 its Fort Orange fired a reply to a gun salute honoring the Stars and Stripes, flown from the 14- gun brigantine, Andria Doria. This act represented the very first formal recognition of the United States as a sovereign power.
President Roosevelt officially acknowledge this important role played by the Caribbean island, when he unveiled a tablet on St. Eustatius which read: here the sovereignty of the United States of America was first formally acknowledged to a national vessel by a foreign official.


In , the Jews of St. Thomas founded the first Jewish congregation on this Caribbean island. The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, P.O. Box 266, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 00801 publishes a pamphlet giving a brief history of the Jews, the two Jewish cemeteries, and the synagogue, the "oldest synagogue building in continuous use under the American flag."

Economic prosperity based on sugar cane, rum production, and the slave trade last until slavery is abolished by the Danish government.  St. Croix's slaves would not achieve independence until 1848 when they were emancipated.  


British recapture power and held it through the Napoleonic Wars.
The first Scandanavian - the Swedenborgian group was not founded here in Sweden, or on Norway or Denmark, but on the island of St. Croix in the West Indies, a hundred and fifty years ago. When we search all the way through the earliest history of the New Church in the Nordic countries, we find ourselves exploring the Danish Virgin Islands, a group of islands in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.


Island is reverted back to Denmark - this time suffering drought and severe economic depression.


United States purchases the three islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John, forming the US Virgin Islands.


Brother Anansi and Brother Tekoma U.S. FOLKTALE

Hear and Read --
A Brother Anansi and Brother Tekoma Story Collected by a Dutch anthropologist, J. P. B. de Josselin de Jong, who visited the Virgin Islands in 1923. Robin Sabino, a linguist at Auburn University, translated the story. Although she now lives in Alabama, she used to live in St. Thomas where she learned to speak Virgin Islands Dutch Creole from the very last living speaker of the language. What a wonderful gift her teacher gave her!

Agriculture and sugar industries fail.
Start of tourism industry.
Established industries like Hess Oil make homes on St. Croix.
Islanders chose their first governor.  Although the US Virgin Islands remain under the United States flag, the islands remain an unincorporated territory with a non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives.  Although taxpaying citizens, residents of the islands have no vote in national elections.
DOMINO by Karen Ellis collected Traditional West Indian Children's Songs, Proverbs, and Culture from the U.S.V.I
CreoleTalk - the only mailing list devoted to the study of Creole Dialect Speakers.

Guavaberry is Good

A Guavaberry, is distinctly different from guava, and grows throughout the Caribbean, References to it can be found in islands songs and folklore. Around Christmas you'll find village vendor stalls stocked with old rum bottles that have been recycled to hold a private stash of guavaberry liqueur. Much of it,with varying degrees of potency, is made in private homes, and exchanged among neighbors and friends. Guavaberry Farms and the Bordeaux Mountains are two locations in St. John where local berries are harvested.
Miss Meada, a native St. Johnian, made the very best guavaberry liqueur. Miss Meada's recipe utilizes primarily black guavaberries, with a few yellowy orange ones for good measure, vodka, and 190 proof pure grain alcohol, which can be dilluted with St. Croix's rum. Raw sugar or honey is added, along with cardamon, cinnamon, mace, whole nutmeg and local bay rum leaf, and fermented at least four to five weeks. You can sample this liqueur at the Guavaberry Emporium on Front Street in Philipsburg, St.Maarten where it is produced. The shop, inhabits a Creole townhouse, built on the site of an ancient synagogue. The original Guavaberry bottle bears a bright yellow label with a line drawing of the guavaberry man. It is marked Wild Sint Maarten Island folk liqueur.

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