Saint Eustatius


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Saint Eustatius

(sānt yo͞ostā`shəs), island (1989 pop. 1,861), 8 sq mi (20.7 sq km), a special municipality of the Netherlands, one of the Leeward Islands, West Indies. Called Statia by its inhabitants, it was formerly part of the Netherlands AntillesNetherlands Antilles,
former autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisting of several islands in the West Indies. Earlier known as the Dutch West Indies and Netherlands West Indies, the island country consisted of Bonaire and Curaçao, both lying off
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. The mountainous island is not very prosperous, although there is a developing tourist industry; it also possesses facilities for petroleum transshipment. Oranjestad is the capital and chief port.

Settled by the Dutch in 1632, the island changed hands frequently. During the 18th cent. pirates and smugglers made Oranjestad one of the leading trade centers of the West Indies, and it became a center of contraband trade with the American colonies before and during the American Revolution. According to tradition, Oranjestad was the first foreign port to salute (1776) the American flag.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Over three thousand vessels left Saint Eustatius for the colonies in the years 1778-79, loaded with war supplies.
He was able to defend himself, though, and was returned to Saint Eustatius in 1779.