Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 55

Anguilla Beyond the Beach: 3000 Years of Island Heritage

By Lillian Azevedo

The One-Page History of Anguilla By Lillian Azevedo


All rights reserved, no part of this publication, The One-Page History, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author, Lillian Azevedo.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Timeline of Anguilla History Anguilla before Columbus Fountain Cavern Settling Anguilla Anguilla between Columbus and the Revolution The 1656 Carib Attack Piracy Smuggling The 1745 French Invasion at Crocus Bay Contemporary Account of the 1745 French Invasion The 2 French Invasion of Anguilla The Anguilla Revolution Plantations The Planters House Wallblake House Building a Plantation Life on a Plantation: Planters Life on a Plantation: Slaves and Servants Fresh Water Anguillas Staff of Life Slavery on Anguilla Life in the 1800s Life in the 1900s The Sea Maritime Heritage

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Shipwrecks Artificial Reefs Marine Archaeology on Anguilla Treasure Hunting/ El Buen Consejo Migration and Santo Domingo The Warspite Boat Racing Off Island Cays Industries Cotton Production 1670-1730; 1850-1950 Sugar Production c1730-1800 Salt Production 1600s-1983 Mining 1860-1890 Fishing Boatbuilding Tourism Natural History Hurricanes and Weather (Climate) Hurricane Donna Cattle, Goats, Sheep and Chickens The Giant Rat Exploring Anguilla and Additional Resources Introduction to Anguilla Heritage Trail Heritage Trail Map Additional Reading and On-line Resources

30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54

On behalf of the Anguilla Archaeological and Historical Society, it is with great pleasure that I write the foreword to this book, The One-Page History of Anguilla, I must begin by complimenting Lillian Azevedo on this great publication. This book is a valuable addition to the growing compendium of books on Anguillas history. From her background in cultural anthropology and archaeology and as a diligent researcher, Lilli has compiled a text that touches on all the significant periods of Anguillas cultural and natural history. The book will be a valuable resource for those involved in promoting heritage tourism. While it came out of Lillis involvement with the Anguilla Heritage Trail Project this book will have a much broader appeal. It is an interesting and uncomplicated book, giving a well researched and factual account of Anguillas history. As such it will be a useful teaching resource for lower secondary students. While the important historical events are documented, the book also expounds on the social, economic and cultural environment in which these events took place, and as such is an ideal social studies text. It is also an easy read for those who simply need a quick overview of Anguillas cultural and natural history. The liberal use of pictures and drawings means it can grab the imagination and hold the attention of children of all ages. It is a must have for all Anguillian homes and all those visitors interested in taking back a meaningful souvenir of their visit.

Kenn Banks, OBE, President Anguilla Archaeological and Historical Society


Above: Anguilla is a 34mi2 island located in the Lesser Antilles Frontispiece: Historic Wallblake House photo c/o Steve Garlick

Timeline of Anguilla
2000BC 1493 1650 1656 1667 1698 1699 1744 1745 1796 1807 1824/5 1834 1850 1860 1890 1967 Amerindians settle Anguilla. At one time there were more than 19 Amerindian villages on Anguilla. Columbus discovers the Leeward Islands. Early observers write of Anguilla, It was filled with alligators and other noxious animals. The English land and begin family farming without a Royal Charter. The Caribs attack the new settlers, killing most of the menfolk and making off with the women and children. Governor William Willoughby arrives from Barbados with new settlers; Anguillas only crops are salt and tobacco. Spanish and French pirates attack. Captain Kidd visits Anguilla. Deputy Governor Arthur Hodge invades St Martin. The French in reprisal come with 700 men in various small craft. At Crocus Bay Captain Hodge defeats the French. On the 26th November, two French war ships, La Valliante and Decius land their troops at Rendezvous Bay, on November 27th. In a final stand at Sandy Hill, the Anguillians attack and pursue the French, who retreat and attempt to embark their troops and wounded. Prohibition of slave trade. Great Britain annexes Anguilla to St Kitts and Nevis. Anguillians continuously protest the decision which made Anguilla administratively dependent on St Kitts. Petitions are sent to Great Britain in 1825, 1873, 1935, 1958 and 1966 but are ignored, eventually leading to the Anguilla Revolution in 1967. Slavery is abolished. Anguilla labourers dig and dive for phosphate on Sombrero Island, leading to a higher standard of living. Many free slaves return and settle the abandoned estates. Anguillian schooners become famous throughout the Caribbean for their craftsmanship. FAMINE. There is prolonged drought, repeated crop failure and a lack of seeds. Livestock perish. REVOLUTION. January 26th Colonel Bradshaw, St Kitts Chief Minister threatens that Anguillians will have to eat one anothers bones and that he will turn Anguilla into a desert. July 11th Referendum in favour of secession. December 4th British delegation consisting of 2 MPs comes to Anguilla, set up interim administration for 1 year. 1969 March 11th FCO minister arrives in Anguilla. After confrontation, R. Webster demands that Mr Whitlock leave the Island immediately. March 19th 2 British Frigates land 250 paratroopers accompanied by 50 London metropolitan police officers without incident. September Paratroopers are replaced by the Field Squadron and Royal Engineers. 1976 1980 12th February Constitution of Anguilla signed in London. December 19th Anguilla formally becomes a British dependency. Today the Island remains a UK Overseas Territory.


Anguilla before Columbus

Stone Axe approx. 10 cm (2000BC-500BC)

Around 4000 years ago, Anguilla was discovered Painting by Penny Slinger on Display in Anguillas airport arrivals hall by humans travelling by dugout canoes and rafts from South Americas mainland. These earliest settlers Spirituality were pre-ceramic, meaning they did not make or use pottery but utilised stone-age technology. Raw materials Believing that humans originated from caves and the including volcanic stones and finished artefacts were world was divided into three spheres, (caves where imported complete and/or crafted locally. humans came from, subterranean waters where the Around 300AD a new culture emerged on Anguilla together with pottery forms and the development of chiefdoms. Known variously as Taino or Arawak, these people named the Island Malliouhana (as in the Hotel). ancestors dwelled and the sky where gods lived) they carved and painted images of their deities including Jocahu and Jaluca (The god of the sea and cassava, and the rainbow god [as in Cap Jaluca]). Today, preserved examples can be found in the Fountain Cavern (Shoal Bay) and at Big Spring (Island Harbour).
Carved mask from a Queen Conch Shell (900-1500AD) (AAHS Collection)

They imported raw materials including volcanic stones from which they fashioned spirit stones known as zemis, which they exported throughout the lesser Antilles.

Where did they go?

The latest carbon dates recovered on Anguilla date from the 1500s. By the time the English created a settlement in 1650, the Indians had either been removed by the Spaniards to slavery in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, or more likely, they had died in their villages at Sandy Ground and Rendezvous Bay. Amerindians lacked natural defences to common European ailments. Diseases including influenza, measles and typhoid devastated populations and there is no evidence that anyone was living on Anguilla when it was discovered by Europeans.

What they ate

The Amerindians were a fisher-planter people. In addition to bringing cotton and tobacco from South America, Amerindians also introduced cassava and manioc (used as flour) which they cultivated on small plots of land cleared from what was then forest. Today the iguana is the largest indigenous land animal. The absence of large land animals when the Amerindians lived on Anguilla made the Indians rely on the sea for over 90% of their animal protein. They fished both fish and pelagic species including tuna.

Zemi excavated on Anguilla (AAHS)

Fountain Cavern

What is the Fountain?

The Fountain is a limestone cavern containing two freshwater pools and is a natural habitat for bats and other species.

the night. Inside the Fountain Cavern on Anguilla, archaeologists in 1979 discovered more than a dozen petroglyphs. The largest and most impressive by far was a larger than life stalactite carved in the likeness of the Tano supreme deity Ycahu Bagua Marocoti.
Fountain petroglyphs

Carved and painted onto the caverns stalactites are Amerindian glyphs
Fountain petroglyphs

Translated from the Arawak language, the name roughly means the spirit of the cassava and the sea which has no masculine forebear. According to legend, Ycahu had a mother (who was the goddess of fresh water) but no father. The golden years of Amerindian Anguilla lasted until the 15th Century. According to the traditional view, two forces contributed to the decline and depopulation of Anguilla and the region in general. From the south, a Carib-speaking group of Amerindians expanded into the region from about AD1200 and at the end of the 15th-century diseases were introduced into the region by European explorers. By 1518 a smallpox epidemic which spread from Santo Domingo to Puerto Rico decimated the few remaining Amerindians in the region.
Yocahu, Amerindian deity. Painting by Penny Slinger

and carvings.

While Amerindians did not live in the Fountain and archaeologists believe it was purely a ceremonial centre, there were several nearby villages, including a large settlement on Shoal Bay East.

Amerindian Beliefs
Caves were ideologically important to the Taino who believed that all humankind originated from a cave and that the spirits of their ancestors slept inside during the day and came out as bats during

Settling Anguilla

Sir Thomas Warner who settled St Kitts

Anguilla is the next which hath ten leagues of length and is 18 degrees. It hath some few English on it with an excellent salt pit and a good road for ships (1665 description of Anguilla)

European Visits Before Settlement

The first recorded European visit to Anguilla was in 1564 by a Frenchman who stopped briefly. Then, in 1609, the English Captain Robert Harcourt passed through the cays of the north side of Anguilla. He reported that There, I think never Englishmen sailed before us. A small band of settlers landed in St Christopher (St Kitts) under Thomas Warner in 1623. They established the first English colony in the West Indies. St Kitts became the mother colony and from there, the English colonized Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, St Croix, Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anguilla. ships and a beautiful bay. They established a small fort on Sandy Hill in 1631. However, in 1634 the Spanish destroyed the Dutch settlement in St Maarten and the Dutch dismantled the Anguilla fort for materials to repair their settlement in Phillipsburg. that a few English families had settled where the island was widest, around a lake, were raising livestock, and growing corn and tobacco. Anguilla had apparently recovered from the Amerindian attack a decade earlier.

A Persistent Spirit
Despite hardships, the struggling settlement was never abandoned. The Anguillian family name Richardson dates from this period. Little is known about these early farmers. Using contemporary descriptions of their counterparts on other Islands as a guide, their worldly possessions would have consisted of little more than an old chest, some barrels, an old sieve, a few hammocks, some battered pewters dishes and possibly a book or pamphlet.

In 1650, a group of settlers from St Kitts and Nevis came to Anguilla without public encouragement and without an official commission or charter. We do not know their reasons for colonizing Anguilla, but it may to have been to avoid taxes and war. By 1630, farmers in St Kitts paid annual levies of up to 70 lbs of tobacco. The English Civil War had begun in 1642 and King Charles I had been executed in 1649. The English Civil War produced refugees. Unsettled and lawless, Anguilla would have been an attractive alternative. By 1666, it was reported 9

The Dutch
The Dutch showed a passing interest in Anguilla as a source for salt in the 1620s. They reported a natural salt pan with enough salt for two or three

Anguilla between Columbus and the Revolution

As a British colony the island enjoyed a certain amount of political autonomy, with fairly lax guidance and control being exercised by the home government. Tobacco, cotton and sugar were grown on Anguillas plantations. Sugar was grown for less than 100 years and was replaced by cotton. In 1745, Anguilla invaded French St Martin and the following year the French retaliated by landing a party unsuccessfully at Crocus Bay on a beach surrounded by cliffs. England gave St Martin back to the French at the end of the war, but many Anguillians stayed in the English Quarter on St Martin where their descendants live today. Anguilla prospered during the sugar period. Plantations grew in the Valley and merchants lined the road from Crocus Bay to the capital. This prosperity was short-lived. During the French Revolution in 1796 the French invaded Anguilla for the 2nd time at the better location in Rendezvous Bay. The marauding force destroyed the Islands main settlement in Crocus Bay. The Anguillians made a desperate stand at Sandy Hill. Their tenacious defence and the timely arrival of an English frigate saved many citizens from would have likely been a bloody execution. Still, the Island was devastated and the economy would take over a century to recover. The surviving French prisoners were executed and buried in a mass grave in the Valley, their only tombstone a layer of black stones.

Times were hard. In 1825 Anguilla was forced by England into a political union with St Kitts and Nevis and lost much of its autonomy. Sugar continued to be produced until after emancipation, when it became a victim of economic change taking place in the Caribbean. The great drought of the late 1800s brought tremendous hardship to the island. Many Anguillians had to leave to find work and over the years emigration became a way of life for many. During much of the 1800s Anguilla was in economic turmoil. Property changed hands and many former slaves become land owners. While some political reforms were instituted in 1936, universal adult suffrage for Anguillians was not achieved on Anguilla until 1952. 10
KoalKeel, on the road from Crocus Bay to the Valley is one of a few surviving buildings from the 1700s.

Stone Ruins near Shoal Bay East (private property)

Benzies Plantation Ruins on Anguilla

1656 Carib Attack

No sooner had this first settlement of 1650 established itself, than it was almost wiped out. By the mid-1600s, after more than a century struggling against massacres, diseases and enslavement at the hands of Europeans, many Amerindians were fighting back. In 1656 Caribs from an unknown place attacked the inhabitants of St Barths. From there they rowed to Anguilla where they killed almost all the men. They plundered and burned the houses, and enslaved the women and children. The French author, botanist and explorer Pere Jean Baptiste du Tertre was sailing from Guadeloupe to St Christopher on the morning of 18 November 1656 when his ship came upon the Amerindians as they paddled away from Anguilla. The Amerindians were in nine large pirogues, or canoes. Fortunately for the French, all nine pirogues did not attack the French vessel. This is what du Tertre wrote about the encounter:
I saw them first, to the number of nine pirogues, and we were in any other place, I would think that it was an army of savages going upon some expedition." But a moment afterwards, seeing them tack, he cried out, "Get ready! Get ready! They are the savages!" The largest pirogue, leaving the eight others, came boldly to reconnoitre us. Our Captain did what he could to run her on board athwart ships, and sail over her; but the Caribs adroitly avoided the shock and always kept her head towards us. We had pointed the gun to rake the pirogue from one end to the other, and it was loaded with a large ball, an iron chain, and two bags of old nails and musket balls. Half the savages on board the pirogue rowed; all the others held each of them two arrows on their bow-string ready to let fly. When they were about twenty paces from us they made great cries and hootings on coming to attack us; but as we went to them before the wind, the foresail covered us and they could not see to fire at us. Our gunner seeing them close chose his time so well, and let off his gun so a propos that the discharge knocked down more than half the savages, and if the stern of the pirogue had not pitched, not one of them would have escaped. There were more than twenty killed by this discharge so pirogue was stove and full of water. Our two Captains and our soldiers fired their pieces, and because they were so close there was scarcely one that did not kill a savage. While both sides were fighting valiantly an old captain of the savages, seeing M. de Maubray upon the poop shot an arrow at him with such violence that it broke the vessel's bell without which he would have been killed. But he did not endure that long: M. de Maubray immediately shot him in the side. The ball passed through him, and M. de Maubray would have finished him with his pistol, but the savage avoided him and threw himself into the sea, with his bow and arrow, where all the others, even the wounded, followed him! As soon as they were all in the water we tried to save some prisoners that were in the pirogue, and easily got out two young Frenchmen. But as we were trying to get an English girl out, an old female savage bit her on the shoulder, and tore out as much flesh as her mouth could hold! But at the same time a Christian Carib that we had on board, and a sworn enemy to others of his nation, struck her a blow with a half pike in the neck, which made her drop her prize. This wound, nevertheless, did not prevent her from throwing herself upon the girl and biting her a second time, before we could get her out of the pirogue. A Negro who had lost both his legs by our shot refused the hand which was held out to save him, he threw himself head foremost into the sea. But his feet not being quite separated from his legs, he hung by the bones and drowned himself. We also tried to save a young English lady, the mistress of the girl we had taken on board. The pirogue being separated from the bark, we saw her for some time upon a chest, holding out her hands to us; but as we went to her the chest upset and we never saw her again! While we were occupied in saving these poor miserable creatures, our old savage captain all wounded as he was came towards us, and raising his body half out the water, like a Triton, holding two arrows on the string of his bow, fired them into the bark and dived immediately under the water. He returned thus bravely to the charge five times; and his strength failing him before his courage, we saw him fall backwards and sink to the bottom! If the eight pirogues had come to us with the same courage we would certainly have been taken; but having seen the fire that we kept upon the first and perceiving that we stood towards them with all sail set, they took flight, and having gained the weather gage by rowing they saved themselves on a small island called Redonda.

showed them to Captain la Bourlette, who said, "Father, if that the sea all around our bark became bloody and the


The Golden Age of Piracy
The association of piracy and buccaneering with Anguilla dates to the 17th century, when Anguilla developed a wide but undeserved reputation as a stomping ground for pirates and buccaneers. The Golden Age of Piracy ran from about 1614 to 1724. In 1672, Anguilla appears in history when the new Governor-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands unlawfully (and by accident) seizes the William and Mary in Anguilla which was carrying a cargo of logwood. Wheelers action was deemed unjustified and he was replaced as Governor-in-Chief by Colonel William Stapleton. The cargo was offloaded while the ship sunk at anchor in The Road (Sandy Ground). In England he was hung and afterward exhibited as a warning to other pirates.

Accusations of Pirate Dealing

In 1701, Governor Codrington Jr wrote to the committee for the Colonies that the men of Anguilla were perfect outlaws. In 1706, Anguillas Deputy Governor George Leonard was accused by Richard Oglethorpe of knowingly dealing with the goods of Captain Kidd. Unfortunately no other details are known. Oglethorpe subsequently married the widow of Tempest Rogers, Kidds colleague. Oglethorpe accused Governor Leonard of owing money to Rogers and, since Rogers was dead, to him as he had married Rogers widow. Anguilla continued to struggle with its reputation. A retired pirate surfaces on Anguilla in Captain Woodes Rogers who in 1718 attempted to lure the entire population of Anguilla (then around 1,800 blacks and whites) to his colony in the Bahamas. Two years later, six pirates from the Royal Rover landed on Anguilla in 1720 to start a new life but were detected by the Anguillians and sent as prisoners to Nevis where they were found guilty and sentenced to death.
Kidd displayed on the Gibbet in London

William Kidd
In 1699, the Council for Nevis wrote that Kidd had touched at Anguilla. There, he learned he had been proclaimed a pirate by the English authorities. The Anguillians refused him assistance but the allegations of visits by pirates would haunt the Islands reputation for years. William Kidd travelled to the states where he was imprisoned and later carried to England.


The first real evidence that Anguillians were engaged in smuggling comes from 1736, the year an Anguillian vessel was seized by the Spanish near the Rocas, a series of rocky islands off the coast of Venezuela where they claimed they were hunting turtle. The Spanish believed they were smuggling and it is quite possible they were correct. Smuggling has a long tradition and if the Spaniards were correct, it would prove an even greater lineage. Unfortunately the name of the sloop and its fate along with its crew is not known so we cannot be certain. Historian Don Mitchell writes that It is this profession [smuggling] that was responsible for having provided valuable training and employment for generations of famous Anguillian shipwrights and sailors (The Baccaneers and Anguilla) The boats that are used in todays races have not in Anguillian mariners but from a long line of boats The close proximity of duty-free St. Martin, the Islands numerous bays and coves, the poverty of the presence of so many skilled mariners and available boats has made smuggling a natural pastime. While liquor was the main commodity, other staple foods including rice, sugar and flour were also smuggled. Duty on a gallon of rum in the 1930s meant that the same amount of rum costing two or three shillings in St Martin could cost as much as 20 shillings after importation. There was little cash on Anguilla and the high tax amounted to prohibition. And crack it on the wall (Recorded by David Carty in Nuttin Bafflin 1997) For more information, Nuttin Bafflin, a book and DVD by David Carty, provides an insightful look at the history of smuggling and boat building. All hail the power of Cockspurs rum Let drunkards prostrate fall Bring forth the royal demijohn Smugglers invented several marching songs; the the Power of Jesus Name: the inhabitants, the high rates of duty, together with most famous of which was sang to the tune All Hail which fished at day and smuggled by night. Smuggling was important to boat racing as invariably the best boats for smuggling were also competitive racers. At Little Harbour, a series of fires were lit which were visible at sea but invisible from land. Smugglers would tack along the nearly reef-bound coast until the fires onshore lined up meaning the channel was straight ahead and they could enter.

Taxes Marching Songs

How to Avoid the Reefs

The Anguillians invented ingenious ways to avoid dangerous reefs. 13

fact evolved from the sloops and schooners used by both the officials (all two in 1930) and Anguillas

The 1745 French Invasion at Crocus Bay

The St Martin-Anguilla Connection The French Invasion
From as early as the 1720s the deputy governor of Anguilla of Jenkins Ear) England and France were at war. That year In 1745, the French retaliated, landing 150 men at Crocus had made grants of land in St Martin to British settlers 300 Anguillian settlers under the command of Deputy Bay. Led by M. DeLaTouche, the invading force landed on from Anguilla. In 1744, during the War of Austrian Succession (also known as King Georges War or the War Governor Arthur Hodge invaded St Martin with the help of two Privateers from St Kitts. The force successfully captured the French side of St Martin. a beach surrounded by hills. Governor Hodge of Anguilla advised his men,

Gentlemen, I am an utter stranger to all manner of military discipline, so have nothing to recommend to you, but load and fire as fast you can, and stand by one another in the defense of your country; so God bless you -General Arthur Hodge
According to a contemporary account, 150 Anguilla militia repelled the force in only fifteen minutes. 32 Frenchmen were killed, 25 injured (including M. DeLaTouche) and 50 taken as prisoners. In 1747, Governor Hodge travelled to England to ask parliament to allow Anguilla to keep St Martin. His requests were unsuccessful and the Treaty of Aix-laChappelle in 1748 confirmed St Martin as half-French/halfDutch. Still, many Anguillian settlers stayed on St Martin. The area of Simpson Bay was called The English Quarter as late as 1765 and common Anguillian names such as Howell, Leonard and Derrick persist in St Martin even while they have become extinct in Anguilla. Crocus Bay, Site of 1745 French Invasion on Anguilla


Contemporary Account of the 1745 French Invasion

Boston Post 5th August 1745 Letter from an unnamed gentleman in Anguilla to his friend in St Kitts

On the 21st instant, early in the morning, we were surprised by a fleet of French, consisting of two Men-of-War, one of 36 guns, the other of 32, with 3 privateers, and two Dutch vessels as tenders. They had undiscovered put on shore 759 men at a place called Rendezvous Bay [nb this is mis-reported as the landing actually took place at Crocus Bay]. Their success in landing was a great encouragement to them, and a great discouragement to us: our whole force being 97 men only. These our lieutenant governor, Arthur Hodge, formed into three divisions, and posted them in a very narrow path by

which the French were to pass secured with breastworks, the first of which would contain but 22 men, commanded by Captain Richardson. These engaged the enemy, firing by platoons regularly, and with so true an aim that every shot took pace and the French fell so fast, that in less than ten minutes they lost courage, and fled with precipitation, having in this short action at least 160 men killed and wounded, and drowned in getting into their boats. We expected a fresh onset the next day, but it seems they had a job of it for they went away quietly. We have buried 35 dead, and are daily in search of such as

have hid themselves in the bushes, or died there of their wounds, which latter we believe, by the stench to be many, but can give no certain account of them, nor of the drowned. Among the dead are the second Captain of the Commodore (Monsieur La Touch), the first lieutenant of the other ship, Capt Rolough, and old privateer, Benar their pilot who married his wife of this island, the Governor of St Bartholomews son, and several other officers. The Commodore himself was wounded in his arm and thigh, so much that they were obliged to carry him on board, as they did 25 others. Some of these

particulars we learn by some prisoners set on shore by a flag of truce sent by the Commodore. They had landed several hand grenade shells, swivel guns fixed on triangles, beef, cheese, bread and wine. The four last articles were good plunder for our Negroes. Every dead man had in his pockets nettles, or small lines, for pinioning our Negroes. We had not one man hurt, and have got by this expedition, besides two pair of their colours, a great many fine buccaneer guns, cartouche boxes, etc, which they left behind, and with which we intend to arm our most trusty and sensible Negroes to strengthen our island.

The 2nd French Invasion of Anguilla Rendezvous Bay 1796

Anguilla in Context
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the islands of the Caribbean faced depredations by privateers and pirates of all nations. During the Revolutionary Wars in 1796, Victor Hughes sent 470 men under citoyens Andre Senis and Labourtique from St Martin to Anguilla with alleged instructions to exterminate the inhabitants. The French force landed at Rendezvous Bay and moved through the settlements, burning villages and pillaging plantations as they went. Despite resistance, they sacked and burned the main town at Crocus Bay. In the Valley they tore down the church and burned Wallblake House. Their advance was finally held at Sandy Hill Fort where the Anguillians melted the last of their fishing net weights to make musket balls. Colonel Benjamin Gumbs said years after (1824) that he urged the men, saying, I tell you what. I know nothing of marching and counter-marching, but my advice to you is wait till the enemy comes close and then fire and load and fire again like the devil. -Benjamin Gumbs, Anguillas Lieutenant Governor Meanwhile a fast sailing schooner, the Margaret, was sent from Anguilla to St. Kitts for assistance; on reaching St. Kitts the Anguilla ship found the 28 -gun British frigate, HMS Lapwing. Sailing with the frigate, both ships proceeded quickly to Anguilla. Arriving at night, they saw the man settlements and plantations in flames. They engaged the enemy, captured and burned the larger vessel and drove the other ashore on St Martin. The frigates timely intervention caused the French to immediately break off their siege of Sandy Hill. In their hasty retreat, many French soldiers were left stranded. Having surrendered, they were imprisoned in the burned out cellars of the Crocus 16
Rendezvous Bay, where the French landed their troops The arrival of HMS Lapwing, commemorated on an Anguilla Stamp For bravery, two service medals were awarded for the Lapwing engagement. Very similar to the medal awarded at Trafalgar (above), one of these is preserved at the National Maritime Museum in England.

Margaret Saves Anguilla

Hill Court House (a Heritage Trail site). Realizing the extent of destruction, enraged Anguillians swarmed the make shift prison and slaughtered the French in their cells.

The Anguilla Revolution and Nationhood

The British on guard in Sandy Ground

During the 1970s debate continued over Anguillas future even while the British Corps of Engineers helped rebuild the Islands infrastructure and lay many of the roads you see today. In December 1980, Anguilla became a separate dependency with some measure of autonomy in government. The Island has an elected ministerial government and a British-appointed governor. Today the Island is a British Overseas Territory.

In 1958, St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla became part of the Federation of the West Indies. The Federation collapsed in 1962 and despite individual constitutions for most islands, Anguilla remained part of an Associated State with St Kitts and Nevis, an unpopular decision that sparked the Anguilla Revolution. In 1967 in an effort to oust the St Kitts officials, Anguillians burnt Landsome House, the only other Plantation House on the Island. Today the separation from St Kitts is commemorated every

May 30th on Anguilla Day, a National Holiday. Britain intervened in 1969, landing the British Red Devils (paratroopers) on the Island. They were welcomed by the Islanders with waving Union Jacks. In 2007, six of the Revolutions leaders were honoured on Anguilla stamps: Hyacinth Carty, Edward Duncan, Jeremiah Gumbs, Connell Harrigan, Reverend Leonard Carty and Atlin Harrigan, who together with Ronald Webster, helped shape the future of Anguilla. 17

Anguillas National Flag



The Planters House

Design and Efficiency
The design for the Plantation Great House was introduced to the Caribbean in the early 1600s, a century or so before the design became popular in America. The design takes advantage of the regions natural climate. One or two stories, the Planters house is always elevated to take advantage of breezes. relaxation and shade, allowing the planter to survey his property in comfort. Continuous walls of shutters on the outside of the porch rails provide privacy from outside, and an extension of living space. Inside, interior walls originally stopped just above the doors, allowing air to freely circulate around the homes interior.

The space under the house was originally used to keep livestock safe Standing the at night and later for storing commodities and other valuables. In Test of Time Union Jack railings on the White House in Sandy Ground some cases, it is also the location for a The design of the sloping hip roof is cistern. ideal to deflect hurricane winds and Designs vary and borrowed elements to collect fresh water for the cistern. can include shutters (Jalousie) from The shape creates a venturi effect the French, dormer windows from under the porches. During a storm, the Dutch and Union Jack railings this forces the wind through the from the English. house via large French doors, helping to anchor the house to the ground. Other classical European features include column capitols, bases, The design is remarkably efficient entablatures, arches and plinths. and is one reason many houses have The roof typically extends over a balcony which often surrounds the entire house. The porches allow both survived weather which has devastated younger properties.
Exterior of Koal Keel Restaurant showing elevated 1st floor and porch


Wallblake House
The Buildings
Wallbblake House is the oldest surviving Plantation on Anguilla. The original estate buildings located n the Valley comprised the main house, its outbuildings and the nearby sugar works. Before emancipation there would have been a slave village attached to the plantation; its exact location has yet to be found. In 1787, by the end of the sugar period a house and some outbuildings were built at Wallblake House The sugar works date to the mid-1700s. In its heyday, the Great House was a prominent residence in the centre of an estate, which at its peak extended as far as the present airport. A brick in the bakery on site shows a date of 1787. Wallblake House was burnt during the 1796 French invasion and at least one member of the Hodge family murdered who was hiding in the basement. The house, however, was rebuilt shortly after.
Left: Drawing of Wallblake House estate by Ian Smith

Wallblake, the name of the estate probably derives from Valentine Blake, whose property in the Valley is mentioned briefly in a deed from the 1690s. The Hodge Family owned the estate before emancipation during the Sugar Period and rebuilt the main house following its destruction by the French. Since the 1890s, it has been owned by the Lakes who leased the property to the Rey brothers in the early 1900s. In the 1960s when cotton was grown on the estate, Wallblake House and approximately 9 acres were willed to the Catholic Church by Miss Marie Lake. Today the property is the centre for the Anguilla Heritage Trail and an office for non profit organizations. The building is open to the public five days a week.
Burned coral and molasses formed the original mortar

Exterior of Wallblake House


Building a Plantation
The house basement, along with the outbuildings, the cistern and the sugar works were all built using local stone. The foundations are built of cut stone held together with lime, made from burnt coral and shells, mixed with molasses and marl. It would have taken at least 18 months to collect and cut the stone (possibly much longer) and some of the stone may have come from nearby Crocus Bay or as far away as East End and Scrub Island. The beading of each board used in the double panelling of each partition (removed during restoration) and intricate carving involved in decorating the edges of the tray ceiling was completed by hand. Other examples of this type of colonial architecture can be seen at Koal Keel, another site on the In addition to the main house there is an elevated Anguilla Heritage Trail. cellar at ground level, a bakery and two outbuildings. One of these was used as servants quarters in the early 1900s and the other has been labelled the stables. The ruins of the original animal round used to grind cane is approximately 100 metres from the main house.
The ruins of the animal round where slaves took the cane to extract the juice and produce sugar and rum. The remains of the boiling and curing house have not been found but would have been nearby Large stepped chimney in the bakery (c. 1787) Tray ceilings and beading inside Wallblake House

inverted trays suspended from the roof and the decorated edged of the tray ceiling are called roping because they look like rope tacked onto the edges to hide irregularities.


The house has a wooden roof and attractive 'tray' ceilings with beading and decorative woodwork. Tray ceilings are so called because they resemble


Life on a Plantation: Planters

The large oven at Wallblake House would have provided for all the needs of the Family who resided in the Great House discipline of the domestic staff, and the ordering of food and household supplies (many of which were imported) would have been the main responsibility of the plantation owners wife. The large oven The Plantation owner and his family lived (separate from the house in case of fire) in the House and were usually looked after would have been used for baking bread by female domestic slaves or, after and preparing food. emancipation, servants. While the separation between master and The household help would have been slave may not have been as dramatic on responsible for cleaning and laundry, food Anguilla as on other islands, slave and preparation, gardening and often child master lived in separate spheres. Slaves did care. not have legal rights and did not share the The organization, day to day operation and benefits of their labour.

Planters enjoyed the best that they could afford (above, Planters kicking back in Barbados 1700s)

The Household
There were always two separate but interrelated domestic communities on the Plantation. The resident of the Great House, the Planter and his family enjoyed as many amenities and comforts as he could afford.

Anguilla Planters never amassed the fortunes of his Barbados or Jamaican counterpart. They did, however, maintain a reasonable standard of living. Compared to life in Europe, living on Anguilla was difficult, crude, hot and sweaty. Diseases, wars, hurricanes and drought made life unpredictable and the future, uncertain.


Life on a Plantation: Slaves and Servants

Field Work
The majority of slaves were field workers who planted and harvested crops of cotton and sugar. It was labour-intensive work. cooking, cleaning and laundry necessary to keep the household running smoothly. Special events such as Christmas and Easter would have meant periods of high activity in the Plantation household. The planting of a kitchen garden in the rainy season was a job usually delegated to the domestic staff, as was care of the household milk cow, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. Historically the seasonal planting and harvesting of sugar cane or cotton would have made extra demands on the time and skills of the plantations domestic staff.

Domestic Work
Domestic work at Wallblake would have revolved around daily chores including

Crops grown for local consumption (which during productive years might be exported) were known as provisions. Corn (maize), along with pigeon peas (a good source of protein and dry weather resistant), cassava (a starchy root), sweet potatoes and yams (another good source of carbohydrates) formed these usual garden crops.

Modern-day jollification sponsored by the library Jollification and was practiced until the late 1950s. A reciprocal practice, it was probably an extension of the neighbourhood house building tradition and served the same social purposes. A missionary to Anguilla writes in 1828,

requested them to kneel down that I may pray with them. The house being small and having a large fire on the floor in its centre, I was almost suffocated with heat and smoke [but] rising from prayer I again exposited with them (H.B. Britton 1828)
In the 20th Century the men of the neighbourhood cleared and tilled the land ready for planting while the women prepared food and drink for a social gathering that would take place after the days work. Recent Jollifications have been sponsored by the Anguilla Public Library in an effort to keep alive Anguillas historical tradition of communal work.

The collective planting of families garden plots was known on Anguilla as

Workers on an unknown Plantation (not Anguilla) 1800s

When going to the Band-musking this morning, I heard a strange noise at some distance, which I learned was a party celebrating a roof rising. I procured a guide and went unnoticed to the spot. They at first appeared inclined to smile at reproof, but became attentive. After some time spent in reproof and remonstration, I


Fresh Water Anguillas Staff of Life

Many wells once used to wash clothes are now easily overlooked Valley Well, a Heritage Trail site

Anguillas first inhabitants identified sources of freshwater early. The Islands two main Amerindian sites at the Fountain Cavern and Big Spring, renowned for their 1000+ year old petroglyphs and artefacts are also reliable sources for fresh water. Cisterns provide a convenient source of water by catching runoff from roofs. This catchment area funnels the water into a storage chamber where it is held until needed. The cistern at Wallblake House is an exceptionally well made example which continues to hold water more than 200 years after it was constructed.

Wells and Cisterns

At least five Indian wells are recorded on early maps of Anguilla. The most reliable have been fitted with pumps and expanded; The Old Valley Well in the Valley became

Conserving water continues to be an important- even vital part of living on Anguilla. Today, the governments

East End Pump Station

the site of Anguillas first Water Works in 1919 (top right). desalination plant in Crocus Bay and on Crocus Hill The site also served as a watering hole for cattle and goats provides fresh water across the island. The system pumps and a community meeting place for business transactions to take place. It was included on the Anguilla Heritage Trail in 2010. Other prominent wells (middle) are visible while many others, once used to wash clothes and draw water, are now forgotten (top left). The water found under Anguilla ranges from brackish to fresh and is mostly used for agricultural purposes. sea water into Crocus Bay. The desalinated water is pumped to a storage tank at the highest point on Anguilla, at Crocus Hill where it is delivered by gravity to customers paying for government water. Many Anguillians, however, continue to rely on wells and cisterns for their freshwater requirements. The cistern at Wallblake House was built by hand more than 200 years ago and still holds water


Slavery on Anguilla
The original tobacco and cotton farmers in the 1600s were white indentured servants and former slaves from neighbouring islands. The introduction of sugar cane cultivation in the early 1700s led to larger estates, the conglomeration of small farms and the exodus of many small-scale farmers. Increased numbers of black slaves were imported to meet the labour needs of the plantation and by 1740 Blacks outnumbered Whites 4 to 1. While many Anguillians today believe that slavery was less intensive on Anguilla than other islands, its presence has left a permanent mark on the Island.

Anguillian Names and Slavery

It was accepted that planters would have children with slave mothers. Anguillas historic deeds from the late 1700 and early 1800s show how many of these children were manumitted (freed) and given property in their fathers wills. On freedom, slaves retained their first name but often took their last name from their master. Thus planters named Carty, Gumbs, Harrigan, Richardson and Ruan (among others) passed on their names to former slaves. These surnames have been passed down through generations and are part of Anguillas heritage, today.

Emancipation, Subsistence, Farming and Land Ownership

By the 1820s, increasing taxes together with decreasing productivity brought about by exhausted soil, drought conditions and falling prices led the majority of the planter-class to leave. With taxes unpaid, the land reverted back to the crown (England). Slavery was abolished in 1834 and former slaves became Anguillian subsistence farmers who acquired the land and have held it ever since.

Work On and Off the Plantation

Sugar production is very labour intensive and requires large numbers of workers. However, outside the harvest, many slaves were sent off-Anguilla to work on neighbouring plantations. After years of work abroad, records
An excerpt from the division of slave owner Benjamin Richardsons estate in Anguilla on his death in 1819 including a list of the estates slaves

show that some slaves returned with savings to purchase both their and their families freedom.


Life in the 1800s

In the early 1800s, Anguilla began to shift from a plantation (slave-based) economy to a society of independent peasants. Following emancipation in 1834, Anguillas former slaves purchased land; families spread across the island, farming provisions and small crops wherever the soil was good. In the 1840s, drought conditions and distress led the British Government to plan the evacuation of all Anguillians to Demerara (now Guyana). Anguillians refused to move and conditions improved by the 1860s, with many Anguillians working the phosphate mine on Sombrero. However, the Great Famine from 1888 through the 1890s once more caused Prolonged drought; repeated failure of crops; lack of seed; death of cattle sheep, goats for want of food and water(Colville Petty) In fact in 1895 95% of the population or 3,500 persons were given assistance from the central government in St. Kitts to save them from actual starvation. A community of peasant farmers, most Anguillians lived in wattle and daub houses during the 1800s and through the mid-1900s. The roof and wall were a prefect work of artmade of the leaf of a plant the shape of an open hand, and no largerEvery leaf is tied to small cross beams by a fibre partially detached from its own stalkcalled a thatch palm by natives. Image and quote from Bless our Forebears by Colville L. Petty


Life in the 1900s

A Century of Paradox: Despair and Hope -description of 1900s by Colville Petty
1960 the census shows that more than half of employed primarily in agriculture, construction and sea transportation. But times were changing The first hotels, Lloyds Guest House (Crocus Hill) and beginning of tourism marks a turning point in Anguillas history. Anguillians were unemployed while the others were Rendezvous Bay Hotel were built in the 1960s; the

Employment Sectors in 1960

Drought, famine, hurricanes and epidemics marked Anguilla in the 1900s. Anguillians survived but the depressed conditions led many to seek work offisland. Some found work in St Kitts, a few went to Cuba and many others went to the Dominican Republic to cut cane. When that industry closed in the 1930s, Anguillians travelled to Curaao and Aruba to work on the oil refineries. Cotton production on Anguilla peaked in 1910 (see Cotton Production) but quickly declined after World War 1. Throughout the 1900s Anguilla suffered from the cyclic destruction of hurricanes and drought. The people lived from hand to mouth. Whenever conditions improved, Anguillians gathered surplus provisions and livestock (peas and maize, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats and cattle) and sold or battered them on St Martin and St Barths. In 27
services (teaching, administration and health )

agriculture 18%


unemployed 56%

construction 8%

other 2%

s ea tra nsportation 6% commerce (whol esale and retail)


The Sea


Maritime Heritage

From the earliest Amerindians to the present and into the future, the sea has defined Anguilla, enabling life to continue where it would otherwise be impossible. From maritime industries including salt picking and fishing to transportation, trade and tourism, Anguilla has come to rely on the sea when other industries failed. Today, the sea is celebrated in festivals and celebrations, including Festival del Mar in Island Harbour and August Monday in Sandy Ground. The sea is a natural part of life on Anguilla and until recently fish the dominant protein. While many Anguillians do not swim, there is an undeniable and intangible connection with the ocean. As more than one Anguillian explains, the sea is in our blood.


Surrounded by reefs, poorly charted and sitting close to the Anegada Passage, Anguilla can boast a surprising number of shipwrecks. The descendants in Island Harbour trace their roots to an Irish ship, perhaps named The Lepricon. In the early 1700s the survivors (including the ships dachshund) allegedly settled in Island Harbour and East End. Today, the Islands Harrigans and Websters trace their ancestry here although unfortunately, no primary sources survive. Other recorded wrecks include Spanish merchant ships, an English slaver, American and Canadian traders, and more than two dozen named ships. Maritime archaeologists believe that Anguilla has a likely resource of 100-150 shipwrecks, with many more around Sombrero and the off-lying cays. In addition to these accidental shipwrecks, nine artificial reefs were created in 1990 to create underwater fish habitats and clear several unsightly hulks from Anguillas coast. While Anguilla does not have any laws preventing the exploration of ship wrecks by divers, there are laws to stop artefacts from being taken off-island or sold.

Thomas Hinde, one of the English owners of the slave ship Antelope, lost off Anguilla in 1772.

Anguillas maritime history is imperfectly preserved in archives and collections around the world. Above, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office in Taunton, England has maps and information on the Caribbean region including Anguilla.


Artificial Reefs
In 1990, Anguilla undertook an artificial reef programme, in part to rid the island of unsightly hulks littering the beaches and in part to create a series of wreck dives for visiting SCUBA divers. These sites can be visited today and include MV Sarah MV Ekco MV Lady Vie MV Meppel MV Commerce MV Ida Maria MV Oospterdiep MV Catheley H MV Marva W While sailing the Caribbean in 1988, the archaeologist George Bass stopped in Road Bay, Anguilla. He commented from his porthole: I could see a future archaeological site-the rusting hulk of Sarah, on her side. Half above and half below the surface of the harbour of Aquilla in the BWI (Ships and Shipwrecks of the Americas).
Hilda, aka Meppel during WWII

Less than 100 years old, each vessel has a unique history.

World War II
For example, the Meppel, an ignoble cargo vessel 127 long was purposely sunk in Anguilla in 1990. In another life, the ship, then called Hilda assisted the evacuation of 338,000 allied troops during Operation Dynamo, the WWII battle at Dunkirk, France. Nearly sunk on several occasions by U-boats, the ship survived the war and successfully (if unglamorously) served throughout the Caribbean as an inter-island freighter.
Ships sunk as artificial reefs are not only interesting dive sites but also provide an important habitat for many fish and coral species

Each of the ships is located off-shore and is accessible only by boat. Most of the dives range from 30 to 80 and are suitable for Open-Water or Advanced Scuba divers. In addition to the ships, the sites are habitats for a wide range of species including lobster, rays and fish. For more information, please contact the Islands dive operators (Special D Divers in Sandy Ground, Anguillian Divers in West End, and Shoal Bay Scuba on Shoal Bay, East).


Marine Archaeology on Anguilla

Marine Archaeology is the study of humankinds past interaction with the sea. The discipline focuses on the material culture that remains, from submerged cities and lost ships, to local traditions and oral histories. The first marine archaeologist, visited Anguilla in 1971 from the College of the Virgin Islands but left no record of his discoveries. 25 years later, the first professional archaeologists visited from East Carolina University and the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (based in Maryland). In 1996, they documented the site of the Spanish Nau, El Buen Consejo. More than a decade later, another team, this time from the University of Southampton conducted a three week field project, photographing and recording 9 historic shipwrecks (8 previously undocumented) and 11 spot finds including anchors, cannon and ships machinery. Finds included a dump site with 9 cannon, 19th century sailing ships and a Taiwanese fishing boat that was lost in 1975. Results from both surveys are
Two archaeologists recording a 19th century wreck. Other features recorded include a windlass and anchoring assembly

available to the public and have been published by the archaeologists.

Nine cannon dumped in the 1800s when a ship ran onto Anguillas reefs

The bow anchor of an 18th century Nau, the Buen Consejo, recorded in 2009

The most recent site recorded, a 1975 taiwanese fishing boat from St Martin that sunk with 120 tons of fresh tuna. Every Anguillian with a freezer had it filled!


Treasure Hunting/ El Buen Consejo

The crystal waters of the Caribbean have long been treasure hunting. Unfortunately, their activities result in a permanent loss of information and history. In 1994, the 1772 Spanish Nau, El Buen Consejo became the centre of controversy when several treasure hunters sought permits to salvage the site. Today, it is illegal to visit the site without Anguilla has kept a large collection of medallions, much has been lost. Artefacts taken from the sea are especially fragile. Years under the sea will change their chemistry and unless they are conserved as soon as they are removed from water they will quickly disintegrate. a stomping ground for avocational and professional permission from the Government. While

Today the site consists of 29 cannon and three The 980-ton Nau, which ran aground off Anguilla on anchors. It is located in a high energy July 8, 1772, was carrying a cargo of trade goods environment. In 2009, the government together and passengers from Cadiz, Spain to Mexico. Among the passengers were 52 Franciscan missionaries carrying a consignment of religious medallions. The bronze pieces depicting religious scenes and holy figures were not recovered when the ship ran aground, but found centuries after by a spear fisherman from Island Harbour. He proceeded to show the site to a number of tourists and soon treasure hunters became interested. The site was protected as an Underwater Archaeological Preserve by the Government of Anguilla in 1995 and became off-limits to the public. Unfortunately looters continued to remove many artefacts, including coins, buttons and medallions.
The sites exposed condition has not protected it from looters The 2009 ceremony returning some of the artefacts stolen from Anguilla

with the FBI recovered a number of artefacts from a private collector in the USA. The artefacts were returned to Anguilla by the FBI. Their recovery will hopefully serve as a warning for others.
One of the remaining anchors and cannon in-situ in the Buen Consejo Archaeological Preserve


Migration and Santo Domingo

Returning home, the ships beat against the wind and the voyage could last two weeks or more. On their arrival into Road Bay, the schools would empty as children and families rushed to meet the workers. The faster ships became renowned for quicker journeys, cementing their
San Pedro de Macoris, 1910 (Bless Our Forebears by Colville Petty) These animal-powered mills which in some areas continue to operate were very similar to the equipment which would have been used at Wallblake House and other sugar plantations on Anguilla in the 1700s Many sugar mills like the one pictured below in Santo Domingo were animal-driven.

place in Anguilla history. Todays racing boats departing from Sandy Ground in the annual boat races re-enact the historic migration of Anguillas men to Santo Domingo. The annual migration provided a vital income. The mens departure relieved pressure to feed a large population. Their return provided an influx of cash which was otherwise impossible to obtain. Despite the low wages, Anguillians welcomed the work off-island. Macoris! Macoris! God bless Macoris! they cried. Changing politics closed the door for Anguillians in the late 1930s and early 1940s to work in the Dominican Republic. Moving South, Anguillians found work in the crowded oil refineries in Curaao and Aruba.

Migration was a necessity for Anguillians through the 1800s and 1900s. While some Anguillians permanently migrated to other islands, North America or Europe, Santo Domingo seasonal employment for Anguillians who were willing to work in the cane fields. Many Anguillian boys as young as 11 travelled with their male relatives. Each worker was paid every 15 days at a rate that averaged US$.17 per ton of cane cut. The workers would leave each January crowded aboard schooners such as the Warspite, Betsy R, Excelsior Hodge, Yolanda, Ismay and Carmella. Following British legislation they carried one passenger per ton. Calling into Marigot, St Martin, they would load many more men and boys including those from other islands. The trip to San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic would take as little as two days.


The Warspite
An Anguilla Legend
Built in 1909 at Sandy Ground, the Warspite was originally christened Gazelle. In 1916, Arthur Romney bought the 40-ton ship and renamed her the Warspite, after the famous Queen Elizabeth Class warship launched in 1913. He altered the bow section and added 11 feet to the length. She was a fast boat and soon became famous for transporting Anguillas men to and from the Dominican Republics cane fields. In 1929, she was lengthened again and a fourteen foot section was added to her centre. Through the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s she transported goods between the Caribbean islands and salt to Trinidad. As times changed, she was motorized but continued to live as a working boat. Every two weeks, she carried supplies to the lighthouse on Sombrero. Between trips, she would anchor in Sandy Ground.

In 1984, while at anchor in Road Bay during hurricane Klaus, the now infamous Ida Maria dragged down her chains, struck the Warspite, tore her chains from the bitts, and cast her ashore. In 1995 the vessel was commemorated in a series of postal stamps.
The Warspite commemorative stamp

Left: The Warspite at anchor in Sandy Ground


Boat Racing
Boat racing is Anguillas national sport. It involves communities, groups, businesses and visitors in annual celebration and competition.

Ad-hoc racing
Before organized racing, there was competition. The challenge of one Captain to another was legendary. Unscheduled head-to-head races bred skills and for fishing and smuggling and were much more easily August Monday celebrations.

Organized Racing
Racing was not incorporated into August Monday celebrations until 1940. Up to then, August Monday was organized by the Anglican Vestry and celebrated Landsome Pasture or Burrowes Park) as a fair with a Carty (both of North Hill) organized the first August Monday Boat Race in Sandy Ground. The largest boats were just over 19 and there was no prize money. Over time the event grew in popularity, eventually attracting sponsors and even occasional competitors from St Martin. When motorized fishing boats replaced the sails of the fishing fleet, sailing boats survived as racing boats. Increasingly built for competition, their paint became more decorative and their efficiency for racing improved.

experience. The Islands original racing boats were used in what is now Ronald Webster Park (formerly called rigged and crewed than the larger boats used in todays bazaar and sports meet. In 1940, Mac Owen and Elliot

While illegal and unregulated, betting plays an important role in racing. Fortunes have been lost and gained and considerable sums trade hands each race.

Its all in a name

Most of todays racing boat names can be traced back decades and in some cases, generations. For example, the original Bluebird was built in 1967, Light and Peace in 1971, and De Chan in 1973. De Tree and UFO both date to 1996.
Right: Boat arriving into Sandy Ground on August Monday 2010


Off-Island Cays
Anguillas off-lying cays (pronounced keys) provide important habitats for birds and marine life together with recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Anguillas cays and shoals include: Anguillita, Blowing Rock, Cove Cay, Crocus Cay, Deadman's Cay, Dog Island, East Cay, Little Island, Little Scrub Island, Mid Cay, North Cay, Prickly Pear Cays, Rabbit Island, Sandy Island, also known as Sand Island, Scilly Cay, Scrub Island, Seal Island, Sombrero, also known as Hat Island, South Cay, South Wager Island, and West Cay. Most are of little consequence, many are privately owned and all our uninhabited.

The cays have been used variously through time. In the 1800s, a more fertile Dog Island was used to pasture horses and goats. In 1826 Benjamin Gumbs Hodge assaulted a slave called Charlotte. After beating her he did seize, take drag and forcibly carry her across the sea to a certain place called Dog Island for a long space of time, for the space of three weeks. Charlotte was a witness in the trial but Hodge was acquitted of any wrongdoing by his fellow planters. The larger Island of Sombrero supported a
Scilly Cay offers a shuttle from Island Harbour. There is a restaurant and bar on the island


Power does not extend to the off-lying cays phosphate industry (1860-1890) and during and there is no accommodation. Today, the 1990s was nearly leased to a company Sandy Island, Prickly Pear and Scilly Cay are who wanted to create a missile silo and the only cays that offer food and drink. All launch rockets from the Island. materials and supplies (including water) is All the cays and Anguilla itself have carried by boat from Anguilla and all witnessed a number of shipwrecks and waste is carried back to Anguilla. Prickly disasters. In 1996, the shoals around Sandy Pear currently has a solar system which Island were altered, the palm trees provides basic electricity. destroyed and the island swept clean by Hurricane Louis. 37
Beach on Scrub Island, a cay lying across from Windward Point, Anguilla



Cotton Production 1670-1730; 1850-1950

The first generation of settlers found cotton growing wild on the Island, where it had been left by the Amerindians before. In many ways it was an ideal crop as it required little capital outlay and did not spoil as long as it was kept dry. Cotton was cultivated on Anguilla for nearly 240 years from the 1600s through the 1740s and from the mid-1800s through the 1950s. Sugar was introduced in the 1730s but never completely replaced cotton. By the late 1800s cotton had once more became the preferred crop and in 1902, a cotton gin was installed at the Factory. through the 1950s. The most productive years (191011) saw 148,000 pounds exported to the UK. In 1920 Wallblake Plantation consisted of 97 acres of cotton. Today, much of the old cotton fields are covered by the runway. However, wild cotton trees can be found throughout the Island from Corito to the Valley, where their seeds have been scattered by birds.

Sea Island Cotton

In the 1800s, cotton from Anguilla was imported to was named Gossypium barbadense. Its superior quality was recognized by loyalist settlers from the American colonies and in the 1800s it was imported to Georgia and South Carolina. Flourishing on the Islands off the coast of South Carolina it became famous as Sea Island Cotton. Cotton was grown on the adjacent estate (Wallblake) the Bahamas. The strain, with unusually long strands

The cotton gin, originally at the Factory is now at the Heritage Collection in East End

Gossypium anguillense (also known as Barbadense) growing Close-up of Wild Cotton on Anguilla wild at Corito


Sugar Production c1730-1800

Cane sugar began to replace the wild honey previously used, and the tropical and semi-tropical islands of the Caribbean proved to be ideal for the growing of sugar cane (a member of the grass family). Great wealth was generated for the European owners of sugar estates during the 150 years when the Caribbean held a virtual monopoly on its production. Sugar cane cultivation is hard work and very labour intensive. Its economic success in the Caribbean was based largely on the use of slave labour. Sugar cane arrived on Anguilla in the 1730s, despite the islands irregular rainfall and unsuitable climate for its production. Sugar cane was planted in rows and the long stalks or canes were cut in the winter months when the cane was about 15 months old. The cut canes were brought to the factory on the backs of donkeys, and the sweet juice was extracted from the tough cane stalks by passing them through rollers as shown below. The raw cane juice was boiled in large iron pots called coppers and lime was added to clarify the juice. The clarified juice was then boiled in a series of cast iron kettles until it became a thick syrup. The concentrated syrup was allowed to cool in trays, 40 forming crystals as it cooled. Molasses was drained from the sugar crystals when the crystals were put in wood barrels. After a period of curing the barrels of sugar (known as muscavado) were shipped to England or North America for further processing and sale. In the mid-1700s a ton of West India sugar sold for as much as US $5,000. Molasses, the by-product of sugar making, was either used on the estates for food, mixed to make building glue, fed to the estate animals, sold overseas or used at home to make rum. At Wallblake House and other estates sugar production was limited, due to poor soil and lack of rainfall.
Foundation of animal round similar to Wallblake House in St Croix

Animal-powered sugar mill

Sugar Cane was introduced into the Caribbean in the 1640s. Sugar was a luxury food used to sweeten the tea, coffee and cocoa that was becoming fashionable to drink in Europe at the time.

Early sugar works with boiling house

Salt Production 1600s-1983

An early description of Anguilla by a Dutch sea captain in 1624 states Anguilla as having no fresh water, but a salt pan with enough salt for two to three ships a year. The earliest known earthworks, installed in order to increase the amount of salt produced, are thought to have been built by the Irish in the 1600s. Wager Rey built the dams surrounding the Sandy Ground pond in the late nineteenth century, to prevent rainwater flowing into the salt-making area. The present structures and long middle dam were The Salt Pond at Sandy Ground, Anguilla Naturally occurring salt has been harvested from Anguillas natural salt ponds from the time of the Amerindians. It is also believed that Amerindians came here from other islands to collect salt. Salt ponds are found throughout Anguilla. The largest are at Long Path, Rendezvous Bay, Cove Bay, Maundays Bay, West End and Sandy Ground. These ponds were formed when earlier coves became cut off from the sea by sand bars which formed across their mouths. As with similar sea-level salt ponds on other islands, they never completely dry out. Their bottoms are below the level of the nearby sea. As the brine concentrates by evaporation, the salt precipitates out. It forms a thick crust on the bed one to two feet below the surface. This underwater salt deposit is picked by workers bending over, breaking off and lifting up bits of the slab of salt. These bits of salt slab were then thrown into the small salt barges or flats, floating alongside the pickers. It was back-breaking work. Picking Salt Hand-packed salt ready for export erected by his son, Carter Rey (one-time owner of Wallblake House and the Factory), in various stages from the late 1930s to the mid to late 1940s. The oldest part of the present restaurant called the Pumphouse was built to house a pump that carried rainwater trapped by the ring dams, out to sea, thus helping to preserve the salt crop. Salt was produced for export at Sandy Ground (Road Salt Pond) and at the West End Salt Pond and exported to Washing the salt in the Pumphouse (Heritage Trail site)

Trinidad to refine jet fuel. In 1984, hurricane Klaus forced Anguillas principal market in Trinidad to seek salt elsewhere. The last salt was harvested the following year and the works abandoned.


Mining 1860-1890
34 miles northwest of Anguilla in the Anegada passage is the 95-acre island of Sombrero. Today the Island is a dependency of Anguilla; the island has sparse vegetation but in the early 1800s a geological survey discovered an abundance of phosphate of lime (guano).

In 1859, the 3,400-ton Royal Mail Steam Packet Companys ship Paramatta wrecked on her maiden voyage off Somebrero. To prevent future maritime disasters, a lighthouse was built which opened on

January 1, 1869. The lighthouse was administered by Trinity House and manned by a long line of Anguillians. Full responsibility passed to the Anguillian government in 2001 and the following year the light was automated.

Phosphate is a fertilizer made from fossilized guano or bird droppings. Sombrero supports a large population of sea birds including Masked Boobies, Brown Boobies, Bridled Terns, Brown Noddys and Sooty Terns which are responsible for the phosphate deposits.

In 1856 Americans claimed the island, quarrying 100,000 tons of phosphate to fertilize the Souths exhausted soils. Anguillians worked the mines from the 1860s through 1890. In 1890 the phosphate works were finally abandoned.

Royal Mail Steam Packet Paramatta wrecked on maiden voyage on Western Reef of Sombrero

The superintendents house was a wooden bungalow near the middle of island, surrounded by the quarters of technicians, store keepers and lighthouse keepers. Brown Booby


Popular Fish and Shellfish
Fish species caught on Anguilla include snapper, dolphin (aka dorado or mahi mahi), and numerous species of potfish including doctorfish, old wife, porcupine fish, hinds, and angelfish. Shellfish are also caught including spiny lobster, crayfish and whelks. Today Anguillians build both modern (power) boats of sails might have been the end of sailboats on Anguilla

Fishing Boats and Racing Boats

Yet sailboats continued to be built, not only for fishing but increasingly to participate in competitive (sailing) races.

Fishing Communities
Fishing pots on Nevis built with local wood and chicken wire

and traditional sail boats. Each year more than a dozen racing boats compete for prize money and bragging rights.

While fishing was once island-wide, today most fishermen live in Island Harbour, East End, Sandy Ground and West End. While most Anguillians fish for sport, there are at least 50 families whose primary income continues to come from the sea.

Fishing with Pots

Fish pots are traps laid on the reefs and in deep water and marked with surface buoys. On Anguilla they are now made from rebar and chicken wire while on other islands including Nevis and Dominica, wood is still used to construct the frame.

From Sail to Power

From the 1800s, the Islands fleet of fishing boats used to travel to the Anguilla Bank as far as 40 miles off-shore. At the end of the day, the boats would race each other home. Racing as a national pastime became cemented as an Island tradition in the 1940s when Anguillas first regatta was held using fishing boats in Sandy Ground.
Island Harbour, a modern fishing community continues its fishing tradition and annually celebrates this heritage during Festival del Mar

A fishing/racing boat built in the 1970s

Beginning from the 1970s, the Islands fishing fleet of sailboats began to covert to power. The replacement 43

Boat Building
Asked how many boat builders are on Anguilla Anguillas maritime roots run deep. In 1730, the richest man on Anguilla was George Leonard, an honest sloop man and a cotton planter. By the 1790s, there was some trade between Anguilla with Canadian schooners (especially from Nova Scotia), who would take on salt in Sandy Ground. These sloops and schooners inspired a tradition of building and modifying boats that continues today. By 1817 and probably much earlier, Anguillians were building vessels; the Julia, a 253 vessel was built and registered on Anguilla. She traded throughout the Lesser Antilles before being condemned in Tortola several years later. Anguilla has had more than its fair share of very talented boat builders. Indeed in some families the skill almost seems to be genetically inclined. -David Carty By the 1890s, Anguillians were operating an impressive merchant fleet of inter-island sailing ships and for the next 100 years, Anguilla would build a reputation for its mariners and ships. today, one replied about half a dozen. After a pause he added, but everyone can build a boat.

Rebel Marine
From dinghies to yachts, Rebel Marine, founded by David Carty is Anguillas largest boatyard. While modern materials and tools are used, Anguillians will tell you that the eye of the artist (i.e. boat builder) continues to be what matters most.

Boat Builders

A boat being built on Anguilla in 2009 by Begger Daniels

The Lady Celestia built by Rebel Marine



Anguillas First Guest House Opened in 1959 and remains open today

Anguillas first five-star hotel opened in 1980

Following the 1967 Revolution, Anguilla looked for ways to move forward. At one point, a Lobster Cannery was considered as there were so many lobster, fishermen used them to bait their fish pots. Tourism which was spreading rapidly through the Caribbean and being hailed as a panacea for economic hardship. Importantly, rather than welcoming wholesale development by foreigners, Anguillas revolutionary leaders suggested a more controlled approach that would focus on developing a high-end tourism product that would cater to fewer, wealthier visitors.

Aspiring to this goal, Malliouhana opened in 1980. The hotels five star standards set the bar for future development. Cap Jaluca, CuisinArt and most recently Viceroy have continued this tradition of excellence. This governments foresight attempting to control overdevelopment has protected Anguilla from many of tourisms more damaging impacts. As experienced on other islands, these may include raising crime rates, over-commercialization, cultural homogenization and/or environmental destruction. While Anguilla has not been unscathed by these pressures, the island has fared better than most. 2012 marks 53 years since the first guest house was built 45

on Anguilla in Crocus Hill and 34 years since Anguilla wrote its first tourism policy. Today tourism (including construction related activities) accounts for approximately 90% of Anguillas GDP and is a vital part of Anguillas economy. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism is our bread and butter. Despite this heavy reliance, tourism is not, in fact, Anguillas greatest asset. Anguillas greatest asset are the people, the beaches, the history and the culture and that is the reason more than 50% of Anguillas visitors return year after year.

Natural History


Hurricanes and Weather (Climate)

Rain and Drought
Anguilla passes through cycles of wet and dry weather. This is because unlike mountainous islands, Anguilla does not have the ability (i.e. geography) to generate its own rain. As a result, Anguilla passes through periods of wet weather when it becomes possible to grow crops and raise livestock, and alternatively dry weather when the island is particularly vulnerable to drought and historically famine and even starvation. Visitors to Anguilla before 2009 will have experienced this dry Anguilla whilst visitors since 2010 may have noticed a much greener island. Even when Anguilla is green, the Island still experiences a wet and dry season. The wet season runs from May through November and corresponds with the Hurricane Season. As water becomes more plentiful it is possible to grow more crops. On Anguilla these peppers, eggplant, squash (pumpkins), green onions and sweet potatoes among others. Fruit trees including mango, avocado, sherry and soursop are especially prized. storm force or greater have impacted Anguilla. Some of the more famous include Hurricane Alice Crocus Hill, Hurricane Donna (1960) which demolished 75% of the homes on Anguilla and Hurricane Luis in 1995. Hurricanes shape every aspect of life in the tropics. For example, before Hurricane Donna, most homes were constructed from wood. Following the storms devastation, concrete became the preferred material and remains so today. include corn (pigeon corn and sweet corn), tomatoes, (1955) which destroyed the Old Court House on

The name hurricane comes from the Amerindian god, Huracan. Since 1850, 60 storms of tropical

Hurricane Earl from Space in 2010


Hurricane Donna
Hurricane Donna hit an already economically depressed Anguilla on September 4, 1960. It is rare for individuals to be killed on Anguilla from hurricanes but Donna killed five. Those named were George Carty, Margaret Hodge, Elizabeth Fleming and Lilian Fleming. 250 people were injured and approximately 500 houses destroyed. All but two of the Islands fleet of merchant vessels were destroyed. The devastation was overwhelming constructed for the most destitute. and Anguilla was forced to rely on foreign aid for several weeks. Centres were set up in the Valley and in Sandy Ground. Members of the St Johns Ambulance Brigade from Trinidad and the British Red Cross came to assist. Temporary shelters were set up for the homeless. Eventually 70 one-room concrete houses with galvanized roofs were It would take Anguilla several years to recover and life would remain difficult. The lack of forthcoming help from St Kitts would provide a final grievance for a longstanding resentment that would culminate with the Anguilla Revolution in 1967.

Hurricane Donna tracking over the Florida Keys after leaving a devastated Anguilla

The aftermath of Hurricane Donna. Anguilla 1960 from Colville Petty


Cattle, Goats, Sheep and Chickens

species of iguana is native. The iguanas were undoubtedly mistaken for alligators as no alligator bones or fossils have ever been found on Anguilla.

The settlers introduced other livestock including the goats, sheep and chicken you see today. During good years these animals offered an additional source of income as they were carried to St Martin or St Barths and sold. In fact, as late as the 1980s the ferry between Anguilla and St Martin was crowded with live chickens (fowl) and other livestock. Such sights are now gone and most of the goats today are butchered and consumed locally.

Domesticated or Wild?
Sometimes seen tethered to the side of the road but more often caught wandering through the bush, with a frayed rope dangling from the neck, Anguillas goats are nearly native. While a few are feral, the majority are owned (although you probably would never know by looking at Anguilla Goat in Sandy Ground, Anguilla (Photo by Robert Pearson) It [Anguilla] was filled with alligators and other noxious them).

As food
Anguillas chickens are also raised for food. Scratching and pecking in yards across the Island, these yard fowl are traditionally stewed, a process which tenderizes the tough meat. Goat water (a soup made with innards) and goat stew are two other delicacies you can find locally.


animals, but the soil was good for raising tobaco and corn and the cattle imported multiplied very fast. each

Anguillians have a long history of raising livestock. Cattle planter laboured for himself, and the island was were introduced before 1650 and the first reports of frequently plundered by marauders (Southey 1650). Anguilla suggest the Island suited them well. Anguilla did not have any alligators although at least one


The Giant Rat

Prehistoric Anguilla
Long before Anguilla was settled by the English or even Amerindians, the Island was joined physically to St Martin, Saba and St Barths. This large land mass is now underwater and called the Anguilla Bank. Today only 5% of this bank is currently above sea level but 100,000 years ago there was much more land. This prehistoric landscape supported amblyrhiza inundata and several other extinct species. As sea level rose, the Giant Rat became isolated on small land masses and a victim of its own size. Anguilla is presently 36 square miles and unable to naturally support a population of large herbivores (the largest native species is the iguana). The exact location of the fossil finds on Anguilla is Additional bones of the Giant Rat were found in this sinkhole in the 1990s debated. The cavern where the fossils came from was invariably mined for phosphate, a destructive process

Phosphate, again!
In 1868, some of Anguillas caverns were mined for phosphate, a mineral formed over millennia as bird droppings fossilize. In a phosphate-bearing shipment sent to the United States for analysis, Professor Cope of the Smithsonian Institute discovered the remains of a giant rodent. Amblyrhiza inundata is known locally as the Giant Rat. Based on the analysis of bones from several species, the Giant Rat more closely resembled a guinea pig and weighed between 165 and 330lbs!

which involves blasting to extract the mineral-bearing stone. Gavannah Cave in Crocus Bay is a likely candidate and a keen observer can still find sea fossils from an even earlier period in the nearby cliff. Additional teeth from Amblyrhiza inundata were found in the 1990s in Pitch Apple Hole, a sinkhole between the Valley and Shoal Bay East.


Exploring Anguilla and Additional Resources


Introduction to the Anguilla Heritage Trail

The Anguilla Heritage Trail is a joint project supported by the Anguilla Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS), the Anguilla National Trust (ANT), the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB), the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association (AHTA) and individual and corporate donors. The trail opened during Anguilla Day celebrations May 2010. The trail, styled on successful Caribbean models in and locals to Anguillas past by creating permanent markers at 10 historic sites which were selected by public vote in 2010. In addition to the markers, there are 30 directional brochure which will is available from hotels, car sites included are Collville Pettys Heritage Collection, Old Valley Well, Old Courthouse Foundations (Crocus Hill), Koal Keel/a.k.a. Wardens Place, Katouche Bay, Rendezvous Bay, Sandy Ground (near the scenic overlook on Backstreet), Pumphouse, Wallblake House, and the Factory. Each site is marked with a large, local boulder and plaque with a brief description. The Official Opening was held at the Pumphouse in Sandy Ground on May 31, 2010. There is no official beginning but you may wish to obtain a souvenir brochure which will give you more information about the sites before you begin. Souvenir brochures are available from the Heritage and may also be found at Colville Pettys Heritage Collection in East End, the Anguilla National Trust, the Anguilla Tourist Board, the Anguilla Drug Store in The Valley, or from the concierge at your hotel. Plaque Outside the Pumphouse, a Heritage Trail Site

Grand Cayman and Nevis, aims to introduce visitors Trail Headquarters at Wallblake House in the Valley

signs to guide drivers to the sites and an interpretive The brochure is USD$3 but you may wish to make an additional donation to support Anguilla Heritage. rental agencies, and selected sites along the trail. The Please leave your donation at Wallblake House. Depending on how long you stop at each site, the trail will take you approximately 1 hours. There are blue and orange directional signs with the Trail logo to help guide you from one location to the next and each site is marked in the brochure on a map of Anguilla. For more information on how you can become a sponsor or volunteer, email anguillaheritagetrail@gmail.com. Anguilla Heritage Trail Directional Signs



Additional Reading and On-line Resources

Berglund, D. (1995). Shipwrecks of Anguilla 1628-1996. Basseterre: The Creole Publishing Company. Blanchard, M and R. (2000). A Trip to the Beach. Ebury Press: London. Carty, D. (1998). 'Nuttin Bafflin The Story of the Anguilla Racing Boat. Anguilla: Rockfield. Petty, C. (2008). Bless Our Forebears. Published by Colville Petty: Anguilla. Westlake, D. (1973). Under an English Heaven. Hodder and Stoughton: London. http://aahsanguilla.com/ Includes articles and original photographs of Anguilla http://axanationaltrust.org/ Information on Anguillas heritage including current initiatives www.axaheritage.com A new website with information on Heritage Trail Sites and sustainable heritage tourism (to be online from summer 2012)



Centres d'intérêt liés