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Christopher Columbus is credited with “discovering” St. Thomas during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. He apparently was not impressed, as he didn’t stay long, instead sailing to Puerto Rico. The island was left unguarded by the Spanish and soon its sheltered bays were called on by ships from other nations, captained by men the Spanish would come to consider pirates. St. Thomas’ existence would continue as home to pirates and small settlements long before a European power decided to pursue a permanent settlement.

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