IF TWO ARE DEAD Locations Today


Locales of Saint Eustatius and Saint Christopher



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St. Eustatius island, viewed from the air from the southwest. Oranjestad is at the near center; “The Quill” is to the right.

This is the east coast of “Statia” as viewed from the water, about five miles distant. Oranjestad is on the far (leeward) side of the low middle saddle.

The northwest corner of St. Eustatius. The author was departing, northbound, here; Oranjestad is three miles back and to the right.

Oranjestad’s two levels today. Ruins of the great mercantile warehouses are discernable on the shoreline.



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The road from the lower to the upper town extends from the extreme left up to the fort (above the white building, center).

Flags of three concurrent jurisdictions greet the visitor.

A stock photo of the shore ruins seen from the south.

Warehouse ruins along the shore. At left, the modern mole.

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More ruins. Just to the left of the Travelift is the catamaran that brought your author to the island.

In the distance, the source of such prosperity as Statia knows today: the island is now the main distribution center for the area’s petroleum needs.

Not quite visible to the north are the remains of the slave market, where thousands would have been imprisoned as they recuperated from the Middle Passage.

Remains of a house on the landward side of the lower town.

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The road, to the left of the preceding. Unfortunately not pictured: immediately to the left of the road is the shore. The teeming lower town was two buildings and one road in depth.

The “Old Gin House” is a modern structure apparently built on top of an old foundation.

The road that climbs from the lower to the upper town provides “good exercise” for tourists. It was carved out early on—doubtless by slave labor.

An unexpected plaque!

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An informative tablet at the fort in the upper town has a timeline that shows many periods of English (blue) and French (green) domination.

Entrance to the fort. Statia, like all the other islands in the chain, was much contested for over two centuries.

Shield over the fort’s entry way.

Plaque commemorating “The First Salute,” a diplomatic bonus for the new USA that cost St. Eustatius dearly.

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Guns protecting the harbor. The white boat behind the cactus is the catamaran on which your author arrived.

Compare these cannon to those on St. Kitts (below).

The fort’s main building.

Fun architectural elements.

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The author met too briefly with Statia’s chief archaeologist, Dr. Grant Gilmore, and family.

18th Century sketch of commercial shipping in Oranjestad harbor. Note rowboats conveying people from one ship to another (not to the shore).

In 1781, soon after the worst Atlantic hurricane on record, Admiral Rodney pillaged and devastated Statia again with the excuse of the Anglo-Dutch war—treating the Jewish inhabitants with special brutality.

View of the leeward coast of St. Kitts from the water at a point south of  its fort. The fort is on the second plateau, about 700 feet above the sea—one fifth of the way up the mountain.

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A view from the fort, facing northeast. St. Eustatius looms in the background, approximately twelve miles distant.

Brimstone Hill, St. Kitts, has been fortified since 1690. The fort was constructed—largely by slave labor—over a century.

Shipping under the gun! From this height these guns, when active, might well have reached that vessel, two miles away.

The cannon, far more serious-looking than those on Statia, still didn’t prevent a  French siege of 1782 from successfully forcing Brimstone Hill’s capitulation.

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Ruins of the Wingfield sugar plantation, not far from Brimstone Hill fort on the leeward (west) side of St. Kitts.

Sugar refining requires repeated boiling procedures—hence the furnace, the smokestack, and the enormous copper kettles.

Like all old structures on St. Kitts, the plantation’s were built of shaped blocks of volcanic rock—by slave labor.

A cistern on the plantation. St. Kitts was far better off than water-starved St. Eustatius, but still had to be conservative.

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Detail of the smokestack.

A spare sugar kettle—big enough for a hot tub!

Stock photo of raw harvested sugar cane.




Links to contemporary photographs of local scenes:


New York City


Jersey City

Sheepshead Bay

Saint Eustatius & Saint Christopher







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