The Danish West India Company is established
The job of the Danish West India Company was to handle sailing, colonization, and trade on St. Thomas.
The occupation of St. John
After almost 50 years on St. Thomas, the Danish West India Company wanted to colonize yet another island.
The slaves rebel on St. John
In 1733 the slaves had enough of severe punishment and revolted.
The Danes buy the third island of the West Indies – St. Croix
In 1733, the Danish West India-Guinea Company bought the almost uninhabited island of St. Croix from France.
The dissolution of the Danish West India and Guinea Company
The Danish West India and Guinea Company was dissolved in 1754 by the King buying all the shares of the company.
Danish decision to abolish transatlantic slavetrade
King Christian VII signed in 1792 a new ordinance stating that slave trade under a Danish flag was to cease by January 1, 1803.
The English occupy the islands
In March 1801 the British occupied St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John.
Peter von Scholten abolishes slavery
In July 1848, a slave rebellion started on St. Croix.
Negotiations with the U.S. on sale fail
When Denmark was weakened by the loss of South Jutland in 1864, the U.S. approached the Danish government offering to buy the islands.
Another rebellion on St. Croix
In October 1878, riots among farm workers on St. Croix developed into a general rebellion.
New sale negotiations with the US
In January 1900, the U.S. approached Denmark with a proposal about buying the Danish possessions in the West Indies.
Last census in the Danish possessions in the West Indies
The last census in the islands under Danish flag was conducted on February 1, 1911.
The islands are sold to the U.S.
In 1916 the question about whether or not to sell the islands in the West Indies became the first-ever referendum in Denmark.
The documents from the West Indian colony become world cultural heritage
In 1997 the West Indies documents was included on the UNESCO list of the written world cultural heritage, The Memory of the World Register.
International co-operation to maintain the historical heritage
In 1999 Denmark and the Virgin Islands' government entered into an agreement on co-operation about the common past.
The West Indian islands were transferred from Denmark to the USA almost one hundred years ago. This is being commemorated by a comprehensive digitization project that makes archival material from the colonial era accessible.
On the occasion of the centenary of Denmark’s sale of the West Indies, the Danish National Archives has digitized the great majority of the extensive and unique materials documenting Denmark’s colonial past in the West Indies for 250 years.
The concept that all human beings are born with fundamental rights was not prevalent in the 1700s. If you were born at the bottom of society, you lived a life in poverty and with hard work and toil. Other people could be owned just like goods and money.
In 1777, the Chamber of Customs (Generaltoldkammeret) sent the young Lieutenant Peter Lotharius Oxholm to the Danish West Indies. The lieutenant was to examine and describe the condition of the colony’s defenses in text and pictures.
In 2017, it will be 100 years ago that Denmark sold the three West Indian islands to the U.S. The website marks the anniversary by communicating the original documents and sources as well as history about the colonial era.
In 1878, a violent rebellion took place in which houses, sugar mills, sugar fields, and over half the city of Frederiksted burned down. Three women, Mary, Agnes, and Mathilda, were especially active in the rebellion.
The black labor leader David Hamilton Jackson has been described in completely different ways. For officials towards the end of the Danish era he was an unpleasant rebel. But for the black population of the islands he was and is a hero.