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Nevis

Nevis is an island in the Caribbean. With Saint Kitts constitutes the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Indeed during the last Ice age the sea level was 200 feet lower and St Kitts and Nevis were one island with Statia[?] and Saba[?].

Mount Nevis (3,232 feet) is the remnant of an ancient stratovolcano, as is Mt. Liamuiga on the sister island of St. Kitts. Nevis has a population of nearly 10,000, and maintains one of the highest literacy rates in the Western Hemisphere, at approximately 98%. The capital is Charlestown.

The original Arawak and Carib inhabitants of the island called it Oualie, meaning "land of beautiful water". Christopher Columbus visited the island on his second voyage on 11th November 1493. He renamed it Santa Marķa de las Nieves, mistaking the cloud cap atop Mt. Nevis for snow. This name has also been linked to a contemporary miraculous summer snow storm in Spain. Nevis was part of the Spanish claim to own all the Caribbean islands which they pursued from 1493 until 1671. Nevertheless it continued to be a popular stop-over point for English and Dutch ships on their way to the North American continent.

Captain Bartholomew Gilbert[?] of Plymouth visited the island in 1603, spending two weeks to cut twenty tons of lignum vitae wood. Gilbert sailed on to Virginia to seek out survivirs of the Roanoke settlement in what is now Virginia. He was killed in a skirmish with the local Native Americans.

Captain John Smith[?] visited Nevis also on his way to Virginia in 1607. This was the voyage which founded the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

In 1620 Captain Anthony Chester[?] visited the island in the 'Margaret and John' and were attacked by two Spanish war ships at Nevis.

On 30th August, 1620 James I of England asserted sovereignty over Nevis by giving a Royal Patent for colonisation to the Earl of Carlisle[?]. However actual European settlement did not happen until 1628 when Anthony Hilton[?] moved from nearby Saint Kitts following a murder plot against him. He was accompanied by 80 other settlers soon to be boosted by a further 100 settlers from London who had originally hoped to settle Barbuda. Hilton became the first Governor of Nevis.



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