Europeans arrive on St. Thomas 1647-1666
Dutch buccaneers arrive first?
Prior to the Dutch arriving in the late 1650s, it is believed that there was a previous European settlement on St. Thomas. French settlers fled to St. Thomas after Spanish soldiers on neighboring Crab Island (now known as Vieques) ruined their plantations and destroyed their ships. Upon arriving on St. Thomas, they found abandoned orange, lemon, and banana groves, possibly left by early Dutch buccaneers.
1657-1666 – St. Thomas officially settled by the Dutch
Dutch settlers began arriving on St. Thomas during the time of 1657-1666, with 1666 being the first year with a record of European inhabitants on the island. In this year, Erik Schmidt, who arrived on the Dutch supply ship Eendracht, passed away and was buried on St. Thomas.