St Thomas (VI)
From Stamps of the World
Saint Thomas (Spanish: Santo Tomás; Dutch: Sint-Thomas; Danish: Sankt Thomas) is one of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea and, together with St. John, Water Island and St. Croix, form a county and constituent district of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), an unincorporated territory of the United States. Located on the island is the territorial capital and port of Charlotte Amalie.The Dutch West India Company established a post on Saint Thomas in 1657. The first congregation was the St. Thomas Reformed Church, which was established in 1660 and was associated with the Dutch Reformed Church.
As the islands were poorly managed by the Danes, a local islander, David Hamilton Jackson, was instrumental in persuading the Danish to allow the US to purchase the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. In 1915, he traveled to Denmark and convinced the King of Denmark to allow freedom of the press in the islands. He began the first newspaper in the islands, known as The Herald. After this, he organized labor unions among the islanders for better working conditions. The islands now have an annual celebration to honor the legacy of David Hamilton Jackson.
In 1917, St. Thomas was purchased (along with Saint John and Saint Croix) by the United States for $25 million in gold, as part of a defensive strategy to maintain control over the Caribbean and the Panama Canal during the First World War.