- Mansfield Centre: Martino Publishing, 2004.
- tall 8vo.
- [v], xl, 239 pages.
- ISBN: 1578984254
Price: $60.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 78383
Facsimile reprint of the original 1904 edition (See Besterman 6526-6527). The French Antilles form two French overseas provinces (Départements), one being the island of Martinique, the other Guadeloupe. The French half of the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin is part of Guadeloupe.
The first inhabitants several hundred years before Christ were the Arawaks, an Indian tribe. They became extinct around the 9th century at the hands of the Karibs. Columbus's fleet landed on Guadeloupe on November 3, 1493. The Spanish showed little interest in the island, which they though inhospitable, and, as a consequence, the first settlers were French farmers, mostly from Normandie, the Bretagne or the Charente. Farming was not profitable at first, so the island was sold to Charles Houel, who started the economic growth of the island with plantations of sugar, coffee and cocoa. Later, the island was owned by the Compagnie des Indes, then by King Louis XIV. The island survived attacks by the Dutch and was also occupied by the British.
During the 18th century, it was a haven for buccaneers and residents of the Caribbean islands lived mostly by attacking and looting foreign cargo.
This early bibliography is one of the most extensive on French possessions in the Caribbean and has never been reprinted previously. 1000 items are described.