A Caribbean island that has claimed to have a “beach for everyday of the year” is also brimming with heritage that has dated back many, many years ago.
According to many, the Antigua history started in 1684 when Sir Christopher Codrington arrived with the purpose of supporting the sort of large- scale sugar cultivation that in that time, has already flourished. Over the next fifty years, the said industry became so big that a lot believed in the large contribution Codrington made.
In the middle of the 18th century, it had 150 cane- processing windmills where today, 100 of which still remains but have been transformed as houses, bars, restaurants and shops. Codrington’s original estate is located at Betty’s Hope where tourists can see a full- restored property.
The Antigua history all narrates that most of the natives are of African lineage. They were brought in as slaves to labor in the fields how many centuries ago. But its story of habitation extends back two and a half millennium before Christ. It was deemed that the first settlers where the Siboneys, they are peripatetic Meso- Indians whose stone tools and crafted shells have been discovered at many sites.
When the Siboneys moved on, Antigua history would tell that the land was pastured by the agricultural Arawaks that were displaced by the Caribs. They are thought to be fierce people who ranged all over the Caribbean. In 1493, Christopher Columbus sighted this island in one of his voyages around the world. He then named it after a miracle working saint from Seville, Santa Maria la Antigua.
Europeans were not attracted by having it as their dwelling place because of there is no potable water. They still have to desalinate the sea which is done until now. However, in 1632, Englishmen originating from Saint Kitts were able to successfully establish a settlement. 1n 1684, Codrington came back and the island entered the sugar era.
Antigua history further continued that by the end of the 18th century, it had become a strategic port together with a valuable economy. It gained the moniker “gateway of the Carribean” because it was located in a position where it had control over the major sailing routes to and from the region’s wealthy island outposts.
By 1784, Horatio Nelson has a lot to do with Antigua history. He was the leader of the Squadron of the Leeward Islands to help progress the British naval facilities at the English Harbour. Not long, the Nelson’s Docktyard came into being as result of fulfilling his assignment. Under him was the future King William IV who instructed to build the more pleasant accommodation of Clarence House.
It was in King William IV’s reign where the Britain decided to abolish slavery in 1834. Today, the celebration continues through the annual carnival. It is a commemoration of the blissful freedom that the local natives experienced long ago.