Stamp Collector

Virgin Islands Early Issues

n his second east-west crossing of the Atlantic in 1493 Christopher Columbus, driven from his planned route by adverse winds, sighted an archipelago on the eastern fringes of the Caribbean Sea. According to the explorer’s impressions from the deck of his ship, he saw eleven small islets hemmed around a larger central island. The scene reminded Columbus of a Spanish legend that tells of Saint Ursula, reputedly priestess over eleven thousand virginal handmaidens who tended to her needs. The recollection caused the explorer to name the group: Santa Úrsula y las Once Mil Vírgenes, soon shortened by English speakers to Saint Ursula And The Virgins, and later still to the Virgin Islands. Columbus did not land

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