Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Virgin Islands
VIRGIN ISLANDS, a group of small islands to the east of Porto Rico, part of which belong to the Leeward Islands, a British colony, and part to the United States. The American islands are St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Vieques, and Quelebra. The three former, with 50 smaller ones, form the Danish West Indies. These were purchased by the United States from Denmark and were formally transferred on March 31, 1917. Payment of $25,000,000 was made for these islands. The islands belonging to the United States have a total area of 132 square miles, and a population of about 27,000. There are three cities, Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas; Christiansted and Frederiksted on the island of St. Croix. Agriculture is the chief occupation of the inhabitants. The island of St. John is noted for its bay oil and St. Thomas for bay rum. The Islands are administered by a rear-admiral of the United States Navy.