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Social and Political History

The written history of Nevis begins with the account recorded by Columbus when he sailed by Nevis in 1493. The name Nevis is derived from "Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves" which means "Our Lady of the Snows," because of the cloud capped mountain.

Prior to the Columbus saga, Nevis was named Dulcina "Sweet Island" by the Arawaks and later Oualie "land of beautiful waters" by the Caribs. Later in the 18th century Nevis became known as "Queen of the Caribees." 

Over the years Nevis has made a number of significant contributions to the Caribbean and the World. Two men who played part in international history were Alexander Hamilton and Lord Horatio Nelson. Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of America and its first Secretary of the Treasury was born on Nevis on January 11, 1757. Nelson, Britains most famous admiral, used Nevis as a base of operations in the mid 1780's and married a Nevisian, Frances Nisbet in 1787.

Nevis continued to be part of the British colonial holdings until 1967 when it achieved Associated Statehood with St. Kitts. On September 19, 1983, Nevis became part of an independent nation and form part of the sovereign democratic state of St. Christopher and Nevis. It has the unique constitutional arrangement of being part of the Federal Parliament while having a separate parliament and its own Nevis Island Administration headed by a Premier.

Charlestown, Nevis

Walking up and down the delightful streets you’ll see one of the best remaining examples of the colonial era in the Caribbean.

Cottle Church, Nevis

John Cottle, once the president of Nevis and a planter, built this tiny church in 1824 as a place for his family and his slaves to worship together.

Eden Brown Estate, Nevis

Located in the countryside, about 30 minutes from Charlestown, the Eden Brown Estate was originally a sugar plantation, but cotton was grown there until the mid-1900's.

Horatio Nelson Museum

As its names implies, this museum displays artifacts and memorabilia of the life and times of British Naval Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson, who visited Nevis in the late 18th century.

Montravers Estate

Archaeological work is ongoing at this site. The ruin of the stone Great House constructed in the early 19th century originally was joined to an older wooden house built in the 18th century.

Museum of Nevis History

This two-story Georgian style building was the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton in 1757. Hamilton lived on the island until the age of nine.

Nevisian Heritage Village

The Nevisian Heritage Village administered by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, largely depicts the evolution of Nevisian social history through housing.

St. James Winward Church

Built in the late 17th century in the north part of the island, this church is one of three Anglican Churches in the Caribbean to display a black crucifix.

St. John's Fig Tree Church

This delightful stone church dates back to the 1680's and is known because the historic marriage record of Lord Horatio Nelson and Frances Nisbet is preserved.

The Botanical Gardens of Nevis

The Botanical Gardens were created on Nevis several years ago by Philadelphia couple Joseph and Martha Murphy, who wanted to create somehere beautiful on the island to preserve flora from throughout the world.

The Christena Memorial Plaque

This Memorial Plaque was erected and unveiled on Wednesday 1st August 2001 in memory of approximately 233 persons who lost their lives on August 1st 1970 when the government ferry “MV Christena” sank off Nags Head.

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Nevis Tourism Authority

  • P.O. Box 184,
    Main Street
    Charlestown,
    NEVIS

 

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