by Arnold R. Highfield
Virgin Islands historian Arnold R. Highfield gives us here a number of fascinating studies, drawn from his research and writing on Crucian history. Aficionados of local history will find much to be gleaned from his pieces on Emancipation and the Great Fireburn. Equally fascinating are the visits he pays to three of our towns—Christiansted, Frederiksted, and Frenchtown, as well as a walking tour of Christiansvaern, the Fort that has played such a significant role in local history. In two timetraveling pieces, “A Look Back at Christiansted in 1962” and “A Day in St. Thomas in the 1790s,” the author guides us through those intriguing times with an insightful eye for detail that will both astonish and enlighten. The other articles—on the Tuskegee Aviators, Virgin Islands Literature, Governor John Merwin, Virgin Islanders in baseball, medicine, botany, and avian fauna—demonstrate a versatility that should rightly inspire a deep appreciation of our culture. This volume follows as the natural successor to two of the author’s previous books, Time Longa’ Dan Twine and Sea Grapes and Kennips, both of which had the history, culture, language, and people of the Virgin Islands as their focus.
ARNOLD R. HIGHFIELD is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Social Sciences at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus. Among his numerous publications are St. Croix 1493, The Kamina Folk, The French Dialect of St. Thomas, Hans West’s Accounts of St. Croix in the West Indies, J. L. Carstens’ St. Thomas in Early Danish Times, Theoretical Orientations in Creole Studies, Under a Taino Moon, and Sainte Croix 1650–1733: A Plantation Society in the French Antilles.