LEEWARD ISLANDS, a group in the West Indies. They derive their name from being less exposed to the prevailing N.E. trade wind than the adjacent Windward Islands. They are the most northerly of the Lesser Antilles, and form a curved chain stretching S.W. from Puerto Rico to meet St Lucia, the most northerly of the Windward Islands. They consist of the Virgin Islands, with St Kitts, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and their various dependencies. The Virgin Islands are owned by Great Britain and Denmark, Holland having St Eustatius, with Saba, and part of St Martin. France possesses Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Bartholomew and the remainder of St Martin. The rest of the islands are British, and (with the exception of Sombrero, a small island used only as a lighthouse-station) form, under one governor, a colony divided into five presidencies, namely: Antigua (with Barbuda and Redonda), St Kitts (with Nevis and Anguilla), Dominica, Montserrat and the Virgin Islands. Total pop. (1901) 127,536. There is one federal executive council nominated by the crown, and one federal legislative council ten nominated and ten elected members. Of the latter, four are chosen by the unofficial members of the local legislative council of Antigua, two by those of Dominica, and four by the non-official members of the local legislative council of St Kitts-Nevis. The federal legislative council meets once annually, usually at St John, Antigua.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)