MARIE GALANTE, an island in the French West Indies. It lies in 15 55' N. and 61 17' W., 16 m. S.E. of Guadeloupe, of which it is a dependency. It is nearly circular in shape and 55 sq. m. in area. A rocky limestone plateau, rising in the east to a height of 675 ft., occupies the centre of the island, and from it the land descends in a series of well-wooded terraces to the sea. The shores are rocky, there are no harbours, and the roadstead off Grand Bourg is difficult of access, owing to the surrounding reefs. The climate is healthy and the soil rich ; sugar, coffee and cotton being the chief products. The largest town is Grand Bourg (pop. 6901) on the south-west coast. The island was discovered by Columbus in 1493, and received its name from the vessel on which he was sailing. The French who settled here in 1648 suffered numerous attacks both from the Dutch and the British, but since 1766, except for a short period of British rule in the early part of the 19th century, they have held undisturbed possession.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)