ST BARTHOLOMEW, or ST BARTHELEMY, an island in the French West Indies. It lies in 17 55' N. and 63 60' W., about 130 m. N.W. of Guadeloupe, of which it is a dependency. It is shaped like an irregular crescent, the horns, enclosing the bay of St Jean, pointing to the N. ; its surface is hilly, culminating near the centre in a limestone hill 1003 ft. high. It is 8 sq. m. in area, and devoid of forests, and water has often to be imported from the neighbouring island of St Kitts. The surrounding rocks and shallows make the island difficult of access. Despite the lack of water, sugar, cotton, cocoa, manioc and tobacco are grown. The capital, Gustavia, on the S.W. coast, possesses a small but safe harbour. Lorient is the only other town. The inhabitants, mainly of French and negro descent, are Englishspeaking, and number about 3000. St Bartholomew was occupied by France in 1648 and ceded to Sweden in 1784. In 1877 it was again acquired by France at the cost of 11,000.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)