Little history of Saint-Martin

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The Indian Saladodeses and Arawakses, come in dugout from the basin of Orenoque in South America, appear to Saint - Martin toward 1800 before JC. Discovering ponds and lagoons of which the product - salt - will remain one of the main resources of the island, they baptized this one " SUALIGA " of salt. The pacific Arawakses were invaded then by more quarrelsome others Indian , to the customs anthropophagus, "The Caribbean" The Tainoses were the last Amerindian inhabitants of Saint- Martin toward 1500 after J.C. They were decimated shortly after the discovery of the island by the first colonists

Christophe Colomb

End of 15th Century

Christopher Columbus, at the time of his second journey to the Antilles, discovers the island for the western world.

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November 11, 1493, the Spanish navigator dedicates his discovery to the eveque of Tower Saint-Martin of which birthday that day.



16th Century


The island is visited by numerous nations Europeans : Spanish, French, Dutchman, Portuguese, English, Flemish to the protected moistening research,. It is the big time of the corsairs and filibusters oppression the natives in slavery, they often pull them to their island to transfer them in neighboring islands. The bad treatments and the illnesses are going very quickly to decimate them. In 1595, Sir Francis Drake crosses to the large of Saint - Martin
Too small and of an interest limited for the conquistadors, the Spaniards left the island in 1648. During this year, Saint - Martin was occupied by 4 French and 5 Dutchmen, every government of these 2 nationalities signed a treaty in order to shared the island in two parts.

17 and 18 Century

During these two centuries, many maritime wars and to the devastating conflicts that shook the Caribbean, the island of Saint - Martin undergoes the unceasing attacks of Spain and England. March 23, 1648, the French and the Dutchmen adjust the problem of their sovereignty by the signature of the Treaty of the Mount of the Agreements.


It is at this time in 1776 that was constructed the Strong Saint Louis, perched on a gloomy overhanging the city of Creek. He/it permitted to protect it from the constants English attacks.

How does to delimit the border of Saint - Martin enter French and Dutchman ? Two runners of every nationality sprang each on their side in order to browse the biggest distance. The French runner having done a longer distance, permitted to get a surface representing more the two third of the island. A legend tells that the French runner having consumed " a little red " wine rightly allowed to take some abridgments explaining his/her/its remarkable performance thus. Other particularity, Saint - Martin is the smallest island to the world by his/her/its surface to be shared by two countries.

19 and 20 Century.

In 1816, the signature of the Treaty of Vienna puts a term to the colonial tearings, assuring the Franco - Dutchwoman predominance definitely. In 1848, the slavery is abolished in the French part of the island and 1863 for the part Dutchwoman. Little by little, the commercial exchanges decline.


The production sugar of the island stops in 1875. Cotton in 1923.
The salt marshes close their doors in the years 1950.This economic decline forces many Saint-Martinois to the exile. they emigrate toward new poles of use: refinery of Curacao and Arubas, plantations of Santo - Dominguo and the United States, weaving emotional and lasting ties with the American continent.


During the war, the French part of the island recognizes the government of Vichy and by backlash underwent the blockade of the allied forces. The war contributes extensively to the Americanization of the island, whose United States are the unique supplier. This period was as pomp for the traffickers who will establish big fortunes. The crisis of the island will persist until the years 50.

1950-2000 ...

Since an economic development, bound to the tourism under the impulse of the sector Dutchman in the years 55, made today Saint-Martin is one of the tourist centers the more frequented of the Caribbean.




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