1776 - Dutch first to recognize the new American republic

The Dutch on the Caribbean island of St. Eustacia were the first to recognized the ships of the newly independent United States by saluting them when they sailed by the cannons of Fort Orange.

       Dutch magistrates on the important trading island of St. Eustacia, in the Caribbean, are the first to recognize the new American republic with a salute from cannons at Fort Orange.  Incensed by this display of loyalty to the rebellious colonists, English naval ships immediately attacked the island and burned the docks and wharves.

        Today, St Eustacia is a quiet little island in the windward chain with a historic waterfront and the famous Dutch fort towering over the islands rocky ramparts.  Between 1600 and 1850, ownership of the island would change no fewer than 17 times.  This now forgotten center of commerce was the hub of trade in sugar and slaves and riches that were fought over by kings and queens, pirates and buccaneers.