Danish West India Company

Danish West India Company

Danish West India Company

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The Danish West India Company or Danish West India-Guinea Company () was a Danish chartered company that exploited colonies in the Danish West Indies. It was founded as the Danish Africa Company in 1659 in Glückstadt by two Dutchmen Isaac Coymans and Nicolaes Pancras. Included were the Caribbean islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix (which are today’s United States Virgin Islands) and the Danish Gold Coast in present-day Ghana.

The Virgin Islands were a Danish colony from the 17th century. The Danes settled St. Thomas in 1672, St. John in 1718, and St. Croix in 1733. The Vestindisk kompagni was established March 11, 1671, and from August 30, 1680, became known as Det Vestindisk-Guineiske kompagni.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the company flourished from the North Atlantic triangular trade routes. Slaves from the Gold Coast of Africa were traded for molasses and rum in the West Indies. The company administered the colonies until 1754, when the Danish government's "Chamber of Revenues" took control. From 1760 to 1848, the governing body was known as Vestindisk-guineiske rente- og generaltoldkammer. This led to a brief establishment of Det Guineiske kompagni via Royal resolution of March 18, 1765, to maintain the trade with the Danish Gold Coast colonies. In November, they received the forts of Christiansborg and Fredensborg for 20 years. The company, however, never enjoyed a trade monopoly like the Dutch West India Company. Competition for trade remained...
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