, also known as Hat Island
, is the northernmost island of the Lesser Antilles
in position 18° 60'N, 63° 40'W. It lies north west of Anguilla
across the Dog and Prickly Pear Passage. The distance to Dog Island
, the closest island of Anguilla, is . Sombrero is long north-south, and wide. The land area is . Originally, when viewed from the sea, the island had the shape of a sombrero hat
but mining operations have left the island with precipitous sides and a relatively flat top which is above sea level. The surface of the island is rough, and vegetation is sparse.
This mining operation yielded some 3000 tons
of phosphate a year by 1870. By 1890, the phosphate reserves had been exhausted.
As a result of the Treaty of Utrecht
, Sombrero passed into the hands of the British
. Captain Warwick Lake
marooned an impressed seaman, Robert Jeffrey, there on 13 December 1807. As it turned out, Jeffrey survived, a passing American vessel having rescued him. Still, a court-martial dismissed Lake from the Royal Navy.
, and again in 1825
, a British geologist
surveyed the island and found that it abounded in phosphate of lime
and reported this to the British government.
In 1856 the Americans
claimed the island, and in a very short period of time quarried 100,000 tons of phosphate to resuscitate the exhausted lands of the Southern States
. Uniquely, an important insurrection occurred when West Indian black workers revolted against the “slavery... Read More