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Island (pop., 2003 est.: 3,800), eastern South Atlantic Ocean. Located 1,200 mi (1,950 km) west of Africa, Saint Helena has an area of 47 sq mi (122 sq km). The capital and port is Jamestown. With Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, it constitutes a British overseas territory (area: 119 sq mi [308 sq km]; pop., 2003 est.: 5,104). Discovered in 1502, it became a port of call for ships sailing between Europe and the East Indies. It was owned by the English East India Co. in the 17th century; because of its remoteness, it was used as the final place of exile for Napoleon (1815–21). It declined in importance after the Suez Canal was opened in 1869.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Saint Helena, visit Britannica.com.