Largest island (pop., 2002 est.: 53,898) of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is located south of Saint Thomas and has an area of 84 sq mi (218 sq km). Its capital is Christiansted; the town of Frederiksted is the commercial centre. In 1493 it was visited by Christopher Columbus, who named it Santa Cruz. In the mid-17th century it was colonized in turn by the Dutch, the English, the Spanish, and the French. It was purchased by Denmark in 1733 and sold to the U.S. in 1917. In 1989 it was devastated by a hurricane but recovered with U.S. aid. Tourism is the main industry; rum is distilled and exported.