English and Irish colonists
from St. Kitts first settled on
Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades
later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for
most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British
possession in 1783. The island’s sugar plantation economy was converted
to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island
was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of
the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995.
Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption
occurring in July 2003.
Location – Caribbean, island
in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico.