De L'isle, Grenada, Antilles
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Fertile Soil (Sugar)
De L'isle is a pirate port on the island of Grenada. Before the arrival of Europeans, Grenada was inhabited by Carib (Kalinago) Indians who had driven the more peaceful Arawaks from the island. Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 during his third voyage to the new world. He named the island "Concepcion." At the time the Caribs (Kalinago) called it Camerhogue. The Spaniards did not permanently settle on Camerhogue. The origin of the name "Grenada" is obscure, but it is likely that Spanish sailors renamed the island for the city of Granada. By the beginning of the 18th century, the name "Grenada," or "la Grenade" in French, was in common use.
Partly because of the Caribs, Grenada remained uncolonized for more than one hundred years after its discovery; early English efforts to settle the island were unsuccessful. In 1650, a French company founded by Cardinal Richelieu purchased Grenada from the English and established a small settlement. After several skirmishes with the Caribs, the French brought in reinforcements from Martinique and defeated the Caribs, the last of whom leapt into the sea rather than surrender.
La Grenade prospered as a wealthy French colony; its main export was sugar. The French established a capital known as Fort Royal in 1650 as ordered by Cardinal Richelieu. To wait out harsh hurricanes, the French navy would shelter in the capital's natural harbour. No other French colony had a natural harbour to even compare with that of Fort Royal (later renamed St. George's). The colony was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1763 by the Treaty of Paris. A century later, in 1877 Grenada was made a Crown Colony.