Settled by the Dutch in 1632, the island changed hands frequently. During the 18th cent. pirates and smugglers made Oranjestad one of the leading trade centers of the West Indies, and it became a center of contraband trade with the American colonies before and during the American Revolution. According to tradition, Oranjestad was the first foreign port to salute (1776) the American flag.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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