Windward island of St. Lucia's first known inhabitants were
Arawaks, believed to have come from northern South America 200-400
A.D. Europeans first landed on the island in either 1492 or
1502 during Spain's early exploration of the Caribbean. The
Dutch, English, and French all tried to establish trading outposts
on St. Lucia in the 17th century but faced opposition from hostile
The English, with their headquarters in Barbados, and the French,
centered on Martinique, found St. Lucia attractive after the
sugar industry developed in 1765. Britain eventually triumphed,
with France permanently ceding St. Lucia in 1815. In 1838, St.
Lucia was incorporated into the British Windward Islands administration,
headquartered in Barbados. This lasted until 1885, when the
capital was moved to Grenada.