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Danish West India Company

The Danish West India Company (Danish: Vestindisk kompagni) or Danish West India–Guinea Company (Det Vestindisk-Guineisk kompagni) was a Dano-Norwegian chartered company that exploited colonies in the Danish West Indies.


  • History 1
  • Company ships 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


In March 1659 the Christian V on March 11, 1671.[1]

The Danes settled in Færøe (referring to the islands, but often erroneously translated as Pharaoh), but the company quickly began employing ships of their own, while occasionally relying on the royal navy for escorts and protection. From August 30, 1680, it became known as the West India–Guinea Company. At first, the company had difficulties being profitable, but eventually it began to increase revenue by raising taxes and bringing all colonial exports into Copenhagen directly.[3] St. John was purchased in 1718 and St. Croix from the French in 1733.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the company flourished from the North Atlantic Dutch West India Company. Competition for trade remained among all Danish, Norwegian, Schleswig and Holstein companies.

The financially troubled company was liquidated on November 22, 1776. In anticipation of this, the Dano-Norwegian government took control of the granted forts from August–September 1775.

Company ships

  • Charlotte Amelie (1680s)
  • Den Unge Tobias (Young Tobias, 1687)
  • Røde Hane (Red Cock, 1687)
  • Maria (1687)
  • Pelicanen (Pelican)
  • Unity (1700s)

See also


  1. ^ Westergaard, Waldemar. The Danish West Indies under Company Rule.
  2. ^ Dookhan, Isaac. A History of the Virgin Islands of the United States. Canoe Press, 1974. ISBN 9768125055.
  3. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Slave Trade, pp. 172 & 188. Phoenix (London), 2006.
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