The surviving historical maps of St. Croix dating from the late 1770s through the end of the century include several revisiting previous maps as well as the original contributions of Peter Lotharius Oxholm. This page includes 6 separate maps. One is based on the 1750 map created by Cronenberg and von Jaegersberg, two are based on the printed Beck maps, and three are original depictions of Christiansted, Frederiksted, and all of St. Croix.
The images presented on this page are low resolution to ease page loading while providing an understandable representation of each map. Links lead to far higher resolutions of each map.
The top of the legend indicates: Situations Plan af Byen Christiansted med dems Havn Kaldet Bassinen
[Terrain map of the town of Christiansted with its harbor called Bassin]
1778 hand dated
This map presents information from Salt River Bay in the northwest to Altona Lagoon in the southeast. Peter Lotharius Oxholm went to St. Croix in 1778 to improve the knowledge of the towns and their harbors, creating this map of Christiansted in the process.
The main focus of the map enhances the understanding of the entrance to Christiansted harbor. Numerous soundings delineate the approaches to the harbor and potential anchorages within it.
In addition to the nautical descriptions, this map provides detailed information about the settlements found in more than a dozen estates surrounding the town of Christiansted. Within these settlements, sugar production equipment described by the typical icons for windmills and animal mills, along with other structures that represent the boiling houses, dwellings, slave quarters, and other plantation buildings.
Topographic information identifies hills and water courses along with roads and estate boundaries. Within each estate, lines appear to delineate individual cane pieces. The legend identifies specific buildings in Christiansted along with landowner names for individual estates.
The top of the legend indicates: Plan af Fortet og Byen Friederichstad med omliggernde Egne og Strand Bredden belig gende paa Westenden af Øem St Croix I America
[Plan of the fort and town of Frederiksted with surrounding areas and the seashore located on the west end of the island of St Croix in America]
1778 hand dated
This map presents information from Spratt Hall in the northwest to Good Hope in the southeast. Rather than north toward the top, this map presents an easterly direction to the top. Peter Lotharius Oxholm went to St. Croix in 1778 to improve the knowledge of the towns and their harbors, creating this map of Frederiksted in the process.
The main focus of the map enhances the understanding of the features of the western coast, especially Frederiksted. Soundings delineate the depths near the coast, extending furthest from shore at Spratt Hall.
In addition to the nautical descriptions, this map provides detailed information about the settlements found in more than a dozen estates surrounding the town of Frederiksted. Within these settlements, sugar production equipment described by the typical icons for windmills and animal mills, along with other structures that represent the boiling houses, dwellings, slave quarters, and other plantation buildings.
Topographic information identifies hills and water courses along with roads and estate boundaries. Within each estate, lines appear to delineate individual cane pieces. The legend identifies specific coastal features around Frederiksted along with landowner names written in individual estates.
While the estate boundaries are consistent with other maps, the quarter line between West End and Northside A quarters appears to be one estate north of its true value. Placement between William and Spratt Hall estates disagrees with other maps placing the boundary between William and Prosperity estates.
Plan af Eylandet St Croix efter gamle opmaalinger forbedret og tegnet af Mühlenfels
[Plan of the Island St. Croix according to old surveys, improved and drawn by Mühlenfels]
1789 hand dated
This map dated 1789 by then-surveyor Balthazar Frederik von Mühlenfels shows a relatively simple depiction of St. Croix. The map includes the coastline, islets, reefs, water bodies and courses, and some coastal place names.
Both Christiansted and Frederiksted appear in overall outline with scant detail. Roads lead from the town into the countryside.
While the quarters are named and outlined, no detail is provided for individual estates. Very general topographic markings indicate the location of hilly areas.
The coastline appears very simply. As noted for other maps, the coastline in the northwest in Northside A & B quarters does not reflect the actual coastline accurately, in this case being considerably straighter. For this map, the coastline lacks detail in some places and is exaggerated in other places. When comparing this map to previously created maps, the resemblance is strongest to the Cronenberg & von Jægersberg map of 1750.
This map provides a relatively similar depiction as the 1790 map by Mühlenfels. The later map provides considerably more detail and an updated coastline. The purpose of the creation of these maps remains unexplored.
Plan af Eylandet St Croix
[Plan of the island of St. Croix]
1790 hand dated
This manuscript copy of the Beck map survives in two sheets that were clearly meant to be joined based on the estate boundaries and associated names crossing from one sheet to the other. The map is signed by Mühlenfels and dated 1790. This map is nearly identical to the map signed by Janssen and dated 1791.
These two maps include the shoreline, islets, water bodies and courses, quarter and estate boundaries, coastal place names, and the names of landowners in estates. Within the map, depiction of topographic features identify the hillier areas of St. Croix. Water courses are emphasized with stylized trees along either side. Major roads connect the towns and appear located in the same places where roads continue to exist around the island.
Christiansted and Frederiksted are both outlined with the forts clearly depicted. Frederiksted only includes the southern half of the town, not the plan with the northern half that was never built. The cartouche for both maps only differ in the name attributed for creation plus the date.
Plan af Eylandet St Croix
[Plan of the island of St. Croix]
1791 hand dated
As noted in the description of the previous map, this map attributed to Janssen in 1791 is nearly identical to the Mühlenfels map of 1790. Among the few differences are the colors shading the quarter boundaries on each map.
The reason for the creation of either map is not entirely clear. At least from the surviving maps, an updated map after a 20-year break certainly appears in order. While previous maps underlined sugar production these maps omit any clear reference to sugar production.
The northwest coast of Northside A & B quarters presents a unique depiction compared to all other maps. Several bays along with Hams Bluff is exaggerated. The peninsula at Judiths Fancy is also considerably narrower and longer than on other maps.
Charte over den Danske Øe St. Croix i America forfærdiget i Aaret 1794, og udgivet i Aaret 1799 af P. L. Oxholm; stukket af G. N. Angelo i Kiöbenhavn
[Map of the Danish Island St. Croix in America, completed in the year 1794 and published in the year 1799 by P. L. Oxholm, engraved by G. N. Angelo, in Copenhagen]
1799 print dated
Oxholm finished collecting information for this map in 1794 and published it in 1799. While Oxholm undoubtedly drew from Beck’s maps, his map is the most detailed of the historic maps in the Danish period. This map survives in large sheet format along with smaller sheets that could fold to pocket size, albeit a large pocket.
The map includes the shoreline, islets, reefs and other soundings, water bodies and courses, quarter and estate boundaries, and coastal place names. In keeping with advancements in cartography, depiction of topographic features identify the hillier areas of St. Croix in substantial detail.
Roads lead from towns to individual plantations, much in the same locations in which roads exist today. Depiction of tree-lined drives approaching plantation structures emphasize the formalized nature of locations, such as Högens Borg in West End quarter. Trees also line water courses and highlight areas that likely remained forested at the time.
Within plantations and in other areas, some individual structures depicted largely match locations of ruins today. The most prevalent structures depicted include windmills, animal mills, and the occasional house. This map includes scant indication of slave villages.
Estates combined into larger plantations are indicated with a dashed line where a solid line may otherwise be expected. The names of estates presented largely match the place names at use in the 21st century. Some of these place names clearly derive from a landowner’s surname, such as Shoys in East End A.
Both Christiansted and Frederiksted depictions contain details of roads, built areas, and the respective forts. As with some of the later versions of the Beck map, only the southern half of Frederiksted is depicted, the portion that was actually built.
The table to the left of the map of St. Croix presents interesting information. The information clearly underlines the interest in the inhabitants and agriculture of St. Croix. The map has icons for 117 windmills and one abandoned stone tower, while the table indicates 115 windmills. The map also has icons for 61 animal mills, while the table indicates 149 animal mills. While many of the estates with windmills likely did not depict animal mills also, the miscount of windmills remains far more difficult to explain.