Have you read Stevenson’s Treasure Island?
It’s one of my favorite books!
Now, instead of hunting on land, I hunt in libraries looking for stories about the Virgin Islands.
Here’s an interesting one I found about the island of Deadman’s Chest.
“It seems that the island of Deadman’s Chest, celebrated in Stevenson’s haunting verses in Treasure Island, was not a mere creation of his imagination, but a real uninhabited island in the West Indies.
Public interest in the story has been stimulated by the dramatization of the book recently presented in London. Night after night, audiences listened with enjoyment to the Pirates Song:
Fifteen men on the Deadman’s Chest,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
Drink and the devil had done for the rest,
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum.
Many readers of Treasure Island have wondered what Stevenson meant by his allusion to Deadman’s Chest.
The mystery has been solved to some extent for readers of a recent book of travels where it was stated that Deadman’s Chest is the name of a square and box-like rock in the Virgin West Indies.
This description, according to the London Sphere, was not altogether accurate.
This was not a rock, but a bit of land more than 500 feet long and 200 feet high at its highest point.
The first settlers of the Virgin Islands were pirates, and this fact strengthens the connection which Stevenson sought. A picture of the island shows that it looks like the body of a dead man floating on the surface of the water.
Not far from Deadman’s Chest is Norman Island, where there is a peculiar cavern.
It is approachable only from the sea and at low tide, a hole in the cliff just big enough for a ship’s boat to pass appears.
In this cavern, the buried hoard of the pirate’s treasure was supposed to have been found many years ago.” 🔎
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