[graphic] Historic Places in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
 [graphic] Link to Puerto Rico  Virgin Islands Home  [graphic]  Link to List of Sites  [graphic]  Link to Maps  [graphic] Link to  Itineraries  [graphic]  Link to NR Home


[graphic] Property Title

When Columbus landed on the island of Puerto Rico in 1493, tribes of native people, including the Taino Indians, inhabited the island. Juan Ponce de León established the first Spanish settlement, Caparra, on the island in 1508. Between 1519 and 1521, colonists moved the settlement south of San Juan Bay to its more defensible present position at the San Juan islet. While the island remains steeped in the Spanish traditions brought by the explorers, evidence of the island's earlier inhabitants and culture survives as well. Since the 1500s, the English (1595, 1598, 1797) and the Dutch (1625) tried unsuccessfully to wrest control of the island from Spain. In 1897, Spain granted Puerto Rico's residents an autonomous government. In 1898, during the course of the Spanish-American War, American troops captured the island, which Spain ceded to the United States in the 1899 Treaty of Paris. In 1917, the United States Congress granted inhabitants of the island full American citizenship, and in 1952, the island became a Commonwealth with its own constitution and government.


Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands Home | List of Sites | Maps | Itineraries | NR HomeBegin Tour

Comments or Questions



[graphic] National Park Service Arrowhead and link to nps.gov