In 1493 Christopher Columbus discovered this island. But for the next 150 or so years, the island was overtaken by different conquerors about 22 times. In 1636, the Dutch conquered the island, and it has been an overseas territory of The Netherlands ever since. Statia, as the island is often called, is remembered as being the "emporium" of the Caribbean because of the numerous ships that visited and traded with the islanders. On November 16, 1776 the American Brig-of-War, the "Andrew Doria", sailed into a harbor of Sint Eustatius, firing its 13-gun salute indicating America's long sought independence. The 11-gun salute reply, roaring from the cannons at Fort Oranje under the command of Governor Johannes de Graaff, established this island as the first foreign nation to officially recognize the newly formed United States of America. Sint Eustatius has no country flag.
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