KNIGHTS OF THE CARIBBEAN™
Most people think in terms of the “Crusades” having been conducted in the Holy Land of Jerusalem from the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries. However, the Crusades actually continued throughout the sixteenth century and in 1492, a Crusade led by Christopher Columbus who was at least related if not a Templar himself, a Knight of one of the religious, military Orders carried on what is now known as the Crusades of the Americas.
Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European colonization of the New World, today Santiago de los Caballeros (the first “Santiago” of the Americas) is the second largest metropolis in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. Also known as Santiago de los 30 Caballeros, it is the capital of Santiago Province. It is estimated that during the colonial period (1492–1832), a total of 1.86 million Spaniards settled in the Americas. The Spanish Empire would expand across the Caribbean Islands, half of South America, most of Central America and much of North America (including present day Mexico, Florida and the Southwestern and Pacific Coastal regions of the United States).
Little has been published about the Hospitallers of St. John's colonization of the Americas occurring during a 14-year period when they possessed the four Caribbean islands of Saint Christopher, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Croix. The key figure in their contribution to colonization - Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy, was both a Knight and soldier, as well as the appointed governor of the French colonies in the Caribbean.
Christopher Columbus, the Last Templar is the untold story of the secret alliance behind the “discovery” of America, revealing how a utopian dream of brotherhood fueled a power struggle involving secret societies, popes, and kings...More
Menendez de Aviles was a Conquistador as well as a Knight in the Order of Santiago. The Knights in the Order of Santiago considered themselves aligned to the Knights Templar who protected Catholic Christians on pilgrimage to the Holy Land - Santiago de Compostela, the Shrine of St. James located in Spain.
The Hospitallers of St. John colonization of the Americas occurred during a 14-year period in which the Order of St. John or the possessed four Caribbean islands: Saint Christopher, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Croix.
The Knights' presence in the Caribbean grew out of their order's close relationship with the French nobility and the presence of many members in the Americas as French administrators. The key figure in the colonization was Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy, who was both a Knight and governor of the French colonies in the Caribbean. Poincy convinced the Knights to purchase the islands from the bankrupt Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique in 1651 and stayed to govern them until his death in 1660. During this time, the Order acted as proprietor of the islands, while the King of France continued to hold nominal sovereignty; however, Poincy ruled largely independent of them both. In 1665, the Hospitallers sold their rights in the islands to the new French West India Company, bringing their colonial legacy to a temporary end.
St. Christopher and Nevis
Legend has it that, in 1493, when Columbus sailed past the island for the first time, Columbus imagined a silhouette of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child. So taken by the likeness, he christened the island St. Christopher. For many years it was thought that he named the island San Cristobal, after his patron saint Saint Christopher, the saint of traveling. Nearly two centuries later, when Britain’s Sir Thomas Warner and 14 settlers arrived on its shores, the name had firmly taken root from visits of Sir Francis Drake (1585) and Capt. John Smith (1607). Many decades followed before the nickname St. Kitts was introduced and embraced by the British.
Columbus landed on Nevis Nov. 11-13, 1493 to water his ships and called it San Martin (sighted on Saint Martin's Day). By 1540, Nieves was used by the Spanish cartographers, an abbreviation of Santa Maria de las Nieves, a reference to its cloud cover resembling snow.