U.S. Virgin Islands

History & Political Status

The Caribbean island chain known as the Virgin Islands was divided into two parts in the 17th century, one English and the other Danish.  The Danish part had been in economic decline for quite some time, owing to losses in sugarcane production after slavery was abolished in 1848.  In 1917, the United States purchased the Danish part for $25 million, mainly for strategic reasons to assure tranquility in the Caribbean Ocean.  U.S. citizenship was conferred on U.S. Virgin Islanders in 1927.  Federal authority over the new U.S. territory was placed in the Department of the Interior in 1931, where it resides.  The Organic Act of 1936 laid the foundation for self-government and a more elaborate governmental structure emerged from the revised Organic Act of 1954.  The first elections for constitutional officers were held in 1970.

U.S.V.I. Leadership

Albert Bryan, Jr.​

Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Office of the Governor

Government House

21-22 Kongens Gade

Charlotte Amalie

St. Thomas, VI 00802

1 (340) 774-0001

1 (340) 693-4309 Fax

Stacey Plaskett

U.S. Representative

U.S. House of Representatives

509 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515-5501

(202) 225-1790

(202) 225-5517 Fax


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