Columbus sighted the
island of St. Vincent on his third voyage in 1498. But Spain did not
exercise control of the island. In 1595 Sir Walter Raleigh visited the
islands, but the British did not seek control either. By the end of
the 17th century St. Vincent became a sanctuary for Caribs from other
islands and run-away African slaves. In 1719 the "Yellow Caribs"
allowed the French to settle on the island to forestall domination by
the "Black Caribs." The British began to exercise authority over the
island in 1783 with a plantation economy and slavery. in 1833 slavery
was ended, and endentured laborers took their place. Internal
self-government was achieved in 1969 and independence in 1979.
In 1979 a set of twenty stamps showing a map of St.
Vincent and the location of twenty post offices was issued.