Dominica is an island country that is situated in the eastern Caribbean Sea and lies between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante. The island is 47 kilometers long and 26 kilometers wide. Before European colonization, Dominica was home to the Carib people who had migrated here from South America.1
Dominica received its name from Christopher Columbus who spotted it on 3 November 1493 -- a Sunday. He subsequently named it “dies dominica” (“The Lord's Day”). Although gaining its name from Columbus, the first colonists on the island were the French in 1632. After a fight between France and Britain over its ownership, the French withdrew from the island in 1805, leaving Britain as the primary colonialist power.2
Before Dominica was made a separate colony, it was administered as part of the Leeward Islands. Dominica joined the West Indies Federation in 1958 and gained its full independence, although remaining part of the commonwealth, on 3 November 1978 -- exactly 485 years after receiving its name.3
Today, Dominica is considered one of the poorest Caribbean countries. Since the island's main economic source is agriculture, which is habitually destroyed by hurricanes, there is not much else to rely on. The original Carib material culture is still present in Dominica.4
  • 1. Janet D. Momsen, Dominica, Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
Mentions of this place in the documents
Places in this document

Leeward Islands

The Colonial Despatches Team. Dominica. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)