Barbuda, a 62-square-mile Leeward Island in the Caribbean, located about 30 miles north of Antigua. A dependency of Antigua, Barbuda was settled by the British in the mid-1630s shortly after the colonization of Antigua. In 1674, Sir Christopher Codrington established the first major sugar plantation in Antigua and subsequently leased the island of Barbuda to cultivate food for the estate. Blacks brought from Africa to work in Barbuda became unwilling subjects of a breeding experiment to produce physically larger and stronger slaves. Evidence of this experiment can be seen today in their descendants; the people of the island are recognized for their large stature. The current population of some fifteen hundred are predominantly African in descent and live in the island's only village, named after Codrington.
Politically, Barbuda remains linked to Antigua. In 1967, Antigua received full self-government as an associated state of the United Kingdom, and in November 1981, Antigua and Barbuda acquired independence as a single territory. Attempts by Barbuda to obtain independence from Antigua have failed.
Carleen O'Loughlin, Economic and Political Change in the Leeward and Windward Islands (1968), pp. 30-32.
Ben Box and Sarah Cameron, eds., 1992 Caribbean Island Handbook (1991), pp. 318-321, 327.
D. M. Spears