NEVIS, an island in the British West Indies, forming with St Kitts one of the five presidencies in the colony of the Leeward Islands. Pop. (1901) 12,774. It lies in 17 0 14' N. and 62° 33' W., and is separated from St Kitts by a shallow channel 2 m. wide at its narrowest point. In form it is almost round, and from the sea has the appearance of a perfect cone, rising gradually to the height of 3200 ft. Its total area is 50 sq. m. Although the island is subject to severe storms, the climate is healthy, the average temperature being 82° F. Sugar, rum and molasses are exported, and corn, yams, coffee and fruit are grown. There are medicinal springs and large deposits of sulphur. The chief town, Charlestown, lies on a wide bay on the S. W. The legislative council of St Kitts-Nevis meets at Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts. Nevis was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and first colonized in 1628 by the English from St Kitts. During the period of the slave trade it was a leading mart for slaves in the West Indies.
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