This article was adapted by Lindsay Negrello, Librarian at the University of the Virgin Islands, from the St. Croix Tribune’s title essay forthcoming in Chronicling America

The St. Croix Tribune (sn84037536) was an English-language newspaper produced by the St. Croix Co-operative Society in Christiansted, St. Croix, V.I., between 1922 and 1937. It was released daily, except Sundays, with the mottos “A Journal for the Progress of the People” and “Let Justice Be Done Though the Heavens Should Fall.”  

St. Croix Tribune Title

The Tribune featured 2-3 columns and was four pages long, and was edited by Ralph de Chabert, who remained the editor for the entire run of the paper. De Chabert went on to serve in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the local St. Croix government. 

The paper was a valuable source of information for the community, as it included a variety of content such as advertisements, movie theater listings, and recurring ads for products such as toothpaste, beer, and clothing. The Tribune had a distinct personality–this charming illustration and advertisement appears in early editions of the St. Croix Tribune

Advertisements were plentiful throughout the Tribune’s pages; many were intricate illustrations like the 1934 ads below, but just as often they consisted of solely text, urging customers to come and enjoy the “Special Sale” at Val’s Grocery.

The St. Croix Tribune covered a range of topics, including local, national, and international news. The paper was an important source of information on local elections and provided coverage of candidate’s speeches, as well as municipal works, such as road construction, and local government meeting notes, with a column devoted to the Colonial Council of St. Croix. The paper also covered critical issues related to the local military base, taxes, legal notices, postal notices, and police bulletins.

De Chabert’s editorial column covered everything from his thoughts on rum exports to the shift from sugar cane to agriculture on St. Croix.  But the editorializing did not end there.

Wednesday, January 3 rd, 1934

De Chabert often added his own asides to current events upon which the Tribune reported, such as with this reprinted paragraph from the Philadelphia Record from the same 1934 issue.

“Random Notes” was De Chabert’s opportunity to provide short descriptions of daily life on St. Croix.  This included opinions about road work, rainfall, the arrival and departure of sailing ships, the price of vegetables, and the comings and goings of various public figures. 

“Random Notes” from the Wednesday, March 25th, 1936 edition.  

DeChabert often used radio reports accompanied by photos from around the world as his source in international news.

Tuesday, February 20, 1934

The column “Radio News” provided readers with radio dispatches transcribed from around the world. International news stories covered the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The St. Croix Tribune provided its readers with a concise blend of local “melee” (local dialect for gossip), as well as relevant news items from around the world.  

Example of “Radio News” coverage of the United States from Friday, November 09, 1934.

The St. Croix Tribune provided its readers with a concise blend of local “melee” (local dialect for gossip), as well as relevant news items from around the world.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *