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“Long Island is split by the Tropic of Cancer.”

The Tropic of Cancer

Although Long Island is 80 miles long, it is very narrow - no more than four miles at its widest point. The island is divided by the Tropic of Cancer and bordered by two very different coasts, one with rocky cliffs and caves that dip suddenly into the sea and the other with broad beaches.

The layout of the land has its contrasts as well. Sloping hills are dominant in the northeast, while low hillsides make up the southern portion of the island.

The Loyalists

Originally called by the Arawak name 'Yuma,' Long Island was most recently colonized by Loyalists in 1776. Numerous Loyalist families settled on Long Island, some setting up cotton plantations and others raising cattle and sheep. The plantations flourished for only a few years and, by the time of the abolition of slavery in 1834, most of them had collapsed and been abandoned. There are many ruins from this era today, although the majority of them are overgrown by bush. There are also remains of some of the houses built after slavery, which are usually small and built of stone. Originally they had thatched roofs; today, most are shingled.


Long Island’s population is about 3,000. It is the leading stock-rearing island in The Bahamas and its farmers also raise corn, peas, bananas, pineapples and other crops.