Union is the southernmost of the group of islands forming Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an independently governed country still part of the British Commonwealth.
The first European settlers were Frenchmen who arrived in 1763 with 350 slaves. The Treaty of Versailles signed 20 years later resulted in Union Island along with the other islands comprising the Grenadines being transferred under the control of England.
Ownership of Union Island was held by an Englishman and then a Scotsman and finally a St Vincentian, with all of these families focusing their efforts on growing a very fine strain of cotton called Marie-Gallant.
The double whammy of a bad cotton harvest and a hurricane forced the final owner to sell Union to the British Crown, which then created the Union Island Settlement Scheme. Parcels of 2-4 acres were sold to local residents at favorable credit rates.