St. Kitts was settled by English and French colonist in the years after 1623. Both groups settled at the two opposite extremes of the island. Hessel Gerritsz mentions in his Rotario that settlements could be found on three different sides of the island. On the southeast side, the French cultivated tabacco and held a fort, as they did on the west too. Two miles north of this site layed an English fort next to a river which offered good drinking water. The French were forced to dig holes to find proper water sources. The colonist, among whom several Dutchmen, focusses on the cultivation of tobacco, which made them dependent on importing food from other colonies. Dutch merchants on Sint-Eustatius saw their chances and traded food for salt.