• 1721: Starting in 1721, Greenland had been a colony of Denmark, its population originally living off subsistence fishing. Indeed, for most of the island’s history, half its entire economic output had been shrimp exports. By the turn of the twentieth century, the citizens of Denmark saw this last legacy of their failed colonial ambitions as a burden (the Virgin Islands, their only other major holding, had been sold off to the United States in 1917). They resented having to send a yearly subsidy a thousand miles away to feed, house, school, and clothe a population of mostly non-Danish indigenous peoples, or Eskimos, as they were popularly known.-Ghost Fleet by Singer.