Inagua (Great and Little), is the most southerly of the Bahamas Islands and the third largest. Little Inagua is uninhabited now, but the 49-square mile island is reputed to hide the treasure of Henri Christophe, one-time ruler of Haiti. On a clear day, Great Inagua is visible from both Cuba and Haiti.
Vegetation is sparse because of low rainfall, the buffetting trade winds and lack of freshwater, but this has granted ideal conditions for salt production leading to a development and prosperity not enjoyed by any of the surrounding islands. It is thought that the name Inagua comes from the Spanish lleno (full) and agua (water): henagua. This was apparently the name of the island when the first salt farmers settled there. In 1803 records show only one inhabitant, but the success of the salt industry meant that by 1871 the population had risen to 1,120. Although trade barriers in the USA caused the decline of the salt trade in Inagua for many years, the industry was revitalized in the 1930s with the establishment of the Morton Salt Company, which now utilizes 12,000 acres. Morton Bahamas Ltd installed a power plant which supplies electricity to all homes in Matthew Town. Inagua has the best telecommunications system in the Family Islands and nearly everyone has a telephone. For a while the island supported a cotton plantation; although a shortlived enterprise, wild cotton can still be found growing on Inagua today. Outside Matthew Town you can still see the ruins of the cotton mill and the narrow plantation roads, as well as the ruins of a prison from the days when the community was large enough to need one. The highest points on the island are Salt Pond Hill at 102 ft and East Hill at 132 ft.