The latter half of the 19th Century brought hardships to St. Thomas, but several businesses on Hassel prevailed. Cholera and malaria outbreaks in 1853 negatively impacted the St. Thomas’ role in mercantilism. At the urging of the RMSPC, these epidemics prompted the Danish government to dredge the harbor in 1864, disconnecting the peninsula and forming Hassel Island, with the hopes that increased harbor circulation would improve health. Natural disasters created another hurdle for St. Thomas trade, with a catastrophic hurricane and tidal wave destroying numerous vessels and structures in 1867. With this combination of misfortunes and improved steam technology, the RMSPC moved its headquarters to Barbados. However, the coming years, continued to bring businesses to St. Thomas and Hassel Island, fueling the coal-powered shipping industry. These establishments included the Hamburg-America Line, the Bronsted Company, and the East Asiatic Company, just after the turn of the century (1903).