Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, The German Protectorates in the Pacific
The German Protectorates in the Pacific (p.20)

I. Deutsch - Neuguinea.

a) The Bismarck-Archipelago

Size : about 61,000 square km (roughly two thirds of Bavaria). The main islands of the archipelago are Neu-Pommern with the Gazelle Peninsula and Neu-Mecklenburg, separated by the St. Georgs-Kanal. In the northwest the Admiralty Islands, the largest Manus. In the St. Georg-Kanal the island of Neu-Lauenburg. At the northwestern end of Neu-Mecklenburg the island Neu-Hannover. Of the Solomon Islands the northernmost, Buka and Bougainville, which play a role as recruiting areas for workers.

Population : is estimated at roughly 200,000 (Melanesians or Papua). The European population amounted, on January 1st 1904 : 318 whites, of them 203 Germans. 1905 : 335 Europeans, of them 233 Germans. 1906: 383 whites, of them 267 Germans. 1907: 360 whites, of them 255 Deutsche and 100 adult women. In addition a couple of hundred non-indigenous coloureds (Chinese, Malays).

Morphology and Hydrology : all islands are mountainous. On Neu-Mecklenburg mountains up to a height of 1,200 m. Neu-Pommern has many coastal rivers; the Holmesfluss on the Gazelle Peninsula. On Bougainville the Kaisergebirge with the three-peak Balbiberg (3,067 m).

Climate : The Archipelago has a tropical climate, mildened by the maritime surrounding. Average annual temperature 26 degrees. Lowest rainfall mostly July to October. Earthquakes are frequent, but not dangerous.

Flora : Very lush vegetation. Dense forest with slim trees, lianas winding around them. In higher altitudes treeless grass steppes. Cultivated plants : coco palm; the plantation of rubber, cocoa, cotton in testing phase.

Fauna : No predators, no monkeys, i.e. an Australian fauna, for instance marsupials. Birds of paradise, the most beautiful representative of a rich avifauna. Of the maritime fauna mother-of-pearl clams are mentioned.

Minerals : On Neu-Mecklenburg coal has been found on several locations, but not yet worked. (p.21)

Trade and Transportation : Copra, capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell. Values of imports and exporrts see statistical table on page 4. Main import goods are food articles, meat, yarn, textiles, metals and metalwares, tobacco, coal etc.
Navigation : 247 steamers and 139 sailing ships entered the harbours of the Bismarck Archipelago in 1906, with 110,000 reg.tons. Kaiser Wilhelmsland altogether 94 with 90,000 reg.tons. Transit fee : Norddeutscher Lloyd : Genova or Naples-Herbertshöhe 1st class 1,560 Mark, 2nd class 1.065 Mark, 3rd class via Hongkong 740 Mark, via Sydney 420 Mark.
Post and Telegraph Services : by the end of 1907 : 8 offices, 2 of which with telegraph service and local telephone service, yet without connection to the world telegraph net. 1906 : 209,700 letters, 5,777 postal money orders over 998,000 Mark, 2,408 parcels, 45,668 newspaper issues. Postal connection every 14 days. Period of delivery Berlin-Herbertshöhe 40 to 43 days. To the Karolinen twice every 18 weeks. Period of delivery Berlin-Jap 41-70 days. Telegrams for Jap direct, for Ponape and Saipan telegraphic to Jap or Sidney, from there transmitted by mail; address like follows : "Poste N.N., Saipan, Jap". Telegram fee per word to Jap 5,05 Mark, to Sidney 3,10 Mark. - The last also describes the situation for the Marshall Islands and it's two postal offices. Postal delivery Berlin-Jaluit twice every 18 weeks, in 48 to 59 days. Telegrams : telegraphic to Hongkong or Sydney, from there by mail. Address : Poste N.N., Herbertshöhe, Hongkong". Telegram fee per word to Hongkong 4,55 Mark, to Sydney 3,10 Mark.
The last two paragraphs are also valid for Kaiser Wilhelmsland, the last also for the Carolinas, Marianas and Marshall Islands.

Administration : Seat of the Imperial Governor and district office : Simpsonhafen (earlier Herbertshöhe). Governor for the time being Dr.Hahl. Other main places : Kawieng, Namatanai, Kieta, Matupi, Ralum and Muliama. 
Coloured police troop for all of Neuguinea 282 men.


b) Kaiser-Wilhelmsland.

Size : About 179,000 square km (half of Prussia). Located on the large, partially British (Australian) and Dutch island of New Guinea.

Population : is estimated at 100,000, of them (at the beginning of 1904) 113 Europeans, 98 Germans. Melanesians or Papua, with many different, but related dialects. 1904 : 113 Europeans, of them 98 Germans, 1905 : 128 Europeans, of them 115 Germans, 1906 : 149 whites, of them 130 Germans, 1907 : 182 whites, of them 162 Germans and 38 women.

Hydrology : Along the 800 km long coast many coral reefs, smaller islands and bays. The most important are the Huon Gulf and the Astrolabe Bay. In the protectorate's north the Kaiserin-Auguste-River, navigable for larger vessels for 200 sea miles, with favourable estuary not blocked by reefs. The Gogol River feeds into the Astrolabebai, the Markhamfluss into the Huon Gulf. The largest river is the Ramu, which used to be called, in it's lower stretch, Ottilien River. it is navigable for 200 km.

Morphology : The interior is little explored. Between Huon Gulf and Astrolabe Bay the Finisterre Mountains (3,475 m); between it and the coast a coastal mountain range reaching 1,000 m altitude. In the interior the yet unknown Kraetke Chain, further north the Bismarck Chain.

Climate : marked dry climate. Along the coast highest temperature in the shadow 35 degrees Celsius, lowest 20 degrees, average annual temperature 26 degrees. Between April and September south east passate, from October to March north west monsoon. Clear distinction between dry and rainy season in most years not notable. The main rainy season depends on the fact, if the respective region is more exposed to the passate or monsoon wind. Thus the rainy season, at different places, sets in at different times.

Flora, Fauna : see under Bismarck-Archipelago.

Trade and Transportation : main export articles : copra, a little capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl. Values of export and import see statistical table on page 4.

Navigation, Post & Telegraphy : see Bismarck-Archipelago.

Administration : Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen. Main places with European residents : Berlinhafen, Potsdamhafen, Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen, Stephansort, Finschhafen, Salamaua.


c. The Carolines, Pelau-Islands, Marianas and Marshall-Islands

Size : The island groups which previously have been a Spanish possession have been acquired by purchase by the German Empire in June 1899. Die Carolinas have an area of about 1,600 square km (of which the Palau islands 450 square km). The Marianas have an area of 626 square km. The number od all these islands is 800. The main islands of the Carolinas are : Kuseie, Ponape, Truk and Jap. The most important island of the Palaus is Baobeltaob. 
The main Mariana Islands are Seipan and Tinian. The Marshall Islands, consisting of the Ratak Group in the east and the Ralik Group in the west, overall 353 islands, have an area of aboyt 400 square km surface, slightly bigger than the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe. (p.22)

Population : East Carolinas 25,000 natives, 1904 : 89 whites, of them 32 Germans. 1905 : 92 Europeans, of them 37 Germans, 1906 : 77 whites, of them 38 Germans. West Carolinas 1905 : 13,264 natives (of them the Pelau Islands 3,748), 1904 : 36 whites, of them 11 Germans, 1905 : 47 Europeans, of them 16 Germans, 1906 : 73 whites, of them 36 Germans, 1907 : 69 whites, of them 46 Germans and 11 women. Marianas 1905 : 2,508 natives, 1904 : 13 whites, of them 7 Germans, 1905 : 22 Europeans, of them 16 Germans, 1906 : 23 Europeans, of them 18 Germans, 1907 : 31 whites, of them 26 Germans and 6 women. Marshall Islands : original population about 15,000 pure Micronesians with light skin. 1904 : 81 whites, 61 Germans, 1905 : 84 whites, 66 Germans, 1906 : 83 Europeans, 65 Germans, 1907 : 103 whites, of them 76 Germans and 18 women.

Hydrology and Morphology : the highest point is the Tolokome, 870 m.

Climate : average annual temperature 27 degrees. Rainy season on the eastern islands June to September, on the western islands June to August. On the Marshall Islands yearly 300 rainy days with 4,000 to 5,000 mm annual precipitation.

Flora : The western islands have a richer flora than the eastern ones. The coco palm is almost the only domesticated plant. Recently experiments with rubber and cocoa.

Fauna : Of the mammals originally only bats. Imported were rats. A rich avifauna, also many species of fish, few species of insects. Domesticated animals : almost everywhere dog, cat and pig.

Minerals : On the Palau Islands profitable coal deposits. On Nauru and a number of other islands rich phosphate deposits.

Trade and Transportation : Exported from all island groups mentioned : copra, trepang, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl. Imported : textiles, tobacco, food, iron tools, alcohol etc. For values of exports and imports see statistical table on Page 4.
Navigation : Besides ships under German flag the Marshall Islands are visited by British steamers, the Marsianas by Japanese sailing boats. Transit passage : Norddeutscher Lloyd and Jaluit Gesellschaft, Genoa or Naples - Jap until Hongkong, 1st class 1,250 M, II. class 860 M., III. 495 M., from Hongkong cabin 600 M., deck 260 M., Norddeutscher Lloyd and Jaluit-Gesellschaft Genova or Naples-Jaluit, until Hongkong I. 1250 M., II. 860 M., III. 495 M., from Hongkong cabin 500 M., deck 200 M.; until Sydney I. 1230 M., II. 700 M., III. 265 M., from Sydney cabin 300 M., deck 120 M.
Post & Telegraph Service : By the end of 1906 1 post office. 1906 : 12,200 letters, 278 postal money orders over 29,700 M., 203 parcels, 7,880 newspaper issues. Postal connections twice every 18 weeks, delivery Berlin-Jaluit 49-60 days. Telegrams : by telegraph to Sydney or Jap, from there delivered by mail. Adress as follows : "Poste N.N., Jaluit, Jap." Fees for telegrams per word to Sidney 3,10 M, to Jap 5,05 M.

Administration : Seat of district administrations are : Ponape, Jap, Jaluit; on Nauru a station commander.


II. The Samoa Islands (Navigator's Islands)

Size : Since Nov. 14th 1899 respectively March 1st 1900, the following islands belong to the German protectorate of Samoa : Sawaii (1,691 square km), Upolu (868 square km, seat of the government), Manono (8,5 square km), Apolima (4,7 square km), total 2,572 square km (= the size of the Duchy of Sachsen-Meiningen). The other islands of the Samoan group belong to the U.S.A.

Population : 1902 : 32,612 aborigines, 1906 : 33,478. Europeans 1903 : 381, among these Germans 192, 1907 : 455 whites, among them 245 Germans, 117 women, in addition a population of mixed descent, about 885 heads, and 1,104 Chinese.

Morphology And Hydrology : Sawaii and Upolu are mountainous (highest peak the Manga-Loa, 1,646 m) and volcanic. The rivers form many cascades, because of the terrasse-shaped structure of the islands.

Climate : tropical (May to September southeast passate). Average annual temperature 25,70 degrees Celsius. Samoa's climate is healthy.

Flora : lush vegetation; even steep cliffs are overgrown. Species of fern are frequent. Cultivated plants : coco palm, cocoa (of excellent quality) and, according to recent experiments, rubber.

Fauna : of the mammals originally only bats. Imported dogs and cats, pigs, unfortunately also rats. Land and sea rich in lower life forms.

Trade and Transportation : Export mainly of copra and fruits, and recently of cocoa. Import of consumer goods and textiles, construction material, metal ware. For values of exports and imports see statistical table on page 4.
Navigation : on Apia's roadsted in 1906 were counted 71 steamers (only 1 of them German) and 33 sailing boats with a total of 56,000 reg.-tons. Passage fee : Norddeutscher Lloyd until Sydney (p.23), Oceanic S.S. Co. of San Francisco until Pago Pago : 1st class 1,640 M, 2nd class 966,25 M, 3rd class 418,25 M, from Pago Pago to Apia 1st class 32 M, 2nd class 21,35 M.
Post & Telegraph Service : End 1907 : 6 post offices, among them 1 with local telephone service. 1905 : 171,300 letters, 3,646 postal money orders over a total of 916,300 M., 1,066 parcels, 20,096 newspaper issues. Mail delivery all 4 weeks, time of delivery Berlin-Apia 30-32 days. Telegrams : by telegraph to Auckland or Levuka, Souva or Honolulu, from there further by mail. Address as follows : Poste N.N., Apia, Auckland. Telegram fee per word to Auckland, Levoka, Souva or Honolulu 3,10 M.

Administration : seat of the governor Apia on Upolu. Gouvernor presently Dr. Solf.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1908, p.20ff.

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