Primary Sources
Imperialism | Colonial Policy

[P|S|M]

Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, The German Protectorates in the Pacific
The German Protectorates in the Pacific (p.26)

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, further Neu-Hannover, off the Blanche Bai penetrating into the Gazelle Peninsulas Neu-Lauenburg. In that bay Matupi. In the northwest the Admiralty Islands (the largest Manus, smaller ones Matty and Dufour). Of the Solomon Islands the 
northernmost, Buka and Bougainville, which play a role as recruiting areas for workers. The islands to the southeast are British.

Population : the coloured 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. 1908 : 463 whites, of them 322 Germans and 128 women. In addition a couple of hundred non-indigenous coloureds (Chinese, Malays, not indigenous Pacific islanders).

Morphology and Hydrology : all islands are mountainous. On Neu-Mecklenburg mountains up to a height of 1,200 m. On the Cazelle Peninsula the volcanoes Nordtochter and Suedtochter. Neu-Pommern has many coastal rivers; the Holmesfluss on the Gazelle Peninsula. On Bougainville the Kaisergebirge with the three-peak Balbiberg (3,067 m). (p.27)

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. Coffee and tobacco of no importance.

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 and holothurnus (trepang) are mentioned.

Minerals : On Neu-Mecklenburg coal has been found on several locations, but not yet examined on profitability.

Trade and Transportation : Copra, some coffee, capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell. Values of imports and exporrts see statistical table on pages 5-8. Main import goods are food articles, meat, yarn, textiles, metals and metalwares, tobacco, coal etc. In the entire New Guinea protectorate on April 1st 1908 53 trading, agricultural or commercial enterprises resided.
Navigation : 247 steamers and 139 sailing ships entered the harbours Herbertshöhe, Kawieng, Namatanai und Kieta (Bougainville) of the Bismarck Archipelago in 1906, with 110,000 reg.tons; in 1907, after the opening of Simpsonhafen, 465 with 256,000 reg.tons. Kaiser Wilhelmsland altogether 73 with 82,000 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 (Herbertshöhe und Simpsonhafen); 31 km land telegraph lines. Traffic 1907 : 226,000 letters, 5,800 postal money orders over 1,100,000 Mark, 3,200 parcels, 56,000 newspaper issues. Postal connection every 14 days. To the Karolinen twice every 18 weeks. Period of 
delivery Berlin-Jap 41-70 days. Telegrams for Jap direct, for Ponape and Seipan telegraphic to Jap or Sidney, from there transmitted by mail; address like follows : "Poste N.N., Seipan, 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 in part for the Marshall Islands.

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


b) Kaiser-Wilhelmsland. (p.28)

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

Population : is estimated at 100,000 inhabitants, Melanesians or Papua with many distinct, but related dialects; further 265 other coloureds (Chinese, Malays etc.), 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, 1908 not changed, only 41 women.

Morphology and 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-Augusta-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.

woman with child from the Marshall Islands


At the southern border the Waria or Hercules River. 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. According to recent expeditions between Bismarck and Finisterre Mountains a fertile, densely populated plain.

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 : similar as in the Bismarck-Archipelago.

Trade and Transportation : main export articles : copra, a little capoc, trepang, mother-of-pearl, recently caoutchouc, sisal hemp and cocoa. Values of export and import see statistical table on page 5-8.

Navigation, Post & Telegraphy : see Bismarck-Archipelago.

Administration : Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen. Station in the northwest Eitape. Postal agencies in Finschhafen and Stephansort (p.29)


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

Size : The island groups which priviously have been a Spanish possession have been acquired by purchase by the German Empire in June 1899. The 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 of all these islands is 800. The main islands of the Carolinas are : Kusaie, 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 about 400 square km surface, slightly bigger than the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe.

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, 1907 : 68 whites, of them 37 Germans. West Carolinas 1905 : 13,264 natives (of them the Palau 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. East Carolinas, Palau and Marianas together 88 whites, of them 59 Germans and 25 women. Marshall Islands : original population about 15,000 pure Micronesians with light skin.

Figure : Company house of the Pagan-Gesellschaft in Garapan on Saipan 
(Marianas)

On Nauru 619 Chinese and 198 not indigenous Pacific islanders, 1904 : 81 whites, 61 Germans, 1905 : 84 whites, 66 Germans, 1906 : 83 Europeans, 1907 : 103 whites, of them 76 Germans and 18 women, 1908 : 162 whites, of them 88 Germans and 21 women.

Hydrology and Morphology : the highest point is the Tolokome on Ponape, 870 m. On the same islands the sugarloaf-shaped basalt cone Tukain.

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. On Tinian (Marianas) herds of 
cattle and pigs roaming free.

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

Trade and Transportation : Exported from all island groups mentioned : copra, trepang, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl, nuts, shark fins. Imported : textiles, tobacco, food, iron tools, alcohol etc. For values of exports and imports see statistical table on Page 5-8.
Navigation : Besides ships under German flag the Marshall Islands are visited by British steamers, the Marianas by Japanese (p.30) sailing boats.
Transit passage : Norddeutscher Lloyd and Jaluit Gesellschaft, Genova or Naples - Jap until Hongkong, 1st class 1,250 M, II. class 860 M., III. 495 M., from Hongkong cabin 200 M., deck 80 M., until Sydney I. 1230 M., II. 700 M., III. 265 M., from Sydney 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 2 post offices. 1907 : 22,000 letters, 238 postal money orders, 190 parcels, 8,117 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 and Garapan (Saipan) each 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.

Figure : houses for the students of the school for the indigenous in Malifa

Population : 1902 : 32,612 aborigines, 1906 : 33,478. Europeans 1903 : 381, among these Germans 192, 1907 : 455 whites, among them 248 Germans, 117 women, 1908 : 436 whites, of them 262 Germans and 78 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 above sea level) 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, caoutchouc.

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, also cawa roots, 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 5-8.
Navigation : on Apia's roadsted in 1907 were counted 66 steamers (only 1 of them German) and 31 sailing boats with a total of 59,000 reg.-tons. Passage fee : Norddeutscher Lloyd until Sydney, 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. 1907 : 164,000 letters, 3,646 postal money orders (p.31) over a total of 856,000 M., 1,155 parcels, 26,000 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 since 1900 Dr. Solf.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Yearbook and Remarks by Hubert Henoch. Berlin 1909, p.26ff.

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
posted on the web for psm-data; many thanks to

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Kartenabteilung

Dokument in deutscher Sprache