before 1830 History of the Pacific Islands

Samoa, 1830-1899

The first missionaries sent by the LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY arrived in 1830. In 1834 they had established Samoan as a language of writing. Soon foreign ships arrived and Samoa - still divided in a number of competing, at times warring chieftainships, signed treaties regulating trade with foreign nations, the first with the US in 1838. The years 1848-1873 saw the WARS FOR SUPREMACY, in which the combattants were armed by western merchants.
American troops landed on Samoa in 1841 to punish the murder of am American citizen, in 1889 to protect US citizens in a threatening Samoan Civil War, in 1899 to interfere in a fight over succession to the Samoan throne..
A British consulate was opened in 1847, a US consulate in 1851, a Hamburg consulate in 1861 (later transformed into a German consulate). US Col. A.B. Steinberger helped negotiated a peace which virtually placed him in power (1875); a constitution was drafted (1875), but he was deposed and deported by the British in 1876. The peace so intricately negotiated proved fragile, the confederation broke up and from time to time violence broke out.
The issuance of postage stamps by private companies began in 1877. In 1879 the British established the municipality of APIA. In 1884 German troops occupied Apia to reestanlish law and order (the Hamburg trading firm Godeffroy had opened a trading station here in 1860).
Now the Germans, British and Americans competed for shares in the Samoan trade; in the TREATY OF BERLIN 1889 all three agreed to recognize Samoan independence. When tribal warfare resumed in 1899, the treaty was annulled and Samoa partitioned; Germany gained Western Samoa (the larger share).

History, from Independent State of Western Samoa
History of Western Samoa, from Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Lonely Planet
R.M. Watson, History of Samoa, 1917
Geschichte von Samoa, from
Samoan Civil War 1898-1899, in : Wars of 1899, from The History Guy, scroll down
The Samoan Conflict 1899, from Jane's Samoa Home Page
Samoan Postal History, from Fellowship of Samoa Specialists
Samoa, from The New Zealand Dependencies Website, detailed postal history
The German Postal Agency on Samoa, from The New Zealand Dependencies Website
Minor Military Deployments and Actions 1833-1992, from Simonides Warzone, US troop deployments, in part on Samoa
Armed Conflict Event Data : Samoan Civil War 1893-1894, Samoan Civil War 1898-1899, from
DOCUMENTS Samoan Archives, General Description, from National Register of Archives and Manuscripts, Wellington, New Zealand
Some Aspects of the Samoan Question, by George H. Bates, in : The Century; a popular quarterly. / Volume 37, Issue 6, pp.945-949, Apr. 1889 from Cornell Difital Library
Our Relations to Samoa, by George H. Bates, in : The Century; a popular quarterly. / Volume 38, Issue 1, pp.25-34, May 1889, from Cornell Digital Librart
Our Interest in Samoa, by Hon. Henry C. Ide, in : The North American review. / Volume 165, Issue 489, pp.155-174, Aug. 1897, from Cornell Digital Library
The Imbroglio in Samoa, by Henry C. Ide: in : The North American review. / Volume 168, Issue 511, pp.679-694, June 1899, from Cornell Digital Library
Samoa: Commerce, Consular Rights, Shipping - November 5, 1839, from Avalon Project at Yale Law School; also from Samoan Sensation
Letter Dec. 11th 1839 from Samoa, by Lt. William Reynolds, from Samoan Sensation
Typhoons and Hurricanes: The Storm at Apia, Samoa, 15-16 March 1889, 2 Docs, from Navy Historical Center; also from Samoan Sensation
Selection of 8 19th century articles on Samoa, from Samoan Sensation
1880es prints featuring Samoa, from Samoan Sensation
1851 map, from Samoan Sensation, from Tallis Atlas
Robert Louis Stevenson, on the Samoan War of 1893, from Samoan Sensation
Images on Samoa 1887, from the Graphic : No.1, No.2, No.3, No.4, No.5, No.6, No.7, No.8 posted by Samoan Sensation
Images of Samoa, 1881, The Graphic : No.9, No.10, No.11, No.12, posted by Samoan Sensation
Illustrations from precolonial, colonial and postcolonial (W.) Samoa, from Germans in Samoa : Gender and Race, a project at Whitman College
Cartoon : Bismarck holding the earth and reaching for Samoa while ignoring U.S. protests by Bayard and Whitney, from Library of Congress
Graphs : German, British, American shipping to Samoa, 1860-1885, scan posted by Germans in Samoa, Gender and Race
Map : Eur. Plantations on Samoa, 1880es, scan posted by Germans in Samoa : Gender and Race, a project at Whitman College
Robert Louis Stephenson, Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa (1883-1890), from World Wide School, XI chapters

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 13th 2002, last revised on November 5th 2004

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