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The Origins of International Rivalry in Samoa: 1845–1884


page 214


1. Treaty of Friendship and Commerce
Between the United States and the
Samoan Islands

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Samoan Islands, being desirous of concluding a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, the President of the United States has for this purpose conferred full powers upon William M. Evarts, Secretary of State; and the Government of the Samoan Islands has conferred like powers upon M. K. Le Mamea, its Envoy Extraordinary to the United States.

And the said Plenipotentiaries having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

1.There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Samoan Islands.
2.Naval vessels of the United States shall have the privilege of entering and using the Port of Pago-pago, and establishing therein and on the shores thereof a station for coal and other naval supplies for their naval and commercial marine, and the Samoan Government will hereafter neither exercise nor authorize any jurisdiction within the said port adverse to such rights of the United States or restrictive thereof. The same vessels shall also have the privilege of entering other ports of the Samoan Islands. The citizens of the United States shall likewise have free liberty to enter the same ports with their ships and cargoes of whatsoever kind, and to sell the same to any of the inhabitants of these Islands, whether natives or foreigners, or to barter them for the products of the Islands. All such traffic in whatsoever articles of trade or barter shall be free, except that the trade in firearms and munitions of war in the Islands shall be subject to regulations by that Government.
3.(Freedom from import and export duties.)page 215
4.All disputes between citizens of the United States in the Samoan Islands, whether relating to civil matters or to offences or crimes, shall be heard and determined by the Consul of the United States at Apia, Samoa, under such regulations and limitations as the United States may provide: and all disputes between citizens of the United States and the people of those Islands shall be heard by the Consul in conjunction with such officer of the Samoan Government as may be designated for that purpose. Crimes and offences in cases where citizens of the United States may be convicted shall be punished according to the laws of their Country: and in cases where the people of the Samoan Islands may be convicted, they shall be punished pursuant to Samoan laws and by the authorities of that country.
5.If, unhappily, any differences should have arisen, or shall hereafter arise, between the Samoan Government and any other Government in amity with the United States, the Government of the latter will employ its good offices for the purpose of adjusting those differences upon a satisfactory and solid foundation.
6.The Government of Samoa agrees to allow the Government and citizens of the United States free and equal participation in any privileges that may have been or may hereafter be granted to the Government, citizens, or subjects of any other nation.
7.The present Treaty shall remain in force for 10 years from its date. If neither party shall have given to the other six months' previous notice of its intention then to terminate the same, it shall remain in force until the end of twelve months after either party shall have given notice to the other of such intention.

The present Treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged as soon as possible.

In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed and sealed this Treaty at Washington the 17th Day of January, 1878.

William Maxwell Evarts.
M. K. Le Mamea.

page 216

2. Treaty of Friendship Between Germany and Samoa


His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, etc., in the name of the German Empire, of the one part, and their Excellencies the Gentleman of the Taimua, in the name of the Government of Samoa, of the other part, being desirous mutually to further and cement their amicable relations and their interests, have decided to conclude a Treaty of Friendship. [List of Plenipotentiaries of both parties.]

1.There shall be peace and perpetual friendship between the German Empire of the one part and Samoa of the other part, and also between their respective subjects without distinction of person or places.
2.The subjects of both Contracting Parties shall enjoy in both countries perfect and perpetual protection of their persons and property, and furthermore, Germans in Samoa and Samoans in Germany shall be exempt from all war contributions, military requisitions or military services, and especially the Germans in Samoa shall be exempt from occupation of their houses, lands, and plantations by war parties.
3.The Germans who reside [sojourn] in Samoa, and the Samoans who reside [sojourn] in Germany shall enjoy perfect liberty of conscience and religious worship….

[Agreement as to rights of burying Germans in Samoa, or Samoans in Germany.]

4.There shall be full freedom of commerce for German subjects in all parts and places of Samoa; [Freedom to trade in all parts of Samoa; no taxes or duties, or restrictions with regards to their vessels and cargoes], but also in this case the German subjects shall always enjoy in Samoa the same rights and advantages as the Samoans or the subjects of the most favoured nation.

German ships of war shall be at liberty to enter into the harbour of Saluafata, to anchor and remain there to take in supplies and to repair, and the German Government shall furthermore be at liberty to make there at its own pleasure all page 217such contrivances and arrangements that may be useful for German ships of war, and their officers and crew. [Also rights to erect buildings for coal, to hoist the German flag, "but the Sovereignty of the Government of Samoa over the harbour of Saluafata shall not in any way be prejudiced or made valueless." The harbour not to be closed to other nations though the Samoan Government pledged not to grant others similar rights. German ships of war to be at liberty to enter, anchor at, and remain at any other places, harbours or waters of Samoa.]

The Samoan Government also promises hereby that they will not in any way grant privileges to any other nation before the German Government with respect to the harbour of Apia and its shores; but that the German Government shall always enjoy also in that respect the same rights as other nations.


[Full liberty to subjects of the Contracting Parties in their respective territories, to undertake voyages and journeys, trade, buy, or rent lands, cultivate and use them, erect thereon houses or warehouses, stores and shops. Both to submit to laws and taxes as agreed upon, but Germans in Samoa to have same rights as the Samoans or the subjects of the most favoured nation.]

Especially does the Samoan Government hereby guarantee to the German subjects peaceable possession of all lands in Samoa which they have hitherto bought from Samoans in a regular manner and in accordance with the custom at the time, and all further interference with regard to such lands is therefore excluded by this confirmation by the Samoan Government of the ownership of the German subjects. The Germans are therefore at liberty to make use of all their lands in Samoa without interference, to establish plantations thereon, and to procure and employ the necessary labourers as well for such purpose as also in general for their wharves, business premises, and houses.

7.[Arrangements for jurisdiction over German subjects.]
8.All laws and regulations which the German subjects and their clients residing (or sojourning) in Samoa will have to submit to, as well as all taxes and charges which they will have to pay accordingly to the Samoan Government, shall be deliberated upon between the German Consul, or other persons appointed for that purpose by the German Government and officers of the Samoan Government, also all useful measures to bring about the observance of such laws and regulations by page 218Germans in Samoa; but all such laws and measures which have been deliberated upon between the Officers of the two Governments shall only come into force after obtaining the confirmation of the German Government. But any agreements which the officers of the two Governments have come to with regard to municipal arrangements or police, quarantine and Apia Harbour regulations, or with reference to a prohibition or regulations of the sale and supply of spirituous and intoxicating liquors to Samoans and natives from other parts of the Pacific Ocean by Germans in Samoa, shall at once be observed by German subjects in Samoa, and as long as the German Government has not refused the confirmation of the same.

[Again a most favoured nation clause.]

9.[A further agreement to be made regulating the civil status of clients of either party.]
10.The Government of Samoa promises not to grant in their own country any monopolies, indemnities, or real advantages to the disadvantage of German commerce or of the flag and the subjects of the German Empire.
11.The Government of Samoa promises to grant the German Government as many rights as the most favoured nation as well in respect to all matters alluded to in the preceding Articles of this Treaty as also generally and as may be granted to any other nation in future.
12.The present Treaty shall come into force and become valid from the day of the signing the same… [unless not ratified within two years].
13.[Ratifications—Samoan to be exchanged as soon as possible.]

In witness whereof the Plenipotentiaries of the two Governments have signed and sealed this Treaty in two documents of the same tenour.

Done at the Imperial German Consulate at Apia on the 24th day of January, in the year 1879.

Von Werner.
Th. Weber.

page 219

3. Treaty of Friendship, Etc., Between Great Britain and the King and Government (Malo) of Samoa


1.There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty and those of the Samoan State.
2.The King and Government (Malo) of Samoa engage to grant to no other Sovereign or State any rights, privileges, authority, or predominance in Samoa in excess of such as are or may be accorded to Her Britannic Majesty. The subjects of Her Britannic Majesty shall always enjoy in Samoa whatever rights, privileges, and immunities shall be granted to those of the most favoured nation, and no rights, privileges, or immunities shall be granted to the subjects of any foreign State that shall not be equally and unconditionally accorded to the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty.
3.Full liberty for the free pursuit of commerce, trade, and agriculture is guaranteed to British subjects, as well as the peaceable possession of lands heretofore purchased by them from Samoans in a customary and regular manner. [Arrangements for a Commission in the case of disputed title to lands.]

All British residents in Samoa shall be exempt from war contributions, military requisitions, and occupation of their houses and lands by war parties.

4.[Arrangements for the apprehension and trial of British subjects.]
5.[Arrangements for trial of civil suits brought against British subjects.]
6.[Samoans to be liable to be summoned as witnesses.]
7.Her Britannic Majesty engages to cause regulations to be issued to enforce the observance by British subjects of such of the existing Municipal Laws and Police Regulations of Samoa as may be hereafter agreed upon by agreement between the Government of Her Britannic Majesty and that of the Samoan page 220State, and for the due observance of quarantine by British subjects.
8.Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain may, if she thinks fit, establish on the shores of a Samoan harbour, to be hereafter designated by Her Majesty, a naval station and coaling depot, but this Article shall not apply to the harbours of Apia or Saluafata, or to that part of the harbour of Pago-Pago which may be hereafter selected by the Government of the United States as a station under the provisions of the Treaty concluded between the United States of America and the Samoan Government, on the 17th day of January, in the year 1878.
9.The present Treaty shall come into force from the date thereof….
10.[Ratifications to be within a year.]

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto their seals.

Done at Apia, the 28th day of August, in the year of Our Lord 1879.

Arthur Gordon.
Alfred P. Maudslay.
Malietoa Laupepa.
Saga le Auauna.

4. Convention Between Great Britain (Germany, the United States), and the King and Government of Samoa, for the Government of the Town and District of Apia


1.Limits of municipal territory.
2.Such town and district shall be placed under the government of a Municipal Board, consisting of those foreign Consuls resident in Apia whose nations have entered into Treaty relations with Samoa. Representatives of every such nation, having a Consul in Samoa, shall, at a future period, be added to the said page 221Board, and shall be chosen in such manner and exercise such functions as may be provided by regulations to be hereafter agreed upon and published by the same Board.
3.The Municipal Board shall have power to make and enforce regulations and bye-laws with regard to police and good order, public works, sanitary regulations, the prevention of the sale and supply of spirituous liquors to Samoans and other islanders of the Pacific Ocean, and other similar matters, within the said district, and such regulations shall be binding upon all persons within the said district, and may be enforced by penalties not exceeding six months, or both fine and imprisonment not exceeding the before-mentioned penalties.
4.The Municipal Board of Apia may, for the purpose of defraying expenses incurred under the above Article, levy rates upon the occupiers of houses or lands within the district of Apia, not exceeding 5 per cent annually, on the annual assessed value of such premises as calculated on the presumed rental valuation thereof, or 1 per cent annually on the real value of such property.
5.All offences against the regulations of the Municipal Board by whomsoever committed, shall be tried by a magistrate to be appointed by the Board.
6.If a subject or citizen of any of the Contracting Parties in Apia be charged with an offence against the laws of his own country, he shall be tried according to the jurisdiction provided therefore by the legislation of the nation to which he belongs or according to the stipulations of the Treaty concluded between his nation and Samoa.
7.Every Samoan subject charged with a criminal offence within the limits of the district of Apia, other than an offence against the municipal regulations, shall be liable to trial by the magistrate appointed under the provisions of Article V, in conjunction with a Samoan magistrate.
8.The foregoing Articles shall in no way prejudice the territorial integrity of Samoa, and the Samoan flag shall be hoisted at such place of meeting of the Municipal Board as may be permanently adopted.
9.In case of civil war, the town and district of Apia, and the adjacent districts comprised between the boundaries of the town and district of Apia and Letogo, Tiapepe Pt., and Siusega, shall be considered as neutral territory, and the Municipal Board may frame and issue such regulations as may be con-page 222sidered necessary for the support and maintenance of such neutrality.
10.The present Convention shall be revised at the end of four years from its date, and if the internal state of Samoa at that time will happily admit thereof, without prejudice to the interests of foreign residents in Samoa, the powers conferred by the present Convention upon the Municipal Board of Apia shall cease and determine, and the District again pass under the control and authority of the Samoan Government, or such other authority as may be agreed upon between the Samoan Government and the High Contracting Parties.
11.[Agreement of German Representatives.]
12.[Agreement of United States Representatives.]
13.The present Convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged at Apia within one year from the date thereof.

In witness whereof we have signed the same and affixed thereto our seals.

Done at Apia, this 2nd day of September, in the year of Our Lord, 1879.

Arthur Gordon.
Alfred P. Maudslay.
Malietoa Laupepa.
Saga le Auauna.
F. Mensing, Corvetten Capitan.
T. Weber, Municipal German Consul.
R. Chandler, Captain, United States Navy, Commanding U.S.S. Lackawanna.
Thomas Dawson.