This map of Upolu shows, in light green shades, the huge land purchases by German companies, mainly Godeffroy/DH & PG, up to 1884. Most was uncultivated. The areas in red show DH & PG plantations – from right to left Vailele (2,312 acres), Vaitele (approx. 3,000 acres) and Mulifanua (approx. 5,000 acres). Plantation positioning was influenced by the knowledge that coconut trees grow better in coastal situations. Small pockets of German land can be seen at Saluafata (where a good alternative harbour beckoned), Aleipata and at Falealili.
After 1884 further land purchases were made. The total acreage was trimmed back significantly by the Samoa Land Claims Commission in 1894. Nevertheless, in 1914 when New Zealand took control of Samoa approximately a quarter of Upolu appears to have been in German hands.
Credit: Google Earth Map ©Google ©DigitalGlobe; German-owned shaded areas derived approximately from maps in Sylvia Masterman, “The Origins of International Rivalry in Samoa, 1845-1884,” George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1934, London, pp.80-81.
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