Ulysses S. Grant photo

Special Message

May 22, 1872

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit to the Senate, for its consideration, an agreement between the Great Chief of the island of Tutuila, one of the Samoan group, in the South Pacific, and Commander R. W. Meade, commanding the United States steamer Narragansett, bearing date the 17th of February last. This instrument proposes to confer upon this Government the exclusive privilege of establishing a naval station in the dominions of that chief for the equivalent of protecting those dominions.

A copy of a letter of the 15th instant, and of its accompaniment, addressed by the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of State, descriptive of Tutuila and of other islands of the group, and of a letter in the nature of a protest from a person claiming to be consul of the North German Confederation in that quarter, are also herewith transmitted. No report has yet been received from Commander Meade on the subject. Although he was without special instructions or authority to enter into such agreement, the advantages of the concession which it proposes to make are so great, in view of the advantageous position of Tutuila, especially as a coaling station for steamers between San Francisco and Australia, that I should not hesitate to recommend its approval but for the protection on the part of the United States which it seems to imply. With some modification of the obligation of protection which the agreement imports, it is recommended to the favorable consideration of the Senate.


Ulysses S. Grant, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203405

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