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THE UNITED STATES
tions of which have been established. A report on this
33 boundary is given in the annual report of the International Boundary Commission, United States and Can
ADDITIONS TO THE TERRITORY OF ada, published in 1952. The line is marked by concrete monuments along the shores of Portland Canal, by 5-foot aluminum-bronze monuments in the valleys of streams crossed, by conical monuments on easily accessible summits and by brass bolts on peaks less was declared free for the purpose of commerce to the easily ascended. Inaccessible peaks on the line were citizens of both nations. located by triangulation.
It is an interesting fact that the area of Alaska and In accordance with the convention of April 21, 1906,
the Aleutian Islands, if superimposed on the contercommissioners were appointed under whose direction minous United States in true north-south position so as the 141st meridian has been established and inter- to touch the Canadian boundary a short distance west visible marks placed along the line from the Arctic of the Lake of the Woods, would reach the Atlantic Ocean to Mount St. Elias, a distance of about 647 miles, Ocean near the line between Georgia and South Carothe fieldwork having been completed in 1913. (See fig. lina, cross the Mexican boundary in southwestern New 7). A vista 20 feet wide was cut through the wooded Mexico, and touch the Pacific Ocean in southern Caliareas. The final report of the commissioners, dated
fornia. (See fig. 9.) December 15, 1918, was published in 1919 and is accompanied by an atlas containing 38 maps. The re
HAWAIIAN ISLANDS port is entitled "Joint report upon the survey and demarcation of the international boundary between the
The Hawaiian Government in 1851 seriously conUnited States and Canada along the one hundred and sidered the transfer of sovereignty of the Hawaiian forty-first meridian from the Arctic Ocean to Mount St.
Islands to the United States, but the plan was for the Elias." This report contains copies of treaties and his
time being laid aside. Annexation to the United States torical data relating to the location of the boundary. was authorized by the Hawaiian Constitution of 1852, (Foster, 1899, 1904; Riggs, 1909.) A report of the Bound- "if indispensable to free it from insults and oppression ary Commission (Special Rept. 4), published in 1966, of any foreign powers." Annexation was again under gives the 1927 N.A.D. adjusted values of markers on
consideration in 1854, and a draft of a treaty was prethis line, with ties to primary triangulation, and infor- pared whereby the islands would be ceded to the mation on the maintenance of the boundary line.
United States, but the sudden illness and death on The 141st meridan boundary was retraced and re
December 15, 1854, of King Kamehameha III, who had marked in 1973 and 1974 by the International Boundary favored the treaty, put an end to the negotiations.“ Commission. A total of 233 stations were recovered and
The Republic of Hawaii was formally annexed to the 29 lost stations were reestablished. The new marks
United States by the voluntary action of its citizens and were bronze disks set in bedrocks or large boulders.
a joint resolution of Congress approved July 7, 1898. Recovery of the original stations was relatively easy.
The transfer of sovereignty took place August 12, 1898. The work was necessary because of the deterioration
The area was constituted a Territory by act of April of some marks and the increased activity of mineral
30, 1900, effective June 14, 1900.45 and oil exploration. Some distance checks along the
The Hawaiian Islands and adjacent islets are scatline were made with electronic distance-measuring tered over a considerable area which extends nearly equipment. A report on the work by two of the U.S. 2,000 miles in a general northwest-southeast direction engineers who worked on the project, F. X. Popper and has a width of about 150 miles. (See fig. 6.) The and C. R. Moore, was presented at the 1975 annual eight inhabited islands, which lie between 19°00' and meeting of the American Congress on Surveying and 22°15' N., long 155°00' and 162°00' W., have a total Mapping (Popper and Moore, 1975).
area of 6,412 square miles and a total coast line of
957 miles, as follows: The only part of the boundary not defined at present is that through Dixon Entrance between Cape Muzon
Hawaii: greatest length, 89 miles; greatest width, and the entrance to Tongass Passage. Agreement be
72 miles; area, 4,021 square miles; highest point, tween the United States and Canada for this section
Mauna Kea, 13,796 feet above sea level. has not been finalized.
46 This information is taken from an address presented by Prof. W. D. By Article XXVI of the treaty between the United Alexander before the Hawaiian Historical Society on July 2, 1897 (Hawaiian
Hist. Soc. Papers, No. 9). States and Great Britain of May 8, 1871, the navigation
45 31 Stat. L. 141. For a summary of legislative acts relating to this transof the Yukon, Porcupine, and Stikine Rivers, Alaska, fer, see Moore (1906, p. 475-520).
BOUNDARIES OF THE
Laysan Island: lat 25°42' N., long 171°44' W., 134
miles long and 1 mile wide; area, 1.56 square
miles; highest point, 35 feet. Lisiansky Island: lat 26°00' N., long 173°50' W.,
about 1 mile long and half a mile wide; area,
378 acres; highest point, 20 feet. Kure Island: lat 28°25' N., long 178°25' W.; an atoll
about 15 miles in circumference; area, 211 acres;
highest point, 20 feet. Kaula: a barren, rocky crescent-shaped island
about 20 miles southwest of Niihau; area, about one-sixth of a square mile; highest point, 550 feet; set aside by the Territorial Governor in December 1924 as a site for a lighthouse. 46
Maui: about 48 miles long and 26 miles wide; area,
728 square miles; highest point, 10,023 feet
above sea level. Oahu: about 43 miles long and 30 miles wide;
area, 602 square miles; highest point, 4,040 feet. Kauai: nearly circular, about 26 miles in diameter;
area, 553 square miles; highest point, 5,240 feet. Molokai: about 38 miles long and 9 miles wide;
area, 259 square miles; highest point, 4,970 feet. Lanai: about 18 miles long and 12 miles wide;
area, 141 square miles; highest point, 3,370 feet. Niihau: about 18 miles long and 3 to 6 miles wide;
area, 72 square miles; highest point, 1,281 feet. Kahoolawe: about 11 miles long and 6 miles wide;
area, 45 square miles; highest point, 1,477 feet. More than 100 smaller islands are included in the group. Among the larger of these are:
Nihoa or Bird Island: lat 23°06' N., long 161°58' W.;
about three-quarters of a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide; area, 166 acres; highest point,
910 feet. Gardner Island: lat 25°01' N., long 167°59' W.; an
inaccessible rock 190 feet high and about 600 feet in diameter.
Palmyra Island, lat 5°52' N., long 162°05' W., is approximately 1,000 miles south of Honolulu. It was discovered in 1802 by Captain Sawle of the American ship Palmyra. It was annexed to Hawaii in 1862. When Hawaii became a State, Palmyra was excluded from its boundaries. An Executive order of October 10, 1961,
# For reference to other islands belonging to this group, see U.S. Coast and Geod. Survey (1923); Moore (1898, p. 555); U.S. Cong. (1893; 1898b).
The source of information on areas and altitudes is "Research Report 15, Geographic Statistics for Hawaii" of the Dept. of Planning and Research, Hawaii.
67 Information on unincorporated territories and possessions of the United States is summarized in "United States and Outlying Areas," Geog. Rept. of the Geographer, U.S. Dept. of State (1963a).
The Office of Territorial Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, publishes a booklet entitled "Territorial Areas Administered by the United States." Some of the information on the islands under U.S. administration is used in the following pages.
Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States by Spain by the treaty of peace concluded December 10, 1898. (Malloy, 1910, v. 2, p. 1691.) Article 2 of that treaty is as follows:
Spain cedes to the United States the island of Puerto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam in the Mariana Islands or Ladrones.
Puerto Rico's area is 3,497 square miles, its extreme length is 109 miles, its width is 39 miles, and its greatest height is 4,390 feet. The largest of the other West Indian islands referred to is Vieques; others are Culebra, Mona, Muertos, and Desecheo. The total area of the smaller islands is 86 square miles. These islands, including Puerto Rico, all lie in the area between lat 17°42' and 18°31' N., and long 65°20' and 67°55' W. Possession was taken by the United States October 18, 1898.
Congress ratified the constitution of Puerto Rico on July 3, 1952. It was established as a "commonwealth" at that time, and has most of the powers and responsibilities of a State of the Union. Major exceptions are that Puerto Rico's residents are not subject to Federal taxation and do not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress nor the right to vote for President and Vice President of the United States. Most of the activities of the Federal Government found in the States are also found in Puerto Rico. The Federal Government has in Puerto Rico the same authority that it has in a State of the Union. Puerto Ricians are liable for military service under the Selective Service Act. Immigration laws pertaining to the United States also apply to Puerto Rico. However, the Commonwealth regulates its own customs and collects its own import duties.
48 For information on the insular possessions of the United States, see U.S. Cong. (1907; 1909; 1912; 1914).
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. It is located at the southernmost end
UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES
Samoa Islands (Thorpe, 1909, v. 6, p. 3675). For various
reasons it was deemed best to bring this situation to BOUNDARIES OF THE
an end. England withdrew, and the islands were divided between Germany and the United States, the latter taking all the islands of the group lying east of longitude 171° west of Greenwich. This adjustment was
reached by a convention between the United States, of a chain of volcanic islands in the western Pacific Germany, and Great Britain, concluded December 2, Ocean known as the Mariana Islands. Its relations with 1899, and proclaimed February 16, 1900. the Federal Government are under the jurisdiction of Western Samoa was taken from Germany during the Department of the Interior,
the first World War by New Zealand, who governed The island of Guam lies about 6,000 miles southwest it under a mandate from the League of Nations. After of San Francisco and 1,500 miles east of Manila. It World War II, Western Samoa became a trust territory is the largest and most populous of the Marianas, 30 of the United Nations, administered by New Zealand. miles long and varying in width from 4 to 82 miles. Since 1962 it has been a self-governing nation. Guam, whose inhabitants are citizens of the United The natives of Samoa had no part in this convenStates, has a population of approximately 100,000, of tion, but certain chiefs of islands in 1900 and 1904 made whom 22 percent are military personnel and their cessions to the United States which were accepted by dependents.
the President but not ratified by the Senate. A bill to The Government of Guam was established by an remedy this apparent oversight was introduced in the organic act of the U.S. Congress, which became law Senate April 5, 1926, but did not become a law until on August 1, 1950. It is administered by a Governor February 20, 1929.50
1 and a Lieutenant Governor who are elected by the Tutuila Island, the largest of the Samoan group bepeople. Since 1972, the residents of Guam have elected longing to the United States, has a length of 20 miles a Non-Voting Delegate to the U.S. House of Representa- and a breadth of about 6 miles. Its extreme height is tives. Government headquarters are in Agana, the 2,141 feet (fig. 10). capital city of the Territory of Guam.
Aunuu Island, about a mile from the east end of Tutuila, has a length of 1 mile, a height of 275 feet,
and an area of half a square mile. AMERICAN SAMOA
About 60 miles to the east are the three Manua American Samoa is located about 2,200 miles south- Islands, the largest of which is Tau, 672 miles in length, west of Hawaii and about 1,600 miles northeast of 3,056 feet in extreme height. Olosega Island is 272 miles New Zealand. It is composed of seven tropical islands, in length and 2,095 feet is height. Ofu Island is about 3 the land area of which is 83 square miles. The Govern- miles long, and its highest point is 1,587 feet. Its area ment of American Samoa is administered by the U.S. is 3 square miles. Department of the Interior. Of the land, 96 percent is Rose Island is the name given an atoll about 3 miles owned communally and is regulated as to occupancy in diameter, partly under water at high tide, 80 miles and use by Samoan custom. The population is about southeast of any of the other islands of the Samoan 29,000 (1974), and the people are not U.S. citizens but
group. It was designated as a Wild Life Refuge by the are classed as U.S. nationals and have free access National Wild Life Association in 1974. Public use of of entry to the United States. Samoans are among the the atoll is restricted to scientists and educators on a last remaining true Polynesians, and they cling stead- permit basis. At least 16 species of birds live on the fastly to their Samoan culture and traditions. Trade atoll and it is an important nesting area for the green winds and frequent rains make American Samoa's sea turtle which is a rare reptile. Sand Islet, the smaller climate pleasant. American Samoa normally receives of the two islets of the atoll, is about an acre in extent about 200 inches of rain annually, most of it falling and its highest part is 5 feet above high tide. Rose Islet from December to March. The temperature range is has an area of about 8 acres, and its highest part is between 70° and 90° F, and the humidity is usually 11 feet above high water. It is covered in part with a 80 percent. English is the official language, although dense grove of Pisonia trees but is without fresh water the Samoan language is used more often and more and is uninhabited. This islet has the distinction of extensively.
being the southernmost land under the control of the For several years the United States, Great Britain, United States. Its geographic position is lat 14°32' S., and Germany exercised a joint protectorate over the long 168°11' W. (See fig. 10.)
19 For reference to legislative action leading to the acquisition of the Samoa group, see Moore (1906, p. 536-554) and Malloy (1910, v. 2, p. 1595).
50 U.S. 70th Cong., 2d sess., Pub. Res. 89. See Cong. Record, Alpr. 10, 1926, p. 1952-1954, for historical description of this accession.