Planting the American Flag

Twelve Men Who Expanded the United States Overseas


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About the Book

A few sea captains, a couple of college professors, a battle-hardened general, a senator, a congressman, and a knavish adventurer: What could such men have in common? In addition to an eye upon the broader world and a streak of independence, each had a vision of the United States as a model sovereign. All were part of an American effort to create an overseas empire—one that would avoid the mistakes of the European powers and redefine the face of imperialism.
Beginning with the 1839 voyage of Captain Charles Wilkes that opened American relations with Samoa, here are biographies of 12 men instrumental in the incorporation of America’s five island dependencies. Besides Wilkes, it covers Richard W. Meade III, who negotiated a treaty with Samoa; Albert B. Steinberger, premier of Samoa; Henry Glass, who took Guam for America; Nelson A. Miles, who led the 1898 conquest of Puerto Rico; B. F. Tilley, first governor of American Samoa; Joseph B. Foraker, first congressional overseer of the possessions; William A. Jones, anti-imperialist and reformer; Frank McIntyre, military administrator of America’s holdings; Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., governor of Puerto Rico; Paul M. Pearson, first civilian governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Anthony M. Solomon, who inaugurated the acquisition of the Northern Mariana Islands in 1963.

About the Author(s)

Peter C. Stuart is a former newspaper correspondent, roving writer for an international organization and the author of two previous books on Asia’s poor and America’s overseas possessions. He lives in Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Peter C. Stuart
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2983-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8931-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction     3

1. Captain Charles Wilkes: Opened Relations with Samoa, 1839      7

2. Commander Richard W. Meade III: Negotiated Samoa Treaty, 1872      27

3. Albert B. Steinberger: Premier of Samoa, 1875–1876      38

4. Captain Henry Glass: Captured Guam, 1898      50

5. General Nelson A. Miles: Conquered Puerto Rico, 1898      60

6. Commander B.F. Tilley: First Governor of American Samoa, 1900–1901      88

7. Senator Joseph B. Foraker: First Congressional Overseer, 1899–1909      99

8. Representative William A. Jones: First Congressional Reformer, 1899–1918      118

9. General Frank McIntyre: Military Administrator, 1905–1929      134

10. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.: Governor of Puerto Rico, 1929–1932      146

11. Paul M. Pearson: First Civilian Governor of U.S. Virgin Islands, 1931–1935      167

12. Anthony M. Solomon: Inaugurated Acquiring Northern Mariana Islands, 1963      186

Chapter Notes      205

Bibliography      243

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“History is best told through the lives of individuals. Peter Stuart excels at making this important but forgotten piece of American history fun to read, through colorful biographies of the bold and visionary who made it happen.”—Walter J. Hickel, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and former governor of Alaska.