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American Samoa has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983. Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century.
The department responded that the people should choose a name for their new territory.
Nevertheless, by the late nineteenth century, French, British, German, and American vessels routinely stopped at Samoa, as they valued Pago Pago Harbor as a refueling station for coal-fired shipping and whaling. In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, and in doing so destroyed some American property.
Three American warships then entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there. formally annexed its portion, a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which contains the noted harbor of Pago Pago.
La Perouse named the island "Massacre Island", and the bay near Aasu is still called "Massacre Bay".
By that time, the Samoans had gained a reputation for being savage and warlike, as violent altercations had occurred between natives and European visitors.