American Samoa is made up of five volcanic islands – Tutuila, Anu’u, Ofu, Olosega and Ta’ū – with rugged mountainous peaks and two coral atolls – Rose and Swains Islands with a total land area of 76 square miles. The Territory’s tallest peak is Mount Lata on Ta’ū Island 3170 feet, while the highest peak on the main island of Tutuila is Mount Matafao standing at 2142 feet. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island is regarded as the best natural deep harbor in the South Pacific, surrounded and sheltered by sheer mountain walls and the peaks of Mount Alava, Mount Matafao and Rainmaker Mountain on three sides.
During international rivalries in the latter half of the 19th Century over the Samoa Islands, Germany and the United States divided the Samoan archipelago by the signing of the 1899 Berlin Treaty, with the US formally taking over the eastern islands of Samoa.
On April 17, 1900 the high chiefs of the eastern islands of Samoa and the US signed the ‘Deed of Cession’ where American Samoa became a Territory of the United States.