A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa

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A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa
A Footnote to History - Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa.jpg
Author Robert Louis Stevenson
Language English
Subject Samoan Civil War
Publisher Cassell
Publication date
Media type book
Pages 322
ISBN 0-8248-1857-1
OCLC 227258432

A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa is an 1892 historical non-fiction work by Robert Louis Stevenson describing the contemporary Samoan Civil War.[1]

Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Samoa in 1889 and built a house at Vailima. He quickly became passionately interested, and involved, in the attendant political machinations. These involved the three colonial powers battling for control of Samoa – America, Germany and Britain – and the indigenous factions struggling to preserve their ancient political system. The book covers the period from 1882 to 1892.[2]

The book served as such a stinging protest against existing conditions that it resulted in the recall of two officials, and Stevenson for a time feared that it would result in his own deportation. When things had finally blown over he wrote to Sidney Colvin, who came from a family of distinguished colonial administrators, "I used to think meanly of the plumber; but how he shines beside the politician!"[3]


  1. ^ "R.L Stevenson on Samoa" (A contemporary book review.). The New York Times. August 14, 1892. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  2. ^ "A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, 1892". RLS website. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Letter to Sidney Colvin, April 17, 1893, Vailima Letters, Chapter XXVIII.

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