yellowpigs.net

U.S. Territories and Possessions

The U.S. has held more possessions (outside of the contiguous U.S.) than most people realize. I couldn't find a single convenient listing of territories, so I did a bit of research and put this together. While it's not complete, it is fairly extensive. I've tried to find two sources for everything I've added, but there still may be a few errors.

ClaimedUntilNameNotesPresent Status
18211847LiberiaThe Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of Americaindependent
1822?1983Danger, Manahiki, Penrhyn, Rakahangano official claim?U.S. recognized as part of the Cook Islands
1841?1983Atafu, Fafaofu, Nukumonono official claim?U.S. recognized as part of Tokelau, New Zealand
c. 18561981Serrana BankGuano Islands Actceded to Colombia
c. 18561981Roncador BankGuano Islands Actceded to Colombia
c. 18561983Line IslandsGuano Islands Actall except Kingman Reef/Palmyra Atoll/Jarvis Island ceded to Kiribati
c. 18561983Phoenix IslandsGuano Islands Act, shared with the U.K.all except Baker and Howland ceded to Kiribati
1856presentSwains Islandreceived title from U.K.?administered as part of American Samoa, disputed Tokelau NZ
1857presentBaker IslandGuano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory
1857presentJarvis IslandGuano Islands Act, annexed by U.K. 1889-1935unincorporated unorganized territory
1857presentNavassa IslandGuano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory, disputed Haiti and others
1857 or 1858presentHowland IslandGuano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory
1858presentJohnston AtollGuano Islands Act, disputed Hawai'iunincorporated unorganized territory
18631972Swan IslandsGuano Islands Actceded to Honduras
1867presentMidway Atoll (Midway Islands)Guano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory
1867presentAlaskapurchased from Russiastate
18691981Quita Sueño BankGuano Islands Actceded to Colombia
1869presentBajo Nuevo Bank (Petrel Islands)Guano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory, disputed Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua
1879presentSerranilla BankGuano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory, disputed Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua
1898presentHawai'iNewlands Resolutionstate
1898presentPalmyra Atollaquired with Hawai'i, invalidly? claimed in 1859 under Guano Islands Act, annexed by U.K. 1889-1912incorporated unorganized territory
18981902CubaSpanish-American War, Treaty of Parisindependent, except U.S. Guantánamo Bay Naval Base
18981946PhilippinesSpanish-American War, Treaty of Parisindependent
1898presentGuamSpanish-American War, Treaty of Parisunicorporated organized territory
1898presentPuerto RicoSpanish-American War, Treaty of Pariscommonwealth
1899presentAmerican SamoaTripartite Convention with the U.K. and Germany/Prussia, Tutuila 1900/Manu'a 1904unincorporated unorganized but self-governing territory
1898 or 1899presentWake Island (Wake Atoll)claimed during Spanish-American Warunincorporated unorganized but inhabited territory, disputed Marshall Islands
19031979Panama Canal ZoneHay-Bunau Varilla Treatyceded to Panama
19061977Rio Ricosouth of the Rio Grande after the river was divertedceded to Mexico
19141971Corn IslandsBryan-Chamorro Treaty, leased from Nicaraguareturned to Nicaragua
1917presentU.S. Virgin Islandspurchased from Denmarkunincorporated organized territory
1922presentKingman Reefinvalidly? claimed under Guano Islands Actunincorporated unorganized territory
19441986Federated States of MicronesiaWWII, part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands 1947-1979independent
19441986Marshall IslandsWWII, TTPI 1947-1979independent
19441994PalauWWII, TTPI 1947-1981independent
1944presentNorthern Marianas IslandsWWII, TTPI 1947-1978commonwealth
19451968Bonin Islands (Ogasawara Islands)WWII, Treaty of San Francisco in 1952, U.S. claims as early as 1830returned to Japan
19451972Ryukyu Islands (Nansei Islands)WWII, Treaty of San Francisco in 1952returned to Japan
19521968Minami Torishima (Marcus Island)WWII, Treaty of San Francisco, U.S. claims as early as 1889returned to Japan

Sources: