|The momentous victory at Manila, and the subsequent acquisition of the
Philippine Islands by purchase, marked the opening of an era of new
responsibilities, new national greatness and power, and new constitutional
problems, for twentieth-century patriotism to grapple with and carry through, to
the permanent peace and prosperity of the American people. The entire history of
our military and civil relations with the inhabitants of the archipelago since
the battle Manila Bay has been so complicated with issues, varying in their
nature, but almost equally important to the United States, that a full statement
of the case is imperative. Only by a dispassionate survey of the broad facts,
and a careful consideration of their bearing upon each other, can we hope to
arrive at a position enabling us to form just conclusions, or at least obtain an
impartial view of the situation as a whole. The following statement is compiled
from authentic sources of information accessible to the public:
The Philippine Islands, numbering in all some 2,000, large and small, lie off
the southern coast of Asia between longitude 120 and 130, and latitude 5 and 20
approximately. They have a land area of about 140,000 square miles, with an
estimated population of from 7,500,000 to 10,000,000, the majority being
principally Malays, not yet brought under control.
The six New England States, New York, and New Jersey, have about an equivalent
area. The island of Luzon, on which the capital city (Manila) is situated, is
the largest member of the group, being about the size of the State of New York.
Mindanao is nearly as large, but its population is very much smaller. The latest
estimates of areas of the largest islands are as follows: Luzon, 44,400;
Mindanao, 34,000; Samar, 4,800; Panay, 4,700; Mindoro, 4,000; Leyte, 3,800;
Negros, 3,300; Cebu, 2,400.
The islands have belonged to Spain since 1565. The friars of the Roman Catholic
church have largely dominated the various communities in the more civilized
districts. There are thirty different races, speaking thirty dialects.
By an oversight the islands of Cibitu and Cagayan were overlooked in the treaty
of peace between the United States and Spain in 1898. They are situated at the
southern end of the Philippine archipelago, and have a population of 7,000. The
omission was discovered in 1900, and to avoid the embarrassment of having the
islands fall into the possession of some other power than Spain, to be used as a
naval station, the United States agreed by treaty to pay Spain $100,000 for
The thermometer during July and August rarely goes below 79 degrees or above 85
degrees. The extreme ranges in a year are said to be 61 degrees and 97 degrees,
and the annual mean 81 degrees. There are three well-marked seasons, temperate
and dry from November to February, hot and dry from March to May, and temperate
and wet from June to October. The rainy season reaches its maximum in July and
August, when the rains are constant and very heavy The total rainfall has been
as high as 114 inches in one year.
Yellow fever appears to be unknown. The diseases most fatal among the natives
are cholera and smallpox, both of which are brought from China Low malarial
fever is brought on by sleeping on the ground or being chilled by remaining
without exercise in wet clothes; and diarrhoea is produced by drinking bad water
or eating excessive quantities of fruit. Almost all of these diseases are
preventable by proper precautions even by troops in campaign.
The mineral wealth of the islands is unknown.
Although agriculture is the chief occupation of the Filipinos, yet only one-
ninth of the surface is under cultivation. The soil is very fertile, and even
after deducting the mountainous areas it is probable that the area of
cultivation can be very largely extended and that the islands can support
population equal to that of Japan (42,000,000).
The chief products are rice, corn, hemp, sugar, tobacco, cocoanuts, and cacao.
Coffee and cotton were formerly produced in large quantities--the former for
export and the latter for home consumption; but the coffee plant has been almost
exterminated by insects and the home-made cotton cloths have been driven out by
the competition of those imported from England. The rice and corn are
principally produced in Luzon and Mindoro and are consumed in the islands. The
rice crop is about 765,000 tons. It is insufficient for the demand, and 45,000
tons of rice were imported in 1894, the greater portion from Saigon and the rest
from Hong-Kong and Singapore; also 8,669 tons (say 60,000 barrels) of flour, of
which more than two-thirds came from China and less than one-third from the
United States. The cacao is raised in the southern islands, the best quality of
it at Mindanao. The sugar-cane is raised in the Visayas. The crop yielded in
1894 about 235,000 tons of raw sugar, of which one-tenth was consumed in the
islands, and the balance, or 210,000 tons, valued at $11,000,000, was exported,
the greater part to China, Great Britain, and Australia. The hemp is produced in
Southern Luzon, Mindoro, the Visayas, and Mindanao. It is nearly all exported in
bales. In 1894 the amount was 96,000 tons, valued at $12,000,000. Tobacco is
raised in all the islands, but the best quality and greatest amount in Luzon. A
large amount is consumed in the islands, smoking being universal among women as
well as the men, but the best quality is exported. The amount in 1894 was 7,000
tons of leaf tobacco, valued at $1,750,000. Cocoanuts are grown in Southern
Luzon and are used in various ways.
The following statement of the trade between various countries and the
Philippines covers the fiscal year 1890-1897, and it should be carefully studied
by all interested in trade expansion:
Countries. Imports from Philippines. Exports to Philippines.
Great Britain. $6,223,426 $2,063,598
France 1,990,297 359,796
Germany 223,720 774,928
Belgium 272,240 45,660
Spain 4,819,344 4,973,589
Japan 1,332,300 92,823
China 56,137 97,717
India 7,755 80,156
Straits Settlements 274,130 236,001
New South Wales 119,550 176,858
Victoria 180 178,370
United States 4,383,740 94,597
Total $19,702,819 $9,174,093
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1900, the exports from the United States to
the Philippines had increased to $2,640,499, and the imports from the
Philippines to $5,971,208. The total imports in the island in the fiscal year
were $12,670,436, and exports $8,305,530.
In February, 1899, commenced the militant protest of the Filipinos against the
retention of Manila and surrounding districts by American troops. An attempt was
made to burn the city and destroy our garrison. From the end of March there has
been a ceaseless guerrilla war between the American and native troops, under the
lead of Aguinaldo, who is general in the field and claimant of the presidency of
the native government to be formed when the United States decides to withdraw.
The fortunes of war have distributed victories and losses evenly between the
combatants, allowing for the inequality of their resources. Aguinaldo was forced
to take refuge in the hills and swamps, with his portable court and toy army,
and was repeatedly reported to have been killed. His military and diplomatic
vitality are in evidence after two years of alleged continuous defeats and
extinctions. Despite the ever vigorous efforts of our troops, under a succession
of brave and experienced commanders, the Filipinos still hold the field and an
appalling catalogue of casualties and expenditures has been steadily recorded.
In accordance with a Senate resolution, in May, 1900, the War Department gave
certain information relating to the cost of shipping troops and supplies for the
army to and from the Philippines since May 1, 1898. The reply states that the
expenditures incurred for the transportation by sea of the officers, men,
animals and supplies to the Philippine Islands, and from those islands to the
United States, since May 1, 1898, were as follows:
At San Francisco $11,114,320.24
At Seattle 1,159,250.00
At Portland 568,330.00
At New York 2,795,196.21
The accounts of officers of the quartermaster's department show that since May
1, 1898, to June, 1900, there was paid out for passage through the Suez Canal of
the United States transports with troops, on account of tolls, fares, etc., the
sum of $81,901.18. Accompanying the reply is a statement showing that the War
Department saved over $9,000,000 by owning its transports, as follows:
Estimated cost for services by commercial
lines from San Francisco to Manila $18,268,208.83
Cost by transports 10,918,868.24
Saving on account of transports $7,349,340.59
Conservative estimate of cost of transportation by commercial lines from New
York to Manila $1,092,400.00
Cost of same service by transports 278,668.77
Saved on account of transports $813,731.23
Conservative estimate of cost of transportation by commercial lines between New
York and Cuba and Porto Rico during the Spanish War and since $6,091,272.00
Cost of same service by transports and chartered vessels 5,167,188.50
Saving on account of transports $924,083.50
Total saving to the Government $9,087,155.32
It is also officially reported that the losses of United States troops in the
Philippines from July 1, 1900, amounted to a total of 69 officers and 2,187 men,
killed in the field, and in deaths from disease contracted in service.
President McKinley appointed a commission, hereafter referred to as the first
Philippine Commission, in January, 1899, to visit the islands and report, that
the government might have reliable data upon which to base its policy in dealing
with the inhabitants. The chairman was President J. G. Schurman, of Cornell
University; Admiral Dewey, General Otis, Hon. C. Denby, formerly minister to
China, and Professor Dean C. Worcester, of Michigan University. They arrived
there in April, and in a few days two Filipino officers approached General
MacArthur under a flag of truce, asking a conference with the commander-in-
chief. They were sent to Manila, where they asked General Otis for a suspension
of hostilities, to allow time for the assembling of the Filipino congress, to
consider the policy of continuing or giving up the war. General Otis refused to
recognize a Filipino government, but, in the presence of President Schurman,
listened to their assurance that Aguinaldo wished to give up if he might do so
without humiliation. He offered "a written guarantee of amnesty to all
insurgents who shall lay down their arms." Three weeks later commissioners from
the insurgents, two military men and two civilians, again visited Otis, who
granted nothing further than an audience with the Philippine Commission, as they
claimed to be charged with an errand to that body.
Professor Schurman, president of the commission, submitted to the Filipino
envoys propositions in writing, formally approved by President McKinley. These
propositions outlined a form of government for the Philippine Islands, subject
to the action of Congress; but the envoys regarded them as so unsatisfactory
that the conference terminated without definite results.
Aguinaldo withdrew to inaccessible hills, and the press censorship grew so
strict that our correspondents signed a protest against the new rules enacted by
General Otis. Meanwhile our troops were suffering extremely from the climate,
the terrible country they had to fight in, and from the bullets of the foe.
President McKinley called for twenty new regiments for Philippine service
between July 6 and August 26. Hundreds of troops came back incapacitated for
A second Philippine Commission was appointed by the President, in March, 1900,
"with a view to establishing a stable government in the Philippine Islands. It
consisted of William H. Taft, of Ohio; Prof. Dean C. Worcester, of Michigan;
Luke I. Wright, of Tennessee; Henry C. Ide, of Vermont, and Bernard Moses, of
California. The secretary of war was ordered to instruct them as follows:
To devote their attention in the first instance to the establishment of
municipal governments in which the natives of the islands, both in the cities
and in the rural communities, shall be afforded the opportunity to manage their
own local affairs to the fullest extent of which they are capable and subject to
the least degree of supervision and control which a careful study of their
capacities and observation of the workings of native control show to be
consistent with the maintenance of law, order and loyalty. Whenever the
commission is of the opinion that the condition of affairs in the islands is
such that the central administration may safely be transferred from military to
civil control, they will report that conclusion to you (the secretary of war),
with their recommendations as to the form of central government to be
established for the purpose of taking over the control.
Beginning with the first day of September, 1900, the authority to exercise,
subject to the President's approval, through the secretary of war, that part of
the power of government in the Philippine Islands which is of a legislative
nature is to be transferred from the military governor of the islands to this
commission, to be thereafter exercised by them in the place and stead of the
military governor, under such rules and regulations as the secretary of war
shall prescribe, until the establishment of the civil central government for the
islands contemplated in the last foregoing paragraph, or until Congress shall
otherwise provide. Exercise of this legislative authority will include the
making of rules and orders having the effect of law for the raising of revenue
by taxes, customs duties and imposts; the appropriation and expenditure of the
public funds of the islands; the establishment of an educational system
throughout the islands; the establishment of a system to secure an efficient
civil service; the organization and establishment of courts; the organization
and establishment of municipal and departmental governments, and all other
matters of a civil nature for which the military governor is now competent to
provide by rules or orders of a legislative character. The commission will also
have power during the same period to appoint to office such officers under the
judicial, educational and civil service systems, and in the municipal and
departmental governments as shall be provided.
Until Congress shall take action these inviolable rules must be imposed upon
every branch of the government:
That no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due
process of law; that private property shall not be taken for public use without
just compensation; that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the
right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of
the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
assistance of counsel for his defence; that excessive bail shall not be
required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment
inflicted; that no person shall be put twice in jeopardy for the same offence,
or be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; that the
right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be
violated; that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist except as a
punishment for crime; that no bill of attainder or ex-post-facto law shall be
passed; that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the
press, or the rights of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the
Government for a redress of grievances; that no law shall be made respecting the
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the
free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without
discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed.
It will be the duty of the commission to promote and extend, and as they find
occasion, to improve, the system of education already inaugurated by the
military authorities. In doing this they should regard as of first importance
the extension of system of primary education which shall be free to all, and
which shall tend to fit the people for the duties of citizenship and for the
ordinary avocations of a civilized community. Especial attention should be at
once given to affording full opportunity to all the people of the islands to
acquire the use of the English language.
Upon all officers and employees of the United States, both civil and military,
should be impressed a sense of the duty to observe not merely the material but
the personal and social rights of the people of the islands, and to treat them
with the same courtesy and respect for their personal dignity which the people
of the United States are accustomed to require from each other.
That all might share in the regeneration of the islands, and participate in
their government, General MacArthur, the military governor of the Philippines,
who had succeeded General Otis, retired at his own request, was directed to
issue a proclamation of amnesty. This was substantially as follows:
MANILA, P. I., JUNE 21, 1900.
By direction of the President of the United States the undersigned announces
amnesty, with complete immunity for the past and absolute liberty of action for
the future, to all persons who are now, or at any time since February 4, 1899,
have been, in insurrection against the United States in either a military or
civil capacity, and who shall, within a period of ninety days from the date
hereof, formally renounce all connection with such insurrection and subscribe to
a declaration acknowledging and accepting the sovereignty and authority of the
United States in and over the Philippine Islands. The privilege herewith
published is extended to all concerned without any reservation whatever,
excepting that persons who have violated the laws of war during the period of
active hostilities are not embraced within the scope of this amnesty.
In order to mitigate as much as possible consequences resulting from the various
disturbances which since 1896 have succeeded each other so rapidly, and to
provide in some measure for destitute Filipino soldiers during the transitory
period which must inevitably succeed a general peace, the military authorities
of the United States will pay thirty pesos to each man who presents a rifle in
In his message of December, 1900, the President refers to the work of this
second commission, quoting his previous message as follows:
Our forces have successfully controlled the greater part of the islands,
overcoming the organized forces of the insurgents and carrying order and
administrative regularity to all quarters. What opposition remains is for the
most part scattered, obeying no concerted plan of strategic action, operating
only by the methods common to the traditions of guerrilla warfare, which, while
ineffective to alter the general control now established, are still sufficient
to beget insecurity among the populations that have felt the good results of our
control, and thus delay the conferment upon them of the fuller measures of local
self-government, of education and of industrial and agricultural development
which we stand ready to give to them.
By the spring of this year the effective opposition of the dissatisfied Tagals
to the authority of the United States was virtually ended, thus opening the door
for the extension of a stable administration over much of the territory of the
Desiring to bring this consummation about, he appointed the second commission as
We quote from the message of December, 1900:
The articles of capitulation of the city of Manila on the 13th of August, 1898,
concluded with these words:
"This city, its inhabitants, its churches and religious worship, its educational
establishments and its private property of all descriptions are placed under the
special safeguard of the faith and honor of the American army."
I believe that this pledge has been faithfully kept. A high and sacred
obligation rests upon the government of the United States to give protection for
property and life, civil and religious freedom and wise, firm and unselfish
guidance in the paths of peace and prosperity to all the people of the
Philippine Islands. I charge this commission to labor for the full performance
of this obligation, which concerns the honor and conscience of their country, in
the firm hope that through their labors all the inhabitants of the Philippine
Islands may come to look back with gratitude to the day when God gave victory to
American arms at Manila and set their land under the sovereignty and the
protection of the people of the United States.
This commission, composed of eminent citizens representing the diverse
geographical and political interests of the country and bringing to their task
the ripe fruits of long and intelligent service in educational, administrative
and judicial careers, made great progress from the outset. As early as August
21, 1900, it submitted a preliminary report, which will be laid before the
Congress and from which it appears that already the good effects of returning
order are felt; that business, interrupted by hostilities, is improving as peace
extends; that a larger area is under sugar cultivation now than ever before;
that the customs revenues are greater than at any time during the Spanish rule;
that economy and efficiency in the military administration have created a
surplus fund of $6,000,000, available for needed public improvements; that a
stringent civil service law is in preparation; that railroad communications are
expanding, opening up rich districts, and that a comprehensive scheme of
education is being organized.
Later reports from the commission show yet more encouraging advance towards
insuring the benefits of liberty and good government to the Filipinos, in the
interest of humanity and with the aim of building up an enduring, self-
supporting and self-administering community in those far eastern seas.
I would impress upon the Congress that whatever legislation may be enacted in
respect to the Philippine Islands should be along these generous lines. The
fortune of war has thrown upon this nation an unsought trust, which should be
unselfishly discharged. Upon this government has devolved a moral as well as
material responsibility towards these millions whom we have freed from an
I have upon another occasion called the Filipinos "the wards of the nation." Our
obligation as guardian was not lightly assumed; it must not be otherwise than
honestly fulfilled, aiming first of all to benefit those who have come under our
fostering care. It is our duty so to treat them that our flag may be no less
beloved in the mountains of Luzon and the fertile zones of Mindanao and Negros
than it is at home; that there, as here, it shall be the revered symbol of
liberty, enlightenment and progress in every avenue of development.
The Filipinos are a race quick to learn, to profit by knowledge. He would be
rash who, with the teaching of contemporaneous history in view, would fix a
limit to the degree of culture and advancement yet within the reach of those
people if our duty towards them be faithfully performed.
The insurgents, as the Filipinos are termed, kept the war alive just the same
notwithstanding the pacific tone of the message.
Congress had many excited debates upon the general question of proclaiming our
intention to retain the Philippines and assume a protectorate over the
archipelago. The war of words between expansionists and anti-expansionists has
not yet ended, as principles are at stake. The Friars had caused considerable
trouble all round, and General Otis met certain demands of theirs by issuing a
decree granting individual religious liberty in Luzon. Their power may be gauged
by the following statement copied by an American journal, the Catholic World
from the Etudes, dated July, 1898:
"With Legaspi, founder of Manila, in 1571, came a band of Augustinianmonks. They
were followed some five years later by a body of Franciscans, and before a dozen
years had passed Manila had a Dominican bishop and an addition of missionaries
of the Order of Preachers and the Society of Jesus. To-day the spiritual charges
of the various communities are represented by the following table:
1892-Augustinians. 2,082,131 souls
1892-Recollects. 1,175,156 souls
1892-Franciscans. 1,010,753 souls
1892-Dominicians. 699,851 souls
1895-Jesuits. 213,065 souls
1896-Secular Clergy. 967,294 souls
"Most significant in the above table is the comparative fewness of souls cared
for by the secular or native clergy. The work is all done, the power all
possessed by the monks.
Whatever the reason-we may be able to guess-this is most unfortunate. Antagonize
religious sentiment and patriotism, and you have done much to uproot the in-
fluence of the spiritual authority."
These Friars were a thorn in the flesh of the Spaniards when owners of the
islands. It appears that there is one Friar to every 5,000 native Filipino
Catholics, who are only about one-half of the native population. Yet the Friar
counted for more than all his flock in both ecclesiastical and secular affairs.
It is recorded that Governor-General Blanco, before he left the Philippines in
1896 to rule Cuba, had found the situation so intolerable there that he had
demanded either the immediate expulsion of the religious orders or
reinforcements of an army of 80,000 men to crush the insurrectionary movement
against the Friars. Failing to secure either the expulsion of the Spanish monks,
or the Spanish army for the enforcement of their obnoxious rule, he resigned.
The Friars were put under subjection, virtually deposed from their secular
thrones, under American rule. An anti-Catholic or anti-Friar movement has
developed, with indications that their day is over. Archbishop Chapelle has
stated that they will not henceforth be sent into districts where the people
object to them. It is only fair to note that it is generally admitted that the
Friars are to be credited with many excellent qualities, not only in their
spiritual capacity but as administrators in civic affairs. They were often the
only persons qualified by education and training to guide the practical conduct
of local commercial business.
Now, having presented the case against the insurgents from the government
standpoint, it is proper to place the reader in possession of such facts and
utterances of responsible persons as may exhibit the other side of the
controversy. The vital thing to know is the truth about the Filipinos, the
insurgents, who presume to resist our philanthropic efforts to coerce them to
accept our aid in raising their standard of civilization to the level of ours.
We do not need to go outside the ranks of the eminent Americans who, as
soldiers, sailors, diplomatists, and statesmen, have spoken from personal
knowledge, gained on the spot, as to the character and qualities of the native
race we have not yet reconciled nor subjugated.
The first commissioners to the Philippines gave frank testimony to the character
of the Filipinos as prospective rulers of their native land. They stated as
follows in their official report:
The commission, while not underrating the difficulty of governing the
Philippines, is disposed to believe the task easier than is generally supposed.
For this confidence..it has the following among other grounds:
First-The study by educated Filipinos of the various examples of constitutional
government has resulted in their selection, as best adapted to the conditions
and character of the various people inhabiting the archipelago, of almost
precisely the political institutions and arrangements which have been worked out
in practice by the American people; and these are also, though less definitely
apprehended, the political ideas of the masses of the Philippine people
themselves. This point has been frequently illustrated in the course of the
preceding exposition, and it must here suffice to say that the commission was
constantly surprised by the harmony subsisting between the rights, privileges
and institutions enjoyed by Americans and the reforms desired by the best
Secondly-In addition to the adaptation of the American form of government to the
Filipinos, the Filipinos themselves are of unusually promising material. They
possess admirable personal and domestic virtues; and though they are
uncontrollable when such elemental passions as jealousy, revenge or resentment
are once aroused, most of them, practically all of the civilized inhabitants of
Luzon and the Visayas, are naturally and normally peaceful, docile and
deferential to constituted authority. On the suppression of the insurrection the
great majority of them will be found to be good, law-abiding citizens.
Thirdly-Though the majority of the inhabitants are uneducated, they evince a
strong desire to be instructed, and the example of Japan is with them a
cherished ideal of the value of education. A system of free schools for the
people, another American institution, it will be noted, has been an important
element in every Philippine programme of reforms.
Fourthly-The educated Filipinos, though constituting a minority, are far more
numerous than is generally supposed, and are scattered all over the archipelago;
and the commission desires to bear the strongest testimony to the high range of
their intelligence, and not only to their intellectual training but also to
their social refinement as well as to the grace and charm of their personal
character. These educated. Filipinos, in a word, are the equals of the men one
meets in similar vocations-law, medicine, business, etc.-in Europe or America.
The unique personality of Aguinaldo is the subject of two interesting
utterances, one by Admiral Dewey, the other in the Philadelphia Press, partly
owned and formerly edited by Postmaster-General Emory Smith. In the newspaper it
is stated that Pancho Aguinaldo is the son of a prominent native chief and was
born in 1871. Anxious that his boy should be educated, this chief confided the
lad to the Spanish priests, who thought that Aguinaldo's influence, when he grew
up, would help to maintain Spanish authority among the Malay population. The
father is rich, for a native, and Pancho Aguinaldo, after being taught in the
local schools, was sent to Madrid to study theology and qualify for the
priesthood. After a year or two of study the young man boldly declared he would
not be a priest, but a soldier. So he was drafted into one of the native
regiments, in which a few of the subalterns are Manila men, but all the captains
and field-officers are Spaniards. It is reported that he upset his whole
university career by joining the Masons. Soon afterwards he went to Hong-Kong
and knocked around for several years, practically a political refugee because of
his Masonic affiliations.
In his despatch to Washington of June 27, 1898, Admiral Dewey made the following
Aguinaldo, insurgent leader, with thirteen of his staff, arrived May 19, by
permission, on Nanshan, establishing himself at Cavite, outside the arsenal,
under the protection of our guns, and organized his army. I have had several
conversations with him, generally of a personal nature. Consistently I have
refrained from assisting him in any way with the force under my command, and on
several occasions I have declined requests that I should do so, telling him the
squadron could not act until the arrival of the United States troops. At the
same time I have given him to understand that I considered insurgents as
friends, being opposed to a common enemy. He has gone to attend a meeting of
insurgent leaders for the purpose of forming a civil government. Aguinaldo has
acted independently of the squadron, but has kept me advised of his progress,
which has been wonderful. I have allowed to pass by water recruits, arms and
ammunition, and to take such Spanish arms and ammunition from the arsenal as he
needed. Have advised frequently to conduct the war humanely, which he has done
invariably. My relations with him are cordial, but I am not in his confidence.
The United States has not been bound in any way to assist insurgents by any act
or promises, and he is not, to my knowledge, committed to assist us. I believe
he expects to capture Manila without my assistance, but doubt ability, he not
yet having many guns. In my opinion these people are far superior in their
intelligence and more capable of self-government than the natives of Cuba, and I
am familiar with both races.
Admiral Dewey repeated this in his communication to the Paris Peace
Commissioners, dated August 9; "further intercourse with them has confirmed me
in this opinion."
The Rev. Clay Macauley, a missionary in Japan, visiting Manila in July, 1899,
wrote an account of interviews he had held with Admiral Dewey and General Otis.
The former said to him: "Rather than make a war of conquest upon the Filipino
people I would up anchor and sail out of the harbor." General Otis, he reports,
"expressed regret that there was not a better knowledge of the situation among
the Washington legislators than there seemed to be. He impressed me deeply by
his declaration, `I was ordered to this post from San Francisco. I did not
believe in the annexation of these islands when I came here, nor do I believe in
their annexation now.'"
General Joseph Wheeler, in an interview in San Francisco March 7, 1900, upon his
return from the Philippines, said:
"So far as their capacity for self-government is concerned, I think that the
Filipinos are capable of it under certain restrictions.
"The few experiments already made in civic governments throughout the provinces
have been very successful, and I think they ought to have authority to make
their own laws and govern themselves under a system similar to that known as our
"This they practically had under the Spanish regime, and they did very well.
There are a great many more intelligent and educated men among them than is
As every utterance of the conqueror of Manila Bay has peculiar significance in
this connection, we quote this from the interview between the Naples
correspondent of the London Daily News and Admiral Dewey, dated August 21, 1899:
Conversation then, after some remarks from Admiral Dewey on the United States
navy and on the various episodes of the battle of Cavite, turned to the question
of the Philippines. "Do you think, Admiral, that the islands are likely to be
pacified soon?" The admiral replied as follows:
"I have the question of the Philippines more at heart than any other American,
because I know the Filipinos intimately, and they know that I am their friend.
The recent insurrection is the fruit of the anarchy which has so long reigned in
the islands. The insurgents will have to submit themselves to law after being
accustomed to no form of law. I believe and affirm, nevertheless, that the
Philippine question will be very shortly solved. The Filipinos are capable of
governing themselves. They have all the qualifications for it. It is a question
of time; but the only way to settle the insurrection and to assure prosperity to
the archipelago is to concede self-government to the inhabitants. That would be
the solution of many questions and would satisfy all, especially the Filipinos,
who believe themselves worthy of it, and are so."
"Self-government for the Philippines has, however, not many partisans in
America, "I remarked.
"I have never been in favor of violence toward the Filipinos," replied, or
rather continued the admiral. "The islands are at this moment blockaded by a
fleet, and war reigns in the interior. This abominable state of things should
cease. I should like to see autonomy first conceded, and then annexation might
be talked about. This is my opinion, and I should like to see violence at once
suppressed. According to me, the concession of self-government ought to be the
most just and the most logical solution."
The admiral spoke with an air of frank conviction.
President Schurman, chairman of the first Philippine Peace Commission, and
Professor Dean C. Worcester, of both the Commissions, give the highest testimony
to the ability to the Filipinos and their fitness for self-government.
Striking testimonies are given to the soldierlike qualities of the Filipinos.
General Lawton, who fell while leading his men, spoke of them as "the bravest
men I ever saw." He is quoted by the Rev. P. McQueen, chaplain of the First
California Volunteers, as having said as follows:
The Filipinos are a fine set of soldiers. They are far better than the Indians.
The latter never fight unless they have the absolute advantage. The Tagals are
what I would call a civilized race. They are good mechanics, imitative-they
manufacture everything. They have arsenals and cartridge factories and powder-
mills. They can manufacture everything they need.
Taking everything into consideration, the few facilities they have, the many
drawbacks, they are an ingenious and artistic race. And taking into account the
disadvantages they have to fight against in arms, equipment and military
discipline without artillery, short of ammunition, powder inferior, shells
reloaded until they are defective, inferior in every particular of equipment and
supplies, they are the bravest men I have ever seen.
Among the Filipinos there are many cultured people who would ornament society
anywhere in the world-women who have studied and travelled, men highly educated
and of fine mentality. Take them as a class, there can as many of them read and
write as the inhabitants in many places in America. As for their treachery, you
would not have to come so far as this to find that. There is plenty of it in
North America. All nations are treacherous, more or less. Some men and nations
have treachery trained out of them more than others.
What we want is to stop this accursed war. It is time for diplomacy-time for
mutual understandings. These men are indomitable. At Bacoor bridge they waited
till the Americans brought their cannon to within thirty-five yards of their
trenches. Such men have the right to be heard. All they want is a little
Our Consul in Manila, Oscar F. Williams, put in writing his opinion that if we
were going to annex the Philippines to-day, they are probably worth $100,000
more than they would have been if Aguinaldo had not prevented the Filipinos from
burning all Spanish and Roman Catholic church property.
In Senate Document No. 62 of the Fifty-fifth Congress is a letter from Mr.
Wildman to Mr. Moore of the State Department, dated Hong-Kong, July 18, 1898,
containing these words:
"In conclusion, I wish to put myself on record as stating that the insurgent
government of the Philippine Islands cannot be dealt with as though they were
North American Indians, willing to be removed from one reservation to another,
at the whim of their masters.
"ROUNSEVELLE WILDMAN, Consul-General."
These will suffice as examples of the arguments and facts on which the opponents
of the Philippine war of subjugation rest their case. In the North American
Review of January, 1900, is an article entitled "A Filipino Appeal to the People
of the United States," by Apolinario Mabini, formerly premier in Aguinaldo's
cabinet. It professes to correct mis-statements of fact prejudicial to the
Filipino cause, and it concludes thus:
The facts which I have related clearly disprove the assertion by Americans that
the Filipinos provoked the hostilities.. The truth is that the Filipino people
have never felt disposed to measure their strength with powerful America,
otherwise Aguinaldo could not have put up with so many infamous actions at the
hands of the American generals. They have always considered themselves little
and insignificant beside the American people and hence they never thought of
provoking the Americans, for they have always been aware that, even if they
should gain a few victories, the fortunes of war would necessarily change as
soon as reinforcements arrived from America.
And it is still more true that the Filipino people, educated by long sufferings
during the protracted dominion of Spain, have learned to reflect and to judge
things calmly, even in the midst of great excitement. They know that, no matter
how great and civilized a people may be, it contains bad men as well as good
men; and, therefore, they do not condemn all. For the same reason they admire
the bravery shown by the American army in the recent fights; they still
entertain, unalterably, that friendship towards the American people which places
them above all other nations; they trust that the popular government of America
will not sink to the level of the theocratic government of Spain, and that the
spirit of justice, now obscured by ambition, will again shine in their
firmament, as the civic virtues of their ancestors shine in their history and
The Filipino people are struggling in defense of their liberties and
independence with the same tenacity and perseverance as they have shown in their
sufferings. They are animated by an unalterable faith in the justice of their
cause, and they know that if the American people will not grant them justice
there is a Providence which punishes the crimes of nations as well as of
The report of the second Commission, of which Judge Taft was chairman, was laid
before Congress in January, 1901. It has much to say about the Friars, and the
information is here quoted in substance:
Ordinarily, the government of the United States and its servants have little or
no concern with religious societies or corporations and their members. With us
the Church is so completely separated from the State that it is difficult to
imagine cases in which the policy of a church in the selection of its ministers
and the assignment of them to duty can be regarded as of political moment, or as
a proper subject of comment in the report of a public officer. In the
pacification of the Philippines by our government, however, it is impossible to
ignore the great part which such a question plays.
By the revolutions of 1896 and 1898 against Spain all the Dominicans,
Augustinians, Recoletos and Franciscans acting as parish priests were driven
from their parishes to take refuge in Manila. Forty were killed and 403 were
imprisoned and were not all released until by the advance of the American troops
it became impossible for the insurgents to retain them. Of the 1,124 who were in
the islands in 1896 only 472 remain. The remainder either perished, returned to
Spain or went to China or South America.
The burning political question, discussion of which strongly agitates the people
of the Philippines, is whether the members of the four great orders of St.
Dominic, St. Augustine, St. Francis and the Recoletos shall return to the
parishes from which they were driven by the revolution. Colloquially the term
"friars" includes the members of these four orders. The Jesuits, Capuchins,
Benedictines and the Paulists, of whom there are a few teachers here, have done
only mission work or teaching, and have not aroused the hostility existing
against the four large orders to which we are now about to refer.
The truth is that the whole government of Spain in these islands rested on the
friars. To use the expression of the provincial of the Augustinians, the friars
were "the pedestal, or foundation, of the sovereignty of Spain in these
islands," which, being removed, "the whole structure would topple over." The
number of Spanish troops in these islands did not exceed 5,000 until the
revolution. The tenure of office of the friar curate was permanent. There was
but little rotation of priests among the parishes. Once settled in a parish, a
priest usually continued there until super-annuation. He was, therefore, a
constant political factor for a generation. The same was true of the archbishop
and the bishops. The civil and military officers of Spain in the islands were
here for not longer than four years, and more often for a less period. The
friars, priests and bishops, therefore, constituted a solid, powerful,
permanent, well organized political force in the islands which dominated
politics. The stay of those officers who attempted to pursue a course at
variance with that deemed wise by the orders was invariably shortened by
Of the four great orders, one, the Franciscans, is not permitted to own
property, except convents and schools. This is not true of the other three. They
own some valuable business property in Manila, and have large amounts of money
to lend. But the chief property of these orders is in agricultural land. The
total amount owned by the three orders in the Philippines is approximately
In the light of these considerations it is not wonderful that the people should
regard the return of the friars to their parishes as a return to the conditions
existing before the revolution. The common people are utterly unable to
appreciate that under the sovereignty of the United States the position of the
friar as curate would be different from that under Spain.
This is not a religious question, though it concerns the selection of religious
ministers for religious communities. The Philippine people love the Catholic
"The feeling against the friars is solely political. The people would gladly
receive as ministers of the Roman Catholic religion any save those who are to
them the embodiment of all in the Spanish rule that was hateful. If the friars
return to their parishes, though only under the same police protection which the
American government is bound to extend to any other Spanish subjects in these
islands, the people will regard it as the act of that government. They have so
long been used to having every phase of their conduct regulated by governmental
order that the coming again of the friars will be accepted as an executive order
to them to receive the friars as curates with their old, all-absorbing
functions. It is likely to have the same effect on them that the return of
General Weyler under an American commission as governor of Cuba would have had
on the people of that island.
"Those who are charged with the duty of pacifying these islands may, therefore,
properly have the liveliest concern in a matter which, though on its surface
only ecclesiastical, is, in the most important phase of it, political, and
fraught with the most critical consequences to the peace and good order of the
country in which it is their duty to set up civil government. We are convinced
that a return of the friars to their parishes will lead to lawless violence and
murder, and that the people will charge the course taken to the American
government, thus turning against it the resentment felt towards the friars.
"The friars have large property interests in these islands which the United
States government is bound by treaty obligations and by the law of its being to
protect. It is natural and proper that the friars should feel a desire to remain
where so much of their treasure is. Nearly all the immense agricultural holdings
have been transferred by the three orders -- by the Dominicans to a man named
Andrews, by the Recoletos to an English corporation and by the Augustinians to
another corporation; but these transfers do not seem to have been out-and-out
sales, but only a means for managing the estates without direct intervention of
the friars, or for selling the same when a proper price can be secured. The
friars seem to remain the real owners."
President Schurman, of the first Philippine Commission, writing in Munsey's
Magazine after his return, expressed his personal view as follows:
"We are not to make the Philippines a dumping-ground for politicians. It must be
realized that there is no harder work and none nobler, after that of the
President of the United States, than the administration of the Philippine
Islands. Think of the Filipino as a negro or as an Indian, and you will never
rule him. The men who rule in the Orient must have a genuine regard for
humanity, behind whatever features or beneath whatever skin it may look out upon
"I believe the only hope of an eventually free, self-governed and united
Filipino people is under the flag of the United States. I suppose that three
years ago we would not have taken the Philippine Islands if they had been
offered to us; but they have come into our hands, and we must do our duty.
Nothing worse could happen to the Filipino than our withdrawal, for if we do,
one of two things is bound to happen, either of which would be fatal to the
aspirations of the Filipinos themselves. They will either fall a prey to
domestic dissensions, so great and bitter are the tribal rivalries, or else
aliens who have property in Manila and Subig and Iloilo and other places will
find their lives and property insecure and ask protection from their own
governments, and when once the great European powers begin to protect their
citizens in the Philippine Islands the archipelago will be divided among them.
"I fully believe that when the scheme of government is put in execution by the
commission which is now in the islands, headed by Judge Taft, the educated
Filipinos will be satisfied and the United States will appear to them for the
first time in a correct light -- no longer merely as an irresistible power, but
as champions of justice, of freedom, and as dispensers of blessings through the
A well known authority on the Philippines, Mr. John Foreman, an Englishman who
has lived there a long time, wrote in an English review upon the future of the
islands. He speaks well of Aguinaldo but predicts that an experiment of a native
government would surely end in disaster. It would not last one year.
"If the native republic did succeed, it would not be strong enough to protect
itself against foreign aggression. The islands are a splendid group, well worth
picking a quarrel and spending a few millions sterling to annex them. I
entertain the firm conviction that an unprotected united republic would last
only until the novelty of the situation had worn off. Then, I think, every
principal island would, in turn, declare its independence. Finally there would
be complete chaos, and before that took root America or some European nation
would probably have interfered; therefore it is better to start with protection.
I cannot doubt that General Aguinaldo is quite alive to these facts;
nevertheless I admire his astuteness in entering on any plan which, by hook or
by crook, will expel the friars. If the republic failed, at least monastic power
would never return. A protectorate under a strong nation is just as necessary to
insure good administration in the islands as to protect them against foreign
attack. Either Great Britain or America would be equally welcome to the
islanders if they had not the vanity to think they could govern themselves.
Unless America decided to start on a brand-new policy it would hardly suit her,
I conjecture, to accept the mission of a protectorate so distant from her chief
interests. England, having ample resources so near at hand, would probably find
it a less irk-some task. For the reasons given above the control would have to
be a very direct one. I would go so far as to suggest that the government should
be styled `The Philippine Protectorate.' There might be a Chamber of Deputies,
with a native President. The protector and his six advisers should be American
or English. The functions of ministers should be vested in the advisers, and
those of President (of a republic) in the protector. In any case, the finances
could not be confided to a native. The inducement to finance himself would be
too great. All races should be represented in the Chamber."
Under such rule as this, he says, capital would flow into the islands and
civilization would rapidly grow. The legal aspects of the general question have
been long under discussion by the ablest authorities, statesmen and scholars. In
an elaborate paper in the Review of Reviews, Professor Judson of the University
of Chicago, examines the precedents for the acquisitions of territory and the
leading decisions of the Supreme Court. This is his summary:
"In brief, then, these seem to be the essential facts so far as the
constitutional implications of a colonial policy are concerned. The power to
acquire territory is no longer seriously questioned. The purposes of annexation
are not limited by the Constitution, but are at the discretion of the political
branch of the Government. It is not necessary, therefore, that annexed territory
should be destined for statehood. It may be held permanently as a colony, for
purposes of national defense or from economic considerations. It may be held in
trust for the inhabitants, with the expectation of ultimately turning it over to
them should they so desire and should they prove themselves capable of orderly
government. Meanwhile the government of such territory is subject to the control
"The inhabitants of annexed territory do not by virtue of annexation necessarily
all become citizens of the United States -- it is not beyond question that any
of them do so become. The fourteenth amendment is not of necessity so to be
construed as to make birth in annexed territory result in American citizenship.
The fourteenth amendment relates to the `United States.' That is a term which
has two meanings: in the larger sense it includes all that is within the
national boundaries -- `the whole American empire,' as Chief Justice Marshall
calls it; in the more restricted sense it includes only the States, but excludes
all federal territory. It is in the second -- the restricted -- sense that the
term is used in the Constitution as denoting the sovereign power whose
governmental agencies are therein provided -- a sovereign power in which the
Territories have no share: `We, the people of the United States, . . . do ordain
and establish this Constitution.' It is by no means proved that the term occurs
anywhere in the Constitution in any other sense. Territories are not `States'
within the meaning of the Constitution, and the `United States' in its
restricted governmental sense is merely the `States' federally united. From
these considerations it follows that some constitutional inconveniences
apprehended from annexation of lands over sea and inhabited by inferior races
are not likely to occur. Congress may lay a direct tax on such Territories,
subject only to the constitutional limitation of proportion to population.
"The limitation of uniformity placed by the Constitution on the power to lay
indirect taxes is confined to `the United States,' which may well mean the
States. Thus there would be no such limitation so far as Territories are
concerned, and hence Congress would be quite free to maintain therein such
system of duties and excises as circumstances may warrant, irrespective of the
policy controlling the `States.' The navigation laws are constitutionally
limited also with reference only to the `States.' Thus Congress may, if it seems
expedient so to do, establish the `open door' in over-sea Territories without
let or hindrance from the Constitution. Such personal rights as the Constitution
guarantees within the whole jurisdiction of the national government -- both in
States and in Territories -- are on the whole such as would not materially
impede adequate control of federal territory, and at the same time such as we
would wish to extend to all people under the American flag.
"The acquisition of tropical territories may or may not be in accordance with
sound policy. The control of such territories presents few serious
With this judicial opinion our survey of the leading features of the Philippine
question and state documents closes. The careful perusal of the arguments and
facts on both sides yields a strikingly interesting view of history in the
LATER DEVELOPMENTS IN PHILIPPINE AFFAIRS.
The situation in the Philippines give brighter promise from month to month.
There appears to be a fair prospect of compromise, honorable to both sides.
Early in February, 1901, an insurgent Colonel, Simon Techon, seven insurgent
officers and seventy men, with sixty guns, surrendered unconditionally to
Captain Cooles, of the Thirty-fifth regiment at San Miguel de Mayumo. Other
voluntary surrenders were reported from outlying districts. From the province of
Pampanga in Luzon, the following cheering news was received within the week:
"Bacolor and all the towns adjacent to the railroad whose names are historic on
account of the fierce battles of the earlier periods of American occupation
turned out to welcome the United States Philippine commission as it proceeded
northward on its first trip to organize provincial governments. At every
station, including the hamlets where the train did not stop, there were bursts
of music from the native bands and cheers for the Americanos-Filipinos
commission and the Partido Federal. The crowd at Malolos, the former seat of the
insurgent government, was smaller, in proportion to the population, than at the
villages. At all stops addresses were delivered by natives and responses were
made by Judge Taft, the president of the commission; Professor Worcester,
General Flores, Chief Justice Arellano and Dr. Tavera, president of the federal
party. The natives repeatedly declared the people were beginning to understand
the purposes of the Americans, adding that the commission's acts showed their
promises will be kept."
Senator Spooner had in preparation an amendment to the Army Appropriation bill,
being a resolution giving the President authority to govern the islands. A
former resolution provided that the President should establish a civil
government whenever the insurrection was put down, but this amendment omitted
the proviso as to the suppression of the insurrection and leaves it entirely to
the discretion of the President.
All the conditions of the problem were suddenly changed by the capture, on March
14, of Aguinaldo. The incident can be told in the words of General Funston,
whose Official report was filed in May. His daring feat won him the rank of
"On Jan. 14 a special messenger from Aguinaldo's headquarters at Palanan,
bearing letters to different generals of his command and to insurgent chiefs,
asking for reinforcements to be sent him, gave himself up to Lieutenant Taylor
of the Twenty-fourth Infantry, who immediately sent him to me at San Isidro. He
also had valuable correspondence, which gave us information as to the
whereabouts and the strength of Aguinaldo's band at that time. We found among
them one in which Baldomero Aguinaldo was ordered to take command of the
provinces of central Luzon and requesting him to send as soon as possible 400
armed men to Aguinaldo's camp.
"Then and there I conceived the idea of arming and equipping a number of native
tropps to pass off as these expected reinforcements and to make an endeavor to
trap Aguinaldo in his lair. The expedition was made up of four Tagalas, who were
formerly commissioned officers in Aguinaldo's army, and we selected seventy-
eight men of the Macabebe scouts, all of whom could talk Tagala fluently. I
obtained a number of captured insurgent uniforms, and ten Macabebes were
equipped with rifles.
"We embarked on the gunboat Vicksburg and landed on March 14 at 2 o'clock in the
morning. The expedition was nominally placed in command of Hilario Placido, ex-
insurgent colonel. After marching twenty miles we reached the town of Casiguran.
We had sent word to the Presidente of the town through native messengers that
reinforcements for Aguinaldo were on the way through his town, so that when we
arrived there food and quarters had been provided for us. This notification had
been signed by the supposed commander of the expedition. The Presidente was
completely deceived. My troop had captured, some months ago, some official paper
of General Lacuna, bearing his official stamp and seal. In order to make the
deception all the more complete, we succeeded in forging the signature of Lacuna
to letters to Aguinaldo. These letters were sent ahead and we followed.
"The trip to Aguinaldo's camp was a most severe one upon the men. Our food
supply was entirely exhausted, and my men were so weak that when we reached
within eight miles of Aguinaldo's camp we could go no farther. We therefore sent
a messenger ahead to Aguinaldo's camp, informing him of our plight and
requesting that he send us food before we could go further. This was supplied
us, and the disguise and ruse adopted by us had been complete. As we had told
Aguinaldo that we had American prisoners, he sent word that they be given their
"As the Macabebes approached the town the troops of Aguinaldo's bodyguard,
consisting of fifty men, were drawn up in parade to receive the supposed
reinforcements. The men who posed as officers of our expedition marched into the
camp and paid their respects to Aguinaldo, who received them in a large house
built on the bank of the Palanan river. After the exchange of courtesies the
officers excused themselves from Aguinaldo and his staff, for a moment, stepped
outside, and ordered their Macabebe troops drawn up into line and commanded them
to commence firing into Aguinaldo's troops.
"The rout of the insurgents was complete. The ex-in-surgent officers, the five
Americans, and several Macabebe scouts immediately made a rush for the house
which was used as Aguinaldo's headquarters and took him prisoner. Aguinaldo,
when taken prisoner, at first raved and swore at the deception practised upon
him, but later accepted the situation with dignity."
Aguinaldo was treated as a distinguished prisoner of war, and within a few weeks
he issued a manifesto to his people, demonstrating the hopelessness of further
resistance and urging them to accept the protection of the United States. He
renounced "all allegiance to any and all so-called revolutionary governments in
the Philippine Islands," and formally swore allegiance to this country.
Since Aguinaldo's capture many regiments have been recalled. The Government
consider a reserve force of 40,000 sufficient to maintain peace. A large number
of former insurgent leaders have surrendered with their men, and the prospects
for conciliation and permanent peace are brighter than they have been for years.
As to the fitness of the people for self-government, sooner or later, it is
stated that the number of those who can read and write has been estimated by
various authorities at from 70 to 90 per cent. of the entire population. This
compares very favorably with the 58 per cent. of Italians, 31 per cent. of
Russians, and, according to the census of 1887, the 281/2 per cent. of Spaniards
who can read and write. The percentage is more creditable than in some of the
States in America, and very much higher than in any of the South American
States. There was a university in Manila several years before the Pilgrim
Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock, and there are many other colleges now existing
in Manila and in other parts of the archipelago, and the funds for the
foundation and maintenance of every one of these colleges have been provided
exclusively by the Filipinos themselves.
SAMOA, GUAM AND THE SULU ARCHIPELAGO.
[The Samoan Islands have an area of only a little over fifty square miles, and a
population of about 5,000. They are not of much commercial importance, but the
harbor of Pago Pago is the finest in the Pacific, and so situated as to be
invaluable to the United States. Owing to the internal strife of rival kings, it
was decided by Great Britain, Germany and the United States to acknowledge the
right of the Chief of Tutuila to share in the settlement made between the
powers. Great Britain withdrew its claim, for a consideration. In December,
1899, the three parties concerned signed an agreement, of which the second
article is as follows:
"Art. 2. Germany renounces in favor of the United States of America all her
rights and claims over and in respect to the island of Tutuila and all other
islands of the Samoan group east of longitude 171 degrees west of Greenwich.
Great Britain in like manner renounces in favor of the United States of America
all her rights and claims over and in respect to the island of Tutuila and all
other islands of the Samoan group east of longitude 171 degrees west of
Greenwich. Reciprocally, the United States of America renounce in favor of
Germany all their rights and claims over and in respect to the islands of Upolu
and Savaii and all other islands of the Samoan group west of longitude 171
degrees west of Greenwich."
The harbor of Pago Pago is on the coast of our newly acquired island of Tutuila,
which affords a valuable station in the Pacific, especially in view of the
proposed isthmian canal and consequent growth of our trade in the East. We had
the treaty right to use the harbor as a coaling depot as far back as 1878. Our
representative, Mr. Goward, reported that "The capacity of this harbor is
sufficient for the accommodation of large fleets; landlocked, it is safe from
hurricanes and storms and could easily be defended from land or sea attack at a
small expense. In a naval point of view it is the key position to the Samoan
group and likewise to central Polynesia, and is especially well located for the
protection of American commerce. The Samoan archipelago is by reason of its
geographical position in central Polynesia, lying in the course of vessels from
San Francisco to Auckland, from Panama to Sydney and from Valparaiso to China
and Japan, and from being outside the hurricane track, the most valuable group
in the south Pacific. Situated half way between Honolulu and Auckland, Pago Pago
would be a most convenient stopping place or coaling station for vessels or
steamers either for supplies or the exchange of commodities. With the Pacific
mail steamers making it a port for coaling, it would necessarily become the
controlling commercial place in that part of Polynesia."
Guam, the largest island of the Ladrone group, has an area of about 150 square
miles, with 10,000 inhabitants. The island was ceded by Spain in the settlement
of 1898. General Joseph Wheeler was sent in 1900 to make a report upon the
working of the new government established by Captain R. P. Leary, U. S. N., the
previous year. His account was highly favorable, the people were happy under the
new conditions, and were disposed to observe the disciplinary regulations that
had been instituted by Captain Leary. That the natives of Guam are in a somewhat
primitive stage of civilization, though an inoffensive people, is evident by
these specimen rules which General Wheeler quotes:
Orders issued Aug. 16, 1899, prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors to any
person not a resident of Guam previous to Aug. 7; regulate the importation and
sale of intoxicating liquors; prohibit the transfer of land without the consent
of the government; regulate the celebration of church and other holidays;
prohibit concubinage and require marriage rites between persons so co-habiting;
prohibit the exportation of certain articles in common use among the people;
require persons without a trade or regular employment to plant specified
commodities and keep certain live stock; regulate the keeping of dogs and other
animals running at large; abrogate the Spanish system of taxation and provide a
new one; establish a public system of nonsectarian education; require each adult
to learn to write his or her own name within a specified time. Early in the
summer of 1900 Captain Leary was recalled and Commander Seaton Schroeder, U. S.
N., was appointed governor of the island.
The land is fertile, and should produce enough sugar, rice, coffee, and fruits
to work up a profitable export trade.
The Sulu Archipelago lies east of the Philippines, with an area of about 1,000
miles and a population of about 100,000, all Mohammedans. The United States took
over the Sultanate on the same terms as those negotiated by Spain. General Otis
empowered General J. C. Bates to effect the transfer, giving him these
"The United States will accept the obligations of Spain under the agreement of
1878 in the matter of money annuities and in proof of sincerity you will offer
as a present (?) to the Sultan and datos $10,000, Mexican, with which you will
be supplied before leaving for Jolo-the same to be handed over to them
respectively in amounts agreeing with the ratio of payments made to them by the
Spanish government for their declared services. From the first of September next
and thereafter, the United States will pay to them regularly the sums promised
by Spain in its agreement of 1878, and in any subsequent promises of which proof
can be furnished * * * and will declare all trade of the Sultan and his people
with any portion of the Philippine islands, conducted under the American flag,
free, unlimited and undutiable."
The result was the following treaty:
Article 1. - The sovereignty of the United States over the whole archipelago of
Jolo and its dependencies is declared and acknowledged.
Article 2. -The United States flag will be used in the archipelago of Jolo and
its dependencies, on land and sea.
Article 3. -The rights and dignities of His Highness the Sultan and his datos
shall be fully respected; the Moros shall not be interfered with on account of
their religion; all their religious customs shall be respected, and no one shall
be persecuted on account of his religion.
Article 4. -While the United States may occupy and control such point in the
archipelago of Jolo as public interest seems to demand, encroachment will not be
made upon the lands immediately about the residence of His Highness the Sultan,
unless military necessity requires such occupation in case of war with a foreign
power; and where the property of individuals is taken, due compensation will be
made in each case. Any person can purchase land in the archipelago of Jolo, and
hold the same by obtaining the consent of the Sultan and coming to a
satisfactory agreement with the owner of the land, and such purchase shall
immediately be registered in the proper office of the United States Government.
Article 5. - All trade in the domestic products of the archipelago of Jolo, when
carried on by the Sultan and his people with any part of the Philippine islands,
and when conducted under the American flag, shall be free, unlimited and
Article 6. - The Sultan of Jolo shall be allowed to communicate direct with the
governor-general of the Philippine islands in making complaints against the
commanding officer of Jolo, or against any naval commander.
Article 7. -The introduction of firearms and war material is forbidden, except
under specific authority of the governor-general of the Philippine islands.
Article 8. -Piracy must be suppressed, and the Sultan and his datos agree to co-
operate heartily with the United States authorities to that end, and to make
every possible effort to arrest and bring to justice all persons engaged in
Article 9. -When crimes and offences are committed by Moros against Moros, the
government of the Sultan will bring to trial and punishment the criminals and
offenders, who will be delivered to the government of the Sultan by the United
States authorities, if in their possession. In all other cases, persons charged
with crimes or offences will be delivered to the United States authorities for
trial and punishment.
Article 10. -Any slave in the archipelago of Jolo shall have the right to
purchase freedom by paying to the master the usual market value.
Article 11. -In case of any trouble with subjects of the Sultan, the American
authorities in the island will be instructed to make careful investigation
before resorting to harsh measures, as in most cases serious trouble can thus be
Article 12. -At present, Americans or foreigners wishing to go into the country
should state their wishes to the Moro authorities and ask for an escort, but it
is hoped that this will become unnecessary as we know each other better.
Article 13. -The United States will give full protection to the Sultan and his
subjects in case any foreign nation shall attempt to impose upon them.
Article 14. -The United States will not sell the island of Jolo or any other
island of the Jolo Archipelago to any foreign nation without the consent of the
Sultan of Jolo.
Article 15. -The United States Government will pay the following monthly
To the Sultan.. 250 Mexican Dollars.
To Dato Rajah Muda.. 75 Mexican Dollars.
To Dato Attik.. 60 Mexican Dollars.
To Dato Calbi.. 75 Mexican Dollars.
To Dato Joakanain.. 75 Mexican Dollars.
To Dato Puyo.. 60 Mexican Dollars.
To Dato Amir Hussin.. 60 Mexican Dollars.
To Hadji Butu.. 50 Mexican Dollars.
To Habile Mura.. 40 Mexican Dollars.
To Serif Saguin.. 15 Mexican Dollars.
Objections were raised to this treaty as sanctioning slavery and polygamy. The
native Moros have also a firm belief that the man who dies in the act of killing
Christians earns the best place in paradise.
J. C. BATES, Brig.-Gen. United States Volunteers.
SULTAN OF JOLO.
DATO RAJAH MUDA.
The Paris Peace Commissioners' official report gives the evidence of Claes
Ericsson, who described a recent visit he paid to Palawan island, in the Sulu
Archipelago, where the ex-Sultan is supreme. He illustrates the kind of regal
rule in those parts by this story:
"Unable to lodge the whole of his wives in the `palace,' his Highness boarded a
few of them-not the prettiest, I suspect-in the houses of his followers. One of
these peris, an outcast from the Palawan paradise through want of room, consoled
herself in the usual way-quite innocently, I was assured. The news reaching the
Sultan, he sent for the venturesome lover and smilingly bade him be seated
opposite himself. Not being altogether an idiot, the man had come armed. From
his sarong the jeweled handle of his kris protruded, plain to see. After a few
complimentary commonplaces had been exchanged his Highness remarked the weapon:
"`Allah has been good to you, S'Ali,' he said. `Those emeralds are very fine,
and the diamonds are as stars in the heavens. If the blade match the hilt, you
have a treasure. Show it to me.'
"Thrown off his guard, S'Ali drew his kris from its sheath, and holding it by
the wavy blade, presented it to the Sultan. Instantly half a dozen of his
Highness' attendants threw themselves upon the unfortunate fellow. He was
overpowered in a moment and his hands securely tied behind his back.
"`Take him out,' said the Sultan, still smiling.
"S'Ali was led away and lowered to the ground. Not a word did he utter. It was
Kismet. Why waste his breath? I did not learn the manner of his death, by kris
or bowstring. Let us hope it was the first. In the hands of a skilful
executioner the kris is a merciful weapon. He was buried in the jungle behind
the Sultan's `palace.'"
President Schurman writes of these Sulu chiefs as follows:
"On the other hand, as I have explained, in the south the tribal Indians are
governed by hereditary datoes, sultans, or chieftains, and still remain almost
unaffected by Spanish civilization. I visited the Sultan of Sulu, who is the
most important of them. I told the Sultan I was the first American official to
arrive there, and that we succeeded to Spanish authority in the archipelago;
that we proposed to exercise all of our rights. On the other hand, I told the
Sultan that I was instructed to declare that the United States would respect his
rights and have regard for his religion and the customs of his people, and that
I foresaw no circumstances which by any possibility could lead to the
interruption of the friendly relations which I thought subsisted between us at
the time. He reciprocated this expression of sentiment, and when I suggested
further that we might have an agreement with him along the line of the Spanish
agreement, a copy of which I had with me, and under which he lived before, he
"I recommended to the President that the plan be adopted with the Sultan of Sulu
and with the sultans, datoes, and chieftains of Mindanao and all these southern
islands, and I recommended it because these chieftains could swing their people.
The people render them obedience; they look up to them with reverence, and I
know it would be vastly easier to deal with the individual hereditary rulers
than with half a million or a million of semi-civilized barbarians. Shortly
afterwards, General Bates went to the archi-pelago and made such an arrangement
with the Sultan of Sulu and another chief. The problem, therefore, so far as
these southern islands are concerned, is, for the time being, settled, but there
still remains the vast majority of the people of the Philippine islands to deal
with-the 6,500,000 of more or less civilized people occupying Luzon and the
By a convention with Spain, signed at the Department of State, Washington,
November 7, 1900, the United States became the owner of two more islands in the
Pacific. They are the islands of Cagayan and Sibutu, near the Philippine
Archipelago, and by some authorities regarded as part of the group. They were
intentionally omitted from the treaty of Paris in the enumeration of Spain's
possessions, which she was to turn over, because her title to them was not
altogether clear. A thorough examination was made by eminent geographers, and it
was decided that these two islands did not clearly belong to Spain. The United
States authorities, after gaining possession of the Philippines, took a look at
these two waifs in the ocean, and concluded to adopt them, especially as one of
them, the island of Cagayan, furnished a fine harbor and a commanding naval base
from which a maritime power could threaten the whole Philippine Archipelago. So
the American flag was raised and the islands were annexed. Spain then discovered
that she did have some title to them and claimed them. To avoid any
complications, however, and more in the nature of a gratuity than of a purchase,
this Government agreed to pay $100,000 for them.]
Oliver H. G. Leigh