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The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) by Dean C. Worcester

Part 2 out of 10

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the recipients and their companions to meet him at once, and arrange
the best way to entrap all the enemy in their homes.

In this he says that he has promised the American admiral that they
will "carry on modern war" and adds: "Even if a Spaniard surrenders,
he must be pardoned and treated well, and then you will see that
our reputation will be very good in all Europe, which will declare
for our independence; but if we do not conduct ourselves thus, the
Americans will decide to sell us or else divide up our territory. As
they will hold us incapable of governing our land, we shall not secure
our liberty, rather the contrary; our own soil will be delivered over
to other hands." [52]

In this letter, written on the very day of the interview at which he
subsequently claimed that Admiral Dewey had promised independence,
does he make any claim that this had occurred? No, he very distinctly
implies the contrary. Is it believable that if he could truly have
said "The United States, through its representatives Dewey and Pratt,
has promised to recognize our independence" he would have failed to
do so when this would instantly have secured him the vigorous support
which he was then uncertain of obtaining? I think not.

In this letter Aguinaldo specifically directs that deceit be employed
and that Spanish officers be treacherously attacked. The practising of
deceit was a carefully considered part of the insurgent policy. In a
letter from Hongkong dated July 21, 1898, Agoncillo writes as follows
to Mabini: [53]--

* * * * *

"the time will come when disguises must be set aside and we will see
who is deceiving whom. The statements made by some of the commanders
of the fleet here to Don Emilio and myself were to the effect that
the exclusive purpose of the Government at Washington with regard to
the Filipinos, is to grant this country independence, without any
conditions, although I said to myself that such a purpose was too
philanthropical. Don Emilio knew what I thought then, and I still
think the same; that is to say that we are the ones who must secure
the independence of our country by means of unheard of sacrifices
and thus work out its happiness." [54]

Aguinaldo himself frankly advocated the use of deceit. He practised
what he preached. Simeon Villa, one of his companions on his
subsequent flight through Northern Luzon, before he finally took
refuge at Palanan, kept a diary, which constitutes an official record
of this long journey. In it he has inserted some bits of history of
other days, of which none is more interesting than his account of the
beginning of hostilities against the Spaniards, in August, 1896. From
it we learn that Aguinaldo, who was known to the friar of his town to
be both a mason and a chief of the Katipunan, was in danger during
August, and on the night of the 29th of that month called a meeting
of all the compromised persons of the place, who agreed that on the
following day he should "make representations to the governor of the
province." Villa says that he was greatly beloved by the governor and
his wife. Early on the following morning, he "presented himself to the
governor, and in the name of the people of Cavite Viejo, offered him
their respects and their loyalty to Spain," at the same time asking
a garrison of a hundred men for his town, which the governor promised
to send at once if the captain-general approved.

That afternoon he reported the results of his efforts to his
fellow-conspirators, "and told them that then was the opportune moment
for rising against the Spaniards." He initiated the uprising himself
the next morning. [55]

Could deceit be more deliberately practised or treachery more frankly

I have indulged in this digression to show that Aguinaldo could
hardly have complained had the methods which he used against others
been employed against him. He was never deceived by the Americans,
but his claims relative to independence grew rapidly, and he was soon
deceiving his own people.

On May 24th, he issued no less than four proclamations. One of
these, doubtless intended to be seen by Americans, made no mention
of Independence, but said: [56]--

"The great powerful North American nation has offered its disinterested
protection to secure the liberty of this country."

In another proclamation, doubtless intended for a different use,
he made the statement that the great North American nation had come
to give decisive and disinterested protection, "considering us as
sufficiently civilized and capable of governing ourselves." [57]

On June 5, having practically gained control of Cavite Province, he
felt strong enough to announce that independence would be proclaimed
on June 12, and on that date he did proclaim it in a decree.

The Admiral of the American Squadron, with the commanders and officers
of his command, was invited to the ceremonies, but none of them
went. As it was important for Aguinaldo to have some one there to
pose as a representative of the United States, he utilized for this
purpose a certain "Colonel" Johnson, an ex-hotel keeper of Shanghai,
who was running a cinematograph show. He appeared as Aguinaldo's chief
of artillery and the representative of the North American nation. [58]

Even as late as October 3, 1898, Agoncillo in a memorandum addressed to
President McKinley did not claim that independence had been promised,
but said:--

"As soon as the Spanish-American war began, the American
representatives and officials in Singapore, Hongkong and Manila,
invited the natives of the Philippines to assist the American arms,
which they did gladly and loyally, as allies, with the conviction that
their personality would be recognized, as well as their political,
autonomous and sovereign rights." [59]

In it he does, however, claim that the organization of a government
independent of America and Spain was accomplished with the tacit
consent of the admiral commanding the fleet and with that of the
general and military and political commanders of the United States
of North America in the Philippines.

"Who, knowing these facts, not only did not object but accepted them
as a consummated legal act, and maintained official relations with
the new organization, making use thereof in its subsequent actions and
for the subsequent development of the campaign, which was consequently
brought to such a happy end." [60]

This is a second illustration of the stereotyped insurgent procedure
of announcing a policy and then claiming that failure to attack it
meant acquiescence in it. Admiral Dewey says that he did not even read
this proclamation. There was no reason why he should have done so,
as it did not deal with matters which he was authorized to settle. He
had no instructions relative to the recognition of new governments,
and he sent this document to Washington without comment, as he should
have done. [61]

Apropos of this claim that American officers tacitly recognized
the Insurgent government, certain passages from an unsigned
document in the handwriting of Mabini, prepared about July 15,
1898, are of interest. Mabini, speaking of the attitude of the
Americans, says, "Notwithstanding all this and in spite of their
protestations of friendship, they have always refused to recognize
that government." Also, "If they persist in refusing to recognize our
government, we shall see ourselves compelled to come to an agreement
with any other government that will consent to recognize us on friendly
terms." [62]

This statement is certainly sufficiently specific as to whether
Americans had recognized the Insurgent government on or before the
date when it was written.

Let us now consider the relations between Aguinaldo and General

Blount attempts to make much of a cablegram, sent by the latter, in
which, after describing the Filipinos, he adds, "The people expect
independence." Blount says:--

"That cablegram of July 22nd, above quoted, in which the commanding
general of our forces in the Philippines advises the Washington
Government, 'The people expect independence' is the hardest thing in
the public archives of our government covering that momentous period
for those who love the memory of Mr. McKinley to get around. After
the war with the Filipinos broke out, McKinley said repeatedly in
public speeches, 'I never dreamed they would turn against us.'" [63]

If there is nothing harder than this to get around the memory of
President McKinley will not suffer, as the important thing is not
what Aguinaldo had led his people to expect, but what the American
officials had promised him. The President was certainly not bound to
believe that the Filipinos would turn against us even if they did
then expect independence. Blount has seen fit to leave unmentioned
certain other facts which are very pertinent in this connection.

Apparently sometime during September, 1898, Sandico made the following
statement in a letter to Aguinaldo:--

"I also have to inform you that Senores Basa, Cortes and Co. have
congratulated the Government of the United States upon the capture
of Manila, stating at the same time that now that Filipino soil had
been soaked with American blood, the Islands must remain American. I
believe that a telegram should be sent immediately, to counteract
that sent by them." [64]

Probably Sandico did not know that on August 15, 1898, Agoncillo
had transmitted another telegram to President McKinley through
Consul-General Wildman, reading as follows:--

"Agoncillo, my Commissioner and Ambassador-Extraordinary, representing
the provisional government of the Philippine Islands, in its name
and the name of its President, Emilio Aguinaldo, congratulates you on
the successful termination of the war, and commends the occupancy of
Manila. I assure the United States of the allegiance and unquestioning
support of our people, and petition that we be granted one or more
representatives on the commission that is to decide the future of
our Islands." [65]

It would appear, therefore, that the President had more information
on this subject than was transmitted by General Anderson!

Not only did the latter passively refrain from recognizing Aguinaldo's
pretensions, but on July 22, 1898, he wrote to him as follows:--

"I observe that your Excellency has announced yourself Dictator and
proclaimed martial law. As I am here simply in a military capacity,
I have no authority to recognize such an assumption. I have no orders
from my government on the subject." [66]

The effort to keep Americans in ignorance of the true state of affairs
was kept up until further deception was useless. Consul Williams,
for instance, wrote on June 16, 1898:--

"For future advantage, I am maintaining cordial relations with General
Aguinaldo, having stipulated submissiveness to our forces when treating
for their return here. Last Sunday, 12th, they held a council to
form provisional government. I was urged to attend, but thought best
to decline. A form of government was adopted, but General Aguinaldo
told me today that his friends all hoped that the Philippines would
be held as a colony of the United States of America." [67]

Yet on Sunday, June 12, Aguinaldo had in reality proclaimed the
independence of the Philippines. Few Americans at this time knew any
Spanish and none understood Tagalog, so that it was comparatively
easy to deceive them. What Consul Williams reported was what Aguinaldo
considered it expedient to have him believe.

The following undated letter from Aguinaldo to Mabini, supposed to have
been sent at this time, is of especial interest in this connection:--

"My dear Brother: I do not want to go there [where the addressee is]
until after the visit of the American Consul, because I do not wish
the negotiations to end in an ultimatum, and in order that you may
tell him all that is favourable for the cause of our Nation. I charge
you with the task of giving him a reply, and if he should ask about
me tell him that since the time of his last visit there I have not
recovered from my illness. If anything important should happen we
can communicate with each other by telegraph, using a code in matters
that require secrecy." [68]

In a letter supposed to have been written during November, 1898,
prepared for Aguinaldo's signature and addressed to Senor McKinley,
President of the Republic of the United States of North America, but
apparently never sent, Aguinaldo renews the charge [69] previously
made in his "Resenia Veridica," that Pratt and Dewey promised
independence. It need not be further discussed.

The climax was finally reached in an official protest against the
Paris Treaty written by Agoncillo in Paris on the 12th of December,
1898, in which occurs the following:--

"The United States of America, on their part, cannot allege a better
right to constitute themselves as arbitrators as to the future of
the Philippines.

"On the contrary, the demands of honour and good faith impose on them
the explicit recognition of the political status of the people, who,
loyal to their conventions, were a devoted ally of their forces in the
moments of danger and strife. The noble general Emilio Aguinaldo and
the other Filipino chiefs were solicited to place themselves at the
head of the suffering and heroic sons of that country, to fight against
Spain and to second the action of the brave and skilful Admiral Dewey.

"At the time of employing their armed cooeperation, both the Commander
of the _Petrel_ and Captain Wood in Hongkong, before the declaration of
war, the American Consuls-General Mr. Pratt in Singapore, Mr. Wildman,
in Hongkong, and Mr. Williams in Cavite, acting as international
agents of the great American nation, at a moment of great anxiety
offered to recognize the independence of the Filipino nation, as soon
as triumph was obtained.

"Under the faith of such promises, an American man-of-war, the
_McCulloch_ was placed at the disposal of the said leaders and
which took them to their native shores; and Admiral Dewey himself,
by sending the man-of-war; by not denying to General Aguinaldo and
his companions the exacting of his promises, when they were presented
to him on board his flag-ship in the Bay of Manila; by receiving the
said General Aguinaldo before and after his victories and notable
deeds of arms, with the honours due the Commander-in-Chief of an
allied army, and chief of an independent state; by accepting the
efficacious cooeperation of that Army and of those Generals; by
recognizing the Filipino flag, and permitting it to be hoisted on
sea and land, consenting that their ships should sail with the said
flag within the places which were blockaded; by receiving a solemn
notification of the formal proclamation of the Philippine nation,
without protesting against it, nor opposing in any way its existence;
by entering into relations with those Generals and with the national
Filipino authorities recently established, recognized without question
the corporated body and autonomous sovereignty of the people who had
just succeeded in breaking their fetters and freeing themselves by
the impulse of their own force." [70]

It will be noted that the claim constantly grows. The commander of
the _Petrel_ Captain Wood, Consul Wildman and Consul Williams are
now included among those alleged to have promised independence, and
it is claimed that Aguinaldo was received with the honours due the
chief of an independent state when he visited Admiral Dewey, whereas
his own original claim was that he was received with the honours due
a general, which is quite a different matter.

As a matter of fact, American officers usually addressed and treated
Aguinaldo as a general. The extent to which they were able to use
his organization to further the ends of their government will be set
forth later.

In a letter to Wildman, dated August 7, 1898, Aguinaldo admits that
there is no agreement, but says that he cannot tell the peoples that
it does not exist, "fearing that I may not be able to restrain the
popular excitement." [71] He begs Wildman to use his influence on his
government so that it will realize the inadvisability of deciding the
fate of the people "without considering their will duly represented by
my government." Is it conceivable that, if there had been any ground
for claiming a promise of independence, Aguinaldo would have failed
to mention it at this time?

We may summarize the well-established facts as follows:--

Consul-General Pratt was, or professed to be, in hearty sympathy
with the ambition of the Filipino leaders to obtain independence, and
would personally have profited from such a result, but he refrained
from compromising his government and made no promises in its behalf.

Admiral Dewey never even discussed with Aguinaldo the possibility
of independence.

There is no reason to believe that any subordinate of the Admiral
ever discussed independence with any Filipino, much less made any
promise concerning it.

Neither Consul Wildman nor Consul Williams promised it, and both
were kept in ignorance of the fact that it was desired up to the last
possible moment.

It is not claimed that either General Anderson or General Merritt
made any promise concerning it.

The conclusion that no such promise was ever made by any of these
men is fully justified by well-established facts.

Aguinaldo himself carefully refrained at the outset from saying,
in any document which Americans could read, that independence
had been promised, and advanced this claim only when the growing
strength of his land force had given him confidence. He repeated it,
with increasing emphasis, as his army increased in size, ultimately
openly threatening war if his pretensions were not recognized. In
doing this, he was merely carrying out a carefully prearranged plan,
agreed upon by the Hongkong junta.

And now let us examine the claim that the insurgents were our "faithful
allies" and "cooeperated" with us in the taking of Manila. We shall
find that this subject richly repays investigation.


Insurgent "Cooeperation"

I have previously [72] called attention to the minutes of a session
of the Hongkong junta held on May 4, 1898, from which it indirectly
appears that the Filipino leaders at that time hoped to secure arms
at the expense of the Americans and purposed to attack them later if
it seemed advisable.

The treacherous policy then outlined was never departed from by
Aguinaldo and his associates, who sailed for Manila with their eyes
wide open, knowing full well that they had been promised nothing;
prepared to match their wits against those of Admiral Dewey, and
intent on deceiving him and on securing from him arms to be used
first against the Spaniards and later against the Americans, after
they had been employed to help bring about the downfall of Spain.

There exists a significant circular signed "J.M.B." [73] believed
to have been an outright forgery, both from its tenor and from the
fact that the signature "J.M.B." is not in the handwriting of Basa's
letter hereinbefore quoted.

It contains the following statements:--

"The true patriots have organized a committee to which I belong,
naming Aguinaldo as President and Agoncillo as Vice-President. The
latter and three others have commenced diplomatic negotiations
with the Admiral and American Consul, and we infer that they are
trying to make colonies of us, although they said they would give us
independence. The Committee deemed it advisable to simulate belief,
at the same time equipping ourselves with arms.

"We have accepted arms offered by the Admiral which will be disembarked
in the Philippines by the squadron.

"A part of our forces will aid the Americans by fighting with them
in order to conceal our real intentions, and part will be held in
reserve. If America triumphs and proposes a colony, we shall reject
such offer and rise in arms.

"A separate expedition will disembark at whatever point may be
considered suitable.

"Jose Alejandrino embarked with the American squadron in order to
give secret instructions to the Chiefs.

"Be very cautious about this exceedingly delicate point; you will
communicate with prudent and intelligent chiefs who will recognize
the gravity of the subject." [74]

Here, then, in a faked-up letter on which Basa's initials were forged
in order to gain the prestige of his name for this treacherous plan,
we have definitely set forth the purpose of the Filipinos to deceive
the Americans by allowing a part of the Insurgent force to fight with
them, and then to attack them.

Reference has already been made to Agoncillo's advice to Aguinaldo,
given under date of August 26, 1898, to the effect that friendly
relations should be maintained with the Americans until the diplomatic
negotiations at Paris should end; that an effort should be made
to find out the future status of the islands "by deceitful means,"
and that confidence should never be put in the Americans.

Aguinaldo put the whole matter in a nutshell in a postscript to this
letter, saying:--

"You should issue an order commanding that all our chiefs should
employ a policy of friendship toward the Americans until our status
is defined; but said order should be confidentially given. Try to
mislead them." [75]

Bray also very strongly advised awaiting the results of the Paris
conference. [76]

Blount claims that the Filipinos hoped that the Treaty of Paris
would leave their country to them as it left Cuba to the Cubans,
[77] and adds that having helped us take the city of Manila, they
"felt that they had been 'given the double cross,'" "believed that
the Americans had been guilty of a duplicity rankly Machiavellian,
and that was the cause of the war." [78]

The quotations already given from Insurgent records show plainly
that the principal thing for which the Filipinos were waiting was
the ousting of Spain from the Philippines by the United States; those
which follow show that war was by no means inevitable as a result of
a a decision at Paris adverse to Filipino hopes, for the question of
whether a United States protectorate, or even annexation to the United
States, might be considered, was left open to a very late date. [79]

It has been claimed not only that the Insurgents whipped the Spaniards
without our assistance, but whipped them so thoroughly that Spanish
sovereignty had practically disappeared from the islands at the time
Manila surrendered. It has further been alleged that "decrepit"
Spain "could not possibly have sent any reinforcements to the
Philippines. Besides, the Filipinos would have 'eaten them up.'" [80]

But the Filipinos had fought Spain before and were by no means
sanguine. Their more intelligent and reasonable men clearly foresaw
that they could not win unaided. Senor Antonio Regidor was at the
time residing in London. He was a Filipino of unusual intelligence and
exceptionally good education. He took a keen interest in the situation,
and on July 28, 1898, telegraphed Agoncillo as follows:--

"In the name of the Filipinos, you should immediately send a
telegraphic message to MacKinley, requesting him not to abandon the
islands, after having fought as brothers for a common cause. Pledge
him our unconditional adhesion, especially of well-to-do people. To
return to Spain, in whatever form, would mean annihilation, perpetual
anarchy. Filipinos en masse should visit the consuls at Hongkong,
Singapore. London commerce support it. Influence Aguinaldo to
accept American flag, flying it everywhere, thus obliging them to
remain." [81]

This leaves no room for doubt as to Regidor's views, but Agoncillo
did not share them. He replied on July 29:--

"Provisional government's aspiration is independence. Make this
campaign." [82]

Regidor was not to be persuaded. On July 30 he replied as follows,
addressing his communication to Basa:

"America vacillating as to remaining fears conflicts later with natives
international question other difficulties necessary to encourage
her all of you submit united unconditionally raising American flag
great demonstrations necessary to influence outside opinion show
islands resolved united America high circles advise in view present
circumstances only feasible programme is protectorate." [83]

Obviously, Agoncillo was somewhat impressed by this cablegram, for
on August 1 in a letter to Aguinaldo he made the following statements
and inquiries:--

"If the American troops leave us alone there, the questions which will
arise are these: Have we sufficient arms to maintain the war against
Spain in order to secure our independence? If the other nations are
opposed to our independence and wish that we should continue under
the Spanish sovereignty, have we sufficient strength to wage a war
and obtain victory over Spain and over them in the future? If you
think that we have not sufficient strength to fight against them,
should we accept independence under the American protectorate? And
if so, what conditions or advantages should we give to the United
States? You should carefully consider the preceding questions, and
I suggest that you should, in a confidential manner, consult them
with your cabinet-in-banc, as well as with your private secretary
and military chiefs of rank; and your decision be notified to our
representatives abroad in order that they may know what they must
do in their negotiations. You will see from the telegram addressed
to me by Regidor that he suggests to me to send a message to
MacKinley requesting him not to abandon us, and to submit to them
[the U. S.] unconditionally. As I do not agree with him and as
I cannot take any action which is against the instructions of the
government, I replied to him that the only desire of our government is
independence. This may be seen from the enclosed telegram. On account
of this reply, he was, I think, somewhat offended, as he afterwards
sent a telegram to Joviales [Basa] instead of to me. The latter,
upon receiving the telegram, convened all the boastful patriots, and
they adopted a resolution to send a message to MacKinley requesting
annexation. Fortunately, in the meeting there was present Dr. Justo
Lucban, who protested against such measure. In view of this protest,
they again agreed that I should be present in the meeting, since I
am the representative of our government. At the meeting where I was
present, I pointed out the inadvisability of their resolution, stating,
as one of the reasons, that we should await your instructions in regard
to the matter before sending any message of that character. So the
message was not sent; but I was later informed that Basa had, after
all, sent it yesterday, because he believed that it would not injure
our cause. Upon learning this, I was carried away by passion and went
so far as to say to Basa the following: 'Many of us, especially myself,
think ourselves to be wise, without being so; politicians for what
we hear from others; we claim to be patriots, but we are only so in
words; we wish to be chiefs, but none of us act in a way worthy of
a chief.' To this he did not reply. Perhaps his conscience accused
him of an act of treachery, since we agreed in the meeting to await
your letter. What union can you expect from this people?" [84]

Note that the Basa here referred to is the man whose initials were
forged on the letter quoted on page 67.

In the course of the above-mentioned letter Agoncillo came back once
more to the question of independence under a protectorate and made
it very clear that at this late day he did not know whether this was
or was not what the Filipinos desired. [85]

On August 21, Apacible obviously did not think that it would be an
easy matter to escape from Spanish domination, much less that the
islands were already rid of it, for he wrote to Mabini that the United
States were likely again to deliver the Filipinos into the hands of
Spain. He said that "if events will be what their telegrams indicate,
we have a dark and bloody future before us. To be again in the hands
of Spain will mean a long and bloody war, and it is doubtful whether
the end will be favourable to us... Spain free from Cuba and her
other colonies will employ her energy to crush us and will send here
the 150,000 men she has in Cuba." [86] Apacible thought that the best
thing was independence under an American protectorate.

On August 7, 1898, Aguinaldo warned Agoncillo that in the United States
he should "not accept any contracts or give any promises respecting
protection or annexation, because we will see first if we can obtain
independence." [87]

Even annexation to the United States was not excluded by Aguinaldo
from the possible accepted solutions, for in outlining the policy of
the Philippine government to Sandico on August 10, 1898, he wrote:--

"The policy of the government is as follows: 1st. To struggle for
the independence of 'the Philippines' as far as our strength and our
means will permit. Protection or annexation will be acceptable only
when it can be clearly seen that the recognition of our Independence,
either by force of arms or diplomacy, is impossible." [88]

On August 26, 1898, Aguinaldo was still ready to consider annexation
if necessary. [89] He was apparently not sanguine at this time as
to the result of a continued struggle with Spain. At all events,
he wanted the help of the Americans if such a struggle was to come,
and desired to know on what terms it could be had. [90]

Meanwhile the Filipinos in Hongkong who favoured annexation made
themselves heard.

On July 18, 1898, Consul-General Wildman wrote from that place:--

"I believe I know the sentiments of the political leaders and of the
moneyed men among the insurgents, and, in spite of all statements to
the contrary, I know that they are fighting for annexation to the
United States first, and for independence secondly, if the United
States decides to decline the sovereignty of the Islands. In fact,
I have had the most prominent leaders call on me and say they would
not raise one finger unless I could assure them that the United
States intended to give them United States citizenship if they wished
it." [91]

We have already noted the action of Basa and the Cortez family who
insisted that the Islands must remain American, [92] and that of
Agoncillo, who cabled President McKinley in Aguinaldo's name and his
own, congratulating him on the outcome of the war, commending the
occupation of Manila, and assuring the people of the United States
of the allegiance and unquestioning support of the Filipinos, [93]
but it is to be feared that the sending of this cablegram was only
one more move in the Insurgent game of deceit.

There were annexationists in Manila as well as in Hongkong. [94]
Indeed we know that some of the strongest and best of the Filipinos
there were in favour of it.

Felipe Buencamino, writing in 1901, said:--

"In June of 1898, Don Cayetano Arellano [95] addressed to Don
Felipe Buencamino and Don Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista a letter
written from the town of Pagsanjan, province of Laguna, in reply
to one addressed to him by those two gentlemen. In this letter Don
Cayetano outlined the idea of union with the United States and said:
'Avoid all doing and undoing, and when America has established a stable
order of affairs, then it will be time enough to make laws.' Mabini,
whose influence at that time was in the ascendant in Aguinaldo's
government, paid no heed to this wise advice. In October of 1898,
while the Philippine government was established in Malolos, and before
congress had promulgated a Philippine constitution, Messrs. Arellano
and Pardo [96] still more earnestly advocated union with America,
the first as secretary of foreign affairs and the latter as chief
diplomat. Their plan consisted in asking the United States to
acknowledge the independence of the country under a protectorate
through the mediation of General Otis, and this plan was accepted at
a cabinet meeting by Don Emilio Aguinaldo. But on the following day
Sandico came and told Aguinaldo that he had had a conference with
the Japanese consul and had been told by him: 'that if Aguinaldo
would support absolute independence the Japanese Government would
help.' Aguinaldo believed Sandico's story (which turned out to be
absolutely false) and did not carry out the resolution adopted by the
cabinet. Messrs. Arellano and Pardo, after this affront, separated
themselves from the Malolos government. Aguinaldo told me afterwards
that he had received a letter from Agoncillo, dated Washington,
assuring him that a majority of the American people were inclined to
acknowledge the independence of the Philippines and of Cuba." [97]

But annexationists were not confined, in the Philippines, to the
vicinity of Manila.

As late as September 6 Consul Williams reported that a delegation from
four thousand Visayan soldiers, a delegation which also represented
southern business interests, had come to him and pledged loyalty to
annexation. [98]

Clearly, then, the situation early in September was as follows: All
were agreed that the assistance of the United States was necessary
in getting rid of Spanish sovereignty.

Under the plan of Aguinaldo and his followers friendly relations were
to be maintained with the United States, if possible, until Spain
was ousted from her Philippine territory, and then they were to "show
their teeth," and see "who was deceiving whom," resorting to "force of
arms" if necessary. Protection or annexation would be accepted only
when it could be clearly seen that the recognition of independence,
won either by force of arms or by diplomacy, was impossible.

Other influential and patriotic Filipinos favored annexation to the
United States or a United States protectorate, but their views were
in the end ignored by Aguinaldo and his following, and as the latter
had the guns their ideas prevailed.

The Treaty of Paris, which terminated Spanish sovereignty in the
Philippines, was signed on December 10, 1898. It is important to
bear this date in mind later, when considering the Insurgent records
relative to the preparations which were so carefully made for attacking
the American troops.

And now let us consider the actual facts as to the cooeperation alleged
to have been asked by Americans and given by Filipinos. The following
points are not in dispute:--

Pratt asked Aguinaldo to cooeperate with Dewey.

Aguinaldo was taken to Manila with the understanding that he would
do so.

Dewey assisted Aguinaldo by destroying the main Spanish fleet; by
bringing him and his associates back to the Philippines; by furnishing
them arms and ammunition; by blockading Manila and by keeping at a safe
distance the Spanish mosquito fleet, which would have made dangerous,
or impossible, the landing of the arms subsequently imported by
the Insurgents.

Aguinaldo successfully attacked the Spanish garrisons in the provinces
and used the arms and ammunition captured, or brought in by deserters,
to equip a force which surrounded and attacked Manila, drove large
numbers of people into the walled city, thus rendering the position
of the Spanish garrison very difficult in the face of a possible
bombardment, and prevented this garrison from betaking itself to the
provinces, as it might otherwise have done, leaving Manila to shift
for itself.

Aguinaldo was powerless to take the place by assault.

It lay at the mercy of Dewey's guns, and it would have been possible
for the Admiral to take it at any time, but he could not at first
have garrisoned it with United States forces, and never thought of
attempting to use Insurgent forces for this purpose.

Did Dewey really want or need Aguinaldo's help? Let us consider his
testimony on the subject:--

"_Senator Carmack_. You did want a man there who could organize and
rouse the people?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I didn't want anybody. I would like to say now that
Aguinaldo and his people were forced on me by Consul Pratt and Consul
Wildman; I didn't do anything--

"_Senator Carmack_. Did they have any power to force him upon you?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; they had in a way. They had not the official
power, but one will yield after a while to constant pressure. I did
not expect anything of them; I did not think they would do anything. I
would not have taken them; I did not want them; I did not believe in
them; because, when I left Hongkong, I was led to suppose that the
country was in a state of insurrection, and that at my first gun,
as Mr. Williams put it, there would be a general uprising, and I
thought these half dozen or dozen refugees at Hongkong would play a
very small part in it." [99]

The picture of the poor admiral, busy getting his fleet ready
for battle, pestered by officious consuls on the one hand and by
irresponsible Filipinos on the other, is pathetic; but it had its
humorous features, which were not lost on the Admiral himself. I
quote the following:--

"_Senator Patterson_. Was there any communication between you and
Pratt in which the matter of a written pledge or agreement with
Aguinaldo was discussed with reference to the Philippine Islands?

"_Admiral Dewey_. No.

"_Senator Patterson_. What became of the correspondence, Admiral,
if you know?

"_Admiral Dewey_. It is all in the Navy Department. When I turned
over my command my official correspondence was all sent to the Navy

"_Senator Patterson_. You retained all of your letters from any United
States officials?

"_Admiral Dewey_. No; they went to the Department.

"_Senator Patterson_. I mean you did not destroy them.

"_Admiral Dewey_. No; I did not destroy them.

"_Senator Patterson_. And you turned them over to the Navy Department?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; our regulations require that. I may say
that for my own information I kept copies of certain telegrams and
cablegrams. I don't think I kept copies of Mr. Pratt's letters,
as I did not consider them of much value. He seemed to be a sort of
busybody there and interfering in other people's business and I don't
think his letters impressed me.

"_Senator Patterson_. He was the consul-general?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; but he had nothing to do with the attack on
Manila, you know.

"_Senator Patterson_. I understand that.

"_Admiral Dewey_. I received lots of advice, you understand, from
many irresponsible people.

"_Senator Patterson_. But Pratt was the consul-general of the
Government there?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; he was consul-general.

"_Senator Patterson_. And he communicated with you, giving you such
information as he thought you might be interested in, and among other
information he gave you was this concerning Aguinaldo?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I don't remember; no, I really don't remember his
telling me anything about Aguinaldo more than that cablegram there,
and I said he might come. And you see how much importance I attached
to him; I did not wait for him.

"_Senator Patterson_. What you said was: 'Tell Aguinaldo to come as
soon as possible.'

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; but I did not wait a moment for him.

"_Senator Patterson_. Yes; but there was a reason for that.

"_Admiral Dewey_. I think more to get rid of him than anything else.

"_Senator Carmack_. Rid of whom?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Of Aguinaldo and the Filipinos. They were bothering
me. I was very busy getting my squadron ready for battle, and these
little men were coming on board my ship at Hongkong and taking a good
deal of my time, and I did not attach the slightest importance to
anything they could do, and they did nothing; that is, none of them
went with me when I went to Mirs Bay. There had been a good deal of
talk, but when the time came they did not go. One of them didn't go
because he didn't have any toothbrush.

"_Senator Burrows_. Did he give that as a reason?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; he said, 'I have no toothbrush.'" [100]

However, Dewey ultimately yielded to the pressure exercised on him by
Pratt and Wildman, and allowed Aguinaldo and some of his associates to
be brought to Manila. Having them there he proposed to get assistance
from them, not as allies, but as a friendly force attacking a common
enemy, in its own way.

Let us continue with his testimony as to cooperation between Aguinaldo
and the naval forces of the United States:--

"_Senator Patterson_. Then, Admiral, until you knew that they were
going to send land forces to your assistance you thought there was
a necessity to organize the Filipinos into land forces, did you?

"_Admiral Dewey_. No; not a necessity.

"_Senator Patterson_. You thought it might prove of value to you?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I testified here, I think, in a way that answers
that. I said to Aguinaldo, 'There is our enemy; now, you go your way
and I will go mine; we had better act independently.' That was the
wisest thing I ever said.

"_Senator Patterson_. But you stated that you were using these people
and they were permitted to organize, that you might use them.

"_Admiral Dewey_. They were assisting us.

"_Senator Patterson_. Very well, they were to assist you. Did you
not either permit them or encourage them--I do not care which term
you use--to organize into an army, such as it was, that they might
render you such assistance as you needed?

"_Admiral Dewey_. They were assisting us, but incidentally they were
fighting their enemy; they were fighting an enemy which had been
their enemy for three hundred years.

"_Senator Patterson_. I understand that, Admiral.

"_Admiral Dewey_. While assisting us they were fighting their own
battles, too.

"_The Chairman_. You were encouraging insurrection against a common
enemy with which you were at war?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I think so. I had in my mind an illustration
furnished by the civil war. I was in the South in the civil war, and
the only friends we had in the South were the negroes, and we made
use of them; they assisted us on many occasions. I had that in mind;
I said these people were our friends, and 'we have come here and they
will help us just exactly as the negroes helped us in the civil war.'

"_Senator Patterson_. The negroes were expecting their freedom--

"_Admiral Dewey_. The Filipinos were slaves, too.

"_Senator Patterson_. What were the Filipinos expecting?

"_Admiral Dewey_. They wanted to get rid of the Spaniards; I do not
think they looked much beyond that. I cannot recall but I have in
mind that the one thing they had in their minds was to get rid of
the Spaniards and then to accept us, and that would have occurred--I
have thought that many times--if we had had troops to occupy Manila
on the 1st day of May before the insurrection got started; these
people would have accepted us as their friends, and they would have
been our loyal friends--I don't know for how long, but they would
have been our friends then.

"_Senator Patterson_. You learned from Pratt, or Wildman, or Williams,
very early, did you not, that the Filipinos wanted their own country
and to rule their own country; that that is what they were expecting?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I heard from Williams that there was an insurrection
there against the Spaniards. The Spaniards were very cruel to them,
and I think they did not look much beyond getting rid of them. There
was one, Dr. Rizal, who had the idea of independence, but I don't
think that Aguinaldo had much idea of it.

"_Senator Carmack_. Then what useful purpose did the Filipino army
serve; why did you want the Filipino army at all?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I did not want them.

"_Senator Carmack_. Did you not want the Filipino forces?

"_Admiral Dewey_. No, not really. It was their own idea coming over
there. We could have taken the city at any moment we had the troops
to occupy it."

Admiral Dewey has made the following statements relative to the
importance of Aguinaldo's military operations:--

"Then he began operations toward Manila, and he did wonderfully
well. He whipped the Spaniards battle after battle, and finally put
one of those old smoothbore guns on a barge, and he wanted to take
this up--wanted me to tow it up so he could attack the city with
it. I said, 'Oh, no, no; we can do nothing until our troops come.' I
knew he could not take the city without the assistance of the navy,
without my assistance, and I knew that what he was doing--driving the
Spaniards in--was saving our own troops, because our own men perhaps
would have had to do that same thing. He and I were always on the most
friendly terms; we had never had any differences. He considered me as
his liberator, as his friend. I think he had the highest admiration
for us because we had whipped the Spaniards who had been riding them
down for three hundred years.

* * * * *

"_Senator Patterson_ (continuing). You sent this short dispatch to
the Secretary of the Navy:--

"'Aguinaldo, the revolutionary leader, visited the _Olympia_
yesterday. He expects to make general attack on May 31. Doubt his
ability to succeed. Situation remains unchanged.'

"Do you recall that visit?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes.

"_Senator Patterson_. He came to tell you, did he, that he was going
to make a general attack, and you--

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes.

"_Senator Patterson_. And you doubted his ability to succeed?

"_Admiral Dewey_. And he wanted me to assist him. He wanted me to tow
one of his guns up into position. I knew he could not take the city;
of course he could not.

"_Senator Patterson_. Did you urge that he should not make the attack?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I do not remember that; very likely I did.

"_Senator Patterson_. And was he not persuaded or restrained by you
from doing so?

"_Admiral Dewey_. I do not remember; but it is very likely. I did
not want to see a lot of them killed unnecessarily, because I knew
they could not take that walled city. They had no artillery, and they
could not take it, I knew very well, and I wanted the situation to
remain as it was until our troops came to occupy it.

"_Senator Patterson_. But you found that whenever you expressed a
strong objection to anything being done at that time that Aguinaldo
yielded to your request?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Up to the time the army came he did everything I
requested. I had not much to do with him after the army came." [101]

But Dewey's influence over Aguinaldo was not sufficient to prevent
his looting, as the following extracts from his testimony show:--

"_Senator Patterson_. Is that what you mean when you say he
looted--that he made reprisals for his army, took provisions and
whatever was necessary? That is what you meant?

"_Admiral Dewey_. That is one part of it.

"_Senator Carmack_. This was taking provisions for the use of the army?

"_Admiral Dewey_. That is one thing he did.

"_Senator Carmack_. You said you did not object to that at the time?

"_Admiral Dewey_. No. It would have been useless; he got beyond me
very soon--he got out of my hands very soon. [102]

"_Senator Carmack_. You said yesterday you suspected that Aguinaldo
took the lion's share of the provisions that were gathered for the
army. What was the ground upon which you made that accusation?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Because he was living in Malolos like a prince,
like a king, in a way that could only have come about by his taking
the lion's share. Then, in regard to his looting, I repeat what I
said yesterday. He began within forty-eight hours after he landed in
Cavite to capture and take everything he wanted. I know these things
of my own knowledge, because I saw the loot brought in; and I know
that every dollar that was taken from the workingmen at the navy-yard
was taken at the threat of death. [103]

* * * * *

"_Senator Patterson_. Do you believe in this proclamation he was
uttering falsehoods to the Filipino people?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes; I do absolutely. I think he was there for
gain--for money--that independence had never up to that time entered
his head. He was there for loot and money. That is what I believe,
since you ask me my belief; I believe that implicitly. [104]

* * * * *

"_Senator Patterson_. And you found nothing to cause any doubt as to
his loyalty up to the time until after Manila surrendered?

"_Admiral Dewey_. His loyalty to whom?

"_Senator Patterson_. To you and to the cause for which he was

"_Admiral Dewey_. I began to suspect he was not loyal to us about the
time our troops arrived, when he demurred at moving out of Cavite to
make room for our troops.

"_Senator Patterson_. Do you mean by that that you feared that he
was commencing to think more of independence than the success of the
American cause?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Yes." [105]

We have seen to what extent Aguinaldo cooeperated with the marine
forces of the United States. Now let us examine the claim that he
cooperated with the land forces after their arrival.

One of the things which the Insurgents are said to have accomplished
was the maintenance of an effective land blockade which prevented the
entrance of provisions, and produced a very serious food shortage. Both
Otis and Dewey have stated that they did this, but we learn from the
Insurgent records how erroneous was this conclusion. [106]

The landing of the American troops for the attack on Manila was
not actively opposed by the Filipinos, but it was narrowly and
distrustfully watched.

Necessary transportation requested by General Anderson was ultimately
furnished by Aguinaldo, but only grudgingly after a three weeks'
delay, and as a result of threats that it would be seized if not
voluntarily supplied.

The necessary positions in the trenches around Manila from which to
make the attack on that city were, in part at least, yielded to the
Americans by the Filipinos upon the request of the former.

The Insurgents twice informed the Spaniards in advance of projected
American attacks.

They carried out their own attack on the city without regard to the
plans, or the requests, of the Americans. They secretly treated with
the Spaniards in the endeavour to secure the surrender of the city
to themselves.

After the capitulation to the Americans had been agreed upon, and
on the very morning of the day of the surrender, they endeavoured
to push home an attack. Disregarding the request that they keep out
of the final assault, they crowded into the city with, and after,
the American troops. They fired on Spanish soldiers on the city wall
while a flag of truce was flying, provoking a return fire which killed
and wounded American soldiers.

They demanded for themselves Malacanang palace and other buildings
and a share in "the war booty." They promptly looted the parts of the
city which they occupied, and ultimately retired from their positions
within the city limits on the evening of their last day of grace
after being warned by General Otis that if they did not do so they
would be driven out.

I will now quote from the records in support of these statements.

The following is the programme of "cooeperation" outlined to Aguinaldo
by Bray in a letter dated June 30, 1898:--

"I am very anxious to receive the news of the capitulation of Manila
and I hope that General Augustin will be obliged to turn over his sword
to you in person and not to the Americans. You are by right entitled
to it and I should like to see it so from a political standpoint,
as I am of the opinion that you should declare the independence of
the Philippines before the arrival of General Merritt, appointed
by the President to be Governor with full powers to establish a
provisional government.

* * * * *

Any attempt on the part of the Americans to garrison the interior
towns with their troops or any other act which might be construed as
a conquest, should meet with resistance.

* * * * *

"After having written these lines, I had another conference with
Mr. St. Clair of the Free Press, who sent for me regarding the
question of independence. He has had a consultation with the Supreme
Judge of this place, and he is of opinion that you should proclaim
independence at once, notwithstanding what Admiral Dewey and Consul
Williams say against it, and this should be done before General Merritt
can arrive. A Government having been thus constituted in due form,
the Americans would have no right to invade the Philippines without
committing a violation of international law. They are no longer
fighting against the Spaniards against whom they declared war. The
advice of Consul Williams to delay this, is a diplomatic play to
gain time until the arrival of General Merritt, because he is well
aware of the false position said General would find himself in. The
key to the situation is now in your hands; do not permit any one to
take it away from you. The Americans have done nothing but bombard and
destroy the Spanish fleet on the high seas; they have not conquered any
land, but in the meantime the control of the Philippines has passed
by conquest from the hands of the Spaniards and the Americans have
no right to enter further. Under certain conditions and guarantees,
permit the landing of American troops; but be very careful, they must
not be permitted to land until they execute an agreement with the
duly constituted government of the Philippines, respecting all its
institutions, and they must under no pretext whatever be permitted
to garrison any place except the municipal limits of Manila, Cebu,
and Iloilo, and even therein care should be observed ... You must not
permit a single soldier to land without having these guarantees." [107]

When General Anderson, with the first United States troops of
occupation, arrived at Manila Bay, Aguinaldo did not call on him,
as an "ally" might have been expected to do. Later, however, Admiral
Dewey and General Anderson went to see Aguinaldo, but without any
of the ceremony of an official military call, the Admiral saying to
General Anderson:--

"Do not take your sword or put on your uniform, but just put on your
blouse. Do not go with any ceremony." [108]

And they went in that way.

On July 4, 1898, General Anderson wrote Aguinaldo definitely requesting
his cooeperation in the following words:--

"For these reasons I desire to have the most amicable relations with
you, and to have you and your force cooeperate with us in the military
operations against the Spanish forces." [109]

On July 5 Aguinaldo replied, thanking General Anderson for the

"amicable sentiments which the natives of these islands inspire in
the Great North American nation," [110]

and also for his desire to have friendly relations with the Filipinos
and treat them with justice, courtesy and kindness. There is,
however, not a word relative to cooeperation in his reply, and
Anderson apparently never renewed his request for cooeperation in
military operations.

On July 6 he wrote to Aguinaldo again, saying:--

"I am encouraged by the friendly sentiment expressed by Your Excellency
in your welcome letter received on the 5th instant, to endeavour to
come to a definite understanding, which I hope will be advantageous to
both. Very soon we expect large additional land forces, and it must be
apparent to you as a military officer that we will require much more
room to camp our soldiers and also store room for our supplies. For
this I would like to have Your Excellency's advice and cooeperation,
as you are best acquainted with the resources of the country." [111]

To this letter there was no reply. However, in a letter dated July
9, 1898, to the Adjutant-General of the United States Army, General
Anderson says of Aguinaldo:--

"When we first landed he seemed very suspicious, and not at all
friendly, but I have now come to a better understanding with him and
he is much more friendly and seems willing to cooeperate. But he has
declared himself Dictator and President, and is trying to take Manila
without our assistance. This is not probable, but if he can effect
his purpose he will, I apprehend, antagonize any attempt on our part
to establish a provisional government." [112]

Evidently, however, cooeperation, even in the matter of getting
necessary transportation, did not materialize, for on July 17
S. R. Jones, Chief Quartermaster, wrote Aguinaldo as follows:--

"We will want horses, buffaloes, carts, etc., for transportation,
bamboo for shelter, wood to cook with, etc. For all this we are willing
to pay a fair price, but no more. We find so far that the native
population are not willing to give us this assistance as promptly
as required. But we must have it, and if it becomes necessary we
will be compelled to send out parties to seize what we may need. We
would regret very much to do this, as we are here to befriend the
Filipinos. Our nation has spent millions in money to send forces here
to expel the Spaniards and to give good government to the whole people,
and the return we are asking is comparatively slight.

"General Anderson wishes you to inform your people that we are here
for their good, and that they must supply us with labor and material
at the current market prices. We are prepared to purchase five hundred
horses at a fair price, but cannot undertake to bargain for horses
with each individual owner."

Aguinaldo sent this letter by a staff officer to General Anderson
inquiring whether it was sent by authority of the latter, who then
indorsed on it in a statement that it was. Nevertheless, Major Jones
reported on July 20 that it was impossible to secure transportation
except upon Aguinaldo's order and that the natives had removed their
cart wheels and hidden them, from which it is to be inferred that
the transportation requested had not been furnished.

Obviously General Anderson was informed that Aguinaldo had given
orders against furnishing the transportation desired, for on July 21
he wrote the Adjutant-General of the Army as follows:--

"Since I wrote last, Aguinaldo has put in operation an elaborate system
of military government, under his assumed authority as Dictator, and
has prohibited any supplies being given us, except by his order. As Go
this last, I have written to him that our requisitions on the country
for horses, ox carts, fuel, and bamboo (to make scaling ladders)
must be filled, and that he must aid in having them filled."

On July 23 General Anderson wrote Aguinaldo as follows:--

"_General_: When I came here three weeks ago I requested Your
Excellency to give what assistance you could to procure means of
transportation for the American Army, as it was to fight the cause
of your people. So far we have received no response.

"As you represent your people, I now have the honor to make requisition
on you for five hundred horses and fifty oxen and ox carts. If you
cannot secure these I will have to pass you and make requisition
directly on the people.

"I beg leave to request an answer at your earliest convenience.

"I remain with great respect, etc." [113]

To this letter, Aguinaldo replied as follows:--

"Replying to your letter of yesterday, I have the honor to manifest to
Your Excellency that I am surprised beyond measure at that which you
say to me in it, lamenting the non-receipt of any response relative
to the assistance that you have asked of me in the way of horses,
carabaos, and carts, because I did reply through the bearer that I
was disposed to issue proper orders whenever you advised me of the
number of these, giving me notice in advance.

"I have sent orders to the nearest provinces in order that within the
shortest time possible horses be brought for sale, but I cannot assure
Your Excellency that we will have the number of 500 that you need,
because there are not many horses in this vicinity, owing to deaths
from epizooetic diseases in January, February, and March last.

"Whenever we have them collected, I shall have the pleasure to advise
Your Excellency.

"I have also ordered to be placed at my disposal 50 carts that I shall
place at your disposition when you need them, provided you give me
previous notice four days in advance." [114]

General Anderson replied:--

"Your favour of the 26th ultimo in relation to requisitions for cattle,
horses, etc., is satisfactory I regret that there should have been
any misunderstanding about it. The people to whom we applied even for
the hiring of carromatas, etc., told our people that they had orders
to supply nothing except by your orders. I am pleased to think that
this was a misapprehension on their part." [115]

From this series of communications it appears that it took three
weeks, and a very direct threat to seize transportation, to bring
about Aguinaldo's promise of assistance in securing it. What help
had he given, meanwhile, in other matters?

On July 14, 1899, General Anderson wrote asking him to assist American
officers in making reconnaissance of the approaches to Manila, and
to favor them with his advice. [116]

On July 19, 1899, he again wrote Aguinaldo asking him to allow Major
J. F. Bell, [117] who was gathering information for General Merritt,
to see maps, and further requesting him to place at Bell's disposal any
available information about the force of the enemy and the topography
of the country. [118]

On July 21 he wrote again asking for passes for a Lieutenant
E. I. Bryan and party, who were making a reconnaissance. [119]

Such records as I have been able to find do not show what response,
if any, Aguinaldo made to these several requests, but General
Anderson's original views as to the willingness of the Insurgents to
cooeperate with him underwent an early change, for on July 18, 1898,
in a letter to the Adjutant-General of the United States Army he
makes the following statement:--

"The Insurgent chief, Aguinaldo, has declared himself Dictator and
self-appointed President. He has declared martial law and promulgated
a minute method of rule and administration under it.

"We have observed all official military courtesies, and he and his
followers express great admiration and gratitude to the great American
republic of the north, yet in many ways they obstruct our purposes
and are using every effort to take Manila without us.

"I suspect also that Aguinaldo is secretly negotiating with the
Spanish authorities, as his confidential aide is in Manila." [120]

This suspicion was entirely justified, as we shall see later.

On July 24 Aguinaldo wrote a letter to General Anderson in effect
warning him not to disembark American troops in places conquered by
the Filipinos from the Spaniards without first communicating in writing
the places to be occupied and the object of the occupation. [121]

Aguinaldo's assumption of civil authority on July 15, 1899, did not
pass unnoticed. On July 21 General Anderson wrote the Adjutant-General
of the army concerning it:--

"His assumption of civil authority I have ignored, and let him know
verbally that I could, and would, not recognize it, while I did
not recognize him as a military leader. It may seem strange that I
have made no formal protest against his proclamation as Dictator, his
declaration of martial law, and publication and execution of a despotic
form of government. I wrote such a protest, but did not publish
it, at Admiral Dewey's request, and also for fear of wounding the
susceptibilities of Major-General Merritt, but I have let it be known
in every other way that we do not recognize the Dictatorship. These
people only respect force and firmness. I submit, with all deference,
that we have heretofore underrated the natives. They are not ignorant,
savage tribes, but have a civilization of their own; and although
insignificant in appearance, are fierce fighters, and for a tropical
people they are industrious. A small detail of natives will do more
work in a given time than a regiment of volunteers."

Because he was invited as general rather than as president, Aguinaldo
refused to attend a parade and review on the 4th of July. This fact
is, in itself, an answer to his claim that the Americans were tacitly
recognizing his pretensions.

After referring to this incident, Blount says:--

"On subsequent anniversaries of the day in the Philippines it was
deemed wise simply to prohibit the reading of our declaration before
gatherings of the Filipino people. It saved discussion." [122]

This statement is incorrect. I myself was present the following
year when the declaration was read on the Luneta to a considerable
gathering of Filipinos among whom were many school children, and it
has often been read since.

The landing of American troops at Paranaque and their going into
camp near that town on July 15 caused much excitement, and a lively
interchange of telegrams between Insurgent officers followed. [123]

They were suspicious of the intentions of the Americans, [124] and
trouble soon began.

On July 16 General Noriel telegraphed Aguinaldo as follows:--

"An American has come here who says that he is a Colonel of the Army
whom we should obey; and that it is your desire. We did not listen
to him, awaiting your order."

On the back of the telegram is written the following:--

"Reply.--You should not obey. What this American Colonel says is a
lie. Be cautious so as not to be deceived. You should require from
him proof. Be always vigilant, but upright, also all of the officers
and soldiers must be strict and not timid." [125]

Obviously there was no real cooeperation between American and Filipino
troops at this time. General Anderson ignored General Aguinaldo's
request for information as to places where American troops were to
land in Filipino territory and the objects of disembarking them.

The Americans proceeded with their plans for the attack upon Manila,
and it became desirable to occupy some of the Insurgent trenches. On
July 29 Arevalo telegraphed Aguinaldo as follows:--

"In conference with General Greene I asked for an official
letter, a copy of which I send you: 'Headquarters 2nd Brigade,
U. S. Expeditionary Forces, Camp Dewey, near Manila, July 29th,
1898. _El Senor Noriel, General de Brigade_. Sir: In pursuance of our
conversation of yesterday and the message which Captain Arevalo brought
to me during the night, I beg to inform you that my troops will occupy
the intrenchments between the Camino Real and the beach, leaving camp
for that purpose at 8.00 o'clock this morning. I will be obliged if you
will give the necessary orders for the withdrawal of your men. Thanking
you for your courtesy, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient
servant, _F. V. Greene, Brigadier General_, commanding.'" [126]

This clear direct declaration of intention by General Greene is the
actual transaction referred to by Blount as "Jockeying the Insurgents
out of their trenches." He bases his statements concerning the matter
on a newspaper report.

The attitude of the army officers in the matter of obtaining permission
to occupy the trenches needed in preparing for the assault on the
city could not have been more correct.

On August 10 General Merritt gave the following emphatic instructions
relative to the matter:--

"No rupture with Insurgents. This is imperative. Can ask Insurgent
generals or Aguinaldo for permission to occupy their trenches, but
if refused not to use force."

On the same day General Anderson wrote to Aguinaldo, asking
permission to occupy a trench facing blockhouse No. 14, in order
to place artillery to destroy it. The permission was granted on the
following day.

During the early part of August, Aguinaldo seems to have avoided
conferences with American officers. On the second of the month Mabini
wrote him how he had put off Admiral Dewey's aid with a false statement
that he did not know Aguinaldo's whereabouts. [127]

The landing of American troops at Paranaque for the assault on Manila
led to the concentration of Insurgent troops at the neighbouring town
of Bacoor. [128]

On August 8 Fernando Acevedo [129] wrote to General Pio del Pilar
that the Americans were going to attack the next day and that,--

"It is requisite and necessary before their attack takes place
to-morrow, that you to-morrow or to-night annihilate them, sparing
none, for the way they have deceived us, and will again without fail,
in the contract signed by Sr. Emilio; and convince yourself, my friend,
that it is necessary to do this; and when it is done the whole world
will wonder and say that we have done well, and will not be able to
give out that the people here are fools spending the time sucking
their fingers." [130]

Worse yet, information was sent to the Spaniards of the proposed
American attack on the 13th instant, as is shown by the following

"(Battalion of Cazadores, No. 2. Expeditionary. Office of the
Lieutenant-Colonel. Private.)

"_Senor Don Artemio Ricarte_: [131]

"My Dear Sir: I have received to-day your kind letter giving warning
of the attack on Manila, and I thank you for your personal interest
in me, which, on my part, I reciprocate. I assure you that I am yours,
most truly and sincerely,

"_Luis Martinez Alcobendas_.

"_Singalon_, August 10, 1898." [132]

According to Taylor, this was not the first occurrence of this
sort. He says:--

"The officers of the United States Army who believed that the
insurgents were informing the Spaniards of the American movements were
right. Sastron has printed a letter from Pio del Pilar, dated July
30, to the Spanish officer commanding at Santa Ana, in which Pilar
said that Aguinaldo had told him that the Americans would attack
the Spanish lines on August 2 and advised that the Spaniards should
not give way, but hold their positions. Pilar added, however, that
if the Spaniards should fall back on the walled city and surrender
Santa Ana to himself, he would hold it with his own men. Aguinaldo's
information was correct, and on August 2 eight American soldiers were
killed or wounded by the Spanish fire." [133]

Taylor continues:--

"And yet Aguinaldo claimed to be an ally of the Americans. It is not
probable that these were the only two such letters written. Aguinaldo
had by this time found out that although he could defeat the scattered
Spanish detachments, he could not defeat the Spanish force holding the
lines of Manila. He did not want the Americans in the Philippines. They
were in his way, and he had already made up his mind that if they
did not give him what he wanted, he would drive them out by force. He
saw very early that it was extremely improbable that he should obtain
from them what he wanted; accordingly all losses both among Spaniards
and Americans would, from Aguinaldo's point of view, inure to his
benefit. The best possible thing for him would be to hold his own
force intact while they wore each other out. The Spanish losses,
small as they were, occurred in front of the American lines, not in
front of the Filipinos. There is no reason, accordingly, for believing
that the Filipinos suffered heavily. To arrange that the Spaniards
should inflict losses upon the Americans, while he saved his own men,
showed ingenuity on the part of Aguinaldo; but it was decidedly not
the conduct of an ally." [134]

The feeling toward the American troops at this time is further shown
by a telegram from General Pio del Pilar, sent from San Pedro Macati
on August 10, 1898:--

"Commandant Acebedo writes that the Spaniards are about to surrender
because they want to turn over the place; the Americans want them to
leave only the batteries and say that they will station themselves
in said batteries. It appears that they want to deceive us; they do
not want to give us arms, and if they do not give us arms, we shall
attack them and drive them out. I await your reply." [135]

This is perhaps not quite the kind of cooeperation that Admiral Dewey
and Generals Anderson and Merritt had expected.

The truth is that the Insurgents were determined to capture Manila for
themselves, not only because of the "war booty," for which they were
hungry, but because of the status which they felt that the taking of
the capital of the Philippines would assure them. The great importance
which they attached to this plan is shown in communications written
by Agoncillo, Aguinaldo and others. [136]

Of conditions at this time, Taylor says:--

"On July 7, Aguinaldo appointed Artemio Ricarte and Pantaleon Garcia
to negotiate the surrender of Manila by the Spaniards to him (Exhibit
155). On July 5 Pantaleon Garcia was planning to enter Manila by way of
Tondo or of Santa Cruz (P.I.R., 243.7). On the 9th Aguinaldo ordered
that rice should be gathered from the towns of Manila Province for
the use of his troops in the decisive attack upon Manila which he
intended making in a few days (P.I.R., 1087. 5).

"Aguinaldo, finding that his chance of obtaining Manila for himself was
growing steadily less, now determined to force himself into the city
with the Americans and demand a consideration for the assistance he
had rendered them during the siege. It is true he had assisted them,
but his assistance had not been intentional. It was the result of
the operations he was carrying on for his own ends. The operations of
the Filipinos and the Americans were against Spain as a common enemy
of both; but the operations were not joint operations, and although
their purpose was a common purpose, it was not a mutual one. On August
8 Aguinaldo appointed General Ricarte commander in the operations
about Manila, ordered him to respect the property of all foreigners,
and told him that in case his troops succeeded in entering Manila they
were to carry their flag and plant it there (P.I.R., 703. 2). Judging
from an unsigned draft of a letter, he must have warned the foreign
consuls in Manila about the same time to gather under the protection
of their flags all of their fellow-citizens who had not taken refuge
on the vessels in the bay, so that when his troops entered the city
no foreign lives would be taken, and no foreign property would be
injured. The earnestness with which he urged that all foreigners not
Spaniards should take steps to identify themselves and their property
shows that he considered the persons and property of Spanish civilians
as fair booty of war." [137]

There was certmnly no need of Insurgent assistance in the assault
on Manila.

The reports which reached Aguinaldo that the surrender of Manila had
been agreed upon in advance were correct, as is shown by the following
testimony of Admiral Dewey:

"_Senator Patterson_. When did you reach an understanding with the
Spanish commander upon the subject, [138]--how long before the 12th
or 13th of August?

"_Admiral Dewey_. Several days before.

"_Senator Patterson_. To whom did you eommunieate the arrangement
that you had?

"_Admiral Dewey_. General Merritt and, of course, all of my own
captains--General Merritt, and I think a council of officers on board
of one of the steamers. I think there were several army officers
present when I told the General that; and I may say here that I do
not think General Merritt took much stock in it.

"_Senator Patterson_. What statement did you make to them, Admiral,
in substance?

"_Admiral Dewey_. That the Spaniards were ready to surrender, but
before doing so I must engage one of the outlying forts. I selected one
at Malate, away from the city. [139] They said I must engage that and
fire for a while, and then I was to make a signal by the international
code, 'Do you surrender?' Then they were to hoist a white flag at
a certain bastion; and I may say now that I was the first one to
discover the white flag. We had 50 people looking for that white flag,
but I happened to be the first one who saw it. I fired for a while,
and then made the signal according to the programme. We could not see
the white flag--it was rather a thick day--but finally I discovered
it on the south bastion; I don't know how long it had been flying
there when I first saw it." [140]

On August 12, the day before Manila surrendered, Buencamino telegraphed
Aguinaldo, urging him in the strongest terms to attack that night so
that Americans might be obliged to ask him to stop, with the result
that the Insurgents would be included in the official negotiations. He
further advised Aguinaldo that he must not suspend his attack because
the Americans suspended theirs. [141]

General Anderson tells us that, on the evening of August 12,
he received an order from General Merritt to notify Aguinaldo to
forbid the Insurgents under his command from entering Manila. This
notification was delivered to Aguinaldo that night, and was received
by him with anger. [142]

On the following morning the Insurgents actually made an independent
attack of their own, as planned. [143] It promptly led to trouble
with the Americans, and at 8 A.M. Aguinaldo received a telegram from
General Anderson sternly warning him not to let his troops enter
Manila without the consent of the American commander on the south
side of the Pasig River. [144]

Aguinaldo apparentiy took no action in response to this request,
except to direct General Riego de Dios, who was at Cavite, to go
with Buencamino without losing a moment and ask for an explanation,
in writing if possible. [145]

At 10.50 A.M. he telegraphed General Anderson saying that his troops
were being forced, by threats of violence, to retire from positions
which they had taken, and asking Anderson to order his troops to
avoid difficulty with the Insurgent forces. Aguinaldo said that he
had directed his men to aid the American forces if the latter are
attacked by a common enemy, but was discreetly silent on the subject
of their entering Manila. [146]

Fifteen minutes later, at 11.05, he received a reply to his telegram
to General Riego de Dios, in which that officer communicated the
views of Araneta [147] and Buencamino, who had been unable to find
General Anderson. This important communication follows:--

"Most urgent. Araneta and Buencamino having been consulted in regard
to your telegram of to-day, they confirm capitulation, and in regard to
the telegraphic note of General Anderson they are of the opinion, first
that we should continue hostilities while we ask for an explanation;
second, that explanation should be in the following terms: Inquire
reason for note and ask why our troops are not to enter Manila
without permission of the American commander; third, in case the
(terms of?) capitulation is given as the reason, to answer that we
do not suspend our attempt to enter Manila. Its capitulation is not
favourable to our independence. General Anderson is not here. General
Merritt is probably in Manila. Only Admiral Dewey is in the Bay. We
ask authorization to express our explanation in the proposed terms
and to have a conference with Admiral Dewey in order to have our
claims reach General Merritt." [148]

An endorsement written by Mabini and signed by Aguinaldo on the above
paper reads:--

"I authorize every assertion of right, but state that we believe that
we have the right to enter Manila without permission as we have a part
in the surrender of the Spaniards. They would not have surrendered if
our troops had not cut off their retreat to the interior. Besides but
for us the landing of troops would have cost them much blood. Obtain
an answer as soon as possible in order to lay a protest before the
consuls in case it is necessary." [149]

Naturally, trouble followed. At 1.30 P.M. General Ricarte telegraphed
to Aguinaldo:--

"Americans wish to put us out. Give directions." [150]

Apparently about the same hour he wired more at length, as follows:--

"Most urgent. American troops rearguard our trenches. Mabolo and San
Jose warn us that they will fire on us when the time comes. Impossible
to remain there without disagreeing with them. Since 5 o'clock this
morning we have been furiously attacking. Americans firing incessantly,
Spaniards silent. No losses yet." [151]

At 3.52 he wired again:--

"General Pio del Pilar informs me of the following: 'Come here,
if possible, as our soldiers at the barrio of Concepcion are not
allowed to go out and we are prohibited to move on any farther. We
it was who succeeded in capturing that place. Come here or there will
be trouble, since they are driving me away, and refusing to listen to
what I say.' I am at this very moment going to aforesaid place." [152]

At 5 P.M. another was sent by Ricarte to Aguinaldo as follows:--

"Colonel San Miguel arrived here from Ermita. Regional Exposition,
Agricultural College and other buildings are ours. Our flag flies
already at Ermita. Colonel Agapito Donzon with his troops is in the
Perez building, Paco. Colonels Julian Ocampo and Isidoro Tolentino
are in the convent of Ermita. All houses without flag are guarded by
our soldiers." [153]

At 6.15 P.M. he telegraphed as follows:--

"I inform you that the chiefs of our troops have reported to
me that our flag at Singalong church (_visita_) was removed by
the Americans and they hoisted theirs instead, not allowing us to
approach thereto. General Pio del Pilar is at present at the barrio
of Concepcion. Americans prohibited him to move on any farther. How
can he enter Manila?" [154]

No attention was paid to General Anderson's request that the Insurgent
troops should not enter Manila without permission. They crowded forward
with and after the American forces. Coming out on Bagumbayan drive,
they found American and Spanish troops confronting each other but not
firing, the former on the drive, the latter on the neighbouring city
wall. A flag of truce was waving from the south bastion, nevertheless
the Insurgents fired on the Spanish forces, provoking a return fire
which killed and wounded American soldiers. Of this incident General
Greene has said:--

"At this point the California regiment a short time before had met
some insurgents who had fired at the Spaniards on the walls, and the
latter, in returning the fire, had caused a loss in the California
regiment of 1 killed and 2 wounded." [155]

Some of these matters must have come to the attention of General
Anderson, for he sent Aguinaldo a telegram, received by the latter
at 6.35 P.M., as follows:--

"Dated Ermita Headquarters 2nd Division 13 to
Gen. Aguinaldo. Commanding Filipino Forces.--Manila, taken. Serious
trouble threatened between our forces. Try and prevent it. Your troops
should not force themselves in the city until we have received the
full surrender then we will negotiate with you.

"_Anderson_, commanding." [156]

It appears that the Insurgent troops took the suburb of Santa Ana,
and captured Spanish and Filipino officers and men. [157]

In view of the known facts, how absurd becomes the following contention
of Aguinaldo, advanced in his "Resena Veridica:--

"Our own forces could see the American forces land on the beach of
the Luneta and of the Paseo de Santa Lucia. The Spanish soldiers,
who were on the walls of the city, drew the attention of every one
because they did not fire on the former, a mystery which was explained
at nightfall of that day, by the news of the capitulation of the place
by General Senor Jaudenes [158] to the American General, Mr. Merritt,
a capitulation which the American Generals claimed for themselves,
an infraction of what had been agreed upon with Admiral Dewey, in
regard to the formation of plans for the attack and taking of Manila
by the two armies, American and Filipino, together and in combination.

"This inexplicable line of conduct on the part of the American officers
was made clearer by the telegrams, which General Anderson addressed
to me, from Maytubig on the said 13th day, requesting that I should
order our troops not to enter Manila, which request was refused,
inasmuch as it was contrary to what was agreed upon, and to the high
ends of the Revolutionary Government, which, on taking upon itself the
immense work of besieging Manila, during the two months and a half,
sacrificing thousands of lives and millions in material interests,
could not surely have done so with any object other than that of
capturing Manila and the Spanish garrison which with firmness and
tenacity defended that place." [159]

On August 14 Aguinaldo telegraphed General Anderson as follows:--

"My troops, who have been for so long besieging Manila, have always
been promised that they could appear in it, as you know and cannot
deny, and for this reason, and on account of the many sacrifices made
of money, and lives, I do not consider it prudent to issue orders to
the contrary, as they might be disobeyed against my authority. Besides,
I hope that you will allow the troops to enter because we have given
proofs many times of our friendship, ceding our positions at Paranaque,
Pasay, Singalon and Maytubig. Nevertheless, if it seems best to you,
and in order to enter into a frank and friendly understanding and
avoid any disagreeable conflict before the eyes of the Spaniards,
I will commission Don Felipe Buencamino and others, who will to-day
go out from our lines and hold a conference with you, and that they
will be safe during the conference." [160]

Aguinaldo and his associates pressed the demand for joint
occupation. On August 13 Admiral Dewey and General Merritt informed
the government that since the occupation of Manila and its suburbs
the Insurgents outside had been insisting on this, and asked how far
they might proceed in enforcing obedience in the matter.

They were informed by a telegram dated August 17 that the President
of the United States had directed:--

"That there must be no joint occupation with the Insurgents. The
United States in the possession of Manila city, Manila bay and harbor
must preserve the peace and protect persons and property within the
territory occupied by their military and naval forces. The insurgents
and all others must recognize the military occupation and authority
of the United States and the cessation of hostilities proclaimed by
the President. Use whatever means in your judgment are necessary to
this end." [161]

This left the military and naval commanders no option in the premises,
and in any event dual occupation was out of the question because of
the lawlessness of the Insurgent troops.

At this very time they were looting the portions of the city which
they occupied, and as is abundantly shown by their own records were
not confining their attacks to Spaniards, but were assaulting their
own people and raiding the property of foreigners as well. [162] The
continuation of such a condition of affairs was manifestly impossible.

The Insurgents promptly demanded their share in the "war booty,"
and asked certain other extraordinary concessions as follows:--

"(4) Our sacrifices in cooeperating in the siege and taking of Manila
being well known, it is just that we should share in the war booty.

"(5) We demand for our use the palace of Malacanang and the Convents
of Malate, Ermita and Paco or San Fernando de Dilao.

"(6) We demand that the civil offices of Manila be filled by North
Americans and never by Spaniards; but if General Merritt should require
some Filipinos we should be pleased if he will grant our President,
Don Emilio Aguinaldo, the favour of recommending select and skilled
Filipinos. The jurisdiction of the authorities of Manila shall not
be recognized beyond the municipal radius.

"(7) The American forces shall not approach nor penetrate our military
positions without permission of the respective commanders thereof
and shall evacuate all the positions which they occupy at the present
time beyond the municipal radius; Spaniards who pass our lines without
permission of the commander will be considered as spies.

* * * * *

"(10) Lastly we state clearly that our concessions and petitions do not
signify on our part that we recognize the sovereignty of North America
in these islands, as they are made necessary by the present war." [163]

Under the instructions of the President these demands could not be
acceded to. Nor could they have been acceded to had there been no
such instructions. In this connection the following extract from
General Jaudenes's cablegram for June 8th to his home government is
highly significant:--

"Population of suburbs have taken refuge in walled city from fear
of outrages of insurgents, preferring to run risks of bombardment,
which has not yet begun." [164]

It would seem that the population of the suburbs did not have a high
idea of Insurgent discipline.

That their apprehensions were not groundless is shown by a passage
in a letter sent the following day to Governor-General Augustin
by Buencamino:--

"Manila being surrounded by land and by sea, without hope of assistance
from anywhere, and Senor Aguinaldo being disposed to make use of
the fleet in order to bombard, if Your Excellency should prolong
the struggle with tenacity, I do not know, frankly, what else to
do other than to succumb dying, but Your Excellency knows that the
entrance of 100,000 Indians, [165] inflamed with battle, drunk with
triumph and with blood, will produce the hecatomb from which there
will not be allowed to escape either women, children, or Peninsular
friars,--especially the friars; and, I believe that the rights of
humanity, imperilled in such a serious way, should be well considered
by Your Excellency, for however dear glory and military duty may be,
although worth as much or more than existence itself there is no right
by which they should be won at the cost of the rights of humanity,
and the latter outweigh every consideration and all duty." [166]

Don Felipe knew his own people. He also knew, none better, what they
had in mind at this time.

As it was the Insurgent forces made the most of such opportunity as
they had, and their own records show it.

In the suburbs of Manila they sacked and committed outrages,
threatening people with their arms, and this was still going on a
week after the fall of Manila. [167]

General Pio del Pilar was believed to be responsible for much of this
misconduct, and Mabini proposed that as it was necessary for him to
leave the vicinity of Manila, and they could not remove him by force,
he be promoted. [168]

Some time during this month Sandico wrote Aguinaldo as follows:--

"The Americans have already heard of the frequent cases of kidnapping
(_dukut_) occurring in Tondo, San Sebastian and San Miguel. Last night
some of ours were surprised in the act of kidnapping a person. I have
also heard that many persons are asking for contributions of war. I
tell them [169] that you know nothing of all this and that if some
persons are kidnapped it is due to the hate of the natives for the
Spanish spies and secret police, which is great." [170]

Evidently Sandico continued to interest himself in the matter of
preventing disorder, for on September 24, 1898, he wrote Aguinaldo
from Manila as follows:--

"By authority of General Don Pio del Pilar and accompanied by the
War Auditor, Senor Urbano, we entered a prison where the individuals
Mariano de la Cruz and Mariano Crisostomo were kept. They were almost
prostrated. They had lately been released from Bilibid where they
had been confined for political crimes. On being asked the reason for
their imprisonment they began by showing us their bodies from which
blood still issued as the result of the barbarous treatment received
from Major Carmona who, by the way, is the same person of whom I
spoke to you in one of my previous letters; I declared to you then
that he had assaulted, revolver in hand, a man in the middle of one
of the most frequented streets of the suburb of Paco on pure suspicion.

"The prisoners in question stated that if they admitted the accusations
made against them it was for fear of greater punishments promised
by said Major. The officer of the guard took the liberty of striking
with his fist the one who dared to express himself so.

"Before such a spectacle Major Bell found himself forced to tell them
that brutal acts are not precisely a recommendation for a country
that wished to be free and that they, the Americans, do not arrest
any one without just cause. [171]

"I take the liberty of calling your attention to the matter in
question and other abuses in order that the measures you may think
fit be adopted to remedy this evil. In fact, we are making a target
of ourselves in the sight of all nations, especially so in that of
the Americans who note any act of ours and judge us secretly now in
order to do so later in public. To make light of this is to plant
a seed of future injury to us, because many will desire to place
themselves under the protection of the American flag, seeing that
ours refuses to defend the citizens' individual rights.

"I, for my part, ask that Major Carmona be arrested together with
his accomplices in the matter so that it may serve as a lesson not
only for him but also for those who think like him." [172]

Obviously Sandico's protest of September 24 did not produce the
desired result, for on September 28 he wrote Aguinaldo a long letter
complaining that in Manila personal security did not exist, people
were being tortured and murdered, kidnapping and theft were very
frequent, and these abuses were being committed by Filipino officers
and men. Some of the things which had come to his knowledge were of
such a nature that he preferred to speak to Aguinaldo privately about
them. [173]

Murder, pillaging, torture of prisoners, kidnapping, theft--these
are not pleasant things, but they continued to occur, and Aguinaldo,
who apparently desired to prevent them, was powerless to do so. He
did not dare discipline General Pio del Pilar, nor remove him from
the vicinity of Manila, and the soldiers of that officer continued
to work their will on their own unfortunate and helpless people.

Aguinaldo at first flatly refused to direct the disorderly Insurgent
forces to leave Manila. The American commander showed great forbearance
and negotiations continued.

On August 16, 1898, the Diplomatic Commission (Buencamino and Gregorio
Araneta) telegraphed Aguinaldo that a clause in a proposed agreement
requiring prior permission of Insurgent officers before American
troops could pass or approach their lines had greatly displeased
General Anderson who declined to treat until after the withdrawal of
Noriel's troops from Manila. [174]

Aguinaldo's reply, sent on August 17, 1898, shows that he had
alreadymade up his mind to fight the Americans, for it contains the
following significant words: "The conflict is coming sooner or later
and we shall gain nothing by asking as favours of them what are really
our rights." [175]

While negotiations were pending General Merritt sent Major J. F. Bell
to Aguinaldo with a letter and also with a memorandum in which were
the words:--

"In case you find Aguinaldo inclined to be generous in his arrangements
with us, you may communicate to him as follows: ..."

There follow six paragraphs, of which the third is of special
importance. It reads as follows:--

"(3) That I have every disposition to represent liberally the
Government at Washington, which I know is inclined to deal fairly with
him and his people; but not knowing what the policy of that Government
will be, I am not prepared to make any promises, except that in the
event of the United States withdrawing from these islands care will
be taken to leave him _in as good condition as he was found by the
forces of the Government_. [176]

Relative to the italicized portion of this statement Major Bell says:--

"I was pressed to explain further just what meaning General M. meant
to convey by the underscored portion of this remark, but I replied
that I had repeated the language General M. had used to me, and I
preferred they should seek any further explanation from him, lest
I might unwittingly fall into error if I undertook to explain his
meaning myself. Their lack of definiteness and my unwillingness to
comment upon the language seemed to arouse their apprehensions and
suspicions. They have been trying ever since to obtain in writing
some definite promise on this subject." [177]

Aguinaldo ordered that the machinery of the water works be started up
at once, a thing which was very necessary as Manila was suffering from
lack of water. I should be glad if I could leave this matter here,
but I cannot, for Major Bell elsewhere makes the further statement:--

"Attention is invited to General Merritt's promise made known to
Aguinaldo by me verbally, namely, that in the event of the United
States withdrawing from these islands, care would be taken to leave
Aguinaldo in as good condition as he was found by the forces of
the Government. From a remark the General made to me I inferred he
intended to interpret the expression 'forces of the Government' to
mean the naval forces, should future contingencies necessitate such
an interpretation." [178]

Let us hope that Major Bell misunderstood General Merritt's
intention. If this is not the case, I must say in all frankness that
in my opinion it was General Merritt's intention to indulge in sharp

Obviously, the American naval forces did not find Aguinaldo in any
"condition," in the sense in which General Merritt uses the term. On
the contrary, they brought him from Hongkong and assisted him in
starting a revolution. The negotiations in question were relative
to the positions held by the Insurgents at the time the negotiations
took place, and General Merritt's promise could not legitimately be
interpreted to refer to anything else.

Had Aguinaldo accepted his offer, a most embarrassing situation would
have resulted. General Merritt was obviously not authorized to make
such a proposition in the first instance, and the only honourable
course left open to him would have been to advise Washington of his
improper action and beg the Government to support him in it and thus
save the honour of the country.

Fortunately, Aguinaldo did not act upon the promise nor accept the
offer. On the contrary, he promptly and indignantly denied that he
was committed to anything, and sought to impose new conditions which
were not acceded to.

Meanwhile some one doubtless got hold of General Merritt and called
his attention to the fact that in making this offer he had grossly
exceeded his authority, for in his reply to Aguinaldo's protest
General Merritt says:--

"So far as any promises as to what should be done in the event
of a conclusion of a treaty between the United States and Spain
are concerned, it is utterly impossible for me as the military
representative only of the United States to make any promises such as
you request. As you have already been informed, you may depend upon
the good will of the Americans out here and the Government, of which
you already know the beneficence, to determine these matters in the
future." [179]

Coming, as this statement did, after the offer made in the memorandum
hereinbefore referred to, it must have aroused the suspicions of
Aguinaldo and his associates, and in my opinion Merritt's conduct in

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