Part 10 out of 10
shall continue to be respected. Spanish scientific, literary and
artistic works which shall not be dangerous to public order in said
territories shall continue entering therein with freedom from all
customs duties for a period of ten years dating from the interchange
of the ratifications of this treaty.
Article XIV.--Spain may establish consular agents in the ports and
places of the territories whose renunciation or cession are the object
of this treaty.
Article XV.--The Government of either country shall concede for a term
of ten years to the merchant ships of the other the same treatment
as regards all port dues, including those of entry and departure,
lighthouse and tonnage dues, as it concedes to its own merchant ships
not employed in the coasting trade. This article may be repudiated
at any time by either Government giving previous notice thereof six
Article XVI.--Be it understood that whatever obligation is accepted
under this treaty by the United States with respect to Cuba is limited
to the period their occupation of the island shall continue, but at
the end of said occupation they will advise the Government that may be
established in the island that it should accept the same obligations.
Article XVII.--The present treaty shall be ratified by the Queen Regent
of Spain and the President of the United States, in agreement and with
the approval of the Senate, and ratifications shall be exchanged in
Washington within a period of six months from this date or earlier
The treaty of peace will he ratified by the Senate. It appears before
ratification, as was the case of the protocol, through the favor of
the French translations. The treaty fitly crowns the triumphs of the
war. The payment of the small indemnity of twenty million dollars
only covers at a reasonable estimate the public property of Spain,
in territory ceded to us, that was beyond the lines of the areas that
formally submitted to our arms.
Battles with the Filipinos before Manila.
The Aguinaldo War Upon the Americans--The Course of Events in
the Philippines Since the Fall of Manila--Origin of the Filipino
War--Aguinaldo's Insolent and Aggressive Acts, Including Treachery--His
Agent's Vanity and Duplicity in Washington--Insurgents Under
Aguinaldo Attack American Forces--Battle of Manila, February 4 and
5--Heroism of American Troops in Repelling the Insurgents--Aguinaldo's
Proclamations--Agoncillo's Flight to Canada--The Ratification of
the Treaty of Peace With Spain by the American Senate Followed
the Fighting--The Gallantry and Efficiency of the American
Volunteers--Another Glorious Chapter of Our War History.
When Manila fell, August 13th, the insurgents made demonstrations
of their purpose to insist upon the occupation of the city as part
of their business, and were so excited by the prohibition of the
indulgence of their passion for looting and revenge, that they fired
several volleys in the direction of the Americans. The way they were
prevented from executing their purposes is stated in the 10th chapter
of this volume,--"The Official History of the Conquest of Manila." The
Filipino forces were excluded from the city unless unarmed, and
Aguinaldo made various claims to high consideration, asserting that
the Spaniards could have escaped from the city if it had not been for
his army. He was, in his conversations before the destruction of the
Spanish fleet, and while he was on his way to Cavite, a professed
friend of the annexation of the Philippines to the United States,
and constantly a very voluble creature. The American Consul at Manila,
writing from Manila Bay, opposite to the city, May 12th, 1898, said:
"These natives are eager to be organized and led by United States
officers, and the members of their cabinet visited me and gave
assurance that all would swear allegiance to and cheerfully follow
our flag. They are brave, submissive, and cheaply provided for.
"To show their friendliness for me as our nation's only representative
in this part of the world, I last week went on shore at Cavite with
British Consul, in his launch, to show the destruction wrought by
our fleet. As soon as natives found me out, they crowded around
me, hats off, shouting "Viva los Americanos," thronged about me by
hundreds to shake either hand, even several at a time, men, women,
and children striving to get even a finger to shake. So I moved half
a mile, shaking continuously with both hands. The British Consul,
a smiling spectator, said he never before saw such an evidence of
friendship. Two thousand escorted me to the launch amid hurrahs of
good feeling for our nation, hence I must conclude."
Nov. 3, 1897, the American Consul at Hong Kong gave this account of
Mr. Agoncillo, who is an interesting person because of his celebrity
for insistent and vain letters written at Washington, and his flight
to Canada when the Filipinos attacked the Americans at Manila:
Mr. Wildman to Mr. Day.
Hongkong, November 3, 1897.
Sir: Since my arrival in Hongkong I have been called upon several
times by Mr. F. Agoncillo, foreign agent and high commissioner, etc.,
of the new republic of the Philippines.
Mr. Agoncillo holds a commission, signed by the president, members
of cabinet, and general in chief of the republic of Philippines,
empowering him absolutely with power to conclude treaties with
Mr. Agoncillo offers on behalf of his government alliance offensive and
defensive with the United States when the United States declares war
on Spain, which, in Mr. Agoncillo's judgment, will be very soon. In
the meantime he wishes the United States to send to some port in the
Philippines 20,000 stand of arms and 200,000 rounds of ammunition for
the use of his government, to be paid for on the recognition of his
government by the United States. He pledges as security two provinces
and the custom-house at Manila.
He is not particular about the price--is willing the United States
should make 25 per cent or 30 per cent profit.
He is a very earnest and attentive diplomat and a great admirer of
the United States.
On his last visit he surprised me with the information that he had
written his government that he had hopes of inducing the United States
to supply the much-needed guns, etc.
In case Senor Agoncillo's dispatch should fall into the hands of an
unfriendly power and find its way into the newspapers, I have thought
it wise to apprise the State Department of the nature of the high
Senor Agoncillo informs me by late mail that he will proceed at once
to Washington to conclude the proposed treaty, if I advise.
I shall not advise said step until so instructed by the State
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
_Rounseville Wildman_, Consul.
The offensive impertinence of Mr. Agoncillo is quite conspicuous
in this consular communication. On the money question he was very
Mr. Wildman was instructed by Assistant Secretary Cridler to "briefly
advise Mr. Agoncillo" that the United States "does not negotiate such
treaties," and that he "should not encourage any advances on the part
of Mr. Agoncillo." Mr. Wildman busied himself with sending tenders
of allegiance to the United States from influential families of Manila.
Mr. Williams cabled the following:
Manila, September 5, 1898, (Received 10.20 a.m.)
To-day delegation from 4,000 Viscayan soldiers, also representing
southern business interests, came to me pledging loyalty to
annexation. Several insurgent leaders, likewise. Spain can not control;
if we evacuate, anarchy rules. _Williams._
Mr. Wildman, writing from Hongkong, July 18th, said:
"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."
August 9th, Mr. Wildman gave the following character sketch of
Aguinaldo, writing of the position Consul Williams, of Manila, and
himself took toward the insurgents, says:
"I tried to briefly outline the position Consul Williams and myself
have taken toward the insurgents. We believed that they were a
necessary evil, and that if Aguinaldo was placed in command, and was
acceptable to the insurgents as their leader, that Admiral Dewey or
General Merritt would have some one whom they could hold responsible
for any excesses. The other alternative was to allow the entire islands
to be overrun by small bands bent only on revenge and looting. We
considered that Aguinaldo had more qualifications for leadership
than any of his rivals. We made him no pledges and extracted from
him but two, viz., to obey unquestioning the commander of the United
States forces in the Philippine Islands, and to conduct his warfare
on civilized lines. He was in and out of the consulate for nearly
a month, and I believe I have taken his measure and that I acquired
some influence with him. I have striven to retain his influence and
have used it in conjunction with and with the full knowledge of both
Admiral Dewey and Consul Williams.
"Aguinaldo has written me by every opportunity, and I believe that he
has been frank with me regarding both his actions and his motives. I
do not doubt but that he would like to be President of the Philippine
Republic, and there may be a small coterie of his native advisers who
entertain a like ambition, but I am perfectly certain that the great
majority of his followers, and all the wealthy educated Filipinos
have but the one desire--to become citizens of the United States
of America. As for the mass of uneducated natives, they would be
content under any rule save that of the friars. My correspondence with
Aguinaldo has been strictly of a personal nature, and I have missed no
opportunity to remind him of his ante-bellum promises. His letters are
childish, and he is far more interested in the kind of cane he will
carry or the breastplate he will wear than in the figure he will make
in history. The demands that he and his junta here have made upon my
time is excessive and most tiresome. He is a man of petty moods, and
I have repeatedly had letters from Consul Williams requesting me to
write to Aguinaldo a friendly letter congratulating him on his success,
and reminding him of his obligations. I do not care to quote Admiral
Dewey, as his letters are all of a strictly personal nature, but I
feel perfectly free to refer you to him as to my attitude and actions."
Mr. Pratt, the United States Consul General at Singapore, took in
hand Aguinaldo--this was April 28--and got him off to Hong Kong,
having had this correspondence by cable with Admiral Dewey:
Aguinaldo, insurgent leader, here. Will come Hongkong arrange
with Commodore for general co-operation insurgents Manila if
desired. Telegraph. _Pratt._
The Commodore's reply reading thus:
Tell Aguinaldo come soon as possible. _Dewey_.
Mr. Pratt says of this:
I received it late that night, and at once communicated to General
Aguinaldo, who, with his aid-de-camp and private secretary, all under
assumed names, I succeeded in getting off by the British steamer
Malacca, which left here on Tuesday, the 26th.
And Mr. Pratt made the following report to the Secretary of State of
the United States:
Consulate-General of the United States,
Singapore, April 30, 1898.
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 212, of the 28th instant, I have
the honor to report that in the second and last interview I had with
Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on the eve of his departure for Hongkong, I
enjoined upon him the necessity, under Commodore Dewey's direction,
of exerting absolute control over his forces in the Philippines, as no
excesses on their part would be tolerated by the American Government,
the President having declared that the present hostilities with
Spain were to be carried on in strict accord with modern principles
of civilized warfare.
To this General Aguinaldo fully assented, assuring me that he intended
and was perfectly able, once on the field, to hold his followers,
the insurgents, in check and lead them as our commander should direct.
The general further stated that he hoped the United States would
assume protection of the Philippines for at least long enough to
allow the inhabitants to establish a government of their own, in the
organization of which he would desire American advice and assistance.
These questions I told him I had no authority to discuss.
I have, etc.,
_E. Spencer Pratt_,
United States Consul-General.
June 16th Secretary Day cabled Consul Pratt: "Avoid unauthorized
negotiations with the Philippine insurgents," and the Secretary wrote
the consul on the same day:
"The Department observes that you informed General Aguinaldo that you
had no authority to speak for the United States; and, in the absence
of the fuller report which you promise, it is assumed that you did not
attempt to commit this Government to any alliance with the Philippine
insurgents. To obtain the unconditional personal assistance of General
Aguinaldo in the expedition to Manila was proper, if in so doing he
was not induced to form hopes which it might not he practicable to
gratify. This Government has known the Philippine insurgents only as
discontented and rebellious subjects of Spain, and is not acquainted
with their purposes. While their contest with that power has been
a matter of public notoriety, they have neither asked nor received
from this Government any recognition. The United States, in entering
upon the occupation of the islands, as the result of its military
operations in that quarter, will do so in the exercise of the rights
which the state of war confers, and will expect from the inhabitants,
without regard to their former attitude toward the Spanish Government,
that obedience which will be lawfully due from them.
"If, in the course of your conferences with General Aguinaldo, you
acted upon the assumption that this Government would co-operate with
him for the furtherance of any plan of his own, or that, in accepting
his co-operation, it would consider itself pledged to recognize any
political claims which he may put forward, your action was unauthorized
and can not be approved.
_William E. Day_.
The following letter is a valuable link in the chain of the story of
Hongkong, August 4, 1898.
Sir: By request I have the honor to confirm the following telegram
sent you on the 2d instant:
Cortes family, representing wealthy educated families Manila, implore
you through Consul-General Wildman, in name humanity and Christianity,
not to desert them, and aid to obtain annexation Philippines to
America. Please see the President.
I may add in explanation of this telegram that there is a large
colony of wealthy Filipinos who have been driven out of Manila, and
the bulk of whose fortunes have been confiscated, resident here. They
are people of education as well as wealth, and they are intensely loyal
to the United States. The Cortes family are particularly so, and they
have contributed money liberally to aid Aguinaldo on the understanding
that he was fighting for annexation of the Philippines to the United
States. Naturally I sympathize with them in their desire to become a
part of the United States, and have advised them that you would give
their cablegram your kindly consideration.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. Marcus Hanna,
United States Senate, Washington.
Mr. Andre, the Belgian Consul at Manila, an important man, wrote the
American Commission in Paris, that "everybody in the Philippines, even
Spanish merchants," begged the Americans for protection, and added:
"The Indians do not desire independence. They know that they are not
strong enough. They trust the United States, and they know that they
will be treated risditly. The present rebellion only represents a
half per cent, of the inhabitants, and it would not be right to oblige
6,000,000 inhabitants to submit to 30,000 rebels. Luzon is only partly
held by them, and it is not to be expected that a civilized nation
will make them present with the rest of the island, which is hostile
to the Tagals of Luzon. The Spanish officers refuse to fight for the
sake of the priests, and if the Spanish Government should retain the
Philippines their soldiers will all fall prisoners in the hands of
the Indians in the same way as they did already, and this is because
the army is sick of war without result, and only to put the country
at the mercy of the rapacious empleados and luxurious monks.
"The monks know that they are no more wanted in the Philippines,
and they asked me to help them go away as soon as possible, and it
is principally for them that I asked for the transports to the United
States Government, and to send them to Hongkong. The Indians will be
delighted to see them go, and will be grateful to the United States.
"If some chiefs of the rebellion will be a little disappointed in
their personal pride, they will be convinced that it is better for
them to submit in any case, for most of these chiefs prefer American
Aguinaldo became swollen with the conceit of greatness, and flattered
to believe he had a commanding destiny, he took on airs of extravagant
consequence in his correspondence with General Anderson, who commanded
the first expedition of the United States troops to the Philippines,
and dared to assume to have authority as to the disembarkation of the
soldiers of the United States. July 24th Aguinaldo wrote to Anderson:
"I came from Hongkong to prevent my countrymen from making common
cause with the Spanish against the North Americans, pledging before
my word to Admiral Dewey to not give place [to allow] to any internal
discord, because, [being] a judge of their desires, I had the strong
conviction I could succeed in both objects."
After this false and foolish presumption, he proceeded in a pompous
way to observe that "without the destruction of the Spanish squadron
the Philippine revolution would not have advanced so rapidly." He
claimed, in a letter dated August 1st to Consul Williams, that if he
did not assert himself as he was doing he would be held by his people
to be a traitor. His point at Singapore was that he could wield his
people at his pleasure. His observation was:
"I have done what they desire, establishing a government in order
that nothing important may be done without consulting fully their
sovereign will, not only because it was my duty, but also because
acting in any other manner they would fail to recognize me as the
interpreter of their aspirations and would punish me as a traitor,
replacing me by another more careful of his own honor and dignity."
On the day after the storming of Manila, Aguinaldo wrote to Anderson:
"My troops, who have been for so long besieging Manila, have always
been promised that they could appear in it, as you know and can not
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."
On the day of occupancy of Manila Aguinaldo wrote Anderson:
"I received a telegram. My interpreter is in Cavite; in consequence
of this I have not answered till now. My troops are forced by yours,
by means of threats of violence, to retire from positions taken. It
is necessary, to avoid conflicts, which I should lament, that you
order your troops that they avoid difficulty with mine, as until now
they have conducted themselves as brothers to take Manila."
General Merritt did not tolerate any folly about "joint occupation,"
and sharply demanded the insurgents should restore the city the water
supply from the mountain stream that is diverted from the Pasig to
the city, and Aguinaldo claimed credit on the water question in these
terms of prevarication and presumption.
"Since I have permitted the use of water before the formal declaration
of the treaty, you can easily see that I am disposed to sacrifice to
friendship everything not greatly prejudicial to the rights of the
"I comprehend, like yourself, the inconvenience of a double occupation
of the city of Manila and its environs, considering the conditions
of the capitulation with the Spaniards, but you must also understand
that without the wide blockade maintained by my forces you would
have obtained possession of the ruins of the city, but never the
surrender of the Spanish forces, who would have been able to retire
to the interior towns.
"Now, do not make light of the aid formerly given by us to secure
the capitulation mentioned. Greatly though justice may suffer, and
risking well-founded fears in regard to my city, I do not insist upon
the retention of all the positions conquered by my forces within
the environs at the cost of much bloodshed, unspeakable fatigue,
and much money."
At the same time this Dictator was strutting with the powerful
persuasion that the United States must be subordinate to his will,
he was ambitious to live in the palace of the Governor General,
putting an impertinance to that effect in his correspondence, but
General Merritt told him he wanted it for himself and had already
occupied and taken it into possession. It has been made clear that
Aguinaldo was from the first appearance of Americans writhing with
the pangs of wounded vanity, conspiring to initiate the ignorant and
inflate the insignificant, exciting a considerable force to share
his sentiments. Unquestionably the news communicated by Agoncillo to
Aguinaldo of the sailing of the regular troops to reinforce the army
in Manila caused the desperate assault upon our lines, and it may
be accepted as the measurement of the Filipino ignorance of American
character, that the insurgent calculation was that the combat designed
and its influence estimated, was expected to cause the defeat of the
ratification of the treaty in the Senate.
General Merritt assumed the Governor's duties on August 23, at
Matacanan palace. Insurgents seemed more pacific, and business was
resumed. On August 25, Aguinaldo sent the following cablegram to the
Manila, August 24.--I am satisfied with America's occupation. The
Filipinos are disbanding.
Head of the Philippine Insurgent Army.
The same day Aguinaldo issued orders for his soldiers to return
to their homes. The order was obeyed, and the insurgents expressed
willingness to surrender if assured that the islands would remain
under American or British control.
In a clash at Cavite between United States soldiers and insurgents
on August 25, George Hudson, a member of the Utah regiment, was
killed, and Corporal William Anderson, of the same battery, was
mortally wounded. Four troopers of the Fourth Cavalry were slightly
wounded. Aguinaldo expressed his regret and promised to punish the
Complaint of the conduct of Aguinaldo was reported by insurgents a
few days later, and he said many of his compatriots accused him of
endeavoring to sell out their cause. This story was his standing excuse
for insolence to Americans, and the commission of savage injustice. He
announced his intention to send peace commissioners to Paris.
On September 5, Aguinaldo effected an important alliance with
the Santiaglesia party in the northern Provinces of Pangasinan
Zamballes. This party commanded 5,000 troops which hitherto had
resisted Aguinaldo's claims to dictatorship.
At a meeting of twenty leaders of the Filipinos on September 5,
eighteen of them declared in favor of annexation to the United States.
Aguinaldo, on September 10, demanded the right to occupy part of
Manila. His demand was refused by General Otis, who ordered him to
remove his forces by a given day to avoid trouble. Aguinaldo removed
his headquarters to Malolos on the railroad forty miles north of
It was on October 10 that the open arrogance of Aguinaldo asserted
itself. He refused to permit a burial party from the British ship
Powerful to pass into the city carrying arms. For this he was reproved
by the American commanders, and he apologized.
October 16 Aguinaldo again took the offensive, refusing to permit
the American schooner Mermanos to load. Following that report came
the report of a battle between Americans and insurgents, which was
exaggerated, but showed the seriousness of the situation. The same
day the Czar of Russia suggested a joint note from the powers to the
United States on the Philippine question.
Later Aguinaldo refused the request of General Otis for the release
of Spanish priests held as captives by the Filipinos, and General
Otis reported the entire island of Panay, with the exception of the
City of Iloilo, in the hands of insurgents.
On November 14, the Filipino Junta at Hongkong issued a long statement
and petition directed to President McKinley, demanding recognition
of the insurgents.
On November 18, President McKinley issued orders to General Otis to
occupy the Islands of Panay and Negros, and for this purpose troops
were later sent from Manila on an unsuccessful mission. January 1 came
the serious news from Manila that the American forces before Iloilo,
under the command of General Miller, were confronted by 6,000 armed
Filipinos, who refused them permission to land.
The Spanish had yielded Iloilo to the insurgents for the purpose of
troubling the Americans.
Agoncillo, on January 6, filed a request with the authorities at
Washington for an interview with the President to discuss affairs in
the Philippines. The next day the government officials were surprised
to learn that messages to General Otis to deal mildly with the rebels
and not to force a conflict had become known to Agoncillo, and cabled
by him to Aguinaldo. At the same time came Aguinaldo's protest against
General Otis signing himself "Military Governor of the Philippines."
Agoncillo expressed still more violent sentiments during the second
week in January. On the 8th of the month he gave out this statement:
"In my opinion the Filipino people, whom I represent, will never
consent to become a colony dependency of the United States. The
soldiers of the Filipino army have pledged their lives that they will
not lay down their arms until General Aguinaldo tells them to do so,
and they will keep that pledge, I feel confident."
On the day after Aguinaldo issued his second proclamation in Manila,
in which he threatened to drive the Americans from the islands, called
the Deity to witness that their blood would be on their own heads if it
was shed, and detailed at greater length the promises he claimed were
made by the Americans as to the part of the insurgents in the campaign.
The Filipino committees in London, Paris and Madrid about this time
telegraphed to President McKinley as follows:
"We protest against the disembarkation of American troops at
Iloilo. The treaty of peace still unratified, the American claim to
sovereignty is premature. Pray reconsider the resolution regarding
Iloilo. Filipinos wish for the friendship of America and abhor
militarism and deceit."
The threats that Manila must be taken never ceased in the rebel camp,
and they hung around with sweltering venom, cultivating grievances,
like a horde of wolves and panthers, hungry and rabid.
At the beginning of February the situation at Manila was regarded as
serious, but the officials saw no reason why they could not command it
for a time at least. General Otis reported, in connection with some
matters pertaining to the shipment home of sick Spanish soldiers,
that he could hold out beyond a doubt until his reinforcements
arrived, and added that as the news had reached Manila that there
was every prospect that the peace treaty would soon be ratified,
the effect on the natives had been satisfactory. Sunday morning,
February 5, reports were received by the American press that the
Filipino insurgents under Aguinaldo had attacked the American lines
before Manila, and that a battle had been fought, in which many on
both sides had been killed or wounded.
When news of the attack of the Filipinos was received at Washington,
Agoncillo, the special representative of Aguinaldo, immediately left
the capital, taking the first train for Canada. He reached Montreal
February 6. In an interview at the latter place he professed not
to know that an attack on the American forces at Manila had been
planned by his people. Furthermore, he stated it as his belief that
no attack had been made as described in the reports. His manner and
somewhat evasive statements indicated that he knew more than he cared
to tell. His action in fleeing from Washington indicated complicity.
One of the immediate results of the Filipinos' attack on Manila
was the hastening of the ratification by the Senate of the peace
treaty. At 2:45 o'clock, Monday afternoon, February 6, the Senate met
in executive session, and three-fourths of an hour later the vote on
the ratification of the treaty was announced. It stood 57 for, and
27 against, the absent and paired being six. The treaty was ratified
by a majority of 1.
The Senators who voted for the treaty were: Aldrich, Allen, Allison,
Baker, Burrows, Butler, Carter, Chandler, Clark, Clay, Cullom,
Davis, Deboe, Elkins, Fairbanks, Faulkner, Foraker, Frye, Gallinger,
Gear, Gray, Hanna, Hansbrough, Harris, Hawley, Jones (Nev.), Kenney,
Kyle, Lindsay, Lodge, McBride, McEnery, McLaurin, McMillan, Mantle,
Mason, Morgan, Nelson, Penrose, Perkins, Pettus, Platt (Conn.), Platt
(N.Y.), Pritchard, Quay, Ross, Sewell, Shoup, Simon, Spooner, Stewart,
Sullivan, Teller, Thurston, Warren, Wellington, Wolcott.
The Senators who voted against the treaty were: Bacon, Bate, Berry,
Caffery, Chilton, Cockrell, Daniel, Gorman, Hale, Heitfeld, Hoar,
Jones (Ark.), Mallory, Martin, Mills, Mitchell, Money, Murphy, Pasco,
Pettigrew, Rawlins, Roach, Smith, Tillman, Turley, Turner, Vest.
Those who were absent and paired were: Cannon and Wilson for, with
White against; Proctor and Wetmore for, with Turpie against.
The ratification of the treaty was not a party question. Thirty-nine
Republicans, ten Democrats, and eight Silver men voted for the treaty,
and two Republicans, twenty-two Democrats and three Silver men voted
On February 4, Aguinaldo issued the following proclamation:
"I order and command:
1. That peace and friendly relations with the Americans be broken and
that the latter be treated as enemies, within the limits prescribed
by the laws of war.
2. That the Americans captured be held as prisoners of war.
3. That this proclamation be communicated to the consuls and that
congress order and accord a suspension of the constitutional guarantee,
resulting from the declaration of war."
February 5th, Aguinaldo issued a second proclamation in which he
said that the outbreak of hostilities was "unjustly and unexpectedly
provoked by the Americans." He also spoke of "the constant outrages and
taunts which have been causing misery to the Manilans," and referred
to the "useless conferences" and contempt shown for the Filipino
government as proving a "premeditated transgression of justice and
liberty." He called on his people to "sacrifice all upon the altar of
honor and national integrity," and insisted that he tried to avoid as
far as possible an armed conflict. He claimed that all his efforts
"were useless before the unmeasured pride of the Americans," whom
he charged as having treated him as a rebel "because I defended the
interests of my country and would not become the instrument of their
dastardly intentions." He concluded by saying:
"Be not discouraged. Our independence was watered freely by the
blood of martyrs, and more will be shed in the future to strengthen
it. Remember that efforts are not to be wasted that ends may be
gained. It is indispensable to adjust our actions to the rules of law
and right and to learn to triumph over our enemies. We have fought
our ancient oppressors without arms, and we now trust to God to defend
us against the foreign foe."
_The Official Battle Bulletins_.
The messages following were received in the order given.
"Manila, February 5.--Adjutant-General, Washington: Have established
our permanent lines well out and have driven off the insurgents. The
troops have conducted themselves with great heroism. The country
about Manila is peaceful, and the city is perfectly quiet. List of
casualties to-morrow. _Otis_."
"Manila, February 5.--To the Adjutant-General: Insurgents in large
force opened attack on our outer lines at 8:45 p. m. last evening;
renewed attack several times during night; at 4 o'clock this morning
entire line engaged; all attacks repulsed; at daybreak advanced
against insurgents, and have driven them beyond the lines they formerly
occupied, capturing several villages and their defense works; insurgent
loss in dead and wounded large; our own casualties thus far estimated
at 175, few fatal. Troops enthusiastic and acting fearlessly. Navy
did splendid execution on flanks of enemy; city held in check, and
absolute quiet prevails; insurgents have secured a good many Mauser
rifles, a few field pieces and quick-firing guns, with ammunition,
during last month. _Otis_."
"Manila, February 5.--To Adjutant-General: Situation most
satisfactory. No apprehension need be felt. Perfect quiet prevails
in city and vicinity. List of casualties being prepared, and will
be forwarded as soon as possible. Troops in excellent health and
"Manila, February 7.--Adjutant-General, Washington: The insurgent army
concentrated around Manila from Luzon provinces, numbered over 20,000,
possessing several quick-firing and Krupp field guns. Good portion
of enemy armed with Mausers, latest pattern. Two Krupp and great many
rifles captured. Insurgents fired great quantity of ammunition. Quite
a number of Spanish soldiers in insurgent service who served artillery.
Insurgents constructed strong intrenchments near our lines, mostly
in bamboo thickets. These our men charged, killing or capturing many
of the enemy. Our casualties probably aggregate 250. Full reports
to-day. Casualties of insurgents very heavy. Have buried some 500
of their dead and hold 500 prisoners. Their loss, killed, wounded,
and prisoners, probably 4,000.
"Took waterworks pumping station yesterday, six miles out. Considerable
skirmish with enemy, which made no stand. Pumps damaged; will
be working in a week. Have number of condensers set up in city,
which furnish good water. Troops in excellent spirits. Quiet
"Manila, February 3.--Adjutant-General, Washington: Situation rapidly
improving. Reconnaissance yesterday to south several miles; to east
to Laguna Bay; to northeast eight miles, driving straggling insurgent
troops in various directions, encountering no decided opposition.
"Army disintegrated, and natives returning to village, displaying
"Near Caloocan, six miles north, enemy made stand behind
entrenchments. Charged by Kansas troops, led by Colonel Funston;
close encounter, resulting in rout of enemy, with very heavy loss.
"Loss to Kansas troops, Lieutenant Alford killed, six men wounded.
"Night of 4th, Aguinaldo issued flying proclamation, charging Americans
with initiative, and declared war.
"His influence throughout this section destroyed. Now applies for
cessation of hostilities and conference. Have declined to answer.
"Insurgents' expectation of rising in city on night of 4th
unrealized. Provost Marshal-General, with admirable disposition of
troops, defeated every attempt.
"City quiet. Business resumed. Natives respectful and cheerful.
"The fighting qualities of American troops a revelation to all
inhabitants. Signed, _Otis_."
Secretary Alger sent the following cablegram to General Otis,
"Accept my best congratulations upon your magnificent victory of
Sunday, all the more creditable because you were not the aggressor."
"Manila, February 10.--Adjutant-General: Insurgents collected
considerable force between Manila and Caloocan, where Aguinaldo is
reported to be, and threatened attack and uprising in city.
"This afternoon swung left of McArthur division, which is north of
Pasig River, into Caloocan, driving enemy easy.
"Our left now at Caloocan. Our loss slight; that of insurgents
considerable. Particulars in morning.
"Attack preceded by one-half hour's firing from two of Admiral
"Manila, February 13.--Adjutant-General, Washington: Everything quiet
this morning; business in city resuming former activity. _Otis_."
"Manila, February 13.--General Miller reports from Iloilo that that
town was taken on the 11th inst., and is held by troops. Insurgents
given until evening of 11th to surrender, but their hostile actions
brought on an engagement during the morning. Insurgents fired the
native portion of town, but little losses to property of foreign
inhabitants. No casualties among United States troops reported.
The legal situation, while the treaty was not ratified, and seemed
gravely in doubt, was an embarrassment to the executive of the United
States. The Philippine question was by the act of the President a
special reservation, and it was submitted to the people as too great in
scope and various in detail, to be determined by one man, especially as
the Philippine Archipelago was so far away from our Pacific shore as to
be, according to the average citizen's information, a new departure;
and the novelties in a Republic need much consideration. Really the
departure is not new--it is in the direct line of the logic of our
history. The President exceedingly desired to preserve the peace with
the Filipinos, and gave orders not to attack them. He trusted this
anxious care would prevent bloodshed. Hence the annoying attitude of
waiting acquiesence at Iloilo, and at Manila under almost intolerable
provocation. A personal letter from Manila, dated December 8th,
and written by a general officer contains this.
"Aguinaldo has sent for a new hatter with inflated blocks, and has
his people dragging up field guns in face of our outposts. You can
draw your own inferences."
There is a flavor of bitter humor in this, but the fact is prominent
that the desperadoes were quite wild, and had no understanding of
themselves or of us, and could acquire it only by getting themselves
whipped by us.
We quote again from the letter of which we have taken the passage
"The able and thinking men in this country tell me in unmistakable
language that they are in no way prepared to take up the government
of these islands. They insist upon the fact that tribunals will have,
through lack of native material, to be mixed bodies. They say that
with all the harshness that must accompany occupancy, the people
here never had as much liberty as they have now, and that they show
a strong inclination to abuse what is given them."
This is the true story of the Philippine people wherever there has
been a free and intelligent expression.
Our army did not go to Manila to harm the Filipinos who have the
misfortune to become infatuated with the malicious vanity of those
who have surrounded themselves with a cloud of superstition and all
the inventions of falsehood. It was necessary that Americans should
protect themselves, or yield the country to the destructiveness of
barbarism, and they have defended Americanism and civilization.
The dragging of field pieces to bear upon our pickets was with the
purpose of bringing American soldiers into contempt, at once, and
to force fighting ultimately. The poor men who became victims were
deluded and carried their defiance to an intolerable pitch. In the
same style employed when he demanded that General Anderson should
consult him about getting on Philippine soil, Aguinaldo attempted to
intimidate General Otis by inviting a conference, and avowing that he
would make war if any more troops were sent to Manila. He would have
bloodshed, and is responsible for it, so far as he is an accountable
being. It is of the horrors of war that the blood of brave men is
shed on both sides of a controversy that has been appealed to the
arbitrament of arms, though the origin of the affray may be obscure
and the issue uncertain. In the bloodshed around Manila the case is
clear and the conclusion certain, and there is the compensation that
the heroism, enterprise, activity and dash and continuance of the
American soldiers under the most trying circumstances, flame forth,
and the glory of our soldiers is equal to that of our sailors in the
judgment of the men of all nations.
There is something more in this second clash of arms at Manila. It
is difficult to find ground harder to carry in offensive movements
than the sultry thickets in which the Filipinos were hidden, but
our soldiers obeyed all orders to advance with alacrity, energy
and enthusiasm, and were eager for their work. The men who can
do what ours did at Manila can do anything that may rationally be
dared. And in this story of Manila is the testimony that after the
volunteers have been seasoned, they do keep step with the dread music
of war with the regulars of any race or people, and there can be no
national retreat from the duty destiny defines in the Philippines,
any more than from the States of the valley that is the heart of the
country--the valley watered by the Ohio, the noblest river in the
world, that flows westward in the course of empire.
The dispatches of General Otis are clear and striking in tone, and
may at once be classified as model bulletins of history. He is a most
energetic, careful, studious and laborious soldier, bearing himself
with the dignity of a man modest as brave, and full of kindliness, but
determined in discipline, knowing it to be for the common good. He is
resolute in demanding that the requisitions shall be according to the
forms, and those associated with him must respect the regulations. The
objection to him of those who seek one is that he attends too much to
details, but that is well when the commander is absolute in duty and
has an appetite for hard work before which the small matters disappear
as by magic and the greater ones are conquered by force of habit.
The scenery of the battle fields around Manila should be carefully
regarded and remembered. The bay is a vast sheet nearly thirty miles
in length, with a width exceeding twenty miles. The shores of the
bay are low--not more than six feet at most, above high tide. They
are also sandy and soft, resembling in some respects the banks of
Louisiana rivers, but no levees are attempted. The famous Pasig
river is only twenty miles long, and drains a large lake, in which
there is an immense multiplication of vegetable growth that floats
perpetually to the Bay, and is called "lilies," though having the
look of small cabbages. The stream is almost as broad as the Ohio,
and, in its snaky turns, crooked as the Mississippi. The banks seem
to be prevented from washing away by the dense matting of grasses,
and the overhanging thickets, imposing in luxuriance. The houses are
close to the water, for the tidal river does not rise and fall enough
to disturb the inhabitants. There are mountains a few miles away
east and south--big lumps of blue. The stream that furnishes pure
water to Manila is from the mountains, and tapped near the mouth,
where it empties into the Pasig, seven miles from the city. Manila
is widespread, and of structures whose height has been moderated by
experience of earthquakes. There is a great deal of marshy land, and
rice fields, and the jungles, so thick and thorny, and the grasses so
tall, fibrous, and rasping, that the marching of columns of soldiers
is excessively fatiguing. It was a terrible task that was cut out
for our men, by the delay in the Senate, mischievously elongated,
the insurgents having fortified themselves in a way that they knew
would have been utterly impervious by Spaniards. The military leaders
of the Filipinos have the explanation to offer, if they have the
enlightenment to comprehend their own predicament, as a discomfited
mass of fugitives, that they never, before the American regulars and
volunteers charged them, met soldiers who would not have retreated
in dismay from the fiery ambuscades. The achievement of the Americans
in confronting, rushing and routing the array, formidable in numbers,
of natives, gathered with great expectations of a victory that would
convert them into the barbaric conquerors of a civilized community--the
consecutive and conclusive victories over them that covered our arms,
will have honorable distinction, of putting soldiers to the proof
and finding them pure steel, for a long time to come. Our boys,
weary of the aggressive attitude of the still insurgent crowds,
though the power of Spain had been broken, welcomed with cheers the
order to charge; and it has been many days since there has been a
trial of manliness more severe, or testimony of devotion more true,
and of the staunch fighting quality of the troops whose only way out
of difficulty was to find the enemy and drive them headlong.
It is not to be forgotten, while the flag of the nation flies, that the
brave regiments that will bear upon their banners the name Manila, with
the dates of February, 1899, are from all sections of the country, from
the Alleghenies to the Pacific. They come from western Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah,
Montana, Idaho, and California, and as Admiral Dewey said so well of
the crews of his ships on his immortal May day, "There was not a man
in the fleet who did not do his duty, and no man did more." It is,
as Admiral Schley said of the famous naval victory on the Southern
Cuban coast, "There is glory enough to go around." Take the list of
regiments and batteries and troops in the Eighth Army Corps, under the
command of Major-General E.S. Otis, and there is but one record--each
officer and enlisted man was in his place, and all are worthy to be
glorified, for their dashing rushes through the swamps and the hideous
tropic tangles, they penetrated to find the foe, equally with those
heroes who mounted with unquailing ardor that only death could quench
and that victory crowned the bloody hills of Santiago.
The easy capture of Iloilo proves the inadequacy of the followers of
Aguinaldo to do any mischief beyond bushwhacking, and it will not be
found worth while to pursue the natives who made an occupation of war
far into the jungles. The complete possession of the railroad by our
troops will be necessary, and the navy will have business for light
vessels in preventing the smuggling of Japanese arms, which are,
no doubt, furnished at low rates for special purposes.
Two proclamations have appeared in the Philippines--one by General
Otis, the American General commanding the Eighth Army Corps, and the
other by Aguinaldo, that make clear in a few words the policy of those
engaged in the war that has followed the downfall of the sovereignty
of Spain over the bits of the archipelago they occupied. General Otis
said, January 4th, that the "United States forces came to give the
blessings of peace and individual freedom to the Philippine people. We
are here as friends of the Filipinos to protect them in their homes,
their employments, their individual and religious liberty. All persons
who, either by active aid or honest endeavor, co-operate with the
government of the United States to give effect to these beneficient
purposes will receive the reward of its support and protection."
The General quoted the instructions of the President, and remarked:
"I am fully of the opinion that it is the intention of the United
States government, while directing affairs generally, to appoint
the representative men now forming the controlling element of the
Filipinos to civil positions of trust and responsibility, and it will
be my aim to appoint to these such Filipinos as may be acceptable to
the supreme authorities at Washington.
"It is also my belief that it is the intention of the United States
Government to draw from the Filipino people so much of the military
force of the islands as possible and consistent with a free and
well-constituted government of the country, and it is my desire to
inaugurate a policy of that character.
"I am also convinced that it is the intention of the United States
government to seek the establishment of a most liberal government
for the islands, in which the people themselves shall have as full
representation as the maintenance of order and law will permit,
and which shall be susceptible of development on lines of increased
representation and the bestowal of increased powers into a government
as free and independent as is enjoyed by the most favored provinces
of the world.
"It will be my constant endeavor to co-operate with the Filipino
people, seeking the good of the country, and I invite their full
confidence and aid."
Aguinaldo, on this conciliatory definition of American purposes,
objects to General Otis calling himself "Military Governor," and
cries out, with "all the energy of his soul against such authority,"
and alludes to the policy of the President referring to the Philippine
"I solemnly protest, in the name of God, the root and fountain of all
justice and of all right, and who has given to me power to direct my
dear brothers in the difficult work of our regeneration, against this
intrusion of the government of the United States in the sovereignty
of these islands.
"And so, you must understand, my dear brothers, that, united by bonds
which it will be impossible to break, such is the idea of our liberty
and our absolute independence, which have been our noble aspirations,
all must work together to arrive at this happy end, with the force
which gives conviction, already so generally felt, among all the
people, to never turn back in the road of glory, on which we have
already so far advanced."
President McKinley, on the evening of February l5th, addressed at
the Boston Home Market Club banquet, all civilized nations, setting
forth the policy of the United States in the Philippines, saying:
"The Philippines, like Cuba and Porto Rico, were intrusted to our hands
by the war, and to that great trust, under the providence of God and
in the name of human progress and civilization, we are committed. It
is a trust from which we will not flinch.
"There is universal agreement that the Philippines shall not be turned
back to Spain. No true American would consent to that.
"The suggestions that they should be tossed into the arena for the
strife of nations or be left to the anarchy or chaos of no protectorate
at all were too shameful to be considered. The treaty gave them to
the United States. Could we have required less and done our duty?
"Our concern is not for territory, or trade, or empire, but for the
people whose interests and destiny were put in our hands.
"It is not a good time for the liberator to submit important
questions to the liberated while they are engaged in shooting down
"The future of the Philippine Islands is now in the hands of the
"I know of no better or safer human tribunal than the people.
"Until Congress shall direct otherwise, it will be the duty of the
executive to possess and hold the Philippines.
"That the inhabitants of the Philippines will be benefited is my
"No imperial designs lurk in the American mind. They are alien to
There is a directness of purpose and precision of statement about
this that bears the stamp of sincerity, is impressive with the power
of authority, and shines with the spirit of patriotism.
The Aguinaldo War of Skirmishes.
The Filipino Swarms, After Being Repulsed with Slaughter, Continue
Their Scattering Efforts to Be Assassins--They Plan a General
Massacre and the Burning of Manila--Defeated in Barbarous Schemes,
They Tell False Tales and Have Two Objects, One to Deceive the People
of the Philippines, the Other to Influence Intervention--The Peril of
Fire--Six Thousand Regulars Sent to General Otis--Americans Capture
Iloilo and Many Natives Want Peace--The People of the Isla of Negros
Ask That They May Go with Us--Dewey Wants Battleships and Gunboats,
Gets Them, and Is Made an Admiral--Arrival of Peace Commissioners,
with Their School Books, Just Ahead of the Regulars with Magazine
Rifles--The Germans at Manila Salute Admiral Dewey at Last.
The activity of the Aguinaldo insurgents was persisted in, while their
commissioners were on the way to us, and ours to them. While Congress
was in a reactionary state owing to political games, and many members
tearful on the side of the barbarians, there was a desperate conspiracy
to massacre the white people of Manila and destroy the city by fire;
and fighting was going on along our extended lines, the Filipinos
shooting at Americans from the jungles. On February 15th the California
Volunteers abandoned Guadalupe church and retired to San Pedro Macati,
and the Filipinos held ambuscades near the Pasig River. It was reported
that on the night of the 14th the retirement of General King's advance
posts upon San Pedro Macati had evidently been construed by the rebels
as a sign of weakness, as they pressed forward along both sides of
the river, persistently harassing the occupants of the town.
The rebels poured volley after volley into San Pedro Macati from
the brush on the adjacent ridge, but without effect. General King's
headquarters, in the center of the town, was the target for scores of
bullets. The rebels were using smokeless powder and it was extremely
difficult to locate individual marksmen.
The heat was intense and increasing perceptibly. It was impossible
to provide shade for the troops in parts of the line.
On the 21st the following remarkable dispatch was received from
"Manila, Feb. 21.--Adjutant-General, Washington: Following issued by
an important officer of insurgent government at Malolos February 15,
1899, for execution during that evening and night in this city:
"'You will so dispose that at 8 o'clock at night the individuals of
the territorial militia at your order will be found united in all
of the streets of San Pedro, armed with their bolos and revolvers or
guns and ammunition, if convenient.
"'Philippine families only will be respected. They should not be
molested, but all other individuals, of whatever race they may be,
will be exterminated without any compassion after the extermination
of the army of occupation.
"'The defenders of the Philippines in your command will attack the
guard at Bilibid and liberate the prisoners and "presidiarios," and,
having accomplished this, they will be armed, saying to them:
"'"Brothers, we must avenge ourselves on the Americans and exterminate
them, that we may take our revenge for the infamy and treachery
which they have committed upon us; have no compassion upon them;
attack with vigor. All Filipinos en masse will second you. Long live
"'The order which will be followed in the attack will be as follows:
The sharpshooters of Tondo and Santa Ana will begin the attack from
without and these shots will be the signal for the militia of Troso
Binondo, Quiata and Sampaloe to go out into the street and do their
duty; those of Pake, Ermita and Malate, Santa Cruz and San Miguel will
not start out until 12 o'clock unless they see that their companions
"'The militia of Tondo will start out at 3 o'clock in the morning;
if all do their duty our revenge will be complete. Brothers, Europe
contemplates us; we know how to die as men, shedding our blood in
defense of the liberty of our country. Death to the tyrants.
"'War without quarter to the false Americans who have deceived us.
"'Either independence or death.'"
There is not sufficient reason to assume that this paper setting forth
an order to carry out a conspiracy of house burning and assassination
is beyond belief. It is characteristic of the Filipino literature
that relates to Americans. General Otis is a man whose communications
may be relied upon absolutely. He is a believer in the exact truth
and has shown exemplary care in stating it. The Filipino faction
of warriors are habitually false, and wherever they have an agent,
are circulating falsehoods manufactured to order. The Junta of the
Aguinaldo pretenders, issued at Hongkong a statement as follows:
"Information which has leaked through the Pinkertons, sent by President
McKinley to investigate the shipment of arms to the Filipinos,
shows that the first shipments to Aguinaldo were made by order of
the American government, through Consul Wildman, hence the shipment
per the Wing Foi. The American government subsequently telegraphed
to cease this, coincident with the change of policy to annexation.
"Mr. Wildman and Rear Admiral Dewey promised to pay, but have not yet
paid, for a subsequent expedition by the Abbey, authorized by Admiral
Dewey, who afterward seized the steamer, and it is still held. Papers
respecting this are now in the possession of the Secretary of the Navy.
"The protestations of Admiral Dewey and other Americans that they
made no promises are ridiculous. In view of these facts let the
American people judge how the nation's word of honor was pledged to
the Filipinos and confided in by them, and violated by the recent
treachery of General Otis."
There may be an occasional member of Congress who cannot help believing
this, but he does not allow his ignorance to be moderated by any
ingredient of information.
On the same day the above publication appeared there was given at
Hongkong to the American Consul, Wildman, news of the "discovery of
20,000 rifles and 2,000,000 cartridges stored on lighters at Nankin by
Filipinos and ready for shipment to the islands. The American Minister
promptly induced the Chinese authorities to impound the munitions,
thus inflicting a hard blow to Aguinaldo.
"The extraordinary thing is that the Japanese government sold the
arms to the regular agent of the Filipinos at Yokohama, although,
for the sake of appearances, a form of auction was used. The Japanese
officials, it develops, offered 100,000 rifles, with machinery for
loading and ammunition, to the Filipinos in September.
"Traitorous Americans here are aiding the insurgents to smuggle
arms. Agoncillo's dispatches are leading the Filipinos to believe
President McKinley intends to treat with them."
The official correspondence of the American Consuls at Singapore,
Manila and Hongkong with the State Department, proves that there was
no treaty with Aguinaldo, no deception so far as our Government was
concerned, and that he was a professor of Americanism, talking of
annexation and a protectorate and his gratitude; and then a sulking
and swollen little creature; as Wildman wrote, a spoiled child,
requiring flatteries to keep him in a good humor. Admiral Dewey was
very careful never to promise Aguinaldo anything--giving him some
old guns and encouraging him to keep the Spaniards busy, but never
presuming or allowing it to be assumed that he was speaking for our
Government. By way of Seattle we have an extract of a letter written
by an insurgent officer at Hongkong in these terms:
"More than 25,000 families have left Manila since we began our war
on the Americans. American soldiers are deserting and presenting
themselves to our officers. In order to get the American troops
who were ordered to Iloilo on board the transport many of the men
had first been made drunk, others were embarked forcibly. They all
protested against going, saying that they had come to fight Spaniards,
not Filipinos. After the boat got under way the men mutinied. Many
jumped overboard and swam ashore. Those who remained began to wreck
all parts of the vessel."
The intensity of the folly of the Filipinos making war upon the United
States is on exhibition in this letter, and it is serviceable as a
measure of their intelligence. It is with this equipment of elementary
knowledge that Agoncillo is in Europe to solicit the intervention
of the great powers for his country and asserts that he lost Dewey's
letters in a shipwreck. He should exploit his mission in Madrid.
It was on the nights of the 22nd and 23d of February that an effort was
made by the Filipinos to burn Manila. The attempt to destroy property
closely resembled in the stealthy preliminaries, and desperate strife
to burn the city, the cunningly prepared first attack upon the American
army, repulsed with a slaughter that has moved deeply the sympathies
of our statesmen opposed to the administration of our Government
the growth of the country and the public honor. The fact is they are
sentimentalists in decay or degenerates running for a decline and fall.
There was some fighting in the streets during the night, but the
Americans quickly quelled the uprising. A number of the insurgents were
killed and several American soldiers severely wounded. A large market
place was the first to burn. Between six and seven hundred residences
and business houses were destroyed. Fires started at several points
simultaneously, and, spreading with great rapidity, resisted efforts
to control them. Hundreds of homeless natives were huddled in the
streets, making the patrol duty of the Americans difficult. The fire
was started in three places. Native sharpshooters were concealed behind
corner buildings. They shot at every American in sight. Flames burst
forth simultaneously from Santa Cruz, San Nicolas and Tondo. From
these points the fire spread. In a short time a great part of the
city was burning. Notwithstanding the continual activity of the hidden
sharpshooters the American garrison turned out and fought the fire. In
many cases they had first to drive away the lurking assassins.
No one of our troops was killed, but seven members of the
Minnesota regiment ere wounded making a rush into the burning Tondo
quarter. Captain C. Robinson of Company C was one of the wounded. The
troops were rallied from some of the outlying encampments, quickly
spread through all parts of the city and subdued what was evidently
planned for a general uprising and massacre.
The fire lasted all night. The native rebels in the city have
been completely checked by the prompt work of General Otis and the
other commanders. It is evident that the incendiaries and assassins
believed that the entire town would be destroyed and with it the
foreign residents and the American soldiers.
General Otis telegraphed Adjutant-General Corbin February 23d:
"Determined endeavors to burn city last night. Buildings fired in
three different sections of city. Fires controlled by troops, after
"A considerable number of incendiaries shot and a few soldiers wounded.
"Early this morning a large body of insurgents made a demonstration
off MacArthur's front, near Caloocan, and were repulsed. Loss of
property by fire last night probably $500,000."
February 21st, 9:35 P. M.--"The natives of the village of Paco made a
bold attempt last night to burn the quarters of the First Washington
Volunteers by setting fire to the huts adjoining their quarters in
"Fortunately the wind changed at the moment the fire was discovered,
and, fanned by a stiff breeze, the flames spread in the opposite
direction, destroying fully twenty shacks and houses opposite the
ruins of the church. The incendiaries escaped.
"Mysterious signals were frequently made along the enemy's lines
during the night."
From the high points in the city fires were seen in a dozen places,
and a cloud of smoke hovered over the city, conveying the impression
to people about the bay and in the outside districts that the whole
city was burning.
On the 21st of February the Nebraska troops drove a force of 300
insurgents three miles to Pasig. Twenty-one of them were found dead
on the field and many more were believed to have been killed. The
Americans had three wounded.
A most serious problem confronts General Otis in the protection
of Manila and the suburban towns from fire, not only because of the
treacherous character of the rebel Filipinos, but also because outside
of the business establishments the houses are built of the flimsiest
bamboo, hung with matting screens. Even the floors are made of strips
of bamboo, separated so as to allow the free circulation of air. It is
within the power of almost any person to set fire to these houses from
without or within in a few seconds, and, as they are closely built,
the ravages of a single fire in a quarter so closely constructed
might easily reach the $500,000 point mentioned by General Otis.
The foreign quarter is of better construction, but still includes
many of these light bamboo houses, which the older residents seem to
find cooler than those of more solid construction. The walled town,
which the insurgents threaten to burn, is said to be of substantial
structures, and probably is more easily defended against such an
attempt than any other section of the town.
February 26th, 6:30 A. M., a dispatch was received from Colombo,
Island of Colon, as follows:
"The United States transport Grant, which sailed from New York for
Manila January 19 with troops under command of Major-General Henry
W. Lawton on board, arrived here to-day. General Lawton received a
cablegram from Major-General Otis saying:
"'Situation critical. Your early arrival necessary.'
"He also received from General Corbin, United States Adjutant-General,
a cable dispatch urging him to hurry.
"General Lawton ordered his officers to buy supplies regardless of
expense, and the transport is taking on coal and water hurriedly. She
will try to reach Manila without further stop."
March 4th a dispatch from General Lawton on the Grant at Singapore
was received as follows:
"Arrived here to-night. Will stop six hours for coal. Have no serious
illness to report. Favorable conditions still continue.
"We shall probably reach Manila early on morning of March 10. Have
so informed Otis."
This shows the strong impression the Manila news made in the War
Department, of the attempt to burn the city, which was part of the
announced plan of the insurgents. Filipino spies and sympathizers
had been watched by the American troops day and night seeking to
locate places of weakness. Many were captured. Some of them were
disguised in women's clothing. Plots of all kinds were rife. There
had been constant fear for weeks in the city that a massacre and
conflagration would be attempted. General Otis warned his officers to
be ever vigilant. Since the first battle our troops have guarded all
quarters within the lines. The conclusion of the very serious phase of
the incendiary period was announced by General Otis in this dispatch:
"Manila, Feb. 24.--To Secretary of War, Washington: Scandia arrived
last night. On nights 21st and 22d and yesterday morning insurgent
troops gained access to outskirts of city behind our lines. Many in
hiding and about 1,000 intrenched themselves. Completely routed
yesterday, with loss of killed and wounded about 500 and 200
prisoners. Our loss was slight. City quiet, confidence restored,
On the afternoon of February 25th it was stated in a Manila cablegram
that the military police had raided several suspected houses in various
districts, capturing small bodies of twenty or thirty prisoners
in each place. This and the 7 o'clock order effectually dispelled
the fears of a threatened outbreak of the natives, who do not dare
singly, or collectively, to appear on the streets after dark. The
feeling in the city decidedly improved, although the Chinese were
timorous. Hundreds of applicants for cedulus besiege the register's
office, the natives apparently being under the impression that their
possession insures them from interference and the ignominy of being
searched for arms on the streets.
There was a mystery lasting a day or two about this unusual cable
"Manila, Feb. 24.--To Secretary of Navy, Washington: For political
reasons the Oregon should be sent here at once.
It was not a secret, however, in Manila Bay in August that Admiral
Dewey wanted two battleships, just as he wanted and had needed two
monitors, and that he then preferred the Oregon and the Iowa. He
has deemed it of the utmost importance that he should have a force
at Manila Bay superior to that of any other power. The German fleet
had for a considerable part of the time since the destruction of
the Spanish squadron been in a menacing attitude. The Germans were
ostentatious in discourtesy during Admiral Diedrich's personal
The Congress of the United States that was so divided and distracted
about the Philippine question was unanimous as to the pre-eminent
merits as a naval commander of George Dewey, though he was the
embodiment of all the anti-Americans railed at. This is the official
paper that proclaims Dewey's promotion:
"_President_ of the United States of America.
"To All Who Shall See These Presents: Greeting:
"Know ye, that, reposing special trust and confidence in the
patriotism, valor and fidelity and abilities of
I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,
do appoint him Admiral of the Navy from the second day of March,
1899, in the service of the United States.
"He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of
Admiral by doing and performing all manner of duties thereto belonging.
"And I do strictly charge and require all officers, seamen and marines
under his command to be obedient to his orders as Admiral.
"And he is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time
to time as he shall receive from me or the future President of the
United States of America.
"Given under my hand at Washington the second day of March, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine, and in the one
hundred and twenty-third year of the independence of the United States.
"By the President:
"_John D. Long_, Secretary of the Navy."
The Admiral personally responded, cabling to the Secretary of the Navy:
"Manila, March 4.--Please accept for yourself, the President and
Congress and my countrymen my heartfelt thanks for the great honor
which has been conferred upon me.
He will draw from the Government $14,700 a year, including allowances,
and is entitled to a larger staff. His direct pay is $13,000 per annum,
a rise of $7,000. He outranks any officer in the United States army,
the fact being that Rear Admirals rank with the Major-Generals,
who are the highest officers at present in the army, and Dewey is a
full Admiral. This is the result of not being afraid of torpedoes or
to risk ships in front of shore batteries. On the 3rd of March the
President nominated Brigadier-General Elwell S. Otis, U.S.A., to be
Major-General by brevet, to rank from February 4, 1899, for military
skill and most distinguished service in the Philippine Islands. The
nomination was confirmed by the Senate. Secretary Alger sent the
following congratulatory message to General Otis:
"You have been nominated and confirmed a Major-General by brevet in
the Regular Army. The President wishes this message of congratulations
sent you, in which I cordially join."
The Spanish way of dealing with unfortunate officers appears in this:
"Madrid, Friday.--Admiral Montojo, who was in command of the Spanish
squadron destroyed by Admiral Dewey in the battle of Manila Bay, and
the commander of the Cavite arsenal were this evening incarcerated in
the military prison pending trial for their conduct at Manila. Admiral
Cervera has also been imprisoned, along with General Linares, the
two men in the Spanish service who gave the Americans trouble.
The Colon Gazette on the 23d of February publishes extracts from a
private letter dated Iloilo, January 12, that prior to the conclusion
of peace Lieutenant Brandeis, formerly of the Twenty-first Baden
Dragoons, with 800 Spanish troops, held the town against 20,000
to 30,000 Filipinos, who were monkeying about and assuming to be
conducting a siege, just as the Aguinaldo crowd was doing at Manila
when General Merritt arrived. When peace was declared the Iloilo
Spaniards presently surrendered and the Filipinos rushed in as
conquering heroes. The pacific policy of the President prevented the
United States troops from taking the place from the swarm of islanders
until the outbreak in front of Manila, when our strict defensive was
unavailable and General Miller quietly occupied and possessed Iloilo,
the important sugar-exporting town of the Philippines.
The natives of the Island of Negros sent a delegation to General
Miller, after he had captured Iloilo, to offer their allegiance to
the United States, and the General holds Jaro and Molo, where there
has been skirmishing recently. The insurgents have 2,000 men at
The governor of Camarines, in the interior of Luzon, has issued
a proclamation declaring that the Americans intend to make the
March 4th the United States cruiser Baltimore arrived at Manila
having on board the civil members of the United States Philippine
Commission. On the same day the rebels of the village of San Jose
fired on the United States gunboat Bennington and the warship shelled
that place and other suburbs of Manila in the afternoon.
At daylight General Wheaton's outposts discovered a large body of
rebels attempting to cross the river for the purpose of re-enforcing
the enemy at Guadalupe.
A gunboat advanced under a heavy fire and poured shot into
the jungle on both sides of the river and shelled the enemy's
position at Guadalupe, effectually but temporarily scattering the
rebels. The enemy's loss was heavy. American loss, one killed and
two wounded. General Otis cabled:
"The transport Senator just arrived; troops in good health. One
casualty, accidental drowning.
The Senator carried Companies A, B, C, D, H and K of the Twenty-second
Infantry and sailed from San Francisco on February 1. The remainder of
this regiment arrived at Manila on the transport Ohio, which followed
The transport Valentia sailed from San Francisco March 4th, carrying
in addition to 150 soldiers, stores and supplies, $1,500,000 to pay
the soldiers now in the Philippines.
March 3d general order No. 30 was issued from the Adjutant-General's
office, War Department of the United States:
"The following regiments will be put in readiness for service in
the Philippine Islands without delay, the movement to take place
from time to time under instructions to be communicated hereafter:
Sixth Artillery, Sixth Infantry, Ninth Infantry, Thirteenth Infantry,
Sixteenth Infantry and Twenty-first Infantry.
"The following troops will he put in readiness for early departure
for station in Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands:
"Twenty-fourth Infantry, one field officer and four companies;
one company from Fort Douglas, Utah, and three companies from Fort
D. A. Russell, Wyoming.
"The department commanders are charged with the preparation of their
commands for these movements. The Quartermaster-General will make
timely arrangements for the transportation of the various commands. The
Commissary-General of Subsistence and the Surgeon-General will make
necessary provision for proper subsistence and medical supplies
This means that our army at Manila will he re-enforced by 6,000
regulars. Recent advices show that Aniceto Lanson, President of Negros
Island, called on General Otis with his fellow-delegates, Pose De
Luzuriago, President of Negros Congress; Gosebio Luzuriago, Secretary
of Finance, and Deputy Andries Azcoule. They assured General Otis
of the hearty support of the Visayas except those few who have been
stirred into revolt by the agents of Aguinaldo on the Island of Panay.
The government of Negros, they declared, was in favor of American rule,
and there was no adverse sentiment whatever among the natives. The
stars and stripes are now floating over all the official buildings
on the island. The commission offered to raise an army of 100,000
Visayans to fight the Tagalos on the Island of Luzon. The commissioners
represent large sugar-interests in Negros.
The Negros Island deputation was greatly pleased with its reception.
Admiral Dewey's flag as a full American Admiral was saluted becomingly
by all the warships of foreign nations at Manila, even including the
Germans, who had not until then showed the Americans any significant
courtesy. The English led the function with an Admiral's salute. There
was no novelty in this, for they long ago in every friendly way
recognized Manila as an American port. The Germans have given signal
manifestation of their desire to promote the most cordial relations
between Germany and the United States by ordering the withdrawal
of all vessels of their navy from Philippine waters and placing the
lives and property of their subjects there under the protection of
the United States Government.
A Hongkong dispatch of February 28 contained this information:
"Professors Schurman and Worcester to-day, after a long consultation
with Wildman, who is looked upon as one of the best-posted men in
the Orient in regard to Philippine affairs, expressed themselves as
satisfied with the outlook.
"They are especially pleased with the action of President McKinley
in restoring to the wealthy Cortes family the great estates illegally
confiscated by the Spaniards.
"'It is good politics,' said a leading member of the Hongkong colonial
cabinet to-day. 'It will seal to America every Filipino who possesses
property. It is the hardest blow Aguinaldo has suffered.'"
Admiral Dewey is strengthened by gunboats enough to keep out the
Filipino supplies of arms picked up in Asia, and Congress may not
be making a noise agreeable to our enemies for the rest of this
year. There is compensation in the omission. There will be no European
or American interference in the process of pacificating the military
faction of Filipinos, who are ungrateful and murderous, during the
rest of the last year of the century.
Hugh Brown, an Englishman, who arrived at Hongkong from Manila February
11, gives in detail evidence of the conspiracy of the insurgent swarms
in attacking the American army. He was at a circus where there were
no natives when our soldiers were called out. They behaved nobly,
disarming natives, but not killing them. There was mysterious shooting
going on in the city "when an American shell struck a tree 200 yards
away, and four natives dropped to the ground. The trees were found
to be full of hiding natives, using smokeless powder." Aguinaldo was
fifty miles away and telegraphed Admiral Dewey that he was not to
blame, and for God's sake to stop the firing of the fleet.
Captain Frazer of London, late of the Imperial British forces,
arrived at Vancouver direct from Hongkong March 8th, and gave this
account of the declining health of Admiral Dewey:
"The war at Manila will have to end soon or the life of the great
American Admiral will be worth nothing.
"I dined with him at Manila within a month, and am convinced that if
he is not relieved of the terrible strain imposed upon him he cannot
last a month longer. As he sat at the banquet table, surrounded by
his staff, he looked to me like a dying man. His hair is snowy white,
his face ashen, and he ate hardly anything.
"I had the pleasure of a few minutes' conversation with him when we
retired to the smoking-room. Having in mind his enfeebled appearance.,
I asked him if he thought of returning to America soon.
"'I would like to, but my work is by no means finished here. When it
is, and only then, will I return.'
"I am thoroughly convinced that only the Admiral's indomitable will has
kept him up so long. The strain on him is terrible, and the climatic
conditions have reduced him to a shadow.
"One of his officers said to me just before I left Manila:
"'The war will be ended by the Admiral soon or it will end him. No
man can stand such a strain as he does in this climate and live long.'"
If this is to be literally accepted, and we may hope that it
is overstated, there has been a distressingly unfavorable change
within five months in the Admiral. His trouble is said to be with his
liver. There is no question the strain upon him has been more wearing
than the public have realized. Last summer his anxieties afflicted
him with insomnia at night, and he has not for a day since he left
Hongkong in April been free from burdens of harrassing care. His last
words on the deck of the China to the Author of this Book were that
the President had invited him to go home and counsel with him, but he
had written the substance of what he held to be the way to deal with
the Philippines, and would not leave Manila Bay "without peremptory
orders to go, until all things here are settled--settled--settled,"
a characteristic repetition of the important word. He had already
stated he wanted "two battleships" and the Oregon and Iowa were
accordingly ordered to join him. Instead of anticipating pleasure from
the ovations that thousands of letters and all callers assure him he
could not avoid in this country he sincerely dreads them, and when
told what the inevitable was whenever he put his foot on his native
shore he said: "That would be very distasteful to me." He is human,
and, of course, not insensible of the boundless compliment of the
endless enthusiasm of the public regarding him, but he habitually
insists that every man in his fleet did his duty on the day of battle
and victory, and it would be "injustice to brave men if one man got
all the glory." The Admiral knows the President's invitation to him
to come home is a standing one, and no limit on it, but the sense of
duty of the Admiral, in whose judgment there is perfect confidence,
forbids. The information of his declining health will certainly result
in his recall overruling his personal feeling and official purpose,
if it is believed that there is danger he is sacrificing himself.
 In another chapter of this story of the Philippines will be found
Senor Filipe Agoncillo's personal account of this affair.
 Principally to Singapore.
 Principally to Japan.
 Principally to Singapore.
 Tagalo.--Name of one of the tribes of Indians inhabiting the
Philippine Islands.--Trans. Note.
 Tinapa.--Small white-bait fish, which, mixed with rice,
constitutes the daily diet of the lower class of natives in the
Philippine Islands.--Trans. Note.
 Gallego.--Native of Galicia, northwestern Province in Spain. On
account of their healthy and robust constitution, the lower class of
Gallego are found employed in the hardest work throughout the country,
where physical strength is necessary, although they are considered slow
and lazy. Their predominant characteristic seems to be an insatiable
greed of hoarding money.--Trans. Note.
 Cataluna.--Province of Spain, which capital is
 This account of Magellan is from Antonio de Marga's rare volume
published in Mexico.